Prologue

Many have heard the tale of the One Ring of the Dark Lord Sauron and how Frodo Baggins of the Shire brought the Ring and its master to their destruction at Mount Doom, but there is much more of this story to tell. Another part of this story has remained untold to its completion, until now.

This part of the story began long before Frodo's part was even known. Gandalf was in Minas Tirith, studying the scrolls of Isildur. Among the accounts of Isildur finding the Ring of Power, there was an account of a prophecy of old that among much else read:

A Female Halfling will rule them all,
The child of the one who makes the Dark Lord fall.
Young and beautiful, but wise and just she shall be,
She shall bring the Age of Peace when she reigns from over Sea.
And this Maiden Fair shall reign as we sing,
That she will forever be the Lord of the Ring.

Despite his vast wisdom, Gandalf was astonished. Not only was Frodo to success in a quest to destroy the Ring of Power, but his daughter was prophesied to bring peace to all Middle-earth. How can Frodo succeed at such a task, Gandalf thought to himself, and how can this child of his bring such peace? She would be so great and powerful, she would earn the title of lord, a right reserved for the most noble of Men. As Gandalf continued to read, he found it described the finding of the Ring, and the passing on of the Ring to the Ring-bearer's kin. It described the great journey this young Ring-bearer would soon endure, but it also described the journey his daughter would endure to ransom Middle-earth, and how she would come to be the greatest and most just ruler ever known. It also described the return of the Heir of Numenor to the throne of Men. This must mean that Aragorn son of Arathorn is destined to reign over Gondor, Gandalf thought to himself, and he will marry Arwen Undomiel. But how? It told how the King's son would redeem the remnant of Numenor eternally, and how he would become the greatest King known to Men.

Gandalf was astounded by everything he had discovered, almost doubting everything written could be true. It predicted obstacles that seemed so insurmountable, he was not sure what to believe. In the end, he decided to keep everything to himself until he began to see more of it unfold.

Frodo did succeed at his quest and Aragorn did reclaim the throne of Gondor. It was beyond what anyone would have hoped for, especially from a Halfling or a Ranger of the North. Gandalf had his moments of doubt, believing he had sent Frodo and Sam to die in vain, but now the only thing in vain was fear. They could now be free of fear for a time, but Gandalf knew a time would soon come when they would be relieved of all other fear forever, according to the prophecy.

After the Ring had been destroyed, Gimli's father Gloin came to Minas Tirith to see his son, with his adopted daughter, Palin Moria. But Frodo quickly learned that her real name was Mirabella Cottontree, or Mira for short, and she was actually a hobbit. When she was younger, she escaped her father's abusive wrath by fleeing towards the Misty Mountains. Gloin and Gimli found her in poor health and decided to nurse her back to health. When they learned her story, they chose to keep her as a part of their family. However, they had to deceive the dwarves in Erebor to avoid questions and keep her hidden. Since she was larger and taller than most hobbits, they covered her feet and claimed she was a dwarf unable to grow a beard. (Almost all dwarves, both male and female, had beards. Beardless dwarves were rare, but not unknown) She quickly adapted to dwarvish customs and changed her name from Mirabella to Palin Moria. Eventually, everyone forgot she was adopted, but she never really quite fit in among the dwarves, so she always felt out of place.

Mira was beautiful for her kind, but her beauty was misunderstood by the dwarves, who were not attracted to her because she didn't have a beard. This did not stop Frodo from recognizing her beauty. They fell in love at first sight and were married soon after. However, they had to do so in secret because they feared Mira's father discovering her, so they could not return to the Shire together or tell anyone they were married. The only ones present at the wedding were Gandalf, the King and Queen, Gimli, Gloin, Legolas, and Samwise. Mira had to return to Erebor that same day, much to the newlyweds' dismay. Despite the distance between them, their love for each other never died. They wrote each other often and hoped they would someday be able to be together.

They did not see each other again until about eight months before Frodo was to leave over Sea, because Mira received word that her father had left Bree for good. She stayed with Frodo for a whole month in the winter. They had a wonderful time together, for Mira had never been to Hobbiton, so Frodo was able to show her the best Hobbiton had to offer. Sometime after she left, Mira sent word to Frodo that she was with child. He was overjoyed, but the only person he told was Sam.

Sadly, Mira and Frodo would never see each other again. On the 5th of September, she arrived early in the Grey Havens to await Frodo's arrival, where they were going to tell everyone about their marriage and the baby, but the travel was too much for her, and she fell to the ground in a faint. When she awoke, she went into labor and had great difficulty. A full day later, she gave birth to a girl, but the baby struggled for breath when she was first born. Elrond was able to save the child, but Mira was too weak to live.

Mira was only able to hold the child for a minute. She looked at the child in her arms and said, "My beautiful little girl, I know there are great things in store for you. Be strong and never give up, no matter where life takes you." She kissed her, and said with her final breath, "I love you…and your father…I always will," and she died with the child in her arms.

When the time came, Frodo and Samwise set out from Hobbiton, unaware of Mira's fate. The next day, they met Elrond, Galadriel, and Bilbo in the Woody End. When they arrived, Frodo and Sam both sensed something was wrong. Elrond dismounted his horse in front of them, not looking at Frodo. When he did, Frodo saw the pain reflected in Elrond's eyes, a pain Frodo sensed would soon be his to bear.

"My lord Elrond, what is wrong? Did something happen?" He looked around at those that had traveled to the meeting place, and realized who was not there. "Where's Mira?"

Elrond knelt in front of Frodo, sighed, and confessed, "Frodo…Mirabella is no longer alive. I wish I could have done more for your wife, but there are some pains that go too deep to be healed."

Frodo's eyes filled with tears and his lip quivered. Sam put his arm around Frodo and began to ask the questions Frodo was too distraught to ask for himself.

"She's dead?! When? How?"

"About a fortnight ago, in childbirth."

"Childbirth? Mira's time wasn't for a least another month!"

"I know, but the pains of labor were too much for her and came too early for her to survive."

Frodo didn't know what to do, or what to feel. He has been through so much already, but all of that seemed small in light of what Elrond had just told him. He tried to fight back his tears, but his efforts were in vain as he began to sob, burying his face in his hands. Sam embraced Frodo in tears as Frodo collapsed into his arms. Those who witnessed this moment felt the depth of his sorrow because of the greatness of his lament. They sank to their knees together as Sam continued to hold Frodo, being there to help his friend bear another great burden, just as he had always been.

After mourning for some time, Frodo gasped when he remembered the child. He asked, "Wait, what about the baby?"

Elrond was relieved to tell him, "I was able to save the child. You now have a beautiful daughter."

In that instant, joy returned to Frodo's heart after he feared it would never return. Sam helped him to his feet as Frodo asked in his tears, "Please, may I see my daughter?"

Galadriel came forward and revealed the child from under her great white cloak and gently placed the child into her father's loving arms. She truly was a beautiful child, with her father's hair, and her mother's smile. Frodo gave her the name Arwen, for the kindness and gentility of the Queen of Gondor, and he also gave her the name Palin, after her mother's dwarvish name. The tears of sorrow in Frodo's eyes turned into tears of joy. He loved her with all of his heart, because he knew the love he had for her would be the only thing that could fill his heart like his love for his Mira. For that moment, his heart was full.

After a few more days of traveling, they met with Gandalf. When Gandalf saw Frodo holding the child, he stood in silent awe that the one prophesied to bring peace was now before him as a tiny infant. Frodo allowed Gandalf to hold the child, and his eyes began to fill with tears, knowing all this child would do to ransom Middle-earth.

"What is the matter, Gandalf?" Frodo asked when he noticed Gandalf's tears.

"This is a day I feared I would not live to see," Gandalf asked. "Come with me, Frodo. There is much you need to know about your daughter."

He took Frodo aside and privately told him about the prophecy, about the roles that he and Bilbo had already played in it, and about the role that his daughter was soon to play. After Gandalf had finished, they sat in silence with no sound expect for the baby's cooing. Frodo was astonished by everything that was written about him and his child. He looked at his daughter, and wondered how she would one day be the savior of all Middle-earth, but then he remembered when most people did not believe he could succeed at his own quest. It brought him joy to know all she would do for the sake of all Middle-earth, but he also realized there would be a price to pay for that peace.

Frodo asked, "Gandalf, does this mean I have to leave her behind?"

"I'm afraid so," Gandalf replied. "I have already made the necessary arrangements with the King. I know this is a great burden to bear, Frodo, but you must be willing to give her up until the time comes for her to rejoin you."

Frodo's eyes filled with tears of sorrow once again. He had already given so much of himself to save Middle-earth, and now he would have to give up his only child, whom he loved dearly.

"Then so be it," he finally replied, choosing to cling to the promise that they would one day be reunited. He traced her nose with his finger and her tiny hand grabbed his finger. Tears began to flow again as he thought to himself, Must I even give up my one and only child? She will hardly know my love but from afar. If she must be one of the things I lose for the sake of Middle-earth, then I hope the peace she brings will be worth the price I have paid, and the greater price she will someday pay herself.

Frodo then found Sam, took him aside, and explained the part he would play in raising Arwen. The prophecy said the child would be weaned and spend the early years of her childhood in the house of the King. Then she would move back to her homeland and live with the family of the Ringbearer's most loyal companion. Frodo explained some of what Arwen would do, but Frodo told Sam that the King would eventually explain everything else to him when the time was right. Sam was quite surprised, but was more than willing to play his part. He also agreed to meet the King away from the Grey Havens that night so no one knew about the child yet. Sam promised to tell no one but his wife about baby Arwen, until it was time for her to return to her homeland.

Frodo placed baby Arwen into Sam's arms. Sam was naturally good with children, already having his little Elanor, expecting another child, and destined to have many more. Frodo's eyes filled with tears as he saw Sam holding her.

"You are such a wonderful father to Elanor, Sam. I know you will be everything Arwen will need you to be."

"Strider will be a good father to her too, Frodo. He will love her as his own. I have no doubt."

"Oh Sam, I wish with all my heart I could be there when she will need me, but I can't. So I need you to promise me you will there for her. Be as loyal to Arwen's cause as you were to me."

"I will, Mr. Frodo. I promise."

Tears began to fall from Frodo's eyes for all the years he wished to spend with her. Frodo kissed his daughter on the forehead. "I love you, Arwen Palin," he whispered in her ear, "Never forget that, my child." Tears fell slowly down his face as he silently watched Sam take her away.

Sam met King Aragorn that night so they could take baby Arwen to live with them in Minas Tirith. Sam placed the child into the King's strong arms. He smiled at the child, knowing that he would love this child as his own.

"You will be great indeed, little one" the King said as he looked at her lovingly and kissed her on the forehead. He looked at Sam and saw how downcast he was.

The King asked, "Frodo is quite heart-broken, isn't he?"

"Aye," Sam sighed, feeling the grief of his friend's heart, "and the worst part is that no one knows. He loved Mira so much, and I was the one person who shared that joy. Now he mourns and I'm the only one who knows his grief. It breaks his heart to leave Arwen behind, but he is comforted knowing she will be in your care, and she will have the company of your children. You just had a son and a daughter, right?"

"Yes, they are about six months old. Eldarion and Belthil are their names. According to the prophecy, Arwen will become steadfast friends with Eldarion and Belthil, as she is also destined to befriend many of your own children to come."

"Frodo didn't tell me that! He said that you will explain everything else to me when the time is right."

"I will Sam, but you must have patience, for her sake and for yours."

"Very well, Strider. You will write to me to let me know how she is doing, won't you?"

"I will, Samwise. I will."

"Oh, wait, I almost forgot! He also asked me to give this to you, so that you can give it to her when she was old enough. It will give her something to remember him by, when she is ready."

He handed the King the white gem Queen Arwen had given Frodo, so little Arwen could have something to remember him by.

"Very well, Samwise," said the King, "we shall give this to her when she comes of proper age. Farewell, Master Gamgee! Many blessings to you and your family."

"And many to yours!" Sam waved as he walked back to his camp.

Sam returned to Frodo and the next day, he bid Frodo farewell as he departed for the Undying Lands, to find healing and rest. The King took little Arwen with him to the White City. She grew up in the household of the King and that is where this story shall begin.