In which a fox talks, a baby grows up, a better bone is found, a tree is wise, a fool is honest, a fiend is eluded, a promise is made, a net is cast, and the Queen lays down the law.
Much to Mr. Snarly’s relief, I might add. The boy is not the best at setting boundaries, especially where sex is concerned.
Denethor does a little law laying with Boromir, too. I wanted to write this interaction between father and son as an antidote to poorly written Denethor stories where he is basically a hateful, selfish bastard to his kids. No – he loves his sons, though he is also very much a dominant patriarch. He wins their assent through intelligence, not seizing their subordination through violence. This is a huge sub-plot through HotK, that Denethor is very good father who treats his children with love and respect. He is their hero, especially to Boromir.
Brandir is completely the Holy Fool in this chapter, and sees Denethor more clearly than anyone else. He is not terribly polite in how he says it, but he’s not precisely wrong. It’s why Gandalf really doesn’t like the High Warden, though it’s probably what endears Mr. Snarly to the mariner. Speaking of whom, for once, the mariner does something useful.
Oh, and poor Imrahil. He really didn’t deserve that.