(urth) shapeshifting Hethor

Roy C. Lackey rclackey at stic.net
Sun May 28 20:57:48 PDT 2006

Bsharp wrote:
> And it provides a necessary addition to one of
>the shapeshifter rules we have learned from Foila's story.  I think we
>learn that confinement doesn't just prevent a shapeshifter from changing,
>but also forces the shapeshifter to take their original form.
>Armed with these tools I think we could suggest that the slug is Hethor, or
>more accurately, Hethor is really a slug.
>Robert Borski is at a loss to explain how Mother Pyrexia might get into the
>antechamber but shapeshifter rules offer a clear solution.  Once confined,
>Hethor is forced into his natural form.

Well, which is it? It can't be both ways. If confinement forces a
shapeshifter into true form, why didn't Hethor immediately turn back into a
slug (or whatever) when he was thrown into the antechamber? It didn't
happen. He was put into the antechamber at breakfast time and was there all
day. It was at night when the creature came snuffling in the dark and
Severian escaped with a slime-covered Jonas. If Hethor had the leisure to
wait until dark in order to follow one rule before violating the other rule
against shapeshifting while imprisoned, who's enforcing these rules?

>And I almost cringe to mention that it also offers a solution to the
>problem of the incident in the tunnel beneath the Piteous Gate.

That would violate another of your rules; the place was packed with prying
eyes and it wasn't too dark to see him shift.


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