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Do you like Linden Avery?
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Linden Avery:
I like her and I am a male
55%
 55%  [ 95 ]
I like her and I am a female
15%
 15%  [ 27 ]
I hate her and I am a male (THOOLAH)
22%
 22%  [ 38 ]
I hate her and I am a female (THOOLAH)
5%
 5%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 170

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROIFLA - Readers of Intelligence For Linden Avery. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have chosen ... wisely.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bah.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've started reading ROTE again, just yesterday.. And I am not minding Linden so much this time.. Mind you, I've just started so she hasn't had an AWFUL lot of time to make her bad decisions....

Anyone here ever read those David Eddings books about that Sparrowhawk guy? Basically he was your typical champion hero type. He was so perfect I couldn't stand him. I think that's why I prefer characters like Linden and TC who have flaws.. They may be annoying but you can empathise with them and care about them..
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nasty ninjaboysss.... Leave precioussss sssssparrowhawk alone...

Hes mine...... My preciousssssssssss.


Yeah, he was boringly perfect but just the guy to have around when youve had a crap day.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relayer wrote:
Like Jenn said, there are times when I'm a bit annoyed with her. But overall I agree w/ Burgs - even though I understood why he was the Unbeliever, I hated Covenant WAY more in the first Chronicles. He was really a d*ck to people who didn't deserve it.


That's part of the rise SRD gets out of your emotions. Linden doesn't really have this, good or bad.

I didn't vote cause there's no middle ground. Back you THOOLAH'gans, back I say...

...there is middle ground! Let freedom click, hellfire!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anybody else read/heard the interview he did after the publication of RotE, especially the part where he says that he wrote the chronicles so that people could fall in love with the Land and the world not the characters in particular?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is forcing as to be very polarised in our views Smile

Can't we hope that Linden does okay, but generally foster a mild dislike for her? That's sorta where I'm at.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why pick on Linden? Covenant is just as bad if not worse. She's a whiny biotch and so is he. And I would hazard to guess from my reading that there are more complaints about TC on the GI than there are about Linden.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of a whiner, but I relate to her better than I did to Covenant.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Linden because of who she is in the "real" world. She loves. So when she gets...the way she can get...in the Land...still I like her.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not at all a fan of Linden, and it's hard for me to really figure out what it is about her character (or the way she's presented) that makes me feel that way.

In terms of self-pity, pushing away the help of those around her, and being accoladed by the residents of the Land far above what her deeds seem to merit, she isn't really any worse than Covenant.

I guess, the more I think about it, there are a few factors:

In the first Chronicles, there's so much wonder and beauty in the Land to serve as a counterpoint against Covenant's "issues" - in the second Chronicles, and the Last, there's a lot less beauty to "distract" from the things that make Linden, to me, dislkeable.

In a sense, I'm a lot more sympathetic to Covenant when we first meet him, having recently been diagnosed as a leper, lost his family, become a pariah in his community. It's hard not to feel sorry for someone who suffers all that (although Tom tries really hard to make himself unsympathetic!). His suffering and loss feel, to me at least, much closer than Linden's. When we meet her, we see her pain, but we also see that she's had a decade to overcome it, and she's accomplished a heck of a lot (making her way through medical school and becoming a highly skilled doctor). It's a lot harder to feel sympathy, instead I feel like she's managed to succeed in spite of what happened to her as a child and teenager, and that on some level she's deliberately choosing to wallow in her past - when she ought to know better - rather than move past it.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makes a lot of sense. Many also believe that though Linden progressed at the end of the Second Chronicles (much like Covenant at the end of the First) she seems to have digressed in the Last. *shrug* I've never had a problem with Linden, if anything she always seems much more focused than Covenant did. She has purpose, whether we agree with it or not, in place of the "I ain't gonna do nothing cuz' ya don' exist' attitude".

I think also she took a longer time to get over her past because that past was foundational to everything she was. She accomplished what she did because she was being driven by the guilt/horror of her past experiences, but she finally reached a point in the Land where that guilt/horror couldn't help her accomplish her desires anymore. She had to find another answer.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another difference between she and Covenant, is Covenant didn't want to use power, he did everything he could to avoid it. Linden on the other hand, is power hungry
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definitely.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

starkllr wrote:
It's a lot harder to feel sympathy, instead I feel like she's managed to succeed in spite of what happened to her as a child and teenager, and that on some level she's deliberately choosing to wallow in her past - when she ought to know better - rather than move past it.

That's the nub of the issue right there.

The following is all my opinion, of Donaldson, and of Donaldson readers:

What Donaldson tried to say was, her past affects her to this day because it was so very, very bad. What comes across to a lot of people is, her past was bad, but it should not affect her to this day, so therefore she's a past-wallower.

In other words, people find her insufficiency is due to her failings, not the magnitude of what she is up against.

This happens again when we get to the Land. What Donaldson tried to say was, the Sunbane affects her so dramatically because her percipience makes it so very, very bad. But what people get is, the Sunbane is bad, but she should tough it out like everyone else, and it should not affect her so badly. Therefore, she's a whiner.

I have always been on the side that sees, It's the magnitude of what she's up against. So I have never had anything but admiration for Linden.

Why would Donaldson want to write about a past-wallowing whiner anyway?

I think Donaldson avoided this issue with Covenant, because of the nature of what Covenant was up against. Most people naturally see leprosy as horrible, and societal exile as horrible. So, we see Covenant as insufficient because of what he is up against. Not too many people have thought it was something he should "just get over". In fact, we applaud the vitriol and hellfire he brings forth as a defense against it.

As for his non-acceptance of the Land, people do think he should get over it. However, Donaldson goes out of his way, especially in the creation of Hile Troy, to explain why that's not an option for Covenant nor for the Land. It's addressed, if you will. If you follow the story, Donaldson moves you on the other side of the issue.

By creating Linden with emotional issues and spiritual issues, rather than physical and metaphysical issues, Donaldson has left it more open to the reader that all Linden's problems are things she could overcome with ease, or that we would would overcome if we were in the same boat. He does address this at some length with several expositions, but when one's mind is made up already, one tends to dismiss these expositions as more past-wallowing and whining. And there's no Hile Troy for Linden, either.

There are many people who compliment Donaldson for writing about strong women. (And, yes, they are speaking about Linden!) I think that these are people who recognize the magnitude of what Linden is up against and so are not dismissive of her issues. And I think these people are reading a story that is closer to what Donaldson wrote.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend, you make some very good points.

Like I said, it's hard for me to figure out exactly why I sympathize with Covenant, but find it much harder to do so with Linden.

Objectively, what she experienced as a child is horrific, and certainly every bit as damaging in its own way as Covenant's leprosy was to him (or more, even). And I certainly understand in real life that far lesser childhood traumas can remain with people throughout their lives.

Thinking more about it, from my perspective at least, some of the differences between the way I view Linden and Thomas Covenant follow from:

The distance from their traumas - Covenant's is recent and he's still experiencing the direct consequences of it, Linden's is 15 years past and she is well past any obvious external consequences of it.

Their role in the story. I suppose, even though TWL begins from Linden's perspective, I saw her from the start as secondary - "how will she impact Thomas Covenant's story", rather than seeing her as a co-equal protagonist. To be fair, the series is called "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant"! By the end of the Second Chronicles, it's clear that they are equals, but it's difficult, for me at least, to shake that initial viewpoint.

What kind of story Donaldson is telling. As you say, he's telling (especially in the Last Chronicles) a much more emotional story, and much more bound up in Linden's head, than the First or Second Chronicles were. The Land itself has been given far less weight in the Last Chronicles than in the Second, and the Second less than the First. I guess art of my feeling is that I am simply more interested and invested in the Land for itself than the Land as arena for Covenant (or Linden) to work out their issues in. And Donaldson has gone very, very far down that path in the Last Chronicles and with Linden especially.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, SRD has always used the Land as an arena/reflection of his protagonists' inner conflicts. But, that just means you find the conflict in the First Chronicles more poignant. Much like how Covenant's life had a lot of promise and joy that was destroyed by leprosy, we see this beautiful place being ravaged by some force that can not be defeated. As a result, the Land became a reflection of Covenant's leprosy life. Tough, though with some worthwhile points to fight for... at the same time, it was a reflection of just how much Linden was letting her past warp her life through the Sunbane (as wayfriend did an excellent job of pointing out, it's good to have you back!), which is probably why the Sunbane affected her much more than it affected Covenant.

The Last Chronicles seems to be a reflection of Linden's real life impossible struggles. Literally, she takes on the responsibilities of caring and helping people whom she can not figure out the problem of, let alone help. The Land she comes to know is an externalized representation of her view of the plights of Jeremiah, Joan, and others that she has decided to help.

Once again, if you like one conflict better then the other, I think it'll show in your preferences. I find the conflict in the Last Chronicles very intriguing, as a result it is my favorite.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

starkllr wrote:
The Land itself has been given far less weight in the Last Chronicles than in the Second, and the Second less than the First. I guess art of my feeling is that I am simply more interested and invested in the Land for itself than the Land as arena for Covenant (or Linden) to work out their issues in. And Donaldson has gone very, very far down that path in the Last Chronicles and with Linden especially.

I simply don't understand it when people say things like this: The Land is just as "there" as ever. And the point is: everything everyone loved about it exists, but it is under attack, it's f'ing dying right before your eyes. The world itself is trapped in a concentration camp. The people aren't "working out issues," they're picking up sticks and pebbles to battle against Armored divisions and Carrier groups.
How can you say Linden's rep exceeds her deeds? At the end of the 2nd, she made the entirety of the population of the Land, and the very Land itself, regrow it's missing arms, legs, and eyes, and stand up, walk, and see again.
And: she acts/accomplishes "in spite of" her problems...and that's a weakness? Which is more impressive, some woman with a broken leg pulling you out of a fire? Or one who had a broken leg 10 years ago, but it's healed now, pulling the fire alarm?
I'm bored saying this so it's the last time: if you just don't like Linden for whatever reason, fine. You are allowed.
If you think she's weak, or self-pitying, or wallowing you are simply, factually, textually, wrong. 100% wrong.
edited for a couple typos.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

starkllr wrote:
The distance from their traumas - Covenant's is recent and he's still experiencing the direct consequences of it, Linden's is 15 years past and she is well past any obvious external consequences of it.

I agree, that would contribute to more of a feeling that she should be 'over it'. This hadn't occurred to me. So good point.

starkllr wrote:
Their role in the story. I suppose, even though TWL begins from Linden's perspective, I saw her from the start as secondary - "how will she impact Thomas Covenant's story", rather than seeing her as a co-equal protagonist.

Another good point. People might have less patience for Linden's struggles, with wanting to get to the part about Covenant.

Vraith wrote:
If you think she's weak, or self-pitying, or wallowing you are simply, factually, textually, wrong. 100% wrong.

While this opinion will certainly get you into Linden's Army, I think it's fairer to say that Donaldson has left some other interpretations possible. And it may be worth the effort of seeing what is behind those interpretations.

I do think that once you have embraced the notion that Linden is weak and wallowing, this colors your interpretation of everything you read subsequently. Things that, to some, confirm her strength, others will see as confirming her weakness. (Balrog Wings.)

If this is so, then the only cure for Lindenitis is to reread the Chronicles from the beginning with an open mind.
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