Letters from Faramir
They were gone, the two wanderers, and Faramir wondered at his temerity
in letting them leave. He shuddered as he remembered where they were
off to and silently lifted them to the Valar for protection. There was
naught more he could do for them; he had already forfeited his own life
by his decision. Turning to the familiar to relieve the strain of the
last few hours, he reached for the writing paper.
Would that I knew what happened in
the North Lands! The Halfling was here – in Ithilien, dropped into my
hands as if fated thus. 'For Isildur's Bane shall waken; And the
Halfling forth shall stand.'
And stand he did, Boromir, stood
right up to me! Told me you had been his traveling companion. I told
him who you are and that you are sorely missed. And I meant it with all
my heart, Boromir; not only I, but also your men sorely miss you.
There were reports of Haradrim using
the ancient roads up north so the Rangers and I met them and did what
damage we could to their ranks. Fire courses through my veins as I
think of them desecrating the very roads that Gondor built. You would
do the same, dear brother. I know your heart. I had not meant to come
so far north, but as I said, it seemed to be fated thus for that is
where we met the Halflings. I left them in the care of two of our men
and led the Rangers to battle. It went well, the trap worked. The men
did more than they were trained for. You would have been proud. The men
of Gondor, the Enemy may say, are weak or frail, but there is courage
in this band and honor to be found.
After the battle, I questioned the
Halfling and suddenly an unreasoning hope flooded my very soul. He said
you were alive and well when last he saw you! But a fear had been
growing in my heart, a fear of more terrible things for you than death.
Some strangeness emanated from the Halfling. But then hope, so quickly
kindled, was dashed as he described your raiment – the same raiment I
saw the night the elven boat bore you from me.
He tried to allay my fears – saying
it was mayhap some trick of the Enemy, but I know better. Bitter words
were wrung from my lips when I learned of your stop in Lothlorien. What
did she say to you? What woke in your heart then? In that furtive and
mystical place? So, I brought them to Henneth Annûn and we talked
long into the night, yet I found little comfort speaking with him.
Boromir, Isildur's Bane drove you
mad, didn't it? Even though not of the direct bloodline, we still carry
that weakness. At least, it seems, you do. Would that I had gone in
your stead! This evil does not seem to touch me. I feel nothing but
dread of it and hatred, yes, for what it did to you, what it stole from
me. The Halfling has told me some of what occurred and I believe, and
it seems he believes, that you were not yourself. The vision in the
boat - your face was beautiful and at peace. I know you died well,
brother, if dead you are. I know it with my whole heart. And Boromir -
the Halfling does not hold you to blame. There is no hatred in his
heart or condemnation. He seems to know what this thing can do.
I worry for him, Boromir, he is so
small and seems so weak. And the path he has decided upon is so
dangerous. Yet, the courage in his heart is stronger than mine. He will
die doing this and you would say it is folly, but I know why he has
chosen this path. He is valiant, Boromir, and worthy of our love. I
will let him go, even though Father will be furious. My very life lies
in the balance, but there is something here greater than Gondor. He
must be allowed to try to do this. I gleaned some knowledge during
Mithrandir's visits, enough to know that this thing is evil. It
corrupted Isildur and now it has corrupted you. Its power is
unimaginable and I cannot wield it. Neither can our Father. It must be
destroyed. Why this little one should have been chosen is a mystery to
me. But as I look at him, I know he will do everything in his power to
do it. I remember your motto 'Gondor will see it done.' To think that
this little stranger has more ability to do it than you is beyond me.
He put his head between his hands. What would his Father say? Shivers
again assailed his body.
He is gone now. I have let the
Halfling go. His companion told me before they left that I have shown
my quality. I felt his respect for you, but also his fear of you.
Boromir, how can I make them understand! You were the one who raised me
after mother died. Father turned from me and I would have been an
orphan if not for you! Do not they understand this – my quality comes
I love you, brother – you are the
world to me, the sun and the moon. But Denethor raised you with harder,
harsher standards than you raised me. And your pride was lifted up by
our Father – and it was good – but it was also too much for one man.
Would that I could have helped you see that Father was wrong. Gondor is
not a man – not a Steward – but a glorious Entity unto itself. He made
you believe you were the only one to save Her, and in your fear and
desperation – and pride – you did the unthinkable. You broke your oath.
But if not for you, for your love of me and your deep need to make me
better than you, I too would have failed. I owe you everything – my
love, my life – my honor.
Brother - I await the coming of this
Aragorn, whom the Halfling spoke of, and will do as I believe you would
have done. I will take him as my liege lord and serve him well, in
memory of you, dear Brother. I will pledge my fealty to this Aragorn,
King of Gondor, for you, my beloved Brother.
Yet - I fear I know your heart too
well, Boromir. Did you go to your death believing you had lost all
honor, that you had failed Gondor? I know not what happened there, but
I know you, brother. Ever ready to jump into the fray. You must have
seen some course laid out before you and judged your way the right way.
Or mayhap some madness took you. I know not. But my heart cries out to
all the Valar that it had not been so, that in some way you were able
to redeem yourself, to go to your grave in peace. It must be so. There
is none dearer to me, my beloved brother. I will it so – that you were
given a chance to atone for that moment, that one moment in your whole
life where you failed. Somehow I must come to terms with this. I must
go on and do my duty and put aside all thought of this.
I have been summoned back to Minas
Tirith. I must face Father alone and hide this grief, this fear that
shakes me to the core. I will not let him believe you failed. I will
not. I trust you escaped in the end. I believe you did.
Ever your devoted brother,
He stood in the very torrents of the falls, the fairest of all the
falls of Ithilien, and released his long-held tears. It seemed somehow
appropriate to stand there and grieve - where no one could see him –
there in the land that held his heart. 'For it is broken now,' he
thought, 'and I cannot mend it. Would that healing would come and
quickly, but I fear this wound will never heal.'