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Jan. 14th, 2020 07:09 pm
elvenking: (But diamonds are a girl's best friend)





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OOC INFORMATION

Name: Tori
Contact Information: toriangeli on Plurk
Personal Journal: tori-angeli
Age: 29
Characters Played: Gregor Vorbarra
IN-CHARACTER INFORMATION

Name: Thranduil (Known only as "the Elvenking" in the book in which he appears)
Fandom: Tolkien's Middle-Earth Legendarium
Age: 6,562 years. This is headcanon based on his implied but not certain birthplace of Doriath, which fell in the year 506 of the First Age.
Canon Point: The end of The Hobbit, the spring after the Battle of Five Armies.
Original Universe or Alternate Universe? Original (book).
Personality:

Prejudice

This flaw is pervasive in the Silvan kings as described in The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales, particularly Oropher. For Pete's sake, Oropher moved the Greenwood elves further north to get further away from Lothlorien because Celeborn and Galadriel visited there. Noldor cooties, ew. Oh, and also because dwarves were starting to do their thing in the Misty Mountains, and dwarves are gross. The prejudice against the Noldor seems to have eased by Thranduil's time, since he's perfectly willing to allow a visitation from Celeborn and Galadriel around the time of Amroth's death, and later to meet with Celeborn and even hand over some newly-shadow-free forest to him after the events of The Lord of the Rings. Celeborn, at least according to The Silmarillion, is Sindarin, not Noldorin, but Oropher apparently had him guilty by association (even though Galadriel was one of the few Noldor permitted in Doriath—before the second Kinslaying took down Doriath altogether and the third was endured, presumably by those who later became the Silvan kings, at Sirion). Oropher's prejudice was so strong that he refused to follow Gil-Galad's leadership in the War of the Last Alliance. He was killed when he led his company forward at the Battle of Dagorlad before Gil-Galad had given the signal. That's stubbornness.

It is not clear if Thranduil, suddenly king at the very beginning of this war that would partially define him, proceeded to be wiser than his father and follow Gil-Galad's direction, but considering what we know of him, it's likely he at least managed a sort of cooperation the way he managed with Bard and later Dain. He seems to understand the value of lives by the time of The Hobbit, and it's likely he learned it during the war better than anywhere else. Tolkien is not greatly explicit about it, though, saying that the Silvan kings tended not to follow Gil-Galad, but only specifically mentioning Oropher and Malgalad/Amdir. Considering how much this war haunted Thranduil later, either is possible, since his later tolerance of Galadriel could be chalked up to character development. I suspect at the very least, he must have relented toward the end, or he would simply be an unfit king, which we know he is not.

Still, it seems that the Mirkwood elves and the Lothlorien elves have lost touch with each other at least since Amroth died in 1981. Legolas indicates that they haven't always been sure if the Lothlorien elves still exist. This seems like astounding ignorance—until you remember that Silvan elves from any location are pretty darned isolated. The Mirkwood elves had retreated to the northeasternmost sliver of their wood and had little contact with the outside world. The Lothlorien elves are even more elusive, to the point where Galadriel is little more than a fairy-tale in Gondor. Heck, even Rivendell is hard to find unless you know where to look. Therefore, it's unlikely that this lack of contact with the Lothlorien elves comes solely out of prejudice against the Noldor, although Thranduil might not be that crazy about them. He does send his son as a messenger to Elrond—not Aragorn, who made the original request—to speak of Gollum's escape. So I tend to think that Oropher's prejudice against the Noldor is less present in his son. If I am to make a choice for headcanon purposes, I'd call Thranduil wary of the Noldor, but not altogether dismissive. He did survive two Kinslayings in which the Noldor were the perpetrators, but he also saw Gil-Galad's great valor in the Last Alliance—an advantage his father did not live to have.

Thranduil's prejudices tend, obviously, more toward dwarves. His automatic assumption when they come upon his people in their feasting is that they are attacking, and without giving them a chance to demonstrate one way or the other. When Thorin explains they were starving and holds his tongue about any other aspect of their quest, Thranduil accuses him of lying and tosses him in prison. Now, the dwarves were tresspassers, and it can be argued that Thranduil was within his rights, but it presents a contrast with his compassionate behavior toward the Men of Lake-Town and Bilbo Baggins. It is clear that Thranduil personally has a prejudice against dwarves, very likely traceable back to the murder of Thingol (who, while he wasn't quite asking for it, was not very nice to the dwarves who did the deed). He does not starve or otherwise mistreat the dwarves while they are detained, but he may not have detained them at all had they not been dwarves.

Racist or no, he's willing to acknowledge Thorin's nobility at the end, returning to him Orcrist (albeit posthumously, which maybe counts for half-credit). A civil peace with Dain is hardly out of the question, but it is not the Battle of Five Armies that dissolves the animosity between the Elves and the Dwarves. It's the friendship of Gimli and Legolas, with clearly no thanks whatever to Legolas' upbringing (“A plague on dwarves and their stiff necks!”). The wood-elves of Mirkwood (and Lothlorien, for the matter) seem relatively xenophobic, possibly less so than they were under Oropher but still demonstrably enough. They did, after all, treat Gollum with greater tenderness than they treated Gloin, as the latter recalls bitterly.

Compassion

This is not a virtue commonly associated with the king who locked up thirteen starving dwarves. Or, from his point of view, locked up thirteen dwarves who repeatedly attacked his people (really, everyone just needs to have better communication so we don't have mix-ups like this, although I suspect telling the Elvenking about the treasure-hunt would have caused him to extract a toll, but that's another thing altogether). However, it's a virtue we see when, riding up to Erebor to do a bit of looting (call it what it is), Thranduil sees the state Lake-Town is in and sends aid. Looting is put on hold while we do some disaster relief. Afterwards, Thranduil's claim on the treasure of Erebor is less direct, more of a way for Bard to repay him for his help. “The Elvenking is my friend,” says Bard.

When Bilbo Baggins does a bit of off-the-record peace-brokering, Thranduil is the first to express concern that this could have negative backlash on the titular hobbit. He suggests he stay with their camp. Bilbo declines, but later, as the battle is about to begin, chooses to stand on the side of the Elvenking. By the end, they appear to have become very good friends. “May your shadow never grow less (or stealing would be too easy!)” Thranduil says as his parting words after naming Bilbo Elf-friend. Overall, he seems capable of great coldness as well as great warmth, all depending on which side you happen to fall on.

Wisdom and Honor

Tolkien has an interesting way of making Thranduil, in his words, “wise, but not quite right.” If Thranduil lived in Doriath as is said in The Silmarillion, he must be older even than Elrond. He is not, however, of high-elven blood, giving him a disadvantage in the ways of both wisdom (meaning in this case something akin to technological advancement, not the wisdom of experience and age) and power, but this does not mean he has neither. He is able to work out most of what the dwarves are up to, and he is highly reluctant to fight a war for gold even though he will back up his ally and friend Bard. He's still fallible and capable of making the incorrect assumption, as is seen very clearly with the dwarves. He accuses them of attacking his people in the woods, when in fact the dwarves merely wished to beg for food. Still, he is capable of correcting his assumptions, and by the end, honors Thorin by placing Orcrist on his grave with his own two hands (reminiscent of a gesture to grant parole to an honorable prisoner, perhaps correcting an action he should have taken first thing). He sees greater value in Bilbo Baggins than in the Arkenstone, and tempers his vice of greed with a perspective of the world that comes only with age.

Papa Wolf

This much is clear from the book—you do not mess with Thranduil's people. He will throw you in his dungeon to think about what you did.

Considering the history of the wood-elves, this is no surprise. Considering Thranduil's personal history, it's even less of a surprise. Thranduil fought in the War of the Last Alliance, according to the Unfinished Tales. In fact, the wood-elves of then-Greenwood made up a heck of a force. At the time, his father, Oropher, was king. Oropher, as I discussed earlier, was severely prejudiced against the Noldor and would not follow Gil-Galad's lead in the war. This wound up getting him killed. Moreover, the wood-elves, being far more primitive than others, wore little armor. Thranduil returned home with barely a third of the people his father had first led into battle. Then, just over a thousand years later, Sauron moved in next door, causing the wood-elves to migrate further and further north to escape his shadow as it turned their own home into a dark, hostile environment. From the northeastern sliver of Mirkwood, Thranduil and the wood-elves held off the shadow and continued to live as merrily as they could.

The Sindarin king of Silvan elves had originally come to re-adopt and preserve a way of life natural to the Eldar before the meddling of the Valar. Thranduil was not the originator of this ideal, but he was its inheritor. It is made clear from his treatment of the dwarves that he is fiercely protective of his people, even when the dwarves offered no threat or harm. Part of this is certainly natural prejudice, but to explain it solely with prejudice would suggest it is too strong to be broken as much as it already has been by the end of the story, when Thranduil honors Thorin's grave.

Thranduil even joins his people for their midnight picnic bash, perhaps as backup and perhaps because he's simply there to enjoy himself. Either way, he seems to be a good king to his people (by adoption, yes, I'm aware) and they enjoy having him around.

Greed

I think if you asked most people what Thranduil's main flaw is, they would state this one. Maybe because the word “greed” looks to us so extreme that it leaves no sliding scale the way most vices do. A collector of rare paintings can be said to have greed, after all. It is not clear in canon how crippling this greed really is to Thranduil or his people, but we have no examples of his desire for treasure overriding his sense of humanity. Of the leaders of the first three armies, he is the last to consent to warring over treasure. When presented with the Arkenstone, surely the most spectacular jewel since the Silmarils, Thranduil winds up staring more at Bilbo Baggins than the jewel before heaping praise upon him for his clever peace-brokering and offering him a safe haven to keep from Thorin's wrath.

The vice exists nonetheless, even if it appears to be controlled. Tolkien does not often say of his hero characters that they “love” treasure, and it appears to be what Tolkien considered Thranduil's singular weakness. This makes sense, in the way that even though Thranduil's prejudice can be said to be a greater vice, it has led him to build walls around his people, not given his enemies an area to exploit.

Still, like many of his flaws, it's one that seems to be tied to his past. Tolkien said that Thranduil wished to have a treasure-store comparable to the kings of the First Age, although he was nowhere near that. Considering Thranduil based even his underground halls off Menegroth, as discussed in the Silmarillion, Thranduil even in this is something of a Thingol-wannabe. The comparisons between them are inevitable, although Thingol is certainly more extreme in almost every negative way. Still, if Thranduil dwelt in Doriath in his youth, the memory of it, as is the way with Elves, would not fade. He remembers the splendor of the Elven kingdoms in Middle-Earth in their glory days, and perhaps despairs that is remains only a memory. Perhaps, in many ways, Thranduil is a remnant. But, as seems to be the case, he also really loves pretty, shiny things.

This does not mean he hoards his wealth to keep all for himself. His people are said to have jeweled belts, while he himself wears a crown of leaves and berries in the fall and flowers in the spring. This crown setup sounds pretty modest for a king over people who are very fond of their bling, and perhaps it's a nod to a certain humility (one way in which he would contrast greatly with Thingol) or the relatively primitive people he commands. I tend to look on the humility idea with a certain skepticism, but it does suggest his ego is, at least, not particularly overblown.

Shell-Shocked Veteran

“But there was in Thranduil's heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor and could not forget it. If ever he looked south its memory dimmed the light of the Sun, and though he knew that it was now broken and deserted and under the vigilance of the Kings of Men, fear spoke in his heart that it was not conquered for ever: it would arise again.”
-Unfinished Tales, “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn,” Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves

Thranduil lost his father and two-thirds of his forces in the War of the Last Alliance, but that is not what Tolkien says haunts him, although it undoubtedly does. The context of this quote comes from a paragraph talking about the Silvan elves of Greenwood growing more reclusive as the world began to change at the beginning of the Third Age, with men inhabiting areas very close to them and the Wild Men waging wars against all men of the West. The chaos that is described as being caused by the Wild Men was terrible, but in Thranduil's heart was an even deeper shadow. The uncertainties of the new age were nothing compared to the fear of Sauron rising again. Considering the Battle of Dagorlad in which his father was slain was only the beginning of a seven-year siege in Mordor itself, it's not surprising that Mordor haunts Thranduil as it does.

To make things even better, Sauron took up residence in the south of Mirkwood, where the wood-elves dwelt. They were forced northward. Tolkien's description of Thranduil's fear of Sauron's rise provides for an interesting perspective on this. After nearly two millennia of living with Sauron as a close neighbor, we have the events of The Hobbit. Thranduil's people are not only braving the dark of Mirkwood, but feasting in it. To go from one extreme to the other would almost be inevitable after two thousand years of fending off the darkness. Possibly it's an act in defiance of fear, among other things. It is still their forest, with or without the unwelcome intruder. Legolas still expresses keen sorrow that “Mirkwood is again an evil place” in The Lord of the Rings. The wood-elves don't like this setup, and I imagine it is particularly personal for Thranduil. For him to fear this rise of Mordor and have it rise again in his own realm must have been a nightmare. While he may not have known Sauron himself was growing in his woods (even Gandalf did not, for many years, and only told a few when he learned), the shadow must have brought back memories.

Is this character immune? Yes.
Background:

The Silmarillion states that Thranduil lived in Doriath in his youth, for whatever given value of "youth" there is (I headcanon him to be of Dior's generation). Doriath was one of the greatest Elven nations on Middle-earth, and absolutely the most secure...until Elu Thingol, King of Doriath, got himself murdered. His wife, the Maia Melian, went "Screw this, I'm outta here" and took with her the divine protection she had given Doriath. Now susceptible to attack, Doriath was invaded by the sons of Feanor and fell during the second Kinslaying. Many of the refugees of Doriath fled to the Havens of Sirion, which were later also attacked by Feanor's sons (Feanor and his kids caused their share of trouble). War ravaged Beleriand, and Earendil sought the intervention of the Valar. The First Age ended when the Valar did intervene and broke the continent in the process, sinking Beleriand.

Tolkien never makes it clear at what point in all this Thranduil crossed the Misty Mountains with his father, Oropher. In any case, a handful of Sindarin survivors of Doriath decided they were fed up with the Noldor and the Valar both and decided to go back to Rhovanion, seeking long-lost kin left behind during the initial journey of the Teleri toward Valinor. The leaders of this expedition were Oropher and Amdir/Malgalad (Tolkien gives two names for supposedly the same character, so for simplicity's sake he will be referred to as "Amdir" from here on), who brought their sons Thranduil and Amroth with them. They indeed found their lost kin, the wood-elves, in forests then known as Lorinand and Greenwood the Great. Amdir and Amroth settled in Lorinand, and Amdir became the king of the Silvan elves there. Oropher and Thranduil journeyed north, and Oropher became king in Greenwood. The Sindar who came with them took quite a bit of relief in shedding their complicated civilization in favor of, essentially, going native and reverting to the simpler way of life from before the Valar started meddling. Celeborn and Galadriel visited Lorinand from time to time, and Durin's folk began their work in Moria. In response, Oropher moved his people northward, disliking the presence of Noldor and Dwarves in the neighboring areas (Noldor cooties?).

The Second Age passed this way, and the Silvan elves along with their Sindarin princes were untouched by the troubles of the West until the time came for the Free Peoples to war against Sauron. Gil-galad, the last High King of the Elves in Middle-earth, sought an alliance with the lords of Men and Elves against the dark lord. While Oropher was heavily prejudiced against the Noldor, Gil-galad included, he understood that Sauron was bad news and wasn't going to go away on his own. He and Amdir gathered massive forces to lead into battle. Unfortunately, wood-elves are somewhat primitive, and while their numbers were great, they were not well-armed for battle. Thranduil was a part of this force. The Silvan kings were not keen to follow Gil-galad, and this led to a great many deaths. Amdir was cut down in the Battle of Dagorlad. Oropher, in a move displaying tactical genius, led a charge against enemy forces before Gil-galad gave the signal, leading to his pointless death and Thranduil's ascension as King of Greenwood. Congrats, kid. Sorry about your dad.

What followed was a nightmarish seven-year siege of Barad-dur. Thranduil's abilities as a leader were immediately put to the test in what was probably the most brutal experience of his life (seven years in Mordor...yeah). At the end of the war, he returned to Greenwood with barely a third of the forces his father led into battle. Sauron had fallen, but Thranduil could not look to the South without remembering Mordor. His heart told him Sauron could not be defeated for ever. He was among the first to receive a demonstration of how very right he was. Lucky him.

As the Third Age rolled on, a shadow began to grow in the south of Greenwood, driving Thranduil and his people further and further northward. It overtook the realm until the wood-elves hunkered down in a sliver of the northeast corner of the wood and held it off from there. It lingered for centuries, until Gandalf the Grey ventured into Dol Guldur. The shadow was chased away for roughly four hundred years, the "Watchful Peace," but then began to grow again. Amroth died, and Celeborn and Galadriel visited Thranduil before settling into Lorinand, now Lothlorien, as its lord and lady. The wood-elves of what was now known as Mirkwood continued to hold their own against the shadow that had moved in next door. Gandalf the Grey again broke into Dol Guldur and determined that the shadow was, in fact, Sauron. Some neighbors.

The events of The Hobbit took place as the White Council at last chose to drive Sauron from Mirkwood. To avoid Sauron from allying with Smaug the dragon, Gandalf sent a company of Dwarves, along with one hobbit, to deal with Smaug (this was on Thorin's to-do list anyway, for his own reasons). This company passed through Mirkwood and was captured by the wood-elves. Thranduil quickly imprisoned them for tresspassing, not being especially fond of dwarves and having the impression that they were attempting to attack his people. Also for being shifty bastards. The Dwarves escaped. Later, Thranduil heard of the defeat of Smaug and assumed the treasure of Erebor was free for the taking, since there was no way the Dwarves could have survived that, right? On the way to Erebor, however, the wood-elves saw that Lake-Town had been ravaged by the dragon and stopped to provide disaster relief. Thranduil earned the friendship of Bard the Bowman, who had killed Smaug with absolutely no help from any Dwarves, and both led forces to Erebor to retrieve the treasure there. To their surprise, the Dwarves were alive, and a bit peeved about some foreigners getting grabby with their treasure. Lake-town, however, had been flattened because of the actions of the Dwarves, and Bard felt a bit like they owed him for that. Diplomatic efforts went south very quickly, and in a valiant effort to prevent war, Bilbo Baggins bravely nicked Thorin's prize gem and gave it to Bard and Thranduil, hoping to give them something to bargain with. This earned him the respect of absolutely everyone except the Dwarves, but in particular the Elvenking. Thorin kicked Bilbo out, and in the ensuing battle Thranduil allowed Bilbo to stand with him. Fortunately, the battle changed directions before blood was shed, as an army of goblins attacked and the three warring armies were forced to unite against them. Being (anti)heroes overcoming their differences, they were of course victorious against the goblins.

Thorin Oakenshield was killed in the battle, and at his funeral Thranduil placed his captured sword on his grave. The wood-elves returned home with their share of the treasure, which amounted to nothing more than a couple of gifts from Bard and Bilbo. Their home, by now, had changed--the White Council had driven Sauron out of Dol Guldur. Thranduil said his farewells to Bilbo Baggins and named him elf-friend. What comes next, only time will tell.

Spoiler alert: Lord of the Rings happens.

Oh yeah, um. At some point, he got married and had at least one kid. Tolkien never says when that happened.

Other Notables: Elves have an odd sort of magic, especially high-Elves. Thranduil is not a high-Elf, but he is very old and experienced, and with age and practice comes a level of power. Canonically, he and his people are able to hold back the shadow of Sauron from a part of their realm for many centuries. Elves also have a rather vaguely explained ability to wake up trees and teach them a sort of speech, although this presumably takes so long it's not going to be an issue in the middle of space. Canonically he can talk to birds and understand their tongue, and he can cast spells of sleep and warding as seen in The Hobbit. In his realm is an enchanted river that puts any to sleep who touch the water (this happened to Bombur). They dream pleasantly and wake up after two days or so. He can do the same with a perimeter (as happened with both Bilbo and Thorin), and his gates have a shutting-spell only he can control. Nobody enters or leaves without his consent.  This is less a personal power and more a way Elves have of moving with the natural and enhancing it.  If he cannot use these abilities in the game, it can be easily said that he does not have the connection with this world that he has with his native one, which is very much true--the very lives of elves are tied to their world.  If he is also unable to speak with the birds here, it will be because their language is different.

Due to his canon relationship with birds, I headcanon that he knows much of birdlore and beastlore.  He had to do something for work before he became a king's son, after all, especially in Lindon when there was a long time of peace.  He would have learned even more from the wood-elves, and knows much about trees, plants, and herbs by extent.

Elves are extremely resilient against hurt. Demonstrably, if something doesn't kill them in the first five minutes, they'll be fine the next morning. Thranduil was born during the golden age of the Elves, when they were at their strongest (although he is not of particularly high birth, starting his life as a run-of-the-mill Sindarin citizen of, arguably, the most powerful Elven nation in Middle-earth history alongside Gondolin). Heat and cold don't bother him unless they are very extreme, and where Men need heavy boots, he only needs light shoes. He has seen two Kinslayings and fought in the Last Alliance, so he is a seasoned veteran.

His weaknesses are more psychological than physical. The greatest of them, according to Tolkien, is greed. This does not overwhelm his sense of right and wrong, as it is made clear he values people over glittery things, but it is certainly an afforded vice. Also, as stated in the Unfinished Tales,spending seven years in Mordor had its psychological consequences, and Thranduil is careworn and prone to dark thinking--a sort of shell shock, as it were.

Inventory: A full set of plain clothes (tunic, undertunic, leggings, braie, garters), light shoes, four silver rings and one gold.

SAMPLES

NETWORK SAMPLE:

My name is Thranduil.  I am King of the woodland Elves of northern Mirkwood.

[There is no twitch, no sign of nerves or of discomfort.  He is poised but not stiff, for he is unconcerned at the moment with appearances.  He wears the King mask, is all.]

But before I was a king or the son of a king, I was a breadwinner.  I have learned beastlore and birdlore since my youth.  I was apprenticed as a falconer as a boy, and have learned many healing arts as they apply to animals.  If I am to win my own bread once again, this is how I choose to do it.  From henceforth I can be found in the forests of District Two.  If you cannot bring the animal to me, I will come to you.

Contact me if you have need of me.

[The feed shuts off.]

LOG SAMPLE:

Everything is sick.  Starved of wildness though it strives for it.  The trees cry, but he does not know their tongue.  The song that made this world can no longer reach the hearts of those it made, so thickly scarred is the earth.

The people are as scarred as the forests, though not always physically.  They are wary and bitter, and the poverty of this District leads some of them to bring minor wounds to Thranduil, even though he is a healer of animals and not of people.  It doesn't matter.  Thranduil can handle cuts and dislocations, and has enough business that he can afford not to charge those who cannot pay.  They come and they stare, and few of them speak from the time they enter to the time they leave, on their first visit, till they get used to an Elf.  He does not look or act human.

While he heals, he will not hunt.  He will not fight, if he has a choice, because while killing may not have as great an effect on healing as Elven superstition believes, it is better to be safe.  There are plenty here who do fight, and Thranduil's strength in war has been his tactics, not his personal combat.  The calling of the Eldar is to heal and decorate the world, and this world is in desperate need of healing.

"She is in heat," he murmurs to the boy who brought in his restless dog.  "If she is not to be bred, you must keep her indoors till it passes."

The boy scrunches his nose.  "What's in heat mean?"

"It means her body is ready for her to conceive pups," Thranduil explains, briefly checking the dog's ears for earmites.

The boy looks up to his mother with large, hopeful eyes.

The mother presses her lips into a thin line.  "We'll keep her indoors," she tells the boy.  "Thank the doctor."

"Thank you," the boy says glumly.

Thranduil passes the leash back to the boy.  "I will give you herbs to boil into a tea.  Rub it on her coat twice a day.  It will soothe her mind and disguise her scent to other dogs."  They use it for hunting-dogs when they go into heat.  Thranduil has a momentary pang of homesickness.

When the boy and his mother leave, Thranduil closes the door behind them.  This is not shameful, he tells himself.  Reduced from king to apothecary in a night, no shame at all.  Once he influenced lives by the thousands, and now he can only do it one at a time, but it is not shameful.  This he tells himself, and tries to believe.

SAMPLE TWO: REVISION REQUEST

The water here does not speak.  There are no voices in the streams, no echo of the Song of the Ainur.  If a song made this world, it did not make Thranduil, and so Thranduil cannot hear it.

That does not mean he does not listen.  Of course he listens, ear pressed to the earth, still as the mountain that reflects the echo.  His fingers thread through the grass, his heart thumps in his chest, but there is no familiar thrum, only the scent and touch and sight.  Mere senses, no echo.  No song that responds to his own.  And so some of his lore is rendered useless, but not all.  He rises to his knees with a long sigh, head bent, and remains there for a time.  It is alive, but he does not speak its language.  It is almost as though it is alive and he is not.

With a knife, he digs a hole into the earth.  Sometimes a beast has to smell you first in introduction before it will accept you.  Gently, as he always does, he takes from its pot a flower he purchased in-town and sets it in the hole.  His ministrations are gentle, the same touch as any elf-child would have, for he is no gardener, but he can at least plant a flower and make it live.  He stands, dusting his hands.

Familiar motions, is all, as if he can hold on to his purpose in his own world by continuing it in this one.  It is not the way of elves to change, really, for they find the familiar more beautiful than the new, and all elves have the purpose of healing and decorating the world, however their method may be.  Some sing, some forge, some drive evil away.  He is a king, and in his manner does all methods, or at least delegates them.  He has no subjects here, but his purpose is the same.  It must be the same.  To think he might have a new purpose in this world is not liberating or refreshing.  It is terrifying.  It is to be plunged into darkness with no lifeline to the light.  It is to become something else altogether, and after six and a half thousand years, that is something he cannot do.  He is the oak, not the fallen leaf.  He may bend with the wind, but he will not be swept away by it.  He refuses to be.

In the woods he finds a fallen branch.  It is sturdy but in the place where it broke.  He sits and begins to trim away twigs and whittle away bark.  He will not make himself a crown, but he will at least have a staff.  Perhaps if he cannot be a king here, he will be a sort of wizard.  Of course the wizards are Maiar in human form, but they are not here, and yet they are needed (what he would not give for the council of Mithrandir or even Radagast his neighbor).  He might as well fill two needs at once, for even if his spells are of no use here, he is still Thranduil, who survived Doriath and Sirion and Beleriand itself, who learned to rule in the wasteland of Mordor and returned from it changed but alive.  He cannot stoop to be a common laborer.

He holds up the whittled staff and examines it.  The underbark will turn brownish and be easily removed later.  It is oak, the same wood that makes his throne and his staff at home.  This alone, he decides, will be his symbol of office, whatever that office will be called.  His own kingdom is not here, for the present.  That will not stop him from making a few changes around here.
elvenking: (I don't mean rhinestones.)
1. No fires.
2. No fires.
3. Smoking is allowed. Don’t be a moron when you put it out.
4. Don’t litter.
5. Don’t try to drive the hovercarts. You can’t.
6. Don’t cut down trees.
7. Don’t plant anything with dirt attached in the first level. First level is all hydroponics. Fucks the whole row up, pain in the ass to clean up.
8. There’s a community garden section on the first level. Use it. Don’t take Agriculture’s shit.
9. If you do take Agriculture’s shit, don’t take more than you can carry in two hands.
10. Fill out the inventory form before you leave.
11. Don’t bother the animals.
12. Don’t drop off your animal in the Gardens and leave it. We’re not petsitters.
13. Stay out of the storerooms. Don’t go near the storerooms.
14. Don’t go near the scrubbers or filtration systems either, unless you’re Engineering.
15. DO NOT SMOKE NEAR THE SCRUBBERS OR FILTRATION SYSTEMS.
16. NO FIRES.
17. There is a mural wall near the entrance on the first floor. It is marked. Use it. Don’t mark up any other wall.
18. Don’t fuck up the dirt. There’s not a lot of it.
19. Check in with the staff if you move to the Gardens.
20. Don’t pick too many flowers.
elvenking: (Default)
Jadzia Dax: 1
Morgana: 1, 2
Mordecai: 1, 2
Heather Mason: 1, 2
Bail Organa: 1, 2
Sansa Stark: 1, 2, 3, 4
Catelyn Stark: 1, 2, 3, 4
AM: 1, 2
Tyke: 1, 2, 3, 4

Arya: 1, 2, 3
Sauron: 1, 2, 3
Legolas: 1
Fili: 1, 2
Kili: 1, 2
Nill: 1, 2
Robb: 1, 2
Sulu: 1


Battle of the Thousand Caves )



Sirion Kinslaying )

-----

Horseplay )

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The Death of Oropher )


-----

Flowers in Mordor )


-----

The Fall of Sauron )


-----

If Ever He Looked South )

-----


Childbirth )

-----

Swimming Lessons )


-----

Memories of Oropher )


FROM THE BOOK

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Woodland Feast )

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War for Gold )

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Thorin's Funeral )

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Farewell to Bilbo )
elvenking: (Default)
Side effects of an empathic link with Thranduil may result in:

-Grumpiness
-Agitation
-Hyperawareness
-Loss of temporal awareness
-A veteran's paranoia
-Occasional sour or depressive moods for no apparent reason
-Magpie-esque attraction to shiny things
-The desire to muse about the good old days
-A distaste for the direction South
-The attitude that everything is a war and the passengers are an army
-Militant protectiveness over your loved ones
-Warm fuzzies when you see Legolas
-Not being a happy drunk anymore
-GUNS ARE DEVICES OF EVIL AND DARKNESS!!! AND MORDOR!!!
-The feeling that you are a Disney princess (unless you are one, then that's normal. we've had those.)
-Attempts to communicate with the birds in the gardens
-DO NOT TOUCH THE HAIR
-Sudden disappearance of sex drive because why would you desire to sleep with someone besides your wife?
-Thinking you have a wife
-Because let's face it, the vast majority of these characters don't
-Seriously don't touch the hair, that's just too invasive
-Responding to minor threats like a Navy SEAL jumping on a terrorist
-Or your non-United-Statesian equivalent of a Navy SEAL
-Or a Scotsman jumping on another Scotsman
-SHINY THINGS aw yis diamonds ARE a girl's best friend
-Punch Eric Northman in the face

STAGE TWO

Jadzia Dax: 1
Morgana: 1, 2
Mordecai: 1, 2
Heather Mason: 1, 2
Bail Organa: 1, 2
Sansa Stark: 1, 2, 3, 4
Catelyn Stark: 1, 2, 3, 4
AM: 1, 2

STAGE THREE

Arya: 1, 2, 3
Sauron: 1, 2, 3
Legolas: 1
Fili: 1, 2
Kili: 1, 2
Nill: 1, 2
Robb: 1, 2
Sulu: 1
elvenking: (A kiss on the hand can be continental)
What we know of Thranduil's background is fairly sketchy, so here are my attempts to fill it in. The framework of this is canon. The details are not. Very much a WIP.

First Age

Thranduil, son of Oropher, is roughly of Dior's generation. Therefore, he was born during the lives of Thingol and Luthien, but was quite young during that whole mess with the Silmaril bride-price (F.A. 466). He was born during the Long Peace in Beleriand, probably around F.A. 410. He, like most of the elves of Doriath, lived in Menegroth with his parents. Oropher and Mrs. Oropher were fairly traditional with regards to marriage and kids, so they had married young and recently (by elven standards) when they had Thranduil. They did not have any others because the Long Peace ended shortly after.

He was present for Túrin Turambar's fostering (F.A. 472) as well as the murder of Thingol by the dwarves of Nogrod (F.A. 502). The first time he did battle was in the Battle of the Thousand Caves (F.A. 503) against the invading dwarves. The second time was during the Sack of Doriath (F.A. 506) when the sons of Fëanor came for the Silmaril. Both of these times, he was less than 100 years old--a very young adult. When Doriath was lost, he fled with the rest of the Sindar to the Havens of Sirion.

During the Third Kinslaying (F.A. 538), he escaped to the Isle of Balar with the few survivors.

He did not fight in the War of Wrath, but witnessed much of its destruction. At the end of the First Age, he and his father made their home in Lindon. His mother was either killed during all these massacres or she sailed west after it was all over. Same goes for the vast majority of his extended family.

Second Age

Speculation: there is exactly zero canon evidence for this, but based on his actions in the Last Alliance, I believe Oropher was a deeply emotional person whose heart often overruled his head. It's possible that the beginning of the Second Age was as difficult a time for him as the beginning of the Third Age was for his son. While in Lindon, he became bitter and reclusive, and the loss of most of his family left him with a degree of emotional dependence on his son. Thranduil handled this with grace, since there was a lot of love between him and his father, but it made Lindon a trying time for him as well. Oropher absolutely hated being ruled by the Noldor and languished for some time before he and Amdir started to get together like old war buddies. They had ideas, took their time planning and making arrangements and connections, and eventually enacted a plan to leave Lindon and try to find their long-lost kin in Rhovanion.

They packed up their sons and whoever else would come with them and headed east. This all pretty much happens as stated in the UT, with the headcanon addition of Thranduil and Amroth becoming good friends on the road. Oropher became much more emotionally balanced with the change, and he and Thranduil were both very happy among the Nandor. But as Sauron started messing stuff up, basically everyone in Middle-earth was feeling it. Probably around this time Oropher moved his people as far north as the mountains in Greenwood, trying to dodge the spreading dominion of Sauron.

It was in the Second Age Thranduil met an elf-maid. Love developed between them, and it was shortly before the Last Alliance that they decided to get married. When it was understood he would be going to war, the general assumption was made that they would wait till after he returned to have a ceremony. She had other ideas. The night before he left, there was a celebration to send off the warriors. During a dance, she pulled him off into the woods and jumped his bones right there, saying she didn't want to risk not being his wife for ever. He protested for about three seconds, since the ceremony was going to mean a lot to Oropher (the "joining of bodies" is the thing that legally marries two elves, and the ceremony is just something for the families), but gave up pretty quickly. Oropher was disappointed but not angry when he found out his son was married without his involvement, but managed to be happy for them both and proud of his new daughter-in-law as they set out to war.

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.


The Last Alliance was bad times for everyone involved. After Oropher's death and Thranduil's ascension, several years of siege passed before Thranduil gave up the idea of commemorating his beloved father by sticking to his values and finally started cooperating with Gil-galad. Two-thirds of Thranduil's army died in that war, and Thranduil was not the only one to come away from it with some pretty serious PTSD (the war affecting him this way is talked about in the UT).

Third Age

After returning from the war, Thranduil was not in a great state of mind. He could not forget the horrors of Mordor or even stop thinking of them for very long. In his personal life, he was probably very difficult to live with for a very long time since the therapists are all in Aman. He was capable of doing his job (which, it should be noted, he learned how to do in Mordor, of all places), but very much had classic PTSD symptoms--unsurprising, since the Silvan elves took the most casualties of anyone in the war. Though his wife wanted children, he refused to have them, which placed a strain on their marriage. He began to change his mind after a long, long recovery, but when the Shadow appeared in 1050 his time and attention was taken up with moving his people northward and battling this new threat. He had no children till the Watchful Peace, when he finally started to be able to breathe and unwind again. He had at least two but no more than three kids.

With the end of the Watchful Peace came a rehash of the same battles his people had been fighting since 1050, except this time the Necromancer was openly waging war against Gondor, so it was pretty distressing. Still, the Silvan folk have real spirit and were undaunted, even merry during their hardships as food within the wood became scarce. They used their magic, as per The Hobbit, to protect themselves.

The wood-elves saw the sacking of Erebor from the eaves of the forest, but as they were a week's march away at best, they didn't even try to do anything about it.

Everything else is as laid out in The Hobbit.
elvenking: (At work.)
Tolkien is pretty vague about magic and its properties, and this was a pre-D&D. Meaning there's no laundry list of abilities given to these magical folk. So. This is an in-progress thingy about what I think Thranduil can do and why.

Sleep magic

The Enchanted River Bombur falls into puts him into an enchanted sleep. Bilbo and Thorin both hit the ground asleep when they step into the fairy ring party of the wood-elves, and all the lights go out at the same time. Later, the elves remove the spell from Thorin after capturing him. Without much else to go on, I'm headcanoning that Thranduil has some pretty damn powerful sleep magic. Most of the wood-elves probably have some, since it is the elves who remove the spell from Thorin and not Thranduil himself. I'm going with the idea that the river and the fire circle were examples of variations on the same magic--a magic that must have even more variations.

So basically, Thranduil can put people to sleep.

Effect: unless he or another elf removes the spell, it's a pretty damn long time before the sleep/grogginess wears off, and the person is prone to clairvoyant-ish (but not unpleasant) dreams.

Shutting-Spell

"I could think of nothing to do but put a shutting-spell on the door. I know many; but to do things of that kind rightly requires time, and even then the door can be broken by strength."

The great stone doors of Thranduil's halls will only open and shut at his will.  This seems to be an ability found across multiple races, looking at dwarf-doors and Gandalf's reference above to a "shutting-spell."  In my headcanon, the doors open and shut with a single spell cast only once for all time, not with an individual spell each time the door must be open or shut.

Beast Handling

Elves seem to be able to have a sort of calming effect on some animals.  This may be magic, or it could just be some lore they picked up along the way.  It obviously doesn't work on the likes of orcs or giant spiders.  Personally, I headcanon it as lore rather than magic, but since it seems like magic to some, it goes on this list.
elvenking: (Really displeased.)
 You know the drill.  Comments are screened and stuff.
elvenking: (In my head voices echoing)
These are notes on how I play Thranduil and why.  They'll be edited as I keep figuring things out.


Prejudice


This flaw is more notable in Oropher, Thranduil's father. Oropher moved the Greenwood elves further north to get further away from Lothlorien because Celeborn and Galadriel visited there. Noldor cooties, ew. Oh, and also dwarves were starting to do their thing in the Misty Mountains, and dwarves are shifty bastards. This may not be prejudice so much as a "once bitten twice shy" sort of deal, and that's how I tend to play it in Thranduil.  The wariness against the Noldor seems to have eased by Thranduil's time, since he's perfectly willing to allow a visitation from Celeborn and Galadriel around the time of Amroth's death, and later to meet with Celeborn and even hand over some newly-shadow-free forest to him after the events of The Lord of the Rings.  Oropher's prejudice was so strong that he refused to follow Gil-Galad's leadership in the War of the Last Alliance. He was killed when he led his company forward at the Battle of Dagorlad before Gil-Galad had given the signal. That's stubbornness.

It is not clear if Thranduil, suddenly king at the very beginning of this war that would partially define him, proceeded to be wiser than his father and follow Gil-Galad's direction, but considering what we know of him, it's likely he at least managed a sort of cooperation the way he managed with Bard and later Dain. He seems to understand the value of lives by the time of The Hobbit, and it's likely he learned it during the war better than anywhere else. Tolkien is not greatly explicit about it, though, saying that the Silvan kings tended not to follow Gil-Galad, but only specifically mentioning Oropher and Malgalad/Amdir. Considering how much this war haunted Thranduil later, either is possible, since his later tolerance of Galadriel could be chalked up to character development. I suspect at the very least, he must have relented toward the end, or he would simply be an unfit king, which we know he is not.

Still, it seems that the Mirkwood elves and the Lothlorien elves have lost touch with each other at least since Amroth died in 1981. Legolas indicates that they haven't always been sure if the Lothlorien elves still exist. This seems like astounding ignorance—until you remember that the Necromancer wedged himself between them and made contact into a deadly problem.  Moreover, because Thranduil entertained Galadriel and Celeborn just after Amroth's death, I tend to think that Oropher's prejudice against the Noldor is less present in his son. If I am to make a choice for headcanon purposes, I'd call Thranduil wary of the Noldor, but not altogether dismissive. He did survive two Kinslayings in which the Noldor were the perpetrators, but he also saw Gil-Galad's great valor in the Last Alliance—an advantage his father did not live to have.  Those Noldor associated with Fëanor would be the only ones he really has a problem with.

Thranduil's prejudices tend, obviously, more toward dwarves, judging more by the things his son says than anything Thranduil himself says. His automatic assumption when they come upon his people in their feasting is that they are attacking, and without giving them a chance to demonstrate one way or the other. When Thorin explains they were starving and holds his tongue about any other aspect of their quest, Thranduil accuses him of lying and tosses him in prison. Now, the dwarves were trespassers, and it can be argued that Thranduil was within his rights, but it presents a contrast with his compassionate behavior toward the Men of Lake-Town and Bilbo Baggins.  He does not starve or otherwise mistreat the dwarves while they are detained, but he may not have detained them at all had they not been dwarves.  But this is hard to say, 

Racist or no, he's willing to acknowledge Thorin's nobility at the end, returning to him Orcrist (albeit posthumously). A civil peace with Dain is hardly out of the question, but it is not the Battle of Five Armies that dissolves the animosity between the Elves and the Dwarves. It's the friendship of Gimli and Legolas, with clearly no thanks whatever to Legolas' upbringing (“A plague on dwarves and their stiff necks!”). The wood-elves of Mirkwood (and Lothlorien, for the matter) seem relatively xenophobic, possibly less so than they were under Oropher but still demonstrably enough. They did, after all, treat Gollum with greater tenderness than they treated Gloin, as the latter recalls bitterly. 

Compassion


This is not a virtue commonly associated with the king who locked up thirteen starving dwarves. Or, from his point of view, locked up thirteen dwarves who repeatedly attacked his people (really, everyone just needs to have better communication so we don't have mix-ups like this). However, it's a virtue we see when, riding up to Erebor with dual purposes of safeguarding the area and picking a bit through a giant pile of treasure, Thranduil sees the state Lake-Town is in and sends aid. Looting is put on hold while we do some disaster relief. Afterwards, Thranduil's claim on the treasure of Erebor is less direct, more of a way for Bard to repay him for his help. “The Elvenking is my friend,” says Bard.

When Bilbo Baggins does a bit of off-the-record peace-brokering, Thranduil is the first to express concern that this could have negative backlash on the titular hobbit. He suggests he stay with their camp. Bilbo declines, but later, as the battle is about to begin, chooses to stand on the side of the Elvenking. By the end, they appear to have become very good friends. “May your shadow never grow less (or stealing would be too easy!)” Thranduil says as his parting words after naming Bilbo Elf-friend.  Overall, he seems capable of great coldness as well as great warmth, all depending on which side you happen to fall on.

Wisdom and Honor

Tolkien has an interesting way of making Thranduil, in his words, “wise, but not quite right.” If Thranduil lived in Doriath as is implied, he must be older even than Elrond. He is not, however, of high-elven blood, giving him a disadvantage in the ways of both wisdom and power (at least, the high-elves would have you believe this), but this does not mean he has neither. He is able to work out most of what the dwarves are up to, and he is highly reluctant to fight a war for gold even though he will back up his ally and friend Bard. He's still fallible and capable of making the incorrect assumption, as is seen very clearly with the dwarves. He accuses them of attacking his people in the woods, when in fact the dwarves merely wished to beg for food. Still, he is capable of correcting his assumptions, and by the end, honors Thorin by placing Orcrist on his grave with his own two hands (reminiscent of a gesture to grant parole to an honorable prisoner, perhaps correcting an action he should have taken first thing). He sees greater value in Bilbo Baggins than in the Arkenstone, and tempers his vice of greed with a perspective of the world that comes only with age.

Papa Wolf

This much is clear from the book—you do not mess with Thranduil's people. He will throw you in his dungeon to think about what you did.

Considering the history of the wood-elves, this is no surprise. Considering Thranduil's personal history, it's even less of a surprise. Thranduil fought in the War of the Last Alliance, according to the Unfinished Tales. In fact, the wood-elves of then-Greenwood made up a heck of a force. At the time, his father, Oropher, was king. Oropher, as I discussed earlier, had a grudge against the Noldor and would not follow Gil-Galad's lead in the war. This wound up getting him killed. Moreover, the wood-elves, being far more primitive than others, wore little armor. Thranduil returned home with barely a third of the people his father had first led into battle. Then, just over a thousand years later, Sauron moved in next door, causing the wood-elves to migrate further and further north to escape his shadow as it turned their own home into a dark, hostile environment. From the northeastern sliver of Mirkwood, Thranduil and the wood-elves held off the shadow and continued to live as merrily as they could.

The Sindarin princes of Silvan elves had originally come to re-adopt and preserve a way of life natural to the Eldar before the meddling of the Valar. Thranduil was not the originator of this ideal, but he was its inheritor. It is made clear from his treatment of the dwarves that he is fiercely protective of his people, even when the dwarves offered no threat or harm.  In Thranduil's mind, dwarves are not to be trusted, so he assumes they are up to something shady and does not risk the lives of his people by letting the dwarves loose before he knows what they're up to.

Thranduil even joins his people for their midnight picnic bash, perhaps as backup and perhaps because he's simply there to enjoy himself. Either way, he seems to be a good king to his people (by adoption, yes, I'm aware) and they enjoy having him around.

Greed

I think if you asked most people what Thranduil's main flaw is, they would state this one. Maybe because the word “greed” looks to us so extreme that it leaves no sliding scale the way most vices do. A collector of rare paintings can be said to have greed, after all. It is not clear in canon how crippling this greed really is to Thranduil or his people, but we have no examples of his desire for treasure overriding his sense of humanity. Of the leaders of the first three armies, he is the last to consent to warring over treasure. When presented with the Arkenstone, surely the most spectacular jewel since the Silmarils, Thranduil winds up staring more at Bilbo Baggins than the jewel before heaping praise upon him for his clever peace-brokering and offering him a safe haven to keep from Thorin's wrath.

The vice exists nonetheless, even if it appears to be controlled. Tolkien does not often say of his hero characters that they “love” treasure, and it appears to be what Tolkien considered Thranduil's singular weakness. This makes sense, in the way that even though Thranduil's prejudice can be said to be a greater vice, it has led him to build walls around his people, not given his enemies an area to exploit.

Still, like many of his flaws, it's one that seems to be tied to his past. Tolkien said that Thranduil wished to have a treasure-store comparable to the kings of the First Age, although he was nowhere near that. Considering Thranduil based even his underground halls off Menegroth, as discussed in the Silmarillion, Thranduil even in this is something of a Thingol-wannabe. The comparisons between them are inevitable, although Thingol is certainly more extreme in almost every negative way. Still, if Thranduil dwelt in Doriath in his youth, the memory of it, as is the way with Elves, would not fade. He remembers the splendor of the Elven kingdoms in Middle-Earth in their glory days, and perhaps despairs that is remains only a memory. Perhaps, in many ways, Thranduil is a remnant. But, as seems to be the case, he also really loves pretty, shiny things.

This does not mean he hoards his wealth to keep all for himself. His people are said to have jeweled belts, while he himself wears a crown of leaves and berries in the fall and flowers in the spring. This crown setup sounds pretty modest for a king over people who are very fond of their bling, and perhaps it's a nod to a certain humility (one way in which he would contrast greatly with Thingol) or the relatively primitive people he commands.

Shell-Shocked Veteran

“But there was in Thranduil's heart a still deeper shadow. He had seen the horror of Mordor and could not forget it. If ever he looked south its memory dimmed the light of the Sun, and though he knew that it was now broken and deserted and under the vigilance of the Kings of Men, fear spoke in his heart that it was not conquered for ever: it would arise again.”
-Unfinished Tales, “The History of Galadriel and Celeborn,” Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves

Thranduil lost his father and two-thirds of his forces in the War of the Last Alliance, but that is not what Tolkien says haunts him, although it undoubtedly does. The context of this quote comes from a paragraph talking about the Silvan elves of Greenwood growing more reclusive as the world began to change at the beginning of the Third Age, with men inhabiting areas very close to them and the Wild Men waging wars against all men of the West. The chaos that is described as being caused by the Wild Men was terrible, but in Thranduil's heart was an even deeper shadow. The uncertainties of the new age were nothing compared to the fear of Sauron rising again.  Considering the Battle of Dagorlad in which his father was slain was only the beginning of a seven-year siege in Mordor itself, it's not surprising that Mordor haunts Thranduil as it does.

To make things even better, Sauron took up residence in the south of Mirkwood, where the wood-elves dwelt. They were forced northward. Tolkien's description of Thranduil's fear of Sauron's rise provides for an interesting perspective on this. After nearly two millennia of living with Sauron as a close neighbor, we have the events of The Hobbit. Thranduil's people are not only braving the dark of Mirkwood, but feasting in it. To go from one extreme to the other would almost be inevitable after two thousand years of fending off the darkness. Possibly it's an act in defiance of fear, among other things. It is still their forest, with or without the unwelcome intruder. Legolas still expresses keen sorrow that “Mirkwood is again an evil place” in The Lord of the Rings. The wood-elves don't like this setup, and I imagine it is particularly personal for Thranduil. For him to fear this rise of Mordor and have it rise again in his own realm must have been a nightmare.  While he may not have known Sauron himself was growing in his woods (even Gandalf did not, for many years, and only told a few when he learned), the shadow must have brought back memories.
elvenking: (Or stealing would be too easy)
Threadhopping with this character?: Love it. Just give me a warning, especially if we're in a private room or something. I've RPed in utter chaos for a long time.

Fourth-walling this character?: I'm not a huge fan of fourth-walling in general, but there's a degree of it that I'm fine with.  Your character can absolutely recognize him from reading Tolkien's books or what have you, but please don't tell him he's fictional.  I prefer the "alternate universe" sort of take on it, or figuring the books were written about real events, or something.  But certainly, your character can know who he is or where he's from.

Backtagging with this character?:
Definitely.

Hugging this character?:
You can try?  But um.  At best, it will be comically awkward.

Giving this character a kiss?:
Again, you can try, but it's hard to get an Elf to do something they don't want to do.

Something more intimate?:
It's not gonna happen.  Sorry.

Relationships?:
Married already, and Elves are pretty strict about monogamy.  Even after death.  So it's just not going to happen.

Punching this character (provided they can fight back):
One of the beautiful things about RP is that anything can happen. Go ahead and take a swing if you feel like your character would do so in that situation. Be aware, especially if your character is a squishy human, that Elves are damn strong and freaking difficult to hurt, and Thranduil was born in the golden age of Elves.  Oh, and he spent seven years in Mordor besieging the Evil Overlord's fortress.  Just be aware.

Injury?:
Sure. Nothing permanent, though.  Although considering how hard it is to really hurt an Elf...

Death?:
We'll talk about it.  Although it's hard to kill an Elf.  If it doesn't kill them in the first five minutes, they'll be fine in the morning.

Is there anything you do not want mentioned near this character?:
No. It's not that there aren't subjects he gets touchy about, but I certainly don't want to limit anyone. Touchy subjects are opportunities for RP.

Anything else?

Not everyone likes Thranduil.  This isn't to say he's a bad or even unkind person, but after 6,500 years of living, he tends to cut to the chase with people.  He's wary of pretty much everything and everyone by habit (his people are in general), and as he's seen a lot in life, he might make assumptions that he knows more about what's going on or what's going to happen than he can actually say for sure.  He's so used to the way his own world works that he's not always going to recognize immediately when another world doesn't work that way, nor is he necessarily going to take seriously anyone who points this out to him.  This shouldn't be read as his mun's assumption that he knows everything when he doesn't.

Still, he's generally a respectful sort of fellow, and very much capable of warming to someone if they are willing to warm to him.
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