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Amarië and Tindolin - by Larindyl

In the city of Tirion upon a the hill of Tuna there lived a bard of the Vanyar. His name was Tindolin and he lived a simple life, writing songs and poems and telling tales of when the world was new, and singing them plucking at his simple lyre. And so it was that one day, he espied a young maiden of the Vanyar, known to him by sight, as he sat one day singing softly to himslef in his garden. The maiden came forward and leaned over his fence, her golden hair fell forward over her shoulders, and her eyes were blue and deep and ever laughing. And she took a rose which grew by his gate, and she placed it in her hair. He spoke then for the first time. ‘I liked it better on the tree.’ And she turned to him and laughed, ‘But the tree does not complement the beauty of the rose. Whereas I….’ For she knew full well the extent of her loveliness, but took utmost pride in it and used it to good advantage. She took her leave of him then, and remembered nothing of their meeting, but his eyes and his heart followed her long as she went and he wrote no more songs.

The name of the maiden was Amarië, and she also lived in Tirion upon Tuna, and all the people knew her by sight, and gazed after her loveliness as she went. And it so happened that Finrod of the Noldor was in Tirion for a time, and he too saw Amarië, and fell in love with her smile, her hair, and her wicked dancing eyes. And Amarië turned towards him, because she saw that he was handsome, and she herself was proud, and she saw herself as princess of the Noldor, crowned in radiance and loveliness, and superior to them all. And so Finrod and Amarië plighted their troth at Midsummer’s eve, and Finrod gave his love a ring, a band of gold, with a small stone of sapphire set inside it, a trinket such as only the Noldor could make, and it was said that when one looked into the stone, they beheld shores and clouds and perfect visions of forgotten places. Amarië wore the ring with great pride and she went with Finrod to visit the Noldor, his kin. And there she was thwarted in her plan, for she beheld the Lady Galadriel, sister of Finrod, and daughter of Finarfin, whose loveliness truly surpassed all, and suddenly she could not bear the faces of the Noldor, and professing sickness to her betrothed, she took her leave of him and returned to Tirion.

Now Tindolin had waited for her, and when her saw her return, without her betrothed, he went to her and said, ‘Amarië, you are truly beauty incarnate and your radience surpasses all! For you see some may like the rose on the tree of the Noldor, but the Noldor do not complement your beauty, whereas I would see it adorning my life.’ She smiled at the recollection, and she remembered that he had never seen the Lady Galadriel, and thought that here was one that still believed in her own beauty and glory. And so she took Tindolin, and he made her his wife in all but name, and they kept their love a secret as best they could, and now Amarië turned to love him truly, through no false reason such as pride or greed, but through nothing more than love itself. But still Amarië wore the ring, but kept her thoughts of Finrod buried in her heart.

And when the Noldor made their oath, and made to forsake the blessed lands, he came for Amarië and she went with him for the sake of her reputation and for his sake, because she loved Finrod of the Noldor still, but without the burning passion and desire she felt for Tindolin. And so it was that she came with Finrod to Alqualondë, and beheld the greatest of all crimes, the kinslaying of the Teleri. And she was disgusted, and her heart was turned, and she stood at the walls of the harbour, and took off the ring which she wore and threw in across the crystal sea, and forsook Finrod and his journey, and returned openly to Tindolin in Tirion. And Finrod, bound by his oath, was forced to follow his kin into the north, and leave behind Amarië, and indeed he left his heart there until the end of his days.

And so Tindolin and Amarië lived together, but the people of Tirion disliked their acquaintance, and regarded them as shameful, and so they left the peace of the city, and forever wondered in the uninhabited areas of the blessed lands. And Tindolin wrote his songs for Amarië, and she always sang them in her clear strong voice to the accompaniment of his lyre, and their love produced a family full of music and laughter, and thus they lived out their nomadic life, paying little heed to conventions, and wondering whither their hearts dictated. And their children grew up and left them, and returned to Tirion where they were welcomed by their relatives. But Amarië stayed with Tindolin for many years.

But one day, whilst fishing in a river, Tindolin came across something bright in the shallows, and wading in after it, he picked it up, and examined it in his hand, and said, ‘Say, love, is this not the ring you used to wear?’ And Amarië took it in wonder, and looked into it, but saw the visions no more, just the cold harsh dark blue stone. And, blessed with the foresight often given to her people, she said, ‘Alas, Finrod of the Noldor is dead.’ And stricken by grief and guilt then, she pushed Tindolin away, and she took herself to the halls of Mandos, and there she begged for the curse of Eru to be lifted, for life and Tindolin gave her no pleasure in her guilt and grief. And there the tales of her are finished, but it was told in legends that one day she met Finrod again and dwells with him now in paths beyond the void of the world.

But no such fate was granted to Tindolin, and gradually his songs died, lacking a sweet voice to give them life, until only a faint whisper of his presence was ever heard, a song on the breeze, and echo in the hills, the music in the evening air, and they were all said to come from Tindolin’s lyre.


NOTES : This story was born out of one sentence from the Silmarillion — [Talking of Finrod] — ‘For she whom he had loved was Amarië of the Vanyar, and she came not with him into exile.’

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