Ch. 49 – Contest

Contest – Finduilas POV – 1 of 3

In which Finduilas contests with rumors, Maiaberiel, Thorongil, and grief, and finds a strange haven in a city of stone.


The girl is pissed off and ready to take on all comers.

Finduilas deals with the physical and psychological effects of a miscarriage as she is also battling to wrest political control from Maiaberiel. She is really sick and tired of her sister-in-law. She’s also furious with herself for allowing the rumor that she is repenting of her marriage to Denethor to have picked up such force. It has gone beyond Maiaberiel’s direct machinations and entered the popular imagination.

The sign of love upon her will be deployed strategically to assure the old families (those with the greatest possibility of having people who can See) to quell rumors. Those who can see will have had all day to know Finduilas is in love, and then have the other half show up in time to cement just *who* she loves. This will do a great deal against the rumors.

The door in the 6th circle just invented itself.



4 thoughts on “Ch. 49 – Contest”

  1. Oh Denethor. Yep, you learned that deception doesn’t do any good… so why are you still doing it? And now Finduilas is blaming herself, which is hearbreaking to watch. (I love, though, how later Finduilas tells him she’ll always find out his secrets.)

    The ol’ melancholy/fury seesaw. *sigh*

    Oooh, once again — you go, girl! Calling her Beruthiel to her face and not in jest.

    ‘You do not know very much about women, virtuous or otherwise, Thorongil.’ Ha! Too true.

    I’m so glad Finduilas found Laanga’s refuge. It’s good for her, and good for the readers, to have a little respite, and he provides a beautiful and appropriate one.

  2. Hi Wheelrider,

    Mr. Snarly is still laboring under the delusion that he’s the one doing the protecting. In not quite a year, he will be brought up even more sharply on this count. It will not be pretty.

    For the emotional see-saw, he needs someone who is not so tightly bound up with him to give him some counterbalance. Finduilas and Aiavalë have his trust, but not enough distance. None of the rest of the family can come close. If he and Thorongil were together more often, I think at some point Thorongil’s concern for his “big brother” would finally overcome his secrecy, and he could be that person, the calming king to the brilliant, driven, psychotic steward.

    Heh, yeah, Maiaberiel is not used to anyone (besides Denethor) getting in her face like that. Well, Aiavalë does (remember their fight in Ch. 2), but the Archivist doesn’t have the public standing to really challenge her. This will not be pretty, either.

    And Captain Skulking eagle gets a few tail feathers plucked out. When this chapter was originally published on HASA, this particular scene caused much consternation because no one liked Thorongil being so moralistic. Deep philosophical roots have real world consequences, kids.

    Laanga showed up in the story one day and refused to leave. Then Crone Apple appeared and I realized what the garden had to be. Have you figured out who Laanga actually is?

    Thanks for reading!


  3. Well, since you asked… 😉 my impression is that Laanga is one of the Istari who “went into the East” and has made his way back west via being captured. I would guess that he’s a devotee of Yavanna and that Crone Apple is some manifestation of Yavanna (as is the rest of his garden, by extension).

    If this is right, I wonder if he talks to Mithrandir when he’s in town?

    Sometimes I’m a bit sad that I missed the “heyday” of HASA and forum talk… but I imagine it was often frustrating. Especially for someone “in charge” of such a beast. (But I used the Research Library to look up “Istari” and help formulate my guess above! Will always appreciate that existing.)

  4. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

    Specifically, he is Pallando. According to the essay on the Istari, Pallando was of the folk of Oromë, the Hunter, who was also known as Aldaron (Quenya) ‘Lord of Forests’ and Tauron (Sindarin) ‘Lord of Forests’. Oromë’s wife is Vána, little sister and low-rent version of Yavanna. Thus, Pallando/Laanga is willing to travel far to the East, and has a soft-spot for trees and gardens. He has dwindled over time, and is now little more than a very long-lived apothecary tending an odd garden. You’re almost right about Crone Apple. I’ll let you read more about the garden before I say what it is.

    Finduilas asks Laanga that very question later in the story. I’ll let him answer it.

    The heyday of HASA was a total nightmare for me, to be honest. The brutality I experienced from the fandom I would not wish on anyone. The Research Library will keep going on as long as I can keep it working.

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