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44
The Dryad

An unusual protector helps Ithilien to resist the Shadow of Mordor.

MEFAwards 2007: 1st Place – Late Third Age: 3018-3022 TA: General Drabble


~~~

Her home was the land once called the Garden of Gondor: abundant, beautiful Ithilien.

When the Shadow slowly crept into woods and meadows, despoiling trees and streams, she held on. Clinging like the roots of the most tenacious shrubs, defying the taint by encouraging her land to bring forth colour and scent and fruit.

Protecting the Guardians in producing thickets for hiding, foliage for camouflage, rocks for shelter.

The first time she saw him walking into the woods of Ithilien, she knew him for what he was: a champion to cherish and safeguard the land with endurance, courage and faith.

~~~

A/N:
- “Ithilien, the garden of Gondor now desolate kept still a dishevelled dryad loveliness.” (RotK, Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit) – Having an actual dryad appear in Middle-earth is presumably AU, but Tolkien's choice of words for this description of Ithilien has always intrigued me.
- In the Prologue of FotR, the Northern Rangers are called “Guardians”. I’d like to think that their Southern counterparts fulfilled a similar role.
- “A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir...” (Letters, #66)

07.05.07 Contribution to the HA-Onlist Challenge: Faramir Creation Day.


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