Dwarves and Elves
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Surprises In The Greenwood: 2. More Surprises
Gimli spoke little through the rest of the journey to the Elvenking’s halls. He did answer direct questions, but for the most part, he listened as the thirteen elves chatted about all that had transpired in Legolas’s absence. One of the elves from Tirn’s guard had been sent ahead, running quickly through the trees, to let the king, and his family, know that Legolas returned.
Feeling more than a little miffed that the elf had withheld such information as the fact Legolas had a son, Gimli almost tripped over his feet as another realization hit him. If the elf had a son, he also had a wife! He shook his head. Miffed was no longer the appropriate word.
Legolas, seeming to sense Gimli’s anger, held him back for a moment, waving the others forward. “I wish I could say I’m sorry, Gimli, but I really wanted to see your reaction.” The elf grinned at his friend, a mischievous light in his eyes. For all the elf appeared young and playful, Legolas had a family. A grown family!
But…Gimli could not stay angry. He had to admit, in a similar situation, he would have done the same. In all fairness, Gimli hadn't been completely forthcoming himself. Smiling up at his friend, Gimli smacked him good-naturedly on the arm.
“Well, lad, you sure took me by surprise, that’s all. Never would have thought it of you. You’re too flighty to be a father!” Gimli wasn't surprised when Legolas laughed instead of taking offense.
The halls soon came into sight, but before they arrived, Gimli wished to know more of Legolas’s family. Yet, he hesitated in asking. The last age had turned Greenwood the Great into Mirkwood. Legolas had seen many dark years. And many elves had given their lives in the fight against the enemy. Gimli hoped Legolas had been spared losing a spouse.
“Yes, I have a wife,” Legolas blurted out. The elf had an uncanny way of knowing what Gimli was thinking. “Her name is Cellinn. And have no fear; she will like you greatly.” Legolas smiled at his friend and his eyes sparkled, as if seeing his wife as he introduced them.
Gimli just shook his head. Legolas would never cease to amaze him. There were so many different sides to this complex creature, he wondered if he would ever truly know him. How could a simple dwarf really come to know one who had lived so long?
Another thought had Gimli looking again at Legolas with suspicion. “Just how many children do you have, Legolas?” Gimli would not be caught off guard again.
Legolas grinned. It appeared the elf would find much enjoyment over the next few days. Gimli feared he had many more surprises to discover.
“We have only three, my friend. Tirn is the youngest," Legolas glanced at his son with a look Gimli considered exasperated love, "and the most often in trouble!”
Tirn threw a disgruntled look at his father, much to Gimli's amusement. Legolas just smiled and winked at Gimli, leaving Gimli to wonder how troublesome the young elf could be.
“Our other son," Legolas continued, "Glassion, is the eldest. Their sister, Lindaeriel, is between them in age and frequently as the mediator as well.”
“Truly, Ada," Tirn added, having fallen back to walk beside Legolas. "She is often the glue that binds us together. If not for Lind, I do believe Glass and I would have stopped speaking to each other hundreds of years ago.”
Legolas nodded his son’s words. “It is true, Gimli, my sons are as different in personality as they are similar in appearance. I cannot recall the number of times I had to separate the two of them when they were younger. Cellinn and I often called them 'Trouble' and 'Tiresome'. Lind always came to their rescue however, managing to accomplish what their mother and I could not, getting them to apologize to each other.”
Gimli laughed. Hearing Legolas speak of his children reminded him of his own family. “Sounds much like my brothers and me; we were always at each other’s throats. But let someone attack one of us and they were in big trouble, as they then had to deal with all of us!”
Legolas’s eyes widened as they snapped to meet Gimli's gaze. "You have brothers?"
Gimli nodded, enjoying having some surprises of his own.
"Brothers? As in more than one?"
"That is a frightening thought."
To Gimli's surprise, the elf was serious, not teasing. He harrumphed and would have commented, but they came to a line of beech trees leading down to a bridge over rushing water. And beyond that stood the gates to the Elvenking's halls. Gimli had heard the description from Bilbo Baggins many times.
The gate opened at a word from Legolas, revealing a tunnel leading into the hill beyond. They passed through, the gate closing behind them with a thud. It sounded so final, Gimli thought, grateful he was here as a guest, not as a prisoner as his father had been so many years ago.
As they walked the halls, Gimli taking in the carvings in the stone, noting they approached a short stair leading up to a pair of magnificent double doors. Oak, Gimli thought, and carved to depict many woodland scenes. He was so taken by the workmanship at first that he missed seeing the lady near the top until she raced down the steps. Gimli blinked. The elf-woman was stunning with straight, dark hair cascading down her back and over her shoulders, and her bright grey eyes shone with joy.
Legolas pushed through the guards and ran to the lady, embracing her tightly for a moment before swinging her around in a circle. They both laughed the sound bright and merry.
Gimli found himself once again at a loss for words. Legolas had said he had a wife, but this lady was alluring. Not to be compared with the Lady Galadriel, he quickly thought, but more than pretty. Gimli watched his friend trace a finger down the lady’s face and gaze lovingly into her eyes. It appeared as if they spoke with no words.
The sight was so moving, so joyous and beautiful, that when the door behind them opened and another lady appeared at the top of the stairs, Gimli felt his eyes threaten to pop out of his head.
Where the first had been stunning, this woman was simply beautiful. Her mahogany hair fell past her waist in flowing waves. Her eyes… Gimli swallowed hard. Her eyes were as two sapphires spilling a stream of tears down her cheeks. She stood with a trembling smile just watching Legolas and the other lady. Legolas's mother perhaps?
But as Gimli watched, Legolas froze. The smile fell from the elf's face and his eyes widened, though his back was to the stairs and lady standing at the top. Then Legolas pulled back from the grey-eyed beauty he held, releasing her as he spun around on his heel. His eyes skimmed the elf-woman's form in a loving caress, then his gaze sought hers. Then to Gimli's surprise, tears filled his friend's eyes.
Legolas breathed a word so softly that Gimli could not make out what the elf had said. He watched in stunned awe as the two elves moved as one into each others arms, meeting on the stairs. Legolas held her to him in a way he had not held the first. His hand buried in her long hair, as he pressed his cheek to the top of her head.
Gimli glanced to the elves around him, seeking explanation as to what he was seeing. Their smiling faces were all locked on the embracing couple, however. And when Gimli looked back at his friend, Legolas had pulled back and was lifting the lady’s chin with his fingers. Her eyes fluttered closed as Legolas bent his head and claimed her lips in a tender kiss that heated with the same speed as Gimli's cheeks.
Blushing profusely, Gimli learned something else surprising about his friend. Legolas was very much in love with his beautiful wife, for whom else could this be? And the elf seemed to be a very passionate lover, Gimli assumed, from the show of heated affection.
Embarrassed, for dwarves never showed such affection freely for all to see, Gimli turned his eyes back to the other lady, pondering who she was to Legolas. His daughter, perhaps? On second look, Gimli noticed she had Legolas's bright grey eyes.
She had moved next to Tirn, and Legolas's son had an arm around her, and Gimli now could see a strong resemblance. Definitely Legolas's daughter, then. Gimli stepped over to stand beside them, casting another look at Legolas and his, well, it had to be his wife.
Just like his father, Tirn answered Gimli’s question before he could utter it. “Yes, Master Dwarf, she is my mother, Princess Cellinn.” Tirn confirmed. “And may I present Lady Lainel, my daughter.” He gestured to the dark-haired woman Legolas had first greeted.
Gimli would always remember later in life how thankful he was that he managed to show no surprise at that introduction. Never mind that it was only because he was so shocked, his body had refused to move.
To Be Continued…
Name Pronunciation Guide
Tirn (Teern) 'watcher'
Cellinn (KEH-leen) 'running song'
Glassion (GLAHSS-ee-ohn) 'son of joy'
Lindaeriel (leen-DYER-ee-ehl) 'daughter of great song'
Lainel (LYE-nehl) 'free star'
Author's Note: With elves being for the most part immortal, I imagine families and especially ruling families had to have some differentiation when it came to their titles (or a good portion of the population could have the title prince or princess!). In an effort to keep it simple, in this series, the first two generations of the Elvenking's family will hold official titles. Once the third generation comes along, they bear honorary titles of lord or lady.
For instance, Legolas and his sons are princes of the realm. Legolas's granddaughter holds the honorary title lady. If Legolas's son, Tirn, were to be killed, then she would inherit the title princess.
Make sense? Elven genealogy is very interesting.
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