Namárië, Arwen

by Alasse Merenrel-(TV)
November 4, 2005 

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

    A withered brown leaf detached itself from the silver branches. It floated lazily downward, spiraling through the air until it landed softly on black silk. A pale, shaking hand reached out and grasped it. Arwen, daughter of Elrond Peredhil, whom many said was the likeness of Lúthien Tinúviel, lay upon her deathbed.
    Holding up the leaf, she sighed quietly under her breath, drained of all strength. She was weak; very weak. It had taken all of her might to pick up the leaf. Now she felt so exhausted, so bone-achingly weary.
    But as she clutched that leaf, fatigue was not on her mind. She felt only a deep sorrow. Ai, Lórien that once was…Gone is the glory of the mallorn, of the niphredil and elanor. Gone is the great realm of the Golden Wood. Gone are its people. My kin…
    She let go of the leaf, and it danced away in the light evening breeze. Slowly, she turned her face to the West. The auburn rays of the setting sun shone full upon her. And, outlined in the radiant flames of Anor, Arwen Undomiel looked every inch a child of the Firstborn.
    But though Firstborn she seemed, she was no longer of the Quendi. And though she still retained her Elvish beauty immortal life was hers no more. Her destiny would lead her not to the Grey Havens, but to death. Not to the blessed shores of the Undying Lands, but to the Halls of Mandos and beyond.
    Ada…you foresaw this. There was no blame in the thought, only sadness and resignation. You foresaw this. A tear trickled slowly down her cheek. You tried to stop me. Arwen remembered her father's grief-stricken eyes when she announced her decision, his voice crackling as he pleaded with her. She remembered the day they said their final farewells, knowing that they would never see each other again. Elrond's face was as blank as a mask, but she felt his pain throbbing just beneath the surface.
    She shifted slightly, eyes still trained upon the horizon. Are you watching me now, Ada? And Daernaneth? How is Daeradar? Elladan and Elrohir, my beloved brothers, are they still up to their usual tricks? A smile passed briefly over her features as she remembered the pranks the twins pulled every so often in Rivendell. Tell them I love them. Tears fell quickly now.
    Nana…Arwen suppressed a sob. Nana…oh, Nana… I am sorry for the anguish I have certainly caused you. For a long while she wept. Oh, how she yearned to be with them! To be together, as a whole and complete family!
    Swiftly she blinked away her tears. I do not regret my choice, she thought firmly. On the very hill on which I now lie, I promised myself to my love, knowing that to live even in Valinor with only a memory of him would be too hard to bear. I have cleaved to Estel, and have so chosen the Doom of Men, forsaking my folk. She turned to look up at the canopy of fading leaves. My fate is sealed.
    Her breath grew shallow. Her body felt light, as though she were floating down the Anduin. And Arwen perceived that her time had come.
    Her life flashed before her. Of studying with Ada. Of riding with the twins. Of watching Naneth depart across the Sea. Of the many years spent with Galadriel and Celeborn in the song that was Lothlórien. Of the day she met Aragorn, a young Ranger who had just discovered his noble lineage. Of the long wait as Estel grew and matured, until finally Elrond consented to their marriage.
    She remembered with great clarity their wedding day, the White City glimmering, brilliant and splendid, like the star of Eärendil. The Tower of Ecthelion stood tall, proud, and gleaming in the sun. The wide grins in the jubilant crowd, celebrating the beginning of a new Age. Aragorn's disbelieving joy, and her own thumping heart as she smiled to reassure him that this was not a dream.
    Arwen saw Eldarion her son, and her daughters. She remembered their births, and how she held each one in her arms with pride. She thought back to the days when Eldarion ran around shrieking with his first sword in hand, of times when her daughters attempted to dance, falling to the ground in a fit of giggles. She recaptured an image of her son, all grown-up, as brave and handsome as his father. And her daughters, beautiful young ladies of the court.
    And Estel…his death meant the end of everything. With his departure Minas Tirith lost all hold upon her, and she left the kingdom where every stone bore his memory. To the home of her mother's kin she went, to live in the fading song of Lórien. There she dwelt under the silent trees with the shadows of her past, until grief consumed her, and her soul tired of living.
    The world grew blurry, and gradually it began to fade. Darkness enveloped her. Then suddenly she found herself in a long tunnel. A bright light shone at its end, pulsing with immeasurable joy. Ilúvatar's mystery. She floated towards it, out of time and memory, out of Arda.
    As night prepared to draw its curtain, a sigh escaped the lips of Arwen Undomiel. "Estel…" And as the evening star rose high in the heavens, the Evenstar of the Eldar fell away from the Circles of the World.

    Elrond Half-elven and Galadriel Lady of Light stood long without speaking. The image in the Noldor Lady's Mirror shimmered and disappeared. Still they stood, gazing at its waters.
    Finally the former Lord of Imladris spoke. "So it is over then," he said, voice heavy and hoarse. "Arwen is gone."
    Galadriel nodded silently.
    "My daughter is gone." Elrond repeated. "My beautiful Undomiel is gone."
    The two fell back into silence.
    Elrond cleared his throat. "I should go. Celebrían and the others await me. They…they would want to know…" He glanced at Nenya's keeper. Galadriel gazed steadily back with an unreadable expression.
    That was all she said. Elrond sighed, a long, heartrending sound. He seemed to have aged an Age. Slowly, he left the clearing in which the Mirror had been relocated, and set off towards the luminous city of Alqualondë.
    Galadriel watched him go. Then she looked to the East, and lifted her arms in a final farewell. "Namárië, Arwen."
    Overhead the evening star shone clear and bright.


Daernaneth - Grandmother (Galadriel)
Daeradar - Grandfather (Celeborn)
The Noldor Lady is Galadriel…I thought up that name for her, and it's in canon (she is of the Noldor, after all).
The rest you hopefully know already.

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