1. Five Short Stories About Glorfindel
"What is thy name, kinsman?"
"Laurefindil," replied the young lord, the sounds of the noble tongue flowing as drops of light from his lips. Another Elf repeated the name in its Sindarin form, soft whispers of grass and rustling of forest leaves against the adamant glint of Quenya: "Glorfindel."
His hair was golden, and green and silver was his robe. No one knew him; but all were in awe at his bearing as he stood tall before the High King of the Noldor, and they saw the beads and skilled needlework on his garments, and knew he must be of royal blood.
He was come by ship from Aman, because he longed to dwell in the free lands of Middle-earth with the kin of his mother, who was a Noldo; so he said. He had watched as the Enchanted Isles tightened their web behind the dark ship, and thought of his parents who remained in Valinor. But his respect for the noble deeds of his people and his will to join them in their battle for the Silmarils burned in him brightly.
For all this his value in the King's eyes was great, and he took him as a retainer into his household. But Glorfindel never spoke of his mother again, and of his father he never said another word. Many believed that it was grief for a parting beyond the circles of the world that held Glorfindel's tongue.
Yet the true reason was not known to anyone but him.
Dark was the ship, darker than the white Telerin ships, and dark was the sea; and dark was the web of the Enchanted Isles as it tightened behind the ship.
"Where will thou go when we reach the Hither Shores?" Ambarillo asked his friend.
"I will seek the High King of my father's people," replied Eressondo, "and I will offer him my service, and the strength of my arm. Perhaps, in time, I may find my father."
"Why should he welcome thou?" said Ambarillo. "It is not unheard of for young Noldor to cross the sea and seek their kin in Middle-earth. Why should those who took the Oath of Fëanáro and endured the hardships of the journey regard us as anything more than foolish adventure-seekers?"
"There are ways to turn the thoughts of those who know one not," Eressondo said, and Ambarillo wondered what advice his mother had given him.
Wind caught in Eressondo's golden hair. Ambarillo looked at the dark-haired Elves they were travelling with. In his eyes Eressondo stood tall and shone like a lone star in the midst of a veiled night sky.
"Did thou know the others have taken to calling thou by a new name?" Ambarillo asked.
"And what is that?"
"It is seemly," Ambarillo said. "They call thou Laurefindil, the Golden-Haired."
"Laurefindil," Eressondo repeated, and Ambarillo saw that the name tasted sweet and new on his tongue, and that it fit in his mouth, and he was ready to carry it like a fine robe.
"Will thou still not tell me my father's name?"
But Eressondo's mother was silent as a tree in Yavanna's gardens.
He stood before her in his plain linen clothing, holding the embroidered robes of green and silver she had given him. As a final parting gift she offered him her golden wedding ring, and he hung it on a chain around his neck, placing it carefully under his shirt, against his skin, next to his heart.
They had no words left for each other, for there is naught to say when a parting carries not a return within. Eressondo took his mother's hand and kissed it. Her hair was golden, and pale was her skin, and solitude hung upon her like a heavy gown. As he looked at her, for a moment Eressondo felt sharp sorrow, like a wound under the skin and bones of his chest. But his head would not be turned, and they both knew it. He left her in the gardens near Ezellohar, where few ever came, save for admiring and seeking her craft and skill with the needle and thread.
He went and swiftly took towards the harbours of the eastern shores of Aman, and towards the ships darker than the white ships of Alqualondë. He hid the garments his mother's hand had refined with patterns of silver thread and beads, and he hid the words she had spoken, and ever he heeded their counsel:
Admit never that thou art the son of a commoner.
Dark was the day when the golden-haired child was born to Amarië of the Vanyar, darker than those that were before and those that were to come after; for the Two Trees had shed their blood under the blade of Melkor, and the Moon and the Sun had not yet made their first journey across the skies.
"If he be a child of a Noldo, like thou say," Amarië's mother told her, "thou should name him after his father."
"When my husband left for Endóre," said Amarië, "I swore to never speak his name again, and that oath is not to be broken. But the child's name will be in the Noldorin language, and Eressondo it will be, for the Solitude-Son he truly is."
Eressondo was still young when Amarië took him to dwell in Ezellohar, near the dead mound of the Two Trees, where she would practice her needlecraft, for she had grown melancholy and bitter towards the Noldor, and wished to be alone. Of Eressondo's father she told him no more than she had told anyone: he was a Noldo who had joined Fëanáro's war against Melkor, and she had chosen to wed him nevertheless but not follow.
Eressondo would look at his mother and think of a tall tree, smooth of bark and branches too high for an elfling to reach; and as quiet, too, for she seldom spoke.
It was then that he knew he must seek the truth elsewhere, if he wished to find it.
"What is thy name, maiden?"
His hair was golden, and white and silver was his robe, and she was in awe at his bearing as he stood tall before the gates of Yavanna's gardens, where she would oft come to walk and sew and sing. She smiled, and the light of the Trees shone upon her, and her voice was clear as she spoke.
"I am Amarië of the Vanyar, my lord. And who are thou?"
He told her his name, and he took her hand in his own then; and although it was not in the manner of the royalty to associate with labourers, she let him do it. Together they sauntered under the trees, and they saw that their love must be in secret; but neither could imagine that a day of darkness might fall upon them so soon.
In the long years to come Amarië would think upon this first meeting of theirs, and while she kept his name hidden away, never speaking it even to her young son, she sometimes wondered what form it had taken on the tongues of those who walked Middle-earth. She imagined soft whispers of grass and rustling of forest leaves against the adamant glint of the Noble Tongue; and sometimes when she dreamed with open eyes of the dark paths he wandered under the stars and the moon beyond the sea, the echoes sounded inside her heart, faint as threads of finest silver, tangling, making new shapes:
Findaráto. Findaráto. Findroto.
* * *
Quenya – Sindarin name translations:
Fëanáro = Fëanor
Findaráto = Finrod
Laurefindil = Glorfindel
Endóre = Middle-earth
Eressondo is Noldorin and translates as 'Solitude-Son'.
* * *
1) Many thanks to Kenaz for coming to rescue with the beta.
2) This story was written for the Rings Remixed 2006 challenge and is a remix of the story Harsh for Bearing by ClaudiElf.
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.