I'm really pleased to see this here- I read it ages ago but it still strikes me as one of the most thoughtful post-Feanor pieces- the dark would have spooked everyone- you are right.
There are so many bleak images that foresee the future for them and this one really has stuck in my mind ever since I first read it.
:‘Makalaure’, repeats Maedhros and goes on, ‘if you are made to swear an oath a second time that was meant to be unbreakable in the first place, does it make the oath more unbreakable or less so?’
Maglor does not answer, but abruptly switches from the lowest strings to the highest and continues playing—if what he is doing can be called playing an instrument. The new chord, equally dissonant, produces a high-pitched shrieking effect. Everyone around Maglor continues flinching periodically except for Maedhros, who listens intently as before.
After a while, Maedhros says: ‘He didn’t trust us all that much, did he?’
Maglor lifts his hand and drops it on the strings and for a while they sit there, side-by-side, Maglor crouching exhaustedly beside his harp.
And then those last lines are so...utterly tragic. It really does imprison them for securely than anything Morgoth did. It just fills me with sadness every time I think of Maedhros- surely the most tragic character in Tolkien's work and let;s fce it, there are quite a number! FAbulous writing - still gives me a shiver to read those last lines.
Thank you very much, Ziggy! Good to hear those last lines still work for you--and that Maglor's reaction and Maedhros's thoughts still seem convincing!
This is wonderful. A moment I have not seen written about before. I've always wondered about the thoughts the sons of FŽanor had as the events progressed and their thoughts on the Oath. Tyelpe, never having sworn, but being the closest bystander, had a hard position. I love the question. Maedhros asks Maglor and their questioning if FŽanor truly trusted them and their resolve. This could have been a moment to step back but that is not his the House of FŽanor works, is it?
Thank you very much!
When their father was dying before their eyes, it might be difficult for them to refuse to swear again or even consider doing so, but afterwards the fact that he asked for a second oath might well set them thinking.
Yes--very difficult for Celebrimbor--he's still very young here and, although he questions, he doesn't exactly have any suggestions to make.
But of course already there are not all that many options left by this stage. Valinor is shut against them and the boats are burnt. It might be a moment to step back, but there is not all that much space to step into...
This is very sad, very poignant, truthful, and lovely. Thank you for posting it here :)
Thank you very much for reading and letting me know you like it!