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Beneath Strange Stars  by Larner 8 Review(s)
Theresa GreenfalconReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/20/2013
I haven't written you in a LONG time, hope this review finds you well... Happy 2013 too!

I loved the update on what happened to Hildefons Took - I hope you write [eventually] something similar about Isengar AND about the Blue Wizards - you always make the "endings" both gentler and more fascinating to read!

Take care, Tracey Claybon

Author Reply: And a wonderful 2013 to you, too. It was fun to examine what might have become of Hildifons. As I've noted elsewhere, I was tempted to expand upon Dreamflower's imagining him as Trotter the Ranger Hobbit, but it just didn't work out in my-verse. So, Hildifons the Exploreer he became!

I have explored Isengar in several of my drabbles, particularly in my first Advent calendar series. And I have dealt with the Blue Wizards in "Stirring Rings." Not that their "endings" were particularly gentle, I fear. Now, to finish that next chapter I'm working on now!

So good to hear from you!

AntaneReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/16/2013
That was neat that the children of the Travelers went back to see where their fathers had been. Glad they could do that.

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: I'd think that this would be one of the ambitions for the second generation. And it seemed likely that they just might come across a few of the surviving Hobbits of the Anduin Valley....

Thanks so, Antane!

TariReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/8/2013
This was such fun to read. I'm so glad to see Radagast in a story; he's mostly overlook. I was a little surprised at the hypenated last name. I didn't think Hobbits did that.

There are dwarf children after all. Glad to hear it.

Author Reply: Hyphenated last names? Remember the Sackville-Bagginses--Longo Baggins, uncle to Bilbo, married Camellia Sackville, who apparently didn't have any brothers, and in order to take on the family headship of the Sackvilles when her father died, Longo added Sackville to his name on the occasion of their marriage, which was inherited by his son Otho and grandson Lotho. And originally Frodo's name was to have been Bingo Bolger-Baggins, for which we can breathe a long sigh of relief that Tolkien chose to change the first name to indicate the character's innate wisdom, and then decided there was too much alliteration in the last names as well, so shortened it to merely Baggins. Tolkien dithered about with the relationship between Bilbo and his heir, making him at times Bilbo's son, his sister's son, a direct cousin, and finally settling on the first and second cousin once removed on each side that we know.

I agree--Radagast tends to be too much ignored, and I rejoice to have a chance to work him into my tales when I can, but then Huinare specifically asked for a tale in which Radagast, a Dwarf, and a Hobbit meet along a road sometime prior to the quest for Erebor. So, this is what came up!

There must be Dwarf children. After all, at a mere sixty Gimli was judged far too young to go with his father to seek out the Lonely Mountain, and I even managed to mention him obliquely in this tale! Heh! And I suspect that if Fili and Kili hadn't been Thorin's own nephews they'd not have been allowed to go along, either, as they were equally young.

We know from Tolkien's descriptions of the three original clans of Hobbits that the Stoors lived right along the river and its tributaries, and the Brandybucks had a lot of Stoor blood; that the Fallohides lived with the Elves in the eaves of woods, learned a good deal from them and hunted, and that the Tooks were descended directly from the Fallohides; and that the Harfoots tended to live higher in the foothills to the Misty Mountains in symbiotic relationships with Dwarf colonies, with the Hobbits growing food for both themselves and the Dwarfs, trading for finished goods and training in crafts, and that the Gamgees were mostly of Harfoot descent. The Bagginses showed mostly Harfoot descent up to Bilbo, who after all had a lot of Tookishness in his makeup. Frodo was thus a most charming mixture of the three clans, with the leadership qualities of the Fallohides, the common sense and love of the land of his birth from the Harfoots, and the ability to think on his feet of the Stoors.

That on returning to the valley of the Anduin Hildifons might manage to reunite what scattered Hobbits he could locate and arrange a Harfoot-type relationship with one of the few remaining Dwarf colonies that could be found on the eastern slopes of the Misty Mountains just seemed natural, and I would think that the Hobbit and Dwarf children would make friends and play together, and find reason to spy on passing people. So, why not imagine that this happened?

It was fun to write!

Thanks so, Tari!

Author Reply: edited to add:

I've not tried to actually hyphenate the last names as much as to indicate what the maiden name is for the bride.

TeresaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/3/2013
Sighs that was a lovely treat to find and enjoy! It was good to see how Radagast also inspired hobbits to taste adventure! He and Gandalf did so much to aid others and stand against Sauron; and it shows not only in the larger matters like the Ring but in the simpler things like caring for the sick and injured. Did Ruvemir carve Borimir's statue, or was it the work of his son or one of his other students? It was so nice to see how the younger generation in action! Many thanks for posting this, and you have my sympathy over your computer woes......they always die at the worst possible moment! Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

Author Reply: I suspect that Radagast did visit west of the mountains on occasion, and that he and Tom Bombadil and Goldberry got along very well. That he would have a special care for animals would be expected, and of course if someone caring such as a young adventurous Hobbit was around, he'd find himself helping, don't you think?

I'm not certain if Ruvemir himself carved the stature of Boromir, but I'm certain that if not he, it was indeed one of his students.

I suspect all four of these Hobbits were near the same age, and it made sense that their first journey south would have been done together.

As for the computer--you know how it goes--when they die, they follow Murphy's Law religiously! Heh!

Thanks so very much, and may 2013 be good to all of us!

eilujReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/2/2013
So many favorite characters. And I love happy endings.

Author Reply: It was fun to work so many into this particular tale. And it should be a particularly happy ending, knowing after all this time what became of Hildifons and finding that not only are there North-Tooks, but East-Tooks as well! Heh!

Thanks so very much!

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/2/2013
How delightful!

...I always wondered what happened to Hildifons. I'm glad he found a happy ending.

Author Reply: I'd sort of wanted to follow Dreamflower and have him become Trotter the Ranger, but in my-verse it doesn't quite work. That he'd gone east of the Misty Mountains and united the remaining Hobbits of the Anduin Valley came as a surprise to me as much as to anyone else, I think. And as a Took, I'm certain he always managed to land on his feet, much as did his great-great nephew.

Thanks so, and hopefully we'll be able to see one another in a few months.

Author Reply: I meant, in a few weeks. Perhaps just after the 22nd.

SunnyReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/2/2013
I liked the way this great, little mystery in the history of Middle-Earth was solved! Hilsifons' Tookish leadership qualities undoubtedly was a great help when he gathered the remnant of the Hobbits in the Vale of Anduin and found a safer place to settle. And he even went on to make an alliance with a clan of Dwarves - something that must have been of benefit to both parties.
And this must have been a wonderful adventure for Eldarion - going on a long journey into the wilderness and discovering an unknown clan of Hobbits and Dwarves!

Author Reply: As Gerontius's son I suspect that Hildifons learned a good deal about administration, but perhaps as a younger son he felt he would have little chance to use such skills at home.

We know that the Harfoots typically settled higher in the foothills of the Misty Mountains in symbiotic relationship with Dwarf holds, so if the few Hobbits of the Anduin Valley were to be hiding from Sauron's orcs and Saruman's agents, wouldn't they find it preferable to do the same, particularly if they found a colony of Dwarfs that was also seeking to hide from the same dangers? So, this worked for me!

I love the thought that Hildifons might have gone for a Ranger and become the Master's discarded "Trotter," but as in my-verse Gerontius has been known to travel to Imladris on occasion, that wouldn't be feasible. But the thought that he might just have headed east of the Misty Mountains and become a hero there tickled me!

Thanks so, Sunny!

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 9 on 1/2/2013
Lovely story. I so enjoyed 4th age stories and this is a great view of Eldarion. Happy New Year to you and all you love.

Author Reply: It was fun to jump from pre-quest for Erebor days to Eldarion's young adult days, and to include some of the Hobbits I've imagined were about the same age.

Thanks so!

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