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Lord Foul's Bane Chapters 5 & 6
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Lady Genni
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 4:57 pm    Post subject: Lord Foul's Bane Chapters 5 & 6 Reply with quote

Aaahh. Now we are starting to really get into The Land. We begin to experience it's beauty, it's healing powers with hurtloam and we taste it's potentcy with aliantha. Our seduction has begun.

We go on to learn more about Lena. Then we meet Trell and Atairan and the Stonedown.

What are your impressions of these key players that we are meeting? Why is Atairan so divided? What failure perceived or real makes her doubt/judge herself so harshly? Why is Lena so eager for TC to be a hero? What is missing form her "ideal" life that has her putting so much hope in a stranger from another land? Even before she has heard that the "Grey Slayer" has returned or the importance of his ring? Why is Trell so accepting of TC even though he is unsure of him? The oath of peace doesn't require these people to trust TC, just not hurt him. I find it odd that they don't mistrust him more. Or is that a testament to how "pure" and uncorrupt the Land is? The willingness of it's people to trust strangers?

White Gold - Atairan gives us a hint of what it means and the potential power there in. To TC it is symbolic of all that he has lost. To the Land it's Wild Magic. Is there a connection between how TC feels about his ring and what it is perceived as in the Land? Is Joan's abandonment of him due to his leprosy and his grim determination not to let that abandonment kill him the basis of the paradox that he represents?

Berek Halfhand. Here we get a glimpse of how the people of the Land view their history(vs. Foul's version on Kevin's Watch). How they act as a society and what they think of their past. How do you see the story of Berek Halfhand relating to TC? Is there a deeper connection than the physical?

One question I have...

Why does TC not recognize that he can "feel" when he wakes up from the hurtloam induced sleep? The book mentions how warm Lena's thigh felt against his cheek when he woke up. It also mentions a tingling in his palms, but TC doesn't realize the importance of this for a few more chapters. (SPOILER: In TIW he wakes up from the hurtloam sleep at Revelstone and he can feel the sheets - so why the inconsistency?) Is so much of his numbness in his mind that he can't feel until he's hurt?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2002 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LG beautiful, eloquent and stimulating intro 2 these 2 very important chapters!! Believe me I kno how tuf these intros or being a "read-lead" can be. **is very relieved 2 hand off baton! WHEW!!** It's absolutely wonderful how smoothly this huge dissection effort has gone. If only we could bottle it and send it off 2 all global governmental bodies...You raise some very interesting points! I'd have 2 go w/ur "purity of the Land" offering--In Trell's case I think that he trusts his daughter's judgement and that his innate courtesy 2 any guest of Mithil Stonedown is xtremely admirable and remarkable. Possibly due 2 sheer innocence, lack of any recent despoilment 2 the Stonedown and the Stonedown being relatively isolated. Great job!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lady Genni, what an inspiring opening!

It seems that the question of Covenant's healing by hurtloam and it's affect on his health sense were lengthly debated here on KW. Yes, after Lena administers the hurtloam, Covenant feels a tingling in his palms. When they decend to the valley, Covenant feels a grow in his awareness:
Quote:
Covenant felt that he was alive to every gradiation of the change every nuance of the lower altitude. Through the excitement of the new alertness, the decent passed quickly.

Later when in the stonedown gathering:
Quote:
She was clearly unconscious of the effect, but he felt it intensely, and his palms itched with an eager and fearful desire to touch her.

I see all these as buds of his returning sense of touch and health sense. Covenant does not become conscious of this, though, maybe because they grow gradually, or maybe because he is so encased in the external experiences, that his self awareness is diminished. Also, every time SRD describes Covenant's numbness, I felt that it was not the normal state for him. Covenant's awareness is drawn to it every time as if it is a surprise, as if his subconscious still expects that he will wake up one morning and the numbness will be gone. To his subconscious the normal state is still being able to feel. That might be another reason why he fails to realize his returning ability to touch.

LG, wrote that our seduction has begun.. Yes, aren't these two chapters all about seduction? Covenant's emotions are awakened, he is enticed by Lena, it is almost as if they are flirting. Covenant is puzzled and bemused by the land. He begins to feel sensations that he has forgotten long ago. One would say that he is touched by hope:
Quote:
He had an unexpected sense that this land might offer him some spell with which he could conjure away his impotence, some rebirth to which he could cling even after he regained consciousness, after the Land and all its insane implications faded into the miasma of half-remembered dreams.


One last observation. In the story of Berek, a shadow is mentioned several times:
Quote:
But after a time a shadow came over the heart of the king.

But as the battle raged, a shadow, a grey cloud from the east, fell over the hosts.

At last the king himself, filled with the fear and madness of the shadow, chalenged Berek, and they fought. Berek stroked mightily, but the shadow turned his blade.

Could this shadow be Lord Foul?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember, that at this stage of Convenant's leprosy, only his extremeties are numb. As he plunged his hands into the river to clean them it states that his hands, and fingers were numb to the cold, but he could feel the icy water on his wrist, and arms.

I believe that his resemblence to Berek, and the fact that his daughter trusted Convenant is what made Trell trust him. Of course that was before Triock told Trell of the rape.

Poor Atarian knowing that her daughter was raped had to lead Convenant across the land. She knew the message he bore was more important to their survival then to go home, and console her daughter.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pitchwife wrote:

Covenant's awareness is drawn to it every time as if it is a surprise, as if his subconscious still expects that he will wake up one morning and the numbness will be gone. To his subconscious the normal state is still being able to feel. That might be another reason why he fails to realize his returning ability to touch.


Great pull Pitchwife. I didn't catch that before. I think that in combination with his healing being a gradual thing plus maybe the distraction of the Land and Lena could be why we see a delayed reaction to his health.

I agree that the shadow could be LF. Don't get much of a physical being on him and the way that he got to Kevin by corrupting another lord would fit with his MO with the King.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think what made Atiaran's reaction different from Lena and Trell's was her greater knowledge of evil. Lena makes much of her mother having studied at Loresraat alone of all the people of Mithil Stonedown, and when we first meet Atiaran it is clear she is different. A shadow is upon her past while the other people in her family live in blissful ignorance and innocence. She is a cold shower to Covenant who was getting to enjoy this strange and pleasant "dreamworld" and reminds him of the existence of evil in the Land. She also mentions the Lords who from her words sound powerful people, the only ones who might stop Covenant if he tried to destroy the Land. Lord Foul mentioned the Lords as his enemies but doesn't seem to think much of the current batch, although for some reason he wants Covenant to deliver them his message. Yet again we are told that Lord Foul doesn't mind the Land getting destroyed.

Lena describes Covenant as a man who fought a gray cloud. In addition to being Lord Foul in immaterial form, I think the cloud could be taken to symbolise leprosy in the real world - a thing that takes the brightness and joy from life and cannot be fought by normal means. Covenant and Berek both lost two fingers to either sort of gray cloud, although in both cases another person wielded the blade.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the seduction parallel - really seems to describe TC's feelings too...

He can't afford to believe what is happening to him, due to his 'leprosy survival guide'. I think thats a lot of what's happening w/TC - he's afraid of being seduced into not caring for himself properly, and maybe even guilt of having sensual feelings, apart from Joan...

The grey cloud could be a symbol of the leprosy - he's fighting a greater ill (LF & leprosy) than any in the Land realize (so far). Maybe Atiaran has an idea, but no one else really knows. I thought it was interesting when he starts to fall asleep after the hurtloam & treasure berries, Lena says that if there is a great hurt, the hurtloam can have this effect. She even asks him if he has more injuries or hurt than what she can see (something along those lines) - of course she doesn't under stand leprosy.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:23 pm    Post subject: the queen Reply with quote

Did anyone else catch that great little foreshadowing of Lena being called a queen? Smile Doanldson is one hell of a writer, isn't he? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:30 pm    Post subject: Atiaran Reply with quote

Atiaran bugs me. She's an admirable woman in many ways, I sure couldn't take my daughter's rapist on a long journey and hold my Oath of Peace, but she STILL bugs me. So she dropped out of school? That's life, cupcake, deal with it! And the way she seems to keep thinking that TC is a secret lord or something, sneaking around to check up on her ignorance, or to trick her, that's really sort of paranoid! This woman's self doubt is driving her nuts! And I think that it contributes to TC not talking to people in the Land. He TRIES to talk to Ataiaran but she only wallows in her own self doubt and doesn't even really TRY to listen to him. He's already so emotionally shaky, her rejection of his truths and accusations of him trying to trick her, etc. only adds to his problems. And yet I still have to admire her! I would have done my best to kill him for what he did to Lena...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 1:41 am    Post subject: couple from hell Reply with quote

TC and Atiaran in their trip across the land drive each other nuts. He hurt her daughter horribly and she can't do anything about it, even help her. And she won't listen to him, even before she finds out what happened to Lena. These are two people who just are bad together and hurt each other a great deal. Can't even imagine what it did to her, and she drives him even deeper into depression and isolation. Mad
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that Lena et all are completely innocent people, but I still can't understand why they would trust a stranger like that. What about all of those legends about Ravers? In answer to the person asking about shadows, the shadow over the King was a Raver (we find this out from a lord in the Illearth War), and I think that the other Shadows were Lord Foul in his Gray Slayer form (the one he took on Kevins Watch wit hTC when he first comes to the Land).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be great if our esteemed guest would assume an identity Wink

And I agree - these chapters are all about seduction and what lies ahead. We are seduced by what the Land has to offer - as is TC - and Donaldson is at pains (although probably not for a first read) to describe what is to happen in the future.

Oh yes - in case you hadn't read my post to the effect - highlight the dark part

Spoiler:
of this - it's a way to hide the spoilers


pitch - your quote wrt his impotence is one of these hints. There is another that also seems relevant:

Quote:
The springwine he had consumed seemed to provide a focus of his energies; it capered in his veins like a raving satyr


I also enjoy the way we are introduced briefly to the Giants - Rockbrothers, The Viles and the Demondim.

I for one find the story of Berek to be enthralling - and think it would indeed make for a great novel on its own. The story does - however - I think - introduce us to Ravers

Quote:
Battle was joined across the Land, and for a time it seemed that the Queen would prevail. Here heroes were mighty of hand, and none were mightier than Berek, who was said to be a match for any King. But as the battle raged, a shadow, a grey cloud from the East, fell over the hosts. The Queens defenders were stricken at heart, and their strength left them. But her enemies found a power of madness in the shadow. They forgot their humanity - they chopped and trampled and clawed and bit and maimed and defiled until their grey onslaught whelmed the heroes...


Sounds like Ravers to me Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I know that Lena et all are completely innocent people, but I still can't understand why they would trust a stranger like that. What about all of those legends about Ravers? In answer to the person asking about shadows, the shadow over the King was a Raver (we find this out from a lord in the Illearth War), and I think that the other Shadows were Lord Foul in his Gray Slayer form (the one he took on Kevins Watch wit hTC when he first comes to the Land).


it's not TC they trust but the cause he's supposed to represent and, through that, ultimately the choice of the Creator - albeit unconsciously

as for the shadow over the king's heart being LF or a raver - this poses a theosophical question to me: is ultimately all evil on Earth coming from LF or not? if we look at the Tale of Creation, it would seem so; yet it seems that some evils may be independent of him, banes gnawing at the roots of Earth, or the Ravers and their long-forgotten-mother (now who could she have been?)
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In regards 2 "guest's" mention of Ravers in the legends it is very possible that Atiaran witheld knowledge of the Raver's existence from all the Stonedowners. Here's a query I've never, really seen on any of the discussions. About Trell, definately, and possibly Atiaran: I find it curious that Trell was, markedly, taller than the rest of the Stonedowners--now of course many times in a "primative" society the people tend 2 rely on the biggest and strongest 4 leadership. However it does raise interesting questions of his ancestry--was Trell not totally of Stonedowner stock? Probably not 2 important but it's always made me wonder....hmmmm Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="amanibhavam"]
Anonymous wrote:

as for the shadow over the king's heart being LF or a raver - this poses a theosophical question to me: is ultimately all evil on Earth coming from LF or not? if we look at the Tale of Creation, it would seem so; yet it seems that some evils may be independent of him, banes gnawing at the roots of Earth, or the Ravers and their long-forgotten-mother (now who could she have been?)


Interesting...interesting...

I tend to think the creator would have had to have a yin/yang thing going on. How can you create so much beauty without something dark to provide the contrast? Since LF seems to be of the same calibur as the creator then are the ravers sort of a random evil that is loose in the land with only LF being powerful enough to enslave them?

Now the Oath of Peace is a relatively new development in the Land. Berek didn't have an Oath of Peace and Kevin obviously didn't. Could previous evils in the Land have been inherent in the deeds of men (like our world)? Did the ROD sort of cleanse the Land so that the only evil left is that of Foul's who cannot be destroyed? The people of the Land tend to lean towards the thinking that the old Lords were more pure but could it be the case that they were less when compared to the restrictions of the Oath of Peace? It is often mentioned that they have lost so much since the ROD...could perspective have been one of those things?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 12:22 am    Post subject: seduction and shadow Reply with quote

Lady Genni -- great intro! You can really see TC's body, nerves, and emotions waking up in these chapters. And, yes, the Land is both lovely and seductive! I know that I would love to see it, and to walk through its beauties -- sometimes it sounds so pretty that it is almost painful, as when TC and Lena walk through the little valley where Lena finds the hurtloam. But these two chapters are also filled with shadows and foreshadowing. When Lena tells TC not to eat anymore aliantha, he nearly strikes her! Atiaran tells Trell not to spoil Lena, because she might think of herself as a Queen. When they eat their meal together it is said that they ate as solemnly as if it were their last happy family meal together. Atiaran gaze is descibed as inward, as will another woman's gaze in a later book in this series. TC is definately attracted to Lena, he keeps looking at her breasts and hips, and she reminds me of a teenager with a crush on a singer or sports star -- all starry eyed and glowing...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 3:24 am    Post subject: shadows part 2 (SPOILERS!!) Reply with quote

I got called away during my post, and would like to finish up about the shadows and foreshadowing. As another poster pointed out, there are MANY shadows in the story of Lord Berek. There is also a shadow when Trell is performing his magic (? craft? skill?) with the firestones in his huge cauldron. Spoiler:
It made me wonder if that was a normal thing -the shadow before the light, or was it a hint of Trell misusing his power later on in TPTP?)
. Also, that whole sort of odd little song that Lena sings to TC to me foreshadows their entire relationship. Spoiler:
Lena is the flower. TC is the beholder of the flower. Lena is blighted by what TC does to her. TC is blighted by various things, such as his leprosy, his divorce, being the partual cause of Elena's death, etc. But no matter what happens to them, they retain beauty in their souls. TC is very kind to Lena in TPTP when they have their "queen" encounter, and Lena shows her beauty in her concern for the Ranyhyn, and in giving her life to protect TC from Pietten.
Good grief, I hope that the little black line thingee works! I don't want a scold! In that song about blighting, what do all of you think that the blighting means? is this a possible reference to disease? I was trying to think of what would blight the flower? An unexpected frost? An insect invasion? But neither of these would blight the beholder. Disease is the only thing that comes to mind, but people in the Land don't seem to know anything about diseases? And in partial answer to that person about Trell, I've always wondered the same thing about Lena. Trell is this massive man and Atiaran is described as full figured, but Lena seems to be a little bitty girl. Maybe this is because of her youth?? I don't know about Trell, but all of the stonedowners strike me as being sturdy and strong. But you're right, he seems to be exceptional even for them.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought a shadow in the heart of the stone was just a sign it was going to rain tomorrow. It may have some symbolic meaning too, however.

Quote:
It was a time when the Viles who sired the Demondim were a high and lofty race, and the Cavewights smithed and smelted beautiful metals to trade with open friendship with all the people of the Land.


Doesn't that sound just a little bit like the standard fantasy setup? Viles~Elves, Cavewights~Dwarves. I wonder how close to their Tolkienish forebears Donaldson's races were in the dawn of time. Based on the specimens Covenant meets later in the book the physical resemblance probably wasn't large, although we will later learn the Viles were heavily into modifying themselves, and the Cavewights don't seem quite the same anymore, at least mentally.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
I find it curious that Trell was, markedly, taller than the rest of the Stonedowners--now of course many times in a "primative" society the people tend 2 rely on the biggest and strongest 4 leadership. However it does raise interesting questions of his ancestry--was Trell not totally of Stonedowner stock? Probably not 2 important but it's always made me wonder....hmmmm Confused


I noticed the same thing Smile I figured that maybe he was from Giantish stock - well at least derived from it. Their stone lore and the Rockbrother links have associations I am sure Smile

And I agree- great intro. I await with trepidation my own Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2002 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Guest: I must take back what I said:
Quote:
In regards 2 "guest's" mention of Ravers in the legends it is very possible that Atiaran witheld knowledge of the Raver's existence from all the Stonedowners.
I skipped ahead in the story and Triock definately knew what a Raver was, I had 4gotten that, but that's another chapter and I begin 2 spoil...
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