Ten Things About Boromir the Bold That Never Made It Into the Red Book of Westmarch
I. His strongest memory of his mother was the smell of the sea she carried in her hair; how dark and tall she stood, looking towards an east Boromir would ever only long for in her honor.
II. Boromir did not ever doubt that he was loved. He was the first son of Gondor, swaddled in a walled citadel and rocked in Pelennor’s arms. He did not question why his father’s love was like stone, nor why his brother looked to him like he was the highest point of the ramparts. They were a city, and how else was a city to love?
III. For Boromir’s fourteenth year, the master of hounds promised him a pup of his own—One of Huan’s own line, the man swore, As befits a prince. What Boromir received, however, was the runt of that spring’s litter, a wheezing, stumbling thing that Boromir stubbornly nursed with a cheesecloth dipped in milk, then fed meat from his own plate.
Bellas, he called it, and ignored any who dared laugh.
Bellas never grew taller than Boromir’s knees, but she was strong and stubborn and loyal—for three years, Boromir went nowhere without her shadow at his heels. Bellas slept at the end of his bed; waited patiently during Boromir’s lessons; loped after his horse when he went riding.
Boromir was seventeen when Bellas was killed, her neck broken by an orc who had stumbled into their hunting party. She had put herself between her young master and the terrible interloper, and afterwards, Boromir had carried her in his arms all the way back to Minas Tirith.
He buried her beneath a sapling tree on the slope of Mindolliun, and wept where no one could see him.
IV. Faramir looked east, and dreamt of great waves. Boromir watched him, heart heavy in his chest.
V. He had been in love with—well. He never said.
VI. Boromir was ill at ease in Elrond’s house, feeling too rough with travel, and heavy—all of Gondor on his shoulders, the knowledge that Faramir’s fine speech and strange visions might have meant something here, where Boromir, Protector of the City, did not. But he burned when they dismissed Gondor, his fingernails biting into his palms when the strength of Men was so questioned. (He had not seen any Elves come to Osgiliath’s defense, nor heard of any wizard-craft that kept the Corsairs from their brazen pillaging of Langstrand and Belfalas. What had these mighty peoples done to battle back the Shadow in the East except sit in their cool green palaces and speak in riddles?)
VII. He liked the Hobbits best, even after. They reminded him most of his own men, with their stubbornness and light-hearted complaints, their love of food and pipe-smoke and story. Three of them had left behind the whole of their world, to walk into darkness beside just one, and—yes, Boromir could respect such brotherhood.
VIII. (Aragorn remembered when Boromir was only a child, rosy-cheeked and happy to leave his mother’s side, to follow Thorongil around the citadel burbling in some tongue only Denethor and Finduilas could decipher. It was strange to meet the man that child became, to stand at a height with him, to wield a sword at his side, to listen to him speak of peace for Minas Tirith like other men spoke of lovers.
It made Aragorn feel very old, an ache deep in his bones that had not been there before. Careful, he wanted to caution the man, as he had once cautioned the child. Reach too high and you will fall.)
IX. One rainy night, when Boromir was keeping watch over the sleeping Fellowship, he sketched it out in his mind—the streets he would lead Aragorn through, the hidden corners of the palace he would show to Merry and Pippin, the great gates of the city whose craftsmanship he might justly boast of to Gimli. How Minas Tirith, that shining city, would chase the sorrow from the Fellowship’s faces, might shield them, might give them rest.
The rain dripped down his neck, cold, but he was gone to Minas Tirith—This is my home, he imagined himself saying to his companions, his brothers. This is home, may you always be welcome.
X. His last thought was of Faramir.
(Brother, little brother, I—)
oh my heart