Gilsûl ran along the river Nimrodel. His red hair flowed with the breeze and his feet fell quickly yet almost silently onto the grassy floor of Lothlorien. The woods darkened but the moon and stars let him see. He looked for his love Estelmîr. They met at the funeral of their families. At first they became just friends but they soon after fell in love with each other. When Gilsûl finally found Estelmîr she sat with her feet in the cool clean water. “Suilaid, Gilsûl,” said she.
“I have wonderful news,” Gilsûl said. He seemed very excited.
Estelmîr gazed up into his grey eyes. She stood up and her golden hair shined in the moonlight. “Yes? I would love to hear it,” she said as she gave him a bright smile.
“Celeborn said that I can be Lord of the Golden Wood after he sails over the Sea. We will long be able to protect our home and all of the ones who choose to stay here. Imagine it, Estelmîr! It would be brilliant!” He had always wanted to have a position of power and importance and celebrated that he finally had his chance.
“But do you not want to sail over the Sea also?” Estelmîr questioned him. “Have you forgotten that I still do?”
Gilsûl stared at her for some time. He thought that she would want power more. “B-but…why do you not want to stay here?” said he, trying to make Estelmîr change her mind.
“Gilsûl,” said she before he could insult Valinor, “My mother once told me about Valinor. She said that the place is fair and the mellyrn are much older and better. I have always wanted to live here and there but I will take the chance and pass over the Sea.” In fact, she really wanted to do what she and her parents and older siblings once planned to do.
“Estelmîr,” responded Gilsûl. “I want to stay here. I do not want to go to some land where we would not have any rule and not have any real role of importance.”
Estelmîr made a slight giggle and said, “You sound somewhat like a small child. It is quite entertaining.”
Gilsûl became angry and snapped, “Never mind you! Why did I ever want to love you! There are many others who say that I am a handsome warrior and would love to rule this forest with!”
“I will pass over the Sea. Tomorrow.”
Gilsûl said nothing. Estelmîr kept calm and watched him dart into the darkness beneath the trees. He did not want her to see him crying. He felt too brave to cry so when he finally did he fled.
Estelmîr knew that he left to cry. She stood up and started to walk toward the talan she liked to sleep in when she ventured from Caras Galadon. Her great wisdom told her to do something that would make Gilsûl less self-centered. She decided to sing the song Galadriel had once taught her. She sang:
Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen, Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva? An sí Tintallë Varda Oilossëo Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë,
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië
untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!
Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?
An sí Tintallë Varda Oilossëo
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
She knew Gilsûl would remember about the wonderful land and leave. If not he would have to say Namárië.
* * * * * * * * * *
Estelmîr climbed up onto the high talan and quickly fell asleep. But Gilsûl, on the other hand still thought about the song he heard. “Rhaich,” he said to himself. “I will just go back to the city and tell Celeborn that I accept his offer. I can fall in love with some one else.” He felt better and started back toward Caras Galadon.
He walked slowly beside the singing waters of Nimrodel. He had heard the song about the sad tale of Nimrodel, but forgot. “What was that tale about Lady Nimrodel?” he asked himself.
He walked for only a mile and sat down against a tree. He blinked and saw some strange scene. He blinked and saw it again but this time he saw a dark-haired elf sitting with his feet in the river. “Elglin, my elder brother, no… it cannot be… h-he was killed with Ada and Naneth in an attack by orcs a long time ago…” said he.
He closed his eyes again and fell asleep.
He saw the same vision, but it showed more. A small elf-child ran to Elglin and jumped into his arms. “Suilaid, Elglin!” the little one said cheerfully. He wore a grey hood which covered all but his face.
“Suilaid!” said Elglin. “I can hear the beautiful singing of Nimrodel.”
“Yes, I do also. Can you tell me the story?” the boy said.
“Are you sure? It is a sad tale.”
Elglin grinned and laughed. “Alright,” he sighed, “but I will just summarize it a little.”
“Hannon le, Elglin!” the child said. “Hannon le!”
Elglin looked down into the clean waters and began. “I will sing you part of the song as it is sung in Westron. It goes:
An Elven-maid there was of old, A star was bound upon her brows, Her hair was long, her limbs were white, Beside the falls of Nimrodel, Where now she wanders none can tell, The elven-ship in haven grey A wind by night in Northern lands When dawn came dim the land was lost, Amroth beheld the fading shore
A shining star by day:
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold,
Her shoes of silver-grey.
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lorien the fair.
And fair she was and free;
And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden-tree.
By water clear and cool,
Her voice as falling silver fell
Into the shining pool.
In sunlight or in shade;
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed.
Beneath the mountain-lee
Awaited her for many a day
Beside the roaring sea.
Arose, and loud it cried,
And drove the ship from elven-strands
Across the streaming tide.
The mountains sinking grey
Beyond the heaving waves that tossed
Their plumes of blinding spray.
Now low beyond the swell,
And cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far from Nimrodel.
A star was bound upon her brows,
Her hair was long, her limbs were white,
Beside the falls of Nimrodel,
Where now she wanders none can tell,
The elven-ship in haven grey
A wind by night in Northern lands
When dawn came dim the land was lost,
Amroth beheld the fading shore
I am sorry but Ada taught me all he could remember after he came back from Imladris. But I can explain more than what I know from the song. Nimrodel was named after and lived by this river, but when evil came to Khazad-dûm she fled and was killed in the White Mountains.
“Her love King Amroth was in a white ship and jumped into the water when it went out to the sea. He tried to swim to shore because he wanted stay with Nimrodel but he died also.”
“At least their fëar would be together,” the child said as he took off his hood and exposed his red hair. “I would have tried to stay with my love too. Whether it would be staying in Middle-earth or sailing to Valinor.”
Elglin smiled thoughtfully and responded, “I am sure you would, Gilsûl.”
Gilsûl woke from the dream with a gasp and wept. He had slept for almost the whole day. “I remember,” he thought, “that did happen. Why did Elglin have to die? And Ada and Naneth? They were such kind elves. So was the child. Do not let him be dead!”
* * * * * * * * * *
Death and Despair
Gilsûl jumped up and began to dash to Caras Galadon. “I hope Estelmîr has not left yet!” he cried to himself. His heart was beating more because of fear than nervousness. He felt ill.
He took a short cut he found when he had lived no more than twelve years. It led him straight to the city. When he got there he went right to Celeborn. Gilsûl jogged up onto his magnificent talan. “Have you made your decision, Gilsûl, son of Glinsûl?” said Celeborn.
“Yes, Lord,” responded Gilsûl. “I am very sorry but I have decided to sail over the sea. My love Estelmîr is going so I must also.”
Celeborn’s face darkened. “That is very thoughtful,” said he, “but I am the one who should feel sorry. I hear that Estelmîr was slaughtered by one of the remaining servants of the Dark Lord earlier today out by her talan. I feel terrible to give you the news.”
Tears started to fill Gilsûl’s eyes. “Oh,” he said, disappointedly.
“You can leave, if you want,” offered Celeborn. He knew that Gilsûl had to go and mourn.
Gilsûl left quickly without even saying a word. Celeborn watched him until he had vanished into the distance.
Gilsûl scurried back to Estelmîr’s talan. When he got there he saw her lying on the ground with a black-feathered arrow sticking out of her right shoulder. “An orc, rhaich! I hate the foul creature!” he yelled.
He fell down onto his knees next to Estelmîr and kissed her cheek. “Estelmîr, I would have gone with you to Valinor! I really would have! If only you were not dead! I love you! I do!” he sobbed.
Gilsûl saw a shadow of an elf or human or something above him and he turned around. He stared up at an orc only about a yard away. “You foul creature! You monster!” Gilsûl shouted.
The orc only laughed and said, “Ya miss `er, I see! Why don’t I let ya be with `er!”
“No,” challenged Gilsûl, “I will get revenge!”
“Heh!” the savage laughed. “How d’you plan ta do that? Ya got no weapons. I got a bunch.”
Gilsûl at that moment realized that he had no chance. He prayed that the Valar would spare him. “Rhaich,” he thought. “What should I do!?!” Then he realized that he had two fighting knives on his belt. He unsheathed them.
The orc just cackled again. “That ain’t gonna do ya much good!” he said. “But I’ll do ya a favour and only fight with m’sword!”
Gilsûl knew that he had little chance against a sword but his anger made him fight. They both scratched each other’s skin many times but did nothing that could cause too much harm. Gilsûl moved too quick and gracefully for the orc to mortally wound him.
At one point Gilsûl went out of the orc’s sight by darting behind a tree. “Where are ya, coward!” the fell monster said as he spun around looking for Gilsûl.
Gilsûl then bounded out from behind a tree as he shouted, “This is for Estelmîr!” and stabbed the savage. The orc gasped and fell to the ground dead.
The Hardest Thing To Do
The heartbroken elf again started to weep over Estelmîr, but he suddenly heard some horse coming in his direction. He looked out into the blackening forest and saw a grey-hooded figure on a greyish-white horse. The figure spotted Gilsûl and yelled, “Gilsûl! I have been looking for you by orders of Lord Celeborn. It is me, Ithilion, son of Nargalad!”
When Ithilion came closer Gilsûl could recognize him and even his horse Gondorn. Gilsûl stood up and said, “Ithilion, mellon nîn, I cannot go.”
“Yes,” Ithilion said as his usually cheerful face darkened, “I know you do not want to leave. But we must,” he pointed to the dead fiend. “There might be more orcs.”
Gilsûl stayed silent in thought at first. Finally he said, “Alright, just let me say goodbye.” Tears rolled down his face as he knelt down to kiss Estelmîr. He just kissed her when he leaped up saying, “Wait! She is breathing!”
At that time they were both crying, but not tears of sadness. “Quickly,” ordered Ithilion, “put her onto Gondorn! We must hasten if we want to save her.”
They lifted Estelmîr up onto Gondorn, and Ithilion nudged the tall elf-horse forward and rode swiftly away with Estelmîr. Gilsûl began the journey back to Caras Galadon. The city seemed so far away to him.
When he got there he went directly to Estelmîr’s hospital bed, and held her hand. He could not wait until she woke and decided to try to wake her by singing their favourite song. His melodic chanting filled the air.
A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
silivren penna miriel
o menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees
The starlight on the Western Seas.
To his surprise Estelmîr did wake. “Gilsûl,” she said.
“Estelmîr!” exclaimed Gilsûl. “I am so glad to see you alive! I apologize for what I did. I was foolish. Please forgive me!”
“Gilsûl,” replied Estelmîr, “of course!” She sat up cautiously and kissed him.
“I do love you! I wanted power, but power is nothing. It is hard to leave all this land can offer behind. But the hardest thing to do is to leave you.”