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Tangled Web  by daw the minstrel 28 Review(s)
White WolfReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/31/2004
It's great to see another story so soon.

The spider battle was nicely done. It's also nice to see Legolas and Annael together again.

It's going to be interesting to see a romance develop between Sinnarn and Annael's daughter.

I think the White Council is in for a big surprise when Ithilden shows up.

Author Reply: Thank you, White Wolf. I love seeing Legolas and Annael together. They are relaxed with one another in the way you can only be with a life-long friend.

I've just been trying to write about the White Council meeting, and yes, I'd say the others are surprised. :-)

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
Yay! A new one! Character list? I guess you have some rookies who don't know the ropes in your version of Mirkwood. I feel like most of them are old friends. Ok, I didn't know where Rhosgobel was so I guess I can't brag.

Good start with a quick review of Who's Who and some spider action. It brought back memories of his recent trip with Ithilden. Legolas was much more successful dealing with the arachnids this time. Your description of the spider spinning to it's death and spraying blood everywhere was very "Kill Bill." Quite gruesome. I don't blame him for not putting that nasty arrow back into his quiver.

I guess the realm is somewhat depleted from battling the shadow for so long. I'm glad you remembered some economics to give Thranduil something to fret over. It seems Celuwen and Ithilden's relationship is coming along well. They will definitely be allies when trying to manipulate poor Thranduil. I think Celuwen is a worthy opponent.

Thranduil's frustration over the inaction of the White Council is very human. It would be aggravating to attend time after time with no aide from his allies. Sending Ithilden is a great idea. He is much more diplomatic than his father but certainly not more forceful. Better bring some ear plugs so as not to be swayed by Curunir's hand gestures and suggestions.

Alfirin is in her element planning her little brother's wedding. In Paths Taken you mentioned you might have Alfirin make the first move on Ithilden. It would be a little out of character for the very traditional, formal elleth unless she involves the younger siblings. Setting up an outing for the Young Ones would be appropriate and a good way to bring the pair together. She is such a good organizer... At least she is forgiving of Ithilden's little trip.

Legolas put out a fire?! He is a sly one. Apparently his tactical skills have improved with age. Poor Maltanaur - only Men would eat black squirrels fed to them by wild elflings in the forest. I would fear the old warrior's revenge.

Sinnarn and Legolas have something in common - many pleasant hours in Annael's cottage. I think Legolas had quite a crush on Annael's Nana. If I were Annael and if Sinnarn is like Eilian, I would be very worried too. It is sad that Sinnarn is growing up without hope of defeating the shadow. He has never seen the wood without it so it would be hard to imagine it any other way. Maybe love will brighten his outlook.
Great start!

Author Reply: When I start a new story, I do try to write the first chapter so that a new reader could read it. So I have to say "Ithilden, his oldest brother" and stuff like that. I wind up feeling that the first chapter is all reminder and set up, but that's ok. It gets me rolling again.

I absolutely HATE meetings where nothing happens, so much so that I am occasionally rude at them, so my sympathies are with Thranduil all the way. It worked out ok anyway to send Ithilden because I have plans for him there and plans for Thranduil at home. Heck, I have plans all the way around! :-)

Sinnarn was tricky to write about. We haven't seen him in a couple of hundred years so I had to allow for some growth. Poor guy turned out to be sharp enough to see that the battle was going badly.

You know, that's a good idea about Alfirin and Ithilden. I'd like to write about their courtship sometime and you suggest a good tactic.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
Oh! Oh! I’m so excited! I’m loving this story already. It looks set to be deliciously long and involved with starring roles for nearly everyone!

Wow, I can really see how things have changed for the worse in Mirkwood. It looks like the Home Guard is no longer a safe patrol to be assigned to. I had to laugh, though, at the idea that Legolas is *still* frustrated by the fact that Beliond trails him! I bet he’d be fairly sorry if he turned around one day and his ‘keeper’ wasn’t there. I think I felt a chill at the thought that the spiders are that close to the elves’ homes. Legolas might have felt he was restricted when he was growing up but I imagine elflings are barely allowed outside their own front doors by themselves now.

I’m so glad we get to spend some time with Annael. He really has made a career of the Home Guard, hasn’t he? I found the notion that he had a daughter strange enough before but to see him worried about her possible choice of husband made me suddenly realise that he really is all grown up! Is there anybody who’d be happy to have their child marry one of Thranduil’s sons??! As I recall, Alfirin’s parents were a bit reluctant to have her wed a warrior with responsibilities as great as Ithilden’s and, well, need I even mention Sólith…?! Still, I guess Annael is just a worried father and it’s likely that he doesn’t necessarily dislike Sinnarn but out of everyone outside the palace he must have the clearest idea of the demands of life in the king’s family.

“My very wise wife says I should accept the fact that there is probably nothing I can do about it anyway.” Did you ever notice how wise nearly all the females in Mirkwood are in comparison with the males?! They seem to spend a lot of time trying to persuade them to better behaviour…

Legolas really gives the impression that they have all been fighting a lost cause for far too long. The excitement and fear I’m used to seeing in him when he’s facing an enemy has been replaced by weariness and he almost veers between resignation and desperation. I suppose the encroaching Shadow is more real when it’s on their doorstep. I really like your phrase about it “all but knocking on the Great Doors of Thranduil’s stronghold.” Oh, remind me again – when did Todith move to the Home Guard?

Thranduil and those Dwarves, eh? It’s interesting that he’s so often in a position where he has to rely on them to provide for his people one thing or another. I can see how that wouldn’t exactly sit well with him.

Ithilden seems really happy to have an ally in Celuwen! It’s true that they both share a certain perspective on Thranduil and it must be great for Ithilden to have that after all these years when he really had to keep so much to himself. Of course, that’s probably *not* what Thranduil had in mind when he appointed Celuwen… I’m so glad she seems to have well and truly settled in. I loved the image of her “arguing fiercely” with Thranduil – and she also seems to have learned how to get her own way!

I really enjoyed the discussion between Thranduil and Ithilden about the White Council. I actually really felt for Thranduil. Yeah, he’s impatient and probably could have been a bit better-behaved at past meetings but he must have been disappointed so many times to have lost all faith in them. Of course, he’s an elf of action too, I suppose. “You believe that attending the meeting is important enough that you are willing to leave your post as troop commander to attend it?” I wonder if that was intended to make Ithilden realise his duties to the Realm? At least Ithilden stuck to his guns if he really does have some hope. Like he says, the Council at least need to know how bad things are. I’m glad Thranduil let him go, though I’m not sure whether it’s because he believes that it at least can’t do any harm or whether he wants Ithilden to learn that his father was right. “He was, indeed, more patient than his father, but then, almost everyone was.” Funny, I think that in this case Thranduil and Eilian would be very alike. I couldn’t see Eilian listening to endless talk while his home suffered either, whereas Ithilden and Legolas probably could if they thought it would help in the long run.

Tonduil is getting married now as well?? I’m really happy for him, actually. I always liked Tonduil. I hope events don’t get in the way of his wedding. “He was not supposed to alarm his mother, who tended to worry.” It’s rather sweet that Ithilden and Sinnarn would try to protect Alfirin. Must be hard, though.

So, Eilian is still down south? That must be so incredibly dangerous now. But it seems he still has a sense of humour. It wouldn’t be Eilian himself who played the trick on Maltanaur, now would it?!

Hasn’t little Sinnarn turned out well?! So much for fears that he’d end up like Eilian. I suppose they grew up at such very different times. I found it really interesting that the Home Guard would get a clearer perspective on the spread of the Shadow because they’re constantly around those they have to protect. I like the fact that even though he does crave some excitement, Sinnarn seems to believe that protecting his own doorstep is a worthy cause. He’s so perceptive, even realising the despair that Ithilden must feel. It’s quite sad, though, that someone still so relatively young has such a practical outlook on the fact that there’s little chance of victory. And he’s in love! How wonderful that these wood-elves still feel great love in such dark times. I’m doing my best to quash any ominous feelings I have about Sinnarn…

That list of OCs was a good idea. Most feel like old friends by now! I only glanced at the list, but I think Beliond was also in ‘A Question of Duty’, and wasn’t Tonduil in ‘Paths Taken’?

Brilliant start, daw. I’m ready for the next chapter now:-)

Author Reply: Good lord, Dot, how did you do that? You are absolutely right about where Beliond and Tonduil appeared and I changed the posting on SoA. But how did you DO that?

You are absolutely right that "just about everybody" is in this fic. When I sat down to outline it, I was overwhelmed. Hence the list of OCs. I can't imagine what new readers would make of one of my stories by now. OC must stand for out of control.

Annael is much more reasonable than Solith is and if his daughter is happy, he'll be happy too. But he remembers Sinnarn as a young warrior. Long Elven memories must be kind of a pain sometimes.

Things are bad in the Woodland Realm right now, it's true, and Sinnarn really sees it. I think he's shrewd like his father is. Not that Eilian and Legolas are slow, but they've believed in this cause for a long time and can't let go.

I amused myself thinking about Celuwen arguing with Thranduil. I think she's enough like Eilian that it doesn't bother her at all if the king gives in to her because she's female or his daughter in law. She'll happily take what she can get. I can see the other advisers backing away and letting the king's son and daughter in law take him on. When Thranduil asked Ithilden if he would go to the council despite being troop commander, I meant for the king to be weighing the seriousness of Ithilden's concern. He knows how responsible Ithilden is and if he's willing to do that, he must really be in earnest.

I think I'll start working on the next chapter tomorrow. I'm into this now! Starting a new story is hard because the first chapter is so much set up and you have no momentum.

vicReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004

What a wonderful chapter! It was great to once again catch up with all our favourite characters. How time flies though. Annael's daughter and Sinnarn...I think even the immortal elves feel the passage of time. Legolas is certainly growing up, becoming more and more the Legolas from the Fellowship. He certainly takes responsibility very seriously. Good for him though. He is facing, and is about to face, very hard times, when the shadow will try to claim more of his home. Thranduil is very lucky to have him as a son and also a great worrior. I was also very happy to see Celuwen as one of the advisors for Thranduil. She is so sweet and lovely, but boy has she got a backbone!

Overall it was an other great chapter (are you by any chance tired of hearing this?!). Cannot wait to read more. Thank you for such speedy updates too.


Author Reply: I think they do feel the passage of time. And they are adults for such a long time that they must miss their sons' and daughters' childhoods even more. Legolas is indeed close to being Legolas of the Fellowship, but I am thinking he will have some struggles in this story too.

Celuwen is very independent minded. I think that's a good thing, given who she's married to!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
Aww, Sinnarn's going a-courtin'! I wonder if Annael is going to be his usual easygoing self about this, or if we will see the Dark Side unleashed. Cause when someone like Annael gets mad, people die. . .

I think Thranduil is right about the White Council -- the song "Piddle, Twiddle, And Resolve" from "1776" is chiming in my mental background right now -- but sending Ithilden can't possibly hurt. Attending long pointless meetings is more Ithilden's style anyway, and who knows? The White Council might take more kindly to hearing Ithilden than Thranduil. But the wedding! He Must Be Home In Time! I sense, with my spidey-senses, that Wacky Hijinks are in Ithilden's future. And so Thranduil waves goodbye, singing "A second Flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts ev'rywhere / Or a cataclysmic earthquake, I'd accept with some despair / But, no, You've sent us Congress! Good God, Sir, was that fair?"

Speaking of spidey-senses, you've been just hurling those spiders at Legolas lately. Better watch out, he'll come and chop off one of those hairy legs and come and trace it down your back when you're not looking.

I take it there's not a lot of good eating on a black squirrel? Tastes nasssssty, do they, precioussssss?

Author Reply: Oh ick oh! I'm shuddering and looking over my shoulder to see if anything black and hairy and disgusting is being put down my shirt! Ick!

Your rendition of Congress/the White Council made me laugh. I haven't heard the music from "1776" in ages. I'd forgotten how apt it was.

Bilbo and the dwarves found the black squirrels uneatable. Of course, Gollum might like them, assuming they're rrraw and wrrriggling.

Reviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
Oh my gosh, is this 2941? Ithilden will absolutely have a stroke if he is at a meeting of the White Council and is not in Mirkwood when the Battle of the Five Armies takes place. That is so mean, Daw! But is is a good explanation why Thranduil is present at the battle. I doubt Ithilden would let him go if he was there. Dying to see what you are doing here. So glad you started another--I'm totally addicted to your stories.

Author Reply: I have wondered about that myself, but then I thought about the Dagorlad. Both Oropher and Thranduil were there. And Theoden and Eomer are both at the Pelennor. So maybe Ithilden would 'let' Thranduil go. And maybe he wouldn't have anything to say about it!! :-)

LOTRFaithReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
Horray! A new story:-) I am currently writting two myself;-) So Sinnarn has got himself a girl;-) Boy, I can remember when he was just an elfling;-) lol... Just a few stories ago...

Poor Celuwen... I think I would both love and hate to have a husband be a soldier.. The possibility of him being killed, captured or worse (shiver) But there also is a sense of pride as well of being a soldier and fighting for one's country... :-) Am feeling very patriot today... Must be because of Memorial Day:-D Which, by the way I hope wasn't as rainy as mine ;-)

Author Reply: We had thunderstorms this morning and have tornado warnings right now, I'm afraid. Life on the prairie!

Sinnarn does seem to have grown up quickly! When I thought about it though, he was several hundred years old. Time flies, I guess.

Celuwen is in a difficult situatin and it's a good thing she can keep busy. But she knew this was what would happen if she loved Eilian and it was one reason she resisted.

How can you write two stories at once? That would drive me crazy.

sofiaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
really good. This should prove to be a good story. Update soon!

Author Reply: I hope you continue to enjoy the story, Sofia. I have it all outlined so updates should be fairly regular.

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
I really like seeing Celuwen in action, and reading about the way she still gets gentler treatment from Thranduil even though she argues with him all the time. It makes me wonder how your Thranduil would deal with a daughter of his own.

I also can't wait to see Ithilden at the White Council. He is more patient than Thranduil (like the rest of the world, as he noted)--but he is also the troop commander and deals personally with the Mirkwood warriors who get killed regularly. I don't think he'd appreciate Saruman very much. Or Galadriel, for that matter.

I *loved* Legolas telling Alfirin that he "put out a small fire"! Devious Elf. That was very funny. There were a lot of funny bits in this chapter--like the discussion between Legolas and Annael about Sinnarn and Emmelin. Sinnarn has grown into an interesting OC. Not quite as impulsive as Eilian and certainly not as thoughtless, but still wild enough to make poor Annael worry. It's so strange to read about Annael talking about his daughter being courted--I still see him as Legolas's little partner in crime.

Author Reply: You know, I feel the same way about Annael! I think it's because I haven't written about him as an adult much, and haven't written at all about his daughter as a child. I'll have to do that some day.

Celuwen makes me laugh. She knows perfectly well that Thranduil will take it easy on her and she has no qualms about taking advantage of that fact. She and Eilian are a good pair, really. They are willing to enjoy life and take it on its own terms.

I think the White Council meeting will come up in the next chapter. And I suspect that Ithilden will find Saruman every bit as offensive as Thranduil does. Even the most patient of Wood-elves is not going to put up with the smarmy stuff for long.

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 1 on 5/30/2004
'“Legolas,” said Annael abruptly, “do you happen to know how serious Sinnarn is about Emmelin?”'

Uh-oh! It's a good thing Annael (and his wife) is more sensible than Solith, but I can imagine Annael's horror nonetheless. Still, it's interesting to see how Sinnarn has grown over the years.

I can see the set-up for the Battle of Five Armies, which makes sense with the spiders - we know they get pretty close to Thranduil's realm at the time of The Hobbit.

Author Reply: When I started to write about Sinnarn, I realized I would have to think about how he had grown up and changed over the years, and I thought about the terrible times he lived in and the influence of his parents. Ithilden is shrewd (as is Sinnarn) and more open to the outside world than Thranduil is. And Alfirin is gentle. I think both of those things would make Sinnarn different from Eilian (not to mention that Eilian spent all his childhood in the Watchful Peace and so has a different take on the world). Anyway, I think given half a chance, Sinnarn would be OK. And Annael would be a wonderful father in law, unlike Solith.

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