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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I must read these again. Very Happy

--A


That's the spirit (and high praise indeed coming from such a Gap fan! Very Happy )!!
When you do re-read it, you'll remember that the Tor is like a hundred different shades of "awesomeness". Big Grin

(Speaking of re-reading, I'm planning to do a re-read of both Mordant's Need and the Gap this summer. Should be fun!)
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, I loved the Tor. And I've read MN many times over the years. Very Happy I just have to finish this Malazan re-read, (only 14 books to go Laughing ) and then I think I'll do these. Hell, maybe the Gap too...it's been a couple years.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norge, the quick thinker (and you can tell he's a pretty minor character because he's listed after Ribuld). This is where King Joyse rejoins his army at Esmerel--after rescuing Queen Madin from Alend mercenaries.

Quote:
"Margonal is crafty," commented King Joyse with deceptive nonchalance, "and apparently he has grown in courage. Well, now you are here, my lord Prince. What have you learned?"

Prince Kragen allowed himself a noncommittal shrug. "I have learned that we are indeed trapped. All our heads are on the cutting-block, and Alend will stand or fall with Mordant, regardless of my instruction."

"I think not," King Joyse retorted with the air of a man pouncing. "I think you will turn against us at the last and join Cadwal, to preserve your father's true cowardice."

At that, Kragen's head jerked back; a flush of fury darkened his cheeks; he closed his fist on his swordhilt.

In response, both Ribuld and Norge braced themselves to draw their blades. The cloaked figure [Elega] against the tent wall started forward, then retreated. Geraden edged closer to Terisa, moving to protect her from the danger of swords.




It's been fun to go back to some of the scenes in A Man Rides Through, using Norge as an excuse to improve my posts with some Donaldson quotes.



Elega's view of Norge's relative worth seems based both on fact and passion.

So, here's Norge the underachiever:

Quote:
Standing near the King's pennon with Terisa, Geraden, and her father, the lady Elega didn't know where to look, or what to feel.

She could watch the struggle down at the end of the valley wall, off to her right, where the Tor had fallen, and where Castellan Norge and his men fought to save what they could of the Masters and their mirrors. Or she could watch the breach where the other Masters used to be, the gap which had been made in the piled ridge of the avalanche by translating the Congery's chasm from only one side.

Riders were coming in through that gap, driving their horses hard. And Prince Kragen was there. From this distance, he appeared to be doing everything at once: rallying his men; finishing off the incursion of Cadwals; searching over the new jumble of rocks for survivors. To her eyes, each of his actions seemed as quick as a thrust, as decisive as a sword; the precision with which he used his men made Norge look like a Blundering lout by comparison. He was worthy--oh, he was worthy! Surely King Joyse could see that. Surely her father in this new manifestation could see and appreciate the qualities which made the Alend Contender precious to her. Prince Kragen deserved--

He deserved to be right.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
I just have to finish this Malazan re-read, (only 14 books to go Laughing )


So you'll be ready to start re-reading MN next Friday? Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, maybe the one after that. Wink

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally:
Norge, the martyr for the cause.


Quote:
"But you have this mirror, now," she said as if she couldn't see her peril in his eyes. "Why don't you just translate King Joyse and Prince Kragen? Make them mad? Then you can't lose. Without them, the army would collapse. And you can lock them up the way you did Nyle. You can laugh at them until they die."

Oh, how she pleased him! She made him laugh. "I will do that, I assure you," he promised. "At the right moment, I will do it, and it will give me more pleasure than you can conceive."

In the mirror, along the sides of the monster, the forces of Cadwal and Mordant and Alend met for their last battle.

"At first, of course," Eremis explained, "I had to be cautious. You taught me to respect your talents. If I had given you the chance, you might have broken my mirror. But that danger ended when you came here. When you gave yourself into my power."

Initially, the fight was even. The walls of the valley and the bulk of the slug-beast narrowed the ground, restricted the number of Cadwals able to advance together. And Joyse's men fought as if they were inspired. Even Kragen and that dour loon the Termigan seemed inspired. For a time, at least, Festten lost a lot of men and gained nothing.

"Now I wait only to let these armies do each other as much harm as possible. Joyse cannot win, but before he dies he may give Festten a victory as costly as any defeat. That will humble even the High King's arrogance. It will make him too weak to think he can command or refuse me."

Then, inevitably, the defenders on the left began to crumble. Norge went down; he disappeared under a rush of Cadwal hooves. In spite of his native grimness, the Termigan was forced backward. Their men tried to retreat in some semblance of order, but the Cadwals surged after them, overtook them, hacked them apart. Festten's strength started flooding into the valley.



Norge's death doesn't get much detail, he's fallen and trampled, but is seen through Eremis' eyes as a brief distraction from his plans for brutalizing Terisa. Norge as a character shows some humanity, but is definitely less believable than the other Mordant's Need characters. As some said earlier on this thread, Norge had to be disposed of so that Darsint got a good job offer; because he's a stopgap between Lebbick and Darsint. And that's about all I can think of to post about Norge. Eureka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the quotes, Cord Hurn. I love reading these books. Very Happy

I hadn't expected Darsint to become Castlelan. So this particular plot took me by surprise.

In many ways Darsint felt like the weaker character to me. I wasn't that excited (or impressed) about his epiphany and new-found courage. He took a little risk and took down a large but ultimately inferior enemy craft/monster but he didn't lead others, the things he said he couldn't do in his previous life. He felt like a plot device. Myste's argument was very moving but Darsint himself was a bit of a letdown. Maybe if we had more time with him I would feel different, idk.

Norge, on the other hand, felt real despite his phlegmaticism. If I had to summarize Norge, I would say he was the right man for the right place and time. He kept his calm during the eye of the storm and pulled the kingdom through behind the Tor and the others. I think it's not exactly a coincidence or plot constraint that kills him during the big battle. He's an OK general but he's not a great one. He leads men but he's not a charismatic leader. He's good with a crossbow but he's not Artagel or even Kragen with a sword (as far as we know). No one claims he's a champion hop-board player (ie a strategist). So when the cards were down and he was surrounded by superior numbers he couldn't pull off a miracle like King Joyce or Kragen or even the Termigan and pull through. He did his best but he was human.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate your interest in this, shadowbinding shoe!

I concede that Norge commands an impressively higher number of warriors than does Darsint (assuming that Darsint's ship Scourge doesn't have 8,000 crewmembers: I thought he just had a few shipmates). In that matter, Norge is more impressive than Darsint. But I'm feeling that Darsint would be the more charismatic leader, for it would be difficult for Norge to be charismatic while also being phlegmatic. Perhaps Norge has the edge over Darsint on strategic thinking, but I have no way to be sure of this.

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Norge, on the other hand, felt real despite his phlegmaticism. If I had to summarize Norge, I would say he was the right man for the right place and time. He kept his calm during the eye of the storm and pulled the kingdom through behind the Tor and the others. I think it's not exactly a coincidence or plot constraint that kills him during the big battle. He's an OK general but he's not a great one. He leads men but he's not a charismatic leader. He's good with a crossbow but he's not Artagel or even Kragen with a sword (as far as we know). No one claims he's a champion hop-board player (ie a strategist). So when the cards were down and he was surrounded by superior numbers he couldn't pull off a miracle like King Joyce or Kragen or even the Termigan and pull through. He did his best but he was human.


A very spirited defense of Norge, SS! I enjoyed reading it! Okay, maybe Norge isn't as weak a character as is Darsint. I will ponder this...
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been giving thought to your statement about Norge being more real in character than Darsint, Shadowbinding Shoe. And I now must say that I agree with you! Norge is "actual" enough as a character to serve as a narrative viewpoint, as in the following passage. This is something that we never see with Darsint.


Quote:
"Perfect," Norge muttered generally. This was as close as he ever came to despair. All those Imagers and old men who could hardly hold their water for fear, already loose in Orison; already spreading panic. They would tell their friends, their wives, their children, their servants; some of them would tell total strangers. And when the story got out--when people heard that King Joyse was gone, and Lebbick was dead, and the "hero of Orison", Eremis, was in league with Cadwal--Norge sighed to think about it. Orison was going to come apart at the joints.

The siege was going to succeed after all.

Doing what he could, he sent one of the captains to take command of the gates, control the courtyard; make sure nobody did anything wild. That was the crucial place, the point at which Alend could be made aware that Orison was in chaos.

He ordered two more men to dispatch Eremis' vicious fruit-bat. He detailed guards to locate the counselors and the Masters, so that decisions could be made. For no particular reason except thoroughness, he organized a search for the King. He made sure that Prince Kragen and Artagel were still alive.

Then he went to help the Tor up.



Also, we know that Norge has enough feeling to be sickened when he sees how the Cadwals have degraded the Perdon's men with the obscene poses they have left the bodies in Esmerel. This also shows Norge has decency and outrage in his character makeup. Further, he has a reputation for stern discipline, which also makes him seem more real to me.


Quote:
This time, no more than six of the people around her were dead. Two horses were dead. Two more had to be put out of their misery. One Master was dead: Cuebard. Until she saw his body, Terisa had never heard his name spoken. The captain counted nineteen dead wolves. "Curse this terrain," he rasped. "On open ground, we could have chopped them into dogmeat--and suffered nothing but scratches."

Trying not to hurry, Barsonage and the rest of the Masters unpacked all the mirrors.

Luckily, only one was broken: Master Vixix's flat glass, with its Image of the Fen of Cadwal.

"Thank the stars." Despite the cold, Master Barsonage was sweating thickly. "We are more fortunate than we deserve.'

"It's my fault," said the captain, growling obscenities at himself. "Castellan Norge is going to hang my balls on a stick. I should have had scouts around us right from the beginning.'

"Don't worry about it, captain," Ribuld muttered sardonically. "He needs you too much. He won't actually unman you unless we win this war and end up safe in Orison again.

"But if that happens, watch your groin."

Several of the guards laughed, more in reaction to the fight than because they thought Ribuld was funny.




Finally, Norge's outrage at what was done to mock the slain Perdon and his soldiers flares up at the truce meeting with the renegade Imagers.


Quote:
"We are not patient with traitors," snapped Prince Kragen: he was the Alend Contender, accustomed to authority. "Tell us what you want and be done with it."

Master Eremis paid no attention to that demand. "My companions fear you," he said. "They believe you will kill them if they come near, despite our flags of truce."

Prince Kragen snorted. "That would be an action worthy of you, Eremis. We are not such men."

In response, Master Eremis laughed along the wind, sent mirth and scorn across the snow. "Do you hear?" he called over his shoulder. "The Alend Contender thinks he is not such a man as we are."

"You're lucky Lebbick isn't here," muttered Norge. "He'd castrate you first and worry about honor later." But no one listened to him.



I have always loved Mordant's Need, and my complaints about Norge seeming unreal have been my only complaint about this SRD work. But thanks to your reasoned replies combined with more research into the text, my only objection has been swept aside! Feels good to now love MN without reservation! Smile



[Typo edits]


Last edited by Cord Hurn on Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for these quotes, Cord Hurn Very Happy It's a rare thing indeed for a book to get even better over time.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Malazan books do. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linna Heartlistener wrote:
Neat... there is sometimes a tendency for people to read things, enjoy them, but then not comment because, well, it's not always the most substantive post to make...



I don't think I make very substantive posts, Linna, but that's not stopping me! Better to "chime in" than not to "chime in", that's my motto! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Substance vs participation...Like Cord Hurn says, better to participate. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading through this thread again reminds me that Norge has more depth to him that I originally saw, showing anger, grief, and happiness in his own understated way. I guess I originally objected to his phelegmatic demeanor as unrealistic because I couldn't absorb how quickly he'd progressed to being a viewpoint character when we'd only just met him in the previous chapter. But, as I have said, a searching of the text revealed that there's more to Norge than sleepy-looking professionalism, after all.
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