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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:57 am 
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Season 6 Episode 4

[Episode opens with a recap of the last scene of Episode 3, and the death of Maeglin:

Cut to steps leading up to battlements overlooking the Vale of Tumladen on one side, and the courtyard of Idril’s house on the other, the silvered lanterns and jewelled lamps still hung for a forgotten festival. Still carrying Eärendil, Maeglin drags Idril roughly up the steps and out along the battlements. The cold wind sweeps through their hair and clamour of the battle is terrifyingly loud. Releasing his hold on Idril’s hair, Maeglin stands overlooking the battle, his features strangely softened by the eerie red light.]


Idril: [looks down upon the raging war, trembles with newfound rage.] That so many should die and so many should grieve…Why, Maeglin…why? What was your price?

Maeglin: You have scorned me, avoided me, and rejected me when I would have given you everything. How I craved to taste your sweetness, to make you mine by the bond of marriage and love…but that Mortal stole you away from me. My life is laid in ruin, and yet all I want is you. Even now, my beautiful Idril, you are the only thing I can think of…. [smiles ominously] and I will have you when all others are dead and gone.

[Idril gasps, turning deathly white. Suddenly, from below a wordless cry of wrath and fury sounds from a familiar voice. Camera angles down and we see Tuor below in the courtyard, his eyes taking in the scene above him, the banner of the Swan whipping elegantly in the bitter wind as Tuor's warriors crash among Maeglin's, who have been guarding the citadel. Maeglin looks down upon the courtyard and his expression changes from suffering to malice.]
Eärendil: [lifts his chin defiantly, meeting Maeglin’s eyes] If you hurt my mother, Father will come and kill you…
Maeglin: [calmly] I will not hurt her, but you should fear more for yourself… [he draws a long, shining dagger from his belt.]
Idril: [screams] No!
[she runs towards him trying to save her son, but Maeglin strikes a hard blow to her head with the flat of his blade. Idril falls back against the parapet. Sobbing, she crawls on her hands and knees towards Maeglin. He raises the glimmering blade high to stab Eärendil, who is crying in terror and reaching in vain toward his mother... The blade plummets downward, seeking Eärendil's heart.

Suddenly, Eärendil twists his head, sinking his young teeth deep into Maeglin's hand. Maeglin doesn't cry out, but staggers, The dagger still plunges downward in a weakened blow, and glances harmlessly off Eärendil's hauberk. Eärendil wriggles to the ground. He runs to Idril, hugging her tightly. Maeglin turns to them, venomous with anger, and advances steadily toward where they kneel together on the ground, Idril shielding Eärendil with her body. Thinking that this is surely the end of them both, Idril tries to bury Eärendil's head in her shoulder, but he slips his head out of her grip and points behind her.]


Eärendil: [in elation] Ada!

[Idril looks up to see Tuor, a dire light in his eyes and a look of cold fury fixed on Maeglin. Sword in hand, he walks almost lazily towards the dark-haired Elf. Maeglin whirls round, sword in hand. Tuor’s first blow nearly overbears Maeglin, and he staggers slightly but parries it successfully; the rhythmic thrust and counterthrust of swordplay continues, each knowing the other means to kill him, both seeing the same determination in the other’s eyes; they fight on with dogged determination, equally matched in both martial skills and rage. Tuor is slightly stronger, but Maeglin has the greater agility of the Eldar.

All around them the city is burning, the masonry cracking and crumbling in the heat of the fires. Suddenly something slams forcefully into Maeglin from behind, and he staggers forward, thrown momentarily off balance; before he can recover, Tuor grasps Maeglin about the wrist of his sword hand, and Maeglin barely has time to struggle before his arm is wrenched into an impossible contortion. With a dry crack, the arm is broken, and Maeglin's sword clatters to the floor. Eyes full of rage, Tuor loosens his grip upon Maeglin's hand, though holds him by the front of his tunic.]


Tuor: [grimly,] No…I will not give you a warrior's death, Maeglin. You do not deserve one. Instead, you will die as a traitor and a murderer dies, for that is what you are. A murderer, thousands of times over! [He pushes Maeglin backwards, up against the battlements overlooking the rows of sharp, jagged rocks below. Maeglin looks quickly over his shoulder, seeing the steep precipice below…we hear the words of his father in his mind:]

Eöl: [voiceover Here may you yet die the same death as I [Maeglin goes slack in acknowledgement of his fate. With a feat of sudden strength, Tuor lifts Maeglin up over the walls and throws him over the edge, onto the blades of rock that wait below. Idril hides Eärendil's eyes and looks away as well, even though Maeglin falls soundlessly. His body strikes the slope three times, before being pierced by the sharp rocks. Cut to Tuor standing over his wife and child. Eärendil leaps to embrace his father, laughing with delight. Tuor smiles gently down upon his son, then raises his gaze to Idril. She tries to smile as well, but all she can do is weep as he clasps her to him.]

Tuor: [panting] I must go back to the battle… there is still hope that the city might stand. [ to Voronwë] I must bid Idril and my son farewell.. I entrust their safety to you, my friend. Take them home and stay with Idril, until return or send word.
Voronwë: [protesting] But, my lord…
Tuor: Voronwë, I trust no one more than you with that which is most dear to me. I shall leave a few of my swordsmen with you. If I do not return, and the city is in great peril, send them down the secret way with a bodyguard. [Voronwë acquiesces with a nod, and embraces his friend in the Elven fashion]
Idril: [embraces Tuor] I shall await your coming.
Tuor: [heartfelt] I shall be glad to return… [ Gives Eärendil one last hug, and hurries off. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to scene of the enemy forces advancing even to the Square of the Folk Well adjoining the King’s Square. Bodies are strewn everywhere, and wargs and some of the Orcs have paused to consume them, casually tearing limbs from the dead and then stripping the meat from the bones. Suddenly we hear the sound of sweet music coming along the streets not too far off:

Camera cut to show Ecthelion and the people of the Fountain: Forty Elves, each adorned in a hauberk of mithril, silver helms upon their heads, each with a diamond set in the middle, each wearing a two-handed great sword, slim but long and well-honed. Ecthelion marches at their head, his sword, Orcrist, gleaming with a bright light. Marching to the playing of their flutes, the crystal and silver of their livery glistens amid the red light of the fires and the blackness of the ruins. As they enter the Square their music ceases and Ecthelion shouts for the drawing of swords: pale blades flash and the Elves set upon the Orc horde…

Cut to Tuor and the House of the Wing also ploughing into the fight, ranging themselves beside Ecthelion’s troops; they strike mighty blows and harry the Orcs so that they win back almost to the gate. But the ground begins quaking and a trampling is heard as the metal dragon-ram continues to beat against the walls of the city; we see the ward-towers fall in a confusion of masonry. Remnants of the Swallow and of the Arch of Heaven fight bitterly amid the ruins but even as Tuor comes forth driving the Orcs back, a great mass of the western wall shakes and falls. Behind we see a fire-drake with a Balrog upon it. Flames gust from its jaws, withering all before it: and the wings of Tuor’s helm are blackened, but he stands and gathers about him his guard and all of the Arch and Swallow he can find, whilst on his right Ecthelion rallies the men of the Fountain.

The Orcs take heart again, and they mingle with the Goblins that pour through the breach, assailing the Elves grievously. Tuor slays an Orc, cleanly cleaving his helm with Dramborleg; another he hews asunder, and a third he smite with his axe, cutting his legs from beneath him at the knee.

Cut to Ecthelion shoring through two Orcs at a sweep, then he cleaves the head of their captain down to his teeth; Coming upon the smaller Goblins, Ecthelion slays three, for the brightness of his sword slices through them and they writhe in agony before him; before the swing of Tuor’s axe they are even more afraid…he takes five down easily...

Cut to Ecthelion: a lash of flame from the fire drake gets under his guard and rends his left arm. His shield falls to the ground as he leans upon Tuor. Tuor refuses to leave him, even though the trampling drake is upon them. Tuor hews at a foot of the creature so that flame spouts forth, and the drake screams, lashing with its tail and killing many Orcs and Elves alike. With a great feat of strength, Tuor lifts Ecthelion, and manages to escape the drake, bearing Ecthelion from that battle. The fire-drake is hemmed in and forced into one of the fountains…all of the water goes up in a great steaming, scalding those close by, and blinding everyone by the cloud that rises. Cut.]


*

[Cut to Elemmakil reaching the Square of the Folk Well from the north; we see Galdor denying the western entry by the Arch of Inwë to a horde of Orcs with none about him but a few of his followers. The pure waters of the deep well in the centre are polluted with the carcasses of fallen Orcs and Elves. Galdor turns, seeing Tuor stumbling, beneath the weight of Ecthelion, over a body. Orcs raises their weapons to despatch them both but Galdor falls behind his men, and rushes to Tuor’s rescue brandishing his studded club, swiftly killing the Orcs. Gathering the scattered remains of the guard of the Wing and of the houses of the Tree and the Fountain, and of the Swallow and the Arch, into a good battalion, Tuor commands them to retreat to the more defensible Square of the King nearby.

Entering the Square by the Road of Arches in the north-west corner, they see the place full of the riot and ugliness of Morgoth’s forces: the beautiful oak and poplar trees are scorched and limbs torn asunder… camera focus on the Two Trees, torn from the ground, their silver and gold branches now twisted and defiled with gore. The defenders gather stoutly, though many are wounded and fainting, including Ecthelion whose weight is causing Tuor to grow wearier by the second.

A noise arises at the eastward of the square, and Glorfindel is driven in with the last of the men of the Golden Flower. From the same direction come few of the men of the Harp, leaderless without the craven Talagand,. Tuor lays a barely conscious Ecthelion at his feet and drinks thirstily from the fountain. Tuor cups some water his hands and trickles it into Ecthelion’s mouth. He splashes his face also, in an effort to rouse him.]


Tuor: [turns to Elemmakil, beside him] Get your captain some cool water and bind up that wound.. [Glorfindel sees Tuor by the fountain and comes over to help him.]

Tuor: [looking up] At least you are still in one piece!
Glorfindel: Barely… [drinks deeply from the cool waters] The Great Market…gone. Rog took it worst at the North Gate…he and his warriors perished, they were surrounded… Who else is left? I heard Duilin was dead, and Penlod.
Tuor: There are still Galdor’s people, and some survivors of Duilin’s House. Egalmoth still holds Gar Anion, I believe.
Glorfindel: Talagand is cowering somewhere in his house by the Lesser Market, but we have his warriors. What of the House of the Mole, are they are lost? Maeglin--?
Tuor: [growls] He is dead. His warriors are dead with him…we made sure of that.
Glorfindel: [confused] It was not the work of the enemy?
Tuor: [turns and grasps him by the arm, his eyes wild with fury.] He tried to kill my son! He betrayed us all! I threw the turncoat from the walls to rejoin his new friends! [breaths heavily] Now go to the south side with your warriors and be ready to throw up the barricade once Egalmoth gets through. We will hold them back for as long as we can.

[Cut to the Road of Pomps. We see the warriors of the Heavenly Arch, driving before them a throng of terrified women and children. Egalmoth runs in front, sword drawn. He reaches the edge of the Square before the others and turns, urging the survivors on. As the last of Egalmoth’s warriors fly past, Glorfindel urges his people to start piling sandbags and fallen masonry across the road.]

Glorfindel: Hurry! grabs a chunk of stone and hefts it into place.] There is not much time!
[Swiftly they barricade all the entrances, save for the one at the south, as a means of escape. Egalmoth and his men shepherd the refugees into the centre of the King’s Square, and they cower there with eyes wide before they are led into the King’s palace.

Cut to Turgon’s own guard aligned in defense of the palace. Turgon himself stands behind them, armed with Glamdring and clad in silver armour with the symbol of the King’s House on the breastplate: the sun, moon and heart of Fingolfin. The guard bristles at the scenes below them but they are avowed to him alone, and may not move from his side even for the sack of the city. The fight for the king’s square begins in earnest, with the Gondolindrim defending their barricades. Ecthelion lies still by the fountain. ]


*

[Cut to Alley of Roses, leading to northern corner of the Square. Preceded by Orcs, several fire-drakes approach, the Alley now a lane of blackness in testament to their passing. Cut back to the King’s Square. ]

Elemmakil: My lord! They are coming! [A swarm of onrushing Orcs and Goblins with twisted limbs and cruel weapons bears down on them]
Tuor: [calls from the middle of the Square] Hold the barricade!

[As the command echoes through the square, warriors of the Harp and the Heavenly Arch run to supplement the ranks. The wave strikes the barrier with the force of a battering ram; it wavers but holds. A great mass of Orcs charge the pike-line, jabbing over the wall with spears and cruel hooks, clambering over even as the defenders fling them back. The first, eager attackers are slain in seconds as the battle-line holds and the Elves give no quarter or mercy. But for each Orc that falls three more come to replace him. Gradually the line of defence is being worn down. Glorfindel feels something sharp graze his cheek, a trickle of blood runs down it. He lifts his shield reflexively.]

Soldiers : Fire-drakes! [Peering up above the rim of his shield, Glorfindel sees the black shapes winging downward toward the barricade. Six or seven of them, smoke trailing from their nostrils. Turgon’s men respond by trying to gather him up the stairs, suggesting he should be sequestered in the tower with the women and children but he refuses, and they do not push him further.

Tuor jumps in front of the fire-drake, Glorfindel at his side, but under the swarming of the Orcs they are separated in the fight, and Tuor is pushed back toward the fountain. Glorfindel has his hands full, despatching the foul Orcs at another barricade and can only catch glimpses of the fight behind him; Tuor weaves wearily, his arm growing heavier with every stroke of his axe. ]


Elemmakil: Ai! A Balrog! [cries] Break ranks! [Turning, he catches Egalmoth by the arm and shoves him. Both of them stumble, spilling over the corpses of Orc and Elves; A lash of fire passes dangerously close to Egalmoth’s head; he feels the heat sting his face as the thong strikes the Captain next to him who screams as he falls, clutching at what is left of his face. Egalmoth looks back in horror towards the broken barricade:

Camera focus on Gothmog chief of the Balrogs approaching, wreathed in shadow and flame. He swings at Tuor, knocking him backwards to the ground. Tuor gropes toward a broken spear but Gothmog’s whip snaps down and sends it flying from Tuor’s reach. Gothmog inches closer, toying with his prey.

Cut to Ecthelion struggling to his feet…his face is ashen grey, his shield arm hanging limp at his side. He steps over Tuor as he falls, and stands over him with one leg on either side.]


Gothmog: [laughs mockingly] Dare you to withhold me, Gothmog Lord of Balrogs, servant only to Melkor the All-Knowing? I who slew Fëanor with this very axe? And Fingon the Valiant, who own banner I trampled into his very blood.? High-Kings both, and you think you might withstand me?
Ecthelion: I will do as I may! No mere servant to Morgoth the Accursed will lay low the warriors of my House!

[Gothmog attacks, and Ecthelion fights back, but takes a blow to his sword arm, and Orcrist falls from his useless hand. Looking up grimly, Ecthelion summons the last on his strength and leaps at Gothmog, his chin on his chest so that the great spike atop his helm is foremost, and his leap carries it into the Balrog’s chest. He wraps his legs around Gothmog’s thighs, driving with his helm; ignoring the searing pain of the Balrog’s fire, he aims for Gothmog’s heart. Gothmog screams, and pitches forward into the deep basin of the King’s fountain. The waters hiss, and a column of steam issues upwards as the Balrog’s fire is quenched.

Tuor shouts for the warriors of the White Wing to save Ecthelion from drowning, but the lord of the Fountain has not surfaced. Tuor picks himself up and rushes to the basin, but Ecthelion, clad in steel armour, has sunk too quickly into the depths of the fountain for any to be able to save him. The steaming waters begin to run red with blood.

Cut to Turgon shouting and trying to make his way down the stair, but repressed by his guard. Cut to Glorfindel aghast. Cut back to Tuor weeping. He takes up his axe and continues to swing and thrust mightily despite his weeping. Dismayed by the demise of their leader, the Orcs and Goblins waver, and the House of the King at last enters the fray: led by Turgon they surge down upon the Orcs and beasts, screaming in their fury. The enemy is beaten back and the Square virtually cleared again. Many are overcome, but a body of the royal guard rallies around Turgon, gathering on the stairs to the Palace.]


Turgon: [woeful] Great is the fall of Gondolin… Evil have I brought upon the Flower of the Plain in despite of Ulmo, and now he leaves it to wither in the fire. Hope is no more in my heart for this city.
Glorfindel: Gondolin stands yet, and Ulmo will not suffer it to perish, nor shall the Gondolindrim be overcome! [Galdor and his men clash their weapons in eagerness to continue the fight, for battle still rages around them.]

Turgon: Fight not against doom, my children. I release you from all your oaths. Those of you who are able, seek safety in flight, if perhaps there be time yet: but let Tuor have your fealty.
Tuor: [shakes head] You are our king!
Turgon: Yet no further blow will I strike. Go now: let Tuor be your guide and your chieftain, but I will not leave my city and will burn with it. [removes his crown and cast it at the roots of the tree by which Tuor stands. Tuor stoops and picks it up, and moves to return it, but Turgon refuses to take it. Bareheaded he climbs back up the stairs to the topmost level of the King’s Tower and shouts in a thunderous voice above the melee below him:]

Turgon: Great is the victory of the Noldor! [Orcs yelled in derision. Glorfindel shakes his head sadly, turns to Tuor:]
Glorfindel: [sadly] He has lost his mind!
Tuor: [nods resignedly] Now is time to speak of flight…
Egalmoth: We shall never make it by night across the plain and over the hills…surely it is better to stay and die with our King?
[Tuor looks from the king to the dead and dying, and the foe gathered in the mists for the last onslaught and is torn.; hearing the wailing of the women, his pity for them makes his decision.]
Tuor: I cannot condemn so many women and children to death, either by our hands at the last or at those of the enemy... [He gathers all the womenfolk and children, positioning then amid his company, marshalling his men around them at flank and rear. Turning to his second-in-command he directs him where to lead them:] We must fall back southward, along the Way of Running Waters, with a rear-guard to cover us, and make for my house, from where the tunnel begins its descent-- [Tuor stops short, amazed to see Idril coming toward him, sword in hand and hair flowing loose, with Voronwë close behind her. Her gazed is fixed on the King’s Tower and she does not seem to see Tuor. He hails her:]

Tuor: Idril!
Idril: [overjoyed] Tuor! I feared you had fallen before Morgoth and would not return to me!
Tuor: I live yet! [embraces her] But where is Eärendil? I thought you safely returned home with him to prepare for our retreat into the tunnel…
Idril: I waited long before the doors of our house whilst the noise of battle grew and no word came from you. I feared you dead, so I bade the greater part of my guard all speed down the tunnel with Eärendil in their care. Great was my grief at our sundering, but I did not seek to live after you.
Voronwë: We gathered as many womenfolk and wanders as we found on the streets, directing them down the tunnel. By the time we returned to your house it had been burned by the enemy, but the passage discovered not. Therewith, my lady became distraught with weariness and grief, and bade me return with her to the King…
Idril: Tuor, where is my father? I would not depart without him.
Tuor: [grimly] He remains up in his tower. [to Glorfindel] My friend, we must try to convince Turgon to flee – will you go up to him?
Glorfindel: Nay… Turgon has his own mind, and surely it is made up?
Tuor: Very well…but I must make one last appeal to him, [glances at his wife, pensively] for Idril’s sake. [cut.]

* * *

[Cut to Turgon in the Tower of the King. He looks from the window. Below him, Gondolin burns: by now, drakes and Orcs hold half the city and all the north of it. Marauding bands fare about the streets ransacking and looting as they move onward in their killing; the white walls are crumbling beneath the assault. ]

Turgon: [softly voicing his thoughts aloud.] Forgive me, Lord of the Waters: I should have remembered your song in my dreams and heeded the warning of your emissary. You gave me your favour and my city your grace and protection. I have doomed Gondolin to meet this terrible end…
Tuor: [dashing up the staircase and in through the door, Idril somewhat slower behind him] My liege, come with me now…there is still time to escape with your family!
Turgon: [calmly] No: I will fight until my soul answers to Mandos' call. I only hope that my last stand here will distract these vile creatures long enough for survivors to escape unhindered. Tell me, where is Maeglin?
Idril: He is dead, Ada… and even if he were not, he was a traitor and secret servant of Morgoth!
Turgon: [ looks to Tuor, aghast] Is it true?
Tuor: He betrayed Gondolin to further his evil intentions towards my wife and son. The Eldar shall never again know such a villain.
Turgon: [bitterly] May Mandos hold him long in his keeping… [rests hand on Tuor’s shoulder] Forgive my blindness, Tuor, son of my heart…I beg you, take those who are left and find safety so that this evil does not take them too.
Idril: [pleading] Ada, no! You cannot sacrifice yourself …please!
Turgon: [takes her face in his hands] Be strong, my daughter, and do not weep for me. Your son and husband need your guidance and wisdom, but not the depth of your grief. I love you, Idril, and you have made me proud. One day we shall meet again on the white shores of Aman. [They embrace. The clanging of metal and the roars of battle cries carry on the night air. Turgon releases Idril, nods to Tuor who takes Idril’s hand, pulling her firmly towards the door. Cut.]

* * *

[Cut back to the survivors in the King’s Square. As the company begins to withdraw from the Square, the enemy puts forth an onslaught on the left flank and the rear, from east and f north; Protected by the palace on the right, the head of the column moves into the Road of Pomps.

Tuor fights with the rearguard, aiming to stay until last but Galdor grasps him bodily by his armour and drags him out of the square. The fighting intensifies, every man fighting to protect themselves as well as the group. Larger fire-drakes are spotted in the fog, and Tuor urges the company into a run; Tuor still holds the rear though many more of his House fall en route.. The company reaches Gar Anion, Place of the Gods, which is very open and the highest ground in the whole city. Unexpectedly the fighting eases back, the enemy forces apparently thinner on the ground here. Catching their breath, the company look back towards the King’s Tower. Tuor hugs Idril close again but she looks past him, gasping in shock; he turns to see what she is looking at. Camera pan round with Tuor and shows a dragon coiled round the very steps of the palace, and the tower besieged. Up high the form of Turgon, can be seen, another dragon curls around the base of the tower, spouting flame. He lashes his tail, and we hear people screaming distantly.]


*

[Cut to Turgon in his tower. Sighing, he prepares to address his personal guard:]

Turgon: The enemy has finally come to this last stronghold, but I shall not yield or turn in flight. Those of you who remain are true heroes and in lore your brave deeds shall be remembered in the ages: We shall make these foes regret their deeds this night. The Eldar of Gondolin will never be forgotten! [gazes out and sees that the flames are closer now and are spreading swiftly. Morgoth's firedrakes consume what is still standing. Turgon feels the heat of their breath as he stands, sword in hand, to meet his fate. The walls shake beneath their crushing bodies while the dragons coil tighter around this final monument of defiance against Morgoth. Cut.]

*

[Cut back to Tuor and Idril and the refugees in the street leading to their house…]
Idril: [distraught] I cannot leave whilst my father awaits his doom even on his topmost pinnacle;
Tuor: There may still be time - I will get your father hence, even from the Hells of Morgoth!

[he turns to go back down to the palace alone, but Idril holds him back, weeping. Flames suddenly blossom against the midnight sky; half a second later the boom of a distant explosion rocked the ground. Those who were not already watching turn at the sound, gasping, covering their mouths with their hands as the upper portion of the Tower of the King flares into flame and falls, crashing into rubble. The noise momentarily deafens the cries of horror. Tuor makes to run towards the ruin but Voronwë and the others hold him back as he struggles with them. Idril sinks to her knees in a sudden weakness. Tuor ceases to struggle, silent tears falling down his face.]

Voronwë: [softly] Sad is the blindness of the wise…
Tuor: Sad too is the stubbornness of those we love – yet a valiant fault. [he stoops and lifts Idril, kissing her gently on the forehead as she weeps bitterly for her father.]
Tuor: [ turns to the captains,] We must reach the tunnel with all speed, lest we be surrounded.
Galdor: [puts arm around a shell-shocked Glorfindel] Come now, Glorfindel. There is still much work to do, and many lives to be saved. Idril and Tuor will have need of you yet, and their son. Now, you must guard the rear, and we must move swiftly. Do you understand? [Glorfindel nods dumbly. Cut.]


* * *

Image

Plan of Gondolin based on the one in Karen Wynn Fondstad’s “The Atlas of Middle-earth”

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Last edited by Elentári on Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:35 am 
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* * *

[Cut to company nearing Tuor’s house along the southern walls. Night has fallen again, a twilight clouded by smoke and lit with flame. The house has been burnt down and the ruins are smouldering still. Tuor stares at the remnants, kicking at the rubble in anger, but the noise of Orcs approaching is heard, and he refocuses on the task at hand. Revealing the hidden entrance to the tunnel, he begins herding the company as swiftly as might be down the secret way.]

Tuor: [impatiently] Quickly, go in single file. No, leave your treasures—only food and water. We have no time for argument!
[Idril he sends on ahead with Voronwë… Galdor and Eglamoth take their warriors below to guard them; Perhaps a thousand have been saved by the time the greater bulk of them have passed into the tunnel and the flow slows to a trickle. Still Tuor remains at the entrance, shoving and urging everyone along.]
Tuor: Glorfindel, take the remnants of the Swallow and the Harp with your House and hold the rear; and see to it that the passage is securely blocked after you.

[Glorfindel nods, accepting the order.Tuor gives the scene one last, despairing look, then dives into the passageway. The last forty or fifty survivors file through after Tuor, going single-file, some with torches or lanterns torn off festival displays. Glorfindel hurries them along, scanning the alleyway for more people, for any last-minute stragglers who might come running before withdrawing his warriors to the first length of the tunnel. Then he and his warriors cast aside their arms and use picks from within to block up the entry to the passage. Using debris hauled in from the street, they begin to brick up the door. Once the debris reaches the upper seam of the entrance, Glorfindel pulls the archers back and sends them down the passage one at a time, reminding them to not to panic or try to outpace those ahead of them, for the way is too narrow.

A thin, stale haze fills the passage and the air is warm and close. The path slopes gently downward, but then it runs level again, still near street level. The walls and ceiling rumble constantly above them, and it seems the stout wooden beams that shore up the passage strain against their burden. Occasionally a violent jolt sends clouds of dust or small stones showering down as the city above falls in on itself, buildings collapsing under the strain of heat and flame, or the relentless pounding of iron siege engines. Up ahead can be heard muffled sobs from women and children, moans from warriors when the ground shakes. Most are panting in the torch lit gloom, feeling the claustrophobia common to the Eldar.]


Soldier 1: ‘Tis not natural for the Eldar to be under rock and stone…the close walls press in upon me like a tomb!
Soldier 2: Nay, we are not like the Naugrim who loved burrowing in the lightless earth; I need to feel the wind and sun, and see the stars.

[Cut to Galdor and Egalmoth up ahead. Even with the torches, they cannot see more than a foot before or behind them, and soon they start to stumble over fallen rocks and tree roots, even bodies where those injured fleeing ahead have succumbed to their injuries, or been struck by the falling rock.]

Galdor: The air is rank, look at the torch! [The flames are sputtering, devouring precious oxygen]
Egalmoth: Put it out: we can feel our way. [They douse the torches, and continue in darkness. Others behind follow suit. Cut.]

*

[Cut to Tuor walking behind the refugees. As the torches start to go out ahead of him, one of the Elves a little way ahead starts to panic. He backs up as if to run, but there are warriors behind and before him and he is trapped. He starts screaming. Tuor swiftly manoeuvres his way to the Elf, pinning him up against the wall with his own body.]

Tuor: [hisses] You will be quiet; you will not frighten the others. There are women and children ahead of us who can hear you. [The Elf continues to thrash, hyperventilating. Tuor slams him back a second time, crushing him against the rocky wall of the tunnel.] Do not force me to silence you... Please, please be
Elf: [sobbing] Not the light, p-please, n-not the light!
Tuor: It will not last much longer in any case. Trust me, the way is straight enough: keep to the wall and feel your way along. You cannot get lost if you keep moving. [loosens hold upon the Elf.] Pass the word forward and behind: grip on to the person in front of you, or to the wall. We must keep going.

[Tuor douses his light as gasps and moans of despair greet the darkness. Taking little breaths to conserve his air, he presses his body to the wall, hands splayed against the rock as he feels his way, feet shuffling inches, testing the way ahead for obstacles. Cut to Galdor and Egalmoth at the front.]

Egalmoth: Listen! The rumbling has subsided! We must have passed beyond the city walls out into the vale of Tumladen. The end cannot be not far now. [The walls start narrowing and the ceiling becomes lower.]
Galdor: I can feel jagged stone under my fingers… and the air feels cooler.

[Suddenly the ceiling lowers dramatically and they have to bend their necks to pass along.]
Egalmoth: Send word back not to panic when they feel the space press in around them; we near the end, where the passage is less finished.
Archer 1: [murmurs] I see light! [Camera cut to a watery strip of moonlight perhaps fifteen feet away. The tunnel opens into a large, dry basin that was once a small lake; the bushes that previously concealed the opening have been trampled by the passing of hundreds of feet. The people Idril and Voronwë have sent ahead, are gathered, weeping softly in weariness and sorrow. Galdor stumbles into the night air, while behind him he hears his warriors gasp and sob in relief as one by one they emerged from the darkness into air, moist with evening mist,that feels clean and cool on their faces.]

Galdor: We have made it! We are alive and on the other side.
Egalmoth: [cautiously] But we are not yet out of danger…
[Camera focus on Idril, distraught, searching frantically among the refugees. Tuor comes up to her, concern in his eyes.]
Idril: [turns to look up at Tuor with tearful eyes, whispers:] Eärendil is not here…
[Tuor looks in horror at his wife, then turns to look helplessly back into the tunnel. Cut]

* * *

[Cut to scene later, several hours before dawn: the moon is low on the horizon, framed between two jagged peaks of the Echoriath. The basin is dark; though full of people, neither torch nor lantern burns anywhere. Egalmoth, whose sentries help the refugees descend from the mouth of the passage, cautions them not to light any lamps that might betray their presence to the enemy. Glorfindel exits last, clambering wearily out of the unfinished tunnel.]

Egalmoth: You did not stumble upon a child in the dark, did you?
Glorfindel: We came upon several corpses: some of the Gondolindrim were too severely injured to make the passage… [drinks deeply from a cup of water proffered by one of the warriors of the Heavenly Arch.] It was too dark to mark them all.
Egalmoth: [looks troubled.] No one has seen Eärendil…Even now, Tuor and Idril search among the survivors.
Glorfindel: [alarmed] You think he is still in the tunnel?
Egalmoth: [shrugs, helpless] I know not. The lady sent him ahead many hours before, with a servant of her house, but he was not here when we came. She does not wish to leave until he is found, but Tuor fears we will be discovered if we tarry too long.

Glorfindel: [glances around, seeing the captains of the Houses of the White Wing and Tree are moving among the survivors, instructing them to make ready to leave. Idril is distressed and Tuor is trying to comfort her.] A hard choice Tuor has, and one I would not wish to make nor wish upon any other.
Egalmoth: [sighs] A long march lies ahead of us, out of the vale and through the mountains to whatever refuge Tuor and Idril plan to lead us - if indeed there is any such place left… [Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to survivors arguing. All are weary and anxious to flee the vale of Tumladen, but there is dissention over which route to take:]
Galdor: We must get as far hence toward the Encircling Mountains as we can before dawn come upon us…and that gives us no great space of time, for summer is at hand.
Elf 1: [grumbling] The sun will be up long before we win the foothills, and we shall be overwhelmed in the plane by the drakes and demons…

Tuor: Then let us make haste: We shall discuss our plans further as we march. Glorfindel, I want you to remain in the rear. Keep up a good pace and make sure no one straggles. Those overcome with weariness or wounds should be borne if possible, but left behind if not. We shall head for Cirith Thoronath, the Eagles’ Cleft. [murmurs of disbelief arise.]
Elf 1: I say we should turn south toward Bad Uthwen, That has ever been known as the way of escape. It is but half the journey, and our weary and wounded may at least make it that far...
Idril: I fear Maeglin’s treachery extends far beyond Gondolin’s walls, we know not that the Enemy is unaware of that path. Besides, did my father not order the passage to be blocked these past years?

Egalmoth: I agree that Bad Uthwen should be avoided, but the path you suggest is twice the trek and would bring us dangerously close to Angband –
Tuor: [interrupting] - a direction which none would suspect us to take, not least because the mountains are highest in the north!
Elf 2: [shakes head] I too, doubt the wisdom of this course. The way is high and cold, even in summer, and we have no provision for such a journey for. Indeed, there is not even food or water for all. Cirith Thoronath would be a cold, hungry road, without hope.
Elf 3: Look at these people! They are not hardy warrior! They are women and children, the sick and wounded. They are unaccustomed to hunger or cold or weariness. [Camera pan over two Elf-maidens leaning against each other in their exhaustion, shivering in their tattered festival silks, their shoes lost somewhere in the ruin of the city.] They will surely freeze to death if you press on to Cirith Thoronath.
Elf 3: Aye, when we crossed the Helcaraxë, we had ample provision and warm clothing. I know not what we will do now. [voices rise in consternation and agrievement, as tempers fray there is a danger of violence breaking out. Tuor calls for order.]

Tuor: At any rate, we must assume Eärendil and his guards are heading north as ordered. We will go that way even if none follow us. Let those who elect to follow my guidance form up behind me. Those who reject my choice may try their fortune through Bad Uthwen. [Several captains protest, moving to use force to keep the group together, but Tuor orders them to stand down. Sighs:] Let them go…if the way of Bad Uthwen is clear and they win through, I will call them fortunate. Now make ready to move out, for I intend to cross as much of the Vale as I can before Dawn and we become visible to the enemy.

Galdor: I have an Elf in my train named Laiqalassë…he knows the plain day and night and has eyes like a cat’s in the dark. He shall be able to lead us with speed and accuracy straight to the pass. [Fade into black.]

*

[Fade back into column leaving the shelter of the basin under the cover of darkness. Amon Gwareth is visible on the horizon. Fire lights the sky like a fake Dawn, and the wind carries the sounds of distant carnage and destruction. At the fore of the column Tuor has placed Galdor’s lieutenant, the sharp-eyed archer, Laiqalassë.]

Tuor: [voice rough with emotion] Do not look back… We must turn our eyes forward if we are going to live.
Idril: [softly] We must not think about all those we left behind now, not while the grief is so near. [cut.]

* * *

[Dawn fills the vale with a weak, hazy light; the sun unable to pierce the veil of steam and smoke that rises from the burning city. The plain is veiled with mist, providing cover for the fleeing Elves. Guided by Laiqalassë, Tuor drives the march until midmorning brings them to a mountain-fed stream where they grab a brief hour of rest and refreshment, taking the chance to dress each other’s wounds. Idril takes charge of the stores, doling out nourishment as it is needed or can be spared.]
Idril: What little food has been brought out of Gondolin must now be rationed.
Laiqalassë : Waterskins may be emptied and refilled here, and there is another spring near Cirith Thoronath. There are Eagles as well, for they have aeries among the high peaks. Manwë watches over us.
Elf 4: [scoffs] The Valar have done nothing to save Gondolin or its people from a horrific end.
Glorfindel: [angrily] But Ulmo did warn you, through Tuor His messenger. You did not listen. Turgon did not listen. Are we to blame the Valar because we are deaf? [Elf looks ashamed. Cut.]

*

[Cut to company beginning to climb the foothills towards the pass; the way grows steadily steeper. Snow csn br glimpsed above the treeline, way off in the distance.. As the ruddy Sun reaches its zenith the mists begin to dissipate, though the ruins of Gondolin are still shrouded by the haze from the carnage. Many of the travellers look fit to drop.]

Glorfindel: [to his second] They need rest: the warriors and women and children alike. Many are hard pressed to keep the pace.

[Suddenly from up ahead a commotion starts up that stirs the company from their sluggish reverie. Peering ahead, Tuor sees a handful of Gondolindrim fleeing on foot, one holding a child. They are pursued by a score of warg riders – Orcs on great wolves, brandishing spears.]
Tuor: [exclaims] Look - it is Eärendil!
Idril: See! There is the faithful Hendor with Eärendil on his shoulders!
Tuor: Warriors of my House are about him, and they are in sore straits! Those least weary of the Wing and the Tree to me!

[Tuor, Galdor and two score of warriors of the White Wing and Tree race on foot away from the column. Glorfindel’s hand reaches instinctively for his sword, fumbling at the hilt—until a hand closes over his to stop him.]

Second: We are to hold the rear, my Lord. [Glorfindel nods absently. Cut to Tuor and his warriors approaching the beleaguered Elves. We see Eärendil is on the shoulders of one of the Elves, waving his sword at the wargs, about six others circle round him facing the enemy. Others lie dead or mortally wounded, having been picked off by the warg riders that are trying to scatter the group to pick them off more easily.]

Tuor: Stand fast! Do not try to flee… [Tuor forms his men into a crescent, to envelop the riders, and prevent any escaping to take word of the escaping exiles. The wolves shy, and the Elves fall hard upon them, hewing the beasts with swords and spears, loosing arrows when they cannot venture near enough. Sounds of the battle reached the column; some of the women begin sobbing in terror at sight of the Orcs. Glorfindel and Voronwë try to restore order to the rear, while Idril, Egalmoth and Laiqalassë hold the group together at the fore. Cut back to Tuor. The wargs are slaughtered, and only two Orcs escape, albeit wounded and on foot.]

Tuor: Let them go - their tidings will reach the city too late to cause us further harm.
[Eärendil runs to Tuor, who swings him up into his arms, hugging him tightly.] Well now, how is my brave little warrior? Your face shines like a star in this wasteland!
Eärendil: I am thirsty, Ada, for I have run far – [glances at Hendor who was carrying him earlier] –and I did not need to be carried!
Tuor: Do not be ungrateful, Eärendil… [Eärendil bows to Hendor, who accepts his apology graciously with a smile] Now, there is but little water to spare until we reach the next spring up in the pass, but Naneth will find you some. Let us go and greet her.
Eärendil: Ada, I am glad Maeglin is dead… he hurt Naneth – and I did not like him; [shudders] and I do not want to travel through any more tunnels for all the warg riders in Angband… [Tuor smiles and sets him on his shoulders and returns to the main company with Eärendil on his shoulders; the boy only slightly scratched and bubbling with excitement at having been able to watch his father fight. Idril gives a cry of relief and joy as Eärendil waves to her.]

Tuor: The warg riders cut down all but six of the warriors you sent with him, but Eärendil does not seem overly traumatized! [Hands him down to Idril who clasps him to her as if she will never let him go again, tears of relief running down her face. After a while Eärendil has had enough cosseting.]

Eärendil: Naneth! Put me down! You are weary, and besides, warriors in mail do not ride among the womenfolk…unless they be old Talagand! [Idril laughs and puts him down beside her. Tuor gives the order to resume the march. The Elves smile despite their cares to see the little prince; his boundless energy infectious. Cut.]

*

[Cut to lower flanks of the foothills: Laiqalassë brings them to a shady dell with trees and hazel bushes where they can rest a while. Tuor calls a halt to the march.]

Tuor: We will sleep through the day to regain our strength and resume the march at sunset.
Laiqalassë: [concerned] The prospect of passing through Cirith Thoronath in the dark worries me, for the way is narrow and walled on one side by a steep drop. Any misstep would be fatal.
Tuor: [firmly] It cannot wait until morning, and we can go no further now.
Voronwë: Who shall take the first watch?
Tuor: [eyes him closely] Not you, my friend…You look well-nigh ready to fall down. Go and catch what rest you can. Galdor, take ten of your archers for first watch. The sentries of the Tree shall wake us if an enemy comes. [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.
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*

[Cut to later: the sun begins to dip far into the west… Tuor rouses the company. A scanty meal is doled out by Idril, and those that have extra clothing or rags share them among the less fortunate, and some tear them into strips to bind the feet of those who have no shoes.]

*

[The path grows steeper, and the green grass gives way to mossy scrub. To either side of the path, the trees thin to a few hardy pines and firs, and after a time these, too, disappear, replaced by bare rock. Camera focus on snowline blue-white above them. As they climb, frost hangs smoke like in the air with each breath. Glorfindel hears women and children shivering and moaning in the cold, but can do no more for them than to urge them to keep moving.]

*

[In the eastern sky the first stars begin to appear, faint, twinkling lights against a backdrop of deep blue, and the light upon the trail grows dim. Up ahead, a shoulder beckons in the path, black against the blacker mass of the mountains; beyond it, many turn to glimpse their last look at the Vale of Tumladen: now at sunset the haze that shrouds Gondolin has lifted and they gasp, seeing the ruin of Amon Gwareth clearly…one last burst of flame lights the sky as the last tower falls. Tuor gives the company a moment before urging them on again. Cut.]

*

[Twilight has fallen, but Tuor permits no lanterns as the way narrows and the sides close in.]

Tuor: Scouts of the enemy could easily be lurking in the hills, this close to Angband; we cannot take the chance when there are too many likely places among the crags for ambush.
Laiqalassë: Now we must string out into single file. The path narrows even more as we near Cirith Thoronath, ‘tis less than a quarter of a league, now.
Egalmoth: How long before we are through?
Laiqalassë: By day a sure-footed warrior can take the path in an hour or two, but we are going in the dark and in places the walls are very high; there will be little or no moonlight to ease our way. Most of the night will be needed.
Tuor: [orders the company to a halt] We must arrange ourselves in single file for the passage through the pass: Galdor, you and your spearman will go foremost with Laiqalassë; the most able-bodied women and those injured who can walk will go close behind you. Idril and Voronwë with Eärendil you go with that group. I, Egalmoth and the warriors of the White Wing shall bear the most severely injured. Survivors from the Harp, Swallow and Pillar, you are to guard those women with small babes, children and the lame. Glorfindel, will you again hold the rear with your House, since you have the largest body of hale warriors left.
[Once arranged in single file, the company crawls along at a shuffle, a foot or less at a time. As the night deepens, snow begins to fall, whirling down in icy eddies that blow into faces and unprotected eyes. The Elves huddle together for warmth as far as the narrow confines of the trail will permit. At the back, Glorfindel frets about the slow pace:]

Glorfindel: We should pick up the pace: the longer we continue at this crawl, the greater the chance people will begin to succumb to the elements.
[Soon his words become prophetic as the rear of the company begin to see figures lying stiff by the side of the road, frozen faces upturned and white under the moon. A shudder passes through him, not entirely due to the cold. Looking ahead he sees the gap that marks the pass looming up, and the trail winds up toward it in a last, steep climb that leaves many breathless]

Laiqalassë: [whispers] Pass the word back: Stay close to the wall; Do not stop for any reason, for others coming from behind cannot see you; Do not light any lanterns, and above all do not speak, for the high walls of the cleft carry echoes long and far.

[As he enters the pass, Laiqalassë puts his hand to the wall at his right and feels his way, He cannot see how deep the jagged drop to his left is and can barely discern the edge of the path, but from far below we hear the rushing waters of Thorn Sir and the cold air whistles up, stinging and whipping through hair.

Galdor and his men reach the end of the Pass, near to where Thorn Sir tumbles into the abyss, yet the slow going has caused the company to become strung out across the Pass, with the rear-guard barely at the beginning. Suddenly, from up ahead and above, snarls and shouts in Orcish are heard followed by shouting and screaming echoing upon the high walls of the pass as dark shapes leap out from behind boulders.]


Tuor: Orcs have found us – it is an ambush! [The warriors draw swords and despatch these Orcs, then stones begin to fall from the heights.] The ambush is coming from above! [looks up but can see nothing] We are blinded by the walls of Cirith Thoronath. Press your backs to the wall of the pass and do not panic!
[Higher up, yet more cries are heard – this time, the sharp shrieks of eagles descending. With a rushing like a great wind, the eagles fall upon the Orcs who have scaled above the face and tear at their faces and hands, picking them off and sending them tumbling onto the rocks below.]

Laiqalassë: Thorondor! Manwë’s Eagles have come for us! [The archer’s cry reverberates off the walls as a commotion begins in the rear of the party.

Cut to rearguard: Orc shrilling fills the air, overtaking the shouts of warriors taken unaware. The clash of steel hammers at the entrance to the pass; several dark shapes tumble into the chasm, though we do not know whether they are Orc or Elf. Glorfindel looks up to see a flash of flame and smoke leaping from crag to crag, overstepping the spurs of rock that jut out from the path over the chasm, and crushing them in its wake.]


Glorfindel: Ai! A Balrog! [it overtakes the rearguard, passing them to descend on the women and sick. Glorfiindel looks around him and sees that he does not have enough warriors or room to go after it. He shoves the warrior before him against the wall, seizes the warrior’s shield and goes after the Balrog alone.

Up ahead, he can see the demon waver and turn, snapping its fiery whip in his direction. Stones skitter loose from the wall as the whip strikes it; Elves cower, whimpering as the Balrog passes and crying out in alarm at the lone warrior who flies past them after it. Again the whip slices the air, but Glorfindel ducks under the lash of the thongs and his blade sweeps up, hewing the Balrog’s arm from its shoulder. Black blood sprays him as the whip goes tumbling, a snarl of flaming tendrils, into the darkness. The Balrog’s bellow of pain fills his ears… It flings itself at Glorfindel, his next stroke swiping its shoulder as its momentum plows into him and sends them both tumbling from the path onto a crag. Glorfindel’s sword goes flying, falling into the depths of Thorn Sir after the whip.

Glorfindel barely has time to draw his dagger as the Balrog drives itself at him, clawing and raking at his armour. The heat is scorching. Sweat beads on his forehead as flames billowed against his shield; his lungs scream for air in the choking smoke. Gathering what strength he has left, Glorfindel shoves all his weight behind his shield and jams it into the Balrog’s face, while with his right hand he plunges the dagger into its belly.

The Balrog howls as it falls away from him. Breathing hard, Glorfindel lowers his shield, yet clawed fingers grasp his hair and yank hard, and Gorfindel too finds himself falling into the abyss.. Voices scream above him, but they grow fainter as he falls farther into the Balrog’s roaring embrace. His flesh blisters and bursts, and his hair catches fire. The sizzle of flame meets roaring water with a hiss, then all is quiet…

Thorondor swoops down and retrieves Glorfindel’s broken, blackened body from the depths of Thorn Sir and sets it down on the path. Fade.]


* * *

[Fade in on Elves placing the last stone of a cairn over the body, at the very mouth of the pass. Voronwë and Galdor, sing a mournful dirge, clear and steady. Eärendil stands bent in grief over the tumbled stones. In his hand he clutches a small object: a single gold bead shaped like a flower. He stoops and lays the golden flower on the top if the cairn.]
Tuor: [weeping] Here might the Eagles watch over him and prevent further harm…may golden flowers bloom forever upon his mound.
Idril: [takes Eärendil’s hand, speaks softly] He was a faithful friend to the end, but it is time now to go. Come, the House of the Golden Flower has need of you. [Eärendil dries his eyes and they turn and walk back to comfort the remaining warriors of Glorfindel’s House. Each warrior salutes Eärendil who responds with his hand on his chest and a bow of his head.]
Tuor: [gruffly] We must depart - we dare not linger too long in one place… [cut.]

*

[Cut to Tuor standing by the wayside with Dramborleg draped over his shoulder, herding the company along the southward road. As the column dwindles, he pauses to look once more toward the cairn. A lone eagle circles in grief over the tumbled stones. Fade.]

* * *

[We see clips of the refugees wandering long and far, now numbering less than six hundred. The mountain paths are obscure and their trails flimsy. The way is hard: injured warriors either heal quickly or pass to Mandos’ care…the women’s soft gowns of pale silk quickly become rags and they seek barefoot for what food can be found in the wastes beyond the mountains. We see the travellers reaching the River Sirion, not far from where the dry river leads to the old entrance to Gondolin. The secret way had once been hidden by a dale of Alder trees… Camera focus on the scene of trampled bushes and burnt trees…the wall around the entrance is flame-scarred. It is obvious that those who sundered from Tuor and fared to Bad Uthwen have met a gruesome fate, and the Elves weep... Fade.]

* * *

[Cut to scene later in the day. The refugees pass into the forests of Doriath where once mists and enchantments had twisted all the paths and kept out all enemies for years. They have paused to camp in a glade where white flowers blossom.]

Voronwë: Once Lúthien danced for Daeron here… [murmurs] ‘Tis is a place of ghosts, now.
Tuor: Then all of Beleriand is haunted. [Eärendil tightens his grip on Idril’s hand ever so slightly and huddles under her cloak while she, Tuor, and others pour over a map spread on the ground before them, its corners held down with rocks of varying sizes. An argument unfolds over whether to make the Mouths of the Sirion their destination. Tempers are raw, and dark circles hover under everyone’s red-rimmed eyes. ]

Idril: [sceptically,] Do you think the Sindar will welcome us, after what happened this winter?
Voronwë: Círdan rules on Balar just off the coast. He has always been friendly to the Noldor, and his people know we are no Kinslayers.
Galdor: There is a rumour that the Lady Galadriel still dwells with the Iathrim... Your cousin, Lady Idril.
Idril: Galadriel will speak for us, surely? And Ereinion dwells with Círdan…he is High King of the Noldor now – someone must get word to him…
Tuor: We must make our way to the mouths of Sirion. If the Sindar will not welcome us, then we will settle somewhere else, in Arvernien perhaps – somewhere close to Balar where Ereinion’s people are. There are too few Noldor left for us to remain scattered across Beleriand.
Eärendil: [stares at the map, tracing the river all the way down to the sea.] It seems like a very long way…

[As night falls they sing quiet laments in their grief for both Gondolin and Menegroth, Turgon and Thingol.Eärendil shivers, not liking the deep shadows or the tangle of branches overhead that blot out the moon and stars. As he lies there, trying to sleep he is kept awake by the sounds of animals crying in the night, owls hooting, mysterious rustlings and twigs snapping. Suddenly he hears the sound of a flute playing faintly. He rolls over and prods his father]
Eärendil: [whispers] Do you hear that?
Tuor: [rises up on an elbow and cocks his head, brow furrowed] Hear what, Eärendil?
Eärendil: A flute being played... Can you not hear it?
Tuor: [confused] No, son, I cannot.
Idril: [stirs on Eärendil’s other side.] You are imagining things, Eärendil, Go to sleep…
Eärendil: [softly] Naneth, I wish Ecthelion were here to play his flute for me, or make me a willow-whistle, so I could play. I miss him…
Idril: [comforts him sadly] We all do, little one. [Cut.]

* * *

[Cut to clips of the refugees learning to hide and take what they can get, to clothe their feet in moss and bark , and weave rough grasses to keep them warm; to use sling to catch the birds that shelter in the hollows, to seek roots and seeds, sometimes the adults going without to keep the young ones fed. Hunger and weariness dog their every step. They came at last to the great pools on the edges of Nan Tathren where the river Narog joins the Sirion, flowing broad and quiet. All about the shinning river are flags and waterlilies; the grass is filled with flowers, like multicoloured stars in a green sky. The willow trees of palest green and silver rustle in the wind, providing soothing music. The wanderers stand knee deep in grass and listen to the bird song and the humming of bees and insects. The very breath of the wind brings rest and peace to them as they collapse onto the soft grass.]

Voronwë: [overjoyed] Fairest of all are the willows of Nan-tathren! This land of silver-green willows and flaglily fields, where Narog twines with Sirion. My heart shall find comfort here again, as it did when first I found my way to these quiet meads.
Idril: It is indeed a fair place to dwell for now, whilst we assuage our grief, and heal our wounds. Though I fear the valley of willows will always echo to the laments of the Gondolindrim.
[Fade.]

* * *

[Fade back into some months later: It is summer and the bodies and limbs of the refugees are full of health again. The refugees have built huts among the trees and there is food and shelter. Eärendil has grown and matured, despite being only eight years old. The loss of so many dear to him has etched itself into his young face…the memories of Gondolin have not left the wanderers yet. We see Tuor sitting by the river, his eyes closed, listening to the Sirion sing with the power of Ulmo.]
Tuor: My heart still aches for the beat of the restless waters and ever do I hear the voice of Ulmo calling me to follow…. [He sings a song of the coming of Ulmo to Vinyamar, and of Tuor’s own first sight of the sea, the sunlight sparkling on the waves as they crash into the shore. His son soon joins him in repose, the sea-longing beginning to awaken in his heart also. Idril stands watching them as her maid, Meleth comes up beside her.]

Meleth: When will we continue our journey, my lady?
Idril: [wistfully] Food is plentiful here and it is peaceful, yet I know there are some tasks that have to be fulfilled: our people do not wish to be separated from what remains of my father’s family
Meleth: [shivers] The sooner the better, I would say. The more we tarry the better target we make!
Idril: [quietly] Soon, I promise…

*
Eärendil: [voiceover]And so, the Gondolindrim packed what they could carry, returning to the earth all that they left behind, and followed the river Sirion to the shores of the Great Sea and more destined meetings. [we see clips of the refugees heading southward again, following the river in search of the Havens. Autumn is setting in, and the nights grow chill and damp, heralding the coming frost. The path takes them through muddy fens until at last the breeze takes on a salty smell, and the cries of gulls fill the air. Tuor hoists Eärendil onto his shoulders and jogs ahead of the host, to the top of a bluff covered in crackling brown grass.]

Tuor: [in delight] There it is! [color=blue][i] [the sea stretches out before them, a vast expanse of blue and grey, dappled with sunlight that makes it sparkle. On the shore is a small walled settlement, with smoke curling gently toward the sky from chimneys. The wind carries the sound of the waves to them, a steady musical rhythm.]
Eärendil: [gasps as he takes in the view] It is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen…
Tuor: [laughs] That was what I said when I first beheld the sea… [looks round as Idril joins them,] …though I had yet to meet your mother! [he envelopes Idril with an arm and she leans into him with a smile.]

Eärendil: [voiceover, continues over a recap of Eärendil and Elwing sitting on the beach together as seen at the end of Season 5 #6] We found there a haven for many of those fleeing Morgoth’s chaos: the remnants of Nargothrond, and great Doriath lived there, including Elwing, the only surviving descendant of Elu and Melian. Not quite Half-Elven, but the only living being who could understand how my mixed parentage affected me. Orphaned too soon; guarded by those who held her as the jewel of her House; beautiful and sorrowful… I loved her from the moment I saw her and we both knew that our fates were bound together. [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.
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First Age, Year of the Sun 511, Arvernien

[Scene opens on refugee camp of the Gondolindrim at the Mouths of the Sirion, on the shores of Belegaer the Great Sea. Círdan, ancient shipwright of the Eldar hurries to greet Idril who is wandering about the camp, offering encouragement to those around her: ]

Círdan: Idril? I barely recognize you! It is good to see you again after all these year, though the darkness clouds the joy of our reunion …Thank Eru you were spared!
Idril: [greets the mariner warmly. Eärendil hides behind her] Lord Círdan! Well met, indeed… Eärendil, this is Círdan, the greatest shipwright of the Eldar, whom Voronwë has told you much of. [Eärendil looks up at his with luminous blue eyes. Idril smiles] Once he is over his shyness, you will not easily be rid of him. [places a hand on Círdan’s arm, pleading] Tuor and I decided to lead our people to Sirion. We could not remain in Nan Tathren any longer. They need a home and a haven…
Círdan: [lays a hand on Idril’s shoulder] Of course they are welcome! We do not turn away any who come here to escape the ravages of Morgoth.
Idril: [embraces him] Thank you, my Lord.
Círdan: Truly, it is a dark time for the Children of Eru. It seems my fear of many long years has come to pass. [hesitates.] Do you lead your people? What of Maeglin? There were rumours that your father had named him his heir.
Idril: [shakes her head, her voice wavering between anger and sadness.] No, and Maeglin the traitor has also found his end in the ruins of Gondolin. There is no male descendant of Fingolfin eligible to inherit the High Kingship of the Noldor.
Círdan: [softly] So it will pass to the House of Finarfin…
Idril: [nods] Where might I find my kinsman, Ereinion?
Círdan: [looks toward the harbour, and a white ship with graceful lines.] No doubt he will be yonder, not yet ashore. I will watch the young one, if you like?
Idril: My thanks… [extracts Eärendil from her skirts] How would you like to see the harbour? [Eärendil nods enthusiastically] Go with Círdan, then, my dear one …be good! [She gently pushes him towards the bearded Elf. Turning away she walks swiftly toward the moored ship.]
Eärendil: [gapes at the old Elf in awe.] Are you truly The Shipwright?
Círdan: [cheerfully] Indeed, I am.
Eärendil: [eagerly] Will you teach me all about the sea and about ships and sailing – please?
Círdan: [laughing] Yes, I can teach you the ways of winds and waves. There will be plenty of time for such lessons.

[Taking the boy in hand he leads him off along the nearest jetty, pointing out this and that.

Cut back to Idril crossing the gangplank to the boat. She ducks down the stairs to the hold. As her eyes adjust to the cool darkness, she finds herself under curious scrutiny.]


Idril: You must be he whom I seek, for you are a darker version of your father..
Ereinion: [raises an eyebrow; turns up a lamp to give better light. ] I must confess I have no memory of you, my lady!
Idril: [laughs.] You would not - I last saw your father he was hardly older than you are now. I am Idril, daughter of Turgon.
Ereinion: [nods, grasps her hands warmly] Ah…I have heard much of you. I wish we had met under happier circumstances.
Idril: [nods, wearily] Still I am blessed, for my family are with me and whole. Others lost much more. But for my father I shall yet shed many tears...He has finally joined my mother in the Halls of Waiting, after five sun-ages apart. [Realizing what her father’s death means for him, Ereinion turns away from her,]
Ereinion: I am sorry for your loss… [Apologetically:] I confess to being unprepared for this to come to me. Forgive me if my mind wanders to self-pity.
Idril: [lays a gentle hand on his arm.] You would not be a worthy king if you were not frightened. It is much to ask of one so young … our once great family is fallen: you alone remain of the male line of succession. [bringing forward the bundle she has been carrying she unwraps its contents in front of Ereinion]
This, then, must go to you: [into his hands she places Turgon’s circlet] My father commended his crown to my husband for safekeeping ere we departed…
Ereinion: [bows to her] I humbly accept the burden of kingship. [places circlet on his brow.] And now I should go ashore and speak with our people.

[Taking Idril’s arm they go back on deck, and we see them disembark. Gazing at the exhausted, survivors he is overwhelmed by his memories of other refugees, of friends and kin who did not make it to the Havens. Ereinion approaches the Elves gathered at the quay, Tuor before them,, who gazes in turn at the new High King of the Noldor. Before Idril can introduce him, Ereinion addresses him.]

Ereinion: Seldom have we received news from the Hidden City, and still I am astonished that some of the Second born lived within Turgon's realm.
Tuor: I was the only one, my liege, [pauses] …and I am a Lord of the Gondolindrim.
Ereinion: [lifts an eyebrow] By what right?
Idril: [trying not to laugh] By right of marriage. Tuor is my husband, cousin!
Ereinion: Then we are kin now, you and I. You look like a member of the House of Bëor.
Tuor: You are right, my Lord. I am Tuor…son of Huor of the House of Hador, and of Rían, great-granddaughter of Bregor.

Ereinion: I see it now…you vaguely resemble him [tries to hide his surprise with a frown.] I can only hope that your fate will not lead you to destroy your home as did your uncle's son Túrin!
Tuor: [confused by his apparent disapproval] I do not understand...
Ereinion: [sighs] No, you would not… [watches the birds on the quay, lost in memories again.] It was his fate… yours does not have to be the same… [smiles] For the sake of the friendship formed by Finrod and Barahir, between Elf and Edain, be welcome then, Tuor,son of Huor. [Tuor bows]
Idril: [brings forward Eärendil, who has been waiting patiently] And this is our son.
Ereinion: Your… [inclines his head towards Tuor without any attempt to hide his astonishment.] So I have another cousin, and a peredhel, no less…
Tuor: Yes, my Lord. His name is Eärendil.
Ereinion: ‘Lover of the Sea', a strange name for a child born in Gondolin. [There is a moment of silence. He gestures for them to walk with him.] Please accompany me… You know we have another child of our kin living among us?

Idril: [nods] Little Elwing. Eärendil met her on the shore last night. I do not think she knew he was from Gondolin. Is she old enough to have heard about such matters?
Ereinion: She is older in mind than in body. And she will be the leader of the Doriathrim. We do not prevent her from knowing what is happening around her.
Tuor: [uncertain] The Doriathrim will accept a ruling Queen?
Ereinion: The Sindar are not as strict in their laws of succession as the Noldor. Besides, the title does not matter. They will follow her.
Idril I had thought that Celeborn and my cousin, Galadriel, would be the natural successors…
Ereinion: [shakes his head] Celeborn leads them until Elwing reaches her maturity. He is her guardian as well as her teacher. Apart from that he has no right to govern the people of Arvernien, nor has he the wish to do so.
Tuor: [reflecting] Like the sacking of both Nargothrond and Doriath, the ruin of Gondolin came suddenly, and has forced many to shoulder new responsibilities, regardless of whether we are capable or willing.
Ereinion: [staring out to sea, whispers] Nargothrond, Doriath and Gondolin, all within so few years. Indeed, the Valar have abandoned us. How shall I defend and protect the Noldor against Morgoth's attacks? Why was this task put upon me?
Idril: [gently] So that your people are not left leaderless…
Ereinion: I have tried to act in the High King's place, yes. No member of the House of Finarfin has ever abandoned those who depended on him. [Idril stiffens, well aware of the barely hidden accusation.]
Tuor: Turgon only did what he considered best.
Ereinion: [hisses angrily] Turgon abandoned the rest of the Noldor outside the Hidden City! He did not care about the fugitives of Nargothrond or Doriath. Maybe he had to fulfil his own fate as some say, but his people paid dearly for it. [his anger fades and he sighs] May the Valar forgive him - if there is still hope of forgiveness for the Noldor …
Idril: [wisely] Perhaps our shared fates may bring us close and make us forget past mistakes.

[As the group walk along a small path flanked by young trees that lead up towards the settlement; a cry is heard suddenly, and we see an Elf clad in light grey come running forward to stop in front of Tuor:]
Annael: Tuor? Tuor, is it truly you? I had given up hope…
Tuor: [face flushes with giddy delight] Annael! [grabs his foster father into a warm embrace as the two laugh and cry at the same time. Ereinion looks non-plussed. Parting, Tuor introduces Annael to Ereinion:]
Tuor: My Lord, this is Annael of the House of the Swan. He fostered me after my mother's death until we were driven from Mithrim.
Annael: [bows before Ereinion] It was the least we could do for the son of Huor as we would for any orphaned child, be it Elf or Man.
Ereinion: Still it was a noble deed and as Tuor son of Huor is a member of my family now, I owe you gratitude as well. [smiles] I would have you join us later for a meal: we must celebrate this reunion with your foster son...
Annael: [bows ] Gladly I will do so, my Lord, but please allow me to inform my family first. All of them know Tuor since he was born and they will be relieved to hear he has survived.
Ereinion: Please, bring your family to my hall and be my guests tonight. [Annael takes his leave and hurries off to find the other Elves of Mithrim.]

Ereinion: And now, let me introduce you to another member of our family He divides his time between here and Balar, offering recompense to those whom his family left with nothing... [they enter a hut which is serving as a smithy for the Doriathrim settlement; a dark-haired Elf wearing a leather apron is hard at work. Celebrimbor stares at Idril curiously. ]
Celebrimbor: I know we have never met, but you have the look of the House of Fingolfin…you must be Turgon’s daughter?
Idril: [warmly] Yes, I am Idril…and you favour your father in looks, Celebrimbor Curufinion. Greetings, cousin,,,I am glad to see you well
Celebrimbor: [inclines his head, a doubtful expression on his face.] That is hard to believe. Those of my House are normally shunned…
Idril: Believe it anyway. Tidings of events in Nargothrond reached Gondolin after the Nirnaeth. It took great courage to stand up to your father. [brings Eärendil in front of her.] Eärendil, meet Celebrimbor son of Curufin of the House of Fëanor.
Eärendil: I have heard of you… [bows politely and then looks up at the imposing stature of his kinsman] Do you like to work in the forge?
Celebrimbor: [smiles and lowers himself to Eärendil’s level] That is right… why, do you have work for a smith?
Eärendil: No. But then you are like my other cousin, he also liked to forge things… [he frowns] He is gone now…
Celebrimbor: [touches the boy's cheek.] That I cannot change. But if you allow I will be your forging cousin now, and whenever you need something, I will make it for you, if your mother allows?
[Idril nods . Fade.]

* * *

[Scene opens a few weeks later on a parlour in Idril’s home in Arvenien. Enelyë and Idril sit talking. Enelyë has her needlework out. Annael is working some leather in the corner. Tuor enters and stops to lean against Idril’s chair. ]

Idril: You finally got him settled, I see.
Tuor: [smiles down at Idril and nods] . I had to remind him that we will be travelling across to Balar tomorrow to visit Círdan’s shipyard and that he will need to be rested for it. Elwing wanted to go along too… I had to tell her I would have to seek Galadriel’s permission first.
Enelyë: It is good for the child to spend time with someone her own age…
Idril: [nods] Yes. She is a strange, quiet little thing, though she will talk by the hour to Eärendil and says no more than she has to, else. Elwing seems very fond of him, and he seems quite protective towards her.
Enelyë: [absently] Like draws to like… It was only natural that they have become good friends.
Idril: [thoughfully] I wonder what will happen to the child - when she is older, I mean… after all, there is no Doriath to be queen of, despite her title.
Enelyë: [puts down her needlework.] She is a delicate child: she will need a caring husband with a good, strong family...

Idril: [interrupting firmly] –I should hope that can be left till she is older and has a chance to learn her heart. Some things should never be arranged…
Enelyë: That is as maybe. However, not many have the rare bad fortune to inherit a Silmaril.
Idril: [less confident] That is true enough, but surely that is the responsibility of the whole community, not just Elwing...
Annael: [quietly] That cursed gem does not belong to the people of Doriath: It belongs to Lúthien’s granddaughter, sole inheritor of her grandmother’s bride price. [Enelyë fishes about in the basket beside her chair for a fresh length of silk which she threads through the needle easily. Idril’s expression passes from thoughtful to concerned as Enelyë begins a line of careful embroidery, eyes on her work.]

Idril: But – it is safe enough in Sirion, is it not? They would hardly dare come looking for it here, surely? [Enelyë glances meaningfully at Annael]
Annael: They swore an Oath…of course they will start looking for it. Not now, not while the horror still lies fresh, but – they will have to in the end. No reason why they might not look here.
Tuor: [firmly] Ereinion has a Guard who says they will not. It is not just the Enemy they keep watch for along the coast.
Annael: [nods,] Even so, the child will need a strong guardian later, for there will be many who desire the cachet of taking Dior’s daughter to wife. A crown is still a crown.
Idril: [shivers absently.] Indeed, I know what it is like to suffer unwanted advances… [Tuor places an arm around his wife. Fade.]

* * * * *

[Cut to Círdan and Erenion Gil-galad walking along the harbour over on the Isle of Balar. The tide is low and many birds run over the middy sand, picking here and there or quarrelling about some titbits. The wet ground gurgles softly, reflecting the crescent of the moon in hundreds of puddles.]

Ereinion: [turns to his companion, frowns] Do you not see what this means, Círdan? All that has protected us until now was our insignificance in comparison with Gondolin and Doriath. With no other notable realm left there is no doubt that we will be the next target … [He pauses, waiting for an answer and Círdan nods silently.] So tell me now, Lord of the Havens, in whose ear Ossë and Ulmo himself whisper, what kind of defence does Balar have? None! None except for a few guards. You heard what Tuor said: the enemy came with fire and Dragons and Balrogs upon Gondolin…what could we muster against that? [throws up his hands in growing despair] The attack will come, sooner or later.
Círdan: All we can do is wait and prepare for flight... [folds his hands behind his back.] We should consult with the council at least. You cannot stop the people from talking. Soon enough they will come to the same conclusion.
Ereinion: Of course. But I want to spare them this realisation as long as possible. The communities here have just begun to lead a normal life, to be happy again…
Círdan: Tell them that there is danger – and that there are preparations being made in case the necessity to leave Balar arises. You cannot take away the fear, but you can lessen it.
Ereinion: It may be as you say…nonetheless, at the moment I see little chance for us.
Círdan: [smiles knowingly.] Your doubts will make you stronger than any pride of your forefathers. I foresee you will become a great king, Ereinion Gil-galad… Come, let us go back to the haven. The tide comes early tomorrow and much work awaits us. [Fade.]

* * * * *

[Scene opens at the Feanorion stronghold at Amon Ereb. Maedhros receives a sealed message from a Telerin Elf.]

Messenger: From my lord Círdan.
Maedhros: [frowning] It is highly unusual for the Lord of the Havens to send me correspondence. [Maedhros dismisses him and he bows and leaves. Maedhros opens the mes.sage and scans it quickly. We hear Círdan's voice in Maedhros head:]

Círdan: “Ereinion will inform you himself in the near future but I deem it easier for you to hear it from another person.

A few days ago refugees arrived from Gondolin, among them your cousin Idril Celebrindal. The Hidden City has fallen and the High King Turgon died in its defence..."


[Maedhros exclaims loudly, startling the others.]
Amrod: What has happened?
Maedhros: [does not answer. Maedhros continues reading in his head.]

"As there is no male heir to the House of Fingolfin, the title of the High King of the Noldor will pass over to the House of Finarfin and to Ereinion Gil-galad, who has fulfilled this duty as representative of Turgon for many years already...”

[Maedhros puts the letter down slowly on the table.]
Amras: Well?
Maedhros: [numbly] Gondolin has fallen. Turgon is dead.
Maglor: [evenly] Which makes our cousin Ereinion Gil-galad the next High King.
Amras: [shakes head ] And we know not to expect much from any son of Orodreth…
Maglor: [equably] Gil-galad has governed his people on Balar wisely, from what I hear.
Amrod: Not without help, I would wager. Círdan has probably carried him most of the way.
Maglor: He also has acted as representative of Turgon these last few years.
Amras: By what right? - his arrogance is endless, it seems!
Maedhros: [shakes his head, kindles a lamp] Who else is there? We are the Dispossessed, our House has given up any right to participate in the High Kingship.
Maglor: [ looks up at Maedhros] So what are you planning to do about it?
Maedhros: [surprised] Do? I will do nothing at all. He is the rightful heir and he will be the High King, for the good or worse of our people. [Fade.]

* * * * *

[Fade in to bowls of Angband. We see an Orc messaenger before Morgoth delivering the same news.]

Orc: Will we be waging war against the Sea-Elves again, Master?
Morgoth: [rumbling laughter] The son of Orodreth is no serious danger, no threat to my power. Weak is he, an insignificant descendant of the House of Finarfin, the only son of Finwë who has never fought against me. [disdainfully This Gil-galad has never seen the light of the Two Trees, never touched the Undying Lands and his heart has been filled with grief and fear since I destroyed Nargothrond.
Orc: [nods] Truly, this High King has not the power to withstand you, O Dark One…
Morgoth: Indeed. I needs must but bide my time, and the one Silmaril the Noldor have regained will destroy the remnants of the Elves from the inside, with greater certainty than all my hosts. [he smiles widely, rubbing his hands in glee, compelling the Orcs to laugh with him. Fade.]

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

A/N: After the flight of the refugees from Gondolin, which itself is only lightly sketched, we really have nothing to go on for the next few years. Tolkien does not describe their welcome at the mouths of Sirion or the development of the relationship between Eärendil and Elwing. It is all very much open to supposition around the key events which are noted. The line of succession transfers to Ereinion Gil-galad presumably because the crown cannot pass via a female heir, and also, of course CT published the SIL with Gil-galad's parentage still running from Fingon.

Because of this dearth of detail I have very much drawn inspiration for this framework of scenes from the relevant chapters of "Narn Gil Galad" by Earonn whilst adding my own touches.

_________________
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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