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Stronger than Morgul-spell by Nath

Author: Nath
Title: Stronger than Morgul-spell
Rating: G
Theme: February Fanon-busters
Elements: basket, hold, white
Author's Notes: the fanon I’m attempting to bust - or at least dent slightly - is the belief that Isildur was ‘weak’ for not destroying the One Ring when he had the chance (as in film-verse)
Summary: Boromir considers the Ring
Word Count: 723

With the Council of Elrond at last done, Boromir sat down on the bed in the room he had been given. A room to sleep in… He couldn’t even remember the last time he had taken off his boots at night. He wriggled his toes in relief as soon as they were free and considered whether it was worth going out again to find the baths, or to just enjoy the luxury of sleep without needing to keep half an ear on guard, or suffer rocks and tree roots poking in his ribs. Given all that he had heard today, he wouldn’t fall asleep soon, and it would be good to be clean. On a shelf, as if tempting him, there even were some thick white towels, along with a woven basket holding a comb, and something that looked like a nail trimmer, and other bits and bobs.

On the other hand, he did not wish to alert his hosts to his restlessness. Even the lowliest innkeeper would take a guest failing to sleep well almost as a personal insult, and he doubted these Elves were any less touchy. He would bathe in the morning. For now he would open the balcony door to let in the night air, and just lie on the bed and consider all he had learned today. He might even fall asleep, though with so much to think about…

Folding his hands behind his head as he lay down, Boromir went again over the words that had brought him here. Now, knowing what lay behind the riddle, it made full sense. He wondered how much his father had known already, or suspected.

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;

Indeed, and what to make of that revelation?

There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul-spells.

I can only hope they are.

There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,

The One Ring. It looks so… insignificant for what it is – but it is more than just a token. It is itself the instrument of Doom, should the Enemy regain it.

For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.

And now that he knew its meaning, that last line troubled him more than the whole riddle had before. Had he known most of what he had learned today, he would have expected Isildur’s Heir to have been the one bearing the One Ring. Or perhaps… since Isildur himself had never either worked up the courage to claim the Ring, or to reject it fully and destroy it, his heir feared that he would be too weak as well. That seemed out of character from what he had seen of the man though. Something to think further on, but later, when I’ve seen more of him.

Isildur, though. Even if he had been counselled against it, he must have seen the Ring’s usefulness as a weapon. Why then did he not take it fully? Or destroy it, since at that time, with the Enemy defeated, he should have been able to walk straight up Orodruin to throw it into the fire. Had he done so, the Enemy would have been destroyed then, and he would have had revenge for his kin, and for Númenor. Had he taken it, no one would have been able to stand against him, and the glory of Númenor could have been restored fully in Gondor and Arnor, instead of becoming an ever-fading memory. Yet he failed to do either.

A great yawn took him by surprise, and Boromir realised that he was more tired than he had thought. Perhaps he would be able to sleep after all. There would be time enough during the day to think of momentous things.

Another yawn, and he slept.


“Frodo, Frodo! Come back! A madness took me, but it has passed. Come back!”

There was no reply, not that he had expected one.

As he stared after where Frodo had run, at last Boromir thought he understood why Isildur had been unable to either claim the Ring wholly, or destroy it. If weakness it was, then no one could do better. The Ring was treacherous and had its own will, but the Halfling had as much, or more, of a chance to fulfil the Quest as anyone.

A/N: the lines of the Riddle and Boromir’s call to Frodo are direct quotes from the books.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
The Ring was treacherous and had its own will

That's a very important revelation for anyone, particularly Boromir.
Feb. 16th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
It would have been better for him if he'd had it sooner, but there you have it.
Feb. 16th, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
The Ring is as much a character as those who carry it and it was brilliant of you to point that out.

- Erulisse (one L)
Feb. 19th, 2014 04:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you:-)
Feb. 17th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
Interesting concept. Maybe on some level Isildur (not understanding that it kept its creator alive) felt that he conquered more completely and showed more strength by claiming rather than destroying the Ring.

Had he taken it, no one would have been able to stand against him, and the glory of Númenor could have been restored fully in Gondor and Arnor

But we know, as Boromir does not, that the Ring did not suffer that to happen before turning him mad or escaping him.

Perhaps Isildur's real weakness was more that he thought he needed the Ring to pursue his ambitions, rather than relying upon himself as a man.

Thanks for making me think more about this.

Feb. 19th, 2014 04:23 pm (UTC)
It would be interesting to know what Isildur thought beyond taking the Ring as compensation - or what the Ring tempted him with
Feb. 17th, 2014 01:03 am (UTC)
Lovely foreshadowing on Boromir's later actions.
Feb. 19th, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this very much.I never though Isildur weak either. Boromir would certainly come to learn that.
Feb. 19th, 2014 04:25 pm (UTC)
Alas that he didn't learn it sooner
Feb. 17th, 2014 10:22 am (UTC)
Nice to see both Isildur and Boromir vindicated, with the Ring the one at fault; and certainly Frodo had a better chance to get the Ring at least to the Crack of Doom than anyone else did, at least at that point.

Wisdom won by painfully trying experience.
Feb. 19th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't go as far as to vindicate either completely. They're still making an error of judgement (Aragorn says so at the Council of Elrond - "Isildur's fault" - and Isildur acknowledges it himself in Unfinished Tales). Boromir does know his actions are wrong as well.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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