Okay, so I completely did not see Turon's little bout of racism coming there. Good one. As much as I dislike racism, it's interesting to hear the preconceptions about wood elves that Rumil had when he first came to Mirkwood being expressed by someone else. When mingled in a character's internal dialogue, things like that don't tend to stand out as much; the reader is moved to accept them as part of the character's thought pattern without thinking too deep about it. Here however, it is highlighted how conceited and frankly bizarre those prejudices are.
I also think you show two very important parts of racist prejudice (and perhaps of prejudice in general). For one, not only evil people with bad personality have them (you show that despite his questionable thoughts on wood elves, Turon remains a loyal friend to Rumil), and second, when one has a prejudice, every action is interpreted from this point of view. (Turon didn't even consider the possibility that Legolas was Rumil's beloved at first, all he saw was a malicious wood elf trying to take advantage of a friend.)
All in all, it made for unexpected but realistic interaction. Seriously, I find it glorious how your writing is both incomplex and in-depth at the same time.
So far about that part of the text. I also enjoyed the rest, of course! Especially Legolas' jealousy. It seemed a bit out of character at first, but when coupled with the nightmares/fading dreams that Legolas had been plaged by, it made sense for him to act like that. I'm so glad that both him and Rumil have a bit of respite for now. I wonder what will happen when the Fellowship leaves again though...
Author's Response: I just thought naturally, Turon would find Legolas strange and suspicious, not only because he was a wood elf, but because of the odd mixture of company he kept (the fellowship). Turon saw Legolas and Rumil sharing a private moment that, for them, was natural because of their relationship. But for someone like Turon, who (yes, still has feelings for Rumil) cares about his friend, it took on a different meaning. I never thought of it as racism, but I guess you're right. I've always been intrigued by Tolkien's brief description of Legolas as strange. Why would he seem strange even to other elves? Well, Wood elves probably kept to themselves because they did not venture far from their home. They probably had a different mentality due to the constant siege upon their home, especially being surrounded by dark creatures, and living in a forest considered 'sick'. But you're right, it was important to show the prejudice of Lorien elves. This was the environment that Rumil grew up in, and that's how he used to feel until he went to Mirkwood and lived with the Wood elves. The other elves will still harbor these prejudices because that's all they know. And poor Legolas is on the defensive because he knows the history between Turon and Rumil, and he feels the snobbery due to the differences between the two races of elves ( not to mention all the horrors he's seen so far). Thank you for such a well thought out review and for your wonderful comments. It really helps me analyze my own writing. So often, I'm feeling the emotions as I write a scene and I don't think about the meaning behind the characters reactions. (if that makes any sense) Having a review like this helps me see it from the reader's pov. It's a great learning tool.
Great chapter. I can't wait to read the next one! I love how you described the fellowship.They seemed very much as I imagine them. Legolas though seems totally exhausted, physically and emotionally.
The tension is great. Between Legolas and Rumil and also Legolas and Turon although that's only one sided so far but when Turon finds out who Legolas is??! Can't wait!
Really really good.
Author's Response: Thanks. I'm currently working on the next chp. Trying to get Rumil and Legolas to hash things out is difficult because they keep wanting to ... well ... you know. It's been a while since they've seen each other. But I've put my foot down and told them to focus. There will be plenty of time for getting reacquainted.
As always, I love this story!!!
I really hope Rumil gets to be happy again, and soon.
Author's Response: Thanks. Glad you're enjoying it.
I love how realistic you wrote Turon's return. The shock and awkwardness of him suddenly standing at Rumil's door, the anger and resentment, and then how it later on dissipated when they both realized it was not how they wanted to part... I was so happy to see both aspects (the hurt of an actual breakup as well as the "letting go and moving on while staying friends" of emotionally mature people) brought into play; it really showed how much Rumil has grown as a person over the course of the story.
When you wrote "My stay in Mirkwood had taught me not to throw something important to the wayside, no matter what it was." I felt heartened because it's such a big lesson to learn. Rumil tended to discard a lot of things in his life along with romance. The change in him is especially apparent in his argument with Haldir...
Author's Response: I love when someone points out a specific line like this. See, as I was writing the whole 'Turon at Rumil's door' scene, it started feeling a little off, and I realized that they were arguing like school children. I scratched the whole scene and started over, and that line was the result. Your review confirms, to me at least, that I was heading the wrong direction, and that deleting a day's worth of writing was the right thing to do. Once again, thank you for such a thoughtful review. I wish more people knew how important feedback was.
Well ..... T
Oh, poor Corweth... Messel's death was heartbreaking, and I feel for both her twin and for Rumil. Messel and Corweth both grew to be favorites of mine in this story although I don't attach easily to female characters (I guess that's a Mary-Sue-streak in my as I tend to Picture myself in their place).
I love the relationship between Rumil and Legolas, it is so much more than an ordinary love story. It’s growing and unsure, but nevertheless powerful. You’ve portrayed both convincingly, and I can't wait to see what happens when they meet again. I hope Rumil will understand Legolas’ motives for not being there for the fight, but somehow I feel it won’t be that easy. There is a lot of potential for heartbreak, doubt, angst, conflict and guilty feelings in this future encounter and so many possible outcomes… I’m so excited for whatever you’ll choose it to be.
(My mind already strays to the movie-battle of Helm’s Deep… Totally innocent question, how long will your story be?)
Author's Response: It's never easy to eliminate a character, but sometimes necessary for extreme emotions. I'm glad you liked the girls. I needed to incorporated some females into this story. I've noticed that a lot of slash stories are mostly male characters, but naturally there would be women elves around. Ru and Legi have grown on me quite a bit, and although they will have their share of good times and bad, I believe they will pull through the challenges. As for the length of my story, I really can't say. I never know where the characters will take me. I'm working on this one chapter by chapter and posting when I'm satisfied with the outcome. I think there are still a few left though. I just don't have a definite number.
Chapter Nine made me cry. Since when did I become such a pitiful sap?
Thanks for updating. Have a nice Christmas and I can't wait for more!
Author's Response: Aww, thanks and grab the tissues, haha. Merry Christmas to you too.
Oh my. The feels. Messel's death was heartbreaking. I did see it coming, but that didn't soften the blow. Damn. And then Rumil's doubts and worry about Legolas... *insert deep, heartfelt sigh here* I hope they'll be all right...
Anyway, once again a incredibly well-written chapter. From home-coming to battle scenes, action to introspection, your story seems to flow effortlessly from one thing into the next.
Enjoy the holidays! (I have exams to study for, I hope your holiday prospects are looking better!)
PS: I know it was not meant humorous at all here, but I cannot hear the phrase "just a fleshwound" without thinking of Monthy Python. xD
Author's Response: Thanks again for another encouraging review. It's like an early writer's Christmas present. So now Rumil will ha e to deal with the confusion of Legolas' no show, sorrow and guilt over the loss of Messel, as well as adjusting once again to life in Lorien after his extended stay in Mirkwood. Good thing he's tough. That's funny that you think of Monty Python. I vaguely remember that line, but I'm not up on it. My folks used to watch it when I was a kid, but I was too young to get the humor. Still, Orophin was being a smart ass, so I guess it was meant to be slightly humorous. Anyways, don't study too hard. Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings.
So Legolas has joined the Fellowship. Will he and Rumil meet up when the fellowship gets to Lorien? If so I guess Rumil will not be that happy with him. Still REALLY enjoying this. it's great!
Author's Response: Yes, they will meet in Lorien and Rumil will finally learn what happened to Legolas. Not sure of reactions yet. I'm still working out the details. I'm Taking a short break due to the holidays but I'll pick back up very soon.
This is an insanely beautifully written story. I'm in awe of the writer's technique - seriously, you are an incredible writer!! You made the characters feel so realistic, as if they really were a part of Tolkien's work.
I've enjoyed this story immensely - it was sassy, intriguing, with just enough angst and smut - and so I hope you continue this one day :)
Author's Response: Thank you for such an encouraging review and nice to meet you, Katze. I'm currently working on this story and I've got one more complete chapter to post this week. The holidays have slowed me down a bit but not too much. There's still plenty of story to come. I'm so glad you're enjoying it, and your kind words do wonders for the fan fiction writer's soul. Thanks for making my day. ;-)
This was amazing. Your writing just flows so beautifully, it makes for an enthralling read... I really liked that at first Rumil couldn't bring himself to say that he loved Legolas, it made the confession later on all the more meaningful. *sigh* I wonder what will happen to this pair now...
Author's Response: You're awesome for all the nice things you've said about this story. Thanks so much for the encouraging reviews. I must admit, it was fun writing that part where Rumil finally confesses his love. Admissions like that only happen once in a story. Better make it count, lol.
So beautiful... All the awkwardness I felt in the first chapters seems to have dissipated. I absolutely love how this turned out!
Rumil and Legolas seem to instinctively understand each other now; the difference with Rumil's first days among the Wood Elves couldn't be greater. I'm starting to grasp how much he actually gave up to be a soldier; you really did well putting that in words.
Also, I really liked the comparison between Rumil's love for Turon, which was a rush right at first sight but lacked potential for growth, and his affection for Legolas, which has grown from antipathy and still has room to turn into something deeper.
As always, a great job writing emotional developments! (And smut. You write great smut ^_^) I'm looking forward to the next chapter!
Author's Response: The comparison will come into play later in the story I think. Rumil will have more thinking to do. And to me it felt like what he has with Legolas could be more lasting because of how they slowly learned about each other. Don't want to say too much. I haven't written that part yet (just in case things change from how they are in my mind at the moment). And about the smut ... lol ... thanks.
I see trouble ahead for these two I think. Cultural differences maybe? Or because they seem to be in different places in the relationship , Legolas is way ahead of Rumil.
There is just something that makes me feel it won't all be smooth sailing!
Author's Response: Well, if it was always rainbows and glitter, it wouldn't be much of a story. Still, hardships make for lasting love eventually. Gotta take the good with the bad, but if it's worth it, they'll come through it, and stronger too.
I completely forgot I didn't review this... You were right, this was definitely a bath house scene with a twist! This "twist" also made the evolution in their relationship seem more genuine to me.
Author's Response: Thanks for going back to review. Glad you like the scene. I don't like to always jump right into something like that. Drawing it out a little bit just makes the tension worth the wait. Rumil probably agrees, lol.
Okay, you have positively redeemed Legolas in my eyes. He is wonderful here! Also, you are really good at writing imaginative battle scenes; I could really picture the fighting, and the trick with the rafts gave it an original touch. Loved it!
Author's Response: Yay! Legi is back in your good graces, haha. Battle scenes, UGH. I stress over those every time. I can never tell if they make any sense, or if too much is going on making it confusing. It's nice to see that it came across well. All I knew was that I wanted the Wood elves to do their thing much differently from the Lorien elves, more 'spur of the moment', less strategy. I've always imagined them making do, using what was available to them, rather than bringing all the party favors.
Wow, that was hot! Still really enjoying this. I am pleased to see the woodelves are winning Rumil over!
Author's Response: Glad to see you're still following along and enjoying. Thanks.
Plot twists! I knew it! :D Also, thank you for the lengthy answer on my last review, it did clarify things. Personally I'm easily unsettled by people who forego social courtesies, I tend to interpret it as hostile/disrespectful. You placed that into perspective and I think I understand better now why Legolas is as he is.
This chapter I was like... Everybody just needs to stop plotting things that involve Rumil without telling him. xD It's sort of amusing, but seriously. If I were him, I'd grow super mistrustful of people. Nevertheless, I really liked this chapter.
Rumil's battle of wits/words with Thranduil was interesting (and I'm sure it will only get more so later on) and Legolas gained some points again too. I'm holding my breath for the bath house scene though (elven bath houses have a bit of a notorious rep in slash fiction xD)
Author's Response: Glad I could clear that up for you. I guess it kind of seems like Rumil's being used for everyone else's plots. I think it might be because everyone else sees his potential, but not him. Like he would argue that he's the wrong guy for the job, so they've decided to involve him without his knowing because there isn't time to hash it over. But Rumil will always hold his own with Thranduil. If anything, he knows power and how to deal with people in that position. Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised with the bath house scene. Just a slight twist in my version, though.
I pretty much loathe Legolas here. From the moment he set Rumil up to fail by seducing him to the part where he kissed instead of punched him because he knew that would be the more effective hit... he pissed me off majorly. Sorry. It's not to say anything bad about your writing though; it's a testament of how good you are as a writer that I identified so strongly with Rumil's anger and humiliation here. It's possibly also because I'm kinda sensitive about sexual assault/public humiliation/using sex as a weapon/etcetera that this chapter got me all riled up.
I guess Rumil and Legolas are supposed to come together (or at least I think so), but I feel that they both have way too much shit going on and an unhealthy power dynamic to bout. They're constantly trying to get one up on each other, and the small bits of affection/friendship/relatively normal interaction they have don't really weigh up to that. It might change as the story continues, but that's how I see it now.
When I first started reading this sequel, I laughed at Rumil's plight among those "uncivilized" wood elves who let their women fight (!) and allow their male soldiers to rut with each other (!!!)... Now I feel genuinely worried for him. He seems to be a rather stable person who knows who he is and what he wants, but his inability to give his sexuality a real place in his life is like a bomb under all of that, and Legolas might be the catalyst that makes it all blow up.
Part of me hopes that Rumil will escape Legolas' clutches undamaged (and undefiled)... the rest of me is much looking forward to seeing this trainwreck of a relationship evolve into emotionally messy and undoubtedly smutty territory. And as far as I know your writing, I predict intriging plot twists along the way...
I'm sorry for leaving such a huge block of text, I just really love your writing and like to contemplate it. Please update soon!
Author's Response: Wow, this was a very passionate (and unexpected) response to this chapter. It's funny, I never know how people will react to something I've written. Usually it's just, 'I like it. Please continue.' So when I evoke such strong opinions, I'm always thrown a little off my game. It's strange to know I've enraged someone, but I know it's not towards me. It's my writing or my characters. So forgive my long response as I feel compelled to explain. My intension here were never to make people hate Legolas. Neither was it to be taken literally, as you've mentioned, sex as a weapon thing. It's more about trying to show the differences between the two realms. You have Lothlorien whose view is, do your job, do it well, keep your personal life personal. Then you have Mirkwood who's out front with everything, nothing to hide, we are who we are, if you don't like it leave. Rumil is able to hide certain feelings, turn other ones off, or just bury them because he would rather not deal with it. Legolas doesn't have that ability. He speaks his mind, acts on impulse, grabs each moment and lives it because he has to. He can't afford not to because (as Rumil puts it) there might not be a tomorrow. You see, Rumil has been hanging on to a dream, hoping things return to the way they used to be. Because he cannot speak of his personal life to anyone, he's bottled it inside to deal with it alone. He's been taught to hide, and so far, it's worked for him, but it is a very fragile game he plays. Legolas threatens to tear it all down, make him face the things he's been hiding from. Rumil knows this, deep inside, and a part of him is screaming to be released. Legolas senses this, and in a way just wants Rumil to face it already. That's what the kiss was about. And when Rumil punched him, that was his way of protecting the wall he's so skillfully put in place. But what haunts Rumil even more is the fact that he connected with Legolas in that one moment. He liked it. He felt the freedom of not having to hide, and that scared him, because all his life personal freedom meant devastation. So, did Legolas come on too strong? Yes, definitely, but that's how he's been raised. Never run, never hide, seize the day and the moment because it might not be there tomorrow. No regrets. Rumil's outlook is opposite. Don't let anyone in, don't let your true emotions show, be careful who you show yourself to, and if they are like him, keep it secret in order to keep everyone safe. But don't let Legolas' confidence fool you. He still has some major flaws and vulnerabilities that have not surfaced. Eventually, these two are going to have a better understanding of each other, and they will learn from one another. We're just not there yet. Right now it's all about two very headstrong elves set in their ways, neither one willing to compromise, but as things unfold, so will they.
Oh I do like your Legolas. He is quite the seducer. I will have to read more of him!
Author's Response: Thanks! Hope you like the story as it unfolds.
I love how you write Legolas, and his interactions with Rumil! I can almost feel the tension simmering between them... Normally I'm not a fan of Legolas (shocking, I know... but countless badly written legomances have somewhat ruined him for me), yet you manage to give his character a twist that makes him compelling again... As always, I am eagerly awaiting more!
Author's Response: I am so glad to hear you say this. When I started writing my stories, I thought I'd only write for Erestor and Glorfindel. Then I expanded to Rumil, and I enjoy writing him. But I never thought I would write Legolas as slash. I could never picture him as anything but het. However, when I got the idea for Rumil to go to Mirkwood I knew I'd have to involve Legolas. He smiled and said 'Lets do this' and here we are. So I'm writing him how I would like to see him. Strong, independent, sexy, a major flirt, and with some flaws. Those will show up later as Rumil gets to know him better.
Thank you for continuing this story. I'm really enjoying reading about Rumil's adventures and I hope things work out with Turon.
Author's Response: Well, thanks for reading and letting me know you like it. Glad to have you along for Part 2. Adventures are on the way.
Whiiii! Good to see you're continuing this! I already like your OC's...
Author's Response: Nice to see you here again. Thanks ... the girls are kind of fun to write for, especially when Rumil is involved.