The healing hands, dwindling Dunedain population, burns (shudder, the smell!): much of interest in this chapter.
I like how Aragorn names himself Estel w/o thinking.
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 Reviewer:Amy Date:March 11, 2006 4:58 PM
So happy to find "Brothers at Heart" at this archive and a new chapter as well!
I've been musing about Estel dealing with death after growing up in Rivendell, where warriors died but prob. not many women and children (Celebrian an exception), not only coming to grips with it himself but having to comfort others who had a lot more experience with it than he did. I expect that the ground was pretty hard, and you could do a lot of thinking while digging graves.
I must squee about the healing sleep--that's a wonderful idea--and the deer hunt. I enjoy reading about the tracking, but I've never understood the whole "my buck is bigger/older/wilier than yours" thing. It's fun to read about the friendly competition, however.
One of the things that I most appreciate about your writing is that it's not like a screenplay: your characters go beyond the stereotype. And I love the fact that you write for kids because it means that the violence generally won't be disturbing for me. *savors radbooks & shirebound fics*
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:March 14, 2006 1:24 AM
What a contrast between the funeral for the Dunedain and the "funeral" for the orcs. You gave a very vivid description of the burning of the orcs. Poor Eradan. I have burned my hair once. The stench was indescribable. Now imagine burning whole orcs.
The deer hunt was nice. But why do men always have to have some kind of competition going. They needed food. Nobody would care who shot the biggest deer. But I thought it was a nice touch of realism.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:March 18, 2006 9:08 PM
I just checked this morning and was disappointed that there was no new chapter and here it is.
This had to be hard for Aragorn to be the bearer of bad news to his people especially since they don't know him. The way you wrote it, that Aragorn gives each man the news separately, made me really understand the loss the villagers suffered. Compared to other battles, at first the number seems small, but when you have to tell each family separately, then the number suddenly becomes faces and identifialble persons and the impact is much bigger.
Halhigal's example helped, but he was known by all when he had to decide to send Aragorn away. But here is Aragorn, this elvish boy nobody has seen in 18 years and commands them to abandon their village. He might be their chieftain by heritage, but I think in the eyes of the villagers at the age of ~20, he is still very young and untried. I can understand that they will be resentful and I could see even more opposition, once the older men return.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:March 28, 2006 1:45 AM
So, Aragorn faces the first real opposition. Seems to me Hirgon would be opposed to anything Aragorn my propose just because it is Aragorn's suggestion. Such people are difficult to deal with. But I think Aragorn handled it well. I like it that Hirgon does not cave in immediately. I think Aragorn will have to work on him for a while longer, and maybe Hirgon will always follow Aragorn only because he is chieftain, but not because he really believes in him.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:April 4, 2006 1:21 AM
Another great chapter.
I love the dance between Aragorn and Hirgon. The help of Nestad how to approach Hirgon about his wayward children was a nice reminder that Aragorn still has a lot to learn and that his unique upbringing brings a bunch of issues other people will never have.
Where I was surprised was the reaction of Hirgon to Aragorn's suggestion that everyone should help to keep an eye on the children. My first surprise was that Aragonr had to mention that at all. In such a small community in such a dangerous environment, I would expect that keeping an eye out for the few precious children would go without saying for everyone. Why is Hirgon angry? Just because it is Aragorn who says it?
I like the conversation between Halbarad and Aragorn at the end. Aragorn is right. For your mother you will always be a child even at 60.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:May 8, 2006 7:45 PM
It's nice to come back from vacation and find several new chapters.
So, Aragorn now falls into the trap of most new and inexperienced leaders, to think he is responsible for and has control over everything that happened around him. But luckily he has experienced counselors and he is wise enough to listen to their counsel.
The juxtaposition of the lighthearted Mettare celebration with the dance and then the grim reality of the raid with the bandits shows the dangerous life the Dunedain lead. It brings home that not only orcs are the enemies, which makes the war against Sauron so much worse.
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 Reviewer:Amy Date:May 14, 2006 6:17 PM
That sense of dread that I'd been feeling for the previous chapter and this one (I thought that they'd run into trouble in Bree) finally spiked into full-blown horror at the end of this chapter.
*bites nails, wondering which of the characters might become an orc casualty*
(If this were an original Star Trek episode, the Dunedain with the nonstandard costumes would be preparing for the worst).
My one consolation is that Aragorn and Halbarad are fated for different ends.
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 Reviewer:obsidianj Date:May 15, 2006 1:01 AM
Uh,oh. That sounds like serious trouble. 200 Orcs against 4 rangers hampered by 5 prisoners. Even if the orcs die like flies, the sheer numbers could be overwhelming. I'm curious to know how Aragorn and his friends manage to get out of this fix. Is this Gilost the same as in In Aragorn's Safekeeping? Then at least he survives the encounter. But I fear for the rest. I wouldn't be sorry for the bandits to get their comeuppance except for maybe Will. I have the feeling that the Breelanders will not be happy for the rangers, which they don't regard highly, to deliver some bandits for their judgment. I have the feeling these men are from Bree or thereabouts and might get help in a way Aragorn doesn't expect in his inexperience.
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 Reviewer:Amy Date:May 24, 2006 9:36 AM
Well, the battle could have gone worse.
Injured!Rangers, and Aragorn trying to do too much and having his chain yanked firmly but lovingly.
I just wish that they didn't have to go on to Bree. I'm still having a bad feeling about that . . .
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