Brothers in Arms
Bilbo recalls the tale of the death of two brothers, Fili and Kili, as they fought with great vigor in The Battle of Five Armies to his little nephew, Frodo Baggins. "Don't go... please..." Fili called, holding Kili's dying frame close, silence enveloped them, and Fili thought that he had left Middle Earth without him. "Kili!"
"Uncle Bilbo!" I heard Frodo call, chuckling to myself as I remembered my own days as a young hobbit and trying to avoid sleep. Much like Frodo was doing now; I walked briskly into his room and pulled open the door.
Placing a stern look on my face, as this was the third time Frodo has called to me since I put him to bed an hour ago. Frodo was still a young hobbit of only 8 years, and extremely mischievous at that too. Probably from his Took side, mind you.
Frodo smiled a grin so wide I knew that it probably hurt, "Today is Tuesday, Uncle!" I shot him an inquisitive look and he stared right back at me from underneath his covers. Positioning himself up in a sitting position.
"Yes and tomorrow is Wednesday." I returned, not gaining his point.
He sighed, "Don't tell me you forgot already, Uncle!"
"Forgot what?" I asked, flabbergasted.
"That today is Story Tuesday!" He responded, "Story Tuesday?" I asked deadpanned.
"Yes, which means you must tell me a story of one of your adventures!" Frodo practically screamed, bouncing up and down with excitement. I scratched my head, wanting to get back to my book that Gandalf had sent about elves of some sort. I had the perfect idea,
"Story Tuesday, why I remember that day back when I was young! I had forgotten about Story Tuesday, but you remember the last half of the arrangement. Don't you Frodo?" I asked, knowing completely well that this 'Story Tuesday' business was something Frodo had just made up.
He looked at me in shock, undoubtedly because I was going along with his little fairy tale. But he quickly covered it up, and shook his head no.
"Let me enlighten you then," I said, pausing before continuing. "On Story Tuesday your guardian has to tell you about one of their adventures, yes?" I asked, keeping him in the conversation. He nodded, "But to tell the story that audience has to agree to stay in bed and fall asleep afterwards, am I correct?" Once again, Frodo nodded his approval.
"Then get comfortable, because this story will be rather long." I stated, waiting patiently as he did exactly that before starting.
"Long ago there were two dwarves, brothers actually, named Fili and Kili. Nephews of the Dwarf Prince, Thorin Oakenshield. During this time the dwarves had no mountain to call their own." I paused,
"Remember how I told you dwarves lived in mountains?" I asked, and Frodo replied with a quick "Yes!" Gesturing for me to continue.
"They had no mountain as the one which was rightfully theirs had been stolen from them by the fierce dragon, Smaug. They fought in The Battle of The Five Armies, in hopes of reclaiming it..."
They fought with fidelity, Kili and Fili. The seemingly everlasting sound of metal clashing together in sparks, slicing through flesh and many attacks which were parried had long since became a devastating hum to their ears. The shrill calls of both pain and death were no longer considered abnormal to them.
When they had agreed to go on this journey they had come to one common concurrence that would prove to be most pernicious to them in the long run. They both knew the risks, but they never were more definite then in the next few moments of their lives...
They had long since been protected by their Uncle Thorin, rightful heir as the King Under the Mountain. Still yet a Prince, he wasted no time in trying to reclaim his lost Kingdom. From the time of the brother's birth to the Battle of the Five Armies he had guarded and been most devoted to them.
Undoubtedly, it made complete sense for them to return the favor. Even, if it meant death. They knew that they would probably die, but they never acknowledged it. They had continued to be convivial, even as far as being sanguine in their last moments on Middle Earth.
Thorin was a very placid dwarf, a skill he had mastered over many years of sorrow and brooding. That is why he found it most intractable as he watched his two nephews fall before his very eyes. That is why his whole world stopped as he became nothing but an observer to the unfolding tragic events. It was all like a lucid dream, except he had no control. He was their protector, the father they never had. They would die and it was all because of him.
They had rushed forward, Kili sending a folly of arrows at any creature which dare attempted to harm his Uncle. Desperately trying to save Thorin from death, not giving a surfeit of thought that his own was right around the corner, that he had inadvertently taken the first and final step in the Great Halls of Durin.
Kili had been struck numerous times by arrows, but still he stood and continued to fight with great vigor and undying strength. Fili fought alongside him, slashing his sword this way and that through the disgustingly odiferous body of trolls and orcs. He cried in terror as he watched an arrow pierce his younger brother's skin, through his stomach and out the other end.
Still, they both fought on. Fili would not, could not, leave his brothers side. Even as a second arrow went through his own chest. He would never have stopped fighting, not until he was struck down and dead. It would have ended that way, if it had not been for the harsh thud of his brother alongside of him as his broken and battered body fell to the ground.
Fili winced once, and then again as another sharp and biting pain racked his body and coursed through veins. He scowled, falling to his knees he looked over at Kili, noting harrowingly the three arrows protruding from his midsection. Idly he noticed the two through his own body, but paid them no second thought.
He looked over to his left and saw Thorin being lifted Beorn, and sighed in relief that he would no longer need their assistance. Quickly turning his full attention to Kili, falling completely to the ground as the pain became unbearable and dragged himself across the battle ground, over the reek of dead bodies to his dying brother.
"Kili..." The name passed through Fili's dreadfully dry and cracked lips as he laid his head next to Kili's. Wrapping his arm around Kili's waist, the only place free of blood-soaked arrows.
"Fili..." He barely heard the audible reply of his own name being uttered and answered the unasked question he knew Kili needed to hear.
"Uncle is safe, brother. Beorn has carried him into the mountain..." Remembering the harsh scene of his Uncle's lifeless looking body. Unconsciously removing some stray strands of Kili's blood-soaked hair from his face and tucked it behind his ear.
Kili held a grin weakly on his face, and took a deep breath before saying; "We... did it," he breathed on a shaky exhale. Taking in less air than his last breath, Fili noticed with sorrow.
"Yes," Fili intertwined his fingers with Kili's own and he gently laid their foreheads together, desperately wanting Kili to open his eyes, to look into those earth-colored orbs of his brother once again… to see life. "Yes... we have."
There was a horribly long pause, which felt like centuries to Fili before he heard the whisper, "Fi-li...," another shallow breath, "…hurt?"
Fili found his eyes brimming with unshed tears at those words and held back a chocked sob, "No... not anymore, Kili. Are you?" His heart was hammering in his chest, he felt like he was the anvil that a dwarf was using to smith a sword and a hammer was being mercilessly brought upon him. He didn't want Kili to know that though…
Kili looked up at his brother and Fili saw the slight nod of affirmation. That yes, he was in pain. And for the very first time Fili saw Kili cry his own tears. Making their journey down his face, leaving a clear trail through the dirt and grime, Fili wiped them away for his brother. Knowing his brother hated showing any sort of weakness.
They stayed there like that for a while, just holding each other and breathing. Before long one of them spoke, "scared..." Kili muttered, closing his chestnut eyes slowly.
Fili managed a strained chuckle, his own breathing now becoming labored and painful. "It's alright, I am here. We're fighters, brother."
"Warriors..." Kili coughed wetly, his breathing becoming shorter and increasing in speed.
Realizing what was happening Fili tightening his hold on Kili's waist, the only place absent of blood soaked arrows. "Don't go... please..." Fili muttered, hugging him tighter, his voice deep yet rough with unmasked pain.
"Honorable..." Kili muttered, opening his eyes again before clenching them shut. His breaths had become miniscule and minutely soft, barely able to be heard.
"Death? Yes..." Fili closed his own eyes; Kili had moved his head on its side, no longer having the strength to hold it straight up. Their faces now faced the others both hoped with all their soul that they could depart from this world hand in hand, like always.
Silence enveloped them, and Fili thought that Kili had left without him. "Kili!" He called, though it wasn't near as loud as he would have hoped.
The last beats of Fili's heart soared as he heard the splutter of a quiet and harsh breath from the cooling body beside him, listening attentively to the last words from Kili's rich voice that he would ever hear.
"Together, ... brother?"
Fili leaned into Kili, both of them looking at each other's eyes for what would be the last time. Squeezing him impossibly closer, a crooked smile made itself at home on Fili's face. And for the first and last time, Fili's only tears ever shed escaped.
"Together, little brother."
I finished, wiping away the tears that I didn't know were falling, and sniffled.
"Why are you crying, Uncle Bilbo?" Frodo asked his voice deeper than normal with the need for sleep.
"B-because they were very dear friends to me, Frodo... that is why." My voice was thick with emotion, and I held back a sob.
"How did you know that was how they died?" Frodo asked, I pondered over how a young Hobbit could have so many questions to ask before answering.
"I don't," I said curtly, not quite enjoying this conversation but knowing that it was I who brought this incident up. "But let us not talk about this anymore, for they are in a better place and are much happier now."
Frodo nodded again, and snuggled himself up into his covers. I sat with him for a while more, and once I thought him asleep I laid a kiss on his forehead and bid him goodnight.
Walking out of the room my hand was on the doorknob when I heard his soft childish voice, muffled by the covers.
"How do you know that they were happy, Uncle?" I struggled with this question for a few moments, before deciding on what I thought to be the best answer.
"I know because they had gotten their last wish - to leave Middle Earth as they lived it... together, brothers in arms."
To share with you the main reason I wrote this "story" was because I thought it unfair that in the novel, The Hobbit, characters Fili and Kili never were given an honorable death by their creator, J. R. R. Tolkien.
Sure, some may say "Well he wrote that they died defending Thorin." Tolkien did say that, but I personally thought that they deserved more than a mere mention. This isn't an Alternate Universe/Ending in any form, so this wouldn't really affect the direct storyline of The Hobbit.
Since Tolkien never wrote a descriptive scene on the death of these two brothers, one could assume that no one was there but them to witness it. Resulting in Bilbo's reply to Frodo's question that he does not know how Fili and Kili died. Rather, this was how he would have imagined it to be if were there at those last moments.
Do you guys think the summary is good?
Do you think I should just cut the Bilbo and Frodo bit out?
NOTIC I M P O R T A N T: The original story is by Rory Chaze here on or as ~Padfooted-Beatle on Deviantart. This version is much longer then his and I had the approval of creating and posting this. All I have done is improved the original to the best of my ability. (About 1,600+ words of detail to be precise.)