A/N: What's this, two updates in the same day? Witchcraft! I'm going to break from tradition here. If you LIKE the bittersweet ending then consider this an 'alternate ending'. Personally I prefer this one but hey ho. Own Nothing. Real notes later.
When Harry again became aware he found himself in a high hall of such length that it seemed the end was beyond the limits of his sight. He lay upon a floor of purest white stone, utterly unblemished and without join. It was neither warm nor cold and how long he lay there thinking of what he had done he did not know.
Eventually he stood and found himself naked like his last journey beyond the veil of Death. As before his clothes materialised about him as he thought on them and he looked about for whomever was to greet him this time.
There was no-one, but the great tapestries that adorned both walls of the hall drew his eye and he looked closer. Such beauty and craftsmanship was beyond anything he had ever seen for it seemed as if the figures within danced and moved like wizarding images from his home. Upon it was an image of a great battle and so lifelike was the rendition that it felt as if it was still happening even as he looked upon it.
Atop two hills stood a force of Men and upon them shone light from the sky above. A shaft of heavenly light lit their armour and weapons and they looked unassailable in their glory. All around them were dark things, ugly things and each of their foes was shrouded in a living darkness.
As he watched he saw a light far distant, beyond the two warring armies. A great mountain of fire and ruin had lit up the night beyond the dark walls from which the shadowy army had issued. He saw the beasts and men alike cower in the face of its wrath and then attempt to flee when it reached out to smite them. The earth tumbled and fell from beneath the dark army and they were all consumed in fire and brimstone.
It was the battle at the Black Gate, the battle he had brought ruin upon when he became enamoured of the power of the Ring. He looked on as the destruction did not abate and the brave Men of the bright army were cast screaming into the pits of Harry's created hell. So fine was the tapestry and so detailed was it that he felt he could recognise the face of every man he had brought ruin upon. There was Beregond of the Tower Guard being thrown to the flames of Harry's folly and there went Eanhére of the Rohirrim too.
Harry stepped back and wanted to cower from the beautiful and terrible reminder of his power as yet more Men whom he had known died at his unthinking command. He had come to know many of the men of Gondor on the march to Morannon and he had spent even longer among the Rohirrim. Though he'd found many of them simple or boorish the knowledge that he was responsible for their deaths in such a manner was crushing.
He took his head in his shaking hands and would not look up at the destruction he'd wrought, so great was his shame.
"Do not despair, Harry Potter," said a musical voice so pure it cut through his misery in a moment. "For your trials are at last behind you."
He looked up and met an impossible set of eyes. Golden stars they were, shining in a face more beautiful than any he had ever imagined. Her hair was purest spun silver and reflected all around her in a million facets, ever glittering and fair. She was garbed in robes of queenly beauty, intricately woven thread that shifted and shimmered like water as she moved. She stood taller than he, much taller for in her countenance was the great power and light of the Valar. He felt his anguish ebb from him as her presence soothed him like the gentlest balm.
"I am Vairë," she said simply as a look of soft compassion set upon her features. "I would have you join and talk with me a while."
He found himself doing as she bid immediately. He pulled himself upright and found himself only coming up to the angelic woman's waist. Even as he thought it she became shorter though in no way was she lessened. He still felt the power and glory of her form yet it seemed she now somehow took up less space beside him.
"I do not know that I am deserving of your kindness, my Lady," Harry said respectfully as they began to walk down the seemingly endless hall. "I failed utterly, I killed so many people."
"Many died at Morannon and Dol Guldur," she stated with utter certainty. "Many more died at the gates of Erebor. The blame does not lie with you for you fought something altogether greater than yourself."
"If I had been better, stronger, more in control they wouldn't have died," said Harry in sorrow.
"None can be more than they are," said Vairë, her voice still soft and soothing. "Even the Valar can only be as we were created by Eru. The drive to be more is not unique to Men but it is in them most strong. It is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness."
"I do not understand," said Harry as his brow knitted in confusion.
"You wish even now to be better, stronger, smarter, more wise," she said shrewdly. "And that is exactly what you were promised by the Ring. Is it any wonder that you stumbled?"
"It was no mere stumble," said Harry in frustration. "I should have known better. People died. Hundreds of people died."
She did not acknowledge his temper for her voice remained musical and kind. "And so too did you."
Harry sighed at her words and fell silent. He could not bring himself to believe that a simple act of self-sacrifice would wash away the deaths of so many. Perhaps Vairë heard his thoughts.
"There is no self-sacrifice that is simple," she said. "It is always noteworthy, and it always has a power beyond any expectation."
"This wasn't the same as when my mother saved my life," argued Harry. "She was offered a life, but gifted it to me instead. I was just trying to undo my mistakes."
"You would have lived, would you not?" she asked rhetorically. "Your use to Sauron was great and so too your use to Melkor whom you call Morgoth. You gave your life for all those upon Arda."
"It would have been no life," said Harry. "A servant in a dark realm of unspeakable horrors."
"And you think perhaps your mother would have been happy with her life had you died in her stead?" asked Vairë.
"No!" cried Harry, "But. It's just different."
"Perhaps the only difference is that you are not named Lily Potter," she noted.
Harry was again silent as he pondered her words. He understood what she was saying, but he could not find it in him to believe her. He knew all his darkest thoughts, the ones that crept up on him in the dead of night and when things seemed hardest. What he had become under the thrall of the Ring was not so terribly unfamiliar, he could not believe he was as good a person as she suggested.
Vairë stopped by a portion of the tapestry and Harry joined her without a second thought. This part showed an obviously pregnant young woman of great beauty cradling the still form of a handsome dark haired man as a great dragon lay bleeding upon the earth in the background.
"Túrin Turambar and Niënor Níniel you see before you," she said as she looked upon the scene sadly. "Brother and sister. Children of Húrin in the First Age of the Sun of the line of the greatest of Men known upon Arda. Both noble, kind, honourable and true. Yet the child she carried was his. The designs of Melkor rent them from each-other in earliest life and the wyrm, Glaurung stole away her memory and they met and loved in ignorance. Would you judge them weak? Culpable?"
Upon the tapestry the wyrm breathed its last halting breath then a look of horrible realisation came upon Niënor and she stared at Túrin's features in agony and recognition. Upon her face Harry could see the love and the pain together for though her memory was returned she still loved her brother as a woman does a man. She kissed his still form one last time with desperate intent and longing, then she left him and threw herself from a precipice into the nearby foaming river in search of death and redemption.
"No," said Harry, his voice choked with sadness. "Not weak, it was Morgoth and the dragon that brought them to it, they could have done nothing more."
"But the love was theirs, was it not?" she asked again. "Even when restored they could not undo their feelings, their actions. Melkor had not the power to create such feelings."
"But they were tricked into it," argued Harry. "Whatever happened after they were tricked could not be their fault, they wouldn't have done it without being deceived."
"Yet you would claim the blame for what happened after Sauron so deceived you," said Vairë as they began walking again.
Harry fell quiet again for a short while before he spoke again. "My Lady, why are we having this conversation, if I may ask?"
"You have visited my husband's Halls before, Harry Potter," she said. "Only once before has a Man been so gifted by Eru to be allowed a second chance at life. Lúthien Tinúviel sung a lament so moving that her love Beren Erchamion was granted another life with her upon the earth. You are from beyond our sight, yet you fall still under Námo's purview. I have long held an interest in the fate-touched that come to these Halls."
"They don't look like they did last time," said Harry with a frown.
"They would not," said Vairë tolerantly. "Your perception of them is crafted by your experiences. After so long dwelling upon Arda you have now the ability to see them in their true form."
"So King's Cross was here?" Harry asked. "Was it really Dumbledore?"
"Indeed," she said, her head bowing gracefully. "The souls of Men may wait here a great long while before they must finally move on to the embrace of Eru, he insisted on waiting for you. I believe he feared what he would find in the beyond."
A thought sprung to Harry's mind. "Did he know what would happen to me? About Morgoth and Sauron?"
Vairë shook her head, bathing the hall in flickering lights. "He did not. He did not even know of Arda. His perception of this place was much like yours was at the time, he saw an echo of the true Halls. None save Námo knew of the trials you would face but he cannot interfere."
"You mentioned him before," said Harry, "who is Námo?"
"Námo is my husband," she said as an impossibly beautiful smile bathed the room in warmth. "Most now call him Mandos, he is the Doomsman of the Valar and he oversees the Halls of the Dead where you now stand."
"He's Death?" asked Harry with wide eyes.
"Not at all," she said patiently. "Death is but a lie told by Men ignorant of the Gift bestowed upon them by Eru. Námo merely provides guidance to those passing from one life to the next."
"So if I'm not dead then I can go back?" asked Harry without much hope.
"Such a favour is not within my power to grant," Vairë admitted sadly. "Nor is it within Námo's. Not even Manwë may toy with the fates of the Children of Eru."
"I have heard of him," said Harry, remembering some of his talks with Gandalf. "He is the King of the Valar, isn't he?"
She smiled. "In a sense. He prefers to think of himself as the Messenger of Eru, for it is only by His will that he acts."
Harry accepted that for what it was and they walked further down the seemingly endless hall.
"You didn't really answer my question," he said after a while. "Why am I here?"
"I answered the question you asked," said Vairë, a flicker of amusement in her starry eyes. "Though I may not have answered the question you meant to ask. You are here because you are ready to move on, for the same reasons all Men come here."
He sighed in annoyance as it seemed she again dodged the question. "I mean why am I here and why am I talking to you? I assume it's not what would usually happen."
She took pity on him then and answered as he wished. "You are to come before Námo for his judgement and I wished to speak to you. Ever since you came to Arda you have been watched by the Valar and much time have you spent in our thoughts."
"Why me though? I realise my death and return is unusual but surely I am not so interesting as you suggest," he said.
"Yours was one of the most crucial roles in all of Eru's creation," she explained gently and they stopped again at another portion of the tapestry. "Without you Melkor would return and Dagor Dagorath would come upon the world when it was weary and old and all things would wither and die in the fires of war."
Here the tapestry depicted another great battle. In this one towering figures wrestled and battled amid smoking ruins. Mountains were cast down, the earth torn and warped and the sea whipped into a tempestuous fury. In the center Harry saw a great armoured being, taller and more terrible even than Sauron. He was wrestling another hulking man, and the ground shook as they met, strength to strength. Eventually the dark figure was cast down and the battle ended though the earth was forever changed.
"The first great battle with Melkor," said Vairë in explanation. "Fought in the earliest days of Arda when it was young and strong. Long we fought until finally Tulkas threw Melkor into the dust and even young as it was Arda was marred in the struggle. It could not survive another such battle between the powers of Valinórë."
"That doesn't make sense though," said Harry in confusion. "Without me Morgoth wouldn't have had a way back in the first place."
"Melkor would return always," said Vairë with an understanding smile. "With your presence or without. Yet now he cannot, stayed by the sacrifice of a single Man."
"Wh… what?" stuttered Harry. "How could that be?"
She turned once again to continue walking and Harry followed, still amazed at the revelation.
"He no doubt hoped to speed his return to Arda with your presence," she said as she touched his shoulder affectionately, driving away all doubts. "Yet he did not reckon on your true strength. What little of his influence remained upon Arda was pulled loose and cast into the Void when you forfeited your life. He lies now beyond the Door of Night in uttermost darkness, his only tether and path to return shorn from him. He is utterly adrift and can never return hence."
They walked in silence again while Harry considered this newest revelation with hesitance. He glanced about him and noticed that the tapestry no longer held pictures but swirling and dancing colours that seemed to sing to him in his mind with a music beyond any that his mortal ears could hope to comprehend.
Finally he asked a question that had been weighing upon his mind since he saw the depiction of the Battle of Morannon upon the tapestry of history. "What about Éowyn?"
Vairë turned to him now and smiled a smile greater than all those before, no longer merely kind or understanding but a smile of genuine happiness.
"It makes me glad that you have asked," she said. "But I have not the sight to discern her at so great a distance. She yet lives, for she has not passed through these Halls, but more than that you must ask my husband."
Suddenly the Hall along which they had been walking came to an abrupt halt. The tapestry upon the wall was now black with a single figure alight with wonder and glory upon it. But that was not what grabbed Harry's attention. There now stood before them two huge doors, perfect and intricate and white. As both came to a stop the doors swung upon without aid, whether thanks to the power of Vairë or someone else Harry did not know.
The Weaver of Time then walked in and Harry followed. He entered a room that was indescribable in its vastness. Pillars like mountains rose from the floor and disappeared into the distant mists of the impossibly high ceiling. Fires and points of light innumerable hung in the air throughout the space and the walls and floor gave off a soft warm light.
Adding to the scale of the room was its emptiness. Across a floor that stretched for acres and more, even to the limits of his sight no people moved and no other adornment was found. In what may be the middle of the room, at the furthest reaches of sight was a throne and upon it sat a man, though Harry could see little of him.
"Why is it so empty?" Harry asked Vairë in hushed tones. "These are the Halls of the Dead, surely they cannot be empty?"
Vairë did not respond. Instead a deep and loud voice rolled across the space, impossible strong and authoritative. "My Halls are not empty, Harry Potter," said Mandos and suddenly Harry saw a multitude of souls all about him. Each was surrounded by friends or loved ones and their happiness was clear for him to see. Elves, Men and Dwarves all were represented and it seemed almost every one of them was smiling in the company of their families.
Far more Elves than either Dwarves or Men for of all the Children of Ilúvatar, true and adopted, only they may reside forevermore within the Halls of Mandos. For Men it was but a stop upon the greater journey beyond the circles of the world to a final fate unknown. Dwarves were collected there upon their passing by their maker, Aulë, and then placed in Halls apart to await the remaking of the world.
Harry looked on in wonder as all about him smiled and laughed and shed their mortal worries as they came at last to the bright shores of the shining West.
Then, just as quickly, they melted away again and Harry found himself stood before the Doomsman of the Valar. The journey had been impossibly quick, just as had his journey down the endless hall of history alongside Vairë. For the Valar such constraints as time and space were nothing more than the weakest of pulls.
Unlike his wife Mandos did not reduce himself for Harry's benefit and stayed in his form as a huge dark haired man of terrible solemnity. Where Vairë's eyes were bright, his were dark and seemed to look not at the surface of a man, but the deepest parts him. His fair face was set into a stern frown as it seemed he weighed the virtue of Harry's soul.
"You come before me once again, Harry Potter," said Mandos, his deep bass rolling over Harry like a physical presence. "Once more it falls to me to render Judgement upon you."
Harry bowed his head respectfully before the Lord of the Dead for his aura of authority was nigh absolute.
"Do you have anything you wish to ask of me?" boomed Mandos after sharing the very briefest look with his wife.
"I… One, my Lord," said Harry, thinking of his conversation with Vairë. "What happened to Éowyn and the others?"
Mandos stared gravely down at him for a moment then his eyes became distant. "The one you call Éowyn lies gravely injured," he said dispassionately. "She has not the strength of heart to fight her hurts."
"The periain will recover from their trials in time, though the one named Frodo will eventually depart Endor in search of peace," he continued.
"Those others you would call friends have survived. Many did not. Beregond, Eanhére, Thain, Eadwig, Arden, Heimir…"
As the list of the dead grew longer Harry fell back into grief. Though he did not recognize even half of the names he still felt the weight of each one upon his soul. Each was a man with a mother and father, most had a wife and many had children waiting for their return.
Before he could fall too far, however, Vairë reached out to him again and placed a comforting hand on his arm. As before his grief fled at her touch and though he still heard every name and he knew the weight of each he did not become buried.
Worse, though, was the unknown fate of Éowyn. She was alive for now but almost certainly wouldn't remain so. Harry had seen her fight Sauron himself, she had driven her blade deep into the body of the Dark Lord. He has seen her accept blow after blow and even certain death with bravery he did not think he could match. She had done all of that for him.
And now she lay near death.
It was a strange thing, he mused. Here he was, supposedly dead, and surrounded by invisible millions who shared his fate with smiles upon their features yet he did not wish for her to join him in death. He had no idea why that might be but he accepted it for what it was.
"Though these deaths are many," said Mandos after finishing his roll of the dead, "they are not all you have done. Would you wash out their stain with your virtuous actions?"
Harry stood straight as he was questioned by the Judge of the Dead. "The stain of death cannot be washed out," he declared and added after thinking of his conversation with Vairë. "Instead I will remember them as my failure and hold them alongside the good I have done. Let others weigh them against each-other."
Mandos nodded gravely. "You have listened to my wife, this does you credit. We are, all of us, what we are and nothing can diminish that, the good or the bad. Are there any more questions you wish to ask?"
"Well," Harry began uneasily, "may I ask why I am being judged? What is the purpose? Will I not be sent on?"
"You may ask," said Mandos levelly. "You are to be judged before Manwë. He saw your entry to Arda and knew how it came to be. He saw your strife and your pain. He saw your long loneliness and he knew the trials you would face. Your actions are not without crime yet you dealt the Great Enemy and his Servant a blow unlike any before dealt by mortal hands."
"Years ago another man performed similar actions," he explained. "Eärendil of Gondolin stepped foot upon the hallowed earth of Aman where no mortal was given leave to tread. He brought with him a plea that caused an end to the ruin of Morgoth upon Beleriand. Yet crime he did still commit, he was judged, as you will be, for his worthiness."
"What happened to him?" asked Harry in some trepidation.
"I argued that he was to die, for that was the punishment for setting foot upon Aman," said Mandos solemnly. "Manwë judged differently. His actions were in pursuit of good and by his actions he saved a great many lives and ended much suffering. He was allowed to leave back to Endor, and when his time came he was placed as a star in the sky to ever give hope to those below. His sons were granted the choice of the Edhellen, to share in the Gift of Men or to remain with the Eldar until the world grows old."
Harry looked then into the dark eyes of Mandos, so deep and immovable. "Then what is your judgement?"
The figure before him was silent for a long time as he pondered Harry's fate. It felt to Harry that it stretched out to an eternity and more as he waited before the utterly impassive visage of the Doomsman of the Valar. In truth he was not sure what he hoped for, he did not even know what the possibilities may be. Harry had lost many over his life, not least his parents and his godfather, the thought of being reunited with them was just as attractive now as it had been after he had gone to Voldemort within the Forbidden Forest.
Yet his heart ached at the thought of abandoning Éowyn to her grief. He knew their companionship was yet new and untested but he could not find it within him to inflict that hurt upon her. She was yet young, and she could find happiness in her life if she but allowed it to find her. The words of Mandos made him fear that she might never give happiness that chance.
"Once already you have been returned to mortal lands from my Halls," spoke Mandos eventually. "This is not something that is done lightly. Only the will of Eru may stay Men from their journey into His realm. Though you came perilously close the chance granted to you was not squandered and for this you may carry with you the gratitude of the Valar."
The powerful voice of the Vala rolled over Harry and he waited for his Doom to be pronounced in silence. There was no hint of what was to come in the tone nor in the expression that sat upon the stern features of Mandos. He continued. "I would have you pass from Eä as is your right. To that end I have for you one last question. Do you have any request of us in this matter?"
Harry was surprised that they would ask him what he wanted, and in truth he was still undecided. In the end he knew that he could not decide his own fate in this, for he had neither the wisdom nor the sight to do so. Instead he asked the one thing he would have if it could be granted.
"For myself I have no request, Lord Mandos," he said quietly. "I would ask only that should I be destined to pass on and be sundered from her then I would have Éowyn remain and find happiness upon Middle-earth in the arms of another."
Mandos surveyed him with his ever inscrutable eyes yet Harry felt a lightness come upon his heart. Vairë was pleased by his answer, it seemed, for good cheer at his words bled into all about her. Again it felt as if an age was compressed into a few seconds as Mandos gazed upon him. The deep and dark eyes turned for a moment to Harry's side to meet the refulgent eyes of the Weaver of Time.
"This is not within the power of the Valar to grant," said Mandos gravely. "We have no power over the hearts of the Children of Ilúvatar for they are His domain alone."
"Yet your request may yet be granted in part," spoke up Vairë at Harry's side. Her impossibly sweet voice so very different from that of Mandos.
"Indeed," said Mandos. He was once again silent and his eyes became distant as if focussed on some far off place or time. Eventually his gaze returned to Harry and he thought he saw the slightest hint of ire in it, though he knew not why.
"The will of Eru is in this clear," he said and his voice remained utterly level and without emotion. Harry felt perhaps he had only imagined the slightest hint of agitation that he'd seen. Surely the Doomsman of the Valar was crafted from a stone stronger and less yielding than the very foundations of the earth.
"Your vessel will be reknit and your spirit returned," he pronounced with uttermost authority. "You will be granted the boon of a life of peace and companionship ere you return again to this place before your final journey into the embrace of Eru."
Harry blinked in surprise for he had been sure he was to be sent into the beyond. It took him a moment to come to himself as he realised that he was going to return from death again.
"You will be welcome upon the shores of Aman," said Vairë, seemingly happy at Mandos' judgement. That happiness spread throughout the room and warmed all those unseen who clustered and met across the near endless floor of the Hall. "When your chosen falls to her own mortality you will find healing here for all the days that remain to your life."
"I… I thank you, Lord Mandos, Lady Vairë. I did not imagine I had earned such a kind fate," said Harry in gratitude.
"Eru does not grant boons to those undeserving," stated Mandos as Harry saw his own body begin to take shape between the hands of the Vala. It seemed as if he pulled light from the room about him and wove it into the gleaming body before him. Harry watched in awe as the threads of light melted together into a single form.
"You are charged to remember always the deaths you caused in your hubris," said Mandos as Harry's new body was nearly complete. "Your power is greater than any other mortal who resides upon Endor and you must always know the destruction you may wield. Even now, though you have lost your greatest tool, you must be wary of the deceit of power."
Harry bowed his head in acceptance for he already knew that he would do as he was bade. He remembered Beregond had a child whom he had met for the briefest time. He would do what he could for all those who had been touched by his folly. It was the very least he would allow of himself.
The new body was now complete before him and the glow of the light used in its construction faded slowly until there was nothing left but his new mortal vessel. Then it too faded from view as it returned to Middle-earth to await his coming.
"You are returned to the place you fell," said Vairë softly. "You would do well to look to the cross-roads of Ithilien when you return for that is where you will find those whom you seek. Do not delay over-long for I fear your chosen will not long remain upon Arda in your absence."
She then reached out to him again and placed her hand upon his forehead. He felt the warmth and light that resided within for a moment then he was somewhere else.
He lay upon black and scorching rocks and the sky was filled with smoke and flashes of lightning. He then sat up and found himself upon the slopes of the mountain he'd fallen into, laying atop the cooling lava flows of Sauron's ruination. In the distance he could see the broken ruins of the Dark Tower further marring the ravaged landscape of Mordor.
Soon though, life would return to the land. The fires of Mount Doom scoured Sauron's black land clean, his crafts and abominations reduced to nothing in the heat of the nether flames. Green things of Nurn would spread throughout Mordor in time and birds, beasts and Men would follow. Never again would it know such destruction for Orodruin now lay quiet and spent amidst the remains of its final undoing.
Harry was without garb or any of the possessions he had taken with him to his end. His wand had burned in the fires of Orodruin along with his body and all the rest and was not to be granted him at his return for no longer would he need it. The last link to his home had been severed in his journey from the fires of Mount Doom to the Halls of Waiting and now he would only reside in Arda.
He had never attempted to Apparate without a wand in his possession before but he was sure the Valar would not have been so cruel as to make him take the slow route to Ithilien while time was of such importance to him.
The image of the cross-roads was fixed within his mind and then Harry stepped and twisted upon his foot. A crack echoed one last time across the slopes of Orodruin as Harry Potter returned to the world for the final time.
A/N: Right, so thanks to Vairë and Mandos it all got a bit Silmarillion-ish. Sorry about that, all ye who have no clue what the hell they were talking about. I hope most of the weirdness they spout is reasonably obvious from the context but I'll cover it below too. Sorry about Harry's wand but it had to go. I couldn't find a way to save it and I honestly feel that destroying it when he died was a nice way of declaring that Middle-earth is now irrefutably his home. There may be an epilogue posted later this week. Then that's it.
A lot of the unfamiliar terms will be because I have made the Valar use Quenya names for things like Middle-earth and Valinor. Quenya is the 'older' language of the Elves (Tolkien being a scholar of language the descent of his various tongues is complex). Basically Quenya is used in Aman while Sinderin is mostly used on Middle-earth. Quenya is occasionally used on Middle-earth in extremely formal settings. The Ainur have their own language, Valarin which is just weird, they adopted Quenya for talking to non-Ainur.
Eä is the universe. Ish.
Arda is the 'world' and includes all the seas and continents within.
Endor is the continent of Middle-earth. Mandos refers to it using Quenya rather than Westron for obvious reasons.
Aman is the 'continent' where Valinor is located. Technically Valinor is just the area in the middle that is populated by the Valar. Think of Aman as the continent and Valinor as the country. Valinórë is Valinor in Quenya.
'Periain' is the plural of Perian which is how Hobbits (halfings) are referred to in Sindarin (and Quenya, well, in Quenya the singular is Periando but I couldn't work out what the plural was so I went Sindarin here).
The story of Túrin and Niënor is covered briefly in the Silmarillion and in more depth in the Children of Húrin (which I have not read, unfortunately. It's supposed to be beautiful).
Beren and Lúthien is another tale from the Silmarillion, Beren was a Man, Lúthien was an Elf (technically half-Elf/half-Maia) and fell in love. Lots of adventures, eventually followed by death, return, happy life, then death again.
Eärendil was Elrond's dad and 66xGreats Aragorns Granddad. When Morgoth looked like he was going to win Eärendil went to Aman to ask for help. Mandos wanted to take his life for that as that was the punishment for setting foot upon Aman. Manwë overruled him. Gondolin was an old Elvish kingdom.
The battle between Melkor and Tulkas mentioned is the one at the end of the War for the Sake of the Elves (rather than the War of Wrath that 'finally' defeated him).
The tapestry going a bit weird is due to how the world was created, the Music of the Ainur; it was sung into being. The final figure is obviously Eru.