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Discussing: Ch. 6 - Promise

Ch. 6 - Promise

Promise In which Finduilas ponders promises kept, promises broken, and what the future may hold. For some reason, I notice that I skipped words in this chapter more than usual. While I've corrected all I found, I suspect a few more are lurking in the depths of paragraphs. Post corrections here. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

I'm struck by the dream symbolism, both in HoK and The Two Trees. I feel as if I can almost grasp it, but not quite, and I expect when I hear it, it will make me say "of course!" So, I give up - what are the three pearls? I like the way you have written Finduilas. The story has the feel of an intricate mystery story. I confess I'm getting eager to see some answers, but I suspect there will be more questions first. I did spot a few rough spots, not many. Typos mixed in with nitpicks... She decided she would walk down to Vinyamar, her family’s house in the fifth circle and take inventory of it in anticipation of their arrival. I think there should be a comma after 'circle'. Her eyes left the stone and sought out the dark mountains to the east, staining [straining] to glimpse the fume of a dreadful peak, the spire of a cursed fortress. This is not merely an enemy; this is a demon whose being it is to destroy us. This isn't an error, but the sentence sounds odd to me because the way "being" is used. I'd have expected something like "whose being is focused on destroying us" or "whose intent is to destroy us." All she did not need was Aiavalë’s disapproval over her visit to Mithrandir. To my ear this might have sounded better phrased somewhat differently, such as "What she did not need was Aiavalë’s disapproval over her visit to Mithrandir." ‘We shall not speak of this again tonight,’ was Maiaberiel’s firm reply. But I dare say we she[shall] speak of this another evening, yes, Beruthiel? Awaiting the next chapter, Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Eeeww - you'd think I didn't read this over or have other people read it. Icky, nasty typos, we hates them gollum. I'll get these corrected. Just as an FYI for anyone who spots an error or really stupid locution, post it in the message thread that belongs to that chapter. That will help me keep them together. I'm struck by the dream symbolism, both in HoK and The Two Trees. I feel as if I can almost grasp it, but not quite, and I expect when I hear it, it will make me say "of course!" You and Finduilas both. She's getting rather peeved with me for not cluing her in on what it all means. As for the pearls, that one should be simple - what are Denethor's treasures? The dreams keep growing as the story goes on. I like the way you have written Finduilas. The story has the feel of an intricate mystery story. I confess I'm getting eager to see some answers, but I suspect there will be more questions first. [giggle] Yes, it *is* turning into a mystery in some ways. Finduilas goes into Nancy Drew mode a few times. Every time someone thinks he or she has found out a truth or fact, what they've really grasped is a clue to a yet deeper conundrum. At some point, all that can be known will be out on the table, and there still won't be any answers. Only choices. Things pick up speed after this point in the story, and don't really let up until [checks plot] umm, somewhere around chapter 30. The next two chapters go back to Denethor's perspective, with introduction of four new original characters (1 female, three male), much to-ing and fro-ing, and extended scenes with Thorongil, Adrahil and Ecthelion (individually and together). Plus Brandir and Aiavale get in on the act. The next chapter comes out after I finish the alpha of chapter 27, which I'm working on now. I expect this one will take me through next weekend to wrap up, then I re-read and revise ch. 7 and post that here. Ang PS - typos corrected.

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Wow, the story gets more and more intriguing! Not only because if the mysterious dreams, but even more so because of the complicated relationships of the members of the Steward's family, legitimate and illegitimate. I wonder when yet another one of the latter group will show up... I think I'm beginning to understand only now how Aiavale and Denethor feel about the situation. I'm very pleased to read that HotK will be such an opus magnum - I LOVE long fanfics! BTW, who's Nancy Drew?

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Wow, the story gets more and more intriguing! Not only because if the mysterious dreams, but even more so because of the complicated relationships of the members of the Steward's family, legitimate and illegitimate. I wonder when yet another one of the latter group will show up... In the next chapter. Watch for various relations to begin popping up and saying/doing stuff. In fandom writing about Denethor & sons, there tends to be a lack of kin. You have the Steward and his children, sometimes you'll see Ecthelion being wise and avuncular, and then you might get Imrahil, usually regarding Denethor as something slightly less revolting than toe jam. So, I began creating relatives. It expands the range of personalities with whom Denethor has to interact, and provides more depth to the character. There is more to Denethor than his relationship to Faramir, after all. BTW, who's Nancy Drew? Oh, dear, I feel rather old all of a sudden. Nancy Drew is a precursor to fanfic. She is the teenaged heroine of a series of books (I think the franchise is still going) who is an amateur detective and goes around solving cases and getting into a great deal of danger. There have been a series of authors writing her (the original author died recently) and readers would send in story ideas and or plots. I believe at least one of the authors was a fan who turned to writing because of the books. In truth, however, the literary model for Finduilas is Isabel Archer of "The Portrait of a Lady." Isabel also had mysteries to clear up. Glad you're enjoying it, Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

and then you might get Imrahil, usually regarding Denethor as something slightly less revolting than toe jam. *lol* Guilty as charged! In my little universe, those two also harbour a considerable dislike for each other. Oh, dear, I feel rather old all of a sudden. *g* Don't worry. It's not the age thing, but rather the fact that I'm neither British nor American and am therefore not familiar with books written for young native speakers of English. In truth, however, the literary model for Finduilas is Isabel Archer of "The Portrait of a Lady." Ah. I just hope you don't picture Denethor as Osmond... *wink*

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Oh, no, never. Actually, in terms of the *relationship*, my model is comedy, strangely enough. There is a genre in American movies I call (via Cavell) the comedy of (re)marriage, coming out of the golden age of movies. His Girl Friday, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story - the kind of give-and-take you find there becomes the basis for the interactions between Denethor and Finduilas. The women in it are "dames" - bold, brash, smart, independent, and risk-takers. The men always have a somewhat unsavory edge, but are fundamentally honorable guys. They are not threatened by the dames; indeed, much of the sexual tension of the movies is because of the forwardness of the female partners. The relationship between the partners is not the only passion in either's life, too - they become interesting because there is always more to discover about the other. I also like the way Shakespeare handles his comic romances - Much Ado About Nothing, 12th night - and think this a productive way to bring Denethor and Finduilas together, though the comic element goes to the edges. Though I began writing before it came out, Lost in Translation gave me much to think on in how complex a love affair can be. Denethor himself, well, the obvious influences are the three big tragic heros - Othello, Hamlet, and Lear - avoiding personal melt-down until old age, like Lear. But I'm also drawing on some more modern protagonists, most notably Ahab from Moby Dick - still one of the finest presentations of obession and modern skepticism ever written. it's not a mistake that I open HotK with invocations of Leviathans. Denethor and Imrahil, in my take, don't have much to say to each other simply because they are so far apart in age. Adrahil and Denethor, OTOH, do have their ins and outs, but are more in agreement than not. There is really no reason for there to be any conflict between Imrahil & Denethor unless you presume that there is something unusual that would cause tension. If Finduilas loves her husband, if there is accord between Minas Tirith and Dol Amroth, if the Prince is treated as a valued partner in war and trade, why should there be any problems? Given that Imrahil is the lord who brings the greatest support to Minas Tirith (even as Dol Amroth is threatened by Corsairs) during the Ring war, I think thte textual evidence is that Denethor had Imrahil's loyalty. Why shouldn't he have had Imrahil's good regard, as well? It needn't be "The Waltons" for them to have worked together with civility and respect. I'll bite - If you aren't British or American, where do you hail from? You haven't provided a bio in the Member List area. Maybe you should post one? ;-) Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

His Girl Friday, The Awful Truth, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story - the kind of give-and-take you find there becomes the basis for the interactions between Denethor and Finduilas. I’m not quite certain what you refer to here. Are you talking about films from the 30ies? I might actually have seen those movies and others of their kind on TV, but if I have, they would have been dubbed and would have also had a completely different title, so I just can’t tell. I also like the way Shakespeare handles his comic romances - Much Ado About Nothing, 12th night Now if only I remembered anything about those… My only excuse ist that I read Shakespeare more than twenty years ago and that my memory tends to work extremely selective. *shakes head at herself* As to Denethor and Imrahil, I guess you’re right. My take on their relationship might have been greatly influenced by fanfic, and now the damage is done. *g* I’d like to justify my POV with the assumption that they had very different personalities on top of the age difference. I'll bite - If you aren't British or American, where do you hail from? I’m from Germany. You haven't provided a bio in the Member List area. Maybe you should post one? ;-) If I can figure out how to do it…;-)

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

I’m not quite certain what you refer to here. Are you talking about films from the 30ies? I might actually have seen those movies and others of their kind on TV, but if I have, they would have been dubbed and would have also had a completely different title, so I just can’t tell. Yes, 30's era comedies. Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Russell, Jimmy Stewart are a few of the actors in one or another of them. As to Denethor and Imrahil, I guess you’re right. My take on their relationship might have been greatly influenced by fanfic, and now the damage is done. *g* I’d like to justify my POV with the assumption that they had very different personalities on top of the age difference. Oh, I agree with that - *definitely* very different temperments. These are not two people who would be good friends, just that they would treat each other with civility and in an honorable manner, as befits their noble status. As for fanonical damage, well, I'm doing my best to offer reasonable alternantive viewpoints. Posting a member bio isn't difficult at all. Just go to My Stuff/My Profiles, click on "Edit" near the top of the page, and type a few sentences about yourself in the bio box. For example, why don't you tell us when you first read Tolkien? How about other favorite authors? Do you have a life beyond fanfic? Things like that. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Yes, 30's era comedies. Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, Jane Russell, Jimmy Stewart are a few of the actors in one or another of them. And Claudette Colbert;). Those films were really funny and the dialogues witty. These are not two people who would be good friends, just that they would treat each other with civility and in an honorable manner, as befits their noble status. As for fanonical damage, well, I'm doing my best to offer reasonable alternantive viewpoints. *lol* Hmm, I might actually be persuaded to make some changes concerning Denethor's and Imrahil's relationship in my German fic;-)... Posting a member bio isn't difficult at all. I followed your instructions, but the problem is that the change isn’t accepted and I’m told that someone is already listed as a member with my name. Either I’m making a very silly mistake (could be, given my technical knowledge) or the software for some reason doesn’t make a difference between adding biographical information only and registering as a new member.

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Send me an email at Tech Support and we'll figure out what is going wrong. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Found another missed word. How can it claim to be the Tower of the Guard? What promise is there here, save decline, withering, forgetting? It all a story of Akallabêth. The height of glory was reached in the first thousand years, "It all a story of Akallabeth" should probably have a verb in it somewhere.

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Y'know, I've heard that verbs are darn helpful things sometimes. Fixed. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

*sheepish* Hi... Getting into this story a bit late, but oh well. Chapter six is as far as I've gotten so far, and I'm hooked. Here are my random, scattered comments that I can think of from what I have read so far (the approach of my exams and closing of my papers have thrown me out of Fic Analytic Mode: I'm in Typo-Notes-And-Random-Praise Mode). --It's always irked me that Ecthelion has been portrayed as a "bland" sort: though I definitely do not like the man here, at least he is different. Plus, like you commented somewhere in one of these posts (I followed along with forum posts as well as story), Denethor would have to have some family life to turn out the way he had. He did have to learn it somewhere. I just can't get over how striking this interpretation is of this particular Steward's family. Brilliant stuff! --political intrigue... yesss.... precious.... we likes it. --ch. 6, @ Maiaberiel's party: "a ague" should be "an ague". --The dream about the three pearls gave me the chills (and I was faintly shocked that I could grasp the symbolism). --The relationship between Denethor and his sisters. Both are very well done, in their respective ways. I loved the bit when he was dancing with "Beruthiel", and gave her that jab about being a slattern. Priceless. I also love Aiavale's and his interactions: there's a level of complete trust and love with them that is such an amazing contrast to their scheming sister. --Poor Finduilas. Strange dreams, chronic illness: the girl's having quite a tough time! --Thorongil. Again, nice to see a different perspective on this particular identity of Aragorn's. This is a shamefully short review for six chapters, but I thought to let you know that you've hooked another reader! Keep writing (and, also important, updating)! Always, Allie [edit: two nitpicks in chapter 7 that I'll forget if I don't post now: Five years into laying the foundation for the new strategy, however, Belemir young of ague. That makes no sense. And near the bottom, there's a: '?' I'm assuming there needs to be some sort of word in that sentence...]

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Typo patrol, first. Ch. 6 - 'a' is now 'an' in the master file. Ch. 7 - The missing word in the first sentene is "died". I'll correct it when I do a general update at the end of the month. No, the entire sentence really is '?' and refers to the fact that Halmir made a sound that indicated he was asking what's up. They would be speaking very little and very quietly because of the Orcs, after all. Another reader snared in my web. ;-) I'm not picky about comments, and will take whatever I can get. Ecthelion - Yeah, I was getting tired of Gondor being run by Ward Cleaver. I find complex personalities more intersting than cardboard cutouts for some reason. He is a character I am more sympathetic to over time, even as he has really messed up on a personal level. I see him as overwhelmed by the times in which he lives, but smart and determined enough that he hangs in there. Denethor refuses to see anything redeeming in his father, which is wrong and will mean bad karma down the line, but there is plenty to dislike. Don't worry, I won't leave him in such a bleak condition. Poltiical intrigue? It just keeps growing. Finduilas's dreams get weirder as the story progresses. But this one is the most sad, to me. There is no way for her to comprehend it, yet it perfectly predicts all that will happen. Denethor, Maiaberiel and Aiavale are a terrifying combination. Toss in the half-siblings and you have a roomful of over-achievers. One of my conceits is that any child of Ecthelion is a master of whatever they attempt - and they attempt some rather frightening things. But the love between Denethor and Aiavale is powerful, the strongest thing in either life until Finduilas appears. Aiavale is perfectly capable of the same level of cruelty and ruthlessness as Beruthiel, though, as she will demonstrate a number of times. Finduilas - Well, along with avuncular Ecthelion and evil Denethor, doormat Finduilas is one of my least favorite characters. In this story, she gives as good as she takes and holds her own with her masterful husband, all the while remaining a kind and caring person. She's really the only normal one of the lot. Thorongil - Yes, I think you'll like how he develops. Noble Aragorn is a reasonably putrid character (though not as much as Saintly Faramir) so it's fun to give him uncertainty, doubt, and mixed-motives. Gandalf tossed him off the deep end when he told the fellow to soujourn south. Speaking of the old conjuror, he'll make a couple more appearances before the end. I'm writing, I'm writing! Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

I think, here we see yet more play on the theme of doubles; Aiavale and Maiaberiel are doubles: both beautiful (Aiavale would have been beautiful if not for the birth trauma) and both monsters, and both act similarly in this chapter, when each tries to set up poor Finduilas for dinner with a ruler hopeful, and both these men also play doubles in the story. Neat. Denethor, of course, could not have developed a healthy attitude to the Feminine, growing up with two such sisters, not even mentioning their mother, but you as good as promised "the lamb" Finduilas will set him right On the pearl dream: aren't Denethor's sons named for "jewels"?

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Each sister acts in much the same way and for much the same reason - to order her world the way she sees fit. Aiavale's only saving grace is that she truly loves Denethor and wants the marriage as much for his sake as for her own. Even so, she is bullying him no less than Maiaberiel is bullying Thorongil. As for the gentlemen in question, their pairing increases over time. Denethor, of course, could not have developed a healthy attitude to the Feminine, growing up with two such sisters, not even mentioning their mother, but you as good as promised "the lamb" Finduilas will set him right Actually, I think Denethor does pretty well with women, better than Thorongil in most ways. His problem is with romance or, to be more precise, emotional intimacy. His interaction with women in social settings and as political actors where there is a finite amount of closeness expected (or that he will allow) is smooth and assured. Intimate relations are significantly more difficult. OTOH, he also has an easier time relating to Finduilas as an ordinary human being rather than something on a pedestal. He is used to dealing with strong, independent women on a daily basis and doesn't think interacting with them in this way to be odd. Yes, "-mir" is jewel. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

Finduilas - Well, along with avuncular Ecthelion and evil Denethor, doormat Finduilas is one of my least favorite characters. In this story, she gives as good as she takes and holds her own with her masterful husband, all the while remaining a kind and caring person. She's really the only normal one of the lot. Thorongil - Yes, I think you'll like how he develops. Noble Aragorn is a reasonably putrid character (though not as much as Saintly Faramir) so it's fun to give him uncertainty, doubt, and mixed-motives. I was so bored and neurotically checking for a new chapter every five minutes (pathetic, yes, I have no life, blah blah) that I decided to attempt reading through the backposts of these discussion boards. Heh heh heh. Reading your responses to reader comments and your opinions on the characters in general never fails to incite thought. And much laughter. This is my favorite section of Ang!Insight so far. Saintly Faramir throws me into convulsions. Not to mention the rest....

 

 

Re: Ch. 6 - Promise

I was so bored and neurotically checking for a new chapter every five minutes I *am* writing, but getting slowed down by some Real Life stuff and the Workshops. The next chapter is about 3/4 done. It is a stopping point, so I will be pulling the entire story offline for a few days when the next one is ready to clean up the typos and oddities people have found. When you see it again, it will have a new chapter. I hope to have this done by second weekend in April. Toodles - Ang

 

 

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