[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, Dean O’Gorman as Prince Fili, Aidan Turner as Prince Kili, Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Hugo Weaving as Lord Elrond, Liv Tyler as Lady Arwen, Lee Pace as King Thranduil, and Billy Connolly as King Dain Ironfoot, Julia Ormond as Mistress Ella, Claire Forlani as Lady Constantia, and Henry Cavill as Captain Laurad, 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 of the previous installment: The Iron Hills Palace Fortress’ Cultural Exhibition and Tournament of Champions begain promisingly. But it promptly ended with the unexpected hatching of three Dragon eggs. However, the seven months pregnant Lady Constantia did manage to discern that Queen Sulisha is with child. But no one else knows that baby news yet.
“Thorin’s Journey: An Unexpected Love”, Ch. 13: Of Babies and Dragonlings
The news spreads far and wide that fateful day of the Iron Hills Palace Cultural Exhibit and Tournament of Champions–of three Dragonlings hatched and emerged from a deep fissure that opened up in the ground at the edge of the Iron Hills Mountain Range. The Dwarven, Elven, and Human adults are naturally fearful and wary–them remembering the attacks and devastation by the Dragon drake Smaug upon Erebor and the city of Dale. They are wise to be cautious. Dragons, like Orcs, have only had an evil presence in Middle Earth. Yet, King Thorin sees an opportunity to, perhaps, redirect these Dragonlings to be allies and not foes.
However, the innocent children of Middle Earth became enraptured with the idea of the Dragonlings [(2) right] . What are the Dragonlings like? Do they fly? Do they breathe fire? How big are they? What are their names? And are they boys or girls Dragons? To that their parents answer: baby birds; no; not yet; still small at six feet after two months; Primo, Secundo, and Tertius after their birth order; and, we are not getting close enough to find out. And though the Dragonlings Eagle Mothers are close to them, they do not have an inkling as to gender as well. Because though Dragons live longer than even the thousands of year old Elves, Dragons are secretive creatures by nature–and their gender can go either way until they reach their maturity, surmises Gandalf the Grey.
The plan for the Dragonlings that evolved at the original completion of King Thorin’s and Queen Sulisha’s wedding trip that ended up at the Iron Hills Palace Fortress gathering, was that after the Dragonlings were weaned from their Eagle Mothers, each race would take a Dragonling for its own to train as a secret weapon. Of course the Dragonlings will eventually grow to their full height of 24 feet–far surpassing the size of the Eagles, and not easy to hide in secret–nor to manage.
So for the first two months of the Dragonlings’ lives, several designated Middle Earth peoples representatives are sent to the caves to try to bond with the Dragonlings–playmates, if you will–to ease the Dragonlings transition to their new homes in the disparate lands without their Eagle Mothers. Surprisingly, both Lord Dwalin and Prince Fili seem to have a way with the Dragon’s–as well as Lord Elrond and Prince Legolas. Presumably it is the generally deeper voices of the Dwarves being similar to Dragon voices–and the lithe and graceful movement of the tall Elves that captures the Dragonlings interest. And though King Thranduil wants a Dragonling if every other king has one, he does not necessarily want the bother of it. King Thranduil’s Queen Consort Lady Constantia is about to issue forth his second child, so his mind is elsewhere.
However, there is a very great problem with regard to apportioning the Dragonlings–there are only three of them and four territories that want them. Three kings–two of them Dwarven– and a Mayor, with two Dwarven lands, Elven lands, and Human lands. But Gandalf the Grey negotiates that it will be the Dragonlings who will decide which territories they will inhabit. And the Dwarven, Elven, and Human leaders eventually concur. No one wants a disgruntled Dragonling on their hands.
So on the morning of the day before the Dragonlings destinations decisions–two long months after they arrived at the Iron Hills–Queen Sulisha has had enough talk about Dragonlings and lets her husband King Thorin know her displeasure at being displaced in his priorities with her now ranking third after the Dwarven peoples and reclaiming Erebor being more hopeful if they have their own dragon. And of course, her being in the sickness throes of her early pregnancy months does not help her mood either–especially because she has not told her husband yet that she is with child.
Noticing his wife Queen Sulisha’s subdued demeanor [(3) right] at the morning breakfast, when she is usually smiling and gracious, King Thorin gently clasps her hand in his and inquires of her after they are back in their Iron Hills Palace guest apartment suite’s private sitting room next to their bed chamber.
King Thorin: “My love are you unwell? You barely touched your morning eggs and sweet muffin. And I know they are a favorite of yours.” King Thorin smiles obsequiously is that hopeful husband way of trying to cajole his way into her heart by attending to her needs. But it is too little too late.
Queen Sulisha: Holding up her hand to him, she turns pale. But she startles him with her vehemence. “Do not speak to me of food! Do not speak to me of Erebor! And do not speak to me of Dragonlings!”
King Thorin: “Alright.” King Thorin looks at her hesitantly. He has not seen this side of his wife before.
Queen Sulisha: “Alright? That is all that you have to say to me? Alright?” She snaps, her being at the end of her tether.
King Thorin: “At the moment.” And from discussions that he has had here and there with other Dwarven husbands, he realizes that he might be in the Dwarven Dog House. Though he knows not what his offense is.
Queen Sulisha: Then she begins to weep. “Everything is wrong here! I cannot weave and no more visions come to me. I want to go home to the Blue Mountains!”
King Thorin: “And we will return home soon, beloved.” Then he adds what he shouldn’t have. “We will leave the day after tomorrow–after the Dragonlings decision has been made.”
Queen Sulisha: “Did I not say for you to not speak of Dragonlings? You care more about them than you do of me.” She pouts.
An inkling of understanding now nestling into King Thorin’s mind, he takes his wife into his arms with a loving embrace and he whispers adoringly into her ear.
King Thorin: “Suli, My Beloved. Shhh, shhh. I love only you.” He kisses her tenderly and speaks to her from his heart. “You are my world. Everything else in our lives is just a complement to it.”
Queen Sulisha: She speaks in crying hiccups. “But what about your wish to reclaim Erebor for our people?”
King Thorin: “Yes, I wish to secure our homeland again. Without it, I have no legacy to leave our hoped for sons and daughters.”
Queen Sulisha: “Hoped for?” Queen Sulisha looks at him poutily. She has not told him yet of her condition–there has never seemed to be the proper moment.
King Thorin: “Very much hoped for. I had not thought to have the joy of love and perhaps children until you came unexpectedly into my life. You are a very great treasure to me, Suli–more than all the gold trapped in Erebor with the Dragon drake Smaug.”
Queen Sulisha: “Really? You would give up your dream for us?” She slips and refers to her and the baby in her womb. And she blanches.
King Thorin: Not catching on at first, King Thorin assures her. “I would. You are more precious to me than all of our gold and wealth.”
Queen Sulisha: Deciding to delay telling him of her condition no longer, she responds with a small smile. “We are?”
King Thorin: Gazing bemusedly at Queen Sulisha for her phrasing, he asks quizzically. “We, Suli?” Him wondering if she is using the royal we pronoun.
Then Queen Sulisha takes her husband’s hand and places it upon her stomach.
Queen Sulisha: “We.” She smiles at him with tears of happiness in her eyes.
King Thorin’s eyes widening in wonder and joy, he asks her with hopeful awe evident in his beaming face and in his reverently hushed voice.
Queen Sulisha: “I am two months gone. Our baby will be born in seven months time.” She smiles.
King Thorin: “Oh My Love! That is wonderful!” King Thorin shouts for joy as he lifts her up in the air and twirls her around to her happy squeals matched by his joyous laughter. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Queen Sulisha: “Eeee! Ha ha ha! Thorin, you must be gentle with me now.”
King Thorin: Instantly stopping twirling and gently setting her down, he asks worriedly. “Of course. I did not harm you or the baby, did I?
Queen Sulisha: Leaning in to her huband and embracing him, she assures him. “No, silly. But I must be very careful until our baby is born. And I want to go home for the remainder of my wait.”
King Thorin: “Of course.” He nods his head. “But should you travel in your condition?”
Queen Sulisha: “As long as the roads are not too bumpy on our ride home, I will be fine.” She winces.
But bumpy dirt roads and forest pathways are the norm in Middle Earth. No one kingdom has sought to make passage to and through their lands easy for travelers–especially for unwanted travelers. Then King Thorin has a brilliant idea.
King Thorin: “My love, our ride home will be smooth and bump free.” He smiles with being every so pleased with himself as he thinks of asking the Eagles for a boon.
And then King Thorin thoroughly expresses his delight in him soon to becoming a father by kissing his beloved Queen Sulisha with loving abandon–and then some as they move toward their bed chamber.
But before King Thorin and Queen Sulisha can reach their bed chamber, an Elven boy Page knocks and is admitted into their guest suite’s Throne Room. And a reluctant King Thorin and Queen Sulisha are fetched from their private sitting room by an attendant. The Elven Page is but twenty years old, merely as tall as a human–but still a foot taller than the tall Dwarven King Thorin at five foot ourinches tall. King Thorin and Queen Sulisha take their seats on their elevated thrones–bringing them eye to eye with the young Elven boy.
King Thorin: Every gracious, King Thorin intones. “Welcome, young Elven! What news do you bring us?”
Elven Page: He bows respectfully and then intones with calm poise. “King Thorin, I am bid come to you and Queen Sulisha by our King Thranduil. The Lady Constantia has entered into her birthing trials and she wishes to have her friend, Queen Sulisha, by her side.” For the Lady Constantia of the Elves and Queen Sulisha of the Dwarves of Erebor have become closely bonded over the previous two months of their stay at the Iron Hills Palace Fortress.
Queen Sulisha: “Oh my! How wonderful for Lady Constantia and for King Thranduil!” She claps her hands together. “I will leave at once to attend upon my good friend Lady Constantia as she requests.” Queen Sulisha stands up.
King Thorin: “I will join you to give what aid I may to King Thranduil at this momentous time.”
And then King Thorin assists his wife down the throne platform stairs. And after she grabs a bag of essentials from their bed chamber, they quickly depart for the Elven Guest Apartment suite in the Iron Hills Palace. It is a long walk to the Elven Apartments, but they reach it in five minutes. Queen Sulisha is quickly ushered into the inner sanctum of Queen Sulisha’s bed chamber birthing room, while King Thorin is shown into the Elven Throne Room where a worried King Thranduil sits akimbo on this throne.
King Thorin: “Felicitations, King Thranduil! You are to become a father again this day!”
King Thranduil: “Thank you, King Thorin.” He answers coolly. But King Thranduil’s seeming disinterest masks an underlying fear.
King Thranduil: “And you are to be doubly congratulated since by your tradition, when Lady Constantia gives birth to your child, she will become your wife and your Queen.” Thorin smiles knowingly, pleased with himself for being conversant with Elven cultural traditions.
King Thorin: “Do you not expect the birthing to go well? Has Lady Constantia been ill?”
Dismissing his courtiers so that he and King Thorin are aloneand in private, King Thranduil reveals his worry in hushed and hurried tones.
King Thranduil: “There is so much uncertainty for the birth of this child. For the child will be of … of mixed blood.” King Thranduil hesitantly reveals.
King Thorin: “Mixed?” King Thorin wonders at what King Thranduil is trying to tell him. “Are you concerned that because Lady Constantia is not of royal blood that her birthing process will be different?”
King Thranduil: “No!” King Thranduil rolls his eyes in frustration. “It is because My Lady Contstantia is not of the Elven race! She is of the Human race! Our child will be of mixed blood!”
The air hangs thick with King Thranduil’s revelation. Not only was it unusual for the thousands of years old King Thranduil to take a consort–and then to get her with child–but that his choice of lady was not Elven. King Thorin is at the very least astonished–if not incredulous. But King Thorin reasons that if King Thranduil says it is so, then it must be so.
King Thorin: “I see.” Treading lightly King Thorin feels that it is best diplomatically to comment little about this turn of events.
King Thranduil: “What is it you see? That I have mated beneath me by loving a Human?” A nagging worry of others’ censure for his Human bride consumes King Thranduil’s thoughts. Her protection is King Thranduil’s sole concern.
King Thorin: “No, that disagreeable line of prejudiced thinking has no place in my thoughts. I am only considering that perhaps we should consult a Human with regard to Lady Constantia’s birthing process.”
King Thranduil: “I do not want those Humans coming near my wife or child!” He reacts vehemently.
King Thorin: “Well, I can’t say as I blame you there. The Humans can be so volatile–nor are some of them able to keep a secret.” King Thorin says blasely, though with him thinking that King Thranduil is quite volatile himself. “No, we need someone who will maintain the confidentiality of the situation. Our Dwarven-Human blended races ward baby Laurel’s wet nurse is just such a woman who might be of aid.”
King Thranduil: “How so! What help can a Dwarven wet nurse be?”
King Thorin: “Perhaps little. But a Human mother who wet nurses her own child conceived with a Dwarven father might be.” King Thranduil looks at King Thorin stunned. “You, of course must agree to keep our secret if we are to keep your secret.”
King Thranduil: “Of course!” King Thranduil claps his hands together loudly and the Elven page appears at the Throne Room entrance. “Please fetch King Thorin’s ward baby Laurel’s Dwarven wet nurse! Her name is …” King Thranduil turns to King Thorin.
King Thorin: “Her name is Mistress Ella. And she resides in our royal Dwarven guest apartments.”
The Page bows and leaves to attend to its task. After twenty minutes of fretful waiting, Mistress Laural appears–with the Elven Page carrying a large satchel and her carrying baby Laurel. She rushes forward–intent on being of aid to Lady Constantia, more than worrying about royal protocol. And she places her baby Laurel in King Thorin’s arms.
Mistress Ella: “My apologies for the delay, My King and King Thranduil. But I was feeding baby Laurel. Will you please burp her for me, King Thorin?” She holds the baby out to King Thorin. King Thranduil looks askance at such familiarity.
King Thorin: “With pleasure.” He pats the baby’s back as Mistress Laurel hands him a spit up towel for his shoulder where the baby’s face is. “It will be good practice for me.” King Thorin smiles smugly.
King Thranduil: “It will?” King Thranduil now looks at King Thorin in astonishment.
King Thorin: “It will.” King Thorin smiles pleased with himself. Then he offers the baby to King Thranduil. “Would you like to try to make her burp?”
King Thranduil: “Oh no! Not I.” King Thranduil looks stricken. It may be over two thousand years since his son Prince Legolas was born, but King Thranduil clearly remembers not having handled him when he was a baby.
Mistress Ella then grabs her satchel from the Elven Page and rushes into Lady Constantia’s bed chamber birthing room. What she finds there is a scene not so much of chaos but of frustration. Lady Constantia’s water has broken, but her labor pains are still far apartand have not progressed. This is concerning and is partly due to the mixed Human-Elven nature of the baby and this birthing process.
Queen Sulisha: “Oh Mistress Ella, I am glad that you have come to aid Lady Constantia!” She beckons toward her.
Lady Constantia: “I fear that something is wrong. But I do not know why a Dwarven wet nurse can help me.” Lady Constantia is lying abed in a simple muslin nightgown and robe with a hopeful but also a concerned look on her face [(6) right].
Queen Sulisha smiles, for she knows the true Human heritage of both ladies. But she does not want to breach Lady Constantia’s and Mistress Ella’s confidences by revealing their respective secrets to each other without their consent. Happily, Mistress Ellla is not so worried about secrecy as she whispers close to Lady Constantia, but Queen Sulisha also hears what she says.
Mistress Ella: “My Lady Constantia, were I to say that I am Human, would that ease your mind?”
Lady Constantia hopefully looks over at Queen Sulisha, who nods comfortingly at her. Then Lady Constantia replies to Mistress Ella as she sighs with relief.
Lady Constantia: “It would indeed, Mistress Ella.” She looks at the wet nurse in dawning realization. “And I am also Human.”
Mistress Ella: “I suspected as much my Lady.”
Lady Constantia: Grimacing in the pain of a too infrequent birthing contraction, she asks. “You did? Why?”
Mistress Ella: “You do not have a disdainful air about you as do the Elves.” And she thinks, as especially does King Thranduil.
Lady Constantia: “But that is more an economy of energy on their part–an aspect that increases their longevity.” Lady Constantia tries to explain the Elves seemingly frosty demeanor.
Mistress Ella: “Pardon me, My Lady.” She nods in acquiescence. “Now to the business at hand. How long ago did your water break and when did you take to your bed?”
Lady Constantia: “Nearly four hours ago, and I have lain here most of that time.”
Mistress Ella: “I suspected as much. My Queen Sulisha, we must help Lady Constantia to rise and take a turn about the room.”
Queen Sulisha: “You want her to walk around the room?” Queen Sulisha–a novice to birthing processes herself–asks in astonishment.
Mistress Ella: “When I had my baby Laurel, I found that it was too painful for meto lie down. And walking seemed to speed the process along.”
Lady Constantia: “I will try walking if it will hasten this process and will help my baby be born.”
So after much struggling, Lady Constantia sits up in bed with assistance. Then with the aid of Queen Sulisha and Mistress Ella, she stands. And then the three ladies slowly walk about the room–not straying too far from the bed, in case it is needed quickly. And a half hour of walking seems to do the trick as Lady Constantia’s birthing contractions grow more frequent and they return her to bed when there are no gaps between them. But they still have Lady Constantia sit up in bed to push the baby out.
Mistress Ella: “You must push hard, My Lady. It will hurt terribly. But you will have a beautiful baby when you are done.”
Lady Constantia: “I hope so.” She worries. “But what if our baby has no Elven features? Then we shall surely be found out.”
Mistress Ella: My lady, I have not seen a baby Elven child in over a decade–and I imagine neither have most Elves since babies are so rare. So I doubt they will remember what an Elven baby is supposed to look like.”
Queen Sulisha: “I agree. I have no inkling what an Elven baby should look like either.” So they press on–or push on in the case of Lady Constantia.
After fifteen minutes more, the two Kings Thranduil and Thorin hear a baby’s wailing cry. And they rush to the closed bed chamber door.
King Thranduil: “My Lady Constantia, are you well?” He asks haltingly through the closed door.
Mistress Ella: “Giveus a few moments and you can come in.”
And in that time the baby is swaddled and the Lady Constantia is bathed, put into a fresh nightgown, and returned to her bed with clean linens upon it. Finally, the baby is returned to Lady Constantia’s arms and she looks adoringly down at her baby. Queen Sulisha bids the maid servant to open the door and King Thranduil and King Thorin rush in.
King Thranduil: “My Lady Constantia, I hope that you are well. I have been quite worried.” He goes to Lady Constantia’s side.Then he bends down and kisses her forehead.
King Thranduil: “May I?” King Thranduil smilingly holds out his arms for their baby–to King Thorin’s astonishment. And Lady Constantia places their child in his arms. “I have my little girl to spoil. She is light as a feather and as pretty as a garden flower. What shall we name her, My Love?” He asks eagerly.
Lady Constantia: “She is graceful and beautiful, a very precious gift. Ohh, the Sindarin Elvish word for gift is Anna! Shall we call her Princess Anna?” [(8)].
King Thranduil: “Princess Anna is a fine name for her, My Queen.” He returns their baby to its mother’s arms. Then he promptly sits down on the edge of the bed near her. As with Elven custom, Constantia has born him a child. So she is now his wife and his queen. Then turning to Dwarven Queen Sulisha and Mistress Ella, King Thranduil gives a heartfelt. “Thank you.” Both ladies smile and nod.
King Thorin: “Our congratulations to you both.” King Thorin tenders while now standing next to his wife–still holding baby Laurel in his arms. “Oh! Pardon, Mistress Ella. Please take baby Laurel.”
Mistress Ella: “Yes, Thank you My King.” She happily takes her baby Laurel into her arms.
Though feeling bereft by not having a baby in her own arms, Queen Sulisha will have that remedied in seven months time when she gives birth to her and Thorin’s first child at their home in the Blue Mountains.
And the Dragonlings will find new homes with their non-Dragon counterparts in Middle Earth.
To be continued with Chapter 14
References for Ch. 13, December 28, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #849)
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) Baby Dragonling illustration was found at http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/22200000/Baby-Copper-Dragon-dragons-22210116-396-500.jpg
3) Queen Sulisha in a subdued mood is Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian in Robin Hood found at http://nashcountynow.com/uploads/film_images/movie_stills/robin_hood_3_630_pxlw.jpg
4) King Thorin smiling broadly image is Richard Armitage in 2014 BOFA Jun1015via Shebkay-sized
5) King Thranduil in formal dress attire is Lee Pace found at pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/91/11/78/91117870d62f898d2a7cefaacbcc4ad6.jpg
6) Lady Constantia in labor as the Elven Queen Consort is an image of Claire Forlani portraying Queen Igraine in the tv series Camelot found at https://mandoomonk.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/camelot4_2.png
7) Baby Anna Elven Princesss–face of cute sleeping babyOct1311shaluherefileswpcom
8) The new Elven Princess Anna is named after the Sindarin Elvish word for gift as found at http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Elven_Word_List
N.B. The previous blog link for Ch. 12 is: