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5
Day 28: Gondor, Letter

Crucible


He'd left his cold office for the warmth of their room, "For Firiel," his
excuse. The truth: he clung to her tonight as much as she to him, hoping their
small routines, the family they had made, would ease the burden. But her quiet
grieving, his sleeping boys, were keen reminders of the stakes.

"We've finally come to it. Malbeth said: '... much sorrow and many lives of
men...'"

"Also: '...your son shall change his name...'"

"Which will it be? You know Pelendur."

She clasped his hand. "I'll trust to hope."

Essaying a smile, he reached for parchment...

***
"On the death of Ondoher and his sons, Arvedui of the North-kingdom claimed the
crown of Gondor, as the direct descendant of Isildur, and as the husband of
Firiel, only surviving child of Ondoher. The claim was rejected." (Appendix A,
The Lord of the Rings)

"Arvedui was indeed the last king, as his name signifies. It is said that his
name was given to him at his birth by Malbeth the Seer, who said to his father:
"Arvedui you shall call him, for he will be the last in Arthedain. Though a
choice will come to the Dunedain, and if they take the one that seems less
hopeful, then your son will change his name and become king of a great realm. If
not, then much sorrow and many lives of men shall pass, until the Dunedain arise
and are united again." (Appendix A, The Lord of the Rings)

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