November 4, 2005
Choice of Luthien > Namarie, Arwen > Iluvatar's
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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
Elrond Half-elven and Galadriel Lady of Light stood
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
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
Galadriel watched him go. Then she looked to the
East, and lifted her arms in a final farewell. "Namárië,
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.
Choice of Luthien > Namarie,
Arwen > Iluvatar's