Arwen’s Story—Chapter One: That Was Then, This is Now

by Jan 7, 2007Stories

(Yes, I know this is not what really happened, and yes, this is not the exact dialogue from The Two Towers. This is also not in the chronological order of the movie, either. It’s called taking narrative liberties.
Anyhow, I wrote this because I realized how few fanfics there are about my favorite character, Arwen. I hope you like it.
Peace, love and pineapples—Lady Elwen.)

Elrond stepped into Arwen’s bedchamber and gazed thoughtfully upon his daughter. She still looked the living image of Luthien; skin as pale as dove’s wings, glossy black hair, the tresses of night itself, shorn from the sky, fanned out on the red silk pillow like shadow in the twilight. She was waiting, waiting for someone Elrond knew would never return, and he thought his heart would break with watching her.
Now, not for the first time that day, the wise Elf-lord found himself thinking back on Arwen when she was a child. When she was born, Elrond knew that for the first time in his life he truly had someone that he could count on. He had only wished to shroud her from the outside world forever. He vowed to himself that he would never, never let anything harm his dear, sweet daughter. He was her family, and she was his. Elrond had never felt more proud.
As Arwen grew, it became even more apparent how precious she was. So full of energy, the light never leaving those eyes as lustrous as pools shimmering with a reflection of eternity and stars. She was as delicate as a spray of glass, strong and supple as the willows, beautiful as a winter morning. In that time, her cerulean eyes were full of joy and simplicity, like calm pools in an evergreen forest, but also with a kind of flicking light in them, and when she smiled, those peaceful eyes to reflected the world as it should be, ever so serene, ever so full of love. How he loved those days.
Now… now the light was fading from her.
Elrond took in a steadying breath, thinking over the words he knew he must say. Yes, they were wrong in part. Because he did not want her light to be extinguished. He wanted it to shine forever.
At the sound of her name, the Elf turned her head slightly, her fair face etched in silver light. Her shadowed, saddened eyes lifted to Elrond’s for a moment, watching him through eyes that were at once both piercing and gentle.
In a rush, Elrond said, “The ships are leaving for Valinor. Go now… before it is too late.”
“I have made my choice.” Her voice was as pure spring water and as warm as sunshine, but laced with a sadness that only comes from the knowledge of bitter experiences.
Elrond put as much conviction into his own voice as he could. “.” Softening his tone some, he went on, “Why do you linger here when there is no hope?”
“There is always hope.” Arwen’s gaze became stony, and she pursed her lips in defiance.
Averting his eyes form his daughter’s face—he’d never been able to hold even the firmest decision for long against that flinty look—Elrond paced to the window and looked out. It was late dusk and the sky was now darkening increasingly. The golden flame of the sun had long since sank behind the towering spires of the mountains, but the silver lamp of the moon had not yet risen. Although it was late autumn, and frost rimmed the edges of small pools, many of the trees kept their leaves. A chill north wind blew, it was not fierce, barely disturbing the fallen leaves, but it carried the threat of winter and it made a cold night colder. Imladaris was falling into a cold, snow-less winter, almost like the one that was in Elrond’s heart. “If Estel survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king, and all that you hope for comes true, you will still have to taste the bitterness of mortality. Whether by the sword or the slow decay of time, Aragorn will die. And there will be no comfort for you, no comfort to ease the pain of his passing. A will come to death, and image of the splendor of the kings of men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.” He paused to let those words sink in, before continuing, “But you, my daughter? You will linger on, in darkness and in doubt, as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Here you will dwell, bound to your grief under the fading trees, until all the world is changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent.”
So vivid was the image that her father had painted with his words that Arwen felt hot tears stream down her cheeks. But one thing she had learned, if she had learned anything at all, was that there was hope, no matter what happened. When things seem hopeless to the point of no repair, the darkness would pass, and when the sun shone, it would be all the brighter. This cycle there would always be, the rise and fall of times, good and bad. New hope shall rise, always, like a phoenix being reborn from the ashes, the renewal of dreams, the blossoming of spring buds. She shook her head, refusing to accept his words.
Elrond turned away from the window to face her again. “Arwen,” he said, “there is nothing for you here. Only death.”
“Then I die. Gladly.”

* * *

A thunderclap tore Aragorn from sleep.
With a shout, he sat bolt upright, looking around in alarm.
The warmth of his tent was bathed in soft burgundy shadows. A small table had been placed upon a woven rug, and set with two chairs. A wooden bowl of fresh fruit—apples, pears and fat red grapes—sat in the center of the table. And all about the chamber, the soft glow of candles set in polished sconces lit everything in velvety shadows.
Near his bedside, sat two trunks, filled with clothing and other necessities he might require over the several days he was to spend here while waiting for the other Rohirrim warriors to arrive. Newly woven curtains of thick, dark red and gold linen hung before smaller arching doorways that led to other chambers of the small tent.
The ranger got out of bed and picked up a bowl of clear water, splashing his face with cool water to try and wash away the dream’s ethereal memory. It was only a dream, but a vivid one nonetheless. The dread that it left in his heart was colder than ice.
The sound of footsteps outside brought Aragorn back to reality. “If you are not an Orc, come in,” he called. The tent flap was pushed aside and Grimbold entered.
“My lord,” he said courteously, “King Théoden wishes to speak with you.”
Aragorn thanked him for his message, then went outside. What could Théoden possibly want?
The ranger and the king regarded one another with mutual respect and loathing; Théoden apparently thought that Aragorn sought to surpass is leadership with his own; Aragorn was repulsed by the idea of ruling any country, even Gondor, to which he was the rightful heir. (Also, he thought Théoden didn’t have an once of sense and was a bit gloomy, but that’s beside the point.) Of course neither of them had ever gotten close to saying these thing to one another because of prearranged (if sometimes forced) civility, but it was quite obvious to both of the other’s perception of them.
Not looking forward to an encounter with the Lord of Rohan, Aragorn made it a point of taking the lengthier path to his tent.
He inhaled deeply of the warm, scented night air, marveling at the bevy of scents that the night held. It only served to make him more disheartened. That miserable dream about Arwen… he wished that she would follow her fathers advice and go to the Undying Lands; it was better than dying here. And to add to that, there was this hopeless battle; they were all certainly going to meet their doom at the hands of Sauron…
This path lead directly by a calm pond, and Aragorn stopped to look down at the still water.
It was deep enough so that if one gazed into it they could see only their reflection. He peered into the murky water and felt tears well up behind his eyes.
Deep enough to drown a man…
“I could do it, you know,” he said to his reflection. The serious face stared at the mirror-like surface, feeling the tears spill down his cheeks. Sapphire burned into their reflection with a hue that often surprised even him with their intensity.
Now those eyes were full of pain and fear.
“I ought to do it,” he said coldly. His reflection seemed to smirk at him, taunting him with his own laughter.
“But you aren’t going to,” proclaimed a voice. Aragorn gasped and spun around, suddenly feeling very foolish. His face was tear-streaked, only providing further proof just how far his heart had fallen.
“Legolas, what are you doing here?” asked the ranger, gazing at his feet. His cheeks flushed with shame and embarrassment.
“I should be asking you the same thing,” said the Elf. His clear blue eyes reflected back the starlight from their depths. The moonlight glistened off of his hair, which was the color of flowing amber and honey. His elven uniform fit well, accenting the lean, lithe body of the elf beneath. It was a dark green, dappled with silver in the moonlight, with a dark brown, leather trim across the tunic. The sheaths for his long knives were tooled with images of elven heroes, and matched the quiver on his back. His long bow, made in the style of the Galadrahim, was strapped alongside the beautiful dark leather quiver in between the knives on his back. Standing in the starlight, he presented a picture of deadly elegance.
Aragorn kicked a rock with his boot and rubbed his hand over the back of his neck uncomfortably.
“It’s not what you thi—”
“Don’t take me for a fool, Aragorn. I know very well what you were thinking about doing,” said Legolas quietly. He sighed. “Regardless. I wasn’t sent here to give advice. Théoden says he really needs to see you.”
“Oh, why?” Aragorn grumbled. “Can’t he tell that normal people sleep when it’s all dark like this?”
Legolas kept his voice even. “Maybe he does, but Elrond isn’t going to wait much longer.”
“He says it’s very important.”
Now all traces of melancholy quite gone, Aragorn practically ran to Théoden’s tent.

(Please comment on this. I don’t know if it’s any good, so if oyu don’t like it, tell me, i’ll put it out of it’s misery. Also, i can’t comment on anything because the website won’t accpet it, but i’m grateful for all comments, positive and negative. Any questions i’ll answer at the begining of the next chapter.)


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Found in Home 5 Reading Room 5 Stories 5 Arwen’s Story—Chapter One: That Was Then, This is Now

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