Oak and Willow

Author: Marnie

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Elves: Incomplete - Second Place

Story Type: Incomplete  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Celeborn of Doriath and Nerwen of the Noldor strive to come to terms with the differences that divide their peoples during the First Age, and also with their growing affections for one another.

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Larian Elensar  ✧  Score: N/A

Tall and terrible and glorious was king Elu-Thingol, greatest of the elven-kings of Middle Earth, and the regard Celeborn had for him was that of a son and subject both; awe, mingled with love. That's from chapter two and I loved it. It was sooo Tolkien-esque. And as I read this, I noticed something. I always thought you were the ultimate Celeborn fan/press agent, but I think you have a crush on Elu Thingol too, and you're giving me one! Really, I love the way you bring some of the dry history of the Silmarillion and other of Tolkien's books to life by telling a story. The first meeting of Angrod and Celeborn shows our favorite Sindar/Teleri at his best, I think. A little ticked off, a little arrogant, and diplomatic, all at once. And that first chat with Nerwen! You just know there is something big that will happen between them, since they both thought it went badly and they came out of it a little worse for the wear. I totally loved that part where she wondered how he'd turned the tables on her over the blade. And I also loved the bit where she realized why they dressed in the greys and silvers instead of the brighter colors. I know I never would have thought about that otherwise. And poor Daeron. Something about artists that just have to suffer, I think. I've been part of the Silmfics list for awhile, I don't participate much, but I read the discussions. One would think, reading there, that the only elves in the Silmarillion worth noting were the Noldor--specifically, Feanor and sons. I think the professor did have an extra fondness for them, didn't he? I'm glad to see them getting a few humbling experiences at the hands of the 'dark' elves. Luthien's comment (well, Celeborn's) about the Noldor needing more room to quarrel than was available in Aman was pretty darn funny. I love this from chapter eight: "The Sindar had borne such blows as the Noldor had inflicted on themselves - worse blows - without becoming fell, or doomed, or dangerous. In the midst of death they remained light of heart; worked, played, rejoiced, and by their mere existence defeated Morgoth's plans daily." So again, we find out that the Noldor weren't the only ones who suffered, and the Sindar rose above it, instead of letting it consume them. I really wish the movies would have showed more of Celeborn as I knew he could be, and as you write him. I can so see the him pacing, planning strategy to get Galadriel's brothers on his side, and to further alliances, instead of just accepting the world as she saw it, that he wasn't 'good' enough for her. I think I've mentioned before how much I like your dancing scenes. I've written them before in another lifetime and it really is difficult. Well, they are for me, so yours do impress me. They were making progress I think, with her brothers before things got really dark. I'm torn. I know what Feanor and his sons did was terrible, but I'm not sure the children of Finarfin were that much better. Doing nothing isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of their heroism. I was so angry for Elu/Celeborn and company. It was totally ironic and hypocritical of the Noldor to look down on the Sindar. And I can't remember the exact quote, but I liked how you set Galadriel up to be so ready to take the ring when Celebrimbor offers it. How she liked power, and wanted to rule. I guess by the time she gets the ring, she is one of the most powerful elves left in Middle Earth, and later, she might even be the most powerful one, since the others had never lived in Valinor. I'm so glad I read this again, all in one shot, I am looking forward to the rest of their story.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

If Tolkien had gone into greater detail as to what the first meetings between Noldor and Sindar might have been like, he would have written this story. It Tolkien had taken the time to detail conversations and first impressions between Celeborn and Galadriel, he would have written this story. It Tolkien had been inclined to delve into the deepest thoughts and inklings of a (relatively) young Celeborn and Galadriel, he would have written this story. The dialogue is crisp and biting. The descriptions are layered with meaning and foreshadowing. The slow, unraveling of preconceptions on the part of both Noldor and Sindar is a masterpiece of writing. The viewpoints are tight, and when we look at a particular situation, we see it as the character sees it. But because we have also experienced the other character, we see more. It's a beautiful but difficult way to structure a story, and rarely is it done this well. Even the simple things about a character are explored and noted, such as the way Celeborn seems to view simple conversation as a game of military strategy, complete with ambushes and frontal assaults. And the grander points of the story such as politics are always present, if not in the foreground then lingering in the background as a reminder that this is not a simple tale. Whether conscious or not, everyone has ulterior motives of some kind, and Marnie ensures that we never forget just how grand or encompassing the scope of this story is. From the coming of the moon to the revelation of the kinslaying, this is story that never forgets its setting and never fails homage to the events and cultures that shape it.

Reviewed by: Alexcat  ✧  Score: N/A

I am a Celeborn fan and a Marnie fan and this is one of the nicest fics I have read about Celeborn and Galadriel and the coming of the Noldor to Menegroth. It explores the differences between the Noldor and the Sindarin and we see the affection between Celeborn and Galadriel throughout the story. I adore her characterization in this story… of the other characters… Thingol… Melian… Luthien and the rest. I look forward to the sequel!

Reviewed by: Sulriel  ✧  Score: N/A

This is one of my favorites. Marnie has a real talent of characterization and Celeborn is especially good in this one. I love this picture of his courtship and interaction with Galadriel's brothers.

Reviewed by: Mirasaui  ✧  Score: N/A

One of the best Celeborn and Galadriel stories I have read. Marnie gives wonderful insight into Celeborn's character and that of the Noldor and Moriquendi. The superb characterization, rich detail, and wonderful use of metaphor bring the story to life. I especially loved the conversation between Celeborn and Finrod about the willow and the oak: "…But oak does not endure storms as the willow does…And willow is a healer - its bark takes away pain. Even self-inflicted pain…My children will be breakable as a willow twig…" I could read this one over and over.