A part of Boromir cannot believe his own actions as he leaves Minas Tirith on the words of a dream, feeling he is stepping back into days of legend when a single man on a single journey could change the fate of an Age; it is both an impossible and an ominous thought, for many of those legends concluded with the death of the journeyman, one of the chief reasons Boromir does not allow Faramir to make this trip.
When Boromir stops at Meduseld, he is prepared to divulge the entirety of the dream he and Faramir shared, but he changes his mind the moment King Théoden introduces his advisor Gríma—he distinctly overhears Théodred mutter "Wormtongue"—and Boromir perceives that evil has crept into the very heart of the Riddermark.
Puzzled by Théodred's offer to escort him as far as Helm's Deep and equip him with a proper horse, Boromir asks what is wrong with his own mount; with a pitying look and typical Rohirrim candor, Théodred informs Boromir that his stall-spoiled Gondor pony cannot hope to survive even a week in the northern wilds.
The remains of the bridge once spanning Tharbad's Greyflood bear a striking resemblance to the remains of the Osgiliath bridge once spanning the Anduin, the latter having been destroyed to prevent Mordor's advance; Boromir loses his horse fording the Greyflood but still manages to cross, and he shivers in the ruined city as he considers Mordor's growing forces lurking on the east banks of the Anduin.
Though long accustomed to harsh roads, cold nights, and demanding endeavors, one lonely evening does find Boromir wondering when he last sat on something soft.
It is many months since the dream came first to Faramir and then to Boromir, but now it springs to life around him in the form of elves, dwarves, peredhil, Mithrandir, Isildur's bane, halflings, Morgul-spells, the broken shards of Narsil, and a King in Exile; at long last, he has found what he sought, but perhaps more important than any answer to a dream, Boromir discovers something he lost long before he ever left Gondor—hope.
Boromir spends several sleepless nights after Elrond's Council learning how to endure the sudden return of hope; it is no easy thing to abandon the comfort of resigned despair, for hope thrusts upon him a renewed anxiety that his people will perish before any victory—even one so remote as destroying the Ring—can be achieved.
Something about the way Merry, Pippin, and Sam approach the Quest reminds Boromir of the summer he spent in Dol Amroth after Finduilas passed away; he remembers teaching his cousin Elphir how to hold a sword, he remembers racing against Faramir through swelling tides, and he remembers holding desperately to any tradition, song, gesture, or story that connected him with his lost mother, who represented a past and a home that he feared to never see again.
Walking lightly atop Caradhras' drifts, Legolas notes that Boromir and Aragorn would make better progress if they did not sink so deeply in the snow; though he should conserve his energy, Boromir is a veteran of too many sibling snow wars to let such a comment pass, and he grins widely when Aragorn proves himself equally adept at shaping and throwing snowballs.
Boromir does not view himself as a historical scholar (particularly when compared with his brother) but he knows more of lore than most and he knows the name of Moria; what little Gondor's libraries have to offer on the subject makes Boromir fear the Fellowship will not escape the lost mines without some grievous loss—if they escape at all.
The warg cries out at the bite of Boromir's blade, and strangely detached from the battle, Boromir is tempted to loose his own howl of distress as the fell wolves quickly do what Mithrandir could not—convince the Fellowship to descend into Moria.
After encounters with both crebain and wargs, Boromir decides the local wildlife bears them a considerable amount of ill will; thus when he becomes aware of something following them in the mines of Moria, he is under no illusions that it might prove benign.
There are streams and trickles aplenty in the Ethel Duath from which it is unsafe to drink, and eyeing the well in Moria's guardroom, Boromir lobs it into the same category; unfortunately, he fails to realize that a certain young Took, not having grown up in the shadow of Mordor's mountains, is unaware of the need to let well enough alone.
Boromir has studied orcs and their tactics long enough to know this: orc armies do not march against their foes but are rather forced into battle by captains who harry and flog with a torturous frenzy until the rank and file orc would sooner face the spears of his enemies than the whips of his captains; thus when orcs arrive in the Chamber of Mazarbul long after Pippin roused them with a stone, Boromir knows the battle will be fierce.
A minute more—nay, even a mere moment would have been enough!—and Boromir could have acted, but no faded tapestry, no blurred woodcut, and no traveler's tale prepared him for the creature that Mithrandir meets alone on the narrow bridge; he is frozen until Aragorn's cry breaks his stupor, but they are both too far away to help when the monster tumbles into the abyss trailing smoke, flame, and a whip entwined about Mithrandir's legs.
They have attempted to cross a mountain pass only to be turned back by the mountain itself, and they have followed a wizard into the depths of darkened mines only to lose that same wizard just before reaching daylight; now Boromir stares at Aragorn as the other insists they brave the deceits of Lothlórien and wonders if the wisdom that formed this company—and its purpose—can truly be trusted.
Would you take It, Son of the Steward? the Lady Galadriel silently asks, her eyes dark and fathomless, and he wrenches his gaze away as he thinks of a hobbit speared too easily by an orc chieftain and a wizard lost too quickly to a yawning abyss —the former saved only by a mithril vest when Boromir's sword failed to pierce the hide-shield and the latter saved by nothing at all because Boromir could not reach him in time.
During their last night in Lothlórien, most of the Fellowship debate over what direction they should take as they move south, but Aragorn is strangely silent and says little, having the mien of Isildur's Heir but not the decisiveness to sustain such bearing; keenly feeling the loss of Mithrandir's leadership, Boromir steers the discussion toward the safer road through Minas Tirith where they might regroup and reconsider.
The rest of the Fellowship is gladdened for the supplies offered by the elves, but Boromir feels himself drained by the stay in Lothlórien, its defenses too bright and too certain against Dol Guldur's neighboring darkness; he wonders if Aragorn feels likewise, for the man has seemed hesitant about the future since entering the Golden Wood.
The Brown Lands crawl by, devastated by Sauron's power, and Boromir paddles harder to keep pace with—and gain ground on—Frodo's boat; aware of nothing else, he is jolted from his reverie when Merry risks capsizing their own boat by ramming his paddle hard against dangerous shoals that Boromir utterly failed to see.
It is now clear to Boromir that if the rest of the Fellowship spares any though for Minas Tirith, it is not as a city in need but as a way station for their hopeless quest; thus he sets out alone to search for Frodo on Amon Hen's rocky slopes, for if Gondor and her protectors have been left to fend for themselves (again), then Boromir's duty demands he ensure them a fighting chance.
Frodo admits his fear as Boromir takes a seat beside him, and Boromir listens closely, eventually noting that perhaps it is not fear but rather common sense rejecting the hopeless; and suddenly it is not Frodo at his side but Elrond, Mithrandir, Galadriel, and the faces of all others who would toss Gondor aside to shrivel in Mordor's furnace while they undertake a fool's errand—hang them all!—and Boromir vows to protect his people by any means necessary and from any foe, be that foe Sauron or the Wise!
Boromir is Denethor's son and has been raised to confront peril, even if that peril is truth, but as Denethor's son, his pride will not yet permit him to tell Aragorn and the Fellowship all of what transpired when he spoke with Frodo.
Merry is limp, Pippin's struggles mean nothing to the iron grip of the orcs, and Boromir can manage only one step toward them before he collapses, vision fading, sword dropping from a nerveless hand, and the arrows in his chest burrowing deeper with every breath.
Barely able to open his eyes, Boromir confesses his crimes to Aragorn and commends Merry, Pippin, and Minas Tirith to his care; he feels a swell of peace when Aragorn—no longer hesitant or conflicted—assures him that all will endure, and Boromir releases his fading grip on life, knowing if anyone can save the hobbits and Gondor, it will be the King.
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.