6. Galadriel's hands are stained
With every swing of her sword, every flash of her blade, she was protecting something. With every severed limb and every last second of life flashing through their eyes, she was making good on his promises. Wading through gore and fire and ash had become the normal, and it seemed as if each day brought more of the same. This was not true, of course; she could distinctly remember days of rest, of medical attention, of fierce councils and fiery eyes, but swiftly following each would be more battles, more fighting, and more death. And with the proliferation of those blood-soaked days, it was getting harder and harder for her to distinguish elf from man from orc. Her mind knew that the forms she was chopping down were twisted and black, but her eyes saw her Telerin kin, and her ears heard the screams of their children.
She was ambitious and driven, fierce in all the ways of her cousins. She may have once denied her uncle a strand of hair, but when it came down to it she followed him and his forces through hell, and as such, straight to it.
It was a blessed relief when she made her home in Doriath for a time, courted by Celeborn and admired by many. Outwardly she flourished, holding counsel with Melian and singing with Luthien, but deep inside she stagnated, mind swirling with the colors of blood and mire, knowing that the great forest with its easy peace was not her place.
And through the long years, no matter where she travelled, no matter where she ruled, she was not content. In Lorien, she thought she might at last have found comfort and beauty, and her people nigh on worshipped her as magnificent, as the most magical being there was and could ever be.
She knew better, though.
Galadriel knew that her subordinates saw her as immovable. Wise. Fair beyond comprehension, with the power to see beyond time itself. Her kind, wonderful husband thought the same, she realized, and it was then that she knew that Lorien could never truly be her home. If they saw her as such, then she must have been acting the part perfectly – her ferocity had not waned, it was simply hidden. They expected her to sit at councils and offer sage advice, when she knew that her place was on the battlefield, splitting helms and gashing bodies, just like the rest of the forces she had once been part of, long ago. She could not deny this part of her soul any more than she could deny her bond to Celeborn.
And so she strapped on gauntlets and pulled over her head the finest mail shirts while her handmaidens twittered in the background, hands darting out nervously and voices rising in worry. Ignoring them was no hardship, and by the time her armor was in place and her hair braided up, her husband was ready with his own. They would ride out together as they had never done before, for where the one went so did the other, and they would make this battle one to remember.
She saw silver hair and fearful faces all around her on the plain, and it was difficult to recall that they were not the ones she was fighting to kill on this day.
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.