eowyn and legolas

"Eowyn! Wait!" Legolas caught her by the arm. "Where are you going, meleth nín?"

"We need to talk," said Eowyn.

"Yes, but"—he pressed his hand against her back—"come this way."

"We need privacy," said Eowyn, trying to pull him in the direction of their chambers.

"I know—please—this way."

"But there are guards everywhere..."

"Not where we are going."

With a sigh, Eowyn gave in and followed him.

"No one comes here any more," said Legolas, drawing her away from the main thoroughfare and down a long, narrow passage that led deep into the mountain "because my father forbids it. In here."

Together, they stepped through a low, crumbling, arched doorway.

Eowyn gasped.

They were standing inside an enormous garden cavern. She walked out into the space and turned full circle to look at it properly. It was not, in fact, a garden, but a small piece of woodland—shafts daylight, spilling from vents cut through the hillside above, fell on beeches and hawthorns, on creamy, scented elders, and on patches of delicate meadow grass littered with wild, pastel-coloured flowers.

"This is how I imagine the Shire..." she said.

"That is exactly what my mother wanted. This was her garden," said Legolas, smiling. "It is my secret place," he explained, leading her to a wooden seat beneath the trees. "However bad things may be, they always seem better sitting here."

Eowyn held out her arms to him.

"I could not live without you, melmenya," whispered Legolas, burying his face in her hair.

"It will not come to that, my love," said Eowyn, "not if you are right about my being the Valar's choice for you."

"There can be no doubt of that, Eowyn nín," Legolas replied, shaking his head. "They surrounded you with an aura—with glorious rays of mithril. You glowed like Ithil." Eowyn pressed her hand to his lips, trying to stop him revealing too much. But he kissed her fingers and whispered, "Ithildin nín."

"Oh, Legolas!"

They sat in silence for a long while, holding each other. Then Eowyn said, "I shall succeed, Legolas; I shall."

"I know. But if you do not—"

"I shall."

"But if you do not, Eowyn nín, I will follow you. To Edoras or to wherever else you go—"

"I promised your father that I would never see you again."

"Then we will meet in the dark—"


"I mean it, Eowyn nín. I am an elf. My love is eternal. I cannot live without you."


"King Thranduil," said Eomer, bowing his head, stiffly.

"Eomer King. Please, take a seat." Thranduil was all graciousness. Eomer looked cautiously at the chair before sitting, worried that its legs might be designed to collapse beneath him.

"Can I offer you a drink?"

"No—thank you," said Eomer.

"I must congratulate you on your remarkable recovery after last night's—er—contest," said the Elvenking, pouring himself a glass of wine. "Very remarkable."

"We Rohirrim are known for our resilience," said Eomer, "and," he admitted, "your son's healer is very skilled."

"You know my son well," said Thranduil. He seated himself opposite Eomer.

"I consider him one of my closest friends," said Eomer. Then, watching Thranduil carefully, he added, "I consider him my brother."

"Indeed?" Thranduil gazed into his wineglass.

"And that will not change," said Eomer, firmly.

"In what respect?"

"What do you mean?"

"Are you saying that you will always have brotherly feelings towards my son? Or are you saying that you will always count him your sister's husband?"

"Both," said Eomer.

"Would it surprise you to know that your sister has agreed never to see my son again—"

"She would not!"

"Oh, but she has. She has agreed to perform three tasks that I will set for her. If she fails to complete any of those tasks, she will comply with my wishes and never see my son again."

"Eowyn has never failed at anything in her life," said Eomer.

Thranduil smiled. "You think very highly of her."

"She is my sister; I love her."

"It is more than that, I think," said Thranduil. "You admire her—for her strength and for her quickness, and because she is far cleverer than you are."


Legolas pulled Eowyn down from the wooden seat and laid her on the grassy ground.

"You look like a woodland sprite, meleth nín," he said, tracing his fingers along the contours of her face, and carefully spreading them through her golden hair, letting its strands fall amongst the pink and lilac flowers. "Oh, Eowyn nín!"

He leaned down and kissed her mouth, gently sucking her lips, like a succulent fruit. "I will not give you up," he whispered. "Not for anything..."

She pressed her hand to his mouth. "Please, do not say that, Legolas," she said. "It is not like you to say something like that."

"I am not myself here," he said. "Not any more. It is strange..."

Eowyn took that as her cue. "Last night," she said, softly, "when your father and I were holding off the bear, you spoke to it." She bit her lip, uncertainly. "I did not think anything of it at the time but, when I woke up this morning, I remembered what you said—and how you said it."


"'I love them', you said, and it worked. The bear was—it sounded—hurt by your words, but it walked away. Why?"

Legolas lay down beside her and stared up at the roof of the cave. "I do not..." he began.

"Yes you do! You do know; so tell me: why?"

Legolas said nothing.

"Why, Lassui?"

"It loves me."

Eowyn nodded. At last! "I know," she said. "I think I have known since Lorien. Why have you tried to keep it from me all this time, Legolas? Do you think that I am some foolish elleth who cannot understand—"

"I do not understand!"

"—who cannot understand that it is none of your doing!" said Eowyn, still exasperated. "It is clearly one of the Beornings," she added, "though it is hard to see which of those real men would set his cap at an elven warrior. Perhaps it is Chief Horse-penis himself—"


"I am sorry, Legolas." Her apology was sincere. "Have you met any of them before?"


"Are you sure?"


"Well—what are we going to do about it?"

"I do not know—"

He stopped abruptly, sat up, and leaned over her. "We?"

"You fool of an elf!" said Eowyn, annoyed again. "How many times do I have to tell you? You think that I will be—what?—scared away by the idea of your being desired by a Beorning skin changer..." She smiled. "It does sound strange, now that I say it aloud," she admitted, reaching up to touch his face. "Perhaps you are not being so foolish after all!"

"Oh, melmenya! I cannot cope with all of this—my head, my heart... I feel I am ready to explode—like one of Mithrandir's fireworks."


"You do not honey-glaze your words," said Eomer, dryly.

"I find it wastes time."

"I thought that elves had all the time in Arda."

"True; but those we deal with often do not," said Thranduil. "Your sister does not. She is a remarkable woman, but she is a woman, not an eldar."

"Of course. But Legolas believes that the Valar marked her out for him," said Eomer, firmly. "He told me that they made her glow for him, like Ithil—"

Thranduil's head jerked up. "He told you that?"

Eomer shrugged.

"He does regard you highly..." Thranduil shook his head. "You are a riddle to me, Eomer King," he said. "Last night you acted like a buffoon. Yet I am reliably informed—and, indeed, the evidence is here before me—that you are a brave leader and a shrewd king—and I must admit that your antics last night will almost certainly have improved your status with our Beorning friends."

"Which—of course—I would not have realised, being such a buffoon, had you not, so graciously, pointed it out to me," said Eomer angrily. A cool, calming breeze softly caressed his forehead. "You," he insisted, "are a bully."

"I beg your pardon?"

"You are a bully. You can say this to me because you know that I will not retaliate whilst I am receiving your hospitality. You can bully your son because you know that he loves you—the gods only know why!—far too much to ever risk hurting you. And you are bullying my sister because you know that she would risk everything she has for the chance to be with Legolas. You find people's weaknesses and you bully them."

"It is called state craft," said Thranduil, coldly.

"Then," said Eomer, rising, "may I suggest that you take your state craft and sheathe it—"

"Do not be foolish!"

Eomer began walking towards the door.

"Oh—ceryn," Thranduil muttered. "Eomer King!" He held out his hand in a peacemaking gesture. "Please!"

Eomer remained where he was standing, waiting expectantly, his dark brows raised.

Thranduil sighed. "I am sorry," he said.

"Good," said Eomer. "Then I suggest that we discuss this"—he held up the intelligence report that Singollo had prepared for him—"that is, after you have told me how you plan to deal with our friend, the bear."


"Gods," she whispered. "I am almost there, just looking at you." She leaned forward, and kissed his shyly emerging head, licking its moist tip. Low inside her body she could already feel the place where that beautiful ruby flesh would be pressing...

"Take me," she whispered.

He laid her on the ground and knelt between her spread thighs. He was fully erect now, his penis standing stiffly against his belly, and he took it in his hand and began to lower himself towards her. But then he seemed to change his mind and, raising himself up again and sitting back on his heels, he began to stroke himself.

"Legolas!" Eowyn gasped.

"Look at me." He smiled—a serene, dimpled smile. "Watch me." And he continued to stroke himself, slowly and thoroughly, sighing with pleasure.

"Please..." Eowyn whimpered.

Legolas shook his head. His hand was moving faster now. "Where do you want me to come, melmenya?" he asked, rising up on his knees. "On your breasts?"


"Oh Valar," he gasped, shivering with pleasure. "Where do you want it?"

"Take me!"

Legolas leaned forward—his belly tense and his testicles, drawn up against his body, beautifully tight. Eowyn cupped her hand around them. "Take me..." she begged.

But it was too late; he held himself over her breasts and, with a groan torn from deep inside him, covered her in gouts of pearly fluid.


Eowyn came.

The moment his warm seed splashed across her body, Eowyn came, shaking and screaming like a speared warg.


"You are late."

"I am sorry, King Thranduil," said Eowyn.

He gestured towards the chairs by the fire. Eowyn took a seat.

"Are you well? You look flushed..."

Eowyn swallowed hard. She had bathed since the 'incident' in the garden, and he could not possibly know... But perhaps he was just trying to unsettle her. "I am perfectly well, your Majesty."

"Good," said Thranduil. He sat down opposite. "Before I set you your first task, Eowyn, let us clarify a few things. First, I accept that the Valar may help you in any way they see fit—they can send a man, or an elf or"—he shrugged—"they can send an army of ants to help you, if that is their choice. I accept that. But they will not send my son—I am convinced that they will not send him. Do I make myself clear? I will not accept anything that has been accomplished with my son's help as a sign."

"I understand, your Majesty."

"Good. Secondly, I am relying upon you to recognise what is legitimate help and what is simply another person's performing the task for you."

"Of course," said Eowyn, and she allowed her annoyance to show in her voice.

Thranduil held up his hand, appeasingly. "Thirdly," he continued, "you must agree that the moment you fail a task—whether it be the first, the second, or the third—you will remove yourself from my Halls—from my son's life—and return to your husband at Caras Arnen—"

"No, your Majesty," said Eowyn, shaking her head, "my marriage to the Prince of Ithilien has been legally dissolved by the King of Gondor." She waited for Thranduil's acknowledgement. "I shall not fail these tasks, your Majesty," she continued, "but, nevertheless, I agree that, should I fail, I will return, with my brother, to Rohan. Though I trust that you will allow me to remain here in Eryn Lasgalen until Eomer has concluded his business with you and the Beornings?"

Thranduil smiled. "You could teach my son a thing or two about state craft, Eowyn vell nín," he said. "We agree then." He placed his hand on his heart and bowed his head.

Eowyn returned the gesture. Then she said, "And the first task, your Majesty?"

Thranduil pointed towards his desk. "My correspondence is out of order," he said, indicating the massive pile of papers that covered its huge surface and spilled down onto the floor. "You have until dawn to sort it according to sender."

Eowyn looked around the study. "Are you sure, your Majesty?" she asked.

"What?" Thranduil was taken aback.

"It is my experience," she said, "that people who—er—store things the way you do, always know where to find what they need whenever they need it. If someone introduces order into the chaos, they are lost..."

Thranduil laughed "You may well be right, mell nín," he said, "but that is the task I have set you." With his hand on his chest, he gave her another brief nod of the head.

"And, now," he said, "I will leave you. I will have food sent to you at the appropriate hours, and I will return tomorrow at dawn to see how well you have fared."


Before they had parted, in the garden cavern, Eowyn had made Legolas promise to talk to Haldir.

"I would normally have said speak to Gimli," she said, "but if you have not confided in him by now you clearly cannot. Talk to Haldir—tell him what we suspect. He is your March Warden, after all. It is his duty to protect you."

Legolas sighed. "Ada is right: she does run rings around me." He tapped lightly at Haldir's door.

"Come in..."

Legolas entered. The March Warden, sitting at his desk, carefully closed the small journal he had been writing in and looked up at his visitor. "Legolas!" he said. "I mean—"

"If the words 'my' and 'lord' or 'your' and 'highness' pass your lips, Haldir, you are a dead elf."

Haldir nodded ruefully, then gestured towards two seats, just inside the garden cave. "Please, come in," he said. "What can I do for you?"

Legolas took a seat but remained silent for several moments. At last, he said, "It must be difficult for you, so old, so used to serving the High Eldar like Lord Celeborn and The Lady, to be reduced to taking orders from a wood elf and his adaneth."

"I count it a privilege," said Haldir, simply.

"Especially from the latter," said Legolas.

The two elves stared at each other.

"Sweet Eru!" cried Legolas, rubbing his hand across his forehead, "I am sorry Haldir! I truly... If you want satisfaction, mellon nín."

Haldir shook his head. "Of course not," he said. Then he added, quietly, "She will succeed. I am sure of it. And she will soon be back home with you..."

"I could not live without her, Haldir."

"I know."

"It is hard for you, too." Legolas looked down at his hands. "It was Eowyn who told me to come to you," he confessed.


He looked up at the March Warden. "The bear, Haldir," he finally admitted. "I need your help to capture the bear."

"But, surely, that is a matter for your father's guards now."

Legolas shook his head. "No," he said.

He rose to his feet and walked further into the garden. "I am sorry, but I cannot look you in the eye when I tell you this." He took a deep breath. "The first time the bear attacked, I sensed desire. I was convinced that it was lusting after Eowyn—that it had somehow mistaken her for a she-bear. But it had not." He hesitated for another moment, then he added, very softly, "It wanted me, Haldir. And had Eowyn not come back for me when she did, I have no doubt that it would have taken me."

He turned back to Haldir. The March Warden was staring at him, open-mouthed.


Eowyn looked at the pile of letters. There must be thousands, she thought.

She lifted one from the top of the pile and looked at it carefully, trying to remember everything that Lord Fingolfin had taught her about the complex fluidity of Tengwar characters. The letter was written in Sindarin. She scanned the last few lines, trying to deduce from its layout where the sender's signature might be.

Slowly, she spelled out the name, E L R O N D.

She carefully laid the letter on the floor and picked up the next. This will take me the rest of my life, she thought. Oh, Legolas!

The second letter was written in Westron and she quickly identified its author, Bergthórr beytill. She laid the parchment on the floor, in a second pile.

The third letter boasted a very familiar signature: Elessar Telcontar! She gave Aragorn his own pile. Three done, she thought; still approximately two thousand left to do. Dear Valar, send me some help!

The fourth letter was in a strange dialect of Sindarin, and she remembered Fingolfin telling her that the wood elves spoke a mixture of Sindarin and Silvan. From a wood elf then, she thought. Probably one of Thranduil's subjects. Not a formal document; not a sophisticated writer... She scanned it, noticing a few familiar words: mithril, sabar thurin—Mine; no, secret mine, she thought—gynd 'lyss—White rocks?—and ebœnnin—men—before she managed to find and spell out the name, E R E I...

There was a light tap on the door.

"Come in!" ...N I O N.

Where do I put it, she wondered. If I find another letter from this Ereinion, how do I find his pile again? She shook her head. Of course! The piles must be arranged in Tengwar order. She glanced towards the door. "Lord Fingolfin!"

"I have been having the strongest feeling that it is time for your next Elvish lesson, my lady," said Fingolfin.

Eowyn froze in the midst of placing Ereinion's letter on the floor. "Oh no, my lord!" she cried, "I really do not have time for a lesson now!"

"Are you sure, my lady?" He looked from the parchment in her hands to the huge drift of documents spilling from the desk behind her. "I think you might find it very useful..."

Joining her at the desk, he selected a beautifully illuminated letter from the top of the pile, and showed it to her. "For example," he said, "this word, here, beginning with a calma and ending with an óre, reads Ce-le-born."

He handed it to her.

Eowyn smiled. "I see, my lord," she said.

She laid the letter on the floor, arranging her piles in order. Fingolfin took a quill from the inkstand—shaking his head at the condition of its nib—tore a piece of parchment into small squares, wrote a Tengwar character on each, and handed the labels to Eowyn.

Carefully, Eowyn labelled the piles, "Yanta, umbar, calma. Thank you, my lord."

Smiling, Fingolfin picked up the next letter. "S A E R O S," he spelled out, pointing to each character in turn.

Eowyn started another pile.


"Since that first attack," said Legolas, "every encounter has felt the same—there is desire for me and hatred of Eowyn. And there was hatred of Lindë... Eowyn is convinced that the bear is a man—one of the Beornings who has learnt to skin-change. She thinks that we need to capture the creature, wait for it to change back into a man, and then confront him, whoever he is."

"That seems like a wise plan," said Haldir.

"But we must be discreet, Haldir. I do not want my father to know that the bear desires me—nor my fellow warriors—and certainly not the ellith I used to bed."

Haldir nodded, sympathetically. "If only we knew who it was," he said. "One of the Beornings is known as 'bear cub'... But—no—it cannot be him, because he was standing beside me, watching the drinking contest, when Lady Lindorië was attacked. In fact," he said, narrowing his eyes as he visualised the scene, "I think there were only two Beornings who were not in the hall at that moment. One was their Chieftain—"

"Bergthórr Horse-penis."

"I beg your pardon?"

"It is what his name—beytill—means, apparently. That is why all the Rohirrim snigger whenever he is nearby."

"Do you suppose it is considered an attractive name?" asked Haldir.

"A mighty name," said Legolas. "A chieftain's name. Who was the other?"

"The tall, arrogant one who thinks he is too good to mix with elves but would be more than happy to bed an elleth. Thorkell bogsveigir. What does his name mean? Horse-arse?"

It was strange to hear Haldir accuse someone else of being 'arrogant' and, despite the situation, Legolas smiled. "Bow-swayer," he said. "Apparently, he is considered something of an archer."

"Is he, indeed?"

"You do not suppose it is he? Some sort of rivalry?"

Haldir shrugged his shoulders. "Men are difficult to understand at the best of times."

"Yes; sometimes, they are," Legolas agreed.

"Would you like a drink?" asked Haldir, suddenly. "Your father has provided some excellent wine."

"It is a little early."

"I think we both need it." Haldir walked over to the sideboard. "It will take more than two of us to hunt this bear," he said. "I suggest that we take Gimli, Berryn and Dínendal with us, and that we—"


"In case anyone is injured," Haldir explained, pouring out a large measure of fragrant red wine. "Both Dínendal and Berryn, though not warriors, have valuable skills. You, Gimli and I will supply the brawn."

Legolas nodded, thoughtfully.

"And, in case we need reinforcements, I suggest that we talk to your father's March Warden." He handed Legolas a goblet. "He seems like a good elf. Do you know him?"

"Singollo? He was my best friend as an elfling. We were inseparable."

"So you can trust him?"

"Yes." Legolas smiled. "Yes, you are right, Haldir," he said. "Of course; I will talk to him."

"Good," said Haldir. "And—when we have captured the animal—I think we should do exactly as Lady Eowyn suggested: chain it to the wall and wait until it changes its skin. And then we will find out who it is..."




Contents page

Contents page

Previous chapter: The trial
The Shieldmaiden comes to the rescue.

Chapter 5

Next chapter: Singollo Greycloak
Legolas and his friends hunt the bear.

Chapter 7

Extra scene: The goblin
Little Legolas learns his tengwar.

Extra scene

Ithildin is the metal that the inscription on the West Gate of Moria is written in. According to the Encyclopaedia of Arda, it is "made by the Elves from mithril, [and can] only be seen by the reflected light of the moon and stars, and even then [remains] hidden until a magical word [is] said. Gandalf translated its name as 'starmoon', but 'moon-sparkle' would be a more literal rendering."


Naughty Elvish
Ceryn … 'balls'


Tolkien expressly says that the Tengwar script is not an 'alphabet':
"It was, rather, a system of consonantal signs, of similar shapes and style, which could be adapted at choice or convenience to represent the consonants of languages observed (or devised) by the Eldar. None of the letters had in itself a fixed value, but certain relations between them were gradually recognized ... The theoretic freedom had in the Third Age been modified by custom..." and he goes on to explain how the characters were 'typically' used. No wonder Thranduil's filing is in such a state!

The names of the letters are (of course) lovely, and (of course) just beg to be recited:
tinco, palma, calma, quesse,
ando, umbar, anga, ungwe,
sûle, formen, harma, hwesta,
anto, ampa, anca, unque,
númen, malta, noldo, nwalme
óre, vala, anna, vilya
rómen, arda, lambe, alda…