The Price of Power

Legolas sat with his head in his hands, rocking back and forth as the Ring spoke to him. Its voice was always inside his head, and he feared he could no longer ignore it. The last vestiges of his self were disappearing into the black mist, and he was powerless to stop it.

He should not have listened to Haldir and Celeborn. They had no idea what the Ring did to an elf. This madness was unbearable, and the knowledge that the blood staining his skin was that of his friends made the last bit of light in Legolas utterly die out.

Kill them, it said. Kill them both. They will try to steal me from you. They wanted you to do this; they wanted you to be corrupted while they remained pure. Now they will kill you and take Middle Earth for themselves.

He hadn't even put it on. The Ring had never been on his finger, and yet the power it had over him was limitless. Yes, perhaps he had saved the elves from having to move on, but at what price? The dead could not leave. Soon they would all be dead, and by his own hand.

Legolas realized the Ring had created this cruelty in him. Haldir and Celeborn had urged him to this end because he would not have gone along with them otherwise. They had been willing to kill; they had been ready. He was reluctant, and so he took the Ring. It had changed his very nature.

The Ring was right. They would pay for what they had done to him.


Celeborn and Haldir sat on the throne of the Lord and Lady. Caras Galadon had burned to the ground around them, and only ashes remained. The only way to prevent the elves leaving Middle Earth was to destroy them, and then, with the help of the Ring and Legolas, they could take over the world and purify it once again. Celeborn thought he would die before men ruled his lands.

"Yes," a strange voice behind him said. "Yes, you will die. You have done this to me, and I will never forgive you!"

Haldir watched in horror as Legolas slit Celeborn's throat, leaving his body facedown on the steps by his dead wife. His gaze turned to the archer of Lothlorien, and Haldir stumbled up, backing down the steps as he spoke.

"Legolas, what have you done? Celeborn and I are helping you to reclaim Middle Earth for the elves. Why have you killed him?" The glint in Legolas' eyes frightened Haldir immensely. Perhaps they had been mistaken to urge Legolas to take the Ring.

"You never said it meant killing them all!" Legolas screamed. Bright elven tears ran down his cheeks as his conscience came to the surface once more. "You never said it meant destroying all that I have ever loved in this world! You lied to me, you foolish elf, and now you will pay, just like your Lord has paid!"

Legolas flew at Haldir, who knocked the dagger out of his hands and began to grapple with him as they rolled down the stairs. Legolas ended up on top, and he squeezed as hard as he could, choking Haldir until he was dead. He fell to the side as he sobbed.

As the sun rose, darkness fell over Legolas' heart. He had destroyed Middle Earth with this act. Aragorn could never be king, and Frodo would never destroy the Ring. Sauron had won. The Naz-gul were coming; he could see them in the distance. They would take the Ring, and all would be forever lost.

"The price of power," Legolas murmured, looking to Haldir and then to Celeborn. "This was the price you paid for everlasting life."

Ripping the Ring from his neck, he clutched it in his fist and went to retrieve his weapon. Standing on the top step of the fallen palace of Lorien, he deftly slit his own throat. He landed at the bottom of the steps, eyes open, skin pale, his body lifeless. The Ring fell out of his palm and into his blood on the floor, and it began to glow with a malice that would soon strike fear into the hearts of men.

The price of power had been paid. Middle Earth would now fall.