Oh - I have just had an evening to sit and read and was going to say how much I am enjoying this tangled web you have woven here. How sad to see you will not be here any more. I won't ask why - if you had wanted to say I guess you would have done.
I will head off to AO3 - I do have an account there....
So glad you are liking this and glad you found me on AO 3. There is one further chapter of this published there. Working on the next.
I'm sorry you're not posting here any more, but I'll try and find you on AO3. I need my regular Legolas fix!
So glad you found me! There is a new chapter of this story up there now too.
Oh they are in such a muddle at the beginning of this chapter! Legolas has been yearning for Elrohir so much but in his state he has miscalculated how upset and overwrought Elrohir will be at these events and the injury to Legolas. As he tells Legolas, eventually, he's had no time to process anything--he has had an info dump of horrific news and the nephew he chose to allow himself to love (for Legolas sake at first) is implicated!
But his temper truly has gotten the best of him and it is past time for him to continue allowing himself to get so out of control. He is volatile, unrestrainabke and oblivious when he gets that way.
It is very telling to me how many times Legolas references Elrohir pushing him aside as he left the gardens. That engendered a visceral response from Legolas. A right minded Elrohir would NOT have done that. Should not have done that, knowing the state Legolas was in-but he didn't let himself see it, blinded by his rage as he was.
It makes sense that his attempts at touch are being met with such resistance now. Legolas melted into his arms at first in the gardens but after being pushed aside he has lost that safe feeling. He's not confronted the aftermath his captivity and binding have had on him either. Aragorn can't sense that in his fea and Arwen is likely too preoccupied to note it.
I'm very proud of Elrohir here. He doesn't retreat and slink away to bury himself in self blame here. I don't doubt it will eventually manifest in private but he knows how important their communication is and how important it is to confront this all head on. When he realizes that his touch is repelling Legolas he steps back, giving him space but not letting the moment to discuss this go. That's a hint of the Elrohir we see in Birds. It's a start. A good one. He confides his fears, his mistakes here. That's progress. And he waits. He's patient. He asks what Legolas needs from him. It's what Legolas actually needs--his calm presence. And Legolas finally reaches out to him and finds that healing love and strength he's come to know from Elrohir. They've got to move past this scar left on Legolas soul from that feeling of powerlessness. And Elrohir must deal with his anger issues. But for now they are talking it all out.
I don't think Elrohir has 100% bought into this Eldarion Elven fea business. I think it will take a talk with Elladan to convince him and then I think we will see him crumble into the self blame mode. But perhaps this will be a catalyst for anger management.
Elrohir hasn’t bought in to the Eldarion having an elven fea business. He really doesn’t want that to be true because of the consequences it means re his “attack” on Eldarion.....and the fact he hasn’t seen it earlier. Then Legolas flips out and he gets completely diverted before they can discuss that further.
The push in the garden WAS significant. You picked that up at the time it happened. As you say, Legolas was yearning for a safe place and Elrohir physically manhandled him. That was terrible for Legolas’s psyche. We know....but Elrohir doesn’t.....how badly Legolas is still suffering after the Dead Marshes, and he mentions here Elrohir’s previous unrestrained anger towards him has left scars which are triggered here. That one push in the garden opened the gate on all those memories.
This is indeed the first sight of “Birds” Elrohir. Stepping back, being patient, using his intuition, He gets much better at it too. This is Elrohir really reaching inside himself to access that emotional healing we know he can do.
Elrohir talking to Elladan about this later? Oh that will be all self blame and remorse. And Elladan is going to be very unhappy with him.
Elladan has had enough of being Elrohir’s handbrake.
Thanks for all your help rustling these guys in to line! Man they were difficult this chapter.
Oh boy - I feel like I’ve been through the wringer after that chapter. Elrohir had to work hard for understanding and forgiveness but he got therein the end. I’m glad he finally tried to work out what Legolas needed and started to mend Legolas’s mind. Hopefully next time he sees Eldarion he’ll leave him in one piece...
Amazing, intense chapter!
A rough chapter for Elrohir. He and Legolas have not been communicating well right from the moment Elrohir arrived. Elrohir was in such a state from the news of the attack being dumped on him he just went off on a tangent in anger. He really has to deal with his temper.
But now he has restablished their connection and Legolas understands where he was coming from he can do something about helping Legolas heal. Though he still has to deal with the fallout from the Eldarion incident!
P.S. Just in case you are interested...there is a new Legolas one shot set in this Universe at Ffnet and AO3 under “Cheekybeak” if you ever wanted to read it. It is called “To Change the World” Wont be posting it here.
PPS. Congrats on the book!!!!
In all my commentary I forgot to mention how much I loved that moment of connection with Elladan--that purposeful reaching out to his fea and how it made Eldarion feel.
And yes Aragorn was magnificent at the parenting here--concern for his son--no self blame.
The self blame will, of course because we know Aragorn, come later. But it would have been very damaging to Eldarion here, if he thought who he was hurt his father or that Aragorn felt there was something “wrong” about it . . . Wrong enough to beat himself up about it.
Eldarion has had that fea connection with his mother as a very small child but she has severed it so long ago he cannot remember it. No one else has attempted to connect with him that way because they have not looked or expected he could be able to, so this moment with Elladan is a truly defining one for Eldarion.
Thank goodness for Elladan! I love how he reads Eldarion’s fea and finally recognises his elven nature. Now that Aragorn’s been made aware of the fact that Eldarion is really an adolescent, maybe he’ll understand him better. I would love to have witnessed Elladan’s conversation with Arwen. I doubt it was easy!
The last bit was priceless. Eldarion has no idea how obvious it is that he’s not fully adult!
Now to deal with Lord Thingy...
Elladan is a star isn’t he! Would have liked to have written that conversation between he and Arwen also. A real lecture from a big brother I think. He is not happy with her.
And poor dear Eldarion. It’s not easy being told you are immature......especially when you ARE immature! So he behaves exactly as he is. A sulky teenager. It’s going to be very difficult for him to accept this. Even though adults adjusting their behaviour to something more appropriate to his emotional age will make life easier for him.
It is a good moment with Eldarion and Aragorn at the beginning of this chapter. They can retreat into old familiar roles for a few minutes, healer and patient, father and child. And Aragorn knows how daunting the wrath of Elrohir can be and he does try to soothe Eldarion a bit.
I am glad Eldarion is honest about what he said to Legolas that made Elrohir rage like he did. Aragorn did a good job of not lecturing but still letting Eldarion know his thoughts. Eldarion's awe and love of his father's healing side was lovely to see.
And Aragorn is having none of it when Elladan arrives! I'm sorry the sight of him freaked Eldarion out momentarily--Elrohir has come to mean quite a lot to the boy and that moment of fear at the possible sight of him broke my heart a bit.
It is so good to see Elladan!! I love how he comes right in and gets involved. He has obviously searched Eldarion out, after his talk with Arwen. And it is good to see him get riled up at having to be Elrohir's "keeper"--he shouldn't have to be the one to tame his brother's temper all the time.
And he had stern words for Arwen! GOOD! Elladan is who she should have confided in initially, when she was pregnant and shortly after Eldarion's birth, if she felt she could not tell Aragorn.
Elladan is lovely here. I love how he goes to Eldarion right away, to see for himself what is going on with the boy. And his pointed words to Aragorn, reminding him that the peredhel do not choose where their affinity lies--it is simply part of them and not truly visible to those around them. He handles this so well. So calmly, so empathetically, really giving everyone hope that this may be something they can work on together.
I really like your idea that the Numenoreans felt this Elven pull and that is why they yearned for the Elven shores, for the ability to sail to Valinor, the call of their soul something they could not quite understand. But is does make Arwen's fear more understandable although she still erred in not confiding in her brother.
Elladan does a good job explaining and highlighting the slowed maturity issue and Eldarion falls right into the trap of behaving like a sulky teenager when he does! And Elladan just laughs and tells him so--perfect!
Really lovely chapter. Elladan is such a rational, soothing presence here. He takes all their rough, jagged, frustrated emotions and puts the puzzle pieces together and smooths things over. He's like balm on a burn.
Now has Elrohir run to find Legolas?
Eldarion and Aragorn had got themselves into an awkward place where despite them both wanting to connect they couldn’t work out how to communicate and kept falling in to hurtful patterns. This “attack” by Elrohir, Eldarion’s distress, Aragorn’s fatherly need to protect, has pushed them out of those habits of bad communication into something more nurturing and respectful. As you say, familiar patterns of healthier father/son communication.
It enables Aragorn to be softer and more understanding and Eldarion to be honest.
I love Elladan here. So elven and so commanding. He has come straight from Arwen looking for the boy to see for himself if this theory of Eldarion’s elvenness is true. Aragorn is right to expect excuses though—although there are none—and right to point out to Elladan that despite the fact he does not want to be seen as his brothers keeper and the fact he shouldn’t have to be he IS complicit in that scenario being true. They are co-dependant and he allows Elrohir to depend on him for emotional stability.
Elladan HAS told his sister off most severely, both for hiding Eldarion’s elven fea and for her attitude to her husband. Elladan—more aware of the stress of politics and rule than his sister and outside the situation—can see exactly why Aragorn must remain as neutral as he is re Eldarion.
After being so hands off through the last few chapters Aragorn gets to display his true feelings for his son at Elladan’s big reveal. His first reaction being to reassure about his unconditional parental love and then fast moving on to concern for his wellbeing....”How do we make him happy?” Despite Arwen’s fears Aragorn’s first reaction is not guilt or beating himself up—it’s worry about his child. However added to Aragorn and Arwen’s problems is now deceit as she has erred within the relationship hiding something so important from her husband.
I thought Eldarion, although filled with joy at his elvenness being acknowledged and basking in an almost blissful feeling after that first real fea connection with Elladan, would find the idea he is not as emotionally mature as he thought VERY difficult, (especially given the emotional stage he currently is in.) It’s not easy realising you are not the man you thought you were. Very hard to hear.
It’s going to take him some time to accept a “stepping back” of his maturity. Perhaps removing him from Minas Tirith to a more neutral place like Imladris where there are no established patterns might be the only way to do this.
I'm still enjoying this story greatly. The situation, the intrigue, this newest discovery - all of it is written so well. I'm looking forward to the next chapter very much. Thank you.
So good to know you are still reading. :-) There’s a way to go yet but this is the moment things begin to come together. Go Elladan!
Thoughts? Oh do I have thoughts!!
First of all I agree on the Elven aging idea. They do mature very quickly as children but slow down as adolescence approaches and then stay in that teen period for quite awhile. I see Eldarion as having been a preternaturally mature child--very at ease and comfortable conversing with adults at a young age. That gave him a veneer of maturity but it was not lasting. By the time he reached adolescence he had slowed significantly as far as mental maturity but physically he appeared his year age. But those around him were now accustomed to his supposed maturity and didn't second guess it. His actions are interpreted as rebellious and irresponsible for someone his age. His actions just preceding this fic and during are still very much like those of a teen, rather than s young man coming of age. Self absorbed, rolling his eyes at the advice of his elders, getting deep crushes, basking at being treated "as an adult" by a non-family mature acquaintance, confiding and believing others are more worldly and with it than his parents.
I also agree with your Aspergers analogy although I agree it isn't really Aspergers. It's a communication mismatch of epic proportions. And I wonder if some of it is an inability to filter what people are saying appropriately. He's perhaps a bit concrete in his thinking--like a child who blithely tells outsiders all about family secrets. Or who fails to detect sarcasm or irony because they are still too naive and take things at face value. He can't see how he could get used or manipulated by others yet. He falls head over heels in love in Ithilien in the naïveté of youth. But it's far more pronounced because he externally appears older and physically in years is older--just not in his head. And he can't communicate that. And no one is reaching out to his fea. He senses things. He has an affinity for wood and archery but he has no ability to reach his fea constructively--he's blocked in a way by ignorance--and he can't reach out to another's fea because he is again unaware. As you said Imladris was running on Elven timetables. Parents, healers, tutors, arms masters were all familiar with the timetable and the ministrations to young fea. Eldarion hasn't had that. It actually makes me far more irritated at Arwen, as I ponder this because SHE FELT it from the start and didn't nurture that. And I wonder if part of Legolas bond with the boy is that he can unwittingly touch that fea and Eldarion senses something from him that is more open and available than from anyone else?
Glad it made some kind of sense to you!
I do think Eldarion is suffering for his early precociousness. That formed an idea of him in everybodies head. It’s how they see him...advanced...mature for his years. Everything he does is judged by looking through that lens of preconception. And so everybody has missed the slow falling away of his maturity.
I am unsure of Eldarion’s extact age in years right now, (because as Dúnedain he aged slowly anyway) but to refer to him in our years I would say 19-20. Definitely out of adolescence and into adulthood. But emotionally he feels to me anywhere from 13-15. It fluctuates. Sometimes he is very young feeling and sometimes he is more sophisticated in his thoughts. But...a big gap emotionally. And right now is quite possibly when that gap is at its largest. I dont think he will catch up to himself until his late twenties. The gap will gradually narrow until it becomes indiscernible.
Had he been growing up in Imladris he would be functioning still as a 14 year old but here he is in Minas Tirith being treated as an adult. And so the communication issues begin.
I do think the lack of development of his elven fea has contributed significantly to those communication problems. He is designed to communicate not just with words but with feel and emotional connection...and he doesn’t know how to do that. It is as if a limb has been amputated. So now that he is older and that fea communication should step in to help him decipher people’s emotions and behaviour he can’t do it. Elves rely less on words and language and more on emotional connection and Eldarion cannot use that form of communication at the moment
And so he is as he is. Taking things literally, missing nuances, misunderstanding sarcasm, etc etc. because one whole segment of his communication is not being used.
Yeah, Arwen. Why did she not at least discuss this with her brothers? I get her fear, I get her guilt and her attempts at denial. But she should have asked for advice.
Why not take your anger out on someone who can deal with it, someone who might fight back. Here I am. Throw me against the wall.
Yes! Do it!
“I do not want to hurt you, Estel.”
Oh, go on. You know you want to. I will if you won't.
I mean, I know Aragorn is actually right here, and it's good to see him defend Eldarion, and send Elrohir back to Legolas, but still. I really wanted Elrohir to beat him to pulp. But that's just me.
Oh, and Elrohir in a rage is totally hot.
Ha ha. He so is hot, isn’t he!
But he couldn’t beat Aragorn to a pulp...then he wouldn’t be Elrohir. And Legolas would be very upset with him.
yeah Aragorn was right this time. Elrohir needs to get a grip....even though he’s hot when he’s out of control!
It is good to see Eldarion again. I am still irritated at his gullibility and his absolute stupidity regarding lord thingy and his shifted attitude towards the Elves of Ithilien. But he did get Legolas out of there and appears somewhat chastened and regretful.
Peaceful library time is likely better than watching the verbal sparring from his parents.
Aragorn is right to leave him with Faramir--he cannot risk being seen as influencing this in any way. Dear Faramir. He's mighty exasperated and he's got a vast reserve of patience usually too. But again he is in Ithilien, living near Legolas and having a very close relationship with them. This must sting and vex him. And Eldarion's naïveté and lack of detailed confidences is obviously irritating him.
Rhiwiel is a dear. Trying to cheer him up and reassure him but oh my does she have a MASSIVE crush on the boy.
My goodness Elrohir's entrances are magnificent. He is an unbridled hurricane of emotion here though. I'm disturbed at how he manhandles Eldarion. I know and respect the fact that he is incensed but he is not going about this in any reasonable fashion--he has lost reason completely and I can only slightly excuse him in one regard; the rope burns. They aren't healing in typical Elven fashion because they have left a psychological echo and scar on Legolas soul. I know that destroys Elrohir to realise because he knows how damaged and scarred that fea has been previously. It's a violation, those burns, and it wounds Elrohir's heart and soul to see it.
But. BUT. He cannot use physical violence on Eldarion. He must exert better control on his impulsive nature. He is terrifying and dangerous and really not helping anyone--not Legolas, not Aragorn, not Arwen, nor the Elven cause in general.
And he has abandoned his greatest responsibility--Legolas himself. Elrohir KNOWS what those burns mean. He KNOWS what it will take to heal them. He KNOWS Legolas finds healing in his touch, his love, his soul. And he's left him alone and agitated to the point of incoherence. Not good. And he has let Aragorn down when he needed his brother's help as well.
I know the letter missing him is a disaster. This and the guard spilling the story, Legolas joking around and then revealing too much--all of this was tinder to the flame as far as Elrohir goes. I love him dearly but he's gone too far here.
Aragorn rightly chastises him. The charge that he has hurt Legolas by his actions will strike home. If I know Elrohir at all he will be overwhelmed with guilt and self-recrimination about it. And still a part of him will stay angry too.
Eldarion gets an inkling that Aragorn doesn't hate him but again we see the immaturity and youthfulness of Eldarion here. He is a boy. And no one but Legolas (and denial prone Arwen) has even remotely caught on.
And this elvish spirited boy? I think Elrohir's physical attack and words have bruised the Elven fea he has as well. What a mess.
He does feel so very immature here. The difference between his emotional age and his physical age is very apparent....to us anyway. But other than Legolas and Arwen, no one else.
When writing him Eldarion feels to me almost as if he is on the spectrum, Aspergers perhaps. He struggles to understand others motives. He is missing something in his assessment off others emotions. His communication is just “off” ever so slightly. I don’t think he IS on the spectrum but I do think he is struggling with a temporary Autistic spectrum disorder at this stage. An effect of his lagging in emotional age. He will grow out of this. It will right itself in time as his developmental ages level out but right now....that’s how I see him.
Ive done a bit of research on Elven development and initially they develop very rapidly, far more quickly than Men only to stagnate in late childhood adolescence for a long time. They seem to have a very extended adolescence. So Eldarion did not exhibit any of these problems as a child, in fact when I wrote him as a child he was quite advanced...empathetic...intuitive. His childhood development was probably very advanced for his age leading people to treat him as if he was older than he was which makes everything now so much worse. He has hit an Elven brick wall.
I don’t think either of the twins suffered these Autistic like problems but not because they developed differently...no. Because they were raised in Imladris, an Elven enclave where everyone was in tune with their fea. They were treated at the correct emotional level because everyone could feel it. And this long teenage stage was expected.
You could say Eldarion’s problems are not actually his. He is exactly as he should be. The problem lies with those around him. The mismatch is only created by the way others treat him. His problems with interpreting others behaviour are because the adults around him place him in adult situations without correct support.
But for now that lack of support and mismatch in age is causing a communication disorder and that’s how I am writing him.
I appreciate how much Legolas really wants to help Aragorn sort this, I really do. But. Much as he wants to help this is something that is not necessarily best sorted by Legolas. Not by any of the Elven or half-Elven honestly. Aragorn's instinct to have Faramir be his point person is astute and correct.
Can I tell you Erynion is like cool water on a burn! His calm collected demeanor and ability to tell it like it is so welcome. I love how he channels Thranduil, as that seems to actually quell Legolas a bit. It is hard to really argue with the sensible solidity of Erynion. I also love his retreat to the trees where he still manages to radiate disapproval to Legolas!
Oh Elrohir! What an entrance! Oh I bet he is an inferno!
No Legolas!! No! Elrohir is in NO STATE for humor. That's not going to quench his inferno one bit. There is nothing that Legolas can say in jest that will cause Elrohir to simmer down. It is absolutely not the right attitude to take with him. He's what Legolas needs right now and that's the message Elrohir needs to hear--that Legolas is now safe and healing but that he needs Elrohir's love and fire to help him truly get over this. Caring for Legolas is a role Elrohir knows and it is one that he willingly takes on; it is one role he can assume where he ratchets down his temper and volatile influences so that he can focus on what's important: Legolas.
Elrohir is viewing this as a failure on Aragorn's part and a betrayal by Eldarion. He has found out too suddenly and his conversation with Aragorn probably riled up Aragorn's fatherly instincts. I can assume Arwen was not present--she would have potentially had a more Elladan like affect on Elrohir perhaps but not if he was going after Eldarion!
It is an unfortunate and inappropriate time to reveal that Eldarion targeted Elrohir and Legolas' relationship in his commentary. Legolas was on the right track--mention of his headache and loss for words INSTANTLY cooled the flames and brought out the side of Elrohir that is balm to Legolas soul. If only he had left it there and not spoken further. Elrohir would have focused where he needed to focus--on Legolas--and would have cooled down in time, with the reassurance of Legolas' overall current safety and returning health. Then he could have been reasoned with.
But what Legolas revealed was essentially the equivalent of throwing vats of oil on a raging fire. It was perhaps the worst thing to say at that moment.
Elrohir really loses control here. It's upsetting to hear those words but in his rage he does a few things that are truly devastating. Erynion left Legolas in Elrohir's care. He explained that Legolas must stay with him. Elrohir ignores that and leaves Legolas with one human guard? Completely Inappropriate. Normal Elrohir would be appalled at himself! At least Legolas retains some common sense and asks to be taken to Aragorn.
But he also shoves Legolas away. The Elrohir we know, the one who has Legolas in his life and in his heart, who is focused on Legolas-- would not do that--not to Legolas. He's in a white hot rage and he truly has little control left. But I think that was a thoughtless thing to do and I worry about it.
I think he will be aghast at himself if/when he recalls doing that, knowing the state Legolas is in.
On a side note: I would not want to be Eldarion right now.
PS: I love that Rhiwiel has been assigned to Legolas.
You are so right. Legolas is not the right one to be helping to sort this out. He needs to sit back and be patient as Erynion tells him. The elves need to stay right out of it. It is a problem for the Men to deal with. Legolas though does not cope well with idleness or doing nothing. He is an active relaxer. He needs to be moving and involved. This is really testing him, being on the edges.
Glad you liked Erynion this chapter. He knows Legolas better than anyone and they have been friends long enough for him to be able to say exactly what he thinks. And he does. He is the perfect foil to Legolas’ chaotic wildness.
Poor Elrohir indeed. Glad you liked his impressive entrance. Stage right, Elrohir enters like a boss! But he is all tangled up, frightened, angry. And as Legolas says, this has been dumped on him with no warning. So he loses it. Completely.
Legolas senses the anger and it unnerves him. So he picks the wrong method to counter it initially. His sweet lighthearted humour works well with Aragorn, but not so much Elrohir. Then he finally alights on the right way to help Elrohir focus....telling him how much he needs him....drawing his attention to the fact he is struggling with after effects and suddenly Elrohir is all there for him.
but as you say, so the wrong time to mention Eldarion’s homophobic comments. In fact it would have been better if Legolas never mentioned those. But he is not completely well, he allowed Elrohir’s light to soothe him, Relaxed, and out the wrong words spilled.
And Elrohir leaves Legolas alone when Erynion specifically told him not to. Worse than that he pushed him away. As I said, Aragorn WILL be taking him to task for this. We have to remember this is “Fire” Elrohir....it’s not so long after that story. Valinor Elrohir would not behave like this.
He’s done this before actually...do you remember? In “Fire” Elrohir got so het up after the row with Aragorn when Aragorn first discovered them he ran off after him and left an unhinged Legolas wandering around the palace. And that ended with Legolas hiding out under a bush in the garden terrified. So, Elrohir hasn’t truly learned that lesson yet.
Elrohir relies far too heavily on Elladan to monitor and control his temper. He hands all responsibility for that over to his brother and just allows himself to let loose with his mood swings. He needs to get a grip and take responsibility for his behaviour himself. His temper gets him in too much trouble when Elladan is not around.
Remember his lashing out at Legolas on the Dead Marshes? The damage done there lasted centuries.
Get a grip Elrohir. (I know you love him but he really needs to. He is better than this.)
Wow. Elrohir certainly knows how to make an entrance. *fans face*
But as wonderful as it is to see Elrohir all masterful and blazing fire, it does worry me that he's promptly dashed off and left Legolas alone. Yes, I know there are guards, but they're men. For once I agree - if he can't be with Erynion or Elrohir, he needs to get to Aragorn as quickly as possible!
Oh he does! That boy owns the room when he enters it! But yes, running off leaving Legolas alone in the garden? What are you thinking Elrohir? He’s done this before actually in Fire. He rushed after Aragorn when he first discovered him and Legolas and left Legolas wandering the palace on his own. Legolas ended up hiding under a bush that time. Looks like Elrohir hasn’t learnt that lesson yet.
Ooh, so they've found Lord Thingy. Now, why do I get the feeling he has a plan to come out of this appearing innocent? I think he's still got the capacity for stirring up an awful lot of trouble. I just hope he leaves Eldarion out of it.
I hope Legolas does befriend Rhiwiel, because it looks like she's going to need an ally. Although if Arwen pressurises Eldarion to choose a parent-approved wife, she's a total hypocrite, considering what her choice of husband did to her family...
Oh you bet Lord Thingy has a plan! There is no way he is going to leave Eldarion out of it. Eldarion is his ticket out of this mess.
Arwen is not behaving the best in this story is she? Maybe she will need someone to point that hypocrisy out to her. I’m thinking a brother. Someone who suffered due to her choices.
Ah steady stalwart Erynion! I love that he is worried but once he is assured that Legolas is in fact mostly intact he launches into a blistering takedown of him! And he is right--Legolas ignored valid advice from a captain of Gondor. Aragorn's advice he often ignores and Erynion knows that. Maewen will have their hides. She will likely cosset Legolas especially if he pulls the pitiful card but she will blister Erynion in turn for keeping it from her.
Erynion has the right idea about getting Legolas in better more silvan friendly surroundings. I'm concerned the rope burns aren't healing and I am sorry he is having flashbacks to those men and his helplessness when caught. It rankles, that's obvious but it has been traumatizing psychically too. It is evident later in the chapter when he is apprehensive, even with company, when he passes unknown men. This will take awhile to get over.
And ugh Aragorn makes him promise to have a chaperone too--he's going to hate that. A lot.
It is good Legolas expresses his sympathy and understanding about how kingship and fatherhood can be at odds. And we have an explanation for why Arwen doesn't get it--Imladris isn't like that in hierarchy.
And wow I caught that unintended slam on Oropher. Had Legolas been 100% healthy and Aragorn not weighed down by all this I think it would have flared Legolas right up.
But Arwen is still dragging her feet on telling Aragorn about Eldarion. And I did get a touch of attitude in her note about the girl--a bit elitist tone there and egalitarian silvan Legolas picked up on it.
And lord thingy has been found but he looks ready to stir up trouble! I think Eldarion is in for it--lies and half truths, innuendo and sedition from lord thingy and Eldarion will get implicated.
Ah the Oropher slam. Glad you caught it ....as Aragorn did...before Legolas pointed it out to us. This whole conversation demonstrates Legolas’ “wellness” at the moment. His newfound maturity and groundedness. He accepts Aragorn’s restrictions with relatively little protest because he recognises Aragorn’s own fatigue. He is thinking beyond himself and listening ....which is something Legolas can be very bad at.
Then that accidental dig at Oropher. Normally that would be enough to kick Legolas right off. And he says it’s partly because he’s not feeling great that he doesn’t chase that, but in fact that would usually mean he bit back all the worse. No, he is seeing Aragorn’s worry and depression and making allowances....again something Legolas usually does not do very well. He is a good support for Aragorn here. His reassurance is much needed. Arwen is behaving badly.
So Steady Erynion who knows Legolas so very well, arrives and cuts to the chase. Straight away he notices the unhealed burns and the lingering trauma at having been restrained. And Legolas can’t duck and dive with Erynion as he does with both Aragorn and Maewen. Erynion won’t allow it. So the truth comes out. He has some lingering psychological issues.....likely his previously damaged fea contributes to these. The non healing rope burns are a warning,
Erynion gets him in a far better more open place and provides some much needed uncomplicated companionship.
Everytime I write Erynion I’m sad I killed him off so brutally in my other universe.
Lord Thingy will definitely not go quietly. If he can make this Eldarion’s problem then he will do. Clever slippery snake he is he will have a battle plan. You can bet on it.
This is so sad. Eldarion's inner elvishness explains a lot about his behaviour. It might, eventually, be a way to persuade Arwen and Aragorn that Rhiwiel would be a good choice for Eldarion, assuming Eldarion really does love her. After all, Arwen chose mortality for love, and Elrohir turned aside from his Mannish nature for Legolas's sake (Elladan, too, I know, but I think it was Legolas who tipped the balance). If Eldarion really loves Rhiwiel, love will be the key to reconciling him with his mortal nature. Not sending him away to the Dunedain.
Interesting that Aragorn had such bad memories of his early time there. Will we hear more about that, I wonder?
It is sad. I feel so sorry for Eldarion. (Even though it was me who wrote him in to this shitty position)
Thats a brilliant idea about Rhíwiel! Have to admit I hadn’t thought of that but yes! It would be a great argument to use to sway Aragorn and Arwen into accepting this relationship if they are against it. Love does seem to be the one thing that effectively triumphs over blood in regards their choice. Of course you point out that one crucial thing.....does he really love her? But maybe this will let them give him a chance to discover that.
As for Aragorn, I always imagine that time when he left Imladris, feeling he had been lied to all those years, was pretty rough. Interesting he has never disclosed that to Legolas. Not sure why yet.
Oh what a chapter! I really like the interactions between Arwen and Legolas. I am really enjoying the exposition of her character--we are getting so much more of her in this fic and I think it really adds to the story and adds a dimension not often portrayed in fics--she's a major player here and it works.
These two know each other so well. Even though they are bickering there is an ease to their interaction. His ability to be open with her, her knowledge of his sweet tooth. I can see how he is negatively affected by the current strife between Aragorn and Arwen though--especially in his state post injury. It grates on his already frazzled fea and aching head.
And you've hit a very important point here-Legolas gets why Aragorn MUST behave as King here, not father. The stability of the realm, the succession, the relations with Ithilien, with the Greenwood, with Aglarond all depend on how this incident is handled. The repercussions can be immense. Legolas KNOWS this--he's been in Eldarion's shoes so to speak. He's a King's son and has lived his whole life with the awareness of that dichotomy in Thranduil. The dichotomy that must exist for a king to be an effective ruler.
Legolas is very matter of fact and aware of his shortcomings in his youth. He understands the maturity issue well because his experience (rather the lack of experience) resulted in the tragedy that ripped his family apart. He does not want to see his friends suffer through that. Arwen doesn't get it--the Imladris she knows was not the huge realm that the Greenwood is and Elrond did not function as a King. He could focus on his role as a father, except in the few situations that arose here and there.
This is a revelation to Legolas--the not so idyllic first years with the Dunedain that Aragkrn had. It is a pity that Eldarion and Aragorn do not have the luxury of time with the Dunedain together. It would be a bonding experience for them and do much to soothe Aragorn's harsh memories of that time.
But Arwen is erroneously using it to try to get the Elrohir effect on Eldarion. But Elrohir's blood and fea called to the Mannish side. Imladris couldn't erase that-love finally overcame it. Sending Eldarion to the Dunedain won't stamp out the Elven in him. It's part of him, wherever he is, whoever he is with. It likely calls to him more in Ithilien but it is always there.
And she has not let herself see the maturity disparity. It is devastating to think she has known his Elven tendency since conception but kept it to herself and never confronted the issue or spoke to her poor confused son about it. But I think her realization that his maturity has always followed closer to the Elven timeline is now a horrific realization. I was going to be a bit irritated at Elrond here, for not raising this issue (which he was surely aware of as he and Elros probably had the same disparity, as did his own children) but I realized he likely expected their choice to lie Elven and it would make no appreciable difference then until they had children of their own. But once Arwen made her choice, before he sailed he should have addressed it. He surely knew.
I would not want to be in Arwen's shoes right now. She's in a bind for her son and her husband and whatever she chooses one or both of them will be
miserable at the revelation. And Aragorn loves to shoulder more guilt and responsibly than is necessary. Ugh. But this must be a addressed--it's a disservice to Eldarion to let it go any further.
Pissed at Valar side note: this choice business should have ENDED worth Elros and Elrond. Their kids should have just been whatever Elros and Elrond chose and done. No more generations suffering that choice misery.
Legolas totally gets the position Aragorn is in here. He has grown up understanding the turmoil of someone who has to be both King and Father during difficult times. He KNOWS. It is something he has just had to accept from childhood.
And he can’t get his head around Arwen not understanding it. It throws a light on just how different their upbringings were, Arwen in secluded Imladris and Legolas in wartorn Greenwood. It would be interesting to see what Elrohir has to say about it. I wonder if Arwen was sheltered somewhat as a girl?
Big revelation to Legolas that Aragorn has times in his life he has kept hidden. I don’t feel my Aragorn is a sharing kind of guy. He tends to want to “look after” other people to the detriment of himself. Apart from his mournful, moping, Lay Of Lórien singing times during the quest when he stomped around missing Arwen I dont think he has ever held his past life up for his friends to see. Legolas knows much about Aragorn’s life and feelings since he has known him. Aragorn shares feelings when they are both having shared experiences, but not about his own past. Something for Legolas to think on here.
When things are calmer Legolas needs to sit himself down and have a chat with Elrohir about this...to get his perspective of Aragorn during that time. He needs to be well armed with as much information as he can get before he raises this with Aragorn because Aragorn will shut him down and divert. I think Legolas is seeing their friendship through different eyes a bit. Perhaps, as far as support for past issues, it has been a bit one sided to his benefit?
Poor Arwen. As a mother I feel for her. But her denial of the situation her son is in has been to his detriment. Legolas is exactly right when he says she has abandoned him. Eldarion is stumbling along with these feelings trying to make things make sense with no support. Running and hiding from things doesn’t mean they go away. Legolas knows that better than most people!
And yes I think she has subconsciously turned her eyes from any signs of the maturity issues. She didn’t want to see it because she didn’t want her fears of Eldarion’s elvishness to be true. To be confronted with it now is devastating both for what it means to him, and the fact she has failed him.
Re your pissed at the Valar note: Totally agree! So wrong Elronds children were forced to make a choice. So inappropriate! So unjustifiable. Infact none of the “half elves” should have had to choose anyth8ng. As Legolas says, just let them live their lives as they wish. Why choose sides?.
I wondered when Legolas was going to meet Rhíwiel. I love their conversation! Poor Rhíwiel probably thinks she’s hiding her feelings so well, but she’s got one of the worst cases of mentionitis I’ve ever seen :D
It’s odd that Arwen hasn’t picked up on the budding romance, though. I hope she’ll be Eldarion’s ally, but I’ve no idea whether she’d approve. I thought she would, but her comment about Silvan egalitarianism sounds rather patronising.
I know... Rhíwiel, how obvious can you be! I based her on a teenager I have close contact with. You always know when there is a new crush on the horizon when their name casually pops up again and again and again.
I think Eldarion has played this romance very close to his chest. I don’t think he has given any hint to Mum and Dad. He’s confused and uncertain about it himself after the same sex hookup in Ithilien and he knows it might not play out well due to Rhíwiel’s status.
And Arwen, oh yes she was being patronising. A sign of how under the weather and sub-par Legolas is feeling that he didn’t bite her head off with that. Some Noldor/Silvan superiority showing through there. Maybe she picked it up from Galadriel in Lothlorien?
Well that was fast!
I had to laugh at Legolas panicked reaction to the thought of Erynion coming and ( as he sees it) the inevitable arrival of Maewen too!
But Aragorn has really thought this through! He knows Maewen well and honestly it would be AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER to have her in Minas Tirith now. Too many loose canons and Elrohir on the way to raise hell on his own. Not to mention her safety, which she would scoff at.
Bit oh it is just priceless how irritated Legolas is with Aragorn's cleverness!
I'm so glad Rhiwiel has been assigned to Legolas. I like her and I really love how curious and interactive he is with her. But, just as it disturbs him, the hierarchy disturbs me too. It is not like that in Ithilien or the Greenwood--even though Thranduil is king. It was not that way in the First or second Age either, among the Exiles. Finrod was king but his people chose to support him or not. The hierarchy was not as absolute. Fëanor seemed much the same--a prince in name but one who did not separate himself from the non royal folk. Gil Galad also and Elrond with his disdain of titles. Not as much class distinction among Elves as here in Gondor.
And I like how he notes it, he makes a point to tell her he is adept at mundane tasks and the king also, how his world and kingdom are more egalitarian and his fondness for her views of Maewen.
Arwen irks me for the first time when she jokes about Silvan egalitarianism. Minas Tirith has rubbed off on her--Elrond would not feel so.
And oh my dear Rhiwiel! You are prattling on about your dear Eldarion to one who is sensitive to others hearts and souls--he sees her care of Eldarion, her affection and longing.
And I just love him at the end, wanting to know more of her. He's just a dear in this chapter.
But I have a hint of foreboding from Arwen's commentary that her interest in Eldarion and his, that we know from before, in her may not be most welcome to his family.
Ah yes, how irritated was Legolas by Aragorn’s clever plan.....and how smug was Aragorn! There is always just a hint of competition between these two and neither of them like to be bested by the other.
Aragorn seriously does NOT want Maewen in Minas Tirith. As you say...a loose canon....and one which would ignore warnings just as Legolas did. And he knows Elrohir is on the way.....and he knows Elrohir and Maewen are an awkward mix right now from Elrohir’s point of view .....and he knows he himself finds the Elrohir/Maewen/Legolas thing difficult. He does not need to churn up his own feelings by having that play out right in front of him.
As for Arwen. You are right, the elves are far less hierarchical than the Gondorians historically but despite the fact within their own societies there is more equality between Kings and their people I do think between the different types of elves themselves that Class system is there.
Certainly Legolas has felt it...Silvan vs Noldor. And Oropher had no hesitation marching in and “leading” the Silvans as a Sindar. More Dangerous, less wise. I think Arwen is showing her Noldor stripes here. With the feeling the Silvans are somewhat less. As those elves who have not seen the light of the trees are “less”
The Sons of Feanor where more egalitarian in their relationships with the Avari and Silvan but the rest of the Noldor and even the Sindar? they looked down on their Silvan cousins.
I do think even Elrond suffered from this viewpoint of the Silvans being “less” although perhaps he didn’t wish to. Perhaps logically he didn’t believe it, but still.....it was there. Most obvious re the Last Alliance.
Arwen is being condescending here. Shades of Galadriel perhaps who very much DID crave power and leadership and control over others. I do think Galadriel considered herself better than her Silvan underlings. (Much as I love Galadriel for her battles as a female in a sexist society.)
Next chapter is Arwen/Legolas.
and yes....how will Rhíwiel go down in the royal family.....perhaps not well. At least she has a champion in Legolas!
I really love Legolas in this story. I love him in all your stories but there is such a difference here in him, compared to Fire. He is more rational, able to qualify and quantify his feelings, reactions, able to look at himself critically and find his faults and accept them. It is a testament to the healing he has undergone since Fire I think. The help of Gimli, in putting him back together and Elrohir in smoothing the roughened edges. I also think the sea longing is at bay currently and that make such a humongous difference. He certainly does have recurrent concussion syndrome though. It takes less and less of an injury to bring his faculties into disarray, even if it is temporary. I like the idea of him struggling for words. It fits so well with the whole injury pattern and his dysgraphia.
Now the story makes sense! There had to be some reason he was overpowered so easily! The distraction of the breeze makes sense here. WE have seen him distracted by the sea air in the past, Ithilien's breeze with its hints of home and Maewen would have an effect on him, so long has he been gone. And again he rationalized correctly--he had been warned but he let his guard done, naively and willfully. And has paid for it.
My heart broke that he thought Eldarion had condoned the attack, even if he only thought it for a moment. He loves that boy to distraction and a betrayal of that magnitude would crush Legolas heart. And he could see how bewildered, terrified and upset Eldarion was--something Aragorn has not quite realized. At least Legolas knows Eldarion was aghast and that somehow he will also realize Eldarion got him back.
I love lonely Legolas poking exhausted Aragorn awake. It's such a moment between them--endearing.
Arwen is a breath of fresh air, coming into the room with gentleness and sweetness and such a calming presence. It amuses me that she calls him little one and that it rankles with him! She has a feel of Elrohir in this scene to me--that ability to sense and calm a fea that her older brother has, that ability to reach deep into the other's soul to soothe it. And she does it so well here. She is just the balm Legolas needs at this moment.
But all is not well. I can understand her agitation that Legolas thinks Aragorn is angry with him and I can also sympathize with her irritation with Aragorn--he has lived among Elves for decades. He knows they can sense his fear and its emotions. She is right--he should be shielding himself better because he is not help to Legolas when he is broadcasting anger and generalized spikiness without a definite target. But she is less gentle with Aragorn than typically and he is quite testy with her.
I think they are both right and wrong about Eldarion. He is old enough to know better but they have somewhat coddled him. Aragorn has not given him enough responsibility and he has not grown into the position of crown prince yet as he should. He is not a boy in years and Aragorn is right about that. But I also think Arwen has a point here too--he is still a boy because my suspicion is that Eldarion is not only leaning towards his Elven heritage but that he is maturing at a slower pace than a pure Man would. He is not quite as protracted and slow as an Elf but definitely slower than mortals. Arwen sees this but I don't think she has addressed it in any way. And Legolas is right--he has sensed it and he is correct about it. It has left Eldarion in an awkward situation--old enough by the standards of Men to be doing far more and having far more sense but still young enough in Elven ways that he thinks more like a teen than a mature young man. IT is obviously something Aragorn and Arwen have been at odds over offscreen.
And Aragorn is in an awful situation. HE wants to help but he cannot, as King, rescue his son from this situation. He warned him. He tried to fend this off. He was rebuffed and ignored. And now the situation has escalated to the point that a father may not intervene and the King must let things take their course, if he is to maintain control of his kingdom and the respect of his people. Ugh.
On a side note- Elrohir will fuss like a mother hen and also be absolute incandescent with rage about this whole thing. Aragorn, Arwen and Eldarion will not be spared I fear.
Legolas in this story is, I think, the absolute best he can be in Arda now. In fact despite his damage he is a better Legolas than the undamaged one we saw in “Lost in Translation” and “Hands” . That Legolas would not have been able to rationalise as he does here, or admit his faults so easily, if only to himself. He is undamaged Legolas grown up. As he says, he cannot recognise his younger self now when he looks back at that moment in the Hornburg when his youth and inexperience really did shine through.
My Legolas, when we first met him in Imladris, was very young (by Elven standards) and inexperienced with the ways of the world beyond his woods. Perhaps Thranduil—like Aragorn has—overprotected his son in a way. To make up for having to send him to fight in the south, to make up for the loss of Laerion.... Don’t get me wrong, that young Legolas was far more experienced than Eldarion in war. He had been fighting for his home for many long years, but politically and culturally he was naive and uneducated. I wonder if Legolas sees something of himself in Eldarion right now, when he saw that terrified boy come around the corner. And perhaps that is why he begins to ask questions about Eldarion’s maturing.
He recognises an elven youngness about him.
Having just come from Elrohir, (and presumably Gimli) with the sealonging at bay, this is Legolas at his best.
Aragorn and. Arwen are indeed at odds as I have never written them before. Parenting sucks sometimes. Arwen has much unspoken guilt over the years at the elven fea she feels within her son and she overcompensates because of it. Perhaps they are both beginning to realise they have erred in cosseting Eldarion for so long and they react to that realisation differently. Arwen tries to back pedal and say, “well he is only young” (and as Mothers we always see our children as perhaps younger than they are) Aragorn does the opposite he thinks, “I’ve left it too long...time now to make him act his age.”
Arwen is unfair here though. She makes the mistake of expecting Aragorn to act as a Father when right now he has to be King. At the moment, in this tense political situation, Aragorn is King and Eldarion is his subject and it HAS to be that way. One foot wrong from Aragorn and Eldarion’s fate in front of the Lords will be shattered. As Aragorn says, Eldarion has to be SEEN to be learning a lesson. It must be obvious to all his father is displeased and measures are being taken. It’s not about whether Aragorn thinks Eldarion needs to learn that lesson...he knows Eldarion is regretful and miserable....but the Lords must see it as well.
I think this is something Arwen has never experienced. Elrond was not King. He was a Lord, yes, he ruled Imladris but deliberately not as King. There is a difference there in the way Aragorn must act compared to how Elrond may have. Legolas will understand this far better. His father was a King as well and you can bet your bottom dollar Thranduil would have managed a similar situation exactly as Aragorn is. Elrond did not have to be so dictatorial, nor did he have quite as much politics to deal with.
so Arwen just isn’t getting it at the moment.
I love that you liked that moment between Aragorn and Legolas—when Legolas cannot resist waking him because he needs the company and friendship despite knowing he shouldn’t. :-)
oh and that moment Legolas first saw Eldarion, before he realised he was just a frightened boy....yeah....crushing. Absolutely soul-destroying those few seconds, when he thought his boy had turned against him.
Im so glad you have Aragorn’s back in this. It’s really important to me someone understands just how awful the situation he finds himself in is. It’s a political nightmare with his son at the centre.
and yes:Elrohir will indeed fuss like a mother hen.....and incandescent rage? Oh yes, yes indeed.
I wondered if the head wound would exacerbate his existing problems. Losing his language skills is not good when they're already having trouble communicating. I'm glad Arwen can understand him at any rate. Poor Legolas nothing good ever seems to happen to him in Minas Tirith.
I loved how he described getting distracted, btw. I thought it unlikely that mere men could overwhelm him, but having him distracted by thoughts of Maewen explains it.
Yes, Legolas has a vulnerability there now.....post concussion syndrome you could say. Head trauma of any kind is not easy for him to recover from. Minas Tirith is indeed not a great place for him.
Glad you liked his distraction! Fairly key that was semi-convincing or the whole story falls apart. But this Legolas, with his damaged fea, is distractible and he has been a long time away from Maewen. I could see it happening so I hoped the readers could also!! He should have known better. Aragorn HAD warned him after all.
What a most excellent story. I'm enjoying every chapter. The angst and turmoil you have written is tense and emotional. I can't wait for more.
Thank you! Glad you are enjoying it. This is a story that is just writing itself so far! It’s great to know your reading it :-)
Yes Eldarion is hesitant--he knows he has majorly screwed up and his father will not mince words. But I don't think Eldarion has any idea just what an awful position he has put his father and the kingdom in. He hasn't thought it through, hasn't seen the ramifications that are immediately apparent to Aragorn.
The attack on Legolas is utterly horrific, as is the state he is now in. But in truth Legolas has been more sorely injured before. He will recover. But the entire incident and general temperament in the city makes it more perilous. A hate crime has been perpetrated against a foreign national, an ally no less, one who works in close collaboration with Faramlr in Ithilien. This has political ramifications of the highest order. This Lord has been fomenting discord in the capital. Eldarion has not grasped the scope of this but he's about to be given a crash course in it!
I love how Aragorn's first instinct is as a healer and father--is the boy truly uninsured? When the answer is yes he is uninjured then Aragkrn can unleash his absolute anger, frustration, and exasperation.
And does he! He's blunt about being angry. He cuts off Eldarion's apologies and "I know's" because it is crystal clear to Aragorn that Eldarion does NOT know the extent of the fallout that will occur, he does NOT know how this will be perceived, he does NOT know this is going to shake the foundations of relationships, he does NOT know that it is not going to be enough to have Eldarion get a private reprimand from Aragorn and be able to go on his way. It is not the father that must get to the bottom of this, not the father who must mete out justice, not the father who must lay down the law in such a way that NOTHING like this can happen again--it has to be the King. And the King can't cover for his son.
And part of what drives Aragorn's fury--in conjunction with his concern for Legolas, in addition to his exasperation that he WARNED Eldarion of just this, in his righteous anger at not even having a culprit to arrest, in rage that his own son is the convenient alibi for slimy Lord A--is the fact that as a father his hands are tied with respect to helping Eldarion or easing the situation. Eldarion does not perceive this--he just sees the wrath and bears the brunt of it--but Aragorn knows he cannot be seen as lenient, he cannot be seen to be complicit in protecting his son. He must recuse himself and put wise, just, impartial Faramir in charge. The bind Eldarion and his careless, inopportune and willful actions have put Aragorn in is insurmountable. He has no other recourse and that is no doubt a heavy burden for Aragorn, especially as it could have been entirely preventable. They didn't need to get to this point but now that they are here the die is cast.
And how it must rankle that the only defense he can provide is to bear witness to the naïveté and inexperience of his son. Which is the last thing he wants to have to do and the last thing Eldarion wants to hear.
I know it seems like I am giving Aragorn a pass in this chapter. He's not handling this the best and it seems he is not listening to all Eldarion is saying but I think he actually is--but he is triaging the information based on acuity.
First and foremost he desperately needs to know what happened--where, when, how, who. And unfortunately Eldarion has few to no answers for him. Eldarion did the only thing he could do in that moment to get Legolas safe. But it isn't helping Aragorn mete out justice at all.
He needs to let Eldarion know that much is now out of their hands; Aragorn will put all his diplomatic skill into soothing his incensed allies--Ithilien and Thranduil--to prevent any escalation. He will provide character witness for Eldarion but Faramir and the council will have the ultimate authority. And Eldarion must be low-key, little seen, out of the spotlight. These are the priorities.
He heard what Eldarion said--
“I did not want to, but there was just me . . . Just me. I did not know where we were. Legolas was bound and injured and could not help me. I wanted to get him help. That was all I wanted and allowing them to go . . . it seemed the safest way, the only way to do that. I am not you, Father. I cannot command men with a look. I am Eldarion, not Aragorn!”
He looks at me in silence for the longest time, his fingers drumming upon the desk.
Oh yes Aragorn heard that. He comprehended the depth of it,the anguish of it. But this isn't the time or place to deal with that issue. The pressing concerns demand his full attention and he needs a clear head and a calm composure to deal with what Eldarion just said--he isn't capable of that right now.
There is pain in this admission of Aragorn's: "I can only do so much, Eldarion.”
His hands are tied and there is too much for him to attempt to immediately salvage as king that he cannot address the fatherly issues right this minute as well. He gives an order, as a King, an order that must be obeyed if he is to salvage anything.
Eldarion may not have meant to undermine Aragorn the father or Elessar the King but that is exactly what he unwittingly and negligently did. And until Elessar untangles this mess there won't be opportunity to bridge the chasm--a chasm that is not as insurmountable as Eldarion believes.
Eldarion is as quick as "Birds" Estel to overreact to the actions/words of those around him and miss the larger picture. I hope some contemplation in the libraries and some time with Arwen put things in more perspective.
I realize I am likely in the minority in seeing Aragorn's side of things. But as a parent and as a former Manager I can empathize with the position he is in.
I knew, and fully expected, Aragorn would get flack for this chapter. As you say he is blunt with his anger. He does not mince words, he appears not to listen. He spends much of his time cutting Eldarion off as he tries to make amends.
The thing is Eldarion CANT make amends for this. He just can’t. Not right now. Anything he says comes across as meaningless platitudes so he is better simply not saying it.
And Eldarion shows just how naive he is here. He has no clue.....no idea....of the impossible situation he has placed his father in. He only begins to grasp it near the end of this scene. He was still operating as a child here. As he says, somewhat taken aback...”this is worse than my previous childhood misdemeanours. Father does not talk about sending me to my room.” Oh no he doesn’t, Eldarion. He talks about serious adult consequences. He talks about punishment he has to place out of his hands. Aragorn now has to give others power over his son.
Luckily he has Faramir who is the perfect overseer and this is the only bright spot in this scenario. Faramir works closely with Legolas so ideal to represent Ithilien and Legolas, but also he is Denethor’s son and so assuages the concerns of Lords still loyal to Denethor and resentful of Aragorn. Faramir being in charge reduces the likelihood of them being able to twist this to their advantage.
Plus Faramir knows and loves Eldarion and Aragorn can be sure any decision made by him will be fair and above reproach.
But still....it’s out of his hands and that hurts. This Lord will show up having gone away and thought about his next move and you can bet your bottom dollar he will throw Eldarion to the wolves to try and save himself. And there will be Lords on this council who will be on his side and enjoy watching him do that. Eldarion is so politically ignorant.
And yes, Aragorn must stand up and admit his son was naive, inept, uneducated. He has said he will take as much blame as he can himself. How difficult is that to do as a King, he is having to admit weakness. Say I have failed in the raising my heir. It’s tough, and awful.
Then there is Ithilien and Thranduil to deal with. Attacking the Elvenkings son like this.....it is an act of war. Not that I think Aragorn believes for a second Thranduil will march on Minas Tirith but he could well do if he chose. He (and I) haven’t decided how to deal with Ithilien yet. It is something I am thinking on...if he will even tell them. The last thing Aragorn wants is more elves in his city while things are in turmoil and he cannot guarantee their safety. But neither Maewen or Erynion will stay away if they hear about this. Aragorn may well try and keep them ignorant for as long as he can. I am thinking on it. What do you think?
So yes, by sending Eldarion away to the scribes out of sight and out of reach he is trying to protect him. He has no faith in Eldarion’s ability to protect himself and not be foolish enough to say or do something which will make things worse.
Aragorns one failing in this....and he is still doing it to some extent...is not being open enough with his son. He still hasn’t really laid out in plain language exactly what he has to deal with here or what he is afraid of. Eldarion is beginning to grasp it but much is still hidden and the political machinations he doesn’t have a clue about.
That admission of Aragorn’s at the end....it sums it all up. He is so powerless in this as regards his son and he hates that.
And we haven’t even begun to touch on his personal relationships with Elladan, Elrohir, and Gimli.......
P.S. I hope we see Legolas next chapter. I need to know he’s okay.
Next chapter is from Leggy’s perspective :-)
I get that Aragorn has to make a clear statement that he will punish the perpetrators. I really do. Doesn’t stop me wanting to kick him in the nuts, though.
Also, as a father, Aragorn’s really slipped up. He hasn’t really listened to Eldarion and he’s told him to stay out of the way instead of considering Eldarion might have something to offer the investigation. Not much sign that he’s actively nurturing his son’s talents.
Ha ha. Actually I think he’s quite lucky to get away with just a nut kick from you. I was expecting worse! He is between a rock and a hard place here. He does want to protect his son but Eldarion is making it very hard for him.
You’re right. He doesn’t do a great job of listening but I think right now he has too much on his mind for the touchy feely stuff. This Lord will try and hang Eldarion out to dry and Aragorn knows that. He shuts his son away down in the library to protect him...to stop him further incriminating himself. Eldarion has left him with a political nightmare. I think right now he’s all about trying to get the best possible outcome for Eldarion.