(urth) Why did Vodalus risk...?

Bruce Hayles brucehayles at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 13:01:32 PDT 2007

In the opening chapter of Shadow, Thea says something to Vodalus that
Severian does not catch; Vodalus says in response, "You didn't have to
come, Thea. How would it look to the others if I took none of the
This reminds me of generals fighting at the front of their army. By
taking the same risks as his men, he gains their respect.
Vodalus is also very prideful. He does not seriously appreciate the
danger of the watchmen. He disdains his earlier use of the gun, and
when the watchmen are nearly upon them, gives the gun to Hildegrin,
saying that Hildegrin might need it. This is despite the fact that he
most desperately needs it, since he is holding off the watchmen. His
pride drives him needlessly to fight them with his sword. When
Severian saves him, he is repaid with a false coin.
Wives of generals would come along with them on risky campaigns, so
Thea coming along doesn't seem implausible, even if it is unnecessary
for the task.
I think the explanation of Vodalus taking the risk is Vodalus's character.

On 7/25/07, aaron <aaronsingleton at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a question for you guys, and hopefully you can offer me some insight
> here.  I am on my umpteenth reread of TSotT, and I only just realized what a
> great risk Vodalus takes when he, Hildegrin, and Thea rob the grave in the
> necropolis.  My next thought was: Why would he take such a risk?  Or, for
> Whom?  Whose corpse did they take?  Obviously, they wanted a particular
> person's body, or else why would they go so far out of their way and (again)
> take such a risk?  And does Thea's presence there indicate anything?
> Perhaps a member of her family was their target.  Why else would she tag
> along on such a dangerous mission?  Couldn't possibly be Thecla's body, as
> that was my first thought. Sorry, but this is driving me up the wall!
> Thanks to all in advance.  If I come up with a good theory on the subject, I
> will post it, but so far I have nothing.
> Aaron Singleton
> _______________________________________________
> Urth Mailing List
> To post, write urth at urth.net
> Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net

More information about the Urth mailing list