|Reviews for To Give Hope|
| Majoranka 12/19/12 . chapter 5
This is one of the best stories about Gilraen's arrival to Imladris that I have ever read. Great characterization, engaging writing style. I especially liked your portrayal of Elrond, and the way you deal with foresight in this story - it is a terrible thing, to be burdened by the future as well as the past...
Thanks for this great read.
| Guest 8/3/12 . chapter 5
I hope they are not teaching two year old children how to sword fight. Two year olds are far too young. The proper ages for children to learn sword fighting is probably 7 to 9.
| BlackxValentine 12/15/08 . chapter 4
AW, I'm actually watching LOTR: the return of the king while i read this and i just saw aragorn adn am picturing him as a little boy! XD
so cute...love aragorn and elrond like bonding...i guess is the word
| Larner 9/5/08 . chapter 5
Ah, the best way to honor her husband and her child's father! Indeed, hope dwells with them all now.
| Larner 9/5/08 . chapter 4
Not yet three, and already crowned with Light. Most appropriate, and love how the name has come to him.
| Larner 9/5/08 . chapter 3
After a few too many days of real life I'm able to return to this. Her confusion and grief are all to realistic, as is her clinging almost convulsively to her son. Love that Elrohir is willing to play a bit to amuse Aragorn. Now, to find out precisely what Elrond wishes to discuss.
| Larner 8/27/08 . chapter 2
A wonderful description of the grief and weariness felt, and Glorfindel's appreciation that there is something Elrond seeks to forestall by sending Arwen away. Poor Elladan!
| Larner 8/26/08 . chapter 1
The grief is understandable, of course, as is the uncertainty.
| estelstheone 12/19/07 . chapter 5
Okay, made it to the library. (It's only a few minutes away.) Didn't know how else to do this.
Anyways, my friend, here goes with what was supposed to be the review for chapter 5 and not another review of chapter 4. (So brain dead today.)
I'll be the first to admit that Gilraen usually doesn't interest me in f-a-n-f-i-c-t-i-o-n but you've changed that. She comes across as strong yet vulnerable, loving, brave, loyal, and malleable to forces greater than herself, because she is willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. From the first paragraph to the last, your writing is a work of art. When she stands in 'the beautiful gardens in which she could find no beauty' and the sound of childish laughter reaches her ears, I love the way that brought back her memories of her last day with Arathorn. And the way you've transformed him for me (mentally) from a stern warrior to a loving husband and father who does his duty despite the unenviable fate that awaits him, is almost magical. Great job on that.
When the children play at sword-fighting and Gilraen allows herself to muse that there is a 'greater purpose' behind it, you can't help but feel a sense of loss for all their sacrifices. Very poignant. And with the approach of Elladan and Elrohir and the subsequent effect it has on the village women, I couldn't suppress a smile. I think I'd be pretty smitten too. My favorite description of the Lords Elladan and Elrohir: '...though truly the sons of Elrond were beautiful beyond her capacity to describe, or even to comprehend' But you've portrayed her as more insightful than that: '...to her it seemed as though they carried within them a profound sadness which, though carefully concealed, never waned.' Excellent.
And that terrible sense of foreboding - again, almost heartwrenching to read. 'Was it guilt that she saw in those fathomless grey eyes?' As it turns out, yes. You lend a sense of maturity to the plot and characters that is most refreshing.
So many great, great things about this chapter - 'Every good leader knows that no matter how dark the days may grow, we must on occasion at least, find the time for celebration, if for no other reason than to remember what it is we fight for!' How sad (but wonderfully noble) that Arathorn has to set aside his own misgivings and go where duty calls. That is, after all, what 'real' men do. But his answer to her entreaties was perfect - that fear is at the very heart of it all.
I'm so glad that your portrayed their last night together as beautifully as you did. And I'm with Thorongirl about liking the part where Arathorn picks Gilraen up and says, "You dare call me a rascal? Then let me show you what a rascal I can be!' Makes me melt. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. And all the more understanding of his widow's grief.
The conversation with Elladan was exceptionally well done. His guilt is so overwhelming that this young woman feels like mothering him. 'She could not begin to fathom the weight of the burdens he bore from his millenia on Arda.'
There's so much 'meat' to this story - Gilraen's sense of loss and duty, Elladan's guilt and the reasons for it - I think the most powerful in the entire chapter is when Elladan despairs: "What force compels me to wreak vengeance against those feel beasts past the point of all thought and reason?" and "I am lost...all is lost." I felt like crying over that whole section. Kudos on the fantastic writing there.
Oh, and when Elladan pledges his oath that 'as long as he draws breath, he will not allow Aragorn to fall' - it's hard to describe just how grand a feeling that inspires. Very, very touching.
And the inevitability of Estel's 'sitting comfortably in Lord Elrond's arms as if he had been born into them...' *Wince* But you make Elrond so real and so wise, for he will only choose this path if Gilraen allows it. And then, the ending: "If it would please you, then go with him, Estel."
Honestly, what a gloriously realized story, one worthy of Tolkien himself. You should be very, very proud of what you've accomplished in this story, and you are definitely among the very best writers in the fandom.
| lostinterestsorry 12/19/07 . chapter 5
What a grand little story. You have a depth of insight that few other authors do and your story certainly goes far beyond the ordinary action/adventure (which, I hasten to add, I'm still quite fond of) tale. I thoroughly enjoyed the way you wrote Elrond's reaction to Gilraen's fears and how careful he is not to belittle or minimize them.
"Gilraen, your son is in grave danger..." Yes, she probably knows that but the full impact/consequences are what she fears most. That is an awfully lot to ask of her, no doubt, to shield him away from his kindred and have no other children as companions. That'd be pretty strange, wouldn't it?
And indeed, how can he be expected to lead a people he cannot possibly know or understand? And to conceal his true identity! Honestly, what a great storyline Tolkien wrote there and I love your interpretation of it. And not even to mention the names of his father and grandfather! Can you imagine how difficult that would be for Gilraen? I mean, Estel won't know the difference until he is older, but as his mother, it would weigh on your mind constantly, wouldn't it?
When you wrote about Elrond having that vision and how only one other mortal - his brother - had seen him so vulnerable, I thought about what a powerful scene that was. Brilliant writing. Definitely in the award category.
"Perhaps, though, it is destined that by our loss, so much more may be gained." You are the mistress of incredible dialogue and drama! I feel humbled by the sheer beauty of your story-telling.
I guess we don't always think of what sacrifices are involved in Elrond's raising Estel. But you've laid the emotions bare and make us realize just how much would have been involved. I'm only sorry I didn't get around to reviewing this sooner, because it is truly a story worthy of every accolade it receives.
But ah, yes, Elrohir's first foray into babysitting was a nice, light touch after all that drama. "..We may have tossed a few handfuls of hay upon each other in the barn..." Loved that.
"No bath! I not messy!" Haha. Just like every little boy I've ever come across (well, with the exception of one of my little nephews who likes to...vacuum)!
Well, I felt you deserved a nice long review after waiting this long. I'm just not skilled enough to explain how your words touch me and inspire me. Your writing is truly amazing.
| Thorongirl 11/23/07 . chapter 5
I'm trying to play *catch up* and still do justice to some of my favorite authors/stories. I did read this when you first posted it but things came up and I didn't have the opportunity to review. So...I'd like to rectify that.
My dear, you write these characters in such superlative fashion that I feel unqualified to express just how brilliantly you do so. But trust me, your portrayals of all parties involved - Elrohir and Elladan, Elrond, Gilraen - even Arathorn - are among the very best I've ever read. As one of your other reviewers so much more eloquently expressed, reading your words is like reading poetry. You move us with the depth of feeling and understanding in everything you say.
For instance - the way you write Gilraen's unease with her situation is just so different than what most people write. You describe a true conflict of a person caught between two worlds. You have amazing mature insight into her situation.
And your description of the elves! You know how much I adore Aragorn but if anyone could persuade me to love Tolkien's elves more, it would be you.
That scene where Gilraen wants to dissuade her husband from riding off with the twins was amazing. Her desperation and fear is almost palpable. But of course, Arathorn cannot be dissuaded by mere sentiment. Duty MUST come first. "Without duty there is no hoour, and without honour there is nothing, for we are nothing. We are no longer Dunedain." That said it all, but it said it so magnificently. Kudos on that.
I've gotta tell you. I loved that scene between Arathorn and Gilraen too. "You dare to call me a rascal? Then let me show you what a rascal I can be!" That certainly rings true of a loving relationship between a man and woman. It makes her loss all the more poignant.
Her interaction with Elladan is so believable, and so powerful. You really can draw up so much with your writing. I am stunned at how beautiful it is.
And that ending! It sent chills down my spine. This is worthy of publication. It really is. Magnificent. Splendid. Outstanding. Well, you understand...
BTW, my sister sends her love. She hopes to be spending more time online soon. On top of everything else, she's had an increased workload. Take care of yourself. And please, don't let this or any other review pressure you into writing another gem like this. Okay? Really! I mean it. (Haha. You know I don't. I can't WAIT to read another of your stories. It's always a pleasure)!
| Kalisona 11/17/07 . chapter 5
I'm sorry for the tardiness of this review. Real life has tried very hard to keep me from the important stuff, like reading wonderful fanfiction like this.
Once again, it's great to see everything from Gilraen's eyes, as it gives us all a new perspective on Imladris, Elrond, Elladan, Elrohir and just what they all had asked of her.
This was a beautiful way to wrap up a wonderful tale, one that depicted emotions far better than most can do. I enjoyed reading this, and le hannon for writing it!
| Nieriel Raina 11/7/07 . chapter 1
I aspire to write as well as you one day. Everytime I read something by you, I am floored by the depth of the work and the professional feel. Have you considered publishing original work?
Your opening here is wonderfully done. You pull your readers in right from the beginning and right away we are empathizing with the woman.
-she took some small comfort instead in the tears of the sky.-
Your imagery is great too! And again, I am floored at the power in your writing. You give us long well thought out sentences and then a short one for power. "His father was dead."
-Though Arathorn had shared a bond of brotherly affection with Elladan and Elrohir since the days of his youth, she had always been wary of the two, and she had kept them at a distance. Each time the grandly noble and wondrously fair twin sons of the half-elven lord, dressed in their fine attire and speaking with courtly grace, had swept into her village to take her husband away on another of their campaigns against the shadow, she had known in her heart it could well be his last.-
This is something I have not really seen in fandom before - Gilraen not being warm and cozy with the sons of Elrond. And again the imagery is so well done!
One thing that stands out to me that is also original is the very distinct differences between the sons of Elrond. They are two very unique and separate entitites, which I really like.
-As they approached, a figure, seeming to her an apparition, emerged from the doorway and glided down the stairs to stand directly before her.
Not for the first time this day, she found herself gaping in wonder. The being appeared to have physical form, for she could see that he was tall, lithe, and strong, and wondrously fair of face with long golden hair; and yet, to her it was as though the very sun had lowered itself from the heavens to greet her. This translucent corporeal shell seemed barely able to contain the pure white light within, and she had to restrain her ardent desire to touch the empyreal vision before her eyes to assure herself that this was in fact a thing of flesh and blood.-
Yep, grinning like an idiot. I do so love how you write my elf. *grin* And Gilraen's response is quite understandable for one in mourning.
-He raised his head and again turned his eyes to her. Her breath caught in her throat. She saw now upon this face untouched by age the raw and undisguised sorrow of ages. It was as though he had lowered a veil and opened himself to her, permitting her a rare glimpse into the fathomless depths of his soul. She then knew with certainty that he spoke with the utmost sincerity and respect, his voice like the most sorrowful, yet most beautiful music she had ever heard, as he added softly: “I grieve with you, my Lady.”-
I keep quoting because so often when I read your work, I feel like I am reading poetry! What else can I say to that? You show, you don't tell. You use vivid description, raw emotion, and realistic reaction.
One thing that jumped out at me: Aragorn's clear pronunciation of his name. "I Aragorn." I think at this age, showing a lisp would have been more effective. "I Ar'gorn."
-Releasing a deep sigh, Gilraen sank into a chair at the table. She was numb from weariness and grief. Her husband was dead, her family was far removed from her, and she felt very much alone in a foreign land. She wanted nothing more than to give in to her sorrow and move no more, but she could not, for she had her boy to care for. She could not fail her son, he was all she had left. He was now her whole world.-
Lot of 'was'es in that paragraph. Same with the one below. They have been drilling this into my head at GoI. *grin*
-After bathing Aragorn in the wonderfully warm water of the large tub, and finally convincing him to get out, they both dressed in thick, soft nightclothes which fit as though they were made for them. She brought her son into the big bed with her, holding him close. The bedding was of the finest cloth she had ever seen; intricately embroidered yet soft and warm and beautifully scented. Although Aragorn was still excited by all that had happened that day and he squirmed in her arms, he was also deeply exhausted and, after a brief tale of brave lords and beautiful ladies, he was soon fast asleep.-
Overall pickie is that the paragraphs are awfully short. There is a lot of white space. Not that I'm one to talk. *smile*
I really enjoyed this opening chapter a LOT! Your writing is incredible and I don't wonder if some people don't review for a lack of not knowing what to say to such writing. It reads beautifully!
| Pentangle-linnon 10/30/07 . chapter 5
This was really quite superb. You have one of the strongest portrayals of the twins as *elves* I have read, as well as a strongly developed character for each. I feel that as you hold your hands over the keyboard that you know who these people are, not just for a moment but all the time. You know how they will react in any situation. This is key, in my opinion, to write characters that people want to read about. You must know who they are before you can write them (well). And you surely do! Seriously, I love your twins. They are true paragons, yet still have a vulnerability that keeps them from being too perfect.
As always, I have trouble warming up to Gilraen, but you made me care for her and see her as more than the-mother-of-Aragorn. The scene with Arathorn was so poignant since we knew how it would end. I liked the way she struggled with her own desires versus the needs of her people.
The last scene was perfect and I had a tear in my eye when the mother wanted to care for the motherless. How close they came to fulfilling each other's needs, yet a species and time separate them.
So by now you probably know I loved it.
| Calenlass Greenleaf1 10/26/07 . chapter 5
/“Elladan and Elrohir, eternal friends and allies to our people, have called now upon our aid, for the band of orcs is too great in number for them to fight on their own. I will not turn my back on them, nor will I send my men into danger without their chieftain at the front, for it is my duty to lead them.”/
Such strong words spoken by Arathorn...I can imagine Aragorn saying them.
Though this is the last chapter, it was the best chapter, IMO. Arathorn and Gilraen are well-remembered in this story, and the sons of Elrond-your portrayal of them was all I ever hoped for, and more. :)
Thank you for such a wonderful story. It's one I'll return to over and over again.