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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to follow up on some points before I move forward on this some more.

Regarding killing Joan:

In the text, the characters point out again and again, often by listing all of the threats to the Earth which they must address, that Joan is such a threat that must be addressed. With good cause, as she is slowly destroying the Arch of time, and she allows wild magic into the hands of Foul's minions. She threatens Linden's Army as well, again and again sending her caesures to menace them, goaded as she is by a Raver. And Covenant himself considers her a personal impediment, commenting that she "has me on a string" as long as she is unhindered.

So a resolution to the Joan issue is certainly much more than an ending to Joan's misery. It is rescuing the Earth. It is rescuing the Army. And it is rescuing Covenant. These are all motives for killing Joan.

Perhaps if they had more time, another answer could have been found. But Joan's death was the only answer that they had.

Which brings me to Covenant's insistence of responsibility for handling Joan.

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
"Hell and blood!" Uselessly Covenant brandished his maimed fists. "I heard the Ardent. I know what’s at stake. But I’ve already sacrificed my own daughter. I can’t go on until I’ve faced Joan. Sometimes we have to do things that are more important than saving the world. Sometimes we can’t save anything else until we’ve cleaned up our own lives."

Even if we have nothing else to go on, just the fact that Covenant insists he must take on Joan is enough to suggest that this has something to do with their relationship. But here, when explaining himself, he says, I can't go on until I've faced Joan. There is something of closure here. And he says, something more important than saving the world. This closure is that important to him. And, I've already sacrificed my daughter. Which hints at wanting to end things with Joan better than he had with Elena's ghost.

And Covenant's relationship with Linden is at stake here as well. Covenant tells Linden, "Don't touch me." Don't be close to me. Because, he feared what he was becoming - or what he might have to become. Dealing with Joan will change him, but he's scared about how it will. And, Everything that he required of himself while life remained in his body depended on his ability to grip and hold. He knew presciently that wielding the krill would be his answer to Joan. He knew he would slay her. This is what he feared would change him. Change him beyond Linden's ability to love him.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..so..okay.." joan" can be seen as the worry of a bad memory..the worry of major failure..failed Love..TC had to get rid ofthat worry,, that memory of Failure and its huge influence on his state of mind..

In order to Love again,,he had to get rid of the " bummer" that his previous experience with Love had been.

TC as HOPE..has to be pointed forward..into the future. Can you have Hope in the past? The past is already done, experienced; only its ghosts can mess with you. And TC , in order to get orientated towards the future,,has to get rid of the baggage from the past.

For me, thats the relationship..the relationship between Hope and Love....Love can free itself from time and space, but Hope is all about the future.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
..so..okay.." joan" can be seen as the worry of a bad memory..the worry of major failure..failed Love.

Possibly. I see it more like TC feels responsible (in part) for her ... well, let's call it torture. We cannot forget how he took care of Joan in TWL.

In The Wounded Land was wrote:
"Don't worry about me." A difficult tenderness softened his tone. "You're safe now-that's the important thing. I'll be all right." Somehow, he managed to smile. His eyes betrayed his pain. The light from the fire cast shadows of self-defiance across his bruised mien. And yet his smile expressed so much valor and rue that the sight of it tore Linden's heart.


TC may no longer love Joan as a man a wife. But as long as Foul abuses Joan as a means of getting to TC, he will feel as if he must make some form of rescue, for her sake.

(Consider also: if Foul is tormenting Joan, then the more Covenant sees Foul as himself ... you get it.)

And also: "Goddamn it, she was my wife!" He brandished his right fist. "I'm still wearing the bloody ring!" Love has ended. But stubborn commitment remains. Symbolized by the ring which he cannot forsake. As long as the ring meant something to TC, he would do his best for Joan.

It was more important than saving the world. This is in the text. Commitment and Responsibility are the reasons why, I think.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which brings me to Family viz Linden Avery.

One thing which may be undisputable about the Last Chronicles is that Linden risks everything to save her son. That's a family-driven plot if there ever was one.

And Donaldson chose to make Jeremiah an adoption rather than natural born. He was her son by choice. And, it's clear from the prose that Linden chose in this matter in order to complete herself.

In The Runes of the Earth was wrote:
Her days with Thomas Covenant, and her years with Jeremiah, had taught her things that she had never known about love and joy.

[...] Nearly two years passed before she recognized the residual ache in her heart for what it was: not grief over Covenant's death, although that pang never lost its poignancy, but rather a hollow place left by the Land. ... She wanted to heal as well some of the harm which Lord Foul had done in her present world. And she needed someone to love. [...] She could not allow the hollow place within her to remain unfilled.

[...] In addition, her gratitude for Jeremiah was too great to be contained in words. He was the center of her life. He gave her a use for the capacity for love which she had learned from Covenant; from Sunder and Hollian, the First and Pitchwife; and from the Land. His mere presence seemed to validate her. He was like a flower which had bloomed within her, fragile and inestimable. She could not have removed it, or turned away, without tearing herself open. The fact that its petals had been crushed in the Despiser's fist, and had never regained their natural shape and scent, only caused her to cherish him more. As long as he remained to her, she would never entirely lose heart.

Not only does Jeremiah fill a hollow place in her heart, but it's a hollow place that was created by her first visit to the Land. And not in a negative way, either, but in a positive way. Linden had experienced love, and she wanted more of that experience. And, for her, that love is inextricable from the compulsion to be a healer.

It is no wonder, then, that Linden's greatest moment in The Last Chronicles is when Jeremiah is restored to himself.

Do you see him? He’s my son.

She had gone through hell to find him. Friends had died to free him from possession. But it was his own action to restore his mind that sent Linden into raptures of happiness.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Joy was too small a word for her emotions. Happiness and gratitude and relief and even astonishment were trivial by comparison. [...] She had no better name for what she felt than exaltation.

Because she was his parent, and she was by god proud of what he had done. His accomplishments brought her joy, in a way that maybe only a parent can feel. Unconditional Joy, to coin a phrase.

- - - - - -

Now, if Linden's first most and primary goal was to rescue her son, her second goal was to recover Thomas Covenant.

It was Roger's chicane which put her in mind to, and her Gallow's Howe rage which impelled her to. Like Covenant's motives with Joan, Linden's motives are a blurred range. The Land needed Covenant; she needed Covenant.

Indeed, she roused the Worm in the name of his restoration to her.And she lived with the consequences of that act, even unto She Who Must Not Be Named rubbing it in.

When Covenant is finally returned to her ... which is after he leaves her, patches his mind, resolves to stop saying Don't Touch Me, and returns ...

In The Last Dark was wrote:
In an instant, her turmoil was transfigured. Out of confusion and pain, she gathered herself.

[...] “Yes.” That one word seemed to contain her whole heart. “Thomas Covenant, yes. I don’t care what you’ve done, or what you’re afraid of, or what you said days ago. I don’t care how broken you were, or what’s going to happen to us later. I only care about now. I love you.”

[...] “I’m yours,” she murmured through a blur of tears. “You’re the only man I’ve ever really loved. You’re the father Jeremiah should have had. As long as you wear this ring, I’m yours.”

And slowly their embrace was transformed. It became a glow of wild magic. Alloyed argent expanded around them, wrapped them in light. Gentle as a caress, it swelled into the night, swirling warmly as it scaled higher and higher until they appeared to stand at the source of a gyre which might reach the stars.

And so, once again Linden is exalted. She and Thomas are married, where "giving each to each other" is the central theme. The result is, again, Unconditional Joy. I don’t care ... I don’t care ... I only care about now.

- - - - -

To me, these two climaxes share one theme: Linden is completed with those acts of love which create her new Family. And her completion brings her the happiness which completion earns.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Post

Very well said!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I've said something like this somewhere before.
But here goes again [probably] anyway.
The death of Joan has benefits...for the surviving char's, for the world, yada yada.
But the point is missed, the importance is missed, if it is ONLY looked at from those directions.
What TC sees, and what the Rany see, and what LF sees [and the reason he set this thread in motion], what we should/need to see:
What/how does it all work from JOAN's view?
I'm gonna keep it short:
In the "real" world, Joan was really just purely pain and insanity taking turns pummeling her. [and now, in the real world, she's really just dead]
In this world, she is pain and insanity...a constant living victim of torture in herself. AND she is the instrument of pain and insanity and torture [eventually destruction] of everyone/thing else.
Her death, in physical fact and spiritual purpose, at the hands of TC, isn't merely "mercy"...the end of pain...but salvation...the restoration of her soul and self.
Because the only other death she will ever experience is as the insane, tortured, damned tool of LF.
LF was placing a bet that TC wouldn't be able to see that...or even if he did, wouldn't be able to overcome his innate resistance to such an act of killing.
And it's a pretty good bet, generally. People die cuz they can't/won't kill to defend themselves. People starve cuz they won't eat worms, bugs, or gross things.

But, I want to make sure to end on the important point: Killing Joan was, in itself, pure Redemption.
Except, perhaps, for Stave, the most beautiful and satisfying culmination.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhere ,,and more than once,,Linden says the TC was her last hope..Yea, she brought back TC back,,but why?..After all else has failed..,,what do you have Against All Things Ending..what is there left when there is nothing else?...Hope, thats what..not family, nothing else,..just Hope. ...and yea...there is quite a lot of Hope in slaying Joan..the Hope in somewhere during her last moment she would free of the despair and insanity ,,even if for a moment, it would be better than continuing to exist in the tortured state. Yea, TC certainly did the unexpected..but still. .. the act was an extreme expression of Hope.

The issue with " family" as you are putting it way, is that..Linden sacrificed herself in the hollow trying to protect Jerry..and failed. Bullets caught her, Jerry and Roger.So..family ..how does family come out of the Hollow incident intact?..It doesn't. It didn't go into the Hollow intact and doesn't survive the onslaught of bullets because,,imho..its not what is going on here.

The author sets up an impossible situation,,a complete no winner..heads I win tails you lose scenario. An absolute Fail...Except,,after all this reading..perhaps one can see,,that the harrowing Hollow scene back at the beginning of Runes,,maybe wasn't so absolute after all. Maybe Linden could have made better choices,,if she would have given a bit more of time and not panicked out of lack of any other choices..Clymes death was not the first murder spawned by the choice challenged. Family? Well sure, there are sons and daughters fathers and mothers, and they are all dealt winning hands in 5 card Despair. Unfortunately the dealer, Lord Foul, gets a bit more of your soul everytime you win.

In Love , Linden endeavors, but there is a confusion between Love and ..sacrifice. Am I readying you correctly on that?..Family equals sacrifice..?..Linden at the beginning saw sacrifice as a choice..but something about deciding not to kill anymore ur-viles by end ..suggests she found other choices...Back to the Hollow, yes?..
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm way late to this post, but I feel for Wayfriend on this one. It seems to me a pretty basic premis in life, that family has the capacity to fulfill oneself's deepest needs, to make one whole. It's the most natural yearning know to man, to want to share oneself with others, become a part of two or more people. "The two shall become one" principle.

Nobody is saying marriage and children should be a crutch to solving all of a person's problems and inner demons, and of course it is only for mature minds to enter this state with the utmost sincerity of commitment and love. But, as WF asks, can it make us feel whole? Should it be given a status even above the individual's ability to feel whole by himself? I would say yes indeed. We humans need to be with other humans, that is our nature. We are unfulfilled otherwise.

TC was not whole without a family, especially after what happened with Joan and Roger. He could not rectify that, it was too far gone. But he was a part of the origin of that, even though the fault did not lie with him. He felt responsible to do something. He was merciful to Joan, and Roger didn't want compassion. He didn't manipulate anything with Joan, she was in such pain and torment and guilt herself. He could do nothing for her practically speaking, but I believe he would have if he could. And so he meets/confronts Joan at the sea with a full willingness to give himself over if that's what it takes. If that's the price, it will have been worth it. And that's precisely why he can now come back to Linden a healed man. Prior to this, she "could not touch" him, because he was carrying too much of a burden, he could not be free to love Londen as she deserved. Haven't we all felt the freeing release of the gift of forgiving and being forgiven it opens us up to love more fully and completely And since TC is only human, there is nothing more he can do now except to continue to trust and to love those who have placed their trust and love in him, those who helped him get to this point. It's what we humans do, what we need to do to be whole. We have to let go, or it will consume us. And we have to allow ourselves to love and do for others, or we will become selfish and eventually bitter, something TC has experienced in the past, and where did that get him?

And so yes, he returns and can now fully and freely offer his hand (and ring) to Linden, who has gone through much the same experience with Jeremiah. She too has found the ability to love, through her son (her family), and it has made her whole. And so, they are ready to become one with each other, to feel whole.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, the whole thing with Roger was a wasted opportunity.

Remember, Covenant is the man who anguished over killing 21 men and women of the Clave who were actively trying to kill him because they were "victims of the Despiser."

What about Roger? Roger was a victim of the Despiser too. Certainly he did despicable things, but there was never anyone to teach him another way. His life was shaped by forces he could neither control nor resist as a child.

He might have been a monster, but he didn't start out as one.

And though I am not a parent myself, I am old enough to have been a father to a child of Roger's age. (And really, Roger was very young at the start of the Last Chronicles.) I just find Covenant's lack of an attachment-- or reaction to his fate, really offputting.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I just find Covenant's lack of an attachment-- or reaction to his fate, really offputting.


Agree 100%.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
I just find Covenant's lack of an attachment-- or reaction to his fate, really offputting.

I had tried to formulate some thoughts about that observation in this thread: Thomas Covenant 2.0.

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
What about Roger?

I think it is relevant that nowhere in ten books does any servant of Lord Foul get "saved". So I think one would need to question the possibility of a "wasted opportunity" idea in the framework Donaldson has made. It's very possible that pursuing such a notion would invalidate many others. Such as the irrevocability of the past.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The last element of the "Family" theme I wanted to bring into this is the very ending of the story.

We've hopefully all seen SRD's spoilerific summary of the Last Chronicles from 1995 by now.

In Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Variations on the Fantasy Tradition, by W.A. Senior, published in 1995, was wrote:
SRD: Ok. In a hundred words or less. In the First Chronicles, Thomas Covenant faces Lord Foul and defeats him. In the Second Chronicles, Thomas Covenant surrenders to Lord Foul. In the Last Chronicles, Thomas Covenant becomes Lord Foul. Following the psychological paradigm through, what happens at the point that you become your own other self is that you become whole, and the universe is made new.


18 years after that, SRD pretty much delivered what he said. But I mention it because this establishes with us the notion that "becoming whole" and "the universe is made anew" are tied together very strongly here. It's fair to say that, in this psychological paradigm, the universe cannot be remade anew until you've become whole.

However, it's notable that Donaldson's final vision of this event departs in a significant way: Covenant cannot remake the universe alone. Only Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah together can accomplish this.

One interpretation you could place on this, is that Covenant is not whole without his wife and his son.

Another would be that Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah have each become whole in their own right, but remaking the universe turned out to be a bigger job than one whole person can accomplish.

The latter idea is somewhat sour for me. Because the Chronicles, for me, has always been about a journey from impotence to effectiveness. Becoming the creator, and being able to make the universe, is essentially the epitome of effectiveness. It is the just and worthy gift - or rather, advantage - for becoming whole. So, to me, being whole should be sufficient.

Therefore, the way I want to see this is, true wholeness requires not only the incorportation of one's inner despiser, but building your family around you as well. Then the universe will be remade.

One can interpret these apparently different things as a logical sequence in the right light. First Covenant remakes his inner world - his own mind. Then he remakes his immediate world - his family, wife and son. Then he (with them) remakes the outer - the whole - world. (Was resurrection another, first step?)

Each step is a progression, each step is necessary to achieve the next.

This explains why Donaldson needed to add Jeremiah, as described earlier in this thread. Without the family element, there could not be such a well-designed progression.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

Therefore, the way I want to see this is, true wholeness requires not only the incorportation of one's inner despiser, but building your family around you as well. Then the universe will be remade.


That, yea...but/and...
Your family cannot be whole without other families, a place, a world, things to do and become.

The point I guess I'm making is:
"becoming whole" is not "becoming ALL."
That's why the remaking happens/is done.
Cuz whole is not all.
And that's much of the reason there is an epilogue that is much less conclusion than the beginning of a story we'll never see.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Kaos Arcanna wrote:
I just find Covenant's lack of an attachment-- or reaction to his fate, really offputting.

I had tried to formulate some thoughts about that observation in this thread: Thomas Covenant 2.0.

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
What about Roger?

I think it is relevant that nowhere in ten books does any servant of Lord Foul get "saved". So I think one would need to question the possibility of a "wasted opportunity" idea in the framework Donaldson has made. It's very possible that pursuing such a notion would invalidate many others. Such as the irrevocability of the past.


Elena.

Elena was made into a servant of Foul and she was redeemed.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Kaos Arcanna wrote:
What about Roger?

I think it is relevant that nowhere in ten books does any servant of Lord Foul get "saved". So I think one would need to question the possibility of a "wasted opportunity" idea in the framework Donaldson has made. It's very possible that pursuing such a notion would invalidate many others. Such as the irrevocability of the past.
Ur-viles were "saved." Or, at least they changed their Weird to no longer be servants of the Despiser. If they could change, anyone else could.

Elena was also saved or redeemed, and she spent some time serving Foul. What about Esmer's quote of "that which was evil need not always be"? We saw other characters, like the Lurker, shift its alignment. And then there was Covenant himself, who *was* the Despiser, and he was saved. So why not Roger? Roger was Thomas's servant, apparently, if you can take TC's word that he and Foul were the same person.

The rest of your points seem fine. SRD did make it necessary for father/son/wife to remake the world together, so it's difficult to argue that family wasn't necessary or a major theme. It just wasn't a developed theme in terms of the story, because TC didn't seem to need or even love Jer, and he discarded his previous family too easily. In terms of the narrative, not the symbolic ending, family seems to be an underdeveloped or even derided idea. It's difficult to say family is important when he kills his ex-wife and dismisses his "ex-son."
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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 Sep 05, 2014 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
Elena was made into a servant of Foul and she was redeemed.

Elena never willingly served Foul, she was enslaved and coerced.

This is not about whether my blanket statement has a hole in it, though. What you need to ask is: as Roger was written, on what basis could he be saved? Roger was built bad from the ground up. There's no core of decency to appeal to. There's no common bond to build on. There's no handle, no angle, no wedge.

It's like that Queensr˙che song ...
    You say, "Son, let's forget the past.
    I want another chance, gonna make it last."
    You're begging me for a brand new start,
    Trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart.
    But you know ...

    You never built it, Dad.
If Roger and Thomas are enemies have no connection whatsoever ... on what foundation could reconciliation be built?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Kaos Arcanna wrote:
Elena was made into a servant of Foul and she was redeemed.

Elena never willingly served Foul, she was enslaved and coerced.

This is not about whether my blanket statement has a hole in it, though. What you need to ask is: as Roger was written, on what basis could he be saved? Roger was built bad from the ground up. There's no core of decency to appeal to. There's no common bond to build on. There's no handle, no angle, no wedge.

It's like that Queensr˙che song ...
    You say, "Son, let's forget the past.
    I want another chance, gonna make it last."
    You're begging me for a brand new start,
    Trying to mend a bridge that's been blown apart.
    But you know ...

    You never built it, Dad.
If Roger and Thomas are enemies have no connection whatsoever ... on what foundation could reconciliation be built?


There is a connection. Roger was Covenant's son. If Covenant is a decent man, then that should mean something to him.

I am not saying that Roger was redeemable. As he was written, that was not to be. SRD made sure of that. (I would have enjoyed reading a story where a less monstrous Roger and a more involved Covenant had come to some sort of understanding ... it would have made a nice echo of Linden's story.)


What I am saying what disappointed me is that Covenant had little to no reaction to Roger's death ... to his entire existence.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think by end of story..any connection to a real plot is gone. Its all metaphor..perhaps the two Boulder Brothers serve that purpose to destroy the last vestiges of reason,,stave and branl.

And that leaves us with Roger..at least the return of Roger as a character, a character that could be said to symbolize deceit, illusion, delusion, etc..with not one redeemable quality about him. He believes his own BS which brings him to his own end... We had not seen Roger for quite awhile , so it seems to me appropo not to see him until things become quite " meta"..I mean There is Lord Foul in the scene made quite real as well. So,,any connections to biological fatherness and ensuing attachments of caring or any emotional ties are of course absent . Afterall Roger is ready to kill TC at the faintest promise from Foul of Eternity.

Like with Joan, TC 's responsibility for Roger is basically what he Can do. TC advises Roger on the slippery nature of dealing with Foul. But Roger's delusion has full possession . Foul in a show of desperate despair makes Roger pay in front of TC. ..Quite a test for the white gold wielder, Yes? The haruchai bloodied and beaten, TC at his physical end and his son smashed to pulp in front of him..and Jerry gushing blood from his mouth as Foul easily wins the arm wrestling match with the young pup..and then She and Linden show up..So,,even after all that,,TC takes Foul into him,,rather than ,,oh..uhhmm..kill him..put him in a bottle and screw a cap on it with a liberal dose of loctite..or ban him to some other dimension,,or universe..or seal him in plastique and hang him on the wall...or,, well. you get the idea...With some contemplation, It can be seen that Roger does serve a purpose,,a purpose that TC turns to his use...his new beginning.. Like Joan, Roger does not die in vain. Roger's death makes Linden's Love infinite.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaos Arcanna wrote:
If Covenant is a decent man, then that should mean something to him.

Well, there's nothing to say about a "I wish the book was about this instead" comment.

But family becomes estranged in life. It's not always the wrong choice. Covenant I don't think is inherently bad for giving up on an irredeemable, fully adult son.

But, again, I think what Donaldson is emphasizing is the significance of choice. Covenant chose a family that completed him, made him better, made him happy. He gave up on a family that wanted to kill him, which dragged him down and left him unable to fulfill his life. It's all about choice, and effectiveness. That's the story he's telling (as I see it). To tell that story, there has to be someone who is chosen, and someone who is left. Roger earned being left as much as Donaldson could establish.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger is a true victim. He certainly didn't ask to be raised as a cultist, and although he has fully embraced Despite at the end of the LC, he didn't have to be that way. At some point, (at least the way I see it,) Joan gave him to Lord Foul. I can't think of any other way that Roger would be connected to the Land (after all, he doesn't have a white gold ring.) I sense that some here believe that Covenant is responsible for Roger, but I don't see it that way. Roger is explained by Joan's sins, just as Elena is Covenant's.

So, as a true victim, I would've liked to see him redeemed in the end. I think that after Covenant battled Roger in the Lost Deep, he realized that his son was beyond hope. Still, I agree that Covenant's lack of emotion at Roger's death seems amiss. When Roger was smashed into a blood wet pulp, a wild-magic infused shout of "That was my SON!" would've served the scene well, and given us a good tie-in between Jeremiah's rescue contrasted with Roger's loss.

But, along those lines, Covenant never asks Linden, "whatever happened to Elena?"

There just isn't enough at the end of the book. Maybe this is more of what SRD was talking about at E'fest, when he said the ending could have been written better.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Roger is explained by Joan's sins, just as Elena is Covenant's.

This is just about what Donaldson himself says.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
But you might try thinking of Roger as his father's doppleganger. Roger has inherited his mother's legacy of fear (and self-abhorrence) rather than his father's (learned) legacy of courage. In that, Roger is rather like Linden--without the benefit of Covenant's intervention; without spending crucial time in the company of characters who are motivated by love rather than by fear. You could say that he just doesn't know any better. Fear, I think, is a natural and inevitable part of the human condition. But being ruled by fear is a choice. And it's unfortunately true that choices can be very hard to see or understand if people haven't been taught that those choices exist; if people lack role models for making those choices. I knew as soon as Joan decided to abandon Covenant that Roger would follow his mother's example. It's the only one he's had.

I don't want to say much more on the subject. But I'm confident that Roger has NO IDEA he's being ruled by fear. He isn't aware of the choice.

(03/05/2008)


dlbpharmd wrote:
So, as a true victim, I would've liked to see him redeemed in the end.

True victim maybe, but I don't believe (as I said above) there can be redemption for someone who is ruled by fear (which I assume is why Roger chose to serve Despite) until they decide they won't be. Being ruled by fear is a choice.

The ur-viles, in the end, decided to change. No one could save them, I don't think, if they didn't want to change of their own accord.

I feel like this is they way Donaldson wants it to be. It seems to arise from his theory: self-mastery (the ability to choose one's own thoughts and emotions) is the only truly human form of power. The corollary to this is that no one can choose how you see things.

Donaldson suggests that changing Roger could only involve providing him an example of courage and love and hoping the example prompts him to change himself. There was no room for doing that properly in this story, I don't think. It's just not a story about that.

One other odd thing Donaldson says about being ruled by fear:

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
I find it more useful to think of persons as being very crudely divided into two groups: those that choose to care about people other than themselves, situations other than their own, issues larger than their own well-being; and those that do not. The former group tends to evolve ethical structures (however peculiarly defined)--and then live by them. The latter group tends to be ruled by personal *want* and *need* (in other words, by fear).

(09/17/2004)

Possibly, in the way I've internalized all these things, I have come to believe that Roger is a person incapable of caring about anyone other than himself. This is why I say such people in Donaldson's books are inaccessible. You can tell them why they should change ... but they don't care what you think.
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