Chapter Six - Legolas's Journey
This chapter switches to the LotR point of view. I figured it would probably take a few months to journey from the Shire to Gondor on foot – in the timelines given in the books, it’s impossible to figure out since they take such roundabout ways and stop all the time or get themselves captured.
For those of you not all that familiar with Lord of the Rings
mythology, Merry’s 74th birthday falls in the year 35 of the Fourth Age. Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, and the others sailed for Valinor in the last year of the Third Age, so they’ve been gone nearly 40 years. Men are not allowed in the Shire because Saruman and Wormtongue nearly destroyed the Shire at the end of the war. Aragorn set the law, even though it meant he could never go there, to protect the hobbits.
Last note – the line in italics is from the previous fic in this series, “Cruel Trick of Fate.” It’s Legolas’s memory.
Also, “mellon nîn” is Sindarin (elvish) for “my friend.” DISCLAIMER
I own nothing from either Star Wars
or Lord of the Rings
Long after the guests had left Brandy Hall, Legolas Thranduilion, Lord of the Elven Colonies in Ithilien, stood outside and stared at the stars. Their usual song was quiet, but the cool night air was calming.
He had come to the Shire to celebrate Merry’s 74th birthday and to bring news of the courts of Gondor and Rohan. He and Gimli were the only members of the Fellowship allowed to visit the hobbits in their homeland, but Gimli rarely left his domain in the Glittering Caves. Merry, Pippin and Sam were always welcomed in Edoras or Minas Tirith, but each one had responsibilities now. Merry was the Master of Buckland, Pippin the Thain of Tuckborough, and Sam the proud father of thirteen young hobbits.
Legolas had always been fond of the hobbits. He found their simple pastoral way of life endearing and was comforted by the idea that the Shire remained mostly unspoiled by the years of war. Aragorn’s law barring Men in the Shire helped the hobbits maintain their way of life even if they were not aware of it or how painful it had been for the King to pass it. Legolas knew how much Aragorn missed his old friends.
Behind him, he heard the door open. “Hello Merry,” he said.
Merry joined him along the fence. “You’ve been awfully quiet,” he remarked.
Legolas grinned in the darkness. “Not quiet, my friend. Just not as loud as the Tooks and Brandybucks.”
“And Bulgers and Bracegirdles.”
Nodding, Legolas said, “Them as well.”
When Merry spoke again, he sounded sad. “But no Bagginses.”
Legolas did not answer. After a long silent moment, Merry asked, “What’s going on, Legolas? Who are those people we arrested?”
Anger and sorrow washed over the Elf. “They are strangers.”
“Then what could they possibly have done?”
In a rare burst of emotion, Legolas spun on his heel and paced back and forth across the grass. “They have committed crimes.”
Merry still sounded skeptical. “I have never heard of Luke Skywalker before. And to have a serving girl, he must be important somewhere.”
The name Skywalker echoed through Legolas’s memory. He could still hear the voice, calm and full of false friendship. “My name is Anakin Skywalker. I have come bearing news of Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Those words had haunted him ever since. That man had torn everything apart.
Legolas sighed and turned back to Merry. “Your questions will be answered in Gondor. I suggest you retire, Master Brandybuck. You and Pippin must accompany me to Minas Tirith and we are leaving early in the morning.”
Reluctantly, the hobbit went for the door. “Goodnight, Legolas.”
The night wore on and still Legolas gazed at the sky. His immortal body did not require sleep and over the course of his very long life, he had found more peace awake among the harmony of nature than in sleep. And the Shire offered more harmony than most places in Middle Earth.
By the time the sun rose in the morning, Legolas had calmed his temper, but had not dulled his anger. He unlocked the door of his prisoners’ room and found them both ready and waiting for him. “We’re leaving soon,” he said shortly.
Skywalker nodded. “Is this a long journey?”
Skywalker and the woman – Jade he had called her – shared a look. Legolas suddenly felt a strange ripple in the room, but it was gone as quickly as it had come. “What about our ship?” Skywalker asked.
Begrudgingly, Legolas said, “Your ship will not be touched.”
Skywalker nodded and seemed to accept him at his word. “We have no provisions,” he said.
“Provisions will be provided.” Legolas narrowed his blue eyes. “Criminals or not, we will not starve you.”
Jade scoffed. “Thanks so much.” Skywalker’s warning glare caused her to fall silent again.
Merry and Pippin met them in the hallway and it was not long before the three old friends and their captives were on their way. No one said much as they walked the first day. Every once and a while, Legolas felt that same rippling sensation that he had sensed back in Brandy Hall.
The first night they camped just after crossing the Brandywine River. Legolas turned to Skywalker and Jade. “We have left the Shire.”
Jade raised an eyebrow. “Yay?”
Merry glared at her. “That means you’re no longer breaking the King’s laws.”
“Great,” she shot back. “So let us go.”
Legolas stepped toward her. “There are still crimes to be answered for.”
Another ripple. Jade backed off and sank to the ground gracefully. Then she leaned against a tree and glared darkly at all of them. Legolas sighed as the others set out their bedrolls. This was going to be a very long journey.
Days slipped by uneventfully as they headed south through the Wild toward the Gap of Rohan. The area around Isengard was not as dangerous as it once was, but Legolas still tread cautiously near the silent black tower.
As they crested one last hill and Orthanc came into view, Skywalker and Jade suddenly stopped. “What is this place?” Skywalker asked.
“It’s so cold,” Jade added.
Merry and Pippin shared a look, as the sun was fairly warm. But Legolas shivered as well, chilled by the darkness that had permeated the bleak stone. “There was once great evil here,” he said.
“Let’s leave this place,” Jade said. “Now.”
No one argued. The small band kept going after the sun went down until Isengard was a fair distance behind them.
With each day that went by, Legolas felt his heart grow heavier. Merry and Pippin did not know the horrible things that a man called Skywalker had done years ago and Legolas could see that both hobbits were friendly at least with their male captive. The servant girl was too temperamental for any of them to deal with. He wondered how Skywalker could stand her.
Still, something about the woman struck an odd chord. It was almost like a ghostly sense of déjà vu that slipped away as soon as Legolas tried to grasp it.
They passed Helm’s Deep and Edoras and still trudged on. Lembas bread kept them nourished. Merry and Pippin stayed unusually quiet as they went. It had been years since either one had left the Shire and being back in the lands where they had once seen great pain seemed to be having an effect on them.
It was just shy of two months when Minas Tirith rose in the distance. Legolas was grateful to see it. He wanted to hate the man he had brought to pay for the crimes against his old friend. He wanted to see Aragorn’s face when he could finally punish someone for the decades of sorrow and loss. But there was something so inherently good
about Luke Skywalker that even the Elf’s infinite resolve was being tested.
Skywalker and Jade were awestruck when the group stood in front of the massive mithril gates. Legolas spoke briefly with the guards and soon they were all being led through the seven circular levels of the city.
Faramir met them in the Court of the Fountain. He grasped Legolas’s shoulder. “It is good to see you, my old friend,” he said.
Legolas bowed his head and smiled. “Thank you, Steward. This day has been long awaited.”
Faramir looked past him to where the hobbits were holding Skywalker and Jade. “Your news has preceded you here. Is that him?”
Legolas nodded. With a flick of his hand, Faramir brought two guards to Skywalker’s side. “Stay out here with her,” Legolas told Merry and Pippin. Then he and Faramir followed the guards as they led the captive man into the White Hall.
Aragorn and Arwen met them in the center of the Hall. Arwen gave Legolas a gentle hug, then Aragorn greeted his oldest friend. “Mellon nîn,” he said. “Thank you for coming.”
Nodding, Legolas said, “I am sorry it has taken this long.”
At those words, Aragorn’s, Arwen’s, and Faramir’s demeanors changed. They became the King, Queen, and Steward of Gondor once again. Each one took their place on their throne. “Bring up the prisoner,” Faramir said.
The guards dragged Skywalker up before the dais. Legolas stood tall beside them. “I bring you Luke Skywalker, our Majesty. Do with him what you will.”
Aragorn’s face was barely-controlled fury, but he merely nodded. Legolas stepped back. “The name Skywalker is known to us here,” Aragorn said. “Anakin Skywalker once committed great atrocities and now someone will pay.”
“But – ”
“Do you deny that you are related to Anakin Skywaker?”
The prisoner reluctantly replied, “He was my father.”
Aragorn gave him a decisive nod and turned to the guards. “Take him to the dungeon.”
Skywalker did not resist, but instead asked, “What about my servant? She’s mouthy, but she’s the best help I’ve been able to find.”
Arwen turned her ice blue eyes on him for a minute, then said, “She will be watched, but remain free.” She nodded to Aragorn. “It will be all right.”
The King nodded. Then the guards took Skywalker by the arms and removed him from the White Hall.