Starlight

Feast of Starlight

Thorin has insulted King Thranduil with his style of rhetoric and simultaneously rejected his offer of freedom from subsequent incarceration in return for the White Gems of Lasgalen. Because of his pride and stubborn countenance his entire company has been incarcerated into the jail cells of the Woodland Realm. The one they have not captured and of whom they know nothing about, will soon become a thorn in their side. 

In the shadows

Thranduil: “I know you’re there. Why do you linger in the Shadows?”

At last, Bilbo is seen hiding behind a wall. He is waiting for the opportune moment to pass King Thranduil and head for the jail cells. It would appear that Thranduil can see him even with his Ring on but it is just a false interpretation on Bilbo’s part. Tauriel, that Captain of the Guard comes to report to her King about the events of the day.

Report

Tauriel: “I was coming to report to you.”

Thranduil: “I thought I ordered that nest to be destroyed not two moons past.” 

Tauriel: “We cleared the forest as ordered, my lord. But more spiders keep coming up from the South. They are spawning in the ruins of Dol Guldur. If we could kill them at their source.” 

Thranduil: “That fortress lies beyond our borders. Keep our lands clear of those foul creatures. That is your task.” 

Tauriel: “And when we drive them off, what then? Will they not spread to other lands?” 

Thranduil: “Other lands are not my concern. The fortunes of the world will rise and fall but here in this kingdom we will endure.”

As much as Tauriel and the Guard have done everything they could to free their lands of spiders, her concern for other lands lingers. She is willing and ready to go the extra mile and make sure the spiders don’t infringe upon other lands. Thranduil sees her efforts as insignificant when it comes to lands outside his borders. He doesn’t care if the evil that threatened his own land destroys someone else’s.

Tauriel finds his thinking lacking and surprising. It seems as if she had expected to hear a different opinion of her leader. She is fierce and fearless in her thinking and actions. If she were one of Lord Elrond’s Elves I presume she would have more liberties than here in this secluded kingdom. 

Her King, however, sees the situation differently. Every other kingdom and everything else that touches and threatens to change the face of Middle-Earth does not interest him. Their fate is their own. He will remain immortal and safe so long as he remains within his walls and rules his own kingdom, not interfering with anything to do outside his borders. 

The king and his Captain

Thranduil: “Legolas said you fought well today. He has grown very fond of you.” 

Tauriel: “I assure you, my lord, Legolas thinks of me as no more than a Captain of the Guard.”

Thranduil: “Perhaps he did once. Now I’m not so sure.” 

Tauriel: “I do not think you would allow your son to pledge himself to a lowly Silvan Elf.”  

Thranduil: “No, you are right. I would not. Still, he cares about you. Do not give him hope where there is none.” 

Legolas’ affections toward Tauriel, come as a surprise to her. She had never seen him as anything other than the King’s son and comrade in battle. To hear that he has developed emotions toward her as a person behind the armor seems unbelievable to her. There is a slight glimmer of gladness in her eyes that soon disappears as Thranduil confirms her opinion.

Even if she shared the same emotions toward Legolas, a relationship between the two would never be a possibility in his father’s eyes. Given their respective ranks, there is no point in even considering an emotional attachment, seeing as how she could never rise to the rank of a Sindar Elf. 

Orcs on guard

Fimbul: “The gates are guarded.” 

Bolg: “Not all of them….follow me!”

While the Elves are safely ensconced behind their indelible doors and stone faces of the mountain, Bolg and his rubble try to find a way around the main entrance so as to finally achieve their goal in ending the Durin family line forever. 

Runestone

Tauriel: “The stone in your hand, what is it?” 

Kili: “It is a talisman. A powerful spell lies upon it. If any but a Dwarf reads the runes on this stone they will be forever cursed. Or not. Depending whether you believe in that kind of thing. It’s just a token. A rune stone. My mother gave it to me so I’d remember my promise.” 

Tauriel: “What promise?”

Kili: “That I would come back to her. She worries. She thinks I’m reckless.” 

Tauriel: “Are you?”

Kili: “Nah.” 

As she makes the rounds of the cells making sure the Dwarves are securely behind bars, Tauriel’s attention is drawn from her task. Kili is playing with a rune stone in his hand that immediately intrigues her. She is interested to know what sort of stone it is, not because that is something that could be used as a weapon and therefore have to be confiscated but because it is a stone in Kili’s hands thereby holding more interest for her.

Kili’s explanation has Tauriel feeling fear and embarrassment at even asking about it. She would have walked away had it not been for Kili’s negation of his own explanation. It seems he didn’t want her to feel afraid and leave, so he told the truth, a truth that will come to mean a lot more to Tauriel than she can now know. 

Kili and Tauriel

It is a very personal subject for Kili to be sharing with a race that his uncle despises. It also presents another aspect of him, that of a child. He may be a warrior and in line for the throne, but in essence he is still a child, a child whose mother worries and awaits at home.

Having a token from her means that he is much more sensitive and much more loving than others might be. They are all born and bred to be warriors and miners, so for Kili to show his sensitive side to an Elf like this is a nice way of showing the depth of his character. 

Tauriel is interested to know about him not just on a surface level but his character. It is interesting to note that when she asks him if he is reckless there is a slight hint of a want of a positive answer that would confirm him being reckless enough to abandon all rules and see her as more than just an Elven enemy. She is shy when she asks him, but with a seductive tone of voice. 

Kili’s recklessness shows immediately as the stone escapes his hand and flies out of the cell. Tauriel stops it in its tracks, thankfully, since the water flowing through the cavernous space would have taken it forever from him. 

Starlight and firemoon

Kili: “Sounds like quite a party you’re having up there.” 

Tauriel: “It is Mereth e-nGilith. The Feast of Starlight. All light is sacred to the Eldar. But Wood Elves love best the light of the stars.” 

Kili: “I always thought it is a cold light. Remote and far away.” 

Tauriel: “It is memory, precious and pure. Like your promise. I have walked there sometimes. Beyond the forest and up into the night. I have seen the world fall away and the white light forever fill the air.” 

Kili: “I saw a fire moon once. It rose over the pass near Dunland. Huge. Red and gold, it was. It filled the sky. We were an escort for some merchants from Ered Luin. They were trading in silverwork for furs. We took the Greenway south keeping the mountain to our left. And then it appeared. This huge fire moon lighting our path. I wish I could show you the caverns.” 

It is interesting to see two different views on starlight. For Kili it is unreachable and can only be admired from a distance, leaving it untouched, cold and beautiful. For Tauriel it represents innocence and treasure that is all stored in a memory, a memory that will always remain as pure and precious as it was on the day it was made. It is something she can always call up to her mind and admire. 

They both exchange experiences they had enjoying the night lights, it is their common subject – freedom and the miracles of their world, something they both could admire. While other Elves are celebrating the Feast, Tauriel sits on the stairs by Kili’s cell listening intently to his stories. Legolas’ jealousy ignites again at the sight of Tauriel’s interest in the Dwarf. He would have preferred to see her present at the Feast, but alas she had found something to intrigue her more than a celebration of starlight. 

Read on in my next post.

Photo by Max Saeling on Unsplash

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