(urth) Piteous Gate- one last rehash
bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Sun May 14 20:49:16 PDT 2006
In the vaults of this archinve there has been a fair amount of discussion
centered on the disturbance at the Piteous Gate that ends Shadow. I had
always felt it was something mysterious and worth knowing, as did some
others. Mantis and Tony Ellis and perhaps others argued vehemently that it
was merely the action of soldiers blocking the road and I think it was left
I found a passage which convinces me otherwise. When Severian first talks
to Agia in Casdoe's cottage in Sword, they have this exchange:
S- "You've been trying to kill me ever since I glimpsed you in the crowd at
A- " Is that an accusation? Yes."
S- "You're lying."
A- "What do you mean?"
S- "Only that you were trying to kill me before Saltus"
A- "With the avern. Yes, of course"
S- "And afterward. Agia, I know who Hethor is"
I think this is author misdirection because on first reading I know I was
then more interested in Severian's extended insight about Hethor. But the
first part of that sentence says that Agia (with Hethor's help implied)
tried to kill Severian somewhere in the time between the avern duel and
Saltus Fair, which she doesn't deny.
I find no plausible setting for this attempt except the disturbance at the
Piteous Gate. So Severian, in retrospect, has deduced that the cause of
the disturbance, the appearance of some undescribed creature, was an attempt
on his life by Agia and Hethor. Is there another possible interpretation?
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