The Second Apocalypse

Earwa => The Aspect-Emperor => The Unholy Consult => Topic started by: Jackehehe on July 02, 2017, 06:42:21 pm

Title: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 02, 2017, 06:42:21 pm
(I apologize before-hand if we are not allowed to post spoiler threads about TUC as of yet; I browsed the spoiler policy topic but admittedly I'm a bit excited and upset as of writing this so I perhaps read it a bit hastily. I saved the his text so I can repost it at a more appropriate time if that is the case)

Hello everyone, I just finished the book and I want to hear you your thoughts about the ending and the story in general now that it is concluded (?).

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[EDIT Madness: Spoiler tags.]

EDIT: sorry for not addin spoiler tags (DOH!!), thanks Madness!
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Madness on July 02, 2017, 07:27:02 pm
No problem, Jack. We didn't really have rules in place.

I was thinking on it yesterday before Wert opened the thread at Westeros and Wilshire admonished that I should let you all at it.

But yeah, spoiler tags on anything TUC content until the 6th at least.

Thank you :).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 02, 2017, 09:28:24 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 03, 2017, 05:20:35 am
I am 100% Zauduyani.  I don't have my book yet but I needed to know what happened and I'm not a big anti-spoiler guy anyway.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 03, 2017, 11:30:30 am
@walter

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 03, 2017, 12:45:29 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 03, 2017, 03:59:46 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 03, 2017, 04:10:25 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 03, 2017, 04:16:58 pm
EDIT - sorry, really having trouble nesting the tags with this

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 03, 2017, 04:22:37 pm

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 03, 2017, 04:24:10 pm

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 03, 2017, 05:27:37 pm
Very interesting points Yellow. About Malowebi I agree with your and walters conclusion. It makes sense from a narrative point of view so to say.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 03, 2017, 05:45:05 pm
For all looking for a name for kellhus' crab handed grandson, I think we can all agree that it should be Crabicus.

And I'd choose Zeumi rather than Zeumian, but both are good ;)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 03, 2017, 05:46:04 pm
I soooo wanna hit those spoiler tags.....damnitt!!!!
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 03, 2017, 06:38:02 pm
I soooo wanna hit those spoiler tags.....damnitt!!!!

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 04, 2017, 05:19:56 am
Thoughts on Akka's dream and Meppa

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 04, 2017, 05:38:21 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 04, 2017, 06:40:07 am
Yeah it will be very interesting re-reading parts about "a head on a pole"
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 05, 2017, 02:04:15 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 05, 2017, 02:33:06 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: profgrape on July 05, 2017, 04:12:30 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 05, 2017, 04:36:37 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Jackehehe on July 05, 2017, 05:09:06 pm
On Kellhus:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 05, 2017, 05:32:09 pm
On Kellhus:

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Truth Shines
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: profgrape on July 05, 2017, 09:00:08 pm
On Kellhus:

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Truth Shines

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 05, 2017, 09:40:16 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: profgrape on July 05, 2017, 11:16:07 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 04:46:49 am
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[/quote]
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 05:49:22 am
@walter

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 05:54:02 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 06:04:51 am
Thoughts on Akka's dream and Meppa

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 06:09:10 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 06:12:33 am
Great, great post Wilshire. Love it.

regarding the title of the third series, I said it upthread, but it was buried in a big post:

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(hattip to kal at westeros, I think he's probably right)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 06, 2017, 10:55:39 am
Great, great post Wilshire. Love it.

regarding the title of the third series, I said it upthread, but it was buried in a big post:

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(hattip to kal at westeros, I think he's probably right)

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 06, 2017, 01:00:57 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 06, 2017, 02:32:37 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 06, 2017, 04:15:03 pm
On Kellhus:

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Truth Shines
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 06, 2017, 04:23:21 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 06, 2017, 04:27:39 pm
Great, great post Wilshire. Love it.

regarding the title of the third series, I said it upthread, but it was buried in a big post:

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(hattip to kal at westeros, I think he's probably right)

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nope, I challenge you to find it anywhere in print on any of the books.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 06, 2017, 04:29:24 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Somnambulist on July 06, 2017, 05:04:24 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 06, 2017, 05:18:43 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 06, 2017, 06:52:09 pm
Just Finished!  My faith is renewed!
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 06, 2017, 07:04:47 pm
Great, great post Wilshire. Love it.

regarding the title of the third series, I said it upthread, but it was buried in a big post:

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(hattip to kal at westeros, I think he's probably right)

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nope, I challenge you to find it anywhere in print on any of the books.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Werthead on July 06, 2017, 07:09:01 pm
On this point:

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I'm confused why people think it's the Consult messing around for no reason. Much more likely (for me):

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As for the final book of the series, I think it would amuse Bakker to call it:

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Is there a date for the post-TUC Scott AMA? I know one was in the planning stages.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 06, 2017, 07:22:48 pm
Is there a date for the post-TUC Scott AMA? I know one was in the planning stages.

Not that I've heard. In fact, I haven't really heard much of anything from or about Bakker for a while now - considering that TUC release has been on the horizon for some time and , now, official released in some places.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 06, 2017, 07:34:53 pm
So, I finished the book. I don't have the faintest clue as to what happened, except a few things.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 06, 2017, 08:07:30 pm
Werthead

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: profgrape on July 06, 2017, 09:57:36 pm
I'm confused why people think it's the Consult messing around for no reason. Much more likely (for me):

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@Werthead
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 06, 2017, 10:10:10 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: profgrape on July 06, 2017, 10:18:28 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 06, 2017, 10:35:28 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 06, 2017, 11:18:16 pm
A few more thoughts after another reading of the last chapters:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 07, 2017, 12:41:18 am
Had some time to digest and I had some thoughts too:
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 07, 2017, 05:33:36 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 07, 2017, 06:34:59 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 07, 2017, 08:53:16 am
Can we not drop these spoiler tags yet?

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: generalguy on July 07, 2017, 09:01:11 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 07, 2017, 10:42:43 am
So, a question about Nau-Cayuti:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Odium on July 07, 2017, 05:25:22 pm
Cross-posting the vitriol of my initial reaction to the book

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 07, 2017, 07:43:04 pm
Had some time to digest and I had some thoughts too:
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Werthead on July 08, 2017, 12:28:23 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 08, 2017, 07:38:39 am
So, hmm. I've written several times in this thread, but I wanted to do a general review, or rather, just how the book made me feel.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 08, 2017, 09:27:57 am
Read it in a 13hr sprint. Spent a day digesting it, feeling quite ambivalent.

Five stars. Hugely satisfactory resolution for all the exiting characters. Great twists left many metaphysical questions tidied up. Very well self contained.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Madness on July 08, 2017, 02:43:23 pm
Stole my nephew's computer again momentarily.

I just wanted to mention - some stuff I talked with Odium and Hiro about yesterday - but gauging people's reactions I think there is a load of subtlety that people have missed in TAE. I'm pretty convinced that Bakker found his Voice writing TGO right on time consciousness-style.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 08, 2017, 04:09:49 pm
I'm confused why people think it's the Consult messing around for no reason. Much more likely (for me):

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@Werthead
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Repost from other forum, for these pertinent points:
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Yellow on July 08, 2017, 07:04:49 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 08, 2017, 10:28:58 pm
So, hmm. I've written several times in this thread, but I wanted to do a general review, or rather, just how the book made me feel.

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 08, 2017, 11:21:41 pm
So, hmm. I've written several times in this thread, but I wanted to do a general review, or rather, just how the book made me feel.

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This might be a bit controversial to say, but...

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 08, 2017, 11:34:22 pm
Stole my nephew's computer again momentarily.

I just wanted to mention - some stuff I talked with Odium and Hiro about yesterday - but gauging people's reactions I think there is a load of subtlety that people have missed in TAE. I'm pretty convinced that Bakker found his Voice writing TGO right on time consciousness-style.
Right the momemn stuff is insanely important in this respect. All sorts of subtle cross plot line thematic resonances and foreshadowing are going on. My favorite one being mimara identifying the "will to power" of the dunyain as their greatest sin counterpointed with kelmo learning the LACK of will in the narindar was crucial combined with the revelation that mimara has no darkness coming before as she has no will that manifests her physical Movements into the future (noted by koringhus).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Werthead on July 08, 2017, 11:47:26 pm
Quote
I think there is a load of subtlety that people have missed in TAE

I think there is a fine line between subtlety, obtuseness and actually just unclear writing. The subtle elements are things people will be arguing about for years, but there's also stuff that is just not parsed very well (I get the impression that, with his old editor gone, TGO and TUC suffered from a lack of outside editing by someone really well-versed in the series). The ending of TGO suffered from that but there's a lot of it in TUC as well.

I think the general reaction to TUC is a lot of people impressed with how deep down the well Bakker went, mixed with bafflement at how much stuff they thought would be resolved but wasn't even addressed.

The other main complaint I've seen is that:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 09, 2017, 08:39:13 am
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Werthead on July 09, 2017, 08:03:53 pm
Negatory:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 09, 2017, 09:14:56 pm
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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Werthead on July 09, 2017, 11:08:15 pm
Yeah, can we drop the spoiler tags now? We're like 6 pages into the thread, no-one's coming down this rabbit hole unless they want to get spoiled.

Anyway, interesting theory from Reddit:

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Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 10, 2017, 04:55:14 am
I am a wayward mod (I'm too miserly with my time for message boards lately), but for what it's worth I think spoiler tags are not necessary in this thread at this stage. And it's a pain to read.

Madness only asked for spoiler tags until release anyway.

But yeah, spoiler tags on anything TUC content until the 6th at least.

Thank you :).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 08:04:36 am
Finished. I'll give more thoughts later, but, I really hope there is a 3rd series. Just so many unanswered questions, things left unexplored and plots that was left hanging.

I do think Kellhus, as part of his pact with Ajokli (I knew there was more to Ajokli and mentioned this several times, I like the idea that dead Kellhus is Ajokli), was going to destroy the Consult and "save humanity". I don't think that makes him a good guy in anyway, shape or form. But, was his plan. Ultimately, he was duped, like everyone else in the series. Oh, Kelmommas is blind to the Gods because he was always going to be the No-God. For one exception, Ajokli. This was explained when Ajokli took over Kellhus. Because, the Ark was a Topos, the biggest, worst one on Earwa. Thus, closest to hell, that's why Ajokli wasn't blind to the No-God. I'm not sure if Kellhus being salted was part of his plan, I don't think so, but possible.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 10, 2017, 08:09:41 am
Finished. I'll give more thoughts later, but, I really hope there is a 3rd series. Just so many unanswered questions, things left unexplored and plots that was left hanging.

I don't think you've anything to fear, in that regard. I think Bakker has pretty clearly stated that there is going to be a third series of two books, possibly three; in fact, I think in his Reddit AMA, he mentioned that the sequel was even well underway. I might be wrong on that last thing, though. There's definitely going to be more to the series.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 09:15:24 am
I don't think you've anything to fear, in that regard. I think Bakker has pretty clearly stated that there is going to be a third series of two books, possibly three; in fact, I think in his Reddit AMA, he mentioned that the sequel was even well underway. I might be wrong on that last thing, though. There's definitely going to be more to the series.

Yea, just a matter of when, and what route it takes.

I think Kellhus's ultimate plan was to become a God and dominate the Outside, maybe killi g the hundred. If so, him being salted would be no accident. But, frankly, that's not the feeling I got reading the scene. Felt like he was going to kill everyone and destroy the Ark/carapice and put an end to the threat of The Consult. Only, I think Ajokli being The Trickster led him into being salted. One problem with this though. What does Ajokli gain by killing Kellhus and the No-God walking? Nothing. If anything there stands a chance the the Outside will be sealed and he'll be left howl g at the gates. A lot to digest and definitely need to reread.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 10:49:20 am
Yea, just a matter of when, and what route it takes.

I think Kellhus's ultimate plan was to become a God and dominate the Outside, maybe killi g the hundred. If so, him being salted would be no accident. But, frankly, that's not the feeling I got reading the scene. Felt like he was going to kill everyone and destroy the Ark/carapice and put an end to the threat of The Consult. Only, I think Ajokli being The Trickster led him into being salted. One problem with this though. What does Ajokli gain by killing Kellhus and the No-God walking? Nothing. If anything there stands a chance the the Outside will be sealed and he'll be left howl g at the gates. A lot to digest and definitely need to reread.

I definitely need a reread too, but at one point, Kellhus does state that he made a pact with Hell and I presumed that meant that he would essentially rule Hell, having traded the world for that.  Perhaps I misinterpreted though.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 11:10:48 am
I definitely need a reread too, but at one point, Kellhus does state that he made a pact with Hell and I presumed that meant that he would essentially rule Hell, having traded the world for that.  Perhaps I misinterpreted though.

Sounds right. I just don't understand what Ajokli gets out of duping Kellhus. Or...are we just interpreting it wrong? Does Ajokli leave Kellhus when he sees Kel because the threat of the Chorae? But, as Kalbear said at Westeros, Chorae doesn't effect the Gods and we have instances of this, such as Cnaüir having a Chorae when inhabited by Gilgoal. I just don't see what Ajokli has to gain by deceiving Kellhus? Or, that is the plan? That's the 3rd option. Kellhus is salted and goes onto rule Hell. But, at the cost of the No-God walking also. Very confusing.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 11:31:34 am
Sounds right. I just don't understand what Ajokli gets out of duping Kellhus. Or...are we just interpreting it wrong? Does Ajokli leave Kellhus when he sees Kel because the threat of the Chorae? But, as Kalbear said at Westeros, Chorae doesn't effect the Gods and we have instances of this, such as Cnaüir having a Chorae when inhabited by Gilgoal. I just don't see what Ajokli has to gain by deceiving Kellhus? Or, that is the plan? That's the 3rd option. Kellhus is salted and goes onto rule Hell. But, at the cost of the No-God walking also. Very confusing.

Yeah, I haven't really managed to unravel just what the plan was there...certainly, we do know that Chorae have no effect on gods, so I don't see why Ajolki would feel he had to leave Kellhus.  But that part is so confusing, I am not sure he ever really did leave him.  Perhaps Ajolki, in his hatred for the other gods, wants to see them die.  Prince of Hate indeed, so he would want the No-God to walk.

Yet, was Kel in his plans?  It's hard for me to figure that both Kellhus and Kel are in league with Ajolki, although something like that sure does have a "trickster god" ring to it.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 11:38:26 am
No, I don't think Kel was in his plans at that moment. He was just able to see him, is how I interpreted it. Yet, say Kellhus went back for Kel, knew Kel was the No-God, he did call him a abomination. And, maybe this was his way of ensuring he did indeed go to hell. Knew Esme would release him. Its classic Bakker, that's for sure.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Heavenfall on July 10, 2017, 11:44:45 am
There was a scene where a child attacks a resting scylvendi, stabs him to death in a tent. The scene ends with a female-looking skinspider dealing the final blow to the man with her man-like hands, and then bids the child come with her. At first I thought this was Kelmomas, but now I'm not so sure that it wasn't the crab-hand child without a name.

I guess it being Kelmomas makes more sense because he had to go from being chained in a tent to the Dunyadin-Consult's Golden Hall where the Mutilated would want him to kill Kellhus if they failed to convince him (a wild run-on sentence appears!). But if the Mutilated had captured Kelmomas, why didn't they just box him right away to re-create the No-god? At the center of their power with a hundred tears of god and the No-god to back them up, not even Kellhus and whatever possessed him would stand a chance. Not to mention it would pretty much instantly demoralize/sap the strength of the Great Ordeal. Or am I to assume that they captured the boy but he was able to escape and play with them the same way he did back in the palace? Of that, at least, there was no indication. Maybe the Mutilated really needed the Judging Eye to birth the eventuality of the No-god.

But it being the crab-clawed child also fits since last we saw him he was in the Scylvendi camp running for his life. Arguably he wouldn't just kill someone without reason, but maybe he just needed food and was making it look like someone else settled a grudge. But why would the child go with the skinspider? Some mad dash at hope because he knew the "BAD" consult that had killed his people had captured some of them?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 11:49:22 am
No, I don't think Kel was in his plans at that moment. He was just able to see him, is how I interpreted it. Yet, say Kellhus went back for Kel, knew Kel was the No-God, he did call him a abomination. And, maybe this was his way of ensuring he did indeed go to hell. Knew Esme would release him. Its classic Bakker, that's for sure.

Yeah, I don't think little Kel had really anything to do with Ajolki, in reality.  Perhaps his fascination with Ajolki was the due to his "fascination" with Kellhus, since they seem to have been in league for quite a while.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 12:01:14 pm
There was a scene where a child attacks a resting scylvendi, stabs him to death in a tent. The scene ends with a female-looking skinspider dealing the final blow to the man with her man-like hands, and then bids the child come with her. At first I thought this was Kelmomas, but now I'm not so sure that it wasn't the crab-hand child without a name.

I guess it being Kelmomas makes more sense because he had to go from being chained in a tent to the Dunyadin-Consult's Golden Hall where the Mutilated would want him to kill Kellhus if they failed to convince him (a wild run-on sentence appears!). But if the Mutilated had captured Kelmomas, why didn't they just box him right away to re-create the No-god? At the center of their power with a hundred tears of god and the No-god to back them up, not even Kellhus and whatever possessed him would stand a chance. Not to mention it would pretty much instantly demoralize/sap the strength of the Great Ordeal. Or am I to assume that they captured the boy but he was able to escape and play with them the same way he did back in the palace? Of that, at least, there was no indication. Maybe the Mutilated really needed the Judging Eye to birth the eventuality of the No-god.

But it being the crab-clawed child also fits since last we saw him he was in the Scylvendi camp running for his life. Arguably he wouldn't just kill someone without reason, but maybe he just needed food and was making it look like someone else settled a grudge. But why would the child go with the skinspider? Some mad dash at hope because he knew the "BAD" consult that had killed his people had captured some of them?

I think that has to be Kel, because how else would he end up in the Ark?

And I don't think that the Mutilated know exactly what it is they are looking for.  So, they are just trying to keep tabs on as many Anasûrimbor as they can, because that's what they think matters (I have a hunch they are wrong though), just in case.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 12:14:30 pm
Yea, it seems as though Bakker made a big deal of the scene when Mimara goes to look at Hologram Kellhus. I think that the Judging Eye is what caused the No-God and the time thing going on to "take off", so to say. I think Mimara influenced it somehow.

By the way, what's up with Cnaüir not being able to see the No-God? Proof that he goes on to be more than a Ciphrang? A true Prince of Hell? And, I'm not buying the Kellhus head is still alive bit, so he is definitely in the Outside now too. So did he really get his side of the deal? Did he really dupe Ajokli?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 12:29:34 pm
Yea, it seems as though Bakker made a big deal of the scene when Mimara goes to look at Hologram Kellhus. I think that the Judging Eye is what caused the No-God and the time thing going on to "take off", so to say. I think Mimara influenced it somehow.

By the way, what's up with Cnaüir not being able to see the No-God? Proof that he goes on to be more than a Ciphrang? A true Prince of Hell? And, I'm not buying the Kellhus head is still alive bit, so he is definitely in the Outside now too. So did he really get his side of the deal? Did he really dupe Ajokli?

Mimara's role there is really confusing, honestly.  I think on the one hand, she collapsed the mirage of Kellhus, but I don't think she really had anything to do with the No-God actually becoming active.  At least, it didn't seem so...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 12:57:31 pm
I tend to think the Consult just turned the hologram off when Mimara started yelling about it.  Like, I don't think she specifically had anything to do with it.

Also, I don't think Ajokli deliberately left Kellhus when Kelmomas appeared, I think he lost his grip on him the way the first WLW did.  Like, the possessed inhabit a Conditioned Universe where everything is always destined to fall their way.  Kelmomas is a glitch in that universe, and it resets the God back to the outside. 
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Heavenfall on July 10, 2017, 12:58:30 pm
Achiaman does look upon Kellhus before the mirage disappears and he sees no mark at all. Before the Judging Eye sees the scarab-like sarcophagus. That would indicate that it was always the No-god and not some quantum state.

Or Kellhus was truly redeemed (in the alternative universe) for having destroyed the Consult - by power of the god that possessed him, perhaps a part of their deal. And then "collapsed" into the No-god because of the Judging Eye. But that seems increasingly far-fetched imho.

What it seems like is the No-god used the illusion to bring everyone closer before he killed them. Only moments later he shows tactical acumen when using the tears of god against the few remaining schoolmen. The only bad fit about this that I can think of is that Achiaman's and Mimara's journey literally meant nothing in the grander scheme of things.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 01:02:18 pm
There are a few other bits of weirdness about Kellhus's mirage in that last scene.  It 'floats' down like a soap bubble, which I don't think we've ever seen him do.  I don't have the exact verbiage but I think it seems to be shined on by some 'other light', and I think there is a brief snow/glitch moment.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 10, 2017, 01:36:10 pm
Go ahead and post within the TUC forum without the spoiler tags :) . Just keep [TUC Spoilers] in the topic names for now.

Thanks.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 01:39:16 pm
There are a few other bits of weirdness about Kellhus's mirage in that last scene.  It 'floats' down like a soap bubble, which I don't think we've ever seen him do.  I don't have the exact verbiage but I think it seems to be shined on by some 'other light', and I think there is a brief snow/glitch moment.

I think that is has to "float" because that's the nature of the illusion.

I guess they figured they'd keep the Ordeal occupied with the illusion until the No-God was fully active, as to just scoop them all up in the Whirlwind?

EDIT: actually, the Sarcophagas is the source of the illusion, or at least, what it is cast over:

Quote
A sarcophagus, iridescent black, hovering where her stepfather stands robed in shining white ...
His leonine image smiling ...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 10, 2017, 04:07:27 pm
One problem with this though. What does Ajokli gain by killing Kellhus and the No-God walking? Nothing. If anything there stands a chance the the Outside will be sealed and he'll be left howl g at the gates. A lot to digest and definitely need to reread.
I went back and found this quote:

I war not with Men, it says, but with the God.

Yet no one but Men die," the Aspect-Emperor replies.

The fields must burn to drive Him forth from the Ground.

"But I tend the fields."

The dark figure stands beneath the tree, beings walking toward him.  I seems the clinging stars should hook and carry him in the void, but he is like the truth of iron-impervious and immovable.

It stands before him, regards him-as it has so many times-with his face and his eyes.  No halo gilds his leonine mane.

Then who better to burn them?
So the resurrection of the No-God would actually fall into line with some strategy of fighting the Earwan Over-God.  This plan does not at all sound like the "Hell of Earth" plan that Kellhus spoke of with the Mutilated.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 04:12:42 pm
Important to remember Ajokli is blind to the No-God.  His plan is to harrow the world with the Dunyain, leaving the rest of the Gods on the outside ("the one god hungry enough to enter the granary", the bit where the 5th Multilated says that he is hiding from the other Gods inside of the world). 
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 04:53:08 pm
So, what do people think on the following:

Did Kellhus fail?

Did Ajolki fail?

Did the Consult (DûnSult) succeed?

I think the answer to all those is yes.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 05:54:07 pm
Yes to first 2, the Consult haven't quite 'Succeeded', yet, since the No-God hasn't killed enough people, but they are on their way.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 05:58:17 pm
Yes to first 2, the Consult haven't quite 'Succeeded', yet, since the No-God hasn't killed enough people, but they are on their way.

Right, of course, but "succeeded" in seemingly besting Kellhus (and Ajolki).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 06:31:06 pm
Yeah, not the way that they intended (plan was for Kellhus to either die to Aurang/The Spearman outside or be converted by the Inverse Fire), but they ultimately got what they wanted (No-God operational, no one left to interfere with their pursuit of the Absolute).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 10, 2017, 06:47:55 pm
Hi everyone, first post here but I just had to join the forum to discuss TUC   ;D
Has anyone noticed the Decapitants entry from the Glossary?

According to Akamis, Pim told of a trip across Gedea that took the Aspect-Emperor and his travel court across the legendary Plains of Mengedda. In the deep of the night, near the end of his watch, Pim found Anasûrimbor Kellhus alone and raving on the haunted plain, alternately removing his head and replacing it with one of the Decapitants. (italics in the original)

I think it's fair to assume that for all of TSA we saw a Kellhus/Ajokli so now we need to go back and reread the whole series.
I also expected some kind of revelation about Esmenet explaining why she is the only one capable of bearing living sons to Kellhus (whose seed seems to be stronger than other Dunyain like Moenghus), either because of genetic reasons (could she be Moenghus' daughter?) or because she's possesses by some God/dess or a Kahiht.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Heavenfall on July 10, 2017, 07:01:11 pm
Yeah, not the way that they intended (plan was for Kellhus to either die to Aurang/The Spearman outside or be converted by the Inverse Fire), but they ultimately got what they wanted (No-God operational, no one left to interfere with their pursuit of the Absolute).

It seems they had a whole line of attempts to stop/capture/convert him. In the broader sense every attempt to stop the Ordeal was also an attempt to stop him. They tried to kill him several times over, from chasing over rooftops to nuking him. But more specifically, there's Aurang, The Spearman, Aurax+Inverse Fire, the Mutilated selling their scheme, the hundred skinspies with their Chorae and finally the succeeding agent Kelmomas to counter when Kellhus went into GODMODE. In the end, he did walk upon conditioned ground and it was not his own. Really, there could be any number of further traps ahead that we never even got to see - the Mutilated casting magic, for one. Yes, Kellhus studied the Gnosis for 20 years and they didn't, but there's 5 of them. Or how about calling up a couple of dragons?

I think they wanted Kellhus in the No-god, otherwise they could have just boxed Kelmomas the moment they captured him. I think having Kelmomas in the No-god will turn out to be a mistake in the next series, doubly so if Esmenet (his raison d'être) is still alive. I do not feel that his "two souls" ever got a reasonable use. That is, if we assume that the reason the gods could not see him was because he would become the No-god, rather than not seeing him because of his two souls. I personally prefer the no-god explanation since there must be any number of people with multiple personalities running around.

Edit: Also, thinking about it... Kellhus quite literally gave up two of his children (one fake, one real) to the non-men as part of the bargain. That could have been the Dunyadin-consult, and they could easily just have put her in the box instead. What if rather than the madhouse Insterberinth was, they had put 1-2 mutilated there. No, they absolutely wanted to try to get Kellhus in the box for some reason, even if any of his kids would do. And that reason was important enough that they were willing to risk everything.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 10, 2017, 07:23:50 pm
@False Man:

Yeah, that's one of a few really interesting things in the Glossary.  It also describes the First and Second Apocalypses using very programmer/operating terminology.

@Heavenfall:

Oh, they definitely wanted Kellhus in the Object.  It's just...I think it would have just killed him.  He was not invisible to the Outside.  He wasn't ever going to be the No-God.  That was Kelmomas all along.  The Mutilated got lucky, their plan was awry from the start.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 10, 2017, 07:29:31 pm
Welcome to the forum Heavenfall and False Man.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 10, 2017, 07:42:11 pm
@False Man:

Yeah, that's one of a few really interesting things in the Glossary.  It also describes the First and Second Apocalypses using very programmer/operating terminology.

I think that is to resonate with the revelation that the Ark, and so the No-God, are something of computer systems.

@Heavenfall:

Oh, they definitely wanted Kellhus in the Object.  It's just...I think it would have just killed him.  He was not invisible to the Outside.  He wasn't ever going to be the No-God.  That was Kelmomas all along.  The Mutilated got lucky, their plan was awry from the start.

Or their plan was perfect, but in a way they could never have realized.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 10, 2017, 08:36:02 pm
I personally prefer the no-god explanation since there must be any number of people with multiple personalities running around.

Interesting thing - there was, I think, a mention of his namesake, Anasurimbor Celmomas, having had a stillborn twin, and according to a bard, "his shadow could be seen in his eyes" or something like that.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 10, 2017, 08:45:33 pm
I don't think you have to be invisible to the Gods to activate the No-God.
The first time it happened because they put Nau-Cayuti in It (or so it seems) so maybe you just have to be very powerful or special (Nau-Cayuti infiltrated the Ark, killed a Dragon, he was a certified badass).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Heavenfall on July 10, 2017, 08:53:30 pm
I don't think you have to be invisible to the Gods to activate the No-God.
The first time it happened because they put Nau-Cayuti in It (or so it seems) so maybe you just have to be very powerful or special (Nau-Cayuti infiltrated the Ark, killed a Dragon, he was a certified badass).

I think people are saying it's the other way around. He would eventually become the No-god and therefore through some kind of time paradox he was *always* invisible to the gods, backwards in time as well. Basically it was his destiny.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 10, 2017, 09:05:46 pm
Was Nau-Cayuti invisible to the Gods? Celmomas mentions seeing him, at his death, I think riding with Ajokli and the Gods?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 10, 2017, 10:37:01 pm
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 10, 2017, 11:59:02 pm
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Head-in-a-Book on July 11, 2017, 12:02:32 am
So first up my overall impression on reading the ending, then some thoughts and questions on What .The. F*@K. Just. Happened?

I’ve been reading these books for the best part of a decade now and I’ve got to say I totally loved how the Aspect-Emperor sequence ended. Loved, loved, loved it! Brutal. Dark. Bleak. Brilliant.

How many decades long series have you invested yourself in, for the final book to build to a momentous finale where it appears the bad guys will win only for the Farm-boy-Come-Warrior-Sorcerer to pull off a masterstroke in the final pages to turn the tide and save the world. I know I’ve read a few and they never really satisfy.

Enter Scott “Not on my watch” Bakker! It was deeply satisfying to read a series where the bad guys actual won and it wasn’t through some secret weapon or power suddenly revealed in the final pages. It was through a long and deliberate strategy executed in the background – but hinted subtly throughout. Totally brilliant and I can’t think of another series I’ve read that has come close to pulling something like this off (maybe Erikkson’s The Crippled God, but that was more of a “the bad guys is really just a bit misunderstood, let’s help him on his way” sort of ending).

The Next Sequence.

So we’ve known for a while from RSB this sequence can’t be named until the Aspect-Emperor sequence was finished as it forms a massive spoiler. Given that and early release reviews of TUC saying it ended in a massive cliff-hanger I had started to suspect the No-God would be resurrected and my guess is that final sequence itself is simply going to be titled “The No-God”. It has a certain symmetry to it as well: “Prince of Nothing”, “Aspect Emperor”, “The No-God” – Prince/Emperor/(No)God.

As I read the TUC early on I started to think the ending would involve Kellhus saving the world from the Consult only to voluntarily step into the Carapace on the last line of the book to become the No-God. Close, but no cigar!

Achamian’s Dreams.

Apart from leading him to Ishuäl, Achamian’s “non-standard” Mandati dreams had hinted, if not spelled out by the end of TGO, just who was inside the No-God’s Carapace – Nau-Cayûti Anasûrimbor, plucked from what the rest of the world though was his coffin by the Consult, only to be entombed within the Carapace to awaken the No-God. Whilst this was not explicitly shown in the dreams I felt it was where they were going and what they were showing Achamian – an Anasûrimbor had awoken the No-God. The timeline in the TTFT’s encyclopaedia backed this up – roughly a few years after Nau-Cayûti’s “death”, the No-God was resurrected. So, given that Kellhus’ ancestor (direct ancestor? Or does Kellhus’ line descend from a sibling?) awoke the No-God, it seemed likely he would be required to resurrect it.

We never did learn explicitly where Achamian’s new dreams came from, but I do wonder, could it have been the Consult themselves? Specifically, the Mutilated. We know they not only have mastered the Tekne but they can also use sorcery. Like Mohengius before them who sent dreams to his brethren to start the whole thing rolling back in TDTCB, could it be the Mutilated themselves sending the dreams to Achamian? As to why and to what end, those are really good questions yet to be resolved I think!

Kellhus.

To me the overarching theme for me in reading the Aspect Emperor sequence was: Just What The Hell (pun not intended at the time!) is Kellhus up to? Unlike the Prince of Nothing sequence, where we had numerous chapters written from Kellhus’ POV, we had virtually no insights into his thought process in the Aspect Emperor. Clearly this was a deliberate literally decision as RSB wanted us thinking about what Kellhus’ endgame was. Is he in league with the Consult as Mohengius foretold would be the shortest path, or had he found some other way to avoid damnation? Achamian and Mimara’s storyline was essentially to discover this answer and they fall agonisingly short of finding the answer (Mimara’s Judging Eye refusing to open on the rare occasions she glimpses Kellhus in TUC). The rare Kellhus POV we got was in TGO – his Head on a Stick chapter and a reread makes a lot more sense now. He strikes a bargain with Hell itself to save himself (at the cost of the world) from damnation. He will not join the Consult or become the No-God but is his alternative any better for mankind? Arguably not.

The Consult.

Which brings me to the Consult themselves. I was initially disappointed at discovering the Consult had been subverted by the Mutilated but the more I think about it, the more obvious and fitting it seems. As Kellhus himself articulates – it’s a natural extrapolation of events should the Consult find and capture the Dûnyain and indeed is fortold by Mohengius himself as one logical outcome of the TTFT.

Kellhus mentions he suspected this outcome but Daglish confirmed it. I do wonder what about Daglish and the a-bomb shouted “Dûnyain” to him? Perhaps it’s the fact that the original Consult of Men-Nonmen-Inchori lacked the capability to come up with such a direct attack? Would it not have been simpler years ago to smuggle an atomic bomb into Shimeh and press “go”? Could it be that the use of such a weapon is not something the original Consult had considered but to the Dûnyain it’s simply “the shortest path”?

Given the Mutilated have been guiding the Consult for most (all?) of the Aspect Emperor’s timeline, further questions abound as to what the Shortest Path bid them to do differently.

The Resumption.

The book ends with Kelmomas becoming the No-God instead of Kellhus. Did. Not. See. That. Coming! Well, I had a vague suspicion start to from mid-way through the finale – “hey where is Kelmomas, didn’t he free himself? What is he up to?” and then in that final sequence, so caught up in reading the narrative at break-neck pace, I nearly missed it … “a little boy threading the spaces between” .. suddenly, with that sentence you knew the ending you thought was unfolding just got totally flipped.

In reflecting on this ending I wonder how much of it was “conditioned ground” of the Mutilated. How much of this had the Consult planned? Those Kelmomas chapters right back to chapter 1 of The Judging Eye are going to require some very careful re-reading! Could it be the inner voice of Kelmomas is not his twin Samarmas (real or mad imaginations) but the Consult all along? How much of his storyline will reveal the Consult’s machinations all along?

EDIT: have since re-read those Kelmomas POV chapters. That inner voice is DEFINITELY the Mutilated. Re-read the chapter between Kelmomas and Inrilatas, the inner voice provides extremely unusual insights into how Inrilatas is conditioning Kelmomas… Dûnyain like insights one would say… hmmm…

One point of confusion with the Consult’s No-God strategy is how it fits with the insights we gained during their POV chapters in The Prince of Nothing sequence… they were sure they were mere years away from the resumption. Yet, the appearance of Kellhus amongst the Holy War took them by surprise. How then were they intending to awaken the No-God? Given a millennia of feeding random souls to it the first time around had failed? Confused.

The No-God.

Some interesting theories in here about just what happened when Kellhus floats down to the Ordealmen in apparent victory and then transforms into the No-God upon Minama’s Judging Eye gazing upon it. I could go with either theory – time certainly is not presented in a linear manner in those chapters. The stillbirth of the second twin would indicate the “awakening” of the No-God yet no sense of “boding” is felt by the ordeal, that’s the one inconsistency that others point out, I can’t reconcile.

The scene where the No-God talks to Minama is totally bad ass! What do you see…. WHAT AM I? Made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Thinking further about this scene. Since midway through the WLW I had interpreted the No-God’s booming “WHAT DO YOU SEE. WHAT AM I” as proof that Nau-Cayûti is trapped within. However, what if this scene in the TUC is not an echo of this, but perhaps the origin? There are many theories that the No-God exists outside of time and what if all those encounters with the No-God in the first apocalypse – WHAT AM I – is a backward echo in time of this particular scene? Heavy stuff.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 11, 2017, 12:05:04 am
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 11, 2017, 12:12:38 am
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.
Everything that Kelmomas ever said about Ajokli (particularly chapter six of TGO). Ajokli's nature is to raise people up, and then betray (harvest) them at the point of their maximal achievement, thus he turns their victories into defeats (and feasts upon them). Why? Because he is Immortal Malice. The Great Deceiver. The Trickster. The Prince of Hate. And Kellhus is the tastiest, biggest fruit of all that has been ripening and maturing for decades. It's quite the harvest for the god, and he is only acting out his nature.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Ain't Germain on July 11, 2017, 12:26:21 am
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.

Wishful thinking. ;)

Real talk: I still have to mull over a lot of stuff here and do my own full unpacking of my thoughts, but regarding this specific issue, my inclination (and it's just an inclination) now is that Kellhus is still the one pulling the strings. My interpretation of Kellhus as a character is that of a trickster-hero, and that he's also a merging of traditional Western and Eastern mythological hero-cycle archetypes.

I also still have a long-held suspicion that "Samarmas" (or the voice we heard as Samarmas) is actually Kellhus -- meaning he actually is, in fact, the No-God. But at this point I really have no damn clue.

So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.
Everything that Kelmomas ever said about Ajokli (particularly chapter six of TGO). Ajokli's nature is to raise people up, and then betray (harvest) them at the point of their maximal achievement, thus he turns their victories into defeats (and feasts upon them). Why? Because he is Immortal Malice. The Great Deceiver. The Trickster. The Prince of Hate. And Kellhus is the tastiest, biggest fruit of all that has been ripening and maturing for decades. It's quite the harvest for the god, and he is only acting out his nature.

But do you discount the notion that Kellhus actually did make a pact with the Pit, as he said? Making a deal with the Devil for unfathomable -- but worldly -- power.

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 11, 2017, 12:40:57 am
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.

Wishful thinking. ;)

Real talk: I still have to mull over a lot of stuff here and do my own full unpacking of my thoughts, but regarding this specific issue, my inclination (and it's just an inclination) now is that Kellhus is still the one pulling the strings. My interpretation of Kellhus as a character is that of a trickster-hero, and that he's also a merging of traditional Western and Eastern mythological hero-cycle archetypes.

I also still have a long-held suspicion that "Samarmas" (or the voice we heard as Samarmas) is actually Kellhus -- meaning he actually is, in fact, the No-God. But at this point I really have no damn clue.

So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.


What brought you to that conclusion? I felt when Kel appears that Ajokli left Kellhus and Kellhus got salted. Then his soul would go onto the Outside, where I believe he'd be as powerful as any or most entities.
Everything that Kelmomas ever said about Ajokli (particularly chapter six of TGO). Ajokli's nature is to raise people up, and then betray (harvest) them at the point of their maximal achievement, thus he turns their victories into defeats (and feasts upon them). Why? Because he is Immortal Malice. The Great Deceiver. The Trickster. The Prince of Hate. And Kellhus is the tastiest, biggest fruit of all that has been ripening and maturing for decades. It's quite the harvest for the god, and he is only acting out his nature.

But do you discount the notion that Kellhus actually did make a pact with the Pit, as he said? Making a deal with the Devil for unfathomable -- but worldly -- power.


I think it's wishful thinking to want Kellhus to still be in control. For the series to be a "bad guys win!" inversion Bakker always wanted to write, the uber-mensch farmboy has to fail. Kellhus is the uber mensch farmboy. he fails.

Because this is such a PROFOUND violation of narrative norms, the entire internet is trying to reassert Kellhus to his rightful place of mastery and victory that all uber-mensch farmboys are always already entitled to.  Readership is CONDITIONED to expect that violations of norms are actually a reassertion of those norms, from a certain point of view. I'm saying Kellhus has failed, and he is supper in the outside. All his worldly power, and mastery, and planning were all for naught, they just amplified the degree of his failure.

What is this entire narrative without Kellhus in control?

As for the pact with the pit. Why would such a bargain ever be enforced.

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: locke on July 11, 2017, 12:51:41 am
So, anyway we slice it, right now Kellhus is a God/Ciphrang on the Outside, right? His soul had to go somewhere and he died before the resurrection of the No-God. So, maybe all is not lost for Kellhus.
No. It's a reasonable guess , but my take was that ajokli harvested kellhus.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Simas Polchias on July 11, 2017, 01:10:08 am
(click to show/hide)
But nooo, there was a cherry on that cake!
(click to show/hide)
Awesome bit.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 11, 2017, 02:10:08 am
The problem with the Ajokli harvesting Kellhus narrative is that Kellhus sees his future when he looks into the inverse fire.  He responds to Merk that where the Nonman is fodder, Kellhus sees himself descending as hunger.  So at the very least, Kellhus is a Ciphrang.  Cnaiur is described by the Judging Eye as a Prince of Hell so Kellhus would be something even greater.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 11, 2017, 03:25:20 am
The problem with the Ajokli harvesting Kellhus narrative is that Kellhus sees his future when he looks into the inverse fire.  He responds to Merk that where the Nonman is fodder, Kellhus sees himself descending as hunger.  So at the very least, Kellhus is a Ciphrang.  Cnaiur is described by the Judging Eye as a Prince of Hell so Kellhus would be something even greater.

I was thinking the same thing. I just have a problem wondering how Kellhus planned on dying or what have you if Kel doesn't pop up. What I mean, he defeats the Consult, carapice destroyed, then what? Because, I'm pretty sure Kel wasn't part of the plan.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 11, 2017, 05:11:40 am
Great analysis guys, and some really nice first posts. (welcome new guys!)

But, like, is no-one going to mention Cnaiur ascending as Ajokli and walking into the whirlwind? That was awesome!

Here's the way I see that scene fitting in;

Khellus has cut a deal with Ajokli. From what he says, he isn't damned (because Ajokli is going to exalt him after his death and the Inverse Flame should reveal if this is true), in return Ajokli will deal with the consult via Topos shenanigans. Ajokli substitues in via switching heads with the other decpitant - Kellhus does that while everyone was looking at the Inverse Flame (shades of 'heart in the butt' here for those that remember that cracked pot).

Ajokli promptly tries to betray Kellhus by cutting a deal with the mutilated instead, enter Kelmomas as contingency while they keep Ajokli gloating and twirling his moustachios and POOF Khellus is salt and Ajokli gets dispelled.

Side note: This is weird. We have been told by Bakker salting severity depends with the depth of the Mark and in TTT we see a ciphrang hit by a chorae and it explodes into salt. Implication seems to be that Khellus is toast. However...

Then we cut to Cnaiur who's just outmaneuvered the Consult by being a treacherous psycho. He sees Kellhus has screwed up everything and goes super-ciphrang! We've been primed by the judging eye to know his soul will become a ciphrang in the outside ... but then he manifests in the material plane just as Mimara saw him with the JE. But then we see he bears the notorious FOUR HORNS. The Prince of Hate, Ajokli, born at the end of time, after the No-god has resumed? Fucking blow out if that is accurate, because it reveals so much about the Hundred. But that is a debatable interpretation, I guess.

The main alternative I can think of is that Ajokli is seizing Cnaiur, but either way he seems unaware of where Kellhus is. He should be in Hell because he died before the No-god resumes?

Anyway, cool scene. What do others think?

Bonus crackpot: The third series is Malowebi and Kellhus stuck bodyless in the last decapitant, and their comical adventures trying to get Malowebi's body back.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 11, 2017, 09:49:09 am


Quote
I think it's wishful thinking to want Kellhus to still be in control. For the series to be a "bad guys win!" inversion Bakker always wanted to write, the uber-mensch farmboy has to fail. Kellhus is the uber mensch farmboy. he fails.

Because this is such a PROFOUND violation of narrative norms, the entire internet is trying to reassert Kellhus to his rightful place of mastery and victory that all uber-mensch farmboys are always already entitled to.  Readership is CONDITIONED to expect that violations of norms are actually a reassertion of those norms, from a certain point of view. I'm saying Kellhus has failed, and he is supper in the outside. All his worldly power, and mastery, and planning were all for naught, they just amplified the degree of his failure.

What is this entire narrative without Kellhus in control?

As for the pact with the pit. Why would such a bargain ever be enforced.


Solid points on the problems of expectations. To me, to show Kellhus is fallible is the whole point. Plus, that faith in him was completely misplaced. I would rather not have an outside-Kellhus-God-Ciphrang plot development, it is for me far less interesting than dealing with the consequences of trusting in false prophets.

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 11, 2017, 10:12:29 am
I was thinking the same thing. I just have a problem wondering how Kellhus planned on dying or what have you if Kel doesn't pop up. What I mean, he defeats the Consult, carapice destroyed, then what? Because, I'm pretty sure Kel wasn't part of the plan.
My current theory is that Outside Kellhus conditioned the ground to get mortal Kellhus salted to complete the paradox.  Kellhus is still seen speaking with a voice he doesnt know so that's at lease one agency unaccounted since he'd know Ajokli.  So Kellhus was tricked by his future self because he obviously would have no reason to believe a voice telling him to salt himself.  I just believe that if we assume Kellhus is a Ciphrang, which seems a safe bet, that it's axiomatic for him to start doing what he does in the Outside since... that's what he does and he can't *NOT* do it.  Now he can do it in a place where time doesn't exist and he'd actually be a Ciphrang or even God since the first page of the first book.

Kelmomas has really been the wildcard the entire series, alternatively saving and salting Kellhus.  So who's Sammi supposed to be?  If we follow the obvious narrative it can't be Ajokli since the gods are blind to him.  The only one we know that is stated to speak with the No-God is Kellhus.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 11, 2017, 01:25:15 pm
since he'd know Ajokli. 
Why? If he doesn't know who the voice is, why isn't it more likely that its Ajokli?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 11, 2017, 01:29:55 pm
Why can't it just be Sammi?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 11, 2017, 01:40:50 pm
Was Nau-Cayuti invisible to the Gods? Celmomas mentions seeing him, at his death, I think riding with Ajokli and the Gods?
He always says the god he sees is Gilgaol and that one of his sons will return to save the world... So his vision and explanation is suspect at best.

I think it's wishful thinking to want Kellhus to still be in control. For the series to be a "bad guys win!" inversion Bakker always wanted to write, the uber-mensch farmboy has to fail. Kellhus is the uber mensch farmboy. he fails.

Because this is such a PROFOUND violation of narrative norms, the entire internet is trying to reassert Kellhus to his rightful place of mastery and victory that all uber-mensch farmboys are always already entitled to.  Readership is CONDITIONED to expect that violations of norms are actually a reassertion of those norms, from a certain point of view. I'm saying Kellhus has failed, and he is supper in the outside. All his worldly power, and mastery, and planning were all for naught, they just amplified the degree of his failure.
All of this :)
Its been a long time since we've agreed on major interpretations of the text.

As for the pact with the pit. Why would such a bargain ever be enforced.
That's, as you mention later, the point, right? Kellhus thinks he's in control, but he is really nothing. He has no cards to hold in the outside. He made a deal with the Trickster God. Why would Ajokli uphold any bargain? Especially after he won?

Also, no word yet as to what the IF is. Isn't it curious that something which purportedly shows the Truth always makes people act in such a way to deliver more souls to the Outside? Hmm, endless millennia of violence for the Inchoroi, polarizing nonmen in a way that created and perpetuates eternal war on Earwa, Kellhus seeing himself as the winner causing him to be fail right at the moment where he could have ended all war in Earwa. Certainly seems tricky... Like a magic mirror that shows you only what It wants, rather than what You want. What kind of God would deliver such a device?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Heavenfall on July 11, 2017, 03:24:56 pm

My current theory is that Outside Kellhus conditioned the ground to get mortal Kellhus salted to complete the paradox.  Kellhus is still seen speaking with a voice he doesnt know so that's at lease one agency unaccounted since he'd know Ajokli.  So Kellhus was tricked by his future self because he obviously would have no reason to believe a voice telling him to salt himself.  I just believe that if we assume Kellhus is a Ciphrang, which seems a safe bet, that it's axiomatic for him to start doing what he does in the Outside since... that's what he does and he can't *NOT* do it.  Now he can do it in a place where time doesn't exist and he'd actually be a Ciphrang or even God since the first page of the first book.

I'm loving this idea. At the end of TUC he says he is the Absolute. As far as I can tell, being the Absolute means you have no darkness that comes before to rule you. The only way that seems achievable is to be a god capable of acting throughout time. Kellhus wanted to attain the Absolute, and did so (in his mind), and that essentially means he became his own darkness that comes before. It's a pretty huge mindfuck to have Kellhus' "nemesis/benefactor" throughout the series be himself after he has reached the Absolute. I'm not sure what it means for the next series though, is Outside-Kellhus going to give a damn about the world being shut? Hasn't he already reached his final goal?

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 11, 2017, 03:38:38 pm

My current theory is that Outside Kellhus conditioned the ground to get mortal Kellhus salted to complete the paradox.  Kellhus is still seen speaking with a voice he doesnt know so that's at lease one agency unaccounted since he'd know Ajokli.  So Kellhus was tricked by his future self because he obviously would have no reason to believe a voice telling him to salt himself.  I just believe that if we assume Kellhus is a Ciphrang, which seems a safe bet, that it's axiomatic for him to start doing what he does in the Outside since... that's what he does and he can't *NOT* do it.  Now he can do it in a place where time doesn't exist and he'd actually be a Ciphrang or even God since the first page of the first book.

I'm loving this idea. At the end of TUC he says he is the Absolute. As far as I can tell, being the Absolute means you have no darkness that comes before to rule you. The only way that seems achievable is to be a god capable of acting throughout time. Kellhus wanted to attain the Absolute, and did so (in his mind), and that essentially means he became his own darkness that comes before. It's a pretty huge mindfuck to have Kellhus' "nemesis/benefactor" throughout the series be himself after he has reached the Absolute. I'm not sure what it means for the next series though, is Outside-Kellhus going to give a damn about the world being shut? Hasn't he already reached his final goal?

I feel like that is Ajokli talking there though.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 11, 2017, 03:50:15 pm
Right, I feel that is Ajokli too. Here's where I think Kellhus made it to the Outside and doesn't get munched by Ajokli. When Kel shows up Ajokli leaves, Kellhus gets salted and onto the Outside. So, Ajokli feels duped, and well could be. Maybe, just maybe Kel was part of Kellhus's plan because he knew the nature of Ajokli and wouldn't trust the pact to be upheld. Shitty thing here is, the No-God walked. The Outside is not shut yet though, and thats very important. Kellhus can still take dominion on the Outside and also aid humans in destroying the No-God. Since what time is on the Outside, Kellhus has the ability to look for the Heron-Spear and deliver to Akka/Crabicus/Baby Akka. In my mind we're not done with Kellhus, I in no way felt that that Ajokli got his soul. And, I like the idea someone put forth that he came back to inhabit Cnaüir because he can't find Kellhus on the Outside, brilliant there.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 11, 2017, 03:52:11 pm

My current theory is that Outside Kellhus conditioned the ground to get mortal Kellhus salted to complete the paradox.  Kellhus is still seen speaking with a voice he doesnt know so that's at lease one agency unaccounted since he'd know Ajokli.  So Kellhus was tricked by his future self because he obviously would have no reason to believe a voice telling him to salt himself.  I just believe that if we assume Kellhus is a Ciphrang, which seems a safe bet, that it's axiomatic for him to start doing what he does in the Outside since... that's what he does and he can't *NOT* do it.  Now he can do it in a place where time doesn't exist and he'd actually be a Ciphrang or even God since the first page of the first book.

I'm loving this idea. At the end of TUC he says he is the Absolute. As far as I can tell, being the Absolute means you have no darkness that comes before to rule you. The only way that seems achievable is to be a god capable of acting throughout time. Kellhus wanted to attain the Absolute, and did so (in his mind), and that essentially means he became his own darkness that comes before. It's a pretty huge mindfuck to have Kellhus' "nemesis/benefactor" throughout the series be himself after he has reached the Absolute. I'm not sure what it means for the next series though, is Outside-Kellhus going to give a damn about the world being shut? Hasn't he already reached his final goal?

I feel like that is Ajokli talking there though.

Even if all that was true, it doesn't matter. Why? Yatwer thinks she's absolute with her White-Luck, and how did that turn out? Ajokli thinks he's absolute with his plans, and how did that turn out? What makes Kellhus immune to this pitfall? Every major player so far that has thought themselves absolutely assured of victory, all the way back, has been wrong. Moenghus, Xerius, Conphas, Cnaiur, Aurang/Aurax, Cujara Cinmoi, Nil Giccas, The Consult, Titirga, Inrilatas, Maithanet, Proyas, Achamian, Esmenet, Zsoranga...

Why is Kellhus special? What makes him the one who deserves your belief? After all, he spent literally all of TGO trying to convince you (reader/proyas) that he was just a thing. Yet you still can't shake that feeling that he must be good and right  because... well because that's how stories work, damnit!

Pick anyone who was sure they were on the winning side that hasn't lost everything (or nearly) for their certainty. At the very best you could say that so far the New Dunyain Consult represent the winners in this game of 'certainty makes righteous and the most righteous win'. They survived the calamity at Ishual, they beat the Consult, usurped Aurang/Aurax, defeated Kellhus and Ajokli.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 11, 2017, 04:08:11 pm
Even if all that was true, it doesn't matter. Why? Yatwer thinks she's absolute with her White-Luck, and how did that turn out? Ajokli thinks he's absolute with his plans, and how did that turn out? What makes Kellhus immune to this pitfall? Every major player so far that has thought themselves absolutely assured of victory, all the way back, has been wrong. Moenghus, Xerius, Conphas, Cnaiur, Aurang/Aurax, Cujara Cinmoi, Nil Giccas, The Consult, Titirga, Inrilatas, Maithanet, Proyas, Achamian, Esmenet, Zsoranga...

Why is Kellhus special? What makes him the one who deserves your belief? After all, he spent literally all of TGO trying to convince you (reader/proyas) that he was just a thing. Yet you still can't shake that feeling that he must be good and right  because... well because that's how stories work, damnit!

Pick anyone who was sure they were on the winning side that hasn't lost everything (or nearly) for their certainty. At the very best you could say that so far the New Dunyain Consult represent the winners in this game of 'certainty makes righteous and the most righteous win'. They survived the calamity at Ishual, they beat the Consult, usurped Aurang/Aurax, defeated Kellhus and Ajokli.

I didn't mean it as Kellhus doesn't lose though.  I think he does.  That doesn't mean it's implausible that he had a secondary plan for the eventuality that Ajokli might collect on his end of the bargain.  Then again, it doesn't mean he actually did.

I am fine with Kellhus losing and having no recourse.  I am also fine with Kellhus having lost, but having a "back-up" plan, or his "treaty with Hell" somehow keeping him involved.

I have no idea which is more probable though.  It just depends on where Bakker wants to take the story.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Redeagl on July 11, 2017, 04:55:27 pm

My current theory is that Outside Kellhus conditioned the ground to get mortal Kellhus salted to complete the paradox.  Kellhus is still seen speaking with a voice he doesnt know so that's at lease one agency unaccounted since he'd know Ajokli.  So Kellhus was tricked by his future self because he obviously would have no reason to believe a voice telling him to salt himself.  I just believe that if we assume Kellhus is a Ciphrang, which seems a safe bet, that it's axiomatic for him to start doing what he does in the Outside since... that's what he does and he can't *NOT* do it.  Now he can do it in a place where time doesn't exist and he'd actually be a Ciphrang or even God since the first page of the first book.

I'm loving this idea. At the end of TUC he says he is the Absolute. As far as I can tell, being the Absolute means you have no darkness that comes before to rule you. The only way that seems achievable is to be a god capable of acting throughout time. Kellhus wanted to attain the Absolute, and did so (in his mind), and that essentially means he became his own darkness that comes before. It's a pretty huge mindfuck to have Kellhus' "nemesis/benefactor" throughout the series be himself after he has reached the Absolute. I'm not sure what it means for the next series though, is Outside-Kellhus going to give a damn about the world being shut? Hasn't he already reached his final goal?

I feel like that is Ajokli talking there though.

Even if all that was true, it doesn't matter. Why? Yatwer thinks she's absolute with her White-Luck, and how did that turn out? Ajokli thinks he's absolute with his plans, and how did that turn out? What makes Kellhus immune to this pitfall? Every major player so far that has thought themselves absolutely assured of victory, all the way back, has been wrong. Moenghus, Xerius, Conphas, Cnaiur, Aurang/Aurax, Cujara Cinmoi, Nil Giccas, The Consult, Titirga, Inrilatas, Maithanet, Proyas, Achamian, Esmenet, Zsoranga...

Why is Kellhus special? What makes him the one who deserves your belief? After all, he spent literally all of TGO trying to convince you (reader/proyas) that he was just a thing. Yet you still can't shake that feeling that he must be good and right  because... well because that's how stories work, damnit!

Pick anyone who was sure they were on the winning side that hasn't lost everything (or nearly) for their certainty. At the very best you could say that so far the New Dunyain Consult represent the winners in this game of 'certainty makes righteous and the most righteous win'. They survived the calamity at Ishual, they beat the Consult, usurped Aurang/Aurax, defeated Kellhus and Ajokli.
This. Storytelling wise, it makes Kellhus the biggest literary red herring ever.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 11, 2017, 05:01:17 pm
How bout the idea that Ajoklie and Kellhus are one and the same?

Like, the Hundred live across time, right?  And sufficiently mean souls can become Ciphrang (see Cnaiur).  So maybe Kellhus is the earthly form of Ajokli?  Like, the God-form can reach across history, has always been present, etc, but Anasurimbor Kellhus was the living soul that became him.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 11, 2017, 05:01:33 pm
This. Storytelling wise, it makes Kellhus the biggest literary red herring ever.
And to me that seems something like a point Bakker might try to make, insofar as my poor understanding takes me of what he's 'trying to accomplish'
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 11, 2017, 05:03:39 pm
How bout the idea that Ajoklie and Kellhus are one and the same?

Like, the Hundred live across time, right?  And sufficiently mean souls can become Ciphrang (see Cnaiur).  So maybe Kellhus is the earthly form of Ajokli?  Like, the God-form can reach across history, has always been present, etc, but Anasurimbor Kellhus was the living soul that became him.

I can dig it. The question of "when" is up in the air for sure. At what point did Kellhus become Ajokli's pawn.
Looking at the WLW POVs, it was only after his full possession that he realized his whole life he was the White Luck.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 11, 2017, 05:09:53 pm
If we buy the glossary's tale of him swapping heads with the one on his hip, then the earthly 'when' of it seems to have been during the 4 weeks he studied under Iyokus.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Simas Polchias on July 11, 2017, 05:26:11 pm
during the 4 weeks he studied under Iyokus
Aw. A polite way of saying "frightening the shit out of the ancient seasoned necromancer by transmuting teacher's master-class into pupil's streak of scientific breakthroughs".
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Anwurat on July 12, 2017, 12:34:30 am
Weird that during the "Moenghus is behind it all" discussions some people used Kellhus's mistakes/near deaths throughout PoN as evidence that the Dunyain are fallible and that Moenghus simply fucked up and died. Now some of those same people won't accept that Kellhus could have failed. No, he must have planned it all, he is infallible after all...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Nil Sertrax on July 12, 2017, 01:47:43 am
I figure I'll chime in with my thoughts now that I've had some time to get through a reread of TUC and also a chance to peruse this forum as well as Westeros.  I've read the first three books in the PON series at least three times all the way through.  I've read the four books in the AE series twice.  I think that this series is my favorite fantasy series of all-time and second place isn't even close.  It is so different from almost everything else out there.  The beautiful prose contrasted with the grittiness of the setting and story weave a powerful spell. 

With that said, I think TUC is largely a missed opportunity.  I thought that many of the scenes that were unclear upon my first read would yield greater clarity upon my second.  Particularly, I felt the like the entire conclusion, from the gold room forward, was muddled.  I consider myself to be well read overall, a careful reader and fairly intelligent.  What I am not, is a student of philosophy.  I was willing to allow for the possibility that the failure to comprehend was solely mine as I am not familiar with the deeper philosophical underpinnings of the second series.  When a reread failed to yield additional clarity I went to this forum and to Westeros to see what others had gleaned. 

i was disappointed to find the lack of any consensus.  For the conclusion of a series I would hope that an intelligent group of devout fans would be able to reach some sort of a general consensus regarding the motivations of the characters and/or a coherent description of what actually occurred. 

As much as I love the characters and the setting, overall, I'm disappointed in this ending.  I think Scott may have done his best writing during the TTT and in TJE.  As the series progressed beyond these volumes many key scenes became too abstract or opaque.  In the first series the only scene I can recall that had these shortcomings was when Kell pulled Serwe's burning heart from his chest.  I still have no idea how that occurred.  In TJE we have another example with the Wight being banished by the Chorae.  A cool scene but one that left me wondering what I was supposed to have learned.  In WLW, TGO, and TUC these opaque passages became more common.  The Head-on-the Pole, the Zero God and the conclusion are just a few of the more egregious examples.  Here are some of the questions/issues I still have:

What are Kellhus' motivations?

Why does the No-God ask "What do you see?"

What significance is the head on the pole?

What is the point of the Judging Eye?

Why haven't I been rooting for the Consult all along as shutting the worl to the outside seems to be a reasonable and understandable motivation.  It's unfortunate that the population will be reduced but it's better than the alternative!

What is the point of projecting an image of Kelhus over the sarcophagus?

What is the point of introducing Koringhus and the Crab-handed boy?

How did Serwa ov ercome the Agonic collar and why would the escape from Ishterebinth happen off screen?

I'm sure I have a bunch more questions but these are off the top of my head.  I think this could have been a much, much better book had a good editor forced Scott to be a bit clearer in spots and maybe provided input on a few of the creative decisions the author made.

 





Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 12, 2017, 02:24:46 am
I figure I'll chime in with my thoughts now that I've had some time to get through a reread of TUC and also a chance to peruse this forum as well as Westeros.  I've read the first three books in the PON series at least three times all the way through.  I've read the four books in the AE series twice.  I think that this series is my favorite fantasy series of all-time and second place isn't even close.  It is so different from almost everything else out there.  The beautiful prose contrasted with the grittiness of the setting and story weave a powerful spell. 

With that said, I think TUC is largely a missed opportunity.  I thought that many of the scenes that were unclear upon my first read would yield greater clarity upon my second.  Particularly, I felt the like the entire conclusion, from the gold room forward, was muddled.  I consider myself to be well read overall, a careful reader and fairly intelligent.  What I am not, is a student of philosophy.  I was willing to allow for the possibility that the failure to comprehend was solely mine as I am not familiar with the deeper philosophical underpinnings of the second series.  When a reread failed to yield additional clarity I went to this forum and to Westeros to see what others had gleaned. 

i was disappointed to find the lack of any consensus.  For the conclusion of a series I would hope that an intelligent group of devout fans would be able to reach some sort of a general consensus regarding the motivations of the characters and/or a coherent description of what actually occurred. 

As much as I love the characters and the setting, overall, I'm disappointed in this ending.  I think Scott may have done his best writing during the TTT and in TJE.  As the series progressed beyond these volumes many key scenes became too abstract or opaque.  In the first series the only scene I can recall that had these shortcomings was when Kell pulled Serwe's burning heart from his chest.  I still have no idea how that occurred.  In TJE we have another example with the Wight being banished by the Chorae.  A cool scene but one that left me wondering what I was supposed to have learned.  In WLW, TGO, and TUC these opaque passages became more common.  The Head-on-the Pole, the Zero God and the conclusion are just a few of the more egregious examples.

Baker fans are crazy. We would often rather obsess over inferred details than agree on anything. And yeah, Bakker's style of writing any scene involving the intersection of the Noosphere and the World is maddening, but at least it's fairly consistent.

edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

Quote from: Nil Sertrax
Here are some of the questions/issues I still have:

What are Kellhus' motivations?

Why haven't I been rooting for the Consult all along as shutting the worl to the outside seems to be a reasonable and understandable motivation.  It's unfortunate that the population will be reduced but it's better than the alternative!

What is the point of introducing Koringhus and the Crab-handed boy?

Pretty baldly stated that he serves the Thousandfold Thought as a powerful but flawed tool. Ultimate objective is to save the world, but the dangling question to him as a human is "What then?". 
He tells Esme and Proyas he has succumbed to the Darkness, and no longer knows who is pulling his strings - he apparently hopes it is the Thousandfold Thought, but it looks like maybe Ajokli.
I imagine that ambiguity would be intended as a part of any sequel.

Same problem of resolved goals applies to the Consult (including Mutilated). Seal the world ... then ???

Only unpolluted Dunyain to grasp the nature Absolute was Koringhus and he simply accepted it as annihilation of the self.

Apparently the Consult can't achieve that unless they kill everyone else first, but they are enslaved by the Inverse Flame so they are probably wrong anyway. Worst suicide pact ever. Given they have methods for achieving immortality, why even bother otherwise?

Quote from: Nil Sertrax
Why does the No-God ask "What do you see?"

What significance is the head on the pole?

Tbh I think these are more stylistic motifs that echo relations to the blind-to-the-self nature of the soul more than hazy clues holding meaning towards the larger plot.

For the former, I think the question might be, why do people hear Mog saying that?

For the latter, some kind of resonance with the Watcher/Watched theme.

Quote from: Nil Sertrax
What is the point of the Judging Eye?

Uh... from a narrative perspective? Seems an obvious device to explore characters and metaphysics of the setting.
Is it pertained to the plot; it was simply a MacGuffin that dragged Akka and Mim around the world.

Quote from: Nil Sertrax
What is the point of projecting an image of Kelhus over the sarcophagus?

How did Serwa overcome the Agonic collar and why would the escape from Ishterebinth happen off screen?

I'm sure I have a bunch more questions but these are off the top of my head.  I think this could have been a much, much better book had a good editor forced Scott to be a bit clearer in spots and maybe provided input on a few of the creative decisions the author made.

Khellus' projection seemed like a fun way for Bakker to play with uncertainty at the climax and kinda works as a holographic diversion by the Consult.

Seems like Serwa could have use the metagnosis despite the collar at any time. Isn't that why Moenghus is so pissed?

But yes, a better editor would have been very nice.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Castel on July 12, 2017, 03:39:53 am
Quote
Apparently the Consult can't achieve that unless they kill everyone else first, but they are enslaved by the Inverse Flame so they are probably wrong anyway. Worst suicide pact ever. Given they have methods for achieving immortality, why even bother otherwise?

Why bother to close the Outside? Why would you take any chances?

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Anwurat on July 12, 2017, 03:44:49 am
Well, the glossary says that they want to close the world to the outside "in case they ever die". (Don't have the book now but I remember that in there, possibly in the IF entry.)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 12, 2017, 04:51:21 am
Yeah that is fair enough ... thing is, what is to live for after you murder the World? Even if Earwa is the last World or special in some other respect and the Inverse Fire turns into a simple mirror, what then?

The New Consult seems to want to suicide into oblivion and leave the No-god in a dead universe. So why would you root for that outcome?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 12, 2017, 06:48:55 am
edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 12, 2017, 07:16:55 am
edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.

Clear texts? I kind of think there is a lot of Serious Literature that deals with ambiguity and jumbled metaphors.

Unless Moby Dick is just a book about a guy who hates a whale then?

Murakami, Joyce, Burroughs, Pynchon, Wallace et al seem pretty open for interpretation to me. Idk?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 12, 2017, 07:20:48 am
edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.

Clear texts? I kind of think there is a lot of Serious Literature that deals with ambiguity and jumbled metaphors.

Unless Moby Dick is just a book about a guy who hates a whale then?

Murakami, Joyce, Burroughs, Pynchon, Wallace et al seem pretty open for interpretation to me. Idk?

Yeah, but on Moby Dick, while the text may allude to a metaphor, you understand what event is happening. With Bakker, lately, that's becoming somewhat hard - for the most part, I don't think I'll understand his last book until I read the next one and get a sense of the consequences of what happened, to understand what happened. What comes after explains what comes before, in the Bakkerlit.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 12, 2017, 07:39:45 am
Clear texts? I kind of think there is a lot of Serious Literature that deals with ambiguity and jumbled metaphors.

Unless Moby Dick is just a book about a guy who hates a whale then?

Murakami, Joyce, Burroughs, Pynchon, Wallace et al seem pretty open for interpretation to me. Idk?

The interpretations are open on the meaning of what happened but not on what happened.
We can discuss if the whale stands for Fate, God or what-have-you but it's a whale, not a lion or an AI. The Pequod sinks and Ishamel is the sole survivor, Leopold Bloom returns home at the end of the day...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cüréthañ on July 12, 2017, 08:35:55 am
Ha, Moby Dick is perhaps, a poor example. Merely meant to show how metaphors and digression rule the narrative, despite the simple plot.

Perhaps any Murakami book would be better in terms of murky details and uncertain events. It's not unusual to me based on my anecdotal experience. I've never really considered a denouement to be a critically required component of Serious Literature.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 12, 2017, 09:48:24 am
edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.

The ambiguity did not impede my reading experience, it was intense and enjoyable. I tried Gene Wolfe, and I didn't like it at all. So, while I can see what you mean with Gene Wolfe situation, I am still impressed by the fact that this series keeps up the ambiguities/revelations into the 7th book, up until the climax.

If and when Bakker engages with fans after TUC, I am very curious to find out how he will approach these points of contention.

What I do worry about is the speculations about possible time-line / time-travelling / Outside-metaphysical story solutions. The question for me is not just 'is that possible,' but 'is that interesting?' For the moment, such a solution would disappoint me, that would cross the line from (possibly overly) complicated or convoluted to contrived.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 11:03:38 am
Ha, Moby Dick is perhaps, a poor example. Merely meant to show how metaphors and digression rule the narrative, despite the simple plot.

Perhaps any Murakami book would be better in terms of murky details and uncertain events. It's not unusual to me based on my anecdotal experience. I've never really considered a denouement to be a critically required component of Serious Literature.

I think something more like Finnegan's Wake is what you are looking for.

To me, none of it would be an issue though, if only Bakker had a real editor, through which to temper the whole thing.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 12, 2017, 11:44:55 am
How bout the idea that Ajoklie and Kellhus are one and the same?

Like, the Hundred live across time, right?  And sufficiently mean souls can become Ciphrang (see Cnaiur).  So maybe Kellhus is the earthly form of Ajokli?  Like, the God-form can reach across history, has always been present, etc, but Anasurimbor Kellhus was the living soul that became him.
That's my current best guess of who Kellhus was this entire time.  The trickster God tricking himself would be ironic and fitting at the same time.  Onkis is a possibility too since she's the goddess of the Darkness that comes before.  She's also literally a head on a Pole and Kellhus might technically exactly that at the moment.

Even if all that was true, it doesn't matter. Why? Yatwer thinks she's absolute with her White-Luck, and how did that turn out? Ajokli thinks he's absolute with his plans, and how did that turn out? What makes Kellhus immune to this pitfall?....Pick anyone who was sure they were on the winning side that hasn't lost everything (or nearly) for their certainty.
I can't be sure of course but if there is a paradox then that entails Outside Kellhus being the cause of his own demise which is the cause of Outside Kellhus.  He doesn't even have to be in control.  I'd actually prefer it if this were written to be a complete betrayal of his past self like Proyas.  In terms of narrative I still think the un-moved soul goal is in play and a bootstrap paradox is the only way I can see that manifesting.

If you want a story answer to why he's different, then he's the only entity in the Outside that has manipulated the No-God and might have heard voices from him too.  So if Outside Kellhus can talk to mortal Kellhus who can talk to Kelmomas, then a lot of coincidences can be explained.  Add to that how Kellhus is still speaking to an outside voice he does not know about which may be a different voice from the voice he believes to be to No-God.

Weird that during the "Moenghus is behind it all" discussions some people used Kellhus's mistakes/near deaths throughout PoN as evidence that the Dunyain are fallible and that Moenghus simply fucked up and died. Now some of those same people won't accept that Kellhus could have failed. No, he must have planned it all, he is infallible after all...
The very big difference is that Kellhus sees himself in the inverse fire descending as a hunger.  So that confirms that he's Ciphrang at least and not fodder.  He could have made lots of mistakes but we know what his floor is but not his ceiling.  I would argue that if TJE says Cnaiur is a "Prince of Hell" then Kellhus should be that at least as well.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 12, 2017, 11:50:12 am
The idea of Kellhus being Ajokli raises an interesting possibility: are all of the Gods actually people, and could that be relevant?

I can imagine Esmenet being either Yatwer, seeing that she is a character whose motherhood has been a pretty significant running theme for her, or even more likely, Anagke, the Whore of Fate, seeing that she is, well, a whore who has had a pretty interesting destiny so far, with lots of ups and downs.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 12:23:26 pm
The idea of Kellhus being Ajokli raises an interesting possibility: are all of the Gods actually people, and could that be relevant?

I can imagine Esmenet being either Yatwer, seeing that she is a character whose motherhood has been a pretty significant running theme for her, or even more likely, Anagke, the Whore of Fate, seeing that she is, well, a whore who has had a pretty interesting destiny so far, with lots of ups and downs.

Well, I think Kellhus engaged in a good bit of Daimotic trickery to allow Ajokli into the world.  I don't think any of the other 100 have ever actually inhabited the world before.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 12:25:24 pm
Weird that during the "Moenghus is behind it all" discussions some people used Kellhus's mistakes/near deaths throughout PoN as evidence that the Dunyain are fallible and that Moenghus simply fucked up and died. Now some of those same people won't accept that Kellhus could have failed. No, he must have planned it all, he is infallible after all...
^
Thanks Anwurat :) . I'm glad there's someone else out there making similar observations as me.

edit: I feel like you are being a little harsh though. There are millions of papers disputing the meanings and minutae of literature taught in schools and colleges. It's part of the fun, no?

I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.

Clear texts? I kind of think there is a lot of Serious Literature that deals with ambiguity and jumbled metaphors.

Unless Moby Dick is just a book about a guy who hates a whale then?

Murakami, Joyce, Burroughs, Pynchon, Wallace et al seem pretty open for interpretation to me. Idk?

Yeah, but on Moby Dick, while the text may allude to a metaphor, you understand what event is happening. With Bakker, lately, that's becoming somewhat hard - for the most part, I don't think I'll understand his last book until I read the next one and get a sense of the consequences of what happened, to understand what happened. What comes after explains what comes before, in the Bakkerlit.

Cuttlefish, Curethan, False Man, Nil Sertrax: Great discussion. I don't have a ton to add on the (L)iterature side as I'm not well read in the area. I would like to point out that Bakker has stated multiple times that he wanted to create a fantasy novel that wouldn't crumble when looked at through the lens of "Serious Literature" as you guys seem to be calling it. So, that a couple people in a handful of years not coming to one conclusion appears to be entirely within the bounds of what Bakker was attempting.
And of course, I'll always agree that Overlook did a shit job producing these books, and if it was given proper editing it may have turned out better.

Nil Sertrax, I definitely understand where you're coming from. Though, first, remember that this is not the conclusion of the entire series. TTT may have been similarly dissatisfying if you weren't aware that there were many books after it to fill in gaps. That said, I largely agree. TAE as a whole, especially post-TUC, seems needlessly obfuscated. There's still probably more questions than answers, and instead of spending more time on world building - ie filling in gaps of our knowledge - most of TUC seems to add to the over all mystery. Though, imo, this is about as much information as we'll ever get, and assuming Bakker continues his amazing streak of interacting with fans, its really just up to us to hash it out.

Even if all that was true, it doesn't matter. Why? Yatwer thinks she's absolute with her White-Luck, and how did that turn out? Ajokli thinks he's absolute with his plans, and how did that turn out? What makes Kellhus immune to this pitfall?....Pick anyone who was sure they were on the winning side that hasn't lost everything (or nearly) for their certainty.
I can't be sure of course but if there is a paradox then that entails Outside Kellhus being the cause of his own demise which is the cause of Outside Kellhus.  He doesn't even have to be in control.  I'd actually prefer it if this were written to be a complete betrayal of his past self like Proyas.  In terms of narrative I still think the un-moved soul goal is in play and a bootstrap paradox is the only way I can see that manifesting.

If you want a story answer to why he's different, then he's the only entity in the Outside that might has manipulated the No-God and might have heard voices from him too.

If Kellhus is in guy behind it, there's plenty of complex interactions that boil down to time-travel-paradoxes, which is a find discussion topic for the future. I just don't agree that's the state of things ;) .

The trouble, though, with him being in the outside, is the same issue I have with Moenghus Sr. being some kind of super meta-psuke wielder. What you end up with is a dues ex machina that can explain any event, and to me that dampens my enjoyment immensely. Granted, I think Kellhus' ascending into the Outside and reaching back through time much more plausible and possible within the confines of Earwa than Moenghus Sr. theories. But there's still the trouble with, if Kellhus, why not others? Who else is/was/will-be/has-been a god? What about Sejenus, or Moe Sr., Koringhus, etc. etc. It seems to open a can of worms that I have trouble reconciling.

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 12:28:06 pm
The idea of Kellhus being Ajokli raises an interesting possibility: are all of the Gods actually people, and could that be relevant?

I can imagine Esmenet being either Yatwer, seeing that she is a character whose motherhood has been a pretty significant running theme for her, or even more likely, Anagke, the Whore of Fate, seeing that she is, well, a whore who has had a pretty interesting destiny so far, with lots of ups and downs.

Well, I think Kellhus engaged in a good bit of Daimotic trickery to allow Ajokli into the world.  I don't think any of the other 100 have ever actually inhabited the world before.
You think it was Kellhus that ultimately allowed Ajokli to physically inhabit the world? I largely think it was Ajokli, manipulating Kellhus to get him into the ARK / IF room which allowed that manifestation. That's why, imo, we see the Ciphrang escape back into the Outside at the gate - and it was at the edge of the Topos. I assume the Golden Room is the center, or close enough, of the deepest Topos, therefore the closest to the Outside with the thinest barrier, which allows Ajokli to walk right into the world.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 12, 2017, 12:30:18 pm


I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.
What I do worry about is the speculations about possible time-line / time-travelling / Outside-metaphysical story solutions. The question for me is not just 'is that possible,' but 'is that interesting?' For the moment, such a solution would disappoint me, that would cross the line from (possibly overly) complicated or convoluted to contrived.
[/quote]

Why? Why does that dominate anything or make anything contrived or convoluted? This series has been a metaphysical tale between a world (Earwa) and its hell/heaven(Outside). If Kellhus has been talking to himself since the Circumfix and guiding the TT, it makes perfect sense that after being salted he is now in the Outside, possibly as part of his plan. Not saying its how he wanted it to go down for sure, but him being on the Outside and still in the game is absolutely no way contrived. Its textual proof if anything.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 12:33:36 pm
What sets the current dialogue appart from the "meta-Moë" discussion, at least for me, isn't a question of did either fail.  The answer to that is irrevocably yes.  Moë was blind/ingorant/dismissive about the effect the Outside could really influence the Inside and he died for that.  Kellhus was dismissive of the idea that there was something that neither he, nor Ajokli could see, and he died for that.  Both are failures.

What isn't clear is what happens to him, exactly, now that he did.  It's hard to believe that with him knowing the metagnosis and mastering the Daimos, that his soul simply would just disappear into damnation.  Especially not given how he bartered with Ajokli, is subject to the scrutiny of numerous Ciphrang, not to mention the other 100.  That and his own saying how he made treaties with Hell itself (unclear if this is separate from Ajokli or not).

Not to mention the bizarre glossary entry for the Decapitants.  Note, that in the episode recounted there, he is at the Plains of Mengedda, one of the biggest topos outside Golgotterath itself (if not the biggest).  So, what was he doing?  Perhaps testing what happens between swapping and topoi?  While we don't know, I have doubts now that the head he put on Malowebi was just some "random ciphrang" now, considering that somehow the other head was Ajokli, or actually, I should say, was Kellhus?

Indeed, it seems that Malowebi's head is still alive in the end.  So, I wonder if the other head, Kellhus' head is too?  We just don't know what would happen to a disembodied head when it's body is gone.  Perhaps that is where Kellhus soul really is?

Another reason to think that Kellhus soul is not in the Outside is how Ajokli seems to be looking for him, via Cnaiür.  It seems to be a plausible reading that Ajokli thinks Kellhus is in the Sarcophagus.  In any case, it seems that Kellhus somehow renegged on his deal, either by not delivering the souls of the whole Ordeal or by forfeiting his own soul.  In any case, the fact that Ajokli can't find Kellhus is a clue that something additional is going on with Kellhus.  That doesn't mean he will be central in the next series, but he may well factor in.

An additional crack-pot theory could be that the head he put on Malowebi was actually his own.  So, Kellhus-Malowebi is now loose in Zeûm...but that is doubtful.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 12:41:47 pm
You think it was Kellhus that ultimately allowed Ajokli to physically inhabit the world? I largely think it was Ajokli, manipulating Kellhus to get him into the ARK / IF room which allowed that manifestation. That's why, imo, we see the Ciphrang escape back into the Outside at the gate - and it was at the edge of the Topos. I assume the Golden Room is the center, or close enough, of the deepest Topos, therefore the closest to the Outside with the thinest barrier, which allows Ajokli to walk right into the world.

Bidirectionality, I think.

Kellhus could not do it without the Daimos and Ajokli, Ajokli without Kellhus and the Daimos.  But where Ajokli inhabits Cnaiür seems be be beyond the limit of the Topos too.  I think Ajokli, once in the world, is not bound like a Ciphrang would be.

So, I guess we could say it any way we want.  I think both thought they were hoodwinking the other too.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 12:44:39 pm
You think it was Kellhus that ultimately allowed Ajokli to physically inhabit the world? I largely think it was Ajokli, manipulating Kellhus to get him into the ARK / IF room which allowed that manifestation. That's why, imo, we see the Ciphrang escape back into the Outside at the gate - and it was at the edge of the Topos. I assume the Golden Room is the center, or close enough, of the deepest Topos, therefore the closest to the Outside with the thinest barrier, which allows Ajokli to walk right into the world.

Bidirectionality, I think.

Kellhus could not do it without the Daimos and Ajokli, Ajokli without Kellhus and the Daimos.  But where Ajokli inhabits Cnaiür seems be be beyond the limit of the Topos too.  I think Ajokli, once in the world, is not bound like a Ciphrang would be.

So, I guess we could say it any way we want.  I think both thought they were hoodwinking the other too.

I grok :)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 12, 2017, 12:44:44 pm
So, if the decapitants started out as Ajokli and another...who was the other?

Like, say Kellhus, on Mengaedda, is swapping his head and Ajokli's out to strike his deal.  That makes sense.

Then he swaps the other daemons head with Malowebi, sends it to Zeum.  So now his belt has Ajokli, Malowebi.

Lastly, in order to confront the Dunyain, he swaps one more time, now Ajokli is on the shoulders, Kellhus and Malowebi at the belt.

But he sees Kelmomas, at the end.  So it must be Kellhus riding shoulders when he is salted, leaving Ajokli and Malowebi on the belt.

Ajokli is then immediately seen possessing Cnaiur, which presumably means he isn't still on the belt.  That would leave Malowebi as the sole head on Kellhus's statue.

Dramatically, this is a bit unsatisfying.  If the heads are gonna be the new Heron Spear, the thing that Akka will quest for, then it needs to be Kellhus's head on the belt.  So say I'm wrong about seeing Kelmomas being another head swap.  Kellhus would then have still been on the belt when Ajokli got salted, leaving Malowebi and Kellhus as severed heads to be rescued.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 12:49:12 pm
I don't envision the head swapping exactly the same as you.

I think largely the 'head swapping' is more of a soul/mind transfer type deal - Malowebi being the exception. I don't see Kellhus and Ajokli switching heads like helmets.

Also, once Ajokli in 'in' the world, as H mentions, he seems to be able to more freely inhabit people, a la Cnaiur.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MisterGuyMan on July 12, 2017, 12:49:29 pm
The idea of Kellhus being Ajokli raises an interesting possibility: are all of the Gods actually people, and could that be relevant?

I can imagine Esmenet being either Yatwer, seeing that she is a character whose motherhood has been a pretty significant running theme for her, or even more likely, Anagke, the Whore of Fate, seeing that she is, well, a whore who has had a pretty interesting destiny so far, with lots of ups and downs.
I don't believe that would be possible.  Esemet is Holy.  The conversation between Meppa and Psatma all but confirms that the Gods and Ciphrang are huge hungers.  Cnaiur is the benchmark.  If you're not Cnaiur tier hunger then you probably won't be in the running to be a God.

This though does make me recall a quote from Bakker:

"But it was the innocence part, that struck me as the most significant and the most redemptive. Without giving too much away, there is a manner in which Serwe is the important character in the book."

So if Kellhus is out of play, I can't think of a single reason how Serwe could be revealed to be a pivotal character.


The trouble, though, with him being in the outside, is the same issue I have with Moenghus Sr. being some kind of super meta-psuke wielder. What you end up with is a dues ex machina that can explain any event, and to me that dampens my enjoyment immensely. Granted, I think Kellhus' ascending into the Outside and reaching back through time much more plausible and possible within the confines of Earwa than Moenghus Sr. theories. But there's still the trouble with, if Kellhus, why not others? Who else is/was/will-be/has-been a god? What about Sejenus, or Moe Sr., Koringhus, etc. etc. It seems to open a can of worms that I have trouble reconciling.
Well the Unmoved Soul would presumably be a unique event in history.  Cnaiur is going to be a demon but I doubt he has the other skills or even inspiration to become an unmoved soul.  I really feel like the Bejunka move that changes all other moves is serving as a metaphor for some gamechanging and unanticipated event.  So by process of elimination Bejunka and Unmoved Soul leads me to this Paradox theory since I can't find any other way to reconcile the two.

So my very pragmatic I approach is similar to that children's game "Guess Who?"  First we start with the pool of all people that can become demons.  Then we keep winnowing down that pool with qualifiers.  Who speaks to the No-God?  Who is actually aiming to be an unmoved soul?  Who has spoken with a voice that seems to require a near extermination of mankind to war with the God?  Kellhus just seems like the last man standing or at worst the guy with preponderance of evidence.  Note that this is only with the assumption that the Unmoved Soul thing is still in play.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 12, 2017, 12:51:16 pm
The idea of Kellhus being Ajokli raises an interesting possibility: are all of the Gods actually people, and could that be relevant?

I can imagine Esmenet being either Yatwer, seeing that she is a character whose motherhood has been a pretty significant running theme for her, or even more likely, Anagke, the Whore of Fate, seeing that she is, well, a whore who has had a pretty interesting destiny so far, with lots of ups and downs.
I don't believe that would be possible.  Esemet is Holy.  The conversation between Meppa and Psatma all but confirms that the Gods and Ciphrang are huge hungers.  Cnaiur is the benchmark.  If you're not Cnaiur tier hunger then you probably won't be in the running to be a God.

This though does make me recall a quote from Bakker:
But it was the innocence part, that struck me as the most significant and the most
redemptive. Without giving too much away, there is a manner in which Serwe is the most
important character in the book.
So if Kellhus is out of play, I can't think of a single reason how Serwe could be revealed to be a pivotal character.

She does have a son in the world, whose allegiance could yet prove pivotal.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 12:55:51 pm
I don't envision the head swapping exactly the same as you.

I think largely the 'head swapping' is more of a soul/mind transfer type deal - Malowebi being the exception. I don't see Kellhus and Ajokli switching heads like helmets.

Also, once Ajokli in 'in' the world, as H mentions, he seems to be able to more freely inhabit people, a la Cnaiur.

Fair enough, but the Decapitants glossary entry sure is strange.

In any case, it certainly seems that Kellhus' head in the Golden Room scene is actually Ajokli's.  That explains why looking at the Inverse Fire meant nothing at all to him and why his head turns into a flame-geyser.  Whether that is Kellhus' head on his belt at that point or not is a whole different matter and one I don't think we can actually know the answer to.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 12, 2017, 12:57:38 pm
In a realistic novel we know the range of what can or cannot happen is limited by the same physical laws as our real world.
In a fantasy novel there are much more possibilities and we need to understand how the magic and the metaphysics work in that particular world. Without that we are left with endless speculations.
e.g.: we know that sorcerers are damned and taken to Hell when they die. But who takes them to Hell? The Gods? A particular God? The Ciphrangs? Do Ciphrangs work for every God or just for the Punitive ones? And how many Hell exists? Who decides in which one the sorcerers go?
Even if I stick to the facts of Kellhus salted-Kelmomas in the Carapace-Second Apocalypse started damned ( ;D ) if I know how these things went on.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 12, 2017, 01:21:56 pm
A random question I've often asked of these books is whether ANYONE goes to paradise.

There is that one quotation about the sighs of the saints and the shrieks of the sinners sounding exactly the same...is Psatma experiencing anything different from what Akka has to look forward to?  Are there actually any Heavens, or just endless Hells?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 01:28:38 pm
A random question I've often asked of these books is whether ANYONE goes to paradise.

There is that one quotation about the sighs of the saints and the shrieks of the sinners sounding exactly the same...is Psatma experiencing anything different from what Akka has to look forward to?  Are there actually any Heavens, or just endless Hells?

The way Sorweel dies, has me thing he is actually taken in by Yatwer, but indeed, this is something we don't really know.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 01:31:30 pm
Even if I stick to the facts of Kellhus salted-Kelmomas in the Carapace-Second Apocalypse started damned ( ;D ) if I know how these things went on.
:D

A random question I've often asked of these books is whether ANYONE goes to paradise.

There is that one quotation about the sighs of the saints and the shrieks of the sinners sounding exactly the same...is Psatma experiencing anything different from what Akka has to look forward to?  Are there actually any Heavens, or just endless Hells?
I dont think the nature of Earwa precludes the existence of heaven, but I don't think current time-space Earwa has such a thing.

---

FYI page count max is 15. Once we hit that many comments the topic will be locked and you'll all be forced to make new ones.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 12, 2017, 01:35:38 pm
A random question I've often asked of these books is whether ANYONE goes to paradise.

There is that one quotation about the sighs of the saints and the shrieks of the sinners sounding exactly the same...is Psatma experiencing anything different from what Akka has to look forward to?  Are there actually any Heavens, or just endless Hells?

Sorweel's death, I think, is the closest thing to a heaven that we've yet seen; it's not quite clear where he goes, but so far, that was the only benevolent description of an afterlife sequence, I think.

Mimara sees herself as holy, though, doesn't she? Presumably, she'll go to heaven.

But if it is the God of Gods who decides who goes to heaven or hell, I am not sure he is a nice God of Gods; unforgiving to the point of hostility. If even poor Serwe has gone to hell (that's what Kellhus claims, anyhow), what chance does anyone have? What chance would we, the readers have, if we were born in Earwa?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 12, 2017, 01:38:35 pm


I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.
What I do worry about is the speculations about possible time-line / time-travelling / Outside-metaphysical story solutions. The question for me is not just 'is that possible,' but 'is that interesting?' For the moment, such a solution would disappoint me, that would cross the line from (possibly overly) complicated or convoluted to contrived.

Quote
Why? Why does that dominate anything or make anything contrived or convoluted? This series has been a metaphysical tale between a world (Earwa) and its hell/heaven(Outside). If Kellhus has been talking to himself since the Circumfix and guiding the TT, it makes perfect sense that after being salted he is now in the Outside, possibly as part of his plan. Not saying its how he wanted it to go down for sure, but him being on the Outside and still in the game is absolutely no way contrived. Its textual proof if anything.
Textual proof in these tales have been known to raise discussion, you might have noticed. ;)

What is a red herring and what not? A lot of people have defended this or that theory. I'm looking at it from what I would find interesting to read ánd what would fit thematically. Failure, the blindness of ignorance and the impossibility of omniscience are themes that underline all these books.

Perhaps you find it satisfactory, for me, if the way to 'solve' or 'develop' the story is to involve metaphysics that would somehow justify time-line and Outside influence from the main character in retrospect to himself, just to make sure he's more faultless than we can imagine, I don't find that particularly interesting as a narrative and even less interesting as a character. What would the point be? 'Look how cool Kellhus is?' Isn't is much more interesting how Kellhus fails and to find out the consequences of that failure?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: generalguy on July 12, 2017, 01:42:56 pm
Disappointed in TUC mostly because it feels a bit too head-up-its-own-ass w.r.t the writing style and reveals.

Sometimes you just want it spelled out for you, rather than hidden in allusions, epithets and metaphors. It took me quite a bit to work out who the hell the blind singer was supposed to be, and even now I'm not entirely clear what's going on in those passages, for example.

I expected more fleshing out of what the No-God is rather than yet more questions.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 01:52:29 pm
I expected more fleshing out of what the No-God is rather than yet more questions.

That was one of the few things I thought we actually did learn though...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 12, 2017, 01:58:22 pm
Disappointed in TUC mostly because it feels a bit too head-up-its-own-ass w.r.t the writing style and reveals.

Sometimes you just want it spelled out for you, rather than hidden in allusions, epithets and metaphors. It took me quite a bit to work out who the hell the blind singer was supposed to be, and even now I'm not entirely clear what's going on in those passages, for example.

I expected more fleshing out of what the No-God is rather than yet more questions.

I think the Blind Singer was Iyokus, right, and the No-God is Kelmomas?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 01:59:27 pm


I think there's a difference though: Serious Literature scholars focus on the interpretations of clear texts.
We are more in a Gene Wolfe situation here: trying to understand "what" happened on the page.
What I do worry about is the speculations about possible time-line / time-travelling / Outside-metaphysical story solutions. The question for me is not just 'is that possible,' but 'is that interesting?' For the moment, such a solution would disappoint me, that would cross the line from (possibly overly) complicated or convoluted to contrived.

Quote
Why? Why does that dominate anything or make anything contrived or convoluted? This series has been a metaphysical tale between a world (Earwa) and its hell/heaven(Outside). If Kellhus has been talking to himself since the Circumfix and guiding the TT, it makes perfect sense that after being salted he is now in the Outside, possibly as part of his plan. Not saying its how he wanted it to go down for sure, but him being on the Outside and still in the game is absolutely no way contrived. Its textual proof if anything.
Textual proof in these tales have been known to raise discussion, you might have noticed. ;)

What is a red herring and what not? A lot of people have defended this or that theory. I'm looking at it from what I would find interesting to read ánd what would fit thematically. Failure, the blindness of ignorance and the impossibility of omniscience are themes that underline all these books.

Perhaps you find it satisfactory, for me, if the way to 'solve' or 'develop' the story is to involve metaphysics that would somehow justify time-line and Outside influence from the main character in retrospect to himself, just to make sure he's more faultless than we can imagine, I don't find that particularly interesting as a narrative and even less interesting as a character. What would the point be? 'Look how cool Kellhus is?' Isn't is much more interesting how Kellhus fails and to find out the consequences of that failure?


I think Hiro sums my own stance up pretty well.

The story is a lot more meaningful to me when looked at from the overall perspective of 'the guy you think is winning just lost'. The story loses a lot of interest when its shoehorned into a more typical fantasy Hero arc ‘normal guy gains great power, defeats evil’. Both are obviously over simplifications, but I think those two choices are what it boils down to. And yes, we can all find supporting information for any theory we develop, after all, they come from somewhere lol. For me though, its starting to come down to why did Bakker writer this story? Given his various extra-Earwa works that I have read, I think my interpretation fits better.

Which isn’t to preclude or dismiss all others. I do get that there’s other possibilities, and at least the Meta-Kellhus narrative is far, far more interesting (to me) and supported much better in text (as far as I can tell) than the other various meta-moe theories. I can get behind them and they're worth hashing through as 'what-ifs'. But really, for me at this point, this discussion really branches out drastically. Different topics for each I think would yield more interesting results than one battle royal topic of disproving all others ;) .
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: generalguy on July 12, 2017, 03:00:39 pm
I expected more fleshing out of what the No-God is rather than yet more questions.

That was one of the few things I thought we actually did learn though...

Not really. We already knew that its purpose was to seal the world from the outside. All that we really learned was that it needs an Anasurimbor (why?) and it's a "prostheses" of the Ark itself--whatever that means. And then a bunch more questions regarding the "progenitors" and some waffling about the "absolute"

It's still not clear why the No-God exists as it does, why it needs an anasurimbor to pilot it (or what the pilot does) and the "code"/"system" framing hasn't been explained in the slightest.

A little more explanation from the dunyain-consult and a little less Radiation Victim Fucking would have gone a long way. I mean it is the end of the 4 book series.

And on that:

Why was the whole first half even necessary? To damn the souls of the ordealmen? Why?

What the hell was going on with the nonmen in the battle? Did they get confused and start attacking the ordeal?

What is/was kellhus' plan? Why did he even do what he does with the Ordeal? The ajokli pact gets like a sentence or two and is dropped and even then is viewed through a head on a string cursing Likaro. It totally changes Kellhus as an agent and is barely covered.

(What was the point of Akka and Mimara journeying to the Ark beyond exposition? What were they gonna do there? The Consult clearly was protecting Mimara but why?)

I need a recap, I am just more confused frankly.


Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: generalguy on July 12, 2017, 03:09:41 pm
Disappointed in TUC mostly because it feels a bit too head-up-its-own-ass w.r.t the writing style and reveals.

Sometimes you just want it spelled out for you, rather than hidden in allusions, epithets and metaphors. It took me quite a bit to work out who the hell the blind singer was supposed to be, and even now I'm not entirely clear what's going on in those passages, for example.

I expected more fleshing out of what the No-God is rather than yet more questions.

I think the Blind Singer was Iyokus, right, and the No-God is Kelmomas?

Yeah that's my take.

Kelmomas being the No-God is foreshadowed with his god-blindness but I guess prior to him being the no-god it's explained away by God-entanglement but like is the No-God the black sarcophagus thing or the person inside it? What do they even do?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 03:14:40 pm
Not really. We already knew that its purpose was to seal the world from the outside. All that we really learned was that it needs an Anasurimbor (why?) and it's a "prostheses" of the Ark itself--whatever that means. And then a bunch more questions regarding the "progenitors" and some waffling about the "absolute"

It's still not clear why the No-God exists as it does, why it needs an anasurimbor to pilot it (or what the pilot does) and the "code"/"system" framing hasn't been explained in the slightest.

True, but that may well be world-building bottom, for all we know.  I was actually pretty please with what we did learn on that though.

A little more explanation from the dunyain-consult and a little less Radiation Victim Fucking would have gone a long way. I mean it is the end of the 4 book series.

And on that:

Why was the whole first half even necessary? To damn the souls of the ordealmen? Why?

What the hell was going on with the nonmen in the battle? Did they get confused and start attacking the ordeal?

What is/was kellhus' plan? Why did he even do what he does with the Ordeal? The ajokli pact gets like a sentence or two and is dropped and even then is viewed through a head on a string cursing Likaro. It totally changes Kellhus as an agent and is barely covered.

(What was the point of Akka and Mimara journeying to the Ark beyond exposition? What were they gonna do there? The Consult clearly was protecting Mimara but why?)

I need a recap, I am just more confused frankly.

I think the idea is that the Ordeal is a sacrifice to Ajokli.  Lots of tasty souls in the bargain with Kellhus.  Basically, the cost of Kellhus enlisting his help.  I think this is why they needed to be depraved and damned.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: False Man on July 12, 2017, 03:47:33 pm
The Consult clearly was protecting Mimara but why?

I almost forgot about the Soma/Koll skin-spy protecting Mimara, another thing that got dropped without explanation.
It was one of the reason why I thought her and Esmenet genetically special in some way (even in flashback we never see or learn anything about Esmenet's father or Mimara's).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 12, 2017, 03:52:13 pm
The Consult clearly was protecting Mimara but why?

I almost forgot about the Soma/Koll skin-spy protecting Mimara, another thing that got dropped without explanation.
It was one of the reason why I thought her and Esmenet genetically special in some way (even in flashback we never see or learn anything about Esmenet's father or Mimara's).

Presumably because they knew they needed an Anasûrimbor to put in the Sarcophagus.  Just in case better to have extra ones, even if they aren't "genuine" ones.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 12, 2017, 04:23:24 pm
I'll take a stab at some of these:

1: Skin spy protecting Mimara:
I think this gets more thought than it needs.  Like, Aurang gets called out to the middle of nowhere by a skin spy.  I think he just makes a snap judgement that whatever they are up to can't be bad for Team Consult, but maybe if Akka finds out about the Dunyain and shares the info this could hurt the Ordeal's morale.  (worth noting, from Consult POV all prophecies are ultimately 'false', since the No-God will rewrite destiny when activated.)

2: Ordeal in general:
Once again, I think the surface level is the only one we need to worry about.  They are there to destroy the Consult's minions, keep Kellhus from having to fight Erratics and Wracu while he unleashes Ajokli on the leadership.

3: Ordeal's rape, eat each other and such:
Again, I don't want to read deep here.  They were going mad with Sranc, the atrocities were the only way to keep them heading the right direction, betraying Proyas afterwards was useful for fixing their morale.

4: Kellhus' plan
Pretty much what we see:  He intends to destroy the Consult, thus aborting the No-God and saving mankind.  He means to use his army to defeat theirs, and Ajokli to destroy their leadership, having reasoned that the Golden Room will be an uber Topos.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 12, 2017, 04:37:36 pm
4: Kellhus' plan
Pretty much what we see:  He intends to destroy the Consult, thus aborting the No-God and saving mankind.  He means to use his army to defeat theirs, and Ajokli to destroy their leadership, having reasoned that the Golden Room will be an uber Topos.
To add - Kellhus guessed he'd be in a room filled with Dunyain. He needed something more than himself to take them out - a God.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 12, 2017, 08:44:16 pm
Perhaps you find it satisfactory, for me, if the way to 'solve' or 'develop' the story is to involve metaphysics that would somehow justify time-line and Outside influence from the main character in retrospect to himself, just to make sure he's more faultless than we can imagine, I don't find that particularly interesting as a narrative and even less interesting as a character. What would the point be? 'Look how cool Kellhus is?' Isn't is much more interesting how Kellhus fails and to find out the consequences of that failure?

I'm quite fine with Kellhus failed and he's dead as dead and TSTSNBN relies upon humanity saving humanity, sure. But, every morsel we've learned over 7 books suggest that Kellhus went on to the Outside. Wether that matters one iota or not, I guess, will ultimately lie in Bakker's hands. My only point is it wouldn't feel convoluted to me at all, there is a narrative precedence for Kellhus to be a God/Ciphrang who can effect tho he on Earwa and more importantly would know of the No-God. Its personal preference, yea. I can see it done well either way. But, I don't see it as plot armor.

Hiro, I see your point well enough. Its just I don't see how Kellhus being an entity on the Outside would solve or develop his arc. If anything it would be harder as Gods/Ciphrang lose power manifesting in Earwa.

Here's my take Ajokli abandons Kellhus before he's salted. so, no soul munching for Ajokli. It seems Ajokli even inhabits Cnaüir looking for Kellhus because he feels duped. So, this lends me to think Ajokli can't find Kellhus in the Outside and is a powerful being. We know that Kellhus spoke to Kellhus after the Circumfix under the tree. So, as time works in the Outside it would suggest Kellhus made it, imho. See, what I'm saying is there is textual narrative for this being the case. You might not like it, doesn't make it any less true.

I for one, would like humanity to save humanity in TSTSNBN. I think that would be the best route Bakker could go. That they learn from the mistakes of a false prophet (in their eyes, he was ultimately trying to save Earwa imho.) and take it upon themselves to take the world back. Then maybe Kellhus if in the Outside could defeat the 100 and give humanity a chance for salvation, by making the God whole, so to say.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 12, 2017, 09:02:56 pm
Perhaps you find it satisfactory, for me, if the way to 'solve' or 'develop' the story is to involve metaphysics that would somehow justify time-line and Outside influence from the main character in retrospect to himself, just to make sure he's more faultless than we can imagine, I don't find that particularly interesting as a narrative and even less interesting as a character. What would the point be? 'Look how cool Kellhus is?' Isn't is much more interesting how Kellhus fails and to find out the consequences of that failure?

I'm quite fine with Kellhus failed and he's dead as dead and TSTSNBN relies upon humanity saving humanity, sure. But, every morsel we've learned over 7 books suggest that Kellhus went on to the Outside. Wether that matters one iota or not, I guess, will ultimately lie in Bakker's hands. My only point is it wouldn't feel convoluted to me at all, there is a narrative precedence for Kellhus to be a God/Ciphrang who can effect tho he on Earwa and more importantly would know of the No-God. Its personal preference, yea. I can see it done well either way. But, I don't see it as plot armor.

It's certainly true that it is not without precedent. Whether it would be interesting, there are opinions differ.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: JRControl on July 12, 2017, 09:05:25 pm
I don't mind Kellhus failing, but I mind being left completely in the dark as to his real motivations. Was he hungry for power or did he just do a deal with the devil to save the world or a bit of both? More than anything else this bothers me. The book is strewn about with various indicators that he's just dunyaining it up AND that he cares. It's just maddening not to know what's going on with him morally after 7 books and possibly waiting years for any additional clues that might not even come. I WANTED JUDGEMENT.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 12, 2017, 09:05:33 pm
I added to my post. I'm fine either way. As long as its done right.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 12, 2017, 09:09:03 pm
I don't mind Kellhus failing, but I mind being left completely in the dark as to his real motivations. Was he hungry for power or did he just do a deal with the devil to save the world or a bit of both? More than anything else this bothers me. The book is strewn about with various indicators that he's just dunyaining it up AND that he cares. It's just maddening not to know what's going on with him morally after 7 books and possibly waiting years for any additional clues that might not even come. I WANTED JUDGEMENT.

Me too. Ultimately, I think he would have been seen as damned as much as Cnaüir if not more. Remember, as I been saying ignorance is innocence and is said throughout the books the things most holy. Kellhus is certainly full of Knowledge and conspiring with Gods. He's a hunger, no doubt. But, I do believe his goal to save humanity might've had some effect on his salvation/salvation. Not much though, me thinks.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 13, 2017, 06:55:02 pm
I don't mind Kellhus failing, but I mind being left completely in the dark as to his real motivations. Was he hungry for power or did he just do a deal with the devil to save the world or a bit of both? More than anything else this bothers me. The book is strewn about with various indicators that he's just dunyaining it up AND that he cares. It's just maddening not to know what's going on with him morally after 7 books and possibly waiting years for any additional clues that might not even come. I WANTED JUDGEMENT.

I get the disheartening feeling that few answers will ever be given. Enough for one to make a guess, but nothing for sure.

And I agree, its maddening.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 13, 2017, 07:18:02 pm
I get the disheartening feeling that few answers will ever be given. Enough for one to make a guess, but nothing for sure.

And I agree, its maddening.

I guess it is a microcosm of "real life."  We rarely ever get to know the full "why" or sometimes even the full "how."

It's all very Cormac McCarthy, which doesn't surprise me, considering Bakker has mentioned Blood Meridian before.  How there aren't really an end, just places where the narrative runs out.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 13, 2017, 07:28:39 pm
I get the disheartening feeling that few answers will ever be given. Enough for one to make a guess, but nothing for sure.

And I agree, its maddening.

I guess it is a microcosm of "real life."  We rarely ever get to know the full "why" or sometimes even the full "how."

It's all very Cormac McCarthy, which doesn't surprise me, considering Bakker has mentioned Blood Meridian before.  How there aren't really an end, just places where the narrative runs out.

I am not the least bit surprised, and not really disappointing. To have fully expected otherwise would be either wishful thinking or simply not paying much attention.

I have not read Cormac McCarthy.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 13, 2017, 07:41:03 pm
I am not the least bit surprised, and not really disappointing. To have fully expected otherwise would be either wishful thinking or simply not paying much attention.

I have not read Cormac McCarthy.

Blood Meridian is certainly a tour de force.  That doesn't mean it is a book for everyone.  Obviously I would recommend it, because there are several things that McCarthy does that Bakker clearly emulates, like evoking something of scriptural tone and  theodicy (or something like it that I obviously don't know a smart word for).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 13, 2017, 08:32:57 pm
I don't mind Kellhus failing, but I mind being left completely in the dark as to his real motivations. Was he hungry for power or did he just do a deal with the devil to save the world or a bit of both? More than anything else this bothers me. The book is strewn about with various indicators that he's just dunyaining it up AND that he cares. It's just maddening not to know what's going on with him morally after 7 books and possibly waiting years for any additional clues that might not even come. I WANTED JUDGEMENT.

I get the disheartening feeling that few answers will ever be given. Enough for one to make a guess, but nothing for sure.

And I agree, its maddening.

As the series went along I found that it was a little easier to parse what Kellhus's intentions were and when he was playing coy. He told Esme he was saving humanity, then made it clear in the Golden Room that was his intentions also. I guess there is still an interpretation that exists, that Kellhus duped Ajokli and not the other way around, which is plausible. But, alas, as Wishire says, I doubt we ever find out, tbh.

On, another note, I've seen speculation on when the next series will pick up. I hope that it does so, not long after TAE left off. I think you need Akka, Mimara and Esme to have the series to be at its best. IMO, I also think thematically it makes sense the a Seswatha incarnation be involved in saving the world.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 14, 2017, 05:58:06 am
I am not the least bit surprised, and not really disappointing. To have fully expected otherwise would be either wishful thinking or simply not paying much attention.

I have not read Cormac McCarthy.

Blood Meridian is certainly a tour de force.  That doesn't mean it is a book for everyone.  Obviously I would recommend it, because there are several things that McCarthy does that Bakker clearly emulates, like evoking something of scriptural tone and  theodicy (or something like it that I obviously don't know a smart word for).


Isn't Blood Meridian a western? Or, is it also fantasy too? I looked into it and thought it was a take on a Western, I could be wrong, and hell it might be fantastic. Westerns is just a genre I've never delved into.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Hiro on July 14, 2017, 06:35:00 am
I am not the least bit surprised, and not really disappointing. To have fully expected otherwise would be either wishful thinking or simply not paying much attention.

I have not read Cormac McCarthy.

Blood Meridian is certainly a tour de force.  That doesn't mean it is a book for everyone.  Obviously I would recommend it, because there are several things that McCarthy does that Bakker clearly emulates, like evoking something of scriptural tone and  theodicy (or something like it that I obviously don't know a smart word for).


Isn't Blood Meridian a western? Or, is it also fantasy too? I looked into it and thought it was a take on a Western, I could be wrong, and hell it might be fantastic. Westerns is just a genre I've never delved into.


It is a western. A dark one doesn't come close to describe it. Ink-black, primal-primordial, existential-poetic; perhaps.

It's a tough one. You could consider starting with McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Less bleak and stark. Albeit, not a walk in the park either.

His style is unique and worthwhile exploring.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 14, 2017, 06:39:50 am
It is a western. A dark one doesn't come close to describe it. Ink-black, primal-primordial, existential-poetic; perhaps.

It's a tough one. You could consider starting with McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Less bleak and stark. Albeit, not a walk in the park either.

His style is unique and worthwhile exploring.

Thank you, Hiro! I have it on my Kindle because it's talked about so much around here. Yet, I've never even downloaded it onto any of my devices yet. I'm reading Red Sister by Lawrence right now and don't know how I'm feeling about it 4 chapters in. Maybe ill give Cormac a go, sounds like my fare.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Deustriplo on July 14, 2017, 09:41:47 am
Here we go...
The tale is done.
Many, many seasons ago, when I first picked up the The Darkness That Comes Before I was enthralled. I found it a fascinating read. One that cemented Bakker as one of my all time favourite writers on par with Philip K. Dick. I embarked on the journey of The Coming of the Second Apocalypse. These books will forever be some of my favourites.
The world, the insights into human culture and habits, into our needs and wants, into philosophy, even metaphysics, fascinated me and I know I will return to read these books over and over again through my life and follow these characters tracks time and time again.

The tale of Khellus. That is what these books were about for me as a reader at their core. He was what captured me more than anything else. And in a way I am content to know what lies at the end of the journey. The journey he took after the first steps into the wilderness, out of Ishual so many years ago now.

TDTCB and TWP are my favourite books of this magnificent tale. The Aspect Emperor series did not capture my imagination as much as the Prince of Nothing did. But I digress.

TUC was the end of a journey for me. And even though it gave me closure I cannot feel but disappointed. And a part of me "feels" this is not the tale Bakker set out to write so many years ago.

- An intellect/power such a Khellus, having achieved the impossible, leaves Celmonas alive? Really? Because of Esmenet?
"His darkness?" Come on. I did not get it at all. At the eve of the greatest battle the world has ever seen he spends that much power to save Esmenet?
Okay fair enough I will suspend believe for a few heartbeats. But why? What was the reason behind it? Nothing was ever done without reason by this character.
Why would he return to "save" her? It makes no sense and goes against the core of what the character is imo. And again makes no sense his decisions over Celmonas.

- What was the point of Cnaiur urs Skiotha at all as a character in this series? Seemed only to exist to appease the fans who wanted him returned. I cant' think of anything done with this character that influenced the narrative or outcome. It lessened him as a character and he deserved better imo.

- Massive cliffhanger or simply an easy way out? I guess it will work both ways. If there is enough clamour for a return to the series there is enough ambiguity in the end to have another trilogy, if not Bakker can always say "It is done..."
Either way I, as a reader, do not care for the next installment. It would simply be stretching a good thing for the sake of stretching it and dilute it as I feel the Aspect Emperor Series diluted the Prince of Nothing.

In fact there shouldn't be another installment. The world has been emptied of fighting men by the Ordeal.
Enough souls and sins have now been sacrificed and committed surely, that the World is now Shut to the Outside?
The Consul won. The No God Walks again. What happens to Cnaiur urs Skiotha after he walks through the horde shows that. "Nothing..."

There are several other plots throughout the Aspect Emperor series I never understood or thought made sense but it is not important now. What the hell was the point of the White Luck Warrior for instance? (the worse book of the whole series for me?) I don't get it.

Overall I think it was an amazing journey, flawed towards the end,very flawed but amazing. Bakker is one of the best writers alive today and I thank him for the world and characters he created for our enjoyment. Hope he moves into a new project and reinvents himself.

Truth Shines!
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 14, 2017, 11:28:43 am
It is a western. A dark one doesn't come close to describe it. Ink-black, primal-primordial, existential-poetic; perhaps.

It's a tough one. You could consider starting with McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Less bleak and stark. Albeit, not a walk in the park either.

His style is unique and worthwhile exploring.

You could probably start with No Country for Old Men too, if you really wanted.

But I guess I should have pointed out the genre difference though.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Madness on July 14, 2017, 11:48:21 am
I get that everyone is afraid of spoiling those who are waiting for North American release but please feel free to get creative with subject headings - so as not to spoil others - and make specific threads to isolate this, that, or the other thing, rather than mimic the One-Thread Famine at Westeros (while my time here is still limited slightly, Wilshire, I, and others are on watch to make sure that there is no outright spoiling). That's literally the point of this forum - we don't have to restrict ourselves to one thread. Especially as I can't help but think that basically everyone here and on the Forum-That-Is-Dead-To-Me is missing a whole lot of the narrative right in front of their eyes.

Damn my wait for the canon artifact - though, my personal engagement is limited from now until the conclusion of The Second Apocalypse. But I'm very excited to start falsifying through citation ;).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Madness on July 14, 2017, 12:00:56 pm
Oh, and...

Well met to all the new members I've missed in the past week. Welcome to this very unique noosphere that we call the Second Apocalypse. I'm excited to meld with you all so that you can shape my journey.

Strength on the journey - Journey well.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: ThoughtsOfThelli on July 14, 2017, 12:34:57 pm
(Still trying to get my thoughts to make sense, where do I even start...)
I know there have been many, many posts since then, but I'll address Jackehehe's points from the first post anyway. :)


In general: my main impression of the book comes off as positive - while there were a few things that were mildly disappointing (though that's more a matter of subjectivity) and some loose ends that maybe should have been addressed (I agree with everyone who's said that Bakker left gave us far more mysteries than reveals), I really liked it as a whole.


The ending itself: Very bleak (I thought to myself "well, that's a downer") when reading the last few pages, but definitely thematically appropriate. It's not like it came out of nowhere or anything, I recall many people had predicted this or something like it would happen. But yes, still depressing.

Kellhus' death: I admit I was a bit confused at the time and had to go back and reread that passage. It does seem like the Kellhus greeting the Ordeal was some sort of hologram like it has been suggested. As for him not noticing Kelmomas: it makes sense to me, remember how little attention he had always paid Kelmomas, he had not even noticed his true nature until it was far too late. He thought he had him controlled after taking him and Esmenet away from Momemn and once again underestimated him and his weakness (feelings for Esmenet) caused her to release Kelmomas. Kellhus' blind spots ultimately doomed him, which for me, is a good resolution and ending for his character arc.

Kellhus: good or bad? That is a difficult question. It's not just a black or white kind of morality with him. I think he genuinely wanted to save the world, no matter how many heinous acts it would take, or how many people he would have to sacrifice as pawns to his plans. Ultimately, he thought himself fully capable of handling the threat of the Consult and was brought down by his own weaknesses (see above). I think I'll always see him as a (very) dark grey character in the morality spectrum.

Dûnyain take over the Consult: I was not expecting that. While I was a bit disappointed that Aurang, Aurax, Mekeritrig and Shauriatas were defeated so easily (and the Dûnyain Consult had even killed/broken Shauriatas and Aurax before we even got to see them!), it does fit the theme of the story. If one Dûnyain can take over Eärwa, five of them certainly can take over the Consult. While my first reaction wasn't great, the more I think about it, the more I like this development.

Momemn story arc: It definitely wasn't pointless: it served to flesh out the character of Kelmomas and his relationship to Ajokli as well as his role as a narindar (and we had his interactions with another narindar, too). Plus, there was Esmenet's descent into despair over the loss of her children and the (assumed) betrayal on Maithanet's part, which led to her hating Kellhus for it (more than she could ever hate Kelmomas, even after learning the truth). That subsequently caused her to give Kelmomas the means to free himself and indirectly resulted in Kellhus' death at the end.
(And this arc gave us Thelli, my favourite Anasûrimbor, how could it be pointless? ;))

Kayûtas: I have to mostly agree with Jackehehe here...I thought he was a boring character for the first three books of this series. Nothing distinctive about him (unlike his siblings), he was basically a more human Kellhus, "Kellhus Lite", if you will. :P
While I agree he did have a role as a Kellhus stand-in to Sorweel and later Proyas, and was the tiniest bit more interesting to me by the end, I ultimately came away from the series with (almost) the same impression I had at the beginning. I guess that can be more of a subjective thing, though, as some people out there might like him as a character?
He may be, however, the only one of Kellhus' children left alive for the next series, as it seems possible he survived. Kelmomas, as the No-God, isn't really "alive" anymore (at least not as himself). Serwa likely died at the end or shortly afterwards, given that she had already survived that blast which left her disfigured and covered in burns, and was later struck by the Chorae and lost at least part of an arm.

Malowebi: Again, the wonders of subjectivity. ;) I liked Malowebi's POV, it was a way to have direct access to what was happening with Kellhus when he wasn't close to any other POVs. A Kellhus POV might have given away too much, especially at the end. But again, that's just my opinion, and I didn't even mind the constant cursing of Likaro. (as a side note: I kind of hope that we get to see Likaro himself in the next series, even if briefly)

The Boy: I kept wondering about him when I was about halfway through the book and realized we hadn't seen him make an appearance yet. I presumed it's not random at all and he is being saved for a greater role in the next series, as (mostly?) everyone else seems to think.

Cnaïur: He is always a fascinating character to have around, I also enjoyed every scene he was in. I hadn't realized I had really missed him in this series, even with the scene at the end of TGO. About his confrontation with the No-God, after a quick reread of that scene, it seems like he was possessed by Ajokli? (Or was it Gilgaöl, as some think? Gilgaöl had possessed him before in PON, as I recall...) Not really sure what to say about it, just that I might need to think about it for a longer time.

Achamian: While I have to agree about the Akka/Mimara storyline not having a proper resolution at the end, it did contribute to worldbuilding as people have pointed out. I believe they, along with the Boy, will have more important roles to play later on (though I still wish they'd got to do more).

Serwa: Unlike Kayûtas, it was very much her time in the spotlight in this book, and she did get amazing moments even if there was no followup to the fight with the dragon. I think she had a good conclusion to her arc anyway, going by the assumption she died at the end/not long after.



More thoughts to follow later...probably.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 14, 2017, 12:56:07 pm
Here we go...
The tale is done.
...
Truth Shines!

Great to have you hear, hope you stick around :) .

I'm starting to get confused here about what people see as ‘no point’. The whole story is built on all the details provided by every character and narrative arc. We get our worldbuilding from character's thoughts and feelings, observations, etc., not (largely) random exposition from omnipotent POVs that just dictate to the reader what the world is.

For example lets use the WLW since you brought it up. Without the WLW, there would be little information Yatwer, on the Gods, on their Agency and timelessness, no exposition on Kelmomas and his (no)god-entangled-ness. It drives all of Kelmomas’ story arc, as well as a huge piece Esmenet’s. Maithanet would rule the 3 seas, probably have defeated Fanayal without Kellhus. Fast forward to the end  and having little Kel end up in the Goldren Room would be extremely contrived, basically just some random child showing up at the end of the story. So remove the WLW, and you removed at least 2 full story arcs, which in turn ruins all the others.

If you take out any single story arc, the story is drastically changed as a whole, and pretty much ruined. This isn’t just a story following Kellhus and his journey from Ishual to Hell and back again. That’s not how a good story is told, and its certainly not why we like TSA to begin with. If this was a mono-arc book, it would very well just be 3 books following a single main character (probably akka or Kellhus).


Let me ask directly then, what is an important story arc that "had a point", and what makes it different than any one that didn't.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 14, 2017, 04:00:07 pm
The tale is done.

Nooooooo

Besides the fact that he pretty clearly states that there is gonna be sequels (and I think he is actively writing them too?) I don't think Bakker can let go of Second Apocalypse - I am gonna go out on a limb, and assume that the people who read his non-SA novels are almost entirely made of SA fans, so if his writing endevaours are to continue and prosper (to their relative degree, at least), he'll need more Second Apocalypse to keep his fans together
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 14, 2017, 04:15:40 pm
Cnaïur: He is always a fascinating character to have around, I also enjoyed every scene he was in. I hadn't realized I had really missed him in this series, even with the scene at the end of TGO. About his confrontation with the No-God, after a quick reread of that scene, it seems like he was possessed by Ajokli? (Or was it Gilgaöl, as some think? Gilgaöl had possessed him before in PON, as I recall...) Not really sure what to say about it, just that I might need to think about it for a longer time.

A startling realization I made in this book, is that Cnaiür actually makes sense; his limitless insanity and all. Madness, due to its unpredictable and erratic nature, is the only place where the Dunyain don't hold a true dominion over so, to have any shot against Kellhus, he has to go all the way in. The part where Moenghus tries to reason with him by calling out his inconsistencies and he just keeps hitting him was pitch perfect. One thing Bakker did so well with this whole series is to create characters who are inherently unsympathetic with their villainy, and make them... well, likable? Awesome!
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Deustriplo on July 15, 2017, 01:47:18 am
Here we go...
The tale is done.
...
Truth Shines!

Great to have you hear, hope you stick around :) .

I'm starting to get confused here about what people see as ‘no point’(...) .

Let me ask directly then, what is an important story arc that "had a point", and what makes it different than any one that didn't.

I will def stick around.  ;)

There is no need to get confused. If there is something very unique about Bakker and what he wrote about in the PoN and TAE series is that reality is a matter of perspective and perception. Good and Evil, Right and Wrong are artificial concepts created by men to bring sense to the darkness that reality really is and so that our restricted minds can appear to function and have a semblance of control.

All I wrote is simply my opinion and how I understood what I read. Is there a right way and a wrong way to interpret what we both read? I doubt it. Especially when much of what was touched upon in these books rested squarely in the realms of metaphysics.

All arcs are important and build to the overall narrative? Maybe. In a sense I understand your point. I personally felt that many arcs were just to fill in pages... Again what did Cnauir really brought to this last series?
A Goddess can hide an assassin from Khellus intellect/powers by having a slave trace mud on his cheeks but her avatar gets destroyed in less than a couple heartbeats by the same character?
You look at the toll exacted by Khellus from everyone in the Three Seas, not least from those closer to him, and he makes a mistake like that with Celmonas? Another Dûnyain? Conditioned Ground and you forget one of your own? You do not dispose of him when you convince Esm that he must die?
He actually has feelings for Esmenet? To the point he goes back to rescue her at a stage that The Ordeal was closing in on the battle he had been preparing and tempering the world for 20 years?
The man who actually rewrites scripture and makes the Men of the Tusk accept/tolerate the Few?
Sorry I don;t see it.
But like I said in my post. What really hooked me on these books was Khellus as a character and maybe I am just disappointed.
But there is no Right or Wrong here in my mind. There is only different points of view.


Another thing that always intrigued me. Why was Esmenet strong enough to carry the Dûnyain's seed to completion so many times when no other seemed to be? Because she coupled with the Ichoroi at some stage?

What is important to a reader in a tale is a matter of perspective only. ;-)

Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Deustriplo on July 15, 2017, 01:48:56 am
The tale is done.

Nooooooo

Besides the fact that he pretty clearly states that there is gonna be sequels (and I think he is actively writing them too?) I don't think Bakker can let go of Second Apocalypse - I am gonna go out on a limb, and assume that the people who read his non-SA novels are almost entirely made of SA fans, so if his writing endevaours are to continue and prosper (to their relative degree, at least), he'll need more Second Apocalypse to keep his fans together

I am sorry. I should have been clearer.
The tale is done... For me. ;-)

Truth Shines...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: generalguy on July 15, 2017, 02:13:59 pm
So what was the deal with: https://mobile.twitter.com/bakkerfans/status/837711331138629634/photo/1

I didn't see any mention of the lord torturer Harapior's son anywhere?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: ThoughtsOfThelli on July 15, 2017, 02:17:58 pm
So what was the deal with: https://mobile.twitter.com/bakkerfans/status/837711331138629634/photo/1

I didn't see any mention of the lord torturer Harapior's son anywhere?

That's right! I remembered that reading the book, then forgot it again until you brought it up.

Maybe it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention and we both missed it? ???
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Simas Polchias on July 15, 2017, 04:10:15 pm
Dunno how to actually react to the TUC, fellow second-apocalyptians.

On the one hand, lots of question were not just left unanswered -- but universally tossed aside, we'll possibly never know about them. On the other hand, it's just how the most of reality works and good books always use this flaw as benefit.
On the one hand, I've felt myself robbed of Golgotherrat Consult and in a manner somehow similar to Isterebinth Nonmen -- drooling idiots in a dusty corner, oh my, and with so few possibilities to gaze upon them. On the other hand, Second Apocalypse was always like an awesome encyclopedia of crippled badasses to me, so it's still cool. Also, after TGO I've thought nonmen intact are done, but no, they've made a nice part in the final battle, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Aurang, arise!
On the one hand, I'm completely confused. Mostly because of power-level uncertainty. Is Kellhus still an uber-controlfreak, who knew about everything (Kel's strangeness, Sorweel's godmade face, dunyianization of Consult, Ajokli's plans) and made preemptive measures, using everyone as parts of tTT? Or he's actually reached his limit? Speaking plainly, is Kellhus still a measure of everything or he is not? On the other hand, TUC is not an actual book, but an overgrown second part of TGO+TUC, so I'm betting on the complex re-read.

For now I'll just go & start filling my instagram with appropriate art.
The Second Tiny Ordeal begins.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 15, 2017, 04:18:34 pm
So what was the deal with: https://mobile.twitter.com/bakkerfans/status/837711331138629634/photo/1

I didn't see any mention of the lord torturer Harapior's son anywhere?

That's right! I remembered that reading the book, then forgot it again until you brought it up.

Maybe it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention and we both missed it? ???

Moenghus reminiscies that Harapior told him "you will become my son after this"

It seemed like a domination tactic, I really don't know why it was a teaser
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: ThoughtsOfThelli on July 15, 2017, 04:21:01 pm
Moenghus reminiscies that Harapior told him "you will become my son after this"

It seemed like a domination tactic, I really don't know why it was a teaser

Yes, that's right... That didn't even register in my mind when reading, I guess I was expecting an actual biological son of Harapior to be mentioned/appear, and it would be someone we'd already be familiar with (or the name would be recognizable).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Madness on July 15, 2017, 05:32:41 pm
So what was the deal with: https://mobile.twitter.com/bakkerfans/status/837711331138629634/photo/1

I didn't see any mention of the lord torturer Harapior's son anywhere?

That's right! I remembered that reading the book, then forgot it again until you brought it up.

Maybe it was a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention and we both missed it? ???

Moenghus reminiscies that Harapior told him "you will become my son after this"

It seemed like a domination tactic, I really don't know why it was a teaser

I did forewarn people that MG's teasers reflected his interpretation of the text. Readers should try coming up with "teasers" as a thought exercise. When you're adamant about not spoiling, it's not easy.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Simas Polchias on July 15, 2017, 06:02:44 pm
Moenghus reminiscies that Harapior told him "you will become my son after this"
Dunno if it's an euphimism of death (nonmen sons mostly died in wombs or battles), a note of kinship building (a 8000 year culture of battling alzheimer with rape and torture), or a sliped out though about surprise butt sex.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Cuttlefish on July 15, 2017, 06:24:31 pm
Moenghus reminiscies that Harapior told him "you will become my son after this"
Dunno if it's an euphimism of death (nonmen sons mostly died in wombs or battles), a note of kinship building (a 8000 year culture of battling alzheimer with rape and torture), or a sliped out though about surprise butt sex.

Might have something to do about loving and hurting, the way Nonmen do - Harapior thinks he'll remember Moenghus, because he has brutalized him so much
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 16, 2017, 09:52:43 am
I thought it was to do with shaping him. Kellhus was his "father" he believed his beliefs etc. Now Harpior stripped that all away, showing him he isn't a dunyain at all, he is most certainly not an anasurimbor. He follows Harpior's path now, so his son.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Ain't Germain on July 17, 2017, 12:36:45 am
It is a western. A dark one doesn't come close to describe it. Ink-black, primal-primordial, existential-poetic; perhaps.

It's a tough one. You could consider starting with McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Less bleak and stark. Albeit, not a walk in the park either.

His style is unique and worthwhile exploring.

You could probably start with No Country for Old Men too, if you really wanted.

But I guess I should have pointed out the genre difference though.

I honestly consider Blood Meridian to be right up there with Lord of the Rings and Dune as essential reading for anyone with scholarly ambitions regarding TSA, particularly if one's interest is in the stylistic prose and philosophical aspects of the series (not to mention the sequences of war depicted in all its mind-shattering terror and bleakness).

Simply reading analyses of it afterward is almost guaranteed to open up new perspectives on TSA, even regarding how the metaphysics (might) work, a considerable amount of which would be pretty hard to catch on unless someone happens to be familiar with esoteric Gnostic myth and theology.

No Country For Old Men has less (and less obvious) elements of influence, but it's also perhaps my favorite standalone book of all time and is a very good introduction to McCarthy's style. It's nowhere near as dense or challenging as Blood Meridian and is actually a relatively "light read" (in terms of accessibility -- it's still bleak as all hell). 
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 17, 2017, 12:11:18 pm
No Country For Old Men has less (and less obvious) elements of influence, but it's also perhaps my favorite standalone book of all time and is a very good introduction to McCarthy's style. It's nowhere near as dense or challenging as Blood Meridian and is actually a relatively "light read" (in terms of accessibility -- it's still bleak as all hell). 

Yeah, it lacks a lot of what makes Blood Meridian great, but like you say, it does give one entry into McCarthy's style...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 17, 2017, 01:10:50 pm
On the actual ending. I thought Kellhus saved himself.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: H on July 17, 2017, 01:18:12 pm
On the actual ending. I thought Kellhus saved himself.

It's also plausible that Kellhus' head is either on his own belt at the time, or possibly even on Malowebi's body (even if that is unlikely).
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Walter on July 17, 2017, 01:18:28 pm
Saved himself?  What do you mean?
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 17, 2017, 01:20:14 pm
Well he isn't damned and his soul was one of the last to slip out of the world. Seems as sweet a deal as a Dunyain could get. Koringhus bit the hand off the absolute when offered the same. (if we assume he wasn't damned anymore)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 17, 2017, 01:20:51 pm
On the actual ending. I thought Kellhus saved himself.

It's also plausible that Kellhus' head is either on his own belt at the time, or possibly even on Malowebi's body (even if that is unlikely).

I'm Moe Sr squad so yeah, now we have both Kellhus and Moe running things from the outside :)
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: TLEILAXU on July 17, 2017, 10:45:17 pm
I finished TUC earlier today and I'm a bit overwhelmed. I REALLY looked forward to seeing the Unholy Consult, to seeing the final confrontation with ancient Shauriatis and the enigmatic Aurax, who surely must be a master of the Tekne. Instead, Shauriatis is long dead and Aurax is grovelling at the feet of inhuman humans. For all the alien horror and ancient wicked sorceries, it's the home-grown monstrous sons of the Dûnyain that bring about the apocalypse. I definitely did not see that coming.

Regarding Kellhus, since the Inverse Fire burned true and since he did see himself not suffering in it, I believe he has been cast to the Outside as a Ciphrang, or absorbed into Ajokli's being somehow.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 18, 2017, 01:41:41 am
Regarding Kellhus, since the Inverse Fire burned true and since he did see himself not suffering in it, I believe he has been cast to the Outside as a Ciphrang, or absorbed into Ajokli's being somehow.

He is his own soul in the Outside or Ciphrang/God what have you. Me thinks, he tricked the Trickster. And H was right all along and its IS Kellhus talking to himself in the dreams. Kellhus...more to come in TSTSNBN. He's gonna destroy the hundred to stop damnation.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Anwurat on July 18, 2017, 01:57:31 am
Why would he destroy the Hundred to stop damnation? Assuming that he could? He saw himself descending as hunger in the outside and he was quite fine with that...
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: MSJ on July 18, 2017, 07:24:19 am
No hundred to feed on $ouls, no damnation. Or, then he can throw objective morality out the window.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: themerchant on July 18, 2017, 10:17:50 am
Kellhus saved himself, only Moe Sr can save Earwa.
Title: Re: [TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc
Post by: Wilshire on July 18, 2017, 11:19:21 am
Haven't maxed out a thread in a long time :), how exciting.

Go forth, all ye speculators. Make threads - and please, have some decorum. Make a topic about something so that someone in the future might be able to query our database and find what they're looking for.
(ie, if someone makes a "[TUC SPOILERS] Thoughts about the overall story, ending etc. Part 2" thread, I'll delete it).

One idea might be to quote a post, copy it, and use that as part of your initial post for whatever your new topic is.

Thanks!