Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 46 - South

Ch. 46 - South

Ch. 46 - South

First of three Denethor POVs. No warnings. (You romance fiends can just cool your jets...)

A chapter of politics and pondering. Denethor has rejected the lure of the north, but what about the perils of the south? Does a happy and contented Denethor see the world any differently now that he can See? Major scenes with Finduilas and Thorongil, and smaller scenes with many other characters.

A big thank you this round to DL7 who has gone above and beyond the call of duty with her beta reading.

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 46 - South

I am slime! I totally forgot to post my edits for this chapter....

I promise to be good from now on...sorta.

 

 

Re: Ch. 46 - South

If you've got comments, send 'em in. Don't worry too much - it's been a busy month for everyone as far as I can tell.

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 46 - South

Incredible chapter - this just pulls me further and further into the machinations that drive Gondor.  Absolutely incredible chapter.  There were a few things that I enjoyed thoroughly.

'So said the hill-lords of Rhudaur before they fell to Angmar,' Thorongil said quietly, eyes downcast, as though speaking to himself. His gaze snapped upwards, eyes fierce, catching Duinmir so suddenly the other man stepped back a pace. 'Their towers, aye, those remain. Naught else.'                    This was so spine-tingling - poor Thorongil.... what would it have been like to live in Minas Tirith (even though it was slowly decaying) and compare it to the Northern Kingdom... long bereft of anything.  Gave me chills.

The young lord shrugged. 'Ethring and the Ringló are my particular charges, but I am Gondorian.'      I just loved Morvorin's statement here!

Finduilas' comment to Denethor is profound - Do not think to shame him (Thorongil) by pointing out the emptiness of his pockets - again looking at the North brings only sadness!  

He is… to this my house has sworn its life and honor – to serve until the king should come again.' Denethor stared south towards Linhir. 'Neither are the Stewards kept or bought. Our only coin is loyalty, and that is what he shall pay.' The veil will be removed, and we shall See each other.  I loved these lines – gave me chills!

Brandir and Adrahil's parts were very, very good. Dear Brandir is caught between a rock and a hard place, isn't he.  And Adrahil's character is superb!

As noted above, this was a chilling chapter.  Keep it up, woman, and I will keep reading! 

 

 

Re: Ch. 46 - South

Hi Agape!

Incredible chapter - this just pulls me further and further into the machinations that drive Gondor.  Absolutely incredible chapter.

Thank you!   This was a fun one to write. Lots of politics, lots of set-up that will play out over the next ten or so chapters.

This was so spine-tingling - poor Thorongil.... what would it have been like to live in Minas Tirith (even though it was slowly decaying) and compare it to the Northern Kingdom... long bereft of anything.  Gave me chills.

A constant, if underground, tension between Thorongil and Denethor, but also between "Thorongil" and "Aragorn" - What is it doing to his sense of himself? The difference between the settlements of the north and Rohan is probably not so great (I always think of the years in Rohan as having been a time of contentment for Aragorn), but the contrast between the ruins of Arnor and the grandeur of Gondor (faded as it might be) would have been shocking. As Tolkien says in the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen:

'"Estel I was called," he said; "but I am Aragorn, Arathorn's son, Isildur's Heir, Lord of the Dunedain"; yet even in the saying he felt that this high lineage, in which his heart had rejoiced, was now of little worth, and as nothing compared to her dignity and loveliness." 

I imagine a comparable feeling of inadequacy, though for different reasons, when he encounters Gondor. Both are his heritage, but how can bridge the gap between them? It it the turmoil in his heart over this contrast that Finduilas sees, and why she warns Denethor not to insult or shame the man for his impoverishment - not all riches can be measured in gold. I think that while most of his silence about his true identity during this time is simply intelligent self-preservation, at least part of it must stem from that moment when he pronounces his identity to Arwen, and she laughs and basically pats him on the head (having seen quite a number of Heirs trotting through Imladris over the years). Ouch!

He knows how threadbare he is, how he must appear to the nobles of Gondor (think back to Finduilas's slap-down of him when he confronts her over the betrothal), how little like a king he is at this point in time - the ragged leader of a small band of mercenaries, forced to sell themselves to their kin to maintain what little they have in the north. Compare the man's bearing in these younger days to his full declaration to Eomer:

Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Anduril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. 'Elendil!'  he cried. 'I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dunadan, the heir of Isilidur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Borken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!'

Yowza!  This is someone who knows who he is and speaks with full confidence, even when surrounded by a bunch of guys with big spears. It helps to have a magic phallic object full o'miraculous powers, too. ;-)  The journey from the very young guy in Imladris who feels a little silly about the big title to the commanding ruler on a quest must have been a long and challenging one. I will return to this issue several times before the end of HotK. It is deeply tied up in Denethor's and the Stewards' oaths to serve until the king should come again.

I'm glad you continue to like Brandir. He plays such an important role. He is like the Fool in King Lear or (it's odd, but it works) Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet. He thinks with his heart and can say the most outrageous things because his friends know his heart is true. Then I got to thinking that he is a tragi-comic character, one who you can't laugh *at* even as he makes you laugh, because he doesn't deserve any of his suffering. Thus, the blanket. It is simply ridiculous, something from a Marx Brothers movie with a grown man trying to hide under a blanket, yet it is also distressing to see someone so dear in such a state.

It also gives me an opportunity for Denethor to show his "Faramir" side - there is a deeply compassionate part of the man, but it comes out rarely. His own upset and recent emotional ups and downs have made him more sympathetic. I think Denethor was happy to tell Brandir about Seeing Finduilas, knowing here was someone who would ecstatic over the news.

Myself, my favorite line is this: 

'Are you going to sing me a lullaby?' Denethor dryly asked, making the captain snort.

'If you wish,' was the impish reply.

Well, two lines. There's humor and hope in that exchange. They can tease each other and not feel threatened. What if that could have continued, with elder "brother" Denethor guiding (and guarding) younger "brother" Thorongil? If Thorongil could have led Denethor out of the depression and hopelessness he felt facing the return of Sauron? A very different story, and perhaps a better one.

Keep it up, woman, and I will keep reading!

I'll do my best.

Toodles - Ang 

 

 

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