Fear

Hunt

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Alphabet Story

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No Time

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In the Name of Love

Animals of Middle-earth

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Five Ingredients - Your Recipe

The Student Surpasses the Teacher

Mothers

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Return of the Light

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Giving Gifts, Receiving Gifts

Bad Habits

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"When I Was Your Age...!

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Twenty-Four

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Family

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One Title: Your Story

A Fairy Tale, Middle-Earth style

Games People Play

Friends in Small Places

From One Heart to Another


In the Name of Love

Rating: K

Word Count: 1,331

Disclaimer: 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.

Summary: 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 chamber door.

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 had intended.

“May I come in, lady?” he asked.

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. “Present what?”

“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 boy.

“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 you.”

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 her.

“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 swords.”

“You did? Why?” Eowyn found herself staring at the sword. It was a beautiful and deadly-looking thing.

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 to finish.

“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, mystified.

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 never—”

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.

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