Fandom: Hobbit/Lord of the Rings
Summary: Thranduil will stand up for his people no matter what, even in the middle of a war, even against the High King of the Noldor Gil-Galad.
A/N:Written for this prompt on hobbit_kink. It's spell-checked so I hope it won't be too bad.
It also completely ignores the bullshit the movies pulled because making Thranduil classist against wood elves goes against everything Tolkien wrote about him.
“The attack was a disaster.” Elendil didn’t even try to mince his words. “What was Oropher thinking? And we lost half of Amdir’s troops as well. Weren’t elves meant to be wise?”
“They’re just wood elves and even Amdir and Oropher were only Sindar of a lesser lineage”, Gil-Galad said dismissively.
“They are vicious fighters though”, Elrond replied. “Even if they’re badly equipped but that is not their fault. Neither Lorien nor Greenwood are rich in resources.”
“Sauron’s troops are badly equipped as well, that’s no excuse”, Elendil said. “And it wasn’t their armour or their weapons that led to Oropher attacking too early. He was a damn fool. You should take command over what’s left of them.”
“I would”, Gil-Galad replied. “But they’re an unruly bunch and not inclined to listen to anyone. Less wise and more dangerous that is how my father described them and I can see how right he was.”
Thranduil had enough. “More dangerous and less wise?” He snarled, jumping to his feet, mindless of his injuries. “Who could be more dangerous than the High Elves who have slaughtered their own kin three times? Who could be less wise than the Noldor who brought their wars to this land to reclaim some gemstones? Or have you forgotten all that, High King?”
Even when he was standing Gil-Galad still towered over him and looked wholly unimpressed by Thranduil’s outburst. “It is not the past that counts but the present. And the ambush your father led this morning was rash, stupid and costly.”
“I’ve been there”, Thranduil replied, refusing to be intimidated by Gil-Galad. “We saw the agreed signal.”
Gil-Galad sighed. “You don’t need to make up excuses for your father. One wrong deed does not erase the actions of a lifetime.”
“It is no excuse. Ask the other survivors. We all saw it. I will not let your mistakes tarnish my father’s name or my people’s reputation.”
“Thranduil you should get some rest – “Elrond put his hands on Thranduil’s shoulders but he shrugged them off. He wasn’t done with Gil-Galad yet.
“There was no signal given”, Elendil said. “Whatever you saw it wasn’t a signal to attack.”
“Whatever it was, we need to make plans for the next days”, Elrond said to break up the fight. “Sauron will not wait for us to finish our squabbles.”
“You should go and rest, tomorrow’s fighting won’t concern you”, Gil-Galad told Thranduil.
“As long as even one of my people fights it concerns me. You have already proven you have no respect for them and I don’t trust you not to throw them to the wolves.”
“You are being childish. Look at you. How will you fight? You can barely walk.”
“Even if I have to crawl – I will not leave them.”
“Perhaps the wood elves should be kept from the battlefield for a few day”, Elendil said. “They’re no use to us if they do not follow the command of anyone but their own.”
“Do you think Sauron lets his troops rest?” Gil-Galad asked back.
“None of us are Sauron”, Elendil answered.
“Fine”, Gil-Galad said eventually. “Let them have a rest. It’s not like their presence on the battlefield will be missed. We may actually achieve something without them there to hinder us.” The look he gave Thranduil was so full of condescension that Thranduil wished him a slow and painful death in the next battle.
“I hate him”, Thranduil said between gritted teeth when Gil-Galad and Elendil left to prepare for tomorrow.
“He means well”; Elrond replied. “Will you get some rest now?”
“He’s just another Noldor, arrogant and conceited and dismissive of anyone he sees as lesser.”
“Gil-galad sees a bigger picture than you. He cares about everyone, not just his own people like you do.”
“The bigger picture?” Thranduil asked with disbelief. Then he shook his head. “Never mind. It’s been a long day and I’m tired. Good luck on the battlefield tomorrow.”
He stood and walked away slowly, hindered by his injuries but he refused any assistance. His people needed to see him alive, needed to see that they were not alone.
Elrond stayed behind and wondered what he had said that would offend his friend into leaving so suddenly. Maybe Gil-Galad was right and the minds of wood elves were strange and dangerous places. And Thranduil had lived among them for so long that he could be counted among them easily enough.
Halfway to his tent Thranduil was joined by Celeborn. Even though Thranduil couldn’t stand Galadriel their friendship had endured. Perhaps it helped that they were related if only distantly; their grandfathers had been cousins when the world had been young.
“I heard you had a row with Gil-Galad”, Celeborn said, matching Thranduil’s halting walk. He knew him well enough not to offer assistance.
“He’s an arsehole. He believes his lineage puts him oh so high above the rest of us. If I gave in to him my people would be slaughtered.”
“Your people were slaughtered”, Celeborn said as gently as he could.
“He tried to blame that on my father; said he had never given the signal.”
“You do not believe he led you deliberately into a trap, do you?”
Thranduil shook his head. “No. If only because he’s desperate for soldiers. We’ve lost too much to turn back now. Sauron needs to die at any cost, I agree with him on that. But I think he’s a little too comfortable with sacrificing others. And no one ever questions him as if the fucking High King of the cursed Noldor cannot do anything wrong.”
“Just remember that you can question his decisions in the war room but not on the battlefield. If we cannot trust each other then Sauron has already won.”
“I know. It’s just...it’s been less than a day but he’s already moving on as if nothing happened. And he seems to believe his own words. But no matter how brilliant he may be on the battlefield, I will not let him talk down to my people.”
Suddenly Celeborn laughed and Thranduil gave him a puzzled look.
“Look at you, barely king for a day and already so serious.”
Thranduil’s lips thinned. “Would you rather have me joking around?”
Celeborn shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. Go to your people, rest, grief for your father and for the friends you lost. And once you’re healed concentrate all your hate and anger on the orcs.”
“Maybe you’re right...I just...they’re not better than us. They brought all that war and strife to our home, they slaughtered our people and here he is pretending that he’s so much better than us.” Hate and anger dripped from every word. The First Age had left deep wounds in all of them.
“You’re right”, Celeborn said, placing both hands on Thranduil’s shoulders. “But now is not the time. We need to stand together against Sauron. Let me talk to Gil-Galad. He’s young and arrogant but he’ll learn.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“You did. And he reminds me of you an age ago.” Thranduil’s lips thinned which made Celeborn smile. “Go to bed. It’s been a long day. And tomorrow will even be longer.”