Gift For: Alexcat
Minas Anor, IV 110
Sitting in my study, as I have for all the years I have been king, at least when I have been in the city, I read the reports that come from the Lords of the Realms. Sons, even grandsons, to lords I have known since I became king write to me and only have tales of times when there was no King in Gondor. Of the Fellowship that went out to fight Sauron in Mordor there are now only three left; Gimli, Legolas and myself. And of the two my friendship, even love for Legolas is the older. Having finished reading the report Legolas has sent me as Lord of the Elves of Ithilien, my thoughts go back to the first time I met him.
I was 18 at the time and was still named Estel because the Dark Lord was looking for me and, as Bilbo Baggins summarized later, would have made mincemeat of me had he found me. As far as guests were concerned, I was the son of Elrond and so I was introduced as such to Legolas of the Woodland Realm. I am still not sure what he saw in me then, he looked at me as if I was just another inhabitant of Imladris, giving me a friendly smile. Of course, during his already then long life he had no doubt met a large number of those who lived there. When we found that our interests were similar and that we had much in common, we formed a friendship. Both of us sought knowledge, but that didn't stop us from also loving archery. During the years that passed that friendship deepened and I came to rely on him for advice and far more. Finally I realized that I loved him and received his love in return. I also love Arwen, but in a different way. We have much together, among them our beloved children; our eldest son Eldarion and our daughters Annaliel and Brethiliel. But the love Legolas and I have for each other is of a different sort, and I needed both during the years spent fighting the Dark Lord and all his minions. When we were together I could let go of the burden I felt. To be regarded as the embodiment of Hope can make anyone tired; Legolas helped me realise that I am me and that is good enough.
During the time that passed between the day that I was told my name and lineage and the day of the great Council of Elrond when the Fellowship was formed; I met Legolas on a number of occasions. When I told him who and what I truly am he looked shocked. I smiled and said that I reacted in the same way and that Elrond had to tell me thrice. It was always good to meet him, regardless of the place and we always spoke of the things we loved most to do. At times we went to the archery field; we checked which bow was the best and who could fire arrows faster. Legolas always was the fastest of us but I came closer each time we did. But we also had to speak about the evil things we had heard of or seen, the conversations growing more and more frequent as time went on.
Particularly during the time Gandalf and I hunted for Gollum it was good to go to Mirkwood and rest for a time, discussing with Legolas what he had learned and sharing the news I could bring. Legolas gave me his thoughts and opinions, would comment on the things I had told him and make me see things from a different light. He could tell me about places where it was possible to hide from watching eyes, places I had never heard about before. He also told me how I could go there without revealing their locations to others. It was in part with the advice that Legolas gave me that I was finally able to catch up with Gollum. Taking him to Mirkwood was the hardest task I had ever endured, I was weary when I reached the realm and happy to be rid of the creature. How on earth Gandalf could stand the conversations with him is beyond me, but he did and it was with good results.
All the time I have known Legolas he has always been cheerful, with the exception of the great Council of Elrond and during the battle of Helm's Deep. On both these occasions he was sad and worried, small wonder I think considering all that had happened. When I became King, Legolas was worried that I would become ruled by protocol. I managed to calm him, telling him that Courtly Protocol would not take over my life and certainly not my time with friends. In fact, I told him that I would need my friends to keep me grounded and remind me that I am a mortal. We have been able to work together to make Minas Tirith a happier city with more green places. Legolas and the Elves he brought with him have also made Ithilien a beautiful and happy place to be and that is truly a great gift. I do not know how long I have left, but I hope we will be able to meet and be merry for many more times to come.