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A Leap of Faith - Chapter 20

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Say what?!  Bran is dead at this're wanting Brendan reunited with him?  Not to mention that, as a traitor, Bran had forfeited all his Gwyneddan rights, including any parental rights over the Heir of Marley (pending Kelson's decision not to simply attainder his rights, that is).

I somehow doubt that derynifanatic64 is opposing fathers' rights, given that he's a man himself and probably wouldn't appreciate being "dispensed of."  But honestly, do you truly think Brendan was better off with Bran than with Richenda, or that she had no right to get custody of him under the circumstances?  And with Bran dead, why shouldn't Brendan be returned to his remaining parent?  I doubt you're meaning to argue that mothers shouldn't have rights, but that's how your statement sounds, given the background circumstances, so I'm baffled as to how to interpret it.

The comment to which I was responding seemed to dismiss the whole matter of Bran's death as just bygones, as though he were some biological inconvenience to be disposed of and forgotten.  Whatever his sins and crimes, all the evidence was that he loved his son very much and wanted the best for him--and that, in his own way, he loved Richenda, too.  To just dismiss his death as 'good riddance to bad rubbish' strikes me as unfair.

We will never know what Brendan's life would've been with Bran had Wencit been victorious.  Bran did love Brendan, but as Evie pointed out, Bran betrayed Kelson by defecting to Wencit.  I shudder to wonder what kind of person Brendan might have become under Wencit's influence.  I may not be a father, but I am an uncle.  THIS STORY IS FROM RICHENDA'S VIEWPOINT!  I was commenting on her fears when Brendan was taken from her.  "What was happening to my son?  Has he come to any harm, especially from Wencit?"  I was commenting about her joyous reunion with Brendan.  Having both a mother and father is in the best interest for children.  However, Bran decided to take Brendan away from Richenda by force (by using a bewitched Derry--though Derry was bewitched by Wencit).    


Yes, Bran did love his son, at least as much as he seemed capable of loving anyone.  This and his skill as a military strategist are about the only redeeming qualities that we see in him in KK's story, although he grossly misuses his skill at military strategy, and his love for his son doesn't override his personal greed and ambition when he decides to side with Wencit--a decision that he had to have known quite likely could have cost his son his future Earldom if Wencit ended up losing the battle, and possibly even if he'd won (since why should Wencit continue to trust that the traitor he was using as a tool wouldn't turn on him someday?)  He had no reason to expect Kelson to be lenient to a traitor's son; Brendan just got extraordinarily lucky!  Bran was greedy and ambitious, but far from stupid.  He had to have known what a risk he was taking in betraying Kelson, but even his love for his son was not enough to stop him from doing so.  

He may have "loved Richenda in his own way" (at least she says words to that effect in the book), but whether that was actual fact or just her wishful thinking is anyone's guess, because Bran's actions seem to argue otherwise.  During the book scene when he spares a moment to write Richenda a letter telling her to take Brendan to Dhassa, he comes across as if he thinks this is just another annoying task on his "to-do list" rather than an act of love for his wife, and when he kidnapped Brendan, he made no attempt to get his wife back in the process (IIRC, it was Wencit who made it a term of the duel agreement that if Kelson's side lost, Bran would get his wife back; I don't remember reading anything that told me Bran gave a flip one way or another.)  So any love he might have had for her was probably barely existent, and solely due to her having given him the heir he wanted.

Can't speak for anyone else, but I personally have trouble seeing Bran's death as anything else but "good riddance to bad rubbish," but that has absolutely nothing to do with what sort of father he was, and absolutely everything to do with the fact that he was able to completely forsake his oaths to his sworn King, was completely careless of what consequences this might have for either his wife or his son, had no qualms at all about killing the soldiers of Cassan and Kierney and desecrating their bodies in order to use them in psychological warfare against his own Kingdom (and, indeed, the book at least strongly hints that using them in that way was his idea!), and he committed all of these betrayals and war crimes solely to fulfill his own personal ambitions.  He fully earned his death--if anything, it ended up too easy; by law, he should have been hanged, drawn and quartered!  The simple fact that he loved his kid may make him a bit more human, but does it make me in any way sympathetic for how he ended up?  Not a bit; he deserved what he got!

If he truly loved Brendan and wanted the best for him, then maybe he should have thought of that before taking a course of action virtually guaranteed to end up badly for Brendan.  If Kelson won, he would have been within his rights to put the Marley lands under attainder as well as execute Bran, which would have left Brendan homeless and penniless in addition to fatherless.  If Wencit won, Bran's fortunes might have risen in the short term, but realistically, how long would it have been before Wencit decided that a man who could so easily betray his original liegelord was not to be trusted, and declared him expendable?  And in that case, Brendan would be left in the same predicament.  The truly loving thing for Bran to have done as a father would have been to have kept his oaths to Kelson.  Even if Bran had died fighting Wencit, and Wencit had conquered Gwynedd, chances are slim that he'd have taken action against a four year old boy.


--- Quote from: derynifanatic64 on January 08, 2011, 10:17:10 PM ---I was commenting on her fears when Brendan was taken from her.  "What was happening to my son?  Has he come to any harm, especially from Wencit?"  I was commenting about her joyous reunion with Brendan.  Having both a mother and father is in the best interest for children.  However, Bran decided to take Brendan away from Richenda by force (by using a bewitched Derry--though Derry was bewitched by Wencit).  

--- End quote ---
Exactly.   And don't forget that Brendan is Deryni.  Regardless of Bran's dubious value to Wencit, what sort of future would little Brendan have faced under Wencit?  Even had Richenda not revealed herself, there was every likelihood that Wencit would have found out about the kid sooner or later, and then what sort of fate would Brendan have faced? If he'd been allowed to survive, what sort of controls would have been placed on him, what sort of training would he have been subjected to?   In fact, Brendan could well have been used as a sort of pawn to ensure Bran's continued loyalty.  It's highly unlikely that his secret could have been kept - given Wencit's knowledge of the Deryni community, it wouldn't be too long before he found out Richenda's background.  As a trained Deryni, Richenda was certainly fully aware of the special dangers to her child from Wencit.

As for Bran's feelings for Richenda, don't forget his reaction of:  "She shall not have him!" before the duel, when Kelson said that one of his terms if victorious was Brendan's return to Richenda.

No-one is denigrating a father's love for his child, or trying to say that a mother is 'more' valuable - but in this particular case, the child was in very real danger from his father and his father's crony Wencit.  Besides, with Bran dead, who else would he have been given to?  Poor kid must have been totally confused, maybe even a bit frightened, so of course it was a case of "all's well" to have him safely back with his mother.  He's only just turned four!   And as we know from the books, Alaric proves to be a good and loving stepfather.  


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