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Brotherhood  by Bodkin 18 Review(s)
RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
This one really got to me. You give us such a quietly brave Gilraen. I love your depiction of her. I am glad she is winning through, bit by bit.

But, here is a truly compassionate family of elves as well. If when he has grown up, Estel comes to understand, like his mother, how very very fortunate he has been... No wonder he strives to fulfill their hopes concerning him.

They are making a good childhood for him, but at the same time, making a good king - and man - out of him.

Author Reply: Gilraen is a very strong woman - in that self-sacrificing Victorian way that doesn't go down terribly well with modern readers. She subjugates her needs to raise her son - and I'm glad that she found herself able to be happy along the way.

And if she had to lose Arathorn and her home and go into hiding, she couldn't have done better than seek refuge with Elrond's family. They are doing their best by each other.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
Coping with the young ones until the celebrations actually begin is a usually undervalued, little recognized task, so Elladan has all my support here today!

Gilraen's melancholy is very touching, as she fights between accepting that her productive life has been fulfilled and convincing herself that she has indeed found a new family, and not only her son. Sad lot, back then.

Author Reply: Elladan is doing a good job! I certainly think he is enjoying the process of rediscovering play.

Estel is drawing Gilraen into the life of Imladris far more successfully than she might have expected - but she is still a bit of a fish out of water. And knows that he will grow away from her steadily as he gets older. Tough. Very tough.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
It's kind of too bad that Tolkien's worldview did not admit for second marriages. One gets the feeling that Gilraen could have married one of the sons of Elrond, and everyone would have been happy about it. But poor old Gilraen is left a widow forever, without quite the same feeling of home and family that her son has found.

Author Reply: Tolkien might have been reluctant to allow for second marriages, but I'm sure that among men, in the society he describes, second marriages must have been common. Widowed fathers need carers for their kids, widowed mothers need breadwinners - it would only be practical to put the two needs together. Elves, I suppose, being immortal and expecting reunion in the Blessed Realm - well ... it still seems cruel at times. But I suppose it does simplify the family trees.

Elrond might not have been too happy to have a son marry Gilraen and presumably choose mortality. And it might have led to said son becoming his sister's stepfather-in-law.

Gilraen is not just a widow, but she is alone - and that makes it even tougher on her. In some ways I'm not surprised she gave up and died young. Once she took Estel to Imladris she was never really at home anywhere. She must have been very lonely.

ElieReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
Beautiful and sweet! It is good to finally see her relaxing and becoming a part of the family. It is also fun to watch everyone else take Estel in as one of the family, too. These stories are delightful!

Author Reply: Thank you. There's nothing like having a kid at the age when they are irresistible for making you feel part of a group. Estel is dragging his mother into feeling at home - and the elves are accepting her probably more than they have ever accepted another woman. I'm glad you're enjoying these stories.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
You really made me feel for Gilraen in this chapter - her third Yule in Imladris, but the first where she feels like taking part in the celebrations. Very understandable, and also very realistic that it's her eager, enthusiastic young son who draws her into the circle of celebration. I'm glad to see she went willingly and has accepted what comfort Imladris can provide - even if it's only for Estel's sake. It's bittersweet knowing that despite what Elladan says, it really will never be her home. Although at least she is with good, kind people who will do everything they an to make it so. I loved this little exchange:

‘I will try to get him to have a sleep this afternoon,’ Gilraen said doubtfully, ‘or he will never last until tonight.’

‘We will do it.’ Elladan grinned. ‘He will come and sprawl in front of the fire with us while we tell him stories – and never notice that he is taking a nap until he wakes up refreshed in time to eat supper.’

‘One day your cunning will catch up with you,’ Gilraen observed.

Elladan’s grin widened. ‘But not this day,’ he said.

Author Reply: Kids are great for dragging their parents into all sorts of situations - Estel was a bit young before, but now he is just the right age to be into everything - and his excitement infects his mother. The home of your childhood always seems to be the place you think of as home, no matter how many years pass - and yet you grow away from it. Gilraen will find it impossible to go back to live among the Dunedain in many ways - she will have become someone other than she way. Similarly Imladris is Estel's home - but he cannot live their comfortably once he has grown. But they are all doing their best for each other.

Musing - Gilraen was in such a state of grief when she arrived in Imladris that she didn't see the gorgeousness of elves and, unlike most females, is not attracted to E2 ... They were people - almost brothers - before she saw them. I wonder if they feel comfortable with her because she sees them rather than their 'brothers beautiful' surface ...

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
I love Estel's excitement, but I'm exhausted just hearing about Elladan's plans for him! It's so great to see his happiness though, and know that Gilraen is content in his contentment.

Author Reply: The last thing Elladan wants here is a child running wild! (I wonder why he thinks that might cause trouble?) Keep him busily occupied and the preparations for the celebration will go all the more smoothly. I think Estel is drawing Gilraen into the world of Imladris - and she is getting used to a) luxury and b) elves!

SlightlyTookishReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006
*happy sigh* It's always wonderful to see the holidays through the eyes of a child and little Estel is so very charming. I'm so glad that Gilraen is feeling at home too.

Author Reply: Gilraen is settling down - there is nothing like having a child to enmesh you in a new life. And Estel is wild with excitement here!

AmyReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/31/2006

*tears in eyes*

The Christmas/Yule/solstice season is better through a child's eyes than an adults!

Author Reply: Thank you - I'm glad you liked it! Children see everything with such fresh sight that it can revitalise them totally for those around them.

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