Reviews for The Black Gate Opens
Jedi Buttercup chapter 6 . 1/12/2005
Old Strider had saved Faramir and Merry, surely he could save Frodo and Sam too.

This made me smile; you're wonderfully POV-conscious. I read this and immediately thought - And Eowyn! - but of course, Pippin wasn't the one who befriended her, so why would he have remembered? Like as not, if Merry had been the one wondering he'd have thought of her and forgotten Faramir.

I *adored* the Hobbits immediately ordering tea for Strider and making him put his feet up once he'd finished calling Frodo and Sam back. So very them. And the mention of the Men who kept fighting - or surrendered - after the Gates fell was welcome, also. I missed that in the movie version.

Not done commenting yet! Tying back to my remarks on earlier chapters, I cheered over Pippin's exchange with Beregond about having left his reckless days behind, and "Sir Peregrin Troll-Bane." Of all the Hobbits, I identify with Pippin's personal journey the most, I think, and you've definitely done justice to it. An excellent conclusion to this segment of your tale.
Jedi Buttercup chapter 5 . 1/12/2005
I understand why you followed certain elements of the movie's version of events, here. It is more satisfying to most of the audience for Merry and Pip to still be together, though Merry in the book was still laid up from the effects of striking the Witch-King. Likewise, Aragorn severing the head of the Mouth of Sauron inspires a feeling of bloodthirsty righteousness, after the things that being dared to say. Tactically, though, I don't think it was a wise move. In the book, the Mouth *fled* in fear - a much better message to troops on both sides than an impulsive new King striking out in anger, IMHO.

Nevertheless, I *did* approve of your conversation between Eomer, Aragorn and Imrahil about that very thing, and about the Mouth's identity. Had that taken place in the movie, it would have done much to settle my ruffled canon-purist nerves. Also, I was highly satisfied by your description of the battle itself, and the inclusion of the Troll. (Now if only there were a good explanation for how on Middle-Earth they managed to see Barad-dur all the way from the Gate!)

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I really respect the way you've managed to tread the spaces between book- and movie-canon to create a wonderfully rich new perspective on Tolkien's world.
Jedi Buttercup chapter 4 . 1/12/2005
Pippin didn't blame him for being bothered. It couldn't be very comfortable to suddenly find out you weren't at all the person you'd always thought you were.

The irony of Pippin wondering such a thing! Because, of course, by the end of the Quest he was a much different Hobbit than the one who'd begun it. And some of that change was learned as you portray it so well, here: by watching some of the best leaders of the Free Peoples. (Sometimes I wonder what sort of Thain he'd have been if he'd stayed home, instead of insisting on following his cousins).

This touches on one of the things I've been discontent with regarding PJ's choices in the filmed version of ROTK: not just that he decided the Scourging of the Shire would take too long to portray on screen, but that he thought the chapter *unnecessary* and excessive. I disagree; inasmuch as the hobbits were the mediating consciousness of the tale, that last bit showing the changes wrought in them by the grave backdrops and events they'd passed through was almost the most important of all.
IceEmber chapter 6 . 1/11/2005
_ Good ending.

*Ice Ember*
IceEmber chapter 5 . 1/11/2005
I always liked in the book when Pip got squished, but I think yours was about as good. _

*Ice Ember*
lindahoyland chapter 5 . 1/10/2005
I love your interpretation of events
lindahoyland chapter 6 . 1/10/2005
Just lovely ! I especially enjoyed Pippin reviving Aragorn with a cup of tea !
Beornthryth chapter 6 . 1/10/2005
It is fun to read these interlinked stories of yours. You get to see far more of how actions fit together than you would otherwise.
Shadowed Flames chapter 5 . 1/10/2005

I really like this story, how it takes in the good aspects of both book and movie. I can recognise many quotes from them :D Anyways, its really really well written, and I absolutely love how you show Aragorn's valour and strength and kingliness...
BenRG chapter 5 . 1/9/2005
Well done Morwen! That was a great climax. I know that you don't really like doing battle scenes, but you managed very well here, letting us feel the action and the flow of events very well. I also liked Pippin's little bit of heroism. As Galadriel had promised, he found his courage.

Now, I find myself wondering what you are going to do to conclude this story (it has been a /lot/ shorter than "The Steward and The Queen).

BenRG's Rating: 8/10
AM chapter 5 . 1/9/2005
Popping out of lurkdom ...

Really enjoy your take on/explanation of the goings on in front of the gate (especially why Aragorn decapitated the Mouth and how both M and his horse disappeared).
grumpy chapter 4 . 1/1/2005
Great chapter, I love how this is being written. You write the hobbits, Dunadan and all the charaters so well. How each king goes out to talk to the men, to lift their spirits.

looking forward to more
IceEmber chapter 4 . 12/30/2004
Is Beregond actually related to Aragorn... I've never heard of that. You learn something new everyday I suppose _

*Ice Ember*
BenRG chapter 4 . 12/30/2004
I've mentioned this in my reviews for "The King Comes Home", but I suspect that it will take a generation or more for the people of the North and South to be entirely at ease with each other. There are too many barely-buried suspicions, hostilities and feelings of hurt for those who remember the times when Gondor was ruled by the Stewards and the North was a wild land for them to ever feel entirely at ease with the new united kingdom.

One thing that you've brought to life in this story is the geography and the history of the disputed zone between Gondor and Mordor. You make it clear that there is a large patch of territory (of which Minas Morgul is the most famous city), which has changed hands a few times and has suffered long-term damage from Sauron's foul arts.

Your stories aren't quite a 'travelogue of Middle Earth', but they do bring the world to life. Thanks for that. :-)

BenRG's Rating: 6/10
lindahoyland chapter 4 . 12/29/2004
I loved this line "Edennil saw it too and gave them both one of those sudden, rather breathtaking Ranger smiles that erased all the grim lines and made him look like another, much younger Man." it reminded me of several favourite moments in the film.

Where did you reveal Beregond's ancestry?I fear i have forgotten.

I eagerly await more.
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