State – Finduilas POV – 5 of 6
In which the ship of state, affairs of state (carnal and bureaucratic), lying in state, what state is someone in, the state of affairs, what is static and what is not are all considered.
Finduilas is frustrated with Denethor and deeply shaken by other events. They are trying to figure out the balance between them, now that they are husband/wife as well as friend/Alquallë. The immediacy of politics displaces their uncertainty over more personal things.
In my mind, when she dreams of the secret place, it means he is also thinking/dreaming of it. Or perhaps is actually there. It is their shared place, a refuge in the midst of danger where things are always true (even if symbolic and incomplete). The sounds of death (the Sea) give way to the sounds of refuge & protection (the waterfall) and they are together. So, when she has these dreams, it’s the giveaway that he also is dealing with his emotional/erotic desires.
Even so, she is confused, even angry, that Denethor is unwilling to address these desires with her, let alone act on them. She still has not understood how his reluctance combines his very real desire to not impose himself physically on her (the way he imagined happened with his parents) with his less pleasant over-controlling tendencies, in both cases making her take the emotional risks. It also reflects his deep ambivalence about whether he ought to marry at all, and whether he has come between the true pairing – Finduilas and Thorongil.
Since they have two kids, they do get something figured out. The question is what it will be.