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Esmi posted 25 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Avariel600, Commoner

Bakker does tend to bend philosophical in his books, and what I find most heartwrenching and ultimately insulting is his portrayal of Esmenet. She starts of as a strong, intriguing character with depths of intellect and a powerful philosophical mind herself, despite her meagre upbringings; she can feel the sting of being a whore, and carries the weight of her own guilt (i.e. what she perceives as being sin as well as what she's done to her own daughter) with a resignation and sorrow that only the repentant truly feel. She begins a monogomous relationship with Achamian, reigniting an old love affair and, for me, the brief passages in the Warrior Prophet describing their pseudo marriage are some of the most powerful in the book. They not only love one another, but they seem to need one another desperately; despite many decrying Esmenet as a social climber I don't see her as such, as she probably could have gained much more social prestige remaining Sarcellus' lover than becoming openly the lover of a damned sorcerer. Being with Achamaian really doesn't gain her a lot of prestige at all.

I feel let down by Esmenet's betrayal and eventual relationship with Khellus. She becomes almost a replacement for Serwe, who while being beautiful is in reality a simpering cow-like woman who's only real vitrue seems to be a child-like innocence that merely ends up getting her killed. Esmenet seems above the divinely inspired, almost religious rapture and adoration that encompasses many of those who treat with Khellus on a day to day basis, and yet despite the groundwork of this deep and unfathomable love for Achamian, as well as her own sharp intellect, Esmenet suddenly finds herself prey to these same worshipful feelings? Where did this come from? It was completely out of character, and while it somewhat speaks to Khellus' power of other people and his ability to manipulate, I would think that most women, especially a woman of the world like Esmenet who also has her intellect, would be able to see the difference between a man who was using her as a tool and one who truly loved her. I find it interesting that Akka loved Esmi simply the way she was, while Khellus felt it necessary to "redeem" her in order to prepare her for him, in a sense.

There's also the dichotomy of an almost divine love versus flawed mortal love; Khellus is most definitely a messiah like character, and Esmi's descriptions of the feelings invoked in her are closer to religious rapture than true love. She loves him, I think, because he's a prophet and god-like and she's consumed by the signifigance of this, whereas Akka...she knows his flaws, his imperfections, and she's infuriated by them while loving him wholly at the same time. I think Bakkar harps too much on how much more "perfect" Love is when it is focused on the divine, and he sullies the flawed nature of mortal love, which in my opinion is the more beautiful of the two. A sorcerer and a whore, one imperfect creature and another, and yet they love one another; how is that not the most signifigant thing this book could have shown anyone?

Instead it cheapens itself and merely shows that apparently women are easily bent from one man to another, and then all love is truly false. view post


Esmi posted 26 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Harrol, Moderator

I must disagree! Go back and read Aurang possession of Esmi in TTT. Esmi still loves Akka but she respects Kellhus. People focus on Esmi being broken by Kellhus as Bakker being sexist but no one says that Proyas and Saubon being broken by kellhus as Bakker being overly critical of men. No one says that Cnaiur being used by Moenghus is sexist . Why not? I think people are too critical on this sexist issue. view post


Esmi posted 26 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Cripdamind, Candidate

i have to agree with harrol on this. everyone in the story with the exception of conphas, cnaiur, and for about the last 100 pages achamian, were marionettes for kellhus' the puppetmaster; why should esmenet be different? in real life very strong women often fall for men who do not love them, and who beat them like clockwork. though, in the real world i think most of this comes from their search for validation from their abusive partner (which they'll never find), and in the story it comes from esmenet's lust for power and for a nice social status for her children. i don't see anything wrong with her ambition (which is what causes her split from achamian to continue even after achamian opens her eyes to the truth) and i think this triangle will play an important role in the upcoming books. view post


Esmi posted 27 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Avariel600, Commoner

"Aurang tells Kellhus that she really does not love you and Kellhus responds that she confuses worship for love. "

as I haven't read the thousandfold thought yet (I just started it) I haven't gotten to those parts yet, but I did mention that Esmi's love for Kellhus seems more focused on almost a blind, worshipful adoration and less on true love. Which I think this quote just validated. The idea behind Kellhus seducing Esmenet is due to her massive intellect and her ideal prospects as a mate and eventual breeding factory; she'll produce high quality children. I am let down because it seems that Bakker has painted a character that, out of everyone, SHOULD be wise to Kellhus' true ambitions, and yet she becomes very Serwe like, thinking that Kellhus loves her and "worshipping" him as a god as you've pointed out with that part of TTT.

The sexist part comes from what the second response pointed out; that Esemenet realizes she's never been and never will be happier then when she was with Achamian in the desert when they escaped camping n the ruins with the rest of the Holy War for those five days; then she was living on caught game and rations, in a tent, with no one else around but Akka. Bakker started Esmi off with an admirable thirst for knowledge and the world and adventure in general, and somehow it's become a desire for power over an empire, even if it means becoming Kellhus' tool in order to maintain the status and wealth she's become privvy to. The fact that she even realizes that this is what's happened to her eventually makes it even worse; she's letting it happen to her willingly for materialistic and social gain? How did she start out such a deep, intuitive character, a whore of the flesh but never of the spirit, and basically turns into a "gold-digger", for lack of a better term? She speaks of being redeemed and yet in the end she's simply another sort of whore.

I think a lot of people regard this as sexist simply because most other female characters that are remotely prominent in the book don't have any place; Serwe was little more than an empty-headed pawn, and the only other real female influences are the emperor's mother and Esemenet. Esemenet had potential; and I think a lot of people are let down that instead of this potential being fully realized she's turned into another pawn.

Maybe that was the point, that everyone in this series is simply a pawn. The differences between Esmi and Cnaiur (sp) are that the barbarian realizes what the Dunyain really do after his encounters with Kellhus' father, and he had QUITE a different reaction than Esmenet does, if what you're saying is true about her truly "realizing" Kellhus in the third book. Again, I may be wrong on that point since I'm not done reading it yet, but...point taken? The men who understand Kellhus turn against him, while the woman simply behaves herself like a good little pawn. But, woman or man, someone has to play that part, I suppose.

I still love these books. but they break my heart, they do XD Very G.R.R. Martin reminiscent. view post


Esmi posted 27 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Harrol, Moderator

<!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> I was a very bad mod posting a spoiler in this thread. I will need to edit it out. view post


Esmi posted 28 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Cripdamind, Candidate

my bad with the spoilers earlier, and if you don't want me to spoil anything else don't read this shit. *SPOILER ALERT*

Quote: &quot;Avariel600&quot;:203c7igf
The idea behind Kellhus seducing Esmenet is due to her massive intellect and her ideal prospects as a mate and eventual breeding factory; she'll produce high quality children. I am let down because it seems that Bakker has painted a character that, out of everyone, SHOULD be wise to Kellhus' true ambitions, and yet she becomes very Serwe like, thinking that Kellhus loves her and &quot;worshipping&quot; him as a god as you've pointed out with that part of TTT.

The sexist part comes from what the second response pointed out; that Esemenet realizes she's never been and never will be happier then when she was with Achamian in the desert when they escaped camping n the ruins with the rest of the Holy War for those five days; then she was living on caught game and rations, in a tent, with no one else around but Akka. Bakker started Esmi off with an admirable thirst for knowledge and the world and adventure in general, and somehow it's become a desire for power over an empire, even if it means becoming Kellhus' tool in order to maintain the status and wealth she's become privvy to. The fact that she even realizes that this is what's happened to her eventually makes it even worse; she's letting it happen to her willingly for materialistic and social gain? How did she start out such a deep, intuitive character, a whore of the flesh but never of the spirit, and basically turns into a &quot;gold-digger&quot;, for lack of a better term? She speaks of being redeemed and yet in the end she's simply another sort of whore.[/quote:203c7igf] i can understand your sour mood about kellhus using esmi up until the point achamian tells esmi that kellhus is just using her. but once esmenet understands that kellhus doesn't really love her, if she still stays is she still just being used, or is she now using kellhus the same way he is using her? she wants to be powerful and have strong powerful children, kellhus is her tool to achieve all of this. what else could a woman who lives in the world of earwa hope to accomplish? besides, what are kellhus' true ambitions? to save the world from the consult using any means necessary.
Quote: &quot;Avariel600&quot;:203c7igf
I think a lot of people regard this as sexist simply because most other female characters that are remotely prominent in the book don't have any place; Serwe was little more than an empty-headed pawn, and the only other real female influences are the emperor's mother and Esemenet. Esemenet had potential; and I think a lot of people are let down that instead of this potential being fully realized she's turned into another pawn.
[/quote:203c7igf]
scott has pointed out that earwa and the people living in earwa are a criticism on the medieval world, circa 1100 c.e. there are not many women in prominent roles because there were not very women in prominent roles in 1100 c.e. and this is not because scott is sexist, but because he's criticizing, harshly, the world our (male)ancestors allowed themselves to live in.
Quote: &quot;Avariel600&quot;:203c7igf
The differences between Esmi and Cnaiur (sp) are that the barbarian realizes what the Dunyain really do after his encounters with Kellhus' father, and he had QUITE a different reaction than Esmenet does, if what you're saying is true about her truly &quot;realizing&quot; Kellhus in the third book.[/quote:203c7igf]
the reason cnaiur has a different reaction is because he knows kellhus has no real need to use him--kellhus can't f*** cnaiur and make babies with him (pardon my language). you already pointed out that esmi has a tight little bod, and has a good head on her shoulders to boot.
Quote: &quot;Avariel600&quot;:203c7igf
Maybe that was the point, that everyone in this series is simply a pawn.[/quote:203c7igf]
i think that is one of many philosophical points scott is making, and i think that kellhus is not exempt from being used as a pawn--and i'm not talking about esmi using him for social status.
Quote: &quot;Avariel600&quot;:203c7igf
I still love these books. but they break my heart, they do XD Very G.R.R. Martin reminiscent.[/quote:203c7igf]
these have to be the best books i've read, and they are quite bittersweet. i'm afraid that kellhus is going to fail and the consult is going to close the world. view post


Esmi posted 29 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Curethan, Didact

Really, Esme lives in a sexist world. More than that, it is a world where belief dictates acutal physical reality (sorcery, gods etc). Esme's treatment and behaviour are neccesarily a display of sexism, but this is not the tone of the narrative to me. It is a realistic depiction of a male-centic society but it is to the credit of the story that Esme and Akka recognize and discus the injustice of it.

Kellhus' form of religon/manipulation is rooted in exposing 'the truth', which includes promoting equality and revealing lies and deception such as mysoginy and repression. It is partly this, I think, that seduces and keeps Esme with Kellhus and he teaches her so much. A choice between love and the revolution you might say...

Perhaps she shows better judgement and a more intelligent choice of reactions in the long run than Cnaiur, for example. view post


Esmi posted 26 September 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Shell, Peralogue

I have to go with Avariel on this one, guys. I won't repeat my arguments since they are on this board already. &quot;Simpering&quot; and &quot;cow-like&quot; pretty much sum up my feelings about Serwe.

Being female myself, I struggle to decide whether Scott simply fell into the trap of portraying Esmi as weakminded and manipulated into worshipping Kellhus in his godliness (and genitalia), or if he is being true to times where it would make absolute sense that a woman with no standing and social position would naturally pick the man that would offer her the most opportunites, regardless of her personal feelings.

Avariel summed up something else that had been bothering me - the way Esmi's personality seemed to change so much. If Scott had continued to portray her with a strong intellect and personality, and then I can see her making a calculated decision to go with Kellhus (and letting us in on that decision-making in her head), but dropping her to an intellectual level that almost matches Serwe is something I find insulting on some level.

Kind of like a school-boy fantasy that, &quot;All women will find me and my penis irresistable, regardless of the fact that she is captain of the debate team and president of the Physics Club, and I can barely spell&quot;.

OK, I admit Kellhus can spell. Maybe a better analogy would be Glenda the Good Witch falling for Darth Vader just because he told her sweet nothings and has a large manhood. view post


Esmi posted 26 September 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Harrol, Moderator

I believe we are over looking how Esmi cowed Elazerith (sp) the grand master of the Scarlet Spires? This is after her seduction by Kellhus. Another thing is that she is second to no one but Kellhus even Proyas defers to her. Her personality changes true but who has not after dealing with Kellhus for a prolonged period. I believe that Esmi is a lightning rod because she is one of three main female characters. Let us also look at Esmi's childhood her dad raped her and men in general found no use for her outside of sex. This causes a person to think their greatest asset is their sexuality. Her desire for Kellhus's manhood is not because she is seduced by it but rather she believes it is her way to keep a hold on the relationship. view post


Esmi posted 27 September 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Shell, Peralogue

Esmi shows us at the beginning that she knows she is more than her sexuality, Akka knows that she is more than her sexuality, so therefore everything with Kellhus is regression.

Name me one person who changed as much as Esmi. Serwe stayed annoying dumb, Conphas astonishingly arrogant, Proyas pious, Cnaiur stayed Cnaiur.

I think Esmi is a lightning rod because she is the ONLY main female character. Serwe could have been any other beautiful, nameless face in the crowd, and Conphas mother really doesn't count. She is a lightning rod because Bakker started out with an intelligent woman who knew her own soul, and now everyone defers to her ONLY because she is Kellhus' bedpartner and mother of a godling or something. If she was not attached to Kellhus, she would be just another of many camp whores. view post


Esmi posted 30 September 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Curethan, Didact

Quote: &quot;Shell&quot;:2ozib5e6
Esmi shows us at the beginning that she knows she is more than her sexuality, Akka knows that she is more than her sexuality, so therefore everything with Kellhus is regression.

Name me one person who changed as much as Esmi. Serwe stayed annoying dumb, Conphas astonishingly arrogant, Proyas pious, Cnaiur stayed Cnaiur.

I think Esmi is a lightning rod because she is the ONLY main female character. Serwe could have been any other beautiful, nameless face in the crowd, and Conphas mother really doesn't count. She is a lightning rod because Bakker started out with an intelligent woman who knew her own soul, and now everyone defers to her ONLY because she is Kellhus' bedpartner and mother of a godling or something. If she was not attached to Kellhus, she would be just another of many camp whores.[/quote:2ozib5e6]

The change in the characters in the course of the story is due to Kellhus and the events they experience. I don't think Esmi's personality changed that much.

***** Bog Spoiler Alert *****
Emse becomes powerful and a valued and important contributor to the new world order. Everything she ever could have wished for herself at the start of the story, really. And her intelligence made her bitter because she knew her position to be unjust because she could tell that she was smarter than all the powerful men she encountered in her trade. She knows what she owes Kelhus and I believe she feels she must pay because of her experience in such transactions of the soul. She knows what Kellhus is by the end but still chooses him. To me this is consistent with her strong personality throughout the books, demostrating less change in character than you suggest. She has no reason to be antagonistic towards Kelhus because SHE is the one who betrayed Akka. She always tries to let her head rule her heart. I mean seriously, Akka is a nice enough guy (and a bit of a whiny self pitier) but there are a lot of .... hmmm ... 'mistakes' Esme made that lie between them. (Sarcellus, Kellhus etc)

I think we'll find that by the next book people will defer to Esme because they either respect or fear her, quite independantly of Kelhus. He is the catalyst for change and in this case, emancipation but these things eventually must sustain themselves.

And on the question of who changed more..... <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->
Serwe was an abused and dim animal, no more than chatel but she changed enough to become someone who felt valued and loved (still irritating to me tho, granted) before dying as a figure of veneration.
Conphas was a noble hero in a legend of his own making before slowly becoming a weak, humbled, embarassed emperor of a doomed nation betrayed by his own once loyal troops. (although a remaining self absorbed psychopath all the way)
Proyas, in contrast to Conphas gets all the heroic rewards for his piousness he could have hoped for when first introduced, but finds them hollow and becomes more and more withdrawn and disenchanted. I think by the end he's well on the way to losing his faith in religon and Kelhus.
Cnaiur went from being a shunned but powerful chieftain with some anger management issues into full blown insanity. I have no idea how you can suggest that he didn't change as a person. I really can't imagine the Cnaiur we met at the start of TDTCB would behave the same way upon encountering a skin spy's true face...
view post


Esmi posted 01 October 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Harrol, Moderator

Curethan I would have said the same thing if only I could write so well. Let us also not forget the changes Saubon went through. view post


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