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Elflings   by Bodkin 8 Review(s)
LarnerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 10/24/2006
The chapter titles are superb, by the way.

Love the way these twins work secretly, but not to destruction as do the Terrible Two. And also love that Legolas, silvan Elf that he is, sneaks up on Hithiel. Wonderful that he's still who he is.

And the thought of Oropher joining his great grandson in hawking is delightful. Hope it does happen one day.

Author Reply: The chapter titles are getting harder to find!

Legolas's pair are calmer and more reasonable than poor Elrohir's. And their interests are much less likely to have them deep in trouble most of the time. Legolas enjoyed sneaking up on Hithien - who is pretty good at sneaking herself.

It would be great to have Oropher and Galenthil hawking together. Hawking seems quite an elven sport to me - in that it provides food for the table and the hawks agree to co-operate with those who fly them. Without hoods and jesses. Maybe one day!

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/18/2005
So much to like in this chapter - where to begin! Ah ha! the beginning...

Thranduil is such an elf in love; I really like the fact he appreciates the view up in the tree so much he loses sight (and interest) of the view (elflings) below.

Galenthil and Elenial are typical kids - finding the hurt animals of the woods and caring for them is something my sister and I did alot when we lived right at the edge of a heavily wooded area. Two elflings would not be able to resist! And a hawk! I really loved Galenthil's single-mindedness in this story. He has found something of interest and is absolutely zeroed in on it. Elenial is interested, I think, not only in making sure the bird does well, but that her brother is successful with what he has undertaken. She's very supportive of him throughout.

Elerrina I can sympathize with - there were lots of times when I knew something was going on with my three just because it "appeared" that nothing was! Too peaceful! Too calm and quiet! The little conversation between Elerrina and her "slippery" husband was hilarious! (I see what Elenial meant when she told her brother, "Adar is home...I heard Naneth giggling." How funny!)

Oropher's old glove made different connections for the two elflings - a rather sad one for the more introspective Elenial, who notices the fact she and her brother are growing apart; an exciting one for Galenthil, who of course, wants to fly the hawk.

Ah yes, that slippery Legolas - sneaking up on Hithien that way! And Hithien telling him 'look, but don't disturb it!' Then the talk with his father, mother and wife about the twins keeping the bird - very elfy, Bodkin, the way they discuss what the bird's wishes would be...very much in keeping with the wood elves' philosophy and relationship with the forest, I think. I did like the punishment - that's right, make them learn more than one lesson here, and find it halfway interesting and useful, too.

The end with Elenial finding the picture of Oropher and hoping he will return from the Halls of Mandos some day to fly hawks with his great-grandson is VERY interesting...are any Oropher-bunnies nibbling at your ankles yet? :-)

(PS - great chapter!)

Author Reply: Well - the elflings are their parents' problem. And he has other things to think of! He and his wife have been divided for too long for the thrill of reunion to have worn off in a mere couple of decades.

Galenthil is very single-minded - and his sister's greater adaptability certainly helped them keep their quest quiet for longer. And they did well -birds are not easy to raise, although I suppose it would be less difficult for highly empathetic elves.

Yes - for ten minutes you relish the quiet and then you start to worry. And Elerrina was brought up conventionally, let me tell you. Her parents did not encourage indoor wildlife. She lacks elements in her background that would immendiately make Miriwen suspicious. (Legolas finds her naivety delightful. And her giggling.)

Oropher - yes. He wasn't even in my mind at the beginning. But now . . . maybe he is ready to return from the Halls of Mandos.

And I think they do see themselves as protectors and guardians - both of the forest and the elflings in their care, and feel (and have the time) to do their best for them all. It took a while to get where this one wanted to go - but then it just flowed!

KarriReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
A lovely chapter, Bodkin. Legolas seems like a very good adar, and it is amusing that he and Thranduil think so much like when it comes to parenting.

Author Reply: Leoglas has an excellent basic training in parenting - he had a very good adar himself, and has learned at the knee of an expert. I think that, if you feel your parents got it right, then you are quite likely to carry on in a similar way.

And fortunately, he has Elerrina to do the mothering bit that he missed out on. (He might not be any fonder of her parents than they are of him, but they adored their children and parented them well. They just didn't want to hand their precious daughter over to an elf who would take her away from them. Because, of course, there's not been an elf born who really deserved Elerrina.)

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
I am so happy to see Hithien is still about even though the elflings are no longer defenseless infants. Elerrina deserves all her family's praises. Laerwen is rather like a minor maiar which could be daunting to any lover but a royal ellon of Doriath.

But, these are the roots of Eleniel's growing nobility. She certainly shows signs of also becoming a great lady. :) It would be wonderful for her to go in search of Oropher. Perhaps finding him through her great-grandmother? I know you could do justice for yet another unconsidered heroine.

Oh dear, *sorry* about all the annoying speculation I've made lately. But, you fan the embers of my imagination, especially with these endearing little episodes.

Author Reply: Oh yes, Hithien is still there. And so, I expect, is Calion (whose name I just had to check.) Laerwen could well be quite intimidating - and she wouldn't fit it at all well among the elves of Tirion, but she and Elerrina get on pretty well - helped by their love of a certain blond prince.

Eleniel is teetering on the edge of adolescence, I think. Rather sooner than Galenthil who is still a straightforward kid. (As is the way with girls v boys.) But they are both easier elflings than Aewlin and Nimloth, being fairly amenable and responsible.

Oropher. I had no intention of even thinking about him at the beginning of this, but he just wanted his g-grandchildren to know about the old days when he was young and happy - before kinslayings and the War of Wrath and the need to defend his new home against the Shadow changed him. It really is time that he was released from the Halls of Mandos, isn't it? He must have come to terms with his feelings of guilt by now. And Thranduil's naneth ought to be around to amuse her descendants by reminding her illustrious son about his childish indiscretions. Well, maybe.

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
The little guys really have grown up. And I thought they very responsibly about the hawk. If what they were doing to raise him had not been working, I felt like they would have asked for help.

Eleniel's realization that her path and the path of Galenthil were beginning to diverge was nicely done. I suppose some of the excitement for moving to the next stage was mute by this discovery, but she's beginning to see glimpses of what the adult world is like.

I like Elerrina's observation about the differences of the wood-elves and the Valinor Noldor Very interesting, but I have to say that it made me like the wood-elves better! Those uppity Noldors! Legolas has been good for Elerrina...and her parents were worried about HIM being less wise and dangerous! Pooh!

Very nice, Bodkin. The kids seemed age appropriate and the parents were good and the grandparents even better. I loved Thranduil's distractions now that he and his wife had been reunited. And Oropher is still in the Halls of Waiting? I get all these mental images of Mandos still trying to set him straight!


Author Reply: I think that all the elflings are likely to stay around this age for a bit. There's only so much you can do with infants. They're cute, certainly, but they're now ranging from about 9 - 15, which is a reasonable range. Not too grown up, not too small.

And Galenthil is both determined and one-track-minded - with a strong bond to forest and forest creatures. Eleniel would have chosen to get help anyway! These twins are getting to the stage where ellon/elleth begins to make more of a difference - not just in their education but in the way they react to the world round them. I suppose those dratted hormones are starting to flow. And being an elleth, Eleniel's are jumping the gun a bit, while Galenthil is still just happy being a kid.

I can see the world of the Valinor Noldor resembling the kind of park set out by Capability Brown in the big stately homes. Beautiful and elegant and manicured, with nothing out of place. Deer permitted if they're pretty and don't munch the wrong plants. Less attractive creatures - remain outside the gates, thank you. Elerrina likes it in the forest. But then Elerrina might like it in the dank depths of Moria as long as Legolas was there with her.

Oropher just insisted on making his presence known. I hope he'll settle down again for a bit - the cast of characters is massive as it is. And I'd need to decide what Mrs. Oropher's name was. (Name-finding is probably one of the most difficult things of all.) And I love picturing Thranduil unable to think straight for the distraction of having his wife there - they're as bad as newly-weds. Worse probably, because they know what can happen.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
I really love this one. There wasn't a single part of it that I didn't love. Laerwen getting to enjoy the excitement of older children while watching her grandchildren in a tree with Thranduil. I was certain when I read that part that it would be my favorite part because I do so love seeing him back with his wife.

But then Galenthil and his bird--I love birds. I have 31 of them (not falcons, obviously). They are wonderful creatures and I could so identify with his wish to help the baby bird and try to form a bond with it. And they were so nicely responsible about it--watching for its parent and then feeding it proper when they took it and hid it. And I enjoyed the hint that their daeradar liked falcons. And I thought Legolas's conversation with his wife was very dear too. I was certain it couldn't get better than that.

But then the conversation between Legolas and Thranduil about Oropher and how you revealed the family history was really touching. I'm a real sucker for all that 'tradition' stuff. Thranduil waiting anxiously until he was old enough and never having the chance...The children looking at pictures of their Anadar hunting with falcons...all that actually made me cry, it was so well done.

It still seemed remarkable to her that both should take the choices of the forest creatures so seriously. Whilst caring for beasts in their charge, her family and friends would pay no more heed to their wishes than they would ask the trees where they wished to grow. Life here, in the forest, was much more organic and it would seem that her elflings were completely at home in this world. She relaxed suddenly and laughed. She could not deny that she enjoyed this life and, if offered the chance to go back, she would not take it.

I loved this introspection. Great chapter. I'm so glad you apparently have time for lots of writing.

Author Reply: Galenthil is a serious, one-track-minded ellon - and he really wanted to rear this bird. (He's a bit like Elrin, only less harassed - and he doesn't take the problems of the world onto his shoulders.) He is also quite good at getting his sister to do his will - without seeming to!

I'm glad you like seeing Thranduil and Laerwen together - and Legolas and Elerrina. Don't want to get too mushy. But Oropher just sort of jumped in and waved his arms - and asked what he had done to get left in Mandos's Halls indefinitely. (Big problem about bringing him in: his wife. She'd need a name. I can spend whole afternoons trying to find a good name. Hours. Longer than it takes to write a story.)

And falconry seems a very elven kind of blood sport. The products are acquired as swiftly and painlessly as possible - for the table - and the birds only return to the fist if they want to. I could see Oropher hawking.

It's not that I have so much time - I just write fast and obsessively when the words are flowing. And I have some sitting on my hard drive waiting their moment. Like Elflings 6, which has been done for ages, waiting for this one to grow.

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
So it's their responsibility to take care of the bird, is it? Well, that's good! Because now the have to do it! It would be just wrong not to. LOL

I liked Eleniel's pang of loss as she and Galenthil grow apart. They are each being taught to lead but in different spheres.

Galenthil's desire to have a bird that chooses to be with him was really quite stirring. I liked it. I also liked Eleniel finding the picture of Oropher. Are we preparing for his arrival?

I liked the way you worked Thranduil and his wife into this too. Very nice.

Author Reply: Of course! Can't you see that it is their duty to care for it? As responsible Wood Elves? And with falconry, there is always that element of the bird's choice - if they don't want to come back, they just don't.

(I remember going to a falconry display in France where the bird just didn't fancy returning when it was supposed to - it was just a tiny dot in the sky, soaring on the thermals. It came when it wanted to. And another time near Salisbury, where the commentator said that sometimes the birds choose to fly to Salisbury Cathedral so they can have a go at reducing the pigeon population and they get indignant phone calls and requests to go and fetch the birds.)

I think any pre-industrial society where girls where long frocks is going to assume an automatic division of roles - life is actually quite complicated and no-one has time (not even elves) to learn to do everything well. As the offspring of royalty, Eleniel and Galenthil have both more opportunity to choose what to do and less - Eleniel is expected to know how to run households of hundreds, yet at the same time she can be unconventional, and Galenthil needs the warrior training he will never (hopefully) have to use.

Oropher just jumped in there at the end. Maybe he is ready to leave the Halls of Mandos and resume life in the Blessed Realm.

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 5 on 4/9/2005
I love how caring Eleniel - and especially Galenthil - are of the fledgling here. They desperately want to keep him, but not if it's going to hurt the bird. They show a good awareness of the forest already. Elerrina's puzzlement about that, and 'asking' the animals was funny.

I also like the reactions and indulgence of the older elves - they know the elflings are up to something; know they wouldn't do anything too awful; and then keep a careful eye on developments.

I liked the final image, of Oropher and Galenthil hawking together. Any chance of that happening? I'd like Legolas to meet his grandfather (and for Thranduil to be reunited with him.)


Author Reply: You know, Oropher had no desire to return until about ten minutes before I finished Eleniel's thoughts. And then, bam, out of nowhere . . . .

Galenthil is, I think, even closer to the creatures than he is to the trees. And he and his sister are close enough to work together - even if she is not entirely sure of the attraction. They did well in raising the fledgling - but I think Galenthil would have asked for help had it been needed. The hawk has accepted him as a substitute parent though.

Elerrina's people are in tune with the natural world to a degree - but they are gardeners rather than foresters: things grow where they want them to be - and rabbits are not welcome to nibble the roses or munch on the carrot tops. But she likes Legolas's way. Mind you, she'd probably like anything that Legolas suggested.

The elflings think they're being sneaky, but they've got a lot of people around them with long experience of sneakiness - who are prepared to give them a fair amount of leeway and will only intervene if necessary. And Galenthil and Eleniel are generally a lot more reasonable than Aewlin and Nimloth - (I wish I hadn't called her Nimloth. What if I want to bring Elwing's naneth back?) - and so they can be allowed more freedom.

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