5. Menegroth: isolation
Galadriel, Melian, Elrond
Galadriel, Melian, Elrond
“And what do you see in your scrying, my child?”
She’d straightened to find the Queen of Doriath behind her, her eyes strangely shadowed, the stars usually to be seen there veiled as if she’d already divined the answer to her own question.
She’d turned and inclined her head in reverence, glad for the excuse to avoid the still piercing gaze of the Lady Melian. “Little enough,” she’d answered. “As is too often true, I cannot tell if what was revealed is of the present, the future, or what might or might not come to be. All that I am certain of is that it was not of things that were.”
A shapely finger under her chin had raised her face, and she saw that the command in the Queen’s visage would brook no evasion. “Tell me.”
She’d taken a deep breath, and began, “I saw your daughter dancing in a glade near Menegroth, and a figure approached her, one with a distinct Light of Being, but a Light that pulsed with the beating of his heart and the rhythm of his breath. No ellon, he; but at sight of her his Light flared mightily and bent to her, touching her fëa. She turned toward him and her own Light flared in response, although she was taken by confusion and fled him. But beyond them I saw her cradling his body, and saw that although he was now missing a hand yet his Light of Being shone the stronger and purer at her touch.”
Melian had given a deep, shuddering sigh. She’d whispered, “Then the day long foreseen approaches.”
“You have seen that the daughter of your house should give her heart to one of the second born? But how would a mortal find his way inside your Girdle, my Lady?”
“It is not as if it has not happened before. Yea, did not Túrin once breach it? Nay, it is not possible to fully isolate one’s loved ones from what comes from without, and particularly if the will of Eru is involved. Even if,” she added, “the Lord of this realm seeks ever to hold that danger at bay. In time the future will come when it will, and nothing can stay it. Ever there must be change, no matter how closely we seek to keep all things as they are and have been.”
And she’d seen the accepting grief in the Queen’s eyes.
Now it was the eyes of the husband of her absent daughter that compelled her answer. “And what does your mirror show you that causes you to turn away from it so abruptly, my lady?”
How could she tell him that she’d seen what she’d seen once before—a familiar and beloved maiden dancing beneath trees to music that was heard only in her heart, music that grew the louder as one with the pulsing Light of Being of a mortal Man approached her and espied her, his Light flaring mightily, bending toward her to touch her fëa?
But she could not totally veil her heart’s knowledge from Elrond of Imladris, for foresight and the ability to divine hearts were two of the gifts that had been revealed in both of the sons of Eärendil and Elwing and their progeny.
She tried to soften the blow. “He who approaches the daughter of your house shall be as if mantled with nobility and honor beyond the measure of other Men—yea, even beyond the measure of most of the Eldar remaining within Middle Earth as well. And his Light of Being shall be as pure as was that of Beren.”
“No,” he said sternly, shaking his head. “Not even for the sons of my brother would I allow my daughter to spend her life’s grace if I can avoid it. I ask you to allow Arwen to remain here, safe within the borders of Lothlórien, well away from the heirs of Isildur. Mayhap here she might yet find one to stir her heart.”
She felt a bittersweet amusement sweep through her. Arwen’s heart, stirred by one those who lived in this land, all of whom she had known for many yeni? Nay, if her heart had not yet been stirred by one of the Galadhrim, it was unlikely that would change in the future. She sighed, her eyes compelling his attention. “Remember this, child—not even the isolation that Elú Thingol sought to force upon his daughter, whom yours so closely resembles, was able to stay Lúthien from the doom of her choice.”
His eyes squeezed shut as he turned away from her, seeking to hold the grief at bay.