PartIII Chapter 5.1
Interplay of time and happenings

  • Éowyn and Aragorn: in the west wing of the palace of Tar-Ciryatan, in Armenelos in SA 21 March 2000
  • The Brothers:  from the Quest, watching themselves as the pact was enacted on  26 February 2984, in the Great Hall of Gondor



Éowyn and Aragorn


Éowyn had passed; a long corridor stretching before her. This was flanked by a colonnade of massive marble forms.  Iridescent rays of the rising sun cascaded from a central stairway that disappeared into landings high above her.  She marveled at the majesty and beauty of the structure, for she had seen nothing of the like in Rohan.


Her gaze was suddenly distracted by voices coming from the passageway to her left.  She moved quickly into the shadow of a doorway. 


She watched as an elegant young woman and an older man walked by.  They were speaking in dulcet tones, the words of which she did not understand.  She was engrossed in the finery of their attire, of sumptuous silk and brocade, and of gracious manners obvious from the way the sauntered passed.  She did not notice that the door in the doorway in which she had taken refuge was opening. 


A rotund woman, dressed in the garments of a maid, was backing out of the room, talking to the person within, and not noticing Éowyn, nearly bumped into her, she spun around, exclaiming:


‘Pardon, my Lady, I saw you not,’ then stopping to look intently at Éowyn,

‘I am sorry that I have not met all your party, I am Peri, on behalf of my Lord, King Tar-Ciryatan, I am looking after Queen Hadiya.  I did not realise that she had a tw... sister.’


Then waiting for a response from Éowyn, there was an awkward silence until Éowyn remarked:

 ‘My pardon Peri, Queen Hadiya does not have a sister.’


Peri realising her embarrassing faux pas, hurriedly answered:

‘Oh my apologies again my Lady, your likeness...  In any case, Queen Hadiya eagerly awaits you my Lady, for “we have so far been fortunate, though we do not escape the shadow of these times.” (Tolkien, FOTR, ‘Many meetings’)


Éowyn did not have time to digest or ask this woman questions regarding her comment; her mind was racing with the thought:

‘Hadiya…Hadiya just beyond the door, was she ready to see her?’

she needed to find her composure before she met her.


 ‘Thank you,’ Éowyn replied, ‘however, I am waiting for…Lord Meneldur.’

 ‘Ah yes my Lady, Lord Meneldur has arrived and is with Queen Hadiya.  They said they were expecting your Ladyship,’ and with that Peri, opened the door and announced the arrival of Lady Silmariën.


There was nothing for it, so Éowyn entered.   Peri bowed and left, closing the door behind her.  A gentle-faced elderly woman greeted her and ushered her into a flood-lit room.  It was painted in shades of the amber dawn and sapphire sky, with a parquetry floor of black butt, a lofty domed ceiling of illuminated fresco panels and hung with crystal chandeliers. 

A luxurious state-room, in which at one end were a white oak table, chairs and chaise.  And there was Aragorn sitting with a woman in a regal ultramarine gown. 


Aragorn was walking towards Éowyn by the time she had walked across a quarter of the room.

He reached her, took her hand and said before she could ask him anything:

‘See our paths have coincided as planned.  I have myself just arrived, and although I wished to wait for you, I was ushered here, for Hadiya was waiting on us.’

  He stood and looked at Éowyn, and in a hushed voice added:

 ‘Be not shocked when you see Hadiya, for... ’

 ‘For?’ repeated Éowyn.

 ‘You will see.  Come let me introduce you to Hadiya.’


Éowyn gave him her arm, and he took it gently, and escorted her through the room.  As she walked beside him, she looked searchingly at him; they walked in silence, but Éowyn sensed he was not the Aragorn who had left her in Minas Tirith… what had happened to him in LothLórien had profoundly changed him… he was…


Her mind absorbed with Aragorn, Éowyn had not noticed that the woman in blue was walking towards them.  Mid-room, they stopped face to face.” (Tolkien, TT, ‘The King of the Golden Hall’)


With the melody of a lute, Hadiya addressed Éowyn:

 ‘I have been waiting for you Éowyn, Lady of Rohan, daughter of Éomund, and although I knew my blood flowed into yours through a line of ancestors, I did not realise that our resemblance would be so striking.’


For Éowyn, she could not say anything at first, shocked by what she saw.  For as she looked at Hadiya, it was like looking at a twin image of herself.   For a moment she was overwhelmed, but recovering, she posed:

‘Could it be possible that two separated by thousands of years could have such a likeness?’ she was surprised the words flowed from her mouth so.


Hadiya smiled graciously:

 ‘There is reason in everything Éowyn, however I hope you will never suffer as I, though I see your paths have not been devoid of sorrow.   I look to you for my redemption, Éowyn, Rohan sister, and as you see yourself, through your own eyes.’


And so the two met, and instantly they were as one. 


They stood virtually mesmerized for some moments, until Aragorn suggested they sit on the chaise.  Hadiya taking Éowyn’s arm in hers and walking close to her as if a long-lost sister; the maid following attentively.


‘My lady may I bring refreshments for you and your guests.’

‘Oh dear Viduma, let me introduce you to Lady Éowyn, a distant relative.  We have much to discuss so you may take your leave for now; may I impose on you to make arrangements for my appointments this evening.’


Viduma smiled, bowed and left the stateroom.


Then as if no time separated them, Hadiya told her story; the how and the where, and as the tale unfolded, it “toppled like an overwhelming wave, and its wild crest curled and came foaming down upon the land.” (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘Mount Doom’)


So it was for the annals of the royal houses of Numénor and Carn Dûm; a tale of tragedy not recorded in the lore of Middle-earth.  Unknown was Hadiya, her memory obliterated by The Dark.  But now in new lore, the soulful saga of her family could be told. 

Of how her grandmother had been the elder sister of Tar-Súrion, and despite settling in Middle-earth, she had kept in contact with the Númenórean family.  Her mother had married a Northmen King, and this had formed a nexus between the kingdoms of Númenor and the Northmen.  There had been many occasions when the Northmen ruling family had travelled to Númenor, and during these stays the families had became close.  As Hadiya grew up, it was obvious that Tar-Ciryatan’s brother, Cundu Morisoron (Phazân Dulginarik), was taking an interest in her.


Hadiya initially shunned his advances, he being so much older than she.  However, over time and with his persistence, she gradually grew to like him, then love him dearly.  Hadiya had a number of suitors, and he was not like any of these.   Handsome and stately-spoken, he was, clever, charming, attentive and caring to her, but it was said he was immersed in the arts of The Dark, and a shadowy aura permeated his space, not that Hadiya perceived this, but others did.


Although the youngest son of Tar-Minastir, born much later than his brother Tar-Ciryatan, he had an immense influence over both his father and brother.  It was said that bar for a dark streak, he was favoured by his father.  However, his father saw this in him, and had even warned Ciryatan of the danger he thought that loomed there.  Nevertheless, at his father’s death (in 1873) Ciryatan took counsel from Morisoron when he was in Númenor.  For from 1800 he had come under the influence of a powerful Maia, called Annatar, and was often absent from his homeland travelling far to the southern lands of Middle-earth.  However Morisoron returned every time he knew the Northmen family, in particular Hadiya, was to visit Armenelos.  He had even in early SA 1999 travelled to her kingdom in Carn Dûm.  In the past, Morisoron and her father, had had good rapport, both being passionate about hunting and the marshal arts, but her mother had an intense dislike of him.  She sensed the growing darkness in him, and after he brought Annatar with him to Cam Dûm, she forbade Hadiya to see him. 


By that time the die had been cast. 


When King Theod became ill in the fall of 1999 with the sickness that the previous year had killed his eldest son, he passed the reign of the kingdom over to Hadiya.  Although her mother feared Hadiya travelling to Armenelos for the Erukyermë, now as the Northmen Queen, by court protocol she was expected to attend.   In desperation, fearing the outcome of a further meeting of Hadiya and Cundu Morisoron, her mother convinced her ailing husband to make the journey to Armenelos.  The Northmen party travelled in the King’s grand barque, the Northmen, and Hadiya’s fast carrack built for her Coronation, the Dove.  Unfortunately when the King arrived in Romenna  he became so ill he could not travel on to Armenelos.  Reluctantly, Hadiya left her father and mother in Romenna, promising to return as soon as the Erukyermëwas over.  Even more reluctantly her mother let her go to Armenelos, sensing impending doom, but her husband was now gravely ill and she feared leaving his side.


Unbeknown to her family, Hadiya and Morisoron had planned to announce their betrothal at the ceremony.  The plans had been made with Tar-Ciryatan, who was strongly in favour of the match.  Tar-Ciryatan saw the troth as a way to lever his brother from the insidious influence of Annatar, and also to unite more closely the kingdoms of the Northmen and Númenor.    He knew of Hadiya’s mother dislike of his brother, but he had assured Hadiya that he could change her opinion, and if not, it was only the father’s blessing that mattered, and he was confident of that, having spoken previously to him of the advisability for the kingdoms of this union.


Hadiya was not confident of Tar-Ciryatan’s influence over her mother – and even her father, knowing her opposition, but she was convinced to leave the matter in his hands.   To alleviate her fears, Morisoron had sent her a love poem, assuring her that all would be won over, and Tar-Ciryatan had agreed to include the symbol of the Northmen Queen, three doves into the Erukyermëceremony. 


Hadiya arrived in Armenelos on 19 March, saddened of heart in having to leave her ill father.  Morisoron was overjoyed at her arrival and comforted her.  He assured her that all preparations had been made for 22nd.  A ball had been organised in her honour on the evening of 20th, and although her sadness coloured the pageantry, she felt heartened by her reception and Ciryatan’s acceptance of the betrothal.   A gala of colour welcomed guests in the Great Banquet Hall of Numénor; the food flowed in platters of the succulent seafood and game, fruits of the forest poured from baskets of filigree, kaleidoscopes of flowers surged to the vaulted ceiling, wine cascaded from fountains of cheer, and symphonic strains floated on the balmy air. 


The ball had gone long into the night, and Hadiya was relieved when all the celebratory protocols were over and she could retire to her chambers.  Throughout the evening she could not escape the eye of Annatar, Morisoron’s mentor, who had arrived unexpectedly.  Whenever she looked up or to his way, she felt his piercing gaze.  As she was leaving the banquet hall, escorted by Morisoron, Annatar appeared and walked with them to her chamber.  She realised, seeing them like this, how much influence Annatar had over Morisoron.   


Morisoron was tall, taller than his towering mentor, but Annatar seem to loom in statute and essence over him. 


His raven eyes pierced through the façade of any physical form.  Evidently Morisoron had informed Annatar of their secret, and although she did not mind this, what she felt unnerving was that Morisoron always waited for Annatar to speak, and then seemingly chose an answer the mentor wished from him.  Hadiya loathed the ingratiating, servile intent of this – it was not in her nature to say just what others wished to hear, nor did she want to see this in her betrothed.  Annatar knew this and had all evening goaded her, pushing her into argument, as if challenging, testing her will, but she would not let him have the better of her.    At coffee, he pronounced that Tar-Ciryatan needed to take ruthless control over an uprising in an outlying region; she disagreed on this course of action and so said, proposing an alternative strategy.   He dismissed her course of action as naïve, a woman’s way, and insisted that the annihilation of the rebels was the sole solution.  Hadiya was steaming, and only proper manners at such an occasion prevented her from telling him exactly what she thought of him.  Yet she could not let his comment pass, and although Morisoron tried to placate her, she continued politely as she could, to provide a detailed assessment of why his plan would not work.    Morisoron feared Annatar’s reaction, having seen him furious when challenged, but Annatar looked at her, looked through her, and then smiled, a callous cold sneer; he did not reply, but sat back in his chair and drank his coffee.


Now as they reached the door to her chamber, Morisoron said good night and started to walk off.  Annatar stood in the doorway, motioning to Morisoron to go on, saying he had to discuss a matter with Hadiya.  Morisoron hesitated, but following Annatar’s command proceeded down the corridor. 


Hadiya felt uneasy with the attention of this Maia Lord, but somehow his will overcame her resistance, and she felt him follow her into her sitting room, closing the door behind him.  She insisted it was not proper for him to enter so, but he laughed off her concern in a deep sinister tone: 

 ‘I bring you a wondrous gift, Queen of the Northmen… a gift from Morisoron and myself, that will make you the Queen of all Middle-earth,’ his words slid from his mouth as if silken thread, and he produced a ring – a radiant emerald of the darkest tones of flawless verdant green,  set in a golden band; it was beguilingly alluring.


Hadiya stepped back, refusing the ring, saying that she could in no way accept a gift from him.  But he assured her it was from Morisoron through him.  She questioned then why had Morisoron not given it to her himself. 

Annatar looked penetratingly at her, momentarily his eyes aflame and mouth taut with frustration, but recovering his composure, and with a forced controlled smile, he replied:


‘Others would battle to possess this prize, but, as I found in you, you are not like others.  But let me reassure you that this ring will provide you and Morisoron with whatever you desire in the future.  It would be his, but I sensed it was better to come to you.  I see in your questioning and the fire of your eyes that I have chosen wisely.’


As he spoke, she felt entranced, and despite her efforts to resist, somehow his energy pulled from her a willingness to take and try it on.  Once on, it seemed like her resistance waned, and she looked down at it as it shone and sung, like the Sirens of the Greeks, alluring and compelling.


 ‘You see,’ he gloated, ‘it gives its wearer a sense of power, you…’

but before he could finish, with a burst of inner-strength, Hadiya took off the ring and handed it to him.


His eyes glowed red, but he said nothing, affronted and mystified:  would, could she refuse him, no man, beings of weak flesh and mind, had ever done so!  Without warning, he took the ring and put it on her finger and clasped her hand in his so that she could not pull it off, or from him. 

‘You cannot deny the ring,’ he hissed, a snarl of triumph on his lips.


She could feel his overwhelming mastery; it sucked at her being, at her very will to resist.  His gloved hand was like a vice, and he pulled her closer to himself; his face, hitherto of strikingly fair form, was contorted with excitement and domination of her.


Yet she struggled against him:

 ‘I do not want your ring, bâ kitabdahê!’    

Do not touch me!

  she exclaimed.


But he tightened his grip, scoffing at her attempts to free herself from him, but she fascinated him, and the more she resisted the more he wanted her…, he wanted complete domination of her.


‘You are a challenge Hadiya, a sultry spirit, but you see you are not strong enough to resist me,’ and then in a haunting and forbidding tone:

 ‘I offer you greatness, greatness more than you could envisage, with influence beyond your comprehension.’


She knew it was pointless to continue to resist, so she stood her ground, and glared at him, stared directly into his eyes, façades for bottomless black voids.


He smiled, content at her submission, knowing it was a solely a defensive ploy of hers; she played the game well:

 ‘Morisoron is not your equal,’ he pronounced, ‘I offer you a seat alongside me in my reign as ruler of all Middle-earth and beyond.’


She felt the coldness of his aura envelope her, permeate each breathe she took, infiltrate her thoughts, but she did not flinch or answer him.


 ‘You will not refuse or deny me.  Morisoron will agree. I shall return on the morrow at nightfall.’


She said nothing.


Then in a menacing tone:

 ‘Know Northmen Queen that no-one refuses me.  For I command a power unrivalled in this time and evermore; you would be wise to tie your future to mine.  I will have your acceptance on the morrow.’

He let go her hand, he bowed and left.


He was gone, but his aura lingered; a stifling scent-of-sorts; she gagged on his lingering vestige.


 She slumped on the chaise; she did not know understand what had happened.  What had he given her, a ring from Morisoron or himself?  What had he offered her?


She looked at the ring and tried to take it off, but as she was slipping it off her finger, a staggering sense of fear and doom engulfed her.  She fought the foreboding and removed the ring, placing it on the table in front of her.  As she did it was as if she had fallen into an airless void; suffocating, she fought to breathe.


It screeched out, outraged by her travesty; its sirens commanding her to yield.


As she resisted, visions of her father came to her.  She saw him struggle for breath, as she had just done; tormented and convulsing in pain, he called out to her for help.  


She picked up the ring and put it back on her finger, and his image calmed and he fell into a peaceful slumber.  She knew in doing this, the ring had possessed her, and he controlled her through it, and now her father’s life was indelibly entangled with it and him. 


She wanted to discuss what had happened with Morisoron; she needed to understand his part in it all. She sensed that he would not do anything contrary to the wishes of Annatar; but how much was Morisoron aware of, how much did he or would he agree to? 

She took off the necklace that she had received at her birth from the Elf-queen who had named and blessed her.  Her mother had said that it could ward off the malevolence of The Dark.  If this could be delivered to her father, it would save him from the evil that tied him to her wearing the ring

She found it hard to think, the sway of the ring clouded her mind; she fought against its influence.  Of one thing she was certain, she would refuse Annatar, and she would need all her strength and resolve to do this.  She would need Morisoron to support her.  Despite the lateness of the hour, she sent Peri to Morisoron’s chamber saying that she needed to see him urgently.


Morisoron came immediately.  Hadiya narrated what had transpired.  Morisoron admitted that Annatar had come to him after he had seen her.  Annatar had told him that he had given her one of the nine Rings of Power, the first.  Morisoron stressed to her what an honour this was. 

Hadiya could not believe what she heard; had he not heard a word of what she had said!

She exclaimed vehemently that the ring was linked to The Dark, and how Annatar had intimidated her into wearing it, and the threat that she and her father were under.  Morisoron would not hear of this; her fears were unfounded.


Flabbergasted, she questioned:  what then of Annatar’s words about her and him?  Agitatedly Morisoron reiterated the honour of Annatar’s favour of her, adding that no-one could resist his power.  She was stunned, and then saw Morisoron for who he was, a vassal of Annatar.  There was no point in discussing the matter with Morisoron; however she was confident that Morisoron would never sanction any harm coming to her. 

She suggested to Morisoron that they meet the next day.  Assuring her of the wonderful future that lay before them, he kissed her and left.  She determined that there would be no future for them together, then looking within the stars of the Elf-jewel, she saw that there would be no future at all for her, but others would come.  And so the night flowed into dawn; and Éowyn and Aragorn arrived.


And so Hadiya had told her story to those from future’s time who had come to her aid.  Éowyn and Aragorn sat stunned by what they had heard.  They had searched desperately for a trace of her through history, now they were here with her, part of her present, knowing that there would be no future.


Éowyn initially waited for Aragorn to speak, but in sensing a reticence or some uncharacteristic quiet reserve, realised it was for her to respond and disclose to Hadiya the nature of their Quest.  


She spoke softly, in carefully chosen heartfelt words of what they had been told by The Light about a queen that through time’s parallels had connected with her.


Hadiya took Éowyn’s hands tenderly and said:

‘Through my Elf-queen guide, I reached out for you, and you came.  I do not know all that will happen, except that I will refuse Annatar at nightfall and my being will see no future dawns.  I have seen that Morisoron likewise will refuse evil, be it only for a moment; but in this instant he saw through the villainy of The Dark.    I do not know the meaning of this, or what could or should be done, I leave that to you of The Light.   Yet, there is one injustice for which I seek Light’s direct intercession, that is of my father’s fate tied to this ring and my doom.  I ask that you take the Elf-jewel to my father in Romenna; it will release him from the bond Annatar has imposed.


Tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke of her father’s plight, but she was not asking for pity, simply justice.  


There was a knock at the door, Hadiya stood up and walked to it.  Viduma stood in the doorway; she spoke in anxious whispery tones.  Hadiya thanked her then shut the door and returned to Éowyn and Aragorn. 


 ‘I had not realised the passing of the morn.  It is noon so I have ordered refreshments for us.  I have received a message from Morisoron that he wishes to see me.  I see no point in this now but he insists.  I have put him off until dusk, just before the meeting with Annatar.’


The three then turned to determining how Éowyn and Aragorn could witness this meeting undetected.  Part of the western wall, separating the stateroom from an alcove, was constructed of the finest woven silk.   Hadiya had noticed that when the candelabra were ablaze in the stateroom and the alcove was unlit, the fabric became quasi-transparent from alcove to stateroom (remaining opaque the other way).


So the three filled the following hours talking about their times and struggles.  Although Aragorn spoke at times, he was withdrawn and there was a softest in his words that were not of the ranger or king that Éowyn knew.  She sensed that something momentous had happened in LothLórien, but now there was not the moment to enquire.


Despite the delivery of the fine food and wine, none could eat with the shadow lingering over them.  And so the morn drifted into afternoon.  Hadiya gave the Elf-jewel to Éowyn, then kissed both her and Aragorn and left to ready herself for her fate.


They had “come now to the edge of doom.” (Tolkien, FOTR, ‘Farewell to Lórien’)


Aragorn and Éowyn stepped into the alcove, and before Éowyn had the opportunity to ask Aragorn about his task in LothLórien, there was a knock on the stateroom door. 


Viduma stepped into the room, followed by Morisoron.  In Hadiya’s absence here, Viduma went to enter her private chamber, when Hadiya appeared.  She wore a dress of bewitching blues, and over her head she wore the shawl of Tar-Telperiën, Second Queen of Númenor, a present given to her by her betrothed-to-be.  She looked breathtakingly beautiful.


Morisoron went up to Hadiya, and she walked to the chaise; he followed her.  Viduma left. 


 He spoke in concerned hurried fashion:

‘I feel you have been avoiding me Hadiya, when we have so much to discuss… of matters… matters before Annatar arrives...’

 ‘There is nothing further to say,’ Hadiya replied.

 ‘You must not refuse the ring,’ exclaimed Morisoron.

 ‘I must not, Morisoron?!’ retorted Hadiya.

 ‘We shall both sit at his side, he...’

 ‘I shall not!’

 ‘But no-one can resist, refuse him...’

 ‘Then you will see it done by me.’

 ‘You do not know what you are saying,’ Morisoron replied, pleading with her.

 ‘But I do, clearly and definitely; you cannot change my mind.’


Morisoron stepped forward and put his hands on her shoulders,

‘If not for yourself, for me, and the others you love.’

‘Has he got you now to threaten me?  Morisoron, listen to yourself.  There is not power in this ring, but subjection.  I wear it only now so when Annatar comes he will see that I can refuse him even with it on.’

 ‘Then I fear for you.’

 ‘Will you not protect me, from him and his control?  If not for me, then ultimately for yourself.  For he binds you to him and you will no longer exist as yourself.’


‘Hadiya, Hadiya, he sees your strength and esteems you for it – you fascinate him, but do not over-estimate this allurement.  You must not test his will, his command, for he will not tolerate that.’

 ‘Then I will deny seeing him now, that would test Annatar’s command, I am not....’


However before she could finish her sentence, Morisoron looking on horrified, noticed that the door of the stateroom had opened, and Annatar had entered, brushing aside Peri, for he needed now not to worry about courteous protocol, exclaiming:

‘You speak of me in raised tones.’


He brusquely ushered Peri outside, then shut the door and bolted it.


 ‘Annatar, merely a misunderstanding.  Nerves are frayed prior to the special ceremony on the morrow,’ replied, Morisoron walking to greet his master.

 ‘Ah, on the morrow, the Erukyermë, yet I think the moment now more important,’ and walking passed Morisoron to where Hadiya was standing; she stood her ground, although inside she was frantic to run from him.   

‘I call on Hadiya to consent to my proposal,’ and he reached out and clasped her ring hand, almost enveloping her in his sable cloak.  She wished to pull it from him but his hold was too forceful.  Now with her trapped, he turned to Morisoron, declaring calmly:

‘Morisoron I explained to Hadiya that I wished to honour her with this ring, and that you agreed to this.  She seeks your confirmation of this.’


Morisoron knew that under the veneer of calmness of his words there was a savage unpredictable being, he feared for Hadiya and himself, so while he answered confidently, he quivered inwardly:

‘I have explained to Hadiya that I feel it is a great honour that you have bestowed on her with this ring.’

 ‘There you have it Hadiya, all is as I said,’ and he released her, though still looming over her.  She stood defiantly.  He glared fiercely at her, his teeth bared in a snarling triumphant smile.  She stared back at him, not wishing to cower to his will, she would not, but then she felt a bitter chill permeated her; she felt like she was shuddering inside, her heart was pounding, her mind filled with swirling thoughts, she was trying to resist, for a split second she thought… if only she could accept him, she would suffer less…

She looked at Morisoron, he stood with Annatar.  She realised:  “the evil that was devised long ago works on in many ways.” (Tolkien, FOTR, ‘The Mirror of Galadriel’)


Annatar held out his hand, expecting her to willingly place hers in his; she was now his. 


Instead she answered his gesture with audacious words:

 ‘I know what you have agreed with Morisoron, but I hold no trust in your word or his.  You demand total subservience and your ring guarantees this, however, you see with your ring on, I defy you.  I refuse your offer, and hope in my doing so, others will find the strength to do so as well.  Your power is nothing without the fear that you foster, but you see I am not afraid, I denounce everything you stand for.’


Morisoron looked in dire dread at Annatar, for he had been witness to the swift and severe retribution this Black Master had metered out for lesser effrontery.  However, instead of the raging rage he had seen in him, Annatar, said in an emotionless and hollow voice, that resonated around the room.

 ‘You are truly remarkable Hadiya, for I have not seen such courage in any man.  Yet such courage is useless to me unless it is expressed for my will.  No-one will know of your rejection, so you see you will die in vain.’

Then with a measured malice that astonished Morisoron, Sauron drew his sword, and with a single mighty blow he struck Hadiya so forcibly his sword went through her fragile body to its hilt.  He withdrew it, and Hadiya fell to the ground.  Sauron bent down and pulled the ring off her finger, walked over to Morisoron, who was standing apart in a shocked state, and pronounced:

 ‘The ring is yours, Morisoron,’ and he put the ring on Morisoron’s finger. ‘You will, as you deserve to be, be my Captain.  I leave you for now, for all those who have been with her here must be destroyed.  The Lieutenant will see to that.  You will be responsible for expunging all trace of her.’

With that Annatar walked to the door, unbolted it, and open it.  The Lieutenant was waiting. Sauron gave the order:

 ‘Kill the two servant women in the outer rooms and all those in this wing.  We must leave when it is done.’

Then he shut the door behind him, leaving Morisoron with the dying Hadiya.


For the two watching on, it was a devastating experience.  They knew she would die, Éowyn had felt the strike of the sword in The Light, yet seeing it unfold with such savagery before them, as they looked on helplessly, left them stunned, mute, mortified. 


As Hadiya slipped to the floor, Éowyn, tears gushing and shaking with anger, tried to rush from the alcove to her, but Aragorn held her back for there was no helping Hadiya now, and he sensed that it was the subsequent moments that would be crucial to the Quest.


Éowyn was distraught but heeded Aragorn.  Aragorn walked to the silk screen, he didn’t want to miss anything of what happened.


As he did, he became aware of another’s presence in the stateroom, another not bound by Hadiya’s time, but entering this time and space.  He saw that Éowyn, overcome by the emotion of Hadiya’s death, did not sense this, so he did not say anything.


Morisoron stood there, frozen in despair; obviously he had not expected Hadiya to be slain.  He took the ring off his finger and threw it on the floor, screaming a devastated denial of its powers:

 ‘I woneanyo cea unw ceak kinv!’    

I denounce you and your ring!


As he did, Éowyn and Aragorn whispered the words of The Light:

Sga Mohgs si gimf sgot lilaps op sola’    

The Light to hold this moment in time.


Morisoron rushed to Hadiya’s side, knelt down and kissed her, he lifted her on to the chaise, blood casing down her gown. 


She looked at him:

 ‘Do not be deceived by the ring…,’ she gasped, and then fell into the stupor of death. 


Morisoron was still kneeling over her, when the stateroom door flung opened and Mordor’s Lieutenant stood in the doorway:

 ‘Annatar wishes to see you as the plans have been changed, are there any others here?’

 ‘No, there are no others,’ said Morisoron, surprised by the quaver in his voice as he spoke, ‘I will come in a minute.’

 ‘Now, he wants you now!’ shouted the Lieutenant impatiently, and not waiting for Morisoron, he left slamming the door behind him.


Morisoron looked at Hadiya; there was nothing that could be done for her now.  He was desolate and confused… He loved her, but Annatar had been everything else to him… How could he kill her, his mentor and master?  He felt empty, unable to think… He heard a low hum, something calling him.  It was the ring.  He picked it up, and as he did, he felt some surety in this chaos.  She had been reckless and unwarranted in her attack of Annatar; his was a new order, nothing existed but that… He put the ring on his finger, murmuring:

Annatar was right Hadiya, you died senselessly,’

knowing that he was now irrevocably  bound to the Dark Lord; he would not deny him or his world. 

The Lieutenant reappeared at the door, declaring stridently:

‘Delay no further, come immediately.’

Morisoron walked swiftly from the room, not looking back, trancelike, answering his master’s command. “There was no longer any answer to that command in his own will, dismayed by terror though it was, and he felt only the beating upon him of a great power from outside.” (Tolkien, TT, ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’)


Éowyn rallied from the horror and rushed from the study, Aragorn behind her. 


Hadiya was in the final throes of life.  She reached out for Éowyn, pulling her close to her, struggling for breath:

 ‘You see he did deny him, for a time...  If the ring could have been taken from his reach…,’ she wheezed, and with a breathless gasp she pleaded: ‘I leave my future and that of my father in your hands,’ as her spirit ebbed from her.


Éowyn fought back tears, and she looked at Aragorn.  He was choked with emotion but saw there was an urgency for them to depart.  He urged Éowyn that they must leave before Annatar or others returned.  Éowyn held the Elf-jewel over Hadiya’s body, and cried out:

 ‘Galadriel, Lady of The Light, guide Hadiya’s spirit from this grim and transitory world.’ 



Galadriel heard Éowyn’s cry and she called upon those of the heavens:

 ‘Arata orta- Artanis sina ar fëa mir i Cucua Elen, ya mas rya alcar nirmë anta- ana ilya nér.   

High Ones, raise (transform) this noble woman and spirit into the Dove Star (Phakt); which by its radiance willgive hope to all man(kind).

 Aragorn strode to the door and opened it, beckoning Éowyn to follow. The passageway was lit but no-one was there, a silence of death filled the air.  Aragorn ushered Éowyn out, and they had just turned into the northern wing, when he saw ominous shadows heading towards Hadiya’s chambers.  He heard the malicious voice of Annatar saying:

 ‘If you are sure all are accounted for, then we need only to deal with the Queen.’

He did not tell Éowyn what he had overheard, but rushed her towards the bottom of the stairs and out of the castle.  He was looking for the palace stables.   There were lots of visitors for the ceremony, so they went unchallenged by the guards, who seemed relaxed in their duties, so there was no hint of the massacre being discovered. 


They had a 50 mile ride to Romenna to give the Elf-jewel to Hadiya’s father.  For safe-keeping, Éowyn had put the necklace on.   Finding the equestrian centre, a huge complex of stables, saddlery and arenas, Aragon picked out the horses in an unattended quarter, saddled them up and they stealthily rode out of the city, travelling east towards Romenna, and Hadiya’s father. 


They rode, cloaked by the night, willing the miles to pass, flying to the aid of Hadiya’s father.  They could not save Hadiya, but his life was in their hands.  They did not stop, but rode through the night, the way lit by the radiance of Phakt, the Star of the Dove. 


They arrived in Romenna, when the shadows of night still enveloped it.  The city slept, but with Hadiya’s directions they found their way to the villa of Ciryatan, where her family had resided.  

The villa stood high on the mountain outskirts, looking majestically over the port and the Great Sea.  Although all seemed in darkness, as they approached the main entrance of the villa, the door opened and an old gentleman in a flowing robe bowed and greeted them.

 ‘My Lady,’ he said, ‘you return unannounced,’ looking inquisitively at Éowyn and then at Aragorn, and ushering them inside, ‘and your escort?’

Éowyn realised that this manservant thought she was Hadiya and was wondering who Aragorn was, so she introduced him ‘This is Lord Meneldur, from Pelargir.’

 ‘Oh my Lady, there has been much sadness here, but Valand will explain all.  Come through to the parlour, I will fetch him at once,’ and with that he ushered them into the chamber, took their cloaks and rushed off. 


It was a lavishly decorated room, with blonde wood paneling on the walls and ceilings, exquisite tapestries and delicately carved and gilded walnut furniture; but Éowyn saw none of this. 

For this was the first time she had the opportunity to pause and think about Hadiya.  She sat down on a chaise near the window; she found no words to say, no tears to cry.  Aragorn paced around the room, himself unable to express the words to comfort her, then he walked over to her, knelt in front of her, and whispered:

 ‘We have done what we could, it was not for us to change the end that she foresaw, but to change what others will know and gain from her courage.’


She looked at him, then looked away; she knew he was right, but no words could be said that would take from her the helplessness and seething rage she felt at seeing Hadiya die so cruelly and be unable to help her.


Aragorn stood up, for he heard hasty footsteps, the door open, and a middle-aged man entered the chamber, rushed to Éowyn’s side, and took her hand: 

‘My Queen, my news is not good.’

Éowyn thought surely they had not arrived too late.


‘King Theod,’ then seeing the distress in her eyes and realising her thoughts, Valand said, ’Oh no my Lady, your father has not died, but last eve he had such an acute attack, not being able to breath and then he sunk into a stupor, which lasted hours.  He regained some strength by mid-day, and gave an order that he and his whole party, except for myself, should return to Carn Dûmon the Northmen, leaving the Dove for your return.  They left just before nightfall.’

 ‘Then we must follow straightaway, please Valand, make the preparations.’


Valand looked at her, for he noticed a difference in his Queen.

Aragorn realising this, commented:

 ‘Your Queen is distressed and distracted, how can I help with these preparations?’

 ‘My Lord…’

 ‘Meneldur, from Pelargir, port of Gondor.’ Aragorn replied respectfully.

 ‘Lord Meneldur, I know of your homeland, the port of royal ships.  You know then that ports are closed until dawn, but I will see if I can use Tar-Ciryatan’s contacts to open it for our departure before then,’ bowing deeply to Éowyn and then Aragorn, he departed. 


A short time later a servant appeared with warm-brewed drinks and a platter of warm pastries and fruit.  He placed them down on the table in front of Éowyn, bowing and gazing at her. 

 ‘My Lady, the preparations are being made for your departure.  A carriage will take you down to the port and your ship.’

Éowyn thanked him and he left. 


There were sounds of the household, now awoken and in full swing of organization of the departure.  Despite this hive of activity, for Éowyn and Aragorn, consumed by the savagery of the sight of Hadiya’s slaying “a deep silence fell... a silence that could be felt, as if it were a thick veil that cut them off from all the world about them... great deeps of air heavy with brooding thought.” (Tolkien, TT, ‘The Black Gate is Closed’)


Aragorn, this elven clone of the mortal king, stood looking at Éowyn, deep in her thoughts.  He was mesmerized by her.


He walked over to her, and insisted she drink something.  He sensed she wished not to be fussed over, that she needed space to find her composure.  He moved to the sweeping eastern windows, opened the curtains and looked down to the port.  There bathed in the moonlight, as if the sun shone upon it at noon, anchored within the bay was a majestic ship.  Flying freely on its top mast was an ensign carrying a silver dove, as if it soared towards the heavens.  This was Hadiya’s ship.  He thought, how it reflected her spirit, fearless and free.


Engrossed as he was, he had not heard Éowyn walk to his side.  She looked out and saw Hadiya’s ship, then turned and spoke to him:

‘With all that has happened, I am sadly remiss, for have not even asked you about LothLórien.’


He gazed at her for a while, drawn by the beauty of her form and spirit, and in a tone of wrenching sadness, he replied:

 ‘I did what I had to do.’

Éowyn knew what that meant, and she felt the pain of his decision, and uncontrollably and silently, tears streamed down her cheeks; he put his arms around her.  They felt the comfort given by of each other as they stood looking out to the Dove.


Valand had entered the room, and gazed inquiringly at the couple.  This was not the Queen who had left Romenna a few days earlier.  And who was he?  He was certainly different from Morisoron, her suitor, to whom he had taken an instant dislike.  This man declared he was Gondorian, however, Valand sensed within him an elven soul, he had an aura like the Elven Queen who came to bless the newly born princess those years ago.  As he looked on, he felt a tragic connection between them, which they were struggling to resolve.  He did not want to disturb them in this tender moment, but as he stood in the doorway, Aragorn became aware of him.  Aragorn alerted Éowyn, and they left the window and walked over to Valand.


‘Valand, what success have you had?’ Éowyn asked in as natural a manner as she could find.

 Valand saw through this to her sadness, but it was not for him to comment, as he might have in the past:

‘My Queen, we have made all preparations for your departure.  The ship is being readied, and we can depart by day-break.  A carriage has been organised to take you to the harbour.  What of the rest of your party, when will they be arriving?’

 ‘They will be staying in Armenelos until I return,’ was the most plausible answer Éowyn could find on the spur of the moment.

 ‘Viduma will not be traveling with you?’ he asked in amazement, for he knew that Hadiya went every-where with her, this governess of her childhood, who had stayed on as her chaperon since then.

 ‘No, she has remained in Armenelos to complete an urgent errand for me,’ Éowyn replied, gagging on the words, knowing that by now Viduma would have been killed, and sensing that Valand did not believe her.  She realised that she needed to change the subject, thereby deflecting his disquiet, so she continued:

‘I must catch-up with the Northmen.  I need to speak to my captain as soon as we can board.’

 ‘I will arrange that.  When do you want to leave for the harbour?’ Valand replied, diverted from the former question, but remaining mistrustful of the answer.


Éowyn glanced at Aragorn, and he responded for her:

‘We should depart as soon as preparations can be made.’


A spacious covered vehicle drawn by four magnificent grey Andalusian stallions was brought to the villa entrance; undoubtedly the property of Tar-Ciryatan, as it had the emblem of the ship-builder emblazoned on it.  Éowyn and Aragorn entered the plush carriage, and as Valand closed the door he explained:

‘I will follow, I must finalise all matters here.’ 


Aragorn was apprehensive leaving him like this, for he sensed his disbelief, and was concerned about what he might do if news of the massacre reached him. However, there was little that could be done, and once Éowyn was on the Dove, she would be out of the reach of Sauron.  He did not speak of these concerns with Éowyn, but she sensed them nevertheless.


On the trip from the villa to the harbour, they spoke about what would need to occur over the coming day.  Aragorn was on QD 8, he would need at day-break to travel to The Light.  Éowyn was still on QD7.  Éowyn could travel on the Dove to meet up with the Northmen, but she had only a day to do this, for at daybreak on her QD8 she must also travel to The Light.  They agreed that Aragorn would not board the Dove, for Valand was already suspicious, and these suspicions would be heightened if he was to disappear on board at day-break.  They would need to go their separate way, trusting that they would meet up in The Light.  Neither raised their concerns, but each was fearful of this; he was desperate to be her protector…and more, she, questioning whether she could see it through without him.


When they reached the port, Aragorn started to open the carriage door to alight, when he closed it again.  He took Éowyn in his arms saying:

‘I do not know what lies ahead for us, but for the life we have shared to now…’ and without any further words he kissed her. 


Éowyn was taken aback by this open display of emotion, for it was not from the Aragorn she knew.  She started to respond when he put his fingers over her lips:

 ‘We need no words now Éowyn, for there is much I do not know or where it will lead.’


With that, escaping from his and her feelings, he opened up the carriage door, alighted and waited to help her out.  She dismounted and looked adoringly at him; this warrior and king, whom she had loved since first-sight, yet who had loved another.  She took his hand and whispered her farewells, and then walked to the Dove. 


And so Éowyn boarded the Dove alone.


Aragorn stood on the dock and watched as it darted out of the harbour, its square sails billowing in the spirited spring squall, the image of Dove soaring toward the sun and the east.  He had struggled with his feelings, but he felt a surety renewed as he stepped into the shadows of the dockland and travelled to The Light to meet her again. “Only those who knew him well and were near to him saw the pain that he bore.”  (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘The Passing of the Grey Company’)



The brothers


They had prayed for the dawn, they had willed its early coming… and with the arrival of the glowing nymph, Boromir was rescued from the Black Bane’s consuming clutches.  It roared with raw hatred as in the silvery shafts of dawn he disappeared from within the shield, transported to another world, and safety.


Faramir, protected by the quick-witted and selfless action of his brother, travelled in his swoon with the winds of time to the place set in his chronomap.


So it was that the brothers, separately arrived in the Great Hall of Gondor.


Boromir, shuddering with trepidation, sunk to the floor of the hall near the statue of Isildur, against the wall leading to the entrance to the White Tower.  He could not believe It was gone; he felt its fierce flaming breath still.   He took deep gulps of untainted air.  He tried to stand up to find Faramir, but his legs would not support him.  In his cloak he had the vial of Athelas elixir, he wanted to keep this to revive Faramir, but he realised he needed a sip to recover his own strength.   Carefully, for his hands shook, he undid the lid of the vial and poured sacred drops into it and then his mouth.  The energy of doing this drained him, and he slumped against the wall.  He waited for the remedy, and it came, he felt rejuvenated.  Slowly he stood up. 


The hall was in darkness, and an evil energy overwhelmed it.


He was concerned about Faramir’s vulnerability if transported in the stupor he had left him.  He did not fear that Faramir would have survived, as he had, but where would he be?  Leaving at dawn as they had, or as it had been planned, he would be close to their mark; close to where he himself had appeared.  However, the darkness formed a seemingly impervious barrier…how could he see to find Faramir?  It was then he saw a dim turquoise light pulsating, there was something beckoning about it…he crept guardedly towards it…Then he remembered he had seen this iridescent light before, it came from the labradorite ring that Raalta had given to Faramir to block  his thoughts from Sauron’s detection.  Faramir wore it still.  


Boromir knelt at Faramir’s side, he was still in the stupor, but his breathing was steady and strong.  The Athelas would revive him.  Boromir trickled drops of the elixir into Faramir’s mouth, and waited.  Faramir stirred, then opened his eyes.  He was about to exclaim with delight at seeing his brother, but Boromir put his hand over his mouth, to indicate that they should not betray their presence, there were others in the hall where they had passed like a shadow into shadow.” (Tolkien, TT, ‘The Stairs Of Cirith Ungol’)


From the time of the pact

 ‘For I foresee challenges to your stewardship rising from the north,’ Saruman declared to Denethor.  

All were cleared from the Hall except Saruman’s attendant, the Steward,his wife and their two sons, Boromir aged five and Faramir, still in his mother’s arms.   The Great Doors were bolted from inside, all window shutters were closed. 

At one end of the hall, on the side opposite the entrance to the White Tower, a table had been positioned with a single candelabrum. The candlelight from this cast flickering shadows across the ceiling and over the marble-ones, who stood looking down in despairing disapproval.   

Denethor had been tormented by the thought of being bound to this Wizard, but he knew of no other way to ensure the future of his house ruling Gondor.  Rumours about the heir of Isildur had led to his simmering resentment, and only Saruman offered him a solution tied to allied powers.  Saruman had promised fulfillment of all of Denethor’s aspirations and desires.  Saruman sat at the large table, writing on twin scrolls.  His assistant, Alatar, stood beside him.  Finduilas sat on a seat at the far end of the hall, beneath the statute of Elendil, near the stone stairs that the brothers had used in the days of the Quest.  

The five year old Boromir sat beside her and she held Faramir firmly in her arms.  Finduilas was shaking with anger and frustration.  She had unsuccessfully tried to convince Denethor of the peril of this pact.  However, she tried to hide this emotion from Boromir, who sat silently still, terrified by the sinister scene. 


Into this oppressive pall, Boromir and Faramir of the Quest had appeared.  They were hidden from view of the others by the colonnade of statues flanking the entrance to the White Tower; directly facing the table where the Wizard now sat.  Their eyes having acclimatized to the gloom they could discern the unyielding obsession of their father and the dismay of their mother “stunned and overborne.” (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘The Black Gate Opens’)


Saruman’s eyes glared with the haunted look of a beast seeking the measure of his prey:

‘I will give my blessings to your sons, then we will finish with the blood rite; bring your sons to me,’ Saruman demanded of Denethor; his egotistical voice resonating haughtily in the hall.

Denethor called Finduilas to come forward with the boys.  On the command of her Lord, she started the long walk down the hall, clasping Boromir tightly to her. 

The young Boromir was horrified by the sight of the Wizard and resisted every step towards him.   Finduilas stopped half-way, and despite beseeching demands from Denethor, refused to go any further, repulsed by what she knew was to occur.  Denethor in utter frustration, muttering then screaming, rushed to her.  He grabbed Boromir’s hand out of hers, and motioned that she pass Faramir to him.  In a resolute challenge to his authority, she refused and instead tried to recover Boromir. 

Saruman realising that this an impasse may develop into something he could not control between Lord and Lady, called out:

 ‘Denethor bring your first born.  He must receive the blessing before the sun reaches its zenith, we can anoint your second son later.’

Denethor in a fit of indignation, released Finduilas, and urged along the now softly whimpering Boromir to where Saruman stood. 

Finduilas hastily retreated realising that Boromir was lost to her control.  She reached the end of the hall, but there was no escape.  She sat down again in the shadows determined to save Faramir from the Wizard.

From Quest’s juncture, Boromir watching writhed with resentment; Faramir comforted him in the shadows.


Saruman bent down to pacify the squirming child, but Boromir would have none of him, he stated to cry, loud sobbing wails. 

Denethor spoke stridently to his son, urging and cajoling him:

‘Boromir you want to be a mighty warrior, not a girlish wimp… then end this blabbering. Show me how brave you are.’


 Boromir stopped crying, and determinedly turned to face the Wizard, an occasional heaving sob passing his lips; he was trying desperately to show he was brave for his father, and mother.

Saruman placed his hand on Boromir’s head and chanted:

 ‘Hto diqqj ex Jukapun unw hto Teajo ex Takin uko zenwow zc htij muyh.   Xkep htij, ceak qixo diqq zo xuhow zc vkouh jskonvst unw yeakuvo, unw diht htojo hto rinvwep ex Venwek diqq zo ceakj’.     

The wills of Saruman and the House of Húrin are bonded by this pact.   From this, your life will be fated by great strength and courage, and with these, the kingdom of Gondor will be yours.

A spell arose: “words spoken of old be true” (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘The Siege of Gondor’) andfell upon the young boy.

As the Wizard lifted his hand from Boromir he picked up a silver knife, it gleamed maliciously in the candlelight.  He brandished it above the candelabrum then held it menacingly above Boromir, his chanting echoing through the hall.  Boromir quivered as the Wizard took his right hand and still chanting brought the knife down in a vicious stabbing motion.  Anticipating the strike Boromir screamed and slipped from Saruman’s grasp and ran towards his mother.  Denethor followed him down the hall.  Finduilas stood up; Denethor screeched out:

 ‘Do not touch the boy. You make the child weak with your pandering.’

As Denethor was striding to retrieve the terrified Boromir, Alatar went to Saruman and whispered:

 ‘You tie the boy too closely to you with this blessing.  This is precarious and cannot be the intention of the father.’

 ‘The Steward wished him to have unrivalled strength and courage. This is what I have blessed him with.’

 ‘But to fate him this way,’ continued Alatar cautiously, for it was not for him to challenge his mentor, and it was not in his nature to do so.

 ‘You do not know what my designs are.’

 ‘I fear the consequences… wisdom of such control,’ Alatar stammered to find the least offensive words to express his concern.

 ‘You do not know all the circumstances…,’ hissed Saruman as Denethor was returning with the whimpering boy, ‘you would be wise not to interfere!’

Denethor held up Boromir’s hand to Wizard.  He cut into the palm from which blood gushed onto the parchments on the table.  The boy yelped and Denethor let him go:

‘Go to your mother, for the strength you need will come with the pact.’

Finduilas ran to comfort him.

Saruman turned to Alatar, and ordered brusquely:

 ‘Go placate the mother and child, do nothing else!’

Then Saruman took the knife and similarly cut the hand of Denethor and let the blood coursed over that of the boy’s, and then cut himself such that his blood covered the rest.  For the son, the Steward of Gondor, and that of Isengard, this pact was now made. 

Saruman spread some powder over the blood, and announced to Denethor:

 ‘In a few minutes it will be dry, then when you and I sign it will be done, forever.  While we wait we should confer with the palantir, as promised I bring you the secrets of its powers that have “passed out of knowledge and legend, and even so much of its history is known now only to a few.” (JRRTolkien, FOTR, ‘The Shadow of the Past’)

Saruman was satisfied; it was nearly done. 


He glanced at the other end of the hall, and seeing Alatar comforting the mother and child, he and Denethor walked to the entrance of the White Tower.


The brothers of the Quest retreated into the somber shadows of the colonnade of their ancestors.  They watched with contempt as the Steward and his beguiler walked by.


Denethor opened the door for Saruman, and he was stepping over the threshold, when he stopped; he sensed others present, not from this time, but from elsewhere.  He peered into the darkness.


The interlopers from the Quest felt his piecing stare; Faramir pulled his brother Boromir behind the statue of Isildur, they held their breath. 


Saruman walked back into the hall, sensing the air, piercing its gloom, then shaking his head as if questioning himself, he re-entered the Tower, and with the waiting Denethor, climbed the stairs to the Summit Chamber, to the palantir.

Saruman did not hear the pleas of the mother, beseeching Alatar:

 ‘I did not understand all the words, but I fear that Dark Wizard has brought calamity into Boromir’s life.  My Lord sees only that strength and courage are good, but not the peril they bring.  I beseech you to undo the Wizard’s blight which will bring a curse upon my son.’

Alatar looked at her, her premonitions were correct, but he dare not confirm these.  He did not have the power to undo what Saruman had brought upon the boy, and once the pact was signed, there would be no thing that could be done to stop the Saruman’s control over him.  Saruman and Denethor were still in the Tower. 

Boromir had calmed down sitting next to Finduilas.  Alatar, then realised there was only one thing he could do.  He had sufficient power to counteract at least some of Saruman’s control.  He put his hand on the boy’s head, so softly that the boy did not flinch, and then he blessed him:

 ‘Lew wiuq oppaq tqaphsg qakabs diqbat sges olnam wiu siyeqf sga Feqj.’    

May your inner strength reject forces that impel you towards The Dark.


Then facing Finduilas, he added:

 ‘This will balance out some of my Master’s control but you must never tell this to anyone, for it will diffuse what strength I have consolidated for him from my limited powers. Take this ring,’ and Alatar took off a gold ring with a yellowish-green gem and handed it to Finduilas ‘Boromir can wear it on a chain until the ring fits him, it is of chrysolite and will dispel enchantments and witchcraft and protects the wearer from many evils.’

 ‘My heartfelt thanks go to you fair Maiar.  For you have given Boromir the chance to fend off this baneful obsession with power, which has overwhelmed his father.  But may I impose on you once more; I must safeguard Faramir from the Wizard.’

 ‘I can do no more My Lady,’ Alatar said regretfully.

 ‘I do not ask this of your sorcery … I just need you to find a key; from memory it is behind that shield.  If you could find it, then I can escape the hall via the stairs hidden by the wall paneling,’ Finduilas explained.

Alatar located the key, opened the door, and Finduilas with grateful thanks disappeared down the stairs with her sons.  He replaced the key in its position.


 “There was a dead silence, suddenly” (Tolkien, TT, ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’) now consuming the Hall and the House of Húrin.


Saruman and Denethor returned from the influence of the palantir.  Denethor came to where Finduilas had been sitting, and seeing the door opened but not knowing how long she left, returned to Saruman:

 ‘I can call her back.’

 ‘The pact must be signed now, there is no time, and there is no need,’ replied Saruman judging that forcing Finduilas’s return would be difficult and disturbing, ‘I will need to speak to my associate, then we need to sign the pact.’

Saruman went over to Alatar, and with a malice that Alatar had never before seen in his mentor, Saruman inquired:

 ‘I trust you had nothing to do with Finduilas’s departure.  As it happens I do not need to control the younger son, now that I have the Steward and the first born under my command, although I fear interference from the woman.’

Alatar looked directly at Saruman:

 ‘I cannot abide your action here.  On the basis of the respect I have held for you, we need to…’

 ‘Yes, yes, back at Isengard.  I need to finalise the pact now,’ retorted Saruman realising he needed now to urgently see the pact sealed.

With that Saruman beckoned over to Denethor. 


For the brothers of the Quest, they had heard it all, and with that gained an understanding of the nature of the trap that had been set for Denethor, and through him to Boromir.  Boromir was shocked with what had transpired, and thought of intervening in the signing.  However, Faramir remembered the words of The Light, and prudently warned:

‘We must have some time to take in what we have learned; neither of us can perceive all the ramifications of a decision to stop the signing.  However, we can capture this moment and with all the pieces of the Board and Gandalf’s wisdom, we can decide if this signing needs to be undone.’

Boromir, nodded solemnly in agreement. 


The Wizard and Steward sat down at the table and then as each poised their pens,

Faramir chanted:  

‘Sga Mohgs si gimf sgot lilaps op sola.’      

The Light to hold this moment in time

And then, without further ceremony, Wizard and Steward signed the documents.

Saruman secured each document with the seals of Isengard and Gondor.  He gave one to Denethor and then kept the other.  Then with undisguised satisfaction, he pronounced:

 ‘We have finished.  As Steward Beren of Gondor granted Isengard to me, so today our alliance will protect the House of Húrin.   As the formalities have been completed, Alatar and I must return to Isengard. ’

Saruman walked to the Great Doors, which Denethor opened and then farewelled his new allies.  Alatar could hardly disguise his feelings of disillusionment and disgust, but he did not raise the matter again with Saruman.

As Alatar walked down the steps of the Great Hall, a message came to him through the cold air, barely discernible like the gentle breath of a newly born in slumber:

 ‘Sga cqisgaqt gexa qasuqpaf, wiu luts huofa sgal’    

The brothers have returned, you must guide them.

Saruman stopped, for he had detected a transmission, but it was so faint he could not discern its source or meaning.  Alatar continued to walk as if oblivious to any transmission.  Saruman looked intensely at him as he passed, but saw no sign of any reception being received by him.  However, he perceived a growing resistance in his disciple, he thought:

 ‘I will sort that out when we return to Isengard,’

and continued down the steps behind Alatar who by now had reached the bottom. 

Alatar was caught in a dilemma.  He needed to return to the Great Hall, but if he made any excuse it would arouse Saruman’s suspicions.  He then remembered the Isengard candelabrum.  He thought:

 ‘I cannot raise this and offer to return to retrieve it; otherwise Saruman will suspect my proposal,’

so he said nothing, relying on Saruman to remember the oversight.  

Saruman was elated with the triumph of the pact and began their journey in good spirits.  However, the relationship between the Wizards was strained, and on the ride they spoke sparingly.   They had travelled beyond the outskirts of Minas Tirith when Saruman stopped, exclaiming:

 ‘The candelabrum of Isengard, it has been left behind.’  

Alatar did not respond with an offer to return in an attempt not to seem eager to do so, and was relieved when Saruman concluded:

 ‘Alatar I must return to Isengard as soon as possible.  You must return and pick up the candelabrum.’

However, so keen were Saruman’s senses, as he said this, he felt a heartened willingness within Alatar, and thinking that Alatar, still obviously brooding about the events, might wish to console Finduilas in some manner, added quickly and threateningly:

 ‘Linger not, and do not seek out Lady Finduilas.’ 

Alatar, cautious in his words, replied solemnly:

 ‘I will of course only return to the Great Hall to retrieve the light.’ 

‘Good,’ retorted Saruman looking skeptically, ‘I will see you soon in Isengard,’

and he rode off.

Alatar, turned about, and with all speed he galloped back to Minas Tirith, knowing that if Saruman informed Sauron, and if Sauron absorbed the power of the pact himself, then no-one could protect Boromir.  He knew“The dreadful menace of the Power that waited, brooding in deep thought and sleepless malice behind the dark veil.” (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘Mount Doom’)

As Denethor had felt as Saruman’s proclamation rung in his ears, and he watched him depart.  A fragment of doubt shuddered through him, but then he was reassured by his belief that there had been no alternative path open to him; he left the hall, locking the doors securely after him.

The hall was plunged into total darkness, except from the fading rays of the candle lights.


The Hall was deserted, save from the brothers of the Quest.  Faramir took the candelabrum to where their mother had sought refuge, and the brothers sat there in silence overwhelmed by what they had seen, and sorting in their minds what they must do.  A solemn stillness enveloped them; they felt cocooned in a fantasy, where everything seemed unreal.


Faramir sighed, and spoke of his feelings, the insights he had gained from the torment of watching the proceedings of so many years ago:

 ‘I can understand now how Denethor perceived the world and how he responded to you and me, in fact to all others, was set this day under the control of Saruman.’

 ‘Yes Faramir, I think this is true.  And if so we should have ended Saruman’s treacherous ways before the pact was sealed, that would have ended his malign influence,’ Boromir added, frustrated by his inaction, ‘we should have….’

 ‘Boromir, remember the words of The Light…and I really do not think that we could act rationally, being so emotionally involved with the events.  It was better to capture the moment, and with calm minds and the wise counsel of Gandalf, we can still intervene and change what today our father has put in motion.’

Boromir looked unconvinced, and Faramir saw a seething discontent welling within him… so he reiterated the point trying to release him from a mood that was engulfing him:

 ‘I think we did what was the only thing we could.  When we will have time to absorb all what went before us, we will see clearer and act more wisely.’


Boromir remained mum, tormented by the missed opportunity to correct the misdeed that weighed so heavily on his future.  He became listless and dispirited, and retreated into a lonely gloom.  He started to pace the hall like a frenzied caged animal, calling out:

‘What a dupe to trust such a one as the Wizard...’

‘He was vehement to protect us... our line...’

‘Faramir, I cannot think in this place, I cannot get over the sight... I must go...’

‘Go where Boromir, we cannot be seen...’

‘I will go to the secret garden, where we once played as boys; no one will see me there...’

‘Then I will come with you...’

‘No Faramir, I need time, need space to myself...stay here, I will return within the hour’, and taking the key to the entrance to stone stairs, he unlocked the door and walked through the threshold, but when looking back he saw Faramir’s forlorn concerned expression,  he retraced his steps and embraced his brother:

‘Do not fear Faramir, I must find myself, what I believe and what I must do.’


 Faramir watched as he disappeared.   Should he follow, just in case?  No, he could not disrespect Boromir’s desire to do this by himself, no matter what the risk, and as he pondered he found it a release not having to be ever watchful of Boromir ...yes, he needed time to and for himself...  He started to wander the hall, thinking of those moments of the pact and how different things could have been if it had not been, or even if they had known about it... it was heartless, unworthy of their father not to declare its existence, at least to Boromir.


Faramir had completed a circuit of the hall and returned to the statue of Elendil.  By fate or base providence, an image of Denethor and Saruman engrossed in the palantir, drove a desire in him to return to the Summit Chamber.  He located the key to the Tower hidden behind Elendil’s shield; he still had the key to the chamber itself.   He crossed the hall to the door leading to the Tower, unlocked it and then bounded up the stairs to chamber.  Faramir unbolted and opened the door and walked in. 


He did not see Boromir return to the hall, and not finding Faramir there, spied the Tower door was unlocked; he rushed up the stairs.


There on the pedestal stood the palantir, uncovered.  Faramir had never seen the orb uncloaked before.  A strange magnetism lured and drew him to it; it appeared to be a clear crystal ball, though he sensed its depths were far beyond his understanding or sight.  All of a sudden colours started to pulsate within it, it was calling to him, the lights tantalizing and beckoning him to its reach.  Faramir was an arms-length away, and instinctively had put his hand out to touch it, when he felt someone else in the room. 


He swung around and saw it was Boromir.   He instantly realised that palantir was not responding to him, but to Boromir.

‘Boromir leave!’ he screamed, but it was too late for him to be able to reason with him.


A flare of lights flashed and inflamed the air around the orb so intensely that its heat burned Faramir’s cloak, and as Faramir struggled with what to do, there commenced the deafening screams of sirens.


The shawl that had previously covered the palantir lay on the floor; Faramir seized it and threw it over the orb. 


He could see the yellowing of the whites of Boromir’s eyes.  He knew it was soon to be over.  He thrust him from the room, then down the stairs and out of the Tower. 

Fearing the struggle that had previously occurred for the key, hidden from Boromir’s view, he threw it into the large ornamental urn that stood near the door.  It fell into its shadows.


Faramir looked at Boromir.  There was no fit of fury as before, but Boromir had been seen by whoever watched through the palantir, and his eyes deepened in their yellow colouring.  “It [The Dark] pierced them with cold blades of horror and despair, stopping heart and breath.” (Tolkien, TT, ‘The Taming of Sméagol’)


Faramir, consumed by a turmoiling emptiness, did not know what he could do, what anyone could.  Boromir stood motionless as if waiting for some command.  Faramir tried to get him to respond to him, but Boromir was no longer within his own or Faramir’s control.  In this state of anguish, Faramir heard a banging on the Great Doors.  He went over, reluctant to open them, but he heard:

‘Faramir it is Alatar, I have been sent to help.’


Faramir unbolted the door, and Alatar entered, and seeing Boromir in the state, exclaimed:

 ‘He has looked into the palantir!’


Faramir explained what had happened.  Alatar listened then said gravely:

 ‘My powers are of no use to him now. One place alone can offer him safety; he must travel to the Ancient One in the Old Forest.  Only Ben-adar can protect him from Sauron. 

 ‘Sauron!’  Faramir repeated in shock.

 ‘Saruman will still be on his way to Isengard, and if the palantir responded as it did, it would be Sauron who has seen and has command over him.  Sauron would know your location in space and time.  We cannot wait.’


Faramir did a quick calculation in terms of those days used up, then thinking aloud:

‘There would not be enough days remaining for us to travel to Ben-adar and then travel back to the …’

Then Faramir realised that he was releasing to this virtual stranger, who although had shown sympathy to his mother, knowledge about the Light and their Quest, he hesitated.


Alatar, realising the reason for his hesitancy, declared:

‘I know about the Quest andThe Ring of Light.   We have not sufficient time for me to explain, but you trusted Raalta did you not, and I am he in this time’. 

Alatar showed Faramir his hand upon which there was a bracelet and ring he had seen on Raalta, but then not giving Faramir time to acknowledge who he was, continued in a tone of dire urgency:

 ‘What of the time!’


Faramir accepting Alatar’s claim, explained:

‘If we travelled to Ben-adar, we would lose Quest Day 8 (QD 8), and we would get there on QD 9 but would not have the days to return to The Light on QD 10, as we must do.’


Alatar thought deeply, then said:

 ‘Then you both cannot go to Ben-adar.  Boromir must leave straightaway to counter Sauron’s influence, and also to extend my blessing and powers on the young Boromir, only Ben-adar can do this.’ 

Alatar continued:

 ‘If you do not travel by The Light, but go on horseback to The Light’s cottage in Drúadan Forest and seek refuge there, where the powers should adequately protect you, and you may travel to The Light at day-break.  By my calculations you will have a spare Quest day – this Ben-adar I am sure can convert into an additional day for Boromir to return to The Light on QD 10.

 ‘You know or you surmise,’ replied Faramir anxiously.

 ‘I hope, and that is all we have at the moment.  We must have Boromir repeat the chronomap’s time and location before he is totally out of our control.’

 ‘But we must wait until day-break.’

 ‘We cannot wait until this; we will have to depend on Ben-adar’s transcendence to guide him through the time.  But one thing he must take with him.’ 


Alatar rushed to the table, and breaking a glass that stood on the table, he pressed a piece onto drops of the mingled blood of the three, then placed a piece of glass on top.

‘I am sure Ben-adar will need these if he must re-work the pact.’

He wrapped the glass in a scarf he had in his pocket, and returned to a Boromir, who was becoming increasingly unresponsive yet agitated.  Faramir was talking reassuringly to his brother, trying to get through to him that they were on the verge of releasing him from the influence of dark forces which were infiltrating him – there was hope, he could trust in hope.   Yet he could not stop the advance of Sauron’s control, for Boromir’s eyes were progressively becoming yellower.   

Alatar crouched down in front of Boromir, watching the colouration of his eyes.  Faramir had unpacked and set the chronomap and placed it, with Alatar’s scarf and its contents into Boromir’s cloak pocket.   


Alatar took hold of Boromir’s hands, and encouraged from him the words:

‘Sgquihg sga letsaqw ud Sga Mohgs

Si Oeqyeip Cap-efeq

Ip sga cepjt id Poxaq Yosgwopfma, op sga Imf Diqats

Op sga Sgoqf Eha, 24 Kepueqw 2984.’    

Through the mastery of The Light
to Iarwain Ben-adar
on the banks of River Withywindle, in the Old Forest
in the Third Age, 24 January 2984.

As Boromir pronounced the ‘4’, he disappeared out of Alatar’s hands. 


Faramir looked at Alatar with a mixture of reprieve and concern, and spoke fretfully:

 ‘We have placed utter trust in this Ben-adar of yours.’

To which Alatar responded:

 ‘He has already protected your mission.  He is the sender of your messages, and the protector of the cottage in Drúadan Forest.  Be assured Faramir, we could not have protected Boromir, even with powers of Gandalf.  He is safe with Ben-adar for nowWe both must now leave our separate ways.  I will arrange for a horse for you and leave it at the bottom eastern gates of the city. I am sure our paths will cross again.  May The Light shine on your journey and protect you.’ 

With that Alatar took the Isengard candelabrum and was about to leave through the Great Doors, but stopped, and went back to Faramir:

 ‘If you wish to see her, remember that the Quest would be put in peril if you show yourself.’

They clasped hands, and then Alatar left.  Faramir stood looking after him.  “A great dread fell on him, as if he was awaiting the pronouncement of some doom that he had long foreseen and vainly hoped might after all never be spoken.” (Tolkien, FOTR ‘The Council of Elrond’)


Faramir was alone; he had not been alone like this since the beginning of the Quest.  He felt deserted, although he knew he was not.  He could not shake the feeling of having fallen into a gaping void; all his time had be taken in doing for Boromir, now Boromir was gone.  He could not fathom why he felt so desolate, Boromir was safe, he should feel relieved; yet a feeling of melancholy enveloped him.  He slipped down to the floor at the base of a statue, and wept; he did not know why he wept, but uncontrollably, the tears surged and would not be denied.


He knew that he must leave to make the trip to the Forest, as he had done just days before with Boromir, but he could not move.  He looked up and saw the statue at whose feet he sat was of Adrahil II, twenty-first Prince of Dol Amroth, his mother’s father.  He had never really looked at this statue, there were so many other illustrious warriors in the colonnade, except when as a small child, he remembered his mother bringing him to it to show him his grandfather who he had never seen in real life. 

He stood up, and the noble lord looked upon at him and Faramir heard the words:

‘Ah warrior of my flesh, fear not the tears that must come to all.  You grieve what as child you could not understand and was denied you.  Seek out the vision of the one that bore you, loved you and never left you, though her mortal form was taken from you.’


Faramir sighed with sadness, it was as his grandfather had said, he cried now, as once he could not.  He was bewildered when he was told his mother was gone, and when it dawned on him she would not be returning, he started to sob, but was sternly rebuked by Denethor who told him he must not act like a baby, he must be brave, like his big brother.  And he remembered when these words were spoken how Boromir had run to him and in a smothering loving embrace hugged him and whispered soothing words, and when Faramir looked at him, tears had welled-up in Boromir’s eyes, but he did not cry.


Faramir was torn what to do.  He was desperate to see his mother, for all he had was a fleeting memory of her from his childhood, and that glimpse of her this morn in the shadowy hall as she protected him.  However, could he see her from afar and leave it at that, for she must not see him.  Perhaps it would be better not to try to see her at all, but he knew he could not bear to leave without one brief look at her.


He found the key to the entrance of the stone stairs, then remembered the key to the Tower Room.  If things were to occur as they had, it had to be returned for them to find it in 3019.   He went across to the urn.  He put his hand in to retrieve the key he had thrown there out of the reach of Boromir, but in its blackness he could not see within.  As he did, he felt the years of dust and memories that this urn had acquired, standing as it did in the hall over the centuries.  He retrieved the key and with it, a torn piece of parchment.  He could not decipher the words written on it, but he felt a connectedness to the Quest.  He placed it in his cloak; it would not be missed lying as it had in the dust of centuries, trusting that Gandalf would understand its meaning.  He then made his way to the back of the hall, returning the key to its position, and then preceded to the royal chambers.  He arrived at the corridor leading to the Council Chamber, and could hear the strident voice of his father:

‘Well Calimë tell me where she has taken them... she must be somewhere.’

‘I do not know my Lord, she...she just said she was going somewhere safe...’

‘Well tell Rendur to search for her... I will not have this... this fuss!’ 


Faramir stepped back into the shadows of the hallway.  Where would his mother have gone, taken them, where would she have found a haven?   There was only one place, their secret garden, where mother and the boys often found shelter as their ‘band-of-three’ as their mother had called them.  He rushed there, had Boromir found them there when he went to find solace by himself, had he seen them, is this why Boromir had returned so quickly before...?


Faramir located the granite wall, covered in ivy just as he had remembered it.  He found the latch and the panel opened.  Massive ancient camellia trees screened the perimeter, forming an impenetrable barrier, but he recalled where they parted to give access to the garden terrace.  As he made his way through the shrubbery, he heard a voice, a lilting sound tinged with melancholy; it was his mother talking, singing, as from his memory visions reappeared.   Oh how he longed for such moments again!  He dared not go too close, or to disturb them.  He passed through the camellias, and saw the clearing before him; how much smaller it looked to him than how he had recollected it.   There on the oak bench was his mother with her sons, with him.  He could see her and them clearly, although from where he stood, within the shadows of the camellias and an old black pine tree, they could not see him.

She was holding them close, this princess from the vales of the southern seas, now protecting her sons from the evil of the east.  The events of the morning fresh and horrifying her and Boromir, Faramir too young to know; she had escaped to this hideaway.  Here she was singing and reading to them from their favourite story, the Bronze Ring from The Blue Fairy Book.

Boromir listened intently, but Faramir clapped and convulsively giggled with the tale when the mice tickled the magician’s nose.  Boromir looked on seriously, then seeing Faramir rolling in mirth, could not contain himself and burst out laughing.  She hugged and kissed them both. Boromir jumped down from the bench, and Faramir screeching with glee, gave chase, waving a feather he had found on the grass.  She watched them, hiding the tears she shed for her Boromir, now enshrouded with evil’s mark.


Faramir watched for a time, soaking in the love that radiated from her.  He had felt her love throughout his life, despite her physical absence from so much of it.  He craved her touch and love when his father had shunned him despite all his attempts to do his will and please him.   For his father saw only the strengths of his first born and showered Boromir with praise.  He knew the pain of rejection that Faramir would suffer in his youth.   Now he realised that the pact determined this course. 


Faramir looked up to the sky; the late sun struggled stalwartly against the sorcery of the Isengard Wizard and Sauron.  He knew he must leave.


Faramir made his way through the passageways that Raalta had once shown him, down to the bottom eastern gate.  As Alatar had promised, there he found a horse.  He mounted and rode swiftly north-west to the promised sanctuary of the Drúadan Forest; to where only yesterday in another time, he and Boromir had found refuge and then terror. 


On the morrow at dawn, his journeying would be finished as he returned to The Light.  He thought he would feel apprehensive about Boromir, being separated from him, but rather he felt at peace, and comforted.  He could rest easy for the dawn.  As he dosed safeguarded in the cottage, he dreamed of Éowyn, how he loved her, how he wished...  Aragorn’s words in old lore coming to him:  “in me she loves only a shadow and a thought, a hope for glory and great deeds.” (Tolkien, ROTK, ‘The Houses of Healing’)


{How cruel these words, for it seemed that not even the Master of Middle-earth understood his Éowyn, and the nature of the love of his courageous, honourable and resolute heroine.]