Speculation on the end of the Unholy Consult

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« on: May 28, 2013, 04:44:40 pm »
Quote from: WillemB
This is my second time through the series and I'm midway through WHITE LUCK WARRIOR.  It's definitely been interesting to read the books a second time in light of Scott's posts on TPB.  You know, seeing how so many of his ideas find their way into Earwa is pretty great.   In part, I'm going back through the books because I love the language so much; Scott has such a way with communicating setting and tone with words.  All the crispness and precision of his language, the density of the metaphors, the vividness - oh man, it makes my head ring.

Putting that aside, I thought I'd make some noise about where I think we're headed with this last book in the Aspect Emperor series.  There are so many threads here that I could never review all the discussions in any comprehensive way, so I apologize to my fellow Earwa lovers if I retread things discussed elsewhere.

So, some wild speculation about the end of the Unholy Consort.  Here we go:

THE KING MUST DIE - I'm pretty sure we're going to see Kellhus die.  I’m hopeful  that the scene in which this happens will include a payoff moment where we see Akka kneel before him (as this was set up in the closing scene of TTT) "The next time you come before me, you will kneel."  That bit.  Mmm...  love that scene.  Perhaps not just kneel before him, but kneel over him, as he lays mortally wounded.

DUNYAIN & CONSULT BFF! - What are Kellhus' motives?  I think he went crazy while on the circumfix (I think this is even said in a prologue somewhere), and that he really believes he's the prophet/savior of humanity.  We get that much made clear in his chat with Moenghus at the end of TTT – we see in an internal monologue that Kellhus anticipates that Moenghus would lead the people of Earwa into manufactured catastrophes.  This I take as the main reason Kellhus shivs his old da.  The manufactured catastrophes bit: in that conversation a parallel is drawn between the Consort's desire to shut out the gods, and the Dunyain desire to be self-moving souls.  Kellhus recognizes that the two have a unity of purpose.  What a match made in heaven (or hell)!  This is one reason I think the Dunyain could come flooding out of Golgotterath to meet the Ordeal.  What an ending that would make!  Surely Kellhus has considered this possibility while in the probability trance.  We have been led to believe that Kellhus does not want this to happen, or the Consult to "win".

SORWEEL & …MIMARA!?  -  Hmm… how about this one: Sorweel and Mimara join up forces in Unholy Consort, and she helps him decide what he must do using the Judging Eye.  Should he, after all, get his vengeance for Kellhus et al for conquering his homeland and killing his beloved father?  Is Kellhus good or evil?   What about the rest of the lot?  Tell me Mimara, "WHAT DO YOU SEE?" Adds new resonance to that standby question, no?  It explains why the whirlwind keeps asking it: it wants to know if it is still damned.  It will be pretty darned instructive to learn what Mimara sees when looking at the Aspect Emperor while the Judging Eye is open.  Her guidance could nudge Sorweel in the direction of making the right choice… well, whatever that means in Earwa.  Serve Yatwer, or serve Kellhus?  Or follow his own path?

144,000  - So, if we assume that Kellhus is going to die (a possibility for which Kellhus begins to groom Proyas in their fireside chats in White Luck Warrior) we can also assume that things will not bode well for the armies of men.  I’m assuming that all but 144,000 will be killed as this magic number popped up somewhere in the opus.  Some Christians believe that 144,000 people will be saved (raised up to heaven), and this number appears in the Book of Revelations as 12 tribes with 12,000 each being "sealed" for heaven, if I get it right.  So, I'm sure Scott is aware of this, and is perhaps planning that only that many will be "saved"; saved from dying or from going to the outside or hell in death - who knows?  I think that number will be the starting point for the third trilogy after the impending catastrophe that I assume will come at the end of the Unholy Consult.

3RD TRILOGY - Another reason I think we can assume the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan, and that Kellhus will not ride home on a rainbow made of pixie dust,  is that we’ve heard some hubbub about a third trilogy.  Well, if everything was wrapped up and pat, then why bother with a third trilogy?  I would put forward that perhaps the third trilogy would deal with Sorweel, Mimara, and her baby (!) trying to finally, really and truly, destroy the Consult. 

KELLHUS AS EVIL OVERLORD - Kellhus leads the Great Ordeal and conquers!  Then rides home on a unicorn!  Trumpets made out of honey blare his triumphant return.  Hawaiian punch in every water fountain!  Unlikely.   How about this: Kellhus is NOT in fact insane (from a Dunyain perspective) and rides the Great Ordeal all the way to the doors of Golgotterath then picks that moment to use them as a bargaining chip to obtain his own, individual salvation (by becoming complicit in the effort to shut the gods out).  In so doing, he has, at last, become a self moving soul, albeit at the cost of the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE!  It’s an interesting thought, but not one for which we’ve gotten any foreshadowing, I feel.  I’m pretty sure he’s simply crazy, and believes himself to be the savior.  Now, are the other Dunyain crazy?

NATURE OF THE NO-GOD REVEALED – This seems pretty evident to me, especially after reading the chapter excerpt from Unholy Consort.  If you haven’t read that bit, and don’t want to until the book is released, skip the rest of this entry.  Here’s the part I found relevant:
Quote
He described a hate-rotted soul, forever falling into hell, forever deflected by ancient and arcane magicks, caught in the sackcloth of souls too near death to resist his clutching tumble, too devoid of animating passion.

A pit bent into a circle, the most perfect of the Conserving Forms...

“But isn’t trapping souls an ancient art?” she asked.

“It is...” Achamian replied.

We learn about the soul of Sheönanra ping-ponging circularly so that it can’t plummet into hell, confronting Nau Cayuti (I believe).  We learn about the NO-GOD sucking up souls hoover-style (circular again, naturally).  If the objective of the consult is to shut out the gods, and if Scott has described the way in which Sheönanra has isolated himself from damnation, it stands to reason that this IS the essential mechanism by which the No-god will shut out the outside.  So, I would suggest that Sheönanra is the No-god, wrapped up in a tidy carapace with a whirlwind bow on top. He isn't making his tour of the countryside so much to do destroy the human race, as to collect their souls and thus deny the gods access and thereby close the world to the outside.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this stuff.  I think the only way I'd be disappointed by the ending to this series is if I was somehow not surprised.  Honestly, I’m not too worried about that happening as Scott seems to always have something delicious and unexpected waiting for us.

-Will

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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 04:45:22 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
Shaeonanra is the No-God is interesting.

Also interesting is the idea that the No-God was looking for the Judging Eye, and that's why it took the field.  The no-god wanted to know if it was still damned.

sucking up souls hoover style, sort of like ghostbusters, only they're sucking up the 'souls' and protecting them from the outside within the carapace, a new repository for souls.  The No God is saving souls?

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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 04:45:30 pm »
Quote from: Madness
+1 on No-God saving souls from Damnation. Inversion!

First off – yeah baby! Wicked post. I very much concur with reasons for liking Bakker’s writing.

No need to apologize. If anything that is a compliment to our growing noosphere here at Second Apocalypse. You should check out my version of a wrap-up post though – The Unholy Consult[/b].

The King Must Die – Agreed with one proviso – Kellhus’ Death will be planned either to defect to the Consult, possibly faked, possibly through resurrection by the Tekne, or to ascend to his own realm in the Outside where he continues his quest – whatever that may be.

Dunyain & Consult BFF! – I still like Nerdaneling about the Dunyain already dominating Ishterebinth – why not the Consult too? Maybe that’s what we’ll discover in the North…. Nonmen and Consult have been Dunyainified.

Sorweel & …Mimara!? – I like the idea of the two non-players (though, obviously, they are) joining forces. After all, Sorweel and Mimara are severely outclassed by Serwa and Achamian, to a lesser extent by Moenghus as well.

3rd Trilogy – My personal bet is we won’t make it past the conclusions of the Sieges of Dagliash and Momemn, respectively. The big question is how much time passes between TAE and TSTSNBN?

Kellhus as Evil Overlord – I like this… don’t see it happening but I always expect curveballs from Bakker.

Nature of the No-God revealed – I don’t think we’ll have this reconciled by the end of The Aspect-Emperor. I figure AE will end with an “and as one they all looked to the Northern horizon… felt it… him… the No-God walked!

Insight of the day – Atheist is No-God in Latin.

Cheers, Willem.

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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 04:45:38 pm »
Quote from: Garet Jax
Quote from: WillemB

144,000  - So, if we assume that Kellhus is going to die (a possibility for which Kellhus begins to groom Proyas in their fireside chats in White Luck Warrior) we can also assume that things will not bode well for the armies of men.  I’m assuming that all but 144,000 will be killed as this magic number popped up somewhere in the opus.  Some Christians believe that 144,000 people will be saved (raised up to heaven), and this number appears in the Book of Revelations as 12 tribes with 12,000 each being "sealed" for heaven, if I get it right.  So, I'm sure Scott is aware of this, and is perhaps planning that only that many will be "saved"; saved from dying or from going to the outside or hell in death - who knows?  I think that number will be the starting point for the third trilogy after the impending catastrophe that I assume will come at the end of the Unholy Consult.

-Will

Nice post Will, I love to see all the activity.  I am deep into my own reread right now as well.  Your post made me think of something though...

The "souls" that we think we know that are not damned in Earwa can be counted on two hands. I like to believe instead of dropping a count to 144,000, the key to salvation might be adding up a certain number of "souls" from >10 to reach 144,000? 

Probably a ton of holes, but there you go.

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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 04:45:47 pm »
Quote from: WillemB
Quote from: Madness
+1 on No-God saving souls from Damnation. Inversion!

First off – yeah baby! Wicked post. I very much concur with reasons for liking Bakker’s writing.

No need to apologize. If anything that is a compliment to our growing noosphere here at Second Apocalypse. You should check out my version of a wrap-up post though – The Unholy Consult[/b].


Oh yeah, that is indeed a plus-sized wrap-up post!  Thanks for the link.  Reading it now with great relish.

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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 04:45:58 pm »
Quote from: coobek
THE KING MUST DIE - Yep at Cnauir, Old Moes or Akkas hand no doubt. Unless Solitary God himself will appear. Not forgetting the White Luck who already? had done it in some future path?

DUNYAIN & CONSULT BFF! - Yeah I find it obvious that Dunyains are now re-reading the Arc manuals, discussing with all Sheoarna and generally building USS Enterprise out of it - Lt.Cmdr.Data anyone. While keeping the bird and diabolic Aurango/Aurax in the dark.

SORWEEL & …MIMARA!? - Yep that is good suggestion that No-God is looking for judging eye. Very good.

144,000 - hmm have no idea

3RD TRILOGY - unfortunately that might be true or at least yet another book. I think there is a lot to cover still I imagine. Unless the UC is 800 pages.

KELLHUS AS EVIL OVERLORD - no adjectives please its so Mandati of you, just Overlord will suffice...

NATURE OF THE NO-GOD REVEALED – yep. For sure. Cnauir it is again?

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« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:08 pm »
Quote from: Madness
+1 coobek. I'm always after what a Dunyain would do with the Tekne. It'd probably be like mecha meets Silent Hill.

That, fyi, is the only thing I can suggest that Kellhus has as a "goal" anymore, is mastering the Tekne. Could Kellhus have made it to Golgotterath alone?

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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:16 pm »
Quote from: coobek
Yes I think the Tekne is or should be his real goal if he still is 'regular' Dunyain and not 'crazy' one.



Probably also the invention of banking, financialization and derivatives - to finally be the master of the universe.

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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:26 pm »
Quote from: Borric
I’m not saying you’re wrong here, I’m just curious as to what use you think he would put the Tekne?
Besides just another weapon I can’t think of any huge benefit (crucially, any immediate benefit, as his creations via genetics would take time to grow)

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« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:33 pm »
Quote from: coobek
Quote from: Borric
I’m not saying you’re wrong here, I’m just curious as to what use you think he would put the Tekne?
Besides just another weapon I can’t think of any huge benefit (crucially, any immediate benefit, as his creations via genetics would take time to grow)

Its additional piece of puzzle to understand the universe and therefore What Comes Before. Information. I think. So For the sake of it, for the sake of knowing.

Somebody written in the old forum that Kelhus is in fact an exemplification of a science or scientific approach in the books (vs other phylosophical approaches) so this is only logical step to know more.

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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:42 pm »
Quote from: Madness
While I realize we have some astute chemists and biologists kicking around, I'd hazard that this is fiction. Kellhus would instantly know more about the Tekne then anyone alive (even to the point of being a prodigy among the dead Inchoroi, as the Tekne is tailor made for Dunyain philosophy). He's probably going to do something to himself to move further towards the Self-Moving Soul - which seems to be inherent to "saving the world," if he's interested in that at all.

+1 coobek. The Dunyain need the "true" foundational variables of the world - their Project is flawed in isolation. Sorcery. Faith. The Tekne?

War is mostly necessary for worldly domination.

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:48 pm »
Quote from: Borric
I used to think he required the Tekne for immortality.

But after reading the first half of the Unholy Consult chapter, it’s obvious this was not how Shaeonanra achieved his immortality.
So i guess it was yet another Tekne ability they have lost, or one that does not work for humans.

So i had kind of ruled out a search for immortality, and can’t see another great reason/use for the Tekne.

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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 04:46:58 pm »
Quote from: Garet Jax
Quote from: Madness

Btw, out of curiousity, have you all realized that Mimara is going to die giving birth to a stillborn baby?


(Post from another thread that reminded me of this one.)

An Anasurimbor womb plague?  Has Kellhus been to the Ark and striving for immortality the same way the nonmen were "granted" theirs?  Fits kind of nice into the idea that AK would want to learn the Tekne to add to his known variables. 

"Don't be born into a world of automatic damnation if your goal is salvation." -Me

Not sure if that is where you were going with it, but that is where you led me...

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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 04:47:13 pm »
Quote from: WillemB
I like this idea that Kellhus would be after the Tekne.  If he is indeed still sane, we need to assume that his feelings towards humanity and the Consult are essentially ambivalent; important only in as much as they help him towards his goal.

I could see a scenario where he uses the Ordeal as a bargaining chip/entry point into cutting a deal with the Consult, maybe acting as mediator in exchange for access to their technology.  Maybe he helps them establish themselves in their own little bubble in the Outside, or gets them to agree to some kind of truce.

You know, that would be logical, and Dunyain-esque, but is a bit of a whimpering finale to the series, isn't it?

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« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2013, 04:47:20 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Garet Jax
Quote from: Madness

Btw, out of curiousity, have you all realized that Mimara is going to die giving birth to a stillborn baby?


(Post from another thread that reminded me of this one.)

An Anasurimbor womb plague?  Has Kellhus been to the Ark and striving for immortality the same way the nonmen were "granted" theirs?  Fits kind of nice into the idea that AK would want to learn the Tekne to add to his known variables. 

"Don't be born into a world of automatic damnation if your goal is salvation." -Me

Not sure if that is where you were going with it, but that is where you led me...

riffing off this, what if the 'no births' thing was not at all related to the no-god?  What if it was a coincidence that it occurred at the same time? and because both occurred, everyone has always assumed that the No-God is the cause--particularly because all men could feel his presence.  They've made a classic cognitive error!

So what would cause the 'no births' thing?  Someone having the judging eye getting pregnant and giving birth for the first time.  And the 'no births' effect of the judging eye persists until the death of the person with the judging eye or the death of the TJE child (last child born).

So the whole reason humanity rallied against the No God (the no births) was not even a cause of the No God.  Perhaps TJE was caused by Ajokli, as a WLW esque phenomena meant to oppose the No God.

This would make the Consult a little less dumb.   And once they realize that humanity is unified against them for no reason of their own (they probably thought they had come up with a clever little anti-damnation device), they decide to take the field.  For two reasons, one, Shae is freaked out because The Inverse Fire still shows them as damned, and the No God was supposed to stop that so they want TJE to confirm the IF diagnosis.  and two, if they manage to kill whatever random chick has TJE, they end the no births phenomena and that will end humanity's will to fight and they can go back to turtle in Golgotteranth for eternity, with their little corner of the world shut to the outside.

The problem then arises that when TJE sees the NG the metaphysics that allow the No God are neutralized and a new ground is reasserted, a frame without the No God is established and the No God goes pfft.

When the No God goes pfft, everyone around dies, unless they were a sorcerer with a ward up.

That means the random peasant woman of Mengedda who had the Judging Eye who saw the No God with it died moments after the No God died, thus ending the No Births effect of the Judging Eye manifesting in the world--and neatly terminating the gods' interference in the world after the useful human has no more use.

And no one was ever the wiser.