Nerdanel's Story - Part 11 Sons. #3 Maitimo.


(Disclaimer; all character's are JRR Tolkien's. Only the interpretation of the story is mine. Arnónë is my character. Ondoriel, Narwasar, and Elemáinie are my beta reader's characters. All references are from The Silmarillion and HoME 10 and 12.)



"Seven sons she bore to Fëanor; her mood she bequeathed in part to some of them, but not to all."

The Silmarillion. `Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor.'



The house of Curufinwë Fëanáro. Tirion. Seventh Age.



How can a mother say farewell to her children, knowing that in all probability she will not see them again! What are the right words for such a parting? `Namarië'*? It does not suffice! My sons, who were born not to die, were being led most likely to their deaths, and by their own father! Despite my best efforts, I had not been able to turn Fëanáro from his determined course of action; neither had I managed to persuade him to leave any of our children with me! I had lost them all! I do not think I fully appreciated what that warning of Aulë, `Take no part in the rebellion, for it will lead only to death', was to mean until much later. But the oath; that blasphemous oath of possession our sons had all freely taken in support and love of their father, I knew what that would mean!


Was it in my mind that sometime I would seek to follow them; I would leave Aman, even as Fëanáro had said I would? If I could have, I would have gone with them then, wrong though I believed them to be in departing without at least the blessings of the Valar! Was I not aghast at the destruction of the Two Trees? Did I not grieve for the murder of King Finwë? Did I not at that time want vengeance as much as almost any other? I knew what his father and what the Silmarils meant to my husband, and I hated Morgoth for what he had done to us! But an oath I also had made, and to that did I needs must hold!


"And what of the oath that thou didst make unto me, and on the day we were wed? Hast thou forgotten that, in thy loyalty to the Valar? Though it take many hundred years, yet in the end wilt thou remember who and what thou art, Lady!" had Fëanáro said to me in that, our final meeting. A reminder of Mandos' words to him at his first exile was he making to me! A reminder that he considered me still deceived! "Though thou doest desert me again, thou wilt come after me, and after our sons. For in thy heart dost thou know where thy loyalty should lie, were it not for the cloud of half-truths with which Aulë has cozened thee and thy kin! Aye, and mayhap I will be of a mood to heed thee when thou dost recall what it is to be my wife, instead of a stranger!"

Harsh words we both spoke on that day, Fëanáro and I. Words born from pain and thwarted hopes. But of that will I write in due course.



In urgency had I tried to find all of our sons before the host left Tirion. Difficult it was, however, for the darkness seemed to enter the heart and mind, draining all life and will into itself. Many torches and lamps had been lit, as crowds of our people thronged the streets of our once fair city seeking for family and friends, and, for the most part, making ready to depart Aman! To say `farewell' was my wish, not to try and dissuade any from leaving. I knew after my words with Fëanáro that nothing I could say to my family would deter them. What could I have said that they had not heard already? In what manner could I have implored Curvo* that Nolwen had not already tried? How could I have reached Carnistir*, devoted to me though he was, when Turindë had failed! Even Makalaurë*, even he had heeded not the plea of his lady! Nay, always first to them, always their bright flame was their father, and in that time of the greatest darkness and despair, to him alone did they look for light! That I understood, for was it not in my heart also to look to him for a way forward? But by then did I know that the lies of Morgoth had ensnared my husband, and the darkness had entered his fëa through his overwhelming grief.


I remember coming upon Maitimo*, leaving our house for the final time. Striding towards the main steps was he, red cloak and copper-brown hair flying back in his hurry. A great sense of purpose did he have, being commissioned by Fëanáro, as my husband had earlier told me, to order the ranks of those still loyal to him. Maitimo would keep watch on those lords of Nolofinwë's House who would yet cause further dissention. For our eldest son, who had felt most keenly the anguish of not being able to prevent the death of his grandsire at Formenos, neither prevent the theft of the Silmarils in his father's absence, was this focus of action most welcome.

He saw me at once, and drew close, pushing his way through a group of those loyal to our House; sweeping me a low and most elegant bow of acknowledgement. But his eyes, as he stood again upright, held much sorrow.

"I understand your decision, Lady mother, though with all my heart do I wish you had chosen otherwise, and were yet coming with us!"

There was no time for pleasantries, no time for discussion. "Look after them, Maitimo!" had I uttered with all the dignity yet left to me. I lightly kissed his cheek, but then made to step back, not wishing to act in any manner that would dishonour him before the others he must command, or distress him further. "Look after your brothers, aye, and your father, if it be possible!"

I noted the pained expression on his face. Maitimo alone of our sons knew where the real issue between his father and myself lay. He knew of my hopes for the festival, which had ended with Fëanáro's open call for rebellion! The flickering light of passing torches, held aloft by those whose blood had been fired by the fierce and stirring words of my husband, made strange shadows on my son's face and hair, making him look in some manner already less real to me. Almost as a dream was it, and one from which I hoped to soon awaken! But there was to be no true awakening for me from that long night. My son simply nodded acknowledgement of my plea.


"Farewell, Mother!" And now was the urgency of the situation, the crowd of those hurrying past us, towards the stairs to the great gate, full upon him. "If you see Ondoriel, tell her that I am sorry! Tell her that I must do this thing, for I will not fail my father again!" I nodded in turn; thinking now of that daughter of Narwasar, whom I knew had given her heart's love to this son of mine in her youth. "Until our next meeting!" He raised his hand briefly in a gesture of blessing, and I did likewise. With those wistful words did my eldest son, my beautiful one, depart my presence forever!



****


The years following the birth of Nolofinwë* were, for the most part, good ones for me. Once his initial reaction of resentment had passed, Fëanáro continued in his own way, pursuing the improvement of his skills of hands and his knowledge of lore with great delight. We still continued to explore the land of Aman together. Often did we visit with Aulë in those years, and sometimes, too, with Oromë. While at the halls of that Vala, in the vast woodlands to the south of Valmar, I would spend much time with those Maiar who were part of his folk, and from them did I learn more of the nature of animals, and some small part of the ability to communicate with horse and hound and bird. Oromë alone at that time kept a stable of fine black horses, and many large and intelligent wolfhounds. I had always had much fondness for such animals, though were these bred for the chase, for the hunt of `fell creatures', Oromë had told us. I had wondered then why he spoke so. For though there had most certainly been need in past years for the pursuance of such beings, and in the Hither Lands before our people had departed them, no harm could now befall us in the Blessed Realm, no `fell creatures' walked in Aman; so did I think.



In Tirion, we lived apart from Finwë, Indis and their children, but we were not totally separated from them. Still was the love between father and son a strong and deep thing, and Finwë would pay us visit, sometimes with Findis, but never with Nolofinwë. We also spent time, at feasts and at festivals, in his halls; for we were still part of the King's family, and Fëanáro still his eldest, most beloved son. I did at times ponder what that must have meant for the growing Nolofinwë, to know but subtly, that he was always second best in his father's heart! It was not a good thing, I knew, and I sought to speak with Indis at one great feast Fëanáro and I attended. We had all been seated at the long table that had been placed upon the dais at the head of the hall, Finwë and all of his family. But Fëanáro sat to his father's right hand, and Indis to his left, with Nolofinwë and Findis beyond her. To Fëanáro alone did Finwë speak for much of the time, and at other times was there much strained silence. Attendants had served us with a wide range of delightful food, with meats and with fruits, with bread and with sweet delicacies. Wine there had been in abundance. The bards had sung most beautifully, and many a tale had been recited which should have drawn much applause. The musicians had played tunes that begged for the dance, but few of Finwë's lords assembled there, rose to their feet, and took their lady's hand. Then did I notice that the three* year old Nolofinwë, (for his father had now added `wise' to his name) had pushed back his chair, and was staring with much thought and consideration at my husband. I knew that would never do!


"Fëanáro! If you care not to eat at this time, will you not dance with me?" I drew close to my husband, and whispered most softly to his hearing alone.

"No mood am I in for food or for dance, Lady. And before you say it, I love my father greatly, but this celebration is not one I care for!"

I was not so easily deterred, however. The alternative of his noting Nolofinwë's assessing glance was more likely to cause disturbance than my encouraging him to be more forthcoming.

"You may not care for this feast, but as the chief prince here, do you not think you have a responsibility to lighten the mood of this gathering of lords, if it may be done? Nolofinwë cannot so do, at least not as well as you, Finwion!"

He always knew my game, though he knew not then how closely he was being watched. But I lay my hand on his, and gestured again to the dance floor. "You never fail to impress my family at the celebrations of the Aulenduri, my Lord!"

"The Aulenduri are easily impressed!" But he was half smiling now, and saw the possibility of changing the dour expressions on the faces of many lords as a challenge that only he could meet. "Very well then, Lady. You shall have your way, and mayhap you will change the mood of more than just myself this day!"

He rose to his feet, and called for the musicians to begin again, and with music that spoke of a formal group dance.

"Let us bring life to this place then, Nerdanel!" said he, holding out a hand to me.

So we danced there, before the King, and many a lord and lady joined with us, and soon enough was the hall full of chatter and some laughter, and folk began to make merry, as was right and proper. At one turn in the second dance, did I notice Nolofinwë now looking at me, and he smiled slightly, and inclined his head. I think I liked him then, and saw a hint of the wisdom his father had seen in him. But I did not say as much to Fëanáro at that time.

As the groups mingled, and Fëanáro began to speak more lightly, and with some of those lords who were his friends, I drew aside to speak with Indis. "What is to be done!" said I. "For your son does not receive the recognition he should when my husband is present!"

Indis sighed, and she knew there was little either of us could do to alter the mind or behaviour of Finwë, who still saw in Fëanáro the reminder of his first love, of Míriel, and had transferred that love to her son. "Nolofinwë will be true to his name." Indis replied, "and he is wise enough to know that his father also loves him!"

Now Nolofinwë himself grew swiftly, in the image of his father. Tall and dark of hair, though with grey eyes was he; proud of bearing, too, as befitted one of the King's family. But he had yet something of his mother's nature about him, something perhaps of a less impulsive mood than Fëanáro's! He was another who loved to study, though he was never as learned as my husband. But Nolofinwë was a most sociable nér, and considerate of the needs of others. He was often foremost in the sports, most particularly in tests of strength and in riding. A strong horseman was he, and little was there to choose between half-brothers in that skill!


It seemed but a short time, indeed, before Finwë's second son had reached maturity, and with the swift passing of years, did the increasing likelihood of his seeking to wed and start a family of his own arise. Yet in no hurry did he seem to be. Unlike Fëanáro, he was content enough with the life he then had, and though he spoke with and was well-liked by the ladies of the court, to none did he seem yet inclined to give his heart's love! Then, in his nineteenth year, he became betrothed to Anairë, the daughter of one of our lords, and a loremaster who was, unusually for a Noldo, most devoted to Varda!



Now it came to pass that my husband began to speak with me in earnest of his wish for us to bring forth a child!

"Long have we waited before beginning a family of our own, yet you have known of my wish to bring forth children from the start." Fëanáro had found me on the second terrace of our gardens. Sitting under a Rowan tree at the time was I, and then considering a meeting I had attended in the council of the Loremasters. He had sat upon the lawns beside me, under the shade of the tree, and sought to speak with me most considerately.

"Aye, my Lord!" I replied. "Of this do I know. And most willing am I to bear your children!"

He took up my hand to his lips, in acknowledgement of my comment. "Strong enough are you now, Lady, that I have little apprehension a child of mine will cause you great weakness. Never would I wish upon you what befell my mother; nay, neither would I wish bereavement upon myself again."

I had always known of that tension in my husband's heart, his great longing to be a father, and his concern that any child of his would be so strong in spirit that it would consume she who carried it. But I had no such fear! I did not understand, as he did! And in truth, I longed for a family of our own.

"First before my father every day is my half-brother! I will not have him first with a grandchild!" Fëanáro made reference to the simmering resentment he still felt, but which had rarely shown itself at that time.

"Nay, my Lord! Findis may yet wed, and bear a child before her brother!" I had spoken lightly, for though this was possible, we knew that Findis was most devoted to her mother, and in no great hurry to find someone of her own.

"Findis will wed late in years, if she weds at all!" Fëanáro had replied, showing a greater understanding of his half-sister than I knew. "But my half-brother is betrothed to that most pious daughter of Essilon, and will wed soon enough!"

"Then may it be that we both turn our thoughts and will, that a child may be added unto us, my Lord!" said I, with a new sense of purpose and warmth of emotion in my heart.


There came a time, soon after that day, when Fëanáro and I ventured to ride far north, and on the steep, eastern side of the Pelóri Mountains. Many of the Noldor had begun to wander the further reaches of the plains of Valinor, but at that time few had travelled much on the coastlands that stretched from Alqualondë to the Grinding Ice. A mystery to be investigated it therefore was, and one Fëanáro wished to see for himself. Araman was said to be a cold and barren shadow-land, with few features of note. The light of the Trees did not reach that place, and before we had even passed the Swan Harbour of the Teleri, were we under starlight alone. We made our first camp just north of Alqualondë, sitting on a slight incline we had found so as to better observe the city of the Teleri. It was the first time I had actually seen that place, despite Gaerion's frequent offers in my childhood to take me there. It was so beautiful, that city under the stars, for the entrance to the harbour was a sea-carved arch of living rock, lit by a multitude of candles that reflected in darkened water and on the pearl encrusted buildings, and most especially on the mansions of King Olwë. White ships there were in the harbour, made in the likeness of swans with beaks of gold, and I wondered if, at that time, the Uinenlindë was moored there.

"You think on your Teler friend?" Fëanáro read my thoughts, though little skill it took to guess them.

"Aye, Finwion," I replied. "I hope his life is a good one, and that the Valar have blessed him with joy."

"As do I!"

I was surprised at my husband's words, for I had never thought he had given Gaerion much consideration. He explained further. "I took from him that which he wanted beyond all, and I hope he has found happiness elsewhere." I felt the familiar colour rise to my face, and I lowered my eyes, yet he continued. "But you were not for him, Nerdanel. You were not meant for a Teler, or for one of your father's apprentices!" His eyes now shone with much reflected light, and much of his innate fire, as he recalled words that were surely reported to him by Alcarin years earlier. "Mine alone art thou!" he stated, and drew me to him.

Fëanáro spoke more to me of his heart and his feelings, beyond anything he had ever disclosed. And he who begged no one, he who asked for the help of none, pleaded with me to will a child between us then, for such was his mood! So much did I love him, so much did I long to give him what he desired! No need for him to ask was there, for I thought that what he wanted was my delight! I called in fëa upon Yavanna, upon Kementári who had spoken to me before I had wed. "You said, O Queen of the Earth, that you would bless me; that I would bring forth much fruit whichever path I choose! The path I chose now is to be a mother before all else! Wilt thou not answer my plea?"

Under the stars of Varda did my fëa take wing, and my husband's also. We soared together as mighty birds in flight, nigh unto the heavens! A song there was in my heart, an echo of the Music that I poured into my creations, and another song also was there.

"Think on the softening of the light of the Trees, for in that blending do they both have a power!" I heard the Maia Elemáinie's voice in my mind, and with unbounded joy did I understand! Certain was I that Yavanna had heard my call, and I was glad!


We travelled further north the next day, and for many days, until we came upon the heaviest mists we had ever encountered. Barren indeed was that land of Araman, and featureless compared to Elendë; for the shores close to Alqualondë, even the beaches north of the city, were strewn with all manner of pale gems, with the diamonds and opals that we Noldor had gifted our Teleri friends. Also were there countless pearls, that the Teleri themselves had claimed from the sea!

Cold was the air as we progressed through the mists, so unlike the constant warmth we enjoyed in Tirion. We had taken with us material for torches, and provisions enough for a long journey. On horse did we travel, with speed, and we slept infrequently. When we felt the need to take rest, we huddled again together under our cloaks, against the chill, and on my part for cheer, for my husband seemed to me the only source of warmth and joy in that forsaken place. We may have continued, even as far as the Helecaraxë, but before we traversed Oiomúrë did I realise I was, indeed, with child. The very first, faint tugs upon my fëa did I experience, as a new life at last began to slowly form within me. So was our journey to be broken short. Joyful, indeed, was Fëanáro at my news, and most eager to return to Tirion, most eager to have me in a place of comfort where he could offer as much support to me as I might need. Also was he eager to inform King Finwë that, he too, would shortly have a family!

So, with the due passing of time, was Nelyafinwë born in our house in Tirion. My Maitimo, my firstborn!

For me was it was love at first sight!


****



It has been said by some that Fëanáro cared not overly for our sons, or that, at the most, Curvo was his favourite and Ambarussa the elder was dear to him, but no more! Do not the Eldar love their children? Does love, and a deep feeling of kinship, hold not our houses together? It was even so, even with my family!

With a love nigh as true and deep as that for his father did Fëanáro love his sons, but in different manners, each one! Curvo was most like him in appearance and in skill, and so he could understand our fifth son mayhap better than the others. But in time, he looked to Maitimo to act in his stead; Maitimo became the foremost of his captains! Nelyafinwë, he had named our firstborn! `Third Finwë', and that was perhaps part of the reason why he expected so much! Nelyo was his son, and so before Nolofinwë and Arafinwë in all things, at least as far as he was concerned!

Maitimo loved his father greatly, and was ever eager to hearken to him, being nigh as devoted to Fëanáro as Fëanáro was to Finwë! If only my husband had appreciated that fact! If only Fëanáro had seen that he could have had the close relationship he so desired with this particular son! Mayhap part of the issue was that Maitimo was little like the house of Finwë, save his eyes and his height. For to Maitimo, much did I bequeath!


Now it is well known, and easily told from his epessë*, that Maitimo had rare copper-brown hair! A rich and deep colour it was, more like unto my father's than my own. My hair required the light of Laurelin to set its flame to full glory, but not so with Urundil and Maitimo! From the first did my son have much of my father's look about him, both in face and in colouring. As my son grew did he also demonstrate much of my father's mood of enquiry and thoughtful consideration. Fëanáro seemed not overly concerned with this, for he was a proud father, and had waited long for this much-desired child. Did not the flame of life burn hot and bright in his son? Did Maitimo not early demonstrate much of his father's strength and sharpness of thought? In time, also, was this son to be the tallest of the descendents of Finwë, and this he certainly inherited from his sire, for those of my father's kin were but of average height amongst the Noldor! Fëanáro had considered that Maitimo would most likely be like him in other ways, and in this was he to some extent right. Yet Maitimo was ever my son in appearance and nature, more so than any of the others! Sometimes I have thought it was part of the problem in the later days. When Fëanáro and I became estranged, when I would not follow my husband into exile, nor leave Aman with him, yet did he have this son, who looked at him with my features and mannerisms. A reminder to him was Maitimo, of that `false wife' of his! (Alas, so did I believe he thought of me at the end, at least until my vision of his doom!)

My parents, of course, loved their grandson beyond measure. Only good did they ever see in him. That Maitimo was to follow Urundil in developing fine skills with copper, and eventually becoming an Aulendur himself, only bound further in love one who was already bound fast!

Ai, my beloved, they told me, those who returned from exile, how Morgoth had deceived you, (though you also had planned to deceive him!) and how he had bound you, in hate and contempt, to the face of a precipice with a hell-wrought band of steel! My mother's vision became the horror you endured! I cannot think of that! I cannot bear to think of what you suffered before Findekáno* cut you free! For now would I postpone my grief, and write of those golden days, when we were still innocent of the woes of Arda, when we knew not the evil of Morgoth.


****

Maitimo would not sleep. No matter what I had tried, he was intent on staying awake and waving his arms at the flickering shadows on the walls, as the light of Laurelin waxed full. He should have been tired, for we had been most active that day! But he was always full of life and energy, always wanting to be involved in what was going on around him. I had walked the room with him in my arms, and he had laughed at me, and pulled on my hair. I had sat with him, singing a softly comforting song that my mother had sung to me as a babe, but he had waved his arms and legs with even more fervour. Mayhap he found my singing amusing! I should have laid him in his crib and got on with my own work; at least, that is what Fëanáro told me! But I could not bear for him to be out of my sight for long, in those earliest days of his childhood.

So I had taken up implements with which to make elementary sketches of him, for most certainly did I wish to record his likeness in my art. And then he spoke! I should think the first words of any babe are precious to their parents. The young of the Eldar reach mastery of language at a very early age, but I had not expected to hear anything so well pronounced for many days yet. Putting down the paper on which I had intended to sketch his likeness, I moved over to the crib.

"Maitimo, what is that you are saying to me, dear one?" I bent over him with an encouraging smile, though I knew well enough what his first word had been.

He had stopped moving, and looked back at me with wide and questioning eyes.

"Atar*!"

"Your father will be in soon," I replied, with an answer that I hoped would not become commonplace. "He works still, but much does he love you!" My hand was on the edge of the crib. Maitimo sighed, and grasped hold of my finger tightly.

I recall that I felt a little saddened he had not called upon me first! But then, our son ever held his father in the highest regard, even from the beginning of his life.

Then did Fëanáro himself call out to me, in a loud and impatient voice that echoed though the stillness of our house. "Nerdanel! Come, see my work!"

I would not keep him waiting, for he loved to show off his skills to those he thought would appreciate them. At that time, had he been working on small pale crystals, trying to get them to glow with reflected light as of Varda's stars. But Maitimo was still wide-awake, and I would not leave him lying alone, either.

Picking up our son, whose thick, cooper-brown hair, so like mine, was now curling at the nape of his neck in the warmth, I left the house and crossed over the upper terrace to the workrooms. Clad only in a white shift was I then, for I had thought to take rest myself once Maitimo had succumbed to slumber. I had passed Arnónë, who was heading for the scriptorium. Glad was I that she had seen fit to join our household, and I nodded acknowledgement of those three attendants who helped with the preparation of food. It was time for them to depart to their own homes.

My husband was all activity, moving from the shadows of the room to the full light of Laurelin with the milky white stones in his hand, then back again to the table to add to his notes with considered precision. "I think the crystals are complete!" he exclaimed. "They will give of a silver-blue light when under the stars, as we had hoped! Come, Lady; see how they work! Though my thoughts are that we must journey again to Alqualondë, and soon, if we are to see their full potential!"

He glanced up briefly at me as I stood in the doorway with Maitimo balanced rather precariously on one hip. My son's eyes were still wide open, but now unfocused in dream as his fëa ran in that field of delight and innocence that was the preserve of the very young. Asleep at last was he, and at the moment he would have wished to be awake!

"Fëanáro! Maitimo was asking for you!" I said, with a pride in our son's early mastery of a word, but my husband had not heard my words, so engrossed was he in his crafting.

We had both originally worked on those illuminating crystals. An aid they were to lighten the duller times of the mingled light, and particularly to see better in the shadow-lands that were to be found when wandering far from the Trees. We had even spoken of taking some of these jewels, once ready, to the Teleri in Alqualondë, to assist them in lighting their city and on their journeys upon the Shadowy Seas. But since the birth of Maitimo had Fëanáro continued to work on them alone, I considering myself otherwise occupied!

I sat upon the bench nearest the table, and my husband placed in front of me the two crystals he had worked on in such a manner that they seemed held in a net of blue light.

"There!" he announced with much satisfaction, and stood back, as if seeking my acknowledgement of his skills. "They will give of more radiance under the stars, of course, but are they not the most wonderful of my creations?"

So very pleased with himself was he; so proud of his abilities, now beyond most of the Aulenduri. But he was wrong! I studied the crystals carefully, and saw the intricate crafting and the beauty he had put into them, as well as the design.

"Aye, my Lord!" said I. "They are most certainly a wonder, and much use can be made of them, I think. But I disagree with you!"

He heard that comment, and looked surprised. It was certainly not what he had expected. Rarely did I disagree with him openly at that time.

"Nerdanel?"

Rising to my feet, I placed the sleeping Maitimo in his arms.

"Here is the most wonderful of your creations, Finwion!" I announced with conviction.

There was a strange look upon Fëanáro's face, an almost faraway look, as he heeded my words. He took our son without any complaint or disagreement, but at me did he direct a most searching look.

"I had forgotten!" he said, his rich voice suddenly lower and softer in tone. With great satisfaction, I watched him, cradled Maitimo to himself in a manner that showed me that he, indeed, held this child as something of great value to him.

"What did you forget, my Lord?" asked I, in a mood to banter.

"In all the recent activity, of yours as well as of mine, I had forgotten how much I love you!"

Those words had a most warming effect on me. Instantly disarmed was I from any further wish to provoke. Not that I had doubted him, but he had been so engrossed in his works those recent days he had little time for me or our son. Then did I think on what he meant by `my' activity. He was still watching me closely.

"In my delight with our son, have I ignored you, husband?" Dawning realisation was upon me that Fëanáro might work, in part, because he felt excluded! "Are you jealous, yet again, of a babe?" asked I incredulously.

"Jealous? Nay, Lady! Save that I crave the closeness I knew as a child, yet do I think if I allow myself to love him greatly, I will lose him! Better to love him less, and have him always!" Fëanáro was not thinking at his best at that moment, but suddenly, pleasure lit his eyes. "He was asking for me, you said! He spoke?"

"His first word was `Atar'!" I told him, pride mixed with a tinge of ruefulness that it had not been `Amillë'*.

That knowledge pleased him considerably, and the proud expression on his face softened, as I watched, into one of undeniable affection.

"Come then, Wife!" he laughed. "Let us both put this most wonderful of our creations to rest in his crib!" The jewels he had made were a wonder, but now his mind was on our child and me again, and his work was left as it was for a time.


All years are Valinorian years.

* Namarië = Farewell

* Curvo = Curufin

* Carnistir = Caranthir

* Makalaurë = Maglor
·
(N.B. I am using information in HoME 12, `Of Dwarves and Men'; note 7, that says, after a discussion on Celebrimbor, that Maedhros appears to have been unwedded, also the twins. Celegorm was unwedded, as he plotted to take Lúthien as his wife. But Curufin was wedded, and had a son who went with him into exile, though his wife did not. Others who were wedded were Maelor ( Maglor?) and Caranthir.)

* Maitimo = Maedhros
* epessë = aftername, or nickname, given mostly as a title of admiration or honor
* Nolofinwë = Fingolfin
* Findekáno = Fingon
* Atar = Father
* Amillë = Mother

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