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Time's Turnings  by daw the minstrel 299 Review(s)
BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/11/2005
You know you're really, really grown up when you find it quite pleasurable to be treated as a kid for a few hours. Legolas is still at the 'when is he going to realise I'm holding down a well-paid job; I have my own car and flat and can even deal with plumbers on my own?' phase of maturity. (Answer: never.)

It must be rather galling to watch him let Sinnarn get away with things, while at the same time Thranduil twitches every time Legolas wants to do anything. On the other hand, watching Sinnarn wind Ithilden up must be rather amusing. I hope pictures are flashing through Thranduil's brain of every time he caught Ithilden looking at him as Legolas misbehaved and he saw him thinking 'I could do this so much better.' I'd like the memories to be apparent to Legolas, too - but, hey, he was an adolescent himself at the time - he won't have noticed anything beyond his own angst.

Love Alfirin feeding up the family. Large quantities and honey. She seems to have grasped the essentials. I wonder if Thranduil looks at her as she steps between father and son and sees Lorellin doing the same - mostly for his second son, but also . . . I am looking forward to the possibility of Ithilden's 'teenage' phase being fleshed out. Being terribly responsible could actually lead to some quite interesting infractions. Although I think he is unlikely to have spent much time gambling or flirting with irresponsible wenches. Definitely not the latter, considering how long he took to be able to speak to Alfirin. (I wonder how long he took to get from speaking to her to revealing his more poetic side?)

I just love the family dynamics between these people - and the more you write about them and the more you take up different points of view, the stronger they all get. They are all real people and I can't help but want to follow all their stories. (Another story that quite interests me: what did Eilian do in their elflinghood that made Alfirin so wary of him?)

I won't make any guesses about where this is going. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it - and hope they get to spend some quality time together. (And that Ithilden has a LOT of trouble with his son. I look forward to Legolas apologising to his father for having been exactly the same kind of pain a mere forty years before. And to Thranduil (and Ithilden) noticing that Legolas is now grown up. Almost.)

Author Reply: As I recall, you suggested some of the ideas I'm interested in here, Bodkin -- the nature of elven adulthood, Sinnarn as an evil adolescent, and eventually, memories of Ithilden's past too. :-)

What I found was that my son knew exactly how to reduce me to sputtering rage within five minutes of entering the house. Kids are brilliant, really. They're like ethnographers who have spent years observing the natives and are now acting on their knowledge.

Yeah, Ithilden's offenses would be pretty different from Eilian's, although they might grow from the same impulse to become his own person. I like the fact that he so clearly adult in the "present." Thranduil accepts him more or less as an equal. But he's had 600 years to get there.

You are just full of plot bunnies, Bodkin! I think you can guess the kind of stuff Eilian would have done that Alfirin would definitely not have approved of. She has a strong moral streak. I suppose the devil (and fun) is in the details though.

Elena TirielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/11/2005
Ah, a new story! Excellent timing... I just finished reading all your other stories, and was desperate for more...

Love the way Alfirin keeps Ithilden in line when he starts to correct Sinnarn publicly and unnecessarily. Ithilden was being soooo Thranduilish then -- he really needs Alfirin to keep his parenting instincts in check. (A modest suggestion: "Listen up, Ithilden, because I'm your wife and I'm only going to tell you this once: I do not care how many times your father humiliated you and your brothers publicly, I WILL NOT ALLOW you to treat our son that way." and then start playing with the flower-cutting knife from the last story. Just kidding, of course ;-D) It's good that Thranduil is taking a laissez-faire attitude toward Sinnarn, but I really felt Legolas' resentment when he tried to interfere with Legolas' decision on the horse. (Can you tell?)

I'm glad to see Eilian, Legolas, and (of course) Ithilden all home at the same time... and I'm sure you'll make the most of the opportunity for family interaction! Looking forward to it... and BTW what in the world is going on in the Western patrol? And with the Dwarves? I'm sure you'll let us know... (but I really hope the Dwarves don't do anything to justify Thranduil's suspicion; I really like the fact that Ithilden is working so hard to overcome T's prejudices for the overall good of the kingdom...)

- Barbara

Author Reply: I just finished reading all your other stories--that's the kind of statement that always warms my heart toward a reader and also makes me want to lie down. Weren't you on overdose?

I wonder how "public" this correction of Sinnarn would seem. I was thinking that it was all in the family and most people will scold one of their children in front of a sibling. But maybe in a situation like this, where they all live together, it's even more important to draw a line or you're never going to have any privacy.

I think we're going to be going east rather than west in this story, but we'll see.

Antigone QReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
This will be an interesting story. When you are 900 years old, doesn't everyone look young? And what is the difference between "coming of age" and "becoming an adult?" I look forward to seeing where you go.

Nice parallels between Sinnarn's family and Legolas's. I loved Alfirin's intervention between her husband and her son; that whole conversation could have gone downhill fast without it. I am sure Thranduil's wife did the same thing once upon a time. Alfirin was just the right person for Ithilden to bond with, wasn't she? And I chortled over Thranduil-as-indulgent-grandfather - oh, that is SO delicious. I hope you play around more with that: I love watching his children trying to wrap their minds around it.

The trouble with going into the past is that you see everything from a different perspective. Eilian has a walk with a maiden and I keep thinking, "But...but...he belongs with Celuwen!"

Author Reply: See that question--"what is the difference between "coming of age" and "becoming an adult"--is exactly the one I'm interested in here. Elves are organizes by "houses," so they probably don't usually move away from their parents, which is one of the ways we establish ourselves as adults. And there are so many adults around! People who were running things when you were born and aren't going away any time soon. It occurred to me that the presence of young household members of different ages might make it possible to look at this a little bit.

Yeah, you're right about Eilian. What a dolt.

firnsarnienReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
Oh happy,happy, joy, joy! Another story from ya! Woo hoo! Now I really have something to look forward to every day (or every update) ;) and something to get lost in again! *sigh* And this one is turning out quite nicely, as usual! Great time period! Leggy's not quite as grown up as he would like and his family certainly treats him that way.

I was actually suprised though, at the age difference between Sinnarn and Leggy. I'm sure you've mentioned it before (you must have) and I just missed it. I truly thought Leggy was *much* older than Sinnarn and Eilian was *much* older than Leggy. Sinnarn is pretty close to Leggy's age, for Elves that it. It just makes for an interesting fact I'd always thought otherwise of. :)

Hmmmm, this maiden that Eilian is wandering off with, she wouldn't happen to be the same one that Celuwen's father accuses him of galavanting off with instead of staying true to Celuwen would she? You know, the one Celuwen's father refers to in The Warrior? Hmmm, no, that couldn't be right, cause if this story takes place between The Warrior and Fire and Shadow, he can't barely be keeping company with her. Hmmm, definitely it's been too long since I've re-read all your stories again. I think I'm going to have to go do that, especially since you've got this new gem out and I don't want to miss any details. My memory is choosing a horrible time to take a vacation, no? ;) LOL

Oh, and before I forget, I loved the "almost" disapproving look Leggy gave Eilian there at the end. How the tables have turned, usually it's him getting the disapproving looks from his brothers. LOL

Well, another great chappy. I so can't wait for the next one, as usual. You know me, I'm gonna be begging, hinting, threatening, groveling, grasping at straws, crying, you know, all the usual stuff for this story and each chappy! ;) See what you've created! LOL It's your fault! LOL :) No, really, hurry k? LOL

Author Reply: Elven ages are really tricky to think about because they're so different than ours. Legolas is of age and all that, but he's actually closer in age to Sinnarn than he is to Eilian. You remember that Sinnarn was born at the end of Legolas's first year as a novice, which I set at about age 40, or the eqivalent of human 16 year old.

I've used this maiden's name once before, in "Sacrifice Under Shadow." There are flashbacks to Eilian's youth in that story and in one of them, he's dancing with a pretty maiden and ticking Celuwen off. This is that maiden. He's so stupidly male. He wants Celuwen, and how he thinks this will help, I have no idea.

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
Oh, a family story! The family stories always fascinate me. Sometimes, your royal family is very much like mine, but mostly, it's a much different dynamic. I just got back from spending a couple of weeks with my family, and it's interesting to compare. I think I'd like to have a grandfather like Thranduil. He's a nice guy, and he knows when to be King and when to be just the paterfamilias. And he's nice to the daughters-in-law. That must make for really relaxing family get-togethers.

There is no mystery at all to feeding males. If you put a large amount of food in front of them, most of them are happy, although they are happier if you also sprinkle honey on some of it.

Yes, very true. And it's astonishing just how much food males can consume. Thranduil's family seems to produce mostly boys. . . the food budget must be through the roof. If Eilian ends up with a daughter, everyone will be completely mystified as to how much to feed her. And of course, it's an army family. Any home cooking will taste good to the lads.

So Sinnarn doesn't care for parsnips? Maybe it's because he hasn't had them done right. They taste kind of spicy, like radishes, but they're woody, and it's hard to cook them so the texture is good but the flavor isn't all boiled away. I did them up with vegetable broth, olive oil, bay leaves and rosemary, and they came out pretty well. Perhaps Alfirin would like the recipe?

Harmony singing in the garden. . . nothing like. When you get a group of people together who know how to sing harmony, and one of them finds a spot with just the right acoustics and starts singing "Angel Band," and then one by one, everyone joins in, it's such a lovely thing to do and hear and be part of. People really need to sing more. And that's my studied opinion as a baby ethnomusicologist.

Ah, the joys of being adult kids and heading out on your own, and seeing the parental unit(s) let you go. It's free and grown-up and wonderful, and best of all, you know in the back of your head that there's someone to come home to. It's the best part about being an unmarried young adult visiting home.

I must remind myself that reading family-oriented stories right after watching two hours of social engineering films is a bad idea, kind of like how toothbrushing makes orange juice taste bad. Did you ever have to watch social engineering films in school, the kind with titles like "What To Do On A Date" or "Your Junior High Days?" Those things are scary! The ones produced by Centron are the freakiest -- all these outcast, maladjusted kids mocked by the narrators. I like your lessons on family life much better.

Author Reply: I've made parsnip soup and thought it was pretty good actually, but I didn't try to feed it to my son, who rolls his eyes at stuff like that. Your way sounds really good to me. Alfirin might like the recipe indeed. She's one of the mother-ish people who like to feed others.

One of the things I'm trying to do in this story is speculate a little on what marks an elf as an adult, which I think may be different than being fully grown or of age. You know how in your Finrod story he was still living with his father and subject to the discipline of the head of the household? That's the kind of thing that must complicate the process for elves. They don't just leave.

Why were you watching those films? The only time I've seen one in recent years, it was being MSTed.

esamenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
A double date between brothers? (Grin) A romance on the way? (Mmm, mmm!) What are we waiting for?

What he would have liked was to feel about a maiden as Ithilden obviously felt about Alfirin, and, he added to himself, as Eilian felt about Celuwen, a fact that made Eilian’s flirting doubly incomprehensible.

Now, that's our darling hero -- such a tender heart. I can't imagine anyone good enough for him. But perhaps you can, hmm? Can't wait for Chapter Two! Happy typing always!

Author Reply: LOL. You're such a romantic, Esamen. I tend to think that Legolas was single at the time of the Ring War. He doesn't act like a guy who has someone waiting for him at home who might object to moving to Ithilien and having a dwarf in the guest room. But I find it hard to think of him being lonely all those years. Still, given the way elves are, if there's a serious romance and he's still single later, then did the romance end tragically? I don't like that either!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
I guess I don't have to ask how your vacation was, Daw! Hope you took the laptop out in the sun, at least.

I liked the nice, non-confrontional family dinner. Very soothing. But wow. I feel like I'm in a time warp. Seems like Ithilden just got married a week ago, and now he's got a teenager. It is sweet to see him and Alfirin as settled married folks, though, now that we've had a peek at their courtship and betrothal. Eilian's supposed to be an old married guy, too, if I recall. I had almost forgotten the besotted scoundrel I loved so much. Let Celuwen marry someone whose idea of excitement was to paint the cottage door a different color - he doesn't care! LOL - have another drink, Eilian! At least Legolas is suitably exasperated with him. The boy shows good sense already. Good to see you back with a new story.

Author Reply: You can't see the laptop screen very well in the sun. But I did drive an ATV in Cozumel. I'll post a picture when I get home this weekend. It's frightening--middle-aged people in Germanic-looking combat helmets.

Jumping around in time is kind of fun with these characters, but I was just thinking today that maybe I need to write some more about the time after the Battle of Five Armies. When I write there, readers are less sure about what's coming (and so am I!).

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
Oh I'm so happy to see this up. I really enjoyed the interactions in this.

“I have done most of it,” Sinnarn said defensively. “My tutor does not seem to notice that I have other things to do too.”

“You have enough time to roam the forest with your friends, so I believe you have enough time to complete your lessons. You need to recognize your responsibilities, Sinnarn. You cannot always do just what you like.”

LOL. Yes, this is a conversation I have heard from students and had with my 40 year old husband (who is now a college student). I know it well and it cracked me up to see elves having it. Alfirin's response was excellent. Loved it.

And the back and forth comparison of Legolas with Eilian and Sinnarn and other elves Legolas' age (ex. Galelas) was great. It bothers him to be in such an in between age yet he realizes he would not want to live like mortals. I think we all remember this age very well. Yuck!

All of those reflections/instrospections/interactions were great. A lot of characterization of Legolas in this one chapter. I like it. It hit the nail on the head, I think. Especially: Legolas knew that he himself was always careful around people who were not either part of his extended family or long time friends. He was only too aware that he always represented his father, even when he was simply sitting on a river bank listening to music. I like that.

Of course, the trouble on the border doesn't bode well. But I'm just so happy to see this up tonight. Thanks for another story!

Author Reply: I too have heard those things from students, I'm afraid. It's like they all speak from the same script.

I'm trying to play around with the idea of adulthood for elves in this story. I've always had a hard time understanding what it must be like to have siblings so many years apart and older generations that are still around. Not to mention living in "houses." So how do you know if you're an adult? Is that the same thing as being fully grown? Is it the same thing as being of age? I don't know. I'm speculating a little.

I'm also trying to slow down and spend just a little more time on introspection and emotional exchange. I'm impatient sometimes and cut it off.

So anyway, that's what I'm working on!

LOTRFaithReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/10/2005
Horray a new story! ;) Hmm.. I often find myself in the same situation as Legolas. I am 19 but too often my parents seem to think I just turned 10. lol.. But what I think it worse is that they treat my younger sister (who just turned 18) like she is more mature and responsible than I. Which could very well be true, but to have them allow her a lot more freedom than I is quite frustrating to say the least.

lol.. I am finding that I like the married Eilian a bit more than the single Eilian. :-D I love Legolas' mind set about maidens, although I believe he did stray from the path a little;-) That is exactly my mindset as well... I have never dated and don't want to at all... I want a husband I can flirt with that can end up well (cough) snuggling in bed, not just flirt with a cute guy and not be able to do anything.. But that's just my POV :-D

Excellent chapter and I can't wait for more~!

Author Reply: I think elves might think about adulthood differently and that's one of the things I'm trying to speculate on in this story. In our culture, we come of age and usually leave our parents household. We might do it gradually, staying at college part of the year for instance, or we might do it all at once. Separating from our parents and demonstrating our ability to stand on our own is part of what marks us as adults. And that all involves taking on adult responsibilities too -- supporting yourself or raising children, for instance. But Tolkien says that elves are organized in households. The family structure is the social structure. So how do you become an adult in that society? I think you would still try to separate from your parents, to be seen as your own person, but it must take a different form. Maybe making good decisions, for instance. I don't know. It's tricky.

You and Legolas think alike about romance, which is nice to know, isn't it?

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