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samrw3
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:11 pm    Post subject: Giants Reply with quote

I know this topic has bounced around quite a few threads but throwing in my two cents in a thread by itself.

I know many of you, including myself, were disappointed some by who the giants were treated in The Last Chronicles. To me they do not seem as compelling as in other Chronicles.

I have decided to take my own spin on it and see if others agree.

Firstly, I think to me the problem stems from how great Foamfollower was written in the first several books. Then in the Second Chronicles we have well developed Giant figures.

How I would describe my feeling for the Giants based on that is: Giants are the friend that you want to bond with in experiences. But also the friend you can count on to help you out in times of need. They are the friends that you hang out with at football party and talk sports and politics. They are the ones you invite over to help fix your car. Hey are the friend you go snowmobiling with.

I like the Haruchai as much as anyone. But to me they are more of a coworker type friend. A friend that challenges you to be better. Or perhaps a religious type friend that you look up to.

But hey I feel denied of my buddy type friend in Giants in The Last Chronicles so what can I tell you?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a fair comment, and a good reason. In support, I would say that there were too many Giants in the Last Cs to get close to. And that Covenant had lots of other choices from whom to seek support and comfort.

But this also: None of the Giants have a significant story arc. They have no problems to solve, no fears to face. Without that, it's hard to empathize. I am sure that the story just could not fit such stuff. Nevertheless, that's the result.

And also this: In the Last Cs, I don't think Covenant's the kind of guy who needs Giants to get him through. Sure, he needs their help. But he doesn't need them for emotional support. He's rather complete in himself now, his insecurities died when he did. So he doesn't form the same sort of needy attachments that he once did.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get that too Sam. I loved the giants, especially Foamfollower. Hes everyones fave. And out of all land dwellers they really are the funnest. Yeah the bloodguard are also the awesomest but not the funnest.

I personally didnt find the the story and characters in the Last Chrons as engaging and endearing as those in the original.
I mean I prayed for another chapter of this story and enjoyed the Last Chrons but not as much as the original books.

I liked the land presunbane. I liked the relationship the stonedowners had with the land, the woodhelvin etc.

This was a magical world and possessed a purity and innocence that was lost under the sunbane.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points wayfriend. I admit it can be difficult for me to take a step back and see things from a story standpoint.

I think bottom line for me is Donaldson might have written Foamfollower as such a great character that it set the bar unbelievably high.

Or let me put it this way imagine the first chronicles with a bunch of giants wielding swords around Covenant. Donaldson could have, in theory, made such a story work. Then my expectations would have been set up - ok this is what to expect from giants. But when you spend an entire series bonding with a certain character - and that relationship, it sets up different expectations.

Anyways I get your points and I cannot debate them. It will help me in my re-read of the last chronicles which is one of my new years resolutions.

PS - I was reading some gradual interview the last few days and seeing how Donaldson views the story really opened up my eyes. I think based on my read of some of his answers that he did not totally comprehend the emotional attachment that many of us placed in reading these works. To me that speaks volumes of his writings that than can elicit emotional attachments. Many books I just read and say oh that's nice and place away never to think about them again.

Ok rambling over.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly right .... he set a high bar. Now we feel entitled to deeply resonant Giants. How dare SRD not give us some!

( I think what he gave us with the Haruchai and the Ranyhyn is fair compensation. )

I don't think that this is a "good" quality of the Last Chronicles, but they do seem to go down better after a period of adjustment. There's plenty of testimony that the second read is a better read.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

😂 hahaha fair call 😏 lol
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were so many Giants in the last chronicles that none of them could be
fully written about. They ended up being hired hands. The second chronicles
had 2 main ones with two sides. The rest of the giants were not reacting with TC or Linden that much.
Foamfollower was important in the first and third book. He was a key player. So
SRD had to develop him further.
We base all Giants and expect interaction in the books because of the first Giant.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We definitely do .. or I definitely did Wink Razz

Foamy was such an awesome giant .. but then I liked the Lords in the original series as well. But Wayfriend is right .. TC didnt require the same level of support .. that he got in the beginning of his journey from Foamy ... in the last chrons.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, I know several people who love the Giants of the Last Cs quite passionately. Their posts are here, although they are not so much.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Giants in the Last chronicles were (unfortunately) less "characters" than props or scenery. As noted above, they didn't have any opportunity for "growth", internal conflicts to resolve, etc... Like Vain in 2nd Chron, they had a purpose to serve, but there was really no getting into their hearts or minds, and therefore they couldn't enter ours like the key giants of the prior series.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Cirrus Kindwind in the Last Chronicles. She doesn't elicit the same level of love that I have for Foamfollower or the First or Pitchwife, but I like her. Perhaps that's because I admire her determination to embrace optimism even when she acknowledges that victories are usually transient.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Frowning, Cirrus Kindwind rested her hand on Stave's shoulder. "You are not alone, Rockbrother," she assured him. "Rest you need. So much is certain. But first you must drink. Your flesh has been much abused. It requires refreshment. And see?" She unbound the neck of her waterskin, held it in front of him. "Here is water."

Stave did not move. He did not appear to hear her. But when she touched his mouth with the lip of the waterskin, he raised his arms, accepted it from her. Trembling, he drank.

Jeremiah had never seen any Haruchai do more than sip from the cup of one hand. Now Stave swallowed long gulps as though more lives than his depended on them; drank until he had emptied half of the waterskin. Then, slowly, he sank to his knees, settled back to sit on his heels. The waterskin he placed on the ground. His hands he rested, open palms upward, on his thighs. He seemed to nod.

After that, he resumed gazing sightlessly at the twilight of the new day.

Beckoning for Jeremiah to accompany her, Kindwind stepped away. When they had withdrawn a few paces, she said, "We must trust, Chosen-son, that his folk restore themselves in this manner. It appears that his spirit has turned inward. But I will believe that a man who has performed his feats must soon heal himself and return to us."

Jeremiah swallowed against the dryness in his throat. "I hope so. He doesn't deserve this."

"Ah, deserve," sighed Kindwind. "The notion of deserved and undeserved is a fancy. Knowing both life and death, we endeavor to impose worth and meaning upon our deeds, and thereby to comfort our fear of impermanence. We choose to imagine that our lives merit continuance. Mayhap all sentience shares a similar fancy. Mayhap the Earth itself, being sentient in its fashion, shares it. Nonetheless it is a fancy. A wider gaze does not regard us in that wise. The stars do not. Perhaps the Creator does not. The larger truth is merely that all things end. By that measure, our fancies cannot be distinguished from dust.

"For this reason, Giants love tales. Our iteration of past deeds and desires and discoveries provides the only form of permanence to which mortal life can aspire. That such permanence is a chimera does not lessen its power to console. Joy is in the ears that hear."

Her assertion startled Jeremiah. It seemed to question his foundations. If he closed his eyes, he could still see the extremity of Stave's fall. The hard throb of Cabledarm's bleeding and the excruciation of her shoulder cried out to his senses. Awkwardly he reached for Kindwind's last waterskin. When she released it, he drank as if his thirst-his dismay-had the force of a moral convulsion.

"So you're saying," he protested or pleaded, "what Stave did is worthless? What Cabledarm did is worthless? It's all dust?"

"Aye," Cirrus Kindwind assented, "if that is how you choose to hear the tale." Her tone was mild. "For myself, I will honor the effort and the intent. Doing so, I will be comforted."

Jeremiah wanted to shout. Instead he fumed, "You sound like the croyel." Was joy in the ears that hear? Then so were agony and horror. So was despair. "It was forever telling me everything Mom did was useless. Nothing matters. It's all dust. That's why Lord Foul laughs-and Roger-and those Ravers. They agree with you. In the end, they're the only ones who get what they want."

Kindwind looked at him sharply. Like the flick of a blade, she retorted, "Then hear me, Chosen-son. Hear me well. There is another truth which you must grasp.

"Mortal lives are not stones. They are not seas. For impermanence to judge itself by the standards of permanence is folly. Or it is arrogance. Life merely is what it is, neither more nor less. To deem it less because it is not more is to heed the counsels of the Despiser.

"We do what we must so that we may find worth in ourselves. We do not hope vainly that we will put an end to pain, or to loss, or to death."

Failure isn't something you are. It's something you do.

Without warning, Jeremiah found that he ached to share Kindwind's beliefs, and Linden's. Perhaps the monolith had never contained enough malachite. Perhaps the deposit had shattered. Perhaps Stave and even Cabledarm would die. Perhaps Mom would never come back. Perhaps futility was the only truth. Still Jeremiah would have to find a way to live with it.

To himself, he muttered, "It's not that easy."

Cirrus Kindwind had never been possessed.

Her response was a snort. "We were not promised ease. The purpose of life--if it may be said to have purpose--is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve."

Jeremiah wanted to insist, It's not that easy. It's not. But the words died in his mouth. Kindwind had already turned away. Several of the Giants around Cabledarm had turned away. They were gazing up at the spine of the rockfall.

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