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Story meme

By:Altariel
 November, 11 2005

Future histories

   ~~~

Here is a meme that did the rounds on LJ recently; not only was it fun, it was a source of ideas:

Ask me what happens after the end of one of my stories.


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34 replies


 [21] If there were similarities between Ecthelion and Boromir, it seemed as if it might explain some of Denethor's need when it came to Boromir's affections. Like it was an opportunity to make up for what came between him and Ecthelion.

Yes, that really makes sense. Also, I think that people tend to react most strongly against qualities in others that they recognize in themselves and see as flaws (even if they're not doing anything to correct those "flaws" in themselves). Perhaps in Faramir Denethor saw characteristics that seemed to have cost him (Denethor) his own father's love and admiration, and felt compelled to try to stamp them out of Faramir.

Rebecca
Posted:Jan 30, 2006 12:27 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [22] Good point. Also, Faramir was a rival for Boromir's affections. Love seems to mean exclusivity to Denethor, part of that possessive streak, I guess.

Altariel
Posted:Jan 30, 2006 12:35 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [23] Those are all excellent points. Denethor's seeming much more alive and explainable to me at this point. (Well, as alive as can be expected from such a cold fish.)

As a side to this discussion, what happens after Imrahil finds out about Denethor's abuse of Finduilas and the boys in "Game of Chess"? Does he ever tell anyone else about it (Andra comes to mind, as a brother to share a big burden with), and does he come to terms with the fact that he never saw it happening to his beloved sister? In "Ultimatums" there's some discussion of potential trouble with Nimrien (and eventually we will find out what she thought at the end of that Pelargir trip when Isabeau has a chance to finish it), but evidently even perceptive Nimrien did not uncover enough to suspect full-on abuse. Or did Imri & Nimrien's burgeoning romance blind them to some obvious signs? Finduilas is dead the next year, right?

dpetrash
Posted:Jan 30, 2006 18:25 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [24] I think I'll have to hand over questions about Imrahil and Andrahar to Isabeau's more expert knowledge. My feeling is that Imrahil might not tell Andra for at least some time, given Faramir was clearly speaking in confidence.

Altariel
Posted:Jan 31, 2006 09:00 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [25] I understand! I'll hang on to them until Isabeau has a chance to post another Ultimatums chapter, as that might answer some of my questions anyway. I've been pestering her enough about Hethlin stuff as it is! Thanks again for your answers, Altariel.

dpetrash
Posted:Jan 31, 2006 15:55 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [26] I wonder what happened after the end of Spirits of the House. I know it's AU, but do you think Denethor would have survived the war? Would Faramir have still been wounded, fallen under the spell of the Black Breath and then been saved by Aragorn?

Denethor did realize from early in his Stewardship that the big fight with Sauron would occur in his time. "After her (Finduilas') death Denethor became more grim and silent than before, and would sit long alone in his tower deep in thought, foreseeing that the assault of Mordor would come in his time." (Appendix A, ROTK) He doesn't seem to have done anything about it in a practical way, apparently trusting in his palantir mind-wrestling sessions with Sauron as his main defense. There's nothing about Denethor having shored up the Rammas Echor until a few days before the Siege, no attempt to build up a cavalry other than the Swannies (who were also bound to Dol Amroth) to defend Minas Tirith, alliances attempted with the kingdom of Dale, etc.

I also believe that Boromir, from the time he was quite young, took after Ecthelion in character, and that's one of the reasons Denethor favored him. I see Ecthelion as a good man, but not a particularly subtle one or necessarily a deep thinker, someone who would have loved his son, but been unsure of how to deal with the very bright, uncannily perceptive, and seemingly cold, rather freaky kid. I think Denethor loved his father, and was probably frustrated by the barriers between them, but too proud to try to breach them.

My pediatrician, decades ago, told me something I've never forgotten, that parents take out their unfinished business on their children. There's a lot of unfinished business being recycled in Denethor's family, especially when Thorongil and Gandalf - as sort of the adopted changeling cousin and nosy old uncle - are added into the mix.

Boromir might well have been a very charismatic, outgoing, handsome young child, easy for Denethor to love, and also safe. Boromir is not a rival; he's a born warrior, but he's not ever going to be Faramir's equal. Faramir is a deep thinker, as perceptive as his father, and as smart; Denethor might well have felt a bit wary and jealous of him at times; I think Denethor liked being known as wise and learned and couldn't stand anyone, even a son, stealing his thunder or rivalling him. (I didn't originate this theory, my friend Branwyn did, but I agree).

Sorry about the rambling - it happens when I see an interesting discussion of Denethor and his family.

RakshaThe Demon
Posted:Feb 5, 2006 04:33 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [27] Hi Raksha - sorry it's taken me so long to answer, I've had a crowded timetable the past couple of weeks.

I wonder what happened after the end of Spirits of the House. I know it's AU, but do you think Denethor would have survived the war? Would Faramir have still been wounded, fallen under the spell of the Black Breath and then been saved by Aragorn?

I confess I figured the most likely outcome was still Denethor's death. But this time a glorious death in battle, like Theoden's, probably on the Pelennor or perhaps at some point during the siege before the Rohirrim arrived. Perhaps they would both lie in state side by side in the White Tower. Whether or not he sees Thorongil again before his death, I'm not sure.

I agree so much with your reading of the dynamics between Ecthelion-Denethor-Boromir that I'm not sure I have anything else to add! This bit in particular:

I see Ecthelion as a good man, but not a particularly subtle one or necessarily a deep thinker, someone who would have loved his son, but been unsure of how to deal with the very bright, uncannily perceptive, and seemingly cold, rather freaky kid.

I think the theory that Boromir is 'safe' and not a rival is a very persuasive one; Denethor clearly does react strongly to perceived rivals - Thorongil, Mithrandir, Sauron! I think the differences between these rivals become tragically blurred in his mind.

One of his saddest lines must be when Gandalf comes for Faramir: "Do not take my son from me, he calls for me."

Altariel
Posted:Feb 16, 2006 12:49 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [28] This would be more of a clarification within a story: You said in your LJ version of this meme that Angrim was killed soon after "Intent." Did he ever tell Denethor about Hethlin being part of Faramir's Rangers?

Denise
Posted:Feb 17, 2006 05:32 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [29] You said in your LJ version of this meme that Angrim was killed soon after "Intent." Did he ever tell Denethor about Hethlin being part of Faramir's Rangers?

I think Angrim keeps that back as a small act of loyalty to Faramir and the Rangers, something he can feel good about in the middle of otherwise feeling pretty lousy about what he's doing.

Whether Denethor knows courtesy of the palantír is another question, but palantíri can be misleading, I think?

Altariel
Posted:Feb 17, 2006 05:59 GMT  Reply to this Comment


 [30] "Whether Denethor knows courtesy of the palantír is another question, but palantíri can be misleading, I think?"

I agree. As I understand it, he can see but not hear via the palantir, correct? Thus, Heth, who is tom-boyish at even the best of times, and pretty much participated evenly in all Ranger doings, would have looked mostly like any other Ranger if she had happened to cross Denethor's palantir gaze. And we tend to see what we expect to see anyway, don't we?

Poor Angrim, caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. He seems like such a decent fellow, too.

Denise
Posted:Feb 17, 2006 19:01 GMT  Reply to this Comment
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