Tag Archives: The Prince’s Tale

Prince SPaGhetti Day – Faramir, Son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien

This week’s prince is the character I crushed on most in The Lord of the Rings.  Yes, Aragorn was the ultimate alpha male, but he wanted a trophy wife.  He couldn’t see past Arwen to recognize the value of Eowyn.

And Eowyn almost made the same mistake.  She couldn’t see past Aragorn to recognize the value of Faramir.

But we – the readers – were more fortunate than she.  Rather than encountering Faramir injured, drained, grieving the twin losses of his father and his brother, we met him at his strongest.  And he was a man to admire.  Fair, virtuous, courageous, loyal, a leader of men… all those things that marked Aragorn were present in Faramir, as well.  And he was wise – a man of honor.  His encounter with the hobbits showed us so much of his character that we were stricken with terror when it appeared he might fall victim to Denethor’s madness.

I don’t know whether you remember meeting him, on your first reading.  I do… he was mysterious.  I feared for Frodo and Sam, when they fell into his hands.  And yet he was a man of honor, with more strength of will than his brother.

Here is what Tolkien said of him:

I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien.

There are characters like that.  Essential characters who insert themselves into the story because they’re needed.  The men of the hour.

Faramir is not the star of the trilogy.  He’s not even a main character.  But he is a character without whom all would have been lost.  And, because of him, we see for ourselves that Men are worth all the trouble the hobbits, elves, dwarves, and wizards are put to in their defense.  They are not merely easily corrupted (Boromir), jealous (Denethor), or easily broken (the Theoden we meet initially), but noble to the end.

My kind of man.

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Prince SPaGhetti Day – The Prince’s Tale

Today’s man is someone I’ve had a secret passion for since I was around eleven years old.

I was at home, sick, and I picked up a copy of The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey.  In it, Inspector Alan Grant is dying of boredom and driving his friends crazy, as a result.  He has a broken leg, you see, and – as with Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window – it lesds him to all sorts of curiosities.  A friend of his (Alan Grant’s, not Jimmy Stewart’s) gives him a hodgepodge of items, one of which is a copy of a portrait of Richard III.

Only Grant, who felt he could make accurate judgments of a person’s character simply by looking at their faces, can’t believe that Richard was the monster that English schoolchildren had been raised to believe he was.  The Richard of the portrait, according to Grant, was kind and generous.

In order to prove his point, he sets his friends to researching contemporary writings about Richard and his poor, murdered nephews.  And in so doing, he proves that Richard has been wronged by History.  (And by Shakespeare, which probably amounts to the same thing.)

The tragic tale of the misjudged king touched my preadolescent heart (and ignited my always-overactive desire to see justice done, nearly 500 years later).  It also led to my predilection for tortured heroes, most recently finding expression in my Snape obsession.  But we won’t go there.

One completely bizarre coincidence… many years later, my mother was doing the family tree.  And she traced my dad’s family back way beyond the 15th century, but it’s what she found there that is pertinent.  I’m descended from Thomas Stanley, later Earl of Derby, who betrayed Richard on the field of battle in favor of his stepson, Henry Tudor.  In so doing, he turned the tide of the battle against Richard, leading to the king’s death and the rise of the Tudors to the throne of England.

Yes, I do feel guilty.  How did you guess?

P.S.  If you can get your hands on The Daughter of Time, read it!  It’s widely held to be one of the best mystery stories ever written, and I concur!

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Prince SPaGhetti Day – The Prince’s Tale

Perhaps you recall the old Prince Spaghetti commercial:  Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti day in Boston.  I’ve decided to revive the old custom, but with a twist.

On Wednesdays, I’ll post twice.  First, I’ll post The Prince’s Tale (with a nod to J.K. Rowling), in which I post photos of interesting men.  Sometimes because they’re brilliant, sometimes because they’re hot, and sometimes because they’re both at once!

This week’s man is my mental picture of the hero of my current WIP, a paranormal romance set during the Napoleonic wars.  The character is named Fletcher Cunningham, and his specialty is magical cryptography.

Yes, I know that’s a modern picture, and the story’s set during the late Georgian/Regency period.  Yet that’s how I think of him!  However, for the purists among you, I’ll admit that he has done Regency.  He appeared in the BBC’s mostly excellent production of Persuasion (it was good up until the last ten minutes).  So here he is in period garb.

Lovely, isn’t he?  Sophia (my heroine) doesn’t stand a chance!

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