fingolfin and eowyn

“Alatáriël!” cried Legolas. “Alatáriël, come back!” He released Eowyn and ran out into the lobby, catching his betrothed and pulling her into his arms.

“Come back to me, meleth nín,” he whispered, cradling her against his chest and, rocking her like a child, he stroked her hair until he felt her body relax...

Then Eowyn appeared in the doorway, wearing nothing but the coverlet.

NO!” shrieked Alatáriël, “NO! NO! Look at her! Look at her! I heard what you said to her, Legolas Greenleaf! I heard you!” And she started to struggle again, beating her fists against his chest, and sobbing, “Let me go! Let me go!”

Legolas dragged her back into his bedchamber, forcing Eowyn to retreat before them. “Tell her,” he cried, “tell both of us what you are doing here! Tell us what you have done to me!”

“What am I doing here?” said Eowyn, coldly. “You tell me what she is doing here! When I left you this afternoon, you made me promise that I would return before dusk; you insisted on a proper kiss before you would let me leave—”

Alatáriël roared, lashing out with her little fists. Eowyn promptly seized a jug of water from the nightstand and splashed it in her face. The elleth froze, mid scream, gulping for air.

Legolas, also dripping wet, scowled at Eowyn.

“To calm her,” she said, “so that we can talk like adults.”

Legolas guided Alatáriël to the bed, sat her down, and crouched before her. “I am going to send Galathil to fetch your father, nadithen,” he said, gently. “Then he can take you—”

“You want to be rid of me!”


“You want to be alone with her!”

Legolas looked up at Eowyn. “Will you leave us please? Wait in my sitting room—I will join you in a moment.”

Eowyn gave him a look that said, You will if you know what is good for you, rearranged her coverlet, and walked out of the door, head held high.

“Lie down, nadithen,” said Legolas, helping Alatáriël lift her legs onto the bed. “I will be back soon.” He kissed her forehead.

“I am your betrothed,” she sniffed.

“I know, meleth nín, I know.”

“Send her away.”

“I will.” He smiled reassuringly.

But in his heart he knew that things would not be so simple.

Eight o’clock

Eowyn stood, tall and straight, in the centre of the sitting room, tears welling up in her eyes. Not since Aragorn had abandoned her at Dunharrow had she felt so helpless—so hopeless…

The door opened and closed behind her, and she knew that Legolas had entered, but she could not bring herself to face him.

Not yet.

“Why are you here?” he asked.

“I live here.”


Eowyn whirled round. “What are you—”

“Give my complements to Master Dínendal,” said Legolas to the young guard, “and ask him to come here immediately—tell him it is an emergency. Then ask Lord Fingolfin if he will be so kind as to join us.”

“Why are you sending for Dínendal?” demanded Eowyn.

“To find out what is wrong with you.”

“Wrong with me? There is nothing wrong with me. It is you who have changed. How long has she been your mistress, Lassui?”

Mistress! What are you talking about—”

Eowyn’s hands suddenly flew to her mouth.

What?” Legolas demanded.

“You said you would send for her father.”


“Her father is dead,” said Eowyn. “He died by his own hand, soon after you passed sentence on him. And Alatáriël has not spoken since. How can she be here with you? How could you send for Angaráto?”

Legolas ran his hand through his hair. “Sit down.”

“I do not want—”


Eowyn could not refuse him, but she perched on the very edge of her seat, nervously wringing her hands. Legolas crossed to the sideboard, poured two glasses of strong red wine, handed one to her—“Here, drink this,”—and downed the other himself.

“Will this make everything all right?” she asked, bitterly.

Legolas sat down beside her. “I knew you were coming,” he said. “I have been dreaming of you—of sharing my life with you. I knew you would cause trouble. But this fantasy of yours—”

“It is not a fantasy,” cried Eowyn. “You do share your life with me, Lassui. You have done so for almost a year.”

“How do you know that nickname? Lassui?”

“It is what I always call you. It is what your father calls you. And your friend, Singollo. And Lindorië…”

“How can you possibly know Collo and Lindë?”

“I met them in Mirkwood, when we went to ask for your father’s permission to marry.”

Legolas shook his head. “No. You are confused, híril nín—or lying—I do not know which—but—” There was a knock at the door. “Come in!

Eowyn turned towards the newcomer—a dark, strikingly handsome elf—and sighed with relief. “Oh, Lord Fingolfin,” she said, “I am so pleased to see you!”

Fingolfin gave Legolas a courteous nod before turning his full attention to her. “Have we met before, híril nín?”

Oh…” Eowyn sank back in her chair. “You have been my tutor, and my friend, my Lord, for almost a year,” she said, “teaching me to speak and read Elvish, and advising me on Elven custom.”

“Princess Eowyn claims to be my betrothed,” explained Legolas, “and the co-ruler of the colony.”

“I did not claim the latter,” said Eowyn, firmly, “though it is true—I have a seat on the Inner Council, as does Gimli, when he is staying with us—”

“Gimli!” cried Legolas. “Gimli, son of Gloin—the dwarf?”

“Your best friend.”

“You do seem to be confused, madam,” said Fingolfin, gently. He sat down beside her. “Heniach nin?”

Henion,” replied Eowyn, without hesitation.

Fingolfin glanced at Legolas.

Man eneth lín?”

Eowyn i eneth nín,” replied Eowyn, adding, “trenaro enni i vent o thelien hen.”

“Your pronunciation is excellent, my lady,” said Fingolfin, thoughtfully. “You say you have lived here for almost a year, but are you not married to Prince Faramir?”

“Of course, I was,” said Eowyn, “but Aragorn—King Elessar—dissolved our marriage by royal decree.”


“You know when. Both of you…” Sighing, she made a rapid calculation. “Almost ten months ago.” She turned to Legolas. “After you chose me at the Harvest Rite—”

“No,” said Legolas, firmly, “I chose Alatáriël.”

“Alatáriël’s father bribed the Mistress of the Ceremony,” said Eowyn, “to give her a potion that would make her attractive to you. But, somehow, the potion was given to me—and you and Lord Fingolfin both thought that it was the work of Yavanna. You chose me, Lassui. You said…” She stopped, abruptly.

“What, my lady?” prompted Fingolfin, gently. “What did he say?”

“He told me something.” She looked at Legolas. “But it is a secret…”

The younger elf shrugged his shoulders.

“He said that the Valar made me glow like Ithil,” said Eowyn.

Legolas jumped to his feet. “No!”

“Sometimes, when we are alone, you call me ‘ithildin nín’.”

“I have never told that to anyone, Lord Fingolfin!” cried Legolas. “Not even—especially not—to Alatáriël!”

“Then how do I know it?” demanded Eowyn, watching him as he prowled about the room, venting his frustration in mumbled curses. Then, “What is happening, my lord?” she asked Fingolfin. “Why does he not remember any of this?”

“I think a more pertinent question, híril nín, would be: why are your memories so different from ours?” He rubbed his chin. “When did things first begin to seem strange?”

“When I could not find my clothes in our bedroom.”

“What were you doing immediately before that?”

“I was bathing—I was so wet, I—” She turned to Fingolfin, suddenly excited. “It started before that! It started when I woke up beside The Aelvorn.”

“The Aelvorn!” cried Legolas. “What in Arda were you doing out there?”

“I do not re—”

She was interrupted by a second tap at the door. “That will be Dínendal,” said Legolas to Fingolfin. “I have asked him here to examine her. Come in!”

“I am not ‘her’,” Eowyn insisted. “You call me ‘melmenya’, or your wife, or ‘Eowyn nín’…”

Dínendal did not recognise her, either.

But he treated Eowyn with all the kindness and respect she had always loved in him, insisting that Legolas and Fingolfin leave the room whilst her examine her, and that an elleth be present as a chaperone.

“Míriel,” said Eowyn, to the elleth who had been her lady’s maid for almost a year, “Míriel—surely you recognise me?”

The elleth shook her bowed head. “No, my lady. I am sorry—I have never seen an adaneth before.”

When his examination was complete, Dínendal called Legolas and Fingolfin back into the room. “As far as I can tell, my Lady, your mind is perfectly clear,” he said.

“Thank you,” said Eowyn.

“But I have found something…” He hesitated. “Something most unexpected.”

“What?” asked Legolas.

“Princess Eowyn is no longer mortal.”

“No longer...” Legolas turned to Eowyn. “Explain, lady!”

Eowyn gave him a withering look. “Why are you behaving like such an orc? Are you like this with your mistress? You know that I was poisoned by the salve your—your other mistress—Serindë—gave me. You know that I died. But you, Master Dínendal, administered a decoction that revived me, and…” She shrugged her shoulders. “And made me as I am.”

She turned to Legolas. “Your father believes that the change is a sign from the Valar—a sign that he should accept me as your wife.”

After saying good bye to Dínendal and Fingolfin, Legolas slipped across the lobby and carefully opened his bedchamber door. Alatáriël, thankfully, was asleep, stretched across the bed with almost wanton abandon…

He shook the lascivious thoughts from his head, closed the door, and returned to the sitting room.

Eowyn was sitting exactly were he had left her, beside the fire, still wrapped in her ridiculous coverlet, and hunched forward, gazing into the empty grate.

A strange tenderness filled his heart.

“What am I to do with you?” he asked, sitting down beside her.

“Do you love her, Lassui?” she asked.

“She is my betrothed.”

The woman shook her head. “No. I am your betrothed,” she said, “but even if your answer were true, it would still be very strange.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was not ‘yes’.”

Ten o’clock

“You can stay in here,” said Legolas, opening the door to the guest house opposite his own chambers. Despite Eowyn’s vehement protests, he had insisted on dispatching a messenger to Faramir. “Until, that is, your husband sends someone to collect you.”

“There is just no reasoning with you, is there?” Eowyn sighed, temporarily defeated. “Can I at least have some clothes to wear?”

“I will send Míriel.” Legolas placed his hand on his heart and bowed his head. “Good night.” He turned to go.

Eowyn panicked. “No! Legolas—wait!” She caught his arm.


“Please do not leave me alone like this, wondering what has happened to us.” Tears began to run down her cheeks. “I will go mad!”

“I will send Dínendal—”

“No! You stay with me! Please!” She tried to pull him into the room.

“I cannot.”

“Of course you can—”

“No. I must get back to Alatáriël.”

“You are afraid of me!” she cried. “Afraid to let me get too close! You feared me the moment you saw me! Tell me about your dreams, Legolas! Tell me!”

The elf shook off her hand. “NO.”

“Legolas! Please!

“Tomorrow. Perhaps…”

Arrggggh!” Eowyn hurled a chair at the closing door.

Lord Fingolfin sat down at his desk, uncorked his inkwell, and opened his leather-bound journal.

Other elves might sing to the stars, or walk beneath the trees, but Fingolfin preferred to think with his pen.

journal entry 4

He drew a vertical line down the centre of the page. To the left he listed,

journal entry 5

To the right of the line, he added,

journal entry 6

If the rumours he had heard about Angaráto were true—and his own suspicions were correct—then Princess Eowyn’s claim that he had perverted the Rite was entirely credible.

And Alatáriël’s strange hold over Legolas—which had always seemed to Fingolfin worryingly physical—would suddenly make sense.

journal entry 7

He laid down his pen.

It is time, he thought, that I made some discreet enquiries about Angaráto and his daughter. And I must speak to the Princess again.





Contents page


Previous chapter: Darkness
Haldir investigates. Hentmirë sends for help.

Chapter 3

Next chapter: Fears
Haldir finds an ally; Valandil prepares for war; Legolas makes a decision.

Chapter 5

A picture.


From The Council of Elrond and
Heniach nin? … ‘Do you understand me?’
Henion … ‘I understand.’
Man eneth lín? … ‘What is your name?’
Eowyn i eneth nín … ‘My name is Eowyn.’
Trenaro enni i vent o thelien hen … ‘Explain to me the point of this game.’

Nadithen … ‘Little thing.’
Ithildin nín … ‘My moonsparkle.’ Ithildin is the magical metal that was used for the inscription on the West Gate of Moria.