Reunion: A Story of Indis and Finwe
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 for...how 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
"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 now...it 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
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
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
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
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
Blushing slightly but clearly pleased by her husband's praise, Indis
sat down and began to tune her harp. She gestured to Finwe to
"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
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