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by Earendil-(Valar)
Oct. 5, 2000
Stories > Authors > Earendil's stories

    Up the long flight of the Endless Stair they climbed, the Balrog with Gandalf on his tail.  At last they came out upon the mountain peak.  There in the bright sun, the Balrog's flame was lit anew.  Gandalf, already weak, was well matched by the flaming fury.  Valiantly he strove with the Balrog.
    At last Gandalf was victorious.  Durin's Bane was cast off the peak.  Gandalf bent over his staff, stumbled, and collapsed.  Glamdring, falling from his hand, clattered across the bare rocks of Zirak-zigil.

    To places far and wide his spirit drifted, and found its way to Valimar.  There he took rest for a while at his home in Lorien.  He went to Taniquetil, to the Halls of Ilmaren, and stood before the feet of Manwe and Varda.
    "Welcome, Olorin," said Varda. "We have been expecting you.  What tidings have you to share?"
    Olorin bowed before his King and Queen.  "My task has failed before I have completed it," he said. "I have saved the bearer of the Ring of Sauron, but the Balrog, which the Dwarves call Durin's Bane, has destroyed me in body."
    Manwe spoke. "Your job is not finished.  Nay, it has only begun.  We have more for you to do before your time on Middle-earth is over.  We know of the fall of Curunir.  He has lost the favor of the Valar and is no longer counted as the first of your Order. Tarry here no longer, but return to Middle-earth."
    "But my body...," began Olorin.
    "Your body sits still atop the Peak of Celebdil; it was not destroyed," said Manwe. "Did you not wear Narya, the Ring of Fire?  What power has that flame of Udun over you when you wear that ring on your finger?"
    "Narya, of course!" cried Olorin, and jumped to his feet. "Círdan was far-sighted indeed!  But now, I have tarried here overlong.  I must return at once."
    "Then return, Olorin." said Varda. "You are very wise so I will give you no counsel for your errand except to use that wisdom that you have.  The time has come for you to reveal yourself as a servant of the Valar. Go now with our blessings.  Let the light of Valinor shine through you."
    Olorin returned to Middle-earth.  Standing atop the mountain he gazed far out into the east.  Much he saw from that high point.  He saw Barad-dur.  He saw Frodo, invisible though he was, atop Amon Hen.  There he also saw the Eye of Sauron as it cast its gaze over Amon Lhaw crossing the river towards Amon Hen.
    Then he bent all his thought towards Frodo.  "Take it off!" he thought.
    The Eye missed its target.
    Gwaihir arrived and carried Gandalf to the forests of Lorien in Middle-earth where he rested his body, as he had rested his spirit in the Gardens of Lorien in Valinor.