(urth) Seawrack and the Mother

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 18 19:43:29 PDT 2012

>Mark Millman: alternate hypothesis- The pirate ship is just that:  
>a pirate ship....Horn's shot kills or knocks overboard the girl pirate, 
>who (or whose body) is then used by the Mother to create Seawrack, her 

At first glance I can see why this hypothesis seems more parsimonious.
But I don't think it accounts for much that is in the text. Seawrack
does seem to feed Horn two storylines. One jibes with Mark's hypothesis-
that she was born a regular human and adopted by the Mother. But so much
else of what Seawrack says suggests she has spent most/all of her life with 
the Mother, eating fish and drowned sailors, being cloistered and comforted
within her massive body.

If Mark's hypothesis was correct, all that backstory, maternal connection
and sense of child development would have had to take place in the space of 
the few days between when the pirate girl was shot and Seawrack joins Horn. 
Not to mention that in the same short time, the Mother would have had to revamp
the girl's body to possess working gills and imbue her with mystic singing
abilities and superhuman swimming abilities. If she could do all that in a
few days, why not also grow back Seawrack's arm?

Horn pointedly notes how foreign and exotic Seawrack's face looks. I don't
think she is from Whorl stock. Moreover, Horn speculates on how the Vanished
People must have worshipped this Mother/sea goddess. He says:

>She shaped herself, I believe, a woman of the Vanished People so that they
>would love her. We are here now, and so she shaped for me a woman of my own 

I think all the above supports the hypothesis that the Mother grew Seawrack
from the start rather than quickly reforming an existing human body. I feel 
Mark's hypothesis serves mostly to undercut the idea that the pirate ship might 
be akin to the Naviscaput. But why would you want to do that?

The Naviscaput is associated with Abaia who seems to bud off undines who, like
Seawrack, have siren and mermaid connotations. Why would you want to make an
effort to ignore such a connection as that? I don't find the reality of the 
pirate ship important enough to preserve in the face of that evidence.

As far as Seawrack's real name, I think it is a great mystery. My best guess is
that it is English/Latin wordplay on the part of Wolfe. I think the similar-
sounding name Wolfe is hinting at is "Siren" or "Sirenia" (the genus name of
manatees). It makes sense that Vironese Horn would find either incomprehensible 
and give her a seaweed plant name which sounds similar.

>Marc Aramini: Does the four armed thing come up AFTER the pirate girl falls in the 

Fairly long after. Horn's hypothesis is that the multi-limbed crusted thing is a
Neighbor something along the lines of Midas. A god gave him a curse disguised
as a blessing in the form of eternal life. Horn invites us to come up with a
better theory. I have one (not sure if it is better)- perhaps this is the 
"woman of the Vanished People" that the Mother previously formed to seduce

The creature is far stronger than Babbie but seems afraid of the storm.  It
apparently responds to Seawrack's instructions to leave them alone. Because 
she is the Mother's agent? Not sure which hypothesis that supports. Maybe mine. 
I dunno.


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