Excerpt from the travel journals of Boromir, son of Denethor II
Year 3018 of the Third Age
I write in my room to the flickering candle, and the flickering beams of the setting sun.
That almost sounds poetic, like something Faramir would say. My bookish
little brother insists that I keep a record of my journey, especially
of my stay here at Rivendell. I am endeavoring to write as much and as
often as I can—though, knowing how Faramir writes in his diaries, mine
will seem short and scant. How he has the endurance to jot away for
hours after a long, hard ride is beyond me. In more ways than one.
So. I am among the Elves. I arrived last night, or early morning you
could say. Anyhow, these Elves are as ethereal as Faramir said. Very
courteous and thoughtful, though a bit haughty. They seem to take an
assurance in their immortality. Their gait is confident, their minds as
sharp as their eyes. Their light-footedness and exceptional hearing
would make them formidable foes. All have the appearance of highly
seasoned warriors—and of that I have no doubt, since they have had
centuries to perfect their ripostes.
As I walked through the gates I encountered a party of elves just
leaving for the Grey Havens. The Lord Elrond told me that they were
going to Valinor. “They hear the calling of the sea,” said he. “They
will linger here no more.”
I must apologize, Faramir. I know you admire the Elves, but I still
stick by what I said in that discussion we had while in Osgiliath. The
party of Elves fleeing to the Havens only strengthened my views. The
Elves are cowards.
Yes, I know of their noble deeds and their resilience in battle. When
it comes to it, the Elves are just as brave as the bravest of Men. But
just think, my brother. The Elves can run, escape across the ocean to
another world. They can at any moment fling down the chains of Arda
Marred, and leave these shores. Men, Men must stay here. Men cannot
run. They are bound to Middle-earth, bound to imperfection, failings,
death. They must face it all. They have no choice. They are fated to an
And that is why we stand. Because here and now is all we have and all
we are fated for and we must defend every moment of it, before Death
swoops in and tears us from all we hold dear. We must cherish happiness
before Death robs us of it, as Father said when we lost Mother, may her
soul find peace.
I pray that as I write you are vigilant in defending Gondor from the
Enemy, protecting our happiness and that of our people from the Shadow
of Death that ever lurks in the East. Perhaps one day we may vanquish
that Shadow, whose skulking stain caused our dear mother’s untimely
passing, and watch it evaporate from the horizon along with all our
cares and pain.
Death. We Men must face Death. And we will face it bravely and with courage.
Especially since the Elves will not.