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Time  by Bodkin 20 Review(s)
Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/15/2008
Oh my! I found this so stirring and poignant and so endearing of Legolas.

My own heart went out to the race of Men for our 'rush' in this little time that we have... no time to mourn, never mind remember...

I wrote 'I wish' after reading of how 'everything' was mourned.

I felt sorrow as he felt it at that farmstead...

I loved the description of the maps, tith books and such that were kept... at least there is that... however cold.

I wanted to shout 'Yes' when Legolas told Faramir that 'we will' 'deal with it'

I shuddered at the self-justification... is that all it is??? Oh my!

And a double oh my for Legolas' helpless incomprehension - Drat (I'd use something harsher myself!)

I was not surprised that the listing didn't give the women nor the childrens names... I'm sorry to say...

And Legolas' incredulity at the importance of these

'game pieces' - excellent

I smiled (finally) at Faramir's response - being gutteed wouldn't be much fun!

Oh - I know so many librarians, sad to say, who are so caught up that they don't notice the living... I know there are good ones out there, but they look at their work as the important thing - not the 'sharing' of their knowledge...

I try not to be that way at work... I try to listen and offer what help I can... but it still feels like an indictment.

I loved them calling Faramir captain.. Yes! wondrous - gave my heart such a warm feeling...

I wrote NICE after the next three paragraphs - they all were exceptional - from 'Faramir moved through' to 'the value of listening.'

I loved the 'army-mad' description...

Another NICE got put next to the old woman's caress... the whole paragraph was beautiful...

And I wanted to sob when she said, 'we have no choice.' A very wice woman indeed.

I 'aw'd' when I read of Drambor's anger over the little help Ithilien received, but then - every piece/part of Gondor needed so much... Better to lose one small corner than the whole thing....

OH - and when she said they had died for Gondor as much as any soldier - wise woman! I'd certainly like to meet her!

I smiled and cried when she said you won't find love in the account books...

And heaved a heavy sigh at the ending... I hope Legolas was able to put aside the ghosts... at least for this place.

Again - another well-written, beautiful tale.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/3/2007
How on earth have I missed this one?

It's just beautiful. I love your Legolas, I truly do. I've often seen stories where he indicates that he will carry on the memories of his friends--Gimli, Aragorn, Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Sam--but this is the first one I've come across that shows how his empathetic nature extends to perfect strangers, and to a family long dead and gone. The differences between how mortals and Firstborn view time is so perfectly explored here.

Author Reply: Thanks, Dreamflower. I'm glad you liked it. I think Legolas's empathy with the land would make him susceptible to places touched by tragedy, too - and maybe he needed to acknowledge the ghosts of this place ... But I think he would have been horrified about how cavalier men are with their own past - too many people are dismissed from history and have none to remember them. He sought knowledge of these few and will carry that with him. There might be a very strange mixture of people whose memory he will carry to the Blessed Realm. A thought it could be interesting to pursue some time.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/25/2007
‘My wife was always better at keeping track of who married whom and how many children they had.’ This made me laugh! You should know! :-) BUt I really love Legolas's interest and his surpirse at how so many people are dismissed from history as uninmportant, and nt remembered... t is good for once to see this from the pov of an elf. BEing fewer and living much longer, the weight of memories was not just burden but also solace...

Author Reply: I think the carelessness of men with the past would surprise Legolas - especially early in his close association with men who were no longer on a war footing. I daresay he grew into a better grasp of the weight of so many forebears.

And I'm sure one of the reasons men get married is so that they never have to remember another birthday or write another Christmas card in their lives.

FiondilReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2007
A haunting tale (in more than one sense of the word), Bodkin. Legolas obviously seems greatly affected by the ruins and what they signify. "The past should not be forgotten." And yet it is. How many of us even contemplate the dust of ages that lie beneath our feet as we go about our daily lives, unaware perhaps taht the Dead outnumber the Living. In viewing this one ruin Legolas is able to experience tragedy in the particular rather than in the general, to see in a single human family's death and the loss of even a memory of their existence the fate of all humans over Time: none remember the names of the Dead of civilzations past. Most people are unaware that they even existed.

Legolas of course is befuddled not only by the lack of memory among humans but their seeming uncaring that such memmories are lacking, yet he little appreciates that this may be a factor in our make-up that Eru has planted within us: we are the Guest, as Finrod tells Andreth, and as such, our thoughts are ever to the future, not to the past. It's not that mortals don't matter, especially to other mortals, but we have not been given the gift (or curse) of Memory. As a race we are always sipping from the waters of Lethe, that we do not bind ourselves unwittingly to a Past that cannot have any hold on us for we are destined to leave the Circles of Arda and cannot linger. Our only consolation is that, while individuals are forgotten, the Secondborn retain a memory of themselves as a whole which lives through each succeeding generation.

The discussion between Legolas and Faramir about the lack of names of people in the records, especially of women and children, struck a chord with me as I have done family research and remember the frustration of not having actual names listed, only notations like "wife" or "child". And I'm sure that Legolas is finding it difficult to understand why Faramir takes such lack of knowledge with equanimity, but again he doesn't quite appreciate the necessity of "genealogical amnesia" with which we mortals suffer.

The conversation with Thimbriel is so poignant and full of subtle grief on both sides of the divide. For Legolas... that any Child of Ilúvatar need go unremembered and unmarked as having even lived; for Thimbriel... that the burden of memory must be endured at all. The doll symbolizes all of this for them both. Thimbriel has the right of it when she says, "They lived, and died and moved on.... The past is past - but Dínen's blood still flows among some of those who would follow the Prince back to Ithilien and we will start again...."

"I shall never undertand men," Legolas admitted, almost shyly. "Not fully."
"Why would you?.... Indeed why would you want to?"

Indeed.... yet in groping for understanding, if only a little, Legolas (and by extention all the Firstborn who have ever had dealings with the Secondborn) acts as the Keeper of our memories that we mortals by our very nature cannot be for ourselves... and perhaps that is as Eru wills it.

An excellent story Bodkin.

Author Reply: Thank you, Fiondil. Oh yes, records that say 'John Smith married his wife' - so irritating. And records that only ever list women if they have taken over the tenancy on their husband's death - and children who are born and die between census years with no way of finding which church, of hundreds of possibilities, baptised and buried them.

Legolas would find all that very strange. Elven memory - a gift or a curse? Could depend rather on what was there to recall. But to have him remember - know you will not be forgotten completely ... I think it might be a comfort to Thimbriel.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/17/2007
Well, you know me - give me a story with Legolas as the main character and I am in hog-heaven (where IS that, do you suppose?). LOL But this little story would have captured my imagination anyway from the sheer melancholy, brooding intensity of Ithilien, as experienced by Faramir and Legolas. That the elf became so heart-involved with learning the background of the family that had lived and died at that abandoned homestead just so eloquently shows the vast difference between First and Second-born. Elves have time to remember every tree, every person lost and mourn for them in song while men...well, they are so immersed in the NOW and in such a rush to live that it makes them seem callous and cruel sometimes.

But there are always those, like Thimbriel, who will carry the story of those lost in their memories. (The difference between the old woman's warmth and heart were made so very clear when compared to the dry, dusty archivist, only concerned with the letters on parchment.) I loved following Legolas' search for this family and was so glad he finally found one who could pass on the information to him, and hold his hand and share his sorrow. What a wise woman!

Now the work of turning Ithilien back into that 'garden of Gondor' becomes very personal for the elf. He will keep that doll and as he and those of his people who join him set the forest to rights once more, it will help him to make a frest start, too. That's important, I think. My favorite line (or one amongst many - I could have repeated the whole conversation between Thimbriel and Legolas as my favorite...and when Legolas continued to hold her hand...and she comforted him...well, dig out the hankies for sure!) "The elf turned, his face fair and young, but his eyes surprisingly deep and understanding. 'I have seen Dol Guldur,' he said. 'Show me the worst - and we will decide how to deal with it.'" This was such a beautiful piece, Bodkin...*sniff*...just lovely!


Author Reply: Thank you, Linda. I'm sorry to take so long replying. I think Legolas is still quite new to the business of dealing with men here - and even newer to dealing with men outside a battle situation. And he is finding it very strange that something so recent can be so forgotten. He is fortunate, really, that the events are close enough that he can find a living link - one to whom the dead are people rather than a name on a tenancy agreement or a military levy.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, Linda - and I'm still hoping to read more from you!

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/16/2007
I love the fact that Legolas believes that no matter who a person is or what their life is like, they deserve to be remembered. I like the lengths he went to to find out about the people that lived in the ruined house. The wooden doll was a nice touch.

The old lady you created is wonderful. I would like to have known her.

This is a lovely, well-written story that can teach us all a lesson about the value of each person’s life.

ziggyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/15/2007
Thoughtful, beautiful work.

Author Reply: Thank you, ziggy. I'm glad you liked it.

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/13/2007
This was a touching story and good in the telling. Just the thing an anthropologist or archaeologist would appreciate. :) However, the thing that lea pt into my mind was that Legolas was looking to name - to know - these particular people.

It brought up the old idea that the unknown brings dread and less confidence that one is safe. Putting a name and face on something is to conquer the haunting feeling or that strange forces surround you.

He said at the Paths of the Dead that he did not fear the dead. Because he fears *for* them instead? Does he see restless spirits as houseless? How can one judge that a memoriam will be enough to send them on?

And, you reminded me that elves wield love and not magic. Legolas might just be weaving a subtle spell to put these ghosts to rest - doing it the only way he knows how. A way we humans are not that unfamiliar with.

I did like pointing out the difference between paper and oral historical traditions. But, nursery rhymes and old songs can be just as obscure sometimes as ledgers and writs.

However, seeing the Elf in the aftermath of adventure was very interesting. I really liked his interactions with the humans in the story. The archivist was a fun archetype to tap onto. :)

You always set me to pondering... thanks!

Happy Birthday, Gwynhyffar!

Author Reply: Thank you, Redheredh. Yes, I think coming to know the shades who lingered - acknowledging them - might be the key to releasing them. But I also think that Legolas would have come to find it offensive that people were only listed by their ... taxability. That they didn't matter as people to those who kept the records. And, perhaps, have been rather horrified that human memory is so short and fallible. After all, he is only beginning to learn the reality of the lives of men.

You always go so deep into things! Fascinating observations.

JastaElfReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/13/2007
Absolutely, heart-rendingly beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tale--happy birthday Gwenhyffar!

Author Reply: Thank you, Jasta. I'm glad you liked it.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/13/2007
A lovely but sad look at a land we hear too little about. I love the way that Legolas wants to remember those who made the land what it is. Love to see more of this and of the characters you introduced.

Author Reply: Thanks, harrowcat. I can see the Legolas who could hear the sadness of Eregion sensing a similar - and far more recent - desolation in Ithilien. And wanting to find out about it. Glad you liked it.

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