10. Love lies stately
Prompt: Himring: Write a story or poem or create artwork where characters make sacrifices in order to achieve their goals.
They'd been children together: even then, he'd been surpassing steady. No boyish tricks, despite Variel's baiting.
He'd revenged himself at twenty-five: taken her hand, and, steady-burning soul, ere nightfall, her pledge and more beside.
They'd married happily, hopeful children would come swiftly.
Fifteen years passed. Variel miscarried thrice, was so ill after the third, she'd to persuade him to another attempt.
Alas, 'twas not to be: Eilariel came too soon.
"We'll manage," he promises. Variel answers him the only wise way...
But next morn, she returns his ring. "For our people," she says, painfully. "Find another, Arathorn!"
Author's notes: Arathorn married when he was, in his father-in-law's words, "a stern man of full age," by which Dírhael meant to say, he was fifty-seven. That seems a bit long to wait to fulfill those dynastic obligations. And would the Dúnedain really put up with two generations of Heirs who refused to marry for ridiculously long periods of time, especially given that Aragorn inherited after two back-to-back assassinations? Perhaps they would. Or perhaps it's not implausible to impute an earlier marriage to Arathorn...
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