Song of Salt, A: 2. Notes

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2. Notes

As they came to the gates Círdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars. ~ The Grey Havens

That's what started it. Círdan snagged my attention on my first reading of LotR, and I've been irritated and intrigued by him ever since. Whaddya mean, "grey and old?" I self-inflicted a Challenge to explain him. Escaped thrall? Doubtful. Aged by care? Nah; he certainly wouldn't be alone. Mortal blood? Wouldn't we have heard about it?

He built a great ship, and he named it Eärrámë, which is Sea-Wing; and with Idril Celebrindal he set sail into the sunset and the West, and came no more into any tale or song. But in after days it was sung that Tuor alone of mortal Men was numbered among the elder race. ~ Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

That's what started it. Círdan: the one Elf who aged. Tuor: the one Man who (maybe) did not die. An odd pair of dots to connect, but the idea tugged at me until I went to The Silmarillion to see if the necessary stats lined up.

Yet by Sirion and the sea there grew up an Elven-folk, the gleanings of Doriath and Gondolin; and from Balar the mariners of Círdan came among them, and they took to the waves and the building of ships, dwelling ever nigh to the coasts of Arvernien, under the shadow of Ulmo's hand. ~ Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin

Why, how convenient. What else have we got? Well, both characters are deeply embrangled in the plots and schemings of Ulmo, whose domain is not only water, but...

The spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world. ~ Valaquenta


Ulmo's a subversive guy; champion of various visionary lunatics such as Finrod and Eärendil.

'But behold!' said he, 'in the armour of Fate (as the Children of Earth name it) there is ever a rift, and in the walls of Doom a breach, until the full-making, which ye call the End. So it shall be while I endure, a secret voice that gainsayeth.' ~ Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

Círdan himself is very close to Eärendil, and helps him in his search for Tuor. Giving, quietly but incessantly, seems to be what the Shipwright does best. Rings, rescue ships, daycare service, you name it. He founds havens, fosters royalty, maintains the Middle-earth Coast Guard, he's at Elrond's back at Orodruin, on the White Council and apparently in everybody's confidence, and at the end of it all, he's the one waiting to bring them all home. Hero material? Yes, I should say so.

I went hunting in Unfinished Tales for extra Tuor goodies, and I'm glad I did. Ulmo's prophet is incredibly charismatic – easy to love, especially for someone already bonded in love of the Lord of Waters.

Heedless of the peril of his clear voice alone in the waste he sang an elven-song of the North for the uplifting of hearts. And even as he sang the well at his feet began to boil with great increase of water, and it overflowed. ~ Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

By the way, Sirion had flaglilies, did you know?

Certainly there are problems with my little borderline AU. For one thing, Tuor "was joined with the Noldor, whom he loved" (Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin), and Círdan, darn it all, is Telerin. For another, the theory's just plain cracked; im/mortality doesn't work that way, and besides, we'd have heard all about it from the gossips, not to mention the joglars. But I don't think he'd have told many people, if he told anyone at all. And those who knew would have found it too private a thing, or else simply too strange, to sing about. Salt, Blood and Song – who knows; it all happened so very long ago. Consider yourself Challenged to write a better explanation.

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.

Story Information

Author: Stultiloquentia

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 06/10/05

Original Post: 07/13/03

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