The Ring is gone, but Frodo remembers Its whispers – cajoling, tempting, sometimes threatening, but always there as It broke him to Its will. The Ring had led Boromir to his doom and the breaking of the Fellowship. Surely It had attempted to suborn the other members of the Fellowship also? What about Aragorn? Had It not spoken to him, or had Aragorn refused to listen?
And beyond the Fellowship... Faramir was Boromir's brother, yet he had been deaf to the temptations of the Ring. "I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway," he had said, and Frodo believed him. What strength did Aragorn and Faramir possess that Boromir lacked, that he lacked? Or must he compare himself with Gollum, rather than with Boromir, for Gollum was once a Hobbit…
Enough! he tells himself. Cannot the Ring cease preying on his mind? Can he not have peace even now It is gone? He stops a sigh before it can escape. Yet even so, he draws a worried glance from Sam, and he forces his hand towards the jewel that the Lady Arwen gave him, and clings to the hope that he may find peace in the West.
Written for Larner's birthday, April 2011.