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Author Topic: Fun Discussions of TKD! Please have TKD finished before entering. (SPOILERS)  (Read 9884 times)

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Offline revanne

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I never once thought I was reading about a young boy growing into young manhood, but rather a young adult. Yes, I get that he was something special, but I would like to have seen him act his age at some point. And losing his virginity at 11? Seriously?


Part of the point surely is that he cannot afford to be a normal child. The nearest he gets to it is the summer at Culdi which nearly ends in disaster after the encounter with Bethune. And acting impulsively as he does with the grey mare leads to tragedy. I'm not sure that his age for losing his virginity is so unlikely - Richard III of England was a grandfather by the time he was killed at the battle of Bosworth aged 32. 11 for us is still a child, barely an adolescent but in Gwynedd it is within reach of manhood.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Alkari

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I would say that most of them were dead. Kenneth lived to be 53, which for the middle ages is pretty long. Sir Se and Sir Llion would be about that age, also. Alaric didn’t seem to be too close to his half-sisters, so it seems unlikely he would be any closer to their off springs. He barely spent any time with Brownyn or his cousins, his closest relatives. His closest friends seem to be his follow pages, who are not afraid of him.

The question is how did they die, Old age or something else?
Alaric was as close to his half-sisters as he could possibly have been, taking into account the communications in those days.   Yes, they were married, but not to just 'anyone'.   The most distant person was Geill, married to Sir Walter Lithgow, a Kierney knight.   I can understand Alaric not being particularly close to her or her children, as he was unlikely to visit Kierney.  But with his close links to the eventual earl, Kevin McLain, you can't imagine that he wouldn't have heard any news of her or stay in some sort of distant touch.    But Zoe and Alazais are another matter.   Zoe is married to the Deryni Sir Jovett Chandos in Lendour.   Alaric is the Earl of Lendour, which figures regularly in TDK, with Alaric visiting it several times (he is delighted to see Zoe and his 'cousins' when he does) and sending Lendour knights to Torenth with Queen Richeldis.   You can't imagine that once Brion formally confirmed Alaric in the title, he didn't go to Cynfyn any more and see Zoe and her children!  :D   And finally there is Alazais, who marries Llion.   Apart from his father and Brion, the one adult young Alaric is really close to and trusts is Llion: indeed, Alaric sees a lot more of Llion than he does of Kenneth.  You simply cannot imagine Alaric not staying in touch with Llion, Alazais and their family, especially if they were at Morganhall.    Llion was young and newly knighted when he starts looking after the almost 3 y.o. Alaric in CM, so he would have been in his mid forties by the time of the Deryni Chronicles.

As for his friends who were fellow pages and squires, I'd certainly like to know what became of Paget and Jernian, and especially the Prince Cormac down in Howwice and Llannedd.   Would / could all the people who were close to Alaric in TDK have died off in the 14-18 years between TDK and the Kelson era books? 

Part of the point surely is that he cannot afford to be a normal child. 
  Exactly.  The few occasions he does get the chance to be just a normal kid are all the more poignant because of that.   
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 06:34:09 pm by Alkari »

Offline snuffybear

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Part of the point surely is that he cannot afford to be a normal child. The nearest he gets to it is the summer at Culdi which nearly ends in disaster after the encounter with Bethune. And acting impulsively as he does with the grey mare leads to tragedy. I'm not sure that his age for losing his virginity is so unlikely - Richard III of England was a grandfather by the time he was killed at the battle of Bosworth aged 32. 11 for us is still a child, barely an adolescent but in Gwynedd it is within reach of manhood.

Who were Richard III's granchildren? His only legitimate son died age 10, and I can't find that his illegitimate children had children.

My point about Alaric is that he has no faults. While I appreciate that he's not a normal child, he appears to be perfect. That's why I've never found him to be interesting.

Offline Evie

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While Alaric isn't my favorite character (not due to any of his flaws or lack thereof, I just like some other characters more), I think he's as flawed as anyone else in the series. He adopts his "darkling phase" persona possibly as a way of displaying his (pretended) indifference to what others think of him, but as Cardiel ends up having to point out, his acting out behavior is to the detriment of human/Deryni relations because he is deliberately playing to the "evil Deryni" prejudices rather than putting more effort into overcoming them. His communication skills with his wife leave a lot to be desired, leading to some marital disharmony until Richenda manages to startle some sense into his obtuse "don't worry your pretty head" skull. (I wouldn't have blamed Richenda for pouring the ink pot onto his head rather than just scattering the tally sticks everywhere at that point!) He is grumpy and out of sorts after having to represent the Crown at high table while the others get ready for a ritual in St. Camber's chapel (was that for setting Nigel's potential?), and Richenda has to calm him down and tell him that he's got himself all worked up. While he has good reason to resent the Camberian Council, I also get a sense that he might have better relations with them if he were willing to be more of a team player. (Though to be fair, I can also see why he wouldn't trust them enough to want to work with the team.). Alaric is fortunately completely loyal to Kelson, because otherwise I can see him as a "don't bother me with your silly rules" kind of guy, and while that can be an asset in some situations, it can also be a detriment in others. I'm not sure he is as ruthless as Arilan (I really admire Denis for the most part, but found his cavalier suggestion that Vanissa and/or her unborn child could be done away with in order to ensure that Conall's child would not become a Haldane pretender quite frankly appalling, especially coming from a bishop!), but he is not without his own streak of "the ends justify the means."  As for young Alaric, yes, he is immensely talented for a boy of his tender years, but we still see glimpses of quite natural insecurities and fears, and situations he might have handled better given more forethought or experience. So while I see him as extremely gifted, and more often than not doing his best with a bad situation (aside from a few lapses like the "darkling phase" attitude, where he's clearly decided "they're not going to like me no matter what I do, so I'll just dress to expectations and they can all sod off), I can't really see him as all that perfect.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 12:03:26 pm by Evie »
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Offline Laurna

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Quote
Chapter 2 Deryni Rising
The stair case and entryway were still crowded with richly garbed lords and ladies, and Morgan was suddenly aware again how he must stand out among them in his dusty black leathers. ... And when he returned their glances with his usual half-smile and bow, the ladies shrank away from him as though afraid, and the men moved their hands a little closer to their weapons.
... These people actually believed him to be the evil Deryni sorcerer of the legends!
Very well, Let them stare. He would play along. If they wished to see the suave, self-assured, vaguely menacing Deryni Lord in action, he would oblige!
I have loved this opening since ever I first read it. I don't think Alaric purposely tried to play the dark Deryni Lord before this moment. He may have worn dark clothing to not draw attention to himself when ever he was allowed to return to Rhemuth. Because of the queen's dislike, I believed he kept a low profile to be with Brion and the young prince Kelson. But the rumors and accusations started by a Torenthi enemy, played to the Queen's fears and gave her the influence she needed to have everyone see this man as an evil treasonous Deryni and get him executed. What other choice did he have but to stand up for who he truly is. A powerful protector of the crown, and a Deryni!
Evie, I love your comments about his poor ability to communicate with Richenda. He loves her desperately but he has no idea how to handle a woman, he obviously has little experience in this area (other than the mere physical part of it, to be sure). Alaric is by no means perfect. What he is is someone who calculates every mistake he has ever made and determines what went wrong and makes sure that mistake never happens again. If we all could do that we would look like gods too.

« Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 04:54:55 pm by Laurna »

Offline LauraS

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Part of the point surely is that he cannot afford to be a normal child. The nearest he gets to it is the summer at Culdi which nearly ends in disaster after the encounter with Bethune. And acting impulsively as he does with the grey mare leads to tragedy. I'm not sure that his age for losing his virginity is so unlikely - Richard III of England was a grandfather by the time he was killed at the battle of Bosworth aged 32. 11 for us is still a child, barely an adolescent but in Gwynedd it is within reach of manhood.

Who were Richard III's granchildren? His only legitimate son died age 10, and I can't find that his illegitimate children had children.

My point about Alaric is that he has no faults. While I appreciate that he's not a normal child, he appears to be perfect. That's why I've never found him to be interesting.

Richard III had no known grandchildren. His only legitimate son, Edward Prince of Wales, died at age ten as noted.  Of his two acknowledged illegitimate children, both born in his teens before his marriage to Anne Neville, John of Gloucester was reportedly executed privately by Henry Tudor sometime around 1499 after being accused of "receiving treasonous correspondence from Ireland."  He had been kept under close confinement since Bosworth and had no known children.  Richard's daughter, Katherine, married  William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and also died without issue and her husband was described as a widower at Elizabeth of York's coronation as Henry VII's Queen in 1487. 

Offline revanne

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Richard III definitely has no known descendants - it seems very unlikely that any would have survived the benign murderous reign of the Tudors. The DNA used to match his bones found buried under a Leicester car park in 2012 was taken from the descendants of one of his sisters. It is amazing what a fuss there has been about where he is to be re-buried - eventually Leicester Cathedral has won but York Minster and people living in York are not happy! I originally come from Leicester where very little has ever happened so can see why the cathedral would want a royal burial. Rather beautifully some at least of the prayers will be taken from the Sarum Rite which would have been in use in Richard's life-time.
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

Offline Jerusha

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I thought I should save this question for the spoilers string   :)

Did anyone else wonder why Rhydon turned traitor and actively supported the Marluk?  I know they were on familiar terms, but what pushed Rhydon over the edge to active treason? 
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Shiral

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I thought I should save this question for the spoilers string   :)

Did anyone else wonder why Rhydon turned traitor and actively supported the Marluk?  I know they were on familiar terms, but what pushed Rhydon over the edge to active treason?

I don't think we're ever told why Rhydon did it, especially after he got so wounded defending Brion in CM against Zachris Pomeroy's plot. He's too much of a bit player, so to speak.  I wish we knew more about his motives, myself. He was clearly a Gwyneddan noble who listened to his ambition rather than his good sense.

Melissa
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Offline Alice

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Just finished TKD - first reading and thought I'd post a few notes and a question.  Thought the book was very good.  It was especially good to see how Alaric developed; his relationship with Brion and seeing more of his Morgan and McLain families. I especially liked seeing so much of Kenneth, but was sorry that he died when Alaric and Bronwyn were so young.  Yes 53 is a long life especially back then, but....sigh.

I didn't like Jehana much in this book - nor in the two Kelson trilogies.  Seems she's not only a spoiled brat, but she continued such throughout her whole time as a queen and queen dowager.  Mrs Kurtz described her as "pouting" when Brion had to go leave her for a while.  Frankly, Jehana doesn't seem to have grown up until she met and married Barrett.

One question I had and maybe someone could answer?  On pages 499 - 500, Brion was explaining to his Haldane lancers including Lord Ralson, about the rite they had witnessed when Brion's powers were brought out.  To quote a couple of lines:  "But we also have other powers when they are needed, which enable us to function as if we were, ourselves, Deryni.  My father, King Cinhil, entrusted a few of these abilities to me before his death..." 

I wondered about Brion saying his father "King Cinhil" - was that an overlooked typo, or maybe he meant his ultimate forefather in the restored Haldane line - or was there another deeper meaning? 

Anyway I'm going to re-read TKD.   :)


Offline Jerusha

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I think the general consensus is that it was an overlooked typo.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

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Offline Laurna

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I also believe this is a typo, otherwise the sentence might have read, 'My forefather, King Cinhil, entrusted these abilities in his reigning descendents before his death...' or some such wording.

Quote
I especially liked seeing so much of Kenneth, but was sorry that he died when Alaric and Bronwyn were so young.  Yes 53 is a long life especially back then, but....sigh.

I so agree with you here. It is almost like the book is two books. The half with Kenneth is like a book in itself. I loved Kenneth and I truly cried at his passing. That was a end of an era. After Kenneth the book takes on a different flavor- a youth growing into his own with men like Llion, Se, and Brion at his side.  In my mind, Jehana is merely an obstacle that keeps our young man on his toes.  I really would have loved to have more of an insight into the two months where Alaric and Brion spent traveling the Kingdom together. I think that would have some fun stories in it. Perhaps we can convenience KK to write a couple of quick short stories before she moves into the grander and heavier tale of the Road to Killingford.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 01:02:01 pm by Laurna »

Offline Shiral

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I concur, I think it was a typo. Rented fingers happen to us all!

Jehana's a tough one, yes.  She always has been for me, really. Seems like her youth, beauty, likely fertility and her rank outweighed what she lacked in the adult good sense one would like to see in a queen.  Or at least the ability to acknowledge that Brion would have died without powers, and so would she and all other living Haldanes if Brion had lost that battle, no matter how little she personally liked it.

I like the glimpses we catch of the developing friendship between Brion and Alaric in this book, but I wanted more about thatand more scenes of Alaric and Duncan  growing up together and a little less knightly training, personally. 

Melissa
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

Offline Evie

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I could have done with more of Alaric and Duncan growing up together myself. ;)

To be fair (as I can be, anyway) re: Brion's choice of Jehana as Queen, IIRC she was only 14 or 15 when they met. (Remember, her father had to be convinced to wait until she was a little older before allowing her to marry, since waiting would improve her chances of surviving childbirth.) At that age, Brion probably expected that his pretty, giddy little teen bride would retain her cute and charming side yet grow into the maturity required for a royal consort. If he noticed through the initial haze of "Wuv, twoo wuv" that she was a bit spoiled, he probably just compared her with his sisters at the same age and figured that was normal for a young princess.  (After all, compare Xenia's behavior at that age. Even before Sigismund came into the picture, she comes off as a willful, arrogant little thing.  Silke seems far nicer, but then again, she's also younger when we first meet her, and while she isn't as arrogant as Xenia in later years, she's no less strong-willed.)  But instead, Jehana remained spoiled and immature throughout her life--much to her husband's chagrin later, but by then the marriage was a done deal.  Had her marriage been a happier one, I think she might have learned some maturity earlier on, but since the Deryni question was one that her conscience and religious training could never overcome, she became more hardened in her stubbornness and obstinacy.  But from her viewpoint, it was literally a matter of life and death--and not mere physical death, but eternal death--and therefore of the utmost importance to continue opposing Alaric and his influence over Brion (and later, Kelson) at all costs for. Given what she truly believed deep down in her heart, she could hardly have acted otherwise if she loved her husband and son; after all, even if they had died in duels against the Festillic Pretenders, at least she could hope to be reunited with them in the afterlife, whereas if they damned themselves by their willing participation in magic (which is what she honestly believed they were in danger of doing), she would be eternally separated from them after their physical deaths.  Given that paradigm, of course she was stubborn and refused to listen to what she considered their highly dubious "reason"!  It wasn't a viewpoint that she could have simply been cajoled out of, unless Brion happened to hit upon the key piece of evidence to show that her entire paradigm and worldview was built on a faulty premise, and alas, it didn't occur to him to bring up Deryni Healing as a point in the Deryni race's favor.  (He may have even been unaware that talent could exist, since Alaric didn't discover his Healing gift until after Brion's death.)  It wasn't until Jehana stumbled upon the Healers' Code in the secret annex, and John Nivard patiently (and far more objectively than Brion ever could) started winning her trust--that Jehana was able to view Deryni and their talents in a different light.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 05:10:00 pm by Evie »
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Offline drakensis

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Although let's give Jehana credit for one thing.

She was willing, at Kelson's coronation, to put herself between him and Charissa. To out herself as Deryni, to do something she sincerely believed would damn her, in order to defend her son from both Charissa and from needing to use magic himself (and thus to go to hell so her son wouldn't - in her view at least). She failed and it isn't too surprising she felt the need to withdraw from the world at that point - she must have felt she'd made that sacrifice for nothing - but there was nothing selfish about the decision she made there.

 

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