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Aldarion, King's Heir of Númenor, weds Erendis

Event Type: Genealogical

Age: 2nd Age - Pre-Rings

Date: April 1, 0870

Description:
He found even Almarian the Queen colder in welcome, and the Venturers were fallen out of esteem; for men, thought that he had treated Erendis ill. [...]

When Aldarion sought out Erendis she looked at him keenly but did not come forward to meet him; and he stood for a while at a loss for words, as was not his wont. "Sit, my lord," said Erendis, "and first tell me of all your deeds. Much must you have seen and done in these long years!"

Then Aldarion began haltingly, and she sat silent, listening, while he told all the tale of his trials and delays; and when he ended she said: "I thank the Valar by whose grace you have returned at last. But I thank them also that I did not come with you; for I should have withered sooner than any green bough."

"Your green bough did not go into the bitter cold by will," he answered. "But dismiss me now, if you will, and I think that men will not blame you. Yet dare I not to hope that your love will prove stronger to endure even than fair oiolairë?"

"So it does prove indeed," said Erendis. "It is not yet chilled to the death, Aldarion. Alas! How can I dismiss you, when I look on you again, returning as fair as the sun after winter!"

"Then let spring and summer now begin!" he said.

"And let not winter return," said Erendis.

Then to the joy of Meneldur and Almarian the wedding of the King's Heir was proclaimed for the next spring; and so it came to pass. In the eight hundred and seventieth year of the Second Age Aldarion and Erendis were wedded in Armenelos, and in every house there was music, and in all the streets men and women sang. And afterwards the King's Heir and his bride rode at their leisure through all the Isle, until at midsummer they came to Andúnië, where the last feast was prepared by Valandil its lord; and all the people of the Westlands were gathered there, for love of Erendis and pride that a Queen of Númenor should come from among them.

In the morning before the feast Aldarion gazed out from the window of the bedchamber, which looked west-over-sea. "See, Erendis!" he cried. "There is a ship speeding to haven; and it is no ship of Númenor, but one such as neither you nor I shall ever set foot upon, even if we would." Then Erendis looked forth, and she saw a tall white ship, with white birds turning in the sunlight all about it; and its sails glimmered with silver as with foam at the stem it rode towards the harbour. Thus the Eldar graced the wedding of Erendis, for love of the people of the Westlands, who were closest in their friendship. Their ship was laden with flowers for the adornment of the feast, so that all that sat there, when evening was come, were crowned with elanor and sweet lissuin whose fragrance brings heart's ease. Minstrels they brought also, singers who remembered songs of: Elves and Men in the days of Nargothrond and Gondolin long ago; and many of the Eldar high and fair were seated among Men at the tables. But the people of Andúnië, looking upon the blissful company, said that none were more fair than Erendis; and they said that her eyes were as bright as were the eyes of Morwen Eledhwen of old, or even as those of Avallónë.

Many gifts the Eldar brought also. To Aldarion they gave a sapling tree, whose bark was snow-white, and its stem straight, strong and pliant as it were of steel; but it was not yet in leaf. "I thank you," said Aldarion to the Elves. "The wood of such a tree must be precious indeed."

"Maybe; we know not," said they. "None has ever been hewn. It bears cool leaves in summer, and flowers in winter. It is for this that we prize it."

To Erendis they gave a pair of birds, grey, with golden beaks and feet. They sang sweetly one to another with many cadences never repeated through a long thrill of song; but if one were separated from the other, at once they flew together, and they would not sing apart.

"How shall I keep them?" said Erendis.

"Let them fly and be free," answered the Eldar. "For we have spoken to them and named you; and they will stay wherever you dwell. They mate for their life, and that is long. Maybe there will be many such birds to sing in the gardens of your children."

That night Erendis awoke, and a sweet fragrance came through the lattice; but the night was light, for the full moon was westering. Then leaving their bed Erendis looked out and saw all the land sleeping in silver; but the two birds sat side by side upon her sill.

When the feasting was ended Aldarion and Erendis went for a while to her home; and the birds again perched upon the sill of her window. At length they bade Beregar and Núneth farewell, and they rode back at last to Armenelos; for there by the King's wish his Heir would dwell, and a house was prepared for them amidst a garden of trees. There the Elven-tree was planted, and the Elven-birds sang in its boughs.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis

Contributors:
Lyllyn 4.26.03
added quotes: Tanaqui 26Nov05

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