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Interrupted Journeys: Part 3 Journeys Begin  by elliska 6 Review(s)
lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/4/2005
What an exciting chapter! Babies and traitors and Thranduil in full rage! Oh, and an elven baby boom...oh, and Amglaur!!!! :-) What fun!

Let's see, I thoroughly enjoyed Thranduil's talk with Celonhael about he and his wife having another child (and the mural, too). The King showed himself a good friend and was totally honest about his own feelings of becoming a parent in such dangerous times. I thought it particularly interesting that Ollwen is past the Years of Children - and I'm with Ollwen; she's a wood elf and very strong, drawing some of her strength not only from her husband, but from the forest around her. So Amoneth is uncomfortable, is she? And the other ladies have 'circled the wagons' so to speak! :-)

Golwon's report on the villages = a very irate Elvenking. Off with their heads! (oops, sorry!) Then Aradunnon senses Amoneth's labor has begun and the fun really begins. The birth of the little elven general Galithil is great - including Engwe grabbing the baby from Thranduil! LOL I loved the mental picture that suggested! And silver hair - shades of Oropher indeed! I had to laugh at Thranduil encouraging Dolgailon to get into trouble with his little brother, the same way he and Aradunnon did when they were small.

Dolgailon and Arthiel and her parents - what a funny encounter...Dolgailon was trying so hard to be diplomatic, he blew any chance of quality alone time with his lady by practically agreeing with her father about the importance of art (when she wants to be a forester)! And the elfling boom - everyone has decided that if the King/Lindomiel are pregnant, then it must be the fashionable thing to do. Permission given by the King, after all!

Amglaur - he was such a pain in your previous stories, I see he hasn't changed much! He really knows how to push Thranduil's buttons! And to top that off, we have the interview/interrogation of the 2 leaders. I LOVED this - Thranduil is so smart - his questioning techniques flawless! And boy, was he HOT (angry!)!! I love the implied threat and can only hope the King will uncover the worst of the conspiracies before something bad happens.

Wonderful wonderful wonderful!!!!

linda

Author Reply: Yes all these babies are starting to make everyone else want babies. As Bodkin said--babies are infectious. :) Poor Ollwen and Celonhael. That is part of the story that can go two ways in the last chapter and I haven't decided what to do yet.

I think elves would just go goo goo over babies for some reason, so I had fun with that scene--especially having the normally gruff Engwe melt a little. Dolgailon would probably be a really good older brother or older cousin. But I think it will be his younger brother that causes trouble in Mirkwood. :)

Yes, Thranduil is not a happy elf when it comes to the Easterling situation and he works out a bit of his anger in that last scene. His threat is completely idle. But I think he was angry enough to have fun making it. :) I admit I kinda like Angry!Thranduil.

Yeah, Dolgailon just didn't learn last time when she explicitly told him that he was supposed to be on her side, did he? :) No holding hands by the river for him tonight.

Assuming the next chapter doesn't change too much, Amglaur will be back in it to push Thranduil's buttons some more.

Thank you so much for all these reviews! They really made my day! It probably shouldn't be, but I am always so much more inspired to work on the next chapter after answering reviews. Part of it is just that it's nice to see the reviews, I am sure. But part of it too is that reviews get me thinking about what people are seeing and what I want them to see so I'm 'in gear' to think about the next chapter. Thanks again. :)

BrazgirlReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/4/2005
May I tell you it was a delightful chapter Elliska? A wonderful reading, very fluent... a delightful thing, indeed. I am so glad I follow this story, you have no idea. All that baby talk brought good memories to me. The little changes you are making in Thranduil's mood are so nice! I love the way he treats Lindomiel and his nephew. I love when he hits the table and startle his brother! That was so real for me, somthing I imagine him doing so! I hope to read more from Amglaur and Thranduil... I miss their quarrel! And talking about our favorite king, he will be kind of shocked when his nephew tells him people are conceiving because of him... hum... there is a difficult point for him. No creepy elves in the end but bad-mood Thranduil. I like it ;-)
Anyway, thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us Elliska!

Author Reply: Hi Brazgirl! I'm glad you liked the chapter. I like playing with Thranduil's mood. He must have a rough life with all his responsibilities but also a happy one because he has a loving family, so there is a lot to work with there. But I admit I get a kick out of him when he's angry (as long as his anger isn't directed at me!).

If the next chapter gets posted without too many changes, you will see some of Amglaur and Thranduil's interaction. They are just not friends! And also the creepy elves make another appearance.

Thank you so much for reviewing. I really love seeing what people think of each chapter and I appreciate so much people taking the time to review.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/3/2005
The conversation between Thranduil and Celonhael was nicely done. You captured Celonhael's anguish over desiring a child and knowing that desire is not particularly practical. But then, matters of the heart often aren't. I felt for him...and his wife...being surrounded by all the happy parents and parents to be. I like Thranduil's question to him about whether he would have had his first son even if he knew that he would lose him. Weighing the natural desires of the heart against the dark times they lived in made for a thought provoking scene. I really liked this scene.

I also found it interesting that other babies were on the way soon after the royal couple announced that they were expecting. Legolas will have lots of playmates! I was startled that Arthiel's parents are expecting too. That's sort of like finding out that your parents...do it.

Thranduil handled the village leaders beautifully. Boy, he had them shaking in their boots. I loved the way you portrayed Thranduil in this scene. He was strong, in control and very menacing. Not an elf to cross. And it didn't bother him a bit for the two elf leaders to think that he would execute them. Smart cookie.

I also liked the part during the council meeting when Aradunnon senses Amoneth's labor. Nicely played. Everyone went from serious to joyous.

And the sweet baby. Ah... I loved it when gruff old Engwe turned to mush. I bet Legolas wraps him around his little finger.

Wonderful chapter, elliska. I enjoyed every word of it. You continue to weave this story so well that I feel like I'm on a 'happy' ride. I'm looking forward to more.

Karen

Author Reply: Hi Karen!

First things first: That's sort of like finding out that your parents...do it.--That just cracked me up! I'm still giggling. Thanks!

I'm glad you liked the conversation with Celonhael. That part was in and out literally 50 times as a re-wrote this chapter the last week. It used to have a flashback in it to Celonhael's son's death and Oropher's but I decided to save that flashback for later. Then I thought about taking the whole scene out. But I left it because it kind of sums up some emotional things. I'm glad it was thought provoking regarding "desires of the heart vs dark times" because that is exactly the theme here but I can never tell if it comes across. :)

Yes, Legolas needs some playmates. I like everyone to have a lot of friends. Can't help it. :)

I think elven babies would just be able to rule the lives of the adults around them. LaCE says children are precious to elves and they could not be all that common either (else there would be way too many elves--they are immortal). So I think they would just dote on them.

Yeap, Thranduil was tough in that last scene. His advisors all have a little of the info. Celonhael knows they were followed out of Dale, but he doesn't know what was said during the Men's trial. Golwon knows he was sent off to question village leaders because of some Mannish accusation (which he probably thinks Thranduil doesn't trust) but he doesn't know Men tried to capture the Queen. Engwe knows Thranduil has been analyzing the invasions of the Easterlings (since Thranduil mentioned he did that with Engwe), but he doesn't know about the Men's accusations or that Men tried to capture Lindomiel. Dolgailon and Hallion are the only people other than Thranduil that have the whole picture. And Thranduil is no fool He knows the whole picture is scary. He wants to know what's behind it and he's willing to play some hardball to get his information. He's going to take this very seriously. But this is going to be a hard nut to crack.

Thanks so much for the reviews! Since I know the whole story (and so does my beta), it is very hard for me to measure how this is coming across. I really appreciate the feedback. It makes a big difference.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/3/2005
Great! I just got home from a quick trip to see my son and I found this. You do a really nice job of mixing family concerns and the problems of a realm under shadow. Thranduil is very impressive in his dealings with the village leaders but I am worried about that "unjust" remark. Maybe Dolwon needs to see Thranduil in action in court.

Author Reply: I hope you had a fun trip! And I appreciate you taking the time to read as you are trying to get everything settled for the workweek to begin tomorrow. Sunday nights are always busy for me.

I'm glad it seemed like a good mix. This chapter has been 'remixed' more times this week than I can count. :) The unjust remark is scary. Thranduil sees it as a sign that these people are up to more than they are admitting (and he is correct about that) but he may not be taking it seriously enough. But Dolwon and Dannenion are going to have plenty of time in the capital to see Thranduil in action. They are in for a nice long stay.

Thanks so much for taking the time to review. It means a lot!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/3/2005
Great chapter.

Baby production is definitely as infectious as measles. Amoneth should look at what she has started here - and either pat herself on the back / feel horrified, depending on the outcomes. Celonhael is right to be concerned - it sounds as if he and Ollwen are no spring chickens. I hope they check the possibilities with a healer specialising in older mothers before deciding to go ahead.

It was good to hear more of their families - and to hear Duinion and Ninglor spoken of shortly after their deaths might have been painful, but by this time it is probably good for their parents to hear them spoken of fondly and know that they are not forgotten.

I loved the distant Aradunnon unable to keep his attention on the council meeting - I'm glad that imminent fatherhood was a good enough excuse to divert his brother's wrath. And that Dieneryn dragged him from the meeting to attend his wife. (And that Thranduil kept his mind on the job and sent warriors to keep an eye on Dolwon and Dannenion and their villages.)

(Celonhael doesn't stand a chance of resisting his wife's pleas now that the little one has appeared.)

Dolgailon is dealing well with brotherhood - although he seems a little disconcerted at the dive of all the elves around him into parenthood. (I hope a fair number of them are planning on producing female babies or they're going to have a very skewed population.) And, like it or not, Crithad father of Arthiel, young elves are going to have to grow up to be warriors - that or die - they are going to have little choice in the matter.

Rather entertaining to see Amglaur arrive and watch Thranduil totting up the number of days remaining to Lindomiel's pregnancy - and think how long he might want to stay after the infant arrives. I just hope Thranduil and Lindomiel still manage to sneak away and spend quality time painting the nursery.

And back to business - a good bit of intimidating there, Thranduil. You managed to impress Dolwon and Dannenion - but they've been exposed to an insidious poison for a long time, and you're nowhere near the (what did FP call her) long-necked waterbird of sable plumage? Get ferreting, my lord king, if you want to protect your extended family.

Looking forward to more.

Author Reply: Yes, I think when you see all your relatives with their precious little ones it is hard to resist yourself. And that is exactly what is happening here. Poor Celonhael. He was having trouble resisting before. Galithil really pushed him over the edge. But I think it would have to be a difficult thing to consider at their age.

I had fun making Aradunnon a bit of a flustered adar. And I have a lot of fun with Amglaur in the next chapter (I suspect Thranduil will be doing a lot of sneaking off in his own realm--poor guy). And I do think Dolgailon will make a good brother, even for his cousins. In truth though, I had a lot of trouble nailing down all the family reactions/emotions to all the new children. There was a lot going on here and it was tough to juggle.

Thranduil has a good deal of ferreting to do and you are quite right about the nasty influences he has to try to overcome. Thranduil is indeed no where near the Black Swan's league in that arena. She has some things working in her favor that Thranduil would never use even if he had them. As you will see.

Thank you so much for the reviews. This chapter and the next one stressed me out so the reviews mean especially a lot to me. :)

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 7 on 4/3/2005
What really stood out for me in this chapter was the complexity of all the personalities that you show. The debates about the proper time to have children struck me as very real, especially in the tentative ways in which the participants talked. Sometimes they addressed the subject, sometimes they talked around it. And there was always the sense that there were events they weren't talking about which nevertheless informed their conversation in significant ways. Discussions about Amoneth's baby stand in for discussions about children killed at Dagorlad. It's very much the way real people talk, but it's so hard to capture in writing because so many of the cues are nonverbal. You really pulled it off, and I think it resulted in some of the best writing I've seen from you.

I also enjoyed the messiness of things. Babies don't quite come on time, expectant fathers get anxious and distracted -- but nevertheless, life goes on. The world does not take a break just so that a new baby can be born, and families must find ways to integrate birth and business.

Dolgailon took the birth of his brother very philosophically, I thought. He does not seem to mind having been dethroned. Or else it hasn't quite sunk in yet. But he's an adult, so he's probably more able to see the fun in a new baby than a kid who just sees competition for parental attention.

And the Elves are having a baby boom! Legolas will have lots of little playmates. It also looks like he'll be among the oldest of his cohort, so he'll have just that little bit of natural advantage. It'll really turn him into a leader.

Thranduil and the village leaders was a wonderful scene. He just played them like a flute. He's clearly done his homework, and he never gave up control of the situation for an instant. And he played the execution angle just convincingly enough. He's really learned the art of Kingship well, and he's at the top of his game. In five months, he'll be absolutely at the end of his rope as he realizes that he'll have to learn a whole new art of leadership.

Author Reply: Wow, FP, I am so happy. This chapter was a challenge to me for a variety of reasons. I have completely re-written it more times this week than I can tell you and I was really worried about it. I was going for exactly what you described so I am very glad it came off ok.

I also enjoyed the messiness of poor Aradunnon's experience. There were just so many suprises for him. It's a good thing that he is easy-going so he can bounce back. :)

Dolgailon is doing well now. It's easy to do well for the first three days as a sibling. His challenges are ahead of him. :) But I think he's ok with being a brother. He is secure in his place in the world. For now.

And I am so glad the scene with the village leaders seemed good to you. I really like that scene. I think Thranduil had complete control there and I'm glad you could see that. But you are exactly right--his world will turn up-side-down when he becomes a father. And I find that so much fun to contemplate. :)

Thanks so much for the review! As I said, this chapter stressed me out so I was so happy to see it turned out ok.

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