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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: His extreme dislike of Hethlin even after she'd been under his supervision for several months (ala Dol Amroth Yule) still puzzles me, a bit, which is why I was wondering whether or not he knew of Hethlin's background.
And:Is part of Andrahar's initial antipathy toward Hethlin really a manifestation of his dislike of Aragorn?
I have contemplated whether or not I am going to tone that down somewhat when I incorporate DAY into Silver Swan. Dol Amroth Yule was written very early in Andrahar's development as a character, when he was pretty much created as a nemisis for Hethlin. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then. But I think I'm going to leave things pretty much as they are, other than perhaps moving Elrohir's visit forward to Heth's second year there-for one thing, I do believe it is in Andrahar's character to make her life as difficult as possible for any number of reasons.
The first reason is the culture he grew up in. Harad has always seemed to me to be based on a Middle-Eastern sort of culture, and those tend to be rather restrictive in the roles they allow women. His relationships to the Dol Amroth women have always been comfortable enough-but Tirathiel, Nimrien and Finduilas were "regular" women, even if he had to make allowances for the odd freedoms Gondorian custom allowed them. Women in the world he grew up in simply don't DO what Hethlin is doing-there are no Haradric shield maidens.
Secondly, as he explained to Hethlin in Silver Swan, Aragorn seriously stepped upon both his toes and Imrahil's by putting Imrahil on the spot publicly about taking Hethlin. The Swannies are HIS baby-well, his with some occasional input from the Prince. His Haradric sense of place and position was extremely offended.
Thirdly, he was put in a bad spot, for he truly has doubts about his ability to train Hethlin (I think he's overthinking it, though admittedly women do better in physical endeavors if their training is tailored to their limitations and strengths). I think it's not unreasonable for him to feel that Aragorn, intentionally or not, has set him up to fail. And he is worried that Imrahil will blame him if Heth falls in battle.
Fourthly, I do think her connection to Aragorn has some bearing on this. She is Aragorn's kinswoman and therefore part of his house, and I think you're right in assuming that might color his perception of her, since his folk tend to take household affiliations very seriously. Hmmmm, must give some thought to how he feels about Arwen...
Fifthly, he's jealous and resentful, plain and simple. With the War being over, I think he was hoping to return to Dol Amroth with Imrahil and settle into a nice peace-time routine like they used to have. Instead, Imrahil's in Minas Tirith and it's all Hethlin's and Aragorn's fault.
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