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The Seeds of Time  by daw the minstrel 28 Review(s)
IdhrenielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/18/2007
Oh, it's great to read from you again! This time you gave us the queen to read... nice. I like her and the way she snapped at Thranduil. Someone who he allows to face him hehe.

Author Reply: Working with Lorellin is interesting to me. I thought I knew her until I started writing from her POV and then my characters started being different around her, especially Thranduil. And she's turning out to be headstrong, charming, flawed, and so necessary to her family. I'm glad you liked it.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/17/2007
Two chapters on a row for me!
WE know this family so well that LOrellin comes as a welcome stranger. They are all truly familiar except for herself, yet it is so good to see her in her place among them, and to glimpse how life was when she was there. I loved how she calmed Ithilden and how she knew what was wrong with Eilian...while you keep an eye on Legolas´point of view... I loved his interest in what Annael and the other boy were doing, and how very small LEgolas still is that he is afraid of the river being angry! That was a lovely touch!

NOw I am going for the second one!

Author Reply: I'm still trying to figure out what Lorellin was like. I've shown her in glimpses before but not in this intimate way through her own POV. She was really good for all of them, I think.

ziggyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/16/2007
I love the way you do this with perspective and in this, it is the serious events viewed Legolas' child's innocence- he doesnt know what the horse carries but picks up on tiny details - Ithildne looking down at the ground etc- viewing events through other characters' eyes- like you did with your last story with the woman meeting Ithilden and co. ooh- his voice can sound like fur yummy.Sorry- all overcome for a minute!
And Eilian almost never argues doing warrior things! Almost.I think your protrayla of Thranduil is one of the best- it is symapthetic but doesnt let him off the hook, critical and challenging but also understanding. Like Lorellin herself. Hope this has a nice ending... but then, all this has that tinge of sadness becasue every time one of them says how much he needs her, you know she will not be there for much longer. Gives all this such a sense of depth and gentl humour has that slight edge of sadness.

Author Reply: Thanks, Ziggy. I always think of little kids as being sort of like dogs, not quite understanding, but sensitive to mood and picking up little clues the grownup doesn't even know he's sending.

I'm actually struggling a little trying to figure out how Thranduil and Lorellin would be as joint parents in this time of growing shadow, but when tragedy has not yet struck. And I want them both to be basically strong and good, but flawed. It's fun. :-)

PS. Ithilden is flattered. Flustered, but flattered.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/16/2007
Daw! I read this story, loving every minute of it and hating for it to end, until I came to the last and saw the best three letters in the alphabet...TBC! I would have left a one word review like that other person - YAY! - but I'm too gabby for that!

I liked meeting Lorellin and seeing the interaction between her and her family, especially Eilian. It is very evident how she acted as a buffer between him and Thranduil. Also, seeing things through the eyes of little Legolas was a treat - such a visual, tactile age! (He's so sweet - I hate what's coming...for all of them!) I particularly liked the pictures of the Queen with each son and how each pose reflected the personality of the child.

The whole chapter is bittersweet because you make it so very clear how the family is centered around Lorellin. Thranduil's poetry spouting made me want to cry - he will lose that lighter side of himself, won't he? The decision to take Legolas to the funeral of the fallen warrior is chilling - now I realize how he knew what would happen and it explains his reaction (from an earlier story) to his mother's funeral (I don't think he's allowed to attend hers, is he?). It is so very sad to know what is coming. Wonderful chapter, daw, and thanks for letting us get to know Lorellin. I can't wait to see more!

Linda (I love spring break, too, and it's almost over *sobs*)

Author Reply: I hear you about spring break. I can't believe it's Friday already.

I haven't written a multi-chapter story in a while, but this one needs a little space. Not much, mind you. Maybe six to eight chapters, although Nilmandra always says I underestimate.

Writing from a little kid's pov is interesting, especially since I want readers to understand things he doesn't, but what I hope really comes through is how Nana is the center of his world. Of course, he's about to branch out and make some friends too. :-)

Thranduil does lose that poetic side of himself when Lorellin dies. Poor guy. I like to think he got in back in Valinor one day.

I'll probably post chapter 2 within a day or two, depending on what my beta says, but then I have to go to a conference in NYC next week, so I'm not sure how speedy I'll be on this.

Thanks for your review, Linda.

ponypetterReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/15/2007
Well, this is different. I think we've seen snippets of Lorellin before, but we never got such a glimpse at how different everyone's life was when she was still with them. I thought at first Thranduil seemed overly warm compared to how you normally portray him (we don't normally see him so affectionate!), but I realized later how well it works. We still see his personality, in his expectations of both Eilian and Legolas, but we can see how the pressures of duty and doing right by his sons is softened by the partnership he has with his wife. I think it actually makes his personality in "later" stories even more realistic.

Author Reply: I do think this family's life was different with Lorellin around, and would have continued to be different if she lived. I think Thranduil would have been less burdened, despite the terrible times, because he had someone to share the burden with. And that poetic, soft side of him vanished when she died. Although I do think he's a gentler parent with Legolas than he was with the other two because with them, he could leave the nurturing with Lorellin and attend to developing their characters.

Thanks for the review, Ponypetter.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/15/2007
Ooo what a Spring Break treat. I totally did not expect to see this when I came back to SoA for more reading! And with Lorellin and not in flashbacks! Excellent!

Legolas is so sweet in this. So very young that he doesn't understand. That is actually very nice to see. And I thought it was a very effective POV for the sad goings on there. I also enjoyed seeing him see his future best friend. That was a neat touch.

But I loved this: "As I have already said, I trust your expertise," Thranduil said. "Do what you think best, but do it quickly please."

And Lorellin to the rescue. Perfect! I loved this interaction.

This is a great beginning. Looking forward to more.

Author Reply: Glad you liked it, Elliska. I haven't written a little kid POV for a while and I had to get into it again. But I've made so much of how Legolas's mother's death affected him, that I wanted to show how his world revolves around her. It's also fun to try to communicate things to the reader that Legolas doesn't understand.

And for Thranduil too, it's like the world just got better because she arrived.

So I'm having a good time. :-)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/15/2007
This is just wonderful. I love the Legolas who is still so young that he is only beginning to look outside his family - to whom his parents and brothers are all he needs - all of them revolving round the lynch pin of a small child's world: his mother. And of course Ada's rules don't apply to Nana - she's a great shining star in all their worlds. Legolas is so beautifully written - his point of view is so straightforward and focuses on all the really important things in his life - Nana, nature, boys, Nana, brothers, food, horses, Nana, a pony ... I love his response to the angry river and the spring trees. His very sensory response to the tones of Ithilden's voice is great. His admiration for both his brothers - and his instinctive recognition that Eilian finds it easier to separate elf from warrior than Ithilden, who is always on duty. And that Eilian doesn't usually argue when a warrior - only Eilian! (I hope he is just distressed at Fithral's death rather than feeling responsible for it.) Legolas has such total trust in and admiration for Eilian - and I can only see this brother having a talking horse. Ithilden wouldn't indulge in fairy tales for his little brother's amusement - not unless the child knew they were simply stories.

If Legolas doesn't yet know the way to Annael's house, I'm hoping he has a while yet before he loses his nana, because I've always thought they were friends before her death. - And, he doesn't yet even recognise Turgon ... well, Thranduil doesn't know his good fortune. But he'll learn.

I love seeing this world through Legolas's eyes - before the sun goes in.

And then - Lorellin! How wonderful to see through her eyes. Of course Thranduil is impetuous and poetic - he recognised her as soon as he saw her and began his campaign to win her heart. (I hope Lorellin's parents were there in Valinor when she left Namo's Halls - just as she was there when Thranduil gave in to the inevitable and sailed.) And, for all she has to control her good wood elf impulses to behave like his queen, I'm sure she is able to get almost anything she wants from her husband! While her advice to listen rather than talk - it's a shame that didn't stick rather more firmly in Thranduil's head. I think Eilian needed some pretty intense listening over his more difficult years. And she's still trying to get Ithilden to lighten up. If he didn't adore her so, he would find it truly exasperating to be on the receiving end of her mission to find him a bride!

I love the pictures - and they do show her sons' characters so precisely.

And I suppose it is a good thing that little Legolas, in his role as his father's son, should begin to build walls between himself and the hard outside world. We wouldn't want his mother's funeral to be his first.

This just catches him at that perfect point where the innocent, family-centredness of babyhood begins to look outwards and it's beautiful to see. But transitory. And we know where it's going to end up.

Author Reply: Thanks, Bodkin. I love POV as a tool to explore character and the way the look of the world changes. And I have so few chances to write about Lorellin, that I'm trying to include how she looks to her family and then how she and they look from inside her head too. If she had lived, this family's future would have been different. I can see both Eilian and Ithilden bonded sooner, not because she pushed them, but because she counselled them and smoothed their ways.

This story will NOT go all the way to Lorellin's death. It's there in the future, and if readers have read my other stories, they'll see it on the horizon and read these events in its light, but I haven't the heart to write about it. Still, it's interesting to see how knowing characters' future affects our reading of their present. I think that's one of the reasons I like writing about these pre-Quest years.

I hope to write some about Turgon. He's always a hoot. My big problem with him is my inability to just cut loose and let him have his head while not making the adults all into sitcom characters.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/14/2007
“She is dead, Eilian. Nana is dead. And Ada burned her. He would not let me see her, and then he burned her. How can she come back if she is all burned up?”

Gosh, I always read that differently than you meant it until you explained it just now! No wonder the child was traumatised!

Author Reply: Wouldn't that be terrible? I can't bear to think of it.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/14/2007
I love Spring Break!!

I was just thrilled to see a new story from you. And good lord, it’s Lorellin! I know you’ve written Legolas as a child lots of times but I’m so impressed by how you’ve captured his voice at this age. You really let us see the world through a child’s eyes. We see what he’s seeing but at the same time we can make sense of things that he can’t.

I love the descriptions of the river. They’re wonderful. And Lorellin seems to have the same easy charm that Eilian does. The guards certainly seem fond of her :-) I thought it was a nice touch that she seems to know little details like Tolas having a problem with his roof.

Legolas’ world really does revolve just around his family, doesn’t it? Clearly his mother makes everything right in his world but even the thought of seeing his brothers seems to entice him more than the sight of other elflings. And he did not know the other boy at all. LOL!! Is that Turgon? Legolas’ family will be so pleased when he befriends him.

Sometimes Ithilden's voice sounded the way fur felt, but not now. Now it stung like nettles. Ooh, excellent description! I love how he differentiates between what makes him feel good and bad. And that first part made me melt a little…

"Your adar is lucky to have you managing things so competently, but you must save time for me too. I miss you when you are off seeing to your patrols." Tsk. There’s a line between sweet-talking and guilt-tripping, Lorellin. I think Ithilden could have a point, though, about the way she’d manage the troops. Every male in Mirkwood would want to be a warrior! Poor Legolas, of course, takes the whole thing literally. I’m cheerfully ignoring the foreboding music in the background at the idea that neither Legolas nor Thranduil want Lorellin to go away :-)

I just loved the little moment between Lorellin and Eilian that Legolas didn’t quite understand. I was beginning to wonder who the missing rider was. He looked sad, so Legolas took his hand. But Legolas will still offer comfort where he thinks it’s needed. That was a real aww moment. I particularly like the way you show the slight increase in tension in this scene, with Eilian and Ithilden’s reactions and the way no-one seems to notice Legolas when he’s used to their attention. But you made me smile when Legolas thinks about Eilian in his roles as brother and warrior. Though those lines will become a bit more blurred in future, I think… And I notice he doesn’t see quite so easy a distinction in Ithilden! LOL at Legolas frowning at Maltanaur! Those two are just not going to be pals.

Rogue never talked to Legolas the way he did to Eilian, but he listened, and Legolas hoped someday he might decide to talk while Legolas was there. ROTFL!! Has Eilian been spinning tales for his baby brother?!

I’m rolling my eyes at Lorellin and her matchmaking. She’d drive me scatty if she was my mother. But I’ll forgive her because I rather suspect she was rambling on to stop Eilian thinking too much and she did make him laugh… ;-)

I really enjoyed the second part of the chapter. Lorellin’s POV brings something so new to the story. And wow, what a glimpse of Thranduil we get! The Thranduil I know would have put Sathien in his place with just a look long before he followed him. I don’t recall Sathien – does he appear again or can I assume he failed in his Elf Path duties at some stage and got eaten by a spider? And oh my gosh, Thranduil spouts poetic nonsense! I love that side of him!! That’s one of the saddest things to me, that this part of him disappears. Hmmm, I bet that’s where Ithilden gets his inclination to write romantic songs.

Very interesting discussion about Legolas attending the funeral. Thranduil’s right, I think, but it’s sad to see such a duty expected of a young child. And really, I doubt anyone would expect them to bring Legolas. But then, I suppose you’re never too young to learn what it means to be the king’s son :-/ It’s doubly interesting because Thranduil doesn’t let Legolas go to his mother’s funeral. But then, he’d hardly have stood respectfully silent at that. I’m half dreading the idea of Thranduil and Eilian having a talk, even though Lorellin is around to try and make Thranduil understand their son. It’s just that if Eilian is touched by shadow as well as grief, who knows what’ll happen. Well, you do ;-) A warrior has to channel his grief and anger into action against the enemy, rather than let it eat his heart. I think he’s right there, though. And even though I’m avoiding thinking about what happens to Lorellin, I thought that was nicely in-character line considering what we know he does as soon as her funeral is over. It was good too to see a real discussion about their sons rather than Thranduil angry or Ithilden tiptoeing around trying to talk about Eilian or Legolas.

I really loved following Lorellin’s thoughts – from Thranduil to worry about what they suspected, to her baby being plunged into duty, to her own role and back to Thranduil again. Her own father had ridden away with Oropher when she was too young to remember him, and her mother had never learned to live happily without him. She had waited only to see Lorellin settled in the Stronghold before she sailed West, hoping to find her love waiting for her. LOL! I know I shouldn’t laugh at that but I did because so many people have been wanting to know for so long about Legolas’ grandparents and you’ve just calmly slipped in the fact that they’re long gone! Granted I’d suspected it since it’s cousins and aunts who seem to be around but still, it made me laugh.

When you came down to it, the difference was that Thranduil had been raised to send his sons into danger as his father had sent him, while her every instinct was to protect them from any harm that might threaten a hair on one of their heads. Oh, now that’s wonderfully well expressed. And they both suffer, I think. But I’m glad she realises that Thranduil worries about them even as he does send them into danger. I’d have hated her if she didn’t… Thranduil, of course, will find it a lot harder to let their last child go.

You have to smile at Legolas’ childish delight. He’s a good tonic for Eilian because he loves unquestioningly. Lorellin might treasure and understand her middle son but Legolas just adores him.

TBC Hurrah!

Author Reply: I love Spring Break too. It's major problem is that it isn't long enough. However, it's warm enough that most of the snow is gone from my yard so it really does feel like spring.

One of the things I was excited about with this story was the chance to write from Lorellin's pov and thus get to know her a little better. I decided she thinks in terms of her family a lot, and also, of course, she's a wood elf--less wise and more dangerous, as Tolkien says. So I knew it would be different seeing through her eyes, but I was surprised by how different Thranduil when she saw him. I didn't even really think about it until reviewers commented and then I could see they were right.

And Legolas, of course, is still so small that she's the center of his world. At first I had him not going to the funeral, but Nilmandra pointed out I was talking about the duties of the king's son and this would probably be one of them. Poor baby. Did I really not have him at his mother's funeral? I'd have to go look. I thought Thranduil kept him from seeing the body but took him to the funeral where it would be wrapped.

The unknown child is indeed Turgon, and now I have to think about how to introduce him well and show why he fascinates Legolas.

So a matchmaking Nana is not your idea of a good time? Come on! Ithilden needs help. He's not Mr. Smooth, you know. If Lorellin had lived, he and Alfirin would have been married before Alfirin got up the courage to call him by name. :-)

KateReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/14/2007
I'm speechless! Not only did you start another story, it’s “In Progress” and, best of all Nana! (I’m doing a ridiculous looking dance right now…)

I absolutely loved this chapter. I’ve always been interested in Lorellin and how they all interacted with her. Some of my favorite lines were:

“He thought maybe Ada's rules did not apply to Nana because, after all, she was Nana.”
LOL! I’m imagining Ada telling Nana she couldn’t talk to the guards…

“And he did not know the other boy at all.”
Turgon has yet to be unleashed on the royal family?! This should be interesting.

The bit about if Nana became the Troop Commander was funny and sad. You’ve done an amazing job of showing just how much they all need her.

The interaction between Legolas, Eilian and, Ithilden was as always a joy to read.

“Eilian must still be doing warrior things then. When he was being a warrior, he almost never argued.”
I had to smile at that. I would bet that Thranduil sometimes wishes Eilian was a “warrior” at home.

Aww, Nana matchmaking for Ithilden. Does she suspect at this point that Eilian and Celuwen will bond?

I love the interaction between mother and sons but Thranduil steals the show. The love between these two… It’s so different, seeing this side of Thranduil, I really enjoyed that.

“"If you want to help Eilian, you will listen to him, not talk to him."”
I like how you brough up this line. I’m looking forward to the interaction between Eilian and Thranduil with Lorellin there as a buffer.

“His tense posture eased. "His naneth is the hearth at which I warm myself when the world grows cold. I will not hear a word against her."
She laughed. "When I first came to know you, I think it was your capacity for poetic nonsense that surprised me most."” Can I second that?

Wonderful. My intention was simply to read one of your older stories, I had no idea you started a new one. I’m so happy you did! I’ve missed reading about your OCs! The way you’re writing this is fantastic. I liked the commentary by Legolas but I particularly like it from Lorellin’s point of view. You really haven’t done that before, have you? Her insights add a very interesting element. The bit about the drawings was great.

One final comment,

“Her own father had ridden away with Oropher when she was too young to remember him, and her mother had never learned to live happily without him. She had waited only to see Lorellin settled in the Stronghold before she sailed West, hoping to find her love waiting for her. Lorellin prayed it had been so.”
I’ve wondered what happened to her parents, thank you for explaining that.

As always, looking forward to more!

Author Reply: Oh you're the first reviewer to comment on Turgon's initial appearance! Yes, Legolas is about to make a new friend. Not until chapter 3, I think, since Adar and Eilian have to talk first.

Sometimes jumping around in my time line is a pain because I've boxed myself in, but sometimes it's useful. Because readers know what happens to Nana, and that it happens soon, they read all this differently, I think, so it's sad when Legolas says he doesn't want Nana to go away all the time. Poor baby.

When I made notes for this story, I had to sort through my faulty memory and try to remember what the state of affairs was between Eilian and Celuwen. She's gone to live in the settlement with her family and their romance doesn't bloom again until after Nana dies. But Eilian and Celuwen were tentative lovers before she left, and I'll bet Nana knew it and approved. If she'd lived, those two would have been bonded much sooner. Nana would have taken care of Celuwen's father!

It wasn't until I read reviews that I realized how different Thranduil is with Lorellin. No poetic nonsense for the boys!

And no, I haven't used Lorellin's POV before. One of the things I didn't realize when I started writing was what a powerful thing POV is. Being inside her head makes the world look quite different.

Thanks for the review, Kate.

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