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Blackbow and the Ithilien Rangers

 February, 25 2006

The place to discuss this eternal WIP. Also a good place for Ranger questions. Suggestions upon ways to get Faramir's shirt off in the next chapters are also appreciated.

Imrhiriel wrote: Is there ever an explanation why there's no proper healer in Henneth Annn, at least as far back as 3015?

It seems to me as there should be one - it is the easternmost outpost of Gondor, on the forefront of Mordor; it stations a big company of Rangers; it's under the command of the Steward's son, the Captain of the Rangers; the Gondorian forces are undermanned as it is and should thus husband their strengths. And furthermore, as Mablung is second-in-command, it would seem as though he has to make extra time if his skills as stitcher and improvised healer are needed (as you write in ch.1).

Is this/will this ever be more fully explained (e.g. in the continuation to Blackbow *hint, hint* *g*)?

Thoughts I had about it that could explain it a bit:

- It has to do with Denethor's deteriorating stewardship as further evidenced by Faramir's more-or-less underhand dealings with Imrahil re: supplies (in Blackbow), or the neglect of the repairing of the Rammas Echor (in RotK)

- Lore is neglected in favour of training soldiers as we know from the books, so perhaps educations in medicine (or other sciences) is limited resulting in a dearth of able personnel across the whole width of the kingdom, and people have to muddle through as they can

I'm curious if I'm even close to the mark.

Even though I'm not a big Denethor fan, I can't blame him for everything. Not sure exactly how many Rangers there are total in Ithilien-I think the number is about 200, or at least 200 in Faramir's main company. That's not a lot of men, really, and Denethor may think that they don't just don't rate a healer.

Tolkien I think mentions in ROTK that the Gondorians have not fallen far from the height of their healing knowledge, but he doesn't say anything about the numbers of people with that skill. It's not unreasonable to assume that with the failing of Gondor in general, and all those empty houses, that there aren't as many doctors around. And I think there may be some truth to your assertion about the emphasis on soldiers-it ties in nicely with what Faramir tells the hobbits.

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