tehta: (stained glass tree)
[personal profile] tehta
Not posting my Amarie story, I mean, since I had finished it weeks ago. So, here you go: Many Happy Returns (The secondary title is due to my beta, [livejournal.com profile] eveiya). Summary:

The Silmarillion is so full of heartbreaking, wasteful, tragic deaths that it sometimes seems as if the not-tragically-deadly parts of the narrative are there only to give the readers a little breather.

I expect that everyone has a death or two that they find particularly distressing. Amarië certainly does. But at least she can do something about it...

(Un)Interesting facts about the story:
1. It was definitely written as a reaction to the tragic, distressing parts of the Silm. And by "reaction" I mean "antidote".
2. It passes the Bechdel test only in VERY incidental ways (in the overheard discussions of minor characters.) However, I cannot imagine anyone claiming that it marginalizes Tolkien's female characters.
3. I stared it in 2005. When I faded out of the fandom, it was half written. I would occasionally poke at it. There are occasional (buried) references to whatever other fic I was writing at the same time. And now it is finished -- I still cannot believe it!
4. I am very, very amused by it myself. It contains some of my favourite characters, doing particularly characteristic things. And the antidote aspect of it really seems to work.

Date: 2013-09-19 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-wing.livejournal.com
That was lovely! Your Glorfindel is as sweet as usual, and I do like Amarie. Obviously, Finrod's true love would be just as kind, straightforward, clear-sighted and fundamentally action-oriented as he, if somewhat less loquacious. And this version of Melian is both hilarious and sympathetic. I also like the nightingales, and your idea of how re-embodiment occurs is original and interesting. I will remember it for future reference.

And yes, it is a very happy and cheering coda to Finrod's death.

Date: 2013-09-20 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
I am happy you liked all the characters. Only Glorfindel is a bit puzzled that you would describe a deadly warrior like himself as "sweet".

The re-embodiment idea was developed for the purposes of plot. I guess it might make more sense for it to happen in some sort of tank, under the supervision of Maiar, and for music to be involved, but I could not be bothered.

Date: 2013-09-23 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-wing.livejournal.com
I forgot to mention that I particularly liked the way that Mandos and Vaire catalogue the dead for storage.

Date: 2013-09-23 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Yes, with a binary tree! I wonder whether it's balanced. Re-balancing seems like a very expensive operation.

Date: 2013-09-24 06:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anna-wing.livejournal.com
I suspect that it is at least four-dimensional, to take account of personality changes while in holding.

"No longer prone to mass murder when people say "No" to him",

"Thinks first before swearing unbreakable oaths",

"Has given up making jewellery",

That sort of thing.

Date: 2013-09-19 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wulfila.livejournal.com
This is marvelous, so marvelous! Special mention of " I merely wished for a complete understanding of my situation", and more gushing later when I return from grocery shopping, but I love this story already.

Date: 2013-09-20 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
I am so glad you liked it! I am rather fond of it myself.

Date: 2013-09-20 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wulfila.livejournal.com
It is wonderful, charming and definitely a story that leaves the reader in a good and happy mood. I like your Amarie with her practical and determined approach a lot, even though Melian and Glorfindel almost steal the show. The mushroom bribe story made me think of Gandalf even before I reached your note (probably because I suspect such a heavy smoker might be ready to try other ... interesting substances, too), and there are dozens of little details that I enjoyed a lot, including the concept of the Halls of Mandos as a quasi-prison with locks that can be picked, and the idea of a recently re-embodied Glorfindel storming around there with a cut-off battle cry of "Ecthelion!" still makes me grin. So, in one word: lovely! It was definitely worth the wait.

Date: 2013-09-23 10:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Re: Gandalf. [livejournal.com profile] talullahred suggests below that he may have given Amarie the wrong instructions on purpose, because he wanted Glorfindel to break out (and he knew that G would feel compelled to help with Finrod's rescue, anyway.) I do not remember intending this, but it makes so much sense! My brain is clearly smarter than I am.
Edited Date: 2013-09-23 10:54 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-09-22 11:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talullahred.livejournal.com
Loved this, truly. Very funny - it takes a woman to do the job, doesn't it? ;)

But I'm intrigued... I doubt the informant made a mistake... I think Amarie was used to save Glorfindel (of course this 'someone' knew Glorfindel would never leave Mandos without helping Amarie in her quest...

Date: 2013-09-22 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
That is a VERY intriguing theory. I mean, we already know that (unlike Melian, apparently) Gandalf liked to delegate...

Date: 2013-09-22 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talullahred.livejournal.com
Aww... I'm guessing I missed the clue... sorry. It's been such a long lime way from fandom that I spend a large part of the story figuring out Melian. Didn't have the brain power to catch on to the rest. :)

Date: 2013-09-22 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
No no, there was no clue... I meant that in canon, Gandalf was always getting people to do stuff for him.

Date: 2013-09-23 10:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Also, I think your theory is very clever. I do not remember intending it that way (although, who knows what I was thinking eight years ago?) but I love the interpretation.

Date: 2013-09-24 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] talullahred.livejournal.com
Well, Galdalf is so awesome that he just planted that seed in your brain. ;)

Date: 2013-10-04 08:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eledhwen-ch.livejournal.com
I keep forgetting to check on LJ, so I discovered your delightful story only now. Very amusing indeed! I like your Amarië a lot, and there are so many details that made me smile, like Glorfindel wanting to do exercises, and wishing to keep some honorable scars to please Ecthelion.
I guess I had never thought about how exactly the fëas were confined in Mandos. That "good" characters like Glorfindel and Finrod would be imprisoned in solitary cells seems rather hard on them though! and anyway, how can a door be an obstacle to a bodyless soul? But never mind this niggling, it was such fun to read about the hilarious sorting system, and the lock-picking.
I am really glad for Finrod and Amarië that you wrote this happy reunion for them (in the Silm. it is only told that in Valinor "Finrod walked with his father" as far as I remember) and I hope Glorfindel contrives somehow to liberate Ecthelion as well!

Date: 2013-10-06 09:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehta.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for reading, and commenting!

I have to confess I REALLY like this story myself. It may be my favourite! Even if the Mandos part might not *entirely* make sense. Although I don't think that having doors -- or walls -- that exist in the spiritual realm as well as the physical is that much of a stretch, since the spiritual realm must have its own constraints, and Mandos would need such constraints, for sure, to separate SOME of the spirits. Those who killed each other, for example. I think that, in this version of the Halls, there was supposed to be more mixing, but the Maiar got overwhelmed and decided it would be safer to just segregate everyone most of the time.

Having these special doors be openable by hairpins is silly, of course.

Also, as for Glorfindel's scar -- I think Ecthelion's first reaction would not be pleasure, but confusion, since the idea of enhancing his own appearance (or even changing it for the worse!) would not occur to Ecthelion. He wouldn't spend much time sorting through those robes, either...
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