Sneak preview II

originally posted by Hannah


I think you're quite right re: relationships with Arithon. I like to look at Jinesse's reaction to him. As a "normal" person in Athera, that is, a person just trying to live a day-to-day, provide your basic necessity, life… she was often intimidated and thrown outside of her depth. I could really put myself in her shoes and it made those scenes between herself and him quite interesting.

How do you relate to a person who can all but read your mind through powers of perception and compassion, and then the next morning he's tossing you over his shoulder and abducting you for a weekend excursion?

It's the reaction a lot of passing characters have had to him, only those that are allowed to stay in his company for an extended period of time can adjust to the way he is. I think this is a point Janny tries to really underscore, but maybe a lot of us readers miss or choose to ignore in our fan adoration. :wink: I know I still choose to ignore it sometimes.

But he is a very difficult person to interact with, let alone to know. You can't blame Dakar for so badly misinterpreting his motives and actions in the beginning of their relationship.

That's a really interesting thread to pursue when it's so late at night. But I'll just stop mid-point. See which book I have to hand for a late night re-read.

originally posted by Maria 'borg Lagerstrand

I agree that it’s not just the Curse with Lysaer - although it’s a compulsion, it still had to have something to work on. His pride and vanity have been used and twisted, just as his feeling of justice and wish to do the right thing. I feel revolted by what he has done to himself, Athera and its people. And still I pity him. I find the parts about Lysaer very painful to read, which I am sure is just what Janny intended. I’m still hoping that the Paravians can do something to redeem him.


originally posted by michael hammer

hey, long time lurker. just a few things.Lysaer does fight the curse, it can be seen in his eyes when he is telling the priest to leave while on campaign (when Arithon awakens his sword). welll fight it sometimes,

Trys- i don't believe Arithon will lose his mind to the curse again.reread the seen in kewar when he has the talk with his dad. if he fights the curse it takes full control. if he doesn't have anything to show hes there it won't know hes there so he can still make the music to break it.

i wonder if he'd be able to unbind Lysaer without being killed.
Wonder if Arithon will end up like Davien where he is spirit and yet … not.

originally posted by Trys

Welcome to the board Michael.

I'm not sure what I said up thread that you are referencing, but I think it possible that if Arithon gets unexpectedly too close to Lysaer he may not have time to engage his music to master the Curse… but time will tell.


originally posted by Daryl Bamforth

During Arithon's trip through the maze, didn't he regain full control of his powers and see how to unbind the curse fully?

originally posted by Trys


I don't believe so.


originally posted by Blue

Not fully, Daryl. He regained full use of his mage talent and mage sight, and he was able to ease the compulsion. A comparison that came to my mind is that the Curse is like a migraine, and all Arithon had at hand was one regular strength aspirin. The Curse is there, but it no longer has FULL control of every single thing he does.

originally posted by R’is’n

Would it be right to say that he basically reset the Mistwraithe’s influence back to what it was at the beginning? Only now, he’s got better knowledge of how it works, so it will have to be even more devious and underhand to get to the same level of influence.

It’s the same sort of thing I guess, as having to get over …say… a tendency to put yourself down a lot …? Once we become aware of it happening, and realise we are NOT the critical voices in our heads (for example) the influence is curbed, but the tendency is still there and will find other ways to express itself.

So I guess, it may seem like a curse, but is also in fact, a nasty but useful teacher. Would Arithon have been pushed to find his true self, without the curse?

originally posted by Hunter

The other point is that the curse is only bound through his magecraft because his masterbard skills weren't developed at that point…

originally posted by Trys

If memory serves, the phrase 'mastered the Curse' or something like it was used.

originally posted by R’is’n

Does mastery indicate total control? It’s harder for the curse to influence him as Hunter pointed out, because of his music, but it still might, depending on the choices Arithon makes.

It will be fascinating to read/watch what he does, as he’s indicated he won’t kill. This decision might still be used against him by the mistwraithe - the danger is that Arithon might feel that he has no choice … in NOT killing people, as he did in HAVING to kill them?

originally posted by Hunter

Actually, that wasn't the point I was making. Arithon has two masteries - magecraft and music. When the Mistwraith sampled his aura at Ithamon, his mastery was magecraft only, hence that is what the Mistwraith attacked.

In Kewar, Arithon was finally able to see all of how the Curse had been maligning his magecraft - which he been using to plan his activities. The implication is that from hence forward, Arithon would be able to recognize, control and counter the Curse's impact on his magecraft. His masterbard skills stayed uncontaminated because the Curse couldn't sample these in the attack at Ithamon.

originally posted by michael hammer

look page 593. to what i meant. where he doesn't fight the curse. that combined with his masterbard training leads me to believe it won't overwhelm him anymore. though just speculation

originally posted by R’is’n

Can the mistwraithe not ‘sample’ his mastery of music at some point in the future, or over time?

Perhaps I’m belabouring the point, but I’m also curious from the character development point of view. If Arithon can grow, why can’t the mistwraithe?

originally posted by skeoke

The mistwraith gained Arithon's knowledge of sorcery during the episode at Ithamon, but not his mastery of it. Since it is very unlikely that the mistwraith will have that sort of access to Arithon again, it will not be able to process his bardic knowledge. Ruled by hate as it is, it is very unlikely that even given the knowledge of music as magery, the mistwraith would be able to do anything with the music.

In this case knowledge does not equal power. It takes a depth of spirit to enable that knowledge to become power.


Though it does seem to be able to use the knowledge that it garnered at Ithamon to unravel the defenses and wards wrapped around it by Asandir. But not the others. Hmm, and wasn't it Asandir that Dakar saw as similar to Arithon. Where will that bit go?

originally posted by Blue

With the spirits comprising the Mistwraith "bound captive and insane in unrequited hatred" [slight paraphrase] I wonder if it is even capable of creativity or growth? As Janny points out, creativity is born of love and unbridled joy. The original directive of the Mistwraith was as a weapon of mass destruction. It has since turned on its makers and assimilated all of the spirits of its victims.

***All is knows is how to destroy.***

Creativity and growth go hand in glove with one another. It can be a painful process, but ultimately rewarding.

The Mistwraith cheated when it fought first Traithe and then Arithon at Etarra. It fought from a point a half-step forward in time. To me, that suggests tactical/strategic ability that perhaps was programmed into its original matrix. But now that Arithon is aware of its limitations, and due to his own growth/maturity, I doubt the Mistwraith will ever get another shot at possessing him directly again. I suspect it will redouble its efforts either through Lysaer or possibly even another puppet should Lysaer fail in his attempts to get rid of Arithon.

originally posted by R’is’n

But creativity is also born out of the destruction of old things - can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs, as the old saying goes.


I’m not disputing that the mistwraithe is evil/destructive/force of chaos etc. But it is the force that broke the ‘egg’ that pushed Arithon to have to choose to either make something from the ‘raw egg’ or to become trapped in the shell again.

There’s always space for learning - an easy way and a hard way. Perhaps Arithon will choose the easier way from now on…

And then, on a larger scale - the mistwraithe is the very thing that can break the compact - yes - but in that is the salvation - if the people pick up the pieces and create something new? It’s perhaps the key to freeing the F7 from their horrific dilemma - should they ever come to the point of having to use their power to preserve the compact.

I can’t see the mistwraithe as evil and malevolent - more as a force of chaos that can, if dealt with in the right way - lead to freedom.

Or I’m hoping it does, at any rate! Depends on how Atherians interpret it.

Perhaps it’s not that the Mistwraithe grows - but a force like water flowing - finds all the little cracks in the bedrock - and produces beautiful valleys even though, it destroys in order to do this…

originally posted by Neil

I do see the mistwraith as malevolent although the spirits are insane so should be forgiven for "evil" which is one of those words you use when you believe you, yourself, are good (ahem…Mr. Bush).

I'm now curious (well…at least until I get my hands on Traitor's Knot) to go look to see exactly how Janny describes the mistwraith / hate wraiths - are they described in the text as "evil" (I seem to recall evil / pure evil? Not sure…)? But if so, from who's point of view.

I'm still curious why "nothing" appears to have happened in 500 years during the Mistwraith's dominion? Would a planet really not die without sun for 500 years? It's a long time. The F7 could do a lot in 500 years, I feel. What exactly were they doing on a day-to-day basis? Maintaining the planet as best they could?

I feel Arithon is generally choosing the best solutions he can find with the viewpoint he has - that and the fact that he's always pulled through so far (against the odds)…that's what makes him a hero for me - it's just that most of the choices are "difficult" ones ("there is always a choice; just the end result that sadly limits things" or something like that, he says to Fionn?).

Arithon has inherited a lot of issues history has created for him. And he is accepting responsibility for them. Interesting. (Something Janny does not *seem* to believe in herself - I'm going out on a limb here from memory; I could be wrong - She once refused responsibility for ancestors "actions". e.g. atomic bombs on Japon 2nd world war…but then the USA people have not sworn oaths to any fellowship of seven not had their DNA altered…yet :slight_smile:

Hope that's not too long/boring/critical.

originally posted by Izzy


I'm still curious why "nothing" appears to have happened in 500 years during the Mistwraith's dominion? Would a planet really not die without sun for 500 years? It's a long time. The F7 could do a lot in 500 years, I feel. What exactly were they doing on a day-to-day basis? Maintaining the planet as best they could?

I don't recall it ever being mentioned what they were doing during those 500 years, but I'd imagine they were keeping the earths lifeforces flowing so that everything didn't rot and die.

I'm not sure of the direction of your first question, but it probably leads into your subsequent questions. However, to answer it in another way… Kharadmon mentions that the wraiths don't actually really notice anyone until they are or feel threatened. With the F7 not even being aware that the Mistwraith was sentient, there was no cause for the wraiths to cause mischief.

A question that I have is what were the original wraiths? In WoV, Kharadmon mentions that he couldn't find Names for the original set of wraiths that made up Desh-thiere. Were they human volunteers that agreed to merged with machine? Were they some other form of entity? I don't recall any other reference to the original wraiths. Is further information about Desh-thiere's origins uncovered later in the series? Or do we have all the info we're going to get?



originally posted by Neil

Yes Izzy, I guess the F7 were busy already looking after the land once the paravians left - the grimwards would have been new experiences I guess?

Yes, the mistwraith cannot just "attack" embodied humans it seems…but what form did the initial high king/paravian/F7 defence take I wonder?

I wondered since the mistwraith seems to be "flexible" with respect to time, whether the spirits contained within are even present in the present all the time (if you get my meaning).

I'd say that it's likely that the spirits would all have been human…proof by induction.

One thing I noted on a reread in COTM is that there is practically nothing about the mistwraith (obvious I guess if Kharadmon has to go to Marak in a subsequent book to enlighten us…). malevolant is used a few times, that's about it.

Arithon does seem to take the stance, at one point, that it is "evil" as well.

The fellowship take the view that it is "insane".

One thing I found in COTM is that Kharadmon likens the lyranthe in Arithon's hands as a "weapon"! Asandir replies something like "not yet". I keep forgetting that the F7 probably *know* a fair bit about the future as part of their responsibilties. Against who will the "weapon" be used?!?