The Slog WLW - Chapter 14 [Spoilers]

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« on: April 21, 2016, 12:24:31 pm »
Chapter 14:

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The woman he had murdered had been overthrown.

The WLW here, saying he killed Esmenet.  Can the WLW be wrong?

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How? How could she abandon him? After all his work, his toil, isolating her from distractions, infiltrating her, possessing her—making her love...

Kel again here, is he feigning love for Esmenet?  Or is this part of what deranged him, that she felt so distant from her other children, he felt the need to make her love him?

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"What if he were simply a man pretending to be more—a prophet, or even as you say, a god—simply to manipulate you and countless others?"
"But why would he do such a thing?" the girl cried, seeming at once thrilled, confused, and appalled.
"To save your life."
Naree, for all her beauty, looked plain in her moments of unguarded sorrow. Esmenet watched her blink two tears before trying to find shelter beneath the false roof that was her smile.
"Why would he do such a thing?"

Oh, what a great conversation.  What a great question to end it.  Indeed, this is the whole AE series boiled down to one question.  One we really have little idea about...

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"Secret words—he even said so. Words that no one—no one—can hear."
He walked like an acrobat following a rope, heel to toe, heel to toe. Despite his diminutive frame, he seemed to tower above the ink pool of his shadow.
"No. He never told me to kill anyone. But then, why would he have to? The words were secret..."
For the first time the boy turned to look at the watching Knight.
"Of course he would expect me to kill anyone listening."

This is a curious part.  It almost seems like Kellhus trained Kel, or was trying to train him in something?  Perhaps this went wrong somehow?  Or even more oddly, perhaps it went right?

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"What?" he asked as he worked. "What is my brother's plan?" The Holy Shriah looked up from the posture of a penitent. "He must have known that the Gods would begin clamouring against him, that one by one their far-off whispers would take root in the Cults. He must have known his Empire would crumble in his absence... So then why? Why would he entrust it all to someone with no Dûnyain blood?"

Perhaps because the Empire doesn't matter?

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"Because he feared that tidings of discord would weaken the Ordeal's resolve."
This, at least, had been what she told herself... What she needed to believe.
"But then why would he cease communicating?" Maithanet asked. "Why would he personally refuse to answer our pleas? From his brother. From his wife..."
She did not know. The Holy Empress of the Three Seas wiped at the tears burning in the creases of her eyes, but the filth on her fingers only made them sting more.
"Then it dawned on me," Maithanet continued, looking out to the recesses of the shuttered Temple. "What if he foresaw the inevitability of his empire's collapse? What if the Three Seas were doomed to unravel no matter who ruled them? You. Me. Thelli..."

Or, as I talked about before, the Empire's collapse is wholly irrelevant to the ultimate conclusion, or goal?  Or could well be a necessary part of it.

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"If the Empire was doomed to perish," he said, "what would his reasoning be then?"

I know there is much speculation that Kellhus is different than other Dûnyain because he either has, had, or acquired passions.  While I don't disagree that he does have these "vestigal passions" at times, I do not believe he is currently allowing them to interfere with his Thousandfold Thought, even if they did influence his formulation of it.  Indeed, this lack of communication could well be an acknowledgement that if he were to speak to Esmenet, he might be tempted to interfere and so his reticence to do so is tacit confirmation that the crumbling of the Empire is within his plan.

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What kind of man made oil of his children? What kind of Saviour?

The Thousandfold Thought is a lie, we know this and Kellhus is no Savior.  Never was, just as the halos were never divine.

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"I made the exact same mistake you yourself made, Esmi," he said. "I thought of the New Empire as an end, something to be saved for its own sake, when really it's nothing more than a tool."

We know this actually.  Everything is a tool to a Dûnyain.

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"Sister!" he gasped. "You must tell my broth—!"

So cryptic, these last words.  Tell him what?  I think a warning, that the Gods are a bigger threat than he thinks they are.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

profgrape

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 01:32:06 pm »
1. Small tidbit from scene with Kelmomas and his captive Shrial knight:

Quote
And the little boy grinned, an angel with the face of a demon.

Can't get much clearer than that, can you?

2. Regarding Matha's last words, whatever he wants to share with Kellhus (assuming he's the aforementioned "brother") is something that he feels his brother hasnt picked up on. Which given Kellhus deductive abilities is pretty impressive. I wonder if it's something about how the Gods can effectively hide their agents from even the hyper-perceptive Dunyain, that their abilities are indeed fallible?
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 01:37:15 pm by profgrape »

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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 03:22:36 pm »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?
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profgrape

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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 03:36:01 pm »
Kelmomas is still hiding when Maithanet is killed.   Before he's killed, however, he tells her "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."

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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 03:42:05 pm »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?

Moe explains it in TTT, it's Viramsata. The lie made breath (ground).
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 04:07:34 pm »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?

Moe explains it in TTT, it's Viramsata. The lie made breath (ground).

Are we taking this at face value?

Kelmomas is still hiding when Maithanet is killed.   Before he's killed, however, he tells her "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."
I'm going to have to go back and re-read this. So when Maithanet says, "he isn't what you think he is," which HE is Maithanet referring to? ...if only I wasn't so far from my copy of the book.
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profgrape

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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 04:12:51 pm »
Kelmomas is still hiding when Maithanet is killed.   Before he's killed, however, he tells her "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."
I'm going to have to go back and re-read this. So when Maithanet says, "he isn't what you think he is," which HE is Maithanet referring to? ...if only I wasn't so far from my copy of the book.

He's referring to Kelmomas.  An extended excerpt:

Quote
"Thelli is safe," he said with a reassuring smile. "Kelmomas hides yet in the palace."
Terror hooked her throat -- terror and crashing relief. "What? Along?"
His eyes seemed to lose focus, but even before she had registered it, he was there, before her, as immediate as her husband had ever been. "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."

This happens on the previous page to "you must tell my broth--!"  Which is why I think that what he wants to share with Kellhus is that the Gods' machinations are invisible even to the Dunyain.

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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2016, 04:26:32 pm »
Kelmomas is still hiding when Maithanet is killed.   Before he's killed, however, he tells her "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."
I'm going to have to go back and re-read this. So when Maithanet says, "he isn't what you think he is," which HE is Maithanet referring to? ...if only I wasn't so far from my copy of the book.

He's referring to Kelmomas.  An extended excerpt:

Quote
"Thelli is safe," he said with a reassuring smile. "Kelmomas hides yet in the palace."
Terror hooked her throat -- terror and crashing relief. "What? Along?"
His eyes seemed to lose focus, but even before she had registered it, he was there, before her, as immediate as her husband had ever been. "He isn't what you think he is, Esmi."

This happens on the previous page to "you must tell my broth--!"  Which is why I think that what he wants to share with Kellhus is that the Gods' machinations are invisible even to the Dunyain.
+1 for the heavy lifting :)

I agree with your assessment.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2016, 04:35:28 pm »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?

Moe explains it in TTT, it's Viramsata. The lie made breath (ground).

Are we taking this at face value?

I do.  Kellhus alludes to it too at times, for example, chapter 11 of WLW, Esmenet says to Kellhus:

Quote
"So you lied?"
A small smile. "I guided. I guided them to a lesser falsehood."
"Then what is the truth?"
He had laughed, shining as if anointed in oil.
"You would call me a liar if I told you," he had said.

Also, in chapter 7, when he acknowledges to Proyas that what Akka says in the Compendium is true, he is tacitly admitting that what he claims is then false.  He could be lying, but we know that Akka did write what is essentially the truth in the Compendium, from what we can read of it in the small excerpts.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 04:42:03 pm »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?

Moe explains it in TTT, it's Viramsata. The lie made breath (ground).

Are we taking this at face value?

I do.  Kellhus alludes to it too at times, for example, chapter 11 of WLW, Esmenet says to Kellhus:

Quote
"So you lied?"
A small smile. "I guided. I guided them to a lesser falsehood."
"Then what is the truth?"
He had laughed, shining as if anointed in oil.
"You would call me a liar if I told you," he had said.

Also, in chapter 7, when he acknowledges to Proyas that what Akka says in the Compendium is true, he is tacitly admitting that what he claims is then false.  He could be lying, but we know that Akka did write what is essentially the truth in the Compendium, from what we can read of it in the small excerpts.

I see where we are diverging here. What do you think the TTT is?

To me, it is (over simplifying here) Kellhus saving mankind from the Consult and whatever are the implications of that (aspiration to godhood?). And if that's the case, then the TTT isn't a lie. When Kellhus says "a lesser falsehood" I think he means convincing people that he is a prophet/living god/what have you, and NOT his war with Golgotterath.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 05:52:10 pm »
I see where we are diverging here. What do you think the TTT is?

To me, it is (over simplifying here) Kellhus saving mankind from the Consult and whatever are the implications of that (aspiration to godhood?). And if that's the case, then the TTT isn't a lie. When Kellhus says "a lesser falsehood" I think he means convincing people that he is a prophet/living god/what have you, and NOT his war with Golgotterath.

Well, I feel like Kellhus aspiration is the Absolute.  It is, as Serwa says, being the God of Gods.  I do not believe that Kellhus is out to avert the Second Apocalypse at all.  In fact, he plans to bring it.  Just not on the Consult's terms.  The Consult version of the Apocalypse is fret with ruin, death, and the sealing of the world to the Outside.  I feel like Kellhus' is with him rewriting meaning on Earwa, it's, as Bakker always discuses on his blog, a semantic apocalypse (I admit though, that the far-reaching implications of this are kind of lost to me).  It could be that what makes Earwa special will be essentially lost to the domination of Kellhus though.

So, the Thousandfold Thought is a plan, crafted with lies but not exclusively.  Sure, some of the parts of it are truth, but the whole body of it is a goad, a lie to achieve an end.  Sure, he plans to defeat the Consult, but really because they are first, beyond his manipulation, and second, a threat to what he plans to achieve (if he becomes a God and they shut the world, he is cut off).  I don't buy the savior talk, he is doing this for selfish reasons, just so happens that part of that happens to be incidentally good for humanity (not being killed by the Consult).  The end result though, I'm not so sure is good though.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 08:37:51 pm »
I see where we are diverging here. What do you think the TTT is?

To me, it is (over simplifying here) Kellhus saving mankind from the Consult and whatever are the implications of that (aspiration to godhood?). And if that's the case, then the TTT isn't a lie. When Kellhus says "a lesser falsehood" I think he means convincing people that he is a prophet/living god/what have you, and NOT his war with Golgotterath.

Well, I feel like Kellhus aspiration is the Absolute.  It is, as Serwa says, being the God of Gods.  I do not believe that Kellhus is out to avert the Second Apocalypse at all.  In fact, he plans to bring it.  Just not on the Consult's terms.  The Consult version of the Apocalypse is fret with ruin, death, and the sealing of the world to the Outside.  I feel like Kellhus' is with him rewriting meaning on Earwa, it's, as Bakker always discuses on his blog, a semantic apocalypse (I admit though, that the far-reaching implications of this are kind of lost to me).  It could be that what makes Earwa special will be essentially lost to the domination of Kellhus though.

So, the Thousandfold Thought is a plan, crafted with lies but not exclusively.  Sure, some of the parts of it are truth, but the whole body of it is a goad, a lie to achieve an end.  Sure, he plans to defeat the Consult, but really because they are first, beyond his manipulation, and second, a threat to what he plans to achieve (if he becomes a God and they shut the world, he is cut off).  I don't buy the savior talk, he is doing this for selfish reasons, just so happens that part of that happens to be incidentally good for humanity (not being killed by the Consult).  The end result though, I'm not so sure is good though.

Yeah, I can see what you are saying, and you might be right and I wrong, but both of us are speculating, so neither of us knows if the TTT is a lie or truth.
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2016, 12:09:11 am »
I don't have the book in front of me right now, but I think I recall Maithanet looking directly at Kelmomas and then the last words. I think the inference is that he realizes something is up with Kelmomas and he wants Esmi to warn Kellhus. The line about he angel with the demon face is intriguing. Shouldn't it be the other way around though?

@H - How do we know the TTT is a lie?

Moe explains it in TTT, it's Viramsata. The lie made breath (ground).

Are we taking this at face value?

I'd say your right Blackstone, that the end result, defeating the Consult isn't a lie. Though, basically everything else is. Moe explains how Viramsata works and the world is full of it, Inrithism and Fanimry was his choices for explaining this. Kellhus gained his power and divinity by the Circumfix, a miracle. When we know it was no miracle, just a way he chose to gain said power. It was a choice, and a farce at that. So, while defeati g the Consult maybe the truth, everything else is a lie. Unless, you're of the opinion that belief effects reality on Earwa. That's another conversation though.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2016, 03:12:15 pm »


I'd say your right Blackstone, that the end result, defeating the Consult isn't a lie. Though, basically everything else is. Moe explains how Viramsata works and the world is full of it, Inrithism and Fanimry was his choices for explaining this. Kellhus gained his power and divinity by the Circumfix, a miracle. When we know it was no miracle, just a way he chose to gain said power. It was a choice, and a farce at that. So, while defeati g the Consult maybe the truth, everything else is a lie. Unless, you're of the opinion that belief effects reality on Earwa. That's another conversation though.
[/quote]

Yes! That is definitely another conversation.

I see what you're saying. But the sticking point for me, the reason I don't think you can say the TTT is a lie, is that it doesn't matter if he uses lies and manipulation to fulfill his mission. The lying is just a tactic used in the conflict. If the end goal of the TTT is a true end goal, then the TTT isn't a lie, it's a truth that uses everything at its disposal to come to fruition.
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2016, 03:25:08 pm »
Yes! That is definitely another conversation.

I see what you're saying. But the sticking point for me, the reason I don't think you can say the TTT is a lie, is that it doesn't matter if he uses lies and manipulation to fulfill his mission. The lying is just a tactic used in the conflict. If the end goal of the TTT is a true end goal, then the TTT isn't a lie, it's a truth that uses everything at its disposal to come to fruition.

Well, the thing for me is that Kellhus frames the Ordeal as a way to avert the Second Apocalypse, even though I can't recall him ever saying it.  But people are sure assuming and acting on the assumption that it is.  While I have zero doubt that Kellhus wants the Consult defeat and is actually trying to do so, I still don't buy that he is a savior of the world.  I think he is just a new yoke, not necessarily a better one.

While the Consult is certainly not good for the world, I can't say I am buying Kellhus as being good for Earwa.

I'm definitely biased though.  I've had a hunch that Kellhus is not a savior basically since reading TWP the first time.  So, in the 11 years since then, I've been pretty stubborn on the hunch.  But a hunch is remains, because the text is purposely ambiguous on it...
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira