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Messages - Gorgorotterath

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Well panorama, I mostly agree with you.
I have to agree on the "deus-ex-machina" as well I fear, it seems so much a solution concocted out of thin air, just because RSB didn't have one when he started the series. Maybe this is not the truth but that's how it felt for me.
The way the Inchoroi/Consult are disposed was such a letdown for me...well I've already ranted a lot on this before.
I also hated the immanent Gods of TAE, but in that it seems I am in a minority...
I think I will read the third series though, but sure the damage is done.

Yeah, it's not clear that the Consult even knew that they needed an Anasurimbor before the Mutilated came around.

Right it is not clear, but honestly I do not think you need a post-human Dunyain to figure that out knowing the Celmoman Prophecy and that Nau-C was the guy who activated the No-God...otherwise how could Aurang think that the resurrection of the No-God was really close ("Soon enough. Soon enough") in TWP.

Does anyone have any idea on what "system initialization" and "system resumption" stand for? They sound vaguely Neon Genesis Evangelion to me, not sure why

Nonman and human blood. That's about the only unique thing i can think of.

Yes, that was actually the only idea I got as well...but still Nau-Cayuti was not an Anasurimbor by bloodline (I still trust Achamian's dream, they were correct on Nau-C being brought back to Gologotterath and fed to the sarcophagus, so I think they are correct on his father being Seswata as well)

You think they were not considering the full implication of the Celmomian prophecy?
(in theory) they knew that only Nau Cayuti's souls was successful in resurrecting the No-God, and that Celmomas had prophesied the coming of an Anasurimbor at the end of the world...I guess they did not need 5 Dunyain to solve this riddle.
The war with the Cishaurin was more important than abducting the vehicle of the No-God resurrection? That sounds strange to me

Thanks for the answers.

@ThoughtsOfThelli: Biaxi Sankas appears as an entry in the Glossary, so it seems reasonable to think that there is still an open thread here. Speaking with Proyas in WLW, Kellhus states that he still had informants in Monemn...who were they? For the chanv, I would hope in an explanation as well, maybe in the next books. The Heron Spear was taken by the Scylvendi after the sack of Methsonc (or Cenei?)...but the one used by the Consult in the last book seems to be a new one, from Achamian's memories/dreams.

@H: your 4 points make pretty much sense as far as Mimara is concerned...not sure what it might mean for Esmenet.

Just another thing that came to my mind...If Kellhus (or an Anasûrimbor) was needed badly to resurrect the No-God (even if we hane no explanation whatsoever for the reason of this), why the Consult was so bent on killing him in the second half of The Warrior Prophet? Killing their only hope of salvation?

Here there are my burning questions. probably they are not all the more relevant, these are the one relevant to me. I still have to go through most of the glossary so maybe some of them may get an answer there.

1) What is the No-God? Was it known to the Inchoroi before Arkfall?

This one gets some sort of answer though there is no explanation whatsoever on why an Anasurimbor is required. BTW Nau Cayuti was not an Anasurimbor as far as bloodlines go.  Hopefully this will be clarified in TBTSNBN?

2) Who burned the White Ships of Neleost?

No answer to this one. One could infer it was Ieva, or anyway that she has some role in this but no smoking gun. Maybe it is just irrelevant after 2000 years just as it is who was the mind behind Julius Cesar's killing...

3) What happened to Nau Cayuti?

Answered. jolly good

4) Who was Anasurimbor Ganrelka?

The forefather of Kellhus is never mentioned in the Sagas or in the books outside the prologue. I was wondering why he was so inconspicuous compared to hi very famous brother (niece nephew?) Nau Cayuti. Maybe it is just irrelevant...?

5) What happened when Kellhus visited the Outside (if he really did that)?

This one is clearly answered. I woul have liked to get some more hints from Iyokus, I must admit

6) What about the chanv? What is it? Where does it come from?

No answer. Probably Kellhus knew them, since he used the drug when "studying" Proyas in TGO.

7) Who is the guy in the Golden Room dreamt by Achamian?


8 ) Why Esmenet is "special"?

No answer that I could guess, and maybe there is no answer needed. But still I am a bit surprised that the almost only worldborn woman good for Kellhus was Achamian's wife (and Mimara's mother!!)

9)How did Mimara get the Judging Eye?

Why her among all the people? The one sent by Esmenet (or Kelmomas) to Achamian? Connected with question 8. Too many coincidences here, for me

10) What happened during the Second Watch? What did Sirwitta see?

No answer, though it can be inferred that he was shown the Inverse Fire. Still it would have been cool to have Oirûnas refer this (to Serwa? Sorweel?) maybe. But apparently Oirûnas was killed (see Glossary)

11) Was Sil king of the Inchoroi before Arkfall?


12) What are the Inchoroi? Where do they come from?

Answered, mostly. The precise answer to the second part is probably irrelevant now but who knows, we'll see

13) What did really happen on the Fields of Mengedda? Was the No God destroyed?

No answer. Kellhus hinted with Moenghus that the No God might have never been destroyed since It was speaking to him. Was the dream experienced by Achamian at the end of TTT truer than the "official" one? We do not now...many mysteries around Seswata yet...waiting for TBTSNBN??

14) What did Kellhus say to Seswata in TTT? How is this connected with the changes in Achamian's dreams?

No answer that I could find

15) Why di Moenghus leave Ishual in the first place?

This is still a helluva question for me. I asked RSB once on this forum he gave me as a Gordian knot of an answer. No answer so far.

16) How did Seswata escape from Dagliash?

No confirmation on this. Was it really Mekeritrig that freed him? Probably.

17) What happened to the Heron Spear after the Battle of the Elenëot Fields?

No answer? How and why did Seswata smuggle and hid it? Too many (small) mysteries of Seswata life remain unsolved. Looking forward to more dreams in TBTSNBN

18) Where is the Heron Spear?

Not found yet. The new one was probably recoverd by the Mutilated, just as the Scald

19) How did Seswata and Nau Cayuti manage to steal the Heron Spear?

The details of this stories still have to be answered. Maybe there is no need for details, but another hole in Seswata life

20) What is the Nail of Heaven?

No reference to this. Somehow connected with Arkfall as we know, but how?

21) Who killed Biaxi Sankas?

Is there any answer to this one? Was it Issiral? I could not find any solution.

22) Who was the Traveller who met Lord Kosoter at the beginning of TJE?

Maybe just a generic emissary from Kellhus. We do not know

23) How did Cleric end up with Kosoter? Which was Kellhus role here?

No clear resolution, no hints in TUC. But Kellhus knew of Nil'giccas so why did he send the Niom to Ishterebinth just the same without telling Serwa of the very likely trap? We do not see any discussion between father and daughter on this. I would have expected to see more of the Nonmen of the House Immortal in TUC.

23 questions and probably many more that I did not spot....6-7 got an answer in TUC, some of them seem to be irrelevant now, but may of the Seswata and Dunyain related questions are still pretty relevant I think. Did I miss any answer in my reading?   

[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.

The Unholy Consult / Re: TUC Official Buys
« on: June 30, 2017, 11:04:01 am »
Got it yesterday at Waterstones in Oxford...I've just finished the White-luck Warrior reread. I guess The Great Ordeal reread will have to wait at this point...

I missed this before. Don't do it, Gogorotterath! You're so close. Just enjoy it as one whole book. Read TGO first!

Your point convinced me! I'm following your advice, Madness. I've started my TGO reread this morning, and I must admit that read immediately after the previous two books it pays off.

The Unholy Consult / Re: TUC Official Buys
« on: June 29, 2017, 10:35:29 am »
Got it yesterday at Waterstones in Oxford...I've just finished the White-luck Warrior reread. I guess The Great Ordeal reread will have to wait at this point...

Literature / Re: New Book by Tolkien...
« on: June 13, 2017, 05:08:52 pm »
I went at the event organized here in Oxford and bought a copy to be signed by Alan Lee.
So, I am greatly appreciative of almost t all the books published posthumously by Christopher Tolkien, especially The History of Middle-earth series. This one has perplexed me a little, because all the stuff was already published, mostly in "The Book of the Lost Tales pt. 2" and "The Lays of Beleriand". I admit it is useful to have all the Beren and Luthien stuff on a single book, but then I do not understand why he removed the initial portions of "The Lay Leithian" (First canto and part of the second).

Still if you haven't read those books there is plenty of great stuff here, if yo do not mind poetry. Just openaning some random pages, and reading a few lines gave me great pleasure once again. You get the most detailed (basically the only) description of Angband and Morgoth's throne room, if you are interested in comparing that with Golgotterath.

The Inchoroi were referred as the Angels of Flesh, I think in the "Four Revelations...". And yes, the No-God is the Angel of Endless Hunger.

Any other angels?

Short Stories & Others / Re: On the goodness of evil
« on: June 03, 2017, 11:55:24 am »
I've had a reread of Bakker's essay, and I admit I was probably inferring too much from the text, on the wake of a personal bias on the subject, I guess. This attenuates my objections, and I must admit that the latest sentence of my first post was carried on the wake of the reading. Upon rereading I appreciated also how he identifies in demythologization one of the main tools used by Grimdark authors, and its limitations as well as the limitations of mythologization.

Tolkien and Bakker are my favorite authors, anyway.

I still maintain that Tolkien's message and the metaphysics of Middle-earth (or Eä if you like)  is quite distorted, to my understanding. Saying that "no orc can be murdered" is wrong; orcs are murdered in fact in the book itself, consider the killing of the unarmed and wounded Gorbag by Shagrat. That is a scene charged with a moral content. The reader is made to realize that Shagrat's act is "evil", even according to the Orcs'  moral yardstick (Shippey has written something on that, I think in JRR Tolkien, Author of the Century). The fact that no man/elf/good guy murders an Orc is accidental, not fundamental. It would happen, should a "good guy" kill an Orc in his sleep for instance. [This I suspect, happens in the Lay of Leithian, possibly] So I see an inversion of cause and consequence here.

I think we might be differing on what absolute means here though.  Bakker's point about LotR is that evil on Middle-Earth is pretty objective, that is, expressly not a matter of perspective.  In fact, the quote you give later seems to speak directly to this, since Sauron's transgressions are violations of Eru's design?

Evil is objective in Middle-earth, but this does not simplify the problem evil represents. The Quest is much more than a mission to destroy Sauron as the absolute embodiment of Evil. It is also a mission for to preserve the goodness of the good guys, while trying to thwart the Dark Lord. Many possibilities of temptations are offered, of easier way to "destroy evil doing evil" (to Gandalf, Saruman, Galadriel, Aragorn, Boromir, Denethor, Sam himself). I some or all cases it may just have been a trick of the Ring to reveal itself to Sauron, but there is evidence for the contrary at least for the Wizards. So in "The Lord of the Rings" there is the awareness that the quest to "destroy evil" could turn good people to evil as well.

OK, so your position is that one can reduce the evil in LotR to simply a matter of perspective?
This is interesting. Evil is not a matter of perspective, but possibly the irredeemability of evil is a matter of perspective. It is not in the powers of Man or Elves (and possibly of the Valar as well) to redeem the Orcs (and Sauron as well), but it would not be beyond the powers of Eru at the very least. Or maybe beyond the powers of Melkor if he had repented after being freed my Manwe (one of the reasons Manwë decided to trust Melkor was indeed that his help was needed to heal the world from the evils he had started). But here maybe I am philosophizing a bit too much.

Short Stories & Others / Re: On the goodness of evil
« on: June 02, 2017, 04:09:53 pm »
Do you mean can't in this sentence?  "What I contest is that you can reduce the Tolkienian treatment of evil to a pure "Us vs. Them" dichotomy."  If not, I think you are misunderstanding Bakker's point in bringing up LotR.

Sorry, I was getting confused. I meant exactly what I wrote. I will have a more careful reread of the essay and your posts later after work to better comment or correct myself I got Bakker wrong. Thanks for the replies!

Short Stories & Others / Re: On the goodness of evil
« on: June 02, 2017, 02:06:10 pm »
Sauron isevil, no doubt on that. But Sauron is not absolutely evil. He may be irredeemably evil, at least within the framework of The Lord of the Rings, but he remains a creature God (in Tolkien's secondary world).
Tolkien does not explain away evil (otherwise he would be the ur-grimdark author!). The existence and persistence of evil is a core theme of his legendarium. However, Tolkien does not explain evil either, or if it attempts an explanation that is done in mythological terms (i.e. Ainulindalë).
Upon rereading LotR two years ago after decades, I was actually surprised to notice how the Dark Lord figure is quite relativized. There are many other evils, in Middle-earth and competing interests, and possibility of Falls that could turn good characters (Boromir, Galadriel, Gandalf) to evil.
What I contest is that you can reduce the Tolkienian treatment of evil to a pure "Us vs. Them" dichotomy, or reducing evil in his work as a pure matter of perspective. It has be done, notably in a few rewritings, but you end up with something rather different from LotR at its kernel.

Sorry, maybe I am murking things even more. I guess you're right, it would require a way longer discussion to conclude that Bakker is wrong. I have to give up on Orcs, the matter is really convoluted and there would be too much to write. On one hand they are born of hate, but on the other Tolkien stated and restated that "the Shadow cannot make only mock".  I add two quotes on their nature, that could help to further the discussion.

From Letter 153, Tolkien's Letters
[Eru/God] gave special 'sub-creative' powers to certain of His highest created beings: that is a guarantee that what they devised and made should be given the reality of Creation. Of course within limits, and of course subject to certain commands or prohibitions. But if they 'fell', as the Diabolus Morgoth did, and started making things 'for himself, to be their Lord', these would then 'be', even if Morgoth broke the supreme ban against making other 'rational' creatures like Elves or Men. They would at least 'be' real physical realities in the physical world, however evil they might prove, even 'mocking' the Children of God. They would be Morgoth's greatest Sins, abuses of his highest privilege, and would be creatures begotten of Sin, and naturally bad. (I nearly wrote 'irredeemably bad'; but that would be going too far. Because by accepting or tolerating their making — necessary to their actual existence — even Orcs would become part of the World, which is God's and ultimately good.) But whether they could have 'souls' or 'spirits' seems a different question; and since in my myth at any rate I do not conceive of the making of souls or spirits, things of an equal order if not an equal power to the Valar, as a possible 'delegation', I have represented at least the Orcs as pre-existing real beings on whom the Dark Lord has exerted the fullness of his power in remodelling and corrupting them, not making them.

And this, about how to deal with them according to the "Wise" (Myths Transformed, section VIII, in Morgoth's Ring):
But even before this wickedness of Morgoth was suspected the Wise in the Elder Days taught always that the Orcs were not 'made' by Melkor, and therefore were not in their origin evil. They might have become irredeemable (at least by Elves and Men), but they remained within the Law. That is, that though of necessity, being the fingers of the hand of Morgoth, they must be fought with the utmost severity, they must not be dealt with in their own terms of cruelty or treachery. Captives must not be tormented, not even to discover information for the defence of the homes of Elves and Men. If any Orcs surrendered and asked for mercy, they must be granted it, even at a cost.* This was the teaching of the Wise, though in the horror of the War it was not always heeded.

Tolkien wrote a lot of controversial statements on the origin and the nature of Orcs, and he could not find a proper solution that fit with his worldview. So there is room for ambiguity, but to insofar as to state they are outside the Law (of Eru/God).

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

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