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The Ties that Bind  by daw the minstrel 23 Review(s)
NoorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/29/2016
What a wonderful insight into a younger Ithilden and the birth of Eilian. Initially I thought it was going to be Legolas' birth but then of course it was impatient Eilian! I had somehow missed this one chapter story so thank you. I do so love the fact that you go back to this family from time to time.

Author Reply: I miss these characters when I've been away from them for too long.

mistry89Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/14/2008
Proving that Eilian's sense of timing was destined to be not quite in tune with Ithilden :)
Thank you!

Author Reply: Eilian was trouble from Day One, shaking up his father and demolishing Ithilden's sense of order. LOLOL.

Glad you liked it, Mistry.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/2/2008
I was happily enjoying Ithilden's complete innocence regarding children in general and Eilian in particular and enjoying his willingness to dance with a maiden without being prodded when...--I was as surprised as Ithilden by Eilian's birth. Hilarious and so typically him! This was a great story Daw!

Author Reply: You don't think baby Eilian will sleep most of the time? LOLOL. I don't either, and I enjoyed having Nithron and Deler make fun of clueless Ithilden. I'd mentioned Eilian being born in the woods in the story I wrote for Dot last year (Visitors) so it seemed appropriate to trot it out here. Poor Thranduil.

Thanks for the review, Elliska.

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/2/2008
Oh gosh, what could be more satisfying than an Ithilden-centric fic featuring Thranduil and Lorellin??? I love seeing Thranduil happily married and revelling in wife and family. It's doubly interesting seeing it from Ithilden's POV. Poor Ithilden, though! He's a tiny bit self-centered and used to being an only child. That kind of shows early in the story. You almost get the sense that he's jealous of the time that his parents are spending focused inward on the baby. Hmmm, maybe jealous is too strong of a word. I felt for him at any rate. He just doesn't get it yet. He will, of course-and seems to by the end when Eilian makes his appearance.

Sarith is a piece of work! I loved Ithilden's embarrassment at their first meeting, and how he decides his mother is just too busy with the baby to push them together. *snort* She has more sense than that! I think she would have a thing or two to say to him if she thought he were seriously going to court that chippy!

Wonderful as always, daw!

Author Reply: Thanks, Gwyn.

I think you're right about Ithilden. What I'd say is that he feels shut out. And of course, he's used to being the center of his parents' love. I'm sure that exasperated him sometimes, but he also must find it strange when the situation changes.

Lorellin would be appalled at the idea of Ithilden marrying Sarith. I hope she'd have enough sense to hold her tongue and let him decide on his own. Or maybe she could push him into it! Then he'd really back away. LOL.

Glad you liked it.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/25/2008
What you need to do is pass the debt along to your aide or maybe that baby brother, who is sure to cause no trouble at all

This is one of my favorite lines, LOL. Oh, if they only knew how much trouble that impatient elfling was going to cause them.

I also enjoyed clueless Ithilden. I can see him this way in his younger years, clueless about children and to some degree, about people.

I have to admit now that when I first read the story, I though this was Ithilden's second child you were writing about.... (hint, hint).

Author Reply: (hint, hint)

LOL. Well, he or she is coming. Eventually. His kids are lucky that Eilian and Legolas taught him a thing or two before they came along.

In the meantime, Eilian is on the scene and ready for action.

Thanks for the beta read and all your support.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/24/2008
I forgot to say -

"We were not concentrating on the precise time," his father snapped.


I'll stop spamming you now and go dream about Lathron instead.

Author Reply: Spam like this I can live with. :-) Poor Ithilden. His parents just scandalize him sometimes.

I'm so confused. I have to keep logging in and out, depending on whether I'm using my account or Nilmandra's.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/24/2008
I donít even know where to start with this! Youíve put in so many things that make me smile :-)

The opening is gorgeous. The start of spring... so this would be the 1st February, right? ;-) Anyway, that image of Thranduil listening to the trees made me go all fangirly. Itís such an elfy thing for them all to gather and celebrate the beginning of new life in the forest. I love that they look on it as New Year.

I didnít realise at first when it was set so when you mentioned pregnant Lorellin I got all excited. Especially as it wasnít a story where sheís giving out to Ithilden and making me hiss at her. It was really wonderful to watch her and Thranduil from Ithildenís point of view as they come near to the time for the baby to be born. I actually felt a little sorry for her when she so obviously wanted to join in but couldnít. I imagine itís no harm that her son, her husband and the healer were all nearby or she might just have given in to the temptation to swing up into a tree.

Ithildenís mild bewilderment at his motherís distracted state is very sweet. Itís such a lovely idea that her focus turns inwards towards the new baby.

And Gwaleniel is there and pregnant too! Iím chuckling gleefully because I know the future and Ithilden doesnít.

"You were the talk of the village maidens for the next month." LOL! Not exactly shy, is she? She has that openness that tells me sheís used to being indulged. And sheís clearly still being protected and babied. My heart went out to her parents at the thought of them losing a child and I can see why theyíve sheltered her but crikey, she needs to get out more. It made me laugh when Ithilden reads his motherís silence as baby-distraction. Not to mention her comment about them having the same lacing. If even Lorellin, the unstoppable matchmaker, isnít pushing them together, Iíd stop and think about the reason!

Calithís appearance as a young and inexperienced new aide startled me :-D LOLOL. Poor Calith. Ithilden must have seemed really formidable to work for. It was fun seeing Nithron and Deler again too. Deler must win the prize for the longest-serving Home Guard captain. You know, before you kill him. And I always liked Nithron. You know, before you kill him.

You mean because of the baby?" Ithilden shrugged. "He is due tomorrow. They will name him the next day, and then life will return to normal." Nithron and Deler looked at one another. Simultaneously, they guffawed. ROTFL!! I love clueless!Ithilden. Wait until he discovers something he canít control. Ever.

I truly appreciate it even if I do occasionally sound like an ungrateful ass. I love Ithilden. I really, really do.

I look forward to the day I can repay your patient care. Heh. By giving him Sinnarn. Hmm.

What you need to do is pass the debt along to your aide or maybe that baby brother, who is sure to cause no trouble at all. Wise words. Lucky for Calith, anyway.

Another lovely image of Thranduil and Lorellin. In a way it must have felt almost intrusive to be around them at this time.

He found the cakes too sweet himself, but he did remember loving them as a child. Wake up, Ithilden! Sheís an overgrown elfling! Your mother isnít too distracted to push you together, sheís too distracted to pull you apart!

The thing is, I canít blame Sarith for being an idiot in front of Ithilden because, letís face it, Iíd disgrace myself too but this girl has no sense at all. I was very relieved when Ithilden finally decided to stop giving her the benefit of the doubt and realised what a silly little twit she is. I could think of worse words too.

He mother lay on the ground, covered with a suede cloak Ithilden recognized as his father's. His father stood over her, holding a wriggling, blood-slicked baby. Well. Hello, Eilian. Someone really is in a hurry to be in the woods! I was actually thrilled to see this after you mentioned it in ĎVisitorsí. And itís perfect, just perfect, that heís born in the forest. But poor Thranduil Ė what a shock! Iíve never seen him that unsure what to do. Still, he better get used to Eilian trying to give him a heart-attack.

"Give me your shawl. LOL! What is it about Ithilden and ladiesí shawls? Doesnít Alfirinís end up on fire? Still, it was quick thinking! And I donít feel the slightest bit sorry for Sarith having her shawl taken and being sent off into the woods. Ha.

How could someone so small be so hard to manage? LOL! You think heís hard to manage now?? Just wait.

"I suppose, but I will be glad enough to pass along the gifts I have been given." I love that he listened to Nithron and took in what he said.

"Mae govannen, Eilian. Welcome to this family and these woods." Aww, that made me just about melt. Ithilden can see him as his brother now and make that special connection with him instead of thinking of the birth just as an event that was going to take place before things went back to normal.

The last line is just beautiful. I love how you wound through the story the deep bonds that tie these people Ė to the forest, to each other and to the next generation. And how central these ties are to their culture. Lovely.

I know Iíve forgotten half of what I wanted to say (and no, it didnít involve anything about moveable begetting days ;-) because I got all caught up in it again when I re-read it to review. Youíre probably better off if I donít keep talking anyway! I really, really enjoyed this, daw. Youíre so good to me. Thank you.

Author Reply: I'll bet Tolkien thought of spring more in the terms you do than in the ones I do, Dot! I looked this up though, trying to see when the elves celebrated the New Year. They did do it the first day of spring. I'm trying to remember if that's March 1 or April 1. I don't know. I just wish it were spring here!

Ithilden was an only child for a long time and I thought he might feel closed out, which is one reason he's willing to spend some time with Sarith. That'll show his mother! Of course, Lorellin would be appalled by the match. She knows Ithilden needs someone of substance. And lo and behold, that someone is there! She's just not born yet.

Occasionally, I notice I've killed a lot of characters over the years. Deler and Nithron had a good time at Ithilden's expense, and it was nice to bring them on stage. They made me laugh too.

When I first wrote about Sarith trying to coax Ithilden into doing what she likes by offering kisses, I considered making him flustered. But then I thought, hey, this guy is centuries old. He's not going to be daunted. He's going to think she's ridiculous! He may not be Mr. Smooth with maidens, but he recognizes substance or lack thereof when he sees it.

I hope you did enjoy this, Dot. I want you to know how much I value you as a reader and a friend.

IdhrenielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/24/2008
As always a nice fic! Eilian causing trouble since his birth! I presume that much of his conection to the woods comes from his birth. Great to read from you again, Daw!

Author Reply: Eilian just never could do anything the "right" way. Ithilden is about to spend years becoming an exasperated but much wiser elf. :-)

Glad you liked it, Idhreniel.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/24/2008
A lovely tale! I loved the springness of it all: Calith as newly minted aide to fearsome Ithilden, the Stronghold bursting with newborns, Alfirin and Eilian about to come into the woods... and the amused snorts of Deler and Nithron at Ithilden's trust that everything would be the same after a day or two... Ithilden trying his hand at courting without his mother's prompting... Of course Eilian had to come in making trouble and giving joy as it will be his trademark.

HAppy birthday, Dot, I hipe you are enjoying your early spring!

Author Reply: Lots of new beginnings. And really, not much of a plot, sad to say. But I like taking these characers out and playing with them sometimes.

I like the idea of Eilian as a combination of trouble and joy.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/24/2008
Sarith is a silly little bit of fluff. Although I suppose you can hardly blame her for having a fangirl moment over Ithilden - and I daresay her parents have babied her outrageously if her older sister drowned. I don't expect she'll be so keen on the bossy Ithilden who ruine her shawl by wrapping it round a bloody and slippery newborn Eilian and barked orders at her. Dear Eilian - causing trouble from the moment of his birth. Start as you mean to go on, I say.

And Calith - new to his job and nervous about managing to do it properly. I'm glad Nithron and Deler reminded Ithilden that everybody has to start somewhere. Ithilden has already got the stick quality he's so famed for - and that Eilian will do his best to adjust. The baby will be born to a timetable and co-operate with his keepers ... yeah, I join Nithron and Deler in their laughter.

I love Thranduil and Lorellin's intimacy here - they are so wrapped up in each other and the baby. I think Ithilden, for all his centuries, is suffering from the jealous pangs of an about-to-be-supplanted only child here.

Lovely story. Happy birthday, Dot.

Author Reply: For this story, I was thinking about the bonds that hold communities together. I think of Elves as bonded to Arda and Wood Elves as further bonded to a particular place. And their bonds to one another come from the same sort of power or ability. But the family and community bond works only if older people pass along the care they've been given to new generations. The debt works ever onward, not back, as Nithron tells Ithilden.

Sarith, on the other hand, is a baby herself, past the time when she should be. Plus she's just a light weight. Ithilden needs someone substantial. Take a look at the pregnant healer, Ithilden! Your wife is waiting to be born.

Ithilden is completely unaware of how his life is about to be made much livelier. :-)

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