“…though the union of the fëar of the wedded is not broken by distance of place, yet in creatures that live as spirits embodied fëa communes with fëa in full only when the bodies dwell together.”
- “Laws and Customs Among the Eldar”, Morgoth’s Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
“But Morgoth himself the Valar thrust through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World, into the Timeless Void…”
- The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
“When Thangorodrim was broken and Morgoth overthrown, Sauron put on his fair hue again and did obeisance to Eönwë, the herald of Manwë…"
- The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
It hit Mairon like a blow. He staggered, clutching at the stone wall that ran alongside the path they walked. Eönwë’s eyes widened in alarm as he glanced back to determine why Mairon had stopped. But Mairon paid no heed to the other Maia’s concern. In truth, he did not notice. His thoughts were on another.
“My lord…” Mairon gasped, sinking to his knees amid dust and rocks. Tears rose unbidden to his eyes. No, he thought, this cannot be. Even in the time of Melkor’s captivity, when the Elves were new, and the Valar kept him chained, Mairon had always been able to sense him. No matter the distance, he had known Melkor was alive and that he would return to him. The two were bound; the union of their spirits had formed an indissoluble connection. But now that bond had been severed. In his soul, he felt only a ragged, aching hole where Melkor should have been. Mairon felt as though he’d been rent in two.
Gravel pressed sharply against the palms of his hands as panic gripped him. Surely, the Valar would not have killed him, the Maia reasoned desperately. Despite all that he had done against them, he was still of their kind. They would not, could not, have destroyed him utterly. Eru would never allow such a thing. Manwë always followed the will of Eru. Always. But then why can I not sense him? Mairon’s mind shrieked in anguish.
“They have sentenced him to exile,” Eönwë supplied hesitantly, seeming to realize the source of Mairon’s distress, “and shut him into the Void, beyond this World. Just now they must have closed the Door of Night; that is what you felt. I did not know that you and he…” His voice faltered as Mairon looked up at him, a paradoxical mix of pain and relief etched onto his fair face. “I’m sorry,” Eönwë said instead, turning away. “Brother,” he continued, “you are of my order, and thus I cannot pardon you. Return to Aman and seek the mercy of Lord Manwë. Your sins may yet be atoned for. Forgive me, but I must leave you now. There are other matters that I must attend to.” Then Eönwë departed from Mairon, leaving him to mourn alone.
Mairon waited until Eönwë had left before rising shakily to his feet. Melkor was not dead; that fact was enough to calm him for a moment. And yet, though not destroyed, he was still beyond even the reach of Mairon’s soul. The lack of his beloved lord burned hollowly within him, but the despair that would have broken his heart turned instead to hatred, hardening it.
“Return to Aman, Eönwë says,” Mairon muttered through gritted teeth, his voice low and seething. “Return to Aman, I shall, but not to seek pardon…” For when I next meet the Valar, he vowed, it shall be to overthrow them. And I shall throw open the Door of Night and take back he whom they have taken from me! But even in the rage of his wrath, Mairon was not so rash as to rush into action, not when so much was at stake. Though his heart quailed and his soul quaked at the thought of the long ages he may have to endure, sundered from the one whom he held most precious, he stood tall and defiant.
Much there was to plan and prepare. Mairon turned back down the path he had walked beside Eönwë. Clutching the ache in his soul, he moved forward. Mairon left the ruined lands of the North, the kingdom he had helped his Master hold for hundreds of years, and he did not look back. There were other lands now that he must conquer.
Through lies and subtlety, wars and destruction, he would prevail. However long it took, whatever suffering he must endure along the way, Mairon would defeat the Valar. He would be reunited with Melkor, and he would be whole again. This is what he told himself, in the dead of night, when he was utterly alone, and his spirit trembled with loss and longing. This is what he whispered to the Darkness that could not hear him. I will be with you again.