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High Lord Elena
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

....and the 'raising Kevin' one palpably so at the time. If you'd passed by my house as I read those words you'd have heard an anguished "Noooooo!" coming from it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
RE: good will come of it

First, I cannot find anyone saying something like this. Which only means I cannot find it. Maybe this is a play-it-again-sam kinda thing. What I can find is:

In The Illearth War was wrote:
"No. I mean, why is she High Lord - instead of Mhoram?"

"What does it matter?" said Troy irritably. "The Council chose her. A couple of years ago - when Osondrea, the old High Lord, died. They put their minds together - you must have noticed when you were here before how the Lords can pool their thoughts, think together - and she was elected." As he spoke, the irritation faded from his tone. "They said she has some special quality, some inner mettle that makes her the best leader for this war. Maybe I don't know what they mean - but I know she's got something. She's impossible to refuse. I would fight with stew forks and soup spoons against Foul."

I don't see anything that contradicts this. Her reign seemed to be nothing but successful until her fatal decision. Perhaps she did have a "special quality".

In the GI, Donaldson explains it similarly, in several ways.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Elena was the perfect choice in the same sense that Covenant was the perfect choice. So she was discernibly unbalanced. So what? So was he. The other Lords--especially Mhoram--knew that she would (to borrow a phrase) "save or damn" the Land; and they chose to believe that she would save it, just as they chose to believe that Covenant would. None of them existed on the knife-edge of possibility in the same way that Elena--and Covenant--did. And they could so easily have been validated by the outcome, if she had simply made a different decision at the moment when she tasted the EarthBlood. Only characters with epic flaws are capable of epic victories.

(02/05/2005)

But the attitude of the Lords toward her would be comparable to their attitude toward Covenant: not distrust, but rather a kind of chosen trust (rather like a leap of faith). The reasoning might go something like this: if you choose to believe that something good will happen, and plan for it, you may or may not be right; but if you choose to believe that something bad will happen, and plan for it, you pretty much guarantee that nothing good *can* happen.

(12/31/2005)

Her fellow Lords were not fools. The Ranyhyn were not fools. Even Covenant, in his tortured fashion, was not a fool. They all saw in her the potential for greatness. "Save or damn."

(08/31/2011)


RE: awakening the krill

Absolutely. Covenant's awakening the krill threw chaos into everything, and continues his streak of leaving a wake of destruction behind all his careless acts.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Under the right circumstances--and the right kind of pressure--any of us might do something crazy. If Covenant had never returned to the Land, Elena might have been a fine High Lord.

(10/11/2006)


Yes, that was the quote. Thanks! Again, I said up front that I was a bit fuzzy on it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
I still fail to see these mysterious "successes" Elena is being credited with.

Can someone come up with a list of her accomplishments?

I say she was nothing but a tool of Foul. That's her legacy.


So far as I can tell, any accomplishments Elena made were as part of projects when she combined her efforts with those of the other Lords---restoring Trothgard, creating the giant banyan tree that hosts Revelwood, etc. No individual accomplishments outside of becoming a Lord and then becoming High Lord.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aye, but often great leaders accomplish through facilitating and coordinating the combined actions of others, not through individual effort.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She resurrected the dead without anybody's help. Whether you consider that a great thing that she did or not is debatable.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it was great. Very Happy How good it was may be debatable though... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story arc would have been different without it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure about the assertion that she did so without anybody's help. Amok, Covenant, and the Haruchai all had a role in getting her past the obstacles Damelon and other Old Lords set to keep the Earthblood safe from those not ready to quaff it. None had the knowledge to understand what they did.

Elena's drinking the Earthblood and the result of her command is probably one of the most far-reaching acts in the entire Chronicles story arc. It sets up the necessary conditions for the final book of the First Chrons...and nothing in the subsequent Second Chrons and Last Chrons can take place without this key moment.

At the time when this scene takes place, the events in the woodland below are essentially resolving the Illearth War in favor of the Lords. While Foul still had Ravers, Stone, and cannon-fodder races, only what takes place in Earthroot hands him the breaking of a fundamental Law and the compelled service of the shades of first Kevin, and then Elena.

Oh, wait, he gets more - the Staff of Law, to be wielded by dead Elena until the situation could be manipulated so that Covenant destroyed the Staff. Yes, even that (which felt like a triumph in the moment) turned out to conduce to Foul's ends. Had Covenant and Foamfollower not surpassed every obstacle and circumstance to attain the partial victory of the First Chrons, Foul would have been undiminished and with all the advantages above. Whether the staff was destroyed or in the hands of his compelled servants raised from Lore-wise dead, he has won. The utter victory he predicted early in Lord Foul's Bane happens on schedule, if not early.

Not to mention what further SRD did with this when Lester pestered him to write sequels.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always loved the scene where Covenant destroys the Staff. I don't have my books handy but if someone can quote it here I'd love to read it again.

The whole thing just feels so momentous - you know this is a key part of the entire story, and it ends up bringing about the entire Second Chronicles with the Sunbane being made possible.

Foul must have been laughing in the Creche...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly it is a pivotal moment for the first Chronicles as well, because through this act Covenant finally sees a way to use his power to fight Foul. The climax to the series becomes possible here. The positions of Bannor and Foamfollower after they are released provide a psychological impetus, but the destruction of the Staff provides a pragmatic one.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did it happen again - under Melenkurian Skyweir or at the Collosus?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colossus. That's a Covenant FAIL - you get trouted, I am afraid.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He can hardly be blamed...he wasn't subjected to the Sweet covers of the 1st Chrons.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing duly stood in the corner with the 'D' cap on!

Yes - you could say the entire course of the Chrons is decided by that single act. ( Hard to get into here without spoilers, but even the third series carries the consequences of this on its back does it not?)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is worthwhile to:

(a) re-read the chapters "'Lord Mhoram's Victory'" and "Colossus" together; and

(b) trace the ways in which the various acts of resistance of Covenant, Triock, Whane and Lal, the Forestal, etc., in one location, and of Mhoram, the Waynhim, Borillar, Drinny, etc., at the other, synergised to bring about two significant breakthroughs for the defenders of the Land at a crucial moment; and

(c) consider what else was possible that could have produced a better outcome under the circumstances (remembering that samadhi Satansfist had Mhoram and Revelstone just about cooked, and Dead Elena had Covenant, Bannor and Foamfollower in a similar plight).
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that is a well thought out bit of homework!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too true, Rune.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
trace the ways in which the various acts of resistance of Covenant, Triock, Whane and Lal, the Forestal, etc., in one location, and of Mhoram, the Waynhim, Borillar, Drinny, etc., at the other, synergised to bring about two significant breakthroughs for the defenders of the Land at a crucial moment


Having just reread the chapters cited above, I found it of interest that poor Borillar seems to be the first human "supported by the Waynhim" in an act of power. I doubt they had time for the Demondim-spawn infusion rite, but the fact that they found a way to 'support', which I read as heighten and strengthen, the Hirebrand's might an interesting precursor to the various others who receive this sort of prop in later books.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Power That Preserves was wrote:
On the rim of the hollow, Hearthrall Borillar and the last of the Waynhim fought together against Mhoram's foes. Borillar used his flaming staff like a mace, and the Waynhim supported him with their own powers. Together they struggled impossibly to rescue the High Lord.

As cool as that might be to see Borillar at the head of a Waynhim wedge, or being infused with power from Waynhim blades, I think here "support" means only that they fought as a team, as normal warriors might support each other in a battle - holding a line, defending each other, coordinating strikes, etc.

Sadly, they didn't last long. But a moment nonetheless.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Carry this on someone please; to a Chrons lover tis a thing of beauty!)
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'Then let it end.'

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