Disclaimer: All characters from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings belong exclusively to the Tolkien Estate. These characters are not mine. I simply play with the wonder that is them and the world they inhabit and the stories that could lie between the lines.
Fall was quiet, leaves of gold and amber making their silent courses to the carpet the ground. This was when he enjoyed the world, at its twilight. Gandalf’s own was approaching, this he knew. His task had been fulfilled.
Four years to the day when he had delivered the hobbits to Imladris from Minas Tirith. Four years since the little ones had fought for home and hearth. Four years since he had passed through his own fiery gauntlet. It might not seem like a long time to some, especially to he who had seen the ages of this world pass by like wisps of cloud. But it was enough.
Twilight was falling for him. And also for others.
Frodo was beginning to fade; he could feel it. It was like a breath of cold seeping into his heart. Gandalf would soon leave on that last ship from Middle-earth, and he knew that Frodo must leave with him.
‘It is time,’ the old Maia murmured as he walked beneath the fading trees of Lothlorien.
If spring is Lothlorien’s glory, then autumn is its phoenix burning.
‘Gandalf, you wished to speak with me?’ A bright figure paused at the doorway to the wizard’s chambers. Galadriel, Lady of Light.
‘Lady Galadriel, please.’ Gandalf held a hand out to her.
The Elf Queen smiled and took his arm in full confidence. ‘What is it, old friend? You know my time for granting requests grows short.’
‘As it does for all of us, my Lady. But this boon I must ask.’ Gandalf turned as they reached the moonlit terrace. ‘Frodo is failing. Failing and fading quickly.’
Galadriel’s bright eyes seemed to cloud a bit. ‘His wound is a danger to him; it feeds on the darkness the Ring left in his soul, the broken pieces of himself.’
Gandalf sighed, suddenly feeling very old. ‘He is so young to have borne so much.’
Galadriel placed a hand on his arm again, Nenya, the ring of Adamant, shimmering in the pale moonlight upon her finger. ‘We were all young once, Gandalf.’ A gentle smile graced her lips. ‘But you had a request.’
The Maia regarded her softly. ‘You already know of it, my Lady.’
Galadriel gave a quiet nod. ‘Frodo is not merely a Peleninath. He is also a Ring-Bearer, as is Bilbo. Therefore, I would think it fitting that they should join us; they have earned their rest.’
A smile, one she had known of old, crinkled around Gandalf’s ancient eyes.
‘Our twilight has come, Gandalf. Soon we will journey beyond the White Towers and into the West. The power of our Rings has ended and the time has come for the dominion of Men; may Aragorn and his line rule well.’ The Lady of Light then turned to Gandalf, echoing his words, ‘May they be blest.’
Gandalf, too, smiled. ‘A part of you will always live on in Middle-earth, my Lady. It lives on now in your granddaughter Arwen and will flourish in her children. The light of Lothlorien will never fully be gone as long as one descendent of her line lives.’
Galadriel gave a quiet smile at his words. She did love her granddaughter Arwen Undomiel wholly and completely and part of her heart was saddened at her remaining behind, having given up her Elvish radiance and immortality. But Galadriel also knew the powerful bonds of love.
Galadriel looked out over the gold-and-reddening Wood. ‘Yes, our twilight has come.’