Flame and Shadow: 1. Flame and Shadow

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1. Flame and Shadow

A/N: Thanks to Claudia (the compulsive editor) for the beta!

In the beginning, there was music. Thousands of voices, in the great Theme, interchanging melodies, all in harmony but one.

It soon became clear that some of the voices were stronger than the others, and these were the Valar. Fourteen they numbered in total, seven great kings, seven great queens; and one more, forever unnamed and uncounted among them, though just as strong.

In that time, it also became clear that some of the voices belonged together. All were in harmony with each other, but some more than others. It became seen, in the eyes of the Ainur, that there were two different themes, both opposing and complimenting each other.

They called these ‘male’ and ‘female’.

In that time, before names, before form, before speech, when all was music and thought, there were two spirits that came together in harmony. In later days he would be called Olórin, and many other names besides; she would forever be known as Arien.

In that time, though, names had no meaning, and destiny had not yet laid her cruel burden upon them.

In those days, there was just music.


Of flame they were born, of flame made. And thus Arien feared not the heat of Laurelin, and with bright dews watered the flowers of Vána, of which they say the Elanor is but a pale copy. The Eldar shielded their eyes from the radiance of Arien, and her gardens, but Olórin walked among them, and taught them, and learnt from them.

In this time, there was less music, but more joy. And if Vána ever found two sets of footprints left in the golden dew, she merely smiled, and said nothing.

When others of their ilk fell to the darkness, to Melkor, they remained true. The flames that burned in twain he could not corrupt; their harmony he could not disturb.

It was in darkness they held firm, and in darkness that he lost her.


It is darkness that he fears, even now. In Moria he is hidden from her sight, no longer safe. In Moria one of the Corrupted waits, hated, beloved kindred, and the test is to see in which of them the flame burns brighter.

And in that moment of his fall, he thought of her, secret fire, dear Arien. So it seems right that she is smiling down on him when he awakes.


At Mithlond, she is there. The rays of Anor are as kisses upon his brow, a blessing upon his travel. For his task is done, yet hers is not. But he can hear her laughter in the changing patterns of light and shadow; he will await her in the West. The Last Battle shall come, in time, in time.

And in the end, there will be music.

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.

Story Information

Author: Jen Littlebottom

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: Romance

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/18/03

Original Post: 03/28/03

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