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Alaric and Richenda, their marriage

Started by DerynifanK, September 28, 2021, 10:38:22 AM

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DerynifanK

I had not read the discussion of the wedding for a long time. I am still interested in the growth of the relationship between them during their marriage. IIRC Alaric did realize he had a problem with the attitude of many of his men toward Richenda as the widow of a traitor. He had actually planned to deal with it, spending the winter in Coroth and working on the problem but the Mearan rebellion broke out, escalated quickly and threatened the survival of Kelson's reign and Gwynedd itself. (Meara always seems to be a thorny problem that keeps cropping up) He was fully engaged in dealing with it, especially advising and protecting a very young king. He was planning to have Derry bring Richenda to Rhemuth but she beat him to it, arriving there just before Christmas. There she was respected and recognized as regent for Marley for her son. It wouldn't have solved the problem in Coroth but it certainly would have helped both of them tolerate the status until the kingdom was secured and Alaric could turn his attention back to Coroth. We know it is eventually resolved as in later stories there are references to Richenda managing things in Coroth in Alaric's absence.  And she was respected and trusted by the king which would surely help change the minds of Alaric's men.
I agree that Alaric often tended to avoid dealing with some problems hoping they would just resolve themselves. But reading the Childe Morgan trilogy helps to understand why he is that way. Alaric had to spend a lot of his time while growing keeping his head down and dealing with a lot of hate just to stay alive. After all, Brion did not really deal with Jehana, allowing her to dictate that Morgan be kept away from Rhemuth and never confronting her and making her realize her errors.  And Brion would have been Alaric's main role model for resolving problems. He mostly ignored Jehana's behavior, hoping her attitude would eventually improve. It did not do so in Brion's lifetime. Alaric should have realized that that approach did not work.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Wren

I just noticed your post. It never occurred to me that Alaric got his " just ignore the issue and it will go away" model from Brian and his issue with Jehana. Both the Brian/ Jehana issue of her hating Deryni and the Morgan/Richenda problem of her not being regent at Coroth involve ignoring

DerynifanK

Actually, I don't think Alaric was ignoring the problem of Richenda as regent. He had thought to spend the winter in Coroth and deal with those issues but the Mearan Rebellion interfered and he was totally absorbed with that and Kelson's need of him. He did however, at times, have a tendency to think if he ignored a problem it might go away, but I don't think that was true in this particular case. Events in Meara escalated rapidly and demanded all his time and attention.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Wren

I agree he may not have been actively ignoring it. But he and Richenda must have communicated through mind speak or letters while he was away. It would have been nice, even if he couldn't focus on solving the problem because Kelvin needed him, if he would have acknowledged it. " Hey Love, I know there is an issue I need to deal with regarding you being regent and I will handle it when I return."

I think Richenda knew he was too busy to solve it, but I think it upset her that he didn't even acknowledge it. Even when they were together in Rhemuth.

That is what I meant by " ignoring the problem."

HoundMistress

DFK, I think you are right about Alaric's tendency to hope problems would go away. He was orphaned very young, and although Brion tried his best for the boy, he had a kingdom to run. Alaric's close relatives were mostly women, too. They were very good at nurturing but not so much at seeing what he needed to learn as future Duke of Corwyn. He was well-loved but not always well-taught. Amazing he grew up to be relatively well-rounded. I love the Childe Morgan because it does bring a perspective on the things that occurred during his somewhat turbulent childhood. KK really thought that series out & I love the way it turned out. The first book provides the background and the other two fill it out. I'm sooo happy KK did that series! I can't thank her enough!!
Judy Ward
You can buy a pretty good dog with money but you can't buy the wag of its tail.

DerynifanK

Just reread this and I agree with Wren, while Alaric couldn't resolve the problem of his men's attitude toward Richenda as widow of a traitor, he certainly should have communicated to her that he was very aware of it and while he couldn't deal with while the rebellion absorbed all his time and attention, he had every intention of dealing with it once the rebellion was over and the kingdom was safe. Men are not always particularly good at communication as we know.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

Wren

Quote from: DerynifanK on March 16, 2023, 09:11:13 PMJust reread this and I agree with Wren, while Alaric couldn't resolve the problem of his men's attitude toward Richenda as widow of a traitor, he certainly should have communicated to her that he was very aware of it and while he couldn't deal with while the rebellion absorbed all his time and attention, he had every intention of dealing with it once the rebellion was over and the kingdom was safe. Men are not always particularly good at communication as we know.

Thanks for agreeing. I also think that the issue went beyond his men's distrust. Derry explained it as, Richenda feeling like because Alaric didn't even acknowledge the problem, she believed that meant that Alaric also mistrusted her with the running of Corwyn while he was away. I feel like he deliberately avoided the opportunity in A Bishop's Heir when she came to visit on Christmas. He shields that part of his mind from her inquiry. He could have leather see his thoughts, that he DID trust her, and that he would work on the problem as soon as he got home. Apparently even when he is home in Quest... he avoids dealing with the problem until she confronts him in the scene where she knocks over the tally sticks. And that was months later. So he has not only avoided the issue, but actively prevented her from knowing his thoughts about it for years. I do think that was a major fault of his.

Kareina

Quote from: Wren on March 17, 2023, 03:26:44 PMI also think that the issue went beyond his men's distrust. Derry explained it as, Richenda feeling like because Alaric didn't even acknowledge the problem, she believed that meant that Alaric also mistrusted her with the running of Corwyn while he was away. I feel like he deliberately avoided the opportunity in A Bishop's Heir when she came to visit on Christmas. He shields that part of his mind from her inquiry. He could have leather see his thoughts, that he DID trust her, and that he would work on the problem as soon as he got home. Apparently even when he is home in Quest... he avoids dealing with the problem until she confronts him in the scene where she knocks over the tally sticks. And that was months later. So he has not only avoided the issue, but actively prevented her from knowing his thoughts about it for years. I do think that was a major fault of his.

I always read that part of the book as not him intending to avoid sharing those thoughts with her, but on him being so focused on the Kingdom level stuff he was dealing with that he'd pushed those thoughts to a part of his mind where he didn't think about it himself, till she foced the conversation, and he realized that it really is important enough to bring forward now, not "after everything else is resolved".
--Kareina

Wren

I would always have liked to have seen scenes where Alaric's people in Corey's found out about his impending marriage to The dowager Countess of Marley. I would have loved to have seen how Alaric prepared them for this, if at all, and some of the conversations they could have had with him prior to the wedding to stave off their mistrust of her later. Alaric must have suspected that not all of his men would trust Richenda.

Alaric wouldn't have had a lot of time to do this, as he was busy helping Kelson. But I feel like his retainers in Coroth only learned about his impending marriage in letters. Had he gone home and spent some time talking to his people about it some of the later issues might have been avoided.
I would have loved to see a scene like that.

ReikiDeryni

I'm not quite sure maybe outside Alaric's immediate circle, anything would've removed the traitor's wife stain on Richenda going away any quicker. Especially in the type of society like the Eleven Kingdoms, let alone Gwynedd's.

Salic

I've always thought of Alaric and Richenda as having a good marriage, one of the best in the Canon.  I've considered their behavior as simple prudence in respect to a political situation that they've both been thrown into.  I find it difficult to fault either of them in terms of their culture.

Perhaps I'm not as sensitive to the details of the narratives as I should be . . .




DerynifanK

I agree. I have always thought that Alaric and Richenda had an exemplary marriage, especially as it evolved into more of a partnership than was common in Medieval times. It is always important to consider the context; the social, political, and cultural mores of the time in which the stories are set.
"Thanks be to God there are still, as there always have been and always will be, more good men than evil in this world, and their cause will prevail." Brother Cadfael's Penance

DesertRose

Quote from: Salic on April 02, 2023, 01:14:38 PMI've always thought of Alaric and Richenda as having a good marriage, one of the best in the Canon.  I've considered their behavior as simple prudence in respect to a political situation that they've both been thrown into.  I find it difficult to fault either of them in terms of their culture.

Perhaps I'm not as sensitive to the details of the narratives as I should be . . .




I concur.  I think the only marriage that's healthier is Rhys' and Evaine's, and as the world had changed, I wouldn't expect a marriage between noble Deryni to be identical, but I do think that both the Thuryns and the Corwyns are committed to each other, to being full partners in their respective marriages, and even when Alaric screws up (re: not making Richenda regent of Corwyn), when they finally talk about the problem, they solve it well.

I also don't expect any fictional marriage to be entirely smooth sailing; that would be so unrealistic as to interfere with my suspension of disbelief.  (Teleportation, -kinesis, -pathy, and conjuration I can roll with; a relationship with no friction or problems of any sort ever?  Nope.  XD )
"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.)