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Why were the grey swords in lether?

#1 User is offline   ColtaineDidNothingWrong 

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:50 AM

(Read all the books so spoilers are fine)

I never quite got why the Wolves sent Toc and the GS to Lether. Toc mentions they received visions of a battlefield where they would be needed, but that they chose the wrong battlefield and perished. That itself confuses me, couldn’t the wolves be more clearer in their directions and actually TALK to the GS on their motives/intent rather than just sending them to a new continent with little guidance?

Did the Wolves want Toc + GS to just kill some Letherii so it would assist Tavore and the Perish doing their own thing on the other side of the continent? Did they want Toc to contact Redmask (Toc mentions he was looking for the Mortal Sword of the KCKM). Did the Wolves even have a plan for them?
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#2 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 03:48 AM

Note: if you're okay with whole series discussion, probably best to put it in the final book subforum, or General Book Topics.

That out of the way, full-MBotF spoilers:
Spoiler


They came with white hands and left with red hands.
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#3 User is offline   ColtaineDidNothingWrong 

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 01:14 PM

View Postworry, on 14 September 2021 - 03:48 AM, said:

Note: if you're okay with whole series discussion, probably best to put it in the final book subforum, or General Book Topics.

That out of the way, full-MBotF spoilers:
Spoiler





Hi worry, thank you for the thorough response.

Spoiler



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Posted 14 September 2021 - 02:18 PM

It's an interesting question because as the Wolves' motives become clear (or change) by DoD/TCG, the events around Toc and the Swords in Leth completely shift.

We're initially told the Swords are sent by visions from the Wolves to some great cause of just battle. They end up ambushed by the Letherii and wiped out except for Toc, who, still aspected to and following the Wolves, finds himself helping Redmask and co against the Letherii.

That the Wolves goal in RG was to form an alliance with the KC and their humans were just footsoldier pawns is only implied by DoD/TCG, but it makes total sense in light of the Helms' betrayal of the alliance w Tavore.

It follows that given the KC agenda was to form closer bonds with humans, the Wolves shifted to the KN or else found themselves allied with the FA who were also allied w the KN, both of human were perfectly happy eating humans or punching their organs out 'to save the world'.
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#5 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 14 September 2021 - 05:14 PM

Yah....just one theory, and I'm sure I have elements like the timeline wrong. As I recall, the only overtly stated aspect of the above is the Wolves' anti-human goal. The rest is just how I personally pieced things together.
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#6 User is offline   ContrarianMalazanReader 

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 01:36 AM

Unpopular opinion:

I found the Wolves' motivations to be a load of nonsense throughout the latter books, and I was annoyed at how the Perish totally disappeared from the narrative and are never acknowledged again towards the end of TCG
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#7 User is offline   ColtaineDidNothingWrong 

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Posted 15 September 2021 - 07:00 PM

View PostContrarianMalazanReader, on 15 September 2021 - 01:36 AM, said:

Unpopular opinion:

I found the Wolves' motivations to be a load of nonsense throughout the latter books, and I was annoyed at how the Perish totally disappeared from the narrative and are never acknowledged again towards the end of TCG


(Thanks whoever moved this to general book discussion, so we can talk spoilers :) )

I can see why you'd feel that way. Tbh I don't have much of a problem with their motivations, they're wolves who wanna raze the world, whatever. I kinda have more of a problem with their followers and how naive they are to follow the Wolves

The whole notion of dedicating yourself to wolf gods without even knowing their motives doesn't sit well with me. Take TCG for instance. He's terrible, but it makes sense why people worship him; misery loves company, TCG offers them power (corrupted power, nonetheless) to wreak havoc, etc. I think he's a pretty clear cut god with clear cut worshippers, they all understand what they're getting themselves into in their relationship.

But take the wolves; hundreds of people are following them because...why exactly? War? Because they look cool? Idk the whole backstory behind the Grey Swords and Helms feels very vague to me, never really got why they're following the Wolves as opposed to some other god, especially gods as cryptic as them. Toc and the GS naively go to a random continent just because the Wolves tell them to, with no clarification besides some random dreams...idk I'd be suspicious and try asking questions before blindly marching into war. Maybe you can call it trust that was betrayed though, or maybe it's a commentary on faith itself...

This post has been edited by ColtaineDidNothingWrong: 15 September 2021 - 07:02 PM

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#8 User is offline   ContrarianMalazanReader 

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 02:30 AM

I think a more simple explanation is that the wolves are wild animals, and we as sentient beings are far too removed from their primal perception of the world, and could also be a commentary on the inherent strangeness of animist culture.
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#9 User is offline   Tsundoku 

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Posted 16 September 2021 - 06:33 AM

But what about the ongoing theme where worship shapes the recipient god? Binds them, if you will.
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#10 User is offline   D'rek 

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 12:00 PM

Perhaps the Wolves didn't even really have that much of a specific plan/goal initially and just knew "big stuff is gonna happen on that continent over there" and sent the Grey Swords thataway. Them getting wiped out by the Letheri doesn't have to be an intentional part of the plan.

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   Gorefest 

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Posted 17 September 2021 - 04:47 PM

It is a convergence, shit is going to go down bigtime, they are the new gods of War. They also have direct links to chaos. It would have been more of a surprise if they hadn't sent their worshippers there.
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Posted 17 September 2021 - 07:11 PM

 Tsundoku, on 16 September 2021 - 06:33 AM, said:

But what about the ongoing theme where worship shapes the recipient god? Binds them, if you will.


That is a thing, but if you worship gods for being made of war, they send you to war.
If you dont incorporate 'only really nice wars!' you have only yourself to blame.
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#13 User is offline   Mythodikal 

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 10:39 AM

I have read / listened through the books 3+ times depending on which book. I am back through and at DoD now. Toc was at times one of my favorite characters. Other times he is completely used as the one eyed victim / witness. Let's skip MoI.

In RG he is the last survivor and lives with the Awl. The entire Redmask storyline is so boring. The way it ends... why? Tool... sad...

TtH, Toc is the herald of Hood. Was what he went through with the Matron not good enough? There was no need of Toc Anaster. But what about sad Tool?

Ok... so once again... unnecessary. First off, Humbraul Taur just conveniently dies mid voyage to make Tool the war leader while they are already en route to follow the grey swords. Why are they following the grey swords other than Tool likes Toc. Was that HT's decision?

So with all that being said, I remember a lot of the Barghast story line in tCG. The Hetan story line, the twins, Cafal rescue. I just... it felt like a lot of "show me something terrible".

So the the question of the original post... why indeed. The grey swords should have died in Capustan (Itkovian still could have become the redeemer, though also, who cares?) Tool's journey had no lingering effect. Hetan could have stayed with Krupp. For me, it was just meh. The grey swords should have just died with Fener.
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#14 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 11 October 2021 - 11:03 AM

 Mythodikal, on 11 October 2021 - 10:39 AM, said:

First off, Humbraul Taur just conveniently dies mid voyage to make Tool the war leader while they are already en route to follow the grey swords. Why are they following the grey swords other than Tool likes Toc. Was that HT's decision?


It's been quite some time since i read it, but I seem to recall the reason that the Barghast went across to Lether had nothing to do with Tool, toc or the Grey Swords. They went there because the historical Barghast artifacts (boats) they had uncovered indicated that their ancestors came from across the sea. so they set out to find their origins. Might misremember, but I'm pretty sure it was something like that.


The Redmask storyline was important as well, as it reintroduced the K'Chain Che'malle as a more fleshed out (literally and figuratively) race after the undead K'ell Hunters in MoI. It set's up plotlines in the final two books, hinting at their disorganisation, their search for leadership and their new found willingness to reach out to other races.

This post has been edited by Gorefest: 11 October 2021 - 11:07 AM

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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