Questions after reading

originally posted by Matthew

*cheers* and the tide shuffles its feet abit… i won't go as far as saying it's turned :smiley:.

I think there are a growing number of people who are reevaluating the opinion they might have formed about Lysaer. We all owe a big thankyou to Ms Wurts for providing characters that arnt 2d.

originally posted by Matthew

I still strongly believe that the gifted virtues can be effected by the personality and upbringing of the person who has it.

Justice for one person may not be the same for another person, it seems that having a virtue is no guarantee that it will change events for the better on its strength alone.

Even if you are compassionate things said in the heat of temper can cause alot of emotional and physical damage.

Arithon was able to clamp down his compassion to commit cold blooded slaughter at the havens. He was choosing to ignore it, if he could do that why doubt that another person could ignore or be guided away from justice.

originally posted by Jo

Ok - maybe Lysaer was not allowed to think for himself! In TK didn't one of the F7 say he was flawed anyhow. Wasn't it said that yes the curse messed him up but only part of him everything else is his own work. He lies for convenience could be the curse or could be him I'm not sure. Do the lies and the sense of justice go hand in hand? Arithon ignoring his compassion not sure about that it nearly killed him what he did. He was doing it to spare a lot more lives if that is the case then his compassion was still intact.

originally posted by Matthew

Arithon suspended his compassion to spare lives… could lysaer be suspending his sense of justice for the individual to spare lives in the grander scheme of things? being flawed already and also having the mistwraithes geas its a wonder that he can function at all.

originally posted by Jo

I'm afraid despite the fact that I try to understand Lysaer I just can't like the guy maybe it's the fact that he is blonde (no offence meant to anyone who is blonde)

I suppose in a way though we see all of Arithon's actions and why he does them eventually we don't really get to know Lysaer except a bit in curse (didn't like him in that as I have said) we just don't know what is the real him and what has been tainted by the curse. For me I just see a pompous and arrogant young man who gets 10 times worse. This is probably very narrow minded and judgemental for which I apologise for and I know Arithon is no saint either.

originally posted by Jo

Not sure where everybody lives but I have just found out something about myself I live in the Uk (that's not what I found out) and I'm watching Any dream will do (talent contest for west end production for Joseph)there's a young blonde lad and I can't stand him - i think I'm a hairist. I don't like blonde men. That explains everything. Hence why I probably favour Arithon. I am now going to stop posting as I think I am prejudiced against poor Lysaer! (I don't get out much with having kids think I need to)

originally posted by Matthew

i used to be blonde when i was 5… but i grew out of it :smiley: maybe Lysaer can too?

If not maybe baldness runs in the family?

originally posted by Blue

I still hold my ground that Lysaer was prejudiced - he was "spoon fed hatred all his life" about the Karthish? Isn't that where prejudice/bigotry starts?

True, "Daddie Dearest" s'Ilessid was probably just barely this side of insane, which REALLY makes me wonder WHY Mak s'Ahelas would have sent his daughter to marry this guy. With the mention of bridal dowries of elementally gifted children, this struck me as an arranged marriage, rather than Talera s'Ahelas marrying for love.

The s'Ahelas (neutral in the s'Ffalenn/s'Ilessid feud?) HAD to see how desperate both sides were, and how vicious this war was getting.

Too, Mak s'Ahelas was a very wise, insightful man, how could he NOT have seen "Daddie Dearest" for what he was?

Note, too, that when it was obvious that Arithon would have been beaten to death in the throne room, Lysaer DID have the "decency" for regret, but did NOTHING to intervene. As the crown prince, who was QUITE popular, and thus, could have been a real power to contend with, he did nothing but "feel regret" and try to leave.

In later books of WoLaS, in fact, as early as SoM, we saw Lysaer literally put his own life on the line to make a point - such as when he allowed himself to be chained to protest the enslavement of those clansmen captured by the Mayor and sent as convict labor while he was rebuilding Avenor. There were a LOT of townsmen guarding those prisoners, and they could easily have chosen to gut him for his "softness" towards the clansmen. But in that case, Lysaer could easily have called upon his own town loyalists, such as Lord Diegan, who outnumbered the mayor's guard, to save him.

So, he could put his own neck on the line for strangers, but not his own half brother?

In CotM, he "TRIED" to go to bat for Arithon, when Arithon had manipulated the situation with the Camris clans to force the F7's hand. I was not too impressed with Lysaer's response there, for while he was outnumbered, he also knew he had a full fledged F7 Sorcerer to back him up. In fact, when it was revealed that Lysaer was the one to whom the clans would defer, he STILL said he would leave punishment up to Asandir.


In no way, shape, or form, am I implying that Arithon has no faults or does not share any of the blame for the troubles between himself and Lysaer. But Lysaer keeps holding himself up as the "superior" and the "just" one, and most of his problems, post Curse were indeed already in place. He is a blindly prejudiced, arrogant, pain in the rear who should never have been given a mirror. He is far too worried about the image he projects than to give much thought to what he should truly be.


I am also not saying that Lysaer is beyond redemption, because it looks as though Sulfin Evend is challenging his ingrained notions on a much deeper level than anyone else has ever dared. Sulfin Evend already challenged the rigid stance of Lysaer's that ALL mage gifted or clan blooded had to be eliminated, especially since the gifts of those people would be needed to counter the influence and powers of the necromancers. Then Lysaer did a little backpedal, and said only those who used their power unjustly were to be eliminated.

Really? Then he'd better give stricter instructions to the likes of Vorrice and the other priest idiots who are trying to purge the countryside.

Sulfin Evend has a pretty good inbuilt bull detector that he is going to need working at top speed to help deal with Lysaer. I think he will be the catalyst, as perhaps no one else could be, to put Lysaer on the path to redemption, if Lysaer doesn't somehow screw it up.


I kind of wonder, and this is something that perhaps only Janny can answer, did the s'Ffalenn King of Karthan ever make a request for Talera to become his bride? I am not saying Avar, (Arithon's father, the last king before Arithon's exile) since Avar might have inherited later, and might not have been the one to make a marriage offer.

Daddie Dearest went berserk when he found out Talera had left him for his most notorious enemy, but was there something deeper in his reaction? Had he actually been the winner in the bid for a s'Ahelas bride, but only just?

originally posted by Catherine Britt

We tend to think of prejudice in terms of a dichotomy; either I am prejudiced or I am not. To me it is more of a continuum varying from high to low.

This suggests that both Arithon and Lysaer would have been prejudiced to some degree. Prejudgements and faulty generalisations are natural and unavoidable in any social setting.

For example, Arithon was a victim of prejudice by his cousin. His show of displeasure of that prejudice earned him solitary confinement and early mage training at a tender age. He was given knowledge and discipline to cultivate distance, sensitivity etc.

Lysaer, was probably more ethnocentric in that he thought that the Amroth people as virtuous and superior and the Karthan people were scaled according to it. Possibly Karthans were even contemptible and inferior. May be that was what you mean about being 'superior' Blue.

Consequently, he would have viewed Arithon's behaviour negatively rather than try to understand him.

As far as trying to save him in the throne room, Lysaer realised that Arithon wanted the king to kill him and that the blame would rest solely on the king. Maybe his gift made him understand that justice here was charity and in letting this happen.

There is an inference in CoTM that Lysaer himself did not feel safe, if Arithon died as the king would seek vengence on him. While Lysaer might have been the crown prince he was not the power behind the throne -and he was certainly not going to challenge his deranged father unless his own hide was being threatened. I think he did this at some stage. I am sure Lysaer had issues of abandonment and jealousy besides which may have influenced his personal value system.

Post- curse Lysaer, right or wrong, as a leader initiates a war (jointly with other leaders)in pursuit of an individual.

Sadly, this is reminiscent, of current world affairs where right or wrong a war is initiated in pursuit of an individual.

I cannot in all honesty dislike the guy or call him by the grandiose title of homicidal maniac, when all I can visualise is an individual with a false sense of self only tightly held together by sapphires and a white jacket, while inside he is a quivering morass.

originally posted by Jo

My thoughts are very simplistic and I know I said I wouldn't post again but I've changed my mind. Isn't it a bit worrying then that a future King cannot think for himself. How do we ever turn prejudice around if we are unable to think for ourselves. (yes he is a prince blah blah) but he still has a brain in his head. Like I said before post curse I don't believe all Lysaer's actions are driven by the curse.
The worrying thing is just like the books Arithon's alliance is waning and Lysaer's is gaining momentum. I am shocked!

originally posted by Kam


Lysaer's father states that he was "promised" a Master of Shadow. From the sound of this, the arranged marriage could be bribery or blackmail (ie, "I will raze your farmlands unless you help me in this war"?) Or even some kind of hostage exchange. Could explain partially why, um, Devon? went off his rocker when she ran.

There was another queen and daughter before Lysaer who died in the feud; maybe that had something to do the high blood pressure.

I also feel that much of people's hatred of Lysaer occurs from the setup during the beginning of CotM. Yes, Lysaer was an arse (although Arithon wasn't too pleasant either) but CotM has one of the best character development at play. Each stage is different.

Amroth - I am not sure why you think Lysaer should even feel anything for Arithon let alone stand up for him. Arithon is The Enemy. Add this on top of the spoonfed prejudice. He killed Amroth sailors through magic - they had no way to protect themselves against this attack.

Lysaer pressumably knows Arithon exists; but how should he react? His mother left him to have this child and then died. Abandonment and jealousy is pretty easily developed in early childhood.

In the throne room; I think Catherine pretty much covered this. Arithon needs to die, by Amroth's justice system (Lysaer at this point still thinks justice is something that is solid). Dying fast is probably the best for him.

After Mearth there's an uneasy truce between the two. You have to realise just how left out Lysaer is feeling at this stage. Everyone he's met so far is a crazed, mind-reading sorcerer who clearly have unspoken intentions for him. He stays friendly with Arithon because Arithon is the closest thing to home that he's got. A few people pointed this out, as if it's a terrible thing! Is it wrong that he clings to something familar in a world of strangers? No different from the concept of security blankets.

At some point; most likely in Althain Tower, Lysaer realises he needs to resolve the issues between him and Arithon properly. We can see this progress all the way to Etarra, up unto the point where the curse makes him go zappy. Right prior to the zappy thing, Lysaer realises that there is no clear cut "justice" - between townsmen/clansborn and himself/Arithon. His whole belief is topsy-turvy, and he has to reform his values. Self-esteem: low.

In Etarra they seem to be on good terms - Lysaer's main issue with his half-brother is the fact that Arithon shies away from responsibilty; having been burnt by the fire and no wonder. Arithon, being the prickly briar that he is, does not share his experiences - so Lysaer has no way of understanding his intentions. Lysaer, I noticed, isn't afraid of responsibilty. He strives for grandiose causes, I believe Arithon said once.

And the Mistwraith gave him a pretty good one, eh.

The whole affair at Tal Quorin, what with the children cutting people's throats… the mass murder of townsmen… that probably erased any memory of Arithon being a decent guy (o'course, Arithon was no responsible for those, but Lysaer's got no way of knowing that)

I noticed Janny makes a really big deal with how Lysaer reacts to Arithon throughout CotM; but she doesn't mention at all what Arithon thinks.

At some point, I would like to see Arithon's side to the whole prejudice thing. Would be an interesting comparison; especially when Lysaer is painstakingly trying to remedy it in CotM. I think the curse makes Lysaer regess in terms of character development. It's like he's back at the stage where he just popped out of the West Gate (and getting worse).

I couldn't say for sure if this means Lysaer is really like this underneath and all of his actions in CotM is just a facade or it's the curse that made him, er, forget stuff. Reforming values, changing yourself is always difficult; and the curse gave him an easier option. Cowardice isn't admirable, but it's human (and a nasty flaw).

I guess I still believe that there's a sane person under all of his crazy talk.

originally posted by Jo

Ok you got me I am seeing a different point of view we will see by then end of the series if anyone is an arse or both are and to exactly what point this curse has driven Lysaer's actions. I suppose we know why Arithon wasn't very pleasant in COTM to start off with. As its been said is there really a good/evil person in this there is nothing clear cut. We shall have to wait and see

originally posted by Matthew

The wraiths did their research well… Arithon's compassion and Lysaer's justice have both been used to provoke unspeakable amounts of bloodshed. Lysaer's sense of 'justice' spurs him to lead men on while Arithon's sense of 'compassion' means that whenever someone seems to be even slightly threatened he steps in to try and help and generally men pay with their lives, often in the thousands.

Without mage training Lysaer will never be in the position, like Arithon, to recognise changes within himself. If someone tells arithon he's under some sort of geas of compulsion he'd understand what that phrase actually means AND be able to look for it… Lysaer is unable to do that, so even if someone tells him about the curse he has no way of verifying it for himself. The curse can easily turn any beginning of doubt into mistrust of the individual telling him he has a problem.

originally posted by Jo

See i'm sitting on the fence with this one. Lysaer could well be just not wanting to face up to the fact he is cursed because everything he has done. Enough people have told him and have tried to help him. Fair enough the curse could be corrupting his thought then again maybe it has nothing to with the curse. All these hedge witches he is putting to death but if other mages work for him they are ok how is that justice in any way shape or form. It just seems if someone doesn't agree with him they are killed, no wonder Arithon never stands a chance (not saying it's actually Lysaers fault in all the cases) anyone who realises he is not the evil b that Lysaer says he is gets killed. I don't think Lysaer needs mage training to realise what a curse ridden fool he has been. My view all along has been we don't know har far this curse has corrupted either of them. We don't know if all their actions are curse ridden or not and we don't know if Lysaer is lying to make himself look better or that the curse is making him do it. The cruel lies he made of Talith were they cruse driven or him being an arse, was his abuse of Elain curse ridden or him. Well only Janny will know for sure. Arithon to me, doesn't go and rescue people who are slightly threatened, he is leaving the S'Brydon and I would say they were in a whole lotta trouble! I think I will stop posting as it is driving me a bit insane. I now have the urge to read COTM again to try to get a different perspective on it.

originally posted by Catherine Britt

Quote: My view all along has been we don't know far this curse has corrupted either of them.

In PG, Arithon's passage through the tunnel shows how devastated he was when it exposed his scyring as being influenced by the curse. He constantly reminds the clan and Dakar that he himself is unaware of how far the curse influences his actions and hence his choices.

If one extropolates this, then Lysaer must be even more influenced in his actions and hence his choices and this was an individual who was possessed as well.

Lysaer's exposure to mage talent is different to what he knows from Dascen Elur I think. He was astonished at the Ath,s adepts in Athera. They were different to what he knew back home.

His curse driven geas makes him link ALL mage talent as bad. It is not till PG and TK that Sulfin Evend brings his attention to clan inheritance and mage talent. I suppose Lysaer was deceived by the half truth and hence made a false conclusion of mage talent. On SE's exposure he had to rethink again.

It is only on Sulfin Evend's insistence that Lysaer attempts to use mage talent. However, Sulfin Evend is not aware of Arithon's relationship to Lysaer till later. Wonder if this would have made a difference to SE's choices.

Lysaer's half truths could be the deceptions and false conclusions that he subjectively creates in the process of becoming a righteous leader. Am not sure if he is being pompous - I just think he is more delusional and his half truths get stretched a lot more.

I think his treatment of Ellaine was pathetic but then his role model was his father. I would have thought that the image that should have reminded him was of his father abusing Talera - but maybe that was the image he had.

SE has spoken out a few times. Lysaer when not curse driven has not killed him yet.

originally posted by Iris

Pertaining to Lysaer, there are a few things that come to mind immediately - though I do not have my books here with me to refresh my memory …

Lysaer saves Arithon through the use of 500 year fountain in the desert…

Triath grieves for the character he sees in Lysaer that he knows will somehow go so very wrong (I believe he offers to help him learn how to use his gift) this is while they are in Althain Tower in CoMR …

Lysaer faces the Paravian spirit that has been called forth through Jared (PG) and confesses that he (Lysaer) may indeed be completely insane and curse driven and if that is true then that all he has done is a horror beyond belief, yet if he is NOT, and there is truly terrible evil praying on the world, then he is the only one who can stand against it…so he chooses to do so.

I remember reading this passage through tears due to Jared's fate and the grace of this being that comes. When this happened with Lysaer, it made me see him more far more clearly. His stance we all know to be stunningly wrong, but he does not know it to be wrong. He only knows that it is possibly wrong (this he admits to the Paravian spirit). But imagine what that means to him. All he has done and lost would seem to be impossible to reconcile with. I hope he can somehow be redeemed…but cannot imagine how.
Because, also, in the back of my mind it is the Mistwraith that is to blame afterall…

And I have to wonder what benefit the Mistwraith would get from these horrible wars and loss of innocent lives. Is it simple revenge and a way to keep the two from collaborating? or is it more? Do the spirits of the dead that are lost without having a proper rite somehow strengthen it? The nature of the MW is still such a mystery!

Ahhh now I am back into Athera obsession!

Also - on a lighter note, I saw the Shrek 3 movie this weekend and kept having visions of Lysaer when Prince Charming was speaking…lol!

originally posted by Jo

Just started to re-read curse and a couple of questions for Janny. Would the sailors of Amroth had any dealings with Arithon before the fateful voyage? The way I am reading it obviously the sailors are terrified of him after what he had done but it seems they already know a bit of what he is like. Also were there ever any mages on Amroth. Thank you

originally posted by Angus

Jo: There were mages in Dascen Elur, namely the s'Ahelas decendents of Dari s'Ahelas. Whether there were any in Amroth is unknown. I got the impression they were all in Rauven, wherever that was (no maps of Dascen Elur - Janny? I know, it's not a priority, but it sure would be nice. My imagination just doesn't do it justice).

Good one on Prince Charming. But he is a truly manipulative bastard. Lysaer is deranged, not manipulative.

I retract my "homicidal maniac" bit of hyperbole that I spouted waaaaaay above. Sorry, it was indeed outside the Pale. It looks like Lysaer is getting some understanding.

You know, a lot of people can't understand repentence and forgiveness. It is possible for this to happen to the worst person on this planet. It does not mean that the consequences of your crimes/sin/etc. are wiped away, just the guilt part. You still have to face the music. I predict that the Mistress of the Pen shall surprise us with some kind of amazing yet tragic redemption of Lysaer, probably in Arc V.

Of course, only she knows, and it'll be a few years before we get there.


Jo - You Asked.

Maps of Dascen Elur - intriguing. Someday there should be.

Mages in Amroth - not currently. There is a reason.

Arithon's reputation with the sail hands outside of Karthan - his existence was known to them, and rumor could have lent a fearful edge to the gossip – sailors are about the most superstitious lot going. Not hard to imagine the stories would have been exaggerated. Given the s'Ffalenn reputation on the high seas, adding a son who could wield shadow would have been right terrifying, seen from the outside perspective.

originally posted by Jo

I'm intrigued Janny. Does that mean we will find out why there are no mages in Amroth and does the not currently mean there will be in the future and we will read about it. Not sure if you can say anything or not as could be spoilers for future books.