The Death of Arwen
'But Arwen went forth from the House, and the light of her eyes was quenched, and it seemed to her people that she had become cold and grey as nightfall in winter that comes without a star. Then she said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.
'There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.
'Here ends this tale, as it has come to us from the South; and with the passing of Evenstar no more is said in this book of the days of old.'
(from “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen”, LotR Appendices)
If like me you always found Arwen dying alone too unbearably sad, you may have imagined her bros Elladan and Elrohir with her at the end, or her grandfather, canon be damned.
Or... maybe this:
fanfic under cut:
Lothlorien, FA 121.
The Wanderer moves like a shadow beneath golden-leaved boughs of mellyrn. His feet have walked the length and breadth of Ennor, but never in the days of Nenya's power did he enter these woods. Only in the last few decades, long after it has lain abandoned by the galadhrim, has he wintered here. The trees of gold awaken memories of Tirion. Each winter he comes, he sees evidence of the fading… the leaves more sparse, the gold less bright… He approaches a great mound at the heart of the woods, with its two circles of trees, white and gold. Even from afar he senses that he is not alone… senses the faint light of a life slowly ebbing away.
She is as a shadow herself, as she lies at the foot of the greatest mallorn at the center of the mound. She is pale as death, and lines of mortality and grief have in the past few months etched themselves upon the face that once was fairest. But still, he knows her. He approaches silently. Kneels near her. He has sung naught but grief and lamentation for millennia. But now, ever so softly, from his lips lilts a tune he heard a maiden sing in the springtime of her life. And her grey eyes slowly open. They are dim, unfocused, and search awhile before they find him.
"You," she whispers in Sindarin, her voice barely audible. "I know you."
He is intimate with such despair and loneliness. Such sorrow. "Daughter, how may I help you?" he asks gently.
"…Will you… sing…?"
He takes her hand as it lies on the still-green grass. It is cold, so cold, thin and frail, the bones like a bird's beneath flesh grown loose. Her fingers tighten ever so slightly on his.
He stays by her side throughout the winter, through sun and rain, and for her he lays aside his songs of woe. From his lips come all the songs of childhood he once sang to a young pair of twins. He hears the clash of swords in the Havens, remembers the nightmares that woke them—and him—in the nights. He remembers the feel of small bodies pressed against his as he awakens to find they have crawled yet again into his bed, fearful of monsters in their own room. How innocent they had been of the true monster that he was, fair of face but black of soul. How touchingly they had gripped his hand for comfort, that had shed the blood of their kindred. As he sings the old, familiar songs he remembers yet other children. His younger brothers as he sang to them. Himself, as his mother sang to him. He would have wept for the loss and doom of all those children, but he has no tears left to shed.
The nights are cold. He takes a cloak from the oiled-leather pack, the parting gift the elves of Imladris had left for him ere they departed, that one of the peredhel twins had contributed to it. The wanderer now lays the new dark-grey cloak over Arwen.
She speaks only once more, as the first buds appear on the mellyrn, and leaves of gold begin to fall. He barely makes out the words.
Her face in death is young and radiant, all lines of grief smoothed away.
He buries her where she lies, her brother's cloak her shroud. He raises a shallow mound of earth over her, and scatters early-blooming niphredil over the grave. He then finds a grey stone, and with his blade he takes his time to chisel letters upon it. As he does so, he remembers his mother's hands on his as she had taught him, his hands almost too small then to hold the tools.
Golden leaves fall in the empty woods as spring comes. They flutter onto the mound and upon the stone he has left to mark the grave.
She was neither Queen nor Evenstar of her people to him, so on the grey stone the wanderer has chiseled, in the ancient classical mode of Tengwar:
(*tolen: “I come”)
(from Ch 35 “Tapestry of Three Worlds” in The Golden and the Black https://archiveofourown.org/works/5289005/chapters/12208913)
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