Gwenare and Eoden - Chapter One: The Unexpected Meeting
It was a cool autumn evening. Lord Celeborn was sitting talking with his son-in-law, Eldaran. They were discussing the need to help the neighboring land of Rohan. Rohan was a peasant land with little medical supplies and aid. The Elves on the other hand were quite wealthy in this area. They had gifts beyond what any mortal man could dream of. "Allavern and I both agree that we should use our gifts to help others, especially those who are less fortunate," Eldaran began. "We have even discussed this with our children. They all agree and want to help us in this endeavor."
Lord Celeborn began, "If this is your wish, then you have mine and the Lady's blessing. Indeed we must help those who are less fortunate. The people of Rohan are indeed good and decent people. The race of men is not all bad. One day it will be the race of men who decide the fate of Middle Earth. We must help and guide them."
With that, it was done. Eldaran and his family had the blessing of the Lord and Lady of the Wood. This was important to them because they wanted the blessing of their rulers, but most importantly of their family. For you see, Eldaran was married to Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel's youngest daughter, Allavern. The elder sister married Lord Elrond and dwelt in Rivendell with their three children: Lords Elrohir and Elladan (twins) and the Lady Arwen. One must know this to understand the story later. For cousins can be closer than siblings.
Eldaran and Allavern had three children of their own. Lord Ellavarr was the first born. Eldaran was overjoyed at the birth of a son. Almost a year later, the second son came, Ellamarr. Again, joy was in their heart and in the Golden Wood.
Eldaran was proud of his sons, but he secretly yearned for a daughter; a daughter who would tenderly call him, "Adda"; a daughter who would see him as her one and only hero; a hero who would chase the dragons and orcs out of her life. He had no sisters and the one niece he did have lived very far away.
His dream came true five years later with the birth of Lady Gwenare. His heart was overflowing with love and pride. She was the most beautiful baby girl. She looked just like her mother.
Ellavarr and Ellamarr took to her immediately. They were very protective of her, too protective at times; but they still had their fun. They loved to aggravate their little sister. She never ran to their father though. She was tough and they knew it. They even taught her to ride a horse and fight like they did. In time she became a much better archer than they were.
Lady Gwenare had a simple, but privileged life as an elf, an heir in Lorien. Her life would forever change when her father discussed the needs of the people of Rohan. Her heart was big and she felt for these people. She wanted to help them in any way she could.
For hundreds of years, her family would make a difference in the lives of the people of Rohan. But the time came when the lives of those living in Middle Earth would be forever changed. It was during this time, that some say Eldaran's decision to help Rohan could have destroyed the elves of Lorien.
Eldaran and his family made the trip to Rohan many times, too many to count to be precise. They traveled to the outer most villages. They even made it to Edoras, the capital, on several occasions.
The men of Rohan were enthralled by Lady Gwenare's beauty. She had long, curly, golden hair just like her mother and grandmother, the Lady of the Wood. She had a small build, but was quite proportional for her height and toned as well. She had the most gorgeous eyes. They were a pale shade of lavender. They could easily put you in a trance and legend had it that they would. Her thick lashes accented her eyes and made them stand out even more. She was an excellent rider, as most elves are. She had a way of talking to them that even her elder brothers did not have. She was soft spoken, but could get quite loud at times. This happened mostly when her elder brothers were determined to aggravate her. This happened mostly in Caras Galadhon, but occasionally in Rohan.
The men of Rohan couldn't believe that Eru had created such a beautiful creature. Of course, they knew they mustn't fall in love with her. Elves and mortal men didn't mix, not in that way. But Eru had other plans. He created love not to be a respecter of persons, especially if one is willing to give and receive it.
One young man knew this. He knew loving an elf was forbidden, but he couldn't help himself. A higher power was in control he believed. He agreed that Lady Gwenare was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. But he fell head over heels in love with her after his meeting with her one spring day.
Eoden was a young man and an accomplished rider. He had been a Rohirrim for some time. He had a special gift with horses. The Rohirrim called him Eoden: Horse Whisperer. He learned this from his father, Eomren. His younger brother, Eothen, however didn't believe in this. He was all about the "old way" of breaking horses. "He has a lot to learn," thought Eoden, but he loved him still.
Their mother had not been well since their father's death because she was in deep despair. Eoden had heard that elves could die from this, and he feared that it would kill their mother as well. He didn't mention this to Eothen, though. Eothen and his mother were very close just as Eoden was close to his father.
Eoden was tall with a medium build. His muscles were strong and well defined. He had shoulder length, blonde hair. He had a close cut beard which made him look like a man of distinction. His eyes were as blue as the deep blue sky. One could find themselves lost in his eyes very quickly. Many young girls and women of Rohan swooned after him. If he knew this, he didn't acknowledge it. He thought himself no better than anyone else. He certainly felt that he was not all that good looking. He was a very modest, honest, hard-working man. He had been called honorable on more than one occasion. He would be called this again and by those who have much higher expectations of men.
It was a cool, spring morning. Eoden and Eothen were working with the horses. Eoden was trying to teach Eothen how to whisper to them. Eothen was a difficult student who chose to be a slow learner. "You must be patient, Eothen. Edoras was not built in a day!" Eoden scolded.
"I know brother! Why do you treat me as if I'm a baby! I'm quite grown up! I'm seventeen years old now. You are only two and a half years my elder and you're NOT my father!" Eothen hollered back.
Eoden hung his head saddened by the anger in his brother. Their father's death was difficult for both, but especially Eothen. It killed Eothen to see their mother in such pain. Eoden responded very calmly, "I know I'm not your father. I'm not trying to be or replace him. I'm only trying to help you reach your goal of becoming a Rohirrim like me. It will take time, but you can do it. Patience you must learn first."
"Patience I don't have, brother. No one can become a Rohirrim as fast as you did, but I will try. I will succeed! I can do this and I don't need patience to do it!" He was beginning to scream at his brother again. Lord Eomer had heard and was taking note of this and Eoden knew it. He had to reign in his brother if Eothen was to become a Rohirrim. Lord Eomer respected Eoden, but he didn't care for his hot headed brother. Eoden had his work cut out for him. It wouldn't be easy, but he would make a Rohirrim out of Eothen yet.
Lady Gwenare had walked upon this encounter between brothers. Neither had detected her since elves were super quiet. She felt for each brother. It was apparent of the sadness and pain they felt over loosing their father. She could feel it and smell it in the air. She agreed with the elder, Eoden. "Patience is a virtue" or so her grandfather, Lord Celeborn always told her.
She quietly stepped closer and listened. Eothen said, "I'll break a horse in my way and you break a horse in your way, brother. We will see who the better man is!" Eothen had noticed Lady Gwenare by now and was determined to impress her with his masculine skills. That's what he thought anyway.
Galdor was an impressive and mighty black stallion with a definite mind of his own. He had no intentions of being ridden by any mortal man, especially this arrogant pipsqueak. He detested Eothen and Eothen knew it. Galdor respected his elder brother and even considered allowing Eoden to ride him, but not now. Galdor would make sure that Eothen fell on his face in the mud before he was done with him. Galdor winked at the beautiful she-elf standing by the fence. She smiled back as if she knew what he was going to do.
Eoden became very nervous for his brother. He had also noticed Lady Gwenare for she stood very close to him. So close he could smell the faint scent of morning dew on the leaves, for that is what she smelled like. He knew his brother would try something stupid to impress her. "Be careful. Galdor is no ordinary stallion. He needs and demands to be respected," Eoden called.
"I agree with him," replied Lady Gwenare. Eoden looked at her and smiled. She smiled back at him; her eyes penetrating into his very soul. This exchange did not go unnoticed for Lord Eomer was watching with great concern. Great concern not only for Eothen and his stupidity, but for Eoden as well. Her Elven brothers, Lords Ellavarr and Ellamarr, had also noticed this from there spot next to one of the stables. They furrowed their brows and made a point to discuss this with their sister. She must not realize what she is doing.
Eothen called back, "I'll teach this horse a new trick or two."
"Oh he will" thought Galdor. "Let the fun begin" he thought. He was running around the arena as fast as he could and snorting intensely.
Eoden noticed this and he could feel the tenseness in Galdor's flesh. He felt it as if the tenseness was his own. Lady Gwenare sensed and smelled it too. She could also hear the heartbeat in his strong and majestic body.
"He's going to get himself killed!" Eoden finally spoke. He was starting to climb over the fence when Lady Gwenare placed her hand on his arm. He immediately felt something wonderful, but yet strange. Something almost intoxicating filled every fiber of his being. He had never felt like this before and he liked, no loved it. The others watching could all see the most gentlest of touches, a forbidden touch thought the Elven brothers. They could smell and sense the danger that laid ahead for their sister because this touch had invoked feelings that should not have been unleashed.
"Let him be. My father has always told me we must learn from our mistakes. Galdor won't kill him. I promise," Gwenare gently spoke. It was as if she spoke with authority. Her lavender eyes again penetrated the very depths of Eoden's soul.
Eoden obediently climbed down from the fence while she spoke to Galdor in her own tongue. Galdor made a sound similar to a laugh, but never stopped his running. Soft snickering could be heard on the wind. Lords Ellavarr and Ellamarr thought this exchange to be quite funny. "What did you say to Galdor milady?" asked Eoden.
She replied, "I told him to have a little fun, but don't hurt him too badly and don't kill him." They both began snickering at this. He stepped a little closer to her, so that their arms were touching, as they began to watch the scene unfold before their eyes. Her scent penetrated his nostrils and he was immediately intoxicated by her very presence.
Again the Elven brothers picked up on this. They began to approach, but were held back by their mother, Allavern. She had approached earlier and was also watching the scene between the two. She told them to let Gwenare be. They were astonished at this for all of Lorien knew that Gwenare would one day be the Lady of the Wood when Galadriel and their mother sailed into the west. It was no secret to anyone. This was forbidden! They could sense the danger and their mother was condoning it. They were in utter shock. They would speak to their father about this when they returned to Lorien. They would even mention this to their grandfather, Lord Celeborn.
Meanwhile, Eothen was watching Galdor intently. He was memorizing his every move. He was determined that he would break this horse even if it killed them both. He was jumping around like a jack rabbit waiting to begin his run and jump on his back. Forget trying to put a saddle on him because he had already tried and failed. He was going to ride this horse bareback. He began to run alongside of Galdor. Galdor's pace quickened. Eothen thought, "What is wrong with you? You never run this fast! Don't you dare make me look bad in front of Lady Gwenare! I'll beat you if you do!" Eothen quickened his pace and soon leapt upon Galdor's back. He had to hang on to his neck for dear life. Galdor was making awful sounds, flailing around, and he kicked up his back legs to where Eothen thought he would surely be pitched forward on his head. Little did he know that Galdor wasn't going to let him off that easy. He was going to have some fun with this one. Galdor was running so fast around the arena that Eothen thought he would surely vomit. He was holding on so tight, his knuckles were as white as snow. Galdor was approaching a huge mud hole. "Enough of this foolishness," Galdor thought. He reared back onto his back legs. Eothen had to grab onto Galdor's mane to stay on him. This infuriated Galdor; he had enough and sent the boy flying into the air. Eothen landed face first into a mud hole.
The onlookers said nothing. They made no attempt to move to help. Lord Eomer had joined Eoden and Lady Gwenare by now. The Elven brothers still looked from afar off. Their mother had left them earlier.
Eothen was enraged at what had happened. He was humiliated by this animal that was thought to be a great stallion. He didn't hear any laughter, not even a snicker. He felt deep within his bones that everyone was laughing inside.
In truth, they were not. They waited and watched as Eothen got up out of the mud. They were all relieved that he was alright. Eothen glared at the trio next to the fence. He was full of anger and wanted to blame Eoden, but he knew he could not. He walked past them and went straight towards their home. He was sure that the lady Gwenare was not impressed with him. "No, she thought he was a fool. Eoden will take care of her, I suppose," Eothen thought. He had noticed how close they both were standing to one another. This enraged him even more. He kicked several small pebbles along the way and even threw a few out over the wall.
"This is not a good start for him if he wants to become a Rider," Lord Eomer began. He continued, "I trust your opinion completely, Eoden, but your brother is too explosive to be a Rohirrim." Eoden could tell what was coming next, or so he thought. "Listen, we will discuss this matter and others later. Meet me right before nightfall in the first stable. We can talk there." Lord Eomer knew he could not address these issues in front of the Lady Gwenare, for she was one of them.
While Lord Eomer and Eoden talked, Galdor approached Lady Gwenare. He nuzzled her as if he had known her all his life. Elves had a way with horses that no mortal man could rival, not even the horsemasters. She affectionately stroked his mane and began speaking to him in her own tongue.
When Lord Eomer was finished, Eoden hung his head. He dreaded this meeting for he knew it would concern his brother. He had to do something about his brother's temper. Eothen had to simmer down if he was to become a Rohirrim. He tried to think on this, but the scent of Lady Gwenare came again to his nostrils. He was forced to return to reality and glanced her way. He watched as she gently stroked the massive stallion, Galdor. Galdor appeared to be a different beast around her. Eoden thought how strange this was, but realized he was a different man around her. Something about her penetrated into his very soul. It consumed him as nothing else did. She turned to him and smiled. He returned the smile.
"That went well," was all he could say. She looked at him for a moment. Those eyes, those eyes, what is it about those eyes?
She couldn't help but laugh at this. "Indeed, it did. I told you Galdor wouldn't kill him.
He snickered and began, "Indeed, you did."
She continued, "Galdor doesn't like your brother, I'm afraid. He does, however, respect you greatly. He loves the way you talk to him."
He looked at her and was very puzzled by this. "How do you know this, milady?"
"He told me of course." She saw the puzzled expression on his face. She continued with a smile, "Elves can speak to horses of course."
"Oh, right." he said. He had heard this of course, but had forgotten it. He was so mesmerized by her right now. All he wanted to do was hold her tight and kiss her, but that was forbidden. She was saying something, but he didn't hear.
"Eoden..... Eoden..... Eoden, I sense you are far away." she replied.
"I'm sorry milady, what were you saying." he managed to reply.
"You have many burdens on your shoulders since your father's death." She gently touched his face with her hand. "What am I doing here," she thought. "There's something about this man that I can not explain. He draws me in as a honey draws a bear. This is forbidden. I must go, but I can't move. I feel paralyzed by his presence."
Eoden was in utter shock by this touch. He felt like lightning had just entered his body and was setting him aflame. He knew that any minute he would soar to the sky and explode like Gandalf's fireworks.
Ellavarr and Ellamarr had seen enough. They were on the two within seconds. "My dearest sister, we must go. Time is passing by and we must reach our campsite by nightfall," Ellavarr spoke with authority. Ellamarr glared at Eoden, trying to read him, but was not able to.
Eoden could sense the tension in both of the brothers. He felt like shrinking under the stare of the one, but he would not do so. He had done nothing wrong and would not be intimidated by the Elven brothers.
"You're right, my brothers. We must go." She looked at Eoden with longing in her eyes, "Goodbye. Do not give up on Eothen. He will yet be a Rohirrim, I promise." She turned away quickly and followed her brothers toward their horses. She was glad for this interruption and saddened by it as well. She was so confused by her feelings. She had never felt like this toward anyone, especially a mortal. She had been around the men of Rohan for hundreds of years; and not one had ever made her heart skip a beat. She needed to talk to her mother about this or maybe even her cousin.
The trio left upon their horses riding out of the city. Their parents joined up with them at the bottom of the hill. Eldaran and Allavern could sense something was different... wrong. They would have to talk to their children in Caras Galadhon, within the security and secrecy of the Wood, because they also sensed their children would not speak about it until then. They all rode in silence until they reached their campsite on the banks of the Entwash.