4. Chapter 4
… Excuse me a moment, while I take deep, calming breaths.
There, that's better.
What do you mean, you got attacked by a Balrog?
Okay, that's not calm enough… inhale… exhale… good.
What do you mean, you got attacked by a Balrog?
That will certainly be something to tell your posterity someday. You saw the legendary Flame of Udun… and lived! And lived. I'm more relieved than I can say. Nonetheless, I pity poor Mithrandir, though I begin to suspect he may have known his fate before he entered that accursed Mine. Not that it excuses him, mind you… however, it is cruel to rail against the dead. Let us talk of other things.
I have followed your journey closely on my maps, ever since you encountered the Misty Mountains—farther north of that we have few records, as you well know. I do not know how exactly I have hit upon your location, but if I am correct in my assumptions, then you are headed directly for the Golden Wood, Lothlórien. Boromir, I would advise you to avoid this place, if you can…there is a power there from which Men can avail naught. Few may leave that place unchanged, and I would prefer you to remain exactly as you are, shocking though that sentiment may be. Though it would be nice if you snored a bit less.
I take it that Aragorn is now the leader of your party; the need for deference is now even greater. Your (rather pathetic) attempts at being "sensitive" back at the caves will may have sent out the (perhaps) mistaken impression that you were trying to make him look like the "bad guy" in the eyes of the rest of the Fellowship; this may have engendered feelings of resentment or vulnerability on his part, so you'll need to be extra-sensitive to that. On second thought—forget the sensitive part, you'll botch it; just stick with being deferential.
Do you suppose that the Gondor Weekly would be interested in hiring an anonymous advice columnist?
Your advice always, always, always comes too late, Faramir. One of us must be cursed.
We have sought sanctuary in the realm of Lórien, and it has been most trying.
We stumbled upon the Forest sort-of-but-not-quite on accident, only to be accosted by a band of Elves with even more hair than Legolas. They welcomed him warmly, he being one of their own kind, and made such statements to Aragorn as to confirm that he had their Lady's favor. The Halfings were much wondered over, and abuse was hurled at Gimli. I was pointedly ignored.
We were then led blindfolded to Caras Galadhon, their tree-city, where the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel welcomed each of us by name—myself excepted. I was pointedly ignored.
Tell me, are all Elves discourteous, or only those that I have met?
Celeborn began to speak in a staccato monotone (you do not believe there is any such thing as a staccato monotone, Faramir? You have obviously never heard Lord Celeborn speak). "Eightthereareyetninethereweresetout from Riven Dell. TellmewhereisGandalftheGreyforImuchdesireto speak with him."
And yes, he said it in exactly that fashion, with a slightly glazed expression to go along with it. I sniggered a little; I couldn't help it. Aragorn stamped on my foot. Hard. I though it might have been disconnected altogether, so hard was that stomp. My eyes smarted.
By now, Galadriel was speaking. "The Quest walks on the edge of a knife; stray but a little, and it will fail. Yet hope remains while the Company is true." And then she glared very pointedly at me.
I felt like an utter fool, still snickering a bit even as I blinked back tears from the unwarranted assault on my foot, while the witch-queen made insinuations about me—in public! It was not to be borne.
But then I felt it. Lothlórien has a strange air to it, a kind of presence, subtle yet ever at hand—but now there was someone, quite deliberately, probing my mind. I could sense it feeling out my weaknesses, uncovering my failings, and then there was a voice in my head, and it belonged to Galadriel.
"Boromir, Son of Gondor—your father is a chemically imbalanced loony who beats your brother, eats tomatoes like a three-year-old, and has a wide variety of compulsory disorders related to misusing magical glass spheres and incinerating random objects. There's some hope for your kind, but not much."
Silence. A confused silence, but silence nonetheless.
Then—"Have you no comment to this assessment?"
"My Lady, it's nothing that the whole of the Gondor doesn't know already."
A second silence, miffed this time. "Bloody Húrins," said the Lady presently, and withdrew from my mind huffily.
We have now been given leave to retire, but any chance of repose is slim—quite apart from the fact that one feels that one's mind will be mugged if one lets one's guard down for half a moment, some strange, ethereal, and altogether deafening singing has been wafting down from the upper boughs of the trees for several hours. "It is a lament for Gandalf," explains Legolas. "What do they say about him?" asks Merry. "I will not tell—my own grief is too near!" he cries touchily, and storms off. Alas, Fari, I shall never understand Elves.
Have removed boots. My foot is heavily bruised. Damn Aragorn.
P.S. Advice columnist? A post you would no doubt relish—but tell me, Faramir, if the Steward of Gondor were to write in for counsel about his intolerable younger son, how would you reply?
Ah, brother, I feel for your poor molested toes. Perhaps you might call on Aragorn for medicinal aid—as they say, "the hands of a King are the hands of a healer." Though, judging by your current standings, he may attempt an unnecessary amputation. So much for being deferential, Bori; derisively giggling at some of his Personal Friends within earshot was an astute move indeed.
I feel that I may have to destroy all of your letters once Aragorn has returned to the White City, lest I be tempted to present them as evidence when he has you tried for High Treason.
Your account of the Golden Wood and the Lady Galadriel interests me greatly. I fear little now for its effects on you—I have reflected that you are indeed too stubborn to be changed—but I would have liked to meet this Elf myself. I am prone to the same peculiar mental faculties as our dear father, and I am curious as to what we would have made of each other. How easily would she have broken my mind, and would I have been able to do the same to hers?
Where shall you go when you depart from Lórien? Shall you go on to Mordor, or will you return to Minas Tirith in lieu of that journey? Will the King accompany you? I know that you must attend to whatever duties you have undertaken in this venture, but, myself, I wish you would come home as soon as can be. For if Father is still in the same (or a worsened) state as when you left, then I may look for something by the way of an assassination attempt when I next visit Minas Tirith.
We have at last taken our leave of Lórien; or, rather, we took our leave of Lórien this morning, and Galadriel overtook us in her Swan-boat and demanded that we take luncheon with her. The whole affair was rather tedious. As we departed, she gave us all gifts—Aragorn, a scabbard and an Elfstone, Legolas, a bow, Sam, a gardening kit (how useful), Merry and Pippin, daggers, Gimli, three of her hairs (Eru, but that Dwarf is an odd one), Frodo, the Light of Eärendil, and me—a belt.
I felt loved, truly I did, Faramir.
Now we make our way by boat down to Anduin, to Parth Galen, where we will finally decide our course. Peace, brother—I am coming back to Minas Tirith posthaste, and Aragorn is to accompany me (oh, but I am looking forward to that journey). As to the others, it will be their decision whether to accompany us—and wherever Frodo chooses, Isildur's Bane shall come also. I hope that he opts to join us in Gondor, for I do not fancy a Halfling's chances in Mordor, and at the White City we may better plan our journey to Mount Doom, if that still be the will of the Company.
Ah, but my foot still hurts like murder. I should see if I can pop a hole in Aragorn's boat.
For the sake of clarification, should this ever be presented as evidence at any trials of mine for High Treason—that last statement was purely for comical purposes.
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.