Screams of dying elves reached her ears and Luthien shuddered, desperately wishing that she were somewhere else. Yet there was no way to run, no way to escape. Nothing for her to do but the flinch every time Fëanorian steel cut through another warrior of Doriath. Even dressed in armor, armed with a sword to defend herself and safely stationed behind thousands of warrior willings to die for her, she felt helpless. Scared.
But she remained, seated on her horse which would carry her away in case the tides turned around. A gift of her husband who asked his loyal hound to protect her at all costs. Both, the mighty horse and Huan, had agreed. Luthien couldn't say what she wanted to more - take the reigns and flee or stay and watch the slaughter.
"It's too late anyway," she sighed.
Her keen eyes shifted towards the other side of the battlefield. Despite the distance she could make out her father.
A part of her, the child and the spoiled princess, wept at the mere thought that Thingol was here. Another part, the woman and the wife, hated and cursed Thingol. Had it not been his fault that Beleriand witnessed its first Kinslaying? Had the blood spilled in Alqualondë not been enough?
Fire crackled around her and swords crashing against each other nearly drowned out the word, but Luthien couldn't ignore it when her name was called.
"Daughter," Melian said. Her form flickered in the light of the setting sun. "Please end this. Let me interrupt and get you to safety."
Luthien looked down on her mother. Of course Melian wasn't truly there. The Queen remained in Doriath behind the girdle but that couldn't stop her if she wished to talk to her daughter. They were still flesh and blood, connected forever. No matter how much Luthien resented that bond now.
"I won't," she answered. Luthien was proud when her voice didn't waver. "You know I can't."
"My child, please," Melian whispered as if this conversation actually caused her pain. "It cannot be your wish to stay with these violent people. They're kinslayers, killing elves who've known all your entire life."
Luthien choked. Anger burned in her chest and for the first time her fingers itched towards the sword at her hip. She never quite understood it when her husband raged against Doriath. Against her father, her people. She tried to comprehend his reasoning, yet always failed in the end. She remained at his side because she loved him, because being separated from him was a greater horror than facing Angband.
Now Luthien knew why even the level-headed Maedhros and kind hearted Maglor hurled cups against the wall when Thingol's name was mentioned.
"It was not my decision to ride to war, mother," Luthien spat. "I'd have been content myself with being left alone. You never sought to interfere with the war as long as your dollhouse was safe. Only when I ventured outside and fell in love you urged father to bring me back."
As much as Luthien hated her father for his foolish actions, she couldn't prove that these were his own thoughts. Melian had much sway in Thingol's mind, bringing forth dark and ugly sides of him that would've never seen daylight had it not been for her meddling.
Why else demand a Silmaril in return when her husband send the letter announcing their engagement to her father?
Elu Thingol had never seen the jewels, barely knew of their existence since he paid little attention to what happened outside of his kingdom. The history of the Noldor didn't interest him. Luthien would be surprised if he could ever name their kings.
"Beleriand isn't safe for someone like you," Melian said.
If her mother meant to appear loving and concerned, she failed. Luthien wondered how she could've been so blind all her life.
"You call me weak, mother?" Luthien sneered. "I walked into Angband. With Celegorm and Beren at my side we snuck into the home of the Black Foe and reclaimed the Silmaril, the price father demanded in return for my hand. So tell me, am I to fear this?"
Luthien pointed towards the battlefield. Her husband was still fighting, still cutting through Doriath's finest warriors. It might look like as if the Fëanorian's only fought for the Silmaril Beren brought to Thingol when he betrayed them. But Luthien knew the truth. As much as it hurt them, the Fëanorian's knew the weight of slaying kin far better than Thingol did. The jewel itself wasn't enough for them to commit that atrocity twice.
That changed when Daeron attempted to kidnap her, tried to bring her back to Doriath by force.
The Sons of Fëanor had torn the small company of warrior apart when they caught up. Huan and Celegorm first among them. Elven blood had been spilled that night yet Luthien felt less afraid when her love gathered her into his arms, promising her never to leave her side again.
Luthien learned how to wield the sword in the same night, After being gifted with a knife that Maedhros had used before on Daeron. Beleg was the only Elf of Doriath to survive and on Maedhros verdict he carried the heads of his friends back to his king.
"Your soul is lost," Melian stated and Luthien knew these will be the last words they will exchange with each other.
She wished the sadness in her mother's voice to genuine but it's probably just seeing her efforts wasted which Melian mourned.
"Farewell Mother," Luthien said as the image of the Queen fades until she's alone again.
With new resolve she gazed upon the battlefield again. Her fear was gone. Only determination remained, matching those of her husband's as he keeps dancing through the rivers of blood sullying the ground.
"We will not die today," Luthien told Huan who had listened to the entire conversation, ready to defend his master's lady with his life. "We'll spill elven blood before the night is out but we will live."
All of them would. Luthien wouldn't let the Sons of Fëanor die as long as she possessed the power to defend them. Just like they defended her when Daeron came to take her back and make her his wife. With force if he had to ... yet why should he when Daeron acted with Thingol's blessing?
"I'm no longer a daughter of Doriath." When Luthien uttered the words she knew they were true. Melian had all but disowned her and she refused to be associated with that Kingdom any longer.
Not when Celegorm had given her hope and his people a purpose. All her life she had been trapped in a cage, hailed as beautiful daughter of the King. Yet she had been a princess who would never rule. Never ascend the throne. This had changed. The Sons of Fëanor had freed her, given her a life. A soul.
Every birth was accompanied by blood.
"I'm Luthien," she cried out as she joined the battle, aiding the army through her powers rather than her talent with the sword.
But that didn't stop her from stabbing the first Sindar she came across. Hiswide eyes looked up to princess of Doriathm, realizing that the King's greatest treasure had indeed changed sides. Had forsaken them and married a Kinslayer.
As the Sindar crumbled to the floor he uttered a few last words with his dying breath. He sounded betrayed.
"You're like them now. Tainted," the Sindar rasped.
"No," answered the daughter of Thingol and Melian. "I've been freed."
The half-maia didn't spare the dying Sindar another glance. Instead she rode forwards, cut through the ranks with the aid of Huan who remained loyal at her side. The Fëanorian Army cheered when they saw her and rushed to her side, finding new strength and hope when the new wife of Lord Celegorm came to their aid. Later they would say that Luthien's decision decided the battle for it disheartened the tired Sindar even further.
But what would go down in history, what every elven child would learn later on where the words the Lady said when she confronted the King of Doriath.
"I'm Luthien. Luthien Fëanoriel," the Lady said to the King and held her sword against her father's throat.