Summary: After Aragorn Elessar's passing, Arwen wanders among the silent trees of Lothlorien. As she walks, she remembers the moment when her own path was laid before her feet.
Disclaimer: I don't own Lord of the Rings. It all belongs to Tolkien and his genius.
Arwen stood amongst the now
silent trees of Lothlorien, her father’s words ringing in her ears.
“Even if Aragorn is made king and all you hope for comes true, you
will still be parted.” Her father’s voice echoed in her thoughts.
She pressed her hand against the tree’s rough bark wishing she had
Legolas’s ability to talk to the stately foliage. Her mind travelled
back to a time that now seemed so long ago; the moment she had made
up her mind that she would be bound to Aragorn for all eternity.
Aragorn wearily placed one
foot in front of the other. His being ached for rest and his soul quaked
with unease. His travels had been long and difficult rendering him weary
in both body and mind. He paused at the edge of a beautiful wood, dropping
to the ground in exhaustion. His eyes closed as his head fell back against
the trunk of the tree behind him. His mind stubbornly whispered that
he must continue on his way to Imladris, yet his flesh refused to obey.
The gentle sound of a babbling brook invaded his thoughts and he forced
his eyes open. Turning his head, he pushed himself to his feet in search
of the flowing water. A few steps into the forest, a shallow brook of
clear water trickled merrily over smooth stones. He knelt, cupping the
cold liquid into his parched mouth. Suddenly he froze as a soft
sound captured his attention. The ranger slowly pivoted to see a trio
of elves arrayed behind him, arrows nocked to bent bows. Aragorn cautiously
rose to his feet, keeping his hands well away from his sword.
govannen.” He murmured quietly, inclining his head towards the
newcomers and placing his hand over his heart in the traditional elvish
The tallest of the three narrowed
his eyes slightly at the man’s use of Sindarin. “Man
eneth lin?” He replied in kind. (What is your name?)
nin. Telin o Imladris.” (I am Aragorn. I am from Rivendell.)
naa lle sinome Edan?” (Why are you here, human?)
Aragorn groaned inwardly. He
was far too weary to easily answer ancient elvish prejudices and so
he chose to ignore the intended insult. “I am simply seeking a place
in which to pass the night and I shall continue on in the morning.”
He replied calmly, resisting the childish urge to mutter under his breath
in the common tongue. “I mean you no harm.” He continued in flawless
“You have trespassed upon
the Golden Wood. Your coming here brings great peril to those that reside
within its boundaries.” The golden haired warrior replied his eyes
and voice as hard as steel.
The ranger blinked at the elf’s
words. “The Golden Wood, the home of Lady Galadriel and Lord
Celeborn.” He thought to himself. “I have heard Lord Elrond
speak of them many times.” Aloud he said. “Forgive me, I did
not know of your land. I will continue upon my path to Imladris on the
marrow. I have no desire to bring any misfortune to you or your people.”
A haughty look crossed the
elf’s face and he opened his mouth to speak. Just at that moment,
a fourth elf dropped soundlessly from the trees and murmured in his
ear. The arrogant cast turned to one of surprise as both elves turned
their bright eyes to the man.
“It would seem that Lady
Galadriel wishes to speak with you, Aragorn from Imladris. You will
come with us.” The statement was a command with no room for argument.
Aragorn nodded and fell into step with the quartet.
A few hours later the little
group crested the hill allowing Aragorn to capture his first look at Caras
Galadhon . The sheer
beauty of the heart of the Elvin dwelling overwhelmed him. Even the
beauty of the Last Homely House couldn’t compare to this. He was led
up the steps that wound around an enormous tree to a large
talan at the edge of which two beings awaited him.
“Welcome to Lothlorien, Aragorn
son of Arathorn and foster son of Elrond.” Galadriel said with a regal
Aragorn bowed before the great
lady. “I am honored to meet you milady.” He replied quietly,
awed by her presence. Her gentle laugh put him to ease.
“I have had a talan prepared
for you. Rumil will direct you to it.” She indicated one of the three
elves who had surprised him. “Take some rest and refreshment and I
will speak with you at a later time.”
Aragorn bowed again. “I am
most grateful, milady.” He turned to follow Rumil as the ellon
beckoned to him. The sun had set by this time, allowing him to see the
silver light that permeated the woods. He stared enthralled the sight.
Rumil chuckled, startling him
in the process. “It is beautiful, is it not?”
“Indeed. I have never seen
anything like it.” The ranger replied appreciatively.
“Please forgive my brother.
Haldir does not trust the race of men and as Marchwarden, he is most
protective of our realm.”
Aragorn smiled. “I can certainly
understand. He had no reason to trust me.”
“You speak Sindarin extremely
well for one of the second born.” Rumil observed.
“I was raised in Imladris
for a time. It is there that I am returning after much travel in the
“Hence the reason that the
Lady referred to you as Lord Elrond’s foster son. You are fortunate
indeed.” Rumil stopped before a door and opened it. “Here is
your chamber. Refreshment and a bath are waiting for you. Rest well.”
Aragorn thanked him before
closing the door. After a welcome bath, he dined on the fruit, bread
and wine that had been provided. Once his appetite was satisfied, he
climbed into the soft bed and fell into slumber as soon as his head
hit the pillow.
The next morning he awoke feeling
much refreshed. He sat up, stretching tired muscles as he did so. A
pile of fabric piled upon the table suddenly caught his eye and he smiled
as he realized that someone must have brought him clothing while he
slept. He rose and retrieved a silver tunic from the stack, drawing
the rich fabric through his fingers. The heady scent of mallorn leaves
came to his nostril and he breathed in the welcome savor. Just as he
finished pulling on his well worn boots there was a knock at the door.
He opened it and was startled to see Haldir standing before the entrance.
“Marchwarden Haldir.” He greeted the warrior.
“Aragorn. Lady Galadriel wishes you to break your fast with her. I
am here to escort you to her.” The golden haired elf said stiffly.
He didn’t wait for a response but turned on his heel, striding purposefully
towards the large tree in the center of the city.
The next two hours passed quickly
for the weary ranger and he found as he left the Lady’s company that
he was beginning to feel better. He decided to wander amongst the trees
for a time and simply do nothing.
Arwen hummed as she walked
along the path winding through the golden woods. She closed her eyes,
filled with the simple beauty around her. Suddenly her heart overflowed
with joy and she found herself dancing, her arms opened wide to embrace
the fullness of nature. A song of pure happiness sprang from her as
she wove in and around the mallorn trees. Suddenly she stopped as she
sensed someone coming towards her. She turned to see a tall lithe figure
clad in silver striding through the trees. A bright gem glittered from
his forehead in stark contrast to his raven hair. She caught her breath
at the sight, wondering for a moment who the strange Elf-lord could
be. He drew closer and amazement flooded her as she realized that he
was a man and that she knew him. “Aragorn of the Dunadain, well met
“Arwen Undomiel, well met
indeed.” Aragorn replied bowing over her hand and then kissing her
fingers. “May I walk with you milady?”
A brilliant smile crossed her
fair visage. “Certainly milord.” She answered as he tucked her hand
into the crook of his arm.
The days passed swiftly as
Arwen and Aragorn wandered together throughout Lothlorien. Galadriel
smiled as she watched her granddaughter and the man laugh at some small
thing. It had been far too long since the Evenstar’s heart had been
light and her mirth heard.
“He is a man and he will
lead her to doom.” Haldir muttered softly in Sindarin as he came to
his Lady’s side. His bright eyes were focused on the couple in the
glade below them.
“You should not doubt him.
His love for her is true.” Galadriel reproached her Marchwarden gently.
“It is because of the Race
of men that evil remains. Is it not but for the folly of Isildur that
the dark lord is once again gathering his strength?” Haldir sketched
a brow, although he had the good sense to look abashed.
“Yes it is true. However,
that is not your judgment to make. Aragorn is the son, not the sire.
It is his destiny to reclaim his ancestor’s crown.”
Haldir glanced over to see
the light of foresight in his lady’s eyes. He sighed as his gaze returned
to the couple before him.
“Jealousy does not become
“I am not jealous milady.
I simply do not wish to see her come to harm or to fade as the lady
Luthien did. I promised her brothers that I would care for her while
she dwelt here.” He murmured softly. “I shudder to face the twins
if their sister comes to harm.”
Galadriel’s clear sweet laugh
rang out like a bell in the evening dusk. “Aragorn will not harm her.
I fear only what her father’s reaction will be.”
Aragorn and Arwen heard nothing
of the exchange as they wandered barefoot among the soft grasses laden
with elanor and niphredil. Soon they stood hand in hand upon Cerin Amroth.
Aragorn felt his heart would burst from happiness as he beheld the image
of loveliness beside him. He turned to her, taking both her hands in
his. “Arwen Undomiel, I have loved you since I first saw you as a
young man of but twenty. Your father told me that I would be trothplighted
to no one until I had been found worthy. I have passed through many
sore trials and have come into my own. Now that time is come and I would
be bound to you.” He drew the ring of Barahir from his hand and placed
it upon her finger. “Would you be bound to me?”
Arwen smiled. “I love you
with all my heart Aragorn. Yes, I would be bound to you for the whole
of your life forsaking the immortality of my people.” She pulled him
forward until their lips met in a passionate kiss.
Elrond stood upon the balcony
overlooking Imladris as Aragorn slowly rode into view. The Elvin lord
narrowed his eyes at the unfamiliar mount his foster son was guiding.
The man was flanked by both Glorfindel and Elladan while Elrohir brought
up the rear. Weariness of travel was tempered by the light of joy upon
his face. A sudden realization struck him and a dread of certain doom
came upon him. “Arwen has made her choice.” He thought within
himself closing his eyes as a familiar sadness filled him.
“She has chosen a mortal life. I will lose her as certainly
as I lost my Celebrian. Only this time it will be for
eternity.” He turned from the rail and strode to the steps leading
to the door of the Last Homely House. Aragorn bowed his head before
him but the elf would have none of the formality and embraced him as
his son. “Welcome home, ion nin.”
“It’s good to be home,
Ada.” Aragorn replied in kind. A hint of emotion flashed in the ranger’s
grey eyes as he stepped away from his foster father. He sensed that
he would soon be called to the elf lord’s study. Elladan, knowing
the direction of his brother’s thoughts, squeezed his shoulder in
a gesture of solidarity before passing into the house.
That evening, Aragorn’s belief
was proved by his summons to Elrond’s private library. He halted before
the threshold as he beheld Elrond standing before the hearth, his hands
clasped behind him. He beckoned the man closed before offering him a
goblet of wine. Aragorn took a seat, knowing the elf would speak when
he was ready.
“Aragorn, my son, I know
what is in your mind. Long has your heart been turned towards my daughter.
Yet I am uncertain of the future save only that there are dark times
ahead. Perhaps, in the giving of her hand to you, hope shall be restored
to the race of men. However, I shall give my blessing to no less than
the one who will reunite the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor. Once that
is accomplished, despite the pain of losing Arwen, I shall gift to you
the joy of my daughter.” He came near and kissed his foster son on
the brow. “Fear not ion nin. I shall love you always even in my sorrow
at losing my child to the doom of men.”
May 1st 3019
“You are resolved to stay
this course then my daughter?” Elrond asked as morning light streaked
the sky. Arwen turned from the balcony where she was watching the rising
“I am Ada. I have promised
him my heart and I should never find peace in another path.”
“Is there naught I can say
to sway you?” He replied softly, taking her hand in his. “I would
not have you bear the sorrow that is to come, for though Aragorn Elessar
has been granted the lifespan of three men, his passing shall surely
come. Then you shall know such grief unlike that you have ever known.”
“Ada, I have made my choice.
I am resolved to be wedded to Aragorn Elessar, who was once called Estel.
Together we shall bring hope to the people of Gondor and Arnor.”
Arwen Evenstar remained also, and she said farewell to her brethren.
None saw her last meeting with Elrond her father, for they went up into
the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was their parting
that should endure beyond the ends of the world.”
Return of the King: Many Partings.