(I apologize for the bad teaser, but that’s really all there is to the prologue. This (entire story) could possibly be one of the longest flashbacks you’ll ever read… The idea came to me after seeing RotK; I wondered what was going through everyone’s mind during that battle. So this is one author’s little attempt to put her feelings into words. Enjoy! )
“We have come to it at last; the great battle of our time.” -Gandalf
Here we are at last- at last at the end of things. The dwarf… Gimli… didn’t think he would die beside an elf.
I didn’t think I would die beside a dwarf.
But today, it no longer matters. Friend, foe, elf, dwarf- we’re all going to die. Somehow.
Death is never something an elf thinks of too much. Surely, we know the meaning of it, but throughout the eternity that is the life of an elf, one does not think of it as something that will happen to him. You look at the old man, withered and gray with age, and feel a pity for him for you know soon his life will be no more. You look at the young boy and feel a pang of sorrow, because you know his time upon this earth will be but a brief second of your own. You wonder at this “gift”… but deep down you feel a guilty happiness that it is them and not you. You know with certainty that it will not- cannot- be your fate.
In battle that all changes. Minutes become hours, hours days, everything slows down to the same speed for every individual there. And as the countless hours and endless days pass, one does not often realize how close to death one has come. There is a rush, a feeling that it is not you there, but you are watching from above as your body fights its way through an infinite number of foes. And when it’s all over, when you and your body reunite, you see the death about you, and are suddenly struck with the realization that any one of those broken, torn bodies could have been your own, had you been in a different place at a different time. This is a cruel slap in the face, making victory seem nonsense no matter how great it was. Obviously it’s hard to deal with no matter who you are. But for an elf, realizing that one is not invincible, and that one can indeed die is far worse than a man, for the man knew he would die someday anyways. This realization often causes sorrow, adding to the sorrow of the losses of friends and comrades. Many elves waste away of this depression- they die of grief.
I know the battle we fight today has no hope in it for us whatsoever. The battle outside of Minas Tirith was bad. Bad enough to make one give up of despair. I saw the aftereffects; I went out and walked among the bodies of the dead and dying. It seemed as though there was no hope at all; that no matter how great the victory more would fall than to make it worthwhile. But those are the foes we face. Brutal and unforgiving, they care not for who they kill, only for victory. And of their love of carnage- the sight of blood positively excites them.
I stand now, before the Black Gates, before a foe we cannot possibly defeat in this manner, to give time to Frodo and Sam. No one knows for sure they still live- perhaps they died long ago. But I stand here anyways.
Aragorn has challenged them. The gates open- and we watch, and wait, as hundreds of thousands pour out and surround us; at least ten times our number. And yet they keep coming. I brace myself, knowing this is the ultimate end. We will go down fighting.
Aragorn charges, and after a moment, everyone follows.
(By the way… comments are lovely! *wink wink nudge nudge*)