Forum: Hands of the King

Discussing: Ch. 36 - Fortress

Ch. 36 - Fortress

Ch. 36 - Fortress

Last of 6 Finduilas POV chapters. Warnings - This story is now officially rated Adult.  Also, sadness and dealing with grief, but mild.

Mostly Finduilas and Denethor, but appearances by several sisters continue to flesh out the personal and political mix inside the fortress of Minas Tirith.  The fate of Hareth, a name from earlier in the story, is recounted. We learn more of what has happened to the Swans.  

Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

Whoa, I don’t believe nobody has posted yet! You seem to have rendered all of us speechless, Ang!

So finally, here are some probably rather incoherent thoughts. (Small wonder after the emotional tour de force the latest chapter took us on. )

How very fitting the chapter’s title is: Living in the citadel, Finduilas has been building a fortress for herself and Denethor by winning loyal retainers while finally tearing down the walls of the uppermost level to the fortress that is her husband’s heart.

I’ve said more often than once that I admite her self discipline, but the same goes for her courage. No matter how insecure she was about the road she was going, she overcame her fears. At one point, I even had to grin – her reasoning where best to go, yet preventing Denethor from escaping his fate. For some reason, I found that was rather funny.

As to the act itself, I must admit that on my first reading some parts of it had a more ‘technical’ ring to them than I’d have liked. Probably it was mostly due to the fact that as a writer of romance, I tend to be vague and press the ‘Fade’ botton when it comes down to sex proper. Having read the text twice, I changed my mind. Since the event is told my Finduilas’ POV, it makes perfect sense. Given her inexperience and sometime insecurity, I can very well see that her mind would work just like that, focussing on the emotion(s) as well as on the description of totally new sights and actions.

The chapter’s ending made me swallow hard. To see Mr. Grumpy Bonehead bare his innermost soul and even crying is really something! Normally, the idea would / should make me happy, but knowing how little time they have, seeing how much they’re devoted to each other makes me sad.

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

Whoa, I don't believe nobody has posted yet! You seem to have rendered all of us speechless, Ang!

Comments dried up some time ago. I don't expect anyone to post anymore. It's kind of disappointing, as there is a lot packed into each chapter with a number of plot lines,  resolutions of things from earlier, introduction of new elements that will play out in large ways, exploration of characters, etc., but readers have other interests.

How very fitting the chapter's title is:

I take some care with chapter titles. They usually can be read on a number of levels.

At one point, I even had to grin – her reasoning where best to go, yet preventing Denethor from escaping his fate. For some reason, I found that was rather funny.

Oh, I was laughing over that one, too.  Finduilas is so... practical. But like most of what happens, it will take on greater significance as their lives go forward.

The consummation scene was very deliberately written to be mechanical at the start, finguring out where all the parts go,  and reflects not just Finduilas's perspective but also to hint at Denethor's - just how do we do this? Their assumptions and misconceptions play out until they can forget the appendage A into orifice B and encounter each other.  She was right that they would be changed by this, and the physical aspect is inseparable from the emotional. When they rise the next day, they will be different people.

Thanks for your comments - I really appreciate them.  

Toodles - Ang

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

It's kind of disappointing, as there is a lot packed into each chapter with a number of plot lines, resolutions of things from earlier, introduction of new elements that will play out in large ways, exploration of characters, etc., but readers have other interests.
Disappointing indeed. Receiving little or no feedback always is and must be even more so because you've been obviously putting so much time and effort into this epically long novel.

I take some care with chapter titles. They usually can be read on a number of levels.
Sometimes I notice, but I'm afraid a lot of what you're hinting at often simply goes over my head. Reading fast isn't always helpful. I should really go back and start to reread the whole thing. My memory is very selective and my brain seems to have holes like Swiss Emmental cheese sometimes.

When they rise the next day, they will be different people.
I'm very curious to learn more about it, especially since the next chapter(s) will be Denethor's POV.

Thanks for your comments - I really appreciate them.
You're most welcome! I just wish I was better at this. But then I'd be on your betaing team. I'm too much the drooling fangirl to be of much use.

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

It's kind of disappointing

Well, hopefully you're not too disappointed, Ang...I wouldn't want you to stop writing the story altogether! We can start a petition at HASA to get more people to post comments!

I think people are less inclined to read WIPs in general. It's a little unsatisfying to be completely drawn into a story only to have to wait weeks (or in the case of HotK, years) to get resolution. When it's all done, I bet you're just inundated with comments.

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

> Comments dried up some time ago. I don't expect anyone to post anymore.

I'm still reading, but a combination of working way way too many hours and the fact that the site became inexplicably harder for me to use (things changed, and I am not on here as much because I'm not on the Internet as much, so I haven't learned the new whatever it is yet and it takes me a long time to find anything in the Workshop area) mean that I rarely comment. But do understand-- I'm reading!

Also, you've gotten much better with typos, or something. If I haven't the energy to comment on larger themes I can usually fall back on the typo hunt, but there haven't been enough in the last five chapters put together for me to fill up a small paper cup-- but then, that could also be how many hours I'm working, which has a way of eating the brain.

Do know, though, that I not only read the chapters the very moment I find out that they're posted (unless... sigh... I'm late for work) but skim the comments too! I am very invested in this story, and adored this chapter, and have read it three times I think (four?)-- but have found no typos, and haven't the intelligence remaining to comment on anything more challenging than that.

-- A Faithful Reader (who realized how invisible she's been of late)

DL7

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

Whoa kids!

The emphasis there is on the "kind of" and no criticisim of current company is intended!  I'd be a liar if I said I didn't care at all about comments, but I know readers have to decide where to spend their time. While it's disappointing not to get comments, people aren't going to post unless they really have something to say, so I'm not surprised if there aren't any.  That's all.

In some ways, writing a really long story is probably easier that writing a short or medium length story. It goes on and meanders around and new people start reading even as older ones lose interest.  HotK wasn't supposed to be this long when I started. It was going to be a quick, 12 chapter rest from the Hobbit stories, and then I'd go back to the Shire. So much for good intentions.

I will finish it. I'm past the half-way point now with the alpha writing and going into the home stretch. If writing goes well, I should wrap up the rough drafts late spring/early summer next year, then focus on the editing and releasing a new chapter every two weeks or so. It'll be another year before the whole thing is available for general reading, and should be about 650K words.

But, on the comments side again, I'm being given little hints and pushes from a few persistent folks to come up with a way to make it easier to comment on stories on HASA. It's made me think, and I may have a little Thanksgiving present for for the site. Tee-hee ......

Toodles - Ang 

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

Sorry for not commenting more often, but I have a lot to say and don't know where to begin... suffice it to say that I love your story and characters and writing.

It seems like the story has changed a lot from the beginning/middle... maybe because the last 6 chapters have been a female perspective? I'm not sure... The focus seemed broader in the beginning, with more going on. That is probably intentional, of course.

I miss Thorongil. He needs his own story, that lovable scruffy wanderer! Awww, poor dear. Question: what turn is the story going to take next? Will there be more to do with the world at large once again? More battles? More dancing? More Aragorn sopping wet and needing to be rid of his clothes? Err, scratch the last part. Or don't. No, seriously, I am just wondering what direction the story is headed in general.

I did catch a few mistakes, but can't remember where they are now. lol I will reread the last chapter and repost. So many of the things that happen in your story I have pictured, as well. In particular this chapter, Denethor crying. I always expected it as he is so used to bottling up his emotions, when confronted with such raw emotion and love, wouldn't be able to handle it. Great minds think alike, hmmmm? haha

Simply, I loved it. I should write a better review, but my mind is everywhere right now. I couldn't stay silent when you think we're not reading, though! We are, we are! We are just bad at commenting! New chapters brighten my bleak existence and cheer me up in between "performance assessment" essays.

 

 

Re: Ch. 36 - Fortress

It seems like the story has changed a lot from the beginning/middle... maybe because the last 6 chapters have been a female perspective? I'm not sure... The focus seemed broader in the beginning, with more going on. That is probably intentional, of course.

There is a different feel in Finduilas's chapters. She isn't going to be charging all over the countryside the way that Denethor does. OTOH, as she herself says, they cannot always be storming Angband; there needs to be some quiet time in the story for them to focus just on each other and not the perils and challenges of the world around them. There won't be this long of a gap between changing POVs again.

I miss Thorongil. He needs his own story, that lovable scruffy wanderer! Awww, poor dear. Question: what turn is the story going to take next? Will there be more to do with the world at large once again? More battles? More dancing? More Aragorn sopping wet and needing to be rid of his clothes? Err, scratch the last part. Or don't. No, seriously, I am just wondering what direction the story is headed in general.

He's going to come back into the story like gangbusters. He makes an appearance via a letter in the next chapter, then has major scenes in the next eleven. That good enough for you?   Yes, the story does move outwards again, though there will also be plenty on their growth and troubles as a married couple. And more about the Lost. Oh, yes, there will be a scene involving Thorongil's clothes, though only Denethor and Finduilas will be disrobing from now on. They will be doing that on a somewhat regular basis. In a strange way, being married to Finduilas allows Denethorto interact more with Thorongil.

Denethor weeping. He has gone so long thinking of the external or merely mechanical effects of sex that he was not ready for the emotional (and something else, but that's a spoiler and will be covered in the very next chapter) change. There's all the family/Oedipal revulsion over sex, the political fact that once he and Finduilas lie together, that's it, she cannot change her mind and pick the secret king instead, and the physical problem that, well, he isn't *quite* sure just what he's supposed to do with that thing.

I'm surprised no one has commented on the letters from Dol Amroth.  The Swans are not out of the story yet. Imrahil in particular will play a significant role.

Toodles - Ang 

 

 

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