Letters from Faramir
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
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
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
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.