In Middle Earth, there are many tales of lovers that survive the years. There is the tale of Beren and Luthien, the mortal Man and the immortal Elven maid that fell in love with him. This story is paralleled by that of Queen Arwen and King Elessar. But one tale that perseveres is that of the Elven prince and his dwarvish lover.
The story starts not long after the War of The Ring.The Elven prince, Prince Legolas of Eryn Lasgalen, warrior, member of the Fellowship, and a renowned beauty within his people fell in love with Gimli Gloinson, a dwarf that had long held hatred for the Eldar race, and yet when he looked upon the face of Prince Legolas, he could not help but feel his heart swell and fill with love for the ethereal creature before him. They fell for each other deeply and completely, and there was no happier couple.
But there was one that was unhappy with this union, and that one was King Thranduil of Eryn Lasgalen. Long had his heart held hatred for the race of dwarves, and so he despaired over his son’s love and searched all of Middle Earth for some way to stop their love. He tried presenting his son with new lovers, he tried tempting the dwarf lord whom held his son’s heart with others. Neither allowed themselves to be distracted from their hearts by those that the king presented them with.
And so it was that the king very nearly gave up his search for a way to destroy the ever growing love between his son and the dwarf. Alas, he found a way one day as he watched his son and the dwarf lord sit together underneath a tree, happiness shining in their eyes.
‘Galion,’ summoned the king. His greatest friend and advisor was at his side in an instant, ‘Is Lord Elrond still here, or has he departed for his own realm yet?’
‘No,’ answered Galion, ‘Lord Elrond still resides in your halls. He departs in three days.’
‘Good,’ said the king, ‘I will go to him.’
And so it was that the king met with Lord Elrond, a famed healer, and concocted a potion that would rid his son of any love for the dwarf lord. Although Lord Elrond did not approve of the king’s plans or hatred, he owed a great many favors to Thranduil and was promised by the king that he would hold the lord no longer in debt if he did this one thing for him. That night at dinner, the king poured the potion into his son’s drink.
It started out slowly. So slowly that at first neither the king nor Gimli even noticed. He was quieter than usual in their discussions, argued more fiercely, or more adverse to touch by Gimli. At first, Gimli thought he might be ill, but upon discovering that Elves did not, in fact, become ill, he was at a loss for an explanation as to Legolas’ behavior.
It was only when Legolas returned to his own quarters after dinner instead of the quarters they shared that Gimli despaired. He realized, then, that the prince did not love him as before. Gimli was as stubborn as all his forefathers and much more lovesick, and so he decided to win his love back.
For many days and nights did Gimli attempt to woo his love back to his side, and to no avail. The prince’s heart no longer filled with love at the sight of his dwarven lover and instead, his beautiful features were painted with disgust. Gimli fell farther and farther out of his love’s favor, and he despaired to himself that the prince’s love had disappeared and been replaced with hatred.
But Gimli knew that the prince’s love for him would never fail in such a way. The Elf would never hate him, even if he no longer loved him in the way that he had previously. And so it was that Gimli discovered the king’s plot one night, as he heard King Thranduil speak of it with Galion. He despaired, for there was no known cure for the potion that had been slipped to his love.
‘Why will you not leave me in peace!?’ the prince’s usually musical voice screeched in a way that grated upon the ears of all those that heard it. Gimli stood unmoving.
‘Because you are not yourself! Where has your love gone? Do you feel nothing for me at all?’ asked Gimli, his own strong voice rivaling the screeching of his love.
‘I hold no love in my heart for you,’ said Legolas, ‘And I never will! Leave me be or I shall throw myself off a cliff so as to avoid your attentions and company!’
Gimli knew his love better than any in Middle Earth, and so it was that he did not doubt his love’s words. And though Gimli wished for his love’s restoration of his feelings, he left for his home. Rather would he see his love alive and well, than to have the prince end his own life out of hate for Gimli. Gimli left, never to return to the Greenwood Realm or the thoughts of his lost love.
And so it was that the story of Prince Legolas and Gimli Gloinson went down in history for the tragedy of lost love.