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One Title: Your Story

A Fairy Tale, Middle-Earth style

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Namárie, or the Hues of White


Colours

Summary: The White Lady of the Golden Wood, Galadriel, Artanis, Nerwen. She is the last of the Noldor Exiles in Middle-earth, the most powerful of the Elves upon the Mortal Shores, but behind the picture of power and wisdom, there is a woman with feelings...

Rating: K

Disclaimer: J.R.R.Tolkien created the character of Galadriel, and wrote the poem Namárië in Quenya (the language that he created as well...) So a better question would be what he didn't create or inspire. The mistakes in this story, I would say. They are entirely my own.





Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,

Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind. For a moment they shimmer, carried on the wings of breeze, and then they are gone. Gone like a memory. But I remember. Once, two trees stood in the noon of the world. Ah, how proud and magnificent they stood, and the wind in their branches played thousands of songs. How gently the silver flowers of Telperion shone, and filled the night with a soft, caressing glow. How glorious shone the golden fruits of Laurelin, lighting the day with a rich and living light. Now they are gone: the leaves dry, the branches bare. Just like now, the wind took the dead leaves, and carried them gently, lay them reverently on the grass. Almost like gems they looked, like a golden and silver carpet strewn upon the ground. Dying. Dead. No leaf can survive separated from the tree. No leaf can return to the branch once it fell.

yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!

Long years numberless as the wings of trees passed since then, and again I watch the trees wither, their leaves falling, falling to the ground, in the stream, the wind, the water carrying them away. They are gold, like the leaves of Laurelin once were. But they are dying - a fading beauty. Arda is marred, and beauty withers and dies. What was once Laurelindórenan, now is just Lórien. The singing gold of the valley fell down with the leaves, the songs silenced. Just Dreamflower remained, nothing more. A dream that will pass with the dawn of a new age.

Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier

The long years have passed like swift draughts… Gone are those blissful years under the light of Trees. Gone are the days when the lords of Noldor founded their hidden cities and mighty kingdoms. The lands now lay under the Sea, forgotten, except for songs. No more do the proud helmets and sharp spears of the army of Firstborn reflect the rays of a young Sun. Gone is the brave Fingolfin, gone like a bright star quenched by heavy darkness. Gone is Finrod, my brother, the friend of Men, and the song of his harp faded from these shores. Gone is the genius of Fëanor, devoured by his own flame, and his proud sons, weighted by a terrible oath, have fallen under the weight of its words.

mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva

…of the sweet mead in lofty halls. We lived those years like gulps of wine. Willingly we went into exile, our heads proudly lifted. Even the betrayal and the sharp ice of Helcaraxë could not stop us. Fire was in our hearts, and I was Artanis, young and strong and proud. I was not content to live in a golden cage. I wanted a realm of my own, a land that I could rule and shape to my own desire. It was a heady wine, dark-red like blood. Blood and tears fell upon the soil of Middle-earth in a long war against darkness. We drank the years, we fought the battles, and the wine was rich and the blood was hot.

Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar

Beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda – there it began. It was before the jewels, before the Oath, in those years fresh like budding flowers when it seemed that there is no evil in the world. How young I was, and how proud! My hair was the most beautiful among the Noldor, they said. So gold, as if the light of Laurelin would get trapped in their living cascades. My beauty, my treasure, my pride. My uncle asked me for one strand. Just one strand of hair, to weave it into the most intricate jewels. I refused. But I know that in that moment, an idea was born in his mind. Light trapped in my hair – flattery of the bards! But he made those words true. He took the living light of the Trees, and trapped it, like a bird in a cage, in three jewels. The Silmarils…

nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni

wherein the stars tremble… a pure, white light, older than Trees. There, among the stars, set to a heavenly path, sails the last Silmaril now, out of the reach of any oaths. Those times became just old tales, and not many remember them. The stars circle their heavenly paths, unchanging, while the ages of the world pass by. Years? Years are just ripples in the stream, but the power of the river is immeasurable. The river of time can change its shores, sink entire lands. Year by year, ripple by ripple, trees grow and leaves fall. Year by year, ripple by ripple, young hearts find wisdom…

ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

in the song of her voice, holy and queenly. The years pass, and Varda’s stars dance in the rhythm of her song. But I wanted to sing my own songs. About the wind, about the leaves. I wanted my own land, where I could be the queen. In Middle-earth, my wish was granted. O Lórien, child of my song! I sang about trees, golden and silver, and in my land, the song came true. O Lórien! How little did I know back in those days in Valinor about the rulership! The land does not belong to me, but I belong to it. Joy and sorrow mixed, that is the rulership, and I am not a queen but a guardian – the Lady of Light shielding her land against the darkness of this world, making it a safe place, a memory of the beauty that was once. Bitter and sweet is that wine, and I am drinking the last drops from the cup. The age of Elves upon these shores is coming to the end…

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

Who now shall refill the cup for me? We lived those years like gulps of wine, and my cup is almost empty now. All the great deeds and glorious kingdoms I imagined when I set foot on the shores of Middle-earth for the first time are now past: the deeds done, the kingdoms gone. Even Lórien will lose its magic soon. The autumn comes. Dying leaves and reaping fruits – it is time to harvest what we have sown.

Not with wine will my cup be refilled – blood-red and bitter-sweet, heady with the passion of youth. From the hands of one man, I will accept a cup of clear water – wisdom and caring love, calm and quiet. Celeborn, my Silver Lord, you stood at my side for all the time, and your support gave me strength when the darkness was strongest. I do not desire realms and power anymore. Just give me your hand, and let us walk barefoot in the sand of Aman shores.

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars, has welcomed most of my kin back. I am the last one – the last from the Exiles who remains upon the Mortal shores. By death or by ship, they all returned home – and death was the route taken more often by those dear to me. Oh tell me Finrod, brother mine, did lord Námo already release you from his halls? From the lords of Noldor, you were the most kind and noble, the hewer of caves and friend of men. For a Mortal, you have suffered and died: a death most horrible, far from light, far from hope. Only darkness and pain for you faithfulness…

ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë,

from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds - to take your fëa home, and my mind was veiled in clouds much darker, in despair. So unfair it seemed to me that Beren lived, when the most noble elven lord, my brother, died. So senseless was his death, I though.

I could not be mistaken more.

For from the line of Beren, Elwing was born, and her sons Elrond and Elros. And while my own daughter found her happiness with Elron Peredhil, Elros chose a different fate, and the kingdoms of Middle-earth were shaped by the lines of his descendants. The last from that line sought shelter in my realm once, weary both in body and spirit. Only then I truly understood the price of Finrod’s sacrifice, and the love of Beren and Lúthien. For I saw the greatness in this mortal, and the love of my granddaughter for him. I looked into his eyes, and I saw something that reminded me on Finrod. The same selfless nobility… In the heart of my realm, upon Cerin Amroth, I blessed their love. This is what you died for, brother, and I will honour your sacrifice, even if I am losing my granddaughter for it.

Now you already walk in Valinor with Amarië, I hope, and know no more suffering. But I remain in Middle-earth,

ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;

and all paths are drowned deep in shadow. First it was the shadow of our Doom that obscured them, the fate of the Exiles who went against the will of Valar. But later, Morgoth has been defeated, and the Ban lifted. Yet I refused to return. Another shadow obscured the path for me. My own pride.

Me, the child of king Arafinwë, born in Aman under the light of Trees, should come back, begging for forgiveness? Should I be content with staying in Eldamar, within the sight of the shores of Aman? No, I could not. For I was Galadriel, the Lady of Light – radiant, shining white.

ar sindanóriello caita mornië

and out of a grey country darkness lies. All evil was not defeated with Morgoth, and light was still needed in Middle-earth. Mine, and that of my ring. I met Sauron for the first time when he came to Eregion as Annatar, offering his skills to Celebrimbor. I did not trust him then – and rightly so, for he betrayed the smiths of Eregion, creating the Ring of Power and binding all rings to his will. Only three were hidden from him, and one of them Nenya, the star upon my finger. The power of Nenya helped me to protected my land, keeping it untouched by years.

Darkness all around: threatening, oppressive darkness, and my land an island of light. Ever it was in my thoughts – the menace of Dol Guldur, just across the river, and the menace of the Eye, preparing for war, and searching for the lost Ring. That Ring, such a little piece of jewellery, yet changing so many fates. Often I wondered what would happen if I got it. Oh, all the power I ever longed for would be mine! The seas and lands would lie at my feet, and I would be their Queen, terrible and beautiful as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair! The Lady of Light… No, the Queen of Light! Dazzling, blinding, radiant white!

But…

i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië

on the foaming waves between us, the shade of eternal separation would fall. No, rather than a Queen of Middle-earth, I would be a simple elven woman, a daughter, a mother, a wife. My pride has led me far, but no more will it make my decisions. I have walked a long way in Middle earth. It led through pain and sorrows, but also love, through trials and suffering, but also joy. And at the end, it led to myself. No, I have passed the last trial laid before me, the last and biggest temptation of Galadriel. I refused the Ring of Power. I will diminish and pass to the West – but I will stay myself. Galadriel, the Lady of Light: simple, humble, pure white.

untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.

and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever. Jewels, rings… It must be something in the nature of us, Noldor, just like the pride. With jewels it began – with my uncle’s request for one strand of my hair. Now, three Ages of the world later, the request was repeated – by a dwarf! He did not know he is asking for a treasure I refused to the greatest of the Noldor. I bade him to choose a gift, and so he named it, yet so different from Fëanor’s was his request. For he named the desire of his heart humbly, as a compliment to me, but did not ask for it. The sincere admiration of a dwarf meant more to me than all flattery of poets in my youth in Aman. A long way I have walked since then… I didn’t give him one strand. I gave him three.

Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!

Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar! Just a few ships remain upon these shores, white swan-ships leaving the Grey Havens. The One Ring is no more, and the Three have lost their power. Grey are the new mornings, and the light is dimmed. To Lórien, winter will come, death and decay of all mortal things. For three Ages of the world I have dwelled upon the hither shore, mighty and tall like an old mallorn with deep roots. I was a ruler in my own realm, and brought a memory of the Undying lands to life in Middle-earth. But now I am tired and long for home. The time of the Elves is over, and the ships are leaving to the West. Is there a ship for me as well? Is there one for the White Lady of the Noldor, not a queen, but a humble traveller seeking a lost home?

Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar! There is a ship for me. A ship for all Ringbearers… I’m glad Frodo has a place here as well. I knew that he would find no peace upon these shores, even if he survived the Quest. I learnt that greatness is not always in wisdom and power. I am honoured to sail at his side.

Elrond is here as well. He did not speak much for the entire journey, but I know what burden lies on his heart. He is leaving Arwen behind, knowing he will never see her again. It burdens my heart as well, but I knew she found her happiness. Sometimes, however, I see Elrond looking to the West, and a slight smile is on his lips. I know he thinks of Celebrían in those moments. A parting and a hope for reuniting – that is this journey for both of us, and I am counting the days that remain, yet I fear the arrival. I will see my daughter again, and only then my worry for her will cease – I need to see with my own eyes that she found healing in the Blessed Realm, although I know in my heart she did, and that it will be complete when she embraces Elrond again.

It is another reuniting I fear. Will my father await me when the white ship arrives? Will he forgive me my pride? I returned, having achieved all I longed for, and yet I return humbly, for his forgiveness now means more than any kingdoms to me. And so, I will do what I have never done before, and never imagined I will ever do in my youth: I will ask for it…

Nai elyë hiruva!

Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell, Celeborn, my Silver Lord! Take care of our land, of those who remain. I wish you would leave with me, but even dimmed, the woods of Lórien grow still, and a few of our people stay. While the last of them stays, so will you, for you are the Lord of the Golden Wood when the Lady cannot remain. My time in Middle-earth is over, and my own words are coming true for me. If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore, thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more. Too long have I resisted the calling of the gulls, but now not even our love can give me the strength to resist. Not without the power of Nenya, and so I sail, and you stay. I will wait for you, my lord. I will watch for every coming ship, for I know that one of them will carry you to me. Then we will walk barefoot in the soft sand of Aman together, no more a Lord and Lady, but only husband and wife. The Sea will sing its eternal song, and wash out footsteps from the white sand, just like the memory of us will fade in Middle-earth, and become a tale and legend, a forgotten song fading in the twilight. So let it be. The time of Elves in Middle-earth is over, but it's enough that we have each other.

I will wait for you!

Namárië!

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