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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Thus we come to the final episode that we managed to complete. It is slightly longer than the others due to our trying to tie up loose ends and bring the storyline to some kind of resolution, whilst still leaving the way open to continue, should opportunity present itself in the future...


Season 4 Episode 6


[Cut to scene outside Menegroth at sunrise two mornings later. Beren, Thingol, Mablung and Beleg sit upon their horses. Huan sits beside Lúthien as she speaks with Beren. ]

Beren: [brushes hair back from Lúthien’s face; looks concerned] The brightness of your eyes is somewhat dulled this morning, Tinúviel…
Lúthien: [shivering] There is a shadow hanging over me like a cloud across the sun. [reaches up and grasps his hand] Can the hunt not wait one day more?
Beren: [resolutely] We dare not delay: the scouts say Carcharoth will arrive at the Falls of Esgalduin near mid-morning; the place where our chances are best.
Lúthien: [sighs] I know you are right. I just cannot shake this feeling that ill will come from this. Will you not let me go with you. I may be of help.
Beren: [firmly] Nay, my love. Because of me, you have seemingly been in harm’s way ever since we met. I will not put you there again. [sees tears well in Lúthien’s eyes] Besides, I have the best protection a man could ask for… [looks down at Huan who barks encouragingly]
Lúthien: [reaches her hands out and softly holds Huan’s head with both, looking into his gentle eyes; whispers] Take care of him for me, my faithful friend! [Huan barks again and licks her cheek.]
Beren: [reassuringly] You have no need to worry: We will return before you can miss our presence and everyone will breathe more easily. Then we two can begin our wedded life together. [Bends down and puts his left arm around Lúthien, liting her off her feet so that she is high enough for him to kiss farewell, then he lets her go reluctantly.

Camera cuts to Thingol who has been having a similar conversation with Melian]


Thingol: The whole kingdom is counting on us to fail not. The beast will be stopped before he gets to Menegroth; he has to be. There is no losing today, whatever the cost.

Melian: [grabs Thingol’s hand just before he nudges his horse forward.] Take care, my beloved husband…do not act in haste or foolhardiness. Eru forbid that our next meeting might be in the Halls of Mandos!
Thingol: [complacently] Surely you have not known me to act rashly? [Melian raises an eyebrow and Thingol smiles] Regardless, all shall be well. You hold my heart, my Queen. [touches his hand to her cheek, then announces to all:] Let us depart!

[Melian slips her hand away and smiles at Thingol, who nudges his horse forward, trailed by Mablung and Beleg. Beren follows with Huan walking beside Beren’s horse. After they pass over the River Esgalduin Beren looks back to wave to Lúthien; She remains unmoving at the gates of Menegroth but a shadow is cast upon her by dark clouds rolling across the sun. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Camera fade in on Hills of Himring. Elf Messenger 1 enters bottom left and exits top right, huddled against wind and blowing snow. His horse struggles through the drifts, head lowered. Camera shift to Walls of Himring, top. Camera cut.

Camera cut to Himring Courtyard. Borthand comes to take the horse, wrapped against the cold. Breath hangs in the air. Borthand breaks ice from the horse’s muzzle. Horse tosses its head.]


Borthand: It is a bad day for travel. You are lucky to have made the path.
Elf Messenger 1: [nods, struggles to speak Is our lord within? [Borthand nods.] I must see him.

[Elf Messenger 1 exits middle right. Borthand leads horse into the stable. Camera follows Elf Messenger 1.]

*

[Camera cut to Himring Workroom. Maedhros sits at a table covered by a large map. Celegorm and Curufin stand opposite him, wary. Maglor is sharpening pens, flicking the bits of quill into a candle while eyeing both the younger brothers. Elf Messenger 1 stands at the far end of the table, looking uncomfortable.]

Maedhros: Finrod will not join us?
Elf Messenger 1: My lord, I know not what to say. Lord Finrod no longer rules Nargothrond, and his successor would not suffer me to pass his borders.
Maedhros: Who is this usurper? I will have his head if he has robbed our cousin of his proper place!
Elf Messenger 1: None can rob the dead, my lord. I was told that Lord Finrod lives no more. [Camera cut to Maglor, shocked. Celegorm and Curufin glance at each other. Cut to Maedhros, grieving. ]

Maedhros: How?
Elf Messenger 1: Lord Finrod died in the bowels of Tol-in-Gaurhoth. I was told by Hâlmir of Nargothrond how he fought and slew a great werewolf, though he himself perished in the deed. Lord Finrod was oath-bound to aid a mortal, and true to his nature he fulfilled the oath he swore though it cost his life and his throne.
Maedhros: Who was this mortal?
Elf Messenger 1: His name is Beren Barahirion, of Dorthonion. From what I learned before I was thrown from Nargothrond, he had vowed to bring a Silmaril from the Dark Lord’s crown as bride price for Lúthien, daughter of Thingol of Doriath. The princess Lúthien herself broke the dark power of Tol-in-Gaurhoth and freed all those still living, including her lover. She was not in time to save Lord Finrod, sadly. His nephew Orodreth holds the throne now, and he blames Lords Celegorm and Curufin for his uncle’s death.

[Camera shift to Maedhros, enraged. Cut to Curufin and Celegorm, braced for a fight. ]

Maedhros: [speaks slowly, controlling his anger] I wonder why. What part would my brothers have had in a kinsman’s death?
Curufin: It is not what you think, brother.
Celegorm: [to Curufin] No dhínen! [subtitled “Shut up!”] [to Maedhros] What would you have had us do? Allow Finrod to assist a mere mortal in stealing the treasure of our house?

[Maedhros rises slowly. Cut to Maglor, palming the knife and moving near the door. Elf Messenger 1 edges to the wall, anxious.]

Maedhros: So you thought nothing of rising against a lord you had sworn to? Our own cousin took you in when your lands were overrun, and you lead rebellion?
Celegorm: Had we won the throne you would now be asking us for aid!
Maedhros: And little help would I have found in those who would betray their own kin! At least now I know where we stand.
Celegorm: Do you think yourself any better? We are sons of your father, yet you place strangers in command over us! Be wary, brother, lest we decide–

[Maedhros throws his right arm into Celegorm’s mouth. Curufin moves to aid Celegorm, but Maglor catches Curufin from behind and holds him back. Elf Messenger 1 exits quickly, leaving the door open. Celegorm returns the blow and the fight carries into the hallway and down the stairs to the Main Hall. Camera pan Main Hall, as Elves and Men stop what they are doing and look up, astonished. Maglor and Curufin follow the fight, gaping.

Celegorm seizes a sword from an astonished Elf and brandishes it at Maedhros. Maedhros steps back up the stairs and braces for the fight. He does not draw any weapon. Celegorm follows halfway up the stairs.]


Celegorm: What say you now, brother? Still in command? Or have I earned your respect at last?
Maedhros: Every man here has stood with me through death and lightning, Celegorm. Do you think they will follow you so easily?
Maglor: Our people are not cowed by threats of future disaster.
Celegorm: But I can lead them to glory! [raises voice, speaks to crowd. Camera shift to Nassë moving behind Celegorm, holding a long knife.] We will not cower behind walls if you will but follow me!
Nassë: [presses blade into Celegorm’s back] I will not!
Celegorm: Of course! But then, the freak is doubtless my brother’s bed partner!

[Maedhros punches Celegorm again, sending him into Nassë . He staggers down several steps, a bloody slash from her blade across his back. Nassë stumbles and catches herself at the bottom of the stairs. Scout and Fëapoldo block Celegorm. Other Elves and Men join them.]
Scout: Say the same to us. [Fëapoldo takes the sword from Celegorm. Scout moves to secure Celegorm’s hands.]
Maedhros: No. Whatever he has done, he is yet my brother. But know this, Celegorm and you,lso, Curufin: I mean to have an end to this deathless siege. If your foolishness has harmed my plans I will not hold you blameless. Now get from my sight for a time. Relieve some of our sentries!

[Celegorm and Curufin exit top left, quickly. Camera cut to Maedhros, who turns and exits top center, clearly angry. Camera shift to Maglor, who starts to follow him and then thinks better of it. Cut to Nassë, who hurries up the stairs to follow Maedhros. Maglor catches her, shakes his head firmly.]

Maglor: Better let him be alone until he is ready for company. [Camera pan Hall as Elves and Men go back to their business. 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: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:19 am 
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[Open on scene in Doriath about mid-morning: the hunters have followed the course of the river east and north until they have come to the mouth of the dark valley where the Esgalduin falls steeply in a torrent down the northern side. The woods are sparse and looking down they espy Carcharoth at the foot of the falls, drinking to ease his consuming thirst. Luck is against them and he is already on their side of the river. He senses them as he drinks at the water’s edge and he howls. The four bring their horses to a stop while Huan stands next to Beren’s horse. Huan looks at Beren.]

Beren: [whispers] Not yet, my friend.

[They briefly watch Carcharoth, who continues drinking and pretending he hasn’t seen them. Beren looks at the area surrounding him. ]

Beren: Huan, stay here and watch him. Try not to let him see you. We must backtrack and find somewhere to tie up our steeds. Do not engage him yet. Wait for our return.

[Beren and the elves quietly turn their horses and return back into the denser woodland. Huan lies down on his belly to watch Carcharoth. Meanwhile, Carcharoth turns and with his head down walks into a nearby thicket where he lies on his belly unseen.

Beren stops his horse, and the others follow his lead, dismounting in the trees, to which they tie their horses. Beren has his spear in hand; Thingol draws his sword, as does Mablung; and Beleg unsheathes his long knife, but he also has his bow and a full quiver strapped to his back. They walk quickly back to Huan. Upon arriving, they speak in whispers.]


Beleg: I would say, judging by Huan’s attention on that thicket, that the beast lies hidden ahead.
Mablung: Perchance the sweet waters of Esgalduin have eased his pain a while. Let us get as close as we can.

[They slowly creep down the hill until they are only about twenty yards from the thicket and stop near the path. There is a large fallen log that gives them some coverage as they sit with their backs against it.]

Thingol: Beleg and Mablung, you two shall circle back around through the woods, and come on Carcharoth from behind…When you give the signal, we shall approach from this direction and attempt to draw the beast out. Beleg, when he charges, you shall fire two arrows in quick succession, aiming for the head and heart. Mablung, should the arrows not slow him down enough, you must set on him with your spear – aim for the throat first – and we shall reinforce the attack from this direction as we reach you… [the two captains salute and slip away quietly. Thingol and Beren set a guard from the cover of log. The shadows begin grow long in the forest. Thingol sits beside Beren; As they speak they are unaware that Huan begins slipping quietly away.]

Beren: [whispers curiously] If we, by the luck of the Valar, manage to retrieve the Silmaril, what do you purpose to do with it? Surely you are not thinking of keeping it? The sons of Fëanor will lay your kingdom in ruin and fight you to the death for it, for the Oath will not permit them to just let you keep it without a challenge.

Thingol: [smugly] Oh, I would return it to them…eventually, after enjoying it for a while! I consider you fortunate, for I would be happy just to see and hold one. More than anything: I would love to see Lúthien wear it. It would be an indescribable vision of beauty, matching even that of Valinor.

*

[camera cut to Huan who has crept into the thicket approaching Carcharoth. The rabid wolf sees him coming but does not move.]

*

[ Cut back to Beren and Thingol are still unaware of what Huan is doing.]

Beren: Truly, you did not expect my return from the Quest, did you? Would you still rather I was dead than be with Lúthien.?
Thingol: [embarrassed] I cannot deny my thought was that you might die in the attempt or give up. Either way, you would be seen never again in Doriath. I am sorry for the loss of your hand, but I am glad that you survived, and that you took care of Lúthien.
Beren: [smiles wryly] I believe she took care of me more than I did of her.
Thingol: Nonetheless, you brought her back to me; to us. For that, I owe you much. It was ironic that I sent you away to teach you a lesson. Instead, you and Lúthien taught me many. And for that, I thank you, my friend.
Beren: [softly] Finrod told me once a day would come when you would call me friend.
Thingol: [chuckles] Your forebear Bëor did not name him “Wisdom” for naught!

[Beren looks around for Huan, who is now also hidden by the thicket and nearly upon Carcharoth.]

Beren: Where is Huan? He was just here with us… Do not tell me he has gone in alone to dislodge the beast!!

[suddenly a great baying awakes in the thicket; Beleg and Mablung head off hurriedly in the direction of the baying, circling around, attempting to come one from each side on the beast. Carcharoth has avoided Huan , and bursts form the thorns… the elves try to stop his advance but neither dart nor spear is able to turn him aside, his rending jaws gaping wide with countless venomous teeth and snapping fiercely at his attackers.

Thingol draws his sword, Aranrúth, and begins to stand above the cover of the log. As he does, Carcharoth howls, leaps high into the air and starts coming down toward Thingol. Hearing Carcharoth, Thingol turns toward the thicket to see the huge wolf coming down upon him. He freezes in fear.]


Beren: [yells] Thingol! [he strides swiftly before him with a spear, shoving him aside so hard that the king rolls a couple feet on the ground. The falling Carcharoth, knocks the spear aside and falls on Beren growling and snorting loudly, and bites viciously into his chest as they crash to the ground. Garments and flesh are ripped away; Beren also screams loudly.

Then Huan leaps from the thicket onto the back of the wolf, and they tumble off Beren. Bitterly fighting, they both continue rolling away from him. The ferocity of their battle rages around the valley, their baying and howling is so loud that they cause a landslide of rocks and boulders which go tumbling into the river, choking the Falls. Howls, snarls and growls continue to fill the air, as do the voices of fleeing birds and beasts. Still, hound and wolf are locked in battle, so closely entwined that Mablung and Beleg fear to loose their arrows lest they strike Huan in error.]


Thingol: [shouts] Beren! [runs to his side. Stares in disbelief of how badly Beren has been mauled: his chest is literally ripped open. He is unconscious and blood runs freely from his wound. His shirt is half gone, and the remainder is blood soaked. Thingol lifts him up to hold him and places his hand over the wound. Blood still runs freely through his fingers and under his palm. Thingol gently rocks him as tears stream down his face. Heedless of the fight, Thingol remains at Beren’s side.

Huan and Carcharoth have fought their way back into the thicket. Mablung and Beleg came running toward Thingol with weapons in hand. But when they realize what has happened and see Beren’s injury, they drop their weapons and also weep. They kneel down next to him and their king. Mablung cuts off a piece of his own clothing, folds it into a wad and presses it to Beren’s chest to try to slow down the bleeding, but to no avail.

Then the loud rumbling abruptly stops. The dead silence is broken only by the Falls’ water before they hear some rustling in the thicket. The three turn toward the noise in the brush. Beleg reaches for his bow, and Mablung pulls his long knife from its sheath.

Suddenly we see Carcharoth walking slowly from the thicket toward the hunters. His huge head is pointed downward, but his eyes look hatefully at them, and his lips snarl and quiver and his jaws gape to show his long teeth. The hunters stand motionless but poised. The beast comes within a few yards of them…Beleg grips his bow tighter, an arrow knocked ready, and Mablung prepares to swing his knife. Camera close up on Carcharoth, who is still glaring; suddenly his eyes roll upwards as he exhales his last and drops dead before them.

The three Elves slowly relax their stance but there is another rustle in the thicket, and Huan limps out. His eyes are dull and his grey and white coat is liberally painted red from blood. He comes to Beren, still being held by Thingol. Huan’s legs seem to give way and he falls awkwardly beside him, putting his chin on Beren’s abdomen as he looks up at Beren’s face. Then, to the other three’s surprise, he speaks, and they see that Beren has become conscious as he looks at his hound-friend.]


Huan: My own doom is at last fulfilled, for in my veins the poison of Morgoth flows. My strength is spent… my vision in truth grows dim, and my heart yearns for the hunts of my youth. Farewell my master, Beren, bold...follow me not too soon.

[Beren slowly reaches out and puts his hand on Huan’s head, but still cannot speak. In pain and with teary eyes, he smiles and he closes his eyes. Then silence falls and at length the rasping breath of Huan ceases. Beren, whose eyes remain closed, cries openly as he gently rubs Huan’s head. The other three also continue weeping. Beren suddenly stops rubbing Huan’s head, lapsing back into unconsciousness.]

Thingol: [gives him a small shake. Calls quietly:] Beren… [but there is no response…

Mablung walks to Carcharoth and kicks him roughly in the chest, cursing him in untranslated Sindarin. Kneeling, he takes his dagger and rips open Carcharoth’s belly. As Mablung carves, there comes a dull light from the incision, which also emits an odour of burnt flesh; he holds his breath and squints as Thingol and Beleg take notice. As he finishes cutting, the gash opens wider and exposes Beren’s dead hand still tightly holding the Silmaril, which blazes incandescently, filling the shadows of the forest all about. The three survivors now see that Carcharoth’s flesh looks like burnt coal and ashes. Mablung carefully reaches for the hand. As he touches it, the hand disintegrates at his touch, leaving the Silmaril shining brightly atop the blackened flesh. He jerks his hand back and looks at Thingol and Beleg, who nod in encouragement. He reaches in again and quickly takes the Silmaril and places it in Beren’s left hand. They marvel again as the jewel arouses Beren, who awakens and offers it to Thingol.]


Beren: [weakly] For the hand of your daughter, my King, I give to you this treasure. Now is the Quest achieved and my doom fulfilled. [He again falls lifeless.]
Thingol: [hugs Beren, tears welling.] Farewell, my son.

Beleg: [bows his head in respect. Speaks softly] See now, he must surely be dead! Come, Mablung. Let us make a bier and return him to Menegroth and his wife…
Thingol: [wiping his eyes, gestures to the body of Huan.] Make it large enough to carry them both... [ Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Beren’s horse waiting patiently as the bier is fasten securely. Sitting on his horse and with tears still being wiped from his eyes, Thingol watches as Mablung and Beleg gently set Huan next to Beren on the bier, placing Huan next to him, now covered with his coat that’s being used as a blanket. Mablung and Beleg mount their horses, and they all begin the slow ride back to Menegroth. Fade to black.]

* * *

[Scene opens on Lúthien and Melian in Melian’s chambers in Menegroth. Lúthien paces anxiously, as Melian sits calmly, betraying no sign of her emotions. Camera closes in on Melian, focusing on her eyes which widen then shut tight, she bows her head....]

Melian: [murmurs] At last the quest begun at Thingol's bitter jest is won
Lúthien: [anxious] Something is wrong…They should have returned by now. [Sees Melian raise her head with a face of sorrow, rushes over to clasp her hands in hers.] What shadow is this across your face? You have seen something, Naneth…do not lie, tell me truly!
Melian: You share many of the abilities I hold within: strength, foresight, power. But your heart tells you what you need to know, does it not?

[Lúthien nods in agreement, putting her hand to her mouth in sudden trepidation. A guard knocks and informs them that the party approaches. Lúthien runs to the gates of Menegroth. She sees the riders coming slowly; Mablung and Beleg lead as Lúthien sees that one horse is without a rider. She runs toward them and as she approaches she does not see Beren or Huan. But as she gets closer, she sees the bier with Beren and Huan lying lifeless, and the hunters’ tear-filled eyes.]

Lúthien: [weeps brokenly] No! …No!!!

[The riders dismount. Lúthien runs to Beren and hugs and kisses him. She caresses his face, and to their amazement Beren opens his eyes.]
Lúthien: Wait for me, Beren, my love and my light! Wait for me beyond the Western Sea ere I join you. [rocks Beren in her arms and again whispers, urgently] Wait for me, please!

[Beren smiles and then expires. We see his soul leave his body as a transparent likeness. He feels a strong pull trying to carry him away, but he manages to resist long enough to caress Lúthien’s bowed head as she kneels over is body. Then a strong wind pulls one last time at his spirit form which dissolves into a mist and is born away westwards on the breeze . Camera cut to Melian and Thingol, who is standing with his head buried in his hands, weeping. He finally gathers his composure enough to look at Melian.]

Thingol: How will our daughter ever forgive me?
Melian: [shakes her head] This is not your fault…
Thingol: [wretchedly] How can it not be? It was I who requested the Silmaril! Could this not have all been avoided if it were not for my fears and prejudices? He would still be alive if not for me.
Melian: [calmly] He would have gone with you to any end. His doom was meant to take place today at the river. For, whatever Eru’s reasons, you have nothing to do with his fate. Our daughter holds no blame on you, neither should you.
Thingol: [wiping his eyes] How can she not?
Melian: You need to go to her. [They turn and look at Lúthien, who still holds Beren and gently rocks him. Thingol slowly walks up behind Lúthien. Hesitantly he kneels down to her and slowly reaches to touch her shoulder.]
Thingol: Lúthien?
Lúthien: [heartbroken] Oh, Ada! [places her head on his chest while still holding Beren. He puts his arms around her and they weep together.]
Thingol: [whispers] I am so sorry, my dearest child... [Fade] [/color]

* * * * * * *

_________________
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 10, 2012 7:33 am 
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[Fade back to 4th Age. Arwen is lying on her bed with Eldarion and Silmariën, the latter thumb in mouth, cuddled up either side of her. Aragorn is stretched out in an armchair beside the bed, half-asleep, but still alert in his Rangerly way.]

Arwen: And thus ended the Quest for the Silmaril… [Eldarion and Silmariën have tears in their eyes, Silmariën starts to sniffle.]
Silmariën: I don’t want Beren to die… You are telling it wrong, Naneth!
Eldarion: [concerned] But that cannot be the end of the story! There must be more to this tale!
Arwen: [gently] Children, I am afraid that Beren did die. The poison from the wolf was too much for him this time, but Eldarion is correct, the tale does not end there…

[fade back in to First Age: We see Beren’s spirit passing quickly over all the woods of Middle Earth and over the wide seas, crossing over the eternal land of Aman, finally coming to the Halls of Mandos, realm of the Elven dead.]

Arwen: [voiceover] The soul of Beren was carried to the halls of Mandos, where the spirits of the Elves wait until the world is broken, and passing through, beyond to the uttermost shore of the western seas that make up the edge of the world. Unlike the elves, it is man’s fate to make yet one more journey, a ride across this sea. None know what waits on the other side for none have ever returned. Yet Beren remembered Lúthien’s request, and he lingered there…

[Beren’s spirit finds himself on a shoreline. The spirits of Men and women can be seen getting on boats. Many tug at Beren trying to get him to board. He resists. Boats sail off disappearing into the eternal dusk. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade back into the glade of Neldoreth where Beren first saw Lúthien dancing. Beren’s bier has been laid to rest, awaiting burial there and Lúthien is kneeling beside him, alone in the silent and joyless land.. Melian appears and kneels beside her daughter, putting a hand on Lúthien’s shoulder.

Lúthien: [expressionless] All will has left me. I am a shell that will crumble into dust.
Melian: Beren has gone to the halls of Mandos. There he waits for you.
Lúthien: And I will join him soon... Death cannot stop true love…all it can do is delay it for a while. Can you not give me any aid or counsel, Naneth?
Melian: Lúthien, there is no help I can give to you…The land of the West is hidden from me by a great Shadow, and neither by thought nor vision can I see anything that passes there. I know only that the Secondborn children of Eru do not stay in the Halls of Mandos, they merely pass through on their way beyond the realms of this world, for that is Eru’s Gift to them..
Lúthien: [softly] I cannot forsake him: I will be joined with him in death if I cannot be with him in life…
Melian: I wish that you would stay here while happiness may yet be found, but I see you fade even now, and not even my will can keep you here. Go to him…you have my blessing and eternal love.
[Lúthien takes her mother’s hand and rests her cheek against it for a moment…she tenderly kisses it and then lets it drop again. Melian gently kisses the top of Lúthien’s head then gracefully stands and moves away, leaving Lúthien alone once more. Lúthien kisses Beren, and then lays herself down beside his body. A chill wind springs up, swirling through the woods, and blossom starts to fall from the trees, more and more heavily, dusting the couple like snow till only their faces are visible. Lúthien closes her eyes. Fade.]

* * *

[Cut to scene in Menegroth: Thingol and Melian sit on their thrones in the quiet Hall. The servants have been dismissed but two guards remain at the doors. At the moment Lúthien closes her eyes, they look at each other and know their daughter has given up her life. Hands clasped, they weep together silently.]

Melian: [whispers] Farewell, beloved daughter and Morning Star of her people.

[Camera focus on Thingol who seems to have aged and withered in his grief as though a frost has fall upon him. After a while, Thingol beckons to a guard]
Thingol: [thickly, through his tears] I would have someone tend our daughter’s body. [Guard bows and leaves the Hall. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Circling in the sky above, Thorondor begins to weep as he sees Lúthien’s lifeless body lying like a beautiful flower cut from its stem. Thorondor’s screeching fills the silence of Doriath as he wheels away to inform Manwë of the latest events. Fade...]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on the halls of Mandos. Inside the cavernous halls, the spirits of elves sit or walk slowly about. They are silent and expressionless, deep in thought. Spirit-Lúthien walks by many of these phantoms, down long passages hung with tapestries of scenes from her life. No one notices her, though she has a different look than the rest; her translucent form is luminous. Eventually she comes to the throne of Mandos and kneels before him.]

Mandos: Lúthien, fairest of the Children of Eru, you have entered these Halls by your own choice, not of my calling. Yet your plight is not unknown to me. Beren son of Barahir has come hither also, because of his own doom. But he is unwilling to leave this world…even now he waits for you on the dim shores of the Outer Sea, by my sister’s halls. What hope do you have of me? No power do I have over the souls of Men.

Lúthien: I plead for pity on our people: the Silmarils have come unto Middle Earth to the doom of all that dwell there, and with them has come the curse of Morgoth. Long has this demon plagued the peoples of this world; many elves and men have died in the struggle with this evil, while the Lords of the West have been silent. Where is the aid we so desperately need?

Mandos: The ill will of Fëanor has caused us to step aside and watch your battles. We will not be caught up in the greed for these gems.
Lúthien: One Silmaril was not won by greed but by love. Beren alone of all the children of this world has dared to claim one from the Dark Lord and given it up freely to another’s keeping. Will you not hear our tale?

Mandos: [looks at Lúthien long, and looks to the gathered spirits who are drifting into the Hall, drawn to her light and voice.] Your courage and love have led you here to the Halls of the Dead knowing that none but the re-embodied may leave them. I am sorry for your loss, but sorrow is a part of Arda Marred. I cannot help you. Do you believe I can change what fate hath decreed? No one can change the Children's fate. I can promise nothing, but I will hear your tale.

[Lúthien begins to sing, telling the story of their journey. She weaves two themes of words, of the sorrow of the Eldar and the grief of Men, of the Two Kindreds that were made by Eru to dwell in Arda amid the innumerable stars. Her tears fall upon his feet like rain upon stones as she kneels before him; All of the Elven souls gather to listen. When Lúthien is finished, the Halls of Mandos are silent.]

Mandos: [gently] Daughter of Melian, I can send you forward to a new life in Valinor, but not with this man. I may not deny Eru’s Gift to him – that authority is beyond me - but you and your song have moved me. Of your request, I must seek the counsel of higher powers. For now, you may go to Beren one last time. You will know when judgment has been made.

[Mandos rises walking away becoming a mist that disappears into the gloom. A light appears at the far end of the hall, and Lúthien walks towards it. She passes through the arch to find the westernmost shores.. Beren is there. They embrace, silent and unmoving, a pale glow surrounding them. The spirits of the dead men and women are moved to halt in their journeying, watching them.]

Beren: Tinúviel, heart of my heart, you know that this is to be our final meeting? I cannot remain in Arda beyond my time; I must depart from this material world and never return…
Lúthien: [shakes her head] Beloved, I have made my plea for pity before Mandos who judges all souls that come before him. It is beyond his power to hold you here against Eru’s will but he has promised to take our case to Manwë…
Beren: [concerned] My love, what can you hope to achieve? I would not have you accept the Doom of Men and be bound by my curse and chains! While it grieves me to think you are faced with the prospect of eternal widowhood, I would have you be reincarnated and live on forever in the paradise of Aman.
Lúthien: [takes his hand and holds it against her breast] I could not bear an eternity of separation from you! I would turn creation upside down and relinquish everything for our love. [Fade]

* * *

[Fade into scene of the Valar sitting in the Ring of Doom outside Valimar. They are conversing telepathically, and we read their thoughts as subtitles:]

Mandos: Fate hath ever ruled them in their brief time together: thus, Man and Elf, to separate ends are given.
Yavanna: Magnificent was the brilliance of their love in life together! Then hath Death descended, brutally parting them. Their naked souls bewail their plight: condemned to suffer love forever out of kilter:
Mandos: But Fate is pitiless – pity is Nienna's privilege.
Nienna: And she claims it!

Manwë: Before the throne of our brother Doom the Elf falls humbly on her knees to sing in her despair the most fair song that ever in words was woven, and the most sorrowful that ever the world shall ever hear.
Estë: Shall we help a wounded heart? For that heart's pain is greater than the world itself…
Varda: [looks to Nienna] Our sister Sorrow sees past all shades of what Is to what Should Be…
Nienna: [arms upraised] I petition the One for Release!

[Silence ensues…the clouds above the conferring Valar roll dark and furious as though a storm is brewing, just like a John Martin painting. Then suddenly the clouds break apart, the most dazzling rays of sunlight beam down into the Ring of Doom and the Valar are bathed in a golden glow. All observing are filled with wonder. Manwë sits as though in a trance. Eventually he blinks his eyes and speaks:]

Manwë: From Beyond all Fate, He answers: Eä! ...Let it be so! [The other Valar smile and Mandos bows to Manwë. Fade.]

* * *

[Cut back to the Halls of Mandos: Lúthien and Beren have been summoned before the throne of Mandos, who is sitting in judgement, Vairë beside him, but it is Manwë who stands in front of them.]

Manwë: I have sought counsel in the inmost thought of Eru, and his will has been revealed to me:
These are the choices given to you: Because of your labours and your sorrow, you shall be released from Mandos, and go to Valimar, there to dwell until the world's end among the Valar, forgetting all griefs that your life has known. Thither Beren cannot come. For it is not permitted to the Valar to withhold Death from him,..
Lúthien: [sadly] To live in bliss and happiness, and have only my life’s memories, both joyful and the bitter? This is like unto a death in itself. The memories would be but a shadow of my life.

Manwë: Then the other choice is this: you may return to Middle-earth, and take Beren with you, there to dwell again, but without certitude of life or joy. You will become mortal, and subject to a second death, even as he; and ere long you will leave the world for ever, your beauty becoming merely a memory in song.
Lúthien: [earnestly] Without hesitation I choose this doom, forsaking the Blessed Realm, and putting aside all claim to kinship with those that dwell there; whatever grief might lie in wait--
Beren: [interrupts] --No! I cannot let you do this! You are the child of Elu Thingol and Melian. Your fate and doom are for things greater than mine: you were not born to perish as men do.

Lúthien: [determined] Nay, Love. Our fates are woven together, and I will not turn from that choice which seems like Doom, for 'tis our Doom that hath led us together and to joy shared amidst sorrow.
Beren: [wonderingly] Yet would you have heart to depart from your people for ever beyond their reach, and become a memory hinted of only in songs? I do not wish to have your memory diminished.
Lúthien: [smiles] Aye, Beren, but my memory shall not be diminished, for our legacy will be passed down through our children, and the bonding of Maia, Elf and Man will not fade. [to Manwë:] My Fate and that of Beren’s shall be joined, and our paths lead together beyond the confines of the world.
Vairë: ‘Tis clear that two strands entwined doth make a stronger thread. I perceive even this is part of His design. From the joining of the Two Kindreds much grace will come into the world.

[Manwë smiles at the couple and turns to Mandos, who bows in response and rises from his throne to stand before them. Lúthien and Beren’s spirit forms begin to glow…the glow becomes brighter and brighter changing into pure whiteness. The whiteness merges with the whiteness of spring blossom, that flutters around the embracing couple standing where once they were both dead. Birds appear in the branches above them, and the sun shines down upon them…Cut.]

* * *

A/N: The above scene with the Valar in the Máhanaxar is based upon this drabble on Nienna’s labours, “Misericordia” by Dwimordene

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:33 am 
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[Fade back to 4th Age. Arwen is lying on her bed with Eldarion and Silmariën, the latter thumb in mouth, cuddled up either side of her. Aragorn is stretched out in an armchair beside the bed, half-asleep, but still alert in his Rangerly way.]

Arwen: And thus ended the Quest for the Silmaril… [Eldarion and Silmariën have tears in their eyes, Silmariën starts to sniffle.]
Silmariën: I don’t want Beren to die… You are telling it wrong, Naneth!
Eldarion: [concerned] But that cannot be the end of the story! There must be more to this tale!
Arwen: [gently] Children, I am afraid that Beren did die. The poison from the wolf was too much for him this time, but Eldarion is correct, the tale does not end there…

[fade back in to First Age: We see Beren’s spirit passing quickly over all the woods of Middle Earth and over the wide seas, crossing over the eternal land of Aman, finally coming to the Halls of Mandos, realm of the Elven dead.]

Arwen: [voiceover] The soul of Beren was carried to the halls of Mandos, where the spirits of the Elves wait until the world is broken, and passing through, beyond to the uttermost shore of the western seas that make up the edge of the world. Unlike the elves, it is man’s fate to make yet one more journey, a ride across this sea. None know what waits on the other side for none have ever returned. Yet Beren remembered Lúthien’s request, and he lingered there…

[Beren’s spirit finds himself on a shoreline. The spirits of Men and women can be seen getting on boats. Many tug at Beren trying to get him to board. He resists. Boats sail off disappearing into the eternal dusk. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade back into the glade of Neldoreth where Beren first saw Lúthien dancing. Beren’s bier has been laid to rest, awaiting burial there and Lúthien is kneeling beside him, alone in the silent and joyless land.. Melian appears and kneels beside her daughter, putting a hand on Lúthien’s shoulder.

Lúthien: [expressionless] All will has left me. I am a shell that will crumble into dust.
Melian: Beren has gone to the halls of Mandos. There he waits for you.
Lúthien: And I will join him soon... Death cannot stop true love…all it can do is delay it for a while. Can you not give me any aid or counsel, Naneth?
Melian: Lúthien, there is no help I can give to you…The land of the West is hidden from me by a great Shadow, and neither by thought nor vision can I see anything that passes there. I know only that the Secondborn children of Eru do not stay in the Halls of Mandos, they merely pass through on their way beyond the realms of this world, for that is Eru’s Gift to them..
Lúthien: [softly] I cannot forsake him: I will be joined with him in death if I cannot be with him in life…
Melian: I wish that you would stay here while happiness may yet be found, but I see you fade even now, and not even my will can keep you here. Go to him…you have my blessing and eternal love.
[Lúthien takes her mother’s hand and rests her cheek against it for a moment…she tenderly kisses it and then lets it drop again. Melian gently kisses the top of Lúthien’s head then gracefully stands and moves away, leaving Lúthien alone once more. Lúthien kisses Beren, and then lays herself down beside his body. A chill wind springs up, swirling through the woods, and blossom starts to fall from the trees, more and more heavily, dusting the couple like snow till only their faces are visible. Lúthien closes her eyes. Fade.]

* * *

[Cut to scene in Menegroth: Thingol and Melian sit on their thrones in the quiet Hall. The servants have been dismissed but two guards remain at the doors. At the moment Lúthien closes her eyes, they look at each other and know their daughter has given up her life. Hands clasped, they weep together silently.]

Melian: [whispers] Farewell, beloved daughter and Morning Star of her people.

[Camera focus on Thingol who seems to have aged and withered in his grief as though a frost has fall upon him. After a while, Thingol beckons to a guard]
Thingol: [thickly, through his tears] I would have someone tend our daughter’s body. [Guard bows and leaves the Hall. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Circling in the sky above, Thorondor begins to weep as he sees Lúthien’s lifeless body lying like a beautiful flower cut from its stem. Thorondor’s screeching fills the silence of Doriath as he wheels away to inform Manwë of the latest events. Fade...]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on the halls of Mandos. Inside the cavernous halls, the spirits of elves sit or walk slowly about. They are silent and expressionless, deep in thought. Spirit-Lúthien walks by many of these phantoms, down long passages hung with tapestries of scenes from her life. No one notices her, though she has a different look than the rest; her translucent form is luminous. Eventually she comes to the throne of Mandos and kneels before him.]

Mandos: Lúthien, fairest of the Children of Eru, you have entered these Halls by your own choice, not of my calling. Yet your plight is not unknown to me. Beren son of Barahir has come hither also, because of his own doom. But he is unwilling to leave this world…even now he waits for you on the dim shores of the Outer Sea, by my sister’s halls. What hope do you have of me? No power do I have over the souls of Men.

Lúthien: I plead for pity on our people: the Silmarils have come unto Middle Earth to the doom of all that dwell there, and with them has come the curse of Morgoth. Long has this demon plagued the peoples of this world; many elves and men have died in the struggle with this evil, while the Lords of the West have been silent. Where is the aid we so desperately need?

Mandos: The ill will of Fëanor has caused us to step aside and watch your battles. We will not be caught up in the greed for these gems.
Lúthien: One Silmaril was not won by greed but by love. Beren alone of all the children of this world has dared to claim one from the Dark Lord and given it up freely to another’s keeping. Will you not hear our tale?

Mandos: [looks at Lúthien long, and looks to the gathered spirits who are drifting into the Hall, drawn to her light and voice.] Your courage and love have led you here to the Halls of the Dead knowing that none but the re-embodied may leave them. I am sorry for your loss, but sorrow is a part of Arda Marred. I cannot help you. Do you believe I can change what fate hath decreed? No one can change the Children's fate. I can promise nothing, but I will hear your tale.

[Lúthien begins to sing, telling the story of their journey. She weaves two themes of words, of the sorrow of the Eldar and the grief of Men, of the Two Kindreds that were made by Eru to dwell in Arda amid the innumerable stars. Her tears fall upon his feet like rain upon stones as she kneels before him; All of the Elven souls gather to listen. When Lúthien is finished, the Halls of Mandos are silent.]

Mandos: [gently] Daughter of Melian, I can send you forward to a new life in Valinor, but not with this man. I may not deny Eru’s Gift to him – that authority is beyond me - but you and your song have moved me. Of your request, I must seek the counsel of higher powers. For now, you may go to Beren one last time. You will know when judgment has been made.

[Mandos rises walking away becoming a mist that disappears into the gloom. A light appears at the far end of the hall, and Lúthien walks towards it. She passes through the arch to find the westernmost shores.. Beren is there. They embrace, silent and unmoving, a pale glow surrounding them. The spirits of the dead men and women are moved to halt in their journeying, watching them.]

Beren: Tinúviel, heart of my heart, you know that this is to be our final meeting? I cannot remain in Arda beyond my time; I must depart from this material world and never return…
Lúthien: [shakes her head] Beloved, I have made my plea for pity before Mandos who judges all souls that come before him. It is beyond his power to hold you here against Eru’s will but he has promised to take our case to Manwë…
Beren: [concerned] My love, what can you hope to achieve? I would not have you accept the Doom of Men and be bound by my curse and chains! While it grieves me to think you are faced with the prospect of eternal widowhood, I would have you be reincarnated and live on forever in the paradise of Aman.
Lúthien: [takes his hand and holds it against her breast] I could not bear an eternity of separation from you! I would turn creation upside down and relinquish everything for our love. [Fade]

* * *

[Fade into scene of the Valar sitting in the Ring of Doom outside Valimar. They are conversing telepathically, and we read their thoughts as subtitles:]

Mandos: Fate hath ever ruled them in their brief time together: thus, Man and Elf, to separate ends are given.
Yavanna: Magnificent was the brilliance of their love in life together! Then hath Death descended, brutally parting them. Their naked souls bewail their plight: condemned to suffer love forever out of kilter:
Mandos: But Fate is pitiless – pity is Nienna's privilege.
Nienna: And she claims it!

Manwë: Before the throne of our brother Doom the Elf falls humbly on her knees to sing in her despair the most fair song that ever in words was woven, and the most sorrowful that ever the world shall ever hear.
Estë: Shall we help a wounded heart? For that heart's pain is greater than the world itself…
Varda: [looks to Nienna] Our sister Sorrow sees past all shades of what Is to what Should Be…
Nienna: [arms upraised] I petition the One for Release!

[Silence ensues…the clouds above the conferring Valar roll dark and furious as though a storm is brewing, just like a John Martin painting. Then suddenly the clouds break apart, the most dazzling rays of sunlight beam down into the Ring of Doom and the Valar are bathed in a golden glow. All observing are filled with wonder. Manwë sits as though in a trance. Eventually he blinks his eyes and speaks:]

Manwë: From Beyond all Fate, He answers: Eä! ...Let it be so! [The other Valar smile and Mandos bows to Manwë. Fade.]

* * *

[Cut back to the Halls of Mandos: Lúthien and Beren have been summoned before the throne of Mandos, who is sitting in judgement, Vairë beside him, but it is Manwë who stands in front of them.]

Manwë: I have sought counsel in the inmost thought of Eru, and his will has been revealed to me:
These are the choices given to you: Because of your labours and your sorrow, you shall be released from Mandos, and go to Valimar, there to dwell until the world's end among the Valar, forgetting all griefs that your life has known. Thither Beren cannot come. For it is not permitted to the Valar to withhold Death from him,..
Lúthien: [sadly] To live in bliss and happiness, and have only my life’s memories, both joyful and the bitter? This is like unto a death in itself. The memories would be but a shadow of my life.

Manwë: Then the other choice is this: you may return to Middle-earth, and take Beren with you, there to dwell again, but without certitude of life or joy. You will become mortal, and subject to a second death, even as he; and ere long you will leave the world for ever, your beauty becoming merely a memory in song.
Lúthien: [earnestly] Without hesitation I choose this doom, forsaking the Blessed Realm, and putting aside all claim to kinship with those that dwell there; whatever grief might lie in wait--
Beren: [interrupts] --No! I cannot let you do this! You are the child of Elu Thingol and Melian. Your fate and doom are for things greater than mine: you were not born to perish as men do.

Lúthien: [determined] Nay, Love. Our fates are woven together, and I will not turn from that choice which seems like Doom, for 'tis our Doom that hath led us together and to joy shared amidst sorrow.
Beren: [wonderingly] Yet would you have heart to depart from your people for ever beyond their reach, and become a memory hinted of only in songs? I do not wish to have your memory diminished.
Lúthien: [smiles] Aye, Beren, but my memory shall not be diminished, for our legacy will be passed down through our children, and the bonding of Maia, Elf and Man will not fade. [to Manwë:] My Fate and that of Beren’s shall be joined, and our paths lead together beyond the confines of the world.
Vairë: ‘Tis clear that two strands entwined doth make a stronger thread. I perceive even this is part of His design. From the joining of the Two Kindreds much grace will come into the world.

[Manwë smiles at the couple and turns to Mandos, who bows in response and rises from his throne to stand before them. Lúthien and Beren’s spirit forms begin to glow…the glow becomes brighter and brighter changing into pure whiteness. The whiteness merges with the whiteness of spring blossom, that flutters around the embracing couple standing where once they were both dead. Birds appear in the branches above them, and the sun shines down upon them…Cut.]

* * *

A/N: The above scene with the Valar in the Máhanaxar is based upon this drabble on Nienna’s labours, “Misericordia” by Dwimordene

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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.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:18 am 
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[Cut to Great Hall of Menegroth: Melian and Thingol are still sitting silently in the throne room and they exclaim in joyful amazement when the doors open and Lúthien and Beren walk in. The winter chill upon Thingol’s heart is released as he embraces his daughter then clasps Beren by the shoulders. Melian holds Lúthien’s face to hers, and looks long into her eyes. Lúthien lays her head on her mother’s shoulder and Melian strokes her daughter’s hair soothingly as she speaks.]

Melian: I can see in your eyes that a parting between us, beyond the end of the world, has come. No grief or loss will ever be heavier than what I feel in this hour.
Thingol: [anxiously] What grief? …What parting?
Melian: [holds up her hand in warning.] This is the Choice of Lúthien. It cannot be changed.
Beren: We must leave you, Elu Greymantle, King of Elves. Lúthien and I must go out alone into the world except for each other, and no mortal will ever see us again; nor will any see us leave this world, nor mark where our bodies lay…
Lúthien: It was my decision alone. I would rather spend one life with Beren than a thousand without him. Please, do not be angered or sorrowed by my choice. Be happy for me; for us. [Thingol nods. All embrace.]

Arwen: [voiceover] So it was that she alone of the Eldar has died indeed, and left the world long ago. Yet in her choice the Two Kindreds have been joined; and she is the forerunner of many in whom the Elves see yet, though all the world is changed, the likeness of Lúthien the beloved, whom they have lost… [ Fade slowly to black then fade back in to 4th Age.]

Silmariën: [clapping her hands together excitedly] I knew they would live happily ever after!.
Eldarion: I knew it too! But you still have not finished…you said they had a baby!
Arwen: [amused] I cannot finish the story because it is still continuing to this day with you, my little ones, but I will tell you this: After they were returned to life, they dwelt amongst the Nandorin Elves on the green island of Tol Galen, in the Land of Seven Rivers. Lúthien and Beren were blessed with their son, Dior, and he became my great-grandfather.
Eldarion: [scratching his head] So, was Dior of the race of Men or Elves?

Arwen: In Dior the Fair flowed the blood of Men, Elves and Maiar, though his parents were both mortal when he was born. His wife Nimloth was an Elf, but their daughter Elwing married the mortal Eärendil. Their children, your grandfather Elrond, and his twin, Elros, were the first Half-Elven. The Valar decreed that they and their descendants must decide whether they wished to have a mortal or immortal life.
Eldarion: You said Grandfather has gone to the Undying Lands - so he must have chosen an immortal life…
Aragorn: That is right. But remember King Elros, his twin brother? My forebear chose a mortal life and founded the line of Kings of Númenor. Elladan and Elrohir have not made their choice yet. But your mother… [looks tenderly at Arwen] …like Lúthien, she has chosen to marry a mortal and give up her unending life.
Arwen: [strokes Aragorn’s cheek fondly] But, whatever grace she gave up, she gained all the more in love… [Aragorn kisses her on the forehead.]

Eldarion: [looks puzzled, asks hesitantly] Ada….will I have to make that choice someday…and Silmariën…and the babies?
Aragorn: [puts arm around Eldarion’s shoulders] No, Son…when your mother chose to become mortal and marry me, it meant that the sundered bloodlines of Elrond and Elros would be reunited through our children. Your ancestors are of the three kindreds - Maiar, Elves and Men…but our bloodline shall for ever more be Mortal: the Dúnedain restored.
Arwen: [softly, somewhat absently] This is the start of the Age of Men, the time of the Elder race is gone for ever. [Stifles a yawn.]

Aragorn: [Turns to the children] Now, off to bed with you…your mother is exhausted and needs her strength in the coming days. She must get some sleep too! [the children kiss their mother goodnight and hop down from the bed, traipsing off twardso their own rooms. Silmariën turns at the door and holds her hands out towards Aragorn, who nods] I will follow shortly. [turns back to Arwen, looks anxious.]
Arwen: [tenderly] My Love… [takes his face in both her hands and looks deep into her husband’s eyes] Not for a second do I regret my own decision! [Aragorn kisses her full on the lips in relief. As they break for air, Arwen brushes back Aragorn’s hair from his brow and smiles, yet the briefest expression of worry crosses her face] …though I pray for Lúthien’s courage when our time comes… [Aragorn folds her gently in his arms and holds her close. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Camera fade in on Himring Workroom, many months later. Maedhros is sitting at a desk, receiving a messenger from Thingol, whilst Maglor stares out of the window, lost in thought as he fingers his harp case. Celegorm and Curufin stand idly together, watching the Messenger with narrowed eyes.]

Maedhros: [surprised] You are certain of this?
Elf Messenger 4: [nods] I spoke with Lord Thingol’s captain at some length, my lord. Mablung was his name. He told me his lord had sent him to bring a message to you before the winter snows fell, but he was unable to reach us. A great wolf of Morgoth slew all his company and he felt compelled to leave his errand and warn his lord of this danger.
Maglor: [drags his attention back to the conversation] We have heard of such a beast.
Elf Messenger 4: Then hear that it is dead. Mablung was one of the hunters that tracked the beast and slew it, though it was a near thing.
Celegorm: I would give much for a chance at such a prize.
Elf Messenger 4: More prize than you know, my lord. When the beast was cut open, the source of its madness was revealed. It had swallowed the Silmaril won from Morgoth’s by Thingol’s daughter and her mortal lover, Beren.

Curufin: [eagerly] What became of the treasure?
Elf Messenger 4: The jewel is now in Lord Thingol’s posession.
Celegorm: We cannot let this pass! Our property–
Maedhros: [firmly] --Is going nowhere until after our Enemy is overthrown. You will do nothing to provoke Thingol. [Curufin inclines his head curtly to Maedhros whilst Celegorm shrugs] Do you not see? with the theft of the Silmaril still fresh in everyone's minds, our people no longer view Morgoth as invincible - and neither do his. Our forces will have more confidence than they have ever had at any point since our arrival on these shores, while his craven hordes no longer see their victory as assured. Now is the time to act! [ Maedhros turns back to messenger] What other news from Doriath? I need to know whether Thingol stands with me or no… [voices trail off as camera shift to Celegorm and Curufin. Celegorm glances at Curufin, then flicks his head toward the door. Curufin nods. Both exit.. Camera follows them into hallway. Cut..]

* * *

[Camera cut to Celegorm and Curufin’s chamber. Both brothers enter left, quickly. The room is spare and neat.]

Celegorm: [fiercely] Maedhros may be ready to betray our father, but I am not! Thingol will know that we do not forsake our oath, even if all the rest of the Sons of Fëanor care nothing for the words we spoke.
Curufin: Think you Greycloak will respond to a request that he relinquish the Silmaril to its rightful owners?
Celegorm: If he does not, then we will bring war to his doorstep. He cannot say he has any right to his treasure. He had no right to name such a price for his daughter’s hand in the first instance.
Curufin: He may want recompense before he gives us the jewel.
Celegorm: Does a thief deserve payment for the return of stolen property? I think not. [pulls parchment, quill, and ink from a desk] Your hand is clearer than mine. You write the letter.

Curufin: [sharpens quill] How shall we send the missive, once it is written?
Celegorm: There are some among those here who would take an errand and be quiet about it. [Camera shift to Curufin, who is writing quickly. Cut back to Celegorm, pacing.] And once the gates of Angband are overthrown we will have the other two jewels! Then we shall be counted greatest among our people. The sons who fulfilled the Oath! Champions of our father, and of all who followed him! [turns to Curufin] You will have your family back!

Curufin: [cold] As if I would take either of them now. They made their choice, now they shall live with it in shame. I stand alone in my accomplishments.
Celegorm: You mean We stand alone, do you not?
Curufin: Perhaps I shall take a new wife, and sire sons more worthy of my legacy. [dusts letter] There. It is done.

Celegorm: [reads over Curufin’s shoulder]
“To Thingol, lord of Doriath, titles and nonsense. . . We congratulate you on attaining a fitting bride-price for the hand of your daughter. Doubtless you thought only of the achievement of the quest, that being sufficient proof of the quality of man who should deserve the hand of so lovely a lady.”
[aside] Let the hussy get what she deserves out of this match! [continues reading]
“Now that the great quest is mastered, we will reclaim the property stolen from our father’s hall through vile treachery. If you do not desire to be named thief yourself, you will surrender the great jewel to us its rightful owners and lords both by right of birth and right of sword over all lands save only where your realm lingers. Failure to return our inheritance immediately will mean your destruction.”
[to Curufin] I would have put the matter more firmly.

Curufin: Yes, but I am the tactful one. [rolls parchment carefully, slips it into a plain leather case] You said you knew a messenger?
Celegorm: I know three or four. Not all here have forgotten that we are also princes of the Noldor. Maedhros will be reminded of this soon enough, when we have the jewel. [Camera focus on Celegorm and Curufin, smiling, with eyes narrowed. Shift to message in a leather case. Camera cut.]

* * *

[Cut back to workroom: messenger 4 has left and Maedhros and Maglor are now alone, chewing over the messenger’s words.]
Maglor: Thingol is not the only one who is uneasy about your plan, Maedhros: it worries me. I do not think any of our people are eager for this fight, notwithstanding all our bold words when we departed Aman,

Maedhros: Since the Siege was broken, we have been fighting a real war, a war of attrition, one we are certain to lose. Consider how many of our kin have died already! If we must fight then I want us to win. I believe that our only hope lies in an offensive strategy - to engage and defeat his forces while we still retain enough strength to do so, At least in the battle I am proposing we have an excellent chance of doing so, while this current war of attrition is hopeless. But even more, I wish that Thingol had chosen another bride-price for his daughter.
Maglor: Why? As you said, recovery of a Silmaril has given our people renewed hope?

Maedhros: It has also awakened our Oath, and that is what worries me. As long as the Siege held, there was nothing we could do to advance our cause, and we could all put that cursed Oath out of our minds, but now that a Silmaril is retrieved from Morgoth's hands, we are bound to recover it. And I am growing increasingly concerned that one or more of our younger brothers might attempt it soon – and violently, if necessary.
Maglor: [horrified] Surely you do not think our brothers would attack our own people!

Maedhros: Why not? We have spilled innocent blood before, at Alqualondë, have we not? ‘Though admittedly not in a planned assault such as this would surely be. But I no longer understand Celegorm and Curufin, Maglor – never would I have imagined any of our brothers acting as they did in Nargothrond,. And I am very afraid they will look upon Thingol holding the Silmaril, seeing only one who is not of our House willfully withholding the gem from its rightful owners.

Maglor: Our Oath requires us to regain the Silmarils from any who would withhold them from us - and that includes Morgoth, who still has two of them. And we also swore revenge against him for our grandfather's murder…
Maedhros: [clenches his remaining hand into a tight fist,] and that is a promise I intend to keep, and not only for Finwë's sake. For now, I can use the Oath and our sworn revenge to control our unruly younger brothers; they would not dare shame our House by refusing my call for aid in this war, for I could declare them foresworn and disinherited. No, this conflict will redirect their energies into a productive cause - saving our people from destruction at Morgoth's hand - and I suspect that after such a victory, we could politely request the return of the last Silmaril, and the current holders would surrender it in gratitude. Our Oath would be achieved - peaceably.

Maglor: And our people could return to the life we enjoyed before we left the shores of Aman - a prosperous and quiet one, the one we were meant to have - instead of this continuing bloodshed and horror.
Maedhros: [nods] Fingon may hold the title of High King, Maglor, but I remember that it was our father who lead everyone into this nightmare; I would like very much to be the one to lead them out again, and redeem our family's good name and honor. I am weary of being regarded as a 'traitorous, Valar-cursed son of Fëanor' by the rest of our people.

Maglor: [sighs] Orodreth is still angry with Celegorm and Curufin, and I believe he spoke without thought. Maedhros, no one who truly knows you believes that of you!
Maedhros: [stares into the flames dancing and flickering in the hearth. Quietly] I would not be so sure, brother, because some days I almost believe it of myself. One last hard campaign, Maglor, and we will finally know peace again. For me, it cannot come too soon…. [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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[Scene opens on Thingols throne room: Thingol and Melian sit on their thrones. Beside them stand Celeborn and Galadriel. The glittering Silmaril lies in a silk-lined casket on Thingol’s lap. The doors to the hall open and a messenger approaches in the livery of Himring, escorted by Mablung and Beleg.]

Noldor messenger: O great King and Lord of Beleriand, the Princes of the Noldor, the sons of Fëanor, summon you to hand over to them, as rightful owners, the Silmaril that you possess. For they were stolen from Fëanor, and his sons have pursued him through the world and through great trials and dangers to reclaim their birthright. They also remind you of their Oath: that no one or nothing shall stand who withholds a Silmaril from the sons of Fëanor. [hands scrolls to Thingol with a bow. Thingol takes it and reads it. We see his colour rising…]

Thingol: [angrily] These words are proud and threatening: the sons of Fëanor take no thought for the anguish of our daughter Lúthien, nor the blood of Beren, by whom this jewel was won, despite the malice of Celegorm and Curufin.
Melian: It is my counsel, from one who loves you, that you would do well to surrender it, O King.
Thingol: [takes the Silmaril into his hand and stares into its depths as he ponders Melian’s words. He strokes the jewel and it seems to wink at him in the lamp light.] The longer I hold it, the more I think to keep it, in memory of those dear to me upon whom I will look no longer. [looks up and locks eyes with the messenger] That is my answer to the slayers of my kin. [Melian and Galadriel look stricken at each other. Celeborn grips the back of Thingol’s throne tightly but says nothing.]

Noldor messenger: Then I am instructed to inform you that the sons of Fëanor even now are preparing to make assault upon the fortress of Morgoth, and should they return victorious to arrive at your gates, they have sworn to kill you and destroy your people if you do not willingly surrender the jewel to its rightful owners.
Thingol: [scornfully] My people and I have long fought Morgoth before the Noldor came to these shores from the West. I perceive you will find that Morgoth’s strength is greater than it seems, and his purpose other than he reveals. I will fortify my borders, and these kinslayers will receive no help from me or my people in your war which was not of my design or making.
[The messenger bows and leaves the throne. Melian turns to Thingol…]

Melian: It was folly to become involved in the Oath of Fëanor in this manner, and I warned against this course. But, perhaps it is not folly to stay out of the alliance, if at least two of the sons of Fëanor are plotting to kill you…

[Beleg and Mablung exchange a look. They stand before the royal couple, heads bowed:]

Beleg: [drops to one knee] My Lord and Lady…Majesties. Great events are seemingly transpiring beyond these bounds…Mablung and I are unwilling to have no part in such great deeds as shall surely follow this alliance of Noldor and Edain…
Mablung: [kneels also] We would humbly beg your leave to go to war against our common enemy…to act now instead of waiting.
[Thingol considers… His grey eyes are narrowed and shining with cold and unyielding light and his hand shakes a little as he raises it to rub his chin. He does not look at his two chief marchwardens, but lets his gaze wander among the carved leaves and lifelike birds on the walls of his throne room.]

Thingol: [evenly, yet his voice is cold] You would leave me and subject yourselves to the kinslayer? Why do you wish to rebel against my rule? Why should I let you go? You are far too valuable to Doriath’s defence to throw away carelessly.
Mablung: We cannot afford to wait for the Enemy to come to us. We must challenge him before he is strong enough to make the first move again. It has to be done now for he cannot be held at bay forever. Even if we were to perish, if Lord Maedhros is successful and Morgoth is destroyed or at least weakened significantly, it is a small sacrifice.

Beleg: My King, we believe that we could be of more use to the realm by going. If the dark one is destroyed—
Thingol: [interrupts sharply] Many have tried to destroy him for centuries now, without much success. I daresay this attempt will not turn out any differently, although I must admit to the hope of finally being rid of the sons of Fëanor. They should never have come to these shores.

Melian: [leans closer] Husband, it seems to me that no matter what you rule you risk losing both of them. Do I need to remind you of all the sorrow which followed your refusal of Beren’s suit?
Thingol: [sighs and leans back.] Doriath has... I have lost so much in these past years that I cannot say if I would survive yet another blow.
Beleg: [shakes his head] My King, know that we will never abandon you. We refused the call of the Belain for you; we have fought side by side with you since the beginning. We have built Doriath with you. You are our King, and our brother.
Thingol: [smiles wryly] I have known you for too long to doubt your loyalty, Beleg, and in truth, I understand why you desire to join this alliance. Therefore, I give my leave for you to go and fight when the time comes…my only condition is this: that you serve not under the sons of Fëanor!
Mablung: [nods] We cannot rely on the sons of Fëanor for our defence. Their Oath blinds them. The day might come when their vigilance slips. We have already given the matter some thought, my Lord. We shall ask to serve under the banner of the High-King, and join ourselves to the host of Fingon.
Thingol: So be it!
Beleg: I thank his Majesty. We shall endeavour to return swiftly once all is resolved. [Beleg and Mablung bow once more, salute, and leave the Hall. Galadriel and Celeborn take their leave also as Thingol places the Silmaril back into the casket. Reluctantly he shuts the lid, and carries it off out of the throne room. Melian is left sitting alone. A fire is burning merrily in the great hearth and it casts dancing shadows upon he wall. Melian stares are them as though watching a play being performed before her. As the camera focuses in on the shadows they seem to blur and become figures fighting in a great battle… Fade..]

* * * * * * *

[Camera open on Lake Mithrim, pan across the Ered Withrin toshot of fortress at Eithel Sirion. Snow is melting, spring is obviously on its way. Cut to Main Hall, Barad Eithel. Fingon stands with Elf Messenger 3 and several other Elves. Elf Messenger 3 is cloaked for travel and has saddle bags over his arm.]

Fingon: [hands Elf Messenger 3 a leather scroll case, pats his shoulder] A safe journey and a speedy one.
Elf Messenger 3: [short bow and Elven salute] I shall pass your words to Lord Maedhros as quickly as I may, my Lord. He will be gratified to hear you will ally yourself with our efforts.
Fingon: [short laugh] How could you think I would not be party to any plan that stood a chance of bringing this endless standoff to an end? I have thought about proposing such an alliance more than once, but could not work through the details. Maedhros always did have the better mind for planning.

[Sentry enters Right, walking quickly. He pauses and bows. Fingon nods to Sentry.]
Sentry: My lord, there are two parties of strangers at our gates. One has travelled from Nargothrond, and the other group would appear be Sindar warriors from Doriath. They would speak with you immediately.
Fingon: All of them? [turns to Elf Messenger 3] This is turning out to be a busy day! [to Sentry] Pass them through. There is surely no risk from our own kind. [Sentry exits Right]

Fingon: [to Elf Messenger 3] Tell Maedhros I should have nothing to hold me back when the press comes. I have no family to keep out of harm’s way. My brother and his family are safe enough in their hidden realm. [bitterly] What hope is there that Turgon will see fit to join his fate to ours?

[Sentry enters, followed by Gwindor and several Elves from Nargothrond. Mablung and Beleg, with several Elves from Doriath follow also. The two groups stand separate, each waiting their turn. Fingon acknowledges them both, then turns to Gwindor. Sentry exits Right.]

Fingon: Gwindor! I did not expect a familiar face. Tell me all is well with my cousin Orodreth…
Gwindor: [bows] All is well, my lord Fingon. But Orodreth will send Maedhros no aid, nor march forth at the word of any son of Fëanor, due to the deeds of Celegorm and Curufin.
Fingon: [angrily] It seems my brother and cousin both bury their heads in the sand! Morgoth will destroy us all, one by one, if we cannot unite openly against him instead of hiding in bolt-holes!

Gwindor: My king is well aware of the dangers we face. Morgoth strives constantly to discover the location of our stronghold: he fears what we might yet accomplish against him and sends forth ever more spies into Beleriand. The time is not yet right for us to come forth…we trust still to defend our hidden stronghold by secrecy and stealth. Even so, Orodreth has made plans to safeguard his wife and heir: They will travel to her people of the Falas and take the protection of Círdan, and so be well away from this.
Fingon: [arches eyebrow] His queen has agreed to this?
Gwindor: Reluctantly, but yes. Left to herself she would stand with him, but now they have Ereinion to think of.
Fingon: And what of their daughter – surely she is of age now?
Gwindor: As for the Lady Finduilas… [blushes] she and I are betrothed, and I argued for her to depart with her brother but she refused to leave without knowing the outcome of my venture…
Fingon: Your venture? [looks over Gwindor and his companions in confusion] You are armed for war…do you then march against your King’s wishes?
Gwindor: I march against the counsel of my lord, but he knows how I grieve for the loss of my brother, Gelmir, in the Dagor Bragollach, and understands my wish to avenge him. Therefore we [gestures to include his group] have leave to join with you in the vanguard of those who will strike against the Enemy.
Fingon: You are anxious for the fight, then. I well know how you feel. I, too, am eager to strike a blow for my father... You are most welcome. [turns to Mablung] You wear the attire of our Sindar kin…do you then hail from Doriath?

Mablung: [nods] You are correct, my lord. I am Mablung, Captain of Thingol’s Guard, and my companion is Beleg Cúthalion, Chief Marchwarden of Doriath. We are here with leave of our King to lend your force what aid we may.
Fingon: I knew not that Thingol held such a high opinion of me that he would send me his most renowned warriors. You will carry my thanks to your lord when we return in triumph. [Mablung bows] For the moment, you must be tired from your journey. My people will see to your comfort. When you are rested I want to hear the news from your masters. Winter has isolated us too long.
Elf Messenger 3: [to Fingon] With your permission, my lord, I will delay my departure so I may bring the tidings from these lands to my lord also.
Fingon: A good thought, that. It is best if all allies know the stories others are hearing. [Camera follow Elf Messenger 3 as he exits Right. Camera cut.]

* * * * * * *
[Camera cut to Himring Workroom. Maedhros stands, looking at the map on the wall which is now marked with dark ink over Hithlum, Beleriand, Thargelion, and Ossiriand. Nassë sits, leaning forward and studying the map intently. Maglor leans against a wall, watching Maedhros and Nassë. The messenger sent to Hithlum is giving his report..]

Maedhros: [to Messenger] You say Thingol has sent his lieutenants to Fingon?
Elf Messenger 3: Yes, my lord. I spoke with both Captain Mablung and Beleg, the one they call Strongbow.
Maglor: I have heard of him. This may be good news for us.
Maedhros: Indeed! If this means that Thingol has indeed decided to tie his fate to the rest of the free peoples, we cannot lose. His forces are formidable, and his lady is a Maiar with power to stand against our Enemy. More important, his aid plugs the hole in the centre of our lines.
Nassë: [cautious] I do not wish to sound discouraging, but how can you be certain that Thingol intends to join our efforts? Just because he sent a few of his men –
Maedhros: And two of his most valued commanders. No warlord with any sense would risk his captains if he did not intend to join the fight.

Nassë: You surely would not, but you are not like other warlords. You share the risks with your men equally, and I do not think Thingol is as loyal a lord.
Maglor: Yet Thingol inspires loyalty among his captains. That alone should speak for his commitment to them.
Maedhros: We will see soon enough. [to Messenger] You say that there were some forces from Nargothrond in Hithlum as well?
Elf Messenger 3: [nods] Yes, my lord. Orodreth refuses to lend aid to any of the sons of Fëanor, but has allowed some rebels to ride under the banner of Fingon in this endeavour. They were led by one Gwindor, whose brother was lost during the Dagor Bragollach. They are most eager for revenge.
Maedhros: No doubt. [Maedhros taps his fingers on his wrist stump ] And they are not alone in that. [to messenger in dismissal] You have done well. [messenger salutes and exits]

Nassë: [doubtfully] I do not believe Thingol will aid you…he has his new treasure to protect: he will fortify the marches of his realm and go not to war. The accursed Oath of Fëanor and the evil deeds it has wrought do injury to your design: you will have less aid than should be.
Maedhros: [defiantly] I have the Naugrim – both in armed force and store of weapons: the smithies of Nogrod and Belegost work for us these days. Fingon is ever our friend…he has his people and Men of the House of Hador ready for war; the Men of Bór and of Ulfang are trained and being marshalled here and with Caranthir in Amon Ereb, Further, yet more of their kinfolk are on their way the from the East to support us.
Maglor: [optimistically] And word may yet reach the ears of Gondolin’s king. Surely this war will draw Turgon out from his hidden realm?
Nassë: Even so, I fear for us to make trial of our strength too soon… [looks away stubbornly]

Maedhros: You worry needlessly. I will not be rushed into action unless my plans are fully-wrought. [moves to map and starts gesturing to indicate his battle plan] I propose to assault Angband from both east and west: We will march with banners displayed in open force over Anfauglith and draw out the armies of Morgoth in answer. Then Fingon will issue forth from the passes of Hithlum, here [indicates] and thus we shall have the might of Morgoth as between anvil and hammer, and we shall break it into pieces! [thumps fist down onto bench.]
Maglor: [nods] The plan is a sound one. Morgoth is no longer unassailable and we shall strike him while he still nurses his wounded pride! [pours wine into goblets and passes one each to Maedhros and Nassë] A toast – to the Union of Maedhros!
Maedhros: [raises goblet, grins] to Victory!
Nassë: [fiercely] to Vengeance! [drains goblet, grimacing at the bitter dregs…Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on aerial shot of Tol Galen. As the camera closes in we focus on Beren sitting fishing on the banks of the river. His line jerks and he brings in a decent-sized trout. He turns and calls behind him. Camera pans up towards small cottage in the background. We see Lúthien in the doorway, sweeping. She waves to Beren and turns back inside. The camera zooms in on her and we follow her into the kitchen where supper is cooking and the table is laid ready. Beren enters with the fish; Lúthien helps him remove his boots and while Beren goes to wash himself up she begins to clean and prepare the fish for cooking. Over all this we hear Lúthien ’s voiceover:]

I know not whether it is the Silmaril itself, or the Oath of Fëanor, but the thought of the gem, and even more so the sight of it seems to inspire greed and violence. When my father made his decree to Beren, I know that my mother saw nothing good in his decision: she saw only the ruin which came with either Beren's success or failure.
And yet, now that the deed has been done, much needed hope has been brought back to the alliance against Morgoth. Perhaps some good will come from our quest, though for myself, I see now only its great cost and more evil to come in future days…

[A baby is heard crying in the back room. Lúthien wipes her hands and goes to him. She picks him up out of the cradle and nurses him. Camera cuts back up to Lúthien’s face as she continues her thoughts.]

The Silmaril shall be kept safe and, in time, it shall pass to our son as an heirloom. Equally shall he inherit a future of war:
For, in spite of the threat implied in the words of the sons of Fëanor, it will not be they who kill Thingol… this treasure shall lead to war between the kingdoms of Belegost and Doriath. I see the ruin of Doriath for the final time in his lifetime, but also love and hope…

[Lúthien looks down on the face of her sleeping son, as Beren comes to stand beside her, placing his arm around her shoulders]

For our Tale has been both sad and joyous, and touches upon mysteries, yet it is not ended: our son, Dior, and his children on down into the far distant future will have an important role to play in Middle-Earth. I know not what their role will be, just that it exists… [camera fade]

End of Season 4
*************************************************************************************

_________________
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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