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Esmer and The White Gold
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SleeplessOne
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

Sorry to harp on about this, but I have recently begun what will hopefully be my first full re-read of the LC - actually, a re-listen as I am taking it in audibly via Scott Brick's narration.

Upthread I speculated as to whether perhaps Donaldson had designed Esmer - a character who is able to undermine Linden Avery's powers - as a contrast to Linden based on his inability to overcome the legacy of his parents.

I just found this passage in RotE, during Linden's 2nd encounter with Esmer, inside a Ramen shelter as Stave lays close to death.

Quote:
.. the thought stung her. He may have told her the exact truth. Perhaps his heritage rode and ruled him with such cruelty that he had no choice but to act on his mother's hatred for his father.
The idea shocked her to silence. She was intimately familiar with such legacies; her father had locked her in an attic with him so that she would be forced to watch him kill himself. And her mother ... No one, she wanted to insist, makes you what you are. You have to choose. She believed that. Nevertheless his mere proximity nauseated her. In his case, she might be wrong.


So, Donaldson does draw the parallel between their respective responses to their heritage, which one would expect him to do at some point.
But I also found interest in his use of the word 'choose' - the Chosen makes bold choices throughout the LC, where Esmer is unable to commit his aid/betrayal full to either Linden or his Grandsire.

It underscores to me that Esmer's negative effect on Linden's ability to wield power is much a moral assault as it is a clash of theurgy.
The very fact that he is a slave to the legacy of those who sired him, and that all his choices are compromised, undermines Linden's certitude, which further erodes her access to her power, her ability to give agency to her choices.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good catch! That's how it's done.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
Quote:
.. the thought stung her. He may have told her the exact truth. Perhaps his heritage rode and ruled him with such cruelty that he had no choice but to act on his mother's hatred for his father.
The idea shocked her to silence. She was intimately familiar with such legacies; her father had locked her in an attic with him so that she would be forced to watch him kill himself. And her mother ... No one, she wanted to insist, makes you what you are. You have to choose. She believed that. Nevertheless his mere proximity nauseated her. In his case, she might be wrong.


So, Donaldson does draw the parallel between their respective responses to their heritage, which one would expect him to do at some point.
But I also found interest in his use of the word 'choose' - the Chosen makes bold choices throughout the LC, where Esmer is unable to commit his aid/betrayal full to either Linden or his Grandsire.

It underscores to me that Esmer's negative effect on Linden's ability to wield power is much a moral assault as it is a clash of theurgy.
The very fact that he is a slave to the legacy of those who sired him, and that all his choices are compromised, undermines Linden's certitude, which further erodes her access to her power, her ability to give agency to her choices.


Very astute reasoning, SleeplessOne! I think you've got it exactly right.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:23 am    Post subject: Re: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

thanks for the feedback Wayfriend, Cord Hurn.

I'm really enjoying the opportunity of re-appraising the LC; I'm on record on this site as being somewhat underwhelmed/disappointed upon my first reading, *but* I did always reserve the right to change my mind, as I suspected a re-read might crystalise themes and ideas that I'd missed first time 'round.
That was certainly the case with me with both the 1st and 2nd chronicles; my first re-read of the 1st chronicles was an absolute revelation in fact ..

.. so, expect a few LC thread-bumps in weeks to come!

particularly looking forward to re-examining the Insequent; their role in events during the LC and also Donaldson's attempts to 'retrofit' them into the Land's history ...

For instance, I've not yet come to the haruchai's recounting of their meeting with the Vizard, which at first struck me as a bit of gratuitous .. thinking upon it recently though, it makes perfect sense that the haruchai would suppress the humiliation of their defeat at the Vizard's hands ..
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Esmer and The White Gold Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
It underscores to me that Esmer's negative effect on Linden's ability to wield power is much a moral assault as it is a clash of theurgy.

... the problem here is that Donaldson's commentary explains why Esmer blocks Linden's access to wild magic but not her access to Earthpower or her percipience. Whereas your theory seems to indicate that he should block all of Linden's power, indeed her agency entire, lacking any specific reasons to discriminate.

SleeplessOne wrote:
For instance, I've not yet come to the haruchai's recounting of their meeting with the Vizard

I look forward to any insights you have on the Haruchai. I did a deep dive on their redemption in the Last Dark forum. Please add.
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