Yay! I've been waiting to read this scene since I saw it mentioned in one of the forums a while back. I felt very sorry for poor Andrahar, having to realise that Heth was likely to succeed where he had been failing, but watching (reading?) her tearing a strip off Imrahil was amusing. So, thank you for this, I'm glad it got written even if it wasn't what you intended to write. I'm also very much enjoying the drabbles, particularly the one with Elrohir in Fangorn. I have found myself missing Elrohir in Passages, his dry humour makes him one of my favourite characters.
Also, my mum recently got hold of my book-copy of Captain, My Captain and devoured it in about two days. She asked me to review for her, and to tell you that she loved the whole story, especially Hethlin's character and her relationship with Elrohir, with the pair of them good friends and equals despite their substantial (I think that might be too mild a word) age difference. She, like me, is eagerly awaiting further chapters.
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 Reviewer:Dwim Date:March 9, 2009 11:50 PM
So now we get the aftermath of DAY, in more detail than was given in "Confirmation". Had to go back and reread that to get the basic scenario down.
I really liked Hethlin's indignation over the notion that everyone, including Imrahil, would be upset over hanging Veleda because she was a *beautiful* woman. Her point is entirely valid, as much as, in the very instant of such awful moments, one might very well desire to use whatever fair or unfair advantage accrues to the accidents of sex and social situation to escape death. Good girl, Heth!
I'm a little confused by Imrahil, though. Granted, "Confirmation" takes place later, but he definitely seems not to have any qualms about the whole affair. We can see that as something he took from Hethlin, but when it comes down to it, I'm not entirely sure I grasp why he's taking this so hard. Not unless he really was leaning towards sparing Veleda's life on the basis of her being a woman, which he seems to think plays a much more minor role in his funk than Hethlin thinks. He seems to be more worried about Erchirion and Heth.
Worrying about Heth I could see, but I doubt he'd mope over executing one of her sisters of the sword, as it were, just because it makes him think she could die like that. It's not like he's planning to hang Hethlin, and he knows very well what happens on a battle field. Doesn't mean he won't put his son and his blood-brother in harm's way in the blink of an eye if necessary, even knowing the possible and even likely consequences.
Erchirion - well, he was in lust with Veleda for a very brief moment, but according to "Confirmation," he left as soon as she'd been hanged. He and Imrahil didn't have any time to fight any more, and if Imrahil didn't give in before, I'm having a hard time seeing how old arguments, now rendered safely moot, would affect him this way. If he and 'Chiron had had one more big, and really vicious blow-out in private after the hanging, and then 'Chiron departed with Foam-Flyer, then I could maybe see him descending into this funk and all the extraneous stuff that he would ordinarily have gotten over pretty darned quickly might get caught up in his concern over his relationship with his son.
I suppose I could read the post-Andra fics back into this, and see it as a foreshadowing of just how much losing someone close to him can suck the life right out of Imrahil, but for some reason, that's not seeming to resonate either.
So I'm stumped, here.
I did, though, really like the Andra-Heth interaction. Nothing overstated, they're clearly not friends or anything, and Andra's definitely in a mood. But he doesn't take his mood out on Hethlin (other than the predictable 'snap to it, esquire, did that sound like a request?' reaction proper to all drill-masterly sorts), and the soberness of his warning worked really well. He's not venting, he's not sharing with a subordinate, but he's involving her in a task that's important to him and making sure she has what she needs to know in order to do it well.
I also liked the quiet, very direct and succinct thanking of Heth for saving his honor. When Andra first sent Hethlin up, I was surprised that he seemed in pain over the whole affair - my first thought was, "If I were Andrahar, I'd be pissed at my liegelord-brother as well as worried, and that would show." But he's not angry, he's upset - pained. Why? Then it occurred to me, when I got to the end, that Andra, with his scrupulous sense of honor, might well feel that his failure to see Veleda for what she was cost him the right to confront Imrahil on this point. Hence he can't just barge in on Imrahil, confront and (eventually) console, but will have to hand that task (and that privilege) over to someone else who did not fail and whom he knows has a claim on Imrahil's heart (however much that may irk him).
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 Reviewer:Radbooks Date:March 10, 2009 2:49 PM
Oh, what a very nice treat! I really enjoyed reading this little snippet from Silver Swan.
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 Reviewer:brinian Date:March 10, 2009 6:52 PM
Read this the other night but I didn't think you'd appreciate a nonsensical review written at 2am :-) This is lovely! It makes me want to beg you for more of Silver Swan.
Poor Andra. It's so hard on him not to be able to do whatever it takes to break Imrahil out of his funk. And I know it's tough on him to have to ask Heth to help, but he'll do anything for Imri, so he does.
And Hethlin - well, she is getting so much more self-confident. I really want to see more of her development as she progresses though her Swan Knight training and the interpersonal relationships that involves (and actually I would like to read more of Blackbow too, so I guess I've just gotten around to begging for more anyway..sorry!) The way you are growing her as a person is so very natural. From each experience she takes a little bit more on board and uses it. Wow!
And then there's Imrahil. I'm so glad he's coming around to realizing that staying away is the wrong thing to do. He needs his family and Dol Amroth like he needs air. And I think Heth is part of that family whether she is his other half or not. I don't think he could really live properly knowing he couldn't see her at all. It seems to me that for him it would be better to see her from afar, despite knowing he can't have her, than not at all.
More please? (darn...there's that begging again...no control today at all!)
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 Reviewer:Elena Tiriel Date:March 13, 2009 11:37 AM
Imrahil and Andrahar and Hethlin, oh my!
Woo-hoo! *Barbara does a happy dance*
It's a sign of just how much Andrahar cares about Imrahil, and how desperate he is, that he sends Hethlin to break through his friend's wall of melancholy isolation. He fears that Hethlin could displace him in Imrahil's circle of loved ones, but he does what is right for Imrahil under the circumstances, rather than what is easy for himself.
What I especially like, though, is that Hethlin momentarily breaks through Andrahar's wall of reserve, and really sees the pain behind his commanderly mask. They are both in the process of learning to respect the other, and that glimpse helps that process along. Andrahar's thanks are perfect, and so is her unforced smile at the end.
It's great how Hethlin deals with a moody Imrahil; I especially love her threatening to climb the tower... and meaning it, too... and bawling him out with no holds barred, not caring that he wouldn't take that from anyone else in his household.
And I also love his piratical grin at the end. ;-) Don't get me wrong, I adore Elrohir, and am glad that Hethlin has the hunky harp-player for a lover... but I am rooting for Imrahil in the long run.
Anyway, can you tell I'm pleased as punch to read this? I have been too overwhelmed to read the B2MEM stuff flooding my email box (or much of anything else, for that matter) but now that I know there's at least one Unabeauverse gapfiller in there, I'll check the whole lot out.
Thanks for sharing these great character moments!
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 Reviewer:Dwim Date:March 25, 2009 8:33 PM
Ah, much more clear! And I think it works better for Imrahil's character, to have him swamped by a number of things. Very well done, drawing the personal and painful triangle of Andra-Heth-Imri into play in just such a way as to make usually good relationships work against the people concerned and particularly Imrahil this time. That keeps the focus on the three characters involved most heavily in this piece, and it makes more sense to me than the original reasons for Imrahil's funk.
I also liked that you managed to keep Heth's original tirade, but have Imrahil turn her about a bit in her assumptions - the perils of court gossip are that gossip is what it is, and so not necessarily true. Few people have to hang other people, and especially after having gone through the war. Hethlin probably should think about that, and the fact that if she ends up with Imrahil, she will also have a certain duty to attend as a figure of authority in such matters - what her husband does in the realm of high justice, she must also lend her authority to, if she marries him. Sobering thought...
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 Reviewer:Denise Date:March 27, 2009 3:34 PM
A bit belatedly here, but finally I have the weekend to try to catch up on my fanfic habit.
I too remember the past reference to this scene, and am so glad that your muse jumped on that prompt! It's everything I could have imagined and more. I really can't add much to what others have said: the interactions between Heth, Imri and Andra are all wonderful and feel just right, absolutely in character. (I can only vaguely remember the first installment - I read it in the midst of a hectic time - but whatever Dwim helped with, this sure seems smooth to me.)
I think I particularly love how Hethlin has the nerve to tell Imrahil off, but then is reminded of her youthfulness; it feels very realistic. Despite all she's been through, she is yet still inexperienced in many ways.
And the reference harkening back to their marriage conversation in Rohan (one of my favorite parts of CMC!) is a stroke of brilliance on Imrahil's part. Needless to say, I found it promising that Hethlin seemed glad to see that piratical grin despite her blush. :)
Thanks for another terrific read!
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 Reviewer:Elena Tiriel Date:April 17, 2009 6:52 AM
Just re-read this, Isabeau, and yes indeed, Dwim was right!
But, of course, you are the one who took Dwim's comment and ran with it, and the result scratches an itch that I hadn't realized existed....
Imrahil's explanation makes so much sense, and it was a nice touch that at least some of Hethlin's accusations were wrong.
I liked the story before, and now I like it even better.... great work!
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 Reviewer:illereyn Date:June 1, 2009 2:33 PM
Well, I certainly have no trouble about reading a bit of Silver Swan, even if the rest of it hasn't caught up yet. Liked the interaction between Heth and Imri.
Since this heavily refers to event of Dol Amroth Yule - does this mean that that short story would be incorporated into Silver Swan too?
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 Reviewer:Larner Date:December 27, 2009 3:54 AM
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