Out of the Shadows of the Past, A King by Linaewen

[Reviews - 1]
Table of Contents
Printer Friendly: Printer
- Text Size +

Jump to

Story Notes:

Written for the LotR Community 2016 Yule Fic Exchange for Larner, who wanted a story about Boromir's first thoughts on realizing just who Aragorn is and his possible position within Gondor should the war lead to the end of Sauron's threat.


"And here in the house of Elrond more shall be made clear to you' said Aragorn, standing up. He cast his sword upon the table that stood before Elrond, and the blade was in two pieces. "Here is the Sword that was Broken!" he said.

"And who are you, and what have you to do with Minas Tirith?" asked Boromir, looking in wonder at the lean face of the Ranger and his weather-stained cloak.

"He is Aragorn son of Arathorn," said Elrond; "and he is descended through many fathers from Isildur Elendil's son of Minas Ithil. He is the Chief of the Dúnedain in the North, and few are now left of that folk."


What does this mean... descended from Isildur, Elendil's son?  The line of Elendil still thrives?  The line of kings is not dead after all?  Is... is this possible?

I can scarce believe it!  This Man before me is Isildur's heir?  When I look at him, I am filled with doubt -- and yet, he bears himself as one who speaks truth.  And he carries the sword of Elendil, the sword that broke under him as he fell... the sword of my dream, it would seem.  I thought... I thought that dream might in truth lead to some provision of aid in our struggle against Mordor, but nothing prepared me for this possibility!  Can it be?  Is this truly the King, returned at last?

I do not know what to think!  I, who am ever bold to speak, and swift in my decisions and judgement -- I have no words, I do not know what to say in response to this...

He is watching me.  He knows I doubt him, if for no other reason than the shock of such a revelation.  I know nothing of this Man; why should I accept such a bold statement, when all I have ever known or been told is that the line of Kings ended long ago?  And yet...

They all seem to believe him; there is no visible doubt on anyone's face or hesitation in their manner.  They believe this Man is who he claims to be.  The Elf Lord vouches for him; Elrond has lived many a long age, they say, and seen many kingdoms rise and fall.  I know little of Elvish lords, but he must be trustworthy enough.  All I have heard indicates he would not support such a claim if it were not true...

Mithrandir supports this Aragorn, as well, it would seem.  Mithrandir, at least, I know!  My brother Faramir knows him better than I, of course, but what I do know of Mithrandir is enough to realize that he does not give his trust lightly.  He honors this Aragorn in a way I have not seen from him in any of the dealings he has had with us in Gondor.  It must be true, then.  Aragorn is the King returned...

But why?  If he is indeed King, then why has he waited so long to make himself known?  Why did he not come sooner?  We have waited so long... Gondor has waited for so many years...

What will my father say?  He cannot have foreseen this!  There has never been any doubt whatsoever that the line of kings was ended, that no heir lived, that they were all dead and would never again return to claim the throne.  Even knowing this, we waited, and kept our place as Stewards of the kingdom...

I never understood that waiting; I never could fathom why my father did not claim the lordship that was his in all but name, since the king came not.  We are royal, was our royalty not enough to take the place of the absent king?  Did not my father deserve to rule? I thought him eminently capable and honorable, serving Gondor as well and as faithfully as any heir of kings might serve.  But it was not his part, he told me.  He could never be king, nor I after him.  Royal we might be, but not royal enough.  We are not royal enough to become kings!  No matter how many years pass, our role is to remain as Stewards to the king, though he comes not -- faithful servants who keep the land free of evil, stalwart protectors of the people who look to us for safe keeping in the place of the kings who are gone.

I accepted what my father told me, though I did not like it at first.  But as the years passed, it seemed not to matter so much.  The king did not come, so the Stewards ruled in his stead.  Gondor has been well cared for, ever protected, greatly loved.  The struggle against the evil that threatens our land and our people has been long, filled with sacrifice and loss of life and hope, but we have given ourselves freely to the task and the burden. In return, the people love us and honor us, and give us their full support.

Yet they still yearn for a King.  I know they do!  None who now live have ever known the rule of any but the Ruling Stewards -- yet they still look for the return of the King.  They honor and love the Stewards, but a king is a king, after all.  The empty throne speaks to them of possibility, if not of hope, for hope is waning.  If word comes to them now that an heir of Isildur's line lives, carrying a sword out of legend and dreams, they would turn to him.  Not immediately, perhaps, not until they were certain of his claim -- but they would look to him in hope renewed, hope for what might come to a land that once thrived under a king and now knows one no longer.

Hope!  That is what we need, more than anything in this dark time.  Would the people indeed accept the returning king so easily?  What would that mean for my father?  For Faramir and myself...?  What would our place be in Gondor if the King returned to the throne?

Does it matter at this point?  If even the faintest spark of renewing hope comes with the return of this Man who claims the Kingship, then as Steward of my people, should I not welcome him and support him?  Do I dare acknowledge him and open the door to great change in Gondor?

If nothing else, I have a duty to my people to examine his claim, to see if it is legitimate, to deem whether or not he is worthy.  It is one thing to inherit a great sword of legend, it is quite another to wield that sword in battle as a leader of Men and of armies.  The little I have heard today of this Aragorn's deeds leads me to think he might have what it takes to serve Gondor well -- but that remains to be seen.  I must learn more of him before I can support his claim, or decide if I even believe it enough for myself to support him.

He knows well that he needs my support, I deem.  He knows he must win my respect if he is to be welcomed in Gondor.  His words are proud -- as they should be, if he is truly a son of kings and heir to a throne -- yet he is respectful enough that he makes no demands of me.  Not yet, at least...

He awaits an answer.  He is offering to come to Gondor, to fight with us against the Evil that overtakes us.  The Sword of Elendil would be a help beyond our hope -- if the hand that wields it is truly the hand of a king.  And if it is?  If the King returns and is successful in turning back the black tide, what then?  What will become of Gondor then, and to all that we as Stewards have poured into the land and the people under our care?  We have been faithful, surely a returning king would see that and acknowledge such service.  There might even still be a place at the King's side for faithful servants who have kept the kingdom well...

My father will not like it.  He will not accept such change willingly!  But no matter; my father is not here, and I must answer.  I cannot foretell now what might come in the future, without more knowledge.  I will know better how to choose after I know Aragorn better.  What I do know is this -- we need such help as he can give!  I will not be so proud as to reject aid if it is offered, no matter what changes that aid brings to the kingdom of Gondor and our rule as Stewards.  There is time enough to judge, for if he comes with me to Gondor, we will travel far together.  There will be time enough to know if he can renew hope in the hearts of a people living too long without hope.

If he is a Man who can bring hope to the hopeless in their time of need, then he might indeed be worthy.  Perhaps even I can accept such a one as my King...

I will accept his offer of aid, and then we shall see!

Boromir looked at them doubtfully, but he bowed his head. "So be it," he said. "Then in Gondor we must trust to such weapons as we have. And at the least, while the Wise ones guard this Ring, we will fight on. Mayhap the Sword-that-was-Broken may still stem the tide - if the hand that wields it has inherited not an heirloom only, but the sinews of the Kings of Men."

"Who can tell?" said Aragorn. "But we will put it to the test one day."

"May the day not be too long delayed," said Boromir. "For though I do not ask for aid, we need it. It would comfort us to know that others fought also with all the means that they have."

"Then be comforted," said Elrond...




[Report This]
You must login (register) to review.