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An Opinion on Mhoram
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Lazy Luke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
In Chapter 2 of The Power That Preserves was wrote:
But Mhoram had learned that the very thing which made Kevin's Lore powerful for good also made it powerful for ill. If Kevin son of Loric had not had that particular capacity for power, he would not have been able to Desecrate the Land

This mindset that Mhoram is in at the beginning of TPTP is the closest he ever comes to losing his way. And even here, it's because he uses an excess of caution rather than an excess of passion.

I don't see Mhoram as having lost his way, only that his powers as seer and oracle have changed.
As a matter of fact he appears to be practicing dharana
- sanskrit for 'concentration'.
Gaining knowledge through the art of dhyana is a logical step.

[Bannor had explained Elena's last anundivian yajna work]
... in unaccustomed detail. His habitual
Bloodguard reticence had given way almost to prolixity; and the
fullness of his description had led circuitously to the great
change in Mhoram's own life. By a curious logic of its own, it had
put an end to the High Lord's power of prevision.
He was no longer seer and oracle to the Council of Lords. Because
of what he had learned, he caught no more glimpses of the future in
dreams, read no more hints of distant happenings in the dance of
the fire. The secret knowledge which he had gained so intuitively
from the marrowmeld sculpture had blinded the eyes of his

Its very interesting that the common dharana practice of staring into a candle flame
is replaced (in Stephen Donaldson's world) with a bone sculpture.
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Lazy Luke
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has long been a fascinating passage for me:

In her hands [Amatin] gripped the lomillialor communication rod, which
the Loresraat had given to Revelstone seven years ago.
She looked like a dark shadow against the bright floor, and in her
hands the High Wood burned flamelessly, like a slit opening into a
furnace. Small cold balls of sparks dropped in spurts from the wood.
Mhoram understood instantly that she was receiving a message from
whomever it was who had the other communication rod, the one
at Revelwood.

On closer inspection - like a slit opening into a furnace - I never made the connection between the Ritual of Desecration
and the lomillialor rod. And that Triock and the Unfettered One's message to Revelstone had made it through.
Although Mhoram wouldn't realise this until later on. Fantastic!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In The Power That Preserves Chapter 2 was wrote:
Mhoram shrugged away the need for any apology. His helplessness to reach Callindrill hurt him. He was six days from Revelwood by horse. And he could not call upon the Ranyhyn. The Despiser's army had effectively cut Revelstone off from the Plains of Ra; any Ranyhyn that tried to answer a summons would almost certainly be slaughtered and eaten. All the High Lord could do was wait--and pray that Callindrill and his companions fled Revelwood before Satansfist encircled them. Two thousand warriors and the Hiltmark of the Warward, two of the leaders of the Lorewardens, one Lord--it was a terrible price to pay for Callindrill's bravado.

But even as he thought this, Mhoram knew that Callindrill was not acting out of bravado. The Lord simply could not endure the thought that Revelwood might perish. Mhoram privately hoped Satansfist would let the tree stand--use it rather than destroy it. But Callindrill had no such hope. Ever since he had faltered during the battle of Doriendor Corishev, he had seen himself as a man who had disgraced his Lord's duty, failed to meet the challenge of the Land's need. He had seen himself as a coward. And now Revelwood, the fairest work of the new Lords, was under attack. Mhoram sighed again, and gently touched the bone of the marrowmeld with his fingers.

In the back of his mind, he was readying his decision.

"Quaan, my friend," he mused grimly, "what have we accomplished in seven years?"

As if this signaled an end to the formal side of their conversation, Quaan lowered himself into a chair opposite Mhoram, and allowed his square shoulders to sag fractionally. "We have prepared for the siege of Revelstone with all our strength. We have restored the Warward somewhat--the ten Eowards which survived have been increased to twenty-five. We have brought the people of the Center Plains here, out of Satansfist's way. We have stored food, weapons, supplies. The Gray Slayer will require more than a sea of ur-viles and Cavewights to break our hold here."

"He has more, Quaan." Mhoram continued to stroke the strangely revealing face of the anundivian yajna bust. "And we have lost the Bloodguard."

"Through no fault of ours.'' Quaan's pain at the loss made him sound indignant. He had fought side-by-side with the Bloodguard more than any other warrior in the Land. "We could not have known at that time, when the mission to Seareach was given to Korik and the Bloodguard, that the Gray Slayer would attack the Giants with the Illearth Stone. We could not have known that Korik would defeat a Raver and would attempt to bring a piece of the Stone here."

"We could not have known," Mhoram echoed hollowly. After all, the end of his oracular dreams was not a great loss. Despite the myriad terrors he had beheld, he had not glimpsed or guessed at Lord Foul's attack on the Giants in time. "My friend, do you remember what Bannor told us concerning this sculpture?"

"High Lord?"

"He reported that Elena daughter of Lena carved it of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever and white gold wielder--and that ur-Lord Covenant mistook it for the face of a Bloodguard." Banner had also reported that Covenant had forced him to tell Elena the name of the Power hidden in the Seventh Ward, so that she could meet the conditions for approaching that Power. But Mhoram was interested for the moment in the resemblance which High Lord Elena had worked into her carving. That had been the starting point, the beginning from which he had traveled to reach his secret knowledge. "She was a true Craftmaster of the bone-sculpting skill. She would not unwittingly have made such confusion possible."

Quaan shrugged.

Mhoram smiled fondly at the Warmark's unwillingness to hazard opinions beyond his competence. "My friend," he said, "I saw the resemblance, but could not decipher it. Ahanna daughter of Hanna aided me. Though she does not know the marrowmeld skill, she has an artist's eye. She perceived the meaning which Elena made here.

"Quaan, the resemblance is that both ur-Lord Covenant the Unbeliever and Banner of the Bloodguard require absolute answers to their own lives. With the Bloodguard it was their Vow. They demanded of themselves either pure, flawless service forever or no service at all. And the Unbeliever demands--"

"He demands,'' Quaan said sourly, "that his world is real and ours is not."

Another smile eased Mhoram's somberness, then faded. "This demand for absolute answers is dangerous. Kevin, too, required either victory or destruction."

The Warmark met Mhoram's gaze grimly for a moment before he said, "Then do not resummon the Unbeliever. High Lord, he will lay waste the Land to preserve his 'real' world."

Mhoram cocked an eyebrow at Quaan, and his crooked lips tightened. He knew that the Warmark had never trusted Covenant, yet in this time of crisis any doubt was more important, less answerable.

I love Mhoram's thoughtful weighing of all possibilities, all possible consequences he can think of, and how he is steadfast once he knows his best course to follow.

Holsety wrote:
[...]it might be best to think of Mhoram as being at the high-water mark of a critical point in the land's history. He has spent his life studying the lore of the land; he has probably observed the dialogue of two parents discussing this lore amongst themselves frequently; the judges of such study have approved him (he's a lord); the second ward has been discovered; TC is a strange and thought provoking question to all the above; at the end of TPTP Mhoram has struggled through that entire 40-50 year stretch that Foul has condemned the Land to, while we skipped most of it along with TC.

I basically agree with this, and think it explains a lot about Mhoram's measured approach to problem-solving. His failure to trust Trell may be his largest miscue.
The Celebration of Spring

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