And the Walls Came Tumbling Down by Zdenka

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Story Notes:

Written for Purimgifts 2017.

The Enemy’s forces were making their third assault on Lothlórien. Celeborn stood near her, sword in hand and clad in silver armor. Galadriel stood with her arms at her side, her palms extended downward. She could feel the power of Nenya at work in the land, preserving and protecting. It was not a weapon of war, but every tree, every leaf, every clod of earth rejected the feet of the enemy, let them feel they were not welcome here.

Celeborn’s face was grim, but Galadriel remained untroubled. Fate was moving, like a great and heavy weight hanging in the balance. If doom came, she would protect Lothlórien as long as she could; and if she could not, she and Celeborn would fight elsewhere, as long as they had life and breath, as they had fought the Enemy for Ages of the World.

The ranks of the enemy came against them again and again, seemingly numberless and tireless. “Wait,” Galadriel said softly. “Only hold for a little, and wait--”

Suddenly, there was a pause in the battle. The Orcs halted, uncertain. Everything fell silent, as if the earth itself were holding its breath. And then the moment passed, and the forest seemed flooded with light. Galadriel laughed aloud with sheer joy. “It is done,” she said. “The Enemy has fallen.”

Nenya’s power too was draining away, little by little, like drops of water from a cracked cup. But it would last long enough.

The Orcs were scattering, but still dangerous. Celeborn led Lothlórien’s warriors in pursuit, grimly glad that at last he could take the war to the Enemy and avenge the harms done to their people and their beloved woods. Though the Enemy’s forces had been thrown into confusion, they did not yield easily. There was still hard fighting to be done before all the land on this side of the river was made safe.

They crossed the Anduin in boats, and pressed on until they stood before the walls of Dol Guldur. The fortress rose before them, all black jagged stone that seemed to blot out the light, barred with iron gates. Orcs there still were, and worse creatures, but no longer strengthened by Sauron’s living will and malice. There too, they fought, until the iron gates stood open and the fortress was free of enemies.

“And now?” Celeborn asked. He was weary, his armor covered in blood, but unwounded.

“Call all our people back outside the fortress,” Galadriel said. “What comes next is for me to do.”

The fortress had been raised with the One Ring; she could still feel Sauron’s power running through it and the land beneath like dark thorny brambles. Nenya shone on her hand, bright as a star.

With his Ruling Ring, Sauron meant to strip bare the minds of those who wore the other Rings of Power, reading their thoughts and purposes. He did not think that his own purposes could be seen in turn. But Galadriel could turn her sight back upon him and his works, and what she saw--

Like the inner structure of a crystal, Celebrimbor had said, his hands tracing shapes in the air. You add to it, layer by layer--

Like the focused sound of a flute that pierces through the music and is heard above the other instruments, Melian of Doriath had told her long ago.

Like the ivy which binds and clusters around an oak, stealing its light, Galadriel had said once to Celeborn, and I go to uproot it.

Like weaving threads in a tapestry, she thought now. Galadriel sent her thought like a darting shuttle as she wove her own threads of bright silver upward and downward, all through the walls and towers and deep foundations, around and around--

What she saw, she could alter.

She stepped back to look. Invisible to any eye but hers, silver and dark were twined together, strange and beautiful; if the stones fell away, there would still remain a skeleton, a second fortress outlined in silver light.

Galadriel gathered the threads of her power to her, then she took a single thread in the right place and pulled. And the walls came down.

Chapter End Notes:

Sauron's attacks on Lothlórien during the final days of the War of the Ring and the destruction of Dol Guldur are mentioned in LOTR Appendix B.

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