All Those Who Wander

Author: daw the minstrel

Nominator: Bodkin

2006 Award Category: Races: Elves: Featuring Mirkwood Elves - Second Place

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: Medium Length

Rating: G  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Young Legolas’s family struggles to readjust in the wake of the loss of his mother.

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Reviewed by: Bodkin  ✧  Score: 10

This is just another of those enchanting episodes in a family that has become totally real to me. Eilian's struggles with developing a - shall we say - more mature attitude to life and overcome his gremlins, Ithilden's correct and occasionally rather sanctimonious attitude that conceals an elf just as hurt as his younger brother, Legolas's pure need for his family - and Thranduil, struggling to hold it all together and attempting to mend his sons' hurts, run a kingdom and deal with his own devastating pain make me happy to follow these characters through anything. The visit Legolas pays to Maltanaur at the end is a lovely touch - of course he would wish to express his disapproval at his brother's keeper's getting hurt to the point where he cannot look after Eilian properly! Legolas is just such a delightful combination of his parents here - Thranduil's authority and his mother's charm - that I'm not surprised Maltanaur responded as he did - with the intention of using Eilian's affection for his little brother. The characters are all so multi-dimensional: I think that is one of the things that makes this family such a pleasure to read about. And the minor characters are as much so as the central ones. Maltanaur is Maltanaur - protective of wild Eilian and not above using events to manipulate him - and he is also a husband, father and friend. He does not cease to have a life simply because he is not centre stage. Same with Beliond - and Siondel and Elowen and Annael. And the terror Turgon. Anyway, this is just another excellent, readable and re-readable episode in the lives of your characters - and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Reviewed by: dkpalaska  ✧  Score: 9

I so enjoyed this story. Everyone's reactions to Lorellin's death and their struggles to adjust are realistically portrayed, right in line with their characters as we've come to know them. Legolas is a very believable 4-year old, and I watched with a mix of compassion and humor as his father and brothers tried to help him through this tough time. Thranduil is given some great face time in his role as father, from trying to find the balance between aiding and spoiling his youngest, to comforting his eldest in what could have been a tragic mistake, to actually - *somehow* - connecting with his troublesome middle child. For this last, I loved how we were shown Lorellin's role in mediating, and how those memories are what brings Thranduil to reach out to Eilian in just the right way. Excellent interactions all around, and I thought the flashbacks were clear and well-handled. The background characters and events are set up smoothly and distinctly, pointing us along the path to gradual resolutions without my ever feeling forced into it. There are so many wonderful moments in this story, but I must say, as a parent, that this one line resonated highly, ["Thranduil had always taken pride in the disciplined, dignified Ithilden, seeing his own success as a parent in his oldest son’s behavior. Eilian had come as a humbling shock."] That is *exactly* how it is, LoL!

Reviewed by: elliska  ✧  Score: 6

I had so much fun re-reading this to vote for it. Made me realize how much I miss fanfiction since I haven't been reading for a while, and how much I miss your characters in particular. The little details in this, like Legolas's blanket, make your characters so real. But two parts of the story were my favorite. First, any glimpse of Thranduil's wife, as we saw in the flash backs here, is such a treat. Second, I really loved seeing Thranduil and Eilian together. You have done such a great job with their relationship. Seeing them work through a difficult time for Eilian and letting Eilian have a bit of acceptance was so wonderful. And of course 'orc spit' still has me laughing and it has been a week between re-reading and actually getting the review done. You were obviously a parent! Great story, daw. I miss these characters.

Reviewed by: nau_tika  ✧  Score: 6

I'm not quite sure what to say about this story. The young Legolas stories by daw are my favorite. This one shows special moments between Legolas and Eilien, especially at meal time. It shows Eilien trying to balance duties when he checks on Legolas before standing guard. Something else I noted was Thranduil assuming that Ithilden could not have been the last to see Legolas. I dont think it's that Eilien would lose him, I think it's that Ithildien wouldnt, so Thranduil had to look to the middle son. That part disappoints me as far as the king goes. Leaving the blanket behind was a nice touch. That and the incident with spilling his plate are both things that wouldnt have happened if Nimloth had been able to go with them...or if Legolas' mother had lived.

Reviewed by: obsidianj  ✧  Score: 4

This story is heartwarming. Little Legolas has his whole family wrapped around his finger. I love the description of family life with all the original characters, most notably, Ithilden and Eilian, Legolas' older brothers. Thranduil, as father of his three sons who are all distinctly different, is a joy to see handling his children and his job as king. All of them grieve about losing Lorellin, but it shows differently in each of them, according to their characters or age. Well done.

Reviewed by: Imhiriel  ✧  Score: 4

Well-drawn, nuanced relationships; the interaction between the family members in particular is fantastic. The characters and their emotions feel very real. You show realistically and very moving how the death of wife and mother affected Thranduil's family. Good use of the respective PoVs. The way of life in Mirwood is depicted vividly and plausibly, creating a fully-rounded society. I like how the plot and plot threads gradualy reveal themselves.

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 4

The family of Thranduil must adjust to the loss of their mother. This author has developed quite a stable of OCs, and Legolas' two older brothers are a couple of very good ones. In this story, set during the time Legolas is just a small child, the whole family is still reeling from the fact that wife and mother was slain--they have trouble letting one another out of each other's sights. I so feel for poor little Legolas in this, and also for Thranduil, who must now be both father and mother to his sons.