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Self-Sacrifice and Redemption - the core of TLD & the LC

 
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Self-Sacrifice and Redemption - the core of TLD & the LC Reply with quote

Okay so in the most simplistic genre terms, the LCs are a fantasy epic, so on would reasonably expect there to be a goodly amount of redemption going on. And of course at the dénouement, the Earth itself is redeemed through the combined powers of TC, Linden and Jeremiah - even if this is very disappointingly completely undescribed by SRD (I still feel a little cheated at this glaring omission btw).

Having said that, the amount of characters achieving some form of personal redemption as the epic winds to its conclusion is noteworthy. There's a clear distinction between those characters that sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and those who are redeemed by their actions and/or those of others. Just look at the list of those who arrive at some form of redemptive culmination:-

Covenant - goes without saying, although he achieves his real redemption at the end of WGW. The repair/remaking of the world at the culmination of TLD is pretty much more of the same, except with less restraint. Covenant also comes to terms with his inner Despiser, precisely by internalising the external Despiser.

Linden - finally shrugs off the legacy of her parents, the guilt at her actions and becomes the epitome of care, whether it be the care of a mother or the care of a physician.

Jeremiah - redeems himself from the enforced birthright of his maiming and his self-defensive "locked-in syndrome".

Stave and the entire haruchai race - become redeemed and eschew their faulty philosophy through having their eyes opened to their unwitting arrogance and "simony".

Mahrtiir - is released from the bonds of his helplessness and disability in his transfiguration into the new Forestal.

The ur-viles and to a lesser extent, the waynhim as well - achieve redemption by finally coming into a full understanding of their Würd and are equally transfigured in so doing.

The Lurker - okay.it may be driven by self-interest alone, but the horror that is the Lurker achieves some form of redemption in its aiding of Covenant and the forces of good.

Kastenessen - achieves some form of solace via the nurture of his fellow elohim

Kevin Landwaster - redeemed through the forgiveness and acceptance of his forefathers.

Elena - redeemed by Linden as the latter frees SHE from her eternal anguish. There's also a theme of self-sacrifice and redemption here, because interestingly enough, it's made clear in TLD that Elena chose to sacrifice herself to the ravages of SHE because of her love for TC and her awareness that Linden needed to be saved.

Emereau Vrai and a myriad other scorned women - ditto.

SHE - redeemed by Linden, purified and returned to Her prior status of effective godhood outside the Arch of Time.

Roger - okay, not redeemed as such, but it is clear that, during the battle in Kiril Threndor, he does very belatedly try to protect Covenant in that he chooses to blast Branl, rather than Stave, who's supporting Covenant. Plus of course, Roger finds the energy to stab Lord Foul's avatar with the krill, thus keeping him in place under the Arch of Time for a little longer. His motives are dubious though.

Infelive and the elohim - saved by Jeremiah's malachite construct and thus enabled to play a part in the restoration of the Earth, once they've realised that their self-absorbed "surquedry" was in error.

Then there are those who have sacrificed themselves for the greater good and who don't achieve any real personal redemption:-

Liand - the purest example of sacrifice within the entire LCs

Galt - dies protecting Jeremiah, despite the Masters' suspicion.

Clyme - dies much like Honninscrave from the 2nd Chrons so that turiya Raver may be killed.

Anele - through self-sacrifice finds the meaning to his life and madness and achieves a peace in culminating his purpose as the last hope of the Land.

The Mahdoubt and the Ardent - both give their lives so that the company may prevail.

Longwrath - albeit far too briefly dealt with by SRD, in similar fashion to Anele, gives a meaning to his madness by lessening Kastenessen's power, but dying in so doing.

Numerous other barely named giants and unnamed Masters.

We also have a couple of mercy killings in the slayings of both Esmer and Joan. Again, at least both tragically conflicted and damaged characters achieve a final peace with their release from torment.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self-sacrifice doesn't mean much when people (and worlds) can be resurrected. It meant something at the end of WGW. Now, it feels like a gimmick to induce emotions.

In fact, this is what has bothered me about the Jesus story ever since I was a kid. When my parents and preachers told me how incredible it was that God would die for our sins, I always wanted to say, "But isn't he immortal?" How is it a sacrifice for someone to "die" when they can't really die? I'm supposed to be impressed by a symbolic sacrifice? If it's symbolic, isn't that the same as not being literally real? If there are no real consequences to the action, no lasting harm, then why am I supposed to view this as a sacrifice?

Another way to say it: if some infinite, unlimited Being can literally do anything, then why should I be impressed with any particular thing it chooses to do?

I feel that everything has been undermined with this ending. This is what it means to be human? No, that's what it means to be God. I'm not a god, so I can't relate.
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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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