Ch. 13 – Relations

Relations – Denethor POV – 2 of 3

In which a ride is taken, a letter is delivered, a message is conveyed, a vacancy is considered, and a mystery unfolds.


This chapter was mostly for expanding on the backstory of the Steward’s house, but it also advances the growing relationship between Thorongil and Denethor. Two steps forward, one step back, a couple to the side, another lunge ahead, and full stop. Denethor gets to show his humorous side, which is never a pleasant thing to see.

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Ch. 12 – Mortality

Mortality – Denethor POV – 1 of 3

In which Denethor faces his worst fear, is scolded by Brandir, and believes he has uncovered his part in the tale.


All of the quoted poetry is from the Lay of Leithian, in Tales of Beleriand, as was most of the verses in Ch. 10, Proof. It is not a mistake that I parallel Denethor and Finduilas to that story, which is usually the bailiwick of Aragorn and Arwen tales. It is the only way for Denethor to address what he is feeling and why.

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Ch. 11 – Flirtation

Flirtation – Finduilas POV – 3 of 3

In which someone flirts with Finduilas, Finduilas flirts with a few ideas, Denethor flirts with trouble, more people flirt with Finduilas, and she flirts with disaster.


Ah, time for a little romance! A very little bit of romance. Finduilas continues to butt heads with the dour Warden of the White Tower, much to their mutual enjoyment. Luinil is figuring out a few things, but treads lightly.

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Ch. 10 – Proof

Proof – Finduilas POV – 2 of 3

In which Finduilas unearths interesting clues about a number of people, but is unsure whether they can be considered proof of anything.


More third-hand accounts of the war that is raging across Gondor’s eastern borders, and Finduilas’s illness raises its head once again. A theme is introduced in the last major scene of the chapter that carries through to the last chapter of the story – what was theirs to do. Of course, it is in the form of an argument, with Denethor being ever so practically minded and Finduilas trying to get the grouch to see things from a larger perspective.

The mystery of Thorongil continues to unfold.


Ch. 9 – Waiting

Waiting – Finduilas POV – 1 of 3

In which Finduilas exchanges thoughts with her mother, stories with Thorongil, and one book for another.


This is a chapter of politics. We get to see the playing out of all the actions Denethor has been taking since Thorongil showed up at his door with a certain letter in hand. However, we see it from the perspective of the women. What do they make of the decisions passed in counsel chambers and private conversations?

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Ch. 8 – Ruins

Ruins – Denethor POV – 2 of 2

In which Denethor plots rebellion, challenges a mercenary, talks to an uncle, and says something he will regret for a very long time.


This chapter is mostly backstory and political machinations, but it also takes time to look at different locations in Gondor, in this case Pelargir.

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Ch. 7 – Descent

Descent – Denethor POV – 1 of 2

In which Denethor teaches Thorongil a lesson, discusses army provisions, shows where Faramir gets it, and lets his fingers do the talking.


How many ways down are there? This is a lesson for both Thorongil and Denethor.

As I said on the Rómenna blog post, one main goal in this chapter was to pay attention to Denethor’s physicality. If he & Aragorn/Thorongil look as being of closest kin, then they are pretty similar in their physical abilities. They’ll both be tall, agile, with keen senses and an ease of movement. Boromir and Faramir, though of different body types, are also very physical men, and I imagine that Denethor would more like than unlike his sons at a comparable age. I don’t know if it came through in the first chapter, but Denethor and Thorongil vary in their favorite choice of weapon. Thorongil is a swordsman, while Denethor prefers the bow. Each is, of course, deadly with either.

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