Disclaimer: The characters are Tolkien's, not mine.


You were not an impressive sight when I first gazed upon you. Riding through Ossiriand, I heard strange music, and following it to its source, beheld you as you readied for sleep. Dressed in rude furs, playing crudely fashioned instruments as you gathered around the central fire of your simple camp – you were but children then, for all your strength of body. Lost children, huddling together for comfort in the night. A mixture of love and pity stirred in my heart as I watched you fall into slumber. Quietly I crept into the camp, and taking up a primitive harp, sat by the fire and sang to you songs of Valinor. Songs of the Powers in the West, of the Trees that were and are now no more, lullabies of Light. I stayed with you and taught you, and you in turn gave to me your loyalty and your love. And a name, Nóm – Wisdom, in your now-forgotten tongue.

Many of my own kindred would have disagreed with your assessment, thinking my interest in you foolish. They looked at you and saw only what you were, not what you might one day become. Fragile, sickly, weaker than my people, brief of life, they thought you of little worth. We Firstborn were at the height of our powers in those days, and seemingly o'ermastered you in every way. Why was I so fascinated with the younger Children, they wondered. What did I see in the Followers, you who seemed in all ways a lesser creation? But I sensed that there was more to you than was first apparent. Did not the Valar tell us that you had the power to alter the Song? I was childless, for my love had remained in Aman when I braved the Grinding Ice, unwilling to follow me into folly. You became my adopted sons and daughters, the children of my heart, and I gave to you all the love and care that I would have spent on the children of my body. And you grew and flourished, becoming almost as us. Almost, but not quite – there was always a restlessness about you that my people lacked. You were always moving, always doing – never content to stop and simply be. And, of course, in the end you wither and die. In the short time I had to spend with you, I saw generations rise and fall – Bëor, Boron, Bregor, Barahir. So many faces in my memory, and so much pain with each inevitable loss. Despite the pain, my children, I would have stayed with you for generations more, if I had had my choice. But my Doom was otherwise; for the sake of one of you, bound by a promise, my fëa passed from Middle Earth to Mandos' halls.

Although I can never return to Middle Earth, I have not forgotten you. After my fëa was released from its confinement, whenever a white ship docked in Avallónë, bearing my people home from your lands, I gathered news of your doings. I spoke with the Faithful on your now-sunken isle, and with the Halflings who arrived here after the overthrow of Sauron. And though it has now been many long years since the last ship arrived from the east, I still come here to watch you.

Once many of my people ascended the long stairway to the top of this tower, intent on glimpsing their lost homes, watching the friends from whom they have been forever sundered, left behind on the round world. But as the slow years wrought their inexorable changes, the mortal lands became strange to us. Over time, old lands have sunken and new ones arisen, and many kingdoms and empires have come and gone. My people have their own labors; they slowly became estranged from the lands of death and change. Few now come here to gaze into the great globe wrought by fell Fëanor so long ago, the palantír of Mindon, which looks into the east. Even the Peredhil comes but rarely now. I am the last.

I have watched you for many ages now, have seen you come into your own as my people dwindled and faded. I rejoiced at your triumphs and wept at your failures and follies – so many wars!, so much destruction! Still, you continued to grow and to learn. No longer pale copies of my kindred, you are now following your own destiny. You are children no longer. And tonight your adopted father is so proud of you!

It is time to return home. I turn away from the palantír and descend down the long, winding staircase. As I emerge into the summer evening, I hear the voice of Tinfang Gelion drifting on the soft breeze. He sings a simple song tonight, praising the splendor of the night sky. I lift my gaze up, the light falling on my face, to see wayward Rána floating high in the heavens, and feel again a sense of wonder and awe. Many of my people will admire the beauty of the firmament tonight. But only I know that on this day the children of my heart, the Hildor, driven as always by their restlessness and their indomitable will, have placed their fragile feet for the first time on the silvery surface of Isil.