Leithian Script: Act III: 50. Scene XLI.i

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50. Scene XLI.i

A Boy, A Girl & A Dog
The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project



Like a lasting storm, the world's travail
about Tinuviel doth whirl, her peace assail
and all that's hers of rightful honours owed
whir away, as fallen leaves along the road.

[Celegorm is standing outside the door of Luthien's solar, still dressed in his outdoor gear, fresh from the hunt. Huan is couchant inside, like a sheepdog just waiting to hear "Coom by," and Luthien is standing behind him, though one has to assume that it's her because she has her blue mantle wrapped all the way around her and pulled so far forward that her face cannot be seen, rather like one of the famous Mourners statues on John of Burgundy's tomb. The effect is extremely creepy. The elder son of Feanor doesn't seem to notice: when the scene opens he's talking away quite cheerfully.]

. . . And then you'll be queen of greater Beleriand, forever and ever, and we'll have the grandest times together, go anywhere in the country without worrying about wolves or worse, and I'll have the Silmarils set for you to wear and no one in Arda will compare with you, you'll be like Varda herself and we'll make Middle-earth better than Aman ever was, I promise. I'll give you the whole world, and you'll never be unhappy or afraid or hungry again. What do you say to that, hey?

[she does not answer]

Come on, Luthien, don't pretend you're deaf, it just makes you look the proper fool!

Luthien: [sings]
A North Country maid to the City had stray'd
although with her nature it did not agree
O she wept and she cried and most bitterly she sighed--
I would I were home in the North Country--

[Celegorm tenses, but no mysterious compulsion kicks in and he smiles]

--Oh the oak and the ash and the bonnie ivy tree,
They flourish at home in my own country--

It won't work, I'm not one of your weak-minded Grey Kindred. Listen, Luthien, you know you're being outrageous and stubborn and everyone thinks you're a silly girl and half-crazy on top of that. Now I understand it's hard to admit you're wrong -- I wouldn't like to do it -- but please just -- be reasonable, would you, and look at the facts. First, there's the prestige. Can't get away from that.

[Throughout this exchange, Luthien continues answering his rhetoric with verses of "North Country Maid," while Celegorm carries on as if she hadn't replied.]

But still I do see that a husband I might wed,
if I to the City my mind I would tame--

And going with that, the cachet of House Feanor, there's the tangible benefits. What could he offer you? An empty title, the ownership of a little snippet of mountainous lands held completely by the Enemy, and no likelihood of ever gettin' it back, what with no army, no people, and no luck. Now, granted, we've suffered some setbacks, but my family still holds large strategic areas of Endor and massive resources, completely apart from Narog.

But I'll only have a lad that is North Country bred,
or I will not marry but stay as I am--

And then, when we unite your people and ours, we'll form an alliance that will finally be able to coordinate properly and tackle the problem of the North in a rational manner, not all this nonsense of independent commands and whatnot.

--Oh the oak and the ash and the bonnie ivy tree,
They flourish at home in my own country--

So there's the common good aspect all covered, and then there's you to think of, you can't really be happy traipsing about in rags and working yourself into a fret, going off your feed -- you really want looking-after, and I will make sure that everything you could possibly desire is yours.

A maiden I am and a maid I'll remain,
until the North Country once more I do see--

And finally, not to be arrogant about it or anything, but -- who else is there who matches up, just on a personal basis? I mean, we complement each other perfectly, and not just in looks -- you've got courage, too, and the strength almost of the Noldor. There's no two ways about it. It's meant to be.

For here in this place I'll never see the face
of him that is meant my love for to be--

Celegorm: [tolerantly]
Oh, you're not still sore at me for gettin' a bit forward the other day, are you, Princess?

--Oh the oak and the ash and the bonnie ivy tree,

Celegorm: [tolerantly]
You know I didn't mean anything by it, you know perfectly well I wouldn't ever do anything -- improper -- to you.

They flourish--

[breaks off at once: when she speaks it is in a very stern and austere manner, without any hesitation or emotion, as one speaking in full royal authority -- or, possibly, even higher.]

You yourself did not know what you would have done, Celegorm son of Feanor, so do not try to unsay the past with untruths. I am only speaking to you now that I may appeal to whatever is left of your true nature. Release me and give me what I demand, and you may avoid full-out war with my House, and mitigate the greater Curse that grows with every treason you commit.

But I can't -- you don't understand, just -- please, give me a chance--

You lied to me. You don't get a second chance.

Celegorm: [hotly]
I didn't lie to you!

Worse, then -- you deliberately used the truth to deceive me. How can you even call yourself one of us, then, if you misuse the gift of speech so?

Celegorm: [defensive]
But one isn't obliged to tell everything to everyone -- it's perfectly all right to keep secrets, from strangers, or to mislead the Enemy.

So I am an enemy. Thank you for stating that plainly.

--That wasn't what I meant, dammit--

It's far too late for stranger, and clearly you are not my friend.

Celegorm: [winningly]
I could be, if you'd let me.

Luthien: [sings]
The hart he loves the high wood,
The hare he loves the hill,
The knight loves well his bright sword --
The lady loves her will.

Celegorm: [cajoling]
Come on, Luthien, don't sulk and carry on in this -- this ridiculous fashion, hiding yourself like some kind of freak--

You look at me and you do not see me, Celegorm Turcofin Feanorion, because you have never seen me as I am -- only as a rough stone to be polished and made fit for your tastes.

I see . . . a beautiful Elf who deserves far better than a backwoods reserve, who deserves the finest things that civilization can give her, who deserves to be protected from fell things, not exposed to every risk and danger in Middle-earth -- and at the same time to be celebrated throughout the land, not hidden away like a dusty mathom in a storeroom!

Luthien: [passionate for the first time]
That's what I mean! You refuse to understand that I am Sindar, that I belong to this land, to these woods, that they are real and powerful and not some worthless wastelands fit only to serve as a place for you to go hunting in, and that we have built a civilization in them that may not be the same as yours but is no less its equal! You don't know me, you cannot know me, you've never seen me in my own dominion, in my own home -- you never risked life and limb following the forest's call to find me--

Celegorm: [interrupting her]
--Well, not much of a chance of that, what with your father's Ban on us!

Luthien: [half angry, half exasperated pity]
Before that. You could have come directly to Doriath and paid your respects to my parents like the Finarfinions. You could have done us homage, and learned from us, and not alienated half the country with your arrogance.

[reluctant but honest as always:]

And -- you would have met me. And perhaps -- perhaps things might have gone otherwise, between -- all of us.


And what would have happened, when Sha -- when your father found out about the unpleasantness back in Aman?

Luthien: [shrugs]
Who can say? It would have been different from what did happen. Wisdom can say no more than that, ever. But you chose a different path, and a different self, and now -- it's too late.

But it isn't too late. That's what I'm trying to tell you.

It was too late before you set eyes on me. It was too late -- the instant you betrayed your Kindred a second time, and Beren with them. It was too late long before I entered the Gates of Nargothrond. I would tear down this whole City, if I could, to escape from here.

Celegorm: [indulgently]
Silly girl, that's what the Enemy would do. Whose side are you on, anyway?

Beren's. And anyone else who's with us.

Celegorm: [cold -- the true iron showing through for the first time]
Beren's a goner. Your future lies with me. With us, not that rabble of half-Noldor and humans and illiterates who refused the Call that's let Beleriand go to wrack and ruin.

You will never win me, body or soul. My heart is with Beren, not here, even as I hold his, and you can't divide us, Celegorm Turcofin!

Celegorm: [grinning]
Don't you get it? For someone who prides herself on being so clever you're being awfully dense, Luthien. He's mortal. All we've got to do is wait.


[Low deep growl]

Luthien: [distant and oracular]
--That is why I could not touch you. Your outward form is still fair, but there is nothing left of Eldar within. Refuse the Call? You cannot even hear it!

Celegorm: [confident]
It'll just be a little while, and then you'll be free of this spell, this madness that's got hold of you, and everything will be fine. --You'll see. --And you, dog, are going to have to work to get back into my good graces. You missed a really excellent chase today, you know.

[He turns and goes off, whistling. She remains there, standing perfectly still like a statue, while Huan looks up at her panting, until finally he gets off the floor and starts nudging her to try to get her to move.]

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.

Story Information

Author: Philosopher At Large

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: 1st Age

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 01/25/03

Original Post: 08/16/02

Go to Leithian Script: Act III overview


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