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A Study in Opposites


Opposites

Summary: Gimli meets Legolas for the first time. Exactly 500 words.





There was also a strange Elf clad in green and brown, Legolas, a messenger from his father, Thranduil, the King of the Elves of Northern Mirkwood.” ~ Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring

19th of Quellë in the 3018 Year of the Third Age, Reckoning of Rivendell:

Here is a study in opposites.

This was Gimli’s first thought as he gazed at Legolas. He and his Father were sitting in a loose circle on the porch outside the Last Homely House with the others Elrond had summoned to the council. A bell had just tolled and they were waiting for the Hobbits and Wizard to arrive. The autumn morning was clear and crisp, ringing with the sounds of birds and the burbling of the river beyond.

Gimli had often accompanied his father when he acted as King Dáin’s emissary to the Elvenking. However, Gimli had never before seen Thranduil’s son and only knew who the Elf was because his father had just informed him surreptitiously in Iglishmêk. Yet Legolas was strange, even for an Elf; while everyone else’s face were grave, Thranduil’s son seemed unduly cheerful, smiling slightly as he stared out at the Baranduin in the distance.

The Elf also seemed to be improperly attired.

Gimli’s father was wearing a white tunic, with a belt of silver and diamonds he had crafted himself. Glóin father was one of the greatest silversmiths among Durin’s Folk and even Khazâd of other Houses had sought to learn what he knew of his craft. Gimli thought that his father looked just as splendid as the Elves of Rivendell in their richly dyed robes. Even the Elf from the Havens was grand in his indigo tunic and necklace with a nacre pendant.

Yet Legolas was dressed no better than the Man Strider, both of them clad in travel worn clothes.

It had taken them twenty eight days and 160 leagues to reach Rivendell. They had traveled with his father’s apprentices, for the Old Forest Road and High Pass were increasingly dangerous. Yet Thranduil’s son had made the journey alone. Moreover, he was garbed, not in the bright mail of the Elves, but in leathers and green linen. And he was armed, not with a sword, but with a bow and long knife.

He appeared more hunter than warrior.

‘He looks like his father.’ Gimli signed covertly in Iglishmêk.

This was true, yet, it was also untrue. Thranduil’s son had inherited his golden hair and bright emerald eyes. However, the Elvenking had always seem to Gimli to possess an air of authority and power that his son clearly lacked. He also seemed to lack the wary condescension that Thranduil often displayed when forced to treat with Glóin.

Aye, he does.’ His father signed in answer. ‘Seldom have I spoken with him, yet I have found his temperament differs from that of his father. Still, do not drop your guard around him.
He is wiser than he appears.’

Gimli snorted softly at the notion that he would drop his guard around anyone, no less a son of Thranduil. Yet, as Gandalf and the two Hobbits arrived and Lord Elrond began speaking, Gimli could not help but wonder what made Legolas so different from his father or even the other Elves he had met.

Glossary

Khazâd (Khuzdul): ‘Dwarves’.

Iglishmêk (Khuzdul): Name of the Dwarvish sign-language.

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