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A certain Malazan captain's strange thoughts

#1 User is offline   Twisty 

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:26 AM

I've just finished Assail, and I'm wondering about the odd way Cartheron seems to remember Laseen kindly. As Possum asks for forgiveness (loved the fact he was back!) for failing her, Cartheron says the "only after she was gone did I see how much we needed her."

Not entirely sure what made him backflip in his opinion on Laseen. He had to drown to escape her purging of the Old Guard - there was no love lost there. And it seems Mallick is doing a pretty good job as Emperor, solving problems in Fist and sending expeditions to Assail, so seems as competent (if not more so) than good ol' Surly...so I wonder why Cartheron now seems wistful about Laseen's death?

This post has been edited by Twisty: 27 November 2014 - 03:27 AM

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#2 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 06:38 AM

They ALL drowned, leaving Laseen fairly leaderless. And yet, she still did a decent job of maintaining the Empire. She fucked up with Rel and Dom, and she paid for it in the end.
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#3 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 06:43 AM

We don't know why she "turned" in the first place. Her grudge with the rest of the Old Guard might have been completely legitimate for all we know.
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#4 User is offline   nacht 

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 06:31 PM

View PostTwisty, on 27 November 2014 - 03:26 AM, said:

I've just finished Assail, and I'm wondering about the odd way Cartheron seems to remember Laseen kindly. As Possum asks for forgiveness (loved the fact he was back!) for failing her, Cartheron says the "only after she was gone did I see how much we needed her."

Not entirely sure what made him backflip in his opinion on Laseen. He had to drown to escape her purging of the Old Guard - there was no love lost there. And it seems Mallick is doing a pretty good job as Emperor, solving problems in Fist and sending expeditions to Assail, so seems as competent (if not more so) than good ol' Surly...so I wonder why Cartheron now seems wistful about Laseen's death?


I had a similar "Hmm, that's strange" reaction.
I felt that "Assail" had an author theme like "Let me try to explain more clearly" and "try to give some closure"

From the moment, Lasseen buried the bridgeburners and the way she went for Darujishtan, it can be argued that she was either really malicious (in a "power justifies anything" NIxonian kind of way" ) or she was incompetent.

and it seemed that the "author" wanted to give her a softer "legacy".
Also, it is possible that Catheron was being kind to the dead, which is typical of people remembering something positive about the dead.



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We don't know why she "turned" in the first place. Her grudge with the rest of the Old Guard might have been completely legitimate for all we know.


I think she "turned" because Kel and Dancer were not governing and the old guard was not doing anything about it.
or Maybe she was just jealous that they were doing stuff together without involving her :-)
The "old guard" has some problems and were mostly incapable of leading. For all his reputation Nok did mostly nothing throughout the series, Catheron was crazy, Urko and Tays had too much of a "Just leave me alone" and "I don't want to get involved in another mess" attitude.



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#5 User is offline   HoosierDaddy 

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 06:35 PM

Dassem was still functioning as the First Sword when she tried to assassinate him....
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#6 User is offline   Twisty 

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 09:05 PM

I guess when you think about it, she was kinda left with a whole empire to run by herself. I mean, sure, there was Dassem, but as First Sword it seems he was mainly interested in battles and perhaps the military overall, not the whole running of the empire. Surly was in command below Kel & Dancer, and then they just up and left, with no explanation, leaving Surly to (in the early stages) hold the Old Guard together to finish off the Seven Cities campaign (difficult to hold those egos together), continue on with plans for the invasion of Genabackis (which I'm sure were underway by that point) and keep the empire together with the Claw. And all this she achieved without anyone's help - Kel & Dancer always had each other, and both were mages (dunno if it's ever made clear, but surely Dancer had use of Mockra/Meanas?) while Surly had to rely on the magical advice of Topper.

So maybe she got paranoid about Dassem and tried to knock him off - we know she made mistakes. But perhaps what Cartheron realises is that she managed to rule the empire, alone against the world, to conquer Genabackis, while the Old Guard couldn't coordinate a successful rebellion against her. She didn't do too badly overall, so Cartheron probably would prefer her to Mallick (who he must know is a slime ball).
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#7 User is offline   Egwene 

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 08:08 PM

I did a few re-reads of that section just to be sure I had read it right. Only time I can think of that any of her old pals is having any positive thoughts about Laseen. Possibly a case of 'better the devil you know...'

It also seems that Crust isn't in Assail entirely of his own free will, so being under Mallick's thumb could be another reason for nostalgia.
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#8 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 09:20 AM

I forget exactly when but after portraying her as a betrayer, traitor and power hungry bitch for several books suddenly there was a switch in the vein of 'tell but don't show' that she was actually not a bad person. It never sat right or made much sense. Cartheron is not the first person to suddenly have a change of heart.

We also have the problem of Kellanved and Dancer who may have wanted to be assassinated so they could ascend to godhood, they would no have been allowed to maintain rule of the empire and become gods as they would have been to strong then, taking revenge on her in GoTM.

Then we have Mallick who was a slime ball but the moment we see him become emperor he seems to achieve a lot of good.

The malazan series is either convolutedly brilliant or as I now suspect just poorly plotted out in advance. Give it enough time and we will porbably see, GODS know how, surly ascend to godhood to rule beside the Rope and Ammanas

This post has been edited by Cause: 03 December 2014 - 09:21 AM

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#9 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 09:37 AM

Oh no, you've just given away the central plot of the Karsa trilogy!
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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#10 User is offline   Cause 

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 10:26 AM

I forgot Kellenved also had the Imass slaughter all of Aren as revenge on Laseen too.
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#11 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:29 PM

View PostCause, on 03 December 2014 - 10:26 AM, said:

I forgot Kellenved also had the Imass slaughter all of Aren as revenge on Laseen too.


Source? I don't remember that at all.

Spoiler

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#12 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 12:34 PM

Dujek claims this to be true in MoI.
She went and she left me like litter. She took all future summers with her. I lost all my money cuz I tried to bribe her. Now I can only afford an amateur sniper.
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#13 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 02:40 AM

View PostCause, on 03 December 2014 - 09:20 AM, said:

I forget exactly when but after portraying her as a betrayer, traitor and power hungry bitch for several books suddenly there was a switch in the vein of 'tell but don't show' that she was actually not a bad person. It never sat right or made much sense. Cartheron is not the first person to suddenly have a change of heart.

We also have the problem of Kellanved and Dancer who may have wanted to be assassinated so they could ascend to godhood, they would no have been allowed to maintain rule of the empire and become gods as they would have been to strong then, taking revenge on her in GoTM.

Then we have Mallick who was a slime ball but the moment we see him become emperor he seems to achieve a lot of good.

The malazan series is either convolutedly brilliant or as I now suspect just poorly plotted out in advance. Give it enough time and we will porbably see, GODS know how, surly ascend to godhood to rule beside the Rope and Ammanas


I think you are confusing between good/bad person and good/bad ruler. The two are not necessarily equal. Often a good person may totally mess up ruling, and a bad person may be an extremely efficient ruler.
With Laseen, we get bits of everything. Lets follow her character arc:

in GotM she is portrayed as th evil, treachorous usurper who took the throne of the rightful EMperor and then destroyed his Old Guard and is now systematically murdering all the loyal soldiers.

In DG the same story kind of continues, until the end when Kalam gets to talk to her one on one and finds out how her actions were necessary, from the point of view of the Emperors needs. Combine this with MoI. The death of the Bridgeburneres was a tragic accident, the outlawing of Dujek a ruse to take out the Pannion Domin.

By TBH Laseens plans are falling apart. She had probaly underestimated the scheming skill sof Mallik and Korbolo Dom and they now occupy positions of power, occupying the vacuum of power. SHe makes a desperate bid to get the Adjunct and Kalma on her side, hoping to use them to regain power. They decline. Very importantly the Claw is now heavily corrupted by Mallik loyalists. Then comes Kalams rampage, followed by Apsalars dance. That decimates the Claw. Here is a tippng point for both Laseen and Mallik. The Claw will have to be rebuilt its loyalties newly constructed again.

In RotCG we see the true extent of Laseen's predicament. She had not eliminated the Old Guard, they had deserted her and are now back for blood, with a full-scale rebellion. But she beats them anyway, and on top of that does some hands on killing on the Crimson Guard Avowed. This is Laseens big moment. The rebellion is beaten, factions are declaring for her, the Crimson Guard is here and along with them the chance for a unifying battle. But Malliks assasin gets through at her grandest moment. Laseen was devious, but not devious enough.

Mallik as new emperor is definitely a challenge to digest. From DG through RotCG we know the extent of his ambitions, his utter unscrupulousness, basically he is a slimeball. But he is Emperor, of an Empire that stretches across four continents. And in this Mallik actually shows some ability as in SW he breask the decades old deadlock on Korel. Of course it can be argued that he simultaneously blundered seriously on Genebackis in OST as during the whole Tyrant epsiode the Malzan army did not distinguish itself. What Mallik can/will do, remains to be seen. Theres another thread in General Book Topics called Current State of the Empire which discusses this.

So basically my argument is don't get into good/bad value judgements in Malzan. Try to ascertain a characters objectives/interests and then see how far that character is succesful in attaining the same.
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#14 User is offline   Tiam is an Imploding Unit 

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:24 PM

View PostAndorion, on 04 December 2014 - 02:40 AM, said:

In RotCG we see the true extent of Laseen's predicament. She had not eliminated the Old Guard, they had deserted her and are now back for blood, with a full-scale rebellion. But she beats them anyway, and on top of that does some hands on killing on the Crimson Guard Avowed. This is Laseens big moment. The rebellion is beaten, factions are declaring for her, the Crimson Guard is here and along with them the chance for a unifying battle. But Malliks assasin gets through at her grandest moment. Laseen was devious, but not devious enough.



Was she under Mallick's thumb? I thought she was independent, out for revenge for Vorcan's death (disappearance).
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#15 User is offline   D'iver koala bear 

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 12:34 PM

I think it's mostly because every1 was above her in senirority but what she didn't see is no one wanted the throne and I think crust knows that and forgives her for purging most of the old guard for no reason and he must see aswell that she did bloody good for only having nok and tayshrenn and the only I see that she done wrong is messing with bridge burners
Messing with tavore paran
And the koborlo Dom and mallick rel escapade
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