Ilúvatar’s Gift

by Alasse Merenrel-(TV)
January 31, 2006

StoriesArwen Series > The Choice of Luthien > Namarie, Arwen > Iluvatar's Gift

The last rays of the sun were faintly painted in the west. Night’s ink spilled slowly across the sky. One by one the stars lit their lamps. And high in the heavens Eärendil the Mariner began his journey.
Down in the land of Valinor the city of Tirion shone like a Silmaril, gleaming white and pure. It radiated with song and laughter. All who dwelt in its light rejoiced, and they danced through the crystalline streets.
In the mountains an elf stood silently observing the city. He turned away from the bright happiness that pulsed from Tirion. His heart bore no such joy. Cloaked in dark colors he stood swathed in the semi-darkness of his clearing. How he relished this dimness, this obscurity. Here all was somber. Here he could rest without the cacophony of laughter grating upon his ears. Here he could bear his grief.
He had gone to the Halls of Nienna, along with the rest of his family. He remembered the comfort the Valarin gave, the condolence of Melian. But still his pain found no ease. 
Raising his eyes to the Evening Star, he sighed heavily. Arwen, Arwen, would that you were here, he thought. How he missed his daughter! How he yearned to see her once again, or perhaps go back to the days when she still was part of Arda and beg her with renewed vigor to remain at his side! “Arwen…” he murmured, and tears trickled down his face.
Why do you still mourn, Elrond son of Eärendil?
Startled Elrond looked around. But there was no one in the clearing save him. “Who are you?” he queried. “Show yourself!”
Do not fear Me, Peredhel. For I am who I am, and I am everywhere.
Elrond glanced about warily. His warrior reflexes from the days of Gil-galad were on guard. “I don’t understand.” 
I am the Lord of all things existing. And I know your sorrow.
Suddenly the Half-elven felt grief, a grief so deep and profound, so heart wrenching and aching that he fell flat upon the ground, sobbing. Never before had he felt such sadness, and with it an intense, fiery love that brought the glory of the Two Trees to shame. 
Elrond, Elrond. I know how you feel. I know that you long for your daughter. I know that she was the light of your life. I know, oh, I know…
And the Voice was sobbing with him, crying and holding him close. And Elrond knew that He truly understood. 
“If I could just know if she was content and at peace…if she was happy…”
For a long while Elrond felt only a reassuring presence, a loving embrace about him. Then the Voice spoke
I will allow you to see what only Manwe and Mandos know in full. Understand, however, that you are not to tell anyone.
Elrond hesitated, and nodded.
A white light exploded about him. The world fell away. He gasped as he felt himself being pulled out of Arda, out of Time…
Elrond felt weak. It was astounding. Valinor was nothing compared to this. This place—wherever it was—was pure song, a tangible song that was everywhere. He was standing in song, feeling it tremble through his veins, pulsing through his fëa. He breathed song, grasped song, saw song, heard song. This song was everywhere, a song powerfully pulsing with love and joy so pure he felt that his heart would explode, yet instead of overwhelming him it embraced him, becoming him instead of conforming him.
Look around, Elrond.
Elrond looked. And there they were. All of the Second Born laughing and dancing and singing, swimming and leaping and soaring in joy. 
And there…

There, there she was. It was Arwen. She was, if possible, even more beautiful than in her form in Middle Earth. For she shone with the same song that surrounded her, the song that lit a fire in her fëa. 
She came and embraced him, laughing at his astonished face. 
Turning, Elrond saw Estel in all his kingly glory and valour, yet also filled with the love that encompassed all of them. He danced, laughing also, to Elrond. Arwen twirled with him and they leapt about, two bright fëar singing with joy. 
Then Elros, his dearest brother, came and grabbed him in a hug. And following him were Beren and Lúthien, waving at their descendant, and there were the kings of Númenor. There was Isildur, and Anarion, and Elendil. There was the house of Tuor, and Beorn and his kin. There was Arathorn and Gilraen, and all of the Rangers. There was the line of the Rohirrim, from Frumgar to Eorl the Young to Théoden. There was Theodred, Éomer, Eowyn. There was Imrahil, Lothiriel, Faramir, Boromir, Denethor. How he knew them all, he didn’t know, just that somehow he could tell who they were. Perhaps it was the song, that encompassing song that linked them together in its tenderly intense hum. But that didn’t matter. Not really. What only mattered was that they were here. All of them, everyone he had thought lost and gone. And all their troubles, their fears, their grief were gone from their fëa, leaving it whole and pure and more beautiful than it had been in life. 
Did you truly think that I would give a curse for a gift?
It was the Voice again. But here, in this surreal world, it too was tangible. Elrond could see it resonate through the loving, joyful song, shimmering through all the fëar. He laughed, and watched as it vibrated about him.
“No, I do not think so.”
“Then stop grieving for us.”
Arwen and all the rest of the fëar had gathered about him. Elrond looked into her shining face, then into the others. He saw only happiness, only love, no regrets or resentment, and certainly not sorrow. He knew that they would be content, more so than were they to live in Valinor. But if only he could somehow be with them, to have their presence at his side throughout eternity…
Though you do not realize it, Elrond Peredhel, they have always been with you—in your heart. Yet I have heard your desire, and it shall be granted. Know that they are always with Me, and I, O Firstborn, will always be with you. 
“Always?” Elrond asked, before he could stop himself. Though somehow, he reasoned, the Voice would still know his question.
Always and forever.
He looked around at the fëar, taking in their joy-lit faces. Then he answered the Voice. “So may it be.”
He gazed at Arwen, his daughter, his Undomiel. She stared back. “I love you, Ada,” she whispered.
Elrond smiled. “I love you too, Arwen.”
He watched her until light exploded once again about him, and he felt himself be pulled back into the river of time. 
Elrond opened his eyes. He was back in the clearing. Looking about him he saw that the sun had not yet set. 
He staggered a bit, before regaining his balance. If a mortal had taken the journey he would have collapsed onto the ground. As it was Elrond’s elven heritage enabled him to regain his composure quickly.
Brushing off his robes Elrond looked up at the Evening Star. It shone with joy in the dance of the heavens. Like my Undomiel, he thought. 
“Thank you,” said Elrond into the silence of the clearing, “Ilúvatar.”
There was no answer, but Elrond understood.
For a moment he stood there, quietly staring at the stars. Then he laughed, and went to join the streets of Tirion.

The End

Stories > Arwen Series > The Choice of Luthien > Namarie, Arwen > Iluvatar's Gift