Mama and Ada
Denethor came back late that night, his mind
strained from his confrontations with his father and Thorongil. It took
all his power to keep his temper when they were combined against him in
that manner. If only Thorongil would disagree with him in some way, it
would be easier to dislike him. But alas, it was not the man’s mind but
his unknown origins that made Denethor suspicious—things that Ecthelion
could forget all too simply. He could forget many things about his
favorite, many more than he could forget about his own son.
There was still a light in his chamber, and as he walked silently
towards it, he could not keep a smile from his face at the sight of
what it illuminated: his wife and his infant son, the only two in the
world who would never fail him.
Finduilas looked up from the cradle, her eyes warm and soft in the
candle’s glow, and whispered to him as he drew near: “I love to watch
him while he sleeps.”
Denethor put his hands on her shoulders, resting his chin in her dark
hair. “He is wonderful, is he not?”
“He is perfection,” answered Finduilas. “Just how I imagined he would
“I believe that I expected him to be a little larger,” mused Denethor.
“He is so tiny.”
Finduilas giggled quietly. “Denethor, my love, he weighed ten
pounds when he was born; that is three pounds more than Imrahil or
myself were at birth. He is a remarkably large child.”
“But still small,” said Denethor.
Finduilas smiled and did not answer that. “I always wished to
become a Mama,” she said, “but my love for a child yet unborn could not
compare to what fills my heart now. I believe I would even give up
sleep if I could, just to look over him while he rests.”
Denethor said nothing—words served no purpose here—but wrapped his
arms around her slender shoulders, joining her in the watchful guard of
his firstborn. Boromir stirred, his hands shooting up as if in
surprise, and he opened his mouth to let out a half-cry.
“Hush, little one,” cooed Finduilas, stroking his hand to soothe him.
“Your Mama and Papa are here to keep you safe.”
Denethor flinched. “Finduilas,” he said very quietly as Boromir was
soothed to restfulness again, “Ecthelion was Papa. I—I think I should
like to be Ada.”
Finduilas looked up, her eyes scanning his face, and she saw the
hurt behind his eyes and recognized the unspoken thought: he did not
want to be like his father. She nodded, and turned back to Boromir.
Leaning down, she brushed a light kiss on his soft brow, whispering:
“Never doubt, my little Boromir, that your Mama and Ada will keep you
Elboron yawned and stretched his arms wide, pushing the blanket away
“Shall he not break in two if he yawns so wide?” asked Eowyn with a
“Nonsense,” murmured Faramir, “he is a strong boy.”
“And beautiful,” added Eowyn, resting her head on Faramir’s shoulder.
“And precious,” answered Faramir.
“And perfect,” whispered Eowyn, looking up into Faramir’s face with a
smile. “Can you top that?”
“Just like his mother,” responded Faramir with a twinkle in his eyes.
Eowyn chuckled and nestled her head against him, while Elboron
blinked slowly and yawned again, one hand reaching up to grab his own
ear and the other one bringing the blanket to his mouth so that he
might suck it. His eyes looked upwards, just a hint of confusion in
“He does not yet know who we are,” said Faramir softly. “We must
introduce ourselves.” Putting one hand beneath his son’s downy head,
Faramir cradled his son, and said softly: “Do you see who that is, my
Elboron? That is your Mama, and she is beautiful and brave.”
Eowyn put her hand behind Faramir’s, so that they were both
supporting this little blessing that life had bestowed on them, and
responded in a near whisper, for Elboron’s eyelids had begun to droop:
“And do you know who that is, my little one? That is your Papa, and he
is wise and good.”
“Ada,” said Faramir. Eowyn looked at him curiously, but he smiled and
put his other arm around her shoulders. “I am his Ada.”
“And we will always love you,” finished Eowyn. Elboron’s eyelids
made one last effort before veiling his blue eyes in gentle sleep. The
blanket was still grasped by one tiny hand, covered in drool now but no
less precious. Faramir and Eowyn sighed, finding a special peace that
neither had known before, and they knew that they were glad to become
Mama and Ada. And Faramir promised himself that he would never be
Author's Note: Ada is Sindarin for Papa, but as Sindarin is (from
what I can tell) a second language, parents would naturally be called
Mama and Papa. The last line refers to Faramir and Boromir calling
Denethor "father" when adults, after their relationship with him cools.
Also, though Denethor and Faramir had similar relationships with their
fathers, I think Faramir had a personality that was more prone to
understand and forgive.