Three Seas Forum

the archives

dusted off in read-only


What about akka and esme. posted 30 January 2007 in The Warrior ProphetWhat about akka and esme. by Purple Library Guy, Commoner

Quote: "anor277":3b2fo2el
Well it seems that at least we're in agreement here. Esmenet and Kellhus say to Proyas of their relationship, that they thought somehow that Achamian would have approved. It does not sound like bull$hit. [/quote:3b2fo2el]

Well of course it doesn't *sound* like bs. Nothing Kellhus says *sounds* like bs. That's because he's a super-genius whose talents at manipulation are beyond unreasonable. He is the man who can fake sincerity and therefore has it made.

Personally, I think this whole set of events is a key indicator of the difference between Kellhus' representation to the crusaders and his reality. Sometimes we get too used to this guy. But consider--on the surface, to the world, he's basically like a *normal* hero of a fantasy novel. Think about some of your favourite fantasy books, and the awesome folks who are the central figures in them. Can you imagine them saying "Well, he's one of my best friends, but he may well be dead. No point worrying about it or going to look and see or anything. And hey, now that he is (probably) dead, I know you two were an item and all, but you wanna?"

I don't think so. Aragorn would never do that. Neither would Corwin of Amber, Druss the Legend, heck, the members of the Black Company (and they're cutthroat mercenaries), or Vlad Taltos (and he's an assassin). Their fundamental motivations are different, so ultimately at the level of actions the self-interested Kellhus will be different from a real hero. This kind of inconsistency between self-portrayal and deeds is about the only crack by which a normal onlooker or a person under his influence might be able to penetrate Kellhus' appearance to something like an understanding of his reality. I think, I hope, that will ultimately be very important to the resolution of the story.

In Gordon R. Dickson's book, "Dorsai", the protagonist runs across a master manipulator--not of Kellhus' calibre, and not so chillingly logical, but certainly headed in that direction: very intelligent, deeply pragmatic, dedicated to and very skilled at control. Donal Graeme, however, was even more brilliant, and immediately concluded

"he's apparently an absolute devil."
The pipe rattled in Galt's suddenly unclenched jaws . . .
"Who told you that?" he demanded.
"No one," said Donal. "It's obvious, isn't it?" Galt laid his pipe down on the table and stood up.
"Not to ninety-nine per cent of the civilzed world, it isn't," he retorted. "What made it so obvious to you?"
"Certainly," said Donal, "any man can be judged by the character and actions of the people with which he surrounds himself. And this William has an entourage of thwarted and ruined people."
. . .
"Also, he seems to be an almost frighteningly brilliant sort of man, in that he can dominate personalities like Anea, and this fellow Montor, from Newton--who must be a rather high-level mind himself to have rated as he did on his tests."
"And someone that brilliant must be a devil?" queried Galt, dryly.
"Not at all," explained Donal, patiently. "But having such intellectual capabilities, a man must show proportionately greater inclinations towards either good or evil than lesser people. If he tends toward evil, he may mask it in himself--he may even mask its effect on the people with which he surrounds himself. But he has no way of producing the reflections of good which would ordinarily be reflected from his lieutenants and initiates--and which, if he was truly good--he would have no reason to try and hide. And by that lack, you can read him."

I'm not sure I'd say it's precisely that way with Kellhus, but I did find myself reminded of that passage when thinking about Kellhus and his impact on the people he ensnares, and the difference between his mental dominance and the interaction between real good-guy leaders and the people around them.

As to amor's point that had Kellhus not taken Esmenet as a lover she would be dead--come now. If he could manipulate her into bed, he could certainly manipulate her into just not running off looking for Achamian. I mean, Akka at that point is either alive or dead. If he's dead, going into danger and getting yourself killed too just makes things worse; Achamian surely wouldn't have wanted it. If he's alive, he's a Mandate scholar, capable of killing with a few words, shredding buildings; his potential for violence both overt and subtle is massive, for all that he rarely uses it. If alive he will no doubt be back; anything capable of stopping him would surely chew Esmenet up and spit her out. Sure, there's a certain amount of sophistry here, but I'm sure Kellhus would be able to convince her of some such line of reasoning. view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown