A shadow on the heart of the Earth
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10421 White Gold Dollars
|Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:48 am Post subject: Prophecies
|I might have posted about this before, either in a thread of its own or in a reply to something else, but I'm sure I've never tried to construct a theory or interpretation or whatever, of the LC (or all the Cs!) with this aspect of them so clearly in mind.
There's been a trend growing in fantasy fiction, it seems, to have "mystery sequences," you might call them. Not just cliffhangers and twists but recurring enigmas. It's evident in LOST or BSG (going back some years) and Sanderson's work abounds in such grace. In SRD's work these sequences are mostly absent in the FC, increase but not overwhelmingly in the SC, and then spiral out of control in the LC.
This fact shows up in the recurring phrases that pop into characters' minds repeatedly. For the worst example, think of the "writ in water" prophecy. Another horrible case are the grass stains. All these omens are so useless that in TLD the Giants finally argue about the pointlessness of prophecy and the subject is more or less dropped thereafter.
By contrast, the epic planning that went into the Demondim-spawn merging with SWMNBN, while perhaps difficult to piece out at first, is clear enough upon reflection that this means of tying up this strand of the story actually achieves what would have been achieved through useful prophecies, i.e. there are beings who have foresight that they effectively use. Ironically, maybe, it is the same beings whose planning in Vain was the source of most of the comparable mystery-sequence stuff from the SC, who do this. But the perspective characters just jump along from event to event, replying on the fly, like they're about to go crazy and can barely keep it together. Again, only Linden in her final confrontation seems to effectively deal with her intentionality.
Clearly, then, especially given SRD's internal love-affair, if you will, with Ms. Avery, he was devoting an enormous amount of time to the SWMNBN subplot. Just look at the caliber of his writing throughout almost all of "All Lost Women." There is not only almost nothing in TLD that rivals it, but nothing in almost all the LCs in general or maybe even all the Cs combined that does so. From the enchantment of the Viles' underworld to the passion of lamentation expressed wherefrom Linden's ring, up until, arguably, the obscure, "I AM MYSELF!" section, the chapter reveals a meticulous thought-process, here, on SRD's part. This attention to detail is what seems lacking, to some extent, in the pre-epilogue sequence, though it does show up well enough in Jeremiah's duel with the Raver. Basically, sure, the final fight is supercomplex in its own way, and its conclusion is just as bizarre as the merger of the Vile-scions with Her (is there some obscure parallelism between Covenant/the Demondim-spawn on the one hand, and the Despiser and his erstwhile consort on the other?), but it also seems... to have gaps. To some extent this was unavoidable, you might think. How could you describe the destruction of descriptive reality? But there are ways, and to be fair SRD does pull a lot of it off really well, what with the blurring of time and the dissolution of Kiril Threndor. Recall that at this stage of the game, the protagonists don't have to worry about using wild magic without restraint. That they could recreate the world in a flash doesn't seem so unwieldy, in that light. Of course you might be like, well, if that were true, then why worry about using wild magic without restraint in the first place? Let's say Covenant had roused the Worm or broken the Arch beforehand. In that case, why wouldn't he be able to just put it back together, too? Well, then again, maybe Linden and Jeremiah really are as important as they are made out to be, in this story.