It had started in Mirkwood.
The great cavalcade had set up camp for the night. Legolas was
happysitting beside the fire with his arm around his beloved,
enjoying the simple food, trading witty insults with Gimli and
Eomerwhen Eowyn suddenly announced that she was retiring
for the night.
She rose and said her good nights, stooping to kiss his forehead
and whisper, Do not be too long Lassui
He watched her cross the clearing, to the little hut his warriors
had built for her to sleep in, turned awayfor just a secondto
answer some foolish quip from Gimli; and when he turned back,
he saw it.
She had tripped over some exposed root or fallen branchsuch
a tiny stumble that anyone who did not know her, who had not made
a close study of all her movements, would never have noticedbut
Haldir, returning from his final inspection of the perimeter,
noticedand immediately offered her his arm.
He led her to her tiny shelter and bade her good night, one hand
over his heart.
That was all.
But, standing together under the moon, his head bowed, her face
raisedits delicate contours bathed in silvery lightthey
seemed so right together.
And a dark emotion gripped Legolas heart, as the voice
inside his head whispered, She is not an elf.
Days later, when he sat beside the Anduin, gazing at the flock
of noisy white birds wheeling around The Carrock, his fear had
Legolas? She sat down beside him. What is wrong,
my darling? She spoke calmly, but he could sense her anxiety.
Please do not lie to me, Lassui.
How could he resist her? He loves you, he said.
She was surprised; but she did not ask, he noticed, to whom he
was referring. What are you saying?
Eowyn! The bitterness in his voice surprised even
him. Do not deny that you care for him.
Is it wrong to care, Lassui?
I do not mean
I am not saying that you would ever
What are you saying?
She began to rise, but he wrapped his arms around her waist,
and buried his face in her hair. You are immortal now, Eowyn
nín, he whispered, you will not be taken from
me; but, one day, you may tire of me.
For a moment, she was speechless. Then, Tire of
you? Foolish elf! If you want to make me tire of you, this
is the way! And to think that I thought
She tried once more to pull away, but he held her fast. What
did you think, melmenya?
I found you here, watching the gullssinging of the
seawhat do you suppose I thought? she asked bitterly,
her face averted. I thought you wanted to sail, Lassui
To go where I cannot follow.
He fell to the ground before her. I can never leave you,
Eowyn nínwhen an elf gives his heart, he gives it
for eternity. I am bound to you by my very nature. But
Your heart is human
And inferior to yours?
No! It is justhuman hearts are made to love and love
Because we die, Lassui! Time passes and the world
changeswe age and our lovers are taken from us. We change
Yes, we love again. But I will not change. Not now
I will be yours forever. Surely you know that, Legolas?
But the elf did not reply.
Why does your lady look as if she has lost a silk purse
and found a sows ear? asked Gimli, bluntly. From his
customary seat, behind Legolas on Arods back, he watched
Eowyn as she rode along the Great Rivers edge, her body
slumped in the saddle, her head bowed. How long are you
going to make her wait for an apology?
It is complicated, Gimli
No, said the dwarf, it is simpleyou just
go to her and you say I am sorry.
Legolas smiled, sadly. How do you know that I am in the
It is obvious, said Gimli, you are the
elf. He squeezed Legolas arm. Are you good enough
That is all you need consider, lad. And if the answer is
no, then sort yourself out quick, and go and apologise to her.
I did not know whether you would join me tonight,
said Eowyn, softly.
Legolas closed the door of her little hut. I nearly did
notI was not sure you would want me to, he admitted, but
Will you forgive me, melmenya? He made no move to
lie beside her, and Eowyn knew that he would notnot without
her permission. I let myself imagine things, he admitted.
I was intimidated by Haldir.
By Haldir! Why?
Sometimes he makes me feel
Eowyn sat up in her bedroll and, reaching out in the dark, laid
her hand on his cheek. Haldir makes everyone feel
young and inexperienced, Lassuithat is his waybut
you are a wise ruler and a brave, decisive leader; and
where you go, Haldir follows, because he is the first to recognise
your qualities. He is entirely loyal to you.
She felt Legolas smile against her fingers. You will not
leave me for him then?
You stupid elf!
Will you forgive me, melmenya?
She managed to suppress a laugh; but when she spoke there was
a smile in her voice. Since I am stuck with you for all
eternity, she said, I suppose I better had.