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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.

So annoying, I'd written out a response and my wide sweater sleeves inadvertently moved the browser window back several times, thus causing me to lose my reply! grrr... stupid sweater.

I think Liraniel’s other suitor clearly seemed to use the knowledge and potential curse to his advantage for baser motives, as he was happy to ignore it until Liraniel chose Halaran over him. Maybe the other Dunedain were always more subtly uncomfortable about it so he knew he could get them worked up. In the end, not a nice guy and possibly not ever a true friend to Halaran either.

Yes, I think that for Halaran this would have been a huge betrayal -- they were such good friend for so long, discovering that his friend was not the person he'd long believed him to be would have been a crushing blow to a loner like Halaran (who apparently had no living family by the time he was an adult).

And I think that's what has informed my assumption that Halaran felt bitter about his exile, and didn't tell Hethlin because he couldn't bear to talk about it until he needed to. I think Denise makes a good point about Halaran hesitating to tell Hethlin about the Eagles or the Witch King because by the time she was old enough to take that info on board she had a brother who would be the one to inherit his father's legacy, both the good and the bad (to add to the "how old was Hethlin when..." series of questions, I thought she was 16 when she was carried off by the orcs, and her little brother was 5; if so she'd have been 11 when he was born, just barely old enough to be privy to such serious things).

Continuing with my framework of assumptions, it makes sense to me that Halaran and Liraniel avoided talking about their family history at all with Hethlin, so that they wouldn't have to deal with awkward questions from her, so that they wouldn't have to explain to her that she had grandparents living up north who apparently didn't care enough to keep in touch, etc.

Another problem occurs to me with the notion that Aragorn and Halaran were working together. Actually two related problems, but I might be quite off about at least one of them. OK:

1. If Aragorn had actually sent Halaran down to Anorien (or agreed that Anorien could be a useful place for H. to relocate to), and Halaran had been keeping an eye on things for him, I think we end up with a rather different picture of Aragorn. The throne was always his goal, yes, but I always thought that the tragic irony of Denethor's mistrust of Thorongil/Aragorn was that D. suspected him of being capable of, in essence, a coup d'état. From Tolkien's depictions of Aragorn -- and I think that Isabeau's Aragorn is much aligned with them -- he was ambitious without being sneaky or grasping. Installing an informant in Denethor's domain (albeit on the neglected edge) seems like a schemming sort of thing for Aragorn to have done. I could see Gandalf doing it, perhaps! But Aragorn... I don't think so. But maybe I don't really understand what Tolkien conceived of for him.

2. If in fact Aragorn had sent Halaran down to send reports back north, or to just be on hand when and if he was needed, Halaran's disappearance should have raised alarms for Aragorn that would have caused him to investigate. Unless he knew that Halaran was killed in an orc attack, Aragorn might reasonably have feared that Halaran somehow drew the attention of the paranoid Steward, who guessed at the connection between them and had Halaran imprisoned. Given the possible danger from Denethor, could Aragorn have just let Halaran's silence pass without investigating?

Oh, one more thought. Say that Aragorn did keep in touch with Halaran periodically, and that he did note the silence from Anorien but had not been able to investigate. Do you think he would have questioned Boromir about any northerners that moved to Anorien? Boromir remembered Halaran from the time that H. went to MT to petition the Steward for assistance in Anorien. Boromir would have known who Aragorn was talking about, and moreover would have known that Halaran's daughter lived -- and where she was.

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