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Isabeau's Journal

 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.

Cue the suspenseful music -- we're getting into turbulent waters again!!

Eressa wrote: do you think Elrohir loves Hethlin more than a friend?

Well, yes, that's how I read it the first time I read CMC (and all subsequent times for that matter). Without actually going back to read it -- and I don't have a nice, bound copy to leaf through quickly! (hee hee) -- the things that led me to that conclusion are the way that Elrohir shuts himself off via their mental link at key moments, and the fact that Elrond views their relationship as a problem sufficient enough to warrant extracting an ill-advised vow from Elrohir to go to Valinor. Plus, their interaction is just the kind of playful-but-skirting-something-deeper thing that I find romantic. But this last thing is just me, perhaps!

the fact that he tells her that she is not bound to him but is able to have other parters and that he does not promise himself to keep faithful. For someone who was raped - the fact that he says this to her, asking for an open relationship I find quite insensitive.

Hm... I'm not sure about that, haven't thought about it before. I would think, without any first-hand knowledge, that being raped (especially repeatedly over the course of many days, by people who would kill you without thinking twice about it) would involve an enormous sense of loss of control. I probably can't truly, fully imagine how awful it would be, to not have any say about what was being done to your body, and by whom, and when, and how. But I think that, in addition to the pain, disgust, and sheer terror, recovering from an experience like Hethlin's would involve fully regaining a sense of control over what you did with your body (and when, how, with whom, etc.).

Maybe I'm really off-base there. But if I'm not, then it seems reasonable to think that a woman in Hethlin's shoes would benefit from a concerned, tender, careful lover who wasn't trying to exert any control over her, no?

Would he give up his immortality for her besides the fact that he'd be bored in Valinor?

Well, that's another thing that always led me to see their relationship as serious and very plausible -- because Isabeau has depicted Elrohir as quite conflicted about Valinor, long before he knew Hethlin, and therefore not sure about his immortality. To step out of Isabeau's story for a moment, my own view about immortality in general, and that of the Elves in particular, is that it's at best a mixed blessing. I'm not sure that it's an entirely positive thing.

But anyway, I've always read Isabeau's Elrohir as being unconvinced that life-everlasting in Valinor is right for him. His father wants him there, of course. And he'd like to see his mother again, since her departure was abrupt and under unhappy circumstances. So if he did really fall for Hethlin, that might finally tip the scale for him against going to Valinor -- but the way I saw it, he wouldn't be giving up something that he otherwise would have embraced wholeheartedly.

Is she something that he loves and cares for?

I always thought so!

Or is it a love for the "partner of that moment", my guess would be he's scared of deepening his feelings for her (and visa versa) so asks her to have more partners(?)

I agree with you, Eressa, I think she's not just a passing fancy for him. Elrohir might be playful and perverse at times, but he'd never take a young woman as emotionally vulnerable as Hethlin and toy with her just for a fling, or just to teach Faramir a lesson, nor even to merely show her that sex can be fun for her too. Not even if he was taking care to make sure she didn't get too attached. I don't think that his brother and sister would stand for it. I don't think he'd do that to his foster brother's kin. I think he wouldn't do it because he's an elf, is too decent, and has too much honor.

Indeed, I've always seen his insistence that the two of them are free to take other lovers and are not in love as a) a way of resolving a bit of cognitive dissonance (since he's not yet ready to tell Elrond to stuff it, because he's not going to Valinor), and b) a way to make sure that Hethlin has the freedom and space to grow as she needs to, without any attachment that might be cumbersome to her at this stage of her development, when so many doors are open to her. If they still are connected in five or ten years, when she's had a chance to mature and make her own choices about her destiny, I could see Elrohir deciding it's okay to ask for/offer her more than a casual love affair. As I've said in past discussions, if he decides to stay in Middle Earth (which, by my reading, is his true inclination), I think he'd want a family of his own.

Is that how you see it, Eressa? It's great to be discussing this stuff again, although since there aren't any new developments in the Hethlin story on the horizon, this is all somewhat pointless conjecture. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Isabeau's muse will take pity on us sometime soon!

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