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Answering the Call  by docmon 5 Review(s)
InklingReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/23/2006
A truly disturbing what-if…and somehow the more so for being presented entirely through uneasy conversations. In one of Tolkien’s letters he described Gandalf in possession of the Ring as ultimately making good seem more loathsome than evil…and this vignette picks up on that idea, I think. Nicely done!

Author Reply: Thank you for reviewing, Inkling! Yes, this vignette is one of the most disturbing for me. I'm glad you like how it's presented. I worried a bit that most of it didn't feature Gandalf at all, and it was supposed to be 'his' vignette. I didn't know what Tolkien had said about Gandalf's possession, but thanks for the reference. It makes me feel as if I was on the right track!
Thank you!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/21/2006
And the beRinged Gandalf would sacrifice even Aragorn, would he? Yet Frodo hides his suspicions from a wizard gone bad--he may yet prevail.

Such a horrid possibility!

Author Reply: Yes, Gandalf with the Ring is perhaps the scariest of all possibilities, I think. He would eventually get to the point where he could justify sacrificing Aragorn, I believe. And, yes, the question in the end is how much does Frodo suspect? Only that there are things he doesn't understand, or that there is a reason to not trust Gandalf, or even that Gandalf was behind the deaths of the Rangers? It could be any of these!
Thanks for all your reviews!

Mysterious JediReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/15/2006
As interesting as this is, I'm glad it's not the "real" story :)

<>< SAved from sin through Christ,

Author Reply: thank you for your comments, mj. If you get the opportunity to read the others, I think you'll agree that it's a good thing none of these scenarios are the 'real' story.

LamielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/15/2006
I like the way you've crafted this, the understated nature of the Ring's power. Gandalf has taken it -- from Bilbo, one assumes. The others can sense that something is different about him, and they are uneasy, but he does not become instantly and overtly evil. He is still trying to use it to do good. And yet the seeds of evil -- "he rose to his full potential" -- are there. The reader can see the darkness to come.

Curious that he started by cleansing Mirkwood. The first strike against Sauron, I presume. And Aragorn is dead as a result. This series of vignettes promises to be very intriguing, but it is not going to be a happy one.

Oh, and in the prologue -- the way that the Fellowship, even Merry and Pippin, are subtly avoiding Frodo is a nice touch. They can feel the Ring, and the effort of resisting it takes a toll on the bearer. It reminds me of the scene in the extended Fellowship DVD, during Aragorn's negotiations with Haldir in Lothlorien. One gets the same feeling of discomfort and uncertainty.

This is a fascinating take on the great question of LOTR. "What if..." and this exploration of possibilities is all the better because it is so well written. I'm looking forward to more.

Author Reply: Thank you so much, Lamiel!
I'm glad you've appreciated this take on what might have happened. I do think Gandalf could have easily taken it from Frodo at some point, but it could just as well been from Bilbo. I thought I'd leave that up to the reader to decide.
I did want to convey the sense of darkness and dread that I thought would come with such a prospect as Gandalf in possession of the Ring, and so I'm glad it came across. I think the cleansing of Mirkwood was as much a demonstration of his power as a first strike against Sauron. Glad to see the prologue worked for you as well, especially as I wanted it to set the mood, and I see that it did.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments. I hope you enjoy the other 'takes' as well.


RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/14/2006
Yikes! A scary thought to have Gandalf with the ring... and now Aragorn dead and the hobbits... well, whatever Gandalf is going to do with the hobbits. It was creepy good. But why does the story say it is complete when the prologue says that you will have a story for each member of the Fellowship? Are there going to be separate stories for each one or what? Well, I'll put you on my author alert and see what happens! :)

I did enjoy it even if gave me the shivers.

Author Reply: Thank you Radbooks!
Yes, I always thought it would be one of the worst - and scariest - possibilities if Gandalf had taken the Ring. He said nearly so himself when talking it over with Frodo.
Glad that I could give you shivers!

Author Reply: Oh, forgot to mention - yes, 'complete' was a mistake. There's more to come!

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