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Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:56 am    Post subject: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

For all the power that they have ever held, it seems that the Unbeliever and the Chosen are always on the verge of prostration. Whether they are traversing the Despiser's unnatural winter, or marching towards Revelstone beneath the Sunbane, or fleeing a sea of kresh, we seldom see them healthy or whole or at full strength. Instead, they are often as Linden and Stave are now - exhausted, depleted, close to death.

Having only been gone two days, it would appear that participation in the horserite is the reason for their weakness, yet she is unable to speak of what transpired, while he is unwilling.

Quote:
'Let the Chosen speak of it,' he answered, 'if she is able.' Behind it's exhaustion, his voice hinted at chargin and old shame. 'I will not.'


When Linden is recovered enough to speak of her experience, she is initially overwhelmed by one thought - one thought that dominates all others.

Quote:
'Just Hyn and Hynyn,' she croaked hoarsely. No other Ranyhyn. 'The others couldn't bear it. They're too ashamed.'


This is a surprise for the Ramen, and likely for us as readers as well. What do the Ranyhyn have to be ashamed of? Tail of the sky, mane of the world - what action would they deem so terrible that only two of all their number would be sent to the horserite?

Quote:
'Because of Elena,' Linden explained as clearly as she could, although she had no words. 'That's why the Ranyhyn are ashamed. The horserite doomed her.'


So we learn that as she ran with Hyn and Hynyn and Stave, Linden do not see the betrayal of Kelenbhrabanal by Fangthane as Elena had done so many years ago, but instead images of the former High Lord herself.

Quote:
At that time, Elena was a young girl, lovely as only a child could be, and innocent in spite of her mother's instability. Lena had been deranged by violation and yearning, rendered unfit to raise a child. And both of Lena's parents, Trell and Atiaran, had been broken to some extent by the crime against their daughter. Thus Elena was effectively abandoned by her own family; left to the care of a young, unregarded man who adored Lena. For the Land's sake, he had effectively adopted Elena. His embittered tenderness, and the boon of the Ranyhyn, were all that sustained her.

To Linden, the girl's loneliness and need were as vivid as Jeremiah's, as acute as her son's compelling maiming. The great horses had seen Elena clearly. Once each year, every year, an old stallion had approached Mithil Stonedown in order to relieve Lena's bereavement; and so he had witnessed again and again how the child's life was transformed for that brief time. When the mare Myrha had taken the stallions place, she had seen her potency in Elena's heart more vividly than any man or woman who might have loved the child.


The Ranyhyn, perceiving something within Elena that no one else could, had taken her to the tarn to join in the horserite to warn her - to show her the Kelenbhrabanal was blinded by arrogance when he offered his throat to the Render.

Quote:
Better to combat Fangthane directly and die than to believe that some grand sacrifice might alter Fangthane's nature - or the Land's fate.


Elena did not hear, or did not heed this warning however. Instead, Kelenbhrabanal became like a mythical hero to be revered, as did Kevin Landwaster, for his sacrifice was much the same as the Father of Horse's.

It should also be noted however, that neither Covenant nor Linden heeded this warning in White Gold Wielder - both sacrificed themselves in different ways to save or heal the Land. Such is the paradox of white gold, a paradox which did not encompass Elena in spite of her parentage.

Quote:
The horserite had not dissuaded her from ruin. Rather it had set her more firmly on the path to distruction.


Yet Elena's story in itself, while poignant for us as readers, is scant reason on its own for Linden to be included in the horserite.

The reason they took Linden is to warn her that they fear she will follow in Elena's footsteps.

Quote:
Their minds united with her, Hyn and Hynyn retold the same story as if it had happened to Linden rather than Elena; as if Linden's mother and father and been Atiran and Trell as well as Lena and Covenant. And she experienced it with them: it transpired anew. It held the same abandonment and grief, the same failed cherishing, the same loneliness - and the same exalting in-rush of love for the Ranyhyn. Mercilessly, Hyn and hynyn described Elena's introduction to the murder and betrayal of Kelenbhrabanal as if that crisis were indistinguishable from Linden's experience of the Land with Covenant under the Sunbane.


Finally, the Ranyhyn allow Linden to experience what is being done to her son so that she may know how she brings about destruction.

Quote:
Yet the visions of the horserite were unutterably cruel; for when she reached out to Covenant and Jeremiah, trying to restore them with herself, the Worm of the World's End squirmed from Covenant's mouth, and her son's dear face seemed to break open and become vile, bitter as Despite.


Yet, in the face of the warning of the Ranyhyn, Linden still decides to press on with her chosen plan. To travel to the Land's past and recover the lost Staff of Law.

However, when the time comes and Esmer had summoned a caesure to bare her into the past, the Ranyhyn stand beside her, to the extent that they agree to bare not only Linden and Stave, but Anele, Liand, Mahrtiir, Bhapa and Pahni also.

And before she leaves, she is farewelled by her beloved.

Quote:
'Go now, beloved. While you can. Just be wary of me. Remember that I'm dead.'

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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I know I missed out the whole Esmer section, but he has been discussed to death, and I felt that the horserite was the key part of this chapter.

There were too things that made me question in this chapter. The first was the following quote.

Quote:
Mercilessly, Hyn and Hynyn described Elena's introduction to the murder and betrayal of Kelenbhrabanal as if that crisis were indistinguishable from Linden's experience of the Land with Covenant under the Sunbane.


What lesson did Linden not learn during her previous time in the Land? Surely, at the last, she learned from both Brinn and Covenant and followed their examples admirably?

The second has to do with Covenant's farewell to Linden.

Quote:
'Go now, beloved. While you can. Just be wary of me. Remember that I'm dead.'


This suggests to me that Covenant knows where Linden is going - what she is planning - and that he approves, or at least doesn't disapprove. Her memory of him telling her to trust herself is also telling in this regard, as Linden has thought all along that she needed to recover the Staff of Law. As a tool it is more suitable than the white gold, for her at least.

Fatal Revenant spoiler:

Spoiler:
We know that in Fatal Revenant, Covenant will ask, 'Linden, what have you done?' I do not think that he is talking about her going into the Land's past and retrieving the Staff of Law.


[mod edit, just to be on the safe side Wink]
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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good, VS!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Don. Very Happy
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In the name of their ancient pride and humiliation, they had made commitments with no possible outcome except bereavement.

He knew only that they had never striven to reject the boundaries of themselves.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was one of my favourite 'gut-wrencher' chapters. There is so much emotion in this one, and it's all focused on/through Linden.
Variol, I agree of your assessment of Covenant's message to Linden. It is so brief and sweet.
Spoiler:
And regardless of TC's revenant-like appearance, I think this time both 'heroes' will be fighting, not just for the Land, but for loved ones specifically instead of their own inner demons.
Linder for her son.
TC for Joan.


My only regret is that you didn't go in to one of my favourite parts of this chapter: when the Ramen are confronted with the notion that the Ranyhyn want them to ride!
Oh MAN! That was great! And when Mahrtiir gives that stirring speach about the Ramen changing their manner of service because the Ranyhyn have also chosen.... wow .. powerful stuff!

Smile
Good stuff variol
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to re-read the chapter before I try to comment but I'll say this for the moment:

MAKE THAT SPOILER CLEAR THAT IT'S A FATAL REVENANT SPOILER!!!!!!!!!

Fortunately I caught myself before I read too much. We've all gotten used to spoilers from future Runes chapters, and since most of us have read the whole thing, we just go ahead and read the spoilers. But not this one!!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, don't watch the little FR trailer on SRD's homepage. That's where the line vs mentioned comes from.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relayer wrote:
I want to re-read the chapter before I try to comment but I'll say this for the moment:

MAKE THAT SPOILER CLEAR THAT IT'S A FATAL REVENANT SPOILER!!!!!!!!!

Fortunately I caught myself before I read too much. We've all gotten used to spoilers from future Runes chapters, and since most of us have read the whole thing, we just go ahead and read the spoilers. But not this one!!


Done, thanks!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
In that case, don't watch the little FR trailer on SRD's homepage. That's where the line vs mentioned comes from.

I've been avoiding it... thanks! It sure is tempting though! Smile
And thanks for re-spoilering it.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

Thanks for the kickoff, VS. This is such an awesome chapter! I particularly admire the way it opens. There's a discontinuity in the story, as if the horserite was too asymptotic for us to stay along. And the imagery of the riders returning in the rain ... Stave slumping by the fireside ... just really good stuff.

variol son wrote:
Quote:
'Just Hyn and Hynyn,' she croaked hoarsely. No other Ranyhyn. 'The others couldn't bear it. They're too ashamed.'
This is a surprise for the Ramen, and likely for us as readers as well. What do the Ranyhyn have to be ashamed of? Tail of the sky, mane of the world - what action would they deem so terrible that only two of all their number would be sent to the horserite?

Quote:
'Because of Elena,' Linden explained as clearly as she could, although she had no words. 'That's why the Ranyhyn are ashamed. The horserite doomed her.'

I read this just a little bit differently. I don't think that it is failure, or at least failure alone, which shamed them. I think there is one other component.
Quote:
Now the Ranyhyn saw that they had fallen prey to an arrogance of their own. Discerning Elena's vulnerability, they had believed themselves wise enough to guide her future.

The Ranyhyn have discovered that they were arrogant. Or at least, they acted so with Elena. This caused them to exceed themselves, to attempt to control the future when it was beyond their wisdom to do so. And that is what caused them to fail - it was beyond their wisdom, and their meddling went awry. (And doesn't that always work out in Foul's favor?)

variol son wrote:
It should also be noted however, that neither Covenant nor Linden heeded this warning in White Gold Wielder - both sacrificed themselves in different ways to save or heal the Land. Such is the paradox of white gold, a paradox which did not encompass Elena in spite of her parentage.

That, VS, goes straight to the CORE! No one in the Land can defeat Foul. Anyone who tries is doomed to failure, and to the consequences of failure. Anyone who sacrifices themselves to defeat Foul is throwing their life away and sowing despair. But Covenant and Linden are different. Because they can win, they have choices, more choices than the people of the Land do. They can make sacrifices which make a difference against Foul.

Even the Ranyhyn are not immune. The Ranyhyn had shown Elena the arrrogance of KelenBrahbanal's despair. Failure was preferable to violation.

- - - - - - - - - - -

I have a bunch of things worth I want to bring up. Please comment!

God, so many important points in this chapter....


Question "[The Ranyhyn] saw far ahead in time; sensed the danger which would confront Elena years later." This confirms my belief that the Ranyhyn can do more than parlour tricks like answering whistles when it comes to Time. They have more talents than we otherwise could have guessed.

Question "[The Rnayhyn] caused her to experience what was being done to her son." Up until this point, I was following along. Now it gets positively cryptic for a page!

First of all, what does that mean, experienceing what was being done to her son? At first, it sounds like getting a glimpse of where Jeremiah is, seeing what he is seeing. But that's not what Linden experiences at all.

Instead, she gets a vision. A vision filled with strange transpositions. Wait ... A Vision Filled With Strange Transpositions?!?! You mean ... like when she was summoned?!!?!?!?!?!

I have to wonder ... could the Ranyhyn have given Linden her visions when she was summoned? The visions now and the visions then have the same basic message. And the Ranyhyn can see far ahead in time, which would explain why they could give Linden a vision that felt like a prophecy. And there's this transposition thing, which seems like a common trait.

Okay, maybe this isn't exactly correct ... but the coincidences have to mean SOMETHING. (Curse you, Donaldson!)

And what is the vision? One in which Jeremiah's condition is a little like being possessed by a Raver, and a little like the stasis of the Elohim. And that's the second time the suggestion has been made that Jeremiah's condition is like the stasis. Could it be .... that Jeremiah's condition is some sort of stasis caused by a Raver?

Another important thing here is the reinforcement of the assumption that Linden can use her percipience to heal Jeremiah somehow.

But of course, that is bad. The Ranyhyn see the end of the earth when Linden enters Jeremiah to heal him. NOTE: not to free him, but to heal him, to end his stasis. But don't we already know that that is Foul's trap, the reason why he captured Jeremiah in the first place? And the Ranyhyn don't want Linden to fall for it ... they warn her.

But guess what? Life and death are too intimately interwoven. Linden HAS to take the bait, even knowing that it is a trap. Because that's how Foul's traps work -- if you don't take the bait, you hate yourself, you are a traitor to what you stand for. And the only way to win is to take that bait, knowing that it is exactly what Foul wants.

And this goes back to what I said above: the people of the Land cannot follow that path, it is only for Covenant and Linden. The Ranyhyn fear that Linden will spring the trap ... but they don't know, they don't see that Linden can do what the Ranyhyn cannot. Fortunately, the Ranyhyn are now so ashamed that they will not thwart Linden even fearing the trap that she is heading into.

And that, ultimately, is what "what was being done to her son" is about. It's about showing how Jeremiah is a trap. And maybe it's also about showing how he might be freed from his trap.

Question If the malice in the storm is not from Esmer, who is it from? Mr. K? LFtD?

Question At one point, Stave avers that the Ramen can follow the Ranyhyn through a ceasure, that their bond is enough. That seems crazy for two reasons. One, because no way. And, two, how does Stave know one way or the other?

Question When Linden asks Esmer about his connection to Kastenessen, he replies, "He is my grandsire. I serve him utterly. As I also serve you."

What a double-edged answer! Think about how Esmer serves Linden - he serves with a healthy dose of enmity. Does he serve Kastenessen the same way?!?!

Which brings the question, when Esmer veers from side to side, what are the sides? Linden or Kastenessen? Kastenessen or merewives?

This is important because maybe it means that either Kastenessen or the merewives is on the same side as Linden.

Question Esmer says "The Elohim speak of Würd as the ur-viles do of Weird. There is also the Worm of the World's End. It is my doom. I have no other answer."

Love It! Würd/Weird/Worm!

This is in response to Linden's question, is he on her side. I presume this response means, I cannot change my destiny, I can only choose how I will meet it. Esmer cannot be except what he is; he will help her, but only as he can, no promises can be made.

Question It seems as if the ur-viles have attempted to "pierce" Anele's madness before. Creatures make Anele remember!.

I, like Linden, want to know what they are after.

Question "Go now, beloved. While you can. Just be wary of me. Remember that I'm dead."

I am thinking about Donaldson's recent remarks in the GI. Which I won't quote here ... ha ha. "Be wary of me" might refer to the restrictions of the Dead, in revealing what they know. There's many ways that Covenant will not be able to help Linden. So Linden needs to stear her course in a way so that she does not rely on Covenant to help her.

Sound maybe right?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rereading what I just posted, I have a prediction: Before the end, Linden will try to heal Jeremiah's stasis, because it will be the only way to free him from Lord Foul.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post WayFriend.

WayFriend wrote:
Which brings the question, when Esmer veers from side to side, what are the sides? Linden or Kastenessen? Kastenessen or merewives?


Haruchai / Elohim?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When Linden asks Esmer about his connection to Kastenessen, he replies, "He is my grandsire. I serve him utterly. As I also serve you."

What a double-edged answer! Think about how Esmer serves Linden - he serves with a healthy dose of enmity. Does he serve Kastenessen the same way?!?!


This makes sense - everytime Esmer helps Linden, he goes against Kasty - and vice versa.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that really true?

When Esmer "silenced" Anele, it was at the urge of the merewives. When he forces Covenant out of Anele, that too is at the request of the merewives. Esmer beats up Stave to expel his loathing, loathing which when expelled allows him to help Linden - but the loathing comes from the merewives, does it not?

It seems like he chooses between Linden and Merewives more than anything else.

If Kastenessen is also at odds with Merewives (speculation), then it makes even more sense for Esmer to claim he serves Kastenessen and Linden similarly.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
At one point, Stave avers that the Ramen can follow the Ranyhyn through a ceasure, that their bond is enough. That seems crazy for two reasons. One, because no way. And, two, how does Stave know one way or the other?

Good question. From all that we know, Stave only learned that the Ramen and Ranyhyn still exist a few days ago... so there's no precedent for him to know about their potential abilities with caesures.

Unless the Ramen told him something. Which I seriously doubt, because a) they don't like him and probably wouldn't volunteer any type of information, and b) they wouldn't know either.

Or would they? I've mentioned before my suspicion that the Ramen know more about lore, power, falls, etc. than they're letting on. It wouldn't surprise me if lots of people knew more than they're telling Smile

Of course, as it turns out, it becomes a moot point when the Ranyhyn offer themselves to the Ramen.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
Now the Ranyhyn saw that they had fallen prey to an arrogance of their own. Discerning Elena's vulnerability, they had believed themselves wise enough to guide her future.[/size]
The Ranyhyn have discovered that they were arrogant. Or at least, they acted so with Elena. This caused them to exceed themselves, to attempt to control the future when it was beyond their wisdom to do so. And that is what caused them to fail - it was beyond their wisdom, and their meddling went awry. (And doesn't that always work out in Foul's favor?)


There is a lot similarity in your statement between what the Ranyhyn did with Elena and what the Haruchai (Masters) are doing with the people of the land. Perhaps this is why Stave wont talk about it. I wonder if at this point he is wrestling with the idea that perhaps the Haruchai have been wrong about their mastery of the land for all these years.

Quote:
'Let the Chosen speak of it,' he answered, 'if she is able.' Behind it's exhaustion, his voice hinted at chargin and old shame. 'I will not.'

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

Relayer wrote:
Wayfriend wrote:
At one point, Stave avers that the Ramen can follow the Ranyhyn through a ceasure, that their bond is enough. That seems crazy for two reasons. One, because no way. And, two, how does Stave know one way or the other?

Good question. From all that we know, Stave only learned that the Ramen and Ranyhyn still exist a few days ago... so there's no precedent for him to know about their potential abilities with caesures.

I'm thinking, if Stave knows anything, he knows about service. Perhaps he extrapolates about the Ramen based on the Haruchai's fundamental experiences with service - and the paranormal abilities that service gives you in the Land. Also, he may know something about ceasures. . .

SoulBiter wrote:
I wonder if at this point he is wrestling with the idea that perhaps the Haruchai have been wrong about their mastery of the land for all these years.

Excellent observation. I had thought Stave was having a change of heart when he gave up trying to oppose Linden. Perhaps, because he carried that going into the horserite, he took away something that is a lesson pertaining to the Masters.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
I'm thinking, if Stave knows anything, he knows about service. Perhaps he extrapolates about the Ramen based on the Haruchai's fundamental experiences with service - and the paranormal abilities that service gives you in the Land. Also, he may know something about ceasures. . .

That's an interesting point about service. I had actually typed something similar but lost the msg and had to restart... the perils of being on a business trip with my work computer Embarassed

My thought was that because of the service between the Bloodguard and their Ranyhyn, the Haruchai had learned of the nature of their bond, and Stave was able to extrapolate from that to the Ramen.

And as to caesures, what do the Masters know about them that Stave hasn't said? Why do they call them "falls"? Surely they have investigated them in the last 100 years (or earlier? since one caught Anele 3000 years ago, it could've been Haruchai from any time since then). The Haruchai seek to measure themselves against the toughest foes they can... we can probably assume that one or more of them tried to stand against a fall, or purposely entered one. And were undoubtedly lost to their "current" time, but may have emerged and found other Masters in a later time, and thus able to learn that they were rips in time...

So what else do the Masters know?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: Runes, Part 2, Chapter 4 - Heedless in Rain Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:

Question "[The Rnayhyn] caused her to experience what was being done to her son." Up until this point, I was following along. Now it gets positively cryptic for a page!

First of all, what does that mean, experienceing what was being done to her son? At first, it sounds like getting a glimpse of where Jeremiah is, seeing what he is seeing. But that's not what Linden experiences at all.

Instead, she gets a vision.

And what is the vision? One in which Jeremiah's condition is a little like being possessed by a Raver, and a little like the stasis of the Elohim. And that's the second time the suggestion has been made that Jeremiah's condition is like the stasis. Could it be .... that Jeremiah's condition is some sort of stasis caused by a Raver?

Another important thing here is the reinforcement of the assumption that Linden can use her percipience to heal Jeremiah somehow.

But of course, that is bad. The Ranyhyn see the end of the earth when Linden enters Jeremiah to heal him. NOTE: not to free him, but to heal him, to end his stasis. But don't we already know that that is Foul's trap, the reason why he captured Jeremiah in the first place? And the Ranyhyn don't want Linden to fall for it ... they warn her.

But guess what? Life and death are too intimately interwoven. Linden HAS to take the bait, even knowing that it is a trap. Because that's how Foul's traps work -- if you don't take the bait, you hate yourself, you are a traitor to what you stand for. And the only way to win is to take that bait, knowing that it is exactly what Foul wants.


And that, ultimately, is what "what was being done to her son" is about. It's about showing how Jeremiah is a trap. And maybe it's also about showing how he might be freed from his trap.


Man the Ranyhyn are clever! They let Linden know that her son is alive and can possibly be rescued--this gives her hope to continue her quest. The only problem is that she can't use her healing powers on him. What a mess.
The Ranyhyn must be torn. They possess an incredible power that can either aid the Land or help destroy it. So what do they do? If they remain silent, what they see is lost to whomever might use the vision to the Land's advantage. Yet if the great horses share what they see, the person who is granted the vision might second guess every move he makes in an effort to prevent the realization of the vision; or the vision could be misinterpreted.
Since the Ranyhyn know the power of their visions, they don't reveal them to just anybody. Hopefully Linden will make the most of what she has seen.




Relayer wrote:

And as to caesures, what do the Masters know about them that Stave hasn't said? Why do they call them "falls"? Surely they have investigated them in the last 100 years (or earlier? since one caught Anele 3000 years ago, it could've been Haruchai from any time since then). The Haruchai seek to measure themselves against the toughest foes they can... we can probably assume that one or more of them tried to stand against a fall, or purposely entered one. And were undoubtedly lost to their "current" time, but may have emerged and found other Masters in a later time, and thus able to learn that they were rips in time...

So what else do the Masters know?


Interesting. I assumed the Masters studied the Caesures and made certain assumptions about them. I figured what they learned through observations (not sure what they've learned) had something to do with calling them Falls. It would be like them to challenge a Caesure though wouldn't it? Smile

I'm sure the Masters know lots of stuff! Can't wait to find out what they know.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, after reading the Prince of Nothing series, I'm back to Runes. I obviously have a lot of catching up to do.

Wayfriend, I agree completely that the comparison of Covenant's sacrifice to Kelenbhrabanal's sacrifice goes to the core. That part leapt out at me during this reading. However, I'm not as hopeful as you when it comes to Covenant or Linden being so different from everyone else in the Land that they are able to alter this point. If they were, then why warn Linden at all about the consequences of sacrifice? Surely there must be a danger--even for people outside the Land--for this to be the Ranyhyn's main point. The only difference I see is the one stated in the book: Linden is not a child (she can take a more revealing revelation than Elena could) and the Ranyhyn recognize the danger of their own "holding back" with Elena. I'm sure they got the point across exactly how they wanted this time (though Linden is still capable of misinterpreting or second guessing). That point is: sacrifice isn't the way to fight Fangthane.

What does this mean to the end of WGW? Is Covenant's sacrifice--his apparent victory--as shortsighted as Kelenbhrabanal's? I predict we're going to see some dire consequences from that act, consequences which will force us to reinterpret Covenant's apparent victory. Maybe it even has something to do with Kevin's Dirt. Or the reason Lord Foul is back. It is certainly no coincidence that Donaldson explicitly linked his sacrifice to the horserite and Kelenbhrabanal's sacrifice.

After all, Elena's mistake was that she
Quote:
"had learned something akin to worship for Kelenbhrabanal. His sacrifice had seemed splendid to her: an act of valor so transcendental that it could not be tainted or surpassed."
We are told:
Quote:
"Better to combat Fangthane directly and die than to believe that some grand sacrifice might alter Fangthane's nature--or the Land's fate."


I see no evidence that people outside the Land--Linden or Covenant--are sufficiently different to avoid these lessons. Covenant was wrong. Caer-Caveral was wrong. Kevin was wrong. These people keep giving up life, when they should be fighting for it. I don't see that lesson being altered.

I predict we're going to see Linden given the chance to sacrifice herself to save either the Land or Jeremiah (probably both). And though it will seem like the noble or correct thing to do, it will be wrong.
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