As the country of my birth quietly enjoys a constitutional crisis, a (slightly early) birthday drabble for Dwimordene, who asked for "the turning point that never (quite) was".
Then Faramir spoke, and in a clear voice said, “Behold! one has come to claim the kingship again at last! Shall he be king and enter into the city and dwell there?” And all the people with one voice cried, Nay. And Aragorn returned the crown to its casket, for it was no longer needed.
Thus began the Fourth Age, the Age of Men, freed of gods and masters. And the high towers and wide halls of the White City filled again, but not with lords, and the Tree blossomed, and Gondor and Arnor were reunited – not kingdom, but commonwealth.