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Return to Valinor

Chapter 1: Chapter One

by Aibrean

The following represents a work of fiction based on the events and characters of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and well as the acting performances and cinematic choices of Peter Jackson’s movie based on the same trilogy. I do not seek to benefit monetarily for my efforts here, and I freely give as much credit to the Professor, PJ and the actors as is due and do not wish to infringe on any copyrights. This is as much a tribute to their talents and imaginations as it is a wish to continue the story in my own imagination. That said, while I stick to “canon” as much as possible, I am not afraid to shape the circumstances in the story to suit my own needs, so I ask the reader’s indulgence if it veers from generally held beliefs about the original story.

Chapter One

From the shallow beach Carantaliel gazed upon the graceful Elven ship as it hove into the bay bearing another group of exiles home to Valinor. Her great-grandmother would be on the ship somewhere, the beautiful Lady of Light, Galadriel. Yet, the she-elf did not see her kinswoman present on deck.

The Lord Celeborn was in evidence, however, standing regally next to the seafaring Círdan. Both elflords scanned the shore ahead and the Lord of the Golden Wood smiled briefly and waved to Carantaliel, who acknowledged her great-grandfather with a grave smile.

“Who is that, I wonder?” she murmured aloud when she noticed a smallish figure standing aft looking back towards the sea.

“That is Frodo Baggins of the Shire,” replied the elflord at her side. His dark, handsome looks were in stark contrast to her red-gold hair and sea blue eyes, and he towered over her slighter form.

“How do you know this Frodo, Figwit?” she asked not taking her eyes from the ship.

His voice barely masked his impatience with her, “My lady, I have told you the story often enough. Master Baggins was the Ringbearer. I was at the Council of Elrond where it was decided he should bear the One Ring to Mount Doom to destroy it.”

“Ah…” was all she said for some time, but then added wistfully, “He looks back towards home. This place will not be a refuge for him.”

“Has it been for you?” he challenged her softly.

Calmly she turned towards Figwit, but brief anger flashed in her eyes like lightning streaking through stormy skies.

“I must go greet The Lady,” she stated blandly and walked away towards the disembarking passengers.

Galadriel quickly spied her great-grandchild on the beach as she glided down the gangplank towards shore. Carantaliel did not have the dark coloring of the House of Elrond like her father Elladan. Bright hair and bright eyes told of her kinship to Celebrían, Galadriel’s own ill-fated daughter and Elladan’s mother. Carantaliel had her own sorrows in her lifetime and early on made the trip over the Sea, having no desire left to remain in Middle-earth.

Carantaliel smiled up at Galadriel with sudden brightness and the Lady of Lothlórien returned the smile in full measure. How she had missed this elfchild!

There were several dignitaries to greet first, but soon Galadriel was stretching out her arms to her great-granddaughter.

“Ah, my darling girl… You are a sight for weary eyes,” she hugged her close. “You have been missed in Lothlórien.”

“It is you who have been missed here in Valinor, Lady,” the younger she-elf replied warmly. “Welcome home.”

“And where is Celebrían? Is my daughter still ailing?” she asked with anxious concern.

“She is much improved. You will be delighted at how well she is doing,” Carantaliel assured her. “There was much to be done for your arrival and my grandmother would not be satisfied until she did it all herself. She sent me in her place, poor substitute that I am, Lady.”

Galadriel detected a wistfulness in the she-elf’s voice, though a delicate smile still graced her face. “Nothing could have pleased me more, my child,” she told her fondly and caressed Carantaliel’s cheek with a tender fingertip. “But how are you, dearest? You still look so sad. Your return to Valinor has not helped to heal your wounds?”

“I fear they will never be healed,” she replied solemnly.

The erstwhile Queen of the Golden Wood gave her a searching look, mindful of Carantaliel’s sufferings, then drew her close again and kissed her lightly on the cheek. “Then we will have to work on that now that I am here,” she murmured then added brightly, “Come, I have an agreeable task that may distract you. Bilbo… Frodo… come meet someone who is quite dear to me. She will be helping you get settled here.” She turned slightly and beckoned to the two hobbits waiting patiently at the rear of the group.

The older of the two, while quite elderly, nevertheless moved eagerly forward to meet Carantaliel. He gave her a pleasant greeting, which she returned, but he soon moved off again to talk with the wizard Gandalf the White.

At Frodo’s introduction, Carantaliel extended her hand as she had with Bilbo. Frodo moved to take it with his right hand, but checked the movement and used his left instead, plunging the other deep in his trouser pocket. “It is an honor to meet you, my lady,” he spoke softly with untold weariness coloring his voice as he kissed her hand.

“The honor is mine, Master Baggins,” she replied with a sympathetic smile. “I know this isn’t home for you, but we will do our best to make it so.”

“Thank you. That is very kind,” he murmured.

Before the hobbit released her hand, Carantaliel gave it a gentle squeeze. He looked up quickly, making eye contact for the first time. Sea met the sky in that fleeting glance, and he smiled briefly and nodded then stepped back into the retinue.

The Elven princess watched him for another moment with consternation. His eyes were moist when they broke contact from hers, but more surprising was that she found tears filling hers as well. It had been some time since emotion touched her that deeply.

Movement from Galadriel caught Carantaliel’s attention when the Lady made signs of leaving the shore for the road. Again, the younger she-elf was bewildered.

“Is not Lord Celeborn coming, Lady?” she asked, glancing back up at the ship where Celeborn remained with Círdan on deck.

“No, my dear. He is remaining in Middle Earth awhile longer,” she replied. “He will join us when he is ready… perhaps…”

Carantaliel did not understand, but she had no choice but to follow her kinswoman.

Frodo buried his hand deeper in his pocket. Why had he been embarrassed to use his four-fingered hand? It had never caused him humiliation in the past.

He looked at Carantaliel again as she gazed up at her great-grandfather on the deck of Círdan’s ship, distressed that he would not be joining them on shore. She had much sadness in her heart, the hobbit sensed. Perhaps as much as he…

“Welcome to Valinor, Master Baggins,” greeted a dark elf gravely.

“Lord Figwit…” Frodo tore his glance from the lovely Carantaliel. “This is a pleasant surprise. It is good to see you.”

“I think yon lady was a fairer sight,” he nodded over at Carantaliel.

“She is quite beautiful,” he agreed. “She rivals even Queen Arwen and The Lady herself, I think…” he drifted off and stole another glance at her. “Still,” he offered his right hand unselfconsciously to the elf at his side, “I am happy to see a familiar face nonetheless.”

“I am glad to hear it,” Figwit replied blandly. Looking back the princess he stated, “She is spoken for, you know.”

“That is good news,” Frodo answered earnestly. Yet, when he too turned his attention back to her, he felt a strange stab of disappointment. “Are you the lucky elflord then?” he tried to sound light.

“I am,” he stated then demurred, “At least I hope I will be. The lady has not yet accepted my offer.”

“Then I bid you luck in your endeavor,” he replied graciously, though he felt a slight lift at the news of her refusal.

“Thank you, mellon nin ,” said Figwit. “Ah, it looks like they are ready to go. If you will excuse me? I am to lead the company to Enedvása, the Palace by the Sea.”

As Figwit hurried off to help, Frodo rejoined Bilbo and Gandalf who greeted him with a fond slap on the back.

“So what did Lord Figwit have to say so seriously to you, dear Frodo?” the wizard asked with a sly grin.

Frodo laughed shortly and answered, “I do think I’ve been warned off!” and nodded in Carantaliel’s direction. “Imagine that…”

“Indeed,” Gandalf chuckled while Bilbo slapped his knee in delight.

“That’s the best joke I’ve heard in a long while!” laughed the older hobbit.

But Frodo thought perhaps that it was not a joke at all.

-end of Chapter One-


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Chapter name
Chapter One
19 Apr 2004
Last Edited
19 Apr 2004