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Discussing: Ch. 25 - Plans

Ch. 25 - Plans

Plans Shifting back to Denethor's POV. The taciturn Warden tries to understand just what it is he has done, while various political intrigues swirl about. This chapter marks the beginning of a an extended treatment of Denethor. Where I usually give a few chapters to Denethor, then switch to Finduilas, I will have 6 chapters in a row given to Denethor's POV, followed by six in Finduilas's POV. Content warning: I deal with character death directly but, I think, respectfully. This chapter was written over a year ago. Any resemblance between it and recent US events is purely coincidental. Big thanks to my beta readers: Julie, Nath, Two Flower, Denna & Roh Wyn. As always, if, despite the best efforts of these lovely people, typos or other errors remain in the chapter, post 'em here. Happy reading! Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Being the grateful reader I am... I have to ask-- When's the next chapter coming? *innocent smile* Great chapter. I didn't know Denethor had a beard! Does Thorongil? You simply must take up art and sketch me something! Do you have a clear vision of what they look like in your mind? Maybe to avoid riots in response to nothing more to read, you could put together a description of the main character's looks! I don't have much in the ways of money, so I can only pay my debt in interesting, shiny objects. Ahhh, I love this story.

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

When's the next chapter coming? *innocent smile* Ch. 26 is with the beta editing crew right now. I have @ 2500 words of ch. 45 written. When I'm done with the first draft of 45, I will read over edits on 26, rework, and post. There's been a little time lag due to RL stuff and getting the HotK workshop set up. I hope to be back on a schedule of a new chapter every two to three weeks from now on. So, weekend after next, probably. I didn't know Denethor had a beard! Does Thorongil? Yup, both do. Check out Ch. 2 when Finduilas is thinking back to seeing both men for the first time and you'll see the reference. Both have neatly trimmed beards and hair long enough to braid. You simply must take up art and sketch me something! Western civilization as we know it would not survive the trauma of my drawing, I fear. Though I would not object to anyone else taking a shot at it. Do you have a clear vision of what they look like in your mind? Yes. Very tall, well over six feet, though Thorongil is taller by an inch or so. Both are lean, but not scrawny, with a lot of muscle earned from battle and travel. The requisite gray eyes, of course, and dark hair. Both have a variety of small scars from fighting, though no major scars because they are *good* fighters. Denethor does have a nasty burn on his left forearm from Dragon Fire. Both favor dark clothes and quiet demeanors. Thorongil is more likely to smile and laugh than Denethor, and generally does not have such a forbidding expression on his face. Both are agile and well-coordinated, despite their very long limbs. As Tolkien describes Denethor, he has "[a] carven face with its proud bones and skin like ivory, and the long curved nose between dark deep eyes; and [Pippin] was reminded...of Aragorn." So, basically, tall, dark, and uber-handsome, combining the elegance of Cary Grant, the aristocratic hauteur of Peter O'Toole, the world-weary attitude of Humphrey Bogart, the feral dangerousness of a young Kevin Kline, the grim brooding of Alan Rickman, the cool authority and command of Denzel Washington, and the angularity of Viggo Mortenson (though NOT his whiny, reedy voice). Ahhh, I love this story. Music to my ears. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

So, basically, tall, dark, and uber-handsome, combining the elegance of Cary Grant, the aristocratic hauteur of Peter O'Toole, the world-weary attitude of Humphrey Bogart, the feral dangerousness of a young Kevin Kline, the grim brooding of Alan Rickman, the cool authority and command of Denzel Washington, and the angularity of Viggo Mortenson (though NOT his whiny, reedy voice). Mercy, Ang! You are *distracting me from work*! Erm.

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

combining the elegance of Cary Grant, the aristocratic hauteur of Peter O'Toole, the world-weary attitude of Humphrey Bogart, the feral dangerousness of a young Kevin Kline, the grim brooding of Alan Rickman, the cool authority and command of Denzel Washington, and the angularity of Viggo Mortenson (though NOT his whiny, reedy voice). Mmmm....interesting. Now I'm severely distracted and will get no work done. Thanks a lot!!

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

So, basically, tall, dark, and uber-handsome, combining the elegance of Cary Grant, the aristocratic hauteur of Peter O'Toole, the world-weary attitude of Humphrey Bogart, the feral dangerousness of a young Kevin Kline, the grim brooding of Alan Rickman, the cool authority and command of Denzel Washington, and the angularity of Viggo Mortenson (though NOT his whiny, reedy voice) Uhhhh...I was *trying* to work, too. [sighs]

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Alright, then! Now where can I pick one up? Perhaps you can become a mad scientist and create an army of these two... or one of each for just us fans. I would also settle for a virtual reality game where I was Fin. Yes, yes, it does seem like a lot of work. I trust that your inner genius will sort out all of the details. I'm also having trouble with the voices. Aren't I imaginative? Voices are impossible to describe in words. I suppose I'll have to watch movie after movie until I find the right ones. Unless, of course, my author friend has any suggestions...? ;) I don't have trouble with the girls' voices, but I suppose that might be because I AM a girl and I'm around other girls most of the time. Dr. House is a real smart-aleck... Hugh Laurie is brilliant. Especially in those Black Adder sketches. A little too sarcastic for our purposes, I suppose. Back to the drawing board!

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

It certainly was happy reading, despite Andreth's death. I'm still marveling at the complexity of the family relationships. Like Turgon, she apparently was a very interesting character. The stark contrast between Denethor's cynic account of how his betrothal came about and his true feelings - as manifested in his looking into the palantir to watch Fin - was intriguing. I suppose the false tale he told Beruthiel rather belongs to his actions which aren't exactly laudable. Nevertheless, it made me laugh out loud. What a cunning fellow! With him, what you see is definitely not what you get... As to your image of Denethor, what shall I say? I better stop thinking along this line.

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

I would also settle for a virtual reality game where I was Fin Brilliant! I want one!

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Brilliant! I want one! Oh yeah... Well, as long as I wouldn't have to die young, that is. Thankfully, I'm already older than poor Fin ever got to be.

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

It certainly was happy reading, despite Andreth's death. I'm still marveling at the complexity of the family relationships. Like Turgon, she apparently was a very interesting character. Killing two birds with one stone - creating another strong female character and putting some substance to Denethor's background. This family has attitude to burn (sigh...) I also like going into some detail about how women may not hold political office, but they are still significantly involved in the society outside of the immediate household. Aunt Andreth will reappear later in the story. This part of the story is also to make a point about the ways in which Denethor is familiar with death within his own family. His mother, his grandfather, a beloved uncle, this aunt/mother figure, his cousin who was like an elder brother, and so forth. I had once dubbed HotK "Four Funerals and a Wedding" because of what will happen, but then both funerals and weddings multiplied. The stark contrast between Denethor's cynic account of how his betrothal came about and his true feelings - as manifested in his looking into the palantir to watch Fin - was intriguing. Being clever can be exhausting. I'm not sure he always knows what he is going to get when the wheels start turning. This will come back to bite him. Badly. Remember - the image of Denethor applies equally to Thorongil, though perhaps a little less grim. Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Ang, Thanks again for putting the link on your forum page - makes it only 2 steps instead a 3 or 4 to read. I am so totally mesmerized by this tale... I'm very glad I'm not a beta reader for this - for I just devour it . No time to look for any mistakes - probably didn't see any cause there weren't any - go figure! LOL I took it to a little cafe for my lunch hour and returned 10 minutes late. I couldn't not finish it!!! Hope the boss didn't mark it down! Your characters are spot on - I loved this introspection. Absolutely compelling. But the palantir - wow - in my mind he does not touch it till much later in their life together... but it was certainly powerful and what a introduction to its seeming benevolence - that he could watch his love. *shivers* Again - thank you so much for sharing this. I'm hooked! Agape

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Being clever can be exhausting HoTK Denethor is a classic example of "too smart for his own good." I'm really taken with the way you've written him though, so it's really going to bother me when he begins his inevitable descent into despair and darkness.

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Coming in very late on this chapter, but very pleased to know it was waiting for me! Aunt Andreth will reappear later in the story. I'm very glad of that, otherwise I would have wanted to suggest more of her earlier. I'm curious about her. I also liked the idea that Denethor had had someone like her, perhaps as a safe harbor against others of her family. I regard Aiavalë somewhat like that too, but exhausting in her own right. I winced through the scene with Maiaberiel (at the emotions and exchanges, not the writing). I wonder if you are setting up something very 'hubrisy' there - that his urge to rub her nose in it will have Very Bad consequences. Thanks for the chapter! Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

So, basically, tall, dark, and uber-handsome, combining the elegance of Cary Grant, the aristocratic hauteur of Peter O'Toole, the world-weary attitude of Humphrey Bogart, the feral dangerousness of a young Kevin Kline, the grim brooding of Alan Rickman, the cool authority and command of Denzel Washington, and the angularity of Viggo Mortenson (though NOT his whiny, reedy voice). I always see Denethor as Charlton Heston; even if Chuck didn't have black hair (except in THE WAR LORD; a great little gem of a medieval romance). That voice, that body, that Great Stone Face (which could break from grimness to tenderness, but rarely smiled)...He could have made a great Aragorn in his early middle years, too... I cannot under any circumstances envision Kevin Kline or Cary Grant as Denethor...Cary Grant was just too debonair and effervescent; and I loved Kevin Kline in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and IN AND OUT....Mortenson did a good job for the first two movies; and is great on horseback; but never convinced me he was King. Also, despite his command of Sindarin and Quenya, Mortenson's diction leaves a lot to be desired; he often mumbles or speaks too quietly. I always took JRRT's description of Denethor's "dark deep eyes" to mean that Denny did not have grey eyes, but brown or black eyes. I don't think JRRT ever said that Denny had grey eyes; which is odd, considering that both his sons were definitely grey-eyed. RAKSHA THE DEMON

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

I always see Denethor as Charlton Heston Interesting.... How about Daniel Day Lewis (circa, say...Last of the Mohicans)?

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

I'm very glad I'm not a beta reader for this - for I just devour it . No time to look for any mistakes - probably didn't see any cause there weren't any - go figure! The current betas are doing an excellent job of rooting out my more, erm, *idiosyncratic* additions. But the palantir - wow - in my mind he does not touch it till much later in their life together... but it was certainly powerful and what a introduction to its seeming benevolence - that he could watch his love. *shivers* I address that in an earlier thread dicussion (Ch. 18, I think), where I explain why I put the first use of the palantir so early. Tolkien himself does a little equivocation on when Denethor starting using it, but pegs it to near when he became Steward. He clearly says the initial motivation was to watch Thorongil & Mithrandir, and that is what drives the Denethor HotK to dare looking in the stone. But it is love that keeps him looking. Again - thank you so much for sharing this. I'm hooked! All part of my nefarious designs, of course. It looks like I'll have another chapter ready next weekend. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

Aunt Andreth will reappear later in the story. I'm very glad of that, otherwise I would have wanted to suggest more of her earlier. I'm curious about her. I also liked the idea that Denethor had had someone like her, perhaps as a safe harbor against others of her family. I regard Aiavalë somewhat like that too, but exhausting in her own right. I'm not sure *any* member of that family coul be considered "safe", except perhaps Turgon. Even Aiavale, who obviously loves Denethor greatly, was not above using him for her own emotional needs. Andreth could be quite cruel, too. I find myself becoming curious about Belemir and Boromir, who sound like they are much less extreme characters and obviously had a strong influence on adolescent and young Denethor. I winced through the scene with Maiaberiel (at the emotions and exchanges, not the writing). I wonder if you are setting up something very 'hubrisy' there - that his urge to rub her nose in it will have Very Bad consequences. That would be a good bet, yes. In general, Denethor's hubris tends to rebound on him in bad ways. Maiaberiel's own hubris keeps it from coming back with full force, as she frankly *deserves* to have her nose rubbed in it. Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

I know this is terribly late, but I adore this story! When I saw this in the public archive, I thought it would be a typical romance, but gosh, it's more than that. It's an adventure, a mystery, a drama. The characters are extremely strong. I like your Denethor more than any other version (including mine). He's a bit nasty and sarcastic but is tempered by his love for certain people *cough, cough*, his honor, respect, and his devotion to Gondor. *huggles younger, hopefully hot Denethor* Finduilas is quite a character; she's strong and intelligent but also gentle and compassionate. The reason for her eventual demise sounds very right. Aiavale and Maiaberiel are interesting characters. Both are essentially the same, and Aiavale may have become Maiaberiel if it wasn't for her deformity and her love for Denethor. Maiaberiel is the perfect villainess. Whenever she was up to her usual shenanigans, I felt a desperate need to throttle her, probably with iron knuckles and thistles and cyanide. Ecthelion is great, too. I dislike him, but he's extremely human, and it's interesting to see where Denethor's Denethoriness came from. As for Thorongil/Aragorn, congratulations, you're the only author who's ever made me almost hate him. You've taken the legend and brought him down to our humble level. The plot is waaaaaay cool. You're driving me crazy with all the dreams and battles and mysteries scattered about. (I'm only on Chapter 10, 11, or 12 so I shouldn't be talking.) Your version of Gondor surprises me. The fanonical version of Gondor tends to be "Gondorians are stuck-up prigs obsessed with propriety, and they were all grim and stuff during the war." However, you've given us a Gondorian nobles' world where out-of-control parties and excess are the rotten core of the a slowly vanishing society. And these are all another way to show a lack of hope and preparations to fall from the Shadow. Well, I'm off to finish the story! I love the fic! Bye! Namarie! Loremaster

 

 

Re: Ch. 25 - Plans

I know this is terribly late, but I adore this story! It is *never* too late to stroke an author's ego! ;-) The characters are extremely strong. I like your Denethor more than any other version (including mine). He's a bit nasty and sarcastic but is tempered by his love for certain people *cough, cough*, his honor, respect, and his devotion to Gondor. *huggles younger, hopefully hot Denethor* Thank you! He's a fascinating character to write as he never quite does what I expect him to do. I look at this period of his life - his courtship & marriage - as a period in which he could have become a very different person than the one we see in LotR. Even losing his wife is not enough to explain why he became what we read in LotR, so I'm trying to explore what choices were available and what course he picked. As for Thorongil/Aragorn, congratulations, you're the only author who's ever made me almost hate him. You've taken the legend and brought him down to our humble level. Oh, now, don't hate him! He is also in a period of change, chance, and choice. Though I do hope he's a little more human. I'm glad you are enjoying the story! Toodles - Ang

 

 

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