10. Like the Glittering Caves
Minas Tirith, T. A. 3019
"Then I must go for my axe."
Man and Dwarf were locked in such an intense staring contest that both jumped in suprise when each felt a strong hand grip their respective shoulders.
"My sister and grandmother would be most displeased, were they to overhear this conversation."
Apologies commenced immediately, but were cut off as Elrohir broke into a wide grin.
"Nay, it is too late. You underestimate Elven hearing, my friends. Be sure that both Arwen and Galadriel heard everything you said!"
It was difficult to tell whether the son of Gloin or the King of Rohan turned a deeper shade of crimson.
"Perhaps I may be of assistance?"
Eomer recovered first. "Nay, Lord. We should not have spoken so in the hall."
"Nonsense. Now the ladies Arwen and Galadriel shall forget their impending parting for a time - for jealousy of one another!"
Elrohir's voice changed in remarkable mimicry. "Oh, the hair as golden as Telperion!" "Oh, the image of Luthien!"
He laughed again. "You are not the first friends to debate this weighty matter. But I offered assistance, and you shall have it."
Gimli could not decide whether to scowl or chortle. "Assistance?"
"Assistance. I shall bring you the greatest connoisseur of Elven beauty East of the Sea. He is here - wait a moment."
A few minutes later, Glorfindel appeared, looking worried. He nodded slightly to Man and Dwarf in turn.
"Gimli son of Gloin, Eomer King, Elrohir tells me there is a grave matter on which you desire my counsel. He spoke urgently. What troubles you?"
Eomer reminded himself that he was indeed now King, and should at least attempt to act like one. Gimli did similarly, but Eomer spoke first.
"Gimli and I were debating who is the fairest Lady present. Elrohir said.. he said none East of the Sea could answer this better than yourself." Composure maintained, barely.
Glorfindel reddened. At length he responded, "Then Elrohir will not enjoy his next sparring session with his Captain. But, since I am here..."
And so, Gimli and Eomer received an education. Without naming names, Glorfindel reminded them that Arwen was the daughter of Galadriel's daughter, and might not an ... intermediate beauty be greater still? On the other hand, while Galadriel's tresses were indeed remarkable, she was hardly the only Elf with golden hair (Gimli thought that this statement was rather unnecessary, considering the source), and might not the undiluted beauty of certain Vanyarin princesses, also among Arwen's foremothers, be worthy of consideration?
The variations were described in detail, in a tone like to that with which Gimli had described the Glittering Caves.
Glorfindel read the Dwarf's thoughts, and replied, amused. "Yes, such gifts from the One are scarcely to be imagined in dreams, unless you have seen them with waking eyes."
But though the wine and ale flowed in plenty, that night none of the three lords found sleep easily.
A/N: Glorfindel might well interpret the word "present" differently than Mortals do.
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.