Forum: Dwim's Stories (was Lie Down...)

Discussing: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

Lie Down in the Darkness updates

So as to avoid the endless multiplication of threads, all updates (or anything at all that has to do with chapters you particularly want to talk about) can be discussed here for those interested in doing so.

Going to bed now.

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

I quite enjoyed the Faramir chapter, as I'm sure Una will when she gets back from her Christmas trip. Nice stuff with Frodo rousing from fevered sleep to reality--he's really lucky, since it looks like he's going to keep his arm. And the part where he demands the Ring back from Sam is so in character--the addict needing his fix, and his revulsion when he realizes how he's behaving.

I don't think I commented on the previous chapter either, but if I did, I will say here that I was very interested in the duel of wills between Grishnakh and Frodo. I know we had talked about whether the Ring would be active when it was within Frodo's body, and it does seem as if you gave it some limited powers. Frodo's inner dialog about the things he could make Grishnakh do was rather creepy. And the very end, where he thought that Faramir was Boromir come to take the Ring was classic.

But, back to this chapter. Personally, I am not in fear for the hobbits right now, but that's because I have this totally unfounded belief that Faramir can't kill anything he's fed honeyed tea to! Faramir's offhand comment about slaying them was chilling, however, and appropriate for someone who finds himself having to make hard decisions under a pressure of time. I liked the two internal dialogues; Faramir's--his suspicion about the hobbits having the information he needs, and his frustration that they won't give it to him; and Sam's, who is suspicious in his turn, and fearful for his master. Your Sam was marvelous, and your Faramir was proper book!Faramir, he was! Thank you for the lovely Christmas prezzie!

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

I know we had talked about whether the Ring would be active when it was within Frodo's body, and it does seem as if you gave it some limited powers. Frodo's inner dialog about the things he could make Grishnakh do was rather creepy.

Always pleased to creep you out. Yes, the Ring did act while in Frodo, and it continues to act, much to Frodo's dismay.

And you know, I rather miss Grishnákh. He was fun to write, in a twisted, scary sort of way.

Personally, I am not in fear for the hobbits right now, but that's because I have this totally unfounded belief that Faramir can't kill anything he's fed honeyed tea to!

Gee, I wonder why *that* might be! ;-)

Your Sam was marvelous, and your Faramir was proper book!Faramir, he was!

High praise, and a bit ironic, because when I was writing this, I kept thinking: Crap! People will see the movie and then read this Faramir and think Dwim's gone movieverse! Erk! Not my fault the movie came out before my AU!Faramir did!

Thank you for the lovely Christmas prezzie!

You're welcome. Sorry about the typos--they've been fixed.

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

when I was writing this, I kept thinking: Crap! People will see the movie and then read this Faramir and think Dwim's gone movieverse! Erk! Not my fault the movie came out before my AU!Faramir did!

Well, I can see applicability of both Faramirs while reading this chapter ... but then I don't have such a problem with movie!Faramir -- anyway, your AU!Faramir has ample reason to be harsh because of Frodo's first words -- thinking he is Boromir and he won't have it --

-- that was a great end of last chapter. I can't remember if I said that. I liked this chapter a lot, as usual. Good thinking on Sam's part, to get the Ring away from the healer looking at it. Sam's being so much Sam. It's spooky that Frodo forgot Boromir talking about his brother. And I like Faramir puzzling this out. I'm very much wondering what happens next. I don't know what Frodo and Sam think is the best thing to do next, even if they get Faramir's cooperation! Arggh.

Good luck writing ...

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

Well, I can see applicability of both Faramirs while reading this chapter... but then I don't have such a problem with movie!Faramir

At this point, neither do I, save for that still-too-quick turn around at the end. My fear was simply that people would read it and think "she's changing directions because of the movie" when in fact, I've been plotting this scene for some time now. It *should* be applicable to the book, but given that PJ's Faramir also comes off harder than we normally read Book!Faramir, I was afraid it would seem like I'd adopted him wholesale.

It's spooky that Frodo forgot Boromir talking about his brother.

Actually, that was my reaction to Boromir's never speaking of Faramir in the books (well, of course we know the reason--Tolkien didn't know Faramir existed til TTT). I didn't have Boromir speak of Faramir, either, in LDID--no time, no appropriate moments. But I think he must have, and so I thought I would use that omission to my advantage in this chapter. I'm glad it worked out for you.

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

First of all, abject apologies for being more than a month after the event here, but better late than never - I guess.

It seems to me that this must be quite a crucial chapter for you, plotwise because of two things. The main one being that it is another of those occasions when the absence of Gollum looms really, really large and the second one that nobody here knows that Boromir is dead. I love the way you use the kingfisher – nicely picked up from the original - to draw these two strands together – a reminder of the absence of Boromir’s floating body as well as that glaring Gollumy gap and the unfortunate action which set the whole AU going. I guess part of the consequence of that gap is that Faramir does not see Frodo’s compassion and get to exercise it himself in that direction. All that we are left with is swift uncompromising adherence to the letter of the law. (iirc in the original Faramir has forbidden his men to wantonly shoot the local wildlife). The kingfisher also reminds me of all those earlier reference to fisher kings – I really don’t like the idea that king’s can be snuffed out just like that! Also I can’t help being reminded of the epilogue to F&S when there is some relief because we know that Anborn is not going to shoot that arrow. I’m looking forward to seeing what effect the fact that he thinks Boromir is still alive has on Farmir’s motivations and actions especially as I really have no idea where you are heading next plotwise – what with no gollumy guide and all.

High praise, and a bit ironic, because when I was writing this, I kept thinking: Crap! People will see the movie and then read this Faramir and think Dwim's gone movieverse! Erk! Not my fault the movie came out before my AU!Faramir did!


You’re right, it’s all too easy to see parallels with movie;Faramir here, but I don’t think that is so much about a harsher portrayal of the character but more about what is left out of your story and the film when compared to the original and its just that they happen to run along the same lines.

Because of the way Faramir and Frodo first encounter each other and the fact that he has been ill and unconscious they don’t get any of the fine, lighter side of Faramir and the Rangers, the chat about elves, the fellowship of the men at their meal, the beauty of the waterfall etc. We do see Faramir interacting with his people but the hobbits don’t. Instead they are cut off from the men going about their unknown tasks, hidden behind the curtain of the alcove – their own little cave within a cave as it were. They don’t interact socially with Faramir, food is brought to them by someone else. It’s obvious they are going to see him as another version of Boromir because all that shows him to be different is cut out – as it is in the film. In turn Faramir doesn’t get to know them – not yet anyway. I suppose they are rather Gollum-like figures to him in a way – small, sneaky spies holding onto their secrets – but he reads no murder in them – unlike with Gollum (iirc).

I thought Faramir and Sam were very well in character and Frodo’s Ring-addiction really chilling.

Sorry this is so late and rather rambly!


 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

Alawa said:

First of all, abject apologies for being more than a month after the event here, but better late than never - I guess.

No worries. After all, I'm updating at more than month intervals nowadays. :-( However, dang it, if I ever get back to doing once a month updates on all continuing stories, then I expect you there pronto! ;-) jk. Thanks for reviewing.

Fisher kings and kingfishers--I am particularly fond of this little point of reference, for reasons which you've given. The kingfisher gets sacrificed in Gollum's stead, as he was not in the original work. Gollum's absence will make itself felt.

As for the Boromir dynamic, well, on the one hand, it's less likely to be laced with suspicion because neither of them knows Boromir is dead at this point. On the other hand, Frodo's blurting out "Boromir! You shall not have it!" doesn't do wonders for Faramir's ability to trust them, although the injury factor does probably incline him towards sympathy. So we'll see if I can get things to unfold how I want them to given their much more careful and less intense interaction.

 

 

Re: Thoughts on Aragorn's virginity

Over in the “Sexuality in M-e Forum” a discussion is under way about the implications of Aragorn’s virginity. Meg made some comments that immediately made me think about LDITD but I thought I had better come over here to avoid spoiling.

Should I still be avoiding too much spoilage over here? That scene in Lorien has always been one of the most powerful ones so far for me. It also has some rather disturbing and ominous plot implications IMO. In view of what Meg says about Aragorn’s Messianic attributes and her struggle with that depressing *not the chosen one* plotbunny perhaps I should be thinking about these aspects of the scene as well. Hmm…. interesting.

 

 

Updates?

I feel terrible asking this... I certainly don't want to put anymore pressure on you than is necessary! But... are you going to post another chapter to this series? Or is the end of this story losst to uss for ever?

 

 

Re: Updates?

LDID is on the list of long stories (three guesses as to which stories count as "the long stories") that I plan to update this summer. It is an unfortunate fact that I just can't seem to work on them during the school semester, though I will try harder next year.

But S&S is first in line. Then it's a toss up between LDID and Dynasty as to which I'll work on first.

I'm really sorry--had I know how terribly slowly things would progress, I'd have tried to keep these to myself.

...

Ok, I lied. I'd still have tormented you by posting LDID as a WiP, though I might've gone the other way with Dynasty.

Anyhow... hang in there, please. I'm really glad to know you're still interested and will do my best to make sure it's worth the wait.

 

 

Re: Updates?

But S&S is first in line. Then it's a toss up between LDID and Dynasty as to which I'll work on first.

Free Nharadh! Free Nharadh!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

 

 

Re: Updates?

Er, can I lure you away with Nharadh ficlets?

 

 

Re: Updates?

Er, can I lure you away with Nharadh ficlets?

Oh the cruelty of it all! Doing little ficlets that make me like him even more, all the while leaving him to languish in durance vile! (insert non-existent emoticon with hand thrown dramatically across face here)

 

 

Re: Updates?

Thank you so much for answering!

I don't blame you at all for not working on it during the school year... Kudos to you, actually, it'll get you better grades!

I was mostly worried that you had stumbled on an unsolvable plot problem in your story and couldn't go on... I'm hooked to that series, see! So don't worry 'bout us, take your time!

 

 

Price of Passage: LDID 27

Well, I'm not completely happy with it, but LDID 27: Price of Passage is now up.

Recap because I know how long it's been since the last update:

When last we left our diminutive heroes, they had awakened in Faramir's care at Henneth Annûn. We learned that Frodo did not lose an arm due to his scheme to hide the Ring and that Sam managed to remove the Ring before the healer, Orothar, could come patch Frodo up. All was well and good until Frodo had a fit of Ring-lust that left him feeling rather more than bad.

Faramir came to talk to them shortly thereafter and explain about the law that would force him to decide whether to kill them or send them off to his father. So far, things aren't looking good. They dance aroud the issue of Boromir and the hobbits' business in the South, and Faramir leaves, promising to talk with them further the next day.

Faramir has his own little private broodfest before the Window, and Anborn shoots a kingfisher that'd invaded the pool below. Faramir, being tired from two battles, heads off for sleep, but pauses to look in on the hobbits, which of course does not make Sam trust him very much.

And now we go to the next day, where the current chapter starts.

I apologize for the fact that I didn't get to use any of the vocabulary suggestions I received--the ending was melodramatic enough, so I dropped the dream sequence in the beginning. But I'm sure they'll all come in handy later on. Maybe two more chapters, folks, and then guess what? We'll be in "Return of the King", Book V! Hopefully, it won't take me a year to get there.

I hope that the end sequence wasn't totally obscure. I kept trying to figure out a way of being relatively subtle about the Ring's effects and operation, along the lines of what happened in LDID 3, when Frodo manages to back Boromir down during the AU version of the discussion of their testing by Galadriel. I may have ended up with 'stilted' rather than restrained. Suggestions would be gladly entertained for that section.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

I hope that the end sequence wasn't totally obscure. I kept trying to figure out a way of being relatively subtle about the Ring's effects and operation, along the lines of what happened in LDID 3, when Frodo manages to back Boromir down during the AU version of the discussion of their testing by Galadriel. I may have ended up with 'stilted' rather than restrained. Suggestions would be gladly entertained for that section. I didn't find it obscure at all, I felt more of an 'Ah ha! and there it is!' What didn't quite ring right to me was (Sam's? or is this authorial?) take on Faramir's reasoning. Faramir's grey eyes were dark with some unidentifiable emotion, and when he spoke, there was a painful little twist to his tone, as he replied, "One Ring to bind them. Aye, I do see it now, all too clearly. Remain here and do not speak with Anborn. I shall return shortly. You will leave before sunset." Ere you can do us any true harm, the words hung unspoken in the air. Are you saying that Faramir is thinking, 'now that I see how powerful you are, I feel that my men and myself would be safer if I sent you and the object that just allowed you to affect me so strongly away'? As a possible motivation for Faramir's agreeing to aid Frodo and Sam, this one seems weak. Maybe I am just reading it wrong, and this is Sam's unreliable reporting of Faramir's reaction? Jules

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

What didn't quite ring right to me was (Sam's? or is this authorial?) take on Faramir's reasoning.

I'm going to have to work on that part, clearly. I need to have Faramir be rid of them, and pronto, and originally the idea was that Frodo's manipulation of Faramir (or the Ring's, or both) was going to be much more traumatic, which would've justified a quick dismissal. That went overboard very very quickly, so I dropped it and went for this version, which has some merits but leaves me with the problem you've identified--Faramir doesn't sound like himself here, even allowing for AUness.



 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

I positively sqealed when I saw you updated!

Thank you! It was well worth the wait. I'm glad Faramir decided to help the hobbits - I wasn't sure if he would.

I did get the ending, right before it was "spelt out" to me. At first I thought Frodo was acting a bit strange, not to mention dangerous, ordering Faramir around. And I thought it was weird that Faramir was giving in so easily, then I understood that the Ring was behind it all. Wonderful writing, Dwim, as usual.

You should write more stories with Frodo and Sam! Your characterization of them is as perfect as it can be. I can "hear" Sam just as I hear him when I read Tolkien.

Thank you, and I look forward to the other chapters! (especially Shelob... should be in a chapter or two, right?)

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

I did get the ending, right before it was "spelt out" to me.

Check two. Ok, I'm apparently not quite as obscure as I feared. :-)

You should write more stories with Frodo and Sam!

If I got hobbit stories, I likely would write them more often and fully than I do. However, my mind tends to wander over to Gondor or the Angle.

Your characterization of them is as perfect as it can be. I can "hear" Sam just as I hear him when I read Tolkien.

Thank you, that's a great boost of confidence, since I tend to fret over hobbit voices. It's easier with this story, since I am working so closely in plot and characterization with LOTR.

Thank you, and I look forward to the other chapters! (especially Shelob... should be in a chapter or two, right?)

You're welcome, and yes, Shelob is scheduled to appear in the next chapter or two. Strangely, despite a bit of arachnophobia, I'm looking forward to it.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Another chapter of LDID! Yeah! (And to my utmost dismay I noticed that, somehow, I had missed the last update!)

Anyway, I loved them both.

I hope that the end sequence wasn't totally obscure. I kept trying to figure out a way of being relatively subtle about the Ring's effects and operation, along the lines of what happened in LDID 3, when Frodo manages to back Boromir down during the AU version of the discussion of their testing by Galadriel. I may have ended up with 'stilted' rather than restrained. Suggestions would be gladly entertained for that section.

I don't think it was too obscure (and I tend to notice subleties only if they hit me upside the head, at least sometimes ... ). I only wondered to what extend 'the other side' became aware of the Ring taking over the situation/Frodo using the Ring to serve his purpose. Has Frodo involuntarily given away the position of Henneth-Annûn to the enemy or is it just my imagination?

greetings,

fliewatuet (who is, as so often, not sure whether she makes sense at all)

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

I hope that the end sequence wasn't totally obscure.

No, that was fine, creepy as all hell. Would also have liked the traumatic version, no doubt.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

fliewatuet said:

I don't think it was too obscure (and I tend to notice subleties only if they hit me upside the head, at least sometimes ... ).

and Una also said:

No, that was fine, creepy as all hell. Would also have liked the traumatic version, no doubt.


All right, so it seems not to be too obscure, but is it well executed or still stilted? Is the reversal on Frodo's part too melodramatically quick? Trust me, Una, the more traumatic version sucked--tis better off as pixels in the ether. :-)

I'm still trying to figure out how to fix Faramir's response. I need something between horrified pity over what he sees happening in Frodo, creeped out at what he personally has just been subject to, fearful for Boromir, and eager to be rid of the darned thing now that he understands its nature on so personal a level.

I only wondered to what extend 'the other side' became aware of the Ring taking over the situation/Frodo using the Ring to serve his purpose. Has Frodo involuntarily given away the position of Henneth-Annûn to the enemy or is it just my imagination?


As well you should! If he hasn't given the location away, he's probably alerted someone that there is someone using the Ring, or at least being used by the Ring in a purposeful way (other than simply trying to escape by being invisible). Frodo never put it on, which may help him and Faramir somewhat, but I think that since being in Frodo, the connection between them has gotten stronger.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Trust me, Una, the more traumatic version sucked--tis better off as pixels in the ether :-)

Despite my obvious interest in any scene which combines the words 'Faramir' and 'trauma', I'll trust your judgement here, Dwim


I'm still trying to figure out how to fix Faramir's response. I need something between horrified pity over what he sees happening in Frodo, creeped out at what he personally has just been subject to, fearful for Boromir, and eager to be rid of the darned thing now that he understands its nature on so personal a level.

I liked the staccato of Faramir's exchange with Frodo, actually, I thought it was a shift of pace that added to the creepiness.

If there's that many things you need to get into Faramir's response, you might well have to cut to his perspective and add an extra bit at the end, after he's left Frodo and Sam.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Despite my obvious interest in any scene which combines the words 'Faramir' and 'trauma', I'll trust your judgement here, Dwim

Fear not, O Lover of the Tormented One, there'll be plenty of trauma to spread around later.

If there's that many things you need to get into Faramir's response, you might well have to cut to his perspective and add an extra bit at the end, after he's left Frodo and Sam.

Mm, I'd be reluctant to do this, because it would feel like a tacked on element. The story ends with Sam--it's complete as it is in that moment, and it's just that one part where Faramir accepts that he's got to show the hobbits the way out and be rid of them by sunset that needs to change. Brevity is good there, and I don't think switching for five seconds to his POV when it's been all Sam and Frodo would work.

Actually, I take it back, it may just be that one italicized line wherein you get an explanation of why Faramir does such a quick turn around--if I can find a good way to change that without going into Faramir's head or tampering too much with that nice staccato pattern you note, then I'll be happy.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Fear not, O Lover of the Tormented One, there'll be plenty of trauma to spread around later.

I was kind of banking on that.

it's just that one part where Faramir accepts that he's got to show the hobbits the way out and be rid of them by sunset that needs to change

I liked that italicized line too, btw, what was your particular problem with it? You convey more in what he actually says as well, such as the bit about not speaking to Anborn. Is it that you're worrying he's not showing enough pity? You could hold that off until he says goodbye to them, like the bit in the book. Faramir's just had a bit of a shock, after all.

As for conveying the bit about Boromir, what about changing the italicized line to something like:

Ere you can do us - all of us - any more harm.

which might also convey something of his pity for Frodo and Sam as well.

Incidentally, given public opinion is tending towards saying that you're not being obscure, I would actually drop the bit where Faramir says, 'One Ring to bind them'. He's mentioned it by name once already and he goes out of his way not to name it again in the book. Although I know I lean towards paring things back to near-obscurity.

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Faramir's grey eyes were dark with some unidentifiable emotion, and when he spoke, there was a painful little twist to his tone, as he replied, "And this the hope from which we dangle. Alas, Boromir, I do understand." Shaking himself then, he continued grimly, "Remain here and do not speak with Anborn. I shall return shortly. You will leave before sunset, with such aid as I can spare."

What think people?

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

"And this the hope from which we dangle."

I have a thing about the word 'dangle'. How about something like:

"And this the hope on which we hang."

Which has the double meaning. And alliterates.

I like the rest of what you've written very much.

 

 

Crossroads: LDID 28

Happy Thanksgiving. Crossroads available now.

Summary of last chapter:

Sam and Frodo spend time in the little curtained-off alcove in Henneth Annûn, worrying about what Faramir intends to do with them, and wondering when he'll come back to talk with them. Faramir does return and takes Frodo up the stairs to a private little guardstation so they can talk without being overheard. Sam, being Sam, sneaks after them to keep an eye on his master. We learn that Frodo seems strangely well for someone who's been orc-dragged through Ithilien with the One Ring lodged in his flesh. He and Faramir have a chat in which Faramir decides at last to trust Frodo, and in which the nature of Boromir's relationship to the hobbits is finally unveiled. What is not mentioned is that Frodo and Sam left knowing a horde of orcs were attacking the rest of the Fellowship.

Discussion of the impossibility of Frodo's getting into Mordor takes place, at which point Sam bursts in on them and demonstrates the power of logic. Frodo, with a bit of not-quite-conscious help from The One Ring, forces Faramir to tell him about Cirith Ungol. He then has a fit, while Faramir heads off determined to provision the hobbits and send them on their way before matters deteriorate.

And that is where this chapter picks up...

 

 

Re: Price of Passage: LDID 27

Quite gloomy at the Crossroads, but I really loved some of the images, my favourite being the shelter the headless statue of the king still offered to Frodo and Sam. And the use of their cloaks to hide themselves from the approaching army woke certain images from the Two Towers movie.

Frodo's ability to perceive the land between Ithilien and Minas Tirith in spite of his blindfold was outright scary, as was the speed with which that self-inflicted wound had healed. Though both seem to come in quite handy at the moment.

It has been some time since I last read the respective passage in RotK, but your armies that are heading towards the Black Gate and the Nazgúl leaving Minas Morgul seems much more threatening to whoever will fight for Gondor and the lands of the west in the end.

Happy Thanksgiving,

fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

Hi fliewatuet,

Quite gloomy at the Crossroads, but I really loved some of the images, my favourite being the shelter the headless statue of the king still offered to Frodo and Sam.

Glad you liked that. I almost had them sheltering against the bole of a tree, which wouldn't have put the king front and center. Since that sets up the unfolding of the little supper scene, with Sam including the king in their meal, and since I rather like that scene, I'm glad you found its set up enjoyable.

And the use of their cloaks to hide themselves from the approaching army woke certain images from the Two Towers movie.

I really liked that effect from TTT. It could've been utterly fake, but Jackson pulled it off. I didn't want mine to be quite that dramatic, but some reference to those cloaks seemed called for.

Frodo's ability to perceive the land between Ithilien and Minas Tirith in spite of his blindfold was outright scary, as was the speed with which that self-inflicted wound had healed. Though both seem to come in quite handy at the moment.

I had a lot of fun writing the vision scene for Frodo back whenever I wrote it. I like changing the connotations of 'golden light' when usually that's a sign of good things and beauty.

As for the injuries, I'd thought for awhile that I'd have to deal with Frodo the effectively-one-armed for chapters and chapters, until two earlier moments in LoTR jumped out at me. I've *always* had problems with the fact that Frodo didn't even have cracked ribs from the sheer force of the spear thrust in Moria, given that Aragorn's assessment is that it would've 'skewered a wild boar'. And Tolkien takes care to mention that the Morgul-knife wound closed relatively quickly and was only a "small white mark" some days later. Those two moments gave me the idea that the Ring might be in effect here, and so gave me a way to make sense of what seem breaches of the laws of physics and to exploit them for my purposes.

your armies that are heading towards the Black Gate and the Nazgúl leaving Minas Morgul seems much more threatening to whoever will fight for Gondor and the lands of the west in the end.



Thanksgiving was very tasty and entertaining, thank you. Am feeling rather full now.

What did you make of the last part of the chapter, if you don't mind my asking?

TTFN,

Dwim

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

I really liked that effect from TTT. It could've been utterly fake, but Jackson pulled it off.

Me too!

I had a lot of fun writing the vision scene for Frodo back whenever I wrote it. I like changing the connotations of 'golden light' when usually that's a sign of good things and beauty.

And it worked fine for me. The combination of something fair and beautiful with the knowledge that this effect is caused by the Ring makes the entire scene much more creepy than had Frodo percieved his surroundings in some ghost-like shapes.

Those two moments gave me the idea that the Ring might be in effect here, and so gave me a way to make sense of what seem breaches of the laws of physics and to exploit them for my purposes.

Even if the Ring were not responsible for Frodo's quick recovery from his previous injuries (the quick healing of the Morgul-wound might have been just the usual way such wounds heal, and though Aragorn did not explicitly state that Frodo had some cracked ribs after Moria, they spent quite some time in Lothlorien where such injuries had time to heal), relaying his quick recovery from this latest wound to its influence is not far off. If a Morgul-wound could heal so fast, a wound that had even conceiled the Ring could well show similar effects when it comes to closing.

What did you make of the last part of the chapter, if you don't mind my asking?

No, I don't mind.

There were some things that had me worried (well, most of the last part, actually). First, there is Frodo's reply to Sam's protest "But surely It hasn't anything good about It!". He starts to defend the Ring's merits. One step towards the abyss, IMO.

Then, Frodo seems to have troubles with his memories. Recalling the events of the Council of Elrond in particular seems difficult for him. During said council, unfortunately, most warnings about the Ring's power of corruption were issued. To forget about them would then be the second step towards the abyss.

The last part that had me worried was something that was not written rather than something that was written. In the original text the corresponding chapter ends with a glint of hope (at least as far as I read it) in the form of the crown of flowers that had grown about the fallen head of the king, and with a hint to Aragorn's coronation (again, that's the way I read it). In your story, there is no mention of the king's head. He is still there, even offering protection, but marred as far as Sauron's minions could reach, which makes me fear all the more for Aragorn's fate in LDID!

Other than that, I can only quote Sam: However, nothing insightful came to him

Hope that did make some sense,

fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

You did weird things to my head here, Dwim - I went into a mild kind of fugue at the intensity of all the imagery. This is a compliment, if I am not being clear.

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

fliewatuet said:

Even if the Ring were not responsible for Frodo's quick recovery from his previous injuries (the quick healing of the Morgul-wound might have been just the usual way such wounds heal,

True enough, and that makes sense if the whole purpose is to leave a fragment in the victim. The designer wouldn't want that fragment to fall out or anything, so the weapon could be made to encourage a superficial healing, perhaps, to seal its real 'sting' inside and give it time to do its work. Hey, a marvel of military engineering and design management, right in M-e.

and though Aragorn did not explicitly state that Frodo had some cracked ribs after Moria, they spent quite some time in Lothlorien where such injuries had time to heal), relaying his quick recovery from this latest wound to its influence is not far off. If a Morgul-wound could heal so fast, a wound that had even conceiled the Ring could well show similar effects when it comes to closing.

I can be thankful that I've never had cracked ribs, but if I were Frodo, had cracked ribs, and Aragorn scooped me up in an unspecified carry and started taking the stairs at a great pace, I suspect I'd have done more than just gasp "Put me down!" And I suspect Aragorn's diagnosis would've been more than just "keep the mail shirt on and we'll do what we can about the bruising."

However, leaving that aside, the idea that the weapons of the Enemy that are unique to him are in some sense 'preservative' actually ties into another point that has set me pondering: when Merry stabs the Witch-king, the barrow-blade breaks the spell that "knit his unseen sinews" together. And a good job that spell does, short of weapons 'wound round with spells for the bane of Mordor', iirc. We know you can't drown wraiths; you apparently can't kill them by crushing them amongst river boulders or by felling them from great heights (Legolas brings down the mount of a Nazgûl, and with it, of course, the Nazgûl; it seems to be unharmed). The wraiths fear fire but don't seem to perish by it. We know that nothing made with the power of the One Ring can be unmade so long as It remains.

So I would guess that it is the Ring that prevents fatal encounters with rocks, the ground, swords, water, and fire, from being fatal for the wraiths. It does 'preserve' those on whom it acts, in a distorted inverse of the Elven Rings, which goes along with the whole corruptive theory of evil.

There were some things that had me worried (well, most of the last part, actually). First, there is Frodo's reply to Sam's protest "But surely It hasn't anything good about It!". He starts to defend the Ring's merits. One step towards the abyss, IMO.

I hadn't actually looked at it that way, although certainly it does go very much against the grain to say that there's *anything* good about the Ring. It certainly could be a sign that Frodo is sliding futher into the Ring's sphere of influence. I was thinking more along the lines of "nothing was evil in the beginning; even Sauron was not so", and then adding that to the old idea that that something is, is the minimal standard of good, for otherwise, nothing would be at all. The Ring and Sauron, insofar as they are, cannot be wholly evil, and so their existence itself thwarts the nature of evil, which is purely nihilative. Thus 'evil mars evil', so that 'nothing is wholly ruined' so long as it is, though the possibility of an effective redemption is another question.

[snip Frodo's continuing memory difficulties]

The last part that had me worried was something that was not written rather than something that was written. In the original text the corresponding chapter ends with a glint of hope (at least as far as I read it) in the form of the crown of flowers that had grown about the fallen head of the king, and with a hint to Aragorn's coronation (again, that's the way I read it). In your story, there is no mention of the king's head. He is still there, even offering protection, but marred as far as Sauron's minions could reach, which makes me fear all the more for Aragorn's fate in LDID!

I read that line about the flower crown similarly, since it's clearly meant to give us a lift at that point, a reason to hope along with the hobbits, and it refers pretty obviously to the title of the next book. Given what I've said about the nature of evil and the Ring above, I think you can see a litle more clearly what I was aiming for with this alternate end scene.

[snip Sam]

Hope that did make some sense.

Quite a bit of sense. Thanks!

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

Altariel said:

You did weird things to my head here, Dwim - I went into a mild kind of fugue at the intensity of all the imagery. This is a compliment, if I am not being clear.

I induce pathological states and this is a good thing? ;-) Pleased to mess with the inside of your head. There were points along the way of writing this when I was certain I was going to drive myself nuts with the descriptive passages, especially that cliffside scene. It is only fair that you should suffer with me. ;-)

 

 

Re: Crossroads: LDID 28

I induce pathological states and this is a good thing? ;-)

Hey, it's cheaper than drugs, and I'm not breaking the law!


There were points along the way of writing this when I was certain I was going to drive myself nuts with the descriptive passages,

I think you did some pretty amazing things in this chapter.

 

 

Underhill: LDID 29

Holy Cobwebs, Batman, she updated! LDID 29: Underhill, is now available at HASA. Summary of last chapter for those who have waited through eight months of no update: In "Crossroads", our pint-sized heroes, Sam and Frodo left Faramir in Ithilien and began following his somewhat hazy directions to reach Cirith Ungol. But first, they had to reach the crossroads. Through the forests of Ithilien they went, and had their first glimpse of the Morgul vale as they stood on a crumbled slope, looking down at the road. Exhausted by the time they reached the bottom, they caught a few hours sleep which were interrupted by the passage of a great host coming out of the vale. Miraculously, they went unnoticed and continued their journey. The next day (they think) they reached the crossroads, and survived a Nazgûl fly-over by hiding beneath the mantle of the headless king. Afterwards, they had what counts as supper with the king, and discovered that Frodo's wound had closed already, which they attributed to the workings of the Ring, which had only grown closer to Frodo since inhabiting his body. Worried and anxious, and musing on metaphysics, they trudged off towards Minas Morgul. This chapter picks up on the road to Minas Morgul. I will say now that I think this is a chapter that I will come back to for revision, as I'm not entirely happy with the way it played out, although all the elements are in place that I want in place. It'll be a formal revision, not a substantial one, if that makes sense. Edited to add: Been combing through and eliminating typoes, as well as doing minor cosmetic surgery on the vocab in a few places. One more substantial addition to Sam's final dialogue in this chapter. Otherwise, still not quite happy with final bit, alas.

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

Thanks for another chapter. It worked well for me. And you have be both worried about what will happen in Mordor and what nasty stuff is going to be happening to Aragorn & etc. (Those others still alive) Good luck writing! Julie getting nervous again

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

Hi Julie, It worked well for me. Yay! It's just the ending for me, really. I feel like I should be able to work that so that it hurts more—just didn't feel as if it were on dagger's point to me. And you have be both worried about what will happen in Mordor and what nasty stuff is going to be happening to Aragorn & etc. (Those others still alive) Excellent. Yes, it should be "interesting" to see if this will work as I want it to. Heh heh heh. Good luck writing! Thanks. I'll need it at this rate!

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! You....you....I can't even say what you did, it's too horrible....poor Frodo! Liked the orcs' confrontation with her Evilness, though. Looks like you've got some momentum going now.

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! You....you....I can't even say what you did, it's too horrible.... "This is a VERY dark AU..."—you were warned. Liked the orcs' confrontation with her Evilness, though Really? I kind of thought it was weak in comparison with the rest. Ah well. It's on the revision slate (God how I fear the revision slate!). Looks like you've got some momentum going now. Ph34r m3. Glad you, um, "liked" this chapter, though.

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

Newbie timidly pokes her head in and looks around. I've been following LDID for a while before I joined HASA, and my general comment is that from the very start it had me riveted, not only for the inventive, unpredictable ways in which it twists the canon, but also for the superb writing style and the way it adds depth to the original characters while still keeping them plausible for Tolkien's universe-- well done, Dwim! On the latest installment: wow, very nervy and very devastating move! I thought the action and sense of dread were very well-handled. One of the things I found most intriguing about books 4 and 6 of LotR was the "unholy trinity" formed by Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, with Gollum pulling one way and Sam another, but now that aspect has been completely eliminated and is intriguing in a very different way. I'll be very interested to see what Frodo does now that he's totally "unmoored." Keep up the fine "VERY dark" work! Ali

 

 

Re: Underhill: LDID 29

Newbie timidly pokes her head in and looks around. *waves hello* Come on in! Welcome to HASA and my humble parlor... ;-) I've been following LDID for a while before I joined HASA, and my general comment is that from the very start it had me riveted, not only for the inventive, unpredictable ways in which it twists the canon, but also for the superb writing style and the way it adds depth to the original characters while still keeping them plausible for Tolkien's universe-- well done, Dwim! Thanks, Ali. LDID has been a fun story to write (most days!) and I'm always thrilled to learn others find it apparently as entertaining to read. On the latest installment: wow, very nervy and very devastating move! I thought the action and sense of dread were very well-handled. Very glad to hear that! Still think it could do with some more polishing in places, but I think it stands now. One of the things I found most intriguing about books 4 and 6 of LotR was the "unholy trinity" formed by Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, with Gollum pulling one way and Sam another, but now that aspect has been completely eliminated and is intriguing in a very different way. I confess: these chapters were never my favorite parts of the book. The one thing this fanfic has done for me is to make me appreciate what Gollum and Sam do for Frodo's characterization, by keeping things tense and off-balance. It also makes me appreciate the Ring as a character more. By eliminating Gollum, the "unholy trinity" becomes two hobbits and a piece of accursed metal, to insure that things remain unsettled despite Sam's and Frodo's nicely congruent interests. Keep up the fine "VERY dark" work! Working on LDID 30 as we speak, though I think dinner calls. Thank you for your comments, and I hope the next chapter will not be too long in the making.

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

I wanted to tell you that I absolutely have fallen in love with this fic - especially the chapter Falling. The scene in Lorien with Arwen and Aragorn has so much feeling in it - I can hardly describe! I love your descriptions and what they said to one another. Again, you have astounded me with your ability to get into the characters' heads in any situation and you add so much depth to their already complex personalities... I don't know if you've been asked this already or not - since I'm new here - but what inspired you to write this story? It's so incredible.

 

 

Re: Lie Down in the Darkness updates

Hi Silraen, Sorry for the delayed response. RL--been out of town and otherwise just busy. Again, you have astounded me with your ability to get into the characters' heads in any situation and you add so much depth to their already complex personalities... Thank you! I had fun writing the Aragorn-Arwen scene for "Falling", though I really worried about it at the time. Scary quasi-romantic angstiness was a new thing to me in September 2001. I don't know if you've been asked this already or not - since I'm new here - but what inspired you to write this story? It's so incredible. I remember feeling that my motivation mainly focused on what I could do with the story if Gollum, the lynchpin of salvation, had been taken out of the picture early. I hadn't really seen any AUs at that point that grabbed me, that really tried to take the story as a whole apart a piece at a time from the beginning, to really use the instabilities in the story against it. (This was in August 2001, back in the day when there were about 12 pages of LOTR fanfiction on ff.net.) Teasing out that feeling, I guess I'd say that my motivation has to do with how we read this story. We *know very well* that everything *will* turn out all right in the end. We know this. Even if characters die, we know that good must triumph. What I wanted to do was show that from the inside of the story, there is no such certainty, and an AU gave me the opportunity to take very nearly every possible point where something could've happened otherwise, and make it happen otherwise to bring out how precarious the situation is in the actual books. At the same time, I didn't want this to be a simple matter of the reader knowing very well that in *this* story, everything will fail, since AUs tend to take the opposite standpoint of what happened in the books. The point of the AU structure here is that the readers can't know in advance how things will turn out. They have to find this out along with the characters and with the knowledge that whatever happens, it won't be exactly like the book events. Nevertheless, that leaves a lot of scope for an ending. I think reclaiming that sense of uncertainty and hazard is valuable, because if done well, it shows up how "the plan" (Eru's plan, Tolkien's plan and so Tolkien's great skill, really) worked in the original books precisely by undermining it at key points and allowing the repercussions to play out fully and drive the plot.

 

 

LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Merry Christmas! LDID chapter 30, Conspiracies Reforged is now available. This is the first chapter of the AU of Book V, so to refresh memories, here's a quick synopsis of the last sections of Book III. The battle of Edoras was won, but the war was still to be fought to its end. Éowyn had earlier sent out messenger riders to summon the Muster of Rohan, hoping against hope that such a gathering would prevent Wormtongue from assuming the throne. Some of those riders, however, were turned back at Helm's Deep by the presence of a part of Saruman's army that was keeping Elfhelm and Erkenbrand bottled up in the fort. Théoden consulted with his advisors and decided to ride to the aid of Helm's Deep. In the meantime, Merry and Pippin met Éowyn as they were searching for a way back up to Meduseld to find their friends. The three of them met up with Aragorn, Legolas, Éomer, and Háma in the halls, where they were informed that they would not be joining the king's éored, but would be sent to Dunharrow. Éowyn was to lead the people in the absence of her uncle and brother. Although disappointed, the hobbits agreed that they would be of little use in a battle fought from horseback. Disappointment was somewhat eased by the prospect of a useful task—Aragorn asked them, ere leaving to prepare for the long ride, to watch Éowyn, who seemed to him to be in need of friends. The remainder of the Company parted with the promise to reunite in Dunharrow. And so we move on now to book V. No action, all talk.

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Dwim, Hurray, you updated! And hurray, Halbarad is here at last! There were just so many things that were good about this chapter: shades of Lady Macbeth, Merry and Pippin coping with Edoras ("So, are you a cook or a curmudgeon?" made me chuckle, btw - reminiscent of a line used by a certain Starfleet doctor), Eomer's uneasy interaction with Legolas. Did I say hurray? cheers, Maya

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Hey Maya, Hurray, you updated! Indeed. Was beginning to feel positively pregnant—get this darned thing *out*! And hurray, Halbarad is here at last! I think this must count as my annual December Halbarad story. I've been looking forward to injecting him into this thing literally for years, now. "So, are you a cook or a curmudgeon?" made me chuckle, btw - reminiscent of a line used by a certain Starfleet doctor Glad you liked that line. I had fun writing it, and I do like Dr. McCoy a lot. Ok, past my bedtime and I'm ready to fall asleep on my keyboard. Thanks for your comments! Dwim

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Thanks for another chapter. It makes the homesick aspect more strong, for the hobbits to find a warm kitchen to be hobbit-like within. I'm another reader cheering about Halbarad's arrival, though he's only (as yet) had two sentances of dialog. I must admit I was right with Eomer in being apprehensive -- Oh, no, what is Dwim doing to do *now*? -- when I should have realized right off and started smiling a half screen earlier. I'd forgotten about the Grey Company. I've always been sad about Halbarad. I think it was the 3rd or 4th reread (mid or late teens) when I first noticed him. Hey, Strider had a friend from Before! So I was very sad when Tolkien killed him on the Pelannor. In this AU, shiver, I'm worried about Aragorn, and what happens with Halbarad is also up in the air. Good luck writing! Julie grinning

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Hi Julie, You survived the bus trip home, I take it. It makes the homesick aspect more strong, for the hobbits to find a warm kitchen to be hobbit-like within. Yay! Glad to hear it. I was sweating bullets trying to come up with a Merry-Pippin transition and the kitchen scene just arrived one day, to my great relief. Gets the job done, and I had fun with some of the lines and banter. I must admit I was right with Eomer in being apprehensive -- Oh, no, what is Dwim going to do *now*? -- when I should have realized right off and started smiling a half screen earlier. I'd forgotten about the Grey Company. Heh heh heh. I am greatly complimented, then, that you are so anxious about what might happen next. I've always been sad about Halbarad. I think it was the 3rd or 4th reread (mid or late teens) when I first noticed him. Hey, Strider had a friend from Before! So I was very sad when Tolkien killed him on the Pelannor. Halbarad was greatly underutilized, I think. And he didn't even get a line in that darned song at the end! Gah! I can at least say that he probably will have more dialogue in the first part of the next chapter of LDID than he did in the entirety of RoTK. Speaking of which, back to work for me... Thanks, Julie, for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter, and I hope I'll be able to get the next chapter out before next semester.

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Yay! Halbarad! Not before time – Aragorn really needs him right now. And now I find myself wondering what Dwimcarnation of Halbarad we’re going to get. Can’t wait to hear more from him. I loved the hobbit scene and the fellowship of the kitchen, and Merry getting writers cramp in the line of duty. Their concern for the others was very touching. I’m glad that Pippin’s going to keep his eye on Strider – that can only be good can’t it? Anyway perhaps it means we’ll be getting some Pippin/Strider interaction, which would be great. I’m very worried for Eowyn too – somehow it seems worse, in this AU, as she isn’t able to take comfort even in the illusion of love. And Legolas is really very unnerving at the moment. I’m wondering where they are heading next as I’m really not sure it’s a great idea to take him near large bodies of water – although he does seem determined to stick around to take revenge. I liked Eomer’s thoughts about the tension between duty and matters of private grief and vengence. I really loved the singing in the hall – very moving. At least there is some sort of music still going on. Thanks for a lovely update – when will we get another.

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Tag-team reviewing—I just got through writing a review for your story! Excellent timing! And now I find myself wondering what Dwimcarnation of Halbarad we’re going to get. It'll be the "Reason to Celebrate" incarnation, essentially. There's really no scope to do anything interesting with Halbarad's sexuality in this story, so I'll just leave that out. And although I admit to being tempted, I'm not going to draw "Kinsmen" into this. Too much distraction, I think, plus , I didn't write the "alternate Angle" stories as AUs, just as substitutes for each other within my own ficverse. Anyway perhaps it means we’ll be getting some Pippin/Strider interaction, which would be great. That should eventually happen, yes. Poor Merry and Pippin have had it with feeling like baggage. Can't blame them. I’m very worried for Eowyn too – somehow it seems worse, in this AU, as she isn’t able to take comfort even in the illusion of love. I actually hadn't thought of it in quite that way, but you're right. She doesn't have that for herself, but she also doesn't have to deal with the inevitable disappointment from that quarter either. And Legolas is really very unnerving at the moment. I’m wondering where they are heading next as I’m really not sure it’s a great idea to take him near large bodies of water – although he does seem determined to stick around to take revenge. I liked Eomer’s thoughts about the tension between duty and matters of private grief and vengence. I had to do something to bring back the old Éomer-Legolas scenes, to let them have their continuing effects. I think Éomer may eventually end up regretting his silence on a couple of different points. I really loved the singing in the hall – very moving. At least there is some sort of music still going on. Thanks! I had fun with that. I will eventually get to a point where we have a direct look at the Song again, but not just yet, I think. Thanks for a lovely update – when will we get another. You're welcome. I'm working on the next one. If we are lucky, it'll happen in January.

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Hi Dwimordene, I was very pleased to get this update, as well--a nice holiday gift, as it were. As the others said, it was nice to have a few Merry and Pippin moments, and their interactions with the Rohirrim at Dunharrow. They must feel "in their element" for the first time in months and months. "You try spelling Heldigsfyrdhing," Merry retorted. LOL, nice to get a few lighter bits here and there. And I am also worried about Eowyn and Legolas--now is the time for seriously depressed, thin blond warriors, it seems. I have been enjoying the way you bring them out in the AU: Eowyn without her lovelorn-ness, which more or less consumed her character in the original version; and Legolas with a deep sense of frustration and loss, as well as a mindful look to his elven heritage that goes deeper than just having keen eyes and impeccable grace. I also liked how you took a hint of the orc-slaying contest and transplanted it to Eomer and Legolas--it must be fun to play around with bits of the text like that. Hurrah for Halbarad! Greatly looking forward to the next chapter. Cheers, Aliana

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

Tag-team reviewing—I just got through writing a review for your story! Excellent timing!I didn't write the "alternate Angle" stories as AUs, just as substitutes for each other within my own ficverse. Ah yes, that's true of course. "Reason to Celebrate" Halbarad will do just fine - just so long as you keep him alive a good long time. I had to do something to bring back the old Éomer-Legolas scenes, to let them have their continuing effects. I'm going to have to go back and have a re-read I think as I don't remember them very well. I know they were harrowing. You're welcome. I'm working on the next one. If we are lucky, it'll happen in January. Fantastic - bring it on. Alawa

 

 

Re: LDID 30: Conspiracies Reforged

I was very pleased to get this update, as well--a nice holiday gift, as it were. Glad you liked it! My updates do seem to be fairly "seasonal" lately. ;) As the others said, it was nice to have a few Merry and Pippin moments, and their interactions with the Rohirrim at Dunharrow. They must feel "in their element" for the first time in months and months. "You try spelling Heldigsfyrdhing," Merry retorted. LOL, nice to get a few lighter bits here and there. The kitchen scenes were fun to write. I find it interesting that so little of Tolkien's tale takes place in a kitchen anywhere, particularly since the hobbits are main characters. I suppose there was no real space for that sort of thing, but really, if I were a hobbit and wanted to be helpful in a strange land, that's exactly where I'd go. And I'm glad that one-liner worked. Having this oral culture around to play with is quite entertaining at times, particularly when it collides with a somewhat more literary one. And I am also worried about Eowyn and Legolas--now is the time for seriously depressed, thin blond warriors, it seems. I have been enjoying the way you bring them out in the AU Thanks! Legolas with a deep sense of frustration and loss, as well as a mindful look to his elven heritage that goes deeper than just having keen eyes and impeccable grace. Well put. That is exactly what bothers me about him in the original story—he's such a generic character, and most of what's interesting about him comes from Gimli. I also liked how you took a hint of the orc-slaying contest and transplanted it to Eomer and Legolas--it must be fun to play around with bits of the text like that. It is a lot of fun. For me, it brings out the ironies one can introduce into the story, how a change of context completely changes the meaning of those words and yet the words still could have been spoken. Hurrah for Halbarad! Halbarad fans unite! Thanks for commenting. Happy New Year! Dwim, off to watch the Rose Parade reruns

 

 

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