Weapons of the Valar
The boy stood gazing silently at the withered tree. He was so lost in thought that he did not hear the other approach.
“What are you thinking, boy?” asked the old man.
“It is so sad that the tree is dead,” the boy said solemnly.
“Would you like to see it bloom again?”
The boy’s eyes lit up.” I would indeed! That would be wonderful!”
The old man bent and peered at the lad, his eyes keen beneath bushy eyebrows.
“You are the Steward’s son are you not? Faramir is it?”
The boy nodded.” I know who you are too! You are Mithrandir.”
“That is one of my names, dear boy. You would truly see the White Tree in bloom?”
Again the boy nodded.
“Were that to come to pass your father’s rule would end, for the Tree can only be renewed should the king return.”
Faramir stared at the tree again frowning. “That would be good for Gondor, though, would it not?”
The Wizard smiled. ”Indeed it would. Just imagine, Faramir, a king wearing the Silver Crown and ruling wisely and well.”
“That would be a marvel indeed!” exclaimed Faramir. “Maybe then we would have peace? I would like to be a scholar and study the ancient lore when I grow up, but father says I must be a soldier.”
Gandalf leaned heavily on his staff and regarded the boy thoughtfully. This younger son of Denethor’s showed promise. “Come, walk with me,” he said.” I will tell you stories of heroes and great deeds.”
Thirty years later.
Faramir sat gazing at the tree. It still seemed like a miracle to see the White Tree in bloom, though this was the fifth year he had seen it blossom. He tried not to dwell on the past, but today his thoughts were of his father. It would have been his birthday if he had lived. Hearing footsteps, he looked up and saw Aragorn.
“You look sad, mellon nîn,” said the King seating himself on the bench beside his Steward.
“I was thinking of my father,” said Faramir. ”If only he had listened to Mithrandir and not abandoned hope! Mithrandir had such wisdom! Why could he not see it? He would berate me as a wizard’s pupil especially when I spoke of my dreams of seeing the tree bloom once more. I sought only to do what was right, not to betray my father!”
“Alas, we will never know the full truth,” said Aragorn. “The Dark Lord warped your father’s mind, but I think too his judgement was clouded by the resentment he felt against Captain Thorongil. Mithrandir sought to teach you lore and wisdom, but in Denethor’s mind you were his weapon!”
Faramir looked grave for a moment and then he smiled. ”The Higher Powers made use of you too, my friend, and of Frodo, but only because we wanted to fight against the darkness. Now our swords can at last be sheathed.”