Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

Sundry Scrolls IV  by Raksha The Demon

VIII.  The Eye of the Beholder (Tuor)

"They still speak of the beauties of Gondolin:  the wide ways, the fountains, the finely wrought Seven Gates, the mallorns, the flowers, and the shining towers of the Hidden City.

There is no denying that Gondolin was fair.  But on my very first day in the city that became my home, I saw fairer still.  There she was, sitting at the king’s left hand.  As soon as I finished delivering Ulmo’s message, my eyes found hers.  Silver and gold, white birches and yellow mallorns, the great golden form of Glingal and the gleaming silver branches of Belthil above; all paled next to the maid with the fair hair and milk-white skin.  I didn’t know, then; that she was the king’s own daughter; and if I had, I wouldn’t have cared.  Most other Noldor stared at me, some with respect, some affronted at the nerve of a Man entering their city as Ulmo’s messenger.  She was the only one who smiled; and her eyes, those grey eyes that go from soft to stormy, gave me fearless welcome. 

I hadn’t seen too many women before then.  Seeing her, I didn’t care if I ever saw another one.   Thank you, Lord Ulmo, I thought; knowing now that I had not come here just to warn the Elves of Gondolin of coming doom.  I had come here to find this maiden.  And now that I had, I would woo her and win her and protect her from all harm.  Didn’t matter that her tall cousin glowered down at me like a thunder-cloud.  Didn’t matter that her father was King of this city and a high Lord of the Noldor.   I certainly was a young fire-eater in those days, my boy, vowing to take Idril Celebrindal to wife!

But my luck, that had brought me from thralldom to the Hidden City, bore me up again.  I did win her.  Or she chose me as much I as I’d chosen her.  I’ve never been quite sure.  It was Idril’s choice to decide; lad, and you know that once she makes up her mind, no force can gainsay her. 

Yes, Gondolin was a fair city.  I could have lived out my life there well enough, if Morgoth had let us be.  But he didn’t.  And I salvaged the fairest treasures of Gondolin – you and your mother, my son.   So let’s hurry; she’s awaiting us at the docks.”


Author’s Note:

This ficlet was originally posted at HASA in honor of Erulisse’s birthday.

Glingal and Belthil, metal likenesses of the lost Trees of Valinor, were made by Turgon in Gondolin, according to The Silmarillion (“Of The Noldor in Beleriand”).   Notes to “Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin” in Unfinished Tales indicate the presence of mallorns in the Hidden City.

The narrator is, of course, Tuor, grandfather of Elrond; his story is told in more detail in The Silmarillion.   As most of my readers know, he was the human who found his way to Gondolin as the messenger of Ulmo; and not only stayed in the Hidden City, but wed the king’s only child, Idril.  The son to whom he is speaking is Eärendil, who will one day bear the Silmarillion to Aman and beyond.  And of course, the tall cousin who glowered at Tuor was Idril's ill-fated cousin Maeglin.

<< Back

Next >>

Leave Review
Home     Search     Chapter List