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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:15 am 
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SEASON 4: THE TALE OF BEREN & Lúthien

Episode 1

[Fade into a scene of Beren climbing down the treacherous crags of Ered Gorgoroth. There are a few dark, scrubby pines here and there. He begins to notice sticky webbing strung among the crevices; he pauses and camera pans as he surveys the area. There is no sign of life.

Picking the most web free trail, he finds himself on more steep and perilous paths. Beren comes upon a ledge, but finds that it will not support his weight. He slithers and tumbles down the steep cliff some tens of feet... Expecting death, he is instead caught in a giant web and is held fast. He struggles and eventually frees an arm. Freeing his sword, he starts to cut away his bonds. Before he has managed to free himself fully, a giant spider crawls out of a nearby cave. Beren jumps away but realizes that his leg is still stuck and ends up dangling below the web. The spider drops towards him, biting viciously at his leg. Fending it off, Beren uses the web to swing back and forth then jabs with his sword with each swing. Just as the spider manages to puncture the skin on his calf, the swinging loosens the webbing and Beren falls, again tumbling into another web.

This time he manages to free himself before another spider descends. He heads down a very steep scree slope of loose rocks, half-running, half-scrabbling as he fights to keep his footing. Pausing at the bottom he checks his wounds, and sees that his leg is not bleeding from the puncture mark, but the skin around it is swollen, and there is redness spreading away from the bite. He takes a sparing sip of water from his water skin and pours a little over the bite to clean it. He stands gingerly, ready to continue again.

He has only gone a few steps when spiders jump out from behind and underneath boulders. Webs are strategically placed in gullies and in between the boulders. Beren breaks into a run, finding that his speed enables him to break through some of the smaller webs with his sword. As he runs he accumulates webbing along with bits of dried frog and bird bones. He cuts one web that has a sac of baby spiders and finds himself covered with them. He screams and stumbles then falls and tumbles down the sloping rock face with the baby spiders falling away as he descends. Battered and bruised, his clothes torn and with his skin cut to ribbons in several places, Beren finally stops in an area that is fairly flat and near the foot of the mountains. He rests, dazed and breathing heavily and sweating slightly.

Eventually he opens his eyes…looking straight up, the camera spins, giving us a view of what he sees: a hazy sun and the tips of pine trees, but his vision swims in and out of focus.. Beren shakes his head to try and clear his vision. Not sensing any more spiders, he pulls himself up slowly, using his sword for support. He looks around, gaining his bearings. At first, he sees nothing. He turns to glance back up at where he has just descended from, then turns back round one again to find a cluster of giant spiders blocking his exit, all waiting for him to make the first move.

Summoning the vestiges of his strength and determination, he utters a berserker battle cry and begins hacking in all directions, cutting limbs and stabbing bloated bellies. His reflexes are slowed by his exhaustion and the effects of the spider venom. One of the spiders jumps at his neck after getting through his defences and bites him a few times, drawing more blood before he dispatches it. At his first opening he flees with the spiders following close jabbing their clawed legs at his heels. Beren aims for the forest ahead, leaps over briars, dodges fallen tree limbs and other obstacles, occasionally tripping, then ducks quickly behind a tree to ambush the closest spider. Repeating this, Beren runs for a few miles when he notices the wood has become less dense and the air is fresher and less musty smelling.

Catching his breath, Beren peers from behind a tree and sees no more spiders. He continues to walk nervously not trusting his freedom. Behind him, the frost can be seen receding, and little freshets start to run. The sun melts the snow to reveal crocuses and winter aconites. He is sweating heavily now, and his vision is blurry. His leg is also feeling numb. He staggers wearily to a stream and follows it down its path. The toils of his journey and the infected wound are wearing on him, and he sinks eventually into the grass at the base of a gnarled willow tree. As soon as his eyes close he falls into a feverish slumber. After a while a nightingale lands on the branch above him, and cocks its head to one side as it considers the sleeping form below: Though still young, some streaks of grey can already be seen in his long, unkempt hair, and the burden of his woes is etched on his rugged, bearded face. Silently the bird takes wing and heads off into the forest. Fade.]


* * *

[Fade in on scene of Melian and Thingol strolling in the forest of Neldoreth as the shadows lengthen. Presently the nightingale comes into view lands on Melian’s outstretched finger. She brings the bird close to her face and listens as the bird twitters softly. Raising an eyebrow, she smiles inwardly to herself.]

Melian: [softly] So… he has come... [Fade]

* * *

[Fade back in on Beren, rousing from his stupor sometime later. His skin is pale and waxy despite the bruises, and his eyes bloodshot. Most of his wounds have dried and crusted over. He pulls back the fabric of his leggings and examines his leg. Where the spider punctured the skin is a large, pus-filled blister. He knows that he must lance it and flush out the poison. He retrieves a small dagger from his pack and he crawls to the edge of the stream where he removes his boot. Gritting his teeth he steadies his hand as best he can and makes an incision. He grunts in pain then breathes out deeply as the muck is released. He plunges the leg into the icy stream in the hope that the water will wash away most of the poison. Once his leg feels numb he uses the knife to cut away the infected flesh. Finally he takes some cleanish rags from his pack and dresses the wound. Exhausted by his ministrations he refills his water skin and drinking his fill, rests again against the tree roots. Cut.]

* * *

[We hear the soft music of a flute as the camera winds between tree trunks, eventually revealing a scene of Lúthien dancing in a secluded glen, the last light of day touching the higher branches of the trees surrounding her. Her hair is dark as the shadows of twilight, and her eyes as grey as the starlit evening within her shining face; her cloak is sewn with golden flowers, over a dress as blue as a summer sky. Daeron the minstrel is sitting on a tree limb above her, playing idly on his flute. Lúthien begins to sing a sweet melody. Cut.]

*
[Cut back to Beren who hears the voice from his vision faintly in the distance, and full of wonder he rises up. Looking in the direction of the voice, he sees what looks like a straight path unseen before. Beren follows it, still haggard and dazed. Stumbling blindly forward he eventually reaches the glen where Lúthien is dancing under the rising moon. On the glades of Esgalduin, she dances and sings, weaving her enchantment of life to hasten Spring.

On and on she whirls, her feet touching the ground lightly as if the breeze carries her. Stretching her arms, she beckons nature to follow her call: enamouring the Niphredil to open and the Elanor to shine brightly amongst the others. Lúthien Tinúviel enchants the flowers, but unknown to her; she captures also the heart of a mortal man as well:

Hiding in the undergrowth, Beren catches sight of the Elf-maiden and he is enchanted by her beauty, though in his feverish state he believes her to be a hallucination. (we view her through his eyes all glowing and soft focus, like Frodo saw Arwen near Weathertop.) All memory of his pain and weariness departs from him and his heart is given to her from that moment.

Lúthien sings clear and strong as she dances but suddenly Daeron interrupts her:]


Daeron: Lúthien! Do you hear the woods? [Lúthien halts her singing. Birds have also stopped. Silence is heavy. She looks slightly unsure but at the same time intrigued.]
Daeron: [sniffing] There is a strange scent in the air. A wild beast may be near. We must hurry to tell the march wardens.
Lúthien: [laughs nervously] Oh Daeron, what beast could pass through the Fence of Doriath that would harm me?
Daeron: [perplexed] I cannot say. By the smell, I would say this is a most vile beast.
[Lúthien moves t the edge of the clearing and stares into the woods. Hearing and sensing Beren’s presence, at first Lúthien stands there unmoving, confused because she has never known fear or pain in her life. Then she sees his shadow and. catches a glimpse of his matted hair, with the moonlight reflecting in his eyes and she is disturbed, believing him to be a wild animal stalking her…]
Lúthien: [agitated] Perhaps you are right: we should move on from here... [Beren tries to call out to her but his mouth is dry and the words refuse to come…he reaches out to touch her arm and in fright she vanishes from his sight. Fade]

* * *

[We see clips of a bereft Beren searching for her: Foraging for roots and berries he wanders unseen through Doriath, as Spring gives way to Summer, occasionally espying her as a gleaming light from afar, or hearing her tinkling laughter in the distance, but never near enough to approach her. Eventually he stumbles across a pool as still and clear as a mirror. Sinking to his knees in dejection he gazes at his reflection. He sees his wild, unkempt appearance, and does not recognize himself.]

Beren: [despairingly] Have I truly fallen this far? No wonder this Elven nightingale flees from me…
[Resolutely he strips off his clothing and plunges into the crystal clear water. Gasping at the sudden chill, he searches for moss and soapwort to scrub his skin and clean his hair. He emerges from the pool refreshed and invigorated. He takes his knife and cuts his hair roughly to shoulder length, then attempts to trim his beard using the pool once again as a mirror. Beren stretches out, enjoying the warming sun on his bare skin as he dries off. His bruises have faded and the wounds from his terrible journey have healed to silvery scars.. Lying there drowsily he hears a smothered giggle from nearby and he sits up with a start, looking in the direction of the sound. From the corner of his eye he catches a faint movement of foliage. Pulling on his leggings he moves off swiftly in pursuit. He hears more giggles though he sees no sign of any being. Eventually he tires, and slowing, leans against an elm tree to catch his breath. He is about to turn back when he catches a glimmer of movement in between the leaves of a thick planting of hemlocks, the umbels glowing like a white mist. Ghostly moths on frail lacy wings flit to and fro...

Moving stealthily from the shadowy perimeter of the glade he peers between the hemlock-leaves. He smothers a gasp as he sees Lúthien kneeling in the long grass scattered with golden elanor. She starts to hum softly. Unfolding her body, she begins to undulate her arms and sway in time to the music. Gradually she rises to her feet her and dances with a sensual grace. As Beren watches, enraptured, she loses herself in the moment, dancing with complete abandon. The sheer beauty of her mesmerizes him…and he is filled with the desire to take her in his arms. Beren runs forward, brushing apart the leafy stem and calls to Lúthien, crying
"Tinúviel!” [subtitled “Nightingale!”]

The speaking of her Elvish name with such love and longing causes her to hesitate, and Lúthien gazes upon him in wonder. He gathers her in his arms and kisses her on the lips. In her surprise she finds herself reciprocating his embrace at first, but then, trembling, she slips away from him and he collapses into a deep stupor of bliss and despair. Fade...]

* * *

[Fade in on same scene, some hours later: it is dusk…the camera picks out Beren still lying in the soft grass where he fell. The camera begins to zoom in slowly, so we get the effect of the camera being someone going up to him. As the camera closes in on his face, Beren becomes lit softly as if reflecting the glow of the person bending over him. A female hand traces the contours of his face. Beren’s eyes open and he looks up…camera cut to show Lúthien’s face smiling down at him. Kneeling down beside him, she puts her arms about his neck and gently draws up his head to rest upon her breast, cradling him in her arms. Fade.]

* * *

[Scene fades back in on Beren and Lúthien still lying contentedly together in the secluded glade.]

Beren: [caresses Lúthien’s face in wonder] What nightingale are you to enchant me?
Lúthien: [eyes sparkling in adoration at him] I am Lúthien Tinúviel, daughter to Elu Thingol, king of this realm…and who are you, who comes to me way-worn and weary, bearing the scars of mortality? [She runs her fingers delicately over the scars etched upon the muscles of his broad shoulders and arms..]
Beren: I am Beren, son of Barahir, Lord of Dorthonion, though I am without home or lands. [looks to his ring] To my father, this Elven ring was given long ago for saving the life of King Felagund. He said it would guarantee my father and his descendants aid from the Elven kingdoms. I do not think he meant Doriath. This land is forbidden to such as me.
Lúthien: Mortal, you may stay for as long as fate will allow, for I have found joy and I will not let it go. [She embraces him.]
Beren: And if Thingol learns of me? My life will surely be forfeit…Yet Tinúviel, for you I would risk my life!
Lúthien: [looks serious for a moment then a mischievous grin appears on her face. She jumps up…] And what would you risk for another kiss? [as Beren makes a lunge for her, Lúthien darts away towards a nearby elm and nimbly springs up into its lowest branches.]
Beren: [watches, hands on hips as she soon disappears into the canopy. Grins wryly] It seems today I discover whether I have a head for heights… [he grabs hold of a bough just above his head and pulls himself up smoothly. Fade.]

[From then on they meet secretly and conduct a clandestine relationship, dancing together at the end of each day, and walking through the woods. hand-in-hand in blissful happiness…

We see a montage of clips:
- Lúthien singing with birds landing on her hands. Beren is trying to do the same but ends up chasing them away instead. They embrace laughing, kissing again with birds landing on their backs and shoulders.
- Beren sits carving an animal from some discard antler horn as Lúthien appears with a picnic of food from Menegroth.. At first Beren tries to hide it behind his back, turning away as Lúthien tries to get a peek. Eventually he presents the finished article with a flourish - it is an owl- and Lúthien gasps in admiration... she takes it into her hands and examines it, lovingly running her fingers over it... she clasps the carving to her breast with both hands, beaming up at him. Cut immediately to close up of the carving now perched on a tree stump…the camera pulls back to refocus on the lovers close by, reclining amid the meal Lúthien has brought to share, playful feeding each other tidbits…
- Lúthien and Beren watch young rabbits hopping around outside their burrow in the early evening sunshine, and other clips show Lúthien seeing how animals trust Beren when he rescues new fledged birds or a fox trapped in a dense bramble thicket…
- The last scene is of Lúthien dancing. Her stunning grace makes it difficult for Beren to do anything but watch. Lúthien tries to get Beren to dance:]


Lúthien: Come, dance with me now, Beren! Let me see you dance…you will need nimble feet to woo me!
[Beren attempts to follow her steps, but he is too clumsy to be her partner. Finally, they fall laughing to the ground. Beren lays his head in Lúthien’s lap and they talk about his home and family. Lúthien is fascinated by his hands, holding one up to compare with her own smaller hand, and caressing his calluses and rough skin.]

Beren: I take after my mother, but I have my father’s hands. Sword hands, he called them,
He was a fighter, was Da, and this was his sword [indicates Barahir’s sword by his pack] Dagmor, it is named .. “Dark Slayer.” He always kept it sharp and shining…”A weapon is a grand thing”, he would say. He dealt in death out of necessity…but there was always love in Da’s hands. [Smiles ruefully] We mortals are naught but dust compared to you Elves: weaker, clumsier, much less wise…but we have to grow faster, fight sooner, [trails off] …die sooner.
Lúthien: [traces the lines on his palm.] Your hands are like a map of the land, with mountains and valleys. Your fate flows like the waters of a river through narrow, tapering gullies carved over thousands of years, towards an unknown far-off destiny! [peers closely] Your life force flows strongly… [frowns] apart from here: [color=blue] [points] there is a gap, else the line is so faint I cannot discern it…
Beren: [bemused] You can tell that just from my clumsy hands?
Lúthien: Of course…and while your hands do not have the dexterity of the Elves they can create, can mould, and shape with equal skill...
Beren: - and speak… [sits up and mimes “I love you” with his hands. Lúthien reciprocates, laughing in delight. Then his expression darkens as he looks down at his rough hands] Nay, these hands which have killed and destroyed, oft with a single blow…they do not deserve to hold such sweetness! [folds his hands in his lap, ]
Lúthien: [softly] And yet you have shown me that those same hands can also save lives and bring healing. Hands that once inflicted pain can learn to be loving …and to give pleasure: [leans forward and runs her fingers gently along his collarbone, pausing to stroke the hollow of his throat then moving lower into the soft hair on his chest. Beren's eyes widen, and he sucks in his breath softly, his heart pounding. Lúthien smiles and moves her hand to his upper arm: running her fingers down the length of his arm, she folds her hand over his and laces his fingers with hers, their palms kissing]
Lúthien: See, the spaces between your fingers were created so that another's could fill them! [closes her eyes for a few seconds] I can feel the fast beating of your heart through this single touch!

Beren: [smiling shyly] Then you can feel the love I have for you in my heart with every beat. [draws her close and kisses her tenderly on the lips, then pulls back slightly to look her in the eyes again, wonderingly.] Is this supposed to happen? Did Eru intend for two different races to feel this way toward each other?
Lúthien: [caresses his face] I know not. All I know is that a doom fell upon me when I first looked into your eyes, Beren son of Barahir, and I have loved you ever since. I believe I never knew the meaning of lonely until the day we met. And if you say from your heart the feeling you have toward me is indeed love, then the same I have for you: [Lúthien takes his hand and brings it to her heart, setting his hand with hers above it directly onto her breast.] I give you my hand and my heart. With you, I would be content with a mortal life span, if I but had the choice.
Beren: Even with all your Elven powers of perception, you could never see the fullness of how much I have already loved you before this moment, nor how much I will hereafter. But I would not ask you to give up your immortality for me...
Lúthien: You are not asking, but I would give it willingly, as I have my heart.
Beren: [Takes her in his arms, and lays her down, kissing her lingeringly. When their lips part from the bliss, he whispers,] My Tinúviel....
Lúthien: [smiles up at him.] My beloved…

[As the lovers lie entwined on the mossy carpet, the camera pulls back and up and we see that they are being observed by someone in the branches of a tree not far off, hidden in the gloom. The observer lets the leaves fall back so that Beren and Lúthien are hidden from our view and then the camera cuts to show Daeron descending silently from the tree,. His eyes are red and his pale face is sullen.. He takes his flute from inside his jacket and looks at it.]

Daeron: Hateful has this realm of trees now become to me…May fear and silence fall on it! I shall play my flute no more: [breaks his flute in two with sharp splintering crack and discards it on the grass as he disappears from sight into the forest. Hearing the noise, Beren and Lúthien break apart in gasps of consternation.]

Beren: What was that?
Lúthien: [fearful] I fear someone may have discovered us…wait here, my love [jumps up and heads toward the area the noise came from, listening and scanning the woodland for any hidden trespasser. She slows as she spots the broken flute before she reaches it. She bends to pick it up and examines it thoughtfully as she returns to Beren.]
Beren: [raises eyebrow in unspoken question]
Lúthien: [simply] Daeron…
Beren: Should I worry?
Lúthien: He is my friend: with any luck he will not betray me. Although… [looks at broken flute] I fear he is upset with me...
Beren: What happens if we are found out? I will surely not find welcome in your father’s house.
Lúthien: When our luck falters, I can protect you from my father’s sword.
Beren: And if protection fails?
Lúthien: Then, we run. [Beren looks grim and resolute for a couple of seconds, then he hugs Lúthien tightly to him, burying his face in her hair. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:46 pm 
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[Scene opens in Menegroth. Daeron is in his work chamber, sharpening his writing implements. Manuscripts are scattered over the desk and on the floor. His harp lies abandoned on the bed, a broken string coiling forlornly. Thingol walks past the entrance and glances in, his eyes flicking round the room as if searching for something, or someone.]

Thingol: Well met, Daeron.
Daeron: My Lord… [nods in acknowledgement of his King but turns back to his desk]
Thingol: Have you perchance seen my daughter of late?
Daeron: [Not looking up from what he is doing. Answers neutrally] She walks in the woods, as is her way.
Thingol: [perturbed] Is that not your way as well? Why do you not accompany her? Are you not well? It is noticeable that the land no longer echoes with your voice…
Daeron: [evenly] Lúthien has long been restless. She now asks to be alone. Lacking of her company, I have little music in my heart.
Thingol: This is a great loss for the people of Doriath. Your songs lift our spirits and elevate our arts. I will encourage Lúthien to forego her idle wanderings if her absence distresses you.

Daeron: [shakes his head] That would pain us both, I fear. But I will speak no more of this matter.
Thingol: What vow of silence is this? What have you seen?
Daeron: [sighs dramatically] I have not the will to say. The woods hold strange deeds. Kings see them not, though queens may guess… and maidens maybe know.
Thingol: My Queen? What might she guess? [Melian appears at her husband’s elbow]

Melian: Change has come, husband. Your wisdom is needed in these difficult times.
Thingol: I am not at ease. Something is amiss. The wind has died…even the birdsong has ceased. It is as though the forest holds its breath…and Lúthien shuns all company!
Daeron: [cryptically, under his breath] Not all…
Melian: [smoothly] My Lord, let her be. She is happy for now.
Thingol: This matter will not remain hidden. She will come before me.
Melian: Even so, we must trust in our daughter. Our hope lies with her. [Fade.]

* * *

[Fade back in to scene in throne room of Doriath, later: The court is largely empty. Thingol sits quietly while Melian talks with her maidens including Galadhriel. Guards stand by the entrances. Lúthien enters. ]

Lúthien: I am here, Ada.
Thingol: You walk not alone. Who is he that earns my wrath? Who is this trespasser who wanders freely within my woods?
Lúthien: Far in the north, the land groans under Morgoth’s weight. The free folk
have fled their orc-ridden lands, yet one sword remains unconquered. Beren is the son of Barahir—
Thingol: [in amazement] –a mortal?? No Man is admitted into my kingdom, let alone my service!
Lúthien: [pleading] He is a Lord of Men…an elf-friend and mighty foe of Morgoth: the tale of his deeds has become a song even among the Elves. If aught you have to say to him, you must promise to stay your hand! [Melian looks to Thingol. Thingol lessens his anger and looks again to Lúthien.]
Thingol: You have my word: neither blade nor chain shall mar his flesh. [to his guards] Bring him before me!
Lúthien: No! He shall come of his own free will...you have my word.
Thingol: [reluctantly] So be it. He cannot escape the Fences of Doriath should he attempt to flee.[Lúthien curtseys and excuses herself. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to an overhead shot from behind the gates of Menegroth shows Lúthien running swiftly, as fleet and graceful as a deer, and silent as a mist over forest and vale, reaching Beren with even strides.]

Lúthien: Rise my love, a great task is before you. You must come to the Hall of my father.
[Looking apprehensive, Beren grabs his belongings and the couple walk calmly, hand in hand towards Menegroth. Fade.]

* * *

[Fade into scene of Beren entering Menegroth…he is humbled by the architecture and finery, but not cowed by the many Elven guards; some are curious; some sneer; others stand mute. Lúthien leads Beren to Thingol’s throne. Upon reaching the thrones, Lúthien stands beside him and smiles at her parents as if she has brought an honoured guest to some special festivity. Thingol, however, looks scornfully at Beren as the guards hover nearby. Melian seeks his gaze, and Beren turns his head toward her. He immediately stares at the ground but then slowly raises his eyes back towards her. Beren feels the King’s eyes cut through him like a knife. He looks upon the king and lowers his eyes respectfully. The Hall has become silent.. Finally, Thingol breaks the silence,..]

Thingol: [with scornful anger] Who are you that stumbles hither like a thief? Know that none unbidden dare to seek this throne and ever leave these halls!
Lúthien: [presents him formally] This is Beren son of Barahir. On his hand is the ring of Felagund. We owe him our gratitude and safe passage.
Thingol: [snaps at Lúthien:] Let him answer! [returns his glare to Beren] Why have you dared to walk this wood as a thief unasked and in secret? What would you here, unhappy mortal, and for what cause have you left your own land to enter this, which is forbidden to such as you?
Beren: [looks at Lúthien who stands silently, smiling in encouragement. His eyes turn to Thingol in cold pride.] Long have I kept the orcs and the wolves of the north at bay, protecting this land from the evils of the Dark Lord. My fate, O King, led me here, through perils such as few even the Elves would dare. Now my feet have led me bleeding over the mountains, and by noble right have I entered your lands: by right of Barahir, King of Dorthonion…

Thingol: [dismissively] A petty king of a brief kingdom… Why come you here?
Beren: Birdsong in the woods led me on. Yet no bird did I find, but the fairest of all beings… [Thingol pauses, breathless in remembrance of his own first steps in Doriath. He looks to Melian and catches her eyes. Melian turns to Beren, and Beren finds strength in her warm gaze.]
Beren: I came not in search of riches. No gem or gold that you posses would I have, but your dearest treasure. Here I have found something that I sought not, but finding it I would possess for ever. For it is above all gold and silver, and beyond all jewels. Neither steel rock, nor, nor the fires of Morgoth, nor all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms shall keep from me the treasure I desire. For Lúthien your daughter is the fairest of all the Children of the World!
Thingol: [outraged] Can you show reason why my power should not be laid on you in heavy punishment for your insolence and folly? [The silent crowd waits for Thingol’s worst.]

Daeron: [forcefully] He deserves death, my King!
Thingol: [glances at Daeron, somewhat surprised by the anger in his response, then turns back to Beren] He speaks true. Death you have earned with these words; and death you should find suddenly, had I not sworn an oath in haste; of which I repent, baseborn mortal, who in the realm of Morgoth has learnt to creep in secret like his spies and thralls.
Beren: [remonstrates angrily] Death you can give me, earned or unearned; but the names I will not take from you of baseborn, nor spy, nor thrall. [holds up his hand with the ring of Felagund: the ring’s green jewels gleam and its silver shines] By the Ring of Felagund, that he gave to Barahir, my father, on the battlefield of the North, my house has not earned such names from any Elf, be he king or no.
[the crowd murmurs in awe of the Elven-ring wrought in Valinor.]

Melian: [leans to counsel Thingol, whispers:] Forgo your wrath, my love. For not by you shall Beren be slain; far and free does his fate lead him in the end, yet it is wound with yours. Take heed!
Thingol: [looks to Lúthien and her pleading eyes. Leans closer to whisper back to Melian] Unhappy Men, children of little lords and brief kings: shall such as these lay hands on Lúthien, and yet live?
Melian: [dryly] I suspect my lord would feel the same about any who seek our daughter’s hand… Yes, he is a man, and they are a short-lived race, but I see something more about him. A sense of unavoidable doom and of great deeds. [Thingol looks at her, taken aback. Then shrugs off the sense of unease, sitting up straight again. The crowd becomes silent as Thingol prepares to speak aloud]

Thingol: I see the ring, son of Barahir, and I perceive that you are proud and deem yourself mighty. But a father’s deeds, even had his service been rendered to me, avail not to win the daughter of Thingol and Melian.
Beren: [stands tall and proud, his shoulders thrust back] What price, then?
Thingol: [surprised] What mean you?
Beren: What price would the Elven King name for his daughter? What deed must I complete before I can bind myself to your daughter?
Thingol: [thoughtfully] See now! I too desire a treasure that is withheld. Her hand I will not give for any price less than a Silmilril cut from Morgoth’s iron crown. [there are gasps of shock from the crowd, followed by a long silence.] If you can give this to me, then, if she will, Lúthien may set her hand in yours. [Thingol looks to Lúthien who has an indescribable emotion in her eyes, some combination of desperation and despair.] Is this also your wish, Daughter?
Lúthien: [grabs Beren’s hand defiantly] It is, my Lord!

Thingol: [rises and stands before Beren.] Rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms. Yet I hear you say that bonds such as these do not daunt you. Go your way therefore! Bring to me in your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown; and then you shall have my jewel; and though the fate of Arda lies within the Silmarils, yet shall you hold me generous.
Beren: [wryly] For little price do Elven-kings sell their daughters: for gems and things made of craft. But if this be your will, Thingol, I will perform it. And when we meet again my hand shall hold a Silmaril from the Iron Crown; for you have not looked the last upon Beren son of Barahir.
[Beren feels the eyes of Melian upon him. He meets her gaze and then bows formally to the royal couple. Turns to Lúthien, taking both her hands in his.]

Lúthien: [aghast] Beloved, you do not have to do this…
Beren: [gently] Nay, but I do…neither your father nor Morgoth shall stand between us. [kisses her, wiping away the tears which have started to fall.] Farewell, my love. You have not looked last upon your Beren. [Embraces her fiercely then turns and walks from the cavernous room, the guards and crowd parting to let him through in silence. Lúthien bows her head and slowly walks back to the thrones where her mother and father are talking softly.]

Melian: [troubled] O King, you have devised cunning counsel. But if my eyes have not lost their sight, it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doomed either your daughter or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm.
Thingol: [stubbornly] I sell not to Elves or Men those whom I love and cherish above all treasure. [looking pleased with himself] And if there were hope or fear that Beren should come ever back alive to Menegroth, he would not have looked again upon the light of heaven, though I had sworn it.
[hears a stifled gasp: turns and sees that Lúthien has heard him. She runs off crying. Ashamed, Thingol looks at Melian with a look of sadness and remorse.]
Melian: [sorrowfully] Our daughter will not sing again in Menegroth… [cut]

* * *

[cut to scene of Beren passing out into a chilly new dawn and down a forest path then cut to Lúthien running through the brooding, silent trees to the glade where she and Beren first met, throwing herself down on the soft earth with heartrending sobs as the shadows lengthen in Doriath. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

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


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:36 am 
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[Camera open on Hills near Pass of Aglon at tree line. Camera pan right, shift down to ground level. Nassë enters top left, very cautious. She is wearing leather boots with her castoff Orc clothing. The boots are obviously Elf made, though worn, and she has tied them to her legs with strips of leather as they are a bit too large. She is armed with a stone tipped spear as well as her bow and arrows. She glances around, then allows herself an aggravated snort. Camera shift right, Maedhros steps away from a group of trees. He is covered in a soft gray-green hooded cloak that reaches from his head to his heels. Nassë jumps and nearly throws her spear at him. Maedhros steps back so a tree is between him and the spear.]

Nassë: [lowers spear, ashamed] I mean you no harm. You startled me, that is all.
Maedhros: Every time we meet you seem to puncture me and then apologize.
Nassë: [lifts chin] If you sneak up on people, my lord Maedhros, you are likely to receive your due for your tricks.
Maedhros: [smothered laugh] In my own defense, lady, I was not sneaking anywhere. I stood still before you. Your mind was elsewhere.
Nassë: Perhaps . . . [recovers her composure] I am glad to have met you here, my lord. I wanted to thank you for what you have done –
Maedhros: I do not know what you mean.
Nassë: [expression of mild disbelief] Then the game found slaughtered was not left by your hand? Nor the cheese, the bread, the wine, the clothing? None of it?
Maedhros: [wryly] Some of my people are generous by nature.
Nassë: In any case, the gifts are much appreciated. I wish I could say we did not need them, but they have allowed us to stay closer to our safety of late. With the Enemy’s presence so much greater than it used to be we would have difficulty finding enough game to sustain ourselves.
Maedhros: We too have noticed the patrols getting larger and more aggressive. [hesitates] Last time we met, I asked you to bring your people to Himring. Now I ask again, for the sake of all your folk. Come within the walls.
Nassë: My reasons for refusing you have not changed, my lord. My folk are better off where they are, unnoticed by the world that has rejected us. We – [The sound of Orcs moving through the woods interrupts them. Maedhros hesitates, glances upscreen as he draws his sword. Then he lowers the sword, wraps his right arm around Nassë, and pressed against a pine tree. His cloak covers them both as Orcs enter, top, aggressively searching the ground in a skirmish line. Maedhros and Nassë seem to blend into the trees.

Camera shift so we are looking through the cloak. Orcs move around them, apparently not seeing them. Nassë looks up at Maedhros. Sweat trickles down the side of his face. Maedhros smiles grimly and adjusts his grip on his sword. The cloak moves a bit. A couple of Orcs notice and approach. Nassë’s eyes narrow, Maedhros braces.

Camera shift top of screen outside of cloak. Three Werewolves enter, led by a large dark wolf with a gray muzzle. Orcs turn to face Werewolves.]

Orc 1: Have you found anything?
Alpha Wolf: [sniffs ground] Nothing. He has not been anywhere near here in weeks, as we told you before.
Orc 1: Then you are not looking hard enough! The Master will have the rebel in his grasp or our hearts on a platter! Find him or I will wear your skin for – [Alpha Wolf snarls, rises on his hind legs and swats Orc 1’s head off with one blow. Alpha Wolf howls, the rest of the Werewolves join him. Werewolves tear Orc 1 apart, snarling and snapping. When they separate, Orc 1 is reduced to a few scattered and bloody bones.]
Orc 2: Enough! [draws sword] Back to work! We have ground to cover and a rebel to find. [Orcs and Werewolves exit bottom of screen. Camera follows, then shifts back to pine trees. After a moment Maedhros and Nassë emerge from the shelter of the cloak, weapons still ready. Both look around to make certain there are no stragglers.]

Maedhros: That was too close! Since when have Werewolves been accompanying the Orcs?
Nassë: For some months now. They search for one of the Afterborn who has inflicted great damage on the new master of Tol-in-Gaurhoth.
Maedhros: I have heard rumors of this Man. Would that he were near enough for me to assist him in some way.
Nassë: [laughs] Maedhros the Tall, Saviour of the World!
Maedhros: [frowns] I save what may be saved. You and your folk will come to Himring this day.
Nassë: What makes you believe that we will comply? I have given you many reasons why this is not a good idea –
Maedhros: And the reason you will comply nearly sniffed at our toes a few moments ago.
Nassë: [lifts chin, sets shoulders] I lead my people, my lord. You do not. My decision stands.
Maedhros: If you would allow your people to die for your own foolish pride than you are a poor leader at the least. I think your reluctance to bring your people into shelter has nothing to do with what others might think of them. You just do not want to watch strangers flinch at your scars.
Nassë: [winces, glares]
Maedhros: [firmly] That is not reason enough to leave those who trust you helpless before predators. You and all your folk will come within Himring. If you do not come willingly then I will have you brought by force.
Nassë: If you would do this than you are no better than Gorthaur the Cruel, forcing all to your will.
Maedhros: Perhaps. Time will be my judge. I will see you in two days. [Maedhros exits right. Camera focus on Nassë as she watches him leave, fuming all the while. Camera fade.]

* * * * * * *

[We see a montage of clips showing Beren’s journey: he passes out of Doriath, coming to the low-lying Twilight Meres and the Fens of Sirion: we see him climb the hills above the Falls of Sirion, the camera looking down at the waters plunging deep underground with great noise. Beren stands at the summit and gazes westward through the mist and drizzle towards the great Guarded Plain of Talath Dirnen which stretches between the rivers Sirion and Narog. Beyond that we can see the highlands of Taur-en-Faroth rising above Nargothrond. Beren glances down at his ring, wiping the rain off with his sleeve. Resolved, he sets off down toward the great plain. Fade.]

*

[Fade into scene near the watch towers on the highlands of Taur-en-Faroth above Nargothrond. We see a scout approaching 2 sentries a small way off. As he approaches the elves, he bows to one of the two sentries, recognizing his authority. The Captain, Derufin beckons the scout to follow him back along the guarded ridge to speak quietly. The following is in Quenya with subtitles]

Derufin: What news?
Scout: An Afterborn has crossed the Talath coming from Doriath,
Derufin: [surprised] Doriath? Not the Taur-en-Brethil? Could he be one of the People of Haleth?
Scout: [shakes his head.] He came from the direction of Aelin-uial and Sirion, and approaches the Mindon Erui.
Derufin: One of the refugees who became turned around, then? The Lady Melian's Girdle is not forgiving of the unwary.
Scout: Perhaps, but I would say he walks as one with a purpose.
Derufin: Alert the sentries. Let us follow him and see what he is up to. [cut.]

[We see clips of Beren travelling for 2 days without sleep westward through the wooded plains of Taleth Dirnen. The moon is still bright and he sees no one, but Beren knows he is being watched.

Cut to Derufin and the scout watching intently from high up in the branches as the Man walks through the Taur-en-Narog.]

Derufin: [under his breath] By rights this stranger should already be dead! [Elven sentries tense, looking to their captain for lead but he motions them to stay their hands.

Cut back to Beren: Looking through silent trees he sees a nearby tower atop a tall hill, Amon Ethir, Nargothrond's main guard post. He holds his ring high and calls aloud:]

Beren: I am Beren son of Barahir, friend of Felagund! Take me to the King! [there is no response… He walks several steps further, stops, lifts his hand again and repeats his cry] I am Beren son of Barahir, friend of Finrod Felagund! Take me to the King! [Still finding no response he then begins to walk again. Cut back to the Elves watching from within the darkness of the trees as the early dawn breaks.]

Derufin: it is time to accost the trespasser… [signals to the sentries, who silently drop to the ground. Even though he is merely one man they cautiously walk to him; some hold bows ready as others have drawn swords or long knives. Derufin too steps out from the trees. Beren does not react or seem surprised, but just stops and holds his head high, waiting for the elf to speak first.]
Derufin: [addresses Beren, maintaining a stern countenance] Who are you that seeks death by passing ways that are forbidden?
Beren: [withstanding the Elf’s gaze calmly, replies confidently] It is not death that I seek, but a king. I am Beren son of Barahir, a friend of Felagund. Take me to the King!
Derufin: We have watched you since you stepped onto the Plains of Taleth Dirnen. We slay you not because you seem without threat and of what you say of the Ring. May I look upon it? [Beren holds out the ring to him.]
Derufin: [examines it thoughfully, looks again at Beren.] [/color]’Tis the mark of the House of Finarfin, and the ring of our king, Finrod Felagund! [Surprising Beren, Derufin bows, as do the others.] My Lord, please forgive us for your welcome. We will guide you to our realm as you so wish. But the day dawns and we will not travel again until nightfall. I will bring you to a place where you can rest. [turns and leads Beren to a dense part of the woods where there are flets hidden in the upper branches. Fade.]

[Fade into further clips of the group walking by moonlight, along the sides of the torrential river Narog. They cross the waters where the river Ginglith joins the Narog and the waters flow less powerfully. Turning south along the far side of the Narog they pass through the dark gates of the Caverns of Nargothrond. Fade. ]


* * * * * * *

[Scene opens on receiving chamber in Nargothrond. Finrod sits reading from a book as Beren is shown in. His closest friend and advisor, Edrahil closes the door behind Beren and stands relaxed but alert behind him.]

Finrod: [rising and approaching Beren] Welcome, child of Bëor, to my Halls. Welcome are any of your kin to me, but even more so in their need. What aid do you seek of Nargothrond?
Beren: My lord… [holds out his hand bearing his father's ring] do you not know me? I am Beren, son of Barahir..
Finrod: [peers closer at Beren then smiles in recognition] Young Beren it is indeed! Though you have entered another age of Man since I last set eyes on you… [closes Beren's hand about his treasure] I need no ring to remind me of the kin of Bëor, or of Barahir the Brave. Whatever is within my power, be it only shelter or an attentive ear, it is yours for the asking. [embraces Beren warmly and leads him to a chair by the fire.]
Edrahil: [bows to Beren] Well met again, Beren son of Barahir. The renown of your deeds has spread to these halls from the North. Indeed I deem your tale must be grim and dark, from your appearance.
Finrod: [nods in agreement] Indeed, Edrahil, call for wine and bread if you would, and see that we are not disturbed until I say otherwise. [Edrahil nods and puts his head out of the door to give orders to a servant nearby.] I heard what happened to your father and friends…I share your sorrow and I honour his memory. As once your father saved my life, so I shall honor my debt. I will take you into my kingdom for as long as you will.

Beren: [bows] O King and Friend of Men, I thank you for your words. But I come to you in desperation, bereft of council and hope. I do not seek aid. Indeed, I do not think that there are any who can aid me. I turned my feet hither only because I had no place else to go.
Finrod: An oath sworn must be kept until the conditions have either been fulfilled or the oath released. That is our way. I invite you to stay as my guest. Rest from your toil and may your heart be glad soon!
Beren: Yet my heart will know no rest before it has what it desires.
Finrod: And what may that be, honoured friend? [Looks to door as Refreshments are delivered and Edrahil offers Beren a goblet of wine, which Beren accepts gratefully. Finrod sits back in his chair. Edrahil remains standing behind his king.]
Beren: [looks Finrod in the eye.] My heart has been given to Lúthien, Pincess of Doriath, and hers to me. I seek her hand with the King’s blessing. I have a task appointed to me by Thingol.
Finrod: [in amazement]The daughter of Thingol? And yet you stand before me? How is it that you still live? There is no doubt bravery runs strong in your kin!
Beren: [shrugs] It should have been impossible for me to enter the land of Doriath, but I did. I can only say that I may have the Queen’s favour. I found strength under her gaze, strength enough to state my love and ask the King for the hand of Lúthien…and in the bargain Thingol declared that I must bring home a jewel from the crown of Morgoth. [Edrahil grunts in shock and surprise and Finrod stares in consternation. A cold dread comes over him as he realizes that the oath he swore has come upon him for his death. He steeples his trembling fingers together against his chin]

Finrod: It is plain that Thingol desires your death; but it seems that this doom goes beyond his purpose. The Silmarils are cursed by on oath of hatred, and he that even names them in desire moves a great power from slumber. I fear the Oath of Fëanor is again at work, for the sons of Fëanor would lay all the Elf-kingdoms in ruin rather than suffer any but themselves to win or possess a Silmaril.
Beren: [Firmly] I have sworn to return to Thingol with a Silmaril in my hand, whether you aid me or not. I will think no less of you if I walk alone from your kingdom.
Finrod: [shakes his head] You do not understand: Even now Celegorm and Curufin, are dwelling in my halls; and though I, Finarfin’s son, am King, they have won a strong power in the realm, and lead many of their own people. They have shown friendship to me in every need, but I fear they will show neither love nor mercy to you, if your quest be told. [sighs deeply] Yet my own oath holds, and thus we are all ensnared.
Beren: It grieves me, Lord Finrod to lay my burden at your feet, I know I go most likely to my death, and I will not ask you to follow me. Yet I have no idea as to how to accomplish this improbable feat.

Finrod: Son of Barahir, you have truly been through many grievous trials. Be at ease now. Rest within my halls without fear, not only in memory of an oath, but as a guest of the king. [nods to Edrahil] Edrahil will see to your comfort. You shall be given new clothes and a bath will be prepared. Let no one say that Felagund treats his guests badly.
Beren: [moves to protest]
Finrod: [places hand on Beren’s shoulder] [/color] We two shall speak more of this later, after you have rested and I have pondered your words within my heart. [Resolutely] Know this, son of Barahir, whatever else betide, my own oath holds and I will aid you as I am able. [ Beren allows Edrahil to lead him away. Finrod sinks into his chair and stares silently into the fire. Fade.]

* * *

[Fade back into Finrod’s study after some time has passed. There is a soft knock at the door and Edrahil enters, having settled Beren. Finrod continues to stare into the flames, deep in thought. Edrahil busies himself tidying the refreshments onto the tray, and clearing parchments and tidying Finrod’s desk. Eventually Finrod turns his gaze on his friend:]

Finrod: Come and sit with me, old friend. [indicates chair opposite him by the fire. Edrahil sits and stretches out, trying to assume a relaxed air] Well, Edrahil, what think you? You have not said one word since you entered this room.
Edrahil: [considers carefully] Thingol surprises me. He was always quick to anger, but cruelty and malice such as this... [shakes his head.] [/color] I would never have thought to hear it from him.
Finrod: [sighs] Once again the oath of Fëanor and the Doom of Mandos is at work among us. It now ensnares even the innocent. I fear that much shall come of Thingol's anger. But I sense there is more worrying you than the king of Doriath.
Edrahil: [frowns] Ever since word arrived of this Man in the forest, my heart has been filled with strange forebodings. And, now that I have heard his story, I am even more troubled. As Beren and I passed through the Great Hall, Celegorm glared at us the whole way. Who knows what mischief he and his brother will seek to cause now. [looks at Finrod with concern etched on his face.] I fear that some great evil has been brought to Nargothrond.
Finrod: [shakes his head, smiling grimly] Evil came to these lands when Morgoth first set foot on this shore, not with the son of Barahir. Yet I, too, am troubled at the coming of Beren, as if a doom long anticipated now approaches. Whether it be of sorrow or joy, I cannot say. Not all dooms are evil, and foresight may be given to those who listen attentively…

Edrahil: [nods in understanding; the two elves sit in silence for several minutes. Finally, Edrahil: speaks again] What shall you do, my King?
Finrod: [sighs] Do, my friend? I shall call my people together, tell them of Beren's plight, and remind them of my oath to Barahir.
Edrahil: But what aid can you give him? Thingol obviously desires his death, either by the hand of Morgoth or by the sons of Fëanor.
Finrod: [gazing into the dying embers] As I told Beren, I shall give all that I must to fulfill my bond.
Edrahil: [protesting] But, Finrod... [hesitates as Finrod turns his eyes upon him and he sees the intense pain barely veiled within.]
Finrod: [softly] I believe you know what I intend to do…
Edrahil: [swallows, looking at his king with growing fear. Nods and stands.] I will make the preparations. [walks towards the door then hesitates and turns] Do you know what will happen?
Finrod: No, I do not. But I fear… [looks away again and seems to wrestle with his inner demons. The he looks up again, his countenance clear and a strong light in his eyes once more] Yet we shall take the adventure given us, regardless of our fears. Always remember that while everything will fade, Eru shall bring all discordant notes back into harmony, making his Song that much greater. [Edrahil nods and leaves the room. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

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


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:31 am 
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[Scene opens on Curufin’s chambers in Nargothrond. Giggles are heard and the camera moves further through the rooms, revealing a large bed secluded behind a heavy brocade curtain. Curufin and his wife Giemma are otherwise engaged under the covers. The door opens and Celebrimbor, aged around 8 or 9 comes running in leaving the door open, followed closely by Huan. Celebrimbor carries a small dagger with an etched blade and wrapped hilt. The dagger blade is slightly uneven.]

Celebrimbor: Ada, come and see! I finished it!
[Motion on the bed pauses. Huan sits beside Celebrimbor, who scratches his ears with one hand while admiring the dagger. Huan wags his tail in ecstasy.]
Giemma: [breathy] What is it, darling?
Curufin: [chuckling] Finished what?
Celebrimbor: I made a dagger in Ada’s workshop. I did it all by myself, every bit.
Curufin: [startled, worried, slightly angry] You did what? [bed curtains move as he sits up. Huan rises and looks toward the bed, no longer wagging]
Celebrimbor: [quickly] Also, I saw some news as I came through the hall. There is a stranger come to see King Finrod. He is one of the Afterborn, and his clothes tattered, but he looked noble even and he stood proudly as was brought to see the King. [Huan turns toward the door, attentive.]
Curufin: Wait there, Telpë. I will be out in a moment to see your masterpiece.

[Just then Celegorm enters the chambers, looking for his brother. Huan goes immediately to Celegorm. Celegorm pats the dog mechanically.]
Celegorm: [musses Celebrimbor’s hair.] Well met, Celebrimbor! I see you have heard about this visitor also…where is your father? I must talk with him also about this. [Celebrimbor indicates the bedchamber with a tilt of his head. Celegorm rolls his eyes.] Still carrying on like newly-weds, brother, after all this time? Curufin, if you are half decent, we must discuss the implication of this news immediately.
[The curtain is pulled back and Giemma emerges, smoothing the creases out of her gown. Her bodice is still unlaced, but her underdress is enough for modesty. She strolls casually toward Celegorm, blushing slightly.]
Giemma: [small laugh] I would apologize for the reception you received, but when you walk in unannounced you take your chances.
Celegorm: [catching her hand and lifting it to his lips] As radiant as ever, my lady! [looks up as Curufin ambles rather less decorously into view, shirtless.] Which is more than I can say for my brother….I fear you are in danger of wearing him out!

Celebrimbor: Ada, look at the knife I made! [thrusts dagger toward Curufin, nearly hitting Celegorm. Celegorm jumps, startled. Huan barks.]
Curufin: [takes dagger, examines it] You did this yourself? Celebrimbor nods, grinning as Curufin smiles.] This is good, Telpë. Surely someone helped you.
Celebrimbor: [indignantly No one helped me, Ada. I watched you work for weeks and tried to do what you did.
Celegorm: [tapping foot] This is all very pleasant, but we have important matters to discuss.
Curufin: [frowns at Celegorm, turns to Celebrimbor and squats down to face him.] Did I not tell you that you are too young yet to work in the shop?

Celebrimbor: [nods, solemn] You did, Ada. But you also told me that if I want something bad enough I should go after it, no matter what anyone tells me.
Giemma: [hands on hips] You told him what?
Curufin: [abashed. Pats Celebrimbor’s shoulder approvingly.] I did, son. And you did very well for your first project. Tomorrow we will start working together. [holds dagger firmly] May I keep this, just until we make a proper sheath for it? [Celebrimbor nods, very pleased. Curufin tucks dagger into his belt.]
Giemma: He is far too young to –
Celegorm: [exasperated] Curufin, this is important! Your family can wait!
Curufin: [turns, irritated] So says one who has neither wife nor child. [Pats Giemma on the rump affectionately] Make yourself scarce, my love…it seems my brother has solemn business on his mind. And take young Telpë with you. [Giemma puts her arm around Celebrimbor and steers him out the door. Curufin glares at Celegorm.]

Celegorm: What is wrong now?
Curufin: [making a derogatory gesture/ noise in his direction] There is nothing wrong with me that a drink cannot rectify. [reaches for the flagon of wine and pours himself a goblet. As an after thought he pours his brother one too.] What is so urgent that you need disturb our recreation?
Celegorm: [snickers] Honestly! …did you not hear the news your son brought you? Beren son of Barahir has come to Finrod seeking aid.

Curufin: Do you know what that means and what this Beren desires?
Celegorm: [shakes his head.] No, but there are rumours that he caused some trouble in Doriath.
Curufin: [raises cup in salute] Good for him! That pompous toad Thingol needs something to shrink his head.
Celegorm: That at least is where he has come from lately, [frowns slightly] though it is a mystery how one of his kind could penetrate the Girdle.
Curufin: [dismissively] Finrod is not wise to love the Men so much. They are weak, and they soon die, like leaves of the forest in Autumn. I do not say they are useless, but the importance some like Finrod and Maedhros put upon them is beyond me.

Celegorm: Mortals die like the leaves, it is true, but as in Spring their race blossoms ever anew. Mighty are their warriors and their lords are noble...not to mention their womenfolk – look at Haleth! She had Caranthir eating out of her hand. He is still mooning over her rejection!
Curufin: [Drains his goblet, grimaces at the bitter dregs.] Ah, you are right... I spoke like this only because my dreams have been dark of late and a strange restlessness is on me. Great things will happen, before the year has ended. Mark my words.
Celegorm: That may well be true: I know I have not always spoken plainly before you, but I do now: Our influence has grown strong here within Finrod’s domain…My goal is the crown.
Curufin: [surprised] You would rebel against our host? Is that how you thank him?

Celegorm: Not necessarily. Whatever aid this Beren requires, if it takes Finrod abroad from Nargothrond then Orodreth would be Regent… With such a weakling on throne, the fall of Nargothrond is inevitable.
Curufin: I do not see how... If you usurp the crown we will only sow dissension between the Noldor. Must it again be said that the sons of Fëanor are greedy and treacherous? No others than our brothers would join us, if we steal the crown. [shrugs.]
Celegorm: [lays hand on Curufin’s shoulder, with a Machiavellian smile.] Do you not see? Orodreth is beholden to us because we saved his life. His Regency will benefit us: we will effectively rule Nargothrond through him. We could make Nargothrond great, so that even Morgoth must fear us! When we have this realm we could bind all the kingdoms of the Noldor together, under our rule. After all, we are of the oldest house of the Noldor
Curufin: [smiles and clasps his brother’s shoulder to complete the gesture, his eyes burning with ambition and greed. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

[Scene opens in the Great Hall of Nargothrond. Fashioned by the Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod, it is an octagonal shape – each of the 8 wall sections about 20 feet x 20 feet - and faced with polished metal panels of pewter that have a marbling effect - veins and splatters of colour running through it - each somewhat different in shade, progressing through the blues, mauves and plums of the colour spectrum. Set into the angle where each wall meets are fluted Doric columns in the natural stone of the caverns. The roof echoes the shape of the room, rising into an octagonal dome, the coffered ceiling carved in the same natural stone as the columns…Fëanorian lamps are suspended by silvery chains at even intervals around the rim of the dome, bathing the hall in a pure blue-white light.

The high-backed, scroll-armed throne is set on a simple two-step, half-octagonal dais against the side of the room opposite the rectangular double doors which are made of panelled, polished pewter, engraved with the entwined serpents and crown of flowers of the House of Finarfin, and set into a fluted casing, echoing the classical columns.

The hall is filled to capacity and there is a buzz of anticipation as the crowd awaits the revelation of why they have been summoned. The sons of Fëanor joke with each other, Celegorm laughing and slapping his brother on the back; the elves around them are also quietly mirthful.

At last the doors open and King Finrod enters wearing his silver crown, and the golden carcanet of the Nauglamír around his neck. He is followed by his nephew Orodreth, and Beren, looking resplendent in fresh new Elven attire The King leads Beren to the throne and sits down, indicating Beren should stand beside him. Orodreth sits to Finrod’s right. The crowd whispers curiously about the Adan who stands before them..]

Finrod: [murmurs to Beren] Come, my friend, let us rouse my people and kin to win back from Morgoth that which he stole. I pray that the elves of Nargothrond will not let us down.

[with a gesture of his hand he signals to the crowd for quiet. He stands, his rich cloak of gold thread draped about him, and the myriad jewels of the Nauglamír flashing in the lamplight. Finrod’s face is grim and stern as he gazes out upon the throng, passing his eyes across the rank of senior lords who stand surrounded by those who support them]

Finrod: [addressing crowd] During the Battle of Sudden Flame, this Adan, Beren, and his father Barahir saved my life and many of our soldiers, nearly all of whom still stand here today. Thus, I swore an oath of aid to Beren’s father: if he or any of his kin would call upon me, I would assist in their need. I gave him my father’s ring in token of my pledge. To my great sorrow, Barahir was slain several years later by servants of the Enemy. Now Beren wears the Ring. [gestures to Beren and he holds the ring up for several seconds. Murmurs of awe come from the crowd.] He now seeks my sworn aid. He plans to brave Angband and Morgoth himself to retrieve one of the Silmarils from his Iron Crown, and hence carry bear it to King Thingol of Doriath to be the bride-price of Lúthien his daughter. [There are loud gasps of astonishment from the crowd and the murmurs grow louder.]

Finrod: [raises hand again to hush the crowd] It is laid upon me to aid Beren Barahirion in anything he should ask of me, and I ask you, my captains, to arm yourselves to wrest the Silmarils from the crown of Morgoth, who should never have claimed them, and help my oath-brother fulfill his quest. [A cry of affirmation is heard, followed swiftly by others of Finrod’s closest supporters.]

Celegorm: [in disbelief] No! [rises, and pushes his way through the crowd, drawing his sword, cries] Be he friend or foe, whether a demon of Morgoth, or Elf, of the race of Men or any other living creature of Arda; neither law, nor love, nor league of hell, nor might of the Valar, nor any power of wizardry shall protect him from the eternal hatred of the sons of Fëanor if he take or finds even one of the Silmarils and keeps it. For we claim the Silmarils as ours alone until the end of the world!

[Finrod signals him to be silent, and protests are heard from some of the captains but they are silenced as Celegorm continues furiously on, almost threatening the King himself. Some of the audience tremble at the hatred and force of the words.]
Celegorm: All know of the Oath of Fëanor! Remember the words he spoke, calling the wrath of Eru upon anyone who dares to break it or aids others to do it.? Does not the law of the Noldor say that a father’s works belong to his sons if he goes to Mandos? Thingol is no son of Fëanor! Would you risk the wrath of the House of Fëanor? Our oath binds us and we will not tolerate anyone to steal our heritage!

[Finrod sinks down on his throne and closes his eyes. Many in the crowd hesitate, not sure if they should believe Celegorm or follow their King. Huan whines…As Celegorm steps down, Curufin rises and speaks in a more calm and reasonable tone.]

Curufin: Honoured King, forgive my brother the rashness of his words. In his fury he does not think what he says. But he is right nonetheless. For we cannot allow the Silmarils in any hands save our own. I do not threaten you, but keep in mind that our friendship is not lightly cast aside. [gazes around the hall, smiling as he sees the crowd listening to him in attentive silence.] People of Nargothrond! In this realm, you all have chosen to be ruled by this son of Finarfin, a great, just and fearless king. But will you allow him to make a decision that jeopardizes the entire existence of this kingdom, even though it was he who created it? I do not tell you to be cowards or to let your beloved King down. But this venture is at the very least desperate, if not downright folly, and leads only to grief for those who take part in it. Would you risk your lives trying to gain a jewel for a greedy Sinda who cowers behind his wife’skirts, and who in his pride thinks his daughter is more valuable than the Silmarils? [he pauses for effect…the crowd murmurs louder, some against Felagund. Curufin continues in a tremulous voice:] And worse still may come of this: if you give aid to this quest and it succeeds, Morgoth’s hand is long and he does not forget any injury or wrong. Even if you give the Silmaril to Thingol, the Enemy would have his revenge on you! [Delivers the final blow:] Think about what could result! The gates of Nargothrond broken, servants of the Dark Lord plundering and destroying at will! You and your beloved slain, your wives and children taken in chains to slavery or a fate worse than death. No songs would be made of the last battle, for no bard would be left alive, no one of you would! Hear me, wise Noldor of Nargothrond… stay in your halls in bliss and peace! For the alternative would be death and darkness!

[Curufin bows to Finrod and moves back beside his brother, gives small satisfied smile. Huan shakes his head and lays his head mournfully on his paws.]

Celegorm: [nods with respect for his brother’s more successful approach] Nicely done, Brother! You have them quaking in their boots and our cousin trapped by his honour!

[Camera pans over the crowd, picking out various reactions and muttered comments:]
Noldo 1: Felagund is no Vala to command us! If he wants to throw his life away, let him do it, but I am no thrall of his.
Noldo 2: True spoken, and many of us are not even of his people originally.
Celegorm: [standing again] I urge you to reject Felagund’s request, as well as his powers to reign, should he assist this Mortal in this quest. [He looks at Finrod and Beren.] What say you, Felagund? Do you still wish to aid this Man?

[Beren looks in consternation at Finrod. Finrod reaches out to touch Beren's arm, wordlessly, knowing what he has to do, and he rises again to his feet. The King’s eyes clearly show his disappointment of his people. He stands before the throne like a statue, only his knotted fists and a slight red on his cheeks betraying the storm which rages in him. He takes his crown from his head, throwing it before his feet with a great clatter. The crowd is suddenly silent, Finrod faces them, his eyes blazing:]

Finrod: Your oaths of fealty to me you may break, but I must hold my bond. If amongst you there is any on whom the shadow of our curse has not yet fallen, I hope I should find at least a few to follow me, and should not go hence as a beggar that is thrust from the gates; something I have done never to any. [looks out over his people, testing their loyalty and courage as his gaze passes from one to another, and most of their eyes fall away, unable to meet the fell light in his. At first none step forward. The crowd is hushed by their fears of the sons of Fëanor. Then Edrahil steps forward and bows]

Edrahil: I will follow you, my king, wherever you oath takes you. [turns to face the crowd.] Now the king has asked for at least a few to assist him. Surely, not all of you would send our king alone on such a quest, [looks to the veterans of Tol Sirion] or turn your backs on the son of the man and he himself who saved your lives. [Eventually, and painfully slowly, nine other Noldor men stand forth before the King, bowing low to him and offering their swords. The crowd remains silent.]

Celegorm: [mockingly] Let these few pass from us and end their lives in the dungeons of Morgoth. [thumbs at Beren] This mortal man shall not possess a Silmaril, only death. Let all who follow him be doomed in his fate!
Edrahil: [bends and picks up the crown and gives it back to Finrod] Lord, give this to a steward until you return. For you remain my king, and theirs, come what may.

Finrod: [takes the crown and walks over to his nephew who sits besides the royal throne] Orodreth, Brother-son, will you take my people into your keeping while I do that which I must do, holding them safe and secure, through prosperity and peril, until I return to take them back into my keeping? If I fall during the Quest, however, the crown belongs to you, for I have no other heir. [Finrod places the crown on his nephew’s head.]

Orodreth: [bows gravely, tears rolling down his cheeks.] It shall await your return, Uncle; your trust is not in vain! May the Valar protect you on your journey and may you return soon in triumph!

Finrod: [Reaches up and unfastens the Nauglamír from around his throat and holds it before Orodreth.]
This also do I leave behind for safekeeping. May the beauty of its many jewels forever enhance the beauty of this kingdom that I created. [hangs the Necklace of the Dwarves about his nephew's neck, then raises him up, presenting him to the populace.] Here is my steward. The oaths that you have given me are now oaths to him until I again take up my crown. [He embraces Orodreth and turns to Beren:]

Finrod: Come, my friend. Let us prepare all needful things to carry with us on this Quest. [he descends from the dais. The crowd silently divides as he strides through it, not looking right or left nor speaking. His face is hard as steel, and many bow their heads in shame. Only the ten companions and Beren follow the King. Celegorm and Curufin smile and turn away. Fade.]

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

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


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