Marta - 26 Nov 05 - 12:42 PM
Ch. 1: Enmities
You know, it's almost becoming "chic" to write stories that make the bad guys more successful; it's good because it forces people to crawl out of their box and think about issues both Middle-earth-related and tied to our own world from a different perspective. But there's always this danger that so many fall into, of making the other guys too much like us. An orc's head is a scary place to be, and I think we do him (or her, in this case) a big disservice when we say that the only way their culture is worth our interest isw when they are so similar to us that the differences in their actions are external rather than internal.
What I'm trying to say is, if you plucked Glorfindel from Rivendell and plopped him down in a work detail on the Gorgoroth plains, I don't think he'd behave in the same way as an orc. Even after a few centuries. There's something fundamentally different between our heroes and the villains, and you captured that so well here!
Beyond that, I noticed two new things on my latest read of "Enmities". The first was about Shelob. The fact that this orc (or warg - I wasn't quite sure, and that made the story even more powerful) didn't know that Sheloob still lives really struck me. Evil wasn't omnipotent, and they don't have their ducks in a row any more than the average Rohir or Gondorian.
That really affected me, as did her apparent deisapproval of Shelob's games. That was the second thing that affected me strongly about this story. It seems that even Drukh has a sense of honour of sorts, that a warrior deserves to be dealt with plainly and not belittled. But at the same time it's a completely different code that guides her thinking than what we might see from a man or elf of the west. It's a far cry from Faramir's "I would not snare even an orc with a lie".
Oh, one tiny quibble and I really will stop. (Sorrry to gush....) I can't remember if I mentioned this in your MEFA reviews, but the fact that the Dead come up to Pelennor threw mefor a bit of a loop. That's movieverse, and I think you may want to either warn that this story is movieverse, or else change that to men from the west side of the river instead of the east side. I think it could be done fairly easily if you choose to take that route. And if I *have* already mentioned that and you just haven't gotten around to it, I apologise in advance for being a pest.
Anyway, this is really long for a "quick comment"! But this is probably my favourite piece about a villain, certainly of its length. Very, VERY well done, Amanda!
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