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Story Notes:
There may be more chapters following with different character's Mental Wars, depending.
Author's Chapter Notes:
This short story takes place about a week before The Fellowship arrives in Lothlórien.

'You begin to see me with a keen eye. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask what you offer. For many long years I had pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands...'
~Galadriel to Frodo
“One ring to rule them all
One ring to bind them
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.”

My lady reads aloud to her chamber and to me, one of her maidens, dusting the bookshelf. I turn to glance at her face, she is in deep turmoil. Her thin eyebrows are furrowed together, and for the first time, I see frown lines appear across her flawless face. I set down my dust cloth atop her dressing table, exchanging it for my lady’s silver hairbrush. I hoist myself onto her bed and sit behind her, arranging my dress and trying not to look like just another simple maid. I run the brush through my lady’s hair, one stroke. The silver runs through the gold, her hair the color of the first bright rays of the sun that peek over the tips of the trees in morning. I feel no tension leave my lady as I brush, however. She speaks again, her voice ringing clear as the Nimrodel:

“One ring. Far more powerful than Nenya. More powerful than all, and I could wield it. Would that I had this ring, Middle-Earth would obey me. Would that I had this ring, Sauron would cower in front of me and good be restored to what once was a beautiful land. Yet would it?”

My lady begins to tremble as she whispers:

“Is there only good or evil? And yet, we have the capacity to be both. Was even Morgoth all evil? Could Sauron still have been good? And yet he was at one point. Who is it that decides our fates, be they for good or for ill?”

My lady stands like one who is haunted by a strange dream. The book of lore that had lain open upon her lap clatters to the floor; she pays it no heed. I rush to retrieve it and set it back on her bookshelf. As I push the book back into its rightful slot, my lady leaves her chamber. In a second, I decide to follow her. I know where her destination lies. She calls it her mirror. My lady begins speaking again, I wonder if she is aware of anything but her thoughts:

“What are our purposes here? The world of elves will fall; the age of men will rise. I shall sail towards the Undying Lands and soon be forgotten, blotted out by kings and men. The last of my kin will follow, and Middle-Earth shall soon forget us. What is our purpose? What is mine? Galadriel is all I ever shall be. Nay, Galadriel is all I shall ever be, without the ring.”

My lady begins to play with her finger. I see a light shine through her hands, akin to the light of Eärendil, our, the elves’, favorite star.

“Yes, the ring. One ring to rule them all. I would stretch out my hand and receive it. I would be able to control it, to bend it to my will. I would destroy Sauron. I would rule Middle-Earth!”

My lady’s voice is soaring now, terrible and full of power. I shrink back a few steps, and I notice the other servants that she passes do as well.

“One ring to rule them all
One ring to bind them
One ring to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them.”

We arrive at her mirror. My lady lifts her chin and pours the water into her silver basin without spilling a drop. Then she peers into it, her face strong and terrible, filled with the possibilities of limitless power. I wonder why I have followed her here, surely she does not require the help of a simple Elf maid, and yet I cannot leave her. My lady begins to tremble, her hands clutching at nothing as she gazes into the pool. Her face turns grey, and she begins talking again, screaming into her mirror in a language that is not Elvish, nor any language that I have heard before. Her voice is harsh and unlike her normal quiet tone. I wonder if I should help her, but then she pulls herself away from the pool, tumbling backwards onto the ground. I rush to my lady, kneeling beside her and lifting her golden head into my lap.

“My lady?” I ask timidly, but her eyes are looking far away, still seeing the vision that was revealed to her in the mirror.

She shivers although it is not cold.

“The ring… the eye… I will not take the ring.”

Her eyes slowly close, but before she drifts off into deep slumber, she whispers something. A name she whispers so softly that my elvish ears can hardly catch it, but when they do, I never forget it.

Chapter End Notes:
Please review! This short took me a long time, and I'd love to hear what you thought of it!
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