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One Title: Your Story

A Fairy Tale, Middle-Earth style

Games People Play

Friends in Small Places

Knights by Lieke Visser


Games People Play
Rating: G

Disclaimer: If I owned anything of Tolkien’s work I would certainly not post my stories here. I would write books and make a lot of money. But I don’t, so here it is, for free.

Summary: Basically, it’s two man playing a game. Sounds boring? Just read it and decide.

Thanks: to the one who edited.




“Throngy!” A small voice broke Aragorn's concentration, just when he needed it the most. He was fighting a losing battle, and the hope of any victory was very small now.
What to do?
“What are you doing, Throngy?” the small voice continued.
He sighed. It was hopeless.
He was doomed.

“Quiet, Boromir! Thorongil needs to concentrate. He is playing a game with your father.” The tone of Denethor's voice was nasty, and it could barely conceal his pleasure. The son of the steward knew he was winning, and he enjoyed it immensely.
Oh how he would love to see the perfect Thorongil fail for once.
The perfect Thorongil, who had won so many battles.
The perfect Thorongil, who was the hero of the people.
The perfect Thorongil, who had won the love of Ecthelion so easily.
That perfect Thorongil would fall by his hand.
He would be defeated, crushed, by the hand of Denethor II, son of Ecthellion II.
“Bori wants to play!” his son interrupted.
“Not now, Boromir. Father will play with you later.”

But Aragorn had smelled his way out. “No, it’s alright. Bori can join me. It will be fun. Come on.”
The ranger pulled the child onto his lap.
Denethor gave him a deadly glare, over the top of his son's head.
“Chess is hardly a game for a two year old, Thorongil.”

“Sure it is,” Thorongil replied with a huge grin towards his opponent. “It’s all in the way you explain it.”
“You coward,” Denethor said. “I can’t believe you are hiding behind my child.”

Aragorn ignored him.
“Bori, do you ever play with those little wooden soldiers I gave you?” he asked the child on his lap.
The boy almost gave himself a head injury nodding. Those soldiers were his favourite playthings.
“Well,“ the ranger continued, “Chess is actually playing with wooden soldiers for grown ups. You see, these little pieces are two armies. Do you see all those little black mushrooms?” Aragorn pointed at the pawns that belonged to Denethor. Boromir nodded. “Well those little mushrooms are Goblins. And the one with the crown, right there, that one is Sauron. Brrrr,” the ranger pretended to shiver. “We are very scared of him, are we not?”
“I’m not scared!” Boromir said enthusiastically. He was really starting to like this game.

“Ridiculous!” Denethor interrupted as he stood up from his chair. “I refuse to represent the armies of the Dark Lord!”
Aragorn smiled. “So.... you give up then?”

Denethor checked the chessboard and sat down again. He would not be manipulated into giving up. He was winning. He would finally defeat that arrogant, annoying...
“Throngy!” Boromir interrupted. “Horse!” The little boy pointed at one of Aragorn's pieces.
“Very good, Bori!” The ranger smiled. “That is indeed a knight on horseback. A very brave one at that. He will protect our king. You know what? I will continue playing this game, and you can move the knight. Would you like to be my knight, Boromir?“

“Yes! Bori is the knight,” the boy said. He reached out his little hand to the piece.
Aragorn grabbed his wrist. “Not yet, little one. First we will await the Dark Lord's movement.”
He grinned innocently at his opponent.
Denethor shot him a glare, and moved one of his bishops.
“What is that?” Boromir demanded to know. “Can I crush it? Can I?”
“The dark lord sent us one of his Nazgûl,” Aragorn whispered into the boy's ear.  “We should be on our guard.”
“The knight will crush,” Boromir decided. He picked up the piece, but Aragorn stopped him. “The Nazgûl is not within the knight's reach, Bori. I have a better plan. You see, the Dark Lord has kidnapped our queen in Mordor. And only these little.... Halflings can bring her back, if they reach Mordor unnoticed.”
He pointed at his own pawns. “Let’s move one of them, shall we?”
“The knight will help!” Boromir said happily, and he moved his knight close to the pawns.

Aragorn sighed. That wouldn’t help the situation much, and it would put his king in a very vulnerable position.
On the other side, he was losing anyway, so he might as well let Bori play along.
“Alright, Bori. Place the knight there. Let him protect the Halflings.

Denethor stared at him in disbelief. “You are moving the knight? You must be the worst chess player I have ever seen. Bori, put that knight back. It is a ridiculous move. To sacrifice a knight to save a pawn! Listen, If you will learn to play chess, I will teach you properly. Those pawns do not matter! It is that big one over there you have to protect. The Steward!”
“The King,” Aragorn corrected him.
“Steward,” Denethor said.
“King,” Aragorn replied.
“I like the little ones.” Bori interrupted them. “I want to save the little ones.”
“Boromir, that is a ridiculous decision!” Denethor snapped.

But, as it turned out it wasn’t.

With the knight sacrificing himself for them, one of the pawns found its way safely across the board, where it transformed into the lost queen.

And with a queen right there, all Aragorn had to do was to move one pawn, and....
“Checkmate,” he said, staring at the board, not believing it himself.

Denethor silently rose from his chair. “Well done,............... Boromir,” he said in an icy voice, and he walked away stiffly, defeated.

“That was a very smart thing you did, Bori, protecting the little ones,” the ranger said smiling.
“I like protecting the little ones,“ the child said happily. “The biggies can look after themselves.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Years later, Aragorn found himself in that same room, staring at the chessboard. All the pieces where there, even after all those years. The pawns, the king, the queen.
And the knights.
 
The chessboard king hadn’t suffered the losses Aragorn had.
He did not have to go forever without his knight, and those who had fallen would always arise again, ready to play the next game.

No, the king on the chessboard had not lost his knight.
But on the other hand, he had not lost his opponent either. From the opposite of the board, the Dark Lord Sauron and his Nazgûl would always stare at him, ever ready, ever strong, waiting for the new war.

Though in real life, a knight that gave his life for a victory was lost forever, but the victory would remain.

Aragorn picked up the knight from the chessboard.

“That was a smart thing you did, Boromir,” he said to it, with a hoarse voice. “Protecting the little ones. It was you who taught me that, to always keep an eye on the small ones, and you taught me twice. Our victory belongs to you as well.”

Aragorn did not place the piece back onto the board.

Tonight, it was the chess king that would have to live without him for a while.
At his coronation, King Elessar would have his knights with him, if only in his pocket.
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In learning you will teach
And in teaching you will learn
You’ll find your place beside the
Ones you love
 
 Son of man, a man in time you’ll be

Son of man,
Son of man’s a man for all to see
 
The End
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