Betrothed

Elsila's Eyes, Thranduil's Song

1. Elsila's Eyes, Thranduil's Song

   
   
   
Elsila of Hollin sits in her chamber at the Hall of the Elven-King and thinks her enigmatic, shielded thoughts. Her feet are bare but she wears her customary house robes: a silvery-grey gown and a girdle of light and dark blue. Her dress mirrors the colors of her eyes. They are the most unusual eyes of anyone at Thranduil's court. Not Huntress's Noldoran grey, or the summer blue of Thranduil and Elwen, or even the changeling eyes of Legolas can match them.

Elsila's grey eyes in the centers are bright, nearly white, like clouds on a morning that is clearing. But like the clearing day, the grey gives way to blue and finally to a dark blue that surrounds all. Sometimes the grey is stormy, sometimes steely, sometimes pearly. But like a muted rainbow they are always bright grey, blue, dark blue. Long ago Thranduil took one look into those eyes, and fell. He has not reached the end of his fall and he never will while Arda endures.

Thranduil has many skills. He is a good king, an excellent father to Elwen and Legolas, an accomplished battle strategist and author of a treatise called "The Art of War;" few can equal his swordsmanship; his sense of humor surpasses most Elves and the ladies love him for it; and when he was a youth he loved to paint pictures.

When he first met Elsila Thranduil desired to paint her eyes. He collected paints that he made himself and linen-covered pallets on which to paint. He made brushes and pens, and he used hair from his own head to make his favorite brush. He stayed chambered for one moon's passage while he painted and dreamed of love.

When he finished, Thranduil the brave, the warrior who fought at the Battle of the Last Alliance, who cleared the Greenwood of Orcs, who became king by his own hand, was afraid. He did not wish to show his poor painting to his love. He could not paint her eyes. He could not paint his love. He could not bear her silence. Or worse, her kind remarks.

Gathering his courage in both hands, Thranduil brought Elsila to see the painting - the final version of course; not the earlier pieces. Elsila looked at the linen pallet on the artist's stand. It was a large work. She viewed it from across the chamber, and then she walked forward and studied it close up. This is what she saw:

The sky above the Great Greenwood is in late summer. A rainstorm has occurred, cooling the heat and refreshing the green growing things. Bright grey clouds reign, enthroned in the vault of the sky. But wait, here comes the summer wind on thick brushstrokes of blue paint, bringing white knights on cloud horses who tumble about the storm's skirts. One knight reaches out, first flirting, then wooing, now winning her heart. His blue banner encircles the stormy grey and calms it to peace, edging into the dark blue of twilight with its silver stars.

"These are your eyes," said Thranduil, swallowing hard.

Elsila put her arms around his neck and kissed his lips. The next day they exchanged silver bride pieces, and the next year they wedded.

***Song of Thranduil***

I did not see your eyes at first.
I saw you on that Rohan horse
For which we came to trade,
I and my father.

You did not wear your robes that day.
You bore your bow and rode away
In breeches, boots and shirt.
You were beautiful.

Your parents bade us to your hall.
Your folk prepared a feast, a ball.
And there I saw your eyes,
Silver, blue, dark blue.

Till then my days had all been free.
Till then my heart belonged to me.
May all my freedoms die
In Elsila's eyes.

*******

Author's note on canon:
Hollin where Elsila lived as a maid existed up through 1650 of the Second Age. Thranduil met her sometime between 700, when he moved to the Great Greenwood, and 1500 or so, while Hollin still enjoyed its peace and accomplishments. Rohan did not exist then, but a horse-loving folk that were ancestors to the Rohirrim could have lived and traded their horses up and down the southern reaches of the Misty Mountains.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

   
   
   

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Chathol-linn

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/09/05

Original Post: 02/02/03

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