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This is my first post - I am not sure if this is a forum just between friends or if anybody can just join and open a thread, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Beware, I am going to put spoilers for the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, do not continue if you are not there yet. 

I read the RotE books a while ago. The first trilogy I loved but in a normal, healthy way. I read the books, then put them away and went on with my life. When I reached the Tawny Man trilogy I gradually became so invested in the books that I started reading them anywhere, all the time, and even when I was not reading I would continue to think about the characters. I started feeling resistance against normal day life tasks, such as putting out the garbage or folding the laundry, because it was just so drab compared to reading my books and living along with the characters. When I reached the end of Fools Fate, I realized I was worse in than I had realized. I felt as if the sad goodbye had happened to my self. I felt sad for a long period of time. I am not sure what the Fool represents to me of what chord he resonates, but it must be something deep and good. In the end I decided that the only way to get over the obsession, was to continue reading and surely at the end of the Fitz and the Fool series, I would be able to give it some closure. Right..?


But then I started reading the last trilogy and found out what had become of Beloved. Needless to say, I felt heartbroken. The extended torture, the vivid descriptions of it, the complete and utter breakdown of such s wonderful character who had already been immensely tragical. I read it to the end but without joy. And even though the end did give me a sense of closure, it took a lot longer than I expected to land back into my own life again. That horrible feeling of reading the parts about the Fool kept with me for quite some time.

I now recently wanted to re-read, just the first trilogy. I have found that I cannot read it anymore. Every time that little jester walks on stage I cringe. I can no longer read these books! The cruelty was too much for me.

First of all I would like to hear if anybody else has experienced this. Did you manage to get past it? Does re-reading help you to get over this? 

Second, I would like to hear thoughts about what other people experienced on reading the torture of the Fool. Do you consider that going to these extreme was necessary for the story? I do understand that a motivation for Fitz needed to be created, I understand the appeal of fighting pure evil and I understand that a process of decline can emotionally draw one into a story. I wonder though if it would not have been possible to reach the same effect without the complete destruction of who once was the Fool. 
Hiya She Who Reflects.   Grouphug

My heart goes out to you in how you felt throughout this.  I can relate insofar as these books have enriched my entire perspective on the world and I feel I have lived my life through these characters whilst reading about them so much so that I feel that they're personal friends of mine, especially the Fool who is so uniquely brilliant in all his facets; hence, the loss and heartache and torture they've gone through I have felt keenly.  

However, my perspective might be tempered with my own personal hardships . . abuse I have experienced in the past that will always be a dark part of my soul but has become a source of strength in my life as well because of having not let it defeat me from living and dreaming. The loss of my father last year whose loss to me is so profound I feel like Fitz when he lost Nighteyes or Burrich . . or both.  I felt forged after he'd left this earth.  I began reading the Farseer trilogy right when I returned to my home in England after burying my dad's ashes beneath his favourite tree in my mom's front garden.  I was bereft and I couldn't move on.  Utterly forged of heart.  Until I started reading Hobb's books.  They touched my life so deeply I owe her a world of debt for writing them and helping me to realise that life is change.  And with it, we must go on and carry the memories of all those we deeply love in our hearts with us like a dragon who consumes the dead does when their memories remain with them.  I found that Hobb gave the Fool, Fitz, and Nighteyes and all of them the best gift of all--the three were always one whole being and always belonged together.  It was meant to be and it was fitting for them to go into the stone wolf to be together for all time.  A little bit of immortality.  It's all they ever wanted--the Fool wanted all of Fitz's heart and Fitz wanted to be with his Beloved, and Nighteyes said to Fitz that they were one whole complete thing when they were together.  This was the best way for them to continue like this in perfect harmony.

It's also possible that because I read the Fitz and the Fool after I read the Farseer trilogy I already had a complete vision of how things were going to turn out.  I think if I had read the Tawny Man trilogy directly after the Farseer trilogy or LST, I would have felt deeply heartbroken for days and it would have been hard to move on.  However, everything was so beautifully tied together at the end of Fitz and the Fool, I feel speechless that you felt you couldn't move on . . . 

I can only leave you with Robin's wise words, "I healed.  Not completely.  A scar is never the same as good flesh, but it stops bleeding."  It does stop bleeding.
Thank you so much for your answer Lady Persephone, and for sharing your insights. It is very powerful how you have managed to turn your experience of suffering and loss into new understanding thanks to the books.
Grouphug  

It isn't easy but I work at my attitude everyday and try to find peace within me.  These books have helped oh so much.  Smiling

I think Robin Hobb once mentioned in an interview that her protagonists do go through quite a lot of suffering and pain but a large portion comes from decisions made and she allows them to follow their decisions down the path it takes them which can lead to a lot of pain.  Still, some suffering is out of a character's control . . just like it is for us.  It's how we get up from that suffering and find the will and strength to continue that makes us who we are, transcends us, beautifies us as human beings.  Like the way a diamond is shaped.  It must be honed and shaped in order to shine so beautifully.
Very beautifully put!
Interesting that Robin Hobb would think much of the suffering of her characters are because of the choices they themselves have made. I see that differently, because I think free choice is much more limited than it seems.
For example, Fitz at the end of Fool´s Fate. Could he really have chosen to stay with the one that completed him, deep down knowing very well this was so? He was subject to all of his human longings and needs, when he indeed accepted the Fool leaving him and go on to make him a life with a family, many different people to be loved, a hetero sexlife etc. He could not erase that and make a different choice. Or think of Beloved. His whole life he was driven by such a strong sense of purpose and high moral, it may have been the only thing that kept him going. Did he ever stop and wonder if he really had to do all the things he did, or if he could opt for another sort of life? I think not. And I think he could not, he would not be the same person otherwise. So even though no external force was pushing Fitz and the Fool to take certain decisions, they were not freely chosing those pathways that made them suffer.
And I think that is something very beautiful that I take from these books. It gave me more compassion for us, human beings, and our suffering. Between big tragedys such as war and famine, there are so many little tragedys because of not speaking our minds, hurting people we love, not being able to do things better. And it is this type of tragedy (as opposed to the torture) that I could really appreciate while reading the books and that gave me a more distant and accepting view of certain things in my own life.
(Feb-06-2019, 07:24 PM (UTC))She_who_reflects Wrote: [ -> ]This is my first post - I am not sure if this is a forum just between friends or if anybody can just join and open a thread, but I'm going to give it a shot.
Hi She_who_reflects! You are very much welcome here! It's not a closed forum in any sense other than registration is needed to post (to curb spammers). Feel free to post to old threads even if they've been dormant for years (I know some places have rules about this, but we don't!) or if you can't find an existing discussion, open a new one as you did here. It's very much encouraged!  Smiling