My Queen of Starlight
by Bavand

(Fic 3 Appendix C1- The story of Thranduil's beloved wife's death in an other age at Gundabar.)

"...The ancient kingdom of Angmar... It is a fell place, Tauriel. In another age, our people
waged war on those lands... My mother died there. My father does not speak of it.
There is no grave. No memory. Nothing." (Legolas to Tauriel)
*1

A hundred years is a mere blink of an eye in the life of the Eldar, but a hundred years—let alone an immortal life time—can not erase one moment of absolute anguish. Several hundred years passed before any of the warriors who were there could whisper about it—and even then only amongst themselves. And he, he would never speak of it, not even to his own son.

Thranduil would close his eyes and see it forever frozen and viciously vivid in his heart's eye: The line of newly freed captives—including a fair number of dwarves—lacking life and spirit to run or fight; her surviving warriors with their weapons thrown down, watching in shocked silence as the putrid pack of orcs lead their beloved Queen away. Bound and beaten, she held her head high as they pushed her towards the barren woods at the far end of the ravine.

Thranduil came storming in with his troops only to be stopped by the nearest line of warriors. He drew his sword and started shouting orders to attack.

"My Lord King, no! You can not!" Several warriors shouted at him, blocking his path. His warriors reined in behind him, restless and ready to charge should he order it.

With one sweep of horrified eyes, he had taken it all in and knew exactly what had happened. The ravine was filled with bodies of the Eldar and captives, but only a few orcs. They had been ambushed, outnumbered and he was too late.

The Captain of her Personal Guard, Travid, came forward with tears in his eyes as he tried to take the reins of the elk. "My Lord King, you can not attack. She traded her life for ours... we were outnumbered. And they were using the captives as shields. She could not bear..."

"Her crown...?" Thranduil hissed questioningly.

"They took her armament as part of her surrender."

"You!" He roared with rage, bringing his sword down in a savage swing. He barely missed the Captain and the others fell back. "You are to protect the queen at all costs! Even to the cost of your own life!"

Travid shook his head with a shiver and a sob as he fell to his knees, thinking his life was to end then and there.

Hearing the ruckus, the orcs whipped around to see what was the new intrusion. The Lead Orc , Borox, smiled maliciously and thrust his prize out in front of him, holding her sword up triumphantly. She stood there shining as a beautiful beacon of white and silver armor against their darkness.

Blinded by tears of rage, he was about to kick his elk into a charge when her strong, sweet voice touched his heart and mind. {Stop! Stop, my Light!. It is done.}

{No! I will not accept it! Why? Why did you attack when you were so outnumbered?! You promised you would only scout ahead and report back! Why did you not come back for me!?}

{They were taking the captives away, my Light. It would have been too late to save them. And when we attacked, they used them as live shields. Innocent lives must be protected. You know that, King of my Heart. We are sworn to protect all life with Light in it.}

{No! Our warriors are sworn to die defending you! Your life is worth more—}

{You know better than that, my Light,} she chided gently.

{No! I will not loose you!} He gulped in air as if his very life was being squeezed out of him and he started loosing control.

{Listen to me!} She demanded, regaining his attention. {Please let your love for me rest on our son. Please do not cast him aside in your grief. Please love our son as you love me.}

{I! Will! Not! Loose! You! You are my life!}

{He is your life now, our darling Greenleaf, born out of our love. Do not forget that my Light, even when it is time to let him go...}

{My Starlight! I will not—}

{You know you will not, my Light. Our love is bound forever by Starlight and rests on our son. Please—}

"Enough!" Borox bellowed in Black Speech when he saw the "far away focus" look in her eyes and jerked her back around with a sneer. "No more "elf-talk!" He shoved her forward, causing her to stumble and fall to her knees. He kicked her in the back, flattening her to the ground whereupon he stood on top of her. The rest of the orcs clapped and cheered as they packed in around them.

Thranduil stood up in his stirrups to watch what was happening. Borox reached down and grabbed her long platinum hair to pull up her head, breaking her back, so that he could easily hack her head off. He held it up victoriously above the crowd for everyone to see before he flung it far away.

The Elvenking slowly sat back down in his saddle. Before anyone could react, for he knew the orcs would never have kept their word, he silently charged through the throngs. In a blinding flash, he cut down all the orcs that stood between him and Borox. And his blades did not stop until the orc leader's body fell away in pieces.

The rest of the orcs fled in fright before the warriors could attack them.

Thranduil desperately jumped down to where she last lay and searched among the gruesome muck of orc bodies, but found no trace of her. In the melee, her body had been trampled into the ground and there was nothing left to recover for a proper burial.

No matter how dead he felt inside, he was still king and commander. He ordered Travid to setup escorts with provisions for the captives. Thus, while the rest of the army set up camp, several small detachments saw the newly freed prisoners safely back to their lands, or at least as far as the nearest town to find their way home.

There was no argument or animosity amongst the Eldar and Durin's Folk—the elves were too beaten and broken to do nothing more than their duty and the dwarves were grateful for their freedom.

Once everyone was dispatched to their duties, the Elvenking searched vainly for hours in the brush and trees for her head until he was too exhausted to look. He let his personal guard lead him out of the way, allowing the other teams to get to work in the woods.

)))(((

The rest of them made camp higher up on the large ledges of the ravine to be closer to the starlight and away from the stench of death. They were too far from home to bring back their fallen for burial in their own woodlands, so they would be buried there.

High above them, Thranduil watched without seeing as they worked through the night, cleaning out the brush and orc filth in order for an elf to be buried under each tree. And it seemed that some of the accursed darkness which had befallen the wooded area was pushed back by the Light of the Eldar and started to blossom.

Each elf was interred in their armor except for their prized sword and helmet. These were brought back to the camp and placed in circles around the campfires: Sword thrust in the ground with the helmet placed on top to represent the owner. The armament would be brought back home and placed on pedestals in the Hall of the Fallen with their name engraved on a gold plaque.

He stood there, hoping against hope, they might still find something of her but to no avail. There was nothing to bury and nothing to bring back home.

It soon became apparent that the Elvenking would not move from the spot where he could see where she had fallen. Head bowed with silent tears, he would not eat or drink or lay down when the others were ready to sleep through the day after their burial labors.

Nor did he join them that night in the Feast of Mourning. Each and every sword and helmet was acknowledged by their respective commander followed by a song or a story. After all the Fallen had been recognized and mourned, they all turned to their king in silence. Their Queen needed to be mourned in spite of the lack of armament, but no one had the right to speak of her—even if they had had the heart to—only he could.

Thranduil felt the weight of the hush and realized they would not—could not—end without him. He did not turn around. All he could manage was to call out her name in a clear strong voice and sing one verse of her favorite song before bowing his head again in silent, seething sorrow.

)))(((

As soon as he cleared the gates, Thranduil jumped off his elk and rushed to their quarters, throwing off his armor along the way.

It was dinner time and Lissalith, Chief Steward Bresalden's loving wife, was feeding the toddler Legolas in an ornately carved wooden high chair. She had become a nanny of sorts when the Queen was a way and adored the child as her own.

"Da!" Little Legolas called happily as he extended his chubby, green stained arms and hands to be picked up. He was fairly covered from head to toe with mashed up spinach and rice so that he looked like a little "green leaf".

Word had not reached her yet, but the anguish on the Elvenking's face told her the worst had happened. Tears sprang to her eyes as she got up out of the way. Just then, Bresalden, face already wet with tears, came in. They went out together, but not too far, to give Thranduil some privacy and to take over when necessary.

Thranduil held the giggly, squirming Legolas close, transferring most of the spinach to his battle-stained tunic. At last, a sob escaped his lips.

Legolas froze and looked solemnly up at his Da with big blue-gray eyes. He tried to wipe away the tears streaming down Da's face but it was too wet. Finally, he just gave Da a big slobbering, spinach kiss and laid his little head down on Da's shoulder, trying to hug him until Da stopped crying.

Ma-ma always held him when he cried and little Legolas suddenly wondered why Ma-ma was not holding Da. He popped his head up to look in Da's eyes again. "Ma?" he asked critically.

Thranduil could only shake his head and whisper, "no". It was too much. He put Legolas back in the high chair.

Lissalith came bustling back in. She sighed as she watched Thranduil disappear through the archway to the Queen's quarters, rather than take the path out to his own chambers. The look in his eyes gave her pause... perhaps it would be best to get the little one away from here so he would not hear the impending destruction. She dashed back to the nursery, grabbed the soap, towels and his cute little night shirt. She quickly wiped off her dress and put on her long bath shirt.

"Da?" little Legolas asked worriedly as she came back in.

"Oh my, oh my, look at you! You little "Greenleaf" all covered up with dinner. Let's get you all cleaned up and then it's time for a story and bed. And what story shall we read tonight, do you think?" She picked up the little darling and gave him quick hug as she hurried out to the bathing pool.

Lissalith let the swirling warm water sooth her some what while Legolas splashed about on her lap, watching the spinach disappear down the run-off current that kept the pool clean. "Now my darling little Greenleaf, you listen to me. Your ma-ma was very brave..."

Thranduil proceeded to shatter the queen's dressing mirror with the water pitcher. Only once before in his life had he lost control with such rabid rage and that was when his father had died in battle.*2

"...Your da did not want her to go, but since you were weaned, she insisted on fighting at his side again as she always had..."

In spite his grief, the Elvenking was careful not to destroy anything of value or sentiment. He merely ripped her swords and bows down from the walls and dismembered her other set of armor.

"...All life that has Light in it is sacred, even if they are not Eldar, especially innocent life. Your ma-ma believed innocent life should be spared as much as possible in war..."

He slashed and shredded several of her gowns with her dagger before bursting into the bed chamber. There he stood, blinded by tears and holding his breath, for her scent was still in the air. Finally he lashed out and smashed all the candles and the vases with flowers before collapsing in a sobbing heap on her bed. He grabbed all her pillows and hugged them tight until he fell into a fitful sleep.

"...You need not worry Little Greenleaf. You and your da will be just fine. Your ma-ma—and your da—love you very much and some day you will understand what happened to your ma-ma..."

)))(((

Dedicated to "Travid", who has no clue how much he really has helped me.

Appendix C2

*1.= B5A-17 "The Shadow of Gundabad".

*2.= lotrproject dot com/ char/Thranduil—one of my few non-movie references.

*(Here is a scene I nixed in the main narrative because it had nothing to do with Thrandy, but I just can't throw anything away...)

"What of the captives and dwarves?" Travid's wife asked him as she suckled their new born baby girl, who had inherited her father's unusual red hair and green eyes.

"Several small detachments of warriors escorted the various groups of captives back to their lands, or at least as far as the nearest towns to find their way home. I heard there was no argument or animosity with the dwarves—they were too beaten and broken to do nothing more than their duty and the dwarves were grateful for their freedom."

"I still do not understand why you resigned your position. He can not blame you for doing as she ordered."

"I know, but I believe it is for the best I fade away from his sight and the memory of failing his queen." He gently caressed the baby's tiny hand. Suddenly, it opened and grasped her father's finger in a strong grip. The baby, Tauriel, yawned and opened her eyes.

"Now that is the grip of a warrior... and I do believe our little one here will serve the king well. I will train her myself to be the best and she will not fail him."

)))(((

[No woods, spinach or Travid (who still has no clue) were harmed during the production of this story.

Yes, this is kind of a hard hitting story and I didn't want to pull any punches because: A) I wanted to address the way Legolas talks about her in that scene and how desolate he sounded not knowing anything, B) wanted to throw in some dwarves to add weight to the animosity and C) it's like, ok people what would really—I mean really—turn Thrandy's heart to stone and make him want to hide away from the rest of the world? It had to be really, really bad... so this is how it came together and made sense from the way the characters played it out.

Thranduil and the world of the Hobbit movies are the property of Warner Bros. Entertainment & MGM directly; Sir PJ indirectly and Mr Lee Pace embodimently because he is—oh my yes!—Thranduil. I was just visiting to pay my respects to his Queen and not for profit. jk2017 tyl]