Many have asked me, over the ages, why Elrond needed a protector. Why I was sent back. Why weren't others sent back to protect their families?
Elrond does not need a guardian. That is the first thing I always tell them, for he is quite able to defend himself.
There is more to it than safety. Yes, he needed to survive; to live to have children, and build a haven that would shelter many in the darkest days.
He is quite capable of all that.
Again, I see the puzzlement. The confusion.
Simple truth. I was not sent back to watch over Elrond.
My promise, my oath was to Elenwë, Idril's mother. Idril, who went on to have Eärendil, who wed Elwing, who gave birth to Elros and Elrond.
I never knew it would have such far-reaching consequences!
But I do not rue it, even that in keeping it I died. Such is the price, and we gain more than we know oftentimes in such actions. Even when we do not realize, as was my case.
Why me. Why send me back? That, mellyn, you will have to take up with the Valar.
Am I more loyal than Ecthelion? He was a dear friend who bravely sacrificed himself to save his king and kingdom. He died in slaying a balrog as well. More than one, truthfully.
I am not the only slayer of balrogs, you know.
Does that mean I was more loyal, braver than he?
No. I don't believe so.
Once in Mandos' Halls, you must loose that you have gained in living. Lose the illusions, the honours.... Whatever it was you had in life, you cannot bring it with you.
You bring only your memories, and your fëa. Soul, spirit, Men call it. The basic essence of what a being is, in life and death.
Mandos keeps you until you can loose yourself from that you clung to in life. Your regrets, your sorrows. You are stripped to the basic essence and helped back to who and what you truly are.
For some...it is a wearisome task. Some carry great sorrows, great regret. They will be there for a long while I am afraid, for not even forgiveness from others can steal the stinging cut of memories.
Pride holds many there. Anger. The wars of Beleriand saw many sad deeds that brought woe to all. Many are still there, and will be until they cast off the afflictions of life.
You will not leave the Halls until you are healed, and so, some call Mandos cruel. Unfeeling. Cold.
None of them true. He is a Valar, the one who knows the Music entire. Mandos, Námo, whichever you call Him, is more a mirror. He will make you face yourself, see your fears, your pride.
And afterwards? The Blessed Realm. Reunited with those you love, to live ...
Well, we don't know, do we? The Great Mystery.
Back to the question, though. Why me?
You see it as a blessing? To be sent back, re-embodied, to watch Endor fade, her fate more and more in Mankind's keeping?
Nay. It was not a blessing. Valinor is the blessing.
Even so, I have been blessed. I have the friendship of one whom I can truly say I would willingly die for. Or live for, and that is harder to do, you know. Nor would Elrond thank me for dying I think. I would have to endure his acidic commentary on it for eternity once he arrived in the Blessed Realm.
Forever is a very long time.
So I watch over them, Elrond, his family. Those he has taken under his care, and there are many here in the valley who have suffered in this world and found peace in this haven.
I will keep my oath to Elenwë, and when we again meet, be able to point to her grand children, many generations removed, and...hopefully...hear that I was, at the least, faithful.
There are tasks aplenty to keep me occupied until then. Darkness to push back, the younger races of this world still need protection and help. Sometimes just a nudge, other times...well, I will not begrudge them the tunic from my back. Perhaps even my horse. You never know whom it is you help. Sometimes those who do the greatest things come in the most unlikely forms.
And there are children to hug and play with, Elrond to tease out of his dark moods...
There is joy in simply breathing, walking and laughing.
And someday, Valar willing, mayhaps I can find the Singer. The one who wanders the thickest woods, whose voice I hear over the falls sometimes at night.
Yes, Elrond has more than one watching over his valley home.
I would not have him wander alone until the end of time, singing sadly still of things that are long past. We each have burdens to carry, but his.... Ai! His weigh his fëa down so that I marvel he has not sunk into the very soil of Arda.
And it should not be so. Not even for one called kinslayer.
All of us have made mistakes. Even now his kin dwells with Mandos, though some have let loose of those things that were so very important to them in life, and moved on.
Yes, I think I will try to find our elusive Singer, and let him know... Elrond speaks kindly of him. Has fond memories. Perhaps Elrond could talk him into leaving these shores with us.
Ah, but see there? You have let me talk on, mind wandering many paths as we elves are wont to do. Surely you have better things to do than listen to me?
Well then, I leave you here in the sunshine to listen to the song the waterfalls sing.
Tenn' enomentielva, mellyn.
~*~*~A/N: of course, this is all my take on things, since Professor Tolkien didn't really elaborate on Glorfindel. And yes, I do believe in muses. ;)
Revised 3/9: Hellga, you asked why Maglor would wander from the seashore. I ask why would he forever wander there when forever is a very long time? *g* AU is my answer, for the Professor did say he forever wandered the shores, singing in pain and regret. In my little world, Maglor wanders from the seas in search of a familiar face or two, perhaps. Your comments, and more importantly, corrections, are greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone who stops a while to sit here, and read with me!