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4
IV. The Blessing of the Waters (Elrond)





Anar lay low, Ithil rose, and my father steered Gil-Estel across the evening sky. I turned my eyes to a fairer sight: my lady herself. Celebrían arose from the river and flew to me like a great swan, her skin glistening, water streaming from her long silver hair.

I still wondered that she had left the peace of the Golden Wood and had come to wed me and bear our children. I had never thought to know happiness after the loss of parents, foster-father, brother and king. Celebrían had filled my days with contentment, my nights with joy.

She fit easily into my waiting arms, with grace and the comfort of long practice. Celebrían would quite soon depart to visit Lorien; and we yearned to spend as much time together as we could before her leavetaking.

The sky suddenly darkened. Mist clouded the Bruinen, or is it my eyes? Celebrían and I shivered at the same time. I remembered then, that the waters had divided me from my brother, and had sundered our parents from us so long ago. A glimpse of Mithlond flickered in my mind, a swift ship leaving its shore forever as my children wept at my side. What fell portent was this?

Celebrían laid her cheek against mine, and pressed my hand with her own strong, silken fingers. Surely this was an idle fancy, I thought. Clouded skies need not be harbingers of doom. Clouds can bring fruitful rain or merely hang placidly in the heavens. And no one in our small family showed any sign of sea-longing.

“Come with me now, melethron,” Celebrían challenged, mischief in her eyes. “Let us bathe once more before the night falls.”

We both stood up, and, hand in hand, ran to the river. The air was yet warm with the last heat of a fading summer day, the water cool against our skin. We dove and swam, and splashed like foolish children.

It was the last time that I heard her laugh.

Many months later, as I soothe my weeping daughter and try not to weep myself while we watch the ship carry the bitterly wounded Celebrían away, I remember that evening. And I bless the waters: the Bruinen for the joy we found there, and the Great Sea itself, that will take her far from danger into the West and the healing that I could not give her.


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In 2509 Celebrían wife of Elrond was journeying to Lórien when she was waylaid in the Redhorn Pass, and her escort being scattered by the sudden assault of the Orcs, she was seized and carried off. She was pursued and rescued by Elladan and Elrohir, but not before she had suffered torment and had received a poisoned wound. She was brought back to Imladris, and though healed in body by Elrond, lost all delight in Middle-earth, and the next year went to the Havens and passed over Sea.

Appendix A, Return of the King


Author's Note: The term melethron used by Celebrian in this story, is a masculine Sindarin noun meaning "lover". See Hiswelókë's Sindarin dictionary, which can be found here: http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/online/sindar/dict-sd-en-strict.html

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