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Princes of Dol Amroth

 February, 25 2006

Questions about the life and times of Imrahil and his family can be asked here, including questions about Ultimatums, Kin-Strife and the shorter stories. Discussions about Brand can go either here or in the Best-Loved Son thread, since his stories sort of overlap both cycles.

You know, I was thinking some more about Denethor, Finduilas, and Tirathiel. I like the interaction between D&T that originated, it seems, with Soledad. I get the sense that the Iron Lady is very very perceptive, and I'm wondering if perhaps, in addition to her duty to her newly orphaned niece, Tirathiel pulled away from the possibility of marrying Denethor because she sensed that he had, well, issues.

The two of them are each other's intellectual match -- and that's saying something! And while most very smart people would probably prefer the company of another very clever person -- gets boring if people don't get your joking obscure references to ancient Numenorean sea shanties -- I've observed that some very smart men who have some deep-rooted insecurities don't like to be challenged intellectually by women, even though they're very confident about their brains. A bit of witty banter, sure. But someone who doesn't defer to them ultimately, no. I wonder if Tirathiel foresaw such a problem with Denethor?

Because it does seem strange that she would have to forego what would have been a brilliant marriage for her, given her family's straights, just because her niece fell into her care. Why couldn't Tirathiel have moved with young Nimrien to Minas Tirith and married Denethor -- was there some obstacle that I wasn't aware of? Or is it possible that, as I'm guessing, Tirathiel pulled away from Denethor and Nimrien was an excellent, face-saving reason for doing so?

Thinking further along the story arc, I'm wondering to what extent, if at all, Tirathiel anticipated the difficulties Finduilas encountered with Denethor? Would she have seen D's marriage to a much-younger woman as a confirmation of her sense that he needed to be able to dominate his partner?

Also, did Finduilas know of T&D's nascent courtship? If so, did she feel any guilt or doubts about marrying Denethor herself?

Sorry for throwing all these ponderings into one post but they're all inter-related. I guess I'm ultimately wondering if Tirathiel guessed at Finduilas's problems but kept silent about them because she feared that, from her, a suggestion that things weren't so rosy between F&D would sound like schadenfreude, or at least residual bitterness?

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