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Do me, Denethor

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Why Denethor is Fascinating [Feb. 11th, 2004|05:43 pm]
Do me, Denethor


[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Space Robot Five - Five Iron Frenzy]

"The time has come," the walrus said, "to say just why you're so interested in Denethor."

He's powerful.
Let's face it. Who isn't turned on by power to some extent? Denethor's not the king of Gondor, but he is the last of the ruling stewards, and if you ask me, those stewards were a lot smarter than most of the kings. For example, when was the last time you heard about one of the stewards riding off to Minas Morgul because he thought he could beat the Witch King? Heh heh... no. Authority is not given to him to deny the return of the king, but that's about it.

He's smart.
Denethor is not just smart. He's a freaking genius, and everyone knows it. Gondor saw some of its worst years while he was in power, and it would take someone who knew what they were doing to keep his country on the map during that time. Gondor was the one country Sauron wanted more than anything, and no doubt he was really laying it on toward the end of the Third Age when his power was at its height. But Gondor never fell, and who was in charge during its darkest days? Denethor, that's who.

He's compassionate.
I know this one sounds pretty wild, but hear me out. Yes, Denethor does have a heart, even if it seems buried by anger and grief and power and insanity. We know he cared about Boromir, and he probably cared about Faramir too before he lost his mind. And his wife! Denethor of Gondor and Finduilas of Dol Amroth had two beautiful children and lived in marital bliss (or so we can assume, as the majority of Tolkien's characters appear to marry for love) for twelve long and lovely years. Then she had to go and die. Such a pity. It appears that Denethor didn't start losing his mind until her death, which is another implication of a compassionate spirit. And there was a huge age difference between Denethor and Finduilas - twenty years, to be exact. Why would Finduilas have gone for Denethor when there were other, younger, and just as powerful men around - like, say, Theoden? Theoden definitely comes off as a nicer guy than Denethor, so why would Finduilas go for a grumpy old man over the prince of Rohan? I'll leave that to the fan fiction writers.

But what about the palantir?
Ah, yes, the palantir. You're probably wondering how Denethor could really be so great if he allowed his mind to be corrupted by Sauron by using the palantir for so long. Well, wasn't he using the palantir in the first place so he could spy on Sauron and use this intel to defend his realm? Not even Pippin, one of Tolkien's most innocent characters ever, could resist the palantir. Could we truly expect the same of Denethor?

That's all I can think of for now, but I think it's a decent start. :o)


[User Picture]From: wiseheart
2005-04-17 10:09 am (UTC)
Very good points. Let me add one:

Denethor was actually entitled to use the palantír, since he was the legal substitute of Gondor's nonexistent King. It was within his rights, and it was within his abilities, at least for quite some while.

The Professor himself explains this better and in more detail in the Unfinished Tales, so it is at the very least semi-canon.
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[User Picture]From: snarkedgirl
2007-12-10 12:32 am (UTC)
Do you really love Denethor?
My sister!
I love him as well, he is my favourite character and I think Peter Jackson had but rape him.
Denethor is grand.

I love the whole Stewart's family, and Denethor character is tragic and beautiful together… in Tolkien’s book, of course, not in the movie where is but a mad and angry man.
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