Ch. 65 – Recovery

Recovery – Finduilas POV – 1 of 2

In which Finduilas understands that he wants her back.


There is a lot of recovery going on. Recovering from a season of war, from Thorongil’s departure, and from the threat of civil war. There is also recovering lost ground, usurped territory, and over-extended expectations. Most of all, there is recovering from the damage that this has inflicted on the hearts and psyches of the survivors.

The opening scenes of this chapter chronologically occur at the same time as the last two scenes from the previous chapter. When Denethor is meeting with the Steward and reading Thorongil’s letter, Finduilas is in the garden talking to Brandir and Laanga.

I have a lot of notes on this chapter, but will not post for a bit because of spoilers.



6 thoughts on “Ch. 65 – Recovery”

  1. Dear Anglachel,
    First of all I hope you do not mind my writing as often as I do but it sits ill with my conscience that your inbox should go empty when you write so well. Secondly, for what it is worth, I am glad that Master Laanga recognizes Brandir for what he is, as I have a soft spot for Fools. I will not be so brash as to ask for a happy ending for him, as I think the House of Hurin and its extended family are allergic to such things, but I do hope he finds a measure of peace. The third and last part of this letter is a question: what (if any) were your sources of inspiration for the Discourses of Silmarien? Like every other document in the world you create it is intriguing and I would be interested in reading more if it exists as well as investigating whatever it sprang from. Thank you!

    P.S. I have the distinct impression that HoTK is affecting the way I talk. Apologies.

  2. Hi Belovdpoet,

    I’m always happy to receive whatever comments people wish to leave. 🙂

    Brandir is so very dear. Yes, Laanga would see him for what he is, and both love and respect him for that. I can’t say that Brandir won’t experience more sorrow, even great sorrow in his life (he is wed to Beruthiel, after all), but he will be happier and I’m hopeful, at the end of the story, that he will find some peace.

    The inspiration for the Discourses is a mix of Tolkien himself and a decade of studying political theory preparing to be a university professor. There are direct quotes from Machiavelli, Plato, and Hannah Arendt, as well as a lot of reformulated theory. There is also a deep background of 19th Century American literature, such as Emerson and Melville. And, of course, Coleridge.

    Thank you for reading!


  3. “In which Finduilas understands that he wants her back.” Eeeek, I have a pretty good idea who “he” is here… That whole last part is creepy, another melding of dreams and real life, only with even higher danger.

    So glad Brandir got to spend some time in the garden, and like Belovedpoet says above, that Laanga recognizes his worth. (Heh, I thought “Beri” was short for Beruthiel for half a second.) But wow — what a revelation, regarding “Beri”‘s wickedness and its sources. That explains a lot, and actually makes me feel sorry for her.

    “*We have what we hoped for, yet the rifts are worse than ever.*” This and the previous chapters AU (After Umbar) are quite sad. It is nice, though, that we get a dose of Laanga along with a couple old familiar motifs: Finduilas calling herself a goose, and talking things over with her parents. One could almost believe everything will be OK. Ha! “We shall see.”

    Hmmm, and more hints as to what exactly is going on with Finduilas’ heart…

    I guessed it was Îbal. “Better to have loved and lost…”

  4. Hi Wheelrider,

    There will be more recovery, and even a long stretch when things seem that they will be OK as long as you don’t look too closely or think about the future too much.

    Îbal kept giving me a gentle nudge since I introduced him earlier in the story, wanting to do more than just ferry people about. I had to do something with a certain iconic object. The original Îbal was a boy on Númenor, son of Ulbar, a sailor with Tar-Aldarion, father of the first ruling queen of Númenor, Ancalime. When Aldarion returned from a long voyage and was spurned by his wife, Erendis, he went to Ulbar and his family at a celebration:

    When Ulbar’s wife came forward, Aldarion took her hand. ‘Will you receive this of me?’ he said. ‘It is but little return for six years of a good man’s aid that you gave me.’ Then from a wallet under his tunic he took a jewel red like fire upon a band of gold, and he pressed it into her hand. ‘From the King of the Elves it came,’ he said.

    So, in my Ang-verse, Îbal’s mother gave it to him and all the generations of his family held it and were mariners of the Kings of Númenor and later of the Princes of Dol Amroth, and so the wedding ring of ruby and gold that our Îbal gave to Aiavalë, was this very ring, a gift from Gil-galad and the work of some Elven smith – Celebrimbor, perhaps? – in the Second Age. Or earlier.

    Some spoiler-ish babble to follow…

    This chapter is when HotK took a leap into the complete unknown, with Finduilas having her own confrontation with Sauron. We know Denethor has and will continue to battle him in the palantír, but what if she, too, had an appointment with evil?

    It’s always been the case that Finduilas knows something is after her. From her first talk to Gandalf, she knew it. But I hadn’t provided a reason why in the story, leaving it to some vague “fate” and other hand-waving, mostly because I didn’t have a clue beyond the general feeling of stuff being wrong. Then the Míriel sub-plot appeared, and I was going “hmm”. It wasn’t until this chapter that I put the connection together myself. We now have a Finduilas who is psychologically assailed by Sauron because of her parallel to the last legitimate ruler of Númenor, physiologically weakened by a birth defect (the lung problems) and by the mariner’s mark that weakens the bond between hroä and feä, and who understands that her fate is to be the shadow of the true queen, just as Denethor’s fate is to be that to the true king. All of the vague predestination and existential determinism is in place – yet any one of these things need not have happened.

    This is also where it became obvious to me that she wasn’t dying just because she was sickly and feeling oppressed by the threat of the East. The story isn’t that she was some weak wuss, but that she was so incredibly strong, it took this much to wear her down. She is sick, she has had one of the great Powers deliberately weaken her further, and she is the apple of the Dark Lord’s eye. The pressure on her is comparable to what Sauron is exerting on Elrond and Galadriel or Gandalf, and she has not their resources, let alone their rings. It also adds to Denethor’s rejection of the Powers – and to his self-loathing for having brought her so squarely into Sauron’s view. Her horror of the east is because she is under personal surveillance of the Dark Lord. Think of what that did to Frodo.


  5. Just dropping by to say thanks for the wonderful backstory on Îbal’s ring, and “spoiler-ish” explanation. (Which I resisted reading for about five minutes.)

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