35. Scene XXVI
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
TINUVIEL AT BAY: A CACCIA OF BELERIAND
--Hot-wielded in needful time, words
may cross purposes no less than swords--
[Luthien's suite -- she is sitting on the floor looking up at Huan and talking to him, and does not apparently notice when Finduilas walks in behind her, having tapped a few times on the open panel but not gotten an answer]
So then I told him that I could accept that that was how he felt, but I couldn't really see where he was coming from at all, and that since he couldn't explain it any better himself he could hardly expect me to understand it either. And then I asked him -- again -- why he didn't just come up and say something to us, or to me, privately, even, and what was up with the lurking off in the distance and watching us from hillsides like some kind of spy, and he got all twitchy again. --At that point I just gave up because it was clear that I wasn't going to get an answer because he didn't have one, and that my guess was as good as his.
Which so far as I can tell comes down to a combination of pride and embarrassment -- though actually that's the same thing, really -- too proud to admit that he hadn't been able to see me as a grown-up and a person in my own right, not just "Elu and Melian's little girl," until someone else from outside had first, and then too embarrassed to admit that he'd spied on us--
and so logically he just kept doing it, and moping about hoping someone would notice and solve his problem for him. --Which happened --
Luthien, what are you doing?
Luthien: [looking up but not getting up]
Explaining about Daeron to Huan.
Finduilas: [remaining standing]
Because he wanted to know.
But -- he's a Hound!
Luthien: [narrow look]
If you really think he's just a dog, and no more, then you're blinder than I thought.
Well, obviously he's different -- but he's still an animal, Luthien.
Luthien: [staring hard]
That's funny, I don't see anything wrong with your eyes.
Finduilas: [ignoring this]
If you need to talk to someone, there are people here who can help you. I'm here.
But I don't want to talk to you. If I have to talk to anyone in this horrible place, I'd rather talk to Huan.
Luthien, this is not a horrible place. You make it sound like Angband or Dungortheb!
Even if I didn't need to save Beren I couldn't stay here. It's making me physically ill.
Finduilas: [patient but strained]
No, you're making yourself sick with your unreasonable behavior.
I need to get out of here. I'm suffocating! I've never been underground this long in my life!
Finduilas: [a bit patronizing]
Oh, you wouldn't really rather be outside in the cold and the wet. It's practically Winter.
Before I was brought here I'd been living in trees for the past month. They're much better when you can get out of them, by the way. And my cape works perfectly well at keeping the rain off me. --I really don't understand why you expect me to be grateful for being kept in a beautiful prison rather than a gloomy one. At least in a dungeon there's no pretense of hospitality, and no one expects anything of the prisoner but escape!
You're not a prisoner--
No? Then I can go? All right then, let's--
Don't be tiresome -- you know that's impossible. You can't just leave--
That would, I'd say, be the exact definition of a prisoner.
Finduilas: [reaching down to touch her shoulder]
It's for your own good -- we're simply concerned for your safety, cousin.
[Luthien impatiently shakes her off]
Luthien: [very slowly and forcefully.]
I've heard that one before.
Well, it's true, you--
Cousin, if your fiance was taken prisoner by the Enemy and you knew it, would you just stay here making bowls and earrings in your studio? Or would you take your torches and your chemicals and your iron rods and do whatever you could with what you had?
[Finduilas laughs nervously]
Don't be silly, Luthien.
Silly? You mean you wouldn't?
Not that it could ever happen, but -- what could I do? I couldn't just go traipsing across the wilds singlehandedly to attack the Enemy, that's absurd--
You know something? I'm going to make myself very unpopular with you by saying this, but -- I don't think you really love him. Because if you did, you wouldn't be able to imagine that possiblity without getting upset. And there wouldn't be any question in your mind about the necessity of doing whatever it takes to save him.
[Finduilas gives a short laugh, shaking her head in dismay]
Look, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, just to get you to think--
Oh, I'm not upset. Everyone goes through stages of romantic idealism and juvenile fixation in their lives. Eventually one grows out of it, though.
[Luthien gives her a Look]
Finduilas -- I'm older than your parents.
Yes, but you don't act like it.
. . . !
--Besides, it could never happen, anyway.
Oh, that's a principle to run your life on! "It can't happen so I won't worry about it" --? Wasn't that what they used to tell your High King about Morgoth breaking through the siege? Your uncles complained about that to my parents lots of times, how nobody listened to them -- especially your precious "Lords of Nargothrond" here -- and unfortunately, they were right, weren't they?
I can't believe you're so callous.
Oh! Honestly! Just go away, I can't take this any more. If my time's going
to be wasted in prison, I shouldn't have to put up with being treated like an idiot on top of it.
Can I bring you anything else? More books? Some music?
How about a pick-axe?
[The Regent's daughter gives her a sympathetic look and leaves.]
Shut the door behind you, please!
If I'm a prisoner, let's not pretend otherwise, all right?
Huan: [getting up and pacing]
[several short whines]
Luthien: [shaking her head, amazed]
I just don't get it. What's wrong with her? --But -- well, I suppose -- I mean, given that everyone in her family did that, just up and walked out on each other, not knowing if or when they'd ever be coming back -- perhaps it doesn't seem irrational to her. I wish I hadn't been too polite to ask Galadriel about it, after. I mean, it might not be any of my business, strictly speaking -- but then we are family after all, so on another level it is. I'm beginning to think that all the Noldor are crazy. --Or maybe it's just everyone who left Aman.
[short loud bark]
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings either. But I'm not used to things that make absolutely no sense at all.
[jumps to her feet and runs to the door]
I have to get out of here!
[she flings wide the hallway entrance and shouts at the Guards:]
What in Morgoth's name is wrong with you people?
[She tries to slip past them but they stop her, gently but firmly, and lead her back into the parlor. She yells after them as they close the outer door again, panting:]
Damn you to Angband! Let me go!
[As soon as the door is shut she stops looking distraught and helpless -- though still crazed. Feral grin:]
--That'll put them off their guard for now.
[She gathers up her mantle and starts knotting fruit and biscuits from the bowls on the table into the corners before going over to the door. To Huan, whispering:]
--You won't tell anyone, will you?
Huan: [worried look]
[thumps tail, twice]
Luthien: [touching the door, sings very slowly]
I love my love and well he knows--
I love the ground whereon he goes
and if my love I no more should see
my life would quickly fade away--
[opens the door quietly and walks out without any fuss]
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