Excerpts from Elanor's Diary for Faramir

by Vison
December 22, 1436 SR: I wish I had gilded paper and coloured characters to write this entry, but my common paper and characters will have to do. I have had many special moments since leaving the Shire, but last night’s celebration was what Father would call a Red Letter Day.

We breakfasted as usual in the family dining room and afterward everyone was rather at loose ends, since nothing had been planned for the day. I decided to walk out, if anyone could be found to walk with me and to my delight Prince Faramir came into the common room just then with his outer gear on and said he was walking up to the Citadel and did anyone care to join him? I flew up and threw on my cloak and met him at the Great door and we set off into the teeth of the wind, up the long cobbled way. Going up we kept our heads down and didn’t say much but when we were up on the ramparts we had our backs to the wind and looked out over the great city below us and talked of this and that. He said Lady Eowyn was with the Queen and since the King was busy with the city Council he felt like he was surplus to requirements and thought he’d work up an appetite for dinner by walking.

He smiled at me and said he was a little surprised that I was out and about instead of curling my hair or driving the maids mad by demanding that my gown be pressed or my shoes polished or any of a dozen female goings on with the great Yule Feast only hours away. I laughed and said I was as ready as I would ever be, and had been for days.

He said even Lady Eowyn was caught up in the matter of gowns and hairdressing, unlike her usual disdain for these matters. "I always think she looks lovely," he said, "even in her riding gear and mail vest and her hair all windblown. Maybe especially then, my beautiful shieldmaiden."

"The Lady Eowyn is very beautiful," I said, touched by the love in his voice.

I guess my voice was a little wistful because he put his arm around my shoulders and gave me a quick hug and said, "Someday someone is going to be pining for the sight of your pretty face, Elanor, and I don’t mean your Mother and Father!"

I usually hate such teasing, but Prince Faramir is always so gentle and kind that it only made me smile instead of being annoyed. I leaned on the parapet and let my hood fall back so the wind caught my hair. "Sir," I said, "if I come to Ithilien, could you take me to Henneth Annun? The hidden place you took my father and Frodo to? I wouldn’t mind walking blindfolded at all, just to be able to see the place that Father described, with the moonlight coming through the water."

"Of course I could," he said. "As a matter of fact, I haven’t been there myself in years. And I have never taken my wife there, either, so we’ll make an adventure of it. I promise." He leaned on the rail beside me and said, "I will never forget that day, when I came upon your father and Frodo. It is one of my chief memories, Elanor. Your father so valiant, and Frodo too! I remember so plain the shock in my heart when Frodo told me of their quest. Such heroism I had never thought to see."

"It is one of Father’s chief memories too," I said. "He doesn’t talk much about those days, but when he does, he always talks of that. And the Oliphaunt."

He laughed, and then he sighed. "Yes," the Oliphaunt, he said. "When I was a boy, my brother Boromir and I always hoped that one would be brought to Minas Tirith. My father told me that one was part of a travelling show when he was a boy, but it never came back. Boromir wished to ride it, of course, and whatever my brother did, I did too, or tried. He was the elder, you know, and he was my hero, when we were little lads. And not so little, either."

I looked at him when I heard the note of sadness in his voice. He sighed, and said, "I still think of my brother every day, Elanor. You know, it was long after the War before King Elessar told me what had taken place at Amon Hen that day. I knew there had been something. Something. I remember Frodo saying, For my part, I was his friend. My poor brother. So bold and brave and longing for renown. He was always like that, even when we were children. Wanting to be first, and indeed, always being and doing first. He wanted naught that was unearned, he wanted naught given only because he was the son of Lord Denethor. He desired glory, and yet came to his end alone, and far from home and all those who loved him.. Even after all this time, that breaks my heart."

I didn’t know what to say. Prince Faramir’s grief was too deep for any words of mine. Yet I had to speak, and I said, "Not all those who loved him were far away when he died, Sir. My Father always admired Lord Boromir. And the Thain, Peregrin Took, and Master Meriadoc, they always remember that he died trying to save them. They always say Boromir the Bold, and recall his bravery and deeds of arms."

"Yes," Prince Faramir said. "I remember that, I remember speaking with Peregrin." Prince Faramir put out his hand and gestured over the city, "This was his city, Elanor. All loved him, a great Lord of men. And women, too. Yet he had no time for lovemaking. There was one lass who broke her heart over him, and yet I know he never knew."

"Was that Lady Iorlas, Sir?" I asked, my voice low and shy.

"Yes," he said, surprised. "How did you know that?"

"She mentioned him once, Sir. She called him a splendid knight. She made light of it, but I know it was not light to her," I said.

"No, indeed it was not," he said. "We are cousins, you know, in some degree or another, I forget exactly. But we were brought up together, schooled together. I do remember how she followed us around, when we were little, the way girls do. She was a nuisance to us, you know?"

I nodded. "I know, Sir. I have brothers!" I said, "and little sisters."

Prince Faramir went on, "But we grew up, and Boromir never seemed to see that she had eyes only for him. I remember how he loved to hear her sing, and that he would tell her so, too. And she would look at him with those great eyes of hers and he would pat her on the shoulder and tell her how well she sang and that was never what she wanted to hear, not from him. I think my father knew, my father always knew what was in the hearts of those around him. He was fond of Iorlas, liked to have her about, but I often wonder if he would have welcomed her as a daughter-in-law. She was very different then, Elanor. Not so brittle, so hard. But Boromir was the rock she broke herself on, and one day she was gone from our lives, gone off to marry Sir Landroval. Borormir danced at her wedding, and kissed the bride, and said to me that she had done very well for herself, and it was one of the few times I was ever angry at my brother. Well, well, that was all very long ago. But he never heard her sing again, indeed none of us has. I look forward to hearing her, tonight."

"I have heard her sing," I said. "I am getting cold now, Sir. Shall we go back down?"

He tucked my hand in his arm. "We shall, Miss Elanor. Do you know, he said, that you have a great gift as a listener? I have never told anyone that tale before. How did you draw it out of me?"........

That's all of this entry about Faramir.....

Elanor’s Diary.

June 15, 1437 SR: Prince Faramir and the Lady Eowyn are preparing to leave for their home in Ithilien. They will travel part way with Prince Imrahil and his Lady, as they sail downriver. Somewhere near where Poros runs into Anduin, Prince Faramir and his party will cross into South Ithilien and Prince Imrahil with his folk will carry on to sail around Belfalas to Dol Amroth. I am to go with them, and will be met at Pelargir by Hirgon, Sir Landroval’s son, and taken to his home in Lebennnin. Sir Landroval and Lady Iorlas live in the hills between the rivers Serni and Gilrain on their great estate, and I am to spend the summer with them, and return to Minas Tirith in September with Prince Darius as he sails back from Sardara. For he, too, is journeying South with us, except that he will sail on from Pelargir to his home in Far Harad

I am to be traveling again! It will not be the same as my journey with the King last year, but I am so excited I am dancing about the Palace. The Queen laughed and asked if it was so awful here that I wanted to leave and I hardly knew how to answer her. It is not awful at the Palace, indeed I love it here more than I ever thought I could. But my heart beats quicker at the thought of seeing new places and new things. We are to leave in seven days, so I have a great deal to do, and one of the things is to write a letter Home.

This afternoon I went riding with some of the Gentlemen and the King, and Prince Faramir. Lady Eowyn stayed behind with the Queen and the Lady Aravilla, and none of the other Maidens wished to go as it looked like it might rain. It did not, but it was a strange chilly day with brisk winds out of the mountains and high black clouds. Pixie was lively, as we had not been out for a time, and it was lovely to be in the Air in the country. The crops on the Pellenor are coming on, as Father would say, and the King fell in with Master Ostoher, talking about the farms. So Prince Faramir fell to my lot, and we rode side by side for some time, talking.

Father does not often speak of the Quest of the Ring, but one of the times he does mention is his meeting in Ithilien with Faramir who was not then a Prince. Father loves and admires King Elessar, and he knew him better. But his love for Prince Faramir is different, founded I think on the circumstances of their meeting. Prince Faramir always speaks to me of Father, in his kind way, for he knows how much I miss my home and my family. He spoke of Father today, then he went on to speak of his own father, and his brother the Lord Boromir. He had spoken to me of Boromir before, when he told me about when Lady Iorlas was a girl, but he has never spoken of his father before, and I listened with great interest, for the story of Lord Denethor’s death is still whispered in the City, and silly folk say he Walks, his ghost haunting the Citadel.

Prince Faramir laughs at these tales, but I can see that they trouble him. "The thing is," he said, "that whatever else Denethor was, he was my Father. Such tales of him as I have heard, Elanor! Were he alive, he would scorn such talk. You know how he died?"

I said that I did. "Prince Faramir," I said, "I do not place any belief in these tales. Your poor father—my father says he was driven to madness, and did not know what he did."

"Your father Samwise is right, Elanor. The Lord Denethor my father was indeed driven to madness and despair. Who should know it better than I? It is hard, though, to have one’s family the topic of such foolish gossip—yet I know that it is natural enough. He was a great lord, and much in the eyes of all the city. He was like Boromir in that, if little else, loving the position he held."

"Why should he not, Sir?" I asked. "He was born to a great position, and filled it well. He was Steward for many years before the end."

Prince Faramir smiled at me, and shook his head. "Such common sense, Elanor! Are you like your mother? Or most like dear Samwise?"

"I cannot say," I answered. "Like both, I suppose. But Father is more romantic than Mother, if you know what I mean. She says that he has only one foot on the ground, while she has two."

"I do not remember my mother," Prince Faramir said. "The pain of losing her has never gone away, but I do not really remember her. I do remember how my father tried to keep her memory alive for Boromir and me, at least at first. Her things were about our house, but as time passed they were put away, and truth to tell, I do not know where it all has gone. Except for her jewelry, which I have given to my wife, and Mother’s great cloak. Father stopped speaking of her, and Boromir and I forbore to do so, for we knew it hurt Father. Yet, I wonder, I wonder. Not long ago I went to our old house, here in the city. It is kept open, you know, but we seldom stay there. Some cousin of ours lives there as Housekeeper, much like Mistress Mardilain, but not so grand! It was never a happy house after Mother died. I always felt I had to be quiet. Boromir and I shared a bedchamber until we were young men, and we talked, as boys do, long into the nights, dreaming of our futures, of the future of Gondor. I remember that Father would come and say goodnight to us, and we would wait until we heard his footsteps fade down the hallway, and we would talk some more. Anyway, our old bedroom is not used any more. Our beds still sit, one on each side of the room, each near a window. I could nearly see the boys that used to be. Then I went to Father’s rooms, and they too are not used, but are empty of even the furniture. Yet when I stood in his bedchamber I looked about and I saw the Rose that grows about the window, the Rose my Mother planted. Father would never let it be touched, and it thrives still. The perfume brought Mother to my mind as nothing else could. Father slept in that chamber always, his bed was near the window. And I found a Rose pressed in one of his books, faded, but still sweet. He was a stern man, the Lord Denethor, but his feelings ran deep and strong. Too deep and strong, maybe, and he was afraid of them. Thus it was all my life. I always knew Father loved me, though he showed it little. Boromir could draw something from him that I could not, yet I was never jealous of my brother. Boromir needed that which I did not. And Father’s last years, when the arts of the Enemy had poisoned him—well, could I stop loving my father then? I pitied him, yet I understood him. I did not guess the cause, but I could not resent the effect—I took it as an illness. So did Boromir. He saw, too, that Father was not himself. But illness or weakness of that nature was distasteful to Boromir, and he passed it off as Age, or overwork. And at the very end, after Boromir had died, well, it may be that Father was unfair to me, but he was in such pain!"

Prince Faramir sighed. "If ever I am blessed with a son," he said, "I will strive to be a good father. I will strive to be less stern than mine was and to laugh more. Yet I will strive as well to give my son what my Father gave me and my brother—certainty of his strength. We knew, always, that Father was the Citadel, the foundation of the city as well as of our own lives. Stern he might be, and strict, and demanding, but he was the rock we sheltered under. There are tales that he beat me, that he cursed me for not being Boromir, for living after my brother died. Never did my Father strike me, never did he raise his hand to any one! As for what he said in his last agonies, well—how should I do, if I were to be wounded in that fashion? I will not judge him. It was not easy, being his son. But I would not change that, even if I could. Such as I am, he made me."

We were near the gates of the City. Prince Faramir looked up at the White Tower where King Elessar’s standard snapped in the wind. Beneath the Royal standard was the Swan Banner of Prince Imrahil, and the White standard of the Steward. As we rode through the gates, the Guards saluted, and folk stood to watch us all ride by.