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Esmer and The White Gold
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:27 am    Post subject: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

...I found it thought provoking that Esmer has the abilty to null Lindens access to the attributes of the White Gold Ring. The same ability did not exist between the Elohim and Convenant as i recall. Heck, they had to put him in a "mental slammer" just as much out of fear as in hopes of Linden taking possession of the WGR.

...So what is this all about, this nulling effect? Esmer makes a case that he must not be around when it is of import that she succeeds. Her " succeeding" bothers Linden because her success is now crouched in the terms of Esmer's needs. But alls he says when asked is that he serves Her as well as the other..It can be assumed that when he is around Linden her inability to access the WGR serves his needs,,which serve Her also. So, what is going on here?

To help answer the mystery , a few things occured to me. The first, was the physical description of Esmer upon initial intro to him. He wears a cloth colored as if it was the actual green sea. His eyes are colored like sea troubled by storm. He physically looks Haruchi, but has attributes of the Sea. Sure the merriwives connection. Thats all quite literal. I found an answer in the figurative.

...The other thing that occured to me about Esmer, and it is part and parcel of his " confliction", is that in his Good for Bad there is a subtle other dichotomy. The past and the future. Things he does in answering his merriwives need seems to come from the past. His taking out his frustrations on Stave, the minor inconveiniencing of the Ramen, the summoning of Demondim seems to all be linked to the past in some way. Where as the good deeds, appear to be linked to the postives of the future. The summoning of a caesure so Linden can retrieve the Staff. Even the precious moments he took to sit with Linden and give oblique answers where charitable towards the future. Something to consider,is how he reacts to Lindens desire to visit andelain. Yeooow! He did leave her presense when she stated her wish.

...Okay, Esmer is has at least 50 % water in his sign. As mentioned in a recent post by another,,water is a metaphor for , maturing, gaining knowledge and or wisdom. And, Lindens ability to access the WGR is nullified when in his presense. Esmer is the bridge that Linden must cross?? One step further mite be, Esmer is the bridge that the reader has to cross. He is change, constant, the personification of the two sided coin that change is. His decided " appearences" take away lindens access, but are giving her what? And when she is without, what she discovers about her self serve Esmer's need to serve her how? Is Esmer to be the last who Linden heals, because she has to cross the bridge first?

...Yea, okay, too many questions, but what I am getting at is that , Linden has to figure Esmer out. He is all mystery. He is Change. He is conflict. Linden sooner or later has to think some on Esmer and start putting 2 and 2 together like she has for Anele. Esmer is already giving me alot of good signs. But , even in his so called " betrayals" he is signalling something. Linden's future just may be dependent on her ability to read his signals.....MEL


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Few days ago in the Thomas Covenant Disscusion Forum, I posted a post about the Elohim being the Polar opposite of the Haruchai.
Later I went on to say they are loike opposite sides of the same coin.

Esmer further proves that point.

The Elohim don't like Haruchai---Haruchai don't like Elohim.

The Haruchai want whats best (at least in their minds) for the Land-which isn't even their Native Land.
The Elohim want whats best for themselves and their Word/worm. (Weyuordm)

Esmer can serve either purpose, or neither purpose--Holy cow..It's like HE'S the Paradox of white Gold (He will save or damn the Earth)-No wonder he can manipulate Lindens use of the Ring.

-And isn't that interesting, that the only thing that Haruchai and Elohim agree on, is not to use White Gold...and it seems like their combined offspring may just do that!!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
...I found it thought provoking that Esmer has the abilty to null Lindens access to the attributes of the White Gold Ring.

Ah ... thanks for bringing that up.

My initial impressions - without much researching - is that this arises more from Linden than Esmer.

Linden discovers as time goes on that using Law (via the Staff) and using wild magic (via the Ring) are in conflict - they cannot both be done at the same time. She herself describes it as a mental problem - a matter of concentraion and mood. (Anyone have the exact words?)

Esmer himself is aware of this conflict, and in fact points it out on several occassions. In fact, he seems to insist that this will become a greater conflict for Linden.

I believe that Esmer's presence "forces" the conflict that is already present. He forces her mind into "law-mode", if you will, and so access to wild magic is denied. This may be the intent, or it may be a side effect.

Isn't Esmer the one who dubbed her wild-weilder? And it's not a compliment. The term seems to place emphasis on her ability to defy or even destroy Law.

What I don't understand is why does Esmer push Linden toward Law. He does it with words; he does it with his 'blocking' ability. One may also say that he pushes her away from wild magic.

One thing for sure. Esmer should have been named "Problem". If there's a problem, he finds it.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:50 am    Post subject: aaah, the connectivity Reply with quote

...yea, now the task is defining the WGR and the Staff of Law. The literal is already out there but doesn't answer to Esmer's nulling. Try the figurative.

I can suggest Esmer is " guiding" Linden away from the stark passion and towards the " wisdom". It works. Again, I invoke the phrase repeated so oft in Runes; " Lord Foul Has My Son." In a figurative sense its a common refrain of any parent bringing their child into and thru their " teens". The reality of change also befalls the parent to go from the passionate, " my boy would never do that, or My boy is a Good Boy." , to a wise understanding of what it is to be a teenager and dealing with the problems of evolving into adulthood realistically.

If you are still with the concept, perhaps you are already of thought concerning the third element, compassion, or maybe some other realm of perspective and action in the evolution of becoming a humane being.

Yes, i am speakin in figurative terms. Donaldson's Art is in figurative terms. Heck, fiction and even a good amount of non-fiction is figurative.
So, Jeremiah, the son that doesn't speak to his parent, imho, an easy one there, and Linden the mother who has to do her best to get her son back from ,,lord Foul. The analogies, metaphors,similies just start falling into place, well, for me they do.

Esmer is quite the unknown. yet, from a ceratin perspective, i'm likeing what i am seeing. The same has been occuring to me about the caesures. When i re-read the SRD description of the damn things, there is something intriguing about all those " experiences", causing pain but not death because there is no connectivity while entrapped. Fascinating...MEL
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing for sure about Esmer, is that he'll either be the BIG hero, or the the real Enemy.

What I mean is, since he's so hard to crack, he'll be either like Proffeser Snape in Harry Potter--looks like the bad guy, but he's really the good guy.
Or just when everyone starts to trust him, he'll turn the tables.

It's been stated earlier that Foul doesn't lie..that may be well and good, but I think that Esmer does. I am starting to dissbeleive his "I have to do a bad thing, to counteract a good thing" attitude; it seems like hooey to me. He's going to keep using that excuse until he gets what he wants-Whatever that is..but I think it rhymes with "Might Bold Sing".
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drew, I think you hit on something there...

Esmer's nature is unto itself a paradox, much like wildmagic is.

Perhaps the churning nauseous nature of Esmer's paradox doesn't mask the white gold, but sort of acts as a clever decoy because they're so similar.

It will be interesting to see where Mr. Donaldson takes this similarity.

Recall Esmer's comment that Linden cannot wield both Law and wildmagic, for they uproot eachother. Thinking on that now, that's EXACTLY how Esmer is... he can't both be Haruchai and Elohim.

The connections between Esmer and Linden seem to run deep.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[I need to re-read Runes again!]

A few questions and comments that this thread has caused to pop up in my head.

How did Esmer "summon" a caesure anyway?
Isn't that strictly a Wild Magic type of thing?
How is such a thing possible?

I have no idea why Esmer can null Lindens access to WM.
It has to be intentional.
A being of Earthpower like the Elohim can *USE* Wild Magic (Findail sure wanted it badly enough) so I don't think his mere presence if the cause.
Although I like Wayfriends idea.

I also don't like the train of thought that Linden can't use WM and Law together.
She used both awesomely at the end of the WGW but even then at the end she could feel the Law fighting the WM so maybe now that the Law is fully healed it's more of an issue.

Now about Esmer calling here "Wild-weilder".
I don't see that as an insult or slight.
If anything it signifies that Linden's purpose this time is to weild the Wild Magic and not Law.
The Elohim called her the SunSage before because her goal or purpose was to heal the Sunbane and not defeat Lord Foul.
The Elohim were literally dead right when they predicted or theorized that TC would die and then Linden would gain the Ring.
Now, is Esmer even on the same scale as a true Elohim to give out such titles?
Does he commune with the Elohim at Elemesnedene?
Or is he the shunned hated unwanted bastard stepchild?



Here's something else and unrelated that keeps knawing on my brain but doesn't warrant it's own thread:
Kevins Dirt robs the people of the Land and Linden of JUST their healthsense but doesn't affect or impede earthpower itself.
Which really makes me ask again (which was asked by another) "Why can't the people of the Land see their Dead?"
KEVIN'S DIRT.
But..........................why?
arrghhh!!
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
How did Esmer "summon" a caesure anyway?

Did he summon it? Or merely drive an existing one around? Either way, there's a question there. Perhaps we merely accept that someone who can defy time can do this as well.

HLT wrote:
I also don't like the train of thought that Linden can't use WM and Law together.

That's very acceptible to me. I mean, if Linden were invincibly powerful, there wouldn't be much of a story. TC was only limited by his leperous numbness - being unable to use wild magic sufficiently delicately. Linden has no such obsticles. Without any new limits, she's be omnipotent. So we have two: the wild magic doesn't 'fit' her well. And it conflicts with the use of the staff. Although these may be two aspects of the same phenomenon: the staff was made for her use, the white ring not.

HLT wrote:
Now about Esmer calling here "Wild-weilder". ... is Esmer even on the same scale as a true Elohim to give out such titles?

I have no doubt he is wrong. But it's not a good name. That doesn't make it a sleight either. I think he is meaning to caution her.

HLT wrote:
"Why can't the people of the Land see their Dead?"

It may be that they can, but we have not met them yet. Even in the second chronicles, they confined themselves to a certain area (Andelain).

It may be that they are driven away or harmed by the ceasures. To the dead, time travel must either be a irresistable temptation or a cause for severe alarm.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember right Esmer said he couldn't create a caesure. He could influence its travel though and draw it towards him.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea if this is true, but I think Esmer may want the white gold ring to break the Arch of Time (at least every other day). He said in the book something to the effect that the merewives want the Arch to be broken, and Esmer has obviously inherited at least some of their views as well as being unhappy with his conflicted nature.

Esmer wanted Linden to give him the ring and also talked of the coming betrayal. I think breaking the Arch was the betrayal he was originally intending, and when that didn't work he had to improvise with the Demondim. It breaks previous patterns that Esmer put the Ranyhyn into deadly danger. Perhaps he didn't have the time to plan a more carefully considered betrayal.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Esmer's ability to block Linden from accessing wild magic stems from another source...

SRD himself tells us in the GI that Linden, being the crafter of the Staff of Law, has an inherent relationship with it, and can use it more readily than anyone else. This stands to reason, especially given SRD's concept of the relationship between creature and creator when dealing with "magic"; it is also true that Linden is by far a more disciplined person than Covenant - more balanced, shall we say, and leaning more towards discipline than towards absolute passion. This we see in general throughout the Chronicles - she is, in a way, a counterbalance to Covenant's potentially all-consuming passion. This makes her more suited to wielding the Staff than to wielding white gold.

This is also why Covenant's ability to summon wild magic from white gold was/is greater than Linden's could ever be: not only does he have an inherent relationship with the ring (if nothing else, because the significance it held for him - love, loss, being outcast - is undoubtly greater than for Linden), but he is a far more passional person - as abundantly exemplified in the FC and SC.

Esmer, in his own way, also embodies this dualism: the Haruchai are discipline personified, and the merewives, descended of the Elohim, are passional and impulsive. So, my idea is that Esmer is more or less the "additional weight" on the scales, so to speak; if close to one such as Linden, naturally inclined towards Law, his Haruchai side tips the scales so that Linden cannot access wild magic; if close to one such as Covenant, it might be that his merewives side could tip the scales and deny Covenant access to the Staff of Law.

Unfortunately, this theory would have a hard time being verified, seeing as how Covenant now is dead and more than likely, even once he comes back, he could probably use wild magic without need for the ring, seeing as how now he is, in a sense, wild magic incarnate (and therefore, given as how SRD tells us that using the Staff and wild magic together is all but impossible, I doubt that Covenant could now use the Staff at all).

In fact, this makes me wonder... Allright, off I go to Danlo's Runes reading for an idea that just popped up in my mind!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm starting to think Esmer's eyes are significant. Much is made of his eyes and only a few characters in addition to him have a stated eyecolor. Without researching everyhing I can think of Drool (red), Gibbon (red), the Mahdoubt (violet/orange), Vain (black) and Findail (ivory), and IIRC Mhoram has gold flecks in his eyes. Thomas and Roger Covenant's eyecolor is known only if you know what color "prophecy or madness" is.

Now the question is if "deep and running green of dangerous seas" or "emerald" bears any relation to "emerald" or "hue of acid and gangrene".

In other words, do Esmer's eyes show the symptoms of the Illearth Stone?

Of course we know that the Illearth Stone has been destroyed, but the Demondim use it anyway. Esmer and the Demondim both appear to have some talent in controlling caesures. It could even be that one of them taught the Illearth Stone trick to the other. (For the record, I don't think Esmer is a Demondim.) Esmer could also have learned the trick from Lord Foul, which is far from hard to understand since Esmer himself has said that he serves every side. Also, some phrasings like "You do well to grovel" and "may the Seven Hells consume your bones" make one wonder about the company he keeps.

Linden feels nausea whenever Esmer is within her range of perception. This could also be an effect of the Illearth Stone. Perhaps it's the Illearth Stone that has the power of blocking Linden's access to the Wild Magic, since the Stone is very powerful and Linden not very suited to wielding the white gold ring.

Also, there is the matter of the merewife eyes. From the phrasing it is clear that Esmer's eyes cannot come from his father's side. For Esmer to have inherited his eyes, he would have had to get them from his mother's side, which would make it difficult for the Mahdoubt to be a merewife (and not something else like a Demondim) unless there was some sort of complicated (and unsuited-to-the-book) genetics involved. So Esmer's eyes have significant effects even on some superficially unconnected theories.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where's Lurch been lately anyway?
I miss the guy.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that Esmer's eyes are simply "green as the deep seas" as a representation of his "aquatic" heritage, from the merewives; probably the only outward sign of his merewives heritage, given that he mostly looks like a Haruchai. But I doubt Esmer can, or wishes to access the Illearth Stone. First of all, as was said, it's been destroyed; the Demondim exploit its power by drawing it from the past, when it was still buried and uncovered - they "channel" it through a caesure and wield it in the present time, but the Illearth Stone itself is in the past. Incidentally, doing this doesn't play too much havoc with the Law of Time, because they draw this power from a time in which the Stone was not yet uncovered by Drool.

Anyway, I don't think Foul would be interested in wielding the power of the Stone again; not only it didn't help him much when he confronted Covenant, but also, the Stone's power is very much like a hammer - not suited for subtle manipulation, only for grossly visible perversions. Foul has become far subtler in his manipulations, and the Stone is not necessary; hence, why should he have taught Esmer how to wield its power (knowing Esmer would also use the same power against him from time to time)? Esmer doesn't have a caesure always on hand anyway, so he couldn't access that power from the Land's past.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think instead that Lord Foul could benefit from a lot of brute power being in the unstable hands of Esmer, particularly if he will also get corrupted by the Illearth Stone in the process, turning him eventually into a true villain. I think the plan is reminescent of the venom plan in the Second Chronicles, but this time Lord Foul is giving out power to balance his various rivals and enemies so that there will be an "interesting" multilateral war with as much devastation as possible. For example, Foul guided Linden to hurtloam and there is good reason to suspect he also nudged her to find the Staff of Law, making her more powerful and bringing an additional instrument of power to the fray. A war featuring Linden, Esmer, Kastenessen, the Masters, the Demondim, etc. could become major indeed, particularly if Foul intervenes at times to undercut the the one who is doing best. Then in the end, if the world is still standing, Lord Foul can come out of the left field and beat the worn-out winner.

I think also that currently Lord Foul is in no danger of getting reduced to next to nothing by Esmer or anyone.

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Hardly aware that she spoke aloud, she whispered, "Can you tell me where to find my son?"

Brusquely Esmer replied, "No, the Despiser is hidden from me."


I think Lord Foul has learned from his past mistakes and has made himself scarce to those who would fight him. At the moment he seems to have no fortress or armies, and he appears to like communicating through possessed people, the killing of which wouldn't really harm him. It can be handily to be capable of non-corporeality.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

Krilly wrote:
Drew, I think you hit on something there...

Esmer's nature is unto itself a paradox, much like wildmagic is.

Perhaps the churning nauseous nature of Esmer's paradox doesn't mask the white gold, but sort of acts as a clever decoy because they're so similar.

It will be interesting to see where Mr. Donaldson takes this similarity.

Recall Esmer's comment that Linden cannot wield both Law and wildmagic, for they uproot eachother. Thinking on that now, that's EXACTLY how Esmer is... he can't both be Haruchai and Elohim.

The connections between Esmer and Linden seem to run deep.


Forgive the thread-bump, but for some strange reason Esmer popped into my head while I lay half-asleep last night ...

I've still only read the LC once through, and in fact my grasp on the tetralogy is pretty slim.

Esmer stood out to me as one of the more interesting characters in the LC, and as Krilly states in the quoted text, his connection to Linden seemingly runs deep.

There are many aspects to Esmer, his manifold powers and effects are mysterious and his tragically conflicted nature viscerally painful.

I think one of the big connections between Esmer and Linden is the profound influence of their parent's legacies on their lives. We see Linden struggle mightily with the impact her parents (and their respective demises) have on her psyche once she enters the Land in the 2nd chronicles.

To me Esmer at least partially represents an inability to surpass these obstacles of nurture. Where Linden is eventually able to accept and move on from the shadow cast by her awful parents, Esmer is utterly ruled by the motives of his ancestors to the point where his own agency is subsumed.
He is in many ways as potent a character as Linden, and yet his struggle to escape the legacy of his ancestry renders him into a mere tool much of the time.

As an aside, another LC character, Anele, demonstrates that one's parentage needn't necessarily be negative or destructive for it to have an adverse affect on a child, as he finds himself 'daunted' by the deeds of his parents and inadequate to their example..

I really should make an effort to revisit the LC; I was generally a bit disappointed/underwhelmed with them, but then I also recall that it took me at least one re-read for the first and second chronicles to work their magic upon me.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
So think of Esmer as an alloy (like white gold), a mixture of elements. But where white gold is a mixture of similar elements, Esmer is a mixture of dissimilar, even contradictory elements. The result is dissonance, interference, static. It has a damping effect on the resonances of other alloys.

(11/30/2006)

I agree that Esmer's parentage - particularly the disparate and incongruous lines of his lineage - make him who he is, and make him unique.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:14 am    Post subject: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
So think of Esmer as an alloy (like white gold), a mixture of elements. But where white gold is a mixture of similar elements, Esmer is a mixture of dissimilar, even contradictory elements. The result is dissonance, interference, static. It has a damping effect on the resonances of other alloys.

(11/30/2006)

I agree that Esmer's parentage - particularly the disparate and incongruous lines of his lineage - make him who he is, and make him unique.


Do you think it possible that Donaldson was trying to contrast Esmer's inability to overcome the strictures of his ancestry with Linden's more successful emancipation from her parent's legacy?
Or is that possibly unfair on Esmer, whose woes seemed virtually inescapable and inherent in his nature?

Was the disparate/incongruous nature of his lineage; unresolvable and antithetical forces of nature, the 'point' of his inclusion in the story?
Or was he meant to be a foil to Linden in the way that I've suggested: a character written to show the protagonist in a new light? Question

I really don't know and I probably need to re-familiarize myself with the LC to have firmer views ... the GI quote you've included implies that Donaldson wrote Esmer as magical agent of chaos, somewhat designed to keep Linden's puissance in check; but then again he's answering a specific question there and he may have had more in mind when designing the character.. to me it seems somewhat unusual for Donaldson to include a significant character in his story purely due to his/her magical agency - not to suggest that you're saying this, Wayfriend; merely speculating on the nature of this enigmatic character ..

I think on balance the Esmer's meddlings were among the most compelling parts of the LC; Donaldson seemed very invested in him in that he wrote the character so vividly; Esmer also had some great dialogue with Linden throughout their time together, too ..
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
Do you think it possible that Donaldson was trying to contrast Esmer's inability to overcome the strictures of his ancestry with Linden's more successful emancipation from her parent's legacy?
Or is that possibly unfair on Esmer, whose woes seemed virtually inescapable and inherent in his nature?

Ok, I'll bite. On the one hand, I think almost all of the entire Last Cs were about families and parents and sons and daughters in some way or another. On the other hand, I did find Esmer to be, as you say, a product of his nature. Esmer's parents are not really in the story. And Linden's history with her parents is a done deal from an earlier Chronicles. That being said, an author doesn't make every character the same, and readers cannot avoid contemplating the differences.

SleeplessOne wrote:
Was the disparate/incongruous nature of his lineage; unresolvable and antithetical forces of nature, the 'point' of his inclusion in the story?
Or was he meant to be a foil to Linden in the way that I've suggested: a character written to show the protagonist in a new light? Question

I would say I am more in the former camp. His interactions with the heroes were almost always as an obstacle, an antagonist. And I don't think Donaldson wrote anything overtly about the contrast. Still, this doesn't mean I disagree with the other option.

(I think his death was more pointedly related to the "final answer" Covenant found for his ex-wife, and which he then tried to avoid repeating with his son.)

Esmer points out time and time again that he can only be as he is, and not be any other way. There's no escape from his conflicts short of death. Linden, on the other hand, did not actually arise from any duality - her parents were actually rather identical. However, their deaths affected her differently because each was a step to another level of blackness - the first caused her to see it, the second caused her to let it take control. I think the contrast of watching die vs killing is simplistic and misses the larger point. Since I don't see Linden's parents as a duality, I don't see the foil relationship to Esmer as you do.

SleeplessOne wrote:
I think on balance the Esmer's meddlings were among the most compelling parts of the LC; Donaldson seemed very invested in him in that he wrote the character so vividly; Esmer also had some great dialogue with Linden throughout their time together, too ..

Agree. I think you can have both things, though. He was designed to be a meddlesome antagonist, and yet he was created with a dignity of character that made him compelling and multi-dimensional.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:56 am    Post subject: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

thank you for your response Wayfriend, as insightful and clear-eyed as always.
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