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A Question of Duty  by daw the minstrel 28 Review(s)
SnowlineReviewed Chapter: 10 on 10/14/2017
Brilliant story. I felt it was poignant at the end. I have enjoyed all the stories that you have written.

Author Reply: Thank you for telling me this, Snowline. I love hearing that people still enjoy these stories. The characters were very dear to me.


MattReviewed Chapter: 10 on 2/26/2017
I've been rereading many of your stories (not all, as some are too short), and am reminded how much I liked your work when you published it when I was racing toward completion of a dissertation. A great way to be distracted from my own writing. Because I can't see I often find Kindle books a huge pain but can pretty much guarantee that if you do ever come back to these characters you'll have one reader at least. Thanks so much for your hard work on this incredibly well done A/U.

Author Reply: Thanks for the kind words, Matt. And if the stories solaced you while you wrote a dissertation, I'm glad. I wrote one of those too, and it's a long haul.


EriolReviewed Chapter: 10 on 6/24/2016
I started out wanting to let Daw know how much I like her stories and am grateful for her latest offering, however, when I read the previous review and Daw’s answer, I just felt I had to offer up what little I understand of some concepts concerning elves (of course it is only my interpretation). I think the concept of “the time of the Elves are ending” is a way to show how the ancient world where the world is “magical/mythical”, is ending. In the first age, the gods (valar) walked the earth, elves awoke in it and played out their fates in it, and Men were their younger brothers in a way (the second-born). In the second age, the gods are no longer coming physically to Middle-earth but they were still connected to it – if one sails west, one will reach Valinor. But with the sinking of Numenor, the world was bent, the straight road is lost forever and Men cannot see the gods anymore; the elves still can if they choose to leave Middle-earth and sail west (by the way, after the world was bent, I don’t think even the elves can go back and forth between Valinor and Middle-earth). In the third age, the elves are now reduced to a minority, hidden and starting to become fiction to Men. The fourth age is called the age of Men, the beginning of the world as we now know it, where the connection with “magic/myth” is lost. No one believes in elves anymore, no one communicates with trees and the stars anymore, no one believes that there is a soul in every living thing any more.
As for elves having the sea-longing, it almost works like a wake-up call to their real nature, and often can result in a conflict in their souls between their final “true home” and the home they awoke in, for elves are immortal and Middle-earth is not their real milieu; they stayed in it and gave the fathers of Men a friendship the effects of which, I hope, have lingered to this day. Elves, even though we love them and like to write about them so much, and think of them as behaving very similarly to us, are really not of this world, at least, not of the world after the third age. Still, I guess, the fact that we love them so much might mean that we still remember their friendship from long ago.

Author Reply: Eriol, thank you so much! Your interpretation makes sense and sounds totally consistent with the bits I've read of Tolkien's thinking. Fitting it into the structure of the four ages helps clarify it immensely.

Also, I'm glad you like the stories. It's true that elves are fun to write about.


Asms2Reviewed Chapter: 10 on 6/6/2016
Oh gosh, this ending! I am feeling all sorts of sad for Thranduil. He can’t lose his baby to the sea! Legolas stay! Awww. His brothers will be hart-broken. Legolas, can’t you just have a happily-ever-after with your awesome family?! :)

I love this line from Beliond: “Most of us have more than one reason for what we do,” he said, “and are prouder of some of our reasons than others.” – well put!

Picturing Ithilden running to Thranduil's office because Beliond came back without Legolas = aww! I would not want to be Beliond trying to explain to Thranduil and Ithilden why Legolas is marching off to the most dangerous place in Middle Earth alone (no keepers or other elfs with him).

I'm sure it is also emotionally difficult for Beliond considering he has spent centuries of his life trying to keep Legolas from harm. In fact, while I was reading this story, I thought that Beliond might get injured or something before Legolas makes his choice, because I just had such a hard time picturing him willing letting Legolas go.

When Legolas says he is going to sail, it almost feels like he is dieing. And it is such a sad moment. I googled sailing west to try to understand it a little better. But peices of the whole concept still seem somewhat illogical. They spent all those centuries fighting to protect their homes from the shadow/evil, and they finally got what they wanted! So why then do so many want to leave when they finally have what was fought for?

I love your versions of Legolas and his family so much that it's hard/sad for me to think they are separated shortly after the war. Poor things!! My heart is breaking for all of them. This is a sign of your great writing, I really care about these characters!! Well done :)

Author Reply: I love the way you're responding to the very end. I wrote that last chapter long after I'd written the rest of the story, which was actually one of the first I wrote. I used to regret that sometimes because it meant I'd boxed myself in about who I could kill at the Battle of the Five Armies, for instance.

I confess I don't understand sailing or going west very well. I heard Elijah Wood say that when he and Bilbo sail at the end of ROTK, that could be read as dying. But obviously elves go back and forth. So I don't know.

As for why the elves left, Tolkien says the time of the elves was ending. So....what does that mean? Why? I don't know. It's like they're weary and need to go home. Certainly that's how I read Legolas. He does spend some time in Middle-earth before he sails though. He stays until Aragorn dies, which is over 100 years along. He takes some of his father's people and settles in Ithilien, which is where Faramir ends up as ruler.

Tolkien is too much for me sometimes. He changes his mind, contradicts himself, and spent a lifetime working all this out, so I just have to give up sometimes.

Thank you for the kind words.


GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 10 on 5/4/2016
I can't log in anymore, and my email that I used to set my account up here is no longer active so I can't retrieve my password, but it's Gwynhyffar...

I should have looked sooner to see if you had anything new here. I love seeing some new content from you! I love the added scenes here and am looking forward to reading the other new offerings :) I've missed your characters too!

Author Reply: Hey, Gwyn! I almost never sign in to review. If you want your password from here, I can probably retrieve it for you though. Let me know.

How can you tell what's new? Oh wait. I guess you can look at the dates?

The next story will be a while because I work on it in breaks from the stuff I'm doing for publication. I had a good time working on it today though.

sofiabReviewed Chapter: 10 on 3/14/2016
I have to say I had been waiting for this missing scene. I had always wondered at Thranduil's reaction to Legolas going on the quest, and his return so when I saw that you had updated this story in particular with a missing scene I got excited. I would love it if you expanded on this missing scene, actually. I would love to see the battle of the greenwood with Thranduil and Ithilden and Eilian and the others, and I would love to see how Legolas would cope with being home after everything that happened. I know that you probably have no intentions of doing that but if you ever did, I would love it!
Again, thank you for writing. It was a real treat to come back to your stories and see that there were several new ones to read when I was expecting none. I may not read them right after you put them up (because I simply don't know they are up!) but I will always read them in time. And then over and over again.

Author Reply: Hi, Sophia--

I just found this review. Somehow it missed being sent to me.

I've often thought the Battle of the Greenwood would make an awesome story. It would take some work because anyone writing it would have to spend some time looking up canon and dates and stuff, but it would be wonderful. Or here's an idea: parallel stories of Legolas on the Quest and events in the Greenwood, cutting back and forth. Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days.

This particular missing scene was a pleasure to write. Poor Thranduil. His baby went into danger and came home, and then had to leave again.


LiljeConvallariaReviewed Chapter: 10 on 11/6/2015
Omg! You wrote more of this.
I haven't read your stories(or LOTR) in years, then on a whim I decide to reread some of your stories and see that you've written more! Yey.

Author Reply: Hey, I'm glad I made you happy!

I haven't written a lot more because I've been busy trying to write original fic, but I was glad to have a chance to round this story out a little with Beliond's and Legolas's returns. Poor Thranduil. He's valiant and life hasn't given him much of a break.


NoorReviewed Chapter: 10 on 9/1/2015
Thank you for this chapter - very moving.
Good to see how pleased Legolas' family were to have him back.

This also ties in with Bodkin's " Into The West" when Ithilden et al arrive to greet Legolas.

Thank you once again Daw! I was also very excited to see the first chapter of your new story. Looking forward to savouring a story about all 3 siblings.

Author Reply: I was thinking of Bodkin's story when I wrote this. She did such a nice job of showing these characters in Valinor that I wanted to fit with that. She really is a beautiful writer.

Someone writing at recently showed me a story she'd written about my characters post Ring War and I liked it so much I suggested she post it. I think she only posts there, but you might like her story:

nanethReviewed Chapter: 10 on 7/22/2015
Thank you for sharing this missing scene. I've often pondered how much Thranduil may have sensed of his son's journey or of his fears and dangers along the way. I've also wondered how patient the family would be waiting for Legolas to finish ceremonies, slow travels, and sight seeing in Middle Earth before he returned home. Happy to share your world again!

Author Reply: I didn't think I needed this scene, but when I started writing, I realized I'd been worried about Thranduil all along. So like you, I have must have been pondering it somewhere in my head. It's incredible how slowly they had to travel though, isn't it? If there wasn't a river, people walked most places. No wonder they didn't travel far from home.

Thanks for telling me you enjoyed, Naneth.

LevadeReviewed Chapter: 10 on 6/24/2015
Oh Daw! Geez, here you say my story brought tears to your eyes, and you did the very same to me with this!

I have to tell you this. I've struggled to like Thranduil for years, and the films did zip to help that. Yes, he was a beautiful character in looks but wow, did they do disjustice to his character! With that in mind, I went back to re-read your stories and find the Thranduil I remember seeing and liking quite a lot. And his sons, his beautiful, willful, always in some sort of trouble sons.

I am SO thrilled that your writing is finally going to get the recognition it deserves, and you worked hard for it, I know! But I am equally thrilled to sit here and read this chapter. It was full of so much, so much that you brought to me and brought to life.

I love Thranduil in this. He is proud, yes, and arrogant, sure. So what. ;) He is also a fiercely loving father who only wants his sons to live and live well. To have this last look at Legolas (I hope not, but I realize your time and energy is best spent in what sells), and the heart-breaking reunion with Thranduil and Eilian (yes, I admit it...I am a fangirl XD) and see his understanding.... UGH. Heart. Cracking!

I've been stuck on that story I told you about. Stuck, and trying to wrap my brain around a character I kind of grudgingly like, and here? You effortlessly (I know, not really) showed me his heart and soul.

Thanks for all the fishes! ;D And stories. I wish you the very, very best of luck in your endeavors.

Author Reply: Bless you, Levade. I struggled for words when I wrote today and this made me happy. Also, *I* am an Eilian fangirl so you can fan him all you want. He was the first OC I ever created and he's still my favorite.

But this chapter was Thranduil's all the way. I wouldn't want to cross the guy, but I admire him no end. When I first started writing, had a bunch of cruel-father-Thranduil stories, which I thought was un-elflike. So I set out to make him tough but, as you say, fierce in his devotion to his family. It would about kill him to come through the war, think everything was on the mend, and find he'd lost his youngest son.

I hope your story gets back on track because I'd like to read it. :-)


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