Queen Berúthiel by pxp

Queen Berúthiel

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Added: Sep 05, 2014
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''Do not be afraid!' said Aragorn. There was a pause longer than usual, and Gandalf and Gimli were whispering together; the others were crowded behind, waiting anxiously. `Do not be afraid! I have been with him on many a journey, if never on one so dark; and there are tales of Rivendell of greater deeds of his than any that I have seen. He will not go astray - if there is any path to find. He has led us in here against our fears, but he will lead us out again, at whatever cost to himself. He is surer of finding the way home in a blind night than the cats of Queen Berúthiel.'

JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings: Book II, Chapter 4: A Journey in the Dark

'She was the nefarious, solitary, and loveless wife of Tarannon, twelfth King of Gondor (Third Age 830-913) and first of the "Ship-kings", who took the crown in the name of Falastur "Lord of the Coasts," and was the first childless king (The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, I, ii and iv). Berúthiel lived in the King's House in Osgiliath, hating the sounds and smells of the sea and the house that Tarannon built below Pelargir "upon arches whose feet stood deep in the wide waters of Ethir Anduin;" she hated all making, all colours and elaborate adornment, wearing only black and silver and living in bare chambers, and the gardens of the house in Osgiliath were filled with tormented sculptures beneath cypresses and yews. She had nine black cats and one white, her slaves, with whom she conversed, or read their memories, setting them to discover all the dark secrets of Gondor, so that she knew those things "that men wish most to keep hidden," setting the white cat to spy upon the black, and tormenting them. No man in Gondor dared touch them; all were afraid of them, and cursed when they saw them pass.'

JRR Tolkien: Unfinished Tales: Part IV. II: The Istari [Footnotes]

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