- Burden -
It has been almost eight months to the date that Atar passed away, and five since Naneth left the City. But the pain of losing both parents in a space of three months still lingers on, and still, it does not show any sign of leaving.
It feels weird to sit upon the throne I have often seen you on, whether as a child or as a young man, it seemed like you belonged on the throne, that you have been on it all your life. But to me, it seems foreign, like something I have never seen before. The winged crown rests heavily on my head; and the sceptre feels heavy in my grip, as though weighing me down, reminding me constantly of my duty to the Kingdom.
I remember all too clearly the day you pronounced me as heir to the kingdom, and later, passing the sceptre and crown to me, believing me fit to be King of Gondor, and I had believed that too. The people look up to me as their King, but somehow I feel unworthy of their respect, as though I am unable to protect them, to shield them from all harm, and to help them in their needs. There were times I feel that I have failed them in my actions, and I am unable to be like you, Atar. You seem to have a way with every situation, with every problem that arises out of nothing.
The people respect me and whatever decisions that I make; they trust me with their lives, yet I feel that I have failed to live up to their expectations of Gondor’s King.
A few nights ago I suddenly woke up, drenched in sweat and gasping. Even if I knew the cause, I had forgotten it once I had opened my eyes. A sadness came over me, terrifying in its intensity, and it was the first time in months that I cried in earnest. All the grief, all the unhealed wounds bottled from those days reopened. And deep in my heart, I wished the Naneth and you were here again, and with her soothing voice lull me back to slumber.
I wish you were still here Atar, to give counsel, and to guide me. I feel so lost without you around, and feel that I’m not a King of Men, but rather as a scared young boy, lost in a place where he is unable to find his way back, unsure of himself and anything he does.
Though I wish I could forget it, the day of your death still haunt my thoughts. When you handed me the sceptre, little would I have known that you were to bid me farewell forever, and that I’ll never see you again. It was only till later, when both Naneth and you were missing from the gay celebrations; when we found her, in the House of Kings, sobbing hysterically over your body that we knew you were gone.
Atar, with his last breath exhaled, lay there, and in him we saw the Kings of Old again in their splendor. Naneth was too distraught to speak, her gentle shoulders gently heaving with every sob and cry. And for the next few days, Naneth was looking as though in deep trance, aloof and dazed. The light in the eyes had been extinguished like a candle in the wind, and we somehow knew that we would never see it surface again.
Sometimes I wish I had known a love as strong and unending as yours that it conquered everything. It transcended time and race. Sometimes we would stumble upon the both of you in embrace, unafraid to show your love to the world, unafraid of the prying eyes that lurk. I wish that someday, I would be able to have a love as dedicated and eternal as yours.
The days have gone by slowly since your death and Naneth’s subsequent departure, but amazingly, the hours somehow melded into days, the days into weeks that became months. The people are back to their ways again. The mourning has passed, and it would seem as though you had not passed, Atar.
Those would were but babes when you reigned have now gone. And few who live still remember the glory and majesty of the former Age, and of the Dark Times. They know not of the shadow, nor of the fear or chaos that happened not too long ago. For they had been born in a time of prosperity and wealth. The tale of the War of the Ring fades, and with each passing telling it is changed, till it was not what it started out as anymore.
The various lords have pressured for my marriage again. And I know, if you were here, you would encourage me to do so that my own time. They have started introducing their daughters to me, in hope of them making being the Queen, in hope of being in the King’s favor. Their actions repulse me, to say the least. They simply do not understand the word ‘love’, and believe it just a marriage of two.
Standing in the hallway, and looking at your portraits on the wall, I feel as though you were back here with me again, guiding me along, and comforting me in my sadness. The old grief starts seeping into my heart. The old ache.
Atar, Naneth, please guide me home.
Thanks for reading!
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.