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Author Topic: Donal Haldane  (Read 9502 times)

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Online revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2018, 07:16:27 am »
And I wonder how much of the idea of the scheming illegitimate sibling we owe to Shakespeare 's King Lear.

And we all know Shakespeare to have been scrupulously historically accurate. *Cough* Richard III *Cough*.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2018, 08:45:19 am »
And I wonder how much of the idea of the scheming illegitimate sibling we owe to Shakespeare 's King Lear.

And we all know Shakespeare to have been scrupulously historically accurate. *Cough* Richard III *Cough*.

Well, yeah.  Shakespeare's Richard II wasn't exactly the most sympathetic portrayal of historical figures either, but Shakespeare was also writing for a Tudor monarch at that point in his career (Elizabeth I), so he would have had a pretty strong motivation to make the Lancastrians/Tudors look good in his plays.

It looks like the historical Richard III was a victim of character assassination (including but not limited to the way Shakespeare portrayed him), but the waters of that entire era are well and truly muddied this many years later.

Back on Donal, Raksha brings up a good idea; why did he know so much about Deryni power and why was he generally protective of Deryni, especially the ones he knew, at that point in the history of Gwynedd?
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Offline Evie

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2018, 10:26:06 am »

Back on Donal, Raksha brings up a good idea; why did he know so much about Deryni power and why was he generally protective of Deryni, especially the ones he knew, at that point in the history of Gwynedd?

To reverse that, why wouldn't Donal be more sympathetic towards Deryni than the average Gwyneddan? He's not just the average lord, he's a Haldane, dependent on at least partially trained Deryni for his own full empowerment and that of his heirs! I'm sure every Haldane since Rhys Michael's time has been acutely aware of this and therefore tried to shelter secret Deryni as much as they dared. The fate of their own dynasty is inextricably linked to that of the Deryni.
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #33 on: March 24, 2018, 10:35:49 am »

Back on Donal, Raksha brings up a good idea; why did he know so much about Deryni power and why was he generally protective of Deryni, especially the ones he knew, at that point in the history of Gwynedd?

To reverse that, why wouldn't Donal be more sympathetic towards Deryni than the average Gwyneddan? He's not just the average lord, he's a Haldane, dependent on at least partially trained Deryni for his own full empowerment and that of his heirs! I'm sure every Haldane since Rhys Michael's time has been acutely aware of this and therefore tried to shelter secret Deryni as much as they dared. The fate of their own dynasty is inextricably linked to that of the Deryni.

It was semi-implied that by the time of Brion's empowerment that the direct connection between Haldane and Deryni powers had been lost to time.  IIRC, we don't get a particularly close look at the inner workings of Donal's mind, but it seems like he (and Brion, in turn) believed that the Haldane powers, though similar in effect to Deryni powers, were part of their divine right of kingship but not as closely related to Deryni abilities as they in fact are (as we readers know from Cinhil's/Camber's time).

Although, as I said above, I don't have and can't get to my books from the Childe Morgan trilogy, so I could be remembering incorrectly.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Online Laurna

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2018, 02:16:39 pm »

Donal obviously had a respect for and knowledge of Deryni powers and people that we would not have necessarily expected at this time in the history of Gwynedd.  (though it's interesting that both his queens showed sympathy to Deryni; Dulchesse mothered the young orphaned Jessamy and Richeldis continued a friendship with Jessamy and had no trouble receiving and caring for various Deryni youngsters at her court - Krispin, Alyce and Marie and later Alaric if I remember correctly.)  But there is no explanation or hint as to how Donal became so powerful as well as so well-disposed towards Deryni that he not only welcomed them into his court but wanted a half-Deryni child of his own for the protection of his legitimate heirs.  (makes me wonder whether Donal viewed Deryni as beautiful, powerful, exotic pets and wanted to have one of his own who he could train   from childhood?)  I'm wondering if Donal's mother was Deryni...

While at work dinner last night, I wrote up a long response to Raksha and when I posted it it went "Blip- Gone". I sighed in defeat.  I had neither the time nor motivation to retype it. So this morning, let me try again.

What I wanted to say was that one needs to know the past to know how the Haldanes view their powers and that of their Deryni counterparts.  We know how the beginning starts with Cinhil relying on, but not trusting, Camber. Nor did he even trust Joram and Rhys.  Yet a generation later, days before Rhys Michael Haldane's death, Queen Michaela becomes best friends with and relies heavily on Lady Rhysel Thuryn. Michaela's two sons, King Owen and King Uthyr, would have learned and trusted these close Deryni and the CC. But then 948 happens and the CC lose the trust of the Haldanes in some way. 

Both King Nigel and King Jasher seem to be without the strong support of the CC. I surmise that the CC is there, standing behind them, but more in secret.  Then war of Rangath happens and the human population learn to hate the Torenthi Deryni all over again. Fortunately, the third brother,  King Cluim, has married  Rhysel's granddaughter. Even if she is secretly Deryni her children should learn to trust Deryni again. The next Haldane King is Urien Haldane he marries Jaroni Al-Mullahib  She is princess of R'Kassi, from the same family line as Azim 150 years later. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Jaroni is Deryni. I believe that Urien and his first son, Cinhil II, are strongly supportive of Deryni. The trouble is that Killingford happens.

This is where it will be so good to read KK's new novel "The Road to Killingford". The intrigue at court and the happenings with the CC in particular will finally tell us just why the future happened the way it did.

Malcolm Haldane is a younger son of King Urien and survives Killingford. He becomes king in a Gwynedd that is totally shattered. Full lines of nobility are decimated. I will presume most of the CC will come to an ending too. To keep the peace in a desperate land, Malcolm marries the Sovereign Princess Roisian Quinnell of Meara (she is Not Deryni by the way). They have several children, but then in 1045 Malcolm is forced to have Roisian's twin sister put to death. Roisian goes into seclusion for the next ten years. This is where the first mistress of the Haldanes comes in. You can not really blame Malcolm. Trouble is, his son Donal sees this and later follows in his father's foot steps. When Roisian passes away, Malcolm is finally free to marry again and he marries the beautiful young Cecilia Calder of Sheele.  I am sure Cecilia has no idea that she is a descendant of the Deyrni lady, Rhysel Thuryn. That knowledge was likely lost by this time. But then again maybe not; speculation if fun. She is the mother of Richard Haldane, who eventually marries into the Deryni family of the Horts of Orsal and have a daughter Araxie Haldane.

Fast forward to Donal Haldane. His first wife can not have children. He is desperate to know if he can have them. His father has had a mistress, so he likely does not consider a mistress wrong. And he has many mistresses. At least four of them bare him children. Three are recognized; the last, Krispin, is kept in secret. Donal doesn't trust the CC at this point. He knows they are around him, but they have become adversarial. Don't know the full details, but I am sure their treatment of Lady Jessamy who is under the protection of his first queen will have a lot to do with it. I think the CC really cut off their own foot in their treatment of Lady Jessamy and the repercussions are wider spread than they think.

So Donal knows he needs a Deryni to continue the Royal Haldane powers of Kingship, but he doesn't trust the CC. Now think you. What other strong Deryni Family remains in Gwynedd that doesn't trust the CC either. There is only one. The Cynfyn's of Lendour. The one Deryni man who is Not Torenthi and has gone against the CC ruling by marrying the strongest Deryni heiress in the Kingdom is Keryell Cynfyn. Keryell Earl of Lendour and Stevana Heiress de Corwyn, have three (well four) very promising children. And Keryell is loyal to the Haldanes and he raises his children to be strongly loyal. On top of that fact, Cowyn is the richest duchy in the kingdom, second only to the Haldanes themselves. Of course Donal is going to foster a love for them. First to the promising son Ahern de Corwyn and then to his surviving sister Alyce. I personally won't discuss his actions toward her. Later, his reliance on her son by his best loyal friend, becomes the tether to the future Kingship of the Haldanes. At this point Donal really has no other choice. The MaCathan daughters are too well guarded by the CC for the king to influence and the de Courcy's aren't even known to be Deryni, nor known to be members of the CC. All other Known Deryni families are outside of Gwynedd and therefore can not be trusted. Alaric Morgan is the only Answer to the survival of Gwynedd.

You all know the rest.
Sorry if I got too long winded. :D

       
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 03:41:06 pm by Laurna »

Online revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2018, 02:24:47 pm »
Fantastic answer Laurna. I would also add that historically in the real world for a King not to have a mistress seems the norm. And again historically I wonder how free such women really were to refuse a King's attentions.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2018, 04:48:54 pm »
Fantastic answer Laurna. I would also add that historically in the real world for a King not to have a mistress seems the norm. And again historically I wonder how free such women really were to refuse a King's attentions.

Indeed, re: Laurna's answer.

And yes, if a king approached a lady, even if she were nobly born (and/or married to a nobleman), often enough the lady didn't have a diplomatic way to say "No."  It depended on the king.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2018, 05:05:59 pm »
Just reread my post and what I meant to say was that it seems to have been the norm for  a king to have at least one mistress.
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2018, 09:09:39 pm »


Donal's idea of having a trustworthy Deryni protector is a good one; but what stymies me is how he came to the conclusion that this protector must be a child of his own blood.

Donal could have asked Sief MacAthan to train up one of his daughters for that purpose (Sief had four); it would have been logical, since Donal doesn't know that Sief has to answer to the Camberian Council for the actions of his and Jessamy's daughters (at least not until immediately after he's killed him and Jessamy drops the bomb about the existence of a secret Deryni cabal that she and Sief served and she can't talk about but lets Donal know that he is under observation).  Why didn't Donal request that Earl Keryell send young Ahern to him to be royally fostered and become the Deryni protector of the household; Keryell probably would have been pleased at the royal alliance.  Or Donal could have asked for Marie or Alyce to be triggered by Keryell for the protectorship of the future royal line, brought to be fostered at court, one of them could have been married off to Richard which would make her a fixture at court and available to protect Donal's sons. 

Also, there's  nothing in Donal's thoughts that gives away much of a motive for his insistence that his sons have a Deryni protector.  We know that Donal's forefathers had very trustworthy Deryni protectors who could and would and did die for them; does Donal know that?  And who taught Donal to use his powers so effectively -  despite the supposedly strong friendship of Sief and Donal over decades, and their knowing they each had unusual powers (and not telling either Church or Camberian Council on each other), Sief was not the one to train Donal or otherwise trigger the use of his very strong abilities.  I just thought it was the height of folly for Donal to decide to get a child on the wife of Sief MacAthan and not think maybe Sief could figure out that there's a royal cuckoo in the MacAthan nest or that maybe a jittery Jessamy would let the secret slip (which seems to be what happened). 

I can't help but think that some Deryni person triggered Donal's powers and taught him how to use them; and Donal learned from him/her that it had been Deryni protectors in the past that had enabled the Haldane dynasty to survive after Cinhil's death; so he decided, when he finally produced a living healthy son himself, that he had to get little Brion his very own Deryni friend and protector immediately.

As far as Haldane kings and princes having mistresses:  There's absolutely no indication that either Brion or Nigel were ever unfaithful to their wives.  (maybe they were reacting to their father's well-known philandering by doing the opposite?)

But what bugged me the most about Donal was his treatment of Jessamy and Alyce after Krispin's death:  He becomes more obsessed than ever with siring another Deryni protector to the Crown, despite the fact that his demonstrably loyal Deryni vassal Alyce and her equally trustworthy husband Kenneth are perfectly capable of breeding one on their own without his sneaking in, tranquilizing Kenneth and cuckolding him with a possibly unwilling Alyce.  He persuades Jessamy, the grieving mother of his murdered son Krispin, to abet the making of the dead boy's replacement by also betraying Jessamy's quasi-maternal connection to Alyce - this really stinks, especially when Jessamy is in poor health (can't remember if either Jessamy or Donal realized she was dying at this point).  I wonder how much of Donal's careful plans to sire a child on Alyce came from the odd conviction that only Donal himself could sire a protector for his legitimate sons and how much came from Donal's own lust for Alyce, perhaps also having any vestige of a sense of propriety and common decency over-ridden by Krispin's death.

It's as if we have the A and C and D of Donal's desire to get a Deryni protector for his sons, but not the B. 

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2018, 10:11:10 pm »
IIRC, after Krispin's death, Jessamy told Donal that she had (effectively) cancer; I can't remember whether it was breast or uterine, but I think it was one of those two.  So Jessamy couldn't be the mother of another half-Haldane Deryni protector for Donal's heirs because she was already in her final illness as it was.  Also, since Sief was dead and had been for several years, it wouldn't have been as easy to cover Jessamy's pregnancy at that point as it had been with her pregnancy with Krispin.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #40 on: March 24, 2018, 10:21:34 pm »
I never said that Donal wanted Jessamy to be the mother of the Deryni protector he planned to sire after Krispin's death.  He pushed her to help him make Alyce Morgan, the wife of his faithful vassal and a young woman who Jessamy regarded as a daughter or nice, the mother of the child, using Jessamy's knowledge of Alyce's habits and even her reproductive cycle so Donal could select the best time to sneak in and have sex with Alyce.  I found this action of Donal to be really repulsive; and Jessamy's cooperation almost equally unethical (but possibly she was beyond caring about morals at this point). 

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2018, 10:40:34 pm »
I never said that Donal wanted Jessamy to be the mother of the Deryni protector he planned to sire after Krispin's death.  He pushed her to help him make Alyce Morgan, the wife of his faithful vassal and a young woman who Jessamy regarded as a daughter or nice, the mother of the child, using Jessamy's knowledge of Alyce's habits and even her reproductive cycle so Donal could select the best time to sneak in and have sex with Alyce.  I found this action of Donal to be really repulsive; and Jessamy's cooperation almost equally unethical (but possibly she was beyond caring about morals at this point).

No, I didn't mean to imply that you thought Donal wanted to sire another child on Jessamy, just that it was around the time of Krispin's death that the fact that she was terminally ill entered the narrative.

And yes, absolutely, what Donal and Jessamy were planning to inflict on Alyce was really just unconscionable.  I don't know how Alyce and Kenneth got out of that scene without either of them (at least considering or coming close to) giving the king a punch to the face!
"If having a soul means being able to feel love, loyalty, and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."

James Herriot (James Alfred "Alfie" Wight), when a human client asked him if animals have souls.  (I don't remember in which book the story originally appeared.)

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2018, 10:55:17 pm »
I never said that Donal wanted Jessamy to be the mother of the Deryni protector he planned to sire after Krispin's death.  He pushed her to help him make Alyce Morgan, the wife of his faithful vassal and a young woman who Jessamy regarded as a daughter or nice, the mother of the child, using Jessamy's knowledge of Alyce's habits and even her reproductive cycle so Donal could select the best time to sneak in and have sex with Alyce.  I found this action of Donal to be really repulsive; and Jessamy's cooperation almost equally unethical (but possibly she was beyond caring about morals at this point).

No, I didn't mean to imply that you thought Donal wanted to sire another child on Jessamy, just that it was around the time of Krispin's death that the fact that she was terminally ill entered the narrative.

And yes, absolutely, what Donal and Jessamy were planning to inflict on Alyce was really just unconscionable.  I don't know how Alyce and Kenneth got out of that scene without either of them (at least considering or coming close to) giving the king a punch to the face!

Considering what happened to the last man who objected to Donal's cuckolding him, it's a good thing that Kenneth followed Alyce's lead and were sympathetic to the king instead of giving him a well-deserved punch to the face (or other areas).  I found it a bit hard to believe that Kenneth would be so forgiving; but since he wasn't awake during the moments Donal was creeping up on Alyce and fiddling with her nightdress, maybe there's reason he wasn't angered (also, Alyce had mentally prepared/coached Kenneth, so the shock element wouldn't be as strong).  I also looked again at that scene; it's implied that Donal had made sure that he gave the newlyweds Kenneth and Alyce an apartment with a spyhole just so he could observe them at the right time (which he does for an hour to make sure they're both asleep before he enters their chamber) - Donal is just too scuzzy for words; I don't know how we're supposed to find anything admirable about the character.  Maybe sympathy because he's so pathetic, but I can't summon it up, even by 12th century standards, Donal's plans to drug everybody and have sex with Alyce while she's sleeping and in the same bed as her drugged husband is just inexcusable.

Online Laurna

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2018, 11:46:04 pm »
I agree with you, Raksha, I don't care for that scene and that is why I do not discuss this subject.

The only thing I will say, is that this is a Novel, and novels have good guys and bad guys, and then there are those in-between guys. Authors try to give the in-between guys bad habits mixed with their good habits so that you like them, sort of, but really don't like them. The bad guys make your good guys heroes. The in-between guys make your heroes shine.  Your heroes stand above the rest not falling into the in=between guys bad habits. Therefore, you love your good guys all the more.
I'll I can say for that scene in question, is that it is a plot builder.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2018, 01:27:59 am »
The scene is unspeakably monstrous but it does not make Donal into a monster. He is a man walking an impossible tightrope and he becomes obsessed. I also think it possible that he is so horrified by the manner of Krispin's death and his inability to mourn him as his son that he ceases to function rationally or morally. Yes of course there are other better options but not necessarily obvious to him. I think Alyce understands and pities him which is why she reacts as she does. And Donal both avenges Krispin and protects Alyce ( as far as he is able) at considerable cost to himself.

One of KK's great talents is that she portrays a believable world in which good intentioned people do monstrous things, which is the tragedy of our world.

(I know this is off-topic but rereading the Camber era books I think that Camber's treatment of Cinhil is equally monstrous and I wonder whether his future appearances are less evidence of his special sanctity than his penance).
 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 01:51:12 am by revanne »
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered;
    let those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;
    as wax melts before the fire,
    let the wicked perish before God.
(Psalm 68 vv1-2)

 

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