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Begin: Dissecting Lord Foul's Bane, Chapters 1 & 2
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the question, who chose Thomas Covenant, only appears more complicated the more you look into it.

Several times, Donaldson has said that Foul chose Covenant.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Of course, Lord Foul does what he can to manipulate events. [...] He chose Covenant because he believes that Covenant--by his very nature--will become a Despiser himself.

(05/23/2005)

And we also have the Creator admitting that he chose Covenant. "I elected you for the Land but did not compel you to serve my purpose in the Land."

But he also somewhat ambiguously says, "Blame belongs to the chooser, and this choice was made by one who elected you without your knowledge or consent."

And Donaldson himself also says,
In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
I grant that using words like "choose" and "chose" to describe the actions of both the Creator and the Despiser encourages--or at least permits--confusion.

(12/19/2007)

Finally, we have to consider, to the extent that the Land is a dream, or the externalization of things within Covenant, that no one "chose" him, except perhaps himself.

It's all very complex and confusing, if you ask me.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump for Z.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to have to read the other 6 pages of this later on but, I wanted to pop in and say that the Creator is a cheeky little monkey.

He needs a spanking or something.

"Did we not?"

Chapter 2 is currently my favorite chapter in the series, though probably some Ill-earth war chapter will take over 'cuz i'm a sucker for Tolkeinist giant army clashes.

I kind of figure that Foul selected Covenant to begin with in some way, and the Creator found out about it and popped up right before the summoning to get a feel for Covenant and try to have him keep faith.

Or is it the other way around? How much view into our world does Foul have? Enough to start a cult apparently, but...?

O.M.F.G. Foul is the extremely "Harsh reality" doctor at the Lepresorium, the one who tells TC that he cannot hope. OMG that must be it, right?!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
Something has struck me about reading the note the Creator (the old beggar) has sent to Covenant. It isn't just the fate of the Land's world that is at stake by what Covenant does. Apparently, the survival of OUR OWN WORLD lies in the balance based on what Covenant does or doesn't do while in the Land's world. Here's the relevant section of the Creator's note to TC:


Quote:
There he is informed by a disembodied voice that he has been brought to that place as a champion from another world. If he is defeated, he will die, and his world--the real world--will be destroyed because it lacks the inner strength to survive.



WOW! Shocked


Last edited by Cord Hurn on Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow indeed.

My interpretation: Spoiler:
if the Land cannot teach people like Covenant how to find their "epic vision" -- if people cannot escape Ironic Mode futility through finding their inner capacity for effectiveness -- then sooner or later we all will succumb to our incapacity to survive the world we live in.

Of course, such things as Fouls ability to possess Joan in the Second Chronicles leads one to ponder other possibilities.

(Remember, in this forum, it's a spoiler if it's about events subsequent to the chapter under discussion. Which, in this case, is everything.)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
(Remember, in this forum, it's a spoiler if it's about events subsequent to the chapter under discussion. Which, in this case, is everything.)


Thank you for the reminder, wayfriend! With that warning in mind, I have decided to spoiler-tag my introductory comment in my above post. Readers of this thread who have not gotten to read as far as the end of Lord Foul's Bane chapter 14 should NOT uncover that spoiler tag! 3 Monkeys

And, wayfriend, I agree with your interpretation! Thumbs Up
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The disappearing boy in chapter 1 is mysterious, in that I'm not sure why he disappeared when Covenant looked for him after being given the beggar's written message.

Quote:
The next instant, a hand plucked at his sleeve. "Hey, mister," a thin voice said fearfully, urgently. "Hey, mister." He turned with a yell in his throat--Don't touch me! Outcast unclean!--but the face of the boy who clutched his arm stopped him, kept him from pulling free. The boy was young, not more than eight or nine years old--surely he was too young to be so afraid? His face was mottled pale-and-livid with dread and coercion, as if he were somehow being forced to do something which terrified him.

"Hey, mister," he said, thinly supplicating. "Here. Take it." He thrust an old sheet of paper into Covenant's numb fingers. "He told me to give it to you. You're supposed to read it. Please, mister?"

Covenant's fingers closed involuntarily around the paper. He? he thought dumbly, staring at the boy. He?

"Him." The boy pointed a shaking finger back up the sidewalk.

Covenant looked, and saw an old man in a dirty ocher robe standing half a block away. He was mumbling, almost singing a dim nonsense tune; and his mouth hung open, though his lips and jaw did not move to shape his mutterings. His long, tattered hair and beard fluttered around his head in the light breeze. His face was lifted to the sky; he seemed to be staring directly at the sun. In his left hand he held a wooden beggar-bowl. His right hand clutched a long wooden staff, to the top of which was affixed a sign bearing one word:

Beware.

Beware?

For an odd moment, the sign itself seemed to exert a peril over Covenant. Dangers crowded through it to get at him, terrible dangers swam in the air toward him, screaming like vultures. And among them, looking toward him through the screams, there were eyes--two eyes like fangs, carious and deadly. They regarded him with a fixed, cold and hungry malice, focused on him as if he and he alone were the carrion they craved. Malevolence dripped from them like venom. For that moment, he quavered in the grasp of an inexplicable fear.

Beware!

But it was only a sign, only a blind placard attached to a wooden staff. Covenant shuddered, and the air in front of him cleared.

"You're supposed to read it," the boy said again.

"Don't touch me," Covenant murmured to the grip on his arm. "I'm a leper."

But when he looked around, the boy was gone.


I've thought that the boy disappeared because he was afraid to catch Covenant's leprosy, and only delivered the message because the beggar paid him to do so. But reading more carefully this time, Covenant warns the boy away while still feeling the boy's grip on him--then can't see the boy when he looks for him. So maybe the boy is an illusion created by the beggar--or someone supernatural. I am just not sure.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely assumed that the person who gave him the note was a 100% mundane, ordinary little boy.

In a small town... back in the day, an eight or nine year old could wander blocks/miles from home without parents worrying about him.

And at the same time, kids sometimes, you know, could be ordered around be other adults, reasonably or unreasonably:
"Get out of the street - it's dangerous!"
"Stop playing ball near that house - you'll break a window!"

If you're a kid, and this weird, crazy-yet-prophetic old man tells you to give a note to the local pariah... maybe you'll be scared to do it, but you're also scared of this strange, commanding figure - even if he is a beggar - so... you do it.

OTOH, those last two lines do seem to show there's weird stuff goin' on:
SRD, in LFB wrote:
"Don't touch me," Covenant murmured to the grip on his arm. "I'm a leper."

But when he looked around, the boy was gone.
So now I'm gonna theorize about this:
my theory is that the grip on his arm could be semi-metaphorical. (Covenant's just been zoned out with his vision of those dangers "crowding to get at him")
It could be the memory of the boy's tug on his sleeve, combined with the "pull" toward he-knows-not-what dangers there are which are looming ahead.

Then the boy turns and runs / ducks behind a building.

P.S. Thank you for bumping these old-school Chronicles threads, Cord Hurn! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Linna! It seems to me that these Group Readings posts are like an extended conversation of Donaldson fans extended through space-time, and I think it's a lot of fun to add to these disscections, regardless of the last time someone may have done so! I really appreciate that you enjoy them, too! Thumbs Up Very Happy

I think you're right, the grip Covenant feels on his arm could be metaphorical or psychological.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linna Heartlistener wrote:
If you're a kid, and this weird, crazy-yet-prophetic old man tells you to give a note to the local pariah... maybe you'll be scared to do it, but you're also scared of this strange, commanding figure - even if he is a beggar - so... you do it.



This could be it, that the kid is intimidated by the beggar, rather than the beggar has paid him to pass the note to Covenant. This may be the explanation, indeed!

Like I've said, a rather mysterious passage. Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Lord Foul's Bane, TWO: "You Cannot Hope", was wrote:
Without passion he could not fight - yet all his passions rebounded against him.

Without giving too much away, it's safe to say that this one sentence is central to the entire story. In fact, it may be the center, upon which all revolves.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
In Lord Foul's Bane, TWO: "You Cannot Hope", was wrote:
Without passion he could not fight - yet all his passions rebounded against him.

Without giving too much away, it's safe to say that this one sentence is central to the entire story. In fact, it may be the center, upon which all revolves.


Good catch! I agree. Thumbs Up Applaud
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