Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler*
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -> The Last Dark
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
joques
Servant of the Land


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 19

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


185 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:01 pm    Post subject: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

Hello! New poster here, but old, old fan of Donaldson since my junior high days when I borrowed the first chronicles from my science teacher. I guess I haven't paid my dues here on the forum to be allowed to criticize, but here goes.

The last chronicles were a mixed bag for me. My biggest problems were probably that there is no consistency to Linden's character. Earlier this year I started re-reading all the chronicles in anticipation of The Last Dark, which brought a wonderful continuity to the whole experience for me - and not least, the wonderfully paced character development of Linden in the second chronicles.

In the last chronicles though, there doesn't seem to be any arc for her, she just oscillates wildly between a whiny victim and Chuck Norris.

Cue The Last Dark. At last it all seemed to come together. Linden decisively shed her whiny persona and took charge of her own fate. Covenant became the magnificent bastard you always longed for him to be. All the threads from all the books in all the chronicles seemed to be coming together for a real, meaty, satisfying climax.

And then, during the span of just a few pages of the last chapter, and the whole of the epilogue, it all came crashing down for me. Suddenly the worm wasn't so unstoppable after all? By some unexplained magic, now suddenly the Elohim have the power to put it back to sleep? Are you frickin' kidding me?

I've never known Donaldson to bring any narrative to such a cheap end before. Everything always has consequences, and it always makes sense within the narrative. That the Elohim now suddenly are able to put the worm to sleep goes against *everything* that has gone before. I get the image of Donaldson disgustedly saying: "Here's your happy ending. Enjoy. I wash my hands of the whole mess."

It cheapens everything! I've been trying for a couple of weeks now to make room for this in my own internal narrative, but I can't do it. This ending is probably the biggest letdown I've ever had from Donaldson, and it breaks my heart.

Anyway, just had to get it off my chest. Am I way off base? Is there something I'm unable to grasp here?

[mod edit - no need for spoiler tags in this forum.]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TheFallen
Master of Innominate Surquedry

Male
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 1401

Thanks: 23
Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts

Location: Guildford, UK
16302 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you off base? Nope - there are many who feel every bit as disappointed as you do... for both the reasons you cite and others.

To be fair, there are equally many who are delighted by the Last Chrons and find them entirely satisfying.

There are even some who think that the ideas and concepts dealt with by the author in allegorical form are highly interesting from an intellectual point of view, but who simultaneously think that the narrative side of TLD is a damp squib.

Take a browse through the various topics in this, The Last Dark subforum, and you'll get a pretty good idea of what the two differing schools of opinion either dislike or appreciate about the Last Chrons and TLD in particular.
_________________
Newsflash... the word "irony" doesn't mean "a bit like iron"

Some people say I'm egocentric... but hey, enough about them


Last edited by TheFallen on Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
SleeplessOne
One of the Infrequent


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 509

Thanks: 22
Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1978 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

I didn't have too much issue with that particular resolution.

After drinking the Earthblood (along with a fair feast of stars/Elohim beforehand) I got the sense that the worm had largely sated it's appetite.

Donaldson's off-screen world-reboot was the last dark for the reader, we have no idea how it was achieved or what state the Land and it's world were reduced to. There's little doubt that the Arch of Time was at the very least damaged by the Worm's feeding - perhaps the Arch was in fact destroyed and then more or less instantaneously rebuilt (the timewarden's intimate knowledge would obviously have been quite handy here ..), and as the Worm reached the apotheosis of it's feeding the Elohim may have only hastened a process that was part of the Worm's natural cycle anyway.

Things bugged me about the last chronicles and the last dark in particular, but that wasn't really one of them ...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Akasri
Haruchai


Joined: 08 Jan 2004
Posts: 736

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


1643 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was troubled by this also. The Elohim were (rightly so) scared of the Worm being awakened, as he would feast on them. If they could just put him back to sleep as mentioned towards the end (I can't remember who said it), then what's the big worry? I wonder if that was an authorial slip-up there or something.

I, too, read all the previous books before reading TLD; that's the reason I didn't start TLD until mid-December and finished it just after Christmas. Everything up to and including Runes of the Earth, I love. Starting with Fatal Revenant, things start going off the rails for me.

In Runes, Linden is truly a victim. She was summoned against her will, things are breaking down, so many enemies against her, etc.

But getting into Fatal Revenant, things started to go sideways for me. It almost felt like every problem that came up, suddenly a solution appeared. Linden is taken into the past and stuck there... oh, the Mahdoubt brings her back. Linden's staff is inadequate... oh, Caerroil Wildwood inscribes runes in it. We're all about to die... Esmer shows up and saves us. Just on and on like that. Just when things look bleakest, someone or something happens to save the day. It began to feel forced.

The last half of the last book was just one long fight scene pretty much, and it got boring after a while (the whole climb up into the Wightwarrens).

I don't know... overall, I am OK with how things turned out. I would have liked to have seen the Creator at least put in an appearance, but whatever.

I don't hate the 3rd chronicles, but I would have been just fine if there had never been a 3rd chronicles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
joques
Servant of the Land


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 19

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


185 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely agree. Far too many "rescuers-in-the-nick-of-time out of the machine", throughout the whole 3rd Chronicles.

Before I started re-reading the whole series, I thought the 2nd Chronicles were my favourite. Turns out, this time I liked the 1st Chronicles the best - and The Illearth War the very best out of them all.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Akasri
Haruchai


Joined: 08 Jan 2004
Posts: 736

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts


1643 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to argue that - the Illearth War is pretty much my favorite as well. It's an awesome book.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
ussusimiel
Ghurning

Male
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 5346

Thanks: 69
Thanked 66 Times in 63 Posts

Location: Waterford (milking cows), and sometimes still Dublin, Ireland
7706 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi joques, welcome to the Watch. Why don't you take yourself on over to The Summonsing and introduce yourself! You'll get a semi-official welcome (and probably a lot of bad puns and other off-topic responses Laughing).

I haven't really thought that much about the Elohim 'singing' the Worm to sleep, but it does have some basis in Land lore. The Worm basically fell asleep after consuming large quantities of the Creator's children of whom the Elohim are an aspect. So, if the Worm was close to repletion is it not possible that with the knowledge that the Elohim have that they could in some manner or other 'sing' the Worm to sleep again. I know that it feels like a bit of a stretch, but the situation is, in many ways, novel and so the author has created a fair bit of room for manoeuver for himself. I'm not saying that I like the ending (I don't) but I am coming to see that there are structural (if not emotional) justifications for it.

u.

P.S. TheFallen is too humble to tout his own excellent thread: TLD. Fusing the psychological alloy - an allegory unravelled. Check it out for a really good overview of one possible reading of the Last Chrons.
_________________
Tho' all the maps of blood and flesh
Are posted on the door,
There's no one who has told us yet
What Boogie Street is for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SleeplessOne
One of the Infrequent


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 509

Thanks: 22
Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1978 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

Akasri wrote:
Hard to argue that - the Illearth War is pretty much my favorite as well. It's an awesome book.


I agree, TIW stands out as the best in the chronicles of TC imo, and whats more it's just one of my very favourite books, period.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SleeplessOne
One of the Infrequent


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 509

Thanks: 22
Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1978 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
Hi joques, welcome to the Watch. Why don't you take yourself on over to The Summonsing and introduce yourself! You'll get a semi-official welcome (and probably a lot of bad puns and other off-topic responses Laughing).

I haven't really thought that much about the Elohim 'singing' the Worm to sleep, but it does have some basis in Land lore. The Worm basically fell asleep after consuming large quantities of the Creator's children of whom the Elohim are an aspect. So, if the Worm was close to repletion is it not possible that with the knowledge that the Elohim have that they could in some manner or other 'sing' the Worm to sleep again. I know that it feels like a bit of a stretch, but the situation is, in many ways, novel and so the author has created a fair bit of room for manoeuver for himself. I'm not saying that I like the ending (I don't) but I am coming to see that there are structural (if not emotional) justifications for it.

u.


this is kinda sorta maybe what I was trying to get at also; the worm was as good as sated after feasting on stars/elohim & the earthblood - it's natural cycle after such a feast would be to sleep anyway, the Elohim just apparently knew some kind of lullaby which would hasten the process ..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
joques
Servant of the Land


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 19

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


185 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SleeplessOne, that just seems like a monster cop-out to me. Sated? The Earthblood was supposed to have the diametrically opposite effect, in fact that was the whole point of the last two books! This rush to find some solution, because once the worm hits the earthblood, it's supercharged, and it's game over, man, game over! The worm will wreck the earth, the arch and start devouring the whole cosmos again, like it did before. That was the whole driving force of the narrative in the last two books!


And now suddenly that wasn't the case after all? No, sir. Not good enough.

(Edited because I'm an idiot and can't count)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
joques
Servant of the Land


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 19

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


185 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I apologize. I see now that the First Impressions thread is where this should go. From the title I gathered that that thread was for first impression starting the book, and not first impressions after finishing it. From which you may glean that I am a very literal-minded person. Which may go some way to explain my indignation at the ending Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OhYeah
Servant of the Land


Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 21

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


129 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, I am pretty much into that these are Donaldson's books, and he can do whatever in the hell he wants -- and I pretty much like it all.

I mean, where can you go where a guy has saved the entire Land, and Universe not, once, but twice, and have the guy still have a mind-debate within himself as to whether or not he is a piece of shit? Classic.

And wasnt it pretty much aw-shucks to have Thomas and Linden get married, and then to have them make love and have sex throughout the area near the Sarangrave? That was cool.

'The sun aint shining, and the Elohim are stuck in a box, but make love to me Thomas, one more time'.

'My adopted son is a mess, and your son is in league with Lord Foul, but do it to me one more time'.

Only Stephen D, baby, only Stephen D!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ussusimiel
Ghurning

Male
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 5346

Thanks: 69
Thanked 66 Times in 63 Posts

Location: Waterford (milking cows), and sometimes still Dublin, Ireland
7706 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

joques wrote:
...The Earthblood was supposed to have the diametrically opposite effect, in fact that was the whole point of the last two books! This rush to find some solution, because once the worm hits the earthblood, it's supercharged, and it's game over, man, game over! The worm will wreck the earth, the arch and start devouring the whole cosmos again, like it did before. That was the whole driving force of the narrative in the last two books!
...

That's not exactly how I read it, joques. The way I saw it is that the Elohim and EarthBlood are the kind of food that the Worm desires. AFAICT, the Worm could have broken the Arch at any time but, naturally was going to first consume all the food concentrated nearby before it headed out into the cosmos.

I haven't ever really pondered it too deeply before, but what is EarthBlood anyway?

u.
_________________
Tho' all the maps of blood and flesh
Are posted on the door,
There's no one who has told us yet
What Boogie Street is for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SkurjMaster
Warlike Unfettered


Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 213

Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


1696 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:21 pm    Post subject: The Earth Reply with quote

According to what I can remember and as I think I have pointed out previously (another thread?), the Earth was supposed to have formed around the Worm after its last bit of feasting. So, the Earth should have been destroyed when the Worm fully awakened. The Arch would have come later. Was this not what was indicated in the Second Chronicles?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ussusimiel
Ghurning

Male
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 5346

Thanks: 69
Thanked 66 Times in 63 Posts

Location: Waterford (milking cows), and sometimes still Dublin, Ireland
7706 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: The Earth Reply with quote

SkurjMaster wrote:
According to what I can remember and as I think I have pointed out previously (another thread?), the Earth was supposed to have formed around the Worm after its last bit of feasting. So, the Earth should have been destroyed when the Worm fully awakened. The Arch would have come later. Was this not what was indicated in the Second Chronicles?

This is where the creation myths seem to have morphed and shifted as the LCs proceeded. Remember, as well, that we got a number of different stories as to how the world was created (and also that some of those stories cames from the Elohim, who are not to be trusted).

u.
_________________
Tho' all the maps of blood and flesh
Are posted on the door,
There's no one who has told us yet
What Boogie Street is for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SkurjMaster
Warlike Unfettered


Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 213

Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


1696 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 1:55 am    Post subject: Cosmologies Reply with quote

The creator cosmology came from the Lords (I think).
The story of a-Jeroth came from the Clave.
Did the story of the Worm come from the Clave or the Elohim?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DrPaul
Giantfriend


Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 439

Thanks: 3
Thanked 12 Times in 10 Posts


2388 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story of the Worm came from the Elohim, and was related to Linden by Pitchwife in TOT.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SleeplessOne
One of the Infrequent


Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 509

Thanks: 22
Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1978 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:01 am    Post subject: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

joques wrote:
SleeplessOne, that just seems like a monster cop-out to me. Sated? The Earthblood was supposed to have the diametrically opposite effect, in fact that was the whole point of the last two books! This rush to find some solution, because once the worm hits the earthblood, it's supercharged, and it's game over, man, game over! The worm will wreck the earth, the arch and start devouring the whole cosmos again, like it did before. That was the whole driving force of the narrative in the last two books!


And now suddenly that wasn't the case after all? No, sir. Not good enough.

(Edited because I'm an idiot and can't count)


well, that's exactly what happened; the earth was 'wrecked', the arch was broken.

the fact that TC and co. were able to rebuild the world virtually instantaneously as it was destroyed meant that the Elohim were preserved and were able to put into effect their sing-song solution.

I presume that the Elohim made the assumption that if the arch/world was destroyed they wouldn't be around to do anything about it.

But as they were preserved, other unforseen solutions presented themselves.

I understand that a lot of this was merely implied and that for some that's not good enough; for mine it was far from the most problematic issues with the LC's ...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
joques
Servant of the Land


Joined: 03 Jan 2014
Posts: 19

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


185 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all sophistry. One could debate world lore till one is blue in the face, but in a story with about as many retcons and contradictions as the Bible, that isn't very productive.

My problems are more related to the implied contract between author and reader, which in this case, and in my own personal view, was violated.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TheFallen
Master of Innominate Surquedry

Male
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 1401

Thanks: 23
Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts

Location: Guildford, UK
16302 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH


PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
P.S. TheFallen is too humble to tout his own excellent thread: TLD. Fusing the psychological alloy - an allegory unravelled. Check it out for a really good overview of one possible reading of the Last Chrons.
Humble? HUMBLE? ME??? I'm calling my lawyers here... Razz. You're too kind, u. I think SRD's interest in allegorically conveying a message based upon Jungian psychological theory is pretty easily demonstrable, as I attempted to do in my post that you link to.

Joques, as I said above, there are those of us who feel narratively very much let down by the author, but who still find the underlying philosophical/metaphysical intention and import of the Last Chrons interesting from a purely intellectual viewpoint - whether we agree with it or not.

On that basis, I entirely agree with you regarding the violation of the key "storyteller" part of the contract between author and reader - too many dei ex machinae, too little care and attention paid to the narrative demands of dramatic pacing, credible plot exposition and empathic character development left me emotionally uninvolved, dissatisfied and frankly a little irritated, as I've said elsewhere.

Needless to say, other branded opinions are also freely available...

Heh.
_________________
Newsflash... the word "irony" doesn't mean "a bit like iron"

Some people say I'm egocentric... but hey, enough about them
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -> The Last Dark All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 1 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch