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Under the Green Trees
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Title: Under the Green Trees

Author: Tuxedo Elf

Rating: PG13 (Gen fic)

Summary: Oropher thinks back on his long life

Notes: Possibly AU – I haven’t intentionally disregarded canon, but where there was no clear answer, I drew my own conclusions. All canon info was taken from ‘Unfinished Tales’. Malgalad was an early king of Lórien.
Rhovallos (Wildflower) is my own creation, as Tolkien never provided a wife for Oropher.

For Luin *Hugs*


~~~

All I wanted was a simple life, to live free of the complications of the great cities and the hierarchies that exist there. It seemed so needless to me, all the complicated procedures, even as a child I could always think of a dozen better ways to do things.
But who cares for the opinions of a child? I tried on numerous occasions to make others listen, but I was always ignored. Not until I reached maturity and established myself as a lord did my voice begin to be heard.
I vowed early on that if I ever had a child I would not dismiss them so easily.

When Doriath fell, I knew the time had come to start on the path I had always wanted. The Silvan Elves of the woods called to my heart and I knew that my future lay with them.

Gathering to me the few that felt the same way I did, we began the long trek to our new home. We had no definite destination but we did not need one, our feet carried us to the place we were meant to be, guided by the longing of our hearts.

At last we came to the place called Eryn Galen, The Green Wood. As soon as I stood under the leaves of those tall trees I knew without a doubt that I was home. My spirit sang in joy the deeper in we went, as though the life of the wood was joining with my very soul. Years later I would discover that was exactly what had happened.

They were wary of us at first, the Silvan elves. Not that I blamed them, to their eyes we were invaders, come to force our way of life upon them. But that was not what we wanted and I took great pains to show them that. For months we lived alongside them, forsaking our titles, working the land and building simple dwellings.

It was during this time that I met Rhovallos, she who would later become my wife. I was captivated by her, by her free spirit and knowledge of the woods. Barefoot and loose-haired she roamed unafraid through the forest, trusting in the trees to keep her safe from harm. Never once did they betray her trust and I wondered at the soul of one who commanded such loyalty.

Even knowing about the connection between Wood Elves and the land, I could not help but think that her connection seemed stronger than the others. I was drawn to her as I had been drawn to the wood and when she and I were finally bound after a long courtship, I felt truly happy for the first time in my life.

I had not thought about it at the time, for I never been one to think overly much about such things, but my wedding a Silvan Elf was a turning point in our relationship with the Elves of this land. They were convinced now that we had not come to oppress them, for my wife was respected amongst her people and would not have married one who would bring them harm.

As such they were more willing to listen to us and in time saw the things we could offer them as the gifts they were. Not long after that they agreed to take me as their lord. It is an honour almost beyond comprehension that the people you love return your feelings so much that they would let you lead them. With the Valar as my witness I swore to never knowingly betray them.

A decade later my son was born and my life was made complete. Thranduil we named him, the first Prince of a joined people. If my wife and I were loved, then he was adored, I do not know of a single elf in the Wood who did not speak with anything other than utter devotion to the young prince. How proud I was of him, how proud I still am.

I tried to remember what I had always told myself when I was young, that I would never dismiss anything he said because of his young age and cause him the same frustrations I had known as a child. Oh I made mistakes, I know I did, but I did my best and I was rewarded for it. He was a loving child and was never afraid to talk to his mother or I.

For a time we lived in peace, the life I had built everything I had ever wanted. I loved Rhovallos more and more the longer we were together and we both took great joy in watching our son grown into maturity.

We knew early on that he was a warrior; he showed a natural talent for both sword and bow. The lessons of book and quill were harder for him, but nonetheless he tried and we were well pleased with his work. Sometimes, if I felt he had done particularly well, I would take him hunting with me.

Those trips, when just the two of us rode out together were times I shall never forget. I did not always have as much time for my son as I would have wished and at times I felt burdened by our titles. But out in the forest we were free to be father and son, nothing more. I pray he cherishes those memories as I do.

Time moved on and things changed. The presence of dwarves so close to us unnerved me and it seemed that they were getting ever closer. Any trust that our races had once shared was long gone and I wanted them nowhere near my people. Yet I did nothing, knowing that my only course of action was to move my kingdom and I did not wish to uproot everyone.

However when Lórien allowed Celeborn and Galadriel into their borders, I changed my mind. Celeborn had been a friend once, a comrade, but his marriage to a Noldorin princess was something I simply could not comprehend. Why would he give his heart to one related to the kinslayers? Why too would a respected King such as Malgalad let them into his home?

I admit; I hold little love for the Noldor. Their people are tarnished with the stains of elven blood – even those not directly involved are somehow connected, a fact that troubles me greatly. They are a great people it is true, but that greatness has come at a price I deemed to high.

It was not an easy decision, but I eventually chose to move my kingdom deeper into the forest. Our peace was at risk and it was too precious to simply throw away.

My people followed without question and even, in some cases, with a sense of relief. The world was becoming an even more dangerous place than it had been and we wanted no part of it. We only wished to be left alone, our lives were simple compared to the Noldor, but there was no curse upon our heads and we were more than content.
At the time, I had thought it would be our only move. Despite the relief of some it was no easy task to move a whole kingdom, even with the help of my wife and son.
Yet fate was not on our side. Still others encroached upon our homeland – Elves, Dwarves and later even Men.

Twice more we ended up moving, drawing ever deeper into the depths of our forest until at last they troubled us no more and we dwelt in the solitude we desired, with only a handful of elves venturing out to seek news when it was deemed necessary.

We heard the rumours, of course, I had half expected them. We were mysterious, unknown and so had to be evil. I was called cruel and barbaric, my people crude and uncivilized. We were not even true elves, some said, but animals.

I laughed at them all, for I knew it was not true. We were happy in our solitude and cared little about what others thought of us. Besides, the rumours helped keep people away – I saw no need to shatter the illusion.

For centuries we lived in seclusion, hunting as we needed, living off the land and thriving because of it. My people grew in number, the land that loved them assisting where it could.

My son grew to be the commander of my army, second only to me – not from status, but from genuine skill and hard work. He still lacked skill in politics but he was learning swiftly and was still beloved amongst our people. In truth it made me laugh – he was very much his father’s son.

Then darkness came upon us and brought our once-peaceful existence to an end. Evil had risen in the form of Sauron and all were being called upon to fight against it.

Though we had no desire to venture out into the world, much less fight alongside the Noldor, I knew that this was not something we could ignore. Yes, I had little love for the Noldor and maybe even less for men, but they did not deserve to perish. This evil threatened us all and I knew there was only one way to regain our peace – we had to go to war.

It was with a heavy heart that I bid my wife farewell. I had loved her for so long and we had rarely been apart since our wedding day – my leaving was heartbreaking for both of us.

Yet there was one bright spot in all this – Thranduil marched with me, tall and proud in light armour. He would lead his own battalion when the time came to fight. I knew he would not let me down.

When we arrived I found that Gil-galad wanted to lead all the armies of elves and men. I declined, I had led my people for millennia, they trusted me and I would not let another take my troops to battle. It would be a betrayal.

He was not pleased, the High King, but I would not back down. He had enough under his command – my elves were loyal to me alone. I led them to our place on the lines, watching as my son led his own troops to their assigned spot. I was glad I could still see him; it eased the worry in my heart.

The wait for the battle seemed like an eternity. I have never been a terribly patient elf and waiting for battle is by far the worst. I could see the dark lines of the enemy approaching, getting closer and closer with every moment.

I had already decided that I would wait for Gil-galad’s signal, for he had by far the best vantage point on the field – or so I thought. He could see the gates and had a clear view of the main line – but I could see to the side – I could see the other dark regiment advancing quietly from the east, creeping up towards a regiment of unsuspecting Elves.

Not just any elves either, my heart twisted in fear as I realised that the Elves they were preparing to attack were my son’s regiment – and he along with them. I looked frantically at him, but he was too far away and there was no time to send a runner. With cold realisation I knew that the only chance my son had was for the orcs to be distracted.

Still, I could not do such a thing alone. I needed the support of my people. But I could not, I would not, order them. It was too dangerous - this would have to be of their own choosing.
Almost fearfully I looked to my captains nearby. They had seen what I had, knew what I was thinking. I need not have feared. Thranduil was dear to them and they did not hesitate to voice their loyalty and love.

I thanked them briefly, not having the time for more. No king could ever ask more of his people that what they gave me, had always given me. With no further hesitation I raised my sword into the air and letting out the battle-cry of Greenwood, led the charge.

In my ears I heard the horrified cries of the Noldor, but I heeded them not. Maybe it was selfish, but yes, I placed the life of my son over the lives of strangers. We all but flew into battle, the orcs seeing our attack and changing their course.

As the orcs turned, so did Thranduil. He saw what was happening and immediately sent his troops to aid us. The Noldor did not come, thinking us fools.
We battled alone, slowly turning the tide to out favour.

I never even felt the spear pierce my flesh. All I remember is looking down and seeing the ghastly black pole protruding from my stomach. A moment later, my knees gave way.

Warm arms wrapped themselves around my wounded body and with failing sight I saw my son. Darkness was falling swiftly around me, along with Namo’s siren call. Summoning the last of my strength I told him I loved him and that my death was not of his doing. His green eyes, like the leaves of my dear Greenwood, are my last memory.

Now I watch from the Grey Halls, waiting for the day when I will see my loved ones once more. I do not see everything, but I know that my beloved Rhovallos sailed west when I did not return and awaits me still on the White Shores.

I know that my son wed and had a son of his own, a true ray of sunshine in his darkened life. I know that my dear home is no longer green but black, but I also know that my son will triumph over the darkness.

I know that I will be with them all again, when Arda is finally free.

THE END

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