Beneath the Light: 1. Intro: Maeglin in Gondolin

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools

1. Intro: Maeglin in Gondolin

I stand beside my mother, the White Lady of Gondolin, and look across at my mother's brother, Turgon, for he sits as king upon the throne. Taken from the darkness of Nan Elmoth and to the splendour of Gondolin, I feel blinded by its light. Beyond its radiant surface I cannot see; I, Maeglin, Sharp Glance, perceive nothing but the lustre of Elven-work and Elven-faces, all thoughts honourable, all deeds noble. Yet a light that is lit in the mid-day is not seen; only the dark of night reveals its brilliance. I know it is there in Gondolin, a darkness, somewhere. In time, I will see it.

"Ar-Feiniel" Turgon titles my mother with love, and rejoices in her return. His face is keen, and he looks out in scrutiny, his eyes searching in me for the imprint of my sire, Eol, the Dark Elf, who shuns the Noldor in blame of Morgoth's return. But I am likened to my mother's kin, and it pleases the King, who has no son. The highest honour he promises to the son of the White Lady, the highest honour in his realm.

"My lord and king," I say, and bow low. I peer up at him in slight, little though I can see without lifting my face. "Thy will shall become mine, and through me be done." And I say no more.

But now in raising I see to the left of the King the light of Vasa, Heart of Fire, and it dazzles me. It breaks through the crystalline flesh of a lissome Elf-maiden, scattered into a myriad of rainbows on her hair and smooth white throat. She is lit from within and cannot contain the light, and so it spills from every gesture, every glance. She is fair, fair beyond all the glorious works of Gondolin, and she is Idril called Silverfoot, the daughter of Turgon.

Now she looks back at me and is stirred, but not with the love that I feel. "Cousin Maeglin," she says, and her voice drops like the paleness of rain. "Gondolin welcomes you."

And are you not part of Gondolin, Silver Maiden, you who look upon me and are troubled? There is no welcome in her, save the beacon of her beauty which draws me ever deeper inside of it. "Celebrindal," is the length of my reply, and I shunt my glance, fearing indeed to be drowned in her luminance.


I feel the heat of my father's heart as he is brought before Turgon's throne. Cold the Dark Elf is not. The burn of his anger is what forced him onward, ever closer until at last he has come upon us. I see the fire swell behind his eyes, and in his hands, as he gazes upon Gondolin even as I did, in wonder, in jealous hatred. He spurns the King's outstretched hand of friendship, denies the laws and rights of Gondolin. Claim he lays to his own, to his wife Aredhel Ar-Feiniel, and to his son Maeglin.

But in Aredhel is also the claim of Gondolin, and her Eol leaves to will of the king. Upon me his grim stare is sharpened, and he beckons me as Father to leave those who slew his kin. A curse, he says, shall be upon me otherwise.

A curse already was my life, too many years spent in the darkness so that I do not know the light, and it rejects me. I cannot go back to the night. I will stay with the Noldor. But this I do not tell my father, for I see in him the fire is dying, and his heart is turning cold.

King Turgon speaks in firmness to Eol from his high seat, and gives him the choice of abiding here where we stand, or dying here. I also am subject to these choices.

So my father stands still without voice, fixing his eyes hard to the face of the king. And he chooses the second option for himself and for me, revealing from beneath his cloak a javelin. He casts it against me, the point sharpened with which to take his own. And his own it pierces, for my mother jumps before me to catch the javelin in her shoulder, and she is collapsed.

She is tended by many, and many surround my father also to put him in bonds. I see now foolishness in Eol, and feel contempt at his reasonings. What can one claim in death? To possess you must live.

Idril is watching me, wary of my silence, and again I feel the press of her beauty eat at my heart and mind. I feel a strange desire, that she was a creation of my own, that I had wrought and shaped such a jewelled light with my own hands. But even what you have not made, you can possess.

Yes, I choose life.


The spear of Eol carried a dark poison, and in the night my mother died. The King has forsaken mercy, and we stand now at the Caragdur, the sheer walls of Gondolin from which the Dark Elf shall be cast and become no more. Before he is thrown Eol speaks last to me his son in anguish, and because I forsook him he lays a curse to me, that I should fall to the same death as he.

Yet in his fall I feel free, like I sail though the air with him. His death is just, the Elves of Gondolin decide, and turn from him. Yes, it is just, they believe, and even I must agree, his kin. I know they look at me and are pleased in my silence, in my sacrifice to justice and law, and high they esteem me now, dissociated from my father whom they just killed. A prince among the Noldor am I, and greater will I become in time, to Turgon and all the people.

And ever beside her father shines the light of Idril. But she has turned now away from me in complete, so that out of the sunlight I fall into her shadow. In shadow I grow cold. And wiser now I see the darkness in Gondolin, and find it is within me.

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.

Story Information

Author: Mouse

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/10/03

Original Post: 07/08/02

Go to Beneath the Light overview


No one has commented on this story yet. Be the first to comment!

Comments are hidden to prevent spoilers.
Click header to view comments

Talk to Mouse

If you are a HASA member, you must login to submit a comment.

We're sorry. Only HASA members may post comments. If you would like to speak with the author, please use the "Email Author" button in the Reader Toolbox. If you would like to join HASA, click here. Membership is free.

Reader Toolbox   Log in for more tools