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TLD Part II Chapter 12: You Are Mine

 
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Effaeldm
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 2:56 am    Post subject: TLD Part II Chapter 12: You Are Mine Reply with quote

The chapter starts, as the last chapter should, with a situation that looks even more grim and desparate and heartwrenching than anything before. One could perhaps consider this impossible after everything the characters of the Chrons have been through, but no. Coventant gets greeted by his son posessed by Lord Foul - and even willing at that – and gets informed that Jeremiah is posessed by moksha, which ruins whatever semblance of a plan Covenant had. Even the resolve to refrain from rage, as important as it is, starts to dissipate.

Quote:
He may be freed only by one who is compelled by rage—Ire would mislead him when he absolutely had to be the master of himself. But he could not control what he felt. Well, hi, Dad. That was his son. His son, wracked like a plague victim by power and malice. You took your own sweet time getting here. His son with Lord Foul’s putrescent eyes.


Roger even defends his choice (as much as getting manipulated by Lord Foul can be called so), but Covenant knows better.

Quote:
“No,” Covenant snapped, wrestling for composure. “He won’t take you with him. Whatever he offered you won’t be what you think it is.”


This is a thought frequently met in the Chrons, but here is a good place to observe it. It is quite close to what is discussed at some point in the Chronicles of Narnia, which are going to show up soon more profoundly, and this time it's about the apples from the Silver Apple Tree, which did bring stuff like health, eternal life, etc. even if someoner stole them/took for own selfish reasons - but that wasn't going to bring any joy. Narnia could pretty surely be a reference, but to dig deeper, this is actually a point out of myths and legends, where tthere are some kinds of forces that cast their inherent qualities onto whatever is received from them. Perhaps not as closely, there's the thing about not eating food from the Underworld (Greek myths, if I'm not mistaken) or from the Faeries for it meant staying with them, and there's a plainer thought of not taking anything from the purely dark or very tricky forces, that's like in Christianity and many legends about variuous mischievous creatures – something that's going to end up badly no matter how well one “knows” what he wants, there's a catch and a trick and a way it will go wrong.

But the point is not only mythological. This again about how a tainted source or execution, be it by an actual wrongdoing or merely acceptance, results in a tainted outcome, not matter how clear or plain it appeared to be. This is not by any magic or karma, or at least that's not required, and for a rather simple reason. Practially whatever exists in the world - be it an item, an idea, merely an advice - is too complicated to lose any kind of slight individual feature, the traces of its source - or at times a plain mark all over it, no matter how the initial thing was meant to be awesome. And no matter how it may appear that something is really needed and cannot possibly go wrong, but in fact going wrong is easy and various and anything may have results not possible to predict, apart from the danger in general, the rule that holding sky blue chalk in a hand covered in brown paint will result in highly original brown-ish clouds on the painting.


Covenant and Roger fight, also Lord Foul certainly can't resist an extra precaution – his stone creatures have to be fought by the Haruchai, newly arriving, Stave joins the fight. Branl gets a horrible wound and Stave is fighting, while Roger lifts his arm with fire... but doesn't try to kill Stave.

Quote:
“No!” Lord Foul roared again. “I will not permit it!” Scourged by his possessor, Roger shifted his aim. Fierce as a scream, he turned his power away from Covenant. A mistake— In the space between instants, Covenant thought that the Despiser had misjudged his foes— or had simply been overcome by his own fury. The Haruchai could not oppose him. Covenant was the real danger. Then, however, Covenant saw the frenzy in Roger’s eyes— saw the Despiser’s bitterness dulled by a more human anguish— saw Roger hurl coerced scoria, not at Stave, who shielded Covenant, but at Branl, who could not. The Humbled lay gasping against the wall. One shoulder had been shattered. Other bones were broken. His legs refused to hold him. Still he managed to wrench himself aside. Roger’s blast did not destroy him. Instead it made a smoking ruin of his wrecked arm, stripped the flesh from his ribs. Even that lesser damage might have killed him; but Roger’s attack cauterized as it burned. Branl was stricken unconscious: he did not bleed. His chest still heaved for air. Roger had done that: Roger. It was as close to an act of mercy as he could manage. In spite of Lord Foul’s mastery, Roger had left Stave alive to protect Covenant. And Covenant— Covenant recognized his chance. In a stumbling rush, he ran at Roger, gained the dais. Faster than he could think, he slashed with the krill.

The hand exploded; or Lord Foul’s presence in Roger did.


And, after Roger has an argument with Lord Foul and Covenant decides to wait for Jeremiah, turns out this wasn't the most to be seen of him that day.

Quote:
Roger was moving. Broken as a derelict, as the wreckage of his dreams, Roger stumbled toward the dais. He crouched. When he rose again, he clutched High Lord Loric’s dagger. As he raised his arm, fresh blood pumped from his severed stump. Red splashed across the stone like an accusation. His screaming seemed soundless as he hammered the blade into Lord Foul’s impalpable shape. A puny attack, too low and frail to accomplish anything. And the Despiser was mighty: he was scarcely physical. Nevertheless wild magic coruscated in the dagger’s gem. Loric had forged his blade to mediate between irreconcilable possibilities. It was the highest achievement of his vast lore. Somehow it hurt— In spite of Lord Foul’s vast power, the krill appeared to nail him where he stood; fix him in one place. He gathered his fury into a fist. With a single punch, he crushed Roger to wet pulp. But he did not leave the dais. Did not slip past the restrictions of time. Roger —

Now Covenant heard Stave yelling, “The Chosen-son has freed himself!” At last. Now or never.


Covenant fights with all his force, but still they're practically at a stalemate by the time Jeremiah enters and tries to trap Lord Foul.

Quote:
Lord Foul appeared to realize what was happening. He appeared to recognize that he had to flee. If he wanted freedom, he had to abandon his deeper purpose against the Creator. He would be trapped otherwise. He would cease to exist. Shrieking like the deaths of stars, he turned away. But he was already too late. Because Jeremiah— Oh, God, Jeremiah! —had learned how to forbid. With Earthpower and extravagance— the whetted extremity of a boy who had been hurt too much and was finally done with helplessness— Jeremiah forbade Lord Foul’s escape. In horror, the Despiser wheeled to face his foes again.


Now he fights Jeremiah, who at first feels exalted, but starts to falter. Yet...

Quote:
Without warning, an overwhelming thunder swept through Kiril Threndor. It staggered the whole mountain. For an instant, Covenant thought that the Worm had drunk its fill; that the World’s End had come. Then he saw more clearly. A hand like the fist of a god struck down the Despiser. Strength that threatened to crack Covenant’s mind left Lord Foul crumpled on the dais, almost corporeal, almost whimpering. A transcendent touch secured Jeremiah’s forbidding. As if as an afterthought, something supernal deposited Linden at Jeremiah’s side.


Quote:
“She Who Must Not Be Named is gone. I gave Her what She needed. This must be what She calls gratitude. “I love you, Thomas.” It’s enough, Covenant thought. Thank you. It’s enough.


While one could say this feels like some hand-of-god (well, actually what it is) trick, this is the necessary continuation of the story with Sho, who is so different now... and anyway still not THE answer. No, what is really needed, what does solve the story, is what Covenant does then.

Quote:
With pity and terror, Covenant lifted Lord Foul upright. This was his last crisis. There could be no more. “Do you understand?” he asked like a man bidding farewell. “If I’m yours, you’re mine. We’re part of each other. We’re too much alike. We want each other dead. But you’re finished. You can’t escape now. And I’m too weak to save myself. If we want to live, we have to do it together.” The Despiser met Covenant’s gaze. “You will not.” The voice of the world’s iniquity sounded hollow as a forsaken tomb. His eyes were not fangs. They were wounds, gnashed and raw. “You fear me. You will not suffer me to live.” “Yes,” Covenant answered, “I will.” He was blinded now, not by fires and fury, but by tears as he closed his arms around his foe. Opening his heart, he accepted Lord Foul the Despiser into himself. When it was done, Thomas Covenant turned to the people who had redeemed him.



As above, this is so similar to Narnia, but, similarly to how at times the Chrons take on some LOTR-inspired thoughts or how the Gap Cycle takes inspiration from the Ring Cycle, the inspiration is not as much simply taken in as also transformed by the author, transcended. This is not the final and dismissive heavenly Narnia, this is a bloody mess left by the Worm... one they need to fix themselves for bettr or worse, and with all the fun knowledge than may seep in from She and even Lord Foul himself, not even touching the topic of what the heroes themselves are like. A lot that new world may be, but it will hardly be boring.

Quote:
“Too bad we won’t get to enjoy it.” Covenant tried to smile. “What are you talking about?” He spoke to Jeremiah, but he poured out his heart to Linden. “This is our chance. We can’t stop what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to save the Earth. I know that sounds impossible, but maybe it isn’t. We don’t have to create an entire reality from scratch. We just have to put the pieces of this one back together. “If we follow the Worm— and if we pick up the pieces fast enough— and if we know where they belong—” Perhaps the Arch and the world could be rebuilt from the fragments of their destruction. “We have everything we need,” he assured Jeremiah. “Two white gold wielders. The Staff of Law. Linden’s health-sense. Your talent. Hell, we still have the krill. And I think—” His face twisted with pain and chagrin and hope. “I’m not sure, but I think I know everything Lord Foul knows.” The Despiser had striven for eons to escape his prison. His knowledge of the created world was both vast and intricate. Jeremiah stood straighter. His hands tightened eagerly on the Staff. “I’ve learned a few things myself.” “And I’ve seen She Who Must Not Be Named without all of that agony and bitterness,” offered Linden. “I know what She means.”


And they'll have some company as well.
Quote:
“We can do it together.” There is no doom so black or deep— Linden looked at Jeremiah. “Then you had better get rid of that Raver. He’s holding you back.” Moksha had probably exacerbated Jeremiah’s faltering earlier. Jeremiah nodded. He closed his eyes. For a moment, he grimaced. He may have feared losing what he had gained from the Raver; feared losing a part of himself. But then he became a brief flare of Earthpower and forbidding. Darkness billowed out of him. Moksha writhed uselessly, seeking a body that could sustain him. But the Giants were too weary to be used, Branl was too severely injured, and Stave and Canrik were too obdurate. Howling, the Raver fled.


Now comes the time when they have to go... and recreate the world with all that fun stuff they have.

Quote:
“Now.” With his halfhand, he clasped Linden’s left. Sharing his burdens, he raised both arms, held high his bright wedding band and hers. After an instant’s hesitation, Linden reached out to grip the cleansed Staff between Jeremiah’s hands, trusting the influence of the krill, or the accelerating collapse of Law and Time, or her own rightful use of wild magic to protect her from incompatible theurgies. She smiled at her son. He was concentrating too hard to smile back. A final convulsion tore through Kiril Threndor. Wracked beyond endurance, the whole chamber became rubble. Lifted by fire, Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah stepped into the wake of the World’s End and rose like glory.



It may seem one of the oddest or perhaps even disappointing (for some) decisions that Covenant decided to do so with Lord Foul. And more so considering he has such a task, where having Lord Foul inside is so likely to cause... repercussions. But is it so?

One more thing that possibly needs to be brought up in relation to this is the question about the grass stains. Or at least how I interpreted them Smile The people often recalled in that regard are Covenant and Linden, but there was one more person, Lord Mhoram. Perhaps can something that ties them point out the reason they were special so much - to be marked like this? And maybe there is something. Lord Mhoram with his great acheivement, the revelation that allowed the victory over Lord Foul's army, Linden with her healing of the Land from the Sunbane, Covenant with his acceptance of Lord Foul – they all stood in the eye of the paradox, or perhaps transcendance of a sort – they all figured it - the place for battle within the person who loves peace, the place for Sunbane in nature, the place for Lord Foul in the heart and soul...

And this revelation is not a dark one evil lords like to proclaim, saying there's place for all the overblown evil they do, nor the grim one about the world being all in grey or black-and-white with darkness always there and the need to just grit the teeth and get over that, but the intricate tapestry that needs every paint and color and detail, like the tender thought and the sharp retort, the naive do-gooder and the badass with a dark undercurrent, the painful wait and the long-awaited meeting at last, the brigtness of the sun and the velvet darkness between the stars, all the vast beauty of life.
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that awesome dissection, Effaeldm! It's a real pleasure to read! It can be a daunting task, no doubt, to tackle analyzing the climactic chapter of a series, but you really pulled it off! I thank you, again!

Quote:
Berek had warned Linden. He had warned Covenant. But he had said nothing about the means by which Lord Foul might gain freedom.


I gather Berek didn't be more specific because such unearned knowledge would enable LF to come up with a plan even harder to defeat otherwise. I'm still trying to think this through and understand it better.

Quote:
"Let him go," he snarled at the Despiser. "This is between you and me. Leave him out of it."
"Dad!" Roger feigned surprise. He feigned dismay. "You still don't get it." He lifted his inhuman hand to match the krill. A brimstone stench covered the reek of attar. The redder heat of magma daunted the rocklight. "None of this would have happened if you and that damn woman hadn't interfered. All I wanted was the croyel--the croyel and Jeremiah--but you wouldn't let me have them. If you had stayed out of my way, I wouldn't be here.
"This is your doing, Dad. It's the only choice I had left."


I lost sympathy for Roger long ago, when he murdered Sara Clint to get what he wanted. But this passage leaves me feeling even colder towards him, because it's all about Roger to him, it's never his fault, and not once does he reflect how cruelly he was using Jeremiah with the croyel. Some might accuse Covenant of coldness because he doesn't take time to mourn Roger's death, but I don't judge TC because his son's demise happens right before the moment Covenant has been waiting for, the moment to stop Foul from leaving. Roger was apparently always just a shell of a human being.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:

I lost sympathy for Roger long ago, when he murdered Sara Clint to get what he wanted. But this passage leaves me feeling even colder towards him, because it's all about Roger to him, it's never his fault, and not once does he reflect how cruelly he was using Jeremiah with the croyel. Some might accuse Covenant of coldness because he doesn't take time to mourn Roger's death, but I don't judge TC because his son's demise happens right before the moment Covenant has been waiting for, the moment to stop Foul from leaving. Roger was apparently always just a shell of a human being.


It occurs to me that what happened to Roger is what would have happened to Jeremiah if Linden had never adopted and loved him. Roger was never really loved, and he was caught up in the same fundamentalist cult garbage that led Jeremiah to put his hand in that bonfire back in TWL. Roger does not know any better because he was never taught any better, was never given any experience with anything but the effects of his mother's despair and pain.

Covenant's apparent coldness towards his biological son makes sense to me, in a way. Joan ripped Roger out of Covenant's life, and TC never had the opportunity to form any relationship with him. He did, however, get the chance to form a relationship with Jeremiah.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Effaeldm wrote:
Roger even defends his choice (as much as getting manipulated by Lord Foul can be called so), but Covenant knows better.


Quote:
“No,” Covenant snapped, wrestling for composure. “He won’t take you with him. Whatever he offered you won’t be what you think it is.”


This is a thought frequently met in the Chrons, but here is a good place to observe it. It is quite close to what is discussed at some point in the Chronicles of Narnia, which are going to show up soon more profoundly, and this time it's about the apples from the Silver Apple Tree, which did bring stuff like health, eternal life, etc. even if someoner stole them/took for own selfish reasons - but that wasn't going to bring any joy. Narnia could pretty surely be a reference, but to dig deeper, this is actually a point out of myths and legends, where tthere are some kinds of forces that cast their inherent qualities onto whatever is received from them. Perhaps not as closely, there's the thing about not eating food from the Underworld (Greek myths, if I'm not mistaken) or from the Faeries for it meant staying with them, and there's a plainer thought of not taking anything from the purely dark or very tricky forces, that's like in Christianity and many legends about variuous mischievous creatures – something that's going to end up badly no matter how well one “knows” what he wants, there's a catch and a trick and a way it will go wrong.


Yes. In the Narnia book The Magician's Nephew, Empress Jadis/The White Witch eats one of the golden apples stolen from the Garden at the End of the World, and reaps eternal spiritual despair along with a body that no longer ages. In Roger's case, I think that Lord Foul is going to hasten his mortality rather than end it. Lord Foul cuts in to the conversation between Roger and his father because he senses that Roger is wavering in his faith.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
It occurs to me that what happened to Roger is what would have happened to Jeremiah if Linden had never adopted and loved him. Roger was never really loved, and he was caught up in the same fundamentalist cult garbage that led Jeremiah to put his hand in that bonfire back in TWL. Roger does not know any better because he was never taught any better, was never given any experience with anything but the effects of his mother's despair and pain.


Yeah, you make good points, earthbrah!!! SRD himself seems to want to remind us that it's not all Roger's fault:

Quote:
Dad, Covenant's son seemed to be saying, help me.

Abruptly his own dread and hurt fell away. The burning of his hands lapsed into numbness. His grip steadied the krill against Roger's onslaught. Wild magic rose to a pitch too acute for perception. Moksha Jehannum had taken Jeremiah. Covenant did not know what had become of Linden, but he knew that She Who Must Not Be Named was too strong to be defeated. And the 'worm of the World's End was feeding. Forces mightier than Covenant's struggle shook Mount Thunder to its roots. He was losing everything that he had ever striven to preserve. Nevertheless he was not daunted. He still had something to fight for.

His son was possessed. Roger bore the immedicable wound of Kastenessen's hand. He had been a fool--a fool and a coward--but that changed nothing. He had not chosen his parents, had not caused his mother's weakness or his father's absence. Now the extravagance of his distress made Covenant's voluntary hurts seem trivial.

A different kind of anger dismissed Covenant's pain; his earlier wrath. This new ire resembled his old, familiar rage for lepers. It was a passion colder, calmer, and more complete than his desire to hurt the Despiser: a sympathy so furious it felt like exaltation.


So Roger's distress and (what exists of) his innocence brings Covenant into his real power, distressing the Despiser enough for him to shout, "No! I will not permit it!" But I myself can't forgive Roger for murdering Sara Clint, killing Bill Coty, enslaving Jeremiah to the croyel, and not caring for the essential beauty and worth of the Land's world. But perhaps Roger is redeemed in the end; I don't know. Maybe he wakes up as a disembodied soul among the great defenders of the Land, to be welcomed by them and commune with them--I don't know.

Roger is Jeremiah without redemptive love: I like this thought, earthbrah!
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Despiser laughed like grinding stones. "Yet you have not forgotten folly. That pleases me." His eyes and Roger's bit at the air. "I find delight in your misbelief that you are potent to oppose me.

"Have you forgotten, Timewarden? Does mortal recall fail within you even now? I have assured you that you are mine. You have been my servant always, though you have twice refused submission. Each and all of your efforts to thwart me have conduced to my present triumph. Because you have dared to oppose me, I will be made free."

Covenant shook his head. "Maybe you're the one who's forgotten. We've talked about this before. It goes both ways. If I'm yours, you're also mine. Maybe I've always been yours, but I made you mine when I let you kill me.

"And apparently you've forgotten Linden. You tried to tell her the same thing. According to you, everything she does guarantees your escape. But she's still here. She's doing things you didn't expect and couldn't imagine. She may even find a way to keep you here when reality falls apart."

The Despiser swelled. He appeared to gather vehemence. But Covenant did not flinch.


There are a couple of things I wish to note about this exchange between TC and LF. Fangthane continues to refuse to see that there are sides of his paradoxical relationship with Covenant that are a weakness for him, but TC never flinches from looking at all sides of their relationship. Seems to be the Despiser's biggest liability, that he will not consider how his strengths may be turned against him.

Effaeldm wrote:
And maybe there is something. Lord Mhoram with his great achievement, the revelation that allowed the victory over Lord Foul's army, Linden with her healing of the Land from the Sunbane, Covenant with his acceptance of Lord Foul – they all stood in the eye of the paradox, or perhaps transcendence of a sort – they all figured it - the place for battle within the person who loves peace, the place for Sunbane in nature, the place for Lord Foul in the heart and soul...


Effaeldm is right; our heroes prevail because they dare to look at their paradoxical situations in a way that Lord Foul can't bring himself to ever do. It's their winning advantage!

The other thing I wish to note from the above quote is that Lord Foul has no rejoinder to offer to Covenant's assertions about Linden. Tom's advice to LA to do something Lord Foul doesn't expect pays off very well in this chapter. She may even find a way to keep you here when reality falls apart. That's prophetic, is it not?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Timewarden," Stave demanded, uncharacteristically urgent, "some deed we must attempt. We cannot condone this doom."

I know, Covenant thought dimly. I just need a chance to breathe.

He needed something to believe in. Something to hope for.

What kind of idiot thinks he can save the world by himself?

He had forgotten how seductive despair could be.

"Hear me, Timewardwen," ordered Stave. "I will endeavor to retrieve the krill. Should I succeed, you must wield it. You must--"

Covenant gripped Stave's arm weakly; tried to restrain the Haruchai, although of course he could not. Spitting blood, he croaked, "Wait. He wants Jeremiah. We still have time."

Too much wild magic would only hasten the fall of the Arch. It would ease the Despiser's departure.

Stave did not move. He may have trusted Covenant. He may have simply hesitated.


With his well-reasoned interest in getting his timing just right for when to attack Foul, it would appear that Covenant is not entirely done with restraint, after all.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
His millennia within the Arch of Time had met been wasted on him. His heart and his mind and even his leper's body understood wild magic. He was half translated out of reality himself, refined by fire and determination until he hardly needed his own physical existence.


In Against All Things Ending, Thomas Covenant has the benefit of millennia of recall from being part of the Arch, but at the same time is paralyzed from action everytime he is tapping into the wisdom gained from his former position. It's nice to finally see him partaking of the knowledge he has gained while also being capable of acting on it while there is still time. Especially when there's precious little time left!
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
At first, Jeremiah wielded the Staff with an exalted certainty. He had freed himself from moksha Raver: he had earned his power.


UH-OH, wayfriend wins the argument again!!! Faint Wink


(Good job, WF! You're teaching me to read more carefully! Smile )
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dean of Chrons scholarship tends to do that...

(Reinforce the value of careful reading, that is.)
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...And I sure can't dispute that it's a valuable contribution, Savor Dam! It makes me get more out of these books, every time! Big Grin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Effaeldm is right; our heroes prevail because they dare to look at their paradoxical situations in a way that Lord Foul can't bring himself to ever do. It's their winning advantage!

That is profound, CH, and practically sums up the entire Chronicles. Hail
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am utterly happy right now.

I've just finished reading You are mine. Which is the second time that I have ever read it. I had a certain amount of trepidation going in, because this chapter, more than any other, had been the subject of harsh criticism. I feared disappointment. But, as it turns out, I had no need to fear; I had let the attitudes of others color my remembrances. And this time, I read it slowly and carefully (Wink). And I found so much that I did not know, or had forgotten, was here!

- - - - - - - - - -

This chapter is titled "You are mine", and for good reason. It is the essence of Foul's relationship with Covenant.

In The Wounded Land was wrote:
Your will is mine -
You have no hope of life without me,
Have no life or hope without me.
All is mine.

Your heart is mine -
There is no love or peace within you,
Is no peace or love within you.
All is mine.

Your soul is mine -
You cannot dream of your salvation,
Cannot plead for your salvation.
You are mine.

The you-are-mine meme enters the story way back in The Wounded Land. Back when Donaldson began the story that he knew would end in this chapter. I mention it because it seems rather haunting now. And perhaps a bit prophetic, eh? You have no hope of life without me.

- - - - - - - - - -

In The Last Dark was wrote:
That was his son. His son.

Covenant has arrived at Kiril Threndor to find Roger possessed by Foul. Used by Foul. And this enrages him. So much so that the wild magic is brought forth without conscious volition. Right there, we can see that Covenant cares for his son. As this chapter unfolds, it will become even more evident.

"We cannot harm the spirit while the flesh shields it". Foul's plan is to use Roger because Covenant would fear to harm him. "We must oppose both or neither." Even Foul knows that Covenant is concerned for his son.

And so Covenant attempts words instead. "You're just a frightened man who can't stand being afraid." Donaldson once described Roger as a man who is unknowingly ruled by his fears. This is still true. Covenant tries to convince Roger that, by letting his fears control him, he has believed lies, and so serves Foul.

- - - - - - - - - -

When Foul emerges, Covenant says to him, "But I made you mine when I let you kill me." What does this mean? If "you are mine" means that you serve me, then yes, Foul served Covenant when he slayed him. Is that all that this means here? Or is Foul now bound to Covenant more strongly by those events? The course of this chapter would have us believe so.

"If I am yours, then you are mine." Clearly Covenant has known this. Like has been said above, Covenant sees the sides of this that Foul cannot see. But if we see this relationship as reciprocal, then we have to see that Foul, too, is incomplete, and struggling for wholeness. Covenant has what Foul needs to complete Foul as well.

If Foul is the darkness that Covenant must embrace, then Covenant is the illumination that Foul must find.

- - - - - - - - - -

"Everything that he required of himself while life remained in his body depended on his ability to grip and hold." This line repeats word-for-word what was written after Linden healed Covenant's fingers in AATE. At that time, it was a mystery what Covenant referred to. Did he refer to this moment? Or is it that in this moment, battling Foul-feuled Roger, he sees what Linden has done for him has more implications than he realized?

- - - - - - - - - -

"Dad, Covenant's son seemed to be saying, help me." This transforms our interpretation of the battle. At one level, Covenant is defending himself. But at another level, he is saving his son - saving him by not letting Foul win. Roger's cries seem to be indicating that he sees how he is being used now, used as a tool to slay his father. This realization makes Covenant stronger than ever. He may be losing everything else, but he will not lose his son.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Abruptly his own dread and hurt fell away. The burning of his hands lapsed into numbness. His grip steadied the krill against Roger’s onslaught. Wild magic rose to a pitch too acute for perception. Moksha Jehannum had taken Jeremiah. Covenant did not know what had become of Linden, but he knew that She Who Must Not Be Named was too strong to be defeated. And the Worm of the World’s End was feeding. Forces mightier than Covenant’s struggle shook Mount Thunder to its roots. He was losing everything that he had ever striven to preserve. Nevertheless he was not daunted. He still had something to fight for.

His son was possessed. Roger bore the immedicable wound of Kastenessen’s hand. He had been a fool—a fool and a coward—but that changed nothing. He had not chosen his parents; had not caused his mother’s weakness or his father’s absence. Now the extravagance of his distress made Covenant’s voluntary hurts seem trivial.

A different kind of anger dismissed Covenant’s pain; his earlier wrath. This new ire resembled his old, familiar rage for lepers. It was a passion colder, calmer, and more complete than his desire to hurt the Despiser: a sympathy so furious that it felt like exultation.


YES!

A sympathy so furious. It felt like exultation: it felt like Linden finding the Staff of Law; it felt like Jeremiah being restored to himself. Exultation.

He still had something to fight for. Roger.

Roger uses one of his last chances to change things to save Branl. As close to an act of mercy as he could manage. By this, I think, we can see that Roger has turned around. He has recognized his father's sympathy for his plight.

Covenant uses the opportunity to slash at Roger's hand. Deprived of the hand, Roger would be of no use to Foul. Covenant is saving his son.

When Roger says, "You bastard. You lied to me," we know that Roger now believes his dad, and doesn't believe Foul's lies any more. His allegiance has switched, from Foul to his father.

Roger is now "unpossessed and human." No skurj hand. No allegiance to Foul. Just believing his dad loves him.

Roger uses the krill, attempts to slay Foul. Oh assuredly, his allegiance has switched. He could not believe it would work. Blood pumps untended from his wrist when he strikes. He isn't trying to save himself, he is helping his father, giving his life to create an opening, a moment for opportunity.

When Covenant had no idea what to do next, he thought, Roger deserved a better father.

Foul repays Roger's krill-strike by striking Roger down. With a single punch, he crushed Roger to a wet pulp. (Hey, don't you know what goes around, comes around, Mr. Foul? You punch someone flat, you're bound to get punched flat right back!)

Like Joan, Roger had to die. He was too far gone into Foul's clutches. When he finally realized he was on the wrong side, it was too late to escape. But he died fighting for his father, while his father was fighting for him. There are worse ways to go.

- - - - - - - - - -

Reality was coming undone around him, and he had not confronted his worst fears. Covenant has just come to face with Foul, exchanged paranormal blows puissant enough to shatter mountains, and he had not yet faced his worst fear? What is to come must be his worst fear. Internalizing Foul.

He could do that now.

This was his last crisis.

Opening his heart, he accepted Lord Foul the Despiser into himself.


His worst fear. His last crisis. Blinded by tears. He could do no more.

How is it that I could ever think that Covenant and Foul did not talk much at the end? That this merging just came out of the blue?

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“Have you forgotten, Timewarden? Does mortal recall fail within you even now? I have assured you that you are mine. You have been my servant always, though you have twice refused submission. Each and all of your efforts to thwart me have conduced to my present triumph. Because you have dared to oppose me, I will be made free.”

Covenant shook his head. “Maybe you’re the one who’s forgotten. We’ve talked about this before. It goes both ways. If I’m yours, you’re also mine. Maybe I’ve always been yours, but I made you mine when I let you kill me."


"If I’m yours, you’re also mine." Covenant and Foul had their tete-a-tete in the end. Covenant alluded to what was about to happen. I am the one who had forgotten.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When Roger says, "You bastard. You lied to me," we know that Roger now believes his dad, and doesn't believe Foul's lies any more.


Agree.

Quote:
His allegiance has switched, from Foul to his father.


If this was SRD's intent, he could have written it more clearly. I don't see in Roger's last words and actions a change in allegiance. Rather, I see anger and hatred at being lied to and betrayed by Foul.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
If this was SRD's intent, he could have written it more clearly. I don't see in Roger's last words and actions a change in allegiance. Rather, I see anger and hatred at being lied to and betrayed by Foul.

I don't think anger at Foul would explain attacking Foul with the krill - he had to know he didn't have a chance in hell. After all, it's established that his normal mode of operation is to run away when the odds are against him. And I really don't think it explains saving Branl with his fire, which I think is the act that makes it all clear. And, lastly, if he still hated his father, would he have been pleading (in some way) for help?

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Scourged by his possessor, Roger shifted his aim. Fierce as a scream, he turned his power away from Covenant.

A mistake—In the space between instants, Covenant thought that the Despiser had misjudged his foes—or had simply been overcome by his own fury. The Haruchai could not oppose him. Covenant was the real danger.

Then, however, Covenant saw the frenzy in Roger’s eyes—saw the Despiser’s bitterness dulled by a more human anguish—saw Roger hurl coerced scoria, not at Stave, who shielded Covenant, but at Branl, who could not.

This was the moment when Roger first acted against Foul. It was a surprise move.

But he didn't turn on Foul. He didn't even do anything that would help Covenant beat Foul - Branl was beyond participation. But he prevented Branl from dying. The cost of betraying Foul was paid with a singular unexpected act that accomplished nothing but "mercy".

What could explain mercy for Branl, if not some kind of desire for his father to see that he had stopped hating him?

Anway, that's why I believe what I believe.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed this passage recently.

Way back at the conclusion of the first Chronicles was wrote:
At the crash of impact, pain detonated in his skull. Incandescent agony yowled and yammered through his head, shredded him like claws ferociously tearing the tissue of his brain. Foul rode the pain as if it were a tidal wave, striving to break down or climb over the seawall of his will. But he was too numb to break. His hands and feet were blind, frozen; his forehead was already inured to harm; and the black swelling in his lip was familiar to him. The green, ghastly cold could not bend the rigor of his bones. Like a dead man, he was stiff with resistance.

Lord Foul tried to enter him, tried to merge with him. The offer was seductively sweet - a surcease from pain, a release from the long unrest which he had miscalled his life. But he was harnessed to himself in a way that allowed no turning aside, no surrender. He was Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever and leper. He refused.

That's kind of astonishing. Way back in the first Chronicles, during the final confrontation between Covenant and Foul, we can find the notion of a Covenant/Foul merge. Not only that, but it's a mirror merge - Foul tries to accept Covenant into himself.

There are more similarities. In both cases, this action is predicated upon one of the two being beaten down and rendered defenseless, as if that were a prerequisite to merging.

In The Power That Preserves was wrote:
Covenant had been knocked from his feet by Lord Foul's blow, and he knelt now with his shackled hands covering his face in a gesture of the most complete abjection.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
The Despiser was smaller now, beaten down or reduced by the bane's retribution. He was almost Covenant's size. He hunched into himself as though he sought to hide. As though he wanted to be smaller still.


But also we can see that the situation is reversed in several ways. Foul tries to merge through force; Covenant pleads for acceptance. Covenant's integrity prevents Foul; Foul gives in. Foul fails; Covenant succeeds.

Covenant says, "If I'm yours, you're mine. We're part of each other." True. But clearly which one of them wins out over the other makes all the difference.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Way back at the conclusion of the first Chronicles was wrote:

Lord Foul tried to enter him.


... it's a mirror merge - Foul tries to accept Covenant into himself.

I don't think your directional distinction is justified upon a closer examination of the literal words of the text.
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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: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The offer was seductively sweet - a surcease from pain, a release from the long unrest which he had miscalled his life. You can read it any way you want to, but that to me sounds exactly like the nothingness of death ... it suggests to me that Covenant would lose his identity in this merger, lose possession of himself.

Donaldson will later on describe a Raver's possession in similar terms - that through malice his victom can be convinced that giving up one's identity is a desirous peaceful oblivion.
In White Gold Weilder was wrote:
Then she found that she did not have to watch him. The Raver could not require consciousness of her. Its memories told her that most of its victims had simply fled into mindlessness. The moral paralysis which had made her so accessible to moksha Jehannum would protect her now, not from use but from awareness. All she had to do was let go her final hold upon her identity. Then she would be spared from witnessing the outcome of Covenant's surrender.

With glee and hunger, the Raver urged her to let go. Her consciousness fed it, pleased it, sharpened its enjoyment of her violation. But if she lapsed, it would not need exertion to master her. And she would be safe at last - as safe as she had once been in the hospital during the blank weeks after her father's suicide - relieved from excruciation, inured to pain - as safe as death.
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