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November, 12 2005
OK, folks-this is the general forum now for questions that don't seem to fit in any of the other threads. I'm going to sort some of the earlier posts into the appropriate forums, but it might take a while, so bear with me. I'll delete the ones that have already been reposted by their authors.
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 Eressa, I'm in full accord with you about Isabeau's excellent depiction of Elrohir -- for me her version *is* Elrohir. But that's also true of her version of Imrahil and his children.
The incest issue was discussed earlier in this thread, and I don't think that one can absolutely conclude that Eldarion didn't marry his first cousin. It's actually not considered incest in many societies, and among the aristocracy and royalty of many cultures it is/was commonplace. It's not a biological problem when it happens once in a while -- the problems can arise in matings of first cousins who themselves are the products of first cousins who were also the products of first cousins, i.e. multiple generations of cousins inter-marrying, that's when the risk of inbreeding becomes meaningful.
Also, what if Eldarion calls Hethlin "mother" because for a while she fostered him (it used to be quite common for the highborn to send a son away to be fostered elsewhere for a while)? Tell could be her great-grandson through another line, e.g. Eldarion's son marrying Heth's granddaughter. That vignette doesn't rule anything out, it seems to me.
The thing that speaks against the possibility of Hethlin marrying Elrohir is Altariel's story, "Late Fragment." If Hethlin's love has died before Aragorn and Arwen are gone, he can't have been Elrohir.
Anyway I totally agree with you that Isabeau's Elrohir really came alive in CMC. It's a shame that he's not present in the other stories, because as interesting as Imrahil & Co. are I'm less curious about what will become of them ultimately -- because we kind of already know what will become of them in the broadest sense. I do care about the details, of course -- e.g. Imrahil doesn't have *that* much time left to him, so I'm keen to see him happily in love again -- which is part of the reason that I dislike his infatuation with Hethlin (at a minimum he's going to have to wait a couple of years for her). Of course I thoroughly enjoy reading about Imrahil, and the story about Andrahar and Boromir's sond Brand is interesting. I love the Amrothos stuff because he's so unique and unpredictable. But as far as the fates of Dol Amroth and Gondor are concerned, there will definitely be intrigues and dangers and unforeseen developments, I'm sure, but we basically know that the kingdom and principality will thrive and prosper for the next generation, at least.
But what's going on in the North? What has to happen in order to establish a lasting, stable civilization in old Arnor (we know Aragorn does rebuild a city there, but how and why?)? And what about those elves who remain? What does Celeborn -- another Isabeau characterization that, for me, is definitive -- do with himself ... and what happens that convinces him, finally, that it's time to leave Middle Earth? Those are the questions that I'd love to see addressed somehow.
If Hethlin and Elrohir don't end up together (and like you, Eressa, I've kind of thrown in the towel as far as that hope goes, although everything that we've seen *so far* makes him far and away the best candidate for Hethlin, in my opinion) I'm still hoping that we'll be able to see more of Elrohir in Isabeau's writings. It would be really a shame to not have more of these wonderfully wrought characters, and like you, Eressa I don't feel I've seen many realistic, engaging portrayals of late Third Age Elves. But I think that someone with Isabeau's writing talent won't do wrong by her characters.
Isabeau, I do wish we could light a (small, respectful) fire under your muse sometimes! Would bribes work? ;) Glad to see anything new written for Hethlin's story, but my fingers are crossed that your muse will soon decide that it's time to get Silver Swan, and its pressing questions, underway again!
Posted:Jul 29, 2006 15:58 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Uh-oh Eressa, our posts crossed! I'm glad your hope is renewed about Elrohir and Hethlin. Having laid out my reasoning a while ago, I've just kind of let go of the question, but it's nice to know that someone else is in my camp. I was feeling pretty lonely there for a while!
Your idea that Elrohir and Hethlin would found their own settlement in Rhovanion (or govern Rhovanion from Rivendell?) is what I always thought was going to happen. Works for the Eagles, Hethlin's northern heritage, the need for good leaders in the North, and of course H & E's mental link. Well it's not up to us -- only time and Isabeau will tell!
Oh, I just re-read my earlier post, and when I said, "Andrahar and Boromir's sond, Brand" what I meant was "Andrahar raising Boromir's son Brand" -- I didn't think that somehow the boy miraculously had two daddies.
Posted:Jul 29, 2006 16:12 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Rebecca: I quote from the story Fourth Age "“His Majesty sent me a letter saying he had urgent business to discuss with me, and I dropped what I was doing to hot-foot it all the way down here from Rhovanion, so yes, I intend to interrupt his dinner, and if you’re a wise man, you’ll get out of my way,” a husky voice declared. (Thats Heth speaking ofcourse) so maybe in the end she settles there afterall. I find it quite engaging that we are dissecting and analysing Isabeau's canon almost the same way that one discusses Tolkiens work in other posting sites! Quite a universe she has created...and again Rebecca I agree the rendering of Celeborn as a character though brief is deep and beautiful. I feel I agree wholy with the interest in the north, I've always been a massive fan of fanfiction with dealt with the dunedain namely in the north..seeing that there is no structure there to work with its quite an imaginative leap to be able to stay realistically within canon yet create something which lives...and I feel Isabeau would create a beautiful society which feels culturally real to the north and most importantly to Middle Earth.
p.s I am an anthropology major so what drew me Heth verse was how the cultures of the dunedain *which i feels to some extent overlaps with the house of elrond*, gondorians, dol amroth, and the glimpses of the elves are very strong.
Posted:Jul 29, 2006 16:59 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Rebecca- when Heth answers Faramir's question Alt's story 'Last Fragment':
"“And when, I wonder, did you stop longing for your love to be near you?”
“Never,” she admitted, “I never shall. But it does ease... or we live with it a little better.”
Could she also be speaking not about her 'love' but the fact that her true love is probably Faramir...and that she has probably been able to live with it a little better.
Posted:Jul 29, 2006 17:20 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Hmmm, I can't believe I'm trying to offer hope to the Elrohir/Hethlin camp, but I feel compelled to comment on a couple of things...
Rebecca, you noted that: If Hethlin's love has died before Aragorn and Arwen are gone, he can't have been Elrohir.
Why don't you think so? If Elrohir chose mortality to be Heth's partner and have children with her (or even if he didn't), then it's entirely possible that he dies in battle years before Hethlin visits Faramir. A tragedy of its own, but possible. Or, you know, there's nothing that says if Elrohir takes over the story again (like he did in Lorien) that Altariel might not have to revise that particular birthday present...
eressa, I admit I really dislike thinking that the section you quoted would be about Faramir - since Heth can't have him now, then I hopehopehope that she gets over the guy and they manage to remain good friends. It's true that you generally never forget your first love, and I imagine that he will always be special to Heth. I would hate to think that she would pine away for Faramir even through a marriage to someone else, however. I'd actually rather that the quote be about Elrohir's untimely death - at least she would hopefully see him again after her own passing.
Rebecca, your arguments *are* persuasive, but after much mulling and consideration I still believe that Imrahil is the best thing that could possibly happen to Heth. Nonetheless, I tend to think of the Elrohir/Imrahil debate in simple legal terms: The evidence on Imrahil's behalf is very strong, but still circumstantial. So far, anyway!
Posted:Jul 29, 2006 22:31 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Denise, you asked why I think that Altariel's Late Fragment rules out the possibility of Hethlin & Elrohir, because Faramir refers to Hethlin's (deceased, or otherwise gone) love. And that is a good question! I realize, now that I've looked, that I cannot back up the idea that Elrohir and Elladan were around at the time of Arwen's death, although somehow that notion bored itself into my head. (Were they still in ME, does anyone know?) All I could find when I looked into E & E's time in ME post Ring War is that they dwelled for a "long time" in Rivendell. Which of course raises the question, "long by whose reckoning?" Anyway, I thought that the canonical info on E & E is that they were living in ME at least until Arwen's death, and thus the conclusion I reached (perhaps incorrectly) about what Altariel's story portended for Hethlin.
And of course you're right that Altariel's story could end up being changed or declared "alternative." Seems unlikely, but you never know!
I'm certainly not trying to convince you to change your mind, Denise! :) I've already laid out my reasoning as best I could, and you don't see what I see, while I don't see what you see regarding Imrahil. But who knows what Isabeau will come up with -- I might be very surprised and find myself happily embracing a union between Imrahil and Hethlin. We'll just have to wait and hope that Isabeau's muse will take mercy on her patient (or not so patient!) readers. I was just responding to Eressa because I wanted her to know that she wasn't alone in favoring Elrohir for Hethlin. I wasn't trying to re-open that debate!
Posted:Jul 30, 2006 00:13 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Rebecca: I thought that the canonical info on E & E is that they were living in ME at least until Arwen's death, and thus the conclusion I reached (perhaps incorrectly) about what Altariel's story portended for Hethlin.
I'm no canon expert (my memory is too pitiful these days), but I do know where I can find some! Here's one: http://www.ansereg.com/elladan_and_elrohir_factsheet.htm
This page is pure Tolkien info, but just so you know there's a lot of adult stuff on the rest of the site.
I think that somewhere in CMC Elrohir talks about wanting to stay until Arwen dies. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?
I'm certainly not trying to convince you to change your mind, Denise!
*vbg* I don't mind - I liked the past discussion in part because it made me think through things. At least now I'm pretty sure I'm not rooting for Imrahil/Hethlin just because "I like Imrahil." I certainly didn't mean to give the impression that I wanted to reopen the debate! *Entire forum readership gives collective sigh of relief.*
Posted:Jul 30, 2006 01:29 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Denise, thanks for the reference; it's very helpful. You're right, perhaps I absorbed the idea that E&E would stay on until Arwen's death, at least, from what Elrohir says in CMC, and just took it as fact. I agree that it would be entirely possible that, if he did decide to stay in Middle Earth, Elrohir's life could end up being shorter than one might expect if he got killed in a tragic accident or battle.
Posted:Jul 30, 2006 06:17 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Hi, Rebecca,
Elrohir's life could end up being shorter than one might expect if he got killed in a tragic accident or battle.
And the very possibility depresses me. If Heth and Elrohir marry, I naturally hope it's a singularly deep, completely happy and passionate affair, and that we are somehow misconstruing the much-discussed passage in "Late Fragment"...
Also, rereading the ends of my last couple of posts, I didn't express my thoughts very clearly. I do apologize if it seemed I wanted to start off on the E/I discussion again. All I was trying to say is that I don't believe there's any *definitive* evidence about who Hethlin marries, since anything that seems to point to Imrahil could be referring to something else not as obvious (for example, with Faramir and Heth's visions), or could be otherwise explained (eg, Heth's relationship to Tell). Maybe I'm just trying to mitigate any potential (and personal) disappointment by consciously keeping my mind open, and trying to not make too many assumptions about Heth's future, but I don't think so.
Denise, devoted Imrahil fan (but really, only Isabeau's Imrahil *g*)
Posted:Aug 3, 2006 22:12 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Denise wrote: [i]I don't believe there's any *definitive* evidence about who Hethlin marries[/i]
I completely agree! We all have our own reasons for pulling for our favorite candidates, but obviously this won't be resolved until Isabeau decides to publish the answers to these questions. Our earlier discussion about why we hold the views we do was interesting, but since Isabeau has already decided what is going to happen on that front, I don't think that any number of "votes" one way or another will make a difference, will they?
Moreover, I worry about voicing my opinions too strongly or too often, or giving the impression that I think *I* know what's best, or that *I* know what Isabeau will or ought to write. When I asked my questions about others' rejection of Elrohir, and laid out my own understandings and assumptions about Hethlin's choices, my goal was to find out why everyone else in the discussion seemed to have interpreted the situation very differently than I had. Having discovered at least some of the sources of our different notions about what Hethlin can/should do, I've concluded that people have responded to Hethlin's story on a personal level, and their opinions (mine included) are informed by their own world views, personal experiences & preferences. Someone voicing an opinion that isn't aligned with my own doesn't threaten the validity of my view, but of course when I saw Eressa's post lamenting that she was the only one who favored Elrohir I had to let her know that she wasn't as alone as she thought! I'm not trying to convince anyone else, though.
Really, in my view there isn't a "right" or "wrong" outcome, but if the decision is simply down to Imrahil or Elrohir, a lot of other things will have to fall in line with either choice.
Posted:Aug 4, 2006 11:31 GMT Reply to this Comment
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