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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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 P.S. Since we were wishfully thinking of EW portraits recently, Kasiopea has a new Dol Amroth picture up on her website that makes the waiting a little easier to bear. No Andra, unfortunately, but I did't really mind since I want to see EW's redition of him anyway. And I like her Imri best, too. But:
Posted:Jan 17, 2006 14:56 GMT Reply to this Comment
 OK, back to actual questions about your stories! I finally got to read Noble Jewel for a second time and true to form, I noticed many more things about it that went right over my head the first time. And generated questions and comments, of course....
1. (Ch. 2) I really, really like Cuilast. Typical of your secondary folk, he has been fleshed out beautifully. Will we see a lot more of him in the future? Anyone (besides Imrahil) who is not afraid to tweak Andra has my undying respect. Favorite lines: “Your stepfather was in error,“ the healer declared, his voice positively chirpy. “I have not known bastardy, either as a condition of birth or description of temperament, to be an impediment to membership or advancement in the Swan Knights.” “Very funny, Cuilast!” the captain growled.
2. (Ch. 2) A little before that, Cuilast has asked Andrahar to stay with Brand, and that he needed Liahan to help him with the injured Swan Knight because “He’s more than half a healer himself, you know.” Andrahar: “Yes, Liahan does a great many things well,” came the dry response.
What does that mean? Andrahar’s obviously making an oblique reference to something, but I can’t figure out what it is.
3. (Ch. 3) Peloren’s acknowledgement of Andrahar mourning Boromir, some comments that Cuilast makes, Esteven’s discretion in “Discovery” – how many people actually know that Boromir was Andrahar’s lover? Some things seem to indicate that there’s at least suspicion among the Knights, but then again can be read as merely acknowledging that Boromir was his one-time pupil and friend.
3. (Ch. 4) Does Brand actually get to use Andrahar’s prized soap in his bath??? This could be his most valuable inheritance from Andrahar.
4. (Ch. 5) “Left with time on his hands, Andrahar invoked a privilege of his that he rarely used, and set an esquire who had displeased him the day before to cleaning his tack, and grooming the remount he was riding.”
Um, is this anyone we know? :P
5. (Ch. 5) Just a comment: That whole passage, where Brand is saying goodbye to his family and gives Jacyn “studied insolence” at the end, and Andrahar finally feels hope and joy – still incredibly moving. I love how you set that up and portrayed everyone.
6. (Ch. 6) Do you have more history on Liahan (another favorite minor character)? He’s scattered throughout several of your stories but not much is revealed except his excellent character and seemingly gentle manner for a warrior. Why is he fostered to Dol Amroth? Related: Are any of our other “known Knights” married with kids? Or is it typical for the Knights to be bachelors?
Needless to say, I was very happy to have so much of Noble Jewel from Andrahar’s perspective. It really opened up a window into what a great man he is, despite his rough childhood, and beautifully showed his humanity and compassion - though well disguised to the outside world! As with all yours and Altariel’s stories that have Heth “hidden” in the background, I am impatiently waiting for Silver Swan to catch up so I can get her perspective on events!
Posted:Jan 17, 2006 15:51 GMT Reply to this Comment
 once again trying to end the italics
"2.What does that mean? Andrahar’s obviously making an oblique reference to something, but I can’t figure out what it is."
I don't know? they can't have been lovers, Liahan was still too young in Discretionand Imri told Andra to keep relationships out of the chain of command. Perhaps it has more too do with Aragorns comment about Liahan becoming better than Andra.
Andra always has been a wonderful person, even when you write the street thief you still have somebody who wants to get out of that life, he probably could have made a life out of crime if he wanted to but he didn't. One of the most heart wrenching things you ever wrote was the comment you made about him burning off the slave tatoo in Kin Strife, having once been burned (accidently) by a poker I know how much it hurts, how he had the guts to do that I do not know.
Is there a back story to Rahur? it seems so well suited to have Andrahar's horse as an tempermental beast, it always struck me as a sort of parody of what Andra could have become if he hadn't dealt with the past.
Also will he ever get to go to dinner in Ultimatums, after the last chapter he needs a break.
Posted:Jan 17, 2006 17:18 GMT Reply to this Comment
Nice, thanks sharing the link, although I agree with you about preferring EW's rendition of Imrahil
Posted:Jan 17, 2006 17:49 GMT Reply to this Comment
 I have a question about Amrothos, and I guess all of Imrahil's children for that matter: how much time did they spend with Lord Gildor's folk in Edhellond? Amrothos is so keen on interrogating the elves of Lothlorien & Imladris about all and sundry, just made me wonder if he'd spent much time with elves prior to the time of CMC & Silver Swan.
Posted:Jan 17, 2006 22:54 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Hello, Isabeau! I've been reading through a lot of the comments made and I thought I'd add a couple here. The discussion about Arwen has me sort of confused because everyone thinks she changed her mind about her choice and I guess I've never read it quite that way. I see someone who is beginning to grieve over a beloved husband who is leaving and is asking him to stay when he clearly could have stayed for at least some time longer. I don't think she regrets her choice, just wants more time with her husband which is a pretty natural thing.
I suppose it is-unless you're 3000 years old. But Tolkien specifically states that she finds the Gift of Men hard to bear in the end, and implies that she regrets her decision. I believe that Aragorn even suggests she take ship (I can't find my LOTR omnibus) and she says that one wouldn't take her. The inference is that if she thought it would, she'd be out of there like a shot, and that's what I don't like-it cheapens their love.
I would have much preferred some dignified resignation on her part, instead of all the waffling and over-dramatic grief.
I think I've said to you before that I want Hethlin to end up with Imrahil and I think they will be good for each other in many different ways. She wants to have children, she has said so and had the surgery so that she can and I can't see her going north and marrying a Dunedain and having children there. I don't think she gives anything up by marrying him and she gains a whole lot, he loves her deeply and I think that she is starting to love him as well. He will not keep her caged up and locked away, he has never been that kind of a man.
Yay! Imri has another advocate! I think it's running 50/50 now.
I always keep in mind that the story is set in Middle-earth and not here and now and so things are much different in that world. Women's roles are different. What Hethlin is doing is extraordinary, what Eowyn did was extraordinary. I don't see that Eowyn marrying Faramir and having children is changing her expected life in a radical way. She was raised as a princess of Rohan - yes, a shield maiden, but a princess who would have been expected to marry well and have and raise children. Going and killing the witch-king was the unexpected, unusual thing and was done out of frustration and longing and anger and lots of different things. But I don't think that marrying Faramir (or anyone she loved) is settling for something less than she could have been. Not in that culture and not in that time. Not in the culture that Tolkien created.
This is true, though I do think women may feel stifled at times. I have tried to indicate in Ultimatums that even Nimrien, a more "proper" sort of woman, has regrets about not being able to take a more open role. Though there have always been those throughout history who took it and be damned to anyone who stood in their way.
By the way, Isabeau, I do like the way you write Aragorn, who is my favorite LOTR character! :)
I am very glad to hear that, because he is not a very easy one for me to write. He doesn't always talk loudly enough.
Posted:Jan 18, 2006 18:48 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Rebecca wrote:
Mind you, her saving the day in Dol Amroth Yule was excellent, and didn't jar me a bit. But she was able to spot the danger because she wasn't in the inner circle of activity, she was watching from the sidelines.
It just occurred to me that if Hethlin ends up with Imrahil, her story will parallel Eowyn's quite a bit -- giving up the strong feelings she felt for a man who loved elsewhere to accept the love of another worthy man, whose path she adopts. I agree with Radbooks's observation that Eowyn was brought up to be a princess, that is, to make a good marriage to man of rank and have a family with him, so her choice of Faramir isn't surprising or "wrong," in the arc of her story.
You know, this may seem odd or incredibly stupid of me, but I never really thought about the parallels. More of that instinctive symmetry Una keeps nagging me about.
BTB, I'll write to Mike about making adjustments to the site so that we can edit posts, or at least that the blog owner can. Then I could go back and put all this in more coherent form. Got the italics off by using the preview function below this window. You can check your posts out down below before you send them.
But to me Hethlin's story seems so different. I don't think she has to be predestined for any particular life -- that's the beauty of it. It's up to her. But when I consider what things have happened that shaped her and put her in the position of being able to choose her own path, I see things that point toward resolution in the north. If for no other reason than if she went up there and made a name for herself, she would be vindicating her father and mother, who had to go into exile because of spitefulness among the northern Dunedain. I think it would be most satisfying if she became a leader of men up there, respected and renowned among people who let their fear of a curse blind them to the valor and worth of Hethlin's father.
I think it would certainly be nice to have her prove herself up there, and I intend to write her being quite the traveler before she is done. As you stated earlier, the Eagles are up north and I would like her to be able to interact with them, though Gwaenaur is getting up in age and might not mind finding a more southerly home...
Posted:Jan 18, 2006 19:01 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Dpetrash wrote-Somewhere, Imrahil talks about being "the man that Nimrien made me." I don't see any problems (even for feminist advancement in Gonder, so to speak) with Heth becoming "the woman that Imrahil made," before going off after his death to become a great leader in the North or anywhere. In fact, I think that marrying him and experiencing leadership in Dol Amroth is exactly what would best prepare her for great leadership roles in the future. After all, she has at least 80 years after Imri dies, per Tolkien and Isabeau's timelines....
There's that great grasp of math again...;-)
Posted:Jan 18, 2006 19:04 GMT Reply to this Comment
 dpetrash wrote-P.S. Since we were wishfully thinking of EW portraits recently, Kasiopea has a new Dol Amroth picture up on her website that makes the waiting a little easier to bear. No Andra, unfortunately, but I did't really mind since I want to see EW's redition of him anyway. And I like her Imri best, too. But:
Thanks for the link! That was a gorgeous picture, though I thought her Imri looked more like how I imagine Denethor. And I was trying to figure out who the toddler was. I suppose it could have been Alphros.
Posted:Jan 19, 2006 06:46 GMT Reply to this Comment
 Yes, I love Kasiopea's work, but it tends to be heavier and dark, and her portraits stern, whereas your Imrahil is light and (usually) merry. I asked about the toddler - she said he just demanded to be drawn but she didn't know who he was specifically. Those artists' muses!
Posted:Jan 19, 2006 07:57 GMT Reply to this Comment
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