*The One Ring has been destroyed and Sauron has fallen, though the price of this triumph was costly. All peoples are now safe from the darkness and all of Middle-earth must be rebuilt, though none in so much need of rebuilding as the kingdom of Gondor. The true king now begins his rule.*
Aragorn and Arwen stood together on the upper most level of Minas Tirith, watching the sun creep slowly down in the west. Tomorrow Arwen would become Aragorn’s wife and queen. Neither of them could deny the excitement and joy that was welling up inside of them, but Aragorn also could not deny the burning question in him.
“Arwen, I must ask you something.” He held his breath as he awaited her response. Aragorn’s courage had never failed him, but at this moment he was loosing his grip on it quickly.
“Yes, my love?” Arwen smiled sweetly at him, and clasped his hand in hers.
“I feel my heart beating wildly in my chest; tomorrow what I have dreamt of will finally come to pass. I must know your feelings towards Legolas though; I do not ask you to wed me tomorrow if you have doubt in your heart. I only ask that you do what is in your heart.” Aragorn breathed a sigh of relief when he had finished speaking, though now he found himself terrified of what answer may come.
The sun had gone down in the west, but Aragorn found that the smile that appeared upon Arwen’s face gave off a subtle light of its own. She raised her soft, smooth hand and gently touched his face. She spoke quietly, and as she did so Aragorn thought that hers was surely the voice of heaven itself.
“I have made my choice; my choice is you, Aragorn. So now the rest of my years shall hold but one love, and that love belongs to you alone. I would have no other. I bide you please do not fight my childhood love with Legolas, for it is nor ever will be a match for you.”
Arwen could now see that in Aragorn’s dark eyes, there was now a trace of a few tears. He raised his hand to his eye and swiftly wiped them away. And as he did so he chuckled and said, “The wonder of the Evenstar will never cease to feel me with joy and amazement.”
Arwen laughed softly as they walked in out of the cool evening, “I have many gifts.” Aragorn nodded in agreement as he took her arm and led her down the many corridors of the White Tower.
Legolas had been walking the halls of the Houses of Healing, looking for his hobbit companion. He had yet to find him but he had seen countless of the sick and dying. It seemed almost surreal to him. He had seen much death in his life, but had not witnessed the obscenity of sickness. When he thought he could take no more, he saw Merry in the courtyard and breathed a sigh of relief.
Merry was speaking with a woman, young and fair. When neither one had noticed his arrival he called to them, “I was told the bravest of all hobbits was residing here, but it seems I was misinformed. The only hobbit I have found here is you Master Merry!”
Merry giggled and bounded up to greet his elvish companion, “I’m afraid I am the hobbit they speak of.” Legolas looked to find that the young maiden who was with Merry was the Lady Eowyn of Rohan, who had also won renown at Pelennor Field.
“I am glad to see you in good health, my lady,” said Legolas as he smiled warmly. Her stern face remained cold but she nodded her head and replied, “Better health than I was in, Master Elf. I am glad to see you as well.” Legolas thanked her kindly and bowed.
“Merry, how do you fare here in the Houses of Healing?” Merry plopped down beside Legolas and began speaking with much expediency.
“Well it is not exactly Hobbiton but it is a fine place. It seems that the people of Gondor do not understand the proper amount of food a hobbit must eat in a day. I fear I will starve, they only have three meals!!!” Both Legolas and Eowyn laughed heartily. It seemed there was no teaching this hobbit of other cultures.
“Well my friend, as I arrived I seemed to have noticed some men bringing barrels of apples and cheese.” When the hobbit heard this, his eyes lit up with happiness and he jumped up from where he sat. “Truly? Forgive me but you will have to excuse me!” And as a young hobbit in a game of tag, he dashed off and was soon out of sight.
“As odd as those little creatures are, I have grown quite fond of hobbits,” laughed Legolas. Eowyn attempted to smile at his comment, but none would come. She merely sat and played with the hem of her sleeve.
“What troubles you, Lady Eowyn?” Legolas leaned in closer to her, in hopes of her revealing something of her melancholy. Nothing came though, until finally she spoke. “The ring and the Dark Lord have been destroyed and all that was wrong will once again be right. All of this, and still I feel I have found no victory.”
“Why do you find no victory, do you find no happiness in what we have done?” Legolas listened intently, hoping that the Lady would confide in him.
“What I wish for most in the world is forbidden to me. I love the lord Aragorn, but he will never do more than think kindly on me. The love I feel for him, I cannot hope to feel a love so strong ever again.” Eowyn looked up at Legolas and he saw that her eyes were filled with tears. Before he could speak, she swiftly whispered, “Forgive me, I do not hope for anyone to understand my madness.”
A moment passed and then Legolas laid his hand upon hers and gave a small smile. “Oh, I can understand, I am a slave to my own madness, my lady” She looked into his eyes and she saw only sadness. Somehow, in that moment, she knew.
“The lady Arwen?” Legolas nodded his head, for he could not find the strength to speak. He raised his head and looked off into the distance, and Eowyn looked back down in her lap. Finally, in a clear voice, Legolas said, “I believe this world is riddled with this madness.” Still looking off into the distance, a smile crept across his face. He then gently leaned towards Eowyn and said softly to her, “but even as you feel your heart is breaking, the world is still full of hope, my lady.” With that he motioned for Eowyn to look behind her and there, at the edge of the courtyard, stood the young Captain of Gondor, Faramir.
Legolas rose to his feet and before he took his leave to go he said to Lady Eowyn, “I think someone wishes to speak with you.” And as he left the Houses of Healing, he knew that in the distant future Aragorn would become no more than a fond memory to the Lady of Rohan. Legolas then said to himself, with the smallest hint of yearning in his voice, “If we all could be so fortunate….”
The End *Part 4 soon to come*