News has reached me that the Battle of the Pelennor Fields ended with victory favouring with the race of Men. My heart soared with pride and relief. I was proud for my adopted son Aragorn has finally taken up his place as the king of Men. I was relieved for my daughter; Arwen Undomiel who is now safe from the evil that spreads from Mordor. However the Lord of Mordor has yet to be defeated. Nevertheless, the Evenstar’s strength returns.
I ordered my sons Elladan and Elrohir to venture out to Dunharrow and meet their adopted brother, Aragorn. Together on their journey they carried a token of Arwen’s love for him. My sons did well on reminding him of his path. They showed him the path of the dead as instructed. With the debt the men of the mountains owed Aragorn, Minas Tirith was safe. The future was still cloudy. It has been shrouded by evil. Even my gift of foresight cannot see the way. My daughter’s fate still lies with the destruction of the One Ring.
I haven’t seen my daughter for a few days. The troubles of war have kept me from her. The healers have been informing me of her condition. Today, she seemed better. The light of the Evenstar seemed to glow again inside her. She has decided to stay here in Middle Earth. Soon, she will be wed to Aragorn son of Arathorn. I have promised her hand to him and ask that he become the rightful king in return. It appears that he has kept his end of the bargain. Aragorn knows nothing of Arwen’s decision not to sail to the Undying Lands. It will indeed be a great surprise for him to know that his betrothed was still here in Middle Earth.
It was still too soon to be talking of marriage and wedding. The threat of Mordor is still present. The One Ring has yet to be destroyed. There was no news of the little Hobbits. The fate of us all lies in the hands of two little Hobbits, small but brave. I have sent scouts to Minas Tirith to see the condition there. My people can no longer help the race of Men. Many have sailed to Valinor. Our time here on Middle Earth is coming to an end. Soon, I will be joining my wife if the Valar allows it. It breaks my heart to leave Arwen here. I will endure and she will fade for she has forsaken the life of the Eldar, choosing instead mortality.
I walked towards her room. The leaves were beginning to fall from the trees in Imladris. It was not autumn. The power of the Elves was fading. The beauty in Rivendell was slowly chipping away. The door to her room was ajar. I knocked and heard her sweet voice beckoning me to come in. Arwen stood in my presence, “Adar, it is good to see you! I have missed you. Nae saian luume'” I embraced her in my arms. She felt warmer than she did a few days ago, “Lle maa quell, sende. Praise the Valar for keeping you here with me. Lle tyava quel?”
The both of us sat in the gardens opposite her room. She continued our conversation, “I am well Adar. What about you? Amin dele ten’ lle. The war seems to be draining your energy.” I laughed. That is my Evestar, worrying about her Adar’s health when her own is not certain. I held her close, “Do not worry about me, my dear. I received great news today. Aragorn took his place as king and won the battle of the Pelennor Fields.” Her face lit up when the name Aragorn was mentioned, “Sut naa ro, adar?” I smiled, “He is fine my dear. However, he will be marching towards Mordor soon.” My daughter fell silent. Both of us knew what’s at stake and what we could face losing. Sensing the fear inside her, I kissed her forehead, “Aragorn is of Numenorean descent. He is also a ranger. He is well trained in the arts of war. I am certain victory is ours.” We sat there watching the sun set.
Days passed. There was still no news of the battle in Mordor. I know of the victory and how the One Ring was destroyed but there was no news of the survivors. Arwen has not asked me. I knew in my heart she is suffering. I fear for my adopted son’s well being as well. Not only his, but the others too. Watching her sad face day by day hurts my heart. It was hard to focus on my task in Rivendell. I still have to oversee the move my people are making. Most of my time now has been spent in my study. There was a small knock on my door. “Come in,” I permitted the welcomed intrusion. My messenger has arrived. In his hands was a letter, “Forgive me my lord for the intrusion. Here is a letter from Aragorn.”
I took the letter and dismissed the messenger. I tore the letter eagerly reading the contents. Praise Eru! All is well. Aragorn was well. As was Gandalf, Legolas and Gimli. The Hobbits fared well except for Frodo who was still weak and suffered loss of a finger. This was indeed great news! Arwen would be beside herself with joy. Aragorn has invited my court to his coronation. There was no mention of Arwen. He has surely thought she had left him for Valinor. I must see my daughter at once. We must make for Minas Tirith by morrow if we intend to be at coronation on time.
Arwen was asleep on her bed. She looks so very much like my wife, the love of my life. Many would differ, for she did look much like Galadriel. Her demeanour and ways of life was indeed of her mother’s. I sat next to her on her bed. She opened her eyes as I stroked her long dark hair, “Adar, I knew it was you.” She sat up and smiled at me. Eru! I would miss the smile and the sound of my Evenstar for soon she will be the Queen of the free people of Middle Earth. She held my hand close to her heart, “You look morose, Adar. Is there something wrong?” I kissed her delicate hands, “No my child. I bring good news. Aragorn and the others are well. We have been invited to his coronation that will take place in four days.”
Tears fell down her snowy cheeks. The entire burden on earth has disappeared from her shoulders. I stood up, “My dear, today I will fulfil the promise I gave Aragorn. Go and get ready for we make for Minas Tirith tomorrow. He knows not of your presence here in Rivendell. I’m sure he will be happy to find you there. Tomorrow, I head the procession of my daughter’s wedding.” Arwen ran towards me and buried her face in my chest, “Adar, I love you. If only I can have both you and Aragorn with me.” I held her. She was my child. I love her with all my being. But it was time to let her go, for Aragorn can love her as much as I do and maybe even more, “There is a time for everything meleth. Now is the time for you to help Aragorn shape Middle Earth. I will be watching from afar, my dear. Now go get ready. I must see the preparations of your wedding!”
The night went by quickly. There was no celebration in Imladris. Most of my people have sailed to Valinor. Glorfindel and I sat in the hall with wine glasses in our hands. “Glorfindel, mellon. Remember when she was a small elleth? How she eased my pain of losing my wife? I will miss her truly.” Glorfindel took a sip from his goblet, “My dear Lord Elrond. Twice have I walked on Middle Earth and I for one knows very well of destiny. She would make a great Queen and by her will, the essence of the Elves would endure.” He was right. My daughter’s children would carry on the teachings and magic of the Eldar. Tomorrow, I will give my daughter away with the sense of pride and love.
The sun was rising. Glorfindel will be accompanying our procession with a few of the remaining elves. I walked to her room. She was already dressed in a light green gown. I held a pillow in my hands. Curiosity got the best of her, “What is that Adar?” I came closer and pulled the satin cloth covering the hidden trophy, “It is a crown my dear. This was the crown your mother wore when we married each other those many years ago. She talked about giving the crown to you for your wedding and today, I am fulfilling her wish.” I placed the mithril crown on her head. She was a vision.
I escorted her to Asfaloth. The procession made its way out of Rivendell. It will be a few days before we reach Minas Tirith and I will cherish each moment with my daughter. Soon, she will be reunited with Elladan and Elrohir. It feels my heart with joy and anguish thinking of the day when I will give her away. Her family would be there to witness her union with Aragorn.
Minas Tirith was only half a day away. We had stopped and camped just outside the city. Glorfindel insisted we rest and present ourselves with poise and grace tomorrow morning. I wanted to surprise my soon to be son in law. My scouts announced the arrival of Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood. He was to join the procession into Minas Tirith. We sat in my tent, listening intently to his accord of the war. It was indeed by the Valar’s will we won. I must remember to thank the Hobbits for their bravery. Night came. The prince excused himself and made his way to his own tent. I stood in front of mine, the white castle visible from here. A shape of an elf maiden not far from my tent took form. It was Arwen.
I stood next to her, “What is it Arwen?” She turned and looked at me, “Nothing, adar. I am worried of my future. I have always looked up to you for advice and reassurance. Soon, you will be gone. Who will I turn to for guidance?” I held her, “Arwen, whenever there comes a time when you need me; you need not look far; for I am here, in your heart. You will not need my help for you are wise and compassionate. Those are the qualities that make a great queen.” Tears run down her eyes. My heart broke thinking of tomorrow. On one hand, I will be marrying her off. Something every father looks forward to. On the other hand, she will leave me, for I sail to the Undying Lands without her.
Morning came as quickly as night left. Glorfindel was overseeing the preparations for our procession into Minas Tirith. We would be headed by Legolas, warrior Prince of Mirkwood. Arwen wore her mother’s crown. She looked excited and worried. I held her hand as we march towards the White City.
The citizens of Minas Tirith gathered atop the Citadel. Gandalf placed the crown on Aragorn’s head, “Now come the days of the King. May they be blessed.” The crowd cheered and clapped. Aragorn rose and addressed the crowd, “This day does not belong to one man but to all. Let us together rebuild this world that we may share in the days of peace.” The crowd applauded and stopped when Aragorn began singing Elendil’s Oath.
We moved closer to him. Arwen stood behind holding the banner of the House of Elrond. Legolas met his friend and king, “Mae govannen, Legolas.” The prince smiled and jerked his head towards the Evenstar’s direction. Aragorn moved closer and saw my daughter there. I came closer to her, “Go my dear. Go…”
I watched as my daughter, Arwen Undomiel walked towards her destiny. Today she would be Queen of Middle Earth. Today, I, Elrond Lord of Rivendell, gave my daughter away…
Nae saian luume' - It has been too long
Lle maa quel - You look good
Lle tyava quel? - Do you feel well?
Amin dele ten’ lle - I am worried about you
Sut naa ro, adar? - How is he, father?
Chapter End Notes:
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