|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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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.
Isabeau puts hints in, alright, but they are ambiguous enough that you can't sit back in your seat and say, "Yes, that's who The Man is going to be." (Among other developments.)
True. Actually, I get the sense that it's not just that her hints are ambiguous, but that they're not always hints. For example, Isabeau, was Finduilas's retort to Imrahil's ribbing about her much-older suitor a deliberate instance of foreshadowing? If it was, it was so subtle and so naturalistic that I didn't even notice the foreshadowing -- it just seemed like something that would naturally pass between a woman in love with an older man and her slightly bratty younger brother, who can't at that point in his life ever imagine being "old."
That's what I like about Isabeau's writing, and also Altariel's and Soledad's. I don't get the sense that they set out to write a story that will take a given Tolkien character on a Path of Their Choosing, but rather they seem to write to explore that world and its inhabitants in a way that doesn't feel contrived or forced. I think that Hamfisted Foreshadowing is often employed to compensate for the fact that the plot is going in implausible directions, as if inserting hints in advance will justify any silly innovation!
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