So Be It

by Sophia the Scribe

Then Fëanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: 'Half-brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide us.'

'I hear thee,' said Fëanor. 'So be it.'

The Silmarillion, "Of the Darkening of Valinor"

Then turning to the herald [Fëanor] cried: 'Say this to Manwë Súlimo, High King of Arda: if Fëanor cannot overthrow Morgoth, at least he delays not to assail him, and sits not idle in grief. And it may be that Eru has set in me a fire greater than thou knowest. Such hurt at the least will I do to the Foe of the Valar that even the mighty in the Ring of Doom shall wonder to hear it.'

The Silmarillion, "Of the Flight of the Noldor"

The arrival of his half-brother to the Halls of Mandos aroused even Fëanáro's disdainful curiosity—few indeed were the times that the Doomsman of the Valar opened his halls to an elven fëa with more than quiet welcome, and Nolofinwë's death had been heralded by the stern Judge's commendation.

"For thy seven strokes which wounded the Enemy," Námo proclaimed, eyes dark and solemn as they rested on the shade of the High King, "and for the High Hope thou hast rekindled in thy people, I bid thee welcome. Be at peace, son of Finwë, and here find rest for thy weariness."

Nolofinwë bowed in acknowledgement and obeisance, then turned from the throne—and stopped upon seeing the fire of his elder brother's spirit.

"Brother—" he began, but Fëanáro sneered.

"Thou fool! Wast thy hubris still not satisfied with my crown, that thou shouldst strive to o'ertake even the most-forgotten of my words? Is the praise of the Valar so pleasing to thee, that thou makest known thy deeds even to the mighty in the Ring of Doom? Thou hadst no victory, son of folly, nor will I honor thee for brief and meaningless wounds on a spirit older than time."

"I sought not their praise nor thine," returned Nolofinwë, calmly but confidently, "nor remembered those words of thine, except thou recalledst them. But I will make no defense, for who truly be the more foolish, the fool or the one which followeth him? Yet this I will say—thy pride, o my brother, may not permit thee to acknowledge it, but thy presence in Endorë would have changed naught, in the end, of the outcomes of the Great Battles. Great in mind and skill thou might be, but thou couldst not have found victory where we who followed thee found it not. Nay, the most lasting of songs would still but tell tale of thy fall—even as they will of mine, in yéni to come."

"Enough!" snarled Fëanáro. "Mock me not, thou false king, and get thee gone. I sicken of thy presence and at thy words."

For a moment, or an hour, or a year—for time is not measured in such a wise in the Halls of the Dead—Nolofinwë returned nothing. But finally he sighed, and said softly,

"Once I chose to follow thee; and though life and death together hath rent asunder those bonds of faith and kinship I yet love thee, Fëanáro. Therefore I will go, but in my love I say, ere I depart—repent thee of thy blasphemous oath! Dost thou not see how it twisteth all thy works to the service of the Enemy? Thy sons will be caught up in its thralldom, to the service of the Lord of Thralls. Plead for pardon, I beg thee, before they die, that thou mayest lead them thither also, which will have suffered for the Oath more by far than thou. Indeed, thou must lead them, o Spirit of Fire, else they be lost to the Everlasting Darkness thou didst so foolishly call down upon thyself."

After these words, the bright spirit of Nolofinwë bowed and departed from his half-brother to seek healing and rest until his rebellion should be pardoned and his life restored to him.

But Fëanáro his brother, scoffing at his words, remained in Halls long ages. And if, at long last, he knelt, weeping, before the tapestry of his brother's fall—if he foreswore his terrible Oath, seeking release from those by whom he had sworn, Manwë and Varda and Eru Ilúvatar himself—if he regretted his long-ago cold-hearted reply to brother's pledge of fealty, that cruel so be it that had driven his wise brother, in the end, to death before the Lord of Fetters—then perhaps he, too, found release, and the end of the Tale of Fëanáro may be fairer than its beginning, when the world is changed, and the Light rekindled for the healing of all.

A/N: Names are in Quenya because Fëanor spent so little time in Middle-earth that I suspect he never took Sindarin as his primary language, and Fingolfin replies in the same language in which he was addressed. Therefore Fëanor is referred to as Fëanáro and Fingolfin as Nolofinwë. The archaic language of their speech is meant to indicate the same thing—in the Silmarillion, dialogue spoken in Valinor uses "thee" and "thou" (as exemplified in the front quotes of this story), while dialogue in Middle-earth uses "you" and "your." I'm not particularly proficient in archaic English forms, so please let me know if anything is wrong grammatically or sounds out-of-place in the dialogue.

Thanks for reading!