One of the themes in Tolkien's works is the fading of beauty. Write/draw/create another type of fanwork inspired by "Verdi prati" from Handel's opera Alcina.
Green meadows, pleasant woods,
you will lose your beauty.
Lovely flowers, flowing streams,
your grace and loveliness
will soon change.
And once the beautiful scene is changed,
everything in you will return
to the wildness of your original appearance. (translation Lignota)
Also inspired by my picture prompt
Genre: romance, hurt/comfort
Characters: Aragorn, Arwen
Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen, brief mentions of Faramir/Éowyn and Lúthien/Beren
Summary: Aragorn consoles a melancholy Arwen.
The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been nor will be made from this story.
A/n. part of my “Return to Rivendell” series.
Aragorn returned from his ride in good spirits. This was the first time he could truly appreciate the beauty of the countryside outside Rivendell’s borders without expecting to be ambushed at any time by Orcs and other foul creatures. He had left the side of his still sleeping wife as soon as dawn broke over the valley. He had asked Arwen before they slept if she would care to accompany him, but Arwen had never enjoyed early rising. Instead, he had persuaded Faramir to tear himself away from the library for a time to come out riding with him. Éowyn remained behind with little Elboron who was somewhat fretful.
The King and the Steward changed out of their riding clothes and went in search of their ladies. Faramir found Éowyn in the nursery with the children. Eldarion was in the library with his grandsire, but Arwen was nowhere to be seen.
Aragorn went outside and found her wandering along a pathway in one of Rivendell’s beautifully tended gardens. Aragorn’s heart sank when he saw the melancholy expression on her face. She had been sad ever since they had arrived here. He had succeeded in cheering her a few days before when they had chased the autumn leaves, but there were no fluttering leaves here, instead a profusion of autumn blooms, many which had had originated in the Undying Lands.
He approached his wife and took her hand, “What ails thee, vanimelda?” he asked.
She turned her face up to look at him. Tears glistened in her eyes. “These gardens have been here for years beyond counting,” she said. “Soon they will be no more. My brothers and my grandsire will sail and Rivendell will return to the wilderness out of which it was formed.”
“Maybe, Eldarion will dwell here sometimes and those who come after him?” Aragorn said.
Arwen shook her head. “I doubt it; he belongs to the world of Men rather than that of the Eldar. Rivendell will one day be his, but it is more likely to be a museum rather than a home and even that will not endure. The gardens my mother so lovingly tended for centuries will soon be overgrown and return to the wild.”
Aragorn kissed her tenderly. “Such is the way of things my love. I have always known this.”
“But how do Men endure it so calmly?”
Aragorn thought for a few moments. “We know nothing else. In the village where I lived during my time as Chieftain; young men and women married, babies were born, and old folk died. These events happened all the time. Change is as constant as the seasons.”
“I too have observed these things since I lived amongst Men, but I imagined my childhood home would somehow remain unchanged,” Arwen said sadly.
“Change can make us sorrowful, but it can also bring joy,” said Aragorn. “Men realise that without death there could be no new life. The old constantly makes way for the new amongst almost all living beings. If the old trees in a forest lived for ever, there would be no room for the new saplings to grow and thrive.”
“You Men see the world in a very different way,” said Arwen. “To Elven kind, change brings decay and chaos. I close my eyes and imagine this fair garden as a wilderness!”
Aragorn drew her close. “We can but enjoy the gardens while we may,” he said. “Your words, though, make me think of something I saw while out riding earlier. Will you ride out with this afternoon?”
“I will,” said Arwen.
After the noonday meal was concluded, the King and Queen saddled their horses and rode out beyond the borders of Rivendell. Aragorn led the way, his horse retracing its steps from earlier that day. When they reached a ruined farmhouse, Aragorn reined in his horse and dismounted. He helped Arwen from her mount.
She looked around in dismay at the ruined farm buildings. “Why have you brought me to a scene of decay?” she asked.
“Nothing ill happened here,” Aragorn assured her. “The folk who lived here generations ago moved to a village in the Angle, where their descendants live and thrive to this day. The ruined buildings now serve as a shelter and a nesting place for many wild creatures. Now close your eyes and hold my hand. I have something I want to know you.”
Arwen hesitated a moment then clasped her hand in her husband’s larger one. He led her a little way along an overgrown path until they rounded a bend at the side of the ruined farmhouse. “Now open your eyes, my love,” said Aragorn.
Arwen opened them and gasped. In front of them lay a beautiful meadow filled with pink campions. The afternoon sun streamed through the trees, illuminating the flowers, which danced gently in the breeze. High above, a thrush sang sweetly.
“How wondrous fair!” Arwen exclaimed.
“I thought it would please you. This was once a garden tended by Men, which has returned to nature. Lady Yavanna has made it fairer than ever before.
Arwen bent to pull of her shoes and stockings. “Let us wander here a while even as Luthien wandered through the meadows with her beloved Beren. Alas, flowers will not spring up beneath my feet as they did my foremother’s!”
”We have blossoms enough that Yavanna has strewn here for us my love,” said Aragorn. He pulled off his own boots and stockings.
Hand in hand, they wandered barefoot through the flowery meadow until the sun sank low in the West, turning all the sky to a fiery gold.