Notes: This is just a short little snippet about the arrival of the Fellowship in Lothlorien, movie-style. It's always struck me as a bit odd that the Lorien Elves drew their bows on the Fellowship; I've also noticed that Legolas returns the favor, although he looks surprised. =P I just thought I'd write out this snippet of the movie from Legolas' POV, out of boredom and curiosity. Enjoy.
* * *
The sun was low in the west when they crossed into the outer part of Lothlorien, and though it was midwinter the leaves still clung to the trees, beautifully golden.
Legolas found his heart was eased in part as he passed into the wood, as if the burden of Mithrandir's death, close to his heart, was somehow borne up by more than his own shoulders. To him it was a terrible blow; he had known the Grey Wanderer for very nearly his entire life. But then, he considered, so had most of the Company; Gandalf had loved the Perenniath and often visited them; he had known Gimli's father personally; he had been in Gondor many times, and Legolas had first met Aragorn while the Dunedan was in the Istar's company. It did not seem right to him to be concerned only with his own grief.
It did not help his sadness that he felt great guilt for the loss of Mithrandir. The sight of the Balrog had frightened Legolas desperately, and it had been as if he had lost all control of himself. He could not find the strength to draw his bow as Gandalf had stood upon the bridge of Khazad-Dûm and single-handedly held off and defeated the Black Servant of Morgoth. He had not dared the broken bridge to save him when he fell. Legolas Greenleaf, I name you thus: Coward, the Elf berated himself. Surely he, of all the Company, should have somehow aided the Istar. Who among Men and Hobbits and Dwarves could claim to have killed a Balrog? But the Elven part of Fellowship had failed Gandalf in this way.
But there was more on his mind, as well – matters too urgent for Legolas to dwell on his guilt long. It was fortunate that the Fellowship had reached the borders of Lorien before sunset, before the servants of Sauron had been free to attack them under the cover of darkness, but the shadow of a threat still remained in his mind, and he was wary. He did not know if the power of Lothlorien, where an Elven Ring resided and protected[i], was great enough to turn Orcs away at its borders if they were driven to pursue, and indeed, he was not over-eager to place his trust in the land or in a Ring connected to the evil burden Frodo carried. With the darkness that now threatened all of Middle-Earth – the darkness that had long afflicted his own wood and had cast Gandalf down in the darkness of Moria – he felt he could trust to nothing.
No small part of Legolas was filled with wonder, as well. The land was strange to him, for he had never been this far south, and the trees grew differently here; their branches stretched not only skyward, but towards one another, and their lowest branches were still several feet above his own head. They were mellyrn trees, his mind supplied, and a part of him longed to climb into their limbs and listen to their song. There will be time for that later, Legolas admonished himself. We are not yet free of danger.
Again he turned his attention to the rest of the Company. Aragorn was a pace or two behind him and to his right as they slowly walked through the golden wood, his gaze serious and considering as he looked about himself. He said nothing, but Legolas did not doubt that the Dunedan was as wary as he, although he seemed more familiar with the land; there was a certain relaxation about his shoulders that spoke of a sense of peace. There was also a certain droop about the shoulders that spoke of hidden grief. Legolas' heart went out to him; with the loss of Gandalf, the Ranger had shouldered fully the responsibility of leading the Fellowship, and so had borne his own burden in silence. He did not yet know how to breach the subject, however, for his own grief was nearly unbearable, so he let the matter lie.
Boromir, the Man of Gondor, walked well behind them at the end of the column. He looked lost, for lack of a better word; he clearly did not know the nature of the land that they had entered, and he was not comfortable with that. Legolas wondered that anyone would be so thoroughly ill at ease in a land protected by the power of the Elves, but he quickly reminded himself that Boromir had likely had little or no contact with Elves ere his arrival in Imladris. Few Elves lived further south than Lothlorien, and those were secretive Nandorin or small companies of Silvan Elves. He was amazed by and hard-pressed to accept many things that Legolas, or for better comparison, Aragorn, had long known about. Legolas also perceived the same sadness about him that the whole Fellowship shared, and his careful eyes bore an ache of pain.
Behind Aragorn and Legolas walked the Dwarf and the Hobbits. Legolas grimaced slightly when, while straining his ears for a sign of sounds other than the gentle breeze, swirling, rustling leaves, and occasional squirrels, Gimli began to speak in his rough, indistinct voice. His truce with the Dwarf was uneasy at best; when they had both volunteered to accompany Frodo, Legolas had felt driven to draw the stunted child of Aulë aside to agree to work together cordially. They barely trusted one another; Legolas only trusted Gimli insofar that his pledge to Frodo had been true, and since Elf and Dwarf had a mutual task, they worked alongside each other from necessity. Legolas was grudgingly forced to admit that the Dwarf had fought well in Moria – although not well enough. None of us did, for we could not save Mithrandir. But his guilt aside, the woodland Elf found some small satisfaction in that he had saved the Gimli's life on the stairs, as if it was some sort of proof of his own superiority. "Not the beard!" the Dwarf had cried as Legolas had clutched the first thing available to save Gimli from falling; privately Legolas thought that had the beard indeed been ripped out, it would have been an improvement.
He was speaking still. "… witch of terrible power. All who look upon her fall under her spell," he said with awe and fear, "and are never seen again!"
Witch indeed, Legolas thought with bemusement and annoyance. He knows nothing of the Lady of Lothlorien. Never mind that he himself had never met Lady Galadriel, nor knew more of her than the stories told by the Elves of Imladris and the tales of Ages past. He looked up and at Aragorn for a brief moment and saw both amusement and admonishment in the Ranger's face; Aragorn had met Lady Galadriel (As well he ought, Legolas reflected, for he wishes to wed her granddaughter!) , and he knew if any truth rested in Gimli's words. Legolas shook his head slightly and cast a glance to the Hobbits, whom Gimli was speaking to, and found that Merry and Pippin were hanging on Gimli's words, Sam seemed concerned, and Frodo looked preoccupied and confused. Perhaps it is the grief? No, he is grimacing.
Legolas opened his mouth to speak about this, but it was at that moment that he heard a sound unnatural. In an instant he had snapped up his bow, drawn an arrow from his quiver, and set it to the string, aiming towards—
They were mirror images of one another, for the Lorien Elf had his bow drawn taut and aimed as well. He could only have been a Silvan Elf to possess such woodcraft; Legolas was forced to admit that if they had sought to kill him, he would have been long dead. Even as he considered this, however, another score of grey-clad Elves dropped nearly silently from the trees; two more aimed trained their bows upon Legolas, and when Legolas risked a glance to his right and behind him, he saw that the others of the Company were held in a similar position.
Well, this is an interesting situation, Legolas thought with dark humor. It was by no means the first time he had found himself on the business end of an Elven arrow, for in Mirkwood an ill-timed sound on a hunt could bring two Elves to a similar standoff, until they recognized one another and stood down. But the tension in the air was palpable, and the three Elves prepared to kill him did not relax their bows, so neither did he. Have we sunk so far in our alliances that Elves would shoot Elves? Legolas wondered. Are times so dark we do not even trust our own kind? Almost more worrisome than the arrows at his own chest were the arrows at Aragorn's; surely the Elves remembered him from past trips into Lorien …
The short yet terrible utter silence in the wood was broken by a rich but accented voice speaking in Westron. "The Dwarf breathes so loud we could have shot him the dark," the speaker said, his tone full of a subtle distaste and an unsubtle superiority. Legolas could not see him, but he did not doubt that the Elf was the commander of this party (even as a small, inner part of him laughed at the speaker's words, heartily agreeing). Gimli growled in response.
"Haldir o Lórien," said Aragorn, addressing the Elf that had spoken. Hearing the Dunedan's voice, speaking with familiarity and an inner calm, was a small comfort to Legolas. "Henion aníron, boe ammen i dulu lîn. Boe ammen veriad lîn,"[ii] he continued softly but firmly.
I do not think they are quite prepared to offer us protection, Aragorn, Legolas thought wryly as he considered the weapons pointed at him; fine bows they were, much better than his own at a glance, for they were Galadhrim bows, crafted by Noldorin woodworkers. The smallest part of Legolas was impressed and curious as to their make; he had not seen bows of the sort before. However, the Elves had not wavered except to shift their stance to better accommodate their bows; their faces were impassive. Legolas shifted slightly himself, unsure if he could truly shoot an Elf, and met one pair of grey eyes. They were just as unsure as his own, albeit well hidden behind a wall of indifference. Legolas let a small breath escape his lips.
"Aragorn, these woods are perilous," exclaimed the Dwarf, and it took willpower for Legolas to keep his sigh to himself. He could not decide if Gimli was merely stating the obvious or sorely mistaken, for indeed the situation called for discretion (of which the Dwarf has none, Legolas thought bitterly), but the wood itself and the Elven land it hid was a haven to all that was Good. "We should go back." This comment drew the eyes of Elves away from their aim and towards Gimli for a short moment, amazement flickering in their gazes. Legolas wondered for a moment how the Lady Galadriel would consider one such as Gimli.
"You cannot go back," said Haldir now, his voice still steely and cool. There was a short pause, and then the Elves began to relax their bows simultaneously. Legolas' heart filled with relief, and he could see it in the relatively impassive eyes of the Lorien Elves as well. He lowered his own bow slowly, relaxing the string, and let the tension of his body seep away as he turned to face Haldir.
The Lorien Elf was taller than Legolas, and his shoulders were broader, though he too had golden hair and grey eyes deep as a river's. He held himself as one accustomed to looking down at his companions, and indeed he was the tallest of the Elven company. Now he stood over Gimli, his bearing and his indifferent features belying his attitude towards the Dwarf – one of superiority and distaste. Gimli, for his part, seemed to not notice, mumbling something about the so-called hospitality of the Elves. Legolas cast his eyes towards Aragorn and found the Ranger was regarding Haldir as one might an equal. Boromir looked distrustful, and Legolas could not blame him; being greeted at the gates of Lothlorien with an arrow in the face hardly promised a trusting relationship, and Boromir probably knew nothing more of Lady Galadriel than Gimli. Sam, Merry, and Pippin appeared to merely be relieved to no longer have their bodies under immediate threat, but Frodo was pensive and troubled.
Haldir continued, taking the entire Fellowship into his gaze. "You have entered the realm of the Lady of the Wood. Come …" his eyes flickered to Frodo, who bowed his head and stared at the ground. "She is waiting."
[i] It is said in Unfinished Tales that only Elrond, Círdan, Galadriel, and Gandalf knew who bore the three Elven Rings. However, it is also said that because of the safety and maintenance of Imladris and Lorien, it was perceived by the Elves of the Third Age that two of the three Elven Rings must have been kept in these two places. The location of the third Ring remained an untold mystery.
[ii] "Haldir of Lórien. We desire your help. We need your protection."