The Silent Partner:
The women of Thorin Oakenshield were Dis and the orphan Tian
Dis. The Princess of Erebor Born 2760. Sister of Thorin Born 2745, and Frerin, bore 2751. Dis is the mother of Fili 2859, and Kili, 2864.
There is an unbearable sadness, and perhaps, shame that Thorin Oakenshield takes upon himself for the terrible day that our lives were forever changed at Erebor. Thorin seems to suffer feelings of responsibility for the loss, especially of the women, and subsequently, the generations that will never follow.
It has been recorded thus far, that Thorin Oakenshield, heir of Durin, had never taken a wife. It had been rumored that Thorin might deny himself what other Dwarves could not have on account of their great loss. Other rumors tediously floated about as well. One of the more common, being that Azog and his line of Orcs had vowed to one day see the line of Durin brutally ended. Thorin is an honorable man and heir and in fact, there are two women in his life. His baby sister Dis is almost 20 years the younger. And there is myself. I write this now to set the record straight in honor of the Dwarves and the women who did not survive. I also write this for Thorin, my King, for unknowingly, I would come to be his silent partner.
My name is Tian. This is all that I know about my own identity from birth. The account I give now of the story that follows, is important, because little is written about us, the women who survived the attack on Erebo. Roughly, only a third of our kind, are women, and many were smoldered to death by Smaug.
Companion and attendant to Dis, sister of Thorin and Frerin, I Tian, spent much of my life in the company of Durin's heirs. It had been so since our childhood. I was orphaned never knowing my parents. King Thrain found me in the year 2762, when I was more or less 12 years, and gave me to his daughter, aged 2. In one kind and generous gesture he had given me a home and a purpose. My gratitude to for this gesture was realized in my service to Dis. Several years her elder, I nevertheless was counted as Dis' playmate, and, companion, as there were fewer girls than the boys. I was not a sister; however, I was not treated much differently than one. Thorin and Frerin behaved in a brotherly way, despite my station, and developmentally, I was closer in age to
them. It became my duty to assist in caring for Dis. She is the little sister I never had, and I love her very dearly. I would forever be indebted to Thrain for his kindness.
Sadly, Frerin was killed in battle. The year was 2799. I will to write more on Freirin's behalf in a separate account to honor his memory. He deserved that. It was another terrible blow to Thorin and Dis whose lives had already seen great pain. He was a young warrior worthy of an appropriate epitaph.
My life as well took turns unexpected to me. Those turns consequently have their own humble bearing on others including our King. When we were forced into exile, I remained close to Dis. Although Dis was strong and proud, like her kin, the catastrophic events that transpired left her as shaken and uncertain about the future as it did for all of us who survived. Life in those days, as we had come to know it was very difficult. Contributions made by Dis, however, altered our very history and paths. When I have finished, let the record show this, so she will not be forgotten. As an orphan of little significance, I would have been among the forgotten as well. King Thrain gave me a home in a mighty house, but it was his son, my King who bore his people's heartbreak upon his own shoulders. I love him with all of my heart. If I should not survive, let it be known that his heart was as large as the mighty mountain itself, and as pure as the gold within it.
Although many hardships and heartache for the Dwarves have been recorded, it is important to note that life did renew. Dis was married and bore her husband two sons. Fili, the older and Kili became her true joy in life even though we were exiled from Erebor. They were the much needed blessing upon her life that stirred Dis back from the depression of the ruin and exile she lived both physically and emotionally.
Thorin and the Dwarf men had taken the charge of caring for the people by way of the anvil and the intensive, hard labor it required to forge a new life. The catastrophe at Erebor was ever present in the minds, of the Dwarf men so there was very little joy in those difficult days. We had survived and were growing stronger! We had life! For many suffering that great loss, the new life of exile seemed not worth living.
Although Thorin was of sound mind, he somehow bore that unbearable shame of that fateful day as if he himself somehow should have been able to stop it from happening. He and his men worked endlessly with a fury that drove them consistently forward. Their eyes were filled with a complexity of sorrow and hatred of the Elves as they worked, yet that complexity was not all that still lived within their souls. Times of peace would indeed return to their hearts. Those times were most welcome.
It is with all certainty, that the births of Fili and Kili were the most significant of those times. Dis and her husband were beyond joy with the two healthy boys. For Thorin it also marked a new beginning. I was a witness to their births having assisted with both boys, after long and arduous deliveries of each. I was also witness to a new light I saw in Thorin's troubled eyes. The boys were now the future heirs of Durin and Thorin realized within a brand new baby's heartbeat, that he could perhaps one day return to them, their rightful home!
As I placed Fili in Thorin's strong and capable forearm, the first tears of joy since the calamity appeared in his eyes. Eyes, that for so long seemed transfixed with anger, now finally ran with tears upon his weary face. Real tears of joy that had waited for their chance to show there was hope for this King's broken heart, had finally surfaced. Through all of the trials and all of the suffering, the tiny, baby, Fili had made his mark and renewed the heart of Thorin Oakenshield!
His forehead fell to my shoulder, and for a moment he wept! I closed my eyes. His warmth and the touch of his face against my neck were so very sensual. I had not expected his reaction, but it was the warmest thing I had ever felt. My own arms fell to his waist, and I remember wishing for him not to move and for the moment, while it lasted, I breathed all of him in feeling life again too.
Then with a great breath of relief and excitement, he lifted Fili up in his outstretched arms and simply said, "Yes!" A smile had finally returned to his face as he congratulated the new parents, returning Fili to Dis, who by now, was very anxious to hold him again herself, nursing and warming him with her own body. She recovered very quickly and became by every measure, a dedicated mother.
A turning point had finally arrived, but not just for Thorin. His renewed spirit lit a spark in all of the Dwarves. Work continued and prospered. As the terrifying, chill of the nightmare began to diminish, just enough to allow hope to grow, it did just that! A turning point had arrived for me as well. I hadn't felt closeness with a man as when Thorin's head rested upon my shoulder and I saw the genuine look of joy in his eyes. But now I had, and it was intoxicatingly addictive.
Thorin's smile, his real smile, was a sight to behold. For all of the turmoil and wickedness he had endured his face rarely bore one! The chiseled lines of life had worn deeply into his brow, now heavily burdened. But when he smiled his eyes softened with kindness. I was certain that there was love still deep inside of his soul, despite all of the troubled years. When he would smile at me, I became breathless.
When Kili arrived, Fili instantly became the doting older brother who kept watch by his brother's cradle. There was something about the tiny Kili that seemed to sense when his brother was near! His eyes had a glowing happiness about them, and Fili always took great pleasure in proving he could make his baby brother smile! Thorin took notice of Fili's dedication, perseverance, and love for his younger brother; He would often come to be with them both. Allowing for time with the boys was bringing him peace. I looked forward to his daily visits. Often I would find Fili asleep in the cradle along side of Kili warming him. I too longed for that kind of warmth. I found it increasingly harder to not to notice Thorin's physical stature, beauty, strength and his kind attentiveness. He had a commanding presence, impossible to ignore.
For so long, Thorin had not allowed himself any measure of happiness, bearing our loss as if he alone had failed us. It was as if he had turned to stone and banished happiness from his life. I believe it was Fili and Kili that first possessed the power to change that, which was the reason he would come to see them daily! Although Kili was still too young to understand his words, he took great pride in telling them the stories of the Dwarves proud history. His resonate voice was soothing to the boys. In the glow of the hearth, Fili's eyes would light while Kili made little sounds of contentment as he lay in Thorin's arms. I would listen closely, and hang on every word! I had no memory of my own history or parents and as I listened. I imagined that my parents had played some small or grand role in Thorin's tale.
Holding both boys in his arm as he had become accustomed to doing, he would look up under that furrowed brow with an intensity that captivated me. His eyes could look straight through your soul, and I was certain, and afraid, that he knew what was in my heart. I had fallen in love with him, but that was something I kept to myself. I often wondered if it was apparent to Dis. If it were, to her credit she said nothing. Before leaving, Thorin would put a finger to my forehead, and smile as he brushed the hair from my eyes, tracing down around my cheek. My heart pounded so, and I could barely breath, looking into those piercing, sorrowed eyes that seemed to want, but then, he would leave. I would nearly collapse every time he did this!
There was always the presence of the cold. I was tired of being cold, so tired of it, especially in the night. I thought of him now every night as I drifted into sleep, wondering what it would be like to fall asleep in his arms, against his warm body. Knowing how his kind of warmth had felt against my neck and shoulder made me only want him more. My duties to Dis and the boys were a welcome distraction of work that kept me busy. But even that could not sustain the inevitable.
Fire in the night:
One night I made a careless mistake. As I left the nursery, the candles were burning. It was a colder night than usual so I left the nursery to fetch more blankets for the boys and myself. One of the candles had fallen over. Since I was not there to extinguish it, the nursery, became enflamed within minutes. I ran back in to find the boys in the thick smoke and flames. I was able to lift them both from their bed and cradle into my arms and make my way to the door but my gown had caught fire in the midst of all of this and I was beginning to burn as well.
Close by, Thorin, Dwalin and Dis had seen the smoke and flame and came to our aid. Dis quickly wrapped me in a blanket and smothered the fire as the men put out the rest of it. Thankfully the boys were not harmed, and Dis took them off to her room.
I was so shaken and horrified. How could I have been so stupid? I put the boys in danger and almost cost them their lives. How could I face Dis or Thorin after this negligence? I sat alone on the floor, shaking while Dis tended to her boys, down the hall. It was then that Thorin came in. So sure he would be angry, I averted my eyes from his. But he kneeled down and gently lifted me up. He lifted my chin to make me look into his eyes. Shaking his head, he took his fingers and once again brushed my hair from my eyes, and said, "There now Tian, we will not lose you!"
His eyes stirred my soul and this time I did not allow him to let me go. I reached up to hold his gentle smile and he bent over and he kissed my lips. Years of self deprivation were in his kiss. The rush of blood to my head made me dizzy for more, as he spoke my name again, and pressed his lips to mine. I became oblivious of the fire only moments earlier. I was still shaking, but now, I didn't know if it were from the fire I had started, or the fire he had.
I knew this much, I would not spend that night cold or alone!
My gown, singed and burnt all but then fell apart in Thorin's hands. Very quickly, he assisted me off to his quarters. Once inside, he bolted his door. The sound of the bolt locking caught me off guard and I turned to face Thorin directly beside me, removing his somewhat burned and smokey shirt, for another. With a simple pull at my shoulder, my gown fell to the floor, and with an awkward smile, and shrug of his massive shoulders, he handed me a large shirt of his own.
"It should do for now." He said. He then crossed the dimly lit room to a cabinet, where he reached for a wooden box, and rummaged through it, removing something from inside of it. Walking back to me with a look of intense determination upon his face, he grabbed my arm and held it up. He pressed a cuff around my wrist, and said in his gruff way, "I do not take this lightly. There are some who would see the line of Durin eliminated. A life with me is a life with great risk! You have served and cared for us all for many years, not knowing your past, but I will promise you a future if you will you accept this! You must not wear it, but if you will you accept it and the significance it represents, you will be my wife. Will you accept this of your own free will?"
"Yes, I will! I will Thorin!" The barely audible words could barely escape my mouth as he held my face in his hands and kissed me again! And so with that gesture we were secretly betrothed, and very passionately spent the first night of our new lives together. I would finally know his warmth in the night instead of my own loneliness. I would finally wake in warm arms and linger there longer as I may.
Another king of another kingdom might simply have taken from a woman whatever he wanted, but it is important and significant to note that Thorin Oakenshield wouldn't allow for any dishonor before taking me as his wife.
Finally there was a measure of happiness for Thorin. I would commit myself to him and what happiness I could give him. It is with great hope in my heart that I may not only give Thorin his own son, but also strengthen his line by giving him several heirs.
Our marriage commitment to each other was made secretly, in word only, each other. This was to ensure my safety. With my husband's permission, this is the only documentation written of the account, but it must remain locked away for a time when Orcs no longer roam the plains at will.
There was no grand wedding, no feasts or celebration among the people. Their pain and loss was still part of ours as well. Instead, there were only the two lovers, wanting only to be alone, just as it should be. Our bond was known only to those closest to Thorin including Dis, Balin and Dwalin. For as long as there are Orcs, I must remain my husband's silent partner. In every way I maintain my duties and appearance as Dis' companion and aid. For even though I have become the wife of our king, we are not out of these troubled woods yet. There is much to be done. We are still rebuilding our lives, and all are counted upon to do their part, even a queen.