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In Empty Lands  by Larner 285 Review(s)
BarthandReviewed Chapter: 30 on 1/12/2016
I have read your story through now and in the whole enjoyed it. Your additions and expansions of the story have been mostly true to Lore with some exceptions. Do you have any basis for the blood magic bit? That seemed out of place to me. You've made only one serious error, in my own opinion and it is a whopper. Having Frodo assert that it was not him to volunteered to be the Ringbearer but some outside force using him shows you have missed the point of the story entirely. LOTR is a story about personal choice. Frodo's voluntary choice to bear the Ring is what made him noble. He was nobody's pawn.

Author Reply: The following is a direct quote from my original copy of FOTR, which my mother gave me for my birthday in 1966:

No one answered. The noon-bell rang. Still no one spoke. Frodo glanced at all the faces, but they were not turned to him. All the Council sat with downcast eyes, as if in deep thought. A great dread fell on him, as if he were awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken. An overwhelming longing to rest and remain at peace by Bilbo's side in Rivendell filled all his heart. At last with an effort he spoke, and wondered to hear his own words, as if some other will was using his small voice.

'I will take the Ring,' he said, 'though I do not know the way.'

(Emphasis mine.) (This printing was made in 1963, and was the original published version without the changes Tolkien made in response to the Ace edition publication.)

The indication is that although Frodo did volunteer, still he felt, as Elrond was to say, that this was a fated thing, that this doom was already appointed for him. And I am certain that at times he regretted his words at the Council and wished to distance himself from them, convincing himself temporarily that it WAS someone else who spoke through him, even as he had felt at the moment he accepted the responsibility to see the Ring brought to Mordor so that it could be destroyed. It is in one of those moments of resentment that he's stuck with this mission that he says what he does to Boromir in my writing.

I do hope you can forgive me!

As for the blood magic--we know that magic was a good part of life in Tolkien's world, so I extrapolated from the types and forms of magic we are familiar with via tradition, myth, and legends. Blood magic has always been seen as being particularly potent, but it has always been treated as being on the verge of being forbidden. Just as sex without mutual love and responsibility has traditionally been frowned upon as it can lead to sometimes dreadful consequences, so blood magic is also so easily capable of turning dark. I suspect most honorable Men would avoid it so as to avoid the temptation to be drawn into it more and more deeply until they are corrupted by it. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But if they are seeking to again reforge and rekindle Narsil, as well as potentially tying it to Aragorn's bloodline, I do think that they would strongly consider using such blood magic to reach their aims.

I do hope I am making sense!

I admit to allowing a bit of movie-verse to creep in, with Frodo foreseeing the possible chaos of allowing others to begin making their own offers to take the Ring leading to the great argument shown in the movie, perhaps with this imagining being engendered in part by the will of the Ring Itself. Again, I do hope the readers can forgive this.

PSWReviewed Chapter: 3 on 11/17/2015
I have just started this today, and I'm really enjoying it so far! It's very interesting to see the other characters from an outsider's perspective, as Boromir surely was at that point. I especially liked his meeting w the Rangers at Weathertop, and this one w Aragorn...

Thanks for writing!

Author Reply: And thank you for responding. How Aragorn must have at times managed to bring to mind his own father, and yet how different the two Men, who were after all contemporaries, were from one another. This was my first work in which I've considered what Boromir did to add to the Fellowship, and I find I like the Man more and more as I write of him.

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 31 on 11/9/2015
Sorry it took so long to get to this, but great to see another chapter. :) Glad that the hobbits proved their worth once more in saving Boromir.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: Oh, yes, they are indeed proving to be anything but helpless! Thanks so!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 31 on 11/7/2015
“Rope! I knew as we’d need rope!” he could hear Sam exclaim.

Great, that you put that in ;-)

Once again Boromir's respect for Frodo has grown. Frodo is able to keep calm and make a clear assessment of the situation even in the worst circumstances. That is indeed admirable!

But of course, without the help of Bill the Pony the rescue would have been much more difficult.

Author Reply: I so agree--Bill truly pulled his weight on that day! And Sam had to make it plain to all he regretted not having thought of rope in preparing for their journey. Thanks so, Andrea!

TariReviewed Chapter: 31 on 11/2/2015
Well done! Wish there were birthdays every month.

Author Reply: Thank you so, Tari!

someoneReviewed Chapter: 31 on 11/2/2015
It seems that Boromir has a new appreciation for the smaller members of the Fellowship! He won't forget easily being saved by a halfling and a pony. Now, if only his regard extended to Aragorn, also... Pretender, indeed!

If the paths are that difficult while still at that low height, the climb up is going to be slow and almost too dangerous. I can see the attraction of going through Moria instead.

Author Reply: Oh, but I agree, Someone. We know they didn't make it anywhere near the crest of the pass, for Caradhras wasn't being cooperative at all.

As for Aragorn's title in Boromir's mind--I'd think Boromir would have mixed feelings about the northerner's claim on the Winged Crown, and at times would wish to distance Aragorn from the possible rule of Gondor.

Thanks so!

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 30 on 6/9/2015
Sorry it has taken so long to get to this. It is good to return to this story, though too bad Boromir was being so rude. But now he realizes the source of it. Alas for Frodo. Aragorn's words are so sadly true. Keep praying for dad, please. Le hannon.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: The Ring is capable of being subtle, but It would have found Boromir easiest to attack, I'd think.

And I continue to pray for your father. Bless him and your family.

MlleGigiReviewed Chapter: Prologue on 5/17/2015
I very much like the fact that in this story, the reason why Boromir insists he must be the one who undertakes the journey to Rivendell is actually because he perceives his brother as being better qualified to inherit the White Rod than he himself is. Sadly, Tolkien doesn't tell us much about what Boromir is really like until after he's dead -- and some of what he shows us at first is actually not always very likeable. Boromir comes across as being a little arrogant and more than a little stubborn -- but even though there's no way to deny the fact that Faramir (who helps fill in some of the gaps later on) cannot be completely objective about his brother, it's obvious that Boromir must have had fine good qualities or else he would not have been allowed to join the Fellowship. I also find it interesting that one of the reasons why Boromir claims the adventure for himself is because he has reason to believe that the one who goes on the journey will not be coming back -- and that Denethor will recall his love for Faramir before the end. Not only is is in character for him, it hints at a degree of foresight which -- whether Boromir is aware of it or not -- implies that the blood of Numenor is every bit as strong in him as it is in his father and brother even though it might not be quite as obvious.

Author Reply: I will admit that the very first time I read LOTR I was forced to read it out of order, as the various volumes were not in the library as I finished with the last, so I read FOTR, ROTK, TH, and TTT in that order. By the time I started TTT I had completely forgotten who Boromir was just as we started the planning by the Three Hunters of how to show proper respect to his body! Hey, it was back in 1963 or 64 and I was only thirteen or fourteen years old. It took me several years to fully appreciate just what kind of person Boromir was, must have been, or ought to have been. Like you, I felt that in order to be counted within the Fellowship he must have been an exceptional individual, but far more vulnerable to the Ring's blandishments than the rest. As I learned more about the nature of the Dunedain I felt he, too, must have shared many of the gifts known by that race. If he, too, reported the troubling dream then he obviously shared the gift of foresight with Faramir, and what might he have known through the office of that gift that his brother might have not received?

I know that his fall to the Ring's wishes led to Frodo leaving the Fellowship at the proper, needful time; he recognized at the end that it was the Ring's will that had taken him, after all. He deserves far more respect than many give him, and I try to make him the full person he was or ought to have been, had the Master's work been more detailed.

Thanks so!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 30 on 5/14/2015
Very well done!

I think Boromir did not realize until Aragorn told him, that it was The Ring that spoke through him and not himself.

But the reader does! That it is not Boromir as we know him from your story.

Hopefully he will have enough time left where he can be himself again until it is over.

Author Reply: I hope that he does realize for as long as possible that the Ring Itself is seeking to suborn him. And I so hope he continues a sympathetic character through all that the Ring does to him.

Thanks so much, Andrea!

TariReviewed Chapter: 30 on 5/11/2015
This was an excellent read which left me wanting to read more. (What does leman mean?

Author Reply: Am not certain how long it will be before the next chapter is posted, although it's already taking shape.

A leman was a lover, but not a spouse.

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