1. Chapter One
For Aragorn had been singing a part of the lay of Lúthien... And behold! there Lúthien walked before his eyes in Rivendell. [...] He called to her crying "Tinúviel! Tinúviel!" even as Beren had done in the Elder Days long ago."
The maiden turned and Aragorn saw she was Arwen, his sister.
"Estel," she greeted him.
"Nay," he replied. "I am Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Isildur's Heir, Lord of the Dúnedain."
"And you are proud of it."
This was indeed so, for he had found it hard to keep the smile off his face since Elrond had told him of his heritage. "I am to be king. And you, my lady, must be my queen." He dropped to one knee in front of her and took her hand in his.
Arwen laughed, a sound that was as music to him. "I cannot be your queen, Estel."
"Why not? You are the most beautiful maiden in Middle-earth and surely a queen must be beautiful?"
"In stories they are, but it does not always have to be so. Your queen must bear you an heir and you cannot have a child with your sister. You will learn these things when you are older."
"I am grown in the eyes of Men."
And Arwen looked at him and saw the same change Elrond had. "So you are. Does this mean you will spend less time at home?"
"Maybe, for now I am aware of the dangers I no longer need Elladan and Elrohir to escort me."
"That will be a shame for it is good to have my brothers at home."
"I promise I will come home to see you, dear sister," he said rising and kissing her hand. "For there is nothing in Middle-earth that compares to you."
She laughed. Arwen still thought of her brother as a child, but for Aragorn it was if he was seeing his sister for the first time, for he had fallen in love with her. Although he was able to hide his feelings from his mother and from Elrond, he could not deny them to himself. So he went out into the wild, all the time trying to forget his incestuous feelings for his sister.
It was nine and twenty years later that Aragorn came upon Lothlórien. Though he had spent many years learning about Men and the other races on Middle-earth, he found he was longing for home.
He did not know it, but Arwen Undómiel was there, dwelling for a time with the kin of her mother. Aragorn rejoiced at this for when they again met Galadriel had clothed him in an elven-cloak and he was sure that at the age of nine and forty Arwen would be able to accept his adulthood. He had learnt much in that time and with it his love for his sister had grown deeper.
"My little brother is now a man," she told him, but he could see in her eyes she still considered him a child in comparison to herself. Aragorn's heart ached, for on his travels he had not seen a maiden more fair than his childhood companion, who despite his efforts he had not been able to forget.
He had always loved her from a child. Though their brothers were often away, Arwen stayed in Rivendell. The two had spent much time together and Aragorn marvelled at her patience and care with one who was not her brother by blood. She told him it did not matter and she loved him all the same. Now his love had changed, hers had not and Aragorn despaired.
When Aragorn returned once more to Rivendell in the company of Arwen, his mother saw the change in him. At last he yielded to her questions and told her of his feelings for his foster-sister.
"My son," she said, "I fear this is my fault, for you have grown up with elves and do not consider yourself to be one of the Men."
"I have tried hard to forget her but I find I cannot. There is no other in Middle-earth to compare. Though she is my sister and my feelings are wrong, it is nothing you have done. If I had not grown up in Rivendell I would now be dead and the line of Isildur destroyed forever."
"When you become king you will find a woman who will love you, bear your children and you will marry her. Perhaps then you will forget Arwen."
"I fear I will not be able to think of her as my sister once more, but I will do as you say for I know it to be necessary."
Aragorn strove to hide his feelings for Arwen knowing she did not return them and they would not be welcomed. Even if he were Beren and she Lúthien they were still brother and sister. Elves did not marry close family and Aragorn considered himself bound by their laws and customs as well as those of the Men, but Elrond saw the difference in Aragorn's eyes and his manner around Arwen. He hoped Arwen knew not for it would be a dreadful burden to endure.
"You must not reveal your feelings to my daughter," Elrond told Aragorn. "For Arwen could not love her brother in this way."
"I know," was Aragorn's reply. "For she is my sister and an elf. My love for her would not be looked well upon."
"The time of the Elves draws near, as yours is beginning. We will stay until you become king but then I must leave Middle-earth and Arwen, if she desires it will go with me."
"That saddens me for I will miss you both greatly, but I am glad Arwen will not see my death."
"My son," Elrond said, "I only say these words because I love you and I do not wish to cause you pain. Though you may one day be King of Gondor and Arnor, you will be free to choose a wife and continue the line of kings. But I will not allow that wife to be Arwen. I would not like to see her death, much as I fear yours, though I have always known it to come one day."
The Third Age ended in victory and hope; and yet grievous among the sorrows of that Age was the parting of... Aragorn and Arwen.
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.