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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:29 am 
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This opening scene was inspired by Raksha the Demon’s Seeker of Shadow

* * *

Fade into scene inside Eöl’s house. The hall is dimly lit, but the furnishings, though spare, are well crafted. Aredhel and Eöl are dining, attended by silent, grim faced servants. They offer her herbal tea and she gladly accepts the plate of food placed in front of her. Eöl is telling Aredhel some of his life story:

Eöl: The Teleri are distant kin, my lady, although my people, the Avari, decided against making the Great Journey to Aman, long ago. I learnt my metallurgy skills from the Naugrim of the Blue Mountains. [wryly] I find them better company than any of my Elvenkind. Before the Wars I lived in Doriath, as a vassal of Thingol…but it was not until Melian created her fence around Doriath that I thought to take leave of their hospitality. I was uneasy at the restrictions placed on the freedom of my movements. I crave the liberty to explore and to do and think. I could not bear to be confined, no matter how lovely the cage...

Aredhel: [nodding in understanding, her eyes bright] It was the same for me: Gondolin is everything that is beautiful, but it grows stale when there is naught else to savour. What good has it done me to leave Aman if I am only to be tethered to a single, different place?

Eöl: [continues] I was looked down upon because of my desire to befriend and learn from the Naugrim...why should I not be a smith, just because the other Sindar were not? Therefore I begged leave of Thingol to live here, in Nan Elmoth, outside of his protection. Here I was able to fashion a hall of my own, away from the sun, where I can be master of myself and servant to no one. [grimly] The price was Anglachel, the mate to Anguirel, this sword of mine, [gestures to his sword which is leaning, sheathed against the wall nearby] which I forged of the star iron I discovered. It is a material of wondrous strength and durability…I have named it Galvorn.

Aredhel: [curiously] Why do you despise the sun?
Eöl: [with a half smile] It is too bright.
Aredhel: Too bright? It brings light and warmth!

Eöl: [disdainfully] The eyes of the Noldor have been dazzled by the light of the Trees, and they no longer feel the delicious mix of privacy and strangeness that can only be found beyond the reach of the Sun. They want all revealed and plain before them, and have no patience with that which shows itself cautiously, like the beauty of the night or the friendship of the Dwarves.
Aredhel: [smiles] You are very eccentric, my lord.
Eöl: [enigmatically] Perhaps, …I simply prefer the light of the stars.
Aredhel: May I ask why?
Eöl: [pauses, looking at Aredhel meaningfully] It is more pure, more beautiful. It softens boundaries and sets no limits upon possibility. Mayhap you will one day see what I mean. But what of you…why did you leave the Hidden City? Why flew you from such sunlit heights?

Aredhel: I desired to visit my cousins in Himlad and renew my acquaintance with them…it is long ‘ere we hunted together in Valinor. I miss the thrill of the chase, and the exhilaration of the kill. I find the forest a refreshing thing after being locked so long within stone walls… [flushes] I am no pampered princess…ever have I desired my freedom. I have no patience with needless rules, and harbour a need to roam and explore.

Eöl: [raises his cup to her] Then we are indeed kindred spirits, it seems…
Aredhel: [returns his toast. continues eagerly] ‘Tis a feeling that constantly clashes with my love for my family…my loved ones try to temper me to the point of it being overwhelming! [sips her tea again]
Eöl: [admiringly] I can see that you are particularly free of spirit, wild even. I imagine, when opportunity arises, you are quick to step forth and embrace the unknown as one greets and old friend, fearless and proud. The towers of Gondolin are not strong enough to hold you, nor its fountains deep enough to quench your fire.

Aredhel: [nods vehemently, flattered] I long to escape the endless repetition of the patterns: [leans closer, lowering her voice as though sharing a secret…] I believe that my fate is wrought in the tapestries of Vairë… [feels light headed, as though she has drunk too much] There is much out of the ordinary in my family…a spark barely restrained until one day we find ourselves aflame. And what a fire it will be….

Eöl: Did no high-born lords find favour in your eyes, or were their blades too dull to match your mettle? [leans forward, seductively] I believe for propriety’s sake you restrain your heart at court…but that restraint only goes so far…
Aredhel: [blushes] I have met many elves who wished to pay court to me, but none of whom have ever aroused even a slight spark of desire within me; I begin to doubt that one ever will. [her brow creases as she considers her position] I do not know that I even wish to be bound by love, assuming I should one day find it. I think of my brother and the happiness he had during his brief marriage, and of how much pain her death has brought to him, now doomed to spend all his days alone because their souls are bound… I will never be so tethered. I shall remain free of love's constraints, for the price it demands is too high!

Eöl: [teasingly] That is indeed a sombre vow for one obviously so full of passion. Do you not wish your body to experience desired fulfilled at least once? [lifts her hand to his lips and kisses it. As Aredhel gazes into his eyes Eöl seems even more attractive than before, his skin is luminous and his hair is burnished by the firelight. She blushes at the desire she sees there, knowing that it is mirrored in her own body’s response…suddenly unsure, Aredhel stands and moves away from the table.]

[Eöl shrugs his shoulders and smiles nonchalantly. He stands, moving closer again] Are you afraid of me, Aredhel?

Aredhel: [confused, dizzy] No… I – I am just a little light-headed… I think I need to… [looks at her cup] what is in this tea?
Eöl: [dismissively] Simply some forest herbs I have discovered. They have the pleasant effect of heightening one’s senses a little… [smiles, a slow, lazy grin that lights up his features.] Aredhel Ar-Feiniel rides alone, free of all who would enfold her. They do not know what her heart yearns for. It is not the safe light of day she seeks… [He reaches for her hand…] But I can tame that fierce and questing heart... and answer the need behind your bright eyes. [instead of courteously kissing it again he pulls Aredhel to him roughly, pinning her against the wall. As she opens her mouth to berate his unacceptable behaviour he covers her lips with his, silencing her.

After a second or two, Aredhel responds in kind, fire against fire, grabbing his hair with both hands. Suddenly the elf pulls away slightly, his dark eyes boring deep into her soul … and Aredhel’s legs threaten to give way... Fade]


* * *
This brief optional scene is masked to avoid offending anyone who does not wish to read scenes of a sexual nature

Fade back in immediately as Eöl carries Aredhel to his bedchamber:
The images are hazy, as though we are viewing the scene how Aredhel is experiencing it. She has obviously been drugged and although her body is responding to Eöl’s advances with lust, her mind is fighting the urge to give in; but it is a losing battle. He undresses her with blazing desire in his eyes, and she moans in pleasure as he caresses her body.


Eöl: [whispers] Come now, my white lady of starlight…only I know thy true heart. I will give you my steel and the white-hot stars above, and the shadows shall cloak us as we lie down in love. [Lowering her to the bed he takes full possession of her, their love-making irrevocably binding her in marriage, forever making her his wife… fade.]


* * *

Fade in Eöl’s chambers, next morning:
Aredhel awakes with a cry of astonishment at seeing him lying beside her.


Aredhel: [gasps in horror] What have I done? [She makes to flee, but a hand grabs her wrist and prevents her from running]
Eöl: [calmly] You are my lawful wife now…No longer Lady of Gondolin, but the lady of Eöl.
Aredhel: [pleading] My lord, I beg you, let me go! My family will-!

Eöl: -If you are indeed the daughter and sister of kings, you know the laws of your people. Mine is no different. But I do not wish to confine one who values her freedom as much as me. You are free to leave if you so desire: you can choose to return to Turgon as a shamed woman, one who may even be carrying the child of her forsaken husband…or, [puts his arms around her, caressing her back and whispers soothingly in her ear.] you can stay with me willingly, my Aredhel, …and you will be my equal partner in freedom. In time you may even come to love me… [once more his gentle touches melt the resistance of her body, and they sink back into the bed. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into scene on the Esgalduin river,
It is some way south of the falls that lie just within the boundaries of the forest of Neldoreth. It is the day after the attack on the bridge.

Glorfindel makes his way through some brush on the banks of the river. From time to time he has to navigate up and around rock outcroppings. As he rounds a bend in the river he comes across Egalmoth and Ecthelion about thirty yards away. Egalmoth is lying on the ground with a makeshift splint around almost all of his leg. Ecthelion sits hunched on the ground near him. Both men have strips of cloth torn from their clothing as bandages around their heads and arms and hands. They looked batter and bruised from the leap off the bridge as well as the terrific battle they have been through.


Glorfindel: [quietly makes his way to the duo coming up behind them:] You do not keep much of a watch my friend. I could have skewered you both in seconds.
Ecthelion: [embarrassed] It is a poor excuse, but I am afraid these eyes have not been working too well of late, Glorfindel. Even now I can barely make out that you are near. [The expression on the face of Glorfindel changes from good natured relief to that of concern. He kneels down in between the two elves]

Glorfindel: [suddenly serious] What is his condition?
Ecthelion: Egalmoth sleeps most of the day and night. His leg was severely broken when he hit some rocks at the bottom of the waterfall. The bone split the skin... he has lost much blood. He has many bruises from head to toe and some cuts as well but I believe nothing else is broken.

Glorfindel: and you?
Ecthelion: [wearily] A few cuts and bruises - I was far luckier…though I seem to have a nasty swelling on the back of my head which cause my vision to become blurry and is pretty much worthless through the night. Even now it is like looking through a very thick bottle in need of a good washing.

[Glorfindel begins to inspect Egalmoth who stirs in his sleep but does not awaken. he then turns to look at the head wound of Ecthelion.]

Glorfindel: Your skull was nearly split my friend. You have a really nasty tear that goes from the top of your head nearly down to the nape of your neck. It is swollen as if an apple is underneath. It looks like the bleeding has stopped and the old blood is caked nicely around it. [as he says this he notices some strips of cloth and even some leaves with heavy blood stains on them that were used by Ecthelion.] It must be cleaned and bandaged properly before we can leave here.

Ecthelion: [resolutely] I am ready to travel and turn our efforts to finding the lady Aredhel. We can construct a litter for Egalmoth and carry him.
Glorfindel: [sarcastically] Verily! And who will carry you my friend? [issues a slight laugh] Even a warrior as great as myself cannot carry both of you, since we seem to have lost our mounts back there. I fear we must make camp here for a bit - at least until your vision clears up.

Ecthelion: Nay, I can--
Glorfindel: [cuts him off with a wave of the hand] --Yes, I know you can..... I know you can....but Egalmoth needs rest... so do it for him if not for yourself. [As Ecthelion lies back on the ground, Glorfindel begins to rip strips of cloth from his own outfit making them into bandages. Fade out.]

* * *

Fade into clip of Glorfindel and Ecthelion carrying Egalmoth on a makeshift litter through the forest:
They are searching for the East Road. Glorfindel is guiding the still slightly concussed Ecthelion. Their progress is slow, with Ecthelion needing to take frequent rests. Camera glances over Egalmoth and it is obvious that he has a fever.


Glorfindel: [frowns in concern] We must increase our pace or Egalmoth may be beyond our healers skills before we reach Gondolin.
Ecthelion: [wretchedly] If only my head would clear I could travel faster, but I stumble too frequently, and my legs are unsteady.

Glorfindel: [gently] Do not blame yourself. Egalmoth and I would most certainly be hindered if you were not with us even in this state. Let us hope the Lady Aredhel is already safe in the care of her cousins for I fear she is beyond our help now. [Ecthelion starts to respond but Glorfindel stops him with a wave of his hand] Hush! Something is moving nearby [listens harder, then exhales deeply in reliefs] Eru be praised! Wait there, my friends… [helps Ecthelion lower the litter then moves forward into the undergrowth, out of sight. A minute or so passes then he reappears with a wide grin on his face, leading his errant steed which is nickering and nuzzling his master in delight at being reunited]

Glorfindel: I should have known this faithful boy would not wander too far from my side!
Ecthelion: [shakes head gently in wonder] Is there no end to your luck, my friend? [Cut.]

* * * * * * *

Cut to scene in Eöl’s house in Nan Elmoth: It is some days after their “marriage.” The happy couple are enjoying breakfast.

Eöl: I must leave for two days, on a matter of some urgency, else I would not forsake our marriage bed so willingly.
Aredhel: Where are you going, my Lord?
Eöl: To the cities of the Dwarves, east of Ered Lindon.
Aredhel: [petulantly] And what am I to do in your absence?

Eöl: You may wander as you will, my lady, within this realm of twilight. I ask only that you shun the sunlight and make sure that you wait on me when I return.

Aredhel: I may only wander freely within the forest? [sighs heavily] The absence of sunlight, as well as the lack of friends, begins to wear on my nerves. [hesitantly] I had wondered if I might visit my Cousins…’tis not far to Himlad, surely, and my mare is fit now.
Eöl: [vehemently] That, my lady, is one thing you may not do. I forbid you to seek out the sons of Fëanor or any others of the Noldor!
Aredhel: [distressed] But they are my kin!

Eöl: [unable to contain his anger] And they are the slayers of my kin! Usurpers and invaders of our homes! I will not have my wife associating with them!
Aredhel: [furiously] We will see about that! No one holds the White Lady of the Noldor against her will – I will go where I please!
Eöl: [a small smile on his face, he bows mockingly] As you wish, My Lady, but you will be here when I return. My servants are under instruction to care for you. [leaves, closing the door quietly behind him. Aredhel stares after him, fists clenched. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade in to aerial view of Gondolin:
It is a silent scene, viewed from a distance, perhaps by one of the eagles, of Egalmoth, Glorfindel and Ecthelion returning to Gondolin. We see the wounded soldiers wearily crossing the plain, Ecthelion mounted on Glorfindel’s horse, which is dragging Egalmoth’s litter They enter into the city to be met by a hurrying Turgon, who has obviously been notified already. We see him looking from Glorfindel to Ecthelion, willing them to give him some hope. Each shakes his head. He turns away in tears, holding his head in his hands. Camera swings to Ecthelion who needs help to dismount because of his condition. Healers move to attend Egalmoth. Ecthelion stumbles after the King, begging him to wait. Turgon halts but does not turn round.]


Ecthelion: [desperately] I would gladly have given my life for hers, Turgon…I have failed both of you.
Turgon: [shakes his head] I hold no blame to you, my friend. I am at least glad that three whom I trust and love were not led to death by the wilfulness of one. [walks away…Ecthelion slumps to his knees, broken hearted behind him. Fade…]

* * * * * * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:06 am 
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Fade into scene of Eöl’s dwelling, Nan Elmoth:
Aredhel with her belongings in a bundle, slips out of the door quietly. She starts off down the path from the house. Moving confidently to start with, gradually she finds either the trees twine their limbs together, the tangled mass of greenery restricting her passage, or the path behaving strangely, seeming to change its course the way it did when she first arrived. The farther she goes, the closer to Eöl's house she comes. After a few hours she gives up, in tears. [Fade.]


* * *

Fade into scene of Eöl returning the next evening. We see him enter the house where Aredhel is waiting subserviently. he does not comment on her subdued mood. He adorns her with gifts of silver jewellery from the Dwarves. They eat dinner in cordial silence. Then he asks if she would like to go for a walk with him, under the stars.]

Eöl: There is a place I know well, where the sky is still visible and the stars shine brilliantly…would you like to see it?
Aredhel: [her eyes lighting up] I would, if it would please you to show me.

[He leads her to a starlit glade and she looks up at the stars in new found appreciation, taking in the softly lit scene of cool darkness and spattered sparkle of silver light reflected in a pool fed by a trickling burn. As they watch, the nocturnal wildlife of the forest seems to come alive before her eyes: rabbits play in the long grass…a squirrel scurries up a tree trunk and along its branches, stopping every now and then to sniff the air...a tawny owl softly hoots from its concealed perch…Eöl places a hand on her shoulder and points silently: a young fawn approaches cautiously through the undergrowth, and bends its neck to drink from the pool of Gladuial.. Aredhel smothers a gasp, bringing her hands to her mouth in child-like wonder, Eöl enjoying her reaction. There is a quiet splash nearby and they turn in time to see an inquisitive otter sliding down a muddy slope into the pond to investigate the visitor to his playground.]

Eöl: [softly] I would have you appreciate the beauty of the twilight and shadows of Nan Elmoth. You must shun the detestable sunlight and rejoice in the stars if you are to be happy with me.

Aredhel: [feigning indifference] I believe I could grow to enjoy your company…
Eöl: [smiles] You have not been unwilling, certainly, but if you expect to use me for a while and then cast me aside you are mistaken: I am not simply an adventure, a pleasant diversion… [takes her hands and gently presses them to his lips] You are the fairest thing I have ever laid eyes upon, Aredhel and I prize you above even the works of my hands. My hope above all is that you might come to love me, eventually… [kisses her tenderly.. fade out.]

* * * * * * *

Screen fades back into montage of clips of Aredhel and Eöl enjoying each other’s company, settling into routine of married life:
she keeping house and waiting eagerly for him to return from the forge; enjoying starlit walks…gradually these change to clips of Aredhel looking less happy, perhaps waiting over a meal gone cold because Eöl has worked late, or sitting alone by the fire, sewing, while he is away again.

We cut to scene one morning where Eöl is dressing to go to work. Aredhel is still lying in bed, eyeing him sulkily.


Aredhel: Why do you keep me here if you no longer care about me? You work hard and speak little!
Eöl: [looks blank] Why waste time and energy on words when my deeds speak better than I can? [simply] I took you to wife, my lady. Is that not proof of my feelings?

Aredhel: [exclaims angrily] Hardly! You wanted my body, and you snared me with your spells and herbs! [sighs] You work long hours, barely keeping track of time anymore. More often than not you are late for dinner because your beloved work distracts you or you spend days away in the Dwarven realms…you make me spend much of my time with only servants for company: do you no longer wish for mine?

Eöl: I find our starlit walks under the trees most pleasant. And our nights together, Aredhel…are they despicable to you?
Aredhel: [unable to hide her blushes] They are not…but surely you can spare more of your precious time to relieve my boredom?
Eöl: [eyes flicker with amusement] What does my lady have in mind? [moves towards the bed predatorily]

Aredhel: Not that, my Lord! [fending off his advances, giggling] Let us take a journey together! If you truly hate my relatives in the north, whom you have not even met, then I will honour your decision, and not seek to visit them. But what about your own? You would be welcomed by Thingol, surely. Let us go to Doriath, let us sing and dance at King Greymantle's court.

Eöl: [eyes hardening] I no longer consider myself kin to Thingol – or any other. I need no such companionship.
Aredhel: [indignantly] But I do! And it is your duty as husband to see to the happiness of your wife!
Eöl: [considers for a moment, then shrugs] If you are lonely, I will give you a child.
Aredhel: [stares at him open-mouthed…Cut]

* * * * * * *

Fade back into scene in Gondolin:
Pengolodh, clerk of Gondolin, knocks on the doors of Idril's chambers. He hears laughter from within, and a mellifluous voice replies, "Enter!" As he enters we see a high, airy room, decorated in blue and white, a wide window the focal point, giving a clear view of winter sky and snow-capped mountains. The window-shutters are thrown back, allowing the chill air into the room. Pengolodh shivers. Idril, Mireth and two other friends greet him eagerly. They are gathered snugly around an elegant fireplace, in the hearth of which a small fire burns merrily. Idril is toasting her bare feet!


Meleth: Pengolodh - just the fellow! We are bored, this day. Tell us a story, or better yet, the latest gossip!
Girl 1: No, sing us a song, instead, something different, and I shall play for us!
Girl 2: No, scry me my fortune! Tell me who I shall marry! [The three elf maidens fall about laughing.]
Idril: [smiles warmly at Pengolodh and scolds her friends] The keenest clerk and loremaster in our city comes to pay his respects, and you ask him for nonsense. Away with you, now! He and I would bore you even more as we talk of stores and supplies.

Meleth: [cheekily] Do you not get to talk about wine, too, as our King's chatelaine? But you are wise, Idril. Even if the hours are slow, they may be to profit. We shall go and weave for a time.
Girl 2: [in mock horror] But we will be leaving you unchaperoned!
Meleth: [pulls at both her friends' sleeves, herding them along, peeps back through the door, laughs ] Have no fear - your secrets are safe with us! [closes door.]

Pengolodh: [tutting shaking his head.] My lady, you should be attended by swans, not such silly geese.
Idril: [gestures for him to sit beside her on a bench with blue cushions] I would not wish my dark mood on anyone, let alone my aides. [fondly] They do their best to distract me…and themselves: people are troubled since my Aunt’s loss. To forget why they are so restless, they spin tales and gossip. We have given them a little ember of gossip, and I hope it amuses them. [Her voice hardens] What is the news from my father's councils?
Pengolodh: [sits down, tucking his quill behind an ear.] The same as last time. There is no change. [opens the ledger. ] The reason is writ clear here, my lady. We have had some hungry winters in the past, but now Gondolin is well supplied. The seam of coal discovered recently at Anghabar fires the iron stoves made by the smiths, and the city is warmed and lit without having to hew down trees. We have been able to put more of the vale’s land to tame beasts and tillage. The king said that there was no need to venture forth and risk our city's secrecy.
Idril: [sighs] Then let us review the records [edges closer, leaning over the ledger to read its figures. ] If I am to be my father’s chatelaine now there is no chance of my aunt returning to us, then I need to know much to manage a noble household. It is not seemly for my father to lay a rich table if the city's stores are low.

[They talk for a while, Pengolodh answering her queries on supplies as best he can, or pointing her to others who might answer questions that elude him.]

Idril: Now, good Pengolodh, how do we fare regarding military supplies and gear of war?
Pengolodh: [taken aback] Lord Ecthelion could answer you better in that. And you can trust him. My lady, do you really think we are on the edge of such peril?

Idril: [looks at him with sadness in her cornflower-blue eyes] Few think as I do, Pengolodh. If I was some nobleman’s son who might sit on the council, I would say to my father, “Do not deny the world we live in! Morgoth grows stronger yet. Mayhap our doom awaits, not in the cruel wilds, but here where we think ourselves safe.” [sadly] But I know from you, Pengolodh, and from others that my father will not heed any who warn, not Ecthelion, nor I.
Pengolodh: [hesitantly] Do you count this foolish?
Idril: I know it is not so simple.
Pengolodh: Your father denies the suffering of the Helcaraxë, and tries to redeem the death of your mother, by preserving us all. Now he has lost his beloved sister as well. Forgive Turgon his weakness and his grief.

Idril: I do…But I do not forget why Turgon's house dared the ice: for the curse that weighs us, and for vengeance against Morgoth. The winter wind keeps that sharp for me. Maiden though I am, I will not refuse to face the evil of our days. [ stands and gazes out the window, looking beyond the encircling peaks to the trace of darkness along the horizon, a hint of the fumes of Angband]

Pengolodh: [ bows his head] I see you, who is shielded and held aside as the King's daughter, as the most worthy in the city, and the most brave.
Idril: [sits down, her shoulders droop, weary with her burdens.] I do not forget. But it is hard to grieve and be wary ever. [glances again out the window, then at Pengolodh.] Make me laugh for a moment, if you will. Scry me my fortune. Tell me if I shall marry...
Pengolodh: [considers, then looking at the low table with cups left there by Idril and her friends, asks gently] Which cup was yours?
Idril: [points to a goblet that still holds a sip of wine.]
Pengolodh: [ swirls the cup, rolling the lees within it, watching how they run. ] I see marriage for you, my lady, but it is far off in the future… I see a tall warrior from the West, with golden hair like the rays of Arien, and you shall have a son who shall be the very star of your life.
Idril: [sad eyes suddenly crease and sparkle as she smiles broadly.] Ah, you do spin pretty tales! I shall tell my friends that, and they will laugh louder than the bells in the King's tower! But enough fancies for now. Let us continue with the ledger. [Pengolodh finds their place in the great book, and they looked to the figures again. Fade…]

* * * * * * *

Cut to scene, 12 months later, in the candlelit bedchamber at Nan Elmoth.
Aredhel lays panting and shivering in her bed: she is in labour, attended by Eöl and a female servant. She tries to catch her breath before the next wave of pain begins. Her contractions are coming close together, and she enters the final stages of childbirth, with an overwhelming desire to push. With a final supreme effort, she bears down with all her strength, and the serving woman carefully eases the baby in to the shadowy world. Aredhel collapses exhausted back onto the bed, barely aware of the infant's first feeble cry. She watched listlessly as Eöl ties and cuts the cord still binding it to her, then scoops the baby up and wraps him in a towel.


Eöl: [brings the bundle over to her, smiling] We have a son!
Aredhel: [takes her son into her arms; gently strokes his dark hair, peering at him.] His eyes are still unfocused, but I believe they are going to be the light grey of my people… [the baby begins to fuss and she places him to her breast: he suckles greedily and she looks down on him while he nurses. To Eöl:] Have you thought of a father-name?
Eöl: Not yet… 'child' will do for now. I would know him better before I gift him with something as important as a name. And you? Will our son bear a mother-name?

Aredhel: [hesitates, not meeting his eyes] No, for mother-names are supposed to be prophetic, and I have no sense of his future yet. Let him make his own destiny; [looks up at Eöl] perhaps he will follow in your footsteps, as sons should follow their fathers… [together they watch as their newborn son falls asleep in Aredhel's arms.]
Eöl: [takes baby and lays him gently in the crib he has made for the new arrival, beside the bed. He turns and kisses Aredhel ] I will leave you to rest now, also. [leaves the room quietly]

Aredhel: [turns over to look at her sleeping child and whispers sadly:] I will call you Lómion, my “Son of the Twilight”, for in twilight you were conceived and I foresee you will always dwell in shadow, wherever you go. [Fade]

* * *

Fade into a montage of clips of the child growing up: toddling, falling and running to his mother when he is hurt, slightly scared of his father, his hand always reaching for hers as they walk; climbing trees, sitting on his mother’s knee, listening to stories, drawing pictures of horses and castles with tall towers, baking bread with Aredhel, playing with a wooden sword, and bow and arrow, etc.

* * *

Open on scene in kitchen at Nan Elmoth:
Aredhel is serving her husband’s breakfast. Lómion enters, he is now around 12 years old.


Eöl: Be seated, child… [pulls out Lómion’s chair for him]
Lómion: [sits at his place and sniffs appreciatively as his mother places fried eggs and bacon on a plate in front of him.]Eöl: [between mouthfuls I have been thinking, child…I have decided that you are old enough to help me in the forge at times.
Lómion: [Says nothing. Looks worried and glances at his mother for reassurance. She smiles encouragingly.]

Aredhel: [equably] I had begun to wonder when you might give thought to spending more time with our son.
Eöl: [defensively] Well? The boy needs a trade…his education cannot be limited to fanciful stories about Valinor, where he has never been and never will go.
Lómion: [timidly] but I like Naneth’s stories. She says it is important to know my family history…

Eöl: That is as maybe. But your lessons should not be limited to the past. [to Aredhel] Why do you not tell him something about Middle-earth? It is of more use for him to learn about the land in which he lives.
Aredhel: [lays down her fork, her eyes flashing] I certainly agree that it is time he learned that the world extends further than the boundaries of this forest!
Lómion: [toying with his food, not looking at his parents] I caught a butterfly yesterday… [both parents turn to look at him, somewhat relieved by the interruption]…Then I set it free. Naneth says that no creature likes a cage…

Eöl: [not looking at Aredhel who is blushing] Your mother is correct. You did well. [The boy smiles, and the family resumes eating.]
Aredhel: If our son is to help you today then his lessons will have to wait until this evening, in any case...unless you care to continue them while you work…
Eöl: [ snorts derisively] My work in the forge is delicate and requires skill and patience. There is no place for idle chatter.
Aredhel: [says nothing but stands and begins clearing the dishes noisily. The boy chokes down the rest of his breakfast silently. ]

Eöl: [stands and nods to Lómion] I will await you in the forge shortly. Do not tarry over long. [He turns and leaves the kitchen. Lómion moves to the sink to help his mother with the dishes]
Aredhel: There is no need for you to do your chores today, Lómion…your father is waiting, so run along… [seeing Lómion hesitate, adds] Do not worry, it will be enjoyable for both of you.
[Lómion does not look convinced of this. He dries his hands and with a last backward glance at his mother for reassurance heads out the door. Cut.]

* * *

Cut to the forge, a little way off in the forest:
Lómion stands outside the door for a long time, trying to muster the courage to go inside. Finally he builds up the nerve to pull on the handle and open the door. A wave of intense heat washes over him, carrying the sharp scent of coal and hot metal. The roar of the fire assaults his ears, and his head ringing with the sound of the blows of his father's hammer. The heat and noise of the forge fascinates and terrifies him at the same time. He shuts his eyes, breathing in and out to try to adjust to his surroundings. When he opens his eyes, he sees Eöl looking at him with a slight smile on his face.


Eöl: Welcome, child. [frowns] Are you scared of the forge?
Lómion: [nods] a little…though I am more afraid of doing something wrong and annoying you [looks down in embarrassment]

Eöl: [arches eyebrow and grins wryly.] There is no need. I am glad of your company. Sometimes it is lonely in here with none to assist me. You may just watch to begin with. [turns back to the blade he was hammering, the sparks flying.]

Lómion: [perches on a workbench and watches his father for a while. He casts his eye over the assorted produce of his father’s craft: gates and grills, candelabra, tools, cooking utensils, tableware and weapons are arrayed around the workshop. Something shiny catches his eye, and he picks it up to investigate. It is a small, fine silver creamer with a graceful, fluted handle. He studies it, turning it over in his hands] This is pretty, but I think the handle is not quite straight.

Eöl: [turns to see what his son is holding. Frowns and sets the sword down] Let me see… [/i][takes the jug from Lómion and squints carefully at it.][/i] You are right. I do not know how I missed it before, but the handle is slightly misaligned. You have a keen eye, child. My thanks! I will correct it before I deliver it to my customer. [Lómion beams at the compliment. Encouraged, he slides down from the workbench and comes to stand a little closer to the anvil. Eöl smiles and shifts position so that the boy can have a clearer view of what he is doing. He beats the blade thin, heats it in the forge until it glows red, folds it over on itself, and hammers it again.]

Lómion: [watches with great concentration] It is just like making bread.
Eöl: [looks quizzically at his son] Pardon?
Lómion: All the folding. You are folding and pushing that sword blade just like Naneth does when she kneads bread dough.
Eöl: [nods, impressed] It is a similar process, child, and you are clever to see it. This folding serves much the same purpose in smithying and in bread making, I think. What your mother and I are doing binds the dough or the metal together and makes it stronger. That way, we can turn it into something useful.
Lómion: Then your work is not so different after all…
Eöl: [shrugs] Perhaps…now that you mention it, it is not unlike. In principle, at least. Will you pour a little more coal into the furnace, child?
Lómion runs eagerly to the coal bin, pleased that he is allowed to help his father. We watch as he spends the rest of the afternoon watching his father work, sometimes running to fetch tools or drinking water at his father's bidding. He asks many questions, and Eöl does not seem to tire of answering them. Near evening, Eöl even allows his son to don a forge apron and gloves and hold the blade steady on the anvil while Eöl hammers a tricky spot. At the end of the day's work Eöl carefully lays the unfinished blade aside and shows his son where he keeps each of the tools when they are not in use. He turns to Lómion:

Eöl: You have done well today, child. If you desire it you may help me again tomorrow. [Lómion nods eagerly] Run ahead and wash yourself, and I will follow. [Lómion runs ahead to the house.]
Aredhel: [meets him at the door, smiling.] You are filthy, child!
Lómion: I have been helping Ada today. It was so much fun. I do not know why I was so scared of the forge before!
Aredhel: That is good. Now you may do as Ada does and wash all that forge grime away before you eat. I will lay the table while you do so.

Lómion goes to his sleeping chamber and washes, amazed at how black the wash water is. A short time later, Aredhel calls him to the table.
The family sit down to stew with chunks of fresh bread pulled from a braided loaf. Lómion chatters excitedly to Aredhel about all he has seen and done in the forge, and she listens with an expression of interest, interrupting only to remind him to eat his food in between portions of his tale. Eöl watches him thoughtfully, not speaking a word throughout dinner, choosing instead to listen to his son's account of his afternoon in the forge.


Lómion: [eagerly] …and then I saw a bit on the blade that did not look as smooth as the rest of it. I showed it to Ada, and he said that I had a good eye, that it needed fine work, and he asked me to hold the blade while he hammered it with a special little hammer. I even got to wear a big leather apron and gloves just like Ada does.
Aredhel: [smiles proudly at him.] I am glad to hear that. If you work with Ada, you must wear the same protection that he wears. I would rather see you burn your clothes than burn your skin. [Lómion reaches for another chunk of bread,. Eöl sits up a little straighter, lays down his spoon and looks straight at the boy.]

Eöl: Please pass the bread, Maeglin. [Confused, Lómion falls silent.]
Aredhel: [blinks at her husband.] Husband…have you--
Eöl: [does not take his eyes off his son. Speaks slowly and clearly, interrupting his wife] Maeglin, will you please hand me the loaf of bread?

[There is absolute silence around the table. Slowly Lómion reaches out and pushes the bread board closer to Eöl.]

Eöl: Thank you, Maeglin. [picks up chunk of bread and dips it into his stew. He resumes eating as if nothing out of the ordinary has taken place.]
Lómion: [quietly] Do I have to keep this name? I do not know if I like it…
Eöl: Yes. I gave it to you, and you cannot simply discard a name given by your father.
Lómion: [after a pause] What does it mean?
Eöl: Maeglin means “sharp glance” – it fits you perfectly. You are an observant child. You notice things.

Aredhel: [finally finds her voice, smiles a little too broadly] So you have finally chosen a name for our child, Eöl. This is wonderful news. I shall have to organize a naming ceremony. My family will find it somewhat strange--
Eöl: [blinks at her, a puzzled, angry expression on his face.] - We have no need of a naming ceremony: that is an affectation of the Noldor. I have chosen a name for my son, and I have announced it. He is Maeglin. I do not see that any ceremony is necessary. [He takes a mouthful of stew and chews decisively.] Eat your dinner, Maeglin, you will have a full day tomorrow. [Fade.]

* * * * * * *.

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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* * * * * * *

Fade in on Turgon sitting slumped at his desk in the King’s tower, late in the evening. He is supposed to going over reports of various council meetings but he cannot concentrate. The lamp on his desk emits its usual soft blue light and we see that the king’s eyes are hooded, his features are slack and pale and his shoulders hunched. Suddenly there is a gentle knock at the door…

Turgon: Enter. [The elf hesitates in the shadowy doorway, one hand gripping the doorframe as though to support himself.]
Enerdhil: [softly] My Lord?
Turgon: Enerdhil? come in…why are you here?
Enerdhil: [staggers forward to stand before the king. He seems exhausted; he pushes a slender braid behind his ear and announces faintly:] I have made a gem, my Lord…

Turgon: [commands gently] Sit down, Master Jewelsmith, before you fall! [Enerdhil drags a chair from to sit across the desk from Turgon, who, glancing up from his documents, sees that he holds something in his lap.]
Enerdhil: [his eyes fixed on the object in his lap] Long was the making of this jewel, and if asked, I could not remember all of what was put into it…
Turgon: And if you could, I would not ask it, Enerdhil. Full well I remember how zealously my cousins guarded the secrets of their forge back in Aman under the light of the Two Trees!

Enerdhil: [raises his eyes to Turgon, and they are bright, almost feverish as he nods] Trees – yes…all green things that grow! I love how the sunlight and the sky shine through their leaves. I see the green vale surrounding our city and I know that trees will not last, that someday they will die and, Eru forbid, might grow no more in this land, as Ard-galen is become a parched desert… I looked at the emerald light and I wished to capture its likeness. I did not know if I truly could… And yet I have:

[Enerdhil lifts his arm and lays his hand open upon the desk’s surface; there is a green gem laid on his palm. It is a clear, lush, faceted green, with both the deepness of pine trees and fairer gleam of mint leaves. Enerdhil shifts his hand and, catching the light from the Fëanorian lamp, the green is splintered, scattered with strokes of light pale and gold that emit from something deeper, a hint of blue. ]

Turgon: [captivated] Sunlight through the trees! [He frowns and reach forward, taking the stone from Enerdhil’s palm and holding it against his own arm, as though to block any light which may be caught in the gem. Still it glitters, brighter against his dark sleeve.] You have done it well, Enerdhil. I have never seen such a gem before...it is most pleasing to behold. [He slowly passes it back to Enerdhil]

Enerdhil: [shyly] Thank you, my lord… [he looks at Turgon with drowsy, shining eyes, fingering the stone, his speech quickening with cautious enthusiasm.] I thought to give it to the Lady Idril, for would she not shine through it brighter and fairer than the sun?
Turgon: [lifts an eyebrow] Do you seek her suit, young Enerdhil?

Enerdhil: [startled, sits upright, lowering the gemstone again to his lap.] No, my lord, that is not my intention. I simply mean to show her my admiration. I would not presume to . . . I do not... [He hesitates, looking away from the king] There is more to this stone than I have yet revealed: [glances at a drooping rose in a vase nearby. Hands the gem back to Turgon] Cast your gaze upon that overblown rose using the jewel.

Turgon: [takes the stone and does as Enerdhil has directed him and gasps. We see that the withered rose appears freshly opened from a tight bud in the green light of the gem.] What magic of Elvenesse is this?

Enerdhil: Nay, not Elven magic, but the power of Yavanna, I deem… For as I forged the gem I found myself faint, as in a stupor, and before coming round I heard a woman’s voice saying “those who look through this stone shall see things that were withered or burned healed again, or as they were in the grace of their youth; the hands of one who holds it shall bring to all that they touch healing from hurt.”

Turgon: [places gem on the desk and leans forward with his elbows resting on the desk,, his chin resting on his clasped hands as he contemplates this revelation.] Truly, it seems you have been directed by the valar in your labours. But I must ask you why you have chosen my daughter as the recipient of this auspicious gift…
Enerdhil: [hesitantly] It seems appropriate, my Lord, that a gift from a Lady of the Valar be given into the hands of another female for safe-keeping.
Turgon: [nods in acceptance.] We can trust the wisdom of the Lady Idril in such matters. You may present it to her on the morrow. [hands him the jewel.] Now, the night grows long, Enerdhil. You must rest.
Enerdhil: [softly] So should you, my lord. [stands and bows before departing the room. Turgon sighs, then turns his attention back to the reports. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Cut to scene in parlour of Nan Elmoth some time later. Aredhel sits silently by the fire with her embroidery while her son watches attentively.

Aredhel: Maeglin, would you sort the silks for me? I need a particular shade of blue for this section.
Maeglin: Of course, Naneth. What is this design that you are stitching? It looks like a flag or a shield of some sort.
Aredhel: It is the emblem of the House of the King, from Gondolin, where I used to live. I can still see it so clearly in my mind I have no need of a pattern…

Maeglin: [wistfully] Tell me more about Gondolin, Naneth.
Aredhel: [frowns] Well, your father will not like it, but we have a little time until he returns. Ah… [smiles as she recalls the memory] …if only you could see the white city rising above the green sward of Tumladen under the windy skies of Spring: the walls of stone, and the uplifted towers with glistening pinnacles…the stairs of stone and marble, bordered by slender balustrades and cooled by the leap of fountains that sparkle in the sun... there are fair houses and courts, and gardens of bright flowers set about the ways.

Maeglin: Who lives there, Naneth? Is there a King or handsome prince? Does he have many brave knights?
Aredhel: [laughs] Yes, there is a noble King of Gondolin, and a beautiful princess also, and many handsome and brave Elf-Lords, each belonging to a different House of Gondolin… It was my brother Turgon who founded the city, and he reigns there even today as its King,
Maeglin: [in awe] Then you must surely be a princess, Naneth! You are certainly beautiful enough. [considers for a moment] If the King of Gondolin is your brother, am I kin to him, also?

Aredhel: Yes, you are kin to Turgon. He is your uncle, and you are his sister-son. [looks across at what he is doing: Maeglin appears to be in a bit of a tangle…] Have you found the blue silk I need yet?
Maeglin: Nearly… [Curiously] Does my uncle have any children?
Aredhel: He has one daughter, Idril, and she is grown up now. She is the beautiful princess, not I! …and she is your cousin. Her mother died a very long time ago, when Idril was but a child. She fell through the ice during our journey across the Helcaraxë and was drowned.

Maeglin: Who took care of Idril, then, if her mother was dead?
Aredhel: Her father took care of her, and I helped him. [sighs sadly] She was like a daughter to me and I miss her very much…
Maeglin: [passes his mother a skein of sky blue silk] I think this is the one. [hesitantly] Why did you leave her, Naneth? If Gondolin is so wonderful, why did you want to come here? [bottom lip trembles] You will not think of leaving me, will you?

Aredhel: [stops her sewing, puts it down on her lap.] Are you worried by the arguments I have with your father?
Maeglin: [nods and looks away. Aredhel tilts his chin so that she can look in his eyes.]

Aredhel: When your father and I quarrel it does not mean that we have ceased loving you. Neither one of us will ever abandon you. Your father is not the most demonstrative of people…his work is demanding and consumes much of his energy, but I know that he loves you. You are also the most precious thing in my world. I love you with all my heart, Maeglin.
Maeglin: [throws his arms around his mother and buries his face in her shoulder.] I love you, Naneth!

Aredhel: [Hugs him back, smiling as she strokes his hair. She hears the door, signifying Eöl’s return. She releases Maeglin and brushes away a trace of dampness at the corners of his eyes.] You have been very helpful here, Maeglin. I think that I will be able to finish the sorting on my own. Go and say goodnight to your father, and then ready yourself for bed.
Maeglin: Goodnight, Naneth. [kisses her on the cheek and leaves the room. Aredhel hears him exchange a few words with his father, then Eöl enters the parlour, carrying a leaf of parchment.]

Eöl: [kisses his wife, then waves the letter at her.] Regin of Belegost has invited me to visit his city next month. They are to excavate a vein of some new ore they have found.
Aredhel: [sighs] How I used to long for you to take me with you even once! You know how I miss the atmosphere of court after this solitude.
Eöl: [sniffs derisively] A court of dwarves is not like one of elves…
Aredhel: No, but at least it would have been something different. Truthfully, for my own part I have stopped wishing. But our son would enjoy the visit.

Eöl: [considers] You may be right. In the forge he learns as quickly as I can put the skills before him, and always hungers for more. Since he shows such an aptitude with my malleable star-iron, he will surely follow my trade; it would be advantageous to introduce him to the Naugrim so he may learn from them also.
Aredhel: Well and good. Though I cannot say that I like the thought of him spending as much time as you at the forge.

Eöl: [irritably] Why ever not? Surely you of all people, as a Noldo, understand our love of this craft - the quest for knowledge and the desire to shape useful things or items of beauty?
Aredhel: I understand it…and I also understand how it can become an obsession! It scares me – it reminds me too much of Fëanor's deeds and their consequences. Already our son has begun to become like his father: silent, sullen, and easy to anger. It is clear to me that Maeglin needs other company!

Eöl: [angrily] So you would have him wield words with the same mastery he does hammer and forge? This life is good enough for me, and it is good enough for our son! I will not have him grow up affecting airs and fancies like a Noldorin princeling.

[Aredhel says nothing, though her hands shake with anger and she pricks her finger. Hastily she puts the embroidery down, fearing to ruin it with even the tiniest stain of blood. She sucks her fingertip and then inspects it closely. The needle has not broken the skin, so she picks up the thread again. Fade…]

* * * * * * *

[Fade into scene in the audience chamber of Turgon in Gondolin. Turgon sits upon a high seat, receiving various petitions from the various nobles and other subjects who are in attendance. The gloomy atmosphere is matched by the cold white light from the mountains beyond. Idril sits quietly beside him on her smaller chair. Enerdhil patiently waits his turn, clasping a small casket, and eventually he is motioned forward and announced. He bows low before the king.]

Enerdhil: My Lord King: I beg your leave to petition the Princess Idril…
Turgon: [nods, smiling, and gestures Enerdhil to come before his daughter. Idril smiles encouragingly at Enerdhil, who kneels before her]
Enerdhil: My Lady, you would do me great honour if you would accept this gift, crafted by my own hands, as a token, both of my allegiance, and the favour of the Valar, for I believe my work has been blessed by the Green Lady herself! [he opens the casket and shows Idril the gem]

[Idril reaches out with one hand and lifts the jewel from its nest of white silk. She holds it up in front of her, catching the rays of sunlight which shine through the high windows. The room is bathed in a soft green-gold light which lifts the mood immediately and everyone present breathes deeply, as though filling their lungs with fresh air.]


Idril: This is a truly remarkable piece of work, master smith… [smiles at Enerdhil] I am honoured that you would deem me worthy to be graced by the result of your skills.
Enerdhil: [flushes] Truly, my Lady, I say that your beauty enhances my creation, and that your noble spirit and perceptive heart means you will wield this gift to the most benefit.
Idril: [flattered, but also confused] What mean you by these words, noble Enerdhil?

Enerdhil: [lowers voice so that only Idril and Turgon might hear] I believe the Lady Yavanna’s intention is that one in possession of the Elfstone can ease the suffering of others…that the stone might be used for renewal in times of great hurt or need.
Idril: Then I will gratefully accept this precious gift for safe-keeping with great humility. I would ask if you might place the jewel in a setting that I might keep it close at all times? It seems to me already that this room is brightened by its presence.
Enerdhil: [bows] at once, my Lady…I will fashion a cradle of silver with a fastening so that you may wear it as it pleases you.
Idril: [smiles] Then I shall wear it upon my breast, for I deem its properties to be strengthened by compassion… [Enerdhil nods. Idril places the gem back into the casket and he takes his leave. As he passes one of the windows his gaze is caught by an eagle circling on the currents, against the sun, and he taps a finger against his lips thoughtfully. Fade.]

* * *

[Fade into brief clips of Enerdhil in his workshop, working on a design for a brooch to hold Idril’s green gem. We see glimpses of what he is fashioning throughout the various stages, but only seeing the finished design once he puts down the polishingcloth and reveals the set stone: he holds the brooch up to the light and we see the sparkling Elessar has become the breast of a silver eagle rising on outspread wings. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade in to montage of clips of Maeglin and Eöl visiting the city of the dwarves: We see Maeglin learning eagerly all the skills they can teach, particularly the craft of finding ores and gems in the mountains

* * *

Scene opens a couple of years later on Aredhel and teenage Maeglin riding leisurely in the forest of Nan Elmoth.
Aredhel is telling him of Fingon’s bravery in rescuing Maedhros from Thangorodrim…


Aredhel: …and Thorondor the great lord of the eagles, lifted up my brother on his great back, and bore him up to reach Maedhros and cut him free. But Fingon could not release the cruel clasp around Maedhros’ wrist, so his only choice to was cut off Maedhros’ right hand. This he did and Thorondor carried both to safety in Mithrim where my people were camped.

Maeglin: [In awe] That was a deed worthy of legend, truly. I do not think that I could be so brave, faced with such danger.
Aredhel: Nonsense, Maeglin. Do not undervalue yourself, my son. None of us know what strength lies within us until put to the test. Look at my other brother, Turgon. We all believed he had lost the will to live after Elenwë perished. But he found the strength to carry on, and he has dedicated his life to safe-guarding both our people and our heritage in Middle-earth.

Maeglin: [dreamily] Tell me more about Gondolin, Mother… Can we not go there for a visit? I would love to see it for myself one day. [shyly] I would like to meet my cousin Idril – and I would love to learn to fight like Lord Glorfindel…maybe I could make swords for my uncle’s army?
Aredhel: [sadly] I do no think your father would let us, even if you were to ask. He hates the Noldor with a passion, even though I share their blood.

[They reach a glade where the tree canopy is thinnest and some sunlight breaks through. Aredhel dismounts and bathes her face in the dappled sunlight. Breathing in the fresher air, she drinks up the warmth greedily.]
Aredhel: I miss my kin greatly…all I have left are my memories of happier times, growing up with my brothers and cousins. Playing together in childhood innocence, then our childish games giving way to more serious pursuits like hunting and riding… [her eyes fill with tears, whispers] The world is not so dangerous, Maeglin, But your father loves you so he does not see it.

Maeglin: [puts his arm around her] We will not always have to live like this! One day I will leave the shadows of Nan Elmoth, and I will take you with me into the light. The royal banner will fly over your head again… [stares into the distance] …and over mine. [Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Open on scene in Nan Elmoth, over dinner one evening. Maeglin is now fully grown in height and stature comparable to Eöl…
Eöl: [to Maeglin] A message has come from the Dwarves today. The Lord of Nogrod says he is most interested in seeing your work in galvorn and mithril. What pieces will you take to trade at the Midsummer feast?
Maeglin: [barely looking up from his plate] I will not be going to Nogrod this year.
Eöl: [frowning] The Dwarves have made a point of inviting you. They are chary with such invitations, and apt to take insult if they are not declined in the proper form. It will take a significant amount of appeasement on my part.
Maeglin: [shrugs]
Eöl: [irritated] And where will you be that you cannot go to Nogrod?

Maeglin: [sits up slowly, pushes his plate back.] They have taught me all they will. There is nothing more I can learn there, so I am going to visit mother’s kin in Himlad.
Eöl: [incredulously, fighting to control his anger] Have you gone mad? The Fëanorians are everything I loathe about the Noldor: haughty, scornful, and quick to violence. Celegorm has little liking for me, and Curufin flatly hates me for my secret of galvorn. He might tolerate you at first, but before long he will begin to resent you for your skill.

Maeglin: [coolly] There is no more you can teach me either, so I will go to Curufin and be taught by those who learnt at the feet of Aulë himself. I am of age, and I will go to Himlad with or without your blessing.

Eöl: [leaps to his feet in blazing fury] Am I no more to you than that? a source of secret lore? Have you heard none of my warnings? The Noldor murdered your kin and mine in their wilfulness. They came to Middle Earth in the guise of saviours when we were desperate, and have made us supplicants in our own lands. On top of this, they bring the curse of the Valar upon them! [lowers voice as he fights to regain composure] I had hoped to protect you and your mother from it here… [Maeglin makes noise of disbelief and makes for the door. Eöl springs to block his exit. Warningly:] You are of the house of Eöl, Maeglin, and not of the Noldor…I will not deal nor have my son deal with the slayers of our kin, the invaders and usurpers of our homes. In this you shall obey me, or I will set you in bonds!
Maeglin: [eyes darken in cold rage and hurt. Says nothing but pushes past Eöl and goes to his room.]

Eöl: [rounds on Aredhel] This is your doing, woman…left alone all day you have turned his head with romantic tales of Valinor and the glory of Gondolin, and in his mind it has become a paradise, and the Noldor founts of wisdom and nobility. Have you forgotten the reality you were so eager to escape from? It is your fault that he is become discontent with our home and with me.
Aredhel: [coldly] He is sure that you deny him the friendship of his kin and the wonders of Gondolin to no purpose.

Eöl: [exasperated] What better purpose could I have than to save you both from the curse upon the Noldor? Do you not see? As long as I can keep you away from the Noldor and from Gondolin, there is a chance it might pass you by. If you return to Gondolin, you will be locked in and bound to their Doom forever.
Aredhel:[ i][bites her lip. Attempts to placate him][/i] Maeglin is little more than a child…how much can he know of 'forever' at his age? And like many a youth, he is certain he knows better than his father. Let him brood a while.

Eöl: [sinks back into his chair, his head in his hands…] Aredhel…you at least understand that if you return to Gondolin, there can be no changing your mind again. Once he has you under his wing, Turgon will keep you penned forever in Gondolin. And I know how captivity grates on you: ‘Twas the love of freedom to come and go and choose as we pleased that first drew us together.
Aredhel: [bitterly] Then how can you deny me that now?
Eöl: [pleadingly] From a desire to protect you…why do you not understand? The moment I spied you wandering lost in the woods, I loved you and desired you for my wife. It would kill me to lose you. I love you and I love the son you have given me.

Aredhel: [shakes her head, refusing to believe him] You trapped yourself a wife, and you have given grave insult to your son. I do not believe that you love either one.
Eöl: [voice takes on a flat, hard edge, his eyes are dark and dull] No, Aredhel, it is you who have never loved me. [stands and exits room. Camera cuts back to Aredhel who clenches her fists, eyes screwed closed, trying to stop herself crying. Fade.]

* * *

Fade in to Maeglin’s room: He is lying on his bed, writing. His crudely-made book is filled with script in the Tengwar Aredhel has taught him secretly. There is a knock on the door.

Maeglin: Who is it?
Eöl: It is I…I would talk with you some more, Maeglin, if you are willing.
Maeglin: [rapidly hides the book under his mattress…] You may enter, though I am not sure there is much left to say between us…
Eöl: [enters, and draws up stool beside Maeglin’s bed. Sits with his head bowed, his hands clasped loosely between his legs. Says nothing.]
Maeglin: [not liking the silence] I heard you arguing with Mother… [vehemently] it is not her fault…
Eöl: [barks a sarcastic laugh] Your mother is like a restless cat…ever with an eye for someone else's dish of milk. Then, once she has tasted it, it is never as good as it looked from far away.
Maeglin: [trying to keep voice neutral.] She wants to see her family in Gondolin again. Why will you not let her go?
Eöl: [wryly] You think I do not know what your mother wants? If your mother goes to Gondolin, she will never come back. I will never lay eyes on her again. Is that what you wish?
Maeglin: [wraps arms around his body to stop himself trembling.] No! I-I only want her to be happy…

Eöl: [sighs heavily] Maeglin, let me tell you something. In all our lives, we do only one thing. We desire....wanting drives our every deed, be it good or bad. There is no greater joy than receiving what one has desired, [pauses as if reflecting inwardly] and no greater torment than losing it…
Maeglin: [bile rising] But it seems that often the desires of others obstruct our own! They want to bring us to heel, to lay our dreams to waste…to enforce their will over ours. I do not wonder if mother hates you!

Eöl: [angrily] Your eyes are sharp, my son, I know it; I named you well. But you do not see everything yet. You think that I am hateful and cruel. But you do not realize yet that you are a part of me. You sprang from my heart and mind, and all you ever do will be to my glory, in my image. You think I am greedy, petty, covetous – ah, but you overlook the worm in your own soul. It is consuming you even now: can you not feel it? The craving for something else, something different, so far beyond your reach? That craving will be with you forever for it will never be satisfied.
Maeglin: [face becomes sullen as the truth of Eöl’s words cut him like a knife. Whispers softly:] There is nothing I fear more than becoming like you! That is why I wish to leave here… [clamps mouth closed in horror at having expressed his thoughts]

Eöl: [laughs softly]You will never escape, no matter where you go…a man cannot run from his blood.
Maeglin: [hisses] I am also of the Noldor in equal measure…you cannot deny my heritage!
Eöl: [glares at him, his eyes glinting as he rises to leave] I tell you I care not! I am the master here, and my word binds. If I must keep Aredhel as a prisoner, and you as well, then so be it. Just remember one thing…You will always be your father's son. [cut.]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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Location: Green Hill Country
* * *

Scene opens on stables at Nan Elmoth: Eöl is mounting his horse and setting off for the Midummer Feast in Nogrod. Instead of his usual black sword he wears a dwarven axe at his belt as their customs dictate. A dispirited Aredhel waves him off. There is no sign of Maeglin. When Eöl is out of sight she turns and enters the dwelling. Maeglin is waiting for her inside]

Maeglin: He has gone at last? Well and good…I can hardly bear his company any longer. What hope is there in this wood for you or for me? We are held in bondage, and no profit shall I find here. I do not wish to dwell forever in these dark woods with few servants, and those skilled-only in smith-craft.
Aredhel: I understand your feelings, my son. The desire to see my own kin again fills my waking thoughts as well as my dreams. I marvel that I could ever have grown weary of the light of Gondolin.
Maeglin: Shall we not seek for it, then? Just tell me where the hidden city lies, and how I may gain entrance…

Aredhel: [shakes her head] It is not that simple, Maeglin. Firstly, I am sworn to protect my city’s secrecy at all cost, which means I may tell no one the location, not even my flesh and blood. Secondly, your father would catch us if we tried to escape from the forest. He can cause the trees and the path to confuse unwary travellers.

Maeglin: But I know the true path that he uses when he travels East to the Dwarves. I have travelled it with him enough times, though he is sure I cannot find it on my own! Mother, now is our chance! I have thought long on this and made some provision: Father will be away for 5 days. Let us depart while there is time. Once we are free of this forest, you shall be my guide, and I will be your guard!
Aredhel: [wistfully] It has been too long since I heard the fountains. But I have not forgotten the way, and I will guide us true as gulls returning to the sea. [hesitating] But what of the servants…will they not betray us to your father?

Maeglin: We will misinform them of our purpose. Let us tell them we are going to visit the sons of Fëanor. Then if Father should follow after, seeking to drag us home, he will have to face their wrath first!
Aredhel: [her face lit with hope at last] You are both clever and resourceful, my son, I am proud of you! No fear shall I have upon the road with a guard so valiant. Let us make haste: seize what is needful…take only what a swift horse may bear beside us. Go now, fast and secret… [Cut.]

* * *

Cut to scene of Maeglin walking swiftly to his room: He dons his finest clothes and covers all with a grey-green cloak to blend with wood and field. He takes up a pack that he has already made ready with subtle thieving from the stores. He then leaves his room and walks down the corridor to find his mother. He reaches the open door to his parent’s chamber. Aredhel is attired in the white and silver dress that she wore on the fateful journey from Gondolin.

Maeglin: [in consternation] Mother! Should you not choose a dress somewhat less conspicuous for our furtive escape?
Aredhel: I will not return to Gondolin as a fugitive, my son…I wish to arrive attired according to my station and the customs of my people.
Maeglin: [demurs] Well, at least put a homespun cloak over your finery till we are well away from this place of shadows… [A gleam catches his eye, and he sees his father’s sword hanging from mounts on the wall the other side of the bed. Maeglin’s fingers itch and his face shows him weighing consideration. Eventually he walks over to Anguirel and lifts it down.] His black sword… [weighs the weapon in his hands.] …rarely does this leave his side!

Aredhel: Truly…only the respect and friendship of the Naugrim persuades him to lay it aside in favour of an axe on these occasions.
Maeglin: [Looks to his mother] My fealty to my father is ended, though my craft I do not betray; this I shall take lest it be used against me. [Lays sword on bed and takes up Anguirel’s sheath which is leaning against the wall belong the sword mount. He buckles the sword belt around his waist and smoothly slides home the blade.] Come, Mother, we have wasted enough time: we must depart now. [Striding wider to balance the extra weight, he exits the room. Cut.]

* * *

We see Aredhel and Maeglin leaving Nan Elmoth: Concerned servants watch their departure but make no attempt to detain them.

We next see them reaching the eaves of the forest, with a grand vista across Himlad towards the hill of Himring. Aredhel smiles at Maeglin. He points towards Himlad, but Aredhel shakes her head, and leads him off westward, splashing across the slender stream of Celon, heading towards the East Road. Camera pans round and we see that we have been viewing mother and son from the perspective of two Noldor scouts, hidden on a low ridge on the borders of Himlad. They look to each other, one nods and they nimbly withdraw from their vantage point. Fade....]


* * *

[Fade into scene at Nan Elmoth, mid-morning on the second day after Aredhel’s departure. Eöl rides up to his dwelling and is greeted by his servants who are surprised to see him return to soon. The ostler helps him dismount.]

Ostler: We are surprised to see you returned so early from the Feast, Lord Eöl…if I may be so bold, was there trouble in Nogrod, or are you unwell at all?
Eöl: I am at a loss to explain it…a strange heaviness of heart came upon me at the feast, and I could not enjoy it as I have other years, nor keep myself in the city. I decided to return here as soon as was politely possible. [ostler nods, and leads away the steed. Eöl heads inside to find his family. He comes across a manservant polishing the brass.]

Servant: [in surprise] My Lord…you are returned! I -
Eöl: Yes, yes, I am well enough, do not worry yourself. [Looks around] I assume my son is at the forge as usual. But where is my wife? It seems very quiet in here…
Servant: [hesitates fearfully] Ah…
Eöl: [sensing bad news] Well? What is it? Is she ill? Speak, man!

Servant: My Lord, your good lady wife and son have taken it into their heads to go and visit her kin in Himlad. They are but 2 days gone…
Eöl: [in disbelief] What??? [going cold as the information sinks in] why would they do that?
Servant: Master Maeglin desired to speak with them regarding new forging techniques, I believe. [wrings hands] They said they had your blessing , my lord, I am sorry if we have done wrong in letting them go… [Eöl pushes past the manservant, and strides into his bedchamber. He stares incredulously at the bare sword mount on the wall]

Eöl: No!!! [face twisting into a snarl of rage. ] I have given him everything and this is how the deceitful creature repays me? A thousand curses on him and ten thousand on my treacherous wife! No longer will I allow her spell to work on me. [barely stopping to consider the consequences of his actions he makes his orders:] Bring me a fresh horse and pack me some provisions…I go to reclaim my wayward family. [servant bows and hurries off to fulfil his master’s commands.]

Eöl: [to himself] I hope they have indeed only gone to Himlad. It is always dangerous to have any dealings with the Fëanorians , but at least there is the hope that I may bring them back… [Fade.]

* * *

Fade in on scene of Eöl riding furiously through the forest. He reaches the eaves and with barely a moment’s hesitation, he continues out into the sunlight., entering the Himlad. He has not gone far when a band of riders approach. As they draw near, Eöl slips a dart into the seam of his cloak. The riders waylay him.

Rider #1: Halt, Dark Elf! There are strange deeds afoot if one who shuns the sunlight comes forward so willingly. The Lord Curufin would have words with you regarding recent events that have brought him south from his holding in the Pass of Aglon.
Eöl: [restrains his temper best as he can] I will go willingly with you since I believe your Lord has something of mine that I wish to reclaim.

Rider #2: [mockingly] I highly doubt our lord will give you anything
but insults! If it pleases him more this day to mock you than to kill you, Curufin might let you live. [laughing loudly, the riders tie Eöl’s horse with one of theirs and they lead off. [cut]

* * *

Cut to scene in Curufin’s camp near the Fords of Aros: Camera follows into tent as Eöl is dragged before Curufin.

Curufin: What errand have you, Dark Elf, in my lands? An urgent matter perhaps, that keeps one so sun-shy abroad by day.
Eöl: [feigning civility] I have learned, Lord Curufin, that my son and my wife, the White Lady of Gondolin, have ridden to visit you while I was from home, and it seemed to me fitting that I should join them in their sojourn.

Curufin: [laughs mockingly] They might have found their welcome here less warm than they hoped, had you accompanied them; but it is no matter, for that was not their errand. [enjoying Eöl’s distress] It is not two days since my scouts reported they passed over the Fords, here, and thence swiftly westward. It seems that you would deceive me; unless indeed you yourself have been deceived.

Eöl: [wonderingly] Then they have been bound for Gondolin all along… [swallowing his bitter disappointment] So, Lord, perhaps you will give me leave to go, so that I may discover the truth of this matter.
Curufin: [nods] You have my leave, but not my love. The sooner you depart from my land the better will it please me. [gestures to guards to allow Eöl to leave the tent. Curufin follows, watches as Eöl mounts his steed. ]

Eöl: [looks back over his shoulder, adds sarcastically as a passing shot] It is good, Lord Curufin, to find a kinsman thus kindly at need. I will remember it when I return…
Curufin: [snarls back] Do not flaunt the title of your wife before me, for those who steal the daughters of the Noldor and wed them without gift or leave do not gain kinship with their kin. [Curufin’s guards raise their bows at this point, but Curufin waves them down] I have given you leave to go. Take it and be gone. By the laws of the Eldar I may not slay you at this time. [Eöl wheels his horse, urging it to run. Curufin calls after him]

Curufin: You would do better to return to your dwelling in the darkness of Nan Elmoth…for my heart warns me that if you now pursue those who love you no more, you will never return there. [Eöl shows no indication of having heard him, and rides off in renewed haste, filled with anger and the shame of his humiliation. Cut.]

* * *

Cut to scene of Eöl speeding through Nan Dungortheb and the Northern March of Doriath.
No matter how often he cajoles his mount to keep pace, his prey remains a day ahead of him. He scans the countryside but there is precious little to trail in such a hurry.

Eöl slows to a trot, ready to give up and face the fact that Aredhel and Maeglin are lost to him forever,. He reaches the Ford of Brithiach, and dismounts, inspecting the tracks in the mud. He sees footprints along side the hoof prints leading towards a dried up river bed, and surmises that they have preceded on foot. However the path peters out into an apparent dead end of overgrown vegetation. He is about to give up when he hears neighing…. Scanning the horizon towards the towering mountains, he sees a flash of white disappear into what looks to be a flat rock face…]


Eöl: [with grim satisfaction] Aredhel… [looking closer at the undergrowth he sees it is visibly damaged from recent passage. Strokes his horses nose as he deliberates] Well, my faithful steed, what course should I take? If I follow, there is little hope of a happy outcome, but if I turn back now, I must give my family up forever. [After a moment’s thought] It seems I already know the answer… [unbridles the horse] I have set in motion something that I can no longer control or call back. For good or ill, the arrow has left the string… [sends his steed packing with a firm slap to its flanks, then turns and hurries up the dry river after his family. Fade.]

* * *

Fade in on shot of the city gates viewed all the way down the King’s Way from the Tower of the King.
This is being observed from the perspective of an upper balcony but we do not see who is watching as everything unfolds in the street below. It would be a camera shot that starts out in the distance and does not move but allows the action (Aredhel & Maeglin) to get closer and closer....

As we watch, the Gates open and rows of the City guard appear, dressed in their ornate livery. They march into the King’s Way, followed Aredhel and Maeglin on horseback…then more guardsmen appear behind them…

As the procession moves slowly nearer, we see citizen start to line the streets, pointing and we hear gasps of astonishment which are gradually overshadowed by cheering…flower petals start to be thrown over Aredhel, in particular, raining down like confetti…she is smiling and crying at the same time in her happiness and relief…

We see the procession wind through the streets and lanes of Gondolin and we see the wonders of the city through the wide eyes of Maeglin. Large buildings of pure white sculpted of stone and marble with intricate designs, many differently shaped windows, arches and balconies creating outdoor living areas several stories over head.

Maeglin sits upon his horse nearly slack jawed in gaping awe .... they turn a corner and see halfway down the street some forty feet up spanning the space between two buildings is what looks like intricate lacework forming a bridge. As they get closer it is actually a sculpture of hundreds of swans connected by wingtips and other body parts forming one united flock with spaces in between each.


Aredhel: [seeing Maeglin’s interest] The Swan Bridge. It is lovely is it not? One artist carved it all and it took years upon years.
Maeglin: Is it not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?
Aredhel: [smiling and enjoying the reaction from her son] It is good that you appreciate the wonders of Gondolin... but there is more ... much more. [They go a bit further and the boy reaches across and tugs on his mothers sleeve.]

Maeglin: And that - oh Mother , what is that? [he points at a huge combination fountain and sculpture that causes the street to stop and the road flows around it in a circle. A large tower of water rushes upward in the centre while around it many smaller ones spew and gush in a rhythmic time almost like music. Around those are even smaller ones that do the same. The motion is nearly hypnotic and the boy cannot take his eyes off it. On the wide lip of the fountain base sit many children, some with their feet in the fountain while others look and wave.

A rather pretty girl with flaming red hair about the same age as Maeglin sits atop the base and nods to Maeglin as he passes. Aredhel notices him blush, smiles softly and says nothing.


Aredhel: That is the Fountain of the Valar. It is actually many fountains, each symbolizing one of the Valar and smaller ones for the Maiar.

The procession reaches the King’s Square, and suddenly a tall, nobly-dressed elf with a sword at his side, comes pushing his way through the crowd a little behind the couple, trying to catch up with the procession and see if it really is her. Although the camera moves in for close-ups as necessary, this is all viewed from head on, so we see Ecthelion calling her name as he pushes past onlookers…Aredhel hears his voice and turns her head to look at him … Ecthelion seems frozen to the spot for a moment…then he darts forward and grabs the horses bridle, halting the procession…Aredhel looks down, their eyes meet and she smiles her recognition of him, waving away the guards who turn to see what the interruption is.

Ecthelion smiles back…he starts to say her name, reaching for her hand, but Aredhel pulls back and looks quickly at the young elf riding beside her. It is obvious to all that he must be her son, they look so alike, but the question is in Ecthelion’s eyes as he looks back to Aredhel. She flushes in discomfort at first, then as Ecthelion continues to stare in disbelief she straightens her back proudly and reaches across and puts her hand on Maeglin’s forearm. Ecthelion limply lets go of the horse’s bridle, pain and confusion etched on his face…Aredhel looks away in discomfort, and flicks her horse’s reins to move the procession on again. We see Glorfindel appear beside Ecthelion. He puts a consoling hand on his friend’s shoulder, and they turn away…

As the honoured guests arrive before the royal palace, the observer sees Turgon come hurrying down the steps.... Aredhel alerts her son and they bow in respect.


Turgon: [addresses the masses] I rejoice indeed that Ar-Feiniel is returned to Gondolin! And now more fair again shall my city seem than in the days when I deemed her lost. [holds out his arms to embrace her]

Aredhel is helped to dismount by one of the guards and she rushes sobbing into her brother’s arms as he comes forward to greet her….Maeglin stands fidgeting awkwardly, waiting to be introduced. A golden-haired Idril appears below the observer’s balcony. She hesitates at the top of the steps, taking in the scene below her in amazement, and Maeglin is suddenly frozen to the spot as he gazes, love struck, at the vision of loveliness smiling down at him…

The sound of the cheering crowd fades gradually and we hear the sound of a quill scratching on a thick surface, almost as if the words are being carved or etched upon the page.... and the camera looks away from the balcony view down to the table at which the observer is sitting. We see the observer’s hand neatly recording the events he has just witnessed, in a great book: Each page is as large as nearly half a man and is on thick vellum that will later be hand decorated by skilled artisans painting appropriate decorations that go with whatever is transcribed upon it. He sighs, and stands, picking up the volume with some effort. Moving slowly into the chamber within, he carefully places the book upon a great stand which is carved in the likeness of two twin giants holding the massive tome upon their shoulders and they are bent beneath the weight. the observer runs a hand over the page, smoothing the surface gently, sighs in resigned defeat and leaves the room – the camera no longer being his eyes, we see that it is Pengolodh… the camera pans down to focus on the open book…we read the last words he has written:


“Thus, amid all the peace and bliss of our realm, while its glory lasts, a dark seed of evil is sown in Gondolin…” [fade]

* * * * * * *

Fade back to the Dark Elf, hurrying up the dry riverbed: He crosses the miles with renewed vigour even as he marks which way his wife has taken, and where in the rocks she has disappeared.

Even knowing where to look for the entrance, it is difficult to locate, but find it he does, and he enters the tunnel cautiously. Suddenly he is jumped by at least three armed guards. They fight. With so many against him he has no hope of defeating them. Eöl ends face down in the dust. The Captain of the Guard addresses him:


Elemmakil: Who dares to enter unbidden and unwelcome into the Kingdom of Gondolin? The penalty for entering the hidden city is pain of death.
Eöl: [spitting dust and dirt from his mouth] A fine welcome you extend to a kinsman of your King! But that is ever the way of it when the Noldor deal with those who have not seen the Light, is it not? I am here to claim my rightful place as husband to Aredhel, White Lady of your fair city. You have no right to interfere between a husband and wife!

Guard 1: [laughs as he pulls Eöl to his feet]
Elemmakil: I know not how you knew the Lady Aredhel had returned to Gondolin, but you would do well not to lie about your betters. I saw her son, and he is no Avar. Your life is forfeit for a hoax that would take no one in. [The other guards laugh as well]

Eöl: [bitterly]Why do you find it laughable that a noblewoman of the Noldor might love one of the Avari?
He is no Noldo! Maeglin is my son as much as hers [tries to wrench himself free of their restraining hands, but they are too many, and they bind him..]
Eöl: [glares at Elemmakil] Aredhel is my wife. Ask her, if you will not believe me. Tell her Eöl her husband is here and would have speech with her. [The captain frowns, then nods and sends one of the guardsmen to Turgon with the message…cut.]

* * *

Cut to scene in the glorious peacock blue and gold throne room: The pillars around the perimeter of the room are carved from solid malachite, and the panels between the pillars shimmer with gilded images of birds and animals on an iridescent teal-coloured damask silk. The floor is inlaid malachite and onyx…on a central dais the ornate golden throne is set beneath a glass canopy held up by the outstretched wings of 4 golden eagles carved into the supporting beams. Near the top all the wings come together and form a somewhat circular shape. Below it stands Turgon wearing a white robe adorned with a gold belt that secures his sword within an ivory sheath.

The great and the good of Gondolin have gathered to witness Aredhel’s return and learn of her adventures…The various Lords of the 10 Houses and their wives and other assorted nobles fill the hall. Aredhel is holding court, surrounded by well-wishers. The camera pans round the room and lands on Idril who is trying to engage a rather overawed Maeglin in conversation:


Idril: Are you so overwhelmed that you fear to hold conversation with me, Maeglin? We have much to catch up on, Cousin!
Maeglin: I have naught to say, my lady
Idril: [teasingly] That cannot be true! You see much – I would know what you are thinking…
Maeglin: [blushes] I am thinking that I have never seen anything so beautiful as you….Cousin. You are like the sun from which all in the King’s hall draws its light. [Idril inclines her head, accepting the compliment with a gracious smile and the camera moves on through the crowd…]

*

[We see Ecthelion trying to keep a low profile hiding behind a pillar, as Glorfindel wanders over to him.]

Glorfindel: [cheerfully] How fare you? This has been an astonishment for us all but I can only imagine how you must be feeling.
Ecthelion: [smiles sadly, his eyes fixed longingly on Aredhel] What would you expect? I had finally come to acknowledge her death and now she returns!
Glorfindel: Surely you do not see ill fortune in this?

Ecthelion: [snorts] My lady has come back from the dead, yet has returned with a son by another in whose arms she found comfort! [sighs] The Valar must truly enjoy their devilry in mocking a wounded soul. [watching Aredhel longingly as she greets old friends] Look at her…happier than I can ever remember: she flutters to and fro like a dove on the wing. If only I could feel myself lifted on the wind of her happiness…but it seems that she is infinitely lost to me.
Glorfindel: Even so, where is her lover? Perhaps he too has loved and lost, and is passed to Mandos’ Halls…

Ecthelion: Do not jest with me, or build false hope, Glorfindel.
Glorfindel: Nay, friend, I offer objective counsel: why else would the fair Ar-Feiniel return to the fold if not for the lack of a husband or home?
Ecthelion: [hesitantly] Think you that the lady might look favourably upon my suit?
Glorfindel: [smiles knowingly] What does your heart tell you?

Ecthelion: [stares at his friend for a moment then smiles] That there is still hope! [turns away and takes a step toward the dais where Aredhel is holding court. Hesitates and turns back to Glorfindel with a questioning look] You do not think it would be better to bide my time and let the lady adjust to her new situation?
Glorfindel: [laughs] You have wasted enough time already, Ecthelion! [turns his friend round again and gives him a gentle shove…] Have courage!

Ecthelion makes his way forward again. He grabs a new goblet of wine from a tray proffered by a servant as he passes, and eyes firmly fixed on Aredhel, he reach the steps of the dais…

Suddenly a messenger is admitted into Turgon’s presence. He bows low and awaits permission to speak. Ecthelion falters to a halt…


Messenger: Lord, the Guard have taken captive one that came by stealth to the Dark Gate. Eöl he names himself, [Aredhel gasps] and he is a tall Elf, dark and grim, of the kindred of the Avari; yet he claims the Lady Aredhel as his wife, and demands to be brought before you. His wrath is great and he is hard to restrain; but we have not slain him as your law commands.
Aredhel: Alas, Eöl has followed us, even as I feared!
Maeglin: [hurries to his mother’s side] But with great stealth it seems, for we saw and heard no pursuit as we entered upon the Hidden Way.
Aredhel: [to the messenger] He speaks the truth…he is Eöl of Nan Elmoth: I am his wife…and he is the father of my son. Slay him not, but lead him hither to the King’s judgement, if the King so wills. [looks to Turgon, who nods assent. Ecthelion looks aghast. Cut]

* * *

Cut back to holding cell at the First Gate. The messenger returns looking disturbed. He gives the message to Elemmakil

Elemmakil: The Lady Aredhel says that you are indeed her husband… [He signals to guards to release Eöl]
Eöl: [shaking his arms free as he is released] So gracious of her! [smugly] I expect a warmer welcome when I reach the city…
Elemmakil: [impassively] King Turgon commands that you be brought to the King's hall for judgment.
[The smile is wiped from Eöl’s face as he is escorted through the remaining gates towards the city. Cut]

* * *

Cut back to the Throne Room. Turgon sits on the golden throne…his crown is a coronet of garnets, and his sceptre the Staff of Doom. Idril sits on his right and Aredhel on his left with Maeglin standing beside her. The Lords of Gondolin, including Glorfindel and Ecthelion, flank either side of the dais. Aredhel is cool and aloof, every bit a princess. She gives Eöl no sign of warmth, or even of fear or repulsion. Maeglin’s face is a study in impassiveness. He stands tall and silent as a grave, and just as welcoming. However, Turgon greets Eöl with honour, rising up and extending his hand

Turgon: Welcome, kinsman, for so I hold you. Here you are welcome to dwell at your pleasure, save only that you must abide here, and may not depart from my kingdom; for it is my law that none who find the way here shall depart.

Eöl: [refusing Turgon’s hand] I acknowledge not your law! No right have you or any of your kin in this land to seize realms or to set bounds, either here or there. This is the land of the Sindar and Avari, to which you bring war and all unquiet, dealing ever proudly and unjustly. I care not to spy upon you but to claim my own: my wife and my son. [In consternation, everyone looks to Aredhel for her reaction but she continues to stare impassively at her husband. Turgon places a comforting hand on her arm]

Eöl: [noting this gesture] Yet if in Aredhel your sister you have some claim, then let her remain; [scornfully] let the bird go back to the cage, where soon she will sicken again, as she sickened before. I am not her jailer. I thought to spare her from your curse, but if she desires it so much she will sacrifice our marriage for it, so be it. But not Maeglin: My son you shall not withhold from me. [his eyes note his sword Anguirel hanging at Maeglin side. His eyes blaze but he refrains from commenting.] Come, Maeglin, son of Eöl! Your father commands you. Leave the house of his enemies and the slayers of his kin, or be accursed! [Maeglin does not answer. He clutches the sword tighter and looks away.]

Turgon: [sits down on his throne, holding his Staff of Doom, speaks sternly, the faintest flicker of a blue vein in his forehead disclosing his wrath.] I will not debate with you, Dark Elf. By the swords of the Noldor alone are your sunless woods defended. Your freedom to wander there wild you owe to my kin. But for them long since you would have laboured in thraldom to Morgoth. Here I am King; and whether you will it or no, my doom is law…This choice only is given to you: to abide here, or to die here, and you may choose also for your son.

[Eöl stands like a marble statue, studying the king for a long moment, considering his choices with abnormal calm. It is clear to him his family is lost. A still silence falls upon the hall; Aredhel is suddenly afraid, knowing how dangerous he is.]

Eöl: [looks sorrowfully at Maeglin] Such a strong man, so full of promise… [Stealthily his hand finds the poisoned dart he had hidden in his cloak earlier - his other weapons having been taken away at the gates by the guards]

Eöl: [cries] The second choice I take and for my son also! You shall not hold what is mine! [fast and sure he throws the dart at Maeglin]

[camera cuts to slow motion as we watch Aredhel spring up from her seat and places herself in front of her son, the dart smiting her in the shoulder even as the court spurts to life. Eöl stares in a fascinated dread; Ecthelion drops the goblet he was holding and speeds forward to catch Aredhel as she falls. Back in normal motion camera speed, Turgon springs to his feet in rage as guards and lords alike fly at Eöl, throwing the Dark Elf to the ground within moments.]

Aredhel: [gratefully, to Ecthelion] Even now, you are here for me…
Ecthelion: [color=blue][gently] [/color] I have always been here for you, Aredhel.
Aredhel: [shamefacedly] …yet I am not deserving of such devotion! [winces in pain as Ecthelion tenderly retrieves the dart from her shoulder and staunches the flow of blood with a linen handkerchief. He says nothing in response but smiles, gently smoothing her hair back from her face and kissing her on the forehead. He helps her onto her chair and remains close by for support whilst Idril calls for a servant to fetch a healer.

Eöl watches grimly; he looks aghast, knowing there is no hope for her. Aredhel stares hard at Eöl between the bodies of the men at arms who pin him. Her face is as pale as her gown beneath its splattering of blood. She raises her eyebrows in question, and the grief on his face gives all the answer she needs. She closes her eyes briefly,]


Aredhel: [to Turgon] It is little more than a scratch, brother. Do not allow your anger to lead you into unseemly actions. I am certain he meant me no harm.
Turgon: [angrily] It is clear enough that he meant harm to your son!
Aredhel: [watching Eöl closely as the blood trickles between her fingers] Even so…I beg leniency…
Turgon: [irritably] I will give him this night whilst I consider my verdict. However, I believe only one of us will lose any sleep over it. [to guards, in Quenya] I mornedhel mapa oa! [sub-titled “Take the Dark-elf away!”]

[The guards drag Eöl away as the servant returns with the healer. Maeglin watches his father leave without a flicker of expression. Cut]

* * *

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


Last edited by Elentári on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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* * *

Cut to dungeon: Eöl is chained to the wall by the ankles and wrists. Outside the changing of the guard takes place; the one coming on duty opens the door and glares at Eöl:

Guard: You have a visitor… [a cloaked figure sweeps in behind him]
Idril: Leave us.
Guard: [anxiously] But, Lady, I cannot do that! He is dangerous, and Lord Turgon would have my head if I allowed him to harm you as well.
Idril: [frowns at him] You searched him, did you not? [The guard nods] He is chained and unarmed, and I will not come within arm's reach of him. If you will not leave us, then sit over there. I would talk to the prisoner alone. [The guard looks dubious but moves away as ordered. Idril stands just beyond an arm's length from Eöl, studying him. ]
Eöl: [absently, not looking at Idril] I never meant for it to strike Aredhel…I wanted only to save Maeglin from the Doom of the Noldor. I hoped through death to spare him the worst of the evil. I know in my heart that I have failed them both.
Idril: [softly] Your wife bade me tell you that she forgives you...she hopes there might still be a time to come when Maeglin can turn aside from the future that she has foreseen.

Eöl: [nods] Leave him his chance. For myself, I never truly thought to survive this long…
Idril: I also begged clemency for you, though my Father barely heeded me. Your judgment is set for tomorrow.
Eöl: My heart is already bleeding, and there will be no respite from the pain. I welcome death: it is the only escape I will have from this city.
Idril: [nods in understanding; moves towards the door, then hesitates] If you should see my mother, I would have you give her my love… [exits the room silently and the door is fastened behind her. Fade.]

* * *

Fade into Aredhel’s bedchamber in the royal palace: Aredhel lies in her bed, paler than ever, her black hair lifeless and limp about her. Ecthelion sits by the bed, gently caressing her forearm whilst Turgon consults with the healer byt the door. The healer shakes his head sadly and Turgon’s shoulders slump. He dismisses the healer and turns back into the room. He begins to pace to and fro at the foot of the bed. Aredhel’s body trembles as she clutches at the bed sheets, a sweat upon her forehead.

Ecthelion: [worried] Still you do not complain! ”Naught but a scratch,” you said…but you are running a fever and are as weak as a child. I am not used to seeing you like this: even as we crossed the Grinding Ice, though grim and tired was your face, you always managed a smile for me.
Aredhel: [whispers through parched lips] Ecthelion…
Ecthelion: [silently takes her hand in his and gently squeezes it. Slowly and weakly Aredhel opens her eyes and looks up at him]
Aredhel: It seems my husband came prepared at the last to snatch me back into the darkness I thought I had escaped…’twas poison on the dart – [she is overwhelmed in an outburst of violent coughs. Ecthelion looks at her helplessly for a few seconds, then realizes she is choking and unable to breathe. He lifts her into a sitting position, tilting her head upwards and rubbing her back so some air might enter her lungs, but Aredhel struggles against him, coughing and trying to speak at the same time. ]

Ecthelion: [urgently]Aredhel, speak not! [despite his plea, Aredhel attempts to speak, her eyes boring directly into his] you must breathe! Speak not for the moment, please…have some water…

[This time she listens to him, and slowly the tide of her coughing subsides, much to Ecthelion’s anxious relief, and she settles back weakly onto the pillows he arranges for her so that she is sitting up. He helps her sip a glass of water and her breathing returns to normal, slow, heavy and dragged.]
Aredhel: [whispers] The poison… [closes her eyes …I feel it coursing through my veins. [Her strength seems to diminish before his eyes, her pale form fading into the bed linen. She opens her eyes again and looks about the room] Where is my son? Is he not here? I thought I heard his voice in my sleep.

Ecthelion: [pushes some of her hair away from her face] Yes, he was here a while ago. Both he and Idril…
Turgon: [stops pacing and comes to the bedside.] I had a room prepared and I bade him go and rest from his weariness.
Aredhel: [A softness comes across her face as she thinks of her son.] Lómion… Tell my son, I would smile at him one last time. I would ask him to make me proud…
Turgon: Truly I will, but surely there is time–
Aredhel: [shakes her head insistently]
Ecthelion: [gets to his feet] I will fetch him… [leaves room quietly]

Aredhel: And you, dearest brother…I would beg your forgiveness for all of the grief through which I have put you. [her body begins to shiver again. Her eyes flicker weakly.]
Turgon: You have naught to apologize for, sister, [takes her hands in his.]
Aredhel: [breathing heavily] Nay, I do. And I have to thank you for all you have done for me and all that you shall do.
Turgon: [in consternation] what are these words of despair and hopelessness you speak, Irissë?
Aredhel: [sighs] Do not try to hide the truth from me, brother. I know that I will soon pass to Mandos for judgment and it is my wish that you take care of Maeglin as I cared for your daughter…

Turgon: [stares at her, unable to respond as the realization of how close she is to death suddenly hits home. Aredhel’s eyes search his for an answer] Irissë…I would gladly bleed myself dry for you, and you know it. You know that I would do anything that you ask of me. Yes, I will take Maeglin and I will foster him and father him as my own. He will learn all our ways and lore and grow in strength of stature and mind. He will be an honoured prince of the Noldor. [With a small smile of assurance, he leans towards her and kisses her forehead, letting go of her hands and wrapping his arms around her. He feels her burning with fever against him.
Aredhel: [pushes him away slightly so that she can look him in the eyes. Coughs again, then continues, though her voice is barely audible ] There is another favour I must ask of you.
Turgon: [nods]

Aredhel: I beg you, no matter what should happen to me ‘ere the sun rises this day, do not slay Eöl who is my husband and the father of my child. Remember that he too is your brother now by marriage and to kill him would be to slay kin again. For my sake, slay him not and let not his hands come upon my son.
Turgon: [stares at her incredulously] Truly, I wonder if the poison has gone to your mind! It is he, to whom you are wife, who has done this to you, and you ask me not to slay him?
Aredhel: [weakly, between coughs] Promise me that you shall not harm my husband, after I have passed to Mandos…
Turgon: Husband? How can you even call him your husband, after this? He has hurt you, Aredhel, and you are beyond healing. [angrily] A true husband who loved his wife and son would not have had them shun sunlight and forbid them from visiting their kin, nor hunted after them like a hunter after an animal…nor would he have attempted to slay his son! [emphatically] And a true brother would not tolerate it.

Aredhel: [earnestly] He is not to be blamed for these events: the fault is mine alone…
Turgon: [gently] Your fault? Nay, how can you blame yourself for what has come to pass? You have done nothing to be found guilty against this man. It is love, is it not? You love him. Even after this…how can you after what he has done to you?
Aredhel: Nay, you do not know the whole tale Turgon. [insistently] Tell me now, though, whilst I still draw breath, that you shall not kill him!

Turgon: [tears of frustration pricking his eyelids] Irissë…I do not understand. Why do you ask this of me? What mercy can I give the abductor and enslaver of a royal princess? What mercy can I give to the murderer of my sister? What mercy can I show to the man who has caused me the loss of yet another loved one?
Aredhel: [raising her voice] Turgon! [stares at him angrily, breathing deeply and struggling for air so much that she wheezes] I am dying, Turgon. Can you not see my pain?
Turgon: [angrily] Yes, I see you in pain and it is because of him that you would save….

Aredhel: [trembling with fury as well as the fever, whispers] Do not talk to me in that way, and do not speak of my husband in that manner! Were it not for him you would have lost me long ago and you would have no Ar-Feiniel to look upon at this hour, nor a nephew whom you have so long desired. [The door opens and Maeglin enters, followed by Ecthelion and Idril. A single tear travels down Aredhel’s cheek as she looks at them.] Promise me, Turgon…
Turgon: [does not answer]
Aredhel: [imploring him] Turgon!

Turgon: [sighs heavily] I promise…
Aredhel: [insistent] And promise me you shall hold to that oath as Maedhros holds to his! [clutches tightly at his robes]
Turgon: [shivers under a shadow of foreboding. Answers almost against his will…] You have my word. [Aredhel nods breathing deeply, and then she kisses his cheek. She wheezes in long, slow, heavy draughts, and trembles with weakness, her strength spent. Her eyes seek Maeglin’s and Turgon releases her, stepping away to allow Maeglin to come close. Maeglin kneels at the beside, taking his mother’s hand in his and kissing it, tears falling freely. Idril stands by his side, a consoling hand upon his shoulder despite her own grief.]

Aredhel: [with her free hand she strokes Maeglin’s hair] Lómion, my son…I would have you remember this: you are not your father…and you alone have control over your destiny. [Maeglin nods, clutching her hand tighter still. Aredhel raises her face to Idril and smiles] And Idril, whom I have loved as a daughter…promise me, when love presents itself, accept it willingly: Do not fear it, nor deny it! [she looks to Ecthelion, reaching out her hand to him] Would that I had followed such advice myself… [Ecthelion shrouds his arms around her small frame, holding her close, feeling her struggle to draw each breath. He closes his eyes so tight that it hurts but he cannot stop the tears falling from them, leaking past the closed lids and coursing down his face.]
Aredhel: [gasping] Eru forgive me!
Maeglin: [fearfully] She is dying…
Ecthelion: [whispers disconsolately] …and I am dying with her.

[After a few more seconds of gasping Aredhel exhales, a perfect, smooth, calm breath and her arms slowly release Ecthelion. Her head bobs upon his shoulder, all her muscles free from the knots of tension.]
Ecthelion: [gently lays her body back onto the pillows and arranges her features. Haggard with grief, he kisses her forehead one last time.] Namarië, Mela en' coiamin…

Turgon: [head bowed in grief he lifts his sisters limp hand to his lips.] Namarië, my Irissë. At last you are released from the bondage you have felt all your life…though you leave me enchained… [lays her hand back gently on the bedcovers and turns away. He leaves the bedchamber silently, leaving the others to their grief. Idril kisses her Aunt softly on the cheek and covers her slender arms and torso with the linen. After a while Ecthelion leaves the bedside, murmurs something to Idril, and exits the room. Before the door closes behind him we glimpse him slump against the wall, punching it in his anguish. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade back in on the darkened chamber, later. Candles have been lit in vigil. Idril is sitting close to the bed where her aunt lies cold and pale. Maeglin is also sitting silently, watching his mother without movement or word. The door opens and Turgon enters. Idril turns her head and looks at her father. There are tears in her eyes, glistening in the candlelight and a few rolling down her cheek. Gently Turgon wipes those tears away with his hand.

Turgon: [softly] Where is Ecthelion?
Idril: [a look of concern comes over her face] He left not long after you. He said he had some unfinished business…
Turgon: [frowns] Then I must check on him…I shall be back. [Idril struggles a smile and nods, looking back to the dead woman in the bed. Turgon looks to Maeglin, who is so still he could almost be dead himself. Turgon rests a hand lightly upon his shoulder but he makes no movement.] Maeglin...I go to speak to your father shortly.
Maeglin: [voice shakes] I have no father… [Idril lifts her head to look at Maeglin, visibly shocked.]
Turgon: [nods almost imperceptibly but says nothing. He kisses Idril upon the head, looks to Aredhel a last time, and walks out of the room. Cut]

* * * * * * *

Cut to Ecthelion outside the door to the dungeon where Eöl is being held: The grille is pulled back and Ecthelion gazes in on the dark elf, chained securely to the wall by shackles at his wrists and ankles. He nods for the guards to open the door. He enters, walking several paces into the darkened cell. Eöl does not show any sign of acknowledging his presence. Ecthelion clears his throat. Still no response from Eöl.

Ecthelion takes another step into the room and Eöl looks up from the floor. His eyes are piercing, glimmering maliciously in the darkness. He looks at Ecthelion and a small, mocking smile comes to his lips. Ecthelion stares at him in a mixture of incredulity and anger. Ecthelion cannnot help but notice that the skin on his wrists has been rubbed into a bloody mess...no doubt due to his straining to escape. Unbidden, his fist rises to meet the side of Eöl’s face with inexplicable force. The smile vanishes from the Dark Elf’s face quickly; he glares up at Ecthelion, spitting out blood and a tooth.


Ecthelion: Compliments of the Noldor… [he paces up and down in front of Eöl in silent fury.]
Eöl: How is my wife?
Ecthelion: Your wife is dead... [nods in grim satisfaction as Eöl shudders at the news] Yea, you also are a kinslayer now! But you do not deserve to name her your wife!
Eöl: [snarling with even more contempt, the blood dribbling down his chin] Nay, she did not deserve to be named my wife! My life was simple before that confounded woman came into my life...You murderers from over the sea curse everything you touch, as Aredhel cursed my life. Serves me right for dealing with the Golodhrim. [he spits again, his blood-specked spittle aimed directly in Ecthelion's face]

[Before he can control himself or think of his actions, Ecthelion draws his sword upon Eöl, holding it to his neck. The edge of his blade is sharp and it cuts a narrow stream at the side of Eöl’s neck. Blood seeps out and dribbles down his neck…]


Ecthelion: [whispers through gritted teeth] Speak carefully, lord of carrion, else my hand by chance slips and my sword beheads you… Why your wife and the King’s daughter begged mercy on your behalf, before I do not know. But they are not here for you now...
Eöl: [sneering] Is this how the mighty Noldor fight? They chain their enemy to a wall and kill him as he stands defenseless and unable to fight back? [the door opens suddenly, and Turgon enters the dungeon.]
Turgon: Ecthelion – Stay your arm!! [Ecthelion does not move, but neither does he withdraw the blade.] Ecthelion!

Ecthelion: [in anguish] Tell me one good reason why I should spare his miserable life??? There is nothing left for him here. If by killing him my life is forfeit then so be it: I would gladly pay the price since he has taken the one thing in my life I deemed worth living for!!
Turgon: [softly] My friend, put down your sword…she would not want your honour tarnished in this way... [sighs] Aredhel did not want restitution for her death: She would have me spare the father of her son - though for what reason, the Valar only know.
Ecthelion: [incredulous] You mean to let him go free? To pardon him for her murder? That is not justice!!
Turgon: [prevaricates] Shall I then disrespect her last wish? I mean to go through with his trial and judgment. Now give me your sword… [Ecthelion still hesitates] Your King commands you!

[reluctantly, Ecthelion lowers his sword and hands it to Turgon. Wordlessly he strides from the dungeon as Turgon watches after him. The silence is broken by a wry chuckle from Eöl. Without hesitation, Turgon spins round and holds the blade once more to Eöl’s neck. Eöl looks at Turgon and the blade mockingly, challengingly… egging him to break the promise he made to his sister upon her deathbed.]

Turgon: Do you want me to kill you, Dark Elf? Do you want me to forsake my promise and give in to my instincts? Many would see it just to have your head dislodged from your body. So why should I not kill you? None knows of my promise and the one to whom I made it is now dead. [Eöl grits his teeth as Turgon slides the blade of his sword along the crevice already cut in his neck, deepening it, slicing his skin and letting the blood trickle down the sword, like sap from a bleeding tree.]

Turgon: [softly] Do you want to know how my sister died? She was in pain, you know? Her pain was excruciating and yet she still thought of you - thought to save your life, despite that you were her slayer. In her suffering she begged me not to harm you, and yet, here I am musing whether I should betray her and my promise… [brings his face close to Eöl's] Tell me why I should preserve your life?

[Turgon looks up to Eöl eyes, waiting for an answer to his question. But Eöl is staring over Turgon’s shoulder into the darkness. Turgon is suddenly aware that someone else has entered the cell. It is Maeglin…]

Turgon: [whispers in Eöl's ear] Did you love her, Dark Elf? Did you ever truly love her? She was beautiful: that was no doubt the reason why you held her captive in the first place. Did you think it to be fun to take a royal princess for your own, to enjoy her sweet taste, night after night, to have her shun sunlight and her kin? Did you think that she was no more than a servile woman who would never even dream of deserting you? [shakes his head] She was far more than you ever imagined her...I am sure you learnt that well enough in your years together. [Turns his head slightly, gesturing towards Maeglin] And now here in my midst stands the offspring of your seed, your lust…your darkness!

Aredhel: [her words are heard as a voice in Turgon’s head:] “…slay him not and let not his hands come upon my son."

Turgon: [looks back to Eöl, stepping away slightly] And is he a reason why I should allow you to live? You are, after all, his father.
Maeglin: [interjects coldly] I renounce him… I am the son of Aredhel only. And now I am orphaned.
Eöl: [hoarsely] Maeglin…you are not one of them! Our people--
Maeglin: [interrupts him in disgust] --I disown any heritage taken from you!

Turgon: He has all his family here now in Gondolin. At least in part shall I hold my promise, for I shall relieve you of what little you have… [his eyes glitter in cold satisfaction] I will take your son, name him my heir and I will treat him as my own: a true Noldor of the royal line of Finwë - the same whom you despise so much!

For the first time, the stern and contemptuous visage of Eöl begins to collapse. The angry snarl that has dominated his face melts and his eyes widen, his lower lip twitches just the slightest at the realization that what he fears most will happen...

Turgon: [frowns] And yet, how can I not kill you? After this most wounding pain you have borne me, how can I find the will within myself to keep you alive? I am not one to break promises made, yet I cannot do as she asks of me. [Ever so slowly, he lets the blade of Ecthelion’s sword free from the crevice of Eöl’s skin and lets the blood trickle freely. He looks directly into Eöl’s eyes and for the first time since Aredhel died, he smiles, chillingly] On the morrow you will die: For the love of my sister, for the safety of her son and this kingdom…and for the sweetness of revenge!

[He turns around and looks to Maeglin, his smile dropping to a look of sombreness ] Come...my son. [gestures to him to leave the cell. As Maeglin walks before him out of the cell and the door closes behind them, Eöl’s screams ring in their ears. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into dungeon just before dawn: Several Elven soldiers enter the chamber where Eöl is held. Without a word being spoken, they unchain him from the wall and place a heavy wooden yoke across his neck. His wrists are slipped through the ends and heavy chains from his wrists are attached to an Elf on either side. Still no words are spoke but the heavy step of Eöl is heard as they advance. As they climb up the stairs the heavy yoke forces the face of Eöl to look at the ground causing him to stumble and fall twice. Once he hits the side of his face upon the sharp edge of the steps and it draws blood and leaves a heavy mark. Each time he is roughly drawn to his feet and forced to resume his climb. One of the guards make a joke:

Guard: It seems the brave murderer is weak in the knees! [the other guard glares back and him and does not respond. The camera pans back and we see the group now emerging from a covered walkway high up on the walls of Gondolin.

The sun is just beginning to break the horizon and it is in the twilight between night and morning. Crowded on the area of the execution are some 200 elves eager to see justice done. They take Eöl to the edge of the battlements. The guards halt at the stipulated place and make to remove his manacles. Turgon bids them wait:]


Turgon: Eöl Mornedhel…you are accused of the murder of Aredhel Ar-Feiniel, daughter of Fingolfin, High-King of the Noldor, princess of this realm, and lately your wife. You killed her in the process of attempting to murder your own son. She was beloved in this city and you have robbed us of her. Many here were witnesses to the act...Is there any citizen of our city who wishes to speak for the prisoner? [five, ten , fifteen seconds goes by and the camera pans the crowd with close-ups on faces but not one says a word.]

Turgon: In the tradition of our people, I ask again, is there anyone who wishes to speak for the prisoner? [another pan of the crowd and no one speaks. The camera ends up on Ecthelion who looks at Turgon]
Ecthelion: [barely above a whisper and almost choking the words out] He has taken a life and it is now time for the law to be fulfilled, my Lord. [his voice becomes stronger and louder.] It is time for this one to die.

[We see many heads nodding in the crowd and they are anxious to see the dark elf die. Shouts come from the crowd urging the sentence to be carried out. Turgon raises his hand and the crowd quiets. he turns toward the prisoner.]

Turgon: None have come forward in your defence. Therefore you have been found guilty of this deed and by the laws of this realm your life is forfeit. Before I pass sentence, do you wish to plead for mercy? [All eyes now turn to Eöl who realizes that his fate is soon to meet him. ]
Eöl: None will speak for me? [looks at Maeglin, who meets his father’s eyes unflinchingly] Then I will meet my end with some vestige of dignity…not on my knees, begging mercy from a Golodh!
Turgon: Then I hereby sentence you to be thrown to your death from the walls of the city. [The sun rises over the distant mountain peaks, illuminating the black cliffs, setting the city aflame, its spires glittering like the finely honed edges of many swords] Let the prisoner speak his farewells if he so wishes…

[Eöl looks pointedly at Maeglin, hoping for some sign of regret from his son. Maeglin simply stands by, saying nothing. Turgon gives the signal and two guards release Eöl’s bonds, then more guards move in, taking hold of the Dark-Elf bodily. He struggles…]

Idril: [troubled] Cousin…you do not have to witness this, all would understand…
Maeglin: [looks into the distance, ignoring all around him.] I will see my mother avenged!

Eöl: [cries out as he struggles] So you forsake your father and his kin, ill-gotten son! Here shall you fail of all your hopes, and here may you yet die the same death as I… [his struggles are ended as the guards cast him over the precipice and his body falls, twisting and writhing like a furious spider without a web to save him, down past the foundations of the city walls. His final words, now a scream, are borne away on the wind. His body bounces once, twice then crashing onto the rocky plain below. The camera follows his fall and rests upon his broken, bloody and horribly twisted body jammed upon some up-thrusting rocks. His face is pulp and he is unrecognizable. Idril gasps, shivering. Maeglin starts out of his reverie and puts his arm around her.]

Idril: His words bear an ill-omen!
Maeglin: Nonsense…they are but a curse: the bitter ranting of a madman who is now named a kinslayer also. Now I am rid of him forever! I am not sorry. I only wish it had been my hands that pushed him over the edge.…
Idril: [pushes him away, horrified] How can you be so callous toward your own flesh and blood? He loved you far more than you realize!
Maeglin: [stubbornly] Seems a strange kind of love that would seek to take my life! [Brightens, states confidently] Besides, all Gondolin would agree that justice has been done and today my life begins anew. Your father has promised me the highest honour in his realm!

Idril: [not impressed] It seems to me that honour is something which may be earned, not given… [turns on her heel and walks off, leaving a puzzled Maeglin wondering what he has done to give offence. Eventually he shakes his head as if to clear the befuddlement, and grins. He starts off down the hill, hurrying to catch up with his cousin, calling to her, attempting to win her over...

Camera pans back up the hill to where Turgon and Ecthelion are still standing. The guards have been dismissed and are marching away through the streets. Ecthelion stands at the place where Eöl was despatched, staring down at his broken body. A murder of carrion crows circles high above the plain of Tumladen. Turgon watches his friend hesitantly, then eventually he moves alongside him and breaks the silence…]


Turgon: It is done: she is avenged. [Ecthelion nods but says nothing, his face hard and unmoving] Somehow we must move on, for the sake of her son, at least.
Ecthelion: [voice thick with emotion] To lose her once was bad enough…then, when I thought the Valar had finally smiled on me and would bless our union, Mandos snatches her from my grasp for eternity. [slams his fist down on the battlements] Curse Fëanor and his oath! And the kinslaying that brought the Doom upon us! It is as Ulmo warned…I fear we cannot escape it even here…

Turgon: Perhaps…it seems I must come to terms with the fact that despite the precautions I took out of love for my family and subjects, it will never be enough against fate. But let us speak not of dread and gloom, we must enjoy what we have and what is given. [reaches out a hand to Ecthelion’s shoulder] My friend… she would not have you dwell on her death, or fade. Will you take a hand in Maeglin’s education? Train him to fight as well as our finest swordsmen and archers?

Ecthelion: [after long pause, shakes his head] Let Glorfindel take that honour…to see her son’s countenance each day would remind me of what I have lost. Neither will I seek another to replace her. There is nothing left for me at Court, Turgon: give me leave to immerse myself in military duties. Give me a commission among the humble guardsmen that defend our realm. I would devote myself to a soldier’s life.
Turgon: [considers for a moment, trying to fathom Ecthelion’s deepest thoughts, then nods sadly] If that is what you truly desire, so be it. I will find you a commission among the guards of the Gates. But you will remain a Lord of Gondolin, and head of the House of the Fountain. [Ecthelion bows in acquiescence and the two embrace in the Elven manner. Fade.]

* * *

Fade into scene in King’s Hall: We see Turgon and family processing down the centre, and ascending the dais. Turgon sits on his throne, with Idril seated to his left. The Lords of Gondolin array themselves with five either side of the thrones. Maeglin enters the Hall wearing his sword, Anguirel, and the surcoat and insignia of a Lord of Gondolin. He kneels before the King. He swears fealty to Turgon:

Maeglin: I take thee, Turgon, as my Lord and King, and vow to do all thy will. I swear that I will use my skills to preserve and beautify this realm, to keep its location secret, and to arm it against danger. [Turgon places a circlet of gold upon his head to reflect his adoption into the Noldor royalty He stands and takes his place on the right of the throne, and the assembled nobility of Gondolin applaud and cheer. As Maeglin accepts their applause and adulation we hear his thoughts in a voiceover:]

Maeglin: [voiceover] I am finally at liberty to seek my own future. The king has recognized me as his sister-son, giving to me a family and a home… and beside me stands the fairest treasure of the Noldor. Idril, as golden as the fruit of Laurelin itself! Let me but win her love, and I will be content… [we see Maeglin turn and catch catch Idril’s eye. She nods politely then resolutely looks away.] It matters not that she is my cousin; Nothing is impossible, with love.

[Camera pans away from the tableaux on the dais, sweeping slowly across the crowd assembled in the throne room. Eventually the camera picks out Pengolodh, standing near the back of the room watching Maeglin intently. Idril’s maid and confidante, Meleth looks on beside him…]

Meleth: Ah, ‘tis good to see some colour in the boy’s cheeks at last, eh, Pengolodh? He has lived in the darkness too long[frowns] though I am not sure he ought to look at the princess that way when they are so closely related!
Pengolodh: [shakes his head and mutters] The Child of Twilight revels in the sun, dazzled by her radiance…yet little does he realize it is the brightest light that casts the deepest shadows… [he turns away towards the door, leaving a puzzled Meleth still politely applauding as the camera returns to the tableaux on the dais again. Fade.]

End of Episode
*********************************************************************************

_________________
There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound.
~Diana Cortes


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