Who Are You Rooting For? [SPOILERS]

  • 31 Replies
  • 7710 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:30 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
This is regarding the Second Apocalypse.

Who do you find yourself rooting for? What is 'right' and 'wrong' on Earwa, and how will Scott reconcile it with reader and genre expectation at the conclusion of the trilogy?

Scott has stated various times that he wants to put the reader in a tough place by cutting against assumptions, particularly those regarding what is moral. Here's how I see it:

Kellhus- Kellhus represents the mirror-image of Nietzsche's ubermench; searching for meaninglessness in a meaningful world. Kellhus, to the moral sensibilities of most people, is utterly despicable. He manipulates others for his own ends, has no problem tying a person's will to his own, only to dispose of them later, and has yoked the entire Three Seas into what is starting to look like a death trap. One might be tempted to root for Kellhus though, because he is possibly the only person strong enough to fight/destroy the Inchoroi and Mog-Pharau. Which brings us to...

The Consult- If Kellhus is despicable, the Consult is vileness incarnate. Where Kellhus possesses, the Consult rapes. They are responsible for tremendous amounts of war, plague and suffering on Earwa, and have committed genocide against the Nonmen. They want the world to end. However, one might be tempted to root for them because if one takes their goal at face value, all they are trying to do is stop eternal suffering caused by Damnation.

The Gods of Earwa- The source of life and death, the (kinda) polytheistic pantheon of Earwa includes a Lovecraftian menagerie of deities that are little better than Ciphrang themselves. Much like the ancient Greek gods, who elicit little modern sympathy for their willingness to ruin mortal lives for amusement, the Gods of Earwa are so cruel as to be repugnant. One might be tempted to root for them because they are infinitely more likeable than the Inchoroi, less amoral than Kellhus, and the source of life on Earwa.

The Nonmen- A race of vicious slavers, the Nonmen elicit little sympathy despite being the victims of the Inchoroi. One could root for them due to their heroic resilience and mysterious nature (Scott has emphasized their 'otherness' multiple times in the narrative) any victory they have will be indefinitely marred by the fact that they are essentially already dead, thanks to the Womb-Plague.

Achamian- A half-mad wizard, doomed to eternal torment for his countless sins... Achamian is the easiest character for me to root for. But what is he really? A tool of Kellhus, manipulated through Esmenet's daughter? A deceived skeptic, hoping to show Kellhus's true nature only to find divinity behind the Aspect-Emperor?


Bonus: if you've read "The False Sun", what do you think it implies about the reality of Damnation and the mark of sorcery?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:38 pm »
Quote from: Madness
I think you've asked several deep questions over broad terrain, Jorge.  Assuming memberships, you've likely got several threads of speculation going here, as much as you have one definitive question but I'll bite and see what incites me to write.

I'm rooting for humanity's survival in the novels. But while this may or not be tied directly to the fiction's conclusion - as in if the correct moral "alignment" (by which I think we as forumers mean cosmological choice) is necessary to survive the Second Apocalypse - I'm not sure I can answer your first line of questions. I'd root for the person or group who most aligns with "human survival" as their virtuous goal but who is that? Does 'right' or 'wrong' necessarily matter for victory against the No-God? Is it a separate issue even?

I feel a lot of connection with Achamian and many of his choices. I've experienced deep love in my life and was embittered by it for awhile so Achamian's experiences in the PON had me in his corner. Plus the end of TTT is just so jarringly epic - like cool guys walking from explosions but in a really visceral and conceptual way - that I need to see the next facetime between Achamian and Kellhus. I have a lot of ideas that make Kellhus' character more comfortable to me but something very human in me, for better or for worse, wants Achamian to shove Truth down the Aspect-Emperor's throat.

Sorweel and Mimara are fast becoming favorites, especially on my most recent reread, though this might have to do with the novelty of their arcs. Though I mean, I'm a random fuck who actually seems to empathize with a lot of Bakker's characters. He's put these caricatures of people in some really, really difficult places.

And Cnaiur will always have a special place in my heart. A buddy and I still yell his name to each other in greeting when we see each other. The most violent of men might be my favorite barbarian ever - SFF has lots of those - and he is most brutalized and twisted by the force of the Dunyain.

- Madness

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:44 pm »
Quote from: Swense
At this point, I don't think I can say I'm rooting for anyone. Akka always elicits sympathy from me, and the poor sod deserves a break at some point. Conphas, Skauras and Cnaiur were my three favorite characters, but they're all dead and gone now, and so far no-one has managed to step up to fill their shoes, besides perhaps little creepy Inri, but he was too much of a one-off character for me to really love.

I'm not necessarily rooting for the survival of the human race. I'm rooting for the removal of arbitrary damnation. It seems exceptionally cruel that across the entire universe (as far as we know) the world is punished according to the standards of Earwan morality. The Inchoroi after all, slaughtered thousands of worlds and I'd imagine a fair number of those worlds were probably damned for no greater reason than say, perhaps not following the Earwan equivalent of Kosher or praying to some false deity. Or not believing in deities at all. The Earwan system of meaning seems as cruel and unjust as possible - and therefore if I'm rooting for anything, I'd like to see the world be sealed.

Of course then again, I'd also like to see the Inchoroi perish. But that's just a visceral gut reaction. I can't root for the Inchoroi, no matter how compelling their logic. And I don't see why the Consult had to buy into their agenda completely - surely one can labor to undo damnation without being pulled into the whole crazy rape machine that is the Ark. But alas, their inability to escape the bulging members and black seed has left me decidedly unsympathetic to anyone in Earwa.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:52 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
Swense, throughout my entire reading, I have been (uncomfortably) forced to root for the Inchoroi! Precisely because Achamian is such a sympathetic figure, it strikes me as deeply unjust that he should spend his afterlife in eternal torment merely for the circumstance life forced on him (sorcery).

I am doubtful, however, that Scott will acquiesce to "the poor sod deserves a break at some point". If it's true he wants to cut against reader expectations, then Achamian is well and truly fucked. End of story.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 07:12:58 pm »
Quote from: Swense
Quote from: Jorge
I am doubtful, however, that Scott will acquiesce to "the poor sod deserves a break at some point". If it's true he wants to cut against reader expectations, then Achamian is well and truly fucked. End of story.

He deserves a break. I agree you're likely right though.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:05 pm »
Quote from: Bastard of Godsgrace
I certainly root for survival of humanity, because, well, it is a given, yes? I also root for Non-Men, they may be nasty bastards, but they are way cool and I would love to see their return. It does seem to be dubious, though, considering the lack of Non-Men women, but there was a theory they could be fertile with Dunyain women, which could lead to creation of a new mixed race.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:11 pm »
Quote from: Philippe
Honestly I often find myself rooting for the characters that have the best chance of revealing more about the metaphysical foundations of Eärwa. So Kellhus, Mimara, the Yatwerians, the Consult-- whoever. I'm in it for the world-building! :)

Although it's hard not to hope Achamian might come out on top, having been in his head for so long throughout all the books.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:17 pm »
Quote from: Callan S.
Akka has, as an old man, crossed half the world (world as we know it) through some of the most insanely dangerous territory! Let us cut him a break and say he accomplished something! Even if it was prompted by malware K put in his brain that time he hypnotised him.

Otherwise both the damnation mechanism and the consult BOTH seem mighty rape machines to me. I doubt Kellhus's goals include breaking the damnation mechanism, but they might - so I'd back him, hoping he'd do so then conveniently die (maybe fall on some spikey rocks, cleric style) right after and let the world from his (direct) grip (ie, the most unlikely time for him to die, so the more unlikely end scenario to root for! Of course!).

I'm wondering what the big feminist surprise hinted at is (the useful thing the whole ROH discussions and similar got was this hint wheedled out of the author)

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:23 pm »
Quote from: sciborg2
We know that Esmi's arc concludes, but this may not mean much for all of Earwa's women. There is also the possibility that Mimara is the Messiah, and a new covenant between humanity and the Outside can be written through her.

The one major character that matters is the World. Scott has said that the world itself conspires, and I think this means it pushes people into narrative arcs. What this means exactly is unclear, but I think there is something to Esmi's daughter becoming the Messiah. For people who read Valente's Deathless, the idea of "narrative time" is more overt, people essentially slipping into roles.

Ideally, Kellhus somehow lays the ground for a rewriting of damnation *after* the Consult is gone. After all, the No-God itself may still be useful once it is out of Inchoroi hands.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:29 pm »
Quote from: Ajokli
Throughout the novels, I'm progressed from rooting for Kellhus to Achamian to undecided. TUC may lean me toward The Consult.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:36 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
Quote from: sciborg
There is also the possibility that Mimara is the Messiah, and a new covenant between humanity and the Outside can be written through her.

I have considered this. Mimara is easy to root for, and she does slip into the "Luke Skywalker" template a little in the second trilogy.

Quote
Ideally, Kellhus somehow lays the ground for a rewriting of damnation *after* the Consult is gone. After all, the No-God itself may still be useful once it is out of Inchoroi hands.

That would be an interesting way to end it.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:42 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Jorge, I've appreciated coming to understand you more deeply through the comments on TPB while Vox stopped by. I'm curious if you are familiar with Joseph Campbell and the Hero's Journey? Perhaps, read the Hero With A Thousand Faces?

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:48 pm »
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Madness
Perhaps, read the Hero With A Thousand Faces?
Note that skin spies are literally Villain with a Thousand faces.

:D

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 07:13:54 pm »
Quote from: Swense
Or just ten extra face fingers.

What Came Before

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Emwama
  • *****
  • Posts: 0
    • View Profile
    • First Second Apocalypse
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 07:14:01 pm »
Quote from: The Sharmat
I must throw my support behind the Angels of Flesh, the Race of Lovers.

Yes, they are essentially some sort of horrible obscenity elementals but:

1.The concepts  behind them are so fucking cool. They're easily my favorite alien species. Maybe just because I love biotech, and it's clear Bakker did some research.

2. I don't agree with their methods or motives, but their goal is the only ray of hope in Bakkerverse. As Aurang quite rightly put it: "This world is an outrage!" The world MUST be shut from the Outside.

3. Spite. I wasn't interested in him at first, but I found Akka's character arc through Prince of Nothing to be absolutely heart breaking...but let's face it, there's no final victory for him. So I want to see Kellhus and the Gods forced to swallow metaphysical humble pie in the form of some sort of meaning singularity screaming "WHAT DO YOU SEE" in bold text.

I also enjoy reading Kelmomas' point of view. Because there's something very wrong with me.