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Good Neighbors  by daw the minstrel 241 Review(s)
LKKReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/14/2004
What a wonderful story, daw! I read it last night, but my computer froze before I could leave you a review. When I came here this morning to review it, I found myself rereading half of it all over again. LOL

There are so many things in here that I enjoyed. I loved the attention to detail you showed during the tracking trip. Anneal's wood elf nature really gave him a chance to shine. Too often, our quietest elfling is over-powered by his more rambunctious friends. The little tidbit about the female fox ... I didn't know that. I believe it because I know how you work hard to get the little details right.

Is this the first time you've written about the twins? I think that it is. You did a wonderful job of mixing their grief turned to revenge. Their singlemindedness, almost a blindness, was clear. I'm glad that they may be coming to the end of the first stage of their grief.

I liked your explanation for how the Enchanted River became enchanted. Were you the one who posed the question on the list? Your solution was inventive and plausible. And since canon doesn't provide a definite answer, it's a good solution to the problem.

One thing that really came through for me is how the Legolas of the quest -- the elf who was so willing to help and become friends with members of other races -- came to be. The adult elf is an extension of the child. Thranduil's bemused wonderment about his youngest son being so willing to go so far for his friends. Elian's thought about how hiding a boy was "so Legolas". This child will definitely grow into Tolkien's elf.

Like I said, a wonderful story. It's on my favorites list. :)

Now, hurry up and finished your current story so that I can read that one too! ;)


Author Reply: Thank you, LKK.

I was surprised about the tracking stuff too. I found a ton of stuff on line about various things you can learn from tracks and other things and it turned out you can tell male from female in some animals, depending on how they walk. Who knew??? I did love having Annael be so happy buzzing around the woodcraft teacher. He wasn't showing off. He was just like a duck taking a swim.

I mentioned the twins briefly in "Question of Duty" but this was the first time I really tried to write about them and it was tricky because I wanted to communicate what they were usually like as well as what they were like at the moment. And I wanted to show them as 2500 year old sons of Elrond.

It wasn't me who posed the question about the Enchanted River. It was Elliska and I was startled to see it because I had this magic scene planned already. I'm looking forward to seeing how she handles it too.

One of the things about these pre-quest tales is that our knowledge of the characters' future is always there for us so everything that takes them there has an extra resonance, I think.

I'm working on the next story, but between the end of the semester stuff and the holiday stuff and the EE of ROTK, I'm afraid I'm slower than usual.

dr_seuss_is_coolReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/8/2004
Hello Daw!

I would like to apologize profusely. I'm sorry that i haven't reviewed since...well, a long time. I am just so sorry. I don't think that you'll probably even want to read another long apology from me so I'll go on to the short review that i was able to write quickly.

I loved the part where Thranduil is with the water. To me it seemed very un-Thranduilish behavior but I loved it. I have to tell you that if I had to pick anyone in your stories that I love the most. It would be Eilian. I've fallen in love. I thoroughly enjoyed all the parts with Rodda. I loved how the twins were in this story. I've always wondered how you would portray them. Well, thank you so much! Again, I'm sorry for ignoring the leave review button for so long.

Thank you and have a great day!
Bye bye

Author Reply: Hello, Dr. Seuss! How are you? I assume you're busy. It happens. Don't worry about it.

I like writing magical Thranduil. Tolkien says that the wood-elves "magic was strong" and we know that the doors of Thranduil's cavern were sealed by magic. I think of his magic as coming from his connection to Arda, to his woods. So I thought enchanting the river would be right up his alley.

And I will confess that I am very fond of Eilian myself. :-)

esamenReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/5/2004
His father and Mithrandir stood conferring in voices low enough that he could not quite catch what they were saying, but something about the atmosphere tingled with anticipation, as if everything around him waited for something to change.

I really like these glimpses of the king's connection to his realm. I love that mysterious, organic, unknowable power. Nicely done . . .


“Who is this?” Elrohir asked, and Eilian remembered the twins’ presence. “Surely this must be the boy the Esgaroth soldiers were so worried about. Good evening, child. I am Elrohir, and this is my brother, Elladan.”

Now THIS is the voice of the twins. Graceful, compassionate, perfectly understanding the company they are with. Old, yet ageless. Inspiring respect. Beautiful!


“Thranduil may find that fostering a Mannish boy is a demanding task,” Elrohir observed with a small smile.

What a graceful nod towards Aragorn, even though he isn't born yet (I don't think so, anyway . . . I haven't checked my Appendix lately). Nice comment from the Elves' point of view. This sentence adds a whole new layer of depth to the story. Gorgeous. If I had to sum up this story in one word, that would be it: Gorgeous. Every scene!

Thanks for writing! See you next time!

Author Reply: Thranduil's magic is a little tricky to write, but I agree with you about its nature. And the trees got all excited when they knew what was going to happen.

The twins are there underneath. All those years of being Elrond's sons aren't gone. They're just lost for a little while. And I thought they would be used to mannish children -- all those heirs of Isildur fostered in Imladris for years on end. Aragorn won't be born for several hundred years yet.

Thank you, Esamen. You're making me feel good.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 9 on 12/5/2004
Hello! I'm working my way through the last two chapters. Here's a few moments I really enjoyed:

A story lay here, Ithilden thought and wondered what chance he had of getting it out of Eilian. Asking Maltanaur would be pointless. He never talked about what he saw while guarding Eilian.

I always like bits about the keepers.

Cudry took an involuntary step backwards only to find himself up against the substantial chest of Ithilden.

Chuckle. Oh, sweet. Lovely scene. Don't even think about getting out of this one, Cudry! Go Thranduil1

Author Reply: Now that I look at that line, I wonder if Eilian would tell Ithilden about what happened, and if Ithilden would tolerate not being told. I'll be Eilian is good at wiggling out of what he doesn't want to tell. And I do love Maltanaur, right down to his discretion about his sometimes wayward charge.

Thranduil and Ithilden double teaming Cudry. Yeah!

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 10 on 12/3/2004
While I'm always sorry to see a story end, the conclusion is always satisfying. I liked this in so many ways. Thranduil had so many different roles - caring father, protective adult, mysterious Elvenking (I love it when he performs magic!) and powerful ruler. I liked the subtle hint to Rodda's guardian.

The boy's plight has also penetrated the twins' self-absorption in their grief, and like Elrohir and Eilian, I was surprised to hear Elladan's words. They need to go home; to be with Elrond, Arwen and the rest of Imladris.

Finally, Ithilden was right in what he said to Alfirin (and he didn't make a fool of himself!) - Legolas did shine. The three brothers walking together was lovely.


Author Reply: I hate having a story end! I don't know why I rush toward it so!

Anyway, I'm glad you liked this, Jay. Thranduil really came through. I particularly liked writing about him with Rodda, who didn't know he was the king and just saw him as Legolas's ada.

The twins do need to go home. They're so strong and noble underneath all that grief and rage. And they could see Rodda's need, so there's hope there, I think.

I think Alfirin must have looked at Ithilden, who was looking at Legolas with love and pride, and known right then that the sometimes stiff troop commander was the right one for her. :-)

FirnsarnienReviewed Chapter: 10 on 11/30/2004
Ok, *sniff, sniff* I really wanted to comment more on this chappy, but what is forefront in my mind is Leggy's arrows! *sob* That was beautiful man, just beautiful! Leggy is so selfless and giving. *sniffle* I'm so glad his father didn't make mention of Leggy's gift to Rodda and I'm so glad Ithilden and Eilian went with Leggy to archery class to show their support of Leggy. His arrows would have beautiful for the class to see, but somehow, they looked even more beautiful in their quiver with Rodda! *sob* Beautiful...

Ok, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I can't tell ya how please I was that Thranduil kept a calm head and didn't chew Leggy out. I'm glad things turned out all right for Rodda too. See, everything turns our right in the end, I don't know why I ever doubted you or worried. Hmmm, let's see, maybe I did cause of what happens to Turgon later on, right? ;( Ok, *sniff* I'm not going to dwell on that or I'll start crying again. *sniff*

What a wonderful story! Loved it, every minute of it! So sad it's over though. Guess it's time for another, no? How 'bout one with the plot I've been dying for? No? Yes? Hmmmmm? *grovel, grovel* How 'bout giving this angst hound a fix, hmmmm? ;) LOL Well, whatever you write, I'm sure I'll be more than pleased! Just hurry though, k? ;)

Author Reply: So you liked Legolas giving away the arrows? He is a sweetie, I have to admit. It seemed to me that once he had given them, he wouldn't take them back, even though he no longer feared that Rodda was going to try to cross the forest alone. His family is proud of him, I think.

I still feel bad about Turgon. I wrote that story where he dies very early on. If I'd written more about him before I did it, I don't think I could have killed him.

I don't know what I'll write about next. I'm just taking a little break here.

FirnsarnienReviewed Chapter: 9 on 11/30/2004
"Legolas realized with a start that Rodda must be walking a dream path." This line right here really caught my eye! You stayed so true to the way Elves talk with this one. True, nightmare does seem out of place when you utter it in a story, but it is so hard to come up with a better word. This line did it beautifully! Bravo! :)

Holy moly! When Rodda was confessing to Legolas what had happened, I stopped worrying about Leggy getting in too much trouble. Surely they'd see that his heart was in the right place and he wasn't being intentionally deceptive. And that chance meeting with Mithrandir was just what he needed. Leave it to the old wizard to be just at the right place at the right time. :)

Thranduil's handling of that horrid crook was great. Only he could be so menacing that he would get a confession out of the man just by looks alone. Whew, impressive I tell ya, no wonder he's king! LOL

And this last part. Oh my holy jacamole! I thought Thranduil had boo booed big time and Legolas was going to lose his nerve and NOT tell him what was going on. I was even holding my breath. Thank the Valar Leggy tells him, at least I think he does. I'm off to read the next chappy. Catch ya there! :)

Author Reply: See, you judge Legolas's actions more or less as Thranduil does! You see how awful things have been for poor Rodda and how good Legolas's heart is. I tried to think how I would feel if my 12-year-old son told me he had been hiding a runaway who might be hanged and I have to say it was a scary thought.

And speaking of scary, Thranduil does that so well. If I were Cudry, I'd be whimpering in a corner somewhere.

Thank goodness Thranduil saw the Legolas needed him and made the change from scary king to tender father.

emjoReviewed Chapter: 10 on 11/30/2004
Great story Daw! I loved sweet little Legolas and what a good ada Thraduil is! Hurry with your next story!

Author Reply: Thranduil and Legolas both shone in this chapter, I think. I love them both too.

"Hurry with your next story!" -- LOL. I'm watching my EE of TTT and then I'm going to go watch TV. A new story will be along eventually. I'm just taking a few days off.

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 10 on 11/29/2004
PS: “Had his older sons ever been as willing to fight their friends’ battles as this one was?”

The explanation for why Legolas, who can be so sensible at times, always, but ALWAYS follows Turgon into the most stupid of his adventures! He is Being There For Him and supporting one who has so little support from his family.

(Do you know, I think I would be a lot more prepared to forgive Legolas for handing his nice new clothes over to Rodda, since he was also willing to hand over his arrows - despite his pride in them and the knowledge that he might be in trouble for not having them. Clothes don't matter much to kids of Legolas's age, but he is also prepared to make a personal sacrifice.)

Author Reply: Yes, indeed. Turgon is sort of a prototype Aragorn. :-)

I thought that about the clothes too. Legolas thinks of them as just extra stuff lying around, but his arrows! Those were precious.

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 10 on 11/29/2004
I think my favorite part of this was the ending, when Legolas's brothers stood by him. Talk about feeling better about all that happened - having big powerful people who love you standing at your side has to inspire confidence!

Rodda has come to a good end, his youthful fears lessened, and I really enjoyed seeing a more thorough portrayal of Thranduil and his emotions and interactions with his children. And the twins, well I'm going to come and bring them home now. :)

Author Reply: Legolas may have lost his mother, but he's lucky to have this family that loves him and treasures him. All children should be so fortunate.

Thank you for loaning me the sons of Elrond. I know you'll want to fluff and buff them and remove any stains I've left on their characters. :-)

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