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Why Did the Waynhim Give the Staff to Linden?

 
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:26 pm    Post subject: Why Did the Waynhim Give the Staff to Linden? Reply with quote

I'm in the midst of re-reading the Chronicles in preparation for the Last Dark. I just got to the part of Runes where Linden and company have encountered the Waynhim of the past who are unwilling to give up the SoL. I have a minor nitpick about this part...

So as far as I can gather the Waynhim don't want to give her the staff because:

1. She brought a bunch of ur-viles with her and they don't trust them even though they say they've sworn off being evil
2. Esmer's presence masks her white gold and they can't verify that she is who she says she is
3. They recognize that Linden and company have used the great evil of caesures to travel back in time to try to claim the SoL

So she explains her purpose to the Waynhim and Esmer translates their response as "...But all else that you have said they knew, and they are not swayed. Your presence is a violation of Law. Good cannot be accomplished by evil means."

So her solution to persuade them is to locate the SoL with her mind and use its power to heal the ailing Waynhim?

I realize this is supposed to be proof that she is the staff's rightful owner but it doesn't seem like it does much to resolve the "good accomplished by evil means" problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the waynhim were simply following their weird. They must have decided that keeping the staff out of harms way wasn't the best way to keep the land safe. Lindens demonstrated knowledge showed them that she can accomplish good. I also believe that found another similar purpose for themselves. even though they gave her the staff they would continue to ward it by travelling with her and protecting both her and the staff and if need be they could protect the staff from her.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love minor nitpics! I've got a ton of them.

I *just* reread this section last night, myself. [I'm really sweating the approaching deadline ... figure I got to read at least 20 pages a night from here on out.] I think this is where I really start having problems with Runes. I've enjoyed myself thoroughly up to this point. Reclaiming the SoL should have been a bigger deal. It should have been a Quest worthy of the stakes. And it shouldn't have been resolved so easily.

And Anele really gets screwed in this deal, doesn't he? Poor old guy, just wants his Staff back, and as soon as it's recovered, we all awkwardly realize together that he will never get it back. It's Linden's Staff, you damn Land-gollum!

To your point ... I agree that it doesn't necessarily bode well for Linden to use the Staff without their permission when they are denying her access to the Staff. To think that they'd selfishly put their own healing above their convictions--when it's spelled out that they're willing to die for these convictions--seems not only contradictory but also lame. Linden's "possession" of the Staff before she was given permission would seem to justify withholding it from her even more. And the fact that she used "poor ol' Anele" for a sympathy vote, in order to take his birthright from him, which was the reason he's so pathetic in the first place, just seems downright malicious.

Nope, I don't like it. Not one bit.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is one of a series of events designed to make us question Linden's moral stance. As Liand says in FR: Spoiler:
"You have it within you to commit atrocities."


Her implacability in retrieving the staff, and the Waynhim's questioning of her, are an early indication of the questionable lengths she will go to in later books, Spoiler:
often with disastrous consequences
. But the Waynhim go along with her for the same reason people go along with Covenant in the first trilogy- they recognise she is the Land's best hope.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points, Cambo. I agree that it's great character development of Linden, a significant step forward in the development of her themes for this Chronicles. I suppose it's not the ideas, but the execution that bothers me (as usual).

Yes, the Waynhim go along with her for the same reason people go along with Covenant in the first trilogy, but I don't remember anyone in the first trilogy changing a life-or-death conviction in a matter of seconds in order to support Covenant when just a minute ago they'd opposed him at all costs.

I don't think the problem with Anele can be overstated, either. He was a nice plot device to introduce us into the Land with a sense of mystery and growing purpose and revelation. But his turning down the Staff--after running away from the group to go retrieve it himself from the cave, and smashing his head bloody on the ground after not finding it--seems to contradict his entire character, rendering him into nothing but the plot device which has now run its course. He turned down his birthright because of "astonishment?" Why is he such a p*ssy?!? No, he turned it down because the story requires Linden to have the Staff. Donaldson should have just killed him off right there. Or Donaldson should have had Anele demand the Staff, and Linden refuse. That conflict would have been interesting, and it would have developed those themes you mentioned about her choices being questionable.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find myself agreeing with you, Z. That conflict would have been much more interesting that what we got. And I also find myself having to agree that Anele gave up the Staff for reasons more convincing for the narrative than for his character.

I'm not a hater of these Last Chronicles, unlike some on this forum, but I do concede that they are flawed in some ways that the first two series were not. The characterisation of Anele is one of my main bones of contention. He's built up so much to be Spoiler:
the Land's only hope
and then it turns out in AATE that Spoiler:
he was just a stepping stone to Jeremiah's apotheosis
. Again, the narrative of that scene (you know the one) was classic Donaldson- emotive, intensely paced, and surprising. But I can't help but think that Anele's characterisation suffered at the expense of Donaldson's narrative requirements. And that's not a problem I've had with any other of Donaldson's writing.

I'm still not quite sold on your arguments about the Waynhim though. I think you're underestimating the effect that Linden's demonstration of mastery could have on them. And I can, actually think of a similar circumstance- the Test of Truth Covenant went through with the lomillialor rod. The Woodhelvennin went promptly from preparing to brain and imprison Covenant, to inviting him into their homes and gifting him with a powerful staff. They didn't quite trust him- but they acknowledged that he was beyond them. All because their precious magical macguffin bent to his will.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cambo, those were really good points in your last paragraph. I can't argue with your examples; they do indeed contradict my claim and support yours.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why anele didn't take the staff always kind of reminded me that anele didn't want the burden, he didn't want to be the last hope of the land he just wanted to study some rocks. he would have been almost sane as he would have been standing in the cave (I think) and I think he may have simply wanted to pass his burden onto linden. The last thing Anele wants is to be responsible for things and this is why he has retreated into himself, and it may be the reason he lets linden take the staff.. but I don't know.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think on the one hand we have Anele wanting the Staff itself.

And on the other hand we have Anale wanting to recover the Staff and thereby heal the harm he felt he had done in losing it.

On that basis, his actions aren't contradictions. He wanted it found, but he didn't want it.

Sunder and Hollian would probably have handed the Staff right back to Linden as well. And the fact that Anele left the cave without the Staff in the first place indicates he isn't too keen on being the Staff of Law weilder. His whole story about his first times with the Staff make it clear he didn't really feel up to it.

The fact that he wandered the Land for ages in search of it is testament to his wanting it found again. He surely feels as if he failed the Land by losing it.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makes sense to me ... though, he could have said all that prior to the moment it was in Linden's hands, before reaching out and almost grabbing it, then stopping himself and shuffling away to sulk. If he'd pulled Linden aside prior to going into the caesure, and told her that he wanted her to have it if they found it, that he considered it hers by right more than his, and he didn't feel up to it anyway, maybe it would have played out better.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Makes sense to me ... though, he could have said all that prior to the moment it was in Linden's hands, before reaching out and almost grabbing it, then stopping himself and shuffling away to sulk. If he'd pulled Linden aside prior to going into the caesure, and told her that he wanted her to have it if they found it, that he considered it hers by right more than his, and he didn't feel up to it anyway, maybe it would have played out better.


Maybe if he was sane at all he could have said something that coherent.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You people and your reasonble points make me sick. Razz

j/k. Point taken.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
You people and your reasonble points make me sick. Razz

j/k. Point taken.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I think on the one hand we have Anele wanting the Staff itself.

And on the other hand we have Anale wanting to recover the Staff and thereby heal the harm he felt he had done in losing it.

On that basis, his actions aren't contradictions. He wanted it found, but he didn't want it.

Sunder and Hollian would probably have handed the Staff right back to Linden as well. And the fact that Anele left the cave without the Staff in the first place indicates he isn't too keen on being the Staff of Law weilder. His whole story about his first times with the Staff make it clear he didn't really feel up to it.

The fact that he wandered the Land for ages in search of it is testament to his wanting it found again. He surely feels as if he failed the Land by losing it.

This is all true. But there's one more thing, though it is a spoiler, so beware:

Spoiler:
The staff means health/sanity for him...and sanity means he has to live with his certain destiny. That's why he's fractured to begin with.


On why the Wayn gave it up: Linden demonstrated her right to it by what she did. But she demonstrated something else: that she COULD have just TAKEN it, just blasted them with it and picked it up. [they are particularly vulnerable to it, after all] But she took control, and healed them...yet didn't take it away.
She transcends them and their weird, but leaves the decision to them regardless. I think that's a pretty potent "argument," she made.
And [something I think/hope comes up in the Last Dark]...
Obviously, sometimes good CAN come about by/despite evil means.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good points. I thought about that, too, Vraith--how she'd proven she could have just taken it. But again, I wish that was something which had come out in the unfolding of the scene, in the reactions of the characters. The implicit threat combined with the beneficent restraint could have been more of a "badass moment," but SRD seemed to want to go the "kum ba ya" moment instead, stressing how nice and wonderful she is, rather than her implicit threat. Not that SRD had to explain it to us, but letting us see the characters acknowledge this connection themselves, at least having a taste of that threat before stressing the warm and fuzzy feelings would have maximized the tension of the scene.

I usually love how all the characters are empathetic of each other, as if they're more aware of each other than the characters of most other authors. But something about Runes--and this cave scene in particular--starts to wear thin. As I said, there are lots of great points here that make sense, but they don't make the scene play out better for me.

Does this scene of this chapter read fine for everyone else? Is it just UrSteve and me?
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
The implicit threat combined with the beneficent restraint could have been more of a "badass moment," but SRD seemed to want to go the "kum ba ya" moment instead,


Does this scene of this chapter read fine for everyone else? Is it just UrSteve and me?


On the first.../agree.

On the second...I think it's "fine," roughly in the same tone as my wife uses when some project I've done is good enough. But just that. And your first point is part of why, I think. Not that I'm sure it should have been exactly what you suggest, or if so very carefully done cuz IIR the scene accurately, the potential for violence was oozing from every pore and crevice, calm/defusing was needed. Nevertheless something stronger in delineation or implication [for us on the outside].

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been awhile since I've read Runes, but I don't remember anything feeling off about that part. Maybe it's just hindsight though, since most of the first three books are about various entities and their philosophies challenging Linden's... and then quickly bowing out for various reasons--trust being a common one, as is such here with the Waynhim.

The people of the land are all strict archetypes that usually butt heads with the strangeness that is us. Humans. We do bad things with good intentions. We make mistakes. We sacrifice many lives to save one. But this quirky mix has the key to turn Despite on its head... some people are harder to convince of this than others. It's perhaps surprising something as strict as the Weird could be convinced, but IIRC the Waynhim were at a delicate time in their lives, unsure how to continue.

Anele never wanted the staff for himself. He just wanted it found because he was responsible for it and he felt he had let his parents down.
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