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The Wars of the Valar  by Fiondil 12 Review(s)
TariReviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/18/2008
“Being loved by Love” is the most wonderful thing I have read in your stories to date. What a beautiful thing to say and isn’t that how we should feel about God?

I know someone like Estë. A real fanatic about neatness among other things. No way could I live with someone that bad. I’d have to pulverize him.

It’s so sad that someone like Melkor (Satan) who is so gifted and beautiful could reject all that was given him in a lust for power. Actually, to me it ‘s tragic.


Author Reply: And all that you say is true, except maybe about Estë. I don't think she's quite as bad as all that. *lol* Glad you are enjoying this story. Thanks for reading and reviewing.

KittyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 12/9/2007
It’s fun to watch Námo behaving like a teenager in love for the first time. It makes the Valar so much more human (for lack of a better word).

The task Manwë has set him and Oromë promises trouble, of that I am sure. How sad they had to be so cautious about Melkor even so far back in time!


Author Reply: Young love, there's nothing like it, even among the Valar! *grin* The mission is fraught with danger and we will see just how dangerous it will prove to Námo and Oromë. Yes, it is sad that from the beginning, the other Valar had to be cautious about Melkor.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/30/2007
I hate to use the word, but Vairë's and Námo's stuttering "courtship" is rather cute *g*!

"Very musical, but not as... as musical as you... I mean when you sing," he said wondering if he sounded as idiotic as he felt.

Lol!!! I hope I may forego an answer to that question...

He thought the planet was actually quite beautiful in its deadness, but was wise enough not to say such things to the others. Even his brother sometimes looked at him askance whenever he said something like that.

I think this is a wonderful passage. Námo would have to appreciate the beauty in and rightness of death. Even the desert, or the ice-regions of the earth have their grace and beauty, and rightly so.

Author Reply: Yes, young love is rather cute, isn't it? And I don't think there's any question about whether Námo is being an idiot at this moment. *grin*

I think Námo's appreciation and acceptance of the beauty and rightness of death would be an asset in his "job" as Lord of the Dead. I remember sitting in on a presentation given by the late Carl Sagan, showing slides of Mars that NASA had gotten back from the first Mars Lander and apologizing for the fact that the Lander had come down on an, to the scientists, uninteresting part of Mars. I just sat there in awe: in awe of the fact that I was loooking at the surface of an alien world, a world that had sparked the imaginations of poets and writers throughout the centuries (I devoured Edgar Rice Burrough's "John Carter of Mars" series as a teenager) and I was in awe of Dr. Sagan inability to appreciate just how interesting that little corner of Mars truly was and wished I could stand on that "uninteresting" spot for just five minutes.

Perhaps I'm more like Námo in that respect than I thought. *grin*

eilujReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/8/2007
Finally getting back to trying to review this story after all the poison ivy (originally some innocent woodland plant warped by Melkor).

I love all the trial and error of creation. But poor Varda! Her mistakes are colossal in size and terribly visible.

Ah, young love! They’re so *cute.*

I’m wondering if that tenth dimension has to do with the later separation of Valinor from Middle-earth. [I can more-or-less follow the astronomical stuff, but physics is totally foreign to me.]

Oromë had to hunt *something* before there were kelvar and monsters. It’s interesting to see what you’ve come up with for all the Valar to do at this point, when so much of it is so different from what we think of as their proper spheres. But it all *works.*

Melkor “may have powers of which even [Manwë is] not aware.” That’s scary to contemplate. [Repeating my assertion about Melkor and poison ivy. Adding theories about Melkor and mosquitos, black flies, and biting gnats.]


Author Reply: Hi Eiluj. Sorry to hear about the poison ivy. Yes, Melkor's taint is evident even today. Glad though that you are finally recovered enough to review.

Yes, Varda's "mistakes" are quite... er... visible isn't quite the right word, but we know they're there. *lol*

We will learn more about the tenth dimension in later chapters but you're very much on the mark about it.

I've tried to assign the various Valar (and some of the Maiar) "jobs" that would be compatible with what we know of them from later times, yet still allow them the freedom of exploration. Oromë is a natural seeker of things, whether it's monsters or errant stars.

We know that Melkor was considered the most powerful of the Ainur even more so than Manwë, but I think what made him powerful was his inability to accept limits for himself. I think some of his power may have been "stolen" from his servants. We will be exploring this idea in subsequent chapters.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/31/2007
It is a real shame that - at the very beginning of all things - they are already having to be concerned (besides with Melkor) that others might not be loyal to Eru.

*giggles* - 'He nodded. "Very musical, but not as... as musical as you... I mean when you sing," he said wondering if he sounded as idiotic as he felt.'

Poor Namo - he's stuck making pronouncements that he doesn't even comprehend and then has to 'endure' the 'looks' of those about him! 'Námo nodded. "The tenth dimensional field will prove important for us in the future."'


Author Reply: Yes, it is a shame that they must deal with the fact that others of their kind will turn away from Eru to follow Melkor, but of course, that's what happened even though some, like Sauron, did not declare themselves until much later, acting, as it were, as moles, feeding information to Melkor about the doings of the Valar.

Námo is still quite young (as is Vairë) and so their courtship is bound to be delightfully adolescent in scope. Vairë already knows she wants Námo for her spouse, but Námo is still clueless, as the male of the species usually is about such things. *grin*

I'm sure that after awhile the others will come to accept Námo's gift of prescience and take it in stride, knowing that it's for their benefit as well.

EdlynReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/19/2007
Hello meldonya!

Another chapter so soon!

I love the way you've demonstrated the expansiveness of Ea and the powers of the Ayanumuz by having the second beacon in another galaxy. This description on top of Námo surfing the supernova wave front and hiding in the core of a star really wakes the reader up to the fact that your characters are not Elves or Men but on another order entirely.

I agree with Námo, the non-spiral galaxies are beautiful because they aren't perfect. And wouldn't the universe be an incredibly boring thing to look at if every galaxy was a perfect spiral? And Manwë's words to Varda are words we should all remember. I am certain that God rejoices in our efforts more than in our actual achievements even to this day, whether what we are trying to do is a task great or small.

And now we meet "he-who-will-one-day-be-Sauron" and he's acting sneaky already. Of course, Aulë wouldn't explain everything (especially since they decided that the Maiar wouldn't be told what was really going on and I wouldn't be surprised if Aulendil's Master doesn't suspect something about his loyalties and ambitions already). I see him in his "teacher" mode here as well as that of the Mathematician and Scientist and Maker. Your mentioning his patience made me smile because I've always seen Aulë as someone who was patience personified. It has something to do with his persona as a Smith or Crafter, I think.

Getting back to Aulendil, his flurry of questions didn't really worry me as much as the sudden disinterest in the beacon. It looks suspicious to me (of course, I already know he's going over to the "Dark Side" so my interpretations of his actions are going to be biased).

Námo certainly does have a burdensome gift, doesn't he? I can tell that once he grows into himself he's definitely going to be incredibly powerful but at this point I feel sorry for him trying to figure out what he's supposed to do with the knowledge that he has. The flashback to him talking to Eru was absolutely lovely. I found it very comforting to read, especially when Ilúvatar said, "You can always tell me, my best beloved. I will always listen." Lucky Námo to be able to experience the bliss of his Atar's embrace the way he did.

I smiled all the way through the scene with Vairë and laughed out loud at the image of Estë giving some poor Máya grief. And I had to laugh at Manwë telling Ulmo to give Námo and Vairë five minutes together before interrupting them was so sweet. It looks like big brother is trying to facilitate a romance, doesn't it?

I am truly enjoying reading about the young Námo and his brothers and sisters in the thought of Ilúvatar. It's like looking at a family photo album or home movies/videotape collection.

I certainly can understand Namo's problem with speaking of finding beauty in even dead worlds to his family. There's many times I've tried to explain how something I've seen or experienced makes me feel and all I get are "Are you kidding?" and "What is wrong with you?" looks from my listeners. I think Námo is truly graced by Ilúvatar to be able to see beauty and good in everything the way he does. I think that he would not be able to do his job as the Lord of Mandos if he didn't have the ability to see beauty in everything. Reading the description of the dead sea on the planet where Manwë is holding court reminded me of what one of the Apollo astronauts said during one of the moon landings: "magnificent desolation." The surface of the moon is as dead as anything could possibly be but still there is beauty there. I can just see Námo standing on the lunar surface with an appreciative smile on his face.

Is it possible to be confident and unsure at the same time? Námo certainly sounded confident when he made the statement about that tenth spatial dimension. But I can also see him with an expression that says "Now where did THAT come from?" (I feel that way a lot of the time when I'm writing a story and all of a sudden my fingers are typing something I completely didn't expect).

When he provided the name Máhanumaz to identify the chief Valar I actually got shivers down my spine. As much as I like the rest of this chapter the naming of the Máhanumaz really pulled me into this fic-verse that you've created. I can't articulate why but I found it to be incredibly powerful to read.

I am feeling some trepidation at the idea of Námo and Oromë heading out to find where Melkor is hiding which shouldn't surprise me since just thinking about Melkor (especially after that little temptation scene in the first chapter of this story) is enough to make my hair stand on end and my throat constrict. I know he's going to get his in the end but still…

As always, your using the Quenya terms and the wonderful footnotes just make this even better. I like knowing just which bit of the universe the Valar are working and playing around in.

May you live blessed,

Edlyn



Author Reply: As I've said in replying to other reviews, I based the description of the dead planet on Carl Sagan's "Cosmos". I actually met Carl Sagan when he came to my college to give a presentation on the latest (at that time) Mars landing and the photos that they had gotten. I remember him apologizing to us for the fact that where the probe landed was rather uninteresting compared to where the scientists had wanted it to land, and all I could think was "If I could just stand on the uninteresting bit of Mars for five minutes my joy would be complete." Maybe to a scientist it was scientifically uninteresting but to the poet in me, it was one more piece of the Song in which to rejoice and just looking at the photographs was enough to stun me to the core of my fëa.

Based on the fact that Tulkas and Nessa have a wedding after the Valar create Arda, I assume there is some sort of courtship ritual involved and since we are only told in the Silmarillion that Manwë and Varda were enspoused before they entered Eä, I have decided that not all of the Valar were so enapoused and so Námo and Vairë get to play a rendition of "teenage love".

I'm glad you caught the fact that the Valar were using the pulsar's spin to measure time. I'm not sure if everyone else did. I thought it a clever way of showing that how we measure time is arbitrarily determined by the physics of our environment and I wanted to show that the Valar are capable of automatically counting the pulsar's spin and calculate the number of spins without the need of a computer. Another, perhaps subtle, way of showing that these are not Elves or Men but an entirely different order of Beings. The fact that by the time we meet them in the Silmarillion they have volunteerily constrained themselves within the parameters of Incarnation doesn't mean that they no longer have the powers they are exhibiting here, merely that they choose not to manifest them where the Children might be affected.

Other readers also find the flashbacks to Námo's conversation with Eru to be comforting and I plan to have other such flashbacks as a way of allowing the reader a glimpse of a Time Before Time as the Valar get set to leave the Timeless Halls for Eä.

"But I can also see him with an expression that says "Now where did THAT come from?" (I feel that way a lot of the time when I'm writing a story...."

I have had that feeling very often while writing "Elf Interrupted". I forget which chapter it was but I was writing it and then feeling incredibly tired (it was somewhat late at night) and so I went to bed. I got up the next morning and began reading what I had written the night before. I clearly remembered writing everything but the last sentence. I just stared at it, saying to myself, "I have no memory of writing that. Where did that come from?" I was tempted to just erase it and write what I had originally planned to say at that point but decided that if that sentence was there, even though I had no clue how it got there, it was there for a reason and I would just have to write "around" it. That happens to me lately all too frequently.

As for Námo and Oromë's search for Melkor... dangerous but necessary.

I'm glad you enjoy the astronomy lesson. I am trying to make this as accurate as possible without letting it get in the way of my storytelling.

RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/19/2007
I'm a little late getting to this, the MEFAs are keeping me busy! I did read it right away - I ALWAYS make time to read. :)

I really enjoyed the flashback scene and Iluvatar explaining to Namo that the gift he'd received was something he could handle even if it didn't seem like it - it's so very true. But it was just the walking and Namo feeling his Atar's love that was so special there.

I had to smile during parts of the conversation between Namo and Vaire... ah, young love. But, then of course they aren't really young and the reality of Melkor intrudes and makes it darker as he usually does.

The dead planet sounded so interesting - I love how you described it, the colors and all. I'm with Namo on it being beautiful in it's own way. Now he and Orme have to go and find Melkor? Thanks a lot Manwe! It's so sad to see how quickly the Maier turned against Iluvatar and the light. I know they did, but it always amazes me when they were born into such perfection how could they follow Melkor who was another created being? He must have been some smooth talker. :)

I've enjoyed talking to Alassiel the last week or so - thanks for recommending my story to her. It's always nice to get to know a fellow author, especially when they live close. I'll have to think about writing a Thorongil in Gondor story since you're covering the Rohan part! :) Although, I've been writing some short stories about Rohan and it's been fun, but it's time to get back to Aragorn!

Author Reply: Thanks for your review, Radbooks. I know how it is being busy and all. I appreciate you taking the time to review. I remembered watching Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" waaay back and there was a scene where they showed a dead planet pretty much as I've described in this story. The image always stuck with me and I just had to put it in here.

Yes, it is sad that so many of the Maiar turned away from Ilúvatar and the Light. Melkor was the ultimate smoothe talker.

I'm glad you and Alassiel have gotten along. We tend to like the same kinds of writing so it was a no-brainer to recommend your story to he. I still have to review your story. Sorry, I plead the fact that I've been traveling between China and the US and am still trying to get myself organized. I promise a review soon.

TiraReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/17/2007
ooooh, so good! and I know i've said it before but it always bears repeating: i love your erm...rendition? (is that a good word?) of Namo. And truly, you bring to life for me what I have a hard time grasping in the Sil...which I am tring to read again....

Author Reply: Hi, Tira. Glad you found this story and that you like the way I portray Námo. Of course there is precious little in the Sil or anywhere about what the Valar were up to before the settled in Arda, so much of the first part of this story is pure conjecture on my part. When I get to the latter part of the story which takes place in Arda but before the Elves awake, it will follow more closely what little we are told of those times.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/17/2007
In the physics department of a university there was a sign: "And God said [followed by the mathematical formula used to indicate the production of light] and there was Light." I keep thinking of that sign as I read this.

We see Sauron already corrupted, the schism already in the making, the wonders of it all. Love how the physics and the astronomy of this is all working out, and the tentative courtship of Namo and Vaire--the future Doomsman and Vala of the Final Healing and the one who in this universe stands for the Norns.

Now--to find Melkor and keep an eye on him.

And thanks for the correction in my story; I doubt it will mean a good deal to most folks, and it certainly won't mean much to Delphie, of course.

Author Reply: No problem. I'm glad you are liking this story and the way the astronomy and physics works its way into it. That, for me is the hardest part because I want to be as accurate as possible without bogging the story down with stuff that most people are not going to understand or care about.

CalenlassReviewed Chapter: 3 on 7/17/2007
This is like seeing the Valar in a new perspective. You've given them more life, more personality.

-Calenlass

Author Reply: Thanks, Calenlass, I'm glad you like how I am portraying the Valar. Writing about them in Elf Interrupted I felt that it would be fun to write a "Valar-only" story and the only way to really do that was to write about them from *before* the Eldar awoke in Middle-earth.

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