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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.
Rebecca wrote: So what I'm wondering about is whether Imrahil ever reveals to Andrahar that he long knew Thorongil's true identity.
No, he doesn't. However, Andra is no fool, and something happens in Kin-strife that gives him the idea that Thorongil is a more important person than Imrahil lets on, which he already suspects given Thorongil's significant place in Imrahil's visions.
If he did so I'm guessing it would only be after Aragorn was known to all in Minas Tirith as the returned King, because Imrahil would keep his sworn word, of course. But would the fact that Thorongil had asked Imrahil to tell no one, thus creating a secret kept from Andrahar, cause Andrahar to dislike or mistrust him once he discovered that there had been such a secret? It occurs to me that Andrahar might possibly take grave offense on one of two fronts: firstly, that Thorongil didn't trust him with the secret (impugning his honor), and secondly that Thorongil's identity became a secret that Imrahil kept from him.
I think you are right on both counts there. Poor Andra-at that point in time it must have semed that everyone was trying to come between him and Imrahil.
I'm just wondering why Andrahar let Aragorn know that he would never swear fealty to him, and Aragorn took that rebuff in stride, almost as if he deserved it. I can understand that Andrahar was still in the first throes of grief about Boromir... but it seems a bit too extreme to hold that as reason enough to refuse to swear fealty, since in Last Rites Andrahar seemed to realize that Boromir had doomed himself when he tried to take the ring from Frodo.
It is true that Andrahar doesn't hold Boromir blameless in the matter of his own death, but I think there's also a sense that Aragorn failed as a commander, and while the blame is not entirely his either, a significant part of it falls to him because he was in command of the Fellowship at the time. I think Andrahar believes that Aragorn failed Boromir, that he should have known Boromir was being affected by the Ring and kept a closer watch on him. Andrahar takes responsibility for the actions of his men. A good commander does not put his men into situations where they will be tempted into wrong behavior. A good commander gives his men the encouragement they need to prevail. And a good commander certainly doesn't do something like let the defenseless hobbit who is carrying the object the Enemy seeks above all else go wandering off alone into a possibly orc-infested wilderness just because he wants some time to think!
Of course, I'm a bit biased here. I go back and re-read FOTR and think poor Boromir definitely got shafted. The man had good ideas and did his damnedest to contribute, only to get disregarded at every turn. After Gandalf is gone, Aragorn's performance is one of one bone-headed decision after another, when he is able to make decisions at all-nearly running them into the rapids of Sarn Gebir leaps to mind. Now whether this is because he's grieving Gandalf or trying to come to terms with the king thing, the fact of the matter is he doesn't really start hitting his stride until TTT.
He *is* relatively easy in Kin-Strife with Thorongil, right?
Right. After all, most of this has not occurred yet, and he and Thorongil do have a lot in common in some ways.
If you're not ready to reveal what passes that changes Andrahar's opinion of Thorongil/Aragorn, that's fine. I just want to make sure I understand what we know so far about that relationship.
There will probably be further developments, some of which I'm not sure of yet myself. And there's one thing they do together which I'm not ready to discuss yet. But I think you have the gist of the basis of his dislike.
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