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Unearthing the Past  by Bodkin 15 Review(s)
perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/24/2006
The joys of digging and unearthing treasures! Surely the elves would do perfect archaelogists, I had never thought of this!

Unearthing the past for her grandchildren, now that must have been a task for Galadriel. I like to imagine the time she devoted to telling tales of distant lands and ages to those two -and to Arwen- It must have been difficult at times for Elrond's children, to grasp the amount of time and events lived by some of those that surrounded them... I really liked it!

Author Reply: It is remarkable to think of them as living archaeology, in a way. Like coming across a group of people whose way of life dates back to the beginning of time and yet who also live in the modern world.

The twins know that the people surrounding them have experienced all the stories they have learned in their History Lessons - but to see how it affects those who are not at the centre of the tales... I think it might be disconcerting to realise that just about everyone has been part of history, even if their stories are not glamorous tales of derring-do, but more about survival and endurance.

Thanks, perelleth - I'm glad you liked it.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/15/2006
Oh my! I loved this! Are you starting a new series or is this only a one-shot?!

I can easily see the twins wanting that these treasures to belong to someone more impotant. Galadriel's words of how history is hidden and forgotten are quiet poetic.

However, I really like your purpose of recognizing the more ordinary, everyday people who makeup the greater portion, if not the greater part, of history.

Author Reply: It's just a one-off at the moment - brought on by thinking of elves and archaeology and the fact that they could always find someone who knew from experience the history of a time.

I don't know that the twins thought the items had belonged to someone more important - but it can be surprising to realise that even people you look on as very ordinary can have a part in a vivid and distressing history. They know their family did ... but the elleth who complains about grass stains on the sheets? It's about perception.

Yet could the great achieve anything without support - or at least co-operation (or lack of outright opposition) from the general populace? I think Galadriel knows that, but I'm not sure if the twins do yet. They think changing the world is more about individual acts of heroism. Whereas, perhaps, it's more about adequate food supplies and good drainage....

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/12/2006
I enjoyed this very much! The stories behind the artifacts are always the best. The creepieness of the whole location was interesting, too. I wish you would write more with the story that Galadriel was about to tell them. That would be neat.

Wonderful story. Well done as always!

Author Reply: Hollin - where Legolas says, 'I hear the stones lament them: deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us; but they are gone... Gandalf says it is 'wholesome', but I think the war must have left its traces, and walking among them would have made elves melancholy.

H'mm. A Second Age story. Maybe one day. I'd need to be more confident with the material first!

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/12/2006
Wow! What did you and Dot get into last night? I think I need to have a drink! This was really well done and very sad to see the relics of Ost-in-Edhil. I was always fascinated in musuems by the pieces there and what the people who once owned them would think to know they were in a museum today and what they meant to those people--were they treasured memoried, just casual pieces of every day life, made for a special occassion etc? It's fascinating and sad to think of elves being able to remember. Great job (I'm still crying, but great job).

Author Reply: It was just the thoughts of elves and archaeology. No guesswork ... sorry, deduction ... required. Just go and ask someone who was there. In some ways, caches of family treasures are an indication of hope - they thought they would be able to come back for them. But also, they are sad - because they clearly didn't.

And then, it's interesting to think about the lives of ordinary people as opposed to kings and queens. The twins know perfectly well that their own family was bound up in the tragedies of these events - they listened to their History Lessons - but then relating the same events to ordinary elves can require a bit of adjustment. Like imagining your grandparents being young.

Thank you. It sprang fully formed into my head - and it was fun to write!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
Terrific dig, Bodkin. I've always loved old things because there's a story behind everything from an antique piece of furniture to a frayed old book gathering dust on the back shelf of a used book store. I completely understand the twins's curiosity about who the items belonged to and their origins.

Of course, the most poignant moment was when Galadriel revealed the owner, a woman the twins thought 'ordinary'. History is made up of far more ordinary people than famous names and faces. The famous just got more press. But without the average person, the pages of history would only be footnotes, and the deeds remembered that shaped where we are today, would not have come to pass. George Washington could not have won the Revolutionary War alone. (But we still love England!)

Just lovely, Bodkin! I truly enjoyed this.

And by the way, Elrohir does indeed believe in ghosts. I think Elladan might change his mind soon too. :>) Okay, yeah, I had a fangirl moment when I read that. But Halbarad doesn't want to talk about it.

Author Reply: Archaeology and elves! Interesting juxtaposition - because it would be like digging among your mother's possessions in a way. There's always someone there who can tell you what is important about that pressed flower or charm bracelet.

Social history is fascinating - so much more, in some ways, than political history. (I've said before, I think, how irritated I get by statements like 'George Washington won the Revolutionary War' and 'Edward the Confessor built Westminster Abbey'. Because they didn't. Provided leadership - inspiration - money, perhaps. But they didn't do it. That required a load of unsung, unnamed, unrecorded people.) The twins must have been very aware of the importance of their own family in the history of Arda - and how much they had done to change the face of the world ... (all those History Lessons, you know) ... but I'll bet they still didn't think to look below the surface with all those ordinary elves who surrounded them. (Especially the females - I expect they were better able to see heroism among the warriors.)

Of course Elrohir knows of the existence of ghosts! But he - and Elladan - would rather not think about that in Hollin. The traces of the past there would not be happy ones, promising 'tomorrow', but pained ones regretting yesterday!

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
'I doubt this was a time many would want to remember.'

My favorite line - how often did Elves forget? It would seem to be one of the curses of their long lives... to never forget sorrow. But then again, a blessing to never forget a face, or the feel of a piece of jewelry being placed around ones neck by a loved one.

Very nice tale indeed.

Author Reply: Elves are supposed to have perfect recall of their long lives, too. Which is fine when it comes to recalling your baby's face, or the joy of first love, but not so good when it's your first slain elf or destroyed city. They must have learned to cage memory, I should think. Because they lived so long, too. You couldn't keep everything fresh all the time.

And I wonder if some broke under the pain of harsh memories - and had to sail to try to regain any peace of mind.

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
It struck me as I was reading this how different it would be for elves, to find a long-buried artifact and to know with near-certainty that not only could they probably find out who the owner was, but quite likely also find the owner herself. While we mortals can only ponder and wonder at the mysteries we find buried in the ground. What a nice lesson for Elladan and Elrohir that ordinary people are part of history, too. Really nice, Bodkin.

Author Reply: I think that's what struck me when the thoughts of archaeology and elves combined. So much of archaeology is guesswork ... ... sorry, deduction - but, for elves, the people who lived the past are all around them.

And, most of those we choose to write about (and read about) are those who would have made the history books - the people who get the credit for changing the world - but, even among elves, most people are those who provide the muscles and the support, who just live their lives quietly - and sometimes get caught up in events beyond their control.

Thank you.

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
Lovely story, Bodkin. Having been a Family Historian I know just how much of history is made up of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Perhaps people reading this story will go back to their own families and realize that Uncle Fred or Gramma Mary may actually have a tale or two to tell them that have nothing to do with mending, or perhaps everything to do with it.

I loved that Galadriel recognized to whom the objects belonged and more than that remembered her story. It says alot about Galadriel right there I think. And the twins as always are a delight.

Author Reply: Family history is such fun - I love it and every now and then you turn up a gem - but mostly what you realise is that the past is full of ordinary people living their lives. And often getting stuck in extraordinary situations.

The thought that, among elves, there would actually be those who remembered - who had lived through the incidents that left their mark on the soil - was both exciting and sad. They must have so much memory. Much of it innocuous, much of it happy - but also vivid recollection of all the bad things that happened.

And who could not love the twins! Thank you.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
This is very nice. I like the seriousness and consideration that the twins bring to their dig, how they never forget that the pretty things they're finding once belonged to people. But still, even to Elves, it comes as a shock to hear the real stories behind the treasures. And then to realize that the people around you were once part of history. . . there are only a very few comparable incidents that I could think of in the real world. I wonder what it must be like to be presented with your ancient jewels, now with all the patina of dug-up artifacts. That must be a strange sensation indeed.

Author Reply: It must be really strange to find a cache that dates back a thousand years or so - and have your grandmother recognise who was the original owner of the items. To find she is also the elleth who has complained to your mother about your lack of care for your clothes must be almost surreal.

I would think the twins are - and have been for a long while - aware that their parents, grandparents and Glorfindel and assorted others are movers and shakers and that they are part of history. Whether they have actually registered that ordinary elves might have extraordinary stories I'm not so sure. Possibly not.

I think Galadriel would see that the jewels were cleaned off pretty well before sending them back to Mothwen. And it's why I picked gold and mithril - which come out of the ground in pretty good condition. (Well. Gold does. And mithril would. If there really were such a thing.)

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/11/2006
I like the air of sadness and melancholy hanging over Hollin - the twins sense it, and so did Legolas. There must be a feeling of excitement in unearthing buried treasure - but while to us, Roman treasure hordes belong to the long distant past, for the twins they are recent history, and involved people they know. It's things like this that demonstrate the agelessness of the elves.


Author Reply: This area has been empty for a long time - since it was fought over - and the very rocks remember how it was (according to Legolas). Finding treasure unexpectedly must have been rather exciting - but does leave them with a problem. They can't just abandon it and don't feel right about taking it. Galadriel makes a good solution.

And the whole archaeology thing - it's just so different with elves! There is practically nothing that could be found without someone having been there when it was built / destroyed / made / abandoned. There's no guesswork - primary sources are available all around you! It's an odd thought.

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