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Interrupted Journeys: Part 3 Journeys Begin  by elliska 7 Review(s)
lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/3/2005
OOPS! It would appear I have jumped the gun on the trial and Dolgailon's attendance! It's in the next chapter, not this one! See!? I am reading each chapter, elliska, I just can't keep up with the reviews and now I'm mixing the chapters up! *sigh* Oh well, it was a great trial! :-)


Author Reply: :D Do you honestly think I can keep up with what is in which chapter either?! Not a chance. I wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't commented. :)

But I am glad you liked the trial. I had cut that part and then decided to put it back in against the advice of my beta. So it is quite a relief to me that people liked it.

Again, thanks for the reviews!

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/3/2005
*sigh* I love this story! I wish I had time to sit down and write looonnng reviews and list all the little parts that make this so enjoyable, but RL and work interfere (how rude!) and so this will be fairly short.

I like Dolgailon - he has turned out to be a strong, steady warrior (rather strait-laced when compared to his Adar) but very likable. He did well representing the elves at the trial...I was very impressed with his thoughts on men and their justice and the trial in general. But he exceeded everything in this chapter, standing up to Thranduil the way he did...and so passionate about his feelings too! I was reading going - alright! go on, boy, tell him how it is! He did a wonderful job of presenting his arguments about training the younger elflings and made Thranduil stop and consider his own motives for saying no. The King's memories of the loss of all those family members, especially Ninglor, was chilling and so sad. No wonder he wants things to be different for his Silvan people.

The little elleth that runs the realm is charming! I loved it when she stole Thranduil's crown and appropriated it for her own necklace! Sweet little elfling! No wonder Lindomiel is pushing for a child of their own.

But now it seems she doesn't have to push any further - Thranduil has decided there is more than one way to defeat evil and darkness. So romantic (rather steamy, too, elliska!) and a perfect end to a great chapter :-)! I loved them laying together listening so carefully to the new lifesong they had created out of their love for each other! *sigh* Wonderful!


Author Reply: I so agree with you that RL has deplorable manners when it comes to the important things in life like fanfiction! :-) You know you may be addicted to fanfiction when you actually spend time wondering if there is anyway to get paid for doing it. is driving me insane right now.

But seriously--It was so cool to open my email this morning and see all those reviews. I just love reviews and I know they are such a privilege to get so I am thrilled to read them whenever anyone has time to make one. So thank you.

I'm glad you like Dolgailon. I think for a young elf, he is impressing his elders with his ability to handle situations like that trial and Thranduil in council meetings. I think he has even surprised himself a few times. He is very different from his adar. He has seen different things in life--the sort of things Thranduil would not have wanted him to see given Thranduil's own background. I inlcuded those scenes from Thranduil's past to give an idea of what I picture as his fears for his children given his own life experiences. I think those types of things would have to have a long term impact on you. And they are pretty realistic fears given where he lives and will be raising his children now.

I am so glad you mentioned Eirienil. I liked that little scene too. Can't you just see a daughter wrapping Thranduil around her little finger! I can.

And I'm glad you liked the part where they finally conceive Legolas. :) I'm glad it came across as a little steamy. You'd want it to be a very joyful event. ;-) I liked them listening to the new song too. It would be a wonderful thing to be an elf and be that aware of the life around and within you.

Thanks you again for the reviews. Whenever you have time, I appreciate them!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/27/2005
Well, Thranduil's really decided to take his courage in his hand, to go ahead and Do The Deed after that discussion about warrior training. You gotta hand it to him -- he doesn't do things by halves.

The Realm seems to be well and truly locked into their war of attrition now. From here on out, their strategy can only be to survive and delay, to push back with everything they've got and hope that, whenever the end comes, they'll be the ones still standing. And if the elflings have to go into the army, then the elflings will go into the army.

But I wonder if the problem is as hard as they make it out to be. I don't understand why they need ten years of training before they can go and fight. The U.S. Army gives six weeks of basic training, and they're using guns. Surely the elflings, who already know how to shoot a bow and arrow and wield a blade, don't need ten years to train before they go out to battle. Give them maybe a year, then they can learn on the job, the way the Army does it. Start them with lighter postings when times are okay -- I can't really see Thranduil at this point shipping kids fresh out of basic to the front as was done in WWII or Vietnam, but I'll bet he could learn.

I figured something like that had happened to Ninglor. Younger than Thranduil, he probably knew even less about how to use his weapon. Interesting that such an experience would make Thranduil unwilling to teach adolescents to use weapons -- had he and Ninglor been better trained, they might have fared slightly better.

I also enjoyed the discussion about what it means to be Silvan and to love the forest. What Dolgailon isn't seeing is that there are many ways to love the forest, and he and Thranduil have different methods, but the same intensity. Thranduil came to the forest with a raw bleeding emotional wound, and he seems to have healed together with the forest so that it's part of him now.

Author Reply: Hi French Pony! I think you are seeing that training exactly as Thranduil is. A sort of, 'What are we doing here? Get them trained and get them out there.' And that is exactly what modern armies do and have done for about 300 years. For that matter, that is how pre-gunpowder armies worked as far as the average soldier went. When there was a major offensive, they just pulled those poor fools out of the fields and if they were lucky someone handed them a weapon before they marched them towards the enemy. And Thranduil is right to a large extent--adults who have been hunting for thousands of years would not need much training to use that bow. Ten years is way too long.

Dolgailon's looking at it from another point of view more centered around his generation--younger elves, barely of age, do not handle even their bows so skillfully yet. Especially under the pressure of battle--deer don't shoot back but orcs do and they are scary. And I doubt any of the Silvan elves handle swords particularly well since that is not a weapon they were known to have in abundance. I think Dolgailon is looking at the training from the point of view of a squire training for knighthood from his master--he is thinking of a more complete, overall training. There is more to being prepared for battle than knowing how to handle a hunting bow / understanding the basics of swordwork. There is having a grasp of self defense (hunting doesn't require that), tactics, command, etc...all the stuff he names. Kind of a 'the stuff you learn in fours years of ROTC vs the stuff you learn in six months of basic training.' And I figure elves live long enough that they have time to dedicate to training thoroughly.

But I still think Dolgailon's plan is a little idealistic and needs to be cut back as Thranduil pointed out. In other words, I wanted to leave some room to show the compromise they reach later. It will be more than Basic Training but less than what Dolgailon wants. I've been through the equivilent of 'Basic training.' It's pretty basic all right when you are getting shot at the first time. I think elves have time to do better than that. :)

I think it's interesting that you got the impression from that discussion that Mirkwood is truly deep in their slow defeat against Dol Guldur. I am not certain I intended to imply that but looking at the date here, I suppose they would be reaching that point. It is 1940. In 1975, Arnor falls, seemingly showing the rising strength of Sauron (of course, Angmar falls immediately too). In 1981, Khazad-dum releases the Balrog, Celeborn and Galadriel come to Lothlorien and things become even more dangerous in the neighborhood. I imagine things would be at their worst right before the Watchful Peace begins and that is only a little over 100 years off. So things are getting very heated I think. That is true.

I like your comments about training children and the memory of Ninglor. In the original version of that dialogue, Engwe pointed that out to Thranduil when they were arguing about "You were trained as a child..." but I cut it because I just couldn't see either Engwe or Thranduil casually arguing that. But it does play a role in Thranduil's final decision on this training program and again later when he has to decide if he's going to permit Legolas to take this training.

I also liked your comment about 'there are many ways to love the forest.' Exactly. Those two are arguing from completely different perspectives caused by their generation differences / life experiences. They are both right to some extent.

But yes, Thranduil finally decided to do the Deed. Thank heavens for that. :)

Thank you for the reviews, French Pony. :)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/27/2005

'Aradunnon laughed ruefully. “It is true, Dolgailon,” he admitted. “They could sing some songs that would probably shock you but I suggest you ask for a private audience. Your daernaneth does not like those songs.” '

What a moment of horror for a sober son.

What's worse - the male bonding of realising that your adar is the sort of elf about whom minstrels write scandalous songs? Or the filial horror of realising that your adar is the sort of elf about whom minstrels write scandalous songs?

Author Reply: *Big grin* I'm glad you liked that. I had so much fun including that. It was a last minute add when I was re-reading before posting. Originally, they just kind of went out to the lawn. Then I remembered Thranduil saying to Lindomiel once that the minstrels sang songs about Aradunnon and it just went down hill from there. I had a moment of fun and decided to include it. So I am very pleased you liked it. :)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/27/2005
I love it when Dolgailon suddenly realises that the voice of dissent came from his own mouth! And then feels horror as he is obliged to confront the holy terror that is Thranduil in full flight. However - his intervention has probably done more to get his uncle to think than almost anybody else could.

And Thranduil's cracked!!! He's broken!!!! He's had that one moment that, when allowed to hold sway, can never be changed! The infant is conceived!! Good thinking, Aran Thranduil. This is indeed the moment.

Poor Engwe. To lose both Ormeril and Ninglor - it's no wonder he's not terribly fond of dwarves. (Although he shouldn't generalise. Doriath actually met its final end at the hands of elves - and most of them are all right, aren't they, Engwe?)

And it's a pretty seminal moment for poor Thranduil, too. Maybe its memory will help him realise that a slower and very thorough training will actually do more to help elflings survive the threats of the forest - even if he would prefer to tuck them away safely to sing and dance in the woods.

Excellent council. Great flashback. And joyous ending!

Author Reply: Yes! I'm glad you liked poor Dolgailon's horror. :) I had fun with that whole scene. I enjoyed trying to imagine what it would be like to know someone as a beloved uncle, one you are fairly close to (a second father, of sorts), and then have to see that uncle in such a different light--a scary one. Poor Dolgailon. He really feels strongly about that training program but he's just not sure how the King's council works. I think he ended up handling it pretty well. :) I'm glad you liked that scene. My beta suggested cutting it pretty drastically but this is one I held out on and posted it my way. I think that turned out ok.

And yes, Thranduil finally took the irrevocable step! I am sure Lindomiel is relieved. :)

Poor Engwe, indeed. That is one of the things I intend to show here--the reason behind his crustiness, even if after all these years he should probably give it up a bit. I wrote this scene a long time ago trying to figure out who Thranduil was before I wrote the story as a whole. I thought if he was alive in Menegroth, he saw something--there is no way you could escape a fortress without seeing something. And I thought everyone there probably lost someone. So I had Thranduil lose a cousin. Then as Engwe took shape, I thought about how that must have affected him. Thus his deep seated hatred of dwarves. He definitely should not generalise but that is easier said than done for his personality. He does just lump all dwarves together. And, *grin*, I'm not sure Engwe would agree that most elves are alright, either. I don't think he loves the Noldor particularly for their part in the destruction of Doriath as you will also see. In fact, I'm not sure Engwe likes many things. Sad, really.

This whole chapter is indeed a very seminal moment for Thranduil. He does things that will have a major impact. More things than just conceive a child.

I'm so glad you liked this chapter. It is an important one and since I really ignored my beta's advice on it, I was worried about it. Thanks for the review!

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/26/2005
Ah Elliska! This end was so loving, so warming and so sweet! Wonderful!
Thranduil's nephew is trully a nice guy... serious but nice. I like him! The military discussion was very interesting, especially when the king expressed himself against training the 'elflings'. I like people's differents pov in this! The whole family stuff was trully sweet.
About the attack... wow that was very surprising. Even shocking! I didn't know Thranduil's cousin had died so young! I thought he had fallen with Oropher! But under those events... No wonder the king barely smiled. What a sad and shocking flashback. Thranduil's mother was very well detailed there... I could almost see her in front of me holding her son's wrists with strength...
His love for Lindomiel is so beautiful! I just love that scene he held her and said how much he loves her! Thank you so much for your update!

Author Reply: Yes, I love tender little moments for Thranduil and his wife too. Poor guy has been through a lot and he deserves them. :) And I really think he must have been a great husband and father who just fiercely loved his family.

I'm glad you thought the discussion of the military training was ok. It was one of the scenes my beta was strongly in favor of cutting significantly because she thought it seemed disproportionately heavily weighted in this chapter (almost 1/3 of the whole chapter to a discussion). But on this one, I put my foot down for two reasons: I wanted time to show a little of Dolgailon's personality and that scene was it and also, though it looks like a trivial point here, that training program is going to motivate some major plot points about forty years in the future of this story so I need to lay some ground work with it starting here. So it stayed.

And the attack on Menegroth--I'm glad it surprised and shocked you. I had implied in other chapters that Engwe's son and wife met a bad end but I'm glad it surprised you to see it here. You know how poor Thranduil felt seeing it. And Engwe. It would definitely leave an impression on them both. And I'm glad you said that about Dieneryn. I liked her in that scene too. I felt for her, desperately trying to keep Thranduil safe. That's why I had her strike down the dwarf's axe. Glad you liked it.

Thank you so much for the reviews!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 4 on 2/26/2005
Your description of the fall of Mengroth was gripping, Elliska. I also like your characterizations of Thranduil's family, especially the nephew.

Author Reply: I'm glad to hear the Menegroth scene was gripping. That particular memory will have significance a few times in this story as it goes along (I mean surely something like that would be a defining moment in your life if it happened to you and that is what this series is supposed to explore--Thranduil's defining moments). It was actually one of the first things I wrote when I was trying to decide what Thranduil was like and I decided he was probably alive for the various sacks of Menegroth. It's been re-written and stuck into a bunch of places but it finally ended up here for a number of reasons. Anyway, I'm glad it was gripping. That was definitely what I was going for.

And I'm glad you like Dolgailon. He will have an important role and I want people to get to know him (thus the time to show who he is).

Thanks for the review. Have fun with (or at least enjoy anticipating the completion of) your scholarly writing. Somehow I think doing that must seem really trying after writing so many fun pieces of fanfic.

And thanks so much for the reviews. They mean a lot.

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