The Cthaeh's story is straight outta the Bible, a serpent in a tree! El diablo himself! So Bast is right he is the worst. Now this Cthaeth tells Kvorthe that Cinder did him a bad turn one time. Shehyn tells Kvorthe the story he cannot repeat for 1000 days about the cities being destroyed. Shehyn's story says the cities held and the attackers used dirty tactics to win. Those tactics were like rotting fruit from the inside out. Maybe the way they did break the deadlock by sending in the worm to rot the apple(the worm or snake/Cthaeh ) from the inside. Bast said his knowledge of his insight was like a plague ship into a harbor, they sent in the Cthaeh himself. So his prophesies made the cities fall. So the Cthaeh wins the war and to the victors goes the spoils,but not for the Cthaeh (or worm)gets his bad turn,Cinder binds him to his tree prison. Being that Cinder has a cruel personality he must of rubbed the Cthaeh nose in that fact. The Chandrian wanted him as far from people as possible after that. That is why he in a tree in the fae guarded.Bad timing for Kvorthe to visit him when he wasn't guarded. So what my overly long post says is that the Cthaeh story and Adam &Eve's stories are similar (I realize that the snake/worm comparison is a stretch but it kinda fits)
Well, I guess I'll get the ball rolling with analysis and stuff. By the way, thistle and jumbles, you guys are awesome. I'm consistently impressed with basically everything you do. So... yeah, well done.
First of all, red roggo, the whole visual parallel may not even exist; we don't actually ever see
the Cthaeh, merely speculate on its serpentine aspect from contextual clues. But I see your point about the whole knowledge-as-forbidden-fruit. However, as we never tire of pointing out, this tale delights in turning tired tropes on their head, particularly
how we assume all information in info-dumps is always true. In this context (and really every time we talk about the long-ago past), take the saying "history is written by the victors" as a very important grain of salt. So the Cthaeh lost some struggle way back in the long-forgotten past (or maybe not so forgotten, if it turns out that the Cthaeh was Selitos), was bound to the tree, and was subsequently painted as not just a villain, but the
villain, the wellspring of all chaos and suffering in the world, regardless of whether that is even remotely the truth (the only information on the subject we are provided with comes third-hand from Bast, who, although intelligent and well-meaning, is very young by the standards of his kind and very much not wise by anyone's standards). And even if Pat went on record saying the Cthaeh was directly inspired by the imagery of the Garden of Eden (extremely unlikely from someone as close-lipped as he), one could argue that still tells us nothing, since history is written by the victors
, in that case, the side of heaven. Everyone is a hero of their own story, even the devil. So try to avoid casting anyone as outright evil.
That being said, and after re-reading your post a few times to get to the heart of the matter, I think your point on the rotting fruit from the inside compared to the plague ship in the harbors is really interesting. During such an awful war, both sides would tend to enter into an arms race, and that would lead to more and more horrible weapons being developed (especially using the power of naming/shaping), culminating in the creation of a weapon so powerful (because knowledge is power) that even its makers could hardly control it. After harnessing it just long enough to win their war for them, they locked it away, unable to destroy it, and set a guard around it. I like the sound of this.