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A Spring of Joy  by daw the minstrel 33 Review(s)
PSWReviewed Chapter: 2 on 11/1/2016
Hmm... Legolas might think he's jealous over Sinnarn and Tynd's relationship, but he would miss Nana Beliond crabbing at him all the time -- he wouldn't give it up... :-P

Author Reply: Probably! Though I personally would find Beliond hard to live with. But then Legolas is a hero, so he can manage. :-)

JoeeReviewed Chapter: 2 on 7/5/2005
When I first read who Sinnarn's new keeper was I got all confused. I read the name Tynd, but I was thinking of Tinar. This of course made no sense to me and I couldn't think of why anyone would make Tinar a keeper. When I finally realised my mistake I couldn't stop laughing.

I love how Beliond thinks that Legolas gets grumpy when he had to stay inside.

Nice chapter =)

Author Reply: All the T names run together, I know! I feel that way about some of Tolkien's names too: Finwe, Fingolfin, Finarfin, Finrod, Fingon. How did they ever remember who was who?

AliceReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/16/2005
So far this has been really nicely built up. You can feel the tension in the main characters. It's an interesting time period to cover. Poor elves, just when they thought it was safe too.

I love adult Sinnarn by the way. He's one of your more interesting characters. He's developed really nicely. It's so tempting to just create trickster sort of characters and leave them at that, but you go so much deeper-- into their motives, their fears, their dreams, etc. It makes your stories a lot more fun.

Oh! And I love how Legolas started the counting game with Sinnarn. That seems to fit really well into his character. Plus, it's a good sort of Uncle thing to do. Hee. I wonder how he first suggested it to Gimli.

So good chapter. There was a nice mix of action and tension in this story. This looks like it's shaping up to be one of your darker stories, despite the cheerful title. I love that by way. It's ironic. Sweet.

Author Reply: I like finding bits of canon that I haven't seen used much and trying to build a story around them. And this time when the Shadow returned to Mirkwood yet again is one of those bits.

Sinnarn has been interesting for me to work with too. I like thinking about what he's inherited from various family members. I can see his father's sharpness and his grandfather's cynicism.

I've also been trying to make sure that Fellowship Legolas is in sight here. The Legolas of my earlier stories is sometimes pretty earnest, but I think he's old enough to have some perspective now and play a little.

The title comes from near the end of The Hobbit, where Tolkien says that the Wood-elves were looking forward to a spring of joy after long winter.

rgbjReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/16/2005
I was so glad to see that Annael and Legolas got to work together. Solendil(sp?)Annael's father was the Captain of the Home Guard when Legolas and Annael were little, wasn't he? Now Legolas is all grown up and a Captain. Time does fly, even for elves. Oh, now Sinnarn and Emelin (sp?) are bound/married now. So Legolas and Annael are related. In such a small, closed off society everyone must be related to everyone else in some way or another. Like the hobbits and their love of very precise genealogies. We need the stories of Sinnarn's and Emelin's courtship and marriage and Loriel's birth. You know you want to. It is nice to think that you have so many stories to gift us with. I hope you never run out.
Legolas being cranky. I do think that the kettle is calling the pot black. I had a really great Shakespeare quote for this situation but I couldn't remember the middle part. I guess it is just too late for me to be up. Anyway it is nice that you portray Legolas as being fairly easy going and mellow. I know you have given him his moments, especially when he was younger, but to end up with all those different types of people and keep his cool in the future he has to be fairly even tempered.
I really enjoyed the image of those gorgeous elves haring off through the trees. Legolas reveling in spring and the peacefulness, for the most part, of the forest. With Beliond spitting mad, cursing and chasing after him. Poor Beliond still trying to keep up with his charge. Legolas has truly become his own elf.
Spiders and eggs. Well, so the forest isn't the easy going Eden it looks like right now. Nothing ever is. They may not need an army to kill orcs and protect them from the baddies at Dol Guldur but they still have things the Home Guard has to take care of. Dealing with men even isn't the easiest thing on Arda to do either.
I thought how unusual it is to have Sinnarn and Legolas together fighting. You would think they would be very careful to separate them. I know Eilian and Legolas were together for some time but that was so that Legolas could learn. I think Sinnarn is old enough and skilled enough now that he wouldn't need to be under uncle's watchful eye. Then I had a terrible thought. Now that the king has two heirs in waiting Legolas and Eilian are more expendable. Ouch. Also Sinnarn is bonded and could easily have a male elfling if one was needed. Well the reality of being royal.
Oh and thank you so much for the very intense images of Legolas dragging nasty spiders off to be burned. I really hate spiders and I really, really hate any of Ungoliant's offspring. I am scarred forever by PJ's Shelob. At least he didn't have her talk.
Legolas' musings on Tynd (I remember him) and Sinnarn's relationship was very interesting. I don't think Legolas would want to trade Beliond for anyone else now though. They have managed to forge a good common bond. Although Beliond will always be himself and no one else no matter how old Legolas gets to be. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
Poor Sinnarn lost his swan feathers. I remember when Legolas lost his peacock feathers. It was for a good cause though. I thought Legolas' attitude about cheating and his cheerful acceptance of winning was adorable though.
I'm so glad that Legolas and all the realm has had this down time to enjoy before things go bad again. The calm before the storm as it were. When we read the books it is so vague. You put a personality and a reality to what is skipped over by the good professor. Of course if he had written the definitive history of Middle Earth it wouldn't be done even now.
Now on the the good king. He really does have a way with the woodland realm doesn't he? And it is a good thing. The Dark Lord (this always makes me thinkg of Darth Vader) and his minions could easily blindside these elves if it weren't for the king and his family and their link with the woodland.
I always thought that while the "wise" were at it they should have destroyed Dol Guldur. Just because the main bad guy was gone didn't mean that other sundry bad guys wouldn't just move in and take over. Just like the "wise" let Isildur take off with that ring. Oh well if not we wouldn't have the story.
Poor Ithilden. I was glad the king told him that hope is never foolish. The king always knew that this would just be a break from evil. Evil was still there and would have to be dealt with one day. He was at Dagorlad after all. He saw the power the Dark Lord had and he knew that if the ring was found that this could all happen again. Poor elves knowing all these things and yet to be fairly powerless to do anything about it.
Here goes Eilian again. Into the breaches once more for his king and realm. I loved that Eilian and Celuwen waited a whole week. Yes she is stubborn, careful and cautious but she is besotted with Eilian and can probably never really say no about anything important. I am amazed that Loriel wasn't born at the stronghold. The king really has always done what is the best for his realm and people and his family. It is a hard task to keep all those irons in the fire at once.
Well, here go the poor wood elves again.

Author Reply: We need the stories of Sinnarn's and Emelin's courtship and marriage and Loriel's birth. You know you want to -- I do! I do! LOL. I've shown a little of Sinnarn and Emmelin together in "Tangled Web" but not much. I love the idea that Legolas and Annael are related now, and even more somehow that Annael is distantly related to the king. He deserves it.

I've become very conscious of the fact that we're getting close to the time of the Fellowship, so my Legolas needs to be like the one in the books. It's a little tough to be sure of much about that Legolas because Tolkien leaves him pretty vague, but we do know he teased Gandalf and went off "to find the sun" and we know that even in the middle of a battle, he could have a contest with Gimli. So I think he was a guy who could keep his head and laugh. The Legolas in my stories has been more driven sometimes when he's younger, so as he gets older, I've been trying to show him gaining a better balance.

Tolkien is like medieval and renaissance battle planners in that he didn't seem to feel the need to protect a ruler or his heir. Oropher and Thranduil were both at Dagorlad, for instance. I think they all just threw everything they had at whatever was threatening them.

I'm a kind of practical person myself, and the idea of hearing rumors from birds is one I always have to brace myself to accept! But Tolkien says it, so there you are. Thranduil must have been half expecting it. He's such a cynic.

I'm already regretting that I didn't Loriel born at the stronghold and then moving. I suppose if that becomes inconvenient, I can always change it later. :-)

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/15/2005
Legolas is so close to the Legolas of the Fellowship now, and it's amazing how everything that has happened to him in your series up until now has brought him to where he is now. It's interesting, though - we talk about how important it is for characters to change and grow, but sometimes it's a nice counterpooint to have a character who never seems to change - I mean Beliond, of course! He's such a wonderful, curmudgeony constant. I'd hate for him to change. I loved his growly exchange with Sinnarn:

Just behind Legolas, Sinnarn gave an incredulous laugh. “Are you saying that Legolas is the one who gets cranky?”

Beliond gave him a cool look. “What are you suggesting, Sinnarn?”

Sinnarn grinned and held up his hands, palms outward. “Not a thing. I have frequently noticed how bad-tempered Legolas is.”

The wagering on the body count was wonderful also, and what a nice foreshadowing of the Fellowship. Once again, Beliond gets the best line:

Sinnarn’s eyes narrowed. “Are you counting that last one?” he demanded.

“Yes, I am. My arrow was first.” Legolas grinned as Sinnarn spluttered.

“Nonsense,” said Beliond, coming up behind Legolas. “My arrow was first. Are you two going to count bodies or play games?”

Interesting that Tynd is Sinnarn's bodyguard. I liked the concept that he wouldn't take well to someone "nipping at his heels." Poor Legolas. As much as he has learned to endure Beliond and we all love the grumbly old codger, I bet he does wish he could do a simple thing like run through the trees without getting a lecture. But his banter with Beliond is as delightful as ever.

I liked Annael's sarcastic remark about Legolas not feeling the need to see what the troops were up to when it was freezing rain outside. RHIP, indeed!

It's sad to read about everyone being happy in the woods only to find that the Shadow is back again. Looks like Thranduil saw it coming, the crafty devil, but Eilian obviously didn't. I think about his dream and his wonderful life with his family and realize that going into peril when he has such dear hostages to fortune will be the hardest thing he's ever done.

Author Reply: I think you're right about Beliond. Minor characters sometimes need to stay the same. The poor reader can only deal with so much at once! I personally would not want to have spend all my work time with Beliond in the immediate vicinity, but I suppose Legolas has learned to tune him out some of the time.

YanicReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/13/2005
Oh that was lovely! I just love seeing Legolas so playful, it's a welcome change from the previous story (although I still liked that one!). I thought for sure he was going to do something rash during the spider-fight, like ride a spider. Lol. Although, on second thought it would be fitting with movie-Legolas, who has ridden a shield, a cave troll and a mû, it cracks me up just thinking about it, Beliond would have a cow! And speaking of keepers, boy was I pleasantly surprised that Tynd is Sinnarn's new keeper. I remember him from the other stories, and instead of replacing Nithron, he's more like a friend than a "keeper." Anyway, love the story so far can't wait to see what happens next!

Author Reply: I enjoyed the chance to write about happy Legolas for a change too. That last story really got me down toward the end because I was using Legolas as my POV character and I was trapped inside his angsty head.

I had to do some thinking about who Sinnarn's new keeper would be. I think a reviewer suggested Tynd, probably when I was writing "Tangled Web" and had killed Nithron. Was it Bodkin who suggested that? Maybe. Anyway, I tucked that idea away for future consideration. And it seemed to me that whoever suggested him was right -- adult Sinnarn would need someone different that newly-of-age Sinnarn needed. I'm glad you think it was a good idea.

LOTRFaithReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/13/2005
Sinnarn is married to who!?!? You are killing me Daw!! One surprise after the other... (sigh) And it only reminds me even more of your recent, very tragic story. Aie.. I am beginning to feel rather like Legolas (at least how he is in my mind right now.) My brother just purposed. One of my friends just got purposed to and a couple other friends just got married... (sigh) Poor Legolas... His betrothed happens to be well, dead. At least I don't have that plight... Great chapter... Looking forward to more...

Author Reply: Sinnarn was sweet on Emmelin, Annael's daughter, in "Tangled Web," which is the story that comes chronologically just before this one because it's about the Battle of Five Armies. And it turns out she was sweet on him back. :-)

So you have lots of engaged people in your life right now? That's fun! There'll be parties and good food.

nediethReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/13/2005
Sinnarn is married to Emmelin? Celuwen and Eilien have a daughter? Thranduil's family is muliplying like the little black ants in my bathroom! There is only one thing in the world that I am truely afraid of. Spiders. ugh, shiver, ugh. Such brave elves! I am glad you did not give Sinnarn another body guard like Maltanaur and Beliond, I only have room in my heart for a couple of tough softies! I am getting little clues to what might be the Main Plot, but I'm not quite sure. Update relatively soon! Nedieth, who hates little black ants.

Author Reply: I'm not quite sure what the Main Plot is here either! Tolkien left us two things going on at the same time, so I'm going to try to show them both. They're related, of course, because everything in Tolkien is.

Black ants, eh? I'm not fond of those in my house either. Outside, fine. Inside, not so good.

tigerlily713Reviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/13/2005
What a wonderful chapter! To see Legolas at peace for even a small time, with Sinnarn married and Eilian and Celuwen as parents! And then to add the twist of reality by burdening Thranduil and Ithilden with the trouble of the Darkness returning. I eagerly await another chapter! Lily

Author Reply: Thank you, Lily. I've been having a good time writing about Eilian and Legolas relaxed and living the way Wood-elves should live. What a pity it won't last, because, as you sya, reality is about to slap them in the face.

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 5/13/2005
Such a lovely start to this chapter you could feel the joy that Legolas felt as he entered the woods again and also sense the contentment he seems to have cultivated in the last dew years, taking pleasure in the everyday things and being able to enjoy the compnany of family and friends again
The spiders were an uncomfortable reminder of the shadow and a fortelling of what was to come during the conversation between Thranduil and Ithilden.
I hope Eilian brings his wife and daughter back to the stronghold when he goes south
As ever so many lovely flourishes, Beliond, Annael and Sinnarn with his new wife
Thranduil thankful for his eldest son's support and so clearly understanding the needs of his middle son
As the king I do not expect he gets much opportunity to go out into the forest yet he must need it as much as his sons
He has sacrificed so much for his family and realm what an elf!

Author Reply: I had a good time writing about Legolas and his buddies teasing one another and just enjoying being able to fly through the trees. I think that both Legolas and Eilian are living the way Wood-elves were meant to live right now. Too bad it won't last!

The other part I enjoyed writing was Thranduil's appraisals of both Ithilden and Eilian. He's a clever one! As you say, what an elf!

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