From One Heart to Another|
The characters of “The Lord of the Rings” were created by J.R.R.
Tolkien, not by me. No infringement of copyright is intended. I believe
he would understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,
and would not want anyone to sue me.
Eowyn receives an unexpected gift from Faramir.
Eowyn looked around her bedchamber,
knowing that this night, while not the last night she would sleep here,
was nevertheless one of the last. It had been a long and busy day, filled
with both happiness and sadness. This day had seen the funeral feast
of Theoden, King of the Mark. But it had also been the day her brother
Eomer was acknowledged as the new King of Rohan; it was also the day
she and the Lord Faramir had plighted their troth, in full sight of
family, friends, allies, and a great many other fair and important people.
Many of those folk, including the King Elessar, would depart in the
morning. Meriadoc of the Shire would leave as well. She would miss them
both greatly. Their departure—and her own, to reside in Gondor with
Faramir—was made more bearable by the fact that she and Faramir would
remain at Edoras for awhile yet.
A knock sounded without her
For an instant, Eowyn froze,
and then remembered; Wormtongue was long gone, she need no longer have
any fear in the hall of her uncle—no, her brother’s hall—now.
At any rate, she was still a shieldmaiden of the House of Eorl. She
would fear no man. Straightening, she moved to the door and opened it.
Her affianced stood there,
illuminated only by the dying light of the torches. “Lord?”
she said, a little surprised. When they had parted company less than
an hour ago, she assumed he would soon make ready for bed, as she also
“May I come in, lady?”
Momentarily she hesitated,
wondering if he expected to share her bed this night. As they had publicly
plighted their troth this day, it would be permitted, at least by the
custom of her people, although it was more typical to wait for the wedding
night. And permissible or not, she was not sure she was quite ready
for that, especially after such a long and very emotional day. “I
am…rather weary, my lord.”
A look of distress crossed
his handsome face. “Yes, of course. I am sorry, lady, I did not think…”
As he spoke, she noticed he bore something in his arms, something rather
large and wrapped in cloth. “I should have waited till the morning
to present this.”
“No, Faramir, it is all right,”
she said quickly, now that she realized he had not intended to spend
the night with her. “Please come in.” She stood back, and he entered.
“I have no wish to tire you,
so I shall not be long,” he promised, as she closed the door. “I
should have waited, but on this day of all days, I wished to present
you with a gift.”
“A gift, lord?” she said,
surprised. “But you have already given me this beautiful mantle.”
She indicated the night-blue mantle woven with silver stars that he
had presented to her when they were together in the Houses of Healing
in Gondor; it was hanging on a peg by her chamber door. She had been
pleased at the time, and even more touched when she learned that it
had belonged to his beloved mother who had died when Faramir was a small
“Now I wish to give you a
gift that is specifically in honor of our betrothal,” he answered.
“I hope you will accept it, Eowyn, in the spirit in which it is given.”
As he spoke, Eowyn regarded
the bundle in his arms. She had no idea what it might be; it was certainly
too large for an item of jewelry, yet seemed too small for an article
of clothing. It was with more than a bit of curiosity that she took
the bundle from his arms and unwrapped it.
“Careful,” he cautioned,
as she pulled the last of the cloth away, “it is sharp.”
Eowyn gasped when she beheld
it. It was one of the most beautiful swords she had ever seen, rivaling
the King’s blade Anduril. The blade was shorter, the grip a bit smaller,
than most, and she realized it was a sword made specifically for a woman.
“Faramir! How came you by this?”
“It is made by the Elves,”
he said. “A gift to me from King Elessar. I wished to present it to
She glanced at him sharply.
“King Elessar gave you a sword for a woman? Why? And is that the reason
why you give it to me? Because you regard it as unworthy for your own
use?” For an instant, the thought flashed through her mind that
Aragorn, knowing that she had once loved him, might regard her as his
castoff. Was that what Faramir had meant by asking her to accept this
gift “in the spirit in which it is given?” Perhaps the King
had been condescending to Faramir too, reminding the new Steward of
his now-secondary status by presenting the latter with a sword meant
for a woman. Then, in the next second, she was ashamed. She had seen
enough of the new King of Gondor to know that he was not that kind of
a man. Even if he had been, Faramir would never knowingly embarrass
“Not at all,” her fiancé
answered. “Although I have the honor of accepting this, and another
sword for my own use, as the King’s gift, when he asked me what he
could give to me as thanks for my accepting a permanent position as
his Steward, it was I who requested that he provide us with matching
“You did? Why?” Eowyn found
herself staring at the sword. It was a beautiful and deadly-looking
For the first time, Faramir
appeared a bit ruffled. He might even have been blushing; it was hard
to tell in the fading light. “Eowyn…I know this is not the future
I promised you. I wished, and still do wish, that we shall go to the
land of Ithilien, and there raise a fair garden and a family. I hope
we will have many days of happiness and live there together in peace.
That has not changed,” he assured her.
She nodded, waiting for him
“But I recalled your words
to the Warden of the Houses of Healing,” he said rapidly. “You said
that ‘those who have not swords can still die upon them.’”
“Yes, lord,” she said,
Her fiancé continued,
speaking with a great earnestness. “Know this, Eowyn, White Lady of
Rohan; I would protect you always, with my body, my life, my dying breath.
But you are also a lady brave and puissant, and I believe that you might
value having the means to protect yourself. I hope that never again
will you have the need to do so, but so that you will never lack the
means, I am giving this sword to you.”
Eowyn was speechless. Other
men, when giving her a betrothal gift, would surely have presented her
with jewelry, or a new gown, or perfume, or scented soaps: things pretty
but of little use and even less interest to a woman such as herself.
But this man loved her enough to see her for who she was, to acknowledge
and respect that part of her, and even to love her for it. Was she not
the most fortunate woman in Arda?
Her silence had gone on so
long that Faramir misunderstood; a look of great sadness crossed his
face. “I am sorry, Eowyn, I have displeased you with this gift, I
His next words were lost because
Eowyn carefully put down the sword and then threw her arms around him,
silencing him with a passionate kiss. Returning the kiss with enthusiasm,
Faramir felt happiness greater than he had ever known. Evidently the
gift had pleased her after all, which delighted him. There was nothing
he would not do in the name of love for Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan,
soon to be his wife.