Nólë i Ataro
EMPTY, DRIZZLING WOOD
A hooded figure enters the sheltered clearing, ARAGORN leans against a wide tree, a hood cover his face.
The world has been turned upside
down, I barely recognize anything
for what it was before. Our history
has changed so much. How can
anything be returned to what it
It cannot, Strider, you of all
should know that.
Then what are we to do? The wilds
do not accept us, those of our own
race do not,
and even Imladris is no longer mine
to call home.
The OLDER RANGER turns, and leaves.
(derisively, over his shoulder)
That, Strider, is the question we
all seek. There is nothing that we
can do. All you can do is continue
on with life as best you're able.
Grow up, and see the world for what
ARAGORN watches him leave, smoldering.
(under his breath)
Grow up. Is that all that you say?
What do you know of growing up? You
still have your family to turn to,
to confide in. This very place is
RIVENDELL, HEALING WARDS
ELROND checks ARAGORN's fever in growing concern.
There is a malice that he fights,
'ere the fever ever began. Some
anger, I perceive.
ARAGORN stirs feverishly. A single, shallow wound across his chest bleeds heavily.
ERESTOR aids ELROND crushing herbs at a side table and cleaning the cut.
Though I have not the hands and
eyes that you do, Lord Elrond, this
wound baffles me. It is but a small
thing, only slightly deeper then a
scratch, and yet it bleeds heavily,
and is sorely inflamed.
ELROND looks up, worried, then examines it again.
It is not poisoned, that much is
clear, though beyond that I am not
(turning to address Elladan who
watches from the doorway)
Tell me again, where you
Near the eastern borders. It was
clear that he was on his way here,
though alone, by the look of
ELROND's fingers ghost the jagged slice, his expression probing.
The storm outside thunders as the rain begins to lash against the window.
ELROND's face darkens and he suddenly jerks back, as if struck.
ERESTOR pauses in his herb crushing.
There is far more to this 'scratch'
then he would have us believe.
(resting a hand on ARAGORN's feverish forehead.)
It is a wound inflicted by a morgul
blade. It is a wonder that he made
it even thus far.
ERESTOR hands ELROND a handful of dried leaves.
Time may be short, hir nin.
ELROND accepts the leaves with a nod, hastily crushing them and turning them into a thick paste.
(softly, in deepening concern, while spreading the paste into the cut)
That it is... even too short,
perhaps. I will need you to watch
his fever, and act as necessary.
Later, we must reset the knee lest
it become any worse, but I fear
this cut must come first. Too much
time has already passed, and if we
do not know what remains of the
EMPTY, HALF-LIT FOREST, DUSK.
(Invisible between the trees. Derisively.)
Go home, Strider, and grow up.
CLOSE UP of a tear slowly rolling down ARAGORN's face.
CUT TO: ORC ATTACK
ARAGORN heads the final miles to Imladris, limping heavily.
Faint, marching footsteps are heard.
ARAGORN spins around, nearly crumpling with the added weight on his injured knee, short sword in hand.
ORCS are seen between the trees, surrounding him from a distance.
ARAGORN readies himself, preparing for their attack. His confusion when they do not move is clear.
A strong breeze gusts through, fanning out his cloak.
With an faint growl, ORC CAPTAIN steps forward.
ORC CAPTAIN swings at ARAGORN, intentionally missing, but taking advantage of his weakness.
ARAGORN dodges, but crumples, his knee giving in. He looses his grasp on the sword while trying not to fall.
Ranger...Strider. You are hated by
the ones you would call your own.
ARAGORN freezes. ORC CAPTAIN pins ARAGORN's bad knee down by stepping on it. ARAGORN hisses in pain and can't reach his sword.
Run home to the safety of the
elves, and tell Elrond that my
master sends his greetings.
ARAGORN frowns, his expression taut as he struggles to stand, but fails.
ORC CAPTAIN lazily traces a slice in ARAGORN's heaving chest with a dark MORGUL blade, ending with it resting against ARAGORN's heart.
Go home, little Ranger, go home and
know that I could have killed you,
here and now. Tell Elrond that
we're watching the roads.
HEALING WARDS-ARAGORN's bedside.
ELROND is bent over ARAGORN, concentrating as he examines the cut more closely.
ERESTOR carefully cleans out ARAGORN's knee while ELLADAN holds him still.
ARAGORN stirs, frantically shaking his head, trying to elude
ELROND's touch. ARAGORN's leg shakes under ELROHIR's grip.
ELROND murmurs under his breath.
Athelas! Is there not any fresh
athelas to be found?
AID hurries in from hall.
(handing Athelas leaves to ELROND)
My lord, it is nearly three days
old, but is the freshest that there
is to be found.
ELROND nods distractedly, accepting the leaves. ELROND crushes them and breathes on them before casting them into a nearby dish of hot water.
Ava ranya, yondonya! Estel, that is
not your path. Return, and find the
love that will last.
(his voice cracks)
Estel, if not for me, come back for
your brothers...for Arwen.
ARAGORN shudders, and falls deathly still. ELROND tenses, then ARAGORN stirs and wakes.
ELROND sits back in relief.
Ai, Estel... must you scare us so?
ARAGORN blinks in confusion, and his expression crumples in pain with a low moan.
ELROND hands ERESTOR a cup of pain-killing tea.
Get him to drink it... I want to
see to his knee. Elladan.. keep him
talking. See if you can learn what
ERESTOR convinces ARAGORN to drink the tea.
ELROND turns his attention to ARAGORN's knee.
Several minutes pass in which ELROND tends to ARAGORN's knee. ARAGORN grimaces in pain, ignoring ELLADAN's questions.
Estel, rest, and save your energy.
ARSGORN shakes his head,
Lord Elrond.... orcs. They watch
ELROND pauses in his ministrations.
The sentries would have reported,
had anything been amiss.
That's because they're not in
Rivendell. Not yet. My lord, this
This was their message to you. From
ELROND pauses in sudden understanding and sighs deeply.
I see now, the meaning to this...
and the malice I felt within.
ERESTOR looks at him, slightly confused.
The morgul blade. It is unheard of
that an orc would carry such a
weapon, and that had puzzled me
since the telling of your tale. Now
though, I understand. At least one
of the Ulairi haunt our doorstep.
A FEW HOURS LATER
Aragorn, there is something else
that disturbs you, beyond the wound
or fever. Can you not tell me what
Can you no longer call me Father?
ARAGORN glances at him for a long moment.
I did not think you would allow me
to use that title again.
ELROND comes to sit by the bedside.
No matter what comes between us,
you are always my son, Estel.
ARAGORN bites his lip.
Is this what bothers you so deeply?
Yes. No. It is the Rangers... there
are many among them that would be
far happier had I not joined them
and the patrol with them.
ELROND watches him, waiting, and saying nothing.
Adar, there are but a few who
welcome even my presence. They
despise me, telling me I know
nothing of the world outside your
ELROND nods slowly, thinking.
I do not regret having you return
to your kinsmen, for you should
know of their road, but I am
grieved that they would treat you
as such. True, they know of the
wilds from experience, but is
arrogant of them to treat you like
this. The question, Estel, is how
you will respond, for that is the
only thing that you can control.
I will not return to those men, but
the closest village. There, the men
guard the Shire as you well know.
(glancing at ELROND)
There, I might learn of my
kinsmen's ways, and those of the
folk they call the Halflings. I
have friends that will take me in
for a time while things cool off
between the others.
ELROND nods sagely.
As you will, my son. I trust your
And it is a good thing to, for I
cannot tell you what to do, now can
You know that in most matters, I
would listen anyways.