by Alasse Merenrel-(TV)
March 3, 2007


Excerpt from the journals of Faramir, son of Denethor II
During the 23rd year of the stewardship of Lord Denethor II

    Today I spent another day with Mithrandir in the Royal Archives, under the guise of monitoring the wizard’s actions of course. Father would never approve of me being under the Grey Wizard’s tutelage. I truly wish he would, though. Surely the wisdom of a Maia, a servant of the Valar, is something to be coveted? Even Boromir agrees with me, though he places more value on the art of war than on, and I quote, “books and bits of uselessness.” He is loathe to admit that our most brilliant schemes and pranks are the result of the tactics I garner from these “bits of uselessness.”
    To return to my previous topic, after a stimulating debate over the different architectural styles displayed in each of the seven levels of Minas Tirith, the Grey Wizard and I began to discuss the differences between Elves and Men. All of Middle-earth knows that Elves are tall, fair, and wise while we Men are by contrast clumsy and awkward. At length I remarked to Mithrandir that it seemed that the Elves were luckier in their lot than Men. “Why, Faramir,” said he, “what makes you say so?”
    I replied that the Elves seemed to be much more advantaged in all aspects. According to the Anatomies of Middle-earth, which I only managed to peruse by sweet-talking our highly protective Healers, Elves have a higher immunity to diseases than we. They also possess greater hand-eye coordination, reflexes at least two times faster than the average man, and an eyesight equivalent to that of a hawk. The shaping of their feet allows them to tread through a forest floor full of fallen leaves with barely a sigh, and the points of their ears help channel more sound than ours, which is how they can clearly hear a whispered remark within an estimated range of fifty meters and how they are able to converse with the trees. There is actually a debate among scholars as to whether Sindarin Elvish was influenced by Tree…but I digress.
    When I mentioned that Elves are immortal, he glanced sharply my way; perhaps he was afraid that I had become jealous of the Elves, like Al-Pharazon. “To each race was given equal endowment, Faramir. Eru loves none less, and bequeathes equal inheritance to His children.” Then came a summons from Father, and I was forced to end our discussion early.
    Later, after dinner and a sparring match with Boromir, I made my way to the alcove Mother always sat in when she was with us. When the wind was right it would bring along the scent of the sea. As I stared at the stars I mulled over Mithrandir’s words. Elves and immortality, Men and death…
    Death. What is death? Is it the end, or is it merely the beginning?
    Ilúvatar gave Men their mortality, calling it a gift. Many who have tasted its bitterness call it a curse. But Eru is the Creator and Father of all; surely in His wisdom, mercy, and love He would not curse His children, even if second born!
    The Elves received the blessing of immortality, to live forever unless hurt or grief will take them. Some mortals envy them for this. But do they not tire of being? Do they not tire of not being able to rest? Such an endless future…never ceasing, never relenting, but driving them on and on and on…
    Perhaps this is Eru’s gift to Man. To be able to leave the troubles of Arda, to put down the weary load and the limiting body, to leave the woes of life and soar away to eternal bliss…
    To finish at last the story of your life, put down the pen, and massage an aching hand knowing that it will no longer be cramped from writing…
    To at last hang up the traveler’s cloak, prop away the staff, and come to the end of the road that goes ever on and on, back from the door where it began…
    And to start an entirely new experience—not life, no, that’s over and done with—but the afterlife.
    Who knows what an adventure that will be?

The End