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Strongest Female Character
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Who's the strongest female in Mordant and why?
Terisa
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Saddith
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Quiss
7%
 7%  [ 2 ]
Elega
15%
 15%  [ 4 ]
Myste
50%
 50%  [ 13 ]
Torrent
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Queen Madin
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Lebbick's wife (not in the story, but referred to often)
11%
 11%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 26

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 5:01 pm    Post subject: Strongest Female Character Reply with quote

Who was the strongest female character? It'd probably depend on how one defines "strength." This isn't a popularity contest, and it's not about who's "cutest." It's about which woman could kick the most butt, take the most names, bear up under the biggest burdens, who takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techincally, at the end, it's probably Terisa. But for abrupt changes, adapting to situations, action-taking and diplomacy I'll go with Elega Spoiler:
and she'll make a damm good Queen (Regent--or whatever) of Cadwal. Or wherever she and Kragen end up at the very end...


Last edited by danlo on Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All three of the Princesses is quite impressive in her own way...I am going to have to think about this for a few days, but at the moment I am leaning towards Torrent...I have always loved the way she went back for the knife when everyone thought she was going back for a doll...and then the way she trails the kidnappers all by herself... Confused
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of all of the women in the story, I always admired Myste the most. Elega seemed to cold and rational to be capable of true heroism. Myste's courage and ability to achive something no one could ever have hoped for (except Joyce and Havelock, but they cheated. They had an augery) really makes me admire her.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Myste is also quite impressive, going off by herself in the snowstorm at night, making her way through a landscape filled with monsters produced by Imagery, and facing down the Champion...

I really am having a hard time deciding, which is why I haven't voted yet.... Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to go with Myste. After everyone else had given up on Darsint as an ally she still went after him.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely Myste. She had the intelligence and mental accuity to reach her own conclusions, and th strength of character to act on her convictions.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Point. Edge... Cool
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

duchess of malfi wrote:
I really am having a hard time deciding, which is why I haven't voted yet....


Same here. Saddith is the only one on the list that I have doubts about.

Terisa is the default choice, as danlo suggested, so I'm really focusing on the others.

Quiss could definitely kick butt if she needed to, though Tholden would probably die first before he allowed any harm to her.

Elega is charismatic and, well, elegant. She is a natural leader with plenty of strength of character.

Queen Madin is everything Elega is, times ten. When the chips are down, she'll be the one left standing...beside her King, naturally. You don't mess with this Queen!

Torrent...yes, a lot of guts on her part to go after the kidnappers by herself.

Then there's Myste. I think she was the most intellectually gifted of the King's daughters. Like Edge said, she had the keenness of mind to figure out what she needed to do. If we mean strength in terms of forceful personality, Elega or Queen Madin would win this contest. In terms of ability to think outside the box, Myste wins.

Lebbick's wife...I wish we knew more about her. (She doesn't even get a name! Petition SRD!) To have endured the things done to her by the Alends and still retain her sense of herself, she obviously must have had enormous inner strength. So in terms of sheer perseverance, I would give her the vote. (Perseverance is also true of her in the theological sense: persistence in remaining in a state of grace until death.)

Whew. Tough choices.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am torn between Queen Madin and Elega. They both seem to be characters who will follow their convictions in spite of other people's opinions. But as I don't know (or remember) a lot about Madin I'll vote for Elega.

Myste and Torrent both show great courage, but they don't do anything which isn't considered to be passionate/romantic/feminine. I always see Torrent and Myste as the typical romantic heroines who everybody loves (like the Kate Winslet character in "Sense and Sensibility").

Elega crosses that threshold. I hated her at first, but when you learn about her motives, she really is awsome. Facing the contempt of her own family, her own people, in order to protect them. Wow! That is something I admire a lot, although I would rather be friends with Myste. Wink

Queen Madin seems to be a lot like Elega. When I think of her I always see the picture of Dame Judy Dench in "Shakespeare in Love". Laughing

And Terisa...hmmmm. I don't know. I think she's on her way to become a strong person. But I think she still could be easily discouraged if she didn't have the support of Geraden, for example.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2004 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hah. Elega didn't do anything Myste didn't do better, including "facing the contempt of her own family, her own people, in order to protect them." Just because Myste did it with grace and style instead of petulance and clumsiness is no reason to write her off as a 'typical romantic heroine'.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hellfire! Are you trying to challenge me? Shocked Cool

I still think that Myste's 'act of courage' is more likeable. It's dangerous and seems a little stupid at first (although she also has very rational reasons as we learn later, so you're right about the 'typical romantic heroine' stuff), but she doesn't have to betray or hurt anyone - except maybe the people who fear for her life.
So I think her burden is a lightweight compared to Elega's in a way. She doesn't have to stand in front of Orison's gates and face Lebbick's contempt (if I remember that right). And therefore Elega may be the better politician and stronger woman in the end. Someone who isn't afraid to do unpopular things that have to be done.
But that could be interpreted as ignorance or arrogance, I guess. Who knows.

I'm not saying Myste might not have done something similar or that she ran after Darsint because she thought people would like her for it.

Oh, well, I think I'll have to go to "Casting the Augury" and do some reading...
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I voted for Myste and was a little surprised to see what a commanding lead she has. My own reasons are simple: she’s the only female character who just goes ahead and does what she thinks is right without whining that society won’t let her do anything because of her sex (that barb’s directed at you, Elega Wink ). You don’t catch Myste waiting for someone to let her do something or making a big deal of it that they won’t, she just quietly acts. And she doesn’t hate her own sex like Elega sometimes borders on doing.

Her action is also purposeful and constructive, unlike Elega’s being duped into betraying her own people to further Kragen’s ambitions. Note that despite her railing against men, it is Elega who does a man’s dirty work for him while fooling herself that she is somehow striking a blow for womanhood.

Torrent? I don’t see it. Yes, Madin was independent in running away, but that’s only half a solution. We never meet Lebbick’s wife. She must have been strong to survive her ordeal and become Lebbick’s anchor, but IMO she’s not really a character in the books.

Saddith I think is underrated. She’s one-dimensional, but she knows what she wants and how to get it, even if she does badly miscalculate at one point. If I hadn’t voted for Myste, I would have voted for her.

I’m re-reading the series now, and Terisa irritates me more than ever. I liked her (of course - she was the protagonist and she isn’t a rapist; naturally the reader is going to want to like her) the first time I read the series. I liked her less the next time. Now I just think she’s hopeless. It’s bad enough that she thinks she doesn’t exist if Eremis isn’t in the process of pawing her. He says things right in front of her that give his whole game away (that he is inimical to Joyse, etc.) and she doesn’t even absorb it.

Yes, I know she’s eventually going to improve – thanks to Geraden et al. I don’t see that as her being strong. I’ll give Geraden full credit for strength for persevering with her, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to go with Lebbick's wife, because of the description we get of how she kept her house. Artagel goes to visit Lebbick in AMRT after a bunch of bad stuff has happened. Lebbick's place is a mess. But Artagel sits there and remembers what it looked like when Lebbick's wife was alive, and how even though she knew she could never have children because of what had been done to her by the Alend commander, she kept their rooms furnished with children in mind, because Lebbick kept insisting that they would still have kids.

Talk about strength. I mean, they're all strong women--including Saddith, to an extent--but on this last reading, it's Lebbick's nameless wife's courage, her understanding of her husband's needs, and her self-sacrifice in meeting them, that really struck me the most.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I had to go with Lebbick's wife, because of the description we get of how she kept her house. (etc.)

I can see your point. In a way, it's not a fair comparison because on the one hand you have a (by then) middle-aged character and on the other a group of what are relatively young women. So it isn't surprising to find the former having opportunities to demonstrate "strength" that Terisa, for instance, hasn't had yet.

But no one said fairness was part of the equation, so maybe she could be fairly called the strongest. But as I said, I don’t see her as an actual character in the books. She lacks both a name and any presence in the series.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thaale wrote:
[Lebbick's wife] lacks both a name and any presence in the series.


You definitely have a point--she's dead by the time the story starts, and doesn't really play a direct role in the action. But IMO she does have a presence in the series--even if it's only by her absence. She sort of like negative space--a person-shaped area of nothingness. Her absence made Lebbick what he was in the series--a man who, once Joyse abandoned him, had nothing left to hang on to except his determination to do his job. In the ordinary course of events, that might have been enough, but the events that ensued were extraordinary--Champions and beautiful women being translated from other worlds, assasins and bizarre murderous creatures running through Orison's halls--and because his wife was dead, Lebbick had nothing and no one to help hold him together. If his wife had still been alive at the time of the story, the whole plot would be altered.

She doesn't appear in the book, it's true, but I think that her absence has a significant enough effect on the plot, and she's referred to often enough, that she can be considered a character.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
She doesn't appear in the book, it's true, but I think that her absence has a significant enough effect on the plot, and she's referred to often enough, that she can be considered a character.


All true, and I’m certainly not saying that you’re wrong. For myself, I look at it this way, though: Because Lebbick’s wife doesn’t have to appear to us and exhibit whatever other features she may have possessed, in too many ways she’s just a legendary tower of strength that Artagel, etc. tell us about. Characters with speaking lines can’t compete with a legend. It would be, for me, like concluding that Damelon was perforce a wiser character than Mhoram because we are given the opportunity to see Mhoram’s human failings, while Damelon is insulated by his status from any direct reader reproach.

I thought the “person-shaped area of nothingness” was called Terisa, no?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thaale wrote:

All true, and I’m certainly not saying that you’re wrong. For myself, I look at it this way, though: Because Lebbick’s wife doesn’t have to appear to us and exhibit whatever other features she may have possessed, in too many ways she’s just a legendary tower of strength that Artagel, etc. tell us about. Characters with speaking lines can’t compete with a legend. It would be, for me, like concluding that Damelon was perforce a wiser character than Mhoram because we are given the opportunity to see Mhoram’s human failings, while Damelon is insulated by his status from any direct reader reproach.

I thought the “person-shaped area of nothingness” was called Terisa, no?


LOL

You have a point, especially your analogy with Damelon. But Damelon was, as you say, legendary (or at least historical) whereas Lebbick's wife was known personally to most of the characters in the book. She died only the year before the story's action started, so she was still a fresh presence to many of them--particularly Lebbick--in a way that Damelon was not to Mhoram et. al. She wasn't present, but she had a direct effect on the way Lebbick behaved, and therefore an indirect effect on the course of the plot.

The other female characters were certainly much more influential, in a direct way, to the course of the story. But if you see Lebbick's wife's strength as part of Lebbick's own, then you can also see that his loss of that strength changed everything.

And I also want to point out that this is my interpretation of things on my most recent reading; I may have a different opinion next year. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, everytime I read Mordant I also get different things out of it. These might be some of the most underrated books in the entire fantasy cannon. More Razz

And I can see your points about Mrs. Lebbick. If she had still been alive, the entire story would have changed. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Torrent wrote:
Hellfire! Are you trying to challenge me? Shocked Cool


No, just provoke debate. I think I succeeded rather well. Cool Very Happy
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