From Literature and Back: The second son
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    This is part of our series “From Literature and Back,” where writers are inspired by a film that was originally a novel. This selection is based off the character Faramir from J. R. R. Tolkien’s’ The Lord of the Rings.

    What have they done to me?

    I was wise, did you know? Honorable, trustworthy, a man of his word. I knew my place at the right hand of the throne; I accepted it.

    Did you know? I never desired more, never asked to lead, never fought for more than peace in the green fields of Ithilien. The lust for power had no hold over me. I was my own man – separate from my brother, separate from his mistakes. They never told me how he died, but I knew of the cold fist of greed that slowly squeezed his heart until it broke. Just as mine shattered when he died, and the second son became the only.

    Did you know? I was always second in my father’s eyes. It was a burden that stung bitterly, but one I bore in silence. He craved obedience, which was always second in my eyes. Logic and reason ruled my thought, warning against departure from the city. But I went to Osgiliath thanklessly, with the hope of a love I deserved waiting upon my return. And one was waiting, but not the one I expected.

    Did you know? She was sad but beautiful. I pitied her. Every day we spent in that garden, whispering softly, letting our walls fall down, crumbling into each other – I loved her. She wasn’t a woman who needed pity, she wasn’t a woman who needed love, but she was a woman who needed healing. I like to think that I helped.

    But did you know? Or have you only seen my shadow? The shade version of me, muddled with my brother, our separate stories woven together as one, flashing falsehoods before your eyes. Wisdom turned to ignorance, honor turned to wickedness – I, a conniving thief wanting only to impress the father that never loved me.

    Is that the version of me you know – the antagonistic, obsequious clone?

    They should have let me live in words alone.

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