by Frodo Baggins
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Chapter 4 - Strangers in Lorien
“Aldamir, Haldir wants you,” said Rumil to the young Elf one morning. “He has a task for you.”
“Willingly,” replied Aldamir, getting up. He had been resting that
night, leaning against the mallorn’s supporting trunk and letting his
drift away. “Where is he?”
“He is with Anurion, on his flet.”
“Thank you, mellon.”
Aldamir found Haldir studying a map of Middle-earth. “Rumil said you wanted me.”
“Yes.” Haldir rolled up the map and stood up. “I have a task for you. I
would like you to go all the way to the edge of the woods, and take a
around. We defend the forest well from here, but I want to
know what is going on just outside our borders, and I figured you might
like that task.”
“Yes! I’ll do that.”
“Hannon le, mellon.
Be back by nightfall.”
On reaching the edge of the Golden Wood, Aldamir paused and looked
about carefully before leaving its protection. Seeing nothing about, he
quietly from the woods, and ran a little ways away from the
trees. However, he couldn’t see very far from where he stood. ‘I’d
better go to the lookout
point,’ he told himself. ‘It’s easier to see anyone approaching from there.’
The lookout was a high point a little ways into the woods; the only way
to reach it was a small, narrow, winding path leading up and down the
hilly forest. Young trees and old ones bordered it; moss
covered it, making it easy for Aldamir to run soundlessly along it.
Reaching the top, he halted
and gazed out over the land. The point commanded a wide view
all around, and Aldamir used to say, “You can almost see to the eastern
gate of Moria
from here!” Many dismissed as an exaggeration, but it was
true. Caradhras, and its two sisters, underneath which Moria lay, were
clearly visible from
where he stood. With his Elf-eyes, he could almost see a
ruined tower which had long ago been built and used by dwarves. Now
little remained of it.
Scanning the horizon in all directions, Aldamir
stiffened suddenly as he looked toward Moria. Were his eyes tricked, or
could he see some small
figures running in the direction of Lorien? Shading his
eyes, he half-closed them and focused on the things. There could be no
doubt: there was someone
there. Many someones, rather. Aldamir could not be sure of
how many; at first he had thought there were four, one smaller than the
others, but when he
looked closer, there seemed to be three or four more
figures, very small ones. Aldamir frowned. They couldn’t be orcs. That
was impossible - or was
it? But orcs did not travel with children! Besides that, one of them looked and ran rather like an Elf.
Aldamir was confused. It was the small figures who puzzled him most. He
suddenly realized that the sun was falling lower, and the figures were
drawing steadily closer to Lorien; it was obvious that the
Golden Wood was their goal. “They will be here before nightfall,” said
Aldamir under his
Turning, he ran lightly
down the path. Reaching the bottom, he quickened his step and ran
swiftly back to the border posts, passing like a sliver
of grey through the mallorn trees.
Haldir saw him coming, and ran forward to meet him. “You are back already!” he exclaimed. “Why are you in such a haste?”
Aldamir slowed down, and quickly related his tale.
“I don’t think so. Some of them were very small.”
“Odd.” Haldir stood silent for a moment, as if in deep thought. Then he
shook himself and motioned to the others. “Get your bows and set arrows
on the string; we will give these strangers a greeting which they do not expect.”
Noiselessly the Elves made their way through the trees, to the point
where they knew the strangers would come sooner or later. Then taking
their posts, they melted into the landscape, veiled from sight by their grey cloaks.
For a while they waited, motionless.
Then, not too far off, the sound of soft voices came to their ears.
They stiffened. Was that not the voice of a dwarf? Aldamir frowned. A
walking in the Golden Wood! Haldir motioned them to remain where they were.
The group came into view; eight of them, there were. Two men, an Elf of
Mirkwood, a dwarf, and four small people only half the height of the
‘Are they not Halflings?’ wondered Aldamir. ‘Halflings have sometimes been spoken of here...’
The company drew nearer, until they were walking through the trees behind which the Elves were hidden.
The dwarf was speaking. Haldir’s face darkened as he and the others
realized that it was of the Lady Galadriel he was speaking - saying
she was a great sorceress, and telling the small ones to
stay close to him. “Here’s one dwarf she won’t ensnare so easily,” he
was saying. “I have the
eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!”
A slight, contemptuous smile spread over Haldir’s face. He gave the
signal, the Elves stepped forward, and the next moment the company
themselves surrounded by the sharp points of the Lorien
arrows. They looked about in shock and surprise, but one of the men,
who Aldamir recognized as
Aragorn of the Dunedain, didn’t seem as surprised as the others.
Haldir stepped forward. “The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark.”
Not a stir passed through the watchful Elves, but Aldamir was hard put to restrain a smile.
Aragorn spoke quickly with Haldir in a low voice. Aldamir could not
catch the words, but evidently it was a plea for help, which Haldir was
to grant. Aldamir gazed at the small ones, or Halflings, and
almost hoped that Haldir granted it. They looked so tired, and one of
them, with darker
hair than the others, had eyes filled with bitter grief.
Aldamir looked closer at him. He was different from the other three;
the Elf sensed that at once.
He had been through more than them - he could see it written
in his eyes. And to Aldamir, a faint light seemed to fill him, as
were cut off by Haldir.
He was permitting the strangers to come further into the wood, but the dwarf was to kept under special watch.
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Chapter 5 - The Fellowship of the Ring
Aldamir and Haldir, accompanied by seven other Elves, took the
Fellowship deep into Lorien, beyond fear of an orc attack. When night
fell, they took
them up onto a flet high in the trees; they could see that
the Halflings could not go any further without rest, and it was
difficult for the others,
too. Haldir now formally welcomed each member of the Fellowship - the Elf first, of course.
Mae govannen, Legolas Thranduilion,
” he said evenly.
Govannas vin gwennin le, Haldir o Lorien,
” replied Legolas.
Haldir turned to Aragorn. “
A Aragorn in Dunedain, istannen le ammen.
Aragorn bowed. “Haldir.”
Aldamir almost smiled when he thought of Haldir now, greeting the
strangers, compared to Haldir being his normally cheerful self. ‘It’s
that way,’ he realized. ‘We’re very formal to people of
other races, as opposed to other Elves.’ He noticed suddenly that the
dwarf was getting increasingly
“So much for the legendary courtesy of the Elves!” he grumbled. “Speak something we can all understand!”
Aldamir turned away quickly, pressing his hand to mouth.
“We have not had dealings with the dwarves since the dark days.” Haldir spoke in cold even tones.
“And do you know what this dwarf says to that? Ishkhaqwi ai durugnul!”
Aldamir’s blood ran cold with fury. Gone were any traces of laughter.
Now he had trouble keeping himself from bursting out with a sharp
Haldir looked down at the dwarf. Aldamir could only see his
back, but that was enough to tell him that Haldir was just as furious
as him. He did not
deign to reply, leaving Aragorn to remonstrate the dwarf.
Turning his back on the dwarf, Haldir gazed down at the dark-haired
hobbit. He drew a deep breath. “You bring great evil with you,” he
murmured. “You can go no further.”
The hobbit’s dejection was clearly visible. As the Fellowship
dispersed, he sank down against a mallorn-trunk and drew his knees up.
His head sank down
onto them for a moment, and Aldamir’s heart ached for him.
He too could feel this evil that Haldir spoke of, but in his heart he
rebelled: would the Lady
Galadriel turn away this weary, small being?
He was on the verge of trying to comfort the hobbit when he heard
urgent, low voices. Aragorn was arguing earnestly with Haldir. Aldamir
barely hear the words, but by straining his ears, he heard enough to tell him that Aragorn was arguing on Frodo’s behalf. ‘
Frodo - that must be the
small dark-haired one,
’ he thought. Aldamir looked back to Frodo. Frodo had raised his head
and was looking to his friends for comfort, but one after
the other, they dropped their gaze. Aldamir felt even more
pain for Frodo. To have your friends look away when you were in such
despair! He took a step
toward the hobbit, but a hand was laid swiftly on his shoulder.
” whispered Rumil. He nodded warningly toward Haldir. Aldamir frowned.
He opened his mouth to argue, but just then Haldir came
to the end of his conversation with Aragorn and turned to the two Elves.
“I need one of you,” he said quickly. “Aragorn is quite sure that he
should be let through, but I am afraid to trust anyone without the
consent. Will one of you run quickly to Caras Galadhon and ask her?”
Aldamir glanced at Frodo quickly, and back to Haldir. “I will do it!”
Aldamir nodded, and turning, went swiftly down the ladder. Frodo looked
up as he passed him, and for one instant Aldamir looked deep into the
eyes. Then he descended, and the hobbit’s eyes passed out of
sight. But the swift glance almost made Aldamir start. Frodo’s eyes
were bluer than he had
thought possible, like a deep well in which stars might be
found. A clear, pure spirit shone in those eyes, as well as the memory
of many things, both
lovely and painful. Aldamir puzzled over the look in Frodo’s eyes for a long while after that.
He ran swiftly and soundlessly through Lorien, never pausing, leaping
lightly over tinkling streams and mossy stones. He did not grow weary;
he ran for a couple hours to reach Caras Galadhon, he was
barely out of breath. Entering the city’s gates, he ran swiftly up the
many winding stairs and
asked to be brought to the Lady Galadriel. His request was granted, and she received him graciously.
As he entered her chamber and bowed, she rose and asked him his errand.
He told her of the Fellowship of many peoples that had come to Lorien,
Haldir’s question. She did not look surprised.
“Indeed Haldir may let them come to Caras Galadhon,” she said. “A
messenger from Elrond of Rivendell has just come to me. This Fellowship
speak of was formed by Elrond himself, and they do not come
as traitors, rather as friends. A few of them have been called
Aldamir bowed and thanked her, and she dismissed him.
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Chapter 6 - Musings of an Elf
Aldamir was back on the flets a few hours before the sun rose. Once he
had given the message to Haldir, the Elf told the Fellowship to follow
him, and taking four other Elves to act as guards, began the journey to
Aldamir had also been chosen as one of the guards,
and he walked in the rear of the company. As they walked through the
mallorns, he looked at each of the Fellowship in turn, studying them,
as Elves do. There were two men; one dressed as ready for battle. A
great shield with a silver center hung upon his back, and at his side
Aldamir saw a long sword; well-crafted and battle-ready. He was proud,
Aldamir could see, and his glance was stern. He seemed to be in wonder
at his surroundings; he glanced from side to side, taking in the Golden
Wood with a manner that seemed, to Aldamir, to be a bit suspicious. He does not seem comfortable here,
Well, he is a man of war, and we are a people of peace.
Looking to the other Man, Aragorn, Aldamir recognized the blood of
kings in him. Not obviously, though - it was as if he kept it hidden. Blood of kings...
He is not
so much a man of war as the other. He loves these woods - he has often
been here. You can see it in his eyes. He is happy to be among us again.
Aldamir knew that Aragorn had been raised by Elrond, and it made a lot
of sense when he thought about it. *Of course he would have been raised
by an Elf - you can see it in him, though part of his nobleness comes
from the king’s blood in him. But he knows the Elven language fluently,
and he is at home here. . . no, it is not hard to see he has been among
Elves much of his life.*
Turning from Aragorn, Aldamir looked to the Elf.
He was light haired like the Lorien Elves often were, and he was
dressed in varying shades of green and grey. His clear eyes were
looking about in wonder and delight at Lorien. He is content here,
among people of his own kind, his heart is at rest. I wonder where he
is from? Not Rivendell - his hair is light. Possibly
Mirkwood...probably one of the Northern kingdoms.
Aldamir glanced over the dwarf, but he had no great wish to muse over
him after last night’s insult. Instead he looked to the Halflings,
these small creatures who had come so far.
One of them walked directly behind Frodo, and from
the way he looked after Frodo, Aldamir guessed that they were very
close friends. He was a sturdy, simple fellow, but Aldamir sensed a
great courage and loyalty deep in him; a deep devotion for Frodo. His courage may be slow to come forward, maybe, but once
awoken, it will be great indeed. It is well to have such a friend - I
am glad that Frodo does.
The other two
Halflings also seemed to be close friends. Not so serious as Frodo,
they would occasionally laugh softly. They walked together and spoke
intermittently in low voices. Frequently they would glance at the
towering mallorns, also at the Elves themselves, and Aldamir smiled to
himself. I’ll wager they’ve never seen anything like the Golden Wood,
nor those who dwell in it. They cannot have traveled very much, either
- I wonder where exactly they dwell. It must be a peaceful, simple land.
His musings ended as they climbed a path winding up a particularly steep hill.
Now for something of which they have never seen the like!
As they came to the hill’s summit, the column stopped. Beneath them,
the forest dropped away gracefully, stretching like a great leafy sea
for miles. Rising from its center was a tall, cone-shaped hill, crowned
with what seemed to be hundreds of magnificent mallorns. The mallorns
reached high above the forest - they were, it had been said, the
tallest mallorns east of the Sea. Bathed in the golden light of the
sinking sun, the forest was indeed a Golden Wood.
Aldamir, though he had seen the sight before, was
lost in the stunning beauty of it. The Fellowship were struck dumb,
marveling at the sight - not one of them moved or said anything, too
caught up in the wonder of it.
“Caras Galadhon!” said Haldir, his eyes glowing. “Realm of the Lord Celeborn, and of Galadriel, Lady of Light!”
- Frodo Baggins