|tanithryudo (tanithryudo) wrote,|
@ 2015-06-01 16:51:00
Hobbit/LOTR fanfic pet peeves
We'll gloss over the really obvious one where elves are actually all serial monogamists and metaphysically incapable of having affairs and casual lovers, because if we can't waive that, there's no way to ship these characters.
Aside from that, there's a lot of stuff I'm tired of seeing in fics.
-- Kili/Anyone other than Tauriel (as shoehorned as that original romance was by PJ).
My god, that dwarf had never even been near same film segment as Thranduil, ever. How do you even come up with this?
-- Modern AU
OK, I get extending the current LOTR setting into the modern far future ("Seventh Age", etc.), as Tolkien did have some intentions of making Middle Earth our world's distant mythological past. And there are characters who can be argued to be able to remain around all that time (Thranduil, Radagast, the Blue Wizards, etc.) I can even buy reincarnating the mortal characters in that setting.
But the entirely AU modern setting fics? What is even the point of that? Without their thousands of years of experience and (tragic) history, the elves are not the elves. Without their ties to stone and Aule, the dwarves are not the dwarves. You're basically writing an OC cast and copy pasting the canon names on top. Just...why?
-- Fairies and Nymphs
Hello, fairies already exist. They're what the elves are. Based off the Sidhe and the people of Alfheim.
Nymphs too, we know them as Ents.
-- Bard remembers when the forest started to darken and become Mirkwood.
Y'know, for fics that do assiduous research into elvish language and customs, did no one ever look at the timeline for the Third Age? Sauron moved into Dol Guldur and turned the forest into Mirkwood around 1050 TA. Dale wasn't even founded until c. 2590 TA, and the Hobbit takes place around c. 2944 TA.
Bard and the Lake-men being able to "recall" the forest darkening is like me being able to recall Native American history predating the European colonials. Ahaha, just no.
-- Elves of Mirkwood (and Thranduil in specific) using Quenya for magic. Or just Thranduil speaking Quenya, period.
Granted this doesn't show up as often, but it's still annoying. I mean, even the movies got this right - all the elves spoke Sindarin (doing magic or not), and only the Istari ever used Quenya.
Thranduil would've grown up under Thingol's prohibition against Quenya, and I doubt enduring the Kinslayings of Doriath and Sirion would have endeared him to a language designed by Feanor. He might have picked up an understanding of the language from the Gondolin refugees at Sirion, but he sure as heck wouldn't speak it.
Plus, have we forgotten that the most successful magic users in First Age Beleriand were actually Luthien and Melian, who spoke only Sindarin? Please, you don't need to speak Quenya to be mystically badass.
-- Thranduil can make a mini-Girdle of Melian around his kingdom
Look, much as I like him, the only person who's capable of making a mini-Girdle should be Galadriel - canonically Melian's prized pupil, powerful Noldor princess, and wielder of one of the Elven Rings. Thranduil is nowhere on the same level, magically speaking.
-- Abusive elvish families/parents. Usually Thranduil.
Ugh. Just...no. I mean, the main thing fandom has against him was not to throw his people (who live in a very flammable environment, yo) against a rampaging dragon, and getting in the way of Legolas and/or Tauriel's ship. The first one has nothing to do with his parental abilities and the latter... really how is it any different than Elrond trying to split up Aragorn and Arwen in the LOTR movies? No one seems to hate Elrond for it (though admittedly most fic authors tend to want to split that couple apart so they can ship Aragorn with their SI/Sue of choice).
IMO, based on the movie, Thranduil was nothing if not a marshmallow wherever Legolas was concerned. He only gives the "I disapprove of this union" speech to Tauriel and not Legolas. Nothing happens to Legolas for breaking the same orders that got Tauriel banished. His rage at Tauriel in the battle fizzles out as soon as Legolas speaks up. He doesn't try to hold Legolas back from leaving after the battle, but rather offers useful advice. You can't even say he's neglectful, since he obviously is not - he holds separate, more lenient standards for Legolas than for any other subject. If anything, you could argue he's spoiled that boy.
(And fics trying to cast Oropher as the abusive parent is even more ludicrous. Does Thranduil act like someone who's been abused/neglected growing up?)
-- Thranduil wears an "ice king" facade all the time. Or a diplomatic poker face.
Are you kidding me? Did you even see his face during his conversation with Thorin in his throne room? He wore his shock and disbelief on his sleeve, and he lost his temper (and his glamour) at the drop of a hat! And then there's the prologue scene - he didn't even bother hiding his clearly salivating reactions to the white gems (before Thror took it away). And he certainly never hid his skepticism and impatience with Gandalf. And then his reactions to Tauriel and Legolas during the fighting, and after the fighting...everything was clearly written all over his face.
IMO, movie!Thranduil simply doesn't care enough about the opinions of others to put up a facade. If anything, he's rather honest in showing his reactions and emotions. It's probably a natural consequence of a long immortal life (there can't be too many others still alive who still date back to the First Age) - he's so secure in his sense of self and self perception that he sees no reason to hide it.
-- Thranduil is a bad king for having an isolationist policy.
I...don't even know where to begin with this. I mean first of all, who's he supposed to have these non-isolationist ties with? I mean, does he actually share a border with anything in the movieverse that's not evil (Sauron), or just single individuals (Beorn, Radagast)?
Well, there's Laketown, I suppose, and hey, apparently Thranduil does do business with them, via the wine business. But I hope no one is seriously thinking that a military relationship with movie!Laketown (and its Master) is feasible.
There's Lothlorien, if you're just looking at a map and ignoring the fact that Dol Guldur lies between them and Lorien is canonically even more isolationist than Mirkwood. There's Imladris, if you're totally ignoring the map and the long and dangerous journey over the Misty Mountains to get there.
What about Erebor? Well, before the dragon, he obviously had enough diplomatic ties to personally travel to Erebor to pick up his jewelry order - and hey, Thror was the one who fucked up that political relationship what with his descent into the oft-mentioned gold-sickness/madness.
Oh BTW, remember Gundabad? Yeah, that's a pretty obvious reference to the wars against Angmar in the mid-Third Age. Y'know, the one that was mostly fought by the kingdom of Arnor and the elves of Imladris/Lindon in book!canon. The wood elves had no reason to be involved in that war. In fact, they should've been more worried about Dol Guldur around that same time frame. The fact that they were involved in the movie universe... hey, not so isolationist when it comes to the wider world, now is it?
-- Thranduil is a bad king for not listening to Tauriel and allowing an offensive on Dol Guldur.
Have we all watched the same movies? We all remember Gandalf getting his butt kicked by Sauron, and then the entire White Council facing off against the Nazgul and Sauron, yes? We all saw the giant army that marched north?
If Thranduil had tried to attack Dol Guldur on his own, there's only one possible result - dead soldiers, and dead king too if he also went with them. As much as I like him, Thranduil doesn't have the magical might of Galadriel. And it's not like pure non-metaphysical might did a different elvenking *coughGilgalad*cough* any good.
(Dulce bellum inexpertis. War is sweet to them that know it not.)
As it is, Thranduil managed to keep his kingdom standing and his people alive living right next door to Sauron, without the benefit of a magic ring like Elrond and Galadriel. His was the only populace of elves that weren't forced to sail or fade in the Fourth Age, but rather flourished. If history were to judge (and not wet-behind-the-ears elfling armchair generals who had never seen war before), he was an excellent king.
This entry was originally posted at http://tanithryudo.dreamwidth.org/448264.h