7. Epiphany (Denethor, Ecthelion)
epiphany, n. A sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience (dictionary.com).
Denethor knew that useful information may come in unexpected packages, but from his sharp-tongued, heedless sister Morwen he had endured only ignorant gossip. Until that day.
He and Captain Thorongil were reviewing with the Steward the disposition of the men in Ithilien, a map spread on the table before them. "In Osgiliath," Thorongil was saying, a glint in his grey eyes—when Morwen's unmistakable voice rang out. A moment later she burst through the door. "My lord father, my son is an idiot!"
Ecthelion frowned with evident displeasure. "Daughter, we are engaged."
"You must speak to him," she said, her haughty eyes flashing. "You must dismiss that archivist--that seditionist. He told my son that the council of Pelendur was wrong! Now the boy is repeating this insanity."
Turning abruptly, Captain Thorongil strode to the window, but not before Denethor caught an interesting blaze in those keen eyes.
"He says it's true that Isildur was High King of both North and South! That he was the elder son, and so King in Gondor!"
Ecthelion raised a hand and said sharply, "Daughter, I am aware of the argument. Now is not the time."
But neither her father nor all the Orcs in Mordor could stop Morwen. "Father, that treasonous old man told my son that descendants of Arvedui may yet live in the North! What's more, they would be descendants of Anárion through Fíriel. He said that if one ever comes to claim the crown, Gondor should acknowledge him!"
Ecthelion sighed. "Many in Gondor agree with him. But it is a moot point. If there are such descendants, they have kept their silence for nearly a thousand years."
Captain Thorongil stood still and silent at the window, like a statue of the King, and an unwelcome thought crept into Denethor's mind.
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