legolas and eowyn

Melannen knew no more than he had already told Thorkell bogsveigir.

Legolas drew Eowyn aside. “We must go back there, melmenya. Ourselves.”

Eowyn agreed. “Immediately after the ceremony.”

“Well,” said Legolas, with one of his most dazzling smiles, “perhaps not immediately after the ceremony. I think the Valar will grant us a wedding night.”


the wedding

Two hours later

Legolas paused at the threshold of the Council Chamber.

Before him, through the open doors, amidst the delicate silken hangings and the garlands of fragrant flowers, the rest of his life awaited him—his beloved father; his dearest friends, Aragorn, Gimli, Haldir and Eomer, and his wonderful Hentmirë with little Melannen; his worthy counsellors, Lord Fingolfin and Lord Caranthir; a hundred representatives of his people, including elves, humans, and dwarves; and, at the centre of all—making sense of all—Eowyn.


As if feeling his presence, his beloved glanced over her shoulder, and they both smiled—the shared smile of two lovers, serenely happy, and destined to be together until the End of Days.

“Ready?” asked Faramir, softly.

“Yes,” said Legolas.

So his friend ushered him into the Chamber, and closed the doors behind them.

Then Lord Fingolfin, acting as his Guardian, welcomed him, hand on heart, with the traditional words, “Telo, ertho ven,”—repeating them in Westron for the human guests, “Come, join us,”—and led him before his Sovereign Lord and father.

Legolas smiled at Thranduil—and, on his face, saw mingled pride, and joy, and just a little sadness.

Hîr e Hiril, Lord and Lady,” said the Elvenking, “we are gathered today to solemnise your marriage by witnessing your exchange of vows. You must both understand that when you leave this place it will be as hervess e hervenn, wife and husband, indissolubly bound. Do you, Legolas Greenleaf, acknowledge this?”

“I do.”

“Do you, Eowyn, daughter of Eomund, acknowledge this?”

Eowyn smiled up at Legolas. “I do.”

Thranduil turned back to his son. “Then make your vow.”

Carefully sliding his ring onto Eowyn’s finger, Legolas repeated the words he had spoken, more than a year before, behind the waterfall on the way home from Caras Arnen, “Mîl sui lotheg i edlothia an-uir—love is like a flower that blooms forever,” he said. “Im hervenn chîn; no hervess nín—I am your husband; be my wife.”

“Eowyn, iell nín,” said Thranduil, “make your vow.”

“I love you, Legolas—le annon veleth nín,” said Eowyn, slipping her ring onto Legolas’ finger. “I am your wife; be my husband—Im hervess chîn; no hervenn nín.”

There was a soft sigh from the assembled witnesses, followed by a gentle rustling as they rose to their feet, and then a moment of profound peace whilst, hands on hearts and heads bowed, they prayed to their gods for the couple’s health and happiness.

Then, at last, Legolas broke the silence, sweeping Eowyn up into his arms—a cue for the court musicians to play a joyful fanfare—and crying, “My wife and I invite you all to join us in the Banqueting Hall!”


Much later

When supper had been eaten, and the toasts had been drunk, and gifts had been received, and speeches given—and Master Halmir, Gondor’s foremost artist, had captured it all in his tiny sketchbook—husband and wife bade their guests goodnight. “But, please,” said Legolas, happily, “do not stop celebrating on our account...”

“Where are we going?” asked Eowyn, as the elf led her off the main walkway, to a little door—so well-concealed behind a carantaur trunk that she had never noticed it before—opened it, and bade her climb the stairs.

“It is a surprise.”


“—knows that his Gwanur Eowyn and Gwanur Legolas will be away for the night,” said Legolas, “and is quite happy to have his Gwanur Hentmirë put him to bed for once; she will be sleeping in our chambers, melmenya—”

Eowyn gasped; she had reached the top of the stairs.

“Do you like it?”

Hand-in-hand, they stepped out onto the flet. The wooden platform was small, scarcely half the size of their garden, and on it stood the most exquisite building Eowyn had ever seen—a tiny palace of carved and gilded wood, neither elven nor human but a delightful union of both—with a wide, canopied porch, a bedchamber beyond, and a bathing room tucked behind that.

“This will be our secret place,” said Legolas, “where we can come when we need privacy.”

“But—how...?” She examined one of the prancing horses carved on the pillars.

“I designed it,” said the elf, proudly, “and Master Bawden and his men built it.”

“I meant,” said Eowyn, “how did you keep it secret from me?”

“By banishing it from my mind, once it was under way.”

“And does that mean,” she said, teasing him, “that I can no longer trust you?”

“Could you ever trust me?” asked Legolas, with a wicked grin. Then he added, more seriously, “You have not said whether you like it.”

“I adore it Lassui.”


He carried her over the threshold, and into the bedchamber; and, after he had closed the door behind them, and shut out the rest of the world, he knelt down before her and, raising her hand to his lips, he repeated once more the vow he had made earlier—but, this time, just for her. And she drew him up onto the bed, and kissed him; and, lying together in their little hideaway, they made love as though for the very first time.


“Legolas Greenleaf.”

Smiling, Legolas knelt down before the being of light. “My Lord.”

“I have a task for you, child,” said the being. “For you, and your wife.”

“Does it concern Melannen’s people, my Lord?”

“It does, Legolas; indeed it does.”



Finding herself alone, on her wedding night, Eowyn stretched out a hand and felt the bed beside her.


She threw back the coverlet, swung her feet down to the floor, and—putting on her thick, velvet cloak and her fur-lined slippers—padded out onto the frosty veranda.

Legolas was sitting on the flet-wall, naked but for his silken leggings.


He turned, smiling. “I am sorry, melmenya. Did I wake you?”


He raised an arm, and she ducked beneath and let him pull her close.

“But I can see that something is wrong, my darling,” she said, gazing up at him. “What is it?”

“I had a dream.”

“Oh...” Eowyn buried her face in his chest. “Was it about us?” she asked, nervously. “About our future?”

“Oh, no, melmenya.” He kissed the crown of her head. “At least, no more of our future than the next few days.” He told her about his encounter with the being of light.

“And you do not know what this task might be?”


“Well,” she said, snuggling closer, “perhaps everything will be clear when we return to the Daw Valley.”


Dawn was approaching, and Eryn Carantaur was beginning to stir—doors were opening, and people were coming out onto the walkways, carrying candles and lighted tapers.

Having already made their own preparations, Legolas and Eowyn watched their friends join others from all over the city—Hentmirë and Gimli, with little Melannen (wrapped up in a warm woollen mantle, a muffler, and a matching cap); Aragorn and Arwen with Eomer and Lothiriel; King Thranduil and King Shamash with Thorkell bogsveigir; Haldir and, to the couple’s surprise, Cyllien—all waiting.

Suddenly, first light touched the tops of the trees, and the elves and the dwarves and the humans all lit their candles and, singing softly, lifted their flames into the air to welcome the sun back from its perilous journey through longest night of the year.

“Oh, look,” said Eowyn, pointing her candle at Melannen, who was standing on tip toe, holding his flame as high as his little arm could reach. “Just look at him, Lassui.”

Legolas smiled. “All will be well, melmenya,” he said, suddenly. “I am sure of it now.”


The bathing room of their hideaway was small but, like the rest of the building, beautiful—the bath carved from a rosy, polished stone and decorated with swirling curves that formed elegant ledges planted with bright green ferns, which dripped down into the tub.

Whilst Eowyn was admiring the plants, and the complexities of the plumbing—no doubt Gimli’s work—Legolas filled the bath with a cascade of warm water and a scattering of herbs.

“I thought,” said Eowyn, already feeling the effects of the sensual aroma, “that we were going to plan our—our—oh—Lassui!”

His mouth had claimed hers, and his hands, sweeping down her back, had grasped her hips, driving all thoughts of their forthcoming journey from her mind.

“This morning,” he murmured, “is special, melmenya.”

She felt his erection, hard against her belly, and her body responded with a pang of physical need. She slid her hands up his chest and around his neck; he guided her closer to the bath; she let him lift and lower her—still wearing her beautiful wedding nightgown—into the scented water.

And then he was astride her, and her nightgown was floating around them like lily petals; his weight was pushing down upon her, and he was pressing himself between her thighs. She moved her hips and let him slide into her, wrapping her legs around him.

“Lassui...” There were things—secrets, hidden within her heart—that she wanted to tell him.

But, “Shhhh,” he whispered, “I know, Eowyn nín.” He raised his head and his eyes sought hers. “I know everything about you, my darling. Everything.” And—still looking deep inside her—he began to thrust.

And it seemed to Eowyn—as it had the night before—that marriage had somehow changed them, that their bodies had been remade, and were now, all at once, both more intimate and yet less familiar with each other.

And she leaned back in the delicious water, and let him make love to her—teasing her, then pleasuring her, and then—starting very small, somewhere in her core—making a great wave of sensation gather, and crest, and break, and rush out in all directions, filling her head, her hands, her breasts, and leaving her trembling in his arms.


Some time later

“But... We cannot leave him behind, Lassui.”


Wrapped in dressing robes, they were sitting before the fire, eating breakfast. Legolas pulled a slice of fruited bread from his toasting fork and dropped it onto Eowyn’s plate. “We cannot take him with us.”

Eowyn spread the toast with butter. “Why?

“Because,”—he threaded more bread onto the fork, and held it to the flames—“one, it may be dangerous—”

“He will be with us—”

Two, it may come to a fight.”

Eowyn frowned—she had not considered that.

“And, three,” said Legolas, “his parents are coming here. Do you want another piece of toast?”


He laid the slice on his own plate. “We are bringing them here, melmenya,” he said, gently, “we cannot take him away.” He reached out, and touched her hand. “I know how much you love him, my darling, and I know that you are afraid he will think you have abandoned him—”

“Most people think that keeping a child physically safe is all that matters, Lassui. But it will break his heart—”

Hervess nín!” He grasped her fingers. “We will talk to him—we will tell him what we are doing, and explain why he must stay behind. He will understand. He will miss you, of course, but his Gwanur Hentmirë will take good care of him. And he loves her, and Gimli—and Thorkell bogsveigir, too, it seems.”

“Gimli will be coming with us.”

“Well, that is another thing we must decide.” He dropped a second slice of toast onto his plate. “Is there any honey?”

Eowyn pushed a small, beehive-shaped pot across the table.

“Thank you... Do we mount a full expedition, or do we go alone?”

“Why would we go alone?”

“Because,” he said, drizzling the golden liquid back and forth, “the Vala—the being, that is—in my dream, said that the task was for us: for me and my wife. I am wondering whether he meant that literally.”


King Thranduil’s apartment

Sweeping majestically into his sitting room, the Elvenking caught sight of his bodyguard, gazing up out of the window, and—stopping short—sighed loudly. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing, sire,” said Thorkell bogsveigir, with an almost perceptible bow.

Thranduil let the unexpected courtesy pass. “Good,” he said, “because I have a job for you, and you will need to be,”—he looked dubiously at the tall, dark man—“sharp.”

“You want me to go to the Daw Valley with them.”

“If Lassui insists on returning there,” said Thranduil, “yes.”


“You will be my eyes and ears...” He looked at the man, thoughtfully. “And she is my daughter-in-law: do not forget it.”


“I can read you like a book, Thorkell bogsveigir.”


“So,” said Eowyn, “whilst I was waiting, I looked at my Orc map.” She was referring to the large map of North and South Ithilien on which—with the help of two elven assistants—she charted all the signs of Orc activity reported by border guards, messengers and travellers.

“Just moments before marrying me,” said Legolas, with a wink. “And what did you see?”

“It was exactly as I remembered. There are no Orc bands in that region—none anywhere near the Daw Valley.” She took a bite of toast. “Though, to the east, in Mordor—”

“The house Melannen showed us, melmenya, must have been attacked long before the Ring War.”

“I know it looked like that, Lassui, but—”

“Do you remember the scream?”

“Of course,” said Eowyn, softly.

“In my dream, I heard it again: I saw us, standing in the Forest near Melannen’s house, and I heard the scream.”

“Could you see who—what—was screaming?”

He shook his head. “No.”

They sat in silence for a few moments. Then Legolas said, “But I am sure that that is where we must start, melmenya. We must find the creature that made that sound.”


They dressed and, descending the secret staircase, slipped out through the hidden door and returned to the bustling, everyday life of Eryn Carantaur.

Legolas held his daily meetings with Haldir and with Captain Golradir of the Palace Guard; Eowyn talked with Lord Caranthir and Master Bawden about the ongoing building works, and discussed the proposed expansion of the school.

Then, at midday, the couple welcomed their friends into their private chambers for a festive meal.

“Estel is planning to accompany you,” said Arwen, as she passed Legolas a dish of braised fennel.

“Your story has piqued my curiosity, mellon nín,” Aragorn admitted. “I want to see this town for myself.”

“And I have heard,” said Eomer, from across the table, “that the hunting in that region is more than worth the trip.”

“Thorkell bogsveigir tells me,” whispered Eowyn, “that your father has ordered him to go with us, too—well, he underestimates you almost as much as he distrusts the Green Elves, so he was bound to send his right-hand man to keep an eye on us.”

Legolas turned Gimli. “And no doubt you are planning to come, too, Elvellon?”


Despite Legolas’ private misgivings, it was decided that they should mount a full expedition, consisting—in addition to Legolas and Eowyn—of Aragorn, Eomer, Gimli, Thorkell bogsveigir, the colony’s cartographer, Master Berryn, and a host of human, elven and dwarven warriors.

Arwen and Lothiriel would stay in Eryn Carantaur to lead the remainder of the Yuletide celebrations.

And, since it seemed certain that she and Legolas would be leaving before Melannen’s parents arrived, Eowyn gave Lord Caranthir, Lord Fingolfin and Captain Golradir strict instructions—and begged Arwen and Hentmirë, too—to do everything in their power to keep the elfling and his parents safely in the city until they returned.


Early morning, in Hentmirë’s house

Melannen, standing on a chair, was peering anxiously out of the window.

“They will not leave without saying goodbye,” said Hentmirë. “They promised. Besides,”—she came up behind him and gently laid her hand upon his back—“they love you, and could not bear to be parted from you without a proper farewell. So,”—she tried to sound firm—“come and sit with me, and we will look at your picture book whilst we wait.”

Reluctantly, the child allowed himself to be lifted down to the floor. Then, “Gwanur Hentmirë,” he said, “can we have a story? Gwanur Eowyn always tells me stories.”


“About Niben.”

“About Niben?” Hentmirë tried to remember a story from her own childhood that might serve. “Um... Well, yes. Yes, I think we can. Sit down...” She waited until the boy was settled beside her, with the toy on his lap, then began: “Once upon a time, in the city of Carhilivren, there was a tiny rabbit—”

“Called Niben,” said Melannen, with a sniff.

“Called Niben. And he was as poor as a temple mouse—in fact, that is where he lived: in a burrow, at the foot of the temple wall.”

“Gwanur Legolas says that there are no plants in Carhilivren, except in gardens.”

“There are hardy plants, like palms, which spring up wherever they can find water,” said Hentmirë, “and desert plants, which bloom suddenly when there is rain. But Carhilivren is not fertile like Eryn Carantaur.”

“So what did Niben eat?”

“Oh... Um... Offerings,” said Hentmirë. “Yes. When people brought flowers and fruit as gifts for the spirits of their ancestors, they would leave a little by Niben’s burrow.”

“Niben likes carrots.”

“Well... Sometimes, they would bring carrots... Or lettuce. Anyway, Niben was very poor. And, one day—”

Gwanur Eowyn,” cried Melannen, turning towards the door.

It opened.

The elfling leaped from his chair, and flew across the room—“Gwanur Eowyn!”—and threw himself into Eowyn’s arms.

“Are you being a good boy for your Aunt Hentmirë?” she asked, hugging him tightly.



“Melannen,” said Legolas, crouching down beside him, “I want you to remember everything your Gwanur Eowyn told you last night—we are going away for a little while, to make sure that the Forest is safe for you and your Nana and Ada. But we will be back soon.”

“And whilst we are away,” said Eowyn, crouching as well, so that her face was level with the elfling’s, “you must be brave, and look after your Gwanur Hentmirë, and do what she tells you. And, when your mummy and daddy arrive, tell them we want them to wait here until we come back. Can you remember that?”

Melannen nodded.

“Then give me a big hug, sweetheart, and give your Gwanur Legolas a big hug, too, before we go...”


Once clear of the city, the expeditionary force made good time, galloping along the Doro Lanthron road until Legolas brought them to a halt at the spot where he and Eowyn had found Melannen.

From there on, the warriors were forced to proceed in single file, retracing the elfling’s still-visible footsteps through the snow-laden pines, turning eastwards along the frozen stream, and crossing the stone bridge.


“So Niben waited until the thieves had been gone for fully half an hour,” said Hentmirë, “and then he went up to the mouth of the cave,”—she made the toy rabbit walk along the arm of her chair— “and he said—”

“OPEN SESAME,” boomed Melannen.

“Except that Niben has a little voice.”

“Open Sesame,” he squeaked.

“Yes. And the big rock just—”

The elfling suddenly grasped her arm and pointed at the window, his eyes round.

“Is that your mummy and daddy?”

He nodded.

Hentmirë listened, nervously.

She heard the knock at the door—They are impatient, she thought—heard Old Donatiya cross the lobby to answer it, and heard the muttering that followed. Then the sitting room door opened, and Donatiya peered inside. “Master Túon and Mistress Roseth say that they have come for Master Melannen, my Lady. Shall I show them in?”

“Just a moment.” Hentmirë turned to the elfling. “Let me see your hands.” The boy held them up for inspection. “And your face.” He leaned forward. She smiled. “And your boots.” He stood up, and lifted each foot so that his Gwanur could check the shine on the leather. “Perfect,” said Hentmirë. “Yes, please, Donatiya. Ask them to come in here.”

She rose, and greeted the two elves formally, hand on heart, as she had been taught by Lord Fingolfin: “Mae govannen, hîr e hiril. Le hannon a tholel. Baren bar lin.”

Túon was a dark-haired elf, older-looking and more dignified than the little woman had expected; his wife seemed younger, and more passionate, with quick eyes and flaming red hair, but she walked a little behind her husband.

Neither of them said anything in reply to Hentmirë’s greeting, and she could only hope that she had got the words right. “Please,” she added, in Westron, “do take a seat. Donatiya—perhaps we could have some refreshments?”

The old woman shuffled away, grumbling under her breath.

Hentmirë smiled uneasily. Melannen, she realised, had not run to the door to meet his parents, and was still waiting patiently for them to notice him. “As you can see,” she said, patting the boy’s shoulder, “Lord Legolas and Lady Eowyn have taken very good care of your son, and I am sure you will want to thank them. They should be back in a week or so—”

“We intend to return home immediately,” said Túon.

“Well,” said Hentmirë, beginning the long explanation that Legolas and Eowyn had given her, and that she had already practised several times—

“This place,” said Túon, cutting her short, “is not suitable for an impressionable young elfling.”

“This place?” The little woman could not tell whether he meant Eryn Carantaur in general, or her own home in particular. “I assure you,” she said, “that Melannen has been completely safe here, and well-cared-for. But, please, let me explain why you must stay—”

“That is not possible.”

“I have it on the best authority,” Hentmirë persisted, “that the Daw Valley is far too dangerous at present. A troop of warriors, led by King Elessar himself, has ridden out, and will make it safe. In the meantime, Lord Legolas and Lady Eowyn ask you to wait here. If you need official confirmation, I can send for Lord Caranthir or Lord Fingolfin, and they will repeat what I have just told you. Or, you can meet with Queen Arwen, who has a personal message for you from Lady Eowyn.”

“This is most vexing,” said Túon, glancing at his wife; she nodded in agreement. “Very well—I want to see this Lord Caranthir. At once.”

“Please understand,” said the little woman, ringing the bell to summon her servant, Rimush, “that our only concern is for your well-being—yours and your son’s—”

“And yet,” said Túon, rising, “you are refusing to let us take him home, where he—”

“ADAAAAAAA!” shouted Melannen, stamping his little foot, “Gwanur Eowyn said we have to wait for her and Gwanur Legolas, HERE!”


“This is it,” said Legolas, dismounting. “The way into the valley.”

He led Arod up to the cliff, and showed Aragorn and Eomer a deep crevice, which appeared—at first glance—to lead nowhere.

“It is narrow,” said Aragorn, running a gloved hand over the rock wall, “and the sides are sharp. Can a rider get through it?”

“The path opens out,” said the elf, “just past the first bend, though the ground remains uneven. It will be safest to lead the horses—though the going will be slower.”

Aragorn gave the signal to dismount.

“Give me your standard,” said Legolas. “Eowyn, Gimli and I will go first, and ride down into the town as your heralds. That way, the locals will be prepared for the sight of a small army emerging from the rocks.”


Roseth shook her head in dismay.

“This is precisely what I feared,” said Túon, coldly. “A few days in the company of this Sinda and his mistress, and the boy has forgotten how he was raised—he is behaving like an Orc.”

Hentmirë put her arm around the elfling’s shoulders.

“Melannen,” she said—doing a passable impression of King Thranduil at his most imperious—“is a credit to you; everyone who has met him says so. Now, please, sit down and have some fruit tea, and—whilst we wait for Lord Caranthir—your son and I will explain why he is so anxious for you to stay here.”


Slowly, they worked their way along the narrow cleft—Legolas in front, carrying Aragorn’s standard; Gimli close behind, leading Arod; Eowyn behind him, gently coaxing Brightstar—and, more than once, the dwarf remarked upon the strangeness of the rock, and the unnatural pattern of its fractures and fissures.

At length, they filed out into the open and, shielding his eyes from the sun, Legolas gazed down into the valley.

“Has anyone noticed us?” asked Eowyn, coming up beside him.

“There are two men on the Forest road,” he replied. “They seem to be watching us. And there is a man chopping wood, over there.” He pointed to a tiny homestead, at the far side of the valley. “He is looking in this direction.”

“Might they raise the alarm?”

“No. We three will reach the town long before they...” He looked back at the rock face, frowning. “Gimli?

Eowyn scanned the cliff from east to west. “Where is he?”

“I have no idea...”

Legolas stepped into the mouth of the pass and shouted, “ELVELLON!” and the word echoed down its length, “Elvellon—Elvellon—Elvellon...

He was in front of me,” said Eowyn, “and Aragorn was behind, and Eomer behind him, and then Thorkell bogsveigir, and... Oh gods, where are they, Lassui,”—her voice wavered—“what has happened to the others?”




Back to Contents page


Previous chapter: A Yuletide adventure
Legolas and Eowyn search for the child’s parents.

chapter 1

Next chapter: Back to the Forest
Where are Legolas and Eowyn?

chapter 3

Telo, ertho ven ... Come, join us.
Hîr e Hiril ... Lord and Lady.
Hervess e hervenn ... Wife and husband.
Mîl sui lotheg i edlothia an-uir ...
Love is like a flower that blooms forever.
Im hervenn chîn; no hervess nín ...
I am your husband; be my wife.
Iell nín ... My daughter.
Le annon veleth nín ... I love you
Im hervess chîn; no hervenn nín ...
I am your wife; be my husband.
Hervess nín ... My wife!
Mae govannen, hîr e hiril. Le hannon a tholel. Baren bar lin ... Well met, sir and madam. Thank you for coming. My home is your home.