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A different road: 1. A different road
As he stood looking out over the City and the green fields of the Pelennor, the Steward tried to find a joyful mood for this festive day, but found that his mind insisted on dwelling on those who had died, rather than those who had lived. His brother, the Ringbearer and his companion, the many who had fallen in the War, both here in Gondor and elsewhere, and of course Isildur's Heir.
They had argued about it long at Amon Hen. Aragorn had insisted that only a few of the Fellowship should venture into Mordor with Frodo, and his counsel had prevailed. Wisely so, Boromir thought. Had they attempted it with a larger group, they would not have made it. It had been close even so, and only Aragorn's sacrifice had allowed the Quest to succeed.
Sauron had been so distracted by the capture of Isildur's Heir that he failed to keep a close watch on his land. Frodo and Sam had been able to make it all the way to Mount Doom without being challenged until it was too late for Sauron.
Aragorn still lived when they found him in a dungeon deep under Minas Morgul, but the wounds of his torture had been so grievous that he died only a few days later. Not even Elrond himself, who had ridden south prompted by a foresight from Galadriel, had been able to heal him.
Boromir let his thoughts take him back slightly further, to the dark days of the Siege of Minas Tirith. Though Rohan arrived in the nick of time, they had still almost lost the City to the Enemy. Many brave deeds had been done that day, and many brave men, including his brother, had died in the desperate defence of the Gate that had been broken by the Witchking. And not just men had fallen. Had it not been for the Lady of Rohan who had secretly ridden with the host, and her defeat of the Nazgûl, all their courage would still have been in vain.
So much had changed in the years since the defeat of the Shadow. Despite the grief and loss of the War of the Ring, and the hard work of rebuilding all that had been destroyed, they had been good years, years of hope and promise, rather than of creeping fear and slow defeat.
It was only six years since he had taken up the Stewardship after his father's death. At least Denethor had lived to see his son wed, even if he died before his grandson was born. Boromir smiled as he thought of Borthand. His son had been so happy to see Fíriel again. His lady wife had only returned last week from an extended visit to her northern kin, travelling back to Minas Tirith with her brother in time for the feast, and even the grim, silent Chieftain of the North had softened at his young nephew's infectious cheerfulness.
Boromir could not repress a shudder as he wondered what bleak world they would be looking upon now if he had given in to the evil impulse that nearly took him at Amon Hen; what nightmare would they be living in if he had tried to take the Ring from Frodo? No, it was much better this way, he thought as he went inside. He should remember the sacrifice of those who had fallen with gratitude, rather than with sadness.
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