40. Author's Notes (additional)
These notes were written after I posted Chapter 13. I had already written the next chapters... those dealing with Faramir and Denethor specifically... I had already received some comments and thought I best put down how I felt and why I wrote this tale and these next few chapters as I did.
I've had some comments and folks wondering about my treatment of Denethor and that I should perhaps say this is an AU. The next few chapters are quite disconcerting and can be interpreted in many ways... but....
I am writing this as canon. Everything here is taken from RotK, from Gandalf holding Faramir's hand, to the first question upon Mithrandir's return being, "Is Faramir come?", to Denethor's hope that Faramir would speak to him one last time. The only thing that is not canon is the addition of the cat, and the cat's impressions of the events as they occurred - but - there could have been a cat there.
I, and many others, do not see Denethor as mad until the very last time that he looks into the Palantír. I know you might think that insane (LOL), but Gandalf never looks upon him as anything but wise, until the tomb scene. "You are strong and can still in some matters govern yourself, Denethor; yet if you had received this thing, it would have overthrown you." ROTK: Siege of Gondor (scene between Gandalf and Denethor).
Even Pippin sees that it is grief, at this time, that assails Denethor - not madness. And the words of Denethor are not newly thought... he loved his son, but now knows, from previous experience with the Black Breath, that all those who come in contact with it usually die... It is only 'the hands of the King' that can save Faramir and there is no king anywhere around that Denethor can see. Aragorn is not of the line of the true kings of Gondor, because of Arvedui's decree over a thousand years past.
"Do not weep, lord," he stammered. "Perhaps he will get well. Have you asked Gandalf?"
"Comfort me not with wizards!" said Denethor. "The fool's hope has failed. The Enemy has found it, and now his power waxes; he sees our very thoughts, and all we do is ruinous."
"I sent my son forth, unthanked, unblessed, out into needless peril, and here he lies with poison in his veins...."
Men came to the door crying for the Lord of the City. "Nay, I will not come down," he said. "I must stay beside my son.
"He will not wake again," said Denethor. "Battle is vain. Why should we wish to live longer? Why should we not go to death side by side?" ROTK: Siege of Gondor
This is what pushes Denethor over the edge - he has seen that Frodo is naked in Cirith Ungol - which means that Sauron (in his mind's eye) has the Ring; he has seen that the Black Ships are coming up the Anduin... and then Ingold tells him that the road from Rohan has been blocked by a new enemy and Théoden will NOT be able to get through to Minas Tirith. All is lost... and the Palantír verifies and corroborates that.
"Go then and labor in healing! Go forth and fight! Vanity. For a little space you may triumph on the field, for a day. But against the Power that now arises there is no victory. To this City only the first finger of its hand has yet been stretched. All the East is moving. And even now the wind of thy hope cheats thee and wafts up Anduin a fleet with black sails. The West has failed. It is time for all to depart who would not be slaves." ROTK: Denethor in the Pyre of Denethor.
Tolkien stated in one of the HoMe books that he suddenly felt that Denethor needed to be harsh. My definition of harsh is the same as the one in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. - definition - unduly exacting; severe - Merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harsh. Not cruel, not abusive, but unduly exacting. Unfortunately, he was the same way with himself, IMHO.
If you say my tale is AU, then those who have Denethor hitting Faramir, or throwing him against a wall and such are AU also. And I rarely see those marked thusly. No - we have different interpretations of Denethor's role/personality/behavior. But that doesn't mean I'm right and you are wrong - nor does it mean you're right and I'm wrong. The English language is interesting and brooks all sorts of different interpretations. Hope this helps. Also - you will definitely have more trouble in the next few chapters...
By the way, Peter Jackson's Denethor is NOT Tolkien's.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.