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    "And I," said Legolas, "shall walk in the woods of this fair land, which is rest enough. In days to come, if my Elven-lord allows, some of our folk shall remove hither; and when we come it shall be blessed...”
    The Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter 4: The Field of Cormallen

    Legolas ... brought south Elves out of Greenwood, and they dwelt in Ithilien, and it became once again the fairest country in all the westlands.
    The Lord of the Rings
    , Appendix A, III: Durin’s Folk

    Q. Legolas. Did he go back to the King? Will he stay there?
    A. Yes, he did. He came south with Gimli, and he brought many of his people from Greenwood the Great (so they call it now). They say it was a wonderful sight to see companies of Dwarves and Elves journeying together. The Elves have made the City, and the land where Prince Faramir lives, more beautiful than ever. Yes, Legolas will stay there, at any rate as long as Gimli does; but I think he will go to the Sea one day. Mr. Meriadoc told me all this, for he has visited the Lady Éowyn in her white house.
    Sam talking to Frodo-lad, quoted in The History of Middle-Earth: Sauron Defeated, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

It was small at first, no more than a few houses, and Legolas did much of the work himself, collecting the timber from fallen trees, learning to shape it with an axe, and to fashion it into stairs, and flets, and the dwellings upon them.

But word spread, and soon Elves who, for whatever reason, had decided to stay in Middle-earth came to join their fellows, Fingolfin bringing scholars from Imladris, Caranthir bringing craftsmen from the Havens, and Haldir bringing warriors from Lothlórien.

Dwarves and Men came, too, and made it their home.

By year 5, the city of Eryn Carantaur was thriving. It sat like a dusting of blossoms upon the mighty red-leaved carantaur branches—a central ‘palace’, with a Council Chamber, guards’ quarters, a Library, and a school for elflings, dwarflings and children; a busy market flet; several public gardens; many villages, nestling amongst the boughs—and, on the ground beneath, workshops, stables... Even a graveyard.

And in Iavas of that year, as was the custom amongst the Wood Elves, Legolas held the colony’s first Harvest Rite, in praise of Yavanna, Lady of the Harvest.


To the Harvest celebrations came Eowyn, the wife of Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, whose marriage had sadly miscarried, though she and her husband remained the dearest of friends. Legolas had loved Eowyn from the moment he first saw her; Eowyn had come to love Legolas gradually; Faramir wished only that his wife might find happiness.

On the first night of the celebrations, Yavanna smiled, and Eowyn became Legolas’ Lady of the Harvest.

The couple travelled to Caras Arnen, the City on the Hills, and—with Faramir’s help—wrote to Aragorn, asking him to dissolve Faramir and Eowyn’s marriage. Their petition was granted and, the following Echuir, the couple journeyed to Eryn Lasgalen, seeking King Tranduil’s permission to marry.

To test the couple’s resolve, Legolas’ wily father set Eowyn three tasks. The first was to catalogue his disordered correspondence, and this she accomplished overnight, with the help of her friend and tutor, Lord Fingolfin. The second was to persuade the Green Elves of Sad Glawar to pay their taxes, and this she achieved using her own reasoning and eloquence. The third and final task was to beg a jar of salve from the Healer of Eryn Aras and, although she succeeded, she was fatally poisoned, died, and was revived immortal.

Her transformation, however, convinced King Thranduil that the Valar had approved his son’s choice of wife and, in Rhîw of the following year, during the Yuletide celebrations, he presided over their joining ceremony.


The first night of Rhîw, year 6 of the Fourth Age


Climbing up the main staircase, at the end of an afternoon spent sparring with Rumil and Orophin, Eowyn stopped, one hand on the rail, and listened hard. The voice had been soft, no more than a sigh upon the wind, and at first she thought she had imagined it, but—


—no, it was real, and its owner was just behind her.

Eowyn turned, automatically reaching for her sword, but there was no one else on the stairs.

Puzzled, she climbed to the top, and stepped onto the walkway.

To the right, her and Legolas’ chambers stood out from the rest of the buildings, decked with pumpkin lanterns made by the colony’s schoolchildren to celebrate of the first night of Rhîw.


Gods! The voice had grown louder, and now seemed—somehow—to be coming from up ahead!

Eowyn hurried towards it, her hand upon her sword. She could see no one—No one at all, she thought. No servants. No guards. And where is Legolas? Why, tonight of all nights, has he not come out to meet me?

Beyond the brightly grinning lanterns, the shadows seemed unnaturally dark, and Eowyn realised that she was trembling, but the voice drew her on, past her chambers, and up the stairs to her garden.

There, between the pools of light, she thought she saw a figure, and asked, “Who are you?”

She was hardly expecting a reply, but the voice responded, “Do you not recognise me, Eowyn?

Its owner stepped closer, and his already insubstantial form faded more in the lanterns’ glow, but Eowyn could still see his silhouette, and she gasped, “Are you lost? Are you here because you are not at peace?”

I am with my ancestors.

“Oh…” Her hands came up to her breast, and she smiled. “Is your father there with you?”


“Oh…” She smudged away a tear. “I was there myself, once, for just a moment.”

I know.

There was a smile in his voice, and Eowyn moved closer. “If you are at peace, why have you come?”

Because, tonight, we are permitted to visit our loved ones, if they light the way.”

“Light the way… You mean the lanterns?” She looked up at the grinning faces, which Legolas himself had taught the children to carve (because, he had said, the first night of Rhîw meant something to all the races of Eryn Carantaur, and the colony should celebrate it). “Do you have a message for me?” she asked. “Or—or is it a warning?”

I just wanted to see you,”—his voice had changed, become softer, more intimate—“to see what my shieldmaiden had become.” And, strangely, his tenderness made her blush.

“Do you like what you see?”

You are so much wiser, Eowyn, and stronger, and even more beautiful. You were a girl then, and now you are a woman.

Fresh tears spilled down her cheeks. “I am happy,” she told him, because she knew that he had loved her, and because they had once believed that their futures lay together.

I know.


He is the luckiest of beings. But,”—his voice began to fade—“he loves you, shieldmaiden, and will always love you, and will never, ever, take you for granted.”

“Wait,” she cried, rushing towards him because he was leaving her, growing every moment less and less distinct. “I want to tell you—wait—I loved you—I did—I did not know it then, but I did—please!—and I would have made you a good wife—I would…”

But he was gone.


Legolas found her sitting in the garden. “Melmenya? I went down to the practice field, looking for you. What are you doing up here?” He crouched down beside her. “Have you been crying?”

“On this night,” said Eowyn, softly, “the dead may visit their loved ones.”

“And who were you hoping to see, my darling?” He pulled her into his arms, and tried to rub some warmth into her. “Your uncle?—oh, Melmenya, you are so cold!”

“It was Theodred who came, Lassui,” she said, smiling. “Theodred has given us his blessing.”





Chapter 1
Eowyn makes a promise.

Chapter 1

Iavas ... 'harvest' (early autumn)
... *'budding' (late spring)
... winter (which makes the first night roughly Halloween)