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The Wars of the Valar  by Fiondil 13 Review(s)
TariReviewed Chapter: 9 on 7/14/2008
With the Valar, etc. being in different places, how does Eönwë know where to appear with his book of oaths? He makes me chuckle.

Namo got himself into a real mess this time. It will be interesting to see who rescues him and how.

Melkor is the kings of snakes. He must have really done a number on Acairis. She has no idea how doomed she is.

Author Reply: And four years later, I finally answer this, Tari. Sorry about that. I'm not sure why I missed this the first time and I bet you're going to be surprised to see this response and go "huh?" *grin*

Anyway, to answer your question about Eönwë (a good one, btw), he apparently 'knows' when an oath is about to be given, so that is why he appears here as he does.

Thanks for reading and reviewing. It's always appreciated.

KittyReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/27/2008
Eönwë turning up to witness the oaths makes me smile every time, because it brings memories back of certain events in EI :-)

It’s disturbing to think Melkor did take Vairë in the hope to set a trap for Námo. Somehow I have a bad feeling about this ...

The picture of Námo surrounded by the nermir is lovely! Though Irmo is right, he should come back another time.

And the rest was rather disturbing. They got into the cave way too easy – I knew it *had* to be a trap! And I was right *sigh*
Well, at least Vairë and Therindë are free; but I can’t say I am happy to know now Nŕmo is the captive ...

As for Acairis, I have a few very fitting names for her, but none of them is very flattering!

Author Reply: Eónwë does make one smile, doesn't he? Not sure why, either, but from the momment he showed up in Elf, Interrrupted he's been one of my favorite canon characters who frankly doesn't get as much "air time" as he deserves.

The nermir are quite beautiful and a stark contrast to what follows in this and subsequent chapters as Darkness seems to come into ascendancy.

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/30/2007
Aaargh, pushed "Send" too soon!

I also wanted to say:

The oath-taking moved me very much. I often feel intitially odd when you show some so thoroughly human concept like fealty and hierachy. But 1) Tolkien did, too, and 2) it makes sense to somehow organise the "society" of the Valar and 3) it can also be read as paraphrasing and simplifying concepts that would be too alien for us readers to comprehend.

It's funny how it is completely apparent and self-evident to everybody that Námo and Vairë will one day belong together, merely Námo still seems unsure of it.

As a father I shall be unto ye, my children, and welcome ye into my household until such time as I release ye or thy lady redeems ye. May Ilúvatar bear witness that I do full gladly accept thy oaths and welcome ye.

I think that, as Námo is addressing several persons, "thy" is incorrect.

The scene with the butterflies was beautiful and very evocative.

Author Reply: Tolien's entire structure is hierarchical, a product of his Catholic upbrining (and mine, as well), so the concepts of fealty and hierarchy are imbedded into our psyche and just seems natural. Plus, Tolkien cast his Legendarium in a "quasi-medieval" mode where such concepts find their natural home. It's difficult NOT to use them to express what might actually be an alien social structure for which we humans have no other adequate words.

Thanks for the correction. I made the correction in the previous sentence to this but failed to make it here. It has now been correction.

The butterflies are my favorite part of this chapter and I couldn't resist having the Master of Spirits meeting the manifestations of Psyche for the first time. *grin*

ImhirielReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/30/2007
The attackers had indeed come over the low hills, yelling, and surprisingly, they retreated over the same hills rather than going incorporeal.

I wonder if this also similar to Melkor being bound in one form later on...

Damsel in Distress - yes, but the damsel in question is rather incensed Námo fell for that ploy (and now we know exactly how old that trick is *g*).

She was incarnate, her hröa perfect, though Námo was surprised to see that she had chosen to clothe herself in flesh that was darker in shade than was usual.

I admit I am uncomfortable with this. I'm usually someone who doesn't hold with extreme political correctness, and I know Tolkien had his own (sometimes problematical) colour coding but... When the first time skin colour is mentioned at all, and drawn special attention to the fact that someone is of "unusually dark colour", and this someone is a villain... I don't know, I just don't like it.

Author Reply: If you are uncomfortable with Acairis' description, you should be. Acairis is very uncomfortable. However, you are brining in your own cultural prejudices into this scene. I don't specify *how* dark Acairis' skin is, only that is is darker than how the other Máyar and Ayanumuz clothe themselves. Tolkien says that the Valar and Maiar, when they clothed themselves in flesh, imitated the Firstborn, who are described (again, by Tolkien) as being "fair". And this is *not* the first time I mention skin color in this story. I describe Vairë's flesh as "alabaster" in an earlier chapter. Therefore, Acairis' flesh would be darker than that, but to what degree I leave it to the readers to decide. I personally see her skin as being olive-toned, similar to that found among Southern Europeans,like those from Italy or Greece (my own ancestry is Italian, btw), as opposed to the lighter tones of the Northern Europeans, like the Scandinavians.

The imnplications of Námo's surprise is that previously, whenever Acairis had clothed herself, her flesh had had the same tonal quality as all the others, but here, she has chosen a different tonal quality, that, for me, is a reflection of her fallen state, a physical manifestation of whatever frequency her aura now generates which would be "darker" than what it originally was.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/28/2007
Incredibly interesting and intriguing chapter.

I'm very impressed with Namo's personality - I like the fact that he is in command. I liked the Mayar coming to him - glad he didn't have to ask. And I liked the quandry that he was placed in - stay or go.

Very much liked the moment of rescue and then the entrapment. Well well written chapter. Can't wait to read on.

Author Reply: Thanks, Agape. I'm glad you are impressed with Námo's personality. He does grow on one, doesn't he? *grin*

MJReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/26/2007
"I hope I NEVER have to write a scene from Melkor's POV. I would need serious counseling and a good exorcism afterwards if it ever came to that."

Oh, I doubt it would come to that. From experience, I've found that once in a while, writing from the villain's POV can be enlightening for both author and reader, because it makes you look the darkness square in the face, and attempt, somehow, to understand it, if only a little. Rather like learning to face one's fears, to find ways to deal with them, if not conquer them. Ultimately, that is what I see Namo needing to do in order to become the person we know he is destined to be. If he keeps running from Melkor and never faces him -- and his fear of the power he seems to have over him -- he will never be able to reject him with full confidence of what he is doing, and why. He needs to be free of doubt when it comes to his feelings toward Melkor, doubt of both Melkor and himself, and for that to happen... as you said, things will get darker before we, and Namo, see the light beyond.

Quite thought-provoking. Bravo, once again.

Author Reply: Well, just having Melkor in a scene makes my skin crawl, never mind writing from his POV. Námo, of course, needs to face the Darkness and Melkor eventually for the reasons you give, but he's not there yet. Even when he escapes from Melkor he will still need to deal with all that has happened to him. Vairë should be a help there. We'll see. Thanks for reviewing.

CalenlassReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/20/2007
You do know that is was a bad place to end the chapter?

Ai Elbereth--what have you done to Námo now?

I think I shall wait most anxiously for the next chapter...and keep my fingers crossed.


Author Reply: What can I say? Leaving Námo in the lurch is a good way to keep my readers coming back for more. *grin* The next chapter will be coming along soon, but don't think to find any comfort in it... it gets darker before it gets better for our intrepid Vala, but we do know it works out for the best in the end, don't we?

RhyselleReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/19/2007
The opening scene was really interesting to read. Seeing the dynamics between older and younger Ayanumuz as Namo argues his case for going after Vaire, despite knowing it was a trap for himself, really showed off the differing personalities of each of the Valar.

How like Irmo to want to be sure that Vana and the Mayar are safely out of danger. And how like Ulmo to go all "big brotherly" on them too. But Namo displays true courage, knowing that he is putting his own self into danger, he is adamant that Vaire and Therinde must be rescued and that he and Irmo are the ones to do it.

The oathtaking of Vaire's Mayar was exquisitely moving to me. The way that he comforted Ilsinor reminded me of Namo's role of comforter to the fear in his care in your other story, "Elf Interrupted." It's rather interesting to see that the Comforter role evolved prior to his role as Judge and Doomsman. I think this makes him far more effective in the latter roles later on in his career when he deals with elves and men.

Having had the privilege of a sneak preview of the butterfly scene did not prepare me for the finished version. It is the main mental image I will take along with me regardless of the events in the remainder of the chapter. Between the symbolic meaning of butterflies surrounding the Master of Spirits, and the sheer physical beauty of the image of the multi-coloured insects fluttering around him, I just sat there with a grin on my face, and my eyes closed, watching it in my mind. Lovely!

And then the events in the caverns.... Ick! Ick! Ick! Ick! I thought that I needed a brain scrub when I had a scene in one of my fics that simply HAD to be from Sauron's POV... but just reading about Melkor makes my skin crawl, and my muscles tense and I just want to run and hide with a cuddly toy and a HUGE mug of hot chocolate to get the horror of him out of my mind. I really feel for you having to WRITE him.

And Acairis makes me shudder too. I saw that another reviewer associated her with Ungoliant and that makes a lot of sense... in any case, I just want to rip her to pieces and swoop in and take Namo out of there and reunite him with Vaire before any more dark things are afflicted upon him.

A very engrossing chapter--I'm on the third re-read and it is still as powerful now as the first time I read it. Well done!

Author Reply: Hi Rhyselle. Thanks for your review. At this point in time, of course, Námo has no reason to act as Judge and Doomsman and the role of Comforter is the one he enjoys best of all the "hats" he must wear, probably because it was his first "job" among the Ayanumuz as we see when Irmo goes to him to help with the problem he and Estë were having with Melyanna.

The image of the butterflies is what sustains me when I have to write Melkor into a scene (or Acairis, for that matter; she creeps me out almost as much as Melkor does). Hopefully Námo will also remember them and that will help him in his time of darkness.

I hope I NEVER have to write a scene from Melkor's POV. I would need serious counseling and a good exorcism afterwards if it ever came to that. *grin*

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/19/2007
Ah--Vaire and her Maia servant now saved, and Namo now a captive. Morgoth, the original rapist! Ghastly fool! Now, who saves the savior? And why are these stuck on this planet?

Love, love, love the butterflies, of course, as you know if you've read many of my stories they keep turning up....

Aule now has the other fetter; and one day Morgoth himself will be bound in such things. To think that they originated with him is somehow satisfying.

Author Reply: Love the butterflies too which is why I had to put them into the story somehow.

And Melkor being Chained by his own invention is poetic justice, don't you think? And Námo gets to be his gaoler. Very satisfying indeed.

Nieriel RainaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 9/18/2007
*stares horrified at screen* *blink blink blink* *insert colorful creative dwarven cursing here*

Oh Fiondil! I never thought I'd fall for another one of 'these' tales, after nearly being sick reading TPD by Lamiel. I almost had to stop reading her story, but somehow made it through... but... *gulps* I dont' know if I can handle it right now with Námo. Can you email me privately and just tell me if the absolute worst happens? If so, I may have to back out of this one. I...I have a hard time with rape. Allusions, ok, but actual graphic detail... *wipes eyes* Maybe after the stress of moving has passed and I have time to be thoroughly horrifed and sob myself to sleep. Or maybe just knowing will help me get through it.

I love this story, however, and your writing. This chapter was wonderfully done, though I am confused why Namo became corporal out of surprise. That just seemed... odd. Or has he been incarnating so much it is second nature now? *grin* Oh please, Fiondil! Don't... not to Námo! Please bring him out of this unsullied and pure. You are breaking my heart here! 'That' should be a beautiful thing between he and Vaire. *breath hitches* "Sometimes being good and noble really sucks!" Oh, I really don't like that line now!

The part with the butterflies was lovely! and Irmo is charming. Vaire has such spunk... Oh, you better let her kick her ex chief Maya's butt! Now THAT would be something to see! And where is Manwe? Please call him home! I have a REALLY bad feeling about all this.

Ok, I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now.


Author Reply: I said "dark" not "gross". You may rest assured that *that* doesn't happen, and I have no intention of writing anything graphic. But there is more than one kind of "rape" and they don't all have to do with sexual contact. There is also "rape" of the soul and even "rape" of one's self-esteem and sense of self-worth. How many children even now are being "raped" by an adult with words of disdain and hate meant to crush the child's spirit even if that person never lays a physical hand on the child? Námo has some tough times ahead, but he does get through them and with Vairë's help.

I think Námo going corporeal was merely out of shock at the suddenness of the attack. His attention wavered and he probably didn't even think about it consciously.

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