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A Brave New World  by Bodkin 27 Review(s)
LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/25/2007
I see her favourite horse as being a rather bad-tempered war horse. Only she loves him dearly - and knows his worth. And if many of the White Company were former Rangers, they could probably do with a bit of intensive training on horseback.

Y'know, there's probably a lot to that, whether they were Rangers or Guardsmen of Gondor. Doesn't Beregond say something about there being very few horses in Minas Tirith, when he's talking with Pippin?

Author Reply: That's very true. There will have been some cavalry, I expect, and I think Dol Amroth's knights were mounted, but most of the Guard will have been infantry.

I don't know how useful Rohirric battle techniques would be in Ithilien - different terrain - but I suspect Eowyn will turn at least some of the White Company into excellent horsemen, if only to accompany her as she rides. Because I can't see Faramir agreeing to her riding unescorted for some years - not as long as there might be odd pockets of the enemy still lingering.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/20/2007
Wow! I love this pov of the guard! I love his reflections on Denethor's rule and how he (and others) came to not just follow but love Aragorn.

But peace spawns fools and lets them have their say. Too true, and so are his thoughts that peace can be destroyed easily.

I am always amazed at how much you convey and so well in such short pieces. This was great!

Author Reply: This just leapt in my head when Meckinock commented! And it was fun to write.

I can't help but feel sorry for Denethor in a way. He was holding on during a period of increasing pressure - raising taxes, taking all the young men to join the army, negotiating with resentful lords and constantly struggling to keep his head above water, until eventually he broke under it all. And Aragorn came along at the last minute and pulled all the chestnuts out of the fire and became a shining hero.

Those who fought know how easily peace can be destroyed - and how it needs to be nurtured - and are prepared to work at developing a better world.

Thank you, Elliska! I'm glad you liked it.

KittyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/17/2007
Wonderful sequel to the other fic.

If that is how most of the soldiers think, I am not too worried about the outcome of any conspiracy the Lords might have going on. It is logical that the ones who risked their lives so many times in facing the hosts of Mordor would appreciate the peace Aragorn and the Fellowship brought to them much more than these who shut their eyes to the approaching danger and went to hide their precious hides, never truly knowing how bad it was or could have been, if not for Aragorn and his companions.

The more I think about it, the more I understand why certain lords are not so happy with the new rule. I doubt Aragorn was one to favour bootlickers only intent on currying favour, and even less would he think them better than the soldiers who fought to save said lords, and he would treat the soldiers courteously (and much better than Denethor, I suppose). But there have to be some who think the fact they have money or rank is enough to expect a lot of advantages from the new King, even at the expense of others.

Was amused about what the guard thought about Arwen and Éowyn. Would be entertaining to see what happens if someone thinks he is dealing with helpless ladies of the Court and tries something stupid *evil grin*

And I loved the bit about Éowyn and her horse. Seems to be quite a fiery beast, but that is only to be expected, I suppose. The Gondorians could learn one thing or two from her about horses, no doubt.

I still hope your muses decide to tell you more about what is going on in Minas Tirith!

Author Reply: I think most of the soldiers who fought on the Pelennor and followed Aragorn to the Black Gate would have no qualms at all about supporting Elessar and Faramir ... but there are always some who see more advantage to them in following other paths.

There would - undoubtedly - be lords who would resent the change of ruler and do their best to undermine Elessar ... once, that is, they realised that he was more than figurehead and that they couldn't manipulate him. And the period a year or two after conflict tends to be a bit unstable. However - the potential rebels don't know what they've taken on!

When it comes to looking on Arwen and Eowyn as helpless - well, everyone knows Eowyn killed the Witchking ... but I'm sure people have no idea just how strong and skilled the Elven Queen is. And it would be fun to see them beat the pants off a bunch of snotty lordlings.

Eowyn's horse ... matches its rider. And she will improve the horsemanship of the White Company, if only so that they can keep up with her as she rides! Because Faramir won't agree to her riding without guards - not for few years, until Ithilien is safer.

Fingers crossed that more develops! Thank you, Kitty.

SarahReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/17/2007
Wonderful! Beautifully poetic and extremely well-written. Well done!

Author Reply: Thank you, Sarah. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was great fun to write - the guard's point of view was interesting - it's fascinating to look through different people's eyes and get a whole different viewpoint.

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/16/2007
I can just see Sauron growing grapes! lol And Eowyn would like to give the others a lesson or two in horsemanship? Of course.....

A nice piece...but I'd still like to see Arwen and Eowyn taking on some of the snoots and the men giving the milksops who look down their noses at them what for.....heheh.......


Author Reply: Sauron growing grapes ... well, he's got all that good volcanic soil ... But I don't think he had the character to become a vintner. But I suspect any guards who spend much time near Eowyn will find their riding skills improving rapidly! (I think she might be bringing a Rohirric horsemaster to join her household before too long.)

It would be rather fun to see Arwen and Eowyn crushing the Gondorian traditionalists into the mud. But I think they are biding their time and being tactful. I suspect Eowyn's temper will snap before Arwen's, too.

Beruthiels CatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/16/2007
Love the alternate perspective! I do hope this eveolves into another multi-chapter work, as they are always anticipated and very much enjoyed. How's that for a cannonball-sized hint? Can't add anything to what these other folks have already said so well, other than I agree absolutely!


Author Reply: There are, I admit, aspects of this that would bear expansion, but I don't know if I will. However, I am delighted to hear that you would like to know more! It was great fun to write - thank you, BC.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/16/2007
Another truly delightful treat. I loved seeing events from Beregond's view and felt you were spot on.Thosew grumpy lordsare everywhere still .

I do hope you'll write more about these times and the stories are a true pleasure to read.

Author Reply: There so would have been lords who saved their hides and grouched about any diminution in their privileges! But wars tend to stir up social change - however traditionalist the societies, war veterans demand something better as part of their victory.

Thank you, Linda. I'm glad you liked this. I haven't written much about Gondor and Rohan - but, every now and then, something just jumps up and bites!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2007
Wow, Bodkin! I'm going to have to drop plot bunnies in your lap more often. This was amazing. I loved how the MC grounded the reader in time and place, and then took us back through the earlier years of Denethor's reign. The description of Denethor as cut from the same black rock as the city itself was wonderful. In fact, all the descriptions were wonderful. What an interesting take on the war from an unusual perspective - he's enough a part of the establishment to have been a player, yet removed enough from the heirarchy to remark drily about the nobles (those not dead on Pelennor) hiding in their boltholes. The segue from his stark recollection of facing certain death to his bemused observation of his triumphant hero (another glorious description) scratching and lazing in the grass was beautifully done. His loyalty to his King, his Steward, and their wives is heartwarming. Without even knowing his name, I'm smitten. And I loved the respect and affection he obviously holds for Arwen and Eowyn as well - particularly Eowyn, threatening to give the Gondorian troops lessons in horsemanship! Wonderful.

Author Reply: This just presented itself almost fully formed as soon as those bunnies started to burrow. And looking through the eyes of someone who is not the subject of prophecy is fascinating. Plus, those who have fought in a war have a vested interest in building a better world - and a rather jaded view of those who called on privilege and wealth to evade their responsibilities.

The guard would, I think, admire those who led the army to a quite unexpected and glorious victory - and Eowyn would most definitely be part of that! And he's close enough to them to see their humanity and their honour and their determination and feel that he can trust them to build a new, better world. And I don't think it will take Eowyn long to have the White Company showing much better horsemanship.

Thank you, Meckinock, for the inspiration!

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2007
Oh, indeed--the world of Men has changed, been turned upside down, as all seek to find their place in it. And this guard understands quality and the need for his service if this brave new world is to continue in its promise.

Wonderful, Bodkin.

Author Reply: I think it can be a fascinating experience to turn the spyglass and look at what was going on through other eyes - the viewpoint of the ruled is definitely not the same as that of the rulers. Post-war - well, experience shows that the expectations of those who have endured the hardships is often different from their traditional role. I think people like this guard are prepared to shoulder some of the responsibility for building this brave new world.

ellieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/15/2007
Excellent! Beautifully spoken and described by this guard who has learned many hard lessons from experience. As always, well done!

Author Reply: Thank you, ellie. I'm glad you liked seeing the world from the guard's point of view. It's been a hard few years in Gondor - a time of drama, but not one to develop people who trust mindlessly in happy endings.

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