Courting the Lady

Author: Celandine Brandybuck

Nominator: unknown

2004 Award Category: Races: Men: Gondor

Story Type: Other Fiction  ✧  Length: unknown

Rating: PG  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Denethor, Finduilas, and Thorongil [aka Aragorn] - how did Denethor ever end up married to Finduilas of Dol Amroth?

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Review scores are not available for 2004.

Reviewed by: Marta  ✧  Score: N/A

I loved this piece. We don't know much about Finduilas, but she seemed very reasonable for the period. Imrahil, too, is just how I think someone his age would have acted, and Thorongil's inner struggle for whether to claim the kingship felt very real. We all knew the outcome but you gave us lots of twists along the way.

Reviewed by: Dwimordene  ✧  Score: N/A

This must have been one of the earliest Finduilas/Denethor stories I ever picked up. It's certainly a change-I think Celandine and I may be fairly said to represent two different ends of the spectrum when it comes to Denethor and Finduilas, but I did so love this story for the epistolary interludes. It was fun to see this stage of their relationship, and the complications that my favorite Ranger can introduce into matters just by being present.

Reviewed by: Thundera Tiger  ✧  Score: N/A

One of the best examples of ensemble characterization. The three main characters are Denethor, Finduilas, and Aragorn (or Thorongil, in this case), but a good deal of attention is paid to the other characters involved, such as Ecthelion, Imrahil, and Adrahil. What I really love about this fic are the personalities of Denethor, Aragorn, and Imrahil, because this is a story about them when they were young and you can see the beginnings of what they will ultimately become. But they haven't reached it quite yet. It's a wonderful, teasing look at the youth of these characters, and the strengths that will support them as well as the weaknesses that will hamper them can all be seen. Denethor is a man just beginning to understand himself, and when he takes an interest in something, he pursues that interest perhaps more than he should, something that will get him into trouble one day. He's shrewd, he sees more than other men see, he almost immediately recognizes Thorongil for the rival that he could become, yet for all his insight, Denethor has a few painful blind spots, especially with regards to whatever his current obsession is. It's a lovely bit of foreshadowing. Aragorn is exactly as I would expect Aragorn to be. He's agreeable when necessary, he's a good commander, he works directly with almost all the men beneath him as a Ranger should, he recognizes trends and underpinnings within conversations, and he involves himself in matters that have the potential to get him into trouble because that's what his heart tells him to do. And Imrahil is positively brilliant. He wishes to learn, he doesn't want immediate promotion, he's almost embarrassingly earnest and eager to please, but he can also be just as shrewd and insightful as his costars. He simply doesn't assert himself the way Denethor and Aragorn do, which plays into things later in RotK. Very good, very well-researched story that takes the characters back through time and shows us how their relationships began.

Reviewed by: Elanor  ✧  Score: N/A

This is a very lively and light-minded story (despite some jealousy) of how Denethor did end up married to Finduilas of Dol Amroth. Though I have many quibbles with the presentation of the Gondorian culture (e.g. Numenoreans for whom partners in marriage might be chosen, china as table ware) Celandine Brandybuck wrote a long story holding me enthralled. Many passages agree very well with my views of ME though other passages are too light-minded for my interpretation of the Gondorian realm continuously nibbled at the frontiers by the Dark Enemy, steadily withering away in numbers of defenders, and steadily loosing more of the hope for a bright future during the never-ending battle since centuries. Yet concerning Denethor she writes of the "good" years before despair engulfed Ecthelion's son so I can understand her rendering of the events. Seen in total this is one of my imaginary LotR Appendix G stories.