[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield and others as noted, etc.]
Author’s Content Note: “Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love” is a story of romance and intrigue set against the backdrop of JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some tense situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Thorin Oakenshield returns to his home in a cave carved into the Blue Mountains to find his love and intended wife Sulisha sleeping peacefully. He had just come from an initial meeting with the Wizard Gandalf about a proposal to seek to reclaim Erebor in the coming year. When Sulisha awakens and learns of this, she is worried that she will be parted from her soon to be husband and King, Thorin. But he soothes her, him believing that his leave taking–if it occurs–will be at least a year from now. That will be time enough for Thorin’s and Sulisha’s wedding and trip to introduce her to the Dwarves of Durin as their new, if a little hesitantly shy, Queen.
“Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love”, Ch. 2: Sulisha’s Tapestry Visions
The Tapestry Weaver Dwarves of Durin are said to be gifted with the sight as well as with artistry. Such is the case for King Under the Mountain in exile Thorin Oakenshield’s soon to be bride and Queen, Sulisha Weaverdale–her eponymous family name being derived from her family’s occupation and their original home–the city of Dale just outside of Erebor.
And Sulisha’s given name is also mysteriously symbolic–in a hidden way, since seers do not like to be revealed to others until they wish it. For the name Julisha means “to make known” [(2)] –fitting for one who prophesies the future. So by disguising that direct name meaning by changing the name’s first letter from J to S, Sulisha’s parents gave her a unique and beautiful name with a nod to Sulisha’s likely legacy of becoming a seer.
Dwarven weaver prophesies almost always come true. And the almost is added only because some prophesies are so centuries long in being fulfilled that their original weaver seer has long since passed into the realm of the ancestors.
But with Sulisha’s Weaverdale family of Durin, their prophesies are usually fulfilled within their lifetimes. And whether the tapestry weaver seer is a man or woman, the prophesies envisioned do not differ. For the future bothers not with the gender of who might predict it. The future is just the future, for anyone to foresee if gifted with the sight.
So it is–having the sight– in Sulisha’s immediate Weaverdale family. It was her grandmother Bekka–from another weaver seer family in the Iron Hills and her father Sulbek’s mother–who foretold the destruction of a great city of wealth and legacy. This city only later came to be understood to be Dale when the dragon drake Smaug burned it to the ground 169 years ago and claimed the Dwarves of Durin’s Mountain Fortress Erebor and all of its gold and precious gems–such as The Arkenstone. And sadly, Sulisha’s grandmother’s tapestry was lost in that destruction. And that tapestry’s loss is even more keenly felt because beyond foretelling the destruction of Dale, its symbolism hinted at other events related to it.
Sulisha’s father Sulbek is also a weaver of tapestries. Though with his eyesight failing in his aged years of 308, he can not do the fine detailing weaving of words and tiny symbols that is required of tapestries. But he still envisions prophesies. So his 50 years younger wife Ganisha, weaves for him–her not having the sight, but being a skilled weaver in her own right after over 200 years a marriage to him.
And thus, we also see in Sulisha’s given name the often traditional way of blending the father’s and mother’s given names to create their child’s name. The Sul from Sulbek, was combined with isha from Ganisha to create the name Sulisha. Just as Sulisha’s father Sulbek’s name is a derivation of his father’s name Suldin and his mother’s name Bekka.
Except in royal houses–such as Durin–children who are heirs to titles tend to be named for their forebearer. So for example, the name of Thorin Oakenshield–who is often referred to as Thorin II–includes the elegant “thr” sounds also found in his late father Prince Thrain and his late grandfather King Thror. So when Thorin and Sulisha bear children, their names could be Thrade or Thrake for a boy, and Thoisha or Thorsula for girls. But that would be getting ahead of themselves.
As Sulisha sits frustrated in front of her weaving loom holding her latest tapestry project [(3) right], she feels unsettled–as if something is about to happen. But for all of her prophesying gifts, the weaving threads are not speaking to her today. For Sulisha feels that the threads that comprise her tapestry canvasses give life to her visions–serving almost to have a will of their own–and thus are a potent force in her tapestry creations. And though Sulisha is a weaving artisan and accomplished embroiderer, her gown of fine weave red muslin–a gift from her intended Thorin–is simplicity itself, unadorned, but for a golden hued belt that rests comfortably above her rounded Dwarven womanly hips, accentuating the fullness of her Dwarven curves.
Sulisha: “What is wrong, My Lovelies?” She addresses her weaving threads of silks and wool and linen and leather. Why do you not dance across my weaving loom in harmony with one another today?”
As Sulisha dejectedly lowers her arms down to her sides, she inadvertently knocks a silken red thread wound spindle from its hook on the side of her loom. And when she reaches down and bends over underneath her loom to retrieve her errant spindle, Sulisha looks more closely under her loom to see a small gray kitten curled sleeping upon a bed of cream colored linen strips in a woven basket next to her errant spindle. And she brings the basket to her lap as she examines the small furry beast.
Sulisha: “Well, where did you come from, my pretty?” The kitten barely stirs, so deep in slumber it rests. “I know that kitten’s like to play with thread. But my threads are very dear. So you will have to content yourself with blades of grass or weeping willow branches.”
And then the kitten rolls over in the basket, transforming itself before her eyes into a very small gray eagle–perfectly formed, but in miniature. Are her eyes playing tricks on her? Is this a kitten, or an eagle. And is it under some magical force–be it good or evil? Then the eagle spreads its wings and lifts up into the air and flies out the window. Sulisha rushes to her window to see which direction the eagle flew, but she can not find it. She looks down to see a single eagle feather lying on the floor and she places it within the basket.
Thorin: “Sulisha.” Thorin whispers smoulderingly [(4) right] into his sleeping love’s ear as she leans nestled against her weaving bench seat’s cushioned back pillows.
Sulisha: “Hmmm.” She whimpers in her sleep, her eyes darting back and forth under her eyelids.
Thorin: Gently nudging Sulisha, Thorin tries again to awaken her. “Sulisha, we must go.”
Sulisha: Hearing Thorin in her dreams, she asks. “Why must you go?”
Thorin looks at Sulisha quizzically. He has only ever seen her this unresponsive and fitful, when she is having a vision. But this vision dream state seems different.
Thorin: “No, Sulisha. Not me. Us. We are going to your parents’ home for the family engagement dinner for us tonight.” With Thorin’s family all but extinguished in the dragon attack–but for himself, and his sister Dis and nephews Kili and Fili who lived in the Iron Hills–he appreciates Sulisha’s family being intact.
Then Thorin does what he knows will break the spell of her vision. He kisses her. Sulisha clings to her Thorin–in both her dream and in reality. Then slowly, Sulisha awakens and looks up at Thorin quizzically.
Sulisha: “Thorin.” She smiles wanly at him, then looks around her weaving room. Everything looks in place. Then she sheepishly looks back at him again.
Thorin: “You were envisioning something?” Thorin queries, but he knows the answer.
Sulisha: “I was? I was.” She continues. “But it was so real. I was sitting at my loom despairing over my lack of inspiration. Then when I moved my arms, I knocked the red silk spindle to the floor.” As she moves her hand toward the spindles on hooks, a spindle with red silken thread falls to the floor and rolls underneath the loom.
Sulisha and Thorin look at each other with uncertainty as Sulisha’s eyes widen in acknowledgement that her dream is being fulfilled.
Thorin: “I will fetch it for you.” Him thinking bemusedly as he drops to the floor that he will then be King Under the Loom.
Almost immediately, Thorin knocks his forehead on one of the loom frame’s under supports and he curses to himself–something to do with Elven moose dung. He will have a bump there–and a slight scratch until it heals–but no blood flows.
Sulisha: “Are you alright, Thorin?” She asks caringly.
Thorin: “I am fine, Suli.” Thorin waves his hand behind himself in annoyance for his clumsiness. Then spying several cobwebs, he remarks wryly. “I wonder who is doing more of the weaving here, you or the spiders? Ha ha ha!”
Sulisha: “Spiders?” She repeats as a chill goes down her spine. Sulisha does not like spiders. “I will have to ask papa tend to them.” Then she asks tremblingly. “Do you see my spindle?” Then she thinks to add. “And is there a basket, too?” She wonders if her dream is being fulfilled.
Thorin: “Both!” He states succinctly and removes both from under the loom as he retracts himself from it. Thorin stands and sets each object on a nearby table. “There!”
Sulisha: The basket is empty, but for some long linen strips with embroidery on them. “Oh! Where did the kitten go?” Sulisha asks poutingly, almost expecting the kitten of her vision to materialize before her.
Thorin: “I saw no kitten. Though one could perhaps be employed to good use after seeing the mice entrails that were evident close to the wall underneath the loom.”
Sulisha: “And I suppose that my eagle was also a figment of my imagination.”
Thorin: Turning to look curiously at her, he asks. “Eagles? What would make you think of dreaming of eagles?”
Just then a small gray bird finch alights upon Sulisha’s open window sill–tapping its prize of a nut against the window frame in hopes of breaking it. But it drops the nut, and rather than swoop down after it, the bird flies away. Then when Thorin bends down to pick up the nut, he spies a small gray feather and also picks it up, twirling it between his fingers.
Sulisha: “Thorin, I am puzzled by my dream vision. I know not what it means, nor what it portends.”
Drawing her into his arms for a gentle embrace and kiss, Thorin smiles.
Thorin: “Perhaps it is a riddle that we will not solve tonight–since we must away now to your parent’s home.”
Sulisha nods her head and allows Thorin to lead her out of her weaving studio. She will ask her father about her visions tonight–to see if he can make sense of them.
As they walk into Sulisha’s parents’ home, they are greeted by low volume but high pitched screeching and mewing at their feet where a large woven twig basket contains a recently born litter of kittens–including one gray kitten.
Sulisha instinctively picks up the gray kitten–and upon hearing its purring contentment, she cuddles the animal into her neck. Thorin smiles. Though he is not a lover of cats, he is willing to compromise for Sulisha’s benefit.
Thorin: “So are we to have one of these beasts in our home? I fear that their table manners are atrocious and it will be forever exploring nooks and crannies in our home.”
Sulisa: “I hope to keep one of the kittens. But you have the final say.” She states demurely, her eyes cast downward in obeisance.
Thorin: “If you wish it so, My Love, the kitten may join our household when we are wed.” And he thinks after the kitten is weaned–after their wedding trip.
Sulisha vigorously nods her head up and down and kisses Thorin with a shy smile. She cannot think of what the kitten might symbolize in her vision–innocence? purity? new beginnings? But she reasons practically that sometimes, a kitten, is just a kitten.
And Sulisha will ask her father about the significance of the linen strips and their embroidery in her vision–as well as the other symbols.
To be continued with Chapter 3
References for Ch. 2, October 13, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace
1) Revised: My “Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love” story cover art I created is comprised of two images:
a) A cropped and masked head shot of a beautiful portrait drawing of Thorin Oakenshield by the talented artist Yanagoya of Thorin holding the Arkenstone found here http://rebloggy.com/post/the-hobbit-yana-art-thorin-arkenstone/41711190148 ; with the Thorin portrait face being in the image (cropped and masked by someone else, unknown) is of the talented actor Richard Armitage who portrayed Thorin in The Hobbit trilogy of films.
b) A cropped section of a screen cap of the Elven cave that I made from the first trailer for THDofS is the background image.
c) story cover image link for Wattpad: https://gratianads90.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/thorinsjourneyanunexpectedlove-storycover_oct0815gratianalovelace-256×401.jpg
2) Sulisha’s given name derivation reflects some hidden symbolism. For the name Julisha means “to make known” [(2)] –fitting for one who prophesies the future. So by disguising that direct name meaning by changing the name’s first letter from J to S, Sulisha’s parents gave her a unique and beautiful name with a nod to her likely legacy of becoming a seer; Baby name site for name meaning was found at: http://www.babycenter.com/baby-names-julisha-2376.htm
3) Image of Sulisha Weaverdale weaving is of a John William Waterhouse painting found at https://adventuresinschnooville.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/john_william_waterhouse_-_i_am_half-sick_of_shadows_said_the_lady_of_shalott.jpg
4) Thorin Oakenshield image is portrayed by Richard Armitage in The Hobbit trilogy of films and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitStills/album/12-Thorin-TheHobbitMovie-RABirthdayTwitterpic.jp
Blog story link for previous TJAUL, Ch. 1: