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Shoutbox

Glorfindel
02/19/18 06:25 pm
I hope you are somewhere sunny, Naledi :)
Naledi
02/19/18 08:21 am
Thanks for the birthday wishes, everyone! I had a lovely day and I still have a whole week of holiday to go!
Narya
02/18/18 06:09 pm
Have a wonderful day, Naledi :)
Glorfindel
02/18/18 05:31 pm
Happy Birthday. Naledi!
Spiced Wine
02/18/18 01:15 pm
Many Happy Returns, Naledi :)
Spiced Wine
02/18/18 01:15 pm
Many Happy Returns, Naledi :)
Gabriel
02/18/18 06:54 am
Happy Birthday, Naledi! Have a brilliant day! :)
Narya
02/16/18 10:17 pm
Have a great holiday, Naledi, and happy birthday for Sunday!
Naledi
02/16/18 10:03 pm
Thanks, Ziggy and Ysilme. My birthday is on Sunday. Iím on holiday at the moment, so not able to check in so often.
Spiced Wine
02/16/18 03:50 pm
Oh, Iím so glad, Glorfindel. It must just have been a glitch
Shout Archive


Reviews For Darkness

Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: February 19, 2018 7:56 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Oh no! 

I think most of my reviews to this story begin with “oh no” or equivalent. You really are cruel to your characters! 

I’m trying to think if there was a worse thing Estel could have said, but can’t think of one. Poor Legolas must be reeling, and he can’t even turn to Elrohir to find equilibrium. I dread to think what he’s going to do next. 



Author's Response:

Most of your reviews to ALL of my stories start with “oh no!”

That must mean I am too mean and should start being kinder and more cuddly with them. 

You are so right. There isn’t anything worse Estel could have chosen to say. This will rip Legolas’ heart out and it strikes right at the centre of his worries and insecurities. Lashing out is never a good way to solve things as Estel is learning. 

But he is just a boy, not a reasoning adult, and this temper tantrum demonstrates that :-( 

PS Happy Birthday!



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: February 17, 2018 20:00 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
AAAAARRGGGHHH!!
I wish I had two hands to type because there is SO MUCH I WANT TO SAY but my one stupid hand is slow and inadequate! beware typos here.

Great sense of the frustration of an active outdoor person cooped up in a room. it must be so trying for poor Legolas too--he finds solace in nature.

elladan is magnificent. He KNOWS. He knows Elrohir--he knows how precious this child is to him. he knows his brother would do anything to prevent such a thing from happening to Estel IF HE COULD. But he couldn't and it was not his fault but Elrohir is a walking talking guilt magnet and too stubborn and loyal and noble to rat out Estel even if it costs him the love of his life. and Elladan is having none of it. I'm glad he calls Estel out and signals his disapproval and disappointment, He calls it selfish and that stings but estel sure has inherited someone's stubbornness and running away from problems characteristic! looking at you Legolas.

I am glad that estel recognizes and appreciates what Elrohir does for Legolas. his childish attempt to bring them together hurts, especially when Legolas bashes Elrohir.

and truth will out, no matter what. This is.a far worse way to tell Legolas. Honest confession in a tender moment would have brought disappointment to Legolas but would not have devastated him in this way. they would have talked it out. A reprimand. rapprochement with Elrohir, a few hours of unhappiness.

but this. this blunt, childish vindictive lashing out is something else. it comes from a place of fear and self doubt and hits a bullseye of fear and self doubt in the intended target--Legolas. He already feels not good enough of a parent, son, husband, brother, lover. this will hurt him in a far deeper, visceral way. But estel is a child still and he is coping poorly with guilt and lashing out.

my heart hurts for them all. I have faith in Elladan--the rest are just too enmeshed in misery right now although I do think if Estel runs to Elrohir now rather than Elladan, to confess, Elrohir will put his own issues aside to be there for Legolas. Because Elrohir knows better than anyone how deeply this will cut Legolas. it will reinforce his personal insecurity about his parenting. it will devastate him on a personal level because estel is so precious to him. He will be filled with guilt at blaming Elrohir and shutting him out. Because Legolas KNOWS Elrohir too. knows his predilection for guilt and blame and self recrimination. and he knows he reinforced that and hurt elrohir deeply.

and yes even if elrohir isn't actually physically in this chapter I am still giving him love.

aaaatrghh, I want the next chapter NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author's Response:

I guess sometimes it’s hard to remember Estel is just a child. He’s intelligent, observant, astute and empathetic but he is still a child and therefore still capable of being childish. And he is now. His guilt, Elladans displeasure, his fear of disappointing his father, the potential loss of Elrohir, all combine to spill into this childish temper tantrum. And he has chosen particularly hurtful words to pour upon Legolas which go to the heart of Legolas’ fears. 

So where to from here? Estel could not have possibly found anything WORSE to say to his father. This is hurtful, (as kids often are) and it is also not true....but Legolas has problems with controlling and interpreting emotions so how will he cope? 

Who will Estel run to? You are SO right to point out his similarity to his father here. That was in my mind as I wrote....they both run from conflict. 

As for Elladan. Yes he assessed the whole situation early on. But had to wait until he was not inflicting large amounts of pain upon the boy to discuss it. And he IS disappointed. And he wants Estel to do better.....because he cares for him, but also because the whole situation is hurting his brother. 

We will not see Legolas and Elrohir and how they tackle this because that will be off screeen we are only going to see them in the aftermath. What they have to say to each other will remain a mystery....except to me. I know everything!



Name: SparkyTAS (Signed) · Date: January 29, 2018 15:25 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Thank you for continuing this wonderful story. Your writing is extraordinary.

Author's Response:

Thank you! Such a lovely thing to say. I am pleased it is still holding your attention! 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 28, 2018 18:16 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

My heart breaks for all of them. No one’s to blame, but everything’s faling apart. If only Gimli was still around. 

Of course Elrohir can’t tell Legolas Estel had been misbehaving. He can hardly say “sorry Estel’s hurt, but it’s his own fault.” And poor Estel is hurting and can’t bear the thought of losing his father’s comforting presence. Not that I think Legolas would react in the way Estel fears, but Estel’s hardly in a state to be rational. 

As for Legolas, his confession to Estel made me want to weep. He knows he’s broken yet trying so desperately to hold it together. Yet if he sends Elrohir away he could fall apart. Elrohir’s the one who can heal him. 

Where’s Elladan. If anyone can bring them together surely it’s him. 



Author's Response:

You are SO right. They need Gimli badly to stride in and say, “Legolas, you are overacting, Calm down. Elrohir, stop being melodramatic and say what truly happened.” 

But he’s not there. :-(

and Elrohir is never going to admit he’s not completely at fault. In his mind now it IS all down to him. Guilt is a terrible thing. And absolutely, Legolas wouldn’t react how Estel imagines he would. He would be disappointed but he is still so relieved his precious child is safe. 

Im glad Legolas’ secret confession made you sad. I know that sounds horrible but I really wanted people to feel for him there and understand how hard he trying for his son. 

You are right....sending Elrohir away would be a disaster. 

Poor Elladan. He always ends up being the one to pick up all the pieces. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 28, 2018 1:42 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
I am overjoyed to be Elrohir's cheerleader--I love him dearly and just want to shake him when he gets this overabundance of self blame!

But Elladan knows or will know Elrohir's truth. He can't hide it from his brother. And he likely even knows already, from speaking to Elrohir. He knows Elrohir would NEVER willingly take the child off the path, especially not this child. He probably even sensed the reverberations in Elrohir's fŽa. Estel is going to be in a tight spot if he doesn't come clean soon.

Author's Response:

Back from the Lake so now I can answer you! 

Yes, Elladan will see through this. Legolas would have too if he was not so emotionally upset by it all. There is no-one more staunchly committed to breaking down Elrohir’s tendency to run himself down than Legolas. But Legolas is spinning out in emotional chaos so Elladan it is! 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 27, 2018 22:54 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Oh. Oh! OH!!! What a powerful, emotionally draining chapter. It gives us such a glimpse into Legolas--the iron control he is exerting just to exist at this time, to put one foot in front of the other when he feels like shattering all over again each day, how the shards of him have been put together but not quite right. Fragments missing, those that are still there not seamlessly knit together but imperfectly--giving an illusion of wholeness but unstable enough to fall apart. He would not have said so much had he thought Estel could hear. He does not reveal that kind of thing easily. I imagine he is literally thrumming with tension as he grasps to retain his control as he speaks to Elrohir initially--asks him to go because he is so close to shattering.
Elrohir hurts my heart here. He is so guilt ridden, penitent, so focused again on doing what he can to help. His self blame is so palpable and it is clear he would rather face this fury and blame from Legolas than ever say that Estel played a part.
Legolas is so close to the edge that he actually does admit his struggle--clearly and bluntly. It needed to be said but he has not. And Elrohir's reply is achingly loving. He would accept it all, anything really, and do what he can to help because he loves him that much. Infinitely.

But oh! Those deep held hurts that Legolas has buried away come out now, when his veneer of control is stretched so thin. This was masterful--so much more vivid and devastating than the version I peeked at! He pulls out the memory of every insult, every sneer, every bitter comment Elrohir made when his own heart was shattered and scarred by Legolas.

And this: " Why did I ever think I could trust you with my child? Will you never forgive me? Is there nothing I can ever do? Did you do this to hurt me?”
We are suddenly seeing that Legolas KNOWS how jsut much he hurt Elrohir then, feels his own deep guilt at that, and somehow as he has turned this current situation over in his mind, trying to understand HOW and WHY did Elrohir ALLOW this to happen to Estel (never even thinking Estel could perhaps have been willful and disobedient, as Legolas was himself in his youth as you have him recount later) he comes to the misguided idea that Elrohir wanted to somehow hurt him as deeply as he had been hurt. Ugh. The mind is so powerful when it chases a narrative--even to an erroneous end!

And Elrohir's horror at that idea is palpable--he recoils from it. But he still will not let Estel shoulder any of the blame. Even when Legolas utters those devastating words about sundering Elrohir from Estel permanently. His words are so fraught with pain as he begs Legolas not to do that. It must be lacerating to hear that, especially as he has given Estel such a prominent place in his heart now. He loved him for Legolas' sake at first but now he loves Estel for Estel and this is a devastating turn of affairs.

And then the rest: a wonderful bit of shared bonding of Estel and Legolas regarding the medicine. A moment when Legolas can think back on Aragorn and Ginli with fondness and amusement, not despair. A really lovely moment.

Until Estel KILLS ME by throwing Elrohir under the bus!! AAAARGH!!! Can this family stop letting their minds make up ridiculous scenarios that they then cling to as indelible truth?? Of course Legolas won't be happy with the revelation that Estel disobeyed and ran off but Legolas needs to know this. His love for his son is not conditional on Estel's actions or behavior!! AAaRGH!! I just want to tell Estel to tell the TRUTH! It's always better than the alternative. I understand why he's doing it and why he feels he needs to and that he's a child but I am SO FRUSTRATED at him right now.

:-(

Author's Response:

SO glad you connected with Legolas in this. I know he’s frustrating and irritating in a lot of this story...especially as seen through the eyes of his child who does NOT understand even a fraction of his father and knows nothing of his damage beyond his inability to write. I really wanted people to understand him more and maybe have more sympathy when he seems unreasonable —as on the face of it he seems here. 

Legolas is NOT normal. That he fronts up every day and functions realitively normally—so much so that readers and characters judge him by normal standards—is only by sheer willpower and determination. And it’s not fair to judge his behaviour by the same standards as others, standards he simply cannot meet. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect him to do better, be better. Of course we should, and he CAN do better. But we need to always remember at the back of our minds how hard just getting through the day is for him. 

He has —as he is prone to do—kept far too much of this secret from Elrohir and Maewen. They really do need to know this. He needs to let people in more but has always been bad at that. He hates admitting to inadequacies. There are good things to come out of this moment of openness. You know that of course from your gift fic which I will have to post here now so people can see that. 

Imagine how awful Elrohir feels about all this, (well I know you can, you are his main cheerleader) He knows how terrible it would have been if things had been worse and Estel had suffered more badly than he did. I doubt very much Legolas could come back from Estel’s loss if it had come to that. And Elrohir also knew, from the moment Estel fell, (not that it was on his mind until he knew the boy was ok) that this meant bad news as far as he and Legolas went. He will never draw attention to the boys part in this. Already he has determined it WAS all down to him. He so readily absorbs blame on to himself. He does not consider he is covering up for the boy. He REALLY thinks it’s his fault. Another one creating his own narrative and ignoring reality. 

Im glad you liked Legolas and Estel bonding at the end. Legolas looking back with fond amusement as he does not do often enough. And good for Estel to get a glimpse of his young father not being the perfect elf Estel thinks he was.  

You and I know of course, having been children and raised children that the best time for Estel to confess to his misbehaviour is now, while Legolas is still full of relief his child is safe, still overwhelmed with love for him. He will get a frown, a mild telling off and the rest will be lost in Legolas’ utter relief at his safety. But Estel is a boy and doesn’t know that yet. The further Legolas gets away from this “thank god he’s safe” moment the worse the response to the confession will be. Especially if Estel adds lying about it in to the mix. 



Name: SparkyTAS (Signed) · Date: January 16, 2018 14:37 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Fabulous writing, I'm enjoying this story very much. Thank you for continuing this tale.

Author's Response:

Thank you! So glad to know you are reading it and enjoying it. Hope you like the latest instalment. :-)



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 10, 2018 22:50 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

“Elladan is on his way . . And Legolas—” In fact he cannot complete his sentence before the door swings open and suddenly Elladan really is there. The rest of them move away from me to let him through as if he is a King.  

 

He sits on the bed beside me and his voice is soft.  

 

“Oh you have made a mess of yourself little one.” But he is smiling so I am not worried. “Get me water, cloths to clean him, poppy, splints for the arm,” he snaps orders at the elves behind him and they scurry away like ants. He really is important. 

 

I love that bit! The child pov really works in this chapter in particular- clouded with pain so he doesn'tactually SEE anyone very clearly but it is all impressionistic.

And Elrohir- have't we all been there at some point and in some way!!



Author's Response:

Glad it worked for you. I really wanted to show just how magnificent Elladan is. Especially in his role as healer! I often write him as softer , gentle, empathetic, but he can be commanding and impressive too!

as for Elrohir.....yeah, not a great day for him! 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 08, 2018 23:07 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
I'm back for more!
Ok I do think considering the emotional onslaught
Legolas did do the right thing in asking Elrohir to leave--he did it with control the first time but could not keep it together when Elrohir didn't want to go. I'm sure poor Elrohir thought he could give strength to all three of them by staying but it was stretching Legolas barely held together control to the limits trying to focus on his son AND not biting Elrohir's head off.
Elrohir did so well in the field. And yes I totally noticed the "my boy!" I think he has felt he could never have a true son of his own and he appreciates Estel so much, especially as he's gotten to know the boy recently. Poor Elrohir--he has done SO MUCH for Legolas but Legolas has given Elrohir so much as well--acceptance for him as he is, understanding of so much of his complexity and self-doubt, acknowledgement of his Mannish side. He has also allowed Elrohir to help him--which is something Elrohir needs as well--to feel needed, wanted, helpful. They are GOOD for each other and I am sure Elrohir is devastated at this turn of events--for Estel and his well being but also for what he sees as his failure at being worthy of the trust that Legolas put in him with regard to Estel. His self doubt and self recriminations will rear up.
Elladan's doing the best he can--he's helping Estel who is his primary focus as it should be. He's also helping Legolas--with touch as you mentioned but also by having Legolas ostensibly help him, which makes Legolas focus. The one he is most harsh to is his own brother but that makes sense--he knows this is going to turn into a shitshow and he's frustrated, he knows he's going to have to manage them all and mediate at some point and he also knows the one who is the strongest and can take Elladan not treating him with kid gloves is actually Elrohir. He'll smooth it out in private but for now Estel and Legolas need him more and Elrohir isn't his first priority. He'll focus on him when he can, because he knows his brother well enough to know he will need a safe haven in the maelstrom that's coming.

It is a testament to what Elrohir does for Legolas that this short time with him has helped Legolas so much. Of course this being Estel's POV we are not privileged to see the deep middle of the night conversations between Elrohir and Legolas and the soul searching and soul bearing and soul healing that goes on there.
I must tell you the "my boy" comment made me want to just hug Elrohir and wrap him tenderly in a blanket.

Author's Response:

Love it when I get two reviews from you. Makes me think I must have done something right. 

Legolas was most definitely right in my mind to ask Elrohir to leave.....and so I guess since I wrote it that means he WAS right! He was trying to do what he and Elrohir have been speaking about all these days he has been there....maintain his control in front of his son, reduce the amount of “out of control” emotional Legolas Estel is exposed to. It is not easy. For him it is not as easy as saying, “right, I have to be steadier around my son” because he has brain damage....and fea damage....and rational thought doesn’t always work for him. But he’s focusing and trying. He almost succeeds here despite his terror. He takes time in his reply so it can be measured but Elrohir won’t listen. 

Elrohir is distraught himself. He should have known Legolas was struggling and yet succeeding in remaining calm. He should have helped by leaving when asked. But as he says, he’s not perfect. He is so worried about this perceived breach of trust he made things worse by not being aware of Legolas’ internal struggle. Despite this being the very thing they have been talking about. 

Elrohir doesn’t claim people easily, he is not an elf who splashes affection around. He is guarded and brooding. For him to say, “my courageous boy” to Estel and identify a bond between them speaks a lot for how he is viewing his relationship with Estel. It’s more than just a casual calming term of affection to a small boy. Elrohir doesn’t do that. He doesn’t do just casual anything! 

 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 08, 2018 9:08 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Oh, poor Estel. You really got across his pain and panic. I was relieved his injuries were fixable, though.

 I actually thought Legolas was right to ask Elrohir to leave. It’s a natural reaction to be angry in those circumstances, and he needed to focus on Estel at that point. However, I’ve got a nasty feeling he’s going to shut Elrohir out, and he needs Elrohir! It’s probably a good thing Estel will be immobile for a while, or Legolas would probably run away m the conflict. I can only hope Legolas forgives Elrohir before Estel is well enough to leave. 



Author's Response:

I one hundred percent agree with you. Legolas WAS right to ask Elrohir to leave. He is angry...which as you say, is natural. And we already know he has problems controlling his emotional responses. He couldn’t remain as calm as he needed to care for his injured son and deal with all he was feeling re Elrohir. His son came first. Legolas needed Elrohir to be out of the room.

but how will he be now Estel is safe and healing? Well.....running away is what he does best, as you say.....we shall see. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 08, 2018 6:01 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Oh thank goodness! I was so worried he would hit his head or break robs and puncture a lung!! Bumps bruises and a both bone forearm fracture is getting off lightly! Well done with the orthopaedic verisimilitude! Some things don't change--still done that way.

I loved how he soothed Estel-his warm golden glow that speaks to Estel's soul. A d those murmured words of "my boy" so tender and despite his pain those words resonated with Estel so much.

I worry more almost for Elrohir--he has not done anything wrong here. It was an accident and Estel did not listen. He warned the boy, ran after the child, soothed him and cared for him as best he could--getting him to Elladan as fast as possible. But he is quick to shoulder all the blame--I doubt even a first age elf could have sped to catch him before he fell--it could not be done without Elrohir injuring himself in the attempt, perhaps not even managing to help Estel, and leaving them both without help. I wish Estel could unfreeze his mouth and speak up. Legolas is going to make an already devastated Elrohir feel so much worse than he already does. I am so impressed at how calm and collected Elrohir was, telling Estel stories and soothing him so well. Elladan knows this will play out poorly. It's a bad day for Legolas in the first place, his precious son has been injured and he was not there. Elrohir made the mistake of not sending word that Estel was not seriously hurt but it is understandable--he himself was beside himself about the incident.
Legolas showed some momentary restraint and I was thinking he could hold it together but oh when he shouted for Elrohir to leave. :(
Elladan is lovely--I love how Estel is in awe of how the Elves regard Healer Elladan--like a King!
But Elladan has his work cut out for him--one patient and two others at odds with each other. But again his skills are so apparent--he makes conversation and even banters with Legolas to soothe them all.
It is a broken arm--it will heal. No worse than anything any of them suffered, or Aragorn or even Eldarion.
But what will this do to Elrohir and Legolas. It's you writing this so I worry!!!

Author's Response:

I am so glad you noted Elladan. I really wanted to show his mana—his prestige, the authority he carries, as a healer amongst his people ....and probably beyond. 

And he demonstrated why too.

not only did he heal Estel as was needed but he managed Legolas beautifully. The only person he wasn’t quite on the mark with was his brother who he was a bit harsh with. I think Elladan was thinking—oh, FFS. When Elrohir told him the story behind the accident. He can just see the drama playing out and he KNOWS he will be in the middle of the fall out. 

But he calmed the almost hysterical Legolas who arrived in that room. He used a technique of Aragorn’s. Touch. In a lot of the Aragorn stories he does this. Uses firm touch to help Legolas still himself and focus. Even before the accident. It’s very effective with him. Elladan has obviously observed that before. 

Legolas needed his anxiety brought under control so he could attempt to hold himself together. This whole situation was a nightmare for him. His precious, precious, son. Those moments....between getting Elrohir’s rather hamfisted message and arriving at the healers rooms.....pure terror. Incredible willpower used not to completely fly apart here—because Estel needed him. 

But it shows too the healing he has achieved while with Elrohir....and some learning. Think back not too many chapters to the Legolas who melted down in front of Estel during the sword fight...and the Legolas who had a public screaming match with his family also in front of his son. He has done a lot of talking with Elrohir plus Elrohir’s spiritual healing has been at work. Estel is becoming Legolas’ focus in the midst of his emotional storms, as he always should have been. It’s helping Legolas grasp on to that control in the absence of Gimli, thinking “I must do this to protect my son”

As for poor Elrohir...he did stellar work with the panicked injured boy initially. He says he has no healing ability—no magical power that Elrond and Elladan can use to knit more extreme injuries together—but he has plenty of practical skills. He knows how to bandage and splint very effectively. Most of all to the fore though was his own power. His power to calm, to put Estel at ease, despite his own panic, despite him thinking “oh my god I’ve hurt Legolas’ precious son” He is of course worried for Estel himself...but also looming huge in his mind is the damage this will do to his relationship...a relationship that (although we aren’t seeing it because we only see through Estel’s eyes) he is very dependent on, desperate for, and always a fingers breath away from having little confidence in...because he has so little confidence in himself. 

And the small slip we saw when he called Estel, “my boy”? Very significant. 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 07, 2018 15:38 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Does it make it any better if I tell you you’re right to be worried?

Funnily enough, it doesn't. You do enjoy torturing your characters, don't you! And your readers....



Author's Response:

Sorry! 

(Not really) :-)



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 07, 2018 9:21 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Wll THAT was always going to happen! For the first time I am cross with Estel but also understnadn him- delberately disobendient because he is angry and rebellious. Elrohir is lovely in this but caught in a catch 22 and is right, not his to tell. But someone has to!



Author's Response:

Do they though? Or does Estel have to learn that somethings are for adults to know only? 

He knows the important stuff. He knows the parts of his father’s behaviour that are “damaged” He knows his father’s reactions are sometimes caused by external issues arising from this accident. He knows how that all fits in relation to him. Does he really need to know the details of what actually happened? At the age he is now anyway. 

He’s too young to be told ins and outs of Legolas’ “death”....or at least, near death experience. He doesn’t have the ability to understand it all. Legolas can barely sort it through in his own mind. Maybe in a few years time...but for now... I think Elrohir’s right when he says Estel must just be patient and respect his parents privacy. He’s definitely right that it wasn’t his story to tell. 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 07, 2018 7:21 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Nooooo! You can’t leave it there! As worried as I am about Estel, I’m also dreading what this will do to Legolas and Elrohir. More blame and guilt isn’t going to help at all :(



Author's Response:

Does it make it any better if I tell you you’re right to be worried?



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 07, 2018 3:21 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
It must be so hard for Estel to just get glimpses of Legolas as he should be and not know the whole story. It is an apt assessment Legolas has given him--compartmentalised who healed what because he needed all of them to make it happen--once they started working together things got better. And Estel being a child is far too literal--Elrohir would NEVER have opened that door on his own--Maewen was the only one who could have brought him in that way.

Such a lovely description of Elrohir--and again I so respect the unbelievable restraint he shows in so many ways in this story. "As if he knows exactly when he is needed, like a saviour from the mists, the door opens and Elrohir strolls in. I see his eyes assess the mess in front of my father immediately. He stands there at the edge of the desk, hand hovering just above the papers. I think he wants to rearrange them, he wants to tidy them. He resists."

And oh Estel. Stubborn and resentful and angry--taking it all out on Elrohir--who rightfully loses some of his restraint--it is not Elrohir's place to explain and it is obviously still painful for him to think about and discuss.
But oh you stubborn, willful Silvan child!!! It will destroy them all if something happens to you--my stomach is churning at the thought of how Elrohir will blame himself, how Legolas will react and how something like this might come between them, when they need each other so! Aargh! Cheeky you have left us a literal cliffhanger!!!!

Author's Response:

Yes Elrohir desperately wanted to tidy up those papers into neat and tidy Noldor piles. But that would not have gone down well....nor would it have helped. Although Legolas’ arranging seems chaotic, for him It makes sense. 

I felt I needed to remind all my readers of the fact Legolas still carries significant damage. It is easy to forget this now he seems most of the time to be functioning relatively normally. Often the days are a struggle for him. Putting one foot in front of the other and maintaining a calm demeanour is an achievement. This doesn’t excuse all of his errors and behaviour but it does excuse some of it. He cannot be judged by the measures others are judged. 

Very hard for Estel as a child to see glimpses of this “other” father and then have it slip away but Elrohir is right. He knows all he needs to know. That might not be all he WANTS to know but he has no right to demand that. This IS still very painful for all of these guys to remember. They have crystal clear Elven memories. When Elrohir speaks about it He relives it. He SEES Maewen scrambling amongst the rocks, he feels that empty void when Legolas left the world. 

As I said this incident has been planned from the start and you are right. What will it do to all our major players? It cannot be good. 

(And it would have to happen when Legolas is having a really bad day!) 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 02, 2018 22:54 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
Oh this was just right! Perfect.
Dear Elladan. So much rings true and is how I think of the twins as well--that much as they loved the Dunedain and the Men of the Rangers there must have been a deeply hidden part of them that held some jealousy. They of course knew WHY these Men were so important, why Elrond cared so much, on some level. But as his children they came to know that there was always going to be an aching loss in Elrond that they could never fill, no matter how hard they tried. And the spectre of Elros' choice and legacy colored their lives-it was inescapable--in Elrond's fear of their choice, in his fostering of the Dunedain, in his love of these foster children that he saw as his links to his brother, in his incessant research to find a way to be reunited with Elros again. Elrond's life is so fraught with loss. It must have been hard to be right there, near him, by him, at his proverbial side and not be enough.

Good for Elladan for opening up and for being so forthright and honest. Legolas doesn't deal with loss well, just as he says to Estel. Aragorn was Elladan's brother long before he was Legolas' friend. And it led to a double loss for Elladan and Elrohir yet they are not bitter, depressed, allowing it to impinge on their current happiness. They are coping and still love those they have lost.

I am so gratified that Elladan realizes how much Elrohir hid for so long and how important Legolas was in giving Elrohir the kind of love that allowed him to be who he truly is, to drop the mask and live as he is. It is lovely that he realizes it, says it and tells Estel just how much that means.

And that he also tells Estel about how betrayed and angry Aragorn was--how Estel was a name that meant lies to him for years. I do not think that Legolas was privy to the depths of that emotion-I think Aragorn was more mature and removed from it by the time he and Legolas grew close. it is the perfect insight to give Estel, even though he may not want to hear it.

And Elladan is right that Estel brings joy to his father--it is just hard to see it sometimes with the layers of protectiveness, fear, depression and frustration that Legolas has. It will shine more when he is at ease and relaxed, as he is here.

I am glad that both of the twins connect with Estel--Elrohir with his spirit healing warmth and understanding and Elladan with his very astute observations about and understanding of Estel, an understanding he is able to articulate in words that Estel can appreciate. They are his shields and his support. And they are very willing to be that for this child.

Author's Response:

I am glad this rang true to you. As I said to Naledi, this was unplanned. I was struggling with this scene which is part of the reason for the few weeks gap publishing. I just had no idea how Elladan was going to begin to breach those walls Estel had built against Aragorn....beyond the story of his name which was not enough. (And I agree...Legolas does not know the depth of Aragorns bitterness during this time of his life.)

Then Elladan started talking and all the Elrond stuff just poured out. I hadn’t actually realised the parallels between the twins life with Elrond and Estel’s with Legolas before. 

Elladan has though. As you say, he is an observer. He was seen things Estel has thought he has hidden, little things, facial expressions, silences, and in these Elladan has seen himself as a child/young man. This is very empowering for Estel. Shared experiences are so powerful. Just to know someone else out there knows exactly what it is like. 

Elladan is right about so many things here but there is one he doesn’t quite understand yet. 

He is right to suggest the problem lies with Legolas and how he deals with grief rather than Aragorn who left him. Legolas does have issues dealing with loss which date all the way back to Laerion...long before Aragorn. Some of that is inherited from his mother, some of it unhealthy adaptation to the rather appalling family communication he grew up in. 

But when Elladan draws attention to the fact he and Elrohir have lost Aragorn also and cope much better, he misses something. 

You are right. Aragorn was their brother. The connection was far longer than he and Legolas and at least as deep. 

But the issue with the loss of Aragorn for Legolas goes beyond the depth of their friendship and his existing problems with grief. It is the finality of it. 

Elves are not designed to grieve. They are not good at it. It is a genetic weakness. They are immortal so the need to survive grief is less. When they do lose someone there is always the promise of reunion. Eventually....centuries, maybe millenia later, they will be reunited. But Aragorns loss is a mortal loss. Legolas has no way of coping with this. He has problems with elven loss...mortal loss is beyond him. His brain, his emotions, cannot comprehend the neverendingness of it. So he clings to the past, lives there, not in the present. Drenches himself in these memories. He cannot move on from this. 

The loss is no less final for Elladan and Elrohir as they have chosen Valinor but they have mortal blood to help them. They have an inbuilt ability to grieve in a mortal way. To move on, remember good things and get pleasure from them. To accept the final separation and move forward. This is something Legolas is biologically unable to do. 

So too why Erynion is so frustrated with Legolas. He is elven, grieves in an elven way ....and he has losses himself, but he has never lost a mortal—not one he loved. He does not understand how different that is. 

But Elrond has mortal blood: Why can he not find a way through his grief? It’s because he lost his twin....forever....never to see him again. More than a loved one Elros was a part of him. Elrohir before has described himself and Elladan as two halves of a whole. Not meant to be sundered...certainly not by mortality. Even Elrond’s mortal blood cannot help him deal with that.  While the twins can deal with the loss of Aragorn and Arwen to mortality far better than Legolas due to their half-elven status, had they lost each other it would have been a step too far.

at least that’s how I’m seeing things at the moment! 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 02, 2018 19:24 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

You've left me blinking away tears. You've communicated so much hurt and pain in so few words.

“My father—” he says calmly as if we only discuss the weather, “lost his brother. His twin. Has Legolas told you that story? My Father’s twin was Elros who chose to be a Man as Arwen did. So Father watched him age and die. He has never recovered from that loss. He carries it with him always . . Still . . Even here. He spent his life watching over Elros’ children. Aragorn was one of them. Sometimes, to Elrohir and I, it felt they were more important to my father than us—his own children. He has spent his life researching, reading, looking for proof, any proof, he will be reunited with Elros once again. Elros is a ghost that haunts us all and Father cannot let him go.

Yet again, Elladan knows exactly what to say, to show Estel he's not alone in his feelings. He is, indeed, Estel's shield. A wonderful, beautiful chapter, Cheeky.



Author's Response:

Whew! Glad you liked it! This was unplanned, this whole chapter. I began it thinking how on earth is Elladan going to convince Estel of Aragorns worth?? Where does he even start? Then Elladan started talking about Elrond and it all poured out. He has a mind of his own, Elladan! 

Until I started this I hadn’t actually stopped to think just how similar Estel and the twins life experiences with their Father’s might have been. Now it all makes sense. Legolas and Elrond’s grieving is different. Elrond is more stoical, less volatile, but at the centre of their lives are those they have lost and the living must fight for attention. Elrond has the Feanorions as well to grieve. And they haven’t been returned to Valinor yet. (If ever) in this story so still exist as ghosts competing with the living in Elronds mind. He has similar parental issues as Legolas too. In my mind Elrond is semi estranged from Earendil in this. Even in Valinor. 



Author's Response:

Whew! Glad you liked it! This was unplanned, this whole chapter. I began it thinking how on earth is Elladan going to convince Estel of Aragorns worth?? Where does he even start? Then Elladan started talking about Elrond and it all poured out. He has a mind of his own, Elladan! 

Until I started this I hadn’t actually stopped to think just how similar Estel and the twins life experiences with their Father’s might have been. Now it all makes sense. Legolas and Elrond’s grieving is different. Elrond is more stoical, less volatile, but at the centre of their lives are those they have lost and the living must fight for attention. Elrond has the Feanorions as well to grieve. And they haven’t been returned to Valinor yet. (If ever) in this story so still exist as ghosts competing with the living in Elronds mind. He has similar parental issues as Legolas too. In my mind Elrond is semi estranged from Earendil in this. Even in Valinor. 



Name: Naledi (Signed) · Date: January 02, 2018 19:15 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

I really like this Elladan. He's so wise, and always seems to know exactly the right thing to say. I really like how at peace he seems with Arwen's fate. Most of all, I love his flet. I'm so glad Legolas relented and allowed Estel to go there.

“Perhaps I can change your mind?” He says then. “Perhaps I can find a crack in the walls your heart has built against Aragorn?”

But the walls are very high. I do not think he can.

You and me both, Estel!



Author's Response:

Ha! I actually thought of you when I wrote this. I thought, Naledi will understand where Estel is coming from here. 

I’m glad you like Elladan. He’s more than a bit special. His flet is his sanctuary. It’s a big deal for him to share this with Estel. 



Name: NelyafinweFeanorion (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 23:46 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky
It is so lovely to see Legolas speaking of the past with Aragorn, so casually, so calmly, even with amusement.

I love this moment of understanding, how he again shows that he GETS Elrohir in a way that is unique. “But I know you loved it, being in the midst of the song of Men. The noise that hurt my ears made your heart sing. We are so different you and I.”

And Elrohir's response! Oh my heart! It is so GOOD to see them so in sync, so together, so in touch with each other's souls. And Estel knows this is an intimate moment between them, one that is unique to them and their relationship and the foundation of their deep understanding of each other and a private shared grief--for they are both where they are because of each other.
"And Elrohir returns his smile with a soft one of his own. He lifts a hand to cup my father’s cheek.

“Different and yet the same, for the bright light of those mortal spirits was a lure for your soul was it not? You understand my loss as no-one else here does.”

It is as if the two of them are in a world of their own at that moment and I intrude upon it simply by watching them. I turn away and pile my plate with food, eating with determination; not looking. But Elladan does." Just a lovely scene.

Elladan's flet!!! I'm so excited you put it in here and his reason why he has one!

And this interchange--again the understanding and gentle nudge to do the right thing and let go, to trust a bit.

"Then Elrohir reaches out and grasps his hand, winding his own fingers through Fathers so they can no longer beat their anxious beat.

“You can do this.” He says quietly. “Remember . . . It is what you want, to give him room to grow. Did you not do similar yourself, in the Greenwood as a child?”

And Father stills."
So good.

And it goes on! How perfect is Elrohir's understanding and empathy here--how eloquently he puts it into gentle words and focuses on the similarities and struggle that he had.

"She would have lost them regardless though Legolas, would she not? Laerion was lost to the Halls, you ended up with the sea-longing, Thranduil always had to accompany the Sindar to Valinor eventually. Her parents were lost to her the moment she chose your father.”

“Why do you care so much about my Mother?”

“Because I know how hard it is to love someone whose heart is so different from your own.” "
Oh my dear Elrohir. Really--as if I didn't already adore him! I want to wrap him in a blanket and take him home!

And Elladan--the picture you paint of his flet--Elrohir always felt Elladan was drawn to Valinor but I don't think anyone realizes how much he misses Middle Earth and those he left behind--he too has Mannish blood in his veins as well as Sindar and there was certainly an affinity for that life, though certainly not as strong as Elrohir's but still poignant and deep. I can't tell you how much his flet refuge moves me--the flet, the quilts and oh my aching heart the relics of Arwen's!! I'm crying at the thought of that lovely sketchbook--the people Estel has heard of coming to life in those pages. Even the wooden warriors.
And Estel can confide in Elladan here, which is so meaningful--the twins have truly created a bond with this child and have touched something deep within him. Their affinity for children and their deft touch is so evident in this story--they understand Estel in many ways far better than Legolas does. Centuries of dealing with boys and young men among the Dunedain and Aragorn himself. Elladan's words to Estel are stirring and his capable handling of a delicate situation is excellent. He is truly reaching out to Estel here and letting him vent.

It's a pivotal moment--Estel having the nerve to finally say it, put it into words, and Elladan responding as kindly as he does.

Will he succeed? He has the knowledge, empathy and ability to do far better than Legolas at this. And now he has given his word not to tell--it will be a burden for Elladan, especially with regard to Elrohir and their bond. But I will give Elladan credit for being tenacious and convincing. Can't wait to see how he attempts this seemingly insurmountable task!

What a satisfying and emotional chapter!!

Author's Response:

Elrohir and Legolas were really in sync here weren’t they?! Even Estel, the small child, could feel their connection. They are united in their grief at the loss of mortals, (although as you point out here Elladan too suffers from that loss and that is not really recognised by anyone.)

But Legolas draws attention to Elrohir’s affinity for Men here as a good thing, as something he cherishes even though it is different. How good it is for Elrohir to hear that. To have someone sit beside him and say, “ I know you love the song of Men and I love you for it.” And someone also who grieves for the loss of those Men ( or one in particular) as deeply as he does. Who “gets” the excitement of those brief flashing spirits. 

And Elladan, seeing this connection, puts his hand up to take away the child and give them space and time together to the exclusion of all others.....which is what they obviously both needed at this moment in time...to lose themselves in each other. 

But it was very hard for Legolas to allow this to happen. Very hard. He needs Estel close to diffuse his anxiety. He is in a catch 22. He wants to do the right thing by his growing son and let him fly but his fear of loss chokes him. Elrohir gently holds him up here, reminds him of what he really wants, and has complete confidence in Legolas’ ability to actually do it. At the same time he prod, prod prods at the wound that is Legolas’ Mother. Not backing away from the opportunity to mend things there. Relating Legolas’ mother to himself to try and get him to see her differently. To give him another path to communicate with her through. 

You are right. Elladan, though more elvish, and more drawn to Valinor still has a deep affinity for Arda. He is obviously keeping his own loss secret to a point. Having a place of respite he hides away in when he needs to reminisce. It’s pretty obvious Elrohir does not often go there. I don’t know why yet, because Elladan doesn’t want it? Or because Elrohir cannot bear it? Elladan obviously uses things and possessions to bring those he has lost near. Perhaps Elrohir finds this too confronting? Perhaps that is why Elladan has had to build this sanctuary of memory? 

Estel shows his childishness here in a way. In this place that is full of Elladan’s memories he chooses to criticise someone who was Elladan’s long lost little brother. That really hurt—those words of hate and anger towards Aragorn. It hurt Elladan to hear that. But Estel as a child is self-centered, as they are developmentally. He does not see beyond his own anger to how the adult with him will feel. Elladan did so well here, managing his own grief as well as Estel’s anger. He is very good with this little boy. As I said to Ziggy, I think Elladan would like a son of his own. I think he yearns for one. He is very secretive about his love life. He will not tell me anything. But I am beginning to suspect there may be a girl hiding somewhere in the wings. 

Will he succeed in changing Estel’s attitude to Aragorn? 

He has a hard road ahead if he wants to try! 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 21:10 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

Ilove these scenes with Elladan and Estel -there is great tenderness there.



Author's Response:

I think Elladan would rather like a son of his own. He is being very taciturn and secretive about his own love life. He won’t tell me anything but I do suspect there is a girl hidden somewhere. 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 20:56 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

 

“Well I will have to rectify that then, later, although . . . “ he catches himself. “Perhaps not Beren and Luthien. They are so tedious and I had more than enough of them for a lifetime from Aragorn.”  

 

I stare at him in confusion and he laughs.  

 

“He would wander the marshes reciting these endless maudlin poems. Seriously,  Estel, you are lucky you missed it. Enough to put you off Beren and Luthien for life!” 

 

Made me laugh- I think that too:)



Author's Response:

I know! What is it with Aragorn and Beren and Luthien?? He loses all sense when it comes to them. 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 19:03 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

God, Legolas is a dreadful parent- so inconsistent. He really should stay away from Estel until he starts thinking about the impact he is having on his child- I hate that I don't approve of my beloved Elf!



Author's Response:

I knew you would struggle with this chapter! NelyafinweFeanorion did a bit too. All I can say in Legolas’ defense is we don’t know everything here. We are only seeing what Estel sees and there are things happening that adults hide from him or that he simply isn’t around to know about. 

Legolas’ frustration and anger here that he screams to the sky is at himself. He knows his depression and his need to keep Estel too close are damaging his son. He has come from his parents where Estel made it very clear Legolas’ anger at his mothers departure is hurting his child. What has happened off stage that Estel (and so also us) hasn’t seen is a discussion between Legolas and Elrohir. Legolas has poured this all out to Elrohir. His worry about his child, the fact his own issues are hurting his boy, his desperation to stop it, his irrational fear that he will lose Estel. Of course he’s told Elrohir all this —right?

Then they come across Estel with a sword. Something Legolas has been very set against. NOT because he worries Estel will be physically hurt but because he wants to keep him pure. All these three elves have suffered because They had to kill. He wants to save Estel that spiritual damage.  

The actuality of this scene if I had written it from Elrohir’s perspective would not be as wild and out of control as Estel sees it. Elrohir’s admonishment to Legolas to think of his son would be gentler, Legolas’ pain and anger more apparently directed internally, because Elrohir knows the full story . . . And Estel does not. 

But Legolas was always going to be an unpredictable father. Even undamaged that’s just who he is. Capricious and unpredictable. He’s not gentle and steady. What is amusing and sweet when looking at him relating with adults becomes confusing and upsetting when you are his child. Especially because Estel is sensitive and empathetic. A different child might ride the highs and lows more robustly. 

But remember, Legolas’ is behaviour is —in reality—not as extreme as Estel describes it. 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 18:59 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

I love this chapter. I love Elladan in this- the hesitation over the name, Estel, his helping choose himself and Elrohir as warriors- the best looking ones!! Beautifully developed and very very sweet.



Author's Response:

So glad you love Elladan. He is quiet and sweet and just what this boy who is buffeted by an unpredictable father needs. Calmness. There will be more Elladan/Estel moments in this story. And of course he chose the best looking elves to be him and Elrohir...of course! 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 18:49 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

He throws an arm across Father’s shoulders and he smiles at me. He smiles as if he likes me, a brilliant, magical smile and suddenly all the knots I am tied in inside, all my worries, all my fears, are gone. The knots unravel and I feel . . . Free.  

 

Elrohir will fix this mess we are caught in. I know it. 

 

And I love the little carved soldiers- that is a beautiful moment indeed. I think that will stay with me.

 

Stupid Legolas! He makes me SO cross in this fic! Lovely Estel and beautiful Elrohir and Maewen! Stupid Legolas. 



Author's Response:

Ah, don’t be so down on Legolas...poor baby. I know he is a bit of a Bull in a China shop with his emotions and others get burnt, especially his sensitive boy, but he has reasons. Remember this is Legolas from “Fire” He is damaged emotionally and that damage is still there. Plus he no longer has Gimli at his side to help him moderate his behaviour.......in fact he now has Gimli’s death to cope with on top of it all. 

Considering where he came from in “Fire” Legolas is doing ok. And his family certainly aren’t helping. It’s just—we are seeing him through the eyes of a child who loves him. That warps things, and magnifies things. Even as undamaged “normal” parents our children interpret our behaviour in ways we cannot even imagine! 



Name: ziggy (Signed) · Date: January 01, 2018 18:44 · For: Even the Birds Are Chained to the Sky

This is very sweet, and a bit sad too. How have I missed all these updates??? 



Author's Response:

I had to go back and read this to work out what was going on! Legolas and Laerion being depressively non communicative. :-) They need their heads knocking together which I think is what a Thranduil is trying to do.



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