"Here at last, on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship. I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil." ~ Gandalf, The Return of the King

Well, here we are folks: three hundred thirty-eight pages, one hundred seventy-two thousand one hundred seventy-one words, and fifteen months later (for me, anyway; been just under a year for you all).

The end of the story.

I truly appreciate each and every one of you who has come along on this journey with me—a special shout-out goes to every person who took the time to leave me a few words in review. This was my first story in Middle-earth, and I really hope everyone who has read it has enjoyed my extension of the canon.

Or as some might say, my alternate universe. ;)

A few background notes for you: Because the years of birth for Bard and Bain were never given in the canon, and because Tauriel, Sigrid, and Tilda technically are not canon, I based all their ages on the actors who portrayed them and also gave them their birthdays. Made it much easier for me as a writer to have such a point of reference. Therefore in TA 2941, the year BotFA took place in Middle-earth, Bard was 35 - same age as Luke Evans was the year the movie was released (2014; his birthday is April 15th). Tauriel was 635 that year and her birthday is August 3rd (Evangeline Lilly's birthday, her age being 35 in 2014); this based, in part, on a line of dialogue spoken by Legolas: "For six hundred years my father has protected you. Favored you." Peggy Nesbitt, who portrayed Sigrid, is a year older than John Bell, who portrayed Bain, so she became the oldest (I at first thought Bain was the oldest, but when researching the actors' ages for reference, I found this would not be the case). This means Sigrid was 16, Bain 15, and Tilda 11 in 2941 - and which would mean Bard was a mere 19 years of age when his eldest was born. But then, I imagine many folk in such a world married young.

Also, Lucanío was named not for the birthplace of Tauriel's father - at least, not entirely. Though it is a genuine name that does mean "man from Lucania" - which was an ancient district in southern Italy, and made for a good in-story meaning - I wanted to name hers and Bard's first two children after the actors who portrayed them so wonderfully, so their son is called Lucanío as a nod to Luke Evans. I found the name in an internet search for names similar to Luke and figured it seemed Elvish enough. Though I'd not originally intended to give him a father-name, I got thinking at one point Tauriel might like the idea of his having one and that Bard could surprise her with it. In a Sindarin phrase I never got to use in this story is the word pengor, which the website I found it on translated as "bowman/archer". When I looked up the word on another, highly trusted and accurate site for Elvish translation, peng is in fact Ñoldorin for "bow" so I knew that the previous translation was correct. And since Bard's known as Bard the Bowman, Pengorion was thus the perfect father-name for his son.

The sister that Lucanío spoke of in the nether-realm will be introduced in another story sometime down the road...whenever I get to working on it.

For those of you who enjoy my work and would like to see more, worry not. I'd not have entitled it Forgotten Tales of Middle-earth for nothing—believe me, there will be more to come! I cannot say when I will start on the next big story, A Change of Fortunes, but hopefully that will be in the next few months. In the meantime, I've started putting up Glimpses, a compilation of one-shots and deleted scenes, the latter being things I'd imagined as part of a larger story (there will be at least four from The Journey of Hearts) but which I decided not to include due to pacing. I'm also including three scenes from Entwined, a story the late Daniella Blue was writing which sadly did not get finished before her passing. Because Entwined was to take place in the Forgotten Tales universe and because these scenes foreshadow things that will later be revealed in my own stories, I daresay she wouldn't mind my sharing them with you all.

Before I say a fond (temporary) farewell, here's a list of songs which had some influence over the course of writing TJoH:

"Broken" – Seether w/ Amy Lee

"Wait for Me" – Theory of a Dead Man

"Somewhere Out There" – Our Lady Peace

"Chasing Cars" – Snow Patrol

"Leave Out All Rest" – Linkin Park

"Come Back to Me" – David Cook

"Listen to Your Heart" – DHT w/ Edme

"What Hurts the Most" – Rascal Flatts

"Here Without You" – 3 Doors Down

"Just Give Me a Reason" – Pink w/ Nate Reuss

"Not Broken" – Goo Goo Dolls

"The Reason" – Hoobastank

"Far Away" – Nickelback

I also, quite often while writing, listed to the LotR soundtracks, and a number of "epic" music compilations on YouTube. Adrian von Ziegler, Epic Music World, Pandora Journey and BrunuhVille are just a few I highly recommend you look up if you're looking for inspirational music for your own writing.

And last but not least, here are some of my absolute favorite Hobbit-era stories here on FFN:

Beneath a Cold Spring by Daniella Blue

The Scribe and the Serving Girl by Daniella Blue

After the War by WantedWild

Babysitter Bilbo by Etaleah

Blinded by Kagetora no Tsume

Dare You to Move by Mont Girl of Lumatere

I Will Forsake the Stars for You by Nenithiel

A Gift for Kíli by Jessie152

The Path Not Taken by ravnbb2855

The World I Have Known (Is Lost in Shadow) by Spamberguesa

24-Hour Coffee Shop by Mo Fraser

Wayfarers by summerandblue

Once again, thanks ever so much for joining me, Bard, and Tauriel on this adventure. I hope you will join me for the next one!

(All Sindarin - and other Elvish dialects - in this story derived from Parf Edhellen, realelvish dot net, Ardalambion, and Taramiluiel's Tome of Middle-earth.)