Forum: Writing Mary Sue: the Mother of Challenges

Discussing: Thranduil?


I'm currently working on a prequel to my LONG story, "A Little Nudge Out of the Door," that will tell the story of King Thranduil and his queen, whom Tolkien told us zilch about. In my other stories, I gave her a name, (Minuial), the typical elven beauty, and a somewhat ambiguous ancestry (she's Galadhrim. That's about it.)

Now in my prequel, "Dawn," I'll be writing a series of short stories covering key moments in their lives, ending with her untimely death during Legolas's childhood. Needless to say, this means I'll have to further flesh out her ancestry, her looks, and her character into a believable person that Thranduil of Greenwood could fall for.

I try to deny it but at heart, I'm a sucker for the good old-fashioned romance. From Unfinished Tales I imagine that Oropher is a rather difficult elf to have as a father, so that's going to come into play (though not to extremes. Elves don't go to extremes in canon half as often as they do in fanfic.)

This is where it gets dangerous: she shall be beautiful. I can't picture Thranduil falling for an elf who wasn't beautiful, given his love of certain gems later in life. When reading the Hobbit and speculating on it, I thought there could be a connection, so in this story I'd like to make one. I've even got her "cast" in my mind: Wendy Kilbourne (Constance from the miniseries "North and South") is who I would choose to play her.

Personality is where it gets tricky. I'm trying with all my might to avoid a blazing Mary-Sue. If anyone has an idea of what sort of female would interest a very young Thranduil (I've got him just coming of age when he meets her) with a rather overbearing, ambitious father, I love to hear them.



Re: Thranduil?

If anyone has an idea of what sort of female would interest a very young Thranduil...

An intelligent one.

Thranduil strikes me as a very political politician. To inherit your father's forest is quite easy, but Thranduil managed to not only keep control over it but also respond as King to the Men living in Mirkwood, gain respect from the beornings and be "feared" by the people of Lake Town. In the not so small are these peoples occupy in the North, he is the leading voice, at least until the War of Five Armies.

So I can't really see why beauty would be the most important trait in his wife. I tend to think of him as a Prince who knew that a wife who could think and plan with him would be more useful than one who could only serve as trophy.

Of course she'll be pretty, that's a given when you write elves. I've dealed with that myself by not making her beauty relevant at all to his choice in my little selfish universe. Being not the cheeriest Elf on ME, I don't think Thranduil would fall to his knees before the most beautiful Elf on the woods, but rather take his time falling in love with one who could literally be his other half.

- Dimmie



Re: Thranduil?

Okay, for personality I could see Thranduil falling for someone who has "spunk." She should probably have a rather volatile temper (as does Thranduil), because it might be rather amusing if the only person who could match Thranduil in an argument was his wife. To keep her from being too much of an MS, she could have major moodswings and such so that if something bad were to happen it would affect her more than it would other people. Okay, this whole thing I just said made no sense whatsoever, but oh well. By the way, I love "A Little Nudge out the Door."



Re: Thranduil?

Hmmm. Okay, now I REALLY have a dilemma. I was actually thinking of taking the exact opposite approach. Not necessary anyone who could be dominated, but whose personality tends more to compliment his than mirror it. For example, where he's a fighter/dominating type, she's a negotiator. She's hot-tempered and explosive, and she's mild but stubborn. She wouldn't be submissive by any means, but I can see her as being one of the few people who can calm him down.

Dunno. Any more thoughts?



Re: Thranduil?

Okay, now I REALLY have a dilemma.

Smile. You don't have a dilemma.

Your view of miss Queen is not the off the wall, it was precisely where addicted and I were trying to get. She does not have to be Thranduil in skirts, she's just not the Arwen kind of Queen, who basically puts up with everything because of l'amour.

I like the notion of negotiator. I can see Thranduil learning to love someone who can freely tell him to chill his pretty Sindar temper before he does something really really stupid (like keeping dwarves on the basement).



Re: Thranduil?

"I like the notion of negotiator. I can see Thranduil learning to love someone who can freely tell him to chill his pretty Sindar temper before he does something really really stupid (like keeping dwarves on the basement)."

Too bad she'll be dead by the time those unfortunate events take place. Well, that's a way to start at least. I agree; while I don't plan on making her "Thranduil in a skirt," I also don't plan on her putting up with any crap from him either. In a way, I almost picture them as being nearly polar opposites in personality. What can I say; I'm a sopping romantic!



Re: Thranduil?

I'm a sopping romantic!

Oh, don't blush. Romance: good. Thranduil romance: very very good.



New Question: Thranduil's bride and Oropher

Okay, so my ideas for Thranduil's Queen have been generally well-received, and I intend making use of some of the excellent advice given me. Now another detail, not precisely about a love interest, but related:

How do you envision Thranduil's relationship with Oropher? I've got a few interesting ideas myself, but I'd love everyone's input.

ALSO: in relating to the question of his love interest, how would Oropher see the type of elven maid we've been imagining up for Thranduil. What sort of girl would an elf like Oropher desire for his son, and would a young Thranduil (as opposed to the older, slightly-more-embittered one we see in The Hobbit) want a different type of girl? Lots of opportunity for speculation here, so give me your thoughts, please!



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