Gimli...the Last Night in Lothlorien

by Vison
Gimli Gloin’s son am I. Dwarf of many journeys, not the least hardy of my hardy folk. Long have we lived under Mountain, my father and my father’s father and his father back to Durin’s days, a line of sturdy Dwarves, bearded, cautious, eager for treasure. Our dwellings are Storied chambers, echoing halls, with lamps alight and jewels glittering, no Sun shines there, nor white-faced Moon. Our lamps, carved of Agate and Lapis, Opal and Amethyst, our lamps are all the Light we need, ever driving away the dark. Until we seek our rest, then the Lamps are shut and the soft warm dark covers us….

This strange journey I am on, it has set my mind and my heart astir with new thoughts and longings. Long has it been since one of Durin’s folk went adventuring away with Wizards and Men and Elves, and never did I hear of any Halfings in the tales, save for Bilbo, Dwarf friend. Yet here I am. Here I am in the realm of the Elven Queen, the Lady of the Golden Wood, the Lady Galadriel. My Lady, my Lady………Tomorrow we leave thee….but only a shell of Gimli shall leave thee. My heart and soul stay with thee…… I shall journey on, as I vowed I would. I will stay with Frodo until the bitter end, and maybe there will be mercy for me on the way, some deed I might do and so find an ending honourable and just.....

They sleep. The Halflings sigh as they sleep, but they lie still, limbs slack, no weapon at hand. Open, guileless faces they have, yet stout hearts, courage that cannot be measured by their lack of inches. Such hardihood as Frodo’s would wear many a Dwarf down, hardihood of the spirit and not the body, endurance of the soul. And was ever a companion as loyal as Sam? Never in the Dwarf kingdom was a sworn friend sworn deeper, not Oakenshield nor Balin, not Durin himself, ruler of Khazad-dum. Meriadoc and Peregrine are as children to me, but not any children that I have ever known, no Dwarf-child was ever so merry at heart, so careless at play.
Strider and Boromir stretch their long legs somewhere. In Lorien is Strider kin. The Lord and Lady welcomed him as a son, I deem, and hold him in warm esteem. Mighty man, mighty warrior, guide for the suddenly guideless, pushing us on after Gandalf was pulled into the gulf of horror.

But this Boromir. Ah….. This Boromir, who tossed restless in his sleep as we journeyed, who has black shadows under his eyes, who has bitten his nails to the quick. Bold and brave, my lord Boromir, yes bold and brave and sick of heart. For he is as greedy and grasping as any Dwarf might be, but not for Gems and gleaming Gold, no, not for the little Gold in the Ring……yet here I must be careful, even in my thoughts, for Boromir is not the only member of the fellowship who has learned desire…….
These men, they seek Power. One seeks it as it shall be given to him, put upon his shoulders like a robe, put upon his head with a Crown. Given willingly by those he will command, taken with dutiful heart, a burden he will bear until his days’ end. One seeks it as a thief seeks loot, purloined he would take this Power into his own hands, wield it as a stolen axe, in the dark, secret and dangerous. Will he stay true? He is a warrior who longs for Victory, who dreams of glory, who sees the salvation of his folk in the Power he lusts after. Yet he is a man honourable, vowed to truth and duty, and it may be that I judge him too harshly, having to search my own heart as I do, and not liking all that I see…..
I do not seek power, for what use would such Power be to me? I could not command my heart’s desire, for I wish it to come to me as the Rain falls to the Earth, because it must, and for no other reason. But the Rain will not fall, and the Earth of my longing will remain dry as dust, and the sweet flowers that might bloom will stay furled.
They would have blindfolded me, the Elves on the border, blindfolded me and led me in the dark, me, Gimli Gloin’s son, who has walked in darkness heavier than any wrapping of cloth over my eyes. No spies, they say, as if any trusty Dwarf would betray them! Yet they are right, for here is treasure greater than any hoard of the Dwarves, here is something more Precious than any Ring….here is Galadriel, Galadriel the beautiful, the wise, the far-seeing. Galadriel who reads all hearts, Galadriel who has wakened mine.

Now have I met my doom. Not caught crushed in a rockfall, nor falling tumbling and wondering afraid into the abyss. Not burned out of this life by the Balrog, nor pierced by the pin-sharp arrows of the Orcs of Moria. But the eyes and the voice and the words of a Queen have slain me, laid me low, brought me down, lower than the deepest delvings of the Dwarves. They say that we cannot look at the Sun, for it will blind our eyes, but I have looked upon a Queen more glorious than any Sun and so have had my soul’s eyes wakened into seeing, opening a new world to me, limned with wonder and pleasure and sweetness……
Legolas knows, though not a word has he said, not a flicker of expression on that calm Elven face. His eyes look upon me with friendship, and no doubt pity, yet I cannot care. To Legolas this is only natural, that some poor fool of a Dwarf would look upon the loveliest being that ever drew breath and fall into love and despair without a word being said. There was no other way for my heart to turn! I knew her instantly, for how could I not? I never knew what I longed for until I saw it, and having seen, know that longing and desire are in vain. She is as unreachable as the Moon or the Stars… hands will never touch her.
My Dwarven hands are made for grasping and holding. My axe, sharp and heavy. The treasures that I have dug from the Earth, torn from the living rock, I hold them up to catch the gleams of the Lamps, to be admired and envied, to have these my treasures lusted over by the Dwarves who long only for such things. What would they say, could they read my secret heart now? My heart’s longing all caught in the tresses of golden hair that spill over her white shoulders, her hand as delicate as the traceries of Opal in the ore…..I hear only her voice, soft, speaking only to me. She smiles, and the Sun shines, no, better than Sun, all the Lamps of Moria blaze in beauty in her smile.
My hands are empty, for I cannot hold her, except in my heart. All I have I give to her, all my love and all my life. It is a new thing for a Dwarf, to have only in giving………