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  1. Empress Laseen

    04 February 2023 - 06:47 PM

    What is your opinion on Empress Laseen? Frankly I don't know what to make of her as a person.

    Based strictly on her actions as Empress I find her utterly despicable. She obviously excells at conquering, but is ill-suited to ruling. Her handling of the Wickans makes no sense whatsoever to me, and even lets Malick Rel play her like a fiddle on the matter. The only one of her ruthless actions that makes any sort of sense to me was her culling of the nobility, as evidenced by the inept Pormqual, who clearly made it all the way to High Fist thanks to his nobility connections, as Duiker notes he didn't even know how to ride a horse, hinting that the rot of the nobility was seeping into the military.

    Another thing I find baffling about Laseen is how everyone is conspiring to depose her, but after RotCG they are now lamenting her death and how she was the one who held the Empire together, as voiced by Cartharon Crust in Assail. In the early books Ganoes is all in on overthrowing Laseen, but does a complete 180 in TCG and claims the Host are fighting in her name. What's the reason for such a drastic change of heart?

    Now as person we are never made privvy to her POV, which wouldn't be a problem if the authors at least gave us a sense of what drives her. We never see Tavore's POV but at least we get a sense of her as a person and what motivates her, particularly in TCG, and you could say the same thing about Anomander Rake. We get no such thing with Laseen and I really have no idea what makes her tick. Empress Laseen remains a total cipher to me. The most I can tell about her as a person is that she does have a softer side as evindenced by her friendship with Possum, who is perhaps her only real friend, and we see how fiercely loyal Possum is and how deeply devastated he is after failing to protect her from assassination.

    On a final note, if I were in charge of casting Laseen for live action adaptation my top pick would be Jennifer Lopez.
  2. Ganoes Paran and the Host

    04 February 2023 - 06:17 PM

    One thing that really bothers me from a narrative standpoint is how Erikson handles Ganoes's story after the Bonehunters. He is promoted High Fist and is now in charge of the Host but, with the exception of a brief magical interaction with Picker in TtH, we know absolutely nothing about what Ganoes and Co are up to for the rest of the series until TCG. I expected there to be some kind of mention of the Host in RotCG but nothing, which I think is strange considering their reputation and the fact that they are under the command of the Master of the Deck. It's almost as if the authors are pretending they don't exist.

    I found their reintroduction in TCG to be very frustrating, as we're given absolutely no hint as to what they've been doing since we last saw them in TBH, no context of where they are exactly (had to look up the Wiki to find out they are in Kolanse). IIRC Ganoes mentions something about being summoned by Malick Rel but he has deliberately ignored his requests. Ganoes simply re-enters the narrative without any explanation.

    Is the Malazan Empire really so extensive that they can't keep track of such an important regiment?

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