Characters: Thorongil, Young Théoden, and Morwen of Lossarnach
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien created all of this, Kortirion merely rides on his coat-tails.
The Golden Hall’s sons trained together – future warriors all… though some showed more prowess than others. The skinny, tow-haired lad fell again; his comrades muted their laughter, ‘Sticks’ was, after all, the King’s son.
When the lesson ended, Thorongil strolled over to the boy rinsing dust from his hair in the horse-trough.
“Sticks isn’t that bad a nick-name,” he began conversationally. “My brothers’ called me ‘Twig’ when I was your age.”
The boy looked up, face still flushed from failure.
“You didn’t mind?”
Thorongil shrugged, ‘It’s not what they call you, it’s what you know yourself to be that matters.”
Morwen watched the exchange from an upper window. Too far away to hear, she nodded approvingly as the tall dunedan stood bedside her son, correcting the lad’s grip and stance so the blade became more balanced in the youngster’s hand.
Her instincts had been right about the Northerner; he had the easy air of command about him, for all he claimed to be a mere travelling sell-sword seeking adventures. She watched him don a helm and padding, so that young Théoden could spar with him.
And in a sudden blaze of sunlight… momentarily, she saw Thorongil wearing a silver crown.