Oh dear. I was expecting it to be awful and I was right. Poor Legolas!! I swear you and Ziggy have lost him all his blood volume at least twice over in your stories!! The fact that I know he is ok in Birds is all that's keeping me calm right now. Another serious head injury, on top of his previous one (ones) really worries me!
Fear choked him, so aptly described, but it didn't manage to silence him.
Good for Eldarion. He chides himself at having no skills and no commanding presence but he is wrong. He channeled what he knows of his father and got it done, even though he indirectly got them all in this mess in the first place. He stood up to Lord thingy--and Lord thingy is still far toopresumptuous and overconfident, even if he did slink away with his things.
I'm sure Legolas thrashed that first guy to bits. I'm sure the other thugs have injuries we aren't seeing but one surprised, weapon-less Elf vs four armed men isn't going to go all that well for Legolas. Once his hands were tied his options became far more limited and he is more injured than we think if he was unable to fall gracefully, even that short distance. Legs not able to hold him up?
I can just picture Eldarion carrying him, talking to himself, talking to unresponsive Legolas just to keep himself going. He wants Legolas to wake up and take charge, tell him what to do. But up until now he hadn't wanted anyone to tell him what to do--he wanted his own agency, own decisions. Didn't work out so well and in his fear, anguish and dismay he is looking for someone to take control of the situation --Legolas, Aragorn, Daegal. But he did take control of the situation--he got Legolas away from them. He had to make a choice, one that was difficult but ultimately he had to know what he was willing to give up to get what he wanted. He had to give up arresting the men in order to get Legolas away and to medical care--it's a split second decision trade off. An adult reckoning and decision. He didn't give himself enough credit for how he handled that.
But he's right. Aragorn will be furious that thus happened, outraged and terrified at Legoloas' injuries. How he will react to Eldarion's role in this--I just don't know. His anger will be immediate, his concern for Legolas outweighing his other concerns--we saw that in Fire. He may be grateful his son was there and brought him back but there will be anger over the whole situation that led to this--and Eldarion is on account for that. Ugh.
What a stressful chapter!!! But really cheeky! Poor Legolas!
Come on now....you knew it would end badly didn’t you?
And actually it could have been a lot worse. Eldarion did a stellar job here for someone who isn’t used to throwing his weight around. The one positive ability he hasnt told us about is his quick, clever mind. Though terrified he summed up the situation accurately. The choice he made under pressure feels like a bad one but is in fact 100% right. Let the men go.....encourage them to leave ASAP before they figure out you aren’t that much of a physical threat.
The difference between he and Aragorn here boils down to confidence, life experience and that ability of Aragorn’s to people read which Eldarion has not yet developed. (Though I think given time he could be equally astute and adept at that, his elven”foresight” could help him)
Aragorn would have known Lord Thingy was a coward and known the educated risk of challenging him would likely pay off. Eldarion sort of tumbled into doing that and was surprised at its effectiveness.
I loved how you summed up his youth here. He has railed against the adults around him trying to advise him. He has been all, “I know what I am doing. I am my own man, don’t meddle in my decisions” then suddenly, when the chips are down and he really has to indulge in some serious adulting all he wants is someone to come along and take charge...his father...Legolas...Daegal...anyone! Anyone but him!
Still he manages to calm his panic, make logical decisions and get them to help. He did ok.
He does not recognise that though.
And yes, Aragorn..... I don’t think I give too much away when I tell you it won’t be pretty. Legolas is Aragorn’s Achilles heel. He WILL react badly to this. It’s a complex maelstrom for Aragorn. The fact it is Legolas, the fact his son has contributed to the situation while also being so hurtful along the way, the fact his people have done this.
Dont worry....Arwen will be around.
As for Legolas. Spot on...he had more injuries when Eldarion arrived than a simple split lip. It will have taken significant force to subdue him and get those ropes on him. The fact he is on his feet with fire in his eyes is deceptive....he is elven....considerable damage can be hidden by his elven strength and Eldarion...although well on the way to being a talented healer.....has had little experience with healing elves. Likely he did not assess Legolas accurately. Aragorn would have noticed subtle differences in stance etc etc which indicted a worse state.
But also remember Eldarion here is an unreliable narrator due to his fear. What he tells us of the head injury received by falling may be exaggerated by his panic. (And head lacerations always look disasterous.) The enforced captivity is significant here. And Legolas’ past history re reaction to trauma.
I am expecting much push back from readers who don’t know my characters, especially Aragorn, as well as you after the next chapter....sigh....
Nooo! Poor Legolas! I think I need to start up a Society Against Cruelty to Legolas. You and Ziggy would definitely feature on the blacklist.
But poor Eldarion's really going to blame himself, even though there was no way he could have predicted Legolas would fall like that. He rescued Legolas single-handed and unarmed. I hope Aragorn recognises that and praises him. Somehow I doubt that - he'll be too focused on healing Legolas and finding Lord Thingy. But we shall see...
Poor Eldarion indeed. He WILL blame himself and others will blame him too. His father for one. ......and then there’s Elrohir......He’s not going to be that chuffed about this either.
Despite beeing a complete fool and getting them all into this situation Eldarion actually did a great job here! But he doesn’t see that and it may be awhile before someone tells him that.
Poor baby. I feel more sorry for him than Legolas right now.
Hmm....I’m a bit afraid of your potential reviews! I think you may not like some of what’s coming!
LOL! I'm already standing vigil outside Ziggy's house until she frees Legolas. Don't make me come all the way to you as well :D
I think Aragorn has more to worry about than me!
Yay for Eldarion! I like him much better than Aragorn! He may feel inadequate compared to his father, but at least he's prepared to admit to his mistakes and try to put them right, no matter the cost.
But I do worry about the cost of trying to save Legolas. Lord Thingy will have no use for Eldarion now he knows Eldarion has seen through him. What's going to happen? I can only hope Legolas is in a condition to fight.
Eldarion’s problem I think is that he focuses too much on his mistakes. He has told us now of many talents he has but he places no value on any of them....only on the areas he feels are lacking.
He..,.and Legolas...are in a very tight situation right now. But Lord Thingy...as with many Men like this (who attack the weak) is a coward so that may work in their favour.
Hmm....I’m a bit afraid of your potential reviews! I think you may not like some of what’s coming!
sometimes I hate it, being a Prince . . . I know it has given me an an easier life but I never see the truth. People are always pretending . . . Pretending to like me, pretending to be something they are not. Sometimes it feels nothing in my life is real. This is such a sad moment. It's an unfortunate realization. Not completely accurate but true enough he can convince himself of its veracity.
No one at the palace ever asks my opinion I doubt this is completely accurate but he is wallowing a bit now.
And he definitely allows himself to wallow for a bit, those first moments in Lord A's house. But at least the girl has put an idea, a concern in his mind.
And it seems all is as usual until the messenger arrives and Lord A shows a bit of his true colors in front of Eldarion, including the suspicion of violence against the messenger.
I LOVE that he hides in the shadows to see what is amiss with Lord A. Smart boy.
good description of what I mean but it is the only one that comes close. My Mother can see inside your mind. I am not sure if she ever does it to me—I cannot sense it—but Legolas is constantly complaining about it. He knows when she has been there, even just the slightest touch. My mind is my own, Arwen! Ask before you help yourself to it, he says. It is the only thing I have ever seen them argue about.
I cannot do that; mind speak, I am not an elf; but I do feel things, a tingling, a knowing what is around the corner before I reach it. It is a strange sensation. I feel it now. I love learning this about him. It does not surprise me. I did laugh at the Legolas and Arwen mind speak squabbles!
But this is still so devastatingly sad because it is a vestige of his denied Elven heritage, one he cannot fully claim, even though it is reaching out to him and he has no recourse. Ugh!!
And the next part is so chilling and must hurt Eldarion in such countless ways--the verification of Lord A's lies and manipulation. How Eldarion must hurt to hear that, to know he has been so easily duped and those who love him truly were trying to protect him, to open his eyes, to avoid THIS. And how it must destroy him to hear he is considered complicit in the bigotry and hatred, that somehow people think he countenances this.
But the realization that it is Legolas who is there, a target, hurt because of him--that is the hardest blow. And the idea, crystallizing, that he is in an awful bind right now--and he is second guessing himself so deeply.
This is a devastating chapter. Eldarion's self esteem, self worth, self regard are in tatters--worse then before, if possible. His self recriminations are severe--this is the one person he ADORES, that he has loved his whole life, who has been damaged by this city of Men before and who he has willingly put in danger, even if he didn't realize it would come to this. Ugh. Ugh ugh.
And my poor dear Legolas. What is to become of him?
It is sad. That Eldarion feels constantly lied to....but I think that is something common to all rulers. People are not honest with them. They usually want something and so will be what they think the ruler wants them to be. I think this might be part of what attracts Eldarion to Rhíwiel. We have already seen her challenge him. She is obviously prepared to say things he does not like hearing.
And he has listened to her where he would not listen to his father or Legolas.
You are right...he is wallowing at the beginning...”poor me, no-one treats me right” There is probably truth to it but I doubt it is as bad as he says. I think he has grown up a bit while he was away being fostered with Faramir and Aragorn is struggling to catch up with that. Aragorn maybe should have been giving Eldarion a bit of responsibility, beginning to include him in discussions more and simply hadn’t thought of that. Then this Lord has suddenly started asking his advice as if he was an adult and he is just so open to that...gullible.
I am enjoying revealing Eldarion bit by bit. So he feels he is elven, and this ability he has...a watered-down foresight, is obviously elven too, but blunted by his enforced mortality. Now we also know he is good with his hands and a skilled tracker like his father. He has told us he is ordinary...nothing special compared to his father, and that feeling obviously goes deep. But he has also admitted to many talents. He just doesn’t recognise them as useful.
Glad you liked the squabbles between Arwen and Legolas about her mind reading. Legolas has mentioned his irritation about that multiple times in many stories, and yet she still cannot resist doing it. I think she feels very isolated in Minas Tirith. She misses that fea connection, that extra sense the elves have that humans do not. Surrounded by Men there is no-one who’s fea she can connect with. I had Legolas once describe it as feeling as if his friends were all behind glass. So when Legolas arrives on his visits Arwen cannot help herself and overreaches which results in her trespassing on his privacy.
And then we reach the moment of Eldarion’s beginning to learn his lesson...and it is painful. He has been duped, lied to, manipulated, and it has placed someone he loves in jeopardy. Not only that he is seen as complicit in that...as if he agrees with it.
And you can imagine what his Father is going to say about this....and his uncle.....
And yes: It’s dawning on him that he has placed himself in a VERY dangerous position. He really has his back against the wall here. There is no help coming and yet he must do something. He is outnumbered and has no self belief he can deal with this. He wants Dad to march in and save them but Dad isn’t there. The only one in a position to do something is him :-o
And, of course, time is not on Eldarion and Rhiwiel’s side. With Legolas, there was no rush to marry and produce heirs. Eldarion doesn’t have the luxury of being able to wait a few hundred years while he sorts out his feelings and let his dad get used to the idea!
How did you know Dad was going to have a problem with this?!!
Oh, I like Rhiwiel. I’ll try to remember her name! Seeing them together reminds me of Legolas and Maewen at the start of their relationship.
Now. What’s happening with Legolas? I haven’t forgotten he’s dashed off unarmed...
I’m pleased you like her. There is Lord Thingy and she can be Girl Thingy.
They ARE in a similar situation to Legolas and Maewen status-wise. Except that the Silvan elves were completely accepting of the status issue and the Gondorions definitely will not be. Legolas and Maewen only had to sort the issues out between each other, (Legolas didn’t really believe Maewen loved him for himself and not because he was Prince) Eldarion and Rhíwiel,(its easy for me to remember her name because predictive text gives it to me!) will have to battle society which says this is NOT ok.
As for Legolas......haven’t forgotten about him either!
This is so heartbreaking. He has such an overwhelming sense of inadequacy, of not being enough. And in his eyes he can never be enough. His father is all of the superlatives and even if Eldarion is superb at something, still by comparison he will be found lacking.
All those years when Aragorn suffered and was shunned and mistreated--Eldarion does not know of that. Does but know how poorly his father was regarded by the very people he was protecting. Would that make a difference? I don't know if he would truly believe it.
His yearning to be Elven is devastating because he never had a choice about it. His blood has given him yet affinity but he is not allowed to explore or embrace it. He is just left with this unfulfilled yearning. And it is all for nothing. It's almost the exact opposite of Elrohir's situation --he was drawn to the choice of Men and was guilt stricken and conflicted about it. But at least he has a choice. Eldarion does not have that choice. No matter how conflicted in the end he has no other path to tread than the mortal one, despite the leaning of his heart, head and fëa.
Oh this lord whatever thingy is slimy! Couching his arguments in concern for the Elves, in false empathy with their supposed longing for Eryn Lasgalen. Doing it for them, when Aragorn is supposedly being so cruel, because he does not want to be parted from Legolas. As if Legolas would ever fully leave this place, while Aragorn lived. The Elves have done a great service! For love of Aragorn, the land of Ithilien and respect for the people of Gondor. This lord whatshisname has judged Eldarion and ferreted out his weaknesses. It's disgusting.
And Eldarion taking Aragorn's arguments back to lord thingy is only helping lord thingy create stronger arguments because he can see how Aragorn and Eldarion think, with those exchanges.
It is naive of Eldarion to think Legolas could answer the questions Eldarion has, when Eldarion has truly botched his approach to Legolas on this subject. This is a subject close to Legolas heart and soul and Eldarion is not truly appreciating how much this hurts Legolas.
His affairs of the heart are tumultuous--he does still harbour confusion and resentment about the ithilien incident. He thought it was love and it might have been to him but now it's been layered with a tinge of inappropriateness--not for the same sex aspect, as Eldarion might be making himself believe, but for the age difference and inequality of the relationship.
This girl brings him joy, that's obvious. It seems his attractions are fluid between the genders. But he sees this as doomed also, due to their respective stations. It seems to me Eldarion has few confidants. Who does he open his heart to? I would have assumed Legolas but I think the Ithilien incident closed that door. Elladan and Elrohir are too far, his own siblings too young. He is at such odds with his parents he cannot speak to them of this either. I think he feels alone and that also makes him ripe for manipulation.
I am glad she is telling him her reservations about lord whateverhisnameis. He sounds like such a shady character but still Eldarion defends him. It seems to me Eldarion is in need of eventually getting a crash course in how the other half lives--Aragorn lived in poverty, misery, scorn but Eldarion's existence has been soft and protected.
I hope she gets through to him. I hope he listens to her.
I did appreciate the care he put into Legolas' bow. The caring, thoughtful, kind boy is there still.
Heartbreak moment when he admits he is very skilled at carving but that it can play no part in his life. That made me sad.
But I am quite upset at the idea of Legolas wandering around Minas Tirith, distracted by his foul mood after the confrontation and having no weapons! I hope he has a dagger or one or his knives!
Gosh I love your reviews SO much!
so yeah....Eldarion....lots of problems. He is a confused, anchorless, lonely young man.
He can never match his father...in anything that counts, he thinks. It’s a good question...would knowing about Aragorn’s struggles in earlier years help? I think not. Eldarion does know the stories of course, many of them as boyhood tales, but even if he could understand what that was like I feel he would see it as another’s example of his father’s greatness, achieving it all against the odds whereas he himself has things handed to him on a plate.
The elven thing...which we talked about yesterday, is beyond cruel. Eventually he will find a way to accept this is how it is and live his life despite it but for now...it’s soul destroying.
Now you get a glimpse of how Lord Thingy/Arderthron is playing this. Told you he was a clever manipulative creature, which of course Aragorn can see but Eldarion does not. He targets Eldarion’s weak spots all the while making himself seem kind and caring. Eldarion Hands him Aragorn on a plate returning with his father’s arguments so Lord A knows exactly what his opponent is thinking. And Eldarion is desperate for companionship, friendship, and someone to tell him he has something worthwhile to give. A sitting duck.
He royally screwed up getting any help from Legolas. His clumsy teenage words shot him in the foot. Yet he does want Legolas’ council and his friendship. He wants to make things right between them. For Eldarion this isn’t about elf hatred at all.
He is so confused....confused about how to find a way to make his mark, about his role. Confused about his sexuality. How many bisexual people does Eldarion know? There’s Legolas...but he’s an elf. Has he ever met any bisexual Men? Doubtful. Are there any? Possibly his fluid sexuality is his elven blood shining through. So he does not yet understnad how he could think he loved a man...and then also love a woman. One of them must not have been love after all... and now that he has fallen for this girl he thinks that means he doesnt/cant love Men at all.
I think Legolas, when dealing with this Ithilien love affair completely forgot about the stigma Men have for same sex relationships. He was so worried about the age thing he missed the fact Eldarion May well tangle himself in knots about that later.
The girl...well yes he loves her. He doesn’t quite realise how much yet. And she’s good for him...and possibly the only person he has around to talk to. But society is against them. They met in the healing halls as students which evened things out a bit but now...in the real world...it’s so hard for them. She’s very aware of her status and he is ignorant about the reality of her world.
But she will speak her mind. She sees him sailing towards danger and she doesn’t want that to happen. She maybe the only one he will listen to. She is more clued up about the reality of the world than Eldarion. Her life has been a hard one.
As you say, Eldarion has no one to go to. He is clashing with his parents because of his age. His siblings are too young, his friends....all lower status. He has no equals like Aragorn does. Perhaps Elboron but he isnt there. Legolas would have been the one he normally would go to and he is still tentatively trying for that but yes. The Ithilien incident has damaged their openness with each other.
Hes just all on his own and ripe for manipulation.
as for Leggy......well Aragorn and The captain of the Guard DID tell him to stay in the palace!
There seems to be so much going on with Eldarion. So he was in love with one of Legolas's elves - that explains a lot. How sad that while his mother and uncles were able to choose between an immortal or mortal life, he himself was denied that choice, and therefore the freedom to love a male. But there also seems to be a lack of belief in his own abilities, or a feeling he falls short of Aragorn's high standards. Not sure if I read that correctly. Anyway, Lord Thingy is nasty piece of work, and is clearly working to widen the gulf between Eldarion and Aragorn.
And now Legolas is out on his own without his bow. Should I be worried? Considering your love of Legolas-torment, I think I should be!
There IS a lot going on with him. There has to be to justify him being vulnerable to the kind of tactics Lord Thingy is using.
All these things are playing a part, his resentment at the loss of his elvenness, his sexual experimentation and his inferiority complex.
I don’t think you can strip away a whole part of someone’s identity without there being problems and that’s what the Valar have done to Eldarion.
And following in Aragorn’s footsteps? How easy is THAT going to be for a young man?
Should you be worried Legolas goes out on the streets by himself when Aragorn and the Captain of the Guard have told him not to....and doesn’t take his weapons with him?
I like the fact that Legolas is centering himself before this inevitable confrontation. He looked, but not too hard. Good. Eldarion came to him. Also good. Legolas turns it to Arwen--well done. It deflects from his own offense and turns the tables a bit. Legolas starts off very well.
the next bit, regarding the Elven heritage is spot on. You can see it in him--it would be obvious to any Elf that Eldarion has Elven heritage. But this bit, taking is back to that other story, really focuses on an issue that likely is not completely laid to rest.
“If she did not make the choices she has you would not be here at all, Eldarion,” I say softly but I wonder .. . Can it be he resents his mortality? I thought we had dealt with that long ago.
I remember the small boy stuck on a ledge halfway up the walls who told me, when I had scrambled up to save him, that he had been trying to be an elf. Like me .. . Like his mother. Is that small boy still inside Eldarion somewhere? Is that what this is all about?
Two telling statements here in this next exchange. I think Eldarion chafes at not being as good, as powerful, as learned, as skilled, as Aragorn. How can he ever expect accomplish anything as renowned or miraculous as Aragorn? A king rising from the past ages, playing a role in defeating the power that plagued Elves and Men for Ages, marrying an Elf of unsurpassed beauty? What could he ever do to come close? Hard act to follow. And Legolas with a dig at Imladris!
“The only thing I am better at than Father,” he sighs, and he is right when he says he bests his father at archery. Aragorn’s stance has always been terrible. I have no idea what they were thinking in Imladris when they trained him.
And here it is: Lord Aderthron makes Eldarion feel as if he has something that Aragorn does not--he flatters Eldarion and the boy has fallen for it. And he tells him what Eldarion craves to hear and spreads his poison in other ears.
Legolas is remaining remarkably calm despite his growing annoyance. He's been an oasis for more than a few minutes which is more than I expected.
Good to memtion the rock! That should shock Eldarion and it does but his defense of Ardethron returns which means he is in deep, as Aragorn fears.
OMG. Eldarion what are you saying?? His elves are with each other? Corruption? That Aragorn tolerates it because of Elrohir and Legolas?
“I am using it!” He cries. “We are not the same as you. Men see the way your people are with each other and copy it. It is wrong, Legolas. It corrupts us and Father should stop it, but because of you and Elrohir—“ he cuts himself off then. Perhaps it is the expression of rage on my face that reminds him he has gone to far.
“Elrohir and I corrupt you?” The words drop like ice from my tongue. “We corrupt your father?” I grab his arm to hold him still and he flinches. I know my grip is perhaps too firm but elbereth, at this moment I want to shake him.
“I have no problem with you .. .” He stammers. “But your way is not for us, that is all I mean.”
My oasis of calm just exploded at that. Elrohir will be LIVID.
And then the BOMBSHELL!!
“I know you do not believe this, Eldarion!” I hiss it so anyone passing cannot hear us. “Remember who you are talking to. I know!”
And his face drains of colour.
“That was a mistake,” he gasps. “You told me that.”
“I told you at that moment it was bad for you. Do not misquote me. I have handled this whole situation badly—right from the start—but perhaps I need to put that right and tell your father!”
Legolas is remarkably controlled so far and I too worry he may lose control soon, with all that is being said to him. Yet a part of me fears he left at the wrong time. A cornered, desperate Eldarion will do things without thought and he will feel cornered now, about this revelation. I feel a deep sense of foreboding.
And this sentiment does not bode well either.
And as I leave I berate myself for it is becoming clear; this is all my doing.
There it is. There is a history here that has been suppressed. A first love that was dealt with as Legolas felt must be but a resentment has likely lain dormant there since. Legolas was treating him as a young man until he heard of the dalliance--then he punished both Eldarion and his Ithilien elf, without realizing perhaps what message he was sending. If nothing else, that Eldarion was not capable of making his own decisions about such things--something that would have driven young Legolas wild, had it happened to him. A lovely moment in Ithilien turned sour for Eldarion and likely the feeling of a double standard. One for him, one for Legolas.
This would have hurt:
Eldarion, when I spoke to him, was all starry-eyed infatuation and first love. How he raged at me when I sent him back to Faramir as I had to. He was far too young and had no idea what he was doing. . .
Perhaps all I have done is create a hole in Eldarion’s heart for this Lord Arderthron to get his claws into and now he runs from himself?
It's festering. Still. And the threat of telling Aragorn may backfire, even if Legolas only speaks with Arwen.
The missing bow is ominous.
Wow! What a review!!
You caught all the things I wanted....all Eldarion’s issues....because there had to be more than one. He’s a clever boy (young man) he’s not going to fall into a trap like Arderthron’s for no reason.
The elven identity: I think it’s significant. I do think Eldarion actually looks quite elven. He has a big whack of elven blood. Arwen is called “half elven” but in fact she is not, she is actually more like 3/4. What we find here, especially with young part Maori, who have been separated from that side of their identity, by perhaps an absent father, or immigration to the cities, is that it causes problems...big problems, this being separated from a part of themselves. Of course Eldarion has his elven mother, he knows elven history, he has Legolas, but the whole of his identity as elven has been stripped from him. The Valar have taken it away from him. I can’t see that not having an impact. It did with Elros’ children too....see the mess the Númenorions became with their obsession about the elvish part of them they were denied.
And so Eldarion reacts angrily and resentfully, “see, I’m NOT elven because I have been denied that!”
Re Aragorn: absolutely! This is clever Lord Arderthron’s main basis of attack. (He doesn’t know about anything that happened in Ithilien) How can Eldarion EVER measure up to his father? In anything? He simply can’t. Aragorn is an extraordinary person, a one in a million. He saved the world for gods sake... is Isildur’s heir etc etc. the King Returned.
Eldarion as a young man trying to make his own path has no way to get close to matching his father. Lord Arderthron has thought on this. He has realised it is a vulnerability. He praises, he tells Eldarion he can do great things...he can make things better...do things another way. Eldarion laps it all up. Arderthron is careful not to say the poisoness anti-elf rhetoric in earshot of this child of an elf. Only when Eldarion is absent does he spread it.
And yes...the bombshell you already knew about. Here is a young man confused about his sexuality. He has dabbled in a same sex romantic attraction which ended in some amount of acrimony. WE know, to make things even more confusing, his sexuality is actually fluid...like Legolas’ Very difficult for Eldarion to sort through this. And he knows a large portion of his society would be very disapproving of the way he is.
So he runs from himself and his feelings. He blames Legolas and his people for their “influence” to remove the blame from himself and make his own feelings unreal.
Legolas had no choice but to act to end this romantic attachment. It was too unbalanced, bordering almost on grooming. Eldarion was too young and mortal, The elf was Silvan...with a completely different attitude to love and sex. And much, much older. There were problems between the two different races and cultures judging maturity and attitudes to attraction.
But the way it was ended was clumsy and full of anger. (Maybe there was no way to avoid that?) but definitely Legolas should have told Arwen way back then...if not Aragorn.
And now it has left the door open for Eldarion to pick up negative attitudes to homosexuality and adopt them. As Legolas says...to run from himself. To deny who he is by being anti it.....thinking it corrupt.
You are right. Legolas was extraordinarily controlled here...for the most part. I do think he has more control when communicating with Eldarion. To him Eldarion is still that small boy on the wall so he finds it easier to wind that temper of his in.
But saying he and Elrohir were corrupting people?? Oh that too much even from Eldarion. He had to leave before it all became a mess.
But you are right....it’s not a good place to end things, with the threat to tell all. The thought of his father knowing this, rightly or wrongly terrifies Eldarion. Not a good way to leave him.
And the bow...or lack of one...yeah, it IS ominous.
For once I agree with Aragorn (that's something I never thought I'd say!). But Legolas, an oasis of peace?! I don't think so.
It's worrying how Lord thingy (sorry - I just can't get that name to stick) has got Eldarion believing his lies. Putting Gondor first...denying the contribution the elves have made to Gondor's security and prosperity. Yes, I can see the parallels you've drawn with Trump's US. Sadly it's happening in the UK, too. But Middle Earth has Gimli and Legolas, so they've got an advantage over us! I have every confidence they'll manage to win Eldarion round eventually.
Oh that’s an achievement! Getting you to agree with Aragorn. Yeah...Legolas as an oasis of peace is just never happening.
Legolas agrees with you. No matter how hard he tries he cannot remember Lord Aderthron’s name...(I am getting there)
The problem here is Eldarion’s youth and naivety. He has had a very protected upbringing. He just does not see what Aragorn sees in this clever, manipulative Lord. Instead he assumes his father looks for trouble where there is none. There are reasons too why he is so vulnerable to Lord Aderthron’s flattery. Shortly I will start writing from inside Eldarion’s head, (because this is actually HIS story, not Legolas’ this time) and we will better understand why he is falling for these lies.
Ah- I see the similarities of course. Yes- lies are so easily spread and it's so easy to be negative and destructive. I loved Legolas reminding Eldarion that he nearly died for the children of Gondor. I enjoyed Aragorn's amusement as well at Legolas' suggestion that he will be the oasis of calm after his outburst, and L thikning that Aragorn is too confrontational!!
Legolas, an oasis of calm??? As if!
And he is right...Aragorn is being too confrontational but seriously...Legolas!
Legolas is suffering from having perfect conception of Aragorn and Arwens parenting deficits while not having a child himself. It’s all so easy when it’s not your kid, Legolas!
Glad you liked that nod to “Fire” that Legolas slipped in there. He ended up under that wall trying to protect two urchin children, insulting to be told he and his people should just take themselves off to Eryn Lasgalen as if they are of no importance to Gondor now their work is done!
Silly Cheekybeak! Not good that the city is so guarded of course;)
Read this on ffnet because I COULD NOT WAIT but am posting my review here, in company of the reviews of the first two chapters.
It is so good to see Arwen and instructive to see that long ago feeling of inferiority and doubt about the Noldor extended even to her. I am glad that has been resolved. I want to meet the little princess and the wild child!
It was such a (temporary) relief to see Eldarion's true joy at seeing Legolas! But it did start going downhill when Aragorn began to question him. Sigh. It's always so easy to judge the parenting when you are not the parent, isn't it? But Legolas makes some valid points. Aragorn may be frustrated but his current methods are only pushing Eldarion to further defensiveness and support of these concepts that are so distasteful.
I share a bit of Legolas' frustration with Arwen but we do not know what has transpired between them before Legolas arrived. It is appalling to me to see him dismiss his Elven heritage so easily. It hurts, as it must hurt Arwen and does hurt Legolas.
Your parallels to current isolationist and America First ideology is chilling. Eldarion is quoting platitudes that he has been fed. I don't know why he is so flattered by attention from this Lord. I cannot believe that the whole of Gondor does not adore their Crown Prince. Why does Eidarion need this unctuous man's flattery?
Ithilien would not be what it is without the Elves Legolas brought. They have healed this area as no others could. Of course Faramir thinks it's all rubbish with this Lord. He has seen the devastation and recovery first hand, as a Ranger of Ithilien and later from his posting there, with Legolas. Eldarion was too young to see it then, in decadence and decay. He only sees the final result.
The words, the ideology, the sentiment is truly disturbing. But that Eldarion does not see the racism that underlies these sentiments and the thirst for financial gain at the expense of others is troublesome.
I love that Legolas is internally chiding Aragorn for being confrontational but not seeing that Aragorn, the great conciliator, is at the end of his rope here. He is a skilled calm negotiator. Under the harshest of circumstances. But here his defenses are under siege because this is his son and he cannot maintain that calmness that is natural to him. He also likely wishes to take the brunt of the ire, and shield Arwen from it.
But I am glad Legolas has recently been in the company of Elrohir and Gimli. He is mentally in a good place and that gives him the strength to have the insight that he is about to lose control and the wisdom and strength to get himself out of that potentially volatile situation. For once he is not running away. He is taking a strategic step away from the conflict to regroup and center himself. It is a vast improvement from previous conflict situations and I am glad he heard Gimli's voice in his head.
A calm oasis of peace. Gimli would have much to say about that!!
But like Legolas I wish Gimli was with him.
Elrohir is going to lose his mind if he hears any of this. He had a distinct pull to mortal men but he has lived as an Elf and loves and Elf and this attitude and ideology will disgust and infuriate him. I doubt even Elladan will have much equanimity regarding this.
Looking forward to seeing how Mr Calm Oasis of Peace does with Eldarion round two!!
Ah I love how well you know my characters!
So here is the young Mr Eldarion. I wanted to show straight away at that first meeting that the love he has for Legolas is still there....and for his Uncle. He has always adored Legolas and he still does. Very important.
But you ask a good question straight up. One that goes straight to the heart of the issue here and that Aragorn seems not to have asked himself. “Why is Eldarion so susceptible to Arderthron’s flattery?” Because you are right—he is a loved and adored prince . . . So why? Shortly I will take us inside Eldarion’s head and we will see.
Eldarion finds himself a pawn in a cleverer mans game. Not that he is not clever himself, he is. But he is young, naive, idealistic, a political novice and does not see all the machinations so plain to Aragorn. He takes Lord Arderthron at face value and does not look for hidden motives. There is a reason why he grasps so eagerly to these ideas of protectionism and in doing so completely misses the racist, self interest behind them. Eldarion has grown up in a protected bubble of happiness for the main part. The worst thing ever in his life is probably Legolas “death” and so he is blind to the evil Men will lower themselves to. Oh, he has read it in books but he has never seen it and never lived it.
Oh yes, Legolas and his succinct views into parenting when he has no child. He is right of course. Aragorn could do better, so could Arwen, but though he loves Eldarion deeply it is still not the same. See how easily Eldarion’s ill thought words hurt Legolas . . . Imagine if that were HIS child? Imagine if Estel was following this course, listening to his enemy, insulting his friends......his family? Oh Legolas, you have no clue really!
Aragorn is feeling helpless, powerless . . . An unusual experience for this powerful man. Legolas is entering this down the track. No doubt Aragorn has TRIED the softly softly reasonable approach..... and now he is just hurt and frustrated. He wants to shake his son. He blames this on himself...where has he gone wrong? And there is such deep hurt. As you say, Aragorn is skilled at this....even with Eldarion. We have seen that in previous stories...expert parenting from him. Now he is adrift.
same goes for Arwen....why so quiet in the face of this prejudice that goes to the heart of her? Oh it’s so hard, so complicated to be a mother. No doubt she too has entered the fray but Eldarion’s words are doubly hurtful to her. A deep personal hurt, and he says them so casually...unaware really of how damaging they are. But she loves him SO much too.
and Aragorn, as you say, is all about protecting her. We do not see—and neither does Legolas—the personal talks the two of them have had about this.
As for Elrohir...oh...it’s all going to get SO much worse before he appears!
We CAN see Legolas’ current wellness here. His personal insight. He does not run, he retreats to regain control and he indicates that to Aragorn clearly. Part of his ability to do that here is because this is Eldarion he faces, who he still sees as only a boy. He reacts differently, is more forgiving, has a deeper feeling of protection towards him, than an adult.
But an oasis of calm? Oh Legolas has never been that! Can Eldarion say anything that will push him too far?
We will see.
Great- I am intrigued, and Eldarion is annoying me already!!
Ah poor Eldarion. There are reasons.....We will see inside his mind shortly and get an idea why he follows this path. He is lovely really...but it’s hard to see right now!
Not good- but I like the idea as well that it's not all plain-sailingfor Aragorn.
Not good the scenario or the writing?
But yeah. No plain sailing for Aragorn. Given that the inspiration for this is Trumps America you know it’s going to get pretty dire. Wouldn’t want to be Aragorn.
I love how exasperated and headstrong Legolas is here. He really seems very like the Elf he was before the sea longing.
His invoking Thranduil made me laugh out loud. Oh Legolas! I can just imagine Thranduil here, decimating these guards with one cool, imperious glance. But it is a little disingenuous to use his father and he knows it.
I love how Aragorn simply glows with delight at seems Legolas. But his concern, do similar to Daegal's is making me even more uneasy.
Their little spat about Legolas not remembering Lords names was perfect. We know from previous stories in your universe that Legolas is not always the most attentive during council meetings. His attention wanders and he is not patient. Obviously back at home, as his father's son and a warrior of the realm, things would have had to be different. When he applies himself.
It is something to see Aragorn so testy. I am amused Legolas finds it so trying to converse wiry him because I am sure Aragorn and Gimli have felt much the same about him more than once!
So much insight into the life of a royal so here and also of the way Eldarion and Elrohir's relationship has deepened since Fire.
"The cause of most of what? Honestly you are too hard on him sometimes, Aragorn. I know Gimli accuses me of being soft but it is hard being a Prince. I should know. So he tests you occasionally . . . They are only minor indiscretions for the most part. Elrohir will be here soon. He will sort him out for you. Eldarion always listens to him . . . If he will not listen to me.”
I am so curious as to how and why this Lord has dazzled Eldarion and why he is so staunchly supporting whatever views this man holds that are so abhorrent to Aragorn and Daegal.
Again we get such insight into what young Legolas must have been like. It is another sign to me that Legolas is in a good place if he speaks with such equanimity of those days.
I will take the boy aside and talk with him. He loves me and he knows I love him. It will not be so hard to turn his mind from prejudice and bias. He will not be believing it anyway but I know from experience the harder you push as a father, the harder you push back as a son. I have argued black was white when angry with my own Father. Eldarion has decided being attentive to this Lord will agitate his Father and so he does so.
It is good to see the way Legolas lifts Aragorn's spirits by the end of the chapter. Even if it has exhausted Legolas. But oh that tendril of fear about the eventual sundering of their lives sneaks in even here: The younger Aragorn looks the better as far as I am concerned.
Two days. I have some serious doubts about that.
I am completely taken by this story cheeky! Can't wait to see it unfold!
I told you Legolas was making me laugh! He is so cock-a-hoop here. Bubbling with good humour, and you are right....a lot like Fellowship Legolas pre sea-longing who was included in the Fellowship because he could lift people’s spirits. He has to work extra hard on Aragorn here!
It is kind of karma he feels so exasperated by Aragorn’s testiness because as you say...how many times have Gimli and Aragorn been down this path when trying to communicate with HIM! He is not the easiest to communicate with himself.
Significant that Aragorn is so difficult though given His pleasure at Legolas’ arrival. As Legolas notes he is not usually like this.....there are no background “Legolas” issues to bother him so it purely is simply stress causing this.
Legolas is not really listening...one of his usual problems. He is not picking up on the serious undercurrent here.
As for Eldarion. I have had to think seriously on him And what is going on inside his head. Why would he suddenly believe poisoness nonsense about Elves? Does he even? Legolas has not asked enough questions about this to be honest. He’s going in blind. He should have dragged more info out of Aragorn while he had the chance. He loves Eldarion so much though....Gimli is right when he accuses Legolas of being soft. He does tend to make excuses for him.
And you caught the hint about Aragorn’s aging! Yes Legolas is always over sensitive to Aragorn’s age. He is far happier when he looks relaxed and youthful rather than tired and drawn. It’s always there....at the back of his mind.
I love how upbeat Legolas is at the start here. He sounds good, happy, at ease. To me the fact that he has been in Imladris with Elrohir is likely a big part of the reason--the sea burned away for a bit and his heart at ease. It is a clarity of thought he did not have in Fire. The city is not his favorite place to be but it is so clear that his love and friendship for Aragorn and Aragorn's family make it tolerable enough that he detours for a visit.
The subtle sense of foreboding at the arrival to Minas Tirith is well done. There are these little hints that keep piling up that something is most definitely not as it should be and it worries me that Daegal is so concerned about Legolas walking about alone.
The eyes on him are unnerving and this Lord Aderthon does sound ominous and disturbing.
I love how Legolas immediately assumes Eldarion is simply being a bit rambunctious and thinks back on his own escapades as Thranduil's son. Thinking on that makes me think Thranduil deserves some sympathy for the years dealing with young Legolas!
But now you truly have me unsettled! A rock through his endow, on palace grounds??
Yes Legolas is well and happy. No issues for him in this story....he is going to be the stable one! As you say a long sojourn with Elrohir has burnt away his sealonging and now he is heading back to Maewen with anticipation. If he has been running around Rohan with the twins I imagine he has recently seen Gimli too-though he does not mention it. I can’t imagine him not. So he is in a really good place. Even the damage from his injury, though there, is not unduely bothering him.
I am glad Minas Tirith felt ominous and foreboding to you. It’s meant to. But Legolas is in such a good mood it just bounces off him. He has some concern re Aragorn but mostly he is minimising Daegals concern so focused is he on his displeasure at being contained. As for Eldarion.....you have read them in previous stories. Their relationship is a deep and loving one. How could Legolas ever think badly of him?
You SHOULD feel sorry for Thranduil. I imagine young Legolas was a nightmare to contain!
Two days? Piece of cake :D
But I find it hard to believe Eldarion would support anyone spreading suspicion and lies about elves. After all, he hero-worships Legolas and his mother is an elf! What's going on? *bites nails*
Yeah no problem Legolas, you’ve got this!
I know....it is hard to believe this of Eldarion.....Legolas obviously struggles to. I have thought about that....there is a justification. At some point we will get into Eldarion’s head and see what’s going on in there, because as you say, his mum is an elf and he loves Legolas to bits. Where’s this bigotry come from?
He is at a difficult age, I’ll say that much. :-) Next chapter we’ll see him.
Ooh, intriguing start. I get the feeling I'm not going to like Lord Aderthron at all. And what's Eldarion done? I'm glad you've already posted chapter two :)
Lord Aderthron’s is an arse. Including his name which is a total pain to type....and like Legolas I keep forgetting it!
Of course you’ve now caught up with Eldarion.... naughty boy!