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The Locked Tomb Trilogy by Tamsyn Muir


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Some more questions about Lyctors

Spoiler

So, does anyone have info (or a link) to a handy guide to who was who before the Earth died? Here's the quote, which actually changes as John's story goes on but some of the elements stay consistent: 

"If you have two scientists and an engineer and a detective and a lawyer and an artist you're pretty much sweet as."

John is one of the scientists and Pyrrha Dve is the detective. But I'm curious who the others are. We know it was M-- (aka Mercymorn) who discovered the financial shenanigans that proved the trillionaires were leaving everyone else to die. But I'm not sure if I can suss out the others. 

Also did anyone notice that John was lying about how the Earth died? In his first recounting, G-- died, triggering the dead man's switch, nuking Melbourne, which then forced his hand to unleash the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Later when John was talking about the end, he says something like "everything was already falling apart, but it was a shame that Melbourne eventually had to go" and Alecto interjects "Wait...you said that G-- died first." So...it seems John also murdered G- after he set off a nuclear war.

I'd still love anyone's theories as to AIM's identity. My personal crackpot theory is that AIM = Anastasia.

 

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X -

Spoiler
  • A--- = Augustine, glycerol-6 genius and founding member of their cryo research institute
  • A---'s brother the hedge fund guy = Alfred, Augine's brother and cav (my repeated listens to Moira Quirks audiobooks has me wanting to say "Struck through" from the way she reads the dramatis personae for Ht9 lol)
  • M--- = Mercymorn (as you got), Doctor/Medical researcher and founding member
  • M---'s Nun = Cristabel, Mercy's cav. Interesting that Lyctor Augstine hated her given she's the one responsible for John figuring out what he could actually do
  • G--- = Gideon original flavour, the engineer I'm pretty sure? Worth noting here that he admits in the 2nd John chapter that Gideon actually helped on the FTL project for a while which is probably something to keep in mind about Gideon being murdered in that bit covered up by the lie you noted.
  • P--- =  Pyrrha Dve, Gideon's cavalier (as you also got) and the detective
  • C--- = Cassiopeia, Lawyer assigned to the research institute approximately 6 months in by the oversight committee, but quickly shifted loyalties to John according to John, however it sounds like she meets Nigella in NZ and that could very easily be the actual reason she commits to them
  • N--- = Nigella, Cassie's cav and wife, the artist

And then we've got Ulysses and Titania who were the already dead kids that John got and preserved. Perhaps the most intriguing in that they mean he was either able to access the souls of those who were long dead prior to the point he killed the world, or he just jammed other souls into their bodies

So that gives us 

  1. 1st round Lyctors - Augustine, 1st saint. Mercymorn, 2nd saint. Gideon, 3rd saint, Cassiopeia, 4th saint.
  2. 2nd round Lyctors who were born post resurrection plus Ulysses - Cyrus, 5th saint. Ulysses 6th saint. Cytherea, 7th saint. Anastasia, Lyctorhood aborted by Jod due to learning too much.
  3. 3rd round - Ianthe, 8th saint. Harrowhark, 9th saint. Paul, apostate Lysis Lyctor?

Interesting idea about AIM. We definitely got Anastasia's body in the locked tomb at the end right? But that doesn't exactly preclude a person being somewhere else in someone elses body in this series haha. Especially one of the ones positioned as being a genius necro above most of the other Lyctors (I'd say this applies to Cassie, Anastasia, Harrow and unbeknownst to the other Lyctors - Palamedes).

Also interesting to note that despite the lack of memories, clearly some of their original personalities remained in their resurrected states, this Mercymorn bit could come right after a rant about Harrow being a literal baby

Spoiler

He said, Told M— that. Huge mistake. She was like, Oh my God, you’re drinking, aren’t you. You’re on amphetamines. You are on coke. You are on amphetamines and coke. I was all, Yeah … Coke Zero. She didn’t laugh. I laughed.

I apparently missed

10 hours ago, Xray the Enforcer said:

oh and and re: Pyrrha

  Hide contents

It seems that she remembers at least some things from before the Apocalypse, including Gideon's real name. this makes me wonder how many other Lyctors had started recovering their memories. 

 

Spoiler

Where was that shown? I wonder if its related to her being preserved in the back of his head

 

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@karaddin I'll dig up the quote, just a sec.

Spoiler

Found it in the current Theory Thursday thread on Reddit. 

When Pyrrha sees the Heralds: “‘You want Gideon the First, and Gideon the First is dead. He’s not coming back. Oh, God, Gideon,’ said Pyrrha, suddenly. ‘Gideon…G—, you died for nothing.’”

It could just be because she shares Gideon the First's brainspace -- but no matter who remembers it, it means that someone is gaining their memories of the Before Times back. Another Redditor mentions that Pyrrha remembers a bunch of pre-Apocalypse details in Nona, which now that they mention it also rings a bell for me. It's something I'll keep an eye out for on re-read.

Regarding Anastasia -- yeah good point. I literally just finished the book so got to her body in the Tomb. But yeah, bodies don't mean shit if you can soul-hop. I also wonder about Cassiopeia -- remember how Palamedes talked about the Sixth House's escape plan? And then they suddenly end up in the hands of BOE? If not Anastasia, then I think maybe Cassiopeia (or a part of her) didn't die in the River and has been working with BOE. 

Speaking of that last chapter -- what are the things attacking the Ninth House? Instantiated devils from the River? (not going to dive into the theory about the devils being the 9.9 billion lost souls of Old Earth just yet)

Also thank you for the run-down on the necros and their cavs. All of that makes sense. One thing about why Augustine hates Cristabel:

Spoiler

I've seen a theory floating around that Cristabel and Alfred formed a suicide pact to force Mercy and Augustine to go forward with Lyctorhood, something they didn't want to do because who wants to murder/eat your brother/friend, even if being a necromancer without one means slowly wasting away?

And regarding Ulysses:

Spoiler

John does not strike me as someone who would search for someone's soul. My man made a cow wall out of other souls inside of Ulysses IMO.

 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer
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A few more things from me:

On the lyctors, in stream of consciousness

Spoiler

I don’t think any of the names of the lyctors are the names they had in the before times, nor do I think that the stated genders necessarily track.  I think the fact that we know that Ulysses and Titania were his original puppets supports this. I agree that we have no idea what souls he shoved into those bodies. I think the uses of gender markers are very deliberate and I want to reread with that in mind.   I will note that Ulysses in mythology was a wanderer, and there’s probably an inescapable reference to Joyce.  Titania is possible a reference to the queen of the fairies in Shakespeare, but also is the name of a moon of Uranus, so there you have another resurrection beast possibility.  And here’s another rabbit hole, my annotated Shakespeare suggests that Titania falling in love with Bottom is the inverse of the Ulysses/Circe story where Ulysses men were turned into animals….But I digress….There is a lot more there, I think.  

St. Augustine of Hippo was the theologian who posited that the soul and the body were ineffably linked in order to create humanity, and that the soul was the greater part of the human but that they were in perfect unity.  I think he is also viewed the soul as a substance and part of the “church invisible”.  Some of that comes through in the John chapters.

Also:

Spoiler

Some things from the Revelation of St. John:

1.  The river of the water of life flows from the throne of God the lamb.  It is supposed to be crystal clear, and an angel shows it.

2.  I mean, all the resurrection beasts, but there is definitely one that talks about a beast that was once alive but lives no longer, but will reappear.  That particular beast is described as carrying a woman….

Alecto is the daughter of Gaia.  I mean a little on the nose, but still.

Also, go read the Tell-Tale Heart.  It’s short.  Then come back…..She clearly likes Poe

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

At what point does something become so dense and so packed with allusion that it’s…too dense and overly referential?

Are we maybe nearly there yet?

I say this as an avowed #1 fan girl of TS Eliot, king of allusions.

Ulysses.  That’s where.  And, well, um, see prior.

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@Mlle. Zabzie He actually gives us explicit answers on the inspirations for

Spoiler

Ulysses and Titania

Quote

He thought about it and added, I better say that it was Titania from Midsummer, Shakespeare, but Ulysses was for a dog my nana had when I was a child. I worshipped that dog. He was the bravest dog I’d ever met. Half Chihuahua, half pug. Nan called him Ulysses S. Grunt. Died from eating too much pizza. The dog, I mean.

Agreed on their post resurrection names not actually matching their original ones, they just share the first letter still so that's all I meant there.

Oh I forgot to reply on the One Piece conspiracy theories front, I was mostly just laughing at them as I saw them and not having onto them but the one that really stuck in my mind was

Spoiler

A claim that the phrase "one piece" appears in whatever version of the Bible they were checking 16 times, which if true is a hell of a coincidence lol.

@Xray the Enforcer

 Thanks for digging that up, I do remember it now it's pasted but it didn't sink in what it meant.

Excellent idea on Augustine hating Cristabel, I think that's on the money as it fits too well with

Spoiler

Her using her suicide to help John discover the soul. Her base personality is inclined to self sacrifice for her faith and that's actually large and personal enough to warrant a 10k year grudge.

 

 

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Whoops forgot one part - 

Spoiler

On the things at the Ninth, I saw a a theory that the drill shaft of Drearburh is paired with or the mirror reverse of the tower in the river. Or, and I'm just trying to think it through now - the two are in the same place, one in the river and one in the physical world. 

So my speculation then would be that the tower was deactivated by sealing Alecto and its been slowly reactivating ever since Harrow kissed Alecto. It was already active enough to start doing things to the river while Alecto was buried in Nona but fully activated once she starts to slip out of Harrow's body on the 5th day. 

So then my speculation is that the tower provides a path to 'hell' that doesn't go through a stoma and potentially things can actually come back from there, which is what those things possessing people are. This doesn't explain anything about how they are getting to Antioch because we know nothing about there.

Its also a good time to pull in some other speculation as well though regarding the Ninth

Spoiler

I've been intrigued with the theory that Drearburh is actually on the moon, not Pluto, ever since I first saw it. Even on my first read of Gt9 I felt like their trip from the Ninth to the First felt really short, shorter than the other houses despite almost no detail on it and it feels like a much more appropriate location for the tomb of Earth's soul. I wasn't sure if the day/night cycle of the Ninth fits though which was my main reservation, but checking and its 153 hours on Pluto vs 709 hours on the moon which imo fits Gideon's poor understanding of days even better. All the other issues with cold and lack of light can be due to it being at the bottom of the drill shaft and close to a pole.

My extended thoughts on the damned souls rests on where we've seen them and another bit of speculation:

  1. In Canaan house, mainly in the laboratory but the ones that get into Colum are able to get into him even though he's not in the laboratory anymore. Importantly this is after Teacher is killed.
  2. At Antioch. I think John is there? Gideon and Ianthe certainly were and had been spending time with him
  3. At the Ninth after the tower has reactivated
  4. I think there's still more to Canaan House we haven't puzzled out. We've seen it for real in Gt9 and then a warped version in Ht9, but we know the entire structure is far larger than the part they had access to, and we explicitly know that part of that is John's quarters. I suspect Harrow was actually right and there is also a power source there. 

I'm thinking that the heralds are "damned souls" which get caught in the spiritual gravity well of a Resurrection Beast and are warped by the beast they attach to. Assuming there is a power source at Canaan House its going to be a piece of Alecto's soul, so they've always been there stuck in the facility caught by a piece of her soul and one of the reasons they created Teacher was to act as a jailer for them - keeping them down in the facility. This would certainly dove tail with him being hyper aware of them.

Another part of Alecto's soul is wherever John is, and at the end of Ht9 he was almost dragged through a stoma by Augustine - in the period he was down there and the stoma was open it would have been possible for that gravity to sweep up some of the souls from 'hell' and now he's dragging them around with him wherever he goes. Obviously Canaan House shows he knows how to deal with them, but he's a selfish prick and feeling sorry for himself so he's simply not bothering.

And lastly we have them at Drearburh. Either they're being drawn directly out of 'hell' by Alecto's soul after its unsealed as per my earlier speculation about it being the tower, or the portion of her soul that was at Canaan House returned to her once Nona started dissolving and dragged the souls from Canaan House in its wake.

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Sorry for the triple post, just noticed something really odd. I had the dramatis personae from Harrow the Ninth open from answering X-ray's questions about the Lyctors yesterday and this caught my eye just as I was about to close it. Each of the Lyctors are listed off like this

Quote

Augustine the First

Alfred Quinque, his cavalier

FIRST SAINT TO SERVE THE KING UNDYING

However when we get to Harrow's its 

Quote

Harrowhark the First

##################################

NINTH SAINT TO SERVE THE KING UNDYING

Where the hashes are just a completely scribbed out mess. Up till now I've never thought anything of it, as it seemed obvious - Gideon would have been scribbed out and replaced with Ortus. But its not - Ortus isn't mentioned, and the scratched out line is way too long to just be the equivalent line for Gideon

Quote

Gideon Nav, her cavalier

I guess it could have been both written and crossed out, then struck through

Quote

Gideon Nav, her cavalier Ortus Nigenad, her cavalier

That's a bit too long but close. It could be something more though and now I'm intrigued! Argh I want the last book already. Apparently my answer to Chat's question is "There is no limit" lol

Edited by karaddin
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13 hours ago, karaddin said:

@Mlle. Zabzie He actually gives us explicit answers on the inspirations for

  Reveal hidden contents

Ulysses and Titania

Agreed on their post resurrection names not actually matching their original ones, they just share the first letter still so that's all I meant there.

Oh I forgot to reply on the One Piece conspiracy theories front, I was mostly just laughing at them as I saw them and not having onto them but the one that really stuck in my mind was

  Reveal hidden contents

A claim that the phrase "one piece" appears in whatever version of the Bible they were checking 16 times, which if true is a hell of a coincidence lol.

@Xray the Enforcer

 Thanks for digging that up, I do remember it now it's pasted but it didn't sink in what it meant.

Excellent idea on Augustine hating Cristabel, I think that's on the money as it fits too well with

  Reveal hidden contents

Her using her suicide to help John discover the soul. Her base personality is inclined to self sacrifice for her faith and that's actually large and personal enough to warrant a 10k year grudge.

 

 

I had totally forgotten that explanation.  Of course our man John is a totally unreliable narrator, but this felt real-ish?

I think I need to reread all three back to back.   

And if the end of this is a psych ward in a private hospital somewhere out of Wellington I'm going to be super super ticked.

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5 hours ago, Ser Not Appearing said:

I feel like there's only so much info in book 1 regarding the overall plot and connections. Book 2 is the cypher ... but I could also be way off.

 

You know, that’s kind of why I want to go back and read book 1 now having finished book 3, because I expect there is stuff in book 1 that, in retrospect, will be important to book 4.  

 

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Yeah there's a bunch of stuff in Gt9 that becomes a lot more meaningful after Ht9 and I'd be surprised if that trend hasn't continued. 

ETA: And agreed on this feeling true for their names. He's unreliable and twists things to flatter him, but he's not delusional to the point of inventing details pointlessly. And that dog name is amazing.

Edited by karaddin
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I really want to read this, but I also feel like I remember nothing from Harrow the Ninth, which mainly confused me when I read it, and am feeling very intimidated by the series at the moment. Has anyone found a good online summary of the first two books that could help me catch up again?

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On 9/29/2022 at 10:34 AM, Caligula_K3 said:

I really want to read this, but I also feel like I remember nothing from Harrow the Ninth, which mainly confused me when I read it, and am feeling very intimidated by the series at the moment. Has anyone found a good online summary of the first two books that could help me catch up again?

@Caligula_K3 -- Karaddin posted a recap earlier in this thread. It's under a spoiler tag, but let me see if I can find the posts. 

Here's where that conversation starts -- because I realized that I had probably missed or forgotten a bunch of stuff. 

Anyhoo, the next few posts, especially by Karaddin, can get you up to speed on what happened in the prior two books (esp HtN) to prep you for what's going on. 

I will say that Nona the Ninth is much more straight-forward, narratively. Very little of the (spoilers for Harrow the Ninth): 

Spoiler

POV shifting between Harrow before brain surgery (where Harrow is aware that Gideon is her cav and that Harrow eat Gideon's soul), Harrow after brain surgery (where Harrow hallucinates that Ortus is her cav -- this is the POV throughout most of HtN), and re-emerged Gideon Nav at the very end.


 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer
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