Characters: Aragorn/Estel, Boromir, Glorfindel, Arwen.
Source: LotR/movieverse +
Disclaimer: Mostly Tolkien’s, some Peter Jackson, and just a smidgeon of Kortirion.
A storm lanced across the sky, jagged sword-thrusts of blinding light, javelins of rain, thick as blades of wind-blown grass, dark clouds lowered, heavy with threats… It was certainly a powerful painting. And in the foreground - the moment Isildor cut the ring from Sauron’s finger and his sword shattered… the same sword laying here as a hallowed tableau, displayed on velvet cloth.
Boromir couldn’t resist grasping the hilt, raising the broken shaft to try the balance…
A movement across the room caught his eye. That scruffy ranger was watching him! Except… now washed and changed, he was… something else.
Aragorn leafed through the pages slowly. Gandalf had suggested some references he should be familiar with prior to Lord Elrond’s council meeting. He was comfortable here among the familiar volumes he’d grown to love, despite Glorfindel’s somewhat frosty disapproval for the hallowed space.
The elf-lord had been released by Mandos to return and help Gil-galad overthrow Sauron. Yet that ‘mere man’, had treacherously kept the Ring for himself. Elrond had escorted Isildur to Mount Doom; and answering the oft re-counted tale, Glorfindel claimed if it had been him, he would have turfed both man and ring into the fiery chasm!
Aragorn’s eyes misted over with memories of times past. He’d been terrified of and adored the golden-haired lord in equal measure. The elf-lord barely noticed his existence, apart from making sure the boy’s drill and weapons practise was equally stringent to any other elfling in training. There were very few of those, which meant nowhere to hide from those piercing looks.
His brothers had done their best to deflect criticism, but as he grew Estel realised – he was not as they were. He strived doubly hard, and in the rare moments Glorfindel smiled approvingly… it was like sunlight dispelling the mists.
Aragorn heard the movement while still in reverie. He remained stock-still, just his eyes flicking up in response to the faint susurration of steel sliding across velvet.
The son of Gondor’s Steward held the blade aloft in awe, touched it and a tiny bead of blood slid down his finger. ‘Still sharp’ the man murmured; then he saw Aragorn watching.
His face twisted and he abandoned the broken blade with haughty contempt. The steel shards showered to the polished floor, clattering like ice breaking on winter rivers.
Aragorn gasped, swallowed hard… after all, it was just a broken sword.
He sighed, replaced the book and came forward to reclaim his heritage from the cold floor. With reverence he picked up the shards, putting them back into their rightful positions – idly thinking, ‘did the man know what his position might become in relation to the ‘scruffy ranger’ he held in contempt, and what would he do when he found out?’
Just then his sunshine found him ‘You are Isildur’s heir, not Isildur. Your fate is not his.’ Arwen touched his face lingeringly; she smiled, lighting his gloom with her radiance.
But for the merest moment he glimpsed another golden smile.
Glorfindel stood to one side as the men, dwarves and elves assembled. The Hobbit had recovered, and his servant was also in attendance; they took their seats quietly and with suitable awe. The dwarves were grudging and suspicious, the men, haughty but curious… the Son of Gondor, he was determined not to be undermined. And, Glorfindel noted, our Estel has not been seated beside him…
When the Ring was produced, the bickering began, with claims and counter-claims; he could feel the heatwave of disruption emanating from its perfect, golden circle.
He must step away from its insidious whisper... or succumb.