Hi Kenny! I actually read this chapter of the story through quickly the other day before I read the second chapter for my challenge, so I thought that I'd try and come back to leave a review for it now :)
I really enjoyed this chapter, and after reading your end note I'm really intrigued by the Empress you're talking about and the way that you've used her as inspiration for Rowena in this story. That's a really interesting use of history to write historical fiction (of sorts) set in an entirely different country. I like the fact that it transfers well and shows us the sorts of issues that were faced the world over at this point in time by people.
The idea of Rowena's son being sick is interesting - I don't think I've seen a story where she had a son before, so that was very original. I wasn't sure whether it was a Muggle illness or a magical one, though, and I think some more detail about that and who Rowena is trying to help in this chapter would help flesh out the story more.
The details about the gargoyles were really interesting for you to include. I've always found the idea behind them fascinating and it was great to see that Rowena seemed to believe that.
Your characterisation of Helga was really good. I can definitely see her being the sort of person who is very affectionate towards her friends, as well as loyal to them.
I liked the way that you're already introducing some of the conflict that Salazar feels here towards the Muggles because of the French (the Normans?) who are beginning to move into England and take over land. I think that makes him seem more human. And I see the beginnings of the attraction from Salazar's part towards Rowena here ;)
Thank you again for coming back to chapter 1 , Sian.
I'm glad to hear you like my interpretation of Founders. It was easy to begin with characterisation of Helga and Rowena in this chapter. And I thought it was better to write about Salazar and Godric later. You can see how they will take each role soon.
We have a famous wooden statue of Asura. Many people say he is handsome though he has three faces and six arms. It was said that Empress Komyo had a carver make it after she lost her son. The original Todai temple in Nara was also built by Empress Komyo and Emperor Shoumu after they lost their son. I put the episode via Gargoyles at Hogwarts.
Yeah, Sian, you are right. I'll write the conflict that Salazar feels towards the Muggles, the reason why will be the Normans, Welsh people or some people from England. I'll try setting up the conflict among Scottish or Irish people or goblins.
Hi Kenny! I'm here reading and reviewing entries for my challenge - thank you very much for entering!
Your description at the opening of this chapter was really brilliant; it helped to conjure a very vivid image in my mind of the beautiful setting that Rowena and Salazar were walking in. I also think that the description works really well here because the Britain which this takes place in looks very different to the Britain of today, and the images you describe here help the reader to imagine those differences more clearly.
It's really interesting that you've written a Founders era story! I think you're the only person who's written this era for my challenge so I was really intrigued to see how you would combine Muggle history with the wizarding worlds and the beginnings of Hogwarts. I thought you did a really good job of that - I liked the way that you used the names of Muggle kings of this period, and the fact that you remembered there were multiple kings at this time because Britain was split into many kingdoms, with rivalries and hostilities between a lot of them at different times. I thought you depicted that situation very well, particularly with the way that Salazar is so concerned about the Muggle rulers and how they will react to Hogwarts and what should be done about it.
I liked your characterisations in this chapter - I thought they were very strong. I particularly liked your portrayal of Rowena Ravenclaw here. She came across as a very calm and wise person, and I think that fits in really well with the qualities which her house will prize. She also seemed very strong and determined here, and more than equal to Salazar, which is nice to read - I think often women are depicted as inferior at this point in time, and while it was likely true to some extent, even in wizarding society, in the Founders' case, there must have been a sense of equality and respect between the four friends.
I think I would have liked a little bit more background on the relationship between Salazar and Rowena here - the way that Salazar is attracted to Rowena in the second half of this chapter seemed a bit sudden as I was reading it, and some more details about the history of their friendship might help there. I also noticed a couple of typos, and that you spelt "Salazar" as "Salzar" throughout the chapter.
I really enjoyed the way that you worked the history into this chapter, though - particularly the clever ways that you connected the Founders to Muggle rulers and real historical figures, such as Helga Hufflepuff being the King of Gwynedd's wife. I think that helped tie the Muggle history in really well and it's clear how much of an impact events in the Muggle world still have on the wizarding world at this point, which was really interesting!
Hi, Sian! Thank you for setting this challenge. Learing a high level in English is hard for me, so writing a story is a good distraction from study.
It's always easy for me to write characters with nature descriptions around them. So I really appreciate for your encouragement.
As I've watched many histroical dramas in the past, I thought I could write some related to this challenge. So I'm happy to hear you like the plot.
When I wrote Rowena, I got many hints from the first ever Empress in my country. Though the descriptions I wrote are different from the facts, I tried writing the Asian episodes in Western style. Empress Komyo was said that she had done many things for people and her country after she lost her son.
As I kept writing about her, I put my imagination about Hogwarts Founders. It was interesting in the process. I enjoyed writing very much.
"More Background on the relationship between Salazar and Rowena..." Sian you read my weak point... yeah you are right. I need to add more including typos.
Though working on British history in Medieval time is hard, it's fun to imagine people at that time. So I'll be back to writing next.
Thank you again for your thoughtful review, Sian!
I enjoy the contrast in “bony gentle face.” I wouldn’t normally expect something bony to be gentle, so that helps set up Rowena a a woman of interesting contrasts.
Did Rowena’s son die from the black death? Or from a magical disease?
I am curious what makes the people Helena’s people. Is she in some kind of formal leadership position, or does she just look out for her own? I am also curious about Helga and Godric being here. Is this part of Hogwarts, or elsewhere? If elsewhere, what are Helga and Godric’s roles?
Aw, I love that line that once Helga decides to shower you with affection, she never stops. As a Hufflepuff, I really connect with that. I like that you specify that that extends to Salazar, though it makes me sad that it seems like the others were so hostile to him that he wouldn’t feel welcome participating in their discussions without her invitation.
There are extra quote marks at the end of “She kissed Helena’s plump cheek.”“
Your formatting is a little uneven in this story, with extra spaces between some paragraphs and not enough between others.
I like that the shipping is subtle in this piece. I may not have thought Rowena and Salazar was a ship if you hadn’t tagged it, but I can definitely see that they understand each other and go well together. There doesn’t have to be blatant romance to make a pairing work, and I like the subtle route you took with this one.
Ooh, interesting end notes!
Nice job with this story.
Hi, Sam. Thank you for stopping by. I'm always impressed by your hard work at CTF and House Cup.
Ha ha ha , " I wouldn’t normally expect something bony to be gentle" being a member at this community, let me notice various things. Your POV makes me realize what I didn't notice. Yeah, I understand what you tried to say. When I wrote Rowena, I just imaged her face in that way. I don't know why... maybe I saw the image in the film or old photos in a history book?
Information about her son's death came from the historical fact of the first ever Empress in my country. So her role in this story, I put the hints from the Empress, I set Rowena as a noble woman.
Helena and Godric will play an important role, of course. I'll write about them later in detail.
I'll make it clear why Salazar wouldn't feel welcome participating in their discussions. You'll see later. I'll try.
oops, I'll check spaces... sometimes google docs might trick me after editing. Thanks.
Talking of the shipping between Rowena and Salazar, I have some episodes in my mind. I'll be back to the story soon.
Thank you again for your thoughtful reviews, Sam!
I'm here to review for my strong female challenge! So my challenge is all about the characterisation of your lead character and the events that led her to be 'strong'
I think Rowena is an awesome character to pick for this challenge! I feel like the founders is a really under explored area of the fandom considering it has so much potential. Both Rowena (and Helga) were obviously powerful and strong for 11th century women!
I really think you've got some really stunning imagery, your description is really powerful and gives me such a fantastic mental pictures and better connection with your characters. It's hard to pick my favourite but I really loved the line 'Her haunting loneliness after her loss sought for the next vessel to pour in her affection' so it was effective in this piece but quite poetic too.
I think you've done a good job at showing what makes her strong, I really thought how showed her devotion to her people and protecting them on her visit to France was really well done! I know you're planning to work on this more to make it multi-chaptered piece so I'm sure I'll see more of Rowena's characterisation but judging on this chapter it's really solid start for her. I enjoy little details about the other founders too, looks to be an interesting story so good luck finishing it!
Thank you so much for joining my challenge, I loved reading this!
- Abbi x
Thank you Abbi for setting this wonderful challenge! I was really amazed by your contribution for the members on the forums. We are so lucky to have you, Abbie!
Talking of my story, it was really fun to imagine the unexplored HP fandom era. Since I've read some, (perhaps one of them was written by StellaBlue) about the Founders, I had a vague concept about them. I really enjoyed writing about them in my own style. Before making an entry for your story challenge, I just happened to watch a documentary about Empress Komyo and her temples including the statue of Ashura. I thought it might be more interesting if I wrote the Founders based on her. I hope it worked well for the European readers. With inspirations from awesome people on the forums, I can continue this story. Thank you again, Abbie!