The Breach in the Walls
Disclaimer: All belongs to Tolkien. I own nothing.
Words in italic are the thoughts of Maeglin, and thoughts flash across the mind much faster than speech.
Words in bold are directly quoted from Unfinished Tales, Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin.
In truth Maeglin should not have called Idril 'sister'. But I made him use this word as a token of rebellion and sarcasm towards the blood bond between them, which cast the shadow on his love.
Well met, my sister.
How much longer can you remain so graceful and proud?
Did you ask me why I came here? This is indeed unlike a question from you, my sister whose wisdom is renowned; for it's obvious you behold the answer.
Tell me where your secret passage is. Reveal to me that last hope to which you cling, even at this final hour.
And I will destroy it to the last.
'So it is you who betrayed us.'
A remarkable attempt to avoid answering an unwelcome question, my wise sister just as always. But am I correct to expect you to act differently, once you see your son in my grasp?
You've scorned me, avoided me, and rejected me. Have you ever imagined me standing in front of you with my full height, strength and potency, and with your only son in my hand?
'...Maeglin, you've lost your mind!'
Lost my mind? Perhaps. But am I not seeing tears edging in your eyes? Are you not losing your contemptuous composure? In truth, my sister, you will lose everything soon, your wise mind included.
So ironic. You, daughter of the King, the Anar of Gondolin, a princess of the Noldor, will only be able to weep helplessly, on the floor, at my feet.
Now beg me. Beg me to spare your life. Beg me to spare the life of your son. Do you see the fair city in flames? Do you hear the walls tumbling down? Darkness has fallen. It is my time to win.
'Traitor, you shall be forever accursed!'
Ah. I should not have underestimated you, my sister. This is much more impressive than I had expected; for you are right, I am the traitor and I am accursed. But have you looked at yourself? Are you any better? Are you not one of the Noldor, and are you not also accursed?
Although you and I are indeed different, as always. You have never been cursed by your own father, because you are a princess born and raised, cherished, a daughter beloved. You've never known restraint; hence you take freedom for granted. Do you know the meaning of bondage? Can you imagine a fire burning while choking in the darkness and having nowhere to escape or be released?
'But how do you view yourself here, Maeglin, in a city of the Noldor?'
For this, my wise sister, I'm afraid no answer would be sufficient for you, for you would never truly understand.
You've never lived in a valley of thick forests. You've never longed for the Sun. Nan Elmoth. A memory in the dark. A tomb for a flaming and restless heart. I knew of the joy and wonder beyond the darkness in which I was captive. I knew of the beautiful white city guarded by the Encircling Mountains. My mother was the daughter from the proud House of Fingolfin, progeny of the High King, the Princess in the Hidden Kingdom, and the White Lady of the Noldor. I am a prince by rights, indeed.
I'm a Noldo. Half in blood, full in heart.
I longed for honor and glory. I declared that I would not spend all my life lurking in the woods, walking in the twilight, and staring into everlasting shadows and the clouded sky, only finding faint stars. Am I not a scion of the noble line? Do I not deserve a different fate?
And then came my chance.
I took the chance and I paid the price.
Now do you see red and orange flames rising and dancing, with black figures twisting on white walls? It's time to surrender. You to me, of course. Tell me where your passage is. Your words, or your son dies.
'...How could you have allowed yourself to fall so low?'
'Allow', my sister, an interesting word - as if it were a choice. But do you know what it means to choose? Have you ever been able to do it?
Try to imagine this. You wanted some change. You nearly managed it. Then everything turned into turmoil, a mess, out of control. In order to protect you, your mother fell at the tip of a poisoned javelin thrown by your father, and was thus slain; your father was sentenced to death by your mother's brother, your uncle, the King to whom you gave your vow and allegiance. And the curse.
That is my price. The price set for my freedom and my fire.
But you, my sister, you destroyed all that remained to me by your first appearance in my sight.
It is you who brought me to my fall. Did I not say you are also accursed? It is you and your people who brought doom to this city. My father's curse is only meant for me; but the curse you bear is for you all, for the Noldor.
I am the ill-gotten son. I am the heir of a Dark Elf. You all view me with doubt and scorn, regardless of the fact that I also have the blood of your own kind. Of course I know this. The meaning of my name is not unfounded. But ironically enough, I did not despair at first. I believed I could earn the respect of your people. I believed I could overcome the shadow of the past. I learned. I struggled. I tried my best. I stood a capable lord and a great smith in the time of need. I nearly believed I could be freed from my father's words. But what did you do then, my sister?
You scorned me. You avoided me. You viewed me as if I were depraved, seeking only an immoral love with my close kin. My sister, do you know the difference between love and desire? I knew you would not love me. I indeed fought my desire. But why could you not have even loved me as a cousin, as a brother? If the fire in my heart has darkened, how dare you say you played no part?
Aye, I realized my curse. The curse my father laid upon me. 'Here shall you fail of all your hopes.' But could his curse be so complete? Would there not be any breach? If I could not have your love, would I not still advance on the path of glory and power?
And here came in time the curse you and your people bore.
I would rather have perished in Nirnaeth Arnoediad. I would rather have fallen in that battle, as a hero and a warrior, honored and remembered. I was tired. Tired of living in disguise all the time, resisting temptation, and feigning innocence. But instead of honor and glory I witnessed blood and death. I saw the light of the Eldar trod into the dust. The curse you bear. Bringing down the hard fought victory, ripping away all hope. The Noldor were doomed. Glory and power fell in vain when the day finally came. The golden-headed mortals said they saw a new star of hope rising with their eyes of death. And I saw my star of hope fading exactly at that moment.
And I never despised my acute foresight so much.
Oh my sister, I must apologize. It's not the time for reflection. If I don't err, my sister, silence is your choice. Very well. Come with me. Behold what will take place next.
Now your golden hair is in my hand. And here comes your golden-haired son. This is again your choice, just like what you chose when you gave your hand to that mortal, that brief and little being. Your choices are no wiser than mine. So come with me. I want you to open your eyes.
See the walls and the fire, my sister? Your son is going down there. And you will be watching. There will be nothing that you miss, down to every single detail. Your choice. You love that mortal so much, and this is my late blessing. I would allow you to witness its pass.
The fruit of your love robbed me of the kingship. Your heir would take my place in the days that follow. I would have neither love nor power, what then would I possess in the end?
Ah, father. Your words are true. Only too true.
Come along, my sister. Do not shrink from your own choice.
Choice. Choose. Again, tricky words. Illusions of silly minds. When I was brought to Him, the true Elder King of Arda, suddenly I knew. I saw everything clearly, from beginning to end.
That city is doomed.
The Noldor are doomed.
My first choice had already been set on the wheel of fortune. It was not a choice. It had been shaped and stamped, carved into a grand plot. Just for that purpose, I existed, and a fire, an eternal agony, was set in my heart.
What did the mortal say? He claimed this was the message from Ulmo himself. In the armour of Fate, as the Children of Earth name it, there is ever a rift, and in the walls of Doom a breach, until the full-making, which ye call the End.
Fools. You thought the breach was a hope against despair, a salvation from a nightmare, a light in the darkness. You were wrong. You were utterly wrong. It's me. It's me! It will be I who breach these walls, in a way you would never have expected, a manner you will never forget.
I don't need the kingship anymore. I don't want to struggle any longer. I just want you all to die. Those who measured me with distrustful eyes. Those who took all I had by their self-righteous deeds. I want that city to be destroyed, utterly and completely - no rising, ever. What I cannot have, neither can you hold.
But before that, let me face someone. Let me look into someone's eyes. The one who enamored me with her first appearance of brightness and beauty. The one who shines in the city as our sun.
The one who incorporated me into the Doom of the Noldor.
'Put him down, and take your dirty hand off her!'
Finally another leading actor appears. A drama in progress, a stage completed. What a pity that I'm among the cast. I'll drop you to the floor. I'll try to stab your son. Your little brat bit me, slightly unexpected, but I'll take it as planned. And now on the high walls I am, sword in hand.
You sow, and you reap.
Come on, you base mortal. It's time.
I have been waiting so long for this hour. I have seen this moment. Earlier than any other, clearer than any other. There is ever a breach in the walls of Doom, until the full-making. Stupid, stupid indeed! A rift of hope? Or rather an entry of dark?
A duel already planned and doomed. We are no more than the cards in a game, puppets on strings manipulated. And if the puppet were cruelly given a heart unwithered and eyes unsheltered, what would life be in his world?
Come on. Dance on the fated walls. Complete the puzzle with the last piece. Take our lives as the stakes in a perilous gamble and act as if we knew nothing about the end.
However, trust me or not, I know the end.