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37 Comments

 
 

Fallen

DrummerWench - 15 Jul 08 - 10:32 PM

General Comment

Excellent update, Aliana!

Your story and characters are so strong.  You keep the tension up very well.  I have really enjoyed this tale!

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DrummerWench - 28 Jan 12 - 9:56 AM

General Comment

Your recent updates are so lovely and touching.  The story and different characters with their fraught or less so relationships are just as compelling as always.  I love the continuing development of your MC, and her aspirations.  What a terrific job!

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Aliana - 29 Jan 12 - 2:48 PM

General Comment

Thanks, DW!  Glad you're still enjoying the character and relationship development.

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DrummerWench - 02 Mar 12 - 9:07 PM

General Comment

Congratulations on finishing! (Though I am sorry I'll not be seeing any more updates.)  This is such a terrific tale--loved the characters, plot, dialog, interactions.  Great job all round!

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DKP - 18 Feb 12 - 11:41 AM

Ch. 1: Prologue: Sons and Daughters

In some ways, I almost miss the melancholy retrospective of your initial prologues, and yet this works very well to lead us into the story proper and the events that follow. And it gives us an important anchor for Narrator, a reference point of what she has lost before the battles and sieges even begin. I'm so glad to see this story continuing once more!

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DKP - 18 Feb 12 - 1:09 PM

Ch. 5: One of Us

Oh, my goodness, I'd forgotten all about her assisting Elladan! Which just goes to show how powerful other elements of the story are, that this interlude did not stay in mind... The description of how his healing is done is simply marvelous, "building up a tale with his hands and voice."

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DKP - 18 Feb 12 - 6:18 PM

Ch. 9: Rain

Even when you know what is coming from past readings, this chapter is still a kick in the gut. It's a bitter draught, the things the story tells an author to do to her characters...

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JunoMagic - 25 Nov 05 - 2:34 AM

Ch. 10: Histories

I finally caught up with the story. I can see why it was so difficult to write this chapter, but I have to say, it's really excellent.

The way you interweave the past with the present, the way Valacar and your protagonist interact - halting, both wounded though in very different ways...

What I also admire is how dreary and realistically you portray the culture of Minas Tirith, the prejudices and narrow mindedness of the society, how little individual choices of life and learning there are.

I hope you find the time to continue the story soon.

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JunoMagic - 30 Apr 06 - 8:38 AM

Ch. 11: Remain and Defend

At the beginning the chapter feels almost too smooth for what has happened in the previous chapters.

However, as the chapter moves on, the tension increases with every little incident that makes the protagonist lose what composure she has left.

I have to admit that I liked the last paragraph best of the chapter. Very insightful both for how Minas Tirith can be perceived as a place, and how our perception of a place may change with what happens to us. 

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JunoMagic - 30 Apr 06 - 8:49 AM

Ch. 12: Besieged

Ahhh, it's heart-wrenching to see how all that misery and fear is leading up to the Dawnless Day... how collective and individual fates collide and interweave on the way to the abyss.

It will be interesting to see how, and if, the threads of destiny you have woven in your story get disentangled again after the war. 

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DKP - 19 Jun 06 - 11:42 PM

Ch. 12: Besieged

I was rereading this chapter and I'm still heart-broken for your healer. All of the short scenes were well done leading up to the departure to Mordor, but that last one with Beren just hurts. I hope she can take Firiel's advice soon and be kinder to herself.

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oshun - 23 Feb 12 - 6:59 PM

Ch. 12: Besieged

I am really surprised that I had not already read this story. I keep thinking I surely started it years ago! I am reading it now and really enjoying it. My first interest in fanfiction was Minas Tirith during this period. You do it beautifully. About half-way through now. I will give a better comment when I finish.

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Dwimordene - 04 Jan 07 - 9:08 AM

Ch. 15: Brave

Hi Aliana,

I have just caught up in a rather whirl-wind reading tour. Too many good, terrible things to even list--magnificent!

I will try to give some more substantive comments later, but I did want to mention now how much I've enjoyed this. It's a just beautifully done.

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 14 Jan 07 - 11:54 AM

Ch. 15: Brave

Hi Aliana,

Back to those more detailed comments I said I would leave.

I've been so impressed by the way you handle your nameless protagonist, and this set of chapters really sealed for me the way she sees herself as in some sense essentially nameless. When she carelessly mentions how she's been called so many names of mothers, wives, daughters, etc., by dying men that her own name isn't important, that pinned her for me as someone who seems to see her place in life as a faceless place or as disappearing into other people, as a sort of strange ghost. Obviously, there's a certain amount of trauma speaking, too, that encourages that perspective--having been raped, she does in a way want to disappear and not be seen by anyone, friends or enemies.

The complications with Valacar are fascinating. I like his somewhat clumsy efforts to help, or to get her help, and the way his own "homeless" (that is, workless) status is used to complicate matters between the protagonist and him. It seems as though they should be closer, and yet his decision in an emergency and the fact that he is a man, and not one who's ever worked on the wards, as was observed, make it hard for them to interact. I was intrigued to learn of his past with Aradir, too, and it was told so subtley--I suppose this means he's not likely to be more than a fatherly/elder brotherly colleague figure to our heroine. More room for Beren, and I liked how that was handled. That initial, hard "rejection", coming not from the protagonist but from traumatic reaction was painful to read, but when she sought him out just before his company left, I thought it worked perfectly. A little awkward, oblique, and yet it seems clear tht the important part was communicated. At least Beren has that to hold on to.

I am curious whether the rapist will be caught before the host returns. We now have a situation where our narrator is armed, but as that poor, tragic boy from Rohan made clear, it's a weapon meant to serve as an escape from the depredations of orcs, not as a weapon directed against the enemy. I don't think she'd use it on herself prior to that--she's too tough (and I loved her irate rebuttal of Elloth--"It takes more than that [broken romance] to kill us!" It also takes more than rape to kill women (ya hear that Tolkien!?))--but I do wonder whether she'll end up having to dispatch the orc-in-human clothing at some point.

Beyond that, I am envious of your skill in weaving together the timescape, which, coming through the first person, can jump back and forth without warning. Yet it never feels fragmented. Every episode helps set up others or clarify what's past.

Excellent work!

Dwim

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Shasta - 26 Jan 07 - 9:02 AM

Ch. 15: Brave

You have such a wonderful style of writing! Having just read all 16 (technically 15) chapters of this story, I am seriously impressed by the understated, yet emotional tone you use for the unnamed OC narrator. 

 That Rohirric rider has become one of my favorite characters. 

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Adaneth - 27 Jan 07 - 8:59 AM

Ch. 15: Brave

This is wonderful.

Well, not wonderful.  You know what I mean.  Smile  You write very powerfully.

Looking forward to the rest of it.

Cheers--

Adaneth

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Aliana - 27 Jan 07 - 6:14 PM

Ch. 15: Brave

Thanks, Shasta!  I'm glad you like the emotional tone.  I really like the Rider, too--he's one of those characters who just sort of came out of nowhere.

Best,

Aliana 

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Aliana - 27 Jan 07 - 6:15 PM

Ch. 15: Brave

Thank you, Adaneth! I understand, hehe; I'm glad you're enjoying the story overall, if perhaps not the events therein.

Best,

Aliana

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DKP - 22 Oct 07 - 11:35 PM

Ch. 16: First Circle

Hello, Aliana,

You've outdone yourself. What an astonishing, surreal chapter... Nothing turned out as I suspected it would, and yet now I wonder how I could have ever thought it would be different.

Perhaps I'll have more coherent thoughts later, as I'm still reeling. I hope you have more time to write now, as I very much want to see how she (hopefully!) recovers.

Thanks for a powerful read,

Denise

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DKP - 04 Mar 08 - 4:46 PM

Ch. 17: Gone (Interlude)

I'd first read this a while back, and it still awes me: what an astonishing interlude, carrying the inexorable grinding of time among these characters we love and hate, their paths crossing in future and past. Amazingly, I think my favorite snippet is the injured soldier, because it's (I think) the first look we've ever had inside his head, and he's *gasp* human - or was, once.

Great writing, as always. I really enjoy these interludes and the way they can illuminate your people in such wonderful ways, outside the scope of Fallen's tale itself.

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DKP - 30 Aug 08 - 9:39 AM

Ch. 18: Lighter

An odd sort of limbo: After everything that happened in Ch. 17 you'd think she'd feel this tremendous relief/weightlessness, but of course she can't. One, what happened is more complicated than that, and Two, there's still the waiting, the worrying about the ones you care about. You handle the strange atmosphere wonderfully, as always, and again when it ends. The final scene - I liked very much that it was Elloth.

I love the interaction with Bergil. There's so many layers I can think about in just this scene: the "pat" answer unthinkingly given, the way youth is no longer young when it survives a war, that this innocence is such a terrible loss that we try to preserve at least the illusion of it – and more for the adult's sake than the child's, at that. One question: Is this the day after Ch. 17 ends? Narrator refers to the gate falling as being yesterday, but Bergil says "the other day". Very small detail; I took it as being the very next day after the gate, before the man she rescued dies.

Love her meeting the Haradic man and his Dol Amroth guardian; the hard questions of why we go to war are seldom completely answerable. Maybe this will help her understand Beren's war experiences, too.

Amazing encounter with Valacar on the wall. *I* had vertigo, even if she didn't. "I would have married you." Oh, gosh, loved it; it was an excellent touch to a very taut and haunted conversation. Theirs is such an inspired relationship...

I can't wait to see her next conversation with Rohirric Guy, and when Beren comes home, of course, and *if* Laeron makes it back. My only complaint: please update more quickly! I promise to then review more quickly! Deal? :)

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EdorasLass - 20 Jan 12 - 10:49 AM

Ch. 18: Lighter

I am so very out of practice with thoughtful commenting, m'dear, so we'll see if I can get the hang of it again. J

 

I am sure it will not surprise you in the least to find that I am really fond of the discussion with the Amroth ..ian? soldier and the Southron.  I like that the soldier doesn't seem to have any prejudices at all towards the Southron, and does, in fact, seem to be worried about the other man's health.  I'd think that having someone more or less looking out for you after you were both just killing the hell out of each other on the battlefield  would be  moderately to extremely confusing.

 

And of course I like Narrator's very natural reactions to the Southron: apprehension and curiosity, and the desire to see him as something horrible, rather than a fallible human being like anyone else.

 

Dude, don't make people stand on the upper walls of Minas Tirith. It makes me nauseous and paranoid. J  But hurrah Valacar showing up and having no visible reaction, which of course is a) the exact thing to do in the situation, and b) very Valacar.

 

 

What was it like, when you killed that man?"

"It wasn't like anything."
"You can't mean that."

 

This is a lovely little exchange. I like Narrator is insistent that it has to mean something, because of course it meant something deeply psychological to her when she killed a man. While Valacar seems to have compartmentalized it neatly, just filed it away as no different than giving a patient a slightly-too-large dose of painkiller in order to keep the patient from suffering. Not

meaningless, of course, but not necessarily personally meaningful.

 

 It is interesting that she classifies that particular action of Valacar's as "killing", when IIRC, she didn't characterize other forms of euthanization that way.  Inducing an overdose is mercy; using a knife to accomplish the same thing for the same reason is not. And I'm also amused that either she doesn't think it a particular personal question, or she just doesn't care.

 

And HA the look on Valacar's face when she says  "I would have married you." J  Yes, when things like that come out of her mouth, it's no wonder he doesn't know what to say to her anymore.   I'd like very much to know how she was long before the Siege, when she was new to  training in the Houses and much younger.

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Aliana - 20 Jan 12 - 2:12 PM

Ch. 18: Lighter

Hi, EL!

 

I like that the soldier doesn't seem to have any prejudices at all towards the Southron, and does, in fact, seem to be worried about the other man's health. 

 

I'm glad you like them; I like them too!  I might need to write some more about them, in fact.

 

I'd think that having someone more or less looking out for you after you were both just killing the hell out of each other on the battlefield  would be  moderately to extremely confusing.

 

Yeah, seriously, though it would certainly give him a good impression of the Gondorians as human beings.  I imagine that Sauron fed all sorts of lies about the Gondorians and Rohirrim to the Haradrim, Khandians, etc.  (Just as the Gondorians, or at least Narrator, seem to be misinformed about the enemy.)  This is a good opportunity to set the record straight, on both sides.

 

Dude, don't make people stand on the upper walls of Minas Tirith.

 

But it's so much fun!  Valacar, however, seems to agree with you.

 

This is a lovely little exchange. I like Narrator is insistent that it has to mean something, because of course it meant something deeply psychological to her when she killed a man.

 

Well, to be completely fair, she may or may not have unnecessarily maimed him.  She didn't kill him, outright.  Splitting hairs, I know.  :p  I'm glad you like this conversation, though I think I may end up cutting it down a bit (not that exchange, though) as it now reads as quite long and rambly, to me.  I wouldn't say that it meant nothing to Valacar, necessarily; he just might not be willing to share it with her.

 

It is interesting that she classifies that particular action of Valacar's as "killing", when IIRC, she didn't characterize other forms of euthanization that way. 

 

This was actually a discussion several us had on the forums when that issue was first raised, re: passive versus active euthanasia and how we classify it.  (Interesting, but rather grim, needless to say.)  My views on the issue are still rather grey, even if Narrator's are not, in this case; though I tend to be sympathetic to Valacar.

 

Yes, when things like that come out of her mouth, it's no wonder he doesn't know what to say to her anymore.   I'd like very much to know how she was long before the Siege, when she was new to  training in the Houses and much younger.

 

To be fair to her, she probably wouldn't say things like that to anyone besides him.  Theirs is quite a strange little relationship.  I would say that when she was younger, she was, um, much more normal.  A very sweet kid.

 

Thank you very much for your detailed comments--quite thoughtful, indeed!

 

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Adaneth - 29 Sep 08 - 5:03 AM

Ch. 19: If What They Say is True

Hurray, another installment of Fallen!  I'm glad you're still working on this, Aliana, even if things have slowed down.  (Boy, do I know how that is.)

The bits about the houses--both the untouched and the demolished--were excellent, and I particularly liked this:

The little fountain was still flowing, miraculously, I thought. I imagined it trickling in its steady way all throughout the Siege, with nothing but the walls of the square to hear the noise of the water.

Cheers--

Adaneth

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DKP - 30 Sep 08 - 10:23 AM

Ch. 19: If What They Say is True

Another marvelous chapter, Aliana. I always love the subtle way everything is brought out, but perhaps particularly in this chapter - it fits the muted view that the narrator seems to have of the world right now. She's not quite part of what everyone else is doing, still disconnected. Just things like this are telling, but we're left to make of it what we may:

I remember especially the older people, standing quietly while the others shouted and laughed around them.

The two different visits to two different houses were excellently handled. Yes, exactly - I thought her feelings were perfectly represented, and you do such an smooth job of show, not tell.

"Well," he said. And then he smiled. "Good girl..."

Have I mentioned before how I love Rohirric Guy? That was a great conversation, and I hope we find out what happens to him, too. :)

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EdorasLass - 20 Jan 12 - 12:36 PM

Ch. 19: If What They Say is True

I like that Narrator's reaction to finding her home in one piece is to clean clean clean and set everything back to as normal a state as possible; I'm particularly fond of her hanging up the clothesline, even though there's no laundry, simply because that's where it goes.

 

I also very much like the soldiers from Lossarnach; I would imagine that their good spirits derive somewhat from the fact that they know they're going home soon, and that all should be well there; no danger of Nazgul having dive-bombed their houses.  They'll be able to almost literally put the Siege behind them, won't have to look out and see the evidence of it and the War on their doorsteps until nature covers up the signs of battle. Of course they'll still have the PTSD, but they don't have the Pelennor and massive damage to their City staring them in the face every single day.

 

And Narrator's sense of guilt and shame at finding the other girl's house a wreck are perfect; she can't even take refuge in a white lie about damage to her own house, because the other girl already knows there wasn't any.  I would be inclined to guess that hearing Narrator's house came through unscathed is what gave the other girl the fortitude to go check out her own.

 

….you have a lot of unnamed characters, missy.

 

I'm kind of on Narrator's side in thinking that the King should see all of this damage and ruin the way it is, without anything having been tidied at all. I mean, I know that Aragorn already feels deep responsibility for Gondor and Minas Tirith, and he doesn't really need to have the facts of the Siege driven home visually, because he's well-aware of what the people went through, but…. yeah, I can understand where it would rankle, seeing workers cleaning up on account of the King, as if his Kingly eyes should be shielded from the physical scars inflicted by the War.

 

I've probably said this before, but I do so love the Rohirric guy. Straightforward, a little prickly, perhaps unexpectedly understanding and, IMO, a little weirdly comforting.  Also maybe younger than I thought, the way he's going after those cakes, or perhaps he's just starved for fresh baked goods.  J

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Aliana - 20 Jan 12 - 2:43 PM

Ch. 19: If What They Say is True

I like that Narrator's reaction to finding her home in one piece is to clean clean clean and set everything back to as normal a state as possible; I'm particularly fond of her hanging up the clothesline, even though there's no laundry, simply because that's where it goes.

Thanks!  I had fun writing that part, if only because it involved her doing something other than have an awkward conversation with one of the other characters.

They'll be able to almost literally put the Siege behind them, won't have to look out and see the evidence of it and the War on their doorsteps until nature covers up the signs of battle. Of course they'll still have the PTSD, but they don't have the Pelennor and massive damage to their City staring them in the face every single day.

Highly plausible; unless, of course, they decide to settle down in MT, after all.

I would be inclined to guess that hearing Narrator's house came through unscathed is what gave the other girl the fortitude to go check out her own.

Could be; she's also a strong girl, in her own right.

….you have a lot of unnamed characters, missy.

I know.  Sigh.  I just always feel so ridiculous when I'm making up Middle-earth OC names.  They never sound right to me.  So I avoid it whenever humanly possible.

 …. yeah, I can understand where it would rankle, seeing workers cleaning up on account of the King, as if his Kingly eyes should be shielded from the physical scars inflicted by the War.

Glad that sentiment rang true, for you; I was trying to come at it from the perspective of someone who would know close to nothing about Aragorn beyond rumors, as the average citizen would at that point.  While it's unfair to him, it's also somewhat understandable, I think.

I've probably said this before, but I do so love the Rohirric guy.

Thanks!  Originally I only intended to write him for that one scene in which he was introduced, but he just sort of kept cropping up.  I'd say he's a few years older than Narrator, so early to mid-twenties.  (Which was my age when I started writing but which seems so young to me now, and I feel really kind of terrible about it.)

 

 

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Dwimordene - 21 Dec 11 - 8:39 AM

Ch. 20: Fallen

It's been some time since I've read Fallen, so I went back and read about four chapters in order to be able to read this one. I'm also so pleased I read the sidebar about Laeron becoming Valacar's apprentice, because then this chapter to could be the punch in the chest it deserves to be.

I love that you can make silences say so much in all your dialogues - what's actually said is very little, but it's the point of a much larger, unspoken meaning and the impact is fantastic. The Narrator and her fears about her home, about her ability to say 'yes' to Beren should he return, and the doubled up fear that his return might perhaps be more difficult to bear than his permanent absence because of what she's gone through.

Valacar's outburst was spectacular - and if he hadn't been so rigid before, it wouldn't have been as effective. Poor man, and what a final toast!

If there is one thing Fallen deserves to be recognized for - and there are so many things, but picking just one - it's that the process of rebuilding is shown for the complicated, difficult, painful and wonderful process that it is. Nothing is easy, everything is in flux, and yet Gondor's greatest generation probably couldn't conceive of willing it to be otherwise.

Sorry about the disjointed, rambly nature of this review, but suffice it to say, I really loved this chapter, and am glad to see Fallen's story grow once more.

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Aliana - 25 Dec 11 - 3:32 PM

Ch. 20: Fallen

Hi Dwim,

So pleased to hear that this chapter packed an emotional punch.  I'm also glad that the pause-ridden dialogue is effective--those emotionally repressed Gondorians, I tell ya: sometimes it's hard to get them to talk.

And yes, poor Valacar was long overdue for some kind of emotional outburst, with or without this particularly terrible impetus.  His benediction is actually a slightly modified version of the last line of the Mourners' Kaddish, a prayer for the dead that never mentions death.

Thanks for your comments on the theme of rebuilding--that's something that's been on my mind for the last few chapters at least, and you put it very eloquently.  In canon, Aragorn's return to Gondor is more or less portrayed with unalloyed joy, which makes sense for readers who've been following him since Bree.  But I think that most ordinary people would definitely also feel grief and trepidation as part of the mix.

Best,

Aliana

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EdorasLass - 20 Jan 12 - 2:05 PM

Ch. 20: Fallen

It's like Narrator is trying to cajole Valacar into marrying her so she doesn't have to deal with Beren and any possible feelings she might have for him. The utter straightforwardness of her "I know you're into guys, but you're nice to me and I admire you professionally," is kind of hilarious, even while her screwed-up motivation is painfully understandable. Married to Valacar= no dealing with having to tell Beren what's happened =no chance of discovering Beren isn't as understanding as you'd hoped.

 

  If you were inclined toward, you know, destroying your characters' lives, I would read an AU on Narrator and Valacar's marriage of convenience. But then, you know how I am. J

 

I totally HAD A FEELING you were going to do that, but that makes you no less of a giant weaselhead.  Yes. Weaselhead.  Although I suppose it was [narratively] inevitable, Narrator losing someone she's known for years.  And Elloth's reaction is very nice; blaming herself, because he fancied her, and would have listened to her if only she'd tried harder.

 

 

OMG you named the Rohirric guy! ^5!  That was very brave of you. J

 

The remembrance ceremony is lovely, and I am very fond of the way Valacar doesn't say anything until the end. That is one tightly-bound man, my friend;  sometimes I just want to shake him to make him react more deeply because omg you need to EMOTE something sometime!

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Aliana - 20 Jan 12 - 3:14 PM

Ch. 20: Fallen

Married to Valacar= no dealing with having to tell Beren what's happened =no chance of discovering Beren isn't as understanding as you'd hoped.

And separate bedrooms, of course.  I'm glad that part was effective for you.

If you were inclined toward, you know, destroying your characters' lives, I would read an AU on Narrator and Valacar's marriage of convenience. But then, you know how I am.

Haha, I actually did kick around that idea for a while.  I think it involved her getting pregnant, and Beren dying at the Black Gate, and was, as you can imagine, completely miserable.  But then, I go in for that sort of thing, don't I?

I totally HAD A FEELING you were going to do that, but that makes you no less of a giant weaselhead.  Yes. Weaselhead.

*Puts on weaselhead hat.*  Yes, I know.  But you didn't think for a moment I was going to let them all make it out alive, did you?

OMG you named the Rohirric guy!

I know, I finally caved.  The idea that Narrator would have had all of these intense conversations with him, and never think to ask his name, was just getting too ridiculous.

I am glad you liked the "wake" at the end, along with Valacar's contribution.  I really enjoyed writing it.

That is one tightly-bound man, my friend;  sometimes I just want to shake him to make him react more deeply because omg you need to EMOTE something sometime!

Wait, having him destroy his dining room set was not emotive? ;)

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DKP - 19 Feb 12 - 11:20 PM

Ch. 20: Fallen

You can just sense Narrator's healing, even before she actually admits to being hungry. Thank goodness! I love the wager with Bergil - I hope it crops up again. And I can totally get not being sure herself who she wants to win.

Valacar is quite the safe haven, isn't he? In all sorts of ways. I notice she doesn't feel revulsed any longer. Very astute observations of her, too: about the possible (un)conscious motivations of the East Company man, and that all of us have that darkness potential.

Somehow, I just knew what you were going to do and we'd not see our young man again. Something about his scene in the interlude, I think. Great reaction from Valacar, I agree with another commenter about the emotional punch it delivers; and I loved how Narrator could grieve for someone else she cared about. Lovely wake, and for the first time I think I actually like Elloth!

Seamless continuation, too. :)

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Aliana - 20 Feb 12 - 9:30 AM

Ch. 20: Fallen

I love the wager with Bergil - I hope it crops up again.

Yes. :)

Valacar is quite the safe haven, isn't he? In all sorts of ways.

He certainly is, whether he wants to be, or not.  Re: Narrator's receding homophobia, I imagine that she follows a similar trajectory that a lot of people do in RL.  That is, because she likes and admires him as in individual, it becomes harder for her to be judgmental, even if at the end of the day she still doesn't understand him.  I hope it's realistic, in this context.  (Incidentally, I could write these two together to the end of time, I think.  They have such an odd little relationship.)

Very astute observations of her, too: about the possible (un)conscious motivations of the East Company man, and that all of us have that darkness potential.

I think that realizing that has also been part of her coming-of-age process.  Valacar knows that, too, even if he tries to convince her otherwise.

Somehow, I just knew what you were going to do and we'd not see our young man again. Something about his scene in the interlude, I think.

Yes, I did write that with a bit of an epitaph-ish touch, I think.  Also, because it's me, you just know that not everyone is going to make it out alive.

Great reaction from Valacar...

And fun to write (I'm a horrible person).

Lovely wake, and for the first time I think I actually like Elloth!

Haha, she'll be glad to hear that.  Aside from Narrator, she's probably the character who changed the most over the course of the story.

Seamless continuation, too. :)

Thanks!  Easier than I thought it would be, in the end.

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DrummerWench - 02 Jan 12 - 10:13 PM

Ch. 21: Civilians

I'm so happy to see this moving forward once more!  And just as tense and fraught as ever!  Great job with the dialogue and character relations.

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Aliana - 05 Jan 12 - 7:47 AM

Ch. 21: Civilians

Thanks, DrummerWench!  I'm glad that you enjoy the dialogue and the character interactions; it's been a long haul, but thank you for hanging in there with me.

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EdorasLass - 20 Jan 12 - 2:32 PM

Ch. 21: Civilians

Oh, this is an oddly …relaxed? chapter, in spite of the strong and heavy emotions running throughout.   It's the exhalation of a breath the characters [and we] have been holding for so long that even with its intensity, it's a relief, if that makes sense.  It's the first chapter that isn't racheting up the tension and dread.

 

I love the way Beren just falls to pieces, and how he whiplashes back to [slightly hysterical]  laughter, how still and non-flirty Elloth is, how she wants to know all the details of what happened at the Black Gate – I can't tell if she's completely clueless as to how tasteless it is to ask a detailed report from men who were fighting for their lives just days ago, or if it's more she's trying to punish herself for not keeping Laeron from going and is therefore not taking anyone else's feelings into consideration.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee She began: "In a hole in the ground there lived a perian…"  that's just perfection.

And finally Narrator just unloads all her worries and traumas onto someone else  - that has been a long time coming, although I fully understand why she likely wouldn't be able to allow herself to do it until now, when the War's come to a close and there's actually the chance that everything's going to be all right.  Hurrah for Beren's reaction! Not that I had any doubt, mind, but hurrah, nonetheless, and frankly, if you're going to hear a whole truckload of terrible things that have happened to the woman you'd like to marry, I think that just a few days' after saving the world would be the time to do it.

 Because of course she's right, It's the past, and it still lingers terribly, but it's all the past and there's nothing we can do about it, and there should be no-one who can understand that better than a man who's just returned from the Black Gate alive, and mostly intact. Physically, at least.

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Aliana - 20 Jan 12 - 3:44 PM

Ch. 21: Civilians

It's the first chapter that isn't racheting up the tension and dread.

I KNOW, ISN'T IT WEIRD??  (Glad you enjoyed it.)

I'm also glad that Beren's and Elloth's emotions in this chapter rang true, for you--I remember struggling with both of them for a little while.

I can't tell if she's completely clueless as to how tasteless it is to ask a detailed report from men who were fighting for their lives just days ago, or if it's more she's trying to punish herself for not keeping Laeron from going and is therefore not taking anyone else's feelings into consideration.

More the latter, I suspect.  And yes, I loved being able to whip out that Hobbit quote; hope it wasn't too cheesy.

Not that I had any doubt, mind, but hurrah, nonetheless, and frankly, if you're going to hear a whole truckload of terrible things that have happened to the woman you'd like to marry, I think that just a few days' after saving the world would be the time to do it.

Thank you!  I had a conversation with my beta about whether Beren flipped out sufficiently at the things she told him.  However, we decided that since he had just witnessed the almost-ending of the world and until recently was resigned to the idea of his own death, there was not a whole lot she could tell him that would cause him to lose it, for better or for worse.

...and there should be no-one who can understand that better than a man who's just returned from the Black Gate alive, and mostly intact. Physically, at least.

Yep.  Plenty of PTSD to go around, after all. :p  Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments today!  Really made my day.

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