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A Perilous Journey to Lorien  by LadyJaina 24 Review(s)
demeter dReviewed Chapter: 14 on 11/13/2021
Wow! Within the first sentence you have reminded us how very miserable the conditins are in which our heroes are trying to fight. So we are watching Aragorn this chapter. Then, you quickly slip into his perceptions and thoughts. I suspect that after this battle, his notion of what Merry is capable of will have changed! I very much enjoy your "choreography" of the fighting. And now, we get to see Legolas and Merry deal with their own warg and orc, from Aragorn and Gimli's point of view, in the flashes of lightning and in the brief flashes of attention in between fighting for their own lives! Aragorn's frantic struggle to push orcs aside so that he can get to his friends reminds me of the scene before the Black Gate in P.J.'s ROTK. Aragorn is fighting that troll, as Legolas desperately tries to go to him. Then the mountain exploded, and the fighting was over. Again, similar story threads re-woven into a new tapestry. I liked the detail of Legolas's first trying to speak to tell Aragorn where Merry was, then giving up and just turning his head and looking. Only for Aragorn to still "not get it". I would imagine when they are all at peace again, and telling the story, Legolas will give his friend some grief over his lack of perception! Then, at the end, I got a sense of relief when Merry and Aragorn both are able to overcome their mental shock enough to realize that they can tend to themselves, now. Well done!

demeter dReviewed Chapter: 13 on 9/19/2021
A wonderful look at Merry, and through Merry's eyes. Why did he come? Building blocks, laddie! First facing the Black Riders, then the Barrow Wights, Weathertop, Moria... And now, overcoming his fear and facing an overwhelming number of wargs AND their orc riders, you are growing, Master Hobbit! You have been a support in small ways this loooong day and night to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. And now, you have likely saved Legolas's life from two wargs. That first one falling on him tugged two strands. There is a story around somewhere of Boromir's spirit comforting Pippin as he lay under "His Troll", slipping closer to the realm of the dead from where Boromir watched him. The comment is expressed, likely by Boromir, that "did I not teach you to strike and then step back?" "You did not step back!" Under the circumstance, tho, it happened rather fast. i think Merry really could not have moved any faster! And, laying pinned, now under two wargs, that brought to mind John Rhyss Davies's comments on the warg attack on the way to Helm's Deep. He kills one warg, with a rider on it, which falls on him. Then another creeps up and pokes head above the first, and Gimli is stuck. Aragorn killed the top one, but then just left them there! I love it when threads of great stories weeeeeave together to create a richer tapestry.

And, I enjoyed how comforting sounds of the river stirred comforting memories of home to help Merry find sleep.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! I always look forward to your comments! Yes, Merry is indeed growing up and into the hobbit he will become by the end of the quest.

mystarlightReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/12/2021
Great story!!!

Author Reply: Thank you so much--I'm so glad you are enjoying it!

MFantasia Reviewed Chapter: 13 on 9/11/2021
LadyJaina, let me start telling you this is a wonderful story. I just found it. I used to be an avid reader of this site way back of more than 16 years ago. I just came back to re read some of the favorites during the pandemic and now Iím reading the new ones.
Like you character descriptions. I like your portrait of Boromir, I think the movies didnít make him any favor as a character, but Sean Bean was such a wonderful actor that he eclipsed Aragorn for a while. You show him as a real human being, he was great with the hobbits and did his best.
The other ones, they are great! Legolas and Gimli POVs are just perfect.
Thank you for writing and keeping the fandom alive. Keep posting!!!

Author Reply: Thank you so much for your thoughts! Writing Boromir has been such a surprise to me. In the movie, he was my least favorite character, and in the books he seems so argumentative. It turns out, thought, that writing a prickly character is actually a lot of fun--and as a writer, I get to think about the motivations behind it that we don't see in Tolkien's original work!

Reviewed Chapter: 12 on 7/23/2021
Thank you:) thatís an intriguing story! Please, continue!!!

Author Reply: Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed! I hope I continue to keep your intrigued all the way to the resolution! :)

quodamatReviewed Chapter: 12 on 7/12/2021
This is wonderful story! I really enjoy your nuanced depictions of the various characters. Boromir: grumpy first, sorry second; a bit sheltered and xenophobic, but keenly observant; torn between hope and fear. Pippin: determined to be cheerful no matter what, but feeling very young and insecure; aware of his own reputation and hoping not to be misunderstood; impulsive and irrepressible, but deep down concerned about everyone but himself. I could go on. Just such good characterization!

I also like the way you insert little character moments that really enrich and round out the main storyline. In this chapter, for instance, there's Pippin's very t(w)eenage discomfort at being without his clothes, and Sam's silent "help me out, why don't you??" to get Boromir to comfort Frodo (dear Sam!).

Finally, I really like what you did with Pippin's encounter with the Ring. It's telling that in his state of mind, the strongest temptation is to despair: what he wants most is for the past to not have happened. The idea of the Ring stirring up guilt is an interesting one. It reminds of of how, in Christian tradition, the devil is understood to be not just a tempter but also an accuser. (Not saying you did or should intend that parallel, just a resonance I noticed.)

I'm looking forward to continuing to read. Thanks for sharing your work!

Author Reply: Wow! What a review! Thank you so much for all your kind words!

As for the Ring stirring up guilt, my intention was that the Ring wanted to be found by any means necessary--maybe that is getting Boromir to take it, or allowing Saruman or the orcs to find it, or by driving away those who care most for Frodo--making them ineffective so that Frodo is isolated and alone. He does this both by tempting, and accusing. That said, I don't even think I realized that's what I was having Sauron do, or the parallel of Satan as the accuser. So often our beliefs shape our worldview, and, in this case, I think they bled over into fanfiction. Amazing job picking up on something so nuanced that I barely noticed it!

I hope you enjoy the upcoming chapters just as much!

LegolassReviewed Chapter: 10 on 7/9/2021
What a gruesome task Aragorn had to take on, but how devoted he was to saving his friend! He may have been just in time. Looking forward to what happens next. Great writing!

Author Reply: Thank you so much! Chapter ten is definitely my favorite chapter so far--and the one that took the most drafts to get right!

Reviewed Chapter: 6 on 6/27/2021
Please, please donít kill him off!!! Estel has to help him somehow!

Author Reply: On my honor, I promise not to kill off Legolas, but to get him as close to death and despair as I possibly can. *Evil grin, sheepish shrug.*

Reviewed Chapter: 3 on 6/27/2021
I like your story very much:) itís well-written and the plot naturally intertwines with canon! Thank you for sharing!

Author Reply: I'm so glad to hear that like what you are reading! Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting things just right--I'm a bit of a perfectionist! I really appreciate your kind worse!

LindeleaReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/13/2021
I love how you portray Merry's talent for observation and consideration. (But then, Merry has always been my favorite hobbit since the first time I read LOTR...)

Author Reply: Merry is also my favorite hobbit! I confess, I've reimagined him as the plotting, calculating, and slightly more hotheaded hobbit of the group. The Merry in this story is angry. As I'm typing this, I'm realizing that maybe some of that anger is the ring and perhaps I should have thought of that earlier, haha. At the time chapters 1-11 were written, Merry's anger is mostly because he's tired of being underestimated. Lots more of Merry coming up, and I hope that you continue to enjoy my portrayal.

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