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Afraid Of Beauty (Don't Be)  by perelleth 6 Review(s)
RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/5/2013
First of all, you did not fail the challenge. The scene with Elrond and Glorfindel picking berries meets the criteria nicely enough.

Beyond that - once again you address a larger question, which certainly necessitated a wider perspective than one moment in time. And you did it without neglecting the historical drama I personally love to read. :D

This was an embracing look at the motivation - the morality - behind the choices of duty and sacrifice every soldier and citizen face both in Ennor and on Earth. I liked it very much for that reason alone. And I want more, please.

Oh, and another thing I like was the irritation included between characters. No one, even constructs, can be perfect. Where is the story in that? As I have always said: I like that we have different perspectives on the same events.

*sigh* I still owe you one from your actual birthday... I mean to get back on that now that I can.

Thank you again, so very much!

Author Reply: Oh, I'm glad you liked it because it was definitely the hardest thing I've written, if only because it took me so long!

Also I'm happy that you picked on the irritation. When I began this (I'd say close to three years ago, because the first part was supposed to be part of a different story) I was in a completely different headspace and state of mind. So when I picked it up for the challenge, and found out how my thoughts and views had shifted, I wondered how that might be for these elves along their long and eventful lives. How unavoidable hopelessness is, and how comforting the fact that not everybody around you loses hope at the same time. Also people coming from diferent backgrounds have different thoughts but when the goal is common and the intention good, you can find ways to overcome irritation, exasperation and annoyance. That kept me going, mostly a line at a time! :-)

I don't know that there's more here, but I'm glad I made ir back to Middle earth, if even for a while! Again, glad it was worth the wait.

FantasiaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/28/2012
Perelleth, I'm so glad that you've posted this story. I really don't have many intelligent reviews to write, only that I loved it, and it really touched me. I know, because I experienced before, that you can loose faith and don't see the meaning of your fight when you are so caught in a problem. And I recent a lot all those people that told me to see the big picture, it is really hard to see beyond your own gloom. Thanks for posting

Author Reply: Hello, Fantasia! I'm glad I forced myself to post, and happy it touched you as well.

I think there are a lot of things I dumped in this piece -it's been in the works more for more than a year and the bare bones were there for even longer (the first part) but on the whole I think it's what you say: some times we all get lost in our troubles and end up not seeing what's beyond. Or else, we condemn ouselves to fight darkness, ours or someone else's and fail to see even the beauty that is at hand, for fear it might fade away as well.

Glorfindel may have been an unbearable reminder of beauty for elves who had lost so much and seen so many evil things, and yet he was there also as a gift, to remind them of what they were fighting for. I think we all need that. I'm so happy to hear again from you. I hope you too get to look up and beyond. Take care.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/26/2012
You know, I was going to leave a one word review: Estel. And I forgot. And I see that Elliska did mention it, so I wanted to add it too - what he is really teaching throughout this is Estel.

Author Reply: That sums it all up pretty well doesn't it?
Watching the Hobbit the other day also made me want to spend more time in middle earth and fanfic land again. I would love to see you back here as well!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/26/2012
I liked the theme of beauty amidst all the evil, for all are a part of the whole, and without evil in comparison, could we ever fully appreciate beauty? I like the times in the story, the war, the loss, the conflict. I like Glorfindel's position among them, for he alone knows at least the beauty of healing and rebirth for the Firstborn though none of them know of the true and complete healing found beyond the circles of Ea.

Nicely written and a reminder to me that there are stories left to be told. I am so looking forward to spending some of my time on this too.

Author Reply: Thank-you, Nilmandra, I'm happy that it entertained you!
I wondered what effect someone like GLorfindel, reborn and renewed, would have among those hardened elves of the second age, and what effect darkness would have in him. I thought both sides may have lost sight of the other's perspective for a while and both sides would benefit from the other's experiences.

By the time the second age ended Elrond and Gil-galad were about the same age Elrond's sons were at the end of the third age, and yet both Elrond and gil galad had lost too many eople and lands and had seen too much darkness and had made terrible decisions, so I wondered how they kept their hope.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/24/2012
I was so happy to see this!

Glorfindel is a character I enjoy, but know very little about. I really loved your characterization of him here. I think this part caught it really well:

But of course, while I looked with eyes that had seen what few others among the Firstborn had, I also missed much of what my peers perceived with their weary souls –more attuned to the sorrows of Arda Marred.

That whole paragraph, summed up by this last line, is really well done.

And the opening question! Holy cow! That's a great one. As is the effect it has on Glorfindel as he ponders it at the end of the first part

“Someone has to fight to protect this beauty, so others can enjoy it unimpeded and free of care,” he said seriously.

I love Elrond! This is the perfect line for an elf who would one day found Imladris. And Glorfindel's follow up to it is also perfect.

Laughter echoed not so often in Gil-galad’s halls, as I had been only too disappointed to notice in the few sun turns I had been there.

How sad and hard to understand this must be for someone like Glorfindel. Truly disappointing indeed. Especially if he truly heartens to this belief:

“It is all there in the quiet forbearance of the Music, Elrond: the grief, and the fear and the bereavement, but also the joy of life, even if it is short, and the promise of something more; the promise that – much as it will be for these bushes- there will be again for all living creatures in Arda a season of blossoming, a beauty that will encompass all loss and despair and hope that have ever been; a beauty that will not pass. You should not be afraid of beauty, because that is the only constant in Arda.” ... I just wanted to experience this beauty again, not simply to fight hopelessly against the darkness that consumes it but savouring it day after day as it is. Loving beauty wherever it is to be found and being not afraid of losing it.”

Awesome! If people could truly internalize this, imagine how happy we could be. But I fear it takes the perspective that Glorfindel uniquely has to truly do that. Or at least a life as long as Elrond's

Turning this around to the Council of Elrond, to relate the tale to the relatively young sons of Elrond. Loved that ending! It is especially fitting given that he taught it to their ancestors.

As usual, I love the theme you are playing with here. It fits Tolkien very well. Estel, is what it really is. Something I enjoy having Thranduil and Legolas confront, but I am in awe of how well you have Gllorfindel express it here. Awesome job, Perelleth!

Author Reply: THank-you, elliska!

Gorfindels' experience was unique in many aspects, and yet he had something to learn as well. So full with the vision of the larger picture, he was less engaged in the daily struggles against darkness. I tried to find a middle point between the hopelessness of those battling the invincible enemy and the eternal optimism of those who knew the battle was won in th end despite individual defeats, and have both sides learn something from the other.

to relate the tale to the relatively young sons of Elrond. Loved that ending! It is especially fitting given that he taught it to their ancestors. YOu know what? When I started writing this ( more than a year ago) I did some canon re read and realized that at the end of the Second Age, Elrond and Gil-galad were slightly younger in age than Elrond's sons are at the end of the third!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 12/24/2012
Oh my goodness, what a wonderful surprise.

I love the theme of this--that even in dark times, there is beauty and you know it, or you wouldn't be fighting for it. But I also love of lot of the moments you create along the way.

when we had already lost all hope and simply looked for a suitable place to do our dying.

That stopped me. It's such a great way to convey the desperate courage of those who have lost and still won't give up.

It was a beauty that lived in song long after the light of his star fell into darkness.

OMG, I love Gil-galad. I love that song!

And really, where do orcs go when they die?

Author Reply: THank-you, Daw. I've been struggling with this piece for more than a year. We had this challenge with Redheredh, to write the frist encounter between Glorfindel and Elrond, with no one else involved, and I failed. Felt I needed more than ELrond's perception of Arda mArred to show the contrast between those seeing the larger picture and those struggling day after day with darkness, to find a middle point.

Well, at least it is out and over!

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