The Last Battle [subject to change]

Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas reach Minas Tirith too late, and without the help of the Dead. Is all hope lost? I'm experimenting in the LotR fandom, so I would love some feedback, please. :)

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6. Edge of Night

They had no time for any kind of ceremony for the little girl, but as Aragorn laid the little bundle to rest in an alcove, they bowed their heads in grief. Then Aragorn began to sing. Legolas caught only a little of it, but the melancholy tune got the message across.

 

 

 

“Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.

 Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!”[1]

 

He sung as they left the baby, he sung as they entered the courtyard again. He sung for the soldiers of Gondor, for the Riders of Rohan, for the women, the children, the families, and even for the enemy.

The solemn procession passed by Faramir, the flames now dying down into embers. They had no real goal in mind as they went further down the walkway, out over the destroyed city. Death lingered here as well, and yet the air seemed lighter. Out in the open, even with the great cloud of Mordor hanging over them, their hearts were gladdened at the sight of the sky.

But the same gaze across the horizon also encompassed the burning fields of the realm of Gondor. The villages destroyed, the people slaughtered – Aragorn’s lands, Aragorn’s people.

He stared at his kingdom. What a kingdom it was. Guilt weighed heavily in his gut, but he would not let it control him.

“Gondor can be rebuilt, Aragorn. Your people will rise,” Legolas said. He stood next to the ranger, his sharp eyes searching, searching for any signs of life, of hope, of truth in his words.

A noise made them both turn swiftly. A noise of pain and anguish that they were all too familiar with at this point.

It meant another one had been found.

Gimli was on his knees, head in hands, shoulders shaking. Another dead friend had proven too much for him.

“Who?”

Even Legolas’ usually steady voice shook slightly, not ready for another heartbreak.

Gimli could not even speak. He just shook his head without thought.

 

 

Pippin’s eyes had blinked closed on a vision he had already seen. The palantir does not lie. He lay within a few feet of the burning White Tree of Gondor, orcs killing his comrades left, right and centre. Gandalf’s words burnt bright in his mind.

 “I didnt think it would end this way,” the courageous hobbit stated sadly. 

A slight smile warmed Gandalf’s face, aged in his worry. “End? No, the journey doesnt end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silvered glass. And then you see it.”

“What? Gandalf? See what?”

“White shores and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”  Gandalf gazed at Pippin intently, his piercing eyes shooting straight through him and beyond. White shores indeed.

Who knew those white shores would be calling for Pippin so soon?

His last thought was of Merry, and as the eclipse slipped over his sun, they were together again, drinking in The Green Dragon, getting in to trouble with Farmer Maggot – together in the Shire forever.

“The Fellowship really is broken beyond repair.” There was no hope in the elf’s voice this time. The hobbits’, especially Merry and Pippin, their time spent with the trio of survivors, had shown them that even the smallest of creatures can make a difference. That even in the face of almost certain failure, there is always hope.

Now, there was none.

“No, my friends. There is still hope.” Aragorn stared at Pippin’s bloody, bruised face, and did not despair. “As long as we are alive, as long as there is still time for Sam and Frodo, there is hope. Avo *dhavo am môr.[2]

But it was too late for Pippin, and too late for Legolas and Gimli.

Legolas shook his head, sad, heavy eyes staring at Aragorn with pity.

"No, Aragorn. No. We have failed. There is no hope left for Middle Earth."

 

 

[1] Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valinor.

 Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!

[2] Do not yield to darkness.

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