(urth) Piteous Gate - one last rehash

mournings glory mourningsglory at hotmail.com
Tue May 23 17:30:45 PDT 2006

Mr. Ellis' counterfactual to the Hethorgate Theory is excellent and I hope 
that he will consent to its points being incorporated into the Piteous Gate 
summation should the wiki ever come to pass.

But now for my own belated attempt at solving the mystery -- one semi-based 
on an already extant theory.

Would a sighting of an undine in the river Gyoll be enough to sally the 
Autarch's troops, both within the wall and without?

I've been doing a lot of background reading on undines given the recent 
spate of posts about them, and one of things I learned about Juturna is that 
"After successfully keeping her brother Turnus away from Aeneas, who she 
knew was ordained to kill him in single combat, Juturna, who had disguised 
herself as his charioteer Metiscus and *had restored to him his lost sword 
made by Vulcan,* was compelled by the warning of a Fury (sent by Jupiter) to 
give up the struggle to save her brother, and sank lamenting into her spring 
at Lanuvium." [From _Who's Who in Classical Mythology_]. Now if Wolfe is 
staying true to the model, this means that it's Juturna who's returning 
Terminus Est to Severian when he falls into the Lake of Birds ("it seemed 
the hand's owner was returning my property to me") -- just as Severian will 
return the broken pieces of TE at the end of _Sword_ to Lake Diuturna, which 
as has been recently pointed out is an alternate name for Juturna.

We're also told that the avern -- an extremely deadly plant -- has been 
planted by Father Inire to keep manatees out of the Botanic Gardens, but 
this seems like a rather dire method for keeping out simple sea cows, 
whereas if they were meant to delimit undines and possibly Abaia...well, it 
seems like a much more effective and logical defense.

Also: since the undines experience time backwards, and their past is our 
future, could the incident at the Piteous Gate be caused by Juturna entering 
Nessus by the river conduit, on her way to retrieve Terminus Est for 
Severian -- an event for him which has already taken place, but which for 
her looms on a different temporal horizon?

mourning s glory

More information about the Urth mailing list