Water – Finduilas POV
In which a family trait is considered, a monster is revealed, and someone changes his mind.
One of the challenges of writing HotK was creating a female protagonist who could stand up to the towering personality of Denethor. Given that the character dies young and, according to Tolkien, wastes away pining for her childhood home, horrified by the shadow in the east, this was not a simple task. Fandom tropes have her being a doormat, an abused spouse, a sickly angel of the house, a weak and fragile creature.
I set out to create a heroine in the mode of other powerful women in Tolkien’s writings, like Galadriel, Éowyn, and (yes) Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. I also started adding in the women who Denethor would have been interacting with as a regular occurrence – his two elder sisters, his mother, and what will be a growing panoply of no-nonsense dames.
Finduilas has a special talent, dreaming things that are true, which will be a source of strength and grief as the story goes on. I take as a hook the emblem of her house, the Swan, to tie her and her kin to the legacy of Tuor and his special relationship with one the Powers. It is not a gift. This is, after all, a tragedy.