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A further consideration of Adjunct Tavore

#21 User is offline   Zetubal 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 10:06 AM

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 06:15 AM, said:

The ends justify the means. Ah now, that is a subject I should like to address in considerable detail in another post entirely: the Empire's vaunted efficiency, the ultimate justification for its realpolitik and even its entire existence. Considering the evidence ES gives us, how does a cost/benefit analysis of the empire's actions pan out? And of course, before even considering that set of data, we have to define our terms: whose cost and whose benefit are in play here? Is the object the greater good of the greatest number? To consider which is, of course, to consider empire as a political construct in the abstract. Let me get back to you on this one...


I think this would be a topic for an altogether different thread though. SE's books are, after all, not so much about the actual dry and hard facts & numbers of how the Empire is run, but rather about how characters from their own individual perspectives perceive the Empire. What I meant to say was something in this vein. Laseen firmly believes in the efficiency of purges, and hers is the one opinion that matters on that issue. She may well be wrong - considering how her reign eventually ends. But in the context of my post, this is beside the point I was trying to make.

As for the rest of my post...no reactions?
I'm particularly curious as to why you think of Tavore's arc as one about her redemption.
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#22 User is offline   nacht 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:04 PM

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

Are you trying to claim some sort of moral highground over us for trying to justify Tavore's actions and SE's stylistic choices? Again, you do realise that this is a work of fiction, not historical writing? Your comparisons with Eichman etc are pushing a similar comparison. We are not suddenly complicit in non-existent atrocities by defending a character arc choice. Zetubal's explanation of Tavore's situation is pretty spot on, but that is an explanation, not a justification.


Am trying to claim some sort of moral high-ground over you? No, not remotely. When and how did this debate descend to the personal? I was making a point about what I saw as a literary weakness in the series, namely the unconvincing redemption of a major character. Others may, can and do see it differently; that is the nature of debate.

Do I realise that we are addressing a work of fiction? I think that yes, I did indeed come to suspect that despite certain similarities, this was a work that could not be laid at the feet of Mr. Gibbon.

As for "defending a character arc choice" - I'm not quite sure that there is much point, beyond the level of fan club discourse, in defending or attacking the choices of fictional characters; but one can argue whether or not such choices contribute to, or weaken, the effectiveness of the narrative arc. On literary, not moral grounds.


It is not clear what you want as the outcome of this discussion. If the question was about a fact in the book, it can be cleared. If it is opinion and you want to listen to various perspectives then many have provided that. If you want to convince many that you are right, then you have tried (and failed). If you want to try further and sharpen your argument, then some will be game as long as you make a good faith effort at improving it (part of the good faith effort is to accept/rebut all points and not just those that are convenient for your case). If you just want to troll (I presume this is not the case), then it wont work.
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#23 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

I was making a point about what I saw as a literary weakness in the series, namely the unconvincing redemption of a major character.


As several people have already pointed out to you, Tavore's character arc is NOT about redemption. She knows that her actions are irredeemable. She never strives or tries to be the soldiers' darling or anything. What she does is knowingly use her soldiers and knowingly forge them into a weapon she can use to free the Crippled God. The point of dragging the Bonehunters through the Glass Desert is to turn them into believers by making them experience a pain as close to that of the Crippled God as possible. In no worls is that an action that screams seeking redemption. SE has on several occasions compared Tavore to Alexander the Great, who isn't exactly known as a holy man and peace keeper but as a conqueror who strove to conquer to the ends of the known world.
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#24 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.
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#25 User is offline   Silentarius 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 09:32 PM

View PostPuck, on 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

The point of dragging the Bonehunters through the Glass Desert is to turn them into believers by making them experience a pain as close to that of the Crippled God as possible.

That her soldiers could have swallowed this preposterous project is flatly unbelievable, and was the reason I mentioned 'fragging' as a far more likely outcome...

View PostPuck, on 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

SE has on several occasions compared Tavore to Alexander the Great, who isn't exactly known as a holy man and peace keeper but as a conqueror who strove to conquer to the ends of the known world.


I was not aware of these, and find the comparison frankly puzzling. Most historians agree that after the Jaxartes, Alexander sank deeper and deeper into an alcohol-fueled paranoia, fits of megalomania alternating with sudden bouts of homicidal violence. Not quite sure how that fits with Tavore; possibly SE was thinking of Alexander's passive-aggressive technique of handling mutinous or reluctant troops.
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#26 User is offline   Silentarius 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 09:34 PM

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM, said:

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.


Good point; that makes sense.
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#27 User is offline   Silentarius 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 09:40 PM

View Postnacht, on 04 August 2018 - 05:04 PM, said:

It is not clear what you want as the outcome of this discussion. If the question was about a fact in the book, it can be cleared. If it is opinion and you want to listen to various perspectives then many have provided that. If you want to convince many that you are right, then you have tried (and failed). If you want to try further and sharpen your argument, then some will be game as long as you make a good faith effort at improving it (part of the good faith effort is to accept/rebut all points and not just those that are convenient for your case). If you just want to troll (I presume this is not the case), then it wont work.

Do all discussions have to be working towards a preordained outcome? I'm not trying to convince anyone, let alone 'many'.
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#28 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 10:14 PM

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 09:32 PM, said:

View PostPuck, on 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

The point of dragging the Bonehunters through the Glass Desert is to turn them into believers by making them experience a pain as close to that of the Crippled God as possible.

That her soldiers could have swallowed this preposterous project is flatly unbelievable, and was the reason I mentioned 'fragging' as a far more likely outcome...


I thought you'd read the books? Aside from Blistig, there are a bunch of infantrymen who mutiny but are held back by the small core of marines around Fiddler, who is one of the few who knows what's going on and considers it worth it. Tavore is not the only important character in teh Bonehunters, and most importantly, the ones who matter to the other soldiers are much better regarded by them. Without Fiddler, Tavore's quest would've failed and she knows it.

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 09:32 PM, said:

View PostPuck, on 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

SE has on several occasions compared Tavore to Alexander the Great, who isn't exactly known as a holy man and peace keeper but as a conqueror who strove to conquer to the ends of the known world.


I was not aware of these, and find the comparison frankly puzzling. Most historians agree that after the Jaxartes, Alexander sank deeper and deeper into an alcohol-fueled paranoia, fits of megalomania alternating with sudden bouts of homicidal violence. Not quite sure how that fits with Tavore; possibly SE was thinking of Alexander's passive-aggressive technique of handling mutinous or reluctant troops.


'Compared' not 'claimed to have copy-pasted'. Also, not seeing the problem. Seen from the outside, Tavore's actions could very easily be construed as megalomania. That's the point. Nobody, in-story or out-story, knows Tavore's true motivations and everyone can project whatever they please into her (as you are doing). The reason your interpretation is being disputed is because the ones people on here argue for have actual, textual evidence to support them.
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#29 User is offline   TheRetiredBridgeburner 

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Posted 06 August 2018 - 10:22 AM

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM, said:

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.


I've always felt this was an absolute master stroke - we don't need Tavore's point of view, everything we need to know about her is on the page through the views of those around her. To take away her remoteness (which is oft commented on and felt by the characters around her) would be to take away some of what makes her arc stand out and to strip it of some of its power.

And I agree with the general consensus - Tavore's arc is not about redemption, because she cannot be redeemed. She is faced with impossible choices, knowing just how close she always is to complete failure and annihilation with each one (particularly the crossing of the Glass Desert), and as has been said elsewhere the soldiers slowly realise the bigger picture and are compassionate with the immense strain she very nearly buckles under.

The bit where that really struck me was then the army meets the remnants of The Snake, Fiddler takes Held from them, Badalle realises Saddic is playing ("They're toys!) and I think it's Ruthan Gudd who says "Who are we Adjunct, when we murder innocence?" They know the stakes before then, but it's one of the moments that clearly drives it home for many of them.

As someone said above, it'd be really easy if all the Malazans were like Fiddler and Whiskeyjack, but they aren't. Those characters are exceptional in their own ways, and Tavore is in hers.

Everyone takes what they want from a book (or series of books) and they will always be open to interpretation, but I honestly cannot see your Tavore in my books.

This post has been edited by TheRetiredBridgeburner: 06 August 2018 - 10:24 AM

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#30 User is offline   rant 

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 09:32 PM

View PostTheRetiredBridgeburner, on 06 August 2018 - 10:22 AM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM, said:

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.


The bit where that really struck me was then the army meets the remnants of The Snake, Fiddler takes Held from them, Badalle realises Saddic is playing ("They're toys!) and I think it's Ruthan Gudd who says "Who are we Adjunct, when we murder innocence?" They know the stakes before then, but it's one of the moments that clearly drives it home for many of them.



That scene is arguably my favorite of the entire series, and it took this thread for me to finally realize the implication of Gudd saying that directly to Tavore (who more or less murdered the innocence ( and actual life [twice] I guess) of her sister). Damn I love these books. They just keep on giving.

Anyways.

OP, I think you're conflating what Dujek suspects is happening (an out of control purge that resulted in the unsanctioned rape and murder of kids) vs. what Laseen and the ME does (a purge of the nobility). From the quote you cite, I always thought that Dujek was drawing on his own experience of the out-of-control purge he led in the mouse quarter in GOTMs prologue (I think he was leading it...someone correct me if I'm wrong). I mean, it doesnt really matter....a purge is bad regardless lol. And I always kind of took that as an intentional component of Eriksons set up. Literally the first thing we see in GOTM is several of our protagonists/ the empire we are supposed to 'like' complicit in something that is unambiguously morally wrong. There were no shades of grey: Laseen is wiping out a group of people to solidify her rule. Evil.

Anyways, I agree with (almost lol) everyone here: I don't think Tavore's was a redemption arc....nor do I even think Erikson tried to redeem her (especially given the Gudd quote provided by RetiredBridgeburner). He just showed someone doing what they believed needed to be done, no matter the cost. Heck, thinking on it now, I'm inclined to believe that Tavore probably agrees with you re: ends justifying means, intentions leading to hell etc. And yet, she still walked that path to hell, condemning her sister and nobles to death and worse, being labelled traitor of the ME, forcing 10k soldiers into exile with her, removing any chance of returning home by burning their boats, and then leading them to a sure death on a gamble--cold iron indeed.

Also....something to keep in mind: Tavore didnt JUST save Kaminsod. She stopped the Fokrul Assail from wiping out ALL humans. And probably stopped Brood from wiping out ALL LIFE on Wu with Burns reset hammer. I think its important, because when we get into these debates about ends and means, I find the.........cutoff points........... to be really interesting and often arbitrary (E.G. ordering a purge to save the world is okay? But a purge that includes minors to save the world is not okay? A purge to save a nation, probably not okay?). Just to be explicit: I have no desire to get into a debate about ends/means lol, so lets not hijack this thread for that.

This post has been edited by rant: 11 August 2018 - 05:27 AM

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#31 User is offline   Tehol's sightseeing chickens 

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Posted 26 March 2019 - 10:54 PM

View PostTheRetiredBridgeburner, on 06 August 2018 - 10:22 AM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM, said:

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.


I've always felt this was an absolute master stroke - we don't need Tavore's point of view, everything we need to know about her is on the page through the views of those around her. To take away her remoteness (which is oft commented on and felt by the characters around her) would be to take away some of what makes her arc stand out and to strip it of some of its power.

And I agree with the general consensus - Tavore's arc is not about redemption, because she cannot be redeemed. She is faced with impossible choices, knowing just how close she always is to complete failure and annihilation with each one (particularly the crossing of the Glass Desert), and as has been said elsewhere the soldiers slowly realise the bigger picture and are compassionate with the immense strain she very nearly buckles under.

...



We actually do get a view into her soul, so to speak, when she finally meets her brother:

Quote

'Tavore! Stop! It's me – it's Ganoes!'
The helm came away, left his hand to thump on the ground – she stared up at him, disbelieving, and then, in
her face, everything shattered.
'I lost her! Oh, Ganoes, I lost her!'


The one thought most on her mind is about their sister and her failure at protecting her.
How long would she have carried this burden? how much would it have shaped her determination to not fail again?
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#32 User is offline   TJack 

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Posted 23 April 2019 - 07:12 PM

View PostTehol, on 26 March 2019 - 10:54 PM, said:

View PostTheRetiredBridgeburner, on 06 August 2018 - 10:22 AM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 04 August 2018 - 05:49 PM, said:

It is probably also a reason why we never see her as a point of view character. She stays remote to the end, possibly because SE doesnt want you to identify with her. But that strays into the realm of literary analysis and I am not well equiped for that.


I've always felt this was an absolute master stroke - we don't need Tavore's point of view, everything we need to know about her is on the page through the views of those around her. To take away her remoteness (which is oft commented on and felt by the characters around her) would be to take away some of what makes her arc stand out and to strip it of some of its power.

And I agree with the general consensus - Tavore's arc is not about redemption, because she cannot be redeemed. She is faced with impossible choices, knowing just how close she always is to complete failure and annihilation with each one (particularly the crossing of the Glass Desert), and as has been said elsewhere the soldiers slowly realise the bigger picture and are compassionate with the immense strain she very nearly buckles under.

...



We actually do get a view into her soul, so to speak, when she finally meets her brother:

Quote

'Tavore! Stop! It's me – it's Ganoes!'
The helm came away, left his hand to thump on the ground – she stared up at him, disbelieving, and then, in
her face, everything shattered.
'I lost her! Oh, Ganoes, I lost her!'


The one thought most on her mind is about their sister and her failure at protecting her.
How long would she have carried this burden? how much would it have shaped her determination to not fail again?


Thank you, I was waiting for someone to mention that. It seems to go directly against a lot of what OP was arguing in regards to Tavore and her views of Felisin and the culling.

This post has been edited by TJack: 23 April 2019 - 07:14 PM

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#33 User is offline   Wu ammanas 

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Posted 03 November 2019 - 05:53 PM

Thank you all fo this answer. Anyone who really reads malazan series can not but love tavore. She is cold but... Just the best
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#34 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:21 PM

View PostSilentarius, on 03 August 2018 - 02:21 PM, said:

Having just re-read most of the Malazan decalogy, I am fascinated by the way the character of Tavore develops; by which I mean that the development of the character in question strikes me as strangely unconvincing, even clumsily contrived - most particularly as regards her relationship with the other protagonists.

We first encounter Tavore as she commits the series' original sin, namely the delivery of her underage sister to slavery, hard labour, the certainty of repeated gang rape and the likelihood of a hideous death. Yes, she arranges for protection, but that protection is in practice so flimsy, that her sister has to sell her body in order to marginally improve the chances of survival of herself (and her bodyguard!) while on the slave transport. Not very nice, indeed. And the excuses made for her over the course of several books amount to, in effect, that she had no choice in the matter.

But observe: though the (thoroughly imbecile, but that's another matter) purge of the nobility called by the empress touches in theory every high-ranking official and officer of the empire, Tavore is not simply an unwilling tool in the purge: she is the empress's Adjunct and as such, can be presumed to have been profoundly complicit in the planning of it. More, we see her actually overseeing the loading (and partial massacre) of the purged nobles in Deadhouse Gates. No innocent, she, but rather a Lavrenti Beria to Lasseen's Joseph Stalin.

But it gets worse... In Memories of Ice, Dujek tell Paran that "Tavore... well knew what was coming. Nobleborn children were being raped. Then murdered. The order to have every nobleborn child under marrying age slain was never made official, perhaps indeed Lasseen was unaware of what was going on...". So if Lasseen was indeed unaware, who else was the architect of the purge but Adjunct Tavore? And what is being described here is perhaps the single greatest atrocity in a series richly stocked with atrocities. An order to first rape, then murder children... not even Stalin went that far.

And yes, of course Erikson has every right to present us with a cold-bloodedly cruel, ambitious and conscienceless protagonist, nor do we have to like the cold-hearted bitch. The problem is that Tavore, after a military career studded with failure, incompetence and the bodies of countless Malazan and allied troops, is still riding high with Lasseen. And while excuses can certainly be found for almost every one of her cockups, somehow I find it hard to believe that the empress would be much interested in excuses; after all, it was Napoleon who said that the quality he most valued in his marshals was luck.

And so we come at long last to The Crippled God, and to Adjunct Tavore's entirely unbelievable redemption, as she becomes the soldiers' darling and the Joan of Arc of the allied armies. This, after one final demonstration of bloody-minded military incompetence, as she forces her armies to penetrate ever deeper into the desert without adequate supplies of water. The soldiers' darling, my sainted arse. Erikson, we know, sees armies through the most sentimental of spectacles, but despite his best efforts, the troops' increasingly soft-headed adoration of this deeply unpleasant character does not even begin to convince: Tavore is tainted by her poor record, by her cold-bloodedness and, above all, by the fact that true soldiers invariably despise the tools of state repression (which all are aware she has been): German troops had no love for Gestapo officers, nor Soviet troops for the NKVD. It was sad to have the conclusion of such a monumental work undermined by Erikson's bizarre insistence on redeeming Tavore, the Empress's Butcher.


You clearly understand neither the character of Tavore, nor Soviet history.

Remember that every narrator is unreliable (just like in real life), and by design we never actually get Tavore's POV.
Additionally, it's suggested at several points in both series that the culls of the nobility were necessary to keep them from regaining power and infecting the military with incompetence.

View PostSilentarius, on 03 August 2018 - 05:01 PM, said:

This is in response to Gorefest's very interesting post.

First of all, a few points concerning the Theory of the Long Game. Why on earth would so many major players get involved in a very deep, very complex and very long-term plot for Tavore, as you write, "to be placed centrally into the Malazan empire hierarchy, in a military capacity". Why? Was the Empire so short of military talent (and it certainly wasn't way back then) that a deep-laid plot to take down the Crippled God had to depend on the astronomical odds that a young woman with no military experience would turn out to be just the right person to lead the crusade? (This is assuming your Assumption 2 holds true, namely that there was such a deep-laid plot in the first place).

Secondly, once her sister had been handed over, no one person, not even a super-humanly tough Claw assassin, could guarantee Felesin's safety in the mines. Yes, a plot was in hand for her escape..sometime. Soon ™. Meanwhile, since Baudin could in the nature of things not be with her all the time, ill-treatment violence and rape at the hand of others was inevitable, Felesin's subsequent breakdown and Stockholm syndrome notwithstanding (actually, both reactions were probably unavoidable). And never mind the Otattaral mines. What do you think the fate of a pretty 16-year old dropped in the average Congolese, Indonesian or even American mixed-gender hard-labour prison camp today would be?

"Tavore is looking at the bigger picture of saving the world and assumes that with Baudin in place and other outside help, Felisin would be okay in the end".That's either a very naive supposition on Tavore's part, or rank hypocrisy. Hell, she could even tell herself that the kid could do with a bit of toughening up. As to the oft-repeated point about "the bigger picture", well - does a hypothetical end justify the most vicious of means? To say nothing of what the road to hell is paved with...

You have, with respect, dodged the most serious charge I made, which is the pogrom Tavore participates in and helps guide, which includes the rape and murder of children. Does the "bigger picture" justify the mass rape and killing of children? If it does, then the Malazan Empire is no better than the Pannion's - worse, actually, since Tavore and the Empress are supposedly 'sane' and 'civilised'. (And yes, I did indeed notice that Felesin is the only teenager in the transport and the mines, and realised the implication - which just makes Tavore's guilt that much greater).

Regarding her poor record: you admit that "she is very limited in what she can make the troops do". So why in Hood's name did anybody ever think it would be a good idea to task her with the job of taking on the Ultimate Big Baddy?

Finally: as far as the troops 'awe' towards the end is concerned, and their "final mutual understanding and appreciation", I repeat that such a highly improbable resolution is entirely down to Erikson's highly sentimentalised view of soldiers and armies. In any real army the world has ever know, she would have been fragged...

Anyway, enjoying the debate!


The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Saving the world is more important than a few nobles.

View Postnacht, on 03 August 2018 - 08:50 PM, said:

Silentaiius, you are echoing Fist Blistig
Hot iron will likely never understand Cold Iron. It is the same revulsion Corabb feels for Leoman after Y'Ghatan.

Quote

But it gets worse... In Memories of Ice, Dujek tell Paran that "Tavore... well knew what was coming. Nobleborn children were being raped. Then murdered. The order to have every nobleborn child under marrying age slain was never made official, perhaps indeed Lasseen was unaware of what was going on...". So if Lasseen was indeed unaware, who else was the architect of the purge but Adjunct Tavore?


This is Dujek *speculating* and is simply an opinion. He might very well have meant that situation went out of control, as you would expect from the law of unintended consequences.
Your hate/bias against Tavore is causing you to jump to an unwarranted conclusion.

Soldiers follow; that is what they are trained for. If they don't they can either desert or mutiny. Desertion is usually not a good option in a hostile place as there is more security in numbers (what can be more secure than being in the company of a large army).
As Andorion said, the glass dessert sojourn was Malazan tactics (and is clearly explained and by the way is successful in terms of drawing away the enemy)

Tavore herself has no expectation of success and is deeply burdened by the fact that her soldiers continue to follow her. Many stars had to align for her to succeed and she gets a lot of direct help (Mael, K'rul, Shadowthrone, Cotillion).

Your main source of hate seems to be that she started the pogrom against the nobles and for how she treated Felisin. Maybe you assume that since she was a noble, she should have some empathy for that group. Neither her or brother feel that.
Laseen chose Tavore (a noble) to enforce her pogram against the nobles. Felisin was her trial by fire. Any failure in this test would have led to a quick end for Tavore and her influence. Under these circumstances, a special ops of hostage retrieval is probably her only option and Felisin had to suffer, anything less would have led to a quick end to the plan.

As the Adjunct to the Empress, Tavore's strength was not war experience (Malazan relies heavily on sergeants and such). Rather, she was the symbolic head, like almost the empress herself being on the battle field and her Otataral sword which is a thing of priceless value, a way to negate all super beings. The sword was enough to dismiss the whirlwind.


Direct your hate to Laseen as I do :-)


Indeed. Most people who are not nobles do not seem to really like the nobles.

The glass desert kinda reminds me of part of the movie Lawrence Of Arabia when the main characters cross a supposedly impassable desert to emerge on the other side and attack their enemy from an unexpected direction. The march across the Glass Desert is similar but because it's high fantasy, on an even bigger scale. Insane due to the difficulty, but also brilliant if pulled off.


Also obligatory Laseen did nothing wrong.


View PostSilentarius, on 03 August 2018 - 09:42 PM, said:

View Postnacht, on 03 August 2018 - 08:50 PM, said:

This is Dujek *speculating* and is simply an opinion. He might very well have meant that situation went out of control, as you would expect from the law of unintended consequences.

Come now. This is either pure speculation on your own part, or else a wholly unwarantable assumption; there is nothing in that passage to suggest Dujek is speculating!

View Postnacht, on 03 August 2018 - 08:50 PM, said:

Your main source of hate seems to be that she started the pogrom against the nobles and for how she treated Felisin. Maybe you assume that since she was a noble, she should have some empathy for that group. Neither her or brother feel that.
Laseen chose Tavore (a noble) to enforce her pogram against the nobles. Felisin was her trial by fire. Any failure in this test would have led to a quick end for Tavore and her influence. Under these circumstances, a special ops of hostage retrieval is probably her only option and Felisin had to suffer, anything less would have led to a quick end to the plan.

No. Felisin is up close and personal, and horrible enough. But what everyone in this debate is weaseling out from under is the fact that Tavore iinitiated/facilitated/executed (depending on how much influence you grant her) a general pogrom of singular hideousness, including the deliberate rape and murder of children - that is what damns her for all eternity. No possible argument of expediency can save her, any more than it could have saved Eichman.

And also, no, I don't hate Tavore; you can't hate a fiction. But as a fictional character, I find her journey from atrocity to redemption, particularly the kind of glorious redemption SE has in store for her, implausible and unconvincing.

The nobles had it coming to some degree.

They're not a marginalized group like Jewish people in Europe. They were in power before the Malazan Empire got there. Maybe the cull (stop calling it a pogrom; it wasn't one) got out of hand and was excessive, but their power needed to be curtailed.


Also Dujek isn't omniscient or unbiased. All narrators in this series are unreliable.

View PostGorefest, on 03 August 2018 - 11:28 PM, said:

I still think you are accrediting way too much responsibility for the atrocities in the cull to Tavore, mainly based on a single comment by Dujek in MoI who at that point is outlawed and only has second-hand info. In HoC, Gamet actually provides far more insightful info through a flashback in which we learn that Tavore explicitly told Baudin that he was there to ensure that no harm would come to Felisin. Baudin also tells Gamet that Tavore's options are very limited and that she is under scrutiny. The best she could do for Felisin is a 'brief stint' in the Otataral mines, in Baudin's words. Most of the murders and rapes were committed by the smallfolk exacting revenge on the nobility, which the malazan troops 'let happen' for a while before restoring order and putting the nobles on trial. Tavore is also closely tailed and checked by the Red Blades, who are fiercely loyal to Laseen. Claiming that she masterminded the rape and murder of small girls and that she could have stopped these atrocities from happening are just as speculative as you claim my or other people's observations to be.


It's almost like the common people hated the nobles, who were in charge before the Malazan conquest, for some reason. I wonder why...


View PostPuck, on 04 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

View PostSilentarius, on 04 August 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

I was making a point about what I saw as a literary weakness in the series, namely the unconvincing redemption of a major character.


As several people have already pointed out to you, Tavore's character arc is NOT about redemption. She knows that her actions are irredeemable. She never strives or tries to be the soldiers' darling or anything. What she does is knowingly use her soldiers and knowingly forge them into a weapon she can use to free the Crippled God. The point of dragging the Bonehunters through the Glass Desert is to turn them into believers by making them experience a pain as close to that of the Crippled God as possible. In no worls is that an action that screams seeking redemption. SE has on several occasions compared Tavore to Alexander the Great, who isn't exactly known as a holy man and peace keeper but as a conqueror who strove to conquer to the ends of the known world.


I think it's actually a compelling feature of her arc that setting course for such a goal will often require making decisions where all of the options are bad and that moral purity is somewhat a luxury. Tavore's setting out to accomplish a very ambitious and ultimately altruistic goal. She knows that the history books may recall her only for the brutal cull of the nobility and the bloody Seven Cities campaign and has accepted that.

This post has been edited by Kanese S's: 21 January 2020 - 06:59 PM

Laseen did nothing wrong.

I demand Telorast & Curdle plushies.
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#35 User is offline   Kanese S's 

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:14 PM

Furthermore, I don't think it's ever expressly stated that the cullings started with Laseen's reign.

Surly and Dancer were both leaders of rival corps of assassins essentially answerable only to the old Emperor. The largest and most destructive culls were probably when the Malazans first conquered Quon Tali.

Laseen did nothing wrong.

I demand Telorast & Curdle plushies.
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