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Author Topic: Donal Haldane  (Read 1198 times)

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Offline Lochiel

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Donal Haldane
« on: September 09, 2016, 12:37:14 pm »
I think Donal is a fascinating Haldane in his own right.  How did he acquire his knowledge, insight, and empathy for the deryni? What was his youth and early life like? Another book?
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
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Offline Lochiel

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 05:21:04 pm »
I also wonder why the very savvy King Donal did not trust the CC
"And as they tread the ruined Isle,
Where rest, at length,
the lord and slave,
They'll wondering ask, how hands so vile,
Could conquer hearts so brave?"
Thomas Moore

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 05:41:14 pm »
His grandson, Kelson, also doesn't entirely trust the CC, because they are, as far as a monarch of Gwynedd is concerned, operating with other concerns in mind than the well-being of Gwynedd and its citizens, which concerns they do not disclose to anyone outside themselves, and thus perhaps don't merit deep trust from a monarch, whose primary job (assuming they are a decent sort) is ensuring the well-being of their kingdom and its citizens to the best of their ability.

Offline drakensis

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2017, 03:17:45 am »
One hesitates to 'blame the woman' but it's worth keeping in mind that his paramour wasn't terribly fond of the Council herself.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2017, 05:18:48 am »
One hesitates to 'blame the woman' but it's worth keeping in mind that his paramour wasn't terribly fond of the Council herself.

Yeah, well, Jessamy had some pretty substantial grounds for not being fond of the Council.  Being forced into a loveless marriage about the second you're capable of childbearing (and being saved from being shoved directly into the marriage bed as a barely pubescent girl only by the mercy of the Queen [which action on Queen Dulchesse's part might well have saved Jessamy from dying in childbirth at some incredibly young age]!) has a tendency to sour a person's temperament towards the people who forced one into said marriage, and no wonder, to my way of thinking!  That would tick me off pretty badly, especially since her brother got off pretty lightly in terms of his dealings with the Camberian Council.  Why were they so sure he was trustworthy but Jessamy was so dangerous she had to be forced into marriage?

And I never got the impression that Jessamy and Donal were lovers in the sense of "being in love with one another."  I got the impression that it was more a convenience thing for Donal, since he wanted a Deryni protector for his heir, and Jessamy was willing to bear said protector (possibly at least in part motivated to spite Sief and the Council), but the scene in which they're having sexual relations toward that end is not exactly high on the romance factor.  He seems pretty gently inclined towards her once Krispin is born, and certainly there was some fondness or at least a modicum of compatibility and sympathetic feelings in the relationship, but they never felt "in love" by my reading.

Offline revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2017, 10:51:58 am »
In Kelson's time, at least some members of the CC do not entirely trust Haldanes, or at least Haldane powers. When possible brides for Kelson are being discussed,  there is concern expressed as to the dangers of a Haldane/Haldane cross if Kelson marries Araxie (by Kyrie and Vivienne IIRC). This may be linked with their dislike of half-breeds and with anything that they do not entirely understand or cannot control. In fairness, Haldane powers which seem to spring into being on empowerment , although they will need  practise, must be very frustrating to those who have spent years in training. It is reasonable, I think, to suppose that this feeling goes back beyond Kelson,  perhaps even as far back as 948 when the last of the original members of the CC, Joram, dies. At any rate I would think that it could be argued that, in addition to the differences in priorities which DR highlights, Donal does not entirely trust the CC because the CC does not entirely trust him.
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And one man in his time plays many parts."
As You Like It.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2017, 11:27:45 am »

Why were they so sure he was trustworthy but Jessamy was so dangerous she had to be forced into marriage?

I would have re-read it to see if there is any clue as to way the Council trusted her brother more. But IIRC Jessamy was very much like her father. A daddy's girl. And the Council was very afraid she would follow in his footsteps. Possibly even recreating his experiments and finding out where daddy went wrong in them.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2017, 12:11:31 pm »

Why were they so sure he was trustworthy but Jessamy was so dangerous she had to be forced into marriage?

I would have re-read it to see if there is any clue as to way the Council trusted her brother more. But IIRC Jessamy was very much like her father. A daddy's girl. And the Council was very afraid she would follow in his footsteps. Possibly even recreating his experiments and finding out where daddy went wrong in them.

As a child barely of age to be pubescent?  Really?  An eleven-year-old girl was that scary to the Camberian Council?  Sorry to be argumentative, but as we say in the South, that dog don't hunt.

Also Jessamy's brother, Morian du Joux, was more or less allowed to live his life as he saw fit, becoming an expert on horse breeding and a consultant to various nobles on that matter as well as working for the Council in a courier-type capacity.  Contrast his life with his sister's, forced into a loveless marriage with a much older man and effectively with her wings clipped for most of her life, at least until she bore Donal's child and Sief found out about it and Donal killed him to keep the secret.

And given that she apparently didn't outlive Krispin by long (since she mentions to Donal that she has breast cancer and is not long for this world around that time), I stand by my assertion that she got the short end of the stick, especially compared to Morian's relative freedom.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2017, 12:32:21 pm »
Facts and truth are hard to swallow sometimes. But the Camberian Council, at that time, was deathly afraid of an eleven-year-old girl. One that has the potential to be a very powerful Deryni sorceress.

After all she was able to hide the facts that she was engaged in a plot to bring a Deryni protector to the King. Sired by the King himself from her Deryni husband. Married Deryni couples engage in a lot of Rapport and sharing and to be able to hide that fact from her husband clearly shows her abilities.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2017, 12:55:46 pm »
Facts and truth are hard to swallow sometimes. But the Camberian Council, at that time, was deathly afraid of an eleven-year-old girl. One that has the potential to be a very powerful Deryni sorceress.

After all she was able to hide the facts that she was engaged in a plot to bring a Deryni protector to the King. Sired by the King himself from her Deryni husband. Married Deryni couples engage in a lot of Rapport and sharing and to be able to hide that fact from her husband clearly shows her abilities.

But her hiding the plot between herself and Donal from Sief was a good many years later, when she was a woman grown who had been married to Sief for something close to a couple of decades.  And given the relative antipathy she felt for Sief and the impression I got that he didn't really trust her either, I'm not sure they were exactly Evaine and Rhys Thuryn in terms of marital Rapport.

I get the Council respecting the power that she could potentially wield, but an eleven-year-old child (regardless of gender, honestly) would not have been anywhere close to fully trained in the use of her Deryni abilities by the standards of the time, and I think the Council members were unduly harsh to her, since, but for the intervention of the reigning Queen at the time, she could very easily have been dead in childbed before her fourteenth birthday if she even made it that far. 

They could, for example, have intervened in her training to make sure that her mind and abilities were directed in avenues advantageous to the Council and/or Gwynedd, without potentially condemning a child to a nasty death.  (Do a little research; women who died in childbirth or shortly thereafter of puerperal fever did not exactly go gently into that good night, and not because they resisted dying.  Also, a lot of times the way modern historians can document that a high-ranking noblewoman or queen had a miscarriage is because very often one of the first things a woman in the medieval/Renaissance periods did when she realized she was pregnant was to write her will/have her will written.  When there is a noblewoman's/queen's will but no record of a baby a few months later, that tends to mean the noblewoman/queen miscarried.)

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2017, 01:44:40 pm »
I'm not saying that Camberian Council wasn't harsh. They can be harsher than the worst Torenthi. There is no doubt. And yes I am aware of child birth issues in the middle ages of young girls who married young and died young and in terrible ways. More of that fact and truth stuff. I am also not defending the Camberian Council either. Just stating the fact that the feared the daughter of Lewys ap Norfal more than they feared his son. And did the only thing they could to protect themselves from a potential disaster of epic arcane failure or maybe success. Marry her off to a trusted person of their choosing to keep her contained and under a watchful eye. That is the lesser of the various evils that could have happened to her. They could have sent her off to a nunnery. Or they could have just arranged an accident or killed her out right. She was feared by the Council that much. Otherwise they would have just let her be off with family and unsupervised by the Council.

Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2017, 01:55:44 pm »
I'm not saying that Camberian Council wasn't harsh. They can be harsher than the worst Torenthi. There is no doubt. And yes I am aware of child birth issues in the middle ages of young girls who married young and died young and in terrible ways. More of that fact and truth stuff. I am also not defending the Camberian Council either. Just stating the fact that the feared the daughter of Lewys ap Norfal more than they feared his son. And did the only thing they could to protect themselves from a potential disaster of epic arcane failure or maybe success. Marry her off to a trusted person of their choosing to keep her contained and under a watchful eye. That is the lesser of the various evils that could have happened to her. They could have sent her off to a nunnery. Or they could have just arranged an accident or killed her out right. She was feared by the Council that much. Otherwise they would have just let her be off with family and unsupervised by the Council.

Well, that's fair enough.

I still think their harshness in dealing with her almost certainly contributed to her willingness to bear Donal's child as a Deryni protector for his heir, since she and Sief were pretty clearly not the happiest of married couples.  If the Council had dealt more moderately with Jessamy (say, intervened in her education and made sure that her mind and powers were directed in ways of which they approved) and then permitted her a more felicitous (to her) marriage, the confrontation between Donal and Sief that ended in Sief's "heart attack" needn't have ever happened.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2017, 02:56:18 pm »
 I do not remember any explanation being given as to why the Council were more afraid of Jessamy than her brother. It may have been that she had the potential to be a more powerful Deryni than he. However I suspect that it simply reflects the fact, reflected sadly but accurately by KK,  that medieval women with power (of any sort) attracted more fear and hostility than their male counterparts.  The Council had their own preoccupations but they were operating in a cultural climate which had an obsessive need to control women's sexuality, a toxic mix for poor Jessamy. Alyce would not necessarily have fared any better except for the sheer goodness of Kenneth Morgan.
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Offline drakensis

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 02:35:24 am »
Charissa lost her father at about the same age as Jessamyn (and Wencit felt she was a Deryni of significant competence at that age) - and her treatment wasn't really very different, albeit by the King of Torenth not the Camberian Council: married off to someone who was expected to keep her under their control.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 09:18:42 am »
Charissa lost her father at about the same age as Jessamyn (and Wencit felt she was a Deryni of significant competence at that age) - and her treatment wasn't really very different, albeit by the King of Torenth not the Camberian Council: married off to someone who was expected to keep her under their control.

That's an interesting and valid point, and Charissa's marriage to Aldred was if anything more disastrous than Jessamy's to Sief MacAthan, since Sief seems to have been distant and arrogant towards Jessamy but at least not physically abusive the way Aldred was to Charissa.  (Though that would probably be cold comfort to Jessamy.  "At least he doesn't hit you" is not exactly a glowing endorsement.  But that's a completely different can of worms there.)

 

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