[TGO SPOILERS] Head on a pole

  • 82 Replies
  • 23865 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

The Sharmat

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Horde General
  • Posts: 779
    • View Profile
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2016, 03:24:52 am »
Ah, I'd forgotten that. He was barely coherent at that point.

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2660
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2016, 11:23:16 am »
Quote
He is here … with you … not so much inside me as speaking with your voice.
There is a head on a pole behind you.
And he walks, though there is no ground. And he sees, though his eyes have rolled into his brow. Through and over, around and within, he flees and he assails … For he is here.

Quote
There was a head upon the pole behind him. If he could not turn to see it, it was because it lay behind his seeing … Behind all seeing.

So, in our most recent LostCast, geoffrobro floated the idea that the Head on the Pole is essentially Kellhus' own head, the view of himself, from himself, essentially looking backwards.  Or at least, something like that, I might be doing a poor job paraphrasing his idea.  It does make sense of the above quotes, how his eyes have rolled back into his head and yet, he sees.

Consider further, where is the Outside in relation to your physical presence?  Your soul is what links you to the Outside, so looking inward (eyes rolling back) is to look Outside.  But of course it isn't so simple as to just be looking backwards at one's self, the Outside isn't so cut a dry.  So looking back is looking backwards but at a reflection of one's self.

Bakker's recent quote gives us a definite insight into this:

Quote from: rsbakker
In the coffee shop I worked in, the way my screen reflected the plate glass window behind me created this image of a head on a pole that would vanish whenever I turned around to glimpse it's source. It creeped me out, and provided wonderful inspiration for the Outside flashbacks...

So, I do believe that geofforobro had the right of it from the get go.  The Head is Kellhus' head.  It is behind him because it is the view from his view.  It is the seeing of himself seeing.  Perhaps it Grounds him in the Outside because he can understand that his soul is only a reflection of his body and his body only a reflection of his soul.  So, he closes the Watcher and Watched loop, so that he is indivisible.  Consider:

Quote
They seize him from time to time, the Sons of this place, and he feels the seams tear, hears his scream. But he cannot come apart—for unlike the Countless Dead his heart beats still.
His heart beats still.
There is a head on a pole behind you.

Neat-o.  All credit to Geoffrobro for basically figuring it out on a single read.  All I did was connect some further dots.  Hopefully he'll pop in soon and comment.
“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

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2288
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2016, 12:55:28 am »
That's excellent and makes a very hard thing to figure out made simple. Yet, Kellhus uses the phrase "There is a head on a pole behind you", in the mundane world. He also remarks about how it is always there and always has been. We get Kelmommas being bit on the back by Sammy. And, Onkhis. I don't care what Bakker said in the feedback thread, there is just took much similarity. (After all, he tricked everyone about Cnauir with a little fancy wordplay)

I think Geoffrobro and what you've put together is nice and is how it works in the Outside. But, there is far more to it than just that.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 02:03:02 am by MSJ »
“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,

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2660
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2016, 11:33:50 am »
That's excellent and makes a very hard thing to figure out made simple. Yet, Kellhus uses the phrase "There is a head on a pole behind you", in the mundane world. He also remarks about how it is always there and always has been. We get Kelmommas being bit on the back by Sammy. And, Onkhis. I don't care what Bakker said in the feedback thread, there is just took much similarity. (After all, he tricked everyone about Cnauir with a little fancy wordplay)

I think Geoffrobro and what you've put together is nice and is how it works in the Outside. But, there is far more to it than just that.

I'm not really feeling any connection with Onkhis though, besides there simply being a head.  I think there is far more behind the Onkhis-Siöl connection than with anything to do with the Head on the Pole.  It would be rather odd that Kellhus invokes a God to help him, when he is essentially at war with the Hundred.  I think it far more likely Bakker is being honest here.

As for why he says it applies in the mundane world, well, that is the nature of the reflection.  There is a Head on a Pole behind all of them, at all times.  One simply doesn't see it, because they aren't "looking back" at it.  This is what Kellhus "discovered," that the Head is there.  Were anyone else able to look through their own soul, they would see this as well.
“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

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2288
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2016, 12:34:41 pm »
That's excellent and makes a very hard thing to figure out made simple. Yet, Kellhus uses the phrase "There is a head on a pole behind you", in the mundane world. He also remarks about how it is always there and always has been. We get Kelmommas being bit on the back by Sammy. And, Onkhis. I don't care what Bakker said in the feedback thread, there is just took much similarity. (After all, he tricked everyone about Cnauir with a little fancy wordplay)

I think Geoffrobro and what you've put together is nice and is how it works in the Outside. But, there is far more to it than just that.

I'm not really feeling any connection with Onkhis though, besides there simply being a head.  I think there is far more behind the Onkhis-Siöl connection than with anything to do with the Head on the Pole.  It would be rather odd that Kellhus invokes a God to help him, when he is essentially at war with the Hundred.  I think it far more likely Bakker is being honest here.

As for why he says it applies in the mundane world, well, that is the nature of the reflection.  There is a Head on a Pole behind all of them, at all times.  One simply doesn't see it, because they aren't "looking back" at it.  This is what Kellhus "discovered," that the Head is there.  Were anyone else able to look through their own soul, they would see this as well.

Right. And isn't that all connected to the darkess that comes before?  And all the other mumbo jumbo philosophical stuff about your emotions preceding you? I mean it's a major theme of the entire series and Onkis REFLECTS that perfectly, by her definition, provided in the glossary. Is that just coincidence?

ETA: and we have evidence (well, I believe so) of another of the 100 aiding Kellhus for reasons unknown, Ajokli.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 12:39:56 pm by MSJ »
“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,

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2660
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2016, 12:52:00 pm »
Right. And isn't that all connected to the darkess that comes before?  And all the other mumbo jumbo philosophical stuff about your emotions preceding you? I mean it's a major theme of the entire series and Onkis REFLECTS that perfectly, by her definition, provided in the glossary. Is that just coincidence?

ETA: and we have evidence (well, I believe so) of another of the 100 aiding Kellhus for reasons unknown, Ajokli.

A fair point, but I don't think everything has to lead back to that Darkness.  I think the Head on a Pole is recursive, in the same way that Shae's soul-trap is.  Indeed Darkness precedes, generally, but with Kellhus now, I think things are different.  I think Kellhus is no long in the cycle of Darkness preceding him.  That is kind of my point in the other thread about his visions.  It seems that it isn't Darkness that precedes him now, it is himself.
“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

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2288
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2016, 01:38:26 pm »
Right. And isn't that all connected to the darkess that comes before?  And all the other mumbo jumbo philosophical stuff about your emotions preceding you? I mean it's a major theme of the entire series and Onkis REFLECTS that perfectly, by her definition, provided in the glossary. Is that just coincidence?

ETA: and we have evidence (well, I believe so) of another of the 100 aiding Kellhus for reasons unknown, Ajokli.

A fair point, but I don't think everything has to lead back to that Darkness.  I think the Head on a Pole is recursive, in the same way that Shae's soul-trap is.  Indeed Darkness precedes, generally, but with Kellhus now, I think things are different.  I think Kellhus is no long in the cycle of Darkness preceding him.  That is kind of my point in the other thread about his visions.  It seems that it isn't Darkness that precedes him now, it is himself.

I like the idea, never made that connection. I don't see where we can just throw away obvious connections though. I will admit that what you propose, that the darkness no longer precedes him, he does, is indeed what it's meant to represent. He's essentially taking over that role, of Onkhis. Because, for everyone else (basically) on Earwa the darkness does precede them.
“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,

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 5766
  • One of the other conditions of possibility
    • View Profile
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2016, 02:02:26 pm »
All this looking forward/looking back stuff makes me think of the WLW visions.

If there is a head on a pole behind everyone, then why is only Kellhus safe in the Outside? Its implied early on that no-one, except Kellhus, that has 'traveled' to the outside has returned.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2660
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2016, 02:35:17 pm »
I like the idea, never made that connection. I don't see where we can just throw away obvious connections though. I will admit that what you propose, that the darkness no longer precedes him, he does, is indeed what it's meant to represent. He's essentially taking over that role, of Onkhis. Because, for everyone else (basically) on Earwa the darkness does precede them.

Indeed, I think that is one reason why Moe is dead.  He surmised that nothing breaks the Principle of Before and After and he was wrong.  While the Onkis connection is strong, I don't think the Head is representational of Her.  I feel pretty sure it's Kellhus' own head, especially given what Bakker said about it's inspiration.  I'm open to being proven wrong later, but I think we have good evidence that it is indeed a case of a Watcher-Watched loop with Kellhus himself.

All this looking forward/looking back stuff makes me think of the WLW visions.

If there is a head on a pole behind everyone, then why is only Kellhus safe in the Outside? Its implied early on that no-one, except Kellhus, that has 'traveled' to the outside has returned.

That's a good question.  One I don't know that we have textual evidence to prove, one way or another.  Perhaps Kellhus is the first to be able to access the Outside through the cipher of his own soul?  In this way, his access is recursive, his body through his soul, his soul through his body.  That probably doesn't actually make sense, but note, his eyes are in his brow, even though he is in the Outside.  So, he keeps the loop closed by never breaking the eye contact he has with himself (the Head) and so the loop never breaks.  I am guessing that only a Dunyain would have that kind of willpower, or at least, no one else ever tried it who would.

I think the key though is the indivisibility that the Watcher-Watched loop provides.  As in the quote I had above, the ciphrang seek to tear him apart, he cannot be.  Because of the Head on the Pole, in other words, because he can recursively look back and in that looking, he is a loop, with no end.  In other words, a circle, so there are no gaps, no holds, no purchase for an agency to tear him away from his body.

The part where he uses the Head and the Pole as a weapon of sorts is a bit more confusing.  I think here, the idea is that his physical form, in relation to the Outside, is unmovable.  So, he can cast them against it, since they have no ability to move him on the Inside, yet being in the Loop allows him to be on both the Outside and the Inside.

No doubt I am missing something, but I feel pretty good about this being on the right track, overall. 
“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

Monkhound

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
« Reply #39 on: October 04, 2016, 03:52:03 pm »
I think the key though is the indivisibility that the Watcher-Watched loop provides. As in the quote I had above, the ciphrang seek to tear him apart, he cannot be.  Because of the Head on the Pole, in other words, because he can recursively look back and in that looking, he is a loop, with no end.  In other words, a circle, so there are no gaps, no holds, no purchase for an agency to tear him away from his body.

Very interesting idea about the indivisible watcher-watched loop.
I see a parallel with Kelmomas's and Samarmas's gazes locked into each other before being separated by a droning voice repeating the same sentence over and again.
Cuts and cuts and cuts...

H

  • *
  • The Zero-Mod
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • The Honourable H
  • Posts: 2660
  • The Original No-God Apologist
    • View Profile
    • The Original No-God Apologist
« Reply #40 on: October 04, 2016, 04:01:59 pm »
I think the key though is the indivisibility that the Watcher-Watched loop provides. As in the quote I had above, the ciphrang seek to tear him apart, he cannot be.  Because of the Head on the Pole, in other words, because he can recursively look back and in that looking, he is a loop, with no end.  In other words, a circle, so there are no gaps, no holds, no purchase for an agency to tear him away from his body.

Very interesting idea about the indivisible watcher-watched loop.
I see a parallel with Kelmomas's and Samarmas's gazes locked into each other before being separated by a droning voice repeating the same sentence over and again.

Interesting observation.  Perhaps this is why they are still "connected," in a sense?  Perhaps they were never actually divided, only separated to a degree?
“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

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2288
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2016, 01:16:58 am »
H, I am totally in with what your saying with Kellhus, he has closed the cycle and is preceding hisself, where as with everyone else it is the darkness that precedes them. Hence, being blind to the head on a pole behind you. (i will substitute my theory here, that the head on a pole is Onkhis, that is who has been designated as the the darkness that comes before as a aspect of the God. Yet, Kellhus doesn't need her, he has bypassed her, so to say.)

Now, with that sounding with a lot like Kelmommas, I instantly thought, that's what makes him blind to the Gods. But, indeed, the opposite would be true, he is open to the Gods. So, how does Yatwer not account for him? He has to be aided by Ajokli, simple and plain. We know for sure he isn't blinded from the Gods, because Celmommas is his predecessor, and Gilgoal came to him. Also, alas, we have the beetle scene and I assume that Ajokli was really smiling down on him.

ETA: concerning Onkhis. I am not saying she literally is the head on the pole behind you, from your theory that is your soul, I assume or something like it (sorry, I have a hard time putting this shit to words). But, it the diety humankind has designated as the darkness that comes before. I'm repeating myself, I'm just trying to make what I'm saying clear. I don't know that I am.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 01:24:22 am by MSJ »
“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,

Yellow

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 164
    • View Profile
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2016, 06:04:47 am »
Bakker confirmed that the head is not Onkis... However he didn't say that it wasn't related to Onkis in some way. So I think the theories are fair game.

Also, something that came to mind recently: the Onkis idol is said to look like a beautiful woman, but somehow also common (or a similar word, sorry can't remember exactly).

Serwe?
You are the fist that beats us.

MSJ

  • *
  • The Afflicted Few
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Yatwer's Baby Daddy
  • Posts: 2288
  • "You killed the wolf"
    • View Profile
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2016, 06:28:18 am »
Bakker confirmed that the head is not Onkis... However he didn't say that it wasn't related to Onkis in some way. So I think the theories are fair game.

Also, something that came to mind recently: the Onkis idol is said to look like a beautiful woman, but somehow also common (or a similar word, sorry can't remember exactly).

Serwe?

Excellent!
“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,

Monkhound

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
« Reply #44 on: October 05, 2016, 09:13:16 am »
Oh, cunning!
I guess Saubon as Gilgaől, based on him being the Battle Celebrant in TWP and the few accounts on the Unification Wars?
Cuts and cuts and cuts...