Fifty themes, one sentence each!
Theme set Beta: The Tenth Walker
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.
He treats her like a child, seeing weakness where there is nonefor
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 sexbut she is a woman, and Boromir, son of Denethor,
will never recognise her true worth.
The Orcs attack without warning, Warg-mounted cavalry leaping
from the rocks and foot soldiers streaming down for the killEowyn
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
It is a relief, on reaching Rivendell, to enjoy once more the
comfort of a private chambershe 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
Legolas dismounts andlooking around in wondersees
a woman, tall, fair, slender as a steel blade, gazing down
from the Last Homely House, and his eyes linger upon her.
When the Council meets, she takes her place beside the man of
Gondor, sits modestly, eyes downcastIs she his wife?
Legolas wonders, and feels a sharp pang of unexpected emotion.
Why not use this ring? Boromir asksand
Eowyn reaches for his arm, as though to drag him back from his
This is no mere ranger, Legolas insists, rising as
the champion of Isildurs 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
The dwarf lies sprawling on the ground, another victim of the
RingLegolas looks away in contempt, and is immediately shamed
by the woman, who leaps up, and helps Gimli, son of Gloin, back
to his feet.
They stand face to facehe, holding back his warriors, she,
defending the dwarfand, suddenly, he wishes that he could
have met her in his fathers Great Hall, where he would have
made that stern spirit laugh, and that unyielding body dance.
He is surprised when Lord Elrond chooses the woman to accompany
them but he trusts to the Elvenlords wisdomand, for
himself, he finds this proof of the adaneths worth strangely
She is waiting by the Gates, watching Aragorn take his leave
of Arwen, and Legolas wonders what she seesA chance to
mend a broken heart?Come, my Lady, he says.
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.
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 seeingCrebain from Dunland!and then
she lurches forward, arms flailing, and he catches her and holds
Frodo pulls his collar aside and feels for the chain about his
neckbut Legolas has already seen the Ring, dangling from
Boromirs 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.
Through the swirling whiteness that hides Mount Caradhras, she
glimpses him, walking lightly on the surface of the snow, untroubled
by the storms violenceshe pulls the hood of her cloak
over her face and, trusting to his elven senses, she trudges on,
following him into the void.
As he bursts out from beneath the snow his first thought is for
herand 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 suffocatedand then, thanking the Valar for
her survival, he pulls her into his arms, and warms her with his
He slaps her back and Eowyn takes a great gasp of snow-filled
airbut she cannot stop shaking, so she clings to him, knowing
that he will keep her safe until she has recovered her strength.
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.
After their frantic battle with the Watcher in the Water, and
the collapse of the Gates, the silence of the mine is a welcome
reliefGandalf lights his staff, and they begin their journey
in the Dark.
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, Legolasthe Fellowship needs your
undivided loyalty: leave her be.
In Balins tomb they wait anxiouslyPippins eyes
are screwed shutbut nothing happens; they relax, Boromir
sighs with reliefand then the pounding starts.
Legolas draws his bowWe cannot get out, he remembers,
they are comingand, as he takes aim, and holds, he
senses her, standing by his side, sword raised, and it feels right.
The goblins scurry away: some greater horror is approachingWhat
new devilry is this? wonders Boromirbut Legolas
has already recognised the creature of shadow and of flame: it
is Durins Bane, a Balrog of Morgoth.
The bridge of Khazad-dum is close: they run down the stepsdown,
downbut the stones are crumbling underfootand
he takes her hand and, together, they leap
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
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;
andthough a part of her longs to rush to him, and comfort
himher sudden sense of this difference between them almost
breaks her heart.
Legolas, Eowyn, get them up, shouts Aragorn, and Legolas
thinks to protestbut then he sees the defeat in his friend's
eyes and realises that Isildurs heir, though still doubting
that he is equal to the task, can no longer avoid his responsibilities.
How can I tell her? Legolas wonders, testing the words
as he runs towards Lorienand 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
The Fellowship is caught the moment it enters the forestThe
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.
She moves like a melody, thinks Haldir, watching her climb
the steep hillside, all grace and strengththen 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.
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.
Do not despair, Legolas son of ThranduilGaladriels
words fill his mindthe love you long for will one
day be yours.
You crave more than love, Eowyn, daughter of Kings, you hope
for glory and great deeds, and lands far from the fields of Rohanbut
do not seek too high, child: your future is closer than you know.
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 knifeEowyn watches Legolas enter the
forest and, without meaning to, she follows.
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 undershirtand a voice asks, Can
I help you, your Highness?
Eowyn finds him sitting bare-chested beside the lake, an elleth
kneeling before him, and, with a strangled cry, she turns and
runsbut 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
I am not yours to betray she criesbut
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.
He lowers her to the ground and they lie together andthough
he stops short of making love to herEowyn knows that he
has bound her to him for eternity.
They walk slowly, hand-in-hand, back to the pavilion; and the
big elf, watching them pass by, smiles.
He stoops and picks up a mallorn leaf, and he places it in her
handsgently closing them around itsaying, Keep
this safe, for it will never fade, melmenya.
Sitting in the boat, between her elf and Gimli, she suddenly
smilesfor today, she realises, is her birth day, and he
has given her a gift.
Despite Legolas misgivings they have made camp close by
Amon Hennow Frodo is missing and Boromirs shield lies
discarded and, remembering the manís weakness before the Ring,
they rush off in pursuit.
They hear Aragornís war cryElendil!and
they sally forthLegolas with his knives and bow, Gimli with
his axe, Eowyn with her swordand 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.
They are too late: Boromir lies dying in Aragorn's armsLegolas
takes Eowyns hand, Gimli joins them, and they weep for their
# 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.
They are surrounded by RohirrimEowyn 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.
As her senses clear she hears Aragorns soft voice, swearing
on his ancestorsí memory to protect her honour in her brothers
Is it Legolas you mistrust? she cries, struggling
to her feet and fixing Eomer with a terrible stare; and they face
each other downeverything else forgottenuntil, at
last, he turns away, becausethough he may be Third Marshal
of the Markhe is her brother, and he always loses.