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TLD Part II Chapter 10: All Lost Women
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Effaeldm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:28 am    Post subject: TLD Part II Chapter 10: All Lost Women Reply with quote

The chapter begins with what makes Linden so different from the betrayed victims who became parts of the bane:

Quote:
Linden had chosen this. It was not a reaction to the Despiser’s manipulations: it was her own doing. She had stepped off the path of his desires. If she served him now, she could not pretend that she had been misled or tricked. Her choice. Her doing, for good or ill. And she had promised herself that she would remember; that she would allow no effect of shame or pain, horror or failure, to confuse the fact that she had acted of her own free will.


However, at first she gets lost in the wonders of the Lost Deep and Stave can't shake her out of it, even when mentioning the threat for Jeremiah, that She may get to his and Covenant's location and lay them waste, or at least Jeremiah – not in posession of anything to rival She. It takes the ur-viles and the Waynhim dismantling the Lost Deep to bring her to her senses – and to make her wonder again how she may ever repay them.

So Linden calls for SWMNBN.

And Stave says his farewell words to Linden

Quote:
“I must state plainly, Linden, that you have become wondrous in my sight. Here my life is forfeit. It may be that the bane will heed you. Me She will not suffer. In Her sight, all men are betrayers. I will be devoured.” Water streamed on Linden’s face, scattered from the lines of her jaw. Drops snapped against her skin. Here my life is forfeit. How had she failed to consider this? For hours, she had imagined her intentions as though they threatened only her. But of course Stave was right. He could not withstand the bane. She Who Must Not Be Named would not tolerate him. “As farewell,” her final companion told her, “I must say aloud that I regret nothing. My fears are gone. You risk much, as you have ever done. Whatever now ensues, know that I am made proud by my place at your side.”


However, when She appears, and before Linden gets swallowed, covered with only Wild Magic, Linden manages to get a way out for Stave.

Quote:
Swift as her pulse in her veins, she spun silver puissance around her treasured friend, caught him in a fist of bright flame: a fist or a circle. She had no krill to enable a translation, but she had other resources. She had the unthinking reflexes which had allowed her to step outside the sequences of time during the collapse of Kevin’s Watch. She had the whetted senses with which she had created caesures without stumbling into Joan’s madness. And she was not hampered by her husband’s necessary reluctance. While the bane surged forward, Linden grasped Stave and threw him. Away from this moment. Away from this place, this stone, this fate. Trusting his instincts— his clarity of intent—to choose his destination, she spared him the cost of her choices.


And the first thing she understands she must do when within the bane – talk to Elena, for whom Linden once denied compassion. She does apologize, but Linden's craving to save and free the ones withing the bane gets a grim reply from Elena, that as bodyless souls thay can't be taken from She.

Yet Linden gets a moment of an insight.

Quote:
But then her preconceptions shifted. She had spent her life making promises that she did not know how to keep. She had never sufficed to keep them. And yet she had accomplished more than she could have imagined. But not because she was more— or not only because she was more. No, she had been able to do so much because she was not alone.

Quote:
Berek Halfhand had seen Gallows Howe in her, a mound of ruin made barren by bitterness and slaughter. In Garroting Deep, however, she had discovered a deeper truth beneath the drenched dirt. More than bloodshed and revenge, the olden forest had yearned for restitution. The trees would have turned their backs on killing entirely if they could have recovered their ravaged expanse and majesty. She understood that now. She recognized, if the bane did not, that healing was both more arduous and more worthy than retribution.

Quote:
What had the ur-viles and the Waynhim ever wanted, except to escape their loathing for their own forms? Linden waited until the loremaster met her gaze; until the tall creature nodded its assent. Then she did what she could for Elena. Risking the shroud of wild magic which protected her, Linden flung Elena out of the bane; tossed her like a wisp of hope or a kept promise into the waiting embrace of the loremaster.


Linden continues to toss spectres out of Her towards the awaiting ur-viles and Waynhym, provoking at first resistance, then an angry speech. Linden had a reply, that She could slip out from under the Arch of Time, leaving the souls She gathered behind - but She is unimpressed, She only wants Her real name. As the last option, Linden asks for Emereau Vrai, thinking that perhaps the Elohim were so angry at Kastenessen for passing to her some lore, their explanation about “harming an ordinary woman with his love” didn't sound remotely like their kind of thinking and caring. With the last of her strength Linden tosses Emereau Vrai to the Demondim-spawn, who start chanting something.

What could She need? Just “Diassomer”, already known, just that nobody dared to pass it to Her? Or more like some other, more secret name – perhaps even unspeakable for human lips? But of course, all that would have been just names, not answers, not a gift of understanding. And there was the answer She needed, the absolute refusal to be a mere incarnation of Despiser's and everyone else's betrayal, the one answer against bathing in others' pain and the understanding of what matters still and what should be always remembered for anyone feeling like nothing, sure of being lost forever and betrayed:

Quote:
Her response was a cry that sent spasms through the gutrock for leagues in all directions: “I AM MYSELF!”

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a well crafted dissection, Effaeldm. You conclude it with the punctuation mark of the chapter itself, and I think you provide a meaningful interpretation of a plot point that I think some experienced as a flop or disappointment. The I AM MYSELF! certainly jarred me when I read it, caught me off guard.

Also, I was a bit incredulous upon a first reading of TLD at how easy it seemed for Linden to use wild magic to toss Stave out of the Lost Deep to save him, but with the seams of the universe coming apart around them, maybe it's more credible.

I really appreciated how restitution and wholeness were explored through Linden in this chapter. All the subtle lessons she learned along the way--from Wildwood and his runes, from her experience on Gallows Howe, from the intuitions she got from the water castle, from the pain that turned her heart to stone and her staff to black, etc.--coming together to help other beings move apart and come together in novel, substantial and meaningful ways.

As reader, I was satisfied with this final climax for this character.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your dissection of this dramatic chapter, Effaeldm!

Effaeldm wrote:
Linden continues to toss spectres out of Her towards the awaiting ur-viles and Waynhym, provoking at first resistance, then an angry speech. Linden had a reply, that She could slip out from under the Arch of Time, leaving the souls She gathered behind - but She is unimpressed, She only wants Her real name. As the last option, Linden asks for Emereau Vrai, thinking that perhaps the Elohim were so angry at Kastenessen for passing to her some lore, their explanation about “harming an ordinary woman with his love” didn't sound remotely like their kind of thinking and caring. With the last of her strength Linden tosses Emereau Vrai to the Demondim-spawn, who start chanting something.


While I was expecting Linden to face her worst fear and seek forgiveness from Elena by facing the bane, I was surprised upon the first reading to discover that Linden's plan hinges upon Emereau Vrai. It makes sense that EV has powerful lore, and that the always-resourceful Demondim-spawn can make use of her knowledge, but I hadn't added all this up, before.

Quote:
Perhaps She Who Must Not Be Named craved extinction, an eternal end to Her suffering. If so, Linden had failed. But at least her own anguish would end as well.

"All I want," she insisted in fire, "is to release your women. You don't need them anymore. Not now. They're part of this world." They were dross, imperfections. "If you take them with you, they'll only hinder you. They may even prevent you. You won't be truly free."

The bane contracted around her. Terrible strength made pulp of ther flesh and organs, her bones, her mind. Nothing existed for her but the raw rage of She Who Must Not Be Named.

"Fool! Madwoman! Treacher! Do you conceive that I desire freedom? You do not know me. Freedom is agony. It is abhorrence. It is not redemption. I am anguish because I have forgotten who I am.

"The destruction of this world is nothing to me. I cannot die. I must have my true name!"

Convulsions shook Mount Thunder to its roots. Shocks distorted the definitions of existence. Slabs fell from the ceiling and ere pulverized. Granite sifted like ash onto the heads and shoulders of the ur-viles and Waynhim. Stone lurched under their feet. Yet they stood as if they were rooted by pride: legs straight, backs regal, arms open to welcome released souls. The loremaster's eerie visage shone with an inward exaltation.

Linden felt ripples like imminent caesures trembling toward her, confusing the structure of instants. There were no risks left except this one.

"Then give me Emereau Vrai." Kastenessen's lover: the only woman who had ever been loved by an Elohim. He had given her some of his magicks. How else had she been able to create the merewives? Perhaps he had also revealed secrets which no one mortal--which none of the bane's other victims--could have known. Why else had his people considered his crime so heinous that he deserved his Durance? Linden had heard long ago that he had been punished for harming an ordinary woman with his love; but she did not trust that explanation. When had the Elohim ever been so protective of individual lives/ Emereau Vrai might know--And if she did, the Demondim-spawn might be lorewise enough to understand her. "Let me show you that I'm telling the truth."

I'm a woman, damn it! I don't want to seduce you.

The bane contracted in fury. Her vehemence increased. It was unbearable, unanswerable. Though Linden clung to wild magic--to her wedding band--to the proimise of Thomas Covenant--she was little more than a spark, a fading ember within the virulence O She Who Must Not Be Named. Hundreds or thousands of women shrieked their pain and despair, but they made no sound.

Then the pressure eased. Yowling to Herself, the bane receded slightly. Linden remembered to breathe. She blinked at the blood in her eyes.

An excoriated face appeared in front of her. A voice that registered only in Linden's mind said, I am Emereau Vrai. Does Kastenessen love me still? I am betrayed to this doom, but not by him. It was his kindred who made of me a plaything for damnation. All that I have done, I did because he was taken from me.

You have spoken my name. Know that I forgive nothing. Alone among this host, I approve my fate. She Who Must Not Be Named is my god. My anguish is worship.

Linden might have said, Of course he still loves you. In his heart, he never let you fo. He made himself insane for you. But she did not have the strength. Her life and her will were almost gone. She needed the last of herself to clasp Emereau Vrai and send Kastenessen's lover into the arms of the Demondim-spawn.

They accepted her gladly, barking their homage amid the dvestation of the Lost Deep.

Then Linden was done. Wild magic drained out of her, and she was swept unshielded into the excoriation of the bane. As far as she knew, she only remained alive because she had slipped in a fracture between instants. When the currents of the bane's fury carried her back into the sequences of time, she would die.

Yet that fracture--or some other pause--held her. She did not die, or move, or think. Entire realms of pain slid past her as if she had become untouchable.

As if she had finally become worthy of her husband.

With senses other than vision or hearing or touch, she recognized the Demondim-spawn. They stood like kings in the wreckage of their eldritch legacy. Every visage among them now shone like the loremaster's. The proportions of their bodies were changing, as if they were becoming human; sharing the loremaster's transfigured spirit. They seemed taller.

In unison, they chanted at the bane: a paean or invocation as alien as their guttural speech, and as incomprehensible. with every rise and fall, every beat, their hymn appeared to accrue peril, as if they were hazarding more than their own destruction; as if the accumulation of their words threatened the pediments of reality. And yet their eagerness was plain on their eyeless faces. Somehow they had arrived at a crisis of extermination or apotheosis toward which they had striven for millennia.

They may have been extolling the bane--or forbidding her.


The Demondim-spawn have undone the spell of majesty that their forbears the Viles have woven, ending millennia of that testament to their artistry. They did it to restore Linden, because the world's time is so short, yes. But it's more than that, for it looks like they see themselves coming into a greater heritage. And it's about time ur-viles and Waynhim got exalted instead of sacrificed! And their exaltation gives SWMNBN Her name and Her ticket to escape. This was satisfying to see, though it was quite unexpected.

"As if" Linden has finally become worthy of her husband? Truth is, Linden became his equal when she healed the Sunbane and restored the Land centuries ago. It only seems like it's finally happened now because Linden sees for herself that she is worthy of Thomas. I have to keep reminding myself that when I see SRD use "as if" in a sentence, I'm being signaled that what follows in that sentence is in some essential way untrue.

earthbrah wrote:
Also, I was a bit incredulous upon a first reading of TLD at how easy it seemed for Linden to use wild magic to toss Stave out of the Lost Deep to save him, but with the seams of the universe coming apart around them, maybe it's more credible.


I think you're right in the world's end being a factor, breaking down the restrictions of power, earthbrah. But Linden has also been unconsciously assisting the Unbeliever in his two most recent uses of wild magic transportation and probably has picked up "the trick" of doing it with just a ring. Her perception has always been more acute than TC's, and she can bring up wild magic with just a thought, now--unlike her earlier extreme difficulty calling it up for use in Runes of the Earth.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is such an awesome chapter. Such an awesome Linden chapter. It's the culmination of all the threads woven around Linden since Runes.

Effaeldm, thanks for starting us off with a good accounting of the events. I should have responded sooner. However, thinking of this chapter prompted me to write something else, and I wanted to finish that before I got into the dissection.

Effaeldm wrote:
However, at first she gets lost in the wonders of the Lost Deep and Stave can't shake her out of it,

The ballroom is indeed a roadblock, and it can be frustrating because it seems to delay the story further. But I think things like this are important. They remind us of how human Thomas and Linden are, despite all their apparent gifts. They can still be snared by the enchanting ballroom. They can still be hypnotized by the Kemper. They can still be smashed by a sandgorgon. They're still just regular Joes. I think that's important if we're to relate to them.

- - - - -

Stave has a concern which has shaped where he and Linden teleported.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“I fear that the bane will ascend to Kiril Threndor. I fear that She will discern the scent of Corruption and the puissance of the Timewarden. I fear that She will fall upon them in fury and lay the Timewarden waste.

“For that reason I have guided you here. It is my hope that you will call out to Her with wild magic. It is my prayer, Linden, that you will draw Her to us before She nears Kiril Threndor.”

So Stave is anything but Linden's bodyguard. He's using wisdom and shaping events. His one act, here, probably saved everyone.

- - - - -

Effaeldm wrote:
Yet Linden gets a moment of an insight.

Indeed. She speaks about how, Days ago, the foundations of her life had begun to shift. I cannot help but think that this was a good shift, that this was her getting over the despair of rousing the Worm. Now they settled into new alignments. Linden is ready.

Linden's biggest fear, I feel, is rousing another Worm. Of doing something wrong with the bane and dooming everyone to oblivion. ... No -- not that. Her biggest fear is being afraid to act because of that fear.

But foundations have shifted. She knows why she's here. She's chosen to be here. Her purpose isn't blemished by anyone else -- it's all her. It's all on her. There are no illusions.

Ultimate responsibility. She's taking it on. Knowing what's at stake.

- - - - - -

In The Last Dark was wrote:
You cannot. Do you hear? You cannot. We are souls. Her anguish binds us. As we are, we cannot be divided from Her. We must live again to be free of Her. We must have flesh. We must be truly separate, spirit from spirit, thought from thought. Pain from pain. To release us, you must unmake our deaths.

We cannot be freed!

What?! Is it all impossible?!

Enter Demondim-spawn.

There's a whole other Redemption I have to write. But right now, I think we need to examine the miracle of plot-weaving that leads to this point.

Now we know why the ur-viles and Waynhim have selflessly served Linden. They were preserving her to get to THIS.

Now we know how the ur-viles have re-interpreted their Weird. They have sought THIS. The answer to their hatred of their forms.

Linden cannot free the bane's victims unless she gives them flesh. And the Demondim-spawn provide it. Their rescue, their "form of grace", is THIS.

By freeing the women's spirits, the ur-viles and Waynhim show She Who Must Not Be Named that freedom is a good thing. It is not "agony". It is not "abhorance". There is something beyond grief. There's a way out. The Demondim-spawn show her THIS.

By providing the means of removing the banes victims, the bane becomes free to know herself again. THIS is what gives her the power to escape Time and be free.

If it had happened sooner, the Earth would have been destroyed. If it had happened later, She would have been extinguished by the Worm, or she would have had to face Foul again out in the cosmos. It had to be done exactly NOW. Linden had to be ready for it exactly NOW. And she had to be capable of it exactly NOW. And the Demondim-spawn had to stay alive across the millennia to be here NOW.

It's just awesome how it all comes together here. I am astonished and tickled silly by this.

I wish I knew what the ur-viles were saying when they were chanting to the bane!

There were clues that this was coming. (There always are.) Remember when the Gift of Tongues was restored to the Giants? Linden asked the ur-viles and Waynhim what they wanted from Linden.

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
Abashed, Grueburn turned to Linden. “I am unequal to this task. The Waynhim in particular strive to account for their Weird, but I hear little that I am able to convey. Some cite worth and otherness. Some make reference to transfiguration or rebirth. But their true meaning eludes me.”

She looked around at the Swordmainnir, mutely asking for aid. But they shook their heads, admitting their own confusion.

Glumly Grueburn told Linden, “They appear to conflate concepts in a manner baffling to me. Do they equate their own worthiness with that of the wide Earth, or do they attempt some obscure distinction? Do they crave an alteration of themselves, that they may be condign in the world, or do they desire the world’s transformation in their own image? They appear to set their course by many headings. I cannot follow them.”

Transfiguration. Rebirth. Worth. An alteration of themselves, that they may be condign in the world.

THIS is what they were speaking of. THIS is what they had wanted.

- - - - -

Cord Hurn wrote:
It makes sense that EV has powerful lore, and that the always-resourceful Demondim-spawn can make use of her knowledge, but I hadn't added all this up, before.

Now there's an angle I had not considered. Did Vrai impart something important to the Demondim-spawn? We know that she had learned much from the Elohim themselves. And the Elohim are masters of transforming their forms. And the Demondim-spawn immediately started appearing taller and more human once Vrai was taken in.

It's all of a piece. When you "consume" someone in this way, their gifts become yours.

It's clear to me that by taking on natural human spirits, they became "more condign in the world". This was the end of their Weird. But whose to say if Vrai had a part in that? They dwelt deep under Mount Thunder for eons; they must have known who She was containing.

I must contemplate this when I write of the redemption of the Demondim-spawn.

- - - - -

In The Last Dark was wrote:
And yet she had accomplished more than she could have imagined. But not because she was more—or not only because she was more. No, she had been able to do so much because she was not alone. From Liand and Anele and Stave to the Ranyhyn and the Swordmainnir and Thomas himself, she had been aided in every deed.

This is such an important theme in the Last Chronicles. That we fully need others to fully become ourselves. You're friends are not crutches; there is no virtue in struggling alone; love and friendship are more than the opposite of loneliness.

Thomas, Linden, and Jeremiah struggle for their souls in the Land together. There's no chance for them any other way.

- - - - -

Cord Hurn wrote:
I have to keep reminding myself that when I see SRD use "as if" in a sentence, I'm being signaled that what follows in that sentence is in some essential way untrue.

Oh, I think it's just the opposite. "As if" is loaded with irony, because there's almost no "as if" in it at all. Double ditto on any "like a man who" you come across.

- - - - -

I like how this book ends. Linden gets a chapter. Then Jeremiah. Then Covenant.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The rich rug luxurious under her feet was distilled solace. It overlapped others as hieratic as arrases depicting scenes of worship, humility, sanctification: a tableaux in which the devout ached with joy. She could have gleaned comfort endlessly from each of them; but her eyes and her heart were enticed by rapture on all sides. Somehow the richness of the rugs was both complete and transparent, solid and evanescent. They lay on a lucent floor pristine as aspiration, enduring as marble. Enhanced by the intervening substance of the rugs, the stone seemed polished to the point of incandescence. She was only able to bear its marmoreal radiance because she had been exalted to the tone and timbre of her surroundings.

Gazing around her, rapt and delirant, she saw a space like the ballroom of a grandiloquent palace; saw beauties in such profusion that she could not hope to appreciate them all. Loveliness effloresced in every direction. Near the walls, braziers of burnished gold offered flames redolent with incense and purity. Among the rugs, delicate filigree shafts like spun glass clean as crystal stretched upward to form arms that supported chandeliers as bright as the splendor of worlds. Beyond them, wide staircases graceful as wings swept toward higher levels and finer glories. She was satisfied where she stood, more than satisfied; already so dazzled and enraptured that any ascension--any movement--would diminish her perfect peace.

High above her, mosaics sang like choirs: a reverent hymnody audible only as praise. They displayed constellations and firmaments like burgeoning creations, like galaxies and stars and worlds always new.

Yet more delicious to her senses than any other munificence was the fountain. A geyser in the center of the floor, it reached high, flawless and faceted as a single diamond, until it spread its arching waters wide: a feathered spray of droplets as precise as wrought gems. There no small jewel fell. Each clinquant bead hung in abeyance, suspended, motionless. Static and lovely as ice, the fountain displayed its own splendor: an icon of transcended time, sealed against change as though its perfection had been made eternal--and eternally numinous.

Bespelled, she gazed about her like a figure in a dream, forgetting life and love and peril for the sake of an ecstasy that surpassed comprehension.




Re-reading this, I'm reminded how Linden experienced sensory confusion when she actually encountered the Viles in FR. There, it was the alien way of communicating through a confusing overlap of sensations that disoriented Linden, though she retained her ability to think and question. Here, the extremely effective methods of the Viles communication of perfection through art (or craft) is a stasis spell for her mind, and Linden is especially vulnerable because of her perceptive strength. She sees more deeply into it all, so is all the more snared. Stave displays once again the amazing Haruchai s]resilience after experiencing prior failure to resist the spell. It seems once the Haruchai escape a trap, they never forget how to resist being similarly trapped.



While I love the above description of the Lost Deep's ballroom, I admit I was impatient to have Linden Avery "snap out of it" and complete her mission before Time ran out. I think that wayfriend is right as to scenes like this being there to remind us of our protagonist's humanity and vulnerability.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
While I love the above description of the Lost Deep's ballroom, I admit I was impatient to have Linden Avery "snap out of it" and complete her mission before Time ran out. I think that wayfriend is right as to scenes like this being there to remind us of our protagonist's humanity and vulnerability.

There may be a emblematic significance to the ur-viles and Waynhim "dismantling" the ballroom. It was created by their forebears. But they destroy it to save Linden, because they desire what she can accomplish once she is freed. So there is an profound announcement of allegiance there, I suppose. Their weird places more value on their potential future than the great accomplishments of their ancestors. They will re-make themselves, and so hold their makers in less esteem.

Of course, it's plot 101 that the heroine gets her foot caught in a tree root as she's running from the monster! At least it's not a car that suddenly won't start. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Oh, I think it's just the opposite. "As if" is loaded with irony, because there's almost no "as if" in it at all. Double ditto on any "like a man who" you come across.


In reviewing this chapter, wayfriend, it seems we could both be right. The first quote has an "as if" sentence that has context clearly indicating that Stave is VERY aware that he is almost undone. The second quote has an "as if" sentence whose context makes that "as if" ironic, for surely the Demondim-spawn deserve homage after all they've done for the Earth.

Quote:
"Why have we come?" he continued as if he did not know that he was almost undone. "Another reply is that the bane rises. Though the distance is great, Her emanations are distinct. Seeking your son, Linden, we roused She Who Must Not Be Named. There after it was conceivable that She would relapse to somnolence. ''She had been deprived of her prey by the Timewarden. Doubtless her wrath was great. Yet She had also fed upon the soul of High Lord Elena. At another time, She might have resumed Her ancient sleep.


Quote:
But Stave was not alone. At his back, an array of creatures crouched in the act of raising their hind legs. Black things, no more than a dozen. And grey one, smaller, half that number. Above the cruel slits of their mouths, they had no eyes. Wet nostrils dominated their faces. Pointed ears twitched on their skulls. Their heads and bodies were hairless.

Stave turned and bowed to them as if they had earned homage.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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In a small voice, Linden asked, "Why am I here?" But she was not talking to Stave. She simply did not understand how she had come to be blessed by so much beauty.

His frown deepened. "A query with many replies, Linden. One is that I have guided you hither, knowing no better place for your purpose." He hesitated; gave a slight Haruchai shrug. "I have no apt language for such matters. It is my belief that translations by wild magic are directed by clarity of intent. Heretofore our courses and destinations were determined by the Ranyhyn. Matters obscure to us were plain to them. Now we have found our way unaided."

His hands tightened on her shoulders. "Here, however, you did not choose our course. The burden of clarity was mine. As I once conveyed you to Revelstone without your consent, so also I have brought you to the Lost Deep. If I have erred, the fault is mine."




I find it interesting that Stave can now manipulate the directional energy of wild magic as he previously was able to do with caesures. There seems to be an ability Stave gains from service to Linden that allows him to be more quickly adaptive than others of his kind. The caesures being a creation of wild magic somehow supplies this intuitive breakthrough. This is the first instance in the entire Chronicles where one of the Haruchai directly wields wild magic. (Previously, Bannor had forced Covenant's hand to the Staff of Law held by Prothall to summon the Fire-Lions, but no one can say for sure that Bannor was touching the white gold. And Haruchai involvement in the white gold travel we've seen in TLD involved holding TC while he supplied power for the Ranyhyn to direct. I believe this is the only time the people of the Bloodguard wield white magic as directly as Stave has right here. Can anybody find evidence to the contrary?)
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
There may be a emblematic significance to the ur-viles and Waynhim "dismantling" the ballroom. It was created by their forebears. But they destroy it to save Linden, because they desire what she can accomplish once she is freed. So there is an profound announcement of allegiance there, I suppose. Their weird places more value on their potential future than the great accomplishments of their ancestors. They will re-make themselves, and so hold their makers in less esteem.


Yes, it is indeed a profound declaration of allegiance, as they undo what is probably the Viles' greatest work (so far as we know). It's also bowing to practical reality: the Worm is going to destroy it all in moments anyway, so why not hasten the process since it will allow Linden to facilitate their hopes? (It could be that the Demondim-spawn also resent the Viles for creating the Demondim, who then created the Demondim-spawn dilemma of being stuck in bodies they loathe. Maybe this is their way of saying, "Good riddance to our torment AND these reminders of those responsible for it.")

wayfriend wrote:
Of course, it's plot 101 that the heroine gets her foot caught in a tree root as she's running from the monster! At least it's not a car that suddenly won't start. Smile


Even in real-world fiction like the Man Who mysteries, SRD has never stooped to such an obvious plot device as a good-working car suddenly not starting when it's needed. For which I am grateful. Head Banger
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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As if she had always known what she could do, she invoked her wedding band. She had no more use for despair and recrimination; inadequacy. Only power would serve. Like a woman screaming, she flung a roar of wild magic into Mount Thunder's gutrock.

"I'm here! You lost me once! Come and get me now!"

Her theurgy could have torn vast stone to powder; could have brought the weight of the mountain crashing into the caverns of the Lost Deep. But her health-sense was precise. She did not hurl silver against the rock: she tuned it to pass through Mount Thunder's substance, sharpened it to a pitch that only the bane would be able to hear.

"Come and get me! I can save you!"

Melenkurion Skyweir was already falling. She felt its massive collapse like atmospheric pressure on her skin, heard it like the grumble of impossible thunder. At any moment, the Worm would begin to drink EarthBlood from the world's heart.

Slowly the drizzle became rain. Details among the mosaics blurred and ran as their melodies dwindled to liquid. The staircases slumped, shrugging thin streams from their sides. The shafts of the chandeliers bowed as if they had lost faith in themselves. Rills curled around Linden's boots, flowing nowhere. Argent made raindrops as bright as exploding stars.

"I can tell you how to save yourself!"

She felt Stave's hand on her shoulder. His touch seemed almost diffident as he asked for her attention. But she did not acknowledge him until her power and her shouting failed; until she could no longer sustain her summons.



In a way, this description of LA in action reminds me of TC telling the souls of the Unhomed, Come, this is the caamora! Come and be healed! And it also reminds me of the challenging attitude Troy assumed at the end of TIW when he briefly got the ring. The connection with Covenant is in using wild magic to tell someone to come to him to be saved. The connection with Hile Troy is because Troy applied the wild magic after being released from a form of blindness (in not knowing of the relationship between Elena and TC).

Notice the two "as if" sentences in this passage. We have been given no indication in prior text that Linden knows what she is going to do to deal with the bane; we know only that she has this need to face her greatest fear. We have no reason to believe that the chandelier shafts have consciousness enough to lose faith in themselves. Here, the use of "as if" is employed to signal that what follows in those two sentences isn't true. Soap Box Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
"As if" Linden has finally become worthy of her husband? Truth is, Linden became his equal when she healed the Sunbane and restored the Land centuries ago. It only seems like it's finally happened now because Linden sees for herself that she is worthy of Thomas. I have to keep reminding myself that when I see SRD use "as if" in a sentence, I'm being signaled that what follows in that sentence is in some essential way untrue.


Yes, and this being a Linden point of view chapter, it makes sense that the exposition would come across that way. I hear a sliver of sarcasm in that "as if."


wayfriend wrote:
Quote:
By freeing the women's spirits, the ur-viles and Waynhim show She Who Must Not Be Named that freedom is a good thing. It is not "agony". It is not "abhorance". There is something beyond grief. There's a way out. The Demondim-spawn show her THIS.

By providing the means of removing the banes victims, the bane becomes free to know herself again. THIS is what gives her the power to escape Time and be free.


The 'right conditions' are a key to resolution/culmination/transformation in this case, and have been throughout these Last Chronicles. She had to get the women's spirits out of her in order to gain the perspective that freedom can be good, is good. The combined and shared anguish of all those spirits perhaps literally created a blind spot made of pain. Once one was removed, though, it causes a shift. She is free to see herself as only herself for the first time in ages, and the effect is that of waking up. She sort of comes to in the dream (nightmare, more accurately), realizes what's up, and gets outta Dodge.

wayfriend wrote:
Quote:
Now there's an angle I had not considered. Did Vrai impart something important to the Demondim-spawn? We know that she had learned much from the Elohim themselves. And the Elohim are masters of transforming their forms. And the Demondim-spawn immediately started appearing taller and more human once Vrai was taken in.

It's all of a piece. When you "consume" someone in this way, their gifts become yours.


I think she definitely imparted something, and I'm guessing she did to all of them since Every visage among them now shone like the loremaster's. Their chanting at the bane precedes the purge of the women's spirits from She, so perhaps some bit of lore or skill that Vrai imparted enabled the Demondim spawn to encourage the release of the rest of the souls. Impartation helping co-create the right conditions for what at any other time would end in utter destruction. Yes, the grand confluence of threads this chapter presents is beautiful.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the obscure English words used by SRD in this chapter:

clinquant: glittering, especially with tinsel; decked with garish finery.


evanescent: vanishing or likely to vanish like vapor.


mansuetude: the quality or state of being gentle : meekness, tameness.


meretricious: attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious ornamentation; plausible but false or insincere .


paean: a song or lyric poem expressing triumph or thanksgiving.

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earthbrah wrote:
The 'right conditions' are a key to resolution/culmination/transformation in this case, and have been throughout these Last Chronicles. She had to get the women's spirits out of her in order to gain the perspective that freedom can be good, is good. The combined and shared anguish of all those spirits perhaps literally created a blind spot made of pain. Once one was removed, though, it causes a shift. She is free to see herself as only herself for the first time in ages, and the effect is that of waking up. She sort of comes to in the dream (nightmare, more accurately), realizes what's up, and gets outta Dodge.


I believe you're quite right, earthbrah! The only thing I would add is that when the Demondim-spawn "may have been extolling the bane--or forbidding her", they were probably giving SWMNBN the knowledge of her true name.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
I believe you're quite right, earthbrah! The only thing I would add is that when the Demondim-spawn "may have been extolling the bane--or forbidding her", they were probably giving SWMNBN the knowledge of her true name.


And I bet you're right on the money with the content of the chanting being Her true name. That would further inform why we, the readers, only got her I AM MYSELF as exultant declaration of receiving her name…which might just as well have come from Vrai herself.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
And I bet you're right on the money with the content of the chanting being Her true name. That would further inform why we, the readers, only got her I AM MYSELF as exultant declaration of receiving her name…which might just as well have come from Vrai herself.


That's why I think we don't read her true name, because it doesn't translate. Yet Esmer in AATE acted like he know Her name, and I'm thinking he got it from Emereau Vrai, who got it from Kastenessen.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Quote:
That's why I think we don't read her true name, because it doesn't translate. Yet Esmer in AATE acted like he know Her name, and I'm thinking he got it from Emereau Vrai, who got it from Kastenessen.


Makes sense to me. But how would Esmer have gotten it from Vrai if she's been trapped in the bane since Kasty's endurancement? Or do we know when she was imprisoned in She?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vrai was trapped within SWMNBN after she had already created the merewives, imparting them with knowledge/lore, and Esmer is descended from these same merewives.
This may explain why the Elohim wanted to imprison Vrai, to keep her from further disseminating such dangerous knowledge.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you're right. Merewives must predate Vrai's imprisonment, and are most likely a reason for her imprisonment.

Thanks for the clarification.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome, earthbrah! I rather like that SRD leaves some things unexplained, trusting his readers to "fill in the blanks".

(Wow, when the Elohim decide something or someone is a threat, they don't fool around when it comes to taking punitive/corrective action, do they? Shocked )
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
In reviewing this chapter, wayfriend, it seems we could both be right.


Cord Hurn, I agree I have oversimplified Donaldson's use of similes, and you've rightfully called me out on it. I still maintain, though, that they are complex and ironic. "As if something", on it's own, contains an implication that it's not something. It is an irony when it nevertheless is. So "as if they had earned homage" on the face of it implies that they have not, but the irony is Donaldson trying to convey that they do indeed deserve homage. And "as if he did not know", on the face of it, implies he does know. However, if you expect an ironic simile here (because you have read lots of Donaldson) then you would expect that Donaldson is ironically meaning that, in fact, he did not know. The irony on top of the irony is that, here, Donaldson isn't being ironic! The profound effect of all this irony, of course, is the focus it draws on the subject of the irony.

Cord Hurn wrote:
This is the first instance in the entire Chronicles where one of the Haruchai directly wields wild magic.

I am not sure that "directly weilds" is applicable here. It seems to me that Stave merely provided the strongest intention when the magic occurred. The magic, obeying the strongest intention that it finds, follows.

It's basically the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man phenomenon.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Even in real-world fiction like the Man Who mysteries, SRD has never stooped to such an obvious plot device as a good-working car suddenly not starting when it's needed.

I am not sure if you are forgetting that very scene in Runes. Or if you are being ... ironic.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Notice the two "as if" sentences in this passage. We have been given no indication in prior text that Linden knows what she is going to do to deal with the bane;

Actually, I think that there were several such indications. (And so, the "as if" is ironic.) I happen to know because I had started, and not yet finished, a post about "her greatest fear". (By which I mean I started it last week, and never got back to it.) So this information happens to be on recall.

Nothing conclusive, I admit. But I think Linden had a plan.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
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.

[...] Gripping her shoulders, he stared like wild magic into her face. “That’s why you gave Jeremiah your Staff.”

“One of the reasons,” she conceded. Now that he understood, she found it comparatively easy to bear his gaze. “Earthpower and Law can’t help me. I have to use my ring.”

And, last but not least, right after Linden disappears, Covenant (who knows what Linden is doing, thinks): Elena, he thought obliquely, I’m so sorry. I’m doing what I can. Somebody else has to care for you.

earthbrah wrote:
I hear a sliver of sarcasm in that "as if."

Yes. "As if she had finally become worthy of her husband" is ironic, in my opinion.

Cord Hurn wrote:
And I bet you're right on the money with the content of the chanting being Her true name.

I had thought so, originally. But now I can see that it all works out even if they were not doing that. She discovers who she is by freeing the souls and being only herself again. So the ur-viles may have only been saying "go! go!" or "thank you, may I have another", or even "sawing, batta batta".

- - - - - - -

And something new for the end.

We know that the ur-viles and Waynhim "betrayed" Linden and Covenant by not using the shackles the first time they were in the Lost Deep.

I wonder if this was because they knew that Linden would at some point confront SWMNBN, and they were not sure if this was the time or not. Therefore, they didn't want to do anything to separate Linden and She until they knew. After all, they would not want to accidentally prevent the thing that their Weird was steering them towards.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
Even in real-world fiction like the Man Who mysteries, SRD has never stooped to such an obvious plot device as a good-working car suddenly not starting when it's needed.


I am not sure if you are forgetting that very scene in Runes. Or if you are being ... ironic.


Ha, good one. I certainly had forgotten about that scene in Runes, but perhaps to be fair to the plot device: Linden was using the same car she had back in TWL, wasn't she?
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