14. The End of Days
The sky had opened.
Legolas stood, though he was not sure why. His heart felt like a hard rock in his chest, unable to do anything but weigh him down. The Elves around him were simply waiting. Doom awaited now.
The sky had opened.
The Valar stood tall, towering above all others. From where they had come, he did not know. Some of them seemed to have come from the stars themselves and simply decended to the earth. Magnificence beyond belief.
The sky had opened.
Morgoth’s shadow lingered over Valinor. Legolas could not look at it, so terrible and dark was it even the feel of it made his heart despair. Yet there was a magnificence there as well, a reminder of what had once been. Melkor.
The skies screamed. The fogs departed, and suddenly the dark sea came into view.
“Fool!” Trees blackened and died as the sound washed over the land. “Thou hast shown Valinor to me. I come.”
Morgoth. The shadow became substance, the earth opened and flames walked upon the land. The sea rose in reply, Ulmo riding high upon the waves.
Elven bows sang, cold metal shrieked. The flames hissed. And then the mountain screamed and Manwë stepped before them.
Legolas knew in his heart it could be no other. Magnificent, as Morgoth, but not terrible. Starlight and music. The very air sang around Manwë.
The earth shook. Rocks melted and the caves opened.
The Caves of the Forgotten openedand Ar-Pharazon the King and the mortal warriors that had set foot upon the land of Aman stood before the Valar, their faces dark.
For a moment, they merely stood. Morgoth beckoned them, his shadowy form radiating power. But it was to Manwë they turned and bowed, swords lowered.
The flames screamed and charged. The heat licked against the Elves, shadows rose from the earth and fought them. Legolas more felt than saw his enemies, but the blood no one could avoid seeing. It seeped from the ground, as if the earth itself bled.
The stars fell from the sky and Morgoth screamed, blinded as Varda stood before him.
“Thou hast come when thou should not,” she said, stars shining around her. The flame of Earendil shone in her face.
Morgoth said nothing, embracing her in darkness. Light and dark fought, Elves and flames fought, earth and blood fought. The sea boiled. Forever lasted the last battle, yet no time at all.
“NAY!” Manwë’s voice echoed back and forth, gaining strength, raising the sea and the earth, descending the sky. Light gathered. It became stars, one, two, three stars. No. Not stars.
“The Silmarils!” Legolas gasped. Beside him, Gimli stared in wonder.
Morgoth reached for them, unblinking even as his face burned in pain. For a moment Legolas thought the Dark Lord would reach them. For a moment, even the Silmarils seemed dark and yielding.
But beside Manwë stood Turin and the black sword swung at the shadows. The light of the Silmarils seemed to fuse with the sword and Morgoth screamed. Darkness and light together struck at him, piercing armour and skin and heart.
The sound gathered, becoming more than a scream. It became all the pain in the world and the Valar bowed their heads.
“Fëanor of the Firstborn, take thine creation,” Manwë ordered, even his voice barely audible over the sounds of pain. “The bitter choice is upon you now.”
Fëanor stepped forward. The shadows became light, became the Silmarils again and fell into his hands. The sound died.
Morgoth was gone. Where he had stood there was nothing. Just the blood of the Earth and all the darkness in the world.
“The world is dying. Firstborn, thou hast loved Arda as guardians. Now thou must love it as life. The end of days has come.”
Legolas shivered as the Elves around him seemed to darken. Like them, he knew what was to come. Somehow, he had always known.
“Arda can die and thou will live on, Firstborn. But alone in the darkness. There is no light unless thou relinquish it. Life for life. This is thine choice, as was decided at the beginning of days. To live and live among death, or to die and die among life.”
Legolas closed his eyes. Somewhere in his heart he felt his father and mother, both dead. To live among death or die among life.
And Fëanor stepped forward and stood tall against the Valar. His eyes shone as he held out his hands and opened them once more. An offering.
Light came again then, for the Silmarils rested in his grasp. The Valar said nothing as the Elf bowed his head. And as one, all the Elves bowed their heads.
Frodo and Sam clung to each other, and besides them Gimli stood firm, but his face was pale and drained. Legolas tried to smile at him, but found he could not.
The light was overwhelming.
Death to give life.
The world was black and dark, not a wind stirring. The smoke rose slowly, black against black. Those who lived yet would not live long. This was a dead world. This was the end of days.
One last breath, one last farewell…
And then the light came. Not from the sky, but from the ground. So bright none could look at it but all could feel it. The sky thundered and suddenly rain fell. Rain. Life.
The earth gasped and the living opened their eyes to a blue sky. Winds carried the smoke away and whipped the rain into the ground. Life.
None took cover from the rain, but ran into it, mouths open. Tears fell with the rain to the ground, who almost seemed to reach towards it. From the ground sprouted trees and grass again. Life.
Life. New days to come. New lives to come. A new world. And the rain rained on, washing away the old world.
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.