Forum: Deconstructing Denethor

Discussing: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Really this is an excuse to point out that there's a new Denethor nuzgul in the Hutch. I posted it on list and figured this would be as good a place as any to talk about it and to talk about the subject of this thread: the kinder, gentler Denethor who is known to exist at rare moments 'in the wild' (i.e., you can occasionally find him in fanfics if you hunt carefully). What is his textual basis? How does one go about writing him? When are you going to show us your story [cough!]? Anyhow, this is just a quick drop in from me. Hope you'll find this a useful and fun forum. Add threads as you will.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Oh, how wonderful, Dwim! And, I hope this will give you the impetus to write that DM story... ;-)

Starlight
another *hopeless* Denethor fanatic

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

We shall see. I somehow doubt I'll be able to pull of the kinder, gentler Denethor, but perhaps this time, Nirthel will talk to me.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I somehow doubt I'll be able to pull of the kinder, gentler Denethor, but perhaps this time, Nirthel will talk to me.

I hope this doesn't mean you're abandoning Star and Stone. Then again, somewhere in the course of it, I suppose Denethor could be briefly kinder and gentler.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Challenge duly accepted and nuzgul adopted. Not so much kinder and gentler as more nuanced and complete. Finduilas gets some good page time, too. Ang

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

We shall see. I somehow doubt I'll be able to pull of the kinder, gentler Denethor, but perhaps this time, Nirthel will talk to me.

I know it's hard... And I know Nirthel is a rather elusive woman. But, it will be fun. You know you want to take the little critter home, Dwim :-)

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Then again, somewhere in the course of it, I suppose Denethor could be briefly kinder and gentler

Oh, Lyllyn!

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Well, my application for founder member status is currently being filled out (ie I have finally started the sympathetic Denethor fic), so I have signed up for a placeholder.

And I would be interested to know whether a fic I've already written (Chance Meetings) would also count, since this shows Denethor at odds with Faramir in their "professional" relationship, but profoundly concerned about his son on a personal level. However, it does mostly deal with only a small period of their relationship in 3008.

Cheers, Liz
(Dwim - you do know Marta and I are going to qualify this as a challenge between just the two of us, don't you?)

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I'm having sort of the same problem as Liz is having: would my story (Cold Memories) be acceptable to this challenge? It's not really about Denethor, but he inserted himself in a rather surprising way into the story. I'd be happy to add it to the challenge, but can't really make up my mind what *exactly* would be fitting. Amanda.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Hm. What I'm aiming for (what I'm hoping others will write so I won't have to, heh heh) are stories that focus on Denethor either as the main character or as one of the primary protagonists. Beyond that, I'm hoping for stories that will develop him across a similar span of events that the usual more depressing interpretations of him do. That means: relationship with Finduilas must be there; relationship with sons must be there (including either set-up for or aftermath of the argument with Faramir); and either the set-up for or the aftermath of the pyre must be present, along with commentary (implied or otherwise) on the palantír's effects. Those seem to be the basic points on Denethor's compass, and while I have seen some fics that deal with him at one of those points in the SKGD mode (three cheers for acronyms), I have not yet seen a fic or a series of fics in that vein of interpretation that cover all of them. That, to me, is the real challenge: can we plausibly cover *all* of those moments? If you can offer a theory that does all that in a single, defining scene, more power to you, but I suspect it's going to need more than one scene in a story. It may need a series of stories, who knows? I'll read "Cold Memories" next week, Amanda, and check out other fics rec'ed here. A happy Easter to those who celebrate it.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I hope this doesn't mean you're abandoning Star and Stone. Then again, somewhere in the course of it, I suppose Denethor could be briefly kinder and gentler Nope, not abandoning it (although if I'm still writing this by the time I'm thirty-five or something, it'll be depressing). However, the Denethor of S&S must eventually evolve into the man we see in FtORB. That takes him far outside the running for this challenge. Dwim - you do know Marta and I are going to qualify this as a challenge between just the two of us, don't you? I suspected as much. *waves hand* Go forth and ambush the innocent!

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

That means: relationship with Finduilas must be there; relationship with sons must be there (including either set-up for or aftermath of the argument with Faramir); and either the set-up for or the aftermath of the pyre must be present, along with commentary (implied or otherwise) on the palantír's effects. Dwim, I think this may be a bit too wide. I can see requiring a fic that needed one or even two of: relationship with Finduilas; relationships with one or both of his sons; and set-up for or aftermath of pyre. But if you require all three, then you're basically requiring a novella or, like you say, a series of stories. By the time the pyre roles around Finduilas has been dead for thirty years. I have one piece, a novel-length, that addresses all of these questions but has lots of other material that's not Denethor-centric. I also have a second piece that looks at the palantir's effect (but not the pyre, it's set twenty years before Ring War) and also fairly intensively with Denethor's relationship with Boromir. (I'm talking about Lady of Gondor and How Many Years respectively.) But short of writing a novella, I'm not sure how anyone could do all of what you ask. How about this: an individual writer writes a piece looking at one of the three areas you suggested. But in order for the challenge to go public, someone must cover each area. For example, Ang can write Den & Fin, I can look at Den's relationship with his sons, and someone else can handle the pyre -- all done by different authors but all must be written. Cheers, Marta Edited 1:13 PM. Anyone want to volunteer to beta my forum posts? That last one needed some help...

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Dwim, I agree with Marta that you are asking someone to cover a heck of a lot to hit all those targets in one story. I am writing a multi-chap fic that will cover quite a few of those bases, but not all as I wasn't planning to cover the pyre scene. Having said that, I originally wasn't going to take it as far as I can now see I am going to, so maybe I will. (It's basically Faramir's childhood from Denethor's POV and I was originally going to take it up to Faramir being about 20. Now it's going up to Faramir leaving for Ithilien where he meets Frodo and Sam. But I suppose I could make it even longer...?) Anyway, I think you are asking for stories that focus on Denethor as the main character or one of the primary protagonists and cover five different things: * relationship with Finduilas * relationship with sons * set-up for or aftermath of the argument with Faramir (I presume you mean the argument over the Ring in "The Siege of Gondor". Since there is also the disagreement over defending the causeway forts in the same chapter) * the set-up for or the aftermath of the pyre * commentary (implied or otherwise) on the palantír's effects To that I would add * Denethor's relationship with Gandalf * Denethor's relationship with Thorongil What I would suggest, to build on Marta's idea, is that authors should cover two (or perhaps three?) of these seven elements. In addition, for the challenge to be successful, all seven elements must be covered by at least one of the fics submitted. How does that sound? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

* relationship with sons Should this perhaps be separated into relationship with Boromir or relationship with Faramir? I hesitate to make the challenge any more complicated than it already is, but Denethor has very different relationships with his sons. I'd be interested to see fics that focused on one or the other but not necessarily both. Cheers, Marta

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Hm. I have the bare beginnings of a sequel to "In His Brother's Shadow," which will deal with Faramir-Denethor interactions, and I hope to show that there was a realistic relationship between them - not necessarily a wonderful one, but not abusive either. So I don't know if that would qualify for what you're thinking of in this nuzgul or not. It's also set some years before the Ring War. If it sounds like an appropriate story, though, I'll adopt the nuzgul... Cel P.S. "Courting the Lady" certainly shows a "kinder, gentler" Denethor in many respects, but since it's already a completed fic I would imagine that it probably shouldn't count as a response to this nuzgul? It also doesn't have anything to do with Denethor's relationship with his sons (though it does indicate something of his relationship with his own father).

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I have no interest in addressing Denethor through the prism of Faramir and/or Boromir. Count me out. Ang PS - To be less abrupt, most "Denethor" stories already obsess about his relationship with his sons as adults, and are usually more concerned with the sons than with Denethor, so I'm not interested in producing another for the pile. My story does not meet the challenge checklist requirements for talking about Denethor and his last argument with Faramir, nor does it address his suicide with regards to his relationship to Faramir, nor does it address the palantir use with regards to his relationship to Faramir. Its focus is Denethor and Finduilas in a mature and humane marriage.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I'll read "Cold Memories" next week, Amanda, and check out other fics rec'ed here. Thanks, Dwim, looking forward to hearing your thoughts. But having read the precise requirements for the challenge, I don't think "Cold Memories" will qualify. Amanda (pondering if she should enter the story as a Happy Faramir Oliphaunt...)

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Part of me would like to bat her eyes innocently and say, "Oh, but you know, you could do a series of stories..." But I suppose that might be... er... greedy? (Ok, greedier, given that my proposing of the nuzgûl is entirely self-serving ). Plus, I don't believe for a moment that my innocence is at all taken for granted in these here parts. I like the idea of covering two of the seven. I'm not quite sure I understand what is meant by "for the challenge to be successful, all seven elements must be covered by at least one of the fics submitted", since that seems to say that one fic has to do what all the others have not (cover all seven points). Perhaps what was meant was that for this to be really successful (not just numerically, in terms of getting five people to write a story that would make this a Challenge, not a nuzgûl), the collected set of entries would need to cover all seven aspects? Hm. Another idea: we do have round robin fics (Stargazers, for example). Would people be interested in trying a collective SKGD entry? Each person signs up for *one* of the seven elements, and then builds on what others have written. This would be pretty labor intensive, but it could be great fun, and would allow for a continuous development of Denethor without necessarily overloading any one person. Thoughts?

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Hi Dwim thanks for answering! Having had what was either a flash of inspiration or a stroke of lunacy and worked out how to fit in looking at the events in RotK (the argument and pyre), it seems my Denethor fic will now provide a "unified theory of a kinder, gentler Denethor" and meet the conditions of your nuzgul. Whether it's a good theory is for you to judge And as it will be an epsiodic multi-chap fic, it is essentially the "series of stories" you asked for. I'd say you were evil, except I've had this in my head for about three months now. ( I will, however, blame you for the fact Aragorn keeps gatecrashing my fics ever since you said you'd convert me to the cult of Aragorn adorers ... ) But I''m not sure anyone else will be crazy enough to embark on this as a complete project. Perhaps what was meant was that for this to be really successful (not just numerically, in terms of getting five people to write a story that would make this a Challenge, not a nuzgûl), the collected set of entries would need to cover all seven aspects? That was exactly what we meant - thank you for expressing it with so much more clarity! So, would you be happy with that as a challenge? Another idea: we do have round robin fics....Each person signs up for *one* of the seven elements, and then builds on what others have written. The only difficulty I see with this is the "builds on" element - it seems to me that it means one person cannot start their fic until preceding fics have been written? And what if you don't agree with the way another author has solved their part of the challenge (I guess dealing with that is part of your challenge)? But as I understand it, most of the other round robins allow people to write independently (that certainly seemed to be the case in Stargazers, whch I have read most of). Anyway, I ramble. It seems I can fulfil the terms of the nuzgul, but I doubt many other people can and I would definitely like to see a challenge that would prompt more "kinder gentler Denethor" fics. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Amanda (pondering if she should enter the story as a Happy Faramir Oliphaunt...) Most definitely a Happy Faramir! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I'm in this. I'm a firm believer that people don't start out as the end result we might see later on. Call me Skinner-esque in approach, but I believe our situations create us. Nurture, not nature. That is Skinner, isn't it? I think so. Thus, Denethor. We see him at the end of being driven crazy by Sauron. Or so I think. Where Gandalf says he's a stern guy and tells Pip to be careful, nowhere does it say in the trilogy, "oh by the way, Denethor hates both of his sons and is a terrible man." Denethor's been on a little crazy-making journey and we the readers meet him towards the end of it. We have to look at the history. We have to look at where he's been and what's been going on. Hanging out, listening to the Big Eye would mess up anyone. So, I'm in. peace. M.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

*waves cautiously to all* Well...I am always shy in new places, but when I saw this, I...I couldn't resist. Okay so my face kinda went like this and I squealed and giggled a little. Or...uh...a lot. But anyway... As a newly christened HASA member and a very hopelessly obsessed Denethor fan, I'd like to humbly bring myself forward as someone who would love to cover all seven. I am already currently building my theories and plots for a series of stories covering well...all that you mentioned, Dwimordene. Since I was already planning to do this before stumbling across your lovely society, I have no problems attempting this challenge as originally given because I am 15, extremely optimistic, homeschooled, hopelessly obsessed, and have no life. It might take awhile to complete all my thoughts on paper, but I thought it might serve your greedy, self-serving, desires...I mean your *completely* innocent wish to read about a kinder, gentler Denethor, , to know that there's someone out there who's been working for months & months in an attempt to bring her massive plot ideas for Denethor together. Actually, I was doing it originally all for me (because when it comes to Denethor, how can you not be greedy and self-serving? ) and didn't know anyone else out there would be interested in reading something like this. I'm terribly excited I've stumbled across this lovely place. Cheers & God bless all! ~Denni

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

didn't know anyone else out there would be interested in reading something like this. I'm terribly excited I've stumbled across this lovely place. I KNOW! Isn't it great?? That's the great thing about the Internet. It makes it so easy to discover that you are so totally not the weirdest person out there. Oh, that came out wrong. ;) But you know what I mean-- I've spent months now obsessing privately because nobody I knew in person was remotely interested in discussing LoTR with me, particularly not the exceedingly obscure details of it preoccupying me. So finding a place like this has been a revelation to me. Welcome to the club. Looking forward to reading your stuff. -- DL7

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

*waves back very enthusiastically at Denni* Hi and welcome to the site. Yay, another Denethor fan Glad to hear I'm not the only mad person attempting to answer Dwim's complete nuzgul. May I recommend the Domain of the Dunedain thread as a good place for you to come and hang out? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

(pondering if she should enter the story as a Happy Faramir Oliphaunt...) Most definitely a Happy Faramir! Thanks for reminding me, Liz! After my little trip abroad (gotta love London, and don't get me started on my shopping spree ) I had totally forgotten about "Cold Memories" needing to be added to the Oliphaunt. Hmm... that makes two Happy Faramir fics from me... Amanda.

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

You know, it's weird. I hadn't been reading any of this thread or the Denethor discussion on HA, but in the middle of writing an extremely smutty Faramir story with no redeeming value whatsoever, a Denethor "showing his good side" story popped into my head and demanded to be written. (Much to the chagrin of my smut-reading friend!) I think it had to do with reading one too many fics showing Denethor being MUCH more snarky and hateful to Faramir than even I had pictured him (and don't get me started on the self-pitying Faramir!). I'll write it whether it would fit this nuzgul or not, but wondering: Would a story that touched upon, say, a comparison (and therefore some contrast as well) between his feelings for Boromir and Faramir work at all? If there's two brothers does that count as two of the list? Neither Finduilas or the pyre would be included in any way whatsoever, and the story would be short. Should I bother to "adopt?" If not, like I said, I'll write it anyway. Thanks for any input and have a great day, y'all! Kristen

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

I like the idea of covering two of the seven. (snip)Perhaps what was meant was that for this to be really successful (not just numerically, in terms of getting five people to write a story that would make this a Challenge, not a nuzgûl), the collected set of entries would need to cover all seven aspects? We could do it like this. In fact, we could do both! I realize that's a bit much, but for the purposes of exploration I'd do the round robin, and for the purposes of exercising I'd do the regular challenge. What I mean is, writing Denethor, to me, is very exhausting. I have to think and think and think and think, then plan and plan, then write and re-write, and arrange all those thoughts and write again. His fics are the ones that give me the most trouble because of the conflicting views and the efforts in making my assumptions be coherent with the whole. It is hard to think of a setting that would allow for the proper analysis of two of the seven elements, but it would be a wonderful writing exercise. The round robin allows for the examination of each other's views as we're trying to make sense of the mess of quotes and information, and it would be a great thought-provoking, eye-opener activity (character-wise) to build on the basis of each other's stories and opinions. I think it would be so much fun! (but I'm sure you all knew I'd say that ) I'll go play either way. I'm in on this! Cheers, Starlight

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Thanks, DL7! *grins* I feel loved already... It makes it so easy to discover that you are so totally not the weirdest person out there *laughs* *laughs some more* You can say that again!

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Thanks for the welcome! I'm sure you know what I mean when I say I'm thrilled to find other Denethor fans, too. And it is indeed comforting to know I'm not the only mad person out there either...*grins* Domain of the Dunedain...sounds interesting! Thanks for inviting--I'll certainly stop by! Cheers to you, too, ~Denni

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

The prodigal daughter returns. Ok, so from the look of it, we have a number of people willing to do something with Denethor. At least possibly the 2/7 part. Shall I set this nuzgûl up as a challenge for you all to play with ?

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Shall I set this nuzgûl up as a challenge for you all to play with ? You are so evil, Dwim! But, you know I get bitten by all your Denethor nuzguls... I'm playing! Cheers, Starlight who is looking forward to meet the kinder, gentler Denethor

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Shall I set this nuzgûl up as a challenge for you all to play with ? Need you of all people ask, Dwim? As, I've been bitten by the original full-house (7/7) nuzgul, I'm certainly going to be in on this one. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

*wanders in* Dwim, you can count me in as well. As I mentioned in the Birthday Card forum, I have been bitten by a nuzgul to write a sweries of vignettes from Beregond's perspective focusing on key moments of Denethor's life as seen by an outsider. But may I have a long deadline, pretty please? What if I promise to finish the first one by your birthday and present it as a present for you? Cheers, Marta

 

 

Re: Society for A Kinder, Gentler Denethor

Dwim- Are you writing this challenge? If so, I think we have five. You, me, Tanaqui, Starlight, Demmi all seem prepared to write the comprehensive Denethor you suggest. But don't set it up so you have to write all sides, if that's possible, and you may get good responses covering one angle or more of your beloved steward. Cheers, Marta

 

 

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