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Home for Now  by daw the minstrel 108 Review(s)
Asms2Reviewed Chapter: 4 on 6/11/2016
There were a lot of really well done moments in this story:

-Eilian riding away from his family: “He tucked the look of them deep into his heart and rode away” – what a great way to describe this scene! I felt for them as I read it.

-Beliond learning about events in the palace from Loriel “Well, well. Thranduil cheated at chess, and Ithilden slipped on spilled wine and pulled a groin muscle. How interesting.”

-Ithilden struggling with the loss of his son and reflecting: “She had meant for him to snatch their son from danger, had utter faith that he could do it. More fool she.” – Aw, poor Ithilden! I feel for him in that garden scene.

- Legolas seeking out his father: “Legolas shrugged. “I have no family. I can be away if necessary.” “You do have family,” Thranduil said more sharply than he meant to. “Never think your absence would not be felt.” --You tell him Thranduil!! That line was just great. I wanted to reach into the story and hug Thranduil myself.

-Thranduil wondering if Eilian had argued to go on the mission for more reasons than just wanting adventure...That perhaps he thought it would make Thranduil happy.

-Eilian spilling the beans that Legolas was in the original plans to send on the mission – he had to know that would get a reaction. Or maybe he thought Legolas knew?

- And with everyone wanting to talk to him about something Thranduil ends with “Perhaps he should have gone to Mt. Doom himself. Perhaps he should go now.” –hahaha! What a great line to end it with.

Author Reply: I didn't have a through line for this as a connected story, but I wanted to write about bits of Loriel's life in the stronghold, or really the life of those around her. So I'm glad you see good moments because moments are really all there is.

I felt for Ithilden too. He was in such pain, and he's not a guy who opens up easily about his own needs. He's lucky he has Alfirin to love and comfort him--when he lets her.

Beliond and Loriel was a combination I couldn't resist. He has no experience with a little girl and she lives with several intimidating men so she's not fazed at all when he orders her to "move it!"

I figure Eilian thought Legolas knew he was the one meant to go east. He apparently missed the memo that Legolas is always the last one to know anything. :-)

Thanks for the review, Asms2.

endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 4 on 12/5/2013
Like a tree's branches, there are so many wonderful beginnings to even more stories in this one, Daw! It has felt like a long time to me since we read about the family in such an intimate way. I LOVE when you treat us to some of that! I like the idea of pulling Eilian back from his duties in favour of remaining with his family until Loriel is grown. In elf years, that will be a short span indeed and, strangely enough for me, I rather favour giving this brave warrior as many moments of joy with his family as can be found. (I have to admit, Eilian's character has grown on me!)

As for Loriel, I am totally smitten! What a wonderful child! Out of the mouths of babes, indeed! I roared at her innocent 'slips of the tongue'. Trust Beliond to take pleasure in speaking with Thranduil about his 'cheating' and who's to say she wasn't just the right influence to sort out Ithilden and Alfirin? It's the special wonder of children, isn't it, this ability to spread magic wherever they go... :-)

You’ve done a great job of weaving many signs of hope into these short pages! Despite the growing upheaval, Ithilden and Alfirin bravely undertake having another child (I stand with Thranduil in being grateful that you gave Ithilden a daughter this time), Calith and Nithien have just had a son (a good, solid warrior for the realm if Anolad's comments are to be trusted), and then there is the beckoning betrothal of Anolad and Haviel (and the promise it holds of yet more elflings in the not too distant future.)

Who could read this collection of beautifully integrated vignettes and not take tremendous pleasure from them? If nothing else, they are perfect illustration of the 'moments of joy' we've been reminded to savour the entire way through this series!

Author Reply: Oh see, I thought you'd be so stricken by Ithilden's grief in the garden (when Loriel runs up and he thinks it's Sinnarn) that it would be the first thing you commented on. Poor guy. He's so restrained that when he's overcome with emotion, it's doubly terrible.

And Loriel and Beliond are such an irresistable combination. She's not intimidated at all. But then, she lives with Thranduil and Ithilden, so intimidating males don't faze her. Nor do mice and spiders. She's going to give her poor parents a run for their money. Ada better stay home and help.

amokehReviewed Chapter: 4 on 9/8/2010
daw, I always love your stories about Legolas. In fact, I re-read the entire series annually. Well, I was just re-reading them through again when I realized that this story was yet unfinished. Do you have any plan to continue it? I, for one, would love to meet Legolas' new niece and see Solith get a well-deserved comeuppance! You've created such a wonderful cast of characters - I hate to see them fade away without resolutions to their storylines. :) At any rate, thank you for being such a wonderful author, and I've enjoyed losing myself in your version of Tolkienverse. :D

Author Reply: Bless you for your kind words, Amokeh!

I've been neglecting Thranduil's family because I've been working on original fiction, but I do miss them sometimes, so I don't rule out writing more. It's just been off my radar for a while.

I did write these notes the other day:

Elves live as long as Arda lasts, which means Thranduil's family is still around. They've left Middle-earth and live in Valinor.

Thranduil had been reunited with Lorellin and made whole. He rules the people of the Greenwood, who largely live simply in the woods.

Ithilden and Alfirin live with their daughter, who's courting, much to Ithilden's dismay. Sinnarn and Emmelin live nearby. They have a little boy, who's a dreamer. He likes to lie in the meadow and watch the clouds. For reasons unknown, Gandalf is interested in him, seeks him out, sits by his side and smokes while the boy talks.

Eilian and Celuwen live in a cottage, and lie in bed at night, her head on his shoulder, as they watch the stars out their window. Their daughter, Loriel, married the wildest young elf she could find. They disappear into the deep woods for weeks on end.

Legolas married Tuilinn. Their son plays with Annael's grandson and Turgon's daughter. Legolas is happy, but he also waits for the end of Arda and wonders whether he'll see those he loves who've gone beyond the circles of the world.

Maltanaur trains the young in archery. Beliond grouses about how annoying children are, but every time he comes to visit, he brings one or another of his grandchildren.


I know that's a minimal effort, but it's about what I have in me at the moment.

daw

obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/8/2008
So, Eilian seems to be growing up. I'm looking forward to Celuwen speaking to Thranduil and Solith together. Should be interesting.

I think they need a family meeting, where everyone can say how they really feel. It seems there is a lot assuming and "protecting" going on that nobody really wants.

I wanted to strangle Solith. In some ways he reminds me of my father. But I would never agree to move back in with my parents... What was Celuwen thinking?

Author Reply: The idea of moving in with my parents makes me break into a cold sweat.

Ahem. Tolkien says elves were organized into Houses, and you see the way families were political alliances in the Sons of Feanor, for instance. So it's possible they didn't think about family in the same way we do. We take it for granted people grow up and move away, but maybe they didn't.

Still, it's hard to imagine.

Thanks for the review, obsidianj.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/3/2008
This is a review of the story since I printed it out and read it all at one sitting... and then discovered I had not read 'A Spring For Joy' and had to read that before I reviewed this....... *heavy sigh* Sometimes, dearest daw, it is not easy reading your tales...

I loved Loriel in that story and find her more enchanting in this one. I loved the fact that Celuwen holds more sway over Eilian than even Thranduil. I had to 'oh my!' when Loriel ticks off the reasons why she is not too happy living at the stronghold. I loved how Eilian swayed Loriel from her need to be away by showing her his own toys. Delightful moment between the two and the 'spider-less' chest! I howled at the term, 'Uncle Legolas's Nana' - poor Beliond. I was grateful to find Celuwen embracing Eilian when he finally returned home.

There is a beautiful quality to your writing - though your tales are hard to read (i.e., Sinnarn's death) - but it is in the little details that bring me to fully participate in the life of Thrnanduil and his family.

Thank you for continuing to share this gift with your readers. I look forward (with hope) to the rest of this tale.

Author Reply: Thanks, Agape.

It must have been hard for Loriel to adjust to living in a cave. She'd had an idyllic babyhood for a wood-elf, and now she's stuck with no window. Poor thing. But Sinnarn's death scared them all. No way she's staying in that village.

Celuwen and Loriel are the emotional center of Eilian's life now, which is good for him. He can mend his relationship with his father with less pressure. He needs the kind of love he gets from his uncritical child and sometimes critical wife.

Uncle Legolas's Nana didn't scare Loriel a bit. She's lives with powerful males who jump to her every wish! :-)

NoorReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/2/2008
Daw,

Thank you so much for this chapter - there seems to be hope following grief in the royal household.
I had wondered in the past whether Ithilden and Alfirin would have any more elflings.....so was really pleased with chapter 3.

A beautifully written story and I hope we all get to meet Loriel's cousin.

Noor

Author Reply: I hope we all get to meet Loriel's cousin too! Though I'm sort of holding my head at having to deal with more OCs. Still it was a pleasure to give Alfirin and Ithilden another child.

Glad you liked it, Noor.

ponypetterReviewed Chapter: 4 on 4/1/2008
I'm behind on reading on this site, but I got a notification on your new chapter, so HAD to just put aside real life to review because I loved this chapter. The jealousy Thranduil feels over Loriel's relationship with "the other grandfather" is priceless. And I loved the argument between him and Loriel about whether living in the trees or in the caves is safer. Thranduil must feel like he is beating his head against a brick wall at times. Loriel's opinions about living in the trees are actively encouraged by her mother, and at least passively encouraged by Eilian.

Author Reply: It must have about killed Thranduil to let Loriel be born and live the first 10 years of her life in the village with her other grandparents and so far from him. Even now, Solith can take her fishing and lives in a tree house. How cool is that from Loriel's POV?

I suspect Eilian would like to live in a tree too. But then, wouldn't they all?

I'm glad you liked it, ponypetter. Thank you for telling me.

DotReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/31/2008
This was such fun! For me, anyway, though most of your characters seem to be having a rough day. Especially Thranduil, who can’t seem to do a thing right, despite, well, trying to do everything right.

So Alfirin and Ithilden are having a girl? My heart went out to Thranduil as he thinks about how that means she’ll at least be saved a warrior’s death. That’s such a sad indication of how bad things are. Still, I’m glad to see that Alfirin seems content. It was clearly the right decision for them. Even Ithilden seems pretty relaxed. Though I’m still not sure how I feel about them having another child. Good lord, I think I’m jealous.

"When I was little, I lived in my house, and I could hear the trees through my window. Grandfather said they were singing to me, and we made up a song and played it on our whistles." Oh, ouch. Just what Thranduil needed to hear. It must be hard to hear how people long for the little things when all of his energy is going into trying to ensure the safety of the whole realm. It’s a sweet picture of a moment shared with Solith, though. It almost makes me understand that he just misses her. Almost.

Eilian and Maltanaur have been gone six months?? No wonder Celuwen is on edge. And I bet Eilian won’t be too thrilled to realise his little girl feels she has to protect her mother.

That house in the trees sounds amazing! I want one. Or maybe I’ll wait for Nilmandra to build hers and invite myself over to play.

Alright, let me at Solith and I’ll smack him over the head with that slate. I realise that he wants his daughter and granddaughter near him but it’s the way he goes about it! He just can’t help it with the snide comments and manipulating Celuwen by tempting her daughter with what she wants.

She was living the life she had feared too. Ack. That’s so sad. Come home, Eilian. Hmm. But you know, Celuwen’s hardly the only one in Mirkwood living a different life than she hoped for right now. Still, she should probably grab all the chances she can do what she wants.

The few times he had tried to interfere had all related to her safety, and all met with spectacular lack of success. LOL!! Sorry, that amused me no end, despite the serious moment. And it was interesting to see Thranduil’s thoughts on Lorellin. He might have saved her but she’d have been one unhappy lady to be so restricted.

I have to say, I think it’s a pretty good idea for them to stay with Celuwen’s parents when Eilian is missing for longer than a week or so. Especially since they’re so near now. And Loriel does need someone who can play music with her and teach her to fish. But Celuwen needs to do it for the right reasons and not rush off in despair. And yeah, I doubt Eilian would have gone if he thought this would happen.

I was interested too in Thranduil’s thoughts about why Eilian went on this mission and how he can’t tell Celuwen. It just goes to show how everyone can get caught up in their own troubles and not realise how much else is going on. I’d hate to be in Thranduil’s position. And really, it must be so much more complicated now that he has so many other people to take into account rather than when his sons were unattached and he could just send them off.

A Wood-elf in the forest does not usually need a sword [...]Unhappiness does that to her [...]He should have stayed home, not gone off adventuring. Aaaaargh!! Let me at him!

Thank heavens Eilian chose that time to appear. I loved the reunion, despite the undercurrents of tension. I was really glad too that it didn’t end in the argument that I was expecting. They just need to work on finding balance, to re-learn to respect each other’s needs at an incredibly difficult time and create normality wherever they can. In the meantime, they can... oh my God, Thranduil’s desk???

"Adar said to use his office." ROTFL!

"Settle down and sleep now. I do not want to have to come in here again." She hopped the warrior across the pillow and shoved him under the covers. "I will be good, Nana," she said in her warrior voice. Oh, that’s too cute! Celuwen is clearly just like every other mother in the world. I notice Nana is the one doing the parenting, though.

I thought it was really clever how you have Legolas asking to go south into danger because he’s the only one with no ties. It’ll make so much sense when he goes to Rivendell. And he’ll have the experience of fighting against the Nazgul. Plus, Thranduil is learning to let him go and let him shoulder responsibility that his brothers might have taken. It was really moving, though, when poor Thranduil points out that Legolas does have family.

"I was supposed to go on this mission?" Oops.

"Indeed I am considering speaking to you and my adar together." Yeah, I’d run if I were you, Thranduil. And wait until he sees his office! :-D

Perhaps he should have gone to Mt. Doom himself. Perhaps he should go now. LOL!! Definitely a more attractive option.

And what a gorgeous ending with Eilian singing to his daughter.

This was really great, daw! I loved it.


Author Reply: I have to do some thinking about what Ithilden's daughter will be like, what role she and Loriel will be raised to fill, and what kind of temperaments they're likely to have. It's challenging really, since Tolkien gave us a pretty masculine world.

If I were Loriel, I'd be charmed by a grandfather who made up a song with me and played it on whistles. Eilian would probably have been home then too, maybe even enjoying the concert. I have to remind myself that he lived near his in-laws for a number of years without anyone killing anyone else. Of course, that was before we went back to being a warrior. Still Solith needs to curb his tongue, because Loriel is going to choose her ada if she's forced into a choice and it would be a pity both for Solith and Loriel if they can't get along.

I was looking in my tree house book when I described that house. Isn't it great? I want to live there. Really, what I want is an office in a tree house, where I can write.

Celuwen’s hardly the only one in Mirkwood living a different life than she hoped for right now.

Yup, like Maltanaur's wife, for instance. The difference really is the little girl. Tolkien more or less says elves stayed close when the children were small.

I loved having Eilian show up at Solith's door and announce he'd come to retrieve his wife and daughter. LOL. Take that, Solith! And said wife and daughter were very happy to see him too. I hesitated over the desk thing, thinking it might be too irreverant even for Eilian. But what the heck, Thanduil practically invited him! :-)

Loriel is certainly repeated what's been said to her when she straightens out her warriors and doll. I liked being able to use the toy warriors she retrieved from Eilian's old toy chest.

Poor Thranduil. Everyone wants to let him know where they think he's screwed up. LOL.

Glad you liked it, Dot.

AnnarielReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/31/2008
I'm so glad that you continue with this marvelous universe.

Solith sucks! hehe And Thranduil is in a tight place same as Eilian.

This chapter is important. At least I see it like this, because it goes to a point where Legolas's going to start having real experience facing the danger (the south).

When I read the last part of your series "A Question of Duty" thought that finally your legolas is going to have his true adventure and duty, but that he was not enough trained beacuse in his same home he had not had much contact with the danger because all overprotected him. And neither I looked him like becoming the lord of the colony of Ithilien since he do not has experience in leadership around difficult areas. But now I see that it's going to change.

I hope you encourage to write more of this. And you bring us along with your legolas to Ithilien, where he can truly develop without his overprotected family and with all the experience he will acquire in the war against Sauron and confidence that a king of men going to put into him.

I see in Ithilien to Legolas as the Lord, Annael as Troop Commander, Tonduil as head of the foresters, Amdir as lieutenant, and more of the new generation of leaders *giggles*

And without Eilian, because although I quite like him I resented him that he has taken the protagonist from Legolas in your series. *lol*

Many greetings, Daw gifted minstrel of Mirkwood

Author Reply: Thank you, Annariel.

Thranduil does indeed seem to have landed in badly with a number of his children, and really, it's not his fault! LOL.

You're so right that one of the points of this chapter was to show Legolas developing into Legolas of the Fellowship. He hunts Nazgul from Rivendell when he's there, and this is a chance for him to get some experience with them.

I like the fates you're arranging for Annael, Tonduil, and Amdir. I'm especially fond of Annael and don't write about him nearly enough.

I used to try to make all my stories center around Legolas, who's the main canon character here, but I've always found it harder to write about him than my original characters, I think because I treat him with more reverence because he's Tolkien's. But about a year ago, I decided what the heck. The original characters were fun to write too. So Legolas has slipped away a little. I'll try to reform. :-)

daw

pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 4 on 3/31/2008
really, loved this
You have to feel for Celwen for not having Eilian around, he was away for a long while. It sounds like eilian though wanting to go instead of Legolas. Also glad Alfirn is having a daughter that will be nice for them.
Loriel is so sweet, I love how you write her, it is as if you can see her, and how childlike she is... She is a lot like her father..

And I have to agree Solith really is a jerk, sometimes I wonder how Eilian dosen't do him harm.

Loved it..



Author Reply: Oh you're so right about Loriel. She's a lot like her father. I have to think about how that would show up in a girl. She'll have a cousin soon to play with anyway, and I have to think about that too!

Solith better back down. If he makes Loriel choose between him and Eilian, Solith is going to lose.

Thanks for the review, Pipinheart.

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