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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:03 am    Post subject: FR related GI questions and answers Reply with quote

Specifically for FR related topics in the GI:

Quote:
Anonymous: I love your Thomas Covenant books, but why is Linden now the main star of the books? Aren't these the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant? I love Covenant far more than Linden. Don't get me wrong, she's an interesting character, but Covenant is the best thing in the series. Is he coming back? Is he going to once again be the focal point of the chronicles soon?

There are some general guidelines about point of view. (Exceptions exist, of course, but they're rare.) 1) Stories should be told from the POV of the person who has the most at stake. 2) Stories should be told from the POV of the person who serves as the best surrogate for the reader, either because the character needs to know the same things the reader needs to know, or because the character can tell the reader the things the reader needs to know. 3) Stories should be told from the POV of someone who *survives* the story. By all three standards, Linden's role as a POV character is, has been, and will continue to be essential. If that doesn't work for you, you probably wish I were writing a different story. But that isn't one of my choices--and *this* story can only be told the way I'm telling it.

Nevertheless I promise you--as I've been promising everyone since I started on "The Runes of the Earth"--that this story isn't called "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" gratuitously. The title isn't a trick, or a marketing ploy: it has substance. Give me time, and I'll prove it to you.

(11/15/2007)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Shelton: Mr. Donaldson. First thank you so much for your great stories. I have a question regarding the Giants. What is the general life expectancy for a giant? I ask (and I'm going into FR spoiler territory here), because Linden and company meet up with the First and Pitchwife's Grandson over 3,000 years after Linden knew The First and Pitchwife. I knew that the Giants were long lived but this meeting seems to suggest that a Giant's lifespan is much longer than I thought. Again thanks for the stories!

You can probably figure this out for yourself. Just count the generations, and you'll come up with a lifespan that's roughly what I had in mind when I first started working on "The Chronicles".

(11/15/2007)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, since Longwrath Exalt Widenworld Lostson is the grandson of Pitchwife and the First, let's see...

A giant's life expectancy can be seen to be about 1,200 Land years or so. That about right? Possibly more?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember correctly from the First Chronicles, Saltheart Foamfollower was born around the time of the Ritual of Desecration, which was about 1000 years before TC arrived, so a 1000 year plus for giants seems to be correct.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Foamfollower didn't seem to be elderly. More like middle-aged. There's no telling how long he could have lived. While we don't know how old any other Giant we've known was, nothing suggests they couldn't live to be 2k.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably more than 1200--we can assume that the First and Pitchwife's children were born relatively early in the 3500-year period between chrons. 3500 years seems to be about two generations. Around 1800 years--possibly more--seems more likely to be the lifespan.

I agree about FF--he seemed to be one of the younger giants left from Seareach (considering that few children had been born for a very long time).
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Steve: I have 2 questions for now.

First, I was wondering who healed Roger? Linden healed herself and Jeremiah's kept alive by the croyel, but how is it that Roger is healed?

Second, how did the Harrow study the Demondim if he isn't able to time travel? The Mahdoubt says that he cannot journey among the years, so what was there to study?

Enjoy your work ever so much!! Please write as quick as possible. It will be the longest 6 years of my life, but so worth the wait!! Smile

First, why not Lord Foul? Why not Kastenessen? Why not a Raver? Why not--this may be my best guess--Joan (guided by a Raver)? She may be crazy, but she still recognizes her son.

Second, how do archeologists study ANYthing? Past civilizations always leave artefacts--if you know where to look for them--and sometimes those artefacts shed astonishing amounts of light.

(11/21/2007)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:[b]
Quote:
Quote:
Steve: I have 2 questions for now.

First, I was wondering who healed Roger? Linden healed herself and Jeremiah's kept alive by the croyel, but how is it that Roger is healed?

Second, how did the Harrow study the Demondim if he isn't able to time travel? The Mahdoubt says that he cannot journey among the years, so what was there to study?

Enjoy your work ever so much!! Please write as quick as possible. It will be the longest 6 years of my life, but so worth the wait!!

First, why not Lord Foul? Why not Kastenessen? Why not a Raver? Why not--this may be my best guess--Joan (guided by a Raver)? She may be crazy, but she still recognizes her son.

Second, how do archeologists study ANYthing? Past civilizations always leave artefacts--if you know where to look for them--and sometimes those artefacts shed astonishing amounts of light.

(11/21/2007)


SRD's response to the Harrow's studying artifacts seems to fit with his character. He doesn't seem interested in any person, but rather in things, the tools they have/use. He can't move through time, but he can move across space. Seems like that'd be a great asset in searching for artefacts. Plus, he's extremely old like all of the Insequent seem to be.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Anonymous: Just finished Fatal Revenant -- well freakin' done. Seriously. This might be your best book yet, and it totally unravels my now-impoverished complaint about RotE: that Linden was not truly evolving as a character, and that ultimately the Last Chronicles would be a museum-styled romp through the Land's past and present courtesy of Linden Avery, tour guide and ubermom. I shouldn't have doubted!

SPOILERS:

These are minor complaints. Feel free to brush them off as trivial, because they are wholly symptomatic of that Douglas Adams' malaise you regularly roll your eyes at (and appropriately so). Still, I am at my heart a fan (who absorbed your book in a weekend), so I gotta ask these things. Plus, my wife hasn't read the books yet, and my co-workers' tastes are polarized between Dan Brown and Vladimir Nabokov -- so here I am, howling trivia. Sad

I am torn on the introduction of The Insequent. Truly, they are *cool* -- come on, they're like magical X-Men with the delightfully atypical SRD slant -- but MAN, the Mahdoubt's brush-off regarding their lack of presence in previous TC adventures doesn't ring well. Will the 3rd and 4th books excuse their lack of presence in previous Chronicles more fully, or are they simply fascinating new inventions and I should get the heck over it? (Consistency; hobgoblin; lesser minds; yeah yeah.)

Second, the Battle of the Titans multi-melee in the latter third: did you hafta cram EVERY possible force into the fray? It got a little <i>deus ex machina</i> there with the Raver and then the Sandgorgons showing up. Was this just a "for fun" action bit, or is this confluence of various nemeses a deliberate augur of something larger? (By this I don't mean the obvious HOLY CRAP THE LAND REALLY IS EFFED, but that there will be a revealed reason for having so many disparate parties converging in one space at one time to duke it out.)

Don't interpret this as criticism -- seriously, don't! -- because when a fantasy novel is as good as Fatal Revenant was, eyebrows get raised for only the most inauspicious of reasons. I'm only asking because you're listening! (No, I'm asking because I'm a nerd.)

Thanks for a GREAT read -- you made my season.

1) The Insequent. There's an underlying issue here. In the approximately 20 years that I *wasn't* working on "Covenant," my good ol' subconscious had plenty of time to come up with new ideas, some of which are a d*mn sight *better* than the ones I had while I was working on "The Second Chronicles." Inevitably this has introduced--and will no doubt continue to introduce--some internal inconsistencies. Well, I'll do everything I can to minimize those inconsistencies. But I'm not going to turn my back on good ideas just because I failed to plan for them perfectly 25+ years ago. We're all just going to have to live with the occasional snag.

2) The EITKS (everything including the kitchen sink) problem in the battle of First Woodhelven. I'm well aware of it. And I did it on purpose. Because, well, because I like writing that way. And because its efficient. I mean that it solved several (admittedly oblique) storytelling problems simultaneously. And because I couldn't think of better ways to handle those problems. Every other approach seemed to rely on devices that would have (trust me) felt even more contrived.

Besides, this is an EITKS kind of story. <grin>

(11/28/2007)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Besides, this is an EITKS kind of story. <grin>


Oh, freak'n YAH! Love it.
And great geeky-goodness question from Anonymous.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we have a confirmation of one point, and an answer I don't like.

In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
Jon Webster: Hi Mr. Donaldson,

Thank you so much for the wonderful books that you have written and have been mine to enjoy for the last 25 years of my life.

This is a simple question, but probably does not have a simple answer. If time travel is possible, why can't any number of characters who desire ultimate destruction, like Kastenessan, LF, or Roger just go back in time and change the course of history, which would destroy the arch of time?

Also, why did Lord Foul never use the Power of Command to wake the Worm?

Sincerely,

Jon
    You're right: simple question; complex answer(s). Most of what I have to say on the subject is stated or implied in "Fatal Revenant". But briefly. If Time itself, and the whole structure of Law, weren't already under attack, time travel would not be possible (except, one assumes, for the Elohim, who have no interest in destroying anything). Meanwhile the Elohim consider it their mandate to protect the Arch. They certainly wouldn't let Kastenessen--of all beings--wander around in that way. They only leave Roger and Jeremiah alone because Linden is with them. And as a part of the Arch himself, Covenant fights constantly to fend off the forces of collapse.

    As for LF. Being a prisoner of Time, he probably can't travel through it. (If he could, this entire story would have fallen apart long before "Lord Foul's Bane". <sigh>) And since he's incorporeal, drinking the EarthBlood would be a difficult feat.

    (12/05/2007)

I find it difficult to believe that the Elohim, Esmer, Roger, Jeremiah, and who knows how many Insequent, can travel through Time, but Lord Foul can't.

( Yeah, he's "imprisoned", but that's a relative term in this case. He is trapped in what is, for the other beings in the world, "normal existance". )
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Foul is IMPRISONED in the Arch of Time, isn't that part of his punishment, to have to live through time sequentially without his freedom to move around in or out of time?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cameraman Jenn wrote:
Lord Foul is IMPRISONED in the Arch of Time, isn't that part of his punishment, to have to live through time sequentially without his freedom to move around in or out of time?


Yeah, he's "imprisoned", but that's a relative term in this case. He is trapped in what is, for the other beings in the world, "normal existance".

In other words, his prison is being stuck being like everyone else.

Does his imprisonment mean he is bound by time MORE than everyone else inside the Arch of Time? I never thought so. If the Creator could have placed restrictions on what Foul could do, above and beyond being trapped in the Arch, there would be no story.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved SRD's answer to the question from Anonymous. Very Happy

As for the answer you don't like Wayfriend, I got the idea that the Insequent and the Elohim have some ability to move through time because it is an innate part of who they are. Roger achieves this because he has been given the ability by receiving Kastenessan's hand, and he takes Jeremiah along for the ride in the same way he took Linden along for the ride, and Esmer inherited it from Kastenessan.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LF can't move through time for the same reason I can't swim through dirt the way little worms can... I was built too big for that world, whereas they were built specifically for it.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: yeah Reply with quote

that was me that asked that question to donaldson. I find that every question asked to him seems to open even more questions.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seppi2112 wrote:
LF can't move through time for the same reason I can't swim through dirt the way little worms can... I was built too big for that world, whereas they were built specifically for it.


that's not too shabby an answer.

--
also, in what way would it benefit Lord Foul to travel through time? he sort of has eternity anyway. and his other means of influence suffice (like leading Rockworm to find the Illearth Stone).

(arguably, perhaps he already has or will travel through time. and he's already laid down his seeds of evil like the Ravers...)

--
heh, finally, i like how SRD brushed off the "inconsistencies" that people are bringing up. his explanation that the Insequent idea came after writing the second chronicles explains quite a lot. glad he put them in despite the potential and real inconsistencies.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
2) The EITKS (everything including the kitchen sink) problem in the battle of First Woodhelven. I'm well aware of it. And I did it on purpose. Because, well, because I like writing that way. And because its efficient. I mean that it solved several (admittedly oblique) storytelling problems simultaneously. And because I couldn't think of better ways to handle those problems. Every other approach seemed to rely on devices that would have (trust me) felt even more contrived.

Besides, this is an EITKS kind of story. <grin>


He likes writing that way? Since when? Why does that scene stick out like a sore thumb if he likes writing that way? Wouldn't we have noticed it before?

I think he peaked with the Gap series. But please, Donaldson, prove me wrong!!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Bryan Flynn: Steve, I donít know where youíre going with this chronicle, but itís a magnificent journey getting there. The ending of ďFatal RevenantĒ was transcendent: while reading of ďHynís dolorous whickeringĒ I thought I could hear Lord Foul laughing. But I realized I was hearing you, chortling as you typed another jaw-dropping cliffhanger. Hyn had nothing on my own dolorous whickering as I turned the last page.

Thank you. I canít wait for ďAgainst All Things Ending.Ē

My question is about the large role that parenthood is playing in the Last Chronicles. Was it part of your original envisioning of the Last Chronicles back in the 80s to use these relationships? And if so has it changed over time?

As a parent Iím having a different reader response to the Last Chronicles than I did to the previous books. Itís more intimate in some way. Are you finding something similar as you write the story?

Best regards,

Bryan J. Flynn


In some ways, this resembles all the questions I've been getting about the Insequent. You have to let me come up with SOME new ideas. After all, my imagination and I didn't spend 20 years in stasis.

So no, way back in the early 80s I didn't foresee the role that parenthood would play in "The Last Chronicles". (I wasn't a parent myself in those days.) As soon as I started writing on TROTE, however, I realized that something was missing from my conception of the story. Something vital. Something without which I wouldn't be able to go where I intended to go. And after some weeks of mental floundering, my subconscious finally gave me Jeremiah. Who was implied by Roger, and who in turn implied Anele.

As direct consequence, this story has become for me--as it has for you--more "intimate" than the previous "Chronicles".

(12/20/2007)


I find this quite fascinating. Given the fact that the theme of parenthood is so prominent in The Last Chronicles, I think to myself "what did he have in mind when he first started to write ROTE"!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Roger led to both Jeremiah and Anele?
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