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



Hethlin of Anorien

 February, 25 2006

I know CMC's a done deal, but since I intend to give it a thorough editing in the future, I'll include it in this thread, as well as make this a place for any other Heth questions not appropriate for the Silver Swan thread.

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162 replies

 [21] "Hethlin the first orange she's ever seen, she probably wouldn't describe it as a strange, orange-colored fruit."

We know they had peppers from other stuff Isabeau wrote, also what about Mangoes (orange in the middle) and the colour could have existed, Imrahil has orange trees so maybe she knows the colour but not it's origions

Posted:Mar 12, 2006 18:13 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [22] Imrahil has orange trees so maybe she knows the colour but not it's origions

Sure, if Isabeau decides that there were mangos, peppers, or other orange-colored foods or objects in northern Gondor, it's entirely possible that Hethlin was familiar with the color without ever having seen the fruit after which it was named.

But realistically it's unlikely that the color word would derive from the fruit if there were pre-existing/more common exemplars of that color. The point is that in northern climates before modern times, naturally occurring instances of that color were very rare. That's why in English there wasn't a word for that color prior to the introduction of the fruit. It is *the* prototype of the color.

Posted:Mar 12, 2006 18:56 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [23] Actually, it is, in Musings. Imrahil has certainly noticed. And part of the reason it isn't mentioned is that it doesn't happen until they're on the way back from Lorien in CMC. It's something that will probably become apparent to Heth eventually-it doesn't happen until the blooding ceremony and the effect increases over time, the longer you interact with the Eagles.

Oh, I'm looking forward to the day when someone notices!

I said:
- …owyn's eyes are grey, not blue.

Hmmmm. I'll change it if Altariel does. If not, then I guess you can say that's another way Heth-verse differs from canon. I will say that I have blue eyes, and if I wear something grey, they look grey.

Hee. It's Tolkien is usually so vague at describing the looks of his characters that when he does mention the colours of eyes/hair, I tend to remember it.

I'm not such a canon stickler that the fact that you and Altariel give her blue eyes annoys me, but I thought I'd mention it.

Posted:Mar 13, 2006 13:23 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [24] Not to rehash the orange issue again, but something just occured to me. I was reading a comment/quote in the Silver Swan thread where Imrahil "murmured something softly in Haradric." And I wondered, how would Hethlin know Haradric well enough to catch that Imrahil was specifically quoting that language? But then I recalled that CMC and SS are being told as retrospectives on Heth's part from around the Fourth Age timeframe, and by then she probably would know Haradric. Wouldn't this apply to her knowing to call an orange "orange-colored" in the retrospective, also? Although I do think Rebecca has a good point, and it would be an interesting detail for CMC.

Posted:Mar 16, 2006 02:11 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [25] But then I recalled that CMC and SS are being told as retrospectives on Heth's part from around the Fourth Age timeframe, and by then she probably would know Haradric. Wouldn't this apply to her knowing to call an orange "orange-colored" in the retrospective, also?

Oh, that's a very good point! I hadn't thought of it that way. Once you have that color word at your disposal, it's hard to not use it, especially if you know it's known to your audience. Although if Hethlin, retrospectively, were trying to convey to her great-grandson (isn't he the supposed audience of CMC & Silver Swan?) how strange the fruit was the first time she saw it, she might deliberately adopt her original perspective on it. But good point, Denise.

Posted:Mar 16, 2006 07:39 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [26] You are too kind, Rebecca, for this morning I woke up and thought, "OF COURSE Hethlin knows Haradric (or how it sounds) - she fought Haradrim in Ithilien!" And I thought about the very point you made above on conveying the sense of strangeness upon seeing an orange for the first time - Heth would likely still have used the descriptors that initially came to her mind at that time, not "orange-colored." That'll teach me to make comments when I'm really tired and distracted....

Posted:Mar 16, 2006 13:00 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [27] Sorry for the long silence everybody-I'm having spring allergy and sinus troubles-had a bad attack yesterday and left work early.

Rebecca asked-The Denethor discussion jarred my memory about something I'd wondered about a long time ago. The Witch King seems to know that Imrahil is in charge of the city -- but how did he know that a) Denethor was dead, and b) Imrahil assumed control?

I'm assuming that, unlike in movieverse, in the Unabeauverse Denethor did not go careening off the cliff in a ball of fire. He remained in the crypt, didn't he? So there's no way that the Witch King would have had access to knowledge of his death. And even if the WK perceived the absence of the Steward's control, why wouldn't he assume that Mithrandir (Gandalf) was in command? Wasn't the rationale Mithrandir gave for asking Imrahil to take over that the troops and/or the lords might balk at his leadership?

Remember, this isn't a normal general we're talking about here. There are any number of explanations for the Witch King's knowledge:

1)Denethor had a palantir in his hands when he died, so Sauron probably knows. It's not that far to Mordor as the fell beast flies. He probably had a couple of the wraiths going back and forth to relay news and orders. If you don't like that idea, remember that Sauron was able to communicate with the wraiths more directly-he was able to order them to fly to Orodruin from the Black Gate at the very end of things.

2)The Witch King is a sorcerer, and as he told Hethlin, he wasn't sundered from his skill when he was sundered from his flesh. He's probably got some way of divining, be it in water or fire or the entrails of some poor Gondorian the orcs rounded up.

3)As for Imrahil, gee, a couple of fly-bys over Minas Tirith, and you're bound to notice the guy in the fancy armor and his knights tromping all over the city. Besides, you've got to know Sauron knows who all the big players are. It's probably pretty much between Hurin and Imrahil if Denethor and Faramir are incapacitated.

Posted:Mar 16, 2006 19:27 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [28] Sorry to hear you've been unwell, Isabeau! March is a bad month for me too.

Re my questions about the Witch King -- thanks for the explanations. Duh, of course Sauron would know. And the fly-overs too make sense. Hadn't thought it through enough.

Posted:Mar 16, 2006 22:24 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [29] Hi Isabeau,

This is a question probably better put to Hope Hoover (or is it EW -- I'm confused about what name she goes by), but since I believe the two of you work closely together, and it's a Hethlin question, I'll ask it here if you don't mind. I thought I read somewhere that the nice sketch of Elrohir and Hethlin that she had done had been lost in a computer crash -- is that so? So it no longer exists?


Posted:Mar 26, 2006 17:31 GMT  Reply to this Comment

 [30] I never saw that pic, shame if it is lost.

Posted:Mar 26, 2006 17:42 GMT  Reply to this Comment
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