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The Illearth War: Chapters 7 & 8
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Infelice
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was under the impression that it was Vain rather than Amok that got up the noses of the Elohim, F&F.
Amok declared that he had feasted with the Elohim, and I always understood that to be a friendly encounter - after all, what threat did Amok present to Elohim - did I miss something with my interpretation ( it's most likely that I have) Wink
Having said that, if Amok decided to be a pest during his Elohmic encounter, then I'm sure that Infelice would have put him over her knee and given his butt a good paddy-whack. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I mean is, Amok is infuriating! Smile
Quote:
"Do I live?"
"It appears not," Verement growled. "Nothing mortal would try our patience so."
It is my opinion that, if you try the patience of the Elohim, you have a decent chance of being obliterated. Not the most tolerant or patient folks. So how did Amok survive the encounter?
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Fist and Faith wrote:
What I mean is, Amok is infuriating! Smile
Quote:
"Do I live?"
"It appears not," Verement growled. "Nothing mortal would try our patience so."
It is my opinion that, if you try the patience of the Elohim, you have a decent chance of being obliterated. Not the most tolerant or patient folks. So how did Amok survive the encounter?


Infelice is a soft touch when it comes to infuriating youths with curly hair and mischieveous grins. Smile


Ah, that damn Amok has me so flabbergasted that I forgot to login Cussing

The Elohim were around long before Amok was created were they not? Maybe they thought he was a little too insignificant to be of any great concern, or maybe they knew his purpose and were not perplexed by him - they probably knew the right questions to ask Smile
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suppose that the Elohim would know what Amok's purpose was and would be able to tell that he would do them no harm.

What was always unsaid though is what the Elohim thought about Kevin, and if they tried to aid him?
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have thought the opposite. If the Elohim knew that Amok was the door to the Power of Command, a power which could undo even them, I'd have expected them to try to make sure he couldn't ever lead anyone to the EarthBlood.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Kevin had worried about the Elohim, he could have put it in Amok to stay away from them. Or perhaps the Elohim couldn't or wouldn't restrain him. They couldn't restrain Vain, the product of the Ur-Viles lore. Perhaps it was the same with Amok, the product of Kevin's.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damelon wrote:
If Kevin had worried about the Elohim, he could have put it in Amok to stay away from them.
That's an excellent point! As in touch with the Earthpower as Kevin was, should we assume that he knew of the Elohim? I imagine so. (I'll bet he asked them for help, and they said, "You don't need us. Just do the Ritual of Descecration." "Uh... Yeah, thanks for your help.") And, as you say, Amok had no programming to avoid them. I wonder why. As I've been saying, it seems that even they couldn't hurt him, but you wouldn't think Kevin would have left it to chance.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
(I'll bet he asked them for help, and they said, "You don't need us. Just do the Ritual of Descecration." "Uh... Yeah, thanks for your help.")


Wink That would be in character for them. ("We are too busy being the Earth's Wurd and don't have time for your problems. The solution is within you.")
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Amok is infuriating only to the Lords who do not know his purpose and therefore, do not ask him the appropriate questions!

The Elohim would have no need to know his purpose because they either already knew, or did not care.

Ever heard the old saying "Watch what you wish for; you just may get it!"
The Lords wished for a way to defeat LF. They got it but have no idea how to use it! No wonder Amok would be frustrating for them! Wink
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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First Damelon, now you!! Great points that I never thought of!!! I've said it about this site before; it's SO GREAT to discuss TCTC with people who have put so much thought into it, and can see so many possibilities!!

Yes, the reason the Lords were so frustrated would be absent for the Elohim!

I guess the only thing left would be for Amok to keep pestering them. "What's that? What are you doing? Why are you doing that? Can I have that? Come on, please?" He'd do it just for fun if he knew they couldn't kill him. lol
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tsk, tsk! I've chatted w/3 "Servants" today on IM and my running joke to them was: "Just mention the Elohim and the spoiler gates break wide open!" Very Happy This is just part of my problem...I have not been working on this, I've been obsessing over this. I have discussed Hile Troy w/these folks and even proposed a couple of theories: 1) that the Land, itself, is manipulating events (and possibly had an active hand in Troy's summoning) and 2) Expounding on the notion that HT is an extended figment of Covenant's imagination. I've read from the beginning of TIW to here, I've reread this chapter 3 times, I've been all over all the Kevin's Watch topics (both here and in the archives) concerning Troy---in fact I've even been to five other review and discussion sites. But found no help to approach Troy's role in this particular chapter...I did, however, find a very cool quote about TC's dillema, but even that doesn't help me here...

Quote:
How does one choose between two mutually exclusive evils, each worse than the other in their own way? What if that choice means the death of Innocents? (Oh, and those Innocents are actually a figment of your own imagination - what could they possibly do to convince you that they are 'real'?) How does one deal with one's own self-doubt, self-loathing and rise to the ability to take action for both oneself and others? How can one love anything of beauty if one cannot bear to love oneself? Can one embrace the paradox of having both Hope and Despair? Salvation and Damnation? Love and Desecration?--submitted to sffc.reviews.com by James M. O'Connell (19. Aug 2000)


...and then, when I found out it was I who made the last post in the "Hile Troy what a Berk" topic on the old Kevin's Watch! Shocked Oy vey my reputation!!! Starts to sweat serious bullets! Confused

"Lord Kevin's Lament": part 3: Troy

When I said that "Lord Kevin's Lament" was a "reality check" for the Land I wasn't joking. The confontations that take place between Hile Troy and Thomas Covenant and, later, Thomas Covenant and Trell Atiaran-mate are "in your face" sheer brutality! 'I'm real dammit you self-effacing leper' FEEL THIS! 'You are too real here, defiler of my daughter!' FEEL THIS! At the same time both are shouting to Covenant, 'Whether you believe you are making this all up, or not, take some God-rotting responsibility for it'...

Time to back up, I guess. After Amok vanishes Covenant returns, once again to his rooms; stews and frets for over a month, sees no sign of Mhoram and Elena, grows his beard, feels Revelstone's tension mounting and drinks copiously, but nothing really happens. The one break he gets in this so called "adjustment period" is being asked to dinner by Lord Callindrill and Faer. Here he learns that, indeed, Mhoram and Elena have been avoiding him, that their appeals may be too painful for him. That Mhoram is obsessed with dechiphering the krill. Most importantly he learns that Hile Troy argued vehemently for the summons thinking Lord Foul would detect it, fear the wild magic, and prematurely tip his hand as the Warward prepared.

A few days later Bannor, of all people, invites TC to hear a song. They rise to the very top of Revelstone, to a beautiful white ampitheater bathed in sunlight. Here the Bloodguard and the Servants of the Land strive to find meaning in the singer's recount of the history, stuggles and desperation that unfold in "Lord Kevin's Lament" which lead to the desecration of the Land. Along with Elena, Warmark Troy is present at the performance,

Quote:
"It all comes down to Kevin. He's the one who made the Seven Wards. He's the one who inspired the Bloodguard. He's the one who performed the Ritual of Desecration."


Troy goes on with this to recap why the new Lords swore the Oath of Peace: to resist the emotional destructiveness of Kevin's despair in order to survive and address Foul's machinations. Now Troy wants some direct answers from Covenant concerning the reality of the Land, Covenant's inaction, non-belief and lack of responsibility. Hile even grips Covenant around the neck to prove his own reality. Again they go round and round about the leper's death in dreams. As if to cross the barrier of illusion Troy brings up the issue of the white-gold: you have the power here, you can take responsibility, you can control your dreams. To which Covenant responds: No despite what happened 40 years ago, I can't control it, it happened in spite of me, I'm impotent, only the impotent survive to disprove illusion. If my first quote in this post helps me at all it's when TC says,

Quote:
"What you're really asking me to do is learn how to use this wild magic so I can go around butchering the poor, miserable creatures in Foul's army. Well. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to do anymore killing--and certianly not in the name of something that isn't even real!"


All the time Troy and Covenant are argueing they have also been descending back to familiar parts of Revelstone. Suddenly Bannor blocks a junction saying it is High Lord Elena's orders that you will not choose this way. In confused defiance Convenany tarries and as soon as he and Troy are about to depart a huge Stonedowner appears in the doorway. The man has his head hung down with the weight of the centuries upon him. Troy doesn't understand why they should be barred from one of the rhadhamaerl, but Covenant does, he knows him,

Quote:
"And I know you, Thomas Covenant."..."Are you not satisfied? Have you come to do more harm?"...
"I'm sorry."...
"Sorry?" Trell almost choked on the word. "is that enough? Does it raise the dead?"


Finally Trell can take no more, visions of Atiaran, wraiths and Lena crack though his Oath of Peace and he viciously attacks Covenant, putting him in a bear hug with intent to kill. Troy tries to do something but it is only after repeated pummeling Bannor succeeds in repelling Trell...Trell has defiled the very stone he loves with his bare hands and leaves more crushed than ever, as if to say. 'you don't think this is real? Deal homeboy...',

Quote:
"Jesus! Covenant," Troy said at last. What has he got against you?"
Covenant waited until he found a clear space between coughs, then he answered, "I raped his daughter."


'Impotent, my ass!' Troy seems to says. 'O god why did we even bother with this one in the first place! Not only does he disbelieve, he desecrates as bad, if not worse, than Kevin...'


Last edited by danlo on Tue May 13, 2003 2:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a shame that danlo is just going through the motions, without any genuine interest in this stuff. *sigh*



OK, that was a joke, folks.Smile This is an incredible chapter, and I'm so pleased to see it getting the time and energy it needs and deserves.

After all these years, I'm still surprised when Bannor asks Covenant if he wants to hear a song. How unusual for him to want to share with Covenant! No wonder Elena makes them share the same face in her sculpture.


I love the way the chapter ends:
Quote:
"The Bloodguard do not forgive."

"I know. I remember. I should count my blessings." With his arms wrapped around his chest to hold the pieces of himself together, he went back to his rooms.
He needs Bannor as an anchor of reality in this delusion. Someone treating him the way he deserves to be treated, who will not allow him to do horrible things, then go skipping through the fields as though it doesn't matter. Nice to have an angel on your shoulder.
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stellar post danlo!! a real pleasure to read .. and well what can be added to that overview ..

I agree F&F .. Bannor is exactly what TC needs .. he knows he needs to be held accountable .. he holds himself accountable .. and he doesnt really want folk to be 'nice' to him.

He wants to pay .. on one level .. and he wants to run on another ..

but more than anything deep down inside he really wants redemption ..
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danlo, I enjoyed reading that post almost as much as reading the book! I was riveted!
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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sometimes wonder how the history of the Land would have changed if TC had chosen to go on the journey to Searach.

Spoiler:
(1) Obviously Elena would not have found the Seventh Ward, and the Law of Death would not have been broken. Even if they had been able to solve all the riddles of Amok, Amok only followed TC around, and would guide the High Lord to the Seventh Ward only with the white gold's permission. Elena could still have died during the battles, and the Staff of Law could still have been lost, but again, the Law of Death would still be in existence.

(2) Could TC have made a difference in the journey to Searach, and could he have survived? I think it's safe to say that TC would have survived since ultimately, a few Bloodguard survived, and they weren't completely wiped out. TC probably didn't have the knowledge to destroy the fragment of the Illearth Stone like he did in TPTP. Even though TC basically never used the white gold in this book, I think that he still would have persuaded the Bloodguard not to have tried to bring the fragment back to the Lords.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
2) I think TC might have tried to persuade Korik, Sill and Doar to not take the IS - but he would not have been successful. The greatest wish of the Bloodguard was to give battle to Corruption; this was their opportunity to do so, and nothing was going to persuade them from it.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The passionate arguing between Troy and Covenant about accepting the reality of the Land is one of the more entertaining passages to me in these two chapters.

In The Illearth War Chapter 8 was wrote:
"Covenant," Troy continued as if he were still on the same subject, "I don't see why you aren't ecstatic about being here. How can the 'real' world be any more important than this?"

"It's the only world there is." Covenant climbed heavily to his feet. "Let's get out of here. This heat is making me giddy."

Moving slowly, they left the amphitheater. The air in Revelstone welcomed them back with its cool, dim pleasance, and Covenant breathed it deeply, trying to steady himself.

He wanted to get away from Troy, evade the questions he knew Troy would ask him. But the Warmark had a look of determination. After a few moments, he said, "Listen, Covenant. I'm trying to understand. Since the last time we talked, I've spent half my time trying. Somebody has got to have some idea what to expect from you. But I just don't see it. Back there, you're a leper. Isn't this better?"

Dully, answering as briefly as possible, Covenant said, "It isn't real. I don't believe it." Half to himself, he added, "Lepers who pay too much attention to their own dreams or whatever don't live very long."

"Jesus," Troy muttered. "You make it sound as if leprosy is all there is." He thought for a moment, then demanded, "How can you be so sure this isn't real?"

"Because life isn't like this. Lepers don't get well. People with no eyes don't suddenly start seeing. Such things don't happen. Somehow, we're being betrayed. Our own--our own needs for something that we don't have--are seducing us into this. It's crazy. Look at you. Come on--think about what happened to you. There you were, trapped between a nine-story building and a raging fire--blind and helpless and about to die. Is it so strange to think you cracked up?"

"That is," he went on mordantly, "assuming you exist at all. I've got an idea about you. I must've made you up subconsciously so that I would have someone to argue with. Someone to tell me I'm wrong."

"Damn it!" Troy cried. Turning swiftly, he snatched up Covenant's right hand and gripped it at eye level between them. With his head thrust defiantly forward, he said intensely, "Look at me. Feel my grip. I'm here. It's a fact. It's real."

For a moment, Covenant considered Troy's hand. Then he said, "I feel you. And I see you. I even hear you. But that only proves my point. I don't believe it. Now let go of me."

"Why?!"

Troy's sunglasses loomed at him darkly, but Covenant glared back into them until they turned away. Gradually, the Warmark released the pressure of his grip. Covenant yanked his hand away, and walked on with a quiver in his breathing. After a few strides, he said, "Because I can feel it. And I can't afford it. Now listen to me. Listen hard. I'm going to try to explain this so you can understand.

"Just forget that you know there's no possible way you could have come here. It's impossible--But just forget that for a while. Listen. I'm a leper. Leprosy is not a directly fatal disease, but it can kill indirectly. I can only--any leper can only stay alive by concentrating from getting hurt--and to take care of his hurts as soon as they happen. The one thing--Listen to me. The one thing no leper can afford is to let his mind wander. If he wants to stay alive. As soon as he stops concentrating, and starts thinking about how he's going to make a better life for himself, or starts dreaming about how his life was before he got sick, or about what he would do if he only got cured, or even if people simply stopped abhorring lepers"--he threw the words at Troy's head like chunks of stone--"then he is as good as dead.

"This--Land--is suicide to me. It's an escape, and I can't afford even thinking about escapes, much less actually falling into one. Maybe a blind man can stand the risk, but a leper can't. If I give in here, I won't last a month where it really counts. Because I'll have to go back. Am I getting through to you?"

"Yes," Troy said. "Yes. I'm not stupid. But think about it for a minute. If it should happen--if it should somehow be true that the Land is real--then you're denying your only hope. And that's--"

"I know."

"--that's not all. There's something you're not taking into account. The one thing that doesn't fit this delusion theory of yours is power--your power. White gold. Wild magic. That damn ring of yours changes everything. You're not a victim here. This isn't being done to you. You're responsible."

"No," Covenant groaned.

"Wait a minute! You can't just deny this. You're responsible for your dreams, Covenant. Just like anybody else."

No! Nobody can control dreams. Covenant tried to fill himself with icy confidence, but his heart was chilled by another cold entirely.

Troy pressed his argument. "There's been plenty of evidence that white gold is just exactly what the Lords say it is. How did the Fire-Lions of Mount Thunder get called down to save you? White gold, that's how. You've already got the key to the whole thing."

"No." Covenant struggled to give his refusal some force. "No, It isn't like that. What white gold does in the Land has nothing to do with me."

"Is that a fact?" Troy said sourly. "And since you don't have any power, no one can hold you to blame."

Troy's tone gave Covenant something on which to focus his anger. "That's right!" he flared. "Let me tell you something. The only person in life who's free at all, ever, is a person who's impotent. Like me. Or what do you think freedom is? Unlimited potential? Unrestricted possibilities? Hellfire! Impotence is freedom. When you're incapable of anything, no one can expect anything from you. Power has its own limits--even ultimate power. Only the impotent are free.

"No!" he snapped to stop Troy's protest. "I'll tell you something else. What you're really asking me to do is learn how to use this wild magic so I can go around butchering the poor, miserable creatures in Foul's army. Well, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to do any more killing--and certainly not in the name of something that isn't even real!"

"Hooray," muttered Troy in tight sarcasm. "Sweet Jesus. Whatever happened to people who used to believe in things?"

"They got leprosy and died. Weren't you listening to that song?"


The more determined Troy is to make Covenant acknowledge the Land is real (and therefore important), the more Covenant insists he must reject its reality. I think it's because of more than just Covenant fearing the loss of his leper's self-protective defenses. I think Covenant can see the despair that could inflict Troy should Troy's ambitions for the Land collapse. The failure of that much responsibility could be suicidal even without having to worry about leprosy!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always liked that dialogue as the place where Donaldson finally makes explicit and coherent Covenant's position. You can understand it from reading LFB, but it's not so succinctly articulated until this passage.

In Thomas and Linden, Wayfriend wrote:
Hile Troy is the first alternate protagonist we encounter. He is from Covenant's real world, which makes him comparatively similar to Covenant. But his origins also make him familiar to the reader, and this contributes to the first function he performs.

Through Troy's eyes, we get to meet Covenant all over again, and come to grips with his intransigence. Troy acts as a sort of proxy for the reader, putting the reader more directly into the story. He reacts to Covenants ascerbic moods, confronts Covenant about his unbelief, and expresses directly to Covenant contempt for his actions exactly was we might wish to.


In The Illearth War was wrote:
"Listen, Covenant. I'm trying to understand. Since the last time we talked, I've spent half my time trying. Somebody has got to have some idea what to expect from you. But I just don't see it. Back there, you're a leper. Isn't this better?"

Dully, answering as briefly as possible, Covenant said, "It isn't real. I don't believe it." Half to himself, he added, "Lepers who pay too much attention to their own dreams or whatever don't live very long."

"Jesus," Troy muttered. "You make it sound as if leprosy is all there is."

Troy's confrontations with Covenant allow Covenant to re-explain his positions anew. So, in an organic way, Covenant gets to make his case again, directly to our proxy. And, as we identify ourselves with Troy, Troy's responses to Covenant inform and validate our own responses to Covenant.

The result is that the author, through Troy, conveys to the reader quite successfully who Covenant is, and what we should think about him. When Covenant responds to Troy, he is responding to us. This is a result that serves to highlight Covenant's character, arrived at in a seemingly natural, almost invisible fashion.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post, wayfriend! No doubt Troy's being a stand-in for the reader's reaction to Covenant (considering we have found the Land to be a fascinating place that deserves protection) is one reason why The Illearth War is such an emotionally effective book!
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