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The Hands of the King  by Branwyn 9 Review(s)
LarnerReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/29/2010
A most worthy tale. Eldecar would most certainly appreciate Denethor's need, and proved himself a true King after all.

Yes! Yes for the healing hands of the King, even if this one was long dead!

Ainu LaireReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/23/2010
Wow! This was fantastic!

Is this a one-shot or will you continue? I would *love* to see Denethor and his thoughts about Faramir and his healing, and about Thorongil and their whole strife, and what he does and how he reacts.

Please consider if you haven't :)

Author Reply: This was meant as a one-shot, but since some readers are interested, I will probably write a continuation. :) I don't think that Denethor's basic personality would be changed--he would still be a very difficult person--but I do think that his reaction to Aragorn's claim would be tempered by what has happened to him--and to Faramir.
Thanks so much for commenting!

Lady EdlynReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2010
This was phenomenal! What a wonderful AU! More please!

Author Reply: I am glad that you liked it, and thanks so much for reviewing!

phyloxenaReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/22/2010
He felt not so much hope as the absence of despair When did Denethor ever had more than that.
What a great story! What happened next? More, please!

Author Reply: No, they never had much hope, and Denethor had the added burden of having to pretend to hope for the sake of his people. I wasn't planning to write what happened next, but maybe I will. Though he is still Denethor with all the attendant virtues and faults, he couldn't help but be changed by this experience.
I am so glad that you enjoyed this, and thanks for commenting!

Linda HoylandReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/21/2010
This sent shivers down my spine.A great AU!

Author Reply: I am glad that you liked it! After being healed by the power of the old king and then witnessing Faramir's healing (in this AU, he would be there), Denethor would probably accept Aragorn's kingship, though so great a change in his station in life would still be difficult for him to deal with.

Agape4GondorReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/21/2010
INCREDIBLE! Absolutly incredible. I'm so glad I stopped by today - I've not been here in an age.... and to find this.

I'm telling Linaewen - she'll adore it.

Great job - I so loved 'his resolve cracking' - it only could, with that kind of pain.... I loved that no one could hear his cries over the flames.... asking himself why he needed to find shelter - perfect! - I loved Denethor's questions of Eldacar - how could he not ask? -

And the ending was so surreal - and perfect. Who would have thought? Honestly - I am just sitting here - mouth agape!

Good grief - such fun to find such a treasure. Thanks for sharing this!


Author Reply: I am glad that you, of all people, enjoyed this! I always disliked that Tolkien lumped Denethor together with Saruman as good men who fell into evil and did not seek forgiveness or redeem themselves by their actions. Unlike Saruman, Denethor wasn't in his right mind toward the end.

shireboundReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/21/2010
This is most creative and thought provoking! Well done.

Author Reply: I do wish that this was how his story ended. Thanks for commenting!

curiouswombatReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/21/2010
What a fascinating alternative.

Like Celeritas I am a fan of stories that leave me wanting to know more... the very reason why we are fans of the original stories that inspired us to write in the first place, of course.

I would love to know what happens next - but quite understand why you would leave it just as you have.



Author Reply: Thanks for the kind review! In medieval legend, people could be healed by touching the body of a saint both when the saint was alive and after his/her death, so I wondered if the kings of Gondor retained their healing power after death. I donít think Tolkien mentions it, but since he was a devout Catholic and this persistency of holiness was a Catholic belief, the idea is not so far-fetched.


CeleritasReviewed Chapter: 1 on 11/21/2010
Fascinating AU, Branwyn! I love the way you've combined canon facts with medieval mythologies about the power of Kings and the sorts of miracles that were so widely reported throughout Christendom. And is Eldacar incorrupt, then, or is Gondorian embalming especially good? And what will Denethor do now?

I am a huge fan of fics that raise more questions than they answer, and you've certainly done that here!

Author Reply: Thanks so much for the kind review! In ROTK (book), Denethor does refer to "long sleep of death embalmed" so the Gondorians do have embalming. However, the bodies of the dead kings are on display for hundreds of years, unprotected from the air and changes in temperature, so I do wonder if superior embalming is responsible or if the bodies are actually incorrupt (like those of medieval saints).

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