Recondite are thy ways, Thingol of old whispered to Eru- Beggardly engowned, holey in grey of no weave to any man comprehended (or “known”).
Recondite indeed, answered Eru-Beggar, to even myself at times, veiled is the path I tread upon, yet as if by treading, shape also under foot, a trail, reconnoitered. Thingol-friend, kin of ancient worlding, born of no womb, what I say now in telling, shall be to thee, reckoned right, only in After Days of their wearing upon thine.
And he told how it should come, that a jewel most fair would depart out of his house, and being left in a wilderness, would be trod upon, as into a mire, and the sign to discern of this thing, he gave also, of a star arising new in the Eastern sky, on a cold spring, and that under this star’s light a full in gleam, would come to earth a royal lineage, without title or crown, but only the bearing withheld to all save children of his (Thingol’s) house, revealed their light, kin of this gem departed, a jewel cast off, as being too heavy a burden to wear, and yet hardened so as to be beyond their breaking. Later, too, it would come to pass, in being hidden to all;
Thy children grown dim amidmost the sea,
Nearest to Eressëa, yet most distant in heart,
If not yet in mind; these dim ones would fare forth,
And in finding one of this jewel-house, restrain
Him in bonds, and take him in coverings before
Their own fallen lords, to be champion
Of the Eastern Men, and by sight retain
Ever their challenge to the Lord’s lordship extended
Across every realm; desert, wood, hole,
Hill, and valley; stone, sand, dewy leaf,
Rotting bark, and the downtrodden straw, left for burning;
—Much resists thy hand and governorship,
They would taunt their own petty lords,
See here, a one grown mighty, to be desired
Above all thy sons! By beauty alone, others did add,
And by intellect unrivalled! And by courteous charm,
Without any match heretofore found upon
Our ancient and hallowed island, Blessed Westernesse.
A hidden lineage, these also whispered
In the nights, too loud for keeping within
The Halls of Power, so that those lesser in name, but
Greater for ambitious use, might learn, by
Overhearing, and so set their roads
To discover the truth of some yet housed
Sons of Thingol concealed.
So Thingol recalling these words, let the Blessed Gem by Beren’s palm delivered, depart as one constrained, having bartered by it (as it were) his realm entire, being in no way or position to restrain the dwarf onslaught he himself housed, fed, and nurtured in lust of greed, while upon his metals they worked, and did wrought of their hammers a union of their Nauglamir (though to them was its name known and held in secret, greedy reverence) to this Holy Gem of Ancient Light, keeper of Arda- Renewed; And they carrying did take with them when gone, all the light of his realm, and in despair of its passage, his heart was cloven, and he in body was likewise ripped, head from heart; and being now in spirit, Thingol came to Melian, and wept over her decision to abide with him, and to bear of his seed the loveliest child-maid that ever was, the Nightingale of Beren’s waking dream, music enfleshed, even Arda raised up to behold her; passing amid glades, agleam as a star (you know her other ancient name, but ought not write it yet).1The Death of Thingol and ruin of Doriath by Dwarves in the First Age, here told differently than was published in the Silmarillion.
So Melian too in despair was rent, and having no solace there, made her way to Valinor, to prepare for her house the arrival of Thingol-su, shortly as it seemed, coming upon a tarrying of errands left to him alone to deliver: first to Beren, to reclaim that treasure and then to Luthien his beloved child, to give unto her his song, in whole, and without variance, to keep alive in her forests about Neldoreth. For he grieved also, it was thought, or “surmised,” that of his realm’s beings, none may find safety amid the coming fires, and if retreating to forest holds, they might at least have in their ears his music to please them as they burned.
Thus was his body of flesh (hroa) found by raiding orc- men, and being delivered upon a stone table, his severed head set upon as to glare upon their mischief, from a mantle in his Great Hall. But none upon Arda had weapon nor strength to accomplish so foul a destruction of so fair a flesh, yet intertwined so was his flesh become to that gem Silmaril, unknowing to him, was in being of it bereft, himself hewn in two.
And now in confusion as spirit Thingol reflected, and mused thereon the sayings of Eru-Beggar; and not for the last time pondered their meaning, yielding heart and mind upon their staying, and in-him-woving [woe-ving].
The star did arise, and upon the brow of Earendel most blessed raised in the hand of the mighty upon Arda, so it shone west, and not east; no turning about could Thingol achieve, of course of wandering, to set in the east this new light, nor to remove that Eastern sky and stitch of it a face (to hang) upon the Western; so he pondered again, what star may be arising yet, Eastward upon the world, for no decree no matter how slightly whispered, if voiced by Eru, will forever stay its coming to be, and in being, bring about more wonders, heretofore unthought, and as in a sudden, fully considered, as if awaiting their time to Be. [Meaning, their histories are realized in their sudden being.]
So Thingol upon the charge of his friends to break that newy castle upon his own founded, did spy from afar, and remained so, distant even as his child-heir Dyacôm was released, taking before him that star, aloft in his little hand, to lead in the night of dark, and fumeous ruin, smokes and dust clouds agathered all who would not any longer by evil bonds be enslaved, to muck the fields, awaiting their marrows’ sucking by carrion in fields they once plowed; he watched the family depart, in loving cheers, and wonder saying naught to draw their hearts his way, for he understood, that the child heir would be retained, and seek there to rebuild Nether-Doriath, raised up again on the earth under sky. And though a great sadness enclosed upon him, and a quiet amid the joyous clamor, as the star of Dyacôm’s bearing was carried up and over a hill thrown up, as vomited slag of Mordor, the starlight springs forth, and but a child’s height, in the eastern sky did it scatter silver about, and grey-king Thingol passed from disconsolate grief at their parting without restraint, to that joy-clarity, as in the fuller’s art, when purity shows forth abubbling, and Eru’s wise-love envelops thee.
And indeed to Thingol came a second visit by Eru, now seated with the ghost, grief-and-joy; and of their brief words there exchanged, we shall now endeavor to unfold.