Thranduil did not need to hear the reports, nor did he need to see the destruction of the forest that heralded the rapidly approaching invasion. Ever since Dagorlad, the ice cold fingers of evil had been sending chills through his blood, reminding him that eventually the day would come when the shadow would rise again. He knew not only that had once again risen in Dol Guldur, but that it was about to engulf the very heart of his realm of Mirkwood, and he sensed that Sauron’s minions were close at hand. He hurriedly made his way to the armoury and retrieved the banner that, millennia ago, had lead the Silvan host into battle. Carrying the folded cloth reverently to the gates that protected the entrance to his Hall, he carefully raised it high above where all could see it. Many of the warriors in the courtyard below had seen the banner newly unfurled at Dagorlad, and bowed their heads in respect for their lost comrades before resuming their preparations for the battle to come.
The banner, woven of fine elvish cloth had once been strong shades of brown and green, with the emblem of the House of Oropher emblazoned boldly in the centre. Over time its edges had frayed, and it had faded, with some discolouration in spots that might have been bloodstains giving it the appearance of nothing more than a tattered rag as it fluttered in the cold wind. To the approaching invaders it symbolised that their enemy was weak and unprepared for battle, but the Orcs and the Easterlings could not have been more mistaken
It was so much more than just a piece of cloth. It had been damaged during the battle of the Last Alliance when the standard bearer had fallen next to his King as he was trying to protect him. Their blood had mingled on the banner as they died, but the army had fought on courageously over the following years until the enemy had been defeated. Thranduil had never repaired nor cleaned the banner in that time, nor since, for it had always been the symbol of a strong willed King and had invoked a steadfast loyalty from his warriors. In more recent times it had been carried proudly into the Battle of the Five Armies, where the Elves again proved themselves to be fierce warriors who would fight to the death to defend their King and all that the banner stood for.
So it would be this 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.