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Tangled Web  by daw the minstrel 25 Review(s)
Rose SaredReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/10/2004
And the story keeps winding on, I love the fact that after all his long lifes Glorfindel still has something to learn. What fun.
Sorry for the long delay in reviewing - my own story suddenly took off on a wild gallop (woa neddy!)
More soon please

Author Reply: Your story has me on tenterhooks! Go write more!

Glorfindel is amused by the country cousin wood-elves. But he also respects them. He and Eilian are getting along just fine.

LKKReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/9/2004
Oh dear! I hope Bilbo never finds out Legolas thought he was a dwarf. And a child at that! I don't think the hobbit would like that even the mistake was an understandable one. I hope Legolas doesn't get into trouble for his wrong prediction about how much trouble the dwarves will cause for the elves. After all, how is he supposed to know what's going to happen. (I doubt there's a copy of The Hobbit in Thranduil's library. ;) )

Interesting that Glorfindel couldn't or didn't know how to listen to the trees as the Wood-elves always do. A very nice distinction between their two cultures.

Author Reply: I couldn't imagine what Legolas would make of a hobbit. They didn't appear in the records of ME until around 1000 TA, so my guess is that none of Thranduil's people has had a lot of contact with them. Telling this story from the elves' perspective is a lot of fun though. I find myself trying to answer questions like how did those dwarves get so far into Mirkwood anyway? Surely the elves noticed them!

I wasn't sure if Glorfindel would be able to hear the trees or not but I decided that he would be bound to be less attuned to them than Eilian was, given where they were and Eilian's being Thranduil's son.

Dragon-of-the-NorthReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/9/2004
Just a quick note to let you know that I have not abandoned reading your stories... Once again, you are just too fast for me, but this chapter simply deserved a review. It clearly shows that Legolas' education must have been sorely lacking when it comes to the ME equivalent of biology or ethnology or whatever... "Dwarf child" and "mother dwarf" indeed - I'm sure Bilbo & Co. would be flattered! I was in awe how you managed to keep this so very serious and distanced in tone, all a warrior's cool, logical observation, while it is funny beyond belief to the reader.
As always, your characters are wonderful, especially the OCs (Eilian is lovely as always, and I loved his interaction with Glorfindel, a bit of wood-elf vs. Noldo coming in there... Splendidly done!) - and, for once, I enjoyed the fight with the orcs at least a little bit. Predictable outcome, but an elf misstepping is... a good thing. ;-D

Author Reply: I have to admit I really enjoyed writing about the appearance of the dwarves and what the Wood elves made of them. I'm sure that Legolas had never seen a hobbit before. And I tried to write those scenes seriously, because really things are bad in Mirkwood, but I just couldn't make it happen. I'm now looking at my outline of events at Tonduil's wedding and the same thing is happening. Ah well. Funny is good!

I might have known you'd enjoy seeing an elf take a false step in a tree!

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/9/2004
That chapter made me happy Daw! Very good! And I have to comment on my last review: re-checking my Tolkien has made me realize that I was being idiotic in saying that. Sorry...and it all makes perfect sense now. :) It really does. Legolas is so cute, what was it you said in one of your Author Replies...oh, Legolas is all competent now. That's funny. :) But the building tension is too much for my fragile heart. I can't wait to see how the White Council's attack will turn out. I really enjoyed the similarities between Glorfindel and Eilian. Especially the former's bemusement of the Wood Elves'love of trees. That was very funny. I can just see the two of them... :) I wish them all much luck and I can't wait for an update! Keep writing!

Author Reply: I was all excited because the dwarves appeared, but of course, the real action is in the south right now. It seemed to me that Glorfindel and Eilian might get along well, even if the Noldo doesn't know how to listen to the trees in Mirkwood. From Glorfindel's POV, the wood elves are a little primitive.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/9/2004
Hi daw,

Sorry, I've fallen behind in reviewing again. But you can be certain that I'm keeping up. I always look forward to new chapter updates.

This has been such an interesting tale. It's different from your others just due to the subject matter. We can see the events that are so well known from The Hobbit, but from an entirely different perspective. I've been trying to figure out what the Elves were going to be doing in the woods when Bilbo and his group came along, and that it is Tonduil's wedding is such a wonderful stroke of your, computer. Well, I'm guessing that was what the feasting was about. I'm really looking forward to how you handle the scenes Tolkien did relay incorporated into your own story. I have complete faith in you, by the way.

The scenes to the South were so good! Eilian and Glorfinel (and grumpy Maltanaur) were so good. Despite being some what 'star-struck', Eilian is making a good showing as to the abilities of the Wood-Elves in dealing with the shadow. And you've done a good job of not allowing Glorfindel to steal the scenes, but then, you've created Eilian with such a strong presence that he can stand up to the challenge. He's not lost in the bright light of Glorfindel's presence.

Poor Ithilden. I'm sure Alfirin will just be glad to have her husband home in one piece, and the news he will bear will be worth it. But, he's wise to keep in mind that she's as formidable as Glorfindel!...or Thranduil.

Such a good tale, you minstrelness. I'm realy looking forward to reading more. BTW, I'm off the mountains Friday. Will we be seeing an update before I retreat to the woodlands of my kin? I'll raise a toast to you and Nilmandra while I'm there.

Carry on, Karen

Author Reply: This is one of the most canon-based stories I've written, and I've really worked to keep it that way. But things look so different from this point of view!

I felt a little bad that I have all these interesting, powerful ME people in the south and I really can't spend a whole lot of time on them because I'm interested in the POV of the wood elves. But I couldn't let Glorfindel go without having him do some warrior stuff. And I think you're right: Alfirin will be happy to have Ithilden home. She's just caught up in the wedding right now.

I envy you the house in the mountains. I may update by then. I have about 1500 words of the next chapter written but I had to work today, so that's slowing me down. Have fun being a wood elf!

caz - bazReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/9/2004
poor Ithilden. Eilian and Glorfindel seem to be getting along well.

Diaphragm. arrrggghhhhh, that was the one word that i needed and totally went out of my head in biology i was thinking about every other little bit and i remembered it all but i fogot that one word. i'm only glad it was hardly important. but i was kicking myself when i read it in your story.

caz baz

Author Reply: Eilian and Glorfindel are two of a kind, I think, except when it comes to talking to trees.

See? Reading fanfiction is like studying for your exams!

LeraReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/8/2004
I am enjoying this SO MUCH!!! I do not want the chapters to end while I'm reading them. It was hilarious seeing the dwarves from Legolas's perspective. I'm desperately trying to find a copy of THe Hobbit.

One thing that struck me as nice, surprisingly, even among all the excitement, was seeing Ithilden and Eilien together. My heart was in my throat when Eilien heard the squirrel. Squirrels do make an incredible amount of noise. I remember in A Question of Duty how the Imladris elves found the Mirkwood elves rough and rather dangerous which was very interesting, and am glad you carried the contrast into this story.

And then you finished up the wonderful chapter with a remarkably homey line. Ithilden you're awesome.

Ok, update soon, please. Will be waiting in eager anticipation.

Author Reply: I'm glad you like it, Lera. It's almost impossible to write about the dwarf part of this without it seeming funny, despite the fact that the elves are struggling with some serious problems here.

Ithilden and Eilian trust one another and I like that. They each think of the other as the warrior they would want around if they really needed someone. I thought the squirrel would seem especially noisy here, because there are no songbirds or other small forest creatures. And I amused myself in writing about how odd Glorfindel and Eilian each thought the other was.

I think that Alfirin might let Ithilden into their bed, no matter how things go. ;0

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/8/2004
Darn it! I loaned away my copy of The Hobbit just when I needed it! I have the worst timing.

Spying on the dwarves was really cool. I agree with you - the elves would have known they were there long before the invasion of the feast. Are Bilbo's parents Fili and Kili? Bombur must have been quite a load. Good point, Legolas had seen a female and a dwarfling (is that a word?) before - last time he killed a dragon. Amdir's prejudice is showing its ugly head again. At least Legolas is reasonably tolerant of the stunted ones.

Todith is smart to take Legolas with him to see Thranduil. At least he is fairly sure that messenger won't be shot. "I believe I already have as much experience in explaining my actions to the king as anyone might wish for." LOL - that was a great line! Thranduil is well accustomed to dealing with his sons as members of his military. Legolas might feel awkward but Thranduil has the situation mastered (as usual).

The trio patroling in the southern part of the forest is probably among the most skilled ever assembled. I pity any orcs that cross their path. It would be hard to adjust to a completely diffent style after centuries of dealing solely with wood elves. It was a good point. I wonder if Glorfindel felt any of that uncertainty. Probably not. Blasted squirrel - at least he had the satisfaction of knocking off the 3 stray orcs. It was pretty funny when they were worried about Glorfindel. I think he can handle a lone goblin. The change in the trees song angle was great! I think it was very appropriate and fit well into this situation. "Wood elves!" snicker.

Glorfindel and Eilian are definitely soul mates. Curunir's imperiousness was hardly noted by the sons of Thranduil. I guess he needs to work on it a little. Everyone will be surprised if this succeeds. I still think their Adar is going to be mad about hearing it afterwards. Even if he is a little busy...

Are you going to cove the battle of 5 armies in this one or a sequel? I would find it hard to believe the human king would slay Smaug rather than one of our elves. Are you sure Legolas didn't use one of his arrows?

Author Reply: The parents I tried to give Bilbo were Dori and Ori. I wasn't sure of the hood colors though. It was Dori who wound up carrying Bilbo a lot of the time. It's actually tricky to try to write this from the Elves' POV.

I think Thranduil and sons have a hard time because their personal relationship gets mixed into their work one. It can't help but be even when they try to separate it. And this is the first time Legolas has been posted to the Home Guard and has Thranduil looking over his shoulder. This is why he got sent off to a border patrol as a new warrior.

Eilian has interacted only with other wood elves, so Glordfindel's inability to hear the trees surprises him. He just assumed that everyone could do it.

I intend to do the Battle of the 5 Armies, yes. One of the things that attracted me about this story was the opportunity to give all of Thranduil's sons stuff to do and, at the same time, allow Legolas to grow a little. I'm having fun. But it really was Bard who killed the dragon. :-)

DotReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/8/2004
I was grinning from start to finish of this chapter, despite the fact that things are tense in the Woodland Realm. I think I’m just getting a real kick out of seeing these events through the eyes of the wood-elves.

Thirteen adult Dwarves and a child? Hilarious. I love the way Legolas eyes the “child” and mentally compares him to the Dwarf child he’s seen before. He seems so bewildered but obviously determined to be open-minded. I laughed so hard when he decided that one of the Dwarves must be the mother. I thought the funniest line was when Legolas decides in all seriousness that “They did not have the look of a war party.” Those poor Dwarves. There they are, dragging Bombur through this terrifying forest and no clue that they’re completely puzzling the locals.

Amdir seems utterly offended that the Dwarves would even set foot in their woods. Ah well, he can take that up with Todith! It’s hard to see, though, how they would actually have got this far into Mirkwood. I had thought maybe the rest of the patrols were occupied with increasing numbers of spiders but it makes sense that they were just as bemused as Legolas and let them through, just making note to inform the Home Guard.

I see Todith is still longing for the return of Ithilden! I wonder if Ithilden has any idea how much his captains value him?! I loved Legolas tormenting Todith outside the Great Hall and then changing like lightening to serious warrior the moment he enters. It *is* embarrassing that ‘Lord Legolas’ was announced before Todith, although I doubt Todith’s mind was on the words of the attendant. And trust Thranduil to remember who was who in the scheme of things anyway! I never fail to be amazed by the way Thranduil switches to king mode. Legolas has obviously learnt how not to be the son either when standing in front of him, yet he still always somehow tries to read Thranduil as his father, almost needing his approval, whereas I doubt if beneath the gaze of the king Thranduil is wondering how his son sees him. Thranduil is not going to be a happy bunny at the thought of Dwarves strolling around his forest. And of course the elves already have enough to do.

“The trees near him now called to him with faint voices full of anguish and longing.” It says a lot about how dark this part of the forest has grown if even someone used to the south feels it so acutely. I had forgotten that Eilian had been here before and suffered so badly for it. I should have realised how much it must have cost Ithilden to send his brother here again and how much he must therefore believe there is hope and respect his brother’s skills.

It’s interesting to see how strange Eilian is finding it to not only be under the command of someone he doesn’t know but with elves whose instincts are so different to his own. He seems to have a lot of respect for Glorfindel, though. But then, how could he not?! It must be so difficult too for the wood-elves to fight as they are used to doing if the branches of the trees are likely to give way at any time.

How *do* Orcs learn Westron? Do they have classes?!

For a second I really thought Glorfindel was in trouble! Like Eilian, I should have known…

Eilian and Glorfindel seem to be two of a kind. Poor Maltanaur. It was good to see Eilian startle Glorfindel, though, with his explanation about the trees’ song. At the end of the day, you’re either a wood-elf or you’re not, I guess. Still, it’s a pity the others can’t hear the song of the trees or they’d have a better understanding of how bad things are. In a way, the wood-elves must feel the Shadow more heavily because they can hear the distress of the trees around them.

I’m still smiling at the way Eilian and Ithilden don’t bat an eyelid at Saruman’s tone. Sons of Thranduil are made of stern stuff.

“Can you imagine how those at home will react if we succeed in this?” No! But I can’t wait to see! I suspect that even Alfirin will have to be forgiving.

Well, it looks like things are about to get exciting in Mirkwood. Bring it on!

Author Reply: You know, I kept trying to write this serious from the Elves' POV and it kept coming out funny anyway. I think it's partly because The Hobbit is comic in tone a lot of the time, and then, of course, the idea of one of the dwarves as mommy and Bilbo as the child is funny. The contrast between what we know the Dwarves feel and what Legolas sees is just amusing.

One of the things I'm interested in in this story is the relationship between Thranduil and Legolas. We're edging up on the Quest, and my Legolas needs to be ready to be Fellowship Legolas then. I think the relationship between Thranduil and his sons is complicated anyway, because he IS their king as well as their father.

I'm trying to be canonical in this, hard though it is. In the appendix on languages in ME, Tolkien says that the orcs spoke Westron to one another. I think the implication is that it's a second mother tongue for them, and actually for just about everyone in ME. Everyone around them knows it and that's how they learn it. I also tried to find a description of the woods around Dol Guldur, and in FOTR, Haldir says that there are dark firs with rotten limbs, so that's where that came from.

Elves in general were really tied to Arda and Tolkien says they were affected by the marring of it by Morgoth. And I think that wood elves would have that really magnified by their tie to the forests.

This is kind of fun -- figuring all this out.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/8/2004
I like Legolas's reactions on seeing the dwarves, especially noticing the 'child' with his bearded mother. Eilian and Glorfindel were wonderful together, as I knew they would be, but it's a shame Ithilden will miss the wedding. I hoped he'd make it home in time but knew the time-lines wouldn't permit it.

So the dwarves are all set to encounter both feasting wood elves and spiders? And as acting commander of the home guard, presumably Legolas will be the one to arrest them? I can't wait!


Author Reply: Poor Ithilden. He misses the wedding and when he gets home, he finds out stuff has been happening without him. But he's doing exciting things himself, so maybe he won't care.

I had to think long and hard about how to tell about the dwarves' arrival from the elves' perspective. Hope you like it!

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