Various speculations

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What Came Before

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« on: May 14, 2013, 08:25:39 pm »
Quote from: Socrates
So I've just been re-reading everything, Prince of Nothing and the two books of Aspect-Emperor we have so far, and a few things have been occurring to me across the books. Sorry in advance if any of these are really obvious to anyone.

This also means there are going to be spoilers here.

So, in no particular order:

First off, I wonder if we are missing one or more Anasurimbor. We know that Moenghus left Ishual when Kellhus was a pretty young child, but when Kellhus left, he was 33 or so. Considering how totally isolated the Dunyain are, I can't really see them allowing their gene pool to be thinned, much less lose an entire Dunyain lineage. I've been thinking that we don't know one way or the other, but Kellhus has been of reproductive age for quite some time. I have a hard time believing that he hadn't been bred by the time he left Ishual. In fact, he and Moenghus could have fathered multiple children before they both left. In Moenghus' case at least, he told the people he contacted to send his "son", singular, so we can assume Kellhus was his only male, pure Dunyain offspring at Ishual, but he could possibly have left daughters there, and Kellhus could have left any number of male and female children.

The Yatwer cult spy in The Judging Eye. Something that always confused me was whether the Swayal is a Gnostic or Anagogic school. I think in White Luck Warrior it is made pretty clear that they are Gnostic. Probably the Mandate made a deal that a female school could gain the Gnosis in exchange for their submitting to Seswatha's Heart and the Dreams. But the thing is, in the beginning of The Judging Eye, you may recall the Yatwer cult has a meeting and a sorceress spy is uncovered and killed with a Chorae. Everyone assumes she is Swayali and a spy from Kellhus. But what makes me doubt this is that right before being killed, she raises what are pretty clearly Anagogic Wards. It is pretty explicit.

Quote
Eleva leapt to her feet, her arms outstretched, her eyes and mouth shining sun-white, her hair and robes boiling in some intangible tempest. [...] Spectral walls parsed the Charnal Hall, the ghosts of cyclopean bricks.

That doesn't look like Gnostic Abstractions to me. It makes me wonder if with the creation of the Swayal Compact, some of the other Anagogic Schools decided to quietly accept some female students. With the Schools off on the Great Ordeal, a School that had witches as secret members left behind in the Three Seas could possibly seize an advantage in the turmoil.

Kelmomas and Inrilatas. I have to say, as much fun as it is reading the endless speculation about them, personally I think the answer is much simpler and everyone is overthinking it. Kelmomas and Inrilatas are just completely insane. I don't think Inrilatas is some grand sage, and I don't think Kelmomas is some secret agent for Ajokli. It is possible that he is, I just don't think it is all that likely.

Kelmomas is a young boy with mommy issues who kills for fun and dabbles in cannibalism and hears voices in his head. Inrilatas is an adolescent who is frothing at the mouth crazy, and plays with his own feces. I think that people overlook these obvious facts and assume that they are deeply profound, and Kelmomas' voice is anything more than evidence of him being crazy, just because they are half-Dunyain and show some limited abilities.

What happened to the Mandate Quorum? Before, the Mandate were ruled by a council. There could, hypothetically, have been a grandmaster, but I don't think he was even ever mentioned in Prince of Nothing, which seems unlikely. It looks like between The Thousandfold Thought and Judging Eye the Mandate shifted from a conciliar form of government to a more typical structure with Saccarees as Grandmaster, for whatever reason.

What is the thing with the Judging Eye? Akka has been dancing around explaining it for two books now, and really, I think it's getting a little old. It involves stillborn babies, which I imagine means Mimara's baby will be stillborn which I'd guess will lead to her having a complete emotional breakdown. Either way, we get plenty of hints from Akka that it's a pretty horrible thing for Mimara to have.

Whatever happened to Akka's Wathi Doll? It came in pretty handy for escaping the Scarlet Spires but I don't remember what happened to it.

Do we know what happened to Theliopa? I actually rather liked her. I rather doubt she was killed.

What are the Scylvendi doing?

Finally, is Kellhus truly crazy? We haven't had any POVs from him in Aspect Emperor, I don't believe. At the end of Thousandfold Thought though, Moenghus concluded that Kellhus had gone insane as a result of his pretty severe trials. I rather agree. Kellhus hears the voice of the dead No-God in his head, which violates the Dunyain precepts. And also those hand-halos. I think it was right after leaving Ishual when he went through massive sensory overload and nearly died of starvation and had to be rescued by Leweth. This whole sequence is told from a pretty remote viewpoint but in reality that would be enormously traumatic. And then if anything, the Circumfixion probably pushed him over the edge. I don't really have a clear idea of what that means or what Kellhus ultimately intends, but I think Kellhus is no longer completely objective and rational. We readers are hammered over and over with the point that people are moved by what comes Before, and at the end of the Thousandfold Thought Kellhus is being moved by the voice in his head he believes to be the No-God, and when Moenghus asks him what makes his voice different from the hallucinations of madmen, Kellhus avoids the question.

I would also like to know just what the Nonmen are doing these days. What Mekeritrig has been doing. Where is Nin'janjin. If Ishterebinth has turned to Golgotterath, does that mean they are all Erratic? Are there even any Intact left living?

Where is Heramari Iyokus? Is he with the Ordeal and I've just missed seeing him mentioned?

And what happened to Cnaiur? I thought he'd died somewhere, but the last we see him is right after he finishes Moenghus off with his Chorae. After that, the Serwe skin-spy approaches him and touches his cheek and he thinks of how she is his one, true love, and then "Absolute darkness engulfed [Cnaiur and the skin spy]". So I hope we get to run into him sometime.

Oh, and incidentally, at the end of Thousandfold Thought, a Shimeh boy is helping himself to some salt from the corpse of a sorcerer hit by a Chorae, to sell for food probably, when a Consult Synthese asks him if he wants to hear a secret, to which the boy nods, and to come closer. I really have no clue what the significance is, but the Consult didn't make the Mandate out as a laughingstock for centuries by chatting up random gutter urchins, so I'd assume despite the randomness, something significant happened.

What Came Before

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2013, 08:26:32 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Interesting thoughts for sure. Thanks for posting.

Dunayin lineage left in Ishual: Probably a distinct possibility but not necessarily important to the story. A Dunyain is just like all the rest, except for maybe the offspring of Kellhus, which would be presumable prodigal like their father. The sons and daughters of Kellhus.... Never thought of that. I could see that becoming important later if that line produced some super-Dunyain (with spiky golden hair :P)

Yatwer Spy: I've been confused by this myself but forgot about it. That would be a rather clever gambit, secretly training witches and seizing control after everyone left.

Crazy sons: Very possible, though not half as entertaining to talk about ;)

Quorum: Likely more or less dissolved by Kellhus. Too much unneeded bureaucracy.

Judging Eye: Will have to wait for TUC.

Wathi Doll: Left in the reckage of the compound that Akka destroyed. I don't remember him leaving with anything.

Thelopia: I think Maithanet says she is safe somewhere, though I could be wrong.

Scylvendi: My guess is that they are being subverted by the Consult. Or Kellhus eliminated then via meta-gnostic badassery.

Is Kellhus truly crazy? : That is the question. I'd say he is sane, but its really at the discretion of the reader. Not a lot of concrete proof either way IMO, but to not sound wishywashy I'll stand with those that say he's sane (or by myself, whatever   8-) )

Heramari Iyokus: It is mentioned once or twice (in JE maybe) that he's the grandmaster of the scarlet spires, though we don't actually see or hear much from him.


Nonmen and the nameless boy: Not sure about either.

Cnaiur: Pretty sure he's dead. Slit his own throat after he did the chorae thing to Moe. Lots of speculation elsewhere on the subject, I chose to believe he's dead. I also believe Bakker has stated that Cnaiur's story arc is finished.

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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2013, 08:26:47 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Gotta say, insanity seems like the number one route to being able to 'commune' with the gods.

From Kelmomas' first scene in TJE, where he offers a sacrifice to Ajokli directly after his Whelming, the associations between them are rife.  Compare it to Psatma's first scene, where she has an epileptic fit and Yatwer talks to her, unseen by anyone else.  Bitch is just as nuts as lil Kel. 
Speculation on lil Kel is warranted because his POV and the purpose of his actions have no clear purpose from a narative perspective at this stage.
On tht subject, presumably Kellhus conducted the Whelming.  So he is possibly aware of his son's mental state (remember how he 'talked to Seswatha' in TTT and Akka remembered nothing about it after?).  Kelmomas avoids him asidiously, and the one time he 'almost' faces him he turns and goes to assasinate the Yatwerian Highpriestess instead...

Re; the Nameless boy.  Is there a reason why Aurang wouldn't mix a bit of 'pleasure' with his business?  Probably less significant than Aengelas' POV at the end of TWP, imo.

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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:01 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Are we assume that the Whelming allows Kellhus to add memories as well as subtract them? I thought that all we are sure that the Whelmings that we have seen via Kellhus POV showed him removing memories. Did I forget something?

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:07 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Well, I'm not sure what you understand Whelming to be.  In this context its a ceremony. 

By definition:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whelm

This leads me to believe the Whelming (as a dunyain ritual) involves one personality being submerged within another. 
Advanced hypnotism - messing with the subconcious - if you will. 

My assumtion is that the ceremony involves Khellus and Kelmomas having some private time (where Khellus dominates/conditions Kelmomas) then a public celebration.
Not sure about adding or removing memories.

sidenote: Interesting that Inrilatus went nuts directly after his whelming.  Maybe his state in AE was useful to his father.

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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:14 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Well Whelming is specifically mentioned when Kellhus is 'consoling' Serwe after she is interoraped. It is from Kellhus' POV and he says that he removes her memories of the experience after he has learned what happens. I believe there may be another example of this, thought I can't remember where. Leweth maybe.

At any rate, whelming to me is a very specific Dunyain ritual where the 'whelmer' can somehow alter the memories of the 'whelmee'.

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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:22 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Yeh, I read that bit with Serwe as removing the trauma...  but definitely something to do with altering memories..

eta.  given that Kellhus has talked with Akka's implanted Seswatha conciousness and has had ample opportunity to study the ritual that implants said homonculus, we can't discount the possibility of similar manipulations of conciousness on his part.

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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:30 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Thats an interesting thought, a la Voldemort and his horcruxes. Kellhus splitting his soul into his most powerful allies, making them extensions of himself.

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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:36 pm »
Quote from: Curethan
Heh, I dunno about splitting his soul, more like establishing split personalities?

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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:42 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
I imagining him putting all his 'negative' emotional selves into his sons and daughters.

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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:47 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Lol, Socrates, welcome to the Second Apocalypse. Congratulations on scoring that username - pretty sweet.

I think Wilshire and Curethan have covered your points fairly well.

Also, Curethan, I'd have to check but I don't think that Inrilatas' last conversation with Kellhus is directly mentioned as his Whelming?