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119 Comments

 
 

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

MerryK - 21 Mar 07 - 9:42 PM

General Comment

Oh, Dwim, I finally got around to reading this...and now I am in an absolute mess emotionally. I know I read it far too fast, and shall have to go back and read it more thoroughly, so all I can say now is: thank you, thank you, for not killing Eowyn or Theoden or Denethor. I am not sure if I can forgive you for my other three favorites' ends *sob*...but likely will after a good rereading. Wink

~MerryK

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 22 Mar 07 - 1:08 PM

General Comment

Hi MerryK,

 I am in an absolute mess emotionally.

Well, I guess that means I'm doing my job to shake the reader up and cut away the familiar certainties of the story. And I'm glad you're not planning to cast me into Utumno just yet for the demise of your three favorites!

 Thanks for your feedback! I do appreciate it!

Dwim

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Peregrin_Ionad - 17 May 07 - 7:37 AM

General Comment

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!! this story is so CRUEL!!!! Admittedly, I did read most of the comments before hand, but I wasn't expecting quite a few of the plotlines that formed!!

Peregrin Ionad.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 18 May 07 - 4:11 PM

General Comment

Hi Peregrin Ionad - glad you've been kept guessing! And I'm pleased the story at least is capable of provoking such a reaction.

TTFN,

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Nath - 30 Aug 10 - 11:45 PM

General Comment

*applause* on bringing the tale to a successful end Cheers!Grin I enjoyed it a lot.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 31 Aug 10 - 4:57 AM

General Comment

@Raksha - Phooey. Well, I've been uncertain how well that epilogue would read, so I'll continue thinking about it and see if I can't clarify matters.

The idea, however, was that the reader learns whether the quest succeeded only in the epilogue because Frodo is so far gone by the end of the chapter that he just doesn't know. Because he doesn't know, however, it should not be a foregone conclusion that it succeeded or that failed.

Still needs some work, though, it would seem. Thanks for your feedback!

@ Nath - glad you enjoyed! Thanks for reading all this time.

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 22 Dec 11 - 10:37 AM

General Comment

That's an eerie moment, echoing the famous Orc counting contest from LOTR.  I'm glad that Legolas has the concern and prospective friendship of Eomer, if he will only avail himself of it.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 11 Dec 11 - 7:03 PM

Ch. 1: The Arrow of Fate

Picking this up for the MEFAs, and I'm thinking I will comment as I go.  I just came off of Citrine's "Worth," another AU hinging on a certain character's premature death, so it's fair to say that he's not having a good day in Laud-land.

I find it interesting that, as in Aiwendiel's "A Bit of Rope," the moment of divergence from canon becomes a kind of echo in the narrative, recognized by Gandalf.  Something changed, and even though he "cannot see all ends," he knows that somehow it is going to play out differently than it should have.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 13 Dec 11 - 5:42 PM

Ch. 3: Falling

This was a shocking chapter, and I don't mean in some juvenile "Oh no, not adult sexuality!" sense.  It is shocking for who the two people are, and for the context under which it occurs, and the world in which it is happening.  I love Aragorn's final thought at the end: Well, I am back, borrowing on Sam's famous words to Rosie.  In LOTR Aragorn, like Sam, postponed love and family for saving the world.  They fought for a future.  I want to tell myself that now Aragorn is not fighting not for some starlit dream, but for a living present - for something that he has, and that should be all the dearer to him for having it.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 13 Dec 11 - 5:55 PM

Ch. 4: Alone Together

I don't really know what decisive event brought Gimli and Legolas together in the original tale.  That a mutual sense of divorce from the others (there being four hobbits and two Men, but only one Elf, and only one Dwarf) should compel a measure of sympathy for one another makes sense.  It is interesting in this story that, whereas till now they have used Boromir to serve as a physical barricade between them (a funny detail, by the way), it is now concern about him that draws them both together.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 22 Jun 06 - 6:46 PM

Ch. 7: Riven

Hi Dwim! Finally started reading this story and WOW! I'm very excited.

Your characterization is terrific; the characters feel true to the originals. I like how you've treated the friendship of Legolas and Gimli. Not too easy and not too hostile - just wary. Good job showing Boromir's instability, his behavior and his thoughts, the manic highs and lows of his moods.

Wonderful job with how you closely follow canon and yet diverge from it at the same time. Sam's vision in the mirror was a twist on canon full of foreboding. But this last scene - well done! How you change the fate of all with small changes here and there and then suddenly everything's different.

I adore your device with the Silenced Song. The idea that 'the Devil cannot sing' is priceless and you've used it to its greatest potential. You've done a great job of weaving it through the story, and it serves as both foreboding and explanation for where events stray from the well-known path. I find it interesting that certain characters are becoming aware of this twist in fate, that the story unfolding is not as it should be.

I'm thrilled to be reading this and look forward to many, many more chapters. (keep writing!) :-)

docmon

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 23 Jun 06 - 7:11 PM

Ch. 7: Riven

Hi docmon,

I hope the reading time means you've got a nice bit of vacation coming your way.

Anyhow, thank you very much for commenting! I'm glad you found Boromir's portrayal convincingly extreme as he gets further and further enmeshed in conflicting desires and impulses.

How you change the fate of all with small changes here and there and then suddenly everything's different.

Thanks, that's one thing I definitely aim for, though sometimes I fear it may be a little too close and so repetitive.

I adore your device with the Silenced Song. The idea that 'the Devil cannot sing' is priceless and you've used it to its greatest potential.

It's a fun framing device, and I'm looking forward to working that "god's-eye view" back into the story in its own right instead of it being filtered through characters. But that is for the future...

keep writing!

Oh, I will... eventually! This thing will be done one day, I am determined.

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 17 Dec 11 - 6:51 AM

Ch. 8: Shrive Me Graceless on My Path

It's just too bad for him that at the moment, the Powers That Be in Arda seem not to be listening.

[flips Them a suitably reverential bird]

Interestingly, the several ends to which the Fellowship have dispersed are much the same as they were in the book - or seem so.  We have yet to discover what Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas will choose.  But of course the way in which they choose, or meet their separate fates, is very different: Frodo and Sam taking a formal leave of their friends, for example.  And of course the overhanging Shadow is effecting all kinds of changes that nobody can know about - the arrival of Gildor in Tol Eressëa, for example, when he departed on the same ship as Frodo in the original story, some four/five years later.  Whether that message will actually help any of those left behind remains to be seen.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 17 Dec 11 - 7:06 AM

Ch. 9: The Road Goes Ever On

...I didn't think about what Frodo and Sam's action with the boats would mean for Boromir.  What a difference!  It creates echoes with the past (remarked upon by the principals), resonates eerily with the canonical future (the passing of Denethor) and contributes to the general foreboding that hangs over the narrative.  It seems like this is just not "the way things are supposed to be" with the dead in Middle-earth...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 17 Dec 11 - 9:12 AM

Ch. 12: The Forest for the Trees

Having my usual interest in Orcs, I was intrigued by how briefly this story depicted Pippin and Merry's actual captivity.  It seems at this point, by report of Merry and Pippin, and, earlier, by Aragorn, that the Orcs of the Eye (including Grishnakh) deserted early and that there were no casualties among their number (unless I missed something obvious in the narrative.)  Very ominous.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 18 Dec 11 - 5:13 PM

Ch. 14: Who Might Have Met Too Late

"...I think one so honest as your brother would not last without a protector. Without someone to guard his interests closer to home."

I like this observation of Legolas', and it seems to fit well with what we know of both Eomer and Eowyn: Eomer, who was ever forthright in the narrative, and Eowyn, who was certainly eloquent and equally forthright when she was in her own, but who had also, by necessity, to practice circumspection under Wormtongue's time of power, and subterfuge when she defied her uncle's orders.  She had some capacities that he did not; that she would have had occasion to protect her brother behind the scenes is realistic.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 19 Dec 11 - 7:33 PM

Ch. 17: All the King's Horses...

Eowyn is strong, willing to pay a terrible price to save her brother (even as she knows that it may only be a brief respite, hoping that it will be long enough to achieve some untold purpose) and to maintain a powerful degree of self-possession in the process, even in the face of Eomer's complete loss of composure.

Also, Aragorn is in a tender place with Gimli right now.  Although he seems to have preemptively forgiven Aragorn, Gimli is *not* going to be pleased when he finds out what has happened to Legolas.

Very interested in seeing what becomes of Wormtongue before all this is over.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 19 Dec 11 - 7:56 PM

Ch. 18: And All the King's Men

It wasn't until Aragorn and Gimli had their exchange with Hama that I realized - D'OH.  This time they don't have Gandalf with them.  I'm so busy watching you stitch new patterns, I'm missing the threads that you are discreetly leaving loose to weave in later.

And poor Eowyn.  Until Eomer's exchange with Grima, I didn't think of it that way, but she had so much of herself invested in that identity.  She has given up so much.  Surely she has a part to play yet, but I'm so worried for her.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

dancingkatz - 18 Oct 06 - 7:51 PM

Ch. 19: Cast the Net Round

I've been a bad reader for not commenting on the previous 18 chapters prior to this one but I have been so into the story that I just can't not click on "next" and jump into the next part of the tale.

 I am impressed by your word craft and I have no issues at all with the Old English/Rohirric speech in the past few chapters. As far as your use of the fyrd goes, it works very well with the Beowulf era culture that Rohan is based on. And yes, it was made up of yeomen and farmers and most of their weapons consisted of bows, cudgels, staves, spears and the like.

You definitely have your own voice in the way you write, a somewhat more active voice than J.R.R.T., but still having much of the flavor of the canon texts. The difference works beautifully with this alternate universe you've created; a different, even darker voice for a darker story.

So far, my emotions as I have read have run the gamut from sadness, to outrage, to joy, to open mouthed horror, to appreciation and everything inbetween. Nothing has broken my susension of disbelief from the first words of the first chapter.

I'm going to go back to reading now...

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 20 Oct 06 - 5:50 PM

Ch. 19: Cast the Net Round

Hi dancingkatz,

Thank you for commenting, and letting me know how you've found LDID thus far! I'm glad it's been so effective in sucking you in--that is of course music to any author's ears.

Thanks for the note on Beowulf; it's been quite some time since I've looked at it, and I fear I don't remember much more than the basics of the story.

I'm also very pleased you liked the ending of chapter 31--it was very cinematic to me when I was writing it, and I struggled to get it into words. That it worked so well for you is very satisfying to know.

Take care, and happy reading!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

RS - 21 Jun 06 - 12:58 PM

Ch. 20: Dust to Dust

Hi Dwimordene! You know how I felt about this chapter but I wanted to leave this comment.

Shocking! The very end of this chapter was very powerful! Legolas emotional lament just takes your breath away. Such profound sadness just transferred off the page and into my soul. This touched me so and is part of the story that I cannot forget. "And into the Silence, there came a Note, One Note...."

RS

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 22 Jun 06 - 7:03 AM

Ch. 20: Dust to Dust

Hi RS,

Thanks for your comments, particularly the one about the Song. It's a fun device to have, and essential for getting this AU off the ground and moving, but it's difficult to incorporate at times. I"m glad to know that particular point came off well.

I'm glad "Dust to Dust" was so effective for you. Hope you'll enjoy the rest!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 01 Jul 06 - 7:09 PM

Ch. 20: Dust to Dust

oh, dwim, no! you're killing me here! this story is so engrossing, so well done, that i am devastated by this chapter ending. i'll say no more so as not to spoil anyone who hasn't read this yet (get to it!), but oh what a heartwrenching scene. and the imagery of legolas keening was profound, especially in how the sound was remembered years later. great to end it with a return to the Song. it makes me think there is hope, but it's hard to see where!

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 03 Jul 06 - 8:51 PM

Ch. 20: Dust to Dust

Hi docmon,

Thanks for your comments on this chapter, both here and in e-mail. I can't credibly say I'm sorry for the angst of "Dust to Dust" (I'm a card-carrying angst-bunny) but I'm glad the framing device of the Song keeps things uncertain.

TTFN,

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 19 Dec 11 - 10:09 PM

Ch. 20: Dust to Dust

ARGH.  What have you done?!  I blame you, author!

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 19 Dec 11 - 10:22 PM

Ch. 21: Fisher King

"Why should he suspect another? What other man would spit him on a sword?"

Unlike Aragorn, I think that's a fairly clear answer from Eomer, at least if it is as I interpret it.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 20 Dec 11 - 7:55 PM

Ch. 22: They Also Serve Who Stand and Wait

A bitter Legolas is both saddening and frightening.  Now I'm worried about him as well.

And I always like Eowyn's companionship with Merry in the original.  This time it's two hobbits, and I'm interested in seeing what happens.  Merry already seems to have taken a particular interest in her.

It is tragic, but realistic, and in keeping with the dark trend of this story, that the magic of the Ents should be marred in the minds of the Rohirrim with associations of friendly fire.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 06 Jul 06 - 2:06 PM

Ch. 23: Through the Wastelands

oh, dwim, you've really done it now. Your story feels so true to the original and yet it is totally your own. And after this chapter, well, anything goes, I suppose. It's all up for grabs! I don't know if my heart is strong enough to make it through!

All I can say is, KEEP WRITING!

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 07 Jul 06 - 1:45 PM

Ch. 23: Through the Wastelands

after this chapter, well, anything goes, I suppose. It's all up for grabs!

Not quite anything. But hopefully enough to keep things unsettled. :evil

And I promise I am writing.

Cheers,

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 20 Dec 11 - 9:16 PM

Ch. 23: Through the Wastelands

Loved the detail about Bree vs. Shire measurements.  Frodo may not have gotten a laugh out of Sam's comment, but I did.  I think I should be the one traveling with Samwise: I'd make a good audience for him.

Watching them try to cross the marshes without Gollum = nail-biting experience.  And much as I like Orcs, the ending of this chapter terrified me.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 5:52 AM

Ch. 24: Black Gate-Bound

And Grishnákh comes into his own.  I am not being just a ridiculous Orc fan when I say that he was a terrifically under-utilized character on Tolkien's part: an Orc who knew more than what was good for him, as Ugluk put it - certainly beyond anything you would ever expect such creatures to be trusted with, concerning a certain Ring.  Was he actively entrusted with that knowledge, sent with a mission like some kind of Orkish secret agent, or did he discover it for himself, and how?  And what would have happened if he had found the Ring?  We can have our theories (I know I do) but we can't really know because a honking big Rohirrim spear took him out.  But this time Grishnákh not only avoided that fate, he is in a position of authority over a nasty group of Orcs, and he has two of the Fellowship in his power.

It seems like there's orcs, and then there's orcs.

...I know where the Ring is... [shudders]

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Raihon - 05 Feb 06 - 1:19 PM

Ch. 25: Upon the Edge of Ruin

Hi, Dwim. I don't get why the Orcs turn west. I read on in the later chapters where Sam goes over it again, but I still don't understand why they wouldn't press on with their prizes to the Black Gate and deliver them directly to Sauron.

Cheers,

Raihon 

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 05 Feb 06 - 1:53 PM

Ch. 25: Upon the Edge of Ruin

Hi Raihon,

Ummm.... I think my reasoning was something like this: Grishnákh has a prize that may save his skin, but that assumes he's going to survive the passage over Dagorld with said prize. His orc band is reduced and resentful, and he has no way of knowing whether the Nazgûl have put up a watch for him with other roving bands of orcs--of which there are many as his scouts report. If there's an order to keep an eye out for him because he missed his meeting, then it's not safe for him to take resentful, weakened followers across Dagorlad--someone else could try to take the prize from him, his own followers might try to switch companies to save their skins, and then where would he be? Dead.

So the backdoor route through Ithilien is probably safer, despite its risks: there's nothing like a clear, external enemy to force his fractious, untrustworthy followers to be dependent on him and on cooperation with each other. Otherwise, they won't stay alive long enough to explain themselves to the Nazgûl and hand over the one thing that might get them all a pardon.

However, I'm not sure if that's actually what I said or whether that's what I had Sam say in that chapter. I'll put it on the revisions slate as something I should look at more closely.

Dwim

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 6:10 AM

Ch. 25: Upon the Edge of Ruin

(Wish I could say something more intelligent here, but...) Well that was freaking intense.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 8:45 AM

Ch. 26: Faramir

Poor bird. 8( What a grubby task Faramir and his men have.  It's a needful task, to be sure, but I do not envy him at all.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 8:52 AM

Ch. 26: Faramir

...something that I failed to comment on.  Sam touched the Ring, and at a much earlier juncture than in the original tale.  One hopes this only makes him more understanding of Frodo, but he was plenty sympathetic in the original story as it is.  He gave it back with no apparent trouble, and he seems the same hopeful, patient, enduring Sam he ever was.  Has been, consistently, throughout this story.  Still, I'm worried.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 6:40 PM

Ch. 27: Price of Passage

In the original story Faramir's decision to let Frodo and Sam go is a great achievement and a testimonial to his true quality.  How much more at the end of this chapter, in light of what he has learned - and of what was done to him!

And here I thought it was Frodo's great charisma eliciting answers from Faramir - after all, how often do we read (and write) about a character being surprised by his own words, or answering in spite of herself?  What a chilling scene, the more so because it is between Frodo and Faramir. I don't think Frodo ever did anything like this in Tolkien's original, though he spoke of it darkly enough to Gollum when first they met.  It just never got to that point (and thank God it didn't.)

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 7:41 PM

Ch. 28: Crossroads

"Not much for cheer, but he's a wise one after all."

And he has a sense of humor, Sam.  That means a lot to me in a story like this (and I really appreciate, by the way, those little moments of character-based humor that I have seen throughout this story.  One needs to smile from time to time, and both tale and characters are the more real for such moments.)

I like the detail of eating with the statue for company.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 21 Dec 11 - 8:13 PM

Ch. 29: Underhill

"Like spiders, Andy, like spiders."

...glad you gave the reference for that line.  I was honestly baffled.

Now I honestly don't know how we can go on after that.  I haven't given up per se, but how can we have a story without...?  Unless it's another case of two poisons, and I'm not feeling so hopeful at the moment.

[grumbles] I wish Tolkien were here at this moment so I could yell "Spiders don't have stingers!"  Then we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place...

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

dancingkatz - 19 Oct 06 - 7:12 PM

Ch. 31: Storm Warnings

Oh, This was SO well done. I was very moved by the final scene. 

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

maya_ar - 22 Feb 06 - 8:55 PM

Ch. 32: Before the Plunge

I did mean to ask you before, Dwim - why does Legolas use a saddle with Arod now? Is this a conscious departure from the books? Not that it's a major point, I was just curious.

cheers,
Maya

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 22 Dec 11 - 8:15 PM

Ch. 34: Setting the Board

I loved the final scene between Eomer and Eowyn, from "Is there no one with you?" on.  Very sad and tender.  I don't know if they're going to see each other again.  I hope so, but... [shrug]

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

oshun - 01 Jun 06 - 7:42 PM

Ch. 36: The Road to Minas Tirith

Wow! Really exciting chapter--the best yet--the attack by the Haradrim, that incredible arrow, and the arrival of the Swan Knights. I loved the nod to first line of the Iliad in Faramir's song. The most common English translations use "wrath" (sounds pedantic), "anger" (sounds so ordinary), but "rage" has always seemed just right to me--not that I have any clue which is closest to the Greek!. Awesome layered characterization of Faramir. Beautifully written.

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 01 Jun 06 - 8:15 PM

Ch. 36: The Road to Minas Tirith

Hi oshun,

If you like chapters with a lot of warring in them, you'll be getting your fill of them for the next little while, that's certain!

I loved the nod to first line of the Iliad in Faramir's song.

I'm glad that worked. I also do not speak or read Greek of any variety, but the man who will forever be the voice of the opening lines of Iliad in my head does, and he always uses "rage," not "wrath" or "anger" for that opening phrase; he also always doubles it up: "Rage: sing, O goddess, the rage of Achilles!" It may not be exactly what's there in Greek, but I'll take it, it sounds great.

Dwim

Go to Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 23 Dec 11 - 5:12 PM

Ch. 36: The Road to Minas Tirith

[chokes a little] They're going in to Denethor together?  I'm going to pray for circumspection here.  I would take it for granted with Faramir under normal circumstances, but seeing as he knows Legolas was one of the Fellowship, he may not think it is needful.  Pray he be circumspect...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

oshun - 02 Jun 06 - 9:10 AM

Ch. 37: Besieged

Dwim:

Another great chapter. I have been lurking and loving this story for months, but for some reason the last two chapters really took off for me. Thanks for responding to my last comment--actually I usually am not a "battle scene" fan (don't like car chases in movies either), but you completely drew me into to these.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Raksha The Demon - 02 Jun 06 - 10:16 AM

Ch. 37: Besieged

Ack!  Heart-rending chapter!  Very gripping descriptions, both of Denethor's inquisition of Faramir and the battle.  Faramir is written very well here, his attack on the Witch-King is particularly worthy of note, since we and probably Faramir himself, knows that ol' WiKi can't be defeated (at least not by one mortal Man, however brave).

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 02 Jun 06 - 2:54 PM

Ch. 37: Besieged

Hi oshun,

I usually am not a "battle scene" fan (don't like car chases in movies either), but you completely drew me into to these.

Well, that makes my day. :-) I'm hoping I won't wear everyone out with all the fighting, but we'll see what happens.

Thanks for commenting!

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 02 Jun 06 - 3:00 PM

Ch. 37: Besieged

Hi Raksha,

Ack! Heart-rending chapter!

Good to know. I have to say this is probably the chapter I'm least fond of, of the four that deal directly with the siege/breaking of the siege.

Very gripping descriptions, both of Denethor's inquisition of Faramir

Thanks. I was very nervous about that scene. Denethor is such a hard character to control.

Faramir is written very well here, his attack on the Witch-King is particularly worthy of note, since we and probably Faramir himself, knows that ol' WiKi can't be defeated (at least not by one mortal Man, however brave).

It's one of those 'last man standing' situations. I figure if Shadowfax with Gandalf can be a roadblock, so can he for a while.

Dwim

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thelauderdale - 23 Dec 11 - 6:57 PM

Ch. 38: The King's Banner

I was just thinking unhappily that Eowyn isn't here to complete the prophecy with Merry.  What a great save!

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thelauderdale - 23 Dec 11 - 7:20 PM

Ch. 39: The Turning of the Tide

"Pippin, whatever Aragorn may believe, he may be right or he may be wrong."

"Just please say, 'yes,' Strider."

Loved both of these lines in their contexts.

Halbarad's survival (for now) is an unexpected moment of grace in otherwise grim proceedings.  And Pippin, though he may not have a certain other achievement under his belt that he would otherwise have had, has still proved to be very useful indeed.

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Gandalfs apprentice - 01 Aug 06 - 9:37 AM

Ch. 40: The Steward and the Kings

What a challenge, Dwim! To write the confrontation between Aragorn and Denethor--you've done it, and stayed true to both men. Congrats. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Dwimordene - 01 Aug 06 - 11:45 AM

Ch. 40: The Steward and the Kings

Hi G.A.,

What a challenge, Dwim! To write the confrontation between Aragorn and Denethor

And they fought me the whole way. One might think they didn't want to talk to each other or something...

Thanks for commenting! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter.

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

IVIaedhros - 14 Dec 06 - 8:22 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Alright, I'll air the dirty laundry first: I think this chapter could have been dramatically shortened or altered to include more "pressing" events (journey of the ring, actually getting ready to fight, etc)...there I said it.  I am all about scenes like this and it's both one of my strengths and weaknesses that I can write 10+ pages of nothing, but minor characters going about their daily lives with no crises at all, however, I don't think this chapter served your story very well.  Yes, you need some sort of breath and emotional release after Pellenor Fields, but while this might work for a novel or a separate, companion piece, I don't think it works here.  I'm mainly concerned with momentum as you need to build and maintain excitement for that inevitable climax.  A chapter like this, although great for post-reading imagination, merely lets the reader get bogged down when you should be relentlessly driving them forward.  If you simply wanted to play catch-up with the characters, I think a better device might have been to switch between several or all of the Fellowship's POVs.  Otherwise, some dwelling and sitting, but more moving into Mordor.

It's a moot point for this chapter since it would be stupid to take it down and I have to admit it's also partly personal oppinion...the best I can say is to consider it for the rest of the story.  Once again I sympathize much: I hate leaving stuff out for the sake of energy and momentum, but it's often better to simply offer it as an aside later on. 

Moving on...technically the thing's superb, as usual.  I can't spot any grammatical errors or bad choices in narration.  Some more congrats are in order: 1) I like the idea of Pippin rehashing Frodo's adventures with Farmer Maggot, heck I like the 'shroom idea in general.  2) Pippin being tortured by guilt is always a good thread to follow.  3) Even better, I think, was your decision to have Legolas be pissed at Eowyn for supporting Merry's decision to ride off.  It might be the beginning of a real, lasting anger (assuming he survives) or it could just be the natural workings of grief, but either way, I think it's worth at least one good confrontation between the two when you wrap things up.  And finally,

 
Thank you for writing another chapter.  It's like an early Xmas, especially since the day you posted it is the day I ace'd my last final exam. 

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Dwimordene - 14 Dec 06 - 8:52 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi IVIaedhros,

Dear Lord, this just went up! You must be a speed reader!

But anyhow, I see your point, although I'm amused at the idea that this is not yet a novel. The reason I did go with along set of character interactions was partly for the reason you identified--I need a breather, I think the reader needs a breather, and I needed to deal with the third character I just killed, who was closer to Legolas and Aragorn than either Faramir or Eomer were. To say nothing of Pippin, of course.

It's possible this could come in for trimming at some point, but I'm not going to be dramatically altering it until/unless I discover a way around repeating the "Last Debate" that wouldn't bore me stiff. That's really the only planning part that I have access to right now, since I'm not going back over to Mordor with Frodo quite yet. That is the other reason why I can't just go into someone else's head--I've done Aragorn, I've done Pippin, and while Legolas remains, I am trying, for the sake of my sanity, to avoid hanging around between his ears unless I have no other choice.

The other thing I was trying to do with this chapter was push around the theme of fellowship a little more by showing how L and A deal with Merry's death versus how Pippin deals with it, but without me having to explicitly mention the word "fellowship." So for that purpose, it was necessary to show all three of them dealing with the issue. It's not simply catch-up with the characters, though I can appreciate that between the way I set it up and the length of the chapter, the pont may simply be lost.

But again, I do see your point. Should I find a good way of redoing the last debate that is not merely repetitive and doesn't simply up the frustration level, then I'll try writing and swapping.

For the rest--I'm glad you liked Legolas getting pissed about Éowyn's role in Merry's death. At this point in his development, it's an inevitable reaction. And I'm glad the mushroom episode worked well--occasionally, the hobbits do give me something to work with.

Thank you for your lengthy, thoughtful comments, and congratulations on the acing of your final! Right on!

Dwim

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RS - 17 Dec 06 - 3:34 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hello.

Frankly I think this chapter was much deserved as we readers (particularly this one) need a little reprieve from all the death and sorrow.  I personally wanted to see how our characters deal yet with another blow of losing a loved one.

I loved the moment with Pippin and Greta and how they dealt with their loss of Merry.  Pippin with his mushroom and Shire stories was definitely a comfort for all the wounded soldiers. What a wonderful scene this would have made!

I am quite irritated about the bitter and angry Legolas.  His anger is felt by this reader.  I just want to shake him and say, "there might be hope yet!"  

It is as I have said since Rohan—all is decided. You and the others have but to follow, and follow you shall the path already set, however you go upon it  --  yikes!

I think if Aragorn and Legolas have a shouting match it might lessen the tension between them?.....Naahh. I didn't think so.

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Dwimordene - 18 Dec 06 - 7:12 AM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi RS,

we readers (particularly this one) need a little reprieve from all the death and sorrow. I personally wanted to see how our characters deal yet with another blow of losing a loved one.

That was my thought as well--aftermath needs to be dealth with. And there's just not a lot to be done in terms of planning, etc., when it's late in the night after a battle. Everyone's just too exhausted--gotta sleep sometime! And if not sleep, there's other processing to be done.

I loved the moment with Pippin and Greta and how they dealt with their loss of Merry. Pippin with his mushroom and Shire stories was definitely a comfort for all the wounded soldiers.

Thank you, I'm glad that worked well for you. The nice thing about hobbits is that they're so wonderfully immediate at times and don't get hung up on what's going to happen or what has happened more than they need to.

I am quite irritated about the bitter and angry Legolas.

To be fair to Legolas, he is having a bit of a power freak-out, and has been since Gimli's death and his epiphany about the source of the Darkness. He probably would've been ok, except for Merry. That undid much of what happened between him and Aragorn earlier.

Re: shouting match: yeah, I doubt it would help. (Ya hear that, PJ? They don't argue in the middle of the armory at the top of their voices!)

*ahem*

They'll just have to be tense for awhile.

Thanks for your comments!

Dwim

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Darklis - 23 Dec 06 - 3:00 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Thank you for this beautiful chapter.

I'm rather relieved that the pace is slowing down a bit after the action - filled battle scenes. Great character interaction.  

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Dwimordene - 23 Dec 06 - 4:24 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

You're welcome, Darklis!

I needed the slow-down as much as you did, I think--there's a need for a pause and some private reckonings.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Dwim

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docmon - 11 Jan 07 - 6:12 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Haven't gotten to commenting on this one and you've already posted another one! (yeah, I've read that one too)

The slower pace did serve as a sort of breather, for me, after all the death and mayhem. And being inside Pippin's head, it seemed an appropriate pace.

As frightening as it seems, I am getting more curious about what is going on b/w those elf ears. Some helluva storm comin'? No, don't answer that, I'm almost afraid to know. I'm starting to wonder if this story won't finish until you've managed to kill off the whole Fellowship! ouch... Cry

Regarding Legolas's response to the question of the next course of action, I particularly liked Aragorn's response to his response!

"Go not to the Elves, indeed!"  ROTFLMAO

well done!

docmon

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Dwimordene - 12 Jan 07 - 1:37 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hi docmon,

Thank you for your comments! I confess, I was wondering if I'd scared you off.

As frightening as it seems, I am getting more curious about what is going on b/w those elf ears. Some helluva storm comin'? No, don't answer that, I'm almost afraid to know.

Well, the next chapter should help in that respect, I think.

Regarding Legolas's response to the question of the next course of action, I particularly liked Aragorn's response to his response!

Heh. I couldn't resist the idea of using that line in this context--it was too much fun! I'm glad you liked it here, too.

[paste from comments on "Accounting for East and West"]

I'll add my vote to the totally surprised crew on Pippin's decision. I thought he would have gone, from what comments and thoughts we were shown.

Good to know! It was a balancing act--I didn't want to give too much away, but at the same time, there had to be some hesitation there to counterbalance the trend of what he explicitly thinks.

Pippin would be the one to set Legolas straight - well, point him in the right direction. I'm not at all convinced he'll follow.

Yes, well, the old saying about horses and water works for Elves and human beings, too, I guess. All that's for future chapters.

Thanks again for commenting, and have a great year 2007!

Dwim

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Skeeve - 15 Mar 10 - 1:54 AM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Hello Dwim,

Just wondering how the AU is going. It's been more than a year, and I'm a little antsy. I don't mind waiting for new chapters, but when it has been this long I start wondering if a fanfic project is dead...

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thelauderdale - 23 Dec 11 - 8:20 PM

Ch. 41: Baggage

Glad that Greta lived.  I like him, and I appreciated the depiction of him and Pippin together.  Pippin continues to be more useful than he can possibly imagine, and his - I won't call it acceptance, per se, but his "continuance" in the face of person tragedy is the leavening we need in the face of Aragorn's mounting burden and Legolas' implacable anger.

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IVIaedhros - 03 Jan 07 - 10:45 AM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

"I am sorry about Merry. If it helps, I doubt he felt much."

Ah...that quote right there absolutely nailed for me this whole story.  Everything's gone to hell in a handbasket and the best that could be said is that those who are dead, died quickly.  And yet, the context around it implies hope to go on, even if only out of sheer stubbornness.  Anyway...

This chapter, to me, is basically here for the same reason as "Baggage", though I think it works out much better.  Good use of a running internal dialogue to show off Pippin's thoughts as he tries to make his decision of which way to go.  I also like that you didn't make the obvious (story-telling wise) decision to have Pippin do the "heroic thing" and ride to the Black Gate.  I really should've seen it coming, but when he finally announced that he was going home, I was taken by surprise.  I think it's a mark of how well you set up the announcement and how much Pippin has matured in these chapters.  He's always been maturing but, as you noted, Pelennor Fields (or more likely, Merry's funeral) was what caused everything to solidify.

Good use of Rohiric.  It added a nice touch of authenticity when you bothered to actually give us what was said in the ritual rather than simply let us see Pippin's wandering thoughts.  Theoden once again singing was a very nice touch...it seems appropriate that the old man should sing.  

While I didn't start commenting until recently, I think you've always done a good job of integrating different facts, events, personalities, etc. to make up your plot points.  This chapter is  a great example of that.  The funeral alone has you pulling crap from two separate sources and other bits, such as the state of the City's two out circles, are also good examples of how you've taken what was already mentioned and adapted to work within what you already have.

Yay, someone finally managed to get through "I-Want-To-Be-A-Perfect-Blond-Killing-Machine"'s head.  It was a good time to finally reveal to Legolas just how jacked up he was getting and Pippin had finally come to the point where he could do it.  It'll be interesting to see how, or even if, he comes out of his funk.  Maybe he and Eowyn can go brood together.  Heh, they're such a happy couple.

Hmm, Baggage may have rubbed me the wrong way, but I honestly can't find anything to actually harp on.  I would like to see Denethor come into his own though...he's portrayed solely as the insane fool so often that I really wish we would get a chance to see just how smart this guy is.  After all, he's lost his chance to play the human torch, so what else does he have to do :D

Good stuff all around, sorry I can't actually offer any actual writing advice...might be because I'm so tired of working on some Fire Emblem fanfics that my mind can no longer comprehend writing.

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IVIaedhros - 03 Jan 07 - 10:52 AM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

Ah, something did occur to me!  I suggest that you bring back the whole Music of the Ainur thing.  You sort of let that die out as the action progressed and left it at some sort of sound just barely coming back into the Void (I think).  Perhaps we've progressed from a whisper to a squeak?

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Dwimordene - 03 Jan 07 - 6:48 PM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

Hi IVIaedhros,

[snip quote, + juxtaposition]

Heh. It is striking how grim things look by the time we get down to "The Last Debate." The more I look at that, the more I'm amazed there weren't more men who took Aragorn's sanctioned desertion from the march to the Black Gate.

I also like that you didn't make the obvious (story-telling wise) decision... [w.r.t. Pippin] I was taken by surprise. I think it's a mark of how well you set up the announcement and how much Pippin has matured in these chapters.

Oh good! I was hoping it wouldn't be a totally foregone conclusion (and so capable of catching readers off-guard a bit), but that once it arrived, it wouldn't come as an utterly unheralded shock.

Good use of Rohiric. It added a nice touch of authenticity when you bothered to actually give us what was said in the ritual rather than simply let us see Pippin's wandering thoughts.

I've been striving to avoid putting people through lines and lines of untranslated-til-footnotes OE again, especially since I am barely able to construct, with lots of labor, a sentence that (might) make sense. And I really wanted Théoden to have that speech and time, so the inclusion of non-Rohirric speakers gave me the excuse to have him move back and forth between languages.

Theoden once again singing was a very nice touch...it seems appropriate that the old man should sing.

I'm glad you like that. That line about the Rohirrim writing few books but singing many songs does a lot to structure how I view the Rohirrim and what would be their particular way of expressing what is important to them. Especially for Théoden, who has gone through so much that has made him a stranger to himself, I think the singing is necessary as a way of reintegrating himself with other people, even (especially) people he has lost.

While I didn't start commenting until recently, I think you've always done a good job of integrating different facts, events, personalities, etc. to make up your plot points. This chapter is a great example of that. The funeral alone has you pulling crap from two separate sources and other bits, such as the state of the City's two out circles, are also good examples of how you've taken what was already mentioned and adapted to work within what you already have.

Thank you!

Yay, someone finally managed to get through "I-Want-To-Be-A-Perfect-Blond-Killing-Machine"'s head. It was a good time to finally reveal to Legolas just how jacked up he was getting and Pippin had finally come to the point where he could do it.

I confess, I was dying to write that scene. Somebody has to pierce that armor he's wearing, and Aragorn doesn't seem able to do it. Possibly they've got just a little too much in common, in a way, or previous friction has got Legolas too much on his guard against attacks from that angle.

[snip]

I would like to see Denethor come into his own though...he's portrayed solely as the insane fool so often that I really wish we would get a chance to see just how smart this guy is. After all, he's lost his chance to play the human torch, so what else does he have to do :D

Hopefully that will be answered in the next chapter.

I suggest that you bring back the whole Music of the Ainur thing. You sort of let that die out as the action progressed and left it at some sort of sound just barely coming back into the Void (I think).

This is a point I'm struggling with. I agree with you that I need to bring this back in, and I think it'll probably show up more in AU!Book VI, if things go according to plan. The Song serves three purposes—it gives a sense of something cosmic at work in all of this, it provides the metaphysical context/excuse for the AU, and it let me skip over vast tracts of "Fellowship of the Ring" that I didn't think I needed to write because I thought things hadn't diverged enough to be interesting yet.

Right now, it's function number three more than the other two that is dictating when the Song appears. At one point, I had made the conscious decision that it not using it would represent the silence afflcting the Song, but clearly, as you say, we've got something sounding off in the Void, even if in a fashion that is problematic and doesn't lend itself to any unambiguous interpretation. So that excuse doesn't work anymore.

I tried giving it a more indirect presence by suggesting Merry heard music at the end of his battle, or something that sounded like it, as well as in his quasi-premonitive dream (is premonitive a word?), and also having Frodo 'hear' it in Shelob's cave. However, I'm not sure how well that works by comparison with the explicitly cosmic standpoint of earlier chapters, and I still haven't quite figured out how to handle that element. It has just felt as if the chapters I've been working on for this section of the story don't lend themselves to it very readily.

It's a conundrum. I'll definitely be thinking about it, though—thanks for mentioning it!

Wow, this is really quite long! If you'd like to keep talking about this, feel free to post to my forum. I'm afraid of taking up so much space on the comments page!

Dwim

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RS - 03 Jan 07 - 10:16 PM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

Wow! Pippin's decision totally threw me off guard (although nothing should surprise me anymore)!  His quandary and how he finally came to his decision was very well written. 

I hope Aragorn and Legolas finally make peace before the big battle..thanks to Pippin.  Leave it to a Hobbit to penetrate that invisible shield of Legolas.

"No, you listen!" "It was not for strength and not for wisdom that we were chosen, but for friendship. We're here because we are part of the Fellowship, and that is what we do. We stick together through it all." "Don't worry anymore about me, Legolas—I'm all right. Or if you must worry about me, then mend whatever's the matter between you and Strider, and you'll have no more reason to."

Attaboy Pippin! Tell him how it is!

I'm kind of at the edge of my seat now.  It seems to me that this chapter is about Pippin  making peace with everything that has happened to him and everyone else..kind of like a closing to Pippin's character.  Although I should say "hurray he is at least safe for now", I have this uneasy feeling (what are you up to Dwim?).

The funeral moved me and was beautiful. It is still vivid in my mind.

What struck me the most in this chapter which maybe insignificant to others but definitely stayed on my mind was when Pippin took the comb out of Aragorn's pack to comb his hair.  Such a simple thing... seemed the normal thing to do among close friends..borrowing their things..with no hesitation.  Funny, huh?

Until the next update...

RS

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Dwimordene - 05 Jan 07 - 8:24 AM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

Hi RS,

[snip Pippin's decision]

As I said to IVIaedhros, I'm glad that was able to surprise readers, without being a random twist. I had to work pretty hard to make that suspenseful.

[snip Pippin and Legolas]

I'm kind of at the edge of my seat now. It seems to me that this chapter is about Pippin making peace with everything that has happened to him and everyone else..kind of like a closing to Pippin's character. Although I should say "hurray he is at least safe for now", I have this uneasy feeling (what are you up to Dwim?).

Well, I think I have one more chapter in which to get everyone off on their respective roads, then I move over to the trek through Mordor, then an epilogue by way of final wrap-up. Somewhere in there, you'll see what I'm up to. :evil

The funeral moved me and was beautiful. It is still vivid in my mind.

Thank you!

[snip sharing comb]

Such a simple thing... seemed the normal thing to do among close friends..borrowing their things..with no hesitation. Funny, huh?

That is interesting. I hadn't really thought about that, it was purely logistical. Pippin's pack is back on the ships with Halbarad, so he has to use someone's, and Aragorn's is handy. But looked at through the lens of character relationships, you're no doubt correct: it does indicate that they have gotten close enough that Pippin feels he can do this without ever thinking about it. If he'd had any qualms, he could've just asked Legolas for his comb, but that wasn't how the matter presented itself to him.

Thanks for your comments!

Dwim

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docmon - 11 Jan 07 - 6:24 PM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

great chapter, Dwim!

I'll add my vote to the totally surprised crew on Pippin's decision. I thought he would have gone, from what comments and thoughts we were shown. It was a pleasant surprise, unlike the ones where we find out your next victim ! Devilish

Great interaction between Pippin and Legolas and well needed too. I found it appropriate that someone like Pippin would be the one to set Legolas straight - well, point him in the right direction. I'm not at all convinced he'll follow.

Well done!

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thelauderdale - 24 Dec 11 - 7:15 AM

Ch. 42: Accounting for East and West

You know, I didn't register it until after I read the comments, but I really like that detail about Pippin using Aragorn's comb as well.  There is a ready intimacy about it that I like, and at this point it's not the prior situation of two scruffy fellows on the same journey, it is between a young hobbit and a military-official-cum-prospective-king. 

But that doesn't matter.  Yoink, brush brush brush!

The exchange between Pippin and Legolas was both excellent and much needed.

And I have to admit, I was kind of hoping he'd choose to go home.  Maybe it's just me, but I think it is the one mature thing to do: he is the best person to go back and rouse the Shire, and looked on that way, really, it is his Responsibility.*

However, is that what Pippin is saying when he gives his decision to Aragorn?  Does "I can't do it" mean "I can't do this, I need to go prepare the folks back home"?  Or does it mean "I can't do this, I'm not up to the task"?  No reason it can't be both, and in fact there are probably more than just two or three factors figuring into the decision.  But personally, I would think it the right one based on the circumstances.

______

*...then again, I've never been sure that Sauron gaining the Ring meant de facto the End of All Things.  After all, he had the Ring before and things didn't turn out so hot for him.  Always figured that if he regained the Ring, that would mean it was time for his opponents to retrench/regroup/reconnoiter and figure out a new battle plan...

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IVIaedhros - 06 May 07 - 3:33 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Well first off, I can't see why you're disappointed with this chapter save for the fact that you've been building towards these moments for so. Frickin'. LONG.  I know how it feels.  No matter what you do, you can't seem to get the magic and finally, you just say, "Screw it".  However, no need to worry as your dedication carries you when the inspiration is lacking.  This was an excellent chapter...moving right along.

-First off, I want to suggest that you post this beast at Fanfiction.net  as well as the White Tree (I believe that's the name) and Scribe network.  FFN, especially, because this thing deserves a big audience. 

-It maybe because I haven't read this in a while, but your style seems to be moving closer to that of Tolkien.  I'm not sure if this is simply practice or because the scene lends itself to that language.  In any case, it's quite well done and very much suited to it.  

-"For there comes a moment, different for each man, when the demand of war overburdens him, and the enervated spirit finds nothing to propel it forward, to make the arm lift or the flesh cringe...." This little internal soliquey is very important, IMO, for understanding the mental states of these men.  They're going on a suicide mission to the literal hell on earth.   I'd like to see a bit more into their psychology.  You had some very good small moments that showed that...Pipin, of all, people was an excellent window.  He wondered how they could eat and there was that bit about how it was impossible to say good-bye.  A couple more similarly small, but more direct glimpses into the minds of these men gong off to such a hopeless death would go a long way.

- Oh my...he's dead.  Well, I can't say that it's unexpected, but geeze, what will blondie do now that he's run out of love mates?  Unless the ultimate super sue is dropped into his lap immediately after the battle, I expect Leggy to seek for the Haven's with all due speed and world-weary angst.  Unless, of course, he decides to marry Eowyn, hah.

-Ok...Strider just received Sam's head personally gift-wrapped from Mordor.  Now, given the circumstances...namely Legolas going into homicidal mode and the battle kicking off...it is perfectly understandable, nay, realistic that Sam's head is not dwelt upon and they can only spare a breathless comment about how it wasn't Frodo's head.  Still, if there's a way that you could realistically make the appearance of Sam's gift-wrapped head have more significance to the characters, take it.  This is a huge event.  A simple solution to consider...

"A Elbereth, no!

But the thing had to be played out, and so he drew off the veils, 'til at length Samwise Gamgee gazed back at him with lifeless brown eyes."

Ok, right around in that section, give us some sort of description of Aragorn...perhaps time seemed to slow, there was a spreading numbness and a detached desire to kill, he felt his hand moving as of its own accord to Anduriel, he could feel tears coming on, etc. 

-The reference to the Music was good, though it seemed oddly awkward and unnecessary somehow.  Don't get me wrong; I think it needs to be there...though not necessarily in that position.  It just feels oddly out of place.  Perhaps a more subtle reference via Legolas?  Ex...Aragorn's talking to Leggy when he turns pale and starts a bit.  What is it.  Leggy gives patented far-seeing look and mumbles something to the effect that the music has rejoined.

-I'm sorry, but I can't for the life of me figure out the Arrandir reference.  

-Your modification of the songs for Aragorn and the departing soldiers was wonderful and another one of those moments that helps to characterize what this story is all about.  There is no verse, no rhyme or tunning.  It's half rage, half delirium and all love.  

"Brief it may be. Nevertheless, it shall have been... in his victory, if in the end he has it."

I thought that was quite fitting as well. 

-"By mid-morning, the enemy was lodged half-way down the slope; by noon, they had pushed forward another twenty yards. And by early afternoon, Aragorn had left his place beneath the standard to join the circle of defenders, Legolas at his side."

Due to my utter lack of knowledge about medieval battles...sorry, I'm modern Army, I shoot crap...I disclaimer of lack of knowledge.  However, that time table seems to long to me, even if an enemy is going up that slope.  Sauron has trolls, Nazgul, who knows what other beasties, countless soldiers, and, from what I can tell, all the space in the world to maneuver.  Sauron likes to play with his food, but I think even he would be working through them quicker than what you have.  It would be a simple matter to encircle the western army (they only have, what, 5-7k?), and send the heavies through the ranks while showering the interior with projectiles.  

-I don't know how much energy you  have left after working on this thing for so long, but be sure you give all of the loose ends proper closure...Arwen, for example.  There's no need to go on, but a good paragraph is, I think, necessary for her.  Others include the individual spiritual/mental/physical states of the various survivors, the geopolitical situation, etc...once again, this doesn't have to be long.  Once you finish the story proper, perhaps a sixth of this chapter's length could accomplish your desires and still leave people begging for more, which is a good thing.  As much as we readers want everything to be explained, what's left to imagination is, in the end more powerful...it just can't be too abrupt an ending.

-Once you've finished this, give yourself some therapy by writing something really silly, short, silly and stupid...I think my favorite example is The Morning After: A Tale of Wanton Debauchery. 

Well, that's it.  No matter what else, I've enjoyed watching this.  I can only wait sadly as it comes to an end...you're probably anything, but sad. :D 

  

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RS - 06 May 07 - 6:10 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

OH NO DWIM. You did it; I had to read it again to be sure. You actually did it.  I was hoping... praying...you would spare him.  I cannot believe this.  I am in disbelief.  I am sooo SAD. I'm kind of (excuse the term) pissed off.  I cannot even write right now.  This might just end the story for me. I don't even want to continue anymore.  I know it's just a story, but..... I have been so involved in this and for it to end up this way..... 

Kind of ironic...Legolas---the person being driven by hate and vengeance and not really caring what happens to himself--- is saved by Aragorn, the person with a little bit of hope left in this very bleak tale. 

Aragorn's death (is it really his death?--I'm still somehow hoping it's not) was beautifully written.  That's really all I can say right now.

The ending of this chapter is such a downer for me, Dwim.  Obviously this story made such an impact on me and I've grown to love your interpretation of these characters that even the death of some has not stop me from reading...til now.  Guess I can't handle it.

RS

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IVIaedhros - 06 May 07 - 7:57 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Heh, you've has obviously succeeded in people are this involved. 

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oshun - 06 May 07 - 9:01 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

IVIaedhros and RV--Too bad that public comments appear to everyone! Including those who haven't had time to read this chapter yet! I couldn't stop myself from reading them, of course, but would have preferred to read Dwim's version first. LOL At least Legolas is still there (for now....).

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oshun - 06 May 07 - 9:02 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

IVIaedhros and RV--Too bad that public comments appear to everyone! Including those who haven't had time to read this chapter yet! I couldn't stop myself from reading them, of course, but would have preferred to read Dwim's version first. LOL At least Legolas is still there (for now....).

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Nath - 07 May 07 - 1:15 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

*whimper*

 Well done!

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Nath - 07 May 07 - 7:16 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

-I'm sorry, but I can't for the life of me figure out the Arrandir reference.

In reply to IVIaedhros, I think I can...

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RS - 07 May 07 - 9:10 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi

I've finally calmed down to at least remember this: Arrandir.   This also puzzled me.

I, too, cannot figure out the Arrandir reference.  Please Dwimordene or Nath, enlighten us. The suspense is killing me.

RS

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Dwimordene - 07 May 07 - 9:34 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

It's late and I'm pooped, so I shall leave longer replies 'til tomorrow. However, I did want to say 'thank you' for reading and for commenting. And there is one thing I can answer despite being tired.

On the Arrandir reference: this is a reference the reader is not necessarily supposed to understand immediately, although some might. I'll get back around to it eventually, but until then, the suspense will just have to stand.

Good night!

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 09 May 07 - 9:18 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi IVIaedhros,

Firstly, thank you for your extensive comments and suggestions - I shall definitely keep them in mind when at length I get back to this chapter.

Well first off, I can't see why you're disappointed with this chapter save for the fact that you've been building towards these moments for so. Frickin'. LONG. I know how it feels. No matter what you do, you can't seem to get the magic and finally, you just say, "Screw it".

God, that is so very apt a characterization! This chapter has been hard for me to conceptualize, and I ended up going with what I think is a less than optimal version (and even less than optimal for its being less than optimal, if you know what I mean) because I feel like I'm not in a position to write it according to a different structure. And I'm tired. But I need to have this off my mind. Ergo...

First off, I want to suggest that you post this beast at Fanfiction.net as well as the White Tree (I believe that's the name) and Scribe network. FFN, especially, because this thing deserves a big audience.

I actually had the first 20 or so stories I wrote at FFN, and then I left with the Great NC-17 Purge of '02. Tired of dealing with site issues and fluctuating policy being implemented in ways I did not care for. Perhaps it is more stable now, but I still think I will keep my distance. I've got it up at HASA and LOTRfanfiction, and once I get done, I may also archive it at TFF. I just don't feel like keeping up with it on more sites than that. But thank you for the suggestion; it's not that I don't want readers, it's just that I don't want to deal with that particular site.

-It maybe because I haven't read this in a while, but your style seems to be moving closer to that of Tolkien. I'm not sure if this is simply practice or because the scene lends itself to that language. In any case, it's quite well done and very much suited to it.

It is closer to Tolkien's style, because that's what fit the chapter. I don't need that much of either Aragorn or Legolas to get us through the miles and miles and miles of deadly silent landscapes, so pulling away from them a bit became the logical move. And that distance makes it possible for me to imitate a little more closely Tolkien's own style. I'm glad it worked well for you. I had been worried that it would be an awkward switch-over (and in point of fact, as you remark, the actual switch is awkward).

-[Snip Simone Weil-esque passage] This little internal soliquey is very important, IMO, for understanding the mental states of these men. They're going on a suicide mission to the literal hell on earth. I'd like to see a bit more into their psychology.

I'll keep that in mind. I, too, would like to be able to do more with this, but the aforementioned "God I'm tired just get me through this" mentality is preventing me from finding an appropriate moment. Also, Tolkien's style makes it a little more difficult to insert such moments, which do need a bit of build-up to work well, either as contrasts with what's gone before or as capstones to an entire affective mood.

You had some very good small moments that showed that...Pipin, of all, people was an excellent window.

Pippin has been a lot of fun for me to write, and very useful as a narrator. I'm glad you liked his portion of the chapter, and that little bit of observation. The nice thing about him is that he doesn't have a very developed understanding of these sorts of mentalities, so he can be surprised by them and notice these little things. Legolas and Aragorn basically just live them and even if they don't verbalize them, they understand why you eat, why you do x. You do it because it's mechanical, because you have to do it, because it's inertia, because it's a way of not thinking about things and life has to go on while it goes on.

[snip]

[snip gift-wrapped presents from Mordor]

Now, given the circumstances...namely Legolas going into homicidal mode and the battle kicking off...it is perfectly understandable, nay, realistic that [gift-wrapped present] is not dwelt upon... Still, if there's a way that you could realistically make the appearance ... have more significance to the characters, take it.

Good point. I don't mean to neglect it, it is a huge point. At the same time, there just isn't time to give it the attention it deserves. I'll try to incorporate that "no time for attention deserved" aspect into the story a little more.

-The reference to the Music was good, though it seemed oddly awkward and unnecessary somehow. Don't get me wrong; I think it needs to be there...though not necessarily in that position. It just feels oddly out of place.

That would be the awkward transition that prevents me from having to move first to either Aragorn or Legolas, and second, invent time-filling stuff wherein I have to pay attention to the mechanics of getting from place A to place B, and from character A to character B, in great detail. It also means I don't have to deal with Denethor angst, Legolas angst or anyone else angst - I can do collective angst and passing landscapes. Not optimal, necessarily, but it basically got me out of Minas Tirith and through Ithilien in relatively short order without burn out.

Your modification of the songs for Aragorn and the departing soldiers was wonderful and another one of those moments that helps to characterize what this story is all about. There is no verse, no rhyme or tunning. It's half rage, half delirium and all love.

Thanks - that was probably my favorite part of the whole chapter.


[snip snip]

Due to my utter lack of knowledge about medieval battles...sorry, I'm modern Army, I shoot crap...

snork! I'm non-military in any sense of the term - I think I win on the ignorance scale.

I disclaimer of lack of knowledge. However, that time table seems to long to me, even if an enemy is going up that slope.

Good point. I'll revise for a much shorter time. I should just know better by now: NEVER commit myself to definite time spans for battles. Ever. It enables me to avoid making statements that are just unrealistic on the face of it... even for fantasy, heh heh.

-I don't know how much energy you have left after working on this thing for so long, but be sure you give all of the loose ends proper closure...Arwen, for example. There's no need to go on, but a good paragraph is, I think, necessary for her.

Oh, fear not. We aren't *nearly* done with this story yet, and I know what I want for the ending. Arwen will have her day, among others. :evil

Once you've finished this, give yourself some therapy by writing something really silly, short, silly and stupid...I think my favorite example is The Morning After: A Tale of Wanton Debauchery.

I've got something in mind of that sort. Also, I'm sure once I get through, I'll want to write something ridiculously fluffy and happy with kitties and bunnies and frolicking and all that sort of thing as a kind of system purge.

Thanks for your comments, IVIaedhros!

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 09 May 07 - 9:35 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

I am sooo SAD. I'm kind of (excuse the term) pissed off. I cannot even write right now. This might just end the story for me. I don't even want to continue anymore. I know it's just a story, but..... I have been so involved in this and for it to end up this way.....

Well, that's certainly a reaction that says I've succeeded in getting you to invest in the characters and their circumstances! I hope you'll be sucked in once more by curiosity at least, but having myself bailed on a story for reasons of "Ack! Too traumatic!!", I can't exactly complain if others do the same with mine!

Kind of ironic...Legolas---the person being driven by hate and vengeance and not really caring what happens to himself--- is saved by Aragorn, the person with a little bit of hope left in this very bleak tale.

To be fair to Legolas, he's seriously grieving and suffering the shattering of the world that makes even traumatic loss meaningful to him. Things just don't make sense to him anymore, and that leads to a certain kind of hysterical clinging on the one hand, and a certain kind of compulsive distancing on the other. It's not that he doesn't, in a sense, know exactly what he's doing, but that doesn't make a dent. He's just trying to survive and respond, and that makes him more like Denethor, perhaps, than we'd expect from him based on the minimal representations of him in the books.

Not that Aragorn isn't also seriously grieving and wounded by events, but it takes a different form because he's the one who gets named "Estel" for hope that has absolutely no ground in the world that literally produces sense and meaning for us.

I'm glad that you liked the portrayal of Aragorn at the end of the chapter. I confess, it's not my favorite part, and not just because of the content. It just didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to, alas. But hopefully later, I'll be able to get the other version in my head on paper in some effective form. It likely won't happen, though, until I get closer to the end of the story.

The ending of this chapter is such a downer for me, Dwim. Obviously this story made such an impact on me and I've grown to love your interpretation of these characters...

Thank you! I've really enjoyed writing them, for all I end up putting them through hell. I certainly appreciate that this is a very depressing note to end on. If I'd been smarter or more patient or less tired, I probably would've waited to release this chapter until I had the next one already written. But such is life - I'm neither patient nor smart when tired.

Thanks for your comments!

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 09 May 07 - 9:43 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Collective reply!

Hi Oshun!

IVIaedhros and RV--Too bad that public comments appear to everyone!

This is the one part about comments that is problematic for me. Spoiler protection is kind of non-existent, and I know I have a weak ability to avoid these sometimes...

I hope you'll still be able to enjoy the chapter, despite having some forewarning of what's to come.

And to Nath:

*whimper*

Well done!

Thank you! Not that your AU!tale appears to be any more cheerful, mind! ;-)

TTFN,

Dwim

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IVIaedhros - 09 May 07 - 10:34 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

*Insert pompous voice*

In my defense, I never mentioned who  "he" was...and as for the surprise factor of a certain gift wrapped present there's the facts of:

a. Based on your bits with the music, we can be fairly certain that the good guys will win...not saying that's a foregone conclusion :)

b. If good said good guys are to triumph, we can logically conclude that at least one of two certain little peoples must still be alive.  Therefore, if one were to be...*ahem* "removed" from the plot, the other must still be there.

c. We have had various clues as to who said gift package shall be.

...and why would any of you ninnies read comments before reading a story you've already started?   

That's right, Mr.-I'm-going-to-read-the-comments-first-and-spoil-everything-for myself-then-blame-poor-defenseless-undeniably-ravishing-IVIaedhros-about-it.  I'm talking to you.Pimp  Have you ever noticed all those smiles?

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oshun - 09 May 07 - 12:25 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Sorry, IVIaedhros, I know I am a whiner. On the habit of reading comments before the new chapter—I'm not really dumb, just no impulse control. Well, the story certainly caught our attention. It's  great read. I can live with the story line—ALL of my favorite characters in the Silmarillion died bar none; I'm getting used to great disappointment.

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Teleri - 10 May 07 - 4:28 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

WOW.  This is a marvelous and thought-provoking story.  I love it, and hope you update soon.  Grin

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Dwimordene - 10 May 07 - 5:20 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi Teleri - Thank you for commenting; I'm glad you're enjoying it! I hope I'll be able to update later this summer. Usually, I put out at least two chapters in a year, during semester breaks. So we'll see!

Dwim

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docmon - 12 May 07 - 2:01 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Dwim! o, Dwim! you really did it, didn't you?Devilish

Because I've learned the hard way and have had stories spoiled for me - I also have no impulse control and once I glance at those comments, won't stop! - this time, I avoided the comments altogether until after I'd read the chapter.

So I was completely taken by surprise by who you killed off this time. Like RS, for a while, I was really upset by the "cliffhanger" - I thought we'd go into the last Book not knowing if he was really dead, because I couldn't accept that you would really kill him off.

Then I remembered: this is Dwimordene's story, aka Let's See How Many of Your Favorite Characters I Can Kill in One Story. Of course he's dead! She's going to kill them all! Cry

Ok, I'm collecting myself, though the irony that Legolas, who so wants to die, is the one who still lives, is a bitter one, Dwim!

And I, too, am confounded by the 'Arrandir' reference. But if you say we're not supposed to know, then I'll stop searching for references! Wink

Overall, the chapter was as engaging as ever. I appreciated having some long-awaited issues attended to - Aragorn & Legolas somewhat clearing the air, for one. I liked seeing the music theme back, though it felt a little awkward to me as well. You captured the desperate tone of all the characters particularly well.

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter (who will die next? Devilish You know, everyone, she's enjoying torturing us, don't you?), I hope you get a couple done this summer!

docmon

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Apropos - 13 May 07 - 2:06 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

All of the kvetching about bumping off Aragorn and allowing Legolas to "survive" seems a little bit premature. After all, Legolas looks just as dead to me given the circumstances, although I suppose you may have in mind making him a prisoner of Sauron (I'm not sure I'm up to reading about such an eventuality). And I suppose the eagles might still show up, but I'm not holding my breath.

It's been some time since I read ROTK, but I seem to remember that Frodo made it to Orodruin mostly by dint of Sam's support and the fact that they were disguised as orcs. I'm desperately curious how you will get him there now (although I suppose it is always possible that the mountain is not his final destination). I'm thinking in particular about the bit that comes next…

I've been musing for some time on how you plan to end this story. IVIaedhros above expects a happy ending, but I have to wonder. With all the character deaths, it has always seemed like this journey was primed for the worst outcome imaginable. After all, without Gollum or Sam's interference, it seems there is nothing to prevent Frodo from claiming the ring in the end. So, do we get Evil!Frodo duking it out with Sauron? Yeah, I know you're not going to spill the beans, but could we maybe get one teeny hint where this is going? I'm expecting Evil!Frodo vs. Sauron and near-total annihilation of ME. Hot? Warm? Cold?

Sir Apropos

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Dwimordene - 18 May 07 - 4:05 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi Docmon. Sorry for the late reply - I've been on canned fanfic all week (i.e., what I've already got written and can release, as if opening a can).

Like RS, for a while, I was really upset by the "cliffhanger" - I thought we'd go into the last Book not knowing ...

Then I remembered: this is Dwimordene's story, aka Let's See How Many of Your Favorite Characters I Can Kill in One Story.


Drat. I've been caught! ;-)

Well, you knew the battle of Morannon, if fought, would have some key differences, yes?


Overall, the chapter was as engaging as ever. I appreciated having some long-awaited issues attended to - Aragorn & Legolas somewhat clearing the air, for one.

If not now, when? It's that old, "Nothing focuses the mind like imminent death." It tends to make certain things stand out that otherwise can be buried in other concerns. When there aren't any other concerns, there's nothing left to do but deal with those things.

I liked seeing the music theme back, though it felt a little awkward to me as well. You captured the desperate tone of all the characters particularly well.

Thanks!

Eagerly awaiting the next chapter... I hope you get a couple done this summer!

Hopefully I will, though we'll see. As I said, I'm kind of on canned fanfic right now--whatever I've got that doesn't require writing new stuff in a major way.

Thanks for your comments (and yes, of course I love tormenting readers - any writer who says otherwise is lying! :evil)!

Dwim

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Dwimordene - 18 May 07 - 4:09 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi Apropos.

I've been musing for some time on how you plan to end this story. IVIaedhros above expects a happy ending, but I have to wonder. With all the character deaths, it has always seemed like this journey was primed for the worst outcome imaginable. After all, without Gollum or Sam's interference, it seems there is nothing to prevent Frodo from claiming the ring in the end. So, do we get Evil!Frodo duking it out with Sauron? Yeah, I know you're not going to spill the beans, but could we maybe get one teeny hint where this is going? I'm expecting Evil!Frodo vs. Sauron and near-total annihilation of ME. Hot? Warm? Cold?

There's an obscurity front blowing in from the sea inside Dwim's brain. Forecasts predict an indefinite duration.

;-)

Thanks for your comments, Apropos! While there is a way in which not to answer is still to answer, let me add to the confusion by saying this is not always the case, but nothing should be inferred nonetheless.

Dwim

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Apropos - 19 May 07 - 10:15 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Well, if you find a way to answer that is still not to answer, I'm all ears. You can't blame a guy for asking, anyway. 

I neglected in my comment to include kudos for your achievement here (I've written you before with praise, but it's been years, now that I think about it). Not just a great reimagining of the story and a decent respect for Tolkein's style, but you've also captured the spirit of the old boy's work like nothing else I've seen. Much appreciated.

Here's hoping that Frodo finds a decent Motel 6 between here and Gorgoroth.

Apropos



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Dwimordene - 20 May 07 - 10:52 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Well, if you find a way to answer that is still not to answer, I'm all ears. You can't blame a guy for asking, anyway.

No, I certainly can't! :-) But feel free to turn those ears to others uses, since I'm committed to keeping my plottings secret until they're fully published.

I neglected in my comment to include kudos for your achievement here (I've written you before with praise, but it's been years, now that I think about it). Not just a great reimagining of the story and a decent respect for Tolkein's style, but you've also captured the spirit of the old boy's work like nothing else I've seen. Much appreciated.

Thank you! I suspect I have an unfair advantage when it comes to the spirit of Tolkien, just because I"m leaning so heavily on Tolkien's plot and specific phrases to write this story. Still, trying to keep a certain consistency of character and theme between AU and original is always an interesting challenge.

Here's hoping that Frodo finds a decent Motel 6 between here and Gorgoroth.

Well, Sauron's always got the light on for a Ring-bearer, but his is more a Hotel California style gig...

Dwim

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Leonora - 21 Jun 07 - 11:50 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Oh, wow...

I haven't checked up on this story for a couple of years, with the net result that I've just taken in AU!Book V in one sitting.

And, oh. Dwim. It was dreadful. Well done indeed.

A few things struck me especially:

--I like seeing the Rohirric, even if I don't agree with all of it. :o)

--For me, the fact of the two missing members of the Grey Company almost paints a grimmer picture of affairs in the North than Halbarad's report. (All the more, that it goes completely unremarked. Brr.)

--And I thought it a crisis averted, that Pippin doesn't take Merry's sword! Ultimately, it doesn't seem to help anyone that he keeps it. Ack!

--The way the roster of the living and the dead is upended so... thoroughly, and yet credibly. There are only so many roles to fill, and thus seemingly every key survival dooms another player to death. :-(

--That ending! That ending! Of all the things you've done, so far this and poor Sam are I think the worst - both in terms of personal preference (waah!), *and* in terms of the likely outcomes of the story from here. 'Tain't looking good! (And even if I'm right about the significance of 'Arrandir', it's but small consolation... but time will tell.)

So that's my piece said, and again: well done, well done, well done.

~Leonora

PS: Hope it's alright to lump chapter reviews together like this...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 23 Jun 07 - 9:53 PM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

Hi Leonora!

I've just taken in AU!Book V in one sitting.

And, oh. Dwim. It was dreadful. Well done indeed.


Given the story, "dreadful" is quite the compliment - thank you!

--I like seeing the Rohirric, even if I don't agree with all of it. :o)

Is that a disagreement with the content or a comment on the grammar? If the grammar, and you can fix it, you can claim one quarter of my soul from the other correctors of my cobbled-together Old English.

--And I thought it a crisis averted, that Pippin doesn't take Merry's sword! Ultimately, it doesn't seem to help anyone that he keeps it. Ack!

It depends on how one views the original slaying of the Witch-king, I suppose. I'm partial to the theory that it requires both Merry and Éowyn to get the job done, due to the ambiguity of the prediction that "No living man" will kill the Witch-king.

Merry negates the species sense of "Man", Eowyn the gendered sense, and the two of them together negate the singular 'man'.

The lord of the dead men is another possible participant in Nazgûl-slaying, being dead, but it still took Merry, with his barrow-blade in particular, to open the possibility of a fair fight between the Witch-king and the lord of the dead.

--The way the roster of the living and the dead is upended so... thoroughly, and yet credibly.

If there is one thing I hate, it's an arbitrary death in an AU. ;-)

--That ending! That ending!

LOL! I'm, um, glad to have traumatized you? Thanks for your feedback, and of course, it's fine to lump chapter reviews.

'Til next chapter! (Whenever that happens, which might well be Christmas, alas...)

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 24 Dec 11 - 9:09 AM

Ch. 43: Lie Down in the Darkness

I had to read this with a shirt slung over one half of the screen to hide comments.  We need a blinder for this site.  No I do not read them ahead of time, but when it's on the same freakin' screen it's kind of hard not to see things out of the corner of one's eyes.  Happy to contribute to the general readerly sabotage with my own comments...

Poor Sam.  I hope it *was* the killing poison. 

The initial departure, with the accompanying cacophony of song: I thought that was an interesting way to render it.  Certainly made the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, to imagine it.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

IVIaedhros - 09 Sep 07 - 7:42 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Awesome, as always.  At first I was a little worried about the ghost of old _____ being too gimicky, but you pulled it off well.  I'll give the usual commentary later.  It's late and I just wanted to say, "well done".

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 17 Sep 07 - 2:31 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Hey IVIaedhros,

Been a busy week - thanks for your comment on the latest chapter. Given how much trouble X gave me, I'm very glad it read well in the end.

TTFN,

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Skeeve - 19 Sep 07 - 7:00 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Well, no Evil!Frodo but we do get Sam back. Or is he just a figment...and why isn't Frodo obsessing about the Ring the way he did in the books? Here he just seems to be mostly worried someone else will get it. A bit confused here! Okay, I'll read it again...and again...

Still hoping for that big showdown between Frodo and the S-man, but I guess that's because I'm a guy. It seems like it's that or Sauron gets the Ring. I have enjoyed it so far and hope it all comes together...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Patti Baggins - 20 Sep 07 - 9:51 AM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Wow!  I'm still shivering after reading the new chapter.  When Sam's body was the "proof" of the failure of Frodo's mission, I wept, because I had hoped he wasn't really gone; our poor, brave Sam couldn't really be dead, leaving Frodo all alone in that hellish land.  But his return is utterly chilling, disturbing on so many levels, for all that it is also a blessing for Frodo.  Or is it?  Has the Ringbearer been possessed by the spirit of his lost friend?  Or has he run mad?  Or is it, simply, blessedly true that Samwise the stout-hearted has returned, a blessing from the Valar or from Eru, to help save Middle Earth? The end of the year seems centuries away, but we will doubtless be well rewarded for our wait.  Thank you for taking the time to do this dark alternate tale with careful thought. 

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 22 Sep 07 - 1:54 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Dear Skeeve,

No, no evil!Frodo in this chapter - I'm pretty much just putting him through the grind right now. But I'll consider the possibility of injecting a little evilness into this chapter - I know where I want to go, it's the question of getting from one point to the next and I've never thought I had the greatest grasp on hobbits.

I'm glad you've been enjoying the story so far - thanks for reviewing!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 22 Sep 07 - 1:58 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Dear Patti,

Thanks for reviewing! That you've already mapped out so many possibilities to explain Sam is terrific - I didn't want this to be an element that would have a straightforward explantion readily available. Now, if only I can get everything lined up to go how I want it to from here, fannish life will be good!

I've had a lot of fun trying to come up with plausible shifts and changes of tone or different ways of getting to certain story constants between the AU and the canonical tale. Glad you're enjoying the results!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 22 Nov 07 - 7:26 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Dwim!

So sorry I never posted a comment when I read this back in Sept. It is more than deserving of it!

You've packed in all the eerieness, the ambiguity, the desperation that is the Land of Mordor - and is of this tale as well. You describe Frodo's experience so vividly, I feel his thirst and his relief from thirst with him.

I'm so happy to see Sam back in the picture, if not in the flesh. I used to hang on to my hope when I read your story, but you taught me better! Devilish So, I'll be satisfied with a ghost of Sam, though I can't say I'm sure that's what he'll turn out to be...

As usual, you've written a gripping chapter that sweeps me away, this time into the depths of Mordor. Not a pretty place, but beautiful writing, Dwim!

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 27 Nov 07 - 5:56 PM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

Hi Docmon!

Hey, no problem, re: late posting. Life is busy!

I'm very glad you enjoyed chapter 44 - it was a tough chapter to write. I'm glad the tone suited the land of Mordor - I certainly felt like I was writing through Mordor. :-S

We'll see if I can keep it up for the next chapter, heh heh!

TTFN,

Dwim 

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 24 Dec 11 - 9:34 AM

Ch. 44: Where the Shadows Lie

o dear god what

THAT'S NOT SAM!

(I don't think it is, anyway.)

...

(I am, predictably, curious about those half memories Frodo has about an Orc, wondering where he got the armor and all, but I don't expect answers on that score: you have so much pure story on hand.)

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

IVIaedhros - 04 Dec 08 - 11:06 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Hmm, what a wonderful afternoon surprise.  I have no real comments to offer in this straightforward section here other to than to once again say that you do a wonderful job of channeling the good professor (indeed, this chapter, I think more than any other in memory) through your language and your themes of fellowship and endurance while still finding your own flare.  

 Oh, and I love this,

" but the other part was moving already – out of habit, or mayhap something less benign."

Tolkien himself implied several times throughout his books that a higher power pushed Frodo and the others.  In the movies, we see Galadrial.  While that line might have specifically refered to ring, I think it's fascinating to think of Frodo being steered and nerved against his normal will by the likes of the Elves and the Valar.  It kind of reinforces the sacrifice that was demanded of him.

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 07 Dec 08 - 1:40 PM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Hi IVIaedhros,

It's been a long wait, hasn't it? Thanks for sticking with me!

you do a wonderful job of channeling the good professor (indeed, this chapter, I think more than any other in memory) through your language and your themes of fellowship and endurance while still finding your own flare.

And again, thank you. I keep trying to figure out ways of injecting something new into the descriptions, to mark a distance from Tolkien while still using a style that is more like his own. Glad it's working out!

Tolkien himself implied several times throughout his books that a higher power pushed Frodo and the others.

Higher or lower, depending on how one views them, I suppose. But certainly we're dealing with possession of a sort, so I figure it's appropriate to exploit the opening.

Now, to get across Gorgoroth...

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

ziggy - 23 Dec 08 - 4:05 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

At last a small ray of hope, even though it is amidst complete desolation. THe gradual solidifying of Sam into a real presence over the last two chapters has been fascinating, but also the deep tenderness Sam has is terribly moving- just that line, 'Time to go' is very quiet and gentle. And throughout that despair, the way they are almost playing out their parts even though it is doomed, hangs over everything when I read this. I am more thna  little overawed to tell the truth!

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 24 Dec 08 - 1:19 PM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Dear Ziggy,

The gradual solidifying of Sam into a real presence over the last two chapters has been fascinating

Yes! I'm so glad that that transition into a solid real presence is working.

 I'm also very relieved that the emotional rapport seems to be believable. You would not believe how hard Sam fought me for those last paragraphs, especially! 

Thanks so much for commenting - happy holidays, and happy reading!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Skeeve - 02 Jan 09 - 1:05 PM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Excellent work, as always. Still trying to figure out where you're going with it. I had thought that Sam's presence in Frodo's mind (real or imagined) might be some kind of temptation on the part of the Ring, but that doesn't square with the fact that Sam is apparently helping Frodo "get 'er done." Now would be the perfect time to betray him to Sauron, after all. Maybe the Ring has ambitions of its own?

Well, enough fruitless speculation. I eagerly wait the next installment, hopefully coming in the not-too-distant future (as they used to say on MST3K).   

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

docmon - 05 Jan 09 - 11:40 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Dwim!

A long-awaited update! Very glad to see it.

So, so, so glad to see Sam here, with a physical presence no less (didn't expect to get that much). Regardless of what he is, how it came to pass, for now, I'll take it. I don't for a minute assume that he's alive. I've learned to abandon my hope when reading this story.  Devilish Besides, I've noticed little clues, like how Sam seems to know Frodo's thoughts. Whatever he is, it's my guess he's not human. That's my opinion, at least!

The longer we wait, the less there is of me to go forward.

That line captured for me the despair and heartbreak present in both Tolkien's version and yours. The whole chapter was a portrait of despair, in fact. It downright hurt to read Frodo's agony while climbing through Mordor, but that was the point wasn't it? And I doubly appreciated the moments when he stopped to appreciate and wonder at Sam's presence. I was nearly as grateful. As I was for this update. Hopefully it won't be as long for the next! Grin

docmon

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 07 Jan 09 - 10:03 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Hi Skeeve,

Still trying to figure out where you're going with it. I had thought that Sam's presence in Frodo's mind (real or imagined) might be some kind of temptation on the part of the Ring, but that doesn't square with the fact that Sam is apparently helping Frodo "get 'er done."

Sam is meant to be mysterious at this point. Eventually, you'll be able to test your theories, though. 

  Maybe the Ring has ambitions of its own?

It definitely has its own mind. I'll pass on speculating as to whether that mind includes independent ambition. 

Hopefully in the not-too-distant-future (okay, more like May...) I'll be able to post the next chapter. Thanks for your comments!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 07 Jan 09 - 10:09 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

Hello docmon,

Yes, a rather lengthy wait for an update. Sorry about that. This chapter was evil.

I don't for a minute assume that he's alive. ...Whatever he is, it's my guess he's not human. That's my opinion, at least!

Good guess - won't say more than that, but good guess. Devilish

The whole chapter was a portrait of despair, in fact. It downright hurt to read Frodo's agony while climbing through Mordor, but that was the point wasn't it?

Pretty much. Honestly, he probably should be dead, but there are forces at work, etc. 

And I doubly appreciated the moments when he stopped to appreciate and wonder at Sam's presence.

Oh good. That part was really tricky to pull off. I needed it, but I am still not certain it was the best way to write it. I just couldn't find another way! But I'm pleased that it seems to have struck the right note regardless of all the trials and travails it gave me.

Hopefully, the next update will come sometime in May, after the semester is over. We'll see. I swear, getting through Mordor is almost as hard for me as it is for Frodo...

Take care,

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 24 Dec 11 - 9:48 AM

Ch. 45: The High Road

...what ARE you, Sam?

It's true that you are being all manner of tender and Sammish with Frodo, and the happiest explanation would be that you are an honest specter allowed to attend your poor master by a higher power - or, a needful delusion crafted by Frodo's desperate brain.  But my theories are darker than that.  Wouldn't *this* be a great way to reel the Ringbearer in...

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Aiwendiel - 13 Oct 10 - 3:18 AM

Ch. 46: The Fires of Orodruin

OMG!! I just found.... A new chapter!! Fire and smoke and wonders! Light! Song! Mystery! Fantastic!...

I wondered where he'd gotten to! "Your servant." Wonderful. Wonderful! Thank you, thank you!

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Aiwendiel - 13 Oct 10 - 3:21 AM

Ch. 47: Discant

"With all the owls for his eyes..." What a wonderful image, all those searching, bright yellow eyes, in service to the drab old man. Thanks for weaving him in!

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Aiwendiel - 13 Oct 10 - 3:25 AM

Ch. 48: Oilima Markirya

Beautifully crafted, unreachable grief but with a steady clear eye to the future that no one, not even the Powers, could have foreseen.  I am so glad I checked, somehow I missed that you'd finished it. What a stupendous work!

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 17 Oct 10 - 7:28 PM

Ch. 48: Oilima Markirya

Hi Aiwendiel,

Thanks very much for your comments on the multiple endings - I'm glad you enjoyed them, especially the couple of characters who so rarely make it even edgewise into fanfic. 

Take care!

Dwim

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

thelauderdale - 24 Dec 11 - 10:15 AM

Ch. 49: Notes

Wowww.  It all cracked wide open at the end.  In the good way.  I need to go find a little corner to recover in.

(But, just as a little aside to Sam: no hard feelings, eh?)

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Lie Down in the Darkness, Rise up from the Ash

Dwimordene - 27 Dec 11 - 9:16 AM

Ch. 49: Notes

Hi Lauds - Sam can't possibly have hard feelings - you were only worried about Frodo, after all! ;-)

Thanks so much for all your comments on LDID - I've really enjoyed reading them, and am glad you found the story so engaging.

Pippin did turn out to be the biggest surprise for me as a writer, and I'm glad you found his arc interesting. As you say, responsibility requires him to make the choice he makes, but responsibility comes in many forms. As Halbarad said, better to smart from the wound to your pride than die for the flattering of it - Pippin's decision (I hope) shows he's adult enough that he isn't willing to be flattered - not even by himself, and so he won't make others deal with his immaturity, either.

As for spider anatomy - yeah, Tolkien clearly tried never to get within five feet of a spider. But that anatomical snafu does allow for other ways of dying than poison, although there is still that. I mean, you think of a giant spider stinger impaling someone, and you think "ruptured internal organs."

But anyway - thank you, once again, for commenting on the story, and happy writing to you in the new year!

Dwim

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