Unholy Consultation - *SUPER SPOILERIFIC*

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Tyrin

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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2017, 07:17:00 pm »
Congrats on the book, Mr. Bakker! (and also, much thanks for writing a series that has brought me such entertainment!)

One question I've had since TJE was concerning the identity of "the traveler" that seeks out the Skin-eaters in the first few pages of the prologue. Is this traveler an agent of Kellhus, the Mutilated, or someone else entirely?


Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2017, 07:35:32 pm »
Hey Mr. Bakker thanks for popping in and answering some questions.  I only have about a million of them! 

I don't know how much you peruse this forum or some of the other forums where your writings are passionately discussed.  If you do look at these forums you may note that a prevalent reaction to the ending of TUC was confusion.  I count myself one of your most passionate fans.  I already read TUC twice.  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 and am currently almost through my third read of TJE in anticipation of going through TAE series once again. 

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 was thoroughly confused by the ending of TUC.  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, felt rushed and opaque.  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 came to this forum and to Westeros to see what others had gleaned. 

I was disappointed to find the lack of any consensus.  Is the ambiguity intentional?  I feel like the end reads like a reprisal of the scene from PON where Kellhus pulls Serwe's burning heart from his breast.  The imagery is striking but the impact is lessened due to the ambiguity.  If I recall, you've always stated that the editing of the "burning heart" section was poor and that you would clarify it if you had a chance to write it again.  I still have only vague speculations regarding how that occurred even given the benefit of the whole series (was he possessed by Ajokli or interacting with the outside in some way?). 

Are you disappointed in the reaction thus far?  Are we missing something that that you, as the author, feel is obvious or is the ambiguity intentional?

Regardless, thanks for taking the time to interact with your fans.  Despite my dissatisfaction with the ending I still think that that your series is fantastic and I can't wait to begin reading the No-God in the hope that greater clarity awaits!         

Anwurat

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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2017, 07:37:18 pm »
Is Meppa going to show up in the next series or is his story over?

Also, can you confirm that Kellhus actually failed in the end and didn't pull off some trick to fool Ajokli and the Consult?

CondYoke

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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2017, 07:46:59 pm »
Thank you for birthing the monster that has occupied me for the last several years! While I finished reading, I'm still gnawing on the gristle and chewing the fat, always the best part of the meal...
I wish I had a meaningful question, but beyond the title, I don't want to spoil the story for myself, so I will only ask that perpetually annoying reader question... how long?  Have you inked a deal yet?  Will it grow from 2 to 3 books, or are you set on 2?
Also, you mentioned on TPB that the film/TV rights were optioned. Have you heard of any movement on that project?  And if it moves forward, how much creative control will you retain?

Again, I can't thank you enough for writing the kind of epic fantasy I need to read as an adult. So much of the genre left me behind when I turned 20.  Congratulations on an awesome book and series.

Cū'jara-Cinmoi

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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2017, 07:48:17 pm »
And thank you all. From a commercial standpoint, this series pretty much has everything going against it. I feel as though it's been a tight knit circuit from the very beginning, which is to say, every bit as dependent on enthusiasts as on me.

I know you will not spoil future books. But alot of speculation on Kellhus, is he the other decapitant, in the Outside and so on and so on. My question, is if he is dead, he did make it to the Outside, correct?

Also, will there be a time jump in the next series or will it pick up where we left off?

Well, Ajokli can't find him.

The next installment picks up several weeks after the disaster at Golgotterath.

Hi Mr. Bakker, huge congratulations on finishing The Aspect Emperor.  I thought the final book was the best of the lot.

If it isn't too spoiler-y, can you let us know what the image of Kellhus that everyone sees floating down from the Horn is?  It seems clear that the Judging Eye sees the Carapace beneath it, but what was making it ever look like Kellhus was there?  Was it the same kind of Tekne that the Mutilated used to project an image of Shae in the Golden Room, or was something else at work?


Yes. It's a holographic projection, simply meant to keep the Great Ordeal - and the Schoolmen in particular - pinned in place while the Oar comes rattles back to life. As Madness can tell you, I rewrote that bit a number of times trying to make it obvious-and-allusive (on a reread of the Descent and the Shauriatis ruse I think you'll notice it), but hindsight is a motherfucker when it comes to threading those kinds of needles.


One question I've had since TJE was concerning the identity of "the traveler" that seeks out the Skin-eaters in the first few pages of the prologue. Is this traveler an agent of Kellhus, the Mutilated, or someone else entirely?


Just an agent of the Ministrate, I fear. I use a lot of throwaways to hide the players.

Woden

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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2017, 07:54:20 pm »
WOW, thanks again for putting an end to our misery. You're clearing most of our excruciating doubts.

Know what your slaves believe, and you will always be their master.

jurble

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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2017, 07:57:15 pm »
Scott, are you The God?  It would explain how the God can be both immanent (the books are composed of your thoughts) and transcendent.

The fact that the Judging Eye can see the No-God indicates that the God isn't asleep like Moe thought nor doesn't it care like Kellhus thought, since the very fact that Mimara possesses it indicates the God has some interest in the world, right?

Did you turn Kellhus into a baby (specifically Mimara's)?

edit: Oh, and the entire time I thought Kelmomas was supposed to be twin-souled, was he actually meant to represent non-conscious human thought via bicameralism?

edit 2: On skimming through the first-book again, I came to the conclusion that rage Kellhus feels when he sees Cnaiur rape Serwe must come from The God since Kellhus has no reason to feel such rage.  By the end of TTT, Kellhus is clearly communicating with The God.  At what point between the series did Kellhus convince himself that he wasn't a prophet and was there anything specific that pushed him in that direction?

edit 3: Sosering is one of the few Ordealmen described as being Saved as opposed to going to Hell.  Why is that?  Did he not engage in the rape and cannibalism or were there other contingent factors? Similarly, why is Esmenet saved?  Do sins only count if you commit them directly?  Does burning Caruthysal not count if you don't hold the torches yourself?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 08:10:27 pm by jurble »

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2017, 08:00:51 pm »
"...but hindsight is a motherfucker when it comes to threading those kinds of needles."  Perfect answer! 

Can you please clarify the meaning or symbolism of the "head on the pole behind you" imagery?

How did Serwa overcome the effects of the Agonic collar that she had on in Ishterebinth?

As I said, I have a million of them!  ;^) 

Hiro

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« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2017, 08:14:00 pm »
Hi Scott,

Thank you very much for stopping by! I've thoroughly enjoyed reading TUC. Aside from the story, I was impressed by the dramatic/narrative pitch of this novel and your sustained ambiguity, even after seven novels. The thrill and enjoyment I felt, wondering 'can language do that?!' The reading experience was appropriately Gothic, as rain and thunder slashed the city around me.

You might have noticed that TUC has sparked a few *ahem* discussions here and there.

After a reread this year, I was looking forward to an apocalyptic ending, you did not disappoint. The what I call 'our salvation' scene had a particular ecstatic power, the tension between how the Ordeal experiences Kellhus descending versus the reader's foreknowledge of the Golden Room. It created a strong feeling of unreality. Thanks for clarifying the hologram.

The Umbilicus assassination scene was a highlight as well.

As for the 3rd series, my guess was 'The Second Apocalypse', not too far from 'The No-God', maybe.

A lot of the questions have been put forward and even answered already. Something I was wondering about, what was the ultimate point of the Serwa vs the Dragon scene? The Ordeal's fight to enter the Ark seemed futile, considering the context of the Golden Room, and I don't quite see what the Serwa scene does for the narrative. Serwa's feats had been legendary already, I did not feel or understand the necessity of this setpiece.

Thanks again for your time, and especially the time you devoted to forging this golden and twisted experience.

Mystery denotes darkness

Kamakazikitteh

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« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2017, 08:32:02 pm »
Hi scott thanks for writing one of the most interesting and unique series out there and trying to challenge your readers. Side not I think tuc has some of the best passages in thr series I could not put it down.
I have some questions about the little boy that was following akky it felt a bit weird not having him around for tuc

There is some parts in tuc that seem a little but unclear was some of it on purpose.
After reading that insane ending I think a reread is due especially with the akijoi stuff. by the end of the unholy consult it was official this is my favorite series ever.
Fourm posting on a phone is a pain in the scranc.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2017, 08:38:27 pm by Kamakazikitteh »

Cū'jara-Cinmoi

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« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2017, 08:51:29 pm »

With that said, I was thoroughly confused by the ending of TUC.  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, felt rushed and opaque.  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 came to this forum and to Westeros to see what others had gleaned. 

I was disappointed to find the lack of any consensus.  Is the ambiguity intentional?  I feel like the end reads like a reprisal of the scene from PON where Kellhus pulls Serwe's burning heart from his breast.  The imagery is striking but the impact is lessened due to the ambiguity.  If I recall, you've always stated that the editing of the "burning heart" section was poor and that you would clarify it if you had a chance to write it again.  I still have only vague speculations regarding how that occurred even given the benefit of the whole series (was he possessed by Ajokli or interacting with the outside in some way?). 

Are you disappointed in the reaction thus far?  Are we missing something that that you, as the author, feel is obvious or is the ambiguity intentional?

Regardless, thanks for taking the time to interact with your fans.  Despite my dissatisfaction with the ending I still think that that your series is fantastic and I can't wait to begin reading the No-God in the hope that greater clarity awaits!         

I starting avoiding forums years ago simply because I found the speculation I was reading was jamming my own gears. I have good memories of Westeros, but I always hear the sound of axes grinding over there, anymore: no book is a match for ill-will, especially if it takes risks.

That said, the only book I put more work into was TDTCB, so your sense of haste actually has no basis on the composition side. I actually went through and rewrote the ending for 'clarity's sake' no less than four times (!!) based on feedback from different beta readers, which is what makes your appraisal of the 'general reaction,' to be honest, hard to believe. The Amazon and blog reviews don't reflect it.

Interpretative indeterminacy, or what I call 'Crash Space' in my philosophical work, is what this series is ALL about, so if you were expecting a traditional discharging of narrative mysteries, you were bound to be disappointed: the idea is to cue our meaning-making instincts in the absence of any definitive interpretation. Right. Wrong. Hero. Villain. Hope. Fear. Love. Hate. Life. Afterlife. Heaven. Hell. Violence. Healing. Golgotterath is the point where all these things collapse into uncertainty.

So for me, there were only a handful of basic things I had hoped would be clear enough to frame the intelligibility of what comes after. Frustration on the part of a good number of readers--we all have varying tolerances for uncertainty--is something I take as a sign of achieving my narrative and thematic goals. I would have been bummed if some hadn't reacted negatively. Blame the books, or (as seems to be the dominant reflex) blame me, the fact remains you have just had an up close and personal experience with your own tolerances. You have felt Golgotterath more viscerally than most!


Woden

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« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2017, 08:56:27 pm »
As you have confirmed the continuity of the series, I feel in peace again. ;D
I am a zaudunyani now, but, hey, it is not necessary to kill another scapegoat like poor Proyas.  ;)
Know what your slaves believe, and you will always be their master.

H

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« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2017, 08:57:10 pm »
Wow, unexpected!  Thanks for coming by us here!

I don't have a question prepared on short notice, so the first thing that comes to mind is to ask about Ark.  It was my presumption that the No-God apparatus (the sarcophagus) functioned differently before Ark-fall.  My supposition would be then that while Ark was fully functional, the souls of the Progenitors would have been contained therein, meaning that on other worlds, it would have been unnecessary to find a suitable surrogate.  Of course, the presumption then would be that what makes a soul a suitable alternative is not specifically Anisūrimbor blood, but rather similarity to the Progenitors.  Could this be an accurate summation?

Of course, I doubt you can really answer this, considering the theme of the next series.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . 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

jurble

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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2017, 09:01:00 pm »
Is Mimara giving birth in Golgotterath meant to be a little meta-joke - that Golgotterath, the most wicked place in all of Creation, is now Earwa's actual Jerusalem?

MSJ

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« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2017, 09:04:50 pm »
Quote from:  Jurble
Is Mimara giving birth in Golgotterath meant to be a little meta-joke - that Golgotterath, the most wicked place in all of Creation, is now Earwa's actual Jerusalem?

Do you see RSB's response to my question about the tapestry?
“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,