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Good Neighbors  by daw the minstrel 241 Review(s)
Eirinn LeighReviewed Chapter: 10 on 7/20/2016
I wonder what the archery master was thinking when he saw Legolas' empty quiver? This might be my favorite of the young legolas' stories so far. Thank you for writing it and sharing!

Author Reply: The archery master must have wondered what was up! He'd surely know that Legolas wouldn't just fluff this assignment off. But I think he's a good teacher, so he knows not to pry too much, especially with both big brothers watching!

Thanks for telling me you liked this story. It was fun to write.


endorearwenReviewed Chapter: 10 on 8/14/2013
Once again, you've written an excellent story, Daw! I love the increasing complexity you are building into Legolas' world with each story! I love the caring gestures the three boys made when the Mannish child was ill after so many days without food. Legolas' generosity in everything he does is most endearing. My favourite lines come from Eilian: "Hiding a stray boy was such a Legolas thing to do. Their father must have had kittens when he heard about it." I have two favourite images from this story - the three brothers at the edge of the training field in the last chapter and Thranduil comforting Rodda in the cottage when they first meet.

The sons of Elrond are always a bit of mystery, and not necessarily a pleasant one as this story shows. I like the growth of Eilian's character as he informs them of his opinion of their behaviour. I do believe you'll make a man of him yet! ;-) Well, on to the next one...

Author Reply: Writing the sons of Elrond is tricky. At least, I found it so. There's a whole lot of fanon about them and not much canon. Although actually, that's true about Thranduil too. But I didn't want to show them as pranksters or as killing machines either. I wanted them with thousands of years of learning and dignity, but off kilter for very good reasons. I wanted both those things to come through at once, so that was hard.

It's also tricky to show Thranduil's feelings about other races. At the end of The Hobbit, Tolkien says there was friendship between elves and men and dwarves in that part of ME, but I decided Thranduil had to work his way to get there. And I do believe that elves would never let a child suffer if they could help it.

The other part of this story that I found hard to write was the magic. I'm a very practical person. Writing magic always makes me gibber.

Thanks for the kind words, endorearwen. I think you're reading Visitors maybe? You'll get lots of Ithilden in that one. :-)

erunyauveReviewed Chapter: 10 on 6/18/2006
Ooop! I hit return by accident there.

You know, I think I love your stories for entirely narcissistic reasons - you agree with me on nearly everything. One of my WIPs has a scene in which Thranduil's reaction to the twins is very similar to the way you've pictured it. I also really liked the scene in which Mithrandir mentions that he wishes to spend time with Legolas. No doubt, he must have foreseen that Legolas had a great destiny.

The explanation for the Enchanted River is wonderful. And I laughed out loud at Elrohir's observation that "Thranduil may find that fostering a Mannish boy is a demanding task." You point out the differences in the twins' understanding of men in comparison with the Woodland Elves - I especially liked the little detail about the Rangers having more skill as trackers than the men of Esgaroth.

Author Reply: Erunyauve! I haven't seen you in an age!

Bringing the twins into the Woodland Realm and trying to guess how everyone would react to one another was a lot of fun. I'd guess that Thranduil would react differently to the twins depending on where we were in the Third Age and what was happening. At this period in the twins' life though, they looked like trouble to me and it sound like to you too.

I always hesitate to write magic because I'm kind of practical myself, which is probably why this is a little understated. It was fun though. Glad you enjoyed it.

DotReviewed Chapter: 10 on 10/3/2005
I was just doing some bedtime reading and the scene with Thranduil putting the enchantment on the river sent such a thrill through me. I read the whole story and had to come back again to this bit. I love it. Thereís such a wonderful air of expectancy beforehand and the magic itself seems so natural and yet deep and powerful. The bond between Thranduil and his forest is beautiful and Thranduil himself seems to possess a strength and majesty in that moment thatís just breathtaking. I canít really express it. Itís amazing. Itís magic. Sorry, but I had to tell you, even though I know I must have said it before. I wonít bother mentioning how much I love Ithilden here ;-) Anyway, it was a perfect last scene to read before heading bedwardsÖ!

Author Reply: I was thinking about this story just the other day. I like the little boy in it and the way Legolas reacts to him, knowing that he's afraid for instance. And I like Amdir the troublemaker in it. If the book I'm trying to sell right now never flies, I wonder if this story would make a better basis for an original fic. I'd have to think about it.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words, Dot. I always hesitate before showing magic, so I'm glad this came across well.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 10 on 1/13/2005
Poor Rodda! That is a terrible story, he must feel so guilty for running away. Legolas has a huge heart for a young elf. The gift of clothing was easy enough but to give away the arrows that he worked hard to fletch and contained the special feathers from his brother, that was hard. Rodda picked the right friend to share his story with.

Thranduils snorting about the guard with the merchant made me laugh out loud. The pair is probably in more danger in the throne room than in the forest. I am glad Eilian was so pleased about working with men. It was a new experience for him and it went spectacularly well. I think everyone is relieved that his time with the twins will leave him calmer and more mature, rather than re-awakening his rage and pain. Thranduil should be pleased. (Poor Cudry - I am looking forward to this!)

Legolas' little chat with Mithrandir was cute. I could tell he was chafing at the interruption to his little plan. I believe he was quite transparent to Mithrandir.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Poor Cudry! I knew he was doomed! I would not piss off Thranduil for all of the wine in his cellar! Ithiden's support was amusing. Your punishment certainly fit the crime. Legolas' timing could have been better but I am glad to see him come clean.

Your Parent Thranduil is as wise as your King Thranduil. He handled both his own son and the scared human with a lot of skill. He must not have been surprised that the kid was hiding near Turgon. It was to be expected. I was glad Thranduil acknowledge his youngest's generous spirit. Favorite line "The kitchen had apparently decided that satisfying Legolas's appetite was a serious task." ROTFLOL!

AHHH, the enchanted river - I hadn't thought of that... it was a pleasant surprise and an excellent explanation for the source of the spell. No wonder Gandalf warned those crazy dwarves about it ...

The conversation in the garden was very well written. I was glad the twins had paid attention to Eilian's little speech. Having Rodda run into the guard and relieve everyone's concerns about punishment was a good way to resolve it. Sending him back to Esgaroth was the right thing to do.
Very sweet ending, it was, indeed, Legolas' day to shine!

Author Reply: I originally put the arrow fletching in this story just to give them all something to do while they talked to one another, but then the arrows grew into a plot element on their own, and the idea for the ending made me very happy.

And I also enjoyed writing pissed-off Thranduil, stalking around the nasty bad man with Ithilden as his tag team mate. And then he goes and crouches next to the cot in the empty cottage and coaxes Rodda into taking his hand. Rodda doesn't know him as anything except Legolas's father, so it felt sort of like seeing Thranduil as a private person for a change.

I've had in my notes for some time to write about how the Enchanted River got that way. This seemed like a good opportunity to describe some wood-elf magic.

And yes, it was Legolas's day to shine. :-)

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 8 on 1/13/2005
The only bad thing about a laptop is that is really hard to leave a coherent review when people keep talking to you. How rude are they?!

I think it is hilarious that Turgon is so certain his parents won't believe his little brother. It is so true! Poor Rodda - he is truly terrified. I hope he didn't accidentally shoot an elf. Your young Legolas is so compassionate, I think that is part of what keeps getting him into trouble.

I liked hearing about Elian's little insecurities and the handshake thing was amusing. Elrohir handled it very smoothly. You did a good job on your men from Esgaroth. It was clear that you gave them a good blend of wanting to recover their dead as well as extracting their revenge - Very realistic. Eilian's internal musings suited him as well. His memories of his mother are obviously still very painful. His thoughts of Legolas and Celuwen are very sweet. Ithilden is, indeed, very clever. Maltanaur would have fallen over laughing at the thought of Elian's musing in sensible actions. Maybe now he understands why Ithilden has to be so clever.

Your orc hunt was very cleverly written. Eilian is wise not to trust those twins!

Thranduil is summoning a merchant to speak with him?! I think the guy is going to learn some new negotiating skills. I feel kind of sorry for him.

Lunch was a most interesting affair. Men are a rather mixed lot but it was good to hear Thranduil admit the same thing about elves. Legolas' increased appetite si probably going hand in hand with his growth spurt. Sometimes I think my boys are going to eat me out of house and home. It is also good to eat a lot at meals to cover his extra, stolen food from the kitchen.

The orc battle was well played. Eilian is a true master at that game, even with a band of misfits. He was correct in not trusting the twins completely. His comments on their recklessness were true enough but not what the Perehdel wanted to hear. Maltanaur was wise to intervene. The findings in the cave were rather gruesome. Poor Rodda really has no one to go home to, his fears of punishment seem unfounded. I am glad Eilian has moved on with his grief.
yay! I have a lot more to read!

Author Reply: You provided me with a good chance here, TL. I finished this story at the end of November and my brain is such a sieve that I had to go back and reread to see what you were talking about. (Lunch? What lunch?) Usually when I first finish a story, I'm sure it's terrible. I'm sick of it and wish I could write better. But when I go back after a while, I think, 'that's not so bad.' And I'm now far enough away from this, that when I went back to reread, that's what I thought. So now I feel good. :-)

Writing about the twins and Eilian was a delicate task. I didn't want to make the twins look crazy or bad. They're suffering. And I wanted to show how Eilian is drawn toward their feelings and then shaken by that fact.

And then, in the meantime, here's the younger set, hiding the boy, fending off Turgon's little brother (he's fun), and trying to figure out what to do. And they are SO in over their heads.

Maltanaur must have gotten some satisfaction from watching Eilian give other people orders not to be rash. LOL

JoeeReviewed Chapter: 8 on 1/1/2005
I am almsot done this excellent story, but a thought just occured to me. I realise that you write these stories out of order, but I thought I would point out that in Prodigal Sons, Turgon can't speak Westron and yet, in this story, he can talk to Rodda. Somehow I doubt that Rodda can speak elvish, so the only conclusion I can come to is that they are all speaking Westron. Am I wrong in thinking this? I have no real objective in mind by pointing this out, so you can take this information and disregard it if you like.

Author Reply: Ah, Joee, you're so clever! I confess I knew that I was going to have a continuity problem here, but I just couldn't face the thought of writing my way around the language difficulty. So I decided to ignore it and hope that readers wouldn't remember. But on SoA especially, the readers are phenomenal, so you weren't the only one who noticed this.

I don't know how people do this. I have to look everything up even in my own stories. I once had a reviewer ask if I knew the name of Siondel's father (Annael's grandfather) and I said no, and then a different reader pointed out that in "One Year," I had Siondel introduce himself as Siondel Someone-ion, so his father's name was whatever I had put there. How did that person do that?

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 6 on 12/25/2004
Uh oh - I think I just sent you a blank review. Eeek! I forgot about Maltanaur. I'm glad you remembered. He would never let the elfling go on his own. His greetings to the twins were a little big stilted - I imagine there is some history there. Maltanaur has a wicked sense of humor - He must be very accustomed to serving with that particular captain. I'm glad Eilian got to tell his little brother good-bye before leaving. It is hard to conceal much when you are young. You think you are cool but you are not. I liked the pucker between Legolas' brows - I saw it several times in the movies.

It seems this group is always having food issues. Annael should plant a garden or something. The intimate dinner with Mithrandir was sweet. Legolas' interest in far away places started early. The comments regarding the men are aptly timed - they are indeed trouble. If the issue with Rodda is enough to throw Legolas off of his sword game it is a bigger deal than I thought. Sounds like he is more stressed than he is letting on. Poor Rodda - things must have been very hard on him since the orc attack. At least he is safe for now. Those 3 will take good care of him. Your siblings are playing an amusing role in this story!

Author Reply: Fortunately, on SoA, deleting blank reviews is easy. :-)

I almost forgot about Maltanaur too. All at once it occurred to me that I had to produce him. He's devoted to Eilian. He'd slap him around himself if he had to, but no one else is going to lead him astray if Maltanaur can help it, and he'd keep his disapproval private. Which Eilian takes advantage of!

Turgon's little brother was fun to produce. He acts like the younger sibs of friends I had as a kid. What a terror! And yet, he 's cute.

These three are going to try to take care of Rodda, but they may be in over their head.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 4 on 12/25/2004
Tired of these stories? Not likely. I have always loved series of books - I am lazy and don't like to remember new names. Fanfiction is the best thing since sliced bread. I especially like the familial relationships in your stories. You have a fresh perspective on their relationships and the royalty factor as well.

Dinner sounded a bit awkward. No one wants to be in a crowded room of people on display when they are grieving. The twins handled it well. Ithilden did a good job rescuing them. I would be very nervous if Mithrandir was interested in my kids too. Legolas' departure was cute. It would be hard to have the King see you off on a camping trip. I was glad he understood. Eilian is a very social creature- I have no doubt that his popularity pleased him. Sondil is very brave.

Eilian's encounter with the twins must have been exciting for the warrior. Any chance he has to improve his sword skills is a big, fun time. Their little conversation in the glade was uncomfortable. His brother should have warned him. Swapping the conversation to strategy was a good move.

Caridd would be wise to accept Thranduil's offer. Sounds like things are going downhill very quickly. It must have been hard to let the evil creatures escape but the wounded were more important. I am glad it so hard for everyone to let it go.

Sounds like you did your woodcraft homework too. The activities in which the young ones are engaged sound realistic. I always liked how all of your characters have their own strenghts, ie Annael's woodcraft. A lot of authors have one or two perfect characters and no one else is good at anything. Galelas is still in brat mode - at least we know he improves later on. At least his older brother did not escort him to the camp.

The twins are still pretty distraught, the conversation about the band of orcs was not one of their finer moments. I can't really blame them for wanting to demolish the creatures. The wood elves may even be grateful for the help this week. I am looking forward to seeing all of this activity converge.

Author Reply: I did do my woodcraft homework. I'm a complete city girl myself so I was a blank slate. And I found all kinds of cool stuff. I could barely keep myself from telling readers all the things you could learn from coyote poop.

Eilian is feel ambivalent about the twins. He recognizes their feelings and is both fascinated and cautious. He does not want to go down that road again! And yet, he responds to their fury.

I love Annael. He is such a sweet kid. Thranduil must thank his lucky stars every night that at least one of Legolas's friends is sensible.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/25/2004
Hi! I am still alive but my PC was not. I got a cool laptop for Christmas! Using it with my wireless cable modem is Great! My husband just wanted to see me more so now I can read fanfiction while he watches TV. What could be better? A new story and a half from Daw!

This is starting off very sweet so far. I love how young Legolas covets his time with his father. My rugrats ran off as soon as their friends next door invited them over. Not that I am complaining...
The men of Esgaroth better get their act together or they are going to lose some good customers. The Woodland king should be irate - he depends on them to keep his people safe and they are obviously not doing a good job.

I am looking forward to see how you relate the twins' grief to that of the Thranduilion(s) - How do you make that plural? It seems they will all handle it differently. I was glad Thranduil could tell the twins apart - nice touch. Poor Eilian got stuck with babysitting duty. I would think he and the twins would make a dangerous combination. I kind of feel sorry for any orcs nearby.

I also kind of feel sorry for Turgon - his house seems very chaotic. His parents inattentive, and his younger brother a challenge. His arrows sound very distinctive. I am glad Legolas also gets some quality time from Eilian - he is definitely his hero. Betting on horses? That was cute. Legolas should definitely be grateful for his family. Great start!

Author Reply: Wow, TL. I thought you might have gotten tired of these stories. Or busy. That had occurred to me too. You do seem to have a full life. And I don't want to sound like I'm nagging. Review are always a gift, and no one owes them. Anyway, glad to hear from you and it sounds as if you got a great gift.

Legolas does crave the attention of his family, especially his very busy father. I looked up lots of stuff about arrows for this story and then enjoyed using it.

Making the twins appear was also fun but tricky. I wanted to respect their dignity as 2500 year old elven warriors. I wanted to show they were now, but also suggest that that wasn't how they usually were. And I wanted to show the subtle differences between Rivendell and Mirkwood. So it was challenge.

I feel terribly sorry for Turgon. His parents are unloving. They accept his "different" aesthetic sense, for instance. They are just on another planet.

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