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Isabeau's Journal
The place to discuss my stories and other Tolkien-related topics.
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Isabeau's Journal

By:Isabeau
 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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448 replies


 [21] December 28, 2005

Hi Isabeau,

As I mentioned in my TFF review, I loved the third chapter of Silver Swan. I must say that I have a healthy admiration for anyone who has the time and discipline to write purely for pleasure, and is generous enough to share it with others. When the writing is as good as yours is, my admiration trebles (at least)!

So about chapter 3: it is interesting that Elrohir apparently had no qualms (until he was caught) about poking around in other people's heads. I went back to CMC, to the chapter (I think it was 50) where he tells Hethlin that he had, "been endeavoring not to be so high-handed where you are concerned." We see now that he didn't extend that courtesy to Imrahil, and we see that this could land him in hot water with Elrond, Celeborn and Galadriel were it discovered. He obviously knew how wrong it was for him to trespass like that, and while mischievous and even willful, Elrohir also seems to be pretty honorable (thinking back to how hurt he was to have been forced to give his word twice about going West), so he must have reasons going beyond mere curiosity for doing what he did.

I'll assume that Elladan, if he knew about what Elrohir was doing, expressed his disapproval privately so that Hethlin wouldn't be in a position to report it in her narrative.

Anyway, I suppose my question really is something that will be answered in future chapters, but I feel compelled to ask it now: how is Elrohir going to make amends with Imrahil? After he learned of I.'s proposal to H., he spoke respectfully of I. more than once while discussing things with Hethlin. Which makes this offense all the more curious. I know in Dol Amroth Yule, Elrohir is welcomed into the castle, and carries a letter from Imrahil, so the rift must have been mended. It will be very interesting to see how.

Another, related question: what difference does it make to Elrohir that Imrahil is a mortal who has been taught to shield rather than one with natural abilities? He seemed so taken aback by that bit of info that it must be very unusual, or perhaps makes some kind of difference as to the gravity of his offense?

You make me very curious about what goes on in the head of that elf! It would be great to have an out-take chapter like the conversation you did between Imrahil and Faramir, or something like that, featuring Elrohir.

OK, finally: poor Imrahil. I won't try to circulate a petition, but surely the poor man has gone without love for far too long. If he does end up with Hethlin in the end, he's still facing a few years by himself while she earns her white belt. Adn he's not getting any younger! I shouldn't presume to speak on behalf of the Prince of Dol Amroth, but please, let him get some soon!

As ever, thank you very much!

A very faithful & grateful reader,
Rebecca

Rebecca
Posted:Dec 28, 2005 15:31 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [22] Nargil wrote:

Another one:

Do we ever find out what Boromir said in his last letter to Andra?

Sorry to be a pest, you give me a means to ask a question, then you answer it, then you get hit by an avalanche, I am trying to show restraint,

I haven't decided about that yet. I think Dwim might have actually addressed that a bit in one of her stories-must go check back.

dpetrash wrote: Isabeau - No need to appologize about length of time to answer posts. If you are on the computer, I'm sure every one of us wants you to give priority to your Muse! Especially as your answers are making me even MORE intrigued about your next update or new story. (See #'s 4 & 6.) :)
Will you answer questions here that are brought up in your reviews? Or should we not put them in the reviews but save them for here?
Finally, do you have any sway with Hope Hoover/E.W.? I would love to see her do a portrait of your Andrahar, as I enjoy her renditions of Imrahil and Heth tremendously.

I really don't mind answering questions either place. I think this is a better way to discuss them in depth. Unfortunately, I'm still not getting notified when someone posts.

And yes, I have a little influence with E.W.-she lives 15 minutes away. She was saying just the other day she'd found a model who reminded her of Andra, so maybe the muse will move her. I'll pass the request along.

Isabeau



Posted:Jan 5, 2006 19:19 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [23] Rebecca wrote: So about chapter 3: it is interesting that Elrohir apparently had no qualms (until he was caught) about poking around in other people's heads. I went back to CMC, to the chapter (I think it was 50) where he tells Hethlin that he had, "been endeavoring not to be so high-handed where you are concerned." We see now that he didn't extend that courtesy to Imrahil, and we see that this could land him in hot water with Elrond, Celeborn and Galadriel were it discovered. He obviously knew how wrong it was for him to trespass like that, and while mischievous and even willful, Elrohir also seems to be pretty honorable (thinking back to how hurt he was to have been forced to give his word twice about going West), so he must have reasons going beyond mere curiosity for doing what he did.

Unfortunately, I think it was mostly curiosity about Imrahil's current state of mind now that Heth has turned him down. Elrohir wants to know if Heth is going to come north or stay at Dol Amroth, and he's wondering if Imrahil is going to make another move.

I'll assume that Elladan, if he knew about what Elrohir was doing, expressed his disapproval privately so that Hethlin wouldn't be in a position to report it in her narrative.

Undoubtedly he was private about it. But I do have to wonder if it was chastisement for doing the snooping, or chastisement for GETTING CAUGHT doing the snooping...

Anyway, I suppose my question really is something that will be answered in future chapters, but I feel compelled to ask it now: how is Elrohir going to make amends with Imrahil? After he learned of I.'s proposal to H., he spoke respectfully of I. more than once while discussing things with Hethlin. Which makes this offense all the more curious. I know in Dol Amroth Yule, Elrohir is welcomed into the castle, and carries a letter from Imrahil, so the rift must have been mended. It will be very interesting to see how.

Imrahil is a reasonable individual. I don't know that Elrohir will necessarily have to DO anything. He just needs to refrain from snooping.

Another, related question: what difference does it make to Elrohir that Imrahil is a mortal who has been taught to shield rather than one with natural abilities? He seemed so taken aback by that bit of info that it must be very unusual, or perhaps makes some kind of difference as to the gravity of his offense?

Galadriel is so cavalier about poking about in peoples' heads that I decided perhaps it wasn't considered a bad thing if the person involved wasn't aware of it. How can they protest their privacy being violated if they don't know it happened? If Imrahil simply had natural shields, he still wouldn't have necessarily been aware of the intrusion, he would simply have been very hard to read, which is what Elrohir thought the situation was. When the Prince reveals he's had training in his mind abilities and knows exactly what happened, that's a different kettle of fish.

And yes, I don't think he was expecting a mortal to be trained, or at least a mortal who was not a Northern Dunedan. Which only proves that being 3000 years old doesn't keep you from being obtuse every so often.


You make me very curious about what goes on in the head of that elf! It would be great to have an out-take chapter like the conversation you did between Imrahil and Faramir, or something like that, featuring Elrohir.

Yes, wouldn't it? Don't look for me to be starting anything else willingly until I finish some of these WIPs!

OK, finally: poor Imrahil. I won't try to circulate a petition, but surely the poor man has gone without love for far too long. If he does end up with Hethlin in the end, he's still facing a few years by himself while she earns her white belt. Adn he's not getting any younger! I shouldn't presume to speak on behalf of the Prince of Dol Amroth, but please, let him get some soon

Are you suggesting he should resume his former career as a connoisseur of brothels? I don't know how he can really get some without appearing to be totally fickle and insincere. Until he gives up on Heth accepting his suit, I don't think he'll be getting any other action.

Isabeau



Posted:Jan 5, 2006 19:35 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [24] January 05, 2006!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years, Isabeau! And thanks for passing on the portrait request to E.W. I hope her muse is inspired by the scene from S.S. Ch.2, with Andra and Glorfindel facing off after "double kill" is called! Maybe with Imri/Heth/Faramir/Elrohir/etc. in the background watching? Or is that a little too blatant attempt to get all my favorite fanfic characters in one picture? (Hee!)

>I think this is a better way to discuss them (any questions) in depth.<
Good point. In that interest, I'll repost my question(s) from the review of Silver Swan, Ch. 3:
So if Imrahil and Heth did get married or become lovers, could they speak mind to mind or at least sense something of each other? (Their mind skills would seem to be a rather unique ability in both their cases - a remnant of purer-than-usual elven/Numenorean strain?)
I am pulling rather hard for Imri and Heth, even though he's now the one being unfairly possessive instead of Faramir. (Not until after her training is complete though, and she's gotten some experience in command maybe, as this is truly an opportunity for development she would not get again.) Would he be more relaxed if he hadn’t professed his love to Heth, I wonder? He wasn't nearly so moody when first meeting with Hethlin after his proposal.

>I don't know how he can really get some without appearing to be totally fickle and insincere.<
Yeah, it seems like it would be out of character at this point (unfortunately for Imrahil). He's gone almost two decades on principal now, and he didn't even want an illicit liaison with Hethlin, even though he's got it bad for her.

>Until he gives up on Heth accepting his suit...<
Uh, oh. Is that a sad foreshadowing for us Imrahil/Heth pullers? :(

dpetrash
Posted:Jan 5, 2006 20:40 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [25] "Are you suggesting he should resume his former career as a connoisseur of brothels?"

No! I really must stop giggling about that, my teacher is looking at me funny, we are not allowed on non college related websites.

I agree with Elladan being more anoyed about his twin getting caught,

I hope you can get a picture of Andrahar, and Hope is such a great artist, living 15 mins away from each other must be good.

yet another question:

How come some of your stories are slightly different here compared to how they are on ff.net? just odd comments like the bit about not looking after Elchirion in Discovery aren't there, I like these versions better.

Hope you had a brilliant christmas

Keep writing

Nargil
Posted:Jan 6, 2006 09:51 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [26] January 6, 2006

Happy New Year Isabeau! And thanks for taking on my copious questions.

I think I understand better about the mind-probing/intrusion issue, although ... oh no, wait... ohhhh I get it. I get it.

Are you suggesting he should resume his former career as a connoisseur of brothels?

Oh no, absolutely not! Totally beneath him.

I don't know how he can really get some without appearing to be totally fickle and insincere. Until he gives up on Heth accepting his suit, I don't think he'll be getting any other action.

Yes, I see that my sense that he deserves a break after nearly two decades of celibacy is a direct function of my belief that he and Heth are really wrong for each other. I see Hethlin as being wrong for Imrahil because:

1. She is far less cultured and educated than he is. She's bright and learns fast but she's still a country-bred tom-boy at heart (NOTHING wrong with that) who doesn't delight in finery, who doesn't have a cultivated palate, who isn't widely read or widely traveled. Yet. She may very well become all these things. And Imrahil has had, and may continue to have, a direct role in her education. But I don't see him as Prof. Higgins to her Eliza Doolittle (a shaky analogy but the only one that comes to mind at the moment). I think he's too self-aware and has a sufficient helping of humility to want to mold someone to suit his tastes.

2. Hethlin's relationship with Elrohir is public knowledge, even if it isn't widely known or discussed (yet). Even if she & Elrohir soon part ways for good, that would not mitigate the fact that they were lovers, and her virtue (already in doubt) would be nonexistant in the judgmental eyes of the courtiers of Minas Tirith and Dol Amroth. I realize that there are probably different standards for a second wife who will not be bearing the Heir, and that sexual mores in Gondor are more flexible and nuanced than those of medieval Europe. Nonetheless, there would be a lot of whispering, and even some laughing, behind Imrahil's back. Sure he could handle it, no problem. And if there weren't other problems with their pairing, I could totally see him taking on waspish tongues with relish to defend his love. But I can't help but think that they would wear on him. Because of reason number 1, but also because...

3. If Hethlin ends up with Imrahil her choices will be necessarily restricted. She might visit the north once or twice, but her connection with her Dunedain kin, and the Eagles, will only be experienced from a distance. She will not be able to follow a warrior's path, even if she does finish her Swan Knight training. She won't be able to put off having children for very long, if Imrahil is to father them. I think Imrahil would feel a lot of guilt about restricting her choices, and would worry about her feeling stifled and resentful -- not only about missed opportunities, but also about being thrust into a world which would require her to change quite a bit in order to fit in. And not everyone would accept her even then (those waspish tongues...). Plus, the changes that Hethlin would have to undergo wouldn't just involve wearing dresses more often, but things like growing accustomed to having an army of servants who see to all the little things that Hethlin has always done for herself (and while on the road to Lorien, for Imrahil). He's never been fully independent like she has -- and while her independence was born of necessity, it's a point of pride among the folk of Anorien, a part of their identity. Imrahil has never had to be fully self-sufficient, and doesn't seem to see that as a shortcoming on his part. Hethlin would really have to change the way she sees herself in relationship to others in order to find any contentment in Imrahil's world.

4. Faramir. Imrahil's love for his nephew is unquestioned, but how will he feel at family gatherings, especially as he grows older, if he has to wonder if his wife still harbors feelings for Faramir in small secret corners of her heart?

So those are most of the reasons why I think that Hethlin isn't right for Imrahil. There are reasons why I think he isn't right for her, either, but that's another matter. I can totally see why he fell for her: the relief of getting rid of the threat of Sauron affected everyone and made everyone want to celebrate life; his children are grown and he can finally look to his own needs; he spent a couple of months in her close company; and of course she's a damned fine woman! Hethlin is impressive and worthy of Imrahil's love, and he is worthy of hers, no doubt. But being worthy of someone's love doesn't mean that the love would work out for either person.

All relationships have their problems & love without obstacles is a childish notion. But I think Imrahil deserves better -- to know fully that he is loved by the one he loves, to not have to contend with niggling doubts about resentment or regret or feelings for someone else on the part of his beloved. He has been self-sacrificing on behalf of his children, and unwilling to compromise on love, since he'd had the real thing and didn't want anything less. I think he'd be compromising himself to some extent with Hethlin (in part because she'd be compromising herself to be with him).

Anyway, that's the long version of what is only my opinion. Getting back to the idea of Imrahil getting some, I guess I have the sense that his love for Hethlin is a) an infatuation, and b) a red herring in the trajectory of her story. And I could be so wrong on both counts, but if I'm right I hope that he'll come to his senses soon, and that a lovely, available woman will soon come into view for him. Because I like him so much! And knowing that Hethlin will be with Elrohir at least through the next several months (having read Dol Amroth Yule) I can't help but think that the poor, dear man deserves a break. On the other hand, how many people really get what they deserve?

Thanks for indulging me Isabeau!

Cheers,
Rebecca

Rebecca
Posted:Jan 6, 2006 10:20 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [27] Um yeah, I agree and what a wonderfully reasoned argument. I don't think they should get hitched either and I had many of the same views if more simply put, for one thing Heth is too good at being a warrior and for another I can't ever see her doing the court "thing".

At the same time I don't think this thing with Elrohir could turn into a marriage either, sure they get on but niether of them want to be tied down.

I still think she should go to Dol-Amroth and cause havock though, she can visit the north once she has her whitebelt, maybe when Aragorn goes North on that big visit Tolkien mentioned.

Do we get to see the conversation beetwen Andrahar and Adrahil after the last chappie of Ultimatums and will they ever go out to tea?

Keep writing

Nargil
Posted:Jan 6, 2006 11:19 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [28] Sorry for the long essay above. Having expressed fully expressed my views I shall say no more.

I meant to add, re how wonderful it would be to have an EW picture of Andrahar (I agree, it would be great!), that for some reason I've pictured him in his younger years as looking like Andy Garcia: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800011640/photos

Rebecca
Posted:Jan 6, 2006 11:44 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [29] You know, I think I would add to Rebecca’s #4 above, that Heth’s soul-bond with Elrohir would be even more of an issue than Faramir being her first love. How galling can it be to think of a former lover being able to speak mind-to-mind with your wife? An intimacy you can’t share? It’s the main reason I’m curious as to Heth and Imrahil’s potential in this area.

But still, even while seeing all those serious issues clearly, I can’t help but hope for the two of them to get together in a few years. In large part I think this is due to my perception that Imrahil is the only mortal in Gondor who is worthy of who Heth can become (at least that Isabeau has introduced to us so far) – and that just barely! She’s a direct descendant from Elendil on both sides of her family tree, from two ancient Northern houses. Her very heritage would seem to demand that she be comfortable moving in the “cultured” circles her birthright calls for. Plus, in a world of relative peace, diplomacy would seem to become even more critical than skills on a battlefield. So I think that Aragorn may have all this in mind as much as being able to guard Arwen in certain situations – using his position as one of her close male relatives to develop her full potential as both warrior and noblewoman, and have her be able to serve the kingdom in ways she can’t imagine yet. Of course, Andra pretty much already said this in Silver Swan, so I’m not voicing an original thought here. And I think her character is such that she could achieve much of what is needed fairly quickly - in time for she and Imrahil to have at least a somewhat more balanced relationship.

Plus, I think that given Heth’s dangerous profession and the prophesies we’ve seen thus far (esp. Faramir’s vision in CMC Ch. 18 and Heth’s experience with Galadriel’s mirror) that she may need to have an heir on the ground sooner rather than later, and this would actually be more of a impediment to her military career than her being married. In fact, she might have more freedom with Imrahil than anyone else: she wouldn’t be mother to his heir and thus need to be “protected” for the principality’s sake, and the family’s wealth and position would insure that her kids would be well-cared for in times that she is off fighting.

It’s certainly fun discussing all the possibilities with other “Unabeauverse” fans! Even when, in the end, Isabeau and friends will write what they want anyway!

Speaking of writing, I like Nargil’s thought on Hethlin visiting Arnor (if not for the first time, perhaps) on Aragorn’s trip to Lake Evendim. Imladris, the Shire, maybe the Havens? Another story begging to be told – eventually. :)

Also, I like Dwim’s comments about Aragorn in her 12/31 Silver Swan review. I hadn’t seen it in that light when I read the story. But then I started thinking – the King is a wily and canny man. Was that really just a sneaky manipulation on his part? To make it sound like, “Oh, yes, you can go North if you want,” while at the same time painting the Swan Knights as a once-a-lifetime challenge that Heth couldn’t turn down? Suddenly it seemed like he’d just found the perfect way for her to do what he wanted, without her ending up resenting him when her life gets really really difficult. “Hey, it was your choice, Heth!” Hmmm…

dpetrash
Posted:Jan 6, 2006 18:34 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [30] January 7, 2006

It’s certainly fun discussing all the possibilities with other “Unabeauverse” fans! Even when, in the end, Isabeau and friends will write what they want anyway!

---------------------------------------------------------------

It sure is! I haven't got either the time or the guts to write fiction of my own, and I don't read fanfiction widely -- I probably wouldn't read it at all if not for the fact that one of the first stories I came across (serendipitously, while googling to look up some small detail about Gondor that I couldn't remember from reading the books eons ago) was Isabeau's Captain My Captain. I didn't even realize that fanfiction existed -- just not on my radar at all.

And while I've been rather forward in voicing my opinions about what should happen for Hethlin and Imrahil, I have absolute faith that whatever Isabeau decides (or has already decided) will be right and ring true. That's what is so impressive about her writing, I feel like she's genuinely interested in exploring Tolkien's characters further, filling in the parts of stories that he left out, in a way that for me keeps true to their original characterizations. Her original characters, like Hethlin & Andrahar in particular, are interesting and worthwhile in their own right, which in my view justifies their existence. For example I don't feel like Hethlin's relationship with Elrohir, or Andrahar's with Boromir, pull either E. or B. "out of character." I love the idea of Brand, Iron Lady Tirathiel, bookworm Nimrien. I love that barely-named-by-Tolkien Amrothos is an explosives expert and inventor of shorthand. I like that men have qualities and abilities in their own right, things that aren't always eclipsed by the glorious Elves. The Elves leaving Middle Earth is still sad, but won't leave ME impoverished and without potential.

Isabeau leaves Tolkien's world with its joys and unavoidable sadnesses intact; just more richly detailed. That's why I've been such a devoted reader. My impatience to see a new love interest for Imrahil is only due to how he tugs at my heartstrings with every new chapter -- I don't want him to have to wait for two more years for even a chance at finding some joy with Hethlin, a woman in love with his nephew and soul-bonded to a half-elf who's not convinced that Valinor is the place for him. But I totally trust Isabeau & her collaborators to do right by him, and all the other characters they choose to draw in finer & more personal detail than Tolkien often did.

Rebecca
Posted:Jan 7, 2006 13:18 GMT  Reply to this Comment
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