1. The Wandering Queen
Pólemos pánthoon mén pathér ésti, pánthoon dé basiléus, kai toús mén edéixe
theoús, toús dé anthropoús, toús mén epóiese dóulous, toús dé eleutheroús.
Who are you? Why are you speaking to me? Oh, I see, you are Elves; Wood
Elves, I believe. Well, then ill met, my friends, ill met. No, do not stare
at me so, I never meant to be unkind. ´Tis only that my heart is broken.
He left me at sunrise. He kissed me goodbye at dawn, leaving his newly wed
bride to choke her tears in a frozen bed. I begged him to stay with me, to see the fruit of our fulfilled love grow, but no, he denied
me that. And now, I will not see him ever again.
I see you are now beginning to understand, your compassionate looks tell
me. Or to think you understand.
Tell you my story? Why? Do you want to torture me even further? No, you
say, you want to help me. Help me!
As if you could.
My name is Rían. I am a woman of the Édain, the daughter of Belegund son of
Bregolas, of the house of Bëor. The House of the Faithful we call
ourselves. The father of my great grandsire was the man that King Finrod
Felagund befriended, and my father´s cousin now shares his mortal fate with
the most beautiful of Elven women, the fair Tínuviel.
I was a
gentle child, or so they told me, always picking flowers in the meadows to
put them in my hair, or feeding the birds in my hand so they would sing to
gladden my heart. Animals were never frightened of me, as they are now
when they cross my path as I wander by the woods and the hills, mad with
grief. They fear me, now. Last morning, as I lay weeping, I tried
to stretch my salty hand to a bird. I wanted so desperately to have his
comforting little presence to warm my cold fingers! But it did not come. It
flew away, afraid of my sobs.
Forgive me. I never meant to bother you with my nonsense, but you asked me
to, so I will continue.
Huor was the youngest son of Galdor, the son of Hador Loríndol, a renowned
hero among my people. He was dark haired and very tall, and his eyes shone
with a wondrous light from another world. This was, they said, because he
had been among the High Elves, and befriended them, although he never told
me anything about that. He was my husband...
Oh, but wait! I did not tell you how I met him, forgive me. I am so distraught! I saw him for the first time in my cousin Morwen´s wedding, because it was
Huor´s elder brother she was marrying. We spoke a few words, concerning the
couple that they would make. "The two are just as headstrong. I wonder
what will happen when they quarrel!" Huor was saying to me, and I blushed.
Afterwards, he told me that he had decided to begin courting me at that same
Still, we did not marry until six years later. Huor was brave and valiant in
warfare, but in daily life he was just as shy as I was, so it was very hard
for him to make advances, and as hard for me to accept
them. At last, he managed to propose me, and my father was not
displeased. The wedding was merry, with plenty of wine and dancing, as is
the custom among my people.
That same night, however, the hideous shadow fell over our lives, and joy left our land
forever. And all because of a meaningless and horrid war, which
was not even our own mistake, but the mistake of a wholly different people.
Your own people.
Now you are really eyeing me in wonder. Surely nobody has dared to speak in
this strain before. Surely all of you feel bitterly about the war, but none
says it is meaningless. The Dark Lord must be destroyed! You
cannot think beyond that.
I can, for grief helps me see.
Listen! Your fight against the Dark Lord, or Morgoth as you call him is really
meaningless. Why? Not only because you cannot win, but also
because, if by a remote chance you really did win, what then? Would you live in eternal bliss
and happiness? Could you?
If the Dark Lord was no more, your eternal lives would lose
their meanings. You would become as restless and rebellious as we Edain,
who never knew nothing but hardships, were taught that your kin was, in
that land of eternal beauty and peace that they forsook willingly. I have read all
the chronicles of the Noldor, but I never found a clue as to why they
rebelled. Were they fools, that they preferred war and death to peace? No,
not fools, I know now, but something worse: they needed the war to be
united, as they were falling apart; they needed it to feel they
were a people, a mighty and independent people, and not toys for beings
more powerful. And they needed it, too, to learn to admire and respect
their leaders as they had done in the land under the shadow.
enthralled, diminished....but proud and, as they say, "free". And they- you
too, but especially they- pretend they are protecting us, instead of
acknowledging the truth...that we are dying for all this! Dying for the war that they need!
Huor went to fight beside his Elven King in the battle of Unnumbered Tears.
I begged him to stay, but he paid no heed to my words, the very first time
that he refused me anything. "Rían" he said, with a very serious
countenance, "Rían, I would like to stay, to watch our child´s birth, and to be
with you. Believe me, I do not wish anything else. But I must go and fight
the Black Foe with my king. It is our last chance to defeat him, they have
said, and I...I made a promise long ago. Do you want me to
disappoint my brother?
"Well, then, go with them! Your Noldor Elves! They only need you
to fight for them in their wars. If you are killed, who will take care of
"My brother and his wife will." he said, and he left. Left me with child.
And, then, he died. His brother disappeared, too, and my
hard-hearted cousin, who does not think as a woman, but as a war- hardened
man, was very angry at me because I was not able to hold my grief as she
could. So I went away, in search of my husband. Well, of his corpse. No,
I am not that mad yet.
How do you stare at me! Your gazes make me feel as I was on the verge of
tears again. I forgot you were but Grey- Elves that live in the forests,
tender and compassionate. I am sorry...I did not mean to cause you pain.
Forgive me. Our lives are so short, and our destinies so uncertain, that
war is a far greater bane for the likes of us than for the likes of you. We
mortal women cannot see it as a passing event, but as a monster that
swallows the lives of those we love most so we never see them again.
Do not call it poetry. Do not call it philosophy. Call it just madness. I am
mad; and I do not want to live any longer.
So you are horrified, now. What? To stay with you? To give birth to my child
in this darkened world ruled by war and misery? And I thought that you
Leave me alone. It is a plea, a request, a threat! I do not want my child to live, for I think he deserves better than that. He, or she, will probably be turned into a
thrall, or killed.
Oh, you say that you swear to protect him with your lives. What will he be
then? A warrior, a valiant warrior blinded by duty and promises of honour
and glory, like his father and his uncle. And, if it is a woman, then she
will give her love to one of those, and despair.
Promise me that you will teach him or her to be as wise as his poor mother was
before she died. Promise it. As soon as he can understand, repeat for him, or for her, the words you have just heard. Will you promise me that, please?
I see you will do anything to save the child´s wretched life. You have
promised, so now I must stay here until I give birth. But, when I am finished, I will go, and you will not know where. You may follow
me, but you will lose my trail. You will grow afraid of the darkness, and,
finally leave me alone. Do not despair then, for it was meant to be so from
the beginning: I have no other path to tread. Did you know one thing? Elves are
not the only ones who can die of grief.
And we never return.
Note: Rían stayed for a while under the protection of the Wood Elves of the
tribe of Annael, a Grey Elf. She gave birth to Huor´s son, Tuor, who was to
be so important for the fate of Middle- Earth, but, then, she left him and
went to the place where the Nirnaeth Arnoediad had taken place. There she
lay alone, crying, and died shortly afterwards.
*The meaning of Rían is "queen" in Sindarin speech ( and in Celtic speech,
** My apologies to all who know ancient greek, but I am myself very grieved
for the sheer butchery I´ve been forced to perpetrate with my most beloved
and studied language, because stupid unlettered ff.net doesn´t accept greek
characters. The meaning is something like this: "War is father and king to
all ("War" in Greek being a masculine noun), and it turns some into gods,
others into men; some into slaves, and others into free people."
(Heraclitus, 53 b)
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.