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Beyond This World  by Thundera Tiger 18 Review(s)
GalathilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/13/2021
Wow! You had me in tears from the the third line. It is powerful and poignant. I wonder what Thranduil would

make of his son's decision? Hope he understands.

I love the twist at the end. Now the fellowship will always be together.


MegReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/26/2009
Jesus Christ, I sobbed through about 90% of that story. It was SO well-written, every single character was crafted to perfection and those little anecdotes Gimli and Legolas shared made the whole story that much more believable. WELL. FREAKING. DONE.

Author Reply: Hey Meg,

Thank you so much for the review! I'm glad you liked it, though I apologize about the tears. Still, I'll take that as a compliment, if you don't mind. :) After all, it isn't supposed to be a happy story. Not outright, at least. Thank you again!

AryaReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 1/13/2006
Wow Thundera! This story really touched me! To tell you the truth, I cried about four times while I read. Especially when Legolas died. Though I wish he could have lived, I do not deny that the ending was very intersting. I tought he was going to get over it. But then again, they were really good friends. I guess this just proves that the mind is very powerful.

Author Reply: Glad you were touched. This piece stretches Tolkien's canon further than any of my other stories, so I'm always a bit nervuos when people read it. But I'm happier you liked it and even happier that you took time to send me a review. Thank you very much!

TahiriRocksReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 11/17/2005
....Are there actually any words to describe this story? I don't think there are. It seems that you're the only one who can put into words the incredible depth of feeling this story evokes. I have never read anything more beautiful or moving in my whole life. Fanfiction somehow a 'lesser' form of writing? Pah!

This is the only thing I have ever read, published fiction or otherwise, that has ever made me cry, and it does it *every* time I read it. Yet, somehow, it leaves me feeling uplifted, not depressed. If I am feeling really down, all I have to do is read this story. It makes me cry, yes, but they are good tears. And then I can go back to life with a lighter heart.

What gets me the most is the incredible courage shown by Legolas in choosing to follow Gimli. It may seem that Gimli gave up much to follow Legolas to Valinor, but whatever he gave up, Legolas gave up far more. Gimli gave up Middle Earth, but Valinor, while different, is not totally alien. He could not *know* Valinor before arriving there, but he could *imagine* it. The difference was one of degree, not kind, as Valinor was still a land of Arda.

Legolas is giving up literally *everything* that ever defined him as a being. Their immortality and eternal link to Arda are the core of what it means to be an elf. For Legolas, more so than for Gimli, following his friend truly is a leap into the unknown. As you spent the entire story showing so eloquently, elves simply cannot comprehend mortal death, any more than we could really understand all that it would mean to be immortal. For Legolas to choose that path shows, even more powerfully than the rest of the story in my opinion, the true depth of the friendship they shared.

That friendship is at the heart of any story about Legolas and Gimli, but I do not believe that it has *ever* been expressed more poignantly than in this story.

Elfling-ImpReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/23/2005
I really liked this story it was very well done, I always wanted to read things like what happened after they died,I also would like to see a story like this involving Arwin and Aragorn,its so neat to imagine her dying and then meeting him after somehow. Anyway Thanks for the nice story

Author Reply: You're very welcome. I'm glad you liked the story. As for one involving Arwen and Aragorn, I do know that there are some very good ones out there. You just have to look for them.

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: Epilogue on 3/11/2005
My goodness, Thundera Tiger, I believe you are the only person other than Tolkien himself who could do justice to the death of Gimli and Legolas's subsequent choice. I have never read anything so poignant or beautifully writter, either fanfiction or published, in my life. I am totally moved, in fact there are still tears in my eyes. How absolutely fitting that Gimli would know that Legolas would choose death. How beatiful to have the Fellowship reunited in death, except Gandalf of course. The last chapter was the perfect ending. My favorite part however, is that Legolas conquered death by choosing it. I don't know if you meant this to be a profound metaphor, but I think this is exactly what Jesus Christ meant for the second coming. If you are Christian or have any idea what I am talking about...ok I'll stop that tangent. Anyways, thank you so very much for articulating this moment. I know many of us, myself included, have pondered the events that occured after the two friends sailed to Valinor, but I believe you have done the best job at expressing this thoughts. I do not know enough adjectives to praise this work, so I'll stop wasting your time. But I am sincerely grateful.

Author Reply: Hey there! I'm very glad you liked this story. I went out on several limbs for it (and broke a few canon limbs altogether) but I like the end results. And the idea of conquering death by choosing it is something that's stuck with me ever since reading about the Numenorean kings. They didn't start to decline until after they began refusing death, which is a fascinating concept for me.

Incidentally, I am a Christian, and I understood your comments about Christ. I never thought of this story as referencing that at all, but it's an interesting take. I'll have to think about that a bit more. Anyway, glad you liked this story and thanks for giving me some food for thought as well! Many thanks for the review!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/7/2005
I believe this is your best yet, Thundera. It is absolutely beautiful.

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm rather fond of this story, and I'm glad you liked it, too.

docmonReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 11/8/2004
oh, Thundera, what to say about this story! I can't believe I hadn't read it until now! So moving, so intense. An unlikely story/ending, I thought, and yet, after reading it, completley fitting. I'll try to make that make sense later. But I will say, after reading your AN, I see your point a bit more about how lost Legolas would be after Gimli's death.

Legolas and Gimli were wonderfully written. Gimli is exactly how I would expect him to be, and their dialogue when together, is in perfect tune. I liked the repetition of Gimli asking if Legolas had found hope in the sunrise. Legolas's inability to find it was disheartening; I started worrying for him then! I could feel his struggle, as an immortal, to understand mortals' acceptance of death, and knew it was futile.

Gimli's death scene really choked me up, even as i could see it coming. And when Legolas asked him, even then, to tarry, it broke my heart. I was so happy that he called him brother, and told him he loved him. You know they never said the 'L' word before! It was a beautiful send off by Elrond, Galadriel, and Gandalf! And I was so glad he really was at the funeral. I really regretted him missing it and felt he wouldn't have done that (although his denial would have kept him away).

You showed Legolas's 'breaking' very effectively. I could see him fading, losing his grip on life. His constant looking back to Middle-Earth was a poignant detail. I thought at first it was looking to the past, but I got that he was so bound to Arda, and to mortals, that the break was too painful.

I didn't really expect the ending, nor would I have thought he would choose that, but by the time I got there, I saw it fitting. I was relieved and even happy for him, when he told Gimli he was coming. And Elrond's interpretration - that the friendship was not destined to end in this world - gave me more conviction that it was right. The idea that all the fellowship, save Gandalf, were then reunited, b/c of their bond, was so touching!

*Loved* the epilogue. I hadn't expected that he would reunite with everyone - that made it so much more joyous! The way you wrote it was perfect: without context, or description. For one, trying to describe 'heaven'? good luck. But it's the after life, a place beyond this world. It's not material. therefore there isn't likely much more than their words. I don't know if that makes sense, but the pure dialogue strenghtened the sense that they were in another realm, a place beyond, for me. Beautiful ending lines as well.

you rock, TT!

Author Reply: I was rather fond of the sunrise analogies myself. Perhaps a trifle overused, but the sun does rise from direction of Middle-earth, so Legolas is watching for both it and a glimpse of mortal lands. To a lesser extent, so was Gimli in the very end. I'm not sure how well that came across, but they they both kept looking back to mortals, and ultimately, that's how the cookie crumbled.

The ending was a huge risk and a giant canon breach. I'll freely admit to that. But it was the only ending that made sense to me. At least, with my characterization of Legolas. Others don't have him bound so tightly to mortals. But for me, I couldn't separate him from Gimli. Not when Gimli was willing to cross the sea so he wouldn't be separated from Legolas. There's parallels and similarities throughout Tolkien's work, and I figured I might be able to get away with adding one more on Legolas's behalf. That's my defense, anyway. ;) Take it for what you will.

I'm also glad you liked the epilogue. I struggled over that for a while and then chose to do only dialogue because the setting just didn't matter. They didn't care where they were so long as they were together, so why should anyone else? At that point, it's the characters that matter, so I let them get the final say. Thanks so much for such a wonderful review, docmon! I'm really flattered!

Robert PakishReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/28/2004
Dear Thundera Tiger,
I did not set out looking for you writings this evening of /Beyond this World.' I had almost stumble upon it searching for different ways to further my Gimli outfit.
I started reading the story knowing what was to happen not knowing if i wanted to to finish it or not, but as i continued i know that i had to. Constantly wiping the tears from my eyes i read on. I am extremely in love with the works of Tolkien and the world of Middle Earth not able to explain what deep feelings i try to express to others.
In Tolkiens writing, to their end, their was an end, but not a complete true end in my opinion. Until your writing of 'Beyond this World.' I am so pleased that someone had stayed with the life and true-ness of the story to make a more just ending as you did. And even though this ending effected me more than i could have ever thought, having more less of an ending with my enitre loving of Middle Earth, and the FellowShip, i learned that this ending should not be mine, but it was of the fellowships and that the fellowship will always live on in books, tales, and song.
Your writing gave me a new outlook on death, friendship, family, and a renewed value for life and for that i will continuly thank you. I consider myself lucky this night on falling upon your story. With your consent i would like to print out this story and share with my friends.
Best Regards,
Robert Pakish

Author Reply: Thank you so much for your kind words! You are more than welcome to print out this story and share it if you wish. That is quite an honor for me, and I thank you again. In writing this story, I felt that Gimli's death should be more of a beginning than an end, because death has a funny way of being both. And because it was an peaceful death at the end of a long and honorable life, it should be less about losing and more about gaining. At least, that's what I thought. Anyway, thank you again for your comments! They have really made my day brighter.

NymhReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 7/8/2004
Wow. You're terribly skilled. For large sections of this story, I wanted to shake Legolas for his selfishness in dealing with the dying Gimli. And then to leave the world with nary so much as a parting nod to everyone else in Valinor who loved him? Maddening. And yet I was repeatedly fumbling for the tissues, particularly with the image of him stretched on Gimli's grave, and Elrond's discovery and ... back to the tissues.

I'm very glad for the final interaction between Galadriel, Elrond and Gandalf, with even the trees in essence laying a benediction on Legolas's decision. Without that, the bittersweetness would have been too bitter, I think.

(Now, when do we get more of LoLaS and FND? *cracks a whip* ;))

Author Reply: Yikes! Whip! *hides* Um...well, LoLaS is kind of near the bottom of the rotation sheet, but I have worked a bit on the next chapter, if that sets your mind at ease.

Anyway, as for this story, Legolas's maddening inability to deal with Gimli's passing is quite deliberate. I wanted to shake him a few times while writing it. The simple fact is that elves don't understand death by aging. This is going to come up in depeth in a story that deals with Aragorn's death, but I'll share a little of my philosophy here. It's not that elves are unfamiliar with death. The Silvan and Sindar elves fought Morgoth unaided for thousands of years. They knew very well what death was and how it worked. And the Noldor quickly become acquainted with it when they returned to Middle-earth. I think it can be argued that the elves are more familiar with death than many mortals. But here's the catch: They're familiar with death as a violent passing. Sword, poison, bolt, and spear is how they see death. Or through the very rare occurrence of mourning, such as Luthien or any elf that had to deal with rape. That someone can drift away in relative peace is a very foreign concept to them, and Legolas couldn't understand how Gimli could desire his own end. By the end of the fic, he understood a little bit better, but he's still an elf of extremes and he's willing to let everything go in order to stay with his mortal friend. That's my idea, anyway. Thanks for the review!

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