Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

Ch. 11 - Flirtation

Flirtation A third Finduilas POV chapter. Beregar decided to become a permanent character in this chapter. I start delving into the history of the missing kings a bit more here, and explaining why Denethor thinks what he does about Thorongil. The poor Warden almost gets to have fun, but this story is pretty much one long tale of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Or getting munched by victory - I haven't really decided. I wrote this chapter almost a year ago, so it was interesting to go back and read it again. I had only one substantive change to make to it, editing one sentence and adding another after it. Ang, proudly making typos since January 2002

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

Yeah, an update!!! *does happy dance* My, with Denethor you really must watch what you're saying! *shakes head* I found that I so much wanted to see him happy, just once. I particularly enjoyed seeing Finduilas act as an independent woman. Makes me wonder how they deal with each other once they've found out that they're not just friends. Denethor isn't likely to stop being arrogant and overly protective at the same time then.

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

My, with Denethor you really must watch what you're saying! *shakes head* I found that I so much wanted to see him happy, just once. He's a prickly one. He did have his happy moment. He'll have a few more, but he always gets suspicious when they happen - they usually mean the bottom is going to drop out. It's all worse because you *know* how the story ends. I particularly enjoyed seeing Finduilas act as an independent woman. Makes me wonder how they deal with each other once they've found out that they're not just friends. Denethor isn't likely to stop being arrogant and overly protective at the same time then. I like writing her as independent, too. Denethor is going to adapt well, I think, as he is used to being around strong-willed women. The arrogance - well, the next few chapters put a little damper on that. One of my complaints about too many fandom presentations of their relationship is that Finduilas is portrayed as weak, subservient and often afraid of Denethor. This runs counter to just about every portrayal of marriage in LotR, as well as making Finduilas into a victim - which, in the end, is a fundamentally uninteresting kind of character. It is possible to write someone who is kind and gentle without making her (or him) into a wuss. Even so, there is no way that Denethor will stop being dominant, arrogant, and protective. It's just the way he deals with life. Glad you like it! I'll try not to keep you waiting so long for the next installment. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

One of my complaints about too many fandom presentations of their relationship is that Finduilas is portrayed as weak, subservient and often afraid of Denethor. I'm afraid I used to be guilty of this charge as well. Used to be because this has somewhat changed over the past months, and I believe that your portayal of their relationship is partly responsible for it. Even so, there is no way that Denethor will stop being dominant, arrogant, and protective. Actually, I'd be terribly disappointed if he did. It's part of the attraction, at least for a fangi-- err, fanfic writer. In real life, a dominant man like him would certainly drive me nuts.

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

I relate to Finduilas in how she is forced to deal with Denethor-- his protectiveness, in particular. As a fellow independent woman ;), I cannot stress enough just HOW annoying it is to be treated as an invalid or fool, unable to complete the simplest of tasks (based exclusively on your sex). Although in their mind, they are only trying to protect a person out of care for their well-being, it never comes off or feels that way. I have been in so many arguments that run parallel to the arguments in this story. I am so bossy by nature that dominance has never been and issue and I'm told that I scare people (6'3 200 pound men?!) even though I never do more than offer a look. In short, I feel Finduilas' pain! Sometimes, I feel like getting my hands around their ne-- err, never mind. The level of humanity the characters possess is amazing and probably one of the reasons I am so drawn in. That is the hardest part of writing for me... three dimensional, unique characters that readers can relate to and be interesting in. You do a great job-- especially with Denethor and Finduilas, but Beregar was great in this chapter also. I only wish that I was as bold as Finduilas! I would feel bad and slink around for days... Of course, I usually make things worse by trying to be nice. Great chapter and I loved the glimpse of happy Denethor, even if he is a loose canon. I can sometimes be set off by the most innocent comments, also, but I have to be in quite the toxic mood (and when in such a mood, I avoid people). Poor Denethor! Its a pity he did not live (cough) in an age where the healers could pump him full of Prozac and settle him down.

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

in re: the knowledge of how the story ends making it worse, I will simply say a sad and fervent Amen. >ts a pity he did not live (cough) in an age where the healers could pump him full of Prozac and settle him down. More pity he didn't live in an age where Child Protective Services would've stepped in and freed him from his godawful parents. Alternately, an age that would have managed/alleviated/cured Aiavale's birth defects, and prevented Emeldir's neurosis about it. Alternately, an age that would've let Emeldir just freaking divorce Ecthelion if she didn't like him. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I don't think this Denethor is particularly mentally ill, though in his state some psychotherapy probably wouldn't hurt... But think about it. Would he have freaked out in the end if Finduilas had lived? Maybe we should wish instead for medicine for her, rather than him. A tantalizing A/U: Finduilas doesn't die young. What, then, happens to Denethor? Can we avert the pyre? However. Not something to consider here. This is a very understated story. I had expected more to come from flirtation than a simple smile. But, thinking back, it's probably the happiest we've seen Denethor. He's wound very tight, and he's well sketched out. The tension is marvellous. The only criticism I could offer is that the characters are so subtly portrayed, with all these small descriptive character moments, that it could be perceived as a bit slow-paced, and so if I didn't enjoy it as much as I did, I would say from an editor's viewpoint that some of these chapters should be consolidated, to make a denser and faster-paced story. But, I think given the genre, which is mostly concerned with the slow unfolding of their relationship, and also given the skill of the writer (which is undoubtable), the length is more a bonus than a detriment. i just thought I would mention that it is fairly slow-paced and that might be a bit much for some readers. And, as I read through, I can't think of anything I'd consolidate. Noticed a few little typos, haven't had time to go over them-- nothing major, certainly. Nothing that impedes understanding. Was quite excited to see that it had been updated. Made my day. As far as I personally am concerned, I don't care about the pacing and I wouldn't mind if the story was a hundred chapters long. DL7

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

I don't think this Denethor is particularly mentally ill, though in his state some psychotherapy probably wouldn't hurt... True. In fact, the whole Steward’s family seems to be in need of it. A tantalizing A/U: Finduilas doesn't die young. What, then, happens to Denethor? Can we avert the pyre? However. Not something to consider here. Nevertheless it’s a scenario I love very much, being the hopeless romantic I am. Which is why I choose to believe that there would have been no pyre then. As far as I personally am concerned, I don't care about the pacing and I wouldn't mind if the story was a hundred chapters long. Amen to that! There isn’t such a thing like too much Denethor and Finduilas. Ang, do you already have an idea how many chapters there will be? Astara, looking forward to the next 20 chapters.

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

I relate to Finduilas in how she is forced to deal with Denethor-- his protectiveness, in particular. She's a good corrective to his general over-controlling habits. Maiaberiel tries to manipulate him and Aiavale simply argues with him (though their relationship is as much mother/son and brother/sister), while Finduilas responds to him without giving in. There's another woman in his life you'll find out about in a later chapter who helps form his attitudes towards women. Denethor is not simply domineering, and he is not sexist, though his thinking is gendered. The level of humanity the characters possess is amazing and probably one of the reasons I am so drawn in. ... You do a great job-- especially with Denethor and Finduilas, but Beregar was great in this chapter also. I only wish that I was as bold as Finduilas! I would feel bad and slink around for days... Of course, I usually make things worse by trying to be nice. Music to my ears. Thank you! I'm not a very good prose stylist, but I like to think I'm good with characters. Beregar is one of those secondary characters who kept demanding my attention, and will continue to expand in importance. He never quite gives up being in love with her. Poor Denethor! Its a pity he did not live (cough) in an age where the healers could pump him full of Prozac and settle him down. Actually, I disagree. He is a tragic hero, possibly the only truly tragic figure in LotR, and his powerful, dark personality is what makes him both great and doomed. Don't get me wrong - I *want* him to be happy. But the character himself won't allow it. Thus, the few moments where he is able to put off his cares and take some joy are nearly as destructive to him as the grand gestures of despair or fury. I can't see the pyre as an isolated incident in his life, though it is the most horrifying. There must be other signs of the self-destructive violence latent within him. Thanks for the comments! Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

More pity he didn't live in an age where Child Protective Services would've stepped in and freed him from his godawful parents. Alternately, an age that would have managed/alleviated/cured Aiavale's birth defects, and prevented Emeldir's neurosis about it. Alternately, an age that would've let Emeldir just freaking divorce Ecthelion if she didn't like him. But then it wouldn't be a tragic story. And I want to speak up on behalf of his parents - while less than perfect, you're also seeing them through Denethor's eyes, and he isn't exactly unbiased. I suspect his father is a much better man than his son will allow, and that there was more to his mother than her duty to her role in life. Would he have freaked out in the end if Finduilas had lived? Maybe we should wish instead for medicine for her, rather than him. A tantalizing A/U: Finduilas doesn't die young. What, then, happens to Denethor? Can we avert the pyre? With my characterizations of these two, no, he would not. His relationship with his sons would have been less suffocating as well. But, if you characterize him as a soulless meglomaniac, or her as an anorexic doormat, then it isn't clear the outcome would be different even if she lived. The question I'm trying to answer with HotK is how can Denethor be a good, noble, kingly, honorable man, the "Last Numenorean", yet end up killing himself and attempting to kill his son? He's not merely insane by the end, though he is also not dealing with reality. Sauron's long-term influence on his mind via the palantir is obviously implicated, but the fault lines have to be present before hand. Can he be flawed without being either a cold-fish or an abusive husband/father? What would that look like? Yes, I'm writing a slow-paced story. I like sprawling novels. It's not going to appeal to everyone, but that's OK. I like stories where the reader gets to discover characters rather than have them force-fed, and where the reader may find out something about them that the author doesn't see. When you get the time, please do note the typos. That's very useful to me. Umm, I *hope* it won't be 100 chapters long! Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

A tantalizing A/U: Finduilas doesn't die young. What, then, happens to Denethor? Can we avert the pyre? However. Not something to consider here. Nevertheless it’s a scenario I love very much, being the hopeless romantic I am. Which is why I choose to believe that there would have been no pyre then. So, go write it! I do have an AU in mind where, even though Finduilas dies, but Denethor does not kill himself. It's 100% dependent on HotK, so it may never get written. What I want to look it is how would/could Denethor deal with "Thorongil" coming back? When the two men actually saw each other, what kind of fireworks would go off? What about Faramir - would it be so simple to be loyal to the King if Denethor still lived? And so forth. It would be tense, to say the least. Pippin wants me to write it because he has a lot of good scenes. ;-) Amen to that! There isn’t such a thing like too much Denethor and Finduilas. Ang, do you already have an idea how many chapters there will be? Not exactly, but I think between 50 and 60. I just wrapped up the first draft of 31. The later chapters jump many years in their lives and focus on key incidents like the births of their sons, the defeat of the Corsairs, more stuff with Thorongil, more interactions with Mithrandir, the death of Ecthelion, and Finduilas's own death. Thanks for the comments! Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 11 - Flirtation

So, go write it! Umm, not very likely to happen. To cover all topics which go with this scenario (you already mentioned some of them), it would have to be quite an epically long fic, and I don’t see myself doing that. It would need a lot of planning, and that’s something I hardly ever do as a writer (not consciously at least). Moreover, I’ve written stories in English with up to 10 pages only. A work on such large scale in my second language would be a Herculean task. Anyway, it’s nice to toy with this ‘what if.’ It would be tense, to say the least. Pippin wants me to write it because he has a lot of good scenes. ;-) So, go write it!

 

 

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