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Brotherhood  by Bodkin 21 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 11 on 3/10/2007
This one is also a favorite one. You captured how hurt Gilrean would be here so well. And I love how Estel remakes the bowl and Gilrean's reaction. Wonderful!

Author Reply: Gilraen tries so hard to be strong and parent her son as Arathorn would have wanted - but she has her moments. She has nothing but a few small treasures and one great one - and the loss of any link to her past would hurt. But, thanks to the twins, the mended bowl will mean even more to her - gifted by both the men in her life: her husband and his son. Thanks, elliska.

KloseReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/8/2007
I read this today, from the first chapter to the latest, and I was very sad to see that I'd come to the end of what was posted - it was such a lovely read, thank you for sharing this story.

So, I know this is supposed to be a review for chapter 11, but I hope you don't mind if I make a sort of... summarial review of all the chapters thusfar. :)
Where to start? You have a great gift for story-telling, because the flow of the narrative was so smooth - no lapses into pretentiousness, and yet it paints a very distinct picture in the reader's mind of what's going on with the characters, and between them.

And speaking of characters: from charming, wise Glorfindel to kind Elrond to the thoughtful twins, I was just so endeared by all of them (in a way that makes me want to write fic, which IMHO is the best kind of inspiration!). And it's heartwarming to see how the elves of Imladris are also going through their own healing, as well.

Your depictions of Gilraen's loss and transition into living in Imladris and of the trials of raising a young child were realistic and fresh. Sorry to be so abstract and excessively descriptive here, but sometimes you read a fic that just works, period, and this is one of them. ;)

This chapter, in particular, was very touching. I empathised with Gilraen, that she would hold the pot to sentimental value, and I felt strongly with her the conviction of her realisation that Aragorn was far more precious... and the mending of the pot - ‘It has been given to me twice,’ she stated, ‘and is doubly precious for that.’ - perfect.

Author Reply: I'm glad you like these! I considered having them all about Aragorn but without actually having him in them, because his presence and raising must have affected all those around him so profoundly ... but, in the end, he wanted to feature! But the series is more, I think, about his effect on others rather than about him ... which is where it differs from young Estel stories.

And Gilraen - well. I get so distressed when she is written out of her son's life. She is a strong and self-sacrificing woman, who is prepared to do what is necessary to raise a son of whom she can be proud - a son who is a worthy heir to his father. And it can't have been easy. Not on her, and not on the elves of Imladris who shared in the fostering. The pot - she must have felt it as the breaking of yet another bond with the past, and then to have it restored. Well - it's a symbol, I think. Of hope. And healing. And a promise for the future.

Thank you, Klose!

GrumpyReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/5/2007
I love how you have written this, Estel and Gilraen's sorrow at the breaking, and the joy of it being mended. ".. I so not wish for Estel to go up in flames.." great.

Author Reply: So many stories have big themes - but in the raising of Estel, there must have been a lot of small sorrows ... and joys. And for Estel to have turned into such a noble man, his mother must have set great foundations. (And I'm glad the twins helped him mend the bowl. His mother will love it - and them - the more for it!)

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/4/2007
I was thinking elves would enjoy piecing together shards of glass into the original structure. It would be like an elaborate three dimensional puzzle to them. I was thinking as I read about how Vilya stopped the ravages and decays of time.. but it can't stop a little boy from breaking things. :/

Author Reply: They would, wouldn't they? (I wonder if they invented the stained-glass window?) Elves would have the time and patience - and skill - to repair most things - although some damage and destruction would be beyond even them. Imladris might be protected from the ravages and decays of time - but dropped pots will still shatter on hard floors. And endurance will grow thin.

I love the feeling of care I get that surrounds Estel. Everyone is gently guiding him into developing the qualities he needs. (He's bound to rebel sometime - he's only human! And too much expectation can be very intimidating.)

perellethReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/3/2007
How beautiful, and thoughtful from the twins! A lovely moment despite the sad memories for GIlraen. But she recovered fast, acknowledging that she had indeed the most important memory of his husband standing before her.

Author Reply: I think the twins were protecting Gilraen as much as Estel at times. It's a glorious mix - these are not simple people! Gilraen knows that raising Estel is the most important thing she has to do - raising him, loving him, teaching him everything she can ... and then letting him go. But she has the courage to do it - and the twins and their father will give her every bit of support they can.

She will treasure that bowl until the day she dies. For so many reasons. And I can just see it finding its way back to Imladris and then going south with Arwen to Minas Tirith for her son to keep in memory of her.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/3/2007
This was such a touching chapter. I loved the complex weave of emotions. I could totally empathize with Gilraen's hurt and anger; and then her patience and pride. And Estel, poor little guy, suitably upset at upsetting his mother; which is the best lesson he could learn from this, I guess.

his fervour had suggested puppies at the very least

LOL. That's what is so touching about Estel's enthusiasm here - that a glee normally associated with only something as wonderful as puppies could come from the desire to make someone else happy. I want to hug him.

Author Reply: I'm not entirely sure whether the twins are supporting Estel or Gilraen through this! Both, probably. I think Gilraen appreciated her son's courage - and loved him for his share in the work of repair. While he learned the pleasure in doing something for someone else - just to make them happy.

The shared parenting of Estel turned out a remarkable person. One who might have found it difficult to make the adjustment of going out into the world of men, but who had the resources to cope with almost anything. And he is very huggable! Gilraen is just bursting with pride in him.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/2/2007
Aww...that is so sweet! Of course Elladan and Elrohir would have known how much that meant to her. I love this glimpse into Estel's developing character. I especially like the way he took his punishment--disappointment, yes, but resignation--he knew he deserved it. Beautiful.

Author Reply: Imladris and its inhabitants would have provided discipline, I think. Gently, but nonetheless firmly! And Estel would learn to take responsibility for his actions and make amends. But Gilraen would have been supported in raising him - and I can see the twins being strong supports for the mother as well as the child. Thank you.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/2/2007
Very enjoyable and a lovely outcome.I love the way you depict Gilraen and her son.It annoys me that so much fanfic kills her off !
I was reminded of a quote I came across when looking for something to head one of my chapters.
"Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole."

Derek Walcott (b. 1930),



Author Reply: Gilraen is such an important factor in making Estel the man he becomes! Yes, it annoys me, too, when she is disposed of as irrelevant. Just as the pranking, brainless twins do!

I think the mended pot has become more than the parts of the whole - what was a memory of love past has come to symbolise love present - and the care of friends.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/1/2007
That was nice - more for her than for him... but a gentle way to teach responsility and that broken things must at least be tried to be repaired. No matter what they are.

Author Reply: If there is one thing Estel learned over his childhood, it was responsibility. He breathed it in every day - and I'm glad that even at this early age, it was part of him. I imagine that bowl went with Gilraen until she died - a memento of her greatest treasures, Arathorn's love and Estel's, and a reminder of the care of those who took her and her son into their home and hearts.

SlightlyTookishReviewed Chapter: 11 on 2/1/2007
What a delightful chapter! I had a feeling that the pot would be repaired but seeing Gilraen get it back was wonderful, particularly her observation that it had been given to her twice and is therefore more precious. Now the pot will not only remind her of her husband and her life before but also her life now, with her son and the elves and her new home. That's such a lovely thought.

Author Reply: Gilraen spent far more of her life in Imladris than she did as Arathorn's wife - interesting to think how that might have changed her. I think she clung to her memories and the few things she had left from that time - but she knew that her most important reminder was only lent her for a short while and that she would have to let Estel go. I like to think of that pot going with her as she left Imladris and taking pride of place in her future home.

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