Reunion: A Story of Indis and Finwe

by Indis-(V)
October 23, 2009

Stories > Indis' Tales > Reunion

The days for Indis passed in the tranquility of Valinor, filled with song, poetry, pleasures of the natural world, daily domestic needs, and above all, visits with friends and family in Tirion and her kin on Taniquetil.  From time to time, she passed a word with Varda or Manwe, who would ask about her son and daughters. Ever she could give a good account of them, for they were busy and happy, a joy to her. 

Yet there was always the ache that would not entirely leave her and that sent her thoughts toward the Halls of Waiting, where so many of those she loved lived out their days in necessary contemplation.  The sadness and yearning that tinged her beautiful poems and songs gave them a special poignancy, so that many requested them even during celebrations, for they had a special flavor that appealed to Ainur and Eldar alike. 

First in her thoughts was Finwe, the husband with whom she had spent such a brief time. How long he might be in the care of Namo she could not guess, for though he had led a nearly blameless life, a long term of kingship over a turbulent kindred must bring him much to ponder. Her gentle, valiant Fingolfin, too, was a son to be proud of, and yet he had failures of judgment that must be reviewed. And the children of her remaining son, Finarfin—how long would they remain in the keeping of the lord of Mandos? News that reached her from Middle-earth suggested that they had acquitted themselves with honor, but nonetheless, they had followed Feanor’s bright flame and made themselves subject to Namo’s curse. 

A special thought went to her exiled granddaughter, the golden-haired one who so resembled her Vanya grandmother, the one whose yearnings for independence and power led her to exile and the burdens of the Prophecy of the North. Of all her kindred in that land of darkness and light, she seemed to have escaped the worst of the curse, and yet she was still far across the sea. For a moment she also felt a pang for Miriel’s spent spirit and body—her gentle predecessor had borne too much in birthing Feanor. 

And the Burning Spirit, for such was the epithet rightly given Curufinwe, the stepson with whom she had ever felt tension, what of him? Much he had to ponder, many wrongs committed, people beguiled into darkness, his own greed, selfishness, and ungoverned temper all to his account. And at the same time, he had been the source of much glory both by his own gifted hand and by those who had followed him into doubt and danger. Temporary Nargothrond and Gondolin might have been, but magnificent they were in their time, true expressions of Noldorin talents. So much lost—and what might have been her part in Feanor’s wrong turning? She could not answer yet, though she never stopped wondering. 


This day began like many others: awakening at dawn, and a walk in the nearby meadows of Yavanna and a moment of contemplation at the remains of the Two Trees on their green mound. From there she stopped to pick up a few supplies for tonight’s special meal: Finarfin was bringing his family to celebrate the coming turning of the seasons. A visit to friends in Alqualonde was next, and she lost all sadness for a time as she joined in the joyful singing of the Teleri amid the sounds of the Sea. 

Regretfully she bade leave of the Sea-folk and made her way back to her home in Tirion, to its spacious rooms and great gardens, for she had preparations to make for the evening. As soon as she arrived and had changed into garments suitable for cooking, she made her way to the kitchen area and began to lay out her supplies and cooking gear, humming a little as she focused on the work. 


From the far west, a cloaked and hooded figure made his way, breathing the air with lungs, real ones, and feeling the ground under his feet, real feet. From time to time, he would hold his hand—his real, flesh and blood hand—out before his eyes—his real, flesh and blood eyes—to revel in its physical substance. So long it had been since he had had a house for his spirit, and so long it had been that his spirit had been isolated from the joys of the senses as it waited, thought, and felt its feelings.  But now the time of waiting was ended, and he was sent back to his people, his kin. 

How would he be received, he who had ruled the Noldor, he who had taken his hot-headed and accursed son’s side in a dreadful quarrel that no one could win? Would Indis understand why he had done it? He had had no time to talk with her as events moved swiftly, taking him with them. Would she forgive him? And Finarfin, his remaining son, now ruler of the Noldor: how would he feel about the return of the first king of their kindred?  How would he resolve that? 

The Elda became unaware of his steps as he mused on how his return would take place. What had happened during his time in the Halls of Waiting? How had his kin and people changed? What would be the attitude of the Valar toward him, who had participated in Feanor’s rebellion? Would he return to the acceptance and love of which he had dreamed while in waiting, or would he be scorned?  Hope and fear were mixed, but he thought of Indis’ bright features and kind smile and was soothed. 

Hooded and cloaked, he passed through Valmar and on to Tirion.  Some of the Eldar glanced curiously at him but saw that he did not wish conversation and let him pass by. The Ainur of course knew him, but they respected his desire for solitude and offered nothing more than friendly gestures of greeting. 

At the entrance to Tirion, he paused to look around. What had changed? What had not? The gleaming white buildings seemed the same, as were the  bright pathways through glades of trees and bushes, all artfully laid out to seem as if they’d grown naturally. The population, though: there were fewer than he remembered on the streets of what had once been his city. He was pleased to see that there were nevertheless plenty of folk going about their business, visiting from Tol Eressea or Valimar, or simply enjoying the day. He smiled as  he watched his kinsmen. 

Again he stopped to flex his newly restored muscles and stretch: Ahhhh, how good it felt to have shape again for his spirit. Then he continued along well-remembered paths to the house that had once been his—not a palace but a place for living and raising a family. And what a family that had been! Would his reunion with those that still lived be joyful or painful? Enough of such ruminations. Onward to the long-awaited meeting! 

At last he reached the place he had called home for so long. He took a moment to look at the well-tended garden, a place of repose and respite for him in those long-ago days. The house, spacious and inviting, much of it open to the out-of-doors, was as he had remembered through the long time of waiting. Someone was still living there—but who would be there when he entered? 


As she busied herself with the festive meal she was preparing, humming happily to herself as she concentrated, she heard footsteps outside. Looking up and out the window, she saw only a cloaked figure, whether Elda or Ainu she could not tell for sure.  In any case, it was a guest and to be received graciously and gracefully, so she put down her cooking, washed her hands, and went to greet the visitor. As she was reaching the front door, she heard a tentative knock, and a whisper 'May it be she!' Opening the door with a wide smile, she bowed and said: "Welcome to this house, stranger!"

The guest whispered, "I thank you gracious lady," and bowed in return.  "I hope I may not be a stranger to you," he added diffidently. 


Someone was in the house, in the kitchen: a member of the family now dwelling here? A servant? Hesitantly, he knocked on the door, whispering to himself his wish that his love appear at the door. His new heart beat furiously as he awaited a response to his knock. The door opened, and the light shone on her face. Thanks to Varda, it was she! Unchanged she seemed, her beautiful face and glorious hair as he had last seen them.  Her welcoming smile reassured him a little--but what would she think when she saw who her visitor was? She addressed him as "stranger," and he responded in a whisper, "I hope I may not be a stranger to you," postponing the moment when he must reveal himself. 

No point in waiting, he thought to himself, it is time! He pulled off his cloak and hood, and stood gazing with hopeful joy at Indis, his wife.  "Oh my love, it has been so long," he exclaimed. 


She hesitated, staring at the unexpected face, attempting to be sure it was who she thought it was.  Her expression was puzzled, but then she exclaimed, "Oh my love, my long-awaited love, you are here at last! Enter your home as its lord, my husband!"  Indis beamed at Finwe and threw her arms around him. In ever-escalating joy, he returned the embrace, and they held each other for a long time, unaware of the passage of time. 

Finally, "Oh my love, my lord, you come in good time, for we celebrate tonight, and our son Finarfin will be here with his family. We shall have much time to talk of the past, the present, and the future, but for now, will you take your quarters, and then help me prepare for their arrival? It will be such a wonderful reunion! Your rooms have been held ready for your return, and you will find nothing changed." Giving him a gentle squeeze, suggestive of caresses to come, she at last let him go, knowing it was for but a few minutes this time.  As he took his few belongings to his old rooms, she stood gazing in rapture at him. He had not changed, except perhaps that he seemed somewhat more radiant than before.  


Reluctantly Finwe released Indis from his grasp, savoring her last caress, and did as she requested. As she had said, his quarters were as he had left them on that long past day that he had departed in great haste to the north with his oldest son, to share his exile and his troubles. Best though, he thought, not to dwell overmuch on that time until he could fully reconcile with Indis. A feast and its preparations left little time for that, but soon, soon they could renew their love  and tell their tales. In the meantime, there was waiting the joy of family, some of them new to him. 

 The few belongings he had brought with him from the Halls of Waiting were soon placed among his old ones, and what a pleasure it was to see them again, from brush and comb to resplendent ceremonial garb to exquisitely crafted armor and arms…those he hoped never to need again, but their craftsmanship, work of his son’s hands, that was to be savored. No time for immersing his senses in those objects, dear as they might be, when his love needed his help to prepare for pleasures far greater. He changed quickly into a simple tunic and trousers, and then returned to the kitchen to see how he could be of service. 

With a smile, Indis set him to slicing and dicing vegetables for the meal, knowing that he would want to review the kitchen and its contents before he took on more complex tasks. Beaming with continuing joy, she continued her own preparations. "My love, there are some branches with leaves that the trees have graciously provided for adornment of the house; you may have noticed them when you entered your home.  When you are finished with the vegetables, could you display them in the reception and dining areas?" 

"Indeed I shall, dearest one," he responded. "And I shall ensure that the table is set many?" 

Indis stopped to count guests.  "I am expecting fifteen folk; some are friends without family. Let's also have a few place settings available in case there are some surprise arrivals to share and increase our happiness this day.  And...shall we let your arrival be a surprise after they enter?  Or would you like to greet them at the door?"  She gave him a merry wink. 

"Better to wait until the folk come in, so we won't have a logjam at the door.  I'd guess everyone will want to talk to me right away, after such a long absence, so let's do it afterwards." 

"Agreed! And some of them will be here soon, so we will want to be well along.  I know they will offer to help, but I'd like most of the work done." 

"Indis my heart, you haven't changed--as organized as ever!" he winked back at her with a slightly mocking grin. 

"And you, dear one, we shall learn of your changes later, as we talk of what happened during your absence. But for is enough to see you looking so well and your sense of humor intact." Indis' eyes were bright with incipient tears--tears of pleasure but also of apprehension. 


Soon the first guests arrived, and Indis met them with a straight face at the door to welcome them.  Only the most perceptive could see that she was excited beyond normal about something, and soon they found out what it was.  As anticipated, everyone made a beeline for Finwe, surrounding him with so many questions that he had to gesture for a pause and ask for one at a time.  Finally he said, "So many questions, so much to tell...we shall share stories after our festivities, and I know we will want more occasions for this. Tonight will be only a beginning, for there is much I would also wish to hear from you, my kinfolk and friends!" 

Turning to Indis, he said, "Indis has prepared for the festivities we planned. Let us enjoy them together; she will lead us through them." 

Indis stepped forward to say, "Our celebration begins with the pleasures of Yavanna Kementari and Orome the Huntsman: our meal, including what some of you brought to share, is ready in the dining room. But first we give thanks to the kelvar and olvar that gave their lives for our festivities."  Bowing her head, she led them in a short ritual chant of gratitude to the creatures of Arda that she had composed and was now widely used among the Eldar of Valinor before a meal. 

During the meal, Finwe seated himself near Finarfin and whispered, "I have no desire to resume kingship. The crown is yours if you wish to keep it. But we can talk of this further at a later time." Finarfin nodded and whispered back, "Yes, I look forward to many discussions with you, my truly revered and beloved Adar." Then both turned back to their repast. 

After the pleasures of the palate and a ceremony honoring the change of seasons, the music and poems for which Indis had also created, she announced, "I know that all of you have been eagerly awaiting our story-telling time, especially so because our beloved Finwe is back with us." Her beaming face and glistening eyes left no doubt of her feelings about his return. "I shall accompany his tales and yours with my harp." 

All seated themselves comfortably around the reception area, and Finwe stood up to say, "First I wish to thank my beloved Indis for her welcome and for maintaining household and kinship.  During my time of waiting, I came to value her for so much that I had not noticed in the turmoil and travail of raising a family and the events that led to the sad exile of some of them. I hope very much to show my appreciation and deep love for her in every way I can. She is my partner in all we do henceforth." 

Blushing slightly but clearly pleased by her husband's praise, Indis sat down and began to tune her harp. She gestured to Finwe to continue. 

"Now, here are several questions that I heard many of you ask, and I shall try to respond to them together. You wanted to know what happened at Formenos, what Melkor and Ungoliant looked like and said, what it was like in Lord Namo's halls, and did I meet any kinsfolk or friends there." He then proceeded to tell them how he had met Melkor at the door and refused him entrance and how Melkor slew him on the doorstep. Shuddering somewhat, he described both of the invaders in as much detail as he could remember. "They were terrible!" he ended. 

"And now for a more pleasant topic--and believe me, the Hall of Waiting is far more pleasant than Melkor and Ungoliant in their black cloud and stench.  In fact, other than the fact that we are bodiless and have none of the physical senses as we experience them in our bodies, and we miss our families and friends and the events taking place outside, it is not an unpleasant place.  It is, however, isolated far from all we knew and loved before our arrival, and that, even for the bodiless spirits we were, is painful, as is recollection of our folly and even evil deeds done. . But it's not all painful; we communicate with others nearby, and time passes without our awareness. " 

Finwe's audience listened in deep fascination as he detailed his experience in the Halls of Waiting. He told of the other souls he had met and what he had learned from them. He did not, however, mention meetings with his first wife, Miriel, nor with his sons. Indis hoped she would hear more of these when they were alone together. 

At last, Indis ceased her accompaniment of Finwe's narration, stood up, and said, "It has been a joy to celebrate both the season's change and my beloved Finwe's return with you, and I know you are gladdened as well. We look forward to further rejoicing with you, dear kinfolk and friends, in days to come." The guests needed no further indication that the time had come for husband and wife to have a deeper reunion.  With thanks and good wishes, they left, a few at a time and with parting gifts in hand, until finally only Indis and Finwe remained. 


Cleanup was complete, and the couple sat in comfort, gazing at each other in deep satisfaction.  Finwe spread his arms wide, and Indis moved to settle herself within them.  Finally, she said softly, "My love, do you know what happened to your firstborn and our children after you left us?" 

"I saw my eldest in the Halls.  I did not wish to speak of it before our guests, as it was, shall I say, at best a mixed pleasure. His story is tragic, and his soul underwent damage that I fear it will take ages to heal.  Lord Namo and Lady Vaire assure me that they will not neglect him, but he is not ready to return to the embodied world and will not be for a very long time.  I am glad that he is afforded good care, but I am grieved at the damage he did to others and to himself.  I know that your heart is big enough to wish him well, a final healing, and a return to his kindred in time."
""Of course I will welcome him when he is ready to return, not only for your sake but for his. But for the twist in his being that the Evil Vala took advantage of, he is a son and kinsman to be proud of and to love for everything he brings to us, not least that portion of you that is in him." 

Finwe nodded.  "I would expect no less from you.  And another potentially painful topic, while we are speaking of them: Miriel.  She continues content in Lady Vaire's care, and Lady Vaire speaks well of her.  I took the opportunity to ensure that she is happy as she is, and I think you may be relieved to know that it is so.  She still has no wish for a physical being, and she is well placed as one of the Weaver's ladies.  I will not say that I lack love for her; she was my first and the mother of my firstborn, but I am well content in your dear company and consider myself most fortunate among Eldar that you are my wife." 

Indis smiled warmly,"As I, you, love." She rose and gestured to the bedroom. "Let us continue our reunion in more comfort..." She made a suggestive caress,  Finwe returned it, and the living area of the house saw them no more until morning.    













Created on 10/8/2009 10:52:00 AM modified 10/10/2009 10:44:36 AM