Incredible chapter, Anglachel. Probably your best ever... one of the best I've read.
Denethor's reflection here - 'All his efforts were nothing, for he could not prevent harm from worming its way into this house in a packet of herbs' - was heartstopping!
Then you get right into some very good matrimonial shenanigans! The line - 'Until he shared her bed, he had not noticed its privation' was heartrending!
Beregar comes of age with a wallop! Calling Ecthelion 'the old man' and his defiance of Denethor were superb!
Thorongil was, surprisingly, funny. I loved the sword practice and the cost of a whore!
Denethor's fathering moments - 'all the fears and dangers of life struck Denethor's heart more keenly when he imagined them happening to his son' - tore through me. And the part about power!!!
The confrontation between him and the snake was perfect... I wrote a big WOW right across that paragraph. But I fear for him. Snakes strike quickly and without warning.
As I said, incredible chapter. Cannot wait for more!