“Once you had faith in my plans, Cousin. Did my wit fail when you donned your father’s crown?” ‘The crown I gifted him’ hung unsaid in the quiet, tapestry-hung room.

Legs stretched out before him, Fingon studied the fire. Finally: “Then, I could afford faith.” He raised his goblet, drank. “Now? I have a crown to honour and a son to protect.”

“Therefore?” Hair a deeper flame than fire, grey eyes intense, Maedhros leaned forward in his chair.

Fingon drained his cup. “After he and his mother are safe with Círdan, we can speak more of war – and of faith.”