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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.
I think all of your points make perfect sense -- the cultural mismatch vis a vis women's roles (and really, what Hethlin's doing doesn't always sit well with folks in Gondor; it's not like Andrahar's been dwelling with the Rohirrim for the last few decades), having toes stepped on about Hethlin entering training, possibility of failure to train her up to expectation, etc. All make perfect sense to me.
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...
I think I would imagine that if Andrahar did know about Hethlin's personal history, and that she has living kin in the North -- one of whom failed to step forward immediately upon discovering Hethlin's existence -- he'd take a rather dim view of Hethlin's extended family. If he already questioned Aragorn's leadership skills, maybe this would just add fuel to that fire? Basically Aragorn "solved" the problem of Hethlin not by taking her under his own wing, nor by making sure her maternal kin stepped up to their responsibility, but by foisting Hethlin off onto Dol Amroth -- even though Aragorn knew about Imrahil's feelings for Hethlin! I can imagine Andrahar feeling a lot of disgust and anger about that.
I could therefore totally see him being even more exacting and demanding of Hethlin as a Swannie-in-Training. I could see him turning a blind eye to the pranks of Hethlin's fellow trainees (after all, he himself was tormented as an outsider when he was in training; he might well think it necessary for her to grow a very thick skin). But since the Andrahar who has developed since DAY was written is pretty reflective and self-aware I just have a hard time reconciling him with the Andrahar who punched Hethlin in the face. Nargil makes a good point about being provoked by Gildor, lots of stress and hassles ... but still... anyway, I'll be interested to see how you tie DAY to the main story arc.
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