Raksha The Demon
14 Oct 04 6:31 PM
Reply To: 32447
"That is mentioned briefly-- Denethor knows who this mysterious Aragorn is, in RoTK, and says he will not bow to him.
Gypsum, I think it was, suggested a nuzgul along these lines a few months back-- I can't recall what it was, but it came up in an IM conversation and she was making jokes about Aragorn grimly reflecting that he was totally screwed when he got to Minas Tirith and had to deal with Denethor, whose resentment of him was highly unlikely to have faded."
First, Dragonlady: I don't think Aragorn would have thought that he was totally screwed when he got to Minas Tirith and had to deal with Denethor. Denethor had huge problems of his own, like tens of thousands of orcs, Southrons, Easterlings preparing to knock on his door (ding-dong, Grond calling!) and Air Nazgul buzzing from above. I don't think Aragorn would have worried that Denethor would have bothered to do much against someone bringing the Sword of Anduril and coming in with some high-placed allies and extra swords. Hmm. Thorongil, technically, was a deserter; but Aragorn, Son of Arathorn, Chief of the Dunedain of Arnor, was not someone Denethor could necessarily throw in a dungeon with impunity.
Nightsky - What Aragorn probably worried about, with good reason, was, how he would deal with Denethor AFTER Sauron was defeated, knowing full well that Denethor was not going to just bow meekly and hand over the throne. But Aragorn seemed to be firmly in a 'Beat Sauron First, then think about what comes afterward' military-command mindset, so he didn't do much planning about transitioning Gondor from the Steward's rule into the Kingship.
Aragorn's decision not to march into Minas Tirith proclaiming himself the returned King after the Battle of the Pelennor was both politically astute and very humane. Aragorn knew that the City was demoralized, physically damaged, lost lots of brave men; he did not want to take advantage of the situation, he wanted to claim the Kingship as his absolute right, not a prize of war. And he wanted it done legally, with the Steward's assent. If Denethor had survived and resisted, I'm not sure what Aragorn would have done. Imrahil would have thrown in with Aragorn; Faramir probably would have fought for his father or abstained; there might have been war. Maybe a coup with minimal casualties, ending with Denethor under comfortable house arrest or a padded cell somewhere....
Of course, if Denethor had survived the Pyre, I doubt he would have allowed Aragorn entry into the City, and Faramir and Eowyn and Merry and many others would have died. Imrahil would have been very annoyed, as would many others if they knew that Denethor had prevented those handy hands-of-a-king-are-the-hands-of-a-healer from getting to the Houses of Healing and doing their handiwork...
Aragorn is very, very, lucky that Boromir and Denethor did not survive the war. I also think he is very lucky that Faramir survived as Aragorn's biggest fan; as Faramir was popular and well-known in Gondor and Thorongil was a forty-year-old legend, Faramir's support could really help smooth the transition in the years following the glorious victory over Sauron.
RAKSHA THE DEMON