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TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrKABC wrote:
Gibbon na-Mhoram answered Covenant's question about the Wards:

Covenant: "Why don't you USE it? [Kevin's Lore]"

Gibbon: "It is lore for that which no longer exists. It has no value under the Sunbane."

The Wards were for lore that predated the Sunbane and didn't anticipate the breaking of the Laws of Life and Death. Also, it was stated in The Illearth War that they were written in the "language of the Old Lords" that required translating (PLOT HOLE: If the Old Lords had a different language how did Linden, Roger, et al communicate with Berek and his troops?)


Donaldson in the GI wrote:
The simplest version is that the language of lore isn't the same as the language of common speech (ref. the Seven Words). Berek and his lineage spoke the common speech, but they wrote and studied their lore in its (for lack of a better term) "native" tongue (which Berek probably learned from the Theomach). That lore-language was lost during the centuries after the Ritual of Desecration. Hence the difficulties translating the Wards.

(06/01/2010)


MrKABC wrote:
Bottom line IMO is that the Wards were a plot device that has run its course, and we won't be seeing any more of them.


Donaldson would probably reply that everything is a plot device. And it's certainly true we won't be seeing any more of the 7 Wards since they have been long since destroyed in the passage of centuries.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, it was stated in The Illearth War that they were written in the "language of the Old Lords"


Quote:
.......but they wrote and studied their lore in its (for lack of a better term) "native" tongue


Quote:
Seven Wards....Seven Words (of power)............coincidence?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

finn wrote:
Quote:
Also, it was stated in The Illearth War that they were written in the "language of the Old Lords"


Quote:
.......but they wrote and studied their lore in its (for lack of a better term) "native" tongue


Quote:
Seven Wards....Seven Words (of power)............coincidence?


Numerological tropes.

Quote:
Seven - Seven is the most popular lucky number, and was originally the number of the holy virtues man was said to have. Of course, their opposites are much more memorable, but seven is still overall a positive force, to the point that days of the week are still numbered in seven. Dante's Paradiso exemplified this best, with seven layers of heaven. Of course, biblically, seven can also be the number of finality: the seven hills of Rome, the seven angels and the seven seals, etc. There are Seven Heavenly Virtues that oppose Seven Deadly Sins. In Japanese culture this manifests in The Seven Mysteries. Also, in the Japanese language, Seven Is Nana. See also Magnificent Seven, the Ensemble that falls under this number.
In Christianity (and in Judaism before it), seven is the number of perfection, and thus the number of God.
For songwriters, "seven" is a convenient rhyme for "heaven", and is also useful because it scans as two syllables.
Plot Coupons also have a tendency to come in sevens, especially in Video Games.
Seven also comes up as a limit on human minds - people are said to be able to remember only seven different numbers in a single trial. Similarly, the Incident Command System for dealing with emergencies forbids each person from giving direct orders to more than seven people.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven is also a prime number. As is three, which was sacred to the ancient Celts. Four is another popular mystical number, as there are, for example, four seasons -- and four, when added to the sacred Celtic three, gives you...seven! OMG!

Rolling Eyes

You can play around with numbers all day. (Nine's another biggie for the Celts -- 3 x 3.)

SRD very likely used seven for both Wards and Words because it's what stuck with him as a "sacred number" from his Christian past.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:

SRD very likely used seven for both Wards and Words because it's what stuck with him as a "sacred number" from his Christian past.


Agreed. IIRC, seven can symbolize "completion" or "perfection."
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess what I'm hinting at is that each ward could be linked to a specific word in the seven words of power. The quotes above may be interpreted to support that (or equally may not), the language of the wards is the language of lore as is I presume, the seven words of power. Equally the runes on or to be on the staff, may also be linked to the wards and words of power...is this so inconceivable?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
Seven is also a prime number. As is three, which was sacred to the ancient Celts. Four is another popular mystical number, as there are, for example, four seasons -- and four, when added to the sacred Celtic three, gives you...seven! OMG!

Rolling Eyes

You can play around with numbers all day. (Nine's another biggie for the Celts -- 3 x 3.)

SRD very likely used seven for both Wards and Words because it's what stuck with him as a "sacred number" from his Christian past.

There's music [it might even be a thing like Handel's "Messiah"] called "The Seven Last Words of Christ", and "On the 7th day he rested"...
Pythagorus' number religion had a big thing about 4, and I think 3 as well.
Personally, I like fun games with 13.

On topic though: Each of the 7 words has a sort of "field" of power, and strung together they are greater than the parts: It seems the 7 wards were divided this way, too, and are greater when all are known...a direct relationship between them doesn't seem all that far-fetched.
But even with time travel, I don't see that anyone has time to master that old lost lore before the end. The wards are gone.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is an answer to the language mystery(*) in Donaldson's other series, Mordant's Need. The protagonists ask how a person from a different world can speak the same language as the people of Mordant. The two answers were:

a) There is only Mordant's world, and the people that are brought from the mirrors are just reflections of it so naturally they speak the same tongue.

b) The magic of 'translating' people through the mirrors change them so they fit in the world they're brought into. So they can breathe the Mordantian air and eat the Mordantian food and speak the Mordantian tongue like the rest of the Mordantians.

Similarly in the Covenant books we must assume that Thomas and Linden can speak the language of the Land because either:

a) It's all a dream.

b) They were transformed a bit to fit into the world they're brought into.

When Linden is taken into the past a similar logic is at work.



(*) It's not only the Lords who have an old tongue. The Woodhelvenin and stone-people also have old tongues that is different from the present language.


As for the Seven Wards and their connection to the Seven Words, we know from Lord Foul's Bane that 5 of the Words were spelled out in the First Ward. The Lords learn the 6th Word from the Second Ward (or maybe it's from a better understanding of the text of the First one? I'm not sure)

Donaldson said that the 7th Word was missing from all of the Wards Kevin made. It was the word for Law which Kevin disavowed with his intention to spoil Creation with his Ritual of Desecration.

So each of the Wards probably gave greater and more specialized abilities in everything, not in a specific field that the other Wards didn't cover, except of course for the 7th Ward which wasn't theoretical knowledge but a pass-key to a special natural resource
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post Shadow,

My initial thought was of a "pass key" type relationship, and of course that could still be the case, the first ward giving the keys to the remaining wards with a corollaray that understanding of the first ward was necessary to open the second and obtain the sixth "pass key".

I don't recall the reference from LFB but happy to take your word on it, pardon the pun! Razz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
aliantha wrote:

SRD very likely used seven for both Wards and Words because it's what stuck with him as a "sacred number" from his Christian past.


Agreed. IIRC, seven can symbolize "completion" or "perfection."


If there were 6 wards, 8 words of power, if it was a-Jeroth of the 5 hells, do you think Donaldson would have gotten published?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:


Donaldson said that the 7th Word was missing from all of the Wards Kevin made. It was the word for Law which Kevin disavowed with his intention to spoil Creation with his Ritual of Desecration.



Not doubting you but where did he say this?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrKABC wrote:
Bottom line IMO is that the Wards were a plot device that has run its course, and we won't be seeing any more of them.


I agree... I always thought it was to give the reader an indication of just how far behind in lore the New Lords were from the Old Lords. (Loading 3 of 7...)
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:


Donaldson said that the 7th Word was missing from all of the Wards Kevin made. It was the word for Law which Kevin disavowed with his intention to spoil Creation with his Ritual of Desecration.



Not doubting you but where did he say this?


It's been a while so I'm not certain. It was either in Fatal Revenant in one of the talks Linden has with the MaDoubt where the MaDoubt explain the history of the Land or (and I think this is the right one) it was in one of the answers Donaldson gave in the GI.

... Well, I've done some checking and I'm no longer certain it was explicitly said anywhere.

What we know for sure is that:

1) This word is missing from the first and second Wards Kevin made while all the rest are present and accounted for

2) The Theomach gives the missing word and explains its meaning:

"The sixth, harad, may be understood as a stricture against selfishness, tyranny, malice, or other forms of despair. It binds the speaker to make no use of Earthpower which does not serve or preserve the munificence of creation."

3) Donaldson says in more than one of his GI answers that leaving out the seventh word (in the First Chronicles) is intentional and is intended to hint at something to us.

Quote:
Paul S.

My question is about the Words of Power -- was your intention to hint that there may in fact be an entire "language of power" that might exist (of which perhaps the old lords had only discovered/translated 7)? Perhaps the "words of power" are actually the native language of something more powerful (like Lord Foul and The Creator)?

However, since you've said that you are both not a linguist and only invent what you need for the story... maybe the answer is simply that you liked the number seven and those seven words were all you needed for the story you were telling?

Thanks for the time!


Paul S.

It's true that I'm human. Therefore I make mistakes. Accidents happen. Nonetheless it strains credulity to think that I announced (over and over again) that there are 7 Words--and then only bothered to invent 6 because 7 was too much work. No, I consider it far more likely that the author is positively begging his readers to draw inferences.

Of course, one has to be cautious in these situations. I've observed on more than one occasion in this interview that "hinting at more than is actually revealed" is one of my many world-building techniques. But still....

(07/27/2007)



Quote:
ron beck: after re-reading the previous books in the series I am about half way through the Fatal Revenant, and the (missing) 7th word of power (Harad) is finally revealed. If the Theomach is to be believed, it signifies that anyone using the words of power may not wield Earthpower to advance the cause of Despair.

In the earlier books when the Words of Power are invoked, this one is not used. Will we discover the possible philosophical ramifications of this omission, or am I thinking too much about this?

or (even more likely) is it a Read and Find Out?


In this case, I don't think there's much explanation required. In one way or another, Kevin is responsible for what the "new" Lords both do and do not know. So if *you* were contemplating performing a Ritual of Desecration, which of the Seven Words would *you* suppress? In other words, I think it's obvious that the "loss" of that particular word was Kevin's doing.

(01/21/2008)


Quote:
... Still, it does seem to me that Kevin may have had powerful reasons for suppressing "harad". The rest of the Seven Words must surely have been found in the First and Second Wards, since they all occur in "The Illearth War".

(12/21/2007)



So Donaldson supports my supposition that the seventh (or sixth) word was intentionally suppressed by High Lord Kevin when he made his Wards.

I had a slightly different perception of what happened here than Donaldson seem to imply in his answers though. I assumed that because Kevin decided to do something that goes against the very meaning of this magic word by enacting the Ritual of Desecration, he somehow renounced this concept and excised it from his very being. Meaning that he couldn't teach anyone this word anymore because it wasn't part of who he was any longer.

But Donaldson seems to say that Kevin just wanted people to think well of him and so didn't tell them about the Law or moral he was defying with his Ritual of Desecration. Could he really be so deluded at that point to believe that the people of his future would see no wrong with what he did even if it was 'for the greater good' (of defeating Foul and the Demondim?)

Would the word have been discovered eventually in one of the latter Wards, say the 6th. Would Kevin have thought that by the time they reached this stage in their education they would be mature enough to learn that he wasn't perfect? Though (going for an analogy) teaching children that causing nuclear holocaust on their graduation day after you spent all their years with you teaching them all the intricacies of fission and fusion bomb making seem like a very bad idea.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The idea that Kevin withheld harad because he didn't want the future Lords to rebuke him seems plausible.

The idea that he withheld it because he couldn't teach it doesn't seem plausible.

My thought is that Kevin didn't want the future Lords to be hindered by the ethics that argued against the Ritual, ethics which Kevin must have wrestled with. He probably thought that he was freeing the future Lords to be able to do with less guilt what he was about to do with a lot of guilt. He wanted to make it easier for there to be another Ritual. Because, he might have argued, if it needs to be done, the new Lords should not hesitate.

Perhaps he believed he waited too long to make his decision to utter the Ritual.

Another idea, which I don't think is a particularly good one, is that Kevin believed that if anyone survived after the Ritual, Despite would be dead. And if Despite was dead, there would be no longer any need to take it into account. And so there would be no need for Harad.

Ironically, the first things the new Lords did was invent the Oath of Peace.

The Oath is like a replacement for harad. It's as if the new Lords felt something was missing. Certainly, it is ironic that they took on whatever ethic Kevin thought they should live without. Kevin was, in the end, very disturbed.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When did Kevin hide the Wards? Was it before or after the Ritual of Desecration? Has that ever been explained?

I bet he hid them afterward. I bet he was so mortified by what he had done, by how he played into Foul's hands, that he deliberately excised "harad" as a result of his own despair.

Or he hid the Wards before the RoD, and then went back afterward and, in despair, obliterated "harad" from whichever Ward it was in.
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
aliantha wrote:

SRD very likely used seven for both Wards and Words because it's what stuck with him as a "sacred number" from his Christian past.


Agreed. IIRC, seven can symbolize "completion" or "perfection."


If there were 6 wards, 8 words of power, if it was a-Jeroth of the 5 hells, do you think Donaldson would have gotten published?

I do. The story is still very strong, and the numbers are a comparatively small detail.

But I bet Lester Del Ray would've made SRD change them all to 7, in order to conform to the Western idea of "sacred." Wink

wayfriend wrote:
Kevin was, in the end, very disturbed.

No kidding! Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
When did Kevin hide the Wards? Was it before or after the Ritual of Desecration?

Kevin died during the Ritual of Desecration. So he would have had to have hid them before. Smile

In Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
"When he saw the first hints that the ancient shadow was alive, he looked far into the chances of the future, and what he saw gave him cause to fear. Therefore he gathered all his Lore into Seven Wards."

In The Illearth War was wrote:
"But before the end, he was touched with prophecy or foresight, and found means to save much of power and beauty. He warned the Giants and the Ranyhyn, so that they might flee. He ordered the Bloodguard into safety. And he left his Lore for later ages - hid it in Seven Wards so that it would not fall into wrong or unready hands."
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh fine. More Razz Laughing

Still...I wouldn't put it past the guy to eradicate "harad" from the Wards at the last minute. He may well have been overwhelmed with despair at the thought of what he was about to do.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
The idea that Kevin withheld harad because he didn't want the future Lords to rebuke him seems plausible.

The idea that he withheld it because he couldn't teach it doesn't seem plausible.


Sure, Donaldson's idea is more straightforward while mine is of a more mystical and allegorical bent. I still like mine More Razz After all the whole story of the Land is full to the brim with these sorts of mysticisms and allegories. The idea that Kevin thought that if he hid the word for moral conduct his descendants would be incapable of figuring it out on their own seemed silly to me. Similar to how parents think that their children won't know that they're fighting each other because they told them to go to bed before starting shouting.

Quote:

My thought is that Kevin didn't want the future Lords to be hindered by the ethics that argued against the Ritual, ethics which Kevin must have wrestled with. He probably thought that he was freeing the future Lords to be able to do with less guilt what he was about to do with a lot of guilt. He wanted to make it easier for there to be another Ritual. Because, he might have argued, if it needs to be done, the new Lords should not hesitate.

Perhaps he believed he waited too long to make his decision to utter the Ritual.

Another idea, which I don't think is a particularly good one, is that Kevin believed that if anyone survived after the Ritual, Despite would be dead. And if Despite was dead, there would be no longer any need to take it into account. And so there would be no need for Harad.

Ironically, the first things the new Lords did was invent the Oath of Peace.

The Oath is like a replacement for harad. It's as if the new Lords felt something was missing. Certainly, it is ironic that they took on whatever ethic Kevin thought they should live without. Kevin was, in the end, very disturbed.


This is an interesting idea. It makes Kevin that much more disturbing. Thank the Creator the New Lords and their people came up with their Oath of Peace and didn't enact mini rituals of desecration any time they were annoyed at something.


I was wondering though, is Kevin's Ritual of Desecration considered a breaking of one of the Laws of the Land? Perhaps the Law that stands behind the word Harad? So maybe he didn't teach it because this word didn't hold much power any longer after he shattered the Law behind it with his Ritual?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all the time hopping, one of the Wards might have been Jeremiah's race car or pajamas or something. (Haven't yet read AATE to see how ridiculous this may or may not be)
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