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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:29 am 
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Season 4 Episode 4

[Episode opens on camera moving rapidly through the corridors of the royal palace in Minas Tirith, in the 4th Age. We are seeing through the eyes of someone running, and we hear their footsteps and their breathing becoming heavier. Finally the camera stops at a door, and a small hand is seen reaching out to pull on the handle and open it. The door swings inward to reveal the bedchamber of the King and Queen. The heavily pregnant Queen Arwen is lying in bed, attended by a concerned King Elessar, who is also comforting a tearful 4-year-old Silmariën. The royal physician is bending over the Queen’s swollen abdomen, making various examinations of the state of her pregnancy, and muttering to himself. Camera swings away to show a breathless and worried 9-year-old Eldarion in the doorway.]

Eldarion: Naneth! [runs over to the bed. Aragorn puts out a gently restraining hand] Ada…what has happened? The servants said she had fallen in a faint….Will all be well with Naneth?
Arwen: [tired] Yes, Eldarion, I will be fine with plenty of rest.
Aragorn: Your mother has just been trying to do too much... [grins wryly] … as is her wont!
Physician: [smiles at Eldarion] Her majesty is in good health but the strain of this pregnancy is taking its toll. She must have complete bed rest until her time. The babies should arrive safely soon enough but a multiple birth is not without its complications.

[Aragorn and Eldarion look at the physician in shock, Eldarion with mouth hanging open…Arwen smiles beatifically…]
Aragorn: [clears throat, recovering from the surprise] Babies, you say??? Ah..how many exactly?
Physician: I believe I have detected two heartbeats… [looks pointedly at Arwen for confirmation, she nods.]
Aragorn: [to Arwen, confused] You knew already? [looks hurt] Why did you not tell me?
Physician: Ah, by your leave, Majesties…I will return to check on my patient in the morning. [Aragorn nods in dismissal and physician beats a hasty retreat.]

Arwen: [gently] Because, my love, I knew how you would worry so… and unnecessarily!
Aragorn: [huffily] Seeing you like this now hardly strengthens your argument…
Arwen: squeezing his hand] I will be fine. You forget that Elven women are not so fragile as those of your race.

Silmariën: [tugging on Aragorn’s sleeve] Will I still get a sister if there are two babies??? I don't want a pest like Elboron! [Everyone laughs]
Eldarion: [finding his voice at last. Exclaims excitedly] Twins!!! I hope they will be boy twins like Elladan and Elrohir…will the babies look exactly the same, Naneth?
Arwen: We shall have to wait and see… [glances at her husband] I do not see why you are so surprised! After all, twins do run in the family!
Aragorn: Well, yes, and you are much larger this time…but, well, [trails off] I do not know much about these things! [kisses Arwen to hide his embarrassment]

Silmariën: What does “run in the family” mean?
Eldarion: [knowingly] It means it has happened before! Tutor used a big word to describe it the other day. It began with a “P” [thinks hard] Uhm...pre...press...uh...precipice?
Aragorn: [chuckles] Close, son…you mean “precedence.”
Eldarion: [annoyed] That is what I meant! [turns to Arwen] Naneth, what other twins were there in our family? …..oh, I remember now, Amras and Amrod, Fëanor’s sons!!

Arwen: Well, they were the first, certainly, though our family does not descend through them. They were both killed in the Third Kinslaying. But my line descends from Finwë through Finarfin’s daughter, my grandmother Galadriel, on one side, and Lúthien and Beren on the other. [to Aragorn] If you will help me to sit up, dearest, I will be more comfortable for a long story… [Aragorn complies, arranging the pillows so that Arwen is comfortable. The children scramble onto the bed to cuddle up beside her]

Arwen: Now, as you know, my brothers are indeed twins. And so is my Ada, though his brother died long ago, in the Second Age… Elrond and Elros were the twin sons of Elwing and Eärendil the Mariner. And in fact, Elwing had twin bothers herself, but theirs is a sad tale I will save for another time. All three were the children of Dior Eluchíl and Nimloth of Doriath. Nimloth was the niece of my grandfather, Celeborn, and Dior was the son of Beren and Lúthien…

Eldarion: [excitedly] You mean, Beren did get to marry Lúthien after all??? Does that mean they gave up on the Quest for the Silmaril and just lived happily together in the wild, then?

Arwen: Oh, they thought about doing just that, but Beren’s code of honour would not let him go back on his word to Thingol… [fade to voiceover over montage] After Finrod’s burial, Beren and Lúthien did not rush to return to the Quest. Instead, they allowed Beren to recover from his ordeal, enjoying each other’s company, straying by the banks of Sirion, though Autumn faded and winter drew on. Little by little, Beren steered their course toward Doriath under frosty skies and leafless boughs. Yet even though winter hunted through the wood, flowers still lingered, and birds sang where Lúthien & her lover passed by. Throughout this journey their days and nights were filled with love, laughter and joy, more than any of the children of Eru had ever shared, although their time was very short.

* * * * * * *

[Fade into scene of Celegorm and Curufin heading north along the borders of the forests of Brethil. Huan bounds easily along behind them. After crossing the river of Sirion to Dimbar they follow the northern borders of Doriath. Fade.]

*

[Beren and Lúthien are laughing and enjoying the closeness of each other’s company. They seem in no hurry. Dawn is rising. Lúthien sees a stream ahead and stops in her tracks.]

Lúthien: This is Mindeb’s narrow stream. Beyond is the border to my kingdom... [hopefully] Will you not return home with me?
Beren: Alas, but Doriath I cannot enter. Never again will I find the winding path even if Melian willed it or Thingol allowed, for I vowed not to come back without a Silmaril in my hand. Once you are safely returned to your own people I must set forth again, though sorrow pierces me and I grieve at our parting.
Lúthien: [nods sadly] These now are your choices: to relinquish the quest and your oath and seek a life of wandering upon the face of the earth; or to hold to your word and challenge the power of darkness upon its throne. I fear that is a hopeless task, and only death lies before us…Why should we not turn from fear and woe, and roam beneath the trees, roofless, with all the world as home?
Beren: My Tinúviel, the Quest must be fulfilled. Can we hide from your Father’s searching eyes and his perilous reach? Can we run from our own fate? No, wherever we hide, our doom shall find us. If we abandon our honour, then no good shall come from our love.
Lúthien: [vehemently] Then on either road I shall go with you, and our doom shall be alike. I am not willing to be parted from you again.

*

[cut to clip of Celegorm and Curufin riding quietly through the trees on their horses. Beren and Lúthien, wrapped in themselves, however, don’t see them as they are somewhat hidden by the trees. The brothers spot the two from a distance, and are surprised.]

Celegorm: Even from this distance one can recognize the daughter of Thingol: The shadows under the thick forests weaken neither her beauty nor her brightness, and surely the one at her side must be Beren -
Curufin: [vindictively] Let us kill the mortal and take Lúthien…. Doriath will still be ours. And Nargothrond will learn of their mistake and pay for it. [Celegorm hesitates, realizing that Huan is some way behind. Curufin draws closer.]
Curufin: We are riders, and they are on foot. We can easily do it, my brother. - All you need to do is--
Celegorm: [snaps angrily] -- I will deal with the mortal, and I do not need you to advise me. [Without waiting for Curufin's reply he urges his horse forward. Cut back to Beren & Lúthien, still ignorant of their peril:]

*

Beren: [gently] No, Love…I have brought you safely to your homeland. I would have you return to the safe-keeping of your mother and walk at ease under these well-loved trees.
Lúthien: My heart is glad when it sees these fair trees. Yet my heart forsook my home and my kin when I left to find you. I would not return there ever again without you beside me. I will not go home! I will roam weeping in the woods, in pursuit of you until we meet again.
Beren: [Helplessly] Nay, dearest, bravest Lúthien, you make it even harder for me to part. Your love me drew me from terrible bondage yet I am loathe to take you with me to the dreadful mansions of Angband. [shudders and holds her to him] Never, never!

*

[cut to Celegorm and Curufin still moving quietly closer. Huan is behind, distracted by birds and rabbits and is unaware of the brothers’ plans. Cut back to lovers.]

*

Lúthien: [indignantly] Was I not the one who defeated Sauron?
Beren: Most assuredly. But Sauron is not Morgoth, His cunning, his might and his evil pale in comparison with his Master. You, dearest, are powerful, but surely you are no match for the Dark Lord!
[Suddenly Celegorm and Curufin ride into the glade. Celegorm rides past Beren and turns back, intending to ride him down.]

Celegorm: [spurs his horse at Beren, shouts] Let us see if the two of you are a match against two of Fëanor’s sons!

[Curufin, a strong and cunning horseman, rides directly to Lúthien, stoops and lifts her onto his horse before him. Thereafter, he also turns his horse toward Beren, coming at him from the opposite direction as Celegorm; intending to maim or kill. Finally arriving at the edge of the glade, Huan stands there wondering why the brothers are riding their horses directly at Beren and why Lúthien is on Curufin’s horse screaming at him and struggling to get off.

The brothers arrive at Beren about the same time. Beren leaps before Celegorm and his horse and lands behind Curufin on his, taking Curufin by the throat with both hands and pulling him back causing Curufin to pull back on the reins and the horse to rear and fall backward. They fall clear of the horse, which rises and stands nearby shaking its head. Beren holds fast his hands around Curufin’s neck, and continues to strangle him. Lúthien is thrown from the horse: She lands dazed but unharmed on a soft patch of heavy grass.

Celegorm watches Curufin's face start turning purple in suffocation. He jerks his spear off the saddle and urges his horse to charge towards Beren's undefended back. A terrible roar rises from behind, startling his horse and casing it to swerve suddenly. It rears up on his hind legs neighing. Caught off guard he almost loses his balance and has to loosen the spear and grab the mane instead; as he steadies himself he sees Huan blocking his way.]


Celegorm: [roars] Get out of my way! Get out! - You are my dog, not his!
[Huan does not flinch, anger and unspeakable disappointment in his eyes. Huan roars again and moves forward, causing the horse to back up hastily in fear. It does not advance an inch however Celegorm tries to command and urge him. With the last bit of patience worn, his anger overtakes him]

Celegorm: [shouts angrily] Huan, you faithless hound, Curse you! So, you betray your master for a worthless Man and an Elven-maid! Curse you, you baseborn dog, daring to bare your teeth against your master! I curse you and the day Oromë give me such a cur!

Lúthien: [cries in alarm] ...Stop, Beren! [Seeing Beren is still strangling Curufin she rushes to his side and grabs his arm,] Forebear your anger! His life shall not end upon your hands: His doom lies far beyond you, my love.

[Her voice calls some sense back into Beren. Pursing his lips Beren unwillingly releases his hands]
Beren: [harshly] You are right, Lúthien. But he shall not leave freely. He does not have any honour, and I will not grant him any respect.

[Lúthien releases Beren's arm, stands up, and turns to Celegorm. She looks at him, her immortal beauty almost blinding in the surrounding gloom. Her eyes meet his, showing no fear, only a deep sorrow, and her voice suddenly rings in his mind.]

Lúthien: [voiceover] Do not go to Doriath. If you set your feet upon Menegroth, your doom shall find you.

Celegorm: [angrily] Your words are trivial and feeble indeed compared to all the threats the sons of Fëanor have heard. One day Doriath will fall by my hands. I swear. Go with your mortal. Remember, you shall pay your price.
Lúthien: [sadly] Then I pity you, Celegorm…

[Curufin struggles to sit up, gasping and coughing, weak like a newborn. Beren mercilessly despoils Curufin's gear and weapons. Huan continues growling at Celegorm. Beren reaches to Curufin’s side and unsnaps his knife and holds it momentarily to his throat.]

Curufin: [gasps, holds his neck and rasps,] That is Angrist, given to me by Telchar of Nogrod!
Beren: All the more reason why I should take it. I will have better use for it than you. [places the unsheathed Angrist at his side. Pulls Curufin up roughly and sends him flying towards Celegorm.] Your horse I keep also for the service of Lúthien, and it may be accounted happy to be free of such a master.

Celegorm: [to Beren] Indeed, far get you gone! And if fortune favours you will die of hunger in the waste rather than taste the wrath of Fëanor's sons. You shall not escape our curse: No gem - neither maid, nor Silmaril - shall lie in your grasp for long.
Beren: Begone with you both! Let your lust cool off in exile…perhaps your noble kinfolk might teach you to turn your valour to worthier use.
Curufin: [angrily] And go you hence unto a swift and bitter death!

[Turning his back to and ignoring Curufin, Beren takes the horse and leads it toward Lúthien. Huan watches the brothers closely. Curufin walks unsteadily over to his brother’s horse and mounts behind Celegorm. Suddenly he grabs Celegorm’s bow and an arrow, turns and aims the fitted arrow at Lúthien. Huan bays loudly, and Beren turns to see Curufin shoot the arrow at her.

Huan jumps up like a lightning catching the arrow in his mouth as it speeds towards her. Curufin releases a second shot at Lúthien and this time it is Beren that steps in front of her. Celegorm waches as the point goes in Beren’s upper left breast and out his back. Lúthien shouts,
“Beren!” and catches him as he falls, blood spilling like a blooming crimson flower.]

Celegorm: [astounded, to Curufin] What are you doing? You should not have assaulted her!
Curufin: You should not have let her go in the first place…it is all your hound’s fault! [kicks the horse and the stallion starts galloping away. Huan roars and springs upon them like a blazing fire, the arrow falling from his mouth, and runs after the fleeing horse until the brothers are well away. ]

*

[Lúthien continues to try and rouse Beren by calling his name. For a moment his eyes remain open then he falls into unconsciousness. After a few minutes, Huan returns carrying a bundle of leaves in his mouth.]

Lúthien: [crying] Athelas! Thank you, my clever friend.

[Lúthien puts a handful of the healing plant in her mouth and chews to moisten it. She then takes Angrist from Beren’s side and cuts the arrow’s point off with very little effort. She pulls the arrow out through the front as carefully as she can. Beren awakens briefly and screams of pain. He immediately falls back into unconsciousness. She spits the chewed wad into her hand, splits it in half and pastes the wads over the entry and exit wounds, cutting strips from the hem of her gown to bind them in place. She then cradles Beren’s head in her arms and looks at Huan.]

Lúthien: There is still hope, faithful one…we must ask for Eru’s mercy. [Huan looks on in dire concern for his friend and utters a mournful whine. 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 Feb 03, 2012 10:22 pm 
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***WARNING*** This scene contains a potentially upsetting graphic description of violence which has been "masked" for those not wishing to read it.


[Scene opens in a very dark corridor deep in the bowels of Angband . A group of Orcs are herding three Elves all bound in chains roughly ahead of them like cattle.

We emerge into a central room in Angband and soon see it is the main throne room and is like a beehive of activity. In the centre, on a large dais, Morgoth sits upon his throne He beckons with a gloved finger and the Orcs herd the three towards the many steps below him..

With great effort, the Elves are forced to start climbing the large steps leading up toward the Dark Lord's throne. Morgoth stares around the room in boredom at their laborious approach. Suddenly he notices one of the pillars, covered with worker Orcs depicted as building a tower of Angband, with the tower section rising as the pillar rises. The shadow cast by the carved figures seems to flicker and waver, bulging out of proportion. As he looks closer, mesmerised by the image, his eyes meet those of one of the carved Orcs and its eyes seem to come alive, widening in fear. As Morgoth watches, a bedraggled Orc - an anorexic, emaciated scrap of a creature – detaches himself from his hiding place....

Morgoth puts up a hand to halt the progress of the elves and the guards pull back the trio roughly. The woman is tugged so hard she slips and cracks her mouth on the edge of a step causing a torrent of blood to begin flowing. ]


Morgoth: [pointing to the Orc scout] You! Why do you skulk in the shadows? Are you not one of Gorthaur’s maggots? It is overlong since I last heard from my erstwhile Lieutenant…Come forward at once and bring me any news!
[Orc stumbles towards the dais, and slowly crawls up the steps, dislodging splinters of bones as he rises trembling towards the foot of the throne.]

Orc: [snivelling]Oh, most Terrible One…I bring news indeed, but my tidings are not ones that will please your powerful Majesty…
Morgoth: [drums his gauntleted fingers on the arm of his throne] Speak, miserable worm, and quickly, if you value your head upon your scrawny shoulders a while longer!
Orc: [cringes, his neck seemingly shrinking into his torso] Alas, your plans have seemingly gone astray, Lord. Boldog, whom you sent to Doriath’s March to win the fair Elven maid, Lúthien, has fallen in battle with her father, Thingol. His host were dismayed by the loss of their captain and were routed easily by Greymantle’s folk
Morgoth: [astounded] What jest is this? How could so dire a captain as Boldog be overwhelmed so easily?

Orc: [wringing his hands] Awful One, it is no jest…Thingol is a fierce enemy, more so when his daughter is in peril. But it seems that the Elven maid has escaped her captives and is still at liberty. [hesitates] Ah..I regret there are further tidings to dismay you, Lord:
Morgoth: [slowly] Say on, wretched envoy of ill news…
Orc: [wipes his sweating palms and forehead with the end of the filthy rag he is wearing]
Tis the most dire news of all: Lord Gorthaur is overthrown, his isle broken and plundered by the same Elven maid… and the hound of war, Huan whom the Valar first unleashed in Valinor, has defeated mighty Draugluin in mortal combat. The hound’s baying has oft been heard of late in the forests of Beleriand.

Morgoth: [slams his fist down on the arm of the throne, pauses, then laughs cruelly] So Sauron has had his backside whipped by a slip of an Elf and no doubt is licking his wounded pride in some dank hole, too shame-faced to slink back to his master…..I shall let him dwell on his misery for now. I have more important matters to concern me: Full well I know the Doom foretold for the Hound of Valinor…and I have taken matters into my own hands: [looks at cringing Orc] No, you would barely make a mouthful…count yourself fortunate…this time. [Dismisses Orc who scuttles away gratefully. Morgoth turns to guards of the Elf family] Unchain the smallest one!

[The Orcs release the smaller elf who is no more than ten years old. His hair is long and dirty and his skin is also dirty and is marked by some minor wounds as do the two older elves. They are thin and emaciated and appear not have benefit of a bath for a very long time. The other two elves - a man and woman - react, throwing themselves on their knees and begging for mercy for their son. Some Orcs begin to smile and a few stifle some laughter and it is obvious they know what is coming.]

Morgoth: [benignly] Do not worry either of you. I can see you are loving parents and only want the best for your child. Today is his day of liberation. I am freeing him from his confinement and he will no longer suffer with you. [Morgoth then gestures to an Orc at least twice the size of the others. He cups his hands to his face and issues a combination of a screech and a whistle causing the activity and the commotion in the area to come to a sudden halt. From around the rear of the throne area a shape detaches it self from the deep shadows of a recess in the walls and begins to emerge and slink forward. At first, we see only the red glow of two burning eyes which appear to move on their own in the darkness. Then, as it slowly emerges from the blackness, we see an extreme close-up of the body of the creature coming into the light.

It is Carcharoth - a large werewolf at least twice the size of a full grown elf. He moves on all fours and as he approaches orcs and all other creatures step back to give him a wider path. The wolf snarls at those he passes and some run from him. Even a Balrog standing to the left of Morgoth takes a step back and to the rear of his master looking for protection.]


Morgoth: It is almost midday and my pet has not yet broken his fast.
[spoiler] [With lightning like speed the arm of Morgoth reaches out and picks up the boy from where he stands and in another fast motion snaps his arm at the shoulder and waves it under the nose of the werewolf who becomes eager and agitated. The boy is so startled that he is frozen with mouth gaping at the blood pouring from his shoulder socket.

Both his parents begins screaming in horror and surge forward to help the boy but are beaten down roughly by Orcs. They lay on the stone floor, bleeding and begging for the boy’s life.]
[/spoiler]

Morgoth: Enjoy this tasty morsel, my pet. [spoiler] [he throws it into the gaping mouth of the demonic hound, nodding his head slightly in a signal of approval.....

Carcharoth rises on his back legs and stands nearly up to the chest of Morgoth.... he reaches for the boy and as he does so we see he is able to lengthen and articulate his paws like a bear, so that he can scoop his prey up......

The wolf grabs the boy in both hands and issues a long and deep howl. The Elf mother now has lost all touch with reality and is twitching and sobbing and talking gibberish having completely broken down.

Carcharoth holds the boy up to his face so he can look into the boy’s eyes for a moment and then throws him hard to the floor. The wolf gets back on all fours and bats him around back and forth playing with him as the whimpering boy feebly tries to squirm and crawl away, prompting orcs and other creatures to laugh in delight. After a minute, Carcharoth tires of the game. Pinning the child down with one paw, and tangling the claws of his other front paw in the child’s hair, he begins to tear the flesh from the boy’s body with his teeth.

The father is now cradling his wife and cannot even bear to watch the sight. Mercifully blood loss has rendered the child silent as the wolf devours him, piece by piece, his jaws crunching the smaller bones like matchsticks. Reaching the ribcage, Carcharoth opens his mouth to its widest gap so that it almost seems to dislocate. Encompassing the ribcage, he crushes the chest cavity with one snap of the jaws, feasting on the sweetbreads within. Soon all that is left is the skull and thigh bones.

When the wolf has finished the boy, his jaws return to normal position and he shakes his head vigorously back and forth: the boy’s blood and soft tissue spray some of the onlookers liberally.]
[/spoiler]

Morgoth: [looks down upon the sobbing parents] Your son suffers no more. I have dispatched him to the Halls of Mandos and he will be at peace. Go back now and await the happy day when both of you will join him. But for now, remember well what you have seen here.

[Carcharoth, satisfied and sated, curls up at the feet of Morgoth with one of the child’s femurs in its maw, as the Dark master takes his seat upon his throne.]

Morgoth: [petting the beast as it settles down to gnaw on the bone] Eat up, my fine boy…there is an endless supply of elf and there will be plenty more where that came from. We shall need to build your strength if you are to send that whelp of Oromë’s packing back to Valinor… [fade out.]

* * * * * * *

[Clips show time passing by as Beren heals…A rough bivouac shelter has been built with tree branches and a fire burns for warmth, the glowing embers contrasting against the frosty ground. Beren lies wrapped in his cloak, in a deep, drowsing sleep, while Lúthien bends over him watchfully. She slakes his thirst, caresses his brow and softly croons a song of Healing. At night-time, Huan and Lúthien lie close beside him to conserve body heat.

Slowly Beren begins to come out of unconsciousness. Camera sees through Beren’s eyes and ears: He sees black, white and then blue as his eyes attempt to focus. He hears Lúthien singing lowly nearby. He begins to see the leaves on the branches above him shaking in the breeze. There are also many birds, including a pair of turtledoves sitting on limbs in the closest trees to him. On the ground with Lúthien’s nightingales are rabbits, squirrels and deer, all come to wait for their friend to awaken. The horse is grazing nearby, and Huan is standing guard over Beren;

Beren turns his head to the side. Huan notices immediately: he barks and licks his face. Lúthien turns to see Beren conscious and smiling as Huan continues slobbering all over his face. ]


Beren: [laughing] Enough, my friend! I am glad to see you, too. I know I need to bathe, but I would rather use water than your slobbers!
Lúthien: [kneels down at Beren’s side, kisses him tenderly] How fare you, my Love?
Beren: Weak. Very weak…
Lúthien: [crying with relief] There were times I knew not if you were going to survive. Thank Eru you have come back to us! [Huan barks and wags his tail in agreement.]
Beren: Beneath other skies I wandered, in lands more awful and unknown. I journeyed to the deep shadow where the dead dwell. But ever a voice like birds, like music, called me back to the light. How long have I been out?
Lúthien: Since the arrow smote you, Ithil has waxed and is now on the wane again…
Beren: So, autumn is past? I have been detained too long. I must return to the Quest. [attempts to rise, but moans and sits back down.]
Lúthien: The Quest can wait… for now you are still too weak to attempt anything.
Beren: My heart is chilled. I curse my oath and the fate that joined us both, snaring your feet in my sad doom.
Lúthien: Beloved, I would spend all my grace to keep you here. If you had not returned to me, I would have followed you into the dark.
Beren: My love, save your grace. To other dark halls I must go. My road leads to
Angband. There you cannot follow.
Lúthien: Have I healed you only to have you parted from me again? I will ask once
more. Will you come away with me?
Beren: As I am true to you, I will be true to your father. He shall have a Silmaril. By
our love I will return then, but not before. [Grimaces from pain, lays back to rest.]
Lúthien: [Quietly to herself.] Yet love will find you, unexpected and unlooked for. [Fade.] [/color]

* * * * * * *

[Camera open on a workroom in Himring. Maedhros, Maglor, Elf Messengers 1, 2, and 3 stand near a large map hanging on the wall. Nassë stands to one side, looking disgusted and offended.]

Maedhros: [points to map] I know we can do this, if we all hold together! This siege wears on our people more than it harms our Enemy. In fact, I think the delay works to his advantage for he has time to devise more and darker treacheries while we keep him locked in his own lands. [to Elf Messenger 1] You will have the longest route, for you must reach my cousin Finrod in Nargothrond. From there you will travel to the sea and convince Círdan to join us. We came once to his aid; it is high time he returned the favor. If he is reluctant, remind him of this.
Elf Messenger 1: [bows] Emphatically, my lord.

Maedhros: Good. Now you [indicates Elf Messenger 2] will go to my brother Caranthir, and also Amrod and Amras. Fortunately for us, they are all in one place and not far away. When you have gained their agreement, I want you to travel east to Belegost. The Dwarf Lord Azaghâl should receive this message warmly. With luck he will convince his kin to join our cause.
Elf Messenger 2: I will return quickly, my lord.

Maedhros: [to Elf Messenger 3] You are to reach my cousin Fingon in Hithlum. It is vital that he join our cause, as he guards the passes Morgoth may use to outflank us. He should receive you gladly. Go with all speed.
Elf Messenger 3: [bows] Yes, my lord.

Maedhros: [to Elf Messenger 4] I will send you to the Men that can be trusted. Your job should be an easy one. Men are not known to be cowards, and their short lives make them more willing to act now rather than wait and hope for a better chance later. While you are about it, see if you cannot convince King Thingol to join the world outside Doriath. I will not be too disappointed if you fail, but make the effort.
Elf Messenger 4: [nods, bows]

Maglor: Why not send one of their own to them? No doubt they would listen to Bór more quickly than to any Elf.
Maedhros: I asked Bór earlier. He told me that since he is an Easterling, the Men we would have join our cause would no doubt slay him on sight. It seems most of the Men within our walls are of a race hated by their own kind because most of them serve the Darkness. [shrugs] I cannot ask a man for advice and then refuse to listen when he tells me something I did not think of.
Maglor: [nods] Not that we would know anything about kin mistrusting kin, would we?
Nassë: [sarcastic] Our own people would not think of such horror.
Maedhros: [glares, turns to Maglor] Do you have nothing better to do?
Maglor: [glances from Maedhros to Nassë and back] I believe I will check on the sentries. They have a tendency to become distracted. [exits right]

Maedhros: [to Messengers] Well, you have your orders. Get gone. [Elf Messengers exit right. Nassë approaches Map and pretends to study it.]

Maedhros: [moves to fireplace, adds a log] You have something to say. Out with it.
Nassë: I suppose congratulations are in order. You will soon have all as you would wish, for the whole world will call you “Lord”. No doubt once your allies are gathered you will march upon the Black Land and fulfill your quest, climbing over bodies to hold your father’s great treasure. And when you have at last set the iron crown upon your head all will be at peace!

[Camera focus on Maedhros as she speaks. He is poking the fire more and more forcefully as Nassë speaks. Finally he stands, still facing the fire. Camera focus on Maedhros’ face, furious.]
Maedhros: [tightly] Is that what you think I want?
Nassë: Of course. The entire focus of your existence is bent to fulfil that cursed Oath. [Maedhros turns suddenly and hurls the poker across the room. He seizes Nassë’s tunic and shoves her against the wall before she can react.]

Maedhros: Damn the Silmarils! And damn my father for creating them! They bring nothing but pain and blood to all who think of them! I wish they were never made! I wish the Earth would swallow them and their curse would be gone forever! [Camera focus on Nassë, terrified and confused.]

Maedhros: But maybe you think I am the sort to take what he wants, without regard to who it might hurt! I suppose that is what you are accustomed to. [Maedhros braces Nassë against the wall with his right arm. His left arm drops out of camera.] Lady, is that what you desire?
Nassë: [stiffens, closes her eyes]
Maedhros: [hesitates] No! I am not such a monster. I will not be that thing!

[Maedhros steps back suddenly. Nassë stumbles, but catches herself. Maedhros pours a cup of wine, hands it to her, and drinks from the bottle. He wipes his mouth on his sleeve. Camera focus on Nassë, uncertain.]

Maedhros: [voice breaking] Thanks to those wretched stones I am left to try with all my strength to preserve what is left of the free peoples of this world. I do not want this job, but nobody thought to ask me before I was given the post! Do you know what I want? [Nassë shakes her head] I want a quiet house, where I could raise horses. I want to watch my sons grow to manhood, and I want to glare at the young hotspurs who dare to court my daughters. I want to forget those swan ships ever existed. I want the screams of the Teleri to stop haunting my dreams. [shoulders shake. Nassë sets the cup on the floor and moves to comfort Maedhros. She lays a hand on his shoulder, still tense.]

Maedhros: [tightly] Lady, if you have any sense of self-preservation you will walk away from me right now! [Nassë exits, walking backward, not taking her eyes from Maedhros. Maedhros drinks from the bottle again, his back to her. He does not bother to wipe away the wine that spills. Camera follow Nassë exit right, shift to Maedhros, still drinking. 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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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:13 pm 
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[Fade in on the fifth morning since Beren regained consciousness: he has awoken earlier than Lúthien and lies next to her for a while, admiring her as she sleeps. Huan is sleeping beside her. Beren quietly gets up and walks to the horse. Just as he is preparing to mount him, he sees that Huan has quietly followed him.]

Beren: [pats Huan’s head, whispers] Be very quiet, my friend…I return now to the Quest and leave Lúthien in your care. If I wait longer, Huan, she will awaken and wish to go with me, and I will not take her to almost certain death. Take good care of her. Guard her from wind and foes. Keep her hidden from hands that would seize or harm her. If you can, persuade her and escort her home. Farewell, my friend. [Beren mounts and turns the horse and rides away. Huan gives a small whine and then returns to lay down again by Lúthien. Fade.]

* * *

[Fade into Beren arriving at the Pass of Sirion, in the heat of the day. He dismounts, climbs onto a large boulder on the stony slopes of the wooded highlands of Taur-nu-Fuin, where sombre pines with blackened limbs stand like the masts of many sail-less ships. Beren gazes out grimly across the dunes and shifting drought of Anfauglith and looks to the north. He spies the three peaks of Thangorodrim, and sighs deeply. The horse stands beside him, shaking its head and neighing. Beren smiles at him, climbs down and takes off its bridle.]

Beren: [leans his head against its neck, rubbing its nose] I thank you for bearing me this far, my friend, but now I release you from my service. May you forever run free upon the green grass of Sirion and dream of Yavanna’s pastures. Farewell and fare free, noble steed. [he removes the horse’s saddle and gently taps the horse on his rear; it slowly walks away. After several steps it turns and neighs loudly at Beren, as if reluctant to leave its master.]

Beren: [gestures away from him] Go on now! [The horse gives another short neigh and then continues back towards the Vale of Sirion.

Beren wanders steadily around the skirts of Taur-nu-Fuin, but the weight of his task, and the thought of facing the final peril alone fills him with despair. He sits on a boulder, watching the setting sun. Not caring who should hear, he begins to compose a farewell to Lúthien, singing the lines aloud:]


Beren: “Farewell sweet earth and northern sky,
for ever blest, since here did lie,
and here with lissome limbs did run,
beneath the moon, beneath the sun,
Lúthien Tinúviel,
more fair than mortal tongue can tell…”

[sighs] Farewell to both love and light… [checks his knife, Angrist, is secure and stands to take the first few steps into the Anfauglith… He lifts high his blade in challenge, cursing Morgoth. Abandoning fear and forsaking hope, he starts to stride forth down the slope…

As he goes he repeats the song loudly, not caring what ear should overhear him in his desperation. Then suddenly, as if he is dreaming, he hears Lúthien’s voice calling after him:]


Lúthien: Beren! Beren! Almost too late have I found you. ‘Tis not farewell - I will not be denied this quest!

[Beren turns, but instead of Lúthien he sees a huge black beast approaching, and he drops into a crouching stance, his knife ready.. It looks wolf-like, but there is a wavering darkness obscuring parts of it and a bat is riding on it. The wolf suddenly transforms into Huan and the bat into Lúthien, who comes running up to Beren and throws her arms around him.]

Beren: [half-laughing, half-crying, he wraps his arm around her in return] Blessed is the return of my stubborn love! [Huan barks and whines in happiness. Beren pets him and looks at Lúthien.] How come you here…and in such array?
Lúthien: Huan, whose heart is wiser and kinder than yours, tracked you after I pleaded long with him. Beloved fool! what were you thinking, going off without me or Huan?
Beren: [pleading] Lúthien, I beg of you, thrice now I curse my oath to Thingol, and I would rather he had slain me in Menegroth, than I should bring you under the shadow of Morgoth! [shakes his head] What would you have us do, walk up to Morgoth hand in hand?
Lúthien: There are bonds stronger than stone or iron bar, stronger than proudly spoke oaths: Have I not plighted my troth with you? Has your love no pride or honour, then? Do you deem your Lúthien also frail of purpose, and shallow in love? I swear by the stars of Elbereth above that if you forsake my hand here, and continue on this Quest alone, then I shall refuse to go back!

Huan: Beren: from the shadow of death you can no longer save Lúthien, for by her love she is now subject to it…
Beren: [is startled] You speak!! By what power of Elvenesse are you granted this privilege?
Huan: It is a gift of the Valar that I may speak three times before I die. And I have thought long and hard on what counsel I could devise for the two whom I love most…
Lúthien: [exchanges anxious glance with Beren] And you have already spoken once when you aided my escape from Nargothrond!
Huan: [shakes head vigorously] It is of small consequence to me…my Fate has long been decreed and I sense that my Doom approaches whether I will it or not. [turns to Beren] You, Beren, can turn from your fate and lead Lúthien into exile, seeking peace in vain while your life lasts. But, if you choose to pursue this Quest then either Lúthien, being forsaken, must assuredly die alone, or she must go with you and challenge the seemingly hopeless fate that lies before you, for the outcome is not certain, even now.
Beren: [Holds Lúthien close. Speaks tenderly] It seems, my love, that we must both face death, hoping yet to triumph…and since I cannot spare you this fate, then I would rather we meet our end together. [they kiss passionately, but with great sadness]

Huan: [picks up the wolf-hame and drops it in front of Beren; then he nudges the bat-pelt towards Lúthien] If Morgoth sees the two of you clad without guise, you surely will be captured long before you come in sight of Angband. Finrod’s device was good, but can be bettered: Therefore, I say to you, Beren must wear the wolf-hame of Draugluin and you, Lúthien, again the bat-fell of Thuringwëthil

Lúthien: We shall heed your counsel wisely. [Bends and kisses the top of his head. Huan nuzzles against her.]
Huan: Further counsel I cannot give, nor may I go further on your road. But my heart forebodes that what you find at the Gate, I shall myself see. All else is dark to me; yet it may be that our three paths lead back to Doriath, and we will meet before the end. Fare you well, my friends.
Beren: Thank you… [places his hand on Huan’s head, while Lúthien strokes his long back.] You are brave and wise, and I am honoured that you call me friend. Farewell.
Lúthien: [to Beren, who is holding up the wolf-hame at arms length with some disgust.] Put it over your head and shoulders, Beloved, and I will transform us.
[she pulls the bat-fell over her form, likewise, then begins murmuring the spell of transformation. Gradually the wolf-hame seems to shrink and mould itself to Beren’s body, which bends double and drops to all fours. Lúthien sings some more and she herself seems to diminish in stature, dropping out of frame. Camera focus on wolf-Beren who hears rattling above. He looks up at the branch and sees a large bat hanging upside-down, its great fingered wings barbed at each joint's end with an iron claw.

A moment later the bat drops from the tree and digs in to Wolf-Beren’s flanks with her claws. Howling under the moon he takes off at a run, and the bat wheels and flitters above him. Camera cut back to Huan who lays down to sleep, resting his head on his paws. Fade.]


* * * * * * *

[Camera fade in on Plains of Himlad. Celegorm and Curufin ride, sharing a horse. Camera shift up, focus on mountains at top right of screen. Celegorm and Curufin ride toward mountains. Camera fade.

Camera cut to path leading up to the walls of Himring. Celegorm and Curufin enter left, leading their exhausted horse up the path. Camera shift up to walls, Sentries catch sight of the brothers and point them out. The gate opens enough to allow the brothers entrance. Camera follows inside walls.

Camera cut to Himring Courtyard. Men and Elves mingle, some training, others doing chores. Camera focus on Maedhros, checking siege equipment near the walls. Camera shift to Nassë, practicing archery with other Elves. Nassë’s hair is now long enough to tie back with a leather thong. Camera shift to Maglor, sparring with daggers. Camera shift to Eldacala, watching Maglor with several other women. Camera shift left, focus on Gate as Celegorm and Curufin enter escorted by Guards 1 and 2. Guard 1 approaches Maedhros. Elves and Men gather, welcoming Celegorm and Curufin as friends long missed.

Camera shift to Maedhros. Guard 1 approaches, Maedhros leaves walls and runs to greet Celegorm and Curufin. He is smiling, clearly pleased to see them. Maglor joins him, sheathing daggers as he runs. The brothers embrace.]


Maglor: It has been too long!
Maedhros: What brings you here?
Curufin: Is it so strange that we decided to visit our older brothers?
Maglor: [laughs] Do not tell me you longed for our company!
Celegorm: Perhaps we needed someone to chide us for our lazy habits. [looks around] You have done well for yourself...
Maedhros: [obviously pleased] A lot of work went into these walls, but the result is well worth our while. Come take some wine and refresh yourselves from your trip.
Maglor: [glances around] Where is that huge hound of yours? We have enough fell creatures in these hills to keep even his mangy hide busy.
Celegorm: [growls] Speak not of him! I do not need his help to clear your hills.

[Maglor looks to Curufin, who shrugs. Brothers exit upper right. Camera shift to Nassë, who follows. Camera follows all inside. Cut.]

* * *

[Camera cut to Maedhros’ Chamber. Maglor, Celegorm, and Curufin make themselves comfortable around the fire. Maedhros leans against the bed post. All have cups. Celegorm and Curufin drink eagerly, while Maglor sips his drink and Maedhros fingers the cup as if considering whether he wants it.]

Maedhros: I could not help but wonder why the two of you were riding one horse…
Curufin: [hesitates] We . . . had somewhat of an adventure getting here.
Maedhros: These lands are dangerous, but with luck and good planning that will soon be mended.
Celegorm: What is this? You have come up with a plan to better our situation?
Maedhros: I have, but the details can wait until I know for certain how much of it will be easily accomplished and how much will take some persuading.
Curufin: Whatever the plan, we are with you.
Celegorm: Absolutely. There are more than enough thieves about who wish to steal our birthright from us.

[Camera shift to door as Nassë enters. Camera cut to Maedhros, who looks nervous and awkward. Nassë hesitates. Maedhros waves her in but steps back to put distance between them. Cut to Celegorm and Curufin, shocked by her appearance.]

Nassë: Pardon my intrusion, my lord. I was curious as to our visitors…
Maedhros: [nervous] There is no intrusion, lady. I should have introduced them when they arrived. My brothers Curufin and Celegorm, may I introduce Nassë. Her people have joined us, adding much to our strength.

[Camera cut to Celegorm and Curufin who stare, flinching. Cut to Nassë, hurt by their reaction. Nassë stiffens her shoulders and turns to Maedhros, giving Celegorm and Curufin her back.]

Nassë: I shall leave you to your reunion, my lord. [exits quickly, right. Camera follows, then cuts back to Maedhros, obviously angry.]
Celegorm: [to Maglor] What in the depths of Morgoth’s heart spat that out?
Curufin: [gets up to refill his cup] I need another drink after seeing that...

[Maedhros storms out, exit right. Celegorm and Curufin look to Maglor, confused.]

Maglor: [shrugs] He is still a bit sensitive about scars, even after all these years. [Camera shift to door, cut.]

* * *

[Camera fade in on Himring walls. Nassë sits curled in a battlement, her face pressed against her knees. Maedhros enters right, hesitates, then moves forward. Camera focus on Nassë, crying.]

Maedhros: [crouches an arm’s length from Nassë] I am sorry for my brothers’ manners…
Nassë: The fault was not yours.
Maedhros: But it is. I should have realized –
Nassë: No, my lord. I should have expected how others would react to my face. I let myself forget what I am.
Maedhros: What you are?
Nassë: Scarred.
Maedhros: My father once told me that scars are badges of courage, hard won and proudly displayed. I think I had burned myself helping in his shop at the time.
Nassë: [looks up, considering his words] I find that hard to believe.
Maedhros: [smiling wryly] That I worked in a forge, or that I burned myself?
Nassë: That Fëanor said anything that comforting to an injured child.
Maedhros: My father was not always as he was at the end. None will remember the strength in him, or the way he fought to keep us all safe from Morgoth before destruction rained down upon our homes.
Nassë: I think the good in Fëanor will be remembered, my lord. He left a living monument to it in his sons.
Maedhros: I should think you would run from those sons as far and as fast as you could. We are a cursed lot.
Nassë: Yet you will be the one to unite all free peoples against a darkness that threatens to enslave us individually. I will stand beside you as captain of my people and aid you in whatever way I am able. [bitter laugh] Did you think I am so weak that a few shocked looks would drive me away?
Maedhros: No. I thought it was my own actions that might make you think better of this place.
Nassë: [straightens, lays a hand on his knee] I understand more than you think, my lord. Not all scars lie on the skin. [Camera pull back. Maedhros takes Nassë’s hand, both stand. Wind whips their hair and clothing. Camera 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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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:56 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Fade into scene panning across the Anfauglith: Everything is barren and bleak…ash and rust drift like dark snow beneath the soughing winds, the hills and heaps that have no edges, rib and ripple like clouds in the evening wind, stirred and eddied unendingly. The battlefield of craters and dunes lies withered and dry, cracked rocks are scattered like splintered bones beneath the rising moon. As the cold night air replaces the heat of the day the blistered stones shift and creak. As we watch, a hellish wolf-creature slinks over the parched landscape, choking on the dust; its coat and that of its passenger caked with the powder….cut]

*

[Cut to day time: The wolf stumbles, and as iron claws dig into his hackles, he has to stop himself from snapping at the thin-boned bat limbs that cling to him. Blood wells from the new gouges, matting and mingling with the older crusts along his withers. The black dust clouds his vision as he presses on beneath the glare of the sun, panting, the air burning as he inhales.

Eventually a different smell to the acrid, iron-tanged stench calls to him: it is water… summoning his strength he redoubles his labouring speed into a quickened trot, though it causes the sharp needles of the bat’s claws to bite deeper into his skin for it, and the dust-clouds rise thicker.

The bat slips from his back s they reach the rivulet, which is stained by the polluted sands and tainted with the iron slag from the furnaces of Angband. She does not have the strength to fly under the angry Sun, but feebly crawls towards the welling puddle. Massive, thick-boned jaws dip down towards her and close gently about her scrawny neck. The bat goes limp, but for the fluttering of her heart against her ribcage. The wolf lays her tenderly down by the puddle and straddles her, sheltering her from the blistering sun until she has lapped her fill, and only then does he drink himself, still giving her shade.

Then wolf nuzzles her, shepherding her as she crawls, dazed, from the glare, into a scant margin of shelter that overhangs the rivulet. There she grooms him, licking the dust from his eyes, and the gritty knots and beads of blood that tangle in his silvery fur, while the wolf rests head on paws …they rest, curled together, until the cruel sunlight wanes, and the shadows well again over the tormented land... Fade.]


* * * * * * *

[Camera cut to Himring Main Hall. It is evening, and the tables are being laid for supper. Celegorm and Curufin stand near the fire. ]

Curufin: [warms his hands] Maedhros has a fine holding here. Have you seen the armoury?
Celegorm: [nods] It was the first place I looked. The techniques are not what I would have expected, but their smith has a fine hand.
Curufin: One of the Edain told me the chief smith is a woman – and a mute.
Celegorm: [laughs] A woman who cannot speak? Who could ask for more!

[Both brothers turn screen left. Camera follows. Maedhros and Maglor enter with Captains 1 and 2, and Nassë. All are cloaked and wet from snow. Nassë glances toward the fireplace, then exits bottom left. Maedhros speaks with Captains, both Captains exit bottom right. Maedhros and Maglor join Celegorm and Curufin at the hearth.]

Curufin: [to Maedhros] I hope we have not driven your captain off.
Maedhros: I doubt you have. She realizes you need time to adjust to her appearance. [to Celegorm][/i Do you feel up for a hunt tomorrow, if the weather does not keep us back? There are some Orcs about half a day’s ride from here that need reminding who holds this land.
Celegorm: [i][grins]
Some good sport at last. [drops voice] There is something we must discuss with you, brother.
Maedhros: [sits near hearth, begins unlacing his boots] Well, speak out…
Curufin: It is a matter not suited for such a gathering.
Maglor: [turns his back to the fire, wrings water from his hair] It is that serious?
Maedhros: [sighs] Well, there is a little time before the food comes to the table. At least I will get dry socks into the bargain if we go to my chamber.

[Borlad enters left, running. He is dressed like a sentry and covered in snow. He tries to stop suddenly as he nears the hearth, slips, and recovers himself. Maglor smothers a laugh. Curufin and Celegorm frown.]

Maedhros: [stands] What has happened?
Borlad: [bows] My lord, a messenger has returned! He waits to report to you.
Maedhros: Send him to me now. [Borlad quickly turns to leave] And, Borlad – [Borlad turns back] unless the walls are about to fall on us there is no need for such haste.
Borlad: [bows, blushing] My lord. [color=blue] [exits left]
Celegorm: You trust the Afterborn as guards on your wall?
Maedhros: I do. That one is young yet, but shows much promise.

[Messenger 2 enters, still cloaked. He walks quickly to Maedhros and bows. Camera focus on Maedhros, who sits and nods for the Messenger to speak.]

Messenger 2: My lord, I have done all you asked of me. Your brothers send you greetings, and are most eager to join in alliance against our Enemy. [hands scroll to Maedhros] Also, I rode to the Dwarves of Belegost. Lord Azaghâl thanks you again for the aid you gave his people, and is most eager to exact vengeance upon those who have so sorely harried his lands. [hands Maedhros another scroll in a metal case]
Maedhros: [nods]
Maglor: I take it that means the Dwarves will join us?
Messenger 2: As I left they were mining fresh ore to create weapons with which to slay the Dark Lord’s servants. The place sounded like Aulë and all his servants were working as hard as they could, and singing while they were about it.
Maglor: [winces] Echoes?
Messenger 2: Not to criticize our allies, but Orcs sing better.
Maedhros: Well, I did not intend to attack Angband with a choir. When we win I will not complain if they keep me awake for a solid week with celebrating. I might even join them.
Curufin: Eru save us all from that!
Maedhros: [speaks to Messenger 2 as he unrolls first scroll.] You have done well. Go get dry and find some food. [reads scroll] Well, Caranthir at least has not lost his fire for the fight. He swears he will stand beside me and asks that his captains add their oaths. [looks up] Most of these names we know, but he apparently has someone new with him. Ulfang is no name for a Noldor.

[Camera shift right. Bór is seated at a table with Borlach, Borthand, and several Guards, both Men and Elves. Bór turns as Maedhros speaks. Camera focus on Bór as he rises hastily, looking angry and concerned. Camera shift to hearth as Maedhros, Celegorm, Curufin, and Maglor exit top right. Bór hurries to meet them.]

Bór: Lord Maedhros!
Maedhros: [pauses] What is it, my friend?
Curufin: Can this not wait?
Maedhros: [firmly] I trust this man with my life. I owe him a moment of my time. [turns to Bór]
Bór: You spoke a name I have not heard for some time. What is he to you?
Maedhros: You will have to be more specific.
Bór: Ulfang. He is not to be trusted.
Maedhros: You know him?
Bór: I do, or at least I did.
Maedhros: I would not be concerned. He has sworn his loyalty to both my brother and therefore to me.
Bór: [hesitant] I cannot know, but if he is the same man then his heart is completely given to the Darkness. If he told me the sky was clear and bright I should make certain I had a cloak tightly fastened.
Maedhros: [nods] I will consider your words. Still, I cannot discount my brother’s judgment in those he chooses to serve at his side. When you are certain of this I will hear you again.
Bór: [nods] I will keep my eyes open. [exits lower right]
Celegorm: You give this Afterborn much license.
Maglor: He has proven himself a good man to have at our sides more than once. [Camera follows Celegorm, Curufin, Maglor, and Maedhros exit top right. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade in on Beren & Lúthien asleep in their wolf and bat disguises. The dozing pairrouse themselves from heat-induced stupor, and on stiff limbs, and their coats matted with dust, they stretch reluctant measure again across the plain, on paw, and on wing. As the sinking sun stains the fumes and sky amber and blood red behind the Ered Wethrin, they reach the banked road that scars across the Gasping Thirst, the gash that goes towards the towering scarps of the Hells of Iron. They creep again into a shaded niche beside the road and lay down to sleep, conserving their strength and shivering at the prospect of what lies ahead. Fade.]

*

[Fade in again on the sleeping pair. The ground suddenly begins to tremble, and a beating echo is heard far beneath the ground. It is Morgoth’s vast forges sprung to life. Beren and Lúthien awake in horror, wolf-Beren whines, bat-Lúthien clings to the wolf’s fur. Suddenly they hear the tramp of heavy, armoured feet and as the pair cower silently in their hiding place, a battalion of Orcs march forth, with Balrog captains leading from the fore.

After the company has passed out of sight, Beren and Lúthien stir and creep forth again, following wearily, ceaselessly, along the final approach. The rocks rear above them like bony teeth and hissing, coiled serpents emerge from the black chasms on either side of the track that leads them to the terrible entrance. Carrion birds sit on high perches and scream with fell voices as they pass into the sombre courtyard before the doors of Angband. The walls are fortified with towers, like sheer cliffs with battlements atop. Before them looms the Great Gates, set into the middle of Thangorodrim’s three peaks, which rears precipitously a thousand feet above. 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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