Bainalph, the Beautiful Swan, from
's story "A Light in the East":
"Crossing the floor of the council chamber to give his father the kiss of greeting, Celeirdúr noted those present, and considered them. There was Brongalen, survivor of Dagorlad and the siege of Barad-dûr, pure Silvan. His lordship lay south, amidst the great oaks, and secret pools. Next to him sat Certhech from the East Forest, whose spear was hung with black feathers, then Gwaewind of the Westwood, clever and tempestuous, and lastly Prince Bainalph, who must have ridden from Alphgarth for the council alone. Hair as milk-white, and face as fair as his name, he was the sole survivor of the Iathrim house of Cúalph *, his father kin to Elu Thingol, his mother one of Melian's court.
Bainalph had been a child when his father died on Dagorlad, and when he reached maturity, his mother, as she had purposed, asked calmly for escort to the southern haven of Edhellond. This was not a journey many of the Silvan Elves ever made; they were rooted to Middle-earth, and believed that living or houseless, they belonged there. Bainalph rode with her, but returned to the forest, and his prowess as a warrior became as legendary as his beauty. To look at the lords gathered, one might have guessed fey Brongalen to speak loudest against the peace, and Bainalph to favor it. Not so. Bainalph never spoke loudly; his voice was low and sweet but he, like Thranduil, had been raised on tales of the beauty and fall of Doriath, and his hatred of the Golodhrim ran as deep as the king's. And yet the two were not close, and Celeirdúr had often wondered if there were some old rivalry between the Houses of Oropher and Cúalph. Or perhaps it was that Bainalph's parents had clung to their Sindarin origins and titles, had not adopted the Silvan customs as most of the Iathrim refugees had, Oropher more than any, as if he sought to forget his broken home. And yet, Thranduil had been friends to the Cualphii until Bainalph took his father's honours. Howbeit, Bainalph, whose home lay on the Forest River where it entered the woods, where the swans whose name he bore gathered under the willows, had earned the right to call himself a prince, none disputed it.
They called it the Blood Winter, when starving hordes of orcs had poured from the mountains, and fallen on Bainalph's people. They were few, and none were kin to him, but Bainalph had held until Thranduil's warriors came. The beautiful white swan had been black from head to heels with orc-blood, and Celeirdúr had only recognized him by his eyes. He still held the north-west of the realm against any incursions, and was the first to know of orcs stirring in the foothills. A good ally in battle but Thranduil's coolness toward him had influenced Celeirdúr, and he had never sought to make Bainalph a friend. Why was he on the council, Celeirdúr had once asked, and the king had said that he, like his father, had earned it through his deeds, but there was no doubt that Thranduil preferred he keep to Alphgarth, which Bainalph seemed more than happy to do.
No, Celeirdúr had no allies here. So be it.
Thranduil, after asking each Lord for a report from their lands, spoke of patrols. None henceforth were to cross the Anduin, he said, although the Greenwood would continue to patrol the eastern shore. Not you, his cool blue look told Celeirdúr. And, he continued, since this must be a time of rebuilding and enriching the kingdom, it was time that his oldest son marry.
Stillness fell on the chamber, pierced only by the gentle hiss of the cressets as they burned, shedding a faint perfume into the air. Bainalph broke it by languidly pushing a handful of braids over one shoulder. The amber spheres wound into scores of slender plaits chimed musically. Celeirdúr wondered if he had done it purposefully, but those gilt-green eyes were as opaque as always. "