Sunday, Feb 24, 2012
If you have read or watched the Lord of the Rings, written by JRR Tolkien, you'll understand why I am drawn to this particular love story. It has a satisfactory ending that coincidentally is a HEA (happily ever after). Tolkien created a love I can understand, with obstacles of fate, culture, and personal doubt. Although Aragorn grew up among his father's kin at Rivendell, and has the blood of the lost Númenórean, the Elf King Elrond acknowledges only the human taint of Isildur's lineage in Aragorn. But Arwen sees beyond his weakest linkage, to the prophesied King Of Men that will save both human and elf kind.
Disclaimer: I am using the characters and setting created by JRR Tolkien for my fan fiction piece. I do not own the rights to the characters or story, and have no intention of selling or profiting from any part of this fan fiction writing. The scene depicted below is my own creation based on the character profile as I interpret them.
The purpose of this RFW challenge is to explore a famous love relationship, to "read between the lines" of a published work. I have tried to remain true to Tolkien's original concepts of these characters. I'm titling my 861 word excerpt I CHOOSE A MORTAL LIFE, in honor of Arwen's love of Aragorn, and the quest she bound her immortality to.
"He'll never win against a true elf," Elanor stated.
"He seems serious enough," Arwen replied in Elessar's defense.
Elessar swung his broadsword in an overhand move meant to cleave the head or an opponent, and Legolas countered with ease. To a human eye, the movements of parry, thrust and counter would be too quick to follow. In an instant of pause as Elessar drew back his sword for another killing blow, Legolas retrieved his bow from his back, notched and arrow and drew it snug against Elessar's throat.
"I Yield," Ellesar said, a smile in his voice as well as on his bearded face.
"I've drawn my weapon in anticipation of a win. Something has to die now," Legolas said with all seriousness.
Elanor drew a gasp of horror, but Arwen wasn't fooled by the harsh words. Her faith was rewarded with Legolas withdrawing his point and as suddenly as it had appeared, the arrow and bow were safely returned to his back.
Arwen and Elanor clapped their approval as Legolas and Elessar bowed triumphantly and sauntered over to the ladies.
"Would you walk with me, and describe the beauties of your homeland," Legolas queried as he extended his arm to Elanor. "It is long since I visited the forests of Mirkwood, and I am homesick for news from the whispering trees."
Elessar watched the two disappear towards the heart of the forest, and Arwen watched Elessar's smile turn to a frown of sorrow.
"No harm will come to them within these forests," Arwen assured him in the common speech, as he and Legolas used during their sparring. "The lands of my Grandmother, Galadriel, are as well protected as Rivendell. You have nothing to fear here."
He stared after his friend a moment longer before turning and bowing his head to her. He spoke in flawless Sendarin; "It is not Legolas' safety I worry about. His heart is too light for the battles ahead of us. He is dear to me, and I do not care to see his countenance marred by an unpredictable future."
"He is as much an orphan to his heritage are are you my Lord Aragon."
He turned away from her, facing the direction of the growing threat of Mordor. She could feel his anger and dejection with her gift of empathy. Around them, new grass withered and withdrew back into the earth.
"Do not speak that cursed name in these peaceful lands My Lady."
Arwen lowered her eyes to his battle scarred hands. She could read his heart break in his surface thoughts. It was his human heritage that left him open to her. She didn't mean to pry, but the taint of his forefathers weighed heavily on his mind. He feared betrayal and dishonor was so ingrained in his lineage he could not escape the taint.
"You prefer the name Strider, as the Rangers have called you since you assumed leadership."
"Not by my choice," he countered, reverting to the common tongue she used. It was considered ill manners to speak of such dire matters in the language of the elves.
He bowed, and took his leave, leaving an imprint of his pride and disgrace in the air as he strode up the path to the main enclave. Galadrel's mirror was foremost in his mind. She'd seen him there often in weeks since his arrival, and marveled that the images he witnessed did not sour his laughter with the few Elven children or keep him from riding with the home-guard when the worgs and orcs wandered too close to the borders.
Over the next few months Elessar frequently sought out Arwen's company for quiet walks. He rarely spoke of war or the conflicting choices he must make outside of the council chambers. He had hope; and freely encouraged those around him that needed a bolster of courage. She grew fond of him, anticipating his laughter and songs of valor. Mostly, she grew to love his passion for life, and the way he listened to everyone as if the trivial conversations were as important as the terrors besieging Middle Earth.
On the evening before he left Lorien, answering a summons from the wizard Gandalf to gather his Dudedain Rangers for renewed protection of the Eriador, Arwen followed her heart to Cerin Amroth and discovered Elessar calmly sitting among the yellow elanor and smoking his long pipe. The tiny flowers never seemed so bright and in that moment Arwen bound her fate with Elessar's, consenting to the betrothal her father had forseen, but hoped never to come true.
"I choose a mortal life," she answered Elessar's proposal, the ripples of her decision disturbing the peace of Lothlorien even as it inspired an acceptance of destiny for Elessar, Isuldur's heir to the thrones of Gondor and Arnor, the Lord Aragorn II.
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Finally; my 861 word excerpt for the RFW fan fiction challenge WE LOVE LOVERS. Please click on the link to visit other writers fan fiction pieces.
Next month's RFW challenge: DRIVEN TO MURDER:
Anyone up for a bit of murder and mayhem; the intrigues of conspiracy and betrayal, either for political gain, money, or even - true love? RFW invites all stories of pose or poetry, up to 1000 words, with the theme that pays homage to the Roman God Mars (Greek equivalent Ares), patron of war and agriculture. Mars is depicted as a cold and impersonal God, caring more for the battle itself than the outcome.
To honor Mars (March) your characters will plot and/or implement a deceitful act under the guise of love. We're looking for motives; what does the lover hope to gain by the nefarious or altruistic act. We want to see themes of vengeance, manipulation, self sacrifice.
Any POV, any genre; just be sure your MC's are in love and have a self serving reason for the plotted course of action.