1. The measure of bravery
Do not look at me like that, my brothers. Do not gaze at me as if I am a coward. Do you think this is easy? You, my brothers go to a land where the Valar are but dim memories. I return to them to humble myself at their feet, knowing that they are not wise beyond fault but knowing that they are wiser than us, accepting any doom that they may lay upon me. If you, my beloved brother Fëanor, could but be brave enough to admit that despite your fire, the Valar are still greater, you would not be doomed, your sons, my nephews would not be doomed. I refuse to see the eight of you fall, and fall you will, for you are not brave enough to get down on your knees and beg Eru to forgive and release you from your rash vow. Your hands are red, my dear brother Fingolfin, and you are afraid of what doom would be yours if you return now to the Ring of Doom. You find the prospect of dying bravely in battle more appealing, yet there is greater bravery here now in turning your back on battle and returning to face the consequences of your actions.
Do not look at me like that, my brothers. Do not gaze at me as if I am a coward. Do you think this is easy? You, my brothers, go on without your wives, you go on without the other half of your soul. You, my brother Fëanor, choose to turn your back on the one who made you complete instead of being brave enough to do what it would take to hold on to her. She didn’t ask for much, my brother. All she wanted was for you to temper your ambitions, as you are not a power of the world. All she wanted was for you to stop trying to be one. Spirit of fire you may be, but I remember how you feared being swallowed by a love as deep as the ocean. I know why she does not follow you, my brother Fingolfin. She cares not for revenge, for she has seen what deeds fuelled by its desire can do. All she wants is for you to know this as well. Yet, you turn away from her, too frightened of failure to attempt to redeem yourself in her eyes. I am brave enough to return to my soul, to win her back, to risk being broken in spirit by her words of cold rejection. I am brave enough not to turn away.
Do not look at me like that, my brothers. Do not gaze at me as if I am a coward. Do you think this is easy? No my brothers, it is not I who is taking the cowards way out. It is you. I love you both, and no matter what you do, I will love you not one jot less, but I will not follow you. I am brave enough to defy you and hold to my beliefs.
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.