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Interrupted Journeys: Part 3 Journeys Begin  by elliska 5 Review(s)
BodkinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/13/2005
Thranduil doesn't stand a chance. Whatever he might think, he is now surrounded by elfling-worshippers. Try crying, Lindomiel - not in front of him: too obvious. Let him catch you in the aftermath of distress, stop eating, become pale and shadowed. This is not something you will be able to argue him into by the use of logic. Begetting infants is an emotional thing. If we were being sensible, we would never have them - they are hostages to a fortune over which we have very little (in Thranduil's case) to no (in the case of most other people) control. They are expensive, demanding, exhausting and, at times, quite frightening - and Amoneth is right, once you have them you would never change a thing.

Dale was lovely - as was the response of the Men to the Elves - especially Lindomiel. It's odd to think how a visit that was a few years back to an Elf, turns into a 10 generations ago job to a Man. It must make it almost impossible for Men/Elves to interact on any real level. The Elves are always the same (I had this argument with your great-great-great-great-grandfather and we decided this . . .) and the Men are always learning from scratch how to react to the Elves.

Fengel was pretty accepting about Dolgailon's infraction. And his demands quite modest, really. I hope his subjects don't get miffed about Men being condemned for treason on the word of Elves - but I somehow suspect that they might.

And Dolgailon is going to be a brother! Those age gaps are quite ridiculous, really - but what is the hurry in producing elflings when you have plenty of time? It seems fine from the parents point of view, but the elflings must all grow up as only children - and, given that other parents do the same, there must be few others around for the kids to play with. Which does make it a good idea to seize on the presence of two cousins as a good moment to have that elfling, Thranduil.

You made me feel sorry for Engwe, here. I hope he is reunited with his wife and child in Aman - and becomes rather less crusty as a result.

Look forward to watching Lindomiel's campaign. Even though I worry about her.

Author Reply: No, you are right--Thranduil is on desparate ground now. Poor thing. And children must be the most emotionally taxing experience on earth. And the most satisfying. But you must have them to understand that, I think. :)

I completely agree with you on both of your observations about Elves interacting with Men and Elf siblings growing up so separated in years. Both of those results of Elven 'immortality' have always interested me and I've always thought there was potential in them for fun.

Things are not entirely over between Thranduil/Dolgailon and the Men. But like in all of these stories, there is one plotline that has various outcomes written. The Mannish situation is the one in this story and I am completely undecided at the moment how I will let it go. So I can't comment on that except to say, you're right. I can't imagine Men would like Elven testimony very much and there are many other things that could complicate it as well.

And Engwe's story is a sad one. You will see more of it in the next three chapters. I wrote a lot of that stuff just as character back story to get into their heads a little and then I decided to include some of it here when I was editing this story at Christmas time for posting (putting this stuff in is what inspired that comment I made about the First Age young Thranduil story that I made a while back. That is almost ready for posting, btw. It was easy to write because I had already decided what happens and had written some of it in outline as part of character sketches). I thought it might be nice for people to understand why Engwe, for example, is how he is.

And the second to last story in this little series puts us in Aman. I made myself bawl like a baby writing it. But I love the way it turned out. I think you will like it too because I remember you saying in a review reply once that you liked happy ending for these characters in the end. It is a very happy little story. Emotional but ultimately happy.

Anyway, thanks so much for the review!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/12/2005
The meeting in Dale went better than it might have, so that's good. And the arrival of Aradunnon and Amoneth in the capital was a nice surprise. The discussion about when to have children was interesting. It's one of the issues in Tolkien that seems to provoke a lot of debate. I've had reviewers take me to task for showing so many children in Mirkwood. But if one waited to have children until they would be completely safe, then no one could ever have them. It's one of the scariest things about parenthood.

Author Reply: Hi Daw! Yes, the meeting in Dale went ok. It definitely could have been worse but I really do think that the Lord of Dale would understand the how such a thing would happen. Though I just stopped to think how Thranduil would have reacted if the situation had been reversed and I'm am not certain he would have been as charitable. :) I had written the part with the toll negotiation too but it started to drag so I cut it. I liked showing Lindomiel at work but it just made that part of the chapter too long and it didn't actually contain anything that moved the plot at all. And I am happy to have Aradunnon and Amoneth back in the stronghold. It will be good for Thranduil. :)

The children thing makes me think a little too. You wonder how many children there would be at any one time in a community of elves (any community, not just Mirkwood). And then when you remember we are in Mirkwood here and take into account what LaCE says about elves having children in times of peace if they can..... You wonder what it would be like indeed. On the other hand, even just before the War of the Ring the territory around Thranduil's stronghold is supposed to be still wholesome, so maybe the elves living there would still be willing to have children. And I see the woodelves as being a little defiant in that respect. A sort of 'damned if I'll let anything stop me' attitude. And, when it come right down to it, as you said, there is never a 'perfect' time or 'perfect' peace. If you want children, you have to have them.

Bottom line about that for me in this story is this--when I was writing this part, I decided I wanted to know a little more about how I pictured Oropher and Thranduil's relationship to get my head around how Thranduil might be as a parent. I was also curious what Thranduil might see of himself, his father and his other family in his son. So, I wrote a little outline of Thranduil's childhood. That was when I decided he was 40 when Elu Thingol died and that sort of thing. I wrote sketches of a few things just as a character exercise. But when that was done I realized some of the things I decided about his background would color his attitude towards having children in this particular time in Mirkwood's history and some of the events that come up in future parts of the story that I had already written before I went back to write Legolas's birth. So... I decided to show him reflecting on those concerns as he and Lindomiel prepare to have children.

As for there being a good number of children in Mirkwood around the time Legolas is born (in anyone's story), that is something that I can easily accept. It was very common in Medieval times for there to be population explosions when the King and Queen were having children. Maybe elves would react similarly. And there are a lot of elves in Mirkwood. Surely some would be young and having children to brighten their lives.

Those are my thoughts on the children thing. It is interesting to think about and I guess since this is the story where Legolas is born, here is the place for them. :)

Thanks for the review!

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/12/2005
Elliska that was a lovely chapter. Sad in the end, but lovely. Your flashbacks are so enchanting! The elves' visit to the mannish city was very interesting, especially the king's reaction to Lindomiel.
You portrait Thranduil's struggle to have a child so well. And I get his reasons and his concerns for I also have my owns. And people talk so much of babies in front of him! That seems unnerving to the elf.
His uncle's story is so, so sad. I always wondered about his family and you granted me with those sad pharagraphs. It was so sad but well developed. As always ;-)
I loved Thranduil's brother decision to have a child and to move to the capital. Lindomiel will be delighted to have her friend close to her and pressuring her husband to give her a child of their own. Your plot is wonderful. But I feel you will kill someone I like very much in the end... I read the summary... Willing to read another update!!!

Author Reply: Hi Brazgirl! Thanks. Glad you liked it. I'm glad you are enjoying the flashbacks. They are 'warm and fuzzy' like this for a few more chapters but get a little more serious as Thranduil gets older in them. You will get the details of what happened to Engwe's family in upcoming flashbacks.

I am happy to have Amoneth and Aradunnon in the stronghold too. Lindomiel and Dolgailon will both be surprised and thrilled, I think. :) And it will not hurt Lindomiel's campaign to persuade Thranduil to have a child that they are there.

That summary...could mean a lot of things. Hmmm. :) I will continue to let you worry.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/12/2005
Oh, and one more thing. Your dictionary was correct. A gamelan is an Indonesian percussion orchestra. There are two main styles, Javanese and Balinese. We have a Javanese gamelan at school, and I've been playing in it since I arrived. It's fun. There's an instrument to suit any mood, from the tinkly bonangs to the big gong that goes BWOM when you hit it.

Author Reply: Too cool. You have so many cool interests. I think I like the idea of that gong. I love gongs. SOund wierd, I know. But I have always liked the sound they make, big or little. :) Thanks for continuing my education. :)

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 2 on 2/12/2005
So I'm guessing that either the Dwarves or the Sons of FŽanor happened to Ninglor and Ormeril? Of course, the Last Alliance could have happened to Ninglor and Ormeril could have died of grief, since Thranduil saw Ninglor die. . . Anyway, Engwe does sound like an Elf who's just a teeny bit jealous of his nephews for growing up and being able to have children of their own. I've forgotten, though. . . whose brother is he? Oropher's or Dieneryn's? I guess it doesn't matter at this stage of the game. If you're lucky, siblings-in-law can grow into almost real siblings.

Speaking of siblings, Dolgailon is going to have quite the surprise when he returns home from Dale, isn't he? Last he heard from them, Aradunnon was ticked at him. And now they're here, with open arms and news of a new baby. I've always wondered how Elves deal with being a couple of hundred years old before a new baby comes along. It must make the sibling rivalry a very different beast indeed from the way we would normally think about it.

Thranduil is crumbling, slowly but surely. I think, ultimately, it'll be the bit about his potential kid having a cousin near his own age that will get him in the end. He seems to have been pretty close to Ninglor, and he also seems like the type to want the best of what he had in life for his own sprog. And since a peaceful childhood probably won't be happening any time soon, well, a cousin to play with will have to suffice.

I had expected someone to put up a fuss about Elves testifying in a court of Men, but was glad to see that everyone was cool about that. And King Fengel (that name sounds suspiciously Rohirric) is a good guy. I loved the way he placed himself as Dolgailon's ally under the Scrutiny Of Thranduil (thunderclap). Like two kids who are afraid of the teacher.

Author Reply: You will not have to guess for long. You will see what happens to Engwe's family in an upcoming flashback. He is Oropher's brother and yes, I think he is a little jealous/meloncholy about the whole thing. I intend this little backstory to explain some of his hardnosed character.

Yes, Dolgailon is in for quite a surprise. I laughed a bit at the way you phrased that. You hit his reaction right on the nose as you will see in the next chapter. So right on the nose (along with another comment that you made in this review) that I had to go see if that chapter and the one after it were viewable since most of the chapters of this fic are already uploaded. :)

I agree that interacting with a sibling that was completely an adult would be a very odd thing. What is that relationship like? That is one of the things that interests me about elves.

And yes, Fengel is Rohirric so you get an A on the languages of Middle Earth quiz for the day. I forget where I got that name but I think I remember that it means 'noble' or something that lead me to give it to the Lord of Dale. I have a lot of trouble with Mannish names. But I figured that this early in the game the men still east of Mirkwood would not be too different from their brothers that moved west of Mirkwood and will eventually become the Rohirrim so...

I couldn't resist Fengel's reaction to Thranduil and him figuring Dolgailon out enough to know that he was nervous of his uncle's wrath as well. As for the fuss over the Easterlings, it is over yet and it is the one part of this I am not entirely finished editing yet, so I think I will say no more until I am certain of exactly where that will go.

Thanks for the review!

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