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The Tide of Times  by daw the minstrel

I borrow characters and situations from Tolkien but they are his. I draw no profit other than the enriched imaginative life that I assume he intended me to gain.

Many thanks to Nilmandra for beta reading this for me.


2.    Freedom

“My lord,” said the Man, “we understand your desire to respect the forest, but Esgaroth needs more timber than you are proposing to allow us to cut.”

Ithilden shrugged.  “Esgaroth’s needs are not my concern,” he said coolly.  From just behind the Man’s left shoulder, Thranduil’s chief forester shot him an amused glance, so he assumed that he had caught his father’s tone nicely. He rose to signal that the audience was at an end.

The Man blinked.  “What about the other area you spoke of, my lord?” he asked hastily. “Might we not take wood from there?”

Ithilden eyed him but did not resume his seat.  “I thought Esgaroth’s trade council had decided that that area was too far away to be useful to you.”

Knowing when he was beaten, the Man looked resigned.  “Perhaps I can persuade the council to reconsider.”

“If you can, we will discuss the matter further,” Ithilden told him.  “You may return then.” He signaled to one of the guards, who came forward and touched the Man’s elbow.  With a grimace, the Man bowed and withdrew.

The forester laughed softly.  “I would wager anything you like that the trade council thought they could take advantage of the king’s absence. They will not make that mistake again.”

With a half smile, Ithilden sank back into the chair he was using.  It would never have occurred to him to sit in his father’s carved chair on the dais behind him.  “I suppose they do need the timber,” he said.

“And they can have it,” the forester said calmly, “but they will have to cut it where and how we tell them.”

“Of course,” Ithilden agreed.  “I will let you know when we hear from the Men again.”

Recognizing his dismissal, the forester bowed and left.  The advisor who was responsible for scheduling Ithilden’s day appeared at his side again.  “Who is next?” Ithilden asked.

“Your captains are waiting for you in the small meeting room.”

Ithilden took a second to reorient himself to being a troop commander instead of his father’s stand in.  “You may go, then,” he told the advisor, rising to go to the meeting room.   “I will see you later this afternoon so we can prepare for tomorrow’s petitioners.”

The advisor took his leave, and Ithilden turned toward the door that led from the Great Hall to the small meeting room, his mind already busy with troop deployment and his warriors’ pressing need for better information about the increasing number of Wargs in the forest.


Weary to the bone with the tiredness that comes from spending all day sitting still and dealing with problems, Ithilden entered the suite of rooms he shared with his wife and son.  Perhaps he would have time to share a glass of wine with Alfirin before they had to go to the royal family’s dining room for evening meal.

“Ada! Ada!” cried a sharp voice, and Ithilden lunged forward to catch the dark-haired bundle of energy that launched itself toward him from atop the back of a chair.

“Sinnarn!” scolded Alfirin, exasperation evident in her voice.  “I told you not to climb on the furniture.”

“I knew Ada would catch me,” said the child, sounding surprised by her annoyance.

“You must do as Nana tells you,” Ithilden said, and then hugged his son and kissed him on the cheek before putting him down.  “Are you going to stay off the furniture?” he asked, keeping hold of Sinnarn’s shoulders.

“Yes,” the child said with a frown and then squirmed free.  “I found a snake’s skin today, Ada!” he cried, his face lighting up again.  “I was going to show you at mid-day meal but you were not there.”  He paused and frowned at Ithilden. “I will show it to you now if you like,” he said generously.  At Ithilden’s nod, he ran off down the hallway leading from their private sitting room.

“We did wait for you, you know,” Alfirin said.

Ithilden turned to kiss her forehead. “I know,” he said apologetically.  “I should have sent word sooner.  I am sorry.”

She eyed him critically. “You look exhausted. Did you eat mid-day meal at all?”

He thought about it and finally decided that he had not. “I did not have time,” he said, a little defensively.

She frowned at him.  “Tomorrow I will come and feed you myself if you do not turn up in the dining room.”

He laughed.  “That would startle Adar’s advisors.”   Then he added seriously, “I know that I have been absent too much of late, but it will all be worth it if Adar manages to convince the Council to take action against Dol Guldur.”

She hesitated. “I know that is more important than anything else, of course, but Sinnarn misses you now, Ithilden.”

“I will be there at mid day tomorrow,” he promised and then changed the subject. “Did you have a good day?” he asked.

She smiled.  “Yes, I did.  Nimloth came to watch Sinnarn for two hours this morning, and I was able to spend the time working on the new wall hanging.”  Alfirin was a talented weaver, an artist whose work was valued by many for its subtle colors and textures.

Sinnarn came running back into the room. “See!” he held up his fragile treasure in a surprisingly delicate grip, and Ithilden sat in one of the chairs near the fireplace and pulled his son onto his lap.  He glanced up to see Alfirin smile at them and then disappear toward their own sleeping chamber, presumably to dress for evening meal.

“Where did you find it?” Ithilden asked, examining the skin. He easily identified it as that of a harmless river snake.

“In a hole in the rocks by the river,” Sinnarn answered.

“You did not put your hand in the hole, did you?” Ithilden asked, a little alarmed. This snake was harmless but occasionally there were others around who were not.

“How else would I know what was in it?” Sinnarn asked, his dark brows drawing together.  For a moment, Ithilden saw his brother Eilian again at the same age.  Then Sinnarn’s face changed and the vision faded.  “Can we go swimming tomorrow, Ada?  I am sure it is warm enough now.”

“No, we cannot,” Ithilden said firmly. “The river water will still be too cold, and anyway I am too busy while your grandfather is away.  You may not go in the water.  Do you understand?”  He held Sinnarn’s chin so that he was forced to meet Ithilden’s gaze.  Reluctantly, Sinnarn nodded. “And,” Ithilden added, keeping hold of him as he tried to wriggle free, “you may not put your hand in any hole into which you cannot see. That is a rule.”  He had found that when he labeled admonitions as ‘rules’ they were more likely to be followed.

“Nana already said that,” Sinnarn responded impatiently and slid from his father’s lap to the floor.

Alfirin came back into the room. To his surprise, she had loosened her hair from its customary braid and was dressed in a loose gown that she usually wore only in their own chambers.  She saw his look and smiled. “We are eating in here tonight,” she told him. “Legolas is going to Annael’s coming of age feast, so it is only us.”  He reached for her and drew her into the lap that Sinnarn had recently vacated, with waves of her thick, fragrant hair flowing over his arms.  Their son dropped the toy horse he had been galloping around the room and ran toward them.

“Me too!” he begged and Ithilden laughed again and lifted him up to sit in the circle of his mother’s arms.

There was a knock at the door.  “Come in,” he called, keeping his arm firmly around his wife’s waist despite her efforts to rise. The door opened and Legolas entered.  He stopped and raised an eyebrow when he saw all three of them piled together in the chair.

“Am I interrupting?” he asked.

“Uncle Legolas!” Sinnarn squealed and slipped from the chair to run at his uncle.  Legolas scooped him up and swung him high in the air, eliciting delighted shrieks.

“No, you are not interrupting because I intend to keep right on with what I was doing,” said Ithilden with a grin, still keeping hold of Alfirin.

Legolas laughed and settled Sinnarn on his hip.  “I wanted to tell you that I am leaving for Annael’s feast now.”

“Do not be too late,” Ithilden admonished him.  “Annael may be excused from tomorrow’s training, but you are not.”

Legolas grinned at him.  “Do not worry. I will be ready to face the masters in the morning, but tonight is for celebrating Annael’s coming of age, and I mean to celebrate.” With Thranduil’s apparent permission if not exactly his blessing, Legolas had been enjoying himself with his friends rather often lately and was increasingly impatient of restrictions that he saw as too stringent for someone his age.  Ithilden remembered feeling the same way when what he had thought of as the ‘freedom’ of adulthood had loomed on the horizon, but their father had not been nearly so easy with him.  Remembering the glimpse of Eilian he had just caught on his son’s face, he smiled rather wryly to himself.  Raising Eilian had undoubtedly taught his father to pick his battles more judiciously. Legolas kissed Sinnarn and set him down on his feet.

“Have a nice time,” Alfirin called after him as he departed.  Sinnarn picked up his horse again, and Alfirin leaned against Ithilden’s chest.  “He will be late, you know,” she observed mildly, “and will probably have drunk too much wine.” 

“I know he will,” he said, pausing to nuzzle gently at her sensitive ear and then to delight in her soft laugh.  “The novice masters will sort him out tomorrow.  They recognize a hang over when they see one.”

“Ada?” Sinnarn had suddenly appeared at his elbow.


“I was lonely in my bed last night. I want to sleep with you and Nana tonight.”

He looked at his son in dismay while Alfirin smothered her laugh in his neck.


Legolas walked around to the back of Annael’s family’s cottage to find a small crowd gathered under the trees there.  The scent of roasting venison was in the air, so Legolas assumed that Annael’s hunt had been successful today.  Annael was nowhere to be seen, but his mother was greeting the arriving guests.

“Good evening, Legolas,” she said, smiling at him and reaching to draw his head down so that she might kiss his cheek.

“Good evening, Elowen,” he smiled fondly back at her.  He had been in and out of Annael’s cottage since he was very small and had clear memories of sitting at Elowen’s kitchen table eating bread and jam.

“The young people are over there, I think,” she said, gesturing to one side, and he went in the direction she had indicated as she turned to greet another guest.  In a small group on the edge of the gathering, he found Beliniel and Synia, along with the other three novices from his and Annael’s current training group, and Tonduil, who had recently become a horse master in the warriors’ stables and had once spent a year as a novice warrior with Annael and Legolas before deciding that his true course lay with horses.  He was also part of Legolas’s extended family, for Alfirin was his sister.

For a moment, Legolas missed the presence of those who had been ahead of them in the training and were now all serving somewhere in the Woodland Realm.  Coming of age would mean greater freedom, he thought, but it would also mean fewer chances to gather with friends and family on occasions like tonight.

They all greeted him, and Synia left Beliniel’s side to come and put her arm through his. “Are you all right?” she asked concernedly.  “Elrál says that the training was rough today.”

Legolas shot a reproving glance at Elrál, who grimaced at him apologetically. In Legolas’s opinion, events in the novice training should not be loosely talked about with those not involved.  Outsiders did not always understand the need for the discipline involved, and they really did not need to know that he and his fellow novices had spent the day practicing breaking someone’s neck using only their bare hands.

“I am fine,” he told Synia.  “Elrál was exaggerating to impress you and Beliniel. The novice masters are seldom really rough.”  The statement was literally true, but Maldor, the unarmed combat master, was the exception to the rule. The other novices smiled wryly, and Tonduil raised an eyebrow at him.  He had had several unpleasant encounters with Maldor during his brief time as a novice warrior and knew exactly how rough the Elf could be.

A sudden stir indicated that the ceremony was about to begin, and Legolas turned to see Annael coming from the cottage with his father on one side of him and Thelion on the other.  He looked serious and his face was pale.  Legolas knew that he would have been fasting since this time on the previous day, and he had, of course, kept vigil during the night. But he thought that it was the solemnity of the occasion rather than the lack of sleep or food that made his friend look so grave.

Legolas felt a small stir of uneasiness.  Annael looked foreign somehow, as if he had spent the last twenty-four hours changing into someone whom Legolas did not know.  But that was surely an exaggeration.  When Legolas thought about it, he knew that Annael had been changing gradually for the last year and more.  For Annael, this ceremony was overdue, Legolas thought. His friend had left childhood some time before.

Elowen came forward and took her husband’s hand, and the two of them followed their son through the crowd, with Thelion still in attendance.  They reached the far end of the little clearing and then Annael turned to face his parents.  From the corner of his eye, Legolas could see Beliniel, whose face had softened as she looked only at Annael. Silence fell and then Annael’s father stepped forward and began asking his son the four ritual questions.

“Are you ready to take your place as an adult and put aside the freedom of childhood?” asked Siondel.  Legolas inhaled softly.  How odd that adults thought of children as free, he thought.

“I am,” Annael answered steadily.

“What do you surrender?” Siondel’s eyes were shining, but his voice too was firm.

“I surrender my right to protection and guidance, but not my right to love and counsel,” Annael’s voice rang clearly.

“What do you accept?” Siondel asked.

“I accept responsibility for my own choices and my own actions.”

“What do you promise?”

“I promise to listen to my own wisest voice and to be a source of strength for my family and my people.”

Siondel looked at his wife, and Elowen stepped forward to face her tall son.  “Annael,” she began, and then paused to steady her quavering voice, “I acknowledge you as an adult of this household. I give you this gift as a token of my love and my respect for the person you have become.”  She reached up, and he bent his head slightly to allow her to put a thin chain around his neck.  A small charm hung from it, and Legolas knew that it was probably a rune of protection since that was the gift that most warriors’ mothers gave them.

Elowen stepped back, wiping her eyes, and Siondel stepped forward again. “Annael, I acknowledge you as an adult of this household. I give you this gift as a token of my love and my respect for the person you have become.”  He extended both hands to offer Annael a sheathed knife. Even from where he stood, Legolas could see that the handle was intricately carved, and he suddenly recognized the weapon as one that had always hung in a place of honor in Annael’s cottage, for it had belonged to his grandfather, who had been one of the first of Thranduil’s warriors to die when the Shadow had returned to Dol Guldur.

Thelion stepped forward then in his role as representative of the community.  “May the Valar’s blessing be with you,” he told Annael, with a smile growing on his face. “May the stars shine upon you. Be strong, be courageous, be wise.”  Suddenly, Annael’s solemnity shattered, and he grinned back at Thelion.

Siondel extended his hand to Elowen and then put a comforting arm around her shoulders, for she was still having trouble maintaining her composure. The two of them turned to the assembly of family, friends, and neighbors. “We present to you our son, Annael,” said Siondel, “who now takes his place as an adult among us. Come and feast and rejoice with us.”

The crowd surged toward them to congratulate Annael and laugh and cry with his parents.  Unexpectedly moved, Legolas stayed where he was for a moment, with Synia still clinging to his arm.  She tugged lightly at him. “Come,” she said, looking at him curiously, and the spell broken, he advanced to clasp arms with Annael.

“Congratulations,” he said awkwardly.  Annael’s eyes met his and then suddenly they both burst out laughing and embraced.  Legolas pounded Annael on the shoulder.  “I expect you to share your wisdom with me now,” he declared, and Annael laughed again.

“I must eat before I enlighten you,” Annael declared. “I have just realized that I am starving.”

They all devoted the next little while to obtaining food and wine and then settling under the starry sky to eat and drink.  Legolas found Synia at his side again and felt a momentary flicker of annoyance, for he had been looking forward to talking to Tonduil, whom he saw less often than he liked and with whom he could talk comfortably because of the family bond they shared. But Synia’s presence had led him and the other novices to sit some distance away. They had moved off not because they disliked Synia, he knew, but because they were politely trying to give Legolas and her some privacy.  He liked talking to Synia well enough, but he already had plenty of opportunity to do that.

She inclined her head across the clearing to where Beliniel sat next to Annael and his parents. “Do you think they will bond?” she asked.

The question made Legolas uncomfortable for it made him feel as if he were prying into things that were precious and private.  “Perhaps,” he said noncommittally.  In truth, he thought that Annael had allowed himself to become very attached to Beliniel, and he sometimes regretted it, for he feared that Annael would want to stay near her and would choose to serve in the Home Guard rather than with Legolas in the south.

They ate in silence for a few moments.  Legolas got up to get them more wine, and when he returned, Synia was studying the other couple again.  Annael was bending his head over Beliniel’s so that she could speak in his ear.  “They look very romantic,” Synia sighed, and then she flicked a sideways glance at Legolas.  “Perhaps it would be nice to take our wine into the woods a little way,” she suggested and then smiled slightly.

He met her eyes and smiled slowly back.  He had found that Synia enjoyed kissing him at least as much as he enjoyed kissing her, and he saw no reason they should not both enjoy themselves for the little time he still had at home.  He would never deceive Synia and let her think he wanted a permanent attachment, but she knew his plans.  “Perhaps it would,” he agreed and the two of them rose and walked off into the trees.

They stopped when they reached the overhanging shelter of a large willow tree.  He handed her his wine and then sat down against the tree and drew her onto his lap, laughing as she struggled not to spill the wine. She handed him his goblet, and then leaned against his chest. He inhaled the scent of her hair as it brushed against his chin, and his pulse accelerated slightly.

For a stretch of time that he did not measure, they both sat sipping wine and contemplating the stars that were visible thought the willow branches.  Then she put her empty goblet down and took his from his hand too.  With her eyes wide and solemn, she turned her face up to his, and he bent his head to kiss first her forehead and then her mouth.  She parted her lips, inviting him to deepen the kiss, and all the breath seemed to leave him as he responded.  She tasted wonderfully of the wine.  When he finally pulled back a little, she caught his lower lip between her teeth and nipped at it gently.  He broke away and, drawing in great, ragged breaths, he let his head drop back against the tree. She continued to look up at him for a moment and then leaned against him again.

Even in his dazed state, it occurred to Legolas that they should, perhaps, return to the feast.  On one level, he wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of the evening kissing Synia, but he was also faintly uneasy, for he knew that he did not want to bond with anyone right now. And even more distressing, he knew that if had intended to bond, he probably would not have chosen her. “We should go back,” he said, rising with her in his arms and then setting her on her feet.  He scooped up the wine goblets and stood waiting for her, as she first stared at him immobilized and then took his hand and began the walk back with him.

When they returned to the feast, the fire had burned low and most of the guests were reclining on the grass, blending their voices in song.  Across the clearing, Annael’s parents were chatting quietly with some of their neighbors, and Annael sat against a large oak tree with Beliniel leaning against him. He gave a small wave when he saw Legolas, but Beliniel seemed not to see them.

Suddenly, Tonduil was at his side. “Where have you been?” he asked with a frown.  “We were offering toasts to Annael, and his adar wanted you to give one, but you were nowhere to be found.”

Legolas was dismayed, and it suddenly occurred to him that he and Synia had been rude to leave this celebratory gathering and go off on their own.  Even more than most of his companions, he had had good manners drummed into him all his life because Thranduil believed that his sons’ positions made any rudeness from them seem like a potential abuse of power.  How could he have forgotten?  Legolas did not think that his offense was great, but he nonetheless flushed at the idea that he had been less than courteous to Annael’s parents or to Annael himself, whom he would not have hurt for any reason.

“We had no way to know,” Synia protested.  Tonduil’s face was impassive as he looked at her, but Legolas could read him well enough.

“Let it go, Tonduil,” he said in a low voice. “I will apologize to Siondel and Elowen, and Annael needs no toast from me to know how I feel.”

Tonduil looked at him and nodded once, the matter over so far as he was concerned.  “Come and sing with us,” he invited, and the three of them went to join the group.


Oh, wow. What a wonderful response!  You all make my day. Thanks to all who reviewed at, or, or via email.

I have to go out of town tomorrow and won’t be back until Saturday, so the next update will be slower.

Caz-baz:  Legolas’s coming of age ceremony will be in a later chapter, but I think he still has some growing up to do. Thank you for the review.

Lera:  Well, you see Ithilden and Alfirin as parents here. I think they have their hands full.  I thought about Amdir but decided he probably won’t appear in this story. I have so many OCs already that I don’t want to drive away new readers by including even more.  Amdir would be about 25 now, I think, the equivalent of a human 10 year old, so he’s too young to be a novice or to be out much (although that never stopped his older brother!).

Angelbird: I’m glad you liked the start and hope you continue to like the story. I am normally a fast updater, but have been out of town for the last week.  I am hoping the next chapter will be along soon!

LOTR Lover:  I am really enjoying writing about Thranduil on his own. He’ll be back next chapter.

Nikki:  Synia is new in this story.  I expect all those readers who hated Miriwen to go down on their knees now and beg to have her back. ;-)

Alice:  Terry B. suggested that I write about Thranduil away from his family, so I tried it and it’s really been interesting to try to work out how he would act in the situation I have created.  He’ll be back next chapter.

Lamiel:  Once I started thinking about the people on the White Council, I really had sympathy for Thranduil. They all have secrets and alliances and none of them looks to be too interested in his problems.

StrangeBlaze:  I think people might, indeed, be mean to Synia. ;-)  We will see.

Elemmire:  Fangirls for Thranduil, yes!  I have to admit I enjoyed writing about him getting naked.  I picture him with a flat stomach, lean hips, long legs, powerful chest – ahem.  Excuse me while I go get a cold drink.

Jay of Lasgalen:  I think that Thranduil is a guy who very much likes being in control.  I can’t imagine that he would be very happy with all these other powerful people all having goals of their own.

Feanen:  Glad you liked the chapter.  Thank you for taking the time to review.

Das Blume:  I have a series of stories with these characters.   Writing about Thranduil has turned out to be fun, as well as a little tricky. I had to really think about how he would react to all these folks. He’ll be back in the next chapter.

Dot:  Thranduil is really a complicated character, I think, far more so than most fanfic writers show. I think of him as very smart and cagey.  He would be looking to get whatever advantage he could while giving away as little as possible.  As for the coming of age ceremony, Nilmandra needed one for “History Lesson,” and we brainstormed about what it would be like. Then I varied it here because these are Wood-elves and they are not on a battlefield, as her elves were.

Legolas4me:  I’m glad you’re excited and I hope you continue to feel that way.  I love writing this stuff. It’s hard for me to stop and do the things I need to do in Real Life.

Angaloth: Having Galadriel as a mother-in-law would be enough to make anyone shudder, in my opinion.  I hope you liked the coming of age ceremony here. I had a good time writing it.

Dragon-of-the-north:  I am hoping the Thranduil stuff remains interesting. I started writing it just to see what it would be like to have Thranduil apart from his family, and it turned out to be fascinating to try to figure out what he would think and want.  He’ll be back next chapter.

JustMe:  I don’t know how “diplomatic” Thranduil is, but he certainly intends to get what he can at the White Council meeting.  And the “boys” are, indeed, growing up, although Legolas is not quite there yet, I think.

Wild Iris:  When I started to make notes for myself about each White Council member and what they were like, what they would want, and who they were allied with, it became clear to me that Thranduil is in a difficult situation.  My name generator gave me ‘Synia’ and I went with it.  Maybe I’ll claim it’s a Silvan name.

Arbelethiel: Naked Thranduil was actually quite a lot of fun to write, so I’m glad you enjoyed reading about him too.  I love Annael and I am afraid I have plans for him in this story.

Fadesintothewest:  I don’t think I will get to Legolas’s first patrols in this story, but lots of other stuff will happen.  I, too, love his older brothers and that’s a little embarrassing under the circumstances.

Nelsonia:  Eilian will turn up eventually and you see Ithilden and his family here. I think that all of Thranduil’s sons have learned to do the “look.”  It would be so useful!

Antigone Q:  Here’s the coming of age ceremony. I hope you liked it. I see Thranduil as somewhat isolated from the Noldor powers that be. I don’t mean that he’s hostile to them but that he finds them threatening, maybe thinks that they might move in on his sylvan people as they have in other areas. If his father was at Doriath, which I think he was, he would really have learned to mistrust the returning Noldor and Dagorlad couldn’t have helped!

Brenda G:  Hey, really good guesses about why Thranduil mistrusts Galadriel!  Tolkien does say that Oropher moved north in Mirkwood to avoid her influence, so he may just have picked up the hostility from his father.

Draekon:  On the topic of elves using tack, I’m going to quote JastaElf: “I f you ride into battle bareback, you deserve what you get. In other words, lots of bruises on your butt and thighs from falling, and from bracing your weapon against your own body rather than the TACK.” That made sense to me.  He doesn’t need it to control the horse at all, just to brace himself with. Notice that he can stand in the stirrups, for instance.

The Karenator:  On the question of the Southern Patrol, all I can say is that we are seeing Legolas’s plans, not Ithilden’s.  Hope you liked the coming of age ceremony here.

TolkienFan:  You made me laugh by saying that even Legolas’s horse has a personality.  Apparently it’s not a completely cooperative one either!

Tapetum Lucidum:  Galadriel as a mother-in-law appalls me.  Elrond had quite a lot to bear in his life, I’m afraid.  I hope you enjoyed the coming of age ceremony here.  We will get to Legolas’s eventually.

Melika:  Going from a story in which Legolas is little to this one has been a bit odd for me too.  I wish I had written all these stories in order. I wouldn’t have painted myself into as many corners.  If you have read all my stories twice, then I want to give you some sort of reward!

JastaElf:  I think that Annael is, indeed, very serious about this girl.  He is going to come of age with a vengeance, I’m afraid.

Elfie5:  First reviews! Yeah!  I’m glad you liked the story and hope you continue to like it. If you can picture it all, that’s great.

Frodo3791:  If Thranduil isn’t allied with Gandalf, then he is really on his own at the White Council!  What a group.  All the elves except Thranduil are, or have been, ringbearers.  And everyone else is a wizard.  That might be a little intimidating. But for our Thranduil?  Nah.

Naneth:  I so hope I don’t disappoint you.  I am setting things up and starting to let them run, but we’ll see how it all goes.

French Pony:  Draekon asked me about the tack too, and I answered above. See if you think that makes sense.  I have to admit that it amused me to have Thranduil break the Imladris rule with a concealed weapon. No one tells him what to do for long!

Nilmandra:  Thranduil on his own has been much more fun to write about than I anticipated.  And Legolas is working on getting ready to be an adult, but he’s not quite there yet, I think.  Like Eilian, he may take a while.

Tiger Lily: Your family, professors, etc. must have been talking to my boss who has this silly idea that my work is more important than fan fiction. Is he kidding??

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