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Topics - Gorgorotterath

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[Sorry for opening a new thread, but I was not sure where to put this one]

A few very disconnected thoughts in the aftermath of completing my first reading of TUC

I haven’t read any comment by anyone so far, so this reflects almost only my own understanding or misunderstanding of the novel. I obviously may have lost one or more threads while reading, together with my sanity, who knows

First thought: WTF?

Then: I was one of the people who loved The Prince of Nothing for the way it created a kind of Silmarillionesque world building with an ages-spanning history. I loved the philosophy imbued in it, as well as the mysteries of the Dunyain and the No-God. I am one of those people who prefers The Silmarillion (or Tolkien’s legendarium in all his iterations) to The Lord of the Rings that Bakker once stated the book was written for.

The Prince of Nothing was for me, The Aspect-Emperor not that much.

The age-spanning history has been put in the background putting more emphasis on the role of the Gods and the Outside. Now in PoN, the Gods did not strike me as particularly real, but just as interpretation of the Outside, most likely an incorrect one. In TAE there is a dramatic change of tone in this, with the Gods acting directly on the World, especially in the Psatma/White-luck Warrior storyline, which I pretty much hated. It quite killed my suspension of disbelief, given the image I had of Earwa up to PoN. the Gods come to the fore, but twenty years before some of them were hardly mentioned: Yatwer is never named in tDtCB, 3 times in WP (twice in almost random lists of Gods) and six times in TTT but only in the Glossary. In TAE she has become the main God of the Three-seas, and with the power to alter reality no less. No mention of the Narindar, the Judging Eye and the White Luck as well in PON, but now they are everywhere. This I felt has a massive retconning of a sort/  Anyway I enjoyed the parts I found less marred by this issue, such as the Akka/Mimara storyline, the trek to Saugliash and Ishual, the visit to Ishterebinth.

Now let’s get to The Unholy Consult.

Well for me as I said the Inchoroi and all the backstory up to the Fist Apocalypse
 was supercool, so this having the Dunyain “conquering” the Consult was quite a letdown. You have the fascination of a multi-millennial conspiracy crafted with great care along 5-6 books, and now these suckers of monks the overtake it in couple of years and a couple of chapters? It was a letdown for me, though I guess it sort of makes sense, it is just my personal taste. Reducing the dreadful Inchoroi and the fascinating Shauriatas/Shauriatis (can we decide his name by the way?) to puppets easily disposed of was a waste of great material I think.

And the super smart all conquering Kellhus? Deus it bring his own suicide consciously? Once in Dagliash he recognises that Dunyain are behind the Consult and then what is does? He goes back and collects Esmenet and Kelmomas, the makers of his defeat? He doesn’t notices twice the peculiar power of his son? Does he let his wife free Kelmomas without him even knowing it? We cannot know, since nothing is written from his perspective, maybe he is still plotting everything from the second rotten head. What of Sorweel chorae? Nobody noticed that one so realising that Kelmomas was saying the truth? What of Serwa love for Sorweel? Not a word is spoken of it.

What of Achamian dreams? What of the Inverse Fire, on which everyone mused for years, just to have it shrugged off in few paraphs...I guess it is unavoidable that the fascination of things seen fare away cannot survive a closer look, but Golgotterath as described in the few scenes of Seswata and Cayuti in TTT was much more dreadful and mysterious than the one seen here in TUC...I suspect there are many pits to be esplored undergound....

On the plus side, I enjoyed most of the journey of Agongorea (pretty crazy), the battle for Golgotterath and Skuthula at the Gate, the Nomen appearing at the end, and I found supercool the Resumption chapter. Blood chilling. I think that in the end the conclusion makes sense in hindsight, and I obviously look forward to a coda of one or two books, and to many more books from RSB.

Overall mixed feelings.
When I reached the beginning of Chapter 14, I wrote down 21 question without answer I had from the previous 6 books that I hope would have been answered in the last 200 pages of the series. Well I have to check, but I fear only a small minority of those got an answer of any sort. Very little for a book that was supposed to solve the greatest issues of the series. I will publish that list later on, probably

Thanks if you read this nonsense rant.

Short Stories & Others / On the goodness of evil
« on: June 02, 2017, 11:36:14 am »
I had a cursorily read to the foreword "On the goodness of evil" as published on the Grimdark Magazine anthology (it is visible for everyone to see on the Amazon preview). I do not want to address the core of the argument, but mostly the misinterpretation of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings metaphysics of evil,  offered as a prop to sustain Bakker's argument.

Sauron is evil in the absolute sense.
This is false, as stated by Elrond in the Council and asserted by Tolkien in many of his Letters. There is no quest to destroy "evil" in any absolute sense, and Elrond affirms this as well when referring to the destruction of Thangorodhrim at the end of the First Age. Not all means are allowed to fight Sauron and his servants, and if anything Tolkien tries to stage a Quest where the enemy is not defeated through Power but renouncing to Power. This probably is not completely successful, but the use of strength is limited to the natural capabilities of each character and some unavoidable fantastic help.
Orcs can be killed by the thousands, but no Orc can be murdered, simply because murder is intrinsecally immoral, and to destroy evil is to do good in Middle-earth.

While it may be true that no Orc can be murdered (Tolkien could not make up is mind on whether his Orcs had souls or not and mostly sticked on them being soulles [see Morgoth's Ring]), saying that "to destroy evil is to do good in Middle-earth" is false.
Faramir said to Sam "I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood" (TT, Book IV, Chapter 5), and I think reasonable infer from that that he would not kill an Orc either if not for self-defense. Faramir is the character Tolkien identified with most. Somewhere else, in Morgoth's Ring I think (I will check on this later), it is stated as well that Elves would not kill an Orc just for being an Orc, and if taken prisoners the would treat them with dignity even if with duress. Tolkien wrote himself in a corner with Orcs I think, and there is room for ambiguity here. Many characters do not show mercy for Orcs, but there are not the ones considered Wise. The topic is quite complicated, but just the same the absolutistic view described in few words by Bakker is misleading, and to verify this it is sufficient to read The Lord of the Rings alone.
So I wonder if this misreading is intentional to further an argument, or if it just underlies a lack of understanding of Tolkien's worldview

Author Q&A / Moe leaving Ishual
« on: June 26, 2016, 06:45:01 pm »
Why did Moenghus leave Isual in the first instance? The Sranc motivation he told to Cnaiur is a lie, unless there is something I cannot fathom in the darkness behind me....

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