Reviews for Complexities of Power
Quills in blood red ink chapter 1 . 8/19/2010
I'm speechless, what a wonderful chapter. It's so believable you can tell you are dealing with a master at manipulation with your writing of Melkor.
The Lauderdale chapter 3 . 8/29/2005
"But the concept of “intelligent” Orcs is purely fanon, although I hope it is a reasonable one."

[expostulates] Not fanon at all! That's why I like Tolkien Orcs - they aren't the dumb grunting greenies of his immitators. Tolkien's Orcs employ logic, abstraction, dark humor, false comradery in the case of Shagrat and Gorbag (suggesting that friendship, while it may not be common or strongly binding, is not unknown to Orcs), and coherent sentence structure. They know how to make stuff, blow stuff up and how to write - or at least how to brand their names on people's faces (the Azog/Thror incident.) They may not be college grads, but they are certainly not unintelligent...

I like the way Grezbar's devotion to his master slyly parallels Sauron's old sense of duty and service. As I interpret it, this moment's kinship between them is born of Sauron remembering his older self. How ironic to find Aule's innocent protege echoed in a being as jaded and marred as an Orc!

I haven't remarked much on the first two installments of this piece, but that's because I thought I had commented on them a long time ago. (Was there ever a version of this story in the Silmarillion section?) In any case, I just discovered this portion via The Black Gate C2 and am feel treated...
kasura chapter 3 . 12/22/2004
I've enjoyed reading all of your works. You have introduced a lot of complexities in Sauron's character. I feel most sympathetic for Grezbar. I think he symbolized Sauron's utmost cruelty. he's intelligent to learn but he has no free will.

I'm not sure if you intend to bring out the contrast between Valar/elves and Sauron/orcs, but that's thought I have after reading this chapter. The Valar lets the elves have their free wills, and that's the difference.
The Lady Rai Hiiragizawa chapter 2 . 3/12/2003
Wow. This is good. This is very good. Not too many people out there spend time to write about the darker characters like Lord Sauron and Gothmog. I say, are Balrogs truely mute? I hope you plan on writing more of this, particularly on Lord Sauron and Melkor's "relationship". I like the way you "personified" Gothmog. Very nice work. - More power to you and to Mordor!
Avelera chapter 2 . 2/2/2003
I absoloutely love this. Its great when authors go into the histories of established but little known characters like Sauron, Morgoth, and Gothmog. By the way, I think it said in one of the letters that the Balrog made no sound when fighting Gandalf. I think it was implied that Balrogs are mute.
Longshot chapter 2 . 1/16/2003
Sympathy for the Devil... Even when he is tortuing the slave you are almost tricked into feeling sympathy for him.

Thoroughly enjoyed it
finch chapter 2 . 1/14/2003
Why is it so scary when an evil character is being nice and polite? Because it tells us that being nice and being good aren't the same - and this tells us something about our own behaviour. Same thing for two evil characters seeming to get along - too human and close to home. You really have a way of showing us the subtleties of evil, and why it is so deceptively attractive. I hope you'll continue in this vein.
Maeve Riannon chapter 2 . 1/14/2003
As chilling as ever *brrr* and very insightful. You do a very good job with Sauron, as you did in the last chapter, and the scene with Gothmog was delightful. I never knew about a Balrogs feelings!
Soledad too lazy to log in chapter 2 . 1/14/2003
That was eerie. Sauron and Gothmog and a friendly chat - you almost lulled me into some sort of twisted sympathy, until that poor slave happened to come in. The most grotesque scene was, however, Sauron politely holding the door open for the Balrog... it seemed so *normal* in a completely twisted situation, it made me shiver, even more than the end.
Cirdan chapter 1 . 1/7/2003
Melkor using his wiles on Sauron, is he? Happiness can't be evil. Well, alas, it seems Melkor's cleverness shows through again. He reminded me very much of Satan the Snake tempting Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit. I suppose it's my way of saying that you've done a great job of showing how Melkor's logic seems sensible and how it can deceive others. I also like the way Melkor addressed Sauron as Kinsman. Interesting fic.
ARtanis chapter 1 . 1/3/2003
Wow, this is so deep. Sure the seed has been there in Sauron's heart, discontent. Melkor merely nourish it. I wonder if the corrupted Elves, the Orcs, are created in the same way. Nice work, great use of language, and very profound in describing evil as manifestation of lust for power.
Maeve Riannon chapter 1 . 12/27/2002
Wow..youve found your ability to write about disturbing subjects, havent you? And this "temptation" story, understood from an ecological point of view, is also even more terrible. Its curious that Sauron finds so much contentment in that of destroying Yavannas trees and pastures. That IS the Tolkien spirit!
Finch chapter 1 . 12/27/2002
Good study in the technique of seduction: playing on the 'victim's' dissatisfaction with the situation he finds himself in.

It seems that Sauron cannot really accept the pain along with the pleasure and the eternity; cannot accept that Ea is a less than perfect place where the freedom of one is limited by the freedom of the other (the freedom of nature vs. the freedom of culture in the wider sense?) The example of the rabbit serves to hammer home what it boils down to: the freedom to do as you wish for no other reason than to do as you wish.

Again, you raise very interesting issues here that cannot easily be answered within the scope of one short story.
Birdy Jae chapter 1 . 12/27/2002
Most excellent. There's too few Melkor fanfics out there, thanks for writing a good one.
Soledad chapter 1 . 12/27/2002
This story has two strong elements of intrest for me. Firstly, seeing Sauron (who had, undoubtedly, a different name back then) before his fall - you portray him so well with so few words. Secondly, the way how he was seduced by Melkor to the dark side. The terrible temptation of every artisan never to be contained in their creativity is shown very, very convincingly. Great work!
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