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Donalson's character design

 
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DrFugazi
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:24 am    Post subject: Donalson's character design Reply with quote

This might the wrong area to put this, but this is when the thought occurred to me. Also it might be posted some other place. (sorry if that is true).

All of lead characters seem to be anti hero types in all of his books. He seems to be have an actual hatred of the perfect hero type. In my impression these books are a statement about that. The people in the land tend to be overly altruistic(maybe I should look that word up, could be the wrong one). They are so far in that direction that it seems he is showing what would really happen if people were that way.

The blood guard are a good example. The are so far past being the perfect heroes that they constantly get in their own way.

The lords in the first books couldn't learn the things they needed to know because the were such "goody two shoes" types.

Pretty much all of the lands people fit this in some way, like he is saying..."see this is a really stupid character".


However, this book, the main hero is a hero. ( I guess you could argue that the 2nd series TC has a hero in that one and Linden was the anti hero).

I am in no way trying to complain about this, it is just an observation that could easily be completely wrong. I love his books and the way he writes. The anti hero thing makes me like them more, not less.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be welcome to the Watch, DrFugazi.
Be Well Come and True.

Nice first post.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello DrFugazi

That's very true. Perhaps that's why we feel about the characters the way we do. If they had no faults they would be boring, it would all be too easy. Like the land, kasreyn's works, the Creator's works etc. the characters need at least one imperfection to grab our attention. Most of them have an abundant supply, as you say. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, DrFugazi.

I think this thread will be of interest to you in regard to your thoughts on how SRD draws his characters.

(As a new member, note that the words "this thread" are in a different color type. It's a link, click it.)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome! Personally, wouldn't be here, if SRD scooped his characters straight out of the huge cauldron of 0-dimensional stock heroes. Plus, Giants. *insert a cavewomanly squee here* Love grin

I think most of us love them exactly because of their flaws, albeit some thoolahians probably will argue elsewise. Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Donalson's character design Reply with quote

Ouch, missed this. DrFugazi, are you still here? Welcome anyway) Best Wishes

An interesting post, though I think Linden in the 3rd Chrons is far from a flawless hero character, and that's good)
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I have to say that a big reason why I love this series (and indeed all of Donaldson's work) is that the characters are believable / real to me because they have flaws..

I cannot stand novels / stories where a character is Perfect.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart wrote:
I think most of us love them exactly because of their flaws, albeit some thoolahians probably will argue elsewise. Razz

This THOOLAHian would argue otherwise Big Grin

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, I think SRD is torn, here.

First, he makes it clear that there is no such thing as perfection, and somewhere states that an imperfection must exist in a creation in order to keep it from -- I am forgetting -- corruption? The flaw is essential to make something strong. (It's a concept, I believe, that has appeared in Japanese culture.)

But then he inundates us with these perfect heroic paradigms all over. The people of the Land are so perfect (especially the Giants) that they have no evident corruption of any kind! They don't even really joke around -- they just speak mirthfully. (I can't tell you how relieving it was to read Liand make some small attempts at humor in Fatal Revenant!)

So the Lords and Hile Troy and everyone try to face off against Foul by being every bit as perfect as they can be, but it is that very perfection which blinds them to Foul's machinations. If they had led a corruptible life, or a life in which, er, shit happens, they'd be "chary" of, say, the stoicism of the bloodguard. And that's why Covenant can succeed where the Lords (and many others) failed -- he is imperfect to the core, and has taken so many personal hits in "real life" that he is immune to the glamour of perfection.

So while SRD presents us with these impossibly beautiful images of a naturalistic world populated by incredible integrity and goodness, he snatches it all away and tells us it can't survive.

I'm starting to think it's vaguely metaphorical of the Tree of Knowledge from the garden of Eden in the Bible. Adam and Eve did just swell as long as they remained blissfully ignorant of everything. But they were stuck in a status quo that held them apart from reality, and while we mourn the loss of Eden, we are glad for the chance to be aware of our lives and choices, and for the chance to make something of ourselves. It exalts God more, that we can live and thrive with our own self-awareness.

Or maybe I just need another beer...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Questions like this always bring me back to Donaldson's statement: Every weakness is a strength misapplied, and every strength is a weakness that has found its proper use.

In the First Chronicles, Covenant had to find the strength in his weaknesses. Then, in the second, he had to fight the weaknesses of his strengths.

The Last Chronicles are the Second Chronicles for Linden. She became a hero in her first chronicles, found her strengths among her weaknesses.

Now her strengths will be used against her, by Foul. Her parental love of Jeremiah was the first thing that was twisted against her, forcing her to come to the Land. Now she's on the knife's edge, having to choose her son or the Land. Her other strengths will be similarly tested.

Donaldson always gives us flawed characters. But the progression in the Chronicles is that, even after you become a hero, you still have weaknesses that can be exploited. Now the journey isn't becoming a hero, the journey is one of not being a hero right off the edge of a cliff. Characters have to get out of their comfort zones, discover that they cannot solve all problems with the same strengths, and learn that they cannot always be the focus, that all answers don't arise from them only, and that even heroes need help. The first stage is overcoming futility to be effective, the second is understanding the limits of what you can effect.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arch of the Covenant wrote:
The people of the Land are so perfect (especially the Giants) that they have no evident corruption of any kind!


Actually, I think the Giants we come to know and love the best all also have fairly significant flaws that make them who they are.
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