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An alternate universe The Hobbit fan fiction by Juliandria (based more upon the film adaptations than the book), in which Thorin survives the Battle of the Five Armies and becomes king. Several months later, Emma, a young woman from Esgaroth (Lake-town), finds shelter in Erebor after a series of traumatic events. There, she finds herself growing increasingly attracted to the King Under the Mountain and he to her, but Thorin’s duties to his kingdom as well as the dark secrets that haunt Emma threaten to tear them apart.

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It can be read on Archive of Our Own here.

Not to be confused with the self-help book of the same name.


Contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Leena to Thorin, Frederick Devlin and Clay to Emma.
  • Abusive Parents: Emma and Billy's father William. He's a neglectful Jerkass who essentially sells off his daughter when he gambles away their house.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Kate is more or less forced into prostitution to provide for her family due to her husband drinking and gambling away all their money. He then gambles away their house. As if that weren't bad enough, he then reveals he's planning on keeping the house by giving away Kate's daughter as a wife to the town's resident scumbag.
    • Emma is terrified that she will lose her little brother when he falls gravely ill. Although he recovers, she learns that he was intentionally poisoned and the would-be killer is still out there.
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    • Emma has a difficult pregnancy and nearly dies in childbirth. Although Thorin needs an heir and doesn't want another of his children to die, he doesn't want to lose his beloved wife either, especially after everything they went through to be together. His fears aren't unfounded either; his previous wife did actually die in childbirth along with the baby, as Emma notes. And while he doesn't know it, Galadriel also has a vision foretelling that Emma won't survive the birth. Although Emma and the baby both turn out fine, she and Thorin are reluctant to have any more children because Emma might not be so lucky next time.
  • Aerith and Bob: Alongside names like Emma, Kate and Billy, we have Thorin, Dís, Dwalin and so forth. Most of the human characters are the ones with more typical-sounding names.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
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    • Billy calls Emma 'Emmie'.
    • A decidedly non-endearing example from Frederick, who refers to Emma as "sweet-pea". She despises the pet name and coming from Frederick, it comes across as condescending and creepy. It actually becomes a plot point, as when Frederick, pretending to be Emma's father, calls her sweet-pea, it triggers her Repressed Memories as Frederick's the only one who ever called her that.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Leena's death is generally treated as an avoidable tragedy and despite her being nigh-universally hated, no one rejoices in it.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • William Caldwell. Also an Alcoholic Parent to Emma and Billy.
    • Thranduil seems to be a borderline case, constantly drinking wine. He even has his own winery set up in Mirkwood eventually to meet the supply demand and also skips Thorin and Emma's wedding ceremony just to attend the feast, saying that as there was no wine served at the ceremony, then he didn't miss anything important. Then again, the author may be going with the characterisation from the film adaptations where elves seem to be able to drink a lot more than humans and dwarves before it starts affecting them.
    • Thorin also shows signs of this, especially following his unhappy marriage to Leena (see Drowning My Sorrows / I Need a Freaking Drink).
  • Altar Diplomacy: Thorin is considering a marriage with Leena, his cousin Dain's niece, to strengthen Erebor's alliance with other dwarf kingdoms.
  • Altar the Speed: Thorin moves up the wedding to Leena, out of grief and anger when he believes Emma has left him. Everyone comes to regret that decision.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Somewhat downplayed. The events of The Hobbit played out exactly the same, including poor Fili and Kili dying, but one major divergence is that Thorin survived and became King of Erebor.
  • Ambition Is Evil: A lot of Leena's actions are driven by her desire to be queen.
  • Amnesia Danger: Frederick attempts to trick an amnesiac Emma into leaving Erebor with him by claiming to be her father. Emma doesn't recognise him – nor does she recall that her dad's an abusive jerk - while no one else in Erebor has ever met him, so they take his word for it. However, the plan falls apart when Frederick calls Emma "sweet-pea" – Frederick was the only one who ever called her this and she instinctively realises something isn't right, causing her memories to start returning. She immediately begins fighting him off and runs screaming back to the Lonely Mountain.
  • Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Thranduil. He kidnaps Emma and holds her prisoner as a favour to the guy who supplies him with wine, on nothing but his word that she didn't willingly leave him, and to mess with Thorin. However, to his credit, he releases Emma and orders Frederick be brought to justice after learning why she really left him, and he's pretty benevolent towards her afterwards.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Absolutely no one is sad when Frederick falls from his horse and breaks his neck trying to escape from Thranduil's guards.
    • Leena's death, though horrific, is deserved as well considering all of the horrible things she'd done; not to mention it's implied her own actions contributed to her demise. Case in point, most people are more upset about her baby dying.
  • Awful Wedded Life:
    • Kate and William's marriage is definitely not a happy one, ending with Kate being murdered by her husband.
    • Leena and Thorin's marriage is purely political but is pretty miserable, partly because Thorin loves another and partly because, well, he's married to Leena.
    • Emma technically spends just one day as Frederick's wife and it's made abundantly clear that their marriage would've been living hell (for her at least).
  • Babies Ever After: The fic ends with Emma giving birth to her and Thorin's son.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Emma is both very beautiful and a Nice Girl. Inverted for Leena. Zig-zagged in regards to Thranduil.
  • Beta Couple: Kate and Neil, although they never had a chance to properly get together and we don't actually learn of their relationship until after Kate's death.
  • Betty and Veronica: Humble, hardworking Nice Girl Emma is the Betty and spoilt, vampish Rich Bitch Leena is the Veronica for Thorin.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Leena and Frederick, and to a lesser extent Clay, are the main antagonists of the fic.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Inverted; Dis is actually Thorin's younger sister, but she's frequently looking out for him. She tries to keep Leena away from him so she won't bug him and because she's (rightly) suspicious of her and she's initially furious with Emma for hurting Thorin's feelings by running off without telling anyone.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Leena comes across as one to everyone, save for Dís, who sees right through her from the moment they meet.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Frederick leaves Emma in a room by herself, with the window unlocked and no guards. No prizes for guessing what happens next. He himself states he underestimated her and doesn't intend to make the same mistake twice once he gets her back.
  • Boy Meets Girl: The general gist of the story, though with dwarves, elves, political intrigue and murder thrown into the mix.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Emma briefly towards Kate after learning she's a prostitute. She gets over it pretty quickly, realising her mother only did it to provide for her and Billy, and deeply regrets how she treated her after finding out she's dead.
    • A source of angst for Emma is that she believes she'll become this for Thorin if he were to find out who she really is and what's happened to her. She's wrong.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Thorin and Emma have shades of this.
  • Cassandra Truth: Just about everything Dís says in regards to damn near everything. Thorin never really listens to her until it's too late, though he gets a bit better in this regard.
  • Child Marriage Veto: Emma tries to run away when she finds out that her father betrothed her to Frederick. Unusually for this trope, her mother is also opposed to the match and tries to help her escape; sadly, their efforts are for nought as Emma runs straight into Frederick's minion, Clay.
  • Children Are Innocent: Billy, who is only four, is a prime example of this. It's Played for Drama in Chapter 12, where he initially blames Emma for their mother's death, believing their father killed her because Emma left. Emma tries to explain what really happened in a way he can understand, saying that Kate was trying to help her escape from "a bad person".
  • Cliffhanger: The author absolutely loves ending chapters on these.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Leena for Thorin, to the point of trying to kill both Emma and her brother.
  • Completed Fic: The author began uploading chapters in 2014 and finished the story in the same year.
  • Cool Big Sis: Emma to Billy. Dís also comes across as this towards Emma and eventually becomes her actual sister-in-law.
  • Cool Old Guy: Gandalf, of course. In this fic, he goes out of his way to help Emma after finding her in the river, pulling her out and reviving her, carrying her all the way to Erebor and trying to help her regain her memories.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Kate dies after her husband beats her head against the floor, cracking her skull.
    • Vini gets her head bashed in by Leena repeatedly smashing it against the floor and dies hours later in agony (presumably from haemorrhaging).
    • Leena bleeds to death due to childbirth complications.
  • Dark Fic: The story isn't really significantly darker than the source material overall, but it does go into some rather dark and serious subjects, namely Domestic Abuse and rape. There's also some sexually explicit content, though nothing drastic.
  • Dark Secret: Emma seems to regard her Dark and Troubled Past as this; as she puts it, her mother is a prostitute, her father is a violent drunk who murders her mother and ends up in jail, she herself was married off against her will to a man who beat and raped her, which caused her to run away and attempt to drown herself in a fit of madness. She worries about what Thorin will think if/when finds out her secrets. Fortunately, Thorin doesn't care about any of this and loves Emma for herself.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Emma, after being forced to marry Frederick and imprisoned in his house, escapes through a window and then manages to walk half way to Erebor.
  • Daughter Of A Whore: Emma, as it turns out, which she herself lampshades.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Thorin and Dis can both be very sarcastic when they want to.
  • Death by Childbirth:
    • Leena's fate. It's hinted that her own foolish actions during labour, including refusing to take the advice of the midwives, contributed to her death and the death of the baby.
    • Galadriel foresees that Emma will die in childbirth, but Elrond is able to use his magic to save her, averting this.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Both Frederick and Leena are dead by the end of the story, allowing Thorin and Emma to get married in peace.
  • Defiant Captive: When Emma is forced to marry Frederick, she tries to fight him off, at least until he beats her so badly she briefly loses consciousness, then escapes by climbing out of a window the moment she has an opportunity. Later, after being kidnapped by Thranduil, she attacks anyone who enters her room - including the servants sent to bring her food and clothing - and even attempts to pull a knife on the Elfking himself.
  • Demoted to Extra: Most of the Company are barely featured or even mentioned, though Bofur and Dwalin both play reasonably large roles in some key events of fic.
  • Designated Victim: Emma is targeted by all the villains at one point or another.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Subverted. Emma briefly crosses it early in the story, feeling trapped in her nightmarish situation, and impulsively attempts to drown herself. However, she gets better.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Neil the innkeeper never did get with Kate, due to her untimely death at her husband's hands.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Frederick is killed around half way through the story, with Leena becoming the main antagonist for the rest of the fic.
  • Dishonored Dead: After being shown Frederick's dead body, Emma decides to just leave it in the woods for wild animals. Thranduil is only too happy to oblige.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Leena for Thorin, Frederick for Emma. Justified on both counts; Leena is a Manipulative Bitch whom Thorin is only marrying as part of an alliance, Frederick is a Domestic Abuser whom Emma was forced into marrying against her will.
  • Distressed Damsel: Emma when she is kidnapped by Thranduil, but she isn't a quiet prisoner and he soon releases her.
  • Downer Beginning: Good grief. In the first few chapters, protagonist Emma finds herself forced to marry an utterly vile man who abuses her and tries to commit suicide in a moment of despair.
  • The Dragon: Clay to Frederick, Vini to Leena.
  • Drowning My Sorrows / I Need a Freaking Drink: Thorin gets extremely drunk during his wedding feast with Leena. When Dís tells him to lay off on the booze a bit, he replies that as it’s his wedding day he can drink as much as he likes.
  • Dude Magnet: Emma attracts the attention of Thorin, Thranduil, Frederick and Clay (though the latter two are AbhorrentAdmirers).
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Leena hates that few people in Erebor are willing to constantly bow and scrape to her simply because she's the future queen, and lets everyone know it. This doesn't exactly endear her to people.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Thorin in regards to Emma. The moment they properly meet (she having been unconscious when she was first brought into Erebor) he feels compelled to show her compassion and is unusually gentle with her. Only a few days after they met, he learns Emma might be in danger and is fully prepared to go charging off to rescue her until he's informed she's safe.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Both Thorin and Emma (especially the latter).
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • Vini does lots of dirty work for Leena, but not even she can bring herself to murder Emma in her sleep on her orders.
    • Thranduil is generally a self-centred and snobbish jerk, but he is not happy when he finds out Frederick beat and raped Emma, then tried to trick him into believing Thorin had kidnapped her.
  • Explicit Content: There are a few explicit sex scenes, though they're few and far between, and serve an actual narrative purpose.
  • The Gambling Addict: William. The reason his family is so poor is because he either drinks or gambles away their money. He also gambled away the family winery and he even gambles away the house at the beginning of the fic, prompting him to try and trade his daughter as a wife to Frederick in place of the house.
  • The Ghost: Lady Galadriel doesn't physically appear, but she plays a significant role in the plot near the end; she foresees that Emma will give birth to a dwarf-human hybrid, but also that she will die in the process. Elrond tries to avert this and succeeds in saving Emma, though only just.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Leena is deeply unpopular amongst her subjects for her snobbery and spoilt ways, and isn't above using murder to get her own way or to simply settle petty scores. Most people are not looking forward to her becoming Queen of Erebor and she makes it plain from her thoughts and conversations with Vini that she fully intends to abuse her power to serve herself. Of course, Thorin catches on eventually and after being found guilty of trying to murder Billy and Emma, Leena spends most of her reign confined to her chambers, with Thorin's intention being to strip her of her title and send her packing. In contrast, Emma, once she marries Thorin, becomes a beloved queen.
  • Grew a Spine: Emma develops into a more strong-willed and independent young woman over the course of the story, unafraid of standing up for herself (even to those she loves).
    Emma: "Then do what you must because I intend to protect myself — whatever the cost. I've grown tired of people like you who push me around just because they think I am weak".
  • Happily Married: Thorin and Emma in the end.
  • Harmful to Minors: Poor Billy. In addition to growing up in an abusive home, it's implied he witnessed (or at least overheard) his father murdering his mother, he lives on the streets for several weeks afterwards, fending for himself, and later he is nearly fatally poisoned by Leena.
  • Hate Sink: Frederick is an utterly repulsive man with no redeeming qualities; Clay and William are no better. Slightly downplayed with Leena; although she's also quite easy to hate, she has more sympathetic traits (just barely) compared to the other three.
  • Healing Hands: Both Gandalf and Elrond have these abilities and use them to help Emma on two occasions; Gandalf revives her after she nearly drowns, while Elrond is able to put her into an enchanted sleep to prevent her from dying of childbirth complications.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: As it turns out, Kate. She only became a prostitute to support her impoverished family, she is a loving mother and hands out free bread to poor families.
    • Hope Spot:
    • At the beginning of the story, Kate warns Emma of her father's plan to marry her to Frederick and she plans to flee by boat into Dale, where her mother knows someone who can help her. She actually manages to get into the boat, but before she can set off, Clay catches her.
    • Later, Emma is released by Thranduil and Frederick dies. This means she can return to Thorin and no longer has to worry about being married to Frederick. However, she reaches Erebor just in time for Thorin and Leena's wedding...
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Dain in regards to Leena. "Very delicate child" my ass.
  • Hot-Blooded: Thorin. He's easily riled and can be rude, aggressive and prideful at times, but he’s also very determined and passionate, especially when it comes to people he cares about.
  • Huge Girl, Tiny Guy: Surprisingly averted, so it would seem, with Emma and Thorin. Although Emma is explicitly stated to be human - who are much taller than dwarves on average - she's described as very short in stature (we don't get an exact height). Thorin in the films is said to be around 5'2, quite tall for a dwarf, whilst some humans are known to be this height. Given that no significant height difference is brought up - indeed, Thorin and Emma have no apparent physical difficulties in kissing or embracing - it can be assumed they're around the same height.
  • Hurting Hero: Thorin. At the start of the fic, it's only been eight months since he lost his nephews Kili and Fili reclaiming Erebor and he's starting to feel The Chains of Commanding. It gets worse when he falls for Emma, with various factors keeping them apart, though he's much happier once they finally get together.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Thorin's piercing blue eyes are mentioned several times.
  • Idiot Ball: Thorin picks it up a few times. When Emma goes missing (snatched by Thranduil under the assumption she'd been taken from her lawful husband by Thorin), Thorin's immediate assumption is that she doesn't really love him and left of her own free will. Even though everyone else points out he doesn't know what happened, his mind is made up and he decides to marry Leena immediately. Later, in an inverse of the earlier situation, he learns Emma is in Mirkwood and assumes she's been kidnapped, leading to him charging up there with a small army to wage war on Thranduil...only to find out Emma really is there of her own free will this time, helping the king set up his own winery.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Frederick towards Emma pretty much constantly. He takes it to its logical, horrifying conclusion and outright forces himself on her. Clay acts this way towards Emma as well.
  • Incest Is Relative: Leena claims her uncle Dain took her virginity, though it turns out to be a lie to curry sympathy from Dis and hide the real reason she's not a virgin anymore.
  • Infant Immortality: Played straight with Billy, who survives living on the streets for weeks and being poisoned. Averted with Thorin and Leena's child, who is stillborn.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Emma is repeatedly said to be beautiful, though beyond being beautiful and very petite, we don't get a detailed description.
  • The Ingenue: Leena acts like one around most people, though in reality she’s the exact opposite.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Dain when he suggests that Dis get remarried and have some more children to occupy herself. He's trying to help, but it's only been eight months since she lost both her sons and she clearly isn't remotely interested in having a replacement family.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Emma struggles with this throughout the fic, thinking she is unworthy of Thorin and that they have no viable future together. By the end, she overcomes this.
  • Interspecies Romance / Interclass Romance: Between Thorin the dwarven king and Emma, a human from a very lowly background. She at one point lampshades how her past would be considered scandalous and inappropriate for the consort of a monarch. Thorin doesn't care.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Thorin, at his worst.
    • Thranduil seems to be one, though with more emphasis on the Jerk part in comparison to Thorin.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia / Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Emma suffers a case of this after attempting to drown herself, being unable to remember who she is save for her name or what happened to her. Luckily, she regains her memories and just in the nick of time; Frederick had been attempting to take her away under the pretense of being her father, only for him to trigger her Repressed Memories.
  • Lethal Chef: Cooking is not Emma's forte, she having a tendency to either burn or undercook everything she tries to make.
  • Like a Son to Me: Dis seems to view Billy as a son, treating him in a maternal manner and doting on him, especially as Billy has recently lost his mother whilst Dis lost her sons, Fili and Kili.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Inverted with Emma. She closely resembles her mother in appearance and demeanour, whilst inheriting virtually nothing from her father. She takes this even further later in the story, vowing never to speak to or even think of William again after he murders Kate and, after inheriting the winery once owned by her mother's family, she changes it back to her mother's maiden name of Stanton, and changes her own surname to Stanton as well.
  • Living with the Villain: Emma is briefly forced to live with Frederick, on account of their marriage, before she escapes. In the second half of the story, Thorin is stuck with Leena due to them being married.
  • Love Hurts / Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Emma and Thorin go through a lot of strife and angst before finally getting their Happily Ever After.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe:
    • William accuses Emma of not being his (it's unlikely to be true, seeing as Kate only began soliciting herself to support her children).
    • Thorin at one point suggests that Leena's unborn child isn't his, due to the fact they only had sex once. She vehemently denies it. In fact, she managed to conceive on their wedding night and actually remained faithful to him, so the child is his.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Frederick, who pretends to be an amnesiac Emma's father in an attempt to recapture her and lies to King Thranduil's face about Thorin 'kidnapping' his wife (Emma was given shelter in Erebor to escape his abuse) to persuade him to help him get Emma back with no questions asked. Luckily, Thranduil isn't stupid and turns on Frederick the moment he gets Emma's side of the story.
    • Leena is by far the biggest Manipulative Bitch in the fic. There is no one she wouldn't try to weasel her way around, she's spent most of her life scheming her way to power and almost everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie.
  • Marry for Love: Dis asks Thorin if he's thinking of abandoning his Arranged Marriage to Leena to marry Emma after she realises he's fallen in love with her. He actually goes through with the marriage to Leena out of duty, but by the end of the fic, he and Emma end up married after all.
  • Minor Living Alone: Four year old Billy lives alone for several weeks after his mother was killed and his dad went to jail.
  • Must Make Amends: Mabel, Frederick's elderly servant, does what she can to make amends to Emma, due to regretting not intervening when Frederick beat and raped her. She eventually earns Emma's trust and respect, especially after she clobbers Clay with a cast-iron pan for attempting to rape and kill Emma.
  • Narcissist: Leena fits all four criteria; she's extremely vain and self-absorbed, craves power and respect, and is deeply offended and upset when she feels she's not getting the adulation she 'deserves'.
  • Near-Death Experience: Twice for Emma. She nearly drowns early on, but is revived by Gandalf and temporarily loses her memories. Near the end, she almost dies giving birth to her son and is saved by Elrond.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mabel, as it turns out. When she overhears Clay attacking Emma, she whacks him over the head with a cast-iron pan and actually hits him hard enough to kill him.
  • Nice Guy: Neil is very friendly and generous; he never judged Kate for being a prostitute, travelled all the way to Esgaroth to check on her children after she was murdered and immediately agrees to help Emma despite having only met her that same day.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Because Emma was still married to Frederick when he died, she inherits all his money and lands, including his winery, which originally belonged to Emma's family before her father gambled it away. As a result, she becomes a wealthy and successful Self-Made Woman.
  • Nom de Mom: Emma eventually changes her surname from Caldwell to her mother's maiden name of Stanton, largely to dissociate herself with her father after his abysmal treatment of her and especially because he murdered her mother.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Leena and Dis are set to become sisters-in-law, but there's absolutely no love lost between them, mostly because Dis sees right through Leena's schemes. In contrast, Dis and Emma become Best Friends-in-Law, with Dis already coming across as a Cool Big Sis to Emma.
  • Obviously Evil: Frederick, although it's more down to his behaviour than his appearance (although he's noted to be tall and imposing, and rather ugly). The very first thing we're told about him is that he's a "hateful scoundrel". His attitude is generally one of sneering condescension to everyone around him, if not outright hostility.
  • OCs: Several of characters, the most prominent being Emma Caldwell/Stanton.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Dis, sister of Thorin and mother of Fili and Kili, as well as the only named female dwarf in Tolkien's works. In his writings she's merely mentioned in the appendices and in the film adaptations of The Hobbit she's mentioned once or twice; in this fic, she's one of the main characters and has a very fleshed out personality.
  • Odd Friendship: Emma, surprisingly, becomes pretty pally with Thranduil, even though he technically kidnapped her and then later propositioned her. To be fair, aside from that he's only ever been kind and generous to her, they like each other's sense of humour and he's also responsible for bringing Emma's rapist/abuser to justice.
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • Dis, whose loss of her sons, Fili and Kili, is an integral part of her character.
    • Thorin's baby with Leena dies in childbirth along with her mother.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Thorin during Emma's pregnancy.
  • Parental Substitute: Dis becomes something of one to Billy, possibly combined with Honorary Aunt. They actually do become family when Emma marries Thorin.
  • Plucky Girl: Emma, particularly in the second half of the story. No matter what life throws at her, she manages to soldier on and find solutions to her problems.
  • The Pollyanna: Kate usually tries to look on the bright side no matter the situation and Emma describes her as being an "eternal optimist".
  • Pride: One of Thorin's major flaws, which actually causes a fair chunk of the drama in the story.
  • Princess in Rags: Leena to an extent near the end of the fic. Although she still lives in luxury, any power she had in Erebor is gone after Vini spills the beans on her mistress's dark doings. She's confined to her rooms until her baby is born, with the intention being to strip her of her title and send her back to her family to answer for her crimes. She still acts like she's the queen, but it's pretty clear she's little more than a prisoner in a fancy cell. The sole reason she isn't thrown in the dungeons or sent away immediately is because she's carrying the king's child.
  • Promoted to Parent: Emma to Billy, after their father is imprisoned for murdering their mother.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Leena can come across as one, especially when she throws tantrums when she can't get her own way, though she usually hides this side of her from most people. At first.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: William never appears again after the first few chapters; it's mentioned that he was thrown in prison for murdering Kate. In the end, Emma is told he is dying and asked for her, but she refuses to see him.
  • Rags to Riches: Emma starts out living in near poverty. She then inherits her family's old winery from her late husband and runs it successfully. Finally, she marries Thorin and becomes Queen of Erebor.
  • Rape as Drama: Frederick rapes Emma on their wedding night. She spends around half the story coming to terms with it, once she regains her memories of the assault. Clay later attempts to rape and kill Emma, but is thwarted by Mabel.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Poor Vini. The one time she defies her mistress and in doing so saves Emma's life, Leena flies into a rage and badly injures her by smashing her head against the floor. Vini only lives long enough to air all of Leena's dirty laundry to Dis.
  • Rich Bitch / Rich Jerk:
    • Leena, through and through, combined with Aristocrats Are Evil.
    • Frederick is one of the wealthiest men in Esgorath, thinks his wealth makes him untouchable and indeed uses it to get away with all kinds of horrible things...until he comes up against Thorin and later Thranduil, that is.
    • Thranduil can come across as one, though he's not even remotely on the same level as Leena and Frederick, and has some positive traits as well.
  • Royal Brat: Leena. And this is putting it mildly.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Thorin aspires to be The Good King and also investigates potential threats to his kingdom personally. Dis is also very involved with the day-to-day tasks of running Erebor and even manages to organise an entire royal wedding with just three days' notice. Emma continues running her wine business even after becoming Thorin's queen, though they have an agreement that she will hand over management to Billy once he’s older.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Kate, Emma and Billy's loving, optimistic, put-upon mother and Hooker With A Heartof Gold, who is murdered by her abusive husband in the third chapter for trying to defend their daughter (though her death isn’t confirmed until a few chapters later.
  • Screw Destiny: Despite knowing Galadriel's visions are rarely wrong, Elrond personally attends Emma when she gives birth in the hopes he can save her from dying in childbirth as Galadriel foresaw. He's able to successfully avert the prophecy using his healing powers.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!: Leena's general attitude is this; she's been getting away with stuff all her life by batting her eyelashes and flirting. Unfortunately for her, Dis and Thorin aren't as willing to put up with it.
  • Security Cling: While still suffering amnesia, Emma is told her father has come looking for her. As Bofur escorts to her to see him, she clings to his arm out of nervousness she won't remember anything. And when she first regains her memories and nearly gets kidnapped by Frederick, she ends up sobbing in Thorin's arms due to being emotionally overwhelmed.
  • Self-Made Woman: Emma becomes this in the second half of the story, after inheriting her family's old winery from her late husband and restoring it to its former glory. Marrying Thorin and becoming queen of Erebor is just a bonus.
  • Series Continuity Error: A rather minor one in the grand scheme of things, seeing as it doesn't really impact the plot too drastically, but in the first chapter it's stated that William gambled away the family winery five years ago. In a later chapter, however, Emma states it was ten years ago. In the first chapter Emma also mentions that her grandfather, the original owner of the winery, died ten years ago, so it's possible the author simply got the events slightly mixed up.
  • Sexless Marriage: Thorin only has sex with Leena once, on their wedding night, and then never touches her again, not even sharing the same room as her. She is not pleased.
  • Skip to the End: Of a sort. When Frederick forces Emma to marry him, he simply puts a marriage contract in front of her and makes it plain she has no choice about signing it; they don't even have a ceremony.
  • Slimeball: Frederick is quickly established to be an utter scumbag, described as being an "unscrupulous man who grew wealthy at the expense of those less fortunate than he. When things did not go his way, he often resorted to violence by way of two thugs which he kept under his employment". He had no problem taking the Caldwells’ winery from them after winning it in a game of poker, even though it was their only source of income, or lying and cheating to get what he wants. His very creepy, unsubtle attraction to Emma – who makes it plain she does NOT reciprocate – makes him even sleazier. Finally, he agrees to exchange the Caldwells' house for Emma's hand in marriage and also takes the time to tell William about his wife being a prostitute, purely to stir up trouble.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Emma to a certain extent. It's part of the reason the vile Frederick forces her to marry him and earns her the ire of Leena. On a less serious note, it also results in Thranduil making unwanted advances, though she easily brushes these off.
  • The Social Expert: Dis is very good at reading people and political maneuvering. She sees through Leena's sheltered princess act right away, figures out that Thorin and Emma have feelings for each other before they do and so forth. She's often left in charge of planning big formal events in Erebor such as royal weddings and also gently reminds Thoron of the political ramifications of not marrying Leena.
  • Suicide, Not Murder: A variation. After Gandalf finds Emma beaten and half-drowned in the river, it is assumed by everyone and Emma herself (she having temporary amnesia) that someone tried to murder her. However, Emma eventually remembers that she had intentionally tried to drown herself, although the injuries she sustained were caused by her husband Frederick and it was his horrible treatment of her that was the catalyst for her suicide attempt.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Kate, who works as a prostitute to support her family due to her husband drinking and gambling away their money, and Emma, as she was forced into her marriage and despises her husband.
  • Thwarted Escape: Emma is moments away from setting off in her family's boat to escape Esgaroth and her forced marriage to Frederick...only for Clay to catch her.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Billy loves honey cakes. Leena takes advantage of this by using a poisoned honey cake to try and kill him, though it fails.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Both Emma and Thorin have a bad habit of doing or saying things without thinking them through or considering the effect on other people. They both get better about this.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Even though Thorin despises Leena, he does care about their unborn daughter and he and Dis are both devastated when the baby is stillborn; Dis even wonders if their family is cursed to never have children. Emma also feels very sad for Thorin when she hears the news and Thorin goes through a period of mourning before asking Emma to marry him. When Emma later gets pregnant, Thorin's memory of his stillborn daughter and fear of history repeating itself darkens the otherwise happy occasion.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Poor Emma. In one day alone, she finds out her mother is a prostitute (which is a big shock to her), is forced by her abusive father to marry a man she finds repulsive who beats and rapes her, has to flee from the house in the night and nearly drowns herself, after which she loses her memories. Upon finally regaining her memories, she learns her father murdered her mother, falls in love with a man she thinks she'll never be able to have, gets kidnapped, is rejected by her lover, nearly watches her little brother die, is nearly murdered in her own bed and suffers a traumatic birth.
  • Tsundere: Dis is a Type B. For example, after Emma leaves Erebor without telling Thorin, she storms up to Emma's house and berates her for hurting her brother after all he'd done for her...then immediately softens up when she realises Emma had gone to see her little brother.
  • Underground City: Erebor, although there are some parts, mainly the royal levels, that are built into the mountainside rather than completely under it and have balconies to the outside.
  • Undying Loyalty: Subverted for Vini. Despite her creepy levels of devotion to her mistress, she is unable to bring herself to kill Emma for her. Leena doesn't take this well.
  • Unwanted Spouse: Frederick for Emma, and William, to an extent, for Kate. Later, Leena for Thorin.
  • The Vamp: Leena, although Thorin is mostly immune to her due to already being in love with Emma, as well as Dis' efforts to keep them apart.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Vini cannot bring herself to kill Emma, Leena goes completely Ax-Crazy, having a screaming fit and repeatedly slamming Vini's head onto the floor.
  • Wife-Basher Basher:
    • When she finds out that he essentially sold off their daughter to Frederick Devlin to pay gambling debts, and suggests that Emma isn't his child due to her mother's occupation, Kate finally snaps and hurls a bowl at her abusive husband.
    • Thranduil was intending to dish out some form of punishment for Frederick after learning what he did to Emma although we don't find out what it is, as he ends up falling and breaking his neck trying to escape from the Mirkwood guards.
  • Women Are Wiser: Dis is generally a lot more onto it than Thorin and the Company.
  • Would Harm a Senior: Mabel claims that Frederick wouldn't think twice about beating a frail old woman like her if she displeased him (hence why she didn't try to intervene when he raped Emma). Given what we see of Frederick, she's probably right.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Frederick and Clay. There's also William, who physically abuses his wife; he takes it a step further when he murders her.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Leena, who attempts to poison little Billy.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: On their wedding night a drunken Thorin inadvertently calls Leena 'Emma'. She's not happy.
  • Yes-Man: Vini to Leena. She constantly agrees with everything Leena says, showers her with praise and blindly follows her orders at least until she asks her to murder Emma.
  • You Have Failed Me: Leena towards Vini late in the fic, after she fails to kill Emma for her.
  • You Remind Me of X: Kate thinks to herself that Emma reminds her of her own father, in that they both tend to be rather fastidious and anxious people.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Emma technically cheats on Frederick with Thorin, but considering what an utterly horrible person he is and that the marriage was forced on her, Emma is definitely a Sympathetic Adulterer and is not portrayed negatively.
    • Thorin is technically cheating on Leena too, as he's betrothed to her at the time, although he (reluctantly) remains faithful to her throughout the duration of their marriage despite his feelings for Emma.

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