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Author Topic: Donal Haldane  (Read 5588 times)

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Offline Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2018, 08:32:13 pm »
My very favorite quote of all time is "With great power, comes great responsibility."  Spiderman.  I think this theme is very well set up in the Deryni world, with a race of people who have great power. The deference between the antagonists and the protagonists is the difference between self-serving abuse of that power and a tempered controlled of the power to only use for the good of the kingdom.  It is a tough struggle. Our author, KK shows us all the levels of how people use their power. She also shows us that coming into this great responsibility must be taught and learned. (modern analogy: Anyone can jump in a car, turn the key and step on the gas peddle, but that doesn't make that person is atomically a good driver. A mentor has to teach the new driver to stay on the correct side of the road, to stop when the signs tell them to, and to show courtesy to other drivers. Learning these rules will ultimately let everyone in the community get to where they are going, safely.) Kelson must learn the rules of this Deryni Moral Highway at an age younger than we modern folk even ask our own teenagers to learn to drive. I think it is important that we see Kelson thinking about testing the rules, but than before he acts out of line, we see him learning what "Great Responsibility means." And yes, I agree that Alaric and Duncan have very high moral codes and they are very good mentors for guiding their young king down the right path.  This in turn becomes the entire reason for the Schoola that Duncan starts and that Kelson patrons  at the end of Quest of St Camber and KKB.  The schoola isn't just to teach how to use Deryni powers, but also how to be responsible in its use.  The two ideas must go hand in hand. Otherwise we end up back at the beginning with more Imre's and Wincent's. No one wants that.

Actually, that quote seems to have been used before Peter Parker learned the correlation between power and responsibility the hard way, but yes, it definitely applies to the entire Deryni series. 

Thanks to your post, I have this image of the teenaged Kelson in the driver's seat of a big red lion-embossed Jaguar, careening along a busy highway with Morgan riding shotgun and Duncan in the back seat doing a lot of praying, dodging obstacles and pursuit by various parties and other dangers ;D.

One of the many reasons why known  Deryni such as Alyce and later her son Alaric inspired respect and sometimes liking was that they had been taught from a young age to be quiet in terms of their display of Deryni powers when mingling with humans, such as at court or in convent-school.  Keep quiet, be model citizens (actually lords/ladies, but you know what I mean), though you've got the power, don't flaunt it.  In the case of Duncan (and Denis Arilan and other priests), control/concealment of their powers was not only the best choice, it was necessary to preserve their lives, given the penalty of a horrible death for priests discovered to be Deryni.  (I'd certainly like to know more whether any of Alyce's de Corwyn ancestors came to be accepted at court and in the King's service as she and her brother were; or whether that's due to Donal's desire to bind powerful Deryni to his dynasty - also, Alyce herself was pretty and, as a girl and young woman, presumed to be less of a threat than her father might have been; and also was conveniently 'given' in marriage to a Haldane-loyal human)

The Haldane kings themselves are the only people in Gwynedd who can not only openly possess supernatural powers but flaunt them; because those powers are supposedly and traditionally of divine origin having to do with the right of the Haldanes themselves to rule Gwynedd.  Brion's men would probably have had no qualms about his sudden assumption of powers had the known Deryni Alaric Morgan not been obviously involved; if Brion had gone into a church or disappeared into a grove, on his own or with Nigel, and come out flaring the aura of Haldane power, they would not have needed any reassurance that their king was un-corrupted by his 'pet' Deryni. 

Donal is, for the most part, circumspect in his use of the Haldane power, which in his case also seems to have Deryni elements - except for his attempts to shut down Alyce's mind so she will not object to, and not know of, his having sex with her - which is a pretty ghastly use of that power.  (I cannot imagine Alaric Morgan, who as an adult seemed to embrace the image, though not the conceptual reality, of Dangerous Deryni Sorceror out of a rebellious streak too long held back, i.e. swaggering around in black and showing off a bit, ever even thinking of using his power to sexually coerce or rape someone that way)

But once Jehana unleashes her own, obviously Deryni, power against Charissa at Kelson's coronation, Kelson is forever 'outed' as a half-Deryni or, for those who don't make distinctions, complete Deryni. 

This could be a thread completely separated from Donal Haldane, but I would really like to see more of Gwynedd, say 10 or 15 years after King Kelson's Bride, to see how the 11 Kingdoms have been impacted by the relatively sudden changes in the treatment of the Deryni:  the revocation of the Edicts of Ramos, a de facto Deryni king and queen of Gwynedd, peace (at least for a time) with Torenth (where Deryni people and magics thrive), the Schola and sanctuary of Saint Camber teaching responsible use of Deryni magic under the King's patronage and employing the human and Deryni Servants of Saint Camber, the formerly anti-Deryni Queen Mother Jehana having embraced her Deryni nature as well as the Deryni Barrett de Laney, etc.  What would Donal Haldane, who made the known Deryni heiress Alyce de Corwyn his devoted servant and laid the foundations of Alaric Morgan's protectorship of both Donal's sons and grandson, have to say about the changes that have come to Gwynedd and Torenth and Meara in the first eight years of Kelson's reign?

Offline Lochiel

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2018, 07:43:10 pm »
Did we figure that Jessamy awakened the Haldane powers in Donal?  I'm rereading Childe Morgan and the CC seems clueless even about how to do it.
In regards to Donal, he did not have a Morgan/Duncan to guide him, yet was very accepting of Deryni and did what he could to shield them. His actions while disgraceful and wrong was done for what he felt was the good of the kingdom and for his sons.  I also felt he prolly had PTSD which also clouded his judgement. 
Now any more word on Road to Killingford?
"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

Online DesertRose

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2018, 08:28:21 pm »
Did we figure that Jessamy awakened the Haldane powers in Donal?  I'm rereading Childe Morgan and the CC seems clueless even about how to do it.
In regards to Donal, he did not have a Morgan/Duncan to guide him, yet was very accepting of Deryni and did what he could to shield them. His actions while disgraceful and wrong was done for what he felt was the good of the kingdom and for his sons.  I also felt he prolly had PTSD which also clouded his judgement. 
Now any more word on Road to Killingford?

I doubt Jessamy was the one who helped Donal into his powers, simply because of the age difference and the scrutiny of the Council bearing down on her as hard as it was.

As for The Road to Killingford, KK's non-writing life has been rather hectic of late (there have been a couple of scares with her mother's health in recent months), so I don't think she's had much time or energy for writing.
"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 Lochiel

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2018, 06:29:27 pm »
If it wasn't Jessamy than who? How could the CC have lost the knowledge on the Haldane empowerment? I thought that was one of their main purposes? Any speculation on who it could have been? 


"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 Raksha the Demon

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2018, 10:50:37 pm »
I'm trying to remember what the Camberian Council actually does, in terms of effecting positive change for the Deryni in Gwynedd, in the Childe Morgan trilogy...I'm not coming up with much.  They do spend a lot of time sitting around and gossiping in a way that provides some nice exposition for the reader.  I was very annoyed by the amount of time they wasted debating whether or not to kill a baby less than a week old.  You'd think they could have sent someone to free poor Jorian de Courcy.  The last major accomplishment of the Council seems to have been squelching any resurgence of whatever the heck Lewys Ap Norfal was up to; and taking charge of his children.  The most effective strategies of the Council seem to have occurred when individual members hare off and take up projects of their own without telling the other CC-ers:  Stefan Coram impersonating Rhydon and eventually ending Wencit's threat to Kelson; Sofiana quietly taking the young Matyas under her wing for a time, Arilan bringing in secret Deryni priests (can't remember if that was done with the Council's permission/encouragement or not), Barrett de Laney becoming Jehana's mentor,  Azim (before he joined the Council, mostly) being the mentor at different times of Richenda, Rothana, and Araxie. 

It is odd that the Camberian Council seems to have lost any connection with the royal Haldanes as Deryni advisors and bearers of the ritual triggering the crucial Haldane Power.  Maybe there was a huge argument and a rift between the Council and the Crown?  As for who empowered Donal; could his own father Malcolm have done it? And if not, what about either of Alyce de Corwyn's parents - Stevana or Keryell...

Online Laurna

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #65 on: April 17, 2018, 02:43:01 am »
In all the speculation over the years, this is the first time someone has mentioned Keryell Cynfyn, Earl of Lendour and Regent of Corwyn for being the one to empower Donal. In my mind, this is the most likely scenario. Of course I am very bias toward the men of Lendour. I think it highly probable that it is they who have been entrusted with the Haldane potential in the past. This may be part of the reason the Cynfyn's are loyal to the crown and not to the CC. (I have played with this theory in my fan fic stories.)  I do believe that every king has set the potential in his sons and that when the time comes for the son to step up to the crown, a Deryni of Lendour as been there to assist.  I would love to see much much more of the Cynfyn's in the Road to Killingford. It likely will not happen, but I would love it.

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2018, 08:40:18 am »
I'm trying to remember what the Camberian Council actually does, in terms of effecting positive change for the Deryni in Gwynedd, in the Childe Morgan trilogy...I'm not coming up with much.  They do spend a lot of time sitting around and gossiping in a way that provides some nice exposition for the reader.  I was very annoyed by the amount of time they wasted debating whether or not to kill a baby less than a week old.  You'd think they could have sent someone to free poor Jorian de Courcy.  The last major accomplishment of the Council seems to have been squelching any resurgence of whatever the heck Lewys Ap Norfal was up to; and taking charge of his children.  The most effective strategies of the Council seem to have occurred when individual members hare off and take up projects of their own without telling the other CC-ers:  Stefan Coram impersonating Rhydon and eventually ending Wencit's threat to Kelson; Sofiana quietly taking the young Matyas under her wing for a time, Arilan bringing in secret Deryni priests (can't remember if that was done with the Council's permission/encouragement or not), Barrett de Laney becoming Jehana's mentor,  Azim (before he joined the Council, mostly) being the mentor at different times of Richenda, Rothana, and Araxie. 

It is odd that the Camberian Council seems to have lost any connection with the royal Haldanes as Deryni advisors and bearers of the ritual triggering the crucial Haldane Power.  Maybe there was a huge argument and a rift between the Council and the Crown?  As for who empowered Donal; could his own father Malcolm have done it? And if not, what about either of Alyce de Corwyn's parents - Stevana or Keryell...

I think to some degree in the centuries between the formation of the Council and the reign of Donal Haldane, the Council lost itself.

Originally, they were intended to protect the Haldane line and the people of Gwynedd, particularly the Deryni.  After the Statutes of Ramos, though, they were hamstrung in how much they could actually do without exposing themselves and making matters worse.  I think between the enforcement of the Statutes and the very real and reasonable fear everyone who served on the Council would have had of that enforcement, they started to get stagnant.  The heavy focus by Kelson's time on "full" Deryni and the form-outweighing-substance behavior of the Council becomes elitist and alienating to a lot of Deryni (like Alaric and Duncan and even to a degree Denis; I get the impression he feels sometimes like at least some of his fellow Councillors are living in a ivory tower while he's mucking about in the mud of the real world).

It seems like the Council by the end of King Kelson's Bride might be starting to move back toward something close to the original purpose, to protect Deryni, to provide training in the use of Deryni abilities (and it certainly doesn't hurt that Kelson, Duncan, and Rothana among others have founded the Schola by this point), and to mediate disputes that will arise in the normal course of living.  With the death of Vivienne (who I think was representative of that elitist-ivory-tower attitude), the Council is now in the hands of Barrett, Azim, and Sofiana, all of whom are more sensible and practical in their approach and decision-making processes.

As for Donal's empowerment, I'm inclined to think that Malcolm may have done it himself or at least set it in motion before his own death, leaving some instructions for Donal to complete, perhaps with the assistance of Keryell and/or Stevana (and maybe the father of Denis and Jamyl?).
"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 Lochiel

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Re: Donal Haldane
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2018, 08:42:38 pm »
Thanks for the input. I'm with Laurna I like the Cynfyn angle. Perhaps they had been doing it all along at a certain point after Camber's grandchildren died or greatgrandchildren? I'm going check my Codex and look at the Cynfyns.
"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

 

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