|Balancing the Books
Author: EvilFuzzy9 PM
Sometimes even the Lord of the Halls of the Dead doesn't want to deal with paperwork. Oneshot. Implied GimGala.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Fantasy - Gimli & Námo - Words: 1,606 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 4 - Published: 07-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7195848
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Balancing the Books
A Silmarillion/Lord of the Rings Oneshot
Deep within the Halls of Mandos, where mortal fëar dared not dread, Námo the Doomsman of the Valar was in a bad mood. Indeed, he had only once before been in a worse mood: the day Lúthien Tinúviel, daughter of Elu Thingol and the (incredibly lovely, though Námo would never say as much lest his wife Vairë the Weaver -who records all of history in her tapestries- should find out) maia Melian, had forsaken the immortal life of the Eldar for the sake of her beloved Beren Erchamion son of Barahir and Emeldir.
Unlike his fellow Valar who constantly coddled and adored the First Born of Eru, Námo did not particular care for the Eldar. While Manwë and Varda and the others really only ever had interactions with well-behaved and likeable Elves, he had to deal with the little bastards at their worst. Always whining about how 'I'm too young to die!', 'I demand you grant me release so I may return to my kin!', and 'AAAUUUGGHH! SWEET ELBERETH, THE AGONY IS UNBEARABLE! EAEKAFRJKREFGLB!'.
Everyone always assumed that he was naturally callous and cynical. No, Námo had once been as kind and compassionate and idealistic as his siblings Irmo and Nienna. Unfortunately, dealing with the fëar of ungrateful mortals (and all creatures of flesh and bone and blood and sinew were as mortals to the Ainu, no matter how long-lived or how powerful they may think themselves) for tens of thousands of years straight with no end in sight ere Dagor Dagorath and the unmaking of Arda (and whatever things were to come after that could not be fore-known to any within the walls of the world, not even he) would have been enough to harden even the heart of Nienna the Compassionate, Lady of Mercy as well as Pity and Mourning. Thus it should come as no surprise to anyone that the cause of the foul mood plaguing the Master of Mandos was, indeed, a mortal - specifically, Arwen Undómiel wife of the late King Elessar Aragorn, and daughter of Elrond Half-elven and Celebrían. Several decades back, the silly thing got it into her head to imitate her similarly infuriating ancestor Lúthien and choose the fate of a mortal. And now, the news had reached him that the bloody twit had finally gone and died.
Now, needless to say, the thing that makes Elves immortal (a highly complex set of characteristics and systems both physical and metaphysical that are built into both their body and spirit to make their metabolisms essentially flawless and bind their life-force to that of Arda) is not something that can simply be switched off or removed at will - if it were, Elves might randomly decide they'd rather follow men beyond the walls of the world than stay in Aman with the Valar (who can admittedly get rather needy at times) or Men might figure out ways to take Elven immortality for their own and spurn their Gift.
In other words, chaos would reign over Arda even more than it already did. No, only under very special circumstances could these things be changed, and even then any operation falling under the definition of "Mortality Alteration" had to be executed by one of the High Ones of Arda or a licensed and registered Maia or lesser Vala, and it always always ALWAYS involved reams of paperwork in such a volume that, were it physical, would require all the trees that had ever stood in all the great primeval forests that had once blanketed Middle-earth in the ancient days ere the first dawn to be cut down and processed to provide the material for the obscenely great number of pages which comprised the relevant forms. Per person. And, of course, it always fell to Mandos to handle the paperwork.
But easily the most annoying thing about having elves choosing to be mortals was that it screwed up his Supreme Eternal Census of Arda, leaving him with one less soul in the "'immortal'" tally and one more soul in the "mortal" one. And even just this single slight alteration to the Eternal Census would force him to reevaluate and edit hundreds upon thousands upon millions upon billions of files in the Hall of Permanent Records in order to maintain consistency and accuracy. Since the records had been written in the earliest years after the awakening of the elves, they had not been created with the headache-inducing ability of mortals to act apart from fate and the possibilty of Elves becoming mortals in mind. The exact contents of these records and how they were related to and affected by the contents of Eternal Census are known only to Námo, but he assures the author that even a single Elf deciding to become a pointy-eared Man does, in fact, have a very large impact on the accuracy of the contents of the Permanent Records (which is obviously a very big deal) and that it is not at all a matter of his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder forcing him to search for and edit every single reference to the total number of Elven souls in or belonging in Valinor and/or the sum of mortal souls presently in or someday bound for [REDACTED].
It was an extremely daunting prospect, even for one of the Aratar, the High Ones of Arda: the eight greatest Ainur within Eä, the material universe. But the Lord of the Halls of Mandos -great as he was in wisdom and foresight- knew of one way to completely circumvent that headache. All he had to do was find a mortal within the borders of Aman and make them immortal after the manner of Elves, thereby reducing the tally of mortals by one and increasing the tally of immortals by an equal quantity. The net result was that the Census totals would once more be the same as what was written within the Supreme Eternal Census of Arda.
And Mandos happened to know of four mortals currently dwelling in Valinor: three Hobbits who had been granted permission to spend the remainder of their lives (which had been unnaturally lengthened by the powers of Sauron's magic ring) in the Undying Lands, and a Dwarf, who had been permitted entry into Valinor-proper due to his status as the dearest friend of Legolas Thranduillion -one of the last living Eldar in Middle-earth to be considered royalty- and not-very-secret lover of the White Lady Artanis Nerwen Alatáriel. Judging by what he had heard of the Hobbits from his wife, the Doomsman of the Valar doubted that any one of the three would be very happy to be made immortal while their friends were left to grow old and die, and it was highly unlikely that Elrond's sons were planning on relinquishing their immortality and choosing to die as Men any time soon.
The Dwarf on the other hand was quite unlikely to have any such problems, because although Dwarrow were mortal like Men and Hobbits, the Adopted of The One did not possess the Gift of Men. They also did not turn into stone upon death, regardless of what some of the more vehemently racist or woefully ignorant Elves might think, for they possessed immortal souls after the fashion of Elves despite the whole deal with the limited lifespans and not normally being allowed to set foot within the Undying Lands. In fact, the fate of Dwarves was largely what they themselves believed it to be, although the separate section of the halls to themselves that was 'hidden' from from the Elves was mostly for the benefit of the less treacherous members of the Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, or Petty-dwarves, who had an understandable hatred and phobia of the Sindar who had hunted them like wild animals, nearly driving them extinct before finally realizing that 'oops! the creatures we viewed as minor pests and have slaughtering en masse for sport are in fact completely sentient beings fully capable of comprehending the enormity of the atrocities we have committed against them. Let's just relegate this horrific genocide to a mere footnote in history and not do anything to try and make reparations to the no doubt deeply traumatized and extremely resentful survivors. After all, our new friends from the east say they never really liked them all that much anyways. Nothing could possibly go wrong with this!' (It is a testament to the extreme pro-Elven bias in society as a whole that the Dwarves who finally killed Elu Thingol, the arrogant and xenophobic leader of the Sindar, are remembered not as folk heroes fighting to avenge the oppression that had been suffered by their estranged fellows at the hands of him and his people, but as thieves attempting to take something they had no right to - and this even though they had in fact made a quite logical and inspiring case that they and their fellow Dwarves deserved the Nauglamír as weregild for the innumerable senseless deaths their people had suffered at Sindarin hands!)
Ahem. Anyways, this meant that whenever the Dwarf missed his family, he could simply pay them a visit in the Halls of the Dead.
Námo Lord of Mandos smiled. It looked like - he looked at the name on the file he had summoned into his hand - "Gimli" would soon find himself on record as an Elf. Muahahahaha.
Man, it is so hard to get any writing done when I'm stressing out over finding a job. D: