LoTR: The Gathering.
Later that night, in the meeting place where the council meeting would be held the next day, everyone was sitting in the circle, telling tales and singing songs.
Elrond was asked several times about the empty seat beside him. He simply replied that the seat would soon be taken. Some little while later, he glanced up to see hidden within the shadows of the stairs to all but keen elvish sight, a solitary figure. “Ah, I see that the owner of this seat has arrived.”
With this, Elrond stood up and beckoned to the figure to come into the light of the circle. The gathering fell silent as they looked at Elrond, who was smiling towards the shadows, and then whispering began as each member of the party wondered who the latecomer might be. Aragorn hoped it was Arwen who was coming to listen to the tales and songs.
The hushed voices stopped as abruptly as they had started. The figure stepped out from the shadows – a red-haired female elf in a dress as dark as the night without a moon. The dress clung to her body as she walked towards a smiling Elrond.
“I am glad that you have joined us, my lady Solaris.” said Elrond, as he kissed her cheeks. She couldn’t help but notice that his eyes flickered over the dress she wore, as did the eyes of every male at the gathering.
“I surprise you with the dress, Lord Elrond?”
“So the mystery guest is a female elf, and she is as beautiful as any elf in my family.” whispered one of the elves.
Legolas was shocked to see her; Elrond had purposely ignored all the questions he had asked about the female he brought to Rivendell earlier that day. But now, here she was and he could finally introduce himself to her, and have the opportunity to question her himself.
“Honored friends, I would introduce you to the Lady Solaris,” said Elrond.
Legolas approached Solaris as she walked to her seat. Quietly he spoke, “I am Legolas Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood. I am the one who found you wounded in the forest and brought you here to Rivendell.”
“I thank you for what you did, Legolas,” smiled Solaris, gazing up at him. She sat down looked across at the tall Man that stood in a corner of the group a frown upon his face. She smirked at him before turning away.
The Lord of Rivendell turned to Solaris and said, “We would enjoy hearing a song or a tale from your homeland, my lady.”
“I am afraid I am not a great singer of songs, Lord Elrond,”
“Or a poem would work?” spoke Boromir, smiling towards her.
Solaris smiled shyly back at him, “If I were to recite my song as a poem it would not sound well. I will have to sing it.”
“Isilmesse matanen hoonelya papa ve tinge tango.
marya calasse Rano tirnelyen.
uuquen hanya oorelya.
iire Anor oantie cenen elye vanya ar *ausala, nan helca.
ve riima macilwa, *tana laice, *tana lisse.
uuquen hanya oorelya.
ilya nainielyo, nimbelya ar naicelya hempe varna i tauresse loomiva.
nulda oorelya naa i iluo onno ya quete mooresse, onno ya naina mooresse.” 1
They also asked her to sing another song, but she politely refused. More tales were recited before Lord Elrond called the gathering to a close so they all might all get some rest before the next morning’s meeting.
Solaris quickly left the circle and headed for a secluded spot near the edge of the many cliffs surrounding Rivendell. Several pairs of eyes watched as she left – including those belonging to Legolas. He was about to follow her when he saw Boromir had already started out after her. Legolas stepped into the shadows behind them, trailing them until the two had stopped; he watched and listened.
“I very much enjoyed your song, Solaris,” said Boromir, as he went to her side. He looked at his surroundings. “I see why this spot is recommended to those who need to be alone. It is quite beautiful here.”
“That it is. Why have you come here? Did you follow me here?” Solaris asked, as she turned her head towards him.
“No, I was just wished for some privacy. I’m sorry if I disturbed you. I’ll leave you alone.” Boromir said, bowing his head to her and starting to back away.
“Boromir, please stay. You are not disturbing me,” Solaris turned to look at him fully. “I’m the one who should be apologizing to you. I accused you of following me when you weren’t. I am unused to being in the company of men.”
“It is I who should be apologizing to you. I embarrassed you at the gathering, asking you to recite the song as a poem,” said Boromir, looking at her gently.
Solaris blushed and looked away from him towards one of the many waterfalls in this enchanted realm, in time to see two figures standing there.
“What do you see?” asked Boromir, following her gaze.
“Just Arwen and Strider…they’re talking. Oh no. She didn’t just do that!” she whispered quietly.
“What did she do?” asked Boromir.
“She just…it’s nothing. Just the madness of lovers.” smiled Solaris, walking past him and vanishing into the shadows of the night.
“Of all the elves I have seen, she is the most perfect! Now, how to woe such a beauty like her,”
“She will probably not take to a Man courting her, Boromir.” spoke a voice from the shadows. “She is an Elf, not one of your women who would fall flat on their faces at a gift from you. It is far harder to capture the heart of a female elf.”
Boromir’s sword was out and pointed in the direction of the voice.
“You would never have the chance to use that sword against me.” Legolas emerged from the shadows, with his bow in his hands, an arrow pointing at Boromir.
“Why would you think she wouldn’t take to someone like me, elf?” snapped Boromir.
“The name is Prince Legolas, not elf!” Legolas’ voice was quiet yet menacing. He did not lower his bow.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Aragorn was threading his way back to the private chambers of Lord Elrond in order to ask him for his daughter’s hand in marriage when his sharp ears detected angry voices. He changed direction and headed towards the sound. There in one of the secluded spots, he found the prince of Mirkwood aiming his bow and arrow at the son of Gondor’s steward, whose sword was pointed at the elf. “Legolas! Boromir! Put your weapons away! This is a place of peace.”
They turned and looked at him. Boromir, grumbling as he sheathed his sword in its scabbard, stomped off into the night. Aragorn and Legolas stood there for several moments before the silence was broken.
“I would not have harmed him, Aragorn…much,” said Legolas, with a sly smile on his face. “Just enough to cause him to wet himself with fright,”
Aragorn shook his head as he tried not to chuckle. “Where did Solaris go?”
“To the council circle I think,” Legolas replied. “Why do you want to know?”
Aragorn did not respond, but strode off in the direction of the circle, leaving Legolas alone to wonder at the sudden interest Aragorn had shown in the whereabouts of the female elf, Solaris.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Solaris had reached the place of the Council where they had gathered earlier that night, and paced. She just wanted to think whether she should attend the meeting in the morning. She had made her decision when she found a Hobbit’s pipe on the ground, after nearly treading on it. Just at that moment she heard the rapid but heavy-sounding steps of someone approaching. She turned to see one of the Hobbits.
“Didn’t know anyone would still be here,” said the Hobbit. “Just looking for my pipe, I must have dropped it here earlier and it’s the only one I have.”
“I found it, and unbroken. Did you make it?” asked Solaris, handing the pipe back to him.
“My father did. Forgive me, I have not introduced myself. I am Meriadoc Brandybuck, but everyone calls me Merry,” said Merry, as he took her hand and kissed it.
In keeping with Merry’s formal introduction the female elf said, “I am Solaris, of the Rangers of the North. No other here knows of this, thought I have seen for myself tonight that I am not the only Ranger here in Rivendell.”
“Strider is one of the Rangers. Spooky fellow, he is. Have you met my fellow Hobbits…you saw them at the Gathering earlier tonight? I could tell you about them whilst I escort you back to your chamber, if you would allow me that honor, for it is very late,” said Merry, with a hopeful smile on his face.
“I must first speak with Lord Elrond.”
“Then we can go together. Frodo is there with him talking about something – probably about the Nazgul who stabbed him,” said Merry.
They started to walk towards Elrond’s rooms but stopped abruptly. Standing in front of them was Strider, his hand on his sword, looking angry. “Merry, the others are waiting for you in Frodo’s chambers.”
Merry opened his mouth to object but the glare he got from Strider was enough to make him mumble off an apology and rush off.
“That was cruel, Strider.” Now alone and unarmed, Solaris felt vulnerable in the company of this man. She knew he could be dangerous.
The next moment, Strider was pressed against her, his hand over her mouth. “Not a word, Solaris. Come with me,” he whispered coldly.
Solaris followed Strider as he led her to a secluded glade, well away from prying ears. Here, they spoke heatedly for several minutes before Aragorn received a hard slap in the face, and then doubled over, laughing hard whilst Solaris stormed off.
Mind you, all translation of the words that I did in this chapter came from the helpful people on tolkienonline’s MB in the Language section.
1 In the moonlight I felt your heart quiver like a bow-string’s pulse.
In the moon’s pale light you looked at me.
Nobody knows your heart
When the sun has gone I see you beautiful and haunting, but cold
Like the blade of a knife so sharp, so sweet
Nobody knows your heart
All of your sorrow, grief and pain locked away in the forests of the night
Your secret heart belongs to the world of the things that sigh in the dark, of the things that cry in the dark.