Mardil, the first ruling steward, has always been my role model. When I fear what might befall us here on the edge of Mordor I consider what it must have been like for Mardil to watch day after day for his king. At what point did he realise there would be no joyful homecoming? Was he overcome with grief? Did he wonder whether the steward would be accepted in the king’s stead? Did he wonder whether his hands, trained as a councillor, would be able to take the reins of Gondor?
Regardless of his own fears and doubts, Mardil vowed to rule until the king returned. His resolve prevented Gondor from disintegrating into civil war and issued in many years of peace. Almost a thousand years later I am bound by that same oath. As our own times grow ever darker, and the future of Gondor looks ever bleaker, I turn often to the example of Mardil Voronwë, the Steadfast.