I've gone longer between chapter posts than I intended. It's been a very busy week around Casa Anglachel, and chapter posting had to give.
Ch. 4, Faithful, is up. It is the first extended scene between Denethor and Thorongil in the story as well as the first major interaction between Denethor and Ecthelion. It lays out the political and personal tensions that will get played out through the rest of the story.
The friendship between Finduilas and Denethor is the foundation of their love. They already have pet names for each other this early in their relationship, and hers for him is "friend." When I began HotK, I had tired of reading fanfic about this couple as a horrific mix of psychosis and sadism, with her being a spineless, terrified victim of Denethor's obsessive brutality. That is just boring to read and shows an amazing lack of imagination on the part of the writer. Such a tired trope, mysogynistic and predictable in equal measure. What would a real woman look like in this setting, one with some smarts, a healthy dose of self-confidence, and a great deal of curiosity about the world around her? How would she interact with a brilliant, powerful, insightful and, yes, depressive man who is cultured, talented and driven?
They might just have a great time together, even as they aggravated the hell out of each other.