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Tangled Web  by daw the minstrel 436 Review(s)
Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/31/2004
Good job, as usual, wrapping things up. You rarely leave me feeling short changed.

Thranduil's gleam over his enchantment was wicked. I really enjoyed it.
I was glad Sinnarn survived this one. I would have missed him a lot. The funeral scene as the bodies of the elves were sent up the river was very sad. The memories of the departed had me choked up again.

I enjoyed seeing Thranduil pat his younger sons on the back. Everyone needs some encouragement and he seems to know just what to tell them. Eilian does have a big heart and I wouldn't change it either. He is still very young himself, I think that is why he still enjoys playing in the snow far longer than most warriors. Thranduil's advice to Legolas was good - judge men as individuals and not as a group. I think he will use the same philosophy when it comes to dwarves.

It was good to end the story on a happy note. It was a lot darker than your usual tale but it suited the time frame.

Author Reply: Thranduil's sense of humor seems to me to be pretty elfy. It's a little -- well, cruel is too strong a work -- but malicious maybe? I like it, actually.

In her review, French Pony sent me links to music that should have been playing at the funeral and it's wonderful.

I think Eilian is slow to grow up (and also he is much more wood elfy that either of his brothers). In the normal course of things, that wouldn't matter to an elf who had all of time. But given the danger in which they live and his place as Thranduil's son, it can be a problem.

Yeah, I ran off to write an elfling story after this. I needed something light.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 16 on 7/31/2004
Good job with the battle scene! It must have been hard to coordinate all of those troops while keeping a clear picture in your head. You do a good job describing the overall events from the perspective of one person. It makes the situation a lot more personal.

All of our heroes let their attention falter in this one and all have paid the price. Ithilden must have been completely distraught to see his son in danger and be unable to act. It must have been terrible for Legolas to leave and injured Beliond among the rocks. (I think his keeper is wounded more often than he is) Only his concern for his family and his people enabled him to walk away.

Killing off Todith was not a big surprise. I didn't think he would survive this because it was the best way to make Legolas captain of the home guard before "A Question of Duty." The lieutenant's discovery of his captain was very touching, his memories of his first patrol were very sweet. Eilain's thoughts over Galelas left tears in my eyes. He was unfortunate to not have the love and support that the Thranduilion took for granted. I doubt Tinar will cope very well.

The suspense before the arrival of the youngest princes of the realm was excellent. You had me worried over who else had fallen. Nithron's death was hard but Sinnarn's would have been worse. I am glad he is still around!

The closing scene with the brothers weeping in each others' arms was very sad. Boromir's death was certainly not the first that Legolas had encountered.

Author Reply: This battle was much bigger than the little skirmishes I usually write, but at least I had Tolkien's outline to follow. I just moved in closer to see it through a warrior's eyes instead of from above as an omniscient narrator (although the narrator was Bilbo, and I don't know how omniscient he is really).

I thought Todith's death was pretty predictable for exactly the reason you name. I felt terrible about Galelas. I still do. He had a horrible family, something that makes Eilian see his own family more clearly, even his sometimes troubled relationship with his father.

I considered killing Sinnarn, but Thranduil is too cheery at the end of "The Hobbit" to have just lost a beloved grandson. In other words, killing Sinnarn seemed uncanonical. Weird, eh?

I loved the brothers comforting one another after this horrible battle.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 14 on 7/31/2004
July has been a busy month and I am finally catching up on some fun! It is nice to be able to read the chapters in succession.

You are doing a great job of fitting all of your OC's into this complicated story line. Maintaining all of the smaller stories has to be hard - Sinnarn's discipline, his relationships with Annael and Emmelin, Galelas/Tinar's feud. It is coming out very well. Your elvish perspective has also been great! Thranduil's people are not the greedy race that are portrayed in the dwarvish version of events. They do need to replenish their coffers after many years of fighting.

I was glad to see Thranduil back off on his claim as soon as he realized that Thorin still lived. Having him hang around to see how things turned out was the natural thing to do. The king's admiration for his sons was a nice touch as well. He doesn't get a chance to do that often.

Ithilden is still quite protective of Sinnarn. I guess now he knows just how his father has felt for milennia. Legolas and Sinnarn's little encounter with Bilbo was very amusing. I would be very nervous if I were that hobbit.

Author Reply: I'm so glad to hear from you, TL. I hope whatever you were doing was fun.

It was hard keeping track of everything. This story is longer and more complicated than most of what I write, and really taught me how complex Tolkien's plotting is, even in "The Hobbit," which is much simpler than the trilogy. I also noticed much more about how lively his battle descriptions are. He's remote from the action mostly, but he's very poetic.

I was interested in the relationship of Sinnarn and his parents. I felt like I was taking a glimpse into their intimate lives in their own family apartment. And snoopy me,I enjoyed doing it!

nessieReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/19/2004
Aww. Last chapter was incredible, by the way. My heart stopped for a second when Beliond was injured. I thought he was going to die! Good thing he didn't though. I actually felt sorry for Tinar. That little paragraph was so sad though, I almost cried. He just seemed so lost. "He's too young to be dead." Loved that. Very angsty. I'm going to miss Nithron alot too. Also loved the ending, it lightened the mood up a little. I'm still very sad though. Well, I really, really, really loved this story and I absolutely can't wait for the next one!


Author Reply: Thank you, Nessie. The Wood-elves had a lot to mourn but they also had a lot to rejoice in by the end of "The Hobbit." Smaug is dead and Sauron is gone. It's a good time to have babies!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/18/2004
Sounds good - can't wait. It'll be lovely to see them small and naughty again. Thranduil and Turgon - a pairing made in heaven.

(Should be called WITHdawAL symptoms. Corny.)

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/18/2004
The withdrawal symptoms are getting very bad. I need another dose of daw!

Author Reply: I have a new story all outlined and, with luck, should start writing today. I have to work Monday and Wednesday this week (in the summer, for no pay - something is wrong with this picture; this is so NOT why I became an academic). But a chapter will be along within a few days. :-)

Author Reply: Here's what it's about: Little Legolas turns 20 (about 8 in human terms). Turgon and Annael spend the night in the palace. Legolas's family remembers the day he was born.

caz - bazReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/15/2004
that was a good story. It sort of carried on the theme of the week of how ugly war is - i watched 'Cold Mountain'.

you should find someone temporarily for Legolas he's all alone and i feel sorry for him.

i like to know about Eilian's children i bet there would be some funny stories to tell, although to be fair to Eilian i'm sure he would make a great father and Celuwen would add the common sense to the mixture.

But at the moment i think i've had my fill of little children. we've been looking after 20 10-11 year olds and they're exhausting, i can do one at a time because my sister's at that age but when they're in a group, arrgghhhhh!
they need a warning label - may induce loss of hair, redness of face or early heart attack. Keep away from water or hot objects.

We also recently got a trampoline - don't worry my sister's not dead... yet!

caz - baz

ps: am eagerly awaiting next story.

Author Reply: Thank you, caz-baz. I feel sorry for Legolas too. I suppose if it hadn't been for the sea-longing, he would have married after the quest, but he couldn't really do it when he knew he was going to leave. He has friends and family though.

And I think I will have to write about Eilian as a father. That will be fun. But my goodness! Taking care of so many at once! That's a very tough job.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/14/2004
Gosh, daw, I go away for a few days and find everything has already taken place in my absence. I can't tell you have much I enjoyed this whole tale. You did a superior job of telling it from the Elves' perspective. Your battles were so well done and realistically portrayed. I think war is a horrible thing and much worse than I can even imagine. I knew we had to expect deaths...that's the way of war...but I can't help but feel bad for the OC's we lost. I think Galelas was the most sad for me. He'd come so far personally and professionally under Eilian's kind guidance. I even felt bad for Tinar. He was shocked back to reality by his brother's death. I suppose even arrogant fools still love their family and friends. I don't know how this will impact him in the future, but at this moment, he's a grieving brother, and I can't help but feel for him at such a time. The whole Woodland Realm will be in mourning for those lost...even the unnamed ones that we simply know died.

The main characters were wonderful. Thranduil is indeed the greatest Elven-king. He's shrewd, but wise, nevering losing sight of what was really important. He raised his sons well. Eilian and Legolas stepped up when needed and proved themselves competent and mature. Adar saw his sons in a new light. Sometimes, parents can be the last to see their child as no longer a child. All our energy goes into seeing them to this point and are probably the most surprised when we find they've reached it. If we do our jobs well as parents, we put ourselves out of a job. Good for Thranduil for acknowledging this.

You did a great job of showing strong competent Ithilden's weakness. His family. I know Sinnarn was nearly a goner, but I'm glad you didn't let him get killed. I would hate to think of that pain it would have caused Ithilden and Alfirin. (That's the parent in me suffering with them.)

There are so many little things about the story that I found just wonderful that it would take me all day and most likely bore you to tears if I were to list them all. Let me just say that you gave such warmth and terror, political intrigue and mystery to Tolkien's tale. Shoot! I think he would even be impressed with the thorough job you did telling the story from the Elves' point of view. I don't think I'll ever read the Hobbit again and not picture your story going on behind the scenes.

Thanks, daw. You've given me much pleasure in reading this. I look forward to the next tale. Karen

Author Reply: Thank you, Karen. Galelas is the one I felt worst about too. He aroused my motherly instincts because his family was so terrible. I comfort myself by thinking of him in an honored place in the Halls of Mandos. He'll like that.

Thranduil sees his younger sons as adult. At least today he does. :-) No guarantee how long that lasts. But I think it was even more important that THEY saw themselves as responsible for others. I wanted that for Legolas, who will soon be on the quest.

And oh you are so right. Ithilden's family is his weakness. If his son had died, I'm not sure how he would have born it.

Btw, I see that Meckinock was runner-up in action/adventure in the Mithrils. Good for her! Celebrate!!!

LKKReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/14/2004
Nithron, Galelas, and (missed most of all by me) Todith -- the roster of named elven dead makes me sad. I will miss them, especially Todith whom I really liked. If there is any good to come from these deaths, perhaps it will be to Tinar who seemed most shocked by his brother's death.

This has been a fascinating look at The Hobbit, daw. Have you ever heard of the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead? It's the Hamlet story told from the perspective of 2 of its minor characters. Tangled Web has been like that, for me; The Hobbit told from the perspective of the minor characters.

I'm very curious to read what you tackle next. Will you continue to go forward in time? Eilian as a father? Legolas meeting Aragorn? The guarding of Gollum? Or will you go back in time? Give us another glimpse of the brothers childhoods? Or back to Thranduil and his wife's courting? Whatever you tackle, you can be sure I'll be eager to read. :)


Author Reply: I thought about "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" as I was writing this story! It felt that way to me too. The Elves know less about what's going on than the reader does, which is the same experience the audience has with that play.

I'm thinking I'll do an elfling Legolas story next. One advantage of that is that the cast of characters is smaller, just Ada and the big brothers and his friends. We'll see. Right now, I'm doing nothing and enjoying it greatly.

NelsoniaReviewed Chapter: 17 on 7/14/2004
Hello Daw
Thanks again for such a great story, you have outdone yourself girl! I loved every bit of it, great pace great battle (even if it was a horrible one you portrayed the horribleness v well, which I think was the point). Looking forward to something lighter though he he he
I will side with Bodkin on the "do not kill any more OCs" group he he he.
Still v busy with the phd here so I apologize again for not reviewing nearly as often as I would like, but I always look forward to read your stories! Keep up the good work
Best wishes Nelsonia

Author Reply: Thank you, Nelsonia. This is the third "no more dead OCs" message I've gotten this morning. I think someone is trying to tell me something!

I'm glad you liked the story. The battle was horrible. Tolkien was really good at putting in details like the bats, and when you show them from a character's point of view, they're really creepy.

A lighter story is an excellent idea!

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