This is the third Thursday that I am posting chapters in the Thorin Fan Fiction that I’ve written, “Thorin’s Hope: A Love Story”. This story is about realizing what we truly treasure–beyond gold and jewels, and even honor. This story is also about sacrifice and courage–by both men and women. And as I stated in previous posts, it bears little resemblance to Tolkien’s The Hobbit beyond a few general references to the overall plot and a few characters–that is why this genre is called “fan fiction”. But, I hope you enjoy my different take on the character of Thorin in giving him a true and loving helpmate in his young wife Umay (pronounced ooh-MY). Of course, we have pictures of RichardArmitage magnificently portraying Thorin Oakenshield, but Umay is a figment of my imagination. So, I have linked a beautiful Titian painting to suggest Umay as noted below. The image to the right of Richard Armitage as Thorin by the photographer James Fisher was posted on TORN (www.theonering.net). If you missed reading the earlier chapters, here are the links so that you may catch up before reading these chapters 3 & 4 posted 9/22/11:
P. S. I know the number of my posts has slowed down since I first began blogging about a month ago. My having fewer posts per week is primarily due to three factors: 1) the need to “pace” myself given my other online group discussion that I moderate, not to mention my fulltime job, Ha!; 2) letting some of my ideas germinate a bit before posting (self censorship, Gratiana types sheepishly); and, 3) I threw my back out last weekend, so writing a detailed analytical essay with embedded media for visual interest has been the last thing on my mind, but I’m on the mend now. However, I will probably strive to post two to three times a week as the spirit moves me in the future–with one of those posts each week being upcoming installments of “Thorin’s Hope: A Love Story” on successive Thorin Thursdays. And finally, I so appreciate everyone’s kind responses to my little blog. Your interest in and enthusiasm for my blog and its posts are quite unexpected and very lovely. Thank you most kindly, Gratiana
Thorin’s Hope Ch. 3 WIP– Umay Awaits the Birth of her and Thorin’s Child (PG-13), 9/01/11 by GratianaDS90
True to her word, Elienne sends her 10 year old dwarf son Talin to Umay every day after the mid day meal–to help Umay with her household chores. Then, Talin walks Umay back to his house for evening supper each night. It is a simple, comfortable routine with friends when loved ones were so far away. Of course, Umay returns to an empty home each night and she has to suffer the loneliness somehow. So, Umay begins to write in a journal about her experiences–partly to give to Thorin upon his return, and partly to give to their child as a remembrance of her if Umay does not survive her child’s birth. But, Umay banishes such sad thoughts from her mind as she writes letters every few days to Thorin and to her babe–as if they were reading them as she is writing them.
Umay’s first journal entry letter to Thorin on the night he leaves on his quest: “My Dear Husband Thorin, My heart was wrenched from my chest when you left me this morning. Our long night of lovemaking made our farewell more bittersweet. We have never been apart more than a day in our whole married life and I do not know how I shall bear being parted from you. I know you must go and I do not blame you for going. Only know that I hope you will hurry home to me, to us, as you said you would. Our babe will be born in six months. Will you be home? I hope that you will, but I know that you will only be near to your journey’s destination. Our babe will be teething in 12 months. Will you be home? I hope that you will, but I know that your foes will not be easy to vanquish and might extend your battles. Oh, please be safe and be careful, my husband. Do not forget that we need you to come home to us. Our babe will be walking in 18 months. Please let him or her walk into your arms as you return home to us. I will continue to write to you in this journal, my love–telling you of our days and our longing for you. Know that you are loved and come back to me, to us. Your loving wife, Umay.” (I found the lovely Titian painting picture that I chose to represent Umay at http://webspace.webring.com/people/lo/oonaghsown/turkish_coat_for_venetian_dress_doco.htm)
Umay’s Journal entry letter to her baby three months after Thorin left on his quest and three months before the babe is to be born: “Our Little One, How precious you are to me and your father Thorin. You are moving now within me, anxious to meet your mother and father. It will happen soon enough.” Although, Umay tries to push the worry of childbirth out of her mind and continues to write only positive thoughts to her babe. “You can not know how much you are loved and how much you will be loved. We have waited 25 years for you, and now you are almost here–just three months from now we will greet each other. Your father is honor bound to his quest, but his heart is still with us though he can not be here. Whether you are daughter child or son child, you will be loved. Always know that you will be loved. Your loving Mama.”
Umay’s Journal entry letter to Thorin one month before the baby is to be born and 5 months since Thorin left on his quest: “Thorin my love, It has been too long since we were together–these five months at least. Now that I am eight months along with our child, you would smile at my lack of movement. I know you always felt that I flitted around you like a hummingbird. But, I am too big to flit now. Our babe grows well inside me. All the midwives say that the babe will come soon–not soon enough for me. I wish you could be here with us, but I know that you are where you need to be. I will try not to cry out too much when the babe is born. But, I am not as strong as you, my warrior husband. And I know that the pains will be great. As I told you in an earlier letter, Dwalin’s Elienne is also with child. Our two babes will be born about the same time. So they will be playmates for each other.” Umay smiles as she writes this. “Come home to us soon, my Thorin. But if your time away from us keeps you safe, then stay away–just not too long. Your loving wife, Umay.”
Umay’s letter to her baby one month before it is due to be born: “Dear Little One, In a few short weeks, I will hold you in my arms. I can not wait to kiss your sweet cheeks and to suckle you at my breasts. Your Mama loves you so. Having our neighbor’s 10 year old son Talin visit me every day makes me long for you even more. He is a dear boy whom you will love getting to know as you grow up.” More prophetic words were never written. “My days are filled with making you clothes and blankets for you as you will grow. It is not too bold of me to say that I am running out of room to store them for you in our home (picture right). So, I had to move some of your father Thorin’s battle trophies to another room–well, to the barn, actually. I hope your dear father does not take offense. You see, I have not told him–even in the letters I write to him. But, I think he will not mind. If he had needed them so much, he would have taken them with him. Ha! So, come soon my darling child. Your loving Mama.” (Image used for Thorin & Umay’s cottage found at http://gallery.nen.gov.uk/assets/0812/0000/0706/hangleton_medieval_cottage.jpg)
To be continued with Chapter 4
Thorin’s Hope Ch. 4 WIP– Thorin Dreams of Umay and their Baby Growing in her Womb (PG-13) 9/03/11 by GratianaDS90
The separation of loved ones is never easy on either partner–despite how busy they try to be or how busy they actually are. For Thorin, the arduous five months journey to the dragon Smaug’s lair has been frought with danger for he and his 12 Dwarf comrades and one Hobbit that he leads. It should not have taken that long to get here, but though they took long circuitous routes hoping to evade their foes, they were waylaid by orcs– and all manner of ill begotten creatures and other manner of troublesome enemies– that they had to do battle with in addition to the dragon Smaug to get to their intended destination. The Dwarves have reclaimed part of their hard won prize of their people’s wealth from Smaug, but much more wealth awaits their plunder in another cave dwelling guarded by the devil dragon. Thorin and his comrades are tired, they are dirty, and they are missing their loved ones. (The graphic to the right was done by Donato Giancola and published on the TORN web site www.theonering.net — a wonderful resource for all things Hobbit.)
Thorin has no way to get word to Umay that they are all still alive–if not completely well as some of them heal from new wounds. Nor does Thorin have any way of receiving news about Umay. So, Thorin is intensely worried about his young 85 year old wife with child with their babe–knowing that Umay is 15 years younger than most dwarf women when they have their first child. Thorin’s eagerness to now have this quest over with–whether or not they can reclaim their full wealth, their birthright–is becoming more of an overriding concern. Thorin knows that the ladies of the village will watch over Umay in his absence. But, it is his absence from her that burdens his heart. So, Thorin sleeps fitfully, wishing he could be with Umay when their babe is born, to see him or her suckling at Umay’s breast, and to hold his child and heir in his arms as he kisses his dear sweet good wife Umay. As Thorin sleeps fitfully on the cold ground near a crackling fire, he dreams of Umay and the impending birth of their babe–he thinks and dreams of nothing else.
Thorin: “Umay, my love.” Thorin says tenderly as he watches his sweet Umay sleep this night. Her hands rest protectively on her round belly where their babe sleeps and grows. Her long softly curled hair lays about her shoulders and on the pillow–framing her face in a halo of silky brown softness. Umay stirs at the sound of Thorin’s voice, but she does not awaken. To Thorin, Umay looks even more beautiful in what he guesses her 8 months with child body would look like. She is bearing their child and the months apart from her have caused Thorin much grief–and he knows that it must be even more difficult for Umay without him to help her. “Umay.” Thorin says softly again. Thorin has had this dream many times–where he feels that he can almost reach out and touch Umay. But she never awakens, until now. (Screencap image of Thorin is from the third Hobbit Production video and found on RANet at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/3rdProdVideo/album/slides/Video3-04.html)
Umay: Umay’s sleepy eyes flutter open and she sees her beloved Thorin looking down upon her in her bed and her heart rejoices. “You have come back to me, my husband?” She holds her arms up to him, beckoning him to embrace her.
Thorin: Slipping off the last of his battle gear and outer clothing, Thorin slides into bed beside his dear sweet good wife Umay and embraces her. He is glad of his long arms because Umay’s with child roundness is quite more than even he had guessed she might be now that he is lying next to her. Could it be that she is carrying two babes he wonders? Twin babes are a rarity among Dwarf births, but not un heard of–especially in royal lines. “Umay, I am here.”
Umay: “I have prayed for your safe return. Oh Thorin! Our babe moves, feel.” Umay places Thorin’s hand on her belly and he does feel the movement–in two places.
Thorin: “Umay, can it be true? Are we to have two babes?”
Umay: “I think that it must be so, my husband. For I can barely move. And I do not fit into anything but one of your night shirts.” She says with a twinkle in her eye and they both laugh.
Thorin: Thorin kisses her sweetly. “But how have you managed being alone without me? I fear you have been doing too much.” Thorin sees the fatigue on Umay’s face and it worries him.
Umay: “Not to fret, Thorin. I have had a ‘man’ to tend to me.” She says impishly. And Thorin looks at her askance. “Well a boy child anyway. It is Talin, Dwalin and Elienne’s 10 year old son. Elienne sends him to me after each midday meal and he helps me around the house–carrying all manner of things I ask him to do–without complaint I might add.” She says amusingly pointedly to Thorin–and he looks at her sheepishly. “Then I return home with Talin for supper with Elienne and he walks me back home here after. They are good friends, my love.”
Thorin: “Yes they are. I am glad that you have been tended to in my absence. I should have been here with you. But I will be soon and then no partings ever again.” Thorin tenderly kisses Umay once more, then he stands up from the bed and puts on his clothes and battle gear once more.
Umay smiles lovingly at Thorin, and he returns her loving gaze. Then Thorin exits his dream bedchamber knowing what he must do when he awakens.
Who is to say that Thorin’s dream of Umay bearing twin children is not correct? For not even Umay herself has guessed the truth about her growing belly. It has long been noted throughout time that those in Thorin’s royal line in the House of Durin have the gift of seeing into the future. But, it is a future frought with peril for Umay if it is true. Umay’s tender 85 years make her having one babe a danger. And if she is truly to have two babes, Thorin fears for her life even more.
Thorin sits bolt upright on the cold hard ground and awakens from his dream. He looks around at his sleeping comrades. Only Dwalin on watch is awake. Thorin stands and strides purposefully over to Dwalin and speaks his orders.
Dwalin: “But my Lord, we have not vanquished the dragon Smaug yet. And there is still much treasure to be reclaimed in his other lair.” (The image of Dwalin was originally published on the TORN web site, www.theonering.net; and also on RANet, http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitStills/album/slides/9-Balin-Dwalin.html)
Thorin: “Nay Dwalin, my stout friend.” Thorin puts his hand on Dwalin’s shoulder in friendship and thanks. And Thorin smiles knowing that Dwalin’s wife Elienne and his son Talin have taken care of his dear sweet good wife Umay. “Honor is satisfied. We have more than enough wealth to carry home with us and to sustain our people. I did not know it until this night, but our true treasures are at home, awaiting our return. Ready the others and make preparations. We travel home before daybreak.” (The cropped image of Thorin appeared as a group shot of all of the Dwarves, first on TORN, www.theonering.net; and then later on RANet, http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitStills/album/slides/13-Dwarves-Official-Image.html)
As Dwalin gives Thorin’s orders to the Dwarves and the Hobbit, there is almost a sense of relief that spreads throughout the camp–to be released from their honor bound quest. Yes, it is said that those in Thorin’s royal line possess the gift of seeing the future. But perhaps, Thorin’s real gift of sight is in knowing when enough is enough and that a goal has been fulfilled–if not fully accomplished. It is Thorin’s leadership that brought them on this quest–to reclaim their people’s wealth from the dragon Smaug. And it is Thorin’s leadership that will guide them home to their loved ones. If they make haste and do not tarry–and if they do not have to fight mini battles with orcs and such on their way home–they might just be home in time for the Winter Solstice one month hence. The Dwarf and Hobbit comrades are packed and ready for home in one hour’s time and they set off on their new quest–for home.
To be continued in Chapter 5