Ch. 75 – Get

Get – Finduilas POV – 3 of 4

In which the Warden gets testy, the Monster gets her way, the Quartermaster gets an ultimatum, the Prince gets a new grandchild, and the Steward gets what he wants.


And all of the children running around. I think I need to put together another appendix chapter and list out who all has been born, and to whom, in the Steward’s line. It’s a lot.

Continue reading Ch. 75 – Get


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

Ch. 22 – Tales

Tales – Finduilas POV – 2 of 4

In which the tall, dark, taciturn fellow finally admits his feelings, Finduilas plans a wedding, and poetry is in the air.


Another talismanic object is introduced in this chapter and a new theme enters the mix of legends. The answer to Finduilas’s question to herself is, well, duh.

Continue reading Ch. 22 – Tales

Ch. 18 – Threat

Threat – Denethor POV – 1 of 3 In which Denethor deals with threats from the cat, the captain, Umbar, the Steward, his sisters, his heart and the Dark Lord. All in all, he prefers dealing with Orcs.


A lot happens in this chapter. All of Denethor’s cleverness over the summer is going to come back to haunt him, and family relations take a definite turn for the worse. Continue reading Ch. 18 – Threat

Ch. 2 – Water

Water – Finduilas POV

In which a family trait is considered, a monster is revealed, and someone changes his mind.


One of the challenges of writing HotK was creating a female protagonist who could stand up to the towering personality of Denethor. Given that the character dies young and, according to Tolkien, wastes away pining for her childhood home, horrified by the shadow in the east, this was not a simple task. Fandom tropes have her being a doormat, an abused spouse, a sickly angel of the house, a weak and fragile creature.

Bah, humbug.

I set out to create a heroine in the mode of other powerful women in Tolkien’s writings, like Galadriel, Éowyn, and (yes) Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. I also started adding in the women who Denethor would have been interacting with as a regular occurrence – his two elder sisters, his mother, and what will be a growing panoply of no-nonsense dames.

Finduilas has a special talent, dreaming things that are true, which will be a source of strength and grief as the story goes on. I take as a hook the emblem of her house, the Swan, to tie her and her kin to the legacy of Tuor and his special relationship with one the Powers. It is not a gift. This is, after all, a tragedy.