Boromir's Last Battle
By Jody Gentian Bower
Boromir walked slowly down the hill, stumbling at times over a rock or root. He groaned out loud once or twice at the thought of how he had behaved towards Frodo. Truly the Ring was evil! Did the others in the Fellowship feel as he had, did they see the Ring in their dreams awake or asleep, did their hands itch to hold it? He stopped. "No," he said out loud. "I alone fell to this evil. I, Boromir, who counted myself a leader of men, I alone could not govern myself in this matter." For the first time in his life, Boromir felt shame. He smashed his fist into a nearby tree. But the pain in his hand did not mask the pain in his heart. He sobbed aloud and sank against the tree.
After a while, he got up and went on. He felt as weary as if he had run all day or fought a great battle, yet his mind roiled, seeing Frodos fearful face, going over and over all that both of them had said.
Without warning, he saw that he had come back among the others, who were sitting or standing about in a circle. He looked for Frodo, but the hobbit was not there. Hoping the others would not speak to him, he sat down somewhat apart from them. But Aragorn came quickly to him. "Where have you been, Boromir? Have you seen Frodo?"
Boromir hesitated. Deceit was not in his nature, but he did not want to tell Aragorn the truth. "Yes and no," he said slowly, not looking up. "Yes: I found him some way up the hill, and I spoke to him. I urged him to come to Minas Tirith and not to go east. I grew angry," his voice sank as he admitted it, "and he left me. He vanished. He must have put the Ring on. I could not find him again. I hoped he would return to you."
"Is that all you have to say?" said Aragorn sharply.
Boromir glanced up and away again; Aragorns face in that moment reminded him of his father in one of his sterner moods. "Yes. I will say no more yet."
"This is bad!" Sam cried, jumping up from his seat on the grass and joining Aragorn. "I dont know what this Man has been up to. Why should Mr. Frodo put the thing on? He didnt ought to have; and if he has, goodness knows what may have happened!"
Boromir felt a fresh stab of pain. To be accused, even indirectly, by this simple hobbit, and to know himself guilty, was unbearable.
The hobbits were all talking at once. Aragorn cut across their words: "How long is it since you saw Frodo last, Boromir?"
"Half an hour, maybe," said Boromir. "Or it might be an hour. I have wandered for some time since. I do not know! I do not know!" His shame overwhelmed him, and he put his head in his hands. He was dimly aware of the others shouting and the sound of running feet, and Aragorn trying to call them back.
"We shall all be scattered and lost!" said Aragorn in a despairing tone. "Boromir!"
Boromir looked up at him. It seemed to him that Aragorn had suddenly grown in stature and nobility. In the next second he realized that he had never really seen Aragorn before. The Ring blinded me, he thought. He is truly the heir to Gondor. And I thought to rival him? What a fool I have been!
"I dont know what part you have played in this mischief, but help now!" Aragorn ordered. "Go after those two young hobbits" he threw an arm out to the left, indicating downriver "and guard them at the least, even if you cannot find Frodo. Come back here if you find him, or any traces of him. I shall return soon." He turned and ran off up the hill.
"Yes Sire," said Boromir, meaning it, but Aragorn was gone. Boromir got up and ran down the portage trail. As he ran, his heart began to rise. He could feel that the Ring had lost its grip on him. Aragorn was willing to trust him still, at least in some things. He would earn that trust and more. He would support Aragorn in all things now. Even against his father, for Denethor would not welcome a claimant to the throne, Boromir knew. Thinking of his father and Minas Tirith, Boromir felt a sudden longing to see his younger brother and talk with him. Faramir would understand, would see Aragorn as Boromir now did. Together, perhaps they could make Denethor understand that it was time for the Steward to step down.
Then as he ran, it was given to Boromir to see into the future. This gift he knew his father had, and suspected it in his brother, but he had never experienced it himself. And he understood all at once why his father and his brother were so often melancholy, for it was a bitter gift. In that moment he knew that he would never see brother or father again, or his beloved city. He would not have more than one chance to prove his faith to Aragorn and atone for his guilt, and that chance was now.
He heard the hoarse voices calling ahead, and unsheathed his sword as he ran. His weariness was gone. He felt stronger than he had ever felt. He could see Orcs milling in a clearing ahead, many of them. A voice called out "the Shire!" Boromir smiled and lifted his sword high. With the other hand he seized his horn and blew a great blast. "Gondor!" he cried, and ran into the light.
Jody Gentian Bower