Tale By Any Other Name, A


1. Aredhel


My wife, Aredhel, painted on the wall

Looks as though she were alive. I do call

That portrait a wonder; Caranthir's hands

 Worked busily a day, and there she stands.

Will't please you sit and look at her? I said

"Caranthir" by design, for never read

High Elves like you that painted countenance,

The pride and beauty of her haughty glance,

But to myself they turned (since none puts by

The curtain I have drawn for you, but I)

And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst,

How such a glance came there; so, not the first

Are you to turn and ask thus. Lords, 'twas not

Her husband's presence that did call that spot

Of pride into my lady's face: I heard

Caranthir say, "Around is spoken word –

Praise – of your son. More like to Turgon than

Eöl," and "Gondolin was fairer when

You lived within those walls": these things he said

Were true enough to her and are what caused

That haughty lifting of her gaze. She had

A heart – how shall I say? – not soon made glad,

Nor easily impressed by her husband;

She hid from me but I was everywhere.

 It meant nothing, my favor at her breast –

She did prefer the wind out of the West,

News of her kin, brought by some Noldo fool

Out of the city under Turgon's rule,

 Talking with Maeglin, our son… all and each

Of these would draw a proud and gracious speech,

Or, perhaps, a smile. These pleased her – but I,

It seemed, somehow did fail to qualify –

She saw my gifts as having no great worth

And so disdained them. I did not curse

This sort of thing. And you, lords – had you skill

In speech (as have I) to tell her your will –

Clear, unmistakable – and say, "Just this

Or that in you angers me; here you miss,

Or there exceed the mark." – and if she let

You speak so to her and your wits were met…

Valar! She'd cut you down, she'd humble you;

And I would not be humbled, for words true

She ne'er did speak. Oh yes, she smiled, she did

Whene'er I passed her, her contempt unhid.

This grew. My aim was poor and all smiles and

Contempt were still. There Aredhel does stand

As if alive. Will't please you rise? I've kept

You long enough. 'Tis about time you crept

Back to Turgon to tell my tale before

My death. He'll say, "You shouldn't put much store

 In anything Eöl says." But I say

His sister was a whore, and come what may

For me, she will never again walk through

Gondolin. Remember Anguirel – you

Have seized the mate of Anglachel; my heart

 Is in the steel – I made it through my art.

*Since it's never specified what happened to Anguirel, Anglachel's mate, I'm assuming (for purposes of this poem) that Eöl had it with him and that Turgon claimed it before Eöl was executed. *Somewhat AU as they never gave Eöl the chance to speak but just threw him off a cliff…

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.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: Ti'ana Luthien

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/02/04

Original Post: 04/25/04

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