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The Broken Ones (G) Print

Written by Nessa Lossëhelin

23 February 2013 | 13751 words | Work in Progress

Title: The Broken Ones
Author: Nessa Lossëhelin
Rating: G
Pairing(s): Faramir
This is the first chapter of many to come. I could read about Faramir and Eowyn forever,so I was disappointed that the relationship wasn't explored more fully in the movies or in the books. Of course none of the main characters belong to me and I am only

After Eowyn and Faramir are wounded in Pellenor Fields – the rest of the story is told. There are sequences and dialogue from the books to provide more depth and ground the remaining tales. There are two point of views: Faramir and Eowyn.

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Chapter 2 – The Broken Ones – Continued:

Unknown to Éowyn, Aragorn and Éomer instructed the Warden of the Houses of Healing that she was to stay under his care for at least ten days. “I know Éowyn, and I know she longs to ride with us to Sauron’s Gates,” Éomer tells the Warden. “She is going to be extremely upset and will demand you to let her leave the Houses and find us. Yet, as you know, she is still too fragile in body and spirit. After ten days, if we have not returned, you may release her because her people in Rohan will need her to return to them. My uncle left instructions that she is to lead Rohan if the outcome is such …”

“As for Faramir,” Aragorn interrupted, but looked to Éomer to convey he meant no disrespect to his friend – but understanding of the difficulty of his words ahead, “he must not know the full details of his father’s death, although he will wonder now that he is the Steward. Do not give him any details until he is fully healed.”

The Warden agreed to watch over both Éowyn and Faramir. He embraced the men and gave them healing supplies before they left the room to rest. They would be leaving just before dawn.

Aragorn, Gandalf, Imrahil, Éomer, Pippin, and the remaining armies of Rohan and Gondor left in the early morning before Éowyn awoke. There was no opportunity for protest. The handmaiden returned to Éowyn’s quarters to inform her that the Warden would speak with her, as she had requested.

Moments later, I walked hastily down the hallway with the handmaiden to speak with the Warden. With my robes trailing behind me, I nearly tripped several times before I had enough sense to pick them up as she walked down the stone hallways of Minas Tirith. I was focused on my task at hand.

Éowyn sternly rapped on the door to the Healer’s office. He bid her to enter.

Without missing a beat, I walked in and began my relentless quest to be released from his care. “I beg your pardon, Sir, but I demand to be free from your house.” I proclaimed with courage and a strong voice to this very old, but very distinguished-looking gentleman.

“Ah, Éowyn, I expected you sooner,” he gently chuckled. He turned toward me. He had very kind eyes, a wrinkled and furrowed brow with many decades of worry traced upon his face, and the slight upturn of a smile at the corners of his mouth.


He shook his head, kindly, but with obvious pity. “I don’t mock you, Éowyn; it is just that it was instructed of me, prophetic really, to keep you here as you may request to leave sooner than you should; sooner than when you are fully healed.”

“Well, to whom may I speak who could release me from this house? If you will not, sir, I expect to speak to whoever commands this city, for he will certainly grant me my request.”

I waited for his reply, aware that I appeared impatient. I did not care. Yet, the look on his face was light-hearted and kind. I doubt he meant to cause me any distress. It appeared however, that he was concerned as to what he should say to me next.

“I will request Faramir, Steward of Gondor and Lord of Minas Tirith, speak with you as soon as he is able. He, too, is a resident of the House as he was injured in the field… although I am unsure of his exact condition as of this day.” The Warden beckoned a servant nearby to fetch Ioreth, one of his senior healers tending to Faramir, I learned.

When Ioreth entered the hall, “Warden, I am obliged to have found you,” she exclaimed, “The King has returned, Sir! I witnessed with my own eyes; Faramir is healed!”

The Warden nodded, and replied, “I feel that the King has healed the Lady Éowyn, also.”

Then the Warden looked to me. “Lady Éowyn, I will request the Lord Faramir speak with you as soon as he is able. Is there anything I can do in the short-term to make your stay more tolerable?”

Tolerable. I felt awful now about my demands; a petty request, to leave the safety of the Houses of Healing when those who staff this residence have treated me so kindly and taken care of me so vigilantly. I looked up at the Warden, “No sir, my accommodations are most tolerable. In fact I undeserving of such comfort while my kinsmen are fighting at this very moment. I only wished to be with them in order to defend those I love.”

The Warden looked at me. “Our handmaiden mentioned that you would like your room to look to the east. That is a simple request. Would that improve you stay and hasten your healing?”

“Yes, Sir, it would. I would very much like to look to the east so that I could see the darkness as it grows. If I cannot be in battle I wish I at the very least wait in my window, facing east, so that I could see my brother, our King, and our soldiers return.”

I then departed and stayed in the gardens of the sixth circle of the citadel of Minas Tirith, waiting for the Lord Faramir. I hoped that he would release me. I desperately did not want to be in the city. I yearned to saddle my horse and ride quickly to meet the soldiers and stride with them into battle.

While in the garden, I thought about my brother, Éomer. He was with Aragorn, sure, but I still feared for his return. Oh, Aragorn! I felt his rejection so freshly as if it were a slap on my face. It stung. When he left me in Dunharrow and rode to the Paths of the Dead, I knew he was sincere. His heart is with another. He never has said it, only claiming that he cannot return the love that I seek, but I am certain. He wears her charm around his neck.

Oh, how I longed to be a queen. If I were not to wed Aragorn, then who? I softly muttered aloud, “it was never meant to be, but that does not make it any easier.”

I walked through the arboretum. It was calming; the leaves rustling with the slight breeze and the birds softly singing in the branches. These surroundings are so different from the hills of Rohan. We have trees, sure, but they are found only in forests; which of course we avoided because of the dark things that inhabit them. I found a bench and decided to set awhile and rest. Perhaps Lord Faramir is not well and will not speak to me today. Nonetheless I will wait and rest awhile, especially since I knew that the Warden was having my room moved to a room facing east. I rested my head against the back of the bench and felt my eyes slowly close.

As the sun set I could not shake this darkness that enveloped me. It made me shiver and think dark thoughts. How I wish I were dead. How I wish I were not maimed. How I wish to be loved.

I was resting underneath a tree, sitting up against the trunk with a book face down in my lap when I saw her. I did not know her name, nor could I recall ever seeing her before. She walked through the groves and looked over the rail for some time before walking back to the entrance of the grove and locating a bench to rest. She sat down and smoothed her skirts. She leaned back and winced as she adjusted her arm, wrapped snugly in a linen sling. She simply sat there, looking up at the sky, closing her eyes, wiping away tears. She appeared to be so sad and unsettled, and my heart went out to her in pity.

On the late afternoon of second day, the Warden found me walking alone in the garden of the Houses of Healing. The sun felt wonderful on my face and arms. It warmed me and I felt as though I might recover from this illness after all. I saw that he was not alone. Walking with him was a woman, tall, with long wavy yellow hair. She had the fairest skin and loveliest face I had ever seen. She took my breath away. I immediately realized that she was the same beautiful woman I had seen the day before in the gardens.

“Lord Faramir,” said the Warden with his hands extended to me, “here is the Lady Éowyn of Rohan. She rode with the king and was sorely hurt, and dwells now in my keeping. But she is not content and she wishes to speak to the Steward of the City.”

Upon his call of my name, I snapped back into focusing on his voice. He had caught me in a daydream. I kept thinking back to the day before… she was even lovelier today, as the sun was setting behind her in the west and it illuminated her profile. The sun gave her a halo around the outline of her hair. She walked toward me.

“Do not misunderstand him, Lord,” said Éowyn. “It is not lack of care that grieves me. No houses could be fairer, for those who desire to be healed. But I cannot sit here on my hands, lie in sloth, idled, caged. I looked for death in battled. But I have not died, and battle still goes on.”

I glanced at the Warden and nodded for him to depart so that I could speak with the Lady Éowyn in confidence. “What would you have me do, Lady?” I asked. “I also am a prisoner of the healers.” I looked at her and pity stirred in me for her because her loveliness among her grief pierced my heart. She was clearly a woman bred among men of war. Why would any woman desire to die in battle? Looking over her sincere face, seeing her damaged arm, clearly here is a woman that no Rider of the Mark, or Ranger of Ithilien for that matter, could outmatch in battle. I was touched by her sadness and captivated by her tranquility. I wanted to pity her, however I knew better than to pity her. She was perhaps the fairest woman I had ever seen but her confidence and her eyes displayed a courage I had never experienced before.

I looked at Lord Faramir and could feel his stare and his eyes attempting to read my feelings. His countenance displayed grave tenderness. He pierced his lips and frowned a little before he asked me again, “What do you wish, Lady? For if it lies in my power, I will do it.”

“I would have you command the Warden to release me. Bid him to let me go.” My voice cracked and pitched upward as I finished my request. For the first time I doubted myself as to whether this was really what I wanted. As I looked at this tall man, both stern and gentle, what would he think of me? Wayward? A spoiled child that has not the firmness of mind to go on with a dull task to the end?

He replied softly and shrugged his shoulders forward, “I myself am in the Warden’s keeping. Nor have I yet taken up my authority as Steward in the City. But had I done so, I should still listen to his counsel, and should not cross his will in matters of his craft unless in some great need.”

“But I do not desire healing!” I stomped my foot on the stone pathway which made a loud click. “I wish to ride to war like my brother Éomer, or better, like Théoden the king, for he died and has both honor and peace.”

“It is too late, lady, to follow the Captains even if you had the strength. If possible I would have done so myself.” Faramir walked closer to me and softened his voice. “But death in battle may come to us all yet, willing or unwilling. You will be better prepared to face it in your own manner if while there is still time you do as the Healer commanded. You and I, we must endure with patience the hours of waiting.”

I looked at him. I raised my hand in protest but then reached my fingers slightly forward. He was very close to me; so close that I could feel his breath, and fought the urge to touch his lips with my fingertips. I studied his face – his grey eyes, his dark eyebrows – his face, flushed pink on his cheeks. I lowered my hand which I had instead brought up to my own face.

I did not know what to say. I wanted to be petulant. Yet, I looked at him as he looked at me and something in me softened. Tears sprang to my eyes and one slowly fell down my cheek. I dropped my head, somehow feeling ashamed for appearing pathetic in front of this man. “I cannot stay here another seven days.” I sighed and looked up at him. He was still concentrating on me and had lowered his head slightly so that he could see my eyes as I spoke. “My window still does not look eastward,” I remarked sadly.

Faramir’s voice lightened and he reach his hand out to gently touch my slinged shoulder. I think his voice was still filled with pity as he replied, “Your window does not look eastward? That can be amended! In this I can command the Warden. If you will stay in this house in our care, Lady Éowyn, and take your rest as requested, then you shall walk in the garden in the sun, as you will; and you shall look east, whither all our hopes have gone. And here you will find me, walking and waiting, and also looking east. It would ease my care, if you would speak with me, or walk at whiles with me.”

I looked at him as he spoke and read the kindness in his face and the sincerity of his words. He too had sadness about him. His words were also panged with loneliness as though he had too suffered great loss. While I did not pity him, I did feel that I could help him and keep him company. Yet I was conflicted about this feeling. What I desired was death in battle. I desired to be with my king and my cousin, as well as my parents whom I feel I barely knew.

Looking Faramir in the eyes, I replied without any expression, “How should I ease your care, my lord, when I do not desire the speech of living men?”

“Would you have my plain answer,” he asked brightly.

“I would.”

“Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither flower nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still.”

I looked him in the eyes. I had not been prepared for that answer! Never had any man so brave nor noble, request my companionship. He was requesting that I spend our last days on Middle Earth with him.

“Lady Éowyn, for you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back. You have so much to live for, and if we survive this dark time and see to the end – happier days are ahead.”

My thoughts drifted to the war. Lord Aragorn. He was fighting for our lives and how I wished to be with him right now, fighting along-side him for everything I love! “Alas, not me, lord!” I exclaimed. What could I do to help Lord Faramir? Nothing. I am worthless. “The Shadow lies on me still. Look not to me for healing! I am a shield maiden and my hand is ungentle.”

He touched my slinged arm and pick up my right hand. “I see in your eyes a great sorrow. I understand the difficulty you have staying here while those you love are fighting against evil forces. But there is nothing we can do but hope for their safe return and wait to see them again. Please, walk with me each day you are here. It would be a great honor for me to have your company.”

He couldn’t release me from this prison, but he understood my grief. “But for you, I know that I need not keep to my chamber. I will walk abroad by the grace of the Steward of the City.” I did him a curtsey and walked back to the house. I thought to myself as I walked back to check on the progress of my rooms: here is someone who could have kept me in a cage, but chose not to and instead honored my wishes the best he could.

After Lady Éowyn departed I stayed in the gardens for some time. The sun had fully set and the moon and stars were out. The wind had chilled and softly rustled through the gardens. Rather than looking east as I had been previously, I now looked toward the Houses in hope that Éowyn would reappear.

Several hours later, after supper, which I foolishly skipped, I called for the Warden and asked him to tell me everything he knew about the Lady of Rohan.

The Warden explained that when Imrahil brought Éowyn to the Houses he had thought her dead. “He had seen her fighting on the battlefield not knowing that she was a woman. He witnessed her fell a dark enemy.” The Warden continued, “Lord, you would learn more from the Halfling that is with us; for he was in the riding of the king and with the Lady at the end, they say.”

“Then send the Halfling to me,” I requested, “and please send some supper for us both.”

When Merry appeared we ate supper together and talked long into the night. I learned so much about Lady Éowyn; much more than Merry was able to put into words. He spoke of King Théoden’s curse, this witch Wormtongue, how Éowyn was a prisoner at Edoras and cared for a King who was nearly senile. He bargained that Éowyn was a prize promised to Wormtongue had Isengard succeeded in defeating Rohan. He told me how she protected himself and Pippin and how she tolerated the company of warriors for she knew nothing else. She was a shield maiden for sure, raised among horsemen, fighters and bawdiness. Yet, she had a gentleness and kindness about her that I had not experienced as I was, too, raised in the realm of men and warriors.

Merry told me of how Éowyn defied Aragorn and Théoden and disguised herself as a man in order to ride into battle with her king. Merry told me of how she carried him on her horse and how they were able to bring down many Southron soldiers. He told me the chilling tale of how the Witch-King of Angmar and his Nazgûl felled King Théoden, and how Théoden was defenseless, crushed under the weight of his horse.

When Merry told me of how Éowyn stepped in to defend her king so that he would not be slaughtered and humiliated by the Witch-King, tears sprang to my eyes, for here was a woman more valiant than any man I ever knew. After Éowyn beheaded the Nazgûl, Merry told me how the Witch-King swung his mace at Éowyn. And after he shattered her shield-arm, he picked her up by her throat. As she struggled to release his grip, Merry explained that he stabbed the Witch-King behind his knee with his sword charmed by the elves. At this the Witch-King released Éowyn to tend to his pain. This gave Éowyn the opportunity to remove her helmet so that the Witch-King could see her face; then she took her sword, with her good arm, and stab him between his mail and his helmet, right through the neck.

After Merry finished, we fell silent for some time. I asked him to walk with me in the gardens tomorrow. It was late and we both needed sleep. When Merry departed, I sat for awhile, sipping more wine, thinking that perhaps I understood now something of the grief and unrest of Éowyn of Rohan.

The following day I woke up to the sun shining upon my face. My window now faced to the east! I noticed that breakfast had arrived, so I quickly dressed and ate what I could before walking hastily to the gardens of the Houses of Healing. It was the third day of my stay and I was hungry for news of the Battle in the east but also craving company. I was hoping that Merry was better, and thought that perhaps I should call on him. But I was also hoping that Lord Faramir would be walking in the gardens as well.

I was disappointed when I arrived and Lord Faramir was not in the gardens as I had hoped. So I stood on the walls facing east as the sun continued its ascent into the morning sky. Birds sang and trees gently waved with the wind. It was a glorious spring day and warm at that, and I could feel some of the darkness and shadow lifting from my heart. However standing there on the edge of the walls, there was something very tempting about letting go, feeling my hair and my clothing whip around me as I could fall several hundred feet to my death. It was a grim thought and I entertained it. I moved my slippered feet closer to the edge, but I did not let go of the pillars on either side of me. I stared down at the cobblestone below.

I heard someone walking behind me and so I turned to see the Lord Faramir had arrived in the gardens. I carefully stepped down from the ledge and turned to greet him. He smiled at me and raised his hand a little in a cautious but casual greeting.

“Good morning, Lord Faramir,” I called to him. He continued to walk my way. I noticed his appearance even more in my calmer state. He was a handsome man. He was tall, slender, and had a very pleasant gait. His dark hair was shorter than what men of Rohan wore, but it was pushed back behind his ears and made his light blue-gray eyes appear even brighter than they were normally. He wore a pleasant expression. He wasn’t smiling, necessarily, but one could see that he was not in a foul mood.

“Hallo, Lady Éowyn,” he greeted me as he also extended his hand and a slight bow and nod of his head. “Care to walk with me?” He extended his arm my way.

I coupled his arm with mine. He winced a little bit, I’m assuming from pain and not from my touch. Nonetheless I softened my clasp so that he did not feel he had to support me and instead I could support him if needed.

“Tell me about Rohan,” he said. “Tell me about your brother, your King, and your parents. I want to know about those you love…. That is, if you don’t mind, of course.”

“Why, I beg Lord, would you want to know about me?” I laughed a slight nervous laugh. “I am regretful and nothing appears to bring me any joy. Why you would want to escort me on a walk through these gardens, when I am sure that I am not good company.” I tried to be subtle with self-deprecation.

I sincerely did not understand why he would be interested in my life. He was a Lord of noble birth. He was the Steward of this lovely and powerful city. My life, my culture, my family, could not be of any interest to him. If anything, I feared he would find it lowly. We were horse-lords. Lesser lords and ladies. Gríma always told us so.

“Lady Éowyn, I enjoy your companionship and I want to know more about you. You are enigmatic. I have heard stories about your feats on the battlefield and I am in awe of your bravery and your accomplishments. I desire to understand what type of upbringing one had in order to be a brave and beautiful shield maiden.”

I blushed. I know my face and my neck turned deep red. It wasn’t difficult for me to do – with the alabaster skin and the fair hair – it was a curse that I had to bare.

“Alright then, I can, sure…” I hesitated. “I- I- I will talk about me, with the promise that we will talk about you, too.” I’m not sure what it was about this man. I felt comfortable with him. I did not have to keep my guard up around him. However I was absolutely nervous. He was noble, sure. He was gentle and kind and he made me feel at ease. Yet, I barely knew him, so I wanted to keep my emotional distance because I did not know his true intentions. However, deep down in my gut, I felt his qualities were sincere and that he was the most perfect gentleman. When I interacted with the men of the Rohirrim I was always very careful about what I said, how I dressed, and what I did in their presence. Granted if any one of them attempted to insult or defile me Éomer would have killed them instantly. Not that I couldn’t look out for myself! With the Lord Aragorn, I also felt the comfort and kindness that I felt in the presence of Lord Faramir. Whilst I felt that I could previously wed Lord Aragorn, that all changed when I realized that Lord Aragorn pitied me. I did not sense that pity with Lord Faramir.

“Before you begin, could you call me Faramir? I think we are on familiar enough terms now – granted that first, we are two of the very few souls that are allowed to walk the gardens unsupervised and not under the direct care of Healers. And second, we are both of noble birth that our friendship would not be seen as scandalous by any means.” He smiled after his last comment. I smiled at the words of friendship and scandal. I needed a friend. Outside of my brother and cousin I never had any friends. And the word scandal made me laugh a little bit at his statement.

“Scandalous, Lord, hardly!” I smiled. “I don’t care who sees me walking through the gardens with you. I’ve caused enough scandals in my lifetime attempting to be true to myself. Learning how to wield a sword, ride a horse, and ride to war with my brother and uncle are more than a lifetime worth of scandal for any lady.”

“Where did you learn to fight like you had?” Éowyn knew that Faramir was schooled enough in cultures of the various nations of Middle Earth to know that war was an ever-present part of life in Rohan. Our borders were always under attack from wild men and dark forces. He had to know that women who did not know how to defend themselves or their children were taken prisoner or killed… or worse.

“I can’t even remember, to be honest.” I thought for a moment back to my childhood. One of my earliest memories is of my father and my mother, and Éomer, sitting in our home in front of the fire. My father was Captain of the Mark, my mother was daughter of the king. I remember my father would come home in the evenings and he would take off his boots and hang up his helmet and scabbard and would sit by the fire and polish or sharpen his sword. He would clean his boots. My mother would mend his clothes. Most nights she would sit down on his lap and put her arms around his neck and they would cuddle and whisper to each other there in front of the fire while Éomer and I played on the rug with our toys.

“When I was little, I remember my father would let me hold his sword and swing at bales of hay in the barn. He showed me the proper way to stab and swipe, but my arms were still too little and weak for it to make much of an impression. I remember it was very heavy. I remember thinking that there would never be a time when I was strong enough to hold a sword correctly. But I was determined to do it right and so I would practice every chance I had. Éomer, my brother, would have the same opportunities. Then my mother would come into the barn and sit down and watch. The session usually ended with me and my brother and father wrestling on the floor. My mother did not like that part!”

“So you were raised in step with your brother?”

“For the most part, yes.” I thought about all the times I wasn’t with my father and brother. They would get to ride out to the borders and patrol while I had to stay behind.

Then the first of the wars came. I can’t recall exactly as to how they started, I explained. But nonetheless, it was the first war that killed my father when I was about eight years old and Éomer, ten. My grandfather, the King Thengel, was also killed after he was taken captive. Then my uncle Théoden ascended the throne and my mother, brother, and I began to live in Edoras.

Faramir stopped for a moment and beckoned for us to sit down under a tree. After we had settled, he said that he can recall this first war, for he was about twenty or so. His brother, Boromir, had pleaded with their father to assist Rohan. Instead, a ranger named Thorongil, who lived in our court, went instead.

I explained how my mother succumbed to a deep darkness after my father died. She was unable to bear the suffering that she witnessed all around: the women and children who fled to Edoras. Women who were shamed if they hadn’t been killed, children who were humiliated and maimed and had witnessed their fathers murdered. I recall that not even a year after my father had died, that my mother died as well. So my uncle assumed guardianship of Éomer and I and we were raised along with our cousin, Théodred. I did not go into detail as to how my mother died.

“I learned to fight, Faramir, because it was the only thing I could do.”

We sat in silence awhile, under the tree.

We sat under that tree together, sometimes in silence, sometimes in speech.

“Tell me about your life here in Gondor,” she asked as she placed her hand upon my hand in my lap.

“Well,” I said softly, “There isn’t much really to say. My childhood was dark. Gondor was always in the shadow of the mountain…. But I did not spend most of my childhood in Minas Tirith. I lived in a place called Emyn Arnen, which is in Ithilien.”

“Ithilien?” Éowyn inquired, “I don’t believe I’ve ever been to Ithilien or Emyn Arnen, but of course I haven’t exactly traveled many places in my lifetime.”

“Emyn Arnen is the place where my parents lived when I was very young. Many of my ancestors came from that place – for example, the first Stewards of Gondor originated from there. It’s not far from here, actually – about half a day’s ride, and then across the Anduin.”

I spoke fondly of Ithilien. The happiest times in my life, I associate with Ithilien. After my father became Steward, I patrolled Ithilien’s forests with my brother, Boromir, and learned the name of every hill and creek. I worked with Boromir to keep the countryside safe. There were a handful of villages in Ithilien known for their own crafts – the brewers and the dairies, farmers, the potters and the smithies. I always associated Ithilien with a calmer pace in life; of people who were hearty, kind and cared for one another, who were creative and free, and darn good at what they did for a living. I explained that I was in Ithilien when I learned of my brother’s death and of the dream I had of him floating in the Anduin.

After some silence, she asked again. “Surely you have some happy memories of your brother, at the very least.”

“Aye, sure. But even that ended in tragedy for me.” I kept staring ahead, but then thought, well, it is only fair to give her some information about me. She had been very open about her life in Rohan that it would not be honorable for me to not return the favor.

I explained to her that I didn’t remember my mother all that much. I recalled that she was lovely and very gentle with me and that she protected me because I was an unhealthy child. Boromir said it was because I was born too early. But I never asked my father or uncle for sure as to why I was sickly.

I explained that my mother was from the seaside principality of Dol Amroth and that I remained close to my Uncle, the prince, there. I explained that my Uncle and Mother were direct descendants of the Númenors and Elves. Éowyn had some understanding of the Númenor and had met elves, but I gave her more history on why they settled in Dol Amroth and in Emyn Arnen.

As a child, my mother taught me to read early. I read a lot of books about dragons and far-off lands and I had a very vivid imagination. My mother encouraged me to read and to learn songs and I enjoyed learning all that lore because it was something that I knew she enjoyed as well. We loved to look at maps together. She would lay a map on the floor and sprawl out with me and place markers on the locations that she had visited or hoped to visit one day. She was friends with Gandalf, Mithrandir – and after she died he assumed a sort of guardianship for me as well. Even though my father was still alive and was steward of the city, he trained Boromir in all the duties. So Gandalf had assumed the responsibility of tutoring me in history, languages, music, and the like. I learned much about flora and fauna from Radagast the Brown, also Mithrandir. Looking back, I am amazed at the privileged education I received from those two.

“She died when I was just a few days after five.”

After some silence, I told Éowyn more. “My father wasn’t a bad father or a horrible man. He was good at his work and really, it was that he was absent a lot, or distant, I should say. He loved Gondor and did everything in his power to protect the kingdom.”

I missed my father. For even though we disagreed much of the time, when I was younger he was a good man. He loved my mother, and I am certain that he loved me as I knew that he loved Boromir. It was not until the past twelve years or so where his temperament began to change. Guards eluded to the foresight that father had, and knowing what I know about lore and the history of middle earth, I had my own theories as to how he acquired that foresight. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the past ten years or so where he turned against me. As if he were poisoned against me … inexplicably, so.

“My brother, Boromir was five years older. After our mother died, Boromir also assumed some responsibility for me. He taught me so much and he was also patient with me as I learned, often very slowly.” Fighting never interested me. I did it because I had to and I would boldly fight to protect those I loved and the land that was ours, and would proudly take up arms for those causes. But war and fights were not something I desired, nor enjoyed.

“Boromir was the soldier,” I laughed lightly at the memory. “He loved being a soldier and a knight in Gondor. He wasn’t interested in getting married or settling down and having children – despite having plenty of female attention, sure. But he loved being a soldier and his duty was to protect Gondor. He was a very good leader.”

“I’ve heard that you are not so bad a leader either, Faramir.”

Again I laughed a little bit, “really, and who told you that?”

“I have my sources,” she smiled at me shyly. “In all seriousness, Master Pippin is a huge fan of yours and he told me stories of how your soldiers loved you and how one saved you from a funeral pyre.”

I sat there quiet. I screwed up my face at this remark. I had not known this specific detail about a funeral pyre. I was aware that there were details of my recent illness that were withheld from me, particularly those details about the burns on my leg and the death of my father. However in the past few days I was able to put pieces of the puzzle together. I had an idea of how my father died and how I got my burns. I abruptly withdrew my hand from underneath hers in my lap. She looked at me wide-eyed as I stood up under the tree.

“What it is?” she asked. Then she stammered, “I – I, didn’t mean to say anything to disrespect you or,” she shook her head and then looked down at the ground.

I reached my hand down to her. “No, no. It’s alright. Let us walk more. The day is still not quite half-past.” I lifted her up with my good arm and by her good hand not fitted to her torso in the sling.

On the morning of the fourth day I found myself walking to the garden, but this time Faramir had arrived first. I walked up to him and sat down next to him.

“I missed you at supper last night, my Lord.”

After I mentioned his leadership and how his soldiers loved him, he behaved oddly. I knew I had said something wrong and I desperately wish Master Pippin were here so that I could find out what it was that I did say that made Faramir introspective and gloomy.

“I must apologize to you, Éowyn, for my behavior yesterday afternoon. I know I owe you an explanation.”

He wasn’t looking at me, so I leaned over to him and turned so that I could look him in the eyes. I grabbed both of his hands with my one good one and piled them up on my knee. “Please tell me what troubles you.”

He looked up now, at least, but his eyes were red and glassy, and his expression was grim.

“The healers, Pippin, my friends… all have withheld some information from me. The first being how I got the burns on my leg. The second is regarding the death of my father, Denethor. No one has been able to tell me how he died.”

I had of course put much of this information together even though it was specifically withheld from me as well. Funeral pyre. Burns. Denethor’s death. I am certain Faramir had to understand how Denthor met his demise, but perhaps did not want to admit that he did. We sat in silence awhile longer. It seemed to me that the wind was changing. Where in previous days it was a warm wind that came from the south and the west, this new wind was shifting from the east. The sun was still shining, however, so I did not dwell on the thought much longer. I stood up and lowered my one hand to him. “Do not feel that you have to explain yourself to me, Lord. Come, Faramir, let’s walk more in the gardens. The day is still very young.” And then I was able to hoist him up from the bench and we walked hand in hand.

I looked over my shoulder and could see the Warden looking from his window at us, and he smiled and gave a gentle salute with his right palm. I looked back at him and smiled. I did feel lighter and I did feel as though I was healing. While the darkness and sorrow remained, I did notice that there was hope where there had been none before. And like Faramir’s inclination of how his father died, some things were just better left unsaid.

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