5. On the Way to Gondor, 2961
Prompt: Menegroth: isolation and its consequences.
Upon Halifirien stands the marker-stone.
Kneeling, Aragorn traces LNDL. A grave empty as that other, marked RTHORN.
Yet empty graves grieve less than empty beds. His fathers had had children. Or a child.
There should've been others. There should be others, for he could die in Gondor, and with him, an entire line.
Yet he is ten years a bachelor – unwanted father-likeness! Better be Elendil's son, and satisfy conscience and a wife. Arda wants not for women of will. And he'd resent Arathorn less...
But over Gondor blazes Eärendil's sign, stark reminder: they are all imprudential sons.
Unsettled, Aragorn departs.
Author's notes: See "Cirion and Eorl" in Unfinished Tales for the description of Halifirien and the gravestone inscription.
Tolkien says in the Appendix E, "Writing and Spelling" in ROTK that Quenya at least allowed one to drop the "A"s often when spelling. I figure "Ar(a)(n)" being a universal element in the Chieftains' names, the Northern Dúnedain would save a little labor and leave out the initial two vowels when memorializing their departed leaders.
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