Denethor heard the news with great satisfaction. The captain had crippled the corsairs, at little cost to Gondor, lifting a great burden from the folk of the shore, and, by extension, from the Steward. Then that upstart sellsword had disappeared—deserted, Denethor told his father.
What then was that stab of pain when next the Steward’s son saw the golden throne, empty and silent? Till the King shall come again, came the unbidden thought. Regret and loss replaced envy and hate. Thorongil! In the time of Gondor’s glory, I would have been the King’s man and your brother at arms.