Relations – Denethor POV – 2 of 3
In which a ride is taken, a letter is delivered, a message is conveyed, a vacancy is considered, and a mystery unfolds.
This chapter was mostly for expanding on the backstory of the Steward’s house, but it also advances the growing relationship between Thorongil and Denethor. Two steps forward, one step back, a couple to the side, another lunge ahead, and full stop. Denethor gets to show his humorous side, which is never a pleasant thing to see.
One thing that drives me batty in fandom writing is the assumption that Aragorn knows everything he needs to know about running a kingdom because of his magical Elven upbringing or some such nonsense. That would have to be the worst training ever for how to run a fractious human society. Denethor keeps schooling the boy on what to be aware of and why. It doesn’t always sink in.
As with Finduilas, Denethor has no language of concern or affection to use with Thorongil, something to convey the increasing love and trust he has for this strange northerner who is more than he seems and who might, just maybe, be able to pull out a victory. Thorongil seems similarly tongue-tied. Their exchanges through this set of chapters is each of them trying to figure out how to say enough without saying to much.
They don’t fail as much as they usually do.
Oh, yeah, and Maiaberiel.
The character who emerges from this chapter and the last, strangely enough, is Steward Turgon. I think it is from him that Denethor gets his humanity.