5. Chapter Five
'Ash nazg durbatulûk' is 'One Ring to Rule Them All' in the tongue of Mordor
Let no one wonder at
it is the lot of many.
makes of the sons of men
fools even of the wise.
Legolas shivered. It was not the wind or the night that made him to feel cold, for the air was growing warmer. The night was quiet, no signs of the orcs from earlier. Huddled in the boats on the shore with the rest of the Fellowship, he had no reason to be cold. Yet he was.
It was his heart that was cold, the fair light of Lothlórien could no longer warm him. And the shadow in the sky had greatly disturbed him. His bow had felled it, as his bow should have sung in Moria. Not one shot had he fired at the Balrog, and Gandalf had fallen.
Perhaps arrows would had done little good. The Balrog was a shadow of the past, of greater times and greater evils. But Mithrandir had deserved one shot fired, even though it would have been in vain. The loss seemed so much greater to the elf knowing he had not even tried to prevent it.
And though he should not wonder, he did. What if the Ring had been used against the Balrog? The Ring could have been used, the Ring could have...
He shivered again. It seemed lately that the Ring called to him even more, speaking of great deeds to be done in memory of Mithrandir.
Gimli was nodding off behind him, though Legolas could still feel eyes on him. No, not eyes. Attention. Attention on him, an awareness focused on him and the others. A calling in the dark, a calling of the dark.
The Ring. Always the Ring. So small, yet so precious. Precious... A sudden desire to see it came over him, and he lifted his hands without even thinking.
'Ash nazg durbatulûk,' a voice in his mind whispered.
“Gimli!” he whispered alarmed. “Gimli!”
“I am awake, you need not call out as if you are trying to wake the forest,” Gimli replied gruffly. “Are there orcs about?”
“Another shadow?” Gimli sounded fearful, and more alert as he spoke.
“No – or rather, yes. I feel a shadow in my mind. It is the Ring, Gimli. You were right. There is an enemy in the Fellowship. It is the Ring - and also us, because we hear its call. Do you hear it?”
“Of course,” Gimli said sharply. “But I have seen beauty that cannot be created with evil, and the Ring cannot tempt me to rebuild Moria any more. It would not be beautiful then, but darker than it is now. I desire it, as do all living things, but it would not aid me.”
“It calls to me in the name of Gandalf,” Legolas whispered, bowing his head, aghast at his own thoughts. “I fear it may turn us all to evil as our desire grows.”
“It may,” Gimli replied. “It may not. One shadow fell from the sky today. You felled it, Legolas. You will defeat the Shadow of Sauron also, my friend. Gandalf was good. The Ring is evil. No deeds done with the help of it would honour his memory. You know this in your heart, lest I be a poorer judge of character than any living dwarf.”
“Twice you have offered me comfort now, Master Dwarf,” Legolas said, feeling strangely warmed. “I begin to wonder if all dwarves are steady rocks to their friends, even when their friend is a fool of an Elf.”
Gimli smiled in the dark. “The wisest are those who know how big a fool they are. And dwarves are wise indeed.”
“No less wise than the elves it would seem,” Legolas smiled as well. Turning backwards for a moment, he put a hand on the dwarf's shoulder. Gimli seemed startled, but said nothing.
“Thank you,” Legolas said softly. He felt strange, heart no longer cold and his fingers tingling. Yet it was not uncomfortable, and he let his hand linger for just a moment.
Just an everlasting moment.
The others were silent, though the elf doubted they were sleeping. Boromir seemed restless, sitting straight against his boat, eyes ever on Frodo and Sam. Aragorn too, seemed focus on the hobbits, though with an eye on the trees.
“Legolas?” Gimli asked and the elf turned back to face his dwarven friend again.
“Have you see ravens in the skies?”
“Yes,” the Elf replied.
“My kindred believe them to be a sign of death,” Gimli said slowly. “I fear their song. I need not hear it, for I feel it in my heart.”
“Perhaps they bring death to our enemies,” Legolas suggested. “Perhaps they sung for the fallen shadow.”
“Perhaps. But the song lingers on, Legolas.”
“I know not the tales of your kindred. We have no tales of the songs of ravens, for to our ears they do not sing.”
“You do not listen closely enough.”
“I have never heard an dwarf accuse an elf of not hearing before,” Legolas replied. “Nay, Gimli, I took no offence to your words. We hear and see differently from your kindred. Perhaps if you can teach me to hear their song, I can teach you to love trees.”
“You should not attempt the impossible,” Gimli said, looking up at the small trees surrounding them. “Though if we are to walk into Mordor, even a dwarf may miss trees.”
Nearby Frodo stirred, shivering, as if he had heard the name of 'Mordor' mentioned and it brought him fear. And close by, Boromir's eyes never left the halfling, even when the sun rose to warn of a new day.
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.