Fading Hope

by Eruvanne

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Part 9


January 8, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Today we reached a place called Hollin where we rested for a while before we continued on our journey. During our rest, Aragorn, Boromir, Rohirrwyn, and I were sitting together and watching Merry and Pippin laugh and talk together.

Suddenly, I heard Rohirrwyn speak beside me, “I wonder if they would make good soldiers if they knew how to use a sword.” At first, I took it in jest but then I heard Aragorn agree with her and asked Boromir to teach the two rambunctious hobbits.

“No. You are the best swordsman I have ever seen. The honor should be your,” Boromir answered. I smiled a bit seeing his willingness to begin to believe that Aragorn was the returning king. However, Aragorn declined and Boromir called Merry and Pippin over to teach them.

When they came over, the two of them were both very astonished, Pippin especially.

“You mean, with a sword?” he asked with eyes full of surprise and wonder.

“Of course, Pippin,” called out Rohirrwyn. “What other kind of fighting would you be doing?”

So Boromir unsheathed his sword and hand Merry and Pippin each a long knife to use as swords. It was quite funny to watch them since even the knives were a bit large for them. But steadily, they began to become more used to the flowing movements of the different steps. Merry was strong and sure in his strokes while Pippin was quicker on his feet.

Suddenly, Boromir called, “Rohirrwyn, why don’t you go over the steps with Merry while I help Pippin.” So she climbed down off the rock that she and I had been sharing for a seat and drew her own sword and began reviewing the stances.

Then, quite by accident, Boromir nicked Pippin’s knuckles and Pippin cried out, “ Ow, that hurt!”

Just as Boromir was bending down to help Pippin, Pippin viciously kicked Boromir in the shin. Becoming slightly unbalanced, Boromir quickly righted himself again but not before Merry had joined Pippin in his assault with both shouting “For the Shire!”

Rohirrwyn, Aragorn, and I all began to laugh. Then the the two young warriors began to tickle the seasoned warrior. Now you must understand, my cousing, however tough he may appear, is extremely ticklish. So out of desperation he called out, “Well, don’t just stand their laughing. Do something!”

In an attempt to help Boromir, Aragorn walked over and playfully scolded the hobbits saying, “That’s enough, gentlemen.” However, his attempt was ill fated for the two hobbits flipped him onto his back that made Rohirrwyn and I laugh even more.

As Merry and Pippin’s attention was diverted, Rohirrwyn dashed in and helped Boromir to his feet just as Legolas yelled to us, “Crebain from Dunland!”

“Hide!” Aragorn shouted as we all began gathering things and putting out fires to make it seem that no one had been there at all. Rohirrwyn and I jumped underneath a bush together and watched as hoard of black birds circled over our heads. The air was quickly filled with the sound of their crowing. But as quickly as they had come, they left. Cautiously, we all crept out from our different hiding places.

“Spies from Saruman,” said Gandalf gravely. “The Gap of Rohan is being watched. We must take the path of Carahras.”

“I know something of mountains and snow,” said Boromir. “It will be freezing cold both night and day. Might I suggest that we bring a bundle of wood?”

Reluctantly, Gandalf consented. “But we must only use the wood if it is a choice between fire and death. We can’t risk being known to Saruman.”

So we began to gather our things and move out. As we were walking, I went up to Rohirrwyn to express my fear of the safety of our fellowship in the mountains.

Attempting to comfort me, she placed her hand in mine and said, “Don’t worry so much, Gilrael. I’m sure it will be fine. It’s alright, Gilrael.”

After that I felt a little better but I still have my worries and doubts. We will probably reach the mountains tomorrow. Until then,
Gilrael


January 11, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

We ascended Carahras today. Everything seems to be going fine. Mithrandir has not seen any spies of Saruman.

Something rather peculiar happened today though. As we were climbing, Rohirrwyn, who had been walking at my side with Boromir, began to fall behind to see what Merry and Pippin were doing. I could here Pippin’s high voice going on and on until Rohirrwyn stopped him by saying something. Soon, I could tell she was telling a story by the way her voice rose and fell. Boromir and I gradually began to fall behind to listen. Boromir ended up joining the merry party but I, instead, kept going trying to catch up with Mithrandir. After hearing something said by Boromir, I heard footsteps coming up behind me.

Suddenly, I heard something behind me fall and slide in the snow. I turned to see Frodo face down with Aragorn at his side to help him up. After brushing the snow off of himself, Frodo checked to see if the Ring was around his neck. But it wasn’t. It was on the ground with my cousin bending low over it. I caught my breath. No one, so far as I know, has touched the ring except for Frodo since our leaving of Rivendell. He held the ring up to his eyes at which it dazzled in the sunlight.

“Boromir,” called out Aragorn. But my cousin seemed to not be able to hear him. He continued to look at the Ring.

“It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over such a little thing. Such a little thing,” Boromir said as his fingers moved slowly to touch it.

“Boromir,” Aragorn called again, this time seeming to jerk Boromir out of his reverie, “Give the Ring to Frodo.” It seemed that Aragorn’s tone this time held a little more harshness than the last.

Boromir walked over to where Frodo stood under the protective stance of Aragorn. “As you wish,” he said holding out the Ring to Frodo who grabbed it from Boromir. “I care not.” Boromir ruffled Frodo’s hair and turned to rejoin the group. Rohirrwyn also turned a short while after but her face seemed to convey that she was upset. Not wishing to intrude on any private thoughts, I held my tongue about asking what the matter was.

Nevertheless, two things have been growing on my mind these couple of hours. My cousin’s last two statements seemed to be very much like how my cousin would usually speak but his earlier reverie didn’t. I don’t know why but I have a funny feeling that my cousin is changing. I pray that I am wrong. Until tomorrow,
Gilrael

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Part 10

January 12, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

Today has been one of great peril as we have descended from Caradhras. We continued our journey up the mountain and through the snow. Legolas, being an elf however, was able to walk atop the cold precipitation. I believe we were all envious of him. Through the falling snow and wind, I could hear a voice, deep and authoritative.

“Gandalf,” cried Rohirrwyn, “There is a fell voice on the air! We must turn back!”

“We should never have come this way,” called out Boromir. “We should make for the Gap of Rohan, or go the long way around, and come to my city!”

“It’s Sauruman!” yelled Aragorn, as more snow seemed to fall. “He is trying to bring down the mountain!”

Gandalf then stepped out from under the ledge of rock from which we were attempting to use as a shield and cover from the elements. He then began to shout out into the wind in some strange tongue. Suddenly, lightning struck a boulder overhead and we all dove against the wall. Snow buried us all.

Soon, we began to emerge from the snow. Boromir was the first to speak.

“Gandalf we cannot go any longer.”

“We could pass through the mines of Moria,” suggested Gimli. Mithrandir’s face clouded for a moment as if seeing some evil. He then spoke saying, “Let the Ring-bearer decide.” All eyes turned upon the poor hobbit. I could see the struggle in his eyes but resolution soon entered and he spoke.

“We will go through the mines.” Mithrandir’s eyes closed for a moment as if in pain but then began to lead us back down the path that we had just traversed. I do not know what is before us but it cannot be good if even Mithrandir is pained. Until later,
Gilrael

January 14, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

We have entered into the dark of Moria. I will admit to you that I fear and dread this mine no matter what Gimli says that it was once great. Our entrance to the mine was just as traumatic as any of our other experiences.

After much walking, we finally reached the walls of Moria. I could see nothing of a door. Rohirrwyn voiced my opinion by saying, “Gandalf, what exactly are we looking for? I’ve looked all around and have seen nothing that even remotely resembles a door.”

“Dwarven doors are very well hidden, so well in fact that their masters sometimes can’t find them,” he replied.

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” Legolas muttered. Gimli must have heard him for he turned his head and glared at the elf. Mithrandir ran his fingers over the smooth face of rock and then the moon shone upon it. Suddenly, a silver arch shone out from the rock.

Mithrandir then read the elvish above the door. “The doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter.” He then proceeded to place his staff against the middle of the door and spoke in elvish but the doors did not open. We all wandered away giving Mithrandir space to think and act. I moved to sit upon a stone not far from Mithrandir. A chill seemed to come over me and I drew cloak closer about me. Something dark seemed to hover over the lapping water of the lake outside the doors of the dwarven mine. After being stopped from throwing rocks into the lake by Rohirrwyn, Merry and Pippin walked over to where Mithrandir sat pondering over the mystery of the doors.

“What are you going to do now?” asked Pippin innocently.

“Bash your head against theses doors, Peregrine Took,” responded Mithrandir harshly since I think he was upset at himself for not knowing how to open the doors and was now venting his frustration on the poor, inquisitive hobbit. “And if that does not shatter them,” he continued, “then I shall be rid of foolish questions.”

“It’s a riddle,” Merry said suddenly. “Speak ‘friend’ and enter. Gandalf, what is the elvish word for friend?”

“Mellon,” he replied. All of a sudden, a loud cracking and creaking was heard as the doors finally began to open. We moved away from our various places towards the open doors.

The men made torches as Mithrandir put a crystal atop his staff and the crystal began to glow. I walked in-between Boromir and Rohirrwyn as we filed into the mine. After looking around, Rohirrwyn commented quietly, “So this is it. A dark, damp, dank excuse for a mine.”

Gimli must have heard for he said, “And they call it a mine. A mine! My cousin Balin will give us a royal welcome, and he’ll show you the meaning a mine. Roaring fires, malt beer, red meat fresh off the bone.”

Then Legolas said, “This is not a mine. It’s a tomb.” At that, I finally glanced down upon the floor of the mine and what met my sight I shall never forget. The skeletons of both dwarves and goblins strewn everywhere. Gimli cried out in anguish over the bodies of his fellow dwarves.

However, our company was soon distracted by Frodo’s voice as he called, “Aragorn, help me!” We all turned to see a large, slimy tentacle grab the poor hobbit by his ankle. Merry and Pippin tried to pull him back as Sam whacked at the tentacle with a knife he had been given by Aragorn. They were able to sever the tentacle off Frodo but then many more tentacles appeared pushing the hobbits away and grabbing Frodo again.

Boromir, Aragorn, and Rohirrwyn rushed out into the midst of tentacles to try to save the Ring-bearer. Just as Rohirrwyn severed the tentacle that held Frodo, another replaced it and held him above its fanged and foamy mouth. Bravely, Aragorn ran into the very heart of the tentacles and chopped off the one that held Frodo. This time, Frodo fell into the waiting arms of my cousin. He quickly ran out of the water to place the hobbit on shore. Aragorn and Rohirrwyn were running also. As the creature came closer, Rohirrwyn drew a dagger from her belt and threw it at the creature to help prevent it from again claiming one of our comrades. She would have retrieved the dagger had not Boromir pulled further into the mine. Legolas let loose and arrow that flew into the mouth of the beast. The beast then fell against the doors of the mine and sent the rocks flying onto the ground around and the light was gone.

Everyone stayed quiet for a few moments, so much so that you could hear everyone breathing. Mithrandir then tapped his staff on the stone floor and his staff again glowed.

“We now have but one choice. We must face the long dark of Moria," he told us. “Be on your guard. There are fouler things than orcs that lurk in the deep places of the world.” We then proceeded in single file as we began our long journey through the great mine of the dwarves. We walked and walked and walked until we all assumed it was well into the evening. Suddenly we came to an open place out of which led three passages.

Mithrandir looked at the three entrances and said wearily, “I have no memory of this place.” He then proceeded to sit upon a rock and smoke his pipe. Therefore, the rest of us sat down to wait. During this time, I have been writing down this past entry.

I do not now know why I agreed to join this party of warriors. I cannot wield a sword or bow or axe, at least not well. All I can do is help those who can wield swords and bows and axes. As of yet, nothing of the sort has been presented. Oh, Mithrandir has stood up. He must have remembered. I shall write more once we have left the mine or when I find another time to write. Until then,
Gilrael


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Part 11

January 17, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

My heart is now heavy with grief. I feel as if the world will now fall to pieces. I suppose I should relate to you the events that have made my heart sad.

After Mithrandir found which doorway to follow, we all stood and followed him. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a spacious hall filled with columns.

“This was once the great dwarven city of Dwarowwdelf. Now it is their tomb,” said Mithrandir solemnly. As we walked, we began to pass a small inlet in which streamed a single beam of light.

“No!” cried Gimli as he ran to room. We all followed and then realized for what our companion was mourning. In the light of the beam lay a coffin inscribed with ruins, the writing of dwarves.

“Here lies Balin, son of Fundin,” read Mithrandir, “lord of Moria. He is dead then. It is as I feared.” His eyes scanned the room in a look of what looked to me like sorrow and for a moment, he seemed as an old man who is weary of life.

However, something caught his gaze. It was a large book clasped in the hands of a skeleton. Quickly he handed his hat and staff to Pippin and he moved the skeletal hand of the book. Blowing away the layer of dust atop the cover, Mithrandir opened towards the end of the large volume. Then, he began to read.

“They have taken the bridge and the second hall. We have barred the gate but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes. Drums, drums in the deep. We cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out. They are coming.”

At that moment, we heard a clang and all our heads turned from the wizard to Pippin where he had twisted the hand of another skeleton atop a well and the head of the skeleton had fallen off. Then, to our horror, the rest of the body fell followed by a chain and bucket. We all winced as the clanging and thudding was heard reverberating throughout the mine. As it became silent, Mithrandir closed the book and rebuked as he grabbed his hat and staff, “Fool of a Took. Throw yourself in next time and rid us of your stupidity.” As we all prepared to leave the room, we heard a noise as of drums beating. A chill overcame my body as I remember the words that Mithrandir had just read, drums in the deep. Then a screeching noise was heard and Frodo pulled his small sword, Sting, from its sheath and it was glowing blue, signifying that orcs were near.

Boromir ran to the door to look out when an arrow nearly pierced his face. Quickly, he shut the doors and stated, “They have a cave troll.” Aragorn, Rohirrwyn, and Legolas then began throwing axes and rods to Boromir to help barricade the door. The hobbits and I gathered around Mithrandir for protection. Gimli jumped on top of the tomb of his relative brandishing his axe.

“Let them come. There is one dwarf in Moria who still draws breath,” he growled defiantly. Legolas, Aragorn, Legolas, and Rohirrwyn lined up in front of the tomb ready for whatever came through the doors.

Suddenly, the ends of spears where seen breaking through the doors. Legolas and Aragorn let loose a few arrows into the holes where the spears had pierced. For a moment, the enemies fell back but then the door fell and in rushed our enemies with their cave troll behind them. Quickly, the four in front engaged in the battle. Gimli from atop the tomb dealt heavy blows. Mithrandir was waving his sword Glamdring and staff in a kind of double threatening action. The hobbits and I fell back further against the back wall of the room.

I had no experience in combat except for a few simple lessons that Boromir and Faramir had taught me in self-protection but never anything of use in a full-scale battle. I looked about me and saw Frodo staying behind pillars and other places of cover, Sam bashing orcs on the head with his frying pans, and Merry and Pippin getting into the fray wherever they were together.

There was not much time, however, to just watch as the others were amidst the mayhem of battle. Quickly, I drew my dagger and did my best to help in our party’s struggle. However, I could see that the cave troll was after Frodo with a kind of spear. Frodo was able to keep out of its way for a while but not forever. To my horror, I saw the spear go into Frodo and the look of pain upon his face. He slouched over and it looked as if he was dead.

“Frodo!” I called as made my way over to him. As the sounds of battle grew less and less, I finally reached him as the other combatants in our company came towards him too, Sam of whom was the closest. Tears were flowing down my cheeks as I carefully raised Frodo from where he had been lying on his face. As he got up, he gasped in air. I was shocked. Therefore, I started unbuttoning his shirt.

“I’m alright, I’m alright,” he said but I took no heed.

“Oh no you’re not,” I replied sternly. “You ought to be dead from that spearing you got. Now just lie still. I’m going to have a look at you.”

“That spear would have skewered a wild boar,” said a voice behind me, which I took to be Aragorn’s.

As I unbuttoned Frodo’s shirt, something silver glimmered from beneath. I gasped. “I think there is more to this hobbit than meets the eye,” I said as I stepped aside so everyone could see. The shining silver was a coat of mithril rings.

“I was wondering what you and Bilbo were doing that last day. Bless his heart,” praised Merry. However, there was not much time to marvel since we heard more orcs coming down the passageway.

“To the bridge of Khazad-dum,” directed Mithrandir as we all began running down a door in the back of the outlet. This passage led us into another great hall in which the pillars were being swarmed by orcs from everywhere. We all faced in a ring, ready to stand together to last until something extraordinary happened. A light as if from fire lit the main entrance to hall. In a panic, all the orcs retreated to where they had come from.

I knew not what was happening but I felt that it was not something in our favor. I looked to Mithrandir for a sign of what to do. His eyes, however, were closed.

Boromir spoke saying, “What new devilry is this?”

Mithrandir kept his eyes closed and then slowly answered. “A balrog. A demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you. Run!” With that, we all followed him to the end of the hall that led a flight of stairs. But the stairs ended abruptly. Boromir would have fallen over the edge had it not been for Legolas. We all paused and waited for what we should do.

“Gandalf,” called Rohirrwyn trying to urge Mithrandir ahead of us.

“No, this is beyond your strength,” he rebuked. He turned to Aragorn. “And yours too. Lead them on Aragorn. The bridge is near.” My eyes followed his gaze and saw stone line over a chasm. Aragorn tried to dissuade Mithrandir but he would have none of it. “Do as I say. Swords are of no use here.”

We ran down two more flights of steps and reached a crack in the stairs. Legolas leapt first and then held out his arms to help Mithrandir as he jumped across. I was the next to jump since Rohirrwyn forced me across. Boromir followed holding Merry and Pippin. Aragorn then tossed Sam across and was about to do so to Gimli when Gimli held up his hand in protest.

“Nobody tosses a dwarf,” he said and leapt across. However, he didn’t quite make it and Legolas grabbed him by the beard to save him from falling. “Not he beard,” called the upset dwarf. The last ones left were Aragorn, Frodo, and Rohirrwyn. Rohirrwyn back up a few steps and leaped across into the arms of my cousin. We all watched anxiously as the steps we had all been standing on began wobbling. Then it began to fall toward us and Aragorn and Frodo leapt off. We then resume running down the remaining flight of stairs and over the bridge.

“Over the bridge! Fly!” urged Mithrandir as he himself turned to face the demon. For the first time we could see clearly from what we had been fleeing. The balrog a giant of a monster with a crest of flame and in his mouth was fire also. Mithrandir and it faced each other in the middle of the bridge.

“You shall not pass,” declared Mithrandir but the balrog took no heed. “I am a servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame of Arnor. The darkness will not avail you, flame of Undun.” As he spoke, Mithrandir’s staff began to glow a pale blue and the balrog brought his flaming sword down upon the wizard. Mithrandir was not hurt but the balrog’s sword had been shattered. The ancient demon then pulled out a whip, which it demonstrated with pride. Raising his staff and sword above his head, Mithrandir shouted, “You shall not pass!” With those words, he brought his staff down upon the pavement of the bridge. Nothing seemed to happen until the balrog took a step and fell in the depths of the chasm beneath. Mithrandir seemed to sigh with relief and turned to join us. However, he never made it.

Suddenly, out of the darkness, the end of the balrog’s whip came up and grabbed his ankle pulling him to the edge of the bridge.

Frodo and Rohirrwyn both dashed to try to save him but Boromir held them back. I would also have run if Aragorn had been holding my shoulder. We all listed to Mithrandir’s last words. “Fly, you fools,” and he fell.

As we hurried out of the mine, it seemed unreal. We dodged arrows as we ran out into the open air. I hid my face in my arms and sobbed as I had not done since Boromir had left for Rivendell. Rohirrwyn came over and held me as my renewed sobbing ensued.

As I cried I heard Aragorn’s voice saying, “Boromir, Rohirrwyn, get them up.”

“Give them a moment for pity’s sake,” pleaded Boromir. I could tell through his voice that the others were not the only ones who needed that minute. I looked up as Aragorn continued speaking but I did not hear him. My mind was too filled with sorrow to think of much else. I could see though the figure of Frodo slowly moving away. I would have called out to him if I had had a voice.

“Frodo, Frodo!” called Aragorn. The Ring-bearer turned to him with eyes filled with an unspeakable sorrow and pain. We were all then gathered and made our way towards the forest of Lothlorien where Aragorn had friends who would provide shelter for us.

As we entered into the elven land, I could sense all the magic in the air. It made me feel both at peace and on edge. All of a sudden, a ring of elven archers surrounded us. Both Rohirrwyn’s and Boromir’s hands went immediately to their sword hilts. However, Aragorn spoke in elvish and prevented what probably would have been a struggle. After his greeting, the head elf, who I later learned was called Haldir, spoke in the common tongue.

“You bring great evil with you. You can go no further.” Aragorn then proceeded to try to reason with him to let us continue. During that time, I sat by myself and wept some more for the loss of Mithrandir. As I was crying, I felt an arm about my shoulders. I looked up to see Boromir next to me.

“There now,” he comforted. “Just lay your head on my shoulder and finish your weeping.” So I did as I was told and he simply held me and let me cry. Now both my cousins had comforted me in my times of sorrow. And this new thought reminded me of home and just made me weep all the more.

Then Haldir came over to where the rest of Fellowship was and told us to follow him but we were all blindfolded as we went. We were led up several staircases and then onto a platform where the blindfolds were removed.

Then the rulers of this fair land descended the Lord Celeborn and Galadriel the Lady of Light. As they came down, we all bowed out of reverence. Their appearance was very strange. They looked both youthful and aged at the same time but their eyes showed the wells of wisdom that they had acquired. Celeborn spoke first, his voice holding authority and power.

“The Enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Ten that are here yet eleven there were that set out from Rivendell. Tell me where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him. I can no longer see him from afar.”

We all looked at one another in hopes that someone else would tell them the unspeakable truth about out leader. However, Galadriel answered her husband’s question in a voice like a gentle breeze and soft thunder.
“Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of this land. He has fallen into shadow.” All heaved a sigh at these words as each of us relived the moment of his falling.

He was taken by both shadow and flame,” explained Legolas. “A Balrog of Morgoth. For we went needlessly into the mines of Moria.”

Having compassion on Gimli as she saw him heave a great sigh, she comforted him saying, “Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose. Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-dum fill your heart, Gimli, son of Glóin. For the world has grown full of peril. And in all lands love is now mingled with grief.” As she spoke the last words, she gazed into each of our eyes. When she looked into my eyes, I could hear her voice inside my head. “Fear no longer, Gilrael daughter of Eldacar. Trust the One who guides each of our lives and trust also your friends. The hope of men is fading but you will help to restore them. You will return home one day but do not fear the way.” Her words held such weight and I turned my face away. Nevertheless, she continued to talk to our entire company.

“The quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now and rest, for you are weary. Tonight you will sleep in peace.” Beckoning Haldir forward, she had him lead us back down the stairs and into an open place where we could rest, which is where I am now writing.

As I write, a lament for Mithrandir is being raised by the elves of this wood. My heart is now heavy both by Mithrandir’s passing and by Galadriel’s words. For me, I am afraid of losing any more of those closest to me and therefore fear for them. I look around at our party and wonder will there be others who follow Mithrandir to the lands where no living man may go? I shall try to sleep now. Until later,
Gilrael

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Part 12

January 23, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

We have now been the forest of Lothlorien for nearly a week. As each day passes, I believe our wounds of grief begin to mend. Night has fallen upon this elven realm. The stars sparkle like diamonds in the night sky. Sometimes, I can recognize constellations from Minas Tirith.

At sunset, Rohirrwyn, Boromir and I all relaxed at the base of one mallorn trees which populate this enchanted forest. As I hummed and stitched some strips of clothe for bandages, Rohirrwyn was writing in a journal she carries and Boromir told amused us with tales from Gondorian history. He has been most attentive to me this past week as he has seen my grief. I try to be strong but I am quite weak when it comes to death and partings. Although she is much better at hiding her grief, Rohirrwyn is also much saddened at Mithrandir’s death. Her eyes hold an anguish that she hopes not to burden others with. It pains me to see it. However, the only solace that she has for her pain seems to be her daily walks with Boromir, which is comforting to see.

As we were relaxing, Legolas walked past which is not often as he is usually either with Gimli or relieving his grief in another manor. The strains of the elves lament for Mithrandir came down to us with melancholy beauty. Merry, who was sitting nearby, asked Legolas to tell us what the elves were saying. But he refused because, as he said, for him the grief was still too near. However, since I learned the Numenorean tongue in my studies, I was able to understand their song. As I translated, tears flowed down my cheeks. This is what I heard. “Mithrandir, Mithrandir, o Pilgrim Grey. No more will you wander the green fields of this earth. Your journey has ended in darkness. The bonds cut, the spirit broken, the Flame of Arnor has left this earth. A great light has gone out.” Quite beautiful, is it not? Then Rohirrwyn and Boromir went on one of their daily walks together and left us. But I heard from the pavilion that the hobbits share, Sam speaking of adding another verse to the elven lament.

“The finest rockets ever seen. They burst in stars of blue and green. And after thunder, silver showers come falling like a rain of flowers. That doesn’t do ‘em justice, not by a long shot.” It made me smile at the different memories that this wizard left behind. Well, I must turn in now but I will write more later. Until then,
Gilrael


January 31, 3019 Third Age of Middle Earth

The days pass quickly by in this blessed realm. During the day, the weather is cool and refreshing and the evenings are warm and inviting. It reminds me of summer days at the Dol Amroth and the gardens in Minas Tirith in autumn. If I could, I believe I would remain here for a very long while.

Today I have learned both a little more about one of my fellow members of the fellowship and a new song. As I walking, I heard singing somewhere up ahead. I thought at first that it might be one of the elves singing a lament for Mithrandir. But as I listened, the singing did not seem to have the right quality to be that of an elf. I passed another tree and saw Samwise Gamgee lying against the tree trunk. He had been the one singing.

I guess he heard me because he stopped and blushed when he saw me.

“Please don’t stop. It was very nice.”

“Oh, it was nothin’ really,” Sam said bashfully.

“Oblige me then,” I coaxed. “What was that you were singing just now?”

“It were a song Mr. Bilbo taught me when he was telling all his stories and such,” he began. “It were about this one elf who fought in the battle against the Dark Lord. He was called Gil-galad.”

Now I knew what he was talking about. I remembered studying about him during my history lessons in Minas Tirith. “Please, will you sing it for me?”

Sam’s face turned pink when I asked him. “If you insist,” he replied. And he began to sing.

Gil-galad was an elven king.
Of him the harpers sadly sing:
The last whose realm was fair and free
Between the Mountains and the Sea.

His sword was long, his lance was keen,
His shining helm afar was seen;
The countless stars of heaven’s field
Were mirrored in his silver shield.

But long ago he rode away,
And where he dwelleth none can say;
For into darkness fell his star
In Mordor where the shadows are.


As he sang, I closed my eyes and listened as he told the story of Gil-galad. I could almost see the elf-captain with flowing golden hair and shining armor. I had tears in my eyes when he finished.

“I’m sorry, Miss Gilrael. I didn’t mean to make you cry,” said he seeing my tears.

“It’s alright, Mr. Gamgee,” I replied wiping away my tears. “You’ll probably see me cry often upon this journey and many times for no reason that you can fathom.” I smiled. “Would you mind just calling me Gilrael from now on?”

“Only if you call me Sam like everyone else.”

“Very well, Sam,” said I as I stood up. “Until tomorrow then.” And I smiled and walked away. It has been so long since I have heard any singing and it was pleasant to hear the hobbit’s voice singing of things that probably seem very distant to them. Well, until later.
Gilrael