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A Faerie Slashy Advent Calendar by Naledi Mature
A round-robin advent calendar. Elrohir is pursued by orcs to the eaves of Mirkwood. What happens next is anyone's guess.
Beast by Nuredhel Mature
Bard Bowman is working as a police investigator, when the serial killer he is chasing proves to have a very long history...
Child of Dying Embers by arafinwean Mature
"We are not the same, child of Melian, you were born of love and trust and I? I was born of hate and envy."She is not supposed...
Change by arafinwean Mature
Fingon takes Maedhros from Thangorodrim, but the journey isn't pleasant, nor is all forgiven.Maedhros is released from Thangorodrim...
Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky by cheekybeak Teen
The story of Legolas, Elrohir and Maewen in Valinor. A Silvan child runs free and safe in Valinor but how free is he? A mother...
Oss's Gift by elfscribe Mature
On a sea voyage from Umbar, Erestor becomes enmeshed in intrigue while fighting his secret feelings for his irritating and...
Senses Over Time by NelyafinweFeanorion Teen
A Gift fic for Cheekybeak based on the characters in her story Fire Dancing Upon Our Souls. Set in that same timeframe, as...

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Shoutbox

Narya
12/12/17 11:12 pm
Oh, ziggy, btw, are you happy with Friday or is Saturday easier for you? I can do either.
Narya
12/12/17 03:27 pm
Great pair of chapters, ziggy and cheeky! I'm so excited to see what happens next.
NelyafinweFeanorion
12/12/17 02:12 pm
Ok Ziggy Thursday it is for me!
cheekybeak
12/12/17 10:28 am
I managed it :-) and even got the next chapter up early! Not my best, but it was a busy day. That's my excuse.
ziggy
12/12/17 07:26 am
@Cheekybeak- Haha! Serves you right for the last curved ball:D Nelya- yes, fine. You do Thursday, I'll find it easier doing Friday anyway.
NelyafinweFeanorion
12/12/17 01:14 am
Ziggy do you have Thursday too? If not I can do Thursday instead of Friday if someone else wants to pick up Friday? Let me know!
cheekybeak
12/12/17 01:05 am
Oh, seriously, Ziggy?? What are you doing to me?! How do I follow that???
cheekybeak
12/12/17 12:58 am
Me!
ziggy
12/12/17 12:16 am
OK- sorry ! Who's next?
ziggy
12/11/17 10:41 pm
I am onto the next chapter but got home very late- apologies. Scribbling away as we speak (sort of)
Shout Archive


Reviews For Darkness

Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: December 05, 2017 21:22 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

It's sad that Estel feels so responsible for Legolas's happiness and is trying to come up with all these solutions. Still, it's a shame Elrohir doesn't come to Legolas's home so often.

I loved seeing Legolas teach Estel to listen to the trees - long overdue. And Legolas was able to crack a joke about Aragorn and his Luthien obsession. That has to be progress. It wil be interesting to see if he can stave off his depression after he leaves Elrohir.



Author's Response:

Yes, the lesson amongst the trees is long overdue as you say. Legolas has been weighed down by the demands of his leadership and his writing disability. Too much time spent struggling with that has bled away his motivation. 

He needs to work on trying to prevent Estel feeling responsible for his wellbeing. 

As for Elrohir . . . Maybe he will push through this reticence of his to spend time in Legolas' wood to benefit all of them. Legolas is right. It's something that's hard for Elrohir . .  But still perhaps it's something he needs to get over? 



Name: SparkyTAS (Signed) · Date: December 05, 2017 5:48 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
What a wonderful story. I especially like having it told from Legolas' son's point of view. You've captured the relationships so well here. Thank you for sharing this tale.

Author's Response:

Thank you! So glad you like it. It's tricky, I have found, writing from the point of view of a child, harder than I thought it would be! But he sees things in a different way and I wanted to capture that. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: December 05, 2017 4:38 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
So much to love and contemplate in this chapter!

Elrohir's inner imperishable flame has touched Estel so much--he has put him at ease, calmed his spirit and let him be happy because in addition to helping Estel Elrohir is actively healing Legolas. Seeing his father happy-- gloriously, joyously, freely happy--is like balm to Estel's fa.

And with Elrohir's steady comfort Legolas can let Estel learn the sword which in turn will please Thranduil greatly and let Estel have something to bond over with his grandfather. Just as Elrohir has been gently prodding rapprochement with Legolas mother for awhile now it becomes Thranduil's turn to benefit from the Elrohir healing--he may not want to acknowledge it but even in absentia and peripherally Elrohir is healing this family.

Elladan and Legolas sparring with practice swords was great. I like to see how at ease Legolas has become with Elladan too. You really highlight the differences in style--precision vs unpredictability. Both valuable.

Doriath!!! Oh no! Legolas really knows how to stir things up. You have much to teach your son Legolas--how can the stories of the past not have made it to Estel. But hilarious comment on Beren and Luthien!! Aragorn droning on about it to the utter exasperation and boredom of his companions! Priceless. It is another sign of the healing Erlrohir brings that he talks so easily about it at this moment with wry humor and exasperation at Aragorn rather than regret and reverence.

Silvan time in the trees--also good binding time for them both. But isn't Estel a dear--wanting Elrohir to come live with them. Obviously he cares for Elrohir and the way he is comforted by Elrohir but mostly because he desperately wants the Legolas he sees here to be the Legolas he sees all the time. That wistful want and his glorious solution is heart breaking.

And as we were discussing elsewhere Legolas has come a long way in regard to understanding and respecting Elrohir's boundaries. Just as Elrohir has come a long way in understanding abs accepting Silvan ways. Again showing their equal standing and mutual respect in this relationship and their sensitivity to some issues that just must remain different about them. Lovely.

I'm glad you put into words that Laerion is the Sindar son! I've always seen him that way--more like Thranduil as Legolas is more like his Silvan mother. And again Elrohir has his hand in promoting a resumption of a relationship between Laerion and Legolas. Another family member who most certainly requires healing and who will no doubt benefit from the Elrohir involvement. Legolas seems more at peace with Laerion coming and it will give him more time--time with his son, his brother and his Elrohir.

And boundaries--he promises Estel may return but not every time. Because he understands that he and Elrohir need time alone also--to be Elrohir and Legolas together, without distractions and other obligations.

Author's Response:

Yes, Elrohir's healing is definitely extending to the whole of the Thranduilion family. The damaged Legolas is at the centre of that storm and so by helping him Elrohir allows a stronger connection between Grandson and Grandfather, the very beginnings of of reconnection between Legolas and his mother, (even though Legolas won't yet admit that is for his own benefit as well as his son's), and also enabling Legolas to think about the benefits of a closer relationship with Laerion. 

At least he is no longer in complete denial about Laerion coming to his wood. At least he can start to see some pluses. 

And the biggest benefit of this all is for Estel who is basking in his father's happiness at the moment. This is how he has suspected his father could be. No wonder he wants Elrohir to be with them forever all the time. It would never work though as Legolas well knows. A lot of people worried about how Estel would deal with Legolas' relationship with Elrohir. It turns out the thing he can't understand is not Legolas and Elrohir together but the fact Elrohir stays so far away.

Laerion has always been the Sindar leaning son in my mind. He is Silvan-like—as Legolas says—he is as agile in the trees as any of them, but he leans towards Sindar things. He never embraced the visits to his mothers village as Legolas did in childhood. He prefers his father's caves. That's just where his mind sits.  Legolas cares enough to remember this though and think about the most comfortable place for his brother to live. 

Glad you liked Leggy's dig at Aragorn and Beren and Luthien. You're right. The fact he is so relaxed about this discussion and can joke about Aragorn is the strongest indication of his mental wellness in this chapter. 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: December 03, 2017 21:19 · For: Senses Over Time

Hahaha! I love that the Silvans have a “stay away: shag alert” signal. I can totally believe that. 



Author's Response: Ha! I'm glad you caught that and liked it! It made me laugh when I thought of it--especially because I knew how scandalized Elrohir would be!


Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: December 03, 2017 13:01 · For: Senses Over Time

Legolas leaned over him, strands of his golden hair falling on Elrohir’s face and neck, the scent of him—green and crisp like the forest after rainfall, musk and spice, leather and wood, layering to his own unique fragrance—a scent Elrohir would recognize anywhere. “You are my healer, Elrohir. Deny it if you will but I know you make me whole.”

 

Another very very beautifully written chapter- you should write these two- you have them. 



Author's Response: Thanks Ziggy! I never would have thought to think of them as a couple if not for you and Cheekybeak. I enjoyed writing these two chapters (and might have another one based on cheeky's stories.) They are fascinating characters and I like letting them have some moments of togetherness.


Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: December 03, 2017 12:43 · For: Senses Over Time

Phew- that was HOT!  Don't know how I missed this!! Gorgeous:)



Author's Response: Thanks ziggy! The senses theme immediately made me think of these two from cheeky's fics! I'm glad she's letting me play around with them. And then I had to give them an interlude back in the Greenwood too. Glad you enjoyed it.


Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 30, 2017 17:51 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

The inevitable argument with Elladan wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I love Elrohir for getting Legolas to see sense. If he doesn't let Estel grow up and learn to do potentially dangerous things, Estel will end up resenting his father.

Interesting that this seems to have prompted Legolas to write to his mother. Maybe admitting his fear of losing Estel has made him see what his mother has lost. Whatever the reason, I hope this will lead to him getting closer to his mother again.



Author's Response:

Yea, it could have been worse,  but Elrohir was there to save the day and there was a child present. As far as the sword goes Legolas isn't as worried about Estel being injured using it as he is about him losing his purity by killing. He doesn't want that to happen and has used the rather flawed reasoning that if he never lets him learn the sword Estel will never be able to kill someone. 

Ah, if only Legolas was so sensible as to link the dots between his own fear and his mother.....not yet. Elrohir's getting him to see how his temper was hurting Estel is what prompted this. It reminded him of Estel's impassioned plea about Legolas' anger with his mother hurting him. He's trying to make things right for his son. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 30, 2017 5:17 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Ouch. Rough chapter for them all.
I knew Legolas would be furious. But his rash action and extreme fury are detrimental to Estel, as Elrohir and Elladan know. Poor Elladan, calling himself a fool. He must feel terrible and he is so controlled and calm, trying to forestall the maelstrom that is Legolas.

Elrohir is magnificent. He calls Legolas out on his innapropriate behaviour, focuses him on what he is doing to poor Estel, physically restrains him when Legolas shoves Elladan--he's right on target with what to do. And when Legolas loses it completely he rushes to his side and comforts him--he knows when to push and when to recede. He grasps what Legolas needs and the best way to get to him. It's brilliant.
Legolas fear is a bit irrational here and Elrohir is right--it will lead to a young man who is unskilled in the very skills he will need to be safe and it will lead to resentment. Again the Peredhel are far wiser about children than Legolas.

The mind speak was a slip up. Can't really blame them but not a good idea with the volatile Silvan.

That Elrohir doesn't see the effect he has on Legolas is absurd! Legolas completely changed his attitude, based on Elrohir and his interaction.
Elladan and Elrohir are the BEST teachers for Estel. Of course he should let Thranduil teach his son! It is also past time Erynion and Legolas taught him to use knives.

I am glad Legolas can come back from the brink and return to being a loving father.

It is telling that he is writing to his mother--Elrohir is right and Legolas is being petulant by pretending it doesn't mean anything. Elrohir knows him so very well. His loves just shines through and I love how again he makes Estel feel loved and safe. And his kiss brings Legolas back to himself as well. As Estel observes it is so obvious how much Elrohir loves Legolas.

Best line exchange:
"Think like a Silvan.
I am not sure I want to. The Silvan I know best is completely mad."

Oh you know him so very well, dear Elrohir.

Now let's hope Legolas behaves a bit. I owe Elrohir a few good interludes after this chapter! ;-)

Author's Response:

See, I told you Legolas put me through the ringer. 

Elladan won't make this mistake again. 

Legolas fear IS irrational and he is beginning to realise that. It is such a mountain for him to climb over though. He wants to keep his son in a bubble safe from everything harmful in the world. What upsets him most is that he keeps discovering it is HIMSELF that is hurting him. Although we don't see it because we only see things through Estel's eyes, Legolas is beating himself up badly over that. That's what caused the meltdown. The scream into the void was frustration and anger at himself. Estel doesn't know that. Elrohir did because they have discussed it. Legolas arrived at Elrohir's fresh from having had Estel have to give up his dragon to comfort his crying sister, scream at him about his meanness to his mother, he has spilled all that to Elrohir already in despair. 

Thats what drives Elrohir's actions in this chapter. He is trying to prevent that, and he knows what causes Legolas' distress where neither Elladan or Estel do. That's what he was trying to communicate to Elladan via the mindspeak. ( of course because we only get Estel's view I am the only one who knows what's happening off stage!) 

Legolas is not so much afraid of Estel being hurt by a sword or by being involved in swordplay. As he tries to explain to his son, he fears the damage done to his soul when/if he kills. He wanted to save him from those terrible scars he and the twins carry for their participation in death and destruction. Scars that marr their elven light. He wants to protect his sons pureness. 

The writing to his mother DOES mean something, of course it does. But Legolas, still can't admit it. He is doing it for his son, he tells himself. Because Estel was so clear with him that keeping himself apart from his mother hurt his son. But he cares about what his mother thinks....obviously. 

Note though, that even though he is angry about the mindspeak and had a justified reason to be so Legolas doesn't forget Elrohir's insecurity about that and its effect on his relationships in the past. He is careful to say the mindspeak Per se is not bad and is not an issue. Just talking about HIM, in front of him, with Elladan privately. THAT was the problem,  not the twinness, not Elladan. 

Legolas may be a mess but he looks after Elrohir too, in his own way.



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 28, 2017 12:41 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

I was wondering when Estel would meet Elladan - this was a lovely chapter. Elrohir's going to have a rival for Estel's hero-worship if Elladan carries on like this!

Legolas is not going to be happy with Elladan for teaching Estel to use a sword, though. I don't think this is going to end well. I have a nasty feeling this is going to undo the good mood that he's getting from all the...fresh air with Elrohir.

And now Elladan is enlightened about Elrohir's soul-healing abilities. I hope he can persuade Elrohir to see Olorin about it.



Author's Response:

Elladan is sweet isn't he.  It you are right. Major error giving Estel a sword. Even the "fresh air" is not going to be enough to save this disaster if Legolas discovers it. 

Elladan knowing about Legolas' theory will, however, make it MUCH more difficult for Elrohir to continue avoiding dealing with it!! He's not going to turn a blind eye to this. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 28, 2017 6:12 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Oh it is good to see Elladan again!
He's lovely.
So very telling that Estel senses the fire of Elrohir as well and finds a different sensation from his twin--an absence of that.
Oh dear. It is hard for Elladan to say Estel's name. I sure it is hard for both Peredhel (and Elrond too) to hear that name for a living boy when their Estel is forever lost. It's another instance of Legolas being unthinking and a bit insensitive--he misses Aragorn of course but this is Aragorn's family and they miss him greatly too--that name was perhaps not his most considerate choice.

It was adorable when Elladan put the two warriors representing Elrohir and himself alongside Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and then patted wooden Legolas on the head--so cute.

I also find it amusing that he is instantly exasperated with Elrohir when he hears that Legolas and Elrohir have been arguing--has he not spent enough time around Legolas to know just how exasperating he can be, especially to a short tempered Peredhel?

But he, unlike Elrohir, is intrigued to hear the description Estel gives him and to know Olorin suspects something deeper. Of course, being an Elrondion, he blames himself. Sigh.

And he has a flet! Yay I'm so glad you put this idea in!! I was sure they would miss Lothlorien, having spent so much time there as well. And yes, Legolas please let Estel spend a night out in the flet with Elladan--then you can have Elrohir to yourself! Although I'm pretty sure they are doing quite a bit more than having a stroll and taking in the fresh air right now, ahem.

Warning bells are going off for me at the end here. Estel knows Legolas doesn't want him learning the sword yet. He is tempted greatly but he knows his father's views and temperament. I am a bit worried about how he will react if he comes upon them training or hears about it.

I'm really glad Elladan is part of the story and functioning as Elf sitter in chief! But he knows how to get along with boys as well, doesn't he, from all the long years of fostering heirs of Isildur. Sigh again.

Author's Response:

Yes Estel can sense a difference in the twins fea. I think all elves can. I don't think they have problems identifying them as humans do .....because of course humans can't sense the fea, they only have the external. 

Elladan does struggle with Estel's name. More so than Elrohir it seems but then Elrohir has had a lot of time with Legolas talking about his boy to him. The name "Estel" has taken on a new personality for him a bit. That of little Estel. For Elladan it's still raw. It's still only Aragorn's name. That will ease I think over time as he comes to know this new small boy. Yes, Legolas simply did not think how Elrond et al would feel about Estel's name. As I said, it's not even a name he ever called Aragorn himself so for him it isn't as painful to hear. 

Glad you liked Elladan and the wooden soliders. He knows how to worm his way into a small boys heart. As you say, he has years of experience raising heirs of Isildur. 

He is intrigued by this new idea Estel has presented him with of Elrohir's healing. Of course he has been on the receiving end of it himself, but he always assumed it was a twin thing. Now he can look at that in a different way. I wonder why Legolas hasn't been to Elladan with this himself before now? However now it's on Elladans radar Elrohir won't be able to so easily avoid dealing with it. 

Yes I put the flet in. A direct steal from you! It just was such a great idea!! 

You are right to hear warning bells. I don't think I give anything away when I say Legolas won't like this. Remember his need for tight control of his son, his fear of losing him, this pushes all his buttons. There may be a gap before the next  chapter. It's going to be tricky to write. 

P.S. Of course Legolas and Elrohir are not "out for a stroll" They may be outside, or even in Elladan's flet, or maybe just in Elrohir's room, but they are not strolling. They are making up for the night they lost due to Estel's homesickness. (Hence Elladan can guarantee they won't be arguing!) 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 14:51 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Aha! After two chapters where Elrohir challenges Legolas, it's good to see Legolas challenging Elrohir in return. This is why Elrohir needs Legolas, although I bet he doesn't see it that way.

I wonder why Elrohir is so resistant to Legolas's suggestion. Is it because he couldn't heal his mother? Interesting that this came closer to causing an argument than any of Elrohir's comments to Legolas. This is clearly a deep issue for Elrohir.



Author's Response:

They are fiery these two. They always have been. And Legolas is convinced Elrohir needs this. He will not let it go. 

This isn't the first time they have spoken about this but Legolas has just come to the realisation Elrohir is never going to act to do something about investigating his potential healing ability. Legolas will have to do it himself. 

Elrohir has always felt "not quite good enough" He is very aware of being "only" a half-elf. That he doesn't have the power Elladan and Arwen have. But he DOES, it just hasn't been discovered yet. Legolas hit on a sore spot with his mother. Elrohir has been reunited with her of course and there is none of the issues between he and Celebrian that Legolas has with his mother. But Elrohir feels guilty he wasn't enough to help her in Arda. If he had only been a better person, more useful, he could have healed her or saved her.....it's still an issue for him. 

And he doesn't see what Gandalf saw, that even untrained and undiscovered, he soothed his broken mother better than anyone else.

Also he's frightened. He's scared he will fail at this as well. He's already struggled and failed in his youth at conventional healing while Elladan excelled. What if Legolas is wrong and he just looks useless again?  



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 14:39 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

"Not you as well!" Father cries. "Why is it no one understands? Maewen would!"

Oh, I was so disappointed in Legolas here. He souds like a petulant child, playing one person off against another when he doesn't get his way. Again, it's good that Elrohir isn't afraid to challenge Legolas. He does need to talk to Laerion. They each need the other for healing, just as much as Legolas can't keep ignoring the wound caused by his mother's departure.

Of course, if Legolas isn't used to being challenged, this could lead to a big argument with Elrohir. I hope that doesn't happen.



Author's Response:

Yeah, naughty Legolas! 

And he's wrong ....... and he knows it. Maewen would be on Elrohir's side in this. 

He's trying to distract— as he does. Legolas has never been good at facing up to things. He likes to avoid them and run away. That's what he's trying to do here. Create an argument, a distraction, so he doesn't have to talk about Laerion which upsets him. 

Elrohir is absolutely right to be forceful about this. Laerion is one of the undealt with things causing Legolas problems. 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 14:25 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Ooh - I've been away a few days, and it was lovely to come back to these updates!

I love the care Elrohir has taken, preparing a place where Estel and Legolas will feel at home. I'm glad he was firm with Legolas over letting Estel have the soldiers. It seems like so many people are walking on eggshells around Legolas, it's good that Elrohir isn't like that.

I hope this visit will do Legolas good. Elrohir says he needs Legolas, and I hope Legolas will learn what it is he gives to him. That Elrohir doesn't just see him as the needy one.



Author's Response:

Yes, your right. If Legolas can see he gives something back to Elrohir it will help him accept it better when he needs Elrohir himself. 

Elrohir has really put thought into this visit. Legolas has kept himself away a long time and Elrohir wants things to work. He's firm. That's changed since we saw him in "Fire" He has stepped in to a bit of Gimli's role that way. Can you imagine the cuff around the ears Gimli would be giving Legolas right now ?! 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 5:32 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Oh dear.
Well I am so glad Estel understands this odd trapezoid of Erynion-Maewen-Legolas-Elrohir! It is interesting that he knows the Noldor are more rigid and linear in their love.

I love the way Legolas describes what Elrohir does for him--again the incandescent nature of Elrohir's spirit--burning away the clouds, the sea, the fear, the uncertainty (Estel), the anguish (inCelebrian's case too). He is a healer--of souls or fea as Legolas says--we could call it the malaise of the mind and heart.

It is definitely a sore subject with Elrohir though! I think he has gone almost an age feeling he is just a warrior, with no other redeeming factors. I think it is his Maia heritage and that is so at odds with the Mannish influence that has resonated through his whole life. I really think he doesn't dare even hope he has this skill because he is so fearful of coming up short yet again, in his view. It really is so tragic that he feels lesser--lesser than Elrond, than Elladan, than Arwen. And Legolas is right--he does have this healing skill and Elrond hasn't been looking in the right way.

Involving Olorin is an interesting twist. But my goodness Elrohir reminds me of Fanor a bit here--his resentment at the meddling of a Maiar. But I think Olorin, as a Maia and one who is very in tune with the imperishable flame and has the skill of kindling feelings in others, has recognized something in Elrohir, something familiar.

Oh Estel--I used to do the same thing when my parents argued when I was a child--create a disturbance or diversion. It doesn't help to call the poor child clumsy Legolas! But I think Elrohir is actually far more perceptive about Estel than Legolas.

At least the argument is tables, for now. I am sure it will come up again, to Elrohir's dismay.

I really liked the scene where Estel is homesick. It was good to see Legolas comfort him so well. And that Estel revealed his own healing moment with Elrohir.

I agree with Estel--Elrohir will be angry at Legolas but as Legolas knows he will be forgiven. Elrohir loves him too well. But I am p,eased that Legolas perceives that Elrohir needs this. That is a key element and something that Legolas is doing for Elrohir. He's come out of himself enough to realize this and is also aware others can benefit from this skill--my mind goes to Laerion actually.

Wonderful moment where Legolas bonds with Estel on how different Imladris is and reveals that he and Elrohir were like oil and water at first.

I am interested in where this will go--will Legolas speak of it to Elrond, how much of a rift will it cause with Elrohir and how will Laerion's damaged fea play into it? I find it fascinating and completely in character that Finarfin and Finrod have this skill.

Author's Response:

I think Estel has heard much raging about the Noldors rigid adherence to the rules and their monogomous love from his father over the years. The Noldor are obviously struggling to understand these wild Silvans who have arrived in their land, (and who were never meant to be there in the first place) the two worlds are quite far apart at present. 

This is not the first time Legolas and Elrohir have had this conversation. Legolas has been thinking on this for years. He has been encouraging Elrohir to explore his potential . .. go to Elrond . . And he is now realising this is never going to happen. He needs to take matters into his own hands, wear the inevitable storm when Elrohir finds out what he has done, and do something about this himself.

He didn't deliberately include Olórin in this although Elrohir now thinks he did. In this universe, in Arda, Gandalf takes a very paternal special interest in Legolas. He is the main reason Legolas ends up in the Fellowship. It is widely expressed by everyone that Legolas is a favourite of his. That interest has extended in to Valinor. Olórin watches over his damaged wild Silvan. Estel has already mentioned Olórin frequently visits them. He keeps an eye on Legolas and his little family. And  during these visits Legolas talks about how Elrohir uplifts his spirits. How he curbed the sea for him, how he chases away the depression, and Olórion puts two and two together. As you say, he recognises something in Legolas' stories ........ and he does love to meddle! 

Elrohir WILL be furious when Legolas enacts his plan but Legolas knows he needs to discover this talent. He knows all about Elrohir's lack of self esteem. He wants him to discover his true potential. ( and you are right, Elrohir is terrified. If he doesn't explore this then he won't risk failure. He has so little self belief when it boils down to it.) 

I wanted to show Legolas actually can be, (and often is) a wonderful father. He comforts Estel wonderfully here —and you know, there is a semi naked Elrohir waiting in his room while he does this. He came to check his son was safely asleep before they threw caution to the wind. But he doesn't rush through the comfort, he gives Estel his full attention and time to the point of crawling in to bed with him to help him to sleep. 

But Legolas' own issues .. . And his wild personality....do come between this wonderful father he can be and his small son. He doesn't temper his volatile Orophorion temper often enough and sensitive Estel suffers because of that. Legolas' temper has always been a weakness! 

I decided Celebrian would have been cared for and healed by her family when she arrived in Valinor. And Finarfin, (Grandfather) and Finrod, (uncle) were the obvious ones to do it. Can you imagine how treasured she would have been by Finarfin?? Finrod has real power —his battle with Sauron being an example—but despite that he has always seemed a softer, gentler character than Galadriel to me, so I could see him using his power for nurturing also. And Finarfin .... he is not developed at all in canon but with children like Galadriel and Finrod, how powerful must HE have been?! 



Name: UnnamedElement (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 5:03 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

As usual, typos galore. And I have gotten a new phone with software updates and no cracked screen, so I can’t even blame it on the phone! Well. You ought to get the gist of it, though, as re-reading, I honestly don’t even know what I was trying to say at one point, to be honest...! 



Author's Response:

I understood it despite the typos! 



Name: UnnamedElement (Signed) · Date: November 27, 2017 4:58 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

I am not writing s substantial review today, but I figured short is better than none st all, and I expect I’ll get around to reviewing the previous two sooner or later, as I had a lot of reactions and questions (and I laughed aloud at the bit about the toy dragon being doomed to live out his days wreathed in flowers!). 

 

Anyway, as far as this chapter goes, in one way it was everything I had been waiting for: Estel’s explanation of his understanding of his parents’ relationships with one another and with their other partners. It was so well done—straightforward, yet sensitive, and while I know a lot of it comes from being Silvan, I can’t help but think Estel is particularly mature. 

 

I also continue to be interested by Estel’s reaction to Andy manner of coping with violence and yelling. I really wonder the extent of what he has seen or heard in his primary home—what has he witnessed, how many times, and what doesn’t he have to do to keep himself safe emotionally and stabilize the household? We certainly see that here. He does seem to put a lot of responsibility on himself, dor caretskinf, even when it is not being asked of him, which I see a lot in my work. 

 

I had to laugh when Legolas told Estel he had never met a more clumsy Elfling. I really wonder how much of that is an affected or exaggerated trait developed for particularly the purpose he used it here!

 

for all elrohir’s astuteness with Estel, he is still stubborn in examining himself. Especially insofar as the mental health healing goes. I really can’t imagine he will be too pleased when Legolas goes behind his back more than he already has with Gandalf to explore the possibilities! Though I daresay, I imagine Legolas is probably right, at least partially. 

 

But it the idea that Legolas wouldn’t have to, theoretically, be loved by him to be healed by him may be difficult for Elrohir to swallow, and it could undermine his confidence and the ease he has developed in his relationship with Legolas.

 

i look forward particularly to seeing how that develops!

 

thank you for writing and sharing! I really look forward to the next chapters. This is excellent. I just love Estel’s perspective. And, as usual, your pacing makes me envious!

 

well done, can’t wait!



Author's Response:

You said it would be short then it ended up not being that short after all!

I love getting reviews by you. :-)

The Silvan polyamorous way of loving is as natural to Estel as breathing. It is all he has ever known. Not only his own nuclear family is like this but all his friends families . . . Infact everyone in his small world. The only exception is his Grandparents. They are very much the exception not the rule. Estel is more Silvan than Legolas remember. He does not have the problems Legolas had due to his Sindar blood, (which is barely a whisper in Estel.)

I think Estel has witnessed quite a bit of adult arguing in his life but not constantly. (Because his life has extended a good few more years than a human child’s at the same developmental stage. Legolas has always been volatile. He has an Orophorian temper and perhaps does not moderate it in front of his son as he should.  Maewen also is fiery and I think the two of them have always had a relationship of great highs and lows. I think they even like it that way. They don’t like steadiness particularly ...either of them. I do think sometimes they enjoy arguing. 

But they have produced a son who is more sensitive. More like his paternal grandmother I think. Legolas’ Mother is gentle, softer, more fearful, although she too has a determined streak. Estel doesn’t cope with the arguing as a more robust child would. He is a worrier. It seems worse than it is to him. 

The clumsiness is indeed a developed tactic to avoid/stop the conflict. 

You are right. Elrohir is very very adamant his effect on Legolas is due to love alone. It’s inportant to him that this be so. A symbol of their mutual connection. As you say.....how much will it undermine his confidence in the relationship if he finds out it’s something he can do with anyone? It isn’t of course.....it is something he can do with anyone WITH TRAINING. With Legolas it just comes naturally even though he doesn’t understand it. 

Oh he will be angry when Legolas goes behind his back about this. Very very angry!

it has to be done tho. 

 

 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 26, 2017 1:45 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
A picnic! Because he knows how they will feel in his hall--there must be other visitors and guests then. What a wonderful gesture to take them to the waterfall--but then Elrohir also gets them to himself. His utter thoughtfulness and preparation is so endearing. He has planned so well!
I like that Elladan is his ally in this.

Thranduil sending Laerion is a fantastic idea--a bit like putting fire next to an explosive but still a good idea because Legolas needs to stop avoiding his feelings about Laerion and the whole mess between them. He is avoiding it, as usual when it is something upsetting he doesn't want to deal with. He has not changed in this respect, has he?
But Elrohir calls him on it which is awesome. He's blunt but exceptionally kind about it. Much better at controlling his temper.
And Elrohir finds an ally in Estel! I'm so glad he spoke up and corrected Legolas about how Laerion's hurt came up. I love that Elrohir is aghast that no one has spoken to Laerion about this--I don't know if it's his intrinsic, latent healing intuition that kicks in or if he just has so much more experience with reborn Elves, living among the Noldor where you likely can't toss a rock without hitting a reborn Elf!
He is exactly right--Legolas owes his brother a conversation and he needs to come to terms with his own feelings--about losing Laerion the first time and turning away the second time.

Elrohir is not giving Legolas any wiggle room here--Laerion is right--the ghosts of Aragorn, Eldarion and Gimli fight the living for Legolas' love and attention. And none of them would be pleased to know that. It is a huge deal that Laerion confessed this when asked; it shows just how hurt and alone he feels. And Elrohir gets that. Partly from his understanding of reborn Elves and the Halls and partly I think from his own feelings of isolation in the past. He's right on target here bit he is also astute enough to see that reasoning with Legolas in front of Estel could get ugly so he saves it for later.
And didn't we all HATE it when our elders did that. Totally with Estel on test.

I love that Elrohir recognizes the book and that Estel asked his burning question about Noldor singing in trees! Priceless! And it managed to reduce Legolas to a giggling mess.
I think my favorite bit there was a completely disgruntled Elrohir pointing out he was combating the forces of darkness and had no time to read fanciful Hobbit stories! And I love that this exchange casts doubt on the whole story and paints Bilbo as a bit of an unreliable but highly imaginative writer.
The gentle touch Legolas gives Elrohir is lovely--they do need each other and soothe each other.

Estel trying to puzzle put the whole Aragorn/Arwen/twins dynamic is great. And his realization that without Elrohir Legolas would be a far unhappier, different person. It is a huge realization he makes here--how happy Legolas is with Elrohir.

The ability that Elrohir has, to ease Legolas, was apparent in your previous story but he has far refined that ability. He soothes but he also has that hint of Gimli behaviour in that he forces Legolas to acknowledge truths in a blunt but kindly fashion. He doesn't let him get away with avoidant behaviour. He has come to understand Legolas so very well and he adapts and adjusts to meet him and put him at ease. It's truly empathetic and considerate behaviour and tells us much of his great love for Legolas.

Poor Estel--no Noldor singing in trees!

I still want to wrap Elrohir in a fuzzy blanket and bring him home with me.

Author's Response:

I imagine Elrohir and Elladan's place as being a bit of a sanctuary for Arda Noldor, much as Imladris was itself. The older elves went with Elrond and will be living near him but younger ones, ones who had only ever lived in Arda....they have stayed with the twins. So there are a lot of people around and it would be overwhelming for Estel .....and Legolas has always hated that kind of thing. 

I  love that expression...putting fire next to an explosive...and it is exactly how Legolas and Laerion could go down. It's a risky move by Thranduil,but someone has to do something with these two. As you point out Legolas is avoiding—as usual. And he is wrong about his brother on all counts. Estel points out it is completely untrue that Laerion is not interested in getting to know him and Legolas' accusation that Laerion blames him for returning with Aragorn is also wrong. Laerion 100% blames Aragorn for that, not his brother. The problem is Legolas blames himself. He feels guilty for leaving his brother a second time (although he knows it was the right choice for him still he feels guilty about it) and he cannot bring himself to face that...because he is Legolas who runs away from difficult things! 

Elrohir HAS learned from Gimli! At the end of Fire he began to take on some very Gimli-like actions re Legolas and I commented that I thought he had been observing what worked and what didn't. I needed someone to step into that role. Because Legolas needs it. Someone who can walk the balance between kindness and bluntness. Gimli is no longer around so Elrohir has stepped up to plate.

You are SO right that Aragorn and Gimli would be very unhappy at how things are right now, They would not want Legolas to spend so much energy living in the past to the detriment of his future. Oh, and Elrohir does know much more about Reborn Elves, as you say being Noldor. He has much more contact with them and so his horror at the neglect Legolas and his family has shown Laerion. (Of course Legolas' whole family has long been big on avoidance.)

Glad you liked the book part. Legolas found Elrohir's discomfort SO funny and it's good for him to laugh. And yes...Bilbo is looking more and more like he wrote a fantasy book not the reality!!!



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 24, 2017 22:10 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Darn it! I just typed a huge comment on this and lost it!! :(
This isn't half as good as my first one but oh well.

I'll try again.

Oh my heart! Can I wrap Elrohir up in a blanket and bring him home with me?

I loved this chapter. I love that the fire in Elrohir brings such brightness to Legolas. It used to burn away the sea longing but now it burns away the grief, the frustration, the feeling of not-fitting-in.

Elrohir is so expressive here. He's a far cry from the Elrohir at the beginning of Fire. He communicates, he perceives, he opens up. And he's very practical in some ways--the whole "come before you need me" quote. And the lovely admission that he needs Legolas just as much as Legolas needs him!

I love the idea that the house looks like Imladris (and that even that is still far less imposing and ostentatious than Tirion!). But I am burning with questions: Elladan lives here but does he have a significant other? Do Celebrian and Elrond live here?
I laughed at this line: "connections in high places" so perfect.

The rooms took my breath away. The amount of thought, caring and planning that went into that endeavor shows such deep and abiding love. Elrohir is so considerate--his line about raising so many boys was so bittersweet. I think he knows more about children, young boys in particular, than Legolas does. Knowing it would comfort Estel to have a room like his own at home. Knowing having Legolas close would be important. Knowing how to make a Silvan at home in a stone fortress--he's had years of observing and loving Legolas and he has taken that knowledge to heart.

And he shows an utmost respect for Maewen. And Estel--shushing Legolas when he needed to be shushed. He knows the Silvan ways and that Estel is a Silvan. But he is also a boy still and throwing their relationship in his face first thing isn't the best way to go about it. Elrohir knows Estel is a perceptive boy--he'll figure it out but he respects Estel enough to want to get to know him and for Estel to be comfortable. It's very considerate.

There is a flexibility to Elrohir. He's comfortable--not in a complacent way but comfortable with himself. He's more open, more expressive, more empathetic and relaxed than he was in Fire. It's good to see him this way. I love that he isn't concerned about where he sleeps--it's irrelevant as long as they are together.

It is a great gift to let Estel play with the wooden warriors--another example of Elrohir's giving nature and innate understanding of boys. He knows the toys aren't relics--they are meant for play, not to sit shut in a box somewhere. He knows that Estel will respect them and he trusts Estel implicitly to be responsible with them--more so than Legolas, who IS viewing them as relics.
But Elrohir can communicate to Legolas and pull him back from making a grave mistake with his son--another moment when Elrohir seems to have more perception about Estel than his own father does. Elrohir pulls Legolas back and reinforces, with the most profound words, that he can't live happily if he is living in the past because he is then missing out on the present. And the present is good. It's meaningful. It's full of love. And it's worth sharing the past but reveling in the present.

A most satisfying chapter and much love for my dear Elrohir. Can't wait for more!

Author's Response:

Ah, Elrohir, he has done what Legolas has not and embraced the life he finds himself living in Valinor. For years and years in Arda Elrohir has been crushed by the weight of the choice he had to make but now that choice is made and done with and he is free. Yes, he has lost Arwen and Aragorn and the connection with the world of Men he loved, (the loss of that does scar his soul,) but for Elrohir, the worst of that loss was the potential of it, and the fact it lay on his shoulders. He is happier now it is behind him. 

But still he needs Legolas—as he says here. What he gains from Legolas is that pure accepting love Legolas gives him. Legolas loves all of him, his twinness, his Manness, all the things Elrohir has before seen as "less" Legolas adores. The side of Elrohir that is Man, actually attracts Legolas. 

Its hard for Elrohir, living in Valinor, so far from the world of Men that is such an important part of him. But he has found a way to cope with that. He has sought out a connection. It will come up later in the story that Elrohir has formed a strong bond with his Grandfather—Earendil. The one person in Valinor who is, as Elrohir is, very strongly "of Men" They understand each other. Elrond's relationship with his father is tense, strained, virtually non existent, but Elrohir has stepped past that to connect with this man who is also, like him, a "Man" amongst elves. 

Elrond and Celebrian do not live here. It is Elrohir and Elladan's home only. As for Elladan . . He has not seen fit yet to inform me of his love life so I have to skirt round that until he does!!!! Secretive elf that he is. 

Elrohir has put much careful thought into preparing these rooms since he knew Estel was coming. It is a demonstration of his love for Legolas and he wants this visit to go well so there will be others. He does know more about small boys than Legolas. He has had much contact with them over years and years whereas the only boys Legolas has known were Eldarion and Elboron. There were no children in the Greenwood. That's not to say Legolas doesn't know Estel well or spend time with him. He does, but his depression creates a barrier at times. 

Estel knows about Legolas and Elrohir's relationship. He has known why his father goes to visit the Noldor. But he has not seen it before in action and that is different. He has seen Maewen and Erynion together many times when his father is away but he has not seen Legolas and Elrohir. So while he knows it and understands it he has not yet witnessed it. Elrohir is being careful here to try and make sure that goes well. 

You have the soliders thing exactly right. To Legolas they are relics to be locked away and held sacred. To Elrohir they are living memories to be played with and enjoyed. He will get great pleasure watching Legolas' son playing with these toys that originally belonged to his small foster brother. He needs to get Legolas to understand that about his whole approach to the past. Remember the oneshot where Legolas and Aragorn discuss Legolas' future children and Aragorn expresses regret he will never know Legolas' children? Legolas needs to remember that. Here is a way for Aragorn, through the years, across death, to connect with his son. 

Sorry for the mega reply! 

 



Name: Himring (Signed) · Date: November 19, 2017 14:07 · For: Protector of Dreams

Little Estel's point of view is really well done, here.

A good thing that this demon turns into such a good friend!



Author's Response:

Thank you! 

Poor Elrohir . . . He's not much of a demon really! 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 16, 2017 21:35 · For: Protector of Dreams

Thanks for the warning! But yeah, Aragorn's not so bad as a child. He hasn't met Legolas and insulted him, dragged him too close to the sea and generally taken him for granted yet, so I can feel more sympathy for him!

I love Elrohir here. Especially that image of demon-Elrohir, smeared with blood and tearing Estel away from his mother. No wonder the boy was traumatised! It's probably a good thing he didn't see Elrohir together with Elladan when they arrived back, or he'd have thought Imladris was being invaded by demons. But I love Elrohir's patience and the trouble he takes to empathise with Estel.

I wonder how he feels about Legolas naming his son Estel. It's got to bring back painful memories of the boy Aragorn once was. I suppose Legolas never knew Aragorn as a boy (I get muddled up with your different universes sometimes, but I think Legolas didn't meet Elrohir until the Council of Elrond in this one - is that right?)



Author's Response:

You are right. In this universe Legolas first meets Aragorn at the council of Elrond. And he never calls him Estel. Not once. Not ever. It is not a name he ever knew him by. It's always Aragorn, or Elessar when he is really angry with him. 

Thats not to say he didn't name his son after him! Even Legolas realised having an elfling running through the trees of Valinor called by a Mannish name would be incongruous. Especially since in Valinor many elves don't even know Common. To make it easier he used Aragorn's elvish name thinking it more fitting. 

And also little Estel was born after Gimli's death at a time when Legolas really needed some hope. So the name is important for two reasons.

And yes, for Elrohir the name Legolas has chosen for his son is a painful one. It does bring back memories of the boy he lost. I am not sure Legolas has thought too much about that. He can tend to be a bit selfish at times. 

Glad you liked demon Elrohir. I can see him clearly in my mind. Wild, ferocious and dangerous! 

 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 16, 2017 18:36 · For: Protector of Dreams
Oh oh oh! I'm crying. You have made me so emotional reading this.
There is a dearth of little Estel fic and I truly enjoyed this. His perspective as a small unruly human in this bastion of elegant glorious Elves is intriguing to read. He is not the first fostered there of course but he is the youngest. And it has been many long years since there has been a child in Imladris. It's not that they don't love Estel but they are unused to this, after so many years and it is obvious he is lonely. An existence as a child among only adults is different and I think has shaped his later character. He is measured,thoughtful, reserved.
I knew the nightmare was likely a rescue--a battle crazed Elrohir could not be a reassuring sight for a toddler! And I am sure Elrohir was devastated by Arathorn's death and desperate to rescue Gilraen and little Aragorn.
It is so poignant to see how Elrohir immediately focuses on Aragorn on his arrival and is solicitous to go visit him and make sure he is ok. I am overcome with the gentleness of Elrohir's immediate interaction with Estel in Gilraen's quarters and with her obvious joy in seeing Elrohir.
There is a softness and gentleness to Elrohir here that I love--we often see him as bitter after the loss of his mother or distant, grumpy, growly. But there is a vulnerability peeking through here in him. He is not all battle and warrior through and through. The gift he gave Estel is making me cry again--the thought of him out in the wild, laboriously carving warriors out of wood for a child who barely knows him is just such a tender image.
His whole conversation with Estel about wanting to run the halls himself was lovely and the comment that Elrond didn't understand that resonated--because Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen at least had each other but they too were a bit anomalous as children in that environment, so Elrohir can relate.
But what completely pierced my heart as I read that was the realization that Elrond didn't have long hallways to run in when he was Estel's age. He was a refugee in Sirion. And then he was fostered in the wilds of Beleriand with the last two sons of Fanor--no long hallways, no open fields to run in. Always wary, always on the watch for orcs and servants of the enemy. He didn't live in a safe enough place to have that freedom. And I think that's a heart-breaking realization about Elrond and Elros. I think Maedhros and Maglor did their best--they knew about little boys after all, with their brothers, but they were not in safe Tirion and they were not the same as they were when they were looking out for their brothers. So that brief exchange tells me a lot about Estel, Elrohir and Elrond too.
The trust and confidence Elrohir engenders so quickly in Estel is noteworthy. He trul acts like a friend and confidant and that is exactly what the boy needs.
This is an unexplored side of Elrohir and I love him even more after reading this. Sorry for thus novel of a comment!! You gave me lots of emotion and insight with this.

Author's Response:

Glad you liked it! 

 

And as usual you picked up on so much of what was going on behind the scenes in my mind. 

Yes, Estel is lonely. Surrounded by love of course but the elves around him are ancient and far removed from their own childhoods, or even contact with other small children. Yes there have been fleeting, (in elven terms) fostering of other humans but they still don't really "get" little humans. 

Elrohir,(in my mind at least,) not only is younger but spends much time amongst the Dunedain and so he knows how human children tick. Plus he has this strong pull to Mannish tendencies himself, and, as you say, has existed in Imladris as one of few other elflings. 

Notice Elladan is absent in this story although he was there of course, even in the rescue. But baby Estel did not see him. I wanted to focus on Aragorn's relationship with the fierce, growly, Mannish Elrohir. He does also develop a strong brotherly relationship with Elladan too of course but it is different, more elven (as Elladan is) and not rooted in trauma as his one with Elrohir here. 

What is missing from Aragorn's life is a male role model who is a Man, not an elf. Elrohir steps in there and provides it for him as Elrohir is the most Mannish of anyone there. I think even the child Estel sees that. Something within him grasps on to that essence of Man within Elrohir like someone dying of thirst in a desert. He NEEDS it, and so rapidly, quickly, overcomes his fear and embraces this person who is.....out of anyone he knows...the most like himself. 

I have vague ideas of adding to this sometime with a second chapter later in Aragorn's life. Maybe as he becomes king? I just think there is something special there between him and his more Mannish foster brother. 

Little Estel obviously means something to Elrohir. He keeps him close to his heart while wandering in the wild, taking time to patiently carve him a gift. A gift that will be, as you say, for a child that does not even know him. I do think he was close to Arathorn and when Estel saw him, wild, battle soaked and desperate....truly a demon to a small child..... (because that baby Estel would have seen a more "normal" Elrohir before that and did not recognise him)  he was grief stricken, as much as you can be in the midst of battle, at the loss of Arathorn. 

That grief and desperation is perhaps what prevented Elrohir handling this rescue more gently. He obviously grabbed the child and ran. No time for cuddling and reassurance. And that trauma, the loss of his only security—his mother—is what stayed in Estel's mind. 

Gilraen's joy at seeing Elrohir again speaks to the time he has spent with the Dunedain, and his relationship with Arathorn. He is a welcome friendly face in this elven enclave she is stuck in. She is devastated to realise it is Elrohir her child is afraid of. None of the adults dealing with this little boy have put two and two together and realised how he has interpreted the rescue. 

As for Elrond. Bang on. Why does he not understand a simple childish need to run around his house? Because he never had a house himself, not that he can remember. His childhood was not a childhood at all but survival. He just doesn't "get" this. 

That he tries still to create a loving environment for Estel is meritorious. But he can only work with what he knows. I imagine he struggled a bit with his own children too. The Feanorians did their best but Elrond missed out big time as far as childhood goes. 

 

Novel of a reply for you! 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: November 14, 2017 11:35 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

This is sad, but with moments of hope. I loved the chat between Laerion and Estel. Sometimes it takes a child to ask the direct question that the adults can't bring themselves to ask! I wish Legolas and Laerion could be as open with each other.

I felt really sad for Legolas's mother, too. I loved the little moments that showed how similar she and Legolas are. It's just sad that Legolas is making the effort for Estel's sake, not for the sake of his own relationship with his mother. At least, that's the way it seems to me. But there is the hope that the longer visit will do some good.

Now to Elrohir! I do hope that if Legolas takes Estel to see the foolish lords of Tirion, Estel won't call them foolish to their faces. I worry he thinks it's part of their title!



Author's Response:

Yeah, Estel went right to the heart of it with Laerion. Someone should have asked him this question beforehand but no one had. Legolas and Laerion do need to have some conversations like this themselves. It would help things. 

Im glad you feel sorry for Legolas' Mum. She didn't come off well in Light of a Thousand Stars (deliberately) but the woman she was then was not her true self. Who we are seeing now is more like the mother Legolas had in childhood before grief destroyed her. You are right. This effort from Legolas is all about Estel, not because he wishes for any connection himself. 

But small steps . . . Maybe the increased civil contact for the sake of his son will have benefits for his relationship with his Mum in the long run? 

Yes, now to Elrohir! Let's see how he does with this mess. 

There is a very real chance Estel would tell the Lords of Tirion they are fools. He kind of thinks of that as their official tag, 'ThefoolishlordsofTirion' It all runs together in his head! 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: November 14, 2017 0:59 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Multitasking--reading while eating dinner!

Oh so much to think on in this chapter! I am glad Legolas is making an effort and even though it is for Estel I hope it is also for himself. He needs this rapprochement. He is hurting and those who love him see it.
Laerion has likely been more forthright with Estel than he has been with anyone since he has returned from the Halls. It is so poignant that his last thoughts before death were about his family. It is hard for him to return to them as he was mentally but find them so altered. I love what he said about his scars--I think many Elves would feel the same.
I am glad he is reaching out to Estel and reaching out to Legolas indirectly by wanting to read the story. A story that includes the hobbits he met.
I am not sure what is motivating Legolas other than his love for Estel here. I do think his brightness comes from the fact that he will see Elrohir soon. But I was surprised he showed genuine emotion and that smile to his mother, when he has been so distant--I don't think he could fake that. The cakes comment and offer to return so she could tell her stories under the stars to estel is unexpected magnanimous behavior from Legolas. It feels heartfelt. As if he spent the night thinking of how difficult he was making this for his son and also how much he was keeping from Estel by his distance from his family. Estel feels such strong emotion for his grandfather and grandmother--it is cruel to limit his contact.
I am curious as to Legolas and Laerion's interaction at the end and that Legolas is the one saying too much had changed when it appears Laerion is making an honest effort at connection.
Lovely, dense with content chapter. Can't wait til we get to the Noldor and dear Elrohir. I haven't forgotten about the interlude I promised to write for him with Legolas--tell him to be patient--it's in my head.

Author's Response:

Well, where to start! You hit the nail on the head with SO much here!

Laerion. Poor Laerion, you are right....this speech to Estel is the most he has ever said to anyone about the process of his death and his feelings about rebirth. Im glad you picked up on the loss of his scars. It’s significant. Every scar was a memory, a story, a trophy of his previous life, and to have them wiped clean as if they never were? It feels like a violation to him. Laerion craves the past. He wants the brother he had, the life he had that was torn from him. He is angry about the loss of it. But at the same time he is pushing hard at Legolas to let go of that past and move on. Because he himself has been forced to do that. And he sees how damaged Legolas is by some of his memories, memories Laerion has not been a part of. He wants Legolas to either start anew with him in Valinor or at least only cling to their shared past. The memories that have occurred since Laerion’s death are those that Legolas clings so strongly to. And that HURTS. To Laerion it feels as if Legolas is only interested in the time when he wasn’t around. 

 

Legolas: oh yes the brightness is because of the nearness of Elrohir! It so is. And interestingly even Estel sees that although he has had limited opportunity to observe Elrohir and Legolas together. Elrohir’s very presence heals Legolas. Even from afar, even just the promise of him does it seems. And with the lifting of his mood Legolas is better able to interact with his family and show the emotions buried beneath his depression. 

You have exactly described what Legolas did the previous night. He did spend the night thinking long and hard about how the way  he interacts with his mother is hurting Estel. Estel did not mince words. He was very angry and Legolas will have felt that within his fea. “You hurt me” He said, “when you hurt my Grandmother you hurt ME” I don’t think Legolas has ever thought of it that way before. 

There is nothing he cherishes more than his children. He burns with a need to protect them, (not always a healthy one) and this has struck home. It was not his mothers abandonment that hurt Estel it was his own behaviour. 

He does—in fact—desperately want a renewed relationship with his mother and he needs it. But he is not at a stage where he can admit that to himself yet. His main motivation at this point is Estel. His ability to follow through and genuinely attempt a connection is due to the nearness of Elrohir easing his emotional load.

As for the interaction between him and Laerion at the end. I hope to shine more light on that in the next chapter. Laerion is trying. But they are both so clumsy at communication. 

next chapter: Elrohir. I wonder if you will find him changed at all since Fire?

 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: October 23, 2017 17:10 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Legolas is going to fix things tomorrow, before they go? Now who's making promises they can't deliver? If he things he can put everything right with a few words, he's going to have a nasty shock. This is something that's going to require a long stay, involving a lot of talking from the heart and even more listening. Not something that's going to be mended in a flying visit. I'm almost dreading the next chapter! (I'm looking forward to it as well, honest!)



Author's Response:

Yeah, that was a panicked response to his sons pain. He had this crying child in front of him and he just said, "I'll make it all better, I'll make it all better.." He can fix the specific issue Estel was crying about—his bad treatment of his mother over dinner,(and his mother will accept it because she is hanging out for crumbs of affection at this point)—but he can't fix what lies behind that, not in a day. So it will just happen all over again next time they meet. 

As you say, promising what he can't deliver. There are a lot of similarities between Legolas and his Mum. As I said to someone else, who's worse at this point? Legolas' Mum who gave him a loving, stable childhood but then abandoned him without a backward glance, or Legolas who loves his son to bits, will never leave him but exposes him continually to this damaging tension? 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: October 23, 2017 9:32 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Legolas is an absolute pig in this. And he doesn't have an excuse now that he used back in Minas Tirith that it is the sea-longing- he is just a selfish child and completely wrapped up inhis own hurt. Poor estel trying to fix it. 

Really good writing- I was at the table witht hem and I htink usung Estel's pov is perfect to get across the implied meaning etc. But Legolas is really needing to sort himself out here if eh is not going to alienate everyone who loves him. I am still not sure what his problem is to be honest- yes, torn perhaps between Maewen and Elrohir but he hasn't seen Elrohir for ages so it can't be that deep. He needs to resolve these conflicts in himself and be a bit more aware of others- honestly. I want to smack him.



Author's Response:

Ha, ha, Smack away! You know what he needs.....he needs Gimli, to do just that. Sit him down and tell him to grow up. Which is exactly what Gimli would have done. If not in front of everyone then definitely behind closed doors.

But Gimli isn't there. 

So yes, everything you say is true. Legolas is a complete arse. He needs to sort his shit out because his son is suffering. He is a parent now and can't afford to wallow in misery. 

This is something seperate from Maewen and Elrohir, this turmoil. This is centuries of misunderstanding, bad communication, loss, grief, resentment, in this family that has built up over centuries. There is something particular about long held family issues and behaviour that becomes almost compelling to fall in to. 

Legolas hasnt dealt with his mothers abandonment...he has refused to. She has done some growing up but cannot reach him and is now afraid to confront him. Laerion resents the way Legolas has changed, the loss of his younger brother. He feels supplanted in Legolas' affectionS by Aragorn and Gimli. Laerion also feels responsible for the disaster that is Legolas and his Mother...after all his death caused this. 

And Thranduil is just exhausted by it all. 

And they have all become stuck in this spiral of bad behaviour.

but none of that excuses Legolas from not taking sufficient care to protect his child. 

Although having said that there are reasons for him failing to do that. And they are valid. But still.....hard for others,including us, to understand at this point.  



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