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A Rekindling of Hearts  by Periantari

Inspired by the infamous Shirebunnies from Shirebound and also from my rereading of RotK especially Houses of Healing and the Steward and the King chapters. :P Also lindahoyland's fics have inspired me too. This fic is from 2015 and never posted till now. Hope you can enjoy! Thank you Shirebound and lindahoyland for beta-ing and Shirebound for the title.


Everyone that he cared about was dead. His brother, his father— in the worst way imaginable. He was in the Houses of Healing while others were taking up the task to defend Gondor. Faramir felt restless and hopeless. The pain from his injuries was easing, but his heart was heavy with grief. He had heard that it was decided that Aragorn and his uncle Imrahil were leading an army to march on the gates of Mordor to provide somewhat of a distraction. He did not completely understand this, but he was ashamed he could not be part of the last stand. How did it come to this?

At first he did not understand what had happened since he had awakened. But from bits and pieces from Pippin the Hobbit and from Beregond, he had gathered that his father had not made the battle, and his mind was overthrown from using the Palantir to battle Sauron. No wonder he had spent many nights fatigued and ill at ease, seemingly like he had already known what may happen! He felt grieved that his father would go in this way and felt lonelier than ever before, having lost both father and dear brother in this war. How he wished he could’ve done more!

Faramir shifted in his bed and decided to do something to stop feeling so distressed. He was, after all, Steward of Gondor now since his father had passed. For better or worse, there were tasks to be done and he had to feel out how his damaged city had survived the siege. Better yet, he would like to find more answers rather than feel a heavy heart. He had also met Lady Éowyn the previous day and could not help stop thinking about her. Her loveliness was unmatched by any maiden he had known, and he pitied her for her grief seemed to reflect his own grief and he felt a connection unexplained. He wished to learn more.

He walked along the Garden of the Houses of Healing, knowing from Pippin that his kinsman was also housed here and was sorely hurt. He wondered about him and wondered if he had more insight to the battle that was fought and to the Lady of Rohan who also resided here.

He soon found that he was not the only person who was walking the Gardens, the hobbit Meriadoc was there too.  He was walking slowly, his face was pale, but his eyes bright. He felt heartened to see him for he knew that Meriadoc, too, had suffered from the Black Shadow. He had spoken to Pippin briefly before he marched on the gates of Mordor, and he wanted to acquaint himself with his kinsman for it seemed that they had much to share.

Merry looked up at the same moment and his eyes brightened even more in recognition. “Hullo, there!” And seeming to remember his manners, added “Lord..Faramir,” he said rather sheepishly.

“I have been looking forward to meeting you ever since Peregrin told me that you were staying here as well.  How do you fare?” Faramir asked.

“Thank you for asking, my Lord! I am better; my arm is better and less cold, and I am less tired. I worry about Pippin but he should know what he’s getting into, am I right? How do you fare? I heard about the rough time you’re having and if I can do anything, please let me know.”

Faramir was touched by this hobbit’s frankness and also his seemingly cheery spirit; no wonder they call him “Merry”. “Master Meriadoc, firstly; no need to call me ‘Lord’; Faramir should be fine. Secondly, I am recovering physically as well in terms of physically. My heart is heavy with grief regarding my father and brother but I cannot dwell forever…” Faramir trailed on not knowing what else to say.

“War is so very hard. I myself just met a wonderful man in King Theoden, and he unfortunately perished as well. It is no wonder that the Lady Éowyn is so hurt inside. However, I had seen her look hurt since before the big battle on the Pelennor Fields.”

“Is that so?” Faramir wondered about that statement.

“Well yes, I rode with her, thinking that it was a man, for she told me her name is ‘Dernhelm’ and she seldom spoke, so I did not know,” Merry looked down and blushed. “She rode to war as if seeking death and I do not know why for she is so lovely and has so much to live for…”

“I have seen that look before and I do know that grief touches us in different ways and some worse than others,” Faramir replied, looking towards the East and seeing that the clouds seem to gather even more against the darkening sky. Suddenly, he felt tired and grieved again to think about those that have passed that he had no control over. Minas Tirith was recovering from a long siege. How did he let Mordor sweep through to his own city?

Merry followed Fararmir’s gaze and felt pangs of anxiety as well for all whom he loved and cared for had gone East into the war while he lay idle. He tried to say something that could alleviate both their fears, “Aragorn will take care of the situation- he always does. He and Gandalf will bring back everyone. It will be all right; you will see.”

Fararmir smiled grimly. “I have seen his skill in healing and battle, and I do have hope in Aragorn for he will bring Gondor into a new era in our history. I hope that my father was wrong about him and that he will do right by Gondor. It is time for times of peace if we win through. But what of the Ring? Do you think Frodo is still out there?”

“I think we should still have hope though it is bleak and …and…nothing is certain. I wish I had rode out as well but Aragorn was against me going,” and at that moment, Merry felt frail and useless again, left behind as he always was.

“We will have to keep each other company as others fight this war; do not worry, Meriadoc!”

“Please just call me Merry; no one says Meriadoc unless I am in trouble,” Merry smiled. “I do hope news is near.”

“In the meantime, I hope that Lady Éowyn will also grace us with her presence since she seems like she needs some companionship.” Faramir’s eyes shifted to the room in which she dwelled.

Merry looked at Faramir’s face searchingly.  Faramir seemed to take a fondness to the Lady Éowyn. Merry decided to play along with his curiosity.

“You’ve met Lady Éowyn before?”

“I have briefly when she asked me to find a window that would face eastward or to let her leave the Houses of Healing. To both I smiled and only complimented her but she did not seem to take me seriously. I think we’ve all gone through similar hurts and to come together is the best way to battle the darkness of the days ahead.”

“I admire your outlook, Faramir for I do not think I would think the same if I had lost my father and brother so soon. I am again so sorry about Boromir. I was there along with Pippin that day. We are both indebted to him for had it not been for his courage at that time, we would be dead.”

“No need to thank those actions that are necessary and honorable. It is our duty to defend anyone against the foul orcs. The fall of Boromir is not your fault either, and it’s best not to think that way. I will miss him sorely and there will never be someone like him.” Faramir felt tears gather in his eyes.

“You’ve had a tough time… I do wish things were different too.” Merry felt distraught but he thought of a plan to cheer up Faramir. “You should try to meet the Lady Éowyn again.”

“Yes, and why would you suggest that?”

“I think you both have things in common,” replied Merry, rather innocently.

“I would, but she is seldom in the gardens—I have not even seen her come out to have her meal. I wonder why she seeks solitude.”

“Probably because she knows no one here. Think about it, she is the only one from Rohan that is in these houses. You should watch out for her tomorrow.”

Faramir did feel hopeful to be acquainted with this lovely lady. He wished he could understand her hurts and keep his mind off the horrific death of his father whom he respected but didn’t entirely get along with. Merry was right. He should be on the lookout for Éowyn.

The man and hobbit sat in silence as the sunless day turned to another close and the dark clouds kept hanging low, dampening their spirits even though they tried to hope that war would soon draw to a close.


Bright fire was falling everywhere. It was always hot and steaming now. He found himself stumbling. Fire was everywhere. When had Ithilien burned so hard and so deep?

And where was Boromir? He had seen him go down to the river.

His father Denethor, always stern, never a man to show emotion, was openly weeping, holding the broken horn of Gondor, the token that his dear brother had held.

“Then do you wish our places had been exchanged?”

“Yes, for he was no wizard’s pupil while you are – only looking and seeking Mithrandir’s approval. Never mine—do you always think of your father a dotard and a fool?”

“No, I would never think that way!”

“Burning, burning, all is burning. I will burn too!”

Father, no!”

Denethor did not heed anyone, especially not Faramir.  And to Faramir’s horror, Denethor poured oil onto himself and flung himself out the tower.

A great wave crashed into Gondor.


Faramir flung his blankets on to the floor, and leapt to his feet. He sought his sword but then realized he was in the Houses of Healing and that he had had a most vivid nightmare. It was still the middle of the night. 

Sweat had drenched his nightshirt and he felt foolish to have been so affected by a nightmare like this. Tears pricked his eyes.  His shoulder throbbed anew with the sudden movement he made.  He was heavy with grief about his father, but he knew better than to blame himself.

His shoulder ached, his head hurt, and suddenly he felt very alone in this world.  He walked slowly over to the window that faced eastwards. It was deepest blackness outside with not a star or the moon to illuminate the night sky.  The Captains of the West had marched away for two days now and there was no word. He had had an engrossing conversation with the Hobbit Meriadoc yesterday, but he did not confide    in anyone about how hollow he felt with his brother and now father gone from the circles of Arda.  

During his time in Osgiliath, he was busy directing the Rangers of Ithilien and did not have time to properly grieve, but now he felt the great emptiness of not having his older brother here anymore.  And to hear how his father had perished was too much to endure.  

Tears streamed down his eyes, which made his headache worse.  He wept freely.  He walked back tentatively to his bed and felt older than his years. If only he had someone to talk with, someone who understood grief and loss as he did.

Faramir took a deep breath.  He laid back down in bed and felt the headache was not as intense now as the throbbing on his shoulder.  His physical health had improved greatly since Aragorn had seen him three days ago, but sometimes when it was quiet at night, he would feel some of the after effects of the Black Breath. The head nurse, Amarie, who was assigned to him, would still come to check how he was during the day, making sure he took the necessary pain medication and willow bark tea to prevent any fever.  

The wound was healing well, but there would  most likely be a scar till the end of his days where the arrow had penetrated. He shuddered to think that he could have perished. He still felt a slither of hope that there would be a better future of Gondor.

But now, he would think of how tragic both his father and brother’s deaths were and remember them.  Even though he was not close to Denethor, he still felt the loss and he was  shocked at the madness that drove his father to the abyss. The grief was unbearable.  

He remembered being pulled from a never-ending labyrinth of warped nightmares by Aragorn back into reality when he was under the Black Shadow. It was unlike anything that he had felt. Was he on the edge of death before? He did not know entirely, but he knew Aragorn’s intentions were good and he could lead Gondor and the Northern Kingdoms back to the glory that they once had. He felt indebted and in Aragorn’s service after he had saved his life. He could not explain the trust and confidence, but he knew that if Aragorn came back, he would make sure there would be a smooth transition.

He felt more at ease on thinking about the hopeful future that might be if the War was won.  

However, sleep did not come easily for the nightmare had made him anxious and troubled.  How might matters have been different had he had gone to Imladris?  How might it have been different had they successfully defended Osgliath?  There was hope, but fear was yet stronger as the dark forces were pouring forth to quench any hope of a positive spring for Gondor and also Middle-earth.   It would be a bitter spring, indeed, if the Dark Lord crushed Gondor’s forces and if the Ring were found. 

Faramir was weary, but he could not close his eyes, for fear that his father would still haunt him in his dreams with taunts that he could never hope to be as good as his brother.  His eyes grew heavy and tired from weeping.  Eventually he fell into an uneasy sleep.

Faramir did not rise when the nurse entered, nor when breakfast came.  He felt too tired and out of sorts, less hopeful than how he had felt yesterday and the day before when he was speaking with the Hobbit about Lady Éowyn.

“My Lord?” Amarie was standing by his bed seemingly wanting to give him his medicine.

But he was in a fey mood and feigned sleep, and he hoped that everyone would leave him be for the moment. 

He would worry about his responsibilities when the King returned. If he returned.

But his nurse was insistent and he felt his hand on his forehead.

“My Lord Faramir; you are warmer than expected at the moment. We need to change your dressing and you need to wake up to take your medicine.  Lord Faramir!”

Blearily he opened his eyes.  Amarie examined his wound, checked his pulse and placed some cooling cloths on his head. He did not feel like protesting.

Amarie was young, with brown hair, brown eyes and small stature.  She was a kindly woman, directly under Ioreth in supervising him and making sure he would get better.   She was the head nurse, second only to Ioreth in skill. 

 There were a handful of people from the city who visited him each day. and all were anxious for his health.  Bergil would come as well, representing Beregond, who he knew was devoted to him.  Today, he did not feel like any visitors.

“Sorry, I did not sleep too well last night.”  Faramir yawned, and he felt the throbbing intensely in his shoulder and he felt warmer than expected.  “Please tell my visitors that I wish to be alone today.”

“You do not look as well as yesterday.  We will only bother you for a little while now,” Amarie replied.   

She changed his bandages, and he acquiesced to the willow bark tea that was prepared for him. He did not have an appetite though and laid back down and closed his eyes.

“My lord, you have to eat this late breakfast that Ioreth ordered for you.”

“I will later; I am quite tired now,” replied Faramir drowsily.  

“I will be back in half an hour; it is quite late, my Lord, and you haven’t eaten today,” Amarie insisted.

“I will eat later, I promise,” replied Faramir and with those words, he fell asleep again.

When Faramir woke later that day, it was an hour past noon, but he felt better physically. Amarie and Ioreth were both there chiding him to eat and he did.  He took a bite of his meal they had brought back for him, and Amarie checked his vital signs.  After the meal and some tea, he felt well enough to get up.  He never liked being idle, even though he was still ordered to take it easy each day.  

“Even if you feel up to, please do not overtax yourself, my Lord!  You weren’t yourself this morning.  We cannot rule out a relapse and remember, you were pulled from the Black Shadow only recently!” Ioreth reprimanded.

“Very well, I will take care,” replied Faramir as he looked out his window.

He remembered that he would like to meet Lady Éowyn if he could. The one thought that kept his hope alive was that there might be someone in whose company he could keep the darkness at bay. This also motivated to keep his strength up.  He did not quite understand why he was so drawn to her, especially at their first meeting when she seemed so ill at ease for being in the Houses of Healing. 

After walking around his room, he did not feel strong enough yet to venture out to the Gardens.  He sat wearily back on his bed.  He resolved he would take a walk during the evening.  He had hoped Merry would be there again and they would look out for the Lady of Rohan together.

Afternoon turned to early evening when Faramir took another nap.  Fortunately, he did not wake after bad dreams, only dreams that had some hollow darkness.  The darkness though had an uninviting look and it scared him because he felt like he would fall into it if he didn’t wake up in time.

Again, that evening, Faramir found Merry; sitting not by himself this time, but with Bergil and they were speaking about life in the Shire.  Faramir was gladdened by this scene and even smiled.  However, Éowyn did not come to join them while they let the dark sky devour them as they waited for another day, maybe a day that would give them reason to hope.



“He looked at her, and being a man whose pity deeply stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart.” ~ Steward and the King

Faramir awoke to a hazy sunrise, which was different to the cloudy skies as of late.  His shoulder felt better and his headache had gone.  He felt a sense of purpose. He quickly ate and after Amarie examined him, he went to the gardens.

There he saw Éowyn, clad in white, beautiful and almost gleaming in the sunlight.  

“Lady Éowyn!” She glanced back at him like she knew him, and they walked on the grass and around the Garden.

“My Lord,” Éowyn replied haltingly.  

Faramir did not know what to say for everything he had planned to say was overwhelmed by the beauty that walked besides him.  They had not spoken since the conversation of her desiring a bed that faced East. He had looked at other maidens before but he could sense something different about the Lady Éowyn and for now, he would do nothing but walk alongside her.

They walked in silence for some time. Éowyn began to speak of the weather and about the flowers in the Garden.  Faramir simply nodded in agreement. Suddenly, Éowyn spoke seriously, “I fear for my brother and those that have decided to meet the Enemy at the Gate and wish I had been included in the Host. I did not wish to be left behind,” she said.

“You are not left behind for you fought bravely on the fields of the Pelennor, I have heard.  Do not feel guilty about matters you cannot control,” replied Faramir.  He looked into her eyes and pity filled his heart, for as he spoke these words, he felt a burden had lifted.

There was silence for a while and then Éowyn said, “What do you fear, my lord?”

Faramir was taken aback for this sudden question, for he was not prepared to confide in anyone about the dark thoughts that still crept to his thoughts at night—his guilt about his brother, his horror regarding his father, his inability to keep Osgiliath free from the enemy—there was much fear and discomfort in knowing that he was never good enough in his father’s eyes.  The guilt of letting Frodo and Sam go on to the dark passage. So utterly useless. He would never know or be on the good side of his father, and now he was dead.  He feared for Gondor’s fate.  He did not know where to start.

“Forgive me if I asked too personal a question; you do not need to answer me ” Éowyn sounded flustered.  And she looked on with sympathy for Faramir was speechless and looking as he was struck with guilt.

 Faramir’s pensive glance stared into space, and his frown did not hearten her to continue the conversation.

“No, it’s …it’s just that…the Enemy may destroy us first if the Captains do not return. I fear for them and fear for us.  I fear the Shadow’s arm is indeed long enough to affect so many….lives,” Faramir’s voice trailed and he felt a lump in his throat. 

“Yes, I am sorry about your family,” Éowyn’s voice was soft and wrung with pity.  

“How did you hear?” Faramir was surprised.

“You are not the only one to have a hobbit as your friend,” replied Éowyn with a smile.  “We did not see you yesterday morning, but we were both in the gardens at that time and shared some of our experiences as well and talked about the other patients that are in the keeping of the Houses of Healing.”

Faramir smiled. Merry did indeed know how to befriend them both and to let each  know about the other without direct conversation. His heart felt lighter that he could find companionship in these dark days.  “Yes, I did not feel well yesterday but feel much better today.   I am grateful for the care that I have received.”

“What do you fear, my lady?”

Eowyn stopped at this question since Lord Aragorn had also asked the same one. But Faramir’s brown eyes looked at her with kindness and a noninvasive air, giving her time to think.

“I cannot bear to be enclosed in a space and rendered useless at a young age. I do not want to have no honor and be not remembered for anything that I do. I fear that I will have no place in Rohan. To be forgotten.”

“I do not think that would be your fate since you’ve proven yourself during the War already,” replied Faramir softly.

Eowyn said no more and looked away and Faramir did not say more either, each lost in their own thoughts. What would happen if the War was lost? What if their remaining loved ones did not return from the Black Gate? But who is this stranger that has suddenly been bestowed in each other’s presence? Why does the outcome feel differently?

They sat for a while longer in the Gardens not speaking but wordlessly glad for each other’s company. When the night drew near, the weather grew colder and they bid each other farewell and retired to their rooms.

Faramir felt heartened by being near Lady Éowyn for he saw her own sorrow in her eyes without her having to speak of it.  He was glad that he was not pressed about his own feelings either.  He just needed time and with time, he hoped he would not feel such overwhelming guilt.  He was hopeful though, since with her presence, he did not feel as alone.


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