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The Norwegian Dunyain posted 13 Aug 2007, 21:08 by Gravity Gun, Candidate

Have you ever heard of her? Norwegian-American Aud Torvingen, a fictional character created by author Nicola Griffith. She has so far appeared in three books: “The Blue Place”, “Stay”, “Always”. These are novels of realism, not fantasy, so of course she is not literally a Dunyain. She’s only human. But not by much. Lying on the beach and reading “Always” yesterday, it suddenly dawned on me that she shares three crucial similarities with the Dunyain: first, superb physical fitness/martial arts; second, a near-demonic ability to read other people’s thoughts and emotions, and to infer their intentions and past experiences; third, a chameleon-like quality that allows her to morph into any role/disguise, in any given situation, to manipulate others and maximize advantages for herself. And needless to say, that essential coldness, that "detached" quality. If you haven't, try “The Blue Place.” When I first read it (this was 1998, long before Prince of Nothing came out), she reminds me of – guess who? – Nietzsche. :) view post

posted 16 Aug 2007, 07:08 by Nauticus, Auditor

Never heard of it, but based on your descriptions, she's like probably a hundred other "godlike" reference characters in fantasy and other genres, to this point. :D What made Kellhus a Dunyain [i:2jmpjvix]wasn't[/i:2jmpjvix] the qualities you've mentioned. Sure, he possesses them, but he's unique because of his history, and his very powerful development through the novels - introspective looking, and questioning his beliefs. view post

posted 18 Aug 2007, 03:08 by Gravity Gun, Candidate

You speak of introspection and development, but I still feel that Kellhus' inner world is just far too opaque for us to understand. He evidently had undergone some transformations, but exactly what, we don't really know. In any event, are there really "hundreds" of characters like this in fantasy novels? I admit I haven't read many, and the only two (other than Prince of Nothing) that I've read more than once and in any depth are LOTR and George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, and there certainly are no such characters in them. It's my impression that authors usually shy away from creating such "Ubermensch" because readers cannot relate to them at all. view post


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