Thank you for the kind comments!
The "no man is a hero to his own valet" point is well proven.
I was nervous about using a real life aphorism in Middle-earth, but this one just seemed so right. The original can be attributed to Madame De Sevigny, but here, we'll give it to Melian of Doriath, who should know about males with feet of clay.
The second chapter is at least as moving as the first. It gave me a subtly altered insight into Oropher's disastrous charge and subsequent death
Strangely, this was the first one written, probably because I'm more comfortable with politics than I am with sex. I knew Thranduil would have a different take on the disaster, however, I'm not sure where the paranoia about the Noldor standing back (possibly deliberately) while the Silvans got creamed came from. It just popped in while I had myself in the headspace of the grieving Thanduil. So I went with it. You'll see that attitude of Thranduil's throughout my other stories, and it has proved a very fertile idea to follow.
I think this could be a candidate for the LaCE challenge
Why thank you for the suggestion! I might just do that!