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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:22 am 
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Season 5: Episode 6


[Scene opens on Doriath, the next day. The bodies of the three brothers have been buried outside the caves. Servants and retainers stand around at a short distance from the brothers, paying their respects. Maglor kneels in front of the mounds, the Twins stand behind him slightly.. Maedhros stands between his brothers and the servants, a bottle of wine in his hand. He takes a long drink, then lets the bottle dangle from his fingers. Camera focus on Twins: Amras is weeping silently.]

Amrod: [gently] We should not linger in these woods. Let us leave this place, Amras. There is nothing for us here. [Amrod puts his arm around Amras’ shoulders and draws him away. Camera cut to Maedhros standing behind Maglor]
Maedhros: Brother, get up; I fear kneeled praying will not bring us salvation.
Maglor: Dear Eru, will this infernal burden never fall from us? Our brothers’ souls are lost to darkness everlasting…
Maedhros: [murmurs] At least they will shed no more blood. [pats Maglor’s back soothingly] Hush… Now is not the time to grieve. [Maglor reluctantly allows Maedhros to pull him to his feet, though his back remains to the camera.]
Maedhros: Come…let us go home. I need another drink. [Upends the wine bottle, taking a generous swig]
Maglor: [turns his haunted, tear-stained face towards his brother] Do you not understand? We can never go home! We are lost, broken, every one of us…
Maedhros: [nods slowly, acknowledging this truth.] What was once, will never be again.

[The brothers turn away, unspeaking. Wandering slightly unsteadily away from the mounds, Maedhros overhears one of Celegorm's servants who are lounging idly, speaking to a friend.]

Servant 1: I wonder how those two brats of Dior's are faring in the woods? [his colleague grins]
Servant 2: Think you the wolves have found them yet?
Maedhros: [turns sharply towards the speakers, glares] What did you say? [The Elves start guiltily but remain silent.] What did you say about Dior’s brats? [anger rising] What have you done???

Servant 1: Nothing…we were just told to dispose of some filth before it got old enough to stink.
Maedhros: [drops bottle, grips the servant’s tunic] They were children! [the impudent servant still looks defiant. Maedhros is horrified] Children are not filth, not even the children of enemies - that is a designation reserved for their murderers! [he turns away, trying to control himself. He takes two steps, then retrieves the bottle and turns suddenly. Maedhros strikes Servant 1 over the head with the wine bottle. The bottle bursts, drenching Servant 1 with the last of the wine as his skull fractures.. The second servant suddenly finds Maedhros’ fingers pressed against the side of his neck, his friend's body lying bleeding across his feet and Maedhros’ eyes boring into him.]

Maedhros: [calmly] You will tell me exactly what you have done, if you do not want to join your friend in Mandos.
Maglor: [softly,] Gently, Medhros, you must let him breathe if you wish an answer…
Maedhros: [relaxes grip slightly] Answer, then, you cold-hearted villain!
Servant 2: [swallowing hard] We took them out into the forest, and left them there. It would have been dangerous to allow them to live, Lord Celegorm said… they would one day grow up to take revenge. After we made our way outside the caves, Lord Curufin was waylaid by one of Dior’s nobles –Thranduil, I believe – he told us to go on with Dior's sons. We... [He stops for a moment, swallows loudly, then continues as Maedhros eyes narrow.] We could not bring ourselves to kill them outright. We thought to give them a chance, this way.
Maedhros: [quiet, deadly, and livid] No, you chose to let the wolves and the elements finish them off slowly - do not lie. Come with me.
[Maedhros draws a long knife and motions to the servant over to where Maglor is standing. Servants with shovels begin to dig another burial trench.]

Maedhros: Brother, I need to speak with you.
Maglor: [wearily] What is it you wish to speak about? [sarcastically] Do not tell me you have exhausted Dior’s cellars already…
Maedhros: This piece of filth left Dior's two young sons in the woods to starve. I am going to find them. [he pokes the tip of his knife into the servant's side; the Elf winces in pain.] You will come with me, and lead me to the place where you abandoned those children, and perhaps I will let you live. [the Elf blanches.]

Maglor: [concerned] Maedhros, you cannot go out there alone. It is too dangerous. And you have no hope of finding those poor children, not after two days... [Maedhros turns on him in fury]
Maedhros: [shouting] DO NOT TELL ME THAT! [Maglor draws back in dismay; Maedhros pauses, gaining control of himself. He continues bleakly:] Our oath compelled us to come here, and because of it we now stand Kinslayers twice over. We have destroyed what little honour remained to the house of Fëanor, and we will be remembered in songs as murderers and butchers long after all our other deeds have been forgotten. But nothing in our oath compelled the cruel abandonment of children, and I will not have my name, or the name of our family, blackened by it.

Maglor: Then let me stay and help…
Maedhros: [shakes his head] No, I need you to lead the others back to Ossiriand, Maglor. I cannot rest while knowing those boys are lost out there. I will join you once I have rescued them. I will salvage some honor for our House, Maglor, I promise you that. Your task is to see that there is still a House left to reach Ossiriand - soon orcs may not be the only things pursuing our forces. [Maedhros turns and gives the servant a prod in the back.]

Maedhros: Now lead me there, before I confuse you with one of Morgoth's foul brood and slay you where you stand. [The two Elves head into the woods leaving Maglor behind looking worried. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Cut to scene in forest: The tree branches laden with frost sparkle like delicate glass, reaching out their dark fingers to touch each other above the path; the snow paints everything a heartless white.

A pale-haired elf races through the trees, cuts across the path, then leaps back into the depths of the forest in an instant, without ruffling the smallest icicle. For a moment, the forest resumes its slumber, then a few hollow noises echo around, distant and distorted by the icy air. With a sudden flurry, a second elf bursts onto the path and pauses, looking about, his breath frozen on the air and his eyes alert. He halts and sniffs at the air, allowing Oropher to catch up.]


Elf Scout: [whispers to Oropher as he comes to his side] The kinslayers are not far away. I heard them head northwest and their voices are still on the wind…six or seven of them, about four miles away.
Oropher: Then that is far enough away for us to return to the others and see our folk safely clear of this place and of those traitors! [They turn and head back a little way. The whisper of feet on snow can be heard through the trees as a rag-tag band of survivors from Menegroth make their way stealthily through the forest. The boughs rustle slightly as they approach.]

Elf 2: Where are we heading, my lord?
Oropher: [brushing the crumbs of snow from his cloak.] To join Celeborn and Galadriel. They and a few of the others have found a place to hide, at least until the kinslayers withdraw or take their fight elsewhere. Because of them, Elwing survived the slaughter. If we can reach them, all might not be lost.
Thranduil: [hisses] We should find every Elf with a blade and set after those murderers who would slaughter children. Are they to be left to rule Beleriand?
Oropher: They will come to naught. Though it may take a thousand years, Vairë shall weave their fate and they shall pay. When you have fully shaken off your youth, you will understand that there are some things that must be left to the Valar to deal with. For now, we must survive.
[Thranduil lowers his head and walks away, his arms folded. He leans against a tree, letting his forehead touch the bark. Oropher glances about to find his bearings, then waves the survivors onwards with the scout. Thranduil remains where he is and glowers at the snow.]

Thranduil: You go, Ada.
Oropher: I am going nowhere, until you cease this. Thranduil, please. So many have fallen – there is not one who does not weep for another departed to Mandos!
Thranduil: [turning, an unwavering flame in his gaze.] It is for Lúthien that I must do this. Or would you allow these murderers to run free, with her family’s blood on their hands?
Oropher: No, I would not, were the world a fair place and all things unmarred. But as it stands, I must be content to know that three sons of Fëanor at least have paid for the royal blood upon their hands. I have pledged to Dior upon his dying breath to safeguard his daughter. [takes a firm hold of Thranduil’s arm, matching his son’s glower.] Now come. The only revenge we can seek this day is to endure. [Thranduil breathes deeply and continues to throw his darkest look towards his father, but after a moment his shoulders drop and he lowers his gaze. Oropher places a hand on his shoulder.]

Oropher: Good, now come. [The two slip stealthily through the forest; the shouts seem to be creeping steadily nearer. Oropher glances over his shoulder and catches a glimpse of movement behind them.]
Oropher: [clenching his teeth] Why do they not go?
Thranduil: They are searching for something. I know from their calls, they are circling the forest.
Oropher: They search still for the jewel of Fëanor. I had heard some say that Elwing has it. Perhaps that is true.
Thranduil: Let us hope…
Oropher: [prods his son in the ribs to urge him to hurry.] We must make haste and rejoin the others.

[They cross the copse, the trees seeming to dance around them as they moved, altering perspective and changing the landscape yet again. Dead branches lie like bones over a battlefield at their feet, crisp and brittle beneath a net of ice. Oropher now takes the lead and presses on, scowling as he searches for a landmark. Behind them a cry rings out. Both elves draw close to each other, holding their breath till the last echoes of the noise fade.]

Thranduil: What was that?
Oropher: A cry of one with a troubled soul…who knows? Come!

[They run on, this time without scrutinising each path. A heavy brown log sticks out from beneath the snow, and they dart over it effortlessly. They do not stop again until they come to a thick clump of trees, leaning conspiratorially over till their branches intertwine. Flashes of colour can be seen between the trunks, and faint murmur of sighs, sobs and anxious voices carry on the wind. They push through into the grove, where the small group of refugees stand huddled together.]

Oropher: [warning] Maedhros’ kin are close now. [The rest of the elves look dolefully at him.] We must move. We must follow Elwing, if the rumours are true, and make for Sirion.
Elf 3: Even those who live have in a way been slain. For who could remain a child, when he has seen such horror? [She sighs and turns away.] We, all of us, are slain. [Thranduil straightens slowly, watching her.]
Thranduil: Only if we allow it to be so. [Elf turns to look at him, Thranduil smiles] For we endure. And for now that is the only revenge we may have, but it is good revenge. [He sighs and takes up position at the rear of the group.]
Oropher: [whispers] They are coming nearer. Now let us go. [color=blue][i] [Fade.]

*

[They run due south, abandoning their westward progress. All at once they stumble across a large, distinctive oak tree near the bridge which fords the Sirion.]

Thranduil: Look! [points with an excited whisper.] It seems Celeborn has left us his mark

[Oropher looks at the series of cyphers scrawled in black charcoal. underneath the C rune. They are marchwarden’s abbreviations, less likely to be interpreted by hostile eyes.]
Oropher: They are headed for Nivrim: Elwing is still with them, and they are nearly one hundred strong already.
Thranduil: Think you we can catch them?
Oropher: [shrugs] They cannot be too far ahead of us… [Cut.]

* * * * * * *

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


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:19 am 
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[Cut to scene of Maedhros searching deep within the forest of Neldoreth. Maedhros surveys the markings upon the ground with a grim expression. The undergrowth is dense and Maedhros is forced to abandon his horse and instead carry his supplies on his own back. He calls their names but neither child nor wolf responds to his calls.

He searches in every sheltered spot, expecting to find the boys sleeping peacefully and unharmed. But with every passing hour his hope dwindles. Suppressing a cry of rage, Maedhros kicks a near-by beech tree and sits down heavily beside the tracks. He unclasps a flask from his belt and draws heavily on it. The dark grey clouds above carry the threat of snow. A sudden gust of wind causes Maedhros to shiver, drawing his heavy woollen cloak tighter. He leans back against the tree, resting his head in his hand, lost in thought; the wine flask empty and forgotten be side him.. He sits upon the damp ground, weeping in silence, oblivious to the deepening shadows and the white flurries falling steadily around him…When he finally looks up, tears still drying upon his cheeks, it is fully dark, and snow has begun to settle in a fine white powder on the forest floor.

Finally, he decided to build a fire, in hopes that if the children were wandering about in the woods, the light might draw then near, but Maedhros does not rest nor sleep and by sunrise he realises that the children are more likely on the move, and he must spread his search wider. Fade.]


* * *

[Camera cut to Maedhros’ Army, camped on the road to Amon Ereb. Shelters are set, guards posted, fires built. Fine snow is driven by a stiff wind as Elves wrapped in cloaks hurry between shelters or huddle in their wraps while keeping watch. Camera pan to Maglor’s tent. Maglor sits on the ground, wrapped in a cloak and a large fur, chewing some cheese. Amrod and Amras enter, shivering.]

Amrod: I will take some of that if you have any to spare.
Maglor: [motions to his pack] Help yourself.
Amras: Thank you. I have had just about all the waybread I can stomach.
Amrod: [shrugs] At least we have that much. [to Maglor] We lost at least five today, probably from hunger.
Maglor: [sighs] Tell me not. Let me guess. They had packs filled with plunder instead of food or blankets.
Amras: [nods, laughs bitterly] And, would you believe it? Before they cooled their companions were stripping them of the wealth they carried to add to their own burdens.
Maglor: The weight of the riches will be their death. Perhaps that is the justice of judgement, after all.
Amrod: [bitterly] A fine lot of fools we shall look when we straggle in at last, with nothing to show for our trouble save the blood of kin on our hands.
Amras: [examines cheese, puts it back with a discouraged air.] This time the fault lies with us alone. At the first Kinslaying we were too young to bear much blame. This time we instigated the carnage ourselves.

[Camera pull back as all three Elves settle into their cloaks, sitting morose with their backs to the storm. Camera fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade in to scene of Celeborn and Galadrel’s camp on the Western marches, in Nivrim: a gaggle of women and children guarded by those who still remained of the woodland Sindar and Oropher’s patrols after the fighting by the bridge. The ground is frozen stone-hard and far overhead the stars glitter in the black night. Beneath skeletal branches loaded with snow, those who have come alive from Menegroth are clustered around a few small fires. Galadriel sits propped against a tree in a borrowed cloak, Elwing asleep in her lap, watching the flames dance and flinching from time to time as shards of bloody memory break through her exhausted haze. Some distance away, her companions are talking.]

Elf 1: We should go back. Someone should go back.. The princes–
Elf 2: [shakes his head.] We can do nothing for them now.
Elf 3: He is right, [taps Elf 1’s splinted wrist] You certainly cannot.
Elf 1: [gives him angry look.] But what if –
Elf 2: --There is nothing we can do. Galadriel’s cousin swore to see them safe.
Elf 1: If you believe that… [he rises abruptly and takes a couple of steps into the shadows. A bone-handled knife gleams in his unsplinted hand.] Someone ought to be safeguarding them!
Elf 2: [staring into the fire.] Surely even the Noldor would not kill children.
Elf 3: So we do not have any choice?
Celeborn: [soberly] We do not… [stirs the fire with a stick.] Those who stand victor there forbid it. We lack the strength or numbers to renew the fight. With all our folk, still Menegroth fell. What can a handful of us hope to achieve All we can do now is protect our King’s daughter.

[A soft hoot by the sentry alerts the camp that someone approaches. Elves snap alert, moving into defensive formations. Camera cut to Oropher’s party of refugees, battered and exhausted, stumbling through the twilit trees into the camp. Elves relax and welome the refugees joyfully.]

Oropher: [embracing Celeborn] The Valar be praised! [looks around tiredly] More escaped with you than I had expected. [Galadriel rises and comes through the snow to meet him, holding a sleeping Elwing tightly in her arms. Oropher greets Galadriel warmly, and places a kiss on Elwing’s temple.]
Galadriel: [unable to contain her excitement] The safest place! He hid it in the safest place!
Oropher: [looks blankly at Galadriel]
Celeborn: Dior fastened the Nauglamír around his daughter’s neck before entrusting the child to Galadriel’s safekeeping. It went unnoticed beneath Elwing’s cloak and shawls until Curufin stumbled upon us fleeing into the woods.
Galadriel: ‘Twas fortunate for us both that my beloved husband was unseen yet close behind, for his sure aim saved us from the fate of many of our people, striking my cousin straight through the heart.
Oropher: [grimly] The rest of them can spend as long as they please hunting for the Silmaril in the ruins of Menegroth’s shattered beauty. The more time they waste on searching the caves, the more likely it is that those of us who fled the battle might get safely away.
Celeborn: [nods] Doriath must be abandoned. It is time to leave the woods of beech and elm. There can be no return to Menegroth’s stone forests, blood-smeared and battle-scarred.

Thranduil: I dislike relinquishing this ancient wood to the cursed Fëanorians uncontested…
Oropher: It galls me as well, but our first duty is to Elwing and her safety. To attempt to stay on here would be to seek peace with Maedhros and his brothers, which I suspect would be even more degrading and actually dangerous. None of us suspected that their cursed Oath would drive them twice to atrocities such as these. Plainly, no peace can endure until they have what they seek.
Celeborn: [Grief and anger cloud his features.] Never shall we willingly surrender it to them. My family has paid in blood, as many as three generations; our people have been slaughtered and their homes burned! We have more right than any other of the Eldar to own what was so dearly bought.

Thranduil: If any return to Menegroth is now deemed impossible, we must determine where we intend to go.
Oropher: There are few enough safe places in this world left to us. Doriath itself is obviously too compromised; for all we know, Maedhros may claim it for himself, and we have not the numbers to contest him. Nargothrond is ruined, and the north is entirely peopled with Exiles. As I see it, we may go either south to join the Falathrim, or east to Tol Galen. [to Celeborn and Galadriel] Ultimately, the decision is yours.
Galadriel: [quietly] The southern road to the coast is the shorter of the two, is it not?
Celeborn: It is.
Galadriel: We have too many wounded to attempt a lengthy eastward journey. We shall seek refuge with Círdan and our kinsmen, the Falathrim.
Oropher: [nods] Some of my weary followers might later wish to journey eastwards into Ossiriand and old familiar haunts. That is their choice. For now we are needed by this remnant of Thingol’s people, cast into the wilderness to wander like wolves. [His words fade into silence, and he holds out a trembling hand, a gleam of gold in his palm. Twin emeralds glitter like eyes in the darkness; fangs rise sharp above a fading crown of flowers…the Ring of Barahir]

Oropher: Dior bade me take it…’twas your brother Finrod’s, and yours father’s before him…
Galadriel: [stretches out a hand but hesitates to take the ring.] My father and brother are gone…a piece of lifeless metal will not return them to me.
Oropher: [puts the ring on her hand, and closes his fingers over it.] Keep it until Elwing is grown enough to wear it in Beren and Dior’s memory, and let her life be worth their sacrifices.
Galadriel: Nothing can be worth it…but we will try. [Fade.]

* * * * * * *

[Fade into clips of Maedhros, gaunt and travel soiled, still searching for the princes. Days have passed, and now weeks; Maedhros' barely eats, save for whatever game he manages to catch. No longer is he hoping to find the boys alive but still he cannot rest or abandon his search.
Finally, one evening he finds scraps of clothing caught on a thorn-bush. The scraps are fine and Elven-made, and there are old bloodstains on the scraps and nearby foliage. He takes the scraps into his hand and falls to his knees, weeping with despair. Fade.]


* * *

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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.
~Diana Cortes


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:18 am 
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[Open on progress of refugees, a couple of weeks later. Among the caravan of Elves are hand carts, horses and ponies also carrying loads and each of the people are laden, too. Some of the women are great with child. Galadriel walks among them, giving comfort where she can. A heavily pregnant Elf, her hand on her swollen belly, approaches her:]

Elf Woman 1: My Lady, How much longer ‘ere we can rest? I am weary and hungry. I would not complain, but for the pace we are going at. I cannot continue thus.
Galadriel: Sunset is still far away, but I will see what comfort I can give you. I am sorry for the speed of the journey, but we must get as far away from Doriath as we can, lest the enemy come to pick us up like carrion lying in the road. For there are few hiding places for us here in the woods, and if we can reach the mouth of river, we will find friends to aid us. [she moves on to comfort other travellers. Thranduil moves alongside the first woman, having overhead the conversation.]

Elf Woman 2: [whispers fearfully] Will they welcome us? Those who drove us from our home were High-Elves, and showed us no mercy.
Thranduil: [snorts derisively] They were the Noldor. Those to whom we go now are Falathrim, sea-dwelling Elves. They have no love for the Noldor, except those of Olwë’s kin, like the Lady Galadriel.
Elf woman 1’s husband: I still think we should make off on our own, and seek for shelter with the Nandor. The Green-Elves do not think so highly of themselves. We should be safe among their kind.
Elf Woman 3: Aye, I would rather become like the Silvan folk and to return to the simple life natural to our people before the invitation of the Valar disturbed it.
Male Elf 2: Indeed. It seems to me that any of us who make things too pretty or too secret will soon have those things wrested from them. Surely it is better, then, to live a simple life, as we did before the time of Menegroth, that no one may grow envious of us.
[Camera focus on Thranduil as he digests these views, then he moves up to the head of the line and pulls his father to one side.]

Thranduil: Ada, I have been speaking to many of our people: They are not easy about seeking refugee with the Falathrim. They have no desire to be merged with the other Sindar of Beleriand,
Oropher: Círdan is kin to us, and--
Thranduil: [angrily] --He has sheltered the Noldo heir all these years, and countless other refugees from their fallen kingdoms. Our people are not prepared to be subjugated by the Noldorin Exiles!
Oropher: I admit I hold little love for the Noldor. Their people are tarnished with the stains of Elven blood – even those not directly involved are somehow connected, a fact which troubles me greatly. They are a great people it is true, but that greatness has come at a price I deem too high.
Thranduil: You were the one asked by Dior to lead our people in his dying breaths, not Celeborn or his Noldo wife!
Oropher: I have no wish to give the Doriathrim any orders. I gave commands by sheer necessity in the aftermath of Doriath's ruin, told its people to do what had to be done just in order to save as many as possible... I know not why they accepted this…they just did, and I became responsible for them. Now it is time for Celeborn to step up as Prince of Doriath and act as regent until Elwing is old enough…

Thranduil: Those who are loyal to Elwing will follow his leadership willingly enough. Yet many are saying you are wise, and have much more concern for us than for baubles or status. I have heard many say that we should seek to live a more simple life than we did at Menegroth, and I think they are right.
Oropher: It frightens me to think that our people might quarrel among themselves again, to deadly effect. [places hand on Thranduil’s shoulder.] I will think on your words. [Fade.]

* * *

[Fade in on Lisgardh, the wet land around the Sirion's estuary. Now, in the midst of winter, it is a silent ocean of dense reed mace., the tips of the long leaves covered with ice and glimmering in the pale sunlight. Tattered and weary, many of them injured, the elves from the North now lay or stand at the bank of the great River. Cut to Círdan and Ereinion observing with sadness in their eyes the refugees arriving on the frozen paths.]

Círdan: The last survivors of Doriath…
Ereinion: Why does it always happen in winter? It was not so long ago that the Elves of Nargothrond reached this land in a similar condition.
Círdan: [sighs] Once again we are confronted with so many homeless people and so much woe.

[Círdan steps forward to greet the new arrivals, followed by Ereinion. Oropher straightens his back as he sees the two elves approaching, one of them truly ancient, with a silver beard, the other tall and golden-haired. As they stop directly in front of them, Celeborn and Oropher bow their heads to greet them. Celeborn clears his throat:]

Celeborn: Greetings, my Lords. I am Celeborn son of Galadhon, brother-son to Elu Thingol, may Eru bless his memory. [He swallows and visibly struggles to keep his composure.] …and this is Oropher of Doriath. [the two Sindar Elves also place their hands on their hearts and bow in the Elven manner of greeting] We come to beg your aid and shelter for our people who have suffered so at the hands of the House of Fëanor.
Círdan: Be welcome, Celeborn and Oropher of Doriath, I am Círdan the Shipwright, Lord of the Falathrim and this, [gestures towards Ereinion,] is Ereinion Gil Galad, heir to the High-King of the Noldor.

[Oropher’s gaze rises fiercely towards Ereinion and instinctively his eyes flash with more than just a hint of hostility.]
Oropher: [harshly] We want no dealings with the family of the kinslayers! [alarmed, Celeborn places his hand on Oropher’s arm]
Ereinion: [peaceably] Just as little as I do: The House of Finarfin has broken all bonds of friendship with the House of Fëanor, and if I had had the opportunity, I would have supported you, not them.
Oropher: [regretfully] My apologies. It is just…too many have died in their attack, including our King, to forgive.
Círdan: Yet thankfully you have brought many survivors to us…
Ereinion: [frowns] What of your Queen, Nimloth and her children? And the Lady Galadriel, my grandsire’s sister?

Celeborn: The Lady Galadriel is here with us. [his voice hoarse] Nimloth died in the defence of Doriath: They killed her, slaughtered her like an animal, because she did not tell them where they would find the Silmaril. [clenches his hands furiously and takes a deep breath] Her sons, Elúred and Elúrin, were taken and left to fend for themselves in the forest. I do not believe the boys are still alive. My wife and I could only rescue Elwing, Dior’s youngest.

[he nods towards Galadriel standing a few steps behind him. She opens her cloak hesitantly, almost unwillingly and beneath it Elwing appears, shyly peeking at the Falathrim Elves. Celeborn holds out his hand and she grasps it fearfully. Crouching to be of same eye-level with her he points at the Noldo prince and the Shipwright.] Look, Elwing, these are your kin whom I have told you of. Your distant uncle Círdan and your also distant cousin Ereinon.

[Elwing looks past his shoulders at the two new Elves. Ereinion makes a cautious step towards her and lowers himself on his knees. Then he places a gentle hand on her shoulders and when she accepts this without fear he embraces her in a comforting, protecting manner.]
Ereinion: Welcome, little Elwing… [murmurs softly] I am family - and that is all that matters for now. [Elwing allows the tall elf to give her a gentle squeeze, realizing instinctively that he will protect her like a big brother. After a while Círdan came to them and caresses the girl's dark hair. ]
Círdan: Welcome then, Elwing, daughter of Dior, Lady of the Doriathrim. [With her huge, curious grey eyes she looks up to him.]
Elwing: You must be very old…you have a beard! [In spite of her bold words she retreats into the warm protective embrace of her cousin again.]
Círdan: Yes, Elwing, I am old. So old that it will take long until you can understand how old I truly am.
Elwing: [curiously] May I touch it?
Círdan: Of course you may. [She makes a step from Ereinion to Círdan, gently strokes the silvery strands and then, just as cautious, the old Elf's head.]
Elwing: [astonished] It feels exactly the same!
Círdan: [smiling] Oh, that it is, girl, that it- [He stops as they hear voices from afar in a loud argument: angry words in the Noldo tongue of Quenya.]

Círdan: [concerned] It is Celebrimbor… [Elwing instantly flees back to Galadriel, who takes her hand comfortingly..]
Galadriel: [whispers] Nothing will happen to you, little one, not here and not now… [Slowly they walked to where the noise is coming from. Soon they can pick out voices. Camera cut to scene of altercation: Thranduil is facing off with a young dark-haired Elf who has a sullen look about him]

Thranduil: What you doing here, son of a kinslayer? Come to mock those your father has hurt so much? Leave us, and follow your cursed sire to the Halls of Mandos! [For a heartbeat there is a stunned silence.]
Celebrimbor: [frightened, slightly angry] D-Do you mean that my father is dead?
Thranduil: [with great satisfaction] Yes! Slain by our King Dior he was, and never will return in body if there is any grace and fair judgement in the circles of Arda!
[Celebrimbor lunges at Thranduil and catches him across the arm with his knife. Thranduil wrestles with Celebrimbor, wrenching his knife-arm behind his back and twisting it until the Elf drops the knife. Then more Falathrim Elves arrive on the scene and separate the two. Oropher rushes over to see to Thranduil’s wound. One of Falathrim comes over to Círdan while Celebrimbor is led away, a little dishevelled.]

Galdor: [with a strained expression] Celebrimbor has attacked one of the Doriathrim. He has injured him with a knife, but not seriously. The Sindar’s words, however, were much more painful for his attacker.
Círdan: We have heard them: Curufin is dead? [Celeborn nods] How does he take it?
Galdor: As to be expected: no good at all. You know how he still felt for his father, and to lose him now, without having spoken with him and moreover in such a way, under such circumstances... I will take him back to Balar. He is of no use for us here, and he needs a friend.
Ereinion: I would accompany you...but I wish to spend some time with my kin.
Galdor: [raises hand to silence him] I know. And he knows, too. Just have a word with him before we return. [Ereinion and Círdan exchange glances while Galdor returns to deal with Celebrimbor. Oropher returns to the group, slightly embarrassed.]

Oropher: [bows in a gesture of apology to Ereinion] My son regrets his hasty words, though many feel the same towards the Noldor. There are a faction of our people who would prefer to cross the Ered Lindon and find a new home beyond the mountains…safe from Morgoth’s threats – and those of the Noldor… [looks at Círdan:] I would be prepared to go East with as many of our people as are willing to follow me and accept me as their lord, once we can be sure that Elwing will be safe under your protection here.
Círdan: [nods] You have my guarantee.
Ereinion: [frowns] I admit you show wisdom in the decision to take those most hostile of us with you. Though I do not deem it wise to leave Beleriand. We know nearly nothing about the lands east of the Ered Lindon. Who will help you? The Nandor? The Avari? That is by no means certain.
Oropher: [firmly] It is their decision: we shall seek out our Nandor kin and dwell among them, and live a simple life like we did ere the Valar invited us to follow them. Since we have nothing the Kinslayers desire, nor seek to draw attention to ourselves, we will be safe, living as we did in the Age of Stars. [Bows and turns away.]
Círdan: [to Celeborn] You can report later on what exactly has happened, just tell me now: what of the other sons of Fëanor?
Celeborn: Celegorm was killed by our lord Dior, too, and the one called Caranthir was slain by Oropher as he tried to stop them taking the princes. ‘Twas I who killed Curufin before he could murder my wife and Elwing during our escape.
Círdan: [with concern] Do you think Maedhros will take revenge for his brothers?
Celeborn: I cannot say for sure. He always seemed to care deeply for them.
Ereinion: And the Silmaril?
Celeborn: [prevaricating] I am not sure, exactly…
Ereinion: [softly] You try to tell me that you, one of Dior’s closest advisors, entrusted with his surviving child, has no idea where the jewel ended up? [Celeborn winces, weighing up whether to trust the two other Elves but before he can answer Círdan lays a hand on Ereinion’s arm.]
Círdan: Do not ask for that which they do not want to tell.
Ereinion: But we have to ask, do you not see? If the Silmaril is here, the sons of Fëanor will be here, too. And soon.
Círdan: [shakes his head] At the moment Maedhros and his brethren cannot even know where the survivors of Doriath are to be found. While winter is still upon us, why not at least send your children and injured with us back to Balar until you have built a proper settlement here?
Celeborn: We will give our injured into the care of Balar's healers, but we will not separate ourselves from our offspring, not even for a short while. I am not convinced that the Feanorrim will abandon the Silmaril for long. [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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[Camera fade in on Amon Ereb. The Army crawls through the gates, clearly at the end of their strength. Camera focus on Maglor, dismounting, motioning as servants come to greet the soldiers.]

Maglor: Bring bread and wine! You will hear the tales later!

[Servants hurry to obey. Camera focus on Maglor, shift right. Eldacala stands in doorway, with narrowed eyes and thin lips. Maglor starts toward her. Eldacala turns and quickly walks inside. Camera focus on Maglor, distressed. Maglor looks after Eldacala for a moment then turns his attention back to his men. Camera fade.

[Camera cut to inside Main Hall. Camera pan over Hall, where soldiers are eating, resting, and tending injuries. All are morose, there is little talking and no celebration. Camera shift to Twins, sitting near the fire and staring into cups. Camera shift upstairs to Maglor’s chamber. Maglor sits alone in front of a newly laid fire, pulling off his boots and rubbing his chilled feet. His breath steams in the dark, chilly room. A door creaks. Camera shift to Eldacala as she enters right, carrying a bowl and mug. Steam rises from the food and drink. Camera shift to Maglor, who smiles slightly.]


Maglor: If you are going to say that you told me this would happen, you can save your breath. The disaster you predicted found us and followed us back every step.

[Eldacala sets the bowl and cup next to Maglor and rises gracefully, silent and serious. Maglor lifts the bowl slowly, sniffs the food, and lets the comforting smell and steam wash over his face. He turns to Eldacala, who is silently watching him.]

Maglor: [cautiously, sensing her upset] Thank you for the food. It smells wonderful.

[Eldacala remains still. She twists her fingers in her skirt, obviously tense. Maglor sets the bowl down and turns toward her.]

Maglor: It cannot be me you worry for, since you can see I am unharmed. What is on your mind?
Eldacala: [conversing via their mind link] Not all of you return.
Maglor: No. Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir remain in Doriath for all time, save their souls. By now, those will rest in the Halls of Mandos with our father.
Eldacala: There was battle…
Maglor: Battle? No, there was slaughter. Doriath is no more. [Camera cut to Eldacala. Thick tears spill down her cheeks.]

Eldacala: [screaming in anguish via their mind link] What of my parents? My sister? Where are they now? [Camera cut to Maglor, confused.]

Maglor: [astounded] Your parents were in Doriath??
Eldacala: My father served Thingol! I was born in that sheltered land!
Maglor: [horrified] I did not know.
Eldacala: You never asked!
Maglor: I thought you wished to forget your past, like the others. If I had known it mattered to you still –
Eldacala: [furiously] Do not promise what now can never be! You would – what? You would have stopped your brothers from butchering my people? You would have spoken reason to them? Convinced them to show mercy?
Maglor: I would have tried.
Eldacala: And you would have failed. Tell me this at least; did any of my people survive?
Maglor: [shrugs] There were survivors, but I do not know how many. Celeborn and Galadriel escaped with Dior’s daughter… Orophir led the remainder away, and we did not follow [Camera shift to Eldacala. Her shoulders relax as anger gives way to sorrow.]

Eldacala: Did you at least take back your jewel?
Maglor: No. We did not even manage that. Father’s jewel has disappeared, if indeed it ever was there. Perhaps the entire venture was born of Morgoth’s wish to trick us into slaying our own people.
Eldacala: [bitterly] That is like tempting a bird to fly or a fish to swim. You sons of Fëanor are born to blood. [Camera follow Eldacala as she exits right. At the door she turns and looks back. Maglor sits, elbows on knees, staring at the fire. The cup and bowl are cooling beside him.] You should eat before the food goes cold. It is a pity to waste a hot meal.

[Eldacala exits and shuts the door. Camera follows as she walks down the corridor. Camera cut to Faervel, leaning against a wall casually. He is dressed warmly, for travelling. A pack and a spear wait beside him. Eldacala pauses, uncertain.]

Faervel: [ short bow] Good evening, my lady. I was wondering how Lord Maglor fared.

[Eldacala frowns and shakes her head. Tears glisten on her cheeks in the flickering light of torches.]

Faervel: [frowns in concern] So the reunion did not go well. I am sorry. Often, when a man has done something incredibly stupid, it takes a few months for a woman to forgive him. [Eldacala frowns, impatient.]

Faervel: Ah... I babble on when you want to be by yourself so you can rant to your heart’s ease. [straightens] I have not the right to ask it of you, but can you give Lord Maglor a message for me? I know enough to realize that you do speak, if only with him. [Eldacala nods]

Faervel: [small smile] Good. [draws a steadying breath I cannot stay here; not after this. I thank Lord Maglor for all the hospitality Lord Maedhros showed me, but my own people are far from here. I am going home, if Ulmo gives me leave. I have had enough of Elf killing Elf. It may be that I can find an honest fight somewhere in between. [Eldacala nods again.]

Faervel: [straightens] Well and good, then. [smiles] Take care of yourself, little bird. We may see each other again. [Gathers his pack and spear, sets the pack, and exits right. He whistles softly as he leaves. Camera focus on Eldacala, watching him. She shakes her head, brushes away her tears, and follows him down the corridor. Camera cut.]

* * * * *

[Cut to settlement on Bay of Balar. Ereinion wanders between the dwellings, searching for Celebrimbor. He finds him in his forge, working a bar of iron furiously…Celebrimbor has no shirt on, and the sheen of sweat is clearly visible on his forehead and bare arms. As we watch, Celebrimbor thrusts the red-hot metal into a nearby barrel to cool. The water hisses. Celebrimbor pulls the metal out of the water and lays it on the anvil. It is a slender sword with a leaf blade, nearly finished. Celebrimbor lifts the blade and examines it; light shines off the edge with a sharp gleem. Camera focus on Celebrimbor as he eyes his work, frowns, and with a sweep of his arm he sends the tools, sketches and oddments of metal on his workbench flying on to the floor. He clenches his hand into a fist, and with a grunt of anguish slams it into the supporting beam beside him. After a pause he punches it again, and again, just as brutally. Finally he picks up the sword from the anvil and hurls it at the wall. It sticks in the door frame near Ereinion’s head and quivers. Ereinion glances at it, then hesitantly knocks on the open door..]

Ereinion: [softly] Celebrimbor?
Celebrimbor: [turns his back on Ereinion] Go away.
Ereinion: [enters workshop, leans against the door frame, apparently at ease] So you can continue demolishing the place?
Celebrimbor: If I do, what business is it of yours?

Ereinion: I know what you are feeling, Telpë. [moves closer to Celebrimbor]
Celebrimbor: [steps back, swipes at tears running down his cheeks. His voice chokes with sobs and rage:] No…no, you do not. Orodreth was a kind man, he never did harm anyone intentionally. You have every reason to love him. While I…
Ereinion: You also loved your father, for no other reason than because Curufin was just that - your father.
Celebrimbor: [frustrated] But I could not respect him! And he never loved me! Nor Mother, either. If he had come back, Mother would not be dead now. If he loved me he would have sent a message from Thargelion during the past years.
Ereinion: You know how stubborn he could be, and no less than you, my friend. Nonetheless he loved you. My father said that was evident for everyone who saw his behaviour while you both lived in Nargothrond. [glances down. Camera shift to Celebrimbor’s hand, already swelling and red where he hit the bracing beam.] Let me look at your hand. I think you have broken it.

[Celebrimbor looks at his hand, flinches, then sits on the now empty workbench. Ereinion examines the hand gently while Celebrimbor winces occasionally.]
Celebrimbor: I wished I could have spoken with him one last time… we parted in anger the evening he left Nargothrond and now…now I will never see him again, not even should I pass through Mandos and be reborn in Aman. With two Kinslayings he will never be released again!

Ereinion: [lays his arm around Celebrimbor’s trembling shoulder.] You cannot know that for sure. He can learn to repent. There might be a second chance for him.
Celebrimbor: [shakes his head.] That you do not even believe yourself!
Ereinion: [sighs] No, not really. But what I believe does not matter. None of us knows the Music of the Ainur. [gives Celebrimbor's shoulder a reassuring squeeze.] And even if not - he will never doubt your love, my friend, no matter what happened between you in the end.
Celebrimbor: [nods, sniffing.] I pity my father, for his life was wrapped around the repossession of the Silmarils. Though the light of the Trees may reside in them, they are not the only things of beauty on this world. He has no gift that outlives him…his only legacy was treachery.
Ereinion: That is not true, Telpë.…For better or for worse, you remain his masterpiece. Perhaps someday you too will create something of vast power and grace, like your grandfather… [stands and moves towards the door of the forge.]
Celebrimbor: [looks after him, then glances down at the drawings he has scattered across his work bench, a smile forming on his lips as he studies them.] Thank you, my friend.
Ereinion: [turns again] For what?
Celebrimbor: For coming to see me.
Ereinion: [smiles] That is what friends are for, is it not? But if you are ever going to create anything beyond bruises, you should get a healer to brace that hand so it can heal. I think you have broken several bones! [Exits. Cut.]

* * * * *

[Fade into Amon Ereb,, almost four months after the attack on Doriath. Amros and Amrod remain encamped at the foot of the hill, leaving the fortress itself to Maglor. Camera focus on Twins as they finish climbing the long path. Maglor enters left and walks toward them. He is wrapped in a cloak, but seems more morose and less energetic than he was.]

Amras: [shivers] I have always hated this place…it seems too exposed, too visible, somehow.

Maglor: It was the obvious place to withdraw to in order to lick our wounds after Doriath. It was the only Fëanorian stronghold to remain garrisoned, even if Caranthir had withdrawn almost all his troops when we set forth for the Nirnaeth. We know not whose hand might turn against us in retribution for Doriath, At least here in the South we are temporarily out of reach of the Enemy. Though I have begun to wonder how much licking some wounds can stand.
Amrod: We do not think we should stay here, at Amon Ereb.. We do not think you should stay here either. It does not seem to be doing you any good...

Maglor: What are you suggesting?
Amrod: [impatiently] That we go inside and get out of this wind. If we are going to talk for hours, let us at least be comfortable at it.

[All exit left. Camera follows. Camera cut to Great Hall, where Maglor, Amras, and Amrod enter right. A fire is laid, and a pot bubbles. Several Elves sit gaming at tables or doing minor tasks. Twins plant themselves on one side of the fire, stretching their hands to the warmth. Maglor stands a few feet from them, still wrapped in his cloak.]

Amras: It is clear now that the Laiquendi will not take steps against us to avenge Dior as they avenged Thingol on the Dwarves. They know us too well, we have friends among them, they have more sympathy with our motives, and they do not wish to compound the kin-slaying... [he stops again and winces. He regards Maglor steadily. ]
Maglor: And so?
Amrod/Amras together: We think we should return to the woods. [There is a moment of silence.]

Maglor: [thoughtfully.] We do not want this place held against us, if we can prevent it.. We will have to leave a moderately decent garrison here, but otherwise, I think you might be right. Perhaps our family is no longer best served by walls of stone at this point. There are not enough of us left to defend them, and they will just let the Enemy know where to find us... [Suddenly, Maedhros enters alone.]

Maglor: Maedhros! [rises to greet his brother, but quickly falls silent as Maedhros sits down, back against a wall, and places his head against his knees, curling up as if to block the world out from his consciousness.]
Amrod: [gently] Did you find any trace of the children?
Maedhros: [gives no answer;he simply opens his hand and shows the scraps of blood-stained cloth he still clutches.]
Maglor: [softly] I am sorry... I know you tried. [Maedhros does still not reply.] I am sure you must be hungry… [Maglor sets about serving Maedhros a helping from the pot. He comes over to Maedhros with a trencher and hands it to him.]
Maglor: I am certain you must be hungry… [sits down beside him. Maedhros remains silent and unmoving as Maglor and the Twins eat. After everyone has finished they sit there, side by side, in silence for some time. Maedhros looks sadly at the wall next to him. Then he reaches out and lays his fingers against it, very gently, as if it were the soft cheek of a child.]

Maedhros: [whispers] Eluréd and Elurín.
Maglor: [straining to hear] What did you say?
Maedhros: [repeats slightly louder] Their names were Eluréd and Elurín. They were only eight years old.
Maglor: Twins? [glances at their own twin brothers sitting together across the other side of the fireplace.] There was nothing more you could have done, Maitimo. They had been lost for too long before you even began your search.
Maedhros: [grief-stricken] All I found were these few scraps of clothing, covered in blood. But nothing to say for certain. [He finally looks Maglor in his eyes.] Our House will never live down the shame of those children's deaths. How we have earned the curses of the Valar now! And I am afraid that there will be worse to come… [he picks up a goblet of wine and holds it up to the light, swilling the ruby red liquid around] I fear all we will ever see is blood, no matter where we turn…

Amrod: [bitterly] We have failed our brothers…failed them as we failed the trust of our father. After all those years we have not regained even one of the Silmarils. We have not even managed at least one look upon the jewels. [his eyes fill with unshed tears. Maglor stands and looks into the flames of the fire. Camera focus on the flames and we see the faces of the dead brothers.]

Maglor: I see our dead brothers wherever I look…I hear their laughter, their voices, the sound of their steps. And beyond these memories my mind is filled with pieces of music, a great song waiting to be composed… [Camera shift to back of Hall, where Eldacala stands with an arm full of newly made spoons. She chews her lower lip for a moment, sets the spoons on a table, and steps hesitantly toward Maglor. Camera shift back to Brothers. Maedhros rises and puts his arm around Maglor's shoulders.]

Maedhros: A song, Maglor: There should be a song about our brothers. Remember the cruel, unjust fight they fought, a bane for their own race - and yet remember them as proud, strong and willing to accept their fate. They were the best of us.
Amras: We have lost so many… [chokes back the tears.] I do not want to do this anymore. I do not want to kill, to destroy, to be condemned. If only I could stop it and be free of this horrible Oath which has been only a curse for us. [Camera shift to Eldacala, close now but uncertain. Camera shift back to Brothers, their backs to her.]
Maedhros: [downs the last of his wine, looks at the empty goblet then dashes it into the fire where the glass smashes into tiny pieces amongst the flames.] An idle wish….
Maglor: Perhaps we could refuse to pursue it, brother… Put the oath aside, and -
Maedhros: -And what? Condemn ourselves? [closes eyes briefly as he recites] ‘Our word hear thou, Eru Allfather! To the everlasting Darkness doom us if our deed faileth.’ Perhaps we should be condemned! The blood of the Noldor is on my hands. I am a traitor and a kinslayer, but I will not break a sworn oath. That is all the honour I have left, Maglor. All I have left, and I will not lose it, no matter the cost. No matter the horrors to come, I will hold to my word.
[Camera shift to Eldacala, who draws back as Maedhros recites the Oath. She looks shocked as he speaks. She closes her hands into fists, turns firmly, retrieves her spoons, and exits top right as Maedhros finishes speaking. Camera cut to Brothers. Maedhros turns and strides away down the Hall. Camera pan over Maglor, Amrod, and Amras, horrified, looking to each other for comfort. Fade to black screen.]

* * * * *

EPILOGUE

[Scene opens on the shores of the Bay of Balar, three years later. It is late into the evening and we see Elwing about seven years of age sitting wrapped in a great blue cloak in a little hollow near where the sand dunes meet the shore, staring out to sea. In the distance the camp fires are burning low. Camera pans along the shoreline until it picks out a young boy about 8 years old wandering on the edge of the surf. His golden hair glimmers around his shoulders in the pale moonlight. He spies Elwing sitting alone and approaches her cautiously as she seems not to have noticed him.]

Boy: Can you not sleep either? Have you been looking at the sea for a long while? [Elwing starts, turning to stare at him for the first time, but does not answer.]
Boy: I saw the sea for the first time today. [Elwing still does not reply.] My father has been telling me stories about the sea, and the Lord of the Sea, ever since I can remember. [ He gazes around, and glimpses another quiet figure standing a little ways down the ridge, an Elven guard keeping watch over his little mistress. A breeze whips up from the open sea, and he shivers.]

Boy: Do you suppose it ever snows around here? What kind of winter is it with no snow? [Elwing still says nothing, remaining stock still, guarding her secrets. The boy sits down beside her, simply glad of her company.] My grandfather once built a city beside the sea, you know... Before he moved to the mountain city. We followed the sweet green river through forests the like of which I have never seen, to return to this grey sea...I have seen so many new birds here - they scattered and took flight into the mist as we crossed the fenland.
Elwing: We had trees…and sparrows and larks and song thrushes… [her composure breaks suddenly and her eyes fill with tears.]
Boy: [alarmed] Do not cry!
Elwing: [clenches her fingers and bites her lips, blinking back the tears.] I am not crying… I never cry.

Boy: [relieved] Good. Then perhaps you will show me around in the morning? I would like to see the reed flats, and your encampments…and especially the ships that sail across from Balar… [the boy prattles on for a while then glances over at her, and something about the light in her eyes makes his voice trail off in mid-sentence.] Are you listening to me? [Elwing’s gaze is turned away from him and outward to the open water.]

Elwing: I am listening… [whispers] The sea speaks to me. Sometimes I wish I could listen to it forever— [ Her breath catches with a faint hitch... After a few heartbeats, she stands and walks forward, three or four paces against the breakers, then halts again, the hem of her dress eddying about her into the surf. Camera cuts to guard on the ridge who tenses, then cut back to the children.]

Boy: [moves to stand next to her in the breakers.] It is beautiful, like--like music you have never heard before, is it not? [he glances at her face, and the words die upon his tongue]
Elwing: [staring fixedly into the waves, heavier now, and veined with ragged flashes of cold silver.] They are calling to me. [she takes step forward.] They are right there, and I wish...But I cannot. I cannot...I have to stay and guard it...Father told me I must...
Boy: [suddenly understands, and instinctively his fingers clamp tightly around her wrist. Elwing does not move.] We must go home… it is late, and the tide is rising. [more urgently] We need to go home now.

[He tugs more firmly and finally her legs begin to move. The waters have deepened around them, and he has to struggle a little, both against the current and her reluctance. He leads Elwing back to higher ground, up onto the dunes where they sink to the soft sand. The guard on the ridge above relaxes once more.]

Elwing: [draws in a ragged breath, turns to look at the boy] They were talking to me... I heard them— [she starts shaking] They were so close, and I wanted— [impulsively, the boy flings his arms around her, and Elwing leans into his embrace. They sit there for a long time, until the boy realizes his companion has fallen into a deep dreamless sleep. He lays her down and covers her with his cloak. Just then a tall, bearded man appears, searching for the boy. He looks hard at the sleeping girl for a moment.]

Man: She is the Lady of Doriath, and she is an orphan…you must be especially kind to her. We shall call on her people on the morrow for acceptance and aid for the Gondolindrim [looks guiltily at his son] Your mother and I have been busy lately, too busy...we will make it up to you, I promise.
[The boy nods again. Taking his father’s hand he allows him to lead them back toward the glimmering fires of their own encampment. Fade.]

End of Episode and Season 5
*************************************************************

_________________
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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