Exact number of "nameless ones"?

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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« on: February 28, 2018, 03:46:53 pm »
After creating a wiki page for the nameless, deformed child of Kellhus and Esmenet the other day, I kept wondering about the other ones he had with concubines. I can't seem to figure out the exact number, though...this is the relevant quote from chapter 3 of TJE:
Quote
Of the seventeen concubines he impregnated, ten died in childbirth, and the others gave birth to more… nameless ones. Thirteen in sum, all drowned in wine.
Okay, so what happened to the children the ten women who died in childbirth gave birth to? The number given only seems to refer to the ones birthed by the remaining seven concubines! If it was referring to all of them, it would make no sense for seventeen concubines to produce thirteen children.
Is Esmenet just not taking stillborn children into account? Those thirteen had to be born alive to be drowned later on, so that may be the case?
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Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 04:15:42 pm »
Stillborn seems to be the most likely explanation, but the text doesn't explicitly say that those children were dead and/or killed.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2018, 04:43:50 pm »
Stillborn seems to be the most likely explanation, but the text doesn't explicitly say that those children were dead and/or killed.

We only know that thirteen children were drowned. You could make the argument this does not 100% mean they are dead recalling the speculation about Moėnghus' sons. But these are Kellhus' children, not Moėnghus', the circumstances are different, and so it seems almost certain those thirteen (plus the one birthed by Esmenet) really are dead.
There's a chance the ones the ten concubines who died in childbirth gave birth to could be alive, I suppose. Doesn't seem to be the case, as none of these children have been mentioned since...and what role would they play in the rest of the series, anyway?
Something that might be interesting to note is that if the "thirteen in sum" is only referring to the children of the latter seven concubines and not all of them, these would be further examples of twins in the Anasūrimbor line.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasūrimbor Kayūtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 01:21:15 pm »
That sentence is weirdly constructed, isn't it, TOT.

Upon scrutiny, I believe, the sentence is referring thirteen nameless ones borne of the remaining seven. It doesn't seem to specify whether the babies borne or stillborn of the ten who died in childbirth were monstrosities or not.
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2018, 01:35:15 pm »
That sentence is weirdly constructed, isn't it, TOT.

Upon scrutiny, I believe, the sentence is referring thirteen nameless ones borne of the remaining seven. It doesn't seem to specify whether the babies borne or stillborn of the ten who died in childbirth were monstrosities or not.

It sure is a strange sentence...

That's the interpretation I made the first time I read that chapter and I still think it's the one that makes the most sense (which would mean at least 6 sets of twins? maybe a set of triplets in there too, if two or more were singletons? anyway, definitely more proof that multiples run in the Anasūrimbor line).
It might be that it didn't matter either way if the babies born to the ten concubines were deformed or not. If all ten (or more) of those were stillborn (most likely explanation) then there was nothing of note to be done. If they had been normal-looking infants, Kellhus would have lost potential half-Dūnyain to train but, well, no need to dwell on that as at least he still had (some of) Esmenet's children. If they had been deformed, there would be no need to drown them in wine as they were dead already. Esmenet probably didn't consider the children of those ten to be relevant enough to mention in her internal monologue.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasūrimbor Kayūtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2018, 01:45:30 pm »
That's the interpretation I made the first time I read that chapter and I still think it's the one that makes the most sense (which would mean at least 6 sets of twins? maybe a set of triplets in there too, if two or more were singletons? anyway, definitely more proof that multiples run in the Anasūrimbor line).

It's also possible a number of seven could have also tried multiple times despite the frightening experience of the monstrosities.
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2018, 01:57:17 pm »
It's also possible a number of seven could have also tried multiple times despite the frightening experience of the monstrosities.

That's right, very much a definite possibility that I didn't consider.

However, I always got the impression that all the concubines that survived childbirth and birthed "nameless ones" (stillborn or not) were killed to keep that information from circulating. Doesn't Esmenet think about several dozens (or more, can't remember how many, but it was a fairly large number) of people having to be killed to keep the secret of Kellhus' monstrous children? This is just my opinion, though.
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-Anasūrimbor Kayūtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)

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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 02:47:01 pm »
However, I always got the impression that all the concubines that survived childbirth and birthed "nameless ones" (stillborn or not) were killed to keep that information from circulating.

Well, there Kellhus would have to weigh viability against secrecy (which is improbably rare for worldborn women with full-Dunyain - opposite, we don't even know, for instance, that Serwa can bear viable offspring). I imagine he might have tried a couple times with the first few concubines - isn't it the case he turns to surrogates after Esmenet's nameless one?
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ThoughtsOfThelli

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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2018, 04:20:37 pm »
Well, there Kellhus would have to weigh viability against secrecy (which is improbably rare for worldborn women with full-Dunyain - opposite, we don't even know, for instance, that Serwa can bear viable offspring). I imagine he might have tried a couple times with the first few concubines - isn't it the case he turns to surrogates after Esmenet's nameless one?

I can see that being the case, yes, but as Aspect-Emperor Kellhus didn't exactly have a shortage of possible concubines that could potentially have the right genes to make it work. So they'd still be sort of expendable.
It can also be that the first births (resulting in deformed children) were very difficult and the complications rendered them infertile. Esmenet almost died giving birth to the "nameless one", for instance (granted, she was able to have three more children after that, but it could have gone the other way too). In a world without modern medicine, that could have been the case for at least some of the concubines who survived. (Now that would be an interesting POV to have, that of a surviving former concubine of Kellhus)
I think Esmenet actively tried to get Kellhus to turn to the concubines after Inrilatas' birth because she didn't want to have any more children. He might have been trying to get more children by women other than Esmenet before this point, though, it's not fully clear in the text.
You bring up an interesting point with Serwa. That is something that we'll probably never know (and that I'm extremely curious about), whether half-Dūnyain would or not be sterile. Even if she could have children, it's not like she'd be having any after the No-God rose, after all.
"But you’ve simply made the discovery that Thelli made—only without the benefit of her unerring sense of fashion."
-Anasūrimbor Kayūtas (The Great Ordeal, chapter 13)

"You prefer to believe women victims to their passions, but we can be at least as calculating as you. Love does not make us weak, but strong."
-Ykoriana of the Masks (The Third God, chapter 27)