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'Footsteps in Time'
The sea lay
moondark under the stars, the ebb and flow of the waves strongest on
this the harbour side of Círdan's house. Galadriel impatiently
pushed her hair back behind her ears and stared out into the
The night lay
serene despite the low wind that seemed to blow wherever one was on
Balar. It was filled with ordinary sounds: frogs, night-stirring
creatures, the sea. Nothing to explain the instinct that had driven
her from sleep and sent her outdoors in search of fresh air and
She had woken like
this before, to the footsteps of history marching across her life.
She had watched brothers suffer and die, felt the loss of friends.
There had been births, too, nameless but potent, some filled with
menace, one a small, bright star of hope. But this time there had
been nothing, just deep, nameless foreboding and a sense of events
too close, too harsh.
"Your wrap. Anyone
abroad at this hour would be shocked to find you dressed like this."
His voice was low
and deep, melodic with laughter, at one with her heartbeat, with the
breath flowing in and out. She had felt him before she heard him.
Confident hands draped a light, woolen wrap around her before moving
to rest easily on her shoulders as Celeborn stood behind her looking
out towards the sleeping dark of the shore.
he asked finally as she kept silent. She moved closer, and he
brought his arms round to circle her waist. She rested her hands on
his forearms and leaned her head back against him with a sigh.
"Don't know," she
admitted. "It was - I woke as though someone had called me."
"No faces?" he
asked carefully. "No voices?" Celeborn had held her more than once
through the aftermath of faces and voices. One such vision had been
instrumental in bringing them here. This, though, seemed different.
He held her closer, resting his cheek against her hair as Galadriel
shook her head slowly.
"Nothing. Not like
the other times, no." She had told him about Fingon's death weeks
before news reached them of the defeat that had taken the High
King's life and passed the crown to yet another of her kin, this
time an absentee king in a hidden city. She had passed the days
after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears calmly, but with sad, quiet
eyes; she had become accustomed to loss.
"I'll make you
some tea if you like?" he offered, although he made no move to
release her. Mîrant's herbal tea usually helped her to relax after
one of those incidents when worlds met and time and space entwined.
"Not yet." Her
eyes were still on the shore, her face lifted to the cool, salt air.
Celeborn never tried to understand her gift; it was outside of his
terms of reference. He knew horses and trees, how to listen, how to
command. He had learned about swords as well as bows, he could chart
a path from the stars, he understood the needs of the land. He had
his strengths, she had hers. There was no more need for him to
understand her Sight than for her to determine the tension of a bow.
So it had been
from the day of their first meeting, a sense of completion,
Rumour of the
wonders of Menegroth, of gardens made from precious gems and of
coloured lights dancing on filigreed stone, were a constant source
of umbrage to newly-arrived Noldorin princes denied entry into the
Guarded Realm within the Great Mother's girdle of protection. The
insult was only exacerbated by Elu Thingol's demand that the Noldor
content themselves with the unpopulated portions of Beleriand. The
King, they were informed by his envoys, was lord of all the land,
and his people's needs came before those of the interlopers who had
arrived loudly, bringing the new sky-lights in their wake.
Of all those who
had crossed the sea into Exile, both amongst the followers of Feanor
and of Fingolfin, he decreed that only his brother Olwë's
grandchildren were to be allowed entrance into his fabled domain
look upon though it might be, living there was probably another
matter entirely as Artanis discovered on her very first visit. The
approach was through deep forest protected by a girdle of
shimmering, misty otherness that came and went on the corner of
vision as she and Finrod passed through it. Strange, hidden pathways
led to a great, stony hill beyond a swift-flowing river, where huge
doors stood wide and incongruous.
Within lay a world
part fantasy, part nightmare to guests raised under another sky in
an open city amongst the pristine beauty of Aman. Colour was
everywhere. Twinkling lamps on delicate brackets lit mosaics and
jewelled copies of the birds, flowers and forest creatures of the
world beyond. Painted murals and carvings adorned the walls, the
floors were set with small white pebbles, while doorways hid behind
gossamer hangings woven in unlikely shades.
And there were
people everywhere; Sindar, Silvan, staring, whispering in their
soft, bird-like tongue, smiling behind polite hands.
"Do they have
nothing better to do?" Finrod had asked their guide angrily on that
first visit, resenting being stared at as though he and his sister
were some strangely exotic new species. The guide had looked at him
"They have not
seen your like before," he had explained in the careful Quenya he
had learned in his dealings with Fëanor's sons. "They wonder if your
hair is dyed and if so with what - we do not have its like here." He
said this in a tone that suggested he had his own questions on this
matter. Brother and sister exchanged eloquent glances and Artanis
made a mental note to tie up her hair at the first opportunity.
The King held
court in his Pavilion, a structure that excelled for bejeweled,
brightly-hued extravagance. Courtiers lined the walls or perched
like birds on narrow stone benches, the hum of many voices forming a
backdrop that somehow complimented the surroundings. Elu Thingol
himself was a figure of imposing authority, tall and muscular, with
dark silver hair, grey eyes and an air of unquestioned importance.
He wore more jewellery than either of them had ever seen on one
person. When they bowed their heads in a manner suitable when
greeting a kinsman there was a low gasp from the assembled
courtiers, and it occurred to Artanis that there had been no-one
before them to dispute his supremacy. No-one but Morgoth.
They were greeted
though not offered seats and had then to endure a litany of
questions: about their parents, their grandparents, about the
strange lights in the sky which had superceded the soft star-glow to
which the people of Beleriand were accustomed, about the Princes
they journeyed with and those who had arrived ahead of them with
drawn swords and a blazing hatred for the Dark One.
They were still
making their careful answers when a sudden stir amongst the
courtiers followed by utter silence alerted them to the arrival of
the Maia. She moved like a shadow across the sun, small,
dark-haired, graceful as flowing water. She seemed to glide up the
three steps to Thingol's throne, where she took her place on the
seat that had stood conspicuously vacant beside his. The newcomers
needed no-one to tell them that this was Melian, Queen of Doriath.
She drew her
mantle about her, settled folds of cloth, then looked at them out of
unlikely moss green eyes. "Far they come, yes," she said in a light,
clear voice that seemed to move and dip on the air of the cavern
before falling away behind the stillness. "Far they come and further
still to go."
Brother and sister
felt 'something' pass over them; a touch, light as a child's finger
to a butterfly wing, brushed the fire within. Finrod jerked,
startled, but Artanis kept still, permitting rather than fighting
the invasion. She had walked in forests with Yavanna and recognised
strength beyond her ability to resist. The touch withdrew, then
returned to her.
"New," the silvery
voice said, etched bright with interest. "Different to those born
here. The light of the Great Ones has shone on them. They smell
Watching under her
lashes, Artanis saw Thingol give the fey creature a sidelong, almost
uneasy look. So, she thought, there is one thing in this kingdom
over which he has no control. One person he cannot predict. The
green eyes returned to her as though she had spoken aloud.
Bird-curious, the exquisite head tilted to the side.
"You will stay,"
the Maia stated categorically. "We will talk. You are not like our
Children, you are Other. You will tell me of the Undying lands, and
of your king, and of the sky-lights you brought here."
"Lady, those were
not ours to bring," Finrod broke in, concerned for his sister.
"Those were set in the heavens by the Mighty and are none of our
The moss-hued eyes
moved slowly to him and narrowed, and the siblings instinctively
drew closer together.
"It is the custom
that the Queen be addressed as Daurnana," Thingol interrupted
sharply. Turning to the Maia he said almost placatingly, "They have
told me the sky lights were signs from the Shining Ones, a means to
expose the works of the Enemy."
Melian looked up
at him, her face warming into an adoring smile. "The Night Walkers
cannot come where we are, my King," she said confidently. "We have
no need of the Lights. Let them do what they will, Doriath is safe.
I have said it, and it is so."
The sun rose and
set; the years it measured turned. Melian, sensing in Artanis the
seeds of true power, was amused to take the Aman-born for a student,
teaching her how to look deep, how to spin webs of energy, how to
reach out to the fabric of Arda itself. In one thing only was Melian
constant; other than her near-obsession with Thingol her attention
waxed and waned, much like the moon for which she slowly developed a
grudging fondness. Sensing the Maia's interest was fey and
unpredictable, knowing that in time she would no longer retain it
and would find herself discarded, Artanis stayed and learned all she
The caverns of
Menegroth were works of wonder, but Artanis had been born in a place
of open spaces, cool breezes, clear skies. The weight of rock above
her head oppressed. Some days the sense of confinement was almost
more than she could bear, but for a guest to walk alone in the
forest was frowned upon. Melian gave her tinkling laugh and said she
might wander off and become lost, whereas Thingol, more blunt and to
the point, stated that in the absence of her brothers she was his
responsibility, and as such she would remain where he could be
certain of her welfare.
Outside, below the
walkway to the bridge, she found a flat rock that overlooked the
rushing river. There she went to sit when the walls of Menegroth
seemed to be squeezing closed around her. She had no friends amongst
the courtiers; Menegroth was a conservative and inward-looking
society - as, she supposed, had been parts of Tirion - and she sat
in their midst like a rare exotic bird with her golden plumage.
Feeling isolated, she sought her own company at those times when
there was no need for her to dance attendance on Melian. She soon
learnt to revel in private space away from the incessant twittering
of voices pitched higher than was the norm to her ears.
"Like a garland of
The voice wrapped
around her with the soft warmth of the cloak Aegnor had sent her,
woven by Nandor from the fleece of small black and white creatures
that grazed on the hills about his new holding. She turned her head
slowly, and it was as though she knew what she would see before she
saw him. Hair like polished silver, a confident smile, a cloak of
forest green edged with sea-blue. And tall - she was tall herself
and therefore valued this. Their eyes met, and it was as though they
had always known one another.
"Your hair," he
explained. "It looks as though someone wove it from sunlight."
From anyone else
it would have been hyperbole, but she knew it was no more than his
thought and smiled. He approached and she made space for him. He sat
down beside her on her rock and looked around.
"Caves are new to
you," he said, knowing. "You miss the forest."
"And the water,"
she admitted. "There was water flowing beneath my bedroom window at
home. I miss its voice."
"Tell me of home,"
he insisted. "Is it very different to here? Are you sorry you left?"
She smiled at him,
at the silver hair, the blue eyes, the strength, at the aura of calm
that surrounded him, so unlike her; a balance to her lack of inner
order. "Home is behind me," she told him. "I came here to make a new
"Not in Menegroth
though," he observed, reaching a cautious finger to touch a tress
more lightly than the Maia had touched her fea. "But we can begin
here. My name is Celeborn, Elu Thingol is my grandfather's brother."
the Wise," she responded nodding, her smile in her eyes. "Yes, we
Time passed, but
not as before. Life became full, almost complete. Artanis studied
what and when Melian chose to teach her, and the rest of her time
was spent with Celeborn. Kin to the King and a distant cousin to
Artanis herself, there could be no objection to her exploring the
forest beyond the confines of Menegroth in his company, and explore
He showed her
trickling streams dancing over steps of natural stone, led her down
secret paths to the groves and thickets dear to his heart. She met
those of his friends and kindred who lived above ground, secure
within the Great Mother's girdle. They rode, he taught her to climb
trees so that he could show her Doriath from on high, they swam in
cool, rushing water. There were kisses, and more than kisses;
heated, hungry embraces, release offered by willing fingers, hands
and mouths. They abstained only from the last, the final union; it
would happen in its own time, when the tide of their loving drew
them to the next wave's crest. This final joining was sacred,
entwining hrondo and fea and not to be approached lightly.
visited often, keeping watch over her welfare, uncertain of this
Sindarin Prince from whom she seemed inseparable. Then came the
final visit, with Elu Thingol demanding to know the truth of rumours
brought to him by Círdan of the Falas of the true reasons for the
return of the Noldor. Angrod it was who answered him, offering the
full tale which Artanis had avoided when Melian had casually asked
why the New Elves had chosen to leave the Undying Lands for the
imperfections of Ennor. Melian lacked curiosity to pursue the topic,
her dragonfly favour easily diverted elsewhere, but Thingol was not
so easily turned aside from matters relating to his brother's
welfare. When the truth finally lay exposed his rage was immense,
causing even Melian to quail at its force.
The upshot was
clear and uncompromising: the tongue of the Exiles would be heard no
more within the boundaries of Beleriand, and none of the Aman-born,
including his blood kin, would ever again set foot within Doriath
for fear that the blood-lust of the Noldor might contaminate his
"We can go to
Finrod," Celeborn told Artanis as she began packing her few
possessions. "Nargothrond is an easy ride from Doriath and anyway,
he is the one nearest to your heart. He has his doubts about me, but
in time he will see that our place is together."
"He is delving a
cavern home to rival this one," she told him, carefully wrapping a
collection of tiny glass figurines - a gift from Luthien to mark
Thingol's latest festival, the turning of the year. "Aegnor would be
the better choice - high lands, a wide sky, the scent of growing
things on the air."
There was no
discussion; if she had to leave, so would he. Had their situations
been reversed, she would have done the same.
"It is a hard
thing, to be told to give up your mother tongue," she said quietly,
folding delicate cloth with careful hands. "Even our names reflect
its use. What would he have us do? Take new names, cast off those
gifted by our parents?"
Man-maiden," Celeborn responded teasingly, collecting slippers in
pairs and placing them in a woven bag. "Over-tall though quite
attractive in a very Noldorin way." He ducked the threatened blow,
laughing. "Alatáriel is who you have been to me since we met. Or
Galadriel, as my niece Nimloth calls you. It fits you, I think -
gives you dignity."
She snorted and
elbowed him inelegantly. The last born, the only girl in a tribe of
boys, dignity was still a thing she needed to remind herself of.
Despite the ban,
Artanis was not required to leave Menegroth. Her interests
threatened, Melian waited until Elu Thingol's rage had subsided and
then, with sweet words and tender looks, pleaded to be allowed to
keep her student. With a practicality normally foreign to her, she
pointed out that Eärwen's children had taken no part in the shedding
of inappropriate blood. Furthermore, had they borne arms at all it
would have been in defense of their mother's people. Her reasoning
was unusually clear and succinct, including a reminder that, as a
female, Artanis would have been unarmed. Melian had no idea if this
held true for the New Elves from beyond the sea, but it was a
telling argument and she pressed it home ruthlessly, all loving
smiles and sensual touches.
Thingol relented. After a long night of searing eroticism, he
emerged from his chambers to declare that Artanis, daughter of
Finarfin, would after all be permitted to remain in Doriath. Later
that day his great-nephew pleased him by offering the news that, to
honour his decree, the Noldor Princess had decided that henceforth
she would be known by a new, Sindarin name: Galadriel.
While the years
passed calmly under the trees, beyond Doriath the world continued in
turmoil. The great dragon Glaurung came forth with fire and terror,
but he was still young, weak enough to be driven back to Angband to
heal and grow. An uneasy peace ensued, giving the Noldor time for
pursuits other than warfare. For Galadriel life went on as before,
although she now travelled regularly beyond the boundaries of
Doriath to visit with her forbidden kin. Celeborn seldom shared
these excursions, not wishing to intrude on time shared with her
brothers and old friends. When she returned, bearing small,
cunningly crafted gifts for his family and the convoluted gossip of
the Noldorin factions, it was notable that it took several days
before her grasp on Sindarin was once more fluent. Celeborn, who
knew that amongst the Noldor Princes the High Tongue was spoken
freely, ached for her need to cast off something so much a part of
who she was.
settled in Nargothrond, a short journey from Doriath, her visits
became frequent. In truth she exchanged one cave dwelling for
another, but the ride exhilarated her and the wind blew in her face
unhindered by trees. Also, those dwelling in Nargothrond were more
Noldor than Sindar, and many were old acquaintances, allowing her to
take her ease and be once more the Artanis of childhood. The
adventure she had craved and had thought to find on the far shore
had proved illusory; she was more confined than she had ever been in
the years in Tirion.
After one such
visit she retuned full of excitement at a tale her brother had told
her and which she had at first dismissed as Finrod teasing her as
had been his wont when they were children.
bearded, with speech that is strange to the ear. Their bodies are
covered with fine hairs, he said," she told Celeborn, her eyes
shining. "We heard talk of how one day there would be a new race,
the Secondborn, short lived and fragile but dear to the One. This
must surely be them."
"Where will they
live? And who will care for them? Their needs are outside of our
knowledge - how could we guide such beings?" Celeborn asked with the
typical Sindarin urge to nurture young, growing things.
She blinked. "I
imagine they will care for one another? As to where they will live -
he wants them to settle hereabouts - they will be safer than in the
wild." As ever, she was the final word in Noldor practicality. She
smiled wickedly. "He even sent an envoy here to the king, asking his
wisdom in this matter. That should butter him up sufficiently." She
lay back with her head in his lap and toyed with a lock of his hair,
her eyes wistful. "I would love to see them. They sound -
her nose lightly. "Be careful, you grow more like the Daurnana by
the day - curious as ten squirrels. Perhaps we will go and look for
them some time, then. Easy enough if they settle near Doriath."
pass the Girdle, of course," she mused, her thoughts running along
where they might live, how their settlements might look, what their
customs could be like. "No member of the Secondborn could set foot
As she spoke she
shuddered, the skin crawling on her body and he looked down at her
in alarm. Her sea-blue eyes closed briefly, and when they opened
they held a shadow. "Perhaps some will come here," she said more
quietly. "But there is the whisper of great events attached to that
"Leave it then,"
he told her briskly. The more time she spent with Melian, the more
frequent these unsettling moments of precognition became. "When the
time comes is time enough. Let it be. Come, sit up and kiss me. I
have been three long months without you."
stretching, she wriggled with exaggerated sensuality, making them
both smile. Direct and open, to play the coquette was never her way.
She sat up and took his face between her long, cool hands. "Celeborn
the Wise, indeed," she said, leaning forward to place a light kiss
on his lips. "Very well - I will leave it. The future will arrive
when it does - no point in living it in advance."
"None at all," he
agreed. "I can find better things for us to do with the here and
now. Come, I will show you."
The future came as
it always does, but it did not find Galadriel waiting for it in
Doriath. Three hundred and twenty years after Fingolfin set foot on
the shore of Middle-earth and his host greeted the first rising of
the moon with trumpet calls, Elu Thingol called his brother's
grandson to have private discourse with him and his closest
advisors. Melian was notably absent, engaged in pursuits the nature
of which were unclear even to her lord. Whatever they were, they
kept her busy and uninvolved in the discussion.
did as he had done almost from the day they met: he went in search
of Galadriel to share his news and hear her opinion.
"But - you say
no-one lives there? There must be a reason for that surely, some
fault in the place itself."
Celeborn shook his
head. They were sitting outside on 'their' rock, watching the trees
reflected in the water, autumn leaves staining the crystal clarity
with bright, warm shades. This was Galadriel's favourite time of the
year; she loved the colours and the crispness in the air. "No-one
has ever travelled far enough south to find out. For all we know,
there might be Nandor living there. Perhaps," with a sidelong smile
at her, knowing what would pique her interest, "Perhaps your
brother's Secondborn have found their way there."
She gave an
unladylike snort at the transparent attempt. "Perhaps. Perhaps
horses with horns. Perhaps chickens the size of eagles? Seriously -
why? Why do this?"
out over the forest and then, his voice low, said, "Because Elu
Thingol is old and wise and knows that the current peace is no more
than a respite, that once the firedrake has its full strength the
Enemy will come upon us all with warfare. His main interest lies
with your kindred, certainly, but his eye will surely turn this way
again. Doriath stands strong and guarded, but the Great Mother is
Maiar. Morgoth - Morgoth was one of the Shining Ones. The King
wishes a haven beyond the battlefields should the need arise."
While he spoke
Galadriel felt the air around them to make certain that no-one
gifted sensed the import of his words. Melian was not the only one
who disliked the outside world and saw no need for Doriath to look
beyond the borders she had set down. She said nothing of this to
Celeborn, however. When he had finished, all she asked was, "How
many of us, and when do we leave?"
predictably furious although she vented her anger with care, not
wishing a confrontation with her lord. To please him she had made
his forest secure from all danger, even going so far as to place a
girdle of mists and forgetfulness around it to assuage his fear of
discovery by the Dark One who ruled in the north. She saw no need
for a southern lair, suspecting that in time Thingol might feel its
lure and be tempted to leave this place - and her.
"She says I cannot
go. It is unfitting for an unattached female and the king's guest to
travel with colonists and warriors." Galadriel informed Celeborn
dryly at the end of a recital of Melian's objections. "For the rest,
I think the King will withstand her, though your numbers might be
reduced. My presence though..." Her face was worried, eyes darkened
to sea green, her mouth severe.
would give his permission, surely?" Celeborn asked, looking up from
the inadequate map he was studying. "Nothing more would be
It was unthinkable
to either that she remain here while he left on a mission that could
take hundreds of years to complete, with at least as much time
before he could justify a return to Menegroth to offer his personal
"I... have no
idea," she admitted honestly. Finrod was glad she was safe in
Doriath and had no part in the risks faced daily by the Noldor in a
mainly hostile world. Her brothers were also, she knew, relieved
that she was taking no part in the eternal politics that wove
through their lives. However, none of them approved her closeness to
Thingol's kinsman, and there were regular comments about 'finding a
suitable match amongst our own kind' when she ventured out on one of
her visits. It was never discussed, but she knew that Celeborn, too,
faced resistance to his choice of a landless Exile.
They sat quietly
for a while, as quiet as it was possible to be in Doriath. Cave
dwelling meant little privacy, day and night the sounds of voices
and footsteps were a fact of life. Finally he said, "Well, I suppose
if we were bound, no-one could say much more?"
She quirked an
eyebrow at him. "As in - together for eternity, before witnesses?"
He put the map
aside and turned to her quizzically. "How would that be for you?"
"Well, I always
assumed we would eventually - I just never gave it much thought
before," she confessed, trying to get a final look at the diagram of
lines and open spaces. Far too many open spaces she suspected,
designating the unknown.
"But the idea
doesn't - displease you?" Light blue eyes studied her, serious now,
Her eyes met his,
equally serious, then she moved into his ever-welcoming arms
chuckling softly. "If you truly deserved the title of Celeborn the
Wise you would know the answer to that without asking. No, it does
not displease me. Not at all. I have been waiting all my life for
you to ask."
They exchanged rings
with the King and Queen of Doriath as witness. Galadriel's brothers
were all present; Elu Thingol had given permission for them to enter
the Guarded Realm for the occasion. Both the laws of the Noldor and
the customs of the Sindar required that the bride's kindred be
present and honoured. The ceremony took place in the Pavilion itself
before the assembled nobility of Doriath under a canopy of flowers.
Melian left while the promises were still being exchanged. Her pupil
had rejected her, and in the strange depths of her unknowable mind
it was already as though Galadriel had never been.
dancing commenced. As soon as it was decent to do so, Celeborn
collected his wife and together they took leave of her brothers who
would travel back through the forest once the King's health had been
Nargothrond when you leave," Finrod insisted, all golden hair and
warm smiles, his arm around his sister's shoulders but his eyes on
her mate. His brothers, having loudly toasted the new addition to
the family, added their voices to his. They would pause at
Nargothrond, too, before continuing on to their own lands. "Who can
tell when next we will all have a chance to meet? Times are
uncertain, and your journey takes you far from these lands."
quiet as they traversed passageways to reach her rooms, further from
the main living area, more private and their usual choice when they
wished to spend time alone. There was no point in finding new
accommodation - they would spend only the first few weeks of their
marriage in Doriath before taking to the road. When the door curtain
fell closed behind them, he looked at her seriously.
"What?" he asked.
Her eyes met his.
"I felt - I felt I might never see him again," she said in a small,
thin voice. "All of them. Probably no more than the fear of us being
so far apart, I know, but..."
"A few hundred
years are as nothing to our kind," he told her gently, eager to
avoid premonitions of gloom on this of all nights. "You mistake fear
of separation for loss, nothing more. They will be here when you
return - and perhaps a few young ones with hair of Vanyar gold,
too." He would not be sorry to get her away from Melian's influence.
Her instincts had taken a morbid turn of late.
She shook her head
sadly, her eyes shadowed. "Their lines end here, I think. I can feel
it on my skin, I..."
"Not tonight," he
interrupted firmly, lifting her into his arms and carrying her to
the bed. They were of similar height, he stumbled, almost dropping
her, and they fell together laughing. " The future can follow in its
own time," he told her, leaning over as she lay in her wedding
finery, her hair spread out across the pillows like silver-shot gold
silk. "This time belongs to us."
Their union was
all either of them had imagined it could be, soft touches and tender
kisses, worshipping one another with mouths, eyes, the gift of
touch. And finally a joining that was more natural than breath, more
obviously right than anything either of them had ever dreamed
possible. They drowned in one another, came up for air laughing with
joy, sank back down into passion's sea. Their hearts had been one
from the day they first met beside the river, and now body and soul
Very much later,
lying drowsing in his arms, Galadriel murmured, "We should have done
this long ago. This was not one of your better ideas, Celeborn the
Wise. It was your best."