Letters from Faramir

by Agape4Rivendell

IX.

Brother,

I have spent long hours this night with Pippin and he will tell me nothing of our Father - nothing to assuage this dread I feel. He only told me one thing - that he foreswore himself to Father and to Gondor in thanks to you - for your sacrifice for him and for Merry.

And then he pulled his chair close to my bed, pulled out this long, outlandish pipe, packed it with some leaf and LIT IT! He saw the look of surprise on my face and proceeded for the next quarter of an hour to describe all the joys and the makings of Longbottom Leaf, the best pipeweed, according to him, in the South Farthing.

I am getting used to this Hobbit - he cannot say something in one or two sentences. He takes two score at least to say anything at all. I think back to Frodo. It took all my skill to learn what I needed from him and, most times, it was his companion, poor Sam, who fell into my trap and told me what I needed to know - much to Sam's horror. My heart went out to him. All he saw before him was his Master, and all he tried to do was protect him, and yet all he did was give up the secrets Frodo would keep hidden.

I have asked Pippin to start from the beginning and tell me about you. I need to hear of you. And this little one seems to have a love for you. I fear it will take all night. He has set himself up comfortably.

And so it begins…


The Elves are beautiful. Never have I seen any like them, especially at the Ford of Bruinen when Glorfindel – how can I say what we saw? Flame? No. More like mithril when a torch is held up to it. This is what Glorfindel looked like as he charged the Nine. Merry and I were frozen still as we watched the change come over him. Gandalf told us later that is what they look like on the other side. How beautiful – how frightful. But men – now these here are totally different from the men of Bree.

There are dwarves and men who are guests of Elrond. One man in particular – so tall in a different way than elves, and fair. He never smiles though! I want very much to meet him. He has come alone and on foot from a very long distance away and I wonder how that was possible for a man. One of the elves told me he was a great warrior.

After Frodo recovered, Elrond called a Council. We were not invited. I heard there was no food being served, so I wasn’t too upset – but Merry was. He wanted to be a part of everything. He seems to be changing.

We heard loud shouting many times coming from the porch where they met. It was strange indeed to hear shouting in this peaceful place. I was very glad we hadn’t been invited. They started early in the morning and were still at it when the lunch bell rang. Who would continue a meeting right through second breakfast, through elevenses? As much as I like Elrond, I think this is very poor behavior – for an elf or anyone.

Finally, the Council broke up and we all met for a late luncheon. All except Bilbo – he seems to tire quickly. After luncheon, where no one shared and no one answered poor Merry’s questions, he and I left and went off for a smoke by the waterfalls. We fell asleep on the bank of the river and awoke to a chill wind and we wondered. It was not quite autumn. We ran to Bilbo’s room and found our friends there. Much to Merry’s dismay, we discovered Sam had snuck into the Council meeting. He and Frodo were going to go off on an adventure and it seemed we would not be going. How could they not take me with them? I told them they needed someone with intelligence in their party. And I will not tell you what Gandalf said when I said that – there he was peeping through the window. Sneaking!

After the Council, Boromir went off with Aragorn on patrol. So many left Rivendell, elves and the two men, searching for something. When they would come back, they would go to Elrond’s study and not even come out for the singing or the telling of tales. If not for this, it would be a happy time indeed. The four of us stay together mostly, well-fed with plenty of pipeweed and song. Frodo spends many hours with Bilbo – sometimes Sam with them, and sometimes not. When he isn’t with Frodo, Sam seems lost. So Merry and I have taken up the slack, so to speak, and we make him sit and drink with us. I never feel any worry in this place, at least since Frodo was healed. I think there must be a spell on it. Faramir – you must visit Rivendell. It is so lovely. And they laugh and sing all the time. More even than Merry and I.

The next two months Merry and I spent mainly in the Hall of Fire, but now and again, when he was back from patrol, Boromir would seek us out. I don’t know why. He wouldn’t smoke with us and he ate very little. He always seemed amused to see Merry and me eat. Sometimes, he would shake his head. And once, I heard him whisper, ‘Where does it all go?’ But he would share ale with us and he would listen to my stories of the Shire. He was quite attentive and would even ask questions. Polite questions – enough to let me know that he was listening, enough that I didn’t feel he thought I was just making noises, the way Gandalf often makes me feel.

Ever and anon the scouting parties would come back and ever and anon I would hear Boromir’s voice. It seemed to call to me. I counted upon hearing it to tell me when they returned. At last, the news was encouraging. There didn’t seem to be any of those Black Riders around and this is what Gandalf wanted to hear.

Master Elrond finally chose those who would go on the quest…mission….thing…with Frodo and Sam. I am grateful to hear that Boromir will go with him, along with Strider and Gandalf. I like this man. He is very kind to me. I think Aragorn likes him too for I heard him tell Gandalf that he is a valiant man. Imagine my surprise when Elrond didn’t pick Merry or me to go with them. What must he be thinking? Hobbits have to stick together! Gandalf wanted Merry to go too and I told both of them, in no uncertain terms, that they would have to tie me in chains to stop me, for I was determined to go! The two of them talked about me as if I weren’t even there, but finally, Master Elrond yielded to Gandalf.

Seven days later we are saying good-bye to Rivendell. It seems as if we had just arrived. I am so very surprised – an elf and a dwarf are going with us. Boromir put his hand on my shoulder and told me how glad he was that I am going with them – but I feel a sadness in his touch. I know now that he was afraid for me.

He carries that great horn with him always, and just before we left Rivendell, he blew a great cry on it. It gives me chills to hear it; the memory even now sends shivers down my back and tears to my eyes. Such a great man! I will tell you more about the horn another time, Faramir. It is too deep a wound. Elves, dwarves, everyone anywhere near us seemed to start violently at its call. That horn is so very loud and there feels to be some kind of magic about it. Elrond told Boromir that it would be better not to wind it except in need. I certainly hoped he would not have to blow it again anytime soon! But Boromir said that ever he let the horn cry as he started on a journey and this was a time the like of which he had not known before. I didn’t feel afraid as I stood next to him. He had a smile on his face and his hand rested lightly on his sword. I wanted to take his hand as we started out, but I didn’t. I don’t know how to tell you, Faramir, how much he filled me with a sense of peace and joy. He loved life…as much as any Hobbit I have known.

It seems so sad to be leaving Rivendell. We really had a lovely stay and the elves treated us so well. We are going to travel by night and I suppose that this is wise, but I like to travel in the sunshine, with a song on my lips and a pipe in my mouth. Gandalf told us quite firmly that we were not allowed to smoke. I don’t know how we will survive this and I quite wonder if I have made a mistake, going on this adventure. I had put some of my dinner in my pockets and contented myself with that as we started out. Better food in the pocket than trust to Strider to stop to eat! This is going to be a weary trip, I can tell that already.

Aragorn and Gandalf walk ahead and always their heads are close together, yet they never tell us what they speak of. I can’t understand why they don’t include Boromir in their talks. Poor old Boromir, I feel very badly for him. When we first started out, almost ten days ago, he seemed very happy. When I asked him why, he said because we were now headed towards his home and that thought filled him with joy. He told me a little of his city; the love he has for it just bleeds from him. I also asked him why, in the Hall of Fire when the elves sang their songs of Elbereth and Luthien and other Elvish tales, why he would grow quiet. He said it was because of you, Faramir. He remembered the times you had tried to tell him Elvish tales and songs and how he would laugh at you and cause a ruckus so that you couldn’t finish these. He told me how sorry he was not to have listened, how sorry he was to have teased you about them being of no import. He said he would do better when he returned. I’m sorry, Faramir, he planned on returning. He really did! I’m so sorry.

We are so bitterly cold, even with the clothes that Elrond gave us. I have asked Gandalf a few times, only a few times, how much farther. He very nicely reminds me that I am the one who wanted to go on this quest and that I should have spent more time looking at Master Elrond’s maps. Unfortunately, this is not the last time I will wish I had looked more closely at those maps.

And I WAS right – we will not stop for second breakfast or anything but a little meal as dawn breaks and we camp for the day. We hide in the shrubbery or in cold cracks in the rocks. I am getting very weary and I have decided to tell Gandalf that we definitely need to stop for a nice long rest with a few meals altogether. I am so hungry. I could now eat three breakfasts on end. Merry tells me to tell Gandalf after he himself has left the area! Hmmm.