The History of the Silmarils - Season 3 Gondolin mini-series

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The History of the Silmarils - Season 3 Gondolin mini-series

Post by Elentári »

Season 3 Gondolin Special

Scene opens on a shot of a wading bird in a shallow pool full of tall reeds. We watch as it observes its prey beneath the surface of the pool, then suddenly it plunges its head and beak under the water, seizes the object of its desire in one smooth movement and takes flight with the trout in its beak, water droplets catching the sunlight as the fish wriggles and jerks in vain. As the bird flies off, the beating of its wings disturb a multitude of smaller birds dipping and dabbling on the large lake which the marshland surrounds. The heron enjoys the warm breeze, gliding effortlessly on a gentle current towards the headland range to the west of the lake… As the heron circles in search of somewhere to enjoy its prize, the quiet is broken by the raucous cries of a flock of seagulls rising from beyond the headland, and the heron turns and quickly flies back inland. The camera follows these new intruders as they coast on the thermals above the shore. Below the tall, sea-hewn cliffs we see many coves and sheltered inlets; within them lie a handful of small fisherman’s’ dwellings; a group of grey-elves are hauling in their small fishing boat, bringing ashore the day’s catch. The gulls circle, hopeful of easy pickings.

We see clouds rolling in over the coast, wiping out the sunlight as they spread across the sky. Along the shore, the dark, cloud-helmed Mount Taras stands proud upon its promontory, most western point of the Ered Wethrin range which divides Nevrast from Beleriand. A seaside citadel nestles at its base upon great terraces. Breakers surge against the seawall, spraying salty water over low buildings near the shorefront. A large, white feather swirls between the houses, dancing in the brisk wind. A soft drizzle starts to fall, dulling the echo of hooves on the paved streets as two riders enter the windy courtyard of Vinyamar. A pennant with the symbol of Turgon flutters noisily on the topmost tower…

They climb a flight of wide steps to the great hall with its shingled roof, entering the westward facing main door topped by a large lintel. Inside, the hall is stone-paved and lined with aisles of tall pillars. On a dais at the eastern end is the High Seat - a chair carved from a single stone engraved with Tengwar script. There is a high window in a gable at the western end. One of the riders removes his hood…we see that it is Turgon, Prince of the Noldor, and Lord of Vinyamar. A servant hurries forward to take his master’s damp cloak. Turgon undoes the clasp, then turns and strides to the carved chair. He thrusts out his legs for the servant to remove his boots. The servant complies, as other servants arrive with refreshment for the Prince and his companion. The other rider, Ecthelion, a Noldor nobleman and soldier, has already divested himself of his riding gear. He pours two goblets of wine and hands one to his childhood friend.

Turgon: [takes goblet, rubs his neck with his free hand.] It is good to be home… [walks over to the window and opens the shutters, taking a deep breath of tangy air as it rushes into the room…]
Ecthelion: [raises goblet in toast] Indeed it is, yet I wonder you do not tire of the constant view to the west…

Turgon: [shakes his head] on the contrary, it soothes me. It reminds me of a different time. I love the way the sea changes from calm to wild, from glassy clear to churning maelstrom… You know why I built this citadel overlooking the sea…ever do I long for a glimpse of the land we left behind us. [turns as the door opens behind him… his sister, Aredhel enters, dressed in her customary white, a silver belt and embroidery on the neckline her only adornment. Ecthelion straightens and smoothes his clothes, trying not to look travel worn. Aredhel strides across the room eagerly, greeting her brother with a warm hug]

Aredhel: [impatiently] You are returned at last! I had begun to lose hope…what news? Have you found that which you seek?
Turgon: [shuffles uncomfortably] No…at least, not yet…even so, we have searched both North and South, and as far East as we dared, looking for a place of hidden strength wherein we might establish a refuge for our people, just as Ulmo commanded me in my dream. [Aredhel’s hopeful expression falters, a flash of disappointment and irritation crossing her face]

Ecthelion: Indeed, we wandered in untrodden lands as well as those well-known to the Sindar… [Aredhel glances round at Ecthelion as if noticing his presence for the first time, acknowledges him with a friendly smile. Encouraged, he continues:] If it would interest you, I would be glad to share the tale of our journey some time…

Aredhel: [somewhat ungraciously] Thank you, Ecthelion, but I fear it would interest me more to journey with you and experience the wonders of this new land for myself, rather than be confined to the women’s quarters, thirsting for news from far-away places…

Ecthelion: [expression stiffens] No doubt, dear lady, and, I do believe, if you had been allowed to travel with us perchance our search might have been more fruitful… [places goblet on the table] Now, if you will excuse me, I have things to attend to… [bows and leaves the room]

Turgon: [to his sister] That was unkind… It is I, not Ecthelion, who deserves your sarcasm. Yet you have always had a certain strength in you to speak the truth, no matter whom you hurt in the outcome. [sighs] I rely on you too heavily to play nursemaid to my daughter when you should be free to lead your own life.
Aredhel: [chagrined] I know…I will apologize to him later. It sorely grieves me to be constrained to keep house whilst you gallivant around with Ecthelion – and to no avail. But what of our kindred – you must have some news, surely?

Turgon: [nods] It seems our cousin Finrod has had better luck. Even as we speak, he is constructing his own stronghold, deep in the gorge of the River Narog. He found the place courtesy of his kinsman, Thingol Greycloak of Doriath.
Aredhel: [petulantly] Mayhap this Thingol knows of another underground grotto we might make our refuge? Eru knows I would be glad to forsake this dreary place…

Turgon: [indignantly] I will not suffer my people to live underground like the Naugrim! Not for us, who have seen the Light of the Trees, are the shadows and the dark places of this world… [Walks to the window again, looks out at the terraces leading down to the seawall along the cliff top. The mist is lifting and the sun breaks through in patches.]
Aredhel: [walks to his side, sighs] Fair Aman where the rain is mild and the seasons never change… so different from this dull and gray land of stone and water. The fascination that Teleri and Sindar both feel for the ocean has always been alien to me, nor have I ever been able to see the beauty of the churning waters the way that others can. And I am heartily sick of the salt-laden air – oh, how I long for the scent of forest and stream again!

Turgon: [puts arm around her, kisses her affectionately on the forehead] Do you remember our city, Tirion the fair, set upon a hill…with its white tree, and high tower? That is what I would build in Middle-earth, in memory of what we have lost.
Aredhel: [wistfully] My heart too yearns in exile for much that cannot be regained…

[Turgon catches sight of movement outside and camera pans to follow it. We see a young elf-maiden tripping lightly down the long stair which descends to the shore.]
Turgon: [catches his breath] Idril! [turns to Aredhel] …does she still go there?
Aredhel: [sadly] Every day…she still hopes the sea will bring her mother back… [fade]

* * * * * * *

Fade in on scene of Turgon descending the steps from the terrace towards the seashore.
Idril stands alone, a small, insignificant figure on the vast stretch of white sand bordered by gleaming black rocks. The cold wind whips her hair up around her face and tugs at her clothes, but she still remains unmoving, even when the tide creeps up almost to her bare feet.
Turgon watches her standing unswayed against the stiff breeze. Eventually he decides to disturb her thoughts:

Turgon: [quietly, so as not to startle her] Idril! They said I would find you here… [the sound of his voice breaks her reverie, and she turns to face him, her face breaking into a joyful smile at the sight of her father. She runs to him crying “Ada!” and he gathers in his arms, swinging her around off of her feet and into a bear hug.]
Idril: Oh Ada, I am so glad that you have returned – it seems an age since you set out with Ecthelion. I have missed you so… [buries her face in his shoulder]

Turgon: I am sorry, my little barefoot Princess …I had hoped not to be away so long this time. I truly thought we might find what we seek. Alas it remains hidden even from our Elven sight. But I hear you have still been spending all your time here. I thought you might have tired of this by now…
Idril: [a distant look appears in her eyes] It is just that the cold water is my last memory of Naneth… it is all I have left of her now.
Turgon: [sighs, holds her close and smoothes her golden hair] My Itarillë… I understand, truly I do… there are times when I am alone that I find myself reliving that moment: the cold, salty water, the burns from the freezing ice…my aching chest and the heavy knot in my throat. [pauses] My heart is still sore, but it is time to move on…

Idril: [turns to him with tearful eyes, her voice trembling] I do not want to move on yet…I want to stay here.
Turgon: [caresses her face gently] I know, my love, but we must. Our people will not be safe here for ever… Ulmo has told me that ever must we be vigilant against the Dark Enemy.
Idril: [stoops and picks up a tide-worn pebble from the beach, her trembling hands brushing the hair back from her pale, tear- stained face as she studies the smoothness of the stone. She looks up at Turgon, suddenly angry.] This should not have happened... [her voice cracks with emotion] We are the Undying. Eru created us to live, not to die. Why did this happen, Ada?

Turgon: [blinks away his own tears, breathing deeply] Because... things are not so simple…we defied the will of the Valar, and we must pay the consequences… [his shoulders slump, dejectedly]
Idril: [stares at Turgon with anger and pain in her eyes.] But, why? [she begins to cry properly, her fingers clinging to his robes helplessly. Turgon kisses the crown of her golden head and hugs her tighter. She sobs:] I don't want to leave here and move on…What if I forget her? What if I stop loving her?

Turgon: [lets her go slightly so he can see her face. Softly whispers] That is a fear which touches my heart too with its cold fingers. I swear I will never love another after her… [takes her face in his hands and gently wipes away her tears] Idril, you will not forget her, she is your mother.
Idril: I cannot remember the words of the lullabys she sang me in Tirion. Who is to say that I will not forget her too?

Turgon: [quietly] We will not forget her, Idril. She is part of us. No matter how far we move on from that day, we will never forget the people whom we love. We are the Undying. We live forever and so too does our love and our memory. We do not say goodbye, for we know there will come a time when we will meet again. [He watches her for a few moments, letting her slowly realize the truth for herself. There is the slightest spark of hope in her eyes as she swallows hard and throws her arms around her father.]
Idril: [earnestly] Promise me, Ada…promise me we will all be together again in happier times?
Turgon: [nods firmly] We will meet again, in Mandos’ Halls… [holding hands they walk slowly back up the steps towards the citadel. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade back into a dimly lit study;
A fire is glowing in the hearth sending shadows dancing around the stone walls, darkening the colours of the normally vibrant tapestries hanging there. An Elven scholar is hunched over a table, working away by the light of a strange lamp that gives off a pale blue sheen from a flame within white crystals hung in a fine chain net.

Pengolodh sits up, flexes his aching fingers and rolls his shoulders, trying to ease the tension of spending too many hours pouring over parchments with small writing. He stands and moves to a sideboard where a flagon of wine and goblets is laid out. There is also some bread and cheese. Taking a few mouthfuls he pours a goblet of wine and returns to his desk. He picks up the quill again, reaching for another document. Laboriously he adds more names to the list he is compiling…camera shifts to a pile of parchments already filled with neatly formed script. The top leaf is headed “The Lost”

Cut to outside Pengolodh’s study:
we see Turgon walking down the darkened corridor. He comes to a halt beside the door, smiling at the light creeping out from beneath it. He knocks softly, and opens the door as the voice within bids him enter.

Pengolodh: My Lord… [starts to rise but Turgon waves him down again] …it cheers me to find you returned safely and in good health. May I offer you some refreshment?
Turgon: [helps himself to wine before the other elf can extricate himself from behind the desk] My dear Pengolodh… [smiles fondly] it comforts me to know that you can always be found working, bent over your lore long after the rest of the citadel has found rest, Tell me, have you made good progress on the task I set you?

Pengolodh: [shows Turgon the sheets he has already completed with scholarly pride] It is as you requested, my Lord…a list of the names of all who have been lost since the destruction of the Trees, both Noldor and Teleri… beginning with your grandfather - may his stay in Mandos’ Halls be brief…
Turgon: [Scans the leaves as if looking for something in particular. As he seems to find the right sheet, he runs his finger down the list of names until it stops over the name of his wife. Murmurs:] What light, life and love I had in the world was stolen from me when Helcaraxё took Elenwë…
Pengolodh: [sorrowfully] My Lady’s name was the hardest to write even amongst so many dear to us.

Turgon: [Swallows hard and nods curtly, signalling his approval.] You have done exceeding well, my friend. But this is enough for tonight. I would not have my scribe wear himself to the bone over this work, however important it is to me. There will be plenty of years left to complete this work, and, I fear, so many more names to add before Morgoth’s reign of terror is ended. [Sighs and moves to the fireplace. Wrapping his arms around himself, Turgon sinks into a chair by the fire. He gestures to Pengolodh to join him in the other vacant armchair.]

Pengolodh: [stands, putting aside his inks and parchments with studious care and closing the sandbox. He moves to join Turgon by the fire.]
Turgon: [rubs hand across his face] I do not know why I feel this need to capture their names…it is not as though remembering the dead will once more awaken them from the pages. Yet it seems to me that we must not be allowed to forget the cost of our foolishness. As the years pass, page after page will be added to the ever-growing book of the fallen, and we will be powerless to prevent it, such is the Doom laid upon us…

Pengolodh: [tentatively, after a pause] I presume my Lord has returned once again without success in his search?
Turgon: You presume correctly, my learned friend. [shakes his head] This Middle-earth, with its harsh and unforgiving climate - baking heats that burn the land in the south to the endless winter in the far north - these lands kill, just as surely as the Orcs and wolves that pour from the north. It is hard to believe that somewhere in this “promised land” there lies such a place as I seek, where I might build a powerful realm to oppose the evil armies of the Dark Lord.

Pengolodh: [eagerly] Truly, I desire such a stronghold, but one in which we might preserve not only our people, but our culture and learning also. The guild of the Lore Masters of Tongues is flourishing here in Vinyamar, thanks to our collaboration with the Sindar among us.
Turgon: [nods] Well and good…I, too, would see the memory of Aman preserved. My desire is to build this city in the fashion of Tirion upon Túna. But Ulmo counsels that it must be located somewhere beyond the all-seeing eyes of Morgoth and his minions. Yet your maps and my travels have revealed no clues as to where such a place might be found.

Pengolodh: Our knowledge of this new land is by no means complete, my Lord. Our scouts are bringing new information almost daily. We have time on our side…the Dark Lord will not recover so quickly from the defeat the Fëanorians inflicted upon him…
Turgon: [grunts] The Lady Aredhel grows tired of the views, and is anxious to explore pastures new… [sighs dejectedly] I despair of ever finding such a place, despite Ulmo’s whisperings… [stares moodily into his wine, then yawns] but the journey has wearied me and I must bid you goodnight… [drains his goblet and stands, placing a hand on Pengolodh’s shoulder] …though I fear I will sleep fitfully, as is my wont ever since I lost her.

Pengolodh: [places his hand over Turgon’s, patting it in a gesture of comfort] We all miss her, my Lord. But you are right to focus on the future, and ensuring your people’s safety will be a fitting testament to her memory. I wish you a restful night, at least…let all things go for now, and perchance you will find in peaceful slumbers the answers you are searching for.

[Turgon smiles gently, and exits the room. Pengolodh covers the burning coals in hot ashes, dimming the fire until the room is lit by no more than the lamp on his desk. He adds the now dry, newest sheet of names to the pile, stacking the leaves neatly on the desk and weighing them down with a pebble polished into an attractive paperweight. Camera close-up on the lamp, then it too is extinguished and the screen goes black.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into night time scene of the quiet ocean before the citadel:
The waves lap peacefully on the shore and the moonlight makes a silvery path leading from the horizon towards the shore. The camera pans up the yellow stone walls of Vinyamar until it reaches an open window. Camera zooms in through the opening and into Turgon’s sleeping chamber. Turgon is lying on his back, sprawled across his bed with the covers askew. His breathing is shallow and his sleep restless as usual. Very gently we hear the wind begin to pick up outside, and the noise of the waves increases in volume. Turgon begins to moan in his sleep…the camera closes in on his face and we find ourselves inside his dreams…

We see Turgon reliving the final few moments of his wife’s life, the cloak tearing, and him grasping for her hand as she is carried away from his reach…he screams her name helplessly but her face disappears from sight under the inky black waters of the Great Sea, sucked away by the undertow…

In his dream, as Turgon stares at the spot where Elenwë’s face has disappeared, everything seems to shimmer, and he sees the waters become calmer, with golden beams of light bouncing off the surface. He looks up, and he is on the banks of a mighty river, bathed with dappled sunlight shining through over hanging trees. He hears his name faintly at first, and then stronger…the voice is deep and melodious. It seems to be coming from the river. He looks back at the water and sees a face appear in the fast flowing waters. It is Ulmo, Valar and mighty Lord of the Waters. His face does not form solidly, but remains only as a wavering impression, constantly rippled by the current. Turgon kneels to see closer…

Ulmo: Harken to me, second-son of the High King... [Cut back to Turgon who mutters in his sleep but his eyes remain closed…then cut back to dream] Long and hard have you sought as I did command you, without success. Yet despair no longer, for I will guide you to the hidden land…only one condition shall I lay upon you: once you have rested here, you must set out again – but this time alone... [Turgon nods and places hand on heart in acquiescence]

Ulmo: Search in the Vale of Sirion where the East Road crosses the great river …. seek for another river that flows no more… from there the eagles shall lead you… [the image begins to disperse in the current, and voice grows fainter] I will send you signs…Sleep now, Child of Eru…
[cut back to Turgon in bed: he rolls over onto his side, pulling the covers up around him and hugging his pillow; his breathing becomes deeper and more regular. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into scene of Turgon on horseback, following the River Sirion;
We see Ulmo’s presence as a fish leaping every so often, guiding Turgon up the river. Background music would be water-like and also reminiscent of the Music of the Ainur.

Reaching the Ford of Brithiach he stops, allowing the horse to enter the cooling water for a drink. Suddenly he sees a white heart drinking on the banks of the river…he brings out his bow to shoot it but it hears him and flees…he follows, and finds he is on a dried-up tributary of the Sirion which forms the Hidden Way into Gondolin.

Turgon: [to himself in wonder] The Dry River!

He looks up and sees the eagles circling above the sharp peaks of the Echoriath. He follows the ancient river bed until it enters a tunnel running eastward under the mountains. At the end of the tunnel is Orfalch Echor, a long ravine that runs eastward and slopes upwards to the edge of the valley of Tumladen. The sides of the ravine are sheer and high, and for most of the way only a sliver of sky can be seen above. Yet the eagles encourage him onwards. Camera follows Turgon as he steps out of the ravine and stares at the grassy plain with its island hill of smooth stone:

Turgon: Yé! utúvienyes! [subtitled: Behold! I have found it!] [camera circles around the hill of stone pulling back slowly to take in the grassy expanse and finally the razor sharp ring of Encircling Mountains…slowly fade.]

* * * * * * *
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Post by Elentári »

* * * * * * *

Scene opens on Turgon’s council chamber:
He has called together all the master craftsmen, architects and builders in his realm. The assembled Elves chat amongst themselves, wondering why Turgon has called a secret council. Eventually Turgon enters, armed with a sheaf of papers and sits at the head of the table. The hubbub subsides as Turgon gets everyone’s attention.

Turgon: My Lords, my learned and skilled friends! I know that most of you are curious to know why I have called you together for this privy council. The time has come for me to reveal the nature of the burden that has been set upon me by one of the Valar themselves… [murmurs rise from audience. Turgon continues] For nigh on two years now, I have travelled at the insistence of Lord Ulmo who has twice visited me in my dreams. He bade me prepare for a day of evil to come, and to establish a stronghold lest Morgoth should burst from Angband and overthrow our armies in the North.

Penlod: Lord Turgon, if I may interrupt? [Turgon nods] Why do we need to build a new stronghold? Surely we are safe enough this far west? Morgoth will never reach us here!
Ecthelion: So thought the Elves of Brithombar and Eglarest, Penlod…but they were besieged even as we set foot in Middle-earth. Nowhere is safe from the long arm of Morgoth unless we establish a secret realm whilst he is unaware. That is why King Turgon and I have travelled the length and breadth of Beleriand in search of a location where we can build a hidden refuge.

Turgon: Indeed, and just when I had given up hope, Lord Ulmo himself revealed a secret landscape of such perfection it surpasses my wildest dreams. Wait until you see it for yourselves, my lords… It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. A valley surrounded entirely by snow-capped mountains, and within, lush green grass and fertile soil. In the midst is an island-hill of dark, smooth stone…perfect for building upon!

Egalmoth: [sceptical] Completely surrounded? But there must be an entrance, surely, or do we have to climb over these mountains? And if there is an entrance, how can we hope to keep this realm secret and secure?

Turgon: [smiles] Ah, yes the way in…this is the part I like best! There is indeed an alternative to climbing over the Echoriath. In ancient days the vale was once a great lake, and a deep way was delved under the mountains by the waters that flowed out to join the streams of Sirion. Now, ages later, the waters have dried up and the ancient riverbed provides a secret passage that no one can discover without our giving them the knowledge.

Talagand: The Sirion, you say? That river flows from the highlands in the North… where exactly is this wondrous land situated?
Turgon: [calmly] It lies North of Dimbar, between the Vale of Sirion and the highlands of Dorthonion.
Talagand: [blanches] Are you mad, my Lord? That far North, where Morgoth's forces are gathered? If we are trying to keep a city hidden, why would you build it there?

Turgon: [smugly] Because the enemy will never suspect anything on his own doorstep. Besides, the tall mountains and Manwë’s eagles will keep the Enemy’s spies from discovering us. [stands] I have found the place of my desire, and I am resolved to build there a fair city, a memorial of Tirion upon Tuna. Who supports me in this endeavour? [looks round the room as nobles and craftsmen alike consider his declaration of intent. Eventually three-quarters of the assembled occupants raise their hands in assent]

Turgon: Good. I will be taking the hardiest labourers and the most skilled of you in secret to the hidden vale, and there you will begin building our city. It will take many years, and you will be provided for whilst you work. We will set a watch all about it so that none might come upon us unawares.
Enerdhil: [raises hand, hesitantly] My Lord…
Turgon: Yes, ah,..Enerdhil, is it not?
Enerdhil: Yes, my Lord. I was wondering, do you… I mean, have you any imaginings yet of how the city might look? [looks meaningfully at the papers Turgon had brought in with him]

Turgon: [clears throat] Ah, yes…in truth, I do have a few sketches I have made. Just some ideas that might suit for various features within the city, if anyone is interested? [murmurs of interest are expressed.] Let me see… [Turgon shuffles through his drawings as a crowd gathers round expectantly] I envision our new Tirion will have the same smooth walls and slender towers built in the finest white marble; the streets will be wide and paved with stone, intersected with many squares and courts where we might erect monuments and symbols of our heritage…above all, there will be gardens full of flowers…and trees…and running water. There is a natural spring upon the rock which we can tap into and channel as we desire.

Enerdhil: [picks up drawing of an elegant building with an elevated storey of pillars that supports a tall tower.] This is most elegant, my Lord… but will those pillars be strong enough to bear such a load?
Hirgon: [the master builder looks over with interest] Let me see…hmm…yes, yes, I can see that working if we strengthen the columns by distributing the material as far from the principal axes of the cross section as possible, whilst keeping the material thick enough to prevent local buckling. It increases the moment of inertia, you understand?

Turgon: [looks totally blank] Not exactly, but can you turn my design for a tower on the King’s palace into reality? That is all that matters to me!

Hirgon: Most certainly, My Lord. Of course, a tubular section would be much more efficient than a solid section for column service, but I have yet to work out a reliable way to make a hollow pillar…
Turgon: Ah, well, I am sure given time.... [picks up next design] Now this is my rough idea for the layout of the city. The Square of the King will be the focal point, with many roads and alleys running off from it in all directions: the spring I mentioned lies to the North West so I suggest we sink a well there, and I want colonnades and elevated walkways, too! Here, [picks up another sheet and shows it round] is my design for a memorial arch in honour of my grandfather, Finwë... [nods and murmurs of approval follow. Cut to Elemmakil who is sitting with arms folded, looking somewhat bored]

Elemmakil: This is all very well, and I will leave the aesthetics to the artistic among us....what concerns me is the defensive capabilities of this city. It is no good desiring beauty at the expense of security!
Turgon: [affably, sits on edge of table] Tell me, my good Captain of the Guard…how would you build a city capable of withstanding the worst that Morgoth can throw at us? I ask in all sincerity, since you rightly point out that the task will be yours should such a disaster befall us.

Elemmakil: [stands, puts head on one side as he thinks carefully] You say this city is to be built on a steep hill? [Turgon nods] Well, naturally I would put a moat around the base of the hill so that the only way into the city is over narrow bridges and up steep paths. And I would build the walls sheer, high, round, and smooth. I would put towers spaced at intervals for our archers, with long inverted slits to accommodate their bows. [Duilin, head of the Guild of Archers, acknowledges the point with curt bow.] We could offset the towers from the walls a bit, so that the archers can cover the steep slopes below. [a younger elf, remarkable for his long blond hair, stretches languidly and ambles over to join Elemmakil]

Glorfindel: [gives slight nod to Elemmakil] I would go one better, Sire. Inside the walls I would put a second moat. This one is dry, but can be flooded quickly if needed from a reserve of water. The bridges over this moat are deadfalls designed to collapse if sufficient weight is applied. Two or three people on horseback, or a loaded cart, are safe enough; a charging invading army sends the bridges down.

Ecthelion: [looking impressed] I say, that is a most ingenious idea…
Turgon: [astonished] Indeed, young lord. Do you have any more gems like that?
Glorfindel: [feigning a yawn] Perhaps…I wonder.. if the streets were to curve to the right as you advance into the city, with the bend becoming sharper as you approach this tower of yours, it would surely hamper the sword arms of invaders while favouring defenders.

Turgon: [admiringly to Elemmakil] Is this youth one of your protégés, Elemmakil? I foresee he is destined in time for great things.
Elemmakil: [blustering, not liking being upstaged] Er, yes, My lord. Young Glorfindel has been under my wing for sometime. He lost his parents on The Crossing, you see, and I have taught him everything he knows -
Turgon: - Excellent, then you two have responsibility for designing the outer fortifications of our city. [to assembled Elves] Thank you, my friends. This has been most productive. I would have you all retire now, and we shall reconvene in a week’s time, when you will show me your designs and ideas. [all exit, chattering excitedly as Turgon gathers up his drawings. Ecthelion smiles and claps him on the back as he leaves. Fade.]

* * * * * * *

Scene opens on a room in Vinyamar:
Turgon is working with a group of artists, architects, builders and other skilled persons. It is a very large room shaped in a perfect circle. From floor to ceiling it stretches some 90 feet high ending in a large dome perfectly sculpted with triangular skylights. Each of the panels of glass is of a light stained glass on which are designs of sea life.

Around the periphery of the room are two balconies which go nearly halfway around forming a circle punctuated by very large pink and white marble statues of two beautiful women - each opposite and facing the other - which extend from floor to the beginnings of the dome. Each holds an elaborate basket of seafood.... one all fish and the other various other fruits des mer.

Enerdhil is sitting on a stool, focused intently on a drawing board, a pencil tucked behind his ear. After a few seconds he takes a piece of charcoal in his hand and caresses the latest sheet of paper to be affixed to the board with deft strokes. Eventually a design of some intricate wrought iron gates takes shape. Turgon passes by, casting an eye over Enerdhil’s shoulder, just as Enerdhil sits back to consider his design. The designer sighs deeply, and makes to pull the sheet roughly from the drawing board.

Turgon: [places hand on Enerdhil’s arm to stop him] Now that looks very promising, Enerdhil…I particularly like the figures of the intertwined trees with their gnarled roots.
Enerdhil: Thank you, My Lord, but this design seems too ornamental…I do not think it would provide adequate defence for our realm.

Turgon: [considers the design again] I agree, ‘though, perhaps if you were to double, or even triple the design and join the three grilles onto one solid gate it might become more daunting for the enemy to overcome?
Enerdhil: Hmm…it is a possibility…I like the effect that would be gained of an iron forest, but I still think I can do better. I have already rejected several designs this morning as either too ornamental, or too basic... [gestures to the sheets cast aside on the desk beside him. Turgon takes a look at the designs:

There are designs for gates ranging from a simple wooden portcullis, to bronze plated two-fold doors decorated with shields. Above the gate are three square towers with copper roofs. Another consists of a low, broad marble wall topped with a silver trellis and five marble globes. On the centre globe is a sculpture of Telperion, made of silver with green malachite and pearl flowers. The gate itself is circular and is made of silver and pearl to represent Ithil the Moon. A matching design for Anar the Sun lies beside it: a golden gate made of yellow marble and set with garnets, topazes, and yellow diamonds, as well as gold discs shaped like the rayed Sun. The parapet above has six golden globes, and a sculpture of Laurelin decorated with topaz flowers on gold chains.

Turgon picks up one in particular which seems to be of a single dark polished stone wall, with a single white lamp hanging above the arch.

Turgon: [puzzled] How does this design work? It seems to me to be a solid wall. Is there some secret door hidden within?
Enerdhil: Ah, one of my simplest ideas, but a feat of precision engineering if crafted properly. The “Gate” is actually a piece of stone perfectly weighted and balanced on a pivot, top and bottom. One touch in the right place and it massive stone will turn on a single point to allow passage through the arch, either side of the stone.
Turgon: Ingenious! In fact each of your designs has much to recommend it. I do not know how I will be able to choose just one for the main gates of the city!
Enerdhil: [morosely] Indeed…


Pengolodh [voiceover]: “And long did they labour but it was a labour of love. The architects of Turgon filled tables with their drawings, and the tables turned into rooms and it was as if the entire building became a blue print for the vision of Turgon.”

We see teams of architects producing drawing after drawing, piled upon tables and desks, others tacked to walls, the balcony level teeming with activity and paper, paper, paper everywhere filled with drawings of buildings and details .....

Cut to Turgon and a relatively young Elf with jet black hair that goes down to his waistline and a clean face with a strong jawline. They stand over a table which is as long as both of them head to toe and as wide again. The table is filled with heavy papers on which are architectural drawings. Turgon watches as the man's hands handle a thick dark stick which then shades in a detailed drawing of a bridge connecting parts of two other buildings.

Turgon: Ah, now that is what we have been striving for. Strong, yet graceful - like our people.
Galadur the Architect: It is not perfect... [shrugs] ...but it will suffice.
Turgon: You are too hard on yourself, Galadur. Even in Tirion they had nothing to rival that.
Galadur: Drawing is one thing - constructing is another.
[Turgon slaps him on the back and they each pick up a handful of large drawings and walk across the room to one of the recessed rooms.]

Turgon: This is as good as any. Let us put up the main eastern view.

Together they unroll a large canvas which they attach to the bare wall and it nearly covers all the space from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. On it is the view of the future Gondolin as seen from the east side of the valley. It contains so many structures that one overlaps the other which overlaps the next and it seems to go on for miles.

Galadur wheels over a large movable staircase and ascends it finding the right place on the canvas. Turgon holds up the drawing they had been working on and Galadur draws in the arched bridge connecting two buildings.

Galadur: [points out other areas on the canvas] We can do much the same thing here and here and here and ... well, just about anywhere we want to.
Turgon: Wonderful! But let us not over do it lest we lessen the artistic effect of each.
Galadur: You are a hard taskmaster, my lord! You give me many toys but then ask me to play with only a few. [he laughs a small laugh]
Turgon: Let us see what this looks like from some distance.

[They both back up to the centre of the area under the dome and looks at the large canvas getting a look at the city as if from the surrounding mountainside.

Then the camera will move in closer to a tight shot of one building with a fancy minaret upon the top and two pairs of hand on either side begin to shade in colours on it... the camera pulls back and we see several other teams of colourist doing the same on other parts of the drawing.]


Pengolodh [voiceover]: “The city of Gondolin was born in that room and it went through stages the way a caterpillar changes to a butterfly.”

[the camera pans the room and we see that while the drawings are still aplenty - now the room is packed with many tables and groups of artists are working on detailed drawings and others building models of some buildings or details of buildings. ......

we see a young elf-maid handing sculpting tools to an older woman and she notices a boy looking at her from a raised perch and she shyly looks away…

Another worker is hunched over a table manipulating his pencil over a paper while his other hand from time to time reaches out and adjusts a building model built of thick paper. He startles the rest of the group from their room by exclaiming:]

Ceregond: Ah - I think I have the answer..... yes, yes, this is the answer. [takes a chisel-like knife and begins to shave portions of the model building]
Turgon: [to others working around him] let us see if this answer is any better than the last seventeen.
Artist #1: [snarkily] It probably will not be, but at least it gives us cause to stretch our legs.
Artist #2: [to Artist #1] If it is exercise you desire, we can always have you run over to the new city and do some more measurements for us…

Turgon: Hopefully, we will all make that journey sooner than later and it will be a one way trip. I for one am interested in the answer. [he walks over with a group trailing behind him] So, Ceregond, what did you discover this time?
Ceregond: I believe I have found a way to support all the elevated arched walkways between the various buildings without having to use the load-bearing columns which everyone thinks will upset the beauty of the city.

Artist #1: Well, Tirion has plenty of elevated walkways and there is no criticism of the beauty in that city.
Ceregond: The designers of Tirion indeed created a model of outstanding elegance and beauty but I would go one better. The new Tirion will be a masterpiece of engineering also. And I have solved our problem just the same. Here is what we do..... [he begins to launch into an dissertation on how the ends of the archways will be thicker and beams within the archways will extend into the buildings themselves supporting the weight upon the walkways. He takes a knife and continues to shave away at a modelled walkway making it thinner in the middle and giving it more of an arched appearance than before] …there, that should do it!

Turgon: [to his master builder, Hirgon] have your workers set up quarter scale test models of this idea. I want to see if this works.
Hirgon: We can have something ready in four or five days at the most.
Turgon: [firmly] I am sure you can have something ready in three days at the outside.
Hirgon: [looking sheepish] Of course, my lord. Three days.

[camera focuses back onto Ceregond’s model of the elevated walkway, zooming in on the detail…then as it pulls back we see it is but one of humdreds of model buildings assembled to form a replica of the new city, directly under the dome in the centre of the room. A sculptor adds another finished model building to the huge replica as the camera rises from floor level up towards the dome. We see other teams on the balcony, some working on interior designs and some on landscape designs, fountains and statues.

We end up with a shot from the very top of the dome looking down and see hundreds of people working like ants on the future city of Gondolin]


Pengolodh [voiceover]: “Eventually the builders and craftsmen among Turgon’s people made the journey to the Hidden Vale, and began their great labour of constructing the city in secret. And amidst the work life went on and the elves of Vinyamar went through the cycles of their lives”

Cut to visual montage of real-life building work in the Valley of Tumladen, involving the young lovers and various seasonal nature shots.

[we see the builders and craftsmen and women on their trek into the valley…The young Elf maiden sees the base of the city for the first time and overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape she drops some leather wrapped tubes of drawings she is carrying for her mother. The youth has been eyeing her for the entire trip and quickly rushes over to retrieve them and they begin a short conversation.

- Dissolve into people arriving in Gondolin and putting the same models in the middle of the great expanse, the camera viewing the model city from ground level, with the rock of Amon Gwareth behind, so that the viewer almost gets an impression of the white model buildings perched upon the rock.

- Then we see the young couple as part of the building of Gondolin over the years. We see them become closer, fall in love, steal kisses… We will see them marry before a partially constructed building , later see a baby being tended to, then children helping their mother with the plantings, etc.

- The entire time the city grows around them as they combine their arts and talents to produce beautiful statues surrounded by living foliage around the city.

One of the projects the two might combine on would be a large sculpture of Ulmo rising from some rather violent waves - the waves themselves would be of foliage and grasses that appear sea-green and move with the winds. Fade.]

* * * * * * *
Last edited by Elentári on Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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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Post by Elentári »

* * * * * * *

Camera open on Main Hall of Vinyamar.
[Crates are stacked against the walls, tapestries are rolled and tied ready for travel. Servants move about, busy. Turgon enters lower right, cloaked and dusty from the road, clearly excited. Ecthelion greets him, left.]

Ecthelion: You are back! For how long this time?
Turgon: Not long, but this time when I leave the rest of you will leave with me. [grasps Ecthelion’s shoulder eagerly] It is finished, or nearly so. And it is as beautiful as I imagined it!
Ecthelion: I cannot wait to see the place. When last I was there it was not much more than foundations and skeleton timbers.
Turgon: How long will we need before we can leave?
Ecthelion: Some of us could be off before sunset. Other will need longer to quiet their hearts, I fear. After all, this city has been our home for some time. Not all of our people have the wander lust you seem to feel.

Turgon: [more soberly] Is this where your heart lies, my friend? Do you wish not to leave this place?
Ecthelion: I have nothing to keep my heart here. One place is as good as any other to me, providing it is not in the Black Land. Though not all are as open as I.
Turgon: [firmly] Lord Ulmo has directed me to take my people to safety, and this I must do, whether they will or not. I am certain he has good reason for his command. [more cheerful] Their sorrow will not last long, I am certain of it. Once they see the new city they will forget this hovel ever existed.

Ecthelion: [cautious] So when do you want to leave?
Turgon: I would have us off in two days, three at the most. Can we do it?
Ecthelion: [nods] We can. I shall spread the word.
Turgon: Thank you, my friend. Where is my daughter? I would tell her the news myself, and Aredhel as well.
Ecthelion: Your sister will be glad we are finally going, I think. As for Idril, you will probably find her by the sea. [Turgon exits right. Ecthelion calls after him] I wish you luck!

Camera follows Turgon right, out of the palace and onto a terrace overlooking the shore. Camera pan down to sea. Idril is swimming with seals, laughing, clearly enjoying herself. She appears to be about 13 years old, and is wearing an old shift torn off at the knee. Focus on Turgon staring in disbelief. He walks quickly down to shore.]

Turgon: [waves] Idril! Come here!

[Idril swims toward shore, walks out when she reaches the shallows. A seal comes up beside her. Idril pats the seal, throws a stick into the water. The seal barks and heads into the sea after the stick.]

Idril: Ada! How long have you been back?
Turgon: I have not even taken my boots off. [pauses] When did you decide you liked to swim?
Idril: More than a year ago. I decided it was time I stopped being frightened of the water. [tosses wet hair back] Now I swim every day.
Turgon: [smiles] My brave girl! So how would you like another adventure?
Idril: What sort of adventure?
Turgon: A journey. A long journey: We will ride and ride for days until we come to a beautiful valley with lush grass and wildflowers in every colour you can imagine. Eagles nest in the mountains all around the valley, eagles so large they could carry off a grown man. You will adore it.
Idril: [cautious] Why should I want to go there?
Turgon: Because that is where we will live, my dearest one. The city I have been labouring so hard to build is completed at last. All has been readied for our people to move where we can be safe.
Idril: But we are safe here. Nothing has attacked us in Vinyamar!
Turgon: Lord Ulmo directs me to take our people to this new valley. I am certain there is good reason –

Idril: [mocking] Lord Ulmo says we must go, so you uproot all our lives without a moment of hesitation. Uncle Fëanor said we must leave Tirion, and you dragged us all into the wild without asking if any of us wanted to go! Do you never think for yourself?
Turgon: This is different!
Idril: How is this different?
Turgon: Because I am certain this is the right move for us.
Idril: [sulkily] What is so special about this new city? What does it have that Vinyamar does not?

Turgon: [pauses as he daydreams about the city he has designed and constructed.] Wait until you see it, Idril! It is the most beautiful place you can imagine. It is magnificent! The city towers over the plain below: house after house of shining white marble with cobblestones of pale gray between, intricately carved fountains overflowing with fresh spring water, groves of trees and carefully tended gardens….You will love it!

Idril: [looks at him with a frown] It sounds tiresome to me… What will I have to occupy myself there? I see no reason to uproot from a settled life for a second time, on the whim of Lord Ulmo
Turgon: So you would remain here alone? All your friends will be leaving.
Idril: Look around you, Father. These are my friends. These creatures care nothing for who you are, unlike most others in our citadel. If you had been here more often you might have noticed that!

Turgon: [shaken] I think it more important than ever that we leave the sea. [brusquely] We leave in two days. You had best tell your maid to start helping you pack. [turns and stalks away leaving Idril open mouthed in dismay…a seal nudges her and she hugs it, fighting back the tears. Fade.]

* * *

[A still damp Idril wrapped in a towel runs upstairs, stifling a sob. When she enters her room she throws herself onto her bed, sobbing to her friend and ladies’ maid who is mending clothes under the light from a candelabra ]

Idril: Oh Meleth! I need to pack…Father says we are leaving…
Meleth: For the love of Varda, why on earth are we doing that?
Idril:[raises head]You cannot tell me you have not heard the rumours. Father says his new city is finished at last and we must pack everything up that we want to take with us...

Meleth: [sighs] I heard, but I hoped for such rumours to be premature. I feared you would have no desire to leave. What kind of a friend would I be if I ignored your feelings?

Idril: [sits up, smiles weakly,] You are the best friend I have. [dabs at her eyes and sniffs] But we leave in two days... I will never get everything taken care of in time!
Meleth: [pulls trunk out from under the bed.] We had best make a start then…

Idril: [sulkily] But why should I? I do not want to go to this new place, far away from the sea... I will hate it, I just know I will... [folds arms stubbornly across her chest]
Meleth: [shakes head, and starts pulling clothes from the wardrobe, folding them into the trunk.] Your father is wise, even if he is a bit stubborn. I think a change will be good for never know what is waiting round the corner, as my mother used to say. I think this will be a wonderful adventure for all of us!

Idril: [beginning to falter in her opposition] Well, I suppose I could go along with Father's plans and see what this place is like for myself... [determindly] but if I do not like it I shall run away and return here!
Meleth: [admonishing] And what good would that do, other than to cause your Father more grief and worry? [Idril hangs head in shame. Meleth pulls small chest from back of wardrobe.] What have we here?

Idril: [Absently] Some things that belonged to my mother… [Meleth unfolds material and holds it up. Idril takes more interest] That is the dress my mother wore when she married Father…there are some ribbons my grandmother embroidered for her hair, and… [picks up the Cornflower brooch, runs a finger gently across the outline] …some of her jewels.

Meleth: Then we had best pack these carefully. You will want that dress when your turn comes for marriage. [folds dress back into the chest neatly]
Idril: [lays brooch carefully back into the chest on top of her mother’s dress.] I do not know if I will ever marry. I told you what I overheard the cook’s son saying to his friends.
Meleth: [thoughfully] You know, not all boys are odious toads: some of them are pleasant enough…
Idril: [teasing] You are just saying that because you have taken a shine to that steward – [ignores her friend’s protests] I have seen you making eyes at him when you thought no one was looking!
Meleth: [blushing] And he makes eyes back! Just wait till you fall for some handsome young stable hand…I shall enjoy reminding you of the fun you had at my expense!
Idril: [blushes in turn] A stable hand??? [thinks about it for a moment] Better a stable lad than those loud, annoying sons of lords who are incapable of doing anything except drinking, gambling, and chasing princesses…mind you, Father would have a fit!!! [girls dissolve into giggles. Cut]

* * *

[Camera cut in on Turgon entering stable, clearly upset. Aredhel is rubbing off a sweaty horse. She looks as if she just came from a fast ride. Aredhel puts brush down, covers horse with a blanket, pats horse, and exits stall.]

Turgon: Still you try to catch the wind!
Aredhel: A girl must find what excitement she can. So tell me, are the rumours that fly about true? Is your new city finished?
Turgon: Well, it is complete enough for us to move in. There are some minor details that need to be addressed…a few finishing touches! [pauses] I would have told you as soon as I arrived, but – how did you hear the news?
Aredhel: - but I was out riding. Our stable master told me as soon as I got in. Of course, by then I had overheard it from several people as I passed through the streets. No fault of yours there. [hugs Turgon] I cannot wait to leave. What an adventure we shall have.

Turgon: [smiles glumly] I wish Idril was as excited as you are about this.
Aredhel: You have told her, then?
Turgon: I did. [uncertain] She has grown since I last saw her. I cannot believe how much. Have I been gone that long?
Aredhel: Long enough to build a city. Your visits home have been brief, and I doubt you really saw your daughter in the hours you returned to take care of real business. [pause, return brush and rag to shelf] Children grow up quickly. Lord Ulmo’s command is important. Do not blame yourself.
Turgon: But she does have friends, does she not? I hope my daughter is not alone in the world.
Aredhel: [sigh] Idril is careful of those who would use her friendship to further their own position, and tact is not always her strongest quality. She has a few companions, mostly among the servants’ children, and she spends much of her time in the sea. [Turgon winces] She is happy enough, but I think she misses her father.

Turgon: What was I to do? I cannot be everywhere. How could Lord Ulmo expect me to build this city and still be the father my child needs? And now that the city is complete. . .
Aredhel: Now you must learn again to be your daughter’s father. Try talking to her instead of giving commands and expecting her to jump. Idril can be reasoned with, if the argument is reasonable.

Turgon: [throws hands in the air] The whole idea sounds mad even to me, now. I could have an insurrection on my hands if all react as Idril has. Will my people really believe that Lord Ulmo spoke to me?
Aredhel: Do you believe it?
Turgon: Of course.
Aredhel: Then that is proof enough. I trust you, therefore I trust your decision. [hugs Turgon] I will speak with Idril. Do not worry too much over this, Turgon. [Camera pulls back, fade.]

* * *

Cut to later that evening, Idril enters her aunt’s room without knocking. Aredhel is brushing her hair in front of the mirror. She smiles at Idril.

Aredhel: Hello, Idril… [sees her niece’s glum face, pauses mid-stroke] What is wrong, Meldanya?
Idril: [sitting down on the bed] Has Father told you we are leaving?
Aredhel: [surprised] Why, of course. He would not forget to tell me something important like that.

Idril: Are you worried about it?
Aredhel: No, I am looking forward to it. I am eager for a change of scene. Besides, the mountain air will be good for us. What about you?
Idril: [bows head] I am worried. Father is so excited about leaving Vinyamar for this new city, and I do not know if I want to go at all. I like it here. I am used to it here. And this new city...I know nothing about it: neither where it is, nor what it is like. I do not even know its name…because Father will not tell me. Why is he being so secretive?

Aredhel: All I know is that it is north east from here. And I think he is being secretive to prevent Morgoth's forces from discovering it.
Idril: I see…that seems sensible, but I wish he could have told me.
Aredhel: [Puts arm around Idril’s shoulders] Your father is very overprotective of you and he fears to worry you. You are his little girl and he wants to watch out for you…

Idril: [sighs] Do you think I am a little…strange, sometimes?
Aredhel: [surprised] The Valar preserve us! whatever makes you ask that?
Idril: It is just that sometimes I can tell what people are thinking. I can tell if they are having bad thoughts. It makes others scared of me…that is why I do not make friends easily. Is there something wrong with me?

Aredhel: [takes her niece’s face in her hands and looks her straight in the eyes] Idril, you are a very wise and caring girl. You are just...perceptive. And a lot of people do not understand that.
Idril: [sadly] I wish I was not… I am different enough already
Aredhel: [wisely] You are not different, you are just special. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

Idril: [confused] I know you mean to be comforting…
Aredhel: [smiles] The comforting part is this: You can be whatever and whoever you want and you will always be loved [kisses Idril tenderly]

Idril: [throws her arms around her aunt] I love you, too, dearest aunt. And I love Father, but I do not know how to tell him so. I wanted him to come home and be with me all the while he was gone. I thought he cared more for that city he was building than me. And now he has returned, all I can do is fight with him. [stifles, yawn]

Aredhel: [hugs her warmly] And your father also loves you, my dear. This time he has spent away from you was not of his choosing. Now he feels that you have grown up while he was gone, and he does not know the woman you are becoming. Talk to him again… Often when we talk with those we love we can find our way through the difficulties life sends us. Now, someone is more tired than she thinks. Off to bed with you… we all have much packing to do tomorrow. [cut.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into citadel, early morning, not long after first light.
Turgon watches as the first of the émigrés, led by his Captain of the Guard, set off on their exodus to the new city. More carts and horses wait patiently to carry Turgon’s family and household presently. Cut to Turgon’s study. There are packing boxes everywhere, and Turgon is busy filling them, sorting through his possessions. He opens a small box and lifts out a small pile of folded papers tied with a faded ribbon. He smiles at some distant memory, presses the letters to his lips then replaces them carefully and closes the lid again Camera shift right as the door opens and Idril enters. She hesitates, clearly uncertain.

Turgon: [smiles] You are up early, are you not?
Idril: I have not stayed in bed past sunrise for some time, Ada.
Turgon: I have begun to realize there are a great many other things I do not know about my daughter.

[There is an awkward pause then they both speak at the same time]

Turgon: Idril, I –
Idril: Father --
Turgon: [sits on packing box] My lady may speak first.
Idril: I am not a lady.
Turgon: Yes, you are. In the time I have been gone you have grown from child to woman. I saw you so rarely I failed to realize just how much you were changing, and I am sorry I treated you like the little girl who would obey me without question. [holds out a hand to her] Can you forgive me?
Idril: If you can forgive me for the way I spoke to you yesterday. I was angry, and I said things to hurt you, but I did not mean them. [She takes Turgon’s hand. They hug, and Idril sits beside Turgon on the packing case. Brushes away tears, straightens.]

Idril: This new city, [swallows] so far from the sea…how long will it take us to travel there? Will the journey be dangerous?
Turgon: We will need to ride for many days to get there, and our safety is in the hands of the Valar. Lord Ulmo has bidden me to undertake this exodus, and I must trust in him. [brightens] And although our new home will be nowhere near the sea, I will show you the waterfalls! There are streams in the mountains that are so clear they sparkle, and when the water falls from high cliffs you can hear it roar like a great beast. [camera shift to Idril, who looks uncertain. Shift to Turgon, who hesitates.] I know it sounds mad to leave because Lord Ulmo sent me a dream, and I would not blame you if you think I am mad for taking you on this journey when our last ended so badly.

Idril: What happened to Mother was not your fault, Ada. [squeezes his hand] You are speaking of things I have never seen, nor even read about, so I cannot picture them. It is hard to leave what I know and travel into the unfamiliar.
Turgon: [strokes Idril’s hair] I can only ask that you trust me. Can you?
Idril: [smiles up at him] I suppose I can, if you are certain this is the right thing to do.

Aredhel calls Idril to help her with last minute items. Idril kisses her father and runs off to join her. He smiles after her then turns and walkout onto the terrace of his palace to enjoy the view one last time. He leans on the balcony and sighs heavily, staring out to sea at the horizon. As he looks, it seems to him that the sea begins to draw back from the shore in an unnatural manner. Intrigued, he runs down the steps, not pausing to think of the danger.

By the time he reaches the seashore, the tide has gone out hundreds of yards, leaving fish flapping on the exposed sea bed. Rooted to the spot in amazement, he looks up in horror to see a huge wave climbing higher and higher on the horizon. Realizing his mistake he turns in a vain attempt to outrun the tidal surge. His legs are like jelly and he can barely make them move when he hears a loud voice behind him, urging him to hold fast. Turgon turns and finds himself face to face with Ulmo, Vala of the Seas and Rivers, who has taken form fashioned from the giant wave in glittering green armour, blowing a great horn made from a long, twisted shell pierced with holes. Beneath his mail the skirts of his kirtle are woven from the deeper waters, shot with the stealthy lights of phosphorescent fish that live in the abysses of the ocean. Within his foamy hair and beard are fronds of greenish silver seaweed.

Ulmo: I would speak with thee, ‘ere ye depart, Turgon the wise…
Turgon: [kneels in the shallow surf] My Lord Ulmo…
Ulmo: Now shalt thou go at last to Gondolin; and I will maintain my power in the Vale of Sirion, and in all the waters therein, so that none shall mark thy going, nor shall any find the hidden entrance against thy will.
Turgon: [humbly] I thank the mighty Lord of the Waters for his beneficence. My heart is eased to know that not all the Valar have turned their backs on us.

Ulmo: I play only the part ascribed to me in the Music of the Ainur: I may endeavour to delay the Doom of Mandos on those whom I love, but it is beyond my power to remove. Longest of all the realms of the Eldar shall Gondolin stand against Melkor, but it may well come to pass that the curse of the Noldor shall find thee too, ‘ere the end, and treason awake within thy walls. Then they shall be in peril of fire…
Turgon: [confidently] We shall take every precaution –
Ulmo: [shakes head, spraying Turgon with salty water. Continues in warning] - I say this to you, proud and stubborn Noldo prince…Love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart; and remember that the true hope of the Noldor lieth in the West, and cometh from the Sea!

Turgon: [earnestly] I will not forget. Yet…if this peril should come nigh – what then?
Ulmo: Then even from Nevrast shall one come to warn thee, and from him, beyond ruin and fire, hope shall be born for Elves and Men. Leave therefore, in this house, helm, mail and a sword, that in years to come he may find them, and thus thou shalt know him truly and not be deceived.
Turgon: [bows deeply] It shall be as thou commandest, Great One!
Ulmo: Go now, faithful one, lest the sea overwhelm you when I depart!

[Turgon turns and hurries back to higher ground. By the time he reaches the steps back up to the citadel the waves are lapping at his feet again. Cut.]

* * *

Cut to inside of Turgon’s Hall.
Behind the high seat Turgon is hanging a shield on the wall. It is crafted from wood, long and tapering in shape, and overlaid with plates of metal as thin as foil. These are painted blue and the whole thing is edged with silver. In the centre it bears the emblem of a white swan’s wing. Below it he fastens a long sword in a black scabbard. There is a matching belt with clasps of silver. On a stand he arrays a hauberk of silver mail, and a silver helm with side plates styled and engraved like swans’ wings also. Ecthelion enters, looking for Turgon:

Ecthelion: There you are…we are ready to depart at your convenience.
Turgon: My heart does not wish to leave this place but I know it is for the best and meant for a reason. Even she seems to tell me to leave this shore... away from her.
Ecthelion: Do not worry, my friend, you will meet again one day…
Turgon: I know… [sighs] yet I still feel as if I am abandoning her once more.

Ecthelion: Nay, you are not. Elenwë would want you to do what you must, even if it meant you would leave her behind.
Turgon: [nods] Elenwë would put her faith in the words of Ulmo if he spoke to her. That is why I must do this, not just for her but for the Valar who have come to me.
Ecthelion: [nods sympathetically] Though, I do not understand why Ulmo would wish for you to leave these arms…

Turgon: The Valar are strange in their ways sometimes… He told me it would be a sign one day when one bearing what I have left would come before me.
Ecthelion: Odd indeed. I hope we may not learn its purpose too soon. [senses Turgon wants to be alone] I will go and check on the wagons one last time. [bows and leaves the room. Turgon steps back to admire his handiwork, says a prayer to Ulmo, then turns and walks the length of the room for the last time, exiting the door without looking back. 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.
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Post by Elentári »

* * * * * * *

Fade in to montage of clips of the Elves of Nevrast making the journey from Vinyamar to Gondolin, travelling under the protection of Ulmo: passing through the trees like gold and silver shadows [somewhat like we saw the elves leaving in LotR]

* * *

Fade into Forest of Brethil
It is 2 weeks into the exodus. The Elves are camped under the fringes of the Forest of Brethil. Idril is shaken awake by her friend Meleth:

Meleth: [shakes Idriil’s shoulders, hisses] Idril! Wake up! Have you forgotten what day it is?
Idril: [sleepily] I do not care what day it is, leave me to sleep!
Meleth: [laughing] You cannot sleep in today… it is Midyear’s Day, remember?

Idril: [huffily] It makes no difference to me...I am cold and stiff, the same as every morning for the past few days.
Meleth: Well, get yourself up and I will make you a cup of tea. [Idril disappears back under her blankets. Meleth pulls them back off her] Come on, my lady lie-abed! We will be on the move again all too soon and you will not want to be riding on an empty stomach – or in your nightclothes!
Idril: [sighs, then grins] I suppose I could manage a little breakfast, once you have helped me dress! [ducks, as a pile of clothing comes flying at her. Cut]

* * *

Cut to later, the company is on the move again. Turgon drops back to ride beside his daughter.

Idril: [sniffs the air] It is supposed to be high Summer now, but the air grows colder. And I can smell a strange scent on the breeze.
Turgon: That would be the pine trees. They grow freely further to the north, covering the mountains slopes like a carpet. [points into the distance] Look, we are getting close to the Encircling Mountains now. We will be home by the end of the day.
Idril: Home?
Turgon: Yes, home: The hidden city!

Idril: [huffily] Valinor was home once, though I can barely remember it, but Vinyamar is my home now…not some city far away from the sea and surrounded by mountains. I will never call it ‘home.’
Turgon: [smiling] We will see… [Fade.]

* * *

Fade back in to late afternoon approaching the Echoriath:
The party arrives at a narrow tunnel entrance in the mountains which tower above them. Everyone dismounts and passes through in single file. They come to a wooden portcullis barring the way.

Turgon: We are here at last… The path runs through a narrow ravine guarded by 5 other gates, but we may ride from here.

[The gate is opened by guards within the party rides through. Five more gates are passed: stone, bronze, iron, silver and gold - each more magnificent than the one before. As the riders emerge from the tunnel and gates, spilling out onto the plain, the sun is shining very brightly upon the city, causing most to squint or even cover their eyes against its dazzling brilliance.......]

Turgon: Creoso a'Ondolindë! [subtitled: Welcome to Gondolin!]

To begin with, nobody responds because of the light..... he takes them to a cove of trees which provide some shade and slowly their eyes adjust and they begin to take in the city bit by bit- there are gasps and exclamations of admiration... the camera pans the city longingly and lovingly and we get a swelling of music that imparts the beauty and importance of the moment…

The party rides into the city, with the camera picking out the architectural details .....the fortifications - big buildings - towers - archways - bridges - statues –murals of glittering mosaics – stained glass windows - balconies - domes - large curving stairways - levels upon levels - parkways - all sorts of neat architectural wonders making up the larger cityscape...

They arrive at the King's Square - the focal point of the city with Turgon's tower soaring high above them. The camera returns to Idril’s face as she looks around in awe:

Turgon: [quietly] Well, what do you think?
Idril: [breathes] Oh Valar! It is just…perfect!
Turgon: [laughs, an d puts arm around her shoulders] Alassë a Loëndë, Itarillëmin…[subtitled, May you have a joyous Mid-year, my Itarillë] [fade]

* * * * * * *

Fade into festivities later that evening…
a welcome feast is taking place: the city is filled with glowing silver lamps, and in the groves of the newly-leaved trees there are strings of jewel-coloured lights swinging. Later the feasting gives way to dancing and music-making. The camera travels around the revelries, eventually picking out Idril and Meleth dancing with their respective partners. Meleth is enjoying the attentions of one of the footmen in the Royal household, whilst Idril’s admirer seems to have had rather a lot to drink, probably to gain the courage to approach her, and is not steady on his feet. Not desiring to have him collapse insensible at her feet, or indeed to throw up over her, she manages to extricate herself at a suitable pause in the dances. Unfortunately her partner is smitten and tries to beg another dance. When she refuses, her follows her, serenading her with a sonnet her has composed in her honour…Meleth sees her friends predicament and whispers something to her partner, who at first looks annoyed, then after Meleth flutters her eyelashes and whispers again, takes his leave of her with a quick squeeze and a lascivious kiss on the lips. He catches the attention of a fellow servant, and the two of them sidle up to Idril’s admirer, linking arms with him and hustling him away to find another drink! The girls gratefully hurry off the other way and, finding a quiet corner out of sight, they pause to catch their breath and giggle over Idril’s lucky escape. [Fade]

* * *

Fade in to next morning, in Idril's chamber. Girls are lounging on Idril's bed...

Meleth: Is this not wonderful, Idril? How many girls get a city as a Mid-year’s present?
Idril: [somewhat reserved] It is very nice, yes. And Father says there is to be a feast held each year to mark this day.
Meleth: You do not sound very sure…do you not think you will be happy here, after all?

Idril: I dare say I will, though I am not quite used to it yet. It is all rather dazzling! Practically everything is made of white stone, which can be quite pretty in moderation but is rather overwhelming when an entire city is made of it. And there is another thing…
Meleth: [bemused] Go on…
Idril: I know it is just the newness of it all, but it feels almost too perfect. I have this feeling of the walls holding their breath, like the world is going to fall apart any second. And Lady Aredhel is not too impressed, either.
Meleth: [starting to look concerned] Why ever not? She was the one looking forward to getting here the most!

Idril: She confided in me that she feels too walled-in...She is not used to being so confined. She was most perturbed by the Six Gates, believe you me! She made some comment about her brother trying to lock her away!!
Meleth: [stoically] The King had better not hear you say any of this, he practically worships the place!
Idril: He does in truth, and it makes me sad.
Meleth: [puzzled]How so?
Idril: Because Gondolin is just a city… It is a lovely place, yes, but it will not last forever.
Meleth: That is not what I have been hearing. Rumour has it that your father says Gondolin will never fall to the enemy.
Idril: Then I truly hope I am mistaken. [cut]

* * *

Cut to scene between Idril and Turgon over breakfast, later. During the first course he decides to expound on his plans for rule of the city.

Turgon: I trust you enjoyed the festivities last evening? By all accounts it appears a good time was had by all…
Idril: [blushing delicately] Ah…yes, Ada, thank you…and the city appeared even more beauteous in the softer light of evening. Once we are settled in, Meleth and I are looking forward to exploring it fully. Ecthelion has promised to take us riding out in the Vale. I am anxious to see the waterfalls you spoke of…

Turgon: [Nods, clearing throat] That reminds me… I have decided that our first priority must be to maintain Gondolin’s secrecy so that the Dark Lord's forces will never be able to find and destroy it. Therefore, I am going to issue a decree that no residents may leave the hidden kingdom unless it is absolutely necessary.
Idril: [pauses, with spoon halfway to her mouth] Is that not a bit harsh? I do not think that will please my aunt, at least. She likes to be able to explore freely – she misses the forests so. And I am sure she is not the only one.... I fear this might be a decision that does not bode well.

Turgon: [annoyed] Oh yes... I have thought about that and have anguished over it. I know full well what I am asking of our people and the hardship it could be viewed as by some. But Idril, please do not criticize my decisions. Trust me to know what is best even if it causes some unrest among some of our folk. I would rather it did not. But I cannot afford to do otherwise without endangering the lives of all of us. And that would be the far worse crime

Idril: [rolls her eyes] Father, I understand why you might be a little over cautious, considering everything, but cutting us off from the world may not be the wisest course. Eventually people will become tired of it, and there could be rebellion.
Turgon: That is as may be…but until then, I stand by what I have said. And besides, Ulmo assured me that if danger should approach, he would send someone to warn us. But the point is that we are safe here for the present and I mean to ensure that safety in whatever way I deem fit. I hope you will come to see the wisdom of this. Now finish your meal... [Atmosphere subsides into sulky silence, disturbed only by the sounds of eating. Cut.]

* * * * * * *

Fade into scene a couple of months later:
Night is falling. The last rays of sunlight paints the encircling mountains in the pinks and soft purples of a late summer evening, while the scrubby vegetation which grows half up the lower slopes has a greenish-grey look to it.

In a corner of a carefully manicured garden which is laid out with herbs and soft, big-leafed shrubs, Ecthelion sits on a bench beside the ornamental pool, watching the changing colours and playing a soft melody on his flute. Aredhel approaches hesitantly, and he beckons her to join him. She sits quietly beside him, smiling wistfully as he finishes his tune.

Ecthelion: A most beautiful end to the day, is it not? And a view worthy of a painting…
Aredhel: [nods in agreement] Many years ago in Tirion I would have rushed to capture such a scene with paint and brush, but these days I find little pleasure in stone and marble.

Ecthelion: [raises eyebrows] My Lady, how can you not find Gondolin a city of wonder and beauty? Its towers and arches, its buildings of glowing white stone, are marvels to the eye rivalling Tirion itself. This city is smaller, of course, and space is precious, but the parks and gardens that make little patches of greenery in between walled houses and the public squares provide a welcome sense of openness.

Aredhel: [sighs, shaking her head] Maybe for most, that is. For me, Gondolin is a cage: when Turgon led us into this mountain-locked hideaway, to the half-built city with its promise of security locked away from the dangers and horrors of Middle-earth, I felt a very real sense of the walls closing in around me. With every fibre of my being, I had to fight the instinct to turn around and head back the way we had come.
Ecthelion: [concerned] Have you not spoken of this with your brother? Surely he can understand that Ar-Feiniel is not a bird that should be denied its freedom?

Aredhel: Oh, I have some freedom: I am allowed to ride for pleasure on the plain outside the confines of the city. Only on horseback do I feel completely free, galloping along with my hair unbound and streaming back in the wind… [absently] At those times, I can almost pretend the trail has no end, that if I ride long enough or hard enough I will eventually reach the shelter of the forest, to watch sunlight play on a gentle stream, to hear the soft call of wood pigeons… [shakes her head in the face of reality] But always there are boundaries…there is no escape.

Ecthelion: [shrugs] I cannot fault your brother’s wisdom: No one is permitted to leave. The way is hidden and secret, and our security rests in the fact that there must be no one in the outside world who has knowledge of how to breach the ring of stone around our refuge. Because of this precaution we are safe from the terrors of the Enemy.
Aredhel: [snorts in derision] but at a price!

Ecthelion: [firmly] -One which most of the inhabitants of the Hidden City seem content to pay. Not all seem to suffer from this feeling of confinement.
Aredhel: [stiffens]You find me selfish in my complaint?
Ecthelion: [sighs, shakes head ] The heart wants what the heart wants... [The last light leaves the mountains and they stand dark against the deepening, star- frosted sky, the walls of a prison, strong and eternal.]

Aredhel: You know, when I contemplate being locked in this place until the End of Days, I truly fear I will go mad… I would rather throw myself on to the rocks below than endure this slow torture of my spirit. I have visions of fading, growing thin upon the air and finally becoming part of the rocks and the very soul of the place… [suppresses a shudder]
Ecthelion: [takes her hand gently, with a concerned frown] Dear lady, I wish I could ease your melancholy, but the law is not mine to set aside. We are all bound by the King’s will in this matter. [Aredhel places her other hand over his and bows her head. Fade…]

* * * * * * *

Fade into scene in courtyard of royal palace, in mid-winter.
There is a powdery covering of snow, like a dusting of icing sugar.. Idril wraps her coat tighter around herself as she slips out of a door and crosses the main courtyard. We hear raised voices faintly coming from the door she has just exited. In the opposite direction comes Ecthelion, shivering also, and tugging at his own fur coat. He greets Idril:

Ecthelion: And where is my favourite young lady off to on a day like this?
Idril: [scrunching up her nose as she looks up at him] Father and Aredhel are fighting again. [nods her head in the direction of the palace. Ecthelion listens and grimaces as he they hear the sound of something smashing. Puts arm around her gently]

Ecthelion: I am sorry…let us leave them to their insults and shouting and go and find somewhere more peaceful - and out of this cold wind. What say you to a warm drink? [Idril nods eagerly. Ecthelion continues] At least the chill is less bitter here, without the miserable dampness of the coast we left behind… [realizes his faux pas and trails off into silence. They walk briskly down to the market in the southern quarter, where street artists and musicians perform to passersby, and purchase two mugs of a steaming beverage and some honey cakes. Finding a bench in a sheltered spot they sit quietly to enjoy their purchases]

Ecthelion: [sighs] I know it is hard for you, Idril…Not all have grown to love our separation from the world.
Idril: [glances at him and nods.] I know that. You miss the world too, but you do not have shouting matches with my father.
Ecthelion: [smiles softly] Not all of us have the temper of Finwë’s house! [reaches out and squeezes her hand.] All I need is here now… you, your father…Aredhel… I have no reason for wanting to be anywhere else.

Idril: Their arguments grate on my nerves and I find the air heavy and hard to breathe. Father’s obsession with security is causing this strain. My aunt chafes at the isolation that separates her from the cousins she sorely misses, and from the freedom she had in Aman.

Ecthelion: [gently] and what about you?
Idril: I cannot remember Aman well… and my mother’s memory has faded into no more than a sense of warmth and comfort that chases away nightmares. Her memory used to put a smile on Father’s face but he rarely smiles these days and the arguments with Aredhel grow in strength and frequency. On days like this, when the winter keeps them inside the city walls, their fights grow never-ending. [slumps against Ecthelion] I miss Vinyamar, I find myself drawn towards the memory of the sea and I ache with longing. I am sure my fate lies there and not in this hidden mausoleum.

Ecthelion: [wraps an arm around her shoulders] I know your father misses it as well, but his happiness there was at the cost of securing his people’s survival.
Idril: [quietly] It is not fair.
Ecthelion: [wistfully] No, it is not fair, but we do it out of duty ...[softly] and for love…

Idril: [sighs, curled up beside him] Spring will be upon us soon…the skirts of the white mantels on the mountains will melt, and the valley will drink the waters and burst into flower again. How the children are looking forward to the festival of the Birth of Flowers already! Hopefully our spirits will be lifted by the revelry also, and mayhap things will be different then… [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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Post by Elentári »

* * * * * * *

Fade into scene a few months later…it is a beautiful Spring day in Gondolin.
Everywhere the trees are bursting their buds and the air is full of birdsong. Camera winds through the streets of Gondolin taking in such architectural details as the carved ornamentation on the arches over the streets, the arcades and walkways, and the statues and tinkling fountains in the many squares. We arrive at Turgon’s palace, the Tower of the King rising on a pillared arcade above it, a flight of white stairs leads to its doors. On either side of the doors are gold and silver sculptures representing the Two Trees of Valinor. The King is sitting at a desk going through the many missives and scrolls that warrant his attention that day. After a while his attention strays and he glances out of the nearest window. He sees Aredhel pacing up and down along a colonnade that leads towards his rooms. He frowns, anticipating another unpleasant showdown with his sister. To his surprise, when she eventually arrives at his door, her entrance is demure and contrite:

Aredhel: As hard at work as ever, Brother… [rubs his shoulders playfully and brushes the top of his head with her lips affectionately] You spend too much time alone in here, you know.
Turgon: [pats her hand which is still on his shoulder. Replies sardonically] Perhaps that is because it is safer in here…less moveable objects?

Aredhel: [pretending to sulk ] You never used to be so stuffy and boring. Do you remember when we were young, too young to give heed to nursemaid’s orders, how we chased each other about Tirion, laughing, playing and reeking havoc before we were caught by Father? We would both then stand before him, heads bowed, and listen to how as well-behaved as Fingon we were supposed to be.

Turgon: [smiles at the memory, then sighs] Those days are long gone, though you will always be my little Irissë...We both grew up fast. You befriended the sons of Fёanor and I became closer to Finrod and our other cousins. We no longer spent all our time together as we once did.
Aredhel: Truly, and once you met Elenwё I saw you even less. You fell in love with a Vanya, and I found my passion in the woods and with hunting.
Turgon: [defensively] Though I loved you no less!
Aredhel: [nods in understanding] And I have always adored my closest brother.

Turgon: [with a sudden melancholy] Yet the dark years have taken a toll…the angry words spoken against our houses that brought trouble and division within our extended family. The times became darker still, and I will not speak of them except to say that I nearly lost the will to live when Elenwë was taken from me. But I still had Idril and you. Both of you became my strength, my will to carry on. [hugs Aredhel to him] I want you to know how grateful I am to you, Aredhel, for all you have done for me since then. Not only parenting Idril in ways I could not, but just by being my sister again.

Aredhel: [sniffles] I love Idril as if she were my own daughter…it has never been a hardship, despite my protestations. But I fear my role is coming to an end. She has grown into a fine young maiden, a credit to both her parents.
Turgon: [smiles proudly] Yes, she is the image of her mother… [smile fades as he realizes the implication of his words] …and you have put your own life on hold for us. Forgive me…I have been so selfish! Have you found no young elf lord to capture your heart and give you a family of your own?

Aredhel: [shakes her head, amused] What would I do with one of the sheltered nobles of Gondolin that regularly make a play for my hand? Could they contain my restless spirit without causing me to pine and sicken like a wild animal in a cage? I have found none to match my fire and passion since our Fëanorian cousins.
Turgon: [snorts] You have always desired to live dangerously, Aredhel. Look where their “fiery spirits” have led them!

Aredhel: [noncommittally] Indeed… But they are kin, and I miss them deeply. Morgoth is contained for the present and the world outside is relatively quiet. I yearn to ride again in the wide lands, and walk in the forests like I did in Valinor. [clasps her brother’s hands in hers] Please, Turgon, just this once, let me make a trip outside the hidden valley? I fear I shall go mad if I have to stay trapped here forever. [her eyes brim with tears as she looks pleadingly into his face.]

Turgon: [ponders silently, then shudders as though he has had a premonition] Go then, if you will…though it is against my wisdom and I forebode that ill will come of it both to you and to me.
Aredhel: [breathes heavily as relief floods her face. She kisses his hands ecstatically] Thank you! Thank you, my beloved brother!

Turgon: [vehemently] But you shall have leave only to visit Fingon; many dark creatures roam beyond the borders of our kin’s dwellings, and you will need an escort if I indulge you in this nonsense. Ever I fear the exposure of our secret refuge: thus they must return to Gondolin as soon as you are safely delivered to our brother.
Aredhel: [arches eyebrow, bristling] I am your sister, not your servant, and beyond your bounds I will go as seems good to me. And if you begrudge me an escort then I will go alone!

Turgon: [sadly] I grudge you nothing that I have. It is simply that none shall dwell beyond my walls who know the way hither; and if I trust you, my sister, I trust others less to guard their tongues. I will appoint three lords of our household that I trust most, to ride with you.
Aredhel: [nods in acquiescence.] So be it. [ Fade]

* * * * * * *

Open on scene in the royal stables.
Aredhel is preparing to set out on her journey. Servants are strapping saddlebags onto her mount as she check the tension of the saddle straps around her horses girth and making sure the bit and bridle fit comfortably.

Three elf-lords are making their own preparations to accompany her. They are Ecthelion, Egalmoth and Glorfindel. Turgon approaches them and draws them to one side, out of Aredhel’s hearing…

Turgon: You are to bring the Lady Aredhel safely to the Lord Fingon in Hithlum, if you can prevail upon her to see sense. I fear she may have other plans in mind. And be wary, for though Morgoth is yet hemmed in the North there are many perils of which the Lady knows nothing.

Glorfindel: [salutes Turgon. Comfidently:] Do not fear, my King. The White Lady’s safety is assured with your three finest warriors to protect her.
Ecthelion: [bow his head, hiding the concern in his eyes and says nothing but clasps shoulders with Turgon in the Elven manner of embrace. Turgon moves away to say farewell to Aredhel.]

Turgon: [helps her mount her mare, then grabs hold of her free hand when she is settled.] Namárië, Irissë… though my heart is heavy at your going, I will wish you a safe journey to Hithlum, and a swift return to us after your visit.
Aredhel: [smiles radiantly] Fear not, dearest brother, I will return safe enough when I have slated my thirst for adventure. [more softly] Thank you for allowing me this dispensation, it means a great deal to me! [squeezes his hand then lets go. Turns to her companions:] If you are ready then let us delay no longer! [gathers the reins and kicks her heels into the horse’s rump. The party takes off as the stable hands rush to open the doors. Cut]

* * * * * * *

Cut to the party passing through the last of the Six Gates,
They then picking their way down the stony path that is the Hidden Way. Aredhel pauses as she drinks in the view of the outside world. A wild joy takes hold of her and her face breaks into a wide smile.

Aredhel: [to her escorts] Race you to the Ford!!! [she lurches into a gallop and the three solders scramble to catch up with her. Ecthelion edges closest to her first, catching her just as their horses splash into the cool waters of the ford. Laughing, they pull up their mounts and let them drink.]

Ecthelion: [smiling] It is good to see the colour returning to your cheeks at last. I have been worried about you for so long now.
Aredhel: [giddy with her new found freedom] It is as if the cobwebs have been blown from my mind! [considers him closely as the other riders join them, then turns to address the others] We will now turn south instead of north to Hithlum, for I desire instead to find the sons of Fëanor, my friends of old.

Glorfindel: [alarmed] My Lady, that is not wise counsel….the King insists –
Aredhel: [dismissively] My brother is not my keeper! I needed only his permission to leave his realm. Once outside his boundaries I may go where I will. I told him as much before I left. Now, will you accompany me or nay? If you will not I shall continue alone.

Ecthelion: [calmly] We will go with you, my lady, for we are sworn to protect you and deliver you safely wherever you may journey.
Egalmoth: But the road to Himlad from here is treacherous: the East Road passes through the haunted valleys of Ered Gorgoroth! We would be wisest to take a longer route through Doriath if Thingol permits us.
Glorfindel: Then let us make haste before the shadows lengthen. [the party sets off…fade]

* * *

Fade back in later, to party approaching the Forest of Neldoreth. As they do so, the march-wardens appear suddenly from the trees and bar their way:

Sindarin Elf 1: The way is barred, Turn back, my fine folk…King Thingol will suffer not any Noldor to pass the Girdle save his kinsfolk of the house of Finarfin, and I can see from your hair that you are not of that House…except one, maybe? [looks askance at Glorfindel]
Glorfindel: [coldly] You are sadly mistaken, friend. I am of the House of Ingwë, and even were I related to your King I would not enter his realm without my fellow travellers.

Sindarin Elf 2: [turns to Aredhel] Why do you seek admittance to Doriath, my lady?
Aredhel: I wish to reach Himlad, the land of my cousin, Celegorm Fëanorion, avoiding the perils of Nan Dungortheb.

Sindarin Elf 1: [curtly] By no means may those who profess friendship with the sons of Fëanor pass through the realm of King Thingol. To reach the land of Celegorm for which you seek, Lady, you must ride beyond the Girdle of Melian to the south or to the north, no matter how perilous the road. [both march-wardens stand firm, barring the way. Aredhel’s party look at each other and then turn away back to the East Road. Riding side by side in subdued mood they discuss their predicament.]

Glorfindel: [trying to be cheerful] The shortest route takes us through Dimbar and along the north-march of Doriath. From there we cross the Bridge of Esgalduin, and then the Fords of Aros bring us into Himlad.
Aredhel: [to Egalmoth] What exactly do you know of this perilous route?
Egalmoth: [hesitantly] The East Road runs through the region of Nan Dungortheb…that is, the Valley of Dreadful Death. It is a known haunt of Ungoliant’s children…
[Aredhel glances at Ecthelion who is nodding, but he remains silent, wary of influencing her decision either way]
Aredhel: [Resolutely] I will not be dissuaded. We will take our chances. [gees up her mount and increases her pace. The escort follows with anxious faces. Fade…]

* * *

Fade back into late afternoon.
We see the company draw near to the haunted valleys of Ered Gorgorath. The East Road winds ahead between the foothills of jagged mountains looming above them to the left, and the dark and shadowing eaves of the Forest of Neldoreth to their right. As the party progresses, dark clouds roll up and seem to settle upon the mountain peaks, blocking out the weak rays of sunlight…the riders are soon enmeshed in shadows.

Ecthelion: [anxiously] Stay close! and do not stray from the path…
Egalmoth: [nods, looking around nervously] Sound advice…who knows what foul creatures lurk unnoticed in the gloom!
Aredhel: Then the quicker we traverse this accursed valley the better, for I fear a storm is imminent also, and I for one do not wish to arrive on my cousin’s doorstep drenched to the skin! [kicks her horse to increase his pace]

Glorfindel: [frowns, pulls up hood as a few drops of rain are felt in the air…] Wait, my lady! I am not inclined to risk a soaking either! [hurries to catch her. Ecthelion clicks his tongue in irritation and he and Egalmoth hasten to catch up.]

[Aredhel gains a good amount of ground on her escort and it struggles to catch up .... But a lightning strike hits a good sized pine tree and it crashes on the path and Aredhel continues onward not knowing that her escort is cut off behind her.
The storm increases in intensity until the skies are now pitch dark and rain is coming down in buckets. A deafening thunder clap so startles her horse that it rears and then runs headlong into a thicket of trees taking her off any semblance of path they were on. The steed races in and out of the trees and Aredhel contorts to and fro to dodge the branches whipping at her. She fails to duck quickly enough and is knocked off by a low hanging branch. Cut.]

* * *

Cut to the escort who have no idea where Aredhel now is.
It is still storming and they cannot see more than a few inches in front of them. We see a flash flood roaring down the hillside about fifty yards in front of them pushing smaller trees and even some boulders ahead of it.

Glorfindel: [looking like a drowned rat] Ecthelion! Hold up! this is useless....the Lady Aredhel has surely sought shelter somewhere, and we should do the same!
Ecthelion: [reluctantly] There is sense in what you say, though if our good lady lies injured somewhere every minute we waste will add to her danger.
Egalmoth: [puts hand on Ecthelion's shoulder] We can do nothing to help her in this weather...let us at least wait for the rain to ease somewhat. [Ecthelion nods and they look for shelter. Fade.]
* * *

Fade in to Aredhel on the ground:
The rain is still coming down and her horse is standing away from her. She is groggy but rises and staggers to the horse. She has a nasty cut and swelling from one side of her upper face and forehead but is otherwise all right. Blood drips on her hand and she goes to her saddlebags and extracts some cloth and makes a makeshift bandage for her wound. While doing this she notices an opening in the hills that appears to be a cave entrance. She and her horse advance to the cave and enter it.

It is pitch black and they cannot see more than a few feet inside. She looks around the drier ground inside the cave and finds a small tree limb. She wraps it in cloth from her saddlebags and begins to try to make a small fire to ignite a torch. Before she is successful we cut back to the escort.

* * *

Cut back to escort, huddling underneath some large and rather thick trees that are forming a natural canopy over them.

Ecthelion:[fidgets impatiently, stamping his feet to keep warm; mutters] I warned us to keep together: this route is not feared by the Sindar for naught...but my high and mighty lady always thinks she knows better!

Glorfindel: I fear for her safety indeed...and I do not relish the thought of telling our good King of our misadventure should anything have happened to her... [Ecthelion stops fidgeting, looks sick]
Egalmoth: [trying to keep up moral] The Lady Aredhel is not without wits and courage in such circumstances...she is no doubt holed up in a warm and cosy cave, drying her hair by a fire as we speak! [Glorfindel fingers his damp locks wistfully]

Ecthelion: [urgently] The storm has passed overhead now, and the rain is easing: I say we should rejoin our search before the light fades altogether...
Egalmoth: [shakes his head] It would be foolhardy to say the least in these conditions - you saw the deluge earlier: the ground is too sodden and unstable...I fear landslides are a likely consequence. [Ecthelion looks disappointed but again gives in to the opposition. He stares moodily out into the murky, rain-soaked landscape. Fade.]

* * *

Fade back to Aredhel in the cave who now has a torch burning.
She makes her way slowly and cautiously through the cave finding no sign of any other occupant either now or in the recent past. She makes her way to the back of the cave and sees that the floor gives way to a steep cliff side which goes down much further than the light of the torch can reveal to her. She finds some rocks that allow her to climb down on so she can go down a bit and hopefully see more. She goes a bit downward and begins to hear some scurrying and squealing reacting to the light of her torch.

She begins to climb back upwards much faster than she went down. The noises are getting louder and as she pulls herself over the top of the edge back to the cave floor, she reacts to something biting at her foot. She stands on the cave floor and sweeps the area beneath her ... but whatever it was that bit her runs away, reluctant to challenge the strange light. Aredhel runs as fast as she can towards the cave entrance only pausing to grab the reins of her horse and continue. Cut.

* * *

Cut to very late at night looking over the fringes of the forest of Neldoreth from above
The only light is from a nearly full moon. As we look through the canopy of branches we see three well armed warriors engaged in fighting a group of spiders the size of large dogs. Several are already dead upon the forest floor and each of the three is finishing off their own spider.

As the camera comes down between the branches, the action concludes and all the spiders are dead. We change perspective to the camera being on the floor with the warriors.

Egalmoth: I grow weary of this game… This is the third time we have met such foes since we lost Aredhel in that storm.
Ecthelion: They certainly are not very good opponents. Their movements are slow and awkwardly and they know not how to defend themselves against a sword.
Glorfindel: Let us be thankful to the Valar for small favours.
Egalmoth: You are right of course. [making a smirking face of disgust] But I wish their guts did not stink so much once we open them up.
Glorfindel: Since you killed more than your share Egalmoth, I am sure Ecthelion will agree to allow you the pick of the slaughter from which you can make your dinner. [the others laugh at his jest...]
Ecthelion: And while you prepare some of those creatures’ innards, we will look for a friendly inn with suitable food and beverage and maybe even some music! [They all laugh again and begin to clean their swords and retrieve their horses preparing to continue their search.]
Glorfindel: [more seriously] We have tarried long enough in this forsaken place. It seems the spawn of Ungoliant are not afraid to encroach on Thingol's hospitality even though we dare not. Besides, the more time we waste here, the farther our charge gets from us. Let us go. [Fade]

* * *

Fade back in on Aredhel passing over an ancient stone bridge and out of the shadowy valley. The terror of the cave begins to fade...

Aredhel gradually gains control of her mount and she gives the mare free rein, greedily drinking the ecstasy of freedom. The wind caresses her face, making her hair stream out behind her like a raven banner. Eventually the sun burns through the mist and dew glitters on the fresh light-green leaves of the young bushes along the edge of a different forest; the pattern of light on the path beckons an invitation. Splashing through a fast flowing stream, she follows it further in among the trees, drinking in the scent of foliage that surrounds her. There are flowers, too, much lusher than the tiny specimens of the mountain region, and butterflies.

Eventually her mare falters, lame and exhausted, and she realizes she is much further into the forest than she had intended… her escorts are nowhere in sight. Her heart jumps in fear, sure that they would have followed her by now. She dismounts cautiously, and scans the terrain for the missing elves.

Aredhel: [to herself, softly] Oh, I hope that you are all safe, though Turgon will skin you alive if you return without me!

[Examining her horse she realizes that the mare has thrown a shoe. Cursing her foolishness she knows she must find help. Aredhel arms herself with a hunting knife firmly secured to her waist. She retraces her path, careful not to call aloud for fear of attracting fell beasts. Her mare trails behind her, as if sensing her mistress' need for support... Cut.]

* * * * * * *

Cut back to Nan Dungortheb. It is the first few minutes of sunrise and the darkness fights for a last hold onto the forest. We see the trio of Elves on horseback making their way through beech trees enshrouded in patches of thick fog ... one of the trio - the last in the line keeps turning back and looking over his shoulder.

Ecthelion: [irritably] You will not see anything. If they wanted to attack us they would have done so during the night when they had the advantage of surprise. And this fog only aids them as an ally.
Glorfindel: [purses lips] I am simply trying to ascertain what manner of beast it is that tracks us ...

Egalmoth: [wrinkles nose] They never close in enough to allow us a clear view but when the winds favor us we can most certainly smell them!
Glorfindel: [grimaces] At least its not the innards of spiders. That was worse than a company of sick elves after too much wine and food.
Egalmoth: How far is the bridge?
Ecthelion: [shrugs] It is hard to say exactly, but I would guess we should find it in an hour - two at the most. The river is close, you can smell it. And the bridge will be near. But we must regain the road to reach it.
Egalmoth: Do you think this accursed fog will lift before we get there?

Ecthelion: Let us hope so, if our plan is to work. We must secrete ourselves on the far side of the bridge and then deal with whatever it is that has been tracking us when they come across. Thus we will have the advantage of surprise and they will be closed in to a narrow passage with no protection.
Glorfindel: [frowns] But if the fog does not lift, we will have to move closer than I would otherwise prefer...
Ecthelion: ...and have less warning if we do not see them until the last moment....
Egalmoth: but I suspect we just might smell them first.... [issues a small laugh]
Glorfindel: [nonchalantly] Only if the Valar and the winds favour us.

The camera pulls back for an overhead crane shot and they three ride onwards vanishing into a thick patch of fog.

We see more fog and the forest floor and the furry legs of a beast roughly splashes through a small puddle.... the camera pans up and we see a warg - then two - then several more ..... they plod along at a measured and restrained pace, the others deferring to their leader who is a bit larger and noticeably greyer than the rest of the pack. He stops and sniffs the air and the others stop behind him. He waits five... ten... fifteen seconds... then cautiously and slowly moves forward and the rest of the pack follows. They enter a thick fog bank and the camera dissolves into it as well.

We then see our Elven trio emerge from another fog bank and ahead of them is the bridge. It is old and made of stone but looks strong and sturdy. It goes over a hundred feet across the river and they cannot see the water because of the thick fog which has not yet burnt off. Patches of fog play in and out of the bridge and the end is not visible.

Glorfindel: [pointing to the others] You two cross together. When you reach the other side and determine that it is safe, alert me and I will come across.
Egalmoth: And if anything should attack you on this side?
Glorfindel: If they are more than I can handle before breakfast I will be sure to let you know you are needed.
Ecthelion: Which I take to mean you will have all the sport you can handle by yourself before letting us in on the action. [small laugh from all]

Egalmoth: Glorfindel - ever the hero and destined to be sung about by the minstrels for ages as the bravest among out kind.
Glorfindel: [bows with a flourish] Off with both of you now… Stay alert - your ears may be more powerful than our eyes in this situation. [both elves nod to Glorfindel and the two horses and riders step warily on the stone bridge and begin to make their way across weaving in and out of several fog banks.]

Glorfindel takes his horse a few feet onto the bridge and turns around facing the forest. He draws his sword and watches.... and waits......and the silence of the morning is split my a loud howl ..... then another ... then a symphony of howls ..........
We see Egalmoth and Ecthelion approaching the end of the bridge. There are still patches of mist and fog but it is
beginning to clear and there are also patches of clearing. At the end of the stone bridge are two small, derelict towers, guardhouses for solitary guards and spired canopies atop them. They rise to a height of some 12 feet above the level of the bridge. Their way is barred by a thick rope-like obstacle, strands of spider webbing that criss-crosses back and forth between the two guard houses and is obviously intended to stop them from going on any further.

Egalmoth: It seems our enemies have also concluded that this bridge is a good place to finish off their foes.
Ecthelion: [raises eyebrow] Perhaps you give them too much credit. This cannot have been here for very long if indeed Aredhel passed this way earlier. But regardless, let us get it down and quickly.

They begin hacking away at opposite ends of the web-ropes and the camera view changes to an overhead shot so that we can see directly overhead and now see the sides of the bridge as well. About a dozen smallish spiders begin to climb up and through the west nipping and biting at the two elves who kick them away, barely interrupting their sword stroke as they hack through the webs.

Ecthelion: [turns to Eglamoth with camera close up] I had hoped we had seen the last of these pestilent beasts...still, if we are lucky these are but the orphaned spawn of the larger creatures we killed in the forest…
Egalmoth: [looks through the webs ] Uh…I believe fortune does not favour us this day… [camera turns with Ecthelion’s head and we see the close up of the largest spider the elves have encountered so far, it’s yawning maw grasping towards them. The elves back away as the camera pulls out to show the rough stones making up the outer sides of the bridge are covered with clinging spiders of various sizes. And as the two elves have their backs to the bridge, the spiders begin to climb upwards and come over the rails. Cut.]


Cut back to Glorfindel on the other end of the bridge:
He is staring into the glowing eyes of a warg who is about twenty feet from him ... the beast is drooling and is ready to attack..... Glorfindel has his sword in hand and a long knife in the other .... he has positioned his horse behind him and stands between the two guard towers on this end of the bridge.

After a few tense seconds of this standoff, the warg takes two steps and springs into the air getting off the ground at a height equal to that of the head of the elf ..... Glorfindel braces himself and as the beast is about to crash into him he deftly steps sideways with lightning speed and sweeps his sword across the exposed neck of the warg while his long knife guts his belly at the exact same time. A loud yelp emits from the beast and he crashes instead into the low retaining wall of the bridge. The horse of Glorfindel rears back and brings his two front hooves hard on the beast’s skull. The warg twitches a bit and its chest heaves and convulses but it cannot move or mount any other attack.

Glorfindel looks out anticipating the next attack. And this time two wargs leap from the mists towards him…Cut.]


Cut back to the other end of the bridge:
Egalmoth and Ecthelion are boot-deep in spiders. Ecthelion is bleeding from several cuts on his legs and arms and Egalmoth has a nasty jagged gash running from his elbow to this wrist, They have killed a good number but a circle of spiders appear to have them nearly surrounded and they have no direct avenue of escape as there are a legion of spiders both in front and in back of them as well as the very large female still guarding the exit from the bridge. Their horses are rearing and trying to fight off the larger spiders but one is taken down, paralyzed by numerous jabs from the spiders' mandibles, and the other bolts for the other side of the bridge.

Ecthelion: My arm is becoming numb… [flexes hand] I can barely grip my sword. This is no good. We cannot kill them all and we will soon join the fate of our mounts.
Egalmoth: [casts a swift look around,, taking in the situation and their surroundings] There is a way out. How well do you swim?

[At that they both turn to the thinnest gathering of spiders, slay a few and then climb on the retaining wall on the side of the bridge. Two spiders try to climb up to them but they are quickly cut down.]

Egalmoth: Into the arms of Ulmo we cast ourselves.
Ecthelion: Let us hope he has one eye looking this way. [turns his head back to the far side of the bridge and yells out] Glorfindel! it is hopeless....the enemy surrounds us and our only chance of escape lies with the river! Save yourself and jump with us! [they both jump over the side falling some one hundred feet into the water below. Cut.]


Cut back to Glorfindel: The camera is behind the two wargs who have launched themselves at the elf. He is about to skewer them when out of the mist comes his horse running at full speed. One warg smashes into the horse and they both go down in a tumble. Glorfindel is momentarily distracted by the appearance of the horse, and the other warg smashes into the elf knocking both to the ground with the warg on top of him. His sword leaves his hand and he lands on the stones hard, the breath rushing out from him. He lies there motionless for several seconds with the warg comatose on top of him..

Then the body of the warg is thrust off from Glorfindel as he use both his legs to push off the beast. The long knife is firmly in his throat and the elf pulls it out and springs to his feet.

Three other wargs begin to approach... cautiously and slowly as a line spread out across the bridge. The end of the line begins to swing around and it is clear that they intend to back the elf right up to one of the guard towers and finish him off with their superior numbers.

Glorfindel retrieves the sword at his feet and climbs up atop the guard tower using one hand to cling to the spired roof atop it while the other brandishes his sword at any warg who tries to get to him. One of the wargs leaps up but only comes within a foot or two of the elf before the sword cuts deeply across his muzzle producing high pitched howls of pain.

Glorfindel: [defiantly] Come, you spawn of Morgoth! There is more for the rest of you!
As the other wargs are becoming increasingly agitated and angry, the older grey warg brushes a path between the pack with his larger body. He is not as agitated as the others. He issues a deep throated command, sits back on his rear, and looks directly up at Glorfindel. Within a few seconds the others do the same and we have an entire pack of wargs patiently waiting for Glorfindel to do something.

Glorfindel quickly surmises their intent and sees the inevitability of their plan. He looks over the side and sees that below him is the craggy cliff side into which the moorings of the bridge are built. Even if he jumped he would only crash into solid rock. The water is a good thirty feet away towards the centre of the bridge.

Glorfindel does his best to balance himself atop the tower roof and places both his sword and his long knife in their sheaths. He then leaps as far as he can towards the other end of the bridge and lands on the bridge railing flipping over and rolling into a somersault. His leap and roll have covered the necessary distance and he takes another running step into a head first dive over the side leaving behind the leather of one of his boots in the jaws of the gray warg who barely misses taking his leg off at the knee.

The other wargs stand up on their two hind legs and look out over the side --- but none of them move ....... they smell something and we see the spiders and wargs now just a short distance apart ..... the older gray warg barks twice and they run back in the direction from which they came leaving the bridge to the spiders. Fade.

* * * * * * *

Fade back in to clips of Aredhel still wandering in the strange forest.
Having found no trace of her escort, Aredhel frowns, puzzled and annoyed as she passes an oak tree she is certain she had passed by before. The light is fading and the trees become gloomier and there is a distinct feeling of being closed in. Though outwardly cross with herself for getting lost, she now begins to show her worry… [cut]

* * *

Cut to Eöl finishing up in his forge, deep in the forest.
His pale face is soot smudged from the fire. His dark hair, unbound and cascading over his shoulders, shines like polished hematite, betraying a Teleri heritage. He wears a simple grey tunic, trousers and leather boots. Over this he places a lightweight mail coat fashioned from a dark and lustrous metal with his long sword fastened at his waist. Lost in thought, he starts off on his path home. Suddenly becomes aware of movement in his peripheral sight. He moves close on silent feet, and draws in his breath sharply at the vision before him: The starlight slanting through the trees falls onto the white, upturned face of a beautiful elf maiden. Her dark hair hangs partly loose, curling down to her waist, dark as the metal of his sword. He follows her in the shadows, watching her as she wanders amongst the trees. An amused smile appears on his lips, the embers of desire smouldering in his eyes.

Eöl: [Murmurs aloud to himself:] Beware, my fair lady…the mists are closing in. you can wander anywhere and still only be drawn, as the lodestone draws iron, closer to my home…closer to me. [cut. ]

* * *

Cut back to Aredhel’s perspective: She notices with relief that she can now see the first stars through the network of leaves overhead. Steadily she walks on, still leading her mare… tiredness begins to spread through her body. And she does not notice how the path seems to turn constantly towards the east, rather than leading straight south…

A mist descends upon her path, blocking the view ahead. She reaches for her knife instinctively, unsheathing it as fear overcoming excitement. . She moves forward more cautiously. Soon she is wandering completely blind…
Then, just as she is contemplating having to spend the night among the trees , lights appears some distance ahead, and as she turns another bend the mist lifts and a house becomes visible. It is a large cottage-like structure built of stone, with large wooden doors.

Aredhel: [sighs heavily with relief. Mutters to herself:] If I escape this plight, I swear I will listen to my brother’s counsel more attentively…
Eöl: [softly, from behind her] The night is fair, my lady…
Aredhel jumps at the sudden voice, and turns on the spot, her knife poised in defence. Before her is a slightly stooped figure that has come upon her silently. He is an elf, dressed in a long dark cloak and heavy boots. Underneath it she glimpses mail fashioned from a strange, lustrous black metal. Bowing low, he straightens up again and she realizes he is only a little shorter than her brother Turgon, though his face is not as fair to look upon as those of the Noldor men who normally court her.

Aredhel: [relaxing a little she lowers the knife] So it is, my lord.
He says nothing for a long moment, his face unreadable as he observes her. His gaze firm and unwavering and she suddenly feels very small and vulnerable. She has a sudden urge to flee, but before she can react he reaches forward, with a slow deliberate movement, offering her his hand. His grey eyes smolder darkly, yet have an amused quality that throws her off balance.

Eöl: I am Eöl, Lord of Nan Elmoth. I bid you welcome to my home…unless, of course, you prefer to stay under the trees. And if you are looking for a smithy, then fortune favours you.
Aredhel: [takes his hand] Your offer of hospitality is most appreciated. [Eöl brings her hand to his lips.. She takes a deep, much needed breath.] I am Aredhel, daughter of Fingolfin. Lately of Gondolin where my brother, Turgon, rules our people.

Eöl: [arches his eyebrow at her, obviously not impressed] Have you not been told it is a dangerous thing to wander alone in the wilds, where nameless fears roam?
Aredhel: [gathering her pride ] I had an escort but we became separated during the storm…The deluge caused mudslides in the foothills above the road and the road was flooded. I tried to shelter in a cave…but my horse was frightened by the lightning and bolted.
Eöl: [with amused arrogance] I would deem your “escort” unworthy of the name if they allowed their mistress to embark on such a perilous path.

Aredhel: [covering her embarrassment by affecting her own haughtiness] I will leave the matter of their competence to my brother, but I venture the guards will not be glad to face him, even if it means they have survived the perils of the road through Nan Dungortheb. [Her voice trembles a little as she voices her fears, betraying how shaken she is. The dark elf nods, and steps forward to examine the horse’s hoof.]

Eöl: [tuts at the state of the animal’s hoof] This should have been attended to hours ago. My servants will take care of her now. [shrugs] You may continue to look for your friends, and share their fate, whatever that might be. Or you may come with me, and find some shelter from beasts and weather alike. Do not take your time deciding, though.
Aredhel: [temper flaring at his uncaring attitude] How dare you be so rude? They may be in trouble!
Eöl: [unperturbed] And they have brought that upon themselves, have they not? We are far from the protected borders, lady. Evil things roam these lands…I do not favour their chances. [Aredhel stares at him, aghast, but he only nods and walks past her towards the dwelling in the distance.]

Aredhel: [annoyed with herself for having to beg] Wait! [Eöl stops, but does not turn around to face her.] Would you please consider sending some servants to know their fate? Mayhap they still live…
Eöl: [turns and looks at her pityingly] When did you last see them?
Aredhel: Before the storm gained full strength… I pulled ahead of them, trying to find shelter and I... I became lost.
Eöl: For how long?
Aredhel: [embarrassed] I do not know...several hours...

Eöl: Then any efforts would be futile. I suggest we continue this conversation inside where you will be more comfortable… There is meat and drink to be had there, and a warm fire, and I will gladly provide you with a comfortable place to pass the night, for it grows too late to continue your journey in any case. [her shoulders slump in defeat…she takes his hand and he leads her towards his home. As he opens the door he turns and ushers her in with a bow: ] Welcome to Nan Elmoth, Lady Aredhel. [fade…]

* * * * * * *
End of Part 1

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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