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Father, Captain, and King  by Thundera Tiger 10 Review(s)
AdrianneReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/2/2007
I am in tears. I am a fan of Thranduil. I think he gets unfairly maligned by many, but you have perfectly expressed all the reasons that he appears to be a man stern and cold. What a weight of responsibility and sorrow Thranduil carried for so many centuries. And how difficult to be the kind of Father he desired to be under the burden of those trying circumstances and years.

Thranduil is one of my favorite characters to write and I have written about him heavily in the few pieces I have done. I deeply appreciate your empathetic portrayal of him. This is a beautiful, poignant piece. And as I said, it captures perfectly all the complications of a life lived pressed by Royal obligation and assailed by dark forces.

Brilliant. Thanks for this little masterpiece.

AryaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/13/2006

I must say that you surprise me with every work of yours I read. Keep it up! You really put tought in here and made me think myself.

Author Reply: Thank you for the kind compliment, and I'm glad I could make you think! Thranduil is such a complex character, and I had fun with him in this piece.

elf-girlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 7/27/2004
What a great story! I think that all the stories about Legolas before the fellowship are great but,this one...I nearly cried!!!
(English is not my native language... sorry if there are any mistakes)

fadagaskiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/23/2004
It's taken me about 3 days, but I've finally got around to reading it. Woohoo! It's thanks to your writing that I like Legolas beyond the vague character of the books, and it's thanks to your writing that Mirkwood seems so real to me.

I don't know much about father/son relationships, particularly in a war scenario, but you still managed to make me feel sorry for the pair of them for being stuck with duty.

Author Reply: Well, I haven't gotten around to responding to reviews for a while, so we can both be a bit on the late side this time. ;)

Anyway, I'm incredibly flattered that I've made Legolas real for you. Thank you so much for that compliment! As for father/son wartime relationships, the few I've studied have been harsh. Very harsh. Especially when the war is desperate. The father has to live with the fact that if asked, he would ahve to sacrifice his son for the country. And the son has to live with the fact that the country will always come first in his father's eyes. It makes for an interesting relationship.

AlyshaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/22/2004
OMG I loved this story. Tolkien tells us nothing about Thranduil and Legolas's relation ship and I enjoyed seeing the king answer such a tough dilemma with such love!

Author Reply: I'm glad you like it! This is certainly my own interpretation of the relationship between Thranduil and Legolas, but I'm fond of it. Of course, I'd have to be or I'd ditch it for a different one. Ah well. Thanks for the review!

CorielReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2004
How sad. :(
I can understand the concern, though. Particularly Thranduil realizing his helplessness to do anything to ransom any of his sons should the Enemy get his hands on them. Reminds me of the Spanish Civil War and what Colonel Moscardo faced while he defended the Alcazar of Toledo from the Communist revolutionaries:
. . .
(quote) After identifying himself, Cabello said, “You are responsible for all the crimes and everything else that is happening in Toledo. I give you ten minutes to surrender the Alcazar. If you don’t, I’ll shoot your son Luis who is standing here beside me.”

Moscardo’s face did not betray his feeling. “I believe you,” he said.

“And so that you can see it’s true,” Cabello continued, “he will speak to you.”

Luis was given the phone. “Papa!” he cried.

“What is happening, my boy?”

“Nothing,” Luis answered. “They say they are going to shoot me if the Alcazar does not surrender. But don’t worry about me.”

“If it is true,” replied Moscardo, “commend your soul to God, shout ‘Viva Espana!’ and die like a hero. Good-bye, my son, a kiss.”

“Good-bye, Father, a very big kiss.”

When Cabello was on the phone again, Moscardo said, “You might as well forget the period of grace you gave me. The Alcazar will never surrender!”

~ Eby, Cecil D. “The Siege of the Alcazar” p.62

Author Reply: I've studied the Spanish Civil War, but I haven't heard this particular story before. Fascinating! See? This is what war forces people to do. Thranduil isn't heartless; he's desperate. There's a big difference. *sigh* Ah well. Anyway, thanks so much for sharing that tidbit! I'll have to look into acquiring this story.

Estel_Mi_OlorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2004
Oh, Thundera, that was heartbreaking. I have tears in my eyes! I never thought about life in Mirkwood from this point of view before, the sacrifice of family. I would pity them, but it's rather useless to do so. They have no choice, but to fight, and to make what sacrifices are needed. At least, they can hope that they will never be put into a position like that which Legolas feared. I do not know what I should say! Your story was very well written, as usual, your details providing a vivid picture of what was happening. Thranduil seemed very heartless, until the end, when he admitted his weakness. Poor Legolas! I really liked the symbol of the beechtree, foretelling danger for Mirkwood. This was a very touching story, and I hope you write another one, after the War of the Ring, when perhaps Mirkwood's Royal Family can try to act like a family, and forget the hierarchy of command, just for a little while. Thank you and keep writing!

Author Reply: I was rather fond of the beech tree, too. You're the only one who's made a comment on it, though. Ah well. It can be our own personal insight, I suppose. As for heartless Thranduil...I didn't think so. I mean, he abandoned his war captains in order to search for his son, and when he found Legolas, he wasn't inclined to speak. So Thranduil did the only thing he could: he made Legolas angry enough so that he would slip up and reveal part of what was troubling him. It makes sense to me, especially if you're striving for efficiency and speed, both of which Thranduil values. So he's not heartless. He just doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve. He's learned not to.

ElwenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/21/2004

Sorry. Can't think of anything constructive to say. I'm still sobbing. This was carefully reasoned and heart wrenchingly told.

Author Reply: I'm glad it touched you! And don't worry about saying things constructive. Sometimes we all check out of our minds. You're fine. But thank you for the note!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/20/2004
A family they may be, but they are a family who think only in black and white. I'm fairly sure there is a third way out of such a situation -- even ordinary banks have hidden panic buttons so that a teller can appear to comply with a robber's orders while summoning help at the same time. Perhaps as Thranduil and his captains debate that issue, they ought to think of a more subtle signal that could be used as a "panic button" in a similar circumstance.

For now, Thranduil appears to be doing the right thing in not assigning any of his children to serve under any of their siblings. Being the smart king that he is (which he demonstrates in Fear No Darkness, which I did read and enjoy the latest chapter of but couldn't get my act together to write a review for, so here's your note now), I'm sure that he arranges patrols such that no two family members serve in the same patrol. The first way to solve a problem is to avoid it in the first place.

The scene that you set here is interesting. Tolkien loves to go on and on about how much his Elves love the twilight and the stars, so it's interesting that you have the night holding so much terror for them. It can easily be read as showing just how awful the world has become that something that the Elves love so much has become so twisted and terrible for them. I do think that you've overdone it just a touch. I can see the Elves fearing the goblins and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties that go bump in the night, but I don't think that the dark of night itself holds as much terror for them as you imply.

Thranduil is definitely skilled at being a father. He knows all about his children, where to go look for them, when and how hard to press them. I would have liked this story even if it hadn't been Father's Day (which we don't really notice in my family because Dad's birthday is so close to it).

Author Reply: I'm thinking that all elves should carry little walkie-talkies in the event of such an emergency. You run into problems when you consider that the transistor hasn't been invented yet in Middle-earth, but I think that walkie-talkies would be a good panic-button for elven patrols. ;)

I think you're right. After putting some distance between myself and this story, I agree that Mirkwood's darkness is overdramatized a bit. I think I let myself get a little too wrapped up in the narrative, and then I found all these dark metaphors running around in my head and just had to write them down. Sorry about that. I will definitely work on a kinder, gentler Mirkwood in future stories. (Relatively speaking, of course. I maintain that Mirkwood was still a rather nasty forest.)

LayangabiReviewed Chapter: 1 on 6/20/2004
It seems that I have the privelege to be the first to review...:) Wonderful story Thundera! I've been waiting for this since your preview came out, and it doesn't disappoint. It's wonderful to see a story between Thranduil and one of his children, particularly from his perspective. I find it bitterly ironic that while Thranduil (at least at this moment in time---he seems to find himself slightly out of step by Fear No Darkness)understands Legolas, Legolas in his turn doesn't understand his father. (neither, it seems do quite a few Legolas fans) While it's certainly understanbdable, given the distance Thranduil's family has had to place between themselves, it's still desperately sad. This rare moment of shared understanding is all the more poignant for it.

Author Reply: Many thanks! In my opinion, I think it's safe to say that none of Thranduil's children really understand him, and I think he's done that on purpose. He's tried to push them away in case they run into situations like what Legolas describes. But he can't push himself away, and therein lies much of the problem. Ah well. I love Thranduil regardless of what he does and doesn't do. He'll always be my favorite elven king!

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