I had been toying with this idea for months, but have not had the time to develop it as well as I would like to. Yet I just want to put it in writing as soon as I could… so here it is.
This is a quickly written (probably very short) story intended for light reading, but it is also my modest tribute to (what I see to be) a recurrent and fascinating theme in Tolkien's writings: the great friendship and love between an elven and a human companion.
Three such pairs of companions – whose stories are found in books such as The Silmarillion, The Lost Tales, and The Lord of the Rings – come to mind:
The elf Voronwё (the Faithful) and Tuor son of Huor,
The elf Beleg Cứthalion (Strongbow) and Túrin Turambar,
Legolas Thranduilion, elven prince of Mirkwood, and Aragorn, King of Gondor (a deep friendship only hinted at in the dialogue and appendices of The Lord of the Rings)
My story focuses on the latter two pairs. While I do take some liberties, what I write here stays largely true to book canon; and if there are mistakes, I welcome reminders.
Those of you who have read my earlier story For the Love of the Lord of the White Tree will find some parts familiar, while those who have not are most welcome to read that if you wish.
In a series of bedtime stories told by a father and grandfather, young ones learn that a strong friendship between an Elf and a Man may be found in different Ages.
CHAPTER 1: A TALE OF TWO FRIENDS
"Saes, Ada, a tale please!"
"Yes, yes, tell us a story, please!"
"Here, get off my pillow – "
"Cease your pushing then. What story will it be?"
"Ada, tell him to sit still! Are you going to start now, Ada?"
Ada smiled amusedly at the two beautiful and boisterous elflings with slightly sleepy faces – his young child and a playmate who was spending the night – little elves who were still unabashed enough to ask for stories after dinner and at bedtime.
He thought for a while. "I will tell you the tale of an elf from a kingdom of old, and of the sacrifices he made for the love of a friend. It is part of a history every elf should know. Would you like that?"
Two heads nodded eagerly in response. "Yes! Saes, yes."
So, settling himself comfortably on the edge of the bed, the elven father proceeded to narrate the tale of Túrin Turambar and Beleg Strongbow to a pair of rapt listeners.
"Grandfather, I like it when you tell us stories," an excited voice proclaimed. Two pairs of bright eyes in angelic faces focused on an elderly man with a stern countenance, which softened as he smiled dotingly upon his two grandchildren.
"A story from long ago, please, Grandfather," pleaded the elder of the two cousins, who promptly clasped her chubby hands together in anticipation. Her grandsire cupped her chin lovingly; she was always fond of tales from the First and Second Ages.
"Well," the man said after some thought, "what about the story of two good friends who loved each other very much?"
"Yes, all right. What were their names?"
"One was called Túrin and the other was named Beleg," came the reply. "They were very special friends."
"What was so special about them?" the boy asked, cocking his head.
"Well, one was of the human race, as we are, and the other was one of the fair folk: an elf," the grandfather answered without hesitation. "It is rare indeed to find such a close friendship between a Firstborn and a Man, and their tale is written in the history of the Elves."
The girl's eyes widened excitedly. "That is just like you and Legolas, Grandfather!"
The words brought a warm smile to the face of the King of Gondor. "Aye, my little ones, just like Legolas and me."
And Aragorn proceeded to narrate the tale of Túrin Turambar and Beleg Strongbow to his pair of rapt listeners.