(urth) more Idnn

David DiGiacomo david at slack.com
Wed Oct 26 10:15:49 PDT 2005

>>Idnn was an opportunist who cared only about becoming queen.
>This seems fairly absurd to me. Beel wanted her to be queen, and she did 
>feel a strong sense of duty to her father. But every indication was that she 
>was frightened of what was going to happen, and was really hoping for a way 
>to avoid it. A significant portion of The Knight makes no sense at all if 
>you assume she "cared only about becoming queen".

She was frightened and hesitant before the fact, but once she saw the
wealth and power that came with the position, she seemed to become

>I'll take a crack at it myself, though perhaps others can do better. Through 
>most of the novel the giant women are nowhere to be found. They are bigger 
>and stronger than the men, and yet they are absolutely absent from the 
>political landscape and pretty much have no say in matters. [Might there be 
>a little bit of a message here?] Their rallying to the queen and fighting 
>against the men was a sharp and defining act of *autonomy*. I don't see how 
>their involvement can be seen as a failure from any angle.

Couldn't they exercise their autonomy by living a good life in their own
land, instead of joining the futile war in the south?

>What *did* Garvaon die for, again?

Partly to expiate his guilt over killing Gilling without orders, but
I think mostly out of petulance because Idnn chose Svon over him.

>But in general, what do knights die for?

To impress the Valfather, in hope of a job promotion to Knight of Skai.

>I do think that the younger Berthold is meant as a contrast to the knightly 
>ideal. And we are thus led to be a bit more conscious of the fact that from 
>our own (modern) subjective perspective, our heroes are more like Berthold 
>than Ravd or Garvaon or Able. And also that we know a little less about the 
>knightly ideal than we unreflectively assume we do.

I certainly agree with this.  However, we don't know what ideal a resident
of Skai would need to follow in order to ascend to Kleos.  I think Able is
wondering about that while he is sulking in the dungeon.

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