5. The Meeting of Dol Amroth and Eryn Lasgalen
Arwen and Aragorn made their entrance and sat down, Aragorn at the head of the table and Arwen to his left. Arwen was a vision in her own right. She had changed into a dark purple gown that more than accentuated her silver crown and necklace. The shimmer of the fabric matched the pale blue of her eyes, making her look stunning. Aragorn had changed as well into a dark grey, almost black, velvet shirt from the one he had worn before. Besides that, nothing changed.
Arwen couldn’t help but smile when she thought back just a few hours before when she was helping Rowena prepare…
“I appreciate your generosity Arwen, but this is too much. I have never worn anything this extravagant in my life, even in the courts of Dol Amroth!”
“The ways of Minas Tirith are different then the ways of Dol Amroth, Eararma. This dinner is your formal introduction, so you must look the part.”
“But who is there left to be introduced to? I have already met Elessar and he said that Legolas would not arrive until tomorrow. Did Legolas arrive early?”
“That he did. Legolas is a master when it comes to travel. Now go get dressed or you will be late…”
Arwen was roused out of her daydream by her husband. “Arwen? Does Rowena know the way here?”
“Not exactly Aragorn, but I did give her directions before I left her.” Arwen began to smile.
“What are you up to?”
“Oh…nothing, I just have a feeling that she will meet someone she doesn’t expect.”
Legolas was making his way downstairs to meet up with Arwen and Elessar. While he was walking down the grand staircase, he heard steps behind him. If it was anyone else, the faint footsteps would have gone unnoticed, but Legolas prided himself on his keen hearing. At the bottom of the staircase he turned around to see who was following behind.
When he did turn, all he saw was what he would describe as a vision. A maiden in a brilliant white beaded gown was walking down the marble staircase. Her black hair was tied back in braids and ringlets fell down on her shoulders. The way her hair had been done he could see the points of her ears. So she is an elf, he thought to himself. As she came closer to him, he noticed the jewel around her neck; shimmering silver and diamond with a blue stone in the center. Never in his life had Legolas been at a loss for words, but he was at that moment.
It was the maiden who spoke first. “Are you lost?”
Legolas smiled and recovered his voice. “No, are you?”
“I must admit I am. Arwen told me the way to the dining hall, but I do not know my way around the castle as I should.”
“I am on my way there myself.” Legolas offered his arm. “May I escort you milady?”
“I think that is a perfect idea, since you know where you are headed and I do not.”
Legolas and the elf-maiden continued on their mutual journey to the dining hall. “Have you been in the White City long milady?”
“No, I only arrived today.”
“Did you travel here alone?”
“I traveled with my horse Shadow; besides her I had no other companion on my journey through Gondor.”
“Is she a good companion?”
“She is a good companion yes. I never left the confines of Dol Amroth without her beside me. She has gone with me on many adventures, both joyous and fearful. She is quite loyal to me and I to her.”
“Loyalty and trust is a great thing to have with an animal, especially horses. They will take you even through the Paths of the Dead because they trust you.”
The elf maiden’s eyes grew wide. “You have ventured through the Paths of the Dead?”
“Indeed I have. It was quite interesting to see the souls of so many that have gone before and had been waiting for so long. Some might have been scared; I was more intrigued than anything else.”
Before the maiden had a chance to respond, Legolas stopped in front of a set of very large, very dark wooden doors. “Are we here,” the maiden asked.
“Yes we are.” Legolas opened the door for the maiden and motioned for her to pass through. “You first milady.”
“Thank you.” The maiden passed Legolas as she entered the room and smiled.
When Legolas entered the room, he saw Arwen and the maiden exchange an embrace with Aragorn placing a hand on the maiden’s shoulder. As he approached them, he had a confused look. “Did I miss something?”
“No Legolas, you didn’t miss anything,” Arwen replied sweetly. “Legolas Greenleaf, meet Rowena Eararma, our new charge. Rowena, this is Legolas.”
Rowena could not help but show her excitement on finally being introduced to the Woodland Prince. “So that’s who you are!” She turned back to Arwen. “We have been talking for the past few minutes and I didn’t even know.”
“Neither did I,” Legolas replied.
“We were talking as if we had known each other for ages, and I didn’t even know your name. Do you find that interesting Legolas?”
“I have to say I do. Let’s not speak of this now; we have people waiting on us.” Legolas took his place beside Gandalf and Rowena took her place beside Arwen.
As the night progressed, the company shared a wonderful meal prepared by the staff of the palace. Everything was perfect; nothing could have been changed to make it better. Legolas noticed as the night wore on that Rowena had a radiant smile, almost as lovely as the Lady of the Golden Wood, maybe even more. Gandalf had been right; she did have a keen mind. She made have been just a child, but she had the presence of one who had been walking Middle Earth for ages longer. Anything he could do to help her find herself he was willing to do; it was no longer a duty, it now became a mission.
When dinner was finished, Aragorn rose from his seat. “Unless anyone is still hungry, there is nothing left to be done here. I suggest we all retire for the night. Legolas, would you be so kind as to escort Rowena back to her room?”
“It would be my pleasure.” Legolas walked over to Rowena and extended his hand. She accepted it and smiled when his fingers wrapped around her slender hand.
When the two left, Arwen turned to Aragorn and Gandalf. “It seems to be working, does it not?”
“You have done a wonderful job with her so far Undomiel,” Gandalf replied. “Legolas didn’t stand a chance against that vision.”
As Rowena and Legolas walked up the grand staircase toward the royal chambers, Rowena felt captivated by this walking legend. A sense of awe and reverence almost leaped out of her. This person walking next to her had done so much to insure the safety of Middle Earth, it was hard not to think of him as someone to admire instead of a friend and teacher.
The hand that held hers was warm to the touch, like there was a fire just underneath the surface of the skin. Rowena had never felt anything like it, so she accepted it as a characteristic of elven men. She enjoyed the feeling and almost didn’t want to let go when they reached her door. “Have pleasant dreams Rowena,” Legolas said as he opened her door for her.
“And you as well Legolas.” Rowena stepped through the opening and closed the door behind her, not before flashing a smile at the Woodland Prince.
Rowena looked around her room and noticed that the candles lit her room with almost an unearthly glow. It wasn’t golden like a fire, but the color of a flame just before it disappears; blue, cold, and near death. It gave her an uneasy feeling, so she went in search of a light that was still burning bright. She found one in her dressing chambers and she decided while she was there to change into the night gown that had been laid out for her some hours before. It did not take her long to shed the ornate gown she had been wearing and put on the silken night shift she had found. There was also a velvet robe sitting beside it and she put that on as well.
Finding a pair of soft leather shoes, she padded out to her balcony and watched as the golden light she had observed the day before grow to blanket the entire city. Without realizing it, she began to sing the song that her nurse sang to her to sleep with when she was an elfling…
O Queen beyond the Western Seas!
O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees!
Gilthoniel! O Elbereth!
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath!
Snow-white! Snow-white! We sing to thee
In a far land beyond the Sea.
O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees,
Thy starlight on the Western Seas.
Rowena stood out on the balcony for what seemed like hours until she came back inside and saw that her candles were back to normal. With a smile on her lips she walked over to her bed, took off her robe, and slid underneath the blankets so she could go to sleep. She was almost worried to fall asleep because she didn’t know if she would have another dream like she had that afternoon. She didn’t understand why she would dream about someone she barely knew, but she trusted whatever power was working on her that it would not harm her. So with her fears diminished, she lulled herself into a dreamless sleep and waited for the sun to bring about a new day.
Legolas was on his way to his chambers when he met Arwen and Aragorn on their way back to their room. “I trust you had a pleasant conversation with Rowena,” Aragorn asked in passing.
Legolas stopped and turned around to face the king and queen. “On the contrary Aragorn, we didn’t speak to one another until we reached her quarters. I think she enjoyed my company more than anything else.”
“That is true,” Arwen mused. “She has never been in the company of her own kind until now. Everything she is experiencing with you and I is new to her and probably will take time to get used to. Don’t fear Legolas, she will come around in time.”
“I have no fear Arwen. I can already tell that this experience will be more than new for all of us. Have a pleasant night,” with that Legolas continued back on his journey to his room.
When Legolas entered his room, a song floating through the air greeted him. The words were more than familiar to him; the Hymn of Elbereth was known to many an elf, but the way it was being sung was unknown to him, it was more a lullaby than a hymn. The voice was familiar as well; it was undoubtedly Rowena. Her voice was clear and bright, but tainted with a sadness Legolas could not understand. He was sad when she finished for he longed for her to continue.
When she didn’t, he walked out onto the balcony and stared at the river. The moonlight shimmered like a thousand diamonds on the water. He was always struck by the unique beauty Gondor held. It may not have the grace of Lorien or the security of Imladris; but Gondor, its people, and its culture, had courage.
Legolas understood what it took to have courage. It took courage to always be the first to face the onslaught of Mordor; it took courage to continue without a king for millennia, it took courage to unite the kingdom so long separated. Courage abounded in Gondor, and Legolas prayed that the Valar would grant Rowena some of that courage to complete her task.
Legolas entered his changing room to find a silken nightshirt and leggings laid out for him. He changed in silence before returning to the main chamber where his bed was. He found his bow and quiver where he left them and hung them on a peg by the bed so they would be in easy reach in case the need to use them presented itself. Slipping underneath the blankets, Legolas almost immediately fell asleep, not realizing the drain the stress of the day had put on his body. He welcomed the waves of unconsciousness that began to flow over him before they overtook him completely, leaving the elf swimming in a sea of dreams.
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.