(urth) TWK: Able's future

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Wed Dec 7 12:52:55 PST 2005

Crush quoted and wrote:
>Roy says:
>>That can't be right. There's no place up for him to go but Kleos. Able's
>> association with Michael is not enough to get him to Kleos.
>Hmm...maybe. But why would Michael seek Able's help for a lord in Skai?
>Michael went seeking Able--seeking an Able that didn't exist when Able
>met him. The idea of proceeding ever upwards seems to be the overall theme
>of the novel. Michael is only the second person from Kleos (at best) that
>Able has met. Is it surprising that Able would be a hero in Kleos? Look how
>quickly Able seems to have risen to prominence in Skai.

It would surprise the hell out of me for Able to even get to Kleos, much
less be a hero there. As hartshorn said in another context, Able is a knight
not a saint. Just who would a crude dude like Able fight in God's backyard?
Kleos was a place made by God as a reward for the "servants" he had created.
(W, 46) (I think those "servants" are what are usually called angels.)

Because anything apart from God is by definition less than perfect, those
servants were unhappy with that imperfection in Kleos. They wanted to cast
out as much of that imperfection as they could. God created a place for them
to put it, which was Skai. The imperfection was embodied in the form of the
giant Ymir. "Some servants of the Highest God surrendered their places in
Kleos and went down to kill him. They did, but they could never go back."
(ibid.) Some hold that the Valfather was one of those who descended and
could never return. (48) (Echoed by Able leaving Skai?) The farther removed
from God's perfection, the worse the corruption, descending by degrees to

Able was no angel, and I don't think he ever would/could be. I don't think
it's even theoretically possible for a post-creation being to attain the
status of a pre-creation being. But this begins to stray into religious
territory it's probably better not to traverse.

I don't think Able was all that prominent in Skai; clearly he was nowhere
near as powerful as the Valfather and his immediate family, and/or the other
original "servants" of God.

Michael didn't meet Able in Kleos, so clearly he had come down from his high
place. Presumably he was able to return, unlike his brother servants/angels
who went down to Skai. What's the difference?


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