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VoronwŰ

"The Steadfast"

An Elf of Gondolin, VoronwŰ's father was AranwŰ, his mother was of the Grey-elves of the Falas, akin to CÝrdan.

VoronwŰ was chosen by Turgon to be one of his messengers to seek the West and the pardon of the Valar. Tarrying on the way in Nan-Tathren, he came last of all to CÝrdan.

"But the salt air of the sea now stirred anew the heart of my mother's kin within me, and I rejoiced in the waves, learning all ship-lore, as were it already stored in the mind. So when the last ship, and the greatest, was made ready, I was eager to be going saying within my thought: 'If the words of the Noldor be true then in the West there are meads with which the Land of Willows cannot compare. There is no withering nor any end of Spring. And perhaps even I, VoronwŰ, may come thither. And at the worst to wander on the waters is better far than in Shadow in the North.' And I feared not, for the ships of the Teleri no water may drown.

"But the Great Sea is terrible, Tuor son of Huor; and it hates the Noldor, for it works the Doom of the Valar. Worse things it holds than to sink into the abyss and so perish: loathing, and loneliness, and madness; terror of wind and tumult, and silence and shadows where all hope is lost and all living shapes pass away. And many shores evil and strange it washes, and many islands of danger and fear infest it. I will not darken your heart son of Middle-earth, with the tale of my labour seven years in the Great Sea from the North even into the South, but never to the West. For that is shut against us.

"At the last, in black despair, weary of all the world, we turned and fled from the doom that so long had spared us, on to strike us the more cruelly. For even as we descried a mountain from afar, and I cried: "Lo! There is Taras, and the land of my birth," the wind awoke, and great clouds thunder-laden came up from the West. Then the waves hunted us like living things filled with malice, and the lightnings smote us; and when we were broken down to a helpless hull the seas leaped upon us in fury. But as you see, I was spared; for it seemed to me that there came a wave, greater and yet calmer than all the others, and it took me and lifted me from the ship, and bore me high upon its shoulders, and rolling to the land it cast me upon the turf and then drained away, pouring back over the cliff in a great waterfall. There but one hour had I sat when you came upon me, still dazed by the sea. And still I feel the fear of it, and the bitter loss of all my friends that went with me so long and so far, beyond the sight of mortal lands."

VoronwŰ sighed, and spoke then softly as if to himself. "But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside. Yet whether we saw only clouds still more remote, or glimpsed indeed, as some held, the Mountains of the Pelˇri about the lost strands of our long home, I know not. Far, far away they stand, and none from mortal lands shall come there ever again, I deem."

Then VoronwŰ fell silent; for night had come, and the stars shone white and cold.

Unfinished Tales/Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin

VoronwŰ guided Tuor to Gondolin, where we lose track of him. The only hints we are given of VoronwŰ's fate are these words of Tuor:

"But mourn not, VoronwŰ! For my heart says to you that far from the Shadow your long road shall lead you, and your hope shall return to the Sea."
Unfinished Tales/Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin


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