Thank you, Michelle! Exciting, frightening, AND though-provoking - well, I think my job here is done! Your pick of favorites is ironic - Sam's and Boromir's scenes were the most difficult to write. I had a tough time putting Sam into such a situation, so that one was hard emotionally, I guess. Boromir just refused to cooperate for weeks!
Yes, Gimli's chapter is different. It wasn't intentional at first. It's what first came to me, and I decided to stick with it. I didn't realize until much later the effect it would have on the story as a whole, which you summed up nicely. It infuses some hope into a story that dishes out a heavy dose of despair. I think we all need that.
You left me open to do some Shameless Self-Promotion (tm), so I will add that I just finished a full-length AU story, With Hope and Without Hope, where the Three Hunters get captured on their way to freeing the hobbits. My reviewers have agreed it's not your usual Three-Hunters-captured story. So I recommend it!