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legolas and eowyn


Part 22

A thin curl of smoke rose from the lamp’s elegant spout; Eowyn thanked the gods.

The smoke swirled, coalescing—a little too slowly for Eowyn's liking—into a massive being, with a handsome if somewhat dissolute face, large, powerful arms, and a broad, muscular torso quickly tapering into a strange, wispy tail.

He hovered beside her as she clung to the rock face. “Pretty little mistress,” he boomed, “your wish is my command!

Remembering how important it was to give him clea instructions, Eowyn rapidly devised a plan: “Carry me to that bridge,” she said, and risked pointing to the closest of the wooden walkways.

The djinn scooped her up in his arms and, with only the slightest flourish, set her down upon the planking. “Now,” she said grasping the wood, “without dropping me, tear the bridge from its supports, and carry it over there, to Legolas.”

A split-second later, to the astonishment of both the knight and his daughter, Eowyn was calling to them from her makeshift vehicle: “Quickly,” she said, stretching out a hand, “climb aboard!”

“Go on, lad,” said Gimli, dispatching another goblin. “I will hold them back.”

Sheathing his sword, the knight quickly bundled his daughter onto the wooden platform. Then Gimli turned and, taking a tiny run, jumped the gap. Haldir loosed his arrow and followed, immediately dropping into a crouch and nocking another. Finally—to Eowyn’s relief—Legolas joined them, landing lightly beside his wife.

“Take us to the surface!” she cried.

The tunnel mouth was choked with goblins. The djinn swung round and, heading away from the Great Cavern, followed the twisting passages until, suddenly gathering speed, he punched his way through the last few feet of rock and soared high into the air.

Then he brought his charges back to earth, gently depositing them on the plateau, in glorious daylight.

Gudyth grabbed Eowyn’s arm. “The others,” she gasped. “You have to go back for the others!”

Eowyn turned to Legolas. “She is right, Lassui. There is a cage full of women down there, forced to fight for the goblins’ amusement—and who knows what will happen to them now that we have made the Goblin King angry? There are men, too, in the lower levels, working the mine.”

Legolas nodded. “March Warden,” he said, “give me your arrows.” And, as he was fitting them in his quiver, he added: “Find shelter, Haldir, somewhere dry, where we can light a fire and keep everybody comfortable until we have decided how to get them home.”


Rescuing the women was comparatively easy—the djinn’s mighty fist took care of the metal bars, and his body held back the goblins whilst Legolas and Eowyn entered the cell, persuaded the prisoners to come out, and helped them climb onto the wooden platform.

It took several sallies, however, to penetrate every level of the mine, deal with the guards, release the men from their chains, and bring them to the surface—and even then, though none of the prisoners knew of any that were missing, Eowyn could not shake a niggling doubt, and prayed to the Valar that no poor soul had been left behind.


Back on the plateau, Haldir, Gimli and the knight had discovered a building that was still partially roofed, hacked away the brambles and lit fires.

The friends watched as men and women, family and friends, separated for years, found each other again.

And all was going well, until the knight recognised one of the men...