Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 16 - Claims

Ch. 16 - Claims

Claims Finduilas POV, second of three. What kind of claims are the characters making upon each other? What are the claims of past and future that both constrain and support the choices each needs to make? Oh, yeah, and a cliffhanger... I hope to have the last in this chapter set ready by Christmas. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Oh, you have such good timing. ‘Yes, I did,’ she reassured him, ‘I enjoyed it and learned much from it. She is a master politics. I was glad for the poetry, however. It was a nice contrast to the discourse.’ "she is a master ?of? politics"? Oooooohhh that's a good chapter. *goes back to read it again*

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Typo fixed - thanks! Glad you like it! Toodles - Ang PS - I'm saving up my other typo fixes until the Xmas break.

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

A thought. The sisters' argument-- You’re nothing but a scrawny, too-tall, sickly wretch who is going to die soon!’ ‘Better that than an ugly, stupid, whorish, cow like you!’ Finduilas almost screamed back. Ivriniel slapped her very hard, and Finduilas shoved Ivriniel away, right into Luinil who was trying to come into the room. ‘Stop it!’ Luinil ordered. The sisters glared. ‘What are you thinking? Fighting like fishwives when there are guests in this house? Ivriniel, go to your room and stay there until I come.’ Finduilas stuck her tongue out at Ivriniel’s back as her sister left. Ivriniel ends her insulting of Finduilas by saying that she is going to die soon. Finduilas's response to that is to stick out her tongue as Ivriniel walks away? I would respond a little more strongly to my sister wishing me dead...

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

What a rotten, terrible place to end the chapter! Cliffhanger royalty, I must say. I LOVED the fight between the sisters. I laughed so hard when Ivriniel told Findulias she was "just going to die". How awful and utterly feminine! Even I wouldn't push that far. Maybe, "scrawny, boyish, bore"... What a sister! And the sticking out of the tongue-- honestly, I had forgotten all about that! I'm going to pick it up, again. I can't remember sticking out my tongue since the 1st grade. I'm really beginning to like "Thorongil" more and more as the story progresses. The emotion is nicely done and the overtones serve to make me a little sad. With the elves and the sea... Can't say I know any elves, but I do really miss the sea. I also liked Findulias holding out her hand behind her, nice touch. Are you into drawing? You could draw us your rendering of the characters. I'm terrible myself, with stick figures being the foundation of my "art". My mother is an artist, as his my father's sister, and they are amazing, but me-- nothing. I've never had the patience for it. Great chapter, I'll be bouncing around, waiting for the next to come.

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Well, Finduilas did snarl back and then started shoving Ivriniel. Had Luinil not walked in at that precise moment, I think there would have been a very vigorous cat fight, with biting, scratching, hair-pulling and many slaps all around. The point of the scene was for Ivriniel to say what Must Not Be Said - Finduilas is sick, cannot be cured, and will probably die younger than she should. It is one unspoken reason why her parents indulge her whims, and why she is their favorite. They are afraid of losing her all too soon. And be fair to Ivriniel. She didn't *wish* Finduilas dead, she just pointed out the obvious; no man in his right mind would consider you a good catch, since you're a freak to look at and sick to boot, so they are just after you for the money/social prestige. Nyah. Drat, gotta go to work. [whine] Why can't they just pay me to sit at home and write HotK?[/whine] Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Ang, I absolutely loved this chapter! All those (small) hints as to Fin’s feelings for Denethor... Impulsively, she stood on tip-toe and kissed his cheek. Denethor did not move, but just stared at her. A penny for his thoughts right then! I wonder when he’s going to realize he’s not the only one of them to be in love. The quarrel with Ivriniel was fun to read. How cruel sisters can be! As to Ivriniel’s grimly realistic take on her sister, isn’t describing her as “a freak to look at” (like you said in your last post in this forum) taking it too far? She obviously isn’t the shining beauty Iviriniel is, but if I remember correctly, you’ve previously described her as being being captivating and attractive in her own right, when not having to compete with her sister. (I’m probably too protective of Fin here, the more so as she's your Fin, not mine. ) BTW, I’d really like to know as much as Fin what the heck Denethor and Thorongil were talking about. *puzzled* In short, I want more!!!

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

What a rotten, terrible place to end the chapter! Cliffhanger royalty, I must say. *snicker* I'm really beginning to like "Thorongil" more and more as the story progresses. The emotion is nicely done and the overtones serve to make me a little sad. Good! I am trying to show him as something other than a totally in-control, stable, noble, settled, kingly, etc., person at this stage in his life. Most people believe the rumor that he is Ecthelion's bastard son, so most don't go poking around into his past. Or else (like Ecthelion, Beruthiel & Brandir), they know he isn't, and they just think he's a charismatic guy from the North. They don't have eyes to see. What Denethor and Finduilas share is the sense that there is much more to Thorongil than that, but they are not sure what to do about it. Whatever platitudes Ecthelion may mouth, these two *know* the powers of the world are up to something, and they understand that "Doom is near at hand". Dreams must be attended, things out of myth appear on the doorstep, eternal powers are gearing up again for war, and so on. This is the quality Gandalf (too late) sees in Denethor, and why he now understands he has been courting the wrong Steward. Something that struck me as I wrote this chapter was that, at this point in the unfolding of events, *Thorongil* doesn't know who he is. His encounters with these two is as much about gaining self-knowledge as dealing with Gondorian politics. What I didn't anticipate is how much Denethor and Finduilas have to teach him about himself. I'm beginning to think that a major reason why he could hide in plain sight is because of a fundamental ignorance about who he should/could be. Finduilas does this to him (to Denethor, too) by asking him open-ended questions about himself - what would you have me know of you? He calls his childhood in Imladris "A dream" - cut short by the reality of "love", which is his wake-up call to adulthood and all the messy stuff that goes with it. You can see what is going through his mind as he flirts with Finduilas: This is real, this is love, this is attainable, this is what I should be doing. If he is listening, he will learn from her that he must be able to give an account of himself that is true if he is to win a true heart. He must risk his very life and soul to win another. Which, of course, he does. Me, draw? Stick figures are beyond me on most days... Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Impulsively, she stood on tip-toe and kissed his cheek. Denethor did not move, but just stared at her. A penny for his thoughts right then! I wonder when he’s going to realize he’s not the only one of them to be in love. Not for a few chapters. ;-) When each of them realizes what the other is thinking, whoo boy. There's a lot of ground to cover between now and then, however. As to Finduilas's looks, I'm emphasizing how *Ivriniel* is seeing her, which involves a lot of jealousy and guilt. Mostly jealousy. She doesn't understand why Thorongil isn't paying attention to her - who everyone agrees is far prettier than Finduilas - and so makes a big deal over her sister's exaggerated height, her thin, immature figure, and her illness. As Denethor himself noted a few chapters back, Finduilas is not beautiful by ordinary standards, but would be the object of attention because she is *striking*. Of course, he thinks she is incredibly beautiful, as does Thorongil. Go back to the conversation Thorongil and Denethor had on their ride back from Anorien, when they are discussing Brandir's kinsman's troubles. It's obscure, and the subject is tangential (and borrowed from the Riddle Master of Hed trilogy) , so what is most important is how Thorongil is learning the lessons Denethor is setting for him. I like leaving a good number of things unexplained and letting readers puzzle them out. If writing goes well, I should have the next chapter done around Xmas. Lunch over, back to work, Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

I was going to mention that during the fight, Finduilas got whacked with a low-blow right before her mother walked in and most people (not me hahaha) will bite their tongue and behave more if a parent shows up. Jealousy tends to bring out the best in people. How utterly shallow to complain that a man likes your sister when you are "prettier". He's not worth liking if that's all he sees in you, hmmm? Ah, green eyed monsters know no bounderies!

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Cliffhanger, indeed! I'm hooked and waiting impatiently. On to comments. Minor typo: She smiled, saying ‘I shall not, but why?’ is missing a comma after 'saying'. I wasn't sure why she chose the dress - I think I missed something. Clarification appreciated! A very interesting and creative idea - Thorongil learning through this what he is and should be. Once you mention it, it makes perfect sense that while he is confident in warrior skills, he is clueless in many ways. Will you have him realize it is unfair and even dishonorable to want to court Finduilas because she reminds him of Arwen? (I'd love to see that!) I admit, even having read the Riddlemaster of Hed, I can't figure out the acorn bit between Denethor and Thorongil. Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Cliffhanger, indeed! I'm hooked and waiting impatiently. I think I'll have the third chapter ready by mid-week. Typo fixed. I wasn't sure why she chose the dress - I think I missed something. Clarification appreciated! She was trying to be plain and not attract attention. Finduilas doesn't want anyone looking at her with romatic intentions, particularly Thorongil, when Ivriniel is around. Thus, she dresses in mourning clothes, not realizing it doesn't do a bit of good. A very interesting and creative idea - Thorongil learning through this what he is and should be. Once you mention it, it makes perfect sense that while he is confident in warrior skills, he is clueless in many ways. Will you have him realize it is unfair and even dishonorable to want to court Finduilas because she reminds him of Arwen? (I'd love to see that!) It just makes sense that is is relatively unformed when he goes off on his sojourns, and that he would be changed (for the better) when he is done with them. He is good at fighting, he has strong natural leadership skills (being the true king and all...), and he is an honorable man. But he knows nothing of articulated human societies, nothing of politics, and is not sufficiently practised in ethical ambiguity. Nor is he well versed in *human* lore, though the Elves sure did drum poetry into him. This leaves him with a huge gap in understanding the people he would rule. Finally, he's not an intellectually curious person, not the way Denethor is, so, unless prompted or ordered, he's not going to go and look this stuff up. Hmm, do I have him realize that he is attracted to Finduilas because she is a substitute for Arwen? Yes and no. He is consciously aware that she looks like the Elf chick. He knows he fell for Arwen. He also has some massive mental defense mechanisms working over-time trying to tell him *that* was a dream, *this* is real, and he'd better be in love. So, he doesn't see it that way. Also, he really *is* attracted to Finduilas, just as Denethor, should he have seen Arwen, would be powerfully attracted to *her*. It is not mere substitution. If there weren't real feelings involved, then it would mean Thorongil is incredibly shallow and opportunistic. He isn't. It is actually reasonable that he would fall in love with Finduilas. Had he shaken Finduilas's hand first, it probably would have worked, and the history of Middle-earth would have been far different. Even so, his social naivety is being manipulated with regards to the girl, and he *is* being tempted by the short, easy route to kingship, which is paved with good intentions, a pretty girl, and lots of adulation. It's not even, at some level, a dishonorable choice, but it would be the wrong one. He has to have the choice, however, in order to understand it - there must be real temptation placed in his path. At this point, Thorongil doesn't have Elrond's challenge - be the king of it all with the enemy defeated or no girlie - so there is nothing to keep him from entertaining this route. If anything, Gandalf has brought him to Gondor to become king after Ecthelion, seeing a need for a king since Sauron (not just Nazgul) rules Mordor. The wizard doesn't know, either, what the right path is. The One Ring has been found, but no one knows it, and in the absence of that, strategy is uncertain. The acorn bit is purposefully obscure. The conflict is between the pigherd, whose animals forage acorns in his oak forest and the watchfire guardsman, who needs oakwood for the watchfire. Denethor sees a chance for the personal conflict between these two to endanger a steady wood supply for the watchfire, whereas Brandir & Thorongil just see a marriage dispute they really have no part of. He tells Thorongil to look at the problem differently (watch for snakes) so the guy will makes the connection: pigs = acorns = oak forest = wood = watchfire. Thus Thorongil says a pig feeds on acorns as a fire feeds on oak, i.e., I understand that we need to keep the watchfires fueled and not let local animosities endanger the realm. It's another situation in which Thorongil needs to think differently about his role and responsibilities. In truth, it is all fueled by one of Aragorn's stupid noble statements in LotR where he blathers some nonsense about Butterburr and the people of Bree calling him names and not understanding their own danger but it's OK because he and his ranger buddies will selflessly defend the simple folk so they can remain simple, yadda-yadda. Oh, *barf*. What an arrogant attitude. The people of Bree have a stockade and do their darndest to defend themselves. If the Dunedain of the north actually *talked* to the Breelanders, maybe they could have joint defenses, eh? It shows how disconnected the Dunedain have become from their life. They live to fulfill prophesies, not to be a viable civilization, and they treat "lesser" people with paternalism that is simply offensive. To me, it emphasizes how Aragorn, for all his noble bloodline, simple is not *and never will be* a fit ruler for a mortal society. He is a putrid steward, in short. Denethor sees this. His contempt for Thorongil is based on the recognition that the man is little more than a warlord (however honorable and well-intentioned), and that the captain who would be king is clueless about how to keep a kingdom together. Mind you, this appears to be a family failing, given how poorly the heirs of Elendil ruled their respective kingdoms - civil war, divided realms, jealousy, inattention, war-mongering, and all the rest. One can make a reasonable argument that Gondor did better under the Stewards than it did under the Kings. At this point in their lives, Thorongil would not be as good of a king as Denethor. He will be the proper person when the Ring War comes about, but it is also a world-historic moment, when the right-ordering of a realm is inconsequential compared to its immediate survival. Yet... without a steward of amazing capabilities, would there have been anything left for Aragorn to save? This is actually the subject of the next chapter. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

This is exactly how I feel about it. Obviously, sadly, Peter Jackson had other ideas - the film's portrayal of Denethor and Gondorian culture isn't in their favour at all. Which makes me mad everytime I watch RotK. Shutting up before getting OT, Astara

 

 

Re: Ch. 16 - Claims

Yet... without a steward of amazing capabilities, would there have been anything left for Aragorn to save? Right. This is my opinion also, which is why I like this story so much. Once I got old enough to begin to understand politics, I started thinking Denethor had the deck stacked against him. OtOH, I also like Aragorn, espeically in Strider mode, so I want him to have been a good king (even if the Tale of A&A freaked me when I first read it, and I still find it problematical) ... maybe my 'like' got hardwired when I was a teenager, so I'm not being objective about this. Maybe what I want is contradictory. I believe JRRT intended to give the impression that Aragorn did a good job as king ... he probably had a lot of good help from the bureaucracy already in place ... the comment he made in the Council of Elrond about 'simple' people need to be protected ... yeah, that's a *wince*. But he was soo *cool* when he first showed up, telling stories, weathertop & all, even if (later) I wonderred about 'what good is a broken sword' in the wild? And Gondor was "hard beset", as Boromir put it at the council -- Mordor was close, so the role of the stewards was crucial. For all the reasons you keep showing ...

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to Hands of the King

Stories linked to the forum