Reviews for The Black Gate Opens
BenRG chapter 3 . 12/22/2004
Fear is the most terrible thing that a fighting man can take, and fear is the weapon that the Dark Lord uses better than any other. I think that Aragorn really shows his enlightenment and his qualification to lead by his response to this problem. I love how just the fact of his confidence in them makes some of those who want to leave decide to remain instead.

Gandalf seems to be in 'apocalyptic prophet' mode.

Once again, I have to say that I /love/ your portrayal of Aragorn. You have captured the nature of character nigh-on perfectly. However, you have also proven that you have a wonderful understanding of Pippin too. Possibly the least-imposing of the Hobbits, he is also the one who grew the most during the war.

BenRG's Rating: 7/10
Jedi Buttercup chapter 3 . 12/22/2004
I keep being fascinated by the little effects of the Numenorean blood that keep popping up - in this chapter, the "spell" Pippin realizes Aragorn and Faramir can cast on people, and the bit of magic Aragorn used a couple of chapters ago, just to mention things from this story alone. You've got quite the deep universe going, and I love it.

The bit about the men who couldn't go on was well handled, too. It makes sense that it would upset Eomer and some of the others; Tolkien didn't really touch on that.

Having just watched the extended ROTK, I am of course now waiting on the edge of my seat for you to get to the actual gate opening, and the scene with Sauron's Black Captain. Keep up the good work.
Jedi Buttercup chapter 2 . 12/22/2004
“A good comparison, Master Peregrin, we go now to cleanse a very evil smelling stable indeed!”

*snickering* Excellent chapter, as always.

Aside from the storyline itself, though, my attention was caught by Legolas' reference to an episode of bloodlust ... I can't remember now whether there's a canon reason behind it in his specific case, or if he was caught up in the twins' revenge of their mother's attack, or if it's some other storyline all your own. It's really nagging at me now - thanks much! That's one way to ensure a story sticks in a reader's mind, I suppose! *grin*
IceEmber chapter 3 . 12/21/2004
Aha! I have overcome the glitch, all is well. So I take it that this is both movie and book since Merry is present. This should be interesting.

~*Ice Ember*~
IceEmber chapter 2 . 12/21/2004
_ Cute. There's a glitch not allowing me to read your next chapter until you post your next, it is very annoying. Keep up the good work.

~*Ice Ember*~
Ithil-valon chapter 3 . 12/21/2004
Each chapter just gets more and more interesting. I think this one must be your best's amazing.

I love how you bring back bits of history to this story. Legalos mentioning that he underestimated the valor of men at Helm's Deep is one such incident. It's the little doubts and regrets, as well as the courage and strength that have kept these characters beloved by readers for years.

Such wisdom you give our King! It is so easy to see the humanity in Aragorn when he could so easily be protrayed as only Kingly. Surely he is Kingly, but he is still our Strider.

I had to chuckle at Eomer's wrath. Yet Aragorn's gentle and wise questions tamed even the infamous ire of the King of Rohan! You have them characterized so perfectly that it's a joy to read. From the boastful jests between Merry and Pippin to the enigmatic and prophetic musings of Gandalf you have captured each of these characters with such easy and ability that I'm awed and thrilled to be able to share in your story, if only by reading and reviewing.
Ithil-valon chapter 2 . 12/21/2004
A good read is one in which you hate getting to the end of the page, or in this case, the end of the chapter, because it means you must wait for another update. This is one such read.

I've often wondered about the journey of the army to the black gate. This trip is one that you are fleshing out with such vivid imaginings that it's easy to follow.

I'm curious as to why the King is sometimes referred to as Dunadan rather than...well, your Majesty or something like that, lol.

"Boromir said the very air was poisoned,” he worried aloud, “do you think he knew?”

“Very likely.” the King sat on the edge of his bed, a big cross-legged thing too grand to be called a cot. “I would not be surprised if he had sometime dared the Morgul pass to look into the land of his Enemy. But it was just a manner of speech, Pippin, Orcs must breath too - the air is heavy and foul but that is all.” ~ Very nicely done. I've often wondered about that phrase that Boromir used. I love that you've brought Boromir into this story, if only throgh the memory of his words. It's nice to feel his presence with this host and know that he's remembered fondly by Pippen and Merry.

Pip wondering about the morality of battle and of killing is very sensitively put. Battle is sometimes an evil that can't be put away. Like Sam said, "There's some good left in the world and it's worth fighting for." Would you rather not fight? OF course! But sometimes the choice is taken away from us. These warriors can see the conflict in Pippin and share their wisdom with him. Perhaps, even, they can remember a time when they were new to battle and voiced the same doubts. Our little Pip is quite wise aferall, isn't he?

Mae Carnen!
Ithil-valon chapter 1 . 12/21/2004
Wonderful work! I love the detail you pack into every paragraph...such visual descrptions make the work flow with ease.

“Take trumpeters and proclaim to the four quarters that the Lords of Gondor have returned to take back that which is theirs.” Aragorn commanded

“Nay,” said Prince Imrahil, “say rather the King Elessar has returned to claim his rightful realm.”

THat made me want to stand up and cheer!

“I want to draw his attention to me - and to remind him of exactly who and what he faces.”

I love seeing Aragorn in King-mode! Long live the King!
Singing Wolf chapter 3 . 12/21/2004
This is just wonderful! It's incredibly well written, and the character voices are perfect. It's a definite pleasure to read a story with such solid writing, a good plot, and Aragorn! :) Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I'm rather shocked that you haven't been flooded with reviews, this story has certainly earned high praise. I'm anxiously awaiting the next chapter!
lindahoyland chapter 3 . 12/20/2004
I love this scene which shows Aragorn's mercy and compassion and wish it had been in the film.

I love the way you show how Pippin finds it alarming to see Aragorn using his kingly powers .A great story.
BenRG chapter 2 . 12/18/2004
A nice bridging piece. Not enough attention is paid to the transformation of Pip and Merry from tween layabouts to warriors, so I welcome this little chapter. What is it like, looking back on the lost days of peace? No doubt that there are questions, ones that many young men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and other war-torn parts of the world will probably be asking themselves.

BenRG's Rating: 7/10
lindahoyland chapter 2 . 12/17/2004
I just love the way you create the atmosphrer and build up the tension.I especially enjoy how you write Aragorn and excellent !
korrd chapter 2 . 12/17/2004
Great fic. However I have been hoping for you to continue your Star Wars fics. No offense meant by this I just highly enjoyed them thus far and have been hoping for at least the one with Dai-Men Jinn to be worked on. Anyways please update this and your STAR WARS fics soon.
Julia chapter 1 . 12/15/2004
"Must have been damp." Leave it to Pippin to simplify things!

Glad to find this story. Now we get to see your take on what was happening to the guys during "The Steward and the Queen." Very good so far, loved the part where Aragorn used the Elfstone to burn up those nasty flowers. And when he let the Heralds proclaim that King Elessar had come. More soon please!
lindahoyland chapter 1 . 12/13/2004
I just love this story,it is beautifully written and you show such insight into the tells us so little about what the Hobbits think of Aragorn as King.

I think this is one of the best stories on this site at present. I eagerly await more.

I especially enjoyed this line

“And I didn’t know you could kill the Nazgul King or Pippin match wills with the Dark Lord.” Strider answered, a teasing note in his voice. “If I had I’d have spoken softer in the inn at Bree!”
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