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When Shadow Touches Home  by daw the minstrel

Disclaimer:  I borrow characters and settings from Tolkien but they belong to him.  I gain no profit from their use other than the enriched imaginative life that I assume he intended me to gain.

Many thanks to Nilmandra for beta reading this chapter.

AN:  The story notification bots at were once again working erratically when I posted Chapter 4, so if you depend on them to know I updated, you may have missed that chapter and possibly also Chapter 3.  I am posting this story at and they will send you notifications for free that actually seem to work. 


5. Dancing with Memories

Thranduil set Ithilden’s latest message down on his desk and sighed.  His oldest son’s dispatches told a consistent story.  The strength of the enemy was growing.  The Woodland Realm would need more warriors, with better training and better weapons. That was what Ithilden wanted, and Thranduil rather thought that he was going to have to accept his recommendations.  The question was how to go about fulfilling them.  Among his people, there were Elves who had once been warriors but had chosen other ways of life during the Watchful Peace.  If they believed the situation of the Realm was dire enough, many of them would probably take up arms again. But where was he to get the arms?  Should he rely on the skill of his own armorers, or should he trade with the Dwarves at the Lonely Mountain?

Moreover, in addition to these longer term decisions, he needed to decide now if his warriors should fight to keep the Dwarf Road open or if he should order a withdrawal to areas north of the road and perhaps even north of the Mountains of Mirkwood. Ithilden was worried about both the outlying settlements and east-west travel, so he wanted to take a stand south of the road and try to drive the forces of shadow back.  Thranduil was inclined to believe, however, that trying to defend the Dwarf Road was futile and would only waste the lives of his warriors.

There was a discreet knock at the door and his steward entered.  “My lord, the arrangements for the autumn dancing are completed.”

“Good,” grunted Thranduil, and the steward withdrew.  The autumn dancing was one among many occasions when Thranduil’s people met to celebrate their connection to Arda and to one another. It was ordinarily an occasion that Thranduil enjoyed, but this year, he found that he was dreading the event.  For him, it resonated too painfully with thoughts of the spring dancing six months before, the last evening he had spent with Lorellin.

He sat for a moment with his eyes closed, remembering dancing with his wife in a long line of Elves, and then with her and Legolas in a small circle. When Legolas had begun to grow sleepy, Thranduil had picked him up, and his son had clasped his arms around his father’s neck and his legs around his lean waist.   Thranduil had used one arm to hold his son and his free hand to clasp Lorellin’s. She had put her other hand on the arm holding Legolas, and they had danced with their small son nestled between them.

Then, after they had put their child to bed, they had gone to bed themselves and made love with an intensity the memory of which still left him aching for her. The next morning, she had left to visit her cousin, and he had never seen her alive again.  He groped again for the gossamer thread that he knew still bound him to her and was once again unable to find it. It takes time, he reminded himself, trying to draw comfort from his experience of his father’s death. At first, grief had filled him so completely that he had been unable to sense their bond.  Only when he had begun to heal had he again been aware of the touch of his father’s fea on his own.  He would be able to sense Lorellin again too, he knew.  But now he felt only her absence.

Another knock sounded at the door and Eilian entered.  “You wanted to see me, Adar?” he asked warily.

“Yes, I did.” Thranduil was abruptly pulled out of his reverie. He indicated the chair in front of his desk and Eilian sat, obviously expecting something unpleasant.  As well he might, thought Thranduil.  They had been unpleasant to one another on enough occasions in the last month or so. Thranduil gathered his thoughts for a moment.

“I am told that you engaged in a rather incautious race through the tree tops last night,” he said at length.

Eilian stiffened.  “Your spies are as efficient as ever,” he said resentfully.

“Do not be impertinent!” Thranduil snapped.  There was a moment’s silence during which he feared that this difficult son would remain obstinately defiant, but as he watched, the tight set of Eilian’s shoulders eased slightly.

“I apologize for my rudeness,” he finally ground out with obvious difficulty.  “But sometimes, Adar, I feel as if I cannot breathe without someone reporting to you.”

Thranduil snorted. “In this case, it is the possible cessation of breath that I am concerned about. What were you thinking, Eilian?  Where is your judgment, your self-control?”

His son’s face was reddening and he lowered his eyes, but then, rather than launch into excuses for what Thranduil saw as his self-indulgent behavior, he surprised his father. “I admit that I was not as careful as I should have been,” he said. He raised his gaze from his hands to look at Thranduil steadily.

Thranduil blinked, caught off guard by the frank confession. He could feel his anger easing and the fear underlying it rising to the surface. “Does your life mean so little to you that you are determined to throw it away here if Ithilden has prevented you from doing so in battle?” he urged in a gentler voice. “If you cannot take care for your own sake, then do it for your brothers and me.  I tell you, Eilian, I am not sure we could survive another loss.”

Eilian’s dark eyes clouded, and then he smiled wryly. “Then you should not object to last night’s race, Adar.  It taught me that I have no wish to die.”

Thranduil’s breath caught in his throat.  Just how close had Eilian come to falling?  He rose, drawing Eilian too to his feet, and came around the desk.  He put his arms possessively around his surprised son and hugged him tightly.  “Please remember that,” Thranduil admonished.  He released Eilian and stepped back, studying his bemused face.  “You are going to the dancing tonight?” he asked, deliberately shifting the subject.

Eilian’s smile broadened.  “Yes, I am.  Did you know that Celuwen came with the delegation from the settlement?  I am looking forward to seeing her tonight.”

“I did not know she was here,” Thranduil responded.  He looked at Eilian thoughtfully.  Thranduil had always liked Celuwen.  She had six times the common sense that Eilian did, and Thranduil thought that she was good for him.  Not that Eilian was in a position to enter into a permanent relationship with anyone, Thranduil reminded himself, not in the situation that Ithilden’s dispatches were describing.

“I will see you at evening meal, then,” Thranduil said and turned to go back to his desk.  Eilian bowed wordlessly and left.

Thranduil sat for a while, supposedly reviewing the information that Ithilden had given him but really unable to keep himself from thinking again about Lorellin.  What would she have said about Eilian? he wondered.  She had frequently been the buffer between Thranduil and his middle son, and he missed her insight into what made Eilian act as he did.  “You want him to please you before you will give him your approval,” she had always said. “But if you give him your approval, he will try harder to please you.”  Thranduil had never accepted her reasoning.  He was responsible for his sons’ characters, and he took that responsibility seriously, even when they were theoretically adults.  He sighed and turned again to the dispatches.


“Legolas,” Thranduil called, shaking his shoulder gently, “wake up.  It is time to get ready for the dancing.”

Legolas’s eyes came slowly into focus, and then he raised his fists to rub them.  He was too old to nap routinely, but he had agreed to rest this evening so that he could stay up late for the autumn dancing.  Now he sat up but failed to get out of bed.

“Come,” Thranduil beckoned him, picking up the brown velvet leggings and brown and gold silk tunic that Nimloth had left laid out when she went to spend the evening with her husband and grown son and his wife.

Legolas scowled at the unfamiliar festive clothing.  “Where are my dancing clothes?” he asked.

“These are yours,” his father told him patiently.  “They are new because you have gotten too big for your old clothes.”  Usually, mention of how much he had grown pleased Legolas, but now he continued to glower at the tunic and leggings.  He slid reluctantly from the bed and came to stand passively before Thranduil. He had been put down for his nap in his underclothing, and now Thranduil began to wrestle the seemingly boneless child into his leggings.  He fastened them and then dropped the tunic over Legolas’s head, pulled his arms into the sleeves, and tried to button the cuffs only to have his son pull away.

“Stop squirming, Legolas,” Thranduil commanded.

“Those are too tight,” Legolas whined.

“They are not,” Thranduil said firmly. “You are simply not accustomed to this kind of cuff.”  He loosened the child’s braids and then reached for a brush to smooth his sleep tousled hair.

“Not that brush,” Legolas cried. “Nana always used the blue one.”

Thranduil opened his mouth to deny that the color of the brush made a difference, but then glanced at his small son who looked as if he were about to cry.  With a sigh, he picked up the blue brush, but even its use failed to mollify Legolas, who continued to jerk his head away.

“I thought you wanted to go to the dancing,” Thranduil said in exasperation.

“I do want to go!” Legolas cried. “You are pulling my hair.”

“I am sorry,” Thranduil soothed him.  “I think that we are finished any way. Come.” He took the elfling’s hand, and the two of them headed for the sitting room where Eilian was waiting for them.


Eilian sat staring into the fire, waiting for his father and little brother to appear so that they could leave for the autumn dancing.  He was not really seeing the flames, however, for he was reliving yet again that moment when he had clung to the oak tree at the end of last night’s race and suddenly realized how close he had come to dying.  What had he been thinking? Thranduil had asked, and that was the question he had asked himself repeatedly today and indeed as he had lain awake during most of last night too.

Had he really wanted to die?  He knew the answer to that question immediately.  No, he had not.  As he had sat in the tree’s embrace, he had been limp with relief and with the sheer joy of still drawing in breaths and letting them out again. Then what had he been thinking?

He finally concluded that he had not been thinking at all, that he had let his grief and anger consume him and had been flailing blindly in the darkness trying to feel something else, anything else.  He had gone over the edge, and he had frightened himself.  He had spent most of the time since in thinking about what might have happened, so that he had not protested when Thranduil chided him. His father had been only too right.

He stood and moved restlessly around the room, stopping to finger the brightly colored leaves that someone had heaped in a bowl on a side table. He did not want to die, he thought, but he did not want to live the life he was living now, either.  He knew himself well enough to know that he could not bear carrying out patrols for the Home Guard for any extended period of time. He needed to get back to the Southern Patrol, but the point of going back to it was not to die in some battle with the stink of Orc blood in his nostrils. The point was to make some use of his anger and then live to fight another day. So his task now was to convince Ithilden that he could be a danger to the enemy and not to himself.  That was going to be hard to do with his older brother so far away.

He sighed and put the task aside for now. His thoughts drifted for a moment to Celuwen.  What a surprise it had been to see her yesterday.   The door opened and Thranduil came in with Legolas dragging along behind him looking disgruntled.

“What is the matter, little one?” Eilian laughed. “You should be smiling.  You have been waiting for the dancing and now it is here.”  Legolas scowled at him but took his hand readily enough when Eilian offered it.  Thranduil led them out the door and toward the green from which the sound of music was already flowing. Legolas’s mood improved almost immediately, and he began to skip excitedly along to the music, tugging on Eilian’s hand.

Thranduil headed toward one end of the green, where a large chair had been set up for him.  As they entered the green, Turgon came running up to Legolas.  “Come and sit by me,” he invited.

Eilian and Thranduil both opened their mouths, but Legolas forestalled them. “My ada says I cannot play with you until next week,” he said sadly. Turgon frowned but then, without a word, put his arms around Legolas and hugged him. Then he turned and marched off without protest.  He was probably used to being banished from his friends’ company, Eilian thought in amusement.  He saw Thranduil grimace.  His father would have had an easier time deciding what to do about Legolas’s friendship with Turgon if he had been only naughty and not affectionate, Eilian knew, and if Legolas had not also been so obviously fond of him.

Then another voice spoke. “Good evening, my lord,” Celuwen told Thranduil.  She was dressed in an elegant green silk gown and green ribbons had been threaded through her dark hair, but, as always, Eilian was most struck by the expressiveness of her mobile face.

“Good evening, Celuwen,” Thranduil responded, obviously pleased to see her.  “You are looking well.”

“Thank you, my lord,” she answered and then looked at Legolas. “And who is this?” she asked.

Eilian made the introductions. “Legolas, this is my friend Celuwen.” He lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper.  “She is first maiden I ever kissed, but three of her friends had to hold me down to make me do it.”  All of the adults laughed but Legolas scowled.  Stories of kissing were not yet amusing to him.

Thranduil reached to take Legolas’s hand, for the agreement that Thranduil and Eilian had come to while Legolas napped was that Thranduil would take the child while Eilian went off to see Celuwen.  Reluctantly, the elfling let go of Eilian’s hand and took his father’s. He looked accusingly at Eilian for a second and then turned his back on him and trotted off with Thranduil.

“I believe your little brother thinks I am stealing you,” Celuwen said in laughing dismay.

“He will get over it once he is absorbed in the dancing,” Eilian told her, leading her away to a grassy spot from which they could watch the Elves who were whirling merrily around the green. “For some reason, he has really been looking forward to it.”

She settled gracefully to the ground beside him.  “I have missed music like this,” she sighed.

“What have you been doing in that settlement of yours?” Eilian asked lightly, plucking a stem of grass and running it up and down her arm. She slapped it away and they both smiled. It was a familiar game.

“For the most part, I have been keeping house,” she said, “growing vegetables and flowers, hunting, sewing.  Doing everything that is needful when one lives in the woods and not in a king’s palace.”

Eilian laughed. “That sounds so domestic,” he teased her.  “I cannot picture you in such an undemanding role.”

“Undemanding!” she exclaimed.  “You try doing it. If you are still as quick to wager as you once were, I would wager anything you like that you would not last a week.”

“You are probably right,” he admitted good naturedly.  He thought fleetingly of the previous night’s wager and race.  He hoped she had not heard about it, for she had always hated being around him when she thought that he was out of control, which he certainly had been last night. “If it is such hard work,” he asked, “why do you do it?  You could surely come back here to live with some of your relatives permanently.”

She lay back on the grass, heedless of her fragile gown, and gazed up at the night sky. “My parents love the place, and it pleases me to see them happy,” she said slowly, “and you cannot imagine how serene it is to live so simply, so easily among the trees.  I have heard my naneth singing to the stars throughout the night sometimes.”  She stopped and looked at him.  “I am so sorry about your naneth, Eilian.  I have been so selfish that I have not told you that yet.  You must miss her.”

Eilian lay stretched on his elbow on the grass beside her.  “I do miss her,” he said and realized with surprise that this was the first time he had actually said this to anyone. “I notice her absence more now that I am at home.”

“Do you remember the time we found that dagger in the long grass near the river?” Celuwen asked. “I have never seen you so immediately taken with anything.”

Eilian gave a laughing groan.  “Do not remind me.  I still dream about it occasionally.  It was the most beautiful weapon I have ever seen.”

“We were taking it to the palace so you could clean it,” Celuwen went on, “and we met your naneth in the garden.  She was cutting roses.” She paused and they both lay in silence for a moment remembering the sweet smell of the garden and the buzz of the bees in the heavy summer air.  Eilian plucked at the grass, and Celuwen put one of her hands over his.  “You were so excited to show her the dagger,” she continued.  “And she admired it almost enough to satisfy you, but then she asked how you were going to find the owner. Do you remember?”

Eilian smiled wryly.  “Yes.  She sounded as if she took it as a matter of course that I was looking for the owner. It would never have occurred to her to keep the thing, so she assumed that it would never occur to me.”  He gave a short laugh. “She usually believed I was better than I am.”

Celuwen turned her head toward him. “But you did find the guard it belonged to, and you did give it back.”

Eilian sighed. “That was naneth,” he said.  “I never could bear to disappoint her.” He sat up and scanned the green restlessly.  Thranduil was sitting talking to one of his advisers, but Legolas had gotten down from his lap, and he and Annael had joined hands and were hopping among the dancers.

He turned to Celuwen. “Come for a walk,” he invited. “There are stars here too, just as beautiful as those in your settlement.” He rose and put out a hand to help her up.  “You have grass all over the back of your gown,” he told her, brushing at it.  He paused, suddenly realizing that he was running his hand over the curve of her backside. “Perhaps you had better do that,” he said with a laugh, and she slapped at him lightly. They strolled off among the trees, letting starlight and moonshine show them their path.

They walked far enough that the sounds of the night began to emerge over the sounds of the music - crickets and tree frogs and an irate owl that they had apparently disturbed. Eilian stopped and leaned against a tree, drawing Celuwen against him to lean back and look up at the sky. “See,” he said.  “There is Menelvagor’s silver belt.  And Valarcirca swings through the night sky here too, remember?”

She craned her neck to follow where he pointed, and he nuzzled the top of her head, inhaling the scent of her hair.  And like the return of life to the forest after it had been encased in winter ice, he felt the stir of desire pierce the numbness through which he had moved since his mother’s death. He held his breath.  He had flirted lightly with more maidens than he could count in the years since he had left childhood, and in so doing, he had enjoyed them but kept them at a distance.  He did not want to flirt like that with Celuwen.

“Celuwen,” he murmured, brushing his lips against her ear, “no one would have to hold me down to make me kiss you now.”

She turned toward him, face grave, and he saw the stars reflected in her dark eyes.  He hesitated only for a second before he bent and began to trail small kisses on and around her mouth.  He slid his hand along her jaw to cradle it in his palm.  She made a little moaning noise as he drew her lower lip between his own.  Then he pulled away and they stood for a moment looking at one another, with their eyes full of questions.

“This is not a good idea,” she said, sounding breathless.

“Perhaps not,” he agreed, touching her forehead with his own.

“We have been down this path before and it led us nowhere.”

“I know,” he answered.

“We should go back,” she said.

“Yes, we should,” he agreed again.  He put his arms around her, and they danced together in the starry night to the faint sound of music from the green.


Eilian had no idea how much time had passed when he and Celuwen returned to the green.  As it was, they simply stepped out of the woods and onto the grass and began once again to dance.

“Eilian, dance with me!” a high-pitched voice demanded.

He and Celuwen pulled apart and looked down at Legolas who was bouncing impatiently on his toes next to them.

“Ada does not want to dance,” Legolas told him. “You should dance with me.”

“Come on, little one,” Eilian invited with a laugh and put out one hand to him as Celuwen did likewise.

“No,” Legolas scowled, tucking his hands into his folded arms. “I want just you to dance with me.  I do not like her.”

“Do not be rude,” Eilian said, in a tone that was a good bit sharper than the one he normally used to his little brother. Celuwen touched his arm, and Legolas’s eyes flashed at the gesture.

“Go away!” he told her vehemently. “Eilian wants to dance with me now.”  His voice had risen and people near them were turning to look.

“Legolas, you are being a brat!” Eilian snapped.  His little brother turned a defiant face toward him, and, suddenly, he burst into loud, angry sobs and flung himself against Eilian’s legs, kicking and flailing his fists.  Eilian could see Thranduil half rising from his chair at the end of the green. He wrestled Legolas rather roughly into his arms, struggling to get hold of his fists and legs at the same time.  Finally he had the child’s body firmly grasped in a slant across his.  He shot a look at Thranduil meant to convey that he could manage, and then turned to Celuwen.

“I will be back as soon as I have taken care of this one,” he said over the sound of Legolas’s loud cries.

She nodded.  “Take your time.  I think he wants you to himself for a while.”

Eilian strode angrily toward the palace. “No!” Legolas was shrieking and still struggling against Eilian’s grasp. “I want to stay at the dancing. No!”

By the time they had crossed the bridge to the palace, however, the elfling’s struggles had ceased and the shrieks had turned to gut wrenching sobs. Cautiously, Eilian adjusted his hold, turning the child more upright.  Legolas flung his arms around Eilian’s neck and clung to him, sobbing now as if he had lost his dearest friend.  But of course, thought Eilian suddenly, his anger easing a little, Legolas had lost the one dearest to him.  He carried Legolas into his room, sat down in the rocking chair, and rocked his little brother until, at last, his crying eased.

“Were you thinking about Nana tonight?” Eilian finally asked, wondering if he had guessed correctly about the cause of the highly uncharacteristic tantrum.

The blond head that was buried in his tunic nodded resignedly.

“What were you thinking?” Eilian prodded gently.

Legolas sighed.  “Nana and Ada danced with me the last time there was dancing,” he said sadly, his voice muffled against Eilian’s chest.  Eilian tightened his hold on the child a little.  No wonder Legolas had been eager for the dancing and then upset for most of the evening, he thought.

“Are you sad about Nana, little one?” Eilian ventured and Legolas nodded once.  “And maybe angry?” Eilian pursued, thinking of his own furious actions.  There was a pause, and then Legolas nodded again.  He finally raised tearful blue eyes.

“Why did Nana have to die?” he asked sadly, still hiccupping slightly. “Why did she leave me?”

Eilian continued to rock him.  “She did not want to leave you,” he finally told Legolas. “But sometimes bad things happen whether we want them to or not. Warriors try but even with all the swords and bows in the world, they cannot always stop them.”  He allowed his thoughts to drift for a moment to his own angry efforts to strike back at the creatures who had caused bad things to happen in Legolas’s life and his own. He smiled wryly to himself.  He and this elfling were more alike than he wanted to admit.

He glanced at Legolas. The child looked exhausted.

“We should put you to bed now,” Eilian said gently.  He stood Legolas on his feet and stripped off his clothes.

“Where does Nimloth keep your sleep tunics?” Eilian asked. Legolas indicated a cupboard, and Eilian pulled out a clean tunic and slid it over the child’s head and raised arms. He pulled the covers back on the bed and waited for Legolas to climb in, but the elfling still stood in the middle of the room looking doubtful.

“We should wash my face and hands now,” Legolas informed him.

“Perhaps we could skip that for tonight,” Eilian proposed, but Legolas looked horrified, so he led the child into the bathing chamber and wiped at his hands and face with a wet cloth.  “Is that good enough?” Eilian asked and Legolas nodded, apparently satisfied. They went back into the sleeping chamber and the child climbed into bed.

“Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?” he asked anxiously, as Eilian was tucking him in.

“Yes, I will,” Eilian promised and pulled a chair up near the bed.  Celuwen would understand when he did not return to the green, he thought. She had never been one to raise a fuss when he really had to be elsewhere.

Legolas lay for a moment, fidgeting with the blankets. “Are you still angry at me?” he asked anxiously.  “Am I a brat?”

Eilian bent and kissed his forehead. “Sometimes you are a brat,” he said, “but it turns out that I love you anyway.”

Legolas smiled sweetly. “I love you too, Eilian,” he said.

Eilian smiled tenderly back. “Good night, brat,” he said.


Thranduil approached as Eilian was leaving Legolas’s chamber.  He glanced through the still open doorway.   “Is he asleep?” he asked.

“Yes,” Eilian answered, pulling the door to.

“Come into my sitting room and tell me what the scene at the dancing was about,” Thranduil commanded and led Eilian into his suite next door to Legolas’s room. He settled wearily into one of the big chairs near the fireplace.  He and Eilian both looked at the other chair, which had been Lorellin’s, and then Eilian drew up another chair and sat.

“He wanted to dance with me, and he did not want Celuwen around,” Eilian told his father.

Thranduil shook his head.  “I think that his friend Turgon is a very bad influence on him.  I should probably take steps to separate them.”

“Yet there is real affection between Turgon and Legolas,” Eilian said cautiously, “and Legolas needs to feel loved right now.”  He knew he was treading on dangerous ground, for Thranduil usually allowed no interference in his handling of his youngest son.

“The decision is not yours to make, Eilian,” Thranduil told him firmly. Eilian held his tongue only with difficulty.

“Is the dancing over?” he asked.  The dancing usually went on most of the night, so Eilian would be surprised if it had already ended.

“No,” said Thranduil.  “I believe that Celuwen left with her naneth, though.”  Neither of them chose to take up the topic of why that should matter to Eilian.

“Are you going back to the green then?” he asked.

“No,” said Thranduil. “I will stay here and listen for Legolas.”

“Is he still waking up with nightmares?”

“Yes,” Thranduil told him, “but less often.  The Orcs seem to have moved out of his dreams and into his play, unfortunately,” he added with a grimace.

“But surely that is better,” Eilian protested.

Thranduil raised an eyebrow and his voice became very cool. “He is learning now to be the person he will be for long years to come. I would hope that person is not one who sets fires or fights with other children.”

“But, Adar,” Eilian argued, ignoring the signs that Thranduil was becoming impatient, “he is behaving badly because he is angry about Naneth’s death.”

“Are you speaking about Legolas or about yourself?” Thranduil asked sharply and, so far as Eilian was concerned, only too accurately. “You might consider your own behavior when you are around Legolas, Eilian.  He adores you, and so far as he is concerned, you can do no wrong. That is pleasant but it is also a responsibility.”

Eilian bit his lip.  His father was not going to listen to whatever he had to say about his little brother.  It would be better not to stay and perhaps start a real quarrel.  “I will endeavor to set a better example,” he said stiffly and then rose. “By your leave, Adar, I will go to bed now.”  And at a sign from his father, he left the room.


Thanks to all reviewers, whether you left them at or, or sent them via email.  I am ALWAYS happy to hear from you.

Brenda G:  I’m really glad you can see that the characters and details here seem to gibe with those in the other stories too.  I sometimes can’t remember what I’ve written, which is why, to my horror, characters’ names will occasionally change their spelling.

TreeHugger: You are an exceptionally good guesser!  Either that or you have a direct line to my PC.  Eilian’s near escape has indeed sobered him up a bit, as you can see.

BlueBonnet:  That is absolutely right. Eilian does often act first and think later.  Ithilden has seen to it that he has a fair amount of time to think here, though. Sort of like Legolas being sent to the corner!  Maybe he’ll make use of it.

TigerLily:  It is a good thing the tree was paying attention because Eilian certainly wasn’t!

Bodkin:  Whatever you want to do to the picture is more than fine with me.  I am just grateful to have it.  I thought your little brother did sound a lot like Legolas in his admiration for his older sib.

Erunyauve:  Author confession:  I was thinking of the tree as being like Eilian’s mother.  It rocked him and comforted him, even as it scolded a little.  It’s a bit corny, I know.

Dragon Confused:  Legolas thanks you for your hugs and hugs you back! You have a really good sense of what little kids are like, I think.

StrangeBlaze: You may have thought it was cute when Legolas growled at Ada, but Ada did not!  As for Eilian’s girlfriend, all I can say is if she turns out to be less widely hated than Miri was, I will be contented.

Levade:  So you see it wasn’t long at all until Legolas completely lost it.  The tantrum is unusual for him, I think.  Thranduil thanks you for your concern over his hair and wonders what you can possibly mean by your remark about the justice of him having stubborn children.

Alice: Yes, Eilian does need someone with good sense.  It would be best if it were him, but maybe Celuwen?

Kay:  I feel really bad for Ithilden. We’ll see him in the next chapter.  And I have to admit I was pleased by the way the scene of Eilian clinging to the tree came out.

PokethePenguin:  Legolas is having trouble in this chapter too, poor thing.

Fadesintothewest: I think, as you say, that Eilian and Legolas can help one another.

Legolas4me: I love good ada Thranduil.  I think he got used to interacting with his sons in one way while their mother was alive to balance him out.  Now his way doesn’t work as well anymore and he has to learn a new way to interact.

Dot:  The tree scene was my favorite in Chapter 4. But I do worry about Ithilden too.  I think Maltanaur and he need to have a little talk.

Terryb:  It’s actually interesting to try to think about how all these people would be when they were younger, to have them be consistent and yet different from what they later become.

JustMe:  Legolas never could lie to Ada!  Not convincingly anyway.  He almost always fesses up.

Luin:  You are so right: Eilian sees so much and then he sees nothing at all. That’s a great way to put it.  His insight is spotty, like most of ours, I suspect.

JastaElf: You know, I’m glad Eilian’s home too. Legolas needed him and he needed his little brother who loves him uncritically.

Gwyn: Ada/ion time is exactly what Legolas needs.  I’m working on it!

Naneth:  I think Eilian is at his turning point. I’ll have to see what I can do for the rest of them.

Aure_enteluva:  I was interested in your advice, especially the comments about the adverbs.  That was useful. I can’t make myself put contractions in the mouths of Tolkien’s elves though.  Hobbits use them, of course, but I’ve never been able to find a place where an elf does.

Dy: I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. I hope your computer is better.

Feanen: I glad to know you are still reading!

Karenator:  It’s hard for Thranduil to know what to do about Turgon, I think.  He’s trouble but he’s not bad.  And Legolas is both fascinated by him and fond of him.

Hardcorewwnut: It’s sick of me, but I’m glad I made you cry!

Elemmire2: Oh yeah. Eilian is reckless.  Bad Elf!

Tapetum Lucidum:  I enjoyed writing Ithilden in battle too.  I hadn’t done that in a while and I didn’t want him too look like an armchair warrior.

Nilmandra: A bored Eilian is a problem waiting to happen.  Thank you for pushing me on this chapter a bit.

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