TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

LFB, TIW, TPTP

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Post by SoulBiter »

Mhoram knew he was going to be highlord at some point. I dont know if he knew 'why' he would be Highlord or what would happen to Elena, but when TC asked why he wasnt Highlord (Dont they appreciate you around here?') and Mhoram said something like...' My turn's coming'
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In chapter 21 of TIW was wrote: She did not answer aloud. Instead, she turned toward him. Tears streaked her cheeks. She was silhouetted against the darkening vista of Trothgard as she stepped up to him, slipped her arms about his neck, and kissed him.

He gasped, and her breath was snatched into his lungs. He was stunned. A black mist filled his sight as her lips caressed his.

Then for a moment he lost control. He repulsed her as if her breath carried infection. Crying, "Bastard!" he swung, backhanded her face with all his force.

The blow staggered her.

He pounced after her. His fingers clawed her blanket, tore it from her shoulders.

But his violence did not daunt her. She caught her balance, did not flinch or recoil. She made no effort to cover herself. With her head high, she held herself erect and calm; naked, she stood before him as if she were invulnerable.

It was Covenant who flinched. He quailed away from her as if she appalled him. "Haven't I committed enough crimes?" he panted hoarsely. "Aren't you satisfied?"

Her answer seemed to spring clean and clear out of the strange otherness of her gaze. "You cannot ravish me, Thomas Covenant. There is no crime here. I am willing. I have chosen you."

"Don't!" he groaned. "Don't say that!" He flung his arms about his chest as if to conceal a hole in his armor. "You're just trying to give me gifts again. You're trying to bribe me."

"No. I have chosen you. I wish to share life with you."

"Don't!" he repeated. "You don't know what you're doing. Don't you understand how desperately I-I-?"

But he could not say the words, need you. He choked on them. He wanted her, wanted what she offered him more than anything. But he could not say it. A passion more fundamental than desire restrained him.

She made no move toward him, but her voice reached out. "How can my love harm you?"

"Hellfire!" In frustration, he spread his arms wide like a man baring an ugly secret. "I'm a leper! Don't you see that?" But he knew immediately that she did not see, could not because she lacked the knowledge or bitterness to perceive the thing he called leprosy. He hurried to try to explain before she stepped closer to him and he was lost. "Look. Look!" He pointed at his chest with one accusing finger. "Don't you understand what I'm afraid of? Don't you comprehend the danger here? I'm afraid I'll become another Kevin! First I'll start loving you, and then I'll learn how to use the wild magic or whatever, and then Foul will trap me into despair, and then I'll be destroyed. Everything will be destroyed. That's been his plan all along. Once I start loving you or the Land or anything, he can just sit back and laugh! Bloody hell, Elena! Don't you see it?"

Now she moved. When she was within arm's reach, she stopped, and stretched out her hand. With the tips of her fingers, she touched his forehead as if to smooth away the darkness there. "Ah, Thomas Covenant," she breathed gently, "I cannot bear to see you frown so. Do not fear, beloved. You will not suffer Kevin Landwaster's fate. I will preserve you."

At her touch, something within him broke. The pure tenderness of her gesture overcame him. But it was not his restraint which broke; it was his frustration. An answering tenderness washed through him. He could see her mother in her, and at the sight he suddenly perceived that it was not anger which made him violent toward her, not anger which so darkened his love, but rather grief and self-despite. The hurt he had done her mother was only a complex way of hurting himself--an expression of his leprosy. He did not have to repeat that act.
This is one of those scenes from the First Chronicles I can never forget. Two things struck me about this passage. The first is that this is the most noble act that Thomas Covenant has done so far, to admit his worry and concern about not wanting to be the cause of destruction in the Land, and to be honest with himself about the cause of his violent moments and to deny his unhealthy lust for Elena.

The second thing is that Elena is always overconfident about what she can do for others and the Land, in how she can handle problems and challenges. It is simply not within her ability to guarantee Covenant won't become another Kevin, yet here she is promising she will prevent it from happening.
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by dlbpharmd »

Fire blazed up through the slide. Like a suddenly clenched fist, the rubble around Covenant stopped moving. His own momentum knocked him backward, but he jumped up again in time to meet Bannor as the Bloodguard landed his Ranyhyn on the small patch of steady ground. Bannor caught Covenant with one hand, swung him across the Ranyhyn’s back, charged away out of the slide.
I think I’ve just noticed the significance of this and it’s a minor continuity error. I can’t think of any other time that TC was on a Ranyhyn. Sure, he didn’t have much of a choice, but he did ride one.
Spoiler
In AATE, he repeatedly refuses to ride one, even going so far as to forbid Clyme and Branl from having him ride with one of them.
“Ur-Lord,” Clyme or Branl was saying, “we must flee. The tsunami comes.” One of them added, “We cannot bear you to safety. We are not swift enough. You must consent to ride.” After a while, Covenant found that he had room for one word. “Never.”

If he accomplished nothing else that would serve as restitution, he was going to by God keep his promise to the Ranyhyn.

The Humbled did not object or argue. They did not waste time. Quickly they mounted their Ranyhyn. Then they leaned down to Covenant, one on each side of him, grasped him by his arms near his shoulders, and lifted him into the air between them. Mhornym and Naybahn needed no urging to run. In perfect step an exact distance apart, they wheeled away and sprang into a gallop, racing toward their only conceivable salvation: the riven cliffs where Foul’s Creche had once stood high above the sea. Hanging helpless while his arms wept with pain, and fragments of bone ground against each other in his chest, Covenant heard it now, the unfathomable rumble of the tidal-wave.
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by wayfriend »

That's pretty a pretty interesting find.

Maybe Covenant has a bit of wiggle room here since he didn't choose this.

I also wonder if he was "riding" so much as lying across the horses back. (Head and arms down one side, legs down the other side.)

The next thing that happens is "Covenant tried to run back into the avalanche to help Elena," which sounds like SRD may have forgotten that Covenant was on a horse. Or it may mean he was never really mounted, just half-dragged to the side.
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by Fist and Faith »

Spoiler
At that point in AATE, the Ranyhyn should have made him understand it was ok to ride. LFB was a veeeeery long time ago. Both for them and for Covenant who had literally been there Arch of Time. Enough was enough already.
All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by wayfriend »

Covenant had kept many of his promises, or so he felt, and so there was a strong inclination to keep the vows he could.
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by dlbpharmd »

Fist and Faith wrote:
Spoiler
At that point in AATE, the Ranyhyn should have made him understand it was ok to ride. LFB was a veeeeery long time ago. Both for them and for Covenant who had literally been there Arch of Time. Enough was enough already.
I tend to agree. I don't recall if SRD repeats the common Ranyhyn fear of TC that was prevalent in 1st Chronicles, but on an upcoming re-listen I'll try to pick on it if needed.
Spoiler
I've said before, but I really think it would have been great to see the Ranyhyn show some expression of gratitude to Covenant at the end of TLD. He'd saved the world three times now already. :D
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by Fist and Faith »

:lol: Right?
All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by RandomHaruchai »

wayfriend wrote: I also wonder if he was "riding" so much as lying across the horses back. (Head and arms down one side, legs down the other side.)
Just read this a few days ago and was thinking about it.

TC struck me as someone who recognized positions of power and their implied (cumbersome) responsibility. Perhaps to him the word riding had a connotation of control/dominion - which would have been in keeping with the associated disrespect from the Ramen's pov. TC seemed hyper-aware of who was in a position to judge him, and taking the Ramen's view of his relationship with Ranyhyn would be apropos.
Then being treated as a burden (cargo) would be slightly comedic and not strictly riding.

It was also the first time in TIL when I clearly saw Elena's limitations and inability to deliver on her promise to keep TC safe from his own choices (not riding Ranyhyn). She learned a lot from her mother, but TC doesn't really need a mother, eh?
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TIW-Dissecting Elena: Chapters 21 & 22

Post by SoulBiter »

TC had a mistrust of horses anyway. He knew how to ride, Joan and he had horses on his ranch and she liked to ride. Interestingly enough his innate dislike might have been a bit deeper. I always thought it was odd that he had this aversion to riding but at the end of TPTP the creator tells him that he is dying because the antivenom is made from horse blood and that his body loathes it. (is allergic to it).
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Post by RandomHaruchai »

I dismissed some of the significance of not riding Ranyhyn to SRD's need to time out events. But I wonder if contact with a Ranyhyn might have triggered his ring like other concentrations of power? Maybe not, since Glimmermere didn't.
Just finished rereading TPTP, and I can't recall the rest of the series well enough to ferret out examples in later books.
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Post by SoulBiter »

Possibly or maybe some of both. As I recall the lurker was drawn to Earthpower (The Bloodguards oath.. if I remember correctly), but also it was drawn to the ring in later Chronicles as well as to the Staff of law. But not drawn to the Ranyhyn because they were creatures of the land and earthpower was a natural expression through them.
"By the seven!" Hyrim said. "It was you! The Bloodguard! Not the Ranyhyn. This ill force listens to you--to the power of the Vow!"
The thing is the Ranyhyn offered themselves to TC and he refused. I think if it were as dangerous as igniting the ring, they would never have done so.
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