Malazan Empire: Help Understanding Some Passages from the Book - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Help Understanding Some Passages from the Book Unclear about a few things

#1 User is offline   Dr. Philodox 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 08-December 12

Posted 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM

This is from the introduction to Chapter One:

Quote

To see him true, even to this day, one must look in darkness. Or close one's eyes to slits in brightest sunlight. Glance askance, or focus on all but the stone itself. Of all the gifts Father Shadow has given his children, this one talent stands tallest. Look away to see. Trust in it, and you will be led into Shadow. Where all truths hide . Look away to see .


Is this entity later explained in the book? Presumably it is connected to the Tiste Edur as it contemplates Father Shadow's gifts.

Quote

Trembling, Trull forced himself to step forward, shifting his spear into a two-handed grip, the iron blade hovering above the corpse. 'He is not for you,' he said, his throat suddenly parched and strangely tight. The eyes glowed brighter for a moment as the white-skinned apparition glanced up at Trull. 'Tiste Edur, do you know me?' Trull nodded. 'The ghost of darkness. The Betrayer.' A yellow and black grin. Trull flinched as it drew a step closer and then settled to a crouch on the other side of the leaves. 'Begone from here, ghost,' the Edur said. 'Or you will do what?' 'Sound the alarm.' 'How? Your voice is but a whisper now. Your throat is clenched. You struggle to breathe. Is it betrayal that strangles you, Edur? Never mind. I have wandered far, and have no desire to wear this man's armour.' It straightened. 'Move back, warrior, if you wish to draw breath.' Trull held himself where he was. The air hissed its way down his constricted throat, and he could feel his limbs weakening. 'Well, cowardice was never a flaw among the Edur. Have it your way, then.' The figure turned and walked towards the forest edge. Blessed lungful of air, then another. Head spinning, Trull planted his spear and leaned on it. 'Wait!' The Betrayer halted, faced him once more. 'This – this has never happened before. The vigil—' 'Contested only by hungry earth spirits.' The Betrayer nodded. 'Or, even more pathetic, by the spirits of uprooted Blackwoods, sinking into the flesh to do … what? Nothing, just as they did in life. There are myriad forces in this world, Tiste Edur, and the majority of them are weak.'


Why is Silchas Ruin inspecting the body of the dead Edur?What does Trull mean by - "this has never happened before" - what has not happened before? Are the Blackwood spirits trying to take control of the Edur's body?

Quote


With this sorcery, they turned Darkness in upon itself with a hunger none who came too close could defy, an all-devouring hunger that fed first and foremost upon itself.' His voice was strangely muted as he spoke. 'Kaschan sorcery was sent into the warren of Mother Dark, like a plague. Thus was sealed the gate from Kurald Galain to every other realm. Thus was Mother Dark driven into the very core of the Abyss, witness to an endless swirl of light surrounding her – all that she would one day devour, until the last speck of matter vanishes into her. Annihilating Mother Dark.


Could anyone explain this in simpler terms? Why has she been driven to the Abyss from her own warren? What is this endless swirl of light that surrounds her and which she feels compelled to ingest like a goldfish?

Quote

Gerun smiled up at him. 'Inform Nifadas and Kuru Qan that I am not unaware of the complexities wrought through the impending Great Meeting. Nor am I blind to the need to usher me out of the city for a time. I have, of course, compensated for my own absence, in anticipation of my triumphant return.'


Quote

'He considers killing Buruk the Pale.' 'I believe so. The First Eunuch has been made aware of that possibility.' 'Now,' Nisall said, beginning to pace in the room, 'should the king be informed of this development, he might be inclined to withdraw Gerun from the delegation. Which will be perceived as a victory by the queen and the Chancellor.' 'Perceptions can be made integral to strategy,' Brys said. 'Spoken as a duellist,' Nisall said. 'But the advantages to the queen granted by Gerun's absence perhaps outweigh any advantage we might fashion.


Why is the King sending Gerun to the impending meeting with the Edur? The man is uncontrollable and unpredictable. Furthermore it is stated that if he were to be brought back to the city it would be seen as a victory by the Queen. I don't understand why this would be an advantage to the Queen? Is she in cahoots with Gerun? Gerun also wants to kill Baruk who is as far as I know being used to encourage war between the Letherii and Edur (Is this not why he suffers from guilt?). If this is the case then why does Gerun want to kill Baruk?

Quote

But he had always believed the world itself was … unquestionable. Not static – never static – but capable of being understood. It was undoubtedly cruel at times, and deadly … but you could almost always see it coming . Creatures frozen in mid-leap. Frozen whilst standing, grasses hanging from their mouths. This was beyond comprehension. Sorcery. It must have been . Even then, the power seemed unimaginable, for it was a tenet that the world and all that lived on it possessed a natural resistance to magic. Self-evident, else mages and gods would have reshaped and probably destroyed the balance of all things long ago. Thus, the land would resist. The beasts that dwelt upon it would resist. The flow of air, the seep of water, the growing plants and the droning insects – all would resist. Yet they failed .


What is Udinaas babbling about? From what I have read magic is pretty effective at killing things outright unless you have otataral.

And most important of all..

Quote


Propitiation was aversion, a prayer to pass unnoticed, to escape untaken. Blood before the bow, dolphins dancing to starboard and a gob of spit to ride blessed winds. The left hand scrubs, the right hand dries. Wind widdershins on the cleats, sun-bleached rags tied to the sea-anchor’s


What the hell are wind widdershins!?

This post has been edited by AbysmalSpreadsheet: 12 March 2016 - 05:36 PM

0

#2 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 11,575
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 13 March 2016 - 07:24 AM

View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM, said:

This is from the introduction to Chapter One:

Quote

To see him true, even to this day, one must look in darkness. Or close one's eyes to slits in brightest sunlight. Glance askance, or focus on all but the stone itself. Of all the gifts Father Shadow has given his children, this one talent stands tallest. Look away to see. Trust in it, and you will be led into Shadow. Where all truths hide . Look away to see .


Is this entity later explained in the book? Presumably it is connected to the Tiste Edur as it contemplates Father Shadow's gifts.


IIRC, no. It's just part of an old legend/poem that was recorded but no longer understood, as far as we know.

View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM, said:

Quote

Trembling, Trull forced himself to step forward, shifting his spear into a two-handed grip, the iron blade hovering above the corpse. 'He is not for you,' he said, his throat suddenly parched and strangely tight. The eyes glowed brighter for a moment as the white-skinned apparition glanced up at Trull. 'Tiste Edur, do you know me?' Trull nodded. 'The ghost of darkness. The Betrayer.' A yellow and black grin. Trull flinched as it drew a step closer and then settled to a crouch on the other side of the leaves. 'Begone from here, ghost,' the Edur said. 'Or you will do what?' 'Sound the alarm.' 'How? Your voice is but a whisper now. Your throat is clenched. You struggle to breathe. Is it betrayal that strangles you, Edur? Never mind. I have wandered far, and have no desire to wear this man's armour.' It straightened. 'Move back, warrior, if you wish to draw breath.' Trull held himself where he was. The air hissed its way down his constricted throat, and he could feel his limbs weakening. 'Well, cowardice was never a flaw among the Edur. Have it your way, then.' The figure turned and walked towards the forest edge. Blessed lungful of air, then another. Head spinning, Trull planted his spear and leaned on it. 'Wait!' The Betrayer halted, faced him once more. 'This – this has never happened before. The vigil—' 'Contested only by hungry earth spirits.' The Betrayer nodded. 'Or, even more pathetic, by the spirits of uprooted Blackwoods, sinking into the flesh to do … what? Nothing, just as they did in life. There are myriad forces in this world, Tiste Edur, and the majority of them are weak.'


Why is Silchas Ruin inspecting the body of the dead Edur?What does Trull mean by - "this has never happened before" - what has not happened before? Are the Blackwood spirits trying to take control of the Edur's body?


In short, Silchas is not. As he says, he has no interest in possessing the Edur body or whatever. He's just passing through.

Trull's "this has never happened before" is that a real apparition like Silchas' ghost has never actually manifested like this before (as far as Trull knows, anyways). Most vigils for the dead are rather boring.



View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM, said:

Quote

With this sorcery, they turned Darkness in upon itself with a hunger none who came too close could defy, an all-devouring hunger that fed first and foremost upon itself.' His voice was strangely muted as he spoke. 'Kaschan sorcery was sent into the warren of Mother Dark, like a plague. Thus was sealed the gate from Kurald Galain to every other realm. Thus was Mother Dark driven into the very core of the Abyss, witness to an endless swirl of light surrounding her – all that she would one day devour, until the last speck of matter vanishes into her. Annihilating Mother Dark.


Could anyone explain this in simpler terms? Why has she been driven to the Abyss from her own warren? What is this endless swirl of light that surrounds her and which she feels compelled to ingest like a goldfish?


This is a long-passed-on Edur legend. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't. The obtuse imagery of it being a legend is part of it. Just going to have to Read On for this one.



View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM, said:

Quote

Gerun smiled up at him. 'Inform Nifadas and Kuru Qan that I am not unaware of the complexities wrought through the impending Great Meeting. Nor am I blind to the need to usher me out of the city for a time. I have, of course, compensated for my own absence, in anticipation of my triumphant return.'


Quote

'He considers killing Buruk the Pale.' 'I believe so. The First Eunuch has been made aware of that possibility.' 'Now,' Nisall said, beginning to pace in the room, 'should the king be informed of this development, he might be inclined to withdraw Gerun from the delegation. Which will be perceived as a victory by the queen and the Chancellor.' 'Perceptions can be made integral to strategy,' Brys said. 'Spoken as a duellist,' Nisall said. 'But the advantages to the queen granted by Gerun's absence perhaps outweigh any advantage we might fashion.


Why is the King sending Gerun to the impending meeting with the Edur? The man is uncontrollable and unpredictable. Furthermore it is stated that if he were to be brought back to the city it would be seen as a victory by the Queen. I don't understand why this would be an advantage to the Queen? Is she in cahoots with Gerun? Gerun also wants to kill Baruk who is as far as I know being used to encourage war between the Letherii and Edur (Is this not why he suffers from guilt?). If this is the case then why does Gerun want to kill Baruk?


Gerun is legally allowed to kill people at his own discretion (because he has The King's Grace) and does so frequently. The common people are terrified of him. Sending him out of the city for a while is reassuring to the populace since he won't be in the city killing people.

Given the political tension in the court, anytime the Queen successfully undoes something the King has done (for any reason, or even without any reason) it is a political "victory". Bringing Gerun back, no matter the reason, is a victory for the Queen's faction simply because the King wished to send Gerun away for a time.


View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 12 March 2016 - 05:26 PM, said:

Quote

But he had always believed the world itself was … unquestionable. Not static – never static – but capable of being understood. It was undoubtedly cruel at times, and deadly … but you could almost always see it coming . Creatures frozen in mid-leap. Frozen whilst standing, grasses hanging from their mouths. This was beyond comprehension. Sorcery. It must have been . Even then, the power seemed unimaginable, for it was a tenet that the world and all that lived on it possessed a natural resistance to magic. Self-evident, else mages and gods would have reshaped and probably destroyed the balance of all things long ago. Thus, the land would resist. The beasts that dwelt upon it would resist. The flow of air, the seep of water, the growing plants and the droning insects – all would resist. Yet they failed .


What is Udinaas babbling about? From what I have read magic is pretty effective at killing things outright unless you have otataral.

And most important of all..

Quote


Propitiation was aversion, a prayer to pass unnoticed, to escape untaken. Blood before the bow, dolphins dancing to starboard and a gob of spit to ride blessed winds. The left hand scrubs, the right hand dries. Wind widdershins on the cleats, sun-bleached rags tied to the sea-anchor’s


What the hell are wind widdershins!?


Maybe magic isn't as effective in Lether as it is in places we have seen in the rest of the books so far?

Or maybe he's just commenting on magic not usually being very subtle. A giant wave of ice killing a deer is one thing... but a giant wave of ice capturing a deer and freezing it within the ice mid-leap without damaging its body is a whole other magnitude of finesse or power.

Widdershins generally means "in a manner contrary to the usual". In this case, "wind widdershins" would be like an usually gusting wind in an uncommon direction.

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.
3

#3 User is offline   Dr. Philodox 

  • Recruit
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 20
  • Joined: 08-December 12

Posted 22 March 2016 - 10:19 PM

Thanks for the response! However, I still don't quite understand why Gerun was itching to kill Baruk the Pale. I'll keep reading and see what happens.
0

#4 User is offline   Kanese S's 

  • TMI Frigate Bird of Low House PEN
  • Group: Mott Irregulars
  • Posts: 1,782
  • Joined: 26-April 11

Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:59 AM

View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 22 March 2016 - 10:19 PM, said:

Thanks for the response! However, I still don't quite understand why Gerun was itching to kill Baruk the Pale. I'll keep reading and see what happens.


Probably some old grudge. Or just cause he felt like it.
Permaban or bust.

Can I haz Telorast & Curdle plushies?
0

#5 User is offline   WinterPhoenix 

  • First Sword
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 654
  • Joined: 22-October 14
  • Location:Elysium

Posted 27 March 2016 - 11:50 PM

View PostKanese S, on 27 March 2016 - 11:59 AM, said:

View PostAbysmalSpreadsheet, on 22 March 2016 - 10:19 PM, said:

Thanks for the response! However, I still don't quite understand why Gerun was itching to kill Baruk the Pale. I'll keep reading and see what happens.


Probably some old grudge. Or just cause he felt like it.


'He felt like it' does seem in keeping with Eberict's character as a whole. That man has no redeeming or muddying features at all I would argue, which makes him somewhat of a rarity amongst the already massive list of characters I have met by the close of RG. With hindsight though, I do enjoy his claims later in the novel while arguing with Seren, that even if the Edur win, they will loose. Remarkably lucid insight from a man who seems to live only to kill :/

This post has been edited by WinterPhoenix: 27 March 2016 - 11:51 PM

"I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust." T.S Eliot - The Wasteland
1

#6 User is offline   Felisin Fatter 

  • Captain
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 164
  • Joined: 16-August 13

Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:55 PM

The giant turned to stone might represent the Edur people. They have been stranded there for milennia, unchanging and remaining or becoming somewhat primitive. They have forgotten their own history.
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users