2008 Award Category: Times: Second and Early Third Age - Third Place
Story Type: Story ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: General ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Why does Taryatur appear to dislike Legolas so much? Some apparently incomprehensible feelings have their roots in memories so far distant that only those who were there could begin to understand. As the Valar's Host endure the last of their time east of the sea, a Noldo makes the acquaintance of a future king of Lasgalen.
Reviewed by: agape4gondor ✧ Score: 10
I had six 'oh my's and one oh dear with a bunch of happy and sad smiles. Here goes! The level of disdain was horrid and brilliant at the same time. First 'oh my' came at Taryatur's dogs and fleas comment. And the 'prattle' quote was seering along with the reference to the Kin-slaying. And when I found out it was Oropher - yikes! I am glad Erior was about - I loved the whole section about Oropher's wife and his need for her - along with his need to 'pound every Noldor' into mud. Interesting and very sad. This whole section was excellent! I loved the 'suffocating heap of differences' - the phrase not the actions and words of the Elves. They do not present themselves well, do they? I ROTFL when I read about Maltheniel's thinking regarding the Noldo. (general wonderfulness *giggles*) Another 'oh my' with the 'unclean' comment! So telling with one word... And Celebrimbor's angst at the thoughts of his family. How very sad indeed. Another 'sad face' with the 'I am sorry' line. The whole thought of all those families sundered and the pain and grief, anger and frustration. Almost too much to bear, for this mortal woman reading! The ending was great with Legolas, though my heart broke at the thought of the final passing of Gimli... I loved the last paragraph! Bless you - this was great!
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 10
An intriguing exploration into the prejudices of the Elves. Bodkin conveys the Elves' deep-seated annoyances with other factions, some tensions and feuds going back thousands of years, perhaps farther in the anger between the Elves who returned to Valinor and those who originally stayed in Middle-earth long before the creation of the Silmarils. Bodkin brings these simmering emotions to the forefront in this story, which focuses on one Noldo original character, Taryatur, who did not follow Feanor into doom in Middle-earth, but who has come to fight Morgoth under the Valar's command, and his relationship with two particular Elves - Celebrimbor and Oropher. Bodkin skillfully portrays Taryatur's discomfiture with Celebrimbor, the only sane survivor of the House of Feanor, a Kin-slayer and yet a highly ranked Noldo, whose kinswoman Taryatur desires to marry; and his rising anger towards Oropher, the lord of the Wood-elves. Taryatur is condescending at best, and Oropher refuses to accomodate the Noldo's behavior, responding with pride and anger. Depending on what perspective the reader has, Oropher comes across as a justifiably prickly and resourceful warrior meeting the pettiness of a pampered Noldo with his own macho swagger, or a hard-headed proviincial lacking respect for someone who has crossed oceans and left a comfortable life to come succor him and his people, among others. Personally, I felt that both Taryatur and Oropher behave like horses' rears, and badly need to wrestle, spar, or go on an adventure where terrible danger bonds them together... The last part, where, millenia later in peaceful Valinor, Taryatur is horrified at his daughter's interest in Legolas because of his own memories of Legolas' grandsire and his own remembered horror at his deeds in the war against Morgoth, is rather funny and annoying all at once. It is heartening to see that Taryatur's wife does not share his prejudices.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 10
Bodkin's stories of life for those who came to Aman from the Mortal Lands after the end of the War of the Ring are very satisfying. In them we watch Elrond and Elladan and Legolas and their families find healing, a place and purpose, and in the end love and delight and the joy of children. But for Legolas the love of his life also brought into it her father, and Taryatur does not appear to be willing to ever embrace his daughter's new husband. Why not is the question of the day. Here we find out the truth of the matter, how Oropher and Taryatur, after the end of the War of Wrath, as they awaited the departure of those brought to Ennor from Aman back to their own lands once more, came to see in one another the unutterable arrogance each was certain was the primary feature of the other people. In seeking to hide from the memories of unbearable horror and innumerable deaths, each focused his own dreads on the other, turning the internal misery of each into loathing of the other individual. Hatred can be preferable to prolonged memories of terror and grief, after all. A marvelous examination of the two characters and how their mutual antipathy came to be visited on an unsuspecting Legolas. There is perhaps less humorous wit in this story than many of her others, but the characters are beautifully drawn and the psychology perfectly conveyed; and the insights drawn are spot on and thought provoking. I'm sorry I missed reading this when it was originally posted; but that made it even more of a delight to read now. Yes, a worthy, worthy read.
Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger ✧ Score: 10
The tension between Willing and Unwilling has always been something of a fascination for me, and when you add into that the tension that always seems to rise up whenever Feanor's sons (or grandson) get involved, it's like a political gold mine. And there are a lot of stories that explore these tensions, but I think this particular story might be among the best because it doesn't necessarily focus on the big picture. It's certainly aware of the big picture, but the crux of the story is carried by just a few individuals who have let their emotions and prejudices run away with their common sense. It examines the clash of culture on a microcosm, which allows the reader to see exactly how this drama played out for the average elf. The mentions of Gil-galad, Finarfin, Celeborn, and Galadriel gave the story a broad feel as though it were encompassing all the elves, and the appearance of Celebrimbor firmly anchored the presence of the Feanor gang. But the story never moved from its true focus, which is what makes it so powerful. But perhaps best of all, no one in this tale is completely right or wrong. Bodkin doesn't play favorites. All sides of the coin are told, and each side is given equal voice. Fascinating story!
Reviewed by: elliska ✧ Score: 5
Oh this is a great story. I love Oropher in this and Taryatur too. If you know Legolas's future relation to Taryatur, this story is even better, but even if you do not have any idea, this is a great example of the tensions and difficulties that must have been present after the War of Wrath. But if you do know Legolas's future with Taryatur, this is absolutely a scream! Aside from the House of Oropher, which I am always delighted to read about, another character in this that I enjoy is Celebrimbor. I always felt sorry for him--he never seemed to intentionally do anything wrong--and he meets such a horrible end. I liked his character in this story.
Reviewed by: Dreamflower ✧ Score: 3
I have long enjoyed Bodkin's tales of Fourth Age Valinor, even with not a hobbit in sight, and this story which explains just why (other than the usual fatherly overprotectiveness) Legolas' father-in-law Taryatur has such a dislike for him. ["Long Memories"] indeed! I suppose that being immortal brings about a whole different level of carrying grudges.
Reviewed by: nancylea ✧ Score: 2
the problem with living forever-- somebodies grandchild will marry yours? and you'll have family dinners forever after!!!!!