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163 Comments

 
 

Hands of the King

JunoMagic - 20 Nov 05 - 12:19 PM

General Comment

I am saving this story for a few cold and rainy days this winter. So that I can really do it justice.

What I would like to know, do you want any comments? They might range from fangirlish swoons to nitpicks... I don't want to be roasted on a low fire, so I thought I'd ask. ;-) 

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Hands of the King

fercryinoutloud - 20 Nov 05 - 1:37 PM

General Comment

You have more self control than I do, Juno. I gobble this story up the second I find out a new chapter is available.

Fergus

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Hands of the King

sulisminervae - 08 Aug 06 - 3:13 PM

General Comment

Well, it's about time I left a message for this story, although I have so much to say that it may take a few tries before I remember everything I wanted to say...

Where to begin?  I shall try not to make my comments too lame and useless, but such is the effect of your wonderful story, it's hard to find any words but those of praise.  So here we go...

What an epic! A magnum opus!  Clearly a lot of time, thought and research has gone into this, and it certainly pays off!  You show a clear commitment to canon, while at the same time providing us with insight into the characters and politics of Minas Tirith that is a major departure from Tolkein.  Your use of language is exceptional: from the standard narrative to the proper use of archaic grammar when Finduilas and Denethor are at their most emotionally vulnerable together.  Your characterisations are feasible and consistant in the case of Denethor, compelling in the case of Finduilas.  I can see why he loves her - why they all love her!  Yet it is easy to understand why she loves him too.  You make it easy for me to favour him over Aragorn and I even feel Denethor's impatience with Gandalf completely understandable.

I'm not sure if it makes the whole story more of less heart-wrenching that we know what will become of them all...

I have so much more to add, but I will have to comment with each new chapter now, or this could go on forever.  I will say one more thing, however:

I read a lot of fanfiction, but it always remains just that: FANfiction.  It never encroaches on my idea of canon, and I never let it override the original in my imagination.  This story, however, has almost become my Denethor canon.  I'm finding it difficult to find satisfaction in any other Denethor/Finduilas fanfiction.  They all seem lacking, compared with this.  I used to love the short stories and one shots, but now in comparison, they lack the compelling detail, political intricacies and character definition that this story has.  I keep coming back to this one and re-reading, afraid that I've missed something, or just to re-live some of the moments.

And now for a really trite comment: I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!!

Sulis.x 

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 08 Aug 06 - 7:08 PM

General Comment

Hi Sulis,

Oh, now you're making me blush! I'm so glad you like the story. :-) It has been a labor of love to write. When I began it, it was going to be about 12 chapters long, just the highlights of their life, and on to the next story.

They had other ideas. The entire cast have definite opinions on what they want written up. The biggest joy of writing has been discovering things about the people that are not immediately obvious - like Brandir's tender stubborness. Sometimes they shock me.

Weaving it into canon is challenging but fruitful. Things you can do with unbounded fantasy, like inventing whatever social mores you wish or tossing in magic whenever there is a plot problem to solve, just won't fly here.

I have not written much the last few weeks because of the site update project, but I will be back to work this week. My method is to write a rough draft chapter, then publish a polished one. That keeps the pressure on me to write. I have 20 chapters in various stages currently, so there is plenty more to come. Look for a new chapter in late August. Be sure to sign up for the story alert list so you get a notice when it's posted.

Most of all, thank you for taking the time to read Hands of the King.

Anglachel 

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Hands of the King

Nath - 06 Aug 07 - 10:18 AM

General Comment

I know I told you this in mail as well, but it bears repeating in comments too:

Ang, your Denethor is the standard for the character in fanfic as far as I'm concerned, and pretty much the reason for this Aragorn fangirl to take a serious look at, and even learn to appreciate, the Steward in his own right.

Thank you for having written this, and I feel privileged to have been a beta on this story.

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Hands of the King

Rugi - 06 Aug 07 - 4:21 PM

General Comment

I'm sorry to hear you say that this is over.  Though I can understand how you feel about the lack of comments.  Authors work for both themselves and their public I think.

 I confess I was one of the silent readers - sometimes the temptation to read and just go is overwhelming.  Also, I sometimes worried that my comments couldn't do justice to this great story (Honest!)

 I have to agree with the reader who praised your Denethor - you really enriched the character from Tolkien - your character embraces his many noble characteristics and flaws that we see in the original books.  I also like your Finduilas.  I think it's great that you wrote her to be a true partner to her husband during his rule even though her health and other concerns sometimes limited her abilities.  I also liked your portrayal of their marriage - two such strong and willful people wouldn't always have an easy time of it and you really show that well while holding on to the fact that they love each other.

Though I would, of course, love to see a never-ending series of chapters in this story, I think this also works as a place to stop, on the brink of Faramir's entrance into the story.  I admit though that I am sad not to see what you would make of him and his early relationship with his parents...

Thanks for lots of good intrigueing reading and a great story!

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Hands of the King

Elrûn - 07 Aug 07 - 4:07 AM

General Comment

Anglachel,

being somewhat of a purist I have come to like very few fanon contributions. Your story is one of them. I would never underestimate the heartfelt efforts you made in order to create this piece of fiction which in some ways is more real to me than reality itself - please say you will not let it end here...

Elrûn 

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Hands of the King

Halthrella - 09 Aug 07 - 2:11 PM

General Comment

This is a true epic. I am so sorry to hear that we are not to have any more installments published.

I would normally never dare to comment on anything so wondrous, I have truly enjoyed this though, I love all the OC.

Please, please, please let us have more.

I really wanted to know how the relationship between Faramir and Denethor got to where we see it in the books. I want to know how much more Denethor finds out about Thorongil and The Lost. I really like the Beregar character, and Halmir.  I haven't really understood the link with the Mariner, so please give us more!

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Hands of the King

Anna Wing - 15 Aug 07 - 7:01 AM

General Comment

I'm sorry that "Hands of the Kong" will no longer be published. I am one of those who has stopped commenting, simply because when I realised the scope of your ambition I also realised that I would have to wait until the whole novel is out before I could make meaningful comments. It is the nature of a novel that it has to be judged as a whole, rather than piecemeal. I have very much enjoyed your characterisation and worldbuilding and have been extremely interested in the philosophical issues that are the basis of the story (as I understand it). I will add "Hands of the King" to "The Leithian Script" on my short list of excellent, never-to-be-finished WIPS that are nonetheless worth reading and recommending.

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Hands of the King

Gilnaur - 16 Aug 07 - 10:22 AM

General Comment

Dear Anglachel,

As a fellow writer I fully understand your frustration at the lack of feedback but that shouldn't keep you from completing your story. If for no other reason do it for your own satisfaction.  Who knows what the future holds? I have only been writing for only a little over two years and know that I am no where near the level and quality of many of the writers here but I have a tale to tell and enough encouragement to keep at it even when I have had a few rather pithy comments sent to me. I know when I come across the beginnings of a good story it always saddens me when it isn't completed. I hope you will reconsider.

G ilnaur

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Hands of the King

queensreader - 21 Oct 07 - 1:17 PM

General Comment

Anglachel,


Thank you so much for writing as much as you did- I must admit I was one of many lurkers who loved this story without saying so, and I apologize for not sooner shaking myself out of simply reading rather than participating with commentary. 


I have learned much from you about how to craft a well written world filled with keen observations and descriptions that reveal character. Many of the scenes resonate still as though they were my own memories: Denethor and Finduilas' clandestine meeting in the fragrant gardens, Boromir's birth, and the unsurpassable description  of the attack on the Umbar Fleet. 


Many thanks for your long labor. It bore rich fruit, a feast I will return to again and again in the years to come.


With gratitude,

QR



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Hands of the King

olga - 07 Apr 08 - 5:21 AM

General Comment

Hi Anglachel,

I cannot believe such a surprise! You have updated Hands of the King. It's a great deed. Well, it takes time for me to read all of these new chapters. I've just started with 'Law' and now I think of re-reading old ones. I am so enjoying your magnificent story! I too happy to get this tale.Thank you so much!

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Hands of the King

melian - 08 Apr 08 - 1:15 AM

General Comment

thank you, thank you, thank you

for posting more chapters on this wonderful story

i am going to read them a.s.a.p. and wil comment on them, promise.

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Hands of the King

Astara - 08 Apr 08 - 6:37 AM

General Comment

Hi Ang,Wave

I'm glad you decided to post the remaining chapters of your magnum opus. Thanks for giving us such an extraordinary piece of fiction!

AstaraSmile

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Hands of the King

Julie - 08 Apr 08 - 8:57 AM

General Comment

Thanks for writing this story and thanks for posting the rest. I can't total up how many hours I've spent reading & rereading. I will never think of the three the same way again (Denethor, Finduilas, Thorongil) -- nor the City, Gondor or the Powers. Thanks again.

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Hands of the King

Agape4Gondor - 10 Apr 08 - 6:17 AM

General Comment

Ah, Anglachel - I read chapters 73-77 at one fell swoop, so delighted was I to see this updated... But chided myself for not writing any notes..... Too caught up in the joy of the tale!

Many thanks for updating!

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Hands of the King

Raksha The Demon - 17 Apr 08 - 12:23 PM

General Comment

To paraphrase a famous line of song  - what a long, strange trip this has been! 

You have written a rich, complex and very engrossing story.  I have rarely seen such a complicated tale done with the appropriate attention to detail and an excellent blend of politics, war, intrigue, magic, and romance.

I was especially delighted by the characterisations of young Boromir and Faramir, which for me rang very true.

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Hands of the King

mffantasia - 23 Apr 08 - 10:14 AM

General Comment

I just want to thank you for this story. I started to read it 2 weeks ago and couldn't stop. Every spare time that I had was for reading this wonderful story (and that means going to bed after midnight)

 As others have said before, we understand Denethor better now, and we see him as a human being. I did like that you show Gandalf not as perfect being and we can see his failures as well as Aragorn. Yes, Denethor was prideful, even cruel sometimes, but it was a time for battles and Gondor needed a ruler like him, he hold the Kingdom together for the new King to claim. People often compare Denethor and Aragorn and it is not fair. The King will rebuild the Kingdom; there are new promises and not an immortal enemy in your door. Denethor fought and kept the people alive during the cruel years of siege.I'm glad that he kew love, that was in love and was loved in return.I hope that you write again about these wonderful characters that you introduced to us in this novel. I liked your Boromir and Faramir as children. (My favorite character is Faramir (the books Faramir))Thanks again and believe me, it is a a very emotional tale, that have me in tears several times. My favorite scene is Denethor choosing love, when he decided to marry Finduilas. That was priceless.Fantasia 

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Hands of the King

melian - 15 May 08 - 5:41 AM

General Comment

finally i could read your last chapters, thank you again for them. this has been an amazing story, very well written, i just couldn't stop reading it (3x) i had to know what happend next.

the characters became so real, i shet tears over the death of Finduilas, you know its coming but still....

i hope this is not the end, there is so much to tell about the relation between Denethor and Faramir from your pov.

thank you again,

Melian

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Hands of the King

helga - 14 Oct 08 - 8:27 PM

General Comment

Hey, this is fantastic!!!  After a long hiatus I checked up on henneth-annun and discovered you have decided to publish your entire story after all.  I hope it's complete??  This is one of my all-time favorite story here, and I was disappointed when you announced you weren't going to post the final chapters.   I had really enjoyed this work that depicts so convincingly a concept of the culture and political and family intrigue. 

I had read about two thirds, then decided to go back and start from the beginning again because I wanted to recall more of those foreshadowing details that become so important as this unfolds, and also try to figure out who or what the marriner is. A deity, sure, but what else does this guy do besides weird out the happy couple?

Thank you for publishing the whole thing, this made my day!

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Hands of the King

fairjennet - 22 Dec 08 - 8:53 AM

General Comment

Thank you so much for writing this story. It does everything that good fanfiction ought to do. I'm in awe of your skill.

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Hands of the King

jetsam - 21 Jul 09 - 4:05 PM

General Comment

I have only just found the story and spent some three days reading it start to finish (thank goodness it is the holidays because I don't think stopping was really an option).

I can say without hesitation that this is one of the best LotR stories that I have found.  Finally, a Denethor that I believed could rule for so long, could stand in RotK with his sword at his side and face the task.  Even more, a Finduilas who is more than a figurehead.

Your Thorongil was rather fascinating.  I was intrigued by the idea of a less certain young man, and more intrigued still by the idea that he yet required much of an education.  Not always in agreement with Denethor but with mutual respect and cooperation.

I could pick things out for a very long time.  The OCs that worked.  Ecthelion's children, the politics, the everyday life of Minas Tirith.  I should particularly like to know more about Beregar and his children.  I don't know if you plan to write more in this continuity but I imagine there would not be a small audience.

Thank you for writing, thank you for researching, thank you for sharing.  You've given me a great deal to think about and it's very much appreciated.

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 23 Jul 09 - 7:57 AM

General Comment

Hi Jetsam,

I apologize for not replying sooner. I'm rarely on the site anymore and just saw the comment today.

(blush) Thank you for reading HotK. It devoured most of my life for several years, so it's gratifying to know other people get pulled into it, too.

The story was driven by the characters, major and minor. The secondary cast, usually brought on for convenience, had a disturbing tendency to take over. It took so long to write because the characters kept inventing things to do.

I don't have any future writing plans, but that may change. The Hobbits are clamoring away up in the Shire, scolding me for neglecting them. I'm intrigued by how Faramir and Boromir will grow up in the face of their father's debilitating grief. And an AU snippet wiggled its way free last Christmas as a present for a friend.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read HotK.

Anglachel

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Hands of the King

Eloquent - 26 Oct 10 - 7:45 AM

General Comment

I have been a very bad reader, indeed, because I haven't ever commented on this story, so enthralled I was by it!

It is every inch a master-piece; comes off like a dream especially Finduilas and Denethor's first meeting. This novel is like a dream come true for I despaired of ever finding good background stories about all of Tolkien's characters that peep in here and there in LOTR.

What I loved most about this tale is the characterizations...so interesting and yet realistically etched. I love the interactions between three very interesting people Denethor (who shall remain my favourite from this tale , simply because of his multi-layer and curious character), Finduilas and Thorongil. But the OCs are amazing too: Aiavalle, Beregar, Miaberiel, Laanga, etc.

I simply love how you have woven together Finduilas's dreams and the great task that she has been set with Denethor's dilemmas of relinquishing rule, a divided Gondor and the other curious workings of his mind. The chapter where she steals the fruit from the White Tree of Numenor is simply amazing.

And how they unravel the mystery of the mercenary Captain Thorongil bit by bit and subtly train him for the job while outwardly maintaining disdain: shows all the politics of rule.

Thanks a lot for this magnificient tale! If people have not commented, it is because they, like me, have only wanted to rush from one chapter to the next.

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Hands of the King

Eloquent - 26 Oct 10 - 7:47 AM

General Comment

I am also looking forward to more such extra-long stories from you!

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 29 Oct 10 - 4:51 PM

General Comment

Hi Eloquent,

Thank you for your wonderful comment! I have been busy all week and finally got a chance to look at my site email, and was rewarded with your lovely note.

So you like the OCs?  Grin  They were great fun to write, and kept heading off in unanticipated directions. Aiavale was always going to be a big part of the story, but Beregar and Brandir really wiggled their way in. Each was intended as a quick walk-on (especially Beregar) , but they had other plans.

I doubt I will ever write anything like this again. It took up so much of my life, and I'm not sure I can summon that much concentration again.

Again, thank you for taking the time to let me know how much you liked the story!

Anglachel

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Hands of the King

Eloquent - 31 Jul 12 - 11:00 AM

General Comment

Hi Anglachel,

I'm reading this story a second time and the ending left me crying even this time! The last chapter is heart rending on several levels. I love how you have changed my perspective on so many integral characters and made me dislike certain characters, if only in this story. And yet, at the end of the story, it feels like it could fit right into Tolkien's canon!

The philosophy is also very thought provoking and I like that at the end of her life, in the last few chapters, she manages to be one-up in her conversations with both Maiar. I can't but wonder at Gandalf's motivations in this story: Why offer the hope of Elrond if he knows he cannot make full on it? Just to humble Denethor? It seems as though Grace was given to Finduilas only till she could get the fruit from Numenor. Seems cruel.

I also wonder at what Finduilas's role in all this was. In the beginning, she thinks it is to support Denethor in his rule, then she think she is to be Seen, and then at the end, she thinks she was never supposed to be Seen? I am confused.

At the end, did she die because of the scar/wound in her lung or because of the hole in her heart?

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 11 Aug 12 - 11:43 AM

General Comment

Hi Eloquent,

Thank you for your recent comments. I'm sorry not to have replied sooner, but life has been a bit overwhelming of late. I'll try to craft a more suitable reply soon.

Anglachel

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Hands of the King

thorongirl - 15 Aug 12 - 5:52 PM

General Comment

Found this story thru a comment posted on the main page. A page turner for sure. Since this past Saturday I've read thru chapter 17. Fascinating story. Denethor does come off as rather cold but he is definitely interesting and not unlikeable. You have a far better grasp of political detail than I could ever hope to and it's fascinating to *see* the subtleties of the relationship between Thorongil and Dentethor.   I love the maturity of your writing -- the characterizations, the detail are astounding. Findulias seems not to know her own mind but she it will reveal itself soon enough I suppose. I don't really understand her thinking at times -- it's the patrician attitude, I suppose. As a reader, I appreciate the love and effort you have poured into this story.  I hope to comment again somewhere down the line.

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thorongirl - 31 Aug 12 - 4:28 PM

General Comment

I don't know if you will ever read this comment but will leave it anyway. Have read thru chapter 65 now. While reading last night, I was thinking of what incredible detail you are putting into every chapter. You have made Gondor so realistic that I would almost swear that there is such a place.

Many times I have found myself chafed/puzzled at what I perceive to be  Finduilas and Denethor's love/hate relationship with Thorongil. I also find myself thinking of how this story reminds me somewhat of Moses' early attempt to lead the Israelites. He simply wasn't ready and it wasn't the right time. It was many years before he could rightfully fit that role. Did you think of that at all while you were writing?

The Fire made me think of atomic weapons and I wonder if that was your intent or if I'm just reading into it.

I did appreciate that Finduilas' attitude towards Thorongil softened somewhat as time went by but her demeanor is certainly mercurial. These Royals are a tetchy lot!

I'll be the first to admit that Denethor stories aren't readily appealing (to me) but I find this one absolutely fascinating. There have been a few times when I would wish for a bit more description when the various characters are described (looks-wise) so it would be a bit easier to know who is who.  I love Brandir by the way. A most interesting man.

It would take pages and pages to give you a proper review and I don't have the time to do that but I do want to stop by now and again to comment on a few things I've observed.

This is definitely a must read!

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 03 Sep 12 - 9:36 AM

General Comment

thorongirl,

Yes, I have read your comments - thank you for taking the time to post them! You ask some great questions. I apologize for not replying. Real Life is giving me a hard time right now and I have little energy left for HASA. I will try to write some things up in the forums when life is more balanced.

Again, thank you so much for your comments. I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

Anglachel

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Hands of the King

Angmar and Elfhild - 07 Aug 07 - 10:42 PM

Ch. 2: Water

Anglachel,

I just began reading this story today, and I am quite impressed by the beginning. The bios that you included for the characters are a very good idea and quite helpful. Denethor has always been one of my favorite characters. I will be following your story.

Angmar

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Hands of the King

Nath - 11 Apr 08 - 9:25 AM

Ch. 4: Faithful

I was only going to read the one chapter just now; I had forgotten how much this will pull the reader in :)

There's so much richness of detail and characterisation right from the beginning that re-reading is as fresh as my first read. A definite joy. 

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Hands of the King

Raihon - 14 Feb 06 - 12:01 PM

Ch. 10: Proof

The description of the battle tactics is interesting in light of something I really appreciate about the way you have constructed this story. It's something I guess Tolkein did, too, but you are making very intriguing use of it, and that is doubling or redundancy.

Tolkein appears to have built redundancy into the system, so that if one of our protagonists gets killed (or otherwise departs Arda), there is another to take his (or her) place. So Boromir is the back-up for Aragorn, Faramir for Boromir (and by the transitive property, Faramir for Aragorn later), Eowyn for Arwen, Sam for Frodo, etc.

In your story, this seems to be a deliberate device (the presumed doubling of Findulias and Arwen, and an explicitly stated desire of Denethor for redundancy in the next chapter), though since I'm only this far in, I don't know to what end. Perhaps to the same end as Tolkein's, which I suspect is that fate will unfold as it should as long as a company (not just an individual) is true.

However, the striking thing about the strategy in the battles referred to in this chapter is the utter lack of redundancy. If any one thing had gone wrong, there was no backup. Just a striking contrast I thought I'd comment on, I don't know if it means anything.

Also, tip-o-the-hat for your managing suspence and the pacing of revealations - it's just right. I don't know too much more or too much less than the characters.

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Hands of the King

Anglachel - 16 Feb 06 - 7:15 PM

Ch. 10: Proof

Hi Raihon!

Yes, the doubling is deliberate. Tolkien was very fond of pairings, so I took the idea and ran with it. He didn't just pair people - there are the divisions of Gondor (Anorien, Ithlien) pairings of towers (Minas Anor/Tirith and Minas Ithil/Morgul), and so forth.

To deal with a fate-driven universe where you don't want predestination (people can fail or fall away by their own hook, not just be condemned), there has to be something to preserve the intended outcome, hence a need for mirrored protagonists. When one stumbles, the other is there to either pick him up or else to keep going if the first has failed completely. Throughout HotK, this happens, though Denethor resists Thorongil's assistance over and over. Thorongil resists allowing Denethor to help him in more subtle ways, and is less antagonistic. I think it is an open question whether a closer partnership would have been for the best - even their division serves a fateful purpose.

The battles of the summer do put them both in danger, and yes, it is significant. It becomes a point of contention between them - who will protect whom. They recognize what a disaster it would be for both of them to be killed, yet neither will cede.

Glad you're enjoying the story!

Ang

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Hands of the King

Kateydidnt - 20 Jan 06 - 12:06 AM

Ch. 16: Claims

I was just re-reading in chapter 16 where Denethor talks about a book copied out by the hand of Elrond. Given Finduilas' recent spree of giving books I can't get the thought out of my head that Thorongil might return the favor and give her a book from his home library-copied out (or written) by Elrond. 

I wonder, Finduilas and Denethor know as much as is possible for them to know at this point about Thorongil's true identity, would either's opinion change if Elrond were revealed as a supporter of Aragorn's claim to the throne?

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roh_wyn - 20 Jan 06 - 7:45 AM

Ch. 16: Claims

would either's opinion change if Elrond were revealed as a supporter of Aragorn's claim to the throne?

Ang will have more to say on this, obviously...but given Denethor's general suspicion of outsiders, I imagine he would react badly. Elvish meddling is just as bad as wizardish melding....

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Anglachel - 20 Jan 06 - 3:11 PM

Ch. 16: Claims

Hi Kate & Roh - thanks for the comments!

Thorongil probably wouldn't give her a book as he doesn't know that she knows about Elrond, he doesn't know about the book she and Denethor looked at, and he's not coming back to Gondor while she's alive once he leaves after Umbar. However, I can assure you that he does give her a few things, most importantly his trust. Though you've given me an idea for a future plot point...

There's a bit more to know about Thorongil's true identity, though it is mostly filling in the edges. He is the heir of Isildur, as shown by the Ring of Barahir, and that's all they really need. It does matter how he is the heir, whether by male or female line descent, as the Steward's line (in this story) does have a distaff relationship to the line of Anarion. This raises questions about who has the greater claim. My guess is that someone with direct descent from both Isildur and Anarion would out-rank someone with descent only from Anarion, even if they are distaff relationships.

Denethor would be more respectful of Elrond than of Gandalf, if only because he is a blood relative, but I don't think he'd care much for any outsider poking a nose into the affairs of Gondor.

If writing goes well, I should have a new chapter out this weekend that presents more information about Thorongil, and what Denethor can puzzle out from it.

Toodles - Ang

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Kateydidnt - 23 Jan 06 - 11:09 PM

Ch. 16: Claims

This raises questions about who has the greater claim. My guess is that someone with direct descent from both Isildur and Anarion would out-rank someone with descent only from Anarion, even if they are distaff relationships.

It also depends on which side of the fence you are on as to Isildur being High-King of Gondor and Arnor. If Isildur was High-King as his father was then it is his decision on the governing of both kingdoms, is it not?  So his lineage-the lineage of the High-King (distaff or no) would out-rank Anarion's descendants. (Of course this is my opinion without very much background knowledge...)

ERm, sorry...somewhat off topic

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Agape4Gondor - 02 Jan 06 - 7:29 PM

Ch. 35: State

I ADORE the line - 'you overstep' from Ecthelion - the whole exchange was incredibly taut and wonderful - very glad D did not back down...

The part with the embalmers was incredible.  I wrote 'excellent' next to it as I read about 'exposing more of the prince...' incredible.... the kindness and esteem of the embalmers was great!

Agape4Gondor

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Raihon - 17 Apr 06 - 8:37 AM

Ch. 37: Mated

How much of your discourse on joining/bonding is your own extrapolation and what is text-based? I ask because I am elaborating my own concept of how this might work in Men in a story right now and want to give you credit if I am drawing on your ideas. Thanks!

-Raihon 

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Anglachel - 17 Apr 06 - 7:34 PM

Ch. 37: Mated

Raihon,

I've posted a new thread in the HotK forum here on your question about how I developed my concept of marriage bonding in the story since my answer was too long for a comment.

Anyone who wishes to jump in, please do!

Ang

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oshun - 27 Nov 05 - 3:11 PM

Ch. 38: Found

So glad to read your new chapter.

I am pondering Denethor's line, 'On me. I don't see you, though I know you are there. You see me. I know not how.' And her response, 'I see you much better when you're near.' I presume this is in relation to his questions about 'bonding' or the lack thereof on her part. I didn't know where you are going with this, or maybe I am not supposed to know yet.

Again, nice work, as always.

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oshun - 09 Dec 05 - 6:03 PM

Ch. 39: Change

You are weaving a delightfully tangled web here. Only after I had stumbled onto and read your new chapter posting twice thinking: "I am going to need all this," did I get the e-mail notification containing your description: "Much ground laying for later plot excitement." Enjoyed the further interpretation of  bonding among the Dúnedain.

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Kateydidnt - 10 Dec 05 - 2:09 PM

Ch. 39: Change

Really good chapter. Although I wonder, Thorongil is without a doubt Faithful, yet can he see the Change in Finduilas and Denethor? I think though he would be somewhat upset to know that Finduilas lied to him saying there was no love between she and Denethor, but just a marriage of convenience and stature.

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Anglachel - 10 Dec 05 - 8:58 PM

Ch. 39: Change

No, Thorongil cannot See them - not yet. Only those who are married and have made themselves open to love in a certain way may do so. But he sees something. What that is, well, you'll have to wait for the next chapter to find out. He certainly hopes that love will grow between Finduilas and Denethor.

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Lyllyn - 16 Dec 05 - 12:26 AM

Ch. 39: Change

Yes - a tangled web, indeed. I'm eager to see Thorongil's Sight develop, and to learn Maiaberiel's plots.

The idea of Denethor Seeing so well, and being so affected by the likes of Maiaberiel opened up interesting possibilities, especially looking forward to the Ring War. Or would his struggle with the palantir dull his Sight?  All sorts of ideas churning in my brain!

I did spot one tiny typo: In a [an] inner room with no windows, Morwen sat...

Lyllyn 

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Anglachel - 17 Dec 05 - 8:36 AM

Ch. 39: Change

Hi Lyllyn,

I'll correct that typo on the next update round, which should be before Christmas.

Thorongil's Sight is different, and will take odd forms during the course of the story. I think him closer to Finduilas, with the way she perceives Denethor from afar, than to Denethor.

No, the palantir will not dull the Sight; if anything, they are reinforcing. Those of true heart can see things others would prefer remain hidden. Denethor will find many fascinating uses for the Seeing Stone.

Toodles - Ang

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Agape4Gondor - 03 Jan 06 - 8:31 PM

Ch. 39: Change

All I can say is 'WOW' on the part with Beruthiel and Denethor... made my skin crawl...  I loved his reaction!  And that Finduilas knew!  I like this lady!

The last part before Denethor travels to Pelargir was so sad.  I so hope there is going to be some sign for him.... please?

Agape4Gondor

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Kateydidnt - 23 Dec 05 - 2:48 AM

Ch. 40: Wounds

So why is Thorongil able to see the truth of Denethor's  love but not of Beruthiel's deceit? Wonderful chapter!

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Junipere - 25 Dec 05 - 5:00 AM

Ch. 40: Wounds

Ahhh, nice surprise for Christmas. :) Always a little dark... Nice amounts of Thorongil, though. Poor Ivriniel, such a silly goose of a girl. I am interested to see what type of man you paint Imrahil as in the future as he matures...

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Anglachel - 25 Dec 05 - 3:37 PM

Ch. 40: Wounds

Katydidn't - Thorongil is not the most observant person of human behavior at this point in his life, particularly political falseness. Brandir is his friend and he does not wish to think poorly of the Steward's family. It matters that he is practicing a type of falseness himself, but he is learning.

Lady of Tremaine - There will continue to be generous amounts of Thorongil in the next few chapters. Ivriniel is shallow, but harmless. Good thing she's marrying a sensible fellow. As for Imrahil, he will be a man much like his grandfather.

[whine] No one ever comments on the poetry... [/whine]

Toodles - Ang

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Lyllyn - 27 Feb 06 - 10:12 PM

Ch. 40: Wounds

Catching up on my reading, and glad of it! I'm curious what you plan for Wren, and always delighted to see more Thorongil. And a nice scene with Mithrandir.

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Agape4Gondor - 09 Jan 06 - 6:16 PM

Ch. 41: Interregnum

This was an incredible chapter and elicited much emotion from me.  Again, I was held spellbound and entranced by the whole thing.  Intrigue, suspense and horror built layer upon layer.  Incredible job.  Thank you!  I do NOT know how I will sleep tonight.  But sleep I must - it's late again, drat you and this tale... keeping me from my rest!

Agape

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Lyllyn - 27 Feb 06 - 10:40 PM

Ch. 41: Interregnum

Blast it, I want details of what transpired between Denethor and Ecthelion! Cruel woman!

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Agape4Gondor - 21 Jan 06 - 4:59 PM

Ch. 42: Misrule

Ok - I'm reeling from everything that happened in this chapter.  Incredibly wonderful moments all through it - wish I could comment on everything but here are my two favorite lines!

I am a Queen's Man, now.   No, you hoped I would be dead.

Agape

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Kateydidnt - 22 Jan 06 - 1:50 AM

Ch. 42: Misrule

Does Denethor know Thorongil's age?

Great chapter! Horrible place to stop!

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Anglachel - 22 Jan 06 - 9:39 AM

Ch. 42: Misrule

Hi Kate & Agape,

No apologies from me on the stopping point! :P

Yes, Denethor knows Thorongil's age. Finduilas found out Thorongil's birthday in Ch. 16, Claims (about 2/3 through), and she has told several people, including Adrahil and Denethor, to correct the misconception that Thorongil is significantly younger than Denethor. Since Denethor knows how old Thorongil is and knows when he began serving Thengel, he knows Thorongil has been in Rohan or Gondor since he was 26.

While Denethor is ignorant of the childhood spent in Imladris, he still can see that Thorongil has spent almost half his life away from the North.

Toodles - Ang

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Agape4Gondor - 04 Feb 06 - 3:40 PM

Ch. 43: North

Bravo!  An excellent chapter!  I am mesmerized by the machinations that you have devised.  Thorongil and Denethor's conversations are incredible.

My heart wept.  You know the part I speak of.  The tool Denethor is using...  Finduilas' strength and courage... all beautifully written.

I am at a loss.  I sit here - dazed.

Thank you for continuing this,

Agape

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Raihon - 24 Feb 06 - 7:09 AM

Ch. 43: North

This was a particularly gratifying chapter for two reasons.

First, I finally understand that Ecthelion's fatalism is a result of religious beliefs. That revealation was very helpful in looking back and understanding his actions, both the inexplicable (wanting to destroy the bridge) and despicable ("I am obviously graced so my depravity must be, too").

Second, I was getting impatient in the first half with Thorongil being such a...well, dork. I assume that this is part of his character development, but it felt like he was a little too fumbling before, considering his life experiences up to that point. Now I'm happy to see that he is learning to play politics as an actor rather than as a pawn. 

Finally, a grammatical issue: "You are wrong about the Orc. They have already chosen..." - the "they" refers to the Powers, not the Orc, right? Maybe change to "The Powers have already chosen"? 

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Lyllyn - 27 Feb 06 - 11:39 PM

Ch. 43: North

Delightful, twisty and intriguing. It's sad that I've caught up on my reading, because now I have to wait for the next chapter.

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Larner - 06 Apr 08 - 11:30 PM

Ch. 43: North

Am rereading once again and looking forward to catching up once more.  Too long I've left off on this tale.

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Kateydidnt - 23 Mar 06 - 11:54 PM

Ch. 44: Touched

She was amazed that her cough had not returned, not even the usual morning cough that had been a part of her life as long as she could remember.

Side effect of the athelas? Earlier I had been wondering if Aragorn could possibly do anything for her ailment, even for a short time.

Great chapter.

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Anglachel - 24 Mar 06 - 12:59 PM

Ch. 44: Touched

Hi Katie,

Side effect of the athelas? Earlier I had been wondering if Aragorn could possibly do anything for her ailment, even for a short time.

Athelas, but more Thorongil. The hands of the king are at work. His powers are not complete or completely reliable, as will come out in later chapters, but they are there. It begins to answer Finduilas's otherwise rhetorical question "What care I for the hands of a king?' when she and Denethor argue before their betrothal.

Glad you like the story!

Ang

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Lyllyn - 17 Apr 06 - 8:42 PM

Ch. 44: Touched

Very nice! I'd still like to understand the mariner better, but I'll hope that comes in a future chapter.

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Anglachel - 23 Apr 06 - 9:23 PM

Ch. 44: Touched

Hi Lyllyn,

I'd still like to understand the mariner better, but I'll hope that comes in a future chapter.

I don't explain the mariner in much greater detail as his role is murky, even to me. Finduilas & Denethor will speculate about what he's up to. A few things will occur close to the Umbar invasion that hint at larger designs, and he has threatened to make a final appearance.

Glad you're enjoying the story!

Ang

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Junipere - 19 Apr 06 - 1:10 AM

Ch. 45: Station

Where was I when you updated? Lovely chapter! There is never enough Thorongil. I like the wandering old man and loved the line borrowed from the Sil and tought it fit wonderfully. As tragically beautiful as ever. I shall be waiting more updates!

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Agape4Gondor - 22 Apr 06 - 2:08 PM

Ch. 45: Station

Hello, Ang,

I absolutely love this tale - but the last two chapters 44 and 45 - I think are my favorites - until you knock my socks off with another even better - which seems to be what you are striving to do!

Keep it up - can't wait for more!

Agape

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Anglachel - 23 Apr 06 - 9:28 PM

Ch. 45: Station

Lady of Tremaine,

I'm not sure where you were when I posted the chapter, but it will wait for you. :-)

If you think there is never enough Thorongil, then you're going to enjoy the next few chapters, where he has many scenes with Denethor.

The line from the Sil is what the mariner said to Denethor in the chapter Belegaer, and hints at what will either save Denethor from his fate, or guarantee that it follows its full, horrible course. He can't say he wasn't warned.

Toodles - Ang

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Anglachel - 23 Apr 06 - 9:31 PM

Ch. 45: Station

Hi Agape,

I absolutely love this tale - but the last two chapters 44 and 45 - I think are my favorites - until you knock my socks off with another even better - which seems to be what you are striving to do!

Well, that is the plan. ;-) I think you are going to like the next two a great deal, as well. Many scenes of Denethor being happy.

Toodles - ang

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Agape4Gondor - 06 May 06 - 7:57 PM

Ch. 46: South

Incredible chapter. Your characters ring true!  I love Brandir, Adrahil, Imrahil and, of course, Denethor and Finduilas. Thorongil's interactions are brilliant.

Excellent chapter.  Gave me chills too many times to note!

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Larner - 07 May 06 - 3:25 PM

Ch. 46: South

It is nice that we can offer comments more easily now.  First started reading this back when it was a mere twenty chapters, and have sought to keep up as it is updated.

So, Thorongil feels he is now found, does he?  Interesting.  Am glad the two of them are still in accord.  It will be interesting to see what brings the discord that eventually comes between them, though.  And am glad Denethor and his wife See one another now.

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Anglachel - 07 May 06 - 3:43 PM

Ch. 46: South

It is nice that we can offer comments more easily now.

I'm glad you like this feature! I am expanding it in ways I think authors will like. Look for something in July.

First started reading this back when it was a mere twenty chapters, and have sought to keep up as it is updated.

I just wrote the draft of chapter 65, so it will go on for a while more. I update every three weeks on average.

So, Thorongil feels he is now found, does he? Interesting. Am glad the two of them are still in accord. It will be interesting to see what brings the discord that eventually comes between them, though.

It was difficult to write because I wanted them to remain in accord, but it's not an AU, so there has to be a falling out. It hinges on Denethor misunderstanding something in a very big way.

And am glad Denethor and his wife See one another now.

It took them long enough!

Thank you for your comments - I really appreciate the time you have given the story. And, as I said, keep an eye peeled for expanded commenting capabilities.

Toodles - Ang

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Larner - 08 Apr 08 - 3:12 AM

Ch. 47: Enough

Glad this chapter was restored--it's one I hadn't read before--I see I clearly left off at chapter forty-six in the past.

It HAS been a time since I read this tale, and I'm glad to return to it at last.

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Lyllyn - 26 Jul 06 - 12:00 AM

Ch. 48: Sleight

Ooh! Beautiful twisty chapter, fascinating dynamics. I can't wait to see how you go on from here.

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Anglachel - 20 Aug 06 - 3:18 PM

Ch. 49: Contest

New chapter posted - 49: Contest. Finduilas POV, with major scenes with Denethor, Thorongil, Maiaberiel and Master Laanga. Warning for explicit erotic scene, not work safe.

Anglachel

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Agape4Gondor - 20 Aug 06 - 7:06 PM

Ch. 49: Contest

I wept too, Ang. Another stunning chapter. So full, so bittersweet.

Thank you!

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Anglachel - 20 Aug 06 - 11:02 PM

Ch. 49: Contest

I wept too, Ang. Another stunning chapter. So full, so bittersweet.

Thank you, Agape! I won't make you wait so long for the next chapter. :-) Watch for the development of a story within a story.

Toodles - Ang

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Lyllyn - 24 Aug 06 - 9:39 PM

Ch. 49: Contest

    A lovely chapter. I am glad about Wren, and I really love Laanga. I hope to see more of him.

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Anglachel - 26 Aug 06 - 9:02 PM

Ch. 49: Contest

Hi Lyllyn,

Yes, I'm happy for Wren, too, though it will take a while for her to get things worked out. Denethor is actually going to have to deal with that in ways he would prefer to avoid. Laanga will return, never fear.

Toodles - Ang

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sulisminervae - 03 Sep 06 - 7:36 AM

Ch. 49: Contest

I am obtuse.  I have read this chapter about five times, but only this time did I realise that he hadn't told her about the poisoned tea.  It was the line about Maiberiel's poisons that threw me.  I obviously didn't read it properly.  No wonder I was confused as to why she continues to blame herself for the miscarriage.  So now I wonder...will he ever tell her the truth?

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Anglachel - 03 Sep 06 - 7:43 AM

Ch. 49: Contest

Sulisminervae,

You're right, Denethor has not yet directly told Finduilas about the poisoned tea, so Finduilas continues to believe that there is no malicious cause. As to how long she remains in ignorance and when (or whether) she finds out, you'll have to keep reading.

Ang

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Larner - 09 Apr 08 - 2:00 AM

Ch. 49: Contest

Oh, I so understand and empathise with the tension she feels!  Glad she has found a haven, and is secure in Denethor's love.

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 12 Sep 06 - 9:02 PM

Ch. 50: Campaign

Wonderful chapter Anglachel. Truly, your Finduilas is impeccable. It must have been a relief for Finduilas to finally come out and tell Maiaberiel to beware. What was going on with Thorongil and Denethor the night of Thorongil's party? By the way, your use of restraint after the celebration was well done. I look forward to the next chapter very much. Thanks for brightening my day with the intelligence of Finduilas.

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Anglachel - 14 Sep 06 - 6:53 PM

Ch. 50: Campaign

Hi Iel,

Glad you liked the chapter. Yes, Finduilas has been itching to take a chunk out of Maiaberiel for a while.

What was the matter with the guys? They really want the roads rebuilt, and they are being told no. It is a rebuke of them both, especially by Borondir who is basically refusing to believe Thorongil's word about the garrisons even when Denethor vouches for him.

Also, they both know that this means Denethor will have to leave the City, which means leaving Finduilas alone. She's not in on the secret about Malantur, and they don't want to tell her. So, they are both sitting there, feeling glum, worrying about roads, wars and killer King's Men. Good thing they had a party to go to. ;-)

Anglachel

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Anna Wing - 23 Sep 06 - 4:22 AM

Ch. 50: Campaign

Yay! A Numenorean microscope! I love it! It's nice to have a reminder that mortal civilisations in Middle-earth aren't just pastiches of medieval Europe, but are cultures trying to recover from multiple catastrophic events.

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Anglachel - 23 Sep 06 - 9:16 AM

Ch. 50: Campaign

Hi Anna,

Isn't the microscope cool? Since they obviously had technology for things like telescopes and understood optics fairly well, why wouldn't the Numenoreans have microscopes? They are an Age of Enlightenment invention, after all, and I've always pegged Numenor as being early AoE in terms of technology.

I have another artifact coming up in a later chapter that also is pretty cool (no more or it will be a spoiler!) and in the last few days, I've been writing about Denethor closely examining a bridge that has stood since before the founding of Gondor.

Anglachel

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Larner - 09 Apr 08 - 9:54 AM

Ch. 50: Campaign

Aha!  Almost as devious as any elf!  Love the plans to unmake Maiaberiel, and the growing love for those whose honor is unquestioned.  Laanga is such a dear one.

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Iel_o_Thorongil - 07 Oct 06 - 12:12 AM

Ch. 51: Conquest

wow. I really hope things go well for Finduilas with this child. I truly do. Thanks for the update--it made my night.

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Anglachel - 07 Oct 06 - 8:08 AM

Ch. 51: Conquest

Hi Iel,

I'm not giving anything away to say that the pregnancy goes well and Finduilas has a normal and safe delivery. The POV shifts to Denethor from now until just after the baby's birth, so we get to deal with his problemsWink.

I'm glad you liked the chapter. Given all the grief and frustration Denethor and Finduilas have had to deal with up until now, there is going to be a lot of happiness for a while.

Thnaks for reading!

Anglachel

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Junipere - 08 Oct 06 - 1:39 AM

Ch. 51: Conquest

I just got back from a trip to Israel... well, a little while ago, but I have been catching up on life around here. Lucky me-- I got to read four chapters in one sitting! What a treat! I should go away more often. :) I'm still reading and still loving the story, so don't get discouraged! Love, love, love it. You should write professionally... I'd buy your book! Do I get a signed copy?

I like the emotions and such descriptive scenes that don't seem like you are describing them. I'm thinking the baby thing won't work out, seeing that it'll be another four years before Boromir... and I think there is more to Thorongil's drinking than happiness. Where is my river bathing scene? I've been patiently waiting... and yet, here I sit, without any good Thorongil material to drool over. :P I also like how Mr. Poison's scenes were handled, very realistic and... just good all around. Also, Fin getting to preen at the evil cat lady... good stuff. More updates!

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Anglachel - 08 Oct 06 - 5:48 PM

Ch. 51: Conquest

Hi LofT!

Glad I could provide you such a nice welcome home present. :) You are entirely too kind in your praise. Kiss I'm not thinking of writing professionally - I'm happy being a geek with a fanfic fetish. When I am 100% done with HotK, I am considering creating a single PDF version of it. That, alas, will be a while.

Boromir is born in 2978 - maybe you are thinking of Faramir, who is born in 2983? Well, yes, there is a little more to Thorongil's drinking, but that's the biggest reason. He loves them both and is truly, honestly happy that they are having a baby. He's not one to hold a grudge.

I don't have a river bathing scene to offer, though there will be other adventures. Beware of Maiaberiel. She has was of getting even. I'm writing as fast as I can! Grin

Anglachel

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Larner - 13 Apr 08 - 1:49 AM

Ch. 51: Conquest

Wise precautions taken, and glad to see Maiarberiel bested at her own game!

Perhaps the first child was a female, but this should be Boromir.  And love seeing our Thorongil being starkly honest about his condition!  Heh!

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Darklis - 16 Oct 06 - 2:31 PM

Ch. 52: Hope

Another great chapter! I admire the dynamics between Denethor and Thorongil  - you really make me curious about the reason or incident that will cause their final "disagreement".

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Anglachel - 16 Oct 06 - 5:49 PM

Ch. 52: Hope

Hi Darklis,

Glad you liked the chapter. Denethor and Thorongil's interactions will only become more complex. As to their final falling out, you'll have to wait and see, but I assure you that it will be quite different than the usual account.

Thanks for the comment!

Anglachel

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Larner - 13 Apr 08 - 2:37 AM

Ch. 52: Hope

"When will death find you?"

"When it is time."

And Gandalf knows it will find him one day.

And in the end Denethor feels not the cat but a child in his arms.  Boromir, Faramir, or one belonging to another?  Interesting thoughts here.

I'm so glad Wren has at last found one among Men she can trust and love.

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Rugi - 06 Nov 06 - 4:35 PM

Ch. 53: Smoke

I am so glad I found this story.  You do such a good job of portraying a younger Denethor - the seeds of the man he will become are there and I enjoy how you handle the character.  I also like your interesting take on his relationship with Finduilas - they are unusual people living an unusual life and you show that well.  I also love how the many secondary characters enrich the plot (which is so complicated and interesting that I am really impressed by that alone).  I look forward to more.

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Anglachel - 10 Nov 06 - 7:16 PM

Ch. 53: Smoke

Hi Rugi,

I'm sorry I didn't answer sooner. It's been a busy week.

I am so glad I found this story. You do such a good job of portraying a younger Denethor - the seeds of the man he will become are there and I enjoy how you handle the character.

:) It has been both a joy and a challenge to "find" Denethor and let him speak with a true voice. It is easy to caricature him - either as a malicious villain or as clueless oaf - so the question was how to allow him his very real and sometimes disturbing flaws along with powerful blind spots, yet have him remain a rounded character.

I also like your interesting take on his relationship with Finduilas - they are unusual people living an unusual life and you show that well.

I *loathe* the typical fandom story which has Finduilas as some kind of abused or neglected woman who leads a fundamentally unhappy life. It is so stereotyped. It also doesn't really provide a reason for Denethor to love her. A doormat is not interesting to be around. Her world may be circumscribed compared to Denethor's, but here is a person who is a force to be reckoned with. She's a cross between Caterina Sforza and Isabel Archer, and a woman capable of capturing and holding Denethor's desire.

I also love how the many secondary characters enrich the plot (which is so complicated and interesting that I am really impressed by that alone).

Well, um, yeah, and there will be more of them. ;-) The side plots are more than half the fun. It does get somewhat Dickensian.

I look forward to more.

If my writing continues, I should have another chapter next weekend. Thanks for the comments!

Ang

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Agape4Gondor - 11 Nov 06 - 11:29 AM

Ch. 53: Smoke

Ooh! What blind spots do you see? 

And I agree... this is an intense, thought-provoking ride you are taking your readers on!

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Larner - 13 Apr 08 - 8:36 AM

Ch. 53: Smoke

So this indeed begins and ends with smoke--the fairly benign smoke of Shire pipeweed (and I love that it was indeed Shire pipeweed that was offered the Steward-to-be) first smoked by Gandalf then by Thorongil and at last himself; continuing with the dark smoke staining the ruins of Osgiliath, and ending with the black smoke of blasphemy from Umbar.  Yes, the ships there need to be burnt--a counter-sacrifice, perhaps.

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Rugi - 29 Nov 06 - 5:21 PM

Ch. 54: Union

I have to first mention that one of the little things I loved was the general assumption that Boromir would be a girl - it was nice, as a reader, to know more than the characters about something that would be harmlessly funny (or even happy) instead of the more melencholy stuff about the future of Finduilas and Denethor.

 I'm glad that Denethor and Wren have made peace of a sort (and the Finduilas made sure that Wren was taken care of in a way that she would accept).  And I was meanly glad when Denethor went to see Ectheleon to comply with Wren's request.

 Great stuff with Denethor and Aragorn too.  I'm not even sure how to comment on it except to say that it was almost amusing to see the two intelligent men alternately frustrating and helping each other.

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Anglachel - 30 Nov 06 - 11:06 PM

Ch. 54: Union

Hi Rugi,

I'm glad you like the chapter!

I have to first mention that one of the little things I loved was the general assumption that Boromir would be a girl

Snerk! I thought it was a bit of mild comic relief. It came out of studying genealogical charts and noting how often there are elder, often unnamed, sisters. It also made it easier for Denethor to bear the idea of a child when he is so ambivalent. When he has to confront the fact that he has a boy, he tries to distance himself from his son, but quickly succumbs to Boromir's considerable charms.

I'm glad that Denethor and Wren have made peace of a sort ... And I was meanly glad when Denethor went to see Ectheleon to comply with Wren's request.

The emotional situation of the Steward's house will get a lot messier before it gets better. Actually, I'm not sure it does get better for certain people.

Great stuff with Denethor and Aragorn too. I'm not even sure how to comment on it except to say that it was almost amusing to see the two intelligent men alternately frustrating and helping each other.

I just want to slap them both sometimes. They come so close to an alliance, but can't bridge that last gap in their trust.

Thanks for the comments!

Ang

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Gwynnyd - 01 Dec 06 - 10:08 AM

Ch. 54: Union

I just want to slap them both sometimes. They come so close to an alliance, but can't bridge that last gap in their trust.

Um, Ang?  I hate to bring this to your attention, but you are the author.  It's kinda up to you if they trust each other or not.  Laugh out loud

Gwynnyd 

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Agape4Gondor - 01 Dec 06 - 12:09 PM

Ch. 54: Union

Oh Gwynnyd - I don't know how as an author that you can say that .... you know that darned Muse will do things that you really don't want to do...My lips are sealed

As Rugi said, I too have wanted to shake a certain Northern and Gondorian!!!Wink

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Larner - 13 Apr 08 - 9:34 AM

Ch. 54: Union

Ah, the joy that the child is here along with the surprise that it is male rather than the expected daughter.  And all others rejoice as well at the news of this safe birth!  May it be as well with Aeluin!

And he cannot find Laanga's door when he's not wanted there?  Interesting.  Another Maia in disguise?  He doesn't appear to be Radagast or one of the blue ones, so which is he?  But he knows his business--that is good.  A blessed one sent from Far Harad, apparently....

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Vilwarin - 23 Dec 06 - 6:35 AM

Ch. 55: Compromised

Great new chapter, Ang. I especially loved the scene with Halmir and Boromir. The poor lost surely misses his own children a lot.

An interesting move on Finduilas's part. But I can understand why Denethor is less than pleased to hear about it.

~Vilwarin

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Anglachel - 25 Dec 06 - 6:00 PM

Ch. 55: Compromised

Hi Vilvarin,

Sorry to take so long to reply. Yes, the scene with Halmir is a special one. Keep an eye on him and Boromir.

Finduilas plays a dangerous game, but one that will open up unexpected opportunities. None of it will make Denethor terribly happy.

I'm glad you are enjoying the story. I am currently writing about Faramir's birth, interestingly enough. His arrival has a much different effect than his brother's.

Thanks for the comment!

Ang

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Raihon - 27 Dec 06 - 9:51 AM

Ch. 55: Compromised

Hi, Ang. This chapter played on my emotions in some really interesting ways. I usually like the Denethor chapters better, but I was wholly feelin' it with Finduilas this time.

Maybe I get sentimental around the holidays, or perhaps there really were some powerful themes here. I got weepy a few times, and I'm not much of a softie.

Finduilas' reaction (alienation, anxiety, distaste) to the newborn Boromir struck a very realistic note, and made the contrast with her positive reaction to Denethor's touch all the sharper. The slackening of her emotional tension at his hands and the resonance with the story's title really got to me.

Thorongil's greeting Boromir really got to me, too; as I read it, I saw Boromir's life flash before my eyes and felt almost the same kind of apprehension Finduilas was feeling, so that was also an interesting effect.

Finally, Finduilas' response to Denethor's rage made me say "woo-hoo!" and want to be like her when I grow up. She is a prince, indeed.

Congratulations on another chapter of phenomenal characterization and multi-layered plotty goodness.

-Raihon

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Anglachel - 31 Dec 06 - 9:14 PM

Ch. 55: Compromised

Hi Raihon!

Sorry to, um, OK, I think that my *standard* comment opening now is going to be shorthanded to STTSLTR. It seems to be a permanent condition for me now. But all for a good cause! Smile

This chapter played on my emotions in some really interesting ways. I usually like the Denethor chapters better, but I was wholly feelin' it with Finduilas this time.

It is a very strong one for her, as will be the next few. Finduilas is finally confronting something she does not do well.

Finduilas' reaction (alienation, anxiety, distaste) to the newborn Boromir struck a very realistic note, and made the contrast with her positive reaction to Denethor's touch all the sharper. The slackening of her emotional tension at his hands and the resonance with the story's title really got to me.

It is an inversion of the usual way to tell her story, where she is a devoted mother and tries to cope with a cold and/or abusive spouse. This is not something that will resolve easily.

Thorongil's greeting Boromir really got to me, too; as I read it, I saw Boromir's life flash before my eyes and felt almost the same kind of apprehension Finduilas was feeling, so that was also an interesting effect.

Yes, Thorongil's first sight of Boromir is an eerie premonition of the last; still, eyes closed, his life at an end instead of at its start. Keep an eye on Halmir, too. He and Boromir get to know each other quite well.

Finally, Finduilas' response to Denethor's rage made me say "woo-hoo!" and want to be like her when I grow up. She is a prince, indeed.

The woman kicks-ass. I think you will appreciate Denethor's POV on the other side of the incident, when he gets yet another comeuppance. Something I try to do with this story is reformulate tired tropes of victimization and suffering. There are ways of dealing with aggression besides helplessness, depression and suicide. If you'd like to talk more about that, log in and hop over to the HotK Forum.

Congratulations on another chapter of phenomenal characterization and multi-layered plotty goodness.

Thanks!
Ang

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Larner - 13 Apr 08 - 2:30 PM

Ch. 55: Compromised

He'd best not send off Beregar, I'm thinking.  She is doing her best for him and his foul father.

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Agape4Gondor - 17 Jan 07 - 7:41 PM

Ch. 56: Patrimony

Incredible chapter, Anglachel. Probably your best ever... one of the best I've read.

Denethor's reflection here - 'All his efforts were nothing, for he could not prevent harm from worming its way into this house in a packet of herbs' - was heartstopping!

Then you get right into some very good matrimonial shenanigans! The line - 'Until he shared her bed, he had not noticed its privation' was heartrending!

Beregar comes of age with a wallop! Calling Ecthelion 'the old man' and his defiance of Denethor were superb!

Thorongil was, surprisingly, funny. I loved the sword practice and the cost of a whore!

Denethor's fathering moments - 'all the fears and dangers of life struck Denethor's heart more keenly when he imagined them happening to his son' - tore through me. And the part about power!!!

The confrontation between him and the snake was perfect... I wrote a big WOW right across that paragraph. But I fear for him. Snakes strike quickly and without warning.

As I said, incredible chapter. Cannot wait for more!

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Anglachel - 17 Jan 07 - 9:57 PM

Ch. 56: Patrimony

Hi Agape,

What a nice surprise! I turned off my email to concentrate on coding and I get your comment when I turn it back on. Smile

Aren't Mr. Grumpy and Prince Valiant a hoot? They could do an impressive stand-up routine. It breaks my heart, though, because I know what's going to happen in not too many chapters.

In this chapter, Denethor has to face things beyond his ability to control and he doesn't like it. Not the threat of poison, nor the growing independence of the Archivist. Not even his Hound will come to heel. And, most painfully, knowing that he cannot keep the world away from his little bear. He will be a very, very good father to Boromir.

As for Beruthiel, you're right - she has been driven under her rock, not defanged. Keep an eye on Brandir. Denethor has put him in an impossible position.

Thanks for the comments!
Ang

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Larner - 14 Apr 08 - 9:13 AM

Ch. 56: Patrimony

Between the three of them they handle the Steward very well indeed!  Heh!  Ecthelion is such a dissolute fool, but he DOES keep his bargains!

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Agape4Gondor - 15 Feb 07 - 6:47 PM

Ch. 57: Confessions

Phew! Anglachel - brilliant chapter. So much happens every time the characters touch each other, whether in person or just by word of mouth. And Ecthelion is a surpise....

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Larner - 14 Apr 08 - 2:31 PM

Ch. 57: Confessions

What is offered Luinmir is indeed cruelty of the worst sort, and it seems a most uncomfortable summer for all at the moment.  But she does finally draw the Captain out, and at last gains the confession of her husband....

And the baby's first word is for her!  In spite of all, this would be joyful!

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Larner - 15 Apr 08 - 10:33 AM

Ch. 59: Exchange

And they are allowing Aragorn himself to make the final decisions.

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Agape4Gondor - 07 May 07 - 9:12 PM

Ch. 60: Time

Anglachel - if I posted all the comments I want to make about this chapter - the post would be as long as your chapter!

So much happening - very glad you took them all off to Edoras - I do believe, what with Thengel's having lived and raised some of his children in Minas Tirith, that there would be a bond between the two families!

As for Grima - *shivers*

The mearas were wonderful! Thengel's journey was beautifully written, and the attack had me on the edge of my seat! LOVED the council of the three women!!! Mithrandir must have been stunned - though he hid it well with his pipe preparations!

So - I'm not leaving the edge of my seat, I wait!

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fercryinoutloud - 13 May 07 - 9:45 AM

Ch. 60: Time

Fergus here,

I finally read your latest chapter, Time. Wow.

The plot, the action, the dialogue, all spot on. I'm left amazed at your ability to juggle so many tiny details, setting something up a dozen chapters before then letting it unfold in unexpected ways. Yes, I'm talking about Grima. In just a few pages, you gathered all your previous writing and showed us how the events of LotR are present 40 years before.

Morwen's reaction to Thengel's death was against type, shocking and perfect.

Finduilas' bargain with Ecthelion appears to be paying dividends. I hope this means a change in the Steward's ways. You've hinted as much before.

You also juggle the parallels of Finduilas and Tuor in good and subtle ways. After reading Children of Hurin last month, I'm anticipating (and dreading) how much more you will parallel Turin and Denethor.

Are you going to publish a new chapter tomorow? Please?

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Anglachel - 13 May 07 - 11:30 AM

Ch. 60: Time

Hi Agape,

I'm trying not to respond to comments until all readers have a chance to post.

In this chapter, it's all about time and timing.

When I looked at the various timelines and genealogical chronologies, I realized that Thengel dies in the same year as the attack on Umbar, and I decided to put his death first, leading off the year. As you will see in the next chapter, it has caused things to happen out of order. This mistake will lead to others.

This is the last visit to Edoras in HotK, but far from the last of the politics between the kingdoms. Theoden's choice after Denethor's request will have decades of consequences.

The council with Ecthelion at the close of the story will also have consequences. Big ones. Bad ones.

Thanks for the comments!
Ang

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Anglachel - 13 May 07 - 11:42 AM

Ch. 60: Time

Hi Fergus,

Glad you finally got time to read "Time."

Heh-heh, yeah, me and my details. ;-) One of my goals here with Grima is to show how he could become the person we see in LotR, and not just have him be the creepy letch and general bad-apple he's too often portrayed as being. Someone in LotR (Gandalf?) says that one of Eowyn's motivations has been hearing words denigrating Edoras and the House of Eorl, implying Grima said these things. I think Grima was thinking these things as well, and was hurt by them, using *his* disappointment as a weapon.

As for Morwen, she never struck me as a typical woman in any way. She comes back into the story several times.

The bargain with Ecthelion is playing out in unexpected ways. Maiaberiel will not take this lying down, is all I can say.

No dragons for Denethor. He could have dealt with dragons.

I am doing my best to have the next chapter ready tomorrow.

Thanks for the comments!
Ang

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fercryinoutloud - 14 May 07 - 1:24 PM

Ch. 61: Umbar

Oh. My. G*d.

This is the most incredible description of the attack on Umbar I've ever read. The rest of the chapter is your usual great mix of plot and dialogue, but the attack is in a class of its own. I think you have outdone the battle in Osgiliath in "Fire" and then some. Beautiful and horrific in equal measure.

Fergus

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Casso - 17 May 07 - 4:36 AM

Ch. 61: Umbar

What a great telling of the defeat of the corairs at Umbar. One of the best I've read.

The sad part is of course that now it would seem that Thorongil must leave not only Gondor, Denethor and Findulis, but us as well.

I look forward to your telling of how that all comes about. 

  

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Agape4Gondor - 17 May 07 - 9:19 AM

Ch. 61: Umbar

Anglachel,

I agree with both your commentors... this is a great chapter. The battle is stupendous... keeping track of where each boat is, who is manning which boat, where the Fire is falling, etc. etc. etc. - keeps the tension going strong.

And I love Finduilas part in all this - strong and doing battle herself for those she loves.

Hooray!

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Anglachel - 18 May 07 - 9:13 PM

Ch. 61: Umbar

Fergus, Casso, Agape & Jemms,

Thank you for the great comments! Rather than waste space with long comment replies, I have posted all of my replies in the Hands of the King forum attached to the story.

Yes, I'll have another chapter out on Sunday or Monday.

Ang

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Agape4Gondor - 26 May 07 - 7:14 AM

Ch. 62: Steal

Incredible chapter, Anglachel, as always. It is beyond words to describe!

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Larner - 17 Apr 08 - 10:58 PM

Ch. 62: Steal

Is this, then, where the resentment stems from--from the realization the hero from legend apparently has feet of clay?  One gets a feel for just how young and relatively naive Thorongil was--how much he had yet to learn in order to become the King who was in the end needed.

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fercryinoutloud - 26 May 07 - 7:44 AM

Ch. 63: Abandoned

Ang,

I'm not sure if I should thank you for this new chapter. It is horrible to read. Don't get me wrong - you didn't do a bad job. Just the opposite. It is compelling and powerful, but what you show us about Denethor is awful. I don't want to know these things about him.

Fergus

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fercryinoutloud - 05 Jun 07 - 12:15 PM

Ch. 64: Forgive

Ang,

If the last chapter was horrible, this one is sad. All the times when someone should have done X instead of Y, things that didn't seem such a big deal in the past, are showing their teeth. Poor Halmir! After all he has done for Thorongil, this happens. In some ways, what Denethor does to Ecthelion is as bad as what he did to Beruthiel because he *could* have taken that olive branch. Good for Aiavale, though. Denethor deserved that.

Fergus

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Freyalyn - 07 Jun 07 - 2:29 AM

Ch. 64: Forgive

Heartbreaking.  Denethor is so rigid and unyielding, and sure that his way is the only way.  As you say, everything that happens later is already here.

Your Thorongil is excellent.  It is good to see him portrayed as naif and needing to learn, rather than just appearing complete in his wisdom.  He's had a very hard lesson.

Thank you.

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Anglachel - 07 Jun 07 - 8:17 PM

Ch. 64: Forgive

Fergus & Freyalyn,

Thanks for the comments! I have replied in my forum so as not to hog the home page with long comments. Go here to the overview and then click on the forum link to see my reply.

Toodles - Ang

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Larner - 19 Apr 08 - 12:10 AM

Ch. 64: Forgive

Denethor is, I think, far too ready to see more ill than there actually is.  Aragorn saw the strife coming and would not stay for it?  And his older sister has at last known love and opened herself to it?  How wonderful--but how horrible he's chosen bitterness as his bedfellow.

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Larner - 19 Apr 08 - 12:12 AM

Ch. 65: Recovery

To feel pursued by the Eye--how horrible!  And she knows the horrors felt by Miriel as well, having to deal with Sauron then?  One shudders!

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fercryinoutloud - 03 Jul 07 - 7:58 AM

Ch. 66: Speculation

Fergus here,

Thank you for discussing birth control in a rational and factual manner that fits into the story line. There's a lot of sex in fandom stories, but not much attention given to contraception. 

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Agape4Gondor - 01 Jul 07 - 4:25 PM

Ch. 68: Hallowed

I missed these last three chapters, Ang, but they were magnificent - especially # 66 and 67 - though the new 'characters' you brought into 68 were definitely a treat in an odd way. As for the fruit, good idea, LOL VERY good idea.... Enjoyed his thoroughly and can't wait for the next chapter.

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fercryinoutloud - 03 Jul 07 - 8:08 AM

Ch. 68: Hallowed

I should know by now that the story is just going to get better.

That was a twist. A very inventive use of canon that makes the reader go and re-read things. The description of how the watchers change is subtle, taking on meaning only after a certain point. What did Denethor pick up?

Maiaberiel isn't going to stop, is she? I don't like where that story line is going. Brandir is clever in his own way.

My favorite part of this chapter is Finduilas reading the book and thinking about love. It's not as exciting as the rest of it, but it is what stays with me.

The last part helps explain something - How did Gandalf know where a certain thing lay? It would not have been common knowledge. Laanga told him.

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Larner - 19 Apr 08 - 10:38 PM

Ch. 69: Seeking

Ecthelion ages, and Denethor begins to gentle some. 

I so love Brandir, the Wise Fool.  Ah, but he deserves someone MUCH better than Maiarberiel.  And I grieve with Beregar as he worries about what he becomes.

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fercryinoutloud - 25 Jul 07 - 8:53 PM

Ch. 71: Havens

Another great chapter! There is so much packed into here, but my favorite scene has to be the one mentioning a possible use for a town crier. To say more would be a spoiler. Wink

It's also an example of why I love your Denethor more than anyone else's. You make him human. You give him a sense of humor and an incredible capacity for love. You make him fearful and arrogant. He's a complete person, warts and all.

My only wish is that this were an AU so that Denethor and Finduilas could be happy together for a full lifetime.

Fergus

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Freyalyn - 06 Aug 07 - 3:37 AM

Ch. 72: Due

I'm sorry you feel this way about the lack of comments, but quite agree.  I only recently found this story, and have utterly loved it and completely immersed myself in in.  I find the way you have described the culture of Gondor, the characters, and other details wonderful.

My excuse for not commenting each time is that I quite often felt I didn't have anything to say except 'wonderful!' again and again, which I felt was a bit repetitive.

Thank you for sharing as much of it as you have with us.

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insignia - 07 Sep 07 - 5:23 AM

Ch. 72: Due

Hi, I too am sorry that you feel this way. But I fully understand your decision.

I read this chapter some time ago and have been thinking about what you said at the end of it since.

It has always been clear how much energy and commitment you have devoted to this massive, carefully crafted and delightfully torturous work. I have commented once or twice, I think, and you have always been courteous and helpful in your responses to me. I am sorry that I have not been a more faithful reader, as you have given me much pleasure over a long, long time.

I quite understand your irritation and probably hurt too over lack of reader feedback, and wish you well in the remaining chapters.

Part of the allure for me was the starkly different portrayal of Finduilas. I think that you said at the outset that this was your starting point, and you have absolutely succeeded in "correcting" all the standard Finduilases to which fanfic readers are accustomed! Not the feeble wimp so often shown but a strong woman quite able to command her own fate and respect from others, but fighting ultimately against her own physical frailty.

Your Denethor has also been a revelation, a troubled, complicated but principled man having to hold his own against the moral turpitude (I like that phrase, so fitting here I think!) with which his father has surrounded him.

And the Dol Amroth family - I feel I know them too! I especially liked your Angelimir and his relationship with Finduilas. I cried when he died.

Your Thorongil was also a very vivid character, in his relationships with his fellow Northerners of the Lost, the real reason why he wanted to court Finduilas and his coming to terms, of a sort, with Denethor in their joint "management" of Ecthelion. The way in which you "allow" him to reveal his true origins to Finduilas was masterly! And so were the conversations he had on many occasions with Denethor, so delicately balanced to show what he could be and what he would have to learn to get there.

You treat the foresightedness issue with much more sensitivity, care and caution than the bulk of fanfic writers, who ladle it out by the bucket often to very unlikely characters and therefore cheapen the impact when it is shown. On occasion I was still slightly baffled by some of the visions, but was enjoying having them revealed at a later stage.

And you gave us such a vast range of minor characters, who had their own foibles and interests and backgrounds and contributions to the story: Morwen the Madame, Beregar the faithful "hound", Golasgil the bookseller, Laanga the healer. I could go on.

You didn't duck uncomfortable issues, like sex, menstruation, childbirth, incest. You also gave great insight into the minds of commanders faced with deciding to use "unspeakable" measures, or to sacrifice their troops if they would not.

I really admire the way in which you planned out the plot and filled in such a detailed backdrop that readers were sucked inexorably in to your expanded pre LotR Gondor. Thank you for so much!

One final comment: I have usually had to re-read preceding chapters to remind myself of where exactly, or even approximately, the plot has reached before I can continue to follow on. I have delighted in your intricacies and been thrilled at having to think through previous character comments and behaviours to understand what later reactions actually mean! This I have done with pleasure, although it has taken time - but I didn't want to lose any threads!

And that too shows how much effort you have put in over so long a period.

Thank you so much for allowing me to read your lovely story for as long as you have.

Best wishes for the future and I hope that RL is behaving a bit better towards you now. 

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jgmsccc - 07 Apr 08 - 8:18 PM

Ch. 73: Law

I did not think you would post the remainder of this story.  Thank you.

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Larner - 21 Apr 08 - 1:55 PM

Ch. 73: Law

So, he follows her still, does he?  Sauron the seducer, who would cuckold Pharazon?  He has done nothing but destroy things since!

And now Denethor is communicating again at last.  He needs not to follow Erendis's path, for it is destructive.  I'm glad she is strong enough to make him speak in the end; and I wonder what the Mariner has left them this time.

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Larner - 21 Apr 08 - 3:36 PM

Ch. 74: Watch

A victory, but one at a dear cost.  Morvorin is gone, and his house left in mourning, as is the heart of Finduilas.

I'm almost sorry Eomund is Eomer's father--it barely seems right somehow.  Denethor sees rightly--a victory, but one that is dearly bought.

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Larner - 21 Apr 08 - 6:15 PM

Ch. 75: Get

Ah--a most satisfactory Mettare for all.  And Ecthelion has regained his honor and dignity, here, as he approaches the end of his life.  Finduilas, as is true of Aragorn and Frodo, appears to mostly bring out the best in those she turns her attention to.  Excellent!

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 9:38 AM

Ch. 77: Suffice

Sufficient he will prove, and sufficient the leaves must prove for the time granted.  And the Steward recognizes his own time approaches.

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 10:26 AM

Ch. 78: Stewards

Well, he now begins to understand indeed.  As for Maiarberiel--as poisonous as ever, I see.  And her curse!

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Raihon - 01 Dec 08 - 9:06 PM

Ch. 78: Stewards

This was a really powerful chapter. Denethor's reasoning about the end of the line is interesting.

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Anglachel - 05 Dec 08 - 9:21 AM

Ch. 78: Stewards

Hi Raihon,

This was a difficult chapter to write because it meant Denethor had to face not "the Steward" but himself as that person. He had to come to some kind of resolution with Ecthelion and a lifetime of betrayal and intrigue. He also has to confront his own fear and despair, which he does in great part through comforting Boromir, and fails to do when giving Finduilas her birthday present.

Anglachel

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Aiwendiel - 13 Apr 08 - 8:49 AM

Ch. 79: Queen

Oh you are too cruel and so kind! Here I have been waiting like Denethor and Finduilas for the slightest sign of hope, and now just when I am at my busiest in the pale place that is my "real life" you post the rest of the story, and I must put everything else aside to read. Thank you thank you thank you for bringing this chapter into the light. Everything about it: the black chair's voice, the envoy from Umbar, the ominous last of the tea, the mariner's grumpy protection and the surprise visitor was perfect. Your Finduilas is the most regal of the lot. Your writing is supreme. I've got to take a break to get some actual work done but I intend to hurry back to this secret garden. 

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 4:42 PM

Ch. 79: Queen

It has been one of my conceits that wherever he went, Aragorn left some cleansed of the psychological ties to Mordor, ready when Mordor was finally fallen to seek to return their folk to the Light once more.  I like that one of the Faithful is Steward in Umbar, and that he came to offer Finduilas his fealty and thanks for what she and Denethor saw sent to that land in the wake of the destruction there.

And Aragorn's visit!  Ah, I'm glad he made it, even if he would not stay longer.  At least she is reassured before she herself goes on--it's merely three more years or so she has left within the Bounds of Arda.

And the powers conspire to support her while it's still possible.  Three of the Maiar wish to care for her and her family, and two former Maiar seek to watch, one apparently desiring her for what she represents to him.  Sauron is a wretch, and we see Grima still developing fully into the Worm we love to disparage.  He made his bed with Saruman--but to lie in it was in the end grievous even to him.

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melian - 08 Apr 08 - 3:11 AM

Ch. 80: Exiles

hi anglachel,

i noticed with printing the new chapters that nr. 79 en 80 are the same.

again i must say this: thank you for the new chapters.

Melian

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Anglachel - 08 Apr 08 - 5:48 AM

Ch. 80: Exiles

Melian,

Thank you for reporting the error. The correct Ch. 80, Exiles, has been posted.

Anglachel

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 7:48 PM

Ch. 80: Exiles

Yes, it does sound as if Maiaberiel has her hand in things.

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 9:02 PM

Ch. 81: King

I'd wondered when and how the key would be given back into his keeping, for obviously he held it by the time of the War of the Ring.  Now we know--and it was apparently time for this to come back to him.  How he treated Finduilas over it was inexcusable, however--I don't blame her for forbidding him her bed.

And now he has a good part of the King's secret, and thinks somehow this betrays Finduilas?  He has no idea!  It would be best if he did speak of it with her, but as proud as he is I suspect he never will.  Too bad, really.

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Larner - 22 Apr 08 - 11:35 PM

Ch. 82: Vinitharya

He knows not what he asks, I fear.  Aragorn knows--the time is not now; Finduilas understands that she's known the grace, and her time draws near.  And Denethor grows more dour by the day.

It's a terrible vengeance he claimed.

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Larner - 23 Apr 08 - 1:03 AM

Ch. 83: Lost

Alas that she would limit her life and being.  There is so much more she could be, and she won't allow others to show her how, through hope, she could know more fulfillment.

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Raihon - 09 Dec 08 - 12:43 PM

Ch. 83: Lost

"We have been made part of a story whose tellers cannot comprehend what has been created within it."

Love that line, and I love the philosophical wrangling in this chapter. I also love the theme throughout your story of the frustrations of mortals who actually interact with the Powers and know themselves to be pawns. It's very poignant.

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Anglachel - 17 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM

Ch. 83: Lost

Hi Raihon,

(Sorry for the delay in answering.) Yay, a reader who gets the point of the story! The philosophical wrangling is the heart of HotK, calling into question the nature of divine power and the autonomy of the beings that inhabit the created world. When is the moral authority of the creation greater than that of the creator? Is the tale simply the work of the teller? Is the ability to destroy or bring to an end a creation sufficient to justify (render moral or ethical) such power? Etc.

Anglachel

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Larner - 23 Apr 08 - 1:58 AM

Ch. 84: Fall

They find they must let go.  I wonder where it is that Aragorn wanders.  Does he now seek Gollum?  Or is it to learn of the combined Realm's enemies--or to seek new allies--or to seek a manner of aiding?  I find I do wonder.

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Freyalyn - 08 Apr 08 - 2:48 AM

Ch. 85: Demon

Thank you for posting this at last.  I'm utterly wrung out, having read all the updates over the last two days (while at work!).  It really is the most tremendous work - explaining and illuminating so much, and your knowledge and extrapolation of the societies you describe is wonderful.

Thank you. 

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Jemms - 11 Apr 08 - 9:21 AM

Ch. 85: Demon

Dear Anglachel,

Thank you for publishing the remaining chapters. I read the rest all the way through, I couldn't stop! Great ending that kept me on the edge of my seat & although Alquallë's fate was known from the start, it was no less heart breaking.

Thanks again for sharing this story. Of course, it's worth reading several times again. I'll be leaving more detailed reviews to each chapter when real life lets up a bit.

Jemms

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Aiwendiel - 19 Apr 08 - 9:58 PM

Ch. 85: Demon

You have brought us, in the end, to a perfect explanation for the Denethor we met through LOTR book canon: an empty man, half his soul gone, the light of his life darkened, his grieving mind at the mercy of the watcher in the palantir. No wonder his love for his sons wasn't enough to save him. Every event in his life, from his earliest childhood on, brought him to become the bitter character Tolkien showed us, and whom you have brought to life. Brilliant characterizations throughout. Great portrayal of how children of various ages react to death. Yikes, have you personally watched someone die of pneumonia? Thanks again for fabulous writing, character-driven fiction of the highest quality.

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Larner - 23 Apr 08 - 2:52 AM

Ch. 85: Demon

He does not realize that humility and humiliation are two very different things.  But for the moment he will remain, and what he does will be what is necessary.

It has been good to finish this at last, although it has consumed several days and leaves me ill prepared for the morrow.

A few years ago I watched my husband die--suddenly, although we'd been waiting for the end for some months.  No matter how well you think you are ready, the end is still a great shock.  And dear, prideful Denethor thought his own grief greater than that of any other; that he might simply give up when what must come did so.  I understand him at the same time I grieve he must know such a loss.

As another has said, we can see how he became what he was in LOTR.  And it was not through water he came to her at last, but through fire....

...silly one. 

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Freyalyn - 24 Apr 08 - 1:11 AM

Ch. 85: Demon

It has been particularly interesting to read others' comments on this story, as it made such an impact of me and seems to be doing so on all who read it.

Once again, a beautifully written explicatory back story. 

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