Faramir wants to get his bride-to-be a special gift but is uncertain what he should give her. He wants it to be special, something she will treasure, but he is having difficulty deciding what to give her. He can consult Aragorn or Aragorn can see that Faramir is struggling with a problem and offer to help him. Aragorn's suggestions can be good or bad. The gift can be anything and Eowyn's reaction to it can be anything you want it to be.
Format: Short story
Genre: friendship, romance
Warnings: Mention of horse breeding
Characters: Aragorn, Faramir, Éowyn
Pairings: Aragorn/Arwen, Faramir/Éowyn
Summary: Faramir’s wedding gift to his bride has far reaching consequences.
Aragorn tried to visit Roheryn as often as he could. The horse was his faithful companion of many years and he was determined that now he was King he would not neglect his old friend. He was able to provide well for his steed as Minas Tirith had spacious stables in the sixth circle as well as a pasture on the outskirts of the City, where the horses could graze when they were not needed.
He requested some carrots from his bemused kitchen maids and took advantage of a gap between official duties to walk down to the stables. Truth to tell, he was weary of being indoors and welcomed some fresh air.
Rather to his surprise, he found his Steward in the stable yard rather glumly contemplating a magnificent chestnut horse. Aragorn greeted Faramir then went to Roheryn’s stall and fed the stallion the carrots.
When he emerged, Faramir was still there. The Steward was caressing the chestnut’s mane and speaking to it softly, but he still looked troubled.
“What a fine horse!” Aragorn exclaimed. “I have not seen it before.”
“She is a wedding gift from King Éomer, my lord,” Faramir replied. “Her name is Iavas. Never have I owned such a fine horse before.” He stroked her head affectionately.
“She is indeed fair,” said Aragorn. “So why do you look so downcast?”
“It will seem a foolish problem to you, sire,” said Faramir.
“Why not tell me about it then so I can decide?” Aragorn sat down on a bench at the far side of the yard and patted the place beside him, indicating that Faramir should sit down. Faramir sat and for a few moments, they remained together in silence, broken only by the neighing of the horses. At last, Aragorn said, “I should like to be a friend to you as well as your liege lord, Faramir.”
Faramir sighed and looked down at his hands, adorned with his ring of office and his betrothal ring. “You will think me very foolish, sire, but I cannot think of a suitable wedding gift for Éowyn. I always believed that ladies appreciated jewels, but Éowyn seems to have little interest in them. She will, of course have my mother’s jewels and some pieces I have commissioned for her featuring our emblems entwined, but I doubt they will give her much pleasure. I want to give her something that will light up her face with joy when she receives it.”
“Ah,” said Aragorn. “A tricky dilemma indeed. I found it very hard to find a suitable gift for Arwen. I think though, I have an idea for a gift that will please your lady.”
“You do, sire?” Faramir’s eyes lit up.
“You should give her a horse, Faramir.”
The Steward’s air of dejection returned. “She does indeed love horses, sire, but she deems those of Gondor inferior to those of her homeland.”
Aragorn laughed ruefully. “Sadly, Lady Éowyn is correct in her observations. Gondor is somewhat lacking in fine horses. I intend to do something about that now I am King. I was thinking not of a Gondorian horse, but an Elven horse.”
Faramir looked thoughtful. “Éowyn and I have discussed our future in Ithilien and she tells me she desires to breed horses, an endeavour I hope to help her with. She has spoken longingly of the beauty of the horses that the Queen and her kindred ride. I am certain she would appreciate an Elvish horse, but where might I get one for her? I am certain Lady Arwen would not desire to sell hers!”
“Indeed she would not,” said Aragorn. “Sometimes I think she loves that grey mare above all other creatures! There are many more like her in Rivendell, though. I could write to Master Elrond and his sons and ask them to send a fair colt or filly for you to purchase as a wedding gift.”
“Thank you so much, sire.” Faramir rewarded the King with a beaming smile. “I am certain Éowyn will be delighted.”
“I am happy to help you, Faramir.” Aragorn patted the younger man’s shoulder. “Now we had better return to the Citadel. The Council meeting cannot begin without us, much though I wish they could.”
Éowyn emerged from the stables oblivious to her stained gown and disordered hair. She smiled happily at her husband who was waiting outside the stall for her. “A beautiful foal, is safely delivered. She is grey with a darker blaze on her forehead.”
Faramir bent to kiss her brow. “Glad tidings indeed, my love, but you look weary. You should have let me keep watch for a while.”
“Synne is young and skittish like many a first time mother,” said Éowyn. “I was determined to stay with her until the foal was born. She is suckling her now. I was thinking this is Telmund’s tenth foal and each one has been perfect. There is another foal on the way, too as he covered the mare Adiva gave me. We will need a larger stable soon.”
“Maybe I should have given you a mithril necklace instead as wedding gift then? We would have far less mouths to feed!”
Éowyn punched his arm playfully. “Indeed not! What use is a necklace, save to adorn silly girls who are trying to catch a young man’s eye?”
Faramir looked out towards the paddocks where the horses grazed and sighed contently. “Aragorn once said that Gondor lacked fine horses. He could not say that now.”
“Your wedding gift gave me the idea to search out fine horses wherever they might be found,” said Éowyn. “I have horses from Harad, Arnor, and Dale as well as from the Riddermark, but Telmund remains my favourite stallion.”
“You should thank Aragorn,” said Faramir. “He made all the arrangements with the Elves.”
“We could gift him this newest foal when she is weaned,” said Éowyn. “She would make a fine addition to his stables.”
“An excellent suggestion,” said Faramir. “Come now, though, the children are waiting for news of the new arrival and then you should rest.”
Éowyn took his proffered arm and leaned against him contentedly. She gazed out at the peacefully grazing horses. “Am I not the most fortunate of women!” she exclaimed. “To be blessed with such fine horses and children.” She paused, her eyes twinkling then kissed Faramir tenderly. “And a most precious jewel for a husband.”