The son of the King did not realize the scarcity of his banners in the city until one of the lords went to find one and could not. They wanted to raise it over the throne, in honor of their new King; they wanted the colors of gold and silver to usurp those that had always stood there, as his half-brother—genius in his madness—had foretold.
He was pushed into the throne and the crown arranged on his hair—a golden crown on golden hair. It was his father's crown; it did not belong on his head. He wanted to hurl it across the room. This is not my place! He had sat here before, long ago, in his childhood, but always on his father's lap. Now, there was nothing beneath his body and the hard seat of the throne that punished his flesh. This is not my place!
The room is filled with noise—lords conversing, arguing about the days to come, about what to do about the darkened city left in the care of the King's useless, golden-haired son, who had two ambitious older brothers and never expected to inherit. The noise is bright and painful, like the darts of light Laurelin used to throw off the water his silver-haired wife so loved, hard to look upon but beautiful, distracting. The noise tumbles about the room; it invades even the deepest corners and chases away the quiet, the peace that once reigned here, which he—a usurper—has no right to reclaim.
He should not be here; he should be on the road still, sailing for the lands that so enthralled the others and made him feel aberrant and lazy in his disdain for such dark shores. He should not be here because his sons, his daughter are not here: They had kept to the road, longing for golden crowns and kingdoms of their own. He had seen their eyes when he told them—coward!—and it had been Finderato who had gently admonished them: "This is not his place."
They took their road to the north and he to the south, to the pearly lands of his wife's birth, and only his eldest, his Finrod had looked back, his brow furrowed and his golden hair teased by the wind.
He sits upon the throne and holds the golden crown in his hand—his father's crown—never meant for another head and overlarge and awkward now on his. A banner is being dragged erect over his head. It was hastily made by a seamstress who stayed behind, made from the gold and silver scraps of her daughter's dresses. When he looks up, he is not fully certain of what he will see. Is that mine? It was meaningless colors, once, designed more to satisfy the whims of Noldorin loremasters who sought a way to represent everything in shapes and colors. Now it is the crest of the King.
At the front of the room, at the stairs, there is a quick breath of silence, and it draws his eyes to the woman suddenly standing there, her gown falling loose about her body, her hair silvery in the partial darkness. The noise of the room surges again and embraces her too—it appears to have force enough to stir her gown into ripples like the starlight on the sea—but she banishes it and lets her eyes find him.
My husband. The King.
Now it is your place.
Golden crown in hand, he rises and the room falls silent.
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.