Malazan Empire: Who is Olar Ethil?!? Please help - Malazan Empire

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Who is Olar Ethil?!? Please help Help Me please Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   dickiedan 

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:01 PM

I just finished DoD. As always I am slightly confused. Without any spoilers please, I would love some answers.



1) Who is Olar Ethil? I feel like when she is describing her self she says she has many names, "stone bitch" etc. She also says she is older than almost anyone? It seems to me like she is describing burn but it does not make sense to me that she is burn. Am I supposed to know what / who she is? Any spoiler free insight would be amazing.

2) The Snake - what is the significance of the snake? I get they are kids escaping the forkul assail and that in the end one of them turns out to be a high mage of mockra but is there somethign i am missing? I saw in another forum there is some connection to sin and rud?

3) I have onlye read the erickson books, maybe i will read the others, is there any reasons for me to read stonewielder before TCG? I am planning on starting TCG.

I am confused about many things and these books are amazing, going to have to re read them soon, scary to say this since i am not even done with them yet.
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#2 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

1) If you're confused by OE at this point, that means you probably haven't missed anything so far.
2) Badalle is not a high mage of Mockra, she is a mage of whatever the equivalent of Mockra is in the brand spanking new ultra-powerful Icarium warrens. That's her connection to Sinn and Grub.
3) It wouldn't hurt, but no biggie really. DoD and TCG are two halves of the same book anyway, so get crackin', and maybe some of your questions will be answered satisfactorily!

You shouldn't read the ICE books out of order anyway...even though in some ways they are filling gaps in to SE's work, they also appear to be building their own long-arc story as well.
They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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#3 User is offline   Defiance 

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:47 AM

The Snake possesses, at least in my mind, a strong theme with a deep message. It's easy to miss it (possibly because it might just be in my head); I didn't like reading about the Snake the first time around. When I went and re-read the book, though, I viewed it from an entirely different perspective.

Earlier in the series, during Deadhouse Gates, Captain Lull said: "Children are dying. That's a succinct summary of humankind, I'd say. Who needs tomes and volumes of history? Children are dying. The injustices of the world hide in those three words."

Now, we look at what is happening with the Shake. It's truly terrible - starving children who are being pursued and eaten, and have to resort to even feeding on each other in order to survive. It's tragic. But the more we read about it, the less many of us care. We simply want to move on to something else. The more of the tragedy of the Snake we see, the more we become deadened and indifferent towards it. I'd hazard to guess that most people weren't deeply affected by what happened in the Snake, and yet were disgusted, outraged, and saddened by what happened to Hetan and several of the Bonehunters in the finale. It's easy to care about people we know. It's easy to be compassionate toward those who are close to us. Showing compassion to complete strangers, especially when tragedy is the only thing that exists, can be difficult. We see it so much that we become dead inside. It's a mechanism to protect ourselves, but perhaps it's not a good response. Perhaps, rather than closing ourselves off, we should open ourselves up. Compassion is one of the largest themes of Malazan Book of the Fallen, and, as Itkovian says, "Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the word. It must be given freely. In abundance."

*shrug*

That was my take on the Snake, at least, beyond the obvious plot stuff that you mentioned.

Personally, I would read TCG before starting any Esslemont books, as worrywort suggested. I think it'd break up the flow too much if you started reading his work right now.
uhm, that should be 'stuff.' My stiff is never nihilistic.
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#4 User is offline   blackzoid 

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:02 PM

Think of Olar Ethil as the crazy old cat woman from the Simpsons. She just flings highly unlikely theories of who she is instead of cats at people trying to mind their own business.
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#5 User is offline   dickiedan 

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:44 PM

View Postblackzoid, on 27 April 2012 - 04:02 PM, said:

Think of Olar Ethil as the crazy old cat woman from the Simpsons. She just flings highly unlikely theories of who she is instead of cats at people trying to mind their own business.


thast funny, thank you to the rest of you for the feedback, helps a lot
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#6 User is offline   TabbyFL55 

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:11 PM

Well for starters, she's the undead dragon. I forget exactly when/how she first appeared but she's been around a while now (as of DoD, that is).

...or did you mean besides that?

the thing that bugged me about the snake in DoD was that it was never quite clearly stated exactly what race they were.. just that they were children. I kept expecting them to turn out to be Forkrul Assail. So I didn't let myself visualize them or get too attached to them.
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#7 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:13 PM

Yah, hate when I don't know what race a person is. How am I supposed to decide how much I care about them otherwise?
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