Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tales From Valinor: Thorin's Funeral

Frodo basked in the golden sun that was streaming through the windows of the library.  It was reasonably organized after hours and hours of work by Elrond and Frodo.  Frodo glanced over at the section reserved for his and Bilbo's works.  He reread the titles of each work silently to himself, running his hand down the leather binding.  "An Account of the Funeral of the King Under the Mountain" he whispered to himself.  Frodo remembered sitting down to write this.  Bilbo had asked him to record it for him.  Frodo remembered this particular account distinctly because it was one of the only times his uncle had cried while relating a tale.  Frodo pressed his lips together and decided to reread it and correct any errors he found.  He took his place and began to read aloud.
Bilbo looked over the railing.  It was rather cold, he thought, perhaps too cold to be dressed in a mithril coat--however grand it made him feel.  But at this moment, the grand feeling he usually got from the fancy coat was rather suppressed.  In fact the whole day was a plainly grievous and sad day all around.  Bilbo thought to himself that the ten dwarves surrounding him looked very downcast.  And they did.  For today was the day that their king and leader, "a very important dwarf", was to be buried.

From around the corner of stone marched Balin, Dwalin, Ori, Nori, and Dori carrying the casket upon their shoulders.  It was a very elaborate casket covered in gold and blue with runes Bilbo could not read etched upon it's surface.  The thrush perched above them on the leafless tree cawed three times and even he sounded grieved.

The dwarves bent their knees as Dwalin, Ori, Nori, and Dori lowered the casket into the tomb appointed for Thorin.  Bilbo forgot all the courtesies he was supposed to acknowledge for pure sorrow, and let out a choked sob which led to a flurry of tears and other unprofessional carrying on.  But at that moment Bilbo had little care for the professionalism of the moment, and was rather overcome with sadness for the loss of the king...for the loss of his friend.

Bilbo watched with tear filled eyes as Fili and Kili were taken to their respective tombs which were laid beside Thorin's grand one.

Balin stepped up on a marble stair and began to recite some verses in dwarvish.  Bilbo could not tell what he was saying, but it pressed his heart to hear Balin so emotional.  Gandalf who was standing behind all of the dwarves and out of the way of the processesion muttered something in a language that was similar to Elvish but was not quite like it.  Bilbo looked at him for comfort, but saw only Gandalf's bowed head, his pointed hat clutched to his chest in reverence.

When Bilbo looked back, the other dwarves were surprisingly facing him.  Have I done something wrong? Bilbo thought to himself self-consciously, looking back questioningly.  "Speech," Bofur said, elbowing Bilbo into action.

He took shaky steps to the stairs and Balin gave him his space.  Bilbo took a deep breath and cleared his throat.  He wiped the last tears from his cheek and then began.

"I met Thorin the Grand not very long ago.  Indeed it may have only been a twelvemonth, but I cannot be sure.  Thorin the Important came to my door with an imperitive mission for me."

Bilbo tried to use his most impressive language, but found himself stuttering and discombobulating several words to the point where he had to recompose himself and begin again.

"Honorable Thorin Oakenshield called me a grocer once, I believe," Bilbo said, recalling how he had reacted with indignation, and smiling smally to himself about how he proved it untrue, "And indeed at the time I might have seemed like one.  But because of Thorin the Magnificent, and because of all of the dwarves here, including Fili and Kili the noble, I have learned things and seen things I never thought possible...and for that..." here Bilbo was appropriately emotional, "I am very grateful."

Recalling that dwarven speeches tended to be longer than Bilbo expected or wanted, he felt pressed to continue on.

"Thorin the Excellent and I did not always see eye to eye," Bilbo said and several dwarves nodded in agreement, "And at times indeed I was exasperated by his 'important' ways and tendencies...but he was a good dwarf and a kind friend.  He was always brave and never a coward..." Bilbo thought back to his bold declaration to reclaim the mountain.

"Thorin the Kind has succeeded in his quest and truly is the King Under the Mountain, and so I believe this is his..." Bilbo said, growing quieter.  He reached his hand into his pocket.  His hand brushed his Ring, but he went over it and instead grasped a gemstone.  He pulled the Arkenstone out of his pocket and held it aloft for a moment.  The shine of the gem was reflected in the onlooking dwarves.  Bilbo placed it lightly on the casket and held his hand their fleetingly.  He mumbled something to himself, or maybe to Thorin, he couldn't be sure.

But at that moment he was overcome with emotion and could not speak.  The best he could do was raise his hand weakly, nod to signify his speech was completed, and step down.  Bifur set a gently hand on Bilbo's shoulder and soon Bilbo was sobbing quietly to himself.

"The streams shall run in gladness,
The lakes shall shine and burn,
All sorrow fail and sadness
At the Mountain-king’s return!"*
The dwarves chanted sadly as they each placed a hand on the casket as they walked by it.  It was carried into the tomb and the door was closed.  It was silent for a time until Gandalf spoke.

"The king under the mountain shall be succeeded," he said, extending his arms out.  A dwarf with a red beard and bright blue eyes ascended the stairs and all of the dwarves bent their knees.  So this is Dain Ironfoot, Bilbo thought to himself, slowly bowing his head, still teary-eyed.

"Long live the king under the mountain!" Gandalf proclaimed, extending his staff.

"Long live the king under the mountain!" The dwarves collectively roared.

Bilbo listened to their cries echo off the vast stone halls.

"Long live the king under the mountain," he whispered.
*Direct quotation from The Hobbit

I thought I would do something Hobbit-related because I've been doing a lot with The Silmarillion recently.  One of the few things I liked about "The Battle of the Five Armies" movie was that (in the extended edition--which I haven't seen--at least) they included Thorin's funeral.  It got me thinking about what it might be like.  It doesn't exactly fit with the more lighthearted tone of The Hobbit, but I have tried to write it in the same style as the book in other ways.  Let me know what you think of this and as always, leave a suggestion for a future Tale from Valinor in the comments below.  Thank you!


  1. I LOVE THIS! It is so lovely and I can imagine this very clearly. I actually might include Thorin's funeral in my blog now that I think of it. I hadn't planned to but it would make a great addition to the story! Thank you for writing this!

    1. Of course! I'm glad you liked it and I'm excited to read your rendition :)