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So.  I love it the way Robin Hobb uses that word throughout her books when a character is coming to a point or about to ask a question or just needs a space filler to their spoken thoughts.  Smiling

But I digress!  So.  This is my first started topic thread to discuss various things I wonder at or find marvelous about various characters and revelations, understandings, a sort of place holder for my thoughts of all I've read and the books I've yet to read.  If you don't already know from my intro post, I'm reading the books in a very strange order.  For one thing, I like to know how things will turn out, GIVE me spoilers, I don't mind--I still enjoy the unraveling of how such events came to be and what can be learned of each character and what can I take away from it for myself?  So.  I began by reading the first Farseer trilogy when a co-worker gave me a copy of Assassin's Apprentice and I got so addicted to it I swallowed those books whole, demanding the next one from my co-worker, Mark and throwing a hissy fit when he delayed in getting me his copies.  Big Grin   If we had more time at work I would seek him out more and spend time talking to him about all my thoughts and questions (he's read all the books of course).  After that first trilogy I then went on to read the last trilogy--Fitz and the Fool.  Mark gasped at me when he heard I was doing this--he said he's never heard of anyone reading it so out of order. Hehe!  Wink I'm GLAD I have done this because as I'm now going back and reading The Tawny Man trilogy (just finished Fool's Errand yesterday and have started Golden Fool) so many little details stand out to me and make so much sense.  If I'd read them in order a lot of the finer details would have been lost on me as I devour the books to find out what's going to happen. I know what will be for the most part and now I have time to slowly digest these wonderful books and gather answers to some of my questions or flesh out reflections.

One thing that has really been bothering me (from Fool's Errand) is when Dutiful and Fitz are at Others' Island and Dutiful get's lost in the Skill, Fitz has to go in after him but gets unraveled himself.  What and who is that magnanimous, omniscient type creature who unravels their tangled, lost threads in the Skill like she's unwinding a ball of yarn?  She mentions that she remembers why they enjoyed toying with these silly humans who are all so dramatic.  Is this Presence in the Skill ever mentioned again?  She can't be a human who's "died" in the Skill like Shrewd or caught up in the Skill because she calls them 'humans'.  Is she a dragon?  I don't think so . . my gut instinct tells me no.  She's so kindly towards Fitz and she's so knowledgeable, able to untwine his anma and Dutiful's back into two beings to send them back whole.  That's a very powerful Person. It makes me wonder if she might be a god?  Like Eda or even Sa?  I asked Mark and he has no clue and said she was never mentioned again in any of the other books.  So . . . hmmmm.  He says he thinks she might have been a literary device of Hobb's to move the plot forward.  I could understand this if it is so, but I hope not.  I wish we could learn more about her kind, these Powerful Beings Who Live in the Skill.

I have so many other thoughts, questions, and reflections to share but as I'm at work my time is limited.  I'll try to get online later on at home and post some more here.  But at least now I have a place I can come and dump all my mental musings.  Yay
Thoughts on the Fool, Fitz, and Nighteyes being one, as in one whole being.  Many I think view the Fool in the light of a sort of a lover but from my reading I can see how very foolish that idea is.   Joker Yes it is so that Fitz feels something deeper than love for the Fool and that is because he senses completeness from him as he does with Nighteyes.  It was very clear from knowing the way Assassin's Fate ends, but as I read Fools Errand it dawned on me even more so.  These three belong together and have ever belonged together.  In Fool's Errand these are the passages that crystallise it the most.  I've bolded the parts I feel really bring this truth home:

Quote:Pg: 94, "He swung his pale eyes to meet mine, the gold of them mirroring the firelight.  Light ran up from his cheekbones and dwindled  as it merged with his hair. I gave my head a small shake. 'In the space of a sundown, you show me the whole wide world from a horse's back, and the soul of the world within my own walls.' 'Oh my friend,' he said quietly. No more than that needed to be said.  We are whole. (says Nighteyes)  The Fool cocked his head to that thought.  He looked like a man trying to recall something important.  I shared a glace with the wolf.  He was right.  Like sundered pieces of crockery that snick back together so precisely that the crack becomes invisible, the Fool joined us and completed us.  Whereas Chade's visit had filled me with questions and needs, the Fool's presence was in itself an answer and a satisfaction."


Quote:Then on pg. 98: "It was that our circle made us one in a fundamental way we could not share.  Yet once we did, Nighteyes reminded me. Once we did, and it was good.  For a time, our minds had been joined, almost as if he and Nighteyes and I were a true Skill coterie.  


Quote:From Assassin's Fate, pg. 840: "'Fool.  What were we?'  It wasn't an idle question.  I need to know it.  I needed to finally understand it to put it in my wolf.  His words were so intense, but that wasn't what I wanted to talk about.  I waved them away. 'Yes, yes.  But there was something else there.  Always.  You were dead, and I called you back.  For that moment, when we returned to our proper bodies, as we passed one another, we . . . '  We were one thing.  Whole.  He was waiting for me to continue.  It seemed ridiculous that he could not hear the wolf.  'We were one thing.  A whole thing.  You and I and Nighteyes.  I felt a strange sort of peace.  As if all the parts of me were finally in one place.  All the missing bits that would make me a complete . . . thing.'  I shook my head.  'Words don't reach that far.'"


Then we see the fate these three were always meant to have at the very end on page 849 helped along by Bee, their daughter,
Quote:"He pulled the glove from his hand and let it fall.  He walked uncertainly, like a puppet with strings pulled by an apprentice puppeteer.  He reached my father.  So tenderly, he set his hand into my father's.  Then he leaned down until he lay upon the wolf, his face turned to my father's face.  He put his arm across my father's bony back.  He drew him close and then set his silver fingers to the wolf.  For a moment, all was still.  Then I saw Beloved's fingers stir the soft fur of the wolf's back.  The firelit bodies of my father and Beloved softened and merged.  I felt something I could not describe.  Like the whoosh of air when a door opens, and then closes again, but it was in the Skill-current, and so strong that I saw Nettle flinch at it, too.  Briefer than an instant, I saw light striate out from them.  A nexus, a node on the path of fate.  Then it was finished.  Something finally complete, as it should have been."


Best ending to a story ever!  Yay   And it explains Fitz's whiny moodiness throughout all the books better than anything else.  He always needed to be complete with Beloved and Nighteyes.  Together they made one whole person.  <3
I'm deep near the end of Dragon Keepers and I have to say . . . it has been the most difficult book for me in all of the books I've read so far.

Alise . . what she's going through with Hest.  It is nearly exactly if not exactly what I went through with my ex-husband.  I reached chapter 15 "Curents" . . and I feel as though I'm reading about my own life.  It wasn't the same reading about Fitz.  I could sympathise with a lot of what he was going through, and Beloved, and Bee, and all the characters, but it wasn't quite the same chord it's struck . . I know it'll end well for Alise, I've read Fitz and the Fool trilogy and I know how things end up for her . . but still.  When a person is treated like a possession and extorted as such, you never really get over it.  It's worse than physical torture.  It's like having your personality taken from you, distorted, submerged . . you become like a prisoner within your own self.  Society becomes that which keeps you bound.  Because you're expected to bow to it and accept that this is just how life is.  

It's been the hardest for me to read yet.  There's so much of my former life I have kept suppressed and I wish so much I could put it in a stone dragon, like Fitz did with GOAD, but I know that's not the answer.  

I remember always feeling terrified that if I spoke out of turn, cooked a meal incorrectly or didn't do something quite up to his standards, he would be furious with me, and often he was.  I couldn't have any friends.  I couldn't even go online . . he had deleted both my email account and my facebook account because he couldn't bear the thought of me having any friends.  I had to account for every expense.  I couldn't have a job.  I wasn't allowed to seek a job.  Not with two university degrees to my name, I couldn't seek a job for myself.  I had to be witty and charming at parties, on his arm.  There were other things more disagreeable that I'd rather not talk about.  It all seems like fiction, doesn't it?  And yet that was my life!  I was so miserable.  In 2012, near the end of that year, I tried to end my life because I didn't have the courage to face him and tell him he was killing me slowly, as a person.

Yes I got away, eventually.  I'm fine, I guess.  I found my "Captain Leftrin" you could say, and left Texas for England.  Can you imagine that?  Most people gasp when I tell them that because they can't imagine leaving behind your country, your family and friends for a totally different life.  I left and I NEVER looked back.  Never. I'm lucky that I was strong enough to leave him and that life, but it cost me a great deal, and not in money.  I lost my father in death to cancer last year and where was I?  Across the ocean, a world away.  I know it was for the best, but it still eats away at me.  You know all the torture that Beloved and Fitz went through doesn't come close to this sort of psychological torture.  Not that it is less, just that it is different and the latter seeks to destroy your very soul.

Anyway, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to share that much about me.  This is about 'the Realm of the Elderlings' not me.  I just didn't expect Hobb to write about something like this in RWC . . it was uncanny.  How does she know such things?  I wonder if she knew someone who went through this sort of thing.
Gosh, I feel a bit exposed now, like I've bared my soul.  I don't know, I don't really mind . . it's my soul to bare after all . . but I did get rather serious here.  I feel I ought to share something light as a counter.  Blushing

Rapskal.  Hehe! I find his beginnings so darling!  He's such a light-hearted soul.  In Fool's Quest and Assassin's Fate he's soooooooo overly serious!  I get where he was coming from, defending the dragons, but . . even the other Elderlings thought him super serious and overly confrontational!  But in Dragon's Keeper he's so sweet and smiling and light-heartedly good-natured.  You can't help but love him here.  And the way he defends young Heeby.  I love it.  Wub  I love how open his heart is--he just wants to find the good in others!  I recall it didn't take him too long to befriend Fitz when he realised he had him pegged wrong.  When he knew he could trust him, he totally trusted him and entrusted the silver to him.  I wish he could have known Fitz much longer.  They would have been such good friends I think.
One more thing I'd like to share, and I don't know if it is highly inappropriate here, and if it is I humbly apologise and hope Mervi will delete this comment.  I wish to step on no one's toes.

I know Robin Hobb won't allow her works to be made into movies, I understand her hesitancy to some respect, but given today's technology . . and some very talented, understanding directors . . I think she could find one to undertake it and do it properly.  That said, I found this trailer which I feel is so powerful and beautiful and really does her work justice!  With the exception of the actor chosen for Chade (I believe Charles Dance could play a much better Chade: https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/ima...gdhkxp.jpg).  When I saw this, I ached to see it on screen!   I admitted it to my friend at work, Mark (the one who first put Assassin's Apprentice in my hands) and he said, "Bri, I think you've thought about this quite a bit.  YOU should be the one to direct it." LOL  I wish!  Blushing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDmHiU3ZIu8

What do you all think of this?   I love the music--that song is spot on!  Wub