The First Snow

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Literature Text

He climbed onto the tower top. Brisk, frosty air surrounded him. The landscape down the hill was covered with mist.
Winter morning in Himring.

And the first snow.

The floor was already well sprinkled with delicate snowflakes.
He wrapped his thick long shawl tighter around his shoulders and slowly put a bare foot on the snow. At first he felt nothing, his skin was still warmed with the bath. He followed with his other foot, nothing. A step forward. Still nothing. Silence. Calm.

Slowly he walked to the middle of the turret. Now he was starting to feel the chill and dampness under his feet but still it was not unpleasant.
Snowflakes were lazily drifting before his eyes. He wanted to reach out, to catch them, to hold them in his hand, but... He had only one hand. The attempts to hold his shawl with the stump nearly ended with the garment falling. All he could do was to reach out with the stump or...

Put his face towards it, as towards the Sun.

He closed his eyes. The first snowflakes gently talked to him about calm and then, falling gently, whispered about change. He started to daydream... If only he could stop the time, catch this frozen drop of water so it would remain beautiful for ever...

Father, what jewel would you forge if you could capture a snowflake before it reached my face?
How would you save the white frost gracing the world at dawn? Preserve a pattern embroidered with ice?

Have you ever seen snow falling from the sky?

Any snow at all except that at the peak of Taniquetil?
Even in Araman there was none...

Thoughts were flowing slowly, the memory of his father was not painful, not this time, in the stillness of the morning.


Someone's fast steps could be heard from the stairs. He knew the rhythm. He smiled to himself, surely in a while he will hear something about common sense. The snow under his feet slowly started to freeze the skin... The turret door opened gently, an intruder halted in the entrance...
Without opening his eyes, he addressed his brother:

'Come in filit, it's fine weather for contemplation.'

'Russandol, it is not wise! You will freeze if you stand naked there!'

Amused, he looked at his brother, 'I covered myself with the woolen shawl, what else should you desire? My feet will dry and my hair is still wet anyway.' Saying this, he winked.

'Maitimo, you are insane.' Makalaurë wasn't giving up, although a smile replaced his solemnity. 'Come back to the baths and warm yourself. I cannot look at you standing barefoot on the snow.'

Maedhros sighed. So many times had he asked them not to use this name... Why couldn't they understand his aversion for being Maitimo?

'Kanafinwë,' his voice was cold, 'if you cannot bear this sight go back inside.' After a moment, seeing his brother's face, he added in a slightly warmer voice, 'Or join me here. Barefoot. You will see there is nothing to be worried about.' He smiled conciliatorily. 'And please, do not call me  Maitimo, this is not my name anymore, not with this.' Saying it he showed his stump from under the shawl.

'As you wish.' Makalaurë answered sadly and added with resignation, 'But now come back inside, Ambarussa have to set off soon if they are to make it before the storms. Surely you want to bid them farewell, don't you? Breakfast has already been prepared.' He turned away and went downstairs.

Ambarussa! It was the day! They were leaving with the first snow. Makalaurë would leave soon, too. They should stay, Himring was a safe place, and without them...

Without them it will be sad.

In an answer there came a frosty blow from the north, swirling the falling snowflakes and sprinkling them into his eyes.
He went back following his traces. The snowy cover was almost intact, except for a few traces of bare feet. In a while they would disappear.

He smiled to himself and went inside


I would like to thank Mot and Nellelórë for their great help with the English translation of my story! Hantalë!  

Disclaimer: the Himring fortress and all the characters belong to J. R. R. Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien The Silmarillion).


Reference to The Glitter of metal by Ithilwen (Ithilwen of Himring). Read the story if you haven't, yet. Brilliant explanation of the way Maedhros came to his Sindarin name!

9.IV.2005 Lately I've found that Fire and Ice by Deborah Judge inspired me also...
... If ice and fire could join, could merge into a oneness without destruction, what would that be? ...
I just didn't notice it earlier... I love the story!

Meaning of the Quenya names [Sindarin name & Quenya names with nickname (epessë)]:

Maedhros: Maitimo - 'well-shaped one' - a reference to his beautiful bodily form, mother name; Russandol - 'copper-top' - an epessë given in reference to his red-brown hair; Maedhros (Sindarin) - 'Glitter of Metal', later changed into 'Well-formed (or shapely) Copper'.
Maglor: Kanafinwë - 'strong-voiced or commanding', father name; Makalaurë - 'forging gold' - a poetic reference to his skill in harping, mother name.
Amrod and Amras: Ambarussa - 'top-russet' - their mother name.

Source - J. R. R. Tolkien The Shibboleth of Fëanor in The History of Middle Earth volume XII.

filit - 'small bird' (Quenya). An affectionate nickname Maedhros has given to his brother Maglor. Epessë invited by Ithilwen, kindly borrowed from her.

Even in Araman there was none... Perhaps there was snow in Araman or in Losgar. For sure there was snow laying at the peak of Taniquetil in Aman. But was it falling down at the moment Fëanor was there? In my story - not ;)

hantalë - 'thank you' (Quenya)

Szczecin, XII 2004
The first snow
Szczecin, XII 2004

Winter morning in Himring, the Siege of Angband time. Short look at the world with bright grey eyes...

The Silmarillion related story. Short vignette, Maedhros'es POV.

You can also read The First snow in the archives: Stories of Arda [link] , HASA [link] & [link] .

Możesz przeczytać Pierwszy Śnieg po polsku - tutaj i w Wielkiej Bibliotece Minas Tirith 8-)
© 2005 - 2022 Sirielle
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NordicLynx's avatar
Beautifully written, and I like the explanation in the end. :)