Galadriel's Riddle by Kathryn Ramage

"In Gondolin, there once lived a gemsmith whose name was Enerdhil," Galadriel told her first tale the next day. The Elves rode secretly, for they did not wish to be seen on their way West through the Shire. While Gandalf kept his cart on the road, with Merry keeping Bilbo company and Sam and Pippin riding a little ahead, the Elves took a path some miles north through the woods. Frodo accompanied the Lady, who was on a white palfrey, with his pony trotting beside it.

"Enerdhil loved all things green and growing, and sought to capture the colors of the flowers he saw in the mountain crags and high meadows within the lesser gems he crafted. One day, when his talent was at its height, he perceived the sun shining through the new leaves of the trees in spring and felt the greatest delight at the gleaming sunbeams. He desired to capture this light in the form of a gem. Thus was the gemstone Elessar born. It was a perfect jewel in all its facets, and of a brilliant green. A light like the glimmer of the sun seemed to shine from within it. Enerdhil treasured this gem as his finest creation. He valued it so greatly that he gave it in gift to the one he loved most dearly, the King's daughter, Idril.

"It was said that when Idril wore the gem Elessar, she had the power of healing wounds as well as griefs. Those who were ill even unto death soon became well again at her hands. Some say that Elessar held greater powers too, and that living things which had been blighted or were burned could grow new and green if they were tended by she who bore it. Idril's fame as a great healer grew, but she claimed it was the gem that gave her her astonishing skills and she was never without it. She wore it always upon her breast, and it was thus that she brought Elessar away with her when she fled Gondolin with her husband Tuor, her son Earendil, who was yet a child, and others who escaped that city when it fell. Idril's healing powers were much in need then. She tended those who had been injured when they fled from the destruction of Gondolin, and those who grieved so at the loss of their city that they could do nothing but weep.

"Idril's heart too was saddened by the loss of Gondolin, but she abided in Middle-Earth until her son Earendil was grown. Before she set sail to seek her peace in the Undying Lands, she gave the gem to Earendil, telling him, 'Elessar I leave with thee, my son, for there are grievous hurts to Middle-Earth which thou can heal.' This Earendil did, for it was a time of great pain, after the loss not only of Gondolin, but the sack of Doriath and the burning of that great forest. There were many hurts to heal, of Men and Elves, of the beasts of the forest, and of the trees. Though Earendil's skills were not so great as his mother's, these wounds healed and the land grew green and prospered as it once had. When Earendil made his voyages upon the Sea, he always wore Elessar upon his breast as Idril had. The light from it shone thorough the darkest nights and the thickest mists that lay on the endless waves. Earendil searched, hoping that he might one day find Idril again. Though it was now in his possession, he called Elessar Idril's Stone. His first memories were of the green gem his mother had worn as it hung above his cradle as she sang to him. As he sailed the Sea, he sang those same songs. When at last he sailed into the West, he found Idril again, but he could not return Elessar to her. There is no need of a healing gem in those Undying Lands, but there was still much need for it here in this Middle-Earth. Yet Earendil hopes to see it again one day."

Frodo sighed; though he had heard most of this before, in other stories, he found the last part about Earendil searching for his mother very sad and beautiful. It made him think of his own mother, who had died when he was a child. He would not see her again. But Galadriel was waiting for his questions.

"Last night, you said that Earendil didn't take the gemstone with him when he made his last voyage," he said. "It remains here. Can you tell me, who did Earendil give the gemstone to? Was it you, my lady?"

"No," Galadriel answered this last question.

"Do you have it with you now, to bring to him?"


"But it has at some time been in your possession?"

You must login (register) to review.