The Lay of Leithian Dramatic Script Project
Houseguests from Hell, or, 'So, what exactly do you two do around here, anyway?'
THE SOJOURN IN NARGOTHROND FROM THE LAY OF LEITHIAN
retold in the vernacular as a dramatic script
(with apologies to Messrs. Tolkien & Shakespeare)
[Note: everything is very hushed and dim; the scene is almost without words.]
[At the gates of Nargothrond. Ten warriors wait around the entrance, some
standing, some crouching, keeping watch both inwards and outwards to the gray
autumnal woods. They are equipped in dark battle-dress and heavily armed.
The number does not include the Steward, and does include Beren, seated against
one of the two giant stone posts that supports the lintel, head resting on
his forearms. He is wearing his own old gear, with some of the worst-tattered
bits replaced in the same Elven winter camo that his companions display.
They do not speak, though some of them sharpen swords and knives. It is almost
sunset, but under a sky that is too overcast for more than a hint of gold to
indicate where She is.]
[A disturbance within the vestibule: the King appears, striding along. Orodreth to his right is talking and attempting to get him to answer, affirm, or at least make some ameliorating noise -- but in vain. Finrod takes his helmet from the Steward at his left and buckles it on, ignoring his brother. In their wake Finduilas tags along accompanied by Gwindor for moral support, and followed by Huan: all three appear extremely worried. Orodreth tries again to gain acknowledgment, then gives up. Now that his brother is no longer talking, Finrod turns and embraces him quickly, putting a hand to his mouth when he tries to start apologizing again -- Not now. The waiting soldiers rise and form ranks, Beren with them. He looks deathly ill; the Captain pats his shoulder reassuringly.]
[Finrod slings on the pack that is waiting for him there. Finduilas rushes up to him and clutches his arm; reluctantly he accepts her tearful embrace and finally returns his niece's hug. She is completely devastated -- looks apologetically at Beren but he does not see her at all, staring right through everything and everyone around him. Gwindor looks thoroughly wretched and ashamed. The King goes to each gatepost and presses his hands against them in a final warding, then begins a last- minute inspection of everyone's gear.]
Captain: [aside to the Steward] --How does our lord?
Steward: How do you think? --But he will not show it before them.
[He glances aside to within the shadow of the entrance, where Elvensight might
decry some one -- or ones -- standing hidden from Mortal view.] Captain: When we return they'll laugh the other sides of their faces -- and without teeth, so help me Tulkas!
[He smiles bitterly]
Captain: You do not think we will return?
Steward: I do not.
Captain: [harshly] Have you Seen it, then?
Steward: I have not. --But it is nearing Winter. And a plan that was dangerous when conceived with three wings of cavalry is now to be undertaken by twelve. --Even if one of said twelve is The Beoring.
Captain: [snorts] Well. For my part, I place my trust in the King.
Steward: [taking no umbrage] As do I. But I do not think that I, at least, will ever come to Nargothrond again. Whether the King carries on with his mad plan to start elsewhere anew -- or not.
[calm, ignoring the other's worried look:]
It does not matter. He will not need a herald in this venture or banner-bearer to go before him this time; but sword and shield he still has call for, and he may set mine wherever need requires.
[Before the Captain can respond, the King finishes up inspecting the rest of the company and turns to his Commanders. They exchange looks. Finrod sets a gauntleted hand on Beren's shoulder and holds him with a worried stare until he snaps out of his trance. They begin to cross the terraces, ignoring the sentries posted around the gates, who likewise affect not to see them.]
[Huan begins to bay in that sudden, heart-jolting, rip-all-your-nerves-out-of- their-sockets way that guard dogs have, only this is not Death-to-trespassers! but the miserable Please-please-don't-abandon-me! bark instead. Beren drops out, hurries back and attempts to comfort him, patting his head and letting the Hound lean on him for a few moments. Then he turns again without a second look back and double-times it to catch up with the others. In the twilight and muffled in cloak and armor, it isn't obvious that one of the twelve companions is not Eldar.]
[They pick their way North along the river and file out past the hidden sentries and guardposts without exchange. Very shortly they are lost to sight in distance and darkness. Slowly, as though going to meet a grim fate, instead of to rejoin the world of light and society, the kin of Felagund return indoors, drifting back like ghosts. Huan alone remains, looking forlornly out the great gates into the rising mist.]
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.