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Embarrassed: Icarium I'm 14 pages into my reread and feel like a tool. Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Tatterdemalion 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 05:53 PM

I just have to post.

I've been rereading since May to finish the series just when Crippled God comes out (outlook not so good... usually takes a month to read a book and tCG comes out before then. Mush, mush!) I just started DoD and read the first little snippet about Taxilian and the others. WTF.

At no point reading this the first time did I clue into the details in the little paragraph below the first passage which THOROUGHLY EXPLAINS that the seven characters are facets of a Jaghut, obviously Icarium's, personality. I feel so... out of it. I was reading it like they were all real characters... my memory barely remembering that Taxilian did something in RG or BH. Now I finally clue in and also realize Rautos was a RG character like Taxilian - all characters who died right around Icarium's machine usage - thus comprising his thoughts... and I assume the ghost following them is Icarium's mind itself. Makes the ending where Icarium takes over shit MAKE SENSE. Sigh.

Anyway, as a seasoned Malazan vet I felt really dumb realizing that whole storyline must have made no actual sense the first time I read it a few years ago. ALL GLORY TO THE ERIKSON.

Can't wait to understand it for real.
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#2 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:07 PM

To be honest, even understanding where they came from, it was still a very confusing storyline.
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#3 User is offline   Stalker 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 06:23 PM

@Tatter- I caught the same thing on my reread two weeks ago, and was shocked I didn't pick it up the first time. You aren't alone. Though as Apt says, it still is confusing.
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#4 User is offline   Dolmen 2.0 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

One at times feels like the jaghut identity behind these seven metaphoric characters should have been reiterated a few more times to let that
storyline make more sense.

Not a negative critic of SEs work in anyway but I honestly feel like he hid the metaphorical cheese from us (the metaphorical mouse) far
too obscurely.

This post has been edited by Dolmen: 20 February 2011 - 09:06 PM

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#5 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 10:05 PM

But he gives the whole thing away in the Prologue with Icarium clearly wandering alone through the Wastelands, jabbering to himself, as cape moths follow him in hopes that he'll die soon. That said, the ghosts aren't metaphors, they just happen to be the ones who are actual ghosts/spirits/shades while the "ghost" we hear from isn't.
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#6 User is offline   Tatterdemalion 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 12:42 AM

Hey Stalker - I blame reading DoD likely 2-3 years after RG as to why I didn't pick up on Icarium straight out. Probably had forgotten the events of the previous book. That's why you reread all the books within a year. I can truly say I'm excited to try to tackle that storyline now with a fresh head. Though, as Apt and others point out, it might not do me much good.
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#7 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:23 AM

Well, as worrywort points out, it's pretty much spelled out in the prologue. One just needs to connect the dots.
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#8 User is offline   King Bear 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:28 AM

I love DOD overall, but Icarium's storyline and the Snake's had me bewildered for a long while. Now that I understand them though, no doubt a read-through will improve those sections. Still, I agree with Dolmen about the too-hidden cheese. Though the prologue does, in a sense, give it away, it does so only in a very cryptic fashion. It's nice to have mystery, but not to the extent that I have no idea what's going on.
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#9 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 01:38 AM

Cryptic? It's a Jhag with a sword wandering around listening to voices in his head from the same place we last saw the only Jhag in the series. Hell, it's a Jhag with a sword. I mean, OK, if you'd forgotten where Taxillian and Rautos were from it might be a little odd but thinking 'Where did we last see a Jhag, oh yeah it was in Letheras oh wait that name Taxillian sounds familiar I wonder if the Jhag is Icarium? Nah, there are tons of Jhag in the series it could be anyone' is a little beyond me.
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#10 User is offline   Whisperzzzzzzz 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:10 AM

Don't you mean that you feel like Tool?
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#11 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:40 AM

Yah, I'm not suggesting everyone should have gotten it from the beginning...hopefully it didn't read like I was just saying "No duh, guys". But I am saying that once you do get it, it really isn't that cryptic...it's actually rather straightforward. I don't think it matters if the ghosts were actually physically manipulating the Rooted, or if they're just how Icarium envisioned his own manipulating the Rooted through will and sorcery. Either way, the personalities and their memories are more or less real (Feather Witch still has the power over the Errant, for one), if perhaps only partial captures of those humans' souls. The machine was broken after all.
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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:47 AM

View PostTatterdemalion, on 21 February 2011 - 12:42 AM, said:

Hey Stalker - I blame reading DoD likely 2-3 years after RG as to why I didn't pick up on Icarium straight out. Probably had forgotten the events of the previous book. That's why you reread all the books within a year. I can truly say I'm excited to try to tackle that storyline now with a fresh head. Though, as Apt and others point out, it might not do me much good.



That's my excuse too. I haven't actually done a full reread in way too long, though I have read most of the books individually 3-4 times. I was trying to do all 9 books for TCG but was running out of time, so I read GotM, DG, MoI, and DoD. If I knew I was only going to read 4, I would have picked some of the later books that have more to do with the Bonehunters and Tehol's road to rule. Hopefully this summer I will finally get a chance to read the entire series at one point.
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Posted 21 February 2011 - 02:59 AM

View PostIlluyankas, on 21 February 2011 - 01:38 AM, said:

Cryptic? It's a Jhag with a sword wandering around listening to voices in his head from the same place we last saw the only Jhag in the series. Hell, it's a Jhag with a sword. I mean, OK, if you'd forgotten where Taxillian and Rautos were from it might be a little odd but thinking 'Where did we last see a Jhag, oh yeah it was in Letheras oh wait that name Taxillian sounds familiar I wonder if the Jhag is Icarium? Nah, there are tons of Jhag in the series it could be anyone' is a little beyond me.


It had been years since I read RG, plus I couldn't even remember who Taxilian and Rautos were. I did get the reference to Icarium, but stil had no idea what was taking place. Maybe I was like Tool for not picking up and piecing together as much as I might have, but the story-line was still presented in an oblique way.
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#14 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:13 AM

It wasn't. Not really. The issue lies in most people not remembering who Rautos and Taxilian were and not connecting the dots. I see where one can go 'huh? at the beginning, but with time there's a clear connection between the Jhag wandering around in the prologue and the group plus ghost. The clues are there, everywhere, so one can't blame the story, is what I want to say. Is a typical MBotF kind of storyline - the clues are all over the place, but they are clearly there.
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#15 User is offline   King Bear 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:46 AM

View PostPuck, on 21 February 2011 - 08:13 AM, said:

It wasn't. Not really. The issue lies in most people not remembering who Rautos and Taxilian were and not connecting the dots. I see where one can go 'huh? at the beginning, but with time there's a clear connection between the Jhag wandering around in the prologue and the group plus ghost. The clues are there, everywhere, so one can't blame the story, is what I want to say. Is a typical MBotF kind of storyline - the clues are all over the place, but they are clearly there.


I agree that the clues are certainly present, and what Erikson did there is nothing unusual for tMBotF. But for this story-arc and the Snake one, Erikson hid the metaphorical 'cheese' much better than he did for the major story-arcs in previous books. I had no trouble getting the 'gist' of any of the major arcs in other books. But for some such as myself Iccy and the Snake were confusing, though for Icarium's arc having RG fresh in memory would certainly have helped. I'd guess the arc would work better if I'd read books 7, 8,9 in quick succession, rather than years apart. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy Iccy's arc on a re-read, now knowing what was actually occurring. The Snake I'm still dubious about. I guess I'll just have to re-RAFO. Roffles.

This post has been edited by Bombur: 21 February 2011 - 08:49 AM

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#16 User is offline   Dolmen 2.0 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:33 AM

View PostBombur, on 21 February 2011 - 08:46 AM, said:

View PostPuck, on 21 February 2011 - 08:13 AM, said:

It wasn't. Not really. The issue lies in most people not remembering who Rautos and Taxilian were and not connecting the dots. I see where one can go 'huh? at the beginning, but with time there's a clear connection between the Jhag wandering around in the prologue and the group plus ghost. The clues are there, everywhere, so one can't blame the story, is what I want to say. Is a typical MBotF kind of storyline - the clues are all over the place, but they are clearly there.


I agree that the clues are certainly present, and what Erikson did there is nothing unusual for tMBotF. But for this story-arc and the Snake one, Erikson hid the metaphorical 'cheese' much better than he did for the major story-arcs in previous books. I had no trouble getting the 'gist' of any of the major arcs in other books. But for some such as myself Iccy and the Snake were confusing, though for Icarium's arc having RG fresh in memory would certainly have helped. I'd guess the arc would work better if I'd read books 7, 8,9 in quick succession, rather than years apart. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy Iccy's arc on a re-read, now knowing what was actually occurring. The Snake I'm still dubious about. I guess I'll just have to re-RAFO. Roffles.


I agree entirely with bombur in that The major "AHA" points for Iccys arc, the snake arc and certain parts of Tools arc are missed if you kinda came into DoD after an Erikson literature draught. MBotF Is written gold because it rewards an attentive reader. kudos to those that picked up the sneaky clever bits first try. Coming in on tCG I get worried major references from book 1 to 3 will just fly right over my head. almost feels mandatory I go out and buy all the books I havent yet. my pocket trembles
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#17 User is offline   King Bear 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

@Dolmen's
"Coming in on tCG I get worried major references from book 1 to 3 will just fly right over my head. almost feels mandatory I go out and buy all the books I havent yet. my pocket trembles."
.
That's a good point. I also worry about getting lost in tCG. I have all the malazan books but haven't re-read any, out of a tendency to go for books I haven't read. No time to re-read them now! It's all on with tCG from tomorrow. Guess I'll just have to check into these forums to clear up confusions/pick up anything I missed on the (eventual) post-series re-read.
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#18 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:07 PM

Maybe you are focused too much on this idea of "metaphorical cheese"? There are no metaphors. Icarium and the ghost humans are real, even if a messed up Iccy has it backwards. The Snake is really a gigantic line of children snaking their way through the desert, thinning along the way. I guess calling it the "Snake" is a metaphor, but it's as simple as they come, given that a snake is basically a wavy line, and the storyline itself is as straightforward as it gets in this series. What exactly are you grasping for that you cannot reach?

This post has been edited by worrywort: 21 February 2011 - 09:08 PM

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 09:41 PM

Plus to complicate matters Feather Witch is called 'Breath' and she was already dead when Iccy's machine went ker-splody.

I stand by my opinion that these are 'real' souls that were drawn into Iccy's head to fill the vacancies and then purged when he didn't need them any longer. Feather Witch, being a High Mage, held on longer and provided the link to the Errant.
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#20 User is offline   King Bear 

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 11:08 PM

View Postworrywort, on 21 February 2011 - 09:07 PM, said:

Maybe you are focused too much on this idea of "metaphorical cheese"? There are no metaphors. Icarium and the ghost humans are real, even if a messed up Iccy has it backwards. The Snake is really a gigantic line of children snaking their way through the desert, thinning along the way. I guess calling it the "Snake" is a metaphor, but it's as simple as they come, given that a snake is basically a wavy line, and the storyline itself is as straightforward as it gets in this series. What exactly are you grasping for that you cannot reach?


We seem to have interpreted the phrase 'metaphorical cheese' differently. To me the 'cheese' was simply a quirky term for the hints or clues about what was actually happening in the story-arc. The cheese is metaphorical because these clues aren't literally cheese. I picked the phrase up from Dolmen who used it earlier in the thread, and I think that's how Dolmen meant it. I never meant to imply that SE intended Icarium, the ghosts or the snake to be taken as metaphors rather than literally. What confused me wasn't that, but rather the way the story-arc was presented/told, exascerbated because it had been long while since I'd read RG.
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