1. The Bards Say...
This is a set of drabbles, all written for Tolkien Weekly challenges - the first was written as a response to the colours of the rainbow challenge - the others were written some time later for a series of sporting challenges.
Deep as the Sea (Rainbow - Blue)
Éomer began to feel that if one more matron of Gondor pushed their daughter in his direction, and more or less demanded that he dance with them, he would either be very rude or scream.
Daughters tall and short, overly thin to overly well-upholstered, plain to porcelain pretty; all were offered to him like a parade of brood mares to a particularly choosy stallion.
The herald announced the Princes of Dol Amroth, and Éomer strode purposely towards them, only to be brought up short by the figure at his friend's side. He looked into eyes of sea blue... and drowned.
Not Drowning (Swimming)
The first time he looked into her eyes he felt as though he was drowning; sinking deeper and deeper into their blue depths.
She was a princess from the sea – how clichéd could you get?
And oh! How he would have snorted in derision if any of his bards used such a description. As well then never to admit how he felt…
But every young man of the Mark spent warm days diving into river pools – Éomer simply had to work out how to swim in this new situation.
He bowed and spoke politely, "Princess Lothiriel, it is my pleasure…"
The Joy of Steep Slopes (Running)
She looked into his eyes and spoke.
"Éomer King, I am honoured to met you."
His heart began pounding as if he had been running. Running for sheer pleasure, whooping and shouting with the joy of being alive; running down a grassy slope too steep to keep his footing; running, running, knowing he was going to fall at any moment.
He would take her hand; they would run that way together. He wondered how she would look with her hair streaming behind her...
'This falling in love,' he thought, 'is much more energetic than the bards would have us think!'
Temperament Unknown (Archery)
When you saw a horse for the first time, Éomer thought, good sense suggested you check the configuration, the eyes, the teeth; that you know the bloodline and likely temperament.
But sometimes you just know, from first sight, that this horse is your perfect match.
When the bards sang of love they described it as an arrow to the heart; Éomer had always thought "that perfect-horse moment' was easier understood.
Now, as he tried to move his gaze from those sea blue eyes to perfectly arched brows and bow-shaped lips, he thought, ruefully, 'Well at least I know the bloodline!'
Plan of Campaign(Swordplay or Defence)
The bards often sang of courtship as a dance. As a man of action, Éomer thought he should certainly treat it more like swordplay than dancing.
Perhaps a little early to think of courtship, within seconds of meeting her eyes, but he had always considered it as well to be prepared and think on his feet.
Looking at Lothiriel's brothers standing just behind her, and recalling their skills on the battlefield, he decided that his first moves should be discreet.
Best to avoid drawing attention; reconnoitre unnoticed, then make your attack swiftly before they have time to muster their defences….
Row, Row, Row your Boat... (Rowing)
Introductions made she began to retreat; walking backwards. For a moment Éomer was confused – had he frightened her? Until he recognised the formality of the Gondorian court.
It must take practice, he thought, not to trip…
Then he smiled. It made him think of rowing; where all movement forward was made backwards. Now that was a good line to suggest to the bards!
As a sea princess, then, Lothiriel should be well skilled at such movement in reverse. Éomer concluded that his campaign should ensure that any future attempts to retreat from him must feel like rowing against the current…
All's Fair in Love and War (Wrestling)
Éomer was trapped. He could not advance and engage Lothiriel – even in conversation; he had to continue greeting innumerable members of Gondor's court.
He saw someone look at her admiringly and had to breathe deeply to resist hitting the man.
Then he decided there was no point in wrestling with his conscience over something so important. He was a king; he would use it to his advantage.
"Aragorn," he muttered to his host, "I have a request to make about the seating arrangements for tonight…"
Perhaps not a move the bards would ever sing about – but effective, none the less.
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.