14. Lords: XIII
of gutless love-courage.
As has been seen.
Whirr past days of of flowing blood,
Sopping bandages, fearful dreams,
Ominous, flickering silence for the boy king,
tonguesweet faith for the boy prince.
Clinging by warm shoulders, burying faces in undone braids
breathing deeply, matching each unsteady heartbeat
for each, until
Fingon leaves. He must.
Cut to sombre Maedhros entering a dusk-filled tent
(tawny warm colours, low hissing brazier)
after six others, stalking past their semi-circle to a pole.
This he grasps, inclines his head to the fraternity. They sit.
He is risen
in their eyes, a pillar of
fire. strength. salt.
‘Sons of my father.
You have new and musicless names.
You have slender lisping concubines. You have
been bereft of a king too long.
I assume this is why I see no ardour here.
Only North camps and South camps, and shifty eyes, and curled lips.
This is your idea, perhaps,
of upholding distinction or dignity, whatever you think that is.
But it is not the way to win a war.
The Enemy is big, my brothers. Very big. Wider
than the sky, and as unbroachable.
It is the truth. Do not slaver your hosts
into believing they will be heroes. They will not be.
Many might die. You might die.
Yet you will fight, more and much more.
Yes, you have fought hard these years,
And never was I more proud of you, Makalaurë,
Tyelkormo, Atarinkë, Carnistir,
my beloved Ambarussa, than when you refused to come and save me.
Your wisdom held in his treacherous face. It gave me hope.
That is another thing. Expect to be addressed in
nothing but your mother tongue when I speak. I have not been around to forget.
The firelight shifts, falls uneasy on their faces.
The ones called - kindly Maglor, blond Celegorm,
Curufin, Caranthir, dark and magnificent - silent.
Little Amrod and Amras look up earnestly,
wondering how they lived without him.
Firelight over his stooping frame.
‘Today I look North and see
They are lost in mists and smoke.
They walk long ways, slowly.
I see Turukáno has lost his wife.
Words cannot express how I feel for him.
For all of them.
We have suffered too. For good reason,
it is our battle.
Why should Father's brother or our prince-cousins be here?
They are not their jewels. It is not their oath.
They could hardly care less. They are here out
of loyalty. Our grandfather taught us all well,
and they remembered him. We did not.
We burned our ships.
Something may be saved yet, though,
and so it shall be saved.
This crown has passed to me
to do, in all conscience, as I please with it.
I choose not to keep it.
I walk tomorrow with every royal trapping I own –
Horses, food, weapons, wrapping,
All to lay at our uncle’s feet, who is eldest,
and not the least wise of the house of Finwë.
Not as a debt of gratitude to Nolofinwë's son.
There are no debts between lovers.
That is what I said. Lovers. I will say it louder, should you
be hard of hearing presently. It is not our greatest issue,
and not our utmost guilt.
Tomorrow we begin
to redeem our vows and our worth.
Our honour, as I see it.
We will take to the rockiest hills.
Breathe the coldest air, sleep the shortest nights.
Eat the least food.
Ours must be the hardest fight, not because we are lesser.
Ours must be the hardest fight because in us is set
such grace of spirit and strength
that we could fill vacant vessels of the Sun and Moon,
and not diminish their light.
From tomorrow we will lead, then, but with bare heads.’
His beauty has deepened like a rain-filled lake.
‘You will stand by me, smiling and soft-voiced.
Bow before you are bowed to. Give what is due.
Take aught, speak aught of taking,
And I snap your knuckles between my fingers.
Do not tell me that I lack a hand.
I know that I lack a hand. I can afford to lack a hand.
Because that is how I am.
Turukáno : Quenya for Turgon.
Nolofinwë : ditto for Fingolfin.
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.