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The Dancer  by annmarwalk 9 Review(s)
Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/21/2007
Oh, this is lovely, but so very sad. And Irilde lost everyone - her husband, her sons, and finally, even Denethor.

Didn't Faramir also resemble Denethor physically? Of course, Irilde mainly had eyes for Boromir.

Great descriptions of the young Denethor, and later, Finduilas.

Author Reply: Oh, this is lovely, but so very sad.
Yes, it is; but I love the way Irilde refused to succumb to grief, but continued to soldier on through it all, calling on the same strength that carried her through the 12-year non-courtship and a 30 year marriage.

Faramir may have actually more closely resembled the younger Denethor physically than his brother did (as Marta has pointed out); but in terms of magnetism and charisma, I think it would have been Boromir all the way! (and you know, Raksha, that it's always All About Boromir with me, hehe.)

Great descriptions of the young Denethor, and later, Finduilas.
Denethor's not a heartless villian, nor is Finduilas a cunning vixen who stole his heart - they are just the two who were meant for each other; once they met, no one else had a chance.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Episcopal WitchReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/21/2007
What a heartbreaker!

How could Denethor possibly be so clueless as to not understand that she had feelings for him? Or was he deliberately holding her in reserve, with her eminently suitable wealth and lineage?

I liked the clear implication that Vinyarion understands exactly what her feelings are and swoops in to help her salvage her dignity, for surely after all those years of her partnering Denethor the tongues would have been wagging immediately.

For me the greatest sadness is that she loses her husband and all her children. She courageously makes the best of her heartbreak, and then has nothing left. She's even going to lose Boromir.

I would like to see more of this strong and lovely lady...I hope there is some unexpected happiness in store for her...but I suspect her story is all told.

Author Reply: How could Denethor possibly be so clueless as to not understand that she had feelings for him? Or was he deliberately holding her in reserve, with her eminently suitable wealth and lineage?

I really do think he was totally clueless - the "reading hearts shrewdly" thing obviously hadn't kicked in yet. Just as great a surprise to him, as to everyone else, when he fell head over heels in love with someone else.

I liked the clear implication that Vinyarion understands exactly what her feelings are and swoops in to help her salvage her dignity, for surely after all those years of her partnering Denethor the tongues would have been wagging immediately.

Isn't he wonderful? Right there to catch her when she was about to fall apart. Yes, I'd love to have been eavesdropping around the White City over the next few days!

Yes, she loses her husband and children, but I'm not sure that her losses were any greater, or more painful, than so many other women of Gondor, of Rohan. Except for Denethor, she's Everywoman, really.

Thank you for reading, and such lovely, insightful comments! You've warmed my heart on this snowy Sunday.


LarnerReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/20/2007
It's been a time since I read this one. Still beautiful, Ann.

Author Reply: Thank you! It's still one of my own favorite pieces, too - I can see it all so clearly, like a little film I watch in my head.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/20/2007
She has lost her family, and Denethor his heart. Can they find at least some companionship together?

And it must have been a great disappointment to see that dance with Finduilas, then to find the one who would accept and cherish her, then to lose all as she did. She has some terrible griefs to get through.

Author Reply: To be honest, I think she would have been lucky to have received a sympathy note from him. He's gone so far beyond grief, buried himself so thoroughly in duty, and by now, of course, has become obsessed with the Palantir and Gondor's future - he's scarcely recognizable as the man she loved.

And Irilde would certainly not have been the first woman of Minas Tirith to suffer thus. I'm sure there's quite a bit of their traing to be Proper Numenorean Wives that deals with grief and loss counseling, poor dear.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/20/2007
I don't even know where to start - praises, emotions, and tears fall as I sit her contemplating the beauty of this chapter. So much included in so few words.

My heart breaks for your heroine... but also for my Lord, Denethor. I wonder what might have happened if he had seen that Irilde loved him. What could have happened if one he loved did not die? Would he have succumbed to despair?

Again - intense reading experience. I love your OC. Thank you!

Author Reply: Thank you so much for your kind words. Ever since her first appearance two years ago, friends have asked me for more of Irilde's story. I'm glad to have finally had the opportunity (and the skill) to bring her more fully to life.

I wonder what might have happened if he had seen that Irilde loved him.
*sigh* Poor, clueless Denethor. He could have fathered another whole dynasty. But then what would have become of those sons we know and love so well?

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/20/2007
And I love to see her dancing with Boromir. Who has a warmer heart than his father, even if he's less of a thinker.

Author Reply: Who has a warmer heart than his father

Yes, I think Boromir, as well as Faramir, inherited a fair bit of their mother's charm. Too bad he didn't have as many opportunities to put it to use!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/20/2007
The poor woman - that is so sad! A society where she must be totally passive and receptive. Always be asked, not asking, wait and smile and be patient. And he intended to wed her - one day, when it suited him and the need for heirs made marriage inevitable! Only he fell in love - and dropped her without even an apology. Such self-centred arrogance!

But Vinyarion sounds a kind man - and understanding. And she was content - both to be with him, I imagine, and to be away from Minas Tirith. The last thing she needed was to see Denethor with Finduilas!

Only life didn't even spare her one of her sons to stand by her side, but doubtless handed her home to her husband's heir and sent her back to watch Denethor atrophy.



Author Reply: Oh, wow - you've seen right into my head, and my rather depressing view of the raising of Proper Numenorean Broodmares (tm)! Carefully nurtured and trained from girlhood to be perfect wives and protectors of the Old Ways, hidden away except when trotted out to give potential husbands a brief, tantalizing glimpse of upcoming marriage fodder. *sigh*

But poor Denethor - I didn't mean to write him as a villian, just as being totally clueless. I'm sure that somewhere in the back of his mind he was certain he'd marry her; just didn't ever expect to be struck by lightning and fall in love with someone else.

Only life didn't even spare her one of her sons to stand by her side, but doubtless handed her home to her husband's heir and sent her back to watch Denethor atrophy.

(Don't worry, I made sure she had a good bit of money and property of her own set aside, so she lived quite comfortably in Minas Tirith. And by then it would have been easy enough to avoid her lost love.)


meckinockReviewed Chapter: 2 on 1/20/2007
Ah, this was lovely. So much insight into this woman in such a small space. I loved her insight into Boromir; that this perfectly charming gentleman was fulfilling his obligation to dance even though he had no interest in such things. And the hint that this had become an amusing ritual between them; his offer and her refusal. But I was glad that her heart softened at last and she danced with him.

Author Reply: Thank you so much. This was the original piece, written back in 2005, and still a very great favorite of mine. I'm glad to have the opportunity to revisit the story a bit.

meckinockReviewed Chapter: 1 on 1/20/2007
I was groaning for this poor girl; terribly, achingly lovestruck and getting just enough attention from Denethor to keep her hopes up for twelve years - twelve years! Ah, the agony. Then, the innocent bits of information about Finduilas - did her brothers not know, or did they just not think to tell her, that Denethor was courting her? Or had it not happened yet when they left? Gads, the poor girl. I was so relieved, when Denethor made his grand appearance with his lady at his side and her world caved in around her, she didn't have a Bridget Jones moment but instead recovered quickly - and married the first guy she saw LOL. Practicality - I like that! I felt sorry for her that her story didn't end more happily. I liked her a lot.

Author Reply: I don't think Denethor was leading her on; I think it just didn't occur to him that she was in anguish all those years. And her brothers, bless them, were just as clueless as Denethor was. (I don't even want to think about the women pining for those two.)


married the first guy she saw
I kind of think Good Ol' Vinyarion was hanging around for many of those twelve years, just waiting to see what would happen! Good for him that he was in the right place, at the very best time.

I liked her a lot.
Thank you! I like her too; she had great strength to recover so quickly from that first shock, and then all the others in her life. Yet she held her head high through it all.

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