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Great Oaks  by Bodkin 29 Review(s)
LeRouretReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/22/2007
Oh, charming, charming! I love your portrayal of Thranduil, and the merest shadow of his father Oropher. And to have the elleth come to him in that fashion was perfect: no explanations, no apologies needed; the barest words essential, their hearts already as one. Perfect!

There was so much good stuff to unpack in this fic I'm having a hard time nailing it down to one or two instances. I loved the differences you outlined between Silvan and Sindar, and Thranduil's attempts to reconcile the two; I enjoyed his thoughts on dipolomacy, his friendship with Faroth, his maturity dealing with Corudir, and the lure of the forest and the folk within that drew him to his final earthly destination. I also loved how the oaks spoke to him and comforted him, how reserved he was, his secret thread of humor. You portrayed Thranduil exactly how I've always seen him, and that recognition made the story that much more enjoyable to me. In particular this phrase - "He, at least, had no desire to repeat the errors of the Exiles by presenting his people as better and wiser than those whose lands they would share and being graciously prepared to share their wisdom with their inferiors." - showed wisdom and insight, a necessary ingredient in so powerful an elven king.

Thank you for offering us a glimpse of Greenwood the Great before the coming of the Necromancer! It is a soothing image, and one I will carry with me all day.

Author Reply: Thank you, LeRouret. Oropher tends to take over a bit too much, given half a chance, so Thranduil was quite glad he kept to the background! I like the idea that elves recognise the person who is right for them - and who needs words when it's that simple!

It was interested to think of the parallels between the two journeys east and what made them different. It has to be the willingness to adapt, I think, and respect the culture of the people they met. Thranduil had a strong connection to the forest - and he would have had to spend time developing that. Although the marital bond with Laerwen won't have done that any harm! I'm sure the forest welcomed him even more as her husband!

I enjoyed playing in the Greenwood - and I'm pleased you enjoyed the story enought to want to hold the image.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/22/2007
Now, this indeed has me questioning. Obviously an Entwife is involved; but have we a case here of a Maia that takes the shape of an Entwife to give birth to Laerwen, or who has fostered Laerwen in order to see her wed to the proper one once she sees him, or what?

Whatever the answer to my questions, I still find myself loving this story.

I read it earlier today, but for some reason the ability of my ISP to access several of my LOTR links has been interrupted frequently over the past week, and it's taken hours to get back on to leave a review.

And I love Faroth running through the paths of the trees while his long-suffering horse races the deer trails below him. Such a Elvish thing to do!

Author Reply: No Entwives, I'm afraid - although wouldn't that make an interesting twist! Laerwen in Far Horizons is seen as 'the Lady' and has a very close bond with the forest - enhancing Thranduil's power and standing among the Silvan. I see her as coming from the oldest and most powerful of Silvan families - her grandmother being one of those who awoke at Cuivienen and chose not to leave the lands of her birth. She is so closely bound with the forest that I doubt much happens that she doesn't know - and she is one who would never sail. She came, I decided in the end, simply to check out Thranduil and see if he was acceptable as a husband for her granddaughter - she couldn't live in the Greenwood, really, as she's too powerful - Oropher wouldn't have been king if she was around. But she isn't seen, isn't really known - she is just there. I had a - er - revelation some time ago that Oropher's father was Silvan and his mother was the one who was close kin to Elu Thingol - sister, perhaps, or niece - (I think there is little enough information about Oropher that you can do what you want with his background) - so Thranduil is a quarter-Silvan.

Faroth just presented himself in all his irreverence and Silvan joy in the forest. Such a character - I loved him instantly! And his horse shares my fondness - he really doesn't mind trying to keep track of his mad rider!

My net connection keeps cutting out these days - it drives me to the edge! I thought the net was pointless when it was first devised, but I've come to enjoy my connection to the world wide web!

French PonyReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
I'd say that was definitely a productive outing for Thranduil there.

I like seeing the different levels of cultural encounter here between the Sindar, the Silvan who live with them, and the Silvan who live deep in the forest. You can really see the process of the Sindar adapting to their new Silvan lifestyle, with some more willing to do so than others.

Author Reply: Very productive! Although I get the sense that Laerwen had been aware of him for a while - and had no intention of letting him slip through her fingers.

Culture would make a difference, wouldn't it? The Sindar are more used to being settled - while the most Silvan of the Silvan are probably perpetual drifters. Laerwen comes from the most Silvan of them all, I think - whose relationship with the forest is the most mystical, but she is prepared to bridge the gap between the different peoples - for luuurrrvvveee - and, incidentally, increasing both Thranduil's power and standing.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
This was really lovely, Bodkin. The distinction between the communication styles of the various species of trees was ingenious - kind of like the distinction between the Silvan and Sindarin Elves. Good thing Thranduil is receptive to such differences!

Author Reply: Trees are quite different really - not just in their looks, but in the way they grow and age. It would affect the way they communicate, I think. The Ents, too - Quickbeam was thought of as 'hasty', wasn't he? And Thranduil is perceptive and adaptable enough to bridge the gap between the Silvan and Sindar. Good thing, too! Otherwise Laerwen might not have been captivated by him! Thank you, meckinock!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
Now that is love at first sight! And to heck with those Noldorin customs of waiting a year. LOL.. well done! I like Thranduil and Laerwen's meeting.

Author Reply: Well - I suppose they waited more than a year in some ways! Laerwen took a while to arrive, and I don't think Thranduil wants to give her the chance to disappear into the forest again! Perhaps this is another of those relationships that is Meant. Thank you, Nilmandra!

Beruthiels CatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
Absolutely amazing and wonderful, as always! I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your stories... They're like old friends, so much fun to re-visit, even though this is my first review post in response. I hope you realize you've left the gate open for your eager following (those of us who just can't get enough, lol)You have given us the beginning of Thranduil and Laerwen's relationship, and their eventual reunion in Aman. Now we need some middle!!! Please?

Author Reply: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy revisiting the stories as well - the world is getting increasingly complex, too, as new characters and situations build up and find their places. More of Thranduil and Laerwen? I suppose it is possible ... even likely ... although there isn't anything in my head at the moment. And, come to think of it, the only other sight of Laerwen so far is Legolas's recollection of her death - there must be a lot of better stories to tell!

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
Oh! Lovely, lovely. This was wonderful, Bodkin. I adore your Silvan elves, sensitive to the needs of the land, willing to change with the seasons, needing little beyond what they can carry. And Faroth is hilarious with his tacked on repetitions of "my lord."

As always, you do a wonderful job with metaphors. They're so apt. Faroth suggests Thranduil will "take root." He turns toward Laerwen "like like a plant turning to face the sun."

I like the way Thranduil shows himself a fit leader for the Silvans in the way he senses things in the woods, and also in the way he's determined not to act like the Exiles and move in without regard for the life already there.

Laerwen is terrific. "You have brought a carrot?" LOL. And then that wonderful, "You have been in my mind since we reached the Greenwood." Sigh. How romantic.

Great story, Bodkin.

Author Reply: Do you know, I was thinking about perelleth's forest-dwellers (only transported to ancient deciduous forest) and their lack of impact on their home - and it just seemed so naturally Silvan. Although, in time, I expect some became rather more settled, they would still have needed to be in harmony with the land. Faroth amused me - he was just so determinedly irreverent.

The metaphors - well, it's my style, I suppose. I don't find them hard - in fact, it's more about not letting them run away with me.

Thranduil has his own dash of Silvan blood (in my mind), and he is less headstrong than his father. He can learn from other people's mistakes - which is a great quality and does make him fit to be a leader!

I couldn't resist - I just saw Thranduil's tentative approach ... just like a rather nervous kid holding a hand out to a horse! Elven recognition of their true partner is wonderful - all sorts of other problems might intervene, but they are they to be sorted out.

I'm glad you liked it - and found it romantic. It was driving me mad and came close to being dumped!

Jay of LasgalenReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
I love it when other people have birthdays! There is such a rush of wonderful stories for us all to enjoy.

I simply loved Thranduil here. He seems so very elfy - yet quite different to the Silvan elves. I like the way they simply up sticks and move, without leaving a trace behind.

Love at first sight - that seems very elfy too. The moment Thranduil saw the face among the leaves, I knew who she was, and that he was lost.

The ending was great. I loved Faroth's astonishment when this totally unknown elleth appears, and Thranduil immediately asks her to marry him!

Author Reply: There should be more birthdays ... they focus the mind!

I think the Silvan would be more mobile - and take pride in not leaving anything to show that they had been there. At least until some became a bit more Sindarised. I'm glad you find Thranduil elfy! It must take something for a Sindar prince to become a king of the Silvan elves ... and, see, this idea sprang fully-formed from my brain some time ago that it was Oropher's mother who was kin to Elu - and that his father was a green elf, who died by Denethor's side.

In Far Horizons, Laerwen (I do hate typing that name) was 'the Lady' and seemed to have a very strong bond to the forest, so she had to emerge from the ancient Greenwood to match with Thranduil. Faroth is bemused, but his surprise is probably more from having Thranduil act so impetuously! It's not as if his friend has taken him into his confidence here!

DotReviewed Chapter: 1 on 2/21/2007
Bodkin! LOL, I'm getting embarrassed now. But what a wonderful surprise - I was not expecting to find that in my inbox this morning! Thank you so much. I'm going mad now because I'm on relief today and have my class tonight so might have to wait until tomorrow to savour it properly. I'll get back to you! :-)

Author Reply: I hope you like it - it nearly ended up getting scrapped in pure frustration! Which is why I posted it now, before doing anything so foolhardy.

Have fun at your class.

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