4. Wishful (Elvish) Thinking
Galdor walked out of the Council, dumbfounded. Almost in a daze, Cirdan's messenger, once of Gondolin, before that of Nevrast, sought an old friend.
Glorfindel he found in one of the many gardens, sitting crosslegged, face drawn with tension.
"That was ... it was.." Galdor's voice trailed off weakly.
"A council at which all but those few who had already, and in advance, made the important decisions, were mere spectators?" The Golden Flower laughed mirthlessly. "Have we not sat in such councils before? Turgon's were not dissimilar, as I recall."
"At least Turgon's councils were his own!" Galdor replied fiercely. "He was no one's..."
He halted. Speaking openly against Elrond was rarely wise. Though the Peredhel was far from being vindictive or insecure, nonetheless those beneath him could only go so far without risking censure.
Even Erestor, who had departed the valley in a black fury (and fully armed), saying that if Imladris had become an abode of puppets and fools, and his councils were to be cast aside like so much chaff, at least he would not sit in safety while others risked their lives - had not mentioned Elrond by name.
Glorfindel stood and put his hand on his old friend's shoulder. "Yet you are mistaken, old friend. Not all was decided in advance. Frodo's decision to bear the Ring was his own, and made just now, before all of us."
Galdor frowned. "The Halfling is brave beyond doubt, and perhaps even capable, after a fashion. I doubt not that he will journey far and overcome many perils ere Sauron captures him."
"He will not go alone, my friend. Were the companions chosen today not worthy?"
Galdor shook his head, not in denial but in exasperation. "Surely. Mithrandir we know. Aragorn I know by reputation, and Boromir is obviously a warrior of surpassing prowess, as far as Mortals go. Legolas is not a poor choice - his skill with the bow is justly famed. It is fine to trust to friendship, and Frodo should have at least one other of his own kind along to support him - Samwise will do. Even the Dwarf, I would not object to, were this not a mission of stealth!"
Glorfindel smiled. "Two remain to be chosen. I am certain that Elrond will choose them well."
"Then you will be accompanying them?"
"Surely. While I am not one for stealth, neither is Mithrandir. And why was I sent back to Ennor, if not to help bring about the defeat of Sauron? Who is to say that the Fellowship will not split? I am certain that some will journey to with Frodo to Orodruin, while others strike elsewhere. Surely Sauron will need to be greatly distracted for Frodo's mission to succeed."
Hope awakened in Galdor's heart. Yes, Mithrandir, Glorfindel and two others - Elrohir and Elladan or perhaps Inglor - could do this. Small companies of Elves had, after all, done rather more than 'distract' Sauron, in the past.
Though, Galdor thought, four was still too small a strength for such a mission of diversion. Might Celeborn join the Fellowship in Lorien? Might his own Lord journey south by sea, and thence up Anduin? If so, he thought, he would gladly follow Cirdan to whatever end.
Or might perhaps yet other Great Ones join the Fellowship? Galdor knew to a certainty, for Cirdan had told him so, that both Daeron of Doriath and Maglor Feanorion still lived in Ennor. Both could stand against any servants of the Enemy, and wield both sword and song to great effect. The most astounding feat of 'arms' Galdor had seen, in all his long years, had been Daeron standing off and ultimately driving back a large force of Orcs near-singlehandedly, through the sheer power of his voice.
Unfortunately, Galdor had no idea where Daeron might be. But if any Elf knew Maglor's whereabouts, it would be Erestor his kinsman. Perhaps more lay behind the counsellor's seemingly rash departure than met the eye. Erestor was known to him as both canny and shrewd - he'd not obtained his position through the sort of behavior he'd displayed on this day.
The ancient Sinda smiled. Yes, Elrond was both wise and subtle, and was Lord of Imladris for good reason.
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