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The Stones' Lament: new fic for Gimli

First new ficlet for my fanfic100 table, all about Gimli. Prompt #37: Sound.

The Stones' Lament


It was after a fortnight of walking when I realised I'd begun humming some of our old travel songs under my breath. I stopped immediately, only to catch myself at it an hour or so later. It didn't matter that I was with none of my kind, resigned to the fact that after spending two eternities of months surrounded by Elves I still had not managed to escape their company entirely. Even the worrisome presence of the childish hobbit who had no business accompanying a mad enterprise such as this adventure couldn't dampen my thoughts. My feet itched to set a pace faster than my limbs could sustain; the incessant wind had calmed and my gear felt light as leather.

I knew what caused it, this sturdy tune of heel to ground, drumming steps against the hard earth.

Khazad-dûm.

Though I'd yet to explore its wonders, from far-off I'd seen the companion mountains once before. As we drew ever closer, I believed I felt the spirit of Mahal; he was manifest in the regal rocky spires whose names spilled forth from me in my native tongue in my hasty enthusiasm to identify them to our small band. Gandalf raised an amused eyebrow at that, Aragorn nodded, and Peregrin gaped at the smattering of Khudzul.

We were on the edge of Hollin, the hallowed place where my distant ancestors had crafted their greatest achievements, wonders worthy of song and legend. The great lake of Kheled-zâram was there, with its shimmering, inky waters, silently beckoning me to its banks. Narvi, brilliant rockwright and inspiration for all Khazad who build with stone, had once dwelt in this land. It was no wonder I found myself more verbose than usual. This was a true homecoming, in the most tangible, solid sense of the word. Legolas began to speak and I rounded to face him, readying myself for a counter-attack against any possible slur.

"Only I hear the stones lament them," he said, the melancholy statements unexpected and bewildering. "'Deep they delved us, fair they wrought us, high they builded us, but they are gone.'"

His words turned my world upside down. I stared at his face, which betrayed no emotion save a pinch of curiosity. I was silver, struck with tuned precision and ringing with incredulity. I felt sure my shock at his comments must have been painfully obvious to all in our company. And yet— apparently not. Chatter sprang up between the hobbits, Boromir set to tending camp. I alone appeared affected by the inconceivable fact that an Elf from Mirkwood could hear the speech of stone.

I went through the motions of readying my bedroll and ate my meal as the sun rose higher above the horizon. Sam took the first watch with Aragorn as company as I lay on my makeshift bed, hidden by thickets. I turned on my side, making sure my back was to Legolas. From my time spent in Rivendell, I knew that Elves noticed much, even when it appeared that their focus was elsewhere. This was a private moment, as I pressed my ear against the rock.

Silence. I closed my eyes, willing the stones to surrender their sorrows to me. I was the child of Mahal; stone-language was my birthright. This wood-dwelling Elf from the north had no business listening to the sighs of the earth, even as I grudgingly acknowledged that in this land, the rock seemed to mourn the Elves, not the Dwarvish masons. I passed fitfully into sleep, straining to hear the dark pulse of ancient loss.


* * * * *
Author's Notes

Inspiration for this came from 'The Ring Goes South' in Fellowship. Gimli's outpourings included a rather shocking amount of Khudzul, naming the mountains both in Westron and Dwarvish. Then he gets positively poetic:
    'Dark is the water of Kheled-Zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla. My heart trembles at the thought that I may see them soon.'

Dwarves carry adoration in their hearts as much as any Elf, says this author, only slightly smug.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
just_ann_now
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Oh, my, this is lovely. Gimli's love and longing and envy of Legolas shine through so clearly. Your language is exquisite.
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, my, this is lovely. Gimli's love and longing and envy of Legolas shine through so clearly. Your language is exquisite.

Thank you so much! At this point in the journey, Gimli's love is only for Khazad-dum, I suspect; envy of Legolas, definitely. So glad that you enjoyed!
fungus_files
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
I only have movie!Gimli in my head when I read this (sacrilege!) and you capture his cantankerous pride so well.

I was silver, struck with tuned precision and ringing with incredulity.

v.v. cool. (I'm so articulate, no?)

*looks forward to more Dwarven immersion*
fungus_files
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
forgot to flag: posted some pics just for you at my LJ. :)

and letter winging its way to you as of this morning. *hugs*
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yay for letters!!
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, T.! I suspect I may end up with a smattering of movie!Gimli, but Tolkien does give him some of his own humor. The only Dwarves who seem to be rather jolly are from The Hobbit.

v.v. cool. (I'm so articulate, no?)

LOL. It's okay. Glad you liked the sentence. There will be much Dwarfic over the next… year.
cim_halfling
Mar. 15th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
That is so beautiful. I am almost always moved to tears by those lines and you have done justice to the great Professor's words. *sighs happily*

I understand that chart now and spent a wee bit of time re-reading the story of Narvi. Lovely, truly.
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, N. Thank you so much for your comments. If I can do well both by The Professor and Gimli, all will be well. Glad you've got a handle on the chart; I'm debating whether or not to put the chart on my website.

Ooooh, and you reread some of Speak, Friend, and Enter! I did, too, as I've been updating my space over at Open Scrolls. I hadn't posted any stories in a couple of years, so I had quite a few to upload.

((hugs))
(Deleted comment)
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
This felt so Tolkieny that it makes me want to dive right back in the LOTRs fandom and write something.

*ponders*


Ooooooh, yes, you should!! And thanks for the compliment! I think inspiring someone else to write is the ultimate in accomplishment.

::still loves your icon::
eldritchhobbit
Mar. 15th, 2006 06:40 am (UTC)
grudgingly acknowledged that in this land, the rock seemed to mourn the Elves, not the Dwarvish masons. I passed fitfully into sleep, straining to hear the dark pulse of ancient loss

Augh! *hugs you tightly*

The tone of this is so perfectly mournful and meaningful... *loves*
thrihyrne
Mar. 15th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
Augh! *hugs you tightly*

I'm so glad you liked it! It's been wonderful to be re-immersed in the Ardaverse, with Gimli in particular. I'm envisioning that many of these will be gap-fillers from LotR proper, but I'd also like to do some past and future stories as well. Glad you enjoyed it!

Also, thank you for both of your recent correspondence to me; I'll write you back over the weekend. I ADORED the Nancy Drew stationery!! I'm dying to find some more like that. It was brilliant!! :D :D And I really appreciate you taking the time to write. It means the world to me.
euclase
Mar. 16th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC)
Wow.

Pardon me if I faint at the prospect of reading one hundred of these—if this is any promise of what's to come. You have every right to be smug, my dear; this is beautiful. That penultimate sentence is utterly heartbreaking. Gah!
thrihyrne
Mar. 16th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
That penultimate sentence is utterly heartbreaking.

Thank you, thank you!! It's good to have Gimli back in my head and itching to get out through my fingers. *g*
koshweasley
May. 17th, 2006 05:07 am (UTC)
The Stones' Lament
Gimli shows a lot of feeling in here.

"I was the child of Mahal; stone-language was my birthright. This wood-dwelling Elf from the north had no business listening to the sighs of the earth..." Really shows his humanity, or dwarvity:)

Great job.
thrihyrne
May. 17th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: The Stones' Lament
Really shows his humanity, or dwarvity:)

:smiles: Many thanks. At least in FotR, he's far more emotive than I remembered. He cries at Balin's tomb, he cries when they leave Lothlorien… Legolas is far more 'stone-like' than Gimli in that regard.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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