Farewell to Lorien
Right, so, those who read this, I hope you enjoyed the other part. I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to turn out, and I’ve had so little time to write. Mostly because I’ve been watching Lord of the Rings (FOTR) on the extended DVD version, and I must say, Peter Jackson is a GOD!! Not more so than J.R.R Tolkien who is a LORD (hee hee, get it??). And I just watched J.R.R. Tolkien, Master of the Rings or something like that on SPACE (the best television station). I’ve been told I was grinning like a fool through the whole thing. I was, however, absolutely horrofied when someone (a guy, go figure) said that he knew very little woman who had read the book, and it was a guy book. AHHH!!! This was just annoying. But then, someone did also point out that Tolkien had a very little number of woman in his book (Lord of the Rings trilogy because he has wrote so much), so maybe that’s why I’m trying to write myself into his story. Or that I am in love, somewhat, with elves, especially with HALDIR. Right, so, enjoy. (Sniffle, sniffle, I’m leaving Lorien!!) (I hope you don’t hate my writing too much, I’m not very original, if you can tell.)
And so together the Company had been called. It appeared as though the horn’s hail had been soulfully for Mag, as all was already there, and all gave a little look of confusion in her late arrival. Mag sighed heavily, as Celeborn spoke. Indeed, it was soon time to leave, and Mag’s heart fell.
“Now is the time when hose who wish to continue the Quest must harden their hearts to leave this land.” Celeborn looked on them all with grave eyes. “Those who no longer wish to go forward may remain here, for a while. But whether they stay or go, none can be sure of peace. For we are come now to the edge of doom. Here those who wish may await the oncoming of the hour till either the ways of the world lie open again, or we summon them to the last need of Lorien. Then they maybe return to their own lands, or else go to the long home of those that fall in battle.”
The Fellowship was silent, but from the depths of their eyes, Galadriel gathered their response. Though, it took her some time when looking at Mag, for Mag wasn’t completely sure what she wanted. To stay or go. Haldir lingered before leaving, and she looked at him. He loved her. She looked quickly at the Fellowship. In them, she’d found strength when she had none. She saw hope when it seemingly disintegrated. She saw triumph and good will and friendship and she saw trust. Mag looked at Haldir, and gave a slow nod. Haldir returned it, bowed with his hand above his heart, and left. Mag looked at Galadriel, and to her she gave a nod. Galadriel smiled, with what almost seemed like satisfaction and pride.
“They all resolve to go forward,” said the elven woman at last.
“As for me,” Boromir said. “my way home lies onward and not back.”
“That is true,” Celeborn said. “but is all this Company going with you to Minas Tirith?”
“We have not decided our course,” said Aragorn with some dismay. “Beyond Lothlorien I do not know what Gandalf intended to do. Indeed I do not think that even he had any clear purpose.”
“Maybe not,” said Celeborn. “yes when you leave this land, you can no longer forget the Great River. As some of you know well, it cannot be crossed by travelers with baggage between Lorien and Gondor, save by boat. And are not the bridges of Osgiliath broken down and all the landing held now by the Enemy? On which side will you journey? The way to Minas Tirith lies upon this side, upon the west; but the straight road of the Quest lies east of the River, upon the darker shore. Which shore will you now take?”
“If indeed my advice is heeded, it will be the western shore, and the way to Minas Tirith.”
Boromir said. He looked at none of them, but as he said what he did, Aragorn looked indecisive and deep into thought. “But I am not the leader of this Company.”
“I see that you do not yet know what to do,” “It is not my part to choose for you; but I will help you as I may. There are some among you who can handle boats: Legolas, whose folk know the swift Forest River; and Boromir of Gondor; and Aragorn the traveler.”
“And one Hobbit!” Merry cried out, and Celeborn looked down at him and smiled, and though truly Mag’s feelings weren’t for it, she smiled too. “Not all of us look on boats as wild horses. My people live by the banks of the Brandywine.”
“That’s is well,” said Celeborn. “Then I will furnish your Company with boats. They must be small and light, for if you go far by water, there are places where you will be forced to carry them. You will come to the rapids of Sarn Gebir, and maybe at last to the Great Falls of Rauros where the River thunders down from Nen Hithoel; and there are other perils. Boats may make your journey less toilsome for a while. Yet they will not give you counsel: in the end you must leave them and the River, and turn went – or east.”
Before they’re parting words, Aragorn continually thanked Celeborn for the gift of the boats, for they helped his decision greatly, as now the leader of the Company would have not the grinding decision of where to go for a few days. They were all thankful as well; save, of coarse, Sam, who was as ever wary of boats.
“All shall be prepared for you and await you at the haven before noon tomorrow,” Celeborn said. “I will send my people to you in the morning to help you make ready for the journey. Now we will wish you all a fair night and untroubled sleep.”
“Good night, my friends!” said Galadriel with a cool smile. “Sleep in peace! Do not trouble your hearts overmuch with thought of the road tonight. Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them. Good night!”
Now, it was time for them to return to their pavilion. Mag turned very slowly, but before Mag went beside Legolas and Gimli, Galadriel beckoned her. Mag gave a puzzled look, nodded, and she went aside with the Lady of the Galadhrim. It was the first time she was actually going to be talking to her, woman to woman.
For a time, Galadriel looked on her grimly. Mag didn’t know exactly what was coming, but perhaps it was about her delaying thoughts.
“Of all the minds I’ve seen,” she said. “Yours is the most troubling, Magan of Vermilion Bay.”
Mag’s stomach dropped. Everything stopped. Her heart stopped working. Galadriel knew. Galadriel knew. She knew everything. Where she was from, and what she was, and probably much more.
“Troubling, Lady?” Mag asked, but couldn’t keep their eyes in contact.
“You know of what I speak. And, though troubled you are, great is the load you bare. And brave you are to have it. I know only little of the place you truly hail from, but from what I see it is different from this one.” She smiled. “I thought I had known more than what most ever would. Now I know there is more than just this world.”
Mag nodded. “It is all very different. You almost wouldn’t believe.”
Galadriel nodded. “No, I dare say I would not.”
Mag sighed deeply. “I mean, I don’t even know how this happened. I went to sleep, then I wake up, and I’m in Rivendell. It’s like a dream at first, but then, I don’t know when I’m going back, if I’m going back, what is happening. My… family isn’t around… I was… so… alone…”
Mag broke down right there. Galadriel looked on her with the most sympathetic look she could seemingly muster. Legolas, who had stayed behind, had been talking with another elf. But Mag’s sobbing had attracted his attention. Mag dropped to her knees, and Legolas glided from across the chamber to her, but Galadriel held her hands out in a warding manner. Legolas looked at her, and the Lady’s gaze seemed to explain her feelings. Legolas nodded, and went off. Mag continued to cry into her knees, and Galadriel herself lowered to Mag’s level. She let her into her arms. Magan was too wrapped up in her feelings, but later when she had her thoughts in order, she came to realize the connection she and Galadriel made at that time. It was as if her mother really was there. Her mom away from home. Mag sat back, and she looked at Galadriel, and was jealous of Celebrain, for she had been given the opportunity to grow with Galadriel as her mother. The Lady of Light looked at Mag.
“Are you sure you are making the right decision?” she asked Magan, and the girl looked at the elf quizzically.
“What do you mean?” Mag asked as they both rose, Mag wiping the tears away.
“Are you sure continuing is in the best interest of you and the Company?” Galadriel said more plainly. Mag thought.
“As much as I wish, there is no other place I belong.” Mag said. “I wish I could stay here, but I believe that I was put here for a purpose, and I doubt it is to stay here and be of little use to the Fellowship, and it’s task. I will go.”
Galadriel nodded. “Then go to the others, and prepare yourself. For hardship you will still suffer. Go.” She motioned to Legolas, who waited faithfully for her. Mag bowed with her hand over her heart, and slipped away. Legolas longed to ask what of her little ‘episode’, but just put a hand around her, and the two walked like kin. In appearance they were unlike, but in the heart, they were the same. Mag was glad of her decision.
And so, that night, the Fellowship debated of the road to come. It was obvious that most wanted to go to Minis Tirith, but the choice was still clouded. Aragorn was not sure of what he wanted. Mag herself didn’t even know, and she knew of what was to come.
“I shall go to Minis Tirith alone if need be, for it is my duty,” Boromir said. Magan watched him , though she was weary. The man watched Frodo intently, and Mag grew grievous. She knew what was to become of Boromir, and she was sure there was nothing there for her to do. She knew the path that was chosen for this Fellowship so long ago was successful, but a sure grave for the son of Denethor. Then, Boromir began to speak softly, as if to himself. “If you wish only to destroy the ring, then there is little use for war and weapons; and the Men of Minas Tirith cannot help. But if you wish to destroy the armed might of the Dark Lord, then it is folly to go without force into his domain; and folly to throw away-” Then Boromir stopped, suddenly aware that he’d been saying these things for all to hear. “It would be folly to throw away lives, I mean.” He stuttered. “It is a choice between defending a strong place and walking openly into the arms of death. At lease, that is how I see it.”
Boromir’s gaze changed as he looked at Frodo. Mag saw this. And she knew that what Boromir thought was different than what he had said. It wasn’t lives he thought folly to throw away; it was the Ring. Frodo seemed too to be working it out in his mind. Aragorn looked deep in the caverns of his own mind, and perhaps hadn’t caught Boromir’s thoughts. With Merry and Pippin already snoring and Sam barely awake, the conversation ended, and they went to sleep. Mag, however, did not fall asleep for a long time. And she knew she needed sleep. Tomorrow would be long and tedious. The night was growing long.
She needed to find Haldir. She had to tell him what was happening. She had to tell him that she would come back, after the War of the Ring. But she also wanted to tell him what she really was. He had the right to know. What if she suddenly disappeared, back home, her real home? What if she…
It was early in the morn, when some one shook her. The warm sun of daybreak in Lorien warmed her eye lids, and Mag sat up.
“Awake, Mistress Sluggard,” smiled Legolas, bending over her. “It is soon time to leave. Come.”
Mag stretched, yawned, and hopped off her couch. Legolas guided her to the others, who were packing. Elves, who could speak their language, were presenting the Fellowship with food and clothes. Mag looked around timidly around, perhaps hoping for a glance of a certain elf. But he was not there. Gimli was nibbling on lembas, and the elves laughed as he gobbled the rest down.
“I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dale-men make for journeys in the wild.” Said Gimli.
“So it is,” said an elf. “But we call it lembas, or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men, and is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.”
“Indeed, it is.” Said Gimli, and he went on to speak of how much better it was than the sort of waybread he was accustomed to. Then to them was brought cloaks, but Mag’s package was slightly different. In it was more than just a cloak, it also had a dress. It was similar to the clothing of the elves of Lorien, but more feminine.
“Indeed, you are in the favor of the lady!” said the elf to her, while the other elves handed the company their own cloaks. “For this once belonged to Galadriel herself.”
Mag smiled, and thanked the elf. She put it her into her pack with care, and put on her coat. It was of many colours, or so it seemed, while you moved. The cloak also came with a broach, and Mag held the leaf-like thing in her palm. It was very beautiful, one of the most beautiful things she’d seen. She put it on, and smiled.
They afterwards ate a little breakfast. Mag barely ate. She was basking in the memories of the past few days, when Haldir came. He was to be their guide once more. He smiled at Mag. Frodo greeted him happily.
“I hope that you had a well sleep,” he said to Magan. She walked over to him, and they embraced. It was probably an odd scene to the others, who had little comprehension of what was between the two. Haldir stood back.
“I have returned from the Northern Fences, and I am sent now to be your guide again. The Dimrill Dale is full of vapor and clouds of smoke, and the mountains are troubled. There are noises in the deep earth. If any of you had thought of returning northwards towards your homes, you would not have been able to pass that way. But come! Your path now goes South.”
They went, and Mag walked silently at Haldir’s left. She looked at him, and was trying to mentally figure out a way to say good-bye. But it still didn’t seem like this was happening. Maybe she was still asleep, maybe the days hadn’t gone by so quickly. Maybe she was still back in the pavilion. She couldn’t even begin to hope these true, but tried to keep a brave face. They came at last to a wall, and when they passed out of it, it was then that they’d left the city of the Galadhrim. Mag sighed shakily, and Haldir gave her hand a quick squeeze of encouragement. They continued along the path, and softly the elves behind them sung. They went through abundant mallorns, and Magan grew sadder. Never again would she see such great trees. Noon crept up on them, the sun high in the sky. At last they came to the banks of Silverlode. At the shore there were many boats, and the ones for the fellowship were gray. In them was rope, made of hithlain, which would come to be very useful for certain members of the Company.
“Come!” Haldir said at last. “All is now ready for you. Enter the boats! But take care at first!”
“Heed the words!” said other Elves. “These boats are light built, and they are crafty…”
But Mag stopped paying attention. While the others slowly lowered themselves into the boats, Mag’s lip quivered. Haldir led her back a ways, so the others would not see them.
“Now, be brave.” Haldir said with his hands on her shoulders. “And do not cry. We will see eachother again. I can feel it.”
“I wish it were so,” Mag said, looking off. “But I feel this will be our last meeting, Haldir. I love you, and I do not want to leave, but I cannot part with the Fellowship. They are family.”
“They are your family, as is the Lord and Lady mine, in a way. And when the War is over, and the Shadow falls, and the Dark Lord is defeated, we shall be together.” Haldir put his arms around her, and Magan rested her head against his chest, and warm tears fell. It sounded so nice, but the time when the Lord was to be defeated seemed too so long. Haldir lifted her face to his, and he softly kissed her lips. Then they heard a call from far off. They both looked towards the cry.
“Be brave.” Haldir said, as Mag turned to him, now crying openly. “Do not look back. And know that with you my heart goes, and I could not bare for anything to happen to you, so be strong and may your mind not linger here too long, for it may cloud your eyes.” He gave her one last hug, and Haldir tried to be strong, but a tear escaped. Mag nodded, stood back, and turned around. Her heart pounded with such a strong force, she felt she might throw up. She wiped the tears, and went to the boat. In it waited Legolas and Gimli, for the others were full of the Men and Hobbits. Mag sat down behind Legolas, some of the packs were placed on her lap for their boat was the baggage boat, and they went. Magan couldn’t help herself. She turned back, and Haldir stood there, the sweet wind blowing his golden hair. He nodded.
“I love you.” Mag mouthed, and Haldir returned it. Mag swollowed, and turned back, and watched the boat glide across the smooth water. Aragorn’s boat was first, and he led them around banks until they were met by two ships, that resembled great swans, both elegant. In one, Celeborn sat, tall and straight, and wise. Behind him stood Galadriel, and she sang in a cool, clear, musical voice:
I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came, and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
Mag listened to the Lady sing, and she closed her eyes, and was completely lost in thought. But it was nice thoughts. She opened her eyes at the end of the song, and Galadriel welcomed them.
“We have come to bid our last farewell, and to speed you with the blessings from our land.”
“Though you have been our guests, you have not eaten with us, and we bid you, therefore, to a parting feast, here in the flowing waters that will bear you far from Lorien.”
So they ate. Mag wasn’t hungry; she tired to preserve all that was going on in her head. Then, when they had finished, Celeborn spoke.
“As you go down the water, you will find that the trees will fail, and you will come to a barren country. There the River flows in a stony vales amid high moors, until at last after many leagues it comes to the tall island of the Tindrock, that we call the Tol Brandir. There it casts it’s arms about the steep shores of the isle, and falls when the great noise and smoke over the characters of Rauros down into the Nindalf, the Wetwang as it is called in your tongue. That is a wide region of sluggish fen where the stream becomes torturous and much divided. There Entwash flows in by many mouths from the Forest of Fangorn in the west. About that stream, on this side of the Great River, lies Rohan. On the further side are the bleak hills of Emyn Muil. The wind blows from the East there, for they look out over the Dead Marshes and the Noman-lands to the Cirith Gorgor and the black gates of Mordor. Boromir, and any that go with him seeking Minas Tirith, will do well to leave the Great River above Rauros and cross the Entwash before it finds the marshes. Yet they should not go too far up that stream, nor risk becoming entangled in the Forest of Fangorn. That is a strange land, and is now little known. But Boromir and Aragorn doubtless do not need this warning.”
Boromir nodded. “Indeed we have heard of Fangorn in Minas Tirith. But what I have heard seems to me for the most part old wives’ tales, such as we tell to our children. All that lies north of Rohan is now to us so far away that fancy can wander freely there. Of old Fangorn lay upon the borders of our realm; but it is now many lives of men since any of us visited it, to prove or disprove the legends that have come down from distant years. I have myself been at whiles in Rohan, but I have never crossed northwards. When I was sent out as a messenger, I passed through the Gap by the skirts of the White Mountains, and crossed Isen and the Greyflood into Northernland. A long and wearisome journey. Four hundred leagues I reckoned it, and it took me many moths; for I lost me horse at Tharbad, at the fording of the Greyfloor. After that journey, and the road I have trodden with this Company, I do not much doubt that I shall find a way through Rohan, and Fangorn too, if need be.”
“Then I need say no more.” Said Celeborn. “But do not despite the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know.”
All was silent, and they pondered this, then Galadriel took a cup from one of her hand maids, and lifted it up to show them all. She gave it to Celeborn, first to drink.
“Now it is time to drink the cup of farewell,” she looked on her love, and the Lord of that fair land. “Drink, Lord of the Galadhrim! And let not your heart be sad, though night must follow noon, and already our evening draweth nigh.”
And so each of them drank. She reached Mag last.
“And let not your heart be sad,” she said with a soft smile of reassuring. Mag bowed, and took the cup. It tasted sweet, almost like nectarines. She was lucky, for she got to finish it.
When Mag had finished, Galadriel bid them sit on the grass about them, and chair were set for the Lord and Lady. After watching them for a while, she spoke.
“We have drunk the cup of parting,” Galadriel said. “and the shadows fall between us. But before you go, I have brought in my ship gifts which the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim now offer you in memory of Lothlorien.”
And so to each of the Company, she called each forth, and presented them with gifts they would never forget, and cherish for ever. To Aragorn, she gave a sheath. It was beautiful, and wrought of silver and gold was the name Anduril, bejeweled with gems of many sorts, and they glittered in the day’s sunlight. Then she surrendered a clear green stone. It had first been given to Celebrain from her mother, and she gave it to her daughter, and now from Arwen Undomiel to him in hope. Aragorn thanked her in great praise.
And so Galadriel turned to Boromir, and gave him a brilliant belt of gold. Boromir seemed less wary of the elven-mistress, and took it with honor. To Merry and Pippin was given silver belts, and with jaw-dropped mouths, they accepted them with great relish. Legolas was given a quiver, very beautiful and elegant, yet deadly in the right hands, therefore whoever was to cross wrong sides with the elven prince would be in serious crap. It was that of the Lorien elves, and was longer and stouter than the Mirkwood bows, and with it came a quiver of arrows. Legolas looked like a boy on Christmas morning accepting a gift he’d wanted all year. Mag smiled as the twinkle in his eyes. Then she went to Sam. She gave to him a box, which was made of gray bark. Besides a silver ‘G’ on the lid, it was plain. But Sam went burgundy, and could only mumble his thanks. And so Galadriel came to Gimli, who seemed unusually fidgety. She asked what the elves could give him, and Gimli asked for naught. But when she question was pursued, the gift that came to Gimli was three strands of the Lady’s golden hair, and Gimli would treasure this for all his days.
She came to Magan, and smiled. “And what could you ask of the Galadhrim? Surely, there is something you desire.”
Mag sighed grimly. “What I desire is not yours to give.” And she looked down in sorrow. Galadriel nodded.
“No, it is not. But from that… desire comes a gift which I was given to pass to you.” And she gave Mag a blue-gray cloth. Mag took it, and when she opened it, she saw a necklace. It was in the shape of a star, wrought of silver, and in it was set three deep blue sapphires. Mag’s jaw dropped, snapped shut, and grew into a smile.
“It may come to use, or perhaps just keep a distant memory fresh in your mind. With it comes these words: ‘You are my light, my hope and my beloved. You are my star which chases away the darkness and shadow. Remain unscathed and come back to I.’ I think you know who gives you this.” Galadriel said, and Mag nodded.
“Thank you, Lady. I could accept nothing greater, and nothing greater could you have given.” Mag bowed with her hand over her heart. Galadriel bowed herself, and caught Mag completely off guard. And so she went to Frodo. To him was given the gathered light of Earendil. It shone in his hand, then he tucked it away, it to become of use someday.
And so they went to the boats. Elves on the shore pushed the boats from the shore, and the boats drifted out. They all watched Galadriel as they floated away. When she was nothing but a distant, shining gem Mag turned forward. Gimli was still turned towards her, watching her with love and compassion, and he cried, tears of sorrow falling from his cheeks. Mag knew how he felt, but not exactly. And so Galadriel sang out in an ancient tongue, that Mag couldn’t begin to comprehend. It was long, and sounded sad. Mag took a deep breath, and Legolas turned around. He gave a smile, though it was slightly puzzled. He saw the necklace dangling from her neck.
“It is beautiful.” Legolas said. Mag nodded. Galadriel’s voice rung out in the air;
“Ah! Like gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years numberless as the wings of trees! The years have passed like swift draughts of sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice, holy and queenly. Who now shall refill the cup for me? For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite had uplifted her hands like clouds, and all paths are drowned deep in shadow; and out of a grey country lies on the foaming waves between us, and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever. Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar! Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar! Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!”
And so that was the last Mag would hear from the Lady of Light, Galadriel, the Lady of the Galadhrim, beautiful and sorrowful, no longer terrible seeming, and not so mysterious. Magan was sad, and never would she again see such beauty in a woman, never again would she see such power, as the boats were swept around a bend. Never again would Magan, or any of the others, see such a fair, unspoiled land. Lorien was gone. Legolas turned back, and Gimli still wept. In fact, all the Company’s eyes were filled of tears, but none cried as heavily as Gimli. And he spoke.
“I have looked the last upon which is fairest.” He took a deep breath of fresh air. “Henceforth I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift.” He held his hand to his chest, and sighed again. Mag bit her lip, and her head rested on her head. She thought about the last few days, then was suddenly aware of the creeping Shadow, and what was to come. But whatever it was, the Fellowship would face it, and defeat it, and Mag knew that there cause was not lost, whatever the others may have thought, whatever odds might read. They would win.