Reviews For Istari, circa 1040 Third Age

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Reviewer: Himring (Signed)
06/12/12 - 02:11 pm
The Trollshaws are Full of Noises

How good to get a chance to read some more of their ruminations!

And I loved that last sentence.



Author's Response:

Thanks as always, Himring!

Glad you liked the last sentence.  I've been keeping the wizards' musings on their past somewhat minimal, but when I do put them in they're important.  I thought Gandalf needed a moment here...one thing that I find fascinating about his character is that he was least eager to undertake this task, yet was the only one who seems to have actually handled it well.

 

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Reviewer: Keiliss (Signed)
03/21/12 - 09:05 am
Aiwendil and the Lake

*my habitual chronological tendencies have ground their boot into my neck.*

Yesssss, I can sympathise. When I try it my brain rebels: 'Yes but we haven't seen how they got here yet, and this seems to have happened before the other thing but no one mentioned it. And where's the map, there isn't a road from there to here, is there?' Etc.



Author's Response:

Oh indeed!  (Yes, in my optimistic naïveté I thought I might circumvent this and just write a bunch of random neat character vignettes, but that approach simply does not parse in my brain...Ah well, I'm glad it's shaped up to be more detailed and plot-basd than I'd expected.)

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Reviewer: Himring (Signed)
03/16/12 - 02:47 pm
Thoughts upon the Mitheithel

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I like this story a great deal. It gives a particular twist both to the quest and the coming-of-age story. These new-fledged and often helpless and puzzled wizards who are also, at the same time, beings of immense age, knowledge and power both know and don’t know what they are looking for. Everything is new to them as if they were children, but they reflect on it in ways that are often not childlike at all. And their movement within the landscape of Eriador has a kind of randomness to it, but is not an altogether aimless wandering either (which integrates well with your B2MeM prompts and plots).

The five wizards present you with very different problems of characterization. Gandalf and Saruman are extremely well-established characters, of course, Radagast much less so, and the characters of Alatar and Pallando were left virtual blanks. I think you handle the issues well—Olorin and Curumo are believably beginning to develop into Gandalf and Saruman, but are also not Gandalf and Saruman quite yet, in interesting sort of ways. You’ve expanded Radagast in ways consistent with the hints we’ve been given. And you also haven’t neglected Alatar and Pallando either or backgrounded them too much  (which must have been a bit of a temptation, I suspect).

I like both your general approach and many details of the descriptions and the dialogue. I also enjoyed how you worked in some of the B2MeM prompts (especially a couple that I dropped myself) and the allusion to the Left Hand of Darkness.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this story!



Author's Response:

Thanks so much for your review, Himring.  I appreciate that you've given time to this story amid the inundation of B2MEM-related works.

Yes, the paradoxical newness and oldness of the wizards is definitely something I've been going for here.  After all, they helped create this world each after their own fashion, yet they've never quite experienced it from the vantage of the beings living within the world.  The prompts, especially 'weather' and 'landscape,' did dictate their wanderings for qutie a while, which was an advanage of sorts since I did not really know where they would go first (now, I do know where they're going to go hereafter, so the prompts will need to be jammed in there in sometimes creative ways to suit the projected route).

I'm glad Gandalf and Saruman are believable as early "like, yet unlike" versions of the familiar characters.  They're two of my favorites in canon and I quite enjoy getting them to interact in this earlier context.

"And you also haven’t neglected Alatar and Pallando either or backgrounded them too much  (which must have been a bit of a temptation, I suspect)."

Heheh, the temptation (particularly regarding Pallando) has been thoroughly succumbed to in my pre-Sun-and-Moon fanon, as will eventually be apparent in WiPs once I've finalized and put them online.  But that background, as they say, does not come into these tales--nor should it beyond vague hints, you're right, since this story is not really about their past.

Thanks again! =)

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Reviewer: Raksha The Demon (Signed)
03/07/12 - 01:36 pm
Five Come to the Bay of Lhūn

An absolutely delightful portrait of the Istari as they first experience Middle-earth and mortality.  I love the way they are captured here, caught between their ethereal but now hazy origins and their long years of mortal labor.  The characterization is perfect; and the four wizards' reaction to weather is moving and amusing at the same time.



Author's Response:

Thank you, Raksha, I'm so glad you're enjoying the story.  I choose a bunch of Bingo cards to use for this tale that seemed to lend themselves to being experienced for the first time in mortal form...weather, landscape, textures, etc.

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Reviewer: pandemonium_213 (Signed)
03/04/12 - 07:58 am
Five Come to the Bay of Lhūn

Ah ha!  So this is where the square-rigged ship appears!  Well, it works and works beautifully.  Love the already distinctive portraits of the Istari you paint with the engaging dialog (your forté) and descriptive prose that sets the scene.  I can readily see them as well as the sea and the ship in my mind's eye.

This should be fun!



Author's Response:

"So this is where the square-rigged ship appears!"

Indeed!  Since they just crossed a bunch of open sea, and most likely the powers that be put at least a bit of wind at their backs, there seemed no reasonable excuse for lateen rigging.  They really wanted their lateen-rigged ship, but, too bad so sad.

Thanks for your comments, Pandë!  One of my main goals is certainly to portray them each as distinctive characters, so I'm pleased that has come across.  I always very much want to do these fellows justice.  They're my favorites, if one disregards the elite of Utumno and Angband (if one doesn't disregard them, I guess there's going to be a very dramatic death match because I can't choose).

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