Never Look Back

Author: Independence1776 (Crystal113)

Nominator: Elleth

2010 Award Category: Genres: Drama: Later Age Elves

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: Teen  ✧  Reason for Rating: Swearing.

Summary: Elrond has difficulty coming to terms with Elros' choice and their impending separation.

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Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 8

I've seen other stories tackle the relationship between Elrond and Elros, the impact of their radically different choices, and the potential for estrangement. Elrond is bitter at the loss of Maglor, the Elf he considers his true father, and this loss will only be compounded with the loss of a brother, who has chosen mortality. Elros' cool assessments of others as liabilities, and expedient decision to distance himself from the Feanorians by emphasizing his biological heritage, also leave a bad taste in the mouth, even if his thinking is understandable. It is heartening that while Elrond seeks to isolate himself from others, dwelling on his bitterness, he receives help and understanding from unlikely places, and the nudge to reconcile with his brother comes from a surprising person. There are two farewells in this story, and we see the brothers' difference in this area as well, for while Elrond looks after a trail of footprints in the sand, a ship passing on the horizon, Elros' finite lifespan constrains him to action. He must always go forward and, indeed, he can never look back.

Reviewed by: Beruthiel's Cat  ✧  Score: 7

In reading this thoughtful portrayal of bittersweet choices and sharp contrasts, I am reminded of my own observations regarding the enigma of twins, and how they are sometimes viewed as little more than clones of one another. The author chooses well in bringing the full range of emotions bear in this tale of Elrond and Elros, and their imminent parting. For all that they have shared a unique bond that most cannot truly comprehend, that closeness is strained to the breaking point in their realization that neither is quite who the other believed them to be. In coming to terms with their vastly disparate choices, there is bitterness, anger, recrimination, and the realization that there will never be a way for them to truly reclaim what they once were. Wisdom must come from unexpected sources, from those who have also known terrible sorrow and loss, who know the true meaning of regret and words left unspoken.

Reviewed by: Elleth  ✧  Score: 6

Independence1776 writes a fascinating take on the growing apart of Elrond and Elros after their respective choices of immortality and mortality. While it may at first feel like an estrangement for good, the story comes to a more reconciatory end. Confusion on both their parts is definitely understandable, and their respective emotions come across clearly, creating individuality in two people who are often written as indistinguishable, and making the choices of both Feanorion and Eärendilion sympathetic. The theme of farewells runs like a thread through the story. Elrond's ultimate meeting with Maglor as well as the goodbye to his brother add wonderful touches to an amazing character-study and well-written story.

Reviewed by: Oshun  ✧  Score: 5

I am so annoyed with myself that I did not get around to reviewing this story. I love a good look at the choice of Elrond and Elros, but often I am left unsatisfied. I really did intend to review this one earlier. But at the risk of not doing it justice I just want to write a little something anyway. It is a contest and a few points often make the difference as to where one places. I enjoyed it so much. I liked the interaction between the brothers, the view of the heartache involved. I really liked Gil-galad. And again sorry I didn't write a proper review. Maybe some day when I take a look at it again under more leisurely circumstances, I can write a nice comment for you on it on the SWG. I fail! Lovely story though.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: 5

The Elros-Elrond relationship is certainly an interesting one, their great similarities matched and surpassed by the defining difference in the choice of their lives' paths. Independence 1776 shows us how difficult it was for both of them in the beginning to come to terms with their separate destinies, and the different pace of their lives, and with their heritage. Politics and preferences move one brother to claim his paternal inheritance in all things, and another to call Maglor "father" and keep that name as his own. Nicely written and poignant.

Reviewed by: Linaewen  ✧  Score: 4

I have always been partial to stories that deal with the relationship between these two brothers, and this tale did not disappoint me. I very much appreciated the way it showed their differences as well as giving some indication as to why each chose as he did. It's interesting to see a tale where Elros is the one who is helping Elrond cope and not the other way around! A fascinating tale that should be considered a must-read for any fan of Men or Elves!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 3

Perhaps it was not an easy thing for Elrond to accept his brother's choice. How might Elros have sought to prepare himself for the role of King of those who accepted the Land of Gift? How might Elrond have come to accept the parting from his past and the loss of such family as he has known? Thoughtfully written.

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 2

I love the differences between the brothers' personalities and even their choice of patronymics, and the sense of inevitability to the choices made. Wonderfully told!