Reviews For Marta's Mathoms - BMEM 2011

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/26/11 - 05:31 pm
Bronwe Athan Harthad (Teen) (Tolkien Family)

Marta, you know I loved "Walking Down Narrow Streets," but you have outdone yourself here with this heartwrenchingly brilliant story.  It's such a provocative — and evocative — "What if?"  I don't know how you do it, but you capture JRRT's cadence so accurately.  There's the wizardry in how you convey a father's heartbreak with a certain stoicism.  It's truly remarkable writing, and I must confess, reading it made my eyes misty as I thought of the many parents who have lost their children to war.  Very, very well done!

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:49 pm
Things That May Yet Be - Notes

<i>I have a vague memory that the Mirror was crafted by Fëanor in canon.</i>

In my own research, I have never come across any text that notes Fëanor as the maker of the Mirror so I can only conclude that the text is silent on who crafted the Mirror.  So your assigning it to Fëanor is perfectly fine.  In my own 'verse, it is a woman who crafts Galadriel's Mirror, but as is the case for women scientists of our primary world's past, their contributions are overlooked and forgotten or ascribed to men associated with them.  That's the beauty of these textual silences in Tolkien's legendarium.  Let the interpretations begin!



Author's Response:

I don't think I've read your version, but that sounds interesting, too. I think my thoughts re: Feanor were maybe a misremembered fanon, but I still quite like the idea because it points to a somewhat interesting relationship between Galadriel and Feanor. I quite agree - I love those "textual silences" as you put them.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:39 pm
Things That Yet May Be - Coda

This is a lovely coda with a strong inner narrative from Arwen (and also reinforces that you need to rework that bit in the chapter before this one ;^)).  That she was teased by her brothers and Glorfindel is a very funny prospect, and it's a refreshing touch to see her view it as something that annoyed her rather than a concept she takes too seriously.  Until the young Dúnadan says it. :^)

I'm glad she got back safely and that Galadriel and Celeborn made sound judgment in terms of risk — that the mountain passes were the lesser of two evils.



Author's Response:

The irony is that this meeting ensures she *will* ultimately end up dying in Lothlorien, and under treeless mallorns at that. I would still say it's the lesser of two evils, if it's an evil at all. Glad you liked the interaction here.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:34 pm
Things That May Yet Be - Part 2

It reflects, perhaps, the pure potential of the world unfolding, and it presents it to us in whatever way our minds can best grasp it."

I really like this explanation of how the mirror might function.  

Although we have clearer foresight than Arwen (knowing her fate from the Appendices), her vision as observed by Galadriel and expressed by Arwen herself is a chilling one.

Small bits of crit here:

like the trees she had seen in mannish realms in the depths of winter.

Wouldn't Galadriel have seen leafless trees in the lands inhabited by Elves in Beleriand, i.e., pre-Nenya (assuming that it is Nenya that preserves the leaves on the mallorns)?

"What then? Must I ever live on this side of the mountains? Lothlórien will always be my home, when distance keeps me away from Imladris. I will always be pulled back here."

This is a tad unclear.  First, Arwen laments "Must I ever live on this side of the mountains?"  Then she states that Lothlórien (which is on "this side of the mountains" will always be her home and that she will always be pulled back here.  Based on Galadriel's reply, that Arwen should return to Elrond, leads me to conclude that Arwen wishes to return to Imladris.  If this is indeed the case, then Aren's comments above need re-working.



Author's Response:

Thanks for this, and for your help by email. I always appreciate concrit from you.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:22 pm
Things That May Yet Be - Part 1 (Arwen, Galadriel, Celeborn + Aragorn) (Teen)

Arwen's dream of foreshadowing is a chilling one, and I recall your earlier story in which Galadriel's foresight went awry with Celebrían.  On to the next bit...

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:18 pm
Things Unseen (Elendil + Pharazon) (General)

I have to admit I quite enjoyed Pharazôn railing...

"Your precious Valar seem just the sort of tale a parent might use to scare a misbehaving child. Beautiful maidens who sing trees into being and hang the stars in the sky. Warriors who make the whole world shake when they stamp around in their battles. The perfect scapegoat for shipwrecked mariners and failed crops. Tell me you don't really believe in such things!"

I tend to agree, and this...

To say nothing of the importance of belief for belief's sake

Well, that's a danger isn't it?  Belief for belief's sake can be readily exploited.  Cue Sauron...

Really liked the dialog between Pharazôn and Elendil.  Gives them very distinctive character in a short piece.



Author's Response:

I privately agree with Pharazon. In many ways the discussion he and Elendil are having is the philosophical debate over Pascal's Wager (http://www.iep.utm.edu/pasc-wag/) in another guise. And though I personally decide to believe, I think I would be every bit as resistant as Pharazon, if someone tried to convince me I should for the reasons Elendil cites.

Glad you liked this. The two characters have always interested me.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:08 pm
Three for the Elven-Lords II

I really appreciate the way you've conveyed Círdan's ambivalence about Narya, especially with lessons learned from history as he reflects on the refugee camps of Balar (and thanks for making them squalid; adds a good touch of realism) and the kinslaying.  

 Narya's fire seemed ill-suited to him.

Which fits in well as to the reasons behind his giving it to Gandalf.  Very nice.



Author's Response:

Refugee camps are squalid; there's no use pretending otherwise. I think I learned that touch of realism from reading your fics and other in a similar vein, and I think my writing is better for it. So thank you.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:04 pm
The End of All Things (Maglor, Maedhros) (General)

Having Elrond sing the Noldolantë is inspired!  

 

"I believe we are beyond atonement," he said. "I do not seek forgiveness. But purpose – that at least is still within my grasp. Growth. Completion."

Now that is an excellent way to express this and rings true for me.  Nicely done, Marta.



Author's Response:

That is one of my favorite quotes in the whole thing. I'm glad you liked it!

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
04/23/11 - 01:00 pm
Seductions (Eol/Aredhel) (Teen)

Marta, you've written a dark examination of Aredhel's life in Nan Elmoth.  The atmosphere has a smothering and tense quality to it, and one gets the sense that Aredhel "walks on eggshells" whilst Eöl is around.  It's sad and bleak, and provides a reason for Aredhel's desire to escape with Lómion and return to Gondolin.  Well done!



Author's Response:

Thank you, once again. Given Eol's reactions once he gets to Gondolin, to his son being taken away from him, I do think there were some unhealthy relationship dynamics going on. It's not a big leap (to my mind) to say that they were downright abusive. I am glad this worked for you.

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Reviewer: Ellynn (Signed)
04/23/11 - 04:38 am
The Fraternity of Strangers (General) (Lothiriel, Eowyn)

This is a very interesting dialogue! I like how you portray them - strong, intriguing, intelligent. Well done!



Author's Response:

Thanks, Ellynn! I'm glad they came across that way to you.

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