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TLD First Impressions
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
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Therefore at some point in our imaginary future Land there will be a reappearance of Foul.


True, and knowing that drives me nuts.


Well, at the end of TPTP doesn't Covenant come to the realization that Despite can never be (even SHOULD never be) destroyed? He had an opportunity, did he not, when standing over the ruins of the Illearth Stone with Lord Foul in his power, to end him. He chose not to.

Seven books later, he again chooses to absorb Foul instead of destroying him.

Foul is a part of the natural order, he can be overcome but never completely eliminated.

What I want to know is, what about Moksha? He's the more immediate threat to the New Land, as I see it.


I understand, and that's why I was hoping for the "enduring solution" that SRD alluded to in the GI.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The enduring solution is that there is no solution to the eternal conundrums of love v hate, good v evil or hope v despair.

Philosophical questions that you can debate for eons and get nowhere.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ozrics wrote:
The enduring solution is that there is no solution to the eternal conundrums of love v hate, good v evil or hope v despair.

Philosophical questions that you can debate for eons and get nowhere.


...maybe, or maybe Covenant screwed up royally when he had two opportunities to destroy Foul.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Horrim Carabal wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
Quote:
Therefore at some point in our imaginary future Land there will be a reappearance of Foul.


True, and knowing that drives me nuts.


Well, at the end of TPTP doesn't Covenant come to the realization that Despite can never be (even SHOULD never be) destroyed? He had an opportunity, did he not, when standing over the ruins of the Illearth Stone with Lord Foul in his power, to end him. He chose not to.

Seven books later, he again chooses to absorb Foul instead of destroying him.

Foul is a part of the natural order, he can be overcome but never completely eliminated.

What I want to know is, what about Moksha? He's the more immediate threat to the New Land, as I see it.


I understand, and that's why I was hoping for the "enduring solution" that SRD alluded to in the GI.


Perhaps Foul was right all along and we come back to the Mobius strip.

Quote:
"In time you will not do otherwise than I have done. You will learn contempt for your fellow beings - for the small malices which they misname their loves and beliefs and hopes and loyalties. You will learn that it is easier to control them than to forbear - easier and better. You will not do otherwise. You will become a shadow of what I am - you will be a despiser without the courage to despise. Continue, groveler. Destroy my work if you must - slay me if you can - but make an end! I am weary of your shallow misperception."


Perhaps a bit of premonition...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps the wisest quote in the whole series Soulbiter.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Perhaps the wisest quote in the whole series Soulbiter.


Foul all but admitted Covenant could slay him. TC decided not to, and it led to thousands of years of horror for the Land.

That quote comes from a time before the Sunbane, before the Clave and their bloodlust, before the despoiling of the Land, the perversion of the Council of Lords, before the warping of the Haruchai into the Masters, before countless tens of thousands of deaths had occured.

Devil's advocate here...is TC responsible for all of the above because of his inaction when he had Foul at his mercy?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
peter wrote:
Perhaps the wisest quote in the whole series Soulbiter.


Foul all but admitted Covenant could slay him. TC decided not to, and it led to thousands of years of horror for the Land.

That quote comes from a time before the Sunbane, before the Clave and their bloodlust, before the despoiling of the Land, the perversion of the Council of Lords, before the warping of the Haruchai into the Masters, before countless tens of thousands of deaths had occured.

Devil's advocate here...is TC responsible for all of the above because of his inaction when he had Foul at his mercy?


no he isn't. TC isn't responsible for the acts of Foul, and I'm not sure he could have actually destroyed him. Also, Foul is not part of the "natural order of things", he is unnatural which is why he wants to escape.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TC is responsible for Foul if Foul is a part of TC.

I don't think we can take Foul's word for whether or not he can be killed, even if he did admit that TC could slay him (which I don't believe he did). He also didn't believe that TC would let him live at the end of LD, but that turned out to be untrue. I think we were hearing the Despiser's despair, not an admission that he could actually be slain. Remember, he said, "if you can." So even in his own words, he didn't really believe it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take Lord Foul at his word in this quote. He is weary. Weary and bored with dealing with [what to him is] a termite that is too weak even to admit that in the final analysis they are the same. He [I think] doesn't know if TC can slay him or not - he doesn't even really care. He is like the Haruchai who said 'Let it end'; one way or another he wants it over because he is tired of TC's obdurate [and futile] resistance shot through as it is with liberal doses of hypocracy and self deception.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's irrelevant whether or not Covenant could have destroyed Foul on either of the two (!) chances he had.

The point is, he didn't even try!

He decided NOT to try. But what if his words on those occasions amount to mere rationalization? What if he abdicated his responsibility to the Land by allowing Foul to live?

We at least have to ask the question, IMO.

I believe he could have killed Foul. I think the White Gold is up to that task. But, even if you disagree with me, you have to admit that TC took a horrible risk by not attempting it. Was he squeamish about slaying someone like a-Jeroth?! Or was he so confident in his own ideas of Foul's "neccessity" that he was willing to gamble tens of thousands of lives?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My memory of the fine details of TC's two encounters with the Despiser are not clear enough to outline TC's reasoning for not attempting his destruction [other than I state a few posts back which may be mine rather than TC's] - and I guess it is at the first meting that this really crystalises for him - but yes HC, you are right that he did not attempt the task at all. But hang on a second - his results, while not permanent were pretty damn good by most standards [thousands of years of respite in both cases]. I am of the other opinion in relation to TC's ability to destroy Foul- if he could have done then the end of TLD would have seen him do so [and become that which he abhored in the process]
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished the book yesterday. Overall I have to say I really liked this book. There were flaws, sure, (like the much discussed defiles battle) but it was the best book I've read in some time.

The building of the fane for the Elohim was well written. Only negative points for me were Longwrath lightning-quick wrap up (even if his story remained unchanged I would've at least liked to see more of a reaction from Jerremiah. The moral of Longwrath's story seemed to be that the only answer for long-term possession was putting the fellow out of his misery because he wouldn't be able to live with what he's done and everybody else wouldn't be able to forget the horrible things he's done to them.) and the fact that their job was impossible simply because they were in a rush and didn't have any tools. I'd have preferred it to be innately impossible but that's a small quibble.

Mhartiir's ascension was also a great (and unexpected!) moment. His resultant display of power and beauty when they return was captivating as well.

The profane scenes (Branl unmaking of Clyme and Linden riding out of Longwrath's funeral pyre) were also quite gripping and unforgettable. The monstrocity of the Lurker's mother (unmakes whatever falls under its surface) was another. Though Donaldson doesn't take that plot point anywhere. The Feroce leave and we never learn what happens with them or the Lurker.

The ending may have been a sappy garden of eden thing but it left me with a smile. Sure, I'd have been happy if there was more detail to the resolution and some of the mechanics are questionable but I was glad to have it.


Things that bothered me:

The extreme non-judgementalism everyone espewes. The Masters may have taken it to carricaturish extremes but the company goes just as far in the opposite way.

The rushed manner many interesting plot points were resolved, as others said.

Jeremiah. I didn't really connect with him. He was OK but wasn't great. Also, after all the hype about his talent, why weren't they used more? Portable sun, anyone? Malachite attractor? Super-fertilizer for the quick growing aliantha? When he is possessed by Moksha, first why Moksha and not Foul? Seems more sensible for Foul to possess him and leave the weak willed Roger to Moksha. And as the results showed this plan was weak. All it took was a moment of distraction for Jeremiah to free himself. I expected more of Foul. Lastly, the Fuliginousness of the Staff. It's been a major issue for so long, shouldn't its restoration have deserved some attention?

The Cavewights' dilemma. I think Donadlson was influenced by all the anti-terrorist urban fighting in recent times to add this scene in the Cavewights' town. But if Covenant really wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed shouldn't he have put any effort in accomplishing that? Sure it probably wouldn't do much of a difference but he could still, I don't know, tried to shout "Let us pass and no one will be harmed" or put walls of impenetrable force with the staff to prevent contact between the two sides or even surrounded the company with fearsome walls of fire to dissude the cavewights from approaching. It also draws attention to the fact that our main characters repeatedy try to avoid personally shedding blood but have no problem with their underlings (mainly the haruchai) doing that for them. Or in this section of the story, Covenant doing it for Linden and Jeremiah. It's pretty much certain that his ham-fisted control over his power led to more deaths than would have happened had the other two lent a hand. Double standard much?

Covenant's use of Wild Magic. It's pretty pathetic. Even when he has his own ring back.

Maybe I'm quibbling but as I understand it when Linden creates a Caesure she doesn't just momentarily connects two instances in time and space, she jumbles things along the entire timeline in between those two points. The Caesure storm has to last between these two points, right? This thing has a malign nature. It's not like Covenant jumping out of the timeline method of travel. It's by its very nature destructive and evil. So although she dismisses her Caesure after reaching Garroting Deep all it ensures is that Caerroil Wildwood doesn't discover before he dies that his forest is about be ravaged by an unchecked time-storm from the future.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the joing of Covenant with the Despiser, it's not really explained but I'm guessing that Covenant's act is meant to heal the hurt of the casting out of the Despiser by the Creator.

This all began from the bipolar behavior of the pre-creator. Trying with one hand to create a perfect utopia and sabotage it with the other. If Covenant can fully absorb and accept the Despiser into himself, he will bring peace to the Despiser's spirit and maybe eventually bring the two beings back into alignement.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

call11back wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
Quote:
Mainly, I am trying to deal with the story as SRD wrote it and how I wished it would have been. In the end, it is his story, and so I have to find a way to be content with what he has done.


I agree. Now that it is over, and we know how the story ends, I find myself wishing for more - just as I have after completing 1st and 2nd Chronicles. Only this time we know that this is truly the end, that there will be no more. This is not what I expected to feel.


Haven't you heard? First Chronicles of Linden Avery is slated for Fall 2016. Razz


Am I the only who while reading TLD thought SRD says this is the last Chrons of Thomas Covenant but what if he's planning the Chronicles of Jeremiah Avery/Covenant) in the Land, then of course the ending happened. (Of course I never thought SRD will ever in a million years, of course do this)

PS I enjoyed TLD and the entire Last Chrons while reading even if I'nve forgotten lots of LC1,2 &3 because of lack of rereading, not out of any particular reason except lack of access to TC1 & TC2 and lack of time, so I'm going to take my cue from wayfriend and fade out of the negative phase of the reaction of TLD on the watch and lurk on here where I can retain my positive feelings for SRD's completion of 30 or so years of his work. Plus I think that partly you's all has had too much time to speculate and want things from the work that SRD never intended the Last Chrons to be.

Be well.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I obviously don't post much (understatement!) but I read everything others post. So forgive my "sticking my nose" into the discussion with an observation.
I had pretty much the same feelings as most after my first read of TLD - way too rushed (particularly at the end), some silly resolutions (e.g. Roger's ending and TC's lack of reaction, Jeremiah solving a Raver's possession as easily as doing a crossword puzzle), extreme gore that miraculously avoids harming almost all of the important characters, and odd plot devices (SHE just shows up to sucker-punch Foul at exactly the right time and deposits Linden exactly where she belongs before fleeing - and BTW, how did Linden throw Stave to exactly in the right place too?), sappy ending, etc. etc. etc.
BUT.................
After letting things percolate for a while, I went back and re-read the last 100 pages or so, paying more attention to detail than I had on my first read. While I still see what I consider to be many of the same flaws in the ending of the book, I had much more of an appreciation for the overall construction of the ending and much less of a problem with the ending. I think the second time around, I was focused more on what I thought were the overall goals of SRD - and how he worked mightily to take an "unfinishable" story and finish it, while remaining true to the characters he had constructed and to the *overall* messages of all ten books. I didn't even mind the victory parade of the sendaline-clad heroes quite as much the second time around.
Not sure if anyone else would take the same, more charitable view after a re-read, but I thought I'd throw it out there for anyone who was too disappointed to want to re-read TLD at all. It was definitely better the second time around.
(But I still firmly believe that TROTE, FR and AATE could have been combined into two books, and TLD could have become the second two books with a lot more detail/story/satisfying resolution.)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say that for me the failings of 'The Last Dark' were the failings of the third Chrons as a whole. SRD did indeed 'strive mightily' to wrap up the series - but what he was striving to wrap was a hotch-potch octopus of a plot that had got out of controll way before we see it in the final book. His self-confessed [I believe at least] lack of meticulate planning for 3C in comparison with the others, let his overactive imagination 'of the leash' and not unexpectedly it ram amok. When the time came to wrap it up he was faced with slaying the monster he had created and what we saw was the result of that battle. I'm sorry to say, what was needed here was a MUCH stronger editorial hand, preferably in the form of LDR had he been still here. More than ever now I realise how much we had him to thank for SRD at his highest.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MikeW wrote:
(But I still firmly believe that TROTE, FR and AATE could have been combined into two books, and TLD could have become the second two books with a lot more detail/story/satisfying resolution.)

I've suggested the same thing. I've only been able to make such suggestions now that I can see the whole story arc. I think that trying to edit individual books as they went along would have been very difficult and probably could have only produced superficial improvements when it was major structural changes that were needed.

u.

P.S Don't be shy MikeW, any input you have to offer will be greatly appreciated!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I have to say that for me the failings of 'The Last Dark' were the failings of the third Chrons as a whole. SRD did indeed 'strive mightily' to wrap up the series - but what he was striving to wrap was a hotch-potch octopus of a plot that had got out of controll way before we see it in the final book. His self-confessed [I believe at least] lack of meticulate planning for 3C in comparison with the others, let his overactive imagination 'of the leash' and not unexpectedly it ram amok. When the time came to wrap it up he was faced with slaying the monster he had created and what we saw was the result of that battle. I'm sorry to say, what was needed here was a MUCH stronger editorial hand, preferably in the form of LDR had he been still here. More than ever now I realise how much we had him to thank for SRD at his highest.


I think we're pretty much in agreement; I was more-or-less referring to the "octopus of a plot" when I said he worked mightily to finish an "unfinishable" story. And I agree completely on the effect LDR could have had. Even so, I *did* find the second read a lot more palatable - even enjoyable.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
MikeW wrote:
(But I still firmly believe that TROTE, FR and AATE could have been combined into two books, and TLD could have become the second two books with a lot more detail/story/satisfying resolution.)

I've suggested the same thing. I've only been able to make such suggestions now that I can see the whole story arc. I think that trying to edit individual books as they went along would have been very difficult and probably could have only produced superficial improvements when it was major structural changes that were needed.

u.

P.S Don't be shy MikeW, any input you have to offer will be greatly appreciated!


Either I missed that post, or just absorbed it and parroted it back as my own later on; if it's the latter, I apologize Wink I agree, however, it was a problem that could only have been resolved 10-15 years ago when SRD planned out the series. And IIRC from the GI and elsewhere, at that point he only knew "where he was going" and not exactly how he was going to get there - there wasn't a full blueprint for all four books at that point. It's a shame, since it seems 3C could have been so much more. But he's the author, we just have to glean what pleasure we can from what he produces. And I got more pleasure from the second reading than I did the first.

Not shy - just usually time-constrained Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed MikeW. I've re-read the last couple of chapters with a week or two's interval from the first read and no doubt it did work better. I'm almost tempted to give 3C a go from start to finish to see what the cumulative effect of an end to end read would be. This after all is how I did 1C and it was [literally] a life changing experience.
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