I woke up thinking, `Oh, my God! Today is the day that my guests are going to be arriving. Tomorrow is MY WEDDING!’ Then, very quickly, I realized that Legolas would be arriving too. The thought of him was very dispiriting. Then my door burst open.
“Hello, sister,” Raukos said. He walked over to my bed and gathered me up in a huge hug. “Oh! Today is the last day that you are my little sister, tomorrow you will be Sabros’s wife.”
I was suddenly struck with a line that was common during any matrimonial activity.
“Don’t think about it as losing a sister, but that you’re gaining a brother,” I said with a smile.
“That is surely how our father is looking at it,” Raukos said bleakly. I knew exactly what he meant. Father had been so excited that Sabros was becoming part of the family.
“Well, come! Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel are to arrive within the next few hours! The soon-to-be-bride must be out there to greet them.” Raukos grabbed my hand and pulled me out of my bed. I then saw the black dress that was laid out across one of the chairs in my room.
“Must I wear that?” I whined as Raukos got to the door. He turned around and saw me looking at the dress.
“Moriwen, that is your finest gown! It looks beautiful on you,” Raukos protested, walking toward me.
“But-,” I just stared at the dress. It wasn’t completely black. It was decorated with silver ribbon and small red roses (not the kind that had green ribbons for leaves). My garnet necklace, that Raukos had given me when I first got there, was laying on the chest next to it.
“It’s so grim. And this is to be a happy day!”
“Moriwen! These are the colors of our kingdom, and you are to wear them proudly!” The tone of authority returned to his voice.
“Yes, Your Highness,” I muttered.
“Now… Don’t start that, Moriwen.” His voice softened. “I am just shocked that you are having trouble with wearing our colors. Well, enough of this talking and get dressed!”
When the door closed, I took off my night-gown and slipped on my underdress and then the black one. Then Silayah entered the room.
“I am so sorry, milady! I overslept, please forgive me!”
“It is forgiven and forgotten,” I said, getting tired of her needless formality.
“Thank you, milady. Now, shall I help you with your jewelry and hair?”
“Yes, please,” I agreed. Not because I needed her too, but because she knew a lot more about the Moriquendi styles than I did.
Just as I thought, she did my hair beautifully. She pulled back half of my hair behind my head and turned it into a bun. The garnet necklace was small and looked like a choker from Earth. I looked in the mirror and thought, `Oh, my God! I look like a prep!’ Then I looked down at my dress. `Okay, maybe a witch.’
“Come, milady. You must eat before the guests begin to arrive,” Silayah prompted.
I nodded and followed her out of the room. An elf stepped up beside me. I recognized him as Sabros’s confidant.
“Hello, Jatub,” I said as he fell in step at my side.
“Hello, Your Highness,” he replied without looking down at me.
“I assume that Sabros sent you to me.” The conversation between us was always short and to the point.
“Actually, yes. He wants you to come to his room.”
“Well, explain to your Lord Sabros that the bride is not allowed to see the groom on the day before the wedding or the next,” I said in a voice with an exaggerated authority.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
And with that, Jatub ducked back into the shadows. He moved with the precision of an assassin and it was rumored that he was just that. I had actually walked in on him and Sabros discussing… I didn’t understand a word that they said, but the tone of their voice suggested that they were up to no good. I assumed that they had been talking in the black speech. A horrible sounding language that is!
I turned the corner to see the breakfast table decorated beautifully! There were deep-red roses in onyx vases spread over the table. The food was piled high on golden plates, the smell of honey filled the air.
“Come, Your Highness! The Lord and Lady of Lorien are here,” a page yelled as he ran into the kitchen. I picked up my skirt so that the hem no longer touched the stone floor and followed him into the main hall and out the entrance. There I saw the Lady of Light once more. I gasped at the sight of her beauty. She and Celeborn dismounted their white horse and regally walked over to me. As Galadriel grasped my hands in greeting, I noticed the grave look in her eyes. In my head I heard her foreboding voice whisper, `Tomorrow your heart shall seal the fate of Middle-earth forever. Once you and Sabros are joined in marriage, all shall fall into chaos.’
I looked up at her wide-eyed.
“Welcome to Maddas,” I managed in a whisper.
“We appreciate the welcome,” was Lord Celeborn’s reply.
A maid came up behind us and asked if they wished to be shown to their rooms, or would they prefer breakfast.
I sat down in a red chair that a page had brought out for me. I waited then for an hour and a half before another guest arrived. It was the King and Queen of Gondor.
I had never set eyes on them before, but Legolas had told me tales of them. The elven Queen Arwen rode on a chestnut mare, her head held regally. King Aragorn dismounted, then helped down his wife. The King was the first to approach me.
“I assume that you are the bride to be,” he said while bowing.
“Yes, Your Majesty, that would be me,” I replied, returning the bow with a deep curtsey.
Then Queen Arwen walked over. She put a hand on my shoulder and smiled. She turned toward her husband and I followed her gaze.
“She is no doubt, her mothers daughter. She is as beautiful as Legolas described.” Queen Arwen turned back to me. “Though both my husband and I are not happy about your marriage to Sabros, we wish you luck in your union.”
I watched as the King and Queen of Gondor were led into the palace. I sat down to think about Queen Arwen had said. How come everyone was so against Sabros and I marrying? When I heard the trumpets announce that more royalty had arrived, I stood up and checked my hair and dress. Then I saw who was riding the horse when it came around the corner. I gasped. I followed him with my eyes as he dismounted and walked over to me.
“Hello, Princess Moriwen,” Legolas said as he took my hand and kissed it. “I apologize, but my father was unable to come. He is very busy in Mirkwood.”
I gave a shocked and clumsy curtsey.
“Moriwen, there you are.” I turned to see Raukos walking toward us. He put a hand on my shoulder and pulled me behind him.
“We’re… honored to have you here on this occasion, Prince Legolas,” my brother said.
“Thank you,” Legolas answered as he gave a polite bow, though I knew him well enough to recognize the murderous look in his eyes.
“Come. I’ll take you to your room, Legolas,” Raukos said, turning back towards the palace.
“I’ll take him, Raukos,” I volunteered. “The guests quarters are close to my own, and I need to get something out of there.” Raukos didn’t look convinced. “Plus, Sabros wants to see me,” I added.
Raukos looked at Legolas and reluctantly nodded.
“Follow me, Your Highness. Your things will be brought up by a page, later,” I said, seeing Legolas reach for one of his bags. He dropped his hand and followed me into the castle.
“How are you doing, Princess?” Legolas asked as we headed to his room.
“Very well, and you?”
“Horribly.” Legolas stopped and looked at me when he said this. I looked up at him, shocked. “I miss you greatly, Moriwen.” I looked down at my shoulder as his hand rested on it.
“You would do well to take your hand off me, Prince. For Sabros’s rooms are just down the hall,” I said coldly. I was still some-what under Sabros’s spell. But inside I though how glorious his touch felt after all this time.
“May I ask you a question, Moriwen?”
“Why did you stop loving me?”
I looked up into Legolas’s deep blue eyes to see them looking down into mine. His eyes seemed to be searching for an answer to his question, searching for a window into my mind and heart. A tear fell from my eye and I was forced to look away.
“Moriwen, why are you doing this? You cannot love Sabros-.” At the mention of my betrothed’s name I turned back to the Prince.
“But I do! Legolas, I do! I have given myself to him, both my body and heart, and I love him,” I screamed. By now my cheeks were wet and my eyes red with tears and anger. “Legolas… I can’t love you. I am not supposed to love you. I’m sorry that I led you to think I did-.”
“Led me?! You told me, Moriwen. You said that you loved me! And I you. I loved you with all my heart and I still do. I always will. And-.”
Legolas was cut off by the sound of a door opening.
“What is going on here?” I heard the voice of my betrothed command.
I turned my face away so that he could not see my tear stained face. I attempted to make my voice sound light-hearted.
“Sabros, darling. Go back to your room, for isn’t it bad luck for you to see me on this day. Now, go! You’ll have to wait until the wedding to see my face again.”
“What is the prince doing here with you?”
I could tell by his voice, that Sabros didn’t believe me.
“I was taking him to his room,” I answered flatly.
“I’ll take him. Go back downstairs and wait for our guest, Moriwen,” Sabros commanded.
“As you wish,” I answered and did as he said.
Later that day I greeted Lord Faramir and Lady Eowyn; Lord Elrond’s sons; and, oddly enough, Mithrandir. Going to sleep that night, I thought of how magnificent the day to come would be.
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.