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The Eagle on the Ramparts  by Canafinwe 10 Review(s)
obsidianjReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/27/2015
Great start to a new story. I'm not sure I like this Denethor. I never got the feeling that he was this prejudiced. Denying the Easterling this marriage might bring about exactly what Denethor fears. Gondor is fighting a loosing war. Denethor would be the first to know that they need every soldier they can get. The way you paint Denethor, I have a hard time to see that he and Thorongil can be anything but adversaries. From the books I got they feeling that they got along well until Ecthelion started to shower Thorongil with more and more favors and put Thorongil's council before Denethor's.

Author Reply: Thank you for your feedback! My characterization of Denethor is a complicated thing. I agree that it is Ecthelion's favouring of Thorongil that makes Denethor see him as a rival. However, I believe there would have been an initial period of distrust of the stranger, chiefly because he is hiding something enormous and Denethor -- having Numenorean insight into the hearts of men -- would realize that. This would be followed by a period of growing acceptance and even respect as Thorongil proves valuable to Gondor, and then the inevitable and permanent crumbling of relations when Denethor's jealousy begins to mount.

As for his prejudice, I take my cue for that from page 241 of "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien", in which he states that Denethor "despised lesser men", and that there was no distinction in his mind between the Easterlings and Haradrim in Sauron's army, and the orcs. (The Professor goes on to make some horrifying predictions as to what sort of a ruler Denethor would have been in victory...)

Thank you again for reading! I hope this gives a sense of my thought process.

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/26/2015
Oh, but I love this coming to the land where he must first be accepted as King if he would raise his own homeland back to the status of a Kingdom in it's own right.

Denethor is perhaps harder than I've imagined him, both worthy of his own honor but too dismissive of the outsiders. I can easily foresee the conflicts he will have with this newcomer, who will appreciate Ecthelion's wisdom regarding the former Easterling.

AromeneReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/26/2015
New story! How exciting. And one of my favourite 'missing from the book' tales. I always found this period of Aragorn's history, in his wanderings in the south, so very fascinating, by how he managed it, and also how others saw him.

Author Reply: Oh, it's fascinating, all right! Irresistible, in fact. Tolkien knew what he was doing. I'm so glad you're excited! I hope it meets expectations.

someoneReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/26/2015
Seeing this story begun and the other one updated yesterday made me happy, and I'm looking forward to this story!

Interesting idea that Thorongil would not come to Gondor as a lord only to prevent benefiting from the Rohirrim, but to test his steward. And the idea that Thorongil knew about the shipbuilding of Umbar from seeing it at Amon Hen is clever, too.

It seems that Denethor's ideas about keeping the Numenoreans "pure" are rather extreme. He could make the life of that poor Easterling soldier difficult, just because of his own prejudices. He is going to meet his match soon; I wonder if Denethor's status as one of the few nearly true Numenoreans will make it difficult for him to accept a nameless wanderer, who is even more like the kings of old... Perhaps it is not only Ecthelion's favor that is the reason for the dislike between Denethor and Thorongil, but that Thorongil shook the foundations of Denethor's opinions by being a man of Westernesse outside of Gondor.

Author Reply: Yay! Glad to know it's so eagerly met. I'm glad you like that idea regarding Thorongil's motives. As for Umbar... yup. Something had to spark his interest in watching it.

Lovely to read your speculations about Denethor! I can't say much, but it was great to read. Thank you!

UTfrogReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
Excellent beginning. I am looking forward to this story. Thank you.

Author Reply: Yay! So glad! And you're very welcome. ;-)

Eirinn LeighReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
Great start! I've been wanting to hear more from you about this part of his travels. Will we get to hear more about the Easterling and his new bride?

Author Reply: Oh, thank you! And yes, there'll be more about that couple. Not lightly do I name characters. ;-)

quodamatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
Hi, Canafinwe. I was so excited to see the start of this new story! "A Long and Weary Way" has done much to entertain and, in a way, comfort me during a difficult season.

This story looks to be off to a great start! As usual, your writing is rich and expressive without becoming too flowery, and you show great psychological insight. I especially appreciated the way you portrayed the tension involved in knowingly giving up or concealing one's status, but still struggling with the inevitable consequences of being a 'nobody.' I also thought your introduction of Ecthelion and Denethor was brilliantly done. The disagreement over Jamon's marriage was, I thought, very telling - not only with regard to the two characters, but also as a sort of parable about two different approaches to ruling a nation. Knowing that Aragorn is more a man after Ecthelion's own heart gives me a great sense of optimism about how he'll eventually rule: as a king who sees the healing virtue in generosity, and the value of unity in diversity.

Thanks so much for sharing your writing! It is much appreciated.

Author Reply: That's wonderful to hear: that my story was helpful in a hard time. Sometimes a little escapism is a wondrous thing! I know Tolkien thought so.

It's great to know my language isn't too flowery! I came across some *extremely* purple prose in a commercial novel last week, and it left me cringing. I'd love to avoid that without losing the evocation of this wondrous world.

Thank you for your insights into the conversation about Jamon! It's very true: Aragorn is going to be a very open-minded ruler. We see it in his very first week as King.

Lovely feedback: you spoil me!

SnehaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
What a wonderful beginning! I am so excited for this story. Aragorn feels young, less weary as he should be. Your writing is wonderful!

Author Reply: That was definitely the goal! I hope he'd be less weary at 34 than at 86. ;-)

It's just wonderful to know you're eager for this story! I hope it never disappoints.

DoggieGirlReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
Awesome beginning! Aragorn does love to come in humble appearance with nothing but his character and skills to offer. But it doesn't make it easy to lose the respect so hardly earned even if it is by your own choice.

You have painted an inviting and intriguing beginning. I cannot wait for more

Author Reply: Why yes, he does love that, doesn't he? It's such a sure way to see into the hearts of men. As you say, though, that doesn't make it easy to start all over again. Thanks as always for the wonderful feedback!

ellonReviewed Chapter: 1 on 10/25/2015
I am SOOOO excited for this story! Your last piece was one of the best I've read. You're a talented writer and everyone on here benefits from your continued work. Interested to see where you will take this.

Author Reply: Thank you so much! That's very high praise. I can't help but write, and connecting with such lovely people makes posting the results a joy. Cheers!

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