(urth) Vodalus and Severian continued

Jane Delawney jane_delawney at sky.com
Mon Sep 27 17:10:07 PDT 2010

On 27/09/10 13:12, Lee Berman wrote:
> We are only introduced to two such victims, Thecla and the female corpse in the
> first chapter of Shadow. I don't see much in the text to warrant speculation on
> others.

'k, granted. However V's followers don't seem to find anything too 
abnormal in being invited to such a dinner (and there was obviously a 
tribade in there somewhere!)
>   Moreover, Thecla's body seems to have been kept on ice for quite some time,
> waiting for a special moment. Access to Severian would seem to the the obvious
> reason this moment is special. We are told the purpose of the feast is to bind Vodalus'
> followers more tightly to him.
I suspect so.

>   But perhaps the reasons go deeper.
> There is a chain of physical appearance clues (dark hair, oval face, olive skin, pale
> gown) that might associate the female corpse to Severian's mother, Catherine.
This is the description from ch. 1 of 'Shadow': 'They had the corpse of 
a woman. Her hair, which had been dark, was in some disorder now about 
her livid face; she wore a long gown of some pale fabric.'

That's it. No oval face or olive skin. But hey, two out of four is .. 

BTW 'Livid' - means that her face appears engorged with blood - as in 
postmortem lividity. Given the level of speculation around here, I'm not 
that reluctant to suggest that this implies she may have been buried 
/face down/.

Witches are supposed to have been interred in this way in some cultures; 
also suspected vampires.

>   Perhaps
> the real reason for choice of victims is not only to create loyalty bonds. Perhaps there
> is the hidden purpose of collecting the lives and memories of people who are important
> to Severian.
Yup, agreed, it would be quite unlike our GW not to have an alternate 
agenda - not so much hidden, as left for the reader to work out - here.
> Master Ash suggests that the Ascians are making their massive offensive, despite being ill-
> equipped and manned because of some sudden new unidentified development. I think it is the
> imminent presence of Severian on the battlefield.
Rather (and if I'd time, I'd take this to a new thread, since it clearly 
is one) I suspect the implication is that this is the last chance the 
Ascians can have for victory, since if they don't conquer now, Severian 
will inevitably become Autarch and since he is the New Sun, the New 
Sun's enemies will therefore be doomed to fail.

The Hierodules and their masters live 'backwards'; they remember our 
future. Therefore, they KNOW that Sev is the New Sun; they don't simply 
suspect, they know, because they've lived his future before they first 
meet him. Erebus, Abaia, Scylla et al, and their human allies, have 
presumably gotten wind of this, and know that they have to stop Severian 
before he takes on his destiny, or not stop him at all.

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