Nine (cloudednine) wrote in readthebook,

The Houses of Healing

Discussion is now open on this weeks chapter: The Houses of Healing.

Before I start, I have to say that this is my favourite chapter in the book, and the scene where Aragorn calls Faramir back from the Shadow is my favourite scene in the book. I love it to pieces, though it raises more questions than it answers. But I’ll get to that later.

- Has Pippin changed from the beginning of the book, and what role has Merry (or the absence of Merry) played in this? In this chapter we see Pippin finding an injured Merry and taking charge, where previously it had usually been Merry taking care of Pippin. Has Pippin's time without Merry has forced him to grow up, so they can relate more as equals?

- Was Eowyn a heroine or a deserter? She does seem to be a deserter in that she rode to battle and certain death when she should have been governing her people, but her courage against the Witch King is heroic.

- How did Faramir recognise Aragorn when he was first awoken? Was it foresight, or from one of his dreams? Did he remember saying it later? And did he ever worry about whether Aragorn would be a good king? I would like to think that Faramir did take some political considerations into account, but I can’t see any evidence of it. He had no idea what sort of military or political support Aragorn had when he acknowledged him as king.

- I am very curious about what the Black Shadow actually is. For example, it is certainly physical, as its victims lapse into a coma, and it seems to be caused magically by the Nazgul, but people who are already tired and grieving seem to be more susceptible to it, which suggests a mental component.

- What was Imrahil’s motivation in giving Aragorn his support and fealty? Did he recognise Aragorn as Thorongil, or did he just see which way the political winds were blowing?

- Is the overall message of this chapter in favour of war or against war? In context, does this chapter represent an ending or a beginning? I don’t think there is any one answer to this. On one hand, this chapter seems to be in favour of wars with just cause, but that is balanced by the various deaths and injuries.

- Also, you can definitely see the firm friendship between Aragorn and Eomer here. Eomer is honestly concerned for Aragorn's wellbeing. I love Eomer. :)
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