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HelenaExMachina

Assassin's Fate, Robin Hobb

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^largely agree with what you said there Maia. As far as Spark being rewarded, well I would guess that is something she wouldn't want. She likes obscurity and the ability to be Ash or Spark without raising eyebrows. I believe that to be part of the reason she is reluctant to be Kettricken's Lacey (the other of course being that she will not be with Lant). 

Perserverence not being rewarded is pretty strange. I guess being given a position in the Royal stables is pretty good but not really a massive reward. I suppose, unlike Swift in the Tawny Man there is no major deed to reward. He was just there on the quest. I mean, as readers we understand all that entailed but would the Court see it that way? Probably they would just assume he was a typical servant doing servant things while his master was on the quest. I'm reaching a bit here because I mostly agree with you that him not being rewarded is a bit odd

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7 hours ago, Maia said:

You seem to forget that Chade was affecting and endangering other Skill-users and Skill-sensitives by his antics. And that both Dutiful and Fitz wanted him kept alive. If it had been up to Nettle herself and there was a way to let him go safely for other people - who knows?

I was wrong, you guys are right. He has to be stopped, or he's going to drag the others into the Skill with him. Still...damn, what did he know about the Skill stream? Why was everyone wrong? I wanted more from Chade, and less from Etta, Wintrow, Kennitsson, Alise, Leftrin, argh.

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And I really like the "disfunctional family" aspect of this trilogy. Nettle cared about Bee and was completely right back in FA in criticizing Fitz's fitness as a parent. But given a chance herself, due to combination of personality and circumstances, she doesn't manage any better. 

It was maybe too dysfunctional? Hobb has Nettle express nothing affectionate or loving for her sister, who was kidnapped, tortured, scarred, traumatized, and still mourning her father. I get that Hobb was going for a grey character but she may have gone too far with Nettle in this novel. On the other hand, Bee is not easy to get close to, and she really is fucked by the end. Maybe Nettle tried, Bee froze her out, and Nettle had to settle for something else. idk.

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There were many fans who expected the Fool and Bee to get on like a house on fire and would have demoted Molly to a  role of  surrogate womb that was discarded as soon as Bee didn't need so much physical attention, when most of tedious physical work of parenting was over . But... it didn't work that way and it was so very believable that it didn't.

Bee is damaged, as is the Fool, and they're both furious at Fitz for abandoning them. All that would make their interactions difficult to start off with. Bee is also jealous of the Fool, as her father chose him over her at the end of Fool's Assassin. She resents the Fool for living, while her father died. They were never going to get along.

...but Molly did get screwed in that ending, what with Nighteyes saying he preferred Kettricken, and Fitz himself going off with the Fool, and of course, Kettricken taking over as parent to Bee.

...and totally agree on the Hobbity stuff on the way women are treated. It doesn't work, given that women in Buck are navigating ships and fighting wars and being minstrels and doing everything men do. In a society where women seem closer to achieving equal rights than they are in ours, the Victorian ideals for noblewomen don't fit.

 

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I loved the book although it wasn't perfect of course as others already said.

Regarding Bee's life in Buckkeep, it was too cold. Would showing affection to her by Nettle or Riddle or Lant be so dangerous to her? Maybe Nettle convinced everyone to wait until people 'forgot about her' before doing any of that and if only she stayed there a bit longer things would have turned for the better? It's possible she planned on making some of that right during their ride before Wolf-father interrupted them.

It's true women do manly work in the 6 Duchies (and in Clerres as well. They have female leaders, female torturers, female guards. Also the rapist leader makes no distinction between boys and girls. :huh: ) but on the other hand men don't do female work. Women can work swing swords but men don't do croquet. So it's not totally equal. 

Nettle and others probably regard Bee as too wild after her cruel journey so they work doubly hard to ensure she's forced into a sedate, Victorian lifestyle with no brisk horse rides for example.

 

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I'm not sure why people think the quest was an official royally sanctioned mission.  It wasn't, it was a personal mission of Fitz' with a few personal friends.  The Farseer crown doesn't get anything from it, they all thought Bee was dead when they set off.  So I don't see why anyone would get any advances in status from it.  It's just like any of the other secret missions Fitz went on that don't get any official recognition.  Spark in particular is an assassin, she lives in the walls, she probably wouldn't even welcome any reward.  I do wonder what exactly she's doing though and who she's reporting to, given that Chade trained her because he didn't trust Rosemary anymore.  Presumably Rosemary reports to Dutiful for all assassin type business so it would have been interesting to know more about what's going on with Spark.

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Per got two horses of "Buckkeep's best stock" as well as the position in the royal stable. I think this is a good enough reward for a little peasant boy. The horses are probably worth a fortune.

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I was crying my eyes out the entire last 10% of the book. Such an emotional wreck this book made me. Perfect way to end the book

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The end was very sad.  Di Fitz really have to meet such a horrid end being eaten by worms.  He deserved a better end.  Loved Bee and was sad that she never hot to like the Fool but it was realistic and expected.  I hope that MsHobb writes a series on Bee and answers questions about what happens to the other live ships, who teaches Bee about her White heritage, Bingtown etc.  there's so much material still.   I loved the entire Real.m of the Elderlings series.  Let's hope there's more.  

Would have loves a happy ending as Fitz imagined.  Him Bee the Fool and Per going on a road trip around the six Duchies and teaching the kids the history as well as bonding.   So sentimental so did not happen.

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3 hours ago, Filippa Eilhart said:

Per got two horses of "Buckkeep's best stock" as well as the position in the royal stable. I think this is a good enough reward for a little peasant boy. The horses are probably worth a fortune.

Huh, yeah. Per should have started his own stables. He got what he deserved in the end but it took Fitz's public death proclamation to get it.

17 minutes ago, Houndbird said:

The end was very sad.  Di Fitz really have to meet such a horrid end being eaten by worms.  He deserved a better end.

Had a few tears in my eyes. Even for his first death where i was certain he was coming back. Is the hunting good where you are? Sniff.

You would think the Skill could heal those worms though. Surely. Especially the souped up silver skill. If only Fitz hadn't touched the wrong side of that pillar, he'd be fine. Dumbass.

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Eh, I imagine even without the worms the Silver would have killed Fitz eventually by itself.  I doubt he had somehow managed to discover immunity when someone like Verity had not.

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1 hour ago, john said:

Huh, yeah. Per should have started his own stables. He got what he deserved in the end but it took Fitz's public death proclamation to get it.

Had a few tears in my eyes. Even for his first death where i was certain he was coming back. Is the hunting good where you are? Sniff.

You would think the Skill could heal those worms though. Surely. Especially the souped up silver skill. If only Fitz hadn't touched the wrong side of that pillar, he'd be fine. Dumbass.

It could heal them, but they were specifically bred to breed quickly and ingest the entire body. So by the time the Skill removed some, their eggs hatched. And all this time it is drawing on his reserves to do so. I doubt he could ever have built his strength up sufficiently to heal himself.

The first death choked me up more than his actual death, and I didn't actually expect him to return (I expected either him or the Fool to die in this book from the start). 

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2 hours ago, Damned with the Wind said:

Eh, I imagine even without the worms the Silver would have killed Fitz eventually by itself.  I doubt he had somehow managed to discover immunity when someone like Verity had not.

Well, Verity didn't die of silvered hands, he was dying of physical and mental exhaustion from constantly skilling during the red ships war and then he went into a dragon.  Fitz had silver fingerprints on his neck for like 20 years and didn't feel any effect.  So maybe it would've killed him and maybe not.

49 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

It could heal them, but they were specifically bred to breed quickly and ingest the entire body. So by the time the Skill removed some, their eggs hatched. And all this time it is drawing on his reserves to do so. I doubt he could ever have built his strength up sufficiently to heal himself.

The first death choked me up more than his actual death, and I didn't actually expect him to return (I expected either him or the Fool to die in this book from the start). 

But i mean if he had made it to Buckkeep and had a healing from a coterie then at the very least it would not have stretched believability to have him healed. It might have been nicer to have him choose to go to the quarry himself, instead of remaining a hapless passenger of a cruel fate right to the end of his life.

Yes, i loved all the conversations with Nighteyes after he jumped back - Where have you been? I was with the cub ... I'm coming to you, my brother ... etc.  But then it turns out it's Nighteyes who makes him hold back a bit of his lifeforce so he can go on living a bit longer.

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2 minutes ago, john said:

Well, Verity didn't die of silvered hands, he was dying of physical and mental exhaustion from constantly skilling during the red ships war and then he went into a dragon.  Fitz had silver fingerprints on his neck for like 20 years and didn't feel any effect.  So maybe it would've killed him and maybe not.

I think what kills is the need to enter the Stream which comes upon a person if they've touched enough silver, and the new elderlings don't remember enough about Skill or silver to know that.

 

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I'm 44% through (loving it!), just some thoughts that I want to come back to when I finish:  

I really like that Fitz finally sat down to think about his magic there.  As I was thinking the same thing after we saw Vindeliar consume the serpent spit, what will happen if (when - most likely) he consumes the liquid skill?  I also like that he's thinking about the Skill river and the beings that reside there.

I had been thinking that Clerres might be situated over a source of Silver, but the last chapter made me think that's probably not the case - the reveal that Dwalia just recently discovered the power in the serpent spit, and that Vindeliar is the first that has really shown any affinity for the Skill....  There certainly has to be more than one part of the world that has Silver bubbling to the surface.

Can't wait to get to Clerres to get a better description of those skulls on the towers, it sounds like they're much too large to be dragon skulls.

Bee's learning to master the Skill on her own has been great, and in fact, I've enjoyed her story a lot more than I did in the past two books (and I liked it quite a bit in them).

After the past several books making the dragons appear weaker, it seems as if they've been powered up again.  The last Fitz chapter I read was Tintaglia saying she had found him and was on her way, yay!  Is she alone?  I doubt it.  I think Heeby and Rapskal will be coming along too.  I hope Fitz will actually broach the subject of the dragons, and the liveships, and him working together to obscure their path to Clerres, as he thought about how dragons, stone and living, can have that effect unintentionally.  

Paragon's and Fitz's meeting was fantastic.  Everything I wanted it to be.  Paragon consuming the liquid Skill was even better.  And now we can possibly get wooden dragons too?  Awesome.  Although, that leads me back to my thought from the last book's thread, were there actually malformed dragons in the wizardwood cocoons?  Hopefully we find out for sure.  If there were, then the wooden dragons (if they can become full dragons after consuming enough Silver - and Bee's journal entry makes it seem certain they will) would be yet another completely different breed.  If there was nothing but the cocoon, then they would likely be full fledged dragons after they transform.  Paragon's reaction when Althea talked about the liveships having been changed by their contact with human.

Speaking of the Abominations, how did the Servants get the serpent spit.

I liked the description of the realm's magic as a circle, and how people can have more than one arc of the circle but never the whole thing.  Fitz and Dutiful with the Skill and Wit, Chade with scrying and the Skill.  Hedge witchery was another example.  Seems like Bee might have more arcs than most.  Bee's dream about a man riding a red horse over ice and discovering new lands was very interesting.  But are there really any new lands when there's dragons in the world?

Enjoying the Amber/Fitz dynamic quite a bit.

Lots of thoughts that I wanted to type out, even though it took me away from reading the book.  Will check back in on the thread after I've finished.  Unless I have more stuff that I have to write down before then.

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On 13.5.2017 at 6:31 AM, kimim said:

 Still...damn, what did he know about the Skill stream? Why was everyone wrong? I wanted more from Chade, and less from Etta, Wintrow, Kennitsson, Alise, Leftrin, argh.

 

 Well, Chade could have been delusional. Wouldn't be the first time that he was very wrong, if so. And personally, I was glad to see him finally go, even though I love his character.

But he has grown to be too much of an all-round genius - best chemist, best Skill-user/scholar, scryer, best chief of secret police and chief of intelligence, effectively a prime minister, best assassin, kick-ass fighter even in a corset (ya, no), romance magnet, etc. -   and he was at least 100 years old. That was just too much.

And I also somewhat resent how his continued multi-sided prominence stifled the developement of potentially interesting new characters introduced in TTM, such as adult Rosemary, Laurel (really?), Nettle, even Thick. And it didn't help that the characters generations his junior would become decrepit old things and die, because for some completely contrived and implausible reason they'd refuse to use Skill or agree to it being used on them in order to keep their vigor, while Chade just kept going on and kicking ass.

I could have certainly done without Alise and Leftrin, who were, like, one the worst parts of RWC* , but  Paragon/Vivacia stuff seems fairly integral to the resolution. Not that the attached characters didn't come across as somewhat wooden, but that's how it sometimes is where peripheral characters are concerned, with Hobb.

Oh, and Trellvestrit is such an awful, absurd name! I remember wondering why the name Ephron was still up for grabs when Malta and Reyn had their kid back in RWC and what Althea's Boy-O could have possibly been called. Well, :rolleyes:.

*Oh, and character backgrounds for Alise and Leftrin are other examples of blatant Hobbisms. Granted, Bingtown had been becoming increasingly patriarchal, as we know from LST, and that is something that actually happened in some places iRL (including in the US West), where women had more agency and rights during the frontier era and lost them with the advent of "civilization". However, unlike Victorian England, Bingtown always had to struggle with maintaining it's population, and the Rain Wild Traders couldn't even do that much and were dependant on constant immigration from Bingtown. As such, the notion that a Trader family fallen on lean times, but with lots of healthy children, would keep their extra daughters as spinsters at home, rather than trying to marry them off to the well-to-do Rainwilders makes no sense.

And Leftrin - how many times have we been told that Rain Wilders tend to marry early, that his niece had an arranged childhood betrothal because of  her prospects of inheriting Tarman from him. Childhood betrothals, BTW, also make no sense given the very real possibility of drastic warping changes during puberty. Yet here is this perfect 30-year-old bachelor for Our Heroine, who is not yet a "confirmed";) bachelor, who is quite a good catch by local standards, but whom for some reason nobody bothered to betroth/marry/pursue long before she came along. And nobody even notices such an oddity!

 

On 13.5.2017 at 6:31 AM, kimim said:

It was maybe too dysfunctional? Hobb has Nettle express nothing affectionate or loving for her sister, who was kidnapped, tortured, scarred, traumatized, and still mourning her father.

I'll need to re-read. That does seem very odd, since Nettle does express affection towards Fitz and honestly worries about Bee in the earlier  books. Admittedly,  her sudden elevation to minor royalty, the new baby, continuing job pressures of being the chief Skillmistress, perceived failure over losing Chade, mourning for Fitz and difficult personalities of both sisters would have complicated things, but still.

Oh, and forbidding Bee, who has, maybe, turned 10 at some point, to meet with Per without a chaperone is even more restrictive than what Victorians did. That's even without taking into account Bee's noticeably lagging physical development. 

 

On 13.5.2017 at 6:31 AM, kimim said:

Bee is also jealous of the Fool, as her father chose him over her at the end of Fool's Assassin. She resents the Fool for living, while her father died. They were never going to get along.

 

Personally, I think that even if Fitz had survived, there would have been major difficulties, since Bee would have still blamed the Fool for bringing the Clerrians to their doorstep and causing her suffering - justifiably so. There would have also been jealousy, on her own and on Molly's behalf. Not that I believe that there was ever any chance of F&F romance, but still. That moment of perfect connection in the square is all that Fool and Bee  could have - and that's so poignant and so right...

 

On 13.5.2017 at 6:31 AM, kimim said:

 

...but Molly did get screwed in that ending, what with Nighteyes saying he preferred Kettricken, and Fitz himself going off with the Fool, and of course, Kettricken taking over as parent to Bee.

 

Well, of course Nighteyes preferred Kettricken - they had an actual relationship, while Fitz in his fitziness didn't even give Molly a chance to make her own mind on the matter. Not that I don't love Kettricken as a character - she is great, and there was definite chemistry there, but too much stood between them.  And yes, everybody wants a piece of the protagonist, it seems, but I don't see how Molly was "shafted" at all. She chose this, after all - she knew that Fitz would outlive her due to his Skill-healing, she knew that she was getting on in years and yet refused to let herself be healed.  Whether it makes any sense with Bee so young and still, to Molly's knowledge, so dependent  on her, well... And there is no indication of any afterlife outside of Skill/Wit in this setting either.

 

23 hours ago, john said:

  The Farseer crown doesn't get anything from it, they all thought Bee was dead when they set off.

 

It was actually royally sanctioned. Dutiful and Elliania did want to throw the resources of Six Duchies at Clerres in FQ - because not only was it responsible for past attacks on the respective countries and families of the royal couple, but it also remained a present and future danger. After all, the Clerrians still believed that both Farseers and the Duchies needed to be wiped out for their preferred future to eventualize. It is only due to Fitz's insistence that he wanted to handle things his own way that this was handled in such a low-key way.

And on all previous occasions, there were secrets that needed to be kept that led to the lack of public recognition - the secret of Fitz's own continued existence foremost among them, but also secrets of making/awakening/location of stone dragons, Forging, etc. This is not the case here.

 

23 hours ago, john said:

  Spark in particular is an assassin, she lives in the walls, she probably wouldn't even welcome any reward.  I do wonder what exactly she's doing though and who she's reporting to, given that Chade trained her because he didn't trust Rosemary anymore.

 

Spark was understandably worried about her future - whether she would be condemned to the drudgery of a real servant's life or even kicked out to fend for herself. I am not sure that Chade started to train her because he  distrusted Rosemary - Rosemary was herself 50-iesh, so there certainly was a need for an apprentice, and they had already tried to find someone previously. But, for whatever reason, Rosemary didn't want to take on Spark, so some kind of secure position and royal protection would have been more then welcome to her, IMHO.

And, in fact, Spark may not know it, but with Kettricken taking over Chade's intelligence network (WTF is Rosemary thinking, there?), she may well be continuing in her intelligence gathering career, only with a  less murderous bent.

 

19 hours ago, john said:

Huh, yeah. Per should have started his own stables. He got what he deserved in the end but it took Fitz's public death proclamation to get it.

 

You need more than 2 good horses to start a stable,particularly as an adolescent boy. Burrich had all his experience and inimidation abilities to build on.

And why did it take Fitz's death proclamation? You'd think that killing Ellik - which _was_ known and lauded before their departure, rescuing Princess Bee and helping to destroy the long-standing enemy of the Crown would beenough for an equivalent to knighthood or something.

 

19 hours ago, john said:

Had a few tears in my eyes.

I cried like a baby.

19 hours ago, john said:

You would think the Skill could heal those worms though. Surely. Especially the souped up silver skill. If only Fitz hadn't touched the wrong side of that pillar, he'd be fine. Dumbass.

You'd think that a combination of Skill and Wit sufficient for restoring a several days dead body _back to life_ would be enough to deal with some worms, no matter how virulent. I was quite taken aback when Fitz didn't even try to heal the pale messenger back in AF, and now we know why. Characters' abilities fluctuate with the plot, that's nothing new.  Of course, Fitz trying to give away all his life-force before Silver exploded couldn't have helped, and it's effect on his Skill  was pretty erratic. Not to mention that it was supposed kill him anyway - a big difference between just light fingerprints and half the  body being covered with the stuff.

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6 hours ago, Maia said:

 Well, Chade could have been delusional. Wouldn't be the first time that he was very wrong, if so. And personally, I was glad to see him finally go, even though I love his character.

But he has grown to be too much of an all-round genius - best chemist, best Skill-user/scholar, scryer, best chief of secret police and chief of intelligence, effectively a prime minister, best assassin, kick-ass fighter even in a corset (ya, no), romance magnet, etc. -   and he was at least 100 years old. That was just too much.

I agree he could have been delusional, but the nature of the Skill stream has been such a mystery that I really wanted to hear what he had discovered. He wasn't really the best of the best, though, was he? Not much was made of his scrying, and his Skill was always erratic. His decision to run through the pillars carelessly was hardly genius, and his bombs were inefficient. His secrecy occasionally backfired on him, and when he faced the Fool for Fitz's affections, he lost; he didn't get his way on the dragons. He was, I think, a very immature person despite his age, a child playing with toys much too powerful for him.

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I could have certainly done without Alise and Leftrin, who were, like, one the worst parts of RWC* , but  Paragon/Vivacia stuff seems fairly integral to the resolution. Not that the attached characters didn't come across as somewhat wooden, but that's how it sometimes is where peripheral characters are concerned, with Hobb.

I meant, literally, the characters I listed. I think that Paragon-Althea-Brashen were absolutely integral to the resolution. After seeing what went down with them, though, I'm not sure if watching another ship or two free itself while their "masters" debate the same points was necessary. Kennitsson-Etta-Wintrow were (imo) the weakest part of the novel. Hobb spent a lot of time on them, only to avoid them on the return journey. What was the point of that stay on Pirate Islands, the endless reminders of Althea's rape, the repeated warnings not to blame Kennitsson for what his father did?

ita on Alise and Leftrin.

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Oh, and Trellvestrit is such an awful, absurd name! I remember wondering why the name Ephron was still up for grabs when Malta and Reyn had their kid back in RWC and what Althea's Boy-O could have possibly been called. Well, :rolleyes:.

omg yes. Yikes.

7 hours ago, Maia said:

Personally, I think that even if Fitz had survived, there would have been major difficulties, since Bee would have still blamed the Fool for bringing the Clerrians to their doorstep and causing her suffering - justifiably so. There would have also been jealousy, on her own and on Molly's behalf. Not that I believe that there was ever any chance of F&F romance, but still.

ITA. Fitz, Fool, and Bee were never going to settle down to a happy ending.

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 11:15 PM, HelenaExMachina said:

^largely agree with what you said there Maia. As far as Spark being rewarded, well I would guess that is something she wouldn't want. She likes obscurity and the ability to be Ash or Spark without raising eyebrows. I believe that to be part of the reason she is reluctant to be Kettricken's Lacey (the other of course being that she will not be with Lant). 

Perserverence not being rewarded is pretty strange. I guess being given a position in the Royal stables is pretty good but not really a massive reward. I suppose, unlike Swift in the Tawny Man there is no major deed to reward. He was just there on the quest. I mean, as readers we understand all that entailed but would the Court see it that way? Probably they would just assume he was a typical servant doing servant things while his master was on the quest. I'm reaching a bit here because I mostly agree with you that him not being rewarded is a bit odd

Two horses plus a position in the royal stables probably is quite a considerable reward.

WRT Bee being chaperoned etc., presumably members of the Royal Family have to operate according to different standards to most people.

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But then you go back to being a stableboy? Seems a bit weird.  Even if there hadn't been any official recognition, you'd think he'd get a position in Lant's household, which involves getting him educated and trained.

Maia - ah, ok, so it was royally sanctioned.  I must have blanked on that.

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I'm at 62%

They're planning their entry to Clerres, and Fitz is going is as Tom Badgerlock

:bang: WTF are they thinking??  :tantrum: 

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