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Fissures  by Thundera Tiger 14 Review(s)
robinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/22/2016
This is one of my favorite works of fan fiction I've read it several times and it still brings me joy. A sublte thoughtful beautiful piece of prose, well done. *

LamielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/25/2006
I think that what I like best about this vignette are the transitions between Otin and Gimli's conversation. That is, the entire story is essentiall a dialogue, with very limited action. In such a circumstance it's easy to become bogged down in repetitive descriptions - a character looks up, looks away, closes his eyes, swallows (ye gods, how often I find my characters swallowing, over and over and over again!) and so on. But here you've skilfully avoided all hint of repetition, and the descriptions (Gimli slapping the plans with his hand is what first caught my eye, and then Otin shifting uncomfortably, and Gimli pursing his lips and so on) flow naturally from the characters in such a way that it seems easy and pulls the reader into the scene seemingly effortlessly. That is extremely hard to do, but you pull it off with your usual flair.

It's also an interesting look at some of the wider-reaching changes wrought by Legolas and Gimli's improbable friendship. I think that Otin's fear that Gimli is changing is well founded, though perhaps a bit extreme in the results. It's a beautiful observation that Elves change the world around them, but I think he's forgotten one thing, even though he hints at it. Men and Dwarves might break the world and rebuild it, but Elves shape it more subtly and more naturally. Gimli may have changed from the Dwarf that Otin knew, but he hasn't broken entirely. Rather I think he has grown, and will continue to grow, still a Dwarf but with maybe a hint of Elvish influence. If I were to be poetic I would say that Otin sees Gimli's differences like a sculptor would perceive a flaw in his work, but in actuality Gimli is more like a tree himself, now, and has simply grown in a new direction since Otin saw him last. The difference between a tree and a sculpture is that even when it is flawed, the tree is still growing.

Author Reply: Hey Lamiel,

Before I say anything else, I owe you a review for all the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING chapters of "This Present Darkness" that I've been missing, and I intend to rectify that situaiton before the week is up. Hopefully. If not, then definitely next week.

Right, moving on... Many thanks for the review. Your characters swallow? I can't say I've noticed that. Mine tend to sigh a lot, which is something I've worked on with varying degrees of success. The fact that it apparently didn't stand out to you is a huge relief to me, because in long dialogues like this, it's so easy to fall into repetition. I weeded out quite a few scowls, frowns, and raised eyebrows before I was through, and I'm sure there's some I missed.

And please, by all means, be poetic! Love your poetry, and I love the idea of a sculptor vs a tree. Perhaps with a gardener? Either way, though, it's definitely an intriguing metaphor and I thank you for sharing it. Thank you again for the review, and I'll hopefully be returning the favor soon!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/15/2006
This story flows very well. Nicely written. I really enjoyed this rare perspective on how Gimli was changed by his friendship with Legolas. More importantly, how other Dwarves would react to this. Excellent idea. As usual, your fiction is superior. I hope that soon you will update some of your other stories that have been cliff-hangers for such a long time... Thanks again and keep writing!

Author Reply: Thank you so much for your review. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and even more excited that you enjoyed the fact that it was a primarily Gimli story. I wasn't sure how that would go over. He's not the most popular character, though I love him to bits. As for my WIPs...I'm working on them. I promise! It might be a while yet, though. Sorry.

songspinnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
My, goodness. What a delightful surprise! I really loved this perspective; many have written about how Legolas' p.o.v. changed after the journey, but few do it the other way around. I thought the characterization and the conflict were well written, and the dialogue had a good flow to it. I can just see Gimli getting aggravated after all that work he put in...

Author Reply: Very glad you liked it! And even more glad that you liked the dialogue. That was one of my primary struggle areas, and probably the reason this story hasn't been posted sooner. That and I could never seem to get the tone right. It was either too much or too little. I still don't know if it works as I'm too close to it, but for better or worse, here it is. Thanks for the review and the compliments!

ziggyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
Hello Thundera- so glad to read such a good Gimli fic- feels like a long drink of water after a drought. As always, you make e think about things differently- the idea of one of Gimli's oldest friends seeing this' fissure' in him is a wonderful idea. It reinforces that whole image of dwarves as stone - and the design based on tree is just about as far from dwarven culture as it could be. No wonder Otin is scared for Gimli- and the affection he has for our fav dwarf is evidnet. Thank you.

Also really glad to know you are working in Harad- oh I love Dashnir! Dont hurt him please! Just going back to read it all again

Author Reply: Hey Ziggy,

Ah, a Dashnir lover. He's got something of a fan club going, though I'm not entirely sure why. He's not my favorite character in the story, but to each his/her own. ;) Anyway, glad you liked the Gimli story. There aren't enough of them, and I hoped that this fic was good enough to be a positive impact. Glad you caught Otin's genuine concern, because I think it's valid. I think Gimli gives up a lot in the end. Gimli would argue that he gains a lot, but again, it's not without price. Good catch, and thank you very much for the review!

Maya Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
Another wonderful story, I bow before your talent! I would say more in the way of praise, but I would simply be echoing everyone else, so I will not bore you with my parroting. Yet I have noticed a trend that just doesn't seem to change throughout almost all fics that deal with the characters after the War of the Ring.
Please, please this is not a flame! I truly am a fan of your work, but this fic just got me thinking is all. Don't get me wrong this fic was excellent (I only wish I could write half as good!) and the subject matter thought provoking and poignant. Yet why is it always Gimli that comes away from his dealings with Elves during the Fellowship deeply changed, why is it never Legolas who develops a new and profound way of thinking of Dwarves and other races that is at odds with his own culture (with the exception of a few token changes)? Why do writers always make it seem as if Gimli is the only one rethinking and in turn changing his life and out look, why is Legolas never as profoundly changed by his relationship with Gimli? I have always seen Legolas and Gimli and their friendship as equal, but why do so many writers make Gimli as somehow 'less' then Legolas, as if being a Dwarf was some type of handicap, with Legolas always seeming to be better at everything (arguing, fighting, thinking, ect), always being two steps up from his poor simple naugrim friend... or should I say "pet Dwarf".
I have read so many fics where Gimli is profoundly "Elf-Struck" and yet I have never once seen a single fic where Legolas is "Dwarf-Struck"; unless Gimli actually hits said archer for some reason.
I can definitely see Gimli doing exactly what he did in your story- yet why can't I see Legolas doing the same if rolls where reversed? Why can't I see him redesigning his own colony along the lines of Men or Dwarves, or having such an adamant augment with one of his people and defending his decisions as Gimli did with Otin? Is it just that many writers see Elves as simply being better then all others races or something?

Author Reply: Hey Maya!

Oh please, this is about as far from a flame as you can get. Feel free to express these thoughts! In fact, if you want to go into them in more detail or discuss the Legolas-Gimli-change scenario at length, PLEASE send me an email or start up a discussion on my livejournal. Good discourse can only bring about further ideas and education.

But just in case you're busy or would rather not, I'll respond to some of your views here. I think you're absolutely right. I think there's a trend in fanfiction to paint Legolas as this brilliant glorified being who somehow "lifts" Gimli into the higher circles of education and sophistication. Personally, I completely disagree with this viewpoint. My own opinion is that Legolas and Gimli changed each other equally. They both sacrificed ties to kin, and in the end, one another is practically all they had left. That was enough for them, so they left Middle-earth together. I wonder if it would be enough for others, though, and hence we have Otin's viewpoint.

Actually, that's why I always try to pair introspective pieces involving Legolas and Gimli. For example, "The Day After" is an introspective Gimli thinking about Legolas and how he's changed while "The Day Before" is an introspective Legolas thinking about GImli and how he's changed. In fact, this piece was originally meant to show a contrasting side to an offhand reference in a story called "Musings By Torchlight." I just didn't finish it in time for it to act like that. But in MBT, Legolas notes that he built his halls in Ithilien at ground level despite the fact that his advisors said they could be built in the trees. Legolas had no idea why he did it, but he later blames it on Gimli. This story was supposed to show Gimli's side of home decor. If Legolas could build on the ground, Gimli could craft a tree in stone. That was the idea, anyway. I doubt anyone remembers "Musings By Torchlight" well enough to remember that Legolas's home is on the ground instead of the trees.

Anyway, definitely a valid concern, and it's a problem I see in many different stories. Good call, and if you ever feel I'm neglecting one in favor of the other, please tell me!

ElenoraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
While I normally don't read "non-Legolas" stories, yet since this was a story by the one and only Thundera Tiger, I went ahead and read it anyway....and was not disappointed! I'm very glad to see that you're still out there writing, and writing excellently, as always.

This was an interesting and humorous little vignette...with a bit of subtle poignancy added to it by way of showing the inexorable, and often sad, changes that have affected all those that took part in ridding Middle Earth of the One Ring. And while Gimli's new-found desire to extend "grace" to other groups existing in Middle Earth is a very good and pleasing change, yet the subtler implication points to the ascendency of Men and the fading, not only of Elves, but of the other races, too. And that is sad.

Yet, I don't want you to think I finished the story on such an unhappy note - rather, I ended with a smile at the verbal sparring between the two dwarves...why do I get the impression that time with Legolas has only sharpened Gimli's skill in this area??!

Author Reply: LOL! Well, I'm glad I could convince you take a chance on a "non-Legolas" story. There really are some fascinating tales out there about equally fascinating characters. And congratulations on being one of the first to catch the theme of fading in this story. One of the draft versions actually had more to say about it, and I devoted a couple of paragraphs to the idea of this being a last hurrah for dwarves and elves. At one point, that was one of Otin's key arguments. But it didn't really fit the tone and I wasn't sure I wanted to open that big an issue, so it was ultimately cut. But some of the undertones from it survived, and I wondered if anyone would pick up on it. Good job.

The ending I wanted to be a compromise, because I think both Otin and Gimli are right. Gimli is right for wanting to look elsewhere, but Otin is right in pointing out that there is a price to this that Gimli doesn't fully realize and that this price is going to be kinship. As for the verbal sparring, I'm going to argue that Gimli was already quite quick on his mental feet. Legolas just added another dimension, and Gimli did the same for Legolas. I can't see them meeting as anything other than equals. Just my opinion. Many thanks for the review!

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
Oh, wow, this is powerful! It just goes to show exactly what a weight of tradition and assumptions Gimli labored under.

It had never occurred to me to wonder whether the Dwarves who helped colonize Aglarond *approved* of Gimli's plans or not!

Author Reply: Ah, but the real question is whether or not these "traditions and assumptions" are a weight or a foundation. Otin would argue in favor of the latter. Elves and dwarves don't mix as a general rule, and you have to sit back and ask yourself why. Somewhere along the line, there has to have been a reason. And regardless of how much you point to Doriath or Moria, there are still fundamental issues causing all of the conflict. Can Gimli really get past those? And even if he can, can anyone else? And just what is the price for abandoning some of his heritage? Personally, I think both Otin and Gimli are right. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Many thanks for the review!

Eruanneth_LuinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
Such an interesting thought, a Dwarf designing a cave along elvish lines! With the inteterplay between the two dwarves, you showed so believeably the subtle changes from eldar-phob to one who can appreciate the 'oddities'of a different race; even if it is only ONE member of that race. How often do we miss the opportunity to view life through the eyes of another, only to turn away because they are not like us. No wonder Legolas welcomed him warmly as a fellow travel to the Blessed Realm.

Now I am curious about Gimli's reception on those shores. Undoubtedly he require special permission from the Valar, though AulŽ must have been thrilled to have one of his folk merit the honor.

Author Reply: Many thanks for the review, and I'm glad you found it a believable exchange. Personally, I think both Otin and Gimli are right. Gimli has gained something in this new friendship, but he's also lost something, even if he can't see it yet. Otin can, and it frightens him that Gimli might not know what he's giving up. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that Legolas and Gimli both sacrificed a great deal of kinship with their own race. And perhaps that's why they left together in the end.

As for Gimli's reception in the Undying Lands, I've read some really great stories about that. Perhaps my favorite, though, is a story by Camilla Sandman called "The Sea Sings a Lullaby." Very unique take on the situation. It's over on FF.net if you want to check it out.

mithwenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/14/2006
I wish I could see the Glittering Caves for my self.
When I read the book I was so intrigued by Gimliís description of them. And when I saw the movieÖI was rather disappointed. *Sigh* Itís dangerous to watch movies when you have created your own images while reading the books.

It was fun to see how Gimli evaded Otinís questioning of where the design hailed from. His skills in `mental gamesī have probable improved after spending so much time with Legolas. (I could so picture Otin wanting to tare his beard off!)

Author Reply: I was a bit disappointed in them, too, as far as the movie went. We got a brief moment of sparkle and then nothing. Anyway, I'm glad you liked Gimli's evasiveness. I would argue, though, that Gimli's mental games were well above average prior to Legolas. He's just added a new dimension to them now. And Legolas has doubtless done the same. *shrugs* Just my opinion. And certainly this added dimension is going to infuriate Otin. Glad you liked the mental imagery!

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