Marion Zimmer Bradley

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Lomelindo
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Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Lomelindo »

I came across some references to Marion Zimmer Bradley (of Mists of Avalon fame) wrote some stories about Arwen.
The Parting of Arwen is the last conversation between Arwen and Elrond before he departs Middle-Earth. And the second one is the "Jewel of Arwen" which describes the history of the white jewel.

I have not read these, have any of you? Are they any good and are they consistent with Tolkien's legendarium?
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Lomelindo »

I found the Jewel of Arwen. See attachment.

(admin edit: moved the download to the members-only section here)
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Lomelindo
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Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Lomelindo »

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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Meneldur Olvarion
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Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Lomelindo wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:29 pm[...] I have not read these, have any of you? Are they any good and are they consistent with Tolkien's legendarium?
I think I read "Jewel of Arwen" once, but that was 20 years ago at least, and I don't remember much about it other than that it seemed "fan-fictiony".

Ah, I see you located a copy; I'll read it and see how it strikes me now.
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Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

My Report:

Well, it's a bit...odd. I list below the anomalies, from lesser to greater:

1) She seems to be trying to use JRRT's writing style, but it isn't done properly. A few examples, followed by what JRRT would more probably have written:

[...] "ripping away with his sword the black mantle with which the Nazgul covered his hideous nothingness." ==> his sword shore away the black raiment with which the Nazgul concealed his nothingness
[...] "And at last the Witch-king fled from before him..." ==> And at last the Witch-king fled before him...

but these are minor quibbles, and can easily be overcome if you realize that's what the author is doing - for me, it's kind of like enabling "rough road" compensators on a fancy car so that you barely feel those potholes...

2) [...] "so Boromir was laid in a boat and, with a few of his household, borne up the stream to the crossing of Nimrodel; for in those days the journey was less perilous than later, though still set about with dangers.

And at the crossing of the Silverlode (for they were never fated to enter into the valley of Lorien), Boromir lay like a pale shadow..."

This one is more serious, as it seems to ignore geography. I found this interactive map which allows one to zoom in: [link] If they started from Harlond and went up Anduin, the furthest they could get by water would be somewhere near the base of Rauros-falls. But before they got there, they'd have to pass though the wetland of Nindalf, which I can't imagine would be very healthy for a wounded man - especially if it and the Dead Marshes were parts of one interconnected wetland, which to me seems likely. So, they'd have to get him (and the boat) up above the falls, which given the impression of height in the narrative would be a huge effort. They'd have to do that all over again with Sarn Gebir, making me wonder why the choice to proceed via water would have been made at all: it seems to me that horse-relays (or whatever the proper term is for using fresh horses at predetermined points) would be a lot safer for the wounded man and a lot more efficient.

Also, and most glaringly, to get to Nimrodel you would have to pass through most of the vale of Lorien via the river Silverlode first. It's like she's basically following the LoTR text as written without realizing that coming up from the South, even if all rivers and streams were navigable, you'd have to reverse the sequence of cited names.

3) Re: Journey to Rivendell - wouldn't it have been far easier to have Elrond, who wasn't wounded and had the power of life of the Eldar, to make the journey eastwards? Just sayin'...

The rest of the story is actually pretty good! I'm especially intrigued by the novel idea of "Seven Stars" as literal gems, which sound like something of Fëanorian design, although it seems equally possible that they could be parallel Gwaith-i-Mírdain or Númenorean technology, or perhaps both at slightly different times (c.f. multiple discovery).
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Re: Marion Zimmer Bradley

Post by Lomelindo »

I agree with your points. I also like the idea of the seven stars being jewels made by the Noldor at some point and given to the Numenoreans.
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” - Haldir

“We’re not in decent places.” Gollum
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