Lord of the Rings Fanfiction

By: Tanith

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A One Way Trip to Middle-earth - PG - Spoilers for Two Towers (movie) - Mary Sue bashing. A fangirl without a clue finds a way to get herself into Middle-earth. What happens then is not what she expects.

Healing Hands - G - No Spoilers - A conversation between a young Estel and his foster father about the arts of healing.

Twilight's Morning - G - No Spoilers - The King of Gondor has passed away. A decision is made in the aftermath.

Father, Healer, Lord - G - No Spoilers - In 1636 TA, the Great Plague devastates the lands of Gondor. An appeal is sent to Elrond, the premiere Healer of Middle-earth, but his sons object to their father's response.

King of Gondor - G - No Spoilers - King Elessar of Gondor ponders some matters of state.

King in Training - G - No Spoilers - Thorongil, a Captain of Gondor, ponders about himself and his future in the dark hours before dawn.

Impossible Love - G - No Spoilers - Luthien, locked away by her father for a forbidden love, waits for her prince to come.

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A One Way Trip to Middle-earth


Susan Maris, a.k.a. Sylviana Merielwen Silvermere in her own mind, checked for the third time that her bedroom door was locked, before falling onto her bed and gloating over the small gilded box clutched tightly in her hands.

Earlier that day, Susan's shopping trip at the annual town fair had been abruptly thrown into abeyance when she had wandered up to a dingy corner stand under the gloomy shadow of several trees. The old woman there - or old man, she couldn't tell - claimed to have something that would bring her to Middle-earth - rather, "Lord of the Rings", since Susan had drawn a blank on the words "Middle-earth". It had been horribly expensive, much more than she could have afforded. But that didn't stop her from appropriating it while the shopkeeper wasn't looking. The guy was probably a crackpot anyways, and the box was still pretty, with pictures from the movies printed all over it.

Susan opened the box and dumped the contents out. There was a small crystal ball and a scrap of parchment with instructions scratched onto it. She spared it a quick perusal, barely registering the parts of the instructions that told her to look into the crystal and picture herself into Middle-earth.

Susan snatched up the crystal ball impatiently, her mind's eye flashing furiously over her options. She would be a princess! Yes, the Princess of the Secret City of Silvermere, who was sent out to Elrond's Council on behalf of her people. Or she could be a princess in hiding - a warrior princess who can dissemble at being a ranger! She would save Boromir from certain death and slay the perfidious Wormtongue before he can tell Saruman about Rohan's defenses. And then, when she reveals herself to the Fellowship, they would all fall over themselves to propitiate her every whim. Arwen and Eowyn would stand aside and show deference to her when she bags Aragorn when he becomes king! Or… no, she'll go for that blond elf guy instead. Aragorn's too dirty for most of the movies anyway. Yes, that's it. She'll go for the elf by going directly into his forest as a princess. Maybe they could already be engaged!

Grinning excitedly, Susan stared into the crystal, trying to picture a forest in her mind. What was the name of it again? Milkwood? Lorien? Fangorn? As her mind struggled to recall details beyond the shallow "hotness" of individual characters, a white flash erupted from within the heart of the crystal, blinding her for a moment.

As the flash faded, Susan leapt to her feet in glee as she took in her surroundings. She was in a forest! Like one of the ones in the movies! She was in Lord of the Rings! And looking down at herself, she could see that she was dressed like a princess. There was even a silver circlet on her head! Confidently, Susan - no, Sylviana Merielwen Silvermere now - plunged noisily into the forest, looking for her Elven beau-to-be.

Half an hour later, 'Sylviana' wasn't so confident anymore. In fact, she was tired, sore, and terrified. That last part was probably due to the fact that she was currently held midair by a large branchy hand, as two gleaming eyes peered out of a tall tree trunk and considered her.

"HOOM!" boomed the Ent as it finally broke the silence. "What have we here? HOOM! A little orc spy? HOOM!"

'Sylviana' squeaked and tried to gainsay the Ent. "No! No! I'm… I'm Princess Sylviana Merielwen Silvermere of the Secret City of Silvermere, the Secret City of the fairy people!"

"HOOM!", considered the Ent in a flat, phlegmatic tone, "Silvermere. HOOM! Fairy people. HOOM! Never heard of such things before. HOOM!"

But before they could argue further, a loud booming call rang through every nook and cranny of the forest. It was the call of Treebeard, a call of outrage and a call to foment war. Fangorn forest was marching on Isengard.

"HOOM!" said the Ent that had grabbed 'Sylviana'. "We will see what you are, little one, after Isengard falls." Then, ignoring her shrieks of terror, it placed her up on its topmost branches and joined the Last March of the Ents.

A few hours later, the aforementioned Ent was singing a soft song of lament in the aftermath of the defeat of White Tower. It was an elegy for the creature it had brought, whose pretty dress had caught fire when the orcs threw their fiery projectiles, and then had been swept away by the water released from the River Isen. But death was a part of war, and the Ent would simply remember and move on, as was the way of Ents.


Meanwhile, back in the real world, an old man gathered up his merchandise into his tattered trailer. As the door shut securely behind him, the air around the man began to shimmer. His form blurred, and revealed behind the glamour was a tall and inhumanly handsome being, with long dark hair and leaf-like ears. The only thing that marred his perfection was his eyes, which gleamed with the spark of insanity and malevolence.

Reaching into a large, intricately crafted box, the being took out a large roll of parchment. Then Maglor Feänorion, exile eternal from Valinor, crossed out "Sylviana Merielwen Silvermere" from his long list of names… and smiled.

Healing Hands


Elrond Half-elven, the Lord of Imladris, looked up from his writing as a soft rapping sounded at the door to his private study. A moment later, the door cracked open and a small dark head peeked into the room, blinking owlishly at the Elf Lord.

"Ah, Estel." Elrond carefully put down his quill, allowing a warm smile to belie the usual solemnity of his bearing. "Come in, child." He reflected absently that he had missed the presence of youth in the Valley, ever since his own sons had repudiated the safety of Imladris to ride forth in search of vengeance.

The six-year-old human flashed his foster father an answering smile, and slipped into the room, climbing up onto his usual chair. Taking the patient look on Elrond's face to be a question, he launched directly into the matter that had brought him there. "What is wrong with naneth? She's tired all the time and has taken to drinking a bitter draught every night."

Elrond pondered for a moment how much to tell the surprisingly observant child, before deciding on "Your mother is ill, Estel. Hers is an illness endemic to the race of Man."

"Like mortality?" the child asked brightly, and Elrond was taken aback for a moment by the artless innocence that accompanied the statement. Like most of the Firstborn, he was inured to the Elven way of speaking tortuously around such issues.

"Tis nothing so dire in your mother's case," he told Estel. "The healing draughts I make for her will ameliorate her health considerably."

Estel's eyes grew round. Everyone - even those who visited from outside of Imladris - spoke of Master Elrond as an unsurpassed Healer in all of Arda. "Can I learn to be a Healer too?" he asked excitedly, blurting out the first thing that came to mind.

Elrond contemplated the unspoken request for mentorship with a careful consideration that one did not usually grant children. He was not sure if this was but a whimsical and transient fancy. But still, the patience and compassion that Estel may learn from the healing arts might well serve to buttress the other skills he would need to learn of kingship.

"Perhaps when you are older, little one," Elrond finally qualified. "Now then. I do believe it is time for your lessons with Glorfindel. Let us not keep him waiting." He stretched a hand out inviting to the child as he stood up and moved around his desk.

Estel gave a complaisant nod as he scrambled off the chair and slipped his small hand into that of his foster father. All thoughts of illness and healing were pushed away as man and elf departed the room.

Twilight's Morning


Legolas Thranduilion slowly picked his way along the levee that ran along the River Anduin, making a conscious effort to keep his face turned away from the black-clad turrets and half-occluded gates of Minas Tirith. Faintly, he could still hear the doleful dirges echoing from the city. Gondor did not stint for the funeral of its King.

Though he had arrived weeks ago from the Elven colony in South Ithilien, anticipating the last remaining days of his dear friend's life, Legolas could no longer bear to stay in the city. It was not for his usual reasons of avoiding various officious courtiers who thought of the Eldar as little more than connoisseurs of their pompous ideas of art, but rather for the dangerous emotions of all those around him.

Grief was a dangerous thing to one of the Firstborn. Already Arwen had quietly left the city; her beloved husband's death had obviated her own will to live. Eldarion, the heir to the throne and now the new King of Gondor, had put forth a mask of strength for his people, but his abstemious eating habits and long silences also gave hints to his own despair.

The loud calling of seagulls snapped the wandering wood-elf out of his daze. For once the cries of the gulls did not bring a painful ambivalence to Legolas' heart. There was no more conflict in the choices that lay before him. Aragorn was dead; Gimli had been given leave to accompany him to Valinor; there was nothing to keep him in Arda-Marred. Already, a white ship was under construction in Ithilien.

Legolas quickened his stride as he turned toward where his entourage awaited him. They would return to Ithilien. There, the Elves would weave their own eulogy for Elfstone and Evenstar. They would bring those paeans and laments with them to the Blessed Lands, where they will endure past the dissolution of all mortal kingdoms and the fading of mortal memory.

Father, Healer, Lord


"It is almost the onset of winter, Father! Surely you do not mean to make this precipitate journey to Gondor now?"

"And certainly not by yourself, Father! Let us come with you!"

Elrond Half-elven sighed patiently as he tried to reassure his twin sons. "Elladan, Elrohir, calm yourselves. My decision is neither whimsical nor made in haste. The King of Gondor himself has beseeched my aid against the Great Plague, and I cannot ignore the ties that bind Imladris to the scions of Numenor. I must leave now, while the plague is still endemic to the South, and before the agents of Darkness take advantage of this toward the dissolution of Gondor."

"But why can we not go in your place, father?" Elladan insisted. "It would not be discourteous for the 'Princes' of Imladris to journey in your stead, and we are not without skill in healing."

"You and your brother are learned in the perfunctory skills of battlefield-healing," Elrond corrected, "of dressing wounds and maintaining a salubrious fighting condition." Shaking his head dismissively, Elrond laid one hand on the restless steed standing beside him. "You both have far too much to learn yet when it comes to the illnesses that strike the Race of Men regardless of wealth or indigence, of status or power."

The twins remained in matching states of artless concern. "But - "

"Enough." Elrond's voice hardened from the erudite reasoning of a father into the austere command of an Elf-lord. "You two will ride north to Arnor as planned to keep vigil for the return of the chief of The Nine and whatever anachronisms of the Second Age that he may bring forth. No elegy will be sung of either kingdom of the Dunedain come the first leaf of spring."

In one smooth move, Elrond swung himself into the saddle of his elven-steed. From the added height, he fixed an imperiously expectant gaze upon the two younger elves. Elladan and Elrohir bowed low in acquiescence as vassals to their lord, even though worries plagued them yet as sons of their father. With eyes fixed resignedly on a point beyond their father's piercing gaze, they recited the words that decorum required.

"Yes, my lord."

King of Gondor


King Elessar made his way slowly along the turrets of the White Tower of Ecthelion, head bent in weighty thoughts. The winter chill ruffled his soft white robes and tousled his dark brown locks. Anyone who would have seen the king of Gondor at that moment would have marveled at the austere yet comforting picture he made.

The thoughts that lay uppermost on the king's mind was the fragile peace that lay among the multitudinous kingdoms of Middle-earth that was the coda of the War of the Ring. If the news from the scouts and agents of the Rangers of the South were veracious, many of those who had allied with the now-fallen Dark Lord were not likely to seek diplomatic relations with the victorious alliance of western kingdoms, either out of pride or habit.

However, the welter that those kingdoms had been thrown into, especially the Haradhrim and Easterlings, had yet to abate. Without the Dark Lord and the Nine orchestrating their every move, organization and the positions of leadership would be held in abeyance for quite a while. Without the similarly disarrayed forces of Mordor to buttress their armies, it would also take time before either kingdom would become a military threat.

But still, Elessar felt the wisdom of being ready for those eventualities nonetheless. He had made the same cogent arguments to Imrahil and Faramir just earlier that day, and those two lords had agreed to his suggestion. There would be no ostentatious buildup of the army, nor a specific pronouncement of maintaining military readiness to spoil the happiness of his people in their newfound 'Peace'. Rather, it would be done quietly throughout Gondor, Ithilien, and Dol Amroth. When their enemies do attack, they will find Gondor ready - a strut to the other kingdoms of the West.

A small smile momentarily graced the countenance of the king as that particular metaphor brought back memories of his childhood - of being mentored in military tactics and domestic governance in Imladris. He could still see, in his mind's eye, the knowing disappointment in Glorfindel's shining eyes that would shame and spur him more than any word spoken in vituperative castigation whenever he missed a point. He could also see the understated smile of pride in his foster father's stormy eyes when he was finally deemed ready to leave the safe haven of Imladris.

Your lessons shall not be forgotten, Adar. Elessar thought as he looked to the ocean that stretched across the western horizon. I shall not fail my people and my kingdom. I shall not fail the hope that your people and my mother had named me. This do I promise. Adar.

***

Footnotes:
"Adar" is Sindarin for "Father".

King in Training


Denethor was staring at him again.

The man whom the men of Gondor call Thorongil took another puff from his slender pipe, and concentrated assiduously on not turning around to meet the burning gaze he could feel upon his shoulder blades. Only the slight clenching of his jaw, obscured from view of his observer, belied the outward calmness that he projected and gave away his growing irritation. He already regretted rising early that morning instead of attempting to doze through the last few hours of the night. Unfortunately, it seemed that Denethor had awakened early as well, and had decided to engage in a one-way staring contest with the captain of the army.

Thorongil knew that the young lord envied him his favor with the current Steward of Gondor, Denethor's father Echthelion, and he had been regretful at first that friendship did not seem possible with the young man who would become the next Steward. But it was not in him to dissemble at playing the complaisant malingerer merely to satisfy the ambitions of another, nor to hold back his knowledge and skills like an overly inchoate neophyte. Besides, he recognized the Numenorean keenness in the son of Ecthelion, and knew that Denethor was more than disingenuous enough to see through such an act, and his pride would resent Thorongil all the more if his father's approbation was less than truly earned.

A soundless sigh escaped from Thorongil's lips as he consciously stopped himself from shifting uncomfortably where he sat. He could feel the reigns on his temper attenuating as Denethor continued to stare, and in a momentary burst of frustration, considered returning a glare of his own.

Patience. The oft-repeated advice came to his mind in the comfortably familiar erudite tones of Elrond, his foster father. A tiny smile tugged at the edge of his mouth, quickly quelled before it could take form.

He could not afford to act impulsively with someone as observant as Denethor, who was already suspicious of his immunity to his Numenorean-descended abilities. To give away too much now would obviate the entire exercise of him learning the ways of the soldiers of Gondor from the perspective of one among them, as well as placing himself in considerable danger. No, he would have to continue bearing the simmering resentment from Denethor every time his deeds were praised before the coda of Ecthelion's speeches. Perhaps he would even learn something from it, as his foster father would no doubt tell him had he been present.

Decision made, Thorongil allowed his mind to drift from thoughts of his foster father to dwell upon Arwen, as it always did. The daughter of Lord Elrond of Imladris shimmered before his mind's eye, beautiful and untouchable as the Valar. But thoughts of his beloved Undomiel also brought forth a wistful sadness; for his could not see if he would ever win her hand. If his and Arwen's greatest desire came to fruition, the price would be the loss of her immortality - such a precious sacrifice, one that he agreed must not be made until he was worthy of it… hence why he was here in Gondor, learning all the arts of military command and statesmanship.

And if he did eventually win Arwen's hand, he would still grieve for the pain and loss that they would bring to Elrond. Even though the Lord of Imladris had not banished him in opprobrium after discovering his love for Arwen and hers for him, he knew that his foster father felt more keenly than him for the possible futures of the world. For if he failed, it would mean the dissolution of the kingdoms of Men to the rising Shadow in the east; but if he succeeded, the Evenstar of the Elves would join him in mortality.

Tilting his head up to greet the rosy dawn, Thorongil, whom his father named Aragorn and whom the Elves call Estel, carefully locked his uncertainty and melancholy deep into the recesses of his mind. For with the day, he was once again but a simple captain of men.

Impossible Love


Luthien gazed out from the window of her prodigal prison, heart heavy with a veritable welter of ambivalent emotions and stomach churning from more than just an abstemious dinner. Below, under the flickering of whimsical starlight stealing through the eaves of Doriath, she could faintly hear Daeron's golden voice as the officious harper's nimble fingers wrought the coda of yet another paean in her honor.

But for once, her gentle nature was belied by her anger at him - for his inability to accept that his attempts to propitiate what he thought she desired would not win her heart… for his betrayal of her precipitate confession of her iconoclastic love for a mortal man… for his stolid refusal to help her attain the happiness that he averred was his aspiration.

Silently winging a prayer to Eru and all of the Valar, Luthien waited for Beren.