[TGO SPOILERS] Prologue + Chapter 1 excerpt

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profgrape

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« on: May 17, 2016, 01:31:22 am »
Thoughts from the Prologue and Chapter 1 excerpt posted at https://grimdarkmagazine.com/blogs/news/104286406-excerpt-from-r-scott-bakkers-the-great-ordeal.

1. Kellhus' recollection of the Outside seems to confirm Meppa's claims regarding the Gods, that they are nothing more than demons. 

2. Kellhus also confirms that he wars against the Gods themselves.  It was clear before that the Gods warred against him.  But not necessarily the other way around.

3. It's strongly implied that everyone is "damned".  Or at least that damnation is actually Man's purpose in a system constructed by the Gods.  I wonder, now, if the Thousandfold Thought was in fact recognizing this meta-system.

4. The living shall not haunt the dead.  I took this to mean that the living have no business interfering with the "damnation system."

5. The Consult's plans seem pretty sensible given the alternative.

Literally the first chapter and the mind-fucks have begun.  TGO cannot arrive soon enough!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 01:33:21 am by profgrape »

themerchant

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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 10:35:37 am »
Any ideas what Kellhus means with his heart crashing into ruin like his empire? Guilt?

A lot of talk about son's as well. Esme running for hers. The Tracing, Proyas being remade as "new children", the crocodile sons of the outside. Son or children is used about 20 times in the passage.

Also some weird language...

"For twenty years now, he had dwelt in the circuit of his father’s Thought, scrutinizing, refining, enacting and being enacted. He had known it would crash into ruin after his departure ..."

Seems to be talking about the empire crashing but the passage could mean the TTT also crashing into ruin from his departure of it. Then he realises he is going to die?

"No flesh could be sundered from its heart and survive. All of his empire was doomed—was disposable. Kellhus had known this and he had prepared. No ...

It was the hazard of the converse that had eluded him ...

The fact that his heart would also crash into ruin."

I wonder what preparations were made, also what exactly this means.

MSJ

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 11:52:18 am »
Kellhus's line on, "crashing heart into ruin.", is exactly what I've been saying while on the Slog. He has feelings. Wether they externalize or not, no. He's Dunyain first. But, he isn't a heartless, lifeless soul. From what we just learned in the excerpt, the Gods are nothing human, and humans are just food for the Gods. Hell, anything to get rid of the Gods would be good for humanity in the end.
“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,

profgrape

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 02:40:06 pm »
Re: The living shall not haunt the dead, I now see that it is a parallel of the phrase that opens Chapter 1 (bold mine), "The living should not haunt the dead."

Also, after re-reading Chapter 1, it sure seems like the Apophagia is aimed at making men even tastier morsels for the Gods.

MSJ

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 03:10:05 pm »
Also, after re-reading Chapter 1, it sure seems like the Apophagia is aimed at making men even tastier morsels for the Gods.

How so? They talk about losing their soul, becoming less. Which would make them less tasty, I would think. Are the Sranc a tasty meal for the Gods? I think that this will be an advantage in Kellhus's war on the Gods, however it will be hell on the men of the Ordeal.
“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,

profgrape

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 04:37:01 pm »
That's a good point re: "becoming less".  My speculation is motivated by the following quote:

Quote
The Men of the Ordeal feasted. They slept with sated bellies, with the assurance that their most primitive needs had been secured. They awoke drowsy, without the dull and alarming hollow of starvation.
And a wild vitality crept through their veins.

The "wild vitality" could just come from not being starving every day.  But it could also be a Qirri-like effect that comes from eating Sranc.  And if the Gods are, as Meppa claims, "...beguiled by our torment, our ecstasy...", the side-effect of eating Sranc might just make their souls all the more tantalizing.

Of course, what you write above also makes sense, that Kellhus is doing this specifically to war against the Gods. :-)

MSJ

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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 08:31:22 pm »
Good point with the Qirri, I was going to mention how they are similar, the side effects.
“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,

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 09:52:40 pm »
Love the writing and I'm anxiously looking forward to July 7th!

Anyone have any insight into the section that begins with the following:

"There is a head on a pole behind you.

Brutalities spin and scrape, like leaves blasted in the wind.

He is here ... with you ... not so much inside me as speaking with your voice.There is a head on a pole behind you."

Unless I'm completely misreading this I'm assuming this is written from Kellhus' point of view based upon his experience in the Outside. 

"He comes to the shore that is here, always here, gazes without sight across waters that are fire, and sees the Sons swimming, lolling and bloated and bestial, raising babes as wineskins, and drinking deep their shrieks.

There is a head on a pole behind you.

And he sees that these things are meat, here. Love is meat. Hope is meat. Courage. Outrage. Anguish. All these things are meat—seared over fire, sucked clean of grease.

There is a head on a pole.

Taste, one of the Sons says to him. Drink.

It draws down its bladed fingers, and combs the babe apart, plucking him into his infinite strings, laying bare his every inside, so that it might lick his wrack and wretchedness like honey from hair. Consume ... And he sees them descending as locusts, the Sons, drawn by the lure of his meat.

There is a head ... and it cannot be moved."

Several times in this passage RSB uses the phrase "There is a head..."  I've read through the section a couple times trying to glean the significance of this phrase or imagery but I'm coming up short.  Anyone have any insight or speculation as to the significance of this phrase?

Tyrin

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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 01:45:29 am »

1. Kellhus' recollection of the Outside seems to confirm Meppa's claims regarding the Gods, that they are nothing more than demons. 


If we tend to believe that Aurang was more or less telling the truth when he spoke with Kellhus during TTT, then Aurang also already confirmed as much. I imagine the Consult knows even more about the true nature of the Outside than Kellhus since their whole ethos revolves around breaking that connection.

profgrape

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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 01:55:37 am »
Love the writing and I'm anxiously looking forward to July 7th!

Anyone have any insight into the section that begins with the following:

"There is a head on a pole behind you.

Brutalities spin and scrape, like leaves blasted in the wind.

He is here ... with you ... not so much inside me as speaking with your voice.There is a head on a pole behind you."

Unless I'm completely misreading this I'm assuming this is written from Kellhus' point of view based upon his experience in the Outside. 

"He comes to the shore that is here, always here, gazes without sight across waters that are fire, and sees the Sons swimming, lolling and bloated and bestial, raising babes as wineskins, and drinking deep their shrieks.

There is a head on a pole behind you.

And he sees that these things are meat, here. Love is meat. Hope is meat. Courage. Outrage. Anguish. All these things are meat—seared over fire, sucked clean of grease.

There is a head on a pole.

Taste, one of the Sons says to him. Drink.

It draws down its bladed fingers, and combs the babe apart, plucking him into his infinite strings, laying bare his every inside, so that it might lick his wrack and wretchedness like honey from hair. Consume ... And he sees them descending as locusts, the Sons, drawn by the lure of his meat.

There is a head ... and it cannot be moved."

Several times in this passage RSB uses the phrase "There is a head..."  I've read through the section a couple times trying to glean the significance of this phrase or imagery but I'm coming up short.  Anyone have any insight or speculation as to the significance of this phrase?


My best guess is that the head on the pole is the narrator's (presumably, Kellhus) connection to the World, maybe literal, maybe metaphorical.  The head on the pole is what designates him as living and therefore, immune to the Sons.

After re-reading this section again, it's stylistically unlike anything in the series.  Very impressive work by RSB.

Wilshire

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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 02:49:38 am »

1. Kellhus' recollection of the Outside seems to confirm Meppa's claims regarding the Gods, that they are nothing more than demons. 


If we tend to believe that Aurang was more or less telling the truth when he spoke with Kellhus during TTT, then Aurang also already confirmed as much. I imagine the Consult knows even more about the true nature of the Outside than Kellhus since their whole ethos revolves around breaking that connection.

Welcome to the forum!
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locke

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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 04:31:10 am »
There is a head on the pole behind you. Serwes head, this is what he saw from the circumfix.



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themerchant

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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 05:34:20 am »
Could very well be locke, as that is the timeframe in which the revelation came to him.

Wic

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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 11:07:43 am »
REVELATIONS! More than I ever would have expected from a chapter excerpt. I feel like we could spend a year dissecting it (if we had to).

On profgrape's #3, if the purpose of souls are to be conceptually shredded and consumed by the gods/demons (not sure how the god-of-gods fits), then what creates them? If that's the end, what is the start? And what, presumably, does that have to do with Yatwer?

I was kind of blown away by how the Esmi section drew me in, the writing was phenomenal. That rapid scattered fire of memories, delusions, perspectives and fears in full panic.

I agree with profgrape that the 'head on a pole' is Kell's solid, Worldly self...at least somewhat. It's a strange image, but I do think the pole implies some sort of rigidity, and that it is behind him is some kind of dissociation. The passage suggests that 1. the head 'cannot be moved', and 2. it is reason to 'fear not damnation'.

I wonder if this has something to do with how Kell apparently sees the empire and TTT nearly indistinguishable from his own self.

Next thought - what the hell is up with Dunyain breeding methods!? There's surely something more than just some goofy ritualistic nonsense.

The introduction of that behavioral oddity, and as merchant said, all the mention of sons, makes me wonder...

Who is the Dunyain...character that Pat said is introduced?

themerchant

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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 11:24:20 am »
Also did Kellhus actually "walk the outside"in this particular encounter. seems like he projected himself there in that one. His body was somewhere else with it's eyes rolled up. Seeing without eyes reminds me of the what Meppa says in WLW in the audience chamber with Pstama (mother superior of the Yatwer Cult (SP?)).

Although we've heard the outside has no stable way of looking , if one goes by the Scarlet Spires damnation archives or whatever they call it.