I meant all SWEARY but autocorrect hates me and switched it to sweaty. But then again a sweaty Thranduil is no hardship!!
Ha- sweary or sweaty-IO'mnot fussy;)
Oh this was wonderful! Especially poor old Maglor having the song stuck in his head at the end!
And that slimy Imrahil! Elrond really needs more discipline in the tra-la-lally Elves!
Thanks, Nelya! Yes, poor Maglor. Not only is he doomed to wander Middle-earth for ever, he has to do it with that song stuck in his head!
Slimy Imrahil indeed. I don't know what the tra la lally elves see in him, but I had to get him away from Elladan!
oh this was hilarious! Poor Squawk. And the woobies! I love Thranduil when he's all sweaty!
We ALL love a sweaty Thranduil!! Oh my.
What a wonderful ending!
And Legolas got to be with his beloved and so he should, he's been wanting this from the beginning.
Love the idea of the Silmaril healing Maglor and Legolas.
Lovely chapter! Naledi.
Thanks, Gabriel! I can't claim credit for the Silmaril healing Maglor - that was Ziggy's suggestion, and it was too good to pass up!
Happy New Year!
What a wonderful ending to this hilarious caper, Naledi.
I can never look at Thranduil/Lee in quite the same way again: ‘That’s what that hideous goblin queen called them.’ Thranduil smoothed his brows with his forefinger. ‘Do they look bad? Do you think I should try’—he lowered his voice and glanced at Galion and Anglach—‘waxing?’
we should start up a company called Fabulous Brows!
Ad I see you got your revenge upon Imrahil and excluded him from teh feast- although he is likely to see it as a reward- but at least you didn't kill him off!!
And our last glimpse of Maglor is fittingly sorrowful, and then you blow it aprt like a bomb! Lovely ending.
Thanks, Ziggy. Yes, I've got a thing about Lee Pace's brows. In my opinion Thranduil should definitely NOT wax! I think there probably is a company called Fabulous Brows in Mirkwood where everyone goes to get a 'Thranduil' :D
I was so tempted to kill Imrahil off, but couldn't think of a way to do it and still make the ending Christmassy!
Perfect ending Naledi! Of course once Elrond has sailed the tra la lally patrol can end.
Were you not just the tiniest bit tempted to show Maglor that silmaril?
Now as for Imrahil......
Thanks, Cheeky! Yes, I think everyone involved must be counting down the days to Elrond's departure so they can end the tra la lally patrol!
Were you not just the tiniest bit tempted to show Maglor that silmaril?
Ha! I thought about it, but then realised I needed to finish the story, not start a new multi-chapter epic!
Yeah, Imrahil. I wanted to kill him, but didn't think a graveside scene to round off the advent calendar was very Christmassy :D
Oh Gabriel- what are you doing to us?? Poor Elrond! Poor Erestor!
i was so happy that you put in Aerlinn and the little niphredil flower Aegnor carved for her- I love those details.
I think I have said before how much I love your writing, Narya -you put in such beautiful details, like this:
But at that moment a song reached his ears – a murmuring whisper like starlight on stone, a soft-edged memory from the days when the mountains were young. The cold around him seemed to fade, and the skittering flakes settled. The voice curled through him and called to his soul like a long-lost friend waking him gently from sleep. Under his ribs a terrible aching pain stirred, an ancient monster of grief and fear. He thought of the sea drifting gently through cliffside caverns, the tide bearing flotsam to and from the shores of Middle-earth – and he remembered the stories Glorfindel and Erestor and Elrond used to tell when he was a child, of the great battles before the breaking of the world, and the sorrow behind their eyes when they spoke the names of the ones they had lost.
And you weave this sadness and joy all the way through with such care and craft. I love the idea and image of Maglor with Gimli moving the rockfall so carefully- and then we get the scene with Elrond and his sons, and Elladan's guilt that they had not told Elrond- and he is right to feel that. Poor Elrond. I have started to feel really sorry for him.
I am very happy that you are so inspired by Squawk and Kylie- I loved this scene so much I have nicked it a little in ch 23 I'm afraid!
He found her in the throne room, surrounded by her maids and guards. She was rooting through a vast chest of loot, holding up first one ornament and then another while her retinue cooed and squealed approvingly.
“Oh, yes...her Majesty is positively revolting...how marvellous!”
Squawk wondered if she'd yanked out a tooth or two in honour of the occasion, and wished she would do the same for him.
He shook himself. Now was not the time to get sentimental. He opened his mouth, took a breath, and deployed the piercing vocal technique that had earned him his name.
Oh- had my giggling out loud- I had to read it to my poor husband who doesn't share a love of Tolkien but did find it amusing.Not as much as me, because I was howling at that!Now this:Elrond made a private note never to let Erestor and Galion get drunk together anywhere that they might be overheard. is a plot bunny and I had every intention, when I first read it, of making something of it- but this tale has just taken so many twists and turns I never had time. But next year, oh next year, I intend to do something with this!!
And then end of this, oh my heart- what are you DOING to us!!!
Author's Response: Aww, thank you ziggy! Sorry for the slow response with this, Christmas has been crazy. I'm so happy you enjoyed this, I know I was mean at the end of the chapter - but the wonderful Naledi sorted it all out :D it's been a blast, as always xx
I love this chapter so much!
Love Aragorn working it all out a little ponderously,
Typical, Aragorn thought to himself. His family certainly didn’t act like they had any sensible tendencies, despite their Mannish genealogy. They acted like typical flighty Elves, couldn’t wait one minute for him to sort out the tangle of footprints and determine which direction they needed to take. They had to go haring off on their own, convinced their exceptional night vision and keen reflexes could take care of anything.
Bollocks. As if the First Age wasn’t full of examples of how that was all rot.
Aragorn wanted to stamp his foot in frustration. And he would have, if he didn’t think it would scatter the snow and disturb the tracks he had so painstakingly pored over. He glared at the snow, as if it had personally offended him rather than his foster-brothers and foster-father.
And this bit is just hilarious- made em giggle
They were heavier, gravity pulling at them far more than it did the full Elves of his acquaintance. It had been quite noticeable when he had carried Arwen over the threshold into their bedroom on their wedding night. She was certainly far weightier than Legolas had ever been when he had carried the Mirkwood Elf in his arms.
He wasn’t going to think about that right now.
But his mind drifted to Legolas, despite his best intentions.
Legolas would never have abandoned him like this. Legolas would never have scoffed at his tracking abilities, would never have rolled his eyes at Aragorn’s conscientious appraisal of the terrain and jumble of footprints left in the snow.
Legolas would never have disappeared without a word. If anything, keeping Legolas from talking was more often the problem.
(sorry- I do just have to tell you the bits I really love though) In fact that whole Aragorn section is just wonderful- his dwelling on Legolas, and then pulling himself back to arwen, and then drifting off again- wonderful!
But poor Imrahil you have all taken it out on him most unfairly. I should have tied that loose end ou but it's too late now:/
Author's Response: thanks Ziggy! I love it when readers tell me which parts they particularly like!
Poor Aragorn. He's just so frustrated with this family of his. I'm glad his musings on Peredhel weight issues made you laugh. He's a bit preoccupied with Legolas but honestly who can blame him?
I love how you keep the Tra-la-la-lally going with this- and just give it a bit more emotional investment
“Elrohir!” His father’s voice echoed down the corridor towards him. “Elrohir, get back here!” When he spun around he saw his father, hands on hips, glaring daggers at him, Elladan beside him. “Where do you think you are going? You have Tra-la-lally duty tonight!” Elrond shouted.
“To hell with Tra-la-lally duty!” Elrohir cried. He was not going to waste his time singing nonsense in the trees with Legolas lost in the snow. And he spun on his heels and stormed away.
One, two, three..... he counted to himself under his breath as he went, and sure enough....
“Go easy on the tra-la-lally hate.” Elladan said in his ear. He knew his twin would come with him. “You know it hurts him. You know what that song means to him.”
“It is pointless!” Elrohir snapped back.
“Pointless to you and I but not to him.” And just like that all his anger drained away. He did know how important that ridiculous song was to his father. And when he turned around, just before they turned the corner, his father stood there behind him, melancholy and lonely.
“I will do double duty tomorrow Father,” he called back. “Swap me with someone. I promise when I get back I will tra-la-lally for as long as you need me to.”
He may live to regret that.
And he does!Ooops- spoiler.
But I love the way you have Aragorn busy being important and tracking everyone so he misses where they have all gone!! Brilliant touch!
haha- Galion is reaping the whirlwind! But I love that Thalos and Legolas and Anglach and Galion are reunited in time for Galion's wedding!!
'LOve this bit:
A movement caught Legolas’s eye. It was Squawk, sidling towards the door. Legolas grabbed him by the scruff of…well, he hoped it was his neck. ‘Not so fast. Take us to Kylie.’
My favourite bit of this chaoter, Gabriel, is this bit: “What, this old thing?” Galion answered, lifting something encrusted with sapphire and diamonds and looking much like a crown from his dark head. “It’s a crown Legolas,” Galion turned it over in his hands admiring the craftsmanship.
I love the 'moi?' attitdue of Galion, slightly sheepish, but a bit pleased as well:)
I love this chapter, Nelya- there is so much going on!
Thranduil is wonderful in this- just conflicted and anguished that he didn't show enough joy at seeing Legolas- he's just so fab in this:
Legolas was no Laersul. And he was no Thalos. But he wasn’t meant to be, Thranduil chided himself. His youngest son was sunlight and cheer. Bright spirits and unquenchable enthusiasm for all that he encountered. A brilliant spirit who found joy in all those he met and who had kept his childish sense of wonder at the magnificence of the world. A world that was dark and full of peril but that Legolas still delighted in.
He was too quick to scold, too rapid in his displeasure. He could think on that with regret, now that Legolas had been lost even it had only been briefly. Thranduil resolved to be more understanding with his youngest, more companionable. Legolas was flighty, yes. Legolas was thoughtless, yes. Legolas was an absolute nightmare when it came to etiquette and political intrigue and diplomacy, yes.
Yes- how true!
And I love the chaos that you capture in this:
In the cave things were not progressing well at all.
Legolas had regained consciousness at precisely the worst possible moment—just in time to see Thalos disappear.
“You let him fall!” Anglach snarled at Arwen, his charges—the Border Guard and Tra-la-lally Elf 22-- forgotten in the heat of the moment. They edged away from him in the ensuing confusion, desperate to be rid of this entire squad of demented Elves. Even their beloved Lady Arwen was being uncharacteristically bad-tempered. Tra-la-lally duty in a blinding blizzard looked positively joyful in comparison to this misery.
“Shut up. I tried to catch him. It’s not my fault he’s so clumsy and heavy,” Arwen said testily in response to Anglach’s accusation. “Don’t you dare get all shirty with me. I don’t even know what you’re doing here.”
“Thalos!” Legolas shouted, rising to his feet unsteadily and hurling himself towards the back of the cave.
Imrahil put a brawny restraining arm around Legolas’ slender waist but was swiftly kicked in the shin by Gimli. “Unhand him, you lecherous lamprey!” the Dwarven warrior rumbled.
Just love the way you bring them all together in a desperate attempt at a plot!! :)
Your battle descriptions are always great, Narya. There is so much action in this but the connections between characters are fab as well.
I love this description of Galion's song:
Maglor nodded, tracing the curves and grooves of the blade, and feeling its owner's thread in the Music – sharp like wild berries, rich like old wine, and deeply, fiercely loyal to the King who stood before him.
I love this chapter, Cheekybeak- grumpy Thalos's discovery that Legolas hadn't got over any of his worst traits (lovely idea!) and his calling Gimli 'Shorty'- and then tells him to look in the mirror. Made me laugh very loudly!
But I love this bit best:
And he stomped, as much as he could, the two steps it took to reach the back of the cave, throwing himself in a dramatic, magnificent way—he hoped—against the cool stone wall.
Love that so much!!
Hahaha- your usual wit and style, Naledi, bringing a bit more chaos to this daft rambling! Love the way Legolas is just so bonkers and insulting and then just sidles out of it by fainting!
Ah, Gabriel- that lovely moment with Legolas just having his hair stroked by Maglor- and the silly boy ruins it!
But your fabulous description of Erestor standing in front of the big ugly Orc is wodnerful
The Orc drew himself up to full height, hefting an immense mace. Then without warning smashed it down upon the ground next to Erestor, who did not flinch and just stared back at the Orc impassively.
“Is that all you have?” the Councillor goaded, with a sneer.
“Nooo!” Glorfindel’s resonant voice echoed through the boughs as he tore over rock and crag, down the slope towards them. Maglor would have him gelded, amongst other things, if Erestor were to receive even a scratch on that glorious head of his.
The mace struck again; powdered snow and dirt flew up in an arc, Erestor was unmoved, standing before the hulking frame, looking quite bored. He, Erestor Noldoran, wasn’t going to let some twit of an Orc Captain frighten him. He was a High Elf, a Noldor Elf doomed by Namo himself; a warrior of old; a warrior who had served the Feanorions and faced Morgoth with about as much interest as someone watching paint dry.Except he got smacked. Nooooooo!
Terrific writing, Gabriel (sorry I got my chapters in the wrong order...oof)
I can always tell your writing, Narya.
I love the comic juxtaposition of htis- had me giggling:
Shadows from the skittering fire danced across the cave wall. The winter air was bitter now, and stale with the dying of the year. Outside, voices drifted up through the ice and snow.
“Tra-la-la-lally, here down in the valley...”And then you do this lovely description:
He leaned back, ignoring the discomfort of the craggy stone, and sought in the Song for the King who – miraculously, unbelievably – had kissed his mouth and the scars on his palm and forgiven his crimes. There; his thread was unmistakeable. Gold light filtering through the forest canopy, the strength of the great trees of old, the taste of sweet spice and the scent of pine. But Thranduil was angry; Maglor felt it like the stirring of branches in the dark heart of the wood. Curious, he let his mind drift along the Song's twining currents. There was Anglach, his sound in the Music like the chirping of a giddy robin – although a little shadowed now, somehow, as though he had escaped some evil fate by a breath and a whisper. And there was Legolas, green and bright and full of life, yet there was a change in his melody too since Maglor saw him last, a teasing, tugging, sorrowful note that Maglor himself knew well.
And then just absolutely spear it with this lovely little snippet:
“And we'll have to think of something suitably heroic to tell Snowdrop.”
Snowdrop. The melodic voice, the healing song...that mad Yuletide caper through the depths of Mirkwood...suddenly everything tumbled into place. Legolas blinked his reluctant eyes open. “Maglor?” he croaked.
The Noldo smiled. “It's good to see you, Bluebell.”
I love your writing.
Oh- this makes me laugh out loud!! The tra-la-la-lally elves are inspired and Legolas' reaction just superbly comic:
“Who could that be?” the Border Guard asked Tra-la-lally Elf number 22.
“I’ve no idea. You think he’s lost?”
“Lost his mind, I’d say. He’s running around with no shirt on, skin-tight ass-hugging leggings and no boots that I can see. In the middle of winter. He must be crazy.” Border guard, whose name was Ethirdir, frowned.
Pedrion, tra-la-lally Elf number 22, whispered back. “We can’t just leave him like this. We should take him back to Lord Elrond. He’ll know what to do.”
“We can’t leave. You know that. I’ve got to guard the border and you’ve got to do the song bit.”
Pedrion sighed. “I hate the song bit.” They continued stealthily following Legolas, his bright hair and pale, goose-bump studded back clear in the dwindling light. “What do you say we capture him, I take a pass on the singing for the night and get him back to the House?” His eyes lit up at the thought. It would be good to get out of singing duty on a night as cold as this.
Ethirdir eyed him dubiously. “You think you can drag a mad Elf back to the House on your own? He looks pretty muscular to me. That broad chest, taut pectoral muscles, bulging biceps. I think you’d find yourself overpowered.”
“We can knock him out if he’s too troublesome. It’s for his own good. He’s daft if he thinks he’s going to survive the night out here dressed like that.”
“I think it’s pretty assured he’s daft, Pedrion.”
The trees were thinning ahead and the mad Elf would soon see them easily if he turned around. Pedrion nodded at Ethirdir and they broke into a run and tackled Legolas from behind.
“What the bloody hell!” Legolas hit the snow chest first, two Elves weighing him down. He struggled and fought but all he managed to do was get snow burn on his chest. Damn, but it was cold. His nipples were getting rubbed raw.And then they whack him unconscious with no elegance at all- perfect comic timing! We should make this into a film!!
Love the chaos of this chapter! Poor Legolas gets a very hard time from us- we love him all stupid and hopeless. This is ONE of my favourite bits in this chapter - makes me laugh still and its the FOURTH time I've read it!!
“Did you ask Elrond before you invited him, Legolas?” Gimli asked although he knew the answer before he even opened his mouth.
“Did you not think you should at least check if it was ok?”
“Why would Elrond not want to see my father?” Legolas was genuinely confused and Gimli did not think it wise to point out perhaps Thranduil was not the most desirable unexpected Yuletide guest.
“Why is Elrond even still here?” He asked instead to deflect any further Thranduil conversation. “I thought he was supposed to sail off to your elven retirement village?”
“Packing.” Legolas said definitely. “At least that is what Elrohir told me. He is still trying to pack. When you have been hanging around since the kinslayings you do accumulate rather a lot of belongings, Gimli. It’s not something that can be achieved overnight.”
Legolas sounds so know-it-all and Gimli just baffled. I love this scene.
I love Legolas thinking he is being all mysterious and drop dead sexy but they've already worked out what's happened. And lovely Elrohir all cross and Legolas being simple and stupid. Great chapter!!
That Imrahil! Such a terrible flirt- I love Erestro's dismissive reaction- and Imrahil's predatatory response. Ah, and here are all our lovely woodelves- love that we have dear old Aegnir back and the very gorgeous Thalos- is that what Arwen was up to?
LOve this introduction for Maglor and the encounter with Glorfindel. There is affection as well as a touch of sadness as well. But oh that Arwen- scheming little minx that she is!! I really enjoyed the opening scene - hilarious:It was a beautiful evening in the Valley. Frost edged the fallen leaves like crystal dust; the air was crisp with a tang of smoke; the last rays of sun shone through the gathering mist; his daughter was home for Yule, and best of all, there was a brand new plumbing system in the guest quarters, just in time for the arrival of the party from Gondor.
Today, Elrond decided, was a very good day.
What IS it about the plumbing in Rivendell?? We are all a bit obsessed with it!
Wonderful, Ziggy. I love that Kylie and Squawk get their happy ever after! That Love Island / Kardashian slang was hilarious. Who knew the goblins were so obsessed with love?
I'm so pleased you enjoyed it, Naledi:) The Kardashians have a lot to answer for!!
This is one of my FAVOURITE chapters! I love the Tra-la-la-lally idea- just brilliant, my dear! And Aragorn 'just blinked at him'- fabulous gesture!! It just made me giggle stupidly- my family don't know what I am laughing at which just makes it even funnier!