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Bridges  by Bodkin 19 Review(s)
elliskaReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/10/2006
There are so many things I loved about this chapter. Little things that showed Legolas and Taryatur coming together like Taryatur's prayer that Legolas live and his fretting over whether he should have stayed or gone for help, his laughter instead of anger when Legolas glared at him and his comparing him to his own son. And of course the discussion about Beleriand, concluding with Legolas saying what Taryatur had always said about Elerrina--that was great!

And I loved how you showed so many aspects of people's personalities--Taryatur feeling better when he grasped some control by finding the leaves', Camentur cheering up the wives when Thranduil knew he'd been demanding a search earlier.

And I loved the scene where the forester and young elf find them. It seemed very elfy the way they listened to the trees and all the young elf's thoughts about the forest (particularly liked the observation about birds). And all the details of finding the knife and the blue cloth were very well done.

And the whole conversation when they found Legolas and Taryatur. Great! Again, the way it revealed things about the people talking was really well done. I love Thranduil in it--perfect!

Great chapter! And I'm glad there is another one. :-)

Author Reply: Thank you, elliska - and I'm sorry to be so long getting back to you. The last weeks seem to have been so busy and I don't have enough time to indulge in what I want to be doing!

I don't reckon Taryatur and Legolas would be immediately able to leap into best buddy mode - but the more they see the other as a real person rather than a stereotype the better able each will be to make allowances!

I imagine the foresters as being particularly close to the song of the forest - but that song must be slow and take a very long view of life ... not as long as an elf, perhaps, but certainly longer than short-lived and short-attentioned creatures. I can't imagine that a fly would be able to convey much of an impression about what was happening... I saw a TV programme once that showed that people move so slowly in comparison to insects that we barely move at all - and that's why we so rarely manage to splat them - they are on hyper and we are on super slow-mo.

I've actually managed to finish the last one now! I just need to go away and then come back to give it a reread before posting.

lwarrenReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/9/2006
*taps chin thoughtfully* You know, my father used to threaten to put my sister and me in a locked room alone until we worked out our differences (or killed each other! LOL). It seems that there is something to that, after all! Taryatur and Legolas, forced to endure each other's presence alone and they are actually talking! And neither one can stalk away or storm off in a huff! They have gotten so much out in the open now. "I am a slow learner, but I do get there in the end." At least Taryatur is being honest with himself and his son-in-law now. "We have more in common than either of us has been prepared to admit." Legolas, too!

And help is well on the way! I must admit, I had a few nervous moments when I thought the searchers were going to overlook that fallen tree and walk away from our two trapped friends. Pigen and Aelindor were a hoot - but the young one seems to be observant in ways the older forester has forgotten! Thranduil seemed appropriately grateful! :-)

That little discussion between Linevende and Laerwen was so revealing and very sad. Laerwen is seeing how the time lost might never be regained where her son is concerned. She did worry about that very thing (in 'Far Horizons' when she and Legolas were first reunited, didn't she?). Sadly, it seems she was right in some respects. Naneth in name only. (Would her bond with Legolas be completely severed at her death - or just diminished over the years? She could hear the trees, but sensed nothing of his pain and predicament. Elerrina fainting I took as part of her bond with Legolas letting her know that he was not at all well. It surprised me than that Laerwen had no such inkling - for that matter, Thranduil didn't either! So maybeeeee - when Legolas and Elerrina wed, the bond between parent and child lessened considerably. Didn't you make that observation sometime in a past story/review? Or am I mixing my universes/authors? Could be - 'confusion' is my middle name! *g*)

I loved the fact that Legolas telling his adar to hurry up so he could take a bath signaled his injury to his father. LOL Thranduil knows his son well! And Taryatur confirming the fact and getting Legolas' disgruntled "traitor" thrown at him. Bodkin, those two are starting to sound positively friendly!

*satisfied sigh* Another great chapter - and I do love the way this 'bridge' is being slowly and steadily and *gasp* successfully constructed. Wonderful as always!


Author Reply: A locked room would have been simpler! But I think they would both have been so angry and resentful that it would have only worsened matters. Here, Taryatur feared for his son-in-law and needed to galvanise himself into helping him - and Legolas knows that the danger was real. Then, because they were both shaken out of their usual guardedness, they were able to say a few things that will continue to eat away at their picture of each other. They didn't say too much, of course - they are male - but they both know enough to read between the lines.

Aelindor has been a forester for a long time - and I think he (and Laerwen and Thranduil) are very attuned to the trees. At the moment the treesong is very disrupted by the ferocity of the storm - and it is affecting their ability to register things that are out of sync. The younger - like Pigen - are less entwined with the forest and probably better able to disregard the disruption. (That's my theory!)

Laerwen is Legolas's naneth - but she has missed those growing years and it is very difficult - impossible, I would say - to recover them. He is her son, but she didn't coax him through adolescence and his early heartbreaks and fears and first wounds. She knew him as a small child - and then as a married elf with a couple of millennia under his belt. It's different. And you're right - I do think parent/child bonds change and become rather more detached when a child marries. Well - who would want to be too closely attuned to an offspring who is in the throes of learning the delights of a physical relationship? It would be icky! Elerrina's distress should, perhaps, have warned them more than it did. But she's fortunate in that this is the first time Legolas has been hurt since their marriage - I doubt she quite realised what her feelings meant.

And Thranduil has all the life-long understanding of his son that Laerwen mourns. He knows perfectly well that that airy inconsequence means his son is trying to conceal something from him! Thranduil and Taryatur are parents together - they will gang up on Legolas to make sure his injuries are properly dealt with. And Taryatur and Legolas are - at the moment - cautiously friendly. Their relationship will fluctuate, I'm sure, but they do now have a better understanding - and understanding each other is a good first step.

perellethReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/4/2006
Well, since I am as done as I'll ever be, I thought I could start catching up with this ;-)

Building a bridge between these two is costing the rest of the family a lot as well, it seems! From Thranduil's worries that he cannot chase his son's prblems away, to Laerwen's feeling of inadequacy and guilt ( guilty of having been killed while saving her son's life, poor elleth!) to the in-laws and spouse too worrying for the fabled pair.

I like how you picture Taryatur's disappointment and unrest at the beginning. It seems as if he actually knows he's overstepping the line yet he's not able to control his anger and resentment and deeply buried pain. Poor one, he's a terrible company for all involved...except the other child of the company!!

And I like the way Legolas and Taryatur find a common ground in danger from which to start behaving civilly, while the rest are doubting between fretting or being calm. I felt deeply for Laerwen here.

Thranduil and his foresters made me smile. Their conversation sounded like those between a lord and his foresters, all of them knowing what they are talking about while the rest are more or less excluded from that business conversation...

And then the bantering between the two trapped elves. If they want to shock the audience, they just only have to let them listen to their conversations! Not the best of firends, but two people who have begun to understand each other. pity the water is rising and they cannot be left down thre together for another stretch! ;-)

Author Reply: Motherhood is about feeling guilty - in some ways. You can never chase away all the shadows ... and it would probably be wrong even to try. Laerwen has missed much of Legolas's childhood and all his youth - and nothing will bring that back or make her part of it. She's bound to realise that and regret it. Perhaps that is actually another bridge they need to cross.

What Taryatur dislikes so much in Legolas is really a reflection of himself, I suppose. He hates being reminded of experiences that he can neither change nor accept - he has spent ages (literally) trying to bury all this ... but it hasn't worked, so maybe facing it will be better for him. (Surion only gets a walk on here - but there is the beginnings of an Elflings that deals more with him and his problems. If I ever get to finishing it.)

Legolas and Taryatur needed to be forced into some mutual dependence - and Taryatur needed to be the one doing the looking after, I think. And to realise that - actually - he would be horrified if anything happened to his son-in-law.

Thranduil and the foresters don't have an easy task on their hands. Moving that tree ... h'mm, it's research on engineering, I think!

The rising water might just offer the last breakthrough in the budding understanding - although it would be a pity if it only arrived once the water had reached their noses!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/3/2006
Finally getting time to catch-up on some reviews! I was really worried that you'd have the conclusion up before I could respond to this chapter! Instead you post a short fic, where I shall leave a short comment shortly. :D

But, for this post, I would like to say that I really enjoyed Thranduil recognizing Camentur's skill at public speaking. Not only able to sway people, but in a considerate and responsible way.

Ha! I was thinking like Laerwen, it seems! Although, she had apparently different reasons. ;)

Interesting reversal of roles for Calion! But, he seems to be coping at least as well as Elerrina.

Aelindor and Pigen are great examples of Silvan people - two realistic forest-worker-elves. I liked your description of Aelindor's eyes as 'lichen-grey'. They conduct themselves in a very believable fashion and have a realistic relationship with their Elven-king.

But, of course, the best interaction was between Legolas and his father-in-law. You continue their new familiarization through a test of trust. And they are applying those principles and practices they probably exercised many times with unfamiliar comrade-in-arms awaiting battle and death. Just fascinating how their relationship is being turned around. Not quickly, but with deliberation. It's very satisfying going through the process with them. Which is only made possible by your talented writing.

And they did not waste their good efforts at the end either when rescued. They hold on and build on their progress instead of reverting back to form. I really, really liked that.

Another good chapter of an excellent(uplifting) story. You found the good in the bad. Very Tolkien of you. ;)

hmmm, h/c? So, did the Professor do h/c... naw! no way! This is just good historical fiction... at a family history level, of course. ;)

Author Reply: Camentur might be a kid - in Taryatur's terms - but he's been around court a long time and can be very winning. Poor Laerwen - the more I think about returning, the more complicated the knock-on effects seem to be. Although at least she has the rest of Arda to learn about her son - but she'll never be able to catch up on those missing years. Calion is thriving in this environment - and has even learned to deal with a much older and very experienced wife with humour and grace.

Aelindor is quite old and spent a long time around Lasgalen. Pigen is very young, I think, and quite new to his training. And this was a big storm - disrupted the forest a lot. Lichen-grey - well, they had to be woodsy!

Taryatur and Legolas are building their relationship tentatively - they are becoming comrades-in-arms and having to lean on each other. Although Legolas is doing more of the leaning - which is good for Taryatur, I think. He needs to have to care for the lad. (Lad, huh!!) And they will still be cautious, even when saved - but with a better understanding of what they share.

h/c? Well - that is relationships, in a way. And they couldn't have tumbled down that stone chimney without any blood, now could they?

I must get back to trying to get them out before the water rises any more!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 3 on 9/3/2006
he forest was awash when we – er – took shelter here

This made me laugh... how male! The spin does not stop here, but I think it is good spin.. keeps their frame of mind right.

In light of this weekend's LJ conversation, let me point out that this is good use of hurt and comfort as a character deepening exploration as well as a twist in plot. The detail level is perfect, not too much, not too little, and they are behaving like I would expect grown males to behave.

There is a detached calm too, in how the situation is handled at the end. Yes, the water is rising, and calm words are used that convey the understanding of how serious the situation is or is going to become, without the need for histrionics.

I am glad to see Taryantur and Legolas finding this common ground. They have a long time to live related, so they better get used to each other!

Author Reply: They have to take things lightly - superficially, at any rate!

Hurt and comfort are a handy device at times - it gets people in a certain place and makes sure they can't avoid each other. And here, I think it is very good for Taryatur - he is, essentially, a kind elf and having to be the one doing the looking after will have more of an effect on his relationship with his son-in-law than I think even he realises. It's difficult to stereotype someone you've fought to save. And not too much detail suits me fine!

They are both experienced enough not to panic at this point - and the cavalry have arrived with, hopefully, more than enough time to spare. Thranduil knows enough to keep calm, on the surface at any rate - and he can galvanise a lot of people into action. Now they just have to work out how to move the tree.

Computer now (fingers crossed) working. Although I had to do the restore factory settings thing yesterday and have now lost all my e-mails! And addresses and such.

EllieReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/31/2006
What a horrible burden Tar is carrying! I'm glad he and Legolas have come to realise how much they really are alike. Now if Tar will just let the rest of hte family help him to cope, perhaps he will finally heal. I like the forrestor, he is really annoying to those who care amore about their families than they do about half dead trees.

Nicely done! Glad the rescue has begun!

Can't wait for more!

Author Reply: They are alike in some ways - recognising that is probably shock enough for the pair of them! I can't see Taryatur talking to his family about his experiences - he really doesn't want them to know the evil that sentient beings can do to each other - but he might well be able to share more with Legolas. Especially if Legolas will talk to him of some of his less glorious memories.

The forest has been really upset by the intensity of this storm - I suppose I can understand a forester who is more concerned with settling his trees than with the people among them! I like to think that some of the elm's roots are still in the ground and that it might sprout again - and that he will ensure that the tree is damaged as little as possible in retrieving the elves!

Thank you, Ellie. More is coming along!

SurgicalSteelReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/30/2006
Interesting to see Taryatur and Legolas moving toward a rapprochement slowly. I look forward to seeing how you wrap this up!

Author Reply: They have increased their understanding of each other - and can recognise some of the things they have in common. I don't think matters will become perfect between them, but I suspect they will find it easier to take a deep breath and tolerate!

They have to get out yet - that would be a good start!

ArmarielReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/29/2006
Ah, relief, they are out. I was starting to feel a bit claustrophobic (sp?)! Nice that they are reconciled to each other, and have learned so much about each other and reached some understanding. I love stories of reconciliation!

Author Reply: Definitely claustrophobic - not a very big cavern at all, really. And distressingly full of water. I think they have made a huge step towards understanding each other - and recognising that they are both natural protectors with a lot of experience in common.

It'll take a while to get them above ground though - that is a heavy tree blocking the only entrance. But the worst is over ... probably!

thechevinReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/29/2006
Well I for one am glad this will be going to a fourth chapter.
You could feel the change in Taryatur as he began to worry over Legolas and his own inability to change the situation they were in, and his relief at being able to at least help fight the infection, even if it did taste 'vile'.
I think the Noldo found a certain amount of satisfaction in that and in being able to compare his daughters husband's reactions to those of his son.
The plants certainly seemed to be doing their best to attract his attention and help him.
Linevendë and Laerwen's own conversation was so very sad, and the realisation that she would never be a 'proper' naneth to her son must have come very hard to Laerwen, what a sad situation to be in.
Rising water levels that was something our unlikely pair could have done without yet once again we see the change in their relationship, the desire to protect and the accepatance of that help without resentment
Their conversation on war and its effect was chilling as was Taryatur's confession about his father and brother, what a thing to carry all these ages, he certainly needs someone to talk to who understands
Yet once again the change in their relationship came through when rather than tell Legolas his own feelings about Orephor something he would have delighted in earlier he protected his son-in-law's feelings

The forester certainly comes under the heading of crusty old elf, good job his helper was paying more attention to other things
and finally Legolas doing his best to avoid having to tell Ada he is injured again, finds that Taryatur has turned traitor and tells Thranduil the truth
Great story wonderfully told
thank you

Author Reply: Thank you! Although chapter 4 is only partly done as yet!

I think Taryatur needed to feel that Legolas needed his help - and protecting his son-in-law will change his attitude. And he is beginning to recognise a sort of relief of pressure in knowing that Legolas understands the things he cannot talk about. They don't need to talk much about war - they both know.

Laerwen was so thrilled to see Legolas, I reckon it's taken some time - and Celumil's arrival - to make her realise that you can't be Nana in the same way to a child whose growing up you missed. There are too many missing experiences. They can be friends and love each other - but she'll never be the one who sat with him through his bad dreams or dealt with his recovery from injury. She never let down the hems of his tunics as he grew or helped him with his schoolwork.

I'm just hoping the tree gets moved out of the way before the water starts up that chimney! That could cause a few more problems. And Taryatur had to let Thranduil know Legolas had been hurt - it's the parents' mafia!

I think their relationship has changed. Cautiously, no doubt. But they have a better understanding of each other and they've let go of some long-held stereotypes.

I'm glad you're enjoying it!

KittyReviewed Chapter: 3 on 8/29/2006
The longer they are trapped in this wet hole, the better they seem to get along. I am still sorry for Legolas being hurt, but otherwise it seems to do their relationship some good. It is nice to have them talking pretty normal for a change.

‘Oh, Taryatur!’ Legolas swallowed. ‘That knowledge is too great a burden for anyone to bear alone.’ That is only too true, and I am very glad Taryatur is finally able to open up enough to talk to someone. Considering Legolas’ background, living under the Shadow in Mirkwood for so long, he is certainly the better choice than Linevende or Elerrina, as he knows very well about what Taryatur is talking. Understanding is more important than pity or the like, I think. And I am now truly sorry for Taryatur, too, for losing his father and, even worse, his brother in this way. It is a very traumatic memory, no doubt, and explains a lot. Maybe he can let go some of this grief and trauma now through talking about it with Legolas.

Well, *finally* the rescue is on the way! About time, really. Thranduil seems to know his son pretty well if he deduces from „I could really do with a bath“ that Legolas is injured *grin* And I am absolutely sure he will not allow the foresters to discuss the matter until tomorrow night before doing anything as Taryatur expected. They would have to face a quite angry Elven King long before tomorrow.

Obviously it is not so easy for Laerwen to accept that she wasn’t able to raise her son herself and only saw him again so many centuries later, and Celumil’s birth showed her the difference quite clear. I hope in time she will feel her relationship with Legolas has improved. They have a long time to getting to know each other better, after all.

Author Reply: They had got into the habit of not thinking much of each other - and I think they needed to be jolted into hearing what the other had to say. Legolas is essentially very kind - it wouldn't take many of Taryatur's little revelations to change his attitude. And for Taryatur - I think becoming the protector would do a lot to help him.

In fact, Taryatur might well realise that Legolas can understand him without his having to say very much - they share a lot of experience, even if the whole of the Second Age comes between them. Taryatur was traumatised by his experience - and then went home to a group of people who had no real concept of war and suppressed all his memories. It will help him to realise that he doesn't need to talk to Legolas - he understands anyway. A word or two, a look - they know what it means.

And the rescue is just taking a bit longer than I meant it to! That tree isn't going to be easy to move! Even though Legolas 'needs a bath'... he wouldn't say he was not hurt - that wouldn't have been true! Thranduil might have to control his impatience a bit - better to do this safely.

I think Laerwen has quite a good relationship with Legolas - he was delighted to have her back and she was thrilled to be back with him - but she has come to realise that she is not really his nana. She wasn't there for all those crucial growing pains, she didn't comfort him when he was hurt or miserable - she knew him as a small child and then skipped to an adult married retired warrior with two kids. And nothing - not even elven immortality - will give her back Legolas's childhood. (Celebrian had that - she missed out on the twins' adult years. I think that is probably easier to fill in. Probably.)

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