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This piece of writing was partly inspired by the following poem:
The Thread of Life
The irresponsive silence of the land,
The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
Speak both one message of one sense to me:
Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof bound with the flawless band
Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand?
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
And sometimes I remember days of old
When fellowship seemed not so far to seek
And all the world and I seemed much less cold,
And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong and life itself not weak.
- Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894)
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Why do we hope in the face of despair? Why do we attempt to hide our tears? Is it not our fate as the Edain, the Secondborn, as mortals, to always suffer?
I do not hope. Not any more.
I can no longer even cry. My tears dried up long ago. The Elves call upon the Valar in times of need. But whom can I call upon? For surely the Valar have forsaken the race of Men. Why else do they leave us to face our doom alone? Why else do they not heed my prayers?
The prayer of a wife.
The prayer of a mother.
I have lost everything. Hope, faith, joy. They are all strangers to me now. Why am I still alive? If Eru knew any justice, then I would have left this world long ago. But it would seem that this is my fate: to await a husband who will never return, doomed to suffer at the hands of evil. And where do I wait for him? By the graves of my children. My Túrin, my Nienor; both dead. But my only comfort is that they found each other ere the end. Yet how or why, I will never know.
Is it really that long ago, when I used to smile, to laugh? When there used to be happiness in our lives? Perhaps it has been a long time. How much happiness was granted to us? We never received our full share. Or perhaps in the beginning there was too much, and we are paying for it now. Who will give me the answers I seek? I sit here by the flowing waters of the Teiglin. The river rushes past, just as it has always done. If these waters could talk, would they tell me what happened to my children?
But alas, they cannot. Neither can this gravestone. It bears the name of my children, but the cold stone does not answer. No, the cold stone cannot answer…
I will never see my beloved children again.
I will never hear their voices again.
Could things have turned out differently?
But the house of Húrin is cursed…
I was once known as Morwen. Eledhwen, they used to call me. Elven-fair…How far away all that seems now. As if it was a different lifetime, and even a different world that I walked then, so many years ago.
As soon as I first beheld Húrin, my heart was given, my fate sealed. He was so full of life, so brave, so courageous. Tall and proud, the Lord of Dor-Lomin. We were so happy. The Lord and Lady of Dor-Lomin, and their two children.
Túrin, my firstborn. He was always his mother’s son, quiet, a lover of solitude, like me. But he loved his sister so much. His sister, our daughter, called by everyone Lailath. Laughter. No, not Lailath, Urwen. That was her name. Her fate was never to smile, to laugh. The ill winds that blow from Angband bring only evil, suffering, disease. With them came a plague, and my Lailath succumbed to it. After only three summers she was taken from us…is this the will of Eru? My dear, innocent daughter. Taken. She never got to learn the songs that she loved to hear her father sing. And such was his grief that Húrin could sing no more. No more music, no more joy… With my Lailath, the laughter died in our house that day.
Yet, we were lucky in the disaster. Somehow, we survived the disease. My husband, my son and I, all survived. And we survived our sorrow.
Sometimes now I think, for what? It would have been better if we had all of us perished then…
We had another daughter. We named her Nienor. Mourning. Perhaps the name was more appropriate than I ever realised.
Our days together were shortlived. My husband had ever been a warrior. The death of our daughter only made him more eager for revenge upon him who had brought this about. “Marrer of Middle-earth, would that I might see thee face to face, and mar thee as my lord Fingolfin did!”* Those were his words. Bitterly I heard them, although I did not know then what would ultimately be the outcome of those words. Húrin soon went off to war again, fighting for the Elves this time. For those same Elves who brought so much suffering with them. Was not Morgoth’s battle against these Elves? Are they not the cause of all our problems? They are immortal. Pain, war, death; they do not seem to affect them. Yet we are mortal. Like a flower that breathes but a day…Brief. No matter how beautiful the flower is, it will eventually wilt. Such is the doom of Men. The elves call it a gift, but for all their wisdom, they are mistaken…
Húrin was always fond of the elves, as they were of him. He was but a child compared to their years, yet they called him wise. So Húrin fought. He fought valiantly, and for that I am proud. He killed seventy of the enemy, or so they say. But he did not fall. Alas! How I wish that he had fallen. For even death is better than the fate which befell him. He was captured by the enemy’s army, and taken to face the torture of Morgoth. What he went through there, I do not know. Many years I wondered about his fate. But the Elves are farsighted. I have heard the tales brought to us by those at Thingol’s court...
He is still alive.
He was cursed by Morgoth, along with all of his line.
He sits there in the prisons of Angband, on a ‘throne’, mocked by Morgoth.
He is doomed to watched his loved ones suffer, to hear their cries, and yet unable to do anything.
Húrin! Through you, we suffer also…I know that you see what we have been through. Do you grieve, Húrin? Do you grieve at the loss of both your remaining children? Or has the might of Morgoth so weakened you that you no longer care?
Nirnaeth Andoediad, the Elves named that battle. Tears uncounted. How well do I know now the meaning of that name…
In spite of my bitterness towards the Elves, I sent Túrin, my son, to King Thingol’s court to be brought up by them after I learnt of Húrin’s capture. Even now, that realm is protected. I thought he would be safe there. The Easterlings had invaded our land. The name of the Lady of Dor-Lomin was enough to keep them away from my daughter and me. But what was to stop them from taking my son as a slave? They had always borne nothing but hatred for the House of Dor-Lomin. In their hatred, what was to stop them from harming Húrin’s heir?
But I was a fool. Even the Elves couldn’t stop him from wandering. They could not keep him safe. My beloved son was lost to me…and now, my second daughter as well.
No answers, only questions…
Fate has been cruel to me.
I had a home, a family once. A husband who I loved more than life itself. My children, the only remaining lights in the darkness of my life.
Now I have nothing, but my tears.
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* "Marrer of Middle-earth, would that I might see thee face to face, and mar thee as my lord Fingolfin did!” - Line taken from the 'Narn i Hîn Húrin' (Tale of the Children of Húrin), in the Unfinished Tales.
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.