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Grief and Hope (NC-17) Print

Written by Minx

21 April 2013 | 40330 words | Work in Progress

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Pairing: Aragorn/Faramir
Rating: NC-17
Summary: In the months after the war, Aragorn and Faramir find themselves drawn to each other. But Faramir has issues that need to be resolved.
Warnings: Slash, AU (Denethor!lives)
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and places are Tolkien’s

A/N: This is AU. Denethor lives in it. Boromir is dead but leaves behind a son. Denethor is the Steward. Faramir as of now has no title per se.

I constantly have grand plans for this fic so it seems the only way to throw in some semblance of control over the storyline is to break into a series of fics. This fic is the first of that series.

This fic is my birthday present to the lovely and amazing Iris, who truly deserves many beautiful fics and pics featuring darling Faramir. This fic, like quite a few of my other ones, would in all likelihood have stayed in my head if she hadn’t asked for it to be actually written. Thank you dear Iris, for all your encouragement:)

The first chapter is also unbetaed because for once I want it to be a bit of a surprise:) All errors are mine and mine alone.
And much thanks to Iris for betaing subsequent chapters:)

Chapter 1

The king of Gondor resisted the urge to throw something at his councilor from Lossarnach. The man had been speaking for well close to a half hour now on the turnip harvest in the valley, spilling over into the time reserved for discussing the pressing Corsair problem in Pelargir. They would finish late yet again, and he would again get to spend less time this evening with Arwen. He glanced to his right towards his Steward who was now frowning angrily at the vocal councilor, his long fingers tightening around the handle of the wine goblet in front of him. Aragorn almost grinned inwardly as he realised his steward appeared to be of the same mind on the verbosity of the councilor. He sat back a little now. He could leave it to his Steward to deal with this issue. Denethor could quell most of the councilors with a single glance if he chose to.

It never ceased to surprise him that Denethor had accepted his claim to the throne, and more, had agreed to continue serving as his Steward. He had been most wary of the Steward’s reaction when he and the others had arrived barely in time to help the besieged city. But his arrival it seemed had also served to restore some hope in the beleaguered Steward of Gondor. Gandalf had told him later that Denethor had nearly given up, not just on his city but also on himself and his kin. With his elder son Boromir dead on the quest, his younger son, Faramir possibly dying of his battle injuries, and with no news of his grandson Andreth in Pelargir, Denethor had succumbed to despair aided also by far too frequent use of his palantìr. Gandalf had more than once told Aragorn that he had arrived just in time, to prevent the Steward burning down half the citadel taking him and his younger son along, and later in helping heal the ailing Faramir.

Prior to the final war, King and Steward had met again in many the pre-war councils, appraised each silently, and found themselves to be of accord on all matters related to Gondor. They had fought alongside at the Black Gate and on returning, Denethor had informed him of his decision to support his claim. And Aragorn had asked him to remain as Steward, and counsel and friend.

The year after the war had been hard and strenuous, as everyone had worked together to restore the city to its erstwhile glory. In all these months, neither man seemed to give the other reason to doubt those decisions. Denethor’s counsel was invaluable and sound, and Aragorn was well-liked as a ruler. Now everyone looked ahead to a peaceful and happy summer this year, and Aragorn found himself feeling more relaxed and content than he ever had. Arwen was happy too as the summer neared and he often woke to the sound of her soft singing as she opened the windows looking out onto the terraced gardens in the citadel.

He looked around the table, letting the drone of the turnip harvest speech subside into the background. It had been a while since he had spent a quiet evening with his wife and friends, he thought. Perhaps they could do that tomorrow. He, Arwen, Legolas, Gimli, Denethor, and Andreth who had returned to the city now. His lips curved a little as thought of the boy. Andreth was similar to his father in so many ways that at times Aragorn couldn’t decide whether it made him happy or sad to see Boromir reflected so clearly in that joyful, laughing face.

If there was one thing that created a pall over their contentment that was the absence of Boromir. Yet, Andreth served in some ways a reminder that life went on. The charming young lad was the only offspring of a short-lived marriage between Denethor’s eldest son and the daughter of the lord of Pelargir, who had passed on giving birth to him. Boromir had spoken of him often to Aragorn and the others in the fellowship, in proud and loving tones. Fostered for most of his childhood in Dol Amroth while Minas Tirith struggled through the wars, the boy was completely doted on by his grandfather now. It would be most enjoyable to meet the boy again.

Aragorn glanced further down the table and noticing the dark head of hair bent over a sheaf of parchment, he reminded himself that they must invite Faramir as well. On the previous occasion they had all dined together, he’d forgotten all about Faramir and not remembered until he’d seen him the next day. Denethor had not mentioned the lapse nor had Faramir himself but Aragorn had felt contrite. Faramir tended to be so quiet and soft spoken, one tended not to notice him, he had realised. Aragorn only ever heard him speak at the councils when Ithilien was under discussion, and even then, he always seemed to glance towards Denethor and on some occasions towards Aragorn, after speaking; a tense, wary glance that Aragorn could not interpret. He was unlike Boromir on Andreth in most aspects – quieter, and his countenance always solemn, sober and expressionless. Aragorn couldn’t remember ever seeing him smile, except the almost loving one that his lips had curved into in the houses of healing when he had woken to Aragorn’s ministrations.

Faramir looked up suddenly now, and his grey eyes met Aragorn’s. They were startlingly intense eyes, Aragorn realised. The king smiled slightly but the younger man seemed to pale a little. His eyes dropped and he shifted suddenly in his chair, before pausing to grimace, and sit up, his back and shoulders tensing as though in pain. The sudden movement caused some of the councilors to turn towards him. Denethor too turned, and the younger man caught the full ferocity of his frown now. Aragorn thought he looked almost like a deer cornered in the midst of a hunt. He bit his lip and stilled his movements, turning his gaze back down to the papers, his back and shoulders completely stiff and rigid now. Aragorn could see a tinge of red on his cheeks and ears.

He wondered at the younger man’s reactions, but then turned his attention back to the council as Denethor grabbed the opportunity offered by the slight distraction by imperiously suggesting they turn to the corsair problem for now. He heaved a sigh of relief, and turned his attention back to the council.

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

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78 Comment(s)

More please! It’s a lovely beginning. I’m enjoying the originality of your idea, as well as the tantalizing glimpses into Faramir’s pain.

— Laurel    Monday 7 May 2007, 3:43    #

gasp That’s it?! Please, please please. I’m loving the dynamics you’ve set up thus far. Please continue posting.

— somerset    Monday 7 May 2007, 14:41    #

Minx, you are wonderful. I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, and you do not disappoint. I can’t wait for more!

— sweet baby turtle    Monday 7 May 2007, 17:14    #

i’m hooked! more please?

— traveller    Tuesday 8 May 2007, 23:56    #

Oh, I can’t wait for more. Poor Faramir. I hope Aragorn doesn’t forget him.

— crazy kitty    Wednesday 9 May 2007, 5:21    #

I love how Minx writes Faramir stories. :) Please update Grief and Hope as soon as possible.

— Vicki    Wednesday 16 May 2007, 1:46    #

I’m loving it :)

— Ness    Wednesday 23 May 2007, 17:12    #

Poor Faramir! And the “grief” part is still building up isn’t it? Looking forward for the updates on the “hope” part!
Great writing Minx!

dream.in.a.jar    Wednesday 6 June 2007, 15:38    #

Damn you for catching me in a WIP! Interesting mix so far, especially Andreth.

— Bell Witch    Thursday 7 June 2007, 2:07    #

awwe my poor sweet faramir!hugs

— daze    Wednesday 20 June 2007, 2:23    #

Wonderful! Looking forward to the next part, hopefully soon!
You are the best!

— zion    Monday 25 June 2007, 12:55    #

This story is heartbreaking, I ache for Faramir and it’s like I have this constant knot in my stomach… you write his despair wonderfully, I really feel for him.

I’m really looking forward to reading the rest, I have to say.

— Mouse    Thursday 2 August 2007, 22:01    #

Thanks Mouse. I’m glad you like the fic.:)

Minx    Sunday 5 August 2007, 14:44    #

This story is absolutely wonderful! I’ve read most of your stories, Minx, and I love them all, but this one..This one is really catching me. “Walk No More In The Shadows”, with Iris, is the other one I’m really addicted to, I’ve read both of them many times..I hope you update this one soon. Again, wonderful job!

— Christine    Friday 10 August 2007, 0:21    #

Thanks a ton for such lovely words Christine) I’ll be updating very soon!

Minx    Friday 10 August 2007, 18:59    #

I would like to congratulate you on a story well done. I love the way your wrote Faramir but Denethor is something else. Can;t wait for the next chapter.

— balrog    Sunday 12 August 2007, 9:35    #

I’m absolutely adoring this story, and I’d like to congratulate you too. I’ve read a few of your stories on another site, so imagine my pleasure to come across this little treasure trove! :)
I love how you write Faramir (in this story and the others too). It’s so beautiful. I do enjoy a troubled Faramir.. aren’t we sadists? Bah… I won’t care if you don’t :)

I hope to be able to read more of this soon!!

— Chel    Sunday 18 November 2007, 22:30    #

Are you going to write more? You really, really need too. It’s really good so far; and I love the way you write about Faramir.

— Faramir's Fan    Sunday 6 January 2008, 21:12    #

thank you Faramir’s Fan:) More is in the offing, and should be up soon!

Minx    Monday 25 February 2008, 16:02    #

oh, i can’t wait for the next chapter and for aragorn to find out about faramir’s back.

— Lisa Poole    Wednesday 5 March 2008, 19:41    #

love it; so glad to see you update, have been waiting for it for so long, and i have to say it is worth.

— traveller    Thursday 6 March 2008, 22:37    #

@Lisa: Thank you for reading:) I hop eto have the next chapter up sonner than I had this one up:o) Aragorn and Faramir are sure going to have interesting times ahead!

@traveller: Thank you! And thank you for keeping up with the delay:o I’m delighted you liked it!:)

minx    Sunday 9 March 2008, 10:13    #

I’m enjoying your story very much, and am very glad to have found it. I’ve been poking about your other stories as well and I have to say you’re my favorite Faramir author around. I hope you plan on adding more to this story soon!

— Silverkit    Tuesday 25 March 2008, 3:46    #

Thank you Silverkit for such kind words! I’m delighted you liked this and the other stories as well. Hope to update soon:)

minx    Wednesday 26 March 2008, 15:51    #

I love both characters in this, and am looking forward to some tenderness between them, as I think you write those scenes so well.

— pinbot    Wednesday 16 April 2008, 21:51    #

Thank you pinbot! I’m delighted you’re enjoying the fic, and I do hope to have some reasonably tender scenes coming up some time.

minx    Sunday 27 April 2008, 11:01    #

Can’t wait until you have more for me to read. This new chapter is very well written and now I’m tensed to see what shall happen next.

— Elindil    Sunday 11 May 2008, 19:55    #

I am SO glad that there is a new chapter of this wonderful story! Thanks, I look forward to next one.

— Melogale    Tuesday 3 June 2008, 16:28    #

This latest chapter is so moving, as it captures the sadness of just how little Faramir is willing to settle for, as he doesn’t feel worthy of being loved….

— ebbingnight    Tuesday 3 June 2008, 17:21    #

I am so loving this story. More please whenever you can.

— Kelly    Tuesday 3 June 2008, 21:17    #

What a treat to have another installment by my favorite author! Normally I stay away from WIPs but this one has been irresistible. Please Minx, drop everything else you’re doing and write more!!

— Laurel    Wednesday 4 June 2008, 4:37    #

have i tell you how much i love this story? and this chapter is SO sexy! love it, more pleeeeeeeease!!!

— traveller    Thursday 5 June 2008, 16:11    #

Elindil: thank you:) I’m delighted you liked this chapter. Hope to have more up soon.

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:08    #

Melogale: Thank you for reading! I hope to have the next chapter up quicker than this one:)

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:11    #

ebbingnight: I’m glad that works. Faramir is indeed willing to settle for very little right now… he doesn’t feel either loved or wanted by anyone:o

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:18    #

Kelly: thank you! I do hope to update sooner:)

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:18    #

Laurel: thank you for reading:) I understand your relutctance to read WIPs so I really appreciate that you read this. I would love to drop everything and write more of this:)

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:18    #

traveller: Thank you for loving this story:) I’m glad this chapter worked. hope to have more soon!

Minx    Saturday 7 June 2008, 6:21    #

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this story thus far…I can’t wait to see what happens when they get to ithelien (is that how you spell it?) I kinda hope Arwen doesn’t become totally pissed off, but whatever you do I’m sure it will be great!

eringobraugh007    Tuesday 1 July 2008, 5:13    #

I really liked this story, just wanted to let you know! Please continue!! :)

— Haily    Friday 5 December 2008, 5:37    #

thanks Haily. I hope to have a new chapter up soon.

— minx    Thursday 18 December 2008, 21:04    #

I love this story so much! It feels a little like it’s my birthday with each new chapter ;)
Thank you for writing this – you’re the best!

iris    Tuesday 20 January 2009, 17:10    #

As much as I like this story (and have been following it since you first started it), all the emphasis on the “grief” part of “grief and hope” is a bit depressing. Is Faramir forever going to be stuck in a cycle of depression where he is constantly reminded of his “inferiority”? Will he ever show the confidance we know he’s capable of? Will Aragorn/Arwen/anyone else be anything more than indifferent to him? Will he ever get the guts to talk back to Denethor? It’s my personal hope that you will have a positive ending to this story (however long it is ;D), but if not it’s certainly a good worst case senario if events in LOTR didn’t happen as Tolkien originally wrote them. Eagerly awaiting the next chapter!

— Chantal    Tuesday 20 January 2009, 19:01    #

Aaaargh!!!! You’re killing me! Why does Aragorn have to be such a bastard? Why is Arwen such a bitch? And poor wubbly Faramir! Come to me honey! I’ll love you! Sigh. I know you’ll get to the ‘hope’ part soon (right???), just after you finish torturing us all. Glad Arwen is going away for awhile – that’s hopeful right? My big fear is that in naming it ‘Grief and Hope,’ you didn’t make any promises. ‘Hope’ after all doesn’t equal ‘satisfaction.’ Hope can be unfounded, unfulfilled, unmet, unrealized…Please let my fears be for naught. Please?

— Vanwa Hravani    Wednesday 21 January 2009, 17:58    #

Iris: I’m truly delighted you like this:) I hope to give you birthday time again soon:))

— Minx    Thursday 22 January 2009, 19:10    #

Chantal: I’m really delighted you like this story! About the grief aspect being more, and Faramir being less confident… well, part of the thing in this AU is that Fara does not get the same opportunities here that he did otherwise. Here, he’s sort of unimportant, because he has no role really. Denethor is lready steward and he’s not even next in line right now:o But yes, he will probably evoke less indifference later down the story and have a slightly better and more hope-filled time:)

— minx    Thursday 22 January 2009, 19:12    #

Vanwa Hravani: You’ll have to queue up to hug Fara:) I think the hope will get realised a bit, just maybe not right now. Arwen may be away but these two are still very new to each other:o)
Thank you for reading:)

— Minx    Thursday 22 January 2009, 19:16    #

I really enjoy this story, and in the spirit of 5 years of this wonderful site, I thought I’d let you know. There are just oodles of feelings work into this and nothing seems as straightforward as it could be. I do hope you’ll update soon and let us know a bit more about where this story is going!

— Jo    Friday 6 March 2009, 14:05    #

Thank you Jo! Yes, nothing is as it seems here:) I’m very glad that the feelings come out, I felt it would be needed in an AU like this. I do hope to update soon, RL notwithstanding. thank you again!:)

— Minx    Sunday 8 March 2009, 10:54    #

Oh Minx, I don’t know what to say. first I would like you to know how truly in love I am with your stories. This one and Walk no more… stories are my favorite ones. I’m sure you alredy know this and I don’t think that my oppinion will matter, but you are a true writer. You have such a way with building up the tensions and nothing feels puched, everything happens for a reason, not just because. I would also like to thank you for starting this whole website, if you could call it that. hte stories that are here, and mainly yours, have helped me to see that there is still hope and also I now feel that I am aloud to cry. For the first time in almost sixteen years I am crying and it feels so strange and yet so reveling. You have made my sleepless nights easier, and the times I wake up from my nightmares I know that this stories are here to comfort me and take my minds elsewhere. I’m sure you get this types of comment all the time but I just wanted to say Thank you.

— Ingrid    Wednesday 27 May 2009, 13:12    #

I absolutely adore this fic, I hope it gets updated soon!

— Sue    Friday 26 June 2009, 13:56    #

Ingrid, Sue: thank you! I’m sorry for the delay in responding. But, yes,
I am trying to get the next chapter up as soon as I can

— Minx    Saturday 17 October 2009, 11:43    #

I, too, adore this fic and hope that it has not been forgotten.

— pinbot    Saturday 1 May 2010, 19:20    #

I, too, adore this fic and hope that it has not been forgotten.

I second that! ;)

iris    Sunday 2 May 2010, 13:45    #

Me three :)

— Ingrid    Sunday 2 May 2010, 21:24    #

Pinbot, Iris, Ingrid: Not forgotten… but I did get a little stuck last year in RL, sooo… but I am in the middle of the next chapter, so here’s hoping:)

— Minx    Monday 3 May 2010, 18:37    #

Hurray! What an amazing surprise. Thanks for the satisfying, if still very painful on Faramir’s part, update.

— pinbot    Wednesday 16 June 2010, 20:51    #

I’m echoing Pinbot’s hurray … I keep re-reading this story so I’m very excited to see an update.

— Mira Took    Thursday 17 June 2010, 7:02    #

Breaking our hearts all over again, are we? Lovely to see this update at last!

— ebbingnight    Thursday 17 June 2010, 15:53    #

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

— fëawen    Thursday 17 June 2010, 19:49    #

Pibbot, Mira, Ebbingnight, Feawen: Thank you all so much for continuing to read despite my awful slowness! Poor fara is definitely going through the wringer here… hands him around for hugs and kisses

— Minx    Monday 21 June 2010, 19:07    #

More please! This is the best fanfic ever! Please don’t end it :)
I like Denethor-Faramir scenes
maybe u should write more about those two
it’s nice the way u write about how denethor torture his younger son

— A    Thursday 15 July 2010, 7:58    #

A: thank you! I’m delighted you’re liking it. there will be more Denethor-Faramir scenes, never fear:) Denethor has quite a bit he wants to say to his son!

— Minx    Monday 19 July 2010, 17:33    #

This story is wonderful! The way all of the characters interact with each other is extremely believable and the slow progression of their relationships is very realistic. I’m a little bit in love with your writing style.

I do hope you haven’t forgotten about this because I’d love to find out what happens next. :)

— Isabel    Monday 28 November 2011, 23:34    #

Isabel: I’m so sorry, I missed out o your feedback earlier. thank yoiu for your lovely words… I’m really delighted you like the way it flows. I haven’t forgotten about it, I’m just looking for a long run of quiet time :o sigh hopefully will get some soon!

Minx    Thursday 26 January 2012, 11:10    #

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH I NEED YOU TO CONTINUE THIS. I need Aragorn to understand how he’s affecting poor Faramir, and I need Faramir to gain some closure on this whole ordeal and stand up for himself in Denethor’s presence. Please tell me that you aren’t giving up on this amazing and complex story. It’s paining me to see Faramir go through all of this.

— Fan    Saturday 26 January 2013, 2:28    #

Fan – Thank you so much for reading! I’m sooo sorry it’s been on hold for so long. I sort of reached a block on it, got stuck with other stuff in RL and then got blocked further more. It is as you say, a little complex so returning to it is taking me very long :( But I’m trying to finish it, I haven’t given up on it…. I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to unblock myself and progress. Thank you for the support…

Minx    Tuesday 29 January 2013, 14:10    #

Ooh!! “Completely smutty” is what you promised, and completely smutty is what you delivered! But it’s not just straight-up, mechanical porn smut — or at least not for F’s part. I love the bitter sweet longing; F’s so happy to get just this, but at the same time so desperate for more.
Great stuff — as always. Thank you so much for sharing!

iris    Monday 22 April 2013, 20:34    #

Tsk tsk tsk, bad Aragorn playing pranks when he´s awaited so desperately! (slap) ;) And apart from that: Beautiful work! And now I have to go thinking about the more juicy complicate parts…

— raven22372    Tuesday 23 April 2013, 9:22    #

Thanks :) I love this story. I am waitinng the next.

— katiedaly    Tuesday 23 April 2013, 15:34    #

Сan’t wait for more. For some mysterious reasons absolutely in love with your deprived and unfulfilled Faramir, though the state you are putting him in makes my heart aches. Pain is so close to pleasure:)

— LID    Thursday 25 April 2013, 10:42    #

Iris – thank you!:) I’m so glad all of that worked…:) hugs

Raven – yes, he’s baaad :) I’m very glad you liked it, and happy thinking juicy thoughts:)

Katiedaly – thank you ever so much for continuing to read despite my tardiness. i’m delighted you liked it!

LID – Thank you:) I’m glad all of that worked! It’s always nice to come across a fellow lover of deprived and unfulfilled Faramir :)

Minx    Thursday 25 April 2013, 17:22    #

Dear Minx, I first came across this site and this story several years ago, yet I never left a comment despite the way this particular work moved me and drew me in from the very first sentence. So now that I’ve happened to find this site again, I thought it was high time I actually told you how much I admire your writing and how beautifully I think you capture everything you set out to do :)

It’s been truly heartachingly wonderful to reread this and even more so to discover that since then you’ve actually written some more chapters and seem to never have entirely forgotten about this, when no doubt it must be difficult to get back into the story and its emotional frame of mind time and again. Faramir’s sorrow and tentative hope, too often quashed as not to get lost in the inevitable despair of unfulfilled longing, his grief over both his brother’s death and the seemingly ever-growing impossibility of being a family with his father and nephew, his wish to find a place – any place, really – to belong and feel secure of, the bittersweet tenderness of his observations and the perpetual struggle to not totally accept perceived shortcomings as his own, his curiosity and need to learn of other cultures and the wish to not give up – all these aspects of Faramir’s personality are quite palpable and render your portrayal of him as believable and touching and human as can possibly be done. I really enjoy that there is far more to Faramir than morose and unhappy feelings, that underneath it all he is still the scholar, the gentle soul and faithful integrity.

But Aragorn, too, is remarkably complex. It’s amazing, I think, that with these few glimpses you’ve given us we still know him to be a stern but kind ruler, a loving husband and father, a grieving friend and, of course, the ranger of old. He, too, seems so very believably human in that he succumbs to the ever-present comparison of Faramir to his dead and beloved brother, even though he still tries to see beyond that and reconcile what he sees with what Boromir told him about his brother. His bemusement at Faramir’s wish to touch and be intimate in more ways than he is used to with men also gives his character another interesting aspect. Heartbreaking as it is to feel Faramir’s resigned acceptance and his decision to be content with whatever affection Aragorn may offer him, Aragorn’s obvious different views and feelings make sense in themselves and show him to be a person still open to grow and learn.

I also appreciate how you write Denethor. It’s nice to see him as more than the stereotypical abuser. Rather, it seems indeed as if his violent and abusive behaviour towards his son stems from his own unabated grief, his inability to come to terms with everything that happened and maybe even as part of the madness the palantír stirred in him.

The last point, however, I’d like to mention, and the one which makes this story, in my opinion, even better than your character portrayals already do, is the many questions these chapters keep bringing up. What, I wonder, will be Lady Idril’s part in this? Is Denethor finally looking for a new love? Is she just a friend or will she become one more reason for Faramir to feel left out of the family? May Denethor in time even wish to remarry and want his son out of his home? Or could she be someone to bring Denethor to at least view his son in a more positive light, even if he may never come to realize his worth?

What about Arwen? What do her glances and inscrutable looks mean? Is she aware of Aragorn’s intimacy with other men? Has he told her about Boromir? Does she read both Faramir and her husband’s hearts more shrewdly than they do themselves? Does she perceive a threat? Is there perhaps more to her comments and does she, as well, wonder about the Steward’s family?

When will Andreth start to ask questions? How much does he already know? Will Faramir’s financial worries become more urgent? When will the King finally catch on to just how much wrong there is about Faramir and his father’s relationship? And what of the Northern rangers? Is there too little communication between them and their Southern kin for word to reach Aragorn just how much of a capable captain Faramir used to be? Does he even know how Faramir helping Frodo and Sam on their way in Ithilien changed the outcome of the war? So many questions … :)

So, thank you so much for writing and sharing this! This truly is one of the most compelling stories I’ve ever read and I’m really glad I remembered this site, after all.

Have a happy New Year and may the muse visit you again some time in the future, even if it may be another year from now :)

— Loreley    Monday 13 January 2014, 23:00    #

@Loreley: Thank you for taking the time to leave this review and such a detailed one at that. It really made my day to read this, and also made me wish I could be a lot more regular in updating this fic. I’m sorry to take so long to respond.

Thank you for such lovely words. I’m only too glad there were some new chapters for you to read. I have been undeniably slow on this one. I’m heartened that Faramir comes across as you have written, with his wish to find a place he belongs to and his thirst for learning. He is certainly still a scholar and in this particular story I think gentle is one word that describes him very well. It is all the more a contrast to Denethor’s anger at him.

I am extremely glad too that Aragorn comes across as complex and human. He is used to a different kind of male friendship especially when it is more sexual than platonic – one where the friend sees himself as an equal and has the same expectations out of their intimacy that Aragorn has. Faramir unfortunately enough does not quite see him as an equal – he is too overwhelmed by Aragorn’s rank and achievements and also cowed down by his perceived shortcomings. He is also cowed down by a given cultural context where he may not allow a non-platonic relationship to progress beyond a point simply because it is not the done thing. And Aragorn doesn’t really understand right now how much he means to Faramir. In my mind while Faramir has fallen headlong in love with Aragorn, Aragorn himself has not really reached a stage where he thinks of himself in love with anyone other than Arwen whom he has loved for years. Even with Boromir, while he recollects him vividly, it is more from a sense of brotherhood and the joint tribulations of their journey together. With Faramir he has no such linkages and no such experiences, but as you rightly point out he may still learn what it could be like to slowly fall in love with another person.

Denethor is indeed still coming to terms with everything. He would rather concentrate on Andreth and to him Faramir is possibly just a distraction and an unpleasant reminder of what he lost.

As to your questions, well, Lady Idril will have a brief role and may indeed steer Denethor to some direction. Arwen will have something to say of Aragorn’s intimacies in the next few chapters. Andreth is aware that there is strife, but he is young and like most young men he’s not really cognizant of what happens in the lives of others. He grieves for Boromir and misses him and he is fond of Denethor so may care of what he goes through. But with Faramir his relationship is undeveloped. I like to think Denethor involuntarily made it so, by keeping Andreth close and encouraging him to be more like Boromir and less like Faramir. Aragorn knows at the back of his mind that Faramir has once been a capable captain. But he is for now more concerned about the now. And Faramir’s injuries have reduced his physical capabilities. What Aragorn and others need to realise is that hi mental acuity for now remains strong.

I wish you a very happy new year too and thank you again greatly for your lovely review. It encourages me to be a little more diligent in getting back to this. I have been very distracted by RL but I do want to work towards finishing this. :)

Minx    Monday 20 January 2014, 9:41    #

update soon, please!!!!!!

Archivist's note: Please don't nag the authors for updates (or at least not until you've said something nice about the story first!;)). Remember they all write in their spare time. Instead, try investing some of your time into writing a nice review as a way to say thank you - that's what keeps authors motivated and inspires them to write more! For more info, see our commenting etiquette under the Rules & Help button.

— Nimrodel    Tuesday 15 April 2014, 0:20    #

More than a year later, and hello again!

Recently I’ve had some time to come back here and re-read not only this favourite but also some of your other stories. It was great to find that this story is still as emotionally captivating to me as it was the first and all the other times after I read it, when sometimes I find that I’ve changed so much that I wonder what exactly it was about a story that got me hooked. Your writing, and “Grief and Hope” in particular, however, still have the same pull they used to, perhaps even more so than before – after all, so much time has been spent wondering and asking questions and hoping Faramir might yet get the happy ending he deserves that it feels I’m more invested than I would be if I’d already had all the answers. Finding a positive side to a long time in-between updates :) Still true, though.

In comparison to your other longer works, though, I feel that this story is more balanced somehow. At least, I get the impression that all the characters are more complex here than in your other stories, making their development and substance both more believable and real to me as a reader. I’ve enjoyed all the different takes on Faramir you’ve done, yet this Faramir is “more” to me in a way than the Faramirs in your other writings. There is a very delicate subtlety in your portrayal of him that makes him more tangible and accessible. Please don’t get me wrong, I, like most of the readers on this site, love hurt/comfort stories and so don’t mind a more subdued and cowered Faramir, but I still really like the quiet strength Faramir has here, even more so than in “The King and the Ranger”. Plus, I’m a huge fan of Denethor (flaws and all, to me one of the most fascinating characters in LotR), and as I’ve said before, I like what you’ve made of him here.

So while, of course, I would love to see this story continued sometime in the future (and who doesn’t know RL taking more time than we’d like?), what you’ve written so far stands well enough on its own, and I’d like to say thanks again for sharing this much with us readers already. Some unfinished works are still so much more satsifying and moving to read than many finished stories, and as long as I can come back here and enjoy all the splendid work, I’ll be content and happy with what you’ve accomplished so far. Great work!

— Loreley    Sunday 19 April 2015, 17:52    #

At least once a year I come back to this truly wonderful, beautifully written story. Sometimes I wonder whether or not I misremember its compelling tone, fascinating characterizations or moving story line – silly me! From the very first sentence I’ve been drawn in without fail every single time. I don’t know if you still ever visit this site or read these comments, but I sincerely hope you do. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this – and for leaving it online! I hope to re-read this many times still to come :)

— Loreley    Saturday 19 October 2019, 17:46    #

In recent years I haven’t read much LotR fanfiction, but this work is one I still keep coming back to time and again … Grief and hope, indeed! And not just for Faramir, I think. Despite and because of his role, I would still love to see Denethor truly happy again as well. Although I fear that true happiness may forever elude him, after having lost his wife and his eldest son as well as, yes: his hope!, no matter that here he has a grandson to dote on, well, as far as one such as Denethor would ever dote on anyone … Arwen remains as mysterious and unreadable to me as ever in this story. Such an interesting character! Does she sense her husband’s budding curiosity and fear what may come of it? Or does it run even deeper, does she glimpse more of both Faramir’s and her husband’s thoughts and hearts than either of them do themselves? Also, I wonder, does or will Faramir ever feel guilty for – potentially – coming between his king and queen … and possibly depriving Eldarion of his parents’ happiness? As many times as I’ve read these chapters now, it has actually just this time occurred to me that, thus far, we haven’t really seen Aragorn the father here. Will Faramir soon meet his successor as Captain of the Ithilien rangers? Will his men ever play their own part in ackowledging their captain’s greatness and strong will when standing against the darkness? What will they say to their northern kin in defense of their steadfast and gentle leader? Such a long time and still so many questions keep coming :) Thank you again so much! For this lovely and bittersweet work, for the time you spent on this and, as always, for sharing it with us …

— Loreley    Monday 17 May 2021, 19:26    #

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