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Complete The Power He Knows Not by Steelbadger - T - HP/LotR

Discussion in 'The Alternates' started by Steelbadger, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger Order Member

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    Title: The Power He Knows Not (HP/Lord of the Rings)
    Author: Steelbadger
    Rating: T
    Genre: Adventure/Romance
    Chapters: 11
    Words: 68,753
    Published: February 6th, 2015
    Status: Complete
    Library Category: The Alternates
    Pairings: Harry/Éowyn

    Summary: A decade ago Harry Potter found himself in a beautiful and pristine land. After giving up hope of finding his friends he settled upon the wide plains below the mountains. Peaceful years pass before a Ranger brings an army to his door and he feels compelled once again to fight. Perhaps there is more to be found here than solitude alone.

    Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11027086/1/The-Power-He-Knows-Not
    DLP WbA Link: https://forums.darklordpotter.net/showthread.php?t=28175

    My first really sustained effort on a piece of fanfic and it seems to have been received reasonably well. It is a bit short for many people's tastes and leans heavily upon the LotR canon, from which it doesn't deviate significantly. It goes a bit mushy in places, a bit cheesy in others and is overall a bit cliche. On the plus side, the style is modeled on Tolkien's own and does a decent job of making the fic feel like it's actually set in Middle-earth. Harry is not OP, the technical quality is pretty good if occasionally a little dry in places and it has some decent fight scenes. It's complete and lives in the realm of Harry/LotR which is a pretty sad place really.

    Until Taure or Roarian do something about finishing their LotR fics it's got to be one of the better completed fics in the HP/LotR crossovers fandom.

    (I'm posting this now as I've made a couple of small changes to the earlier chapters to bring them more in line with the later ones and I'm now going to put it behind me to go do other things.)

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  2. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    Ηοnestly? I enjoyed it, but my honest rating would be a 3/5. It has about as many cons as pros. I normally wouldnt want a 3/5 in the Library, but there's such a lack of decent fics in this fandom that I wont mind if this one does.
     
  3. pbluekan

    pbluekan Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I enjoyed this. It was a fun story to read and provided some material I havent seen before. However, it came across as a fix-it fic, and many of the main character's initial motivations and capabilities seem suspect and rather forced.

    I would give it a 3/5 here but the voice that steelbadger manages to write in is absolutely superb. He manages to make the fic actually feel (not completely, but enough) like a tolkien piece of writing that it certainly deserves recognition.

    I'll give it a 4/5
     
  4. invinoveri

    invinoveri Third Year

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    It was cool. The super fast pace should make it a 3/5 but I enjoyed the writing so 4/5.
     
  5. Bramastra

    Bramastra Groundskeeper

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    Pretty enjoyable 4/5 I don't like the way Harry speaks though, it kind of grates
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  6. capo327

    capo327 Sixth Year

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    The writing made it feel like the LotR world without having to use the tedious language and descriptions that the actual books did. The characters felt slightly more like characters. But in the end it just felt to me like another walk through the LotR story with Harry added. It just didn't feel like anything new, which is difficult in fan fiction, but enough to keep it from a perfect 5/5.
    4/5
     
  7. Stan

    Stan Order Member

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    I agree with pretty much all of this. The best part of the story was its tone. The romance was just there, and the content wasn't anything special. The story had a decent-ish beginning, a boring middle and a satisfying ending. The lack of quality HP/LoTR fics, or even non-crossover LoTR fics helps this story, but I would have dropped the story halfway through had I not read comments of later chapters that persuaded me to keep reading.

    I'll give it a 3.5/5, rounded down to 3/5.
     
  8. Hachi

    Hachi Death Eater

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    The writing was fluid, and I actually liked the fact that the story was fast paced. A perfectly good time waster that does not take too much of your time.

    The plot, however, was a bit predictable and not particularly original, and the beginning was a bit too infodumpish for my tastes, but eh...

    I found it enjoyable. 4/5
     
  9. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    It was a good story, but I think I liked the writing of chapters 2, 3, and 4 far better than the rest. I'm not sure what exactly I disliked about the rest; perhaps it was too much narration, perhaps something else, but beyond the first four it felt a bit choppy to me.

    I'll still give it a 3/5 since the I found it enjoyable.
     
  10. KGB

    KGB Headmaster

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    I liked this story. It moves at a decent clip to keep the reader engaged throughout. The expanded scope of it being written from the books version of events rather than the movies explained away the way it stuck to the original story line quite well. These are monumental events that have been in motion for a long time so Harry's appearance would not have too great an impact on them.

    My only problem with the fic is that the protagonist is not Harry. It's pretty much an OC with vaguely HP power set.

    Overall it's 4/5 from me because I was most certainly entertained.
     
  11. CleanRag

    CleanRag Professor

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    A strongly recommended 3/5, but a 3/5 none the less. When you consider the quality of the writing, I have read many stories that were worse but managed to keep me glued to the screen. This just fails to keep my attention engaged.

    Author commits a cardinal sin when writing a crossover. Harry is thrown into the LotR plot-line and the stakes are never raised accordingly. The original LotR cast were enough to deal with the problems they faced, adding Harry makes it a walk in the park. As a result this feels like a slice of life story set in the middle of epic battles. The clashing atmospheres are not reconcilable.

    The romance had a chance to save the story but it feels like a forgone conclusion from the moment Harry and Eowyn meet. Again there is no tension anywhere on my screen.

    For all of its negatives with regards to story telling, the piece is well written and at no point becomes insufferable. A great time killer of a story.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  12. Krieger

    Krieger Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Considering the lack of decent Lotr/HP crosses, this is one of the better ones.

    Take that away, and I would rate it 3/5. Super fast paced, flowery writing that had me skim reading most of it, and lack of significant deviation from plot. Harry affected events, but the sequence was still virtually the same. Basically the same story just with Harry tagging along for the ride, you could nearly call it a rehash +1 character.

    I struggled to read the lotr books and this strongly emulates that style so it's nothing wrong with the author it's more my personal preference.

    3/5.

    On a side note Steelbadgers other HP/Lotr cross is far more enjoyable, in comparison the word count is way less but the pacing is a lot better and the dialogue/general writing is far more pleasing to the eye.
     
  13. Radmar

    Radmar Disappeared

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    It has all been said already. It's decent fic, but not exceptionally good. I did't enjoy romance either. I rate better kind of 3/5.
     
  14. Odran

    Odran Fourth Champion

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    Personally, I loved it. The only part that bothered me a tad was Harry lounging about and doing nothing. I suppose it had to be done, because otherwise he might have wrought a greater change to the entire story.

    Really, other than that, I absolutely loved it to bits. It really made me feel like I was reading Tolkien, the right tone, the right way SB used the words, and most importantly Harry wasn't jarringly sticking out from the background. His presence in Middle-Earth having more purpose to it rather than just accidental dimension hopping was yet another bonus for this story, one I couldn't have really predicted happening at all.

    In conclusion, this story is one of the rare 5/5 for me.
     
  15. Drunken dark lord

    Drunken dark lord First Year

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    was decent, but lost my interest after helm's deep. 3/5
     
  16. Kensington

    Kensington Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    I can't remember the last time I wrote a review for a story on this site.

    I loved the heck out of this story. The pacing, characterizations, and story itself just hit the right note to me. I'll confess to being a tad biased, since Eowyn was my favorite female character from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That said, I really liked how the author handled a Harry who appeared overpowered. I won't go into too many details, but it was handled quite well in my opinion.

    5/5 for me.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Master of Death

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    Really enjoyed the story and the idea. But I can't help but feel that that the epilogue was unecessary. A 4/5 because I am not a huge fan of the style even with Tolkien.
     
  18. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    Personally, the style of its writing is what elevates it above the most fabulous elves.

    In terms of criticisms - in line with his stated goal to write a quick, finishable story, this story seems quick.

    It's nice to have a completed story to read, and positively, there really is no dead weight here. However, maybe an extra 10,000 words to flesh out Harry and Eowyn's romance and the battle of Miras Tinith wouldn't go amiss. Particularly the former, these are important things which occur too quickly, there's not much chemistry between the two in the beginning.

    In its favour has got to be the quick beginning. It jumps straight into the action and we don't have to watch Harry flounder for 10 years, which is good. We know where you are Harry, lets just skip the done before 'Where am I?' bit and get to doing stuff, cheers. Finally, the combination of Harry Potter magic and LOTR magic works well, and across the story justice is done to both systems. All of this together, would probably get a rating of 4 / 5 and because of the paucity of this crossover done well I'd say it's thoroughly library worthy.

    If . . . it weren't for the writing style. A couple of weeks ago when I read this, I went and watched all three LOTR extended editions, I downloaded the Third Age TW mod, and most strikingly of all I went and watched the newest Hobbit which I'd heard bad things about (Yeah . . . I've had some time off recently). If you're a fan of the original books and characters then this is excellent, and it should be recognised as excellent. 5/5. It feels like you're reading Tolkien, and that's not something I've found anywhere else.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
  19. JohnThePyro

    JohnThePyro Headmaster

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    Honestly, I personally didn't like it. It wasn't my kind of story, and I didn't like the way it was written.

    That said, just because I didn't like it doesn't mean it wasn't *good*. For what it set out to be and do, it was successful. Succinct and well written, with flowing dialogue that fit the setting and interesting characters. While I really disliked the prose, that doesn't mean it wasn't absolutely nailed for this fic.

    4/5, it deserves to be in the library. It's not my cup of tea, but I can see others loving it.
     
  20. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    This was entertaining, but I don't think it's actually very good. Of course it's pretty much the best HP/LotR story there is, but unfortunately that doesn't mean much. I'm somewhat surprised that DLP, generally known for its strict standards and harsh criticism, has let this pass, but I suppose it's a symptom of our desperation for anything decent in the LotR fandom. Still, the level of fanboyish fellatio going on in this thread and the WBA thread is somewhat shameful.

    Language and tone

    This is the most obvious problem. I'm not sure why everyone is complimenting this as Tolkienesque. It's formal, yes, but there's a lot more to replicating Tolkien than formality. Tolkien was formal in a kind of "Norse bard" way. The language was old, but essentially down-to-earth. This is formal in a kind of "Prince Charles slightly drunk" way. It's overly grandiose, yet feels largely modern.

    And then we have the problem of consistency, which exacerbates the problem. The language veers wildly between this overly formal tone and a modern, chatty tone. Now, this would not have been so bad, if Harry was consistently modern in speech and everyone else consistently formal, with the narrative itself sticking to one or the other (modern if third person limited with Harry as PoV character, formal if third person omniscient rooted in the LotR world). However, what we get is not this. Harry switches between modern and formal, as does the narrative.

    Maybe this was meant to be showing Harry's integration into the world, but if so it was badly executed. Your active vocabulary does not change on a sentence to sentence basis. If Harry is in the middle of integrating into LotR, then his language should be consistently altered, with each sentence he says having some modern and some formal elements. Instead we get some sentences which are completely formal and some that are completely modern.

    (Also, maybe this was addressed and I've forgotten, but what language is Harry speaking again? If it's Westeron, it makes no sense to represent Harry's use of Westeron as alternating between modern and formal English. If he's learnt Westeron as a second language then he's going to speak it like those he learnt it from.)

    On a final point, the narrative itself is inconsistent. You need to pick either third person limited or third person omniscient and stick with it. As things stand it's largely third person limited (like HP) but occasionally strays into random moments of third person omniscient (like LotR).

    Plot

    Language aside, the biggest problem I have with the story is its plot.

    The main problem here is that of artificial conflict, in which character actions and decisions feel author dictated rather than character-driven. People do stuff because that stuff needs to happen for maximum drama, not because it makes any sense. The most egregious example of this is Harry’s magic use. We have the typical thing where Harry uses his weakest, least impressive magic first, then progressing to more powerful stuff as a battle progresses. This also happens across battles, with Harry saving his very most powerful magic for the later battles.

    This makes zero sense. Harry should open with his most powerful magic. There’s no reason not to. The excuses provided in the story (e.g. not wanting to draw attention to yourself) are exactly that: excuses, not reasons, and they’re flimsy excuses at that. It’s painfully transparent that Harry holding back is not an organic result of the plot, but rather a specific outcome the author has decided is necessary, which the plot is thus rearranged to achieve.

    Looking at the more overarching plot, it’s clear that the author has struggled to find a place for Harry in the story. Canon events have been artificially altered, often by very convenient coincidences, just to make room for Harry to look cool achieving exactly the same thing that was achieved without him in canon. The most obvious example of this is the death of the Witch-King. This feels like cheating, and also slightly disrespectful of the source material.

    These two problems (the need to restrain Harry from using his most powerful magic, and the need to find a role for Harry in a story where everything is already neatly tied off) are natural problems for anyone wanting to write an HP/LotR cross. There are solutions, I believe, but I don’t think the ones here work. They feel too much like a brute force approach. Instead of finding a place for Harry within LotR, what the author has done is abuse LotR until a place for Harry appears.

    Romance

    This has actually been touched upon already by the uncritical shitheads ITT. The romance between Harry and Eowyn is basically non-existent. Now, it might be said that this is in the tradition of Tolkien, given Aragorn and Arwen’s absentee romance which, in any case, happened before the events of LotR. There’s two reasons why this is different, however.

    Firstly, Tolkien’s shitty romances were shitty because they were 100% tell. We’re told that Aragorn and Arwen are already in love. We don’t see it or feel it. But you do attempt to show Harry/Eowyn, it’s just that it’s shown ineffectively. Unlike Aragorn and Arwen, we see Harry and Eowyn interact, and we see that they have absolutely zero chemistry.

    Secondly, Tolkien’s shitty romances don’t decide the ultimate fate of the world, whereas Harry’s supposed love for Eowyn is what ultimately keeps him grounded in your story. Because we don’t buy that love, we don’t buy the climax of the entire conflict, and thus the entire plot is sabotaged by their poor chemistry.

    On top of these two problems, there’s also the sheer cheesiness factor. It’s just painfully saccharine sweet. YOU HAVE A FUCKING LOVE PATRONUS. I never thought I’d see the day that DLP actually had a Love Patronus fic recommended to them and didn’t immediately call foul. There was a time when that would have been instant disqualification for being in the library, regardless of any other merit a fic had. This as fluffy as the worst Harry/Ginny Power of Love Will Defeat Voldemort fic.

    Pacing

    Finally, the fic has the problem of very fast pacing, a problem which is almost certainly intentional to keep the project of achievable scale. It’s a feature not a bug, but it still detracts from the fic’s quality so I’m mentioning it for completeness’ sake. If the fic had slower pacing you would have been able to cover stuff like Harry/Eowyn in more depth and perhaps convince us of some chemistry existing between them. You could also have spent more time on Harry’s slow integration into the world, rather than simply depending on reader suspension of disbelief.

    Pros

    As I said, the fic is entertaining. There’s some good action in there, before we got the Love Patronuses, and the “magic escalation for plot reasons” doesn’t completely destroy the reader’s ability to enjoy the massacre of orcs by HP magic. I also liked that Harry fell for the ring’s power, though I didn’t particularly enjoy the interpretation of what happened afterwards, especially the sudden plot armour Harry gained upon death.

    Final rating: 3/5, more of a guilty pleasure than a quality fic to take seriously.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
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