He walked into the deserted chambers, his face gaunt and drawn. For a moment, he paused in the centre of the room, his emerald eyes taking in the familiar desk that faced the window. How often had he surprised his father there, while Oropher had been absorbed in some diplomatic missive?
He could almost imagine that the familiar scent of his father's herbal-tea lingered in the air. Sighing, he made his way to the desk and stared dully at the abandoned missives.
Oropher, Prince of Doriath, was dead. And his young son had been left to lead a tottering kingdom. Thranduil fingered the elegantly wrought crown on his head absently. It should never have been there.
"Curse you, Isildur," Thranduil said bitterly as he slumped into the chair at the desk, his fingers clenching into fists.
He stared at the familiar hand of his father on a scroll tightly sealed. For a moment, his curiosity overcame his bitter grief and pulled the scroll open. His eyes widened in shock as he read on.
I am at the docks of Mithlond as I write this. It has been a wonderfully hectic time so far. The hosts of the Valar have pushed back the enemy towards Angband. My position is more ceremonial than instrumental, The Seneschal and Herald of the Sindar of Doriath. I wish you had been here with me for these are long, boring days with nothing but council meetings. The hosts from the West require no aid from us dispersed Sindar or the strife-torn Noldor. But all the same, it has been a novel experience to see our Vanyarin kin from across the sea.
I have made an intriguing acquaintance. The daughter of Ingwion, son of Ingwë, High-King of Valinor. Her name is Vanima. Oh, cousin, I am sure that not even the stars of Elbereth can hold their own against her radiant beauty. Her kin are beautiful in their own way, I agree, but in her is warmth that truly radiates. I have seen Melian, I have seen Lúthien…but this woman, nay, Princess, far surpasses them. I have always thought that your lady, Galadriel, is the finest specimen of Vanyarin beauty, but now it stands refuted.
When I first saw her, at dawn, the sun rising behind the deck of the ship where she stood, I was struck. It will be the most unforgettable scene I have seen, the red rays framing her golden features, turning mere flesh and blood to a miracle that should be beatified.
This golden woman is far more beautiful and worth dying for than any Silmaril wrought by Fëanor. Cousin, you know how wild and reckless I am. But even I can find nothing wanting in this woman. She is the woman.
Is this love? I am not sure, for I have never known this before. As she has no companions abroad her ship, she comes to Círdan's place often. And I stay with Círdan as he holds true to our bonds of kinship. So we are often thrown together. I daresay she is older than me…and wiser.
Whenever I see her, my wit and words fail me. I am worse than a naïve, stuttering man who has seen his first elf. Oh, cousin, I desperately need your counsel, for I am torn between wanting to see her more, spend all the time I have with her, and then wanting to avoid her, the power she has over me frightens me.
I find myself trying to make her smile…and when she smiles, it is as if the sun and the moon and the stars are all glowing down upon me. When she takes my arm, I feel shivers down my spine. When she speaks at dinners, I feel it is only to me. Am I going mad?
Cousin-mine, please come to Mithlond. I need your advice and more desperately, your comforting presence. I am lost. At nights, I can dream only of her, her radiant features lit by a soft smile, her warm body caressed by the Vanyarin silk, her golden curls streaming after her.
Thranduil leant back in the chair, his eyes distant as he gazed upon the dawn. The sun was rising above the treeline, bathing the skies in a golden red. Resolutely, he began rifling through the scrolls on his dead father's desk.
I shall not give up my love for her. Her brothers and father have warned me to stay away from her. They have threatened me with dire consequences should I presume to act upon her declaration of love.
How could they even think that I might tear myself away from her voluntarily? I love her, as deeply, as purely, as wholly, as you love the sea. It is not lust, it is not infatuation, it is not affection. What consumes me is fire, the fire of love. I cannot live without her by my side. I would sail with her, if she asks me to. But I can never give her up.
Would you let me sail? Celeborn will be a better administrator than me anyway. Now that the war is intensifying, I wish to go forth to the battlefields as a leader of our people. It is my duty. But after our victory, for we shall win with the might of the Valar by our side, I wish to marry her.
We have already promised ourselves to each other for eternity. We are bound in heart, body and soul. As we are both of age, not even her kin can break our bonds, for it was hallowed by Eru. I do not regret it, for we fear being torn apart. Now that we are bound, her father will definitely listen to reason and bless our union.
It was magical, my dear friend. It was bliss. I will never forget the sun rising over the sea as we merged into one on the sands, with the waves crashing upon the shore. If I die afield, I shall die knowing that I die for her. It seems the worthiest cause any soul could have.
I live for her, and I shall live with her, whatever be the consequences.
Oropher of Doriath."
Thranduil felt bitterness rise in his throat as he thought of the consequences that Oropher had faced.
"My Lord," Thalion's voice was concerned, "are you well?"
"Indeed." Thranduil rose to his feet limply. "Ready the audience chamber of the king, Thalion. I shall hold court today."
Thalion seemed to be on the verge of protest, but with a last, sadly wistful glance the healer walked out of the room. Thranduil turned back to the desk and gathered up the scrolls. He would read them all, whatever pain they caused him. His father had never told him about his past. But now, he was determined to know.
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.