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A Matter of Heart  by daw the minstrel 28 Review(s)
pipinheartReviewed Chapter: 2 on 10/2/2005
Alfirin is afraid and parinoid it seems that she wouldn't make ithilden a good wife. She cares for him as does he.
The servents quarling was quiet nice....

Author Reply: It wasn't until I wrote this story that I thought about what a big job Alfirin would be taking on in marrying Ithilden. The palace must be like a small business to run, and the household has been all male for quite a while. But as you say, she cares for him. And why not? He's brave and gorgeous too.

Tapetum LucidumReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/13/2005
I like the idea of a little more wrap up for "See the Stars." It must have been extremely traumatic for our soft-hearted hero to kill an elleth like he did.

Sounds like Galelas is still an ass. I have more sympathy for him since I have met his older brother. Legolas' family must be scared to death for him. Unfortunately for them he is at an age where hovering is only going to make things worse. I wish he had confided what happened to Annael, I am sure he could have helped. Obviously the youngest prince is not as well as he wants to be. The quick conversation change between the brothers was cute - obviously Legolas has picked up on some of Thranduil's skill with irony.

Annael's house has always been a refuge for the prince. He must really love it there. Apparently people are a little more aware of the incident than he realizes. I am glad his friends are treating him well. Running into the maidens was very cute. At least some things are always the same.

Reading about a shy Alfirin is a nice change of pace from reading about our confident Celuwen. I like them both a lot and I'm glad you have given both of them a strong, distinct personality. The shy maiden's observance of Ithilden's thigh musculature was hilarious. I may have noticed something like that a time or two myself... say when he was pulling an arrow out of skeleton in Moria and the camera panned up, or standing on a cliff in Rohan when the camera panned up.... Wait! I'm getting a little distracted.

Alfirin's perspective of life in the palace was very fresh. To her sleeping in a flet is something every child does but it is not easy for a princeling. Having guards around is perfectly normal to them but awkward for her. It is a nice contrast. I was glad to see Legolas being a proper host. It must have been a little uncomfortable for both of them. I have no doubt Thranduil's wine is better than most, even when properly watered.

Turgon's return obviously did not thrill Thranduil. At least it gave him an opportunity to comfort his youngest a little... something he must not want from his eldest sibling. Alfirin's musings about the running of the household are a great idea! I would never worry about such things. Apparently it is something at which Alfirin will be quite skilled. Ithilden had trouble learning that the role between brothers was a lot different than the warrior-commander one. I would hope he could learn to use the same knowledge in other aspects of home life. If not, he is going to be in BIG trouble. Alfirin may be a homemaker at heart but she is far from a pushover.

Walking her to the weaving was very sweet and their trip home was pleasant. Your use of her self-doubt was very realistic and it is obvious that Alfirin's heart is a little louder than her head.
Great job!

Author Reply: My beta set this story as a challenge for me: I was not allowed to have any orcs, spiders, or bad men. I had to just deal with people's feelings. And once I got started it was kind of fun. It did seem to me that Legolas might have himself in a double bind almost: he wants his family but doesn't want them; he wants to use weapons but is afraid to. Poor kid.

When I first started writing about the girlfriends, I was really worried that they would merge into a sort of generic, personality-less female, so I made lists of traits and how they were alike and how they were different. Alfirin would never have put up with Eilian, and Celuwen would have sent the troop commander home, thank you very much. But Ithilden needs Alfirin, and they are just as passionate about one another as Eilian and Celuwen are, although they are much more controlled.

Yeah, Alfirin's head said no and her mouth said yes.

Ms. WhatsitReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/18/2004
Sorry for the late review (yes, I'm still writing, by the way--I have Christmas break now and my finals are over, so I finally have time for important things like fanfic...)

This was a very sweet but realistic chapter. Alfirin is noticing all sorts of little things that make her appreciate Ithilden more--especially his concern for Legolas, and Thranduil's human side. But at the same time she's noticing his not-so-pleasant quirks, like his domineering nature.

The awkwardness of it all was very funny without being overdone.

Author Reply: My finals are over too, and I can't tell you how glad I am.

This chapter was fun to write because it was totally through Alfirin's eyes, something I'd never done before. She's getting a good look at what she's going to be getting herself into, I think. She's trying to be sensible, but in the long run, I'm not sure that being reasonable will have anything to do with her decision. After all, there's Ithilden's thighs to think about.

LeraReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/14/2004
I'd just like to say that I was inspired to do my hair like Alfirin today and had good results!

Author Reply: LOLOL. Alfirin is happy to have inspired you! Were your results like hers? If I ever get done grading exams and watching the EE of ROTK, I think I'll have to reward Ithilden a little.

White WolfReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/14/2004
I really like the detail you write about the developing romance between Alfirin and Ithilden (like her getting ready for dinner with his family).

Those battling servants were so funny. I'm glad Thranduil chose amusement over anger. He could easily have blown a fuse.

When Legolas shrugged Ithilden's hand off of his shoulder, was it because he is miffed at Ithilden for telling his training masters why he missed so many classes, or does he think it looks like he is as being treated aa the "little brother" in front of Alfirin? Or is there another reason?

Author Reply: It was fun to write the whole chapter from Alfirin's POV and yet try to convey what other people were feeling and thinking too. Poor Thranduil. He's probaly despairing of ever having grandchildren.

When Legolas shrugged Ithilden's hand off, I thought he was probably just tired of having everyone hanging over him and watching him. He just wants to be normal, poor thing.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/13/2004
I thoroughly enjoyed this more in-depth look at Alfirin, especially from her point of view. She has always seemed so capable, so unflappable, so authoritative in the other stories you've shown her in...this is quite different to see her young and unsure of herself. Some really good parts (IMHO):

the choice of what to wear, and her naneth's input and help - I loved her mother coming in and fixing her hair and bolstering her confidence. Very real nerves - dining with the *gasp* KING (not to mention the king's hunk of a son!)

Ithilden in the tree in all his muscular glory *gulp* - I'd have a heat flash, too! ;-) You really portrayed the growing physical attraction between these two well...lots of little touches, and held breaths (*fans self and goes to practice some deep breathing exercises*)

Legolas as host - way to go, Legolas! He's learned well from father and brothers!

the husband and wife serving team - LOL!!!! oh my, I almost choked when I read the argument between those two...but even better was the reactions of the other diners (Legolas and Thranduil in particular)! How funny!

Alfirin certainly has a lot to think about now - all those little details in caring for a household the size of Thranduil's...Ithilden, the "commander" of his wife (that boy needs a wife to "adjust" his attitude), the growing attraction between them, the matter of dealing not only with the King's family, but all of his attached household as well, all manner of things to boggle the mind! Still, her common sense will assert itself eventually, and the next time Ithilden looks ready to kiss her, she will probably grab those elegant ears of his and help him along! :-) Really well-written and informative chapter, daw! more, more, more, more *bangs red grading pen on table in time to chant*

(I plan on hiding somewhere with the EE of RotK AND one of your stories that needs rereading...hmmmm, which one? feeling somewhat dragonish at the moment...more,more,more,....) :-)

Author Reply: I enjoyed writing this very domestic chapter. My beta says I need to write a story with no battles and this is it! Although, come to think of it, what Alfirin and Legolas are both going through are battles of a sort.

One of the fun things about this chapter was showing everything from her POV but trying to get across what everyone else was thinking too, even when she didn't understand it. And describing Ithilden's thighs didn't hurt either.

You're making me laugh about the grading pen. Tonight was the night my grad students came over for a pot luck and they all left me these huge research portfolios to grade. I'm covering my eyes and hoping they go away on their own.

I preordered the EE. It should be at home when I get there on Wednesday. (I teach 100 miles from where I live so I'm in my apartment for the next couple of days until I finish those damn portfolios, which don't seem to have gone yet.)

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/13/2004
Oh I did so enjoy this chapter and learned so much more about the king's household and the families private quarters I felt as if I could 'see' it all through Alfirin's eyes it was so real
Well Afirin's parents and Thranduil seem to have no doubts as to the outcome of the romance but I don't think Ithilden helped his cause too much by his comment on control of wives
even his father thought that was funny
and poor Alfirin seeing all that needs to be done but not sure yet if she can handle it it must have been very daunting for her to get this glimpse of life in the palace
but it was all the little bits I enjoyed most Alfirin's hair and the effect it had on Ithilden, her watching the muscles in his legs, the watered wine oh so much more
thank you

Author Reply: I learned more about the family quarters too! I had never pictured that hallway before, but when Alfirin entered as a stranger, I thought she'd notice things that the royal family takes for granted, so I had to think about it.

It was interesting to try to write this to see only what Alfirin saw, but still to let the reader know how everyone else (her parents, Tonduil, Legolas, Ithilden, Thranduil) was feeling, even if Alfirin didn't fully understand it. I hod a lot of fun.

Alfirin would be taking on a big job in marrying Thranduil's heir. And I mean both the palace and the troop commander himself! "Has he no command over his wife" indeed! Thranduil would have been a lot more amused it he hadn't feared that his hopes for grandchildren were going down the drain.


FirnsarnienReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/13/2004
Wow, what a chappy! Seeing events through Alfirin's eyes was really enlightening. I never realized how scared and overwhelmed she must have felt when she first married Ithilden. I'd always thought she'd just breezed on in, calm and collected, not a moment of panic. Boy, I guess I was wrong, huh? LOL I really feel for her. And Ithilden, I'm still shaking my head in amazement at how he's stepped forward and retreated with Alfirin over the years, as she stated. The beginning stages of love, yes, I remember those. Such wonderful moments of bliss and terrifying moments of fright as well. LOL

I love how puzzled she is in regards to Legolas. She truly doesn't know what happened and the things she observes Thranduil and Ithilden doing are great. The subtle things they do show her how much they worry and love Legolas and how much of a regular family they really are.

This was such a neat chappy. I don't think I've every read anything quite like this from you. Seeing Legg's family from an outsider (at least for the moment) was awesome! Can't wait for more! Hurry up please! :)

And BTW...yes, the angst factor last chappy...just great! As was the touch you gave to Leggy in this chappy too! :) *sigh* ;)

Author Reply: Alfirin was taking on a big job in marrying Ithilden. I didn't think about that when I first wrote about their marriage, so it was interesting to try to work it out now. She so obviously loves him (and he loves her), but she needs to know what she's getting into.

One of the fun parts of writing this chapter was seeing through Alfirin's eyes, but still knowing more than she did. That was true about Legolas. We know what's wrong, but she doesn't. She just sees that he's moody and his family is worried.

As I was writing this, I realized that I had never written anything like it before. It's a completely domestic chapter -- no battles, no politics, no big family conflicts. It's just a young elf-woman trying to decide if she'll let her heart rule her head. :-)

KarriReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/12/2004
This is a lovely chapter. I am glad that things went reasonably smoothly. :-)

Author Reply: Glad you liked it, Karri. The evening scared the wits out of Alfirin, but that's okay. She needed to know what she was getting into. And Ithilden needs a wife who's smart enough to have all these fears.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 2 on 12/12/2004
“My hair will be all over the place, Naneth!” LOL! Oh, Alfirin, I feel your pain! I'm sure she looked lovely...unlike some of us who simply look like discarded Brillo pads.

I loved Alfirin's fresh view of the palace and how it works. She was trying it on for size in her mind and like any sensible female, she had the urge to run screaming. What a job! Not only is it a household of males...alfa males...but it's one big honker of a household to run with all sorts of personalities to consider. The servants in the dining room were great. Poor Ithilden. If it weren't for bad luck with Alfirin, he'd have no luck at all. And while the antics of the George and Gracie Show were bringing down the house, he was mortified that once again he'd been embarrassed in front of her. He might as well go ahead and throw wouldn't be the first time. And then...he dined on his foot. Thranduil's reaction was priceless. I'm surprised that wine didn't shoot out Legolas's nose.

I tell you what, your minstrelness, I was all puckered up there at the end and felt the cold draft of the slamming door right alone with Ithilden. He handled it much better than I did. While he went to take a cold dip in the river, I merely uttered a few choice words. I hope you plan to give this poor elf a break eventually.

What a fun chapter. Seeing everything from Alfirin's perspective was great. We had a chance to see her insecurities and her frustrations--not to mention poor Ithilden's--and what a delightful presence she was for the king and Legolas. Thranduil's approval of her is so obvious. I don't know that she noticed it, but I thought you did a nice job of showing it.

Sorry I missed reviews on the first chapter--I was hanging out in the mountains--but it was equally delightful. I'm looking forward to seeing what's going to happen poor Ithilden... A kiss?


Author Reply: LOL. Now too many curls is a problem I've never had. And poor Alfirin doesn't even have a blow dryer.

When I was in Alfirin's point of view, the job she was taking on became much more evident to me. Running that household would be like running a small business, and she'd be doing it under the eye of a steward who already knew how (or thought he did). In the meantime, my guess is that Ithilden would probably not even be aware of half of what she was doing. The idiot! He could "command" her and help her out that way maybe.

Wine shooting out of Legolas's nose would have been an amusing touch!

What I really hope happened in that chapter is that even though the readers saw through Alfirin's POV, they wound up knowing more than she did. :-)

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