Ch. 5 – Confidence

Confidence – Finduilas POV – 1 of 2

In which Finduilas confides in someone, fails to do so with someone else, and gains a great deal of confidence when dealing with a third.

*****

So, if my heroine is not a doormat, as conventionally written in LotR fanfic, but she’s also not She-ra, warrior princess, how does she exert her authority? By being a smart cookie. This chapter is an exploration of the various permutations of the concept of confidence, something Finduilas possesses in spades.

It also takes up the question of what Gandalf was (or wasn’t) doing to gain Denethor’s ire. Snooping and meddling, mostly. I’m someone who has grown increasingly less fond of the wizard the more I get to know him. He’s arrogant, secretive, pissy, high-handed, and generally rude to everyone around him. Unless you are one of “the wise” (i.e., a fellow immortal), he doesn’t tell you shit of what is going on; he just demands that you do as he says because he says it.

I’d give him a cold shoulder, too.

Finduilas, when faced with another arrogant and pushy fellow, gives him an earful and things to think about before he treats her that way again. He won’t.

Anglachel

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3 thoughts on “Ch. 5 – Confidence”

  1. So I am curious about something way back in this chapter… what exactly was Mithrandir trying to accomplish with encouraging Finduilas to befriend Thorongil? Anything in particular? (Or will I just have to be patient and find out?)

    I don’t completely disagree with your assessment of Mithrandir, though I don’t completely agree either. One could say that he doesn’t respect someone until they’ve taken the time to educate themselves toward approaching his own level of knowledge — which would take a hell of a long time. But at any rate, it is surprising and refreshing to read a story that shows him in such a different, but yet completely plausible, light.

  2. [ETA – Regarding my question – he’s not above making simple mistakes, even in LoTR.]

  3. Hi Wheelrider,

    I think Gandalf is not sure what the hell is going on. He doesn’t believe in chance and he knows quite well that he’s looking at two pairs – Aragorn/Arwen and Denethor/Finduilas. It’s not a mistake that he starts taking serious interest in Denethor only after he sees Finduilas. That her dreams start when Thorongil arrives means there is a connection between them as well. He has never quite explained himself to me as to why he encourages the friendship, though he does make a comment later on in the story (Yes, we’ll see him again at least twice) that hints at something. It has a mean edge to it, but it also seems to be a lesson that needed to be learned.

    As I said, I have become disenchanted with the old fart over the years. I used to think he was great, but now regard him with frustration. So many times in the stories he could have provided better counsel, been more forthcoming, been less abrasive. He does heroic things and (within the rather questionable theology of the Ardaverse) his aims are always for the good, but he’s such a dick about it. Tolkien spends a lot of time asserting and assuming where the old conjuror is concerned. Even so, his wisdom is recognized by Denethor, who has his own prickly temper deal with.

    Mostly, at this point in Middle-earth history, he’s throwing stuff at the wall to see what will stick. He doesn’t know about Bilbo’s ring, he knows Sauron is rising, he knows Aragorn is fated to rise high or vanish into shadow (Elrond’s prophesy), and then there is this strange Warden who seems to be Aragorn’s virtual twin and mirror – the last Númenórean. Part of me thinks he wants Finduilas to befriend Thorongil so that he might learn something of what Denethor is up to.

    Anglachel

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