A/N: This doesn't actually tie to the main story so very much, but I wrote it in the course of writing Spoils and it does reference Amrothos as he appears in that story. For that reason, I thought it best to keep it connected to Spoils rather than posting it as a one-shot.
A/N2: I realized it probably was confusing having you think there was "more" coming on the story when this is really sort of a sidestep to it. So I decided to go ahead and post it rather than wait until Sunday.
Spoils of War
Is it just me, or is it all brothers who have a difficult time when their sister – particularly a younger sister – comes of age and begins to look at men with interest? Or, worse, when men begin to look at her with interest!
My sister – my only sister – is near to me in age and so we were quite close during our youth. She had not long reached young womanhood before I noticed the eyes of boys following her around. I was even castigated and punished by my father on occasion, when I deemed their attentions inappropriate and made my sentiments known with my fists.
I shall always remember how he sat me down and explained that it was the natural course of life for boys to look at girls and, to my embarrassment, noted how often he had caught me doing just the same sort of thing to other young ladies. I understood, in my mind, what he was trying to say, but somehow it was just…different when it was your own sister involved.
Over the course of the next few years, Lothiriel became even lovelier in her person as well as in her manner, and there were more and more boys – now young men – eyeing her appreciatively. At least I had the comfort of knowing she could defend herself against unwanted advances. I had made sure to teach her that right at the beginning, and checked periodically to see that she still remembered how. They could look, but they had better not attempt to touch!
As I got older, my understanding and acceptance of the intricate dance between men and women grew, and I was less anxious about my sister's interactions with the male sex. Even so, I was determined that only the worthiest of them might ever claim her. Any who approached that I deemed 'wanting', I subtly made my displeasure with them known. Eventually, my efforts at intimidation sent them on their way, and luckily Lothiriel never knew of my interference, or at least never objected to it in those particular instances.
My two older brothers seemed to find my antics amusing, and often teased me for my overprotectiveness, but in their eyes I saw the truth – they felt exactly the same and were glad of what I was doing. I had taken on the role of Lothiriel's protector on behalf of the entire family.
It is simple enough to physically defend someone, but it is not so easy to keep their feelings safe. No brother, regardless of how cautious and careful he is, can prevent a sister from developing feelings for a young man. And neither can he prevent the tears and heartache that come if her affection is unreturned, or is abused. Lothiriel had her share of youthful infatuations, and my father made it clear to me after the first one that I could not pound them all into dust for hurting her. I did not like it, but I learned to only punish the truly punishable acts and not just careless intent.
And then he came. I knew him months before she did, and liked him immensely. I knew him as the most honorable of men, but when I saw how my sister looked at him, and could tell that he did not notice, even he drew my ire. How could he not love and admire her? She was exquisite! She was beautiful and accomplished! The man surely could not be that great a fool! And yet he was blind to all that and deemed her no more than a friend. And her heart cried even though her countenance remained as serene as ever.
Surprisingly, it took me some time to realize what was happening between them. When I finally noticed her upset, there was nothing to immediately connect it with him. It was months later before I glimpsed more, a slight chink in her façade that gave her away. I made a casual remark that I thought was humorous, but her reaction was far more intense than might be expected. Only then, as I looked more closely and saw the heightened color in her cheeks and her sudden nervousness, and noted her firm denial, did I see what I had been overlooking. It took time to piece together exactly what had been happening between them. Ironically, by the time I did, the matter had essentially resolved itself.
While I would have challenged my friend, though he likely could have killed me easily, it became unnecessary. Something opened his eyes to the great treasure to which he had been oblivious before then. And when I glimpsed the intense joy in my sister's eyes, though I would miss our closeness as she moved on to a new facet of her life, I could not help but share in that joy. Then I truly did understand what my father had tried to explain to me many years past. This was a natural part of life, and I could not deny it to her.
Yes, there truly is a man in this world who is worthy of my sister. Imagine that!
1/23/10 – 12/5/10
Spoils of war - Any profits extracted as the result of winning a war or other military activity.
Halgeth – "tall woman" – maidservant to Morwen
Zimran – "adorned man" – Forlong's heir (Tolkien never named him so I did)
Minleoth - "my song" - name given to 1st dau of Thengel & Morwen
Ethelwyn – noble joy - name given to 2nd dau of Thengel & Morwen
Tamleoth – "gentle song" - name given to 3rd dau of Thengel & Morwen
Morlach – "black fire" - Morwen's dog
Betersel – "more happiness" – Eomer's housekeeper at Aldburg (also used in previous stories, ie. Juxtaposition)
Haldor - "sound door" – Eomer's manservant
Ungaphel – "daughter of shadow" – backbiting Dol Amroth noblewoman
Pethraen – "wandering words" – airheaded girl flirting with Eomer
Gaermith – "grey sea" - Lothiriel's horse that pulled a stifle
Frame of reference (details from Tolkien with gapfiller by me):
Aglahad, Prince of Dol Amroth, had two sons: Angelimir (the heir and grandfather to Imrahil) and a younger brother who was the father of Morwen. Morwen was born about 2922 and married Thengel in 2943. They had Minleoth (b 2945, m 2975, d 2989 – no children); Theoden (b 2948, m Elfhild 2976, d 3019 – one son, Theodred, b 2978, d 3019); Ethelwyn (b 2951, m 2982, d 2994 – one daughter, b 2986, died 2994); Tamleoth (b 2956, never married, d 2992); and Theodwyn (b 2963, married Eomund 2989, d 3002). Thengel became king in 2953 whereupon he and his family moved to Rohan, where he died in 2980.