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A Clever Man (R) Print

Written by Mira Took

19 December 2009 | 5014 words

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Title: A Clever Man
Author: Mira Took
Pairing: Faramir/Gríma
Rating: R
Summary: Gríma Wormtongue meets a young Captain Faramir at Edoras. Slash.
Disclaimer: The characters and settings are Professor Tolkien’s. I have no permissions and make no profits.
Notes: I was inspired by the request to write a story about a younger Faramir paired with Gríma, in an (arguably) one-sided relationship. I hope the result is something the requester will like.
I’ve not tried to put an exact date on this story, but please note that although Faramir is still young in whatever year this is, he is most certainly of age (otherwise he couldn’t be a captain). Also, he has dark hair and grey eyes as in the books.

Written for the 2009 Midwinter Swap.

Request by Bell Witch: Prefer human pairings. I like darkfic, though a cute/sweet/fluff perhaps with an OC would be nice. Faramir and Evil!Aragorn, or Éomer. A younger Faramir with Gríma (one-sided slash either way? Admiring the older adviser from Rohan or being taken with the charming young man works—dark or otherwise.) Inappropriate feelings for one of his men, though I’d prefer Faramir not give in to temptation on that.

Chapter 1

Gríma moved quickly down the Golden Hall, hugging the edict to his chest. It had taken far longer than usual to convince Théoden of its necessity; the old man was distracted by the endless haggling over horses with the party from Gondor led by the Steward’s son. Gríma had kept himself well clear of it. Lord Saruman did not desire to rouse the Steward’s interest in Rohan before his plans came to fruition. And debates over geldings held little of interest for a clever man. Gríma had other schemes to occupy his time.

It was a pity, though, that this second son of the Steward was out of favor. True, he bore the style of Captain of the White Tower (but then every captain in the forces of Minas Tirith had a right to be called that) and the somewhat more descriptive title of Captain of the Ithilien Rangers (but they seemed to have stayed in Ithilien, whoever they were). Yet it was hardly a secret that the young captain had no real importance in his own land. One merely had to look at his companions’ body language to see that. Gríma had seen it at once. The way the negotiations were handled just confirmed it. Everyone would talk for a while, and the captain of Gondor would ask a quiet question or two – insightful ones, someone must be coaching him – and then, with appearances upheld, the two older men in the visiting party would begin to bargain with the horsemasters. He was a beautiful young man, however, and Gríma would have welcomed instructions to put an idea or two in his head. A great pity that he had no influence and little chance of inheriting the stewardship.

Although… but no. Not only was the Steward a hale and canny man, but the older son was a great warrior and much-loved. Even his slighted younger brother loved him, judging by way he spoke of his elder’s battle victories in the Hall at night. Gríma had enough to handle with kings and marshals without thinking about stewards and their sons.

As he came out into the bright sunlight, Gríma narrowly avoided running into the object of his thoughts. The young man had evidently been riding with a group of warriors, who still stood talking on the lower stairs. His face was flushed with the exercise and the wind had blown his dark hair back in furrows. Dark hair. All the horse-lovers had hair bleached as colorless as their drafty Hall. Gríma himself had been sneered at for the black curls he inherited from his Dunlending grandfather. As though black hair were not a sure sign that he was descended from the ancient Houses of Men. One had only to look at the nobility and beauty of the captain of Gondor’s face to remember that.

With a start, Gríma realized he had indeed been looking at the young man’s face, for far longer than he intended. He ducked his head again as he hurried down the steps. With luck, he could get by the strawheads and post his new edict before he was forced to spend much time in the eye-watering sun.

Portion of a letter from the Captain of the Ithilien Rangers to the High Warden of the White Tower:

…every night. The music in the Hall is magnificent: very different from our own, but bold and stirring like the brisk north wind. I’d not realized how much the Rohirrim rely on their songs to remember their history – and even to tell their news. They seem to write far less than we do. Indeed, there was rather a nasty incident this morning about that. A group of warriors was taunting one of Théoden King’s counselors or clerks, deriding him for ‘needing scribbled lines to remember his own lineage – if he had any.’ As far as I could see, the poor man had simply copied out an edict the king wanted posted. My sympathies were naturally with the clerk, but I was not about to disgrace our father by speaking out on a matter of local debate. Nor have I shown my own love for the written word. In truth, I’ve had no time for anything but horses during the day, so I’ve contented myself with reading from the two (only two, brother!) books I brought with me by candlelight, after the rest of our company is abed. So you see, I indulge my private pleasures with far greater discretion than some others I could name. Did you truly…

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

Enjoyed this story? Then be sure to let the author know by posting a comment at https://www.faramirfiction.com/fiction/a-clever-man. Positive feedback is what keeps authors writing more stories!

7 Comment(s)

Oh, that’s really interesting. The little bits of correspondence add an immediacy to things. I’ll need to read it again to get the details, but it’s a wonderful character study of Grima. Faramir can bring out a spark of good in anyone who still has any.
And the title is perfect.

— Bell Witch    Saturday 19 December 2009, 22:17    #

I’m so glad you think the correspondence helped the story; those parts were probably the most fun to write. My idea for Grima was that he, like Smeagol, had some possibility for good in him, even if he missed it (and I’m afraid I couldn’t write a completely irredeemable character!). I tried to place some emphasis on Faramir’s youth and inexperience, too, since that seemed to be a part of your request. Thanks for reviewing!

— Mira Took    Wednesday 23 December 2009, 16:29    #

I especially liked this “might-have-been” as it seemed unusually real: something that perhaps could happen even today between a rather shady politician and a very young visiting diplomat. Well done!

— ebbingnight    Thursday 24 December 2009, 1:21    #

I really liked this fic! I love the quiet tone of the story and the characterisation, and I really like that you’ve made this pairing so perfectly plausible! Loved the letters too… they add a very neat little dimension.

— Minx    Sunday 27 December 2009, 12:13    #

Lovely and well written. I agree with Minx on the letters adding weightage and charm to the story as it stands. You made it possible – the pairing. And that was an achievement.

— j_dav    Sunday 27 December 2009, 12:31    #

Well written, Mira. And interesting to me especcially for I’ve never read the stories with this pair.
Thank you!

— Anastasiya    Sunday 27 December 2009, 17:07    #

Thank you to everyone who reviewed and thought that the pairing looked possible. It’s not a relationship I ever thought of before reading the request, but it was great fun to explore. I’m delighted that people enjoyed my first attempt at Faramir fiction!

— Mira Took    Tuesday 5 January 2010, 4:40    #

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About the Author

Mira Took

More of her work available at mirabellatook.wordpress.com


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