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Werthead

The Unholy Consult Post-Release SPOILER THREAD

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As The Unholy Consult is now out in the wild, please feel free to discuss the novel in full in this thread.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE UNHOLY CONSULT INCLUDING THE ENDING IN THIS THREAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS THREAD UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SPOILED OR DISCUSS THE BOOK AFTER FINISHING IT.

For the protection of some of our posters, please use Spoiler Tags on Page 1 of the thread only. After that, feel free to go at it.

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Indeed. But:

He'll probably be back, one way or another. I groaned a little bit when the appendix lampshaded how it might happen, but more likely he'll show up in the Outside or something.

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Just finished,  epic as hell but a bit rushed in the wrap up... Perhaps people a lot cleverer than me will get every aspect of the final part, but I can not help feeling a bit unfulfilled with the ending... I'll be looking forward to hear other readers and their views.

 

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It is impossible that he will come back using that way since he is just a pile of salt now. He may try to influence a few things and even have a cameo or two, but imo, that's it for Kellhus.Also, there are 4 Dûnyain waiting for him if he tried to do anything. Lol, I am just too happy that he died.

 

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In retrospect, Kelmonas as the no-God makes a lot of sense. I have a bigger problem with him appearing out of nowhere at the center of things at the end, while badasses such as Serwa and Kayutas have a hard time getting there... 

 

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3 hours ago, redeagl said:
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It is impossible that he will come back using that way since he is just a pile of salt now. He may try to influence a few things and even have a cameo or two, but imo, that's it for Kellhus.Also, there are 4 Dûnyain waiting for him if he tried to do anything. Lol, I am just too happy that he died.

 

It's possible he will be un-salted in some fashion (assuming he doesn't get swept away with a brush in the meantime), or it may be possible with Daimotic magic to attach his head to someone else's body (as it's questionable if he had "his" head attached or it was one of the demons to better facilitate communications with Ajokli). But I agree that would all be a bit cheesy and it's best to take it as read that Kellhus is dead.

His soul, of course, lives on in the Outside and has been welcomed by a third of a million devout followers in the Great Ordeal, which may grant him some kind of extra power or protection, along with Ajokli's alliance.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

 

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It's possible he will be un-salted in some fashion (assuming he doesn't get swept away with a brush in the meantime), or it may be possible with Daimotic magic to attach his head to someone else's body (as it's questionable if he had "his" head attached or it was one of the demons to better facilitate communications with Ajokli). But I agree that would all be a bit cheesy and it's best to take it as read that Kellhus is dead.

His soul, of course, lives on in the Outside and has been welcomed by a third of a million devout followers in the Great Ordeal, which may grant him some kind of extra power or protection, along with Ajokli's alliance.

 

Spoiler

I think that leaving Kellhus to the Consult was Ajokli's "trick" on him.That said, I look forward to whatever happens to him in the Outside though, I don't think the Ordealsmen or any Zaudunyanni will welcome Kellhus much in the Hells.

 

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22 hours ago, Werthead said:

 

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It's possible he will be un-salted in some fashion (assuming he doesn't get swept away with a brush in the meantime), or it may be possible with Daimotic magic to attach his head to someone else's body (as it's questionable if he had "his" head attached or it was one of the demons to better facilitate communications with Ajokli). But I agree that would all be a bit cheesy and it's best to take it as read that Kellhus is dead.

His soul, of course, lives on in the Outside and has been welcomed by a third of a million devout followers in the Great Ordeal, which may grant him some kind of extra power or protection, along with Ajokli's alliance.

 

Spoiler

One of the demons was Ajokli - Malowebi describes the head "waking up", and noticed the four horns. I think it's pretty clear that he had Ajokli's head on at the time he died... so basically his head is now swinging from his own salty belt, just like Malowebi's.

 

As to who will put it back on someone else's body? Pfft, don't know. Maybe he can just access the Outside from where he is, though. We know nothing of the Daimos.

 

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On 02/07/2017 at 6:24 PM, Galbrod said:
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In retrospect, Kelmonas as the no-God makes a lot of sense. I have a bigger problem with him appearing out of nowhere at the center of things at the end, while badasses such as Serwa and Kayutas have a hard time getting there... 

 

That was somewhat explained:

 

After Esmenet helped him escape, he killed that Scylvendi guard and was then found by a skin-spy, who took him inside the Ark. Getting there through the chaos of the battle was another question, which makes me wonder if they made use of the secret tunnels under the plain.

 

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13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

That was somewhat explained:

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After Esmenet helped him escape, he killed that Scylvendi guard and was then found by a skin-spy, who took him inside the Ark. Getting there through the chaos of the battle was another question, which makes me wonder if they made use of the secret tunnels under the plain.

 

Aaaaah, I thought that kid was crab-hand (the survivor's son). This makes more sense; I thought it was weird to have that one crabicus scene. 

But... Why no more Crabicus? 

There were too many unanswered questions for my liking :

1) Crabicus disappeared from the story after TGO. 

2) The figure under the tree ("I war  against the God") 

3) The head on the pole. Oh god I can't believe this went unexplained! Or is it a reference to the head-swapping stuff? 

 

 

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Just now, Werthead said:

That was somewhat explained:

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After Esmenet helped him escape, he killed that Scylvendi guard and was then found by a skin-spy, who took him inside the Ark. Getting there through the chaos of the battle was another question, which makes me wonder if they made use of the secret tunnels under the plain.

 

Not exactly.

Spoiler

One of the biggest mysteries to me is how the DunSult knew about Kelmomas, knew to have a skin spy where he would escape, knew to have a skin spy look precisely like Esmi (it takes time to replicate a person, per prior books), and then chose to bring him in through the craziness of the entire battle into the Golden Room, in a way that Kellhus didn't apparently know about.

To me, that whole sequence as well as Kelmomas apparently bouncing around the Golden room implies that Kelmomas was always part of the DunSult plan, and possibly always part of Kellhus' plan. This also helps clarify a few other things - namely, the DunSult could not have been thinking solely that Kellhus was the only one that would go into the sarcophagus, as if that were the case Dagliash makes no sense at all - it's too risky to bet that Kellhus won't die at the nuke, for instance, and ruin their plans for all eternity. It was clearly planned that the Sarcophagus could have Kellhus, as they removed the chorae from it, but it's also implied that they had backup plans.

Also:

Spoiler

The fact that there is a debate about whether or not Kellhus had Ajokli's head on him (Cnaiur has the same appearance when he dies, and I'm pretty sure Cnaiur isn't a headmaster), whether or not Kelmomas was part of the plan all along, whether or not Kellhus can do anything more - this IMO made the ending fail. There is a weird amount of ambiguity that is akin to, say, Esmi dying at the end of TGO or Serwa's singing that isn't unclear because it's a mystery, it's unclear because of ambiguous writing - and I'm not sure that it is deliberate.

Finally:

Spoiler

Can someone else come up for a reason why the DunSult used the holotech at the end to disguise the No-God as Kellhus? Were they just that much of dicks? I've not been able to come up for any reason for the ruse at that point. 

 

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And on an unrelated bit:

Spoiler

HOLY FUCK THE DRAGON DIALOG WHAT THE FUCK MAN SERIOUSLY

WHAT

THE 

FUCK

The Serwa scene was one of the best bits of the book interspersed with some of the most painful writing I've ever read. Just...UGH. WHY. Why on earth does the dragon have to be an MRA fuckboi? 

 

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7 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Not exactly.

  Reveal hidden contents

One of the biggest mysteries to me is how the DunSult knew about Kelmomas, knew to have a skin spy where he would escape, knew to have a skin spy look precisely like Esmi (it takes time to replicate a person, per prior books), and then chose to bring him in through the craziness of the entire battle into the Golden Room, in a way that Kellhus didn't apparently know about.

To me, that whole sequence as well as Kelmomas apparently bouncing around the Golden room implies that Kelmomas was always part of the DunSult plan, and possibly always part of Kellhus' plan. This also helps clarify a few other things - namely, the DunSult could not have been thinking solely that Kellhus was the only one that would go into the sarcophagus, as if that were the case Dagliash makes no sense at all - it's too risky to bet that Kellhus won't die at the nuke, for instance, and ruin their plans for all eternity. It was clearly planned that the Sarcophagus could have Kellhus, as they removed the chorae from it, but it's also implied that they had backup plans.

Also:

  Reveal hidden contents

The fact that there is a debate about whether or not Kellhus had Ajokli's head on him (Cnaiur has the same appearance when he dies, and I'm pretty sure Cnaiur isn't a headmaster), whether or not Kelmomas was part of the plan all along, whether or not Kellhus can do anything more - this IMO made the ending fail. There is a weird amount of ambiguity that is akin to, say, Esmi dying at the end of TGO or Serwa's singing that isn't unclear because it's a mystery, it's unclear because of ambiguous writing - and I'm not sure that it is deliberate.

Finally:

  Reveal hidden contents

Can someone else come up for a reason why the DunSult used the holotech at the end to disguise the No-God as Kellhus? Were they just that much of dicks? I've not been able to come up for any reason for the ruse at that point. 

 

With regards to 1, that makes sense. You don't put all your eggs in one basket.

With 3:

The only conclusion I have come up with is that it wasn't actually a holotech thing. I think there was some kind of freaky time shit going on and only when Mimara turned the Judging Eye on Kellhus did the possibility wavefront collapse and it was revealed that Kellhus had died several minutes earlier. The whole "observer/unobserved" thing that the Dunyain were talking about seems to hint that causality and other things are going a bit weird at that point in time, and Kelmomas existing outside of time (or at least outside of the gods perception) may have played into that as well.

I hope it's that because otherwise it was inexplicable.

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1 hour ago, Kalbear said:

Not exactly.

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One of the biggest mysteries to me is how the DunSult knew about Kelmomas, knew to have a skin spy where he would escape, knew to have a skin spy look precisely like Esmi (it takes time to replicate a person, per prior books), and then chose to bring him in through the craziness of the entire battle into the Golden Room, in a way that Kellhus didn't apparently know about.

To me, that whole sequence as well as Kelmomas apparently bouncing around the Golden room implies that Kelmomas was always part of the DunSult plan, and possibly always part of Kellhus' plan. This also helps clarify a few other things - namely, the DunSult could not have been thinking solely that Kellhus was the only one that would go into the sarcophagus, as if that were the case Dagliash makes no sense at all - it's too risky to bet that Kellhus won't die at the nuke, for instance, and ruin their plans for all eternity. It was clearly planned that the Sarcophagus could have Kellhus, as they removed the chorae from it, but it's also implied that they had backup plans.

Spoiler

double...

 

 

Spoiler

I think that it's a hell of a book, but the move from the scene with Esmenet letting Kelmonas go, via the Scylwendi/skinspy scene and then into the Kellhus scene is certainly pushing the narrative a bit to the extreme... Either there is some serious 'world conspires' stuff going on, or its more of an author/gamemaster 'hand of god' plot device (much like a convenient earthquake in TGO)... 

 

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Okay, having just finished and wow many questions. Apologies for incoherence, mind racing. 

 

Spoiler

1. Okay, so when do we think Kellhus got possessed/made the deal with Ajokli? The Circumfix? Is that what happened there? It seemed to me Malowebei noticed the halos or something similar about the Decapitant the same as he noticed around Kellhus. But I read this very fast so dunno. When else did Kellhus make this deal? What happened on the circumflex if not this?

2. Off that, I'm still torn what to think about Kellhus turning into a Demon-God. On one hand I enjoyed seeing Kellhus revealed as the bastard he is and it was nice to see him dragged down pegs after a book and more of him owning everyone. But at the same time, it seems really strange to have so much of realizing Kellhus as something indomitable and standing above men, nonmed, Dunyain, Inchoiri, even gods, only to end up being a tool of one of the gods and killed like a punk. So torn on this. From what we saw of Kellhus even as far as TGO, it did not seem in his nature to submit to anything, even a god. 

3. Why was Kelmomas invisible to the Gods? Got no idea on this one. 

4. I recall Bakker saying one of the big things about this series was who was damned and who isn't being key. But I still feel like we don't have a lot of details. It seems most people are damned, and from what we know the only three who aren't are Mimara, Esmi, and Sorweel (seemingly). What is the consistency there? Arguments could be made for Mimara and Sorweel being relatively sin-free but Esemenet should be as damned as Proyas or Akka (she murdered whole swaths of a city when rescuing Mimara for instance). And we never got to actually see Kellhus with the Judging Eye. On that note, why did Mimara possess the Judging Eye? 

5. My main critiscm: the Consult themselves. The twist about the Dunyain owning them was something I did not see coming, and pretty cool. But I'm still pretty damn mixed on the Consult themselves being so underwhelming. 7 books they've been built up and Aurang gets one shotted like a punk, Aurax is inexplicably a beaten dog, Mekertrig gets a few decent scenes before getting owned, and the biggest annoyance - Shauriatas, the Grandmaster of the Unholy Consult, the dark inversion of Akka, is killed off screen without us ever seeing him. What the hell? 

Why was Aurax kept off screen so long only to be shown as less than nothing? Why was he so drastically distinct from Aurang's arrogance and cruelty? Also, why  was Aurang so calm and confident about confronting Kellhus? The guy he knew could destroy him. He didn't seem worried at all and attacked in person - for someone who's labored ten thousand plus years to save their soul, why throw himself into certain death like that? I was really annoyed at how much the Consult was underplayed and owned by Kellhus. It was partially redeemed with the Dunyain and the Ajokli reveals but still. It bothered that these unimaginably ancient evils built up over seven books were either fodder to Kellhus or usurped for more Dunyain in control. It narrows the world, in my mind, to make the Dunyain the center of everything. It was more interesting to me when the Dunyain were merely one variable in a world filled with various agencies of competing power. But I guess mere mortals with two thousand years of conditioning are an instant win over immortal aliens and ten thousand year old Nonmed and gods. 

Also last note on that subject - I'm still a bit confused by power levels. How is it that Meppa, a nobody, could overwhelm and almost kill Kellhus (he remarks on Meppa's power and seemingly would have died if not for Maolowebi's Chalice), but a ten thousand year old Inchori and Nonman like Aurang and Mekertrig are fodder to him? 

6. Random aside - what was the deal with Meppa? I really thought something was going to happen with him. What was the point of leaving him alive in TGO after much build up? And didn't Bakker say we would see Kosoter again? Did I miss that? 

7. This one isn't a question, but it really sucks that Proyas is damned. Poor guy. You really cannot get a worse fate than he got. It really is unimaginably awful. Utterly broken and stripped of belief, made to commit atrocities beyond comprehension, framed for them, fated to go down in history as a traitor to the Consult, and then cast into Hell. Seriously, that can't actually be his end, Bakker. 

 

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14 minutes ago, IllusiveMan said:

Okay, having just finished and wow many questions. Apologies for incoherence, mind racing. 

 

1. Okay, so when do we think Kellhus got possessed/made the deal with Ajokli? The Circumfix? Is that what happened there? It seemed to me Malowebei noticed the halos or something similar about the Decapitant the same as he noticed around Kellhus. But I read this very fast so dunno. When else did Kellhus make this deal? What happened on the circumflex if not this?

I think it was much later - basically after he had learned the Daimos from Iyokus.

Quote

3. Why was Kelmomas invisible to the Gods? Got no idea on this one.

Because he was the No-God, basically (or was destined to be... time has no meaning in these things).

Quote

5. My main critiscm: the Consult themselves.

I completely agree with all of your points on this. This really annoyed me.

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7 hours ago, Yellow said:
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I think it was much later - basically after he had learned the Daimos from Iyokus.

Because he was the No-God, basically (or was destined to be... time has no meaning in these things).

I completely agree with all of your points on this. This really annoyed me.

Spoiler

1. Ah that makes more sense logically. WTF happened on the Circumfix then?

2. This also makes everything make a lot more sense and I'm pretty happy with that answer. But what determined what would activate the No-God? Was it just the greatness of the soul that determined if it'd work (Nau-Kayuti, Kellhus, Kel?)

3. This still bothers me. For seven books we've been waiting (or at least I have) to be revealed the secrets of the Unholy Consult. 7 books and tons of secrecy. Bakker did a masterful job at building them up, showing so little, revealing almost nothing, especially in this book. The sight of Golgoterath just sitting there when the Ordeal arrives derelict was amazing as it pressed on for hundreds of pages and you wondered what they were waiting on and what would lie within. But it all ends with basically 'oh, the Consult was pretty much eradicated before you got here our bad'.  I didn't see the Dunyain ruling coming, so props there, and it made some sense, but it was a huge rug pull moment. The reveals of Aurax and Shauriatas were especially rankling. I wonder if I'd have been upset about Shauriatas if I hadn't read 'The False Sun'. But even then TGO Ordeal itself built him up. 

Spoiler

Okay, so more questions, mainly just cause I'm thinking into the void.

1. What the Hell is the No-God? Granted, I'm pretty dumb when it comes to the philosophy and quantum physics of it all and I read very quickly, but I feel like we got virtually no explanations here that we didn't already have.

2. What was Cnaiur's role in coming back? I felt like he did very little. I'm actually not complaining on this one, as he is my favorite character and his segments were, individually speaking, some of the best written in the book. But he comes back after twenty years of presumed dead to watch the Great Ordeal, then march down calling out Kellhus which is in fact Kelmomas and then dies. Is that it?

3. I think it was a little awkward to frame the climax the way Bakker did. We get this huge reveal of Kellhus as Ajokli promising Hell on earth (regardless of the ramifications of this reveal, it was a wonderfully terrifying moment and unforeseen twist). Then he comes down and we're revealed via Mimara that he is the No-God. Which confuses, cause then you're like 'wait, so Ajokli-Kellhus is really the No-God? Then we flash back to reveal Kellhus dead and it's Kelmomas. I get that it was a bait and switch, and it's shocking, but with it coming on the heels of such an already shocking twist, I feel it could have been framed better. I think if Bakker was going to do it this way, it just happened too soon between the Ajokli reveal and the No-God reveal. 

4. So the God-of-Gods was pretty absent/irrelevant, huh? Dunno why I expected some reveal there especially involving Mimara. Also, I guess this book confirms Koringkhus > Kellhus, since Kor got the closest to reaching the Absolute and Kellhus in the end was pretty blind to the revelations For made. 

5. So ideas on the next series title? I actually thought it would be something like 'The Prince of Hate' or  'The Four Horned Brother' or what have you when we got the Ajokli reveal. I'm guessing something like 'The No-God Walks' or to that effect.

6. Do we think Kellhus is really gone for good? Honestly this will come as one of the strangest criticisms of the book but I was actually shocked at how ignorant the guy turned out to be. After six books of my most often criticism being 'I hope Kellhus doesn't turn out to be so God-like/gets foiled/stops being such a perfect figure', now I'm actually a little stunned by how much of a punk he was. On one hand, I definitely enjoy the reveal that he's not Perfection Embodied and it was cool to see him both revealed as evil and die confused and in darkness. At the same time, after so much build up of how he was above everyone else, with the hope he had some kind of master plan of rewriting the rules of the game, I actually now kind of want him to come back/have some master plan beyond the grave. I guess this is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. 

7. Lastly, shouldn't we really be rooting for The Dunyain/No-God at this juncture? As was revealed, so many people are damned to a horrifying Hell. Most people it seems. And the gods are insanely cruel and worse than the Consult. The only reason up to this point why one might not support the idea of shutting the world is because of the hope that Kellhus had some master plan that involved stopping Damnation that didn't revolve around killing the whole world to do it. And also that the Inchori/Consult were so horrifying in their methods that it was impossible to support them. 

But it's revealed here that the Consult as we know it is gone and Kellhus had no plans/intentions of stopping Damnation, and that his ultimate goal seemed to be far more horrifying than Consult's - turning the world into a Hell on Earth, one where when everyone dies they go to Hell. At least the No-God is a fairly humane way of destroying humanity (relative to Ajokli) and it actually has a positive end point - Kellhus's alternative involves even worse atrocities on Earwa without the benefit of ending Damnation. So...go team Consult?

 

Ultimately it seems like I'm being very harsh on the book. I just read it, after five plus years of waiting, in what is probably my favorite series of all time, so I'm definitely still reeling and thinking. Based on the book itself, taken on its own and not as an ending, I thought it was one of Bakker's best written, with some amazing prose and wonderful character moments, shocking twists, and emotion and horror and all that shit done the best he can do it. Much of it happened in a way I never expected, and that is a hell of a task when I've been waiting like five years pouring over every theory etc.

As an actual ending, however, is where the criticism falls in. So much of the ending depends on the idea of the third series. And that doesn't really work when we might not get it and moreover, this was his planned ending all along. 

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@IllusiveMan, here are my takes on what you said.

Spoiler

Kelmomas has always been invisible to the gods in the same way that Mimara has always had the Judging Eye, even before (and after) she was pregnant. They're two sides of the same coin. 

I am under the opinion that the voice Kellhus has heard has always been Ajokli. Note how many times Kellhus is referred to as the great deceiver or liar, even during TTT. 

Mimara not seeing Kellhus with TJE and really doing nothing of note during the last book is the biggest disappointment to me. As far as damnation and salvation goes, I think that's part and parcel of the ideas of this series - which is that what damns and what doesn't is in the eye of a fairly assholish observer. Conversely, Mimara is purely holy as is her child because she is literally the mother of God; same goes for Esmi, and that 'mother/grandmother of God trumps anything that you do in the life beforehand.'

For a book called "The Unholy Consult" they appear very briefly, don't do a lot, and are in the end a disappointment - another thing to be subsumed by the Dunyain. It was nice to at least get some clarification that the Inchoroi are (by design) not particularly clever and are just another weapon race, but it doesn't make them compelling.

I have no idea why Nau-Cayuti - and later Kellhus/Kelmomas - would be what triggers the No-God in working. At first I thought it was Seswatha's blood, but that would mean that both Nau-Cayuti AND the bastard son of Celmomas (the survivor at Ishual) came from Seswatha, and the latter seems incredibly implausible. For a while I toyed with the idea that Seswatha is actually of Ark as well, as are all Dunyain, but that doesn't seem to fly. 

Cnaiur did fuck all but have a cool speech. I have no idea why he'd be brought back. The only relevant thing he did was that in his aspect of Gilgaol/Ajokli (and seriously, having two gods with 4 horns is not cool) he demonstrated that he could not see the No-God. That was all. That doesn't seem that important.

I figure that the series title is either The Second Apocalypse or the No-God. Possibly the god of hate. It doesn't seem that unclear to me. 

And yeah, I agree that the book was good, but that doesn't mean that the book was particularly satisfying as an ending to the series or as a launching point for further stuff.
Also:
 

Spoiler

I know it's easy to forget once you're past it, but holy crap was the cannibal Ordeal part entirely lame and boring. 100 pages of just random filth, with basically no payoff at all. I had fanwanked it by thinking that Kellhus can use all those souls as fuel in the Outside, as they are bound to him in damnation and are super damned, but even that doesn't work because of the No-God - the No-God stops the passage of souls and leaves the gods starving at the gates. 

So yeah, no idea why we needed to have that at all. I figure those are the extra 4 chapters that Bakker wrote to pad things, and it sucked. 

 

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