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Princes of Dol Amroth

By:Isabeau
 February, 25 2006

Questions about the life and times of Imrahil and his family can be asked here, including questions about Ultimatums, Kin-Strife and the shorter stories. Discussions about Brand can go either here or in the Best-Loved Son thread, since his stories sort of overlap both cycles.


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292 replies


 [171] Congratulations, Isabeau! For NaNo (because it's still 32,000 words more than you had before, right?) and the MEFAs - I was so glad to see your stories recognized.

And congrats to Andra, too. He's definitely one of my favorite characters, original OR canon.

I am loving Passages. I wish you lots of time to answer that insistent Brand. And then I'll start hoping for a insistent Hethlin. And Imrahil. And Andrahar. *g*

Denise
Posted:Dec 6, 2006 22:18 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [172] Well done for the NaNoWriMo you got very close to doing it.

I'm glad everyone did so well at the MEFA's Andra is one of my favorite characters anywhere so I'm glad he did well, congratulations to you and everyone else who created him.

I'm looking forward to the rest of passages as well, I'm glad Brand has been talkative although I must say I thought this would be called Revalations (well the story when Brand found out about the truth), it seemed to fit in well with Reparation and Confirmation although I like the tittle well enough and I can see how it fits.

I hope your muse stays talkative and that Brand lets you see this through without trampelling all over your plot line like everyone else seems to.

Nargil
Posted:Dec 7, 2006 15:18 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [173] Hello Isabeau,

I finally got some time to catch up on your latest story, Passages. Great story!

One thing that I was very impressed with but didn't mention in my review yesterday is the thought Andra put into the question of allowing Hethlin to train as a Swan Knight -- the fact that she had the stomach for killing convinced him that she'd be a reasonable candidate for training. That had never occurred to me before, but of course it must be very relevant indeed to the success of a would-be warrior. No amount of training in swordplay and fighting tactics can guarantee that when that moment comes a fighter will be able to finish the job and carry on to do it again as necessary. And of course one might go too far the other way, by actually taking pleasure in killing. Definitely food for thought... and it makes me wonder: does Andrahar know all of Hethlin's history -- kidnapped, raped & tortured by orcs, had to watch them slaughter and devour her family? (please forgive me if this has already been asked, or even answered in CMC or Silver Swan -- my mind has been elsewhere!).

Congratulations on the MEFA's! And Happy New Year!

Rebecca
Posted:Jan 9, 2007 13:06 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [174] I know this has been asked before, too, but... seeing their marvelous interplay in "Certain Circumstances" has me wondering anew: Do you have any developing ideas about when Imrahil and Gandalf first met? Given how well Gandalf and Faramir get along, it doesn't surprise me that G. and Imrahil are friendly, but there feels like a bit of history there, too. (I remember that there was a time in your youth when you would have preferred to be player rather than prince.)

Denise
Posted:Apr 2, 2007 15:22 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [175] I really haven't decided about Gandalf yet. As you say, it sounds like there's some history there, but it might just be incidental-Gandalf having had years to observe Imrahil on the occasions their visits to Minas Tirith coincided. I haven't decided yet if the Grey Pilgrim ever went to Dol Amroth.


Posted:Apr 2, 2007 19:14 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [176] Rebecca asked (a very long time ago-hangs head in shame):does Andrahar know all of Hethlin's history -- kidnapped, raped & tortured by orcs, had to watch them slaughter and devour her family?

Imrahil had the story from Faramir, so I suspect that Andrahar has had the brief version at least. It is something he would need to now about her, given that she is going to be in proximity to strange men.


Posted:Apr 2, 2007 19:33 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [177] Hi, Isabeau,

Thanks for your answer -- and don't worry about response lags, I can't imagine how you manage to run a household with children, work, and do such wonderful writing (along with a host of other activities, I'm sure!)!

Andrahar's character is complex and his reactions and attitudes have surprised me sometimes (like refusing to give his allegiance to Aragorn) although in most cases, after I thought about it a bit the surprising things made sense to me, given what you've told us about his background, etc.

His extreme dislike of Hethlin even after she'd been under his supervision for several months (ala Dol Amroth Yule) still puzzles me, a bit, which is why I was wondering whether or not he knew of Hethlin's background. As you say, it seems like he would have to know at least the general outline of how she came to be with the Rangers. So he'd know that, like him (in the most general sense), she'd been brutalized and had her family violently killed off, and had a burning need for vengeance -- which might be weighty enough special circumstances to balance out his culturally instilled beliefs about a woman's proper role. I can see him still holding a rather big grudge for her rejection of Imrahil, but he'd also secretly be grateful for that, wouldn't he, since by turning Imrahil down, Hethlin inadvertently kept things as they had been for a long time in Imrahil's life (and therefore Andrahar's)?

Is part of Andrahar's initial antipathy toward Hethlin really a manifestation of his dislike of Aragorn?

Rebecca
Posted:Apr 5, 2007 09:56 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [178] That's an interesting point, I never saw it like that although it could well be.

To me it seemed like the conversation with Gildor in DAY was more like the straw that broke the camels back. Andra's had a rough year all things considered, Denethor found out about him and Boromir, then Boromir died, he fought a few battles and killed long lost relations then there was Imrahil's little jaunt off to Lorien, and the whole Hetrh thing. his horse died (and don't pretend he didn't like him else he'd have been gone long ago) He found Brandmir and whilst that made him happy he's probably worrying himself sick about loosing him when Imrahil finds out not to mention the fact he won't have seen Imrahil for a while because he's staying away from Hethlin. He'd had a long day then a nasty ride in the wet and to cap it all of Gildor showed up and was being his usual obtuse self and getting Heth to insult him...

Well everyone has a beaking point and I think all things considered he'd had enough, from the little bit that's written since them it seems to have set some changes in motion with regard to his attitude towards her, indeed his life seems to let up a bit, at least untill the whole pirates/Brand thing.

I really like Andra, he's such a complex character, I love the 3 ficlets you wrote for B2MEM with him in, you can see how he changes over the years as well as the way his relationship with Imrahil evolves

Nargil
Posted:Apr 5, 2007 15:19 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [179] Rebecca wrote: His extreme dislike of Hethlin even after she'd been under his supervision for several months (ala Dol Amroth Yule) still puzzles me, a bit, which is why I was wondering whether or not he knew of Hethlin's background.

And:Is part of Andrahar's initial antipathy toward Hethlin really a manifestation of his dislike of Aragorn?

I have contemplated whether or not I am going to tone that down somewhat when I incorporate DAY into Silver Swan. Dol Amroth Yule was written very early in Andrahar's development as a character, when he was pretty much created as a nemisis for Hethlin. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. But I think I'm going to leave things pretty much as they are, other than perhaps moving Elrohir's visit forward to Heth's second year there-for one thing, I do believe it is in Andrahar's character to make her life as difficult as possible for any number of reasons.

The first reason is the culture he grew up in. Harad has always seemed to me to be based on a Middle-Eastern sort of culture, and those tend to be rather restrictive in the roles they allow women. His relationships to the Dol Amroth women have always been comfortable enough-but Tirathiel, Nimrien and Finduilas were "regular" women, even if he had to make allowances for the odd freedoms Gondorian custom allowed them. Women in the world he grew up in simply don't DO what Hethlin is doing-there are no Haradric shield maidens.

Secondly, as he explained to Hethlin in Silver Swan, Aragorn seriously stepped upon both his toes and Imrahil's by putting Imrahil on the spot publicly about taking Hethlin. The Swannies are HIS baby-well, his with some occasional input from the Prince. His Haradric sense of place and position was extremely offended.

Thirdly, he was put in a bad spot, for he truly has doubts about his ability to train Hethlin (I think he's overthinking it, though admittedly women do better in physical endeavors if their training is tailored to their limitations and strengths). I think it's not unreasonable for him to feel that Aragorn, intentionally or not, has set him up to fail. And he is worried that Imrahil will blame him if Heth falls in battle.

Fourthly, I do think her connection to Aragorn has some bearing on this. She is Aragorn's kinswoman and therefore part of his house, and I think you're right in assuming that might color his perception of her, since his folk tend to take household affiliations very seriously. Hmmmm, must give some thought to how he feels about Arwen...

Fifthly, he's jealous and resentful, plain and simple. With the War being over, I think he was hoping to return to Dol Amroth with Imrahil and settle into a nice peace-time routine like they used to have. Instead, Imrahil's in Minas Tirith and it's all Hethlin's and Aragorn's fault.


Isabeau
Posted:Apr 6, 2007 02:02 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [180] Hi, Isabeau,

I think all of your points make perfect sense -- the cultural mismatch vis a vis women's roles (and really, what Hethlin's doing doesn't always sit well with folks in Gondor; it's not like Andrahar's been dwelling with the Rohirrim for the last few decades), having toes stepped on about Hethlin entering training, possibility of failure to train her up to expectation, etc. All make perfect sense to me.

Fourthly, I do think her connection to Aragorn has some bearing on this. She is Aragorn's kinswoman and therefore part of his house, and I think you're right in assuming that might color his perception of her, since his folk tend to take household affiliations very seriously. Hmmmm, must give some thought to how he feels about Arwen...

I think I would imagine that if Andrahar did know about Hethlin's personal history, and that she has living kin in the North -- one of whom failed to step forward immediately upon discovering Hethlin's existence -- he'd take a rather dim view of Hethlin's extended family. If he already questioned Aragorn's leadership skills, maybe this would just add fuel to that fire? Basically Aragorn "solved" the problem of Hethlin not by taking her under his own wing, nor by making sure her maternal kin stepped up to their responsibility, but by foisting Hethlin off onto Dol Amroth -- even though Aragorn knew about Imrahil's feelings for Hethlin! I can imagine Andrahar feeling a lot of disgust and anger about that.

I could therefore totally see him being even more exacting and demanding of Hethlin as a Swannie-in-Training. I could see him turning a blind eye to the pranks of Hethlin's fellow trainees (after all, he himself was tormented as an outsider when he was in training; he might well think it necessary for her to grow a very thick skin). But since the Andrahar who has developed since DAY was written is pretty reflective and self-aware I just have a hard time reconciling him with the Andrahar who punched Hethlin in the face. Nargil makes a good point about being provoked by Gildor, lots of stress and hassles ... but still... anyway, I'll be interested to see how you tie DAY to the main story arc.

Thanks!

Rebecca
Posted:Apr 6, 2007 10:11 GMT  Reply to this Comment
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