|Reviews for to the bone, the half-hidden root|
| zedille chapter 1 . 1/3/2015
This is a viciously effective explanation of Thranduil's decision to turn away from Thorin and the dwarves, as the movie showed it. The flashbacks to the fall of Doriath were handled very well and made your point quite neatly, and you really get the sense of a Thranduil who is indeed unwilling to forget and forgive, never mind the gap of ages or the fact that these are different dwarves: he is who he is. And I also loved the section with Legolas where Thranduil considers youth and the possibility of breaking out of the cycle. It was quite fitting, given what happens later!
| TolkienGirl chapter 1 . 12/27/2014
This is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. And reminds me that I need to read the Silmarillion again. Above all, I enjoy how you capture the mysterious, tragic, wonderful immortality and agelessness of the elves. It is fascinating, and so well done.
| Emerald-Leaves chapter 1 . 5/6/2014
Okay, this, this right here, it's PERFECT. This is exactly what I thought was going through Thranduil's head in the movie and when the dwarves came into Mirkwood in the books. To understand the Elvenking one has to take into account Doriath or he becomes so shallow. Gah! Brilliant! I LOVE this! I just had ome thing though maybe it's just me not remembering, but wasn't it Thranduil who built his halls...alone? I mean, under Oropher they lived near the mountains in the middle of theforestand Thranduil moved them north later in the3rd age, right? Oropher would have never seen the halls...unless I'm forgetting something, in which case forget this. Anyway, LOVE and ADORE this! Thanks so much for writing!
| GreenGreatDragon chapter 1 . 1/26/2014
very well done. i agree with your portrayal of thranduil; in my mind, he views himself as king of mirkwood first, everything else second (except maybe as a father), so naturally he takes something of an isolationist stance. mirkwood can't exactly afford to do much else. and such a moving description of doriath's fall... i say again, very well done!
| fiju1 chapter 1 . 1/3/2014
Such a beautiful sketch of the twenty seconds of Thranduil. The memory of Silmarillion fits perfectly.
Off to check other work of yours. :) Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.
| merlinus ambrosius chapter 1 . 8/6/2013
I like your exploration of Thranduil's complex motives, and the use of canon as support. I appreciate the perspective you give us readers of an immortal's long memory-and the weary caution it produces in the Elvenking. Nice work!
| Autumn Moon Fae chapter 1 . 6/27/2013
Whoa. Okay. Why have more people not read this? This is fascinating and dark and gorgeous and thank you so, so much for writing it. You put a whole new side to Thranduil's character - I actually had never considered connecting him with what happened at Doriath. Thank you and this was lovely. :)
| Snowdrop chapter 1 . 3/5/2013
Fantastic use of cannon history for this piece. There is so much history that colors how all the different Middle Earth races look at each other and themselves and so often people view it as cut and dry. Thranduil and the Sindar and the Silvan have a long history and it shows in their interactions even you don't see them from Bilbo's pov.
Neither side is necessarily "right" and neither "wrong" when it comes to Thranduil and Thorin. They both have a responsibility to their people and make their decisions based on that.
(Thranduil has always been my favourite character in the Hobbit, I'm a sucker for misunderstood/underdeveloped characters)
| dreamflower02 chapter 1 . 2/27/2013
An excellent use of a controversial movie-moment! I think that given what we know from the books it's a great explanation for what would seem to be inexplicable.
I'd love to see this carried over into the movies, but I doubt that we will, given that PJ was even barred from using the names of the Blue Wizards by the terms of the rights he does have. So there will most certainly be no mention of any details that cannot be found in LotR or the Appendices.
I've tried to imagine what excuse PJ may give for this episode in the next movie-perhaps his Thranduil had a foresight (as Glorfindel did of Angmar) and realized that Smaug's destiny and that of the Dwarves could not be interfered with at that point. BUT my fear is that he will simply go along with the "evil Thranduil" trope, which as you state, is all too common.
But I *like* it. It paints Thranduil as not-evil (which I do not care for the "evil Thranduil" trope either and Elves are not even my primary LotR interest). He was certainly generous enough in the aftermath of Smaug's fall.
Good job, and great "fix-it" fic!
| Gwedhiel chapter 1 . 2/20/2013
I have been getting so annoyed with everybody suddenly NOW believing that Thranduil and his army had anything to do with the fall of Erebor. All I'm hearing now in fics centered around him is how he didn't go to the Dwarves aid, be he a good or tyrannical king. That colorization of the movie is getting so sickening, especially because there's not one scrap of canonical evidence that suggests Thranduil ever did such a thing.
But your story didn't bore me at all, and I think that's because you incorporated FA history and the horrible events centered around the sacking of Doriath and made it crystal clear that *that* was where this whole Elf-Dwarf dislike and feud started. So thank you for taking the time to make that argument, and while I still don't believe that Thranduil was ever there watching Smaug overtake Erebor while chasing the Dwarves away, you made a very convincing argument in defense of Thranduil if he should do something like that. (I mean, unless I missed something in the movie, it's irrational how Thranduil*and* his army could have showed up the day Smaug attacked. It just makes no sense, unless you're Jackson.)
But I loved this, and Thranduil was portrayed beautifully, and I particularly liked his thoughts towards his son if not for how arguable Legolas was himself. Again, thanks for writing this and defending Thranduil for the great Elvenking he is (namely, *the* greatest the Silvans have ever known).
| kyoiku kanji chapter 1 . 2/20/2013
You bring up one of my favorite tools when writing: motivation. Everyone has reasons for what they do, and they can think they're doing the right thing... they maybe doing the right thing but it all comes down to reasoning and perceiving.
The most 'evil' characters I've ever read were those who had (what they felt) was a good reason for doing what they've done.
Very well done, and well told.
| toeki chapter 1 . 2/15/2013
very complex charater study, well done.
you have definitely better nowledge of tolkiens world than i have, for i have just read the hobbit and did not fully understand all the references used here.
it is still a very thoughful and impressive story.
i can understand his logic here...i think the past always influences us, even if it is just unconciously.
| The Red Fedora chapter 1 . 1/21/2013
History always haunts the present in some way...those who do not know it are doomed to repeat it.
| Sepsis chapter 1 . 1/21/2013
I read the book before I watched the movie and while I thought it was okay, I think I liked the movie much more. I don't know, the dwarves were not really distinguishable or likeable enough for me (well, I liked it that they weren't all nice or friendly the entire time but.. I don't know there was something that held me back from really liking them all), I think they did a better job of that in the movie. ;) But I plan to re-read the book soon, now that I have a better picture of the dwarves in my head and now that I like them all a lot more. :)
Anyway, I don't want to start rambling about other things! ;) I can't wait to see more of Thranduil in the movies, too and I'm looking forward to reading your story!
I think and I always tell you that (and I will probably keep doing that) you just have a way with characters! How Thranduil is listening, thinking and closing his eyes. I can totally imagine everything you wrote here, it just sounds perfect!
The Thranduil we saw in the movie moved so slowly and so gracefully that it was nearly annoying, but I think you are capturing him in a wonderful way.
"At the time, Thranduil had not bothered to counter them, instead staring coldly at the King upon his throne, warning growing in his heart for the greed of those who even still wore the first of the Seven Rings upon their finger"
Oh wow! You're right, I actually had problems to read the litle bit of emotion in his face, he really doesn't make it easy. I really like your idea of what he was thinking in this moment. The greed of the dwarves or at least of some of them really is a frightening and strange thing I can't really understand but I suppose Thranduil noticed it immediately and I can understand he is looking down at them for this.
(I'm actually a bit scared of seeing this side of Thorin, because I like the movie-version of him a lot. But they're already showing that he is stubborn and sometimes a bit too proud for his own good.)
It's also sweet that you're writing about Legolas, who will be the friend of a dwarf later, I think this is just wonderful! :)
"Help us!" Thorin hailed them. His voice was a desperate sound on his lips - a scream drawn forth from the deepest parts of him, much as they had sceamed for their king's murder those ages ago . . ."
God.. This scene really got me because I thought that Thorin is a prince and they probably are not used to beg others for help. That's also a thing I really liked about him, he was always honest enough to admit failure or ready to retreat to save his friends. But well, Thranduil is so much older and it's no wonder he is also reminded again of what the dwarves did. And he probably sees a lot of things differently than them.
God, you really know all of these characters and the whole story, I suppose?! I'm sometimes very bad with names and there were so many in the Hobbit, I always got so confused. So I don't really know all these people, but I don't think (and hope) that I enjoy the story less because of it. ;)
"Thranduil was one of few left from that age, and he alone carried the memories where most would carry an invisible wound of the heart – a hatred kindled and carried on without any true understanding to be had for the origin of that hate."
yes, I think you summed it up perfectly again.
"he could see more and more of his son breaking free from his shell over the last century or two – he was quicker to speak more often than not, revealing a sharply lined tongue that Thranduil recognized keenly as a trait the boy inherited from his mother."
That was something I liked in Legolas (I only watched the Lotr movies, I didn't read the books yet), sometimes he really spoke his mind and I think that was really honest and sometimes brave. :) I like it to imagine that he also did this towards his father and got bolder the older he became.
And it also shows that it's no wonder Legolas became the man he was in the movies, he tried his best to help those who needed help no matter who they were. But Thranduil is right, he doesn't have the same memories and grudges he has, he doesn't understand the decision his father made. At the same time, I think exactly this is needed to make a fresh start and to forget the grudges others are holding. :)
"Perhaps, his pride was as much to him as their greed was to the dwarves . . . Perhaps, his son would someday learn to shoulder that pride aside and step forward as one of the great leaders of their people"
Seriously, I loved this part so much, that's exactly what I wanted to say but I would never be able to find such words, haha. ;) And I think it shows that Thranduil isn't evil or the bad guy, he and his decision are understandable and I think it really shows that he is one of the good people that he hopes his son will be able to change the future for the better one day. I also really liked it that you quoted that part from the movie, that not only Thorin never forgets something but Thranduil, too.
I adore your comment at the end of the chapter! Because you're right, that was also something I liked in the book (& the movie), the characters aren't perfect, they all have flaws and some overcome them and some don't. That's what made it realistic. People are holding grudges even if they don't need to or if it's not the smart thing to do. And you're right, he raised Legolas and Legolas became a very good man, his father obviously did something right. ;) That's also while I really liked it how you wrote him here. Instead of correcting his son or telling him that he is wrong, he doesn't do it because he is able to understand the view of Legolas. He allows him to have his own opinion and hopes that one day there will be more people like him.
| Gil chapter 1 . 1/21/2013
This was very nicely done, very nicely thought out. I liked the flashbacks, and the use of FA history. It's good to see a fan who knows more than just the surface of the films.