kimim

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  1. I totally missed this. Are the people doing the carving humans or elderlings or both? If elderlings were doing the carving, when did humans start doing the same thing? Also, lucky Six Duchies, the only kingdom on earth where the ruler educates and uses Skilled folk, and also the only kingdom on earth where there are Witted folk running around.
  2. That's possible. I love this series, so I've started a reread of the entire thing. Human vs animal thing goes back to the beginning of the series. Fool isn't trying to bring back the dragons out of his deep love for the human race or for dragons; he has some contempt for both: This is from the end of the second trilogy, and in that trilogy, Fitz notes that the Six Duchies is in the midst of a population explosion. Humans are expanding, taking over places where the wolves used to hunt. There are hints of this in the first trilogy, where Fitz and Nighteyes talk about the human need to rule beasts, to treat them as if they were inferior. The Fool wants the dragons to return as they can remind humans that they're not alone at the top of the food chain, that other beings have value, that no one owns the earth. What I think is ill considered is that, as you say, Hobb's dragons are overpowered. They might be morally similar, but human vs dragon interaction would not be a meeting of equals. Dragons would remind humans that they're not the sole powerful species on earth, but I don't see how humans can do the same for the dragons :/ Now that she's done with Fitz and the Fool, I'd love for Hobb to come up with a history of this world. I agree it's confusing.
  3. I think Mercor called for caution because they're few in number now, just starting out from near-extinction, temporarily crippled from lack of memories, have only recently learned to fly. Even in that state, they destroyed the Chalcedeans easily. Their numbers will grow, not to millions (they're large predators limited by access to Silver) but certainly into the thousands within a century. Meanwhile, technologically, humans are medieval, in no position to overwhelm large groups of dragons. This is a GRRM site, so imagine hundreds of Dany's dragons, all intelligent, most megalomaniacal, with little if any empathy for humans, all capable of taking concerted action, capable of fire/poison/glamor, occasionally aided and abetted by a powerful, warlike, long-lived humanoid race in love with them, beholden to them for power and long lives. This is a human extinction event waiting to happen. I can see why the Chalcedeans would look for ways to kill them, why Chade would not want them back, why Clerres would try to wipe them out. The Liveship dragons do have some empathy for humans, but as real human history shows, empathy is not enough to stop wars. Dragons do not need large numbers of humans or thriving human empires for survival. Humans in large numbers are an annoyance to them, and they have no motivation to control their urge to kill off the annoyance. Sadly, ditto for the elderlings. OK, they like their human servants, and they need the raw materials humans can provide...but that's what slaves are for.
  4. True. Fitz is from the Mountain kingdom (west) and he's a wolf, not to mention a Fool. Here it also sounds like the Wolf has become a mythic figure who will aid the Six Duchies when they're in need. Given how much self-hate and guilt poor Fitz has put himself through, this is sweet:
  5. I'm rereading the entire thing from scratch, and I noticed a parallel between the end of Royal Assassin, where Fitz is having a very difficult time "letting go" into Nighteyes, and the end of Assassin's Fate, when Fitz also can't let go, until the Fool comes to accompany him. The latter could also be a lack of memories, of course. Anyway, it's impressive the way the whole thing hangs together. Also, in Fool's Quest there are references to the "Wolf of the West" in Bee's dream journal, who "would come from the Mountains to save all." As a result of that, I'd expected Fitz to enter the wolf earlier and "save all," but that didn't happen. Is this something that will happen in a future series set in the same world, or just something we assume the wolf would do? The silver queen would be something like that, too.
  6. oh ita. She was obviously working for them. Given her pride in her whiteness, though, I think the four were using her, lying to her, keeping her ignorant. A catalyst of some sort would be necessary for darkening, but the identity of the catalyst would be immaterial. Beloved darkens with Fitz, and darkens with Paragon/Malta/Wintrow, too. btw when he returns, he's grey. Is that a result of torture, or a sign that he was forced off the path?
  7. Yeah, I think Whites get darker as they help establish the world on the best available path, which is why Prilkop is black, and why the pale woman is white--she's accomplished a lot, but she's done nothing to set the world on a better path. With the Fool, changes all have to do with dragons: he's white when Fitz first meets him, is darker in the Mountains, as he's about to leave on the journey to the stone dragons, and darker again on the journey, as he approaches the dragons. Amber, on Paragon, gets darker, as she's a step closer to bringing back the dragons. Fool gets darker in the middle of Golden Fool, as he's about to leave for Asjelval and Icefyre, is darker again after his resurrection, as he has the dragons back. btw that the pale woman is proud of her whiteness shows how effective Clerres has been in keeping the prophets corralled and ignorant of their true purpose.
  8. Ah, I can see that, except for the fact that they left while Aerys was still alive; two of them left before the Rebellion even started, and never returned, which is weird: Even had they been true to Rhaegar, they should have returned and fought; losing the Rebellion would in no way aid Rhaegar. Hightower was sent by the king fairly recently, and he, too, never returned. They never question their identity as KG, never question Aerys as king, and go further to identify themselves as "true" to that king vs Jaime, who was "false" to him: “When King's Landing fell, Ser Jaime slew your king with a golden sword, and I wondered where you were.” “Far away,” Ser Gerold said, “or Aerys would yet sit the Iron Throne, and our false brother would burn in seven hells.” HAD they been there, they would have protected the king. Their not being present killed the king as surely as Jaime did, yet Jaime is false, and they are true...to Aerys, who should still be on the throne. And their staying away, refusing to fight for the king, is a big deal. Ned's asking why, and their answers, over and over, state that they were not traitors, are still the KG. The implication, to me, is that they did not stay away by choice. Had they been with the king or at the Trident, the Rebellion would have turned out differently. They couldn't be with the king, couldn't win for him, couldn't protect him, and they're still at the toj, because they swore this vow...and they still believe that they were true to Aerys. Do they know that Aerys chose Viserys as his heir? Is that info reliable? Because if that's the case, they'd surely know it, and if they know it, why aren't they with Darry, guarding Viserys the king? Their not being with Viserys is proof that they consider Rhaegar their king, and that they're now doing their duty as KG by guarding his son...except that they also believe Aerys should have been protected and kept on the throne. It's always confused me. GRRM presents oaths as difficult things. Sometimes, keeping an oath breaks the primary purpose of that oath. Could it be that these three guards were ordered by Aerys to stay away for a reason, and they obeyed him, keeping to their oath, knowing that their staying away would destroy the king they'd sworn to protect, breaking that oath? It would be the same thing that Jaime faced when Aerys was threatening to burn down the city, the same thing that Jon faces in Dance.
  9. Given that the novels are told from Fitz's pov, and that Fitz is fascinated by the Fool's gender, it's impossible not to wonder. I agree that we're meant to conclude that it doesn't matter. However, I'd go with your third option. Biologically male, but doesn't gaf himself, refuses to be limited by it. Add to that the fact that he was sexually abused for a long time--at Clerres, on the way to Buckkeep, and was shocked it didn't continue with Shrewd--you get a person who might have an interesting relationship with sexuality and gender. As for the Fool's real self: I'd think that all the identities are facets; they're all true parts of Beloved. As for Fitz's loving the Fool more than anyone: I think that was true. Fitz's ties to Nighteyes and the Fool are beyond friendship/family. Losing both is almost like undergoing lobotomy for Fitz, and explains why the Fool's Assassin read to me like Fitz's fever dream. This is probably equally true for Nighteyes and the Fool, who lost parts of themselves to Fitz. The stone gives these three a chance to be complete in one another, and as such, it's a happy ending.
  10. Definitely characters, even good characters, break oaths all the time. However, it doesn't sound like the three KG believe they broke their oath to Aerys. There's no "had we been there our prince would have survived." Main concern here is the Usurper, who wants Aerys's throne. Again, no hint of rebellion, nothing to indicate they thought of Rhaegar as their king. Aerys was king, and would yet be on the throne if they'd been there. The KG are true to the king, Jaime is false to him. Hightower says that they were away because they "swore a vow." Given the exchange with Ned I'd guess that this vow is the KG oath. Aerys has to be involved with their presence at toj, somehow.
  11. Elderlings don't need to be aware of it to be in competition with Clerres and everyone else; a tree in a forest that grows taller than others and cuts off sunlight is competing, whether it's aware of it or not. Clerres certainly saw Elderlings and their actions as a threat to themselves; Servants didn't wake up one morning and decide to destroy Elderlings and dragons for fun. Frankly, you don't need to be Clerres-evil to want to assert some limits over Elderlings and dragons; I find them both rather disturbing. Anyway, I'm looking forward to more Hobb novels set in this universe. I thought Dwalia was among the least interesting villains Hobb's ever created. Is there a single moment in the novel when Dwalia is less than completely despicable? She kills her own people, sells them as slaves, doesn't care if they're being raped, physically abuses Bee, is incredibly cruel to Vindeliar, and seems to have been the Fool's primary torturer. There's nothing good there. OK, she loved the pale woman, but since the pale woman's already been established as another utterly villainous villain, it's difficult to feel much sorrow for Dwalia's loss. Dwalia annoyed me as I was reading, not because she was a villain, but because she was too predictable as a villain. Definitely. It's also more satisfying than the end of Fool's Fate, in that at least all three of the heroes are accounted for.
  12. KG are still faithful to Aerys, going by Ned's dream. They don't sound like men who would side with a crown prince in rebellion, so why are they at the toj, instead of with Aerys? Aerys was always suspicious of Rhaegar, and he was right: Rhaegar to Jaime: Rhaegar had meant to call a council and remove Aerys. He had meant to do it "long ago," BUT he left for the toj instead. Could it be that Aerys knew about Rhaegar's plans, and in one of his lucid moments, encouraged him to fulfill prophecy instead? Aerys would hand Rhaegar two members of the KG he didn't trust, and tell them to go off and do whatever the hell they wanted, so long as Rhaegar ended up isolated and in no position to call a council and remove him. Rhaegar's kidnapping of Lyanna is a double bonus for Aerys, in that this encourages Rhaegar to break with families he'd need to side with him on the council. And then, when Brandon shows up, Aerys loses it, gets wrathful (how dare they even contemplate calling a council??) and starts the Rebellion. At some point during the Rebellion, Aerys sees that he's losing. He sends Hightower to call Rhaegar back, telling Hightower to stay behind and keep Lyanna and baby hostage against Rhaegar, in case he tries the council thing again. btw, I think it's likely that Aerys knows where Rhaegar is. Again, the KG are faithful to him. They'd let him know. And this whole thing is bizarre, but the problem is both Rhaegar and Aerys are unpredictable. Aerys is mad as a hatter, but still has some lucidity left (calling Rhaegar back is sane). Rhaegar is without a political bone in his body; his running off with Lyanna is as mad as Aerys's killing Brandon and Rickard.
  13. Is there a lot of difference between Servants and the Elderlings? Both are partly human, partly a "superior" species gifted with magic, long life. Both see humans as a resource to exploit. In the past, Servants and Elderlings must have been in competition, controlling one another. With the Elderlings gone, the Servants, presumably, went after world domination. I wonder if their breeding programs, enslavement of prophets really got going at this point; Prilkop remembers the fall of the Elderlings, and he also remembers a time when Clerres was still relatively decent. Prilkop is old, but surely not tens of thousands of years old. Thanks to the Fool, now the Servants are gone. Elderlings are on their own, and they have the same potential for good-evil that Clerres did. The Fool's new world isn't looking rosy for the humans, unless, of course, this is why he had to hand the silver to Paragon. If humans get some dragons siding with them, if they develop their talent for Skill and Wit, possibly the situation can be equalized...but then there'd still be the difference between the magical and non-magical folk. We'll see how this all works in further series, maybe.
  14. I cried a while. I'm now trying to convince myself that was a very happy ending. Fitz and the Fool can be "one" without Fitz throwing kanipshins, and they can all hunt. That's happy, right? Can't get happier, right?? Right?
  15. Mance and Rhaegar are both Howland Reed. Because.