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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.
That's possible -- I guess it depends on a) how Isabeau envisions Anorien/Gondor in terms of how educated the common folk were, and b) what Hethlin's childhood was like. Did she have no friends or playmates her own age -- never? Were trips to the inn so very rare? That in and of itself would make her rather unusual, seems like.
But even if she never had playmates and trips to the inn were rare, they would have stayed overnight when they did go, and the fact that Halaran's daughter could read probably would have come to light in the course of eating a couple of meals and hanging out on the porch for a bit -- reading or writing a list, or a receipt... or whatever.
As for once she was among the rangers, there's what Hethlin might have assumed about her skills (and maybe she did make that assumption about the northern Dunedain), and then there's what Faramir would have observed. I realize that the Gondorians didn't have a lot of knowledge about their northern kin at that time, but surely Faramir would have perceived that Hethlin's education was unusual.
Anyway, regardless of whether or not her literacy could have or should have been a clue to Hethlin and others about her family's status, I would imagine literacy would have given her (and Lorend) something in common with Faramir that would have made it easier for him to relate to them, thus accounting for their rather intimate knowledge of Faramir's relationship with his father. Unless it was the case that all or most rangers could read -- and maybe they could. Gondor had fallen since the days of its Numenorean founders, but maybe not *that* much. Maybe Gondor and Anorien aren't similar to pre-modern Europe in that regard?
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