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AATE: chapter 4, After Unwisdom
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: AATE: chapter 4, After Unwisdom Reply with quote

Ok, must apologize if it's not my greatest dissection but I am a bit tired from work and if anything I can redeem myself with the discussion to follow....

The Summary:
We start out with Linden wallowing in shame and remorse and feeling emptiness over all that she has recently done, from bringing back TC to making this bargain and releasing her objects of power. She's at a loss. She remembers then what Caer-Caveral told her in Andelain about having companions that have not forsaken her. She can't imagine that they wouldn't at this point but decides to consult with them anyway. Her first choice? TC of course. She wanders over to where he is circling the stump that remains of Caer-Caveral and is muttering about things that various people have said in the past and then he announces his desire to take the krill because someone has to have some serious power when facing the obstacles they must face, Joan, Esmer, Lord Foul, the Skurj etc. He goes to pull the krill out and it starts burning his hands and then it gets seriously intense as they discover that Joan has the ability to sense TC's touch on the krill and starts winding it up with white gold magic. With the aid of the bloodguard and Rime Coldspray they manage to free the krill by smashing the stump. Linden tries to pull up power from the staff to heal his mangled bubbling flesh hands but finds that she is blocked by the Harrow's new ownership. The Ardent steps in and uses his magical ribbons to bind TC's hands providing both a healing wrap and a protective shield so that he can now pick up the krill without consequence. TC ends up wrapping it in part of a bloodguard tunic and tucking it in his waistband. Then he forces Rime to tell what Gimmand told the giants about Longwrath and the Elohim. She admits that the giants created his affliction by their bargain with the Elohim in times past and expresses their remorse and guilt. Mhartiir then speaks of the Ramen's own guilt at the current situation of the land by holding the ranyhyn apart from the land and how it may have contributed to the master's behaviour. The Harrow is impatient to go and thus Linden foolishly announces that she and Anele are going with the Harrow alone. The giants start laughing at her and her resolve is shot and after some debate they get to go but she attempts to leave TC behind and he too scoffs at her. He states that he needs her and she him and this alone gives her some hope that his condition of patchy brain may improve if he has her and the immediate situation to concentrate on. The Humbled of course protest this and are forced into coercion by TC's logic and insistence and they finally agree to go but just after that moment, Galt tries to kill Linden in an attempt to nullify the decision for the humbled to go against their code of honor. Stave easily stops Galt and it seems that they are finally resolved and thus the chapter ends with the entire company agreeing to go rescue Jeremiah.

The Dissection:
Ok, I think there are a couple of serious key turning points in this chapter. First, Linden realizes she is stuck with her friends come hell or high water and whether or not they approve the choices she has made or is to make in the future they are there to see it through to the end. It's the beginning of her true realization that she is not alone in this despite consistently trying to be. I think this shows in the relief she feels when the decisions are made for the various groups of companions to join her.

Linden finally LISTENS and GETS IT about the fact that there is guilt aplenty for the current conditions existing in the Land. They are ALL a part of it and ALL responsible for it.

The Ardent shows himself to be not just a mediator/observer of Linden and the Harrow but an actively helpful member of the group when he binds TC's hands.

TC makes a serious observation when he points out that the Humbled/Masters either deliberately or through haruchai intransigence have misinterpreted his last instructions to them and that their inflexibility/phlegmaticalism is going to be their downfall. He practically calls them stupid stubborn jackasses by pointing out that they should have listened to and learned from Cail and that even bedrock stone is more malleable than Haruchai ideas of right and wrong.

This chapter is prophetic on many levels. Discuss!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ohh my , a nice and tight dissection,Excellent Jenn,,see, even a weary mind can make a good time of it! Thanks!

Unwisdom is what? Its..amusing..that the author shows so much compassion that he does not say,,,stupidity..or..dumschittness..or having ones head firmly tucked, no, its Unwisdom!

And Yes, major pivotal point is in this chapter. Interesting it is to note that it is the Giant, embodiment of mirth and humor who are first to admit to their moments of " Unwisdom". Add shortsightedness to the list. The author suggests ,,yes, we all make mistakes grounded in some short comings of mental prowess and to treat each occurrence with humor and compassion..? Sorry, but it has to be brought up ,,the Tale of Bahgoon and Thelma Twofist...quite the parable making that point..??..While we are here,,a kinda odd ,,particular,,in this chapter; The author btw of Coldspray, pg 76,refers to " the peoples of Earth " . ..and their want to put a " spin " on tales told as opposed to the Giants prideful ,,the whole story or no story at all. Did SRD just take a stab at E Murdoch?..or just the nature of 2nd hand news?

I really liked the line SRD gave TC when tongue lashing the Humble; " If ordinary stone didn't have enough wisdom to change, there wouldn't be anything here for you to stand on!!" Reminds me of the line a great mystic of 2000 years ago is said to have laid on one of his 12 major followers , that is debated to this very day. Some translate the line as " Peter you are the Rock of my church and you will head it,,others translate it as..Peter you are a Rock Head. Some where between the two translations is a mystic trying to be compassionate. Hey, even Galt is allowed to make a face saving gesture .

Another great line.. " A chance to find out what's on the other side of failure." ...So, as you pointed out Jenn,,Linden's go at it alone perspective..I'm a Doctor I can fix anything, ..or even,, I'm the Only One Who CAN fix this mess...yea,,Linden needs to find out whats on the other side of That failure. A " Wholeness" or " Unity" is acknowledged and decided upon in this chapter. Its magnificent that the "process" is referred to as,,the spell,,the mystery.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point on the word 'unwisdom', lurch! It seems to tell me that what Linden is doing by bargaining with the Harrow is not, as you said, stupid, retarded, moronic, etc... but rather that her choice goes against what we would normally view as wise.

The Masters are against this sort of thinking, all of their actions stem from what they have established as wise. What's funny about this is that Covenant points out that such an approach is futile (borrowing again from lurch, "if the rocks didn't have the wisdom to change from time to time"). Sometimes, it seems, it is necessary to be 'unwise'... sometimes, that's the wisest thing you can do.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely done, C.J., and the comments...they connect nicely with something I pondered on the title and the characters situations here...a relationship with the idea "Knowledge precludes knowledge."...it has a new twist now, that in part the "preclusion" [thought I was making that word up, but turns out is real...unlike phlegmaticalism which I fully intend to steal, C.J.] is willful/intentional...and there are parallels, too: we've seen "need precluding need" and "choice precluding choice"...
Yet...what we also see now, especially with the Giant's insistence on staying the course and the Haruchai's completely telegraphed attack [as if they WANTED Stave to stop it] and acceptance of outcome, a loop-hole, a path of flight...in some way the precluded knowledge/choice/need, the hidden part, enables as many, or more, options as it takes away. [a slight variation on Orlion's "being unwise is the wisest thing to do."
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's funny about this is that Covenant points out that such an approach is futile (borrowing again from lurch, "if the rocks didn't have the wisdom to change from time to time"). Sometimes, it seems, it is necessary to be 'unwise'... sometimes, that's the wisest thing you can do.

Yes O, again there is that " rueful smile" humor,,of the author. With the Giants situated in this chapter as they are.." humor" is associated to the knowing of " unwise". Pretty neat how the tale of Bahgoon and Thelma Twofist is integral to the over all story of being conned by the Elohim.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phlegmaticalism is a real word.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

V...I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw/felt Galts attempt on Linden was fully expected to be blocked..It was an allowed gesture..face saving...an acquiescing without total capitulation..in other words..Galt,,even with the screwed up perspective of the Humbled,,is still a valuable part of the " whole".
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cameraman Jenn wrote:
phlegmaticalism is a real word.


yes, thats what my doctor said I had from smoking cigarettes all those years.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, fine, I tried. It's phlegmaticness. sorry. I told you guys I was tired and you got the point anyway. Yes, the gesture of Galt's attack on Linden is exactly that, a gesture to enable them to break their code so to speak. What makes me kinda mad at the haruchai at this point is that Covenant just got through telling them that their code is bullshit and they have to stick to it to the point of endangering Linden's life before they can justify what comes next. Jonnyredleader had some awesome ideas and opinions about some of the deeper emotional stuff when it came to Elena and her situations in both Illearth War and this book in our many conversations, insights I had not thought of and probably most stemmed from the fact that obviously I'm a female reader and he's a male reader so we view the characters from a more personal arena based on gender. Let me clarify. I read Elena and her motivations etc and judge her based on my own feminine perspective where as he reads her from a male perspective and vice versa when the same is applied to TC or another male character. Anyway, it led to some really interesting ways of thinking when I re-read this chapter and thought about Linden and her motivations because I actually purposefully thought, "How would Jonnyredleader interpret that?" So to get to the point, when re-reading this chapter I realized how many hints that I had ignored or glossed over as to how the intransigence of the haruchai is going to play a big part of how this story ends. I knew it was important but I've started to think it's intricately tied to so much of the land that I overlooked it before.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't had chance to actually reread this Chapter, but "feigning" an attack on Linden (whilst telegraphing the intention to ensure it was unsuccessful) doesn't seem to be the Masters style? I can't imagine that it would be regarded (amongst them) as face-saving - there isn't really any such thing for the Haruchai - it's all or nothing - they don't do deliberate self-deception, do they?

Have to say that I have liked the set up of the Masters throughout the Last Chronicles - somehow it felt absoulutely right that, at some point, they would go from being servants of others to "enforcers" - though of course, they still see themselves as servants of the Land. And tying it all in with Covenant's last instruction to them as he left Revelstone to face Foul in WGW is the icing on that particulary cake.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barnetto..yes, its not their style , yet..they threw their hands up as a sign of ..surrender..The author has this happen , not me. Point being..when finally cornered,,left with no other choice,,when faced with ones own " Unwisdom"..agreeing that one may be wrong may have to include one last gesture of ..honor or pride or both. The other side of their " unwisdom" awaits them. It will take more than one " Humbled" to convince all those in Revelstone, that they have been " Unwise" all these years.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: AATE: chapter 4, After Unwisdom Reply with quote

Cameraman Jenn wrote:

...
Linden realizes she is stuck with her friends come hell or high water
...


So true - she's definitely going to need help, and not only for the reasons like protection and fighting, and she's going to need support as well, but also going fight the Despiser (that he's not directly present among the targets certainly doesn't change that) just feels like something not to be done alone - that's his way - to do everything either himself or by forcing/tricking someone, thus relying on himself anyway.

Spoiler:
And that "come hell or high water" suits really well. They're going to have the high water soon, and a-Jeroth of the Seven Hells still awaits.


Cameraman Jenn wrote:

...
He practically calls them stupid stubborn jackasses
...


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Applaud to TC and to you for phrasing that so well. Can't remember the sheer number of times they asked for it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not quite what I meant, B. It isn't "feigned," or "telegraphed" exactly in that way/in order to fail...only in the sense that it is certain that Stave will expect it, intercede. But they speak aloud before doing it because it is a message, a demonstration to those who couldn't see it coming. That they have judged, absolutely, the penalty is death. Other commitments/circumstances prevent executing the judgement, and they accept those, but the judgement itself stands, unequivocally. We have seen similar things before...for example, 2nd Chron's, the combat between one who had been dominated, and one who had not. It did not end in death...it is said [IIRC], something like "It is agreed that I am unworthy, other matters are still undecided."
Of course, the stakes are much higher now...and the Master's much more mistaken/on the wrong path.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

V..yes, that is what is so cool about that scene..I " felt" that the Humbled sensed a crack in the stoic wall. TC had go t to them. The one they had sworn loyalty to ,, had made whatever oath,,whatever vows made, a disrespect to TC, a disrespect to the Land. And just as any of us has done,,their final act is that of..well don't ever say We didn;t warn you..in exaggerated form of course.

Careful consideration of the scene mite suggest a use of Reason by TC,to defeat the Stoics...the lovers of divine Reason..There is the crack, the spell,,that TC persuaded the Humble with. Its like..if you guys are going to live by Reason and Reason alone..well then..you have to listen to one of your own,,and you didn;t.or you chose toignore what he advised..so..so much for your Vows..You failed your own commitment to your selves..You Failed..you just will not acknowledge your failure..like it didn't happen. Sorry, you can't deny what happen if you live by divine Reason. Of course,,that fits against any of us as well. We are not robots. We do not act and behave by binary code programs and true false tables. We are Human Beings..TC wins the point,,and in so classical human manner..the Humble put their Pride out there one more time in the gesture towards Linden. There is a irony there.

True story:..a fellow worker was given tasks to accomplish by a production supervisor at beginning of shift. Didn't sit to well with fellow worker since he wasn't a production person. So, half way thru the first task, fellow worker starts boiling. He starts swearing and cursing,,P.O'ed to say the least. Now..he gets an audience and starts reving up his rhetoric,,loudly. He stands before us just letting loose with all the vitriol he can muster towards this production supervisor. Behind him is a door. There is a window in the door. While fellow worker is red in the face with his rant,,the production supervisors face pops up in the window of the door. We, the audience see this. We , the audience keep straight faces as the fellow worker vents even more steam. It was really too funny to laff. A few minutes of foul mouth rant the supervisor calmly open the door making the fellow worker turn absolute white. The supervisor said..." I'll put aside everything you just said, if you just get the jobs done that I asked you to do..Deal?" Of course the fellow worker said.".Yes Sir!"..This scene with the Humble is similar. TC got the Humble to see their own Failures..and therefore the Vow to Stoicism was a bunch of hog wash...an effort in Pretense. One bit of dignity was allowed them as was my fellow worker...imho.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you Lurch. It was a way to let them keep their dignity, however, I believe that allowing them to keep even a sliver of their blinders is enabling them to use that blindness as a crutch. Granted though that this will probably make their inevitable fall or enlightenment more grandiose and dramatic, at this point in the series I kinda just want to slap the masters, especially the humbled and I am venting off at how I feel about it in the moments in the chapter. Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I caught from the Chapter was that Kevins dirt doesn't just blunt earth sight. But it has other effects. Especially on TC.

Quote:
And his leprosy~Ah, God. His leprosy was growing worse, exacerbated by the pall of Kevins Dirt. (snip) Already Covenants hands and feet were almost entirely numb. If his condition continued to deteriorate, it was only a matter of time until his sight began to fail.


That makes me wonder if the condition of the land will mirror his condition throughout the rest of the books.

TC also gives us a few things to think about as he paraphrases something he remembers hearing from someone....perhaps Mhoram.
Quote:

There is no doom so black or deep that courage and clear sight may not find another truth beyond it.


I note that he looks at Clyme, Galt and Branyl when he says that as if it were a message to them particularly.


Quote:
Its my fault, really. I asked you to protect Revelstone, but I wasnt clear. (snip) I didnt tell you I wanted you to protect what Revelstone means.


I wonder how the Masters must have been thinking when they heard this. TC is basically telling them they have been wrong all along. But as with most things with the masters, they seem to not get it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I mean by blinders. They make a decision and stick to it no matter what even when shown they are WRONG they still find any loophole, way, means, including outright ignoring their wrongness to stick with the decision no matter how wrong that may be or how much worse it might make a given situation. They are the ultimate in stubborn stupidity.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting dissection, Jenn.

A couple of points I think are important.

First: the krill.

When Covenant removes the krill, it's clear he believes that he is removing the critical thing that protects Andelain.

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
"I know," Covenant muttered. "Thatíll leave Andelain unprotected - which personally makes me want to puke. Without it, the Wraiths wonít have the right kind of strength to guard the borders. They wonít be able to prevent -

Yet he takes it anyway.

When I read this, is seemed to me that Covenant was making the same kind of sacrifice that Linden was making. Just as she gave up the ring and the Staff, Covenant is "giving up" Andelain. He's letting it die.

Because "everything must go" when your Against All Things Ending. Nothing is too sacred to be spared the cost of saving the Earth. That's how serious this is.

Like the raising of Haven Farm and the fall of Kevin's Watch, this underscores just how close to the finale we are getting here.

But Covenant didn't just grab the krill. He's been pacing around it, staring at it, contemplating it, since the first chapter - since he was resurrected.

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
Covenant tried to focus on Galt. But the krill plucked at his attention [...]

There, however, he turned and began to move slowly back toward the dead stump and Loricís krill. [...]

Behind her, Covenant had reached the krill. Now he walked around it, studying it as he talked softly to the Humbled, the Swordmainnir, the Cords. [...]

Yet somehow Covenantís concentration on the krill held them back. [...]

In the bottom of the hollow, Covenant still paced slowly around the radiance of the krill, studying it as if it had the capacity to anchor him somewhere in time, if only he could discover how to use it. [...]

Yet he seemed unaware of his ailment. Instead his attention was focused on the krill [...]

Stiffly he started walking again, pacing his circle around Loricís krill as if he sought to circumscribe his own confusion; contain it somehow. [...]

Not only is the krill important to Covenant. It appears that the idea of it's importance is something that he's held on to since before his Resurrection. It could very well be that, as the Timewarden, he knew he must have the krill, and this need was important enough to retain the thought in his fractured mind.

Therefore, I trust Covenant's need for the krill. I trust that it's worth trading Andelain for.

And then there is Joan. It is revealed that Joan can not only sense Covenant through the krill, she can somehow reach into the krill from far away and cause it to burn.

(If this seems an unexpected, new feature of the krill, it isn't. Gibbon did the same thing in WGW. A Raver was involved both times.)

What's an intriging mystery is whether or not Covenant wants and needs the krill in spite of Joan's mastery of it, or because of it. Or maybe it's not connected at all.

Second: leprosy

In an Anele-like way, and Haruchai-like way for that matter, Covenant doesn't want his leprosy healed.

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
"No hurtloam," he said sharply. "I donít expect you to understand. But I need this." He brandished his hands. "I need to be numb. It doesnít just make me who I am. It makes me who I can be."

How intriguing.

Certainly, his leprotic numbness proved to be of use when he was attacked by Joan through the krill. But I cannot help but think that there's something more profound involved here. And one can note he accepted the healing of his superficial burns; he's not out to cripple himself in general.

Every weakness is a strength misapplied,
and every strength is a weakness which has found his proper use.


Is Covenant's leprosy a strength? I certainly think we shall see that it is, once Donaldson shows us it's proper use. Again, I cannot help but suspect that, as the Timewarden, Covenant had foreseen just this very eventuality.

There is something very important about leprosy in Covenant's story. Leprosy is never incidental. Covenant never believed that he was a man who happened to have leprosy; he believed he was a leper. In other words, he didn't pretend that his disease didn't change who he was, that deep down inside he was still the same as the pre-leper. No, he incorporated it, he became it. He didn't fight it or avoid it, he accepted it. As Who He Was. Sure, he was other things, too, but never not a leper.

And that's one of Donaldson's overarching themes, as I see it.

So when I hear Covenant say, I need this, It makes me who I can be, this is what I am thinking about. I am thinking about Covenant recognizing what is essential to his core being, and not wanting that tampered with. Something more profound than numb hands. Something about the "mysteries of identity".

Vraith wrote:
... the Haruchai's completely telegraphed attack [as if they WANTED Stave to stop it]

I did not pick up that Galt intended for his blow to be stopped AT ALL. It was "so swift that Linden did not see him move".

Remember that Stave can hear Galt's thoughts, and that Galt routinely is unaware of this. THAT's why he stopped the blow.

Now, killing Linden was too obviously the logical conclusion that Galt had reached. Linden was engaging in another folly which endangered the Earth, and she was sucking everyone else in with her, including the ur-Lord. And the Humbled had stood by while she had done that too many times, and then regretted that they did not act. No: he wanted her Dead. Plain reason (from their point of view) was not working.

The only reason that they were allowed to remain with Linden's Army, I feel, is that they subsequently admitted that they were bested. In the Haruchai way, they failed a test, and so now lived with the consequences and abided by the outcome: they would not try to kill her again. And they were needed.
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danlo
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Nothing is too sacred to be spared the cost of saving the Earth. That's how serious this is.
--indeed. Also great point re: TC's leprosy v. Joan's attacks!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I commented previously Covenant condition seems to be mirroring the Land's condition. His life span is very limited just like the Land (the Worm), he is numb with leprosy (Kevin's dirt) and his mind is riddled with fault lines (the Ceasures). The rest of the book only strengthens this connection. Spoiler:
When Joan dies and her Ceasures with her, his minds become whole again. Covenant is also in danger of going blind from Kevin's Dirt and his Leprosy. Is this a hint that just like the stars at the end of the book, the sun will be consumed by the Worm and the Land will fall into darkness? Sad


The Giants go from one extreme to another in this chapter. When they're asked to tell about their deal with the Elohim they are the most serious and humorless we've ever seen Giants in these Chronicles, but later when Linden tells them they shouldn't come with her to save her son they laugh uproariously. They exemplify the way Linden should go. They shared their pain with the others and now feel less burdened by it but that's not what gives them back their ability to laugh. It's when they are given the chance to help others with their troubles that they are uplifted back into Giantish joy
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