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Hethlin of Anorien

 February, 25 2006

I know CMC's a done deal, but since I intend to give it a thorough editing in the future, I'll include it in this thread, as well as make this a place for any other Heth questions not appropriate for the Silver Swan thread.

Sorry for the long silence everybody-I'm having spring allergy and sinus troubles-had a bad attack yesterday and left work early.

Rebecca asked-The Denethor discussion jarred my memory about something I'd wondered about a long time ago. The Witch King seems to know that Imrahil is in charge of the city -- but how did he know that a) Denethor was dead, and b) Imrahil assumed control?

I'm assuming that, unlike in movieverse, in the Unabeauverse Denethor did not go careening off the cliff in a ball of fire. He remained in the crypt, didn't he? So there's no way that the Witch King would have had access to knowledge of his death. And even if the WK perceived the absence of the Steward's control, why wouldn't he assume that Mithrandir (Gandalf) was in command? Wasn't the rationale Mithrandir gave for asking Imrahil to take over that the troops and/or the lords might balk at his leadership?

Remember, this isn't a normal general we're talking about here. There are any number of explanations for the Witch King's knowledge:

1)Denethor had a palantir in his hands when he died, so Sauron probably knows. It's not that far to Mordor as the fell beast flies. He probably had a couple of the wraiths going back and forth to relay news and orders. If you don't like that idea, remember that Sauron was able to communicate with the wraiths more directly-he was able to order them to fly to Orodruin from the Black Gate at the very end of things.

2)The Witch King is a sorcerer, and as he told Hethlin, he wasn't sundered from his skill when he was sundered from his flesh. He's probably got some way of divining, be it in water or fire or the entrails of some poor Gondorian the orcs rounded up.

3)As for Imrahil, gee, a couple of fly-bys over Minas Tirith, and you're bound to notice the guy in the fancy armor and his knights tromping all over the city. Besides, you've got to know Sauron knows who all the big players are. It's probably pretty much between Hurin and Imrahil if Denethor and Faramir are incapacitated.

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