Aldamir's Journey

by Frodo Baggins

7   8   9

Chapter 7 - A Great Sorrow



After descending the hill from which Haldir had showed them Caras Galadhon, the company took a rest and a little time to eat.

As the Elves stood ever watchful, though there was little risk of an attack this far into Lorien, three of the Halflings immediately started
preparing food. Frodo, however, stood silent, gazing about at Lorien’s beauty as if in a dream. His eyes shone with delight. On an impulse, Aldamir went
over to him.

“Frodo?” he asked quietly. Frodo looked up with a start, and again Aldamir had a glimpse of those unfathomable blue eyes.

“What is it?” asked Frodo, still looking a bit dreamy.

“Would you like to come with me to Cerin Amroth?”

Frodo nodded.

“Come.” Aldamir led Frodo a little ways into the trees, and up onto a tall hill, though not so tall as the one they had seen Caras Galadhon from.
A circle of white trees stood silent on its top, and as they walked there a soft wind sighed among the branches, and they stirred ever so gently. The
hill was covered with a sweet-smelling blanket of elanor and niphredil. Things seemed to stand still here on the hill; yet Aldamir knew Frodo could hear
far away sounds, like that of the great Sea breaking on its wide-spreading beaches, or the cries of seagulls wheeling above its breakers, seagulls of
a race who had long died out. Here, upon Cerin Amroth, one could hear them sometimes. So it was in the land of Lorien.

Slowly Frodo put out a hand and laid it on a mallorn trunk, and from the look that came over his face, Aldamir knew that he felt the life flowing
through it. He closed his eyes for a moment, again lost in a dream. Smiling softly to himself, he turned and left Frodo there to dream. Not until he
turned did he realize that Frodo’s companion was there too - he had followed unheeded.

The rest of the journey to Caras Galadhon was not hard but it was night by the time they reached the city, and the stars, very bright here
in Lorien, hung above the treetops glittering brightly, like white gems set in the dark vault of the heavens.

Coming to the city’s gate, Haldir knocked, spoke to the Elves who stood guard, and the gates opened. Haldir led them deep into the heart of
the city and up many, many staircases which wound tightly about the mallorns’ trunks.

At last they came to the Lady’s flet, in the very center of Caras Galadhon, and Haldir left the Fellowship at the base of the stairs leading
up to it. Drawing aside, he motioned the other Elves to leave, but Aldamir he allowed to stay with him.

As Galadriel descended the stairs, wrapped in a brilliant, strong light, the Fellowship gazed up in wonder. Aldamir knew they had never seen
anyone, man or Elf, with greater power than her. Except perhaps Mithrandir....

Celeborn, Lord of Lorien, spoke, and Aldamir’s thoughts were cut off.

“The Enemy knows you have entered here,” he said slowly. “What hope you had in secrecy is lost.”

Aldamir noticed Aragorn bow his head.

“Eight there are here,” continued Celeborn, “yet Nine there were 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.”

Aldamir’s heart lurched. Mithrandir! He was supposed to be with this Fellowship? But he wasn’t? Where then could he be, if even Celeborn could
no longer see him from afar? He felt Haldir at his side start, and turned to him. Haldir’s eyes had widened, and he gazed at Aldamir in fearful silence.

Galadriel spoke. “Gandalf the Grey did not pass the borders of our land. He has fallen, into Shadow.”

Aldamir put his hand to his forehead. Mithrandir, dead! So often he had visited Lorien, so often Aldamir had seen him walk about among the mallorns!
Sometimes he would be grave, other times cheerful and happy, and sometimes he would tell them of Halflings. Other times he would bring them news from
far away. It was through him that they knew much of the outside world.

The Elf with the Fellowship spoke for the first time, and his voice was filled with sorrow and bitterness. “He was taken by both shadow and flame...a
Balrog of Morgoth.”

A shudder passed through Aldamir’s frame. A Balrog! A dreaded, fiery creature of Morgoth! He knew much of the damage they had wrought long ago,
and now one had taken Mithrandir.......he turned away, stunned with grief. Tears filled his eyes.

He did not hear what else the Lady said to the Fellowship. Only once he glanced at Frodo, and saw that his eyes, too, were filled with tears.
His heart went out to the hobbit again. Frodo must have been very close to Mithrandir - this loss must have been awful for him.

Finally Aldamir was too full of grief to stay any longer. Turning, he went swiftly and softly down the stairs. Once at the bottom, he made his
way quickly to his favorite place by the side of a laughing little brook. But the brook didn’t seem to be laughing anymore. Its tone was now softer,
gentler, sadder . You too are grieving for Mithrandir, thought Aldamir, dropping down beside it. Above him, strains of a slow, Elvish lament for
the fallen wizard came floating down to him. He bowed his head upon his knees, and sat there long in grieving silence.

7   8   9

Chapter 8 - Lindir


When Aldamir raised his head, he found that it was already morning. All night he had sat silent, sorrowing for Mithrandir. Slowly he got to his
feet. For a little while he stood there quietly, gazing into the clear, rippling water of the little stream.

With a sigh he turned away. What should he do? What would Mithrandir have me do? he wondered. He would not have me sit here sorrowing forever
- I think he would rather that I did something.
Aldamir smiled. Mithrandir, though he always seemed to hurrying somewhere or the other, would still take
time to sit and smoke his pipe, sending smoke-rings everywhere, to the Elves’ amusement. Other memories of the wizard welled up in his mind, and for several
silent moments he stood thinking.

A motion among the trees caught his eye. An elf stood there - a dark-haired Elf who Aldamir did not recognize. He did not seem to be an Elf of Lorien
- he looked to be from further North. Indeed, he was gazing about in awe and wonder at Lorien, and Aldamir figured that perhaps it was the first time
he had been to the Golden Wood.

He waited until the Elf was closer. Then he stirred, and for the first time, the Elf noticed him. He started slightly, and gazed deep into Aldamir’s
eyes. Aldamir gazed back, and the two seemed to find friendship in each other’s eyes, even without having spoken a word.

Finally Aldamir broke the silence. “ Mae govannen, mellon. You do not seem to me to be of this Wood. Who are you?”

The Elf smiled. “Indeed, I am not. I am of Rivendell, of Elrond’s house, and my name is Lindir.”

“And I am Aldamir.” Aldamir bowed slightly. “Welcome to Lorien! Have you visited the Golden Wood ever before?”

“No. Its beauty fills me with wonder; never have I seen anything like it.” Lindir put out a hand and stroked a mallorn’s smooth bark.

Aldamir smiled. “Lothlorien is little like any other place in Middle-earth.”

“That I can see."

Aldamir grinned, and motioned to a stone. “Sit down with me. Tell me, if you come from Rivendell, than you must know something about these
Travelers? They intrigue me, especially the little ones.”

Lindir laughed. “They are intriguing. And yes, I know much of them, seeing that I lived with them for several weeks!”

“How can that be?”

“They came to Rivendell in late October - the four hobbits and Aragorn, that is. The others joined later - I’ll come to that. But they came in October;
I cannot remember the date. They were in a terrible hurry to get to Rivendell and all of them were worried, because Frodo - do you know which one he is?”

“Yes, yes - the dark-haired one. I have seen him. But what was it with him?”

Lindir hesitated slightly; the memory seemed to pain him. “He had been wounded by the leader of the Nazgul. The Witch-king stabbed him, in
his left shoulder, with an accursed Morgul-knife - when he came to us, he as yet had the tip of it in his shoulder.”

Aldamir started. “He was wounded by an accursed knife of the Nazgûl? How horrible for him...”

Lindir nodded. “He suffered terribly. He was barely conscious when he was given into Elrond’s care - I am certain that in a few more hours he
would have been dead, or worse. Elrond did not leave his side until he was certain that the hobbit would survive. I was there with him, and it was awful
to see Frodo suffer so. It cut to the heart to hear him cry out if someone touched his wound.” Lindir put his hand to his forehead, and sat for a moment
in silence.

Aldamir was gazing into the distance, wonder and sorrow in his eyes. “What a horrible experience that must have been,” he said softly. “I know
now why I seemed to see a light shining about him.”

Lindir raised his head and nodded. “It was easy for us Elves to see, especially right after he recovered. There was constantly that light about
him, and especially the left hand, but that faded somewhat as he recovered. None of us thought he could make it - we were amazed when he survived. He
had an extraordinary resistance to the poison - I have never seen anything like it.”

“I have seen the courage in him, but to resist such poison.....that indeed takes strength.”

“It does.....I tell you, I was stunned when he survived. I was with him nearly the whole time Elrond was working over him, and it’s unbelievable
that he was able to make it. You can’t imagine how relieved and glad we were when at last the pain began to leave his face, and he sank into a deep, healing
sleep. I think Elrond worked over him for a few days.”

“I would never have thought that he would be able to survive. But why is it at all that they are on this journey, with all these dangers like Nazgûl about them?”

Lindir hesitated. When he spoke, it was in a very low voice. “You know of the Ring of Power forged long ago by the Dark One, do you not?”

Aldamir started again, this time in apprehension. “Yes.....I do. Isildur took it, but it was lost, and none know of its whereabouts. What does that
have to do with Frodo?”

“He carries it on a chain about his neck.”

“What?”

“It has been found. It was found sixty years ago by Frodo’s uncle Bilbo - he carried it for sixty years, not knowing in the least how powerful
it was. When he turned 111, he left it to Frodo and came to live with us in Rivendell. Little did he know how that ring would turn Frodo’s life upside
down........ It was Mithrandir who discovered the identity of the Ring. He bade Frodo to go to a town called Bree and meet him in a pub, but Mithrandir
was held prisoner by Saruman and was unable to meet Frodo there. Frodo met Aragorn at Bree, and with him, journeyed to Rivendell. It was on that journey
that Frodo was wounded. After he had recovered, Elrond held a council of all the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, and there the Ring was revealed, and
the decision was reached that it had to be destroyed. Frodo took it upon himself to take it to the Mountain of Doom, and there cast it into the fire
from whence it came.”

Aldamir had been listening in intrigued silence. Now he spoke up.
“He took it upon himself, of his own choice, to carry that thing of pure evil into the land of its making? He has more courage than a great many Elves.”

“He does indeed. We were all shocked when he spoke up. I shall never forget seeing him there, jumping to his feet and telling us that he would
take it.” Lindir paused for a moment. “Elrond formed a Fellowship of Nine to accompany him on the journey. Mithrandir joined them, as did Aragorn,
Boromir—”

“Boromir - is he the other man?”

“Yes. Also joining them were Legolas, Gimli—”

“The Elf and the dwarf?”

“Yes, and will you let me finish my sentence?” asked Lindir, giving Aldamir a jab in the ribs. “I’ll never finish at this rate!”

Aldamir grinned. “Forgive me - speak on.”

“Legolas and Gimli.....ah yes, and two - no, three of Frodo’s kin: Samwise, Meriadoc and Peregrin.”

“Thank you, and will you now please tell me which one is who?” Aldamir gave Lindir a teasing grin.

“You rascal! Do you think I wouldn’t tell you? Sam is the one who is always near Frodo - he is Frodo’s closest companion. Merry and Pippin are
the other two - it may a few days to tell which is which. It took me three days, anyway. Legolas is an Elf of Mirkwood, Gimli a dwarf of Erebor.”

“The dwarf behaved rather badly when he first came to us. I will not repeat what he said.”

“Don’t,” said Lindir. “But I do believe that he has a strong affection for the little ones - he is a brave, goodhearted dwarf. Don’t blame him too strongly.”

Aldamir shrugged. “He has yet to prove himself in my eyes.” He stood up. “But I have detained you here far too long. Will you not come to my flet
and meet Uruviel, my wife? I am sure she would love to hear everything you have told me.”

Lindir stood up as well. “I’d be delighted to!”

Aldamir grinned. “Come with me, mellon.”

7   8   9

Chapter 9 - Stars Above the Golden Wood


And so the days passed by in the Golden Wood. Aldamir spent his time getting to know Lindir better, and talking with a few of the Fellowship’s
members. He spoke briefly with Aragorn, about what was going on in the North, and also with Legolas, the Elf of Mirkwood. Legolas he found to be an Elf
different from those who dwelt in Lorien, but nonetheless and brave and good Elf, and the two struck up a little friendship.

Lindir, who was, in fact, the Elf who had brought Elrond’s message to Galadriel, came to love Lothlórien, and eventually asked the Lady for
permission to stay there. To both Aldamir and Lindir’s joy, she consented, and appointed him to Haldir’s command. Lindir dwelt close to Aldamir’s flet,
and the two spent many hours together.

One evening, as dusk settled quietly on Lórien, Aldamir left the arrows he was making, and went to find Uruviel. She was not on the flet, but Aldamir
found her walking beside a silver little stream. He paused for a moment before going to her and just gazed at her. She was so beautiful....Aldamir still
felt the same way about her as he had when he first met her. Tonight she was wearing a flowing, light blue dress, and her hair was bound by a slender
silver circlet. The purplish, dusky light laid a soft, warm hue of color over her, and she seemed to Aldamir to be a lovely Elf-maiden from the tales
of long ago. Stepping out from the trees, he went toward her and called to her softly.

She turned quickly at his call, and came toward him through the dusk, seeming almost to glide over the ground. “Uruviel, vanimelda nin.....” he
said softly. “Your beauty shines like a star tonight.”

She smiled and slipped her hand into his. Lacing their fingers together, the two stole quietly out of Caras Galadhon, and wandered through the trees
just outside. For a long time they walked in silence; speaking no words and needing no words. They needed only each other.

As they wandered through the trees, the sun set and stars began to come out, twinkling brightly above the two Elves, and the nearly-full moon
cast a soft, silver light down upon them. Its light was caught by the circlet on Uruviel’s head, and to Aldamir it seemed to reflect the light in her beautiful,
starry blue eyes.

Coming to a little stream running merrily through the trees, Aldamir and Uruviel sat down on a mossy log and watched it flow past together. Uruviel
laid her head on Aldamir’s shoulder, and her took both her hands in his and held them lovingly. Neither of them knew how long they sat like that, but
it was a long time until one of them broke the silence. For the moment, each was content to be loved by the other.

Finally Aldamir broke the silence. “Look, dearest,” he said softly, pointing up into the sky. “There shines the light of Eärendil.”

She gazed up. Shining brightly through the leafy branches of the mallorns was Eärendil’s star, the star most beloved of Elves. Its light shone strongly
that night, and was reflected in the stream’s rushing waters.

“It’s shining so beautifully,” murmured Uruviel.

“It always does,” answered Aldamir. “Like you do.”

She smiled and drew closer to him, and he put his arm around her. “Remember the first time we met?” she asked.

“It was here among the mallorns, near Cerin Amroth.”

“Yes.”

“I thought at first that you must be a vision, from the tales of long ago: a beautiful Elf-maiden dancing among the trees. I almost didn’t dare to go
to you - I was afraid you would vanish like a dream!”

She laughed softly, and her laugh mingled with the tinkling of the stream, enchanting Aldamir. “Those were wonderful days we spent, walking
together among the trees and talking. I had never seen you before, and to me you were the handsomest, most pleasant Elf I had ever met.”

“You were the most beautiful I had ever seen, and still are. I felt as if I was walking with a enchanting dream at my side at first, but when it finally
dawned on me that you were real, it was even more wonderful. I hated to leave you!”

“I hated to see you go. I thought of you every day after that, and every time a messenger came from Rivendell, I listened for tidings of you. Then
you came yourself as a messenger from Rivendell!”

“When I set out I made my mind up not to leave you again, excepting the occasions when it was my duty. I’ve kept that resolution, haven’t I?”

“Yes you have, dearest, and I am so glad for that!” She lifted her face to him, and gazed earnestly into his eyes. He smiled lovingly at her and kissed her cheek.

Time to an Elf is not what time is to a human. Happy in the company of each other and the stars, Aldamir and Uruviel spent the whole night near
the stream. Sometimes they talked together in low voices, or gazed at the stars and watched the moon make its journey through the dark sky. They watched,
too, how the stars began slowly to fade, and how the East grew lighter and lighter until the enchanting light of just before dawn lay over the Golden
Wood. But not until the sun had lifted its golden sphere over the horizon did they turn back to Caras Galadhon.
- Frodo Baggins