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The Last Dark Part II Chapter 9: Parting Company

 
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deer of the dawn
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:01 pm    Post subject: The Last Dark Part II Chapter 9: Parting Company Reply with quote

[I have edited the title to reflect the title of the chapter. Deer's dissection begins below.]

Sorry, but I do live in Jos, Nigeria where things have an astounding capacity to become ever more chaotic day by day. School is canceled, now it's not. Elections will go on, now they won't. The route you take to school is closed today so the President can visit... oh, he couldn't make it.

I am utterly worn out with all of it and needed all my weekends to recover. I spent every spare moment last week trying to plan for a school closure which now probably won't happen. More work gets piled on everyone here...

All right, enough grousing. I plan to say no to everything this week so that maybe by Friday I can have Part 2 Chapter 9 dissection up. Please forgive me if I don't. Tomorrow is my birthday AND a long meeting after school so nothing's happening until Tuesday.

Thanks, sorry, and hugs. Hug
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hug
Nigeria, present-day. Chaos. Elections in such a place.
That is more than enough.

Happy birthday! Wave
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. I understand the thread title now.

When I saw "The Last Dark Part II Chapter 9: Maybe Friday" in the index, there was all manner of mental sputtering about that not being the title of the next chapter.

Now that the mist is lifting slowly, any delay is entirely understandable. Whatever it takes for deer to prevail in what she is called to do...just supercedes getting a dissection done on-deadline.

Group Hug

Happy Birthday
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Real life must always take precedence over KW life. Take your time, post when ready.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think deer should write a chapter called "Maybe Friday" so we can dissect it.

In The Late Dawn was wrote:
"Jeremiah, honey," crooned Linden. "How long until the world ends?" Perhaps Foul's gift could be used for something good. "When will the Worm reach the Earthblood?"

Jeremiah gave no sign that he heard the question. He continued to kick the Feroce in petulant anguish. But after a minute, he said, "Maybe Friday."
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I think deer should write a chapter called "Maybe Friday" so we can dissect it.

In The Late Dawn was wrote:
"Jeremiah, honey," crooned Linden. "How long until the world ends?" Perhaps Foul's gift could be used for something good. "When will the Worm reach the Earthblood?"

Jeremiah gave no sign that he heard the question. He continued to kick the Feroce in petulant anguish. But after a minute, he said, "Maybe Friday."


Laughing Laughing Laughing Thanks so much for your patience!! You guys rock.

Here goeth part one:

***

The chapter opens with Covenant sparing a brief thought for the people whose relationships have come to mean everything to him. But there is no time to linger there. Cavewights are coming in impossible numbers.

Immediately beleaguered, the company of Haruchai, Giants, Ramen and the Covenant family manifest the idea that it is a good day to die. No one cowers, no one shirks as they fight their way through. But what strikes me literarily about this scene is an intentional harshness of language. The cadence of the words SRD sequences couldn't be more staccato.
Quote:
Spears, bludgeons, brutal swords: all wrought havoc.

Quote:
Howls and screams deafened him, the sickening sounds of torn flesh, the hard smack of blows, the crack of breaking bones.

Quote:
With every slash and thrust, every frantic swing, he appalled himself.

This continues until the company wins through and the cavewights are rendered a bloody mass of writhing death behind them. And Kindwind, who has been nailed in the face with a spear. A good death.

There is a brief interlude when Covenant finds his family whole, and Linden embraces him although he is covered with blood. The language returns to the familiar, blues-like quality of the passages that mark their relationship.
Quote:
...pressed all of herself agianst his soaked T-shirt and jeans as if she ached to embrace his sins...


Eventually, they have to move on (the Haruchai, as usual, impatient) but Covenant's thoughts are still fixed on Linden and Jeremiah.

***

The embattled company chooses the shortest but most beset path to Kiril Threndor. More Haruchai show up along the way to reinforce their gutted numbers. Covenant carries their only light; the krill blaring with argence as they struggle along the way.

(to be continued....)
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hug Hug, Deer! And belated Happy Birthday wishes as well. Happy Birthday

I was contempating asking for a delay anyway, so maybe for me it will be better as well, I'll attempt to finish the dissection by whatever date is assigned, but I have to warn that I can hardly guarantee that, I'm severly distracted by real life matters as well. In case you're curious about an explanation, I live in Ukraine, so here there are war, partial occupation that's expanding (I'm pretty far though), several rather unhealthy organizations operating, and generally the situation is pretty hard to describe, since it quite insane and messed up. But worry not, I'm not in any defeated mood and quite inclined to finish the dissections Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No prob, Eff. Here ya go. Very Happy

***

The battle continues as the band makes its way through the depths of the Earth, joined by new Masters and meeting new groups of Cavewights at every turn. Linden hunkers into the run but still tries to offer support by distributing Earthpower to the others; Jeremiah continually recharges himself with Earthpower from the Staff; Haruchai and Giants kick Cavewight butt all along the way.

Rocklight appears in the distance. Then the company bursts out into a chasm which is evidently an underground Cavewight apartment house. Covenant is stunned. Cavewights have children, and homes. Here, the Cavewights fight with renewed passion to defend their own homes, not in obedience to the Despiser. The company battles its way across a chasm-spanning stone bridges and ledges to the tunnel which will lead them to the heart of Kiril Threndor. Their losses-- and that of the Cavewights-- are staggering. Finally Covenant uses wild magic with the krill to cut the penultimate bridge.

On the last bridge they are reinforced by 200 Haruchai who have ridden from the ends of the Earth "to oppose the Worm of the World's End with their bare hands". I love that. Everything is risked in this final, desperate lunge. When they gain the passage, Covenant seals it off by causing it to collapse. In so doing, he has sealed off the Cords (Bhapa and Pahni), remaining Giants and Master; this is their choice and for once, Covenant respects it wordlessly. The company finds an opening in the tunnel large enough for them to pause momentarily and regroup.

Covenant momentarily weighs his "crimes" against those of the Despiser, who sacrifices so profligately the lives of his servants. Was he merely cruel, or afraid of what Covenant's family could do? Without their opposition, he would already have escaped the Arch of Time. Maybe he was cruel because he was desperate. And his desperate cruelty has taken its toll.
Quote:
"'The mightiest of the Swordmainnir,'" muttered Coldspray dully. "So I have vaunted myself, and so I am. Behold." She lifted her glaive. "My hand is firm." It shook like a dying leaf." "My eye is keen." Fatigue glazed her gaze. "Beyond question, I am--" Abruptly she dropped her sword. Her shoulders slumped. "Stone and Sea! I am undone by woe and killing. I cannot spit out the taste of blood. It will fill my mouth to the end of my days."

Sighing, Covenant roused himself enough to respond, "Join the club."

The Giants have done all they can do.

The parting for which the chapter is named is now upon them. Linden must allow Covenant and Jeremiah to leave while she goes her own way. Jeremiah is not in a good place and parts bitterly, but Covenant and Linden lovingly. Stave chooses to go with Linden to certain death. Covenant makes a circle of wild magic around Linden and Stave, and they vanish from sight.

Kiril Threndor is near. Covenant tries to help Jeremiah understand why they, too, must part ways. Covenant needs Jeremiah to distract the Despiser until Covenant can execute his plan. Covenant leaves him with the Giants, and sets out with Branl. Soon they enter the fateful chamber where Covenant was killed, and became the Timewarden. The place is as unsettling and starkly ugly as ever, but even more unsettling is that it is not Foul on the altar at the center of the chamber; but Covenant's son, Roger. He still wears Kastenessen's hand, and a new look for him-- Lord Foul's yellow, fang-like eyes.

The company has been shaken apart like earthenware pots in a pickup bed on a bumpy, dirt road. The violence of language that characterizes the beginning mortally fractures the group. Giants and Haruchai drop like shards, along with hundreds, perhaps thousands of Cavewights.

But their faith in what they have to do cannot be shaken. They do what they must. Jeremiah balks, but Covenant and Linden have to trust (what choice do they have?) that he also will play his part when his time comes. Violence breaks things, and it shatters Covenant's family. But their hearts remain. Linden's is what it is, Covenant's vastly changed heart is what it is, and Jeremiah's-- his remains to be seen; we have only really known him for a very short time. What is coming will surely show what he is made of. But we know Linden, and we know Jeremiah knows her and the love she poured into him for years. This is his chance to give back, and we leave the chapter hoping the best from him, and trusting the best from Linden and Covenant; while grieving the likes of Cirrus Kindwind and Handir, who died well.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all your effort in making this dissection happen, Deer! It's much appreciated!

deer of the dawn wrote:
And Kindwind, who has been nailed in the face with a spear. A good death.


deer of the dawn wrote:
while grieving the likes of Cirrus Kindwind and Handir, who died well.


Yes, Deer of the Dawn, it was sad to have Kindwind die, for she really made a difference in keeping Jeremiah safe and getting him so far! I want to pay tribute to her, somehow, but the best way to remember her, so it seems to me, is to use her own words:

Quote:
Beckoning for Jeremiah to accompany her, Kindwind stepped away. When they had withdrawn a few paces, she said, "We must trust, Chosen-son, that his [Stave's] folk restore themselves in this manner. It appears that his spirit has turned inward. But I believe that a man who has performed his feats must soon heal himself and return to us."

Jeremiah swallowed against the dryness in his throat. "I hope so. He doesn't deserve this."

"Ah, deserve," sighed Kindwind. "The notion of deserved and undeserved is a fancy. Knowing both life and death, we endeavor to impose worth and meaning upon our deeds, and thereby to comfort our fear of impermanence. We choose to imagine that our lives merit continuance. Mayhap all sentience shares a similar fancy. Mayhap the Earth itself, being sentient in its fashion, shares it. Nonetheless it is a fancy. A wider gaze does not regard us in that wise. The stars do not. Perhaps the Creator does not. The larger truth is merely that all things end. By that measure, our fancies cannot be distinguished from dust.
"For this reason, Giants love tales. Our iteration of past deeds and desires and discoveries provides the only form of permanence to which mortal life can aspire. That such permanence is chimera does not lessen its power to console. Joy is in the ears that hear."

Her assertion startled Jeremiah. It seemed to question his foundations. If he closed his eyes, he could still see the extremity of Stave's fall. the hard throb of Cabledarm's bleeding and the excruciation of her shoulder cried out to his senses. Awkwardly he reached for Kindwind's last waterskin. When she released it, he drank as if his thirst--his dismay--had the force of a moral convulsion.
"So you're saying," he protested or pleaded, "what Stave did is worthless? What Cabledarm did is worthless? It's all dust?"

"Aye," Cirrus Kindwind assented, "if that is how you choose to hear the tale." Her tone was mild. "For myself, I will honor the effort and the intent. Doing so, I will be comforted."

Jeremiah wanted to shout. Instead he fumed, "You sound like the croyel." Was joy in the ears that heaar? Then so were agony and horror. So was despair. "It was forever telling me everything Mom did was useless. Nothing matters. It's all dust. That's why Lord Foul laughs--and Roger--and those Ravers. They agree with you. In the end, they're the only ones who get what they want."

Kindwind looked at him sharply. Like the flick of a blade, she retorted, "Then hear me, Chosen-son. Hear me well. There is another truth which you must grasp.
"Mortal lives are not stones. They are not seas. For impermanence to judge itself by the standards of permanence is folly. Or it is arrogance. Life merely is what it is, neither more or less. To deem it less because it is not more is to heed the counsels of the Despiser.
"We do what we must so that we may find worth in ourselves. We do not hope vainly that we will put an end to pain, or to loss, or to death."

Failure isn't something you are. It's something you do.

Without warning, Jeremiah found that he ached to share Kindwind's beliefs, and Linden's. Perhaps the monolith had never contained enough malachite. Perhaps the deposit had shattered. Perhaps Stave and even Cabledarm would die. Perhaps Mom would never come back. Perhaps futility was the only truth. Still Jeremiah would have to find a way to live with it.
To himself, he muttered, "It's not that easy."

Cirrus Kindwind had never been possessed.

Her response was a snort. "We were not promised ease. The purpose of life--if it may be said to have a purpose--is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve."



At any rate, I think I'll remember her best for that.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
Her response was a snort. "We were not promised ease. The purpose of life--if it may be said to have a purpose--is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve."



At any rate, I think I'll remember her best for that.

Yes!! Kindwind remains a most memorable character, but we all knew going in that SRD is not afraid to sacrifice our darlings.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While this chapter is pretty much action-packed, it doesn't have the philosophical moments of the chapters that have recently preceded it (not that I could find, anyway). All I can think of to provide commentary is to quote (or otherwise mention) some of the more memorable parts of the chapter.

Concerning this chapter's title: Against All Things Ending has a chapter with this exact same title, where Covenant and the Humbled leave the rest of the company to deal with Joan.

Quote:
Linden's face was pallid with fright as she grasped Jeremiah's arm, prepared herself to pull him into motion.

He threw her off. "Again?" he protested petulantly. Then his voice darkened. "Of course. We're always attacked." He sounded like a different person, someone older, inured to abuse. "Somebody should tell them they're as doomed as we are."
"Jeremiah!" cried Linden softly. "Honey? What's happening to you?"

For an instant, the boy's eyes rolled back in his head. Then he bared his teeth. His gaze came into focus.

"I'm getting it, Mom." Again, he sounded different, as if this time he had arisen from some other grave. "I don't care what Stave says. I'll show you."

"We do not know the way," Handir told Covenant. "None here have trod familiar passages. We must estimate our road. We are certain only that Kiril Threndor lies that direction." He pointed above and behind Covenant. "We will endeavor to clear a path there"--he indicated the tunnel closest to Kiril Threndor's heading--"hoping to encounter other Masters. Their knowledge may extend farther."

"Sure," Jeremiah muttered. "Why not?"


"I don't care what Stave says." What does this refer to? All I can recall is from four chapters earlier, when Stave suggested to Jeremiah that he's wasting time on changing the color of the Staff's flames, because it has been a task to defeat even his experienced mother. So perhaps this means that Jeremiah is considering all this striving to be pointless, so why not go back to work on changing the flame color? It seems no less hopeless than anything else they're attempting.


Quote:
What was it all for? Covenant knew his own reasons, but Lord Foul's daunted him. The Worm could not be stopped. At last, the Despiser could be sure of his long-sought freedom. Then why had he been so profligate with the lives of his servants? Did he simply enjoy sacrificing them? Or did he secretly fear that Covenant might yet find a way to thwart him?

No. The Despiser knew Covenant too well.

But Lord Foul did not know Linden and Jeremiah: not with the same intimacy. The fane which had preserved the Elohim and delayed the Worm demonstrated that he had underestimated Covenant's wife and her adopted son. Without their efforts, their opposition, he might already have escaped the Arch of Time.

Maybe that explained the brutality of his defenses.


My guess is that he's wary of Linden and Jeremiah and he enjoys sacrificing his servants (except for Ravers).


Baf Scatterwit gave of herself heroically in this chapter, choosing the right moment to foil Cavewight pursuit on a chasm-spanning bridge. I think she may be the most memorable of the new characters introduced in TLD.

The unrelenting fierceness of the opposition they've encountered in this chapter can be seen in how some of the survivors are coping when they finally get a respite.


deer of the dawn wrote:
Quote:
"'The mightiest of the Swordmainnir,'" muttered Coldspray dully. "So I have vaunted myself, and so I am. Behold." She lifted her glaive. "My hand is firm." It shook like a dying leaf. "My eye is keen." Fatigue glazed her gaze. "Beyond question, I am--" Abruptly, she dropped her sword. Her shoulders slumped. "Stone and Sea! I am undone by woe and killing. I cannot spit out the taste of blood. It will fill my mouth to the end of my days."

Sighing, Covenant roused himself to respond, "Join the club."
The Giants have done all they can do.


The self-deprecation here is something I find endearing, somehow. "Join the club." At least they shouldn't have to do this striving much longer, for good or ill.


Quote:
Covenant's balance shifted. Only grief kept him from dropping to his knees. Only a whetted empathy kept him from raging at Jeremiah. But grief and empathy were enough. He braced himself on them when every thing else spun away.

"You can always decide to give up," he said as if he were steady and sure; as if he had strength to spare. "You have that right. If that's what you really want." Or the boy could join Lord Foul. "But I need you. I'm going to need you absolutely. And Linden can't help me. Nobody else can. There's only you.

"But first we have to let Linden go."

Jeremiah flung a look black enough to kill at Covenant.

A heartbeat later, the boy turned his back on his mother.

"Then go." He sounded as lifeless and fatal as the path toward Kiril Threndor. "You never loved me anyway. I was just an excuse. You don't want to have to blame yourself for letting me put my hand in that bonfire."
"Jeremiah--" Linden was weeping now. "Honey--"

Ah, hell, Covenant thought. Visions of the Worm had raised all of Jeremiah's demons. He had spent days suppressing them.. They ruled him now. Deliberately he sat down again, put his back to his mother, to Covenant and their companions. His hands wrestled ebon flames along the wood of the Staff as if he wanted to rewrite Caerroil Wildwood's runes.

Maybe we should all try to become gods.


You never loved me anyway. Jeez, that's harsh! Especially since it is essentially (verbatim?) the last thing Linden's suicidal father said to her. And because we've read four books' worth of material that testify to just the opposite.
What, I wonder, is the significance of the italicized quote, concerning becoming gods? I know Jeremiah said it earlier, when he seemed inspired by some notion, but I can't see how it relates to what just happened between Jeremiah and Linden.


Quote:
Distinctly Covenant said, "You can't come with me because I don't want you that close to Lord Foul until I can distract him. But I do want you to come. I think you'll know when. You'll be able to sense it." He glanced at the Masters. "Or Canrik and Samil will. Or watching the Worm will tell you."

Jeremiah stared.

Holding the Staff and the krill so hard that his forearms ached, Covenant tried to explain.

"I need you because I don't think I can beat Lord Foul by myself. You aren't strong enough? Neither am I. He's too much a part of me.

"When the Worm drinks the EarthBlood, the Arch of Time will start to crumble. That's when Foul can escape. More than anything else, he wants freedom. If he has to, he'll even give up trying to trap the Creator. Being stuck here--" Covenant let go of the Staff. He shoved his fingers into his hair and pulled, trying to drag his thoughts into language. "There's no word big enough for that kind of despair."

If Jeremiah understood nothing else, he would understand that.

Again Covenant found himself swaying, unsure of his balance. His intentions became impossible as soon as he articulated them. He wanted to fall down; just hit the floor and lie there while he could still choose the moment of his last collapse.

But he had made promises to Linden. Hell, he had made promises to practically everybody, one way or another. And he could not turn his back on Jeremiah's distress

"I need your help to keep him busy. If we can, I want to make him miss his chance. As long as he's stuck here with us, he'll be vulnerable. Then I might be able to find an answer of my own."

Is that plain enough for you? Hellfire, Jeremiah! It's all I've got.


After all this time, I'm glad we finally get to know what Covenant's been thinking concerning the actual encounter with Fangthane--but I suppose an author can't give it all away, not just yet. The Giants have given their all, the Haruchai have just about given their all, the Ramen have done the same (and I think their garrotes were probably rather useless against Cavewights with weapons), and now it's Covenant's turn.

Weary as he always is before facing Foul, he holds back the outrage that keeps him going against the Despiser for one more moment, for Jeremiah's sake. And the lack of detail from TC about how Jeremiah can help him both frees Jeremiah to choose his own path of service and increases the chance that the Despiser will be surprised once again. (Something I've noticed about the Despiser in these books: he NEVER admits to being surprised, does he?)


deer of the dawn wrote:
But their faith in what they have to do cannot be shaken. They do what they must. Jeremiah balks, but Covenant and Linden have to trust (what choice do they have?) that he also will play his part when his time comes. Violence breaks things, and it shatters Covenant's family. But their hearts remain. Linden's is what it is, Covenant's vastly changed heart is what it is, and Jeremiah's-- his remains to be seen; we have only really known him for a very short time. What is coming will surely show what he is made of. But we know Linden, and we know Jeremiah knows her and the love she poured into him for years. This is his chance to give back, and we leave the chapter hoping the best from him, and trusting the best from Linden and Covenant; while grieving the likes of Cirrus Kindwind and Handir, who died well.


Very well summed up, DD! That's what I feel, too, from re-reading this chapter. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With only four chapters left in the book ... in the Last Chronicles ... in the entire series(!) ... all this battling vexes me. Exciting action is one thing, but it is the thoughts and the emotions of the main characters that really matter here. It's hard to focus on that unless you really go slow and pay attention, because otherwise you're carried away by the fight.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Concerning this chapter's title: Against All Things Ending has a chapter with this exact same title, where Covenant and the Humbled leave the rest of the company to deal with Joan.

There are many more partings this time.
+ Covenant and Branl have gone into Kiril Threndor.
+ Grueburn and Coldspray and Canrik and Samil stay in a cave with Jeremiah.
+ Stave and Linden have gone to face ... something.
+ Bhapa and Pahni and Bluntfist and Stonemage and a ton of Masters volunteered to be left on the other side of the cave-in with the Cavewights.

And then there are the hallowed dead, whom we are forrever parted from: Cirrus Kindwind, Baf Scatterwit, Far Horizoneyes. And Handir, by right of years and attainment the Voice of the Masters.

What's interesting is that Covenant and Linden and Jeremiah have all gone their separate ways, as if to seek an individual, private conclusion to their particular dilemmas. If they have needed each other, that need has been fulfilled - they are now as ready as they'll ever be.

- - - - - -

Jeremiah seems to be going through some sort of transformation.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
The boy’s elsewhere gaze was changing: his whole face seemed to be changing. The silted hue of his eyes had acquired a crimson tinge, as if his irises were bleeding. And his visage looked leaner, deprived of its youthfulness by dismay and nascent horror. His hands no longer gripped the Staff tightly, no longer spilled the black flames of his transformed legacy. He may have forgotten that he held it.

The Jeremiah that emerges from this has power. He poured out power in a convulsion of killing. Jeremiah has found the dark side of his power.

Meanwhile, Covenant has found his way into slaughter, too. His wild magic krill sword saves the day. But it is also a way for Covenant to unleash his power without killing everyone around him. It is his eye of the paradox solution to his need.

Bu he knows that unleashing his dark side like this will have a cost.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
There was a price to pay for such deeds. He intended to pay it - as soon as he could breathe again. As soon as he found his way to Kiril Threndor.

There are echoes of Banefire and apotheosis here. Of sacrificing himself to cleanse himself of guilt.

Meanwhile, Linden merely watches the battle and fears for her loves. But she has sworn to never fight again.

- - - - -

Later, when Jeremiah has retreated into visions of Wormdeath again, Covenant reaches him by raising the spectre of uselessness. Jeremiah's fear.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Jeremiah looked like he wanted to weep. In a different voice, abused and abject, he whimpered, “I can’t—”

As if he had lost patience, Covenant retorted, “You can. You have that right. You were born with it. All you have to do is choose,” must or cannot. He pushed his fingers through his hair, tried to harden his heart. Deliberately harsh, he rasped, “Otherwise you might as well go back into hiding. You’ll be useless.”

All you have to do is choose. In the Gradual Interview, Donaldson once said, "self-mastery (the ability to choose one's own thoughts and emotions) is the only truly human form of power." This theme is on display here. No matter what Foul does, Jeremiah gets to choose how he feels about it. Merely because he's human. You have that right. You were born with it.

Covenant brings Jeremiah back around. Linden is impressed and grateful.

Ever since Covenant has been resurrected, he's been the spiritual guru for the company. He always knows the right way to look at the situation, keeping people on a healthy and promising course. Imparting life lessons left and right. It's like he's paying forward everything he ever learned in his first life.

- - - - -

deer of the dawn wrote:
On the last bridge they are reinforced by 200 Haruchai who have ridden from the ends of the Earth "to oppose the Worm of the World's End with their bare hands". I love that.

I am afraid you have misread that bit, deer.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
He and those with him were only able to gain the fifth level because new groups of Masters entering the habitation converged where they were needed. Fresh and unbloodied, they threw their lives into the mass of Cavewights. They were Haruchai. In a distant region of the Land, two hundred of them rode to oppose the Worm of the World’s End with their bare hands. Fighting and dying like men who had never known fear and did not count the cost, they helped Rime Coldspray and Frostheart Grueburn clear the top of the span.

The company was reinforced by more Masters. But these are not the ones who had set out to face the Worm. The author is merely pointing out that, in facing certain death without hesitation, the Haruchai here are like the Haruchai there.

- - - - -

deer of the dawn wrote:
Stave chooses to go with Linden to certain death. Covenant makes a circle of wild magic around Linden and Stave, and they vanish from sight.

Covenant makes a cryptic comment here, which is another clue as to where Linden is going.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Elena, he thought obliquely, I’m so sorry. I’m doing what I can. Somebody else has to care for you.

Linden's greatest fear. And caring for Elena. If we remember where Elena is, the clues should be enough now.

- - - - -

deer of the dawn wrote:
Covenant needs Jeremiah to distract the Despiser until Covenant can execute his plan.

Does Covenant have a plan? It sounds like, for the first time, he doesn't have one.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“I need your help to keep him busy. If we can, I want to make him miss his chance. As long as he’s stuck here with us, he’ll be vulnerable. Then I might be able to find an answer of my own.”

"And then I think of something" isn't a plan! He's just hoping for an opportunity to think of one.

- - - - -

In The Last Dark was wrote:
The Haruchai as a people did not know that smell. They had never confronted the Despiser.

Think on that! The Haruchai had ever dreamed of confronting the Despiser. But it never happened until now. Branl.

I wonder about the significance of this.

- - - - - -

deer of the dawn wrote:
He still wears Kastenessen's hand, and a new look for him-- Lord Foul's yellow, fang-like eyes.

Does this not mean that Roger is possessed by Foul? I think it does.

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

So the thoughts and emotions of the characters ... remember I said that was the important part? ... and that it'd be tough to focus? ....

Covenant has confidence born from experience ... but has no clue what to do.

Branl is at his side, culminating the dreams of all Haruchai.

Linden has gone to face her greatest fear. Her fear for her son and her husband is pretty great, so this one must be a doozy.

Stave fulfills his vow to never leave her side. By grief and regret, he knows himself now.

Jeremiah prepares to face the most dire peril he has ever faced. Covenant reminds him to believe in himself and he'll find a way, but he cannot give him any specific hints. That's how life works, Jeremiah; join, as you say, the club.

And after talking that talk, Covenant walks that walk.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone was wondering why Linden wasn't lending a hand in this whole Cavewight battle, there was a brief clue that went by.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
She was a rightful white gold wielder: for hours now, she could have struck her own blows. Yet she had contained herself, passive as dust amid the winds of battle. Somehow she had withheld—

But I’m done fighting.

In spite of endless provocations, she had kept faith with her decision.

What decision was she referring to? The decision she made after the company had defeated the sandgorgons and skurj in the valley of the Defiles Course. The decision she made back in Reluctances.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“I love you.” There was no good way to say it. Words were inadequate. “I want to help you. I want you to stop Lord Foul. I want the Land to be saved, and the Earth, and the stars, and the Elohim,” although she could not imagine how any of those deeds might be accomplished. “I want Jeremiah safe, and all of our friends, and everything that we’ve ever cared about.

“But I’m done fighting.”

Why was Linden done fighting? This was mentioned earlier.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
But she could not keep meeting peril with violence, striving to out-do the savagery of Lord Foul’s servants and allies. She could not. She needed a different purpose, a better role in the Land’s fate. She had passed through the wrath of Gallows Howe to the gibbet’s deeper truths; to the vast bereavement which had inspired Garroting Deep’s thirst for blood. The time had come to heed the lessons which her whole life had tried to teach her.

If she did not give up, and did not fight, what remained? She thought that she knew, although she trembled to contemplate it; or she would have trembled had she been less weary.

There is hope in contradiction.

Maybe that was true. If she did not know how to forgive herself, she could begin by offering other forms of grace to people or beings who needed it more.

The daughter of my heart? she thought. Give me a chance. Let me show you what your daughter has in mind.

She was still the Chosen. She could make decisions and go in directions which the Despiser might not expect.

This is, I feel, the most critical thing to know about Linden at this time. If she did not give up, and did not fight, what remained?
If we don't understand this, we don't understand Linden.
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