Stories within Stories: Arwen’s Search


Author’s Note: This is from a collection of stories that I wrote years ago, based on and to fill in some of the gaps in Tolkien’s masterpiece The Lord of the Rings.

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Arwen’s Search

Lord Elrond Half-elven seemed disturbed and worried; his daughter Arwen Evenstar perceived his mood and came to his side.

“Father, what ails you? Is all well?” she questioned him quietly.

Elrond shook his head gravely. “Nay, daughter. Something bodes ill in the forests beyond Bruinen. Aragorn should have arrived with the hobbits by now. I fear the Black Riders have waylaid him somehow.”

Arwen sensed the urgency of the situation. Her heart feared for Aragorn’s safety and for those whom he protected. “I will go and search for them, Father.”

“No. I have already sent Glorfindel upon Asfaloth; he will find them speedily. We must make ready in case someone of their party is wounded.” With these words, Lord Elrond left the room but Arwen remained, struggling with her heart and her desire to obey her father. Finally, her heart won out.

Going to her chamber, she clothed herself in gray, drawing a dark hood over her fair head. Taking up her sword, she slipped out to the stables and, mounting the horse Delathena, rode out of Rivendell and into the forests of Middle-earth.

~

For two days, she searched and searched tirelessly, catching sight of five Ringwraiths upon their black steeds. But there was no sign of Aragorn and his Halfling companions. Soon, heartsick, she turned towards Rivendell again.

“I hope Glorfindel found them,” was her heart’s prayer.

No sooner had she crested the hill beyond the river Bruinen than the thunder of hooves reached her sharp ears. Suddenly, Asfaloth burst from the trees and galloped across the river, a smallish figure upon his back! He paused on the opposite shore and Arwen’s spirit cringed as the terrible voices of the Nine cried out to Asfaloth’s rider.

“Come back with us, Frodo! Come back with us to Mordor!” they shrieked.

Arwen then realized that Asfaloth’s rider was a Halfling! In fact, he was the very Halfling that she had been seeking.

She saw the brave little creature draw his sword, warding the Wraiths back fiercely and desperately.

“Go back!” he cried. “Go back to the Land of Mordor, and follow me no more!”[1] But his strength waned. He was injured! Seeing his weakness, the Riders began to advance upon him!

Suddenly, words flowed from Arwen’s lips, stirring the air with Rivendell’s power.

Nîn o Chithaeglir

lasto beth daer.

Rimmo nîn Bruinen

dan in Ulaer.

Suddenly, the currents of Bruinen began to swell as a wall of water rushed over the Black Riders, sweeping them away! Arwen watched them for a moment but then quickly dismounted Delathena and ran to Frodo, who had finally succumbed to his weakness and fallen from Asfaloth’s saddle!

She cradled the hobbit in her arms, seeing that he was slipping from this world. Gathering him up, she mounted Asfaloth this time, for he was the swifter horse, and raced to her father’s house.

Noro lim, Asfaloth!”

The Elvish horses ran rapidly and soon arrived at Elrond’s house in the valley where Arwen sprang from the saddle and rushed into the bright hall with Frodo.

“Father! Father!”

Lord Elrond appeared with none other than Gandalf the Grey at his side. Elrond took the hobbit and they retreated to the east wing to care for him.

Arwen watched them disappear down the hall and then turned at the nearby voice of her brother Elorhir. “You may have saved the Halfling’s life, sister. You may have saved us all.”

She glanced at him with a worried look in her bright eyes. “I only hope so, my brother. I only hope so.” With that, she pulled the dark hood from her head and moved towards her chambers.

 

Two days later, Arwen heard that Frodo was awake and progressing well. This relieved her heart’s ache of fear for the brave hobbit. She gathered bouquets of elanor for his room every morning whilst he remained abed and even paid him a visit or two herself, when he was well enough to receive visitors. It seemed to brighten both their spirits, for he enjoyed her company very much and his regaining health pleased her.

One eve, all gathered for a merry supper. Arwen sat beside Frodo with Sam ever vigilant at his other hand and Gandalf across from them, Aragorn—known to his Halfling friends as Strider—at his side. Throughout supper, there was much lively chatter, songs, and stories. Frodo spoke quite a bit with Lady Arwen, Sam, and Gandalf but, after a while, the Lady dropped from conversation with the hobbits and wizard and exchanged a few words with Aragorn. Frodo’s alertness was fast returning and he noticed certain looks and manners with which Arwen and Aragorn regarded each other, even a secretive smile gracing either of their commanded countenances for a fleeting moment.

Leaning towards Sam, he whispered, “Are Strider and the Lady Arwen in love?”

Sam snuck a peek around his friend. “Aye, Mr. Frodo, I believe they are. Though they don’t fully act it in public.”

Frodo just smiled and enjoyed the peace of the moment, for—though unbidden and undesired—the next day was to bring a most tumultuous year into his life. A year that would change the world as they all knew it.

[1] The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, page 241.

 

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