1. Captured Star
Frodo and Sam stood in the darkness of Cirth Ungol. Frodo drew out the Phial of Galadriel and held it up, dispelling the shadows which swirled about them. He cried aloud in defiance of the darkness.
"Hail, Eärendil. Brightest of the stars!"
But eyes began to appear in the darkness, glistening in the silver light of the Phial. They were terrible eyes and they began to advance towards the terrified Hobbits.
Frodo and Sam, horror-stricken began slowly to back away, their own gaze held by the dreadful stare of those baleful eyes; but as they backed so the eyes advanced. Frodo's hand wavered and slowly the Phial drooped. Then suddenly, released from the holding spell to run a little in vain panic for the amusement of the eyes, they both turned and fled together; but even as they ran, Frodo looked back and saw with terror that at once the eyes came leaping up behind. The stench of death was like a cloud about him.
Then, a gentle voice spoke from behind Frodo.
"Hail, Frodo, Ringbearer!"
All time froze as Frodo spun about. A tall, dark haired man, whose face was more like to an Elf than a man, stood in the shadows. He was clad in Elven gems and on his brow was bound the fairest jewel imaginable. A green gem, wrought as a brooch in the shape of flying eagle, was pinned to his breast.
Frodo's mouth dropped open in surprise, then he fell to his knees.
"Hir nîn, Earendil!" he cried. (1)
"Now, little one," the man said, walking forward and raising the Hobbit to his feet. "We are equals, are we not? We are both bearers of great Power, but neither of us are wielders." Then, he gently touched the star-glass held tight in Frodo's hand. "You have captured the light of my Silmaril," he murmured. "If I could stay with you and help you with the light of my gem, I would, but it cannot be. Remember, in the darkness, when all other lights go out, I am with you. I will watch over you, and your glass shall guide you. Now go. A i giliath tirith le!" (2)
In a shimmer of light, the guardian of the last Silmaril vanished from sight.
"Namárië, hir nîn," Frodo murmured. "Namárië." (3)
Frodo raised the star-glass high in front of him and turned bravely back to meet the terror. As he did so, time was restored to it's rightful measure and the battle continued.
"Stand, stand!" he cried desperately. "Running is no use!"
Slowly the eyes crept nearer.
Then, he lifted up the Phial once more. The eyes halted. For a moment their regard relaxed, as if some hint of doubt troubled them. Then Frodo's heart flamed within him, and without thinking what he did, whether it was folly or despair or courage, he took the Phial in his left hand, and with his right hand drew his sword. Sting flashed out, and the sharp Elven-blade sparkled in the silver light, but at it's edges a blue fire flickered. Then, holding the star aloft, and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, Hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes.
*March 25th, 3019. In Ithilien.*
"Hir nîn? Eärendil?"
"Nay, Frodo. It is I, Aragorn. Walk no more in the shadows, but awake!"
Slowly, Frodo opened his eyes. He was laying on a soft white bed in a tree covered pavilion. Aragorn sat beside him, holding his hand, and Gandalf stood near, watching.
"What a dream I've had! Hullo, Gandalf! Hullo, Aragorn! Aragorn, my dear friend, has anyone ever told you how much you look like your ancestor Eärendil?"
Aragorn and Gandalf looked at the Hobbit in surprise. Aragorn blinked for a moment, and Gandalf coughed. Frodo smiled up at them from his mound of pillows.
"Truly," he said. "And that brooch of yours! Why it looks almost exactly like the original!" (4)
"Frodo, my dear lad," Gandalf chuckled. "You can learn everything about Hobbits in a month, but after a hundred years, they can still surprise you! Welcome back!" (5)
- (1) "My lord, Eärendil!"
- (2) "And the stars guard you!"
- (3) "Farewell!
- (4) The Elessar was a stone crafted in Gondolin in the First Age for Idril, the mother of Eärendil. It was given to Eärendil who took it with him when he departed Middle Earth. The Elessar of Galadriel was a copy of Eärendil's made for Galadriel by Celbrimbor, (the smith who crafted the Three Rings.) When Galadriel was given Nenya she no longer needed the Elessar so she passed it on to Celebrian who gave it to Arwen who asked for it to be given to Aragorn. To learn more of the Elessar and the history of Galadriel in general, read Tolkien's "Unfinished Tales."
- (5) Slight paraphrase of Gandalf's famous line from FotR