17. 17 - Temperance
"He reminds me now of you."
Glorfindel turned his attention from the slight form of the Ringbearer looking eastward over the parapet to meet the grey gaze of the newly made Queen of Gondor. "And how is that, Arwen?" he asked.
"He no longer fears."
The Elven warrior turned back toward the Hobbit, answering quietly, "It is hard to maintain fear when you have already passed through greater terrors than you had ever imagined. Rather he must learn anew how to embrace joy." His eyes were thoughtful. "We were able to bring him to your father's care barely in time--he was upon the verge of becoming a wraith himself. But I strongly suspect that he would have thanked me more had I given him the mercy stroke rather than saving him for what he has done, much less what is yet to come. He has more grief to embrace, I fear, before he can reach freely for joy again. Oh, he will do much good along the way, but I doubt not he will little thank me for my part in saving him, not until he at last finds his peace."
The Evenstar gazed on the Hobbit with compassion as overhead her grandfather did the same. "May he indeed find just that--his peace," she whispered, her hand rising to the jewel at her throat.
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