A/N: This is a response to Shirebound's letter-writing challenge. It's a rather different take, but I hope it's enjoyable anyway.


Rivendell
24 Narquelië 3018

Dear Lord Manwë,

So very many things are happening, I thought it high time I wrote and gave you a full report.  You probably already know what I shall tell you, but I feel obliged to write anyway.

(Truth be told, I do not know if I shall actually send this letter.  I think I am writing as much out of a need to get my thoughts written down as out of a desire to tell you everything.  I am troubled, my lord, deeply troubled; and while I know you and He are only a whisper away, it somehow feels better to write.  Radagast once told me that he had a relay system for sending messages home; if I decide to send this, I shall have to find one of his message birds—and hope that it is not a pigeon!)

You have probably heard about Curumo by now.  It saddens me that one who was once so wise should fall into folly.  What grieves me more is his attitude toward our mission and you.  He now desires to defeat Sauron out of selfish ambition, and he employs all the wrong methods for achieving his end.  If he thinks of you at all, he does not seem concerned that you might discover and disapprove of his actions; and he totally disregards the fact that Himself sees even what darkness hides from your sight.  He may even have the audacity to think that he can hide his deeds even from Our Lord.  Were I in a position to do so, I would again urge him to repent; but even if he knew he is in the wrong (which I am not sure he does—evil seldom sees itself as evil), I doubt he would be willing to accept redemption.  He appears to have bought into the notion that Morgoth first advanced and that Sauron heartily believes:  better to rule Middle-earth than serve in Valinor.  Such a limiting worldview; but there it is.

At times like this, I understand why Lady Nienna weeps.  (Feel free to tell her that.  It might make her smile.)  I also can't help thinking that it might be a convenient time for the Old Hope to come, although I suspect it will not be so for at least another age….

26 Narquelië.  Please forgive the abrupt break; as you doubtless know, I was called to sit with Frodo until he woke, and since then everyone has been in a flurry of activity with the feast and the Council and whatnot.

I don't know whether it was you or Our Lord who saw Frodo through; but I thank you, for I know he could not have borne that shard so long alone.  Himself should get the glory for making hobbits as tough as they are, and also for giving Elrond the wisdom and skill he needed to remove that cursed thing.  I also thank you for instructing me to keep an eye on hobbits, for His purpose for them is now becoming clear.  (Not that I can say much to them about that, for I deem it is not yet time for Him to be revealed to them as clearly as He was to the Dúnedain in ages past.  But I'm afraid my partial explanations make Him sound rather more like an impersonal force of fate.)

We need help, though, from you and from Him.  Frodo has answered His call, as has Sam, and I at least will go with them so far as I can.  Yet no matter how many or how few companions go with Frodo, the feat cannot be accomplished by strength of will alone.  We have "only a fool's hope" as it is; without your help and His, we have no hope at all.  I trust that we will receive that help, though I might be the only one to recognize it, but I think it well to ask all the same.  Overconfidence has caused far too many disasters, and I have very little foresight about the measures of Song that lie ahead of us.

We have not yet determined who will accompany Frodo and Sam, and we could certainly use some guidance.  Elrond believes representatives of all races should be sent, and I agree; but a specific choice evades us still.  I worry about the possibility of sending Boromir.  He is a good man, though not quite so pure in heart as Faramir is; but he is desperate, and he might do something foolish.  He is a better man in some ways than his father, but Denethor's vision of Gondor as the lone outpost of freedom keeping Mordor at bay has blinded him, and the conventional wisdom that victory is achieved only through strength of arms also hampers his ability to see the truth about the Ring and the paradox that His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Boromir sees only the ultimate weapon and seeks to use it to save his country—a noble sentiment, but rather myopic.

We may yet need strength of arms, though, and here again we need your help.  I do not doubt that Sauron, and possibly Saruman, will begin to wage war very soon.  Mordor and Isengard combined can easily outnumber any force we can muster, but we cannot simply stand by and allow ourselves to be overrun; we may even need to fight back purely to buy Frodo time.  Wisdom, strength, and skill—and your protection—would be most appreciated.

I suppose I had better end this letter now before it becomes too heavy for any but an eagle to carry.  Please give my love to everyone.

In your service and His,
Olórin


A/N: This letter includes references to Paradise Lost, Mere Christianity, and II Corinthians 12:9. (Thanks to Bluebonnet Clover for reminding me to include credits!) Oh, and to clear up any confusion: Curumo was Saruman's name in the West. The first reference is to who Saruman was; the second is to who he has become.

Will Manwë write back? Only time will tell.... ;)