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TLD Part II Chapter 4: Reluctances

 
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Frostheart Grueburn
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject: TLD Part II Chapter 4: Reluctances Reply with quote

The author leaves his audiences to witness a pride of Fire-Lions wreaking havoc on a horde of hideous blasphemies straight from the deepest and most grotesque Lovecraftian abysses. In the process, all scraps of Sheol’s sentience dissolve into the primal void: another Raver unmade. Buh-bye, sweeties, none shall shed salty tears of waily-woe over ye. While the weather clears and various types of slime ooze back into the Lurker’s demesne, a veritable legion of Giants hoists the heroes into safety from the dwindling distress. And, even on the threshold of the world’s end, ‘tis swell to keep a snack-and-potty break, in particular as those granite combat-knickers of the Swordmainnir require the unfastening of a series of tricky clasps. Hence we are represented with a calmer chapter, albeit one that lacks not the making of several crucial resolutions.

At some point, Linden finds herself snoozing beneath a tree. Not a majestic World Tree nor a
wedding willow wreathed in numinous melodies, not even an errant Ent or a yule log clad in twinkling tinsel, but for once just an average plant with a trunk and some bark. Her broodings, as usual, scurry hither and thither in their designated bubble of angst. This time they decide to cling together and lope into a single direction, even if along a circular track. Akin to Covenant, she is preparing to envisage her fate.

Quote:
She was done with fighting. That much had become clear to her. God, she had endured so much violence. [. . .] You have become the daughter of my heart. It was enough. Ever since Jeremiah’s escape from his graves, the foundations of her life had been shifting. They needed to shift further.

She did not mean that she had given up. Carried along by the syllogisms of prostration, she arrived at convictions which did not imply surrender. [. . .] The time had come to heed the lessons which her whole life had tried to teach her.

If she did not give up, and did not fight, what remained?


A conundrum, in good sooth. At this point of the narrative, the first-time reader kens not her aim, and can pull mere guesses out of the muddle of thoughts. Others stand aware of Her, and that the doctor has, until now, peered at the skeleton army in her closet through a mousehole instead of yanking open the door and letting go. During the past four tomes, SRD has repeatedly cuffed plot-followers with images of her ruminating on her flaws and the legacy of her parents. Nothing became solved for good at the end of White Gold Wielder.

I will take a somewhat different analytical stance in this dissection. This time I could not uproot enough mythological mumbo-jumbo to confuse people, so instead I am turning to the psychoanalytic texts of Jung and Freud, some of which I have perused during the past autumn. While one ought not to forget SRD’s prostate adoration of Wagner and Norse myths, he still has other confirmed sources of inspiration. In their essence, the Chronicles portray spiritual journeys afore aught else.

Let us conduct a nano-survey of Linden’s qualities. In the kernel of her heart, she remains a healer. While she has hurled beneficent staff-flame upon Giants and horsies alike, Mistress Stress-Mess has scarcely paid a soupcon of heed to ameliorating herself. Guilt over all her misdeeds has hampered that. One should not pocket the following observation but keep it at hand unto the crowning Clash of Titans.

Quote:
If she did not know how to forgive herself, she could begin by offering other forms of grace to people or beings who needed it more.


Now, the battle’s aftermath reveals a medley of manglements and miseries. Covenant nurses broken ribs; Jeremiah has collapsed akin to a hut formed of soggy porridge, puling and mewling away in his Worm-ridden anguish. Giants ache and mourn. Furthermore, Covenant appears to blame himself for the catastrophe.

Quote:
“This is what happens when I convince myself I know what I’m doing. Even after Lord Foul touched Jeremiah, I thought we could sneak in here. [. . .] I just about got us all killed. If you [the crew of Dire’s Vessel] hadn’t showed up--”
Or if, Linden amended on his behalf, he had not feared his own power; if he had unleashed enough wild magic to cleanse the whole valley. If he indeed had been done with restraint...


A reminder that the leper messiah has not gained his luminosity yet either; the strife towards wholeness of the self, the apotheosis of the imperfect human, totters on.

However, shall the self-strictures surmount afresh? Must they? Have we not been bombarded enough with those infernalities? Hark and heed to the voice of Giantish reason, o ye outlanders!

Quote:
“It is bootless to fault yourself for an onslaught which you could not have foreseen.”


When has it been bootly? Or shoely?

But no, we will not meet the end of blame. As the Clock of Doom ticks and tocks, Jeremiah’s syndrome spirals downwards towards the ravines of utter self-loathing: His uselessness gnaws on his very marrow. Another mommy-sonny moot must take place, as his condition cannot continue to deteriorate much more. The role he assumed while his parents and just about every being down to the squeaky Feroce punched and lacerated enemies has not aided anything. He has become a disturbed bystander amid the world’s demise. Wherefore this?

Quote:
“Because I can’t do anything, that’s why. I wasn’t even in danger. Foul wants me alive. But there were all those monsters, and I couldn’t help you. I couldn’t do anything except watch. And even when I did that, I could still see the Worm. [. . .] Every minute, it does more damage than all the skurj in the world, and there’s nothing I can do.”


Then, Linden surprises all by twisting the sheer fabric of existence and ownerships. One can merely gawk in astonishment at the amount of nerve it requires from her to “summon her courage” and make the offer:

Quote:
“I want you to take my Staff.”


What? Why? Where? How? When? A cloud of question marks must now roil around the baffled reader’s head. Hitherto the mamabear has mollycoddled the bloody stick as if it were her favorite darling cub, more essential to her eudaimonia than such slimy icky-yuckies as lungs and a liver. Did some mini-skurj just wriggle its way into her brain and gobble it, leaving but an empty echo chamber beyond?

Nevertheless, she appears serious: Jeremiah must grasp the grand priapic doohickey no matter the depth and breadth of his protests. This is not a fallacy; the following dialogue proves her reasoning sound.

Quote:
“You need to be able to defend yourself,” he needed to believe in himself. “and I don’t need it anymore. I have white gold--and I can’t use both. Earthpower and wild magic together are too much. So now I want to learn how to handle my ring.”


Does Linden here apprehend the full implications of her becoming a whitegoldist? We have beheld Covenant’s ring responding to hers; obviously they are destined to exert argent abracadabra together. When one considers Jeremiah’s talents--mastery of Earthpower and structure--the alteration of the staffy’s ownership feels logical. Vain was reified order. Findail pure Earthpower, whimsical and untamed. Such two opposites melded into an embrace eternal apparently form Law.

She yet expresses more ideas: adding to the construction of a healthy self-image, perchance by fingering the Tool he might staunch those adolescent visions of the Worm being roused, and make the Staff squirt expurgated earth-essence.

Quote:
“And maybe you can find a way to make the Staff clean again. I know that I can’t. That blackness is too much a part of me.”


In the end, Jeremiah accepts the gift, and acquiesces to Linden’s wishes.

Quote:
“I’ll try. I can’t stand the way I am.”


As expected, the relinquishing of Her Precioussss stabs her painfully into the gut. Stave, however, reassures her that the correct decision was made. Thereupon she zooms into her spouse’s ever so slightly putrid embrace to snuffle and sneeze into his shirt. In any event, schmaltz saturates this chapter: Linden demands constant physical warmth and closeness. One regrets that the environment does not cooperate with their lovey-doveying. Delicate violin music does not revolve around their embrace, nor do flaming red tulips burst into full bloom in the nearby foliage. The stars above do not reform themselves into heart-shaped constellations. Gentle unicorns do not prance forth from the woods to fart rainbows around them. Instead of jasmine and a tender whiff of rose scenting the mellow wind, our heroes must inhale the gangrenous reek of skurj entrails and scorched lurker tentacle into their sore nostrils. What a blissful honeymoon.

After a round of first aid that both repairs Covenant’s internal damage and alleviates the scalded Giants, Linden returns to her erstwhile dilemma: A matter her dearest must also comprehend.

Quote:
“I want to help you. I want to stop Lord Foul. I want the Land to be saved, and the Earth and the stars...but I’ve done fighting.”
Covenant stiffened as if she had frightened him. His voice was harsh with strain, as he asked, “And you think you have a choice?”


Commonly men stiffen due to reasons other than terror, but the leper’s psyche has always represented an arcanum attired into a cabala plodding through terra incognita. The doctor continues to nuzzle his resurrected and apotheosized t-shirt, and explains. He never withdraws, trusting her love and devotion.
The paragraph above raises the question as to whether Linden ever created him any spare boxers upon the reincarnation. If not, he would appear to use the same underwear as 3500 years back, and never has it benefited from the presence of soap. Ick.

Quote:
“You said it yourself. We have to face the things that scare us most. There’s really no other way. Escape isn’t worth what it costs.”


and

Quote:
“My worst fear is what I might become. Or what I’ve already become. I need to face that somehow.”


Does this not ring familiar? Did not Covenant utter nigh-on the exact same words ere departing to slay Joan in the previous volume?

Now, the grandest theme of the Chronicles pertains to meeting one’s dark aspects eye to eye, id est recognizing and integrating one’s shadow-self in psychoanalytic terms. The audience has beheld the title character both envisaging and surrendering to the Despiser and neither has sufficed as the dark lord yet plots and schemes and cackles grotesquely in his evil lair. Linden has been shoved into the background, but one must recall the Sunbane of the Second Chronicles. Sol represents a father archetype already in various world mythologies, and when one delves deeper into the insane gibbering and chittering and yowling of her emotions, one may begin to draw parallels between the phenomena. Her “black mood” for instance might correspond to the Sun of Pestilence, the sempiternal sniveling to the Sun of Rain, and so forth. Every time she reiterates the suicide experience in the umbrage of her mind, blood flows anew and augments the neurosis, or, in terms of professional patois, one effing colossal father complex. Does not the Clave perform the very same? Shedding the life-juices of puissant beings to feed the Sunbane? In the end, after utilizing Pitchwife as a lab rat, she confronts the astronomic perversion and untangles the seasons, restoring a natural equilibrium.

One could read this as a straightening of her emotions and discovering psychic balance, if one chooses to accept this allegorical layer of the Chronicles and not treat it as a mere epic of sword and sorcery. I yet entertain the view that the sidekicks possess an intelligent life of their own, but ‘tis not a grand lottery prize to be born in the Land if some eldritch wossname from beyond the Arch dictates even the weather patterns! One must inquire whether some disturbed alien’s subconscious has shaped our universe ravaged by countless wars, and whether they ever shall descend within to mend the mess with a magical trinket...

Let us leap on to the onset of the Third Chronicles. Now that she has wiped the sky clean from nettlesome suns, Linden’s inner realms must welter in a pink fluff of hakuna matata, right?



I cannot ascertain as to what Linden did wrong, but the mere acknowledging of the Shadow helps one not. She has either begun suppressing the traumas anew, or in fact possesses a second subliminal foe, which appears the case here.

Spoiler:

Sunbane and She-bane differ from one another by mere two letters (and a dash, if one exercises nitpickiness). Either the author has endured a major brain-fart such as with the newer Giant names and let his cat walk across the keyboard to get the story going, or he planned the similarity. Now, what is She Who Must Not, aka Lady Voldemortina, apart from mayhap containing lingering traits of Joan?

I have not crawled my way far enough into the teachings of definite schools of psychology, as the Word of God expresses it, but a strong hunch of mine runs in circles around her mother’s sickbed. What does Mrs. Avery do, apart from cursing life and begging for death? Damn her daughter. Wail and wallow in woe. Where has one encountered the same, if not in the Lost Deep? How would you opine over this? The particular multifemme-structure of She causes some beetle-browed frowns; what do all these ladies, some of which emanate from eras afore Linden’s intervention, signify?

Who or what is Jeremiah’s Shadow?

Whatever the essence of this churning gynaeco-chaos, Linden must let go, both absolve and beg for forgiveness from the beings that have wronged her or vice versa. This is how I savvy it. In the aforementioned passages, she dreads becoming her own Dark Side, a despairing maw of destruction not unlike the Worm.


Why do I hammer such import into these fictional spirit journeys? Because it is my belief that they may assist those readers who can peel away the layers of flighty prose on their own analogical quests. SRD has dusted the cobwebs off from around academic yada-yada and refashioned some of Jung’s teachings into tangible examples. Individuals have identified with fancied beings and archetypes ever since that hoary shaman began mumbling about the great hunter Urk Gruh the Buh around the first campfire. Such associative peculiarities have not evanesced.

Let us build a bridge back to the ongoing plot. It does not require from Covenant weeks of poring over doorstopper literature about the female conscious to perceive Linden’s plight, and he agrees with her decision. She must depart the company and descend into the netherworlds for some shrink sessions with Lady Voldemortina. The angsty lovebirds coo and huggle upon the understanding, but behold, some novel ghastliness interrupts them!

Quote:
Holding the Staff, Jeremiah had summoned his heritage of Earthpower. Small flames spread from his hands onto the shaft. They were his--and they were stark black, as dark as ichor squeezed from the marrow of the world’s bones.


Now, for any metalhead such kvlt, fuligin flames would have been a marvel beyond aught, a reason to mosh and play the air guitar on the very spot. The Covenant family yet nurtures conventional attitudes toward the color spectrum, and thus this hue that has never sinned against either of them must bear the stigma of impurity and despondency. While the boy reassures the jittery parents that the quality would not persist, his quandary still raises concerns.

Quote:
She had asked him to change the Staff. Instead her own darkness was changing him.


What do you deem this signifies? Covenant suggests that maybe this is how he has to learn. The reader has espied Jeremiah acquiring the ABC of empathy from Stave and the Giantesses; how will mommy’s somberness facilitate his pursuit? Moreover, his time to mature is shrinking by the second...

* * *

After some resting and repasting, the sailors of Dire’s Vessel and the Swordmainnir share intelligence.

Quote:
The Ironhand began by introducing the newly arrived Giants. Hurl Linden had already met. Their leader was the Anchormaster [. . .] Bluff Stoutgirth, although he was lean to the point of emaciation and his mien hinted that he was more inclined to hilarity than command. For Linden and Covenant, he named his comrades--Etch Furledsail, Squallish Blustergale, Keenreef, Wiver Setrock, others--but Linden doubted that she would remember them all.


Well, neither will the reader, unless they have a hobby of compiling wiki pages about last-minute crowds. It furthermore irks me that these cameo characters somehow deserve more physical description than the Amazons during two and a half tomes. The likeness of my namesake? Insanely strong and busty, but thou shalt not bother with such frivolities as hair color. A few chapters later we hear of the very subject in relation to one of these two-second appearances. Added to this, I had a TCTC fanfiction character called Furdlesail (and to a lesser extent, Keenedge) ere the publication of the Advance Reader Copy. Does this shocking revelation exhibit a sheer coincidence or does the author indeed prowl in the shadows of KW’s bitspace?

Unrelated to any unsung wights inhabiting the borderlands of the board, Stoutgirth begins to describe the crew’s adventures.

Quote:
After the departure of the Ironhand’s company, Dire’s Vessel had remained in the anchorage of Coercri. For a number of days, the sailors busied themselves with the mundane tasks; then they began to notice changes in the littoral’s weather. Storms lashed the coast and disappeared again without apparent cause. Five mornings ago, the sun astonished the crew by failing to rise. Stars began to disappear from the firmament of the heavens. Such occurrences augured some immense and dolorous ill, but the sailors could not interpret the signs.


After these ominousities, Brinn had appeared upon the deck in his ancient, fraying guise, bearing along fell tidings about the world’s end. He had traversed thither to fulfill his boon.

Quote:
When the Giants bewailed their lot, moaning the loss of love and wind and stone, of seas and joy and children, he answered their lament.
“Good may come from the loss as it does from gain. The decline of the One Tree has concluded my devoir. The Worm is not instant in its feeding; life lingers yet in the world’s heartwood. While I endure, I will guide you, for your aid will be sorely needed.”


Thereupon we receive a few more Giantish names to discombobulate our brainpans till one has become as disoriented as Baf Scatterwit in a maze, and then the jötnar tramp into war to confront the Æsir upon Vígríðr...wait, no, the BFG’s arrive to aid the protagonists as the poor Haruchai evaporates akin to a jellyfish in sauna. The Ironhand accounts the toils of the Swordmainnir in her turn. Profound weariness and rue overshadows the exchange: too many beloved comrades have perished. Therefore Rime, a Giantess far less surly than her Second Chronicles predecessor, cannot unlodge even half a jest wedged behind a wisdom tooth.

Quote:
“The worth of our deeds is not ours to proclaim. Yet I will trust that worth resembles joy. It will be found in the ears that hear if the mouth that speaks cannot name it.”


The newcomers yet flaunt a more ebullient outlook. Perhaps their emergence serves as relief of another ilk as well: a means to rediscover optimism and purpose. To the military leader’s tale Stoutgirth responds:

Quote:
“Yet you have spoken of worth. For my part, Ironhand, I do not acknowledge it.” He laughed happily. “As matters stand, we resemble sailors snared in the ensorcelments of the Soulbiter. There can be no worth in the tale of those who fail and fall unwitnessed, for their doom is not redeemed by the telling of it. We must have boasting, Rime Coldspray! I will not name the deeds of this company worthy until the World’s End has been forestalled. Only then may the tale be shared with those able to esteem it.”


While Linden cannot apprehend this particular manifestation of Giantish humor, it indeed bespeaks for this aforesaid purpose. If the company does not summon up their mettle and stand firm till the very end, all anterior effort would become vain.

Thence, the conversation veers toward the intent of the quest. The Giantish matriarch cannot name it, so she allows Covenant to assume authority. He, on his behalf, wishes to burrow his way into Foul’s demesne and halt him evermore. First he must stage a grieving ritual for the distraught Giants; how else would they be able to brave a deluge of Cavewights and other noxious oddments when they escort the wee’er beings into the very core of despite? In dearth of wood, bodies, or even sufficient amounts of dried lurker-dung, he must utilize some creativity.

Quote:
“I’m going to burn myself.”


From wild magic axe to wild magic log? Well, worse career options have mayhap existed.



After playing a hot caamora potato with a few Giantesses, his theurgy begins to scream. Its twofold nature, the yin and yang of its gist, has always been perilous.

Quote:
His power was a howl. It tormented him. It was the contradiction which lay at the center of his plight in the Land, the one word of truth or treachery. Without wild magic, nothing could be redeemed. With it, everything might be damned.
His self-control faltered. Wild magic mounted higher.


Prior to the commencement of the ritual, he had asked his wife to keep a healthsensible eye on him. She possesses the strength to mediate his chaotic eruptions, even if her confidence tends to falter. Now, however, the situation cries for a magical ambulance, lest the Earth entire should become roasted. Not that the Worm would be bothered; the mere figment of a steaming universe smelling of plasm and melting bedrock causes it to drool uncontrollably. Linden, do something!

Quote:
She felt fire spitting from her wedding band.


Overcoming her dithering with a massive effort of will, she wrenches herself into action. Not to kick Sandgorgon arse or attempt to drag a petulant Fire-Lion into a bath, as one might anticipate, but to channel the might of her passions, healing and ardor.

Quote:
Linden rushed to him. Her arms and her love and her shining she flung around him. Then she gave herself to him--or she made him hers. With percipience, she united their powers until she found a way to balance his extremity with her physician’s caution.


Pink glitter and heart-shaped confetti ought to rain down upon the scene, as the sweethearts conflate into a coruscating pillar of flame and console the goliaths. Their rings call to one another in the tongue of primal energies. While the pyre roars, Linden probes the marshlands of her talents with a stick and discovers she indeed can wade through the bog, learning to surmount yet another facet of her doubt with the guidance of love.

If only Jeremiah could substantiate his own destiny...


Last edited by Frostheart Grueburn on Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's up with the server? I try to post these, I get internal server errors. I try to delete duplicates, the very same bugger appears. And these don't show up in the "view posts since last visit". Mad
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our ancient and rickety forum software must have had palpitations over the quality of your dissection.

Eudaimonia, indeed. Well done!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks; did you have any thoughts about the chapter or the questions included?
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent write up there Frosty!..A fun read!. Yes, Linden makes a choice or two. I find its interesting that the author has her going for the 3rd choice, beyond the right/wrong paradigm. And yes, there is a ritual purification to go along with that choice making. Linden IS letting go,,IS dropping the baggage,,IS unencumbering herself. Whats cool is..theres no answer, no guarantee, no definitive . There is just the choice of LOVE..There is Trust put in..a complete MYSTERY. And no..no glitter confetti, no unicorns,,no cliches..just a caamora,,a cleansing,,a unencumberance. The consequences of her choices unfold for the rest of the book, but it is here in this chapter,,that Linden finally comes to the perception..that the way she has been dealing with her major problems...just leads to more. Linden makes the decision to Change the way she perceives and deals with that which conflicts her. She Takes Control Of Her Own Self. In that, there seems an evolving, an expansion in dimension of the abstract , Love.

Linden knows what her past has conditioned her to do. It hasn't worked. What she has done , just produces more conflicted unresolved situations. This chapter brings Linden to that realization and to the realization,,yea,,let it all go, cleanse herself of the baggage, unencumber herself of all that which fails.

Think of SRD,,a student about to graduate from college during the Vietnam war..a son of a Minister..Talk about conflicted,,talk about choices..
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fair-wrought dissection, Frostheart.

And there is nothing more special that fair-wrought art in service to such a dissection. Hail

- - - - - - - - - -

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
A conundrum, in good sooth.

These deep thoughts from Linden, early in the chapter, I see less of a conundrum and more of a conclusion, albeit a conclusion whose consequences have not been clearly calculated. (Take that alliteration, lurch!)

In The Last Dark was wrote:
But she could not keep meeting peril with violence, striving to out-do the savagery of Lord Foul’s servants and allies. She could not. She needed a different purpose, a better role in the Land’s fate. She had passed through the wrath of Gallows Howe to the gibbet’s deeper truths; to the vast bereavement which had inspired Garroting Deep’s thirst for blood. The time had come to heed the lessons which her whole life had tried to teach her.

What different, non-violent purpose will Linden find? We only know by this passage that she's looking. But "through Gallow's Howe" indicates that this is another stage on a journey that began for Linden long ago, one that includes being unable to weep, and unable to forgive.

If you think on it, when you consider how much violence Linden has undertaken, and the necessity of it, and the consequences of it, then her recognition that she needs a different purpose is quite remarkable. She needs to change if she wants to end up in a different place than Gallow's Howe. Covenant budged her lose from the path she was locked into earlier, by helping her forgive herself. Now she's making use of that gift.

The initial result is Linden gives Jeremiah her Staff. He needed to believe in himself - he needed a cure for feeling impotent. And so, as Stave surmises, it is good. And so, as lurch surmises, she is "letting it go".

But in the end she also gives away the Staff because she "desires another purpose". And more of this purpose is revealed.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“My worst fear is what I might become. Or what I’ve already become. I need to face that somehow.”

Oh, doesn't that sound familiar? Linden is treading down a path that Covenant had only just recently trod down. Indeed, Covenant recognizes this as well. "Oh, that fear."

"I couldn’t ask you to trust me, because I didn’t trust myself, or what I was becoming, or what I had to do." We can now recognize that fear for what it is. It is the fear of accepting and using one's inner despiser. The fear that if you draw on your dark strengths, you might become evil. So that those who love you might have cause to regret it.

Linden makes the correspondence (hint hint) when she says,

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“Days ago, you left me because you had to deal with Joan. If we live long enough, I’ll have to leave you.”

Treading down the same path. Covenant seems to know who/what Linden must deal with when she leaves, and concurs - like a man whose been down that path already. "It might be exactly what we need." Whatever the who/what is, dealing with it is like dealing with Joan. It must involve accepting one's inner despiser in order to have the capacity to do what must be done.

(And note the subtle distinctions. The who/what that she must confront is not in itself her worst fear. Her worst fear is who she must become in order to deal with who/what. Just as Covenant feared what he must become to have the capacity to slay Joan.)

And so I say, Linden has come to conclusions. Both she and Thomas see the answer she has devised for herself, and concur. Fears will be faced. And, at some point, Linden will have to leave to face them. Without her Staff. Without Gallow's Howe and violence. And without Thomas or Jeremiah.

- - - - - - - - - -

A couple of thoughts about the journey of the crew of Dire's Vessel.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Their course was relieved at every obstacle, though they had no understanding of the magicks which relieved their efforts.

The lurker as well as Brinn helped the Giant sailors reach Linden's Army. Another notable benefit of the alliance.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
During the evening of the day now past, he frayed at last and faded, drifting away along the world’s winds.

And so passes the Guardian of the One Tree. And Brinn. And the Theomach. He was not slain, nor sacrificed; he was merely unmade, as Amok had been, when use and name and life were lost.

Hail, Brinn.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Covenant intends to "light himself" for caamora. Humorous notions aside, we have to contrast this with earlier Chronicles. This was something Covenant had once feared to do.

He does not fear it any longer. Why? He still cares, and he still has a capacity to do harm. What changed is he no longer fears himself. He no longer fears "what he may become". He doesn't fear his inner despiser. He trusts himself.

Still, it's hard. But it's easy to see why Linden's love makes it easier. Her love says, you won't lose me. You won't become what you fear.

And it exemplifies why Linden is even here, in the Land, in this story: Covenant can only become whole with Linden at his side.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Frostheart for your illuminating dissection, along with fun illustrations! The Ironhand certainly seems to have a convincing caamora aura about her! And that Giant toasting marshmallows off of TC--could that be Stoutgirth deciding to intake more calories and live up to his name?
I wanted to wade into this chapter discussion by first including some passages that caught my attention.


Quote:
God, she had endured so much violence--From her struggles against Roger Covenant and the croyel to the horrors and killing beside the Defiles Course, she had fought and fought. With wild magic she had shed the lives of scores or hundreds of misled Cavewights.


Funny, those were the times when I liked Linden Avery best, when she was kickin' ass and takin' names; I'm sure gonna miss that Linden! And when she was throwing wild magic potshots at Roger retreating on a Cavewight--well, that just got her bonus brownie points in my book. Thumbs Up


Quote:
The survivors were lit like reincarnations of themselves by the silver of the krill in Branl's grasp.


Great imagery from Donaldson. He has a way with words, I'm sure we've all noticed. Wink


Quote:
Or if, Linden amended on his behalf, he had not feared his own power; if he had unleashed enough wild magic to cleanse the whole valley. If he had indeed been done with restraint. Yet she believed he had done well to hold back. He had little health-sense, and wild magic tended always to resist control. He might have inadvertently killed his companions.


At this point in the book during a first-time reading, I was no longer worried about Linden desecrating the World (outside of what she's already done with the Worm-Wakening, of course), because if Stave the soul-searcher doesn't see a problem with her, she's alright. And I never believed Covenant would become an escalating threat to the Earth, though wild magic always makes it theoreticaly possible. That would just be re-playing the Second Chronicles again. But at this point I was worried Jeremiah was capable of rending Creation, I can't deny it!


Quote:
"I do not scry, Chosen," the former Master remarked without any discernable emotion. "To my sight, the future holds only darkness. Yet I judge that you have acted wisely. The boy's need is great, and you have other strengths."


Well that's enough to reassure me, then! Even though leaving the Staff, the one means of cleansing the air in the upcoming Gravin gutrock tour, in the hands of a beginner doesn't sound like sensible strategy on the surface of it. But Stave has seldom been wrong since his horserite night (I just can't resist crediting the Ranyhyn whenever possible!) and so Jeremiah's probably going to be able to handle this new assignment.


Quote:
At the core, he was defined by his rage for lepers; for the innocent victims of Despite. He hated the necessary fact that other people suffered so that he might oppose Lord Foul.


That passage in this chapter was for me emotionally concise--in two sentences, what I like best about Covenant. The only thing missing is evidence of his wry humor.


Quote:
To make room for what she had to say, she eased away until she could touch his chest. Kissing the tips of her fingers, she slipped them through the old knife cut in his shirt.


Kissing the tips of her fingers? I could understand him kissing her fingers or vice versa, but what kind of romantic or medical practice is this? Strange passage. Shocked


Quote:
She matched his embrace. "And I'm the only one who can even try. You said that, too. You have to face Lord Foul. And Jeremiah has to decide for himself. That leaves me."
"I remember," he said gruffly. "I must have been out of my mind."


Now, there's that wry Covenant humor! Cool


Quote:
Yet he bore himself as one who could not be bowed, and his glances has the effect of lightnings.


I'm savoring this last glimpse of Brinn, ak-Haru Haruchai. Sob

Quote:
In a foreshortened Giantclave, the Master of Dire's Vessel, Vigilall Scudweather, determined that she and a half portion of the crew would remain to tend the Giantship, praying that events would allow them to serve some worthy purpose in their turn.


With a name like that, this ship's Master sounds like she's ready for anything, right?


Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
another Raver unmade. Buh-bye, sweeties, none shall shed salty tears of waily-woe over ye.


Those danged Ravers just can't be exterminated fast enough for me in this book! Raver More Razz



Frostheart wrote:

Quote:
“It is bootless to fault yourself for an onslaught which you could not have foreseen.”


When has it been bootly? Or shoely?


It's truly shoely if someone wants to rethink their strategy to avoid the same mistakes. It's also basically bootly if you want to be forgiven faster. But what the Ironhand is too kind to say aloud is that this is really Jeremiah's fault for disregarding all warnings about stepping on Fangthane's grass.

Frostheart wrote:
Now, for any metalhead such kvlt, fuligin flames would have been a marvel beyond aught, a reason to mosh and play the air guitar on the very spot


Heh-heh, I can easily picture this. Head Banger

wayfriend wrote:
The lurker as well as Brinn helped the Giant sailors reach Linden's Army. Another notable benefit of the alliance.


Good call (yours AND Covenant's)!

lurch wrote:
The consequences of her choices unfold for the rest of the book, but it is here in this chapter,,that Linden finally comes to the perception..that the way she has been dealing with her major problems...just leads to more


What I got out of it was that LA Linden fears her way of fighting will end up serving the Despiser.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what are the titular reluctances in this chapter?

Who is unwilling or uneager or doubtful? And about which things?

There is only one specific mention of reluctance I can find in this chapter:

In The Last Dark was wrote:
His power was him. But the cost to his spirit might be extreme. His reluctance was necessary to him. It counterbalanced his extravagance: it was his way of managing his fear that he might commit havoc.

This was Linden's thoughts about Covenant's reluctance to use power for the purpose of the caamora.

Perhaps then we should also consider Jeremiah's reluctance to use the Staff of Law?

Linden, too, is now reluctant to wield power where the result is violence.

So is this about power?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart wrote:
It furthermore irks me that these cameo characters somehow deserve more physical description than the Amazons during two and a half tomes. The likeness of my namesake? Insanely strong and busty, but thou shalt not bother with such frivolities as hair color.


A tad more individual description of the Swordmainnir in the LC would have been nice, I agree.


Frostheart wrote:
Their rings call to one another in the tongue of primal energies.


I enjoy this sentence. Smile


Frostheart wrote:
First he must stage a grieving ritual for the distraught Giants; how else would they be able to brave a deluge of Cavewights and other noxious oddments when they escort the wee’er beings into the very core of despite?


This was wise strategy, however oddly it was executed.


wayfriend wrote:
Perhaps then we should also consider Jeremiah's reluctance to use the Staff of Law?


I think so, especially given that the chapter title is plural. TC, LA, and Jer all have misgivings about what they can accomplish.


lurch wrote:
Linden makes the decision to Change the way she perceives and deals with that which conflicts her.


What I most approve of is that she's dispensed with keeping secrets from her friends, from those willing to die for her. This is a change I like.

wayfriend wrote:
"I couldn’t ask you to trust me, because I didn’t trust myself, or what I was becoming, or what I had to do." We can now recognize that fear for what it is. It is the fear of accepting and using one's inner despiser. The fear that if you draw on your dark strengths, you might become evil. So that those who love you might have cause to regret it.


This is very well explained! Yes, this is about power.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: TLD Part II Chapter 4: Reluctances Reply with quote

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
Now, the grandest theme of the Chronicles pertains to meeting one’s dark aspects eye to eye, id est recognizing and integrating one’s shadow-self in psychoanalytic terms. The audience has beheld the title character both envisaging and surrendering to the Despiser and neither has sufficed as the dark lord yet plots and schemes and cackles grotesquely in his evil lair. Linden has been shoved into the background, but one must recall the Sunbane of the Second Chronicles. Sol represents a father archetype already in various world mythologies, and when one delves deeper into the insane gibbering and chittering and yowling of her emotions, one may begin to draw parallels between the phenomena. Her “black mood” for instance might correspond to the Sun of Pestilence, the sempiternal sniveling to the Sun of Rain, and so forth. Every time she reiterates the suicide experience in the umbrage of her mind, blood flows anew and augments the neurosis, or, in terms of professional patois, one effing colossal father complex. Does not the Clave perform the very same? Shedding the life-juices of puissant beings to feed the Sunbane? In the end, after utilizing Pitchwife as a lab rat, she confronts the astronomic perversion and untangles the seasons, restoring a natural equilibrium.

I think that there might be something to the sun/father metaphor, but for reasons of my own.

Just as the health of the Land was diametrically opposed to leprosy, setting the stage for the first Chronicles, I find the Sun-bane to be diametrically opposed to Linden's need to be a doctor, setting a similar stage in the second. The Sun-Bane is not only incurable, making it the bane of any doctor, but it is unarguably evil, which attacks Linden's preconception that evil deeds arise from some sort of sickness. It completely throws Linden into a space where she has no foundation to rely on, or from which to build answers.

Still, out of all the forms of incurable evil that could have been used, we have the Sun. And Linden was shaped by the sickness of her father. Therefore, it is apropos, at the very least. It makes the connection stronger.

But the black moods ... the black moods (to me) are Powerlessness. Feeling helpless, ineffectual, and worthless. Unable to aid yourself, or to summon aid.

In The One Tree was wrote:
"They feel like-I don't know how to describe them. Like I'm drowning and there's nothing I can do to save myself. Like I could scream forever and nobody would hear me." Powerless. "Like the only thing I can do to help myself is just die and get it over with."

So I don't see a connection between black moods and the Sun of Pestilence (which is red).

I do see, instead, a connection between black moods and the black magic which Linden now summons from her Staff - Jeremiah's Staff now - and which she cannot purge away. The black moods had always followed Linden as she became a doctor and practiced medicine, to remind her that no matter how much she wanted to persue medicine to feel effectual, she couldn't escape her feelings of ineffectuality -- because that wasn't the right answer.

Now, here, in this chapter, she is again deciding that the power she had been wielding isn't the right answer to her needs. It's too violent. Like medicine, it's the power of life and death, and that power is never useful for what you want it to be.

The Chronicles are, to my mind, about power - they are about ineffectuality vs effectiveness. Finding a way to change your circumstances, and recognizing that you can. Man is an effective passion.

And so this fits, for me.

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
I cannot ascertain as to what Linden did wrong, but the mere acknowledging of the Shadow helps one not. She has either begun suppressing the traumas anew, or in fact possesses a second subliminal foe, which appears the case here.

I suspect that she is on a Fool's Journey, of sorts. There are stages of enlightenment. Reaching one does not preclude further stages. Having cleaned up one's psychic basement, there is still one's psychic attic, and one's psychic garage, etc.

Covenant himself makes progress in every Chronicles, only to find in the next that more progress is required. Linden is sharing a similar journey. "Oh, that fear" reminds us that she is just a few steps behind Covenant, and catching up.

Also, I think it's a mistake to assume every personal dilemma is in the form of Lord Foul the Dark Side of Myself. Donaldson hates repeating himself, by all accounts. My gut tells me Linden's journey is illustrated in a different way.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
Prior to the commencement of the ritual, he had asked his wife to keep a healthsensible eye on him. She possesses the strength to mediate his chaotic eruptions, even if her confidence tends to falter.


Certainly this is something at which she can't help but succeed, for she has a long history of tuning herself into Covenant's state of control over his power.

Frostheart wrote:
What do you deem this signifies? Covenant suggests that maybe this is how he has to learn. The reader has espied Jeremiah acquiring the ABC of empathy from Stave and the Giantesses; how will mommy’s somberness facilitate his pursuit?


It's been painful growth, but he's had the most beneficial teaching possible with the Giantish way of thinking rubbing off on him. I think this is the best guarantee he could have gotten that he won't give in to Despite. He may be defeated by the Despiser, but is he really going to give in to despair after the Giants have taught him better? This seems less likely now that he has been given something to do once again.
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