The Realm of Nienna
“The shadow passes, washed away by our tears.”
When I joined the Realm, we had about 50 members, now there is nearer 250. And for that I take no credit. The credit must go to all the realm members, and especially all those who have been realm leaders, for making the Realm such a warm and friendly place to be. It is a community, a true community in a way I actually thought was pretty impossible on the web. It’s a place we run to when upset, a place we want to be to when we’re happy, when we have something to celebrate.
What can I say about how wonderful the Realm of Nienna without sounding over the top, or totally smug? And what can I say about its members without either sounding utterly trite, unemotional, or far too emotional?
Maybe I can give a flavour of the Realm by talking about some of the things we do there that make it the place we know and love.
Nienna is the Lady of Sorrow and Pity, and I suspect that when most people think of Nienna, they think of tears. Tears are necessary, they provide us with relief, absolution – and the first step to healing is the acknowledgement of the problem. And we bring our problems to the Realm, and we bring problems we see in the world in the Realm.
One of our threads is there for people to bring attention to any issue they wish, whether large or small. It’s a hard read, very hard on occasions – especially when animal cruelty is involved – but we have to acknowledge these things before we can work on trying to make it better. How many people walk past problems not seeing them? Or trying not to see them?
How can hope be gained if we don’t see the pain? Don’t see the problems all around us? That is what this thread is about. And to share pain. Sometimes something can be so awful that people need a place to share it, a place where they can feel they have brought people’s attention to it.
But Nienna is about more than pain. She teaches us that we should learn from mistakes, whether our own or those of others. And not just learn, but do something about correcting the mistakes. This we also try and do, in many different ways. Nienna was one of the realms deeply involved in the creation of the Council of Entwives, for so many of us care deeply for the environment. Within the realm, we try and offer advice and help for others – on any subject people need. And if we can’t help, we at least have a “In need of a hug” thread, where each post tends to contain at least 10 hug smilies.
To counteract the deeper and more personal threads, we have a big games sub-forum, with the infamous Purple Duck Pub and its attendant spin-off threads. We understand the significance of Galadriel’s make-overs, Balrog, green tinsel, Jock Parrot, what underwear Boromir wears, and exactly how bad Théoden’s poetry is. We write sentences showcasing especially stupid sibilant sounds or wonder about whether we would save a dwarf from a pack of orcs, or an orc from a pack of dwarves (the overwhelming consensus was saving the orc).
Maybe that in some way will give you an idea of the Realm. But what we write, the games we play, is nothing compared to the way so many people in the realm have become good friends, the way we all feel we’ve come home when we come into the realm forum.
Special thanks for making the Realm what it is today should go to all the people who have been realm leaders now, or in the past:
Nienna-of-the-Valar, Annúnagar, Foshpickle~Greenleaf, Bronwynn, Rosearialelven
And also to WitchQueenofAngmar – Nienna’s original Realm Head!