[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Cate Blanchett/Liv Tyler as Sulisha Weaverdale, Ken Stott as Balin, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, 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 found the Weaverdale’s family engagement dinner party for them Saturday Night to be mostly pleasant–except for the unpleasant bit of Sulisha’s mother trying to dictate the nature of Thorin’s relationship with her daughter. But Sulisha’s parents eventually gave their engagement blessing. And Sulisha’s father Sulbek, though soothing, was not able to directly discern the meaning of the symbols in her vision dream–apart from him wanting her to take home with her some of the kittens recently born in his house. All that remains is Thorin’s and Sulisha’s wedding. But as with their courtship–of his royal to her commoner–even the wedding will prove to have unexpected complications.
“Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love”, Ch. 4: Too Many Brides
King Thorin looks resplendent in his royal wedding attire of ceremonial armour [(2) right]–sans his crown that is buried deep in Erebor, where Smaug sleeps. And on this Durin’s Day at the end of Autumn [(3)], his wedding day, King Thorin should be happy–yet he is not. Slamming down his fist upon the wooden table in front of him– in an antechamber of Sulisha’s parents’ home where he waiting to leave for his wedding ceremony to begin–Thorin ire explodes with his frustration at his Council of Erebor in exile.
King Thorin: “If you like Princess Metal-wyn so much, then you marry her!” King Thorin’s voice booms loudly in fury to his Council of Erebor in exile.
Lord Balin: “Kkkhhh! That his Princess Bethelwyn of the Iron Hills, My King. As your Council Members, we must delicately consider the matter from both sides.” He states trying to make peace.
King Thorin: “I am marrying Sulisha Weaverdale when the Sun is highest in the sky this day. You may attend or not. The choice is yours.”
Lord Assendrix: Blustering with a red face, he proclaims. “But you are our King! You must marry a royal princess! Sulisha Weaverdale is not royal!”
King Thorin: “My Sulisha has more royal grace and poise than anyone born by accident of royal parents.”
Lord Balin: “With respect, My King, royal births are not accidents.” He chides the petulant King Thorin.
King Thorin: “Of course not! But we can not choose our parents. The fact that mine were royal was not of my choosing.” He shakes his head wearily. “I have done all that you have asked of me since that dreaded day we evacuated Erebor, and more. I have kept our people closely knitted together. Everyone has made a family and a life for themselves. That is all I ask for myself now, to have the blessing of love and family.”
Lord Assendrix: “Could you not learn to love Princess Bethelwyn?”
King Thorin: “Not in ten Elven lifetimes!” King Thorin howls. For Elves live forever, thousands of years.
Lord Assendrix: “What is wrong with her? She is comely.” Lord Assendrix pouts.
King Thorin: “But she is not who I love! I love Sulisha! In this one aspect of my life, I will make my own choosing.”
Lord Balin: “And if the Council will not budge?” He is on King Thorin’s side, but he wants the Council to understand what they will lose by not granting King Thorin his wish to marry Sulisha Weaverdale.
King Thorin: “Then I will abdicate my thrown in favor of my eldest nephew Prince Fili. Let him marry the metal princess.” King Thorin sneers.
Lord Balin: Jumping in to further King Thorin’s cause, he suggests. “Actually, that is not a bad idea.”
King Thorin: “What?” King Thorin is astonished that Lord Balin would see him dethroned.
Lord Balin; “I phrased that incorrectly. I propose that the Council approve King Thorin’s marriage to Sulisha Weaverdale. And then we offer Prince Fili as a suitable betrothal substitute for Princess Bethelwyn. Afterall, they are closer in age to each other. So it may suit both parties. And the hoped for alliance between our two Dwarven peoples will be preserved.” Lord Balin smiles, pleased with himself.
King Thorin: “That works for me! However, we shall have to consult with Prince Fili about his wishes with regard to Princess Metal-wyn.” King Thorin will not desist with his sneering pun.
Lord Assendrix: “But ….”
Lord Dwalin: “I second my brother’s motion.”
Lord Balin: Swiftly moving along. “All those in favor?”
The Council votes aye, but for Lord Assendrix who votes nay. The motion carries.
King Thorin: “Excellent! Now if you will excuse me, I have my wedding to attend.” And King Thorin stomps out of the room with his braids flying.
Feeling aflutter on this her wedding day, Lady Queen Sulisha Weaverdale [(4) right] stands in her former childhood bedroom looking at herself in the long reflecting glass. She is adorned in a gown of purest ivory linen that is intricately embroidered with flowers and leaves, as well as Dwarven symbols of love, faithfulness, and fertility.
The gown had been intended for an Elven lady, but she had not claimed–nor paid for–her dress. So the Dwarven dressmaker had happily redirected the gown when she saw that their King Thorin’s bride to be Lady Queen Sulisha admiring it in her shop. Several alterations were required to make the gown for a tall Elf fit a tall but still petite Dwarven lady. And in the end, Lady Queen Sulisha looks ravishing.
Then there is a knock upon her bedroom door.
Lady Queen Sulisha: “Please come in.” Sulisha manages to say in an even tone–her expecting her mother or father.
Howver, the door opens to reveal a lady whom Sulisha has only recently met, the Princess Bethelwyn of the Iron Hills. Both Ladies curtsy to each other as is customary for women of their rank. And technically, though not of royal blood, Lady Queen Sulisha outranks the princess by virtue of her impending queen hood.
Princess Bethelwyn: “My Lady Queen you make an elegant bride.” The princess compliments sincerely.
Lady Queen Sulisha: “Thank you, Princess.”
There is an awkward moment of silence as the two ladies gaze curiously upon one another. Then they hear a loud slamming noise and shouted words that they cannot make out. But the voice is distinctly King Thorin’s. Sulisha wonders why he is upset on their wedding day. King Thorin had not informed her of the Council of Erebor in exile had yet to vote to approve their marriage, nor that the Council’s first choice for his bride is that of the Iron Hills lady before her, Princess Bethelwyn. However the princess is not ignorant of the political machinations going on.
Princess Bethelwyn: “Ah! I suspect King Thorin is refusing the Council’s proposal for me to marry him this day.”
Lady Queen Sulisha: “What?” Her tapestry vision had not shown her this.
Princess Bethelwyn: “Oh not to worry. I have no designs on Thorin.” She waves her hand and rolls her eyes. “Marriage alliances are just the idle activity of Councilors of both our kingdoms who have nothing better to do.”
Lady Queen Sulisha: Standing up straighter and looking quite regal, Lady Queen Sulisha responds. “Oh really?”
Princess Bethelwyn: “Yes, they seek to match me advantageously for the Iron Hills.”
Lady Queen Sulisha: “And what of your wishes, My Dear.” She adopts a maternal tone toward the much younger princess.
Princess Bethelwyn: Dropping her royal poise, the princess confides gleefully. “My thoughts tend to one of the nephews–Prince Fili or Prince Kili. They are quite handsome and seem to be full of fun.” Princess Bethelwyn twirls herself around. Having been born after the devastation of Dale, Fili and Kili have no experience of what was lost–so they tend to focus upon the present and the future more than their duty laden Uncle King Thorin.
Lady Queen Sulisha: “Has either of my nephews shown you that they have a particular interest in you?” For with Lady Queen Sulisha and King Thorin nearly married, their respective families already feel connected to one another.
Princess Bethelwyn: “Oh not the last time they saw me thirty years ago. But I was not yet grown, had an abundance of freckles, and so they did not notice me. But I hope to dazzle them at your wedding feast.” She twirls around again for effect–her diaphanous silken gown flows about her charmingly.
Lady Queen Sulisha: “I see no freckles upon you now, My Dear. Did you grow out of them? Your skin looks quite smooth and clear.”
Princess Bethelwyn: “Thank you, My Queen.” Then she leans close and whispers. “It is a secret Elven skin cream with magical properties that I obtained and use weekly that has rid me of my freckles. Do you want to try some?” The princess asks the queen to be asks–as one girl to another. And the princess reaches into the small purse hanging from her wrist and pulls out a small jar.
Lady Queen Sulisha: Gracefully putting up her hands in gentle protest, Lady Queen Sulisha demures. “I thank you, but no. King Thorin knows what my skin looks like and he does not object to it, I will not change it–lest he does not recognize me.” She adds with a grin.
Princess Bethelwyn: “As you wish.” She curtsies piquantly. “But do let me know if you change your mind.” She smiles conspiratorially.
Then a knock upon the bed chamber’s open door reveals Lady Queen Sulisha’s father Sulbek ready to escort her to the cave grotto where the outdoor wedding ceremony will take place. And Princess Bethelwyn aids in their process by lifting up and carrying Lady Queen Sulisha’s long gown train of gossamer fabric, to prevent it from being dirtied by the ground or trampled on my others.
Breathing deeply for the last five minutes of her promenade to King Thorin, Lady Queen Sulisha descends the oft used steps to the cave grotto. The surrounding rock formations were tamed many centuries ago into a spacious area now holding their guests. Thorin smiles encouragingly at his bride Sulisha, which puts her more at ease. And then they both look up to the ceremonial archway [(5) right] where their union will be blessed.
King Thorin: Whispering in her ear, he smoulders. “You look beautiful, My Beloved.”
Lady Queen Sulisha: “Thank you.” Sulisha trembles with joy at his tender words, spoken only for her ears. “You look very handsome, My Love.”
They smile lovingly at each other.
King Thorin: “Let me assist you up the steps, My Dear.” He is concerned that her beautiful but voluminous garment might make it difficult for her to manage. He is correct as Princess Bethelwyn lifts up the back of Lady Queen Sulisha’s wedding gown train, to help alleviate the very great weight of the garment for Lady Queen Sulisha.
Prince Fili: Elbowing his younger brother Prince Kili in his ribs, Fili asks. “Who is that maiden fair?”
Prince Kili: “None of your business! I saw her first!”
Of course, Princess Bethelwyn smiles triumphantly. She does not know which brother is which, but she likes what she sees.
King Thorin: Turning back to address his nephews, King Thorin admonishes them. “You will discuss that topic later, gentlemen.” Both Prince Fili and Prince Kili nod their acquiescence and apology.
Then King Thorin returns to face his bride. There are no officiants at this wedding, but for the bridal couple themselves. They have made their marriage pact complete by sharing their lives and making a home together, and by receiving her family’s and the Council of Erebor’s blessing. All that remains is for them to speak the binding oaths promising themselves to each other, forever. And by Dwarven tradition, it is the lady who must speak her vows first. They face each other and clasp their hands together in front of their family, friends, and Dwarven Council of Erebor in exile.
Lady Queen Sulisha: “I, Sulisha of Weaverdale, daughter of Sulbek, do pledge my whole heart and life to you, Thorin of Durin. May our union be blessed by happiness and joy.”
Thorin: Squeezing her hands in his, King Thorin smiles lovingly at her. “And I, Thorin of Durin, son of Thrain, do pledge my whole heart and life to you, Sulisha of Weaverdale. May our union be blessed by happiness and joy.”
It is done, they are wed, Thorin and Sulisha are husband and wife. They smile lovingly at each other [(6ab) below]–in awe of their now permanent bond. Then King Thorin leans in and he softly kisses his wife Queen Sulisha upon her rosy lips.
And a chorus of cheers and well wishes are shouted by the guests in attendance.
But of course, King Thorin and Queen Sulisha will still have their wedding trip to introduce her to their Durin Dwarven peoples. And then, there are the matters of legacy and alliances in the prospect of which if either nephew becomes betrothed to the metal Princess Bethelwyn. And finally, what of Gandalf and his proposals to King Thorin about reclaiming Erebor?
But now as a newly married man, King Thorin focuses upon his lovely wife Queen Sulisha standing before him. And this is Durin’s Day, when all hopes and dreams are granted. At this moment in time, for these two people–Thorin and Sulisha–their lives that are joined together forever, will begin. And let no Man, Dwarf, Wizard, Elf, or other nefarious creatures come between them. At least, not yet.
To be continued with Chapter 5
References for Ch. 4, October 19, 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 serves as the background image.
c) story cover image link for Wattpad: https://gratianads90.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/thorinsjourneyanunexpectedlove-storycover_oct0815gratianalovelace-256×401.jpg
2) Thorin Oakenshield image is portrayed by Richard Armitage in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/BOTFA-Teaser/album/slides/BOTFA-06.html
3) Durin’s Day in JRR Tokien’s Middle Earth calendar is an end of Autumn celebration; formore,pleasevisit http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Durin’s_Day
4) Sulisha Weaverdale wedding gown pose 2 is of Liv Tyler as Arwen in LOTR found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/f3/b5/04/f3b504044e5b7e2dd5b4e9381c2f6c38.jpg
5) For the ceremonial wedding arch in the cave grotto, I edited a cropped section of a screen cap of the Elven cave that I made from the first trailer for THDofS that also serves a the background image for the story cover
6) Image of Thorin and Sulisha gazing lovingly at each other after their vows is:
a) Thorin Oakenshield image is portrayed by Richard Armitage in The Hobbit : The Battle of the Five Armiies, Trailer 2 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/Hobbit/BOTFA/album/slides/BOTFA2-03.html; and
b) Sulisha Weaverdale image is of Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian in Robin Hood (2010) and was found at http://www.movieactors.com/photos-stars/cate-blanchett-robinhood-2.jpg
N.B. The previous blog link for Ch. 3 is: