Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Second of two Finduilas POV chapters. Warnings - two brief, moderately explicit erotic scenes; treatment of a very icky subject.

Interregnum - Between rulers, a period of time when rule or governance is supended, a gap in continuity. What are the dangers of being in a liminal state?  What happens when rule is uncertain, and people will not behave as they should? Almost anything.

Finduilas continues to define who she is as Lady of the White Tower, and is confronted with trouble from people dear and despised. Her relationships with Denethor and Thorongil continue to grow.

Significant scenes with Denethor, Thorongil, Brandir, Wren, Maiaberiel and Ecthelion.

Publishing this chapter comes at the end of my own interregnum, so to speak. My department at the hospital was hit with a sudden and massive budget cut just after Thanksgiving, and I and a number of other people were laid off. My last day was December 30. Thankfully, I start a new job tomorrow.

My thanks to the wonderful beta crew, particularly RohWyn, who did some much needed edits to this chapter. And a big hug to everyone who helped me stay on even keel while I found a new harbor.  I you guys!

Toodles - Ang 

 

 

Re: Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Umm - the way you make Ecthelion act it's really hard to respect him, let alone like him! In contrast to him, Brandir trying to figure out the relationship between Denethor and Finduilas was as cute as it was futile. I admit I'm curious myself if THE CHANGE is ever going to happen to Finduilas. (And I understand if you don't satisfy my curiosity now, but tell me to wait and see.)

Good luck with your new job, BTW!

 

 

Re: Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Umm - the way you make Ecthelion act it's really hard to respect him, let alone like him!

It is difficult, I admit. This is pretty much bottom for him. And, while I don't want to be making excuses for scummy behavior, think carefully about what exactly he did. He saw a pretty girl and tried  to cop a feel and get a kiss. Something that a hell of a lot of people today  male and female, would shrug off. Most people I know would say that he can't be blamed for trying, only for pushing the issue when the girl got upset. But don't harden your heart against Ecthelion. That would be making the same mistake as Denethor.

In contrast to him, Brandir trying to figure out the relationship between Denethor and Finduilas was as cute as it was futile.

It will end up being sad, I fear. My poor fool. We won't see him again for a while.

I admit I'm curious myself if THE CHANGE is ever going to happen to Finduilas. (And I understand if you don't satisfy my curiosity now, but tell me to wait and see.)

Well, you can be sure that Denethor is going to do his darndest to try to make it happen! ;-)  In a way, it already has and happened to her before it happened to him - the way she can see Denethor in the waterfall. Her heart has been his and open to him from the day they met. But somthing else is at work in this matter...


Good luck with your new job, BTW!

Thanks! I'm on a team putting together a proposal for $300K+ in grant money for a labor market analysis web site. I'm writing the requirements and production section of it (it's about 100 pages, all told). We finish concepts this week, do the finalized version next week, then toss the whole thing at the legal department to comb through and return for rewrites. How would you like that beta reading job? ;-)

Toodles - Ang 

 

 

Re: Ch. 41 - Interregnum

I would dearly like to know what and how much Denethor told his father about Wren, if he told him that Finduilas saw them. And especially if Ecthelion feels shame at least now that he tried to seduce his own daughter and that he didn't even know it was his daughter. It seems so careless (to say it mildly) to be so oblivious about his illegitimate children. Their very existence could be used to undermine his reputation, they themselves could be used against him, what he tried to do to Wren could very well happen again, considering the sheer number of daughters he has all over the city! Has he made at least some arrangement that his bastards are provided for?
I wonder if he even knows that Aiavalë has taken a fair number of them under her wing and that she and Denethor are employing them. Does he know about Maiaberiel and Luinmir?

In short, I despair ever more about Ecthelion - I wonder if you will be able to redeem him in even a small part. So far, he seems an unfaithful husband, a wretched, cold, oblivious and uncaring father and a steward who lets his dislike of his heir endanger the stability of his kingdom. He lets himself manipulated by his thoroughly selfish daughter, and must be manipulated by his advisors to do what is best for Gondor in politics and war.

Imhiriel

 

 

Re: Ch. 41 - Interregnum

Hi Imhiriel!

You know, *I* would like to know exactly what Denethor said to Ecthelion, but the guy won't talk. I know he didn't let on that Finduilas saw them (check out the next chapter) because Denethor is trying to protect her.  The character just isn't talking. Whatever he said was enough to get backhanded by the Steward, so it was probably pretty crude.

What does Ecthelion know? That's a good question, and it gets partially answered about ten chapters ahead.  Part of him simply doesn't know, any more than a very large number of men here and now haven't the foggiest idea of whether that casual sexual encounter resulted in a child. We don't know if there were children before he married. I suspect yes, at least one. He certainly doesn't bother thinking about children with whores, because he is ignorant of Morwen.

With Aiavale's birth, there was a certain logic to siring bastards. It "proved"  that his daughter's deformities weren't his fault as he had other, normal children. But he is aware of them. Steward Turgon saw to their care and probably used their existance as a club to try to force some self-control on his rebellious son. After the Steward's death, Ecthelion put the care of the bastards in Maiaberiel's hands, trusting her to keep them in line. She did by threatening and brutalizing them, including one who died.Ecthelion keeps to the Citadel, so I doubt he has seen any of the girls as adults except for Luinmir, and I know he honestly did not recognize Wren. He saw a pretty girl and made a pass at her.

I don't think it occurs to Ecthelion  that anyone would have anything to do with Aiavale, so he wouldn't know she took care of any girls. Aiavale has taken pains to sheild Wren and Lark from interference. The archivists generally would have been protective of the girls. Since he thinks that Denethor frequents whorehouses (a belief Denethor encouraged prior to his betrothal), Ecthelion imagines his son to have much the same attitude towards women as he himself. Given Denethor's antagonism to other family members, it would not occur to Ecthelion that the Warden would look after his half-sisters. Indeed, Aiavale is the one who does most of the work, and Denethor treats them in a somewhat opportunistic and instrumental way.  This becomes an issue in a later chapter or two. Neither Lark nor Wren have many good things to say about their big brother.

In short, I despair ever more about Ecthelion - I wonder if you will be able to redeem him in even a small part. So far, he seems an unfaithful husband, a wretched, cold, oblivious and uncaring father and a steward who lets his dislike of his heir endanger the stability of his kingdom. He lets himself manipulated by his thoroughly selfish daughter, and must be manipulated by his advisors to do what is best for Gondor in politics and war.

He's being difficult, but he is on his way to some small redemption. But, give him his due. He is an ordinary man in extraordinary times. While he is petty and hateful towards Denethor, even Denethor has to admit the man is a decent Steward. He is listening to Gandalf and has put his trust in Thorongil, even if it is tainted by a desire to spite his own son.  He is a better father than you think, as will come out slowly in the next few chapters. If Aiavale had not been deformed, there would have been less stupidity on his part, less outright hatred between himself and his wife. Finally, he is fighting off profound despair at the return of Sauron. Denethor committed suicide from it, after all, and Ecthelion is barely hanging on.

Finally, we are seeing Echtelion from Denethor's pespective, and he will barely give the man any credit. There's a better, more rounded man there than his son will admit. Thorongil sees it, though he is becoming exasperated at the ego battles between the Steward and the Warden (imagine what Thorongil must be thinking as he compares Ecthelion to Thengel or Elrond!). Boromir will be the one to finally bring the Steward to his senses.

Just as Brandir predicted.

Thanks for the comments!

Toodles- Ang 

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Hands of the King

Stories linked to the forum