Reviewer: Cathleen (Signed)
06/27/11 - 11:48 am
This was lovely.
Thank you, Cathleen, and thank you for nominating it!!
Reviewer: Dreamflower (Signed)
03/28/11 - 08:44 am
"This wasn’t meant for the widowed."
I like the emphasis of this as the first line. It's like a punch to the reader, right away reminding us that the bereavement of widow-hood is unlike any other sort of bereavement. I also like the subtlety of the paragraph about Merry understanding-- underscoring not only his special bond to Pippin, but letting us know that at some point Merry himself has already suffered this particular bereavement himself.
And I like the idea that Pippin takes a bit of Diamond's graveyard dust-- perhaps he will lie in a stone tomb in a stone city one day, but still their dust will mingle.
Beautifully and sparely told, dear.
Thank you so much! I was thinking, initially, of the funerary custom here, and how it had been designed more or less for hobbits who needed to get on with life. But I think, given that hobbits were inherently monogamous, that after a long, full life together, a widow wasn't expected to get on with life. That coalesced into the "wasn't meant for the widowed," and when I realized how powerful the statement was, I pared away my mental description of the custom and simply replaced it with "this." I'm glad you found it as powerful as I was hoping it would come across.
My mental jury is still out on Merry, but since Diamond is so much younger she probably would have outlived Estella. He needed to understand for Pippin, though, so I left the implication in there. I think the biggest indication (aside from repeating the word "understand" in a context where it clearly means widowhood) that he has been through this is that he didn't follow Pippin himself.
Most of all, though, I didn't want to wallow in Pippin's grief. The dust, as you might remember, comes from the follow-up fic to... Mourning, I think? When Pippin has that pouch of dirt and calmly explains its purpose to Gimli and it completely unsettles him. And even in a stone city, I can't see hobbits fully assimilating those funerary customs. I suspect those sarcophagi were filled with dirt from the surrounding farmlands--and, of course, the pocket-turned-pouch of dirt.
Reviewer: Adonnen Estenniel (Signed)
03/28/11 - 06:19 am
This was touching. The last line was perfect for the scene; it had such a tone of finality, yet it brought everything together with the promise of something more. The scene you painted was wonderful. The image of Merry doing his best to help, of everyone doing their best to help, but all in vain, was beautiful.
Thank you so much for your kind and perceptive review--I wish I could respond in a way deserving.
I think Merry did help, though, by realizing that Pippin needed to be alone and keeping everyone else--including himself--away. It didn't help much, true, but it was all he could do.