A Legolas backstory / Things are dark in Mirkwood, and the death of the Elvenking's eldest daughter sends the family into a despairing spiral. This is the story of what it took to break their mother's steady Silvan heart, and it culminates in a criminal act of betrayal that may not be forgiven. It creates a seed of doubt in Thranduil's youngest son, and a fear that he is not enough to control his own mind... / Third Age 1872
Characters: Legolas, OFC, OMC, Thranduil
Content: Angst, Drama, Gen
Chapter: 13 Completed: No
Words: 40439 Read: 6756
Published: May 05, 2016 Updated: September 05, 2017
Please see Chapter One for important story notes. Thank you!
A Long Author
2. Chapter Two by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 3] (2147 words)
Author's note: Two Sindarin words are used in this chapter: fea and rhaw. These are equivalent to the Quenya words f
3. Chapter 3 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 2] (2762 words)
I would like to sincerely thank Cheekybeak for reading this chapter and several others for pacing and continuity. I am grateful for her corralling my impatience and providing a "hold-your-horses" sensibility, and for the honest and helpful suggestions and support! (Please note, however: all spelling and grammar mistakes are mine.)
4. Chapter 4 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (2763 words)
Author's note: I just wanted to note a few things that have been pointed out to me and will be addressed as this story progresses. 1) Piniriel, in simple terms, is a "band-aid baby," intentionally created for the good of Mirkwood's spirits, though perhaps not working out as planned... 2) One of the themes in this story is complicated grief and violent bereavement, and the myriad ways people react to that depending on preexisting dispositions, previous loss, and various other factors. 3) Another important theme is attachment theory (child development) and its applications in adulthood and effects on and replication in an insecurely-attached caregiver's child. 4) Aergwen is first introduced as a character--very peripherally--in this chapter. Aergwen is the head "heart healer," per se, in the Elvenking's Halls--think mental health services, therapy. 5) See Chapter One for character/family list.
Now, of course, you can ignore all this theoretical 'baloney' and just enjoy the story for the story!
I want to thank everyone who has reviewed and provided supportive and constructive feedback thus far--it is very useful and inspiring. Thank you, again, to Cheekybeak for catching some major typos and problems in this chapter.
5. Chapter 5 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 2] (4503 words)
This long chapter is the last chapter of "Part One: The Hand Remembers." The next chapter will be a rather short prologue, of sorts, for "Part Two: Breathless," and then we barrel into the meat of things.
Thank you to Nimruzir for being willing to engage with me in some fantastic crit on Chapters One and Two; there will be some edits to those chapters going up next week. And thanks again to Cheekybeak for continuing to allow me to bounce ideas off her like a backboard and catch inconsistencies I would never have noticed.
This chapter involves lots of memory and backstory. I have tried to differentiate between these shifts using verb tense without breaking up the flow; I hope it is effective.
This chapter is not exactly "beta-ed;" all mistakes are mine.
6. Chapter 6 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (3114 words)
A note to clarify based on reader comment: Yes, Legolas is quite young in this story. I follow the "come of age at 50, mature by 100" guidelines from Laws & Customs of the Eldar (a controversial text, I know). For this story, Legolas' date of birth is in Third Age 1744, so he is approximately 128 years old during the events in this story--a very very young adult.
7. Chapter Seven by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 2] (555 words)
8. Chapter 8 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 2] (4398 words)
Author's note: This chapter has gone through several several rewrites. Thank you to Cheekybeak for her critical honesty in reading the first draft of this many weeks ago.
Gwaerain's worrying behavior becomes clearly pathological in this chapter; I would like to note, however, that most people with traits of personality disorders do not externalize violence, and it is not my intention to perpetuate the misconception that folks with mental illness are dangerous. It is only my intention to showcase the deep-seated effects of trauma and complicated grief/bereavement on already volatile individuals (shoutout to the Sons of Feanor, am I right?) and, after all, this is just a story.
Reminder: Emlineg versus emelin i nin. By my understanding, these are distinct gramatic structures in Sindarin. The first denotes affection without ownership-"my little bird," roughly, as a pet name-and the second very literally translates to "my bird (yellowhammer)." The distinction between the two is most importantly about ownership, personhood and affection in the first (the diminutive) vs ownership of an object in the second (the possessive). (Please see chapters 1 and 6 for reminders about Legolas' age in this story.)
Warning: Description of one incident of intrafamilial violence
9. Chapter 9 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 2] (2484 words)
The story Lumornon paraphrases in part in this chapter is about Turin and Sador (Labadal). The full text can be found by searching "full text Children of Hurin Tolkien archive," or you can poke around in the Silm and Unfinished Tales, Lays of Beleriand, etc for bits and pieces of that sprawling angst-fest later published by Christopher Tolkien.
Thank you to Cheekybeak for advising on medical believability in this chapter. (I am definitely a social worker for a reason...)
Please see Chapter One for reminders about family, age, and more.
10. Chapter 10 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (4419 words)
I have finally quit with editing this chapter and am just posting it instead of ruminating on it!
I apologize for the tremendous delay in updating. The end of this story is written, and large chunks of the middle (and they have been written for quite a while), so I have not by any means given up on this story! I promise! I have had a lot of considerable life changes since June of this year… Furthermore, I work in the child abuse and kid crime field, and sometimes I work cases that are too similar to this story for me to be able to engage with it in a healthy way at the end of a long day.
I have also had a lot of angst about certain decisions in this story. Because I am a perfectionist, such second-guessing can be absolutely paralyzing.
So thank you to Cheekybeak for being my "Writing Therapist" over these past few months. She is endlessly patient and supportive.
And thank you for everyone who stuck with me through this hiatus!
(And that is the longest Author's Note I have ever written and will hopefully ever have to write. Phew!)
11. Chapter 11 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (2519 words)
Author's note: This chapter did not come easily, and I am not entirely pleased with it still, but I wanted it done. Thank you to Cheekybeak, again, for reading this for content. The next chapter will start Part III, which is a bit confrontational and angst-heavy! Thank you to all who are still reviewing--your words encourage me to work through the tough connective sections to tell this story.
Gwaerain - Thranduil's wife
Lumornon - eldest of their children
Felavel - second oldest, daughter who recently died
Piniriel - youngest of the four siblings and still quite wee
Anaron - a lead healer, and Ithildim's father
Ithildim - Legolas' dear childhood friend and fellow warrior
Saida - Legolas and Saida's childhood friend
Lostariel - Captain of Legolas' unit and good friend to Lumornon
Amonhir - Lostariel's second
12. Part III: Intently Silent by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (3136 words)
Author's note: Ziggy suggested I provide a summary of the story thus far at the beginning of this section, which I thought was a grand idea. I have also included a few of the previous chapter notes, as well as a list of characters and relationships. Thank you for your continued interest in this story! Knowing that there are folks out there still reading and discovering it keeps me writing the missing bits and brainstorming on the sequel. Can hardly believe this story turned One last month!
Summary: Legolas' sister, Felavel, is killed horrifically by orcs while Legolas and Ithildim are on a mission. Saida rides out to find their patrol and returns Legolas home. By the time Legolas arrives, his sister has already been "buried," and he finds his family in shambles. His mother, Gwaerain, is distant and plans on sailing, and she wants Legolas and his younger sister Piniriel to come with her. Over the next few days, Legolas' mother displays continuedly worrying behavior, trying to guilt Legolas into leaving with her, shaming him for returning to work, telling him that he will die if he continues to serve the wood. Legolas is not sure whether the change in his mother's behavior is real or whether his perception is warped by stress. However, Ithildim and Saida notice and plan to bring up their concerns with him. However, after returning from his first mission after Felavel's death, he has a confrontation with his mother. It spirals out of control and Gwaerain chokes Legolas in a fit and leaves him unconscious in his room, desperate for help and searching out her son Lumornon. Healer Anaron arrives and takes care of Legolas, and Gwaerain is whisked away to her rooms. Legolas has one instance of serious trouble with his breathing as a result of the swelling to his airways, and then all is resolved, healthwise. We leave off with his family doubting how they will move forward, but not yet dealing with it. Now we barrel into his recovery, and how his family will ever come to terms with what has happened...
Previous notes: Please see chapter one for notes on age.
Current character list:
Thranduil- Legolas' father and Elvenking
Gwaerain- Legolas' mother and the queen
Lumornon- eldest child and Legolas' older brother
Felavel- Legolas' older sister; deceased
Piniriel- youngest of the four siblings and still quite wee
Lostariel- Legolas' captain and dear friend to Lumornon
Amonhir- Lostariel's second and Legolas' captain
Ithildim- Legolas' best friend and agemate
Saida- Legolas' dear friend and agemate
Elednil- older elf in Legolas Ithildim's unit
Anaron- Lead healer and Ithildim's father
Orodiel- Anaron's husband and Ithildim's mother
Aergwen- Lead heart healer (mental health)
Angst city ahead. Legolas returns next chapter. Enjoy!
13. Chapter 13 by UnnamedElement [Reviews - 1] (4784 words)
Please see Chapter 12 for summary and character list. This chapter sets up the family for lots of unfortunate angst to come… It's all a bit dramatic, to be honest, and a little silly (may I remind you that Legolas and Ithildim are, comparatively, very young...). This chapter takes place—in part—two days after Legolas has awoken from Anaron's medication, and—in another part—just over a day after he has awoken, so there's a little bit of a flashback there.
PSA: Please read about the effects of strangulation on the body, and always seek medical help if someone cuts off your air supply, even if it does not seem like an emergency at the time. Also, please know that attempted strangulation by a partner is associated with a higher rate of eventual successful murder; it is considered a "lethality indicator." (There is also an aspect of whiplash and concussion to Legolas' reactions in this chapter.)