(urth) Piteous Gate- one last rehash

b sharp 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 
at that.

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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