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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:13 am 
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Season 4 Episode 5

[Scene opens viewed from Carcharoth’s perspective: The hound of hell that never sleeps casts a watchful eye over the approach to Angband and far off he descries a slinking shape crawling slowly nearer, halting every so often, before moving nearer. It is a haggard, way worn wolf with panting tongue and jaws agape. Above it a shadowy, bat like creature circles in wide rings. Although the creatures are not out of place in this land, Carcharoth stirs uneasily…Cut.]

*

[cut to Beren who has halted as with his wolf-eyes, he spies the huge dark wolf-shape waiting up ahead:]
Beren: [halts in dismay] What grievous terror awaits us? What dread guard has Morgoth set to bar his doors against unwelcome guests?
Lúthien: [determined] Long have we journeyed to reach this point, and now the very maw of death lies between us and our quest. Yet we reached this far without hope: we will not turn back now!

[Beren nods and they push onwards, refusing to give in to despair, passing the yawning black pits until they reach the vast Gates, and stand alone in front of them while Carcharoth glowers down at them doubtfully. As he speaks, echoes awaken in the arches of the courtyard before them.]

Carcharoth: [growls suspiciously] Drauglin…my sire, ‘tis long since you last passed this way and strange that you come now. A grievous change has come upon you, I think. Did not Huan rip out your throat? How is it that you still have breath? Come near so I may see you clearly! [sniffs at Beren]
Beren: Why, young upstart whelp, who are you to bar my ways instead of greeting me as an honoured guest? I fare with urgent tidings to Morgoth from my Lord Sauron. Stand aside and let me in! Failing that, go below swiftly and report my coming… [Carcharoth continues to stare at Beren, then slwly he stands up in the doorway, his eyes shining grimly.]

Carcharoth: [growling uneasily] Draugluin, if indeed you be he, enter in! But what is this which crawls beside you, trying to hide? I know many winged creatures that pass this way, but this one I do not recognize. [to Lúthien:] [/color] Stay, Vampire! I do not like you or your kin. What sneaking errand brings you flying vermin to my Master?. Small matter would it be if I crushed you like a fly on the wall, or bit your wings and made you crawl.

[Carcharoth stalks noisily closer. Beren’s eyes gleam with a flame of anger, his hackles rising, as the huge werewolf sniffs at bat-Lúthien, recognizing immediately the scent of her Elven immortality. Beren growls at the larger wolf as if to challenge. Carcharoth laughs in a deep, guttural snarl. Lúthien leaps off Beren, casting off her bat skin and stands radiant and terrible. In fear for Lúthien’s safety, Beren walks between them. However, Lúthien sidesteps Beren to stop directly in front of Carcharoth, who is not cowed by this small figure and lowers his head as if ready to swallow her whole.]

Lúthien: Sleep, thou unhappy thrall! Woe-begotten spirit! Fall now into dark oblivion and forget for a while the dreadful doom of life… [Drawing on her power, she lifts her arms in front of Carcharoth’s face, sweeping an enchanted mist of dreams: Carcharoth’s eyes instantly flutter and close, his limbs give way and the huge wolf crashes hard onto the ground fast asleep, and as silent as death. Beren, after having to dodge away from the falling Carcharoth, looks at Lúthien amazed]

Beren: [admiringly] What need have I for a sword with an Elven maid by my side!

[Lúthien cloaks herself again in the bat skin. Beren gathers his courage and walks through the gates, as Lúthien follows on silent wing. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on Maedhros’ chamber in Himring. Maedhros sits with one foot braced in a boot jack, pulling off boots and wet socks. Curufin and Celegorm stand near the bed, united. Maglor sits near the fire, apparently relaxed.]

Maedhros: So out with it. What was so important that we had to leave the hall?
Curufin: An Edain has sworn to steal one of Father’s jewels and withhold it from us.
Maedhros: [pauses with one boot in his hand, surprised] What jest is this?
Celegorm: You heard right. One of the Afterborn is even now attempting to capture a Silmaril from our great enemy.
Maglor: [doubtful] Does this walking corpse have a name?
Maedhros: I thought the Edain had little interest in our inheritance. What spurred him on?
Curufin: It seems this is his bride price. He would rob us to win the daughter of Thingol of Doriath.
Celegorm: [insistent] This cannot be tolerated! If the Afterborn is not captured and tortured to his end, we must reclaim the treasure from him at once.
Maglor: Why? [Celegorm and Curufin gape at him. Maedhros drops his boot, pulls off his sock, and starts on the other foot as Maglor speaks.] It seems to me it is Thingol we need to have words with. [smirks] Besides, I would love to see that pompous, self-styled Lord of Beleriand out-foxed by an Edain.
Maedhros: I cannot fault you there, brother. [pulls off second boot] On the other hand, I desire Thingol’s aid in our alliance; in truth I need it badly. I doubt we can succeed without him. Therefore, I cannot afford to anger him without great need.
Curufin: [incredulous] Does the oath we swore mean nothing to you?
Celegorm: Do you care nothing for Ada’s blood?
Maedhros: [camera focus on Maedhros as he tenses, anger rising. He forces the anger back, draws a breath, and lets it out slowly.] Calm yourselves. That jewel will still be where it has landed once the Dark Lord falls. We can deal with the matter then, if need be. And, with the threat gone from his borders, Thingol might just be in a more receptive mood. It costs nothing to wait.
Curufin: [doubtful] Have you conversed with Thingol recently?
Maedhros: I sent a messenger to him not long back. There has been no word as yet, but I did not expect to hear in any haste. I will start to worry about the time the winter storms break. [dries feet on the carpet, reaches for socks]
Curufin: [frowns at Maedhros, then at Maglor who has not moved from the fire. Speaks to Maglor.] Are your feet not wet as well?
Maglor: [shrugs] I lace my boots more tightly.

[Camera focus on Maedhros, who is pulling on dry boots as best he can. Shift to Celegorm and Curufin, watching. They glance at each other, then turn back to Maedhros, speculative. Maglor watches both of them. Maglor’s fingers flex into fists. He relaxes. Camera fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on a very dark main hallway, lit by distant torches. We see Bat-Lúthien and Wolf-Beren appear out of the gloom as they approach the torches. The camera swings round as they pass and we see a doorway beyond. They go through it and down a rough-hewn staircase. They walk the labyrinthine corridors of Angband, passing the armories full of slaves creating weapons and armour for Morgoth’s armies. Narrow bridges span rivers of molten rock…ducts of lava flow to fuel the smithies. All is dimly lit by the glow of the lava, though much is black and featureless, covered in creosote and soot.

Shapes like trolls can be seen carved into the walls. Beren sniffs at one, taking a closer look, and then he darts backwards as the rock form starts to move. He turns to continue and knocks over some dusty bones, some human and some otherwise. An orc platoon passes them climbing the stairs. Beren utters a low growl and they shuffle past hurriedly.

The stairs descend ever downward but chaotically, twisting this way and that. They walk for miles passing rooms of forgotten prisoners. An elf with clouded white eyes and grey skin reaches his hand out.]


Lúthien: [makes bat noise which sounds as though she is in pain]
Beren: [growls in concern] what is it? What ails you?
Lúthien: [anguished] Eldar: long past knowing… laughter long silenced.
Beren: [whispers] There is nothing we can do for them… [pauses, seeing Lúthien’s reluctance to move on. Curses under his breath] but a fool’s chance is better than no chance!

[He pads over to the nearest cell and standing on his hind legs, pushes and pulls at the bolt with his front paws., eventually getting it to slide back. The neglected metal grates loudly. Camera cut to Lúthien, shaking her head. Beren scrabbles at the door which swings reluctantly and squeaks as it moves. Beren opens two more doors the same way. Camera cut to Lúthien, who bites her lip and then squares her shoulders with resolve. She flitters round the cell humming: each of the elven prisoners seems to relax, looking more peaceful; some begin slumbering, some seem stronger. One of the prisoners stands, and the rusted iron shackles slide off his thin arms. Lúthien returns to Beren’s flank.]

Beren: [nuzzles her gently] Even your fell pelt cannot hide the light that you bring to these dark halls.

[Their journey continues downward until they come to the hall of Morgoth. Flaming Balrogs guard either side of the entrance, erupting in flame as they pass. Beren cowers. A dark and deep laughter can be heard from the inside. Lúthien dismounts. She enters first with Beren following.]

Lúthien: [whispers Can you see?
Beren: Yes, but the terrible stench and smoke makes my eyes water.
Lúthien: [hesitantly] I did not know that death smelt so terrible…

[In the distance, they see two large red glowing eyes, surmounted by 3 soft white orbs of light: Morgoth sits on his throne dressed in his usual black raiment, and the Iron Crown with the three Silmarils, which at this moment are illuminated but not brightly. All around are devices of torture; some still have victims attached; some victims are long dead, rotting where they stand; another has a victim bleeding and moaning in agony. On each side of the throne, one Balrog stands guard. Also scattered throughout the room are more Orcs and werewolves.

As the two enter the throne chamber silence falls. Beren skitters on the floor, its smooth surface reflecting the burning braziers that light the room on all sides. He crawls on his belly, keeping to the shadows of the columns which rise hidden in smoke to unknown heights. These are carved with hideous creatures doing unspeakable acts, their faces all staring outwards. Lúthien glides in and out of the columns, amid the smoke and rising fumes. Morgoth watches the bat wheeling on the currents, then breaks the silence with a thunderous command...]


Morgoth: Shadow, descend! What kind of spy are you? Seemingly a bat, yet not a bat within… Do not think to cheat my eyes! You cannot shrink from my gaze nor defy my will. There is no hope or escape for those who pass my gate unbidden. Come down before I blast your wings in anger, you foolish, frail creature!

[As Beren watches in horror, Lúthien slowly wheels over Morgoth’s iron crown, and drops reluctantly. She lands on the steps of the dais, shivering and small. Morgoth bends his dark gaze upon her.]
Morgoth: You shall weave your deceit before my eyes no longer! Leave your false form and raiment, and stand revealed to all!

[He waves his hand, and the bat disguise is stripped away.. All eyes are drawn to Lúthien and her radiant beauty so white and pure in the blackened chamber. With Morgoth distracted, Beren sneaks forward to lie beneath Morgoth’s throne.]

Morgoth: [Looking greedily at Lúthien] Long have I looked into the realms of elf and man, and yet this fair one has been hidden from my eyes. Speak your name!
Lúthien: [confidently] I am Lúthien, daughter of Thingol.
Morgoth: [surprised chuckle] Ah Lúthien, Sauron’s mighty conqueror. I know of your fame. You are either brave, or very foolish…Is it your wish to look upon death; or perhaps Thingol has sent his daughter here to die? In that case, maybe I shall kill you not, but have you stay here until the world’s end as my thrall.
Lúthien: Then you will find that the arts of Lúthien are just the spell to soothe the hearts of all great lords. but Thingol sent me not, nor knows what way his rebellious daughter goes. I have come in order that I might sing before you.
Morgoth: [laughs] Sing? [The Balrogs become animated as if laughing. Deep dark laughter fills the room from all sides] [/color] So rare is the sweetness of honey here. [Desire flames in his eyes and he stretches out his brazened hand to grab her. Lúthien dances nimbly out of his reach]

Lúthien: Nay, Great Lord, I wish to sing to you as a minstrel. I am sure that even you enjoy the beauty of music. [Dark shapes surround her with greedy eyes and a snuffling hunger. With arms upraised and drooping head she beings to sing softly a theme of sleep and slumbering, woven with a deeper spell taught her by Melian. Wolf-Beren's eyes glow with a sudden fire in the shadows beneath the throne.]

Morgoth: [enjoying the game] Minstrels plenty I have at my call. However, I know something you can do for me that I will enjoy, and it has nothing to do with music, although it would make me sing! [The fires of Angband flare and die, smouldering to darkness; the torches begin fading in and out until they are merely glowing without flames. All movement ceases and all that can be heard is the vaporous breathing of Orcs and beasts. Lúthien's sensual dancing has bent every eye towards her...even wolf-Beren crouches tense as a spring, with his tail straight as an arrow.... ]

Morgoth: [senses the wolf's tenseness and reaches down to stroke wolf-Beren, who quivers under the Valar’s hand.] Down, boy! I see you find her a tasty morsel too. [suddenly realizes Lúthien has moved without being seen.]
Morgoth: Where are you? You dare to test me…to mock me?!?

[Lúthien continues to sing from the other side of the room. The effect is instant on the orcs and other lesser beings that immediately fall into slumber. The wolves and the Balrogs too eventually fall under the spell, crashing to the floor with their blazes extinguished. Beren, lying by the throne, also finds it difficult to keep his eyes open.

Morgoth is transfixed by the sight of Lúthien, caught up in his own greed for her. Lúthien dances in front of him, using her cloak to fade in and out of sight as she moves. As she dances closer, she tempts Morgoth with her cloak. He leans closer. She tempts again and then throws her cloak in front of his face, blinding him completely. He pans his head back and forth, seeking Lúthien, quickly growing desperate. The Silmarils respond, blazing a white-hot light and waxing with the peak of Lúthien’s song. Morgoth yawns. The Silmarils in the Iron Crown are now lighting up the entire room. Morgoth’s eyes begin to flutter. They finally shut. His chin falls to his chest. He forcefully opens his eyes one more time and tries with all his power to keep his head up. It falls again. He sees her once more, but she again vanishes.

The great God feels the weight of the gems pushing him down. Lúthien stops singing and he slides off of his throne on to the floor before the throne with his eyes open but in a trance. His iron crown rolls across the floor, the sound reverberating like thunder. In the growing silence not even the ring of hammers from above can be heard. All the fires have now died so that the room is lit only by the eerie white light of the Silmarils.]


*

[Camera cut to Dungeon. Carcharoth enters upper left. Camera shift to cell doors, now most are open and most of the prisoners able to move are missing. Camera focus on Carcharoth as his eyes narrow and his lip curls. Carcharoth sniffs the doors, drool drips from his lip. Camera cut.]

*

[Camera cut to throne room. Exhausted, Lúthien walks over to the sleeping Wolf-Beren and touches him. He wakens, looking tenderly at her. She transforms him back to his human state.]
Lúthien: Now is our chance, quickly…I am nearly spent!
[Beren rises with Angrist in his hand. Walking over to the crown, he cuts a Silmaril from the iron claw that grasps it. Beren lifts the freed gem and holds it tight, the flesh in his hand glowing like a lamp.]
Beren: The jewel came loose most easily…I feared it would burn me, but it does not. Maybe I can take all three for your father…
Lúthien: Nay, Love, we should be glad with the one!
[But Beren ignores her advice, and sticks Angrist under the second Silmaril, trying to pry it free also. But the tip of Angrist snaps, and the shard smites Morgoth’s cheek; a couple drops of black blood ooze from the nick and smoke when they hit the ground. He groans and moves, exhaling a great breath which stirs everything in the Chamber, and then he falls back to sleep. Beren and Lúthien freeze in fear.]

Lúthien: I do not believe the fate of the other two lies with the one we have. We must leave now!
Beren: Yes, now, with all speed! [grabs Lúthien’s hand, and they run undisguised from the Chamber, up the stairs and into the hallway. Every now and then some creature they pass moves in its sleep, but none as yet have awakened. They continue running up the stairs, to the Gate, and through the opening. Then Carcharoth leaps in front of them, growling. They stop in terror….]

Carcharoth: Halt! And do not dare to put a spell on the Great Carcharoth twice!

Lúthien, ever so weak, gasps to catch her breath. Carcharoth comes close to Lúthien’s face, but Beren quickly wedges himself between the two. He grabs the wolf’s neck with his left hand and holds the Silmaril in his right inches from Carcharoth’s eyes. It flares, and Carcharoth gazes intently.]

Beren: [fiercely] Get you gone and fly! For here is a fire that shall consume you and all evil things!
[Carcharoth turns his head away for a second. Then in one quick motion, he turns his head back and Beren sees Carcharoth’s mouth open and his teeth taking his hand inside. He feels nothing until he realizes his hand is gone and we see a bulge sliding down the wolf’s neck.]

Lúthien: [screams] Beren! [Beren falls to his knees holding his stubbed wrist that is spurting blood into the air. Lúthien kneels to hold him, binding his forearm tightly with the girdle from her gown, which being weak takes all her strength. They see Carcharoth snarl, almost in a grin, as he towers over the both of them while standing on all fours. His curling lips, however, begin to quiver and he looks between his forelegs at his belly. .His whole belly seems to glow from the inside. The Silmaril feels as if it is burning its way through his flesh. Carcharoth hits the ground, squirming and rolling around in pain. Then he gets back on his feet and speeds off away from Beren and Lúthien, back inside Angband, scattering all before him.

Meanwhile, Beren slides unconscious to the ground from Lúthien’s arms as she is so weak she can no longer hold him.]


Lúthien: [crying] O Beren! why must you forsake our love and leave me now when the jewel is won and our quest achieved? I thought all our pain should be ended once we had passed these gates again…

[She sees that his arm is beginning to turn black from the bite’s poison. The bleed has slowed, but his blood still trickles onto the ground. She holds up his arm and puts her lips on the wound. Blood oozes from her lips as she begins sucking. She can taste both blood and poison. She then spits and repeats several times until she can taste only blood. She notices that the birds above and nearby snakes have begun to awaken in the chasms. She rips a piece of her clothing and, whispering an Elvish incantation, she wraps Beren’s wound tightly to help staunch and heal the wound. Her care is interrupted by a dull roar far behind them as activity grows within.

Carcharoth suddenly bursting forth again from the stark portals of Angband, crashing down the Gates with his paws. He rends the air with such an emormous howl, amplified by the power of the Silmaril within, which causes an avalanche of rocks and boulders in the narrow approach to the Gates. The echoes reverberate down through the caverns of Angband, The tremors cause pillars to crumble and fall and archways to collapse. 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: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:38 pm 
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[Cut to Morgoth awakening amid the tremendous tumult above. He sees the iron crown on the ground beside him, missing a gem and lets out an almighty roar of anger. He rouses his legions, commanding them to climb the stairs and issue forth upon the plain, hunting down the elf maiden as far as Doriath to reclaim his stolen treasure. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut back to above ground: The serried ranks of Orcs answering Morgoth’s call are lining the courtyard to prevent Beren and Lúthien’s escape but suddenly they find themselves attacked by the rabid wolf. Morgoth's army breaks and flees under the sudden onslaught: Filled with dread of Carcharoth they spring aside, many stumbling and falling under his attack. Howling in his agony, Carcharoth flees down the valley, and out into the Anfauglith, slaying all living things that stand in his path.

Lúthien holds Beren preparing to meet their end. Balrogs can be seen through the broken doorway coming closer with their whips of flame. Suddenly, the carrion birds scream down at the two trespassers lying by the Gate, while snakes slither towards them from the pits on either side. The exhausted Lúthien stands between Beren and the nearest snake. She grabs Angrist from Beren’s side and turns to face the snake. It slithers close and then coils to strike.]


Lúthien: You will have to go through me to reach him, legless fiend!

[Faster than lightning, the snake strikes at Lúthien. As it does, Lúthien narrowly avoids its darting tongue. The snake prepares to strike again but suddenly a blur of feathers flies down from behind the snake and lands on its neck near the head. The snake screams in agony and she sees Gwaihir dig in his talons at the start of its neck and plunge his beak between the snake’s eyes; his beak goes through the bottom of its head. Lúthien feels the wind of wings hitting her face; her hair flies in the swift breeze. Gwaihir’s talons are so sharp they finally sever the snake’s head from its body; which coils and rolls for several minutes until its nerves deaden. Gwaihir shakes the head from his beak and again takes to the air.

Then behind her, Thorondor hovers over Beren and gently takes him in his talons, lifting him into the air. Just as she starts to lose consciousness she hears a voice calling her name and feels herself being lifted from the ground…all goes black. Fade]


*

[The eagles fly high into the early morning sky, as below them, Thangorodrim erupts. Its explosion roars loudly, and the sky is filled with bolts of fire, lighting the sky vermillion around Angband. Thorondor leads Landroval and Gwaihir high above the flaming rocks shooting from the mouth of the mountain.

Beren hangs lifeless in Thorondor’s talons. They are now soaring high in the heavens beyond the clouds, where the sky is blue and the sun shines brilliantly down on the landscape below. The three Eagles fly beside one another; Landroval is on Thorondor’s right. Eventually Lúthien comes round and looks across at Beren, in concern.]


Lúthien: [anxiously] My Lord Thorondor, tell me, does Beren still live?
Thorondor: His heart beats still, but it is very faint.
Lúthien: [desperately] There is a chance I can save him if you can take us to my land of Doriath!
Thorondor: That is our destination. We are not far from its borders. [inclines his great head] See, we are passing over Gondolin. Few who live beyond its borders have ever seen it or know exactly where it lies… [Lúthien looks down and sees the silvery white towers of Gondolin sparkling below in the green jewel of the Vale of Tumladen. Then, in utter exhaustion she falls asleep in Landroval’s talons. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera open on Workroom in Himring. Eldacala is examining several boards, holding them up and tapping them with the handle of a small file, and listening to the sound the wood makes. Nassë enters and sits near the workbench. Eldacala lays down the wood and turns to her friend.]
Nassë: You are hard at work, I see.
Eldacala: [nods. Lifts the skirt of her dress, a new one. Gestures at Nassë, who is also wearing new clothing.]
Nassë: Yes, the clothes are nice to have. The food here is good. We have a roof over our heads. No doubt you believe you must earn everything.
Eldacala: [shrugs]
Nassë: What are you working on now?
Eldacala: [smiles, shakes her head. Picks up wood.]
Nassë: [soft laugh] No one can keep a secret as well as you can. Will you at least tell me who this is for?
Eldacala: [mimes a tall person, long hair, grim expression.]
Nassë: What? Lord Maedhros? Then I hope it is a cage!
Eldacala: [frowns, gestures for Nassë to explain.]
Nassë: Never mind. I should not have said anything. It was a misunderstanding. So, what are you making for the giant redhead?
Eldacala: [shakes her head]
Nassë: Not for Maedhros, then?
Eldacala: [mimes long fingers, touches eyes, reaches toward lamp.]
Nassë: Not Maedhros, but a long fingered man with burning eyes . . . ?
Eldacala: [holds hands toward lamp as if cold]
Nassë: [understands] Not “burning” eyes, warm eyes. A long fingered man with warm eyes.
Eldacala: [smiles, nods]
Nassë: Did Lord Maedhros ask you to make something for someone else?
Eldacala: [nods. Touches chest above her heart, gestures out.]
Nassë: A gift of the heart? I would not have expected that from him.
Eldacala: [shrugs, taps wood again.]
Nassë: [rises] Right. I will leave you to your work and get about my own business. [pauses] Oh, if that rat-faced brother of his should lay a hand on you, tell me straight. [Nassë exits quickly, left. Eldacala finds a piece she likes, sets it aside, and continues examining boards. Camera pull back, cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Open on scene of Lúthien waking up on the east banks of the Mindeb, in the northwest corner of the forest of Neldoreth. Gwaihir is standing over her, looking down with his two big eyes behind his huge golden beak. She rolls on to her side and sees the other two Eagles standing over Beren. He is lying unconscious on a large, nest-like bed made of grass and weeds. She runs to him, calling his name.]

Thorondor: He still lives, my Lady, though I know not for how long. His heart is very weak, but his arm is looking better. For one of the Secondborn, he is very strong, as is his will to live.
Lúthien: [earnestly] We both would already be dead if it were not for you and your brethren…Thank you – all of you.
Thorondor: You are welcome, fair lady. [turns his head toward the forest where there is a rustling sound coming closer and closer from within.] But, you should also thank him. [Suddenly, Huan appears, hurrying toward Lúthien in huge bounds.]
Lúthien: [shouts joyfully] Huan! [Huan runs into Lúthien, practically bowling her over; she kisses his head and hugs him as he licks as much bare skin as he can.]

Thorondor: He deserves much thanks; for it was he who told all to watch and be ready to aid their friends Beren and Lúthien. Many birds and beasts came to the Encircling Mountains while others went to Manwë on Taniquetil to tell of your plight.
Lúthien: [to Huan] Oh, beloved and faithful hound! Our fear was great when you did not accompany us into peril, but I see now your foresight has saved us.
Gwaihir: [approaches Thorondor.] Forive my interruption, Sire, but we must return to Crissaegrim. Lord Manwë will be anxious for further news regarding and our vigil must be renewed now Morgoth has fresh grievance to air
Landroval: Moreover, we must discover the fate of the rampaging wolf: he was approaching the Forest of Nightshade when we passed overhead… [Thorondor nods, and the three eagles take their leave of Lúthien, before swiftly taking wing into the sky, heading north once more.

Lúthien sits down beside Beren, checking his vital signs and inspecting his bandaged arm. Kissing his forehead tenderly, she sings a soothing lullaby and Huan hunkers down at Beren’s feet, contentedly. Fade.]


* * * * * * *

[Camera open on Plains of Dor Dinen, near the River Aros. Small clusters of trees and low brush cover the plain, interspersed with rocks and tall grasses. Camera pan over plains, focus on a group of 13 Elves moving quickly over the open ground. They are the messengers Thingol sent to Maedhros, and they seem tired. Sunlight glistens on the sweat beading over their faces, all have thrown back their cloaks and most have loosened their tunics. Camera focus on Mablung as he raises his hand to slow them. Elves drop to a trot, breathing hard.]

Mablung: [motions forward] The river should be near, if my memory does not fail me. We will stop for a bit and rest near the water.
Elf 1: That is good to hear.
Elf 2: Is our errand so urgent that we must run ourselves to death?
Elf 3: [chuckle] Our king swore he would swallow his pride. We must accomplish our task before he chokes on so large a mouthful.
Mablung: [sharp] Watch your words! [Elf 3 bows, still smirking.] If you have so much breath, you can dart over that rise and check the river. Make certain we will have a quiet rest.

[Elf 3 nods and exits upper right, at a run. Elves slow to a walk, Camera pan over group, focus on Mablung, Elf 1, Elf 2, and Elf 4.]

Elf 4: [to Mablung] You have been short tempered since we left our lord. What is wrong?
Mablung: [sighs] I know not. Something does not feel right, and has not for more than a day.
Elf 1: You miss your lieutenant. Beleg would be a welcome companion on this trek.
Elf 4: Why? We have not enough breath left to enjoy his humour.
Elf 2: [holds up a hand to signal for quiet] Quiet!

[All fall silent. Camera pan over silent plain, shift upper right to follow Elf 3. Elf 3 slows as he reaches the top of the rise and begins to trot down the far side, glancing over the horizon. Camera shift down to River. Carcharoth stands in the water, snapping at the current and drinking as much as he can hold. Camera shift to Elf 3. Elf 3 sees Carcharoth, freezes, and gasps. Camera shift to Carcharoth, whose ears flick toward Elf 3. Carcharoth lifts his head, water dripping from his muzzle, and turns toward Elf 3. Camera shift to Elf 3, terrified.]

Elf 3: Ai! [scrambles up the slope, dashes toward Elves. Carcharoth follows, snarling. Camera cut.]

[Camera cut to Elves on plain, focus on Elf 2, who is glancing about nervously. Camera pan over silent plain. Nothing moves but the wind. Camera shift back to Elf 2.]


Elf 2: Not a bird. Not an animal. The air is as silent as a tomb.
Elf 3: [off-screen, voiceover. Great distress] Ai!

[Camera shift upper right. Elf 3 bolts over the rise and dashes toward Elves, clearly terrified. Elves brace for an instant. Carcharoth follows Elf 3, snarling and foaming. Some Elves brace spears or draw swords, others nock arrows and fire. Arrows strike Carcharoth, but he does not slow. Elf 3 stumbles, Carcharoth seizes him, shakes him, and rips open his belly. Carcharoth turns toward rest of group, still swallowing Elf 3’s insides. Elf 3 screams. Camera focus on Mablung, shocked.]
Mablung: [command] Form square! Brace!

[Elves form square, all weapons out. Carcharoth charges. Camera focus on spears driven into the wolf’s side. Carcharoth turns, spears snap. Carcharoth seizes the arm of a spearman, tears it off, and attacks. The weapons seem not to affect him. Elves bunch for a moment, then break and run. Camera focus on Carcharoth, covered in glistening blood.

Camera focus on Mablung as he slashes at Carcharoth with his spear. Elf 2 and another Elf stand beside him, fighting together. Carcharoth shoulders Mablung aside and attacks Elf 2. Mablung falls, hits his head on a rock. Camera shift to Mablung’s perspective, shows Elf 2 fall screaming, bitten in half. Camera blur, focus, blur again. Camera fade to black.]


* * *

[Camera open on black. We hear a sound like rain. Camera fade from black, focus slowly on tall grass and brush dripping with blood. Mablung groans, tries to rise. Camera blur, focus, blur, focus again on Mablung’s boots. Camera shift 180, dead Elves litter the ground. Camera focus on a group laying around Mablung, shift lower left to pick out bodies in the grass. Some of the group tried to run and were not successful. Camera focus on Mablung, devastated.]

Mablung: [crying] No! I cannot carry all your deaths on my soul!

[Camera shift down to grass, focus on Carcharoth’s path through brush. Camera pan up to horizon, focus on horizon. Camera focus off screen left, pan to forest line.]
Mablung: No! [tries to run, stumbles, staggers on. Exits lower left, Camera follows. Focus on Mablung’s face as landscape blurs past. Speaks in Sindarin, voiceover] Oromë Tauron, think me no coward if I must turn back from my task. Let me not fail to warn my lord of this danger. After I have done that, if you will have my life and call me a failure, I will accept any penalty you judge fit. Only let my feet not falter, Great Lord of the Forests!

[Camera pan forward over waving grass. Focus on distant treeline. Camera cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Some days have passed when finally Beren again awakens to Lúthien’s singing while his eyes focus on leaves against the sky. He swivels his eyes, searching for the owner of the voice. She and Huan are bathing in the river. As before, many small animals have gathered in vigil, waiting for Beren to regain consciousness. He watches as she tosses flower petals into the water. Beren tries to clear his throat, and after several attempts he succeeds:]

Beren: This is becoming a bad habit… [Huan dashes from the water while Lúthien returns to the bank and hurriedly pulls on her shift.. Huan whines and licks Beren’s face affectionately several times.]

Beren: [weakly lifts his uninjured arm to ruffle the hound’s fur] Well met again, my friend,
Lúthien: [comes running up, her wet hair flapping around her. Kisses him tenderly] Oh, Beren, Beloved! thank goodness! I have been so scared that I would lose you this time.
Beren: [looking admiringly at her damp shift clinging to her curves] Believe me, I would have returned to you sooner if I could… I wandered despairingly on the borders of death, but your love and sweet voice kept drawing me back. In my dreams I named myself anew, Erchamion – the One-handed. [looks down at his stubbed arm.] Now I see why.

Lúthien: [sombrely] You have wandered long in the darkness, my love. Another season, and many cold nights have passed since that terrible day.
Beren: [shuts his eyes as he tries to remember] How did we survive?
Lúthien: Huan saved us once again: the Eagles of Manwë flew to our rescue after our friend alerted nigh on every loyal bird and beast in Middle-earth to our peril.
Beren: [looking at Huan] Then I am indebted a third time, my devoted friend… [Huan gives a short bark. Lúthien helps Beren to sit up, leaning against a tree trunk.]

Lúthien: Do you remember that you succeeded in taking a Silmaril from Morgoth?
Beren: [looks again at his stubbed arm. Wryly:] Yea, though I seem to recall that I lost it as well…
Lúthien: It matters not… [turns away in anguish] …I no longer care about the Silmaril.
Beren: [confused] Why do you say that?
Lúthien: [bitterly] Those accursed jewels have been nothing but trouble since Fëanor wrought them. His jewels to me represent death and destruction to all who merely mention them; the Oath of Fëanor is too far-reaching.

Beren: [troubled] Yet it is your bride-price which I must pay so we can have a life together and be free.
Lúthien: [despairingly] Do you not think we have paid enough, especially you? We can have a life and be free. We could stay here forever, Beren, living in the wilderness. We could live as we have since we journeyed together on this hateful Quest.
Beren: [gently] What about your family, your kin, and your friends?
Lúthien: You are all I need. I would forsake all just to be with you. [Huan whines, places paw on her knee] And with Huan, of course.
Beren: [stubbornly] I could not allow you to do such. It would be unfit that one so royal and fair should live always in the woods, as the rude hunters among Men, without home or honour or the fair things which are the delight of queens. And as a Man, I cannot break the law of withholding a daughter from her father. Please, do not ask me to do so.

Lúthien: [fighting back tears] I would, if it would rid us of this shadow that seems to follow us wherever we go. [sighs] Truthfully, I would like to see my father and mother once again…but how are we to go back without a Silmaril to present to my father?
Beren: Then it appears I must chance my other arm, and appeal to your father’s better nature. I shall rest today and through the night. Tomorrow, we shall begin our short journey home. [takes her hand in his. Whispers gently] I promise you, Lúthien Tinúviel, one way or another, we will be together – forever. [kisses her fervently and they lay back together in a passionate embrace on the soft bed. 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: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:50 am 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Camera open on Lothlann. Deep snow blankets the barren ground, the sky is gray, and frost hangs in the air. A group of Elves move swiftly over the snow. They are heavily armed, obviously hunting something fierce. Camera pan up to a cluster of rough brush and stunted trees near a stream. Cut back to Elves, who pause.]

Scout: If there is anything out here, it has probably gone to ground in those trees.
Elf 1: Not a bad idea, that. I am cold enough to wish a Dragon would show himself.
Elf 2: [laughs] No such luck. The most we are likely to find out here is a few lost Orcs or perhaps one of those wolf-beasts.
Elf 3: At least the exercise would warm us.
Captain 1: Enough! [to Scout] See what, if anything, is there. [Scout nods and runs toward the cluster of trees. Captain 1 speaks firmly to rest of group.] Lord Maedhros ordered us to discover what is out here, so we stay out here until we find something to report. [Elves grumble]

[Camera shift to Scout, who slows as he nears the brush and draws two long knives. Camera shift to the line of brush and the bank of the stream. Camera focus on a hollow in the bank where the snow appears darker. Scout moves closer, then puts one knife in his teeth and reaches for a dead branch on a near tree. He pulls the dead branch off, plants himself to one side of the dark patch of snow, and pushes the snow away with the branch. A small hollow is revealed in the bank. We hear a gasp from inside.

Camera follow Scout as he bends to look in, the knife still in his teeth, the branch brandished like a club, the other knife ready. Camera shift inside hollow, focus on Elf Man and Elf Woman we saw in Angband. They are ragged, thin, and blue with the cold. Elf Woman cringes. Elf Man moves to defend her, slowly and clumsily.]


Scout: By all the Valar! [stands, shouts] Eitho! I need some help! [Elves run to join Scout, who is pulling off his cloak. Scout reaches into the hollow, but Elf Man and Elf Woman cower back.]
Captain 1: What have you found?
Elf 3: Not Orcs, I wager.
Scout: I think not, but from the look of them I am not certain. [squats in the snow so Elf Man and Elf Woman can see him clearly] Come on out. You will freeze in there. [Elf Woman hesitantly takes Scout’s hand and emerges from the hollow. Elf Man follows. Himring Elves exclaim in surprise. Scout spreads his cloak over Elf Woman’s shoulders. Another Elf offers his cloak to Elf Man. Elf Captain opens a flask of miruvor and offers it to the refugees.]

Elf 2: I would say we have found something worth reporting.
Captain 1: We must get them back to Himring quickly.
Elf 1: Where did they come from?
Scout: [firmly] The Iron Prison.
Elf 1: How could you know?
Scout: [curt] Because I was there once. It is not something one forgets.
Captain 1: Let us be gone or this will all be academic.
Elf Man: [pauses, stares at Scout. Speaks hesitantly.] Finyon?

[Camera focus on Scout, shocked]

Elf Man: [more certain] Finyon? Can it truly be you are here?
Captain 1: [frowns] Do you know him?
Scout: [amazed] Fëapoldo? [Elf Man nods. Scout hugs him fiercely] I thought you were long passed to Mandos’ Halls!
Elf 2: Can this reunion happen when we are inside walls?
Scout: Of course. Let us be gone. Now that I have my brother returned I will not lose him to the cold. Nor his . . . wife? [Elf Woman nods. Camera pull back as Elves exit top left. Snow begins falling faster. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[The scene opens on a shot of moving trees from a running animal’s perspective. The background hue turns from green to red. An elf with a spear is seen standing guard. The camera runs full speed toward him, and terror can be seen on his face in the moment before attack. Camera cuts to Beren waking from a dream with a start. Lúthien is talking to Mablung, the captain of Thingol’s guard, who looks as though he has been in a bloody battle. When she sees that Beren is awake, Lúthien hurries over to him. Mablung follows.]

Mablung: [To Lúthien:] He is strong for a mortal to have survived thus far…
Lúthien: [to Beren] Your dreams are still troubled?
Beren: Strange have been my dreams. I dreamt that, as a wolf, I ran through the woods tearing through man and elf alike.
Mablung: You have seen with the eyes of the demon wolf. I bring grave news of his rampage…
Beren: [confused] They were but dreams…
Mablung: From Lúthien’s tale, I would say that you and the wolf have become close. He carries your hand in his belly.
Beren: [To Lúthien:] Then he carries also my hopes for you, Lúthien. We can save the quest if he can but be destroyed!
Mablung: The evil that you have set in motion now ravages the lands of Doriath. He kills all that he spies. I have escaped his jaws, but my companions were not so fortunate. But there is yet hope. We must hunt this beast before further ruin is spread.
Beren: [fiercely] I will kill Morgoth’s wolf with single-handed if need be. [attempts to rise]
Lúthien: You are too weak! [puts restraining hand on his chest, looks to Mablung] Let him rest yet more, Mablung. The wolf’s poison has barely left his blood.
Mablung: There is little time for rest, and we are not safe. You must return to Menegroth for your own safety. I must go on ahead and take word swiftly to Thingol so he can reckon our next course.
Beren: [insistently] I will take Lúthien home for her protection, and then I will join the wardens to hunt the beast. [Mablung nods. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera cut to Himring Main Hall. Fëapoldo and Elf Woman are seated near the hearth, with food and drink. Elves crowd around, eager to hear their story. Scout sits beside Fëapoldo, and his wife Indilwen is beside him holding his hand.]
Fëapoldo: So, when the gates were opened, we ran as best we could. The great wolf seemed to run mad, and the confusion gave us enough chance to get outside the walls. We never looked back.
Celegorm: That wolf might make a worthy hunt for us, once this storm breaks.
Fëapoldo: [shakes his head] Perhaps if you had a ballista, you could hunt him. Otherwise, thank Eru he is headed away from this place. Anyway, our luck held and he missed us. I thought to make for Lord Finrod’s fortress on the Sirion, but I fear my sense of direction is not what it once was.
Scout: It would have done you no good. Tol Sirion fell years ago. It is now a place of terror, and all of Dorthonion is overrun. You have come to a fortress built against the darkness.
Indilwen: I would say you had a lucky turn. Himring may not be a garden, but it is home and safe for us here. [holds her hands to Elf Woman] Welcome to the family. I always wanted a sister.
Elf Woman: [takes Indilwen’s hands, crying] I had not thought I would ever dare to want anything again.

[Camera shift upper right. Maedhros enters, with Nassë. All Elves acknowledge Maedhros as he approaches the group near the fire.]

Maedhros: I send you out to find our foes and you bring back our own kind?
Captain 1: My lord, our foes seem to have abandoned the land for now. We found not even a disgruntled hedgehog to threaten us.
Maedhros: This weather keeps them back, I think. My brothers had the same fortune, and if Celegorm cannot find prey there is none to be found. [turns to Scout] Who have you brought to us?
Scout: [bows] My lord, may I present my brother Fëapoldo and his wife . . . [glances at Elf Woman]
Elf Woman: I am Airiel, my lord.
Maedhros: You are one of Círdan’s people? [Airiel nods] [/color] Welcome to our home. [firmly] We must have a celebration. Finding lost kin is good fortune beyond hope, and should be acknowledged!

[Camera shift back as Elves cheer. Camera shift forward, focus on Scout, Fëapoldo, and their wives. Indilwen and Airiel hug again. Indilwen leads Airiel off upper right. Scout shifts closer to Fëapoldo.]

Scout: If I were you I would give them at least an hour or more. [lifts a cup] Welcome home.
Fëapoldo: [raises his cup in response] I only wish my son could be here with us. [shoulders slump]
Scout: Things will get better, brother. We will not forget –
Fëapoldo: Airiel called him Armon. I never thought to give him a Father-name.
Scout: We both know there are worse things than death. Look to the future, brother. There is promise on the horizon. [refills cups, both drink. Camera cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on Beren and Lúthien hastening through the Forest of Neldoreth towards the bridge over the Esgalduin at the entrance of Menegroth. News of their coming has gone before them, and as they pass by, Elves appear from the trees to watch them in wonder, and join the joyful procession. By the time Beren and Lúthien reach the gates of Menegroth, and a great host follows them. Guards come forth to escort them inside. [Cut.]

Cut to Thingol’s throne room: Beleg and Mablung have been in conference with the King and Queen, and all turn and stare in disbelief at the new arrivals. Beren leads Lúthien before the thrones, his right hand hidden under his cloak. Lúthien runs to Melian and embraces her. Thingol rises and gives Lúthien a hug and kisses her on the forehead; she returns the embrace.]


Thingol: Lúthien! We had begun to fear that you would never return to us…my dearest daughter! I am so sorry… [holds her away to look at her.] Are you harmed?
Lúthien: [beaming] I am fine, Ada.
Thingol: [looks in wonder upon Beren.] I had thought you dead, but I see that it is not so! What have you to say son of Barahir? It shall go ill with you for keeping our daughter so long from us unless you have sufficient reason.
Lúthien: [angrily remonstrates with Thingol] You should not speak to this man that way, Ada. The mortal you sent on a journey of death now returns in humbleness before your throne!

Beren: [gently] Nay, he is right to ask of me why I should return in such a plight, bearing with me his only child and most cherished treasure, though she returns unscathed. [kneels before Thingol] I return according to my word. I am come now to claim my own.
Thingol: [brusquely] What of your quest, and of your vow?
Beren: It is fulfilled. Even now a Silmaril is in my hand. [the crowd becomes hushed in amazed silence.]
Thingol: [sceptically] Show it to me!
Beren: [puts forth his left hand, slowly opening its fingers; but it is empty. The crowd murmurs, then he holds up his right arm and the host of Menegroth gasps at the implication] Henceforth, I am renamed Camlost, the Empty-handed.
Thingol: [expression softens somewhat, turning from scorn to sympathy] I will look kindly on you because you have returned my daughter safely, but do not expect my love,…many are the woes that you have brought upon Doriath. Even so, come, sit at my feet and speak of all that has passed.

[Beren sits on the left, Lúthien on the right, Huan lays down between them. They relate the entire tale to Thingol, his face sad at learning the manner of Finrod’s death, then growing amazed at times, often looking at Beren with some new admiration.]

Beren: It is a long tale, but its end places us before the eyes of Morgoth upon his throne. Your wise and powerful daughter used Morgoth’s own lust for her against him, and with her enchantments she felled him and all the creatures in his chamber with slumber, as I cut out a Silmaril from the Iron Crown. Yes, my Lord, I held a Silmaril; radiant with the blaze of a thousand suns; but it hurt me not. I thought to bring you all three, since one was gained so easily, but Telchar’s knife, Angrist, snapped, and the shard grazed Morgoth’s cheek. He gave a low moan, and we knew we had stayed over long. In terror we fled to the Gate.

Lúthien: But Carcharoth had already reawakened. I was spent, but Beren leaped between us and threatened him with the Silmaril. At first he appeared daunted, then turning ferociously he bit off Beren’s hand, swallowing it and the jewel. Fortunately, he ran from us, slaying nearly all in his path. Beren became unconscious from the poison of the bite, and all things were awakening around us. The Quest would have ended in ruin and despair if it had not been for the Eagles of Manwë who came to our rescue because Huan alerted all creatures to watch for us. [The attentive crowd murmurs in appreciation,]

Thingol: [tentatively pats Huan’s head] It appears I also am in your debt, hound of Valinor.
Beren: After months of healing I insisted we return…
Lúthien: I would have it known I was willing to wander in the wild without ever returning, forgetting home and people and all the glory of the Elf-kingdoms. But Beren would not forget his oath, nor withhold me from you, Father; It was he who persuaded me to return. This is the heart of the Man whom you questioned.

[Thingol bows his head to Beren, in acknowledgment. Melian smiles warmly as Beren rises and kneels again before their thrones.]
Beren: Your Majesty, I would be honoured if, by your will and by your leave, I may be the first of Men to call you My King, and the first Man to serve the King and Queen of Doriath. [bows his head]
Thingol: No, Beren, son of Barahir. It is I who would be honoured to have your service. You are unlike other mortal Men. You have proven to me to be among the great in Arda. I perceive now that whatever the doom for the two of you, it might not be withstood by any power of this world, including that which is in me. Therefore… [he rises and glances at Melian giving her a smile; she returns it. He holds his hands out to Beren and Lúthien. They each take a hand, and Thingol places Lúthien’s hand in Beren’s, holding them together.] …my daughter and only child Lúthien, if it be your will that your hand shall be given to this Man, Beren Barahirion, then we grant this union, the first between the Two Kindreds of Elves and Men. What say you, Tinúviel?
Lúthien: [smiles at her father and then at Beren.] My hand, as well as my heart, I give to you, Beren, with the blessings of my father and mother…
Melian: …and with the blessings of the Valar
Thingol: [smiles at Beren and Lúthien and then lifts his head and announces] Hear all ye present before the thrones of Thingol King of Doriath and Queen Melian! We hereby declare the marriage of Beren son of Barahir to our daughter, Lúthien!

[The crowd claps and cheers as Beren kisses his bride. The King and Queen embrace the happy couple, who then start accepting congratulations from the well-wishers. Thingol embraces Melian, who smiles and whispers in his ear:]
Melian: My King and beloved husband, you have done a great goodness this day; this union will gloriously affect this Age of Middle-earth and all Ages to come. [Thingol returns the smile to Melian wistfully. 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: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:15 pm 
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Location: Green Hill Country
[Camera fade in on Hall of Himring. It is evening, and food is being laid on the tables. Maedhros and Maglor sit together with Elf Captain 1 and Elf Captain 2. All are warmly dressed and they hold hot drinks. Camera pan hall, focus on Borlach at the far end of the hall, wrestling with an Elf boy who looks about the same age. A crowd has gathered, including Bór, Borthand, and Borlad. Camera focus on the wrestling match. The Elf is obviously stronger and attempts to force Borlach backward. Borlach drops, throws the Elf, and allows the force of the move to carry him on top of his opponent. Borlach lands with one forearm across the Elf’s throat. The crowd cheers, the boys scramble to their feet, obvious friends. Camera shift back to Head Table. ]

Elf Captain 1: Those boys are growing quickly.
Maglor: What did you expect? Their lives are like a daisy’s, soon to bloom and soon to wither.
Elf Captain 1: I know, but it is sad all the same. You realize, Borlach will be a man while Cuner will still be too small to wield a proper spear.
Elf Captain 2: All of Bór’s sons will be a credit to their father. I was teaching the youngest . . . Borthand, I believe? I was teaching a group of our least-experienced warriors basic blocks today, and he slipped under my guard quick as a thought. Not much of a blow, but he laid it on accurately. When he grows, watch yourselves.
Maedhros: The more I know of these Afterborn, the more I wonder at cousin Finrod’s fondness for them. I fear to lose those I have become friends with, yet that fate is inescapable.

[Camera shift right, Eldacala enters carrying a large waxed leather case decorated with tooled, brightly painted butterflies. Maedhros grins as she walks to Maglor and sets the case in front of him. Eldacala steps back. Maglor looks from her to Maedhros in obvious confusion.]

Maedhros: Well, will you not open it?

[Maglor opens the case and lifts out a polished harp. The wood shines, the silver strings flash in the firelight. The harp is inlaid with thin silver and gold images of the moon, sun, and stars mingled with a spiral design. There are small keys on the tuning pegs. Maglor checks the tuning, adjusts the pegs, and plucks a few broken chords. The harp has a delicate sound.]

Maglor: [stammers] I . . . This is . . . By Nessa’s dancing feet . . .
Maedhros: [laughing] I think we finally have him speechless! [Camera focus on Maglor as tears fill his eyes.]
Maedhros: Do not keep us waiting, brother. I command a song for the hall!
Maglor: [shakes head] This is too new. The tone is immature yet. It needs time to –
Maedhros: I care not. We have been too long without a bard in this place. Play us something now to lighten the mood.

[Maglor looks to Eldacala. She nods. Maglor plucks some broken chords and begins to sing about the Battle Under the Stars. Eldacala finds a place on a bench, the rest of the people in the Hall gather to hear his song. Maglor’s voice grows firmer and he gains confidence with the harp. Camera focus on Maglor, fade.]

* * *

[Camera fade back in on Himring Main Hall, later that evening. Men and Elves mingle around tables or dance in a cleared space at the center of the Hall. Maglor sits with several other musicians, playing a bright tune. Camera focus on Airiel and Fëapoldo, dancing together. She wears an embroidered gown, both are crowned with ivy. They smile, apparently at peace.

Camera shift to Maedhros, standing near a doorway with a cup in his hand. He watches the dancers, then exits top left. Nassë follows. Camera cut to Maglor, who frowns but continues playing. Camera shift to door, cut.]


* * *

[Camera cut to battlements. Maedhros enters top left, walks to mid-screen, and settles in a watch tower. He stares at the dark plain below. Nassë follows him and slides onto the bench beside him, looking thoughtful.]

Nassë: The celebrations are going well.
Maedhros: [shrugs We needed something like this. Too much tedium dulls our watch.
Nassë: Never think that I will believe you expended so much effort because you were bored.
Maedhros: Believe what you will.
Nassë: [hesitates] Perhaps they will put their sorrow behind them now.
Maedhros: Can anyone put that place from their memory? Can you?
Nassë: [shakes head] Of course not. Still, at least here there is hope. [pauses, then continues more brightly] Indilwen will be happy to have a kinswoman with her, I think.
Maedhros: No doubt.
Nassë: And perhaps the newcomers will soon have another child to nurture. One born with the promise of a life to live, this time.
Maedhros: With all the children we have here now I wonder if this is a fortress or a nursery.
Nassë: You hit my point exactly. [Maedhros looks at her, confused. Nassë continues quickly.] You think to protect us all, but you cannot. Not if this alliance comes about as you wish. You are going to have to take most of our warriors with you to fulfil your part of the agreement.
Maedhros: If you have a point here--
Nassë: There is no exit from this place. We have only one gate, and if that is besieged while you are gone how will our helpless ones escape?
Maedhros: [considers] You have thought this through?
Nassë: I have. I spoke with a couple of your people who have experience working with stone. They think we could create an escape through the hills, and come out near the Little Gelion without much difficulty. From there it would be easy travel, providing we were not followed. Even the youngest could reach your brothers’ holding with a little help.[Camera focus on Maedhros, smiling and shaking his head. Shift to Nassë, nervous.]

Maedhros: You should have called yourself “Rabbit”.
Nassë: Every burrow needs a back door. I am surprised the great Red Fox of the North did not think of this sooner.
Maedhros: Not me. I planned to stand and fight until I was carried to the Halls of Mandos, a broken and bloody ruin.
Nassë: Is it not better to live, and fight another day?
Maedhros: I never thought beyond the end of the fight, whatever that end might be. Where would you have the tunnel begin?
Nassë: I thought we could go out through the root cellar. No doubt any Orcs who managed to get in here will think to loot the upper floors and not look in such a dark, cluttered space for some time.

[Maedhros nods. Suddenly, a burst of noise rises from the main hall as the departure of the bride and groom is accompanied by cheers and vocal encouragement from well-wishers. Nassë smiles, musing]
Appearances are deceiving…I would not have taken you for a hopeless romantic.
Maedhros: [blustering] I am as much a romantic as I am a fish.
Nassë: Of course. That is why you gave the bridal couple your chamber until space can be made for them elsewhere.
Maedhros: [shrugs] It seemed easier for me to take a cot with the single men than for them to try to find some privacy in this overstuffed warren. [shifts uneasily] Besides, why should they not have some chance at a normal life?
Nassë: [wryly] Well, it is not as if you meant to take advantage of your accommodation.
Maedhros: Never. Besides, what purpose would that serve save to ruin the life of any child I might father? This curse will follow me to my grave, and any who get close to me will be caught in the same web. [He rises. Nassë stops him from leaving.]
Nassë: You are far better than you know. Any woman would count herself blessed to stand beside you. [Camera focus on Maedhros as he brushes a loose strand of hair back from her cheek. Nassë tenses a bit, but does not step back. Camera shift top left, Maglor stands just around the corner from the pair, his face expressionless. Cut back to pair on the wall. Maedhros hesitates, then turns and walks away. Camera fade to black.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade into feasting hall in Menegroth. Beren, Lúthien, Thingol, Melian, Mablung, Beleg and assorted nobles sit at the Royal banquet table as several guards stand behind guarding them and watching over the large crowd celebrating. Huan has a royal plate and water vessel of his own. People periodically come to the table to congratulate the new bride and groom and her parents. After the well-wishers became less, Lúthien turns to her mother:]

Lúthien: [scanning the room anxiously] Naneth, I have not seen Daeron since returning here…
Melian: [sadly] I am sorry, Lúthien… we know not where he is: A madness came over him, and in his distress he wandered far beyond our lands attempting to find you. He blames himself for your loss and says he will not return until he has succeeded. He is dearly missed.
Lúthien: [distressed] I should not have asked him to assist me. He was a minstrel, not a soldier. It was too perilous. I wish I could find him to tell him that I blame him not, and that I am sorry.
Melian: [consoling] My dear, you must not hold yourself to account for Daeron’s decisions. You yourself have made choices that some warriors would not.
Lúthien: If he had truly loved me, he would have never betrayed me or stood in the way of what brought me true joy and happiness, when he himself could not.
Beren: I am sorry, my love…it must have been hard for him to see the one he worshipped in the arms of another. Even so, if he would not help you, he could yet have kept your counsel.

Lúthien: [nods sadly. To Melian] Is there truly no hope for him?
Melian: [shakes her head] Your father sent several search parties, but he was no where to be found. I fear the worse because he is not one skilled in surviving the wild.
Thingol:. Later, we will honour his memory along with the others whom we have recently lost. [Catches the eye of Mablung across the table.. Sighs] Yet heavy lies the woeful news of Mablung, and the horror Beren has unleashed upon us, like nightfall smothers the fading day. And this demon holds the jewel. We must hunt this beast and finish this once and for all.
Melian: [places hand on Thingol’s arm. Softly: ] Let them enjoy one night at least of wedded bliss…
Thingol: [clears throat delicately] Naturally… [To all:] Thus the secret has been learned of how Carcharoth has been able to violate our bounds and slaughter our people. His madness is a danger fraught with dreadful power because of Fëanor’s jewel: On the morrow we shall hunt this wolf together and lift the shadow that mars our joy at the return of the fair Lúthien and her husband. Who stands with me? [Beleg, Mablung and other guards draw their weapons at once. Beren follows their lead.]

Lúthien: [trembles with foreboding] Beloved, I beg you, no good can come of this, please reconsider!
Beren: [patiently, but insistent] Do you not understood that the Quest is not yet fulfilled? Even though your father has relented, I know that I have failed, and have not yet truly won the right for your hand. Should the chance come, I must kill Carcharoth and take back the great jewel. Only then will I have succeeded in my quest.
Thingol: [concerned] You do not have to prove anything else to me. In my eyes, you have fulfilled your oath.
Beren: [nods head, acknowledging Thingol’s gesture] I understand. But in mine it is unfinished. Carcharoth would not be loosed nor have the power within him if it was not for me. And if he gains entry into the Thousand Caves, there will be a massacre before he is brought down; for the power of the Silmaril drives him. It may take countless spears and arrows to injure him enough to be slain once he begins his attack and gets his first taste of blood.

Mablung: [nodding in agreement] We must use stealth and have hope in secrecy; and the hope that we see him first. I suggest we leave on the second rising of Anar. In the meanwhile let us send small companies with those most skilled in stealth to find and keep track of the wolf.
Beleg: [eagerly] Our best chance is if we can meet him near the Falls of Esgalduin, where the roaring sound of the falls will help hide the sounds of our approach. If we arrive before him, we may have an opportunity to slay him while he attempts to swim to our side.
Thingol: My captains, you counsel wisely. Beleg, in the morning see to the details and begin sending small scouting companies out to track and watch the hell-beast, but they must not engage him.
Beleg: Yes, my King.
Thingol: [signals servants to refill goblets with wine] This is a celebration…let us speak not of sorrowful things at this time. [raises a toast] As for now my daughter has returned, I have a new son-in-law, and this is their wedding night! Let us keep this night focused on joyful things! [all return the toast. Thingol drains his goblet.] Now on with the feasting and merriment! [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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