Malazan Empire: Proven Guilty's loose ends (Spoilers up to Skin Game and beyond) - Malazan Empire

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Proven Guilty's loose ends (Spoilers up to Skin Game and beyond)

#1 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 06:02 PM

You can freely post spoilers up to the end of Skin Game here. Anything from beyond that or from Word-of-Jim please put in spoiler boxes.

...


So I recently re-reard Proven Guilty, and it is interesting how many loose ends and unanswered questions were left in this book that still haven't been resolved, compared to any of the other books in the series.

Here's a short re-cap, in vaguely chronological order:


1. The Gatekeeper warns Harry of black magic afoot. Ebenezar asks Harry to try and find out why Winter's forces are almost all at the Winter-Summer border, which prevents the Summer faeries from helping the White Council.

2. As Harry is traveling home he gets rammed by a black SUV and knocked around.

3. [Or earlier] Some group, (including Thorned Namshiel) attack Arctis Tor and kill all the trolls/gnomes/etc currently defending it. Mab becomes a popsicle statue on the balcony.

4. Harry gets home and prepares to use Little Chicago but his big ritual preparation is interrupted by Molly (who has by now already used dark mind magic on Nelson and Rosie).

5. Fetches attack a horror convention many times. They are either being summoned by a medium-grade talent in the real world or sent by an uber-talent (e.g. Mab level) in the Nevernever. Either way, they need a 'beacon' - a person with dark magic - they can be sent to. Harry thinks it is a sorceror using themself as the beacon, but it later turns out whomever is summoning/sending them is using Molly as the beacon.

6. Harry meets with Fix, Lily and Maeve. Maeve says Mab has gone crazy. (And she says it very directly... in retrospect this is the first time we see Maeve say a very direct statement that is a lie.)

7. The Fetches kidnap Molly and take her to Arctis Tor. (Harry surmises that the reason they take her instead of killing her is because as a fledgling wizard they can feed on her for several days unlike regular humans.)

8. Madrigal Raith and his Jinn kidnap Harry. Scarecrow ambushes the Jinn and kills it. Harry surmises that this is because Madrigal was being setup as a fall guy - Harry was supposed to think Madrigal was the summoner - and the Jinn was in on it, so the bad people killed the Jinn to prevent anyone from using the Jinn to link back to the real bad guys.

9. Harry uses Little Chicago for the first time to find the place where the Fetches are returning to the Nevernever.

10. Harry, Murph, Charity and Thomas go to Arctis Tor, with Lily's help. They find the remains of the attack, and the Fetches are for some reason hanging around the empty Arctis Tor. Fighting happens. As Lily had planned/hoped, Harry uses the butterfly she gave him to shoot Summer Fire around the Winter Wellspring, which sets off alarms and starts bringing all the forces at the Winter borders back to Arctis Tor. It also reveals Lea, who is being held prisoner in the Wellspring, and she is obviously fighting against the influence of Nemesis. Mab is a popsicle.

11. Dramatic escape, rest and relaxation, Molly's trial, Harry and Morgan get medals, etc.

12. Bob reveals to Harry that Little Chicago should have exploded but someone fixed it for them before Harry used it. Bob never saw anyone come and do that (but Harry did take him out for a while) and there's no sign of anyone getting through the wards somehow... let alone anyone even knowing Little Chicago existed.



So, there's a bunch of unanswered questions:

A} Who was really summoning/sending the Fetches (and why)?
B} Who attacked Arctis Tor (and why)?
C} Who was driving the SUV that rammed Harry off the road (and why)?
D} Who fixed Little Chicago (and why)?


For {A}: Harry has several ideas throughout the book. Initially he thinks it must be someone at the convention summoning them (though with Molly revealed as the beacon they wouldn't need to actually be there) because it takes too much power for someone to be sending them, but then once he realizes the phobophages are Fetches he believes that Mab is sending them because the Fetches are apparently Mab's elite spies and assassins. But why would Mab be sending them to attack a random Chicago convention, especially in her popsicle state? The only possibility I can think of is that it was a way to lure Harry to Arctis Tor so that he would use the Summer Fire there and that would free Mab (or at least free her more quickly) from her popsicle state. So the motive makes some sense and it lines up with the Fetches being Mab's close servants, but one would think there would be an easier way to get Harry to come to Arctis Tor, it seems pretty awkward that the Fetches just happened to kidnap Molly and bring her there on their fifth or so attack (what if Harry never tried redirecting the sending at Molly?), there would be no reason to have setup Madrigal as a fall-guy, and it is also strange that the Fetches would then fight the gang so hard if they were under orders from Mab to try and get Harry there after all.

But, if it was not Mab sending them, who was it? There's an interesting theory that another fan came up with that revolves around an otherwise very minor character. (Speculative spoilers)
Spoiler


Whether or not that above speculation is true, if the Fetches aren't being sent by Mab the next most likely subject is a member of the Black Council... except there is no Black Council so, someone infected by Nemesis. Okay, sure, that works since they were also involved in {B}, but what was the point of sending a bunch of Fetches to attack people in Chicago? It's not like they would do it just to keep Harry out of their way - if the Fetches had never gone there he wouldn't have had any reason to go to Arctis Tor in the first place.


{B} Given what we've learned now in later books, it seems pretty clear the the attackers were a bunch of Nemesis-infected not-so-Black-Council folks, including Thorned Namshiel (since as of Small Favor it is confirmed that Mab was pissed at Namshiel). As for why, one common theory is that it was to break Lea free now that she was imprisoned and being cleansed of Nemesis. But if that's the case, they evidently didn't pull it off! But then, if they failed, why was Mab stuck as a popsicle statue? I don't think there's a good answer of this yet, not until we get a clearer idea of how the battle at Arctis Tor finished. Right now, it seems like nobody won.


And then there's {C} and {D}, which we can make wild guesses for but nothing really adequately explains it. If it were something simple like a pissed off Ace hitting his car or Mab fixing Little Chicago due to her taking over Lea's obligations, there'd be no reason for the answers not to have been revealed by now. So why the remaining mysteries?


Hence, all of these still-unexplained parts of Proven Guilty is why a lot of other fans believe that at some point Harry is going to travel back in time to the time of Proven Guilty and he himself will be the answer to some of these mysteries. Future-Harry will sneak into his own basement, fix Little Chicago and tell Bob to forget about it happening. He'll ram his own car in order to make past-himself too loopy to use Little Chicago as soon as he gets home and blow himself up. And at the same time we'll learn more about the attack on Arctis Tor, and possibly future-Harry will uncover and deal with [the above spoiler person].


What do you guys think?

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:41 PM

I don't have the time to give you any sort of reply that this posts deserves.

I enjoyed ready each and every bit of it and I really like the theory at the bottom.
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#3 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:42 PM

View PostD, on 23 November 2015 - 06:02 PM, said:

...

So, there's a bunch of unanswered questions:

A} Who was really summoning/sending the Fetches (and why)?
B} Who attacked Arctis Tor (and why)?
C} Who was driving the SUV that rammed Harry off the road (and why)?
D} Who fixed Little Chicago (and why)?

...


A] i had completely forgotten this was a thing and figured it was a byproduct of Molly messing w dark magic.

B] Nemisis Council, but we don't know why.

C] Someone's been trying to take Harry out for several books now and we do not know who/why.

D] My bet's on Harry's Mom.
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#4 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 07:47 PM

View PostAbyss, on 23 November 2015 - 07:42 PM, said:

B] Nemisis Council, but we don't know why.


I'm curious if anyone has any other theories than springing Lea out, though, especially now that we know more about Winter and that Maeve was infected at that point.


View PostAbyss, on 23 November 2015 - 07:42 PM, said:

C] Someone's been trying to take Harry out for several books now and we do not know who/why.


I thought all of those other than the Proven Guilty one have been explained at this point though? Is there any examples you can think of?

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#5 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 10:12 PM

Wait... why do I not remember any of this? Is this one of the main series or a graphic novel? I am well confused. This has completely thrown me!
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Posted 23 November 2015 - 11:09 PM

View PostTiste Simeon, on 23 November 2015 - 10:12 PM, said:

Wait... why do I not remember any of this? Is this one of the main series or a graphic novel? I am well confused. This has completely thrown me!


It's bk 8
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#7 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 01:45 AM

A; Mab did it, both to clue Harry in and manipulate him into teaching Molly who could be useful for her later plans and also to feed her loyal fetches if they failed (more capable, not traitorous Winter Lady > Eldest Fetch, sorry bud)
B; Black Council, whether or not to free Lea or [secret RAFO objective in later book] we don't know for certain. As the attack didn't get up the tower and may have detoured past, it seems to be not Lea though (also Mab was just projecting herself into the Sidhesicle, she wasn't stuck)
C; Ace saw one of several opportunities and took it, was smart enough not to overplay his hand
D; Lasciel did it? this is the most open one, though my money's on Lash's subconscious control over Harry for it
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#8 User is offline   Binder of Demons 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 02:01 AM

View PostIlluyankas, on 24 November 2015 - 01:45 AM, said:


D; Lasciel did it? this is the most open one, though my money's on Lash's subconscious control over Harry for it


That was always my guess, but i havent read those passages in a while to either confirm or deny it. Kind of a precursor to her 'taking the psychic bullet' in a later book

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#9 User is offline   Andorion 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 02:50 AM

I can probably answer this when I do my Dresden reread. Which wont happen for a month or so
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#10 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 04:16 AM

View PostIlluyankas, on 24 November 2015 - 01:45 AM, said:

A; Mab did it, both to clue Harry in and manipulate him into teaching Molly who could be useful for her later plans and also to feed her loyal fetches if they failed (more capable, not traitorous Winter Lady > Eldest Fetch, sorry bud)
B; Black Council, whether or not to free Lea or [secret RAFO objective in later book] we don't know for certain. As the attack didn't get up the tower and may have detoured past, it seems to be not Lea though (also Mab was just projecting herself into the Sidhesicle, she wasn't stuck)
C; Ace saw one of several opportunities and took it, was smart enough not to overplay his hand
D; Lasciel did it? this is the most open one, though my money's on Lash's subconscious control over Harry for it


A - why have Madrigal as a fall guy then? And why have Scarecrow specifically go for the Jinn?

B - Yeah, I guess that's feasible.

C - Granted, Ace later shows up and wants to kill Dresden but that is all the way in Cold Days, plus each of those attacks is planned-out ahead. A random "attack of opportunity" with an SUV doesn't really fit Ace's style (he'd be more likely to tail Harry and plant a bomb in Harry's car while Harry is in a building or something like that) and it'd be really strange for it to be Ace but there be no mention of it ever again nor Ace actually show up until 6 books later.

D - If Lash had fixed Little Chicago, she would know that it is indeed fixed and there'd be no reason for her to try so hard to stop Harry from using it for the sake of him not blowing himself up. She also later gloats about other times she helped him but never brings up Little Chicago.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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#11 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 06:20 AM

View PostBriar King, on 23 November 2015 - 11:09 PM, said:

View PostTiste Simeon, on 23 November 2015 - 10:12 PM, said:

Wait... why do I not remember any of this? Is this one of the main series or a graphic novel? I am well confused. This has completely thrown me!


It's bk 8

Seems a reread might be in order before the next book...
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#12 User is online   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 08:13 AM

I thought little chicago was strongly implied to be divine intervention, as little chicago wasn't 'fixed', Harry used it and it should have blown his head off but it didn't. Bob notices the critical flaw is present after Harry used it and the flaw was still there.
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#13 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 05:02 AM

View PostImperial Historian, on 24 November 2015 - 08:13 AM, said:

I thought little chicago was strongly implied to be divine intervention, as little chicago wasn't 'fixed', Harry used it and it should have blown his head off but it didn't. Bob notices the critical flaw is present after Harry used it and the flaw was still there.


Nope. Bob specifically says when he looked at that part of the model a few days ago the error was there (though he didn't recognize it at the time) but looking at it 'now' (at the end of Proven Guilty) the error is fixed.

View Postworrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
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