Chapter Notes (removed temporarily)
The Battle of the Field of Celebrant: Background
Tolkien, in his earlier writings, originally mentioned that the sons of Elrond fought in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, but apparently abandoned the concept before The Lord of the Rings was published, much to my disappointment. I am still intrigued by the idea of Elladan and Elrohir fighting, and the fact that this battle apparently occurred within months after their mother, Celebrían, sailed to the Undying Lands because of her torment at the hands of Orcs.
I am also fascinated by the historical significance of that particular battle and its aftermath; the Riders of the North who came to Gondor's aid migrated to the land we now call Rohan and became Gondor's staunchest allies. Also, I imagine that the battle spawned some interesting tales among the participants that might have been handed down through the generations.
In this drabble series, I am trying to examine the actions and motivations of the twins that lead to their participation in the battle, and then the ever-widening ripples of consequences of that battle for various other persons in Middle-earth.
Each drabble is written from the point of view of a single person who interacts with the twins, or participates in the battle, or witnesses the battle or its aftereffects. By "witness", I mean see, hear about, or even just think about the battle — whether before, during, or after (possibly long after) the event.
I hope to view the historical events (canon or imagined) described in this series through very intimate, personal lenses, to make them more understandable on an individual scale.
The title of this series is taken from Tolkien's own words. Despite the fact that he was not referring to the sons of Elrond, but to the Rohirrim of Éomer's éored, I felt the description to be more than apt:
[The] foremost horseman swerved,... leading the host back southward along the western skirts of the downs. After him they rode: a long line of mail-clad men, swift, shining, fell and fair to look upon.What can I say? I'm quite as fond of hunky Rohirrim as of hunky Peredhil.
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan
Recently, I decided to challenge myself to write the drabbles in British English, just to see if I have learned enough from reading Tolkien to be successful. With the patient help of my beta reader, Tanaqui, I think that effort has been largely successful; however, these author's notes will remain in my native idiom.
I dedicate this drabble-story to my friend Tanaqui, who has encouraged, supported, pushed, pulled, pleaded, cajoled, bullied, nagged, and nuzgûled me throughout the writing process, over a period of four years. Each chapter is infinitely better than it started, due solely to the persistent critiques of this beta-reader extraordinaire.
Liz, to you I gratefully repeat Théoden's words to Merry:
'Take your sword and bear it unto good fortune!'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company
My sincerest apologies, but I have run into serious technical issues on this site, which force me to cut my Author's Notes down from 37,500 words to around 2000, and also to disable the in-document links from the Table of Contents above. The copy of the story on this site, though posted only temporarily, is complete except for the notes, which are available in their entirety here: Fell and Fair: Author's Notes.
This was the decisive battle in 2510 that ended the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs; Eorl the Young rode to Gondor's aid just in time, and routed the invaders that had been on the verge of destroying Gondor's northern army. Cirion, Steward of Gondor, gave Calenardhon (later called Rohan) to Eorl's people in gratitude:
Sauron stirs up mischief, and there is a great attack on Gondor. Orcs pour out of the [Misty] Mountains... and join with Easterlings.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Stewards of Gondor
Cirion... could do little more than defend [Gondor's] borders, while his enemies (or the power that moved them) prepared strokes against him that he could not hinder.... In the wide lands of Rhovanion, between Mirkwood and the River Running, a fierce people now dwelt, wholly under the shadow of Dol Guldur.... These Balchoth were constantly increased by others of like kind that came in from the east, whereas the people of Calenardhon had dwindled....
Foreseeing the storm, Cirion sent north for aid, but over-late; for in that year (2510) the Balchoth, having built many great boats and rafts on the east shores of Anduin, swarmed over the River....
The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards
At last tidings came to Eorl of the need of Gondor, and late though it seemed, he set out with a great host of riders.
Thus he came to the battle of the Field of Celebrant, for that was the name of the green land that lay between Silverlode and Limlight. There the northern army of Gondor was in peril. Defeated in the Wold and cut off from the south, it had been driven across the Limlight, and was then suddenly assailed by the Orc-host that pressed it towards the Anduin. All hope was lost....
Ibid, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl
Then out of the North there came help beyond hope, and the horns of the Rohirrim were first heard in Gondor. Eorl the Young came with his riders and swept away the enemy, and pursued the Balchoth to the death over the fields of Calenardhon.
Ibid, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards
In the forefront of the charge they saw two great horsemen, clad in grey, unlike all the others, and the Orcs fled before them; but when the battle was won they could not be found, and none knew whence they came or whither they went. But in Rivendell it was recorded that these were the sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 9, The Making of Appendix A: The House of Eorl
These are some of the less-familiar terms mentioned in these drabbles and quotations:
Anárion: The younger son of Elendil, brother of Isildur. Anárion shared the kingship of Gondor with Isildur until his death during the Siege of Barad-dûr, and his heirs became the sole Kings of Gondor after Isildur took up the High Kingship in Arnor.
Balchoth: tribes of Easterlings under the influence of Sauron; related to the Wainriders that had invaded Rhovanion and warred with Gondor centuries earlier; from Westron balc 'horrible' and Sindarin hoth 'horde'.
Battle against the Wainriders at the Morannon: A major battle fought by Gondor in 1944 Third Age, near the climax of the Wars with the Wainriders, in which its northern army was defeated, and King Ondoher and all his heirs were slain by invading Wainriders.
Battle of the Field of Celebrant: the decisive final battle of the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs, fought in Third Age 2510; the first time that the Éothéod, who later became known as the Rohirrim, came to Gondor's aid in battle; they saved the trapped northern army of Gondor from annihilation and routed the invaders.
Béma: a name used by the Rohirrim for the Vala, Oromë the Hunter.
Borondir: One of six errand-riders of Gondor who were sent by Cirion to the Éothéod to request aid; the only one who reached Eorl and delivered the message. He rode back with the Riders, but fell in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant.
Calenardhon: the province of Gondor on the northeastern side of the White Mountains; later called "the Mark" by the Éothéod (Rohirrim) and "Rohan" by the Gondorians.
Celebrant: the Silverlode River, flowing southeast from springs in Nanduhirion (Dimrill Dale) to the Anduin.
Cirion: the Steward of Gondor during the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs; commander of the northern army that was nearly annihilated in the battle; after the battle, he ceded Calenardhon to the Éothéod in gratitude for their military aid.
Dwimordene: A name used by the Eorlings for Lórien, meaning 'phantom vale'.
Eldarion: A canon character: the son of Aragorn and Arwen, and heir to the throne of Gondor.
Elu: The Sindarin name of Elu Thingol, known as Elwë in Quenya; the Lord of the Sindar, ruling in Doriath with Melian the Maia.
Endor: A name in Quenya for Middle-earth.
Ennor: A name in Sindarin for Middle-earth.
Eorl the Young: Lord of the Éothéod, commander of the Riders who came to Gondor's aid in the battle; later became the first King of Rohan.
Eorlings: the people of Eorl; members of the Éothéod (later, the Rohirrim); also called Eorlingas.
Éohere: A full muster of the cavalry of the Éothéod (Rohirrim).
Éored: A single unit in the cavalry of the Éothéod (Rohirrim), consisting of at least 120 fully-trained and armed Riders.
Éothéod: the name that Eorl's people called themselves collectively; the predecessors of the Rohirrim, descended from the Northmen of Rhovanion; at the time of the battle, they lived in the far Northwest of Rhovanion near the sources of the Anduin, a land that they also called Éothéod; after they migrated to Calenardhon, the Gondorians began to call them "Rohirrim".
Fëa: The soul, or indwelling spirit, of an incarnate Elf (plural: fëar); see hröa.
Field of Celebrant: to the people of Gondor, the narrow strip of grasslands between the lower Limlight and the Anduin Rivers.
Finwë: The King of the Noldor in Aman, slain by Morgoth at Formenos; father of Fëanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin, and grandfather of Galadriel.
Formenos: The stronghold of Fëanor in the north of Valinor, where Finwë was murdered by Morgoth.
Garn!: An expletive used by Orcs, probably similar in meaning to the English profanity 'damn'.
Ghâsh: The word for 'fire' in the Black Speech used by some Orcs and servants of Sauron.
Glamhoth: Sindarin word for Orcs, meaning 'din-horde' or 'host of tumult'.
Grey Havens: see Mithlond.
Hröa: The body of an incarnate Elf (plural: hröar); see fëa.
Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs: a great assault on the northeastern province of Gondor in 2510; Sauron orchestrated simultaneous attacks by Balchoth (Easterlings) from across the Anduin and Orcs from the Misty Mountains.
Langflood: The name used by the Eorlings for the Anduin river, meaning 'long flowing (river)' in Old English.
Langsceaft: 'Long shaft' in Old English; in this story, an imaginary epithet for Eorl.
Lembas: Sindarin name for the waybread of the Elves.
Limlaith: One of several Sindarin names for the Limlight.
Limlight: a river flowing east, then southeast from Fangorn to the Anduin; the latter portion runs parallel to the Anduin, and forms the narrow peninsula of Parth Celebrant.
Loeg Ningloron: The Sindarin name for the Gladden Fields.
Mallorn: Great trees with golden flowers that grow in the forest of Lothlórien (plural: mellyrn).
Mering Stream: A stream flowing eastward from the hill of Halifirien to the mouths of the Entwash; the boundary between the provinces of Calenardhon (later Rohan) in the north and Anórien in the south.
Mithlond: 'The Grey Havens', a port on the Gulf of Lhûn from which the Elves sail to the Undying Lands; ruled by Círdan the Shipwright.
Mithrandir: 'Grey Wanderer', the Sindarin name of Gandalf.
Mundburg: Name used by the Eorlings for Minas Tirith.
Nanduhirion: the Sindarin name for the Dimrill Dale, also called Azanulbizar by the Dwarves; the valley below the main gate of Moria on the eastern flank of the Misty Mountains; the source of the river Celebrant (Silverlode).
Nowë: The birth name of Círdan the Shipwright.
Ondolindë: Quenya name of Gondolin.
Parth Celebrant: Sindarin name of the Field of Celebrant.
Rhovanion: Wilderland, the large region east of the Misty Mountains and north of (Third Age) Gondor and Mordor.
Snaga: A derisive term used by Orcs meaning 'slave'; used by the great Uruk-hai soldiers to insult smaller Orc species.
Súlimo: A name of Manwë; literally meaning 'the breather', it is rendered as 'Lord of the Breath of Arda' in The Valaquenta.
Talan: A platform among the trees used by the Lórien Elves for living quarters or as a lookout point (plural: telain); also called flet.
Tark: A term used by Orcs meaning 'a man of Gondor'; in this series, some Orcs use it (inaccurately) to mean any individual of the race of Men, whether of Númenórean descent or not.
Úlairi: The Nazgûl or Ringwraiths.
Undeeps: Two wide loops of the Anduin, between the Brown Lands and the Wold of Rohan; the only place south of the Old Ford where the Anduin may be crossed by an army.
Wæter: 'Water' in Old English. Tolkien used ancient English to represent the native language of the Éothéod (Rohirrim).
Wainriders: Tribes of Easterlings who attacked Gondor repeatedly during the prolonged Wars with the Wainriders (1851-1944 Third Age); ancestors of the tribes later known as the Balchoth.
Yavannildi: Maidens of Yavanna, who harvest the sacred grain and make the lembas in Elven realms; called Ivonwin in Sindarin or lembas-maidens in this drabble series.