Quenta Eluwë - Chapter Five: Of the Noontide of Valinor and the Son of Finwë
Eluwë paused in his story and said, "Now my Lord Eldarion, we are come to the Noontide of Valinor and here I must pause, for your attention, I see is wavering. We must also have mercy on poor Belen, who bless his many grey hairs, has been writing furiously all night!"
At this, both Men began protesting with rapid words. Belen was saying that he could write all night for a story like this and that he had been waiting for all these years for a tale like to Eluwë's. Eldarion, meanwhile, protested that he was merely resting his eyes every now and then.
Alcarin then spoke, "My Lord Eldarion, I am tired and must rest myself. Perhaps Eluwë can resume his tale when the sky is darkened again with Tilion crossing the firmament?"
Eluwë added, "Yes, my Lord King, I must confess that in this matter, Alcarin's words are wiser than yours. And yours as well, Belen! I would have all of you alert and heedful for this next part of the tale. We are drawing near to a time of great intrigue, deeds, and words.
`Now, once again, kindly join me under the stars after you are fully rested. I shall make my leave now, so that there is no argument! But then, I would not be rude. May you have kind dreams, my lords!" With those words, he stood and walked away into the Tower of Ecthelion.
Eldarion then permitted himself a small yawn after Eluwë's departure as he looked to the east. "Anar will rise soon upon Ilmen in glory once again." After a moment's pause, he said, "Belen, I do believe that we have become as children once again, wanting so to hear a good tale. Our Elder is right, after all, we mortal men do need our dreams. The tale will begin again tonight.
`So, then I say good day to you, my friends and kind dreams!"
After another moment's pause, the King rose and as he did, so did Belen and Alcarin. Solemnly, the two men bowed to the King and then all three walked slowly inside following the footsteps of Eluwë.
At nightfall, Eldarion and the other men came outside to the Court to find Eluwë there. As they approached, Eluwë smiled and said, "I must confess, I think I am the eager one in this group. I have found that I enjoy being the bard and perhaps somewhat too much at that!"
Eldarion laughed and replied, "My Lord Eluwë, those words are as music to my ears. Now come, let us dispense with the pleasantries and have you begin your tale!"
Eluwë replied, "Ai! I could have hardly believed this if I had not heard this with my own ears. Here is one perhaps even more enthusiastic than me!
`Times like these make me remember how much I love the Edain. Youthful and prone to mistake, they may be, but the Edain are truly the brothers and sisters of the Quendi. But I forget my purpose!
`Belen, are you ready to begin once again?"
Belen then spoke for the first time and said, "Yes, my Lord!"
"Very well, Belen. Now, as has been told, my tale draws nigh to the Noontide of Valinor."
Now, as has been told, my tale comes to the Noontide of Valinor. This was a time of great bliss and harmony. For a time, the Vanyar and Noldor dwelt in peace together in harmony. However, it came about that the Vanyar grew to love the full light of the Trees and Valar especially the Elder King so that they forswore their dwellings in Tirion and dwelt forever after on Taniquetil at the feet of Manwë or upon the plains and woods of Valinor. It came to be that Ingwë, the High King of the Eldar, and I were of the Vanyar that dwelt upon Taniquetil and became beloved of Manwë Súlimo.
Many were my conversations and debates with Manwë. Many a time, I would also find myself being asked of Manwë about some matter concerning the Quendi that he desired to know my thoughts on. He would often also have Ingwë and I attend festivals and events at his side even as Varda herself was. I was always humbled and delighted that he kept all Quendi in his love, especially me in particular, so I was especially grieved when the son of Finwë rejected that love, but I come to that part of the tale too quickly and must slow my thoughts!
The Noontide of Valinor was a time of great learning and wisdom as well. The Eldar devised many things new and fair. Rúmil, it was, devised letters and signs for the recording of words and song upon stone or metal or perhaps drawing with brush and pen upon other materials. I have always possessed a great love of lore and learning, and so it was that I came to the House of Rúmil and first of all the Eldar beheld these wondrous letters. I encouraged him to make these known to all the Eldar so that they may make use of the letters. This came to be known as the Sarati and was greatly useful yet it was further improved in the form of the Tengwar by yet another skilled loremaster: that self-same firstborn of Finwë.
As has been related, Finwë and Míriel Perindë, later called Serindë, had a great love ere we came to Aman. Míriel had a great skill and sleight of hand as is verily known by her epessë, especially in weaving and needlework. Furthermore, she was greatly loved and admired by Finwë, as well as I, for her passion and beauty. In the bliss of the Blessed Realm, were Finwë and Míriel wedded and happy for years without count in the Light of the Trees.
It came to be that she carried a child by Finwë in the time that the Vanyar deserted Tirion. In the bearing of that mighty son, her spirit was greatly consumed and weakened and all the Eldar were gravely concerned for the Queen of Finwë. Soon, it came to be, that in the House of Finwë upon the very crown of Túna, a son was born to him. Surnamed Curufinwë he was by Finwë and Fëanáro, Spirit of Fire, by Míriel. Spirit of Fire indeed he was to me and to all Quendi, so by that name was he ever known.
Upon hearing of the birth of Fëanáro, Ingwë and I made visit to Finwë. Greatly shocked we were to find Finwë in a great state of distress upon entering his House. We had expected that even with the great drain on Míriel's fëa in the bearing of Curufinwë, she would recover once the child was born. Nay, it was not so!
For even as we entered, Finwë rushed to me and cried, "Atar! Míriel does not recover! She remains weak and does not speak save for the naming of Curufinwë and this! This she said to me, `Never again shall I bear child: for strength that would have nourished the life of many has gone forth into Fëanáro.'
At this, I grew much afraid for my son that he should suffer my pain in the loss of Eluwën! As has been so throughout my life, I am given to foresight. And did this I foresee, that Míriel should be lost! I held Finwë in a tight embrace then as I had not since he was a child. With his dark head buried into my chest, I looked to Ingwë and I saw that he too, was much distressed at this turn of events.
Ingwë spoke, "Háno, let us go see Míriel and speak to her and perhaps find out if there is a way her fortunes can be reversed. Peace, Finwë!"
I have never seen a sight sadder or more beautiful than what we beheld upon entering the bedchamber of Míriel! There we saw the pale yet still sublime Míriel with her infant Fëanáro upon her bed. Her hair was raven black as ever with eyes that were pools of sapphire yet looking upon her outer beauty, we sensed a deep inner weakness. The child, Fëanáro, was no less captivating and there was certainly no weakness to be found here! Spirit of fire, indeed! That much I could see! He was raven haired as his mother with the striking steely blue eyes of Finwë.
Upon seeing Ingwë and I, Míriel spoke, "Hail to King Ingwë and well met, Atar! You have seen my child, Fëanáro, have you not?"
I smiled despite my fear. She loved her child greatly despite the toll his bearing exacted on her, this I could see as well. "Yes, I have, my dear Eluwiel! He is a child of great spirit. You have given much strength to little Finwion."
Míriel then looked to Finwë. "Too much strength I gave to Curufinwë, or so my husband does think! And mayhap, so do you and the High King Ingwë as well!"
Finwë frowned and spoke, "Surely, there is healing in Aman? Here all weariness can find rest."
At this, did Ingwë look up at Finwë and frown in turn. My Eluwion had learned well of grief as I had and he feared mightily for his remaining brother. He knew also of the graveness of Míriel's condition as did I!
We stayed for several minutes longer commenting on the young Prince Fëanáro and speaking glad words to Míriel and then suddenly, Finwë asked us if we wished to go outside for refreshment and we agreed. Ingwë and Finwë then stood silent as I came about the bed to speak a farewell to Míriel.
"My dear Eluwiel, my heart is glad to see you once again! I should be pleased if you would come to Taniquetil with Fëanáro and bring him before Manwë for his blessing upon your son."
Míriel looked up at me with wide unseeing eyes for a moment and said, "Truly, Atar, I do not know if I shall be making that journey! My spirit is much spent!"
Once again, that selfsame cold piercing pain in my fëa came as when I knew Eluwën was lost! I then whispered, "Míriel, I will not ask you to revoke those words, for you may speak truly! But, you may well be wrong, my Eluwiel. Do not give up unless it is truly beyond all hope of recovery. I say, Fëanáro will need you, so do not set aside your hröa lightly for the peace of Mandos!"
Now I spoke again loudly, "Now, I say farewell to you, Míriel Perindë, and may it not be the last! You have my love!"
With that, my sons and I departed from the bedchamber of the wife of Finwë.
As we came out into the Light of Telperion, Finwë turned and spoke to his brother and I. "Atar! Háno! What can I do? Míriel languishes and there is naught I can do!"
Ingwë replied, "Finwë, this I do say: seek Manwë for his counsel. Manwë is the Elder King of all Arda and further more, is the most faithful servant of Eru Ilúvatar. He will know what to do, háno!"
I then added, "Yes, my Eluwion! Seek the counsel of Manwë. You are in his love and he will do all in his power that is possible for you! Come with us, come to the Halls of Manwë upon Taniquetil and appeal to that love!"
And seek the Counsel of Manwë, did Finwë! Upon hearing the plea of Finwë, King of the Noldor, Manwë took up Míriel and delivered her to Irmo, Lord of Lórien, for his care. At this parting, Finwë was greatly grieved for Míriel would miss at the very least Fëanáro's first years. Little did Finwë know just how permanent his parting from Míriel would prove to be! Foresighted was she for she said, "It is indeed unhappy and I would weep, if I were not so weary. But hold me blameless in this and all that may come after"!
Not even I saw the grief that this parting should cause! I think none of the Eldalië and none of the Valar except perhaps Námo Mandos could foresee the grief that would come of it in the Ages to come! Alas! But this, I do say: if not for this parting, the history and deeds of the Eldar in later Ages would be greatly diminished as would be seen later!
It came to be that Míriel, after words with the Elder King, did lie in those gardens of Lórien under the light of Telperion and Laurelin. It appeared to the Eldar that she did sleep, but it was otherwise. As Manwë revealed to me, her fëa did depart from the shell of her hröa and passed on to the Halls of Mandos in peace. Yet, the maidens of Estë continued tending her body and it remained vital, yet her fëa did not return!
In those days, Finwë lived in sorrow and darkness and I wept for him. I would stand by him in his many journeys to Lórien and hearken to him calling Míriel by all her names, but she did not hearken and it availed not. It came to be that alone of all in Aman, he was deprived of joy and all grieved for him and felt his anguish. Eventually, after words with Ingwë and I, Finwë did not make any further visits to Lórien. It was just as well. His son needed his attention, especially in the midst of the loss of Míriel.
All the love that Finwë could give was thereafter given to Curufinwë and in the light of his love, Fëanáro did grow swiftly as if a fire was kindled within. As when he was born, he was fair with raven black hair and steely blue eyes that could pierce all. Cunning and cleverness was his trademark. He was also enthusiastic and unwavering. Very few could change his courses by counsel and none by forcing his hand. Those few included his beloved father, Finwë, his wife, Nerdanel the Wise, and I, Eluwë. How I loved the son of Finwë and he knew it. He loved me too for all intents and purposes until his mind was poisoned by the venom of Melkor! Even in the midst of his grievances with the Vanyar, he loved the Vanya that his father, Finwë, so esteemed.
It came to be that he became, of all the Eldalië, the most subtle in thought and most skilled in hand. In his early days, he devised the Tengwar with its Fëanorian letters as he bettered the Sarati of Rúmil. With this, he became the foremost loremaster of the Noldor. Of this was Finwë terribly pleased! He also devised gems greater and brighter then those from the Earth of Aulë's making.
The first of these were colorless and unimpressive at first sight, but when set under the stars of Varda, they flamed into radiance brighter than Helluin itself! Jewels of crystal did he devise as well in which far off things may be perceived small but clear as if one were an Eagle of Manwë. Many were his wondrous creations and Arda would be the lesser without them.
Curufinwë/ Fëanáro- Fëanor
Eluwiel- daughter of Eluwë
Finwion- son of Finwë
Eluwion- son of Eluwë
fëa- soul; spirit