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Atiaran
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
Atiaran threw her arms into the air again, gave one more call, then dropped to the ground. When Covenant reached her, she was sitting with her knees clasped to her chest, and her lips trembled as if her face were about to break. She stared feverishly at the approaching boat.

As it drew nearer, Covenant began to see with growing surprise just how tall the steering figure was. Before the boat was within a hundred feet of them, he was sure that the steersman was twice his own height. And he could see no means of propulsion. The craft appeared to be nothing more than an enormous rowboat, but there were no oarlocks, no oars, no poles. He gaped widely at the boat as it glided closer.

When it was within thirty feet of them, Atiaran thrust herself to her feet and called out, "Hail, Rockbrother! The Giants of Seareach are another name for friendship! Help us!" The boat kept gliding toward the bank, but its steersman did not speak; and shortly Atiaran added in a whisper that only Covenant could hear, "I beg you."

The Giant kept his silence as he approached. For the last distance, he swung the tiller over so that the boat's prow aimed squarely at the riverbank. Then, just before the craft struck, he drove his weight down in the stern. The prow lifted out of the water and grounded itself securely a few yards from Atiaran and Covenant. In a moment, the Giant stood before them on the grass, offering them the salute of welcome.

Covenant shook his head in wonder. He felt that it was impossible for anyone to be so big; the Giant was at least twelve feet tall. But the rocky concreteness of the Giant's presence contradicted him. The Giant struck his perceptions as tangibly as stumbling on rough stone.

Even for a being twelve feet tall, he appeared gnarled with muscles, like an oak come to life. He was dressed in a heavy leather jerkin and leggings, and carried no weapons. A short beard, as stiff as iron, jutted from his face. And his eyes were small, deep set and enthusiastic. From under his brows, massed over his sockets like the wall of a fortress, his glances flashed piercingly, like gleams from his cavernous thoughts. Yet, in spite of his imposing appearance, he gave an impression of incongruous geniality, of immense good humor.

"Hail, Rocksister," he said in a soft bubbling tenor voice which sounded too light and gentle to come from his bemuscled throat. "What is your need? My help is willing, but I am a legate, and my embassy brooks no delay."

Covenant expected Atiaran to blurt out her plea; the hesitation with which she met the Giant's offer disturbed him. For a long moment, she gnawed her lips as if she were chewing over her rebellious flesh, searching for an utterance which would give direction, one way or another, to a choice she hated. Then, with her eyes downcast as if in shame, she murmured uncertainly, "Where do you go?"


While I was intrigued by the appearance of the Giant, I was struck more by how much more tormented Atiaran appears here than we have ever seen her before. She doesn't lightly change her mind, and I can easily see the way she is being strained by the powerful pulling of two opposing desires: to accompany Covenant to Revelstone to accuse him before the Lords, or to be rid of the responsibility of Covenant altogether. She seems prepared to loathe either decision.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
At her question, the Giant's eyes flashed, and his voice bubbled like a spring of water from a rock as he said, "My destination? Who is wise enough to know his own goal? But I am bound for--No, that name is too long a story for such a time as this. I go to Lord's Keep, as you humans call it."

Still hesitating, Atiaran asked, "What is your name?"

"That is another long story," the Giant returned, and repeated, "What is your need?"

But Atiaran insisted dully, "Your name."

Again a gleam sprang from under the Giant's massive brows. "There is power in names. I do not wish to be invoked by any but friends."

"Your name!" Atiaran groaned.

For an instant, the Giant paused, indecisive. Then he said, "Very well. Though my embassy is not a light one, I will answer for the sake of the loyalty between my people and yours. To speak shortly, I am called Saltheart Foamfollower."

Abruptly, some resistance, some hatred of her decision, crumbled in Atiaran as if it had been defeated at last by the Giant's trust. She raised her head, showing Covenant and Foamfollower the crushed landscape behind her eyes. With grave deliberation, she gave the salute of welcome. "Let it be so. Saltheart Foamfollower, Rockbrother and Giant's legate, I charge you by the power of your name, and by the great Keep of faith which was made between Damelon Giantfriend and your people, to take this man, Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever and stranger to the Land, in safety to the Council of Lords. He bears messages to the Council of Lords. He bears messages to the Council from Kevin's Watch. Ward him well, Rockbrother. I can go no farther."


This totally stunned me, as it does Covenant. I was sure she was going to formally expose Covenant's crime to the Lords. This passage shows just how severe Atiaran's self-doubt and self-judgment has become. Shocked

Quote:
What? Covenant gaped. In his surprise, he almost protested aloud, And give up your revenge? But he held himself still with his thoughts reeling, and waited for her to take a stance he could comprehend.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
"Ah, you are too quick to call on such bold names," the Giant said softly. "I would have accepted your charge without them. But I urge you to join us. There are rare healings at Lord's Keep. Will you not come? Those who await you would not begrudge such a sojourn--not if they could see you as I do now."

Bitterness twisted Atiaran's lips. "Have you seen the new moon? That comes of the last healing I looked for." As she went on, her voice grew grey with self-despite. "It is a futile charge I give you. I have already caused it to fail. There has been murder in all my choices since I became this man's guide, such murder--" She choked on the bile of what she had seen, and had to swallow violently before she could continue. "Because my path took us too close to Mount Thunder. You passed around that place. You must have seen the evil working there."

Distantly, the Giant said, "I saw."

"We went into the knowledge of that wrong, rather than make our way across the Center Plains. and now it is too late for anyone. He--the Grey Slayer has returned. I chose that path because I desired healing for myself. What will happen to the Lords if I ask them to help me now?"


Though I had just barely known this Giant when I read this for the first time, I already knew that I liked him, as he comes across as compassionate and gentle.

As for Atiaran, I get the feeling that she feels unworthy of the Lord's healing, and she fears her desire to have Covenant punished will interfere with the defense of the Land and give Lord Foul a decisive victory. I think these are the real reasons she doesn't want to go any further, not because of the moon turning red or because she fears her presence in Revelstone will harm the Lords.
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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
And give up your revenge? Covenant wondered. He could not comprehend. He turned completely toward her and studied her face, trying to see her health, her spirit.

She looked as if she were in the grip of a ravaging illness. Her mien had thinned and sharpened; her spacious eyes were shadowed, veiled in darkness; her lips were drained of blood. And vertically down the center of her forehead lay a deep line like a rift in her skull--the tool work of unblinkable despair. Etched there was the vastness of the personal hurt which she contained by sheer force of will, and the damage she did herself by containing it.


Even if one does not really like Atiaran's character, it is difficult not to sympathize with her here.
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This passage is what makes Atiaran absolutely unforgettable for me, and makes the consequences of what Covenant does in the Land feel real to me, though we do not know if the Land is real or if Covenant is dreaming it at this point.

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
At last Covenant saw clearly the moral struggle that wasted her, the triple conflict between her abhorrence of him, her fear for the Land, and her dismay at her own weakness--a struggle whose expense exhausted her resources, reduced her to penury. The sight shamed his heart, make him drop his gaze. Without thinking, he reached toward her and said in a voice full of self-contradicting pleas, "Don't give up."

"Give up?" she gasped in virulence, backing away from him. "If I gave up, I would stab you where you stand!" Suddenly, she thrust a hand into her robe, and snatched out a stone knife like the one Covenant had lost. Brandishing it, she spat, "Since the Celebration--since you permitted Wraiths to die--this blade has cried out for your blood. Other crimes I could set aside. I speak for my own. But that--! To countenance such desecration--!"

She hurled the knife savagely to the ground, so that it stuck hilt-deep in the turf by Covenant's feet. "Behold!" she cried, and in that instant her voice became abruptly gelid, calm. "I wound the Earth instead of you. It is fitting. I have done little else since you entered the Land.

"Now hear my last word, Unbeliever. I let you go because these decisions surpass me. Delivering children in the Stonedown does not fit me for such choices. But I will not intrude my desires on the one hope of the Land--barren as that hope is. Remember that I have withheld my hand--I have kept my Oath."

"Have you?" he asked, moved by a complex impulse of sympathy and nameless ire.

She pointed a trembling finger at her knife. "I have not harmed you. I have brought you here."

"You've hurt yourself."

"That is my Oath," she breathed stiffly. "Now, farewell. When you have returned in safety to your own world, remember what evil is."


I have to say that I felt relief that Atiaran was leaving the story, here--once I got over the initial shock that she wasn't planning to continue to Revelstone and accuse TC in front of the Lords. The story was getting a bit too intense for me, with the continuing conflict within Atiaran and the abrasive relationship between her and TC.
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 11 of Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
He wanted to protest, argue, but her emotion mastered him, and he held himself silent before the force of her resolve. Under the duress of her eyes, he bent, and drew her knife out of the grass. It came up easily. He half expected to see blood ooze from the slash it had made in the turf, but the thick grass closed over the cut, hiding it as completely as an absolution. Unconsciously, he tested the blade with his thumb, felt its acuteness.

When he looked up again, he saw that Atiaran was climbing up the hill and away, moving with the unequal stride of a cripple.

This isn't right! he shouted at her back. Have mercy!--pity! But his tongue felt too thick with the pain of her renunciation; he could not speak. At least forgive yourself. The tightness of his face gave him a nasty impression that he was grinning. Atiaran! he groaned. Why are we so unable?

Into his aching, the Giant's voice came gently. "Shall we go?"

Dumbly, Covenant nodded. He tore his eyes from Atiaran's toiling back, and shoved her knife under his belt.


Oddly, here Atiaran both shows Covenant mercy and withholds it as well.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 6 of The Illearth War was wrote:
At the edge of his attention, he was aware that Elena had left the room. But he did not raise his head until she returned and stood before him. In her hands she held a flask of springwine which she offered to him.

He could see a concern he did not deserve in the complex otherness of her gaze.

He accepted the flask and drank deeply, searching for a balm to ease the splitting ache in his forehead and for some way to support his failing courage. He dreaded the High Lord's intentions, whatever they were. She was too sympathetic, too tolerant of his violence; she allowed him too much leeway without setting him free. Despite the solidness of Revelstone under his sensitive feet, he was on unsteady ground.

When after a short silence she spoke again, she had an air of bringing herself to the point of some difficult honesty; but there was nothing candid in the unexplained disfocus of her eyes. "I am lost in this matter," she said. "There is much that I must tell you, if I am to be open and blameless. I do not wish to be reproached with any lack of knowledge in you--the Land will not be served by any concealment which might later be called by another name. Yet my courage fails me, and I know not what words to use. Mhoram offered to take this matter from me, and I refused, believing that the burden is mine. Yet now I am lost, and cannot begin."

Covenant bent his frown toward her, refusing with the pain in his forehead to give her any aid.

"You have spoken with Hile Troy," she said tentatively, unsure of this approach. "Did he describe his coming to the Land?"

Covenant nodded without relenting. "An accident. Some misbegotten kid--a young student, he says--was trying to get me."

Elena moved as if she meant to pursue that idea, but then she stopped herself, reconsidered, and took a different tack. "I do not know your world--but the Warmark tells me that such things do not happen there. Have you observed Lord Mhoram? Or Hiltmark Quaan? Or perhaps Hearthrall Tohrm? Any of those you knew forty years ago? Does it appear to you that-that they are young?"

"I've noticed." Her question agitated him. He had been clinging to the question of age, trying to establish it as a discrepancy, a breakdown in the continuity of his delusion. "It doesn't fit. Mhoram and Tohrm are too young. It's impossible. They are not forty years older."

"I also am young," she said intently, as if she were trying to help him guess a secret. But at the sight of his glowering incomprehension, she retreated from the plunge. To answer him, she said, "This has been true for as long as there has been such lore in the Land. The Old Lords lived to great age. They were not long-lived as the Giants are--because that is the natural span of their people. No, it was the service of the Earthpower which preserved them, secured them from age long past their normal years. High Lord Kevin lived centuries as people live decades.

"So, too, it is in this present time, though in a lesser way. We do not bring out all the potency of the Lore. And the Warlore does not preserve its followers, so Quaan and his warriors alone of your former comrades carry their full burden of years. But those of the rhadhamaerl and the lillianrill, and the Lords who follow Kevin's Lore, age more slowly than others. This is a great boon, for it extends our strength. But also it causes grief--"

She fell silent for a moment, sighed quietly to herself as if she were remembering an old injury. But when she spoke again, her voice was clear and steady. "So it has always been. Lord Mhoram has seen ten times seven summers-yet he hardly carries fifty of them. And-" Once again, she stopped herself and changed directions. With a look that searched Covenant, she said, "Does it surprise you to hear that I rode a Ranyhyn as a child? There is no other in the Land who .has had such good fortune."

He finished his springwine, and got to his feet to pace the room in front of her. The tone in which she recurred to the Ranyhyn was full of suggestions; he sensed wide possibilities of distress in it. More in anxiety than in irritation, he growled at her, "Hellfire. Get on with it."

She tensed as if in preparation for a struggle, and said, "Warmark Hile Troy's account of his summoning to the Land may not have been altogether accurate. I have heard him tell his tale, and he confuses something which I--we--have not thought it well to correct. We have kept this matter secret between us.

"Ur-Lord Covenant." She paused, steadying herself, then said carefully, "Hile Troy was summoned by no young student, ignorant of the perils of power. The summoner was one whom you have known."

Triock! Covenant almost missed his footing. Triock son of Thuler, of Mithil Stonedown, had reason to hate the Unbeliever. He had loved Lena--but Covenant could not bear to say that name aloud. Squirming at his cowardice, he avoided Triock by saying, "Pietten. That poor kid--from Soaring Woodhelven. The ur-viles did something to him. Was it him?" He did not dare to meet the High Lord's eyes.

"No, Thomas Covenant," she said gently. "It was no man. You knew her well. She was Atiaran Trell-mate--she who guided you from Mithil Stonedown to your meeting with Saltheart Foamfollower at the Soulsease River."

"Hellfire!" he groaned. At the sound of her name, he saw in his mind Atiaran's spacious eyes, saw the courage with which she had denied her passion against him in order to serve the Land. And he caught a quick visionary image of her face as she incinerated herself trying to summon him--entranced, bitter, livid with the conflagration of all the inner truces which he had so severely harmed. "Ah, hell," he breathed. "Why? She needed--she needed to forget."

"She could not. Atiaran Trell-mate returned to the Loresraat in her old age for many reasons, but two were uppermost. She desired to bring--no, desire is too small a word. She hungered for you. She could not forget. But whether she wanted you for the Land, or for herself, I do not know. She was a torn woman, and it is in my heart that both hungers warred in her to the last. How otherwise? She said that you permitted the ravage of the Celebration of Spring, though my mother taught me a different tale."

No! moaned Covenant, pacing bent as if borne down by the weight of the darkness on his forehead. Oh, Atiaran!

"Her second reason touches on the grief of long years and extended strength. For her husband was Trell, Gravelingas of the rhadhamaerl. Their marriage was brave and glad in the memory of Mithil Stonedown, for though she had surpassed her strength during her youth in the Loresraat, and had left in weakness, yet was she strong enough to stand with Trell her husband.

"But her weakness, her self-distrust, remained. The grave test of her life came and passed, and she grew old. And to the pain you gave her was added another; she aged, and Trell Atiaran-mate did not. His lore sustained him beyond his years. So after so much hurt she began to lose her husband as well, though his love was steadfast. She was his wife, yet she became old enough to be his mother.

"So she returned to the Loresraat, in grief and pain-and in devotion, for though she doubted herself, her love for the Land did not waver. Yet at the last ill came upon her. Fleeing the restraint of the Lorewardens, she wrought death upon herself. In that way, she broke her Oath of Peace, and ended her life in despair."

No! he protested. But he remembered Atiaran's anguish, and the price she had paid to repress it, and the wrong he had done her. He feared that Elena was right.

In a sterner voice that did not appear to match her words, the High Lord continued, "After her death, Trell came to Revelstone. He is one of the mightiest of all the rhadhamaerl, and he remains here, giving his skill and lore to the defense of the Land. But he knows bitterness, and I fear that his Oath rests uneasily upon him. For all his gentleness, he has been too much made helpless. It is in my heart that he does not forgive. There was no aid he could give Atiaran -or my mother."

Through the ache of his memories, Covenant wanted to protest that Trell, with his broad shoulders and his strange power, knew nothing about the true nature of helplessness. But this objection was choked off by the grip of Elena's voice as she said, my mother. He stood still, bent as if he were about to capsize, and waited for the last unutterable blackness to fall on him.

"So you must understand why I rode a Ranyhyn as a child. Every year at the last full moon before the middle night of spring, a Ranyhyn came to Mithil Stonedown. My mother understood at once that this was a gift from you. And she shared it with me. It was so easy for her to forget that you had hurt her. Did I not tell you that I also am young? I am Elena daughter of Lena daughter of Atiaran Trell-mate. Lena my mother remains in Mithil Stonedown, for she insists that you will return to her."

For one more moment, he stood still, staring at the pattern woven into the shoulders of her shift. Then a flood of revelations crashed through him, and he understood. He stumbled, dropped into a chair as suddenly as if his spine had broken. His stomach churned, and he gagged, trying to heave up his emptiness.

"I'm sorry." The words burst between his teeth as if torn out of his chest by a hard fist of contrition. They were as inadequate as stillborns, too dead to express what he felt. But he could do nothing else. "Oh, Lena! I'm sorry."

He wanted to weep, but he was a leper, and had forgotten how.
"I was impotent." He forced the jagged confession through his sore throat. "I forgot what it's like. Then we were alone. And I felt like a man again, but I knew it wasn't true, it was false, I was dreaming, had to be, it couldn't happen any other way. It was too much. I couldn't stand it."

"Do not speak to me of impotence," she returned tightly. "I am the High Lord. I must defeat the Despiser using arrows and swords." Her tone was harsh; he could hear other words running through it, as if she were saying, Do you think that mere explanation or apology is sufficient reparation? And without the diseased numbness which justified him, he could not argue.

"No," he said in a shaking voice. "Nothing suffices."

Slowly, heavily, he raised his head and looked at her. Now he could see in her the sixteen-year-old child he had known, her mother. That was her hidden familiarity. She had her mother's hair, her mother's figure. Behind her discipline, her face was much like her mother's. And she wore the same white leaf-pattern woven into the cloth at her shoulders which Lena had worn-the pattern of Trell's and Atiaran's family.

When he met her eyes, he saw that they, too, were like Lena's. They glowed with something that was neither anger nor condemnation; they seemed to contradict the judgment he had heard a moment earlier.


Sad that Atiaran is first damaged when she holds to her Oath of Peace to allow Covenant to save the Land, then is destroyed by abandoning her Oath to bring Covenant back. I remember how stunned I was when first reading this. Elena's revelation about herself, along with the presence of Hile Troy in this world, made The Illearth War a compelling read for me, in a way that Lord Foul's Bane never did (on the first read, anyway--I've enjoyed LFB much more when doing re-reads).





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Chapter 13 of The Wounded Land was wrote:
Shortly after dark, Covenant broke. He missed his footing, fell, and could not rise. His lungs shuddered for air, but he was not aware of them. Everything in his chest seemed numb, beyond help. He lay stunned until his pulse slowed to a limp and his lungs stopped shivering. Then he slept.

He was awakened near midnight by the touch of a cold hand on his soul. A chill that resembled regret more than fear ran through him. He jerked up his head.

Three silver forms like distilled moonlight stood before him. When he had squeezed the blur of prostration from his sight, he recognized them.

Lena, the woman he had raped.

Atiaran and Trell, her parents.

Trell--tall, bluff, mighty Trell--had been deeply hurt by the harm Covenant had done to Lena and by the damage Atiaran had inflicted on herself in her efforts to serve the Land by saving her daughter's rapist. But the crowning anguish of his life, the pain which had finally unbalanced his mind, had been dealt him by the love Elena Lena-daughter bore for Covenant.

Atiaran had sacrificed all her instincts, all her hard-won sense of rectitude, for Covenant's sake; she had believed him necessary to the Land's survival. But the implications of that self-injury had cost her her life in the end.

And Lena--ah, Lena! She had lived on for almost fifty years, serene in the mad belief that Covenant would return and marry her. And when he had returned-when she had learned that he was responsible for the death of Elena, that he was the cause of the immense torment of the Ranyhyn she adored--she had yet chosen to sacrifice herself in an attempt to save his life.
She did not appear before him in the loveliness of youth, but rather in the brittle caducity of age; and his worn heart cried out to her. He had paid every price he could find in an extravagant effort to rectify his wrongs; but he had never learned to shed the burden of remorse.

Trell, Atiaran, Lena. In each of their faces, he read a reproach as profound as human pain could make it. But when Lena spoke, she did not derogate him. "Thomas Covenant, you have stressed yourself beyond the ability of your body. If you sleep further, it may be that Andelain will spare you from death, but you will not awaken until a day has been lost. Perhaps your spirit has no bounds. Still you are not wise to punish yourself so. Arise! You must eat and move about, lest your flesh fail you."

"It is truth," Atiaran added severely. "You punish yourself for the plight of your companions. But such castigation is a doom which achieves itself. Appalling yourself thus, you ensure that you will fail to redeem your companions. And failure demonstrates your unworth. In punishing yourself, you come to merit punishment. This is Despite, Unbeliever. Arise and eat."

Trell did not speak. But his mute stare was unarguable. Humbly, because of who they were, and because he recognized what they said, Covenant obeyed. His body wept in every joint and thew; but he could not refuse his Dead. Tears ran down his face as he understood that these three--people who in life had had more cause to hate him than anyone else--had come to him here in order to help him.

Lena's arm pointed silver toward a nearby aliantha. "Eat every berry. If you falter, we will compel you."

He obeyed, ate all the ripe fruit he could find in the darkness
with his numb fingers. Then, tears cold on his cheeks, he set off once again in the direction of Revelstone with his Dead about him like a cortege.

At first, every step was a torment. But slowly he came to feel the wisdom of what his Dead required him to do. His heart grew gradually steadier; the ache of his breathing receded as his muscles loosened. None of the three spectres spoke again, and he had neither the temerity nor the stamina to address them. In silence, the meager procession wound its argent, ghostly way along the border of Andelain. For a long time after his weeping stopped, Covenant went on shedding grief inwardly because his ills were irrevocable, and he could never redeem the misery he had given Trell, Atiaran, and Lena. Never.

Before dawn, they left him--turned abruptly away toward the center of Andelain without allowing him an opportunity to thank them. This he understood; perhaps no gall would have been as bitter to them as the thanks of the Unbeliever. So he said nothing of his gratitude. He stood facing their departure like a salute, murmuring promises in his heart. When their silver had faded, he continued along the path of his purpose.


Atiaran can never show Thomas Covenant forgiveness, but one thing seems clear about how she views him after his first victory over Lord Foul: she no longer sees him as a barren hope for the Land. Otherwise, why would she bother to visit him and encourage him to resuscitate himself?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Atiaran Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:

Sad that Atiaran is first damaged when she holds to her Oath of Peace to allow Covenant to save the Land, then is destroyed by abandoning her Oath to bring Covenant back. I remember how stunned I was when first reading this. Elena's revelation about herself, along with the presence of Hile Troy in this world, made The Illearth War a compelling read for me, in a way that Lord Foul's Bane never did (on the first read, anyway--I've enjoyed LFB much more when doing re-reads).


Your sentiments regarding the Illearth War resonate with me, Cord Hurn, as my experience was pretty much identical - the 2nd installment really expanded the Land and it's characters in ways that Lord Foul's Bane only hinted at - again, like yourself, I also retroactively enjoyed LFB a lot more in light of what came after.

As to Atiaran, Donaldson really created a nuanced character, while also stealthily assigning her the capacity to reveal *just enough* exposition relating to the journey ahead of Covenant.

In it's way it was kind of daring for Donaldson to pair Covenant with a non-magical, mature (and somewhat dour - even before the revelation of Covenant's crime) woman so early in the series and invite the reader to spend a significant chunk of the first book with her - I'd wager not many fantasy writers of that era were giving much thought or voice to her demographic.

It somewhat balances out the harsh fate afforded Lena; our only previous experience with Covenant/Donaldson/Woman leaves the reader on shaky ground, Atiaran's dignity and strength show us that Donaldson, at least, has a place in the Land for women that goes beyond damsels in distress or sex objects - he even manages to avoid the overcorrective infallible modern super-female types which are quickly becoming a trope.
His female characters are frequently interesting and multi-layered, not *because* they're female, but because he gives them the same consideration that he affords his male characters.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with that. But I also see a lot of calculation in the construction of Atiaran as well.

Covenant's guide needed to be one of Lena's parents to set up the drama. But it could not be Trell because SRD had bigger plans for him. Hence she is a woman.

Coevanent's guide needed to be someone with sufficient knowledge of far off things to explain things to the reader, and yet plausibly someone who would be found in Mithil Stonedown raising a child. So someone who had learned in Revelstone, but who did not attain any significant status thereby, fills this niche.

Why did they not attain any status thereby? They had not the heart for it is a good answer. What would be the result of such a person abandoning Revelstone's learning? Knowledge and competency but a bit of self-doubt.

Click click whirr. Sometimes you can almost see Donaldson working things out.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post, wf.

Another reason it couldn't be Trell is because he would likely have killed Covenant when he learned about the rape. I remember watching a show about desegregation. The fathers of the black children were told not to walk their children to school. One guy said, "Why not?? I'm here father!" Which was the very reason they didn't want him to. A father is not as likely to endure certain types of things directed at his children as a mother is.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... well, technically, SRD could have wrote Trell to be calm and self-restraining sort of guy. Then his refraining from punching Covenant's lights out would have demonstrated the Oath of Peace to an amazing degree.

And Atiaran could have been written to be a hulking gravelingas with rage issues. (Think on it!)

So, to some degree, SRD did stick to "traditional roles" so to speak. It could have been reversed, but that may have exceeded what was readily believable, and would have required so much narration on those points as to detract from what was important for his story.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Atiaran Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
It somewhat balances out the harsh fate afforded Lena; our only previous experience with Covenant/Donaldson/Woman leaves the reader on shaky ground, Atiaran's dignity and strength show us that Donaldson, at least, has a place in the Land for women that goes beyond damsels in distress or sex objects - he even manages to avoid the overcorrective infallible modern super-female types which are quickly becoming a trope.

His female characters are frequently interesting and multi-layered, not *because* they're female, but because he gives them the same consideration that he affords his male characters.


Well said! Applaud Applaud Applaud Applaud Applaud
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I personally think Elena's fate is just as bad or even worse than Lena's. But yeah, good point.
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atairan, who's pronounciation sounds like, a-tear-in.
She tells of the Legend of Berek Halfhand.
Later, Covenant puts a tear in the Arras of the Legend of Berek Halfhand.

Gotta be the best coincidence in the entire Chronicles. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting coincidence, Lazy Luke, and one I hadn't thought of, before!

(Welcome to the Watch!)
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2018 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was being facetious.

(Thanks anyway!) Wink
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