MOON LETTERS : CREATIVE WRITING
A Night at Edoras - by Siberia
When the grand feast of the Golden Hall was over, Faramir felt a great need to escape the company of the other guests. The Steward walked some distance away from the city gates, and when he believed that he had isolated himself enough civilization, his grey eyes then drifted towards the night sky.
A cool breeze gently lifted the strands of his raven hair, playfully moving them across his handsome features. The sudden winds had made his body shiver slightly. Although it was in the middle of August, the summers at Edoras were never particularly warm. Faramir stood alone in the open plains of Rohan, allowing the vast beauty of the heavens to consume his thoughts. Not one cloud obstructed his view; a perfect evening for stargazing.
Faramir had sought the solace in the night sky ever since he was five years old, when his mother passed away from the Circles of the World. Within the stars twinkling presence, he felt sheltered from all of the anger and pain that his stern father would unleash on him day after day.
Denethor had been dead for five months now. The thought of his father unknowingly made the young Steward move the silver ring around his finger, the symbol of his office. Faramir recalled the numerous instances when he felt the slice of this ring across his face. The memories still troubled him, but there was now a new hurt aching inside Faramirs heart, and in some ways, it disturbed him more than the many years of his fathers abuse and neglect.
Earlier in the evening, as the feast drew to a close, King Éomer had proudly announced to all of the guests the betrothal of his sister Éowyn, the White Lady of Rohan, to Faramir, the Steward of Gondor and the Prince of Ithilien. The couple stood from their chairs, hand in hand, and Faramir was full of joy to be next to the woman he loved, as everyone lifted their glasses and drank to their future happiness.
However, the Stewards mood quickly plummeted when Lord Aragorn said, "No niggard are you Éomer, to give thus to Gondor the fairest thing in your realm!"
Éowyn responded, "Wish me joy, my liege-lord and healer!"
The King Elessar smiled. "I have wished thee joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss."
It did not escape Faramirs inquisitive grey eyes the particular gaze the Lord Aragorn and the Lady Éowyn shared during this brief exchange. It seemed to him that they both felt a certain regret, as if something might have happened between them if circumstances were different. At that moment, the Prince of Ithilien was almost certain that Éowyn still held the King Elessar dearest in her heart, and that he was but a consolation prize.
Jealousy hung heavily over Faramirs mind, and he was unable to look at his future wife or his King for the rest of the celebration. Finally, when Éowyn had mingled in with the other guests, the Steward carefully slipped away from Meduseld, ensuring that no one noticed his leave.
As Faramir stared in wonder at the stars, he could not help but think that the Valar must have destined him to be second best in everybodys mind. There was no shame being second to Boromir, of course, for his brother was the most courageous and loyal person that he knew. Countless times throughout his life, however, he had hoped that one day, someone would place him first.
At the Houses of Healing, the young Steward believed that Éowyn would be that person. Coupled with his mothers Elvish instincts and his fathers Númenorian insight, Faramir thought he had accurately read the White Ladys heart. For he saw her love for him, shining through her grey eyes, and blushing through her pale cheeks as he kissed her in front of all of the healers and injured patients.
But now, doubt seared throughout Faramirs mind. Seeing his future wife and the Lord Aragorn speak in that fashion had unleashed all of his fears. "Why should she love me first?" he asked himself silently. "How can a lowly person like me compare to the great King Elessar? All of my life I have always been behind someone elses shadow. Why would it any different now?" The Steward sighed. "One would think I would be used to this by now
Startled, the man broke out of his reverie and turned around to face the female voice calling for him. It was Éowyn, clad in a royal blue gown. Faramir was aware that she chose that particular colour to please him, for it reminded him of his beloved mother, Finduilas of Dol Amroth. Some of the White Ladys golden strands slipped loose from her braid as folds of her garment rustled with the breeze. Her eyes were riddled with concern.
"My Lady," he responded rather gloomily.
Confusion stretched across her pale face as she tenderly placed her right hand on his left shoulder. "Faramir, what is wrong?" she asked. "Why did you leave without me? What are you doing here, so far away from my brothers Hall?"
"Éowyn, I..." her future husband seemed unable to word his feelings, and gave her a half-truth. "I simply wanted to look at the stars."
The Lady of Rohan was not pleased with this answer. "If that were true, then you would have brought me to stargaze with you!" She was frustrated, not realizing that Faramir instinctively acted in this manner. Living with Denethor had taught him that silence and vague replies were his best defences against such a demanding father. She added firmly, "You know I hate it when you hide things from me! Speak plainly! Tell me what is troubling you."
How could the gentle Faramir ignore his Ladys commands? "I saw the way you and the King Elessar glanced at each other when Éomer proclaimed our betrothal." He paused, as he gathered his thoughts and averted her piercing gaze. "It just
upset me that I no longer hold the highest place in your heart. Or perhaps I never did. That is why I wanted to be alone."
Éowyn was stunned by the Stewards words. "My Lord, is that what has been bothering you?" With her left hand, she lifted her slim fingers towards his right cheek. "Faramir, look at me!"
He obeyed; their grey eyes were now staring at each other, with nothing but the wind and stars to witness this moment.
The Lady Éowyn continued. "Tis true that I loved the Lord Aragorn. But you yourself said that I had loved him like a young soldier who would admire a great Captain. And you were right. I know now that my feelings for him were only remnants of a silly, girlish infatuation. Elessar never would have been able to complete me. The King was able to heal my physical wounds, but twas only the sweet love of the Lord Faramir that mended my spirit. Only you gave me the strength to live again."
The Steward turned away his eyes from the Lady of Rohan once more, not certain if the restoration of her psyche was enough to ensure that she loved him more than the King. He uttered quietly, "I do not know, my Lady. You seemed so happy when he wished you bliss in our marriage."
The White Lady could not believe what she was hearing. With her pale fingers, she placed a soft pressure against his face and forced Faramir to look at her again. "And what of it? Should I be miserable when someone wishes me joy with you?"
"Well, no, but twas strange that you needed to ask for the Lord Aragorns blessing. And that glance you two shared
"Faramir! There was no such thing! I was simply glad that he wished us happiness. Nothing more. Do you not believe me?"
Éowyns eyes began to fill with fluid, and the Prince of Ithilien feared that his Lady might start to cry. He held her head within his hands to comfort her in her distress, but did not know what else he should say. She quickly added, "I gave up my life as a Shield-maiden for you. Does that mean nothing to you?"
The young Steward looked at her with bewilderment. He was almost angry. "I had never, ever, asked you to do that for me. Never would I ask the Lady that I love to abandon something she holds dear. You let go of the sword of your own free will."
"But do you not see?" she pleaded. "That is exactly the reason why I gave up the ways of a warrior! Because I know you would never have asked it. If any other man had demanded that of me, I would have struck him dead with my sword! But you
you are so different from all of the other men that I have met. Whenever I am in your presence, I no longer feel the need to have to prove myself by killing another. You respect me as your equal. What more can a woman ask? That is why I vowed to become a healer. Giving life is a much more honourable and difficult deed than taking it away."
Last, but not least, Éowyn told him, "And I love you, Faramir. Only you, and no one else."
At that instant in time, Faramirs heart swelled with relief and joy, for he knew in her eyes that she had told him the truth. His grasped her into his arms and brought the White Lady into a tight embrace, caressing her golden hair.
"Oh, Éowyn!" he exclaimed, once again staring at her fair features. Can you forgive me for doubting you?"
"Well, my Lord
" she said teasingly, placing her hands on his chest, "you can start to amend your ways by giving me a kiss! I believe the last time you did was, oh, early this morning. Its been far too long!" As soon as she had finished with her words, the Prince of Ithilien thought that her grey eyes twinkled like the starlight of Elbereth.
Faramir smiled. "Whatever the White Lady desires, she shall have it!" And he bent down to kiss her, his hands falling down to her waist, while she moved her arms around his neck. As the couples lips were locked in this passionate exchange, they suddenly heard a grumpy male voice.
The lovers broke their embrace and they both took one step away from each other. Before them stood the displeased King Éomer; the figures behind him were the Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, and his daughter the Lady Lothiriel.
The Steward gulped, and nodded to each person. "King Éomer, Uncle, Cousin. I did not expect your company."
Imrahil laughed heartily; obviously, the couples embarrassing situation had amused him greatly. "Nephew! What shameful conduct for a Steward of Gondor! What would my sister say if she saw you doing this?"
Faramir grinned at his uncle, trying to conjure a clever response. "I believe my mother would have said that I was madly in love with Éowyn, much like when the mortal Beren first beheld the enchanting beauty of the Elf Lúthien Tinúviel. And she would have thought it was adorable!"
His uncle chuckled again, but Éomer, on the other hand, was not so cheerful. He gave the Prince of Ithilien a stern warning. "We wondered where you two had gone. You are quite free with my sister, Lord Faramir. Alone with the Lady of Rohan, under the moonlight, with no chaperone! May I remind you that you are not married to her, yet."
Faramir avoided the Kings gaze, not knowing what he should say to calm down his future brother in-law. Luckily, Éowyn stepped in to save his skin.
"Brother! You are so overprotective! Who do you think defeated the Witch-King? I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself! You should not concern yourself with the Lord Faramir. For he is the kindest and most honourable man that I have ever met!" She then made quick glance at Lothiriel, then to the King of Rohan, and finally settled her eyes on the Prince Imrahil, carefully plotting her revenge.
"Lord Imrahil," she stated formally. "It did not escape my attention how oft my brother and your daughter glanced at each other throughout the festivities. You should keep an eye on them." The Prince of Dol Amroth seemed extremely surprised by this news, and when he looked at Éomer, the King blushed while Lothiriel giggled lightly.
After an awkward pause, Éomer finally opened his mouth and said, "Éowyn, you have won. This time." After he had nodded his head to acknowledge his defeat to his sister, the three of them walked back to the city gates. No doubt Imrahil was discussing what is going to be done with the King of Rohan and the Lady Lothiriel.
Alone again, Éowyn rested her head firmly against Faramirs shoulder while they held hands. She was secretly pleased with her victory and grinned with satisfaction. She could not help but notice that her future husband was staring at her lovingly, as if he was admiring his Lady for her valiant nature. And as they stargazed together, both thought how impatient they were for their wedding day.