3. Wise Counsel
So how do you like the new King?" Gandalf asked, settling himself on a bench beside Faramir. It was a beautiful day and the young Steward was enjoying the clear sunshine after so long under the shadow of Sauron.
"I like him very well. He shows kindness and nobility, justice and mercy. He is truly the greatest that now lives. He restored my life!" Faramir replied, his eyes shining. "He is somewhat different to what I imagined a king be, though. He is like my father in his lordly bearing, yet quite different in his manner."
Gandalf chuckled. "I have known Aragorn for many years. He is unique amongst Men. You and he will work well together, methinks."
Faramir looked doubtful "I was never born to wield the White Rod. Will I make a worthy Steward?"
"You will learn, just as Aragorn will learn to be a good King," the Wizard replied.
"He has the wisdom of your counsel, " said Faramir. "How could he be otherwise?"
"My time here is almost ended," said Gandalf. "It is you who will help Aragorn rule, not I!"
"Alas!" said Faramir. "I shall miss you, Mithrandir. You were ever a good friend."
"And you have proved a wise and diligent pupil," said the old Wizard. The Age of Men that is now dawning. The Elves will soon depart, as must I. Would you begrudge an old man the laying down of his burdens? This mortal frame grows frail and I would return to my true form beyond the Sundering Seas. Do not, grieve, dear boy, Know that I shall never be far from you. My foresight tells me you will prosper greatly under Aragorn's rule. Your deeds have already won you renown and you will do greater deeds still!"
"It was Boromir who showed true greatness, not I!" Faramir protested. "How can I hope to fill his shoes?"
"Who would have thought that Hobbits, rather than warriors could defeat Sauron or a Ranger become King? Why then, should a younger son not make as great a Steward as the elder might have been, or even a better and wiser one? You mourn your brother, and rightly so, but do not dwell in his shadow, nor that of your father. You are wise, Faramir. You resisted the Ring when your brother could not. You fought bravely against the shadow that overcame your father. You can face the future with hope and gladness. "
"Your words are wise, my friend," Faramir said thoughtfully. "I have been given a chance to help restore Gondor to her former glory. I have won the heart of the fairest lady that lives. Gladly, will I serve my lord! The White Tree blossoms! Never did I think I would live to see such marvels!"
Gandalf smiled and rose to his feet. "I see your lady approaching, and I must attend to other matters. You were meant to see these days of joy. Maybe everything is exactly as it should be."
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