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Becoming the Arch

 
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject: Becoming the Arch Reply with quote

At the end of the Second Chrons we see TC as one of the Dead, standing in between Foul and the Arch. He absorbed Foul's use of the ring until he disappeared. How did any of that permit TC to 'merge' with the Arch? And more importantly, why was that a necessary part of the story?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild magic is the keystone of the Arch of Time. After being slain by Lord Foul, Covenant became a being of pure wild magic and was able to sustain the Arch of Time against Foul's attack by effectively becoming part of it.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that one can understand it better if one considers how the Staff of Law became Law itself. It participated in the expression of Law to the point where the force and the instrument became one. This, I think, is a foil that Donaldson laid before us in order to understand the relationship between Covenant and wild magic, and wild magic and the Arch.

Covenant and the Arch were joined long before Foul killed Covenant. He said as much to Linden, after emerging from the Banefire, which sort of strengthened that union. And this is why Covenant knew that Foul could not win if he yielded his ring.

There are many reasons why it is important to the story. Certainly it provided the means for Covenant to defeat Foul a second time. It also set up many things for the Last Chronicles while, at the same time, seeming to be a good place to end things. It's also part of Covenant's journey to inheriting the Creator's responsibilities. And, to my own mind anyway, it's also part of a journey to a god-like position in the Land.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foul was trying to break the Arch, but ultimately he was trying to break Covenant. I don't think he would have ever broken the Arch without first breaking TC. In fact, that's probably what it stood for metaphorically. All of this is TC's "subconsciousness," remember. Foul = TC. So Foul's "prison" was always "inside TC," which is symbolized by "inside the Arch." Letting Foul out would entail TC allowing Foul to take over his will, or to give his will/passion (the ring) over to Foul, allowing Foul to take actions through TC, out into the external world where we can all allow our inner Despisers to wreak havoc upon one another.

By allowing himself to die on his own terms, as a sacrifice for others, he gave his life meaning that transcended himself, raising him to a "godlike" stature. But it also allowed him to give over the ring to Foul and limit/contain that danger to himself. So by dying in this way, containing his own inner Foul in service to others, he became an "eternal" symbol of this containment, or in other words, the Arch.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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