(urth) Piteous Gate - one last rehash
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
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