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1 sentence challengeEowyn watches the elf

Fifty themes, one sentence each!

Theme set Beta: The Tenth Walker

 

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#09 War
“My father has given you his answer, Boromir, son of Denethor, and I will not disobey him, nor will I leave my own people without protection,” says Theodred, drawing the older man aside, and adding, “but you will have your ally: my cousin shall accompany you to Rivendell; she will be our emissary; she will stand for Rohan.”

#07 Waste/Wasteland
He treats her like a child, seeing weakness where there is none—for she rides as well as any man of Gondor, sleeps on the ground, shares the night watch, expects no special treatment on account of her sex—but she is a woman, and Boromir, son of Denethor, will never recognise her true worth.

#47 Valiant
The Orcs attack without warning, Warg-mounted cavalry leaping from the rocks and foot soldiers streaming down for the kill—Eowyn draws her sword but he refuses to let her fight and, instead, she is forced to watch from a safe distance (and, grudgingly, to admit that Boromir is a vigorous warrior, and a born leader of men).

#19 Balcony
It is a relief, on reaching Rivendell, to enjoy once more the comfort of a private chamber—she steps out onto the balcony and (though she has seen many elves in the hours since she arrived) her eye falls upon a strange elf clad in green and brown, riding through the gates at the head of his entourage, and she cannot look away.

#04 Wonder
Legolas dismounts and—looking around in wonder—sees a woman, tall, fair, slender as a steel blade, gazing down from the Last Homely House, and his eyes linger upon her.

#48 Virtuous
When the Council meets, she takes her place beside the man of Gondor, sits modestly, eyes downcast—Is she his wife? Legolas wonders, and feels a sharp pang of unexpected emotion.

#23 Question
“Why not use this ring?” Boromir asks—and Eowyn reaches for his arm, as though to drag him back from his folly.

#28 Jousting
“This is no mere ranger,” Legolas insists, rising as the champion of Isildur’s heir, “he is Aragorn, son of Arathorn: you owe him your allegiance,”—and he senses the woman, looking at his friend as if seeing him for the first time.

#27 Jester
The dwarf lies sprawling on the ground, another victim of the Ring—Legolas looks away in contempt, and is immediately shamed by the woman, who leaps up, and helps Gimli, son of Gloin, back to his feet.

#02 Waltz

The Council of Elrondspacer

They stand face to face—he, holding back his warriors, she, defending the dwarf—and, suddenly, he wishes that he could have met her in his father’s Great Hall, where he would have made that stern spirit laugh, and that unyielding body dance.

#17 Belief
He is surprised when Lord Elrond chooses the woman to accompany them but he trusts to the Elvenlord’s wisdom—and, for himself, he finds this proof of the adaneth’s worth strangely comforting.

#25 Quitting

Setting outspacer

She is waiting by the Gates, watching Aragorn take his leave of Arwen, and Legolas wonders what she sees—A chance to mend a broken heart?—“Come, my Lady,” he says.

#01 Walking

Early daysspacer

She is grateful for the weeks that she has already spent travelling, for her body is now hardened to its discomforts; but, as she walks between the wizard and the elf, and she feels Legolas’ eyes upon her, she wonders whether he can see the strength she knows she possesses, or whether all he sees is a woman.

#45 Horizon

Crebain!spacer

They stop to rest; he runs up the rocks and stands atop them, she follows clumsily, balancing precariously at his side, craning her neck and narrowing her eyes in a futile attempt to see what he is seeing—“Crebain from Dunland!”—and then she lurches forward, arms flailing, and he catches her and holds her fast.

#05 Worry
Frodo pulls his collar aside and feels for the chain about his neck—but Legolas has already seen the Ring, dangling from Boromir’s hand, and sensed his desire for it (ill-concealed by indifference), and he knows that, though this is a good man, and a brave warrior, the thing has seduced him.

#41 Nowhere

Mount Caradhrasspacer

Through the swirling whiteness that hides Mount Caradhras, she glimpses him, walking lightly on the surface of the snow, untroubled by the storm’s violence—she pulls the hood of her cloak over her face and, trusting to his elven senses, she trudges on, following him into the void.

#39 Share
As he bursts out from beneath the snow his first thought is for her—and he is out, and crawling to where he knows she must be buried, and digging frantically, until he finds her, blue with cold and almost suffocated—and then, thanking the Valar for her survival, he pulls her into his arms, and warms her with his own body.

#15 Breathing
He slaps her back and Eowyn takes a great gasp of snow-filled air—but she cannot stop shaking, so she clings to him, knowing that he will keep her safe until she has recovered her strength.

#44 Near
Since Caradhras she has been avoiding him but, whilst the Fellowship waits for Gandalf to open the Gates of Moria, he sits beside her and risks a faint, apologetic smile.

#21 Quiet

Moriaspacer

After their frantic battle with the Watcher in the Water, and the collapse of the Gates, the silence of the mine is a welcome relief—Gandalf lights his staff, and they begin their journey in the Dark.

#24 Quarrel
“Ah,” says Gandalf, “this way!”—but as the others move off he catches the elf by the arm and adds, quietly, “now is not the time, Legolas—the Fellowship needs your undivided loyalty: leave her be.”

#33 Stupidity
In Balin’s tomb they wait anxiously—Pippin’s eyes are screwed shut—but nothing happens; they relax, Boromir sighs with relief—and then the pounding starts.

#45 Natural

Cave Trollspacer

Legolas draws his bow—We cannot get out, he remembers, they are coming—and, as he takes aim, and holds, he senses her, standing by his side, sword raised, and it feels right.

#20 Bane
The goblins scurry away: some greater horror is approaching—“What new devilry is this?” wonders Boromir—but Legolas has already recognised the creature of shadow and of flame: it is Durin’s Bane, a Balrog of Morgoth.

#26 Jump

The bridge of Khazad-dumspacer

The bridge of Khazad-dum is close: they run down the steps—down, down—but the stones are crumbling underfoot—and he takes her hand and, together, they leap…

#14 Burning
Gandalf stands firm, sword and staff raised, a tiny silhouette against the roiling wall of flame; then the monster rises from the chasm and lands before him roaring fire, and he faces it, crying, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”—but Legolas knows in his heart that even Mithrandir is no match for this ancient evil.

#32 Sorrow

For pity's sakespacer

Stumbling into the daylight, scarcely believing what has gone before, she sees the incredulity on the elf's face and wonders if this is the first time that he, an immortal, has seen death; and—though a part of her longs to rush to him, and comfort him—her sudden sense of this difference between them almost breaks her heart.

#50 Defeat
“Legolas, Eowyn, get them up,” shouts Aragorn, and Legolas thinks to protest—but then he sees the defeat in his friend's eyes and realises that Isildur’s heir, though still doubting that he is equal to the task, can no longer avoid his responsibilities.

#37 Soliloquy
How can I tell her? Legolas wonders, testing the words as he runs towards Lorien—and they swirl through his head like falling leaves, because he is immortal and she is not, and nothing he can imagine himself saying to her will ever put that right.

#35 Sarcasm

mae govannenspacer

The Fellowship is caught the moment it enters the forest—“The dwarf breathes so loud, we could have shot him in the dark,” says the big elf, and he welcomes Aragorn, but it is on Eowyn that his eyes linger.

#34 Serenade

Caras Galadhonspacer

She moves like a melody, thinks Haldir, watching her climb the steep hillside, all grace and strength—then he notices, with some amusement, the effect that his open admiration is having on the elven member of the Fellowship, and, yes, he thinks, she is a song of love.

#30 Just

Lothlorienspacer

They climb to the Chamber of Celeborn and the Fellowship stands in awe as, bathed in white light, the Lord and Lady descend, stern, fair, and terrifying.

#03 Wishes
Do not despair, Legolas son of Thranduil—Galadriel’s words fill his mind—the love you long for will one day be yours.

#10 Weddings
You crave more than love, Eowyn, daughter of Kings, you hope for glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohan—but do not seek too high, child: your future is closer than you know.

#38 Sojourn
The pavilion under the mallorns is a safe haven, a place to rest and recover, but the Fellowship is restless, for the Quest stands upon the edge of a knife—Eowyn watches Legolas enter the forest and, without meaning to, she follows.

#40 Solitary
He has no idea how he found the bathing pool but the water, glowing pale blue-green in the light of Ithil, is calm and soothing and, since he is alone, he sits down on the wooden bench, slips off his tunic and his undershirt—and a voice asks, “Can I help you, your Highness?”

#36 Sordid
Eowyn finds him sitting bare-chested beside the lake, an elleth kneeling before him, and, with a strangled cry, she turns and runs—but he leaps to his feet and follows, quickly overtaking her, and he locks his arms around her, refusing to let her go: “Can you really believe,” he asks, “that I would betray you?”

#43 Nuance
“I am not yours to betray—” she cries—but her anger is stifled by his kiss, and it is sweet and subtle and it claims her, and she is possessed by it, body and spirit.

#12 Blessing
He lowers her to the ground and they lie together and—though he stops short of making love to her—Eowyn knows that he has bound her to him for eternity.

#31 Smirk
They walk slowly, hand-in-hand, back to the pavilion; and the big elf, watching them pass by, smiles.

#06 Whimsy
He stoops and picks up a mallorn leaf, and he places it in her hands—gently closing them around it—saying, “Keep this safe, for it will never fade, melmenya.”

#11 Birthday

The Great Riverspacer

Sitting in the boat, between her elf and Gimli, she suddenly smiles—for today, she realises, is her birth day, and he has given her a gift.

#29 Jewel
Despite Legolas’ misgivings they have made camp close by Amon Hen—now Frodo is missing and Boromir’s shield lies discarded and, remembering the manís weakness before the Ring, they rush off in pursuit.

#49 Victory
They hear Aragornís war cry—“Elendil!”—and they sally forth—Legolas with his knives and bow, Gimli with his axe, Eowyn with her sword—and they cut and swing and shoot their way to his side but then, just when victory seems theirs, they hear the dark, mournful call of the Horn of Gondor.

#16 Breaking

The breaking of the fellowshipspacer

They are too late: Boromir lies dying in Aragorn's arms—Legolas takes Eowyn’s hand, Gimli joins them, and they weep for their fallen comrade.

# 18 Balloon
Day and night they run, hunting the Orcs that have taken Merry and Pippin; and Eowyn, her limbs heavy, her lungs aching like a foolís inflated bladder, struggles, with Gimli, to keep pace.

#13 Bias

The Riders of Rohanspacer

They are surrounded by Rohirrim—Eowyn greets her brother joyfully but, though he is relieved to see her safe, he makes no attempt to hide his distrust of her companions.

#08 Whiskey and rum
He tells her, without warning, that Theodred is dead, and she reels, as one drunk, and swoons in Legolas’ arms.

#42 Neutral
As her senses clear she hears Aragorn’s soft voice, swearing on his ancestorsí memory to protect her honour in her brother’s absence.

#22 Quirks
“Is it Legolas you mistrust?” she cries, struggling to her feet and fixing Eomer with a terrible stare; and they face each other down—everything else forgotten—until, at last, he turns away, because—though he may be Third Marshal of the Mark—he is her brother, and he always loses.

 

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