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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.
Eressa, I'm in full accord with you about Isabeau's excellent depiction of Elrohir -- for me her version *is* Elrohir. But that's also true of her version of Imrahil and his children.
The incest issue was discussed earlier in this thread, and I don't think that one can absolutely conclude that Eldarion didn't marry his first cousin. It's actually not considered incest in many societies, and among the aristocracy and royalty of many cultures it is/was commonplace. It's not a biological problem when it happens once in a while -- the problems can arise in matings of first cousins who themselves are the products of first cousins who were also the products of first cousins, i.e. multiple generations of cousins inter-marrying, that's when the risk of inbreeding becomes meaningful.
Also, what if Eldarion calls Hethlin "mother" because for a while she fostered him (it used to be quite common for the highborn to send a son away to be fostered elsewhere for a while)? Tell could be her great-grandson through another line, e.g. Eldarion's son marrying Heth's granddaughter. That vignette doesn't rule anything out, it seems to me.
The thing that speaks against the possibility of Hethlin marrying Elrohir is Altariel's story, "Late Fragment." If Hethlin's love has died before Aragorn and Arwen are gone, he can't have been Elrohir.
Anyway I totally agree with you that Isabeau's Elrohir really came alive in CMC. It's a shame that he's not present in the other stories, because as interesting as Imrahil & Co. are I'm less curious about what will become of them ultimately -- because we kind of already know what will become of them in the broadest sense. I do care about the details, of course -- e.g. Imrahil doesn't have *that* much time left to him, so I'm keen to see him happily in love again -- which is part of the reason that I dislike his infatuation with Hethlin (at a minimum he's going to have to wait a couple of years for her). Of course I thoroughly enjoy reading about Imrahil, and the story about Andrahar and Boromir's sond Brand is interesting. I love the Amrothos stuff because he's so unique and unpredictable. But as far as the fates of Dol Amroth and Gondor are concerned, there will definitely be intrigues and dangers and unforeseen developments, I'm sure, but we basically know that the kingdom and principality will thrive and prosper for the next generation, at least.
But what's going on in the North? What has to happen in order to establish a lasting, stable civilization in old Arnor (we know Aragorn does rebuild a city there, but how and why?)? And what about those elves who remain? What does Celeborn -- another Isabeau characterization that, for me, is definitive -- do with himself ... and what happens that convinces him, finally, that it's time to leave Middle Earth? Those are the questions that I'd love to see addressed somehow.
If Hethlin and Elrohir don't end up together (and like you, Eressa, I've kind of thrown in the towel as far as that hope goes, although everything that we've seen *so far* makes him far and away the best candidate for Hethlin, in my opinion) I'm still hoping that we'll be able to see more of Elrohir in Isabeau's writings. It would be really a shame to not have more of these wonderfully wrought characters, and like you, Eressa I don't feel I've seen many realistic, engaging portrayals of late Third Age Elves. But I think that someone with Isabeau's writing talent won't do wrong by her characters.
Isabeau, I do wish we could light a (small, respectful) fire under your muse sometimes! Would bribes work? ;) Glad to see anything new written for Hethlin's story, but my fingers are crossed that your muse will soon decide that it's time to get Silver Swan, and its pressing questions, underway again!
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