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The Power that Preserves. Ch. 14: Only Those Who Hate

 
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 5:01 am    Post subject: The Power that Preserves. Ch. 14: Only Those Who Hate Reply with quote

Covenant awakes in the cave, and in a rather detatched manner, notices his clothing and his surroundings, including the recently deceased healer. He realizes that his body has been healed in places. His ankle is whole, his frostbite is gone, and he feels a warmness in his bones. His leprosy, however, is unaffected.
Quote:
For that reason he remained unmoved in the hollow center of his healing. He was a leper and had no business exposing himself to the risks of passion.

Looking at the dead woman, he realizes that his idea of a direct confrontation was flawed and just more manipulation by Foul. He could not succeed in this task any more than he could succeed in making it across the land in Foul's winter unaided.
Quote:
A leper's end- prescribed and circumscribed for him by the law of his illness-awaited him not far down the road of his life.

He leaves the cave of the healer in the white robe, seeing his original clothes, but leaving them as his way of accepting the sacrifice the healer made for him. He also decides to leave barefoot, partially because he didn't want to wear his infection soaked sandals and partially because he came into the Land barefoot. Personally, I think there's some kind of metaphor here, but I don't see it and think it's kind of a stupid thing to do.
Quote:
Then he shrugged his way out of the cave, muttering, as if the word were a talisman he had learned from her sacrifice, "Mercy."

Once again, Covenant is on his way out of Morinmoss in a white robe. This time he's taking great care to avoid disturbing the forest, and he comes out without the green stains. I'd like to think that this means that Covenant has a clean conscience for once, but I invite other speculations.

Once outside of Morinmoss, Covenant sees a figure down by Roamsedge Ford. He makes his way down to the Ford, and from the pattern of crossed lightning embroidered on the cloak, realizes the person is Triock. I hope I'm not spoiling the surprise for anyone, but I think it's readily apparent that Triock is possessed by a Raver. This is ironic, considering the first time we meet Triock, Atiaran asks him if he Raves. You can see the Raver's hold on Triock slacking when Covenant asks if he saw Lena and when he tells Triock what happened to Foamfollower.

Triock has been waiting outside of Morinmoss for Covenant, obviously because the Raver inside fears the forest (and this with no Forestal to guide it!). At first, one might think his purpose is to take the ring, but he scoffs at Pietten's attempt to do so or the foolish believe that he would be allowed to keep it. His stated intention is to take Covenant to Ridjeck Thome to oppose Foul, and he gets violent with Covenant when he learns of his change of heart. In explaining why, this chapter becomes an almost overt summation and explanation of Covenant's motivation and the dual reality/unreality of the Land.
Quote:
"The only way you can kill me is if I'm dying in my own world. You saw me-when you summoned me. Maybe you could kill me. But if I'm really dying, it doesn't matter whether you kill me or not. I'll get killed somehow. Dreams are like that.

I apologize for the length of this quote, but it doesn't get stated anywhere better than this.
Quote:
"The only way you can kill me is if I'm dying in my own world. You saw me-when you summoned me. Maybe you could kill me. But if I'm really dying, it doesn't matter whether you kill me or not. I'll get killed somehow. Dreams are like that.
"But before you decide, let me try to tell you why-why I'm not going to Foul's Creche."
He got painfully to his feet. He wanted to go to Triock, look deeply into the man's face, but Triock's conflicting passions kept him at a distance.
"I'm not exactly innocent. I know that. I told you it was my fault, and it is. But it isn't all my fault. Lena and Elena and Atiaran-and Giants and Ranyhyn and Ramen and Bloodguard-and you-it isn't all my fault. All of you made decisions for yourselves. Lena made her own decision when she tried to save me from punishment-after I raped her. Atiaran made her own decision when she helped me get to Revelstone. Elena made her own decision when she drank the EarthBlood. You made your own decision- you decided to be loyal to the Oath of Peace. None of it is entirely my doing."
"You talk as if we exist," Triock growled bitterly.
"As far as my responsibility goes, you do. I don't control my nightmares. Part of me-the part that's talking-is a victim, as you are. Just less innocent.
"But Foul has arranged it all. He-or the part of me that does the dreaming-has been arranging everything from the beginning. He's been manipulating me, and I finally figured out why. He wants this ring-he wants the wild magic. And he knows-knows! -- that if he can get me feeling guilty and responsible and miserable enough I'll try to fight him on his own ground-on his own terms.
" I can' t win a fight like that. I don' t know how to win it. So he wants me to do it. That way he ends up with everything. And I end up like any other suicide.
"Look at me, Triock! Look! You can see that I'm diseased. I'm a leper. It's carved into me so loud anybody could see it. And lepers- commit suicide easily. All they have to do is forget the law of staying alive. That law is simple, selfish, practical caution. Foul's done a pretty good job of making me forget it-that's why you might be able to kill me now if you want to. But if I've got any choice left, the only way I can use it is by remembering who I am. Thomas Covenant, leper. I've got to give up these impossible ideas of trying to make restitution for what I've done. I've got to give up guilt and duty, or whatever it is I'm calling responsibility these days. I've got to give up trying to make myself innocent again. It can't be done. It's suicide to try. And suicide for me is the only absolute, perfect way Foul can win. Without it, he doesn't get the wild magic, and it's just possible that somewhere, somehow, he'll run into something that can beat him.

Triock relents and persuades Covenant to eat and relax by the fire, a fire he creates by some arcane raver arts. He asks Covenant if he has given up hate. Covenant gives a lukewarm yes. Yes because it never works, and his hate is never pure since he always hates himself. Triock's response is, "It is the only answer. Look about you. Health, love, duty-none suffice against this winter. Only those who hate are immortal." Above all, Ravers hate life. You can almost sympathize with the Raver at this point.

Triock tries to talk Covenant into resuming his quest to defeat Foul, but while falling into a drugged sleep, Covenant still refuses. Just after Covenant loses consciousness, the "glaucous gleams" of Forestal magic make him wake and question what Triock has done to him. When he opens his eyes, he sees the Forestal's light. Wildwood is reaching out from Garroting Deep, through Morinmoss to where Covenant is. Triock is none too happy about it, and demands that Covenant get rid of them. Covenant responds to this by telling Triock he is powerless. At this, Triock laughs, grabs two of the lights in his fist and breaks them.

No longer fearing Covenant, Triock reveals his true identity - Turiya... Herem, Kinslaughterer. Covenant tries to goad Turiya into taking his ring, probably so that the use of force against him would trigger his power, but Turiya refuses, claiming that with the Law of Death being broken, Foul has unseen watchers keeping an eye on him. Ur-viles rush in, pressing the flat of their red blades against Covenant's forehead. The chapter ends with "Red waves of horror crashed through him. He screamed once and went limp in the grasp of the ur-viles."
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Last edited by [Syl] on Sun Sep 14, 2003 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: The Power that Preserves. Ch. 12: Only Those Who Hate Reply with quote

Caer Sylvanus wrote:
He leaves the cave of the healer in the white robe, seeing his original clothes, but leaving them as his way of accepting the sacrifice the healer made for him. He also decides to leave barefoot, partially because he didn't want to wear his infection soaked sandals and partially because he came into the Land barefoot. Personally, I think there's some kind of metaphor here, but I don't see it and think it's kind of a stupid thing to do.

Hysterical

I, too thought this was rather idiotic. Leprosy or no leprosy, there's still the danger of damage, and more frostbite. But, this is Covenant we are talking about, so who knows what the heck this was supposed to symbolize. As hard as I try to understand him, and in many things I do, sometimes he just eludes me.

Oh, how I ached for Triock. To be possessed by a raver after everything he had already been through. And I knew, the moment I read him in the valley, the moment he called for Covenant, I knew he was a raver.

Quote:
Caution urged Covenant to duck out of sight. But almost at once the man gestured brusquely, barking in tones that sounded like a distortion of a voice Covenant should have been able to recognize, "come, Unbeliever! You have no craft for hiding or flight. I have watched your approach for a league."


That "distortion of a voice" told me right away. I remember going. "Oh no, Triock is now a raver." Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always thought of the thing with the bare feet as being symbolic of Covenant's acceptance of his "dream" or of the Land...before he has always tried to do something like grow a beard or things like that to prove that the Land doesn't exist...by going barefoot he is showing that dream or reality, he will go forward without fighting it anymore and will accept his part in what will come...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He was startled when Triock said abruptly, "So you have given up hate."

"Given up-?" He had not thought of the matter in those terms before. "Maybe I have. It doesn't seem like a very good answer. I mean, aside from the fact that there's no room for it - in the law of leprosy. Hate, humiliation, revenge - I make a mistake every time I let them touch me. I risk my life. And love, too, if you want to know the truth. But aside from that. It doesn't seem that I could beat Foul that way. I'm just a man. I can't hate - forever - as he can. And" - he forced himself to articulate a new perception - "my hate isn't pure. It's corrupt because part of me always hates me instead of him. Always."

Triock placed a stoneware pot of stew in the fire to cook and said in a tone of eerie conviction, "It is the only answer. Look about you. Health, love, duty - none suffice against this winter. Only those who hate are immortal."


Quote:
Chuckling savagely, he started toward Covenant.

At once, the silent song rushed gleaming between them. But Triock advanced against the lights. "Begone!" he growled. "You also will pay for your part in this." With a deft movement, he caught one spangle in each fist. Their wailing shimmered in the air as he crushed them between his fingers.

Ringing like broken crystal, the rest of the music vanished.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Triock/turiya knew that Caer-Caveral was in Morrinmoss at this time.
Quote:
"It is the voice of a Forestal. Garroting Deep has sent Caer-Caveral to Morinmoss."
...
"He urges you to destroy me. He cannot reach far from Morinmoss, but he urges..."


I love Covenant's "Mercy."

And here's a powerful line:
Quote:
His visage was littered with broken possibilities, wrecked faiths and loves...
Triock's life was unbearably sad. The poor guy was barely sane, I think.

I'm gonna go along with the "stupid" assessment of the no-shoes maneuver. I don't care what emotional state he was in, what kind of peace he had come to. Duh!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll agree with that Duchess. It makes sense, by this time he no longer cared whether he was dreaming or not. But still...it was rather stupid of him to go trapsing around the Land, in Foul's malevolent winter with nothing on his feet. Smile
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...for then I could fly away and be at rest. Sweet rest, Mom. We all love and miss you.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iíve always taken Covenantís decision to brave the winter without footwear as a mechanism of theatrical shock. Who in their right mind would wander around in the snow in their bare feet? Thomas Covenant, thatís who. I think Donaldson realized how foolish this idea may seem to the reader and applied it with no regrets. Heís setting the stage for breaking TC down to his bare bones but most of us cannot imagine at least going through some effort to protect ourselves from that kind of harm, but the Covenant character is fully capable of such an act and we find it appalling. So much the better.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent answer!! Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always love the way he goes into the forest/healer situation chanting HATE HATE HATE as a litany to himself...and comes out with a new litany of MERCY MERCY MERCY Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Covenant's boots symbolized his rejection of and protection from the land. He wore them in his two previous excursions and came away covinced that it wasn't real. They were also unique to the Land, something that was real to TC. He sort of clung to those then finally surrendered and became a member of the Land.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent point kins, I've always felt that way!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't really comprehend that Triock was possessed by a Raver the first time I read this chapter until I'd read this paragraph and was struck by how little it resembled the Triock I'd come to know.

Quote:
Triock met this speech queerly across the distance between them. His anger seemed to fade, but it was not replaced by understanding. Instead, a mixture of cunning and desperation gained the upper hand on his desire to flee, so that his voice held a half-hysterical note of cajolery as he said, "Come, Unbeliever--do not take this choice hastily. Let us speak of it calmly. Let me urge"--he looked around as if in search of assistance, then went on hurriedly--"you are hungry and worn. That Forest has exacted a harsh penance--I see it. Let us rest here for a time. We are in no danger. I will build a fire--prepare food for you. We will talk of this choice while it may still be altered."


The Triock I'd met in previous scenes would have reacted in anger at the idea of Covenant abandoning a confrontation with Foul after promising otherwise, would have raged about finding Lena dead, and would not have come across as a cunning character (Triock has always struck me as being quite direct in his personality).
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
I didn't really comprehend that Triock was possessed by a Raver the first time I read this chapter until I'd read this paragraph and was struck by how little it resembled the Triock I'd come to know.

It would have been glaringly obvious to anyone else. But Covenant had no magical health-sense. Because there was no hurt-loam. Because Foul so harmed the Land that it had retreated. In other words, Foul's mechanizations encompassed a winter blight upon the Earth so that Covenant would be unable to spot a Raver. It's a little bit awe-inspiring.

And then Donaldson leaves the reader in the same position as Covenant. Triock is a little bit odd. But it's nothing you can put your finger on. And it's plausibly explained by the dire nature of recent events. So you don't suspect ... and then you wonder how you missed it. That was well done all around.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
And then Donaldson leaves the reader in the same position as Covenant. Triock is a little bit odd. But it's nothing you can put your finger on. And it's plausibly explained by the dire nature of recent events. So you don't suspect ... and then you wonder how you missed it. That was well done all around.


Indeed, wayfriend, another brilliant bit of writing by SRD in a book that is chock-full of brilliant moments. TPTP remains one of my all-time favorite books, bleak though it is. I've had a lot of fun re-reading it (just finished the re-read yesterday).
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