After I managed to read ALL of the next chapter, I had to come back and reread this again, slowly and sitting down the whole time, not running the room screaming like a banshee at m'lord Elf who allowed the shining elf to be damaged unto death. I was ready to kill Elrohir the first time I read this chapter and could not sit down long enough to even write coherent feedback here.
Bloody hell, Ziggy! Three weeks later, I still want to murder Elrohir slowly, make him suffer greatly for letting his pride and arrogance cause Legolas such torture. But, I suspect, if he'd done it Gandalf's way, Legolas would be seriously dead by now, with an arrow through his head or heart. And so, having read the next chapter, I can forgive Elrohir - a little bit. I would just kill him more quickly now, though it would still have to inolve some torture - perhaps vivid visions of Legolas fulfilled and madly in love with Elladan. No, not satisfying enough; there must be blood as well.
That said, as for the incredible writing in this chapter -- the intensity of the storm as the harbinger of the Nazgul, but even more as a mirror for the insanity both Legolas and Elrohir's are experiencing is glorious. Elrohir's recognition of his own stupidity (thank you for that!) though it only lasts a few seconds and the way it feeds his fury, which in turns feeds his ability to give the Nazgul exactly what he intended to in the first place is - the picture of the ring in Minas Tirith, is both realistically drawn in your word pictures and delivered with the queasy, knife-edge of truth. Would he have had the strength to hide the reality of the ring's journey if he hadn't been so furious? If he hadn't just watched his might-have-been-savior die a horrible death? If Legolas' frightened and lost-looking (sniff sniff) ghost hadn't been hovering over Khamul's shoulder, would he have been able to deliver the death blow to Sauron's hopes?
But I jump ahead -- I was also much impressed with the echoes of THE ring of power in the ring the Nazgul create around Legolas with sorcery - an incredibly powerfully written scene, even if I had to force myself to read slowly and with care as I was forcing myself to breathe deeply, not just skip over it because they were hideously torturing the gorgeous one.
And then the unmitigated gall of the new head Dark Guy in extending an invitation to join them. The python dressed up in a feather boa wearing a velvet glove. Oh yeah, I can't wait to see how that turns out. Maybe they can squeeze a bit of the darkness out of Elrohir.
Sound the trumpets - the hunt is on! And finally, I'm tottering on over to review Chapter 25 on rubbery legs after reading this chapter again, but they're holding me up now, finally, since I at least have an idea what's coming.
Great chapter, Ziggy!