“Where is the courier?”
The messenger bowed. “He has been taken in, to be refreshed after a hard ride, my lord.”
Thranduil’s brow furrowed and he dismissed the messenger curtly. He paced his study, then abruptly sat down and read the letter again.
A gentle tap came at the door.
“Come!” Thranduil said curtly, but as the Elf entered his brow relaxed and he smiled. “Lòtë, love, is it late already?”
The Lady of Lasgalen smiled and took his hand. “Not so late, but there has been a courier, and poor Aranarth* left here like all the forces of Morgoth were on his tail. What is it?”
Thranduil scowled. “Legolas wishes to come home.”
“Why, there is no cause for you to be angry with that,” Lòtë protested.
“He wishes to bring the Dwarf with him, and he comes only to bring others back with him,” Thranduil told her.
Lòtë smiled wryly. “And so you have a black scowl and there is a thundercloud hanging above your study. Is this not foolishness, my husband?”
“I thought you would understand, Lòtë!” Thranduil protested, beginning to pace again. “I cannot receive him!”
“You married me,” Lòtë said simply, “though it was commonly known that my father had betrayed a company of Elves to Him in the battle of Dagorlad.”*
“That is different,” Thranduil said curtly. “You were a child, and anyway it was your father and not you.”
“How is this different?” Lòtë asked gently. “Must the son be blamed for the father’s faults? For if you will blame Gimli for what Glóin has done, will not Legolas be blamed for any grudges the Dwarves hold against you?”
Thranduil was staring out a window. Lòtë waited a moment, then said “Think on it, my husband,” and glided out the door.
A se’night later, a messenger arrived in Ithilien and handed Legolas a letter, sealed with Thranduil’s signet. It bore one word.
*Aranarth is actually the name of the first Chieftain of the Dunédain, I freely admit to flipping through my Appendixes and seizing the first likely name I saw.
*As to Legolas’s vow, I refer to
, Tolkien states that a company of the Elves was ambushed and driven into the Dead Marshes and killed. I took a bit of poetic license here and assumed that they were betrayed.
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