B2MeM Challenge: Wisdom.
"And this the Valar did, desiring to amend the errors of old, especially that they had attempted to guard and seclude the Eldar by their own might and glory fully revealed; whereas now their emissaries were forbidden to reveal themselves in forms of majesty, or to seek to rule the wills of Men and Elves by open display of power, but coming in shapes weak and humble were bidden to advise and persuade Men and Elves to good, and to seek to unite in love and understanding all those whom Sauron, should he come again, would endeavour to dominate and corrupt."
Warnings: mention of rape and murder
Characters: Aragorn, Faramir
Summary: Aragorn and Faramir discuss justice and mercy.
Disclaimer: The characters are the property of the Tolkien Estate. No profit has been, nor will be made from this story.
“You look thoughtful, mellon nîn,” said Aragorn. Together with his Steward, he returning to his apartments for the noonday meal after a morning spent judging and sentencing prisoners. Faramir had been invited to dine with the King and Queen.
“I was thinking that had my father judged those miscreants, they would be all facing the gallows rather than just one,” Faramir replied.
Aragorn regarded his friend quizzically. “You disapprove?” he asked.
“Not at all. It gladdens my heart that you temper justice with mercy.”
“They were very different cases,” Aragorn said thoughtfully. “The first, I had no hesitation in condemning that tailor to death.”
“Neither would I,” said Faramir. “A man who violates a woman then kills her to silence her is lower than any wild beast.”
“That was my view too,” said Aragorn. “And a wild beast can neither be tamed nor trusted, so he had to die. The other prisoners, though, I feel deserve a second chance.”
“A drunken brawl can too easily lead to tragedy,” said Faramir. “That is one reason why I am careful not to partake of too much wine.”
“It is not in your nature to be violent,” said Aragorn. “You become sentimental after too much wine, unlike the mason I sentenced today. I am certain he did not mean to kill, though. It seemed sheer misfortune that the man he punched fell on his own sword when he landed and died as result.”
“He was full of remorse,” said Faramir.
“Which is why I sentenced him to exile in the North,” Aragorn replied. “I doubt he will overindulge in drink again. In the North he can built a new life far away from the family and friends of the man he killed.”
“I feel for them,” said Faramir.
“As do I,” said Aragorn. “I have ordered that a part of the mason’s wages must go to support the victim’s family.
“A wise decision,” said Faramir. “So too was your treatment of the deserter.”
“The young fool!” Aragorn exclaimed. “Had he but asked, his captain would most likely have granted him leave to visit his new born son. I pity the young man, but even more so the wife whom he has caused so much heartache. Then what must his comrades feel? They need to be able to trust one another on the battlefield completely.”
“Your punishment was just,” said Faramir. “Hard labour helping to refurbish the barracks and dismissal from the army. He should count himself fortunate, my father would have had him flogged, then hung. Those were different times, though.”
“I was fortunate to have a very wise teacher,” said Aragorn. “One of Gandalf’s favourite sayings was “Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”
“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?” Faramir added. “He often said that to me too.”
“We were fortunate to have him share his wisdom with us,” said Faramir.
“Daily I try to live by it,” said Aragorn. “The Valar sent him to teach men to unite against Sauron in love and understanding.”
“Alas that my father did not heed him!” said Faramir.
“Even Sauraman fell away from wisdom and he was an Istar like Gandalf,” said Aragorn.
Just then a bell rang proclaiming the hour.
“We are late for the noonday meal,” said Aragorn. “We must hurry. Arwen will be wondering where we are.”
“No wise man keeps his lady waiting!” said Faramir.