The Trial of Gorthaur

- Lothithil

DarkElf at the End of the First Age

Slowly does the DarkElf
Approach the waiting Lady
Nienna, Vala of Mercy and Pity
I bow to my knees and make respect
"I am your servant, Lady. What would you have me do?"

She draws me to my feet and shows me
Where the Valar have gathered; there is a council
And cowering before their mighty displeasure
Is a figure of beautiful face and festering heart

I recognize him despite his appealing appearance
Trying to move the hearts of the Vala with a comely seeming
He is Gorthaur; Sauron he is named
No glittering garb or mask can hide his true face from me
He is fawning at the feet of Eonwë, sueing for pardon and peace
And looking upon his pitiable countenance I taste bile rising in my throat

Nienna speaks softly to me, and her voice is a lament:
"On this day the Valar make judgement
Not only of the deeds of our dark brother
But for all our own misjudgments
And for our children gone astray.
Here is one who has wronged many
And he offers now his penitance.
Others have done wrong also
Walking free this day in Arda.
Some we cannot bring judgement upon--
The Children of Ilúvatar are no longer ours to govern.

"I wish to know thy heart, Darkelf.
Speak to me what you know:
Can you feel pity for this slave of Morgoth?
Can you find forgiveness even for him?

"In my eyes, I see a child led astray
In my eyes, I see one who has much power that might be used for Good
But not only my eyes look upon him;
Speak to me what you know."

I look upon the face of the penitant maia
But I do not see what Nienna describes
"Lady, thou hast chosen a poor servant to Yourself.
Looking upon him my eyes see only the death of Finrod and many others
I see only destruction and hate.
No where in my heart
Can I find mercy for Gorthaur."

"Can you feel nothing else, darkelf,
Or does darkness fill you truly?"

And I am lost in myself
With nothing I can say
I search within my own deep ocean
For one small island of hope

Nienna regards me with solemn humour
"Mercy does not live in the heart
But in the hands of those who chose.
For the deeds of others we are not beholden
But for all misdeeds shall those who dwell in Arda suffer;
The fair and the terrible
The sweet and the bitter.
I did not bring you to my service
To offer me that which I want to hear.
It is your truth and your heart that I needed
And no less have you given."