The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East
Chapter 21 Synopsis
Arriving on the Eagles, the Dwarves and a now-unconscious Ganoveth arrive in Rivendell. They are greeted as Elf-friends—though Lord Elrond is perhaps a tad cool toward the Dwarves. He has a long memory. Prince Thélor also meets a legendary Elf warrior named Glorfindel, who once slew a Balrog single-handedly. He returned from the Undying Lands with the Blue Wizards centuries ago.
Before they depart, Gwaihir the Wind-lord pledges assistance to the Dwarves in time of great need for their part in saving his cousin, Wilyador.
Ganoveth is immediately taken to be tended to by the healers, while the Dwarves are invited to feast with the Elves that evening in the Hall of Fire, but not before Lord Elrond is able to sense and purge the Speaker’s influence from Thélor.
During the feast, both Thélor and Azagri notice someone skulking outside. Azagri is too preoccupied with Elf-maids to investigate, but Thélor discovers an Easterling who bears a striking resemblance to Ganoveth. It is his father, Altan! Altan is recently returned from a long journey searching the countryside for sign of the pursuer who chased them since their homeland: Ganoveth’s mother, Shria. She is a powerful witch who hopes to unbind her daughter, Ariunaa, and thus release the Speaker. That is why Altan fled west with his children, and why he left them near Bree. He hoped to track her down before she could find them.
Ganoveth, who remains bed-ridden, is visited by Lady Arwen, Elrond’s daughter. She brings him food and some wine. She confides that Elwen was her friend, and she was much grieved to learn she was lost. She hopes he will be able to rescue her.
The next morning, it is decided a council will be called to strategize. Not only is the Speaker consolidating power in Angmar, but there are rumors that the Necromancer is stirring in Mirkwood. Scouts report that an army has left his tower of Dol Guldur led by a masked Dwarf. Prince Thélor suspects this is his brother. He immediately sends a letter entreating the King Under the Mountain of Khazad-dûm for assistance.
Altan visits with Ganoveth. Much is revealed: The reason they fled their tribe, and who pursues them and why. It seems Ganoveth’s mother was trained as a witch since girlhood under one of Pallando’s apprentices, Sumay. This was tradition for the chieftain’s wife, but his mother took to it extraordinarily well. When Ariunna was born, she made it clear to Altan that she wished to unbind her. Altan claims he does not know why, and suspects she was driven mad by the spell which caged the spirit of the Speaker in the body of her unborn daughter.
Altan aslo chastises Ganoveth for not killing Ariunaa when he had the opportunity. Now, countless lives might be lost due to his cowardice. Since he hasn’t used Ebonrath-Sahil wisely, Altan demands it back. Ganoveth refuses. He is not a coward, he says. He simply has hope. Altan attempts to take the blade by force and, after a brief clash, Ganoveth manages to disarm his father—though it takes all of his strength, and as soon as Altan leaves the room he collapses back onto his sickbed.