By year 5 of the Fourth Age, Eryn Carantaur was
thriving, and Legolas had decided that it was time to hold the
colonys first Harvest Rite. His father, King Thranduil,
anxious that his son should perform it successfully, sent his
own Mistress of the Ceremony to prepare him. For three months
the terrifying elleth lectured Legolas on the mysteries of the
Rite, insisting that he remain pure in body and spirit
during his preparation...
The Rite is a sacrifice to Yavanna, Lady of the Harvest,
Arwen explained to Eowyn. It takes place on the ceremonial
threshing floor. When it is time, Legolas must choose a lady from
the company and lead her onto the floor. Then the Mistress of
the Ceremony,she pointed to the fierce-looking elleth
sitting beside Legolaswill join them, as if in marriage.
And Legolas must consummate the marriage by making love to her.
He takes her to his chambers? asked Eowyn, thinking
how painful it would be to sit waiting in the Banqueting Hall,
knowing that Legolas and his lady were making love elsewhere,
and then to see them return, the elleth flushed with pleasure
Oh no, sweeting, said Elrohir, he takes
Eowyn's blood ran cold. And we must watch?
We must play our part, said Arwen. The guests
find themselves excited by the Rite. It has been known for them
to spend the whole night making love, some of them giving pleasure
to many partners. It is a beautiful festival.
A group of excited ellith, carefully selected by the colonys
Chief Counsellor, were seated with their families at the far side
of the ring-shaped table. When the time came, the Valar would
help Legolas make his choice; he tried to remember the girls
There was Idril, the daughter of Tathar, a highly respected sword
smith. There was Nerwen, the daughter of Findecáno, one
of the colonys healers. Then there was Angarátos
daughter, AlatáriëlValar, she was a handful!
The number of times he had tactfully had to repel her clumsy advances!
And tonight she looked ridiculous, her bodice cut too low and
her translucent skirts revealing her thighs...
Legolas sighed. The others, he simply could not remember and,
although he supposed they were all nice enough, and could be considered
attractive, they were not to his taste.
Not like her, he thought. Not one of them can hold
a candle to her.
My lord, it is time, said the Mistress of the Ceremony,
placing a goblet in Legolas hand.
The lord of Eryn Carantaur took a deep breath, lifted the goblet
to his lips, drained it, and waited expectantly.
He looked slowly around the assembled company, examining each
female face in turn, but nothing was different; none of the eligible
ellith had changed in any way.
Something is wrong, he thought. The Valar will not
bless our Harvest Rite. By lusting after Eowyn when I should have
been thinking chaste thoughts, I have doomed the entire colony
to bad harvests...
But then he sawout of the corner of his eyea faint
silvery glow surrounding one of his guests. And, as he turned
to watch, the glow grew into an aura, shimmering and sparkling
and completely surrounding her; and she, suddenly becoming
aware of his attention, dropped her gaze and stared fixedly at
No, thought Legolas, it is just your wishful thinking.
She is mortal and already married. The Valar would never give
her to you. And yet, when he looked once more at the rest
of his female guests, he could see quite clearly that Eowyn was
the only one who was glowing...
Yavanna had answered his prayer!
He rose clumsily to his feet and, with something less than elven
grace, half-ran towards the radiant woman, holding out his hands:
A murmur of surpriseand some disapprovalrippled through
his guests, but Legolas ignored it. The Valar have answered
my prayer, he thought, she is my heart's own choice.
Slowly, the woman raised her eyes and studied his face.
And, for a long, heart-faltering moment, Legolas though she might
But then she rose to her feet and accepted his hand.
And, suddenly, Legolas could restrain himself no longerhe
swept Eowyn into his arms and whirled her round and carried herboth
of them laughingto the centre of the threshing floor, where
he lowered her to the ground and kissed her passionately.