Analsiel turned around in her saddle, looking fixedly at the home she left not a full day ago. Rohan. Her mother had always held dreams that Analsiel should be someone important, that it was not enough to be simply Analsiel. And in the episodes of the past week, it seemed she had triumphed. Analsiel was being sent to Minas Tirith, to live for five years in the home of the King of Gondor. Analsiel had protested, saying, “Why is not enough to be raised with Queen Eowyn, in our own court?” But her mother had responded coldly,”Queen Eowyn is a warrior maiden, and will not teach you to be true lady, and gem in the crown of the world.”
Analsiel had fought this decision bitterly, but King Faramir had arranged it already, and Analsiel found herself thrown onto the back of a horse with more packs than she knew existed in the world, and on her way to Gondor.
* * * * * *
“Milady, girl, wake up. We’re ‘ere” came the rough, country voice in Analsiel’s ear. It was Gebeth, the man who had brought her on the back of his steed. Amazed that she could sleep on horseback, Analsiel pulled herslef awake and stared at the White City with sleepy eyes. Dimly, through her tired mind, she wished she could have stayed awake long enough to have energy for this, her first site of Minas Tirith, but she dismissed the thought easily. She had needed the sleep! Then she noticed Gebeth was speaking again.
“What?” she said thickly, feeling stupid.
“I said, ya will go in t’the Hall and be presented to the Queen in her Lesser Audience chamber.”
At these words, Analsiel woke up at last. “The Queen?!” she managed to squeak out. “Why the Queen?’
“Why because ya are visitin’ nobility, and th’ Queen will pick alady to take ya under her wing. Now here we are, and don’t be sayin’ anythin’ to disgrace Rohan! Good luck, girl!” and with that, he dropped her off his horse, and rode away. Probably to some local inn, thought Analsiel wretchedly, where he won’t have meet the High Queen of Gondor. But I am not so lucky.
Eventually, a guard came out to get Analsiel. “You’ll be taken to your room, to bathe and dress before you meet the queen,” he said gruffly. ” Follow me.”
Nervously, Analsiel did as he asked, wondering what was in store for her now. Did she want to know? Yes, somehow, she did…
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.