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The Heir Apparent  by Mirkwoodmaiden 120 Review(s)
daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 8 on 10/1/2003
Another great chapter. This was all rendered very realistically from several points of view. I could see why people did what they did and was really moved by Arathorn's death.

Author Reply: Thanks Daw!

It wasn't an easy chapter to write and I think it turned out well. :-)

MM

DotReviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/29/2003
So sorry this is late - I've been trying to review at ff.net and finally got fed up with it....
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Ah, Aragorn makes his entrance!

This chapter certainly covered a lot! I loved the scenes with Erithain and the Rangers – he seems totally at home and they definitely appear to have adopted him. The teasing and banter was wonderfully written. It makes them all seem like a family, really and gives great insight into their lifestyle.

LOL at Arathorn as the anxious father to be! Very vivid, and shows a wonderfully emotional and human side to him. Accurate too, I’d imagine…!

Oh, Erithain is so good with Aragorn! He’s such an indulgent uncle too – what a wonderful gift he gave him! You really write little Aragorn well – I never know how to write children and really admire anyone who does.

That bit about the death of Arador was so sad. You handled it really well – showing what it meant to Arathorn to lose someone he loves, that Aragorn will never know his grandfather and then the deeper meaning in the passing of responsibility to Arathorn. The blessing that Elrond speaks was so weighted with meaning and really shows us exactly the heavy legacy that all Isildur’s line carry.

The little piece in Fornost was amazing. The idea that even when he is so young Aragorn feels the importance of this place and can understand a little of this legacy is fascinating. I like the idea that these precious few moments with his father as they stare at the ruins will in some way shape the man he will become and the path he will choose in life.

A really great chapter!:)

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/28/2003
I'm really glad to see this father/son moment, one of many that I hope happened before Arathorn was killed. And I can well imagine that this trip to Fornost would remain in the child's memory somewhere, even if it wasn't conscious.

Author Reply: Daw!

Also I wanted to show one of the more meaningful father and son moments between Aragorn and Arathorn. I thinking that trip to Fornost is ingrained in Aragorn's soul and helps to shape who he is.

Just wanted to say thanks for all thoughtful comments about the ideas in my work. I have really enjoyed reading them and so happy that these themes were picked up! Thanks so much!

MM

P.S. I've just re-read "See the Stars" and "Prodigal Sons" again. They were as wonderful as I remembered them being! :-))

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 9/28/2003
It strikes me as I read this that the heirs of Isildur had been hoping for a better time for centuries and, while I am sure they still hoped, as the ceremonial words show, it may have seemed more like a wish that a real expectation. And yet, the restoration is near. Those circlets won't be for these two, but they will be for their son and Elrond's daughter. So the future is very near here as these three are gathered around the old wooden box, but it may seem to them to be as far as ever.

Author Reply: Exactly. For them it has become a part of who they are. The wish for something better, but never knowing when and indeed if those circlets will ever be worn again. The words are meaningful and have power, but a power to define who they were. It is what gave them their identity, rather than being a call to arms.

And yet as you say, Aragorn and Arwen will wear those circlets. Word and action married up.

MM

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/28/2003
This meeting of Elves and Dunedain was interesting on both sides. The Elves, of course, have known the heirs of Isildur but these people still managed to surprise them, especially Gilraen's mother who is a striking figure here. And the men and women were predictably fascinated by the elves. Well, who wouldn't be? I liked the fact that Gilraen's father thought about the authority of his son when he decided to accept the Elven guard.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/28/2003
One of the things I like shows up in this chapter in particular: this story doesn't undervalue women's work and contribution to their people. Lots of LOTR fanfiction seems to assume that if the woman is not a warrior, then she is somehow boring. The detail of work and life here is a wonderful negation of that attitude. Also, I like the idea of Arathorn and Gilraen kissing in the heather, even if he is being crabby about weed picking.

Author Reply: I'm really glad you picked that up. I thought that it was important in the describing of this Dunedain society to show the role of women in the life of the settlement, to show the work that women, really throughout history, have done. In a society that has been built around the simple ideas of defense and survival the women's ability to make and keep house and all that entails was just as important as the soldiering of the men. After all it is the way of life back in the settlement or the village that the men were striving to protect.

While I myself with my modern sensibilities, would chafe under such restrictions I thought it essential that the women in my story understand and accept this. After all it is a different world we all write about.

On a lighter note Arathorn and Gilraen kissing in the heather was just too fun to pass up! Wee-hee!

MM

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/28/2003
I think it would be awful to be able to see the future of one's children. Surely there is sorrow for all of them, although you hope it's not only sorrow. I don't blame Gilraen's parents for feeling anguish over this.

Author Reply: Yes. Especially if it is a harsh future that you cannot change. That would be H*ll. I had to be careful to not display their trepidation and pain too much because then Gilraen, who already suspected something, would logically want to know why they were so upset.

I've still yet to decide whether Gilraen will ever realise that they knew what would happen, and how she will feel about that. Betrayed? Anger? Will she understand and accept? Answers to these questions I'm sure she will share with me sometime during the story.

MM

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 9/28/2003
I've been eyeing this story for a while now, trying to decide if I want to commit to reading it and I finally gave in to temptation. What a great opening chapter. I loved this glimpse of life among the Dunedain. And Arathorn is a fascinating figure. The details are so realistic here.

Author Reply: Thanks Daw!

Glad you've decided to join me in this insane odyssey of multi-chaptered fanfiction!

I thought about what the Dunedain culture would have to be like 1000 years after the destruction of their last kingdom. Simple settlements loosely bound by a Saxon-y (at least less structured than the Norman social system) confederation, but also with a fierce sense of identity and destiny. Then I did some research into Saxon settlements.

With Arathorn's character I wanted to portray a leader who was not a proto-typical warrior, a man with compassion for others, echoes of the personality traits that Aragorn later will display.

MM

Reviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/28/2003
Beautifully done. If I say this chapter is hard to read, it's only because of the approaching doom, made more poignant by the cute!-unaware!Aragorn. Wonderful to see Arathorn as father, and good to see Gilraen developed as a character so important in Aragorn's life, despite the fact that many fanfic writers kill her off with Arathorn to avoid the difficulty of writing her! Thank you; I'll prepare for sniffling soon.

Amy Earls

Author Reply: Amy!

You and me both! I've really come to love Gilraen and Arathorn,I'm going to have kill off Arathorn there's really no way around it, but I'm going find writing Ch. 7 rather painful to write! I wanted to show Arathorn and Aragorn having some connection before....*sniff* So glad you like it though! :-)

MM

Reviewed Chapter: 6 on 9/26/2003
That was a good story. Very well written, and keeps to Tolkien's characters well.

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