Ch. 21 – Desiring

Desiring – Finduilas POV – 1 of 4

In which Finduilas defends Denethor from a swan, an eagle, a demon, an archivist and himself.


Mostly, Finduilas resists the urge to whap a few people upside the head, no matter that they richly deserve it.

There are two fairly long political discussions in this chapter held between Adrahil, Luinil and Finduilas. These are opportunities to have Denethor’s actions described by someone who is critical of him, but not hostile (though that will change to some degree), and who is similarly observant about other political actors. It’s a way to consider Denethor outside of Finduilas’s biased perspective.

When she does finally rejoin Denethor, it is against the background of these words. As much as she loves him, she never loses the critical edge of a sharp and subtle political actor. She is as ready to rebuke him as to sympathize with him, which simply makes her even more irresistible to him.




4 thoughts on “Ch. 21 – Desiring”

  1. Heh indeed! And meanwhile this reader is trying to resist falling in love with these characters — to spare the pain of tragic ending — and failing miserably.

    I was wondering when Finduilas’s realization would come and here it is. (Guessed it might be so from her actions in the last chapters…) Also I was hoping the entire Swan family would be allies to Denethor but alas. Adrahil’s reactions are more realistic.

    Oh man, Denethor’s situation hits a little close to home at points (though of course not at all comparable, really)… I am so glad to be a simple mercenary in my professional life now.

  2. Hi Wheelrider,

    Yup, I hear you about the advantages of being a mercenary. Living that right now.

    Give in to the dark side – I want you sobbing by the end of the story. I do have two AUs kicking around in my head; one where Finduilas lives and another where Denethor does not commit suicide on the pyre. Neither are precisely happy.

    Finduilas has been avoiding acknowledging her feelings just as much as Denethor, maybe even a bit more. Once obvious, she’s less resistant than Mr. tall, dark and snarly. How she breaks through his shell will take a bit of work.

    Adrahil and Denethor’s relationship is…complicated. In truth, no matter his words about Thorongil, I don’t think Adrahil really wants anyone to marry Finduilas and take her away from them. Certainly not so soon. Luinil, on the other hand, is more than happy to welcome Denethor to the family.

    Thank you for commenting! I’m glad to know I have a reader. 🙂


  3. Mr. Tall Dark and Snarly — ha ha! Along those lines, I loved how Finduilas said to herself that she’d spend her time at parties talking to the guy nobody else wanted to. Somehow she’s capable of not coming across as a doormat or martyr/heroine for it — she’s smart enough to see what everyone else misses.

    There are a lot of other little bits I’ve loved and not mentioned… racing through too fast. For instance the whole Dragon Fire thing. (I suspect it’s basically napalm?)

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across a Finduilas lives AU. Do it!

    On being a mercenary… this might be of interest:

    Hope your week is better.

  4. Denethor can be a little difficult to warm up to, yes… heh.

    When conceptualizing Finduilas, I had to ask the question that doesn’t get asked very much – just why the fuck *did* she marry this dude? Most times, the answer is purely instrumental dynastic politics, such as he picked her as a suitable wife and no one had the guts to tell him no. But the depth of his grief belies that explanation. Denethor loved his wife and it seemed reasonable that she loved him in return.

    So I asked, what was it that she found so appealing in him? This is the insight of the Othello quote that opens the story. Desdemona falls for Othello not just because he is super sexy (as is our favorite High Warden), but because she sees him as he sees himself (“I saw Othello’s visage in his mind…his honors and his valiant parts”), understanding the brilliance, imagination, and passion that drives him. This is what Finduilas perceives about Denethor, and she loves him for it, despite his shortcomings, which are considerable. Before they are lovers, they are soul-mates and the deepest, most trusting of friends.

    Thorongil’s attentions to her stand in stark contrast, and not just because we know he’s supposed to be with someone else or because Finduilas is already in love with Mr. Snark. His attention to her is identical to what a “love story” should be. He showers her with adoration. He is courtly and polite. He offers her conventional romance, completely sincere and with the best intentions, but he never offers up himself.

    No more AUs until I get my Shire stuff written!

    Yes, Dragon Fire is like napalm on steroids, crossed with white phosphorous. It is simply evil, and Denethor knows it.

    Thanks for the link and the comment!


    PS – For a very different, but very good, Denethor/Finduilas romance, try reading Celandine Brandybuck’s “Courting the Lady.”

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