It has been a long time since I've done anything Tolkien. And to be perfectly honest, I thought the first Hobbit related story I'd do would be with Fili and Kili, as brothers are a major story weakness of mine. However, as it is, I've found myself really working on defining what it means to be a woman (I am one, despite the pen name), and what a strong woman looks like.
I have seen Desolation, and, let me tell you, I was floored. Mostly be Smaug. If nothing else, Smaug. Tauriel surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect, though I had been comforted, if you will, by Evangeline Lily's saying how she's such a purist and Tolkien geek. I thought, "Well, then. She can't be all that bad." And she wasn't.
I hate female protagonists. And a woman that can fight in a story, I usually find overbearing and arrogant. Tauriel is neither of those things. I found her heroism to be in something other than her fighting skills, and I ended up loving her for it. I wanted to explore that a little, so, I wrote this.
The elvish in this story is Sindarin. I couldn't find any Silvan translations, so, if anyone knows of any trustworthy sites, I'd love to hear about them, so I can correct this!
The wind that blew through the tops of the trees was cool and gentle, the leaves rustling pleasantly against each other. But none of this bothered the young elleth as she gazed upon the stars in awe from her perch at the top of the highest tree.
"Tauriel!" The call was soft and kind, traveling up to meet her ears.
"Ada!" She answered, without looking away. "Ada, come look at the stars!"
A low chuckle sounded through the upper branches, until she was joined by her father, an elf of high repute in the royal guard. "I see them, Iellig."
Tauriel reached for her father's hand. "They are so beautiful and bright."
"They must be, for they chase away the darkness even at night!"
For the first time, Tauriel turned to her father. "Am man?"
"If they did not, we would be without light. And it is light that keeps our hearts lifted with good spirits, and keeps evil away from our homes. Without light, we would fade away." Thandir faced his daughter, cupping her chin in his hand. "That, Tauriel, is why we fight for the light, and not simply against the darkness."
Tauriel's eyes were wide, soaking up everything her father spoke. "I think that I should like to do that, then. I want to fight for the light, like you do, Ada!"
Thandir laughed brightly, "Iellig, you flatter me. I do wish you would want after a safer occupation, though I believe you could be one of the finest warriors ever to live in Greenwood the Great." He took one last look at the stars. "Now then, we must return home. It is late, and you must rest."
Father and daughter descended to the forest floor with the gracefulness blessed to their race. Taking Tauriel's hand in his own, the ellon led the way home.
"Do you suppose...is Nana a star now?"
Thandir paused, his breath catching. Only for a moment, and then he smiled gently, picking her up to hold her close for their short journey. "That is a lovely thought, Tauriel, I wish it was so. Û,your Nana is wandering the Halls of Mandos."
"I think I would rather have her be a star. She would be the brightest of stars!"
The Captain of the Guard laughed at this. "Tauriel, I believe you are quite right."
The elleth smiled at this. Looking ahead, she could see the lights of the Elvenking's halls where her father spent much of his time. Her brow furrowed. "Ada. If Nana was brave, do you suppose she would still be here? With us?"
"Why do you ask this?" His voice was carefully controlled, for he knew his daughter meant no harm to her mother's name by this query.
"You are brave. You know how to fight. You protect the king. And you face the darkness every day, and you do not walk the Halls of Mandos."
Thandir nodded slowly at her question, knowing he must answer with great care. They greeted a passing ellon, another member of the guard, and walked through the halls of the Elvenking's palace to reach their family quarters.
And then he answered. "Iellig. Your Naneth was a very brave elleth." He set her down on the edge of her bed. Sitting next to her, he turned to speak, "She was simply brave in a very different way than me. She was brave because of you."
Tauriel's face mirrored the confusion in her mind. "Why did I make her brave? Was I frightening when I was a baby?"
Thandir grinned. "No, no, Tauriel! No, you are the most beautiful creature we ever laid eyes on!You," he stroked her hair, "You were a new light in our home."
The elleth blushed, her own smile returning.
"She was brave, because I was terrified."
Tauriel gasped. "Ada! You are scared of nothing!"
"I am afraid I was very scared. Your naneth was not. She was very good about being brave when I wasn't." Thandir moved to sit against the backboard, gently pulling Tauriel to his side. "When I was first approached to be a captain in the Guard, I was beside myself with anxiety. Eliel was patient and kind, and spoke perfect words to me. The first battle I came back from, the first battle I had ever seen death, she was compassionate. Compassionate and strong, for I was weeping over what I had seen, and my strength had fled.
"When she was pregnant with you, she was serene, with a joy that helped put me at peace, for I was anxious about your coming into this world – even more anxious than about becoming a captain."
"But, why, Ada?"
"Because you are precious to me, Tauriel. Life is a sacred thing, iellig. And suddenly, I was to be responsible for a life as new and as bright as yours."
"Was Nana afraid?"
Thandir smiled. "If she was, I did not know it. She was my light, my courage. She was ever reassuring me that I was the right Adar for you."
Tauriel grinned. "You are, Ada!"
He chuckled. "Thank you, iellig. No, Eliel was so hopeful about you. She prepared for you, seeking out mothers to learn from, though she knew well that most of raising a child is in the action, not the knowledge."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that it is very hard to learn how to raise a child until you are actually doing it. If I was to be perfectly honest with you, I am not certain I know very much about it. Your naneth was better than I. I think it is one of those things that an elleth simply knows better than an ellon."
Tauriel became very serious. "Ada. Is fighting something an ellon knows better than an elleth ?"
Thandir tilted his head ever so slightly. "You are so full of curious questions, iellig. But, to answer, only if battle is strictly about physical strength. No, a fight is child's play compared to being a mother. I think a mother is something to be wondered at, indeed."
His daughter became silent after that. Pondering what he had said.
"Come. I believe it is time to rest, for it has been a long and heavy day for both you and I."
Tauriel nodded, reaching for her sleeping tunic. She eyed her father. "I think I would still like to be a warrior like you, Ada."
Thandir smiled kindly at her. "If you wish. Just keep with you the bravery of your naneth, for then you may have kindness, compassion, and courage for the sake of others."
"I will, Ada."
The ellon leaned over to kiss her forehead. "Oltho vae, Tauriel. Gi melin."
"Gi melin, Ada."
Thandir left her to her dreams, wondering if they would be filled with the light of the stars.
Elleth – Female elf
Ada/Adar - Daddy/Father
Iellig – My daughter
Am man - Why
Ellon – Male elf
Nana/Naneth - Mommy/Mother
Oltho vae – Dream well
Gi melin – I love you
How was that? Obviously, we don't know where her parents are, so, at this point, I'm under the assumption that they're dead. At any rate, I hope you liked it. Leave me a note on your thoughts! -Jimmy C.