“Thorin’s Dream of Love”, Ch. 5 (PG): The Dwarven-Elven Banquet Requires Diplomacy, October 8, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #455)
(This is an original fan fiction story by Gratiana Lovelace; All rights reserved; The characters from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” are owned by Warner Brothers, no copyright infringement is intended)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Prince Thorin Oakenshield, Lucy Griffiths as Lady Kiralin, Jeffrey Thomas as King Thror, Mike Mizrahi as Prince Thrain, Lee Pace as King Thranduil, Graham McTavish as Lord Dwalin, Orlando Bloom as Prince Legolas, Evangeline Lilly as Captain Tauriel, Ken Stott as Lord Balin, and Hugo Weaving as Lord Elrond, etc.]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Thorin’s Dream of Love” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst the backdrop of Middle Earth. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. 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 mature 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: After seeing Tauriel into Lady Helga’s healing hands, Prince Thorin and Lord Dwalin had a frank talk about Lady Kiralin’s future–and the suitors her family has lined up for her already. Prince Thorin knows that he must give up Lady Kiralin, with him not being allowed to choose the wife that his heart wants. But he cannot let her go so easily and they make love again before the Dwarven-Elven banquet. But Thorin is remorseful, feeling that he is leading her on. So he says things to turn her away from him. And though Prince Thorin tries to get Lady Kiralin to hate him–to make their parting easier on her–he only succeeds in breaking her heart.
“Thorin’s Dream of Love”, Ch. 5 (PG): The Dwarven-Elven Banquet Requires Diplomacy
After tending to the Elven Captain Tauriel and sending her off to bed, Lady Helga returns to their family apartment in the Erebor fortress so that she may get ready for tonight’s Dwarven-Elven banquet– –only to find her daughter Lady Kiralin sitting despondently on her bed in her gown for this evening, with tears clearly drying on her fuzz covered face.
Lady Helga: Trying to lighten her daughter’s mood, she praises her. “You are all ready for tonight, my dear. Good, good.”
Lady Kiralin: Looking up at her Mama, wiping away her tears, she nods. “Yes, Mama. I will be there. But I grow weary of court. I plan to slip out just after the banquet, before the Handmaidens of Durin Processional.”
Lady Helga: “You will do no such thing!” She counters, hands on her hips again in consternation.
Lady Helga’s raised voice alerts her husband, Lord Balin [(2) right], and he saunters in quietly from the adjoining room.
Lady Kiralin: “But I was told that Uncle Lord Dwalin has lined up suitors for me already and that we leave for our country estates for me to be courted. So what does it matter if I am on display tonight or not?”
Lord Balin: “Ah Lassie, it matters. We would not want you to make the wrong choice of suitors to be your husband. Marriage is forever.” He looks kindly over at his dear wife, Lady Helga and she smiles back at him. “So tonight, you will meet more eligible men–and they will meet you, expanding your options.”
Lady Kiralin: “But Papa, I do not want them.” Then Lady Kiralin [(3) right] thinks sadly about Prince Thorin. “Or maybe, they do not want me.”
Lady Helga and her husband Balin exchange concerned looks.
Lady Helga: Gently touching her daughter’s cheek, she asks. “Why are you so sad, my dear? This should be a happy time in your life.”
Lady Kiralin: “Mama? Papa? My happiness is found in the only man I want, but whom I cannot be with.”
Lord Balin: “Is he married? Has someone trifled with your affections?” He fumes. For Lady Kiralin is his only daughter. And though sons are always wanted, daughters are so rare that they are also highly prized.
Lady Kiralin: “No Papa. He is not married. But he cannot be mine all the same.”
Lady Helga: “Does he not know of your interest in him? You are a very demure girl. Perhaps I can give you a potion to slip into his drink that will cause him to see you anew. Afterall, your beard will grow in, eventually.”
Lady Kiralin: Shaking her head, Lady Kiralin saddens. “My lack of beard or womanly curves is not the issue.” She pauses, not able to tell them the truth, but not wanting to lie to them either. “His family is very proud … and we are … of a much lower rank. I fear that his family will not allow us to wed were they to know of our attachment.”
Lord Balin: “But today of all days–Durin’s Day–your wish may be granted by King Thror as is the custom. The parents be damned! Do you not want to try your luck and hope for the best, daughter?”
Lady Kiralin’s face shines with hope for a fleeting second. Then she remembers how casually Prince Thorin dismissed her from his presence this afternoon and she feels no hope.
Lady Kiralin: “I fear that the one whom I hold dear is also very proud. I think that he hides behind his family’s possible disapproval, when it is he who does not wish to marry me.”
Lady Helga: “Then that is all the more reason for you to participate in the Handmaidens of Durin Processional–in hopes of meeting a man who will cherish you beyond what rank he is or we are.” She states sensibly.
Lord Balin: “Aye, my daughter. It is the only way.” He smiles cheeringly at her.
Lady Kiralin: “Very well.” She sighs in agreement to please her parents. For Lady Kiralin is a good daughter, for all of her feisty ways. “I will participate. But I wish to leave after that and spend the night in Dale before leaving for our family’s country estates at first light.”
Her parents nod. They have gotten their daughter this far–agreeing to be presented at court with the other Handmaidens of Durin. Now they hope that providence will be on their side tonight.
Thorin surveys the Dwarves and Elves assembled for the State Banquet as he sits between his father Prince Thrain and Prince Legolas, making small talk to each of them–there is an empty expanse of floor in front of the dais for dancing and for the Handmaidens of Durin Processional, with other banquet guest tables in rows on the sides. Dwarven King Thror–resplendent in emerald green–sits in the middle of the elevated dais with his son Prince Thrain on one side and King Thranduil in a silver garment on his other side. Lord Elrond sits on the other side of King Thranduil.
The banquet dinner is a predictable affair, the Dwarves long ago acceding to the Elves wish to eat only their own peculiar type of food–very green, and no meat–one of the Erebor fortresses kitchens was leant to their chefs to prepare their meals. Cultural exchanges are kept to a minimum after hundreds of years of such gatherings as Dwarves and Elves here in Erebor.
However, one Dwarven cultural tradition will not be forgotten simply because the Elves choose to visit in Autumn this year. Today is Durin’s Day [(4)]. And on this feast day celebrating the moon and the sun sharing the sky, it is custom for the rulers of Durin to grant requests of the populace–within reason.
When a dessert of fruit and fruit pies is served–a common preference for both Dwarves and Elves–some conversation amongst those on the dais ensues as the Handmaidens of Durin assemble at the opposite end of the large hall in preparation for their processional.
In particular, potential bridegrooms are sought for the Handmaidens of Durin–the unmarried Dwarf Women aged 25 to 125. For Dwarf women are scarce and marriages must be made and be fruitful if the Dwarf race is to survive [(5)]. So tonight, there will be a Handmaiden’s processional after the banquet, but before the dancing–with the ladies hoping to secure one or more suitors to choose from.
King Thranduil: Leaning over and down to King Thror–since having differing table heights is much less easily accomplished than elevating the Dwarven throne–King Thranduil remarks upon some Dwarven women in attendance. “King Thror, I notice that there seem to be many Dwarven women wearing red dresses this evening. Is that significant? Or is it merely a favorite color among Dwarven women?” Of course King Thranduil disdains such bright colors as being gauche–or whatever the Dwarven equivalent is.
King Thror: “They are the Handmaidens of Durin, who …” But he is interrupted.
King Thranduil: “Ah, yes! Unmarried Dwarf women who seek husbands by promenading for all to see.” King Thranduil smiles with undisguised disdain at so quaint a custom. In Elven culture, a decision to marry can take several years of negotiation to seal the two individuals together–or words of consent to the marriage one night of love also accomplishes that goal [(6)].
King Thror: Scowling at being interrupted, King Thror sneers. “These Handmaidens will bear the future generation of Durin. Tonight, they will promenade with their fathers or another male relative and be presented at court. Then the processional will conclude with the unmarried men in attendance selecting the woman they have already courted. Or a men will introduce themselves to a woman, then get to know her during the dancing and entertainment portions of the evening to see if they might want to court each other.”
King Thranduil: “Well! Every culture has their own traditions.” Elven King Thranduil [(7) right] remarks in a snide blasé tone. “Will Prince Thorin participate in bride selection as one of the unmarried men in the room?”
All eyes on the dais turn to Prince Thorin, but he does not speak.
Prince Thrain: “My son Prince Thorin is of royal blood, King Thranduil. He cannot marry a woman who is not royal–or at least, of high noble rank. Prince Thorin’s marriage will be an alliance to cement the future of our peoples.” He intones proudly. Prince Thorin leans back in his chair–out of view–and closes his eyes is disappointment. “Would you have Prince Legolas participate in such a thing?”
Prince Legolas startles–for he does have a secret fondness in his heart for someone dear to him. But being Princes, both Legolas and Thorin know that they are pawns for their kings. It will only be when they are kings that they can decide their fates.
King Thranduil: “Of course not! But then, our customs are different from yours–and we would not expect you to adhere to our traditions. Though we do honor our own traditions.” He sneers, hinting that Prince Thorin is neglecting his culture by not participating in the Handmaidens of Durin Processional ritual.
Lord Elrond: Trying to smooth over what has become a heated exchange, Lord Elrond smiles at King Thror. “I find this custom charming. Though I hope that the couples in question are given an opportunity to choose their mates for themselves.”
King Thror: “Within reason.” He nods. “Ah! It begins!” He gestures to the open hall floor before them as the musicians begin the promenade music–harp, lute, and flute [(8)].
Each Dwarven woman is on the arm of her father or closest male relative. And they are lined up oldest to youngest–with the oldest Handmaidens first, the better to have them viewed favorably. So Lady Kiralin at just 30 years is at the very back, nervous at seeing Prince Thorin again and not wanting anyone else to seek to court her.
When each couple reaches the front of the hall by the dais, they stand before King Thror and King Thranduil– the lady curtsies and the father/uncle bows. Then they walk to the left or right, with the ladies forming a line on each side of the open dancing area stretching away from the dais. This presentation is repeated for two dozen Handmaidens and their escorts. The honored guests on the dais nod cordially, as etiquette dictates.
Finally, it is Lady Kiralin’s turn on the arm of her father Lord Balin–and she is so obviously the youngest, her not having a beard, nor being womanly rounded yet at just 30 years of age, six years older than Prince Thorin.
King Thranduil: “Ah! Now this sweet and lovely lady does not look like a Dwarf.” King Thranduil successfully insults while he compliments. “For she is slim, has no beard, and is quite small. Are you sure she is not a Hobbit?” For women in Lady Kiralin’s line are especially petite.
Prince Thorin: “Bund!” [(9)] Coughing, an unintelligible Khuzdul epithet escapes Prince Thorin’s mouth in disgust of the Elven King’s insult of Lady Kiralin. “She is no Hobbit!”
Dwarves are known for their sly way of saying the opposite of what they mean to avoid understanding–especially when insulting someone almost to their face. So with bund literally meaning head, its Dwarven insult meaning is the opposite. In this case, Prince Thorin just called King Thranduil an ass–his father Prince Thrain and grandfather King Thror smile politely at King Thranduil, with bemusedly raised eyebrows.
Prince Thorin [(10) right] nods his head, not being able to tear his eyes away from Lady Kiralin as he grips the hilt of his sword to steady himself–his gaze betraying his feelings for her–even though she keeps her eyes cast downward. Lady Kiralin cannot hear what is being said about her.
Prince Thrain: Turning first to King Thranduil and then to Prince Legolas, he adds as Lady Kiralin curtsies. “I believe that is Lord Balin with his daughter. But her name escapes me.”
King Thranduil: Seeing Prince Thorin tightly gripping the arms of his chair and staring ahead at the Handmaiden who keeps her eyes lowered, King Thranduil smiles falsely at Prince Thorin. “Pray tell us her name, Prince Thorin–if you know it.” King Thranduil intentionally speaks loud enough so that the Dwarven lady can hear him.
Prince Thorin: Slowly turning his head away from Lady Kiralin who refuses to look up at him. “She is Lady Kiralin of Balin.” Prince Thorin intones sharply as Lady Kiralin and her father turn and walk to the far side of the line of the Handmaidens of Durin and Lady Kiralin takes her place there.
King Thror: “Ah, yes. Lord Balin is the Dwarven Archivist–keeper of our cultural histories. And Lady Kiralin, his daughter, is very young–no beard yet. Hhhh!” King Thror glances at his grandson Prince Thorin–sensing that Thorin does not like the Elven King, but not knowing why.
Lord Elrond: “Ah! This is the part of the ritual that is rarely seen my King.” Then Lord Elrond bows his head to King Thror. “We are honored you have allowed us to be witnesses. And now the unmarried men will walk past the two rows of women, greeting them, and making overtures. If the lady takes a man’s hand, then he knows that he may court her–or if they already have an understanding, that he may ask for her hand in marriage and seek King Thror’s blessing.”
King Thranduil: Turning from listening to Lord Elrond, King Thranduil turns back to his Dwarven hosts. “And what of Prince Thorin?”
Then they all turn their heads to the other end of the dais, but Prince Thorin’s seat at the dais is empty. It has been a long night, with no rest breaks. So it is presumed that he has gone to relieve himself–though none would voice such a supposition.
The music continues and several Dwarven men select a Dwarven Lady and she takes his hand. A few of these couples–no doubt by prearrangement between each other–walk forward to King Thror and seek his marriage blessing. As is custom, King Thror must grant their wish, and his blessing solemnizes their marriage before all in attendance–for on Durin’s Day, all wishes are granted.
There are some Dwarven Ladies whom no one approaches and some Dwarven Ladies who decline a Dwarven man’s offered hand by clasping her hands together in front of her. To Lady Kiralin, this aspect of the ritual is humiliating–waiting to be selected–especially for the Dwarven Ladies not even receiving an offer. Lady Kiralin’s hands are already in the repose of refusal, her not wanting anyone to offer for her. Her head is down with her eyes partially closed, her not watching what the others do.
Nor does Lady Kiralin see a Dwarven man approach her, until those around her make a small gasp–yet, she still keeps her eyes closed. Lady Kiralin is the youngest of all of the Handmaidens, and she should not expect to receive an offer of marriage or even courtship just yet. Jealousy at her being so singled out will surely hurt her chances next year–if she bothers to come back to try again, or if her family will persuade her to marry whom they see fit in the next few months.
The moments tick by as the Dwarven man looks longingly, lovingly, at Lady Kiralin, and she does not look up–nor even open her eyes. You could hear a pin drop in the room, even the music has stopped. Lady Kiralin is embarrassed and she wishes that she had left court before the processional as she had planned. Then she hears murmurings, though she cannot hear what is said. And the man stretches out his hand to Lady Kiralin.
Prince Thorin: “My Lady Kiralin, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Lady Kiralin: Startled, Lady Kiralin looks up quickly to see Prince Thorin standing before her. Her brow is knit in confusion. He pushed her love away from him this afternoon. What is he doing? “My Prince, you said yourself that we have no future together.” She raises her chin defiantly. If he is to humiliate her in front of all of court with this farce of pretending to ask for her hand, then she will make it difficult for him.
The crowd gasps for her seeming refusal of their Prince. The faces of King Thror and Prince Thrain sitting on the dais have already turned several shades of red and purple at Prince Thorin’s actions in offering for Lady Kiralin. But they can say nothing without making a scene in front of their Elven guests. They can only hope that Prince Thorin only means to court her. Of course, King Thranduil is smiling smugly–little does he know that his own son might wish to follow his own heart in what might be considered an unsuitable path.
Prince Thorin: “I will have no future that does not include you, Lady Kiralin. This is Durin’s Day when moon and sun share the sky in happy harmony–and all wishes are granted. It is our chance to have our wishes granted.” He appeals as he continues to hold out his hand to her.
Lady Kiralin: She looks up at him sadly. “And what if we are refused by King Thror–him citing your duty to your family and people.”
Prince Thorin: “My lady, my primary duty is to beget an heir to continue our legacy. And that will only happen with you as my bride. For I will have no other in my heart, but you.” He extends his hand further to her, then he whispers. “Courage my lady. I will not leave your side from this day forth–no matter what the king or my father might say.”
Lady Kiralin: She looks up at him hopefully. “Promise?”
Lady Kiralin’s father, Lord Balin, standing behind his daughter is also interested in the answer to that question.
Lady Kiralin [(11) right] smiles shyly, then she unclasps her hands and places one of her small hands into Thorin’s large hand. Then Prince Thorin respectfully kisses her hand before standing and wrapping her arm around his arm and walking her forward toward the dais.
More gasps leave astonished lips.
King Thror: Leaning over to his son, Prince Thrain, King Thror hisses in a whisper. “Can you not control him? This marriage cannot be.”
Prince Thrain: Seeing Prince Thorin escorting Lady Kiralin toward them, he tilts his head to his father King. “Too late!”
Prince Thorin bows and Lady Kiralin curtsies to their king.
Prince Thorin: In a bold voice, a respectful voice, Prince Thorin makes his request. “King Thror, Grandfather, Lady Kiralin and I claim the right of Durin’s Day–to have our marriage blessed by you.”
King Thror scowls at his grandson. Prince Thrain frowns in displeasure. However, King Thranduil smiles broadly–delighted at such a break in protocol in the royal house of Durin. Lord Elrond and Prince Legolas each nod their encouragement to Prince Thorin. Lady Kiralin’s father Lord Balin and her Uncle Lord Dwalin are holding their breaths on the sidelines. Lady Kiralin’s brother Gralin is dumbfounded–pondering how his injury could have caused such a thing as his sister to be favored above all by Prince Thorin. Lady Helga, Lady Kiralin’s mother, is in total shock and speechless–silence not being a known characteristic for her.
King Thror: “Prince Thorin, marriage is forever. I ask you and the lady to reconsider your request to give you time to get to know each other.”
Lady Kiralin closes her eyes–uncertain how Prince Thorin will respond to this refusal.
Prince Thorin: “My King and Grandfather, marriage to Lady Kiralin is the only one that I will entertain. She and I do know each other–our having developed an increasingly tender bond over this past year. She honors me by giving me her heart.” Prince Thorin looks down at her and smiles, then squeezes her arm reassuringly. Then he looks resolutely back at his grandfather King. “By Dwarven custom, we are already married.” He reveals sotto voce to those upon the dais. Lady Kiralin blushes for his revealing their most private intimate truth. “We merely seek your marriage blessing as do others this Durin’s Day.”
Prince Thorin stands there, challenging his king and grandfather to honor their traditions. The moments tick by. No one says anything. Prince Thorin is resolute, Lady Kiralin is less certain–the humiliation of being rejected by their king as not being good enough for their prince is humiliating to her.
Lord Dwalin: Her family standing on the sidelines, Lord Dwalin leans down to his brother Balin–Lady Kiralin’s father. “I was afraid of this. King Thror will not permit the marriage.”
Lady Kiralin: Lady Kiralin looks up at Prince Thorin beseechingly. “Thorin?”
Prince Thorin: Gazing tenderly at his love, he asks. “What is it you wish, my Love?”
Lady Kiralin: “I wish us to be away from here.” She implores.
Prince Thorin: “Very well.” He sighs and kisses her forehead. Then he turns to his grandfather king and father prince and speaks loudly for all to hear. “Lady Kiralin and I are married and we will continue the legacy of Durin’s Royal line. But as long as I draw breath, you will have nothing to do with us or our hoped for children as soon as we walk out of this banquet hall.”
More prophetic words were never spoken. Prince Thorin and Lady Kiralin turn slowly and walk away from the Dwarven King. Their heads are held high and proud. They did not receive the Durin’s Day blessing–but that was due to a spiteful old king. Lady Kiralin’s father Lord Balin and her uncle Lord Dwalin are proud of Prince Thorin choosing Lady Kiralin–despite his family’s objections.
Prince Thrain: Leaning over to his father King, he asks. “My King, what would a blessing hurt? She is so young, she might not be able to have a child within the 100 year time frame allotted for first marriages. And if she does not, then they are married no more and Prince Thorin may seek another wife to bear his children.”
King Thror sees the sense of it–not alienating his grandson and heir. So he nods, then motions to the guards at the other end of the banquet hall to bar the door. The guards cross their spikes in front of the door.
Prince Thorin: Seething, Prince Thorin commands. “As my last act as your Prince, I order you to stand aside and let us pass.”
Guard: “My Prince, I cannot. King Thror beckons to you.” He gestures to the dais.
Prince Thorin slowly looks over his shoulder at his grandfather king. The room is so large that King Thror looks tiny–and it does not help that he is sitting next to the tall Elven King. King Thror beckons Thorin to return to him.
Prince Thorin: His arm around Lady Kiralin’s waist, supporting her, Prince Thorin suggests. “My Love, King Thror asks us to return to stand in front of him. Shall we give him one last chance to bless our marriage?”
Lady Kiralin: She looks up at him searchingly. She wonders if Prince Thorin will continue to stand up to his family? “As you wish.”
So Prince Thorin and Lady Kiralin slowly turn to face his grandfather king and father Prince. King Thror beckons to them. So they walk forward until they are standing five feet away from him.
King Thror: “Hhhhh! Very well.” Then he holds up his hand, palm downward, and blesses them. “My marriage blessing I give to you, Thorin and Kiralin, on this Durin’s Day.”
Prince Thorin: Turning to his bride, his voice trembles deeply with his love for her. “Princess Kiralin, my wife.”
Princess Kiralin: “Prince Thorin, my husband.” She gazes up at him with aching tenderness and love.
And then the Dwarven Prince and Princess kiss, right there in front of Dwarves and Elves–family, friends, and enemies.
Applause begins with a polite clap or two and then crescendos into sincere joy as their kissing continues. For on this Durin’s Day, everyone’s wish was granted.
To be continued with Chapter 6
“Thorin’s Dream of Love”, Ch. 5, References, 10/08/13 Gratiana Lovelace
1) “Thorin’s Dream of Love” story cover graphic original image link: Richard Armitage portraying Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was found at
2) Balin image (cropped masked) is Ken Stott found at http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/07/16/article-0-0D0953A600000578-734_638x622.jpg
3) Lady Kiralin image is Lucy Griffiths as Lady Marian in Robin Hood found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode2/slides/rh202_048.jpg
4) A brief mention of Durin’s Day—without attendant wish customs that I made up—was found at http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Durin%27s_Day
5) The scarcity of Dwarven women was found at http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Dwarf-women
6) Some Elven marriage customs were found at http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Elven_Customs
7) King Thranduil image (cropped) is Lee Pace from The Desolation of Smaug trailer #1, found at www.TheHobbit.com, Jun1113, Gratiana Lovelace cap.
8) Medieval Virelai Music & Song – XIII th & XIV th Century – E, Dame Jolie and E, Lovely Lady in a video by ZekiSWE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Pb_jpSyiE
9) In Dwarven langauge of Khuzdul, “bund” literally means head and was found at
10) Prince Thorin image is Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/HobbitStills/album/12-Thorin-TheHobbitMovie-RABirthdayTwitterpic.jpg
11) Lady Kiralin image is Lucy Griffiths as Lady Marian in Robin Hood found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode2/slides/rh202_057.jpg
Link to the previous “Thorin’s Dream of Love”, Ch. 4: