5. Dreadful as the Storm
Dreadful as the Storm
“I will give you the One Ring. If you ask for it.”
Galadriel looked on the golden band that the small hobbit, so very small, held out in his open palm. She thought of all she could do with it, all it could do for her. The things they could do together...
“And now at last it comes,” she said deliberately, “You will give me the Ring freely!”
Suddenly, she lifted her arms and spread them out. A light shone on her, casting strange shadows on her features and leaving all around her in darkness. She looked tall and beautiful and terrible beyond anything Frodo could imagine. The hobbit froze in terror and wonder at her appearance and her words.
And her voice came as a thunderstorm, “In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.”
From seemingly nowhere, a great wind arose and whipped around the garden where they stood. It was bitterly cold, and Frodo could not help but wrap his shirt tighter around him as best he could. In doing so, he tucked the Ring away, kept tight in his fist.
Her voice continued, heedless of the wind, “And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night!”
The wind was incredibly strong now and Frodo had to flatten himself out on the ground to keep from being picked up by it. Even that would not have worked if they hadn’t been in the slight shelter of the enclosed garden. He could hear the trees around them cracking, branches being torn off, crashing to the ground. And now it was joined by a thrashing, cutting rain.
Galadriel paid it no attention. Her voice roared stronger than the wind, “Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning!”
Now it came, as she spoke the word. Lightning like the volleys of a god rained down upon the forest, igniting tree and bush and flet. Frodo tried to call out to her, to raise her attention to what she was doing, but his voice vanished as it passed his lips.
But hers raged on, “Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”
Then she was done. The wind and rain and all the weather fell away the moment she dropped her arms. Her face was tranquil, and suddenly she laughed. Frodo started, surprised by the utterance, and by her soft, sad words.
“I pass the test,” she said, “I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.”
Finally, she noticed the strange, frightened look of the hobbit, and that made her aware of all else around her. The forest was in shambles, trees destroyed, burning, torn. Elves ran here and there, putting out fires and rescuing people from under fallen stones and branches. Her eyes went back to meet Frodo’s, and he saw in them something he did not expect: embarrassment.
A/N: All dialogue in this chapter is quoted from the book, page 356.
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.