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Legolas, Ion nîn

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He'd say "I'm gonna be like you, Dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

--"Cat's in the Cradle," by Harry Chapin

 

 

 

North of Rivendell, Eradior; Spring of 2943 T.A. (Home of the Dúnedain)

Halbarad, the current acting Chieftain of the Dúnedain, was very tall, with dark unruly hair, and a full beard, which he allowed to grow unchecked during the winter to provide warmth for this face, then trimmed it short in the summer to accommodate the warmer temperatures.  He was forty years of age, which is young for a Dúnedain to be Chief, but as a member of the House of Arathorn I, and a cousin to Arathorn II, he was the rightful ruler of the Rangers of the North.

But he wasn’t.

Arathorn and Hal had been best friends since childhood, and spent their entire lives together playing, learning swordsmanship and archery, riding, hunting.  Both boys grew up at Chief Arador’s feet learning the history and lore of their people, from the arrival of Elendil upon the shores of Gondor to the failure of Isildur to do away with the One Ring.  Both boys felt immense pride at the accomplishments of their ancestors, and both vowed they would never, ever be tempted to keep such a thing!

“Do not be so quick to judge such matters, boys,” Arador warned.  “It is well that you are proud of who you are, but never allow yourselves to become so arrogant you think yourselves above danger!  Learn and respect the strengths of your enemies, and you can overcome them.  A true Dúnedain is vigilant and honorable, seeks wisdom in all things.  His sword is always ready to protect the defenseless, aid the weak, and serve the Valar.”  Arathorn’s father smiled down at them.  “Do you promise to do this?”

“Yes, Father!”

“Yes, Uncle!”

Ten years ago, in the year 2933 of the Third Age, Halbarad went out into the wilderness with Elladan and Elrohir, twin sons of Elrond, and his Chieftain.   

After the third night, they were sitting around the campfire while the Elves kept watch, when Arathorn asked to speak with him privately. 

“My foresight tells me I will not remain your Chieftain for very long,” Arathorn told him gravely.

“Do not speak such nonsense,” Halbarad scoffed.  “You’re merely affected by the gloom of this forest, that’s all.  Tomorrow, the sun will shine, and you will see the foolishness of this notion.”

“Halbarad,” his cousin grabbed his arm, and looked at him intensely.  “Maybe you are right, and maybe I am, but I must have this promise from you:  Should anything happen to me, you must take my wife and my son, willing or no, to Rivendell, and you must make sure they ‘disappear.’”

“What are you talking about?  I cannot—”

“You can, and you will, Hal.  You have to.  My son will be the hope of Men on Middle Earth, though in my heart I know I will not live to see him grow into manhood.”

“What will happen to the boy?”

“That I cannot see.  All I know is, he must live, but until he is grown, his existence must remain a secret from the Evil One, or he will be struck down in his youth. 

“But that Enemy perished when Isildur—"

“No, Hal.  The One we will not name has not perished, as the old legends tell us.  He is gaining strength, even now, and this world will see him again.   This Enemy knows Isildur has an heir that will be his doom.”

“How would Aragorn be the doom of Sau—”

“Do not speak his name!  He has ears everywhere!”  Arathorn sighed.  “Whether it is my son, or one of his line, I cannot say, but I do know that if my son cannot fulfill his destiny, then all of Middle Earth will fall!”  He squeezed Halbarad’s arm.  “Please, Hal!  Give me your word of honor!”

 “I promise,” he looked at Arathorn’s earnest face, and gave his vow.  “If that terrible day should come, I will do as you ask, and deliver him to Rivendell or die in the attempt.”

“Thank you,” the Chieftain’s shoulders relaxed a bit.  “But I must ask even more of you, and this will be difficult.”

“Which is?”

“You must deliver him, then convince the others that Aragorn did not survive.  Our enemies will no longer hunt him, if they hear he is dead; do you understand?  Only you and the sons of Elrond must know the truth; lest Rivendell be attacked.  It could also mean the lives of our entire clan!”

Halbarad was insulted on behalf of his companions.  “We are people of honor, Arathorn!  You know they would die before they revealed his whereabouts!”

“Yes, I know they would.  I have every faith in our people, Hal, but it is not a matter of trust.  You must keep this secret for their safety as well!  If the Enemy hears that the line of Kings is no more, he will abandon his search and our people could be a safer.  If he has any inkling the prophecy could still be fulfilled, he will continue to capture and torture them for information.”  Arathorn pulled out a scroll from inside his tunic and handed it to him.  “This officially names you Regent, should I perish, and names you Chieftain, upon the death of my son.  Take it.”

The Ranger was heartsick.  “I cannot lie to our people – I will not!”

“You will be protecting them!” Arathorn became angry.  “Stop thinking like a Ranger, and start thinking like a Chieftain!  You must protect the true heir of the line of Kings, and they will understand!  Do this!” He pleaded. “Promise me, Halbarad!”

Halbarad, considered his cousin’s words, then nodded.  “It will be as you say; I promise.  But I pray that day never comes.”

 

But it did.

Three days later, an Orc sent an arrow through Arathorn’s eye, killing him instantly.  There was no time for last words or goodbyes, and the Ranger held him in his arms and wept for a long time.  Then he wiped his eyes, and brought his Chieftain’s body back to Gilraen and held her as she mourned, and comforted their son with soothing words and kisses.

The day after the burial, Halbarad, Elladan, and Elrohir accompanied Arathorn’s wife and child to Rivendell, and held a meeting with Lord Elrond.  He told the Lord of Imladris of Arathorn’s visions regarding his son, and of his last request.”

“I agree,” said the Elf-Lord, “for I, too, have foreseen this.  If the boy is not proclaimed dead to his people, the Orcs will be relentless, and you will all be killed.  He and his mother will remain, be given new names, and you must do as your Chieftain asks.”  He put his hand on Halbarad’s shoulder.  “Arathorn is right to ask this of you; as a Chieftain, the safety of your people must come first.  As of this day, Aragorn, son of Arathorn is dead.  From this day onward, he will be called ‘Estel.’”

“’Hope.’” Halbarad repeated softly.  “Thank you for telling me this.  May I visit?”

Elrond gave him a grave look.  “No. It is too great a risk.  Until Estel comes of age, no Dúnedain will enter the House of Elrond.  If there is great danger or need, you can consider Lothlórien to be your safe haven, but my City must be off limits.  I will send a message to the lord and Lady informing them of this.”

“Yes, My Lord Elrond,” the Dúnedain and the twins bowed their heads. “It will be as you say.”

“Now, bring the boy and Gilraen to the Healing Halls, along with a change of clothing for him.”

Aragorn and his mother were sent for, and after some quick explanations, they reported as per the Elf-Lord’s instructions.

Elrond spoke kindly to the boy, as he stroked his brow and murmured the losta-luith, which sent him to sleep.  They tore the boy's clothing to pieces, then Halbarad took a deep breath, sliced along the child’s forearm, and tearfully soaked the rags with Aragorn’s blood.  Elrond then healed the wound as if it had never been, and he woke up smiling at his mother.

“Are you well?” Elrond asked him.

He nodded shyly at the tall, dark-haired Elf, then looked between him and the twins, noticing the family resemblance.

“I am Elrond,” he chuckled.  “I am Elladan and Elrohir’s father, but you can call me Ada, if you wish.  You and your mother will live with me, now.” He smiled.

Three days later, the Ranger took his leave of the Lady Gilraen (now called Lalaith), and picked up little Aragorn (Estel).   

“Hal crying.” the boy said, as he touched the tears on his face.

“That is because I must go away for a little while, and I will miss you very much.” Hal sniffed.  “Now, promise me you will look after your mother, then kiss me goodbye.”

“’Bye,” Aragorn hugged him tight and have him a sloppy kiss on the cheek.  “Be good.”

“I will.”  Halbarad laughed, then handed him back to his mother, mounted his horse and left without looking back, so they wouldn’t see the pain on his face.

Now it was time to make careful preparations. 

The new Chieftain, and the sons of Elrond found a small clearing, built a fire and camped for the night.  The next morning, they carefully staged a violent scene, and threw around the bloodied bits of the boy’s clothing.  Orcs not only could smell the difference between the blood of an animal and that of a child of Man, they could also distinguish those with Númenorean blood in them, particularly the line of Isildur. 

Now Aragorn was dead to all but a select few.

Then Halbarad went back to his people, and that night they all gathered in the Longhouse of his Village, to hear his report.   The sons of Elrond stood silent beside him, as he swallowed hard, then told them that young Aragorn had been dragged off by Wargs in the night, and while there was no sign of his remains, his bloodied clothing told them everything. 

Elladan and Elrohir helped the Chieftain bear his people’s profound grief, and Halbarad recalled his late friend’s words:  there was a vast difference between what it meant to be a Ranger, and what it meant to be Chieftain. 

Every night, he prayed to the Valar for the little boy in Rivendell, and hoped his people would forgive him.

He would not see Aragorn again for another eighteen years. 

 

 

 24th of October 2943 T.A.

“Halbarad?  You asked to see me?”  The Elf named “Beleg,” entered Halbarad’s study.

“Yes, I did, my friend.  Please,” he indicated to the other chair, “have a seat.”

The Chieftain eyed the young Elf with concern.  While it was true that this Ellon had lived many more years on Middle Earth than he had, Beleg was just over 1000 years old, which was relatively young in the eyes of his people, and clearly something was troubling him.

“I have noticed a change in you since last June, Beleg, and while I don't wish to pry, I see you are distracted and pensive.

Beleg was startled and seemed embarrassed.  “I apologize; I never meant to be a burden—”

“No; you misunderstand me, Mellon.  I'm not disappointed in your performance with us, quite the opposite in fact.  You have been a great asset to us, and I will accept any and all help to protect my people.  You’ve never shirked your duties, and have often done more than what was expected.  Would that all my Rangers were as dedicated as you!” he laughed.  “Still, I think the hard work has helped you, too.” He stretched out his legs and folded his hands across his stomach.  “When you first came to me, to ask permission to join us, we had a conversation as to your circumstances, which I will not repeat.  But I also noticed a sense of grief in you, and a desperation to ‘outrun’ it.  This was true, wasn’t it?”

The blonde Elf stared at him for a long time, then gave a small nod. “It is true,” he said, quietly.

“Since then, I’d like to think you and I have become friends?  I respect your abilities, you know this, but I also respect you as a person; you have many admirable qualities, Beleg.”

“Thank you, Chieftain.”

“Please, call me Halbarad, better yet, Hal.” He shrugged. “I asked you here as a friend, not as a subordinate.”  He smiled.  He crossed his legs, and steepled his fingers.  “You’ve changed since this summer.”

“I have?”

“Yes.  I wish I could say you were happier, and in some ways I think you are, but since the warmer months, I’ve seen that something else is troubling you.  Perhaps it always did, and you are ready to face it now.”  He smiled and said in a kindly tone, “I’m here if you wish to talk about it; you have my vow it will go no further.”

The Elf sat very still for several minutes, and Halbarad though the Elf was might get up and leave, but Beleg said, softly, “I saw my mother, at the Tarnin Austa this year.”

“What; you mean the Summer Solstice?” He asked in surprise.  “I know you Elves celebrate it; Elladan and Elrohir usually do what you did: go off in the woods and look at the stars.”

“This is true.”

“Yet this year, they said they had to leave, and go to Rivendell.  Something about ‘Spirits.’”

“Yes.  It is the Elenion Panilwë Húmë.”

“’Walk Among the Stars?’” Halbarad translated. 

“That is correct.  It only happens once a millennium, when the planets and stars are aligned in the sky in certain pattern.  If the Elenion Panilwë Húmë occurs when the night is free of clouds, the legends say a veil is lifted, and we can often see those who have gone before.”

“Well, they certainly didn't tell me that,” He grinned.  “Your kind have many customs, often secret ones, and I’ve learned over the years not to ask.” He eyed the Elf curiously. “I do know that your mother has been gone for a long time. You say you saw her?”

Beleg swallowed.  “We spoke.”

“That’s…  extraordinary.” The Chieftain’s eyes widened.  “Do you wish to talk about that?”

“We spoke of many things.  There was someone I…  left behind, in the…  where I am from.  She was someone I had come to greatly care for, and I thought I was in love with her.  Perhaps I still am, in a way, but she did not share the depth of my feelings, and only loved me as a friend.  She loved someone else, and he was killed, though I tried to protect them both.”

“Both of them?”

“I wanted to save him for her; if I could not have her, I did not want to see her unhappy.”

Halbarad looked intensely.  “Many people would not be so honorable or generous, yet since I have come to know you, I am not surprised.   I am sorry for both of you.”

“Thank you,” the Elf nodded.  “I admit, that was a large part of why I came.  The thought of staying and watching her grieve, knowing she would never love me, was too difficult.”

“Is she well?  I know Elves do not manage grief like Men do; is she in danger?”

“They did not marry, so she was spared the agony of the Rista-Goeol.”

“Ah.  The ‘Terrible Severing.’  I do know a bit about that.  Still, I’m sorry for her pain, and yours.  But you said there was more that you and your mother spoke of?”

“We spoke of my father.”  From the change in Beleg’s face and his posture, it was obvious it was a contentious subject. 

“And?” Halbarad pressed. 

“She urged me to reconsider my opinion of him.”  The Elf said stiffly, as he stared into space.

“And?” the Chieftain repeated.

“I… do not know if I can.  She talked of him as a loving husband and father, but I do not remember him that way.  I only know an Adar who could not stand to be near me, because I resemble her.”

“Was he abusive toward you?”

“No!” the Elf said, quickly, then shrugged.  “No, but in a way what he did was worse; he avoided me.  I was raised by his Aide, Galion, and a nanny.  There is a genuine love between us, but they could not take the place of my father and we both knew it."

“I have heard of Galion.  Still, it sounds to me like you were looked after well, and never starved for affection.  Were any of your caretakers unkind?”

“Oh, no.  Galion and Nuriel, were strict, but loving.  I am grateful for that, but as much as I love them both, I wanted my father to love me, and he simply did not.” Beleg swallowed.  “He should have been…”

 “Better?”

“Yes!” the Elf said angrily, and pounded the arm of his chair.  “I was his child!”

“And I take it your mother would like to see the two of you reconcile?”  The Chieftain got up to pour them both something to drink.  “Here,” he handed the Elf a glass.  “You look like you need this.”

“Thank you.”  The Elf accepted the cup gratefully and drank it down. 

Halbarad refilled his glass, then took his seat again.  “It’s only natural for your mother to want things to be better between the two of you.  That's not surprising; she loves you both and wants to see you happy.”

“Yes.” The Elf's mouth was in a straight line.  “But I cannot do as she asks.  And why should I?”

“Perhaps she is not asking this for your father’s sake, but for your own, Beleg.  Have you considered this?”

“I do not need him, and he certainly does not need me.  He has remarried, and has a new family now.  He shows them all the affection he would not give me, and I am told they are all very happy.” The Elf snorted in bitterness and hurt.

“Remarried?  I didn’t know Elves could do that.”

“Uncle sent me a letter, explaining.  Apparently there were some factors that the Valar took into consideration, to allow it, and my mother told me she herself petitioned to have their bond severed, so he could love again.”  

“She what?  Can that be done?”

“Apparently.  Then Mithrandir performed the ceremony himself.”

“The Wizard?  He was there?  Certainly, that adds validity to this situation, for the Grey Pilgrim does not wander aimlessly, nor are any of his words idle.” 

“It matters not to me.  All that took place after I left, and I think it is better if we both lead separate lives; there is no place for me anymore, and I am done trying to please him.”

 “Ah.  So that is the real reason why you are here with us.  To avoid your father.” Halbarad looked concerned.  “To hide.”

“How can you say that?” The Elf was furious.  “I have done everything you asked of me and more!  I have patrolled the lands around the village and killed countless Orcs to keep your people safe!  I went to Gundabad to spy for you!  I would not call that ‘hiding!’”

“And yet?” The Dúnedain raised his eyebrows.

Beleg stared at him with his mouth open. 

“I do not mean to tease you, truly.” Hal sighed.  “Nor do I have any real answers or advice, but I think you may need to fully acknowledge the reasons why you came.  I think it would help you, Mellon.”

The Elf’s eyes filled, and he sat still for several minutes.  Then he said in a very quiet voice, “Maybe you are right.  Perhaps I left, because I was afraid.  Not of him, but of myself.”

“How so?”

“I have been angry with my father for many years, Halbarad.  I do not know how to feel any other way about him.  I think I was afraid if I stayed, my anger would turn into something worse.”

“Which would be what?”

“It would turn into hate,” he swallowed.  I think if that happens, there is no hope for us.  Even I realize that is not what I want.  I think…  it is better to stay away, because here, I do not feel the the hurt so much, and,” he swallowed.   “My fëa was weary with the weight of it all, Halbarad.  Maybe it always will be.”

 “So, what are your plans?”

“I honestly do not know.  I am not ready for another confrontation with my father, at this point; I know that much.  She said you were planning a trip to Rivendell, and that I should go with you.”

“Funny you should mention that.” Halbarad smiled.  “Lord Elrond sent me a message earlier in the year to make sure you came in the fall, so that is where we are going.  We leave in three days.”

“Elrond?  But the twins did not mention it.”

“They left before the message arrived.” He smiled.  “Have you ever been there?”

“No.  But my mother was born there, and I have always wanted to go.”

“Really?”

“She was a handmaiden to Lady Arwen, when she met my father.”  Beleg said.  “I met her briefly when we visited the Golden Wood, but she said very little of my mother.”

“Well, no; she wouldn’t, would she?”  Halbarad recalled their visit to the Golden Wood.  “No one in that land, save the Lord and Lady, and their grandchildren know the truth of you.  But of that I will say no more, except to express my wish that you find answers you seek; even to questions you haven’t asked.”

The Chieftain emptied his cup and stood.  “I’m afraid I’ve got to get back to work.”

The Elf stood and clasped his forearm.  “Thank you.”

“For what?  I did not tell you anything.” He shrugged, with a smirk.  “I just asked a few questions.  For now, you are dismissed, and I want you to take the rest of the day off, and pack all your things.”

"Thank you," the Elf got up to leave, then turned.  "Halbarad?"

"Yes?"

"It was... good to speak of things."

"I'm glad I could help," the Chieftain nodded.

After Beleg left his office, he was thoughtful for a time, but there was work to be done.

 

 

Just outside Rivendell, 2nd of November; 2943 T.A.

After riding for days through steep hills and basins, ravines and gullies, their party climbed up a hill through a thick copse of pine trees and stopped at the top of a cliff, just as the afternoon sun was turning into evening.

“Beleg!” The Chieftain of the Dúnedain called to the blonde Elf.  “Move to the front; I want to show you something!”

When Beleg maneuvered his horse through the group to join Halbarad, the man smiled and swept out his arm.  “Behold!  The secret valley of Rivendell; what do you think of it?”

The Elf followed his finger, then gasped at his first glimpse of the Last Homely House East of the Sea.

And oh, what a sight it was! 

“So, this is Imladris,” the Elf said in wonder.  He took in the bridges and the domes and the architecture, and shook his head.  “It is beautiful!”

“It is, indeed.”  He said to his friend.  “We will camp here for tonight.”

The Dúnedain quickly had a fire going, and made several lean-to’s for added shelter in case of rain.  Most of them sat around the fire, but Beleg took his supper and sat near the cliff to enjoy the view, and the Chieftain went to join him.

“Do you still have family in Rivendell?” Halbarad asked the Elf.

“Not that I know of.  Uncle told me that my mother’s older brother had been killed by Orcs, so my parents invited them to live with us.”

“Do you remember them?”

“Only a little.”  He smiled.  “I know I loved them, and they loved me. I remember lots of hugs, and kisses and bedtime stories…”

“Are they still with your father?”

“No.  After Nana died, they became too grieved and my father urged them to leave on the next ship.”

“Why?”

“Because he was worried about them.  I was told they were in danger.”

Halbarad thought about this for a moment.  “I have seen what happens to an Elf who is fading.  Have you?”

“No.”

“It’s a terrible and tragic sight, son.  If your father insist they leave, then he did them a kindness.”

“Perhaps,” the Elf shrugged.  “I suppose I would do the same.”

“So, your father not only lost his wife, but he also lost two very important people in his late wife’s life?  Aside from your ‘uncle,’ he had no one to help him?”

The Elf’s breathing shallowed.  “He had me.  I was always there, wanting to…”  There was a stony silence.  “He had me.  Until he didn’t.”

 “Perhaps he wanted it, but didn't know how, Mellon nîn.” Hal clapped him on the shoulder.  “Whatever his reasons, you deserved better.”

“Yes.”  Beleg looked away, and would say no more.

 

The next morning, they looked down into the valley and saw two riders coming up the narrow, zig-zag path to meet them: the sons of Elrond.

“Mae g'ovannen, Mellyn nîn!” Elladan said with a grin, as he got off his horse.  “Have you missed us?”

“I enjoyed the quiet,” the Chieftain rolled his eyes.

Elrohir came over and embraced Beleg.  “So, what do you think of our home?” he smiled.

“From what I can see, it is breathtaking.  I very much look forward to meeting your father.”

“That is well, for he is expecting you.” Elrohir grinned.

“Of course; he is expecting all of us.”

The twins said nothing, but gave him small, knowing smiles.

“What is it?” the blonde Elf looked at them, puzzled.

“Beleg?” Halbarad called softly.

The Elf turned toward him and met his eyes with surprise.  Halbarad was holding the reins of the Elf’s horse, which had been saddled, and loaded with his belongings.

“Did you wish for me to scout ahead?” Beleg asked.

“No, son.  We are not going to Imladris.  “You are.”

The look of shock and hurt on the Elf’s face pained the Chieftain deeply.  “I do not understand,” he said, his eyes wide with confusion. “I must leave you?”

“For now, yes.”

Have I displeased you?”

“Walk with me,” Halbarad said, not unkindly.  Then he handed the reins to Elladan, and led the young Elf out of earshot from the rest of the group, then put his hand on Beleg’s shoulder.  “I am not displeased with you.  On the contrary; I’ve considered it an honor to have you among us.” 

“But why did you come all this way?”

“I could have just sent you, that is true, but we all wanted to come and see you off, because…” the Chieftain’s throat tightened.  “Because you have become like a brother to us, and we will miss you, Mellon.”

“Why do you not come with me, even for a visit?”

“I have my reasons.” Halbarad sighed, then asked, in a low whisper.  “How many people here know that Beleg is not your real name?”

The Elf swallowed.  “You, and the sons of Elrond. That is all.”

“And you understand that while you were with us, revealing your true identity would have placed us all in danger?”

“Y-yes…  So, you are saying—”

“I am saying, you must trust me, and not ask questions.  All will be revealed in the fullness of time, by those wiser than you or I, do you understand?”

“If that is what you wish of me, then I will.”

“I have come to expect no less from you.”  The Chieftain sighed.  “I want you to know that we have treasured your time among us, Beleg.   You have lightened our burdens, which are many, and we are impressed by your skills as hunter, and as a warrior.  It is an honor to call you ‘friend,’ and we will feel your absence keenly.”   

Halbarad gestured toward the valley below, and gave the Elf an encouraging smile.  “Your mother sent you here for a reason, and for now, your path is leading you to a place we are not meant to follow.”

“Will I see you again?” Beleg’s eyes filled, and his voice was hoarse.

“We will meet again, and greet each other as if no time at all has passed, Mellon.   My foresight tells me we will be at each other’s side during perilous times, and your courage will be an example to others.”

The Elf pulled him into an embrace.  “I will miss you, Mellon nîn.  As a father you were to me, for a little while.”

“And as a son you have been to me.” Halbarad said softly, as he tightened the embrace, then stepped back.  “I have two things I would like you consider, as you continue on your journey. Firstly, is this: Those we look to for support, will often disappoint us, yet the Valar sends us what we need, often from unexpected places.  Be wise enough to look for it, and be thankful when it comes.”

“And the second?”  The Elf searched his face.

Halbarad held the young blonde’s face in his hands. “There is a difference between ‘will not,’ and ‘cannot.’”

“I do not understand.” Beleg was puzzled.

“You will.” He tapped his cheek.  “Now it’s time to say farewell to the rest of your friends, and start your next adventure!”

 

There were several rounds of hugs and lots of throat-clearing and rough voices, wishing him well.  “Send news, when you can!”

“You must do the same!” Beleg smiled as he became reconciled to his fate.  Then he mounted his horse and with a last wave, carefully led his horse down the narrow path to the valley.

Halbarad stood at the top of the cliff for several minutes and watched him go, with a heavy heart.  “May the sun shine upon your path, and may you find the answers you are looking for.” He murmured. 

Then he allowed himself to say, just this once:  “Farewell for now, Legolas Thranduillion.”

 

 

 

 

 

ELVEN TRANSLATIONS:

Elenion Panilwë Húmë – (Q.) “Walk among the Stars” is a special alignment of the stars and planets, which only happens on Tarnin Austa once every thousand years.  Legends say that if the skies are clear on this night, the veil between worlds can be lifted for a time, but only for those whose hearts have no malice.

Mae g'ovannen, Mellyn nîn! – Well met, my friends!

 

 

NOTES:

“Beleg,” is actually Legolas, who has been traveling under a pseudonym for his own safety.   From CH 22 of "An Invincible Summer." 

https://archiveofourown.org/works/14127870/chapters/35171138

 

 

Legolas is referring to an encounter with the ghost of his mother during the Summer Solstice.  This is chronicled in CH 44 of “An Invincible Summer.” https://archiveofourown.org/works/14127870/chapters/38329433

 

“Tarnin Austa (meaning "Gates of Summer”), was held on the first day of summer. It was custom to begin a solemn ceremony at midnight, continuing it until dawn of Tarnin Austa. No-one could speak from midnight to daybreak, but upon the rising of the Sun they would burst into ancient songs, with choirs standing upon the eastern wall. At that time the city was filled with silver lamps, and lights of jeweled colors hung on the branches of the new-leaved trees.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, pp. 172, 211, 347