Aldarion, King's Heir of Númenor, and Erendis betrothed
Event Type: Genealogical
Age: 2nd Age - Pre-Rings
Now Almarian the Queen, being acquainted by Núneth with what had passed, and fearing lest Aldarion should seek solace in voyaging again (for he had been long ashore), sent word to Erendis asking that she return to Armenelos; and Erendis being urged by Núneth and by her own heart did as she was bid. There she was reconciled to Aldarion; and in the spring of the year, when the time of the Erukyermë was come, they ascended in the retinue of the King to the summit of the Meneltarma, which was the Hallowed Mountain of the Númenóreans. When all had gone down again Aldarion and Erendis remained behind; and they looked out, seeing all the Isle of Westernesse laid green beneath them in the spring, and they saw the glimmer of light in the West where far away was Avallónë, and the shadows in the East upon the Great Sea; and the Menel was blue above them. They did not speak, for no one, save only the King, spoke upon the height of Meneltarma; but as they came down Erendis stood a moment, looking towards Emerië, and beyond, towards the woods of her home.
"Do you not love the Yôzâyan1?" she said.
"I love it indeed," he answered, "though I think that you doubt it. For I think also of what it may be in time to come, and the hope and splendour of its people; and I believe that a gift should not lie idle in hoard."
But Erendis denied his words, saying: "Such gifts as come from the Valar, and through them from the One, are to be loved for themselves now, and in all nows. They are not given for barter, for more or for better. The Edain remain mortal Men, Aldarion, great though they be: and we cannot dwell in the time that is to come, lest we lose our now for a phantom of our own design." Then taking suddenly the jewel from her throat she asked him: "Would you have me trade this to buy me other goods that I desire?"
"No!" said he. "But you do not lock it in hoard. Yet I think you set it too high; for it is dimmed by the light of your eyes." Then he kissed her on the eyes, and in that moment she put aside fear, and accepted him; and their troth was plighted upon the steep path of the Meneltarma.
They went back then to Armenelos, and Aldarion presented Erendis to Tar-Meneldur as the betrothed of the King's Heir; and the King was rejoiced, and there was merrymaking in the city and in all the Isle. As betrothal gift Meneldur gave to Erendis a fair portion of land in Emerië, and there he had built for her a white house. But Aldarion said to her: "Other jewels I have in hoard, gifts of kings in far lands to whom the ships of Númenor have brought aid. I have gems as green as the light of the sun in the leaves of trees which you love."
"No!" said Erendis. "I have had my betrothal gift, though it came beforehand. It is the only jewel that I have or would have; and I will set it yet higher." Then he saw that she had caused the white gem to be set as a star in a silver fillet; and at her asking he bound it on her forehead. She wore it so for many years, until sorrow befell; and thus she was known far and wide as Tar-Elestirnë, the Lady of the Star-brow. Thus there was for a time peace and joy in Armenelos in the house of the King, and in all the Isle, and it is recorded in ancient books that there was great fruitfulness in the golden summer of that year, which was the eight hundred and fifty-eighth of the Second Age.
Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 2, Aldarion and Erendis
1. Yôzâyan Adûnaic name for Númenor. 'Land of Gift'
Unfinished Tales, Index
added quotes: Tanaqui 26Nov05