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The White-Luck Warrior II (spoilers)


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She was wholly sexualized in his mind the first time he sees her in her tent wearing a light robe and when she spreads her legs. She's pretty well sexualized almost immediately; she's referred to as beautiful and exotic, then there's the scene where she's naughty with her legs...she's not the best example, though I'll note that at least Serwa isn't all about using her sex appeal or her sex to gain power. Sorweel wants her to be and sees her as such, but I always thought that was Sorweel's PoV and not the actual truth. Serwa is first and foremost a very powerful Mandate sorcerer. She's fucking Moe because it gives her pleasure, not because it's the only way she can have agency. And she is uncautious around Sorweel because she doesn't care, not because she sees that it gives him wood.

This.

I get the impression that Serwa doesn't really have any sort of Machiavellian schemes going on. She's manipulating Sorweel, but nothing Dunyain about that. After all, she's a pretty teenage girl and no doubt likes guys fawning over her. I don't think she was even particularly antagonistic towards Sorweel until he jerks off in the bushes--until then she was at least civil towards him, and somewhat friendly.

She may have suspected he might walk in on them, but I don't think it was any sort of elaborate plot on her part. She probably just gets a thrill out of idea of getting caught. Even after she catches him, the 'my daddy will kill you' talk seemed more like vindictive teasing than anything serious.

What would she have done if Sorweel hadn't masturbated? What if he'd done the gentlemanly thing and simply averted his eyes and walked away. Other than giving him a smug look I doubt she'd even bring it up.

In short, based on the textual evidence, out of all the Kellhus's kids, Serwa seems to be most human: a spoiled, arrogant teenage girl through and through. Really, I find her most sympathetic next to Theli, who's just an innocent autistic.

I agree with Skafra that Kellhus wants to keep her off the board lest she turn against him when he feeds the GO to the NG or whatever. Sending her to the Consult seems a lot like death sentence, though--possibly even a fate worse than death. Not that Kellhus would care, but it does seem like a waste of resources. Even with Serwa's metagnosis powers, I doubt she'd be a match for a city full of ten thousand year old Nonmen Sorcerers.

Prediction: Sorweel is going to go ape shit and rape her. :( She can't do her magic if she has a gag in her mouth. Not sure how Moe would be out of the picture, but still it's something I can see Bakker writing.

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Well, TakLoufer, I think you are taken in by a Dunyain.

Again, Dunyain is a philosophy. Moenghus believed in a historical Dunyain, as would many but not all Dunyain. Until Kellhus and Moenghus the Dunyain had been exposed to nothing in contradiction with the historical Dunyain's choice to erase sorcery from their history.

However, Dunyain mission remains in Earwa. Kellhus and Moenghus are the only two who've ever been exposed to the actual metaphysical variables of their World.

I just don't necessarily think the sum of self-mastery lies in the God of Gods. Maybe a Self-Moving Soul is something different than the No-God or the Primer Mover, God of Gods.

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Well, TakLoufer, I think you are taken in by a Dunyain.

Perhaps, but since Yatwer is masking Sorweel from Dunyain senses (Kellhus can't read him, Serwa didn't(?) detect the chorae), he's simply not important enough to manipulate. He's a horse king who Serwa can tell is enamored with her. That's all he is to her. That's all he is to any of the Anasurimbors. A side character. Expendable (Why else would Kellhus send him into a Consult trap?)

So what strategic advantage does Serwa gain by antagonizing him? Why bother? The manipulation seems too petty to be Dunyain.

Unless there's some plan afoot we don't know about. Perhaps Kellhus told Serwa he's sending them into a trap.

Still like the idea of Kellhus knowing Serwa would find Isual (and perhaps wipe them out), though I'm not sure why he would care. If he wanted them wiped out, he would have done it himself.

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The odds are Serwa only knows about the Dunyain through Esmenet, and Esmenet only knows what Achamian and Kellhus have told her.

It is an interesting question - how much Serwa and Kayutas know about Dunyain? I guess it depends on whether Kellhus knows Ishual is destroyed. If so, he can afford to misinform them, otherwise I don't see Kellhus sending Serwa in the vicinity of Ishual without warning her. It could mean the theory of Serwa being an actual destroyer of Ishual may be true, and while it would be deeply ironical, I don't buy Bakker doing it, since it would mean a terribly bad planning by Kellhus.

I tend to think Kellhus kept his two oldest children relatively well informed (it doesn't mean he didn't lie to them about something or other, if it suited his purposes) and also gave them some basic Dunyain trainment - at lest as much as Maithanet got, and possibly more.

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OK guys, apples has got me. I really was only faking my visceral disgust in an attempt to get in good with Women. I mean, my basic plan was for one of these 'Women' (I don't wanna alarm anyone, but there's a handful on the board. Shhh! Everyone be cool!) to notice my initial post, and bring it up at the next Women's meeting. Word would very quickly spread (the little dears do so love to gossip, don't they?) and just like that, I could look forward to blowjobs and backslaps for the rest of my life!

And you guys ... it totally worked! Last night I was talking to a lovely lady at the bar, and she wasn't all that interested until I leaned down and whispered in her ear "You know, despite my admiration and enjoyment of the series, I really do have a problem with R Scott Bakker's depiction of women." I was only halfway through the sentence when her panties hit the floor.

But seriously. If this was some manufactured bullshit ... why the fuck would I draw attention to that and effectively out myself right at the top of the post? And why do it now? Why didn't I jump on the bandwagon a couple of years ago, during the absolute height of the Bakker shitfest, when good ol' Pierce himself was posting? Bakker and women is done to death these days. If I was trying to gain some sort of cachet, I'm way too smart to pick a played out topic like this one. Regardless of why I had this reaction, it did happen and it was genuine. Questioning the authenticity of it is just stupid.

I actually think Bakker is trying to be a feminist writer of sorts. In his mind, I believe, he is pointing out that these fantasy cultures we romanticize are full of degradation and misogyny.

I don't think I'd personally describe Bakker as a feminist, but for the previous books in the series, I basically agreed with what you said. The problem is, by this stage, there's a terrifying lack of nuance to it all. He's gone too far in the other direction. While I'm perfectly aware that during the Middle Ages women were generally treated abysmally and had very little power or agency, and that apart from a few exceptions, fantasy has tended to whitewash over that, it's not a generalisation that applies across the board. It's gotten to the point where I seriously can't imagine a Joan of Arc in Earwa. It doesn't seem possible for an Eleanor of Aquitaine, or a Queen Isabella of France, or an Empress Mathilda to exist. The closest we get is Esmenet, a character that seems to have lost most of the deftness and confidence in wielding power that she displayed in Thousandfold Thought.

Well Saraccees can perform metagnostic cants, and some people suspect he might be Dunyain.

Yeah, I saw that. Not sure if I'm onboard, but it's an interesting possibility. Also, it's possible (even likely :P) I'm reading too much into the Mandate's switch from the elected Qurom to a more traditional Grandmaster, since there are some fairly simple explanations for it - namely that a School is likely to be more effective in war when given a single, undisputed commander. But ... it does give me a nagging feeling. The fact that this change is not only not explained, but not even remarked upon at all makes me think there's definitely more to it. And Saraccees being a hidden Dunyain is as good an answer as anything else I can come up with right now :)

On the current conversation about Kellhus and his little brood in general;

I love the total ambiguity of it all. We can only really guess how much of Daddy dearest abilities Serwa and Kayutas inherited. And I, for one, swing back and forth pretty wildly between way overestimating and way underestimating the Dunyain in general. At certain stages of the book I was convinced that everything that was happening was part of Kellhus' plan, and at othersI was thinking he'd blundered. I do think there's a danger in assuming every setback and disaster the Great Ordeal, and the New Empire, suffers is something Kellhus anticipated, because as brilliant as he is, we know he's capable of making mistakes. And we really don't know how much the last two decades have changed him. Is he mad, like the 'What Has Comes Before' section states? I really do think choosing to drop Kellhus as a POV character was a great move.

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Sorry for the double post, but something else I'm interested in, and keep forgetting to mention;

The Wracu. The Inchoroi control the Sranc through what seems to be a genetic disposition towards obeying them, and through their basic hungers to rape/kill humans. Skin-spies are a little more disciplined, but it's the same basic template. It might be the same for the Bashrag too, but we don't know enough about them really, at this point. So what's the control system for the Wracu? It doesn't seem to be a sex-based thing. And for that matter, Wutteat seems far more intelligent than any of the Inchoroi's other creations weve seen so far. Given that, according to Wutteat, the Wracu actually predate the other Weapon Races, and even the Inchoroi's arrival on Earwa, maybe they're not servants of the Inchies, but allies?

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OK guys, apples has got me. I really was only faking my visceral disgust in an attempt to get in good with Women.

hahaha - i love that line.

The closest we get is Esmenet, a character that seems to have lost most of the deftness and confidence in wielding power that she displayed in Thousandfold Thought.

Yup. Though I suppose one could say Esmi has slowly been going more and more insane over the last twenty years, stuck in a loveless marriage, birthing mutants and stillborns, finding and losing the daughter that hates her.

I love the total ambiguity of it all. We can only really guess how much of Daddy dearest abilities Serwa and Kayutas inherited. And I, for one, swing back and forth pretty wildly between way overestimating and way underestimating the Dunyain in general.

Yeah, every Dunyain character is awesome, especially Serwa. The number of identities Sorweel projects onto her, weaving a narrative of who she is in his head, was a great arc. It is hard to see what Kellhus's plan is, and Bakker deserves kudos of keeping us on our toes and throwing in several possibilities. It really does feel like Kellhus is a super intellect, so much so we see his hand everywhere.

On the Wracu, I don't think the Consult can actually control any of their creations very well - save the skin spies - without the No-God. Once he died, the dragons scattered and the other creatures I believe followed suit.

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Question about the Wracu. If they came from Ark with the rest of the Inchoroi, then they weren't created through sorcery since the Inchoroi never learned it until they came to Earwa. So why don't they have Choroi? It'd make them effectively invincible since nobody's discovered gunpowder yet and I'm not sure how effective ballista or catapults would be.

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Question about the Wracu. If they came from Ark with the rest of the Inchoroi, then they weren't created through sorcery since the Inchoroi never learned it until they came to Earwa. So why don't they have Choroi? It'd make them effectively invincible since nobody's discovered gunpowder yet and I'm not sure how effective ballista or catapults would be.

I've wondered that myself from time to time. I suspect its either :

a) because the dragons are strong enough on their own and giving them chorae would leave others unprotected.

b ) dragons are creatures tied to the Outside - its how their breath weapon actually works.

c) dragons with Chorae are immune to the No-God's control, which is connected to sorcery.

d) dragons are capricious creatures, not completely under the control of the No-God,and giving them chorae would make them able to turn on their masters without fear of reproach.

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Sorry for the double post, but something else I'm interested in, and keep forgetting to mention;

The Wracu. The Inchoroi control the Sranc through what seems to be a genetic disposition towards obeying them, and through their basic hungers to rape/kill humans. Skin-spies are a little more disciplined, but it's the same basic template. It might be the same for the Bashrag too, but we don't know enough about them really, at this point. So what's the control system for the Wracu? It doesn't seem to be a sex-based thing. And for that matter, Wutteat seems far more intelligent than any of the Inchoroi's other creations weve seen so far. Given that, according to Wutteat, the Wracu actually predate the other Weapon Races, and even the Inchoroi's arrival on Earwa, maybe they're not servants of the Inchies, but allies?

Perhaps the Wracu are just better engineered than the others. The other races were developed on Earwa, by which point the Inchoroi had lost 99% of their population, so they could only take existing genomes and corrupt them. With the Wracu, they were able to artificially create a life-form from the bottom up.

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Question about the Wracu. If they came from Ark with the rest of the Inchoroi, then they weren't created through sorcery since the Inchoroi never learned it until they came to Earwa. So why don't they have Choroi? It'd make them effectively invincible since nobody's discovered gunpowder yet and I'm not sure how effective ballista or catapults would be.

The text is weirdly contradictory here. Wutteat clearly indicates that he's traveled with the Inchies from world to world, etc. At exactly the same time (on the same page), Akka thinks "Dragons! Monstrosities literally bred to battle and destroy the ancient Quya." Is this just a glitch? (I did find this book had more errors and typos than I've noticed before . . .) Are the Non-men not native to Earwa? Some obvious explanation that I'm missing?

ETA: Another possibility: Do wracu have souls? Could Wutteat have been something else before he was a dragon? In this scenario, they'd be like the Inchies who seem able to create new and different bodies for themselves.

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The text is weirdly contradictory here. Wutteat clearly indicates that he's traveled with the Inchies from world to world, etc. At exactly the same time (on the same page), Akka thinks "Dragons! Monstrosities literally bred to battle and destroy the ancient Quya." Is this just a glitch? (I did find this book had more errors and typos than I've noticed before . . .) Are the Non-men not native to Earwa? Some obvious explanation that I'm missing?

ETA: Another possibility: Do wracu have souls? Could Wutteat have been something else before he was a dragon? In this scenario, they'd be like the Inchies who seem able to create new and different bodies for themselves.

I think its more like the Inchies bred new dragons to take over this world - as opposed the old dragons like Wutteat that traveled with them.

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Or Achamian's perspective is wrong and Earwan historical while Wutteat's dialogue is more informed.

Btw, did anyone ever go back and check out TTT for sure that Cnaiur never says Ishual?

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Or Achamian's perspective is wrong and Earwan historical while Wutteat's dialogue is more informed.

Except that Akka thinks what he thinks immediately after Wutteat talks about traveling from world to world. If what Wutteat is saying contradicts what Akka thinks he knows, then Akka's thoughts would presumably acknowledge this. Unless he's not paying attention (which seems unlikely since Wutt speaks in ALL CAPS).

Again, this could be a glitch in the text, but I'm convincing myself that Wutt arrived in the ark as something else. Remember, the Inchies were incredibly alien when they arrived in Earwa. No mouths, so "ugly" that they were killed out of hand. I think this ugliness suggests a fundamental "wrongness." They look completely other to the Nonmen (much more so than bashrags or sranc or the current incarnations of the Inchies). It would be surprising if these mouthless sci-fi freaks showed up with dragons, who seem relatively Earwa-normal by comparison: i.e., they have mouths, they have limbs and wings, they seem to be symmetrical and proportional, etc.

On another note, Wutt does say that Sil rides on his back out of the ark (or something like that, I don't have the book with me). This gives a sense of their relationship to the Inchies.

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