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Paths of Memory  by daw the minstrel 30 Review(s)
Red Squirrel Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 7/16/2013
Loved Eilan's essay...very childlike! Most children when they are little think that their ada's are indestructible. But then we learn that they are not just like Dagorlad taught Thranduil that bitter lesson. Eilian's love of adventure and excitement seems to stem from early childhood...I wonder if he was ever jealous of Legolas getting to be part of The Fellowship...though I do suppose that some pretty ghastly and exciting things were happening in Mirkwood at the same time too.

Oats, Apple and Carrot were hilarious!!!! Absolutely adorable! LOL @ Thranduil calling the "ponies" by their pony names. I had to laugh out right at that! So much sweetness in this scene! love it!

LOL After reading "Watch This!" it seems ALL of Thranduil's elflings get into mischief on First Snow! Celede's ada was pretty harsh with Ithilden but then when he gets to the palace he gets to deal with mama bear and she won't take kindly to that. Maybe when Ithilden grows up and he has a Elleth of his own he will understand how Ada's can be sometimes because they love their little ones. I also liked how Thranduil chided Ithilden about his arrogance...I have always thought that the king might have been a little on the arrogant side...but I love him for it! LOL

How sad that Nana died...I do wish Tolkien had remembered to give poor Thranduil a living wife! Celeborn got one so I think Thranduil deserved one too!

Author Reply: I enjoy writing little kids. It's tricky to do it well because the temptation is to sentimentalize them, but I love the way the world looks so different through their eyes.

And IMHO, you are right on about Thranduil's arrogance! But then, again IMHO, he had a right to be a little arrogant. :-) He kept his realm from falling despite having no ring of power.

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/20/2006
Oh, I hope Ithilden still has his 'bankie'. And poor little Legolas! This is beautiful - Ithilden is so perfect as a child - or so determined to be perfect. Eilian is unmistakeable (who else would bring mud into the palace? The Mirkwood Enquirer must have been full of the antics of the younger Thranduilion.) And I could see Legolas and his friends as the ponies. All of just underscores how alone Thranduil must be feeling, without his wife and children's mother.

Author Reply: I think Nana put the bankie away, so it's probably in a treasure chest somewhere, bless its ragged little heart. I amused myself mightily by picturing Ithilden as a little kid. He was so earnest.

Poor Thranduil. How he must miss his wife, maybe even more as his sons grow up and marry.

pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 2 on 9/19/2005
This is sweet him rememering his sons as children, each have different personalities...and can see it before you know which child it is....

Author Reply: Hey, Pipinheart--

I had fun trying to show each of the sons as children so you could see the person they would become even in the child they were.

It's good of you to read and review these older stories. I hope you're enjoying them.

LKKReviewed Chapter: 2 on 11/13/2004
Such sweet scenes of the various childhoods. Most of the time I could guess which son was the subject of the memory. But you did manage to suprise me every once and a while, especially the last Ithilien one with the elfling who broke her arm. Oh, and Annael was Apple and ... Oh, foo! I don't remember the other member of the trio's name, but he was Oats, right? I liked all these glimpses into their history, but such a sad note to end the story on. A beautiful note, but still very sad.

Author Reply: Thank you, LKK. I had a good time showing Ithilden especially as a child. Who would have guessed he had a security blanket?! Yes, Turgon was Oats (I think).

KalimaReviewed Chapter: 2 on 11/8/2004
Ah! I find that I was confused throughout. I thought this entire story was before Lorellin was dead, though I began to suspect it was going to end with Legolas having a premonition that she had been killed.

I thoght again and again we were in the present, and the child was Legolas. I admit I found this irritating, and in both chapters I was tempted to look ahead to see who we were talking about, but I didn't want to learn anything out of the proper sequence. So for what it's worth, this is my "constructive criticism": I think you are irritating your readers to no purpose; I think that when you are developing character, it is a good thing to know whose character we are shaping in our minds. Right now I am totally jumbled as to which story went with which elfling, and don't know if there might be something I need to know about who was the sledder and who the otter and who the horse, etc., for future reading.

I was also constantly disoriented as to where we were in time. Well, obviously.

Still, that's my only criticism. I love these stories and kind king Thranduil.

Author Reply: It sounds as if the flashbacks didn't work well for you, Kalima. I'm sorry about that! However, you do seem to be fond of Thranduil, so that's ok. He is a good father, I think.

Author Reply: Kalima--

I hope you don't mind my replying again. I've been thinking about why this story might not have worked for you, and it occurred to me that I had written it for people who were already familiar with my OCs as adult. I didn't even think about it, but that's what I was doing. Those people would already know these characters well and have fun guessing about them.

But when I think about it, this is probably a terrible story for readers who don't already know my characters well! I never even realized that!

I think I might have to take this story off my chronological list and put it in with the other odd stories at the bottom. It's going to put people off otherwise.

Thought I'd let you know that you helped me think about this a bit.


SusanluReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/26/2004
Oh, I have thought it's a corpora of sweet short stories, but now I know it base on the time about Lorellin's death.(sigh) So unavoidably, there are sorrow and struggles. I like this sort of things anyway, that why I had worked so hard to translate "When shadow touches home" despite its terrible length (for me).TT Another favourite paragraph of mine is "In the silent Great Hall that night and for many nights after, Legolas had sat on his fatherĄ¯s lap clutching his disreputable blanket. It had been months before he had moved first to sitting next to Thranduil and leaning against him, and then to playing quietly on the floor near him, occasionally patting one of ThranduilĄ¯s elegantly shod feet. " Although I didn't translate "See the stars", I did tranlate this chapter as a bonus for your Chinses readers^o^. I was so touched by the description of father and son, by how they support eachother to pull through, and the graceful details you wrote down. Since then I can't help thinking that maybe Thranduil's feeling for his youngest is a little different from his older sons, for he has to foster this elfling alone, without Lorellin's help. And there is also another (ridiculous) reason-- Legolas is the only child who inherits Thranduil's fair hair^o^. I'm not saying that the elven-king is a partial father, but I think even he IS, his older sons would not complain about that.

I like the story about Ithilden and the blanket, it's obviously that you misleaded us on purpose;) The solemn Crown Prince has his own childish moment, indeed, I just wonder if he has ever made any Eilian-thing AFTER his coming of age.

I also noticed that you corrected Thranduil's birth-time. I remember you had mentioned that Thranduil's hatred to dwarves came from his father Oropher, who has witnessed the fall of Menegroth. When I wrote a description of Thranduil months ago, I looked up Tolkein's book and found the lines as below: "Oropher was of Sindarin origin, and no doubt Thranduil his son was following the example of King Thingol long before, in Doriath; though his halls were not to be compared with Menegroth..." Personally, I think that indicated Thranduil born in Menegroth and grown there old enough to memorize the benefit and structure of the cave-palace, otherwise, it's hard to explain why and how he built up his own halls among the silvan. Tolkein's world is so perplexing, while we write more about it, we learn more.:-)

Author Reply: Thank you, Susanlu. When this story started out, it was exactly what you thought: a collection of fluffy elfling stories. But then the angst about Nana crept in and my beta suggested I frame the whole set of stories so they were Thranduil's memories during this painful time. And this is what came of it.

I think that Thranduil's attitude toward Legolas has definitely been affected by the fact that he's been both father and mother. He had to think of him differently than the older two. So you are so right. And I amused myself by giving the stiff Ithilden a blankie. Who would ever have expected that? I'll bet the warriors he chews out would love to know about it.

I had a hard time deciding if Thranduil had been present at Menegroth because I thought he could have heard stories from his father. But I think your reasoning about this is good.

ElentariReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/24/2004
For some reason I had the feeling this was a fic situated sometime around Lorellin's demise. The last memory was specially close, I thought I would see Thranduil suddenly letting the book fall down, as the awareness hit him and he went off to try to save his wife.or maybe even then he knew it was too late. I find it very touching that he realises Eilian had been drinking but allowed the youngling his own way of dealing with the pain. Ithilden going off to deal with his brother was also a very inspired thing. I guess the crown prince would feel some comfort in giving it to Eilian.
And legolas crying in the middle of the night simply breaks my heart every time. It's a winner. And I feel so very sporry for Thranduil, who has nothing to comfort him but those three broken individuals... and even then he is always Thranduil. I think no one knows quite like him how it feels to have to be strong at all times.
(And it also leaves me picturng his reunion with his wife in Eldamar. I am shamelessly romantic.)
Terrific job.

Author Reply: I really like your point that Ithilden would feel comfort in giving it to Eilian. I hadn't put it that way to myself but I think you're absolutely right. When I was writing that little scene in the hall where they are all responding to Legolas's cries, I wasn't expecting Ithilden to go comfort Eilian but he just did it. I wanted to know what was said between them! Eilian is suffering openly, but Ithilden's controlled surface hides some anguish too.

Poor Thranduil. He has to keep trying to support his sons even when he's so lost and alone.

Lately, I've been thinking about what fun meetings could take place in Valamar. Not only is there Lorellin for her family to meet, but how about Legolas meeting Turgon again???

Antigone QReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/23/2004
The ending was great, Daw! I thought it made the whole story nicely balanced - gave it a point, rather than just being some fun vignettes strung together. I also thought you did a wonderful job showing Thranduil's POV, which had some very subtle undertones at times. Both in structure and style I think it may be one of the best stories you've written.

I also liked it because it reminded me of _When Shadow Touches Home (still one of my favorites). It always struck me, in that story, how Thranduil wanted to turn to Lorellin for comfort, but couldn't. In _Paths of Memory_ we have Thranduil just beginning to come to grips with how different things will be now that his wife is gone.

I enjoyed the glimpse of guilt-ridden little Ithilden. What a foreshadowing of his personality later - he always takes responsibility for things, even if they are not his fault. I hope Lorellin did give Celede's ada a piece of her mind; it was Celede, after all, who chose to stand up in the sled. Nobody made her do it. Was Celede a good friend of Ithilden's when he was younger? We never hear much about his friends or his childhood.

I found it especially sad that Thranduil had to prioritize his sons' emotional needs. Poor Eilian. I was touched when he went to go comfort Legolas, and both surprised and pleased when Ithilden went to Eilian when he went back to his room. It made me think of how Ithilden and Eilian never seemed as close as Eilian and Legolas do. In light of that, it was especially sweet to see Ithilden going to his brother the way that he did. I would like to think Eilian just cried with his brother and "slept it off" but I do remember what happened in the weeks following.

Looking forward to your next story!

Author Reply: I will be completely truthful and say I'm stunned by how well people like this story. I have to thank my beta who suggested that I put the framing in, because that seems to have made the difference.

Ithilden as a child was amusing for me because he's hard to imagine that way. I think I need to give him a friend at some point -- maybe have a childhood friend show up and tell stories. Wouldn't Eilian like to know that Ithilden was once accused of being a Bad Influence?

I was kind of saddened by the thought that Thranduil has "no time" for his older sons' needs, especially Eilian who is quite young yet, about 70. But Ithilden, ever the responsible one, steps in, even though he's guilt wracked himself.

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Antigone.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/23/2004
Thranduil's on a Class IV rapids ride of grief, all right; slipping from calm or happy memories to fresh awareness and then back again. I liked how his memories drifted towards his sons rather than (primarily) his wife. This was the less obvious path but maybe the more realistic one. He's still in shock, he has to stay strong for his sons, and he can't let himself fall to pieces. And of course it's the boys that he's most concerned about at the moment. The memories of happier times were delightful but at the same time ominous - Legolas promising never to wander far from home - you're just evil! I loved Ithilden quietly slipping into Eilian's room to offer comfort. And Legolas - the flashback to his happy anticipation of his mother's return just before the end was a poignant reminder of how quickly and permanently lives can change.

Author Reply: Thank you, Meckinock. By the time I had this mostly drafted, I was moaning to Nilmandra that it was WAY too fluffy and she suggested that I put the framing in at the start and end of the chapters. I think it made a difference. The memories took on a significance that they didn't have otherwise.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/23/2004
Sorry to comment again, but I'm bored and just wanted to say - suppose that one of the guards who went with Lorellin and was killed defending her was Ithilden's friend from early childhood. I can't imagine he made too many close friends between his position and his character, but he would have had some surely. Or, his closest friend was an elleth - Celede, maybe? - and she was married to one of the warriors who was killed and then she sailed. Oh well, delete as required.

Author Reply: That's an interesting idea, Bodkin. Maybe I need to create a friend for Ithilden.

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