Ch. 32 – Cold

Cold – Finduilas POV – 2 of 6

In which more than the weather has a chilling effect.

*****

Special treat! At the foot of the chapter is a link to a PDF diagram of the four floors of the Stewards House. Not really to scale, but will give you an idea of how the rooms are laid out.

Finduilas has arrived in Minas Tirith much in the way her brother, Imrahil, will do so just over 40 years later, though what she arrives to battle is more subtle than Sauron. Her return to Minas Tirith begins, as so many marriages do, with the household and economics.  As days pass and the City fills, politics is as much on Finduilas’s mind as romance.  A new prince has arisen, and is to be reckoned with.

Continue reading Ch. 32 – Cold

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Ch. 31 – Fate

Fate – Finduilas POV – 1 of 6

In which a prince returns on the wings of swans, and many fates are changed.

*****

And we are back to Finduilas. The opening of this chapter will make better sense if you read the last few paragraphs of Ch. 30, Cunning, to pick up the story. I introduce 14 new characters in this chapter, though most are only in passing. Don’t worry, they will all come back in at some point – it’s a long story. There are a lot of Silmarillion references, direct and oblique; see if you can pick them out. There is also a reference to one of my favorite fairy tales.

Continue reading Ch. 31 – Fate

Ch. 30 – Cunning

Cunning – Denethor POV – 6 of 6

In which Denethor does inadvisable things in towers.

*****

Denethor’s rebellious streak is on full display through this chapter, as well as his simultaneous intellectual brilliance and “Doh!” cluelessness. This is the guy who decides it is a Good Idea to stand in front of a charging Mûmak and try to hit it in the eye, after all. Thorongil isn’t the only one who wants to call him names.

Continue reading Ch. 30 – Cunning

Ch. 29 – Foundation

Foundation – Denethor POV – 5 of 6

In which Denethor contemplates towers, fortresses, northern rangers, distant lands, nearby ruins, peach pits, cobblestones, greatness, contentment, an inland sea, contests of the past, and the tales told by stone.

*****

And, no, I am not the slightest bit repentant for that line.

Continue reading Ch. 29 – Foundation

Ch. 28 – Vows

Vows – Denethor POV – 4 of 6

In which the betrothal finally takes place, several kisses are exchanged, Imrahil gets a few cameos, politics are tangled, and Telperien demands to be noticed.

*****

A lot of different vows are performed, broken, reported on and pondered, with two that stand in contest with others.

Continue reading Ch. 28 – Vows

Ch. 27 – Belegaer

Denethor POV – 3 of 6

The many men so beautiful
And they all dead did lie!
And a million million slimy things
Liv’d on – and so did I.

In which fate and free will are argued – the Athrabeth challenged, by way of Coleridge.

*****

After two somewhat quiet chapters dealing with internal dynastic politics (well, as quiet as such politics can be in the House Húrin…), we rush headlong into the metaphysics of Middle-earth and, obliquely, the grounds of the religious debates of our own times.

The mariner. He’s a sly one. Keep an eye on him.

Continue reading Ch. 27 – Belegaer

Ch. 26 – Kinship

Kinship – Denethor POV – 2 of 6

In which Denethor deals with his relatives and their mutual love of Finduilas as he embarks on a great journey that will change him forever.

*****

Denethor interacts with his biological and emotional families, with varying degrees of success. There is a little more information about his time in Umbar. See if you can find the reference to Emerson, and to a famous work of art.

Continue reading Ch. 26 – Kinship