Faramir is Aragorn’s son
by Iris; 19 August 2006 15:37 (GMT)
He had always enjoyed riding. The unique view on the landscape from that elevated perspective, the interaction with the animal; the mighty feeling that came with sharing in such strength. In recent years there hadn’t been much opportunity for riding, simply for the sake of riding, and Faramir had sorely missed it.
Today, spring was erupting everywhere, and this year not only nature was reawakening. Everywhere they looked, barns were raised, fences were mended and for the first time in many years, farmers were sowing their crops in fields that saw battle only the previous spring.
Today, riding was bliss. Or would have been, if Faramir would have been able to notice any of it. He had to find some way to talk to Elessar, he’d put this of for far too long already. What if the king found out from some else?
“You look distracted. Perhaps I should have let you sleep off that tea first; those herbs can be very effective, especially on an empty stomach.” Aragorn studied his steward closely. He did look somewhat puzzled, disoriented. “Are you feeling dizzy at all? Maybe we best rest for a moment and sit down over there.”
Faramir nodded mutely in response. It wasn’t that he was feeling dizzy, at least not from the herbs, but the small cluster of trees Aragorn had gestured towards looked like the ideal spot for a private conversation. He’d been using the risk to be overheard as an excuse to put off this discussion for far too long.
“What troubles you?” the king asked him as soon as they sat down. There it was; he wasn’t likely to get a better opportunity than this soon - he hadn’t in the past months. Deep breath, and-
“After Boromir was born, my mother was expected to conceive again, as soon as possible. A single heir would not suffice.” He’d been referred to as “the spare”, and Faramir had always had an aversion to the term. Not because it was derogatory towards himself, making his relevance dependant on the chance his brother’s death, but because it suggested such a chance even existed. Up until they day they parted, he had always believed his brother to be nothing but invincible, and resented anyone who suggested otherwise.
And yet, here we are.
The king looked at him patient but expectantly, and Faramir realized he must have paused a little too long. He took a deep breath and rushed out the next lines of his long rehearsed speech, skipping whole sections as he went along, eager to get it all out and over with. “It took longer than expected for her to conceive again. She saw every healer and midwife within the White City and far beyond, assuming Boromir’s birth must have left her scarred in some way, prohibiting another pregnancy, but they all assured her she was well, fully capable of having another child. And yet, the years passed, and... Eventually, my mother tried her luck with another man.”
The way Aragorn looked at him had gradually shifted from polite patience to quiet awe. Now he gently touched Faramir’s face, outlining his features with his fingertips the way a blind man would learn a beloved’s appearance.
“You are my son,” he stated simply, calmly.
A grin broke on the king’s face, but after a few seconds, it faltered. For a moment, so did Faramir’s breathing.
“She must have planned it carefully. We shared three nights of passion shortly before I left Gondor. Or at least, I took it for passion. But Finduilas must have ensured it were exactly the right days, even selected me for the resemblance to her husband.” His words were harsh, the king must feel used, and understandably so; Faramir had feared just that. But still, in the way he spoke Faramir thought, or perhaps hoped, he could detect a trace of fondness.
“And yet, I can understand her.” Aragorn immediately added when he saw Faramir’s dread, “It was almost two years after they she and Denethor wed before Boromir’s imminent arrival was announced. I remember there was talk then, in those first years: vicious talk that Denethor had chosen the wrong bride. When Boromir was born, talk stopped for some time, but it quickly picked up again when the announcement of a second pregnancy remained forthcoming for two, three, four years. Noblemen even brought their unwedded daughters in to audiences again, hoping to catch the eye of the steward’s son they way they had before Denethor announced his engagement, while his wife sitting right next to him.”
There was an awkward silence, which Faramir longed to fill with a barrage of questions about the mother he could hardly remember. But there were more serious issues to address first.
“I expect this will change my position at court.”
Aragorn looked uncomfortable. “Faramir, I’m sorry, but Eldarion will always be first in line for the throne. Arwen is my wife, and queen of Gondor; I could never affront her by naming you my heir over our son.”
Faramir was taken aback by that for a moment. It had never occurred to him to look at it like that! Did the king think he would try to use this situation to his own advantage?
“No, no my lord! I never meant- Of course I would have no claim to the throne. I meant that, as I’m not Lord Denethor’s son, I do not have a rightful claim to the stewardship.”
“This is why you offered me the white rod the day I entered the city, is it not?”
Fararmir blushed, looked away, “I should have spoken up sooner, I know this. I knew it was you from the moment you called me from the shadows. But it seemed there was never the right time.”
“Faramir, I could not have wished for a better steward than you. I’m proud of you, my son,” he smiled again as he said those last words; the fact that he had an adult son was slowly sinking in now. Faramir couldn’t help but smile back - long since had he given up on ever hearing those words. “And as I recall, it is the king’s privilege to select his own steward,” Aragorn added.
“True as that may be, the council will surely frown on you electing your own bastard son as steward.”
What happens next?
Please visit the talk page to comment on this chapter.