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Discussing: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

April's Nuzgûl will be Elrond the Bard:

Frodo and Sam halted and sat silent in the soft shadows, until they saw a shimmer as the travellers came towards them. ...Elrond wore a mantle of grey and had a star upon his forehead, and a silver harp was in his hand..." (RotK, "The Grey Havens").

We've heard all about Elrond the Healer and Elrond the Loremaster; what of Elrond the Bard? What sort of songs do you hear the Master of Imladris singing -- lullabies for his children, love songs for Celebrían, laments for Elros or Gil-galad? Put some music in our dear Peredhel's mouth!



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Sorry, I couldn't resist…

S. A. 1989

Erestor chuckled silently.  "I have never seen him this drunk.  Not even when he and Elros were forty, and got into Maglor's wine.  That earned the both of them a good lashing."

Glorfindel grimaced.  "He deserves another one."

"Yes.  Let us hope that this night will be forgotten."

On this clear, starry night, Glorfindel hoped earnestly that the Mariner was not looking down upon the three of them.  But suddenly the warrior knew, in his innermost heart, that such hope was vain.

"I fear, mellon nin, it will not be.  Ever."

And once again the wobbly refrain echoed: "Oh!  Tra-la-la-lally…"




Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Song of Sorrow

He woke in a cold sweat, as always. His mother's savage scream echoed in the darkened chamber, and he shivered. To endure through such pain had been hard; to relive it in dreams and memory was anguish. And still his spirit pressed on.

Next to him in the bed they shared, his brother lay quiet, peaceful in slumber. The agony of the past did not plague him in the same way. His nights were not filled with deathless cries and trails of gore; his days were not troubled by thoughts of darkness. His grief was of a different sort; it did not manifest itself in constant agony, though it was no less severe. In that his brother was blessed.

Ice-fingered, a wind filtered through the open doorway. Its curling tendrils crept across the floor and to the bed; they pervaded his still-troubled spirit. As it moved the wind created a harsh discordant note, and it rose toward Elbereth's light, tainting the ethereal purity it found there.

Drawn as ever by the great beauty wrought by the Kindler, he slipped from the high bed to the silver-lit terrace beyond. Without, the wind tugged in cruel gusts at his night-clothes, and its dissonant song became loud to his ear. It fused with the now-fading reverberation of his mother's terror, creating a music that filled his spirit with dread. It was a raucous, inelegant noise, and he longed to drown it out.

A silver harp, left perhaps by Maglor, gleamed in the night. He laid his cold hands upon the instrument, stroking the marvelous engravings. Cautiously he ran his fingers over the strings, and a pure sound rang against the wailing winds.

He sang then, in simple words than befit his tender years. His voice rose and fell as his fingers strummed the silver harp, and a single tear shone in his grey eye. Of his mother, her beauty and tender hand; of the distant Sea, where perhaps his father now dwelt; of his own fear and despair. The melody spoke not in recrimination toward his captors, nor did it praise them. Instead it told of conflict and pain, and in spite of the singer's turmoil, it was more beautiful yet than any music before. Grim and haunting were the notes, and still they wove together in marvelous splendour.

His song filled the chill night, and when at last his heart could hold no more, he stopped. There, beneath the pale and distant light of stars, the Peredhel slept, unaware of the tortured ears which listened to his words and the bleak eyes that beheld his small form.

And alone, plagued by the echoing remnant of song, Maglor wept.



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011


Applause! Excellent explanation for that song...



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Excellent, though sad; interesting also how different Elrond and Elros already respond.



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

My contribution for this thread features a young Elrond.  - Erulisse (one L)

Heart Song

Elrond was wandering aimlessly along the shore, listening to the incoming breakers. The sea was agitated and the sky was a slightly lighter grey than the waves were. He was trying to tame his temper which had come too close to exploding just a short time before.

The best part about being raised by Ada Maglor was the irrefutable fact that he was a musician and a teacher of incomparable talent. The worst part about being part of the household was that living with Ada Maglor meant that he also lived with Uncle Maedhros. It wasn't that he didn't love Uncle Maedhros; he cared deeply for him. But it was a fact that Maedhros' temper was volatile. Elrond didn't know what had set him off today, but it had been frightening to have it directed towards him instead of just witnessing his uncle's temper directed at another. 

Elrond had been practicing his harping skill. He was a relatively new player, but Ada said he was doing well and, if he worked at it, he could be a passable musician. Since there was not a great deal of entertainment in their rather grim encampment during these winter months, he practiced his music when he could, usually at least once a day for an hour or two. He wasn't allowed to use Ada's good harp, but one of the other men in the camp had a passably good instrument that he could borrow. He had finished his chores early and had settled with the harp in his small corner of the abandoned large manor house that Maedhros' men had taken as their winter home.

After limbering up his fingers, he had started practicing a song that Ada was teaching him, a lullaby of trees and the wind moving the clouds above them. Then, unconsciously, his fingers had moved into a different song – one that had leaped to his fingers from his far past, one that his mother had sung to him when he was just a child. So he played this song from the happier times when he had been part of a "real" family, and began to softly sing the words. Suddenly his harp was ripped from his hands. Looking up, he saw his uncle standing in front of him, his face contorted in anger and pain. It was he who had pulled the harp away from Elrond's hands.  He held it away from the boy, looking at him wildly with a face as pale as ice.

"NEVER play that song again in my hearing," his uncle said quietly, yet with an undercurrent of threat that made the young man squirm as away from him, retreating into his corner as far as he could get.

"Yyyess, sir. Of course. Whatever you say. I'm so sorry…"

His uncle turned and, taking the harp with him, left the boy sitting in the corner. Elrond was in shock, but as the shock wore off, anger replaced it. He knew that if he saw his uncle again too soon, he would lose his temper and would regret it later. So he rose from his corner, took his cloak from the peg by the door, and went out to walk along the shore on this wintery day.

After an hour or so, he looked up to see that his Ada Maglor was sitting in a small sheltered area near the shore, watching him walk his anger off. Maglor beckoned the boy to join him.

"He didn't mean to be so hurtful, Elrond. He just couldn't help it."

"But why, Ada? Why was he suddenly so angry with me?" the youngster asked.

"Child, he wasn't angry with you, or even about the song that you were singing. His anger was actually directed at the past, a past that he can never change." Maglor shifted slightly and put his arm around Elrond's shoulder. "You know that my brother lost his hand when he was rescued from Thangorodrim by our cousin, Fingon. My brother and Fingon loved each other dearly, each of them was heart-sworn to the other, and when Fingon died in the Nirneath Arnoediad, his death came close to slaying Maedhros as well. It was long before he was able to do things as simple as take a walk on his own. His fea was broken, even though his body was not."

"But what has this to do with me? Why is he so wroth with me?"

"None of us searched for my brother when he was taken by Melkor; we had given him our oaths that we would not. It nearly killed us; that we were forbidden to attempt to find or rescue him, but we would not be foresworn. Fingon, however, was under no such constraint."

Maglor sighed deeply, and turned Elrond's face towards him, looking at his eyes directly. "Fingon was unable to find him, and in his despair, took down his harp and played a song from their youth – the song that you were playing this afternoon. He heard a voice from a far distance answering him, singing the next verse. It was through this song that Fingon found my brother, and through the compassion of the Lord of Winds that he was rescued from that spire of stone, although he lost his right hand in the winning of that freedom." Maglor looked away, toward the distant horizon, and continued. "Fingon and the rest of us nursed Maedhros back to health, and then they separated, rarely to meet again. Yet their love still exists in his hroa and fea, and when you played the song this afternoon…well, it brought back some very sorrowful memories."

"I am so sorry," cried the young man. "I had no idea. I was just thinking of a song that my mother used to sing to us and my fingers began playing it. I had no desire to cause Uncle any pain."

"He knows that, child," Maglor said, as he drew the child closer to him and kissed him on the forehead. "It reminded him of a love lost, perhaps never again to be found, and that is a hard thing for anyone to face. He will be all right again tomorrow. But promise me one thing, son."

"If I can, I most certainly will, Ada."

"Promise me that if you ever find the love of your life, the one whose fea fits against your own as if it was made for that very purpose, you will not hesitate to pursue that love. For the only thing we have found that makes this life of desolation possible at all, is the fact that we were loved. Even though we are now alone, we have those memories to fall back on. Without love, there is nothing."

"I love you, Ada," Elrond said in a soft and trembling voice.

"And I love you, my son. Now, shall we go and see what Cook has managed to acquire for dinner?" They left the sheltered alcove and as they returned to the house, their arms were around each other's waists and a song was in their hearts. 



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Erulissë, excellent. And ... ouch; yes, that would upset Maedhros.

And *sigh*, I'd hoped to have something to contribute to the Challenge, but I fear I once again fall short through failure of inspiration. I'd promise to do better next month, but the Muse is fickle enough that I won't risk saying it Smile



Re: Nuzgûl of the Month April 2011

Thanks, Nath.  I had quite a fight to come up with inspiration for this one, but that's the fun of it.  I hope that next month's theme will be challenging as well :-) Thanks for reading and letting me know that you enjoyed my tale. 

- Erulisse (one L)



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