Fire and Ice

Soon, brother, I will go into battle against the one by whose hand you fell. I will not defeat him. I do not have the strength. But I will strike a blow, and I will wound him, and I will call your name.

Ice and fire, fire and ice. So we are, brother, and so we were made. Fire forged you, made you and unmade you, brought you to Beleriand in the burning of the ships. Ice molded me, the star-lit wastes of the Helcaraxe, hardening my body and soul, shaping me, at last, into a king. Fire and ice, brother, you and I, scourging and sustaining our people between the twin deaths of hot and cold.

When ice touches fire it dissolves in the heat, first becoming water, then fading into mist in the air. Fire is drenched, becoming smoke, and smoke and mist merge, ascending, and become one.

I have reached the end of my wisdom. But what should wisdom avail us, we who followed our folly into exile? The peoples of Beleriand will see my one last madness, a madness worthy of one who would follow Feanor. And they will see our enemy wounded, and they will take heart in the darkness in which we have fallen.

My human allies have shown me death. They mourn it, but there are other losses greater. Cowardice, or betrayal. A life unlived. A love eternally unspoken.

If ice and fire could join, could merge into a oneness without destruction, what would that be? Red and yellow encased in a clear crystal of blue and white, like the rising of the sun at the entrance to Beleriand, flashing and reflecting, warming and cooling, more than alive.

Ice and fire, fire and ice. So we are, brother, and so we shall be. For I will come to you at the end of days, when you hold at last the Silmarils and cannot forsake them, I who should not have been born, and you will take the Silmarils that should never have been made, and we will hold them in our open hands. We will break them open, and they will fall, unheeded, a tool that has served their purpose. Not from them will come the light of Arda Healed, but from our own hearts, broken and rebroken once more.

Do you make yourself like a Silmaril?

No, brother, that you yourself have done.

And so broken, fire and ice become one. But in jewel or in smoke-filled mist, who can say?

The rest I leave to my son, and yours. We who were so wise have left so much unlearned, so much forgotten that even my human allies know. In the end of days when we stand before Eru the All-Father in the remaking of the world, it will not matter whom we have defeated, but only if we have stood together against the shadow. In this you were right in the end. Though our kingdoms and even our lives shall not last, truly have we done deeds both great and terrible. In truth, we have already both gained and lost the Silmarils.

I go into battle against an enemy I cannot defeat. I will ride like a star into darkness. Your fire-spirit will be with me in the final struggle, and when I fall, brother, it will be into your waiting arms.