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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.
Rebecca: ...but surely Faramir would have perceived that Hethlin's education was unusual.
Denise: He certainly seems surprised enough in Blackbow. (From near the end of Ch. 1: "With a tingle of excitement, he wondered if it were possible that she could actually read?") Whether that's because she's a woman or because of her perceived class/station at the time, or both...?
Probably more because of her perceived class. Faramir's known too many well-educated women to assume all women are ignorant.
On literacy levels in Gondor, could there also be a distinction between Numenorean and non-Numenorean or or those of mixed ancestry? Meaning that you could have two poor families, and the one with a stronger Num. heritage would be more likely to maintain a higher literacy level out of pride; vs. the other who would only do so where it would be of immediate practical benefit. Heth's Num. blood would have been pretty obvious, I'd think, and so maybe her literacy level was unremarkable in that sense.
I think that's a very reasonable assumption. At least it would make it seem somewhat more plausible to Faramir.
That assumes, of course, that not all people of Num. descent in Gondor were actually nobles, whereupon Heth's whole family situation would be very unusual to their neighbors...
I'm thinking that blood was spread around across the social spectrum, ergo Idren speaking of his father's Sea-man blood. Though he did note Hethlin's particularly pure-blooded appearance as well.
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