Dwarves and Elves
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On the Wanderings of Legolas and Gimli: 1. The Arrival
He and Gimli had promised Aragorn that they would bring some of their own folk to Gondor, the Elves to bring birds and fair trees that would not die, and the Dwarves to work with the stones of Minas Tirith.
It was the year 1321 of the Fourth Age, in the Gondorian reckoning, late summer. They had been leisurely journeying for four months and were very close to one of their goals: Thranduil’s palace in the heart of Mirkwood.
Gimli muttered something into his beard and rolled over in his sleep. Legolas smiled fondly and began to prepare a breakfast: some fruit and dried meat. He sang in Elvish as he worked, a song to Elbereth.
“A Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna miriel
o menel aglar elenath!
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
Nef aear, si nef aearon!”
Gimli awoke just as the sun’s first rays shone through the canopy of leaves overhead. He shot a glare at Legolas, which the Elf ignored, smiling cheerfully at him.
“Good morning, Gimli. I have good news as well. We are less than a day from my father’s palace. We should reach it three hours after the noon meal, going quickly.”
“It was a good morning, until you woke me with your singing,” Gimli grumbled as he ate breakfast. “Why do Elves sing all the time, anyway?” Legolas finished his fruit and began to pack up his bedroll, answering.
“I’ll give you two guesses.”
Gimli put the food away and slung his pack across his back. He hurried to catch up with Legolas, who was already walking along the broad pathway.
“Just to annoy anyone you happen to be traveling with?”
“No. One more.”
“You think it helps the digestion?”
“Well? Why do you sing all the time?” Gimli growled as he stalked alongside his tall friend.
“It makes the trees grow taller. Here, I’ll teach it to you.” Cheerfully ignoring the dwarf’s protests that he most certainly did not wish to learn any Elvish song, Legolas began to sing again, this time in the Common Tongue so that Gimli could understand him.
“ O Elbereth Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell,
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.
Snow-white! Snow-white! O Lady clear!
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!”
After the strange pair had walked for several hours, Gimli spotted an Elf walking down the path towards them.
“Legolas! Look!” At the dwarf’s hissed warning, Legolas looked up. His face brightened, and he ran towards the elf, crying as he did so,
“Maedhros!” The other elf seemed to recognize him, and he also began running.
“Ai! Na vediue, Legolas! Mae govannen!” They met about halfway, and clasped each other’s shoulders in a typical Elvish greeting. They began walking towards Gimli, speaking in Sindarin together as they walked. When the Elves had reached an impatient Gimli, Legolas turned to him.
“Gimli, this is my younger brother Maedhros. Maedhros, nin mellon Gimli Gloinen.” Gimli bowed and greeted the light-haired Elf in his own tongue.
“Mae govannen, Maedhros.” Maedhros looked surprised, then laughed good-naturedly.
“Legolas, how did you manage to teach a Dwarf Sindarin?” Gimli spoke before Legolas, who looked nearly as surprised as his brother, could answer.
“He didn’t. I’ve picked up a few words from Aragorn as we traveled.”
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