A Time to Heal

Author: clotho123

Nominator: Lissas Elves

2010 Award Category: Times: First Age and Prior: Noldorin Elves

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: At the beginning of the Second Age Gil-galad must decide what to do about the surviving Fëanorian followers. Can the Noldor be reconciled?

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Reviewed by: Lissas Elves  ✧  Score: 9

This story presents one of the best characterizations of Gil-galad I have ever read: so full of doubt, yet determined to lead his people; brave; kind-hearted; strong - and totally believeable! But no less fascinating is the author's description of the proud, tired Exiles in their tattered clothes. How they yearn to live in one place, with their kin, and to live in peace after so many years of war and seemingly endless tragedies. The meeting between the two parties takes place in a tense atmosphere; everybody is on edge, and the wrong word might cause the powder keg to blow up. Gil-galad carefully seeks the way between Scylly and Charybdis with no other map than what his heart tells him - certainly no enviable task! I also very much enjoyed the interesting views on Lindon politics, on the need to heal the rift between the two kindreds, which must indeed have happened in order for Celebrimbor to eventually take up the rule of Eregion. All of these facets contribute to the feeling that, yes, this must be how it happened. It was one of those corners of the painting that JRRT left for other hands to fill out - and it was filled out just right. A gem of a story! I recommend it highly.

Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 8

Excellent study of two characters. Celebrimbor is an Elf of great personal honor: he has chosen to rejoin the Fëanorians and to lead them in the absence of two surviving sons of Fëanor, and it is he who represents them to Gil-Galad in supplication. His choice bewilders Gil-Galad, but Celebrimbor's reasoning is of one motivated by compassion and a sense of responsibility: SOMEONE must care for this outcast and abandoned people. Gil-Galad, meanwhile, is young, inexperienced, and short on empathy: for Celebrimbor who he does not understand, for the Fëanorians whose actions he despises, and for Elrond whose love of Maglor is incomprehensible. He knows he will be judged for his final ruling and he pressures Círdan for guidance, but Círdan will give none to a young king who must finally decide for himself and his people. Gil-Galad's exchange with Lindir feels underwritten, which is too bad as it marks the turning point in his decision-making process. Still, the lesson that Gil-Galad takes away is thoughtfully expounded at the end, and true. The one resource Elves have no shortage of is time.

Reviewed by: Russandol  ✧  Score: 8

This story lets us glimpse into the difficult (and controversial) decision faced by Gil-galad to allow the repentant kinslayers, the remaining followers of the House of Feanor, to join his own people after the War. The story revolves about three central chatracters: Gil-galad, Celebrimbor and Elrond, all of them very well sketched. I enjoyed watching Gil-galad doubt between his roles of kinsman and king, and how he turned for advice to an older (cannier!) elf, Cirdan, who rightly placed the responsibility back where it belonged. Visiting the potentially hostile camp of the Feanorians was a wise, brave move I thoroughly applauded. I felt for Celebrimbor, who felt he owed placing his duty to ensure "his" disillusioned, defeated people's welfare above his own pride, once he had become their default leader. I liked the way Elrond came across, not yet recovered from Elros' choice and loyally sticking to his adopted family, despite their taint. Adding Erestor and Lindir as backing characters was a very nice touch, too.

Reviewed by: Anna Wing  ✧  Score: 8

An impressive and moving look at the bitter aftermath of the War of Wrath. Gil-galad, Celebrimbor, the young Elrond are all portrayed with subtlety and insight; canon characters such as Erestor and Lindir, little more than names in canon, are economically given plausible histories, and a few OCs add verisimilitude. Clotho123 pays attention to the different kinds among the Elves, and the differences of opinion among each kind, all with origins in the ancient history of Beleriand and the long and bitter history of the War of the Jewels. As few authors do, she appears to have a clear understanding of how Elvish longevity is going to affect their attitudes and, in Gil-Galad's case, policies. While Gil-Galad is young at this point, we see the signs of how he became by far the most successful of all the High Kings of the Noldor in Middle-earth. Clotho123 also has a rather impressive grasp of the complex ramifications of genealogy among the royal Noldor. I am also very pleased to see someone remember that Finwe had daughters too!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 4

The tone of this, as Gil-galad must determine whether or not to allow the breaches between his own folk and those who had chosen to follow the sons of Feanor to close and heal, is solemn and contemplative, and fully suited to the subject. The characterizations of Ereinion, Elrond, Cirdan, and Celebrimbor, are well drawn in spite of the spareness of language; and we begin to see some of the relationships that will be better known in the ages to come. Well done.