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Or Perchance, When the Last Little Star  by Larner 18 Review(s)
DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
An excellent chapter! I love the description of Lynesse's rooms, and I think her new little maid, Cireth, is going to be quite an asset.

I was quite amused and alarmed by the very strange Master Fendril, who naturally smelled a midden, since he was dumping his chamberpot right outside his own window! And all his superstitions point to a very unbalanced and disturbed personality. The name sounded very slightly familiar. Have we encountered him before in your stories? Yet I think I'd remember someone so--weird.

Denethor's visit was unexpected. He had good advice for her, and yet he also seemed to be testing her as well. It's interesting to see him in this light-- he's not so tightly wrapped in suspicion as he later appears, yet it nevertheless is there, as we see him questioning her choice of books when he recognizes one of them as Thorongil's.

Author Reply: Am glad you enjoy the choices Lynesse makes.

No, Fendril has not appeared in my stories before. He will be key within a story I've been working on for a time, although I have to rework the first chapter to it. He is based partly on a real person and partly on the superstitious mindset that sees evil everywhere. Once you get into that story--supposing I ever begin to actually post it!--you will finally understand.

And we do see a bit of the paranoid personality Denethor has entertained in his psyche since the day he first became jealous of the mercenary captain who just might have the power--and inate authority--to supplant him and his lineage one day. A mostly benign personality with a distinct hint of paranoia.

Thanks ever so much!

AndreaReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
Great chapter!

I very much enjoyed how Lynessë dealt with Fendril! What an ignorant! I would not be surprised if he even ignored that fact that *he* was the one who polluted Minas Tirith ;-)

I also liked the chamber maid Lynessë chose. She seems to be very nice, honest and natural.

And then there is that book, Joco and the Cornfield. Was it written by Bilbo Baggins? That would be interesting.

Finally, I'm a little bit confused about the meaning of the word "garderobe"! In German (and French, I think) it describes the place or room where you hang your coats, cloaks, etc.
But that wouldn't make sense, would it? Is there a second meaning?

Author Reply: Oh, I'm certain that the likes of Fendril refuses to consider the fact he could ever be wrong! He's based in part on a real person, actually, although that person is better at bending the truth to get the result he wants and then justifying it after the fact.

The story Joco and the Cornfield I have indicated in the past is a common Hobbit folktale, but the book in which the story appears was scribed by Bilbo and forwarded to Rivendell where it was bound and given to Gandalf, and then given by him to Faramir. We'll be looking a bit more at it in the next chapter.

In old English castles the term garderobe is applied to the small chambers with stone seats, also known as vents, usually built into areas right over the middens areas, where people used the bathroom in the days before flush toilets. There would be a chute that was supposed to allow the waste materials to slide right down to the midden areas. I am guessing they could be MIGHTY cold places to have to visit in the middle of winter, and an attraction to hornets in late August and early December. I know that a literal translation of the word is "wardrobe," so am uncertain how it came to be applied to inside privies in England.

Author Reply: Sorry--I meant late August and early September, not December. Gads--can't type worth a hoot today!

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
How good to see another chapter of this story - and what a fascinating picture you build of the workings of the Citadel, thank you.

Author Reply: Thank you, Curiouswombat. It's interesting to me to imagine what it must have been like to run the place.

Mysterious JediReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
I was glad to see you had updated this. It is interesting to see what servants' lives were like in Minas Tirith.

Fendril sounds like a horrible person to have to deal with!

Author Reply: This is the second story I've written that's sort of Upstairs-Downstairsish. The other was "A Maid Waiting."

This one has been eking out in sentences and paragraphs for months, so it was a relief to have the floodgates open and get the bulk of it done yesterday. Why it takes so long sometimes to get it out I have NO idea, but it drives me nuts!

Fendril will be a character who will be featured prominently in another story I've been working on for some time but haven't started posting, and I thought that getting to understand his character might help once I start posting that one in helping to understand just how the scene was set up for what happened to occur. Very superstitious and seeing evil everywhere, and even manufacturing it when life is otherwise too boring!

Glad so many are glad to finally see this updated.

6336Reviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
Ah, finally more Star!
Good to see Lynesse spreading her wings a little and using her common sense, getting on the good side of the House keeper and the Seneschal never hurts.
As for Fendril and her handling of him, well done! Maybe Lord Benardil sends him to Minias Tirith to get him out of his hair, he must be good at what he does or he would not use his services. The image of Fendril standing at the window and yelling "Gardy Lou"! as he sends the contents of his chamber pot flying nearly had me sputtering over the keyboard!
Denethor's visit and his comments will give Lynesse much to mull over.
Depending on how he is written Denethor is one who you either love and understand or hate and loath with a passion, I have read both.
More please,

Author Reply: Fendril will occur again in "Murder Most Foul," once I get enough of that done to start posting it. He is almost a caricature of a real person, actually, one who is good at seeing the evil he wants to see in life and who is always looking for the downside of everything! And glad the image of him made you laugh! Folk like Fendril deserve to be laughed at a good bit, and then examined to figure out how they get such influence as they do!

I am certain that Denethor was a highly competent person, and only became truly objectionable there toward the end of his life due to the enormous pressure he was under.

Anyway, have writing and a garage to get to!

SunnyReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
It was good to se an update to this story, and I hope this means the Muse is creeping out of wherever she has been hiding. Do you think a bit of virtual homemade ice cream would _keep_ her out of those hiding places?

And how goes the work on the longer fics?

Heh. The last of the listed books was one that Aragorn had brought from Rivendell. The “spidery handwriting” must be Gilbo’s and is that “particularly elegant hand” Elrond’s? So is Aragorn going to find that old friend when he returns to Gondor?

Lynnessë’s sensible and practical attitude towards the servants in the citadel – which is reflected in er attitude towards sharing the bathroom – will certainly endear her to thm. And I am sure she will get along well with young Cireth.

And Lynnessë got Denethor’s approval of the way she handled that silly Master Fendril. Good for her! But Denethor delivered a warning to her at the same time. So I suppose she may encounter some truly nasty and malicious as well. Fendril’s backwardness and stupidity was easily dealt with – let us hope Lynnessë is able to deal with the more malign ones too. As well as the ones who envious, supercilious, scheming, or the ones who see such a pretty morsel and thinks she is on the menu as well.

Author Reply: Unfortunately, while I'm kicking the Muse into gear about one of the longer stories, she goes into hiding for the rest. No rest for the weary with her around!

Yes, I do think that Thorongil left a book or two in the Citadel (and another on the ship he took to Umbar, which was found in the marketplace by the Hobbits and returned to Aragorn in "Ernil i Pheriannath"), and Gandalf was giving little Faramir his first taste of Hobbit stories. And now Denethor has seen the two books together and is starting to put two and two together. Perhaps this is part of why he was suspicious of Gandalf? We'll see!

The Chatelaine would be in a spot between the servants and the nobility, so she would do well to act like a regular person around them, I'd think. Getting along well with the Housekeeper would make her own job run more smoothly, I'd think.

And I see Denethor as one who approves of independence and initiative at the same time he's rather down on it to an extent. I see him as a rather complex character, actually.

As for Fendril--one day he WILL be back! He will be a major bone of contention in "Murder Most Foul," once I actually start posting that.

Thanks so much, Sunny.

ErulisseReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/7/2009
I've been so patiently awaiting more in her saga. Finally my patience is rewarded. She's a great character and it's wonderful to see a more human side of Denethor and his sons also. I've been really loving this tale and I'm delighted that you've returned to it again.

Author Reply: This has been ekeing out of me in mere sentences until today the floodgates at last opened and I was able to finish this chapter! Now, to get it finished! (And my other longer tales!)

SoledadReviewed Chapter: 5 on 7/6/2009
Oh, lovely chapter! I especially liked your characterization of Denethor - after all the two-dimensional abuse he usually gets, this is like a breeze of fresh wind. I'm very fond of the man, despite his faults.

The thought of Linesse having Thorongil's copy of the Lay and a children's book copied by Bilbo himself is an amusing one. The water system of Minas Tirith is amazing. And I loved that Húrin sang in the afternoons.

Author Reply: I like to think he was not a two-dimensional person, and that a good deal of his final distrust of Faramir was due to his fear for what might be happening to Boromir, his growing belief that there was no way to win against Sauron, a hysterical envy that even if they did win he would lose everything to his former rival and once again he would be second in the hearts of all to Thorongil by whatever name he might be called this time, and overwhelming grief at the thought he would lose his remaining son.

I've always hoped there would linger little hints of Thorongil's life within Gondor, and who better to hold onto them than Lynesse. And Gandalf, perhaps having a copy of a book Bilbo sent to Elrond that Elrond had bound, could well have hoped to please a lonely little boy by sharing it with him, perhaps unconsciously preparing him for the day he should find two Halflings wandering behind an untrustworthy guide in Ithilien, and then come face to face with a third within Minas Tirith itself.

And of course Hurin would sing in the afternoons! How better to confirm his hold on the heart of the Steward's new Chatelaine?

Thanks so, Soledad!

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