Author's Note: Ah yes, another pointless little snippet of a random thought or emotion felt while reading a book or watching a movie. In this case, The Lord of the Rings. It all belongs to Tolkien, I write only for my pleasure. Enjoy, and please inform me if I have made any serious errors. I have to remind myself to actually finish Return of the King when my holidays begin.

The Elf

I have lived a great many years, and I have seen a great many things. I have watched the lives of mortal men with some sort of detachment, some sort of fascination, and some sort of indescribable pity. I have watched them grow old, I have watched them crumble beneath their greed, and I have watched them rise to do great things. Even if they have destroyed Middle Earth to achieve them.

This is their World now. There is little for us here. I have watched the most glorious of places fade away. Our time here is ending. The golden leaves of Lòrien lose their allure, the walls of Rivendell fall; Mirkwood becomes like any other wood- dark, and filled with shadow.

There are those who will stay. Those who have grown fond of mortal imperfections, and the imperfections of this Earth. They will fade, as our splendor is fading. They will roam our empty woods, our empty home; a light in the darkness, until we are lost from this place forever.

The War of the One Ring has ended. Mortals rejoice, for they believe peace to have come. Under the reign of their King, and the dim light of their Queen, they will build empires. Until nothing if left of beauty, of green. Only stone, and metal will remain. I see towering, gleaming monstrosities, and I see them fall.

And yet, even among this rejoicing, there is sadness. It runs deep, where it cannot be purged, or healed, even though time has passed.

Many have been lost, during this time of strife. The greed of men, of one man, and those after him, has been the cause of a great many deaths. Those who are left behind, those who have fought, they too have died.

How can one return to the life they led, however simple, however pleasurable, and however peaceful, when they have seen the World around them, and the great and terrible things that dwell in it? How may Middle Earth remain the same, with the passing of so many?

And I too leave.

I cannot return, to things that have long since left, with the coming of terror. I cannot stay, where evil remains. Middle Earth will mourn my passing, as it mourns the passing of others. With each boat that sails to the West, another part of this World dies. The innocent will feel a void, as though they have lost a part of themselves. Left to the devices of men, all magic will fade, save for those who believe.

I have heard that the Grey Havens surpass the beauty of this World tenfold. I have heard that the Undying Lands are free of war, and of death, and of despair.

I leave with a heavy heart. And I leave a World heavy with things to come behind. But only there can I ever begin to heal.

The water calls to me, as though it were an Elven maiden. Tempting me with hidden treasures, with words and songs of hope. I have always felt its call, and only now will I yield to it.

The ships have come, to carry me from this home, to the next.

The Maiden

The White City has never looked so splendid as it does now. After seeing its halls, and its streets, stained with the blood of our men, it has never looked so clean.

A sort of hope, quite unlike any I have ever seen, has filled the hearts of those around me. Of all who see the crown upon the rightful head. Of all who see Aragorn, upon his rightful throne. Of all who know that there are better things, and better times to come.

A company of Elves came to see him. Our King. They were so beautiful, that I found myself adverting my gaze, as though I could never be worthy to look them in the eye. There was an aura of sadness about them; an aura of great loss, for one among them has been left behind. She is Arwen, our Queen, and she has lost her grace.

Among all of our rejoicing, we too have felt this loss. Not only on her behalf. For the whole of Middle Earth is loosing its splendor. Every day, I feel as though another part of me dies. I cannot explain it, and I doubt that I shall ever be able to, but each moment that passes, another of the wonders that fills this World, seems to pass into the unseen.

I fear that soon, wonder and light will be lost to us forever.

The ruins of our river sentinel, and beyond that, the smoke that still rises from Mordor, seem to remind us, that such evils are still among us. That victory is liable to fade into another war without warning.

I fear that soon, terror will return, and even Aragorn will fail to drive it away.

We will never be able to return now, to what we have been. Something has been lost that was always out of our reach.