3. And You, My Father
-The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,
Book Two, Chapter Eight-Farewell to Lórien
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
-Dylan Thomas, Do not Go Gentle into that Good Night
"Have you truly made up your mind, Celebrían?"
"Yes, atar, truly." Replies she.
"That is good, all right," I say. "I would not want you to depart still questioning your decision."
Standing at the edge of Caras Galadhon, anxious thoughts race through my mind. Will she truly find peace in Valinor? Will she despair and fade if separated from her Kin? But I say naught, I trust my daughters judgement. I absently pick the yellow blossom, fallen from a mellyrn-tree from my shoulder, and try to think of something to say to my Daughter. Some words of comfort, or of wisdom, or of love, but words fail me, and we stand in silence. Though I love her well, I have never shared the firm bond of fatherly affection for her, and I found it startling that she should ask for a private audience with me and not her mother first.
"Well, atar?" bottled frustration and confusion finally burst out, and I survey Celebrían in mild surprise. Rarely has my daughter ever raised her voice at anyone, much less her parents. "Will you not reprimand me, chide me, question me? Will you not reassure me, or comfort me, or counsel me? Will you not damn or bless me? Are you merely going to stand there stoically till I take my leave?" I see that there are tears in her eyes, threatening to spill over.
"Do you despise me for abandoning my Kinsmen?" she chokes out. "If so, curse me! If not, why will you not love me?"
The years of maturity and wisdom seem to have fallen from Celebrían, the one standing before me is not Celebrían, Lady of Rivendell, Wife and Mother, but Celebrían, daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. This is the young babe of so long ago who used to try to scale mallorn-trees and play Galadriel's harp. The elf-child who so oft sang with her mother songs and Elven hymns. The one who would slip her hand into Galadriel's, who would run to her Mother every night for a kiss and a cuddle. Her mother. Never her father. In this moment of hurt and remembrance, I suddenly see one last image of Celebrían, one that I have failed to notice in all my years.
The young elf-maiden, so awed by her father, who desperately wanted to please him, to earn his approval, who would be willing to do anything for even a slight smile, a small hint of love from him. And now, the same elf-maiden seeking consent and love from her father. It was my wife who cared enough to spend every waking minute with her, it was Galadriel who knew her story, the story in which I played but a small part.
Have I really grown so distant from my daughter? Ai, Elbereth Gilthoniel forgive me, 'tis my fault, it is my fault and not hers, it was never hers.
"Celebrían, nin muin sell," I sigh, gathering my daughter into my arms.
And that is enough for the two of us.
She clings to me as I embrace her, tears leaking out from her eyes and spilling onto my robe. But not tears of frustration. Tears of joy, and of forgiveness. Words are not needed, words fail to express my regret and sorrow. But I know that I am forgiven.
"You had best go see your Mother now," I tell my daughter. "She is waiting for you."
Pulling away, Celebrían dries her eyes with a kerchief and smiles at me, a ray of sunshine peeping through the swirls of gloom that has engulfed her life.
"Come daughter, let us go," I say, turning, and she slips her hand into mine. I look at her, startled, though I can not help but smile. I see beyond the pain in her eyes to the faint flicker of happiness as we walk into Calas Galadhon.
"I have yet to bid you farewell, atar," she comments.
"Nay daughter, 'farewell' is but a word that adds more gloom to sorrow, speak it not to me." I say. "But how will you face Elrond and your children?"
She sighs, her fair face distressed, brow furrowed.
"I will face them." Is her answer. "It will not be easy, but I will face them."
Again we lapse into silence, though it is not the awkward tension, but a comfortable, pensive stillness of two deep in thought. When at last we draw near to the foot of my dwelling, the tall mallorn-tree with its grey trunk and yellow blossoms, where Galadriel is waiting, our pace slackens.
"Would you prefer to converse in private with your mother?" I ask Celebrían. "If so, I will retreat, for also have matters to attend to."
"Thank you, atar," She reaches up to kiss my cheek. "There, that is my parting gift to you. Know that even when I have passed over the Sea, there will never be a day where I will not think of you, or of naneth."
"Truly, dearest daughter?" my voice betrays my feelings, the slight note of grief in it.
"Truly atar," The bittersweet smile of sorrow is upon her face. "Truly."
Remember the Earth. Through it you stand firm.
Remember the Sea. She sings to you.
Remember the Wind, and the cool gentle breeze.
Remember your Children, they will remember you.
Remember your Spouse, who loves you well.
Remember your Mother. She took your hand,
And led you into the World.
Remember your Father. He gave you life.
*Nin muin sell--my dearest daughter
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.