Reviews for The Bear and the Wolf
Goeno chapter 41 . 1/16
Now that I think of it...

Have you ever played The Hobbit, by Vivendi Universal Games?

It seems very, very related to Skyrim.
Goeno chapter 29 . 1/16
*Unrelentingly Forces a grand piano in your general direction.*
Cold Overture chapter 60 . 1/14
Wow. That is my response to this story on the whole; simply, wow.

I know you finished it a while ago, but if you're as proud of it as you should be, I imagine you'd still be reading the reviews. I hope you read this, anyway.

I first stared reading The Bear and the Wolf about two years ago, I think, because it was still in progress at the time (I believe around chapter 40 or 50). Eventually other things came along and occupied my interests, and I didn't keep up on it as Skyrim in general had fallen to the wayside. But I never forgot about this story; I knew that someday, if I ever got back into the game and rekindled my affections for Ulfric, this story existed and I would want to circle back and re-read it. And that is precisely what happened, and it's just as captivating to me now as it was then.

I want to say this first; your characterization and plot are what really shine in this work. You seamlessly write in new plot devices that impact Kajsa's character and decisions in ways that make perfect sense on reflection. As it starts out, we get a sense for who Kajsa is, how she is, but not /why/. There's no urgent need to understand why, either, until it becomes emotionally relevant to Ulfric; until then, all we understand is that she is hunted, scared and scarred, and that is enough. In fact our feelings for Kajsa seem to develop in tandem with Ulfric's; because our understanding of the Dragonborn is just as frustratingly limited as his, we also find ourselves wanting her to open up more, to trust and to share. It facilitates a favorable emotional response; you did well in creating an empathetic relationship between we, the readers, and Ulfric's dilemma.

At the same time, we don't know Ulfric any more than we know Kajsa, perhaps even less. Kajsa is a woman to whom morals are utterly irrelevant; the ends justify the means, and gods help anyone who interferes. She never once lies about who she is; she simply /is/. Ulfric, on the other hand, is a man for whom morals - or at least, the /appearance/ of morals - are exceedingly relevant. At all times he must be prepared to offer justification for his actions because he is the single most scrutinized man in all of Tamriel, and it is no trouble at all for his opposition to cast his decisions in a impossibly damning, and yet plausible, light. We wonder if the man we've spent so much time with is really the man we thought we knew, and this doubt appropriately tints his every gesture; of course, in the end our misgivings are put to rest when we ask ourselves, what kind of man would suffer so much for one woman? Why, a man in love, clearly.

The romantic feelings that begin to stir initially appear to us as absurd; a thief and assassin, paired with an aspiring king? Downright laughable. But it eventually becomes clear that these two aren't so different as we thought; Kajsa's fears and hopes align similarly to Ulfric's - they hope for freedom, they fear failure. The things that make her a criminal turn out to be less damning than previously thought, and the things that make him a king turn out to be irrelevant. In the end, what matters is their hearts; the people that they are inside, or at least, the people they want to be. In finding each other, in /loving/ each other, they discover what's more important, and find redemption. This is significantly more subtle in Ulfric, but it is there all the same.

Every chapter has been a delight, every plot twist emotionally engaging; this story is relatable, masterful, and all-around rewarding. Orthorien's end was gratifying, Galmar's jabs were entertaining, Kajsa and Vilkas' rivalry was compelling, Aela's camaraderie was touching, and the unprecedented alliance of previously at-odds factions was inspiring. There are so many things I could say about The Bear and the Wolf, but the most honest thing I could possibly say is:

BlueEyedPisces chapter 60 . 12/23/2015
This was a great story, I look forward to starting the sequel :)
BlueEyedPisces chapter 41 . 12/23/2015
Thank goodness I'm not the only one who saw the similarities between Edoras and Whiterun lol, it's even easier to see in Lord of the Rings Online when you get to Edoras.
JC chapter 4 . 11/13/2015
I really wish Unrelenting Force would work on the doors in the game. :( Nice work.
MirwenAnareth chapter 60 . 10/27/2015
Fuuuu. It took me some time to read this whole thing, but I have to say it was well worth it! You are an amazing author with great talent and I just love how you write the characters. And yes, you made Ulfric stand out, in a good way.

I think there are two things that bothered me slightly (and I know it's kind of late to review like this but I came across this story just a few weeks ago and maybe you can use this review for your future stories): first, a very minor thing, sometimes it seemed like you changed a sentence and some extra word that should have not been there remained, so there were a few parts that were harder to read.

Second, this one is a little graver - Orthorien's motive. It seemed kind of weak and shallow compared to the overall complexity of the story. I know you were trying to mainly focus on the characters and their development and you did a great job at that, but it just sounds a little strange that he would take personal interest in her over such a petty thing and then follow the pattern you described (sorry, it's really hard to explain this without spoilers for the people who read reviews first).

Anyway, overall I loved it and the usage of the dragon language at the end was awesome! (It did add that special touch to it... :))

Oh, and I'm happy I found a Blackmore's Night fan, there are almost none in my country!
KaiserKou chapter 1 . 9/6/2015
My old high-school teacher was named Kajsa. It made this really hard to read with a straight face, but I love it. You, good sir, are a genius.
wolvenlegend chapter 60 . 7/20/2015
I've been readin thia story nonstop for the past two days and while its a sorta older fic, I wanted to let you know how much I liked it and to get you to a solid 800 reviews :)
Brandiemay chapter 60 . 7/13/2015
I loved the story SO FUCKING MUCH! I read it all through the school holidays, and with all the satisfying chapters I was busy. But my only let down was how you kept saying "dragonic". That's not the right word, dragon tongue is the right word, for some reason I just didn't like it and got a little irritated at it, and the fact that ulfric was about 48-49 and the dragonborn was in her mid- twenties, (like u said at the start of the story), that just felt wrong. But that's not your fault and I just brushed it off, all in all it was so awesome and I think reading it while travelling in the back seat of a car and getting car sick from reading it was worth it! XD
Doffz chapter 8 . 7/4/2015
This fic taught me that Ulfric Stormcloak is a arrogant and selfish BITCH of a man. If he wasnt unkillable I've would have scorched his face off long ago. To tell the truth I've started on this story in hopes of curing myself of my latent stormcloak hatred because on my first game I resolutely went with the imperials and now im trying to discover new point of view on the civil war quest. But sadly it looks like you just cemented my first choice. Its not that I think your story is bad actually, I liked this fic a LOT it was just Ulfric who was rubbing me the wrong way (enough for me to go ingame and slaughter half of Windhelm, starting with MrHandsomeAsshole of course.) I hope you will keep up the good work ;)
safranbrod chapter 19 . 6/3/2015
Off topic but I saved the game before picking a side for the civil war and did both. I picked stormcloak first since everyone's been harping on about how people should have the right to worship and blah blah. I ended up regretting being part of rebellion. :c Hated it the outcome. The racism and the drunk glory pride whatever of the nords were depressing as heck. I honestly preferred the legion- didn't feel good killing Tullius and Rikke...

Ulfric was MUCH MORE fun and challenging to kill at the end of the war. (Though even in legendary, he was still easy. Alduin was much scarier- and don't get me started with the dlc LOL!) It's true when you meant it's all grey though. If I had a true choice, I'd go with no sides and have no part in it. Not good for Skyrim, I in all honesty, I'd rather kill some thalmor lmao. I have nothing against elves or nords. I just hate the racism. OTL
Guest chapter 49 . 5/7/2015
Yooooouuuuu are such a tease. I just want them to be together and it keeps getting postponed! I do love this story though :)
XMinerCobra chapter 37 . 5/5/2015
I wanted the College to join them...daw...I thought Kasja will do that at least
Guest chapter 50 . 4/25/2015
Not actually of any relevance to the (marvellous) story, but the roman numeral for 50 is an L, and 49 is therefore IL. While I'd love to be constructively criticising about your story, I haven't actually found anything to criticise, so I'll leave it at this. Love the story and please keep writing!
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