1. I Would See the White Tree in Flower
Aragorn son of Arathorn, our Elessar of the House Telcontar, turns upon his steed the better to see me. Mirth sets a light twinkling in his keen eyes as our mounts plod the length of columns of men. They stand straight and still under the bright sun of southern Gondor, eyes sharply focused, alert under the gaze of their King returned.
"And if I did not, what would the Steward have to say to that?" he asks.
I ponder this a moment while my lord's smile broadens. Surely, after better acquaintance acquired over these past few years, my lord does not think he has me at a disadvantage.
I clear my throat and squint at the ranks of men. "Perhaps, my lord, I should take it that the King's eyes have dimmed as a sign of his advanced age."
A great bark of laughter bursts forth from the King and, turning his mount's head, he kicks the animal into a trot that ends only when he faces the assembled men. As I follow, pride for my men fills my heart, but it is a mere pale reflection of the satisfaction that beams from my lord's face.
"Men of Ithilien!" he cries. "It is said that the land is as the men who live upon it and the men are as those who lead them. Ithilien prospers and its men are strong! What say you of your Prince, then? Has he done well by you?"
The men are grinning with pleasure and they move with one heart. With the noise of many fists beating upon their chests come the cries of "Aye!" and "Faramir!" The King lets the sound swell while his horse shifts restively beneath him until the very air seems to shake. He flashes me a bright smile where I have come to a stand at his flank before lifting a hand to quiet them.
"That is good!" he says wryly and a scattering of low laughter rumbles from the crowd. He smiles upon them, taking in the faces, fair and common, but all lit with the same joy. "Keep it well, gentlemen, for I find the land fair to behold and its men worthy of it!"
Then swiftly he lifts himself tall in his stirrups and cries, "For Ithilien!" and the men raise spear and bow and sword to their King. "Ithilien!" and "Elessar!" come the fiercely exultant roar and he in turn draws his sword. The glittering edge of the Flame of the West sweeps through air and my lord returns their salute, his face radiant.
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.