“I find your heightened interest in Dwarves very disturbing, Lady Ilmarë.”
The tone of his voice told Ilmarë that Elrond poked fun at her well before she looked up and saw the humor in his eyes. Since their departure from Harlond, Elrond had been standing beside her at the ship’s railings, patiently answering all her questions as she jumped from one topic to another – Ereinion, his home, Mithlond and then the topic turned to Dwarves. It was little wonder Ilmarë began asking about them; she had been fascinated with the idea of the short, bearded creatures since Linquendil had mentioned them to her on Númenor. Elrond had apparently grown weary of answering her questions about Dwarves and had chosen to tease her instead.
“Have you ever met a Dwarf before, Lord Elrond?”
“Yes, I have. At one time there were Dwarves who lived in the Blue Mountains,” Elrond said and pointed to the high mountains in the distance. “There are Dwarves who come to the Havens to trade with the merchants, but that is very rarely.”
“Well I have not met or even seen a Dwarf. I have seen Elves and I have seen Mortals, but never a Dwarf. I had hoped to meet one during my time here in Middle-earth.” She sighed and leaned forward to rest her arms on the railing as she looked out over the gulf waters.
“I am sure you will have opportunity to meet at least one, if not several,” Elrond said, no longer teasing when he saw her disappointment. “While there are no Dwarves left in Lindon there are many who live within a week’s travel to the north and some to the southeast as well.”
A gentle rain started to fall and Elrond looked up at the sky. “We should go below deck now that the rains have begun.”
Ilmarë could hear the faint rumblings of thunder in the distance and saw the storm gathering to the east. “Could we not stay here, please? There are no storms like this in my homeland and I would very much like to see it. I do not mind the rain, if you do not.”
Elrond didn’t much care for the idea of standing in the rain, but Ilmarë’s expectant face made it difficult to say no. The storm was still in the distance and no lightning accompanied the sprinkling rain that fell. At last, he decided it would do no harm to stay above deck and allow Ilmarë to watch the storm for a time.
He heaved a sigh and said, “All right then…but only while the storm is at a distance. When it comes closer we must go below deck.” His stern look was undone by Ilmarë’s excited laugh; he smiled and shook his head at her.
“First Dwarves and now thunderstorms…you are a woman of unusual tastes, Lady Ilmarë. And I hope you understand how fully drenched we will be after standing out here for a time in even this light rain. Ereinion will think you fell overboard and I was forced to jump in after you.”
Ilmarë pulled in a breath of exaggerated shock and laid her hand across her chest. “You would jump from the side of a ship and into the waters of the gulf for me?” Elrond answered with a nod of equally exaggerated modesty. “Why that is very noble of you, Lord Elrond. I would do the same for you, as well…. providing the water was not too cold at the time.”
Elrond’s look of mock hurt earned another laugh from Ilmarë. She glanced down at her dress, which was already becoming soaked.
“Well…at least the sand from the beach will be washed away,” she said with a short sigh.
Ilmarë studied Elrond’s profile as he leaned against the railing next to her. Every time she looked at him it caused strange stirrings in her chest and she could feel the skin of her body tingle. She cleared her throat and after a few hesitant tries, asked a question – one she was certain would go against the proper social manners Círdan had tried so hard to impress upon her.
“I know it is polite to refer to acquaintances as Lord and Lady, but could we consider this new friendship between us an acceptable reason to forgo propriety? I would rather you called me simply Ilmarë. I do not like being referred to as Lady…it sounds so stiff and unfriendly.” Ilmarë watched Elrond’s face as she waited for his answer, hoping dearly she had not offended him.
He turned away from the water and examined her closely for a moment, as though he were considering her request when, in truth, there was no decision to be made. “I will agree to call you Ilmarë…” he stopped and smiled at her, “but only if you will agree to call me by my given name as well.”
She grinned brightly, relieved that he had agreed. “Thank you, Elrond. I had hoped you would say that. I feel very at ease around you. Calling you lord seemed….unfitting somehow.”
A bright flash of lightning caught Ilmarë’s attention. She turned to watch the spread of its white fingers across the grey sky as it streaked down to meet the ground. Ilmarë shook her head in wonder at the dangerous beauty of it.
“Did you see the lightning?” she said, pointing toward the storm. “It is beautiful.”
“Yes it is,” Elrond agreed although it was not the storm he watched for Ilmarë’s distraction gave him the opportunity to study her profile. Yet the stirrings within Elrond affected him far differently than they had Ilmarë. He felt at ease around her, as well, and that was unusual. He knew that others perceived his quiet, reserved manner as a sign of propriety and wisdom, but it was far from the truth. It showed his lack of ability to trust others and his need to keep people at a distance. Elrond had his own false perceptions of himself…that his isolation provided him with a sense of safety.
It is not safety I feel, but loneliness…a loneliness not eased even by the presence of others,
but with that thought he realized that it had been eased by Ilmarë’s presence, and that was almost as frightening for him as it was comforting. I am no starry-eyed fool. I know all too well there are consequences for feelings such as this…it is too preposterous to even consider. This must be ended before it even begins…she will be delivered to Ereinion as intended and left to his care…
Ilmarë felt Elrond’s gaze on her; when her eyes met his she frowned at the agitation she saw and felt in him. As he stared at her, Elrond saw a light appear in the depths of her eyes, but it was faint…like something hidden behind a veil. She blinked and the light disappeared, but Elrond had already been bound by the warmth and beauty he had seen in that brief glimpse.
It was yearning that Ilmarë now saw and felt in him, and the band returned to tighten around her chest, squeezing the strange flutterings from her chest into her throat and making it difficult to breathe. Taking advantage of his weakening resolve, Elrond’s fingers fulfilled their earlier desire and the backs of them traced across her cheek, proving that her skin was so much softer than he had imagined.
Ilmarë recognized the passion flaming in her stomach at his touch and the warmth spreading through her body was familiar, but there was something different at work within her…for Elrond’s lips to claim her mouth was a demanding need and left a tender, choking sensation that almost brought her to tears.
Elrond saw her lips part in anticipation and at that moment all else faded away…the swiftly approaching piers, the sailors at the far end of the deck…they vanished; nothing mattered except to feel Ilmarë’s lips against his. He took his fingers from her cheek and used both hands to gently cradle her face as he brought his mouth down to meet hers.
Ilmarë felt his breath brush against her lips before she pulled away. She took a step back from Elrond and closed her eyes, breathing deeply to try to clear her head and calm her rushing blood. She craved that kiss with every fiber of her weak, mortal body and it rebelled violently against her now, demanding the passionate contact it had been denied. But the lesson she learned with Círdan was not one easily forgotten; she knew where this would lead if her desire was allowed to take control again. Elrond would call a halt to his mistake as Círdan had, but he was not bound by a promise to help her as Círdan was. Ilmarë had no doubt that once he realized what she had led him to do, Elrond would want nothing more to do with her.
Elrond watched her, his passion-clouded mind taking a few moments to understand that she had pulled away. His disbelief mounted until it reached the point of anger and confusion. He knew Ilmarë’s desire was as great as his own – he had seen it in her eyes – why did she pull away then? Her voice was little more than a shaky whisper when she spoke, though she tried to sound calm.
“Forgive me, Elrond, but I do not think this a wise decision. I fear if this were allowed to happen it would only become a cause for regret.”
Ilmarë spoke of the regret he would feel, but Elrond took it to be directed at him – that she would come to regret allowing him to touch her. He stared at the planks of the deck and silently berated himself for going against his better judgment to even entertain the idea of something between the two of them.
It would have been nothing but a temporary diversion,
he reassured himself, she is Númenorean, yes… but she is still only Mortal and I am Elf.
He closed his eyes against the unbidden thought that surfaced. Half-Elf, Elrond Peredhil…Elf in spirit perhaps, yet Mortal blood courses in your veins as well.
This only served to irritate him further and turned his back on Ilmarë to look out past the bow of the ship. She risked a glance when she sensed him move away. Elrond cleared his throat and clasped his hands behind his back.
“Yes…I suppose you are right. We merely share a friendship and behavior like that is not appropriate within the bounds of friendship.”
He was relieved that he was able to sound indifferent despite what raged inside him. He heard the mariners on the ship calling to the workers on the pier as they threw the ropes down to be tied off. Withdrawing back into himself and taking on a disinterested tone, he spoke again.
“It appears that we have arrived at the Havens. I see the coach waiting for us just past the docks. Come now, we must leave.”
Ilmarë watched him walk across the deck and speak to the captain. She slowly followed him, her thoughts centered on the disgust she felt for herself that this desire had been allowed to get the better of her again.
I did not stop it in time. I should not have let it go so far. This mistake was enough for Elrond and already he wants nothing to do with me. I should have allowed him to kiss me…at least I would have the pleasure of knowing his kiss before he decided to forgo my company.
But she quickly found that this was not a frustrating disappointment as it had been with Círdan. The thought of Elrond’s rejection was much worse. It left a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her want to bury her face in her hands and cry. Ilmarë stood next to the sailors lowering the gangplank and waited for Elrond to finish speaking with the captain. Once the gangplank was securely on the pier, the mariners took her trunks off the ship and carried them to the waiting coach. Elrond left the captain and reached Ilmarë just as the last of her trunks were leaving the ship. Gathering up enough courage, she tried to apologize; the distant look on Elrond’s face and his refusal to meet her eyes tore at her.
“Elrond,” she said hesitantly, “I am sorry…I did not mean…”
But he acted as though he had not heard. Without looking at her he offered his arm and nodded toward the gangplank.
“We should go now. Ereinion will be waiting for us to arrive.”
Elrond had heard her, but his indifferent attitude was becoming difficult to maintain and her apology would only make it worse. He wanted only deliver Ilmarë to Ereinion, and retreat to the solitude of his study and his books to be alone with his thoughts. Ilmarë nodded and put her hand on Elrond’s arm, and they walked down the gangplank in silence.
After he had helped her into the coach, Elrond watched the workers secure the trunks to the back of the coach before climbing up to join Ilmarë. Though he sat across from her the inside of the small coach was close quarters. Elrond appeared to be oblivious to her presence, putting his elbow on the armrest and resting his chin on his hand as he watched the passing scenery of grey roads, stone houses and trees lining the roadways.
Ilmarë tried to look at the city as they passed through it but found it couldn’t hold her attention. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat and the wet material of her dress chilled her skin. She noted with regret that Elrond’s clothes and hair were as wet as hers.
“I am sorry, Elrond,” she tried again and saw him stiffen when she spoke. “I am sorry for asking you to stay on deck to watch the storm with me. Now your clothes and your hair are wet.”
He relaxed and even gave her a hint of his crooked smile. “If I am willing to jump from the deck of a ship into the gulf waters for you, then braving the rain seems a small sacrifice by comparison.”
Ilmarë smiled but her relief was short lived. The moment he finished speaking Elrond appeared to regret his teasing remark and resumed his stony examination of the window. They rode in silence until the coach halted. Elrond left the coach first and turned to offer Ilmarë a steadying hand as she climbed down. She exited the coach as quickly as possible, determined not to show the effect the touch of his hand had on her.
He led her up the steps of the mansion of pale grey stone and just as they reached the shelter of the porch the storm began in earnest. Elrond opened one of the tall, white front doors stepping aside to let Ilmarë enter first. Once inside, Elrond stopped just past the entryway. While he peeled off his wet robe and draped it across his arm he searched for the right words to say to Ilmarë. Having her so near to him during the ride to the mansion had snuffed out his indifference, despite his best efforts to keep it alive. Now he could only hope that if he offered a proper apology, she would forgive his forwardness in trying to kiss her and perhaps even still wish to see him. The sound of footsteps coming down the far hall made Elrond lift his head and look around.
Ilmarë had been studying the twin staircases as she waited for Elrond; one rose from the floor on each side of the room and curved up to the second floor. She turned to look toward the sound, but had no idea the faint footsteps heralded the approach of a king. When Ereinion rounded the side of the far stairway her thoughts of disappointment and wet clothing were pushed aside in her wide-eyed examination of him.
Upon meeting Ereinion, the feature first noticed by most was his height and Ilmarë was no exception. He was tall - almost as tall as silver-haired Elf from her dreams, and she had seen none taller than Thingol. Ereinion moved with a fluid grace making even Círdan and Linquendil seem ungainly by comparison. He wore no robe, just a belted shirt of deep red with long, full sleeves and close-fitting black pants tucked into boots of soft leather ending just above his calves.
Fine, dark golden hair fell to the center of his back and was held away from his face by the circle of gold upon his forehead. His face was strikingly handsome with its well-defined jaw line and high cheekbones, but the eyes beneath the arched brows were what held Ilmarë’s attention. She compared their brilliant blue to the sapphire waters from her dream of Eressëa. The outer corners of his eyes tilted up slightly with the smile he offered her as he crossed the wide marble floor.
Ilmarë’s study of Ereinion had not escaped Elrond’s attention. Now he waited to see how she would react to Ereinion, all the while painfully aware of the tension building inside his chest.
“My errant houseguest, arrived at last,” Ereinion said as he stopped close to Ilmarë. “I am sorry I was not able to escort you from Harlond as I had intended, but I have no doubt Elrond proved an excellent escort.”
He looked at Elrond still holding his wet robe over one arm; his pants and shirt were soaked through as well. Ereinion took note of Ilmarë’s dampened appearance before looking at Elrond with a raised eyebrow.
“Elrond, did you get caught in the storm? I only heard the rains begin as I walked down the hallway.”
“It rained on the crossing from Harlond and we stayed above deck to allow Ilmarë a view of the storm to the east. She asked to watch it and I did not think a little rain was a reason to say no.” Elrond leveled his gaze at Ereinion, daring his friend to comment on how out of character this was for him, yet at the same time wishing that Ereinion would not do so in front of Ilmarë.
The corners of Ereinion’s mouth began to turn up in a smile at Elrond’s discomfort, and he pursed his lips to hide it. “That was very thoughtful of you, Elrond,” he said and left the matter alone. He turned to Ilmarë with a warm smile.
“Then Ilmarë is your name, is it? Well, that is one mystery solved. Ilmarë…” Ereinion said thoughtfully, “it is a lovely name…but then I have always found the names of those in Valinor lovely.”
Ilmarë stood speechless. Could this Elven King possess such perception? …or had Círdan told him in spite of her request that he tell no one? It seemed unlikely, but not impossible. Before she could recover from the surprise Ereinion continued.
“My father told me tales of Ilmarë, which his father told him. Many of the Noldorin exiles held the Maia of Varda they knew in Aman as an example of devotion and kindness,” Ereinion told her. “It would seem the mortal custom of naming children after those who are held in high esteem is a wise one. Your name was chosen well, Lady Ilmarë; it suits you.”
Ilmarë caught herself before the sigh of relief escaped her lips. She lowered her head respectfully and made a small curtsy.
“I am honored to meet you, King Gil-galad. Thank you for your kindness in allowing me to stay at your home.” As she straightened up to stand what he had said hit her. “May I ask why you say the name suits me? That is a curious thing to say to one whom you do not know.”
“No,” Ereinion replied with a smile, “it is not so curious when you consider the name. In Quenya your name means ‘starlight’, and like the stars, I am filled with wonder to look upon your radiant beauty.”
In what memories she possessed, Ilmarë could not remember ever being given such a kind compliment and she smiled brightly.
“In Sindarin my name, Gil-galad, means ‘starlight’ as well. I find that a pleasant coincidence, Lady Ilmarë. And please, call me Ereinion - it rolls of the tongue a bit easier than Gil-galad, does it not?” He took her hand and lifted it to his lips, pressing a light kiss upon the back of it.
Ilmarë felt the familiar stirrings of attraction rise in her chest as Ereinion’s lips touched her skin and she held back a resigned sigh. These reactions only confirmed her suspicion that the Valar had housed her in a defective form.
All Mortal forms are defective
she reminded herself and if Elves and Mortals are constantly subjected to these confusing and tiresome sensations then it is little wonder they cannot rule these lands properly…
She squared her shoulders and started to take a deep breath but the movement caused her damp dress to slide across her skin, sending a chilled shiver through her body. Ereinion saw this as he raised his head and for the briefest instant he was pleased, thinking the reaction had been caused by his kiss to her hand. When it dawned on him that her wet clothing was the cause his eyebrows drew together in a frown.
“Lady Ilmarë, please forgive my lack of manners. You are soaked to the skin,” Ereinion said, clearly distress by his oversight. “Let me show you to your room so you can change into something dry.”
Elrond had watched their exchange in silence, convincing himself that despite the sinking feeling in his stomach, this turn of events was for the best. His duty had been to deliver her to Ereinion and so he had. Ereinion and Ilmarë were clearly happy in one another’s company. There are few women who are not happy in Ereinion’s company.
Elrond realized that fact had never bothered him until now.
“You could do with a change of clothing yourself, Elrond.” Ereinion’s friendly remark interrupted Elrond’s introspection. Elrond looked down at his clothes and nodded.
“Indeed I could, Ereinion. Now that I have fulfilled my task of delivering your guest to you, I will take my leave and return to my rooms.” Elrond smiled at Ereinion. He purposefully avoided Ilmarë’s gaze as he nodded to her and he turned to walked toward the nearest of the two staircases.
There, it is finished. She is better off with Ereinion for he has no reservations about becoming involved with Mortal women… Although he must have some reservations, for he goes to great length to keep his dalliances secret whether they be Elf or Mortal…
“Thank you, Lord Elrond.” Ilmarë’s voice cut through his musings. She had taken Ereinion’s arm and they were walking toward the staircase at the far end of the room. When he did not answer, she added, “Thank you for this afternoon. You were kind to indulge my wishes, and I am sorry it was not more pleasant for you.”
He saw the worry in her fixed gaze and the stiff lines on Elrond’s face relaxed. Despite his disappointment at the averted kiss, he had enjoyed the time spent with her.
“You are welcome, and you have my thanks as well,” Elrond said with a brief nod. “I found your company very pleasant, Lady Ilmarë, and well worth being caught in the rain.”
Ilmarë rewarded him with a bright smile that made his heart stumble a pace in its usual steady march. Elrond’s step was a little lighter as he made his way up the stairs. Before he reached the top of the stairs, Ereinion called to him from the opposite stairway.
“Elrond, my friend, I am afraid I must ask another favor of you. When you have finished dressing, would you meet us in my private study? I wish to discuss with Lady Ilmarë her reasons for coming to Lindon and I would like you to be there.”
“Certainly, Ereinion. I will not be long,” Elrond replied and nodded, then took the last few steps quickly and disappeared into the second floor hallway leading to his rooms.
Ilmarë allowed Ereinion to lead her down the hallway once they reached the second floor, but she paid little attention to where they went. The many mistakes she had made that day occupied her. She thought she had bested her desire after battling it those first days with Círdan, but obviously that had been nothing more than a skirmish. Not even the height of her passion with Círdan equaled the need Elrond had instilled in her with a mere look. She felt her body grow agitated again just to think of it. No doubt her reaction to Ereinion’s polite overtures was the result of the desire Elrond had stirred in her Mortal form. Clearly this would be more of a war fought again and again as opposed to a singular battle to be won and forgotten.
Ereinion cleared his throat and Ilmarë looked up to find that they had stopped in front of a door. From the look on Ereinion’s face they had been there for a few moments.
“I am sorry, Lord Ereinion,” Ilmarë said hastily, embarrassed at being so caught up in her thoughts, “I am out of sorts and not quite myself today. I hope you will not think me rude.”
“I do not think you are rude, Lady Ilmarë. You have caused no offense,” Ereinion said and smiled as he opened the door for her. “Come now, you need to get out of those wet clothes.”
She walked ahead of him into a sitting room and Ereinion pointed to the far wall where a door stood open.
“Your bedroom is through that door and all your things are inside. The servants should have brought your things upstairs and unpacked them by now. These rooms were prepared for you yesterday after I received Círdan’s message. I hope they are to your liking.”
Ilmarë walked across the sitting room and into the bedroom, stopping to look around at the large room. She was happy to find that its furniture and window and bed coverings were of deep blue for she had grown quite fond of that color. A large cedar wardrobe sat against one wall and its doors stood open to reveal her clothes hanging inside. Next to the bed sat a table and her personal belongings had been placed on top next to a large vase filled with a tall fountain of colorful flowers. The two trunks she had acquired on Númenor were nowhere to be seen, but the trunk sent with her from Valinor sat closed at the foot of the bed. She was very impressed with the servants’ efficiency.
“You will find the washroom in there,” Ereinion said from the doorway, pointing to another door. He stepped back into the sitting room and grasped the doorknob. “I will wait for you in the sitting room. Take your time, there is no rush.”
“Thank you, Lord Ereinion,” she said as he closed the door.
She quickly pulled the wet dress off and laid it across the back of a chair to dry. Ilmarë grabbed a dressing robe from the wardrobe and pulled it tightly around her in an effort to warm herself. She tied the robe and let her body fall backwards onto the bed, flinging her arm up to cover her eyes as she lay down.
“Why did the Valar choose to place me in a mortal body?” she muttered unhappily to the empty room. “Why not an Elven body? At least then I would not be subject to this torment of relentless desire.” Ilmarë shook her head and sighed. “I must have done some horrible deed in Valinor to have deserved this wretched task.”
She removed her arm from her eyes and stared up at the mural painted across the ceiling. It was a landscape…Lindon was her guess… with lush green fields, a blue lake and mountains rising in the distance. Ilmarë knew that soon she would have to travel beyond the boundaries of Lindon and she would face trials more serious than learning to compensate for the shortcomings of a mortal body.
“Wretched or not, it is my task, given to me because someone had faith I could complete it.” She sat up and looked around the room once more. “Well then…off we go,” and pushed herself from the bed.
Ilmarë wasted no time in putting on a dry dress and then hurriedly combed out the mass of black hair before pulling it back with a ribbon. Retrieving dry shoes from the wardrobe, she slipped them on and opened the door to the sitting room. She started to call to Ereinion but stopped when she saw him sitting on a large couch across the room. He rested his body against the back of the couch and his head fell slightly to one side. Ilmarë knew from his closed eyes and deep, even breathing that he was asleep. She walked to the couch and stood next to it for a moment, uncertain what to do, but finally deciding to sit next to Ereinion and try to wake him. The moment her weight settled on the couch next to him he opened his eyes.
“I did not expect you to be changed so quickly, Ilmarë. I am used to waiting much longer for ladies to make themselves ready,” Ereinion said teasingly and smiled, but then rubbed a hand across his eyes as he stifled a yawn. “Forgive me, but I have not been sleeping well these past weeks. Most nights I have strange dreams and I wake feeling as though I had not rested at all.” He looked at Ilmarë again and suddenly asked, “I have paid no attention to the talk of you living with Círdan, for I knew you were there for a reason, but the talk also says the ship that brought you came from Númenor. Is that true?”
“Yes, it is, Lord Ereinion,” Ilmarë answered, watching him closely, unsure where this was leading. There was something in his voice that led her to believe there was a specific reason for his question. “Do you ask because you wish to know where it is I am from, or is there something more?”
“I have never been to Númenor,” Ereinion said, shaking his head. “I had a close friend who lived there and he came to Lindon often, but that was many years ago and time never allowed for me to travel to the island. But I believe some of my dreams these past weeks have been of someplace there.”
He shifted his body on the couch to face Ilmarë. “I have seen a harbor with white piers and silver sands, and a tall white tower stands over it. From there, my dreams take me down a path of white sands and silver stones to a large grey house by the waters. Tall trees with white bark and golden leaves, and beds of red flowers surround it. The dream is so clear that there are times when I can almost smell the scent of the flowers when I wake.”
Ereinion looked at her hopefully. “Do you know of a place like this on Númenor? I know without doubt it does not exist here in Middle-earth.”
Ilmarë stared silently at Ereinion, not only in amazement of his dream, but because the description brought back the dream she herself had the first night at Círdan’s, forgotten until that very moment.
She slowly shook her head and said, “The place you describe is not on Númenor. It is the harbor of Avallónë on Tol Eressëa.”
The house is the home I shared with Eönwë
, Ilmarë thought to herself, but did not speak it.
At Ereinion’s questioning look, she added. “The Elves of Eressëa visit the Westlands of Númenor frequently and they tell stories of Avallónë. Lord Ereinion, do you see only places in your dreams or do you see people as well?”
“I see people, but I do not see their faces. Only one person’s face is revealed to me and that person I already know.”
“Who might that be?” Ilmarë asked with what she hoped was far less worry than she felt. His insight was uncanny and Ilmarë once again recalled Linquendil’s mistrust of the Noldor, especially their king.
“Melian of Doriath, yet I do not know why she is revealed to me.” He searched Ilmarë’s face without speaking, and continued so long that she began to squirm uncomfortably beneath his gaze. At last, he rubbed his hand across his eyes again and then shook his head.
“There is something familiar about you Lady Ilmarë. Not your face…it is difficult to explain…perhaps it is better to say there is something familiar about your presence. I have not seen you in these dreams, but now that I have met you, it seems as though you were there as well. That is why I hoped you might recognize the places I saw. Eressëa, you say….that is interesting…”
“Lord Ereinion, is Elrond not waiting for us to arrive?” Ilmarë asked, hoping to divert his attention away from these dreams until she had time to give it a little further thought.
Ereinion stood and held out his hand to help Ilmarë up. “Yes, he is waiting and we should go to him. Any other questions I have can be answered then.”
Ilmarë stood and nodded in agreement. Ereinion led her from the room and down the hallway which ended in flight of stairs leading up. As they walked together up the stairs, Ilmarë listened to Ereinion explain to her that his private rooms took up the whole of the third floor. But the room she was most interested in was Ereinion’s study where Elrond awaited.
Elrond Peredhil – A name given to Elrond – Peredhil means ‘half-elven’ in Sindarin.
Ereinion’s Description and Parentage: Tolkien refers to Ereinion Gil-galad as being very tall, even for an Elf. Although it says that Thingol was the tallest Elf who ever lived. No definite description is given for Ereinion; some like to picture him as dark haired and dark eyed, but my Ereinion is blonde haired and blue eyed.
There is debate about who his father is and what house he is descended from, and I hold with the Peoples of Middle-earth version I hold to the Peoples of Middle-earth version (from the History of Middle-earth books), in the chapter, The Shibboleth of Feanor, which is the last thing Tolkien wrote on the subject of Gil-galad's father.
Orodreth was moved from being the son of Finarfin to being the son of Finrod, and then on to being the son of Angrod. Gil-galad then became Orodreth's son. But at that time he had the name Artanaro Rodnor, which I can't use because it totally sounds like a nerd name.
Anyway, end result is Christopher Tolkien says he changed things around concerning Gil-galad's parentage and that he'd have been better off just to have left it unmentioned because it was never ultimately decided. In Unfinished Tales Christopher says he changed the original signature on the letter to Tar-Meneldur from 'Finellach Gil-galad of the House of Finarfin' to 'Ereinion Gil-galad son of Fingon'. And Christopher Tolkien closes out the section in PoME with the statement 'Much closer analysis of the admittedly extremely complex material than I had made twenty years ago makes it clear that Gil-galad as the son of Fingon was an ephemeral idea.' Some people think this explains why the High Kingship passed to Turgon after Finrod's death instead of going to Gil-galad.
So, again, I hold to the information that he is Orodreth’s son by a Sindarin woman, making Finduilas of Nargothrond his sister – which would make him of the house of Finarfin, and Galadriel’s great-nephew. That’s also why I think of him as blonde hair/blue eyed – because golden hair was said to run in the children of Finarfin, and Ereinion’s grandfather, Angrod, was Finarfin’s son and Galadriel’s brother.
To those of you who hold to the Silmarillion version that he is Fingon's son, or one of the other versions that he is Finrod's son (or the son of Felagund of the Caves, literally), I have no argument. This is one of those areas where everyone just has to pick the one that suits them best and, basically no opinion is any more right than the others.
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