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Full Version: The ending doesn't make sense? Spoilers Farseer & Tawny Man
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(Jul-16-2010, 04:16 AM (UTC))NeverBeenWise Wrote: [ -> ]I could never imagine someone being that apathetic about losing their best, closest childhood friend.

Hmm, you do have a point there, you'd think he'd act a little more gutted. I'd agree that Fitz probably doesn't fully accept the reality that the Fool doesn't intend to return. At the same time, he had already had his strong reaction earlier when the Fool removed their Skill link and told him he must leave. I would also argue that his bond with the Fool was never anything like his bond with Nighteyes. Not to say that he didn't love him as much, but Nighteyes was like his twin and his soul mate for many, many years. Their link was strong, they were nearly always together, they knew nearly everything about each other, heard each other's thoughts and experienced the world through each other's senses. Losing Nighteyes was quite literally losing a piece of himself. Fitz' Skill link with the Fool enabled them to merge completely when touching, but from any distance the bond seemed to be very weak indeed. Nonetheless, he does seem to accept having missed the Fool rather casually.

Going off on a slight tangent now, regarding the Fool being Fitz' childhood friend, I know it's a moot point in the end but I just wanted to point out that this isn't actually true. People keep saying this about him, and stranger still is the fact that even Fitz refers to him as such, but Fitz' real childhood friends were the street kids Molly, Kerry and Dirk, of whom only Molly retained a connection to him over the years. The first time Fitz and the Fool even speak to one another is when Fitz is 13, and during his teenage years the Fool only occasionally helps him or offers cryptic advice, but as often as not he infuriates or embarrasses Fitz, and Fitz is baffled by trying to figure out who he really is or what he wants (although I'm sure the Fool does already secretly love Fitz at this stage). It's only in AQ, when Fitz is a young adult that the two of them become closer friends after the Fool nurses him back to health from his arrow wound.
(Jul-15-2010, 03:01 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]
(Apr-22-2010, 02:34 AM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]It wasn't an ending to me, and could never be as long as Changer was alive...as Fool himself attested, Fitz was and always would be the catalyst.
Hey Nuytsia. Just found the passage from where I got my info for this old post and why I agreed with Witted Bastard...it comes from Chapter Thirty-Four in the UK version of FF, Commitments pg 729:
Fool says to Fitz, "You are still the Changer, still the Catalyst. Even in the short time you were at Buckkeep, you've proved that. Change is swirling around you like a whirlpool. Restored, you no longer flee it, but seem to attract it. And I, I am blind now, when it comes to seeing what vast changes my influence upon you can cause. So...I will not be coming with you."
Not only does this passage tell us that Fitz is still Changer but his power as the Catalyst is even greater than ever before, after Fool's restoration of him. It also clearly tells us why Fool felt he had to leave.

Thanks Farseer!
Yep I guess we don't know for sure about what has happened with previous prophets/catalysts, but it doesn't make sense to me that there can be one without the other. But then I'm not Robin Hobb so I don't know how it all works!
Then again, just because the Fool *says* this doesn't mean I necessarily believe it Dodgy

(Jul-15-2010, 06:02 PM (UTC))Syrocko Wrote: [ -> ]How likely are you to switch your sexual preference if the right boy/girl comes along?

Well I'd seriously consider it if I went through some of the stuff they do together!!! Really.

Nice points in your posts Syrocko, and I don't disagree with a lot of what you say. I couldn't really envisage something like Fitz and the Fool get together and live happily ever after!!! I just felt gutted by what did happen.

(Jul-16-2010, 04:16 AM (UTC))NeverBeenWise Wrote: [ -> ]What bugged me the most wasn't that the Fool left Fitz. I'm a sadistic reader; the more pain the characters go through, the more I enjoy catching every facet of their reactions.
You must have loved Fool's Fate!!!
(Jul-16-2010, 04:16 AM (UTC))NeverBeenWise Wrote: [ -> ]No, I was just upset that Chade was telling Fitz about how he'd missed the Fool by a week... and Fitz didn't say anything, even to himself, of shock or sorrow. He just nodded. I mean, even one line, one line would have sufficed: something like either a sick sense of sadness, or a concession to his apathy.

This was one of the main aspects that bugged me too .....

(Jul-16-2010, 01:12 PM (UTC))Mervi Wrote: [ -> ]I didn't get the impression that Fitz passively accepted that he'd never see the Fool again. I think he just refuses to even deal with that thought, so he makes sure he's busy living his life and enjoying the things he can. But that's just my interpretation.

I kind of agree with Mervi on this one.
But I'll go further!
Fitz partially forged HIMSELF as he couldn't deal with the Fool going away!! Ouch
(Jul-16-2010, 05:09 PM (UTC))Nuytsia Wrote: [ -> ]Nice points in your posts Syrocko, and I don't disagree with a lot of what you say. I couldn't really envisage something like Fitz and the Fool get together and live happily ever after!!! I just felt gutted by what did happen.

Thank you! I guess we're meant to feel at least a little sorry about the Fool leaving. All the Fitz books seem to avoid seeming cliched by including at least some element of loss in their ending. Personally I'm a sucker for happy endings and wouldn't have minded a complete fairytale scenario, but was still happy enough with the compromise we were given.

Quote: Well I'd seriously consider it if I went through some of the stuff they do together!!! Really.
Fair enough. I suppose I can't be completely sure I wouldn't either (and Fitz and the Fool do seem to have this whole past life, always-been-one-person dynamic hinted at, which was probably meant to further explored in a future book), but surely not if I was already in love with someone else.
Lots to respond to here. I'll pick two ideas that are on my mind:

(Jul-15-2010, 06:02 PM (UTC))Syrocko Wrote: [ -> ]Nor did the Fool twine in and out of Fitz' life for most of that time. In the interlude between the two series, the only contact between them was a single brief one where Fitz protects the Fool while Skill-dreaming. Fitz not only watches Molly from afar, but has Skill contact and shared dreams with their daughter Nettle.

This is a fair point. But I don't think many people would argue that the bond between Fitz and Molly is in the same league as the connection between Fitz and the Fool. Fitz is attached to the Fool cosmically. Molly is just a woman (no matter how some of us feel the power of the universe or what have you when we are in love ourselves).

Quote:I believe that the whole Fitz-Fool dynamic, besides enriching the story somewhat, is meant to address the issue of homosexuality. The reader continually questions whether the Fool is male or female. All the while we grow more and more attached to him as a character, and when we see his obvious romantic interest in Fitz we're forced to ask ourselves whether we'd be happy to see them get together. Would it be right for them to get together if the Fool is female? What if the Fool is male, would that still be okay? Ultimately the conclusion we're driven towards is that it doesn't really matter, the Fool is still the Fool regardless of physical gender. Anyone harbouring a degree of homophobia will likely have lost some of it by the end of the books. However, this philosophical journey that the reader undergoes doesn't change the fact that Fitz is straight and that he loves Molly. Fitz is ultimately able, first to acknowledge how the Fool feels for him, and eventually to fully accept it, but his own sexuality cannot change. How likely are you to switch your sexual preference if the right boy/girl comes along?
I actually think the homoeroticism is meant to make a deeper point in addition to the one about gender identity, and that is the nature of love itself. Every time Fitz blunders into some awkward statement about 'bedding with a man,' the Fool essentially asks him if a relationship can only be called LOVE if it involves somebody putting their wiener in somebody else (pardon the crudeness, I'm not nearly as facile with words as the Fool). I think calling the Fool's feelings towards Fitz 'obvious romantic interest' is actually missing the point to a degree. The word 'romance' doesn't begin to cover the depth of their relationship OR the Fool's desires for it; the idea at heart being that not only does true love not necessarily include sex, it ignores it. Fitz and the Fool share true love regardless of whether they sleep together or not, which as you say is proven time and again.
I've done a fair bit of thinking about that last post. I've found the reply rather difficult to formulate, but here goes. The exact nature of the connection between Fitz and the Fool remains something of a mystery. They are not the reincarnations of Realder and his white prophet, because Realder's soul is still in his dragon. Is there perhaps always this strange dynamic between a white prophet and their catalyst? If so, it's worth noting that Wild Eye's White prophet expressed those feelings with a surprising amount of strictness and cruelty. The Fool tells Civil at one point that Fitz is far more important to him than even a lover could be because they are white prophet and catalyst, which suggests that that this relationship at least partly explains their bond. But how much and exactly how, we don't know. It's not very clear cut.

The Fool does seem to be trying to explain that his love transcends sex, that it is about more. And yet his attraction does seem to have a physical element. He never actually denies that he would like to bed with Fitz. He becomes excited by close contact with Fitz, and enjoys dressing him up nicely. When they part at the end of the Farseer trilogy, Fitz mentions being surprised that the Fool kisses him on the mouth. In this way it seems similar to how it can be in real life to be in love with someone. It seems to be much more profound and deep than the mere act of sex, and yet generally one desires sex and cannot honestly deny that it is important to them.

Yes there is some kind of rightness, some kind of cosmic force, some kind of meant-to-be-ness about Fitz and the Fool. No doubt the Fool feels this very acutely. But the fool has always been far more in tune with the energy of the universe, of the fates or whatever it is. His entire life until Fitz resurrects him and thus frees him, is about the almost completely selfless pursuit of what he senses is meant to be in the world. Fitz on the other hand, despite his crucial role in shaping the future, in the fates etc, does not properly sense or understand this role, or actively seek it like the fool. He always wanted different things for himself. Had he had the choice, he would have hidden away with Molly and Nighteyes long ago and raised a family rather than seeking to help Verity. Though he may have an inkling of the fates or whatever you'd call it, this tends to conflict with his heart. Fitz is human, and is driven by his human heart, petty as one might think it. The Fool is not human, is arguably superior to the human race, and is driven primarily not by his heart but by something higher, greater than himself. Whatever Fitz' soul might sense about his relationship with the Fool, his heart's desire is stronger and more important to him, and ultimately he is able to follow his human heart's desire.
I love this thread, and I find myself agreeing with 95% of the last few posts, even if they start from differing POV's!

(Oct-27-2010, 02:28 PM (UTC))Syrocko Wrote: [ -> ]The Fool tells Civil at one point that Fitz is far more important to him than even a lover could be because they are white prophet and catalyst, which suggests that that this relationship at least partly explains their bond. But how much and exactly how, we don't know. It's not very clear cut.

I do wonder if the 'bond' between the Fool and Fitz is really something that wouldn't normally be 'advisable' for White Prophet and Catalyst. (rather than an explanation of it.... although it could well be both!)

I wonder what the school of white prophets has to say on such matters. You would THINK it inadvisable. As you pointed out the snippets about other White Prophets/Catalysts in the books seem to infer a far different type of relationship.
Good point. Let's hope there'll one day be more books and our burning questions will be answered. At least we do know one more small nugget about the prophet-catalyst relationship: Realder's white prophet was also in love with him, though it's unclear what, if anything ever came of this.
I came into this thread late damn it, I have PLENTY of strong feelings on the subject.
So lets see how many I can remember to get in.
First point would be about 'Syrocko's' comment on turning for the right girl/boy. Maybe I'm more open minded then most, but I've always believed in the right 'person' regardless of sex. It doesn't matter about what the fool calls 'plumbing' because true love, understanding and companionship is so much deeper. As far as a physical relationship is concerned it doesn't really matter either. (As you can tell I'm a supporter of Fitz/Fool and a Molly hater.. Bias is a glorious thing.)

Despite this I agree with almost everything else 'Syrocko' said. Fitz was content for himself at the end of FF, this is partly because he had if memories back and therefore had his super strong (and youthful) emotions of Molly love thrust ontop of all that had happened since he had given them up. These emotions were strong enough to effectively squash and budding romantic feelings for the Fool he may or may not have had anyway.

Last point. Fitz lack of grieving when he didn't get to say goodbye to the Fool. His initial reactions anticlimactic aspect os because he's with Chade and i believe he didn't want to show Chade yet again how important the Fool was to him. And later it was because he (like me) took the cryptic comment from the Fool's carved gift of "I have never been wise" to heart, and believes he will see the Fool again.
Regarding your last paragraph, I'd never thought of those points. But now that you say them, it seems so clear. When Fitz read the inscription that said "I have never been wise", I didn't pick up on the hint and only thought that it seemed a strange thing to say when the Fool was quite possibly the wisest character of them all.

Regarding your first paragraph, well perhaps some of my previous posts did sound a bit narrow minded on that issue. It's really whole other discussion in itself.

Regarding Fitz getting his emotions back from the dragon, I think that this aspect of the plot could still have worked even without the dragon. The dragon is actually a metaphor for a real aspect of human nature. You could take this angle instead: Fitz was just so hurt from everything he had been forced to endure, and then finally to see the one precious thing he had left (other than Nighteyes), that had kept him going throughout all his trials, fall into the arms of another man. He never stopped loving her, but was unable to deal with his emotions. So he gave up the idea that he could find happiness and hid away from the world, wishing simply to find a measure of peace for himself, away from anything or anyone that could continue to hurt or betray him. Finally, he is unwillingly thrust back into adventure and danger, with huge responsibilities placed on him. Ultimately this turns out to be a bizarre kind of therapy for him. His near death results in his physical wounds and pains being healed. He is reminded of his old life and realises that he has missed parts of it. He begins to understand that people still care deeply about him and he even develops a bond with his daughter via magic. Then finally he nearly loses the Fool. He thinks him dead for a while but is able to bring him back and nurse him to health. Besides realising how important the Fool is to him, it also stirs other deep emotions in him. It gives him a wake up call regarding how short, vulnerable and precious life really is. The fact that the Fool has suffered similarly to him in some ways helps him to come to terms with his own pain. Allowing another person to get close to him again reawakens his deeper desires for closeness, and the understanding of who he most desires it with. Nor did Molly ever stop really loving Fitz, she went through a similar experience, believing he was dead and eventually making the decision to move on and try to bury the painful memories.

One other thing, I do wonder if part of the reason why some people dislike the reunion of Fitz and Molly (besides those reasons I described in previous posts) is simply because she was absent from the narrative for so long. In fiction, we tend to have a slightly altered sense of reality. For example, in an action film when someone gets badly injured, they often seem absolutely fine again within a few scenes once the viewer's attention has gone elsewhere, despite the fact that only hours or minutes are supposed to have passed. This shows us how the viewer or reader's perception of time can be a more significant factor than actual time. Even a thoroughly vile character can be made more likable if he's given enough attention and character development. For example a murderer who nonetheless has a human side, while we may feel very little sympathy for their victims because they are given very little attention or character development. In these ways, reality in fiction can be based more on the viewer's perception than on what's realistic. The Fool gets loads of character development in the Tawny Man trilogy, as does his relationship with Fitz, while Molly and her relationship with Fitz remain four books away (she's still very much a part of book 3, but of course is unaware even that she is being watched). So the relationship with the Fool seems more fresh and more real to the reader, while the relationship with Molly seems distant and old and partially forgotten, and thus less desirable or "realistic", especially if you took breaks between reading the books. However, realistically we know that people can still love each other after a long absence. If a parent was separated from their child for 18 years or so, they'd still love them just as much and remember them just as well upon reunion. The same can also sometimes be true of lovers, if their love was strong enough. The bigger factor here may be the reader's perceived separation of Fitz and Molly, simply through lack of character or relationship development, more than the actual time gap. So if Hobb did make a mistake with this aspect of the story, perhaps it was simply in neglecting the Molly character for so long. Hope this makes sense.
(Oct-27-2010, 02:28 PM (UTC))Syrocko Wrote: [ -> ]They are not the reincarnations of Realder and his white prophet,

Well there blows a piece of my Rooster Crown theory, and I haven't even documented it yet (I'm still trying to sort out if Realder is a definite plot hole or not!).

I have heaps more to add re the rest of the discussion but need to read the posts all thoroughly...this little bit just jumped out at me and I had to respond immediately P !
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