Part I Chapter 1
The One Ring was destroyed
The Dark Lord was vanquished
The Fellowship had triumphed, together
The worlds of Middle-earth and beyond, continued –
And so did evil.
Across the tides of time
A ripple would become a raging torrent
A whisper from a fleeting moment had been heard
She had written them down,
She had given them life.
She did not know what drove her, but an urgency thrust itself upon her. She had a feeling, but she did not know what it meant, or what to do. She waited; she knew not for what. This feeling was driving her to some unknown path.
Her hands were shaking as she typed these words. She became aware of her breathing, now shallow and rapid.
‘What is this, what is happening?’ she murmured to herself; almost afraid of her thoughts being overheard. ‘What is driving my fingers to give life to these words?
Her mind was racing; overwhelmed by thoughts and feelings beyond her control.
How could she write something she did not know?
She had been drawn to Tolkien’s words and Jackson’s films, but was fearful of the watching. She had shunned such movies in the past. She saw; she felt, more than others. She could not even watch what young children could. She felt deeply and unreasonably, the suffering, the pain, the horror and the hate. She could not separate the fantasy from reality.
She stopped, waited.
She felt the need to write, but tried to resist until she had finished reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
She now, however, could not hold this need back anymore. She gave way to it, but as she did, the moment passed and the words vanished. She waited, sensing, knowing, that in their own time, they would reappear.
The words returned.
She began to type again as she looked upon the day.
It shone like a clear crystal, pale blue and fair, with a warmth uncanny for a winter’s morn. The sea just beyond, was luminous, deep indigo, and peaceful, masking its hidden power. Hanging heavily from the sky were white billowing clouds, quickly darkening from the east. As she watched, they dispersed and disappeared from view, as if called from her sight, called elsewhere to cover the sky with their veil of foreboding.
All else seemed like on any other day: the traffic droned passed; a girl jogged sluggishly by; a salty scent wafted up from the sea. All seemed normal, as if all was well.
The exigency returned.
She heard the words and copied them swiftly onto the page.
She had devoured ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and was a third through ‘The Two Towers’. She had turned to the movie of ‘The Fellowship’. Driven to watch, yet she paused it at Boromir’s slaying. She started it once more. She tried to look as the arrows pierced, but could not, but the movie went on. Boromir was dead. Aragorn was compassionate and noble. Tears welled-up. How foolish, ‘It is only a movie’. She felt weak and spineless.
A sudden sadness overpowered her, but she continued to write. A soft stillness grew, as though sounds were masked, so only the words could be heard.
The sky was now the palest azure, veiled under a cloak of a misty brume. She was uncertain about the day, and about herself.
She was certain however of the majesty of Tolkien’s creation. His characters, his imagery, his words; they captivated her. He wrote of the dark and of prophecy; its intensity consumed her. He wrote of hope and goodness; its dignity inspired her.
She wished to believe that hope would make the difference. She wished to believe that goodness would be the saving grace. She wished to believe that even Boromir, despite his failings, was ultimately good and…
She could not find the words, but she sensed they would come.
How unsure we are of what and who we are.
Gandalf’s words ‘You will not pass! You will not pass!’ echoed around her. She ached with their threatening sound, profound though hollow.
She did not know how to continue. She stopped once again, but the words returned, ever propelling themselves and her forward. They must be written.
Gandalf the Grey, soon to be the White, fought off the demon from the darkest ages. He could not see the future. He could not see the fiery whip that would ensnarl him. He could not see this end. Could he have changed this if he could? He would not; no, she was sure he would not. Not until Gandalf’s loss could Aragorn find what and who he was.
The words flowed relentlessly. She struggled to keep up with them as they surged.
She had not thought before of Gandalf’s fall this way. She had not thought of its meaning to Aragorn. Gandalf was destined to be taken from the Fellowship, so Aragorn could lead. Through this leadership, his failings and suffering, Aragorn could become who he had been destined to be.
She stopped typing, trying to think, trying to sort the meaning of the words, but the words permitted her no reprieve; she must transmit them without thinking; she must feel not think, experience not censor.
Yes, she had always felt that greatness came through suffering. But many people suffer and they are not great. And why would suffering be…
She hesitated – but the words forced her on.
Why would failings and suffering be the way to find oneself? Some known in this finding to be great, others in this finding, never to be known.
Yes, this was the meaning of life’s struggle. Everyone wants to find themselves. To find happiness.
No, it was not that simple… was it not rather to know the truth about themselves?!
She struggled to find the answer; she struggled with the words.
Everyone wants to be special. Had not this been a motivating force in so many of human endeavours...of the righteous and the evil... But what is special? What does ‘special’ mean – being kin, courageous, of value…
She looked back over the words she had just typed. She had meant to write ‘kind’ but ‘kin’ had appeared.
Yes, special to one’s own. Important to those who are kin. And for Aragorn, this meant not only those with whom he had a blood connection, but a kindred of those against the Dark Lord and evil.
How simple that sounds, but evil is so relative. Aragorn perceived and feared the evil that dwelt in every man. He felt that in him this lingered, festered, surged for expression. He could not trust his himself, in fear that this evil would consume him.
She started to type, ‘He ran’, then thought –
No, no that is not correct; he did not run from evil. For Aragorn had done great deeds before we met him in the Fellowship as Strider. What he did not want was the power that came with being Isildur’s heir. Power - that was what he feared most. Power had given Isildur’s evil its vent. Power that could give his evil, life. At this time with Gandalf gone, he must take up his mantle. He did not know Gandalf’s mind, his where or his how.
Yes, Gandalf was destined to fall in Moria. Aragorn would soon understand that he could not protect them all. For Boromir was meant to die; Frodo was meant to go on without the Fellowship, and Merry and Pippin were meant to be captured. Aragorn needed to see and feel, to understand this all.
But why had Gandalf cried out, ‘Fly, you fools’? ‘Why say ‘fools’?
She pleaded with Gandalf: ‘Why did you say such a cruel word?’
The harshness of his cry resonated throughout her being. There was so much she did not understand.
She was conscious of her breathing, hesitant, waiting for the knowing. She waited, but other things she did not comprehend welled up and flooded her senses.
Why if the One Ring, The One, was so powerful, could Sauron be defeated? How could they defeat him?
She hesitated, but the words rushed on.
Sauron had been overthrown by Gil-galad and Elendil, but in this victory, both had fallen. Only through the alliance and sacrifice, could the Dark Lord be overcome. The One then removed from its Master. Yes, Isildur sevear The One from the hand of the Dark Lord once the ultimate sacrifice of others had been made.
She looked at what she had written. She wanted to type ‘… severed The One from the hand of the Dark Lord’, but despite her trying to write this, only the word ‘sevear’ would be typed. In frustration, she looked for the meaning of ‘sevear’. This was given as ‘to set to right’. Could it be possible she thought, that the words were directing her to an understanding, that The One wanted to ‘set to right’? Power and evil wanted to be ‘set to right? What, what could this mean?
She grappled with the ideas; she grappled for their meaning.
Could it be that The One needed… needed a different being to carry, to test, its evil, its power…?
She did not know. She felt devoid of any understanding. A grim grey mood flooded over her. She needed help, greater insight to understand. She could not force this; she sensed it would be revealed, divulged on a new day.
The next day came, and as it began, she did not venture to write. But much had appeared to her. Not as revelations of awe, but as thoughts that had had seeped into her consciousness. Not with the force of the words of the previous day, but as ideas which welled up within her. Yet as they grew and her perceptions deepened, the exigency returned. Feelings and thoughts, rushing to be acknowledged, but then dissipating as others came to the fore. Now she was in fear that she would not remember and capture them all.
Nonetheless she was reluctant to start to write. She felt a hesitancy, a heaviness, a hollowness. Where to start? She trusted that the words would direct her, yet she feared their control.
The day started as an immense searing sun rose from the sea and brought a golden aura to the horizon, which then rippled across the sky. But as she started to write, the heat passed and a shadowiness set ripples through the sky, but through this the brightness of the orb remained. The day reflected her mood, as she felt the words form. She sensed that some subsequent step had been placed in motion in a subtle but significant way. She felt calmly, but from the depth of her being, that this writing was to change her life. She had reasoned, argued with herself, about its meaning.
It could mean simply a story to be told, driven by a force beyond her. For the sole thing of which she was certain, was that it came not from within her. This flood of words and this compulsion to give them life in the writing, were not of her making.
She felt at ease with this explanation, for she had read of others who had reported such inspiration. However, she suspected this was not where the meaning lay. A more disturbing explanation could not be put at bay, despite her efforts to dismiss it.
She hesitated to write this thought, for fear that this would give it life. But she could not resist the need to have it said, to have it transcribed on the page. She could barely type
… the words…
For these declared that she actually had a part to play in the story these words were writing, something that was already engulfing her very being.
She could not look at what she typed. She could not consider this preposterous thought. She was obviously driven by a folly, a madness developing within her. She would not give it credence by considering it.
The sun dimmed, gangling shadows emerged, but it was early, very early, and a chill of sorts arose. There was no sound, no breeze, no-one to be seen. There was a shadowy stillness, as if all seemed to be waiting.
She typed slowly, listening, waiting for the words, waiting for some assurance.
A greyness of light ensued, not of sadness or fear, but a glimmering across the lingering subdued rays of the sun. A shimmer, as if a film of souls stood before her and the horizon. She felt in the words a sense of right; a sense of what must be done.
Only faintly did her fingers pick up the message, as they sought substance from the whisper
…from a fleeting moment…
She thought she had lost the thread, but then came a sense of surety and sense of strength, a sense of knowing the way.
This was not a film against the sun.
Her typing quickened.
This was a way. A sign that others were blocking, no, defending her from the harshness and intensity of what was to come. They would protect her; they would lead her, guide her, show her the way. The film was a protection; she did not need to fear it; she needed to embrace it. This was real.
… the ripple began...
She felt it; she breathed the words: ‘This is real.’
She would not know now of what and where; she must wait for it to unfold. She knew that all would be revealed, at a time determined but undefined to her, as yet.
She knew for now that she must focus on putting into words all that she had seen, felt and thought during this day. Like ideas rising from the pages of a book, they stood to be accepted, endorsed. She had looked at these, some pivotal, answers to dire questions, others trivial, and some she could not fathom their significance. She had accepted them all quietly, as if she had been prepared for their reception; nevertheless, they had no form or structure, no connection or coherence.
At night, yes at night, they would be sorted and shaped.
She waited eagerly, desperately, for the order of that which had come.
And the night passed.
As the dawn blossomed, she did not look back at what she had written. She knew that there was still much to say, to write. She wrote on. The time was close; she needed to leave, but she needed to get the words spoken on the page.
Too many things, how to recall them all?
She felt the truth. She had meaning.
How to say it?
Would it not say it for her?
The One Ring of Power had been destroyed.
Her typing quickened.
The One that bound and controlled the other Rings of Power had been destroyed. Sauron and Saruman were vanquished. The Fellowship had won. They had met their challenge. They had destroyed The One and the evil ones of their time.
But evil had not been destroyed.
They knew this now, and they cried out into the dark, into the future:
‘We destroyed evil for then, for our world, but not forever.’
They could not rest, for evil continued.
She questioned: ‘How could they, heroes of a story, feel for the future or exist beyond the pages of their book?’
She answered: ‘Because anything that has been written, exists
…across the tides of time…
They existed in people’s minds. They existed and writhed against their failed mission. They had failed because evil continued. They had destroyed only evil in one point in this tide.
She stopped, exhilarated but exhausted, but the feeling gradually, ever so, changed in form.
She began to feel oppressed, hot and humid, though the day was filling with chilling shivery shades. The sunshine and exuberance of yester-morn had gone. There was a grave sense of purpose, where things cried out for urgent attention, demanded decisive action, could wait no longer. She was overwhelmed by this purposefulness, its criticality.
Signs, everywhere signs.
Everything she did and saw, felt, heard; everything rushed at her as symbols of momentous meaning; a way for an illusive riddle to be solved. She felt as if she was being consumed, engulfed.
She questioned: ‘This could not be true… be real?’
She could not, would not answer, but she knew that they, the words, must be written. They must be written now or else forgotten; then they would surely not be real.
Words had appeared from the book she held, not ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but another.
‘Their quest is ours.’ ‘Courage, insight and endurance.’
The words leaped from the page. She turned the pages, and read on. But each time, she felt, she stopped, she felt drawn back. She read these over and over, looking above and below for signs. There were none; none that she could see; none that she could recognise or understand.
Other words, signs, began to force themselves upon her from all manner of things; words overheard of others; from pamphlets blowing in the wind...
‘Days of awe to come.’ ‘Stand together.’ ‘Together for triumph.’ ‘Wholeness and peace’.
The onslaught was overwhelming.
‘It must stop, it must stop’, she thought; she pleaded.
But it did not.
…the ripple spiraled ever faster…
She looked out and saw that the steeliness of the dawn had changed to the silky amber of a sun-drenched early morn, promising a balmy, revitalizing day.
As she felt thankful for the change, she heard dimly, as if from a vast distance in both time and land:
‘We have been waiting; we have been waiting across the ages. The time is near.’
… they had been heard…
A plaintive cry, now more than a whisper, fleeting from beyond somewhere. A plea, a calling, but with a quiet urgency.
‘Quiet urgency’, she muttered to herself, ‘that does not make sense.’
But there was no denying it, the words that had come to her this way. She tried to decipher them and this feeling. She tried to make sense of what they wanted from her.
Yes, there was an urgency, but it was not pressured, not required to be answered until an answer was ready, fully formed and understood.
The words spoke of a need, but the need needed to wait for now; to wait for something to happen in its time. They could not force, would not force her or the time. But she needed to know that an urgency existed. She must do something in her time, she alone could do this; notwithstanding this, she was not able to take this step.
She wavered in her distrust, her doubt, her questioning. Now she openly cried:
‘This is utter madness; what is this that drives me? Absorbing my every moment and engulfing my being… when I have so much else to do.’
She could not accept the unreality, what appeared as the delusion... She tried to deny its meaning, but a voice, bass, benevolent and confident repeated the thought:
‘Do not give in to doubt. We are in need; you make the last of The Ring of Light, we…’
She could not remember all the words in the breath of the thought, but she understood. In this fleeting moment, she had trust in herself that this was real; at least to her at this time.
She would tell no-one of this, lest they laugh or snigger, and this would feed her mounting disquiet.
Yet her doubt railed, she could not deny what festered inside her, for she dreaded the insanity that this might mean. They knew this, and tried to ensure that she did not feel alone in her struggle.
She did not know why but tears came. She grappled with her internal turmoil; she was driven to be part of this, but felt in a maze, where she did not know where the end was, if there was an end, what an end would bring.
Each day she took directions and solace that there was a compelling purpose that was to be revealed; seemingly sinister yet, she was confident, ultimately for the sake of righteousness and the defeat of The Dark. In this convergence of demands and insights, she was overcome, and in this tumult, she felt but could not think; she experienced but could not reflect.
She was not alone, she sensed their presence. She needed them. She needed them to exist as much as they needed her. She needed meaning, meaning to her life; it had to have meaning; this would be its meaning.
The signs continued to flow; continued to drive her.
‘I must get them down’, she whispered to herself.
As she wrote, these words became vocalized; as if they needed to escape her thoughts to be remembered. She slumped over the keyboard, and pleaded with herself:
‘I can’t say these words; I can’t write them; they are signs of madness; they can’t be real! For I feel like I am in these words; part of what is being written.’
She felt that if they did not see the light of day then she would also disappear; to die as if she and they had never existed.
…the ripple surged…
‘Do not doubt, do not doubt; write the words. Write the words!’
Her fingers shook. She did not want these words to take life. She did not want them alive. They engulfed her. She was caught in their web. Wrapped up in them on the page, she was becoming lifeless as the words took life, unable to be free, or freed. Who would free her? Who would come to her rescue when she would not know the difference between the words and life; when she had to make the decision; to believe the words; not her life as it was; her life of today; who she was; her place in the now. Who would come to her aid when sucked into the world of the words, she would not be able to tell the difference. This was, she writhed, merely a fantasy. She was wrestling against the words. She would not go on. She could not go on now, not now; yet internally she screamed:
‘I must find the courage and insight to go on.’
The day grew grimmer, greyer and increasingly ominous. Chilled in feeling and thought, yet her courage returned, although she was torn:
‘I must finish reading ‘The Two Towers’ today, but I must empty my mind on the page; I must write the words that have emerged.’
The words won the struggle. She would transcribe them, then resume reading.
Two matters loomed; they would not be denied. She waivered because she did not know how she would proceed once they had been acknowledged, once she had given them life by being written. She staggered and stumbled. She waited to write; she waited for the precise words – and they came.
She was like Gollum. Not in terms of his evil, or at least she hoped not, but in terms her being possessed by this ‘writing’. It had become her passion – her ‘precious’. And in this obsession, there appeared dual parts of her, railing against one another. The narrator who relayed the tale; telling that ‘she did this’, and ‘she thought that’. This narrator was part of her, but did not want to be part of the tale, sitting outside the struggle and solely telling of it. Her other part, the writer, had been engulfed by it, was in the struggle, was the one who struggled.
Now exposed, the ‘we’ of the writer and the narrator, the writer saw the only path that lay ahead.
‘I must be whole, if I am to help the others to be whole. There can be no part of me outside and against what must be. I will write this as one. There is no more we, but I.
The words started to form as ‘She….’, but instead they were transformed by:
…a raging torrent…
‘I accept and have no fear that I, and only I, will tell of this mighty struggle. I realise now that I am bound to Éowyn, the Lady of Rohan, daughter of Éomund of , valiant shieldmaiden and heroine of Middle-earth, called back through the eons of time to take part in putting right that which was left undone in ‘The Lord of the Rings’. For despite the courage and victory of the Fellowship, evil was let lie dormant beyond the destruction of The One. For evil itself was not destroyed; not destroyed in this world of fantasy, and fantasy is but a breath away from life.
… they had been given life – she was now part of that life…
From the world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’…
Into the ferocious depths of Dark’s Doom
The One Ring of Power was to be cast
They had hoped by this act to bring closure
Forever, to the darkness of the past
They thought and trusted that to The One’s end
Sauron’s being would finally be tied
Yet despite their triumph, in the future
Evil and the Dark Lord still would reside.
‘Always after a defeat and a respite,
the shadow takes another shape and grows again.’
(Tolkien, FOTR, The Shadow of The Past)
…To the world of ‘The Ring of Light’…