Ch. 35 – State

State – Finduilas POV – 5 of 6

In which the ship of state, affairs of state (carnal and bureaucratic), lying in state, what state is someone in, the state of affairs, what is static and what is not are all considered.


Finduilas is frustrated with Denethor and deeply shaken by other events. They are trying to figure out the balance between them, now that they are husband/wife as well as friend/Alquallë. The immediacy of politics displaces their uncertainty over more personal things.

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Ch. 34 – Forever

Forever – Finduilas POV – 4 of 6

In which an iconic object makes an appearance, souls are promised, kisses are exchanged, and dreams become real.


They never can do anything the easy way, can they?

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Ch. 33 – Between

Between – Finduilas POV – 3 of 6

In which Finduilas spends the last few days between her old life and her new. Tales are told, dreams occur, and wishes come true. Politics and portents abound.


This is a bridging chapter, wrapping up a few narrative odds and ends and laying the groundwork for what’s to come next. Kind of like getting ready for a wedding. Maiaberiel is in for a nasty surprise is all I can say.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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