After “All the others, gone” sparked heaps of discussions on the rebirth, re-embodiment and return of Elves who died…

… this absolutely needed to be done.

Entering the realm of wild speculation here rather than “missing scenes.”

No doubt Maedhros spent a long time in the Halls of Mandos, while his mother remained alone in Valinor – her husband and her seven sons, gone. Eventually, Maedhros might have been the first of all her family to leave Mandos again.

Their first meeting… so many things left unsaid, too painful to put into words.

I’m liking this more and more.

… and even more after completely redoing Maedhros. I’m glad I did. The last pose could have been anything. Now it’s a son begging for forgiveness.

For the colours, I went for a minimalist approach. Some coffee in subtle shades, with some of it taken off with a moist brush (by re-wetting it)  in order to get a streaming sunlight effect; coffee mixed with some watercolour paint for both their hair as the only non-coffee coloured item in the piece, and white gouache for the falling petals.

Stand up to the blow that fate has struck upon you
Make the most of all you still have coming to you
Lay down on the ground and let the tears run from you
Crying to the grass and trees and heaven finally on your knees

Let me live again, let life come find me wanting
Spring must strike again against the shield of winter
Let me feel once more the arms of love surround me
Telling me the danger’s past, I need not fear the icy blast again

(Genesis, Undertow)

Detail shots of Maedhros and Nerdanel:

I’ve also changed the title from “Thy son has returned” to “Forgiveness” – also because I realised that Tolkien Elves do not use the familiar “thou” for their elders…


19 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Wow! Cant wait to see this finished!
    But one thing – its just my personal opinion: I dont thinck that Maitimo has so say “Sorry”. Nerdanel is the one who has to do it – yes, exactly, begging on her knees.

    • Maybe it’s being overwhelmed rather than begging forgiveness. It’s really very much an echo of “All the others, gone” with a similar constellation – but in a much more defunct family, hence the body language is much more ambiguous and reserved.

    • Rethinking this, forgiveness is a big part of it. There are undoubtedly people from whom Maedhros needs forgiveness a lot more desperately than from Nerdanel, but they still left her, all of them, probably hardly daring to truly say good-bye for fear of alienating Fëanor. They deprived her of her entire family – and I’ve always felt that, towards the end, Maedhros became more and more like his mother again as he realised that he had followed the wrong parent, blindly.

  2. I cannot wait to see this finished! Ah, Maedhros. The perfect gentleman…
    I’d certainly think that he’d be released from Mandos, along with Maglor. It’s difficult to tell with Caranthir and the twins, and, well… I can’t help but hope that Celegorm and Curufin would have learned their lesson after all that business in Doriath. Every deserves a second chance, I suppose. Except Eol. He just went too far – along with his son. Or maybe it’s just a Nan Elmoth thing…

    • Nan Elmoth does strange things to people. ;)

      Maglor – he never came to Mandos, and so he would never leave it either. :( He probably “faded” with the passing of the ages as he walked along the shores… Now there’s a picture idea if ever there was one.

  3. Beautiful art as always. However, I don’t see Maedhros as being allowed to leave Mandos, not after three kinslayings and rape of Silmarils from Eonwe. I seem to remember reading somewhere, possibly in Tolkien’s early writings, that Feanor sits forever in the Halls of Waiting surrounded by his sons. I think that the only one of the Feanoriens that could have possibly been allowed to return would be Amrod, after dying in fire. And it’s him I see kneeling before his mother. After all, he was killed by his father for planning to return to her.

    • Are you sure about the “surrounded by his sons” bit? I’m amazed that I should have missed this – since I soak up anything Fëanorean-related like a sponge. ;) I always felt that Fëanor would be the only one – along with Míriel – who truly never left the Halls of Mandos.

      And I’m fully, aware, of course, that this picture isn’t a “missing scene” as much as pure speculation. ;)

      Maedhros has a lot speaking against him, I completely agree with you – but he also has a lot speaking in his favour. We’re probably talking thousands of years nonetheless.

  4. In any ways your Maedhros is perfect and he always was <3
    *despite i like your old works – him with a short hair <3 *

    Cant wait to see it in colour!

  5. I just noticed that–of course!–Maedhros has both hands again. Duh! I don’t know if you did this consciously, but showing him from the right side subtly but clearly points this out.

    I, too, like to imagine that Maedhros made it out of the Halls of Mandos eventually. His utter despair at the end of his life, that even Iluvatar would be unable to save him and his brother from the Oath that had become their curse, has always broken my heart. And I think the completion of his time in the Halls of Mandos would have healed him of that despair. Maedhros (and any of his brothers who would have humbled themselves in Mandos) can’t ever regain innocence after what he’s done, but I imagine him gaining a knowledge of something stronger: forgiveness.

    • That’s a wonderful post, Urania. So beautiful I’ll change this picture’s title to “Forgoveness”. :) Or possibly even “Healing”. You really hit close to home with all you said.

      • Aw, thanks! I really like your redo of Maedhros; I think’s more emotionally charged with a sense of his humility. And I take it you envision that Nerdanel does forgive him?

        • Of course she does; she’s his mother. ;)

          There’s probably some fifty to seventy Elves queuing up just out of sight, though, waiting for Maedhros to beg *their* forgiveness too…

  6. Beautiful! I like that you changed his pose – when I saw the first sketch I thought you were channeling the Pre-Raphaelites; “La Belle Dame sans Merci” sprang to mind. The finished product has lost the slightly aloof and fey feel – especially with the sunlight and petals.

    Poor Maglor; I’d like to think someone sent a ship for him, eventually.

  7. Oh wow, this is amazing!! I love seeing the progress through to the final piece and i agree with the re- doing Maedhros , they both look gorgeous!

    You can definitely feel the tension and sadness between the two of them. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next :D Your wonderful with any medium it seems!

  8. Pingback: Nerdanel Istarnie ✿ Forgiveness - Cosplay von Feanare auf
  9. I absolutelly love this piece. Not only that it’s wonderful piece of art, I’m so happy that there’s someone which would give happyend to Maedhros’s story…

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