That is a nonpareil of a chapter. Like a fist in the gut, and so heart-wrenching. It pulled me one way and another, and into a maelstrom that is not yet ended.
Stories within stories within stories.
And then you showed us, those stories within stories within stories, and I am completely stunned.
When I read updates of my favorite stories I know beyond any doubt that there are a few fanfiction writers that outclass any published novelist.
I truly don't know where to put myself after this chapter. It's pulled me entirely through the wringer. Stupendous.
Author's Response: You are so generous, Sian. I feel just the same when I read your stories. Innit great :)
I'm so sorry for the delay in reading; I had not realized you'd posted, but I've only had intermittent internet connection, and time, for the last two weeks. Anyway. . . Well done, once again! The friendship of Legolas and Gimli comes through so wonderfully here, as elsewhere. And it's good to see Legolas having moments of being his old self now and then. This is such a difficult thing to write, I'm sure, having Legolas injured so badly and losing his memory, and getting it back, but you are doing a fantastic job! I'm looking forward to more, whenever work eases and you have time. :)
Author's Response: Never apologise — it is always really really nice to get late reviews-it just perks me up. So thank you. Yes, Legolas is slowly recovering-probably a bit quick really if I'm honest-read Anarithilen's DArk Forest if you want to see how it's really done!! But he can sit in the wagon and .. oh, I am ahead of myself. Next chapter should be out soon I hope if Anar has time. I have decided that I need to make time of myself and write even if it is only 5 minutes a night. I helps me to find myself and not get lost in all the demands of other people... hm. I htink you know where I am going with this!!
How well I understand. I write elf slash for my own enjoyment, doubting very much anyone else would find it enjoyable at this point. One of the elves was completely impotent until I let him tell the story of his wounded past. Now he is pleasantly buoyant and his lover is overjoyed. Funny how you cannot make them do what they don’t want to or are not ready for. It has literally taken me months of trying to finally figure out why my lad could not raise the mast.
Anyway, you always hold my interest. You could write Legolas going to the grocery and make it suspenseful, and alluring. So don’t fret about writing anything special. I adore you Ziggy! Certainly the moment will be right for them in time. But as others have said, Legolas may not be the elf for your Elrohir. He is in need of more than a night of consolation. He seems to need a lover that will care for him for some time. But Writing the story is up to you and will be a delight no matter which direction you take!
Author's Response: Yes- I have wondered about whether Legolas is right for Elrohir. Anar has made me at least think about that. As you say, they will tell us in their own time... but I hope they at least get to do more than just snog! Elrohir is just going to explode!!!
Ziggy, thank you for this lovely chapter. It is nice to see the three of them reunited even though there was some tension. Legolas is so stubborn, and so unpredictable. I loved the line “then I will not kill you.” I had to think of Legolas leaning against Aragorn in the bath house (different story), and with Eomer, and wonder how he could be so offended by a touch. But that is your wild Legolas and I love both him and you dearly. You are brilliant! I know you are busy, but I wont let you forget about that kiss I mentioned last chapter.
Author's Response: Oh my dear Lisse! If only you knew how hard I tried to get that kiss in to this chapter! I think I have written every permutation of this bit of the story possible but it just isn't the right time- be patient. I will write you something of your own perhaps, just to keep you interested! All I can say is I think neither Legolas nor Elrohir are in a fit state to do anything right now and you would only call me a tease!! Anar had to put me back on track as usual. I love that scene in the bath house - I think you mean Rohan's Gold? I need ot write something like that again- but a bit more ...steamy. xx
Um, that makes the next chapter even more intriguing... and I can't wait, although I know you will make me!
Author's Response: Promise I iwll try not to - but I am glad you said it needed more as it has confirmed something that I was wondering about for the next chapter. Makes it easier to write it now so thanks. Ziggy
I could not agree more. The chapter is almost perfect (sorry!) from my humble point of view. The reason has to do with Legolas recovering so quickly after his near-death, agony and then memory loss. The previous chapter was so superb in its description of his suffering and it completely drew me in. So perhaps I would have liked to see maybe another day or two before Legolas can, realistically, ride to battle. So congratulations on a near perfect chapter, and please don't keep us waiting so long for the next installment!
Author's Response: I know what you mean about needing more time to recover- Aragorn actually should have left yesterday- I have stolen a day to give Legolas a little more time but it isnt enough really. Of course it all has to fit with Frodo's story too. That's why I made Legolas a bit wobbly and confused rather than bouncing aorund fully fit. He will not really be ready to do anything like normal and I think he is experienced enough to not take risks so he may well surprise them all and travel in a wagon! I felt he was mentally anguished and the morgul blade is less a phyisical wound than spiritual.
Legolas’ long green eyes were fixed on him and he had a strange smile on his lips.
‘Do not seek to confront the past now with your future so brightly laid out before you,’ he said cryptically, and he sketched a careless bow and grinned widely.
Despite our fears for his memory, not a ghost or a victim, this, but a prince to be reckoned with!
Author's Response: Oh yes- Legolas is back, and if he isnt quite up to speed yet, it wont be long!!
I lost it a bit after the last chapter-lost my way
I think that happens to many of us who write long and complicated stories; I'm not sure any of my favourite authors do not have blocks, or struggle at times. I find that sometimes it can happen to me after an extremely emotional chapter or a group of them.
It does not look at all as if you lost your way. I think this chapter, with the interaction between Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, was just right. The pacing is perfect. I am sure we all want to see more Legolas and Elrohir d-), but these people are not just fighting emotional wars -- they are fighting in the War of the Ring, and I think that one of the most striking aspects of your writing is how you weave this story so perfectly believably into the canon, so that we can imagine this happening if Lord of the Rings were as emotionally deep as this. Chapters like this, descending from the high drama of Legolas' sorcerous *death*, Elrohir's pain and rage , love and lust, to companionship, friendship, honour and trust, are important because of the pacing of the plot, who the characters are, as people and where they are.
It is excellent.
Author's Response: Yes, it was weird as I don't usually get blocks. But it happened around about the same point with the earlier piece so I should have expected it. I find my stuff usually writes itself and I don't plan-I think maybe you write in a similar way-you have some scenes in your head and join up the dots? But we will get Elrohir next chapter and then they ride out to Mordor... of course it is going to have its own complications and we aren't there yet. I know, frustrating but it will be worth it! (Hope so anyway)
We have been through so much with this story, especially lately. So, this was a nicely done chapter that brought us back to the original fellowship members and reminds us exactly why they are and will always be friends. I love the camaraderie between these three. They are playful at times and serious at others. Aragorn and Gimli's concern for Legolas is genuine, and Legolas not taking no for an answer is very true to his character, even with memory loss. I love how you have him remember little bits and scenes. It's like putting a puzzle back together. Great work. You said you lost your way with this but it does not show one bit. Another brilliant chapter, ziggy.
Author's Response: Thanks L8, we needed Legolas back to his own charming, sassy, irritating self and he will gradually get better until he remembers... everything...and that will be a challenge for more then just him of course.(You can tell, got back on track now — thank you for your encouragement and patience.)
Oh, this was so worth waiting for, Ziggy. Legolas is still trying to remember things, then. I do love the way that you show this, Legolas' struggle, and the things which conme back to him.
No, I did not think that Legolas would agree to remain behind!
Author's Response: He was never going to accept that, was he?! I jus tliked hte idea that Aragorn knew Gimli couldn't keep his mouth shut but in the end it was Aragorn who persuaded him -ish. Working on the next chapter now and have most of it written so this should not take long- but I had THREE chapter of Magnif to read when I finished the last chapter so that was a wonderful treat! And it really was.
he hates himself so much he will find it very hard to accept anyone can love him... and I am not sure that Legoals is a very patient soul...or very faithful! He sort of skips along picking flowers and hearts and then, gently mind, puts them down. Not sure Elrohir can take that - he is too fragile.
Ye-es...this is a problem. I see this as a beautiful thing in your Legolas, and very much how I envisage the wood-Elves. He's rather a little tart! (In the nicest possible way! He gives and receives a great deal of pleasure.) Elrohir on the other hand, does seem extremely intense and possessive, especially when he has the one he wants; that's a difficult combination...I can't wait to see how this works out.
I rarely watch tv or listen to the radio or anything, but that sounds funny!
Author's Response: Good for ME fans- set in Lower Earth, which says it all. He is a little tart, no question! It's whether or not he can change ;) And you are right about Elrohir- he is so intense- he needs a lot of something before he can really cope with a proper relatonship. x
Gosh, remind me not to write a review when I have tired and hayfever-y eyes!
Even Anar sometimes wants it to go one way and I just know its not going to happen. The characters just dont respond- you know what I mean.
Ah, yes, I know what you mean, though I often wrestle with that in the form of an idea when I'm writing, which the characters just ignore or say, 'Not yet.'
In some ways I think it was easier when I was writing Dark Prince on my own, and privately. When you post, and people read, especially with a WIP, I get this feeling of looking up, and seeing readers, and thinking, 'Oh, no. People are reading this. I am embarrassed!'
(Of course, yes, I love it that people are, but I often get the equivalent of stage fright now.
Ah, I did wanted a kiss too. It seemed too final for Elrohir to leave, possibly to go to his death, without a kiss. So I am thrilled we will get one, however it occurs! :D
Ebbingnight is quite right. I can't say I loathed Elrohir, as he obviously had serious problems, but his treatment of Legolas earned him a virtual e-slap from me. However, you have made us feel sympathy for him now, and under all those problems, all that pain and guilt and rage, is a deep, passionate and loving soul that needs help.
Author's Response: Yes, I know what you mean. There is a reviewer on ffnet and she makes me jumpy. She means well but now and again, I ust think- oh-ho, better not. Usually for the better I hope. OK- I am thinknig there should be a kiss now. But it's not going to be uncomplicated of course- you would be disappointed if it was! And you are right about Elrohir-love the idea of an e-slap! You should copyright that! Yes, he does need help, but as I said to ebbingnight, he hates himself so much he will find it very hard to accept anyone can love him... and I am not sure that Legoals is a very patient soul...or very faithful! He sort of skips along picking flowers and hearts and then gently mind, puts them down. Not sure Elrohir can take that - he is too fragile. And they only have five days to save the Universe!! Or in this case, ME. (Do you listen to Elvenquest, Radio 4- it's on the iplayer. Steven Mangan fallen into Lower Earth - very funny)
Ooh, a special treat on the re-read, what a lovely picture of Elrohir!!!
What I wanted to say, though, following Sian's thought below that "you can lead us like a pet lamb through any scenario. You make us buy into anything, and that's why we're so interested and perhaps sometimes sound demanding, or very passionate" is that it's very true from my point of view as well.
Case in point is that I absolutely loathed Elrohir at first, and now my heart is breaking for him, having called Legolas out of the Shadows when Aragorn couldn't, knowing now what should have been between them from the beginning and wasn't, trying to make things right somehow for those he's both loved and wronged, and having so little time left before they may all be facing the end of things.
And you did that through the magic of your writing!
Author's Response: You put that so well, ebbingnight. He really is in a bad place- can't see how he is going to win this really. And he has to confront Gandalf AND Elladan, and then surely Legolas? And what will Legoals think? And what will Elrohir htink of himself- he is so full of self-loathing, how can he ever beleive someone will love him? And Legolas, well, is he the settling down type? This is just all set to crash and burn, isn't it?
When and if....O_o.
*Runs round in circles like a headless chicken.*
Whatever you write, I'll follow it. We all know what we would like to see, but you write it, I'll read it, and love it.
I read something on LJ a few days ago, which was not addressed to me, but did make me think.
...perhaps you should approach fanfic writing, if and as you continue to write it, as if you were writing for yourself. I do realize that there is a built in audience for fanfic and built-in characters and that that's one of the pleasures of it (and as well as one of the worries). But, ultimately, you are devoting your time to it, so why not worry about pleasing yourself or satisfying yourself first rather than a somewhat arbitrary audience -- I've had quite a few authors I've beta'd for express the same feelings, and I worry because I think they are all excellent writers who've become too consumed by what is perceived to be popular by a certain fandom rather than what they are moved by writing.
And I thought, yes. True. I don't have quite the same problem, because although I write some *couples*, very few (if any) of my characters are faithful sexually. And that was the way I wanted to go, to build my vision of people to whom 'free love' was natural and joyous (even if it does cause jealousy, that's part of the fun. d;-) ) And that's *pleasing myself*, and also I believe that about the Elves. (My Elves rather than Tolkien's.)
So if on LJ or reviews or elsewhere, people say they'd like to see 'so-and-so' together, that's not really a problem. (Okay, I may have a problem with Melkor and Legolas but hey, I could probably weave a thread in where that happens. O_o.)
But when I follow stories now, I'm going to make sure the author does not feel you know, pressured, as they might have a plot lined up that will not meet the readers expectations. I do see that readers come to have those expectations, and want to see them met. In a way, that's what makes fanfic wonderful; this sort of intimacy with authors and reviewers, but after reading something else on LJ with regards to a story I am following, where the author said there would be more of two OC's I love, but we readers might not like it, I really understood that an author can post something and be worried that the audience will be disappointed. There is also the time between chapters (whether a day or months) that allows readers to digest the story and think about it. I've found in books or if I find a completed fanfic, I whizz through it and don't have that time; the story just pulls me. I remember reading Esteliel's work up to about half-way through Cuil Eden, and then, only then, because I had to wait for an update, did I give myself time to think about everything. I didn't have time to make points or theorize, as I was too engrossed. Reading WIP's, we can do those things, which maybe increases the pressure on the author. So I am going to try to be good, lol.
But authors like you, like Esteliel, and others I read, you can lead us like a pet lamb through any scenario. You make us buy into anything, and that's why we're so interested and perhaps sometimes sound demanding, or very passionate.
But I am really really worried about who they cast for Thranduil - I cant BEAR it if he is not the most sensuously gorgeous beast in the film!
I hear thee! (Fanservice Mr. Jackson, please.) I shall just imagine my own Thranduil if I am underwhelmed. I know what I want him to look like, so I shall *see* that person, if PJ's casting flops. (I hope it does not. His Elves did disappoint me, save for Legolas, but no book-to-film characters are ever going to be exactly as we imagine, so I will enjoy the sets -- which are wonderful, and I hope Mirkwood is, as it was the first Middle-earth location that truly fascinated me. -- and place my own characters in them. :) )
Author's Response: I agree with you actually. I like to know other people are reading it and like it, without that I probably wouldn't try so hard to get it right to be honest. I like approval and I like to please but I KNOW sometimes what someone else wants ot happen, just isnt right. Even Anar sometimes wants it to go one way and I just know its not going to happen. The characters just dont respond- you know what I mean. But sometimes someone says something and you think- oh yes, that's right! Candy (see below) for example!! xxx
There is so much to love in every chapter, and this is no exception. Of course I knew it would be a treat and I jumped a little when I saw your post in the left column.
I love poor, blundering, well meaning pip, And Legolas’ thoughts as he is talking. It is endearing that Legolas as an adult thinks his father knows everything. I also love the parental glance that makes Thranduil’s adult sons look at the ground and shuffle their feet.
Aragorn says he has done enough. You bet he has and without so much as a thank you, at least as far as I can recall.
I know you are getting to it, but I wanted Elrohir to kiss Legolas too. That Gimli! If it were not for his stubbornness…
Zig, we will wait for you as long as it takes. Quality like this cannot be rushed. Now of course you could rewrite the trilogy and I would be delighted to read every page. You deserve every possible success and recognition, and that is what I wish for you, along with all of us who love you.
Thank you for this and for all that you write.
Your ardent fan, Candy
Author's Response: Hey Candy - thank you dear. You are such a treat yourself. Glad Pippin worked for you- I always find it easy to write Pippin- his voice is very strong and I can hear him speaking when I write but I htink that is part the genius of PJ's casting to be honest. And I likeot keep remniding us about Thradnuil-he is stil lLegoals' signicant other for the moment and Gimli also fufills that role to some extent in Thraduil's absence. Oh- that kiss... yes. I think, for you, there should be one quite soon...I have started writing it already as soon as I read your review- it feels right... but I am not going to tell you what happens during/ after the kiss! Love Zig
I'm jealous of you Ziggy! But my love for wonderful fic outweighs it. :D
I love, therefore I gush.
Of course, I am reading it again, and it is so powerfully poetic.
He stared unseeing at the floor as a cold hand reached for him, reached into his chest and suddenly he could not breathe. His heart pounded and he clutched the bandage where it burned. His breath came in short fast gasps and he was dimly aware that there was shouting and a sudden flurry and a crimson warmth suffused him, warmed and calmed him and a voice spoke in his head, through the terror and he recognised it and turned towards it as he had before...it called him back as he fled, so he paused and wondered and was reassured that the terror had not followed him. Instead there was a song of eagles crying in high places above pristine snow, high crags, remote, untouched...
I shall forever associate Elrohir with this image. That felt like Elrohir guarding Legolas soul.
..Here lay the heart of Elrohir Rávëyon. And when he left he did not look back.
*Head in hands.*
I hope you never stop writing this verse. Also, with The Hobbit now definitely in the works, there is almost bound to be more Mirkwood-centric fics being written, but what I have read, the ideas that you have are right up my street; there seems a kind of deeply pagan sensual beauty about your Mirkwood and its folk that manifests itself so wonderfully in the character of Legolas. This kind of rich fey wildness is definitely how I think Mirkwood should be written. (However it's shown in the film!)
Author's Response: Praise indeed and especially from you. You are exaclty right- he is guarding Legolas' soul. And that makes him vulnerable too and he has ot accept that, and to accept that it means he can be hurt again because he has not wanted that, shied away from it - you know, when and IF they do finally get together, it si going to be fireworks! But I say IF because he has this ridicuous beleif he is unworhty... oh, that reminds me! How is LITE and MOTD coming along? We are so excited by the Hobbit, arent we? I cant wait! But I am really really worried about who they cast for Thranduil - I cant BEAR it if he is not the most sensuously gorgeous beast in the film!
Best part of this . . . Pippin and Legolas. You write Pippin very true to form, the way he twists the story to make it his own. I can see and hear the little hobbit as he tries to make himself out to be 'all knowing'. LOL And of course Legolas would feel some connection or remembrance of him. I think these two have much more in common than some might think. Instigators, troublemakers . . . love it. The whole chapter was wonderful, but I was just really drawn to Pippin here. It makes me hope that, like Gandalf and Frodo, Legolas and Pippin will have that kind of friendship one day. And as for the length of time between chapters, don't worry about it. Your true fans and followers are always here. We love your work and support you. We are not jealous, but are cheering you on. You are an example to other authors and to me that is the best gift you could offer. So, rock on Ziggy.
Author's Response: I love Pippin with legolas and I am so glad it works for you too, L8. I have to say I was giggling to myself as I wrote it and htere is another bit coming up which I think you will like in the next chapter. Remeber Legoals feels protective of Pippin anyway and now thinks he is very unappreciated!! I really appreciate your support too- I do worry that I am taking too long and I love the buzz of posting and waiting for reviews - only human and feedback is so good!
Wow, Ziggy, if possible, this is even better this time around! Loved it!
Author's Response: Sooo glad you liked it- you see what I mean about Anar -she makes me work at it! And I think the sequencing is better now -it was bugging me, didn't feel right and I had to ditch some nice bots too. But you are going through it yourself so I know you understand. Hoping to see something more from you soon lovey.
Hello Ziggy dear,
The slow-down in leaving comments since the last chapter was probably due to the fact that we were all biting our nails and holding our breath in hopes that you'd be able to pull something like this off.
Author's Response: Well I am relieved it worked, but most of this is due to Anarithilien prodding and shoving me in the right direction- it makes such a difference getting someone you can work with. I sound like I was complaining about a lack of reviews noe I look at it- I wasn't really, they were just slower in coming, mainly on ffnet because htis is a lovely supportive site where good writers and reviewers are. Like your good self,ebbingnight! I have some nice moments for you in the next chapter too, hon.