Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search
swiss replica watches replica watches uk Replica Rolex DateJust Watches

Branwyn's Baubles  by Branwyn 4 Review(s)
Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 24 on 1/23/2006
This was excellent,I suppose the servants were too afraid to do anything,even when Denethor was insane.

Author Reply: Denethor is very intimidating, and these servants would be used to obeying without question. In his letters, Tolkien describes Faramir as "cowed" (I think that was the exact word) by his father. Not because Faramir is weak, but because Denethor is the de facto king of Gondor and has a strong and forbidding character. If Faramir, who was Denethor's intellectual equal and nearly his equal in rank, was intimidated by the steward, imagine how the lower servants (like the ostler in this drabble) would feel?
Thanks for your kind review!

BodkinReviewed Chapter: 24 on 1/23/2006
Interesting point about duty and individual responsibility - and how a servant in an autocratic society cannot defy his lord. And, in fact, the possible fate of Beregond just goes to show that refusing to comply with orders could have very serious outcomes.

But also, how obeying them can have results too.

Author Reply: Good point--poor Beregond thought that Aragorn was going sentence him to death. Though Denethor was clearly unfit for command by the time he takes Faramir to the Hallows (as Pippin points out to Beregond). Is the feudal "contract" void when the lord is no longer fit to perform his assigned duties? Unfortunately, those poor servants didn't have either the authority or the nerve to stand up to him. I have always wondered where was Imrahil, the one person to whom Denethor might have listened, while Denethor was going over the edge?
Thanks for commenting!

Raksha The DemonReviewed Chapter: 24 on 1/22/2006
This is an outstanding drabble - so much feeling caught in 100 words. We don't read much about the unfortunate servants of Denethor who carried Faramir to the Pyre, put him on it, poured oil on him, and would have set him and Denethor alight if not for the intervention of Beregond and Gandalf. Unlike Beregond, the servants weren't strong enough to risk their lives and honor to stop an atrocity - the choices were terrible. Some of them might not have even thought of disobeying. But the speaker in this drabble seems to be feeling guilty enough to be drinking and speaking defensively about the incident.

Very nice!

Author Reply: Yes, this poor guy is in desperate need of a psychotherapist. His rationalization is "I am not responsible; I am just a peon; I was just following orders," but even he doesn't really accept that excuse (or why the defensiveness and avoidance?). It seems likely that most or all of the servants involved would have known and liked Faramir--they are described in the book as "household" servants. And that makes their willingness to obey that much more frightening.
Thanks for your kind review!

annmarwalkReviewed Chapter: 24 on 1/22/2006
Loyalty, fear, guilt - I can very easily imagine the thoughts that have been going through this courtier's mind; not only during the horrific events of the siege but the reflective time afterward. I hope that Faramir will be able to help him expiate his guilt, and that he will be able to find a measure of peace.

Author Reply: I do wonder what became of those servants. In the book, Gandalf tells them that they were not to blame for what happened; they had been forced to make a difficult choice. And Faramir would have forgiven them (who knew better than he how intimidating Denethor could be?). However, I think that people in Minas Tirith would still look askance at the servants and that they would continue to feel guilty.
Thanks for commenting!

Return to Chapter List