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Topics - ThoughtsOfThelli

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Literature / The Stone Dance of the Chameleon
« on: January 09, 2018, 04:24:32 pm »
Here's a reading suggestion for you all during this fine new year. :)

This series is a trilogy (consisting on: The Chosen, The Standing Dead and The Third God) written by a Portuguese author, Ricardo Pinto (though the original version is in English - apparently he has lived in the UK since a very young age).
It is set in a world ruled by the (appropriately-named) Masters, who oppress the remainder of humanity and live (mostly) in a citadel, Osrakum, isolated from the rest of the world, ruled by a God Emperor. One of the other ethnic groups of this world, the Plainsmen, must surrender a certain number of their children to become slaves of the Masters every year (this is enforced through an organized system). The Masters also wear masks and have a complicated set of rules that determines who can be masked in whose presence. (That's all I'm going to say on their society - I'd probably do a poor job of explaining it further and you should check it out by yourselves... ;) )
The protagonist is a teenage boy, Carnelian, who is the son and heir of an exiled Master. He has lived his whole life in an island far away from Osrakum (he was an infant at the time of the exile) and has developed a sense of compassion that other Masters lack due to it. The story starts when some of the other Masters unexpectedly leave Osrakum and arrive at the island intending to have Carnelian's father (and Carnelian himself) return with them, as the God Emperor is dying. They have revoked the father's exile so that he can act as He-who-goes-before (a regent of sorts) for the short time they have while the current emperor is still alive, and aid them in making sure the election of the next God Emperor goes their way.

This series has some wonderfully developed world building. The author's website is very much detailed on this matter and should absolutely be checked out (though maybe only after reading the whole series, as there are some spoilers on there).

Oh, and another thing I thought I should mention: this is a low fantasy series, but it includes dinosaurs (not sure how you might feel about that, maybe some of you would be put off by it). That might sound silly and in contrast with the rest of the world, but let me explain: in this world, you have dinosaurs as you might have regular animals in ours. (Honestly, I almost forgot the dinosaurs were there at one point, it's not like their existence is remarkable or anything.) Some are predators to be avoided, like for instance, wolves in our world; some are used as horses would be, etc. It's just part of the world for this story.

Basically: fairly dark story (though you all have read TSA, it's not like it would scare anyone off), low on the fantasy scale (dinosaurs or not...), fantastic worldbuilding. Why not give it a try and add it to your "to read in 2018" list?

The Unholy Consult / The line of Nejata
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:14:41 pm »
I think I found an inconsistency, don't think this has been mentioned before.

In chapter 8 of TUC, Proyas thinks back on the murder of the line of Nejata:

"Where, Father?" he had asked after hearing the last of House Nerseis ancestral rivals, the Nejati, had been executed. "Where lies the honour in murdering children?"

If his father had spared the sons of Nejata, what then? Vengeance would have been their inheritance, discord and rebellion the consequence.

But, according to the TTT glossary:

Nersei, HouseThe ruling House of Conriya since the Aknyssian Uprisings of 3942, which saw the entire line of King Nejata Medekki murdered. The Black Eagle on White is their device.

In the TUC glossary the date of the Uprisings is changed to 3742, but the rest of the entry is identical.
Anyway, the fact remains that Proyas could not have been alive at the time the line of Nejata was extinguished. One could argue there could have been descendants of Nejata alive in Proyas' lifetime, but it seems very unlikely from the wording in the House Nersei entry.

General Earwa / Birth and Death Years of Characters (for the wiki?)
« on: November 23, 2017, 05:06:27 pm »
I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread where we could try to figure out birth/death years of characters, similarly to these threads at Those could later be added to the wiki if not already there.

I'll start with those I had already thought about (more characters can be added later on). Since death years are usually more explicit in TSA, I'll concern myself with birth years for now.

The Erwan Year

I think it can be assumed that an year in Erwa lasts about as long as one of ours (feel free to say something if I'm completely wrong about this).
We have a normal human pregnancy lasting what would be a normal amount of time if Erwan seasons last as long as ours (Serw was pregnant from the spring of 4111 to early winter of the same year).
The new year apparently starts late in the winter, though, unlike ours, which would begin in early winter (this referring to the Year-of-the-Tusk, not the New Imperial Year).

Part I - Achamian, Cnair, Kellhus, Esmenet and Serw

From the TDTCB appendix (with name pronunciations removed as they didn't matter for this):
Anasrimbor Kellhus, a thirty-three-year-old Dnyain monk
Drusas Achamian, a forty-seven-year-old Mandate sorcerer
Cnair, a forty-four-year-old Scylvendi barbarian, Chieftain of the Utemot
Esmenet, a thirty-one-year-old Sumni prostitute
Serw, a nineteen-year-old Nymbricani concubine

The second part of the prologue takes place in late autumn of 4109, and the last chapter of the book in late spring of 4111. Now, we're not sure what date these ages refer to - perhaps to the earliest date given. I've also wondered, though, if they could refer to specific dates for every character, that is, to the date of the chapter where they were first introduced. Keeping this in mind, we would have:

-Supposing age refers to 4109: he could be either 46, turning 47 later in the year, or 47, turning 48 later in the year, and thus his birth year would be 4061 or 4062.
-Supposing age refers to first appearance: he first appeared in chapter 1, which took place in midwinter of 4110. He would then have been born in 4062 or 4063.

-Supposing age refers to 4109: he could be 43 turning 44 or 44 turning 45, which would give him a birth year of 4064 or 4065.
-Supposing age refers to first appearance: he first appears in chapter 6, which takes place in early summer of 4110. He would then have been born in 4065 or 4066.

-Supposing age refers to 4109: he could be 32 turning 33 or 33 turning 34, which would give him a birth year of 4075 or 4076.
-Supposing age refers to first appearance: (same as above)

-Supposing age refers to 4109: she could be 30 turning 31 or 31 turning 32, which would give her a birth year of 4077 or 4078.
-Supposing age refers to first appearance: she first appeared in chapter 3 (though not as a POV), which took place in early spring of 4110. She would then have been born in 4078 or 4079.

-Supposing age refers to 4109: she could be 18 turning 19 or 19 turning 20, which would give her a birth year of 4089 or 4090.
-Supposing age refers to first appearance: she first appeared in chapter 13, which took place in spring of 4111. She would then have been born in 4091 or 4092.

But we have more information in the text, and this is where inconsistencies start to crop up:
-Cnair is referred to as "a seasoned Scylvendi warrior of more than forty-five summers" in chapter 6 of TDTCB (early summer 4110). That would mean he was at least 46 at the time, though it's possible he would still turn 46 later in the summer, and the "more than forty-five summers" comment would still make sense. If he still had a birthday later in 4110, he would have been born in 4064 at the latest for his age to be "more than forty-five summers".
-In chapter 12 of TDTCB, we have this:
Hed counted only sixteen summers the year his cousin Okyati had ridden into camp with Anasrimbor Monghus.
Cnair also thinks about how the Rite-of-the-Spring-Wolves took place a few weeks after Monghus' arrival.
"Months later, Skitha was dead and Cnair had become Chieftain of the Utemot."
From the glossaries, we know Skitha's death took place in 4079. If "sixteen summers" is to be taken literally, Cnair would have turned 17 that year (since Monghus arrived sometime in the spring or earlier), which would mean he was born in 4062. Going by this birth year, Cnair would have been 48 in 4110 (or would turn 48 later in the year). Which yes, would still be "more than forty-five summers", but does not add up with the age of 44 given in the appendix (even if that was supposed to be his age as of the prologue)!
-Serw thinks of herself as "a girl of twenty summers" in chapter 10 of TWP (late summer 4111). Presumably, she would have already turned 20 that summer, giving her a birth year of 4091. There's still a possibility her birth falls very late in the summer and she would still turn 21 that year, meaning she would have been born in 4090.

Working from Serw's possible years of birth given above, considering the age differences given in the TDTCB and TWP appendix, we'd have (forgetting the Cnair inconsistency for now):
-Achamian (28 years older): born 4062 or 4063
-Cnair (25 years older): born 4065 or 4066
-Kellhus (14 years older): born 4076 or 4077
-Esmenet (12 years older): born 4078 or 4079
Which does work with the "age at first appearance" theorized above, actually, except for Serw herself. However, the 4091 year works with that and with the "twenty summers" reference from the text, so maybe that can be considered as the actual birth year of Serw? In that case, Achamian, Kellhus and Esmenet's birth years could in turn be 4063, 4077 and 4079 respectively, since there's nothing in the text to contradict those. Cnair is still an issue, though, because it doesn't make as much sense to have him be 13 at the time he met Monghus...
Please tell me what you think.

I will add new information to this thread/change whatever turns out to be wrong as I go. I'm hoping to add a post covering the birth years of more characters later this week.
We must keep in mind that there are many characters whose age is not easy to determine beyond "young", "middle-aged", "elderly" and so forth, so I won't cover every single character in this thread as the hard-working people at did with ASOIAF ones. (Though if anyone else may want to try that for the sake of completeness...)
Feel free to suggest characters whose birth/death years are not in the appendices and can be estimated from the text (I have some in mind already for Part II but I might be forgetting someone).

General Misc. / Back from my unintended hiatus
« on: November 21, 2017, 06:50:08 pm »
Decided to post an update of sorts following the quorum conversation from yesterday, after coming back from my 2-month long hiatus.
I disappeared around early September because I was getting finished with my master's thesis that month. Everything went well and that particular event got wrapped up by late September. I didn't come back at first because I just needed a break. Then by October I was not in a TSA mood and went back to some other fandoms (like ASOIAF). A while back, I found myself wondering about what was going on here and so I came back. :P (and yes, if I disappear for months again, sorry in advance, it's either work or something else that's distracting me)
And another thing: the day after the defense of the dissertation, I found a lost kitten on the street near my house. We ended up keeping him (in addition to 3 older cats and 3 dogs...). I was so close to naming him after a TSA character, but decided against it because most TSA character names are too long for pets to learn. He has since started to act much more mischievous and aggressive/annoying towards the other cats, so I kind of regret not naming him Kelmomas sometimes. ;) (I would post a picture, but I don't have any good ones)

General Q&A / Correct Spellings?
« on: August 16, 2017, 02:53:59 pm »
I've been wondering about this for some time, since I've seen these names spelled differently throughout the series (well, the last one was only mentioned in TGO and TUC, but it still applies). I'd like to know what are the "official" correct spellings?

-"C'jara-Cinmoi" or "C'jara Cinmoi"? (I'm guessing the former because Bakker spelled his username that way?)
-"Nin'janjin" or "Nin-janjin"?
-"Cet'moyol" or "Cet'moiol"?

General Earwa / Nonman/Human Hybrids
« on: August 13, 2017, 06:02:54 pm »
Today I was browsing the older threads about TSA at when I came across a mention of a Bakker AMA from April of this year. There is a reply on there where Bakker states that Nonman/human hybrids that survive past birth are sterile.
Does this mean that the rape of Omindalea (and subsequent hybrid son/descendants) is definitely not canon? Or does it just mean that the Anasrimbor do not descend from that particular hybrid after all? Seems strange that they wouldn't, after all, Nanor-Ukkerja lived to be 178 because of his supposed Nonman ancestry, and there are also the possibilities implied regarding Nonman genes among the Dnyain.

The Unholy Consult / [TUC Spoilers] About the glossary...
« on: July 19, 2017, 05:48:39 pm »
I've been wondering, is there any reason why some characters who died in TTT (Conphas, for instance) don't have their death date listed in the TUC glossary? It made sense for TTT, so that those looking at the glossary before reading the book could avoid spoilers, but these characters have been dead for 4 books now.

(By the way, not sure if "TUC Spoilers" should be in the title since this contains no actual spoilers for the book, but thought it best just in case.)

General Earwa / Dnyain genetics
« on: July 17, 2017, 04:38:57 pm »
(I went ahead and followed Wilshire's suggestion so that I wouldn't clutter the other thread with this.)

I'd like to keep discussing Dnyain genetic incompatibility with the worldborn as it really fascinates me (despite my unwise tendency to try to look at it with real life genetics in mind). In the other thread there was speculation about what other factors besides "native intellect" influenced genetic compatibility - there is evidence that there's more than that, just from looking at the examples of Kellhus' concubines who were all chosen with that one factor in mind.

I've also wondered about the "nameless children" and if the specific deformity of Kellhus and Esmenet's child (eight arms, no eyes):
a) was something common to the others (whose deformities are not elaborated on) and derived from something specific in their genes (whale mothers? Nonmen?)
b) had some underlying symbolism to it (admittedly, that's a stretch, and maybe just me extrapolating from the fact that it is something rare in humans in real life).

The Unholy Consult / [TUC Spoilers] Nitpicks...
« on: July 14, 2017, 03:28:27 pm »
These don't really fit into the Errata (one of these is probably a retcon) so here are two little nitpicky things that I noticed:

-Proyas' father's name seems to have changed, he is referred to as Onoyas in this book while before he was Eukernas II (admittedly, I had to look it up because I only knew it was different and didn't recall the actual previous name). Was this a retcon?

-Mimara's pregnancy only seems to have lasted for 6 months. I know, I know, I'm being annoying about timelines and dates again, but hear me out. When I first read TAE, I was wondering when Mimara would give birth (trying to figure out the length of time TUC would span). The chapter where she and Achamian have sex has a date of early spring, 4132. She ends up giving birth in early autumn of the same year.
You might say we don't know if seasons in Erwa last 3 months, PON, Serw got pregnant in the spring of 4111 and gave birth in winter of that year, thus it would seem seasons do indeed last ~3 months in Erwa.
So either this is a timeline mistake (future retcon?) or that baby really lucked out in being continuously exposed to qirri while in the womb and came out with the development a full-term baby would have. ;) (Or, crackpot thought, Akka really isn't the father after all.)

General Earwa / Iva's age?
« on: July 04, 2017, 09:42:50 pm »
Yesterday I was flicking through the books searching for a quote to use in my signature, when I happened to glance upon Iva's birth and death years in the appendices of The White-Luck Warrior. In that book, Achamian has his dream of Nau-Cayti's supposed death and Iva is mentioned as "his wife of seven years".
We know Nau-Cayti's "death" took place in 2140. Therefore, they were married in or around 2133 - and if you look at their birth years, Nau-Cayti (born 2119) would have been 14 at the time, which is already fairly young, while Iva (born 2125) would have been only 8 years old... I doubt that this is a mistake (the timeline and related math seems to be pretty consistent throughout this series), but still, eight seems a bit too young even considering that royals might marry at very young ages. Presumably, Celmomas was the one to arrange the marriage, and the main purpose would be, of course, grandchildren to continue his line, but Iva wouldn't be old enough to have children for quite a few years...
I was left wondering if this could be a situation similar to that of little Lady Ermesande Hayford in A Song of Ice and Fire, who was married off as an infant because she was the last of her line and so her wealth and lands would come into possession of her husband's family. (Completely speculation on my part, but there's no evidence against it either, so that's what I'm choosing to believe for now.)

And yes, maybe I'm just overthinking this small detail, but it kind of makes me see her character in a somewhat new light. You have this "treacherous wife" sacrificing her husband to save her own soul. More understandable if you consider she was only fifteen years old instead of twenty-something?

Introduce Yourself / Hello, everyone
« on: April 13, 2017, 06:55:13 pm »
Hello from a brand-new fan of this series. :)

I kept coming across mentions of the Second Apocalypse series in other websites/forums and finally decided it was time to check what it was about. Reading the current books was an amazing experience, though a re-read is clearly in order - I'm the kind of person who will just breeze through books the first time, which usually leads to quite a few missed details. And considering the complexity of this series, there are certainly many interesting nuggets of information to be found in the next re-read(s).

I'm looking forward to coming up with something good enough to add to existing discussions of the books, too. ;) Crazy theories definitely included.

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