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Tangled Web  by daw the minstrel 20 Review(s)
sofiaReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
oh very intresting... next chapter should prove to be exciting, eh?

Author Reply: I *hope* the next chapter is exciting! It should be the battle scene and then there's the aftermath and then the story will be done.

ManderlyReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
What a wonderful chapter! You built up the tension so well. I really hope you get to the meat of the battle in your next post as I am holding my breath for it.

I am so glad that Sinnarn is back in action again. He really did not deserve the harsh punishment that was dealt to him.

Beliond and company are really a class by themselves. I guess they would have to be if their charges are members of the Royal Family. I really cannot help but love them as they always bring out the giggles in me.

Thranduil was pretty magnificent in this chapter. No wonder Legolas is totally awed by him. I would be too if he were my father.

Really looking forward to the next chapter.

Author Reply: The battle should be coming right up!

I think that Ithilden is as relieved as Sinnarn is to have him back in favor. He hated having his son in trouble, but he's so fair-minded that the didn't want to show any favoritism.

The three keepers are, as you say, "a class by themselves." Thranduil chose them well. They are devoted to their charges, and their personalities vary a bit to suit the son. Maltanaur is much more easy going than Beliond is, for instance.

Thranduil rules! Well, I mean figuratively as well as literally.

ValkrieCrowReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
Yay! Some action! Sorry I haven't reviewed in a while, but I just spent two weeks at the beach! :)

I have never wanted to hurt Bilbo this much, it's a good thing he's not one of my favorite characters.

"Behind Legolas, Beliond spat a word that made all the Elves within hearing turn around and look at him, although the Men seemed to take it in stride."

Too funny! I can imagine that the Men's ears have heard that word before.

I am awaited the next chapter with much anxiety!

Author Reply: I hope you had a good time. I'm jealous! I love the beach.

Bilbo wasn't bad really, unless you look at it from Sinnarn's POV (which we're doing). But he did make problems for the Elves.

Belion amuses me no end. Somehow he just jumped off the page and started cussing in one story and he's been doing it ever since. Legolas's vocabulary has expanded!

LeraReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
I cannot believe you left us there!! My blood's lit, I can't wait to read more! This was a fast update. You update faster than any other author I read, for which I thank you.

I'm so glad Sinnarn is back with his patrol. I have to admit I was a little surprised when Bilbo actually told Legolas and Sinnarn it was a ring that made him invisible. But then he did say it was just a toy.

Thranduil was wonderful. I was as proud of him as Legolas was.

Great chapter. Please update soon.

Author Reply: I'm a teacher and it's summer so I have lots of time to write right now. :-)

I had to guess about how much Bilbo told about the ring. At a point we haven't gotten to yet, Thranduil says something like "May your shadow never grow less, or burgling would grow too easy." So from that I inferred that he knew that Bilbo had become invisible, which means he probably knew how. They all seem to take magic somewhat for granted and there's no reason to think that this ring is the One Ring. It seems almost absurd to think that!

I love Thranduil. Battle sequence coming up.

nessieReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
You just HAD to stop it right when the battle is starting! I remember that part when Ithilden sent Sinnarn out, I remember that dream. I wonder what's going to happen now. If I remember anything from The Hobbit, alot of the Elves died. Don't kill anybody off that I really like. Anyways, update asap!


Author Reply: What a good memory you have, Nessie! Yes, Ithilden had that dream in "One Year in Mirkwood." Tolkien says that few escaped this battle unwounded and "among the goblin dead lay many men and many dwarves, and many a fair elf that should have lived yet long ages merrily in the wood." Sobering thought.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
And you still haven't got to the battle! But this was a great chapter, with some wonderful parts. Thank you for including Thranduil's best line of all, 'long will I tarry ere I begin this war for gold'. It's the reason I love him.

Legolas's pride at being his father's son was very touching, and I like his admiration of Bard. Great foreshadowing in this line: 'the archer who stood his ground when a creature of darkness swept overhead'. Now *where* have I read a scene like that? ;)

I'm still making bets with myself on who you kill. Please, not Thranduil's family.


Author Reply: This chapter ended where I thought the last one would end. I'm terrible at telling how long it's going to take me to tell my story. And Thranduil's line is a thrilling one, partly because you don't necessarily expect it. It's so great.

I love that you caught the allusion to the Nazgul. There are just so many themes in The Hobbit that come back again in LOTR.

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
Ah, so Sinnarn and Ithilden finally have The Conversation about the Mystery of the Re-filling Wine Cup. And Ithilden believes him. Good. I was amused by the thought of Alfirin almost fighting with Ithilden because she believeed Sinnarn and he didn't--that's a scene I would have liked to see, though I can understand why you didn't include it. And Sinnarn's back in the Home Guard! Yay! I like the easy way Todith welcomes him back--not pretending that the wine incident didn't happen, but just mentioning it like it was a joke. It sort of reminds me of what happened in another one of your fics--Fire and Shadow, I think?--where Legolas has to be tied to Beliond for a day as punishment. I like the way you've portrayed the Mirkwood military's attitude about discipline.

I loved Todith handing Bilbo over to Legolas and Sinnarn. Hee! I'd be alarmed, too, if I were Bilbo! Sinnarn, I guess, is a bit sorry he didn't get to take his revenge on Bilbo! But that scene goes from comic to chilling really fast when Bilbo brings out the ring. "Such a small thing," hmm, Legolas? A "toy of no consequence"? That "small thing" is going to change his life--I guess he looked back on this moment many times during the Quest. I liked the Legolas-Bard moment too. Bard is proto-Aragorn in many ways, so that, too, tied in with the LotR trilogy.

But Bard's getting a bit above himself, isn't he. Trying to order Sinnarn around in that tone, when he's a) an Elf and not under Bard's command, and b) second in line to the throne of Mirkwood, though I guess Bard may not know that. But Bard can't get away with too much with the Elves around. Go Thranduil! That's my favorite line of his, about not wanting to start a war for gold.

And now the carnage starts. I suppose this is where you get rid of your superfluous OCs, hmm?

Author Reply: Ithilden's love for his son is touching, I think. His role as Sinnarn's commander as well as his father makes situations like this tough. I figure warriors need discipline, but elves are not so rigid as men are. They have forever to get perspective and learn one another's strengthes.

I absolutely thought that about Bard! His physical description is even proto-Aragorn: dark and grim. I love it when things in this story look forward to the trilogy.

And Thranduil was willing to let Bard be in charge for only so long before he had to bring the smackdown. I love the guy. "Long will I tarry before I begin this war for gold." Go, Elvenking!!!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
"Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold."

Thranduil for President in '04!

How frustrating must it be to be surrounded by fools who are shooting at nominal allies over gold that, from your point of view, isn't going anywhere? Thranduil seems to have the clearest view of economic reality of all the leaders here. Thorin just wants to sit on his wealth, which will ultimately bring him no good. Bard would take his share and probably pump it all into Lake Town, which would prop up Lake Town for a while, but eventually the gold would be gone and they'd be in the same situation as before. Thranduil wants to take some gold and trade with the Men and the Dwarves, thereby putting the currency in circulation and enriching everyone, thereby proving himself to have the firmest grasp on the concept of a functional economy. Perhaps because his aim for the gold is to trade it right back to the Dwarves and Men, he's not quite as attached to "his share" as the others are. His pech that he's the one market economist trapped in the company of hostile hoarders.

Oh, dear. I'm turning into my father. Oh, Legolas! Be a dear and shoot me now, if you would, there's a good Elf.

Ithilden and Sinnarn have an interesting conversation here. It seems that they understand it very differently. Ithilden is really looking for any excuse to believe Sinnarn, no matter how thin it is. To his mind, the story of the invisible Hobbit refilling the flagon is pretty implausible, but it's just enough so that he can justify believing Sinnarn, which he really wants to do. Sinnarn, on the other hand, is convinced that he's telling the absolute truth, which we can assume he is. But a truth like that is so wildly improbable that Ithilden will likely never fully believe it, even as he uses it as an excuse to take Sinnarn back into his good graces.

Speaking of Sinnarn, he should probably refrain from using phrases like "You worry too much, Adar." People who say things like that on the eve of battle rarely come to good ends. Perhaps someone should remind him of the Confederate general whose last words were, "They couldn't hit a barn at this dist --."

Here come the Orcs, and here comes the Fickle Finger of Fate. Place your bets, ladies and gentle-elves! Round and round and round it goes. . .

Author Reply: I thought about Thranduil as President too. :-) He might be a little autocratic though.

It's been a little tricky to catch Thranduil's attitude toward the treasure well. Tolkien says he loves treasure and beautiful things, but he also clearly announces that he's not starting a war over gold. He's really amazing.

I am so sorry about your father ventroliquating through you. It's awful when that kind of thing happens.

The conversation between Ithilden and Sinnarn was the first thing I worked out in this chapter that I was really pleased with. It's turning out to be hard to keep the focus on my characters' stories rather than on Tolkien's plot, not that that plot isn't important too!

I actually altered some of Tolkien's language, saying 'orc' where he said 'goblin.' Bad me!

EsamenReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
And thank you for another fabulous chapter . . . there's so much in this one that I will have to go home, read The Hobbit some more, and check out all this action!

Legolas and Sinnarn looked at one another and then at a slightly alarmed looking Bilbo. “Yes, Captain,” Sinnarn said cheerily.

Oh, Bilbo's between a rock and a hard place now! Hee hee! I can just see the Elves' nasty smiles.

“I really do not mind,” Bilbo said. “I do not know how I would have gotten it all home anyway.”

Legolas stared at him, his mind awhirl with thoughts of all those around him who seemed to have their hearts set on owning at least some of whatever was in the mountain.

Oh, yes. Our Bilbo. Tolkien's Bilbo of The Hobbit is such a tremendous character . . . I think that his hobbityness plays up against the Elvishness and Dwarvishness in such a fascinating way . . . there's just no one else like him in all of Arda. Nice touch in that conversation.


“Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold,” Thranduil said, in an imperious tone that made every Elf around him come to attention. “The Dwarves cannot pass us, unless we will, or do anything that we cannot mark. Let us hope still for something that will bring reconciliation. Our advantage in numbers will be enough, if in the end it must come to unhappy blows.”

And a nice touch for Thranduil too! He's being a very ethical guy in this story, in spite of the lure of the treasure.

I can't wait to see the next chapter! I hope you are enjoying writing this as much as I am enjoying reading it! Thanks!


Author Reply: I've been pouring over The Hobbit, of course, and one thing I've realized is that Tolkien is a far more poetic, descriptive writer than he gets credit for. His description of the dwarves rolling into the valley and then the thunder and bats is just wonderful. I was really sort of intimidated by it.

Your comments on Bilbo's hobbityness were right on, I think. He just wants some peace and good meal! Would there were more of us like him!

Thranduil is fabulous. That's my very favorite line for him from The Hobbit. I can't think why anyone ever calls him greedy.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 15 on 7/5/2004
Oh, splendid.

Do you know, I always have an edge of disappointment when a new chapter comes up, because I know that when I have read it I will have to wait again for the next!

I'm so glad Sinnarn has been forgiven (although Ithilden is right that this is probably not the best moment to rejoin the warriors). I'm happy that Bilbo has told them how he did it - and that he has proved that there are people around who care more for right than treasure. And that Thranduil came out with his best line.

'How could such a small thing have caused so much trouble?' Hah!!!

Legolas and Bard - the only two dragon-slayers on Middle Earth?

Brilliant, comme d'habitude.

Author Reply: What a wonderful thing to say, Bodkin! I'll update fast, I promise.

People in this story really do react differently to the treasure. It's interesting to see it actually. Bilbo is just such a hobbit. No wonder a hobbit was the one to carry the ring to Mt. Doom.

Thranduil is so great. I love him more and more.

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