1. To Aragorn
And then to think that I missed your first twenty years, that you were born and grew at Rivendell while I was with my mother’s kin and knew nothing of you until that day in the woods! Perhaps it was portentous that we did not meet when you were a boy, for your beauty struck me all the more when first I found you. I never thought to love a mortal man, but there was a life about your youthful poise that made me feel a girl again. Your features were not especially remarkable in themselves, not when taken one at a time; strong cheeks and fine nose and mouth. But put together they gave you a face so high and noble that those who recall Elendil saw him again in you. And your eyes; never had I seen such eyes! I thought your gaze would burn me all away to nothing.
You did not know that I overheard the words you had with my father before you left our home that spring. For many years he did not speak of it to me, and thus I discerned the depth of his feeling on the matter of our love. He saw it in my eyes just as truly as in yours, but his silence spoke aloud to me, knowing and loving him as I do. Well do you know what pain he felt when he heard my choice, and now each day brings us nearer to its renewal, when he will feel it like a spear-thrust and not a thing only of dread. I would he did not have to bear it! But how I love you, Estel. I could no more release you from our vows than I could wilfully hurt my father; and yet I must willingly drive home that spear to secure our love. I only hope it can survive his wounding. Dearly will it have been bought if it does not. But my father longs for the West and my mother’s arms, and I must hope that, with their reunion, he will mend the pain of our parting.
Sixty years since we met. Half a lifetime for you and a mere season for me. Times there have been when I feared you could bear the waiting and the toil no longer and would throw away the future that my father has seen for you, for us both, in spite of himself. Or did you think I would waver in my purpose, or begin to love you less? Nay, dear heart, my love has waxed down the years, fed by our brief moments together, as Bruinen is fed by the new spring waters from the mountains. And here you are about to leave once more, but next time we meet I deem we shall not again be parted save by death. Now that I understand the Doom of men I choose it gladly and for you I will willingly pay the price.
Andúril is in your keeping, and Roheryn awaits your need. Never have I bred a finer beast to carry his lord safe through every danger. He has the speed of his Elvish sires and the loyal courage of his hardy northern kin. And even now I work the last emblems of your house on this cloth of sable to send to you when the time is right. Would that I might ride myself to your side when that day comes, but I may not cross my father in all matters, and he would see me safe until victory is yours. I have not the heart to deny him that for I do not think he could bear to see me go to the same fate as my mother. So I must entrust it to my brothers, and to Halbarad, your lieutenant, and they will await your call. Do not forget your northern kin. Their love is stronger and more steadfast than any you may find in the South for have they not known you all your life and awaited you long before you were born?
This you must not forget. Elrond loves and cherishes you even as he grieves for me. He it is who saw your task and set it before you, that you might rise to meet it gladly, and not shrink from the burden of the shadow that threatens in the East. If I am the cause for you to go to war then Elrond grudges it not, for he more than anyone knows the power of a love that is fanned in the flames of separation. And at the last he will have me achieve my desire even at great cost to himself. For it will cost him dear.
But go now with all our hopes and claim what is yours, and do your part in defeating the shadow so that we may all go free; and know that, as an upward breeze lifts the soaring eagle, bearing him aloft to the heights so that he may behold all his realm, my love will hold you and see you through to the last.’
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.