Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 19 - Fire

Ch. 19 - Fire

Fire Denethor POV, second of three. Warning for battle-field gore in mid-chapter. Numerous Denethor-Thorongil interactions, including an extended conversation. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

I can't remember all the preceding Denethor-Thorongil interactions, but Denethor does sound quite nasty when rebuking Thorongil's counsel for regaining the rank that Ecthelion took from Denethor and gave to Thorongil. Thorongil sounded quite genuinely upset and wanting to make amends for a situation he had not desired or arranged. Is Denny's reaction caused by his anger over Thorongil's secret ambition to be King of Gondor? I could see Denny being a bit peeved that Thorongil should offer sympathy on Denny's rank being given to Thorongil, when (in Denny's mind) Thorongil plans to take the rule of Gondor from Ecthelion and Denethor at some future time...Actually, at this point, in his own view, Thorongil IS King of Gondor, but I don't think he has any certainty that he will claim the kingship during his lifetime; doesn't that come later, after he leaves Ecthelion's service and becomes betrothed to Arwen?

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

*shudder* Battlefield-gore indeed! I'm usually not weak-stomached, but things related to fire and burns are a different matter. I hope Denethor will never make use of this horrible weapon again! I got rather upset at him being relieved of his post, though on the other hand he called for a reaction like that by defying the Steward's order to return instantly. Still, it's unfair, given the fact that Denethor's an able commander - you made that perfectly clear by the circumspect battle plans. I also feel it's not a wise move on Ecthelion's part, as it won't help the morale of the army and the population in general to know that their ruler and his heir are so much at odds with each other in such difficult times. Well, at least Maiaberiel will love seeing her brother humiliated...

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

Quite a chilling vision of Denethor tasting of the fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil... Ann

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

Denethor does sound quite nasty when rebuking Thorongil's counsel for regaining the rank that Ecthelion took from Denethor and gave to Thorongil. Thorongil sounded quite genuinely upset and wanting to make amends for a situation he had not desired or arranged. Quite. He is in a foul temper, exhausted, angry and feeling very threatened. Thorongil is offering good counsel, though poorly said. He and Denethor have been working more closely lately, and I think Thorongil realizes that Denethor trusts him more than he has before. This leads the good captain into over-stepping a boundary (though in innocence and for Denethor's own sake) and speak to Denethor as a younger brother admonishing an elder, instead of speaking more circumspectly, as a hireling to a lord. Bad move. As to why Denethor becomes a fire breathing dragon, it is a large tangle of reasons. As mentioned, he's physically wrung out and psychologically stressed. He'd be inclined to snap at anyone who tried to give him advice at this point. Make that person Thorongil, who stands to benefit from all the bad stuff that has come Denethor's way, and it is a recipe for disaster. If Thorongil had said nothing, it would have been better, or if he had simply said that he could not accept this post under these conditions and what did Denethor counsel, a blow-up might have been avoided. But trying to tell Denethor what to do, well, that went over like a fart in an elevator. Thorongil himself is uncertain about how or when he might assert his claim. He doesn't think Denethor knows and is wary of revealing his identity to anyone. The next few chapters deal obliquely with what is going through the man's head as he watches the melt-down of the Ruling Stewards. I leave implicit what Thorongil's motives are in all of this, making clear only what he would have directly said (or accidentally let slip) to others. Neither of these men will come through this winter season unscathed. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

*shudder* Battlefield-gore indeed! I'm usually not weak-stomached, but things related to fire and burns are a different matter. I hope Denethor will never make use of this horrible weapon again! Ah, that is a difficult point. It exists. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle. Not even the downfall of Numenor was enough to eradicate memory of it. And, now, it is a constant temptation. Denethor will have a conversation about it with someone in the next chapter. You have not heard the last about Dragon Fire. I got rather upset at him being relieved of his post, though on the other hand he called for a reaction like that by defying the Steward's order to return instantly. GIve him enough rope, he'll hang himself. This explosion between them has been building a very long time. Yes, Ecthelion is acting out of bile and resentment, but Denethor has done little to defend his own position. He's almost been daring the Steward to crack down on him - or step aside. I intended it also to stand in contrast to the contest of wills between Faramir and Denethor in RotK. As to how this plays out, well, you'll just have to keep reading. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

"GIve him enough rope, he'll hang himself. This explosion between them has been building a very long time. Yes, Ecthelion is acting out of bile and resentment, but Denethor has done little to defend his own position. He's almost been daring the Steward to crack down on him - or step aside. I intended it also to stand in contrast to the contest of wills between Faramir and Denethor in RotK. " Interesting idea of the Ecthelion/Denethor conflict as a contrast to the contest of wills between Faramir and Denethor in ROTK. It seems to me that Faramir is not defying his father or going against his father's orders; he was given a certain amount of autonomy in Ithilien. I don't see Faramir "daring the Steward to crack down on him - or step aside". In permitting the hobbits to take the Ring to Mordor, Faramir was acting for the benefit of Gondor as well as the rest of Middle-earth. Still, there's no denying that Faramir is no one's yes-man, not even his father's, though he is loyal to his father, he's not as controllable as Denethor would have found Boromir. And Denethor might have construed Faramir's independence of spirit as disloyalty even in the absence of any actual disloyal thought or deed. RAKSHA THE DEMON

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

>Denethor and the Galdor the Galdor? I thought it was a name not a title. This sentence is in the aftermath of the battle. I like the moral dilemma of the Fire, even though I don't know anything about the other references to fire. (I am not up on my Akallabeth, it seems.) >Each time he took one of the men’s hands, touched a face, a little warmth left him, but imagined the soldier was stronger. "imagined" seems to refer to the warmth? Grammatically confusing. I like Denethor's slow disintegration over these chapters, showing all the cracks in the stern facade built up over the beginning chapters. He is a very deep and complex character and this is a fascinating view of him, especially given the fact that, this being fanfiction, we know where the trajectory will end. Fascinating and heartbreaking to consider, bad as things are now, that they will get better but then ultimately so much worse.

 

 

Re: Ch. 19 - Fire

Erm, no, Galdor is a person. His title is surgeon. Fire - When Sauron was taken to Numenor and started utterly corrupting the place, he had a temple built in Armenlos where a fire/pyre burned and human sacrifices were made upon it. The White Tree was also burned on the altar:
"And the first fire upon the altar Sauron kindled with the hewn wood of Nimloth, and it crackled and was consumed; but men marvelled at the reek that went up from it, so that the land lay under a cloud for seven days, until it slowly passed into the west."
The idea that Ar-Pharazon ordered Dragon Fire (think napalm on steriods) created as a weapon against Sauron is my own invention, but makes logical sense in light of the (eventual) human sacrifice offered in the temple. This will all come back again in the story, so keep an eye out for it. I like Denethor's slow disintegration over these chapters, showing all the cracks in the stern facade built up over the beginning chapters. This cracking and disrupting also leaves him open to new things, and creates possibilities were none were before. It will be for the better, for a while. And, yes, it will also contribute to making things so much worse in the long run. The possibilities are not just on Denethor's side, of course. Others will see the changes and a few will know to respond to them and strengthen these stronger, less brittle aspects of Denethor. Finduilas, obviously. Perhaps more important are those who fail to respond. Ang

 

 

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