"They Are Called Man's Best Friend"
1. "They Are Called Man's Best Friend"
“Huan in that hour slew Carcharoth; but there in the woven woods of Doriath his own doom long spoken was fulfilled, and he was wounded mortally, and the venom of Morgoth entered into him. Then he came, and falling beside Beren spoke for the third time with words; and he bade Beren farewell before he died. Beren spoke not, but laid his hand upon the head of the hound, and so they parted.”
The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter Nineteen, Of Beren and Luthien, page 186.
I am sorry.
I have failed.
Failed you, Orome, my master. The venom of Carcharoth flows through my blood like fire; death comes, borne on swift wings, but your given task is not complete.
It has come to pass as I foresaw. My doom has come, and our fates--the fates of Beren, and Luthien the Fair, and I, Huan--are forever sealed.
It is not as hard as I thought. . . . to die. But there is so much more that I would do. Your task, Orome, I would complete.
Is this then how mortals feel, when they die? Knowing they have failed and there is nothing to be done?
You should not have sent me, Orome. You gave me to Celegorm. You foresaw that my fate lay not in Aman, but in the besieged lands of Arda.
My fate. It is odd, to think of it so. . . .
. . . . to see it thus, as something I could not deny. . . .could I, Orome? I would give so much, all that I have, but I, the Hound of Valinor, will soon not have even my life. To set things right, I fear. . . . nay, I know the chance is no longer mine.
Why did you send me, my master Orome? Celegorm does whatever pleases him. I did not help him, as you wished. Nay, master, I failed in that also.
I tried! I swear by all I have ever revered, I tried, Orome. But it was not enough.
He would listen to none, least of all his hunting hound. I loved him, but even that could not sway him. I had to choose, Orome. I could no longer follow the music of his horn.
I turned on him, Orome!
Celegorm, my master, he for whom I would have died, I would have slain!
I took Luthien beyond his grasp and gave what aid I could to her, fairest of the Eldalie. To valiant Beren also, who loved her more than life. How could I not give them aid? Noble and courageous, willing to risk all for a love that will never pass away, they were more worthy than ever Celegorm was.
Was I wrong, Orome? I am only a hound, the Hound of Valinor. I do not understand the thoughts of elves, be they lords or servants. . . . or of Valar.
So much grief, so much death. All for three jewels. He devoured it. Carcharoth, he devoured one of the three. It is here, inside him. For he is dead, I have slain him.
But Orome! Beren dies! I have failed. . . . failed you, failed Celegorm, failed Beren, failed. . . . Luthien. . . . Ah, Luthien! Fairest of the Firstborn! Why must my fate be yours?! Could you not have danced forever beside Esgalduin? Free from care and woe? Luthien! He will not return to the halls where you wait. I have failed him. And you, you, little nightingale, will fade.
I am sorry, Luthien.
Beren! I must. . . must go to him. . . . I cannot. The poison is throughout me, I feel its fire in my heart.
But I must! Beren!
Slowly, slowly I raise myself. I falter, I stumble, but I am there!
Here, Beren! I am here! He does not see. I collapse against his side. I would move closer but my legs no longer hold me.
Death dances in my vision and darkness descends before my eyes.
No! Wait but a little longer, death!
For he is my friend. Not master or lord, but friend!
Oh, if I had but words, to speak as they do! But perhaps, perhaps just once more. . . .
He turns his head. Barely, but it is enough. He is beyond speech, but he knows I am here. I speak once more, one last time.
Farewell, Beren! May we meet again in the place where death cannot come! Farewell!
He says no word. But his hand rises and he places it on my head. He is the empty-handed no more. I am here. I will not forsake him.
Orome! Did you know? Did you know, that day in Valinor when you bid me follow Celegorm?
Beren dies, Luthien will die and Celegorm, oh, foolish Celegorm, son of Feanor, as he raised his sword against his kin, so he will also die. I foresee it.
But what good is that now? What aid can I give him?
Forgive me, Orome. I tried. Carcharoth will trouble the Sindar no more, that at least I can say.
But that was not my task.
It was not the task that you gave me, Orome. To slay Carcharoth was my doom, not my duty. To save Celegorm, that was my task, and to do what is right, no matter the cost.
I am going, Orome. Do you know? Can you see from Valinor, can you see what occurs?
I am fading. I can not hear. Even the feeling of the blood running down my torn flank is gone.
Perhaps, perhaps it is enough, that I tried.
But it will not raise the dead, those who were not born to die.
Remember me, Orome.
Remember and forgive.
I am sorry, my master, Orome.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.