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If I Wasn’t Married …

I know. I am. But what if I wasn’t, and thus free to be courted by any character from literature? I’d have a three-way tie on my hands, between Edward Fairfax Rochester, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Faramir of Gondor.

Tough call.

Any Bronte or Austin fan would understand my first two picks. But those who have not actually read the words Tolkien wrote about Faramir might miss seeing him as the man-candy he is. Here’s my attempt to show why I think he’s so awesome:

It’s noon when I set foot onto the rich, green hills of Emyn Arnen. Beregond, captain of the prince’s guard, leads me to a courtyard drenched in myrtles and cedars. Faramir sits on a low stone bench and rises to greet me. I’m startled by his towering height until I get a good look at his handsome face. My blush overtakes my stammer as I thank him for meeting with me.

“Certainly,” he says in a deep voice.

I frantically search through my notes for the first question. After an awkward pause of paper shuffling on my part and growing amusement on his, I find what I was looking for.

“I was sorry to hear of your brother’s death. Were you and Boromir close?”

A shadow clouds his eyes before he speaks. “No brothers loved each other more than he and I.”

“Even though Boromir was your father’s obvious favorite?” I ask incredulously.

“Yes.” He sighs deeply. “Even when my father made it clear he wished I had taken my brother’s place in death.”

I blanch. “Wh—” But I can’t seem to spit out the rest of the question.

“Many reasons,” he says. “Beginning with my welcoming of Gandalf to Minas Tirith and ending—I suspect—with my refusal to take hold of the One Ring while it was within my grasp. I fear my father—and Boromir as well—sought glory where I did not.”

I nod. “Well … why don’t we move on to happier subjects?”

A slow smile spreads across his face. “Then you wish me to speak of the Lady of Ithilien?”

“Yes,” I say, returning his grin. “Tell me about your wife. Was Eowyn taken with you at first glance?”

The sound he makes is somewhere between a laugh and a groan. “No. She was in love with the idea of another man; one who couldn’t love her as his heart was already given away.”

A tinkling, new voice chimes in, “And my pride suffered greatly for it.” A fair woman, whose long hair is like a river of gold, side-steps a bush to enter the courtyard. “But this man—” She regards Faramir tenderly, “—offered me not his pity, but his love. How could I do anything except love him in return?”

Faramir stands again and draws her to his side. As they sit, Eowyn says, “Please forgive my tardiness. Our son required a lesson in patience.”

Faramir arches an eyebrow and teases, “Do you mean to tell me you were the one to give it?” Eowyn takes the bait and they launch into an affectionate volley.

Sitting back to watch, I heave a small, yet contented sigh.

I think Faramir is in the lead.

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