|About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search|
AN: For those of you that already read this story and are wondering what is going on, I was never satisfied with this chapter, so I edited it, split it into two chapters and added some scenes. This is the result. I am still not entirely satisfied with it, but I am more so than I was before. :-)
Chapter 9: Legolas
Late that night, the only noise in the king’s personal chambers was an occasional whisper and the hum of Thranduil’s voice as he quietly sang a lullaby. Lindomiel lay on her side on the bed, many pillows surrounding her, sleeping deeply. Thranduil sat behind her, steadily rubbing her back and thankful that she had finally found some rest. Their parents, along with Aradunnon and Amoneth, sat curled in cushioned chairs near the bed or fireplace whispering quietly. Before Lindomiel fell asleep, they had been helping Thranduil to distract her from her anxiety. Knowing that her labor would soon begin, they were too anxious themselves to leave.
Amglaur listened to his son-in-law’s voice and found his thoughts focused on him. He had been loath to see his daughter leave her home to marry Oropher’s son. Before the forest where Lindomiel now lived became known as Mirkwood, Amglaur had regularly visited her, largely to assure himself that she was indeed happy. He had to admit that he never saw any evidence that she was not. Indeed, Amglaur could not deny, even to himself, that Thranduil was a devoted husband.
Over the last few months as he watched his son-in-law attentively dedicating himself to Lindomiel’s every whim, Amglaur found himself experiencing a disturbing emotion that, until tonight, he had shoved deep within himself and refused to acknowledge—he cared for Oropher’s son. He had spent the afternoon and evening struggling to convince himself that he was over-emotional in the face of the imminent birth of his first grandchild. But as Thranduil paused between songs to lean over and kiss Lindomiel’s cheek, he found it impossible to ignore.
“You should try to rest as well, Thranduil,” he said in a soft voice and grimaced when Thranduil started at the sound of it.
He watched as his son-in-law’s brow furrowed. “I thought you were asleep,” he whispered irritably.
“I am not asleep,” Amglaur replied unnecessarily. “But you should be for the same reason you wanted Lindomiel to sleep. The labor will be just as exhausting for you. You need rest.”
Thranduil sighed. “I do not think I could sleep, Amglaur. And she sleeps better when I rub her back. I think in addition to easing some of her discomfort, it lulls the baby to sleep.”
Amglaur frowned. It was completely obvious that Thranduil was nervous about the impending birth. He remembered when Lindomiel was born how difficult he had found not having any male relatives still alive that he could speak to about his role in that mysterious event. His frown deepened. All Thranduil’s councilors, including his own brother, were fathers. He had surely spoken to one of them. None-the-less he knew Thranduil must desperately miss Oropher at this moment.
Giving himself a firm shake, Amglaur glared at Thranduil. Admitting that he cared for him was one thing. Beginning to have paternal feelings towards him was entirely another.
“Go to sleep you fool. You will either spend tomorrow in meetings or helping Lindomiel deliver your son. Either way, you need rest,” he snapped and before Thranduil could respond, Amglaur began to sing. He continued doing so despite Thranduil’s hearty sighs and mumbled comments.
Lindomiel took one last deep breath before Amglaur finally saw her slump slightly and turn her face to lean against Thranduil’s chest as her arms slid from around his neck to her sides. Thranduil adjusted his arms about her waist to better support her.
“Do you want to walk some more or are you ready to sit down for a few moments,” he asked, his voice soft and steady.
Lindomiel shook her head. “I am more comfortable walking,” she replied, turning in his arms and taking a step away from him. “But I want some water.”
As Thranduil guided her towards the table where several pitchers containing water and juices sat, Nestoreth, the palace healer, drew a breath to speak.
Lindomiel immediately looked at her forbiddingly. “Speak if you wish, but hear this first: the next person that says ‘it is almost time’ is going to be very sorry. I have been hearing that for months. I will tell you when it is time.”
“You will indeed, my lady,” Nestoreth responded evenly. Amglaur doubted that Lindomiel would notice the amused glint in the healer’s eyes. “May I tell you how well you and Thranduil and your son are doing instead?”
Lindomiel smiled ruefully in response to that assessment but quickly closed her eyes as another contraction claimed her attention.
Amglaur watched as Lindomiel leaned on the table and focused on the contraction. One arm about her shoulders and one hand on her abdomen, Thranduil drew a deep breath along with Lindomiel as he leant her strength and shared her pain through their bond. Her labor had started early that morning and was now nearing its end, as Nestoreth had been about to point out. For hours, Thranduil and Lindomiel had been walking through the forest near the stronghold and later in the garden nearer the family quarters. Over the last hours, Lindomiel had spent some time in a warm bath and a few moments lying on her side, but as the contractions got stronger she felt better standing.
Amglaur was very relieved to hear the baby would soon be born. Helping his wife, Limmiel, through Lindomiel’s birth had seemed much easier than watching his daughter now. He felt helpless in the face of her increasing discomfort and exhaustion. He quietly loosed a long breath himself as the contraction peaked. He knew that voicing his frustration would do nothing to help Lindomiel and Thranduil as they brought their son into the world. Indeed, doing anything to distract them would only result in him being thrown from the room. But he found himself clutching the arms of the chair and clenching his jaw to remain silent.
As the contraction lessened, Lindomiel opened her eyes again and looked tiredly at the pitcher of water on the table. Thranduil took his hand from her stomach, poured her some water and held the glass for her to drink. As he did, Limmiel, who was walking next to her daughter and son-in-law to offer extra support as it was needed, poured a glass of juice. When Thranduil put down the water glass, Limmiel handed him the juice.
He looked at her, surprised.
“Drink,” she ordered softly. “Very soon you will be too busy to be able to pause for such things.”
Lindomiel, still focused inward, did not even hear her mother’s comment to be annoyed by it.
Thranduil absently drank the juice as he studied his wife. “Come, meleth,” he said. “I think you should sit down just for a moment. You need some rest between the contractions or you will be too exhausted for the delivery.”
He began to walk her to a cushioned chair by the fireplace in the room but she shook her head.
“No, Thranduil,” she said, looking at him with excitement and nervousness. “It is time. He is ready to be born. I need to start pushing.”
Thranduil looked quickly from Lindomiel to Nestoreth.
Nestoreth nodded calmly and motioned Lindomiel and Thranduil to the thick sheets that had been laid on the floor. Since Lindomiel had been more comfortable standing during her labor, she and Nestoreth had decided to first try delivering the baby in a position that would allow gravity to aid the birth. Limmiel, Dieneryn and Amoneth stood nearby, ready to help Nestoreth as needed.
As soon as they reached the sheets, another contraction hit. Lindomiel leaned more heavily on Thranduil and Nestoreth motioned for him to help her kneel rather than continuing to stand. Sinking to his knees, he eased Lindomiel to hers, encouraging her to lean forward against his chest. She sighed as this change in position eased the pain in her back.
“That is much better,” she whispered as her arms loosened around Thranduil’s neck, a sign that the contraction was ending. But there was now very little time between them.
“Good. Just push with the contractions. Your son will be here very soon,” Nestoreth said but Lindomiel was already completely focused on her body.
As the next contraction began, Lindomiel took a deep breath and pushed, leaning heavily against Thranduil. Through their bond, Thranduil felt an amazing strength suffuse his wife’s body as she met each contraction with a strong push. Adding his own strength to hers, Nestoreth’s orders became vague noises in the background as he completely focused on the birth.
Mother and father turned their attention to the bright presence that was their son’s fëa, calling to him, soothing him, welcoming him into the world. Thranduil felt him respond, utterly innocent and completely trusting that he would soon be in loving arms.
“Here is the head,” a voice, Nestoreth’s, said in the distance.
One last time Thranduil felt as surge of strength as Lindomiel’s body tensed. Then he was aware of Limmiel and Dieneryn quickly passing Nestoreth towels and other items as Lindomiel collapsed on her side in his arms. Panting, she turned slightly and looked at Nestoreth.
“Your son, my lady,” she said, with a smile and tears in her eyes at the same time. Then Limmiel held the baby where her daughter could see him as Nestoreth tied and cut the cord.
A few moments later found Lindomiel propped with pillows and in Thranduil’s arms in their bed, her son enjoying his first attempt to nurse.
Late that night, Lindomiel and Thranduil had not moved, though she was asleep. Amglaur, sitting in a cushioned chair next to the bed, held his grandson. The family had spent the evening with the proud parents and baby and had now mostly trickled back to their own rooms, leaving them to rest. Only the baby’s grandparents, Aradunnon and Amoneth remained.
“He is beautiful, muindor nin. Have I told you that yet?” Aradunnon asked, peeking over Amglaur’s shoulder at the sleeping child.
Thranduil smiled tiredly. “Yes, you have. But I will allow you to tell me again if you wish,” he replied.
Aradunnon laughed. “He looks like you,” he commented, still looking at the baby.
Amglaur frowned. “He certainly does not. He looks like his mother. He clearly has Lindomiel’s nose and mouth,” he retorted.
Limmiel snorted quietly. “So long as he does not have your mouth, meleth. I do not think Thranduil will tolerate the same disrespectful mouth from his son as he does from you.”
Amglaur turned an irate glare on his wife as everyone else laughed quietly.
“Yesterday I could not wait to see who he would look most like,” Thranduil intervened, reaching for the baby. Amglaur surrendered him reluctantly. “But now I find I could not care less. I simply enjoy looking at him.” He laughed as the baby wrinkled his nose in response to the change in position. “Indeed, I cannot stop looking at him.”
Aradunnon smiled at his older brother. “Get used to that, Thranduil. I predict you will be far worse than I, interrupting meetings to show us what your son has learned.”
Thranduil nodded seriously. “I certainly will,” he replied.
Aradunnon knelt on the floor to get a better look at the baby. “How was the birth?” he whispered. “I remember Dolgailon’s birth. The first time one experiences the birth of a child is absolutely amazing.”
Thranduil nodded. “It was indescribable, honestly. I have always admired Lindomiel’s strength. Now I am simply in awe of her,” he said sincerely, expecting a snide comment from his father-in-law but too happy to care.
“You did well also, Thranduil,” Amglaur said softly. “Your bond is strong and you were a great support for her because of it.”
Thranduil stared at Amglaur, too surprised to respond.
Three days later, with Lindomiel at his side, Thranduil carried his son into the garden for his naming ceremony. As they stepped into the garden, Lindomiel was leaning over Thranduil’s shoulder waving a finger at their son and then ducking behind her husband’s shoulder to disappear. The baby was giggling and reaching for her.
The moment they emerged from the caves, he fell silent. Thranduil watched as the baby’s eyes grew wide and filled with wonder. Silently, they darted between his parents and various objects in the garden—flowers, flowering trees, a butterfly that flitted by, a bird that sang on the garden wall. But most intently he studied the boughs of the beech tree in the garden’s center as Thranduil settled on the bench at its feet.
The beech acknowledged him. Its song became one of welcome and recognition, for this tree was one of the first beings to hear the whispering of this new life.
Noticing that change, Lindomiel’s smile broadened.
Cradling his son in his lap, Thranduil looked at his family, already gathered around the bench waiting for him. Golwon was there with Isteth and Eirienil. The little girl, now two-years-old, sat quietly and properly next to her mother. She was already a very precocious child, and she was fascinated by her younger cousins. Celonhael and Ollwen were there. Only a month earlier, Ollwon had happily announced that she and Celonhael were expecting another child. Hallion, Engwe and Dieneryn sat together and their expressions made Thranduil laugh. Dieneryn was his mother. She was entitled to look on him as she was. But Engwe and Hallion’s proud and utterly content expressions reminded him too much of Oropher and amused him to no end. Aradunnon sat with his family closest to the bench. Sitting in Dolgailon’s lap, Galithil was straining to see his cousin but was otherwise remarkably quiet. Next to Dolgailon, leaning against him with her hands firmly clasped around his arm and clearly feeling a little shy, was Arthiel. That evening, a feast was planned on the green to celebrate their betrothal. That news, delivered to Thranduil only a few moments after the birth of his son, had been the emotional straw that drove the king to delighted tears despite the presence of his entire family and most of his staff that had crowded into his room for their first glimpse of his son. And finally, sitting near Dieneryn, were Amglaur and Limmiel. Limmiel had always treated Thranduil like her own son, but over the last few days, Thranduil had been rendered completely speechless on several occasions by Amgalur’s suddenly paternal attitude.
Now the entire family looked at him expectantly, waiting for him to begin the naming ceremony.
“Thank you for joining Lindomiel and I to help us welcome our son to our family. It is certain that the more love this child receives the more he will benefit in his life and the more love in turn he will be able to give to others. The more people to whom this child relates the more balanced and rich his growth will be. So your presence today is appreciated, as will be your interest and involvement in the years ahead. Lindomiel and I present to you our son, who we promise before all of you to love and guide and protect. His name is Legolas.”
Before he could fully turn to her, Thranduil glimpsed the delighted look on Lindomiel’s face. Everyone else smiled too. Lindomiel took Legolas back from her husband and as she did, she leaned over to kiss Thranduil’s cheek.
“I approve,” she whispered for his ears only, causing him to laugh lightly as the family crowded around them.
Dierneryn stood next to him, one hand on her son’s shoulder and the other caressing her grandson’s cheek. “Legolas and not Laegolas?” she asked softly.
Thranduil nodded. “Yes, a Silvan name for a Silvan elf. Perhaps not Silvan by blood but I have felt since his conception that, like the Silvan, he has a particularly strong connection to this forest,” he said, reaching up to run his hand absently over the tender new leaves on the low branch of the beech.
The gesture was not lost on Lindomiel and her eyes widened curiously. “How long have you had this name chosen, Thranduil?”
He looked back at her. “I chose his name the day he was conceived, Lindomiel. I told you that.”
Lindomiel pulled a single leaf from the beech tree and placed it in Legolas’s grasping hands. He studied it intently with a frown. “It is an excellent name, Thranduil,” she concluded quietly.
Dieneryn nodded. “Indeed. One that Oropher would have loved.” Then she smirked, also caressing the beech tree leaves. “And if I am correct about why you chose the name Legolas on the day he was conceived, I think it is one that he would have approved of greatly.”
Thranduil laughed but nodded once, acknowledging his mother’s guess. “I doubt adar would particularly approve of that aspect of his grandson’s name,” he said quietly without looking at his mother.
Dieneryn smiled. “You do not think he would approve? Did your adar never tell you what inspired your own name, Thranduil?”
Lindomiel turned her eyes from her son to Dieneryn. “I, for one, would love to hear that story. I cannot even make out what Thranduil means. I assumed it was not Sindarin.”
Dieneryn raised her eyebrows. “And you never asked Thranduil.”
Lindomiel laughed. “Many times. Do you think your stubborn son does not love teasing me about the fact that I cannot guess what my own husband’s name means. My only thought was that it means ‘across the Great River’ from ‘thar’ and ‘anduin’ and that he took it when your family traveled east. But Thranduil swears that was the name given to him at birth, so that does not make sense. ”
Dieneryn looked at her son mischievously. “I know your adar told you the meaning of your name, Thranduil. Did he tell you what inspired it?” she asked.
Thranduil shook his head. “I could never persuade him to tell me that.”
Dieneryn smiled and looked at Lindomiel. “Well, iell nin, here is your revenge for enduring two millennia of your husband’s teasing. Oropher always loved to find obscure meanings in everything.” She touched the ring on her son’s finger. “That is why he hid the runes on those rings amidst the leaves carved on them. His sons’ names also have hidden meanings. Thranduil comes from ‘thrond,’ ‘du’ and ‘il’ and means Halls of Star Shadow.” She paused and her expression grew mischievous. “As for the inspiration for that name, it seems you and your adar think much a like. The name Thranduil was inspired by the same event that inspired Legolas’s name. Do you remember the garden in Menegroth with the open, arched ceiling where I used to take you to play when you were very young? Where your adar used to like to tell you stories in the evening in the starlight?”
Thranduil’s jaw dropped. “In the front? Near the Great Hall? The public garden.”
Dieneryn nodded calmly. “Yes, that one. Oropher and I spent a good deal of time there late at night before you were born. And Oropher had your naming ceremony in that same garden. So, yes, I think he would very much approve of you this day.”
As Thranduil stared somewhat incredulously at his mother and Lindomiel giggled along with several other members of the family who were learning this secret for the first time, Amglaur rolled his eyes and groaned.
“That is much more than I wanted to know about the similarities between my son-in-law and his reprobate father,” he said disgustedly.
The normalcy of that comment was oddly comforting and drove Thranduil to join in his family’s soft laughter.
AN: I have read many speculations about the meaning of Thranduil’s name, two of which I included here. Since Tolkien never told us, I decided I liked Ruth S. Noel’s interpretation of his name best. It seems prettier to me and fits better with the idea that I have followed, placing Thranduil’s birth in the First Age in Menegroth.
Pen neth—Young one
Ion nin—My son
Iell nin—My daughter
|<< Back||Next >>|
|Home Search Chapter List|