MARCH / APRIL 2013: BY JEANNA MARIE
O môr henion i dhû. Ely siriar, êl síla. Ai! Aníron Undómiel!
It was the eve of a historic day. The coronation of Isildur’s long-awaited heir would unite the war-ravaged people of Middle Earth—a land thought to be forever divided, forever lost. Aragorn, son of Arathorn, King Elessar of the House of Telecontar, had finally come home. In blazing glory, he’d united his kingdom and guided her to triumph in the War of the Ring. The Dark Lord Sauron was defeated and the Ring destroyed. Mordor, not Gondor, lay in ruins. Evil and tyranny, so long prevalent, could once more become but a stranger, for good had prevailed.
Above the city of Minas Tirith, millions of stars shone like glittering jewels, joining a luminous moon in applauding Middle Earth—and her king—its victory. Minas Tirith seemed to drink in the peace of the placid night, only occasionally interrupted by the rustling of the newly flowering tree outside its throne room. Until…
A moving shadow crept across the courtyard housing the White Tree of Gondor, creeping toward the magnificent doors hiding the royal throne room from view. A man became apparent as he opened the doors quietly and slipped inside, slowly walking, aided only by the light of the moon, into the darkened space. His stride was noble, his head held high. There was no manner of deceit in him. No misplaced pride. He belonged here somehow, despite the furtive approach.
As he paused in the center his chest rising and falling in a deep, gentle breath, he gazed at the throne. Tomorrow, a king would occupy that seat. His eyes boldly traveled to one side of the space and then the other, taking in the stone statues of the kings of old lining the walls. Finally, one more king of Middle Earth was to be welcomed into their midst.
Suddenly, a change overcame him. His gaze faltered; his head, so proudly held a moment ago, now drooped. The noble, broad shoulders slumped. Ever so slowly, his right hand crept up his strong chest and rested on something—a glittering pendant encircling his neck. Reverently, he reached up and unlatched the delicate clasp. His gaze focused intensely on it, twinkling in the rays of the moon, shining with an effervescent glow. The room and even the throne itself seemed to dim as it recognized the presence of the glorious object, or, rather, the someone it recalled.
“Arwen…” The name, uttered so softly, so reverently, still echoed loudly throughout the great, lonely hall.
The man haltingly stumbled to the steps that led to the throne. There, his knees gave way, and he fell upon the stone steps, the pendant still cradled in his hand. A tear slid down his bearded cheek, closely followed by a steady flow of salty companions.
Upon the steps that led to the throne he would take tomorrow, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, the King Elessar, wept, with his whole body shaking. He cried for the elf maiden he had so long loved and could not have—for the beautiful Evenstar of her people had traveled to Valinor to live her immortal life. And he had no way to follow.
His shoulders shook more vehemently as a cry of excruciating pain escaped his lips. For though he had gained a kingdom, he had lost his own heart and soul.
Tiro! Êl eria e môr. I ‘lîr en êl luitha ‘úren. Ai! Aníron…
A distance from Minas Tirith, deep in a crowded woods, the peaceful quiet still reigned. Had it been a week earlier no one would have dared sleep without a guard in such a silent, dark forest, but no more. The quiet was no longer menacing; it was welcoming. In a particular clearing in the lush, green forest, an encampment of elves slept—their tents neatly pitched, embers of their fires glowing. Only the sound of the soft breathing of the immortal creatures broke the calm of the night. Almost.
All but one elf maiden was sleeping. Quietly, so as not to disturb the others, she rose from her makeshift bed and emerged from her tent. Lightly stepping across the ground in her bare feet, she moved effortlessly away. A deer nearby watched her drift across the ground, its nervous heart soon relaxing as the animal realized there was nothing to fear from her.
The maiden stopped a fair distance from the camp, in a place where the forest was not so dense and she could look up and see the vivid night sky. A cloud passed briefly over the white moon, shrouding the elf in darkness and only succeeding in making her all the more beautiful when it passed and moonlight revealed her upturned head. The sparkling light reflected the kindness in her eyes, the exquisite gentleness in her movements. The deer moved closer, seeming to sense something different about the divine maiden. She must have sensed the deer’s interest, for she turned and smiled on it.
“Mae Govannen!” she whispered in the Elvish tongue.
The deer shot away from the clearing in a speed that rivaled lightening, leaving the elf to softly chuckle. “Beyest lin!” she called after it. Her gleaming blue eyes shone as she turned and fixed her gaze on a gathering of flowers newly rooting in the ground. Excitement shimmered through her, and a smile spread across her lips as she gracefully knelt beside the new life.
“Wise little plant, you know it, too!” she whispered. “Aragorn is to be crowned king tomorrow. And I….”
Her sweet smile faded, her apparent joy dimming as her fingers lifted to her neck in uncharacteristic speed, traveling the length of her chest and tracing where her beautiful pendant, her namesake, usually lay. A single tear for the man she loved slid from the corner of one eye and down her quickly paling cheek. “Estelio…” she whispered, her eyes sliding shut. “Estelio…”
The curious deer now returned, moving from its protective covering out into the open clearing once more, prompted by the now grieving maiden to apologize for its fearful exit only a moment ago. There was no way for the poor animal to know the one needing the proffered comfort was not she.
The sadness passing from her in but a moment, the elf’s eyes flew open. With a strength unknown to even the bravest man making the night air electric, she rose from her knees and looked up once more at the bright moon, her eyes clearing of tears. A soft smile again graced her lips. “Trust in us, Estel,” she whispered. “I’m on my way.” ♥
English translation of “Aniron”:
1st line: “From darkness I understand the night: dreams flow, a star shines. Ah! I desire Arwen Evenstar.”
2nd line: “Look! A star rises out of the darkness. The song of the star enchants my heart! Ah! I desire…”