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Beyond the Clouded Hills  by Bodkin 13 Review(s)
perellethReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/20/2008
YOu know what I liked most in this story? Thranduil's tangible youth. I mean, you managed to give him the freshness of youth, the elven wisdom and also a joyful and mischievous streak, while Oropher pops up in time to behave as a parent even when he is also a king. The mix was perfectly balanced in this important moment for the exiled elves and those receiving them alike.A lovely tale, Bodkin.

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/9/2008
I’ve been dying to get back to this story! So sorry I’m appallingly late in leaving a review...

This was just gorgeous. As you know, I was intrigued about what was going on when you posted the trailer so I was thrilled to discover Thranduil having a little adventure :-)

I love the scene-setting. That sounds like some procession! And I liked the arguing between Thranduil and Maltheniel. I felt sorry for Maltheniel – I can understand to a certain extent her mother’s attempts but it must be hard for Maltheniel herself, especially when she sees her friends go off and have fun without her. I’d be cranky too with the whole situation. It did rather amuse me too to see how unimpressed she was by Thranduil’s attempts to make her stay behind while he goes off into the woods.

I was wondering who was watching them. It’s Faroth! I was delighted to see him. Even if he’s not too thrilled to see the intruders ;-) His reaction is really interesting – especially the way he doesn’t see them as “real” elves. I wouldn’t blame him for being distrustful of them but I like the hint that perhaps his elders see beyond what he sees and aren’t so ready to get rid of these “invaders”. I particularly liked the moment when Faroth looks past their strangeness and realises that they’re just people who need a home.

The first meeting between Faroth and Thranduil and Maltheniel made me laugh. The description of Thranduil as someone “who looked as if he could do with a good kicking” was probably not far wrong! I bet Maltheniel thought so anyway... I love that Faroth guessed them to be siblings from the way they spoke to each other. Except that Thranduil is more elegant, apparently. I thought Thranduil’s comment about change not necessarily being a bad thing was pretty insightful. And I like how he accepts the fact that they have to earn their right to stay there.

Poor Oropher! I’m sure being screeched at by Maltheniel’s irate mother is just what he needs. Good for Idherien stepping in like that. ‘Or would you prefer me to send suitable chaperones to escort them? With a dance card, perhaps, for my son to complete?’ LOLOL!

It looks like Faroth and Thranduil have reached some kind of agreement anyway. Beneath a layer of “as long as you don’t expect us to....” I just love that image of the three of them among the beech trees, increasingly content in each other’s company and listening to the new song of the forest.

‘Do not under-estimate your ability to annoy me.’ Ok, I howled with laughter at that comment! I do love your Oropher. And I love that they didn’t know he was coming – I guess the trees have taken a liking to him. I can just imagine him having to go and find the local elders and explain that his son had wandered off.

Faroth stared at the tall Sinda, unaware of anything beyond the intensity of the forest’s song. He had never heard anything like it: it was as if the trees recognised this ellon, recognised him and called to something in him. He blinked. Perhaps, he thought, this was what the eldest of the elders had sensed: that this elf belonged here, that he and his son were part of the Greenwood. Wow. I think that’s my favourite paragraph. I just adore the fact that the forest and those who lived there could sense something in Oropher that said that he belonged there, that this really would be his rightful home. Of course, Thranduil has a slightly different take on it: I knew making friends was a good idea. Well, I suppose he’s not wrong!

Really, I loved this story. It made me miss reading fanfiction every day like I used to. I think I need to re-prioritise a few things! Apologies again for taking so long to get back to you and thank you so, so much for such a wonderful gift.

elliskaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/2/2008
I love this! Thranduil and Maltheniel's interaction is great! And even better when Faroth is thrown into the mix. It is so interesting to see Thranduil so young--the youthful version of his future personality is perfect here. And I loved Oropher, especially his appearance. Wonderful! I so enjoyed reading this!

GwynhyffarReviewed Chapter: 1 on 3/2/2008
This was wonderful, Bodkin! Of course, it's Thranduil and Oropher, how could it not be?? I loved this line, "Do not underestimate your ability to annoy me." It made me laugh. Happy Birthday, Dot, and great story, Bodkin!

RedheredhReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/27/2008
Wow, I really loved this short episode! Your characters are always well expressed and emotionally accessible. So enjoyable!

Maltheniel shines in this! But, I like who Faroth represents too!

Maybe someday, we could hear about that drunken stag party for Corudir? ;D

Love birthday stories! Especially, Dot's!

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/26/2008
Oh, a really nice look at a younger Thranduil. And Happy Birthday to Dot!

CesReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/26/2008
Maltheniel is a kick butt and take no names kind of girl! I love her! She and Thranduil have a wonderful relationship!

Oropher connecting with the forest was awesome to read - you made it come alive for me and I thank you for that.

Faroth was won over by Thranduil and Maltheniel and listens to the forest accepting all of them. Well done!

I am definitely going to read your other stories that you mentioned in your notes.


Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/26/2008
I really like Maltheniel! She seems like a girl you wouldn't want to cross - and Thranduil is wise enough to know it. I love likening her to a young hawk: '[She] had slipped her jesses and flown her keepers.' It's just a shame about her mother :>)

Oropher's ability to hear the trees' song and feed it is just so elfy. Even Faroth feels it. It's no wonder that Thranduil eventually became their greatest king.


Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/26/2008
Oh drat - the bottom NOTES make it now difficult to continue on my merry way without another thought - but now I HAVE to read those other tales... because this one is such a delight.

I have not read any tales of Oropher's march to the Greenwood. It was unexpected and very, very nice. Such horrid times for them, leaving Doriath in horror and fear, but now to have a touch of that again and the memories as they left Lorien. Very glad you looked at this time and decided to write about it. It is an eye-opener for a (wo)Man of Gondor.

I spent most of my time laughing though as I read this. The part where Thranduil reminded Maltheniel that he didn't ask her to join them... the part where they both wanted to go but both knew it was probably stupid without letting anyone else know; their quiet friendship; I loved Faroth's thought 'as if their ears were stuffed...' That he thought they might think themselves 'some gift from the Powers' - still giggling over that one; Thranduil's telling him 'We are not Noldor' - how telling; and I had to snort with Oropher about the 'dance card!' Miscreant daughter - love that term; and Thranduil's last attempt at validation, "I knew making friends was a good idea.'

However, there were a few 'oh my's' interspersed... Faroth's thought that 'these were not invaders' An 'oh fudge' when he considered them 'haughty and superior' not a good way to start off a friendship... Thranduil's question 'are we so unwelcome?' - how incredibly sad for these refugees of two homes... Faroth still has me laughing with his 'we will not be dazzled into bowing to you.' And then Oropher's sudden appearance.... Faroth's sudden realization that Oropher and Thranduil somehow 'belonged' in the Green Wood. Wow.... very nice indeed.

Well - I'm marking you as an author to follow, though I know I've read some of your other tales before. Thanks so much for a pleasant, unexpected, enlightening, fun read!

ElflingimpReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/26/2008
That was a really good story Bodkin, if fact I almost got lost in it! I am spaced today, one thing I really liked was the closeup view you get as if you were almost there and now I think I'll go read some other stories of yours! Happy Tuesday! and Happy Birthday Dot! Hugs The Imp

Author Reply: Thank you, Imp. I'm glad you liked it! This was one of those stories that left me wavering over whether to scrap the whole thing, so I appreciate the comment.

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