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Darkness Reigns in the Light by Pearl Took

Author: Pearl Took
Title: Darkness Reigns in the Light
Theme: Wedding Nightmares
Elements: I totally forgot about my element, so it isn't included.
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: Character deaths
Summary: Very AU. One change in the plot would change the whole story and a wedding might be the biggest surprise of them all.
Word Count: 1,673

Darkness Reigns

I never thought this would happen to me.

No, I should rephrase that: I never thought it could happen to me. This is not part of my purpose here, not part of the grand scheme, not part of . . . me. But there is no other way. I have no other recourse. I wed her or I die.

I have been told the change was smoothly done, that she had little trouble with those closest to her. Many fell in with the new regime from mere habit of following her, unaware until too late that all they had known before was no more. They loved her to their own damnation. Those who might have resisted she destroyed before they could.


I had learned strength as a child. Strength and determination. Few dared to cross purposes with me. For long ages I battled within my spirit, wanting to win - to dominate - yet loving peace, beauty and freedom. No one knew. None other was strong enough to pierce the armor of my mind. No one knew when I decided I would take whatever chance came my way.

And come my way it did. I almost felt pity for the poor creatures, so devastated by the loss of their guide and friend, but my own need drove pity aside. I would call him aside. I would do whatever was necessary.

My mirror! My mirror would serve my needs. I knew the little gardener wished to see Elvish magic, well . . . magic he would have.

I found them walking in the quiet, twilit woods and beckoned to them. I dipped the ewer, filled the basin, breathed upon the silver surface of the water then stepped aside.

"Here is the Mirror of Galadriel. I have brought you here so that you may look in it, if you will."*

My desire leapt within me but none would have noticed. Strength and determination; my lifelong gifts worked their own magic.

Oh, they saw things in my mirror. They saw home and horrors. The Ringbearer saw the eye of Him I would supplant. I lifted up my hands and the little one saw the ring I bore.

"Verily it is in the land of Lorien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper."*

I nearly laughed aloud, but the sound of such cold laughter would have frozen the hearts of the Hobbits before me, and that was not what was needed. Adamant indeed! Nothing on or in Arda is harder. It is unbreakable and only able to be carved or polished by friction with its own kind. I am Adamant! I am unchanging strength and determination! My smile was gentle, kind and well schooled.

The little one's head droops in sorrow and confusion.

"And what would you wish?" he said at last.*

"That what should be shall be."*

Surely he can hear my heart pounding! Surely he can feel the quivering of desire that grips me. Strength. Determination. Not to fail when the moment arrives.

I set him a gentle speech of Elven love and sorrow for Arda; for this Middle-earth.

"Yet I could wish, were it of any avail, that the One Ring had never been wrought, or had remained for ever lost."*

He does not hesitate. He offers his burden to me.

"Wise the Lady Galadriel maybe*, but Frodo Baggins of the Shire is wiser still. Such a solution has never occurred to us. We know that Wizards fall to the temptation of the One, and Men are its easiest prey, so Lord Elrond is not well suited since the blood of Elves and of Men are mingled in his veins. I have long been among the mightiest of the Elves and yet not once has my taking the One for safekeeping been discussed."

I was already looking him in the eye so he had no chance to feel the change in my stare. He did not realize that I did not speak aloud.

"I humbly accept your offer, Frodo Baggins."

His gardener takes breath to speak, but I am more than able to handle them both at once. His lips softly close. No word is spoken.

Slow hands move along a slender neck. The chain is lifted, lifted till it clears the curly haired head. I do not reach for the prize until his arm is fully extended and he is leaning forward, shifting onto the balls of his feet, straining to give me the Ring. I hold out my hand. He lets his burden go. Calmly I unclasp the chain, slip the Ring off then onto my finger so that it nestles again Nenya.

It burns! It burns and writhes while I bite the inside of my lower lip until it bleeds.

The two rings fuse together; fuse to me. They will never simply be removed. There is a reason that Sauron lost a finger.

I feel the power rise within me. My already tall frame grows yet taller. Hot winds wail around me. I think of armor and I am armored. I think of a weapon and I am girt with a sword. The former Ringbearer and his friend sink to their knees in worship.

"For many long years I had pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands, and behold! you gave me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you have set up a Queen. And I am not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!*

My first order to you who love and worship me is that you will return to your fellow travelers and say nothing of what has happened. Should you speak of it I will know and you will know my displeasure!"

"We love and obey!"

"Then go! Perform your task. I have other matters to attend to and then I shall call for you both."

They scamper off while in our talan my husband grabs his head. Celeborn's mouth gapes open in a silent scream before he falls dead to the floor.

I have no more need of him or his goodness.

I close my eyes. It is harder work to touch those further away, but Elrond is not on his guard. Neither are Glorfindel, Erestor and the others who hold great sway over the Elves. One by one I cradle their agony in my thoughts as I destroy them.

Soon, riders will come from Imladris to deliver a horrible message.

"Dead! All dead!" they will wail.

But the minds of the messengers will be open and accepting. They will love me. They will fall to their knees and worship me and I will own them . . . or they will die.

I walk about my realm carefully touching the thoughts of all the Galadhrim. Some sink to their knees in worship, others in the throes of death. There is no in between.

My thoughts call to Frodo Baggins and Samwise. I sense a change in Frodo. The strength he showed while bearing my Ring is asserting itself. I kill them both. I go to the Company's lodgings. Gimli falls to his face in total adoration. I give his mind its orders and he slays the son of Thranduil, and the son of the Steward of Gondor. The other two Hobbits go numb with terror and are easily taken over; they will make pleasant little toys.

I have a special plan for Estel. Ha! He is "Hope" no longer. He will see his throne go to me and he will be bound and will be my slave. Poor Arwen will be pained by my attentions to him, but she will be kept busy mucking out pigsties, not that anyone will care after I disfigure her face. It won't do to have a beauty around who some have said surpasses my own.

I laugh and the clouds form and the air grows cold. I laugh and the cold rains fall. I have much to do to begin my reign.


It all happened so quickly. None foresaw it so none were prepared. Her army of besotted Elves and Men surged into Mordor, taking it with barely a fight.

She took my holding the same way. Destroying all the Orcs - she claimed she was only putting them out of their misery - as she had in Mordor while all the others who had served me either fell obsessively in love with her or were eliminated. Most loved and venerated her.

Me she bewitched through the palantir; confusing all I saw, confusing me. When she arrived I had already burned my staff and changed into robes the color of mud. I abased myself before her, for she is now my god.

I do not understand. My kind were supposed to be above her kind, beyond their understanding. She has turned the others, including he who was once her favorite, into mindless beings that sit blank-eyed in her throne room uttering praises to Faenbereth, the new name she has taken. A Radiant Queen to replace the Dark Lord.

Why has she chosen me to wed?

"You proved a good puppet to Sauron," she told me. "I need a consort puppet to dance to my whims."

It hardly seems an adequate reason, but so she has ordered, so it will be.

There is a knock upon my door and a voice calls out, "It is time for the ceremony, Lord Saruman, soon to be consort of Faenbereth; Ominpotent, Omnicient ruler of Arda. She who is Adored. All devotion be to Faenbereth!"

I go forth to my doom.


*indicates quotes from "The Fellowship of the Ring" the chapter "The Mirror of Galadriel" with small changes made to fit the new version of the tale.
*I used Hiswelókë's Sindarin Dictionary to make Galadriel's new name of Faenbereth = radiant queen


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, so truly a wedding from nightmares! And all dead or besotted? Yea, she has indeed but taken Sauron's own place!

Very chilling!
Jun. 24th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)
Thank you, Larner. I felt I was treading on thin ice writing a fallen Galadriel. I'm glad it came off well.
Jun. 23rd, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
*shudder* This is indeed a nightmare of an AU! Whoosh! You actually make me feel sorry for Saruman!

Who knows? Perhaps this is the idea the Ring put into Galadriel's head when she was tempted! If it was, she showed amazing strength in overcoming it in canon!
Jun. 24th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Thank you, Dreamflower :-)
I do think Galadriel was quite tempted down through the ages, especially after reading about her past and the type of person she was. She liked winning.
Jun. 23rd, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
Wow. This is a nightmare indeed. What a chilling vision, and very, very plausible. Perfectly written, too, with the frame and the double perspective. Excellent!
Jun. 24th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Thank you Virtuella! A high compliment indeed and I'm glad you enjoyed the story so much. :-)
Jun. 24th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC)
*shivers* Very frightening.
Jun. 24th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Thank you, addie! I'm glad it gave you the shivers.
Jun. 24th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
That's an excellent piece! Your prose is beautiful and matches the character of the new Galadriel almost seamlessly. It's very believable too . . . almost more believable that something like this would happen than that the ring would actually be destroyed.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Charli :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it so much.

I maybe shouldn't, but I'll mention that Virtuella nominated it for a MEFA. I'm pleasantly surprised that so many people have really liked it.

Thank you so very much!

Jul. 3rd, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Ooh, shiver (I admit, I'm a sucker for AUs)

Jul. 12th, 2009 12:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, mrowe. :-)

Sorry I'm late replying. My stupid email box keeps putting these in my Spam folder. :-(
Jul. 3rd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
*shivers* What a dark and freakly alternative to what happened!
Jul. 12th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you, claudia, that was what I was going for. ;-)

Sorry I'm late replying. My stupid email box keeps putting these in my Spam folder. :-(
Jul. 7th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)

This was a great AU. I particularly liked Arwen's fate--AND Saruman's!

(What would happen to Gandalf under this scenario?)
Jul. 12th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it, labourslamp.

I thought about that after this was done and posted, that I left out Gandalf. All I came up with was that Galadriel would know when he returned and bind and imprison him somehow . . . or something.

Sorry I'm late replying. My stupid email box keeps putting these in my Spam folder. :-(
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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