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Reflections from the Paradise of Elves  by Bodkin

The Paradise of Elves – Part 79: Feeling your Years

Legolas leaned his head back against the trunk and closed his eyes.   He drew a breath so deep it seemed to Elrohir amazing that he did not swell like a bladder.  

‘Bad?’ he asked sympathetically.

Thranduil’s son flicked him a tight look.  ‘You are more than welcome to take your turn and spend the next century or two acting as a cushion between a variety of people old enough to know better.  At least it would free me to go and become a hermit.’

Elladan laughed.  ‘You would not make a good hermit, Legolas.  The presence of your wife and children . . .’

‘And your parents and daeradar. . .’

‘And old Uncle Ilquen and all – would rather get in the way of any craving for solitude.’     

‘Not to mention,’ Elrohir added, ‘that you are too fond of good conversation – and competition on the training field – to take well to a life of isolation.’

‘Oh well -,’ Legolas dismissed their teasing with a wave of his hand, ‘perhaps it would be better to send certain others off instead.’

The three turned over his words warily.

‘I do not believe that anyone is within earshot,’ Elrohir said guiltily.  ‘We may still live to fight another day.’

‘Daernaneth does not need to be within earshot,’ his brother reminded him.  ‘She can pick such thoughts out of our minds – if she so chooses.’

‘She long since abandoned any hope of making sense of our thoughts, my twin.’

‘That explains a lot,’ Legolas remarked.  The twins exchanged a glance and dived for him simultaneously, but their friend evaded them easily.  ‘I mean it!’ he declared.  ‘I am impressed – truly I am!  If you can deter Lady Galadriel from examining your motives by seeming mind-numbingly shallow, then you are worthy of respect!’

Elrohir abandoned his attempt to reach the Woodland Prince.  ‘What are we going to do?’ he asked.  ‘We have elders behaving like elflings – and elflings behaving like – well. . .’

‘Elflings?’ his brother suggested.  ‘Leaving us in the middle, like the jam in a sandwich.  Squashed.’

‘I have longed all my life to know my daeradar,’ Legolas said wearily.  ‘And he and my daughter clearly adore each other – but the tensions between him and Adar begin to outweigh the joy they take in each other’s company.  And then, having fought with Lady Galadriel since before Angband fell, Adar is suddenly determined to behave as if she is one of his most trusted friends – and put pressure on Oropher to move past whatever resentment he feels.’

‘It is too much,’ Elladan agreed.  ‘If it were only possible, I would like to line them up and deliver one of Adar’s most measured and crushing discourses.’  He grinned.  ‘But I do not believe they would consent to listen to our words of wisdom.’

‘It will settle down in time,’ Elrohir sighed.  ‘But I am not sure that even elves have that much time with which to play.’

‘Adar is determined that Oropher will see he is a king of wisdom and experience,’ Legolas mused.  ‘One who can take natural opponents and mould them into friends.’

‘And Daernaneth is gritting her teeth,’ Elladan grinned mischievously, ‘because Daeradar has long been determined that she and Thranduil will learn to like each other – and he will not let her say any of the things that are passing through her mind.’

‘Every now and then,’ Legolas said quietly, ‘Daeradar has a look of confusion – as if he is not entirely certain where he is or why he is doing what he does.  Naneth understands him better than anyone, I think, and she worries that this is not doing him any good.  He needs peace – and trees – and the company of those who ask no questions and demand nothing of him.’

‘Take him off for a while,’ Elrohir suggested.  ‘Just you and him.  You had better speak to Elerrina – but leave the rest to us.  With luck, they will feel a little chastened that their rivalries have driven Oropher to take refuge from them.’

‘You could take a boat and cross south of the Great River,’ Elladan considered.  ‘Few people have settled there – the river is too dangerous over most of the year – and you should be able to help your daeradar come to a better understanding of the Blessed Realm and his place in it.’

‘It is a good time of year to hunt and forage in the forest,’ Elrohir agreed.  ‘You could return before the autumn rains make the river unsafe – and, by that time, everything will have had a chance to settle down.’

‘It seems unfair to think of taking Oropher away from Adar,’ Legolas said slowly.  ‘He has missed Daeradar so badly.’

‘That is half the problem.’  Elrohir shrugged.  ‘They have not had time to come to terms with building a new relationship.  A little separation will give them both time to think.’  He smiled.  ‘Thranduil will forgive you – once Laerwen has straightened him out.  And perhaps we will have had a chance to talk a bit of common sense into the rest of this party of ancient and wise elves.’

Legolas grinned.  ‘Do you mean I would miss that?’ he asked.    ‘I am not sure I could live with knowing that I have deprived myself of the chance of watching you challenge Lady Galadriel and charge her with behaving unreasonably.  That, my friend, seems too much to ask of anyone!’


Ilquen means, I think, everyone, and the expression is intended as an elven equivalent to 'Uncle Tom Cobley and all'

This episode links in with the events in Elflings 12

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