1. Untold Tales
Legolas of the Tree cheerily handed Tuor a graham cracker, and Tuor added the roasted marshmellow and chocolate necessary to form the Falathrin delight known today as a s'more.
"I could listen to these stories all night," Legolas chirped.
"So long as we don't run out of marshmellows," agreed Hador, son of Galdor.
"I have heard much of the glory of the Noldor," Tuor said in much more serious tones. Voronwe sighed. All knew that Voronwe believed Tuor would be a much more fun-loving person if he would just learn to enjoy the cocktails of Cirdan's people. "In truth, some I had already heard from my fosterfather Annael, for he was one of Fingon's followers before the Nirnaeth. But one thing bothers me still."
"He's going to spoil the mood," warned Erellont, son of Egalmoth.
"Erellont, please. It's hard enough to coax Tuor to speech. Don't ruin it by discouraging him." Elemmakil had Ecthelion's fair voice, and it made him a perfect peacekeeper.
"Very well. My apologies, Tuor." Erellont offered another roasted marshmellow to the Man as a peace offering. Tuor accepted but did not speak further.
"Tuor, I believe you were mentioning the one thing that still bothers you," Pengolod said. Tuor nodded.
"Now you've done it," Dailir, son of Duilin, said in exasperation to Erellont. "It'll be another month before Tuor speaks his mind!"
"Dailir," Elemmakil said. Dailir fell silent.
"So then, Tuor, was it a matter of the abandonment of our fair halls in Nevrast?" Legolas asked. "Indeed, I could understand if that was the matter on your mind. You have seen the beauty of Vinyamar. Surely you wonder why the Noldor leave behind such a magnificent dwelling."
"No, that I understand," Tuor said. "Ulmo spoke to Turgon, and I think it was wise of him to obey, just as I believe that he should again pay heed to the Lord of Waters and abandon Gondolin just as he abandoned Vinyamar." The lordlings of Gondolin looked one to another. The decision was not theirs to make, and they were never quite sure how to react to Tuor's sudden outbursts. Elemmakil put his silver flute to his lips and played a calming melody. The lordlings smiled at the tune, and Legolas even launched into song.
"Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la," Legolas sang. He was no lyricist like Glorfindel, who could improvise to any of Ecthelion's tunes, but the simplicity of Legolas's tune made it easy for the others to join. Before long, even Tuor was singing to Elemmakil's flute. When the song ended, Voronwe poured another round of cocktails and plain orange juice for Tuor.
"Why did the Noldor leave Aman if that land is truly so blessed?" Tuor said suddenly, as he always did when there was a grave matter on his mind. The lordlings looked one to another and sipped their cocktails.
"We don't know," Pengolod said finally. "The elders never speak of it. When I ask my own father, Penlod tells me, 'A darkness lies behind us, and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought.'"
"But Aman is no land of darkness. It is a land of light and joy," Tuor said.
"He does not speak of the darkness of the land but of the darkness that befell the Noldor," said Rog, son of Enerdhil. Despite Penlod's objection to that rough name, Enerdhil had insisted on naming his son after his nickname Rog, and his son was often known as Rog II. Oddly enough, though Penlod disliked the unelvish name, Pengolod liked the name just fine. "We have heard rumors of the Kinslaying at Alqualonde. Surely you have as well, for Annael was of the Grey Elves."
"Indeed," Tuor said gravely. "It is a matter that is sung in Noldolante, the Fall of the Noldor, is it not? Do any of you here know that song? I much desire to hear it."
"None know it save seven," Pengolod said. "It is a lament of surpassing beauty, but the sorrow therein is too great, and Maglor, he who composed the Noldolante, has shared it only with his brothers, the sons of Feanor."
"But even those who were at the Kinslaying at Alqualonde will never speak of the matter, not even to challenge the rumors of their guilt," Voronwe said.
"What of you, Legolas?" Tuor asked. "Are you not of those who passed over the Grinding Ice?"
Legolas, usually carefree and joyful, became quickly somber. "I am no different from the others. I do not desire to speak of that matter." Tuor looked hurt and began to study his orange juice all too intently. Legolas's expression softened, and he put an arm around Tuor's shoulders (though that gesture did not make Tuor any more comfortable for he was unused to close contact with others). "Aman was beautiful, and none would willingly leave that land unless it was for a great purpose. There are many rumors abound, that the Princes of the Noldor desired vast realms. In truth, they could have had those in Aman, for it is no less vast than the lands of Middle-earth. But one day the mightiest of the Noldor came to Tirion and spoke before us, and our hearts were changed ever since."
"And what were the words spoken by Feanor?" Tuor asked.
Pengolod laughed. "He will not even tell me though I am compiling the history of the Noldor."
"Did they then swear an oath of silence?"
"Nay. The older folk are just like that," said Dailir.
"Are you implying that I'm old?" Legolas said indignantly.
"Almost as old as my father," Pengolod said with a laugh. Of course he wasn't serious. Penlod was one of those few who had been born by the waters of Cuivienen. Legolas didn't seem to take it as a joke.
"That's not true!"
"So says the baby of the Lords of Gondolin," said Erellont. The others laughed, but Legolas frowned.
"You are indeed old compared to us, yet you retain a young heart despite your years," Elemmakil said. He played a quick tune of the passing seasons upon his flute.
Legolas laughed. "Very well. There may be some small truth to your words. I never think myself old, for I was always the youngest in the company of the Lords. But that has changed since they added wives and children to their families."
"If none will say, how can any know the history of the Noldor?" Tuor wondered, apparently still stubbornly stuck on the issue of Aman.
"I do the best I can," Pengolod said with a shrug. "I'm still early in my project of recording the history of the Noldor, and I'm working first on the material that I know. When the time comes, I will fill the rest of the untold tales with tales of my own."
"Do the elders care so little that their history may be misrecorded?" Tuor asked.
"They think it a tale less sorrowful than their own and prefer it to telling me wherein lie my errors." In truth, the matter bothered Pengolod greatly.
After the Nirnaeth, Pengolod began to record what he could of the history of the Noldor from memory, but his memory stretched back only as far as the days that he was born and dwelt at Nevrast. There had been times when Pengolod had tried to pressure his father by telling him that the glory of the Noldor would go unknown if the elder generation were all killed, as nearly happened at the Nirnaeth, but even then, Penlod refused to share his memories with his son. He would speak of Aman and the Days of Bliss but not of the days after the Death of the Two Trees or the time upon the Grinding Ice.
"S'mores without us!" Glorfindel cried as he approached the lordlings about the campfire. "Can you believe it Ecthelion? These fine lordlings are making s'mores and didn't invite us!"
"Alas, who would think it?" Ecthelion said, putting a dramatic hand to his forehead. "My own son. Elemmakil, did I not raise you right? How could you s'more without us?"
"Oh, look, and Tuor is with them," Glorfindel said, unabashed about stating the obvious. "What a night." Glorfindel sat at the fire and started roasting his own marshmellow. "A s'more and a Tuor, the perfect combination," Glorfindel sang. The lordlings groaned at this intrusion by two of the elders.
"So what tale were you telling before we came?" Ecthelion asked as he prepared his own marshmellow for roasting (the preparation involving nothing more than attaching one of the white puffy delicacies to the end of a stick).
"We had just completed the tale of the leaving of Nevrast for Gondolin and the hiding of Turgon's armor at Ulmo's behest," reported Legolas, ever the helpful child to the Lords of Gondolin.
"Ah, the tale is finished. Well, let's start a new one," Glorfindel suggested.
"How about the tale of Beren and Luthien?" Ecthelion suggested.
"Father, everyone knows that tale, even Tuor. Let us tell him a tale he does not know," Elemmakil said with the faintest hint of exasperation sneaking into his fair voice.
"Oh, then you don't want to hear the new parts," Glorfindel said with a wicked twinkle in his eyes.
"What new parts?" asked Erellont, unable to resist the bait.
"Penlod has recently revealed to us some of the evil doings of Celegorm and Curufin," Ecthelion said.
"We all know that they turned the hearts of the Nargothrondrim to fear," Rog said.
"But you have not heard of their meeting with Beren and Luthien in the woods after Orodreth drove them forth from Nargothrond. And I doubt that you know that Luthien was held in Nargothrond for a time, after her departure from Doriath and before her rescue of Beren," Glorfindel said. "These more sinister encounters with Celegorm and Curufin were previously unknown to all but the sons of Feanor, but Penlod was close in friendship with Maedhros and heard these tales ere he came to Gondolin."
"And we have heard more of Finrod's quest and his battle with Sauron," added Ecthelion. "I now know a part of the song that Finrod sang."
Glorfindel stopped Ecthelion from launching into song. "Do not sing it now, Lord of the Fountains! The Lay of Leithian has not yet been chosen for the next tale. Tuor?"
"If the choice is mine, then I gladly choose the Lay of Leithian," Tuor said. "This tale of a Mortal Man and Elf-maiden fascinates me, and I wish to know all there is to know about their trials."
"Is that right?" Glorfindel said slyly. He leaned toward Tuor. "The tale of a Mortal Man and Elf-maiden fascinates you, you say? I wonder why that is." Tuor blushed.
"Anar!" Ecthelion chided.
"Yes, Isil," Glorfindel said with feigned contrition.
"Begin the tale, Pengolod, Elemmakil," Ecthelion said. "Glorfindel and I will contribute to the story when the time comes."
"Very well," Pengolod agreed. Elemmakil began to play a fair tune upon his silver flute. After a moment, Ecthelion joined his son's fluting, and Glorfindel, unwilling to be left out, quickly finished his s'more and played upon his golden harp. "Of the histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Luthien." Pengolod's voice was strong above the flutes and harp, and those assembled about the campfire listened intently.
The tale was long in telling, and the newly revised version of the tale of Beren and Luthien did not end until morning was almost upon them.
"A darkness lies behind us, and we have turned our backs upon it, and we do not desire to return thither even in thought." (S. 169)
"Of [the] histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Luthien." (S. 195)
The sons of the Elf-lords of Gondolin are of my invention, except Voronwe being son of Aranwe.
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.