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The Time of Probing  by Larner 109 Review(s)
Reviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/26/2019
Excellent! I'm so glad to have found your story! Really like finding some missing chapters to the original.

PSWReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 9/4/2016
I just really loved all the singing throughout as part of the healing process. It's something I tend to forget about Elves -- but when reminded, it's very much an 'oh, of course!' thing.... I also love Sam, so I'm always happy to read things that focus in some part on him.

I also quite enjoyed your author's note at the end -- very interesting and informative!

Thanks for writing!

Author Reply: Music is part of Elven power, or so I've always felt. After all, it was through what the Elves told that Men learned that Ea was created through the Song of the Ainur. Frodo and Sam and Pippin were first aware of the presence of Elves within the Shire as a result of hearing their hymn to Elbereth, and Bilbo and the Dwarves were welcomed to Rivendell by the singing of the Elves. I am certain that all would invoke song in harmony when such a serious situation as this had to be dealt with.

Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, and Aragorn are of course my favorites, and Sam's POV has always drawn me.

And I'm so glad you appreciate the author's notes. I find myself wanting to explain things so! Heh! Thank you so much.

PSWReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/3/2016
I was going to read the whole story and then review...but I just had to pop in and say how fascinated I was by the image of so many different Elves singing the song over Frodo. I loved the idea that all could participate simply because of what they are --Elves -- not what they *do*. They didn't have to be healers. Bakers, blacksmiths, warriors -- and I loved the pins in Arwen's sleeve. What a wonderful scene!

Author Reply: These are Elves who have become true masters at what they do, and who share the gift of being able to use songs of power. As for the pins in Arwen's sleeve--when Mom had her machine open and was using it, it seemed that there were always pins lying about the house, and she would pick them up and pin them into her sleeve until she got back to a pincushion, a habit I found myself emulating when I began designing doll clothes. Then I had a roommate in college whose skill in sewing was well beyond par, and she did the same. So, it seemed only right for Arwen, too, to do the same. Thank you!

BitsayReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 10/4/2015
Hello Larner, another fabulous story! But I am very curious as to where you have discovered that Elrond had to probe Frodo's wound twice before finally being able to remove the shard of the morgul blade. I have searched in the LOTR text and can only conclude, since your research is always second to none that you must have discovered another source! Thanks!

Author Reply: I got the idea that the wound was probed at least twice in Gandalf's revelation that the shard "could not be found until last night." If it couldn't be found previous to that time and both Strider and Gandalf indicated they were certain such a thing was there within the wound, then they had to have been trying to figure out where it had managed to move to, indicating Elrond probably had done at least one previous probing for the cursed thing.

Hope this answers your question as Tolkien doesn't make a clear statement there was more than one operation attempted, of course.

Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed this story! It makes it worth the writing!

DianaReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 5/3/2014
Hi Larner
I really loved this. I love how you managed to keep the language and style of Tolkien's writing without sounding forced or corny. A very good job indeed!
You've done so well in filling in these gaps of Imladris that it puts me right there and it's all very believable. I also liked how Elrond spoke about Bilbo's poetry. I remember when I read what Lindir said in the book it just sounded too snotty for me and lent itself too much to the idea of overly arrogant aristocratic Elves and I pretty much wanted to kick him real hard. I like a kinder picture of them and that the insecurity was more on Bilbo's part. If Lindir was more the norm then I don't see the point in having anything to do with Elves and be glad to see the back of them (maybe even giving a little push! ;)
I love when people give Arwen a voice in their stories. In Tolkien's story she seems little more than a prize for Aragorn and I never got the feeling she even loved him. Here, she's a real person with something to offer the world other than a Royal bloodline.
I often wonder at what happened to Celebrian and her escort in the mountains. Many of the writers tackle that subject. I like your version a lot.
Well, that's enough outta me.
Thanks for a great read!

Author Reply: Hello, Diana. I am so very sorry I apparently never responded to your comments to my story "The Time of Probing." This story is one I found I'd wanted to write for some time, and it appeared the time had come to actually write it at last. I agree that at least on the surface Lindir's comments about Bilbo's poem appeared quite arrogant, but considering the delight of its meter and rhyming scheme I believe that even most Elves would be pleased with it, and suspected that Lindir was actually teasing Bilbo more than anything.

I like being able to give Arwen more of a definite personality that would attract someone like Aragorn even after he'd left the callowness of youth.

I went into even more detail on the abduction and torture of Celebrian in my longer unfinished epic, "Stirring Rings." Now, if I could only get the next chapter of THAT written and posted!

Thank you for your detailed comments--they mean a good deal, and again I apologize for not responding earlier. How it slipped my attention I cannot say.

Queen GaladrielReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 2/11/2014
What a heart-warming story in spite of the grimness and fear!

It must have been agony for Frodo's friends to see him longing for such an evil thing and finally crying out for it. I couldn't have stood that. Not to mention a lot of fuss, running back and forth to bring the ring, take it away, bring it again...and always have someone guarding it and needing one of the hobbits to carry it because Aragorn and the elves dared not.

Ah, the way hobbits care for each other. I love it. It's so cozy even to read about.

The descriptions of the songs of power, particularly of the blessing of the chain, are beautiful. I found it touching that Bilbo's song of letters and words outlasted all the rest.

And as usual, your author's notes are wonderfully detailed. I would love to see an AU story about Frodo and Narcissa finding happiness with one another.

Thank you for another lovely story!

Queen GaladrielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/11/2014
Ooo! A story that fills one of my favorite gaps that I didn't even realize was here! much for going to bed! *grin* Yes, soothing a loved one, even a four-legged one, can be soothing in turn. And I love the respect the elves give to Sam and Bill both.

AndreaReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/31/2013
My vision of Frodo Baggins is still that of a normal mortal, one who is not and cannot be as perfect as he wishes to be perceived.

Yes, that is my vision, too. A normal mortal and yet a very special one who was chosen because of his special qualities. He does his best to accomplish his task, he would give his life for that. But still he is often frustrated and sometimes even angry with whoever it was that appointed him for that task. It takes his whole life, in Middle-Earth and beyond, to fully understand and accept his role in the quest!

Thank you for this story! I enjoyed reading it a great deal!

Author Reply: And thank you so very much for all of the feedback all through the tale. I have found such pleasure in exploring the nature of Tolkien's characters, and rejoice that he left such latitude for our explorations.

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 15 on 8/30/2013
I've enjoyed this story very much, especially aragorn and Arwen's part in it and hope you will include them in future stories. I love to see Arwen as the strong ,wise woman I am certain she is.

Author Reply: You know that whenever I can I work Aragorn and Arwen into my stories. And I so agree that Arwen must have been both strong and wise to not only stir Aragorn's heart to begin with, but to keep it for so many, many years. Thank you so very much!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 15 on 8/30/2013
After us waiting by his bedside most of the night, for him to wake up and speak for a time with Gandalf and then right back off to sleep again? Now, that is just too bad—too bad indeed!

Old Bilbo voices what the other hobbits only have thought! They must have been really disappointed and maybe a little jealous of Gandalf.

I like Gandalf's idea how to speed up Frodo's recovery - a real recovery, not the unnatural one induced by the Ring! Which is also some kind of evil "twisting"!

Last but not least: I wished Sam's vision could have been true! Rosie and Narcissa sitting in the dooryard of the Crickhollow house, surrounded by many children! That would have been wonderful.

But Sam has already an inkling that it won't be so easy...

Author Reply: Yes, Bilbo doesn't hold back now that he's finally getting on in years. And I'm sure that even in promoting the health of its bearers the Ring was following Its own agenda rather than seeking their benefit in the end. Aromas and sounds can so bring back memories, and Gandalf would wish to bring back those that would work to Frodo's feelings of happiness and well-being, I'm certain. And I, too, wish that in the end Sam's vision had come true. But, as you note, he already has an inkling that it won't be anywhere as easy as they'd wish.

So glad this has pleased you so much. Thanks so!

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