Sneak preview II

originally posted by Hunter

Re-reading this sneak preview after having re-read the series, some interesting questions given that Sidir, Braggen and Dakar are all together.

At the end of PG:
- Dakar was trying to get off Rockfell with Fionn Areth with their destination being Alestron
- Sidir had escaped Lysaer's Alliance troops and had been re-united with Jeynsa to confirm that she's about to assume the role of caithdein
- Braggen was being looked after by clansmen in the Mathorn Mountains.

If we assume that Braggen has recovered and rejoined Sidir and Jeynsa in Halythwood - what is Dakar doing in Halythwood? That north west of Rockfell, the direct opposite direction he should be going if he's taking Fionn Areth to Alestron!

originally posted by Silvia Hemmings

Hi all, I'm not entirely new here but I haven't introduced myself yet, exactly…Hello!
So, I need to get this off my chest. I've no doubt it's been canvassed thoroughly elsewhere, so sorry if I'm repeating conversations, but the threads are way too long for me to trawl through them looking for the relevant posts.
Now to business: I feel really sorry for Lysaer! Admittedly he's behaving pretty badly now, but that just makes me pity him more. Remember him in Curse of the Mistwraith? He was a good and well-intentioned sort of guy back then. Here's an exercise for those of you who hate his guts: find a good Lysaer passage in CotM and then imagine how the boy you see represented there would feel if he knew what he would later do. Or to put it another way, imagine how Lysaer would feel if he knew the truth and could see, with a clear mind, the insanity and cruelty of his behaviour. It would destroy him, surely? The more he does, the less like himself he becomes and the more it's going to hurt if he ever wakes up. In a way, I feel much more sorry for Lysaer than Arithon. I always pitied Arithon most when he was at the mercy of the curse and in danger of losing his identity to it- but at least he was able to come back from that - self-hating, guilty, yes - but still himself. Lysaer doesn't have that ability to regain his self-hood. Also, compare their positions:
Arithon is constantly BARRED from the things he wants and loves: freedom from kingly responsibility; time and license to pursue his interest in music; Elaira; his mage-craft, until recently; a clear conscience; peace.
Lysaer, on the other hand, is in the even more unpleasant position of being directly responsible for the DESTRUCTION of everything he wants and loves: justice; peace; Talith.
For Lysaer, there is no way back, as far as I can see. This is one of the few things I don't like about WoLaS - the fact that, for Lysaer, originally one of my favourite characters, it appears there can be no redemption.
Also, let's just look at his position in relation to the reader. You can bet that if the two characters were asked if they wanted to be liked, admired and understood by the reader, Arithon would look petulant and make some snappy remark that would send anyone sane running for the hills, so to speak. Lysaer, on the other hand, would say that yes, he absolutely wanted the reader's understanding and sympathy. This could be interpreted as mere self-adulation and a craving for attention, but I see it as kind of emotionally generous and endearingly vulnerable and dependent. Arithon doesn't NEED any of us to care about him - I don't think he'd even WANT any of us to care about him, particularly. Poor Lysaer, on the other hand, would crave our approval and clemency and he'd be utterly appalled to think we all hated him. I think, as readers and human beings, we have a responsibility to remember and pity the Lysaer whose life, mind and future have been destroyed as a consequence of a good and generous action - remember him stepping forward to confine the wraith with his bare hands? He neither wanted nor deserved what's happened to him. And whatever people may say, it's not his fault - it's been made clear that the flawed Fellowship geas of s'Ilessid Justice makes it impossible for him to fight the curse. He too is a victim.
And breaaaaaaaaaaaaaaathe…oh, so glad I said that.

originally posted by Hannah

Hey Silvia! Glad we have another in the ranks of the small sect here that will occasionally rise to play devil's advocate on Lysaer's defense. :smiley:

As you pointed out, the catch-22 is that we all would like to see Lysaer be miraculously healed of the influence of the Curse and stop acting like a demented popinjay, but if it were to clear his mind so he could put in perspective his actions, it would surely drive him to destruction.

I think Lysaer is an interesting character, maybe difficult for some readers to sympathize with, from CotM onwards, because fantasy readers are too used to reading about royalty that doesn't act like royalty or is fleeing from their royal responsibility, while Lysaer wholly embraces it. I think a lot of his actions and mannerisms, readers may label as vain or arrogant, but are just the actions of someone really living what a Prince or King could be.

That was kind of a side tangent. Anyhow

originally posted by Auna

Lysaer is pure tragedy. I feel only sorrow watching him destroy everything he cares about and veering so far from what he would be had he never been cursed.

For me, that's what makes this series so powerfully moving. I care about the antagonists and their possible redemption.

originally posted by Blue

Good one, Silvia, and certainly a worthy challenge…

[Picture a large woman rolling over to her bookshelf and rummaging around, swearing, "What the %#*& did I do with CotM now?!?"]

originally posted by reverie

I feel sorry for Lysaer but I can't condone some things about him. What he did to Ellaine for example, was that just?
Also if I remember correctly the Fellowship asked him to stop hunting Arithon because he was being influenced by a curse but he chose not to because he didn't want to admit he was wrong (the judgement at Althain in FP).
On a tangent, does Lysaer's power over people's belief extends to himself? he seems to get more self-deluded as the series progresses (or is that the mistwraith's work?)

originally posted by Trys

Considering what we saw in Kewar Maze regarding how the Curse was manipulating Arithon, is it not likely that it is manipulating Lysaer as well? To be honest I can't see where it's action would cause him to abuse Ellaine (I think that was remorse/guilt over Talith's death) but it I think it could have certainly manipulated him in Althain tower to deny the Curse's existance.


originally posted by Hunter

I agree with you Trys about Lysaer's treatment of Ellaine - whereas Arithon's dalliances with Dalwyn had Elaira's face on them, Lysaer's treatment of Ellaine was not, to Lysaer, about Ellaine at all. Whichever woman was there was wearing the ghost of Talith and had to battle Lysaer's self-loathing.

Arithon has battled, so he thought, the Curse properly since that day in Etarra. We've seen Lysaer being influenced, without his knowledge or awareness on many occassions where the Mistwraith has invisibly exerted it's will - in the Ath's Adept hostel in Shaddorn when Lysaer was looking for Jinesse and Tharrick; when Sulfin Evend was retrieved from the Korias Grimward and when Lysaer was berated by the Fellowship at Althain. Possibly the one line that gave Lysaer the greatest moment of introspection was at that time when the representative of Ath's Adepts told him he would have his hearts desire, but it would be written in blood.

And I disagree that Lysaer has veered so far from where he would have been had he not been cursed - because of his upbringing, Lysaer already had an enormous distrust of magecraft and the s'Ffalenn lineage and a favouring to merchants and land holding. His inability to comprehend what he sees before him and understand and view from different perspectives have limited Lysaer long before the Mistwraith got to him. His visit to the clans en route to Althain showed this quite clearly.

originally posted by Stefan Urlus

Indeed Hunter,

I was thinking of that very same example when Arithon's actions required Lysaer to be "unmasked" as S'Illesid in front of the clans in CotM, prior to seeing the townsmen. During this chapter (or two) it clearly demonstrates Lysaers feelings of disgust (perhaps a strong word, but I think it fits) with the clans way of life and the lengths to which they are driven to survive. I believe that this provided fertile ground for the Mistwraith to exploit … so as to feeling sympathy for Lysaer … hmmmm not me

Let's face it - on some levels he has been confronted with the knowledge of the curse (Ath's hostel and in Althain) and he has held firm - some part of this must go with his S'Illesid justice, but in my opinion, he has refused to acknowledge this for personal reasons as well.

My two bobs worth

originally posted by Hunter

Lysaer shows his predisposition to townsfolk, merchants, the "rights" of mankind to land ownership and to buy and trade the resources of the world. All of course verboten under the Compact - so Lysaer can't comprehend the Compact, what it means and why the clans act as they do. Hence the Mistwraith has little to combat, just a little well placed urging to fan the flames…

If I remember correctly, the final comment by the Ath's Adept in Althain is to Lysaer to ponder whether, at his moment of triumph, whether concern for humanity or overweening pride was the root of his cause.

I'm very much hoping that Traitor's Knot starts showing Lysaer that his inner Cabal's interests are starting to diverge and how he will deal with that will be very interesting.

originally posted by George

The issue at the heart of the matter here is a question of CHOICE. The whole series is about choices and the right to choose and have free will.

I remember reading somewhere that the MW's curse provides a compulsion to do something. It works strongly against your will, however, when you acquiesce it gains stronger ground and roots itself further. This I believe is because you CHOOSE to follow the curse over NOT following it. Based on that choice, you give free-reign to the curse to embed. That i believe is the problem with Lysaer. His constant choice of choosing the curse has caused it to become a greater part of his character.

IF it were to be removed, i do not believe it would change him. Probably on the basis that after he had lived in such a manner for such a long time that acting in the particular way with those prejudices would inevitably become second nature. (Think people who have been traumatised or abused…they have a HARD time letting go, and even if they do, they are still in some way "different").

Ultimately, only Janny knows the answer!

As for pity for Lysae…well sure I pity him but by the same token has a choice (and was given previous choices) to be free.

I pity him because of his choice not to be free of his compulsion, not because of the fact that he labours under the curse.

My two cents!

While this is an interesting discussion, let us not forget that, despite his current actions and intent, Lysaer CAN be redeemed IF the curse can be lifted from him.

For my own 2c worth, I think the sunchildren will be critical in restoring Lysaer to sanity AFTER the curse has lifted.

The passage in FP when he is summoned to Althain seems to reflect this: despite his stiff mien, the statues of the sunchildren cause him to struggle deeply not to laugh. He will need to learn to live again, especially if he kills Arithon himself.

We know from PG that Lysaer doesn't trust the centaurs, associating at least one with acting on Arithon's "side". He probably wouldn't trust a unicorn either, should he be fortunate enough to encounter one. And we have yet to see the sunchildren take a major role in the story (remember that there has to be a reason for this) and as the Paravians most likely to have inhabited the towns during the Second Age, Lysaer might be able to relate best to them…

originally posted by Gary

I don't have PG with me at the moment, but I think Arithon thought something like that the curse cut off the "avenues of change" of a person, stopping personal growth.

Lysaer seems to me, to still be very like the person he was back in COTM. He appeared to care deeply, but had shallow understanding of complex issues (such as some issues described in Hunter's post). I'm not so sure that non-cursed Lysaer would have turned out the same. He seemed naive and biased, but he was willing to listen to the Fellowship. He was willing to learn, and change. He did seem to hate making a wrong decision, but learning was part of what he would need to do, in order to govern fairly (e.g. his talk with Traithe at Althain Tower).

After the curse, Lysaer seemed to stop questioning, other than where it suited his pre-existing prejudices. Perhaps if the curse could be lifted, it would allow Lysaer to start questioning again. It seems to be part of a theme in the story, to question preconceptions, and then question them again. Dakar had to do this. Elaira was asked to not be overly-prejudiced against fellow Koriani (she hasn't quite reached this stage yet). Talith. Caolle. Many others.

I like the sunchildren idea idea for afterwards… Lysaer's self-loathing at Etarra would be nothing compared with a time just after he allows himself to see past his prejudice. He will need help…

originally posted by George

Lysaer needs DOCTOR PHIL!



originally posted by Blue

Gary, interesting take on the Curse and its effects on Lysaer. Thanks for bringing it up. I had almost forgotten that passage.

P.S. George, I think Lysaer needs a clue more than he needs Dr. Phil.

originally posted by Phil

I think Lysaer needs more immediate help.

Going to take a few years till I can get my doctorate

originally posted by Hunter

What about Arithon and Lysaer on Jerry Springer? :smiley:

originally posted by Kam

Wouldn't that wreck the studio?

Suppose it'll rake in the ratings, though.

originally posted by George

No… for Arithon and Lysaer to be on Jerry Springer, they'd have to be living in trailer parks, lost the majority of their teeth, have horrible "mullets" and have dated their sisters!!

but it would be funny nonetheless!

originally posted by KimberlyIsrael

On one hand, Lysaer definitely has sometimes refused to see the truth about Arithon for the sake of pride - the F7 say as much when he gets tossed out of the Compact in FP - the curse is strongly involved there, but he also chooses not to listen to other ideas because it's too painful - he'd rather close his eyes and shut his ears and keep going in the same direction than risk the pain of being wrong. And the longer this goes on, the more painful admitting his wrong will be, and probably the less inclined he'll be towards doing so.

On the other hand, there are plenty of scenes throughout the books that show Lysaer in his natural role as an incredible leader who really believes that he's right. And it's so sad to see that - I'm always thinking "This would be just the way to act and to motivate people, if only he were actually right."

I've also often wondered if I would actually get along with Arithon in real life. In the story, I adore him - and possibly if I could keep my memories of the story when I met him, that would help, because I could still understand why he acts the way he does. But I don't know…it's not just the temper, but also the reticence - it would be difficult to get to know him. And also, he doesn't seem the type of person to have light, casual friendships - it's full depth or nothing. And that full depth of friendship seems to leave no room for anything less than total honesty - not just not lying, but fully facing everything. I don't like to admit it, but I don't know if I'm strong enough to hold up under that kind of intensity. Maybe working on it in fits and starts, but not there yet…