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Ripe for Change  by Bodkin 8 Review(s)
LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 3/15/2006
So--at last we begin to understand why these are approaching the Lord and Lady. I'd been wondering. They want a land and the protection a known Lord and Lady can give them, apparently.

Author Reply: The Silvan, I think, are not particularly keen on rulers - but they do see the advantage of having someone with a voice in the halls of the powerful. And the Sindar remember Elu. And then, the number of those returning from Namo's Halls in increasing and they need space and someone to ensure that their freedoms remain. Celeborn represents that - and he is one born to serve his people. Nothing is more likely to help ground him in this alien forest.

BejaiReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/4/2005
You know, it just occured to me that reviewing this story is on my list of things to do, and that I hadn't done it yet. My apologies!

- I just adore your characterization of Galadriel. Powerful and somewhat intimidating, but more warm and understanding than strangers know, patient when it serves her, and with a wonderful sense of humor. I finally got back to writing myself the other day, and am struggling with flat characterization. I just need to breath in the ambiance of your story, and maybe it will come back to me.

- Loved how some of the shy elves started approaching her, and the way she dealt with them.

- " had forgotten how irritating I could find him,’ Celeborn murmured. ‘There is something about those with whom you were young – they know exactly how to annoy you most with the least possible effort" Hee. Too funny. Also true ;)

- I loved how Galadriel's picking up on the problem of the wandering Sindar, even as Celeborn is still a bit clueless. I don't know if he's ready to deal with it yet. He needs something to do, a work to accomplish, but I don't know if he's strong enough to take that on his shoulders.

- The aside about horses and Nahar. I love how you've been bringing in Silm references! It makes the stories so rich.

- ‘You left him behind?’ ... ‘He sent me ahead.’ Brilliant! I'd never thought of it in quite that light.

Wonderful chapter, Bodkin, as ever. I look forward to the next!

Author Reply: Thank you - it's good to know you like it.

I keep reminding myself that Celeborn loved Galadriel - for a very very long time - so she much have had plenty of appealing qualities - (beyond the obvious). And he just wouldn't hang on to the edges of her power. He just didn't need to! Though others were probably wise to watch their step with her!

And even Galadriel would be impressed, I would think, by those who were there at the very beginning and went their own way. She's probably better at coaxing those who are wary of her than she is at dealing with sycophants. Although I don't know. If ever there is someone who can deal with all sorts of people!

Yes - long-lost cousins and old school-friends: you're delighted to see them - and rapidly remember why you haven't kept in touch!

Galadriel has had (in my version) about 500 years of recovery time, while Celeborn has arrive (in rather worn condition) only relatively recently. He isn't ready for pressure - but he is desperately in need of knowing that he is needed. So hopefully between the two of them, they will be able to start to deal with the problem.

The Nahar bit wrote itself - I'm becoming addicted to throwing in all the Silmarillion stuff. (Blame Earendil!)

Galadriel and Celeborn's situation at the end of the Third Age is difficult - she was in a bad way, I think, knowing she had to leave, but not really wanting to. I can see Celeborn making the decision - in a very practical way.

I've started the next chapter - but haven't got too far with it yet. But your words encourage me to keep playing!

DotReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/2/2005
You know what I was just thinking? As well as the fact that I’m unforgivably late with this… You write female characters really well. I suppose in this fandom most of the characters are going to be male so I’m probably used to reading (and writing) them but I find women hard to write without them becoming clones of each other and I’ve read very few stories where they’re written particularly well. But you manage it with such ease. They’re all strong, all different and yet all recognisably female.

I really enjoyed the opening scene. I think it’s Galadriel more so than the horse who wants the dry house and a fond admirer to… whatever. I thought she handled the jumpy elf very well. She must be getting a bit frustrated, though. The things you do for love, eh?

‘I could object – and throw a fit of Noldorin temper about being abandoned in the midst of so many inferior elves.’ ROTFL! Part of what I love about your Galadriel is how very aware she is of exactly what people think of her and yet how willing she is to have a little fun with that persona - even if it is often just around her husband.

I think Galadriel could find herself having a more interesting time than she thought. The Huntsman conversation was just fascinating. I bet she never thought she’d be comforting someone like Bórdain over the choice he made.

Losgael is growing on me. I quite like how blunt she is. I think she could be good for Galadriel. I get the impression, actually, that she’s starting to like Galadriel more than she wants to.

Goerfér, on the other hand, is starting to annoy me! It drives me nuts when people obviously have something to say but won’t just come out and say it! Celeborn is being remarkably patient! I’m probably feeling sorry for Celeborn too because he clearly still needs more time for peace and healing without some thinks-he’s-clever elf trying to manipulate (o.k. that’s probably too strong a word) him.

I like the scene with Galadriel telling Losgael about leaving ME. I think Losgael will appreciate honesty more than anything else.

‘The daughter of the Noldor’s High King together with Elu’s closest kin? If you cannot help us, none can.’ So, a project?! Losgael could have made a better hand of saying it but at least it was better than Goerfér’s irritating attempt at being enigmatic. Did I mention that I’m not too fond of him?! Still, this actually sounds like something that would give Celeborn some purpose. Just give him a minute to catch his breath! But is this the reason that they sought Celeborn out in the first place? Hmm.

Wonderful chapter, Bodkin! Apologies for the lateness. I’ll be up to date one of these days… :-/

Author Reply: Late? No problem - it's fun hearing later - and I get more time to think about replying!

I do think females are under-represented here. They often are, of course, since they are in literature and film as a whole, but there are quite a few unconsidered females in Tolkien who are, when you come to think about them, fascinating characters. And strong. And I like to write them. I'm glad you think they come out as being individuals, too.

I can't see Galadriel really enjoying being wet and dishevelled and covered in horse hair - fine weather, yep, she could sail through being an outdoor elf in good conditions, but mud is a whole different matter! And she and Celeborn have had long enough to learn how each other's people see them: the arrogant, self-important, masculine, power-grubbing princess and the power-seeking, inferior, unimportant scion of a forsaken house clutching onto the coat-tails of authority. They would have to laugh at it and disregard it or be destroyed.

Bordain impresses the socks off Galadriel, I think. So much more than he seems. Whereas Goerfer, maybe, is so much less than he thinks he ought to be. And Galadriel is in better condition for politics at the moment than Celeborn is. He does still need time - he'll pick up the nuances pretty quickly, I suspect, but the elf needs some R and R. Hopefully Losgael will keep him in his place and let things take their time - they have enough after all. I reckon Galadriel will appreciate being around someone who can take honesty. She's had people pussyfooting around her for a good long while as she's been recovering - and that's not the people who will always treat her with kid gloves, just because she can be scary.

A project. Just what Celeborn needs really - as long as he can take it at his own pace. There's a certain element of right place / right time - but the forest elves aren't found unless they want to be. On the whole. So they've recognised an opportunity.

I'm glad you liked it. Any comments, any time. Thank you.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/30/2005
I really liked this chapter. The dry humor is wonderful. I especially liked the line where Galadriel offers to throw a temper tantrum, and the one where she says that she should extend her experience in tending horses in case she decides to become a stable hand. Who knew Galadriel was such a card? I love dry humor!

Losgael is an interesting sort. She's very plain spoken and a tad wary yet of Galadriel. Not rude, but very forthcoming with her thoughts. Looks like Galadriel appreciates that in her too. Two strong women. I love the way you've drawn their personalities so clearly. I'm taking notes! I find women hard to write sometimes.

Goerfér's cooking something up. He's testing Celeborn, and if he's not careful, Celeborn will test his fist upside his cousin's head. Celeborn wasn't called 'the wise' for nothing, but Goerfér's caught him at a time when his patience might not be the best. And don't be insulting his wife. I'm sure he's heard it all before, but for Pete's sake, enough is enough.

One of the most interesting things I think you've hit upon is that Valinor isn't perfect. There are still struggles and differences between the various factions of elves. I like this. Surely Eru, if not the Valar, know that with no challenge and freewill in life, the elves would stagnate into mere shadows of what they had been created to be. They are still free to be who they are...even if it's a bit more sedate than fighting orcs and dark lords.

This was a very thought provoking chapter and a wonderfully written one. I enjoyed it very much.


Author Reply: In my mind, Galadriel had a lot of the humour drained out of her in those last Lothlorien years - all that ring-bearing malarkey - but she is feeling a lot better now, especially since the Silver Tree decided to come west. They have been together a long time and have to be able to deal with each other's little quirks - and how better than humour!

Losgael isn't at all sure she wants these two interfering in the lives of the returned. Interference brings change - and that is not always good. But I reckon Galadriel is only too pleased to find someone who can tell it like it is - and who is not prepared to collapse at a frown.

Goerfer is impulsive - but not stupid. And deciding to sit back and wait is probably one of the more difficult and sensible things he has done. And maybe Celeborn does need to realise that, for some people here, the Noldor invasion and the kinslayings are not as distant as they are for others. And some people are incredibly good at harping on about history so ancient that it has become irrelevant.

How can Valinor be perfect? The elves who inhabit it are coming from so many different angles they look like a starburst - and, although they may have to accommodate each other, no-one says they have to like it! In some ways, it's probably more difficult than ME, where at least they can combine against a common enemy - which is pretty good for hiding smaller differences.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/27/2005

Yay! An update!

Hmm, Galadriel’s explanation about the elves partnership with horses had a lot of the same overtones as a ruler and his people. Or maybe I am stretching that a little too far. It's perfect how the animals bring Bordain out and enables a conversation between strangers about rather deep and telling feelings.

Nice to see Galadriel can be impressed by an ancient elf who was a witness to history. I know I am. Here is another of those elven historical cross-roads with few personal stories written around its events. But, maybe not for long...

Your skittish elves are charming especially Bordain. A nice contrast to Goerfer, who is twisty, and Losgael, who is so straight-forward. I don’t know why but these two feel oh-so-Irish to me. ;) My apologizes if that seems like stereotyping. I am just thinking of past characters I've encountered that are like this pair.

Interesting, that just as when Goerfer was working his way up to his point, Celeborn put a halt to it. Not ready yet, like his cousin says. Maybe, after a little more r&r, Celeborn and Galadriel can come back to these people and be a stronger aide to them.

Heh, Galadriel and Losgael are simply going to have to be friends. They both appreciate eachother's burdens a little too much besides really enjoying a talk with another intelligent elleth.

Nice to see a reverence for life by a hunter. Some writers have tried to make wood-elves into vegetarians. I am more inclinded to think that some are ascetic, but most are like the members of any hunter-gatherer culture and feel a grateful respect instead. Beren had his reasons for not hunting the birds and beasts. Forest dwellers have their reasons for doing so.

"He sent me ahead." How true. I like that you allow Celeborn to have more than one reason for choosing his actions. Galadriel's healing was the big reason for her going. But, I have always felt Celeborn stayed longer because one important thing he had to do was move the Galadhrim to a more viable piece of real estate now that Lothlorien had suffered damage from the previous attacks and being suspended in time was catching up to it. The interesting thing was Thranduil *making* him become a fellow King.

"If you cannot help us, none can." Now, you have me wondering how long Georfer and Losgael argued about approaching C&G in the first place. Trust issues galore! The conversations are as always very entertaining and thoughtful and revealing.

This story is getting even better. Well, as far as I am concerned anyway...

Author Reply: No - actually the relationship between the ruler and ruled / elves and horses actually mirror each other quite well. I think Galadriel has learned a lot about ruling over her years in Arda - both from watching it done badly and from watching it done well. I wanted Bordain to spend more time with Galadriel - but he is still too wary and inclined to keep his distance. I think he will circle a while before drawing any closer - and she will need to earn the trust of the skittish elves.

Goerfer is a bit twisty, I think - and impulsive. I don't know that he's much of a thinker - he leaves that to Losgael, probably, although she might have to convince him he thought of it in the first place.

Yes - Celeborn needs a while longer, I think, before he is ready to take on the establishment - but at least he is already seeing that there are those who need him here and that his skills and connections will be useful.

I don't feel that Galadriel has really had a female friend since Luthien - there aren't many who could stand up to the Lady of the Golden Wood.

I'm not much into hunting myself - but I don't like putting 21st century values where they don't belong, and elves would hunt. Reverently, yes, but Wood Elves at least are going to be a hunter-gatherer sort of people - and I doubt they would have Bambi-sentimentalities.

Good point about Celeborn's reasons for staying. And C and G are grown up enough to realise that love is great, but there are responsibilities that outrank romance - and everything has its time.

I wonder if Goerfer thinks he's being clever and outsmarting his cousin - and manipulating him into doing something. I wouldn't be surprised. Losgael, on the other hand, if won over, probably would understand the value of truth.

I'm glad you're enjoying the story. I'm afraid it's building quite slowly. Like the tale of a certain returned ancestor.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/26/2005
Ooo. I'd forgotten about this one and I like it! I especially love Galadriel in this chapter. I like seeing her in the elements with her horse trying to coax out timid elves. There is so much more to her than the mysterious Noldor and you have done a great job bringing that out here--'are titles meaningless to you?'...'you left him behind?'.... You really hit a lot of ground in her conversations. My favorite though was the conversation about 'following the Huntsman.' I really enjoy little glimpses like that.

And Celeborn was equally well done. I especially like his reverence for life even as he hunts. That seems very much in character.

And the wandering elves desire for their own land and their interest in Celeborn and Galadriel's help will prove very interesting, I think. I really liked this chapter and I enjoyed re-reading the others again. Great job.

Author Reply: Thank you! I like Galadriel! You're right - she is much more than a beautiful, out-of-focus, power-crazed, manipulative Noldor with a ring of power. Why on earth would Celeborn have spent three ages with anyone so one-dimensional? The Huntsman conversation leapt out of nowhere - and just grabbed me! And the thought of Nahar, silver in the starlight.

Celeborn is still a bit brittle - he has not been in the BR that long - whereas I think Galadriel's edges have softened a little as the music of the BR has started to heal her. But what he needs is a purpose in Aman, and a reason to forgive himself for having left Arda - and he may well have found that. This is something that he can do (with Galadriel) that no-one else can.

How are the Interrupted Journeys getting along? I could do with some nicely fluffy Legolas tales right now!

perellethReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/26/2005
I'm liking this story very much since its very first chapter. I liked the horses here, and Galadriel's explanation of the "agreement" betwen elves and horses. Nice touch that!. Galadriel's characterization is wonderful, too, her cautious amusement and her enjoyment at Losgael wits. I suppose Celeborn will soon put an end to his holidays and start "helping" his relatives? Helping them settle in a new forest sounds like something he would be ready to do!

Author Reply: Thank you! I think Celeborn will feel much happier and more settled in the Blessed Realm if he has some windmills to tilt at. He needs people to help and wrongs to right - in a very practical way. He'll soon feel quite at home!

I like Galadriel - we see a lot of her power and determination, but I reckon Celeborn would want more than that (and beauty) in his lady, and so I tend to see her with a sense of the ridiculous as well as being loving and loyal - and they both of them have a huge understanding of 'noblesse oblige'. They take responsibility - not only for their own actions, but for the care of others who look to them for help.

So, I can't think of anything more likely to make Celeborn feel at home away from his native forests than to have people looking to him for leadership.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/26/2005
Galadriel deserves credit for her good temper under these circumstances. That really shows her strength, I think.

So these wandering elves are indeed looking for help, which usually translates to leadership, even when people don't realize it. That could be a good project for Celeborn.

Author Reply: I like Galadriel. I think she can be a bit scary - I certainly wouldn't want to cross her - but she gets a lot of bad press because she is not in a typical female role. And I reckon that she has let go a lot of the pressures of carrying Nenya by now - she has been in the BR for some time, and the brittleness has eased a lot. I wonder if she generally finds males easier to manage? (With the exception of Thranduil, of course, who goes into automatic prejudice mode as soon as he sees her.) She might, I think. I can imagine that a lot of female eyes take on a jaded look as soon as Miss Crowned-with-Radiance comes in sight.

This is turning into a kind of back story for Far Horizons. Didn't start quite that way. Never mind - the project will be good for Celeborn. I think he needs to be needed.

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