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In Body and Mind
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Nearly an age after the War of the Alliance an elf encounters someone she thought long dead - or does she?


In the Hall of Fire a minstrel sings The Fall of Gil-galad - rendered in Westron for the Halflings' benefit, Elrond's daughter tells me.

Nearly an age has passed, yet with eyes closed I can see once again the image of Gil-galad, Elendil Vorondo, bold Isildur, and at his side...

He was the fairest Dúnedain I had ever beheld - like his grandsire, strong and wise, yet without conceit. If ever I were to love a Man...

The song ends; a new song begins. I open misty eyes to see him walking toward me.


Beside me Arwen breathes one word: "Estel."


Author's notes:

This drabble was inspired by information found in Unfinished Tales: The Disaster of the Gladden Fields, where Tolkien wrote of the death of Isildur and his three eldest sons, Elendur, Aratan and Ciryon. Most specifically, it was inspired by this reference to Elendur:
…Of what befell the Dúnedain only this was later known: ere long they all lay dead, save one, a young esquire stunned and buried under fallen men. So perished Elendur, who should afterwards have been King, and as all foretold who knew him, in his strength and wisdom, and his majesty without pride, one of the greatest, the fairest of the seed of Elendil, most like to his grandsire. (26)
According to the text which followed, titled On sources of the legend of Isildur’s death, we are told that the “young esquire” who survived was:
…Elendur's esquire, named Estelmo, and was one of the last to fall, but was stunned by a club, and not slain, and was found alive under Elendur's body…There were rescuers who came on the scene too late, but in time to disturb the Orcs and prevent their mutilation of the bodies: for there were certain Woodmen who got news to Thranduil by runners…
From the notes comes this comment:
(26) It is said that in later days those (such as Elrond) whose memories recalled [Elendur] were struck by the great likeness to him, in body and mind, of King Elessar [i.e. Aragorn], the victor in the War of the Ring, in which both the Ring and Sauron were ended for ever. Elessar was according to the records of the Dúnedain the descendant in the thirty eighth degree of Elendur's brother Valandil. So long was it before [Elendur] was avenged. [Author's note.]
The name Elendil Vorondo, meaning Elendil the Faithful, is found in the oath spoken by Cirion in Unfinished Tales: Part Three – The Third Age: II – Cirion and Eorl:
Vanda sina termaruva Elenna-nóreo alcar enyalien ar Elendil Vorondo voronwë. Nai tiruvantes i hárar mahalmassen mi Númen ar i Eru i or ilyë mahalmar eä tennoio.
Cirion repeated the oath in the Common Speech:
This oath shall stand in memory of the glory of the Land of the Star, and of the faith of Elendil the Faithful, in the keeping of those who sit upon the thrones of the West and of the One who is above all thrones for ever.
Isildur’s boldness was exemplified when he stole the fruit of the White Tree, Nimloth, as related in The Silmarillion: Akallabêth.

A portion of The Fall of Gil-galad, as recited in the Common Speech by Samwise, is found in The Lord of the Rings: Book One: Chapter XI – A Knife in the Dark, a recitation which elicited this comment by Strider/Aragorn:
‘…It is part of the lay that is call The Fall of Gil-galad, which is in an ancient tongue. Bilbo must have translated it…’
I rather liked the notion that the Elves of Rivendell might sing the lay in the Common Speech, in part for the benefit of their hobbit guests, and in part to humor Bilbo.

And we learn of Aragorn’s boyhood name, Estel, in LotR's Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers: I – The Númenörean Kings: (v) - …The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.

The narrator is an elf, an OFC whose full story has yet to be writ. The scene is, of course, inspired by events in LotR: Book Two: Chapter I – Many Meetings.


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