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Thorongil men called him in Gondor, the Eagle of the Star, for he was swift and keen-eyed, and wore a silver star upon his cloak; but no one knew his true name nor in what land he was born.
He himself overthrew the Captain of the Haven in battle upon the quays, and then he withdrew his fleet with small loss. But when they came back to Pelargir, to men's grief and wonder, he would not return to Minas Tirith, where great honour awaited him. 'He sent a message of farewell to Ecthelion, saying: "Other tasks now call me, lord, and much time and many perils must pass, ere I come again to Gondor, if that be my fate."
(Lord of the Rings: Appendix A)
Imrahil regarded him with deep seated suspicion.
"Just Thorongil?" He asked. The man smiled and nodded.
No father-name, no mother-name; either he was an orphan or he was hiding his true parentage. He was a sellsword. The Steward and his father thought well of him. He didn't. It soon became clear Thorongil was hiding who he was. His speech was well-versed in languages, etiquettes and lore. He did not behave as other sellswords often did, but kept far from unseemly companion. He answered most questions with a cryptic smile, so Imrahil stopped asking.
He had a Númenórean look about him. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with black shaggy hair reaching his shoulders and a beard he kept neat and tidy. His clothes were old, but cleaned and well-patched. Imrahil found that the money he received for his service he gave to orphans and widows and lived on bare necessities. He left quite unexpectedly. The men returned, sharing tales of Thorongil's valour and leadership. Imrahil found his rooms empty of his belongings, what little money left behind given to the orphans.
"A pity he left so suddenly," the Steward said sorrowfully. "He was a good friend and as good as ally as Gondor could get." But Denethor was relieved, although he did not give it voice.
The years passed and the mystery of Thorongil faded from their minds when more pressing matters took their time and energy. Until Imrahil found himself standing face to face a man with the face from the ghost of his past with Minas Tirith burning and at siege.
Imrahil stared at the man who claimed to be king with a mixture of relief and shock. He was relieved to see him alive and well after so many years but in shock to see his true identity. He hadn't changed save for the few grey hairs on his head. His armour was different and his sword was as well but the man was the same. Judging from his smile he recognized him as well.
Before Thorongil could say a word, Imrahil punched him hard before helping him stand upright again.
"Old unfinished business," Imrahil said gruffly before his eldest son could ask. The king straightened with a wry smile.
"I am sorry, my friend, for my abrupt departure," he said. "But certain circumstances called me to return to my home. Now I have returned."
Imrahil looked him from head to toe before giving a grim but welcome smile.
"If you are king, then Gondor will see good times."
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