Ithilien, in the Fourth Age
Léof likes a quiet life. He sees his future self as a Ranger, far from company, self-reliant. His father’s experience differs – and he has a troop of co-conspirators to call upon. Most boys have childhood friends like this only in imagination.
With a sharp-eyed Elf he steals through the woods, one hand upon his bow, the other gesturing, signalling, speaking without words. With a round-faced Halfling, he forages, fetches water, seasons and shares food. With a weather-beaten King, he sets fires, swaps watches, fills hour upon hour with silent comradeship.
From his careful father, he learns the vitality of fellowship.