2. The Road to Osgiliath
startled look but obediently handed over the prisoner.
Frodo Baggins' child sized body lay tense in my
arms cloak wrapped tightly, defensively, around him. I
spoke quietly so as not to be overheard by the Men
before and behind us on the steep path.
"Forgive me, Frodo, it was cruel of me to frighten
you so, but I was angry that you should try to keep a
matter of such moment from me."
"What else could I do? I knew you'd stop me if you
could." he answered, voice slightly muffled by his
"Can you blame me, Frodo? It's madness to take the
Ring into Mordor within very Sauron's grasp. You can't
"I know!" he cried despairingly. "But I must try, I
am bound by the command of the Council."
"And you say Boromir agreed to this?" That I found
difficult to believe.
"Yes. He spoke against it, knowing the dangers as
he did, but he accepted the decision of the Council
and swore to see it done. Elrond Half-Elven said it
was our only hope and Gandalf - Mithrandir - agreed
Elrond is a name out of legend, sung in old tales
and written in ancient parchments, but Mithrandir I
have known since I was a boy. Him I trust whatever my
father may say. If *he* thought this was the only way
then perhaps it is.
Yet surely he never intended to send two little
Halflings alone into Mordor guided by a creature whose
mind is as twisted as his body. Surely he'd meant to
be with them, to guide them, and with him gone...I
could feel the Halfling shaking as he fought back
tears. "Mithrandir was dear to you."
"I've known him all my life." he choked in answer.
"I too." I said quietly.
"It was my fault!" He burst out suddenly. "I
decided to go through Moria. But we couldn't pass over
the mountains and Gimli thought there would be Dwarves
there to help us - and I didn't know, Gandalf didn't
"Frodo, if Mithrandir gave the decision to you he
must have believed you'd make the right one. If he
didn't warn you perhaps it was because there were no
better choices." We reached level ground and I put the
Halfling on his feet guiding him with a hand on his
"Boromir told me I had burdens enough without
carrying Gandalf's death as well." he said.
Yes, that sounded like something my brother would
"He saved my life at least twice, and after Gandalf
fell he tried to comfort me. Truly, Faramir, I was his
friend - and he mine."
"But something went wrong between you before you
parted." I said, knowing it was true.
"Yes...those last days there was much disagreement
in the company, much debate about our best road.
Boromir wanted to go to Minas Tirith to rest and
resupply ourselves before trying to enter Mordor
through the Morgul Vale."
I shuddered. Boromir would have had to have been
mad to think such a plan could work.
"But Aragorn was against it, he wanted to enter
from the north through Emyn Muil and the Dead Marshes
to the Black Gate."
So Isildur's Heir hadn't wanted to come to the
White City of his fathers. Perhaps he had feared the
divisions he might cause. I began to think the better
of him. "And which course did you favor, Frodo?"
"I - I wasn't sure. I was afraid of making the
wrong choice as I had in Moria."
"So you and my brother quarreled."
No. He was lying again, or rather holding something
back. "And in the end you decided to leave your
companions and strike out alone with just your
gardener to aid you."
"It seemed the best thing to do. The others were
Princes and Lords in their own countries, they would
be needed at home. I didn't want to waste any more
"With this Gollum as your guide?"
Very quietly. "I trust him."
"Frodo, he is mad surely you realize that?"
In the same quiet voice. "The Ring has ruined him.
It is ruining me. It will destroy us all if we do not
destroy it first."
I could feel his pain, his desperation. "Frodo, you
cannot destroy it. You, and your Sam, and Gollum too
would die in the attempt and the Ring would fall into
Sauron's hands. You must see I cannot permit that to
happen!" I stopped him, bent to remove the blindfold.
"The Ring will be safe in Minas Tirith, and it will
Those wide blue eyes, uncovered, stared up into
mine. "How can you believe that? You've felt the
Ring's power, its malice!"
Yes, I had felt it like a maddening fever in the
blood urging me to thrust my sword into the Halfling's
heart and take the Ring for my own. But I had mastered
it - the temptation could be resisted. Yet the
knowledge that we held the Ring, even lying unused in
our deepest vault, would give Sauron pause make him
draw back his hand for fear of provoking a terrible
"When all the choices are bad one can only choose
the one that holds the least peril." I answered. "And
I have done so."
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.