When we have shuffled off this mortal coil

Passing of Faramir, The

1. The Passing of Faramir

It was at his own request, in the eighty-second year of the Fourth Age, that Faramir the Steward had been carried to rest in the gardens of the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, whence he might look out upon the White City stretched out below, and beyond its walls east and south across the Pelennor Fields; even to the distant flash of the river and the verdant slopes of Emyn Arnen, where stood the house he had dwelt in for so many years, in his own Princedom of Ithilien.

So they laid him on a bed there amid the flowerbeds and the fruit trees, and around him stood those who loved him, with great grief in their hearts: for the Steward was dying. Faramir's eldest son Elboron sat clasping his father's hand, while his own son, Barahir, stood beside with tear-filled eyes. Faramir's other children were also there - Beren his second-born, and Théodwyn the Fair, his daughter - each with their own offspring, so that the young ones might bid farewell to their grandfather. There too were King Elessar and Queen Arwen, and Prince Eldarion their son, with his sisters. Legolas the elf stood with the company, for he had been a friend and companion of Faramir and Éowyn in Ithilien for many years, and Gimli his friend had come there also, with many messages from the land of Rohan and Elfwine its King.

"Grieve not overmuch for me, my son," said the Steward to Elboron. "For mine has been a good life, filled with joy and worthy labours, with sorrows in their season; now I am weary and would seek rest, as Éowyn your mother did before me."

Then Faramir turned to the rest of his family and spoke to each of them in turn, and comforted them. And when he saw them still weeping, he said, "Rejoice with me, my friends and dear ones! My life has been fortunate beyond those of all my longfathers since the time of Mardil."

He looked over his son's shoulder to meet the gaze of Elessar, and a light was kindled in his clear grey eyes.

"For I have lived in the blessed days of the King! As a youth in this city, bred to war and many cares, I dreamed of a fairer future: that the White Tree should bloom once more in the Court of the Fountain, that Gondor should be restored to the glory of old, to grow in peace and light and prosperity, that the line of Elendil should be renewed, and that a King should come back to wear the Silver Crown. Behold, all my dreams have been fulfilled! And for many wondrous years I dwelt in Ithilien with my beloved, and we built there a garden where our children played and all things grew in joy. Beyond my deserts have been the gifts granted me in life. What could any man ask more?"

Now the King came to kneel beside the Steward's bed, and there were tears in his eyes also. "Alas, Faramir, my friend! Will you leave me thus forlorn, to contend with the cares of this Kingdom? How shall I fare without you by my side?"

Faramir smiled and said, "My lord, since first you called me back from the shadows, I have loved and served you. In all my life, I have known no higher honour than in your service, in fealty and friendship, through war and peace, from the White Tower to the furthest reaches of the Eastern lands; with all my heart I have borne my allegiance proudly, as a banner in battle. Yet you know well that in late years as my strength has waned, others have carried the burdens of this realm and kept the Steward's honour; by Prince Eldarion and by Elboron my son are the affairs of the Kingdom maintained, and not by me."

Queen Arwen then spoke, and softly reproached him. "Seek not to flee our company so untimely, Faramir. Dearest of friends you are to us, and we would not so easily lose you. Though you speak of relinquishing the cares of your office, do not imagine that ties of love are so simply cast aside. Do you seek release then from all such bonds?

"Never, my Queen. I would die in your service, as I have lived in it in bliss these many years. Yet I am grown old, and the light of my eyes is fading; the blood of Númenor runs not so strongly in the line of Húrin as it does in that of Elendil. All streams must join with the ocean, all woods must end, and the lives of men must fade in time. For such is the gift of Eru. Blame not my yearning, nor deem this needless haste: I am stayed for. My White Lady awaits me, and my brother Boromir also, whom I dearly loved. In the Halls of Mandos on the western shores of Valinor we will surely meet again to walk awhile under the trees, before we pass beyond the circles of the world."

Now Faramir bade farewell to all that remained: to Eldarion and to the Princesses of the House of Telcontar; to Legolas and to Gimli, and to the healers who had tended him. He spoke messages to be conveyed to many others not present, such as his kin in Rohan and Dol Amroth, and the children of Peregrin, Meriadoc and Samwise in the Shire. At last he turned once more to his family.

"Weep not, my children! But remember the joyous times we shared, and use well your days. I would have you know such grace as has been given me; may you say, as I do, at the end: no more can I ask of life and fortune on this fair Middle Earth. I go hence in peace and contentment such as our people once knew in the days of the first Kings in Númenor. Farewell!"

So saying, he closed his eyes for the last time. Great was the mourning in the Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, and in Rohan, for all had loved him. In Minas Tirith, the city of his birth, and in Ithilien where he had ruled, all the ways were filled with weeping folk. They laid him to rest in the Street of Silence, while from near and far the people came to see him: from all walks of life, lowly and noble alike. All who saw him wondered at the peace and joy in his countenance that restored the fairness of youth to the dignity of his years.

Thus passed Faramir son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien, of whom many songs were sung.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: maya_ar

Status: Reviewed

Completion: Complete

Rating: General

Last Updated: 07/10/04

Original Post: 06/20/04

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