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Reviewer: Lisse Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 04:23 pm Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

OMG! How long has this been posted? I wasted my Sunday morning on rubish when I could have been reading this! Better late than never. Thanks Zig.

Author's Response: Lisse- you ALWAYS make me smile! Hope you enjoyed it and the next one will be out soon.x

Reviewer: Spiced Wine Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 01:04 pm Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

Oh, I remembered a quote which I found the other day, which certainly applies to you and your stories.

To dream magnificently is not a gift given to all men,
Charles Baudelaire.

But you most certainly do.

Author's Response: You have me blushing again.x

Reviewer: Spiced Wine Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 12:39 pm Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

And as I said on ffnet- your reviews read like poetry themselves and how often does that happen? xx

It happens when the story demands it, which is rare. I have a passion for incredible characters, who are larger-than-life, and moreover when it involves Elves (or the Peredhil) to be able to see them as what I believe they are, not Mortals; they seem to imprint themselves far more deeply upon the world, and the eye is always drawn to them as to a fire at night. Not many people write them like that, because I think they don't understand what Elves are, and make them human, which is wrong, depressing, and moreover pointless. Elves are human, but not Men. What would be the point of Elves at all if they were just like long-lived and long-haired Men? Legolas in your work is fey and beautiful and dangerous, Elrohir burns like a dark star, but they are both clearly of Elven blood.

Fanfiction has given me so much pleasure, both in writing of course, but in reading, when I find stories like this which simply blaze. I could never read and then go off thinking, 'That was good.'
I know how much authors put into their works, especially something with such themes as Sons of Thunder, and I am quite unable not to fling myself into reviewing. It is a 'hair-trigger' review. I don't think I've ever read 9,000 words so fast, then gone back twice to read more slowly, and I was practically exploding with the need to review. :)

Yes, of course you can use that phrase -- it's not copyright, lol.

Author's Response: Ah well, the feeling is entirely mutual! And of course you are so right about Elves- human yes, men oh no. Its trying to get beneath the skin of that difference isnt it? They MUST burn brighter -be more intense. And the comment about Elladan and Elrohir being like Feanor and Fingolfin is praise indeed coming from the best Silm writer ever! The next chapter is already written really but Anar felt it needed ot be cut in two so I have time to just tweak things and it will be out next weekend, then we have one or two more chapters in Mordor and hten home again... ah, but how. x

Reviewer: ebbingnight Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 05:13 am Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

This is so deeply satisfying now, Ziggy: no matter what happens, here at what could well be the end of all things, Elrohir has returned to what he truly is, though he still can't accept that he has. No matter what happens, we know for certain that Legolas will find him and love him, whether in Middle Earth, in the Halls of Mandos, or in the Undying Lands.

Author's Response: Yes. He is really determined and resolved. I wanted it to be like Wuthering Heights- that last paragraph is one of t emost romantic pieces of writing ever and I wanted Legolas to make some sort of vow. But oh Ebbingnight... you know, Elrohir still has not told him what has happened and there are others who know. Watch this space. I will aim to post next weekend and the chapters are almost written now.

Reviewer: Alpha Ori Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 12:17 am Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

Fabulous! And I love this part, such a wonderful thing for one of our heros to imagine...

‘We will make a stand today that will make our people proud of us,’ he said and his voice was defiant, resonant.

It seemed to Gimli that in the mist that lay about the departing camp, ghosts of Men and Elves stood, like the Army of the Dead had done at Pelargir, and he thought he saw a glint of steel in the mists, and far away there was the sound of horns and the distant echo of a battle cry. It was here, after all, that Gil-Galad and Elendil had stood. He shivered slightly and turned to look up where Legolas stood tall against the grey sky, with the wind lifting his hair and a gleam in his strange green eyes as if he too, saw the ghosts of long dead warriors, Elves and Men.


I very much look forward to the last chapter of this wonderful story.

Author's Response: That is so good to see these bits noticed, Alpha- than you for commenting. It is always good when another writer comments because I know you know the hard work that goes into this. Still a couple more chapters to go because I didnt know that something ni the next chapter was going to happen - you know how it is!! xx

Reviewer: Spiced Wine Signed [Report This]
Date: 30/10/11 - 12:00 am Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

Oh, and because I cannot double-review on FF.Net, I have to say, Elladan and Elrohir together reminded me piercingly of Fëanor and Fingolfin; as if they had walked out of the Elder Days or were taking their place here, at the Morannon.

He turned and found Elladan close, and he held Elrohir’s gaze for a long moment and then stepped close to Elrohir. ‘Be safe, my soul,’ he said quietly and Elrohir felt sudden prick of tears. He squeezed his eyes shut for the surge of love he felt for Elladan. How could he be so generous, so noble? ‘I find I cannot face the world without you.’ He pulled Elrohir into a sudden embrace and Elrohir felt the calm blue peace envelop him but there was such loss and longing in that light it caught his breath.

I am crying here. Why do the best stories always make me cry?

Elrohir's reaction to Eomer's jealousy shows his maturity and his hard-earned patience, compassion and almost fatalism. While Eomer was a courageous young man who made an excellent king, his youth and callowness could never match Elrohir's deep, dark fire and brilliance. This was an exchange of such polarities!
It's a shame Eomer's been hurt, but it happens to us all. And there's no happiness in Elf-Mortal relationships, only eternal separation.

Elrohir knew Legolas watched aghast and called to him but he merely turned and dipped his head slightly and rode on with not a backward glance, for he had etched in his memory a warm hand slipping across his, and a hard, strong body pressing against him as if by accident. A breath ghosting over his mouth but so fleeting it could have been a dream and being immersed in light like walking beneath the beech trees in spring when the new leaves unfurled their green-gold. It was enough.

He felt the Nazgul’s sharpening interest and felt their cold regard, the slide of their malice. They were breathless with anticipation. He walked into a potential trap and he knew it was a trap. They wanted him, and they had waited for him.


Oh, Lord. :( This story torments me, but with its brilliance and its darkness all shot through with indescribable passion and beauty.

Author's Response: ooh- I love that phrase' deep, dark fire and brilliance'. Can i use it? And of course, you are right about Elf-Mortal relationships. I htink when all this is done, Legolas will have learned a thing or two - Anar is very keen that they make progress as characters and she keeps me focused when I go off on some hyperbolic epic romance! Next chapter will be next weekend as this chapter has been spilt into two and well, things can go wrong and Elrohir is not the only one who knows what ahppened on the Mountain.

Reviewer: Spiced Wine Signed [Report This]
Date: 29/10/11 - 10:30 pm Title: Chapter 38 Before the Black Gate

I had huge problems reviewing on FF.net; I think it's up, but in case it is not, I'll post it here:

Ziggy, you have made my day, week, month probably.

This is so, so epic. The atmosphere is so absolutely real and intense I can breath it, see it, I am like an observer.

He felt his thumbs pricking and the hair on his scalp froze in horror for the wind lifted the black shroud of one rider and Pippin stared, realising that these were no gargoyles or stone, but the Nazgul whose steeds clung to the Towers and even as he watched, one slowly unfolded its thin leathery wings and detached itself from the Tower, lifted onto the air.

That is absolutely masterful, and gives an incredible and instant impression of the immensity of the Morannon.

And this, such a sense of waiting, of the imminent battle

Pippin glanced at Legolas and saw his jaw was tight and his eyes fixed on the warrior below. Pippin saw how their eyes met and Legolas dipped his head ever so slightly, but his eyes did not leave the face of the son of Elrond. Elrohir.

And there is such tension and sheer beauty here between Legolas and Elrohir

And then he was there, before Elrohir and pushing past. A warm hand slipped across Elrohir’s and a hard, strong body pressed against him as if by accident. A breath ghosted over his mouth but so fleeting it could have been a dream and Elrohir felt immersed in light like walking beneath the beech trees in spring when the new leaves unfurled their green-gold.

How superb!
This is just a thunderstorm between them

shudder of longing and desire flooded him and he felt himself stiffen instantly and his loins were liquid. Legolas paused for a moment, looking deeply as if he knew, and that he gazed into something wondrous, into the depths of his soul, and then he was gone, striding down the slope and calling to the Dwarf and Hobbit to join him.

Be still, my heart.

Do you know how incredibly rare it is for some-one to write true chemistry? It's impossibly rare, in fanfic, (I've read it in about 4 stories only over the past four years) in published works, but this is incredible. It's what sexual chemistry should be and never is.

And this is glorious, dramatic. It has to be set to an epic theme.

Elladan smiled back, loosening his hold on Elrohir, and clasping his brothers’ arm. Elrohir swept his cloak aside, unpinned the Dunédain star with one hand and tossed the heavy sable cloak to a squire who ran forwards to catch it with awestruck eyes. Together the brothers strode out to the front, beyond the line of the swan knights, beyond any of them. Their long hair was raven-black as their armour gleamed in the dim grey light, mithril runes on their cuirasses were molten swirls and Elrohir rolled his shoulders and swung his sword a little, dark Aícanaro glittered darkly, ferocious and hungry.

The whole of this chapter is like smoke and thunder and lightning and passion, so much pressure against the skin. Magnificent!

Author's Response: Spiced - I have said before, you have to be one of the most appreciative writers ever; you always notice and comment on waht someone has done; you always applaud and appreciate hte work and you are always so generous in your compliments. Thank you. And as I said on ffnet- your reviews read like poetry themselves and how often does that happen? xx

Reviewer: Melusine Signed [Report This]
Date: 20/10/11 - 08:46 pm Title: Chapter 37 The Last Deep Breath

Another breathtaking chapter, Ziggy. I don't know how you manage to keep the tension ratcheted up, but you do, and it's amazing!

Author's Response: Thank you dear- the feeling is mutual .Wait for the next one!!

Reviewer: Melusine Signed [Report This]
Date: 20/10/11 - 08:46 pm Title: Chapter 37 The Last Deep Breath

Another breathtaking chapter, Ziggy. I don't know how you manage to keep the tension ratcheted up, but you do, and it's amazing!

Reviewer: L8Bleumr Signed [Report This]
Date: 11/10/11 - 06:55 pm Title: Chapter 37 The Last Deep Breath

I really enjoyed seeing things through Pippin's eyes here. It was a nice break from all the usual tension. The end of your chapter was the best part though. I love your description of the darkness and mist. I can really feel the dread and fear as if I am actually there. Elrohir seems much different here, better, stronger, more confident. I see it in the way he comforts the men, tries to give them some of his own confidence. I feel him even out a bit as he senses Elladan's calmness. And to have him stand next to Legolas makes me see how far he has come since the beginning when there was so much animosity. They will fight together, not against one another. Makes my skin tingle a bit. Looking forward to the Black Gate.

Author's Response: It's funny how easily Pippin comes to me, his voice is the easiest to write. I'm pleased the dread got you- I wasn't sure how much to put in but you'll need that for hte next chapter! Elrohir ha really got himself back to where he wants ot be with his own state of mind I htink -the obvious love Elladan adn Legoals have for him restores his self-esteem and confidence but its fragile. Ah- so much can go wrong yet!! xx

Reviewer: Lisse Signed [Report This]
Date: 03/10/11 - 07:03 pm Title: Chapter 37 The Last Deep Breath

Ziggy, I enjoyed this chapter as much as every one before. Pip writing a mental letter to Merry is brilliant on your part and exactly what I would expect from Pippin.
Oh and Legolas looking at the twins like Sam looks at Rosie, it made me chuckle, and the fact pip thinks everyone is blind but him.
Very much enjoyed the last few lines.

Elrohir's hand rested on the hilt of his dark bladed sword. His black hair was pulled back from the strong and stern face, but his grey eyes were intent and he went and stood near Legolas, so close that they almost, but did not quite, touch. Together they stood, here on the edge of Mordor, before the final battle. They did not speak but Legolas leaned towards him slightly and in the cold air, his low, wordless song misted and mingled with Elrohir's breath.

This might be the last loving moment they share. The self imposed ban (from Elrohir) allows only their songs to swirl about each other. What you have done is beautiful and mystic. I love it and thank you for all the effort you put into your writing. I know words of gold like yours do not just effortlessly jump onto a page.
Thanks Zig!
With Love, Candy

Author's Response: Pippin is wonderful- easy to write and just great fun. I like writing him. You are right- it's hard work but such a joy to get comments back- the best thing in the world is to see that someone actually reads and enjoys what I've written. It makes it worth all the work. Hope you liked your little extra candy! xx

Reviewer: Lisse Signed [Report This]
Date: 01/10/11 - 04:27 pm Title: Chapter 37 The Last Deep Breath

Ziggy, It is 7:20 a.m. in Gahanna, Ohio and when I saw that you had posted this I actually cheered.Now I get to spend my morning in my favorite way, reading the most excellent of fan fic and drinking tea. ALONE!

Reading Now.

Author's Response: sounds lovely - my favourite thing too.

Reviewer: Melusine Signed [Report This]
Date: 21/09/11 - 11:08 pm Title: Chapter 36

Ziggy, I've already said a few times how much I love this chapter and can't really think of anything else to add except: Brilliant, BRILLIANT writing!

Author's Response: Thank you Fran. I think I got my style back after really rushing through the previous one or two chapters to be fair. Next one is with Anar although I cant help tinkering with it. Are you happy for me to send it to you for a quick respone before posting? x

Reviewer: Lisse Signed [Report This]
Date: 03/09/11 - 07:57 pm Title: Chapter 36

Ziggy,
Once again I have read this chapter almost daily since you posted it. I am thrilled that the twins have broken the silence. One of the most touching things I have read is Elladan healing Elrohir. So true, their father is the greatest healer imaginable and did not recognize his own son’s emotional trauma. What a great job you did with this.

I loved Legolas telling Arogorn exactly what he would be doing and where for the rest of the night. It made me laugh out loud. Now it was a surprise when Elrohir came to him and was the voice of reason. But Legolas does not want reason, he wants comfort. I feel his disappointment and very endearingly his youth also. As you say he is considered young among his folk.

I take such a long time to review because I really think about what to say. You are a marvel Ziggy and I think every single word is perfect. You really have the gift to take your readers to another place and make them feel like it is real. I love and care about your characters. As always, a great big thank you for writing for us. I brag about you to everyone who will give me even half an ear. You truly are better than Tolkien, but I am glad to have him because with out him you would not be writing this for all of us.

Love Candy

Author's Response: I am so glad Elladan is generous an dso very very kind. As L8 says, he does need some sort of recompense and that is mulling around in my head - I'm not sure when I iwll have any time to write though so it will be a little whle before another update I'm afraid. Yes, Aragorn isn't a fool even though he has quite underestimated Gimli - I have a little scene in my head for later. And I was as surprised as anyone that Elrohir is so reasonable, but htink he has calmed because Elladan has begun healing him and so he is albe to see through his rage. He has hidden it for so long that it is his reaction to Legolas that unlocks his desire and passion so perhaps it is hardly surprsing that he has been able to hide. I like to get reviews any time- so late ones are just as welcome as early ones.Never worry about that as long as you send me a comment. I get very demorialsied when there are few comments. I am flattered by what you say and it is Tolkien's world we are in and to be so convinced it is 'real' is his great and epic imagination. But I love that you think that - soooo good for my ego!!xx

Reviewer: L8Bleumr Signed [Report This]
Date: 24/08/11 - 08:27 pm Title: Chapter 36

My heart aches for the twins. I so want them to mend their hurts, but I know it cannot be instant. Any real hurt such as this would take a lot of soul searching before forgivness can be given. On a lighter side, poor poor Aragorn, always the last to know. I mean, even Pip has a clue. But hey, Aragorn's had a lot on his mind lately. Still, I wouldn't play poker with him. He's good at reading people and there's no doubt he'd take all my money, lol. I'm also liking the way Legolas and Elrohir are advancing, even if they need to cool things down and put their feelings on hold. I like this Elrohir. It's nice to see him coming out of that darkness. And one more thing. As you know, Candy and I often talk about your story, break it apart, analyze it, get into the heads of your characters. We both agree that your Elladan is irresistable and would like to see him happy with someone. As much as it would be pleasing to see him with Legolas, I don't think he should. Legolas is untamed and more Elrohir's match than Elladan. Ell needs someone much more tame I think. I couldn't even begin to suggest a canon character. This is kind of out of my genre. Do you know Zig, that I am a devoted HET girl, and here you have me asking for your slash? That's just how good you are. I look beyond the act with your stories because it is about much more than that. Now, only you know what you want to write and I would not be disappointed if you didn't write an Elladan story. I just needed to tell you how much I really enjoy your work and anything you write will be looked for with anticipation. Reading your stories always gives me a boost when I'm struggling with my own. So, thanks for taking the time to give us such talented work. You are an inspiration.

Author's Response: That comment about Legolas being a better match for Elrohir is spot on L8. He is a bit too wild for Elladan and I suspect he would end up hurting Elladan who is perhaps not quite exciting and wild enough for him. I know you and Lisse are rooting for him and I WILL write something after I fifnsh Sons- I am just focusing on that first. (You say such nice things - make me blush xx)

Reviewer: ebbingnight Signed [Report This]
Date: 23/08/11 - 11:39 pm Title: Chapter 36

This is such a wonderfully rich, moving chapter, but I'll just say that my favorite "bit" is Pippin pretending to be asleep under his blanket and knowing exactly what is going on (Aragorn is so very wrong about his not knowing about the really important things!) just by the tenderness in those two voices that he hears, even though he can't understand any of the language. A perfect ending to this very long, emotionally wearing day for all (including us readers!)

Author's Response: Oh, I am so gald you like that bit- I wrote it half way through Elladan's bit - Pippin is so easy to write because Tolkine is very clear with his voice and Pippin just speaks to me in th at unconsciouls and blabbering way. I will come back to him in the next chapter I expect and have a nice bit that I think will stay in where he is watching Aragorn questioning Gimli in waht he thinks is a sublte way and Gimli hjust gettingmore and more anxious and horrified! Watch out for it! I love Aragorn - and it just amuses me to think he really is going to get himself very confused before the end!!

Reviewer: Lisse Signed [Report This]
Date: 16/08/11 - 05:57 pm Title: Chapter 35

Ziggy,
After reading this chapter at least a dozen times, I am still not ready to review, but I have to. It would be a crime if I did not tell you how perfect it is. Your description of the Nazgul attack from Elrohir’s pov is the best “battle” scene ever. It is just like we are there.

Then Elladan’s introspection, guided by the evil mind twisting of the Nazgul, very good. I cannot help but feel immense sympathy for him, “generous soul that he is”. Again, L8bleumer and I were talking and as she says in her review, can’t we have a little love for Elladan? He is so beautiful.

Oh and I noticed the contrast between the brother’s implements of war. Elrohir has a fiery sword that Legolas and many fear. Elladan has a pure white sword. I find both appealing. Legolas, however, needs someone as strong and passionate as himself. Elrohir is his challenge answered. Elladan would have made a sweet love, but would have had his heart broken like Eomer. I see Legolas likes a strong lover, and hope Elro gives him all he deserves, ;).

While he is gentler than his brother, Elladan is no wimp. I love the image of him charging up the stairs 4 at a time. How very strong. I Love that he takes control and commands the archers!


In the end, It seems Legolas is finally healed and faces his fear. Oh he is so brave! No one but Thranduilion could have stood the gruesome attack.


Ziggy, surely it will take more than a few chapters to wrap this up. We have the battle and the aftermath.

Thank you for this and I look forward to reading your spicier version on the other site!

Love, Candy

Author's Response: Ah Candy - you and Mo!! OK- Elladan can have something but probably after this is finished- I cant cope with more right now... and it might not be in the AU but another one so it may be he ends up with Legolas and Elrohir can stil be all hatey and fiery about Mirkwood...oh I dont know. Or maybe Imrahil... I did sow a little seed back at Pelennor for that so perhaps I'll pick it up... or maybe write an AU of my wn AU with Elladan to be a follow on for Below Decks. Anyway, you two are great for my ego so I will keep writing even if I only post it to you two until it gets so rubbish even you dont want ot read it anyway:) XX

Reviewer: L8Bleumr Signed [Report This]
Date: 16/08/11 - 07:15 am Title: Chapter 35

This was hands down THE best chapter of yours I have ever read. There's not one thing I can point out seperately that I liked more. I loved everything. Just let me ask one question. Any thoughts on giving Elladan his own story? You write him wonderfully. Poor guy deserves someone to love him too. Excellent work. I can't believe it's almost over.

Author's Response: Funny, I've been thinking that too. Below decks isn't going to be enough, is it? I have thought Imrahil was quite a nice character but so far, nothing's come of it. Maybe just for you... xx

Reviewer: ebbingnight Signed [Report This]
Date: 14/08/11 - 04:21 am Title: Chapter 35

Don't think that we didn't notice the way in which Elrohir realized even through his growing weakness that he would risk everything there on the ramparts to save his beloved... and in the end Legolas saved him from that long fall into darkness!

I only hope it's an omen, not an ending

Author's Response: Ah, ebbingnight- you never miss a thing! ANd yes, Legolas saved him..where does that lead them? They still have a little way to go yet. xx

Reviewer: Mindirith Signed [Report This]
Date: 13/08/11 - 07:39 am Title: Chapter 35

This is such a wonderful chapter! the tension, but also the reconciliation (I was just plain cheering when Elladan decided to forgive Elrohir), and Legolas getting most of his memories (especially the difficult ones, I guess Gandalf must be one heck of a psychiatrist, for Legolas to be dealing with the mountain memories so wel). I am glad he has Gimli and Pippin, and I hope he has Elrohir also at his side at this point. He needs them all, as torn up as he is. I wonder what happened to Aicanaro. Did Legolas leave it on the ledge? Is Elrohir finally rid of it? Though I supposed that would be a curse as well, as they are on the eve of a great battle, in which he will need weapons he is used to. Is Elrohir going to be healed enough to continue? You keep me on hot coals!

Author's Response: Aicanaro...there's a bit more of his story in the enxt chapter, more hints at where he has come from and who forged him - just hints though. But you are right- Elrohir will need him if he fights the Nazgul again. Elrohir's shoulder is going to be a problem, isn't it....no spoilers though!

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