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Horrim Carabal
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
That's all true, WF, especially the reminder of the connection between power, passion, and knowledge [we also might add in a reminder of guilt as well...since Kevin was surely as guilty as anyone had ever been after enacting the ritual].

But I reiterate, rephrase that the ultimate problem which Elena either failed to understand or intentionally avoided considering is the connection between Earthpower and LIFE. Kevin was DEAD. That made all the difference, and she should have/could have known it. [IIRC, Kevin even alluded to that when summoned back and speaking to Elena].


I've stated my views on this whole thing before, though not many agree with me: High Lord Elena was clinically insane.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think she probably was insane. But the bigger problem was that she was in idiot. I've been through this a few times in various threads, but it's been a while.

She had no reason to assume her theory (and calling it a "theory" is being generous) was valid. It was just an idea she had, which she decided to embrace to the fullest, and risk the Land and Earth on it.

And, for different reasons, Covenant, Mhoram, and Amok, all beings of great power and importance, warned her against this. She ignored them all, deciding she knew best.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not insane IMO. Reckless, ambitious, non-sequential, passionate. Monomaniacal. But not "insane". To me, she represents "Every weakness is a strength misapplied." In any other circumstance, she would have been admirable.

She had no reason to assume her theory would work - but taking a chance on a hunch inspired by devotion is the kind of thing that heroes are made of. When they pay off, these actions are considered courageous and brilliant. When they don't, they are reckless and stupid. It's a gamble.

She wasn't very wrong, by the way. She just left things out of her calculations.

Yes, she had warnings, but warnings can be wrong, too. The Chronicles is filled with warners who, had Covenant or Linden heeded them, they would have failed. This time, the warnings were on the right side, but there is nothing inherently wrong with judging whether or not to heed them.

She's not Kevin. She didn't know her actions would have consequences that affected anyone but herself.

It's a very, very fine line between hero and desecrator. No guts, no glory. No balls, no blue chips. That's what Kevin's Ritual means, in one dimension. That's why everyone in the Land loves him anyway.

So I cannot be too hard on Elena.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROTE, WHGB:

Quote:
Other developments also tighten the grip of Covenant's dilemma. The Council is now led by High Lord Elena, his daughter by his rape of Lena. With her, he begins to experience the real consequences of his violence. It is clear to him - if to no one else - that she is not completely sane.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nevertheless. I'm fine if everyone else thinks she is insane. Even Donaldson does. It's just I think it's too strong a word for describing her.
    insane: a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill
Also:

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
Only characters with epic flaws are capable of epic victories.
(02/05/2005)

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
The problem with such questions--and my answers--is that we tend to talk about Elena's mental state as if it were binary, either on or off, sane or crazy. But there are many hues and degrees of mental imbalance, and we all have them. Under the right circumstances--and the right kind of pressure--any of us might do something crazy. If Covenant had never returned to the Land, Elena might have been a fine High Lord.
(10/11/2006)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hate her. Wouldn't want to date her.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elena's choices, taken one at a time, might seem reasonable, even normal, as some of you have said.

Nevertheless, taken all together we see a pattern emerge. And I believe if a person displayed that sort of pattern in our world, they would eventually fall under the care of various and sundry mental health professionals.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Hate her. Wouldn't want to date her.
Well, since you're not her father she wouldn't want to date you either.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree she was insane: that's not to say she wasn't also highly charismatic, intelligent, passionate and with periods of apparent sanity, too.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
Hate her. Wouldn't want to date her.
Well, since you're not her father she wouldn't want to date you either.


oOOO ...burn!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one problem I have with the whole "Elena is insane" theory is that-- if that was the case-- why the heck couldn't the others Lords see it-- especially during the whole Mindmeld stuff?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
The one problem I have with the whole "Elena is insane" theory is that-- if that was the case-- why the heck couldn't the others Lords see it-- especially during the whole Mindmeld stuff?


That's a good question. I have a couple thoughts on it...
First, we find out [during the Siege of Revelstone we find out for certain, there are hints earlier] that the Lords can, and do, keep things private even in the "mind-meld."
There is some bleed-over, it seems, so that strong worries get "sensed" by your partners [[folk KNEW Mhoram was keeping SOMETHING secret, and that it disturbed him...but not what it was.]] Elena, I don't think, ever has any serious struggles/doubts...[[in relation to her function as a Lord...the Lords were not immune to normal emotional issues with parents and mates...as a random Wink example.]]
In fact, she has the opposite in most ways: belief, faith, certainty, confidence, commitment, knowledge, strength, Earthpower...
RELATED to insanity...I don't think she was that. The "break" that mattered didn't come about till at or near the very act... Health sense would almost certainly have shown insanity even if the mind-meld didn't... almost everyone would have known...until the time for the deed was upon her, she had a choice...until that instant, things MIGHT have gone differently.

On a tangent...it is almost definite that Mhoram knew something. In general, if not in detail. I think he knew all, or almost all, of it as seer/oracle. He acceded to it either because it was unavoidable, or other options were even worse, or the fact of her choosing was in itself necessary no matter what choice she made/outcome followed.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
How is it that the other Lords, including Mhoram who was seer and oracle, had no indication of her insanity? Why did even mind melds between the counsel fail to indicate her flaw? A mutual decision was made that she possessed the qualities necessary to face the challenges of the upcoming war; how could they have been so wrong?
    The Lords who selected Elena to lead them were not "so wrong." This is a novel about paradox, remember. Elena was the perfect choice in the same sense that Covenant was the perfect choice. So she was discernibly unbalanced. So what? So was he. The other Lords--especially Mhoram--knew that she would (to borrow a phrase) "save or damn" the Land; and they chose to believe that she would save it, just as they chose to believe that Covenant would. None of them existed on the knife-edge of possibility in the same way that Elena--and Covenant--did. And they could so easily have been validated by the outcome, if she had simply made a different decision at the moment when she tasted the EarthBlood. Only characters with epic flaws are capable of epic victories. So I would argue that the issue isn't that the other Lords "had no indication of her insanity": they simply didn't think in those terms. They didn't ask, "Is she sane?" but rather, "Is she capable?" And in those terms, they made the best possible choice.

    (02/05/2005)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
How is it that the other Lords, including Mhoram who was seer and oracle, had no indication of her insanity? Why did even mind melds between the counsel fail to indicate her flaw? A mutual decision was made that she possessed the qualities necessary to face the challenges of the upcoming war; how could they have been so wrong?
    The Lords who selected Elena to lead them were not "so wrong." This is a novel about paradox, remember. Elena was the perfect choice in the same sense that Covenant was the perfect choice. So she was discernibly unbalanced. So what? So was he. The other Lords--especially Mhoram--knew that she would (to borrow a phrase) "save or damn" the Land; and they chose to believe that she would save it, just as they chose to believe that Covenant would. None of them existed on the knife-edge of possibility in the same way that Elena--and Covenant--did. And they could so easily have been validated by the outcome, if she had simply made a different decision at the moment when she tasted the EarthBlood. Only characters with epic flaws are capable of epic victories. So I would argue that the issue isn't that the other Lords "had no indication of her insanity": they simply didn't think in those terms. They didn't ask, "Is she sane?" but rather, "Is she capable?" And in those terms, they made the best possible choice.

    (02/05/2005)



And that makes me wonder what use Elena could have made of the EarthBlood that would thwarted the Despiser's plans or at least hindered them?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Gradual Interview was wrote:
Oh, I read the most recent of the Gradual Interview questions. What do you think _would_ have been the right choice for Elena when she stood on her knife edge at the source of Earthpower? What force native to the Land could have bested Lord Foul? The Fire-Lions? I thought reading that passage that she was caught at that point in her anger and lust beyond the possibility of a 'correct' choice.
    Where Elena is concerned, however: I'm inclined to agree with you. By the time she reaches the EarthBlood, she has become (in part because of Covenant's underlying selfishness in his dealings with her) a person for whom no "correct" choice is possible. It's like that old joke: "You can't get there from here. You have to go somewhere else and start." (btw, it seems to me that much of life is like that.) But if she could have started somewhere else (i.e. if she had been a different person), she might have considered her problem in terms of "protection" rather than "attack". Perhaps the only valid use of Earthpower in her position would have been to strengthen beauty and Law against Despite rather than to weaken Law as an attack on Despite. Certainly I don't think that any "force native to the Land could have bested Lord Foul." (By the same logic, I don't believe that Lord Foul--unaided--is capable of breaking free of Time.) That's one reason why beauty and truth are so precious: they're fragile; and on a day-to-day basis unscrupulous despisers always have the advantage. Just try arguing with a nihilist, and you'll see what I mean. <grin>

    (07/19/2005)

... and no one should say more in this forum!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Then, suddenly, the specter of High Lord Kevin appeared before Lord Foul. The Despiser had been quietly sitting upon his throne, contemplating his strategy when Kevin's ghost unexpectedly became visible before him. For a moment Foul stared in silent amazement and then...
"Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah...hahahahahahahahahaha...hahahahahahahahahah...oh my god...hahahahahahahahah...they can't...be...this...stupid...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhah. Woohooo! That felt good. I haven't laughed...hahah...laughed like that in a long time. Ah, my sides hurt. Give me a second Kevin...hahahahah...hahhh...okay...I think I got that out of my...hahahah...system...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...sorry...Kevin...hahahahahahahahahahh...this is so uncool...I know I can be a dick but...hahahahahahha...its not your fault...hahahahahahhaahBWAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!"

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Horrim Carabal
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aTOMiC wrote:
Quote:
Then, suddenly, the specter of High Lord Kevin appeared before Lord Foul. The Despiser had been quietly sitting upon his throne, contemplating his strategy when Kevin's ghost unexpectedly became visible before him. For a moment Foul stared in silent amazement and then...
"Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah...hahahahahahahahahaha...hahahahahahahahahah...oh my god...hahahahahahahahah...they can't...be...this...stupid...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhah. Woohooo! That felt good. I haven't laughed...hahah...laughed like that in a long time. Ah, my sides hurt. Give me a second Kevin...hahahahah...hahhh...okay...I think I got that out of my...hahahah...system...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH...sorry...Kevin...hahahahahahahahahahh...this is so uncool...I know I can be a dick but...hahahahahahha...its not your fault...hahahahahahhaahBWAAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!"


I'm going to quote myself here, something that's sort of uncouth, but here goes nothing.

Horrim Carabal wrote:
Elena's choices, taken one at a time, might seem reasonable, even normal, as some of you have said.

Nevertheless, taken all together we see a pattern emerge. And I believe if a person displayed that sort of pattern in our world, they would eventually fall under the care of various and sundry mental health professionals.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin used his unmatched arcane knowledge to fight Elena when he returned. When she summoned him back from the dead she wished him back with all his former strength. That was the whole idea of her wish. The Dead lack free will according to 2nd chrons, not power.

But Kevin was changed by his Ritual of Desecration and former betrayals and defeats. His ability to desecrate and destroy was strong but his ability to uphold Law and protect beauty was weakened. He was better suited to attack the Land's protectors than Foul and his forces. Foul wasn't hurt by his hate. Their shared history gave him mastery over Kevin. He easily mastered him with his Stone. That's not the way to fight a being like him anyway. Kevin had no pureness or laughter left in him. Only self loathing, guilt and useless knowledge. Elena wasn't ready to battle the person she idolized and put on a pedestal on the other hand. Still, it wasn't an easy fight for Kevin to win. He knew the Lore of the Old Lords. He knew the secret of Desecration Mhoram later discovered but he lacked the passion and need to protect something precious. He lacked conviction. He won, thanks to his superior knowledge but I'd bet Mhoram could defeat him by the end of the 1st chron.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Kevin used his unmatched arcane knowledge to fight Elena when he returned. When she summoned him back from the dead she wished him back with all his former strength. That was the whole idea of her wish. The Dead lack free will according to 2nd chrons, not power.

But Kevin was changed by his Ritual of Desecration and former betrayals and defeats. His ability to desecrate and destroy was strong but his ability to uphold Law and protect beauty was weakened. He was better suited to attack the Land's protectors than Foul and his forces. Foul wasn't hurt by his hate. Their shared history gave him mastery over Kevin. He easily mastered him with his Stone. That's not the way to fight a being like him anyway. Kevin had no pureness or laughter left in him. Only self loathing, guilt and useless knowledge. Elena wasn't ready to battle the person she idolized and put on a pedestal on the other hand. Still, it wasn't an easy fight for Kevin to win. He knew the Lore of the Old Lords. He knew the secret of Desecration Mhoram later discovered but he lacked the passion and need to protect something precious. He lacked conviction. He won, thanks to his superior knowledge but I'd bet Mhoram could defeat him by the end of the 1st chron.


A resurrected, undead Kevin with mastery of all seven wards would clean Mhoram's clock IMO. The only reason Elena hung with him was that she was waving the Staff of Law around. And he still killed her.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Horrim Carabal wrote:
shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Kevin used his unmatched arcane knowledge to fight Elena when he returned. When she summoned him back from the dead she wished him back with all his former strength. That was the whole idea of her wish. The Dead lack free will according to 2nd chrons, not power.

But Kevin was changed by his Ritual of Desecration and former betrayals and defeats. His ability to desecrate and destroy was strong but his ability to uphold Law and protect beauty was weakened. He was better suited to attack the Land's protectors than Foul and his forces. Foul wasn't hurt by his hate. Their shared history gave him mastery over Kevin. He easily mastered him with his Stone. That's not the way to fight a being like him anyway. Kevin had no pureness or laughter left in him. Only self loathing, guilt and useless knowledge. Elena wasn't ready to battle the person she idolized and put on a pedestal on the other hand. Still, it wasn't an easy fight for Kevin to win. He knew the Lore of the Old Lords. He knew the secret of Desecration Mhoram later discovered but he lacked the passion and need to protect something precious. He lacked conviction. He won, thanks to his superior knowledge but I'd bet Mhoram could defeat him by the end of the 1st chron.


A resurrected, undead Kevin with mastery of all seven wards would clean Mhoram's clock IMO. The only reason Elena hung with him was that she was waving the Staff of Law around. And he still killed her.


Spoiler:
In Fatal Revenant Linden learns the 7th Word of Power which means something like upholding the Law. It's implied it wasn't included in Kevin's Wards because his tarnished heart made him incapable of uttering (writing) it. The 7 Words are the base on which the Old Lords's Lore is built. How effective could Kevin be with only 6 of the Words? It's true Kevin was brimming was knowledge but emotionally he was weak and magic in the Land reflects that.
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