1. The Green Grave
A lone figure aimlessly walks among us. We know her; she has lived with us for a long time. Arwen Undómiel, granddaughter of our former custodians, Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Her arrival awakens dormant, half forgotten memories. How long has it been since we last saw an elf? Years? Decades? We know not, we have ceased to count time. Every day is like another. For a long time, the only sounds that surrounded us are birds' singing and the whistling of the wind. Elvish voices and songs are silenced; laughter and music have long ago died out. Nights are dark, no lanterns adorn dead cities. For many long seasons, only the moonlight touches our leaves at night. And our whispering also becomes ever more quiet and is heard less and less. Some amongst us don't even talk any more; they only stand as silent statues in wind and sun, frozen in their grief for the elves who will never return.
This elleth's grief is even deeper than ours, we can feel that. Her coming does not raise hope, nor bring back the joy of old days. After all, she is only one and alone; except for her, no one will ever come back... and her heart is broken. While she sits leaning against some of us, lost in her sorrow, images of her life passing in front of her eyes, we can sense her thoughts. Aragorn son of Arathorn, the love of her life to whom she was betrothed here beneath our branches, has passed beyond the circles of this world. Neither the beauty of elanor and niphredil, nor the gleam of our golden leaves can elicit her smile any more. For her, joy has died in this world.
There is nothing more on Arda that can bring her happiness; her final days are empty and grey. She is bound by her grief, her soul is empty. Once shining eyes now are dulled and black, like a night without stars. The frost in her heart will never melt again.
We want to help her. We whisper words of comfort, we tell her that we are with her and that we feel sympathy, but she doesn't hear us. We cannot reach her. We are so sad for her; we would like to ease her pain, but we can't. No one, nothing can; her sorrow is too deep. And there is no one to hold her and wipe away her tears.
She is alone.
In a different world, in a time long past, she stood here among us, here on this mound, smiling and radiant. She held her beloved in her arms, and we tenderly smiled at the deeply in love elleth and man who had sworn themselves to each other to the end of their days. Now she lies on the same spot, on the cold earth, and her eyes are closing. Her face is pale. Winter evening's chill descends upon the elleth and caresses her with its icy breath. But she doesn't feel it; the chill in her soul is even greater. Her heart beats more and more slowly.
And then it stops.
Arwen Undómiel has left this world. Forever. We have loved her, and now she is gone. We will never see her smile again, nor will we hear her voice. We weep. If someone walked through our woods tomorrow, they would think they had never seen so much dew. But no one will travel through our desolate, forgotten land. No one will know what happened, nor where the Queen of Gondor lies. Her last resting place will be forever hidden and unmarked.
But no, that is not true. She is not alone; we are with her. Perhaps we could not help her in her grief, but there is one more thing that we can do for her now.
She is not alone.
Our leaves rustle and flutter, the whispers are spreading. We know what we must do. We strive with all the strength we can muster. We spread our roots, and the earth listens to us and yields obediently, as if it hears our thoughts and understands our intentions. Then it opens, but slowly, so slowly, as if not to disturb the queen's sleep. Our roots gently embrace her, so tenderly that not one lock of her hair is disturbed, and we lower her deeper into the soil. And while the light of the distant stars for the last time shines upon her face, white and motionless in eternal slumber, our roots build her final home.
Never again will the world be as it once was. Never again will the elves walk through our woods, and maybe no one will pass this way ever again. But Arwen's grave will not be unmarked, nor will we let her be forgotten for as long as one last tree grows in Lothlorien. Quietly singing a last goodbye, we raise a mound and strengthen it so that it will last forever. And tomorrow, when the first rays of sunlight fall upon Cerin Amroth, the mound will become green, although it is still winter. The grass too will answer our call and help make the last home of Arwen Undómiel more beautiful.
Perhaps one day elanor and niphredill will no longer bloom east of the sea, and perhaps one day the glorious days of King Elessar and Queen Arwen will be utterly forgotten by the men who will come after. But our last gift to her will forever remain here, even if Lorien were no more. There will always be a green grave in this glade, for as long as the Sun and the Moon continue to shine above us, and until Arda is changed.
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.