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EDIT: I have split this discussion following post # 260 from the 'You know you're hooked when...' thread. END EDIT

Yes, limited, but I grinned when the 'Berserker by birth' option dopped down! Perfect!
he's not that much of a berserker... True, he goes berserk occasionally in combat, but he doesn't really relish in it.

besides, is it mentioned anywhere that it is in his bloodline to go berserk?

No, he's not actually been in a berserker state that often but I have always associated this aspect of him as being a very important insight into 'FitzChivalry Farseer'. It displays a 'true heart' and highlights his connections to others and his sensitivity to all of those around him. Also, that he does go berserker only in combat is not in itself unusual, given that the term 'berserker' has risen out of combat situations.

It's not mentioned but I'd have thought, that by virtue of the fact that he was born Skilled and Witted, and thus with having the blood of dragons in his line, I'd say that it is in his bloodline to go berserk. That is not to say that all, or even any, in his ancestoral line have ever gone berserker, but it is his sensitivity, most of which is likely inherited through his magics, that causes him to go into such a state.

He does not go into a trance-like state on the battlefield because he delights in death but because he is driven by such traits as his sensitivity and feelings for others (sympathy, empathy etc). When Fitz was hurt in the Mountains in AQ, he awoke one day to find himself in Buckkeep, in Shrewd's body. Those people who he saw through Shrewd's eyes during the fall of Neatbay were not only Shrewd's people but his. As it was often said of Fitz "Blood will tell" and it was thus by his blood that he acted as he did. Even when he thought he was acting of his own volition, blood did always tell - blood of dragons, blood of kings, blood of Old Blood. It was even these traits and by-blood virtues that combined to make him the perfect candidate for a Catalyst, not to mention 'Changer'.

This sensitivity, this empathy for others, the love and anger and passion and other emotions that drive a berserker state from beginning to end are the very same emotions that decide the fate of the world. In Ship of Destiny, Amber and Brashen spoke something about the fate of the whole world being affected by the love of one man for a woman, eg he and Althea, and this reflects the world changes that Fitz alone wrought along the way due to his love for Verity, for Molly, for his children, for Fool, for his people, for good...

I think that the scariest place in the world is between a female, of any species, and her offspring. While she may otherwise be a docile and placid creature who avoids any kind of conflict, she will very quickly fly into an uncontrollable rage to protect and defend when her offspring are threatened. It is love and fear and anger and pure emotion that drives her. This is one example of how I view the kind of berserker state that Fitz goes into, and it is a state brought about by virtue of who he is and the blood within him. Fitz differs in that he extends this emotion to all as he is connected to all by his Skill and Wit and the blood of dragons, and so is affected by all.



Its the "born to" part about berserk that doesn't fit on him. The typical interpretation of that term would be that its traditional for at least one side of the subject's family to go berserk.
It's true that it is more the 'berserker' aspect that here relates to Fitz, and why I chose the option, but, still, the specs belonging to you beings are all fogged up. P The motto says 'Berserker by birth' not 'born to go berserk'. While they *could* mean the same thing, there is a difference. By his birth and his bloodlines, Fitz was predisposed to intense sensitivity and therefore an emotional state/connectivity during combat which would lead to his going berserker. This did not necessarily mean that he would go off the deep end or 'go berserk' outside of combat (such as how we currently use the term), or that he would fly into a berserker state every time he went into combat. He was born not to go berserk but to bring about change, take time out of its rut and bring balance to the realm once more, aided by his heightened sensitivity and emotion (of which going berserker in combat is a side effect).

As for one side of the subject's family...well...it's interesting that we are quite in the dark about one side of The Family of Fitz. Smiling Who is to say that they have not been known to go into a berserker state during combat? Or even those of the Farseer line? Not all ancestors need to have gone into a berserker state for him to have inherited the trait. The stumpy-tailed puppy illustration from Fool's Fate highlights this well. The Skill is stronger in some more than others, and likely so would be the predisposition to go into a berserker state during combat. Even so, I don't believe that labelling Fitz with a motto 'Berserker by birth' has to assume that his ancestors did ever go into a berserker state...just that his bloodlines have made him who he is. Just as the different selves of Paragon, who also slipped into a berserker state during the final confrontation in Ship of Destiny, have made him uniquely who he is.

It could also be further argued that it is Fitz who founded the House Farseer so, though his bloodlines have combined to make him who he is, it is likely he who is the founding berserker of his family, just as he is the true founding Farseer. Fool had lamented that the Farseers of the past had not seen far but Fitz would prove to be worthy of that name and it is by virtue of Fitz proving true to that name that all others of his line, past, present and future, would be known by it.

As it is, Fitz is not typical. Nup, not in any way is he typical and even Fool said something akin to this at some point. Neither does Fitz fit the typical berserker state. He does not get caught up in the emotional hunger and heat of battle for the sake of the battle itself, as many in a berserker state would do, but he gets caught up in the emotions that come with his bloodlines and his role. There have been many Catalysts and even many White Prophets but, as far as we know, only one Changer...and Changer is most atypical. Typical interpretations, or even traditions, therefore just do not fit Fitz.
actually, berserk isn't a state triggered as a result of heightened emotional sensitivity. True berserkers had no concept of friend or foe. They were oblivious to everything except the need to fight/kill. It was a mindless rage. If anything, emotions were inconvenient to them.
(Jan-18-2013, 11:52 AM (UTC))thul Wrote: [ -> ]actually, berserk isn't a state triggered as a result of heightened emotional sensitivity.

It is for Fitz. Or so Verity theorised, as I recall, after losing his Skill-link with Fitz during moments of heightened emotion/sensitivity/berserker phases in combat?

(Jan-18-2013, 11:52 AM (UTC))thul Wrote: [ -> ]True berserkers had no concept of friend or foe. They were oblivious to everything except the need to fight/kill. It was a mindless rage. If anything, emotions were inconvenient to them.

Rage, mindless or otherwise, is violent, uncontrollable anger or fury. Anger is an emotion. Without rage, without anger or fury, or without emotion, there is no berserker state.

EDIT: One thing that I have forgotten to re-mention in all of this is my appreciation of the fact that Fitz shares a Wit bond with a wolf (and in some ways even wears his pelt)...an animal which is, like the bear (I think), sometimes associated with the origins of the term berserker. Ah, yup, here's my old comment from the Elderlings Creation Theory thread regarding that:
(Jun-06-2010, 10:00 AM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]As an aside, the background on the word 'berserker' is interesting in that it apparently arose from the habit of Norsemen wearing pelts into battle eg that of a bear or even a wolf etc...isn't it an amazing connection that Fitz almost literally wore the pelt of a wolf into his battles Big Grin ?! I wonder if Robin knew of this possible background?!
(Jan-18-2013, 12:59 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]
(Jan-18-2013, 11:52 AM (UTC))thul Wrote: [ -> ]actually, berserk isn't a state triggered as a result of heightened emotional sensitivity.

It is for Fitz.

Which only proves that Fitz isn't a berserker.
Doh! You can't join forces with those beings known as 'thul, joost! I'm already outnumbered!!! P

Getting myself into an even twistier tangle:

Fitz *is* a berserker though. We know that he has entered into berserker states during combat or confrontation. As well as times when Verity noted it, I believe even Lord Golden noted this trait in Fitz when it took some time for Fitz to return to himself following the confrontation with the Piebalds (the one that saw Fitz hold a knife to Dutiful's throat and where Dutiful's cat was killed). By this definition and the presence of battle-fury alone, he is a berserker. His trigger just differs slightly from others. All berserker states (for Fitz or any other 'berserker') are triggered by emotion (be it true emotion, or even an emotional high deliberately or physically worked toward/produced as true berserkers of the past sometimes did to work themselves into a frenzy...not that unlike how a sportsman may work himself up prior to or during competition). For Fitz, his berserker state is simply exacerbated by his sensitivity to the emotions of others around him. This is both the same and different to others who experience berserker states. While another may feed off the emotion or atmosphere present during battle, just as Fitz does, they don't feed off it to the level that Fitz does because they don't have his Skill-driven, Wit-driven, blood of dragons-driven heightened sensitivity.

An example, albeit likely not a good one Wink : A soldier may go into combat and enter into a berserker state founded from both his own emotions (wanting to protect his family/community/self from harm and a hatred for an old enemy, his fight or flight response kicking in etc) as well as the emotions and atmosphere from the battlefield/those around him (the battle cries of his fellowmen, a William Wallace-like speech from a superior, the banners of his homeland flapping in the breeze, the snorting of the frenzied horses, later the smell of blood, the hatred from his opponent and sounds of battle etc). Fitz is the same, however, due to his heightened sensitivity/magics and his blood and connection or even responsibility to his people, he feels those emotions far stronger and more fully than the other. He hears not only what is voiced but also the silent prayers, thoughts and cries. He experiences the battle or confrontation through not only his own perspective but also directly through those around him via his Skill/Wit/blood connectiveness with them.

Berserker is a state that is triggered by emotion, involuntary or produced. For Fitz, it is further triggered, or exacerbated, as a result of his heightened emotional sensitivity.

Life is quite hellish at the moment so I am enjoying this distraction P , despite the fact that I may very well come back here for a re-read one day and find myself thinking, 'What was I thinking when I wrote that?' Big Grin
Research into berserkers and their mentalities generally reveal that there's no emotional link. Sure there's occasionally a rage that pops up when something loved is threatened, but it isn't berserk. It is something similar.
Some theories about Berserk is that it was a rudimentary form of drug-induced rage. But it could also be biased accounts. If the record-keepers are monks, and the raiders are dressed in mangy animal skins and come raiding at their cloister, how would they describe it?
Would they write that "kind gentlemen came to take up a loan of the permanent sort", or would they write that "Insane heathens, dressed in animal skins, ravaged the cloister, taking anything of value and desecrating the faith, all while frothing at the mouth"?

It might be that the tangle leader either intentionally or unintentionally used a different or erroneous interpretation for berserk when creating FitzChivalry. Authorial creativity, perhaps. Having the link break in-combat was a useful tool for making it less powerful. With access to the full spectrum and a lack of that bark tea, maybe they would have been able to either avoid it breaking, or even opened it up at great distance again.

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