Thirty-three years had passed since Aegnor’s visit to Brithombar. Tiriel and Cirdan both regularly received letters from Nargothrond-Tiriel from Aegnor and Cirdan from Finrod. Tiriel usually read her letters by the pier, usually while she was sitting under a tree watching a ship being built. One spring day while she was reading a letter from Aegnor, a shadow fell over her and she looked up.
“Lerone, is there a problem?” asked Tiriel.
“Yes and no. I think Lord Aegnor wants to marry you when you become an adult instead of you marrying myself or another elf from the Havens.We used to be good friends and I would like to make our relationship a little more personal,” responded Lerone.
“I do not think he wishes to marry me, nor do I wish to marry anyone, especially you. You are a good person, but not the one I would choose to spend the rest of my life with. If you want to ask my father for permission to court me, do so,” responded Tiriel in a cool, almost angry voice as she got up to go to her father’s study.
“Father, I need to speak with you about some things I have seen and been told recently,” said Tiriel.
“What have you seen and heard?” asked Cirdan.
“Lerone asked me to court him a few minutes ago and I refused; he might try to ask your permission,” responded Tiriel.
“He will not receive it, even if he asks me. What is really bothering you?” asked a concerned Cirdan, who suspected what she was about to ask.
“I notice that I do not look like you and my mother is never mentioned-there is no grave for her in the graveyard. Did you find me in the woods and adopt me?” asked Tiriel with a hint of worry in her voice.
“I knew you would ask me that question at some point in time and I will tell you all that I know. Forty-seven years ago I was walking in the woods and found a group elves from Nargothrond dead, but your father was barely still alive. His dying wish was for me to raise you as my own daughter. Do you remember when Aegnor visited us?” responded Cirdan.
“Yes, I remember it very well.” said Tiriel.
“He came to tell me about your parents and to give me this,” said Cirdan as he opened a cabinet and took out an elegantly carved box and handed it to Tiriel. She opened it with great curiosity.
“Father, it’s gorgeous!!! Please tell me what you know about my birth parents,” Tiriel asked curiously.
Cirdan told Tiriel about Cotume and Laivindur, but he did not tell her about the debate over where she would go or if she would remain in Brithombar.
“Does this mean I must leave Brithombar and go to Doriath or Nargothrond?” asked Tiriel.
“I do not know, but I am sure that Finrod will let you choose where you will go or if you would remain here.” Said Cirdan
“I would like to see Middle-earth, but I would also like to remain here,” Tiriel stated.
“I will write Finrod concerning where you will go, but you should remain here for a few more years. Are you upset that you are not my birth daughter?” Cirdan asked anxiously.
“No, because you have raised me as your own daughter and you are the only father I know. Now that I know about my birth parents, I understand many things, especially Aegnor’s visit. Did he come on behalf of Lord Finrod?” said Tiriel.
“Yes and no; Finrod sent him to see you-how you acted and your temperament. He also came to relax-to escape the horrors of war.” responded Cirdan.
“Is the only reason Aegnor did not take me to Nargothrond with him because of how you raised me?” asked Tiriel.
“No, he would never force you to leave Brithombar. He came to see you, not to judge me on my child-raising skills. He came on behalf of Finrod to see your personality,” responded Cirdan.
“Why did he want to see what kind of personality I have?” asked Tiriel.
“To see which parent’s personality you have. According to Aegnor, you have most of your mother’s qualities and the best of your father’s-his natural curiosity and sense of approaching danger,” responded Cirdan.
“Am I to remain here until I become an adult?” asked Tiriel.*
“You may remain here as long as you like, but I would prefer for you to remain here for a few years after you become an adult. Do you want me to do anything about Lerone?” asked Cirdan.
“If he asks your permission to court me, please refuse and tell him not to ask me again,” Tiriel said laughing, which caused Cirdan to laugh as well. They passes the evening in the study laughing and talking, most of all about Aegnor’s visit and its effects.
* According to Morgoth’s Ring p. 210, Elves do not become adults until they reach the age of 50. At this point in the story, Tiriel is 47, so she will be an adult in 3 years.