Reviewer: Oshun (Signed)
12/19/11 - 10:44 pm
Labadal and Túrin
Reading any part of the Children of Hurin narrative is like reading a Greek tragedy. I don’t have to like what Tolkien does with the Noldor, but I do understand the necessity given the set up: the awful Oath, the Doom of Mandos, etc., etc. But what in the world did Turin, for example, do to deserve his fate?
A long way around to reach the point I want to bring to this discussion, which is that you in these related ficlets humanized and made bearable and relatable what has often felt intolerable to me. The story of story of Labadal and Turin humanizes Turin. Even Morwen in the context then becomes more understandable. It is interesting also that as a people they are portrayed by Tolkien as a stoic lot: ["steadfast in endurance of hardship and sorrow, slow to tears and to laughter; their fortitude needed no hope to sustain it" (The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men")]. But still they are human and Tolkien gave us Labadal, which you took and returned to us with your added reflection on the characterization and story. I found it moving and greatly appreciated the insights. Lovely work. And done with such economy, such elegant simplicity of language and style. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely pieces with us.
Oh, thank you very much! This is the one and only time I've dipped my toes in Silm territory, and I was quite nervous about it.
When I read of Turin in the Silm, I didn't like him much, and as you say, the story is so unrelentingly *grim*. But in UT and CoH, when I read of his childhood relationship with Labadal, my opinion of him changed-- because I saw that he had once been a generous and loving little child, and then he had all of that just squashed out of him. And the only brightness in his young life was this humble man who took pity on him. For a long time I hoped someone else would write some stories of these two. But no one did, so finally I ventured to try.
I still hope someone else will write some slightly more fleshed out stories of how they became friends...I'd love to read them!