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The Time of Probing  by Larner 109 Review(s)
AndreaReviewed Chapter: 14 on 8/28/2013
“He’s a Baggins,” Bilbo stated, as if that were all the explanation required. “He’s a most persistent and proper Baggins, and fully aware of his responsibilities.”

Great statement! But good old Sam proved to be even more persistent than a certain (older) Baggins, at least until he was led out of Frodo's room - for the second time.

Author Reply: I so agree, Andrea! Dear Bilbo, and dearer Sam! He will do his best to see his Master looked after, even when he'd do best to look after himself! Thanks so!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 13 on 8/26/2013
Dear Pippin, always trying to make the others smile - and it worked brilliantly!

It is good to see them all relax a little bit. Frodo is out of danger now, but time is moving on! The attendants of the Council have started to arrive already.

I wished we could give Frodo more time!

Author Reply: Pippin has perfect comedic timing, which can be such a blessed gift when there is such need to ease tension and anxiety. Yes, the attendants are there. I imagine that Bard's great grandson is there to represent his father as King of Dale, and we know that Legolas and Gimli were already there. And Boromir will arrive sometime in the night....

Unfortunately, Frodo isn't granted much time to recuperate now that at last he is out of immediate danger.

Thank you so very much, Andrea!

AntaneReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/26/2013
One of the great reasons to love Frodo is that he is a ordinary (but at the same time extraordinary) hobbit - he is not perfect, none of us are, but he is more relatable and more lovable because of that. And he still knew great love, the greatest that could be known, even if he never knew romantic love. Three cheers for Sam too!

Namarie, God bless, Antane :)

Author Reply: I so agree, Antane. Thank you so for all of the feedback--you know how heartening it can be!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 12 on 8/25/2013
Beautiful! It is like the smith told Sam. Each song is individual, but together they create a powerful harmony that strengthens the protective power of the chain.

Author Reply: Yes, they strengthen the power of the chain, and probably help to turn the intent of the shard to the blessed change that was twisted to turn victims to wraiths. From each as he can imagine strength, and Frodo and the others in the Fellowship are all protected that much the more from the Ring's malice.

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 11 on 8/25/2013
only the shard twisted free from the tongs, trying its best to fall again onto Frodo’s chest!

Oh my! The shard is "alive" like the Ring is! Which means that it chose its way to its target independently. I don't know exactly how Arwen could find out its position, but without her help the chances for Frodo to survive would have been very small.

Author Reply: I doubt that the shard is quite as "alive" as is the Ring--I imagine it to be much like a heat-seeking missile, one that seeks to follow through on the target that it has been tuned to until it can go no further, and then going inert as its programming can no longer be followed. By seeing the shard and perhaps the position of whatever tool was in her father's hand at the same time through the use of scrying and so advising her father as to the one instant when the shard would be in the clear, I'd think it would be much like surgeons today using microfiber cameras to locate obstructions so that they can pinpoint the cutting and do as little ancillary damage as possible. I agree--with this kind of help, Frodo's chances for survival were so much stronger! Thanks so!

walker-skyeReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/24/2013
Having experience with PTSD patients as a therapist, your descriptions of Frodo's suffering fits very well. The pieces of the story, both medically and in character depiction, are believable and harmonize with how the Professor portrays them. I appreciate writers who can fill gaps w/o trying to put their own twist on beloved characters, you've done a sterling job here, putting together an enjoyable story. I've looked forward to each posting, as with other stories, so I'll look for future posts now. Thank you!

Author Reply: And thank you, Walker-skye. I've seen PTSD in a number of friends and associates, and it's not an easy condition to be forced to deal with. I know that my own childhood experiences with doctors and nurses doing things to me "for my own good" that time proved to be unnecessary and even counterproductive left me with white-coat syndrome and almost unbearable needlephobia. How much worse for those who have lived through nightmares for days and days on end!

And I am so glad that you feel I have managed to remain true to the Master's own characterizations. I am so honored!

Thank you again.

TeresaReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/24/2013
Many thanks for such an excellent addition to Middle Earth! Your work, and the work of so many others have given me much pleasure! This story in particular has added greatly to my view of Frodo's situation after Weathertop, and how he and the other characters dealt with his wounding there and later in the quest. It is a pity that Frodo didn't take the advice he gave to Brendi about sharing the time he had with his love no matter how short. He and Narcissa would have been good together. I wish Sam's thought had taken place, that the four of them would have shared a home and raised their families there. Of course, I would have wanted them to still have everyone else in the fellowship stopping by! After all, they were family too! :)

Author Reply: How terrified the others must have been for Frodo's future once they fully appreciated just what lay in store for Frodo should the shard complete its work.

I do agree--Frodo should have given Narcissa the attention they both deserved. But sometimes we are wise for others and foolish for ourselves.

And I can imagine Strider slipping in through the Hay Gate with Tom Bombadil and Merry's collusion to visit Frodo and Sam and their families in the Crickhollow house, bringing his bride with them, all of them enjoying tea, wine, or a light ale together in friendship and love always.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/23/2013
This was a really fun and interesting tale! I do so love stories set in this time period, and this was a good one! I'm very glad that you did not resist the nuzgul, and accommodated the bunny!

I also enjoy your Author's Notes--it's always fascinating to get a glimpse into someone else's creative process.

Author Reply: I know you love this time period, and that's partly why this was dedicated to you! And I am so glad that you do appreciate the notes--sometimes I just have to explore just how my stories all work together. I knew I didn't want to just rework the ideas Shirebound had in her story, so it was interesting to find other reasons for why things worked out as they did. Thanks so very much, Dreamflower.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: Author's Notes on 8/22/2013
I enjoyed this story very much, as well as your Author Notes. How I love the 'probing' we're able to do with the Professor's gaps and hints, and what a joy to be able to flesh them out as we imagine they could be. (And I do believe that's my story "By Chance or Purpose" in which Elrond waited to remove the shard until Frodo had just begun to fade, and the shard became visible 'for eyes to see that can'.)

Thank you for another wonderful, thoughtful tale.

Author Reply: I have edited the notes to acknowledge that the mentioned tale indeed is yours! Knew it was by one of you, but couldn't remember which.

A good deal of the satisfaction of being a fanfic writer is indeed finding gaps to fill and thinking of ways to fill them in keeping with the Master's own writing. Thanks so much for following this one as it's been posted!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 10 on 8/22/2013
How terrible! Like a nightmare that becomes reality! And the worst part of it was when Celebrian had to kill her best friend to save her from becoming a wraith. It is no wonder that after that horror "she lost herself"!

I'm looking forward to reading more about the making of the chain and the protection it will hold.

Author Reply: I've now finished posting the final chapters and the author's notes, so I do hope that you are able to finish this as you can and to see how the chain is adapted to counter the Ring's influence.

I am approaching the chapters in "Stirring Rings" that deal with Celebrian's abduction, so much of this will be expanded upon there. But you are so right--no wonder she had to find her healing elsewhere!

Again, thank you so for all of the feedback.

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