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Author Topic: Donal Haldane  (Read 5406 times)

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Offline Shiral

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2017, 01:35:49 am »
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.

I always felt sorry for Jessamy. I was glad that Princess Dulchesse, at least, was kind to her. But the Camberian Council showed extraordinarily little understanding or imagination in their treatment of this newly orphaned girl. In fact, they treated her with suspicion that was wholly unwarranted since she was clearly no part in her father's experiment while THEY were. And, as you noted, they treated her brother far better.   It was too much of a stretch for them to try a little kindness and patience with her? They couldn't understand she was scared and grieving?  If Jessamy had little liking, trust or loyalty toward the CC, then I think they had only themselves to blame for her attitude toward them. They never really tried to win it. They never even asked themselves why their tactics weren't working.

Melissa 
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Offline Lochiel

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2017, 11:07:42 am »
Keep in mind also how careful they were with Jessamy's children, wasn't the eldest in a CC "arranged" marriage to Michon DeCourcey's son? And another "safely" placed in a religious convent?
If my memory is correct the CC treated Morian better because he had always followed the CC's directions and served them through his government duties while giving them intelligence while performing those duties.
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Offline revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2017, 11:27:39 am »
I've started re-reading ITKS and there it is explicitly said that the CC were able to "get" to Morian earlier than they could to Jessamy. Maybe it wasn't as easy for Morian as it appears.
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Offline revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2017, 08:02:35 am »
I'm just re-reading the "In The King's Service" trilogy and I'm not sure that Morian really did get much better treatment. The CC are seen congratulating themselves that they have successfully kept him away from Court all these years, by persuading Donal that Morian can best serve as the King's Agent in Meara, where there is at best simmering resentment and at worse open insurrection and Deryni are openly hated. Yes, Morian has a happy family life but he is murdered as an act of bitter revenge, simply for who he is. In effect he lives his entire life in exile and at the end the royal house he has served faithfully is unable to protect him, although that is hardly the young King Brion's fault.


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God...The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and we have seen His glory, full of Grace and truth."
Prologue to John's Gospel

Offline judywward

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2017, 11:20:51 pm »
Has it ever been explained just what Jessamy's & Morian's father was  trying to do?
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2017, 06:00:04 am »
Has it ever been explained just what Jessamy's & Morian's father was  trying to do?

I don't think so, no, because Lewys ap Norfal and anyone who was with him when he was doing whatever it was weren't around to tell the tale afterwards (I believe it says in canon that they vanished, as in, there weren't even bodies to bury, so heaven knows what happened to them), and I rather got the impression that he didn't tell anyone who wasn't going to be working with him when he performed whatever operation he was trying to do what his plans were.
"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 judywward

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2017, 09:02:19 am »
Thanks! I didn't think so, but I was just kind of coasting along for years.
Judy Ward
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Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2018, 05:43:51 am »
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.

I always felt sorry for Jessamy. I was glad that Princess Dulchesse, at least, was kind to her. But the Camberian Council showed extraordinarily little understanding or imagination in their treatment of this newly orphaned girl. In fact, they treated her with suspicion that was wholly unwarranted since she was clearly no part in her father's experiment while THEY were. And, as you noted, they treated her brother far better.   It was too much of a stretch for them to try a little kindness and patience with her? They couldn't understand she was scared and grieving?  If Jessamy had little liking, trust or loyalty toward the CC, then I think they had only themselves to blame for her attitude toward them. They never really tried to win it. They never even asked themselves why their tactics weren't working.

Melissa

Given how pathetically grateful Jessamy was to Queen Dulchesse for her kindness (and treating her like a human being with feelings instead of Lewys Ap Norfal's Probably Evil Heir), and how Jessamy vowed to be loyal to the Haldanes because of Dulchesse's mercy and goodness, I have no doubt that if the Camberian Council had had the sense to foster Lewys Ap Norfal's orphaned daughter with one of their female members and raise her kindly and well, they'd have assured that not only would Ap Norfal's female heir not follow in her dad's evil footsteps but that she would grow up to be their willing servant.  I thought the C.C. and Sief MacCathan were equally horrible in their treatment of her - Sief proudly tells his fellow C.C. members that if any of his and Jessamy's daughters had shown any likelihood of emulating Lewys Ap Norfal, Sief would have killed them. 

The C.C. isn't necessary just over-patriarchal in their terror of the Ap Norfal heritage.  At least two members (Khoren Vastouni being one, I think, and I can't remember the other) seriously considers killing the infant Krispin McCathan before the kid is two weeks old when they suspect that he is sired by Donal Haldane - oh the horror of a grandson of Lewys Ap Norfal with Haldane blood, let's all put our heads together and think of how what to do about the kid before his evil blood manifests!  Thankfully, as I remember, another C.C. member injects some sanity into this group of Dark Age magical wimps who are frothing at the mouth, figuratively speaking, about the danger posed by a very young baby, by recommending that they all wait a bit because the baby really isn't old enough to harm anyone.  The C.C. really was getting nutty about bloodlines in the first two books of the Childe Morgan series; I remember how excited they were about the prospect of a Haldane/deCorwyn cross.  (they really, really, needed to get out and do some horse-breeding or invent dog shows)

Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2018, 05:51:42 am »
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?


I don't want to read any more about Donal; I found him a rather repulsive character.  The only thing that intrigues me about him is his fixation with siring an out-of-wedlock Deryni son to serve as his legitimate sons' protector:  Why did he have the idea that his sons' future protector had to be their half-brother?  I would think that any young man who was told that the King was his real, adulterous father who had sired him (and shamed his mother) for the purpose of protecting his legitimate sons might feel a heckuva lot of resentment towards both his king-father and even the half-brothers he was supposed to protect.  And if Donal planned never to tell (or allow Jessamy to tell) Krispin of his true paternity, what was the point of siring him in the first place, or nearly raping Alyce to create Krispin Mark II (which thankfully didn't happen because Alyce didn't allow Donal to touch her and also was already carrying baby Alaric)?   Was Donal limited to just two Deryni women in all of Gwynedd - Jessamy and later Alyce?  Or did he pick Jessamy for her Ap Norfal blood?


Offline judywward

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 07:15:39 pm »
Donal was a real piece of work! That's what I love about KKs characters; they are all so fully drawn that we love or hate them as needed.
Judy Ward
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Offline DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2018, 07:32:31 pm »
I don't want to read any more about Donal; I found him a rather repulsive character.  The only thing that intrigues me about him is his fixation with siring an out-of-wedlock Deryni son to serve as his legitimate sons' protector:  Why did he have the idea that his sons' future protector had to be their half-brother?  I would think that any young man who was told that the King was his real, adulterous father who had sired him (and shamed his mother) for the purpose of protecting his legitimate sons might feel a heckuva lot of resentment towards both his king-father and even the half-brothers he was supposed to protect.  And if Donal planned never to tell (or allow Jessamy to tell) Krispin of his true paternity, what was the point of siring him in the first place, or nearly raping Alyce to create Krispin Mark II (which thankfully didn't happen because Alyce didn't allow Donal to touch her and also was already carrying baby Alaric)?   Was Donal limited to just two Deryni women in all of Gwynedd - Jessamy and later Alyce?  Or did he pick Jessamy for her Ap Norfal blood?

I wonder sometimes if Donal's fixation on siring an illegitimate half-Deryni son to protect his legitimate sons wasn't a weird manifestation of that "divine right of kings" bit.  Basically, since in his own mind and probably to most of his contemporaries (at least, those outside Torenth and Meara), he was By the Grace of God King of Gwynedd, and perhaps (here's where I go off into conjecture) that meant he had the divine right to do whatever he darn well pleased, up to and including having intercourse with whatever women took his eye for whatever reason.

It's been a while since I read In the King's Service, and my copy is in storage so I can't go look, but it seems like I recall (possibly oblique) mention of Donal having mistresses or at least occasional liaisons with ladies of the court while he was married to Dulchesse (who appeared not to be able to bear children), and possibly also while he was married to Richeldis (aside the liaisons we know he had with Jessamy and the [particularly unsympathetic to say the least] one he planned with Alyce).
"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 #26 on: March 23, 2018, 08:17:30 pm »
We know Donal did a bit of catting around and sired more than one bastard.  He's obviously incapable of being faithful to either of his wives.  And given that he has extra doses of Haldane Power at a level strong enough to kill a Deryni member of the Camberian Council, one wonders if all of Donal's conquests yielded to his advances of their own free will.  And he evidently enjoyed the secret trysts with Jessamy that created little Krispin.  It's just that his compulsion that the Deryni protector of his sons that he planned to get had to be of his own blood, his own son, seems very weird to me.  I can't think of too many kings of European countries or the British Isles whose bastard sons loyally served their legitimate half-siblings; but I might not be looking very hard (William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, illegitimate son of Henry II of England comes to mind). 

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...


Offline revanne

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2018, 10:44:13 pm »
I can't think of too many kings of European countries or the British Isles whose bastard sons loyally served their legitimate half-siblings; but I might not be looking very hard (William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, illegitimate son of Henry II of England comes to mind). 


Robert of Gloucester, illegitimate son of Henry I and half-brother to the Empress Matilda ( Maud) is, I think, the best example from English history. He remained utterly faithful to her during the long civil war with Stephen ( 1135 - 54), defending her disputed right to the throne, commanding her armies and never wavering despite her gift for alienating her supporters. And this in a time when it would not have been unheard of for an illegitimate son with a powerful enough following to seize the throne for himself. Their mutual granfather's sobriquet, after all, was "William the Bastard" before it became "William the Conqueror".
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God...The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and we have seen His glory, full of Grace and truth."
Prologue to John's Gospel

Online Demercia

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2018, 05:52:45 am »
Without defending his attempted abuse of Alyce, which even he knew was unacceptable, I don't want to be too harsh on Donal.  Given Meara on the one hand and Torenth on the other and the rumoured machinations of the Camberian council who despised him ( I can't remember how much he knew about them), it is not surprising that he decided that only his own blood would be a sure enough guarantor of loyalty.  It was hardly unusual for kings to play away from home, and he did not repudiate Dulchesse for her childlessness, he clearly adored Richeldis.   Jessamy probably had the best life she had any chance of, and he was kind after his fashion to Alyce and Marie.  So not a hero but not a monster either in my book. 
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2018, 05:54:11 am »
And I wonder how much of the idea of the scheming illegitimate sibling we owe to Shakespeare 's King Lear.
The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

 

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