5. There Shall Be Shown a Token
Early morning's twilight, filtering through the high narrow window, does little to brighten this Hornburg chamber's grey stone walls. Halbarad swallows.
"You are resolved upon this, Aragorn?"
"I am. 'Tis my right… mayhap my duty, in our greatest need." The Ranger stands up, straightens weary shoulders… and is Isildur's Heir. Slowly, deliberately, he draws Anduril; at his nod, Halbarad unfurls the standard, lets its folds fall where crown-and-stars shine clearly forth.
"Very well, then." For a moment their eyes lock. Elbereth, Halbarad prays, let him be strong enough…
Aragorn fixes his gaze on the waiting, dark globe; and it begins.
"And he beheld me..., but in other guise than you see me here." [Aragorn on his struggle with Sauron through the palantír, The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company.] My thanks to Dwimordene, in her biog of Halbarad at HASA Resources, for suggesting that Aragorn's challenge to Sauron might have included displaying the kingly standard Arwen had wrought and Halbarad brought for him.
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