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Shadows  by Bodkin 24 Review(s)
LamielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/26/2007
This is a truly beautiful piece. I've read a good number of stories about the death of Legolas' mother and his grieving process, enough that I got rather tired of the theme. But knowing the quality of your writing I decided to take the chance anyway, and I am so glad that I did.

Your description of the burned glade is so powerful, and Legolas' words really struck home for me. "'What more could they do?’ . . . ‘What is there left to destroy?’" Such hurt there, it shows more than anything what this glade meant to him. That is just excellent storytelling technique.

There are some other lines where the beauty of the language caught me: "‘If I, in my ignorance, have held you here,’ he murmured, ‘I release you.’ He spread his arms, opening his fingers wide, allowing the slight breeze to pass between them as he turned in a slow circle. ... ‘And, if I have not … if you were never here – then these words will, I hope, release me.’"

Wonderful work. Just beautifully done.

Author Reply: Thank you, Lamiel! Some of the ... symbolism, I suppose, for want of a better word ... just evolved. It's interesting how some of it only occurs to me after I've written something!

I think Legolas would hurt for the forest - and feel guilty for being elsewhere - but the cleansing of the fire and the words of release signify a new chance. Even if it is one tinged with the sadness of sea longing and knowledge of separation. Legolas is not altogether aware of finally freeing the fea of a mother who clung to Arda to save him, I think. Thranduil is, though. He felt the change in the song straight away.

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
I should have guessed you'd come up with a ghost story for Karen's birthday, Bodkin. This was very sad and yet heartwarming. It's always sad when the places we love are destroyed - they can be as special to us as people. And that place was so special to Legolas. How ironic that its destruction is what finally brought him - and his mother - peace.

Author Reply: I wonder what the Grey Company found when they returned ... Were they attacked? If they were, I can't imagine they were very well defended against it. Just in case you fancied looking into it ...

It must have been dreadful for Legolas to come home to the ruined forest - he'd have been bound to wonder if he would have been able to prevent it had he been there. Like the hobbits and the Shire. But it was probably time for him to let this go - after all, elves could mourn for ever ... probably would, given half a chance. Fire cleanses - in a very ruthless way and releasing his childhood trauma would have been good for Legolas, even if it hadn't also released his mother's ties to Arda. I wonder if Thranduil knew exactly what had happened. I expect so - he would feel the change in the song.

Thanks, meckinock.

RadbooksReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Very well done. It was sad and moving in equal turns and a most enjoyable read.

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

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Oh my gosh this was sad, Bodkin! I thought how sad it was that Legolas was amongst all the burnt trees. And then I got to the reason why that area meant so much to him! This was powerfully written. I particularly liked the reference to how Legolas finally understand what his father had said about houseless spirits given his experiences during the war. That was well done.

I am very glad to have read the stories where mother and son and father are reunited in Aman.

Great story!

Author Reply: Bad enough for him to know that the forest burned and he hadn't been there to hold back the flames. (Blow that he was doing something just as / more important, he'd still have felt guilty!) For it to be this place ... one that had haunted his nightmares since he was a child ... Still, he has learned that, sometimes, you just have to let things go - fire cleanses, in a very ruthless way, and the form of words is important.

Yes, I'm glad to know they all reunited. And have happy, if complicated, futures ahead of them! Thank you, elliska.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Ah, that healing for lost mother and son should both have needed to come through this--the loss of the place of memorial. In a way Sauron's own power held her here, and she and Legolas could only both let go because the Ringbearers completed their tasks--to see the Ring borne where It could at last be destroyed; now there is the end to that fear, and Legolas was able to come back here and see this particular place as it is now, and to give over the form of grief that held her here.

And I am so glad Thranduil was able to accept that both would be awaiting him on his own arrival--when at last that should come.

Wonderful! Sad, yet healing--the healthy sorrow of necessary and blessed acceptance rather than the tearing, destructive grief that had been bequeathed by Sauron's own misery shared with the residents of Middle Earth.

Author Reply: Legolas's mother clung to every vestige of life, I think, to save her son - and then, probably, found it impossible to leave. She would have felt it was worth it, in order to protect him. But, between his maturity, the firing of the forest and the completion of Frodo's task, this is a good time to release her. Thranduil is such a power - I daresay he sensed at once that her presence no longer lingered. He would have the strength to accept it, too, and know that his turn would come.

Thank you, Larner.

SoledadReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Awww, this was so sad and so beautiful! It's interesting to see that someone else came to the idea that Thranduil's wife would not go to the Halls immediately - but it seems somehow logical, doesn't it?

Author Reply: Thank you, Soledad. I think that knowing her only child was at imminent risk of his life would have made Legolas's mother ignore any call until she knew he was safe ... and she's very close to the forest - she might well remain. But fire - and ritual - between them they are very powerful. And there is no need for her to remain now. Perhaps she knows it is no longer her world ... It does seem logical for her to have clung to Arda.

NeiliaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Oh, Bodkin, this is lovely, *sniff, sniffle*. What a beautiful way for Legolas to let go of such an old grief. I long to be able to write elves like this. Hugs, Neilia

Author Reply: Thank you, Neilia. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Legolas's mother would only have clung to Arda to save him, I think, so it's only fitting that he should release her. And he has grown a lot over the events of the Ringwar. Still, it's bound to be hard to see the damage that happened at home while he was elsewhere.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
The image of Legolas wandering through the forest, touching the burnt trees and haunted by their song is very powerful. It seems typical of him that he would feel guilt for 'for not being here to answer his home’s need, its call for help.' He's bound to, despite the fact that not even Thranduil could prevent it.

The backstory of his mother's death and his reaction to it is desperately sad, especially the way she stayed among the trees to watch him grow. It's sad, but I loved the idea that it's a combination of the fire and Legolas's words that finally release her. Lovely!


Jay

Author Reply: I think Legolas would have set his mind to the task given him - but, when he came back to Lasgalen, how could he have helped but mourn the home he left? And he is just too responsible not to feel that things might have been different had he been there.

I hope he realises - at some point, once they are all reunited in the Blessed Realm - that the fire that burned the forest was instrumental in freeing his mother to begin that new life. She would have clung to Arda, I think, if in so doing she could save her son ... so it's only likely that only her son's words could free her.

Thanks, Jay.

harrowcatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
This is just beautiful Bodkin

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

ElflingimpReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/25/2007
Just beautiful! Bodkin, it brought tears to my eyes!

Author Reply: Thank you, Elflingimp. I hope the tears were uplifting!

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