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Spring Awakenings  by daw the minstrel 27 Review(s)
LKKReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/24/2004
I apologize for not getting a prompt review for the last chapter's post. Real life got in the way. But I was happy to see Thranduil react favorably to Legolas's mission.

I want to thank you ever so much for letting us see Beliond's encounter with Thranduil. I was afraid that might not happen since most of the story has been through Eilian's or Legolas's eyes. It was a wonderfully amusing scene; I'm so grateful you gave it to us.

How typical of dutiful Legolas to assume that he had missed Eilian and Celuwen's ceremony when he discovered they had bonded. Honor-bound Legolas couldn't possibly imagine that they had bonded without a formal ceremony. Although why he would think that they would have the ceremony without his attendence is beyond me. (I don't remember which chapter this came from, so apply it to the appropriate one, please.)

Thranduil is coming closer to understanding Eilian, but he isn't quite there yet. He doesn't seem to realize that there is *no* punishment that can make Eilian more cautious. If Thranduil succeeds in finding such a punishment, he will lose his son -- in the very essence of what makes Eilian Eilian if not physically. It was that carefree essence that pulled Thranduil to his wife; I hope he will come to recognize that same attraction in his son. And soon.

Is Celuwen going to find herself appointed to an ambassadorship to Anyr's settlement??? That might a good thing for her to do with herself, plus it would help Thranduil keep an eye on that wayward settlement.

Good work on the last 2 chapters, daw! (I apologize if I mispelled any of your characters' names. This is the first review I've written where I didn't go back and check up on the spellings.)

Author Reply: I couldn't resist writing about Beliond, even though I knew I was breaking the POVs I had been using. I just finished writing about Tinar and Ithilden for the same reasong. It's so much fun!

The funny thing about Legolas is that he would not think they had bonded without ceremony, but when he realized they had, he accepted it. He is still unwilling to criticize Eilian, I think.

What a good insight about Eilian having a carefree essence that needs to be respected and left alone! I liked that a lot.

You spelled all the names right, LKK! I think that's a sign you've been reading too many of my stories!

rgbjReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/24/2004
Well now we see hints of Legolas' and his family's loss again. This is definitely a recurring theme in his life. He was always #1 with Eilian and now he feels he has lost that but he will always be #1 baby brother brat, forever.
But he will love Celuwen for Eilian's sake. Legolas will learn that your heart cna expand to love so many people. You can just add and add and never run out of room. I know Legolas likes Alfirin but since Ithilden was so much older Legolas didn't feel any sense of loss. Eilian was certainy different and definitely is loved in a much more encompassing way. Ithilden loves Alfirin very much but they are in love in a much more mature way. Quieter and more stable. Not words I associate with Eilian.
That was sweet when Legolas offered Celuwen his arm. He is such a gentleman, gentle-elf? Yes she is frail but I have no doubt that she will revive considerably with Eilian's love. I do wonder how he can go back to the South Patrol and leave her behind knowing her physical condition though.
OOH YOUR family is so complicated. Girl you have no idea what you have just gotten yourself into. If you had spent that year getting to know these elves you wouldn't be adrift right now. These elves are the poster family for complicated.
Celuwen wondering why the king is being so hard on Eilian and then commenting on his many good points. And he does have many. Legolas agrees. I agree also. I have always wondered why Thranduil was so hard on Eilian. He is such a hard worker and fights to do the best he can. The fact that he may have adult ADHD for an elf is not his fault. It is genetics. Now you are opening up a new can of worms as far as Thranduil is concerned. After all these decades, centuries (?) he is beginning to understand his own feelings. Nana's loss again.
I see a difference now between Celuwen and Alfirin again. I don't think Alfirin would have insisted on buying Ithilden's ring on her own if she had too. Here is Celuwen's independent streak again. Go her.
I liked Legolas' comment that if he tried to kick Eilian in the shins now he would end up on his back in the dirt. Guaranteed.
Galivion and Thranduil agree that Legolas did a good job in his novice foray into diplomacy. The king is going to bust his buttons again. OOH Smackdown time for Tinar again. Couldn't happen to a better elf.
I though Thranduil's assessment of his sons was right onthe mark. Not much gets past him.
OH Oh Here comes Beliond. Despite the kings weariness he holds his own until he realizes that Beliond is truly attached to the "impudent cub." Now where have we heard the word impudence used about Legolas before. Grin. So in the face off Thranduil blinks first. How much can one elf take in one day. Sometimes it is best to fight only the important battles. After all Beliond was chosen to be loyal to Legolas, so he can't be faulted for that loyalty.
Back to Eilian for the king. Like a hamster on an exercise wheel. He never gets away from that. He needs to realize that things are not going to change unless Eilian wants them too. Maybe not even then. We may be dealing with genetics here. I think his bonding will slowly change him but he will still be his mother's son no matter what Thranduil does.
I do like making Eilian wait for the other shoe to drop. The king does use all the not inconsiderable skills at his disposal.
The king is impressed by Celuwen. I think he can find a way to keep her busy as soon as she is physically able. She would make a good liaison with the settlements and hard core wood elves. After all the royal family isn't any better then the ones they swear to protect, in fact they have a very tough job and need all the help they can get. I think Solith and Celuwen need to understand the scope of what is involved here. Maybe she will be surprised at the depth of service needed. That was always something I didn't get in her and Solith's dismissal of Eilian and family and the service they provide.
Yeah Alfirin, today was a hard day just like when Eilian comes home. This was of course a little more exciting than usual.
Ithilden and his very romantic comment. The Valar has dropped so much happiness in Eilian's lap. Alfirin could agree but from Celuwen's POV. Very sweet.
Well that was very nice. Isn't it great to watch this family grow, mature and gain over the centuries? I just love your stories.

Author Reply: You are so right that Eilian is not going to love Legolas less just because he's married. He may think of him less, at least for a while! When I wrote about Legolas offering Celuwen his arm, I was thinking of the scene in TTT when he offers his arm to Gandalf. I loved that scene. I was probably the only person in the theater thinking about what a good father Thranduil was. He raised his son right.

And I think the same thing about how a year's betrothal would have allowed these two to work their life out a bit, but then I also think that they couldn't have been betrothed for a year. Her father disapproved and Thranduil thought it should be longer. In some ways, they did the only thing they could. I seem to have written a situation in which no one was completely right.

I liked Beliond calling Legolas an impudent cub and then saying he was like Thranduil. That made me laugh to write. And I doubt if either Eilian or Thranduil is going to change a whole lot. They're always going to drive one another crazy. But they may be able to understand why and that might help. And I do think Eilian may behave differently if he thinks about what impact his actions may have on Celuwen.

You and Thranduil think alike about Celuwen's possibilities!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/24/2004
PS: Have you ever thought of writing a tale of youngish Thranduil and his wife in their early years together? I would love to see him being driven mad by the reckless impulsiveness of someone he can't tell to get on her knees or condemn to uncomfortable penalties.

Also - I think Eilian has himself done something that will 'check his tendency to rashness' - it's called Celuwen!

Author Reply: Nilmandra wrote a story for me about Thranduil meeting his wife in my world. It's on this site and is called "First Celebrations." But I've never written about their first years of marriage. That might be fun.

And once Thranduil has a chance to think, he'll realize that Celuwen is going to be a nice ally for him in a lot of causes.

DotReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/23/2004
I just knew I’d have missed a chapter. I had to go to Dublin for two days (to be conferred with my Masters degree – go me!!) and I was dying to find out what happened next so I checked my e-mail for an alert the second I got to work, printed it out instead of waiting ‘til I got home and was trying to read it behind the desk in a packed library before having to handwrite a review on the back of the printed sheets – but I figured, what the hell, people can stamp their own books, I wanted to know what happened…

I really do love conversation chapters, and this one was great – especially because the conversations were largely between people we rarely get to see in much communication.

The opening paragraph actually made me feel a little guilty for not realising how Eilian’s marriage would affect Legolas. Obviously I knew that Eilian and Legolas were exceptionally close but I’d never thought about how Eilian held Legolas “most dear”. It must have been wonderful for Legolas to know this and of course it will hurt that Eilian has given more room in his heart to Celuwen – even though Legolas is an adult and clearly wishes his brother happiness, I can see how he has to experience some sense of loss. Still, at least he has enough self-awareness to realise how he feels and separate these feelings from his desire to see his brother happy. Lovely image, by the way, of Eilian reading to Legolas and encouraging his baby brother to read as well. Another tantalising glimpse into their past!

For some reason I really liked the fact that Legolas offered Celuwen his arm! Such a gentleman. Um, elf. He still doesn’t know that she was fading. I suppose there’s no real reason for him to know…

“I know Eilian can be provoking, but he has sacrificed a great deal in the service of the realm, and it hurts him when your adar does not seem to value him.” Ah, she’s very perceptive. I mean, I doubt Eilian has told her *everything*. Although, having said that, Thranduil usually makes it clear that he does value Eilian as a warrior – at least in recent times – but it’s Eilian’s behaviour in his personal life that he objects to.

“Adar would certainly allow you to take a suitable ring from his storeroom.” I’d like to see that storeroom…

Thranduil seems to be quite cooperative about the agreement Legolas and Galivion made with the settlers. He had every right to be quite nasty with them so it’s nice to see that he respects Legolas’ decision.

I had to laugh at Galivion’s little rant about Tinar. It’s quite endearing how indignant he is that Legolas wasn’t treated with respect – he must have grown quite fond of “Lord Legolas”. Thranduil’s thoughts about his sons in reaction to this were interesting. I thought his analysis of Legolas, in particular, was spot on and I could see both the Legolas of the Fellowship and the Legolas we’ve got to know in your stories. I don’t know if Eilian would agree that his position was “a slightly easier one” but Thranduil’s assessment pretty much sums him up. I felt bad for Ithilden. “His oldest son had had a hard time even having simple friendships.” It kind of sounds like Ithilden was hurt a few times by people’s attitudes and maybe that’s some of the reason why he seems withdrawn and reserved when not acting with all the authority that comes with his position. I wonder who he’s really like. I mean, Eilian is clearly like Lorellin and Legolas seems to share traits of both parents but while I can see some of both in Ithilden, it just struck me that Thranduil would have been an only child too but I just don’t get the impression that he would have been quite as serious growing up. Maybe Ithilden gets his personality from a grandparent. Hmmn, I wonder what Thranduil’s mother was like…;)

I LOVE Beliond!! It’s absolutely hilarious the way he lets slip about the thieves and poor Thranduil is left there gaping like an idiot. Beliond has such a great way with Thranduil. I suppose if he’s known him all this time it’d be quite difficult to be formal… “There is more of you in him than I had thought.” Is there a story there?? And he calls Legolas an “impudent cub” to Thranduil!! I’m glad Thranduil was able to see that Beliond was genuinely frightened. He should be proud of his choice of keeper for his youngest son.

“From what I have heard since we got home, I gather that you are displeased with Eilian” LOL! It seems like the whole realm is far more interested in Thranduil’s reaction than in what Eilian actually did. But then, so was I…;)

That paragraph about Lorellin was heart breaking. It’s just so unspeakably sad to see Thranduil’s pain and sorrow that linger even after all this time. It seems to be something of a breakthrough for him to realize that his problems with Eilian stem from his own fear. Still, his wife’s “foolish bravery” didn’t kill her, Orcs did. She didn’t necessarily make a worse choice than anyone does at any particular time. If she had waited for the warriors Ithilden sent then she might have been safe – equally, there might have been more elves dead, or she might have been the only one to be killed. Thranduil can’t presume that Eilian will make a tragic choice some day. Thranduil himself could go off horse riding in a state of anger some day – as is his wont – and he could have an accident. Well, Legolas fell off his horse! Eilian knows he has to be more careful than when he was younger. If things were easier between him and Thranduil, maybe resentment wouldn’t cloud his judgment. But I guess after this long their relationship problems aren’t going to be solved overnight. Eilian kind of has already acknowledged the problems he created but I suppose I can’t argue with Thranduil wanting to reprimand him for any disrespect he has shown as son of the king…!

“Thranduil’s face was thoughtful as he eyed his new daughter-in-law.” Ah, methinks Thranduil has just realized that Celuwen’s knowledge of the settlements and their inhabitants could be pretty valuable. Instead of using her and possibly causing more problems between himself and Eilian, couldn’t she be given some sort of advisory role in relation to the problems in the settlements? She might prefer that than what Alfirin does.

I really liked the scene between Ithilden and Alfirin. I’m glad Alfirin can be so honest with Ithilden and he completely accepts that she isn’t happy with the situation. Yeah, he might indeed have problems – but Eilian probably just assumes that he’s going back to the South as soon as he is able to (how’s his hip, by the way?!) so I don’t see that there would be a problem unless Ithilden or Thranduil object?

“I thought, Ah, my brother! You do not know what happiness the Valar have seen fit to drop in your arms.” That’s so lovely! I love that he’s so blissfully happy in his marriage. He may think he’s lucky but I’m telling you, Alfirin is the luckiest elf in all Arda…:)

Author Reply: Go you, indeed! That's wonderful, Dot! Congratulations! And people can certainly stamp their own books. Get a bar scanner.

It's a good thing you like conversation chapters because that seems to be all I am writing at the moment. I have a big part of chapter 14 done and that's all it is. And I think I still have at least one more chapter after that because I doubt if I'm going to get to the party.

Anyway, Legolas should remember that Eilian has loved Celuwen for a long time and still held him very dear. But I'm still very proud of him for thinking of Eilian's happiness first. He's a good guy. Thranduil raised him well, even teaching him good enough manners to offer his arm to a lady.

I feel kind of bad for Ithilden too. It's a good thing Alfirin came along. She is his best friend as well as his wife, and she gives him a life that is completely separate from his work. And she is lucky!

What I thought was funny about Beliond calling Legolas an "impudent cub" to Thranduil was that he also said "he's a lot like you"! Hehe. When Beliond broke the news about the thieves to Thranduil, I thought about advice I give to students about conveying information to their superiors. Follow the chain of command, I say. Don't leave your boss out of the loop because if you tell someone else and they mention it to him and he knows nothing about it, he's going to look like an idiot and he's not going to like that a whole lot.

Celuwen is about to get a job, I think!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
I've cooled down considerably from my 'settlers' rant so I'll try to behave myself.

Legolas and Celuwen seem to be off to a good start despite the fact that he's a bit jealous. It's funny how we as grownups sometimes know there is no reason to feel slighted but still do. At least he recognized his feelings were non-productive and redirected his thoughts to his happiness for his brother.

It was interesting how Celuwen called Legolas's family, 'your family' instead of ours. I suppose adjustments just don't happen over night. It does take some time to see things in a diferent light, not to mention that Thranduil had been less than pleased at the news. I don't see how she could not feel uncomfortable and just as responsible as Eilian for this marriage. I keep saying this, but she was! Everyone is so ready to blame Eilian. Tell them for me to get over it! The elleth was a willing participant. Oh shoot! There I go again.

Beliond! What can I say? It's starting to look like we're two peas in a pod. Yes, please. I would like to speak to Thranduil, too.

I was glad to see Thranduil taking out a minute from his steaming to think about what it was about Eilian that caused them to butt heads so often. Now that he has a little insight, perhaps he can sit down and just explain all this to Eilian. That might be more effective than swatting the kid like a pesky fly.

I'm dangerously close again to ranting so I'm going to another topic.

One thing we have to give the good king is that his mind is always working. He's beginning to see some potential in his new daughter. All the more reason for him to work things out with 'her husband'.

I liked the little bedchamber scene with Ithilden and Alfirin. She did express her displeasure for how this marriage went down, but I have to admit that when the Ranger suggested a little fireside chat, my mind immediately went to the row I could see them having. Obviously, they are not like Beliond and me. Well, if the king sends Celuwen off on diplomatic missions, maybe she won't step on Alfirin's toes, and they can get along without having to arm wrestle. I don't care if it's two men or two women who are placed at essentially the same level in the hierarchy, they are bound to bump into each other on occasion. Beliond and I are watching with great interest.

Good show, your minstrelness. I've got to go now before I get all upset again.

Carry on, Karen

Author Reply: The idea of you as Beliond's sidekick just tickled me, Karen! I have to admit that I occasionally use Beliond to say what *I* want to say ("Don't make me come and kick you out of that tree, Tinar).

Legolas showed his love for his brother by being willing to be second in his heart. I think that's admirable and mature, and I love him with all my fangirl heart. And I, too, hope that Thranduil and Eilian can reach a little more understanding. I think they'll always drive one another crazy, but maybe knowing why will help. And Thranduil is so clever with other people (like Ambassador Celuwen, for instance) that surely he can do better with his son.

I wonder how Ithilden and Alfirin fight? I'll bet she usually gives in to him on the grounds that he's the husband, but when something is a matter of principle, I'll bet she digs in her heels and is unmoveable. He's a smart guy. I expect he's learned when to fight and when to avoid a fight and let her be. For his own happiness, I hope he has!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
Legolas is really displaying the openness and adaptability that will serve him later as a member of the Fellowship. He is really going out of his way to make nice with Celuwen and it's nice to see the two of them hitting it off. She needs an ally in the palace (besides her lightning-rod husband!)

I think Ithilden should stay out of Legolas's leadership struggles, though. Legolas handled himself splendidly and decisively with Tinar, and if Ithilden hauls the arrogant little whelp in for a dressing down now I think it would actually undermine Legolas's position by implying that he went whining to his big brother, when in reality he could and did stand on his own two feet.

I loved Beliond barging in on Thranduil and casually giving him a piece of his mind. The King really does need one person who doesn't have to walk on eggshells around him. It's good to see that he's doing some hard thinking about Eilian. He was justified in his anger at Eilian's impulsivity, but it was high time he examined the deeper issues underlying their constant friction instead of just butting heads like two moose in a meadow all the time.

Alfirin is holding up under the stress pretty well, even though her world is a little shaken up. Ithilden is lucky he has her - especially considering she gives scalp rubs! Great, great, story, Daw.

Author Reply: Ah, you're the one who suggested the scene between Ithilden and Alfirin! Thank you. I had a good time writing about them still being lovers, although they are at a distinctly different stage of their marriage than Eilian and Celuwen are.

Celuwen does need friend in the palace or she's going to be very lonely. I think she and Alfirin will become friendly and perhaps living so closely they'll become genuinely affectionate too. But Legolas would be an easier ally. Of course, he has to go back to his patrol in two days.

Good point about Ithilden and Tinar, but Ithilden has already sent for him! I couldn't resist! I'll have to think about how to handle it.

I'm also hoping to write a Thranduil and Eilian scene but that's delicate to do. I don't want complete enlightenment and reconciliation. I think that's unrealistic. But surely an elf of Thranduil's years and wisdom can learn something.

FadesintothewestReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
Go Beliond! I love the way he interrupts Thranduil and has no consideration for his position. Thranduil definitely needs him around. It was so sweet for Legolas to walk Celuwen to her destination at the smiths. Legolas is so chivalrous and thoughtful, ahhh our little Legolas. I could just imagine Thranduil's brain working a mile a minute as he heard Celuwen speak. The king/ diplomat/ tactician in him realized at that moment, if not before, that Celuwne is going to be an asset he did not expect, and ease more pain than Celuwen's and Eilian's bonding caused. I love seeing strong female characters written well- go Celuwen. We hesitate to write OFC for the fear of MS branding but none of that here. I look forward to watching Celuwen kick butt!

Author Reply: Legolas has good manners. His father raised him well. I can't imagine how one would have to get on a boy to make him offer his arm like that. There were days when I was sure I would have to creep up the aisle at my son's college graduation, tug on his sleeve, and whisper "What do you say?"

Celuwen is a gift from the Valar and Thranduil is starting to see it. She would actually be able to be patient with Anyr!

Antigone QReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
Oh, and forgot to say: lovely little bedtime scene between Alfirin and Ithilian. It was very sweet to see what they were thinking and how much they enjoy each other.

Author Reply: Wasn't that your idea???? It was excellent!

Antigone QReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
Celuwen is very wise. I hope she'll be a bridge not only between the settlers and the king, but between the king and Eilian, too. I get the feeling Thranduil has a certain amount of respect for her, which would help.

I'm glad Thranduil was proud of his youngest; Legolas worked so hard and did so well for his father. Do we get to see Tinar firmly put in his place for the way he acted on the trip?

The Beliond scene was just what I was hoping for. Thranduil is usually so intimidating and it's funny to see someone who isn't cowed by him at all.

It's good to see Thranduil taking a good hard look at his relationship with his son. I think he needs to. I know he loves Eilian, but despite being very perceptive in general Thranduil doesn't always have a good feel for people who think differently than he does.

And I'm getting my vote in early for the little Elflings to come: I think Eilian and Celuwen should have a girl first. I'm sure she'd wrap her father and grandfather around her little finger very effectively. Besides, you already have lots of boys around...

Author Reply: I think Celuwen can help mediate between the king and Eilian, much like naneth did. And I think he might curb his impulsiveness a little for her. But she has to be wise enough not to expect him to stop being him. And indeed I don't think she'd even like that. Eilian gets on Thranduil's last nerve mostly because he loves him. I was thinking about that because I was in a meeting today in which someone was doing something that my husband does that drives me crazy. And I didn't care if this other person did it!

I'm getting ready to write about Tinar tomorrow. I knew people would like the Beliond scene. He has fans!

Definitely a daughter. ;-)

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 13 on 4/22/2004
Beliond certainly deserves a medal for bravery in taking on the King when everyone knows he is not in the best of moods. Of course, the trouble is that Thranduil can castigate his middle son until he is blue in the face, but it will not change Eilian. It's part of his nature to be impatient and impulsive. However, his experience in the south has curbed his recklessness somewhat, I think. The dangers there are real and he doesn't have a death wish - he doesn't need to be reckless in order to have excitement. It comes with the job. Moreover, his position as captain forces him to consider the well-being of others. He would not lead others into situations that he might chance were he alone.

That was an interesting bit about the brothers in relation to others. I think you're right - Legolas does seem a bit reserved. The Fellowship obviously comes to mean a lot to him, since he delays his departure from ME until all but Gimli are dead, but he doesn't say much.

Author Reply: What acute observations. So part of Thranduil's and Ithilden's problem is that if they pull Eilian out of the south, he is likely to seek excitement in other things. Not good. Maybe Celuwen can help. She can certainly provide a distraction for a while! Or maybe needing to think about her will act like needing to think about his warriors. He might curb his impulses for the sake of others when he won't do it for himself. I don't know yet. I have to see how this marriage develops.

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