|All the tales of the Valar and the Elves are so knit together that one may scarce expound any one without needing to set forth the whole of their great history.|
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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.
Hmmm. More thoughts on the curse relative to Halaran's moving South and settling in Anorien. It seemed from what Aragorn told Heth (when they first talked in the gardens) that the curse was always sort of in the background for the House of the Eagle and the Dunedain around them. Not particularly dwelt upon but not completely out of mind either, and probably more urgent for the House of the Eagle (thus they were always in the forefront of battle to try to make up for it, etc.). Perhaps the betrayal by his friend and division of the Dunedain is what tipped the scale in Halaran's mind, and that's why he moved as close to MT/Mordor as he could (to try to force the prophecy) without putting his wife and eventual children in direct danger? He couldn’t really move to another settlement in Arnor, as they would still have the division within the Dunedain to contend with, although you could argue that seasoned adult warriors should be able to get over such a personal matter reasonably quickly. And he could have had Anorien specifically in mind because of things he’d heard or people he’d met in the past (ala Rebecca’s comment), and arriving found that it suited his needs quite well. Many if not most of our major decisions are not made because of just one big reason, but perhaps a couple of bigger reasons and a bunch of smaller ones, and sometimes they’re made as we go.
And Aragorn seemed to think that he’d done what he could to right the situation and persuade Halaran to stay, but maybe it wasn’t all that he COULD have done. Ala his confession of poor leadership in “Last Rites,” he’s still human, capable of mistakes in judgment, for all his wisdom and abilities, and Halaran leaving was undoubtably the path of least resistance.
I don’t question why Halaran didn’t tell Hethlin that she specifically would be able to speak to Eagles. In “Cage No Bird” he isn’t certain that a female of the House would be able to, as he couldn’t remember any of his forefathers having any daughters, and he was hoping/expecting that he’d have a son next who would likely be the heir to all that. So he wouldn’t want to tell Hethlin she could look forward to such a great ability if, in the end, she wouldn’t have it after all. And this would be true of the Witch King’s prophecy as well. But I don’t understand why he and Liranaiel don’t give her more information on her heritage in general. She’s 17-18 when the orcs come along, right? Even if her father and/or mother were especially bitter about it (re: Rebecca’s thoughts), it still seems strange that she’s in the dark about everything for that long. Like Imhiriel, I think that needs addressing more than the rest. But then, maybe it was just another issue of mistakes being made by her parents, who thought it better that Heth not know of her illustrious heritage until she was mature enough to handle it?
And orcs in Anorien. It seems like I too read somewhere that they did not live in the White Mountains. But as the years led up to the Ring War proper, Sauron would have been testing Gondor’s readiness and defenses. I could see parties of orcs periodically making scouting forays, and even the best fighter can be overcome by sheer numbers, especially if surprised. And I imagine it was a surprise, as Heth was out (hunting?) when it happened and I can’t imagine that would have been allowed if there was a rumor of orc activity. Also, Halaran may have had somewhat of a reputation with the successful destruction of the brigands many years earlier, although it’s not said if they were connected to Sauron at all.
Lastly, all this did remind me of a question about Heth’s age. She’s 21 in March 3019 (conversation with Eowyn), and in July 3019 she’s 22 (dinner with Faramir, and elsewhere?), so her birthday is somewhere in there. But in spring (?) 3009 she is 11 (Cage No Bird). Things seem off by a year, but I could be misunderstanding the timing of her birthday relative to events.
As a final comment - I personally enjoy reading all of your comments, Rebecca, as well as everyone else's. I think the caveat "IMO only" is understood for everyone except Isabeau!
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