Arwen arrived at Lothlorien exhausted. She headed up to Caras Galadhon as soon as she stepped foot into the Golden Wood, however, as her grandmother Galadriel had some urgent things to speak to her about. Arwen had found that odd, but she hadn’t argued. Galadriel was the wisest and most powerful Elf in Middle-Earth and when she talked, you listened.

Arwen was wearing a long, flowing white dress that paid her eyes a refreshingly contrasting compliment. It had a wide, scooping neck and a lovely silver sash. The headdress Arwen wore, though, finished her elegant look. It was also silver and set with stars and gems. Her white Evenstar necklace adorned her beautiful neck and lay upon her breast, shining into even the darkest of nights. Her ebony hair waved and rippled and her full lips were prominent, yet subtle. All in all, she looked utterly gorgeous, and fit her royal title of Undomiel.

“Arwen, child,” Galadriel greeted her. Arwen was tall, but her grandmother was taller, and even Arwen herself had to raise her head to speak with her.

“Grandmother,” Arwen replied as Galadriel embraced her.

“Where do you wish to talk?” Galadriel then asked.

“Anywhere’s fine,” said Arwen in her young, “anything-goes” manner, which made her grandmother smile.

“How about we sit near my mirror?” Galadriel asked.

Arwen didn’t dare argue. She couldn’t think of any better place, anyway.

When they sat down, Arwen noticed that her dearest grandmother had an odd look in her eye, but if she was hiding anything, Galadriel didn’t want to give it away just yet.

“Arwen, my dear, something will happen to you within a fortnight that will change your life forever.”

Arwen listened like an eager child. “What? What will happen?”

Galadriel smiled and went on. “I know what happened in the woods between you and Isildur’s heir, Arwen,” she said. “And he’s fallen in love with you.”

Arwen gasped, but then smiled happily at this thought. Aragorn wasn’t like Elven males, but he was just as brave and strong, and even had some Elf-blood in him, for he was a descendant of her father’s brother.

“Will you refuse him?” Galadriel asked.

“What?” asked Arwen.

“He is coming here, and when he sees that you are also here, he will ask for your hand in marriage,” Galadriel said.
Arwen just smiled, but then quickly regained her composure and asked the most obvious following question. “How do you know this?” she asked.

“I have the gift of foresight, as your father does,” was the calm reply.

“Why should I refuse him, when he is so good and brave and strong?” Arwen asked with a hint of sadness in her voice.

“He is mortal, as you know. You are Half-Elven, but you nevertheless have the life of the Eldar. If you accept him, you make yourself subject to death.”

Arwen pondered this. She had never thought of marrying Aragorn; so the thought had never even crossed her mind before, the thought of death and true love, a complete and total sacrifice.

“Like Luthien,” she suddenly said.

“What?” Galadriel asked, confused.

“You’ve always told me that I am almost the exact physical likeness of Luthien, grandmother. She is also one of my foremothers, through my father. Maybe I was made for the same fate, as hers.”

Galadriel, in all of her wisdom, had never considered this. Arwen was not rebellious, but she had always seemed to be quietly pulling herself away from Elven life; she studied immensely, and was very fond of it, and she was also very interested in old maps and customs and stories of old. That was not contrary to Elven likes; but she also seemed quiet, almost too quiet, and was rarely seen or heard. She was the beauty of her Kind, and had some power within her, and some great purpose, her grandmother could see. But marrying a mortal? Her father wouldn’t approve of that, surely.

Something in Arwen’s mind was working and racing at a breakneck speed. She felt suddenly attracted to Aragorn, somehow – and was feeling something that she’d never felt before. A sense of urgency, love and loss – an odd combination.

“If he asks, I think I’ll accept him,” she said.

“I believed you’d say that,” Galadriel agreed. She sounded so sure that Arwen felt almost afraid.

“Do not be troubled, dearest,” Galadriel said, like she was reading her granddaughter’s mind. “Some Elves are lesser than the mighty heir of Isildur, you know.”

Arwen smiled at this. “If this is my fate,” she said. “By the grace of the Valar, I accept it!”

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