Heart in hand

Return To Me

The death of Smaug has done nothing to reduce the evil that has begun to gather its forces to strike upon Middle-Earth. The dragon would have been a perfect ally for their cause, however, even without him, the Orcs fuelled by the evil of Sauron are very capable of inflicting damage upon all races of the Earth.

What they need to do is secure the strategic position that the Lonely Mountain offers. If they do so, the ancient kingdom of Angmar will be able to spread its dominance and territory in width and length and overtake what once was the kingdom of Dwarves.

Imprisoned

Galadriel: “You are not alone, Mithrandir. …i le eliathon, im tulithon. If you should ever need my help, I will come.”

While Lake-town and its inhabitants are suffering through destruction and death, Gandalf is imprisoned in what appears to be a bird cage in Dol Guldur. Every other cage in that malicious place already has a skeleton inhabiting it. Every other creature, human or non-human, left its remains in its cages, imprisoned, starved and parched, left to die. 

Gandalf’s strength is beginning to fade, slowly but surely. The strength of light cannot shine for long when darkness envelops its core. Though he is beginning to lose hope, seeing the Orc armies prepare for war, the voice of Lady Galadriel rings in his ears to give him the support he needs to hold on a little while longer until she is able to reach him and help him escape that accursed place.

The words of Galadriel are those spoken to him after the White Council meeting in Rivendell. 

In search of family

Woman1: “Help me!”

Woman2: “Where’s my baby?”

Man1: “Please!”

Alfrid: “Somebody help me! Help!”

Man2: “Over there!”

Tilda: “Da!”

Sigrid: “Da!”

Tilda: “Da!”

Sigrid: “Da!”

Alfrid: “Aah! Why me?”

On the shore of the Long Lake, the tidal wave produced by Smaug’s fall has floated the debris of the town’s destruction onto the shore. Lake-towners lie dead and wounded on the shore as well as in the water. The ones that were able to save themselves tend the wounded and search for any survivors. Tilda and Sigrid accompanied by Tauriel search the shore for their father and their brother. Tauriel, as the only adult in the group, does not leave the girls’ side until they find their father. 

Of all the people dying, suffering and searching, Alfrid is the one to survive the ordeal. In some ways it’s almost understandable seeing as how cockroaches could survive any catastrophe and remain alive to see another one. Even as he tries to help himself out of the lake he supports his body against the shoulder of a woman already drowning. He does not think to help her, but thinks only of his own well-being, screaming into the air the unfairness of this ordeal impacting him.

It is obvious that he does not believe himself to be anything corruptive, malicious, sleazy and all-round bad. He might have thought that being the Master’s lackey he would have been spared the pain and suffering that everyone else is going through. 

Profession of love

Kili: “Tauriel.” 

Fili: “Kili! Come on. We’re leaving!”

Tauriel: “They are your people. You must go.” 

Kili: “Come with me. I know how I feel. I’m not afraid. You make me feel alive.” 

Tauriel: “I can’t.” 

Kili: “Tauriel. Amrâlimê.” 

Tauriel: “I don’t know what that means.” 

Kili: “I think you do.” 

The rest of the Dwarven company has to leave the shores of the Long Lake to finally arrive at their destination, the Lonely Mountain. It is the crowning ending to their arduous task. However, not everyone is eager to leave the shore. Though he belongs with his people as Tauriel rightly observes, Kili wishes for her to accompany him, to remain with him.

He is sure of his feelings toward her and as is his reckless nature, he does not let fear stand in his way. He professes his love for her in a way that is clear and concise, giving her no room to interpret the words herself and think what he could have meant. 

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Tauriel’s feelings

Tauriel is scared. She is the more realistic of the two, realizing that they cannot be together given their respective statutes and the history between their races. There is no way in which she could have a relationship with a Dwarf that would in any way be accepted by anyone outside the two of them. The Dwarves would not accept their pairing as wouldn’t the Elves.

It is a dream, as Kili had said laying on the table in Bard’s house. However, it is a dream that she desperately wants to be a reality, but her mind steers her away from a realization of it, knowing that in the real world it would not be sustainable. 

Amrâlimê, or “my love”, is a strong statement of Kili’s, unambiguous and very meaningful. Not having experienced love before, Tauriel cannot comprehend or understand the word in its entirety. One who has not loved before and who finds it difficult to navigate through newly discovered loving emotions towards somebody cannot easily comprehend the meaning behind this denomination.

Fear and confusion

This word brings her fear and confusion, something that Kili does not want her to feel. And though she may find it incomprehensible, he assures her that she knows exactly what the word means. She may not have been called anything akin to that, but that does not mean that the sentiment of the word is not present. 

As an Elf, her existence, her behavior, and views of the world are governed by her rationale, the logic, the world that she can perceive. To delve deep and hear her own inner voice and the feelings associated with it means to abandon the one thing that has kept her alive for so long. To abandon reason and explore one’s emotional world is to courageously step into unknown territory that in itself drives the person into action, though unconsciously.

If Tauriel hadn’t felt loving feelings toward Kili she would have let him die on that table in Bard’s house. 

Call to duty

Tauriel: “My Lord Legolas.” 

Legolas: “Take your leave of the Dwarf. You are needed elsewhere.” 

Bofur: “One more!”

Kili: “Keep it. As a promise.”

Legolas on the other hand, does not express his feelings toward Tauriel in quite the same manner as Kili does. He is subdued and somewhat emotionally distant. He expresses his emotions through actions rather than words. As he is the Lord of the Woodland Realm he has the authority to demand her attention, which she indisputably follows. However, leaving Kili brings with itself an emotional burden that brings her loyalty to her king and his son in question. 

Having first discovered the emotional attachment she feels toward Kili it is becoming increasingly difficult to part with him. She has already left Legolas to his own devices to save Kili’s life. This time, having saved Kili, the need to stay for him is diminished as it now only revolves around her own loving emotions toward him. 

Runestone

Before he leaves, Kili puts the runestone his mother gave him into Tauriel’s hand. Though it might be small and in the grand scheme of things insignificant, the meaning behind the runestone forms an unbreakable bond between them. The runestone reads “return to me”, which in the hand of Tauriel has a very specific and very intimate meaning. 

She is his love whether she allows herself to believe it or not. However, with the stone in her hand, it becomes apparent that what she feels for him is in the same way potent as what he feels for her. Tears well up in her eyes as he leaves the shore of the Long Lake. It hurts her to see him leave uncovering the depth of feeling that she would not admit to herself. 

Within the mayhem, the pain and suffering of all those around them, this romantic scene between the two characters simply outweighs it all. A perfect counterbalance to an otherwise bleak and grey atmosphere. 

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Featured image by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash

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