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Is Kelhus a criticism of Jesus/religion? posted 15 Jul 2007, 11:07 by cloust, Commoner

Hi scott. Apologies if you've answered this question before. One of the message I got from Kellhus in your books is a subthread of criticism towards Christianity. I personally am not Christian, and I don't mean that statement in a negative way at all. Please hear me out. The way I see it, Kellhus embodies many of the symbols of Jesus - he's a humble prophet unaware of his status as a prophet until he was a young man, who faces fierce opposition. He is 'crucified' on a Circumfix, and in his rescue from it is reborn (symbolically removing his heart from his chest). And now he is accepted as the true Prophet of the God. Here's where I saw the criticism: Kellhus is not a Prophet. I know there's some confusion near the end with his meeting with his father, but I think we can still safely stay that. He's a charlatan, a man who manipulated the people around him, who lies to further his own path in the world. He does not feel compassion or love or anything, and in fact views those as weaknesses of humanity, whom he sees as children. Even the whole rebirth thing, removing his heart from his chest was another trick, since he uses Serwe's heart. He's the anti-Prophet, a charlatan and liar who manipulates people around him to make them think he's holy, when he's not. He's Satan, so to speak. He even admits that the No-God speaks to him, though whether thats because he's learned the Gnosis or not, i'm not sure. So the man who embodies the characteristics of Jesus, is in reality the biggest liar of them all. Thats where I saw some criticism of Jesus or maybe even of organized religion. Kellhus's father beautifully sums it all up near the end of TTT. In a way, I feel you've even tricked the readers into liking Kellhus, into falling for his wiles and charm and 'wisdom' as easily as those around him We root for him throughout all 3 books, (me included) even though on retrospect there's only one thing worth praising him for : he's opposed to sealing the world shut and so opposed to the Consult. Its the skeptic in me that makes me look back and think why exactly i'm rooting for a man who really does embody some terrible characteristics. Thats what made me think that you've been playing with the readers a bit, and there's this deep thread of criticism underneath it all. If it was intentional or not, its given me insight into myself. I fell for Kellhus just like the people around him who I pitied for being such saps. Who couldn't see past his tricks. It makes his type of personality more real to me, if that makes any sense. Also I know you've dropped clues thorughout the books that maybe Kellhus has a conscience or can feel things. 1) He doesn't kill Cnaiur, even though the Logos tells him he should. 2) He feels for Serwe while hanging next to her. 3) He doesn't go along with his father in the end, in his plan to seal shut the world (which he forsees his father being a part of.) This is all theoretical, i hope i haven't offended you or anybody else. It's just for the sake of discussion, and your books are definately my favorite fantasy books that i've ever read. view post

posted 20 Jul 2007, 05:07 by xatantius, Candidate

I think you've got a good point saying that Kellhus is a representation of Jesus. I think Bakker has quite deliberately mirrored elemnts of the real world in PoN. For example, the Holy War between Inrithism and Fanimry is a clear parallel of the Crusades between Christians and Muslims, and like you said the Circumfix is pretty obviously another version of a crucifix. I think Bakker has deliberately made these comparisons pretty blatant to better get his message across-to show how easy it is for people to be fooled into believing what others tell them, and to showthe ignorance of the masses when it comes to religion. So I don't think PoN is anti-Christian, per se. Anti-religion, perhaps. It's one of those questions that can have lots of answers. view post

posted 20 Jul 2007, 15:07 by Zarathinius, Auditor

I personally like to think that the PoN is simply different, an alternate universe that isn't colored by any underlying themes (any more so than our real world is). Things in the Three Seas simply happen, for better or for worse, just like in the real world. But then again, I never got on very well with most of my English teachers. Finding "the moral of the story" has always been a rather low priority for me :) view post

posted 27 Jul 2007, 00:07 by cloust, Commoner

i'd like to do that zarathinius, but sometimes these things jump out at me and i end up thinking about them. Who is the hero in the books? Is there even a hero and what does it mean that there might not be, that its just a collection of irreparably flawed humans or (in the case of Kellhus) perfectly flawed humans? As far as the criticism of religion thing, I have to say that most of the books contain a deep criticism of the mechanisms of humanity. About our leaders, the process they use to become leaders, about followers and their gullibility. About heirarchies and their corruption. Scott's world is a dark place. A scene that comes particularly to mind is Maithanet's procession where a homeless child is kidnapped by slavers. There's so much concentration on the dark side of human life, on the underbelly of the societies he creates, that there doesn't seem to be much room left over for the good moments in life. Unless you think a desperately sad love between Achamian and Esemet is an example of that. And Scott ends up tearing that to shreds as well in his last book. And surely its not the love between Serwe and Kellhus. That's just the deluded hero-worship of an abused woman taken advantage of by a consumate manipulator. Why's it all dark Scott? view post

posted 04 Aug 2007, 03:08 by Andrew, Peralogue

Cloust's last comment has it right. The world of the three seas is too dark for any serious parallel to our world to have meaning. view post

posted 04 Aug 2007, 14:08 by Madness, Peralogue

It's wierd that lately I've been incited to post again, and disappointingly these little entries. In the past couple weeks I've expanded my already vast appreciation and understanding of life exponentially, and it's seeming hard to let some comments slide. Firstly, in response to Cloust. Cû'jara Cinmoi does paint a cruel world, full of deceitful, remorseless representations of humanity. It is dark and due to his philosophical nature, he presents many imaginative and, perhaps to some, frightening aspects to behold. As he writes - not exactly but I believe it goes, "The philosopher is most lichenous for he lies with all things imaginable." Two things that I think many people should realize reading any of Cû'jara Cinmoi's novels (I think Neuropath will hit these home harder) at a certain level of intelligence. He is writing to shock you, to tear away many of our foundational concepts on a human level. Again, I'd suggest that any curious simply read some of the man's interviews. However, things he suggests can terrify some as it can literally dissuade many of things that bind them to sanity and reality. Likewise, however, you must realize reality and hold hope for our species, for humanity. As unlikely as some of you may believe, Cû'jara Cinmoi has an amazing belief in humankind and our potential. One of the many, and I am not nearly conceited enough to even begin to believe I can summarize the majority of what the man is writing, things Cû'jara Cinmoi is trying to achieve is to prove the frailties of many damaging "truths" that govern entire societies and subsequently humanity itself. Love is not the only representation of our goodness though perhaps the best, and as dark as any artist can represent humanity is only equilivant to the potential of our light. I'm somewhat ranting here as it's noisy around me at my sister's, and my nephew is grumpy and sick. Lastly directed to Andrew, I'm sorry to write, bud, but what planet are you living on? The Three Seas is barely dark enough to parallel our own world. The majority of us on these forums live in the relative "safety" of North America though if you are sheltered enough to believe that the rest of the world, or even really our own countries, live in a beautiful bubble then you are sadly mistaken. view post

posted 04 Aug 2007, 15:08 by cloust, Commoner

for clarification, i didn't mean any of my comments as criticisms of Scott or his books. I'm an avid fan of his books, i've read them several times. I guess it interests me that some of the people that the characters in the book see as heroes are really diabolical (like Kellus.) The followers in the book are tricked. They're fools, just like people in the real world can be fools who follow blindly. A part of that criticism is religious. The people follow false prophets, and their rise to near divinity closely models stories of prophets in the real world. So its a criticism of a broad spectrum, politics and religion. But I can't spot the light at the end of the tunnel. The revelation that sets humanity back on the right track. If anything the followers in the books just fall more and more under the spell of the liars and deceivers. With the one exception being Achamian, and that happens on the last few pages of the last book. When does humanity get a chance to redeem itself? Maybe Scott just wants to hold up a mirror to us, but where's the hope in that? As for living in north america, i live in Lebanon, and i get to see reality up close. view post

posted 04 Aug 2007, 17:08 by Curethan, Didact

Well, lets assume that Kellhus does save Earwa and defeats the Consult.... That could be qualified as a good act, and as it was 'vaugely' prophesised probably makes it a miracle - thus proof of divine intervention. So, have those who 'helped' him really been tricked if that was what they believed? Dishonest people can be right, honest ones can be wrong. If people didn't fear being wrong so much, the world would be a nicer place, agreed? PoN is the first part of Kellhus' larger story and focuses on his early experiences with lesser men. At first they are like dogs to him, creatures to be domesticated and trained, but I expect that we'll see more changes to his character in the series as he lives among them - sorcery isn't the only thing the Dunyain have deliberately 'forgotten'. Perhaps we will see Kellhus' redemption as the light at the end of the tunnel. view post

posted 04 Aug 2007, 20:08 by Madness, Peralogue

You have to understand I was never insinuating that Kellhus will become a "good" character. Though neither is he an "evil" one. Cû'jara Cinmoi has the resolve and tenacity to write his entire epic into the darkest corners of our imagination. Though my own belief/hope is that he will write Kellhus to be a "good" character, and again only if Cû'jara Cinmoi decides to write of a man who was once Dûnyain, I just meant that he is representing his belief of goodness in a skewed, blurry opposite of the dark. There are heroes in this epic, men and women who, though increasingly [i:u4b29azf]human[/i:u4b29azf], hold fast to the dream of a humankind with no fear. Hold tight to Seswatha. He dreamed the dream. In all speculations we have to remember that the Prince of Nothing is something of a prologue. An introduction to the true tale. It was intended to be the first book of a trilogy. I firmly believe we have absolutly no clue where Cû'jara Cinmoi will take us from here. It could be he will write an epic fantasy one where Humankind and Nonmen triumph over the Consult and Inchoroi. It could be he takes an entirely philosophical route in the later novels. Kellhus could manage to make Eärwa his sphere of dominance, controlled entirely through his will and desire. The groundwork for both is laid out in the Thousandfold Thought glossary. If the released second title of The Aspect-Emperor is the title proper and not a counterfeit, there is much insinuated as to where he could be taking us. The Horns of Golgotterath. Cû'jara Cinmoi's tale might never return to the Three Seas. view post

posted 03 Oct 2007, 08:10 by ErebusRed, Candidate

I didn't sympathise with Kellhus far beyond the first book, and felt he became less of a character and more of a 'force'. As if he was increasingly conditioning himself from having real feelings. I kept hoping he would 'wake up' from his conditioning, but maybe that is yet to come. Ultimately he became necessity. Doing whatever is necessary 'for the greater good' but without concern for ethics. I would argue (not insist - I have learned something from reading these books!) that Akka is the hero of the story - that seems to be the revelation that Esmenet has when she reads the story of Seswatha. The Kellhus/Jesus question ought to be considered in the broader context of Messianic stories and the mythic hero cycle - rather than just that of Jesus. A Google on the works of Joseph Campbell will start you on the right track. view post


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