Callan S.

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About Callan S.

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  1. Well, we have the 'Who better to burn them?' scene, where Kellhus is talking to...himself? To me it seems pretty straight forward - perhaps especially since we've seen Kellhus infect the minds of others, essentially. He was piecemeal compromised, probably starting with the circumfix and the vulnerability he had there. It seems just as plausible as a virus getting into a computer - Ajokli managed to get a worm in past a security breach, then used that to further compromise the system slowly over time. By the time we get to Golgoterath, Kellhus is mostly a zombie - much like those ants where a fungus takes over their minds to make them climb to the end of grass stems. Alive, but hardly in control. The golden room wasn't planned, it was just the tip of the grass. I also wonder, if we turn up the difficulty a lot, whether Ajokli IS Kellhus - he went mad enough not just to become a ciphrang, but a godling. But Ajokli Kellhus is witless of his origin point. Even as it made hacking Kellhus much easier, because Ajokli is Kellhus and so he was indistinguishable from Kellhus's own thoughts, for being his own thoughts. But that's quite an extra theory and I know a lot of people want Cnaiur to be Ajokli.
  2. It's a stretch of an Arthur C Clarke quote, as you probably saw - the reason a rolled dice seems random is because you are not privy to the many, many tiny physical interactions involved. If you were you could call the result of a hand rolled die every time. The thing is people often want meaning determinist fantasy - every sin or saintly act somehow ties up at the end (in a kind of judgement day), you don't just have someone do something and then...it goes nowhere just arbitrarily. Like Mimara trecking all that way but never seeing Kellhus with the judging eye. And yet that judging eye was as random as shit in when it opened - why would it open at the right time? Moral determinism Vs pragmatic appraisal of random events. Over on r/bakker someone suggested the ending was a kind of 'deus ex machina'. Which are traditionally used to tie up events neatly. Just a matter of how contrived they are for a reader. I think they might be on the money, but the no god is an anti deus ex machina. The no god unravels meaning, perhaps like a chorae unravels magic, making all the plots like Mimara's quest to spy Kellhus with the eye end up at arbitrary endings. The people complaining about how all these plots did not resolve - this is the no god unraveling meaning into anti climax, the opposite of a deus ex machina tying all the threads together into a climax. The thing is D&Ds system (any edition) is terrible for doing moral deterministic fantasy. D&D ends up a lot like the ending of TUC - shit just happens. So I think Bakker ran into Moral determinism Vs pragmatic appraisal a long time ago. It's a genuinely philosophical conflict of world views - and maybe the no god is the gatekeeper.
  3. Yes, but equally what the readers want doesn't dictate what the author wants. If he wants you to focus on his story, then that's what he wants. Does it work out when each side wants something, with no concern of what the other wants? Reminds me of table top roleplay.
  4. I don't understand that last example - what do you mean they make no sense as said by anyone other than Kellhus? Did Bakker say something on that? Do you have a link? On the first sentence, it seems a lot of readers don't see interpretive ambiguity in text - what they see is how it IS. Rather than one interpretation amongst many. It's one of the big issues of the 'post truth' world and the internet facilitating it. Anyway, the book itself runs like a probability trance - many scenes could be many things - some interpretations could have a very high probability, some low. But they are self assigned. To me, Kellhus was compromised some time earlier down the track by a very powerful psychic force. I think Bakker referred to the idea of failing a saving throw of the dice. But in traditional fantasy reading, god does not play dice. In traditional fantasy, all good deeds and bad deeds and other feelings all tie up into a conclusion that's based on those deeds, like some sort of hard math equation being completed. With no randomisers in it. But, dun dun DUN! Bakker played D&D - a universe definitely chock full of randomisers. Pretty much like the real world (given sufficiently advanced physics interactions are indistinguishable from randomness)
  5. Spiritually it was - magic was leaving the world. In other words disenchantment / enlightenment. And what's the most important thing to fantasy? It's the magic. Cultural progression of a nation is hardly magical, is it? Does that suggest Voldemort was a kind of anti hero, given he broke free of the programming?
  6. I'd say Tolkien is mystical learned helplessnes - 'it's getting bad because theology/teleology, can't do anything about it' With Martin, you could well be doing the classic 'mistake skepticism as being cynicism' The skeptic still cares. The cynic is like the Joker.
  7. I think it's fair to want to be judged on something - a guitarist wants to be judged on how well he plays the guitar, not the drums. But really, if you want to engage an audience, it doesn't quite work that way.
  8. That's probably a 'contemporary phrase' issue, isn't it? It wasn't urban fantasy, was it?
  9. Perhaps I did. Mine has a sentence saying Serwa was talking to it in order to distract it and keep it's mind off her assault. She was giving it shit and it tried to give her shit back - becoming distracted in doing so. I mean, sometimes people resort to theatrics as a way of talking over someone.
  10. Yeah, that seems to fit the genre pretty well!
  11. It was slut shaming? It was trying to out talk something it just couldn't out talk. It resorted to witless crass statements in the end.
  12. The critiques of it always seem to treat it as if the dragons words have no grounding in the actual setting, as if it was all very meta. Even if its words are grounded in the setting, no one has to like the dragon. But I think the lack of grounding is a bad way of looking at it - there's fair reason to think what it said is drawn from the setting. Whether anyone likes the dragon even when they see it's words are grounded, that's up to them. To me it seems a bad critique to treat the words as meta rather than derived from the setting.
  13. But he doesn't like it - he doesn't even get what's going on. He's just repeating phrases like a parrot, like a 11 year old on voice chat in counter strike, just spouting profanity. He's a dragon but he has no class. Crass characters just don't break my suspension of disbelief - in fact it's all too easy to imagine crass occurring (in such a nasty world) more often than classy, it fits - in a horrible way. You think better of a dragon, then he's basically trash. It's like projecting competency onto Kellhus. The thing was a brute - it wasn't there to talk anyway, it was there to burn a bunch of bad ass mages and bite people in half - and it did. Wish people would ask how the bag that hides chorae got into that chamber, but the dragons distracting from it. I'm assuming it's that bag, so Serwa sort of repeats the sins of her father just before he does them himself - ie, she thinks she sees all, is every surface of the chamber - then a hidden variable pops up and almost caps her.
  14. Why? Unless all dragons must adhere to tropes, it just seems like if the dragon is an asshole, he shouldn't say anything that breaks tropes. But we've dealt with Cnaiur for several books, who breaks barbarian tropes over and over. Are we really surprised at any character having a personality so dynamic it fucks with tropes attached to it, in a Bakker book? Or are dragons supposed to be nicer than men/barbarians?
  15. I wonder if there's some string of British code in the culture there - as if dragons must be dangerous, yes, but they must be polite! They can't just shoot their mouth off and say any old disgusting thing! "Oh, I say!" Monocle falls off ( On a side note the dragon, to me, seems an excellent reference to angry male teenage virgins, turned misogynistic on the drive of their lust and incapacity to do shit about it. But it'd also be a sin to have a fantasy creature be an metaphor for people in real life )