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



The Best-Loved Son cycle

 February, 23 2006

Anything dealing with this cycle of stories can be discussed here: Andra and Boromir as a couple, the Denethor/Imrahil/Andrahar rivalry, the politics of Gondor in the last days of the Third Age.

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53 replies

 [11] Raksha:

their cavalry consists mainly of Imrahil's Swan Knights (when Denethor had decades to create one for the White City itself)

and Isabeau:

That, I think, is because of that weird thing they keep saying about the Gondorians not being good with horses. But I'll agree with you that that shouldn't have stopped him from learning...That great big flat place all around the City cried out for cavalry. I do perhaps make Imrahil & Co. better horsemen than they might actually be in canon, but then canon doesn't say they're bad either, and it does make a bit of a fuss over the knights.

Not necessarily an objection to your analysis - in fact we do see precious little of a Gondorian cavalry - but they are there. In RotK, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields, it says:

Under the south walls of the City the footmen of Gondor now drove against the legions of Morgul that were still gathered there in strength. But the horsemen rode eastward to the succour of Éomer: Húrin the Tall Warden of the Keys, and the Lord of Lossarnach, and Hirluin of the Green Hills, and Prince Imrahil the fair with his knights all about him.

So Húrin, who lives in MT itself, is especially mentioned among all those other lords from the outlying fiefs as commanding a cavalry troop.

Posted:Apr 27, 2006 13:47 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [12] Rebecca:

I'd been thinking that maybe the palantíri were kind of videophones (very loose analogy) wherein one user could only see things shown to him/her by another user.

That's how I always understood it.

Regarding the difference of the effect of the palantír on Saruman and Denethor: there is a fair amount about that in the palantíri-essay in UT. One factor is that the palantír is Denethor's by right as Steward in the absence of a king. Another is quoted below (from that essay):

Saruman fell under the domination of Sauron and desired his victory, or no longer opposed it. Denethor remained steadfast in his rejection Sauron, but was made to believe that his victory was inevitable, and so fell into despair. The reasons for this difference were doubt that in the first place Denethor was a man of great strength of will, and maintained the integrity of his personality until the final blow of the (apparently) mortal wound of his only surviving son.

Posted:Apr 27, 2006 13:48 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [13] A question that I've wondered about for a while: Where you ever tempted to write an AU fic with Boromir and Andra getting back together after the war?

Posted:Apr 27, 2006 18:22 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [14] Rochnariel asked-A question that I've wondered about for a while: Where you ever tempted to write an AU fic with Boromir and Andra getting back together after the war?

Oh yes. Just last week in fact!

I was contemplating them living together openly, thanks to Aragorn's more liberal mindset. I wondered if perhaps Imrahil would release him from his oath, and Andra would go join the Gondorian army to be with Boromir. Faramir could do the Steward thing, perhaps-I don't think Boromir would have minded, and he and Andra could have gone off on all of Aragorn's little wars together.

Posted:Apr 27, 2006 18:28 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [15] But would Andra leave Imri?

Though I like the idea of a big happy family, Andra Boromir and Brand. They could terrorise minas Tirith together, and perhaps Andra could teach Boromir to keep hold of his shield.

Faramir is definatley the better Steward and carry on the dynastic line, Boromir can stay as Captain General if he legitamised Brand he would have an heir as well.

A way to make everyone happy,

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 04:46 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [16] Wouldn't that be lovley,

Although I doubt Andra would go through with it, I don't think he would leave Dol-Amroth. He said he would live and die a Swan-knight. Not to mention the fact I don't think He would leave Imrahil.

Maybe if Boromir moved to Dol-Amroth, he could command the foot, Andra is in charge of the Swan Knights and they can live in Andra's house with Brand and go off to war together.

Faramir can be steward, I don't think it would have suited Boromir anyway and there can be future generations.

Although Brand may be a bit funny about it at first, then again it is an AU, you could leave him out.

And they can all live happily ever after.

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 04:53 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [17] That would be such a cool story Isabeau, you should write it, even just as a one shot.

Would Brand be in it? the others seem to think not, and of course Andra would leave Imri, they can still visit.

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 10:26 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [18] Further thoughts on Gondorian cavalry...

Perhaps that was no oversight or neglect on Denethor's part. Perhaps it was a purposeful division of labour/departments. As MT is made of so much stone, there was no real place for stabling/training the horses. Perhaps there were stables on the Pelennor (apart from that of the messengers in the city), but as this was the main place for food production of the vast capital, they didn't want to spare place for extensive training grounds. So they had cavalry (under Húrin), but were specialized mainly as foot soldiers, while the surrounding fiefs, which didn't have Mindolluin or the Ered Nimrais in their direct way, were responsible for supplying cavalry at need. I wonder if Anórien would have been a good place, too, as it must be similar to the plains of Rohan, good pastureland.

Which leads me once again to the questions: Did Boromir fight on foot? On horse? For that matter - what the heck did he do as Captain-General? Where did he lead his forces? Anórien? South Ithilien? Lebennin? All along the Ered Nimrais? Mainly Osgilitath? In the Unabeauverse it's pretty clear that Anórien has been neglected for a pretty long time, so it seems not to have been in Boromir's sphere of responsibility - so what was?

I don't know if I'm making much (if any) sense; merely thinking out loud, for the most part, I guess...

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 13:11 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [19] I don't think it ever occured to the Gondorians, or at least denethor that someone would get through the gate, they could just stand on the walls and pepper then with arrows untill they went away.

And Boromirs job was to supply Faramir with wine, Heth with honey-cakes, and keep Andra entertained.

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 15:24 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [20] I have a hard time seeing Andra joining the Gondorian Army or placing himself under the command of anyone other than Imrahil. He did refuse to swear fealty to Aragorn after all.

Posted:Apr 28, 2006 18:33 GMT  Reply to this Comment
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