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What drove Kellhus mad? posted 25 Jan 2008, 19:01 by dirk69er, Candidate

In TTT Moenghus made the comment that Kellhus was mad a couple of times. I thought about this and wondered if he considered Kellhus mad because he could comprehend things that Moenghus considered impossible or was he really mad? If he was mad then the question that I have, and am unsure of is; What drove Kellhus mad? Was he tainted due to his long exposure to the world? What are your thoughts? view post

posted 25 Jan 2008, 20:01 by Israfel, Peralogue

It was the time on the Circumfix, I'm pretty sure. Moenghus, when he meets Kellhus, says his probablity trance failed him at that point, and comments a little later that he didn't forsee that it would break him rather than enlighten him. It's from that point onwards that he starts to see halos around himself, I believe. Although I personally am coming round to the view that being mad, he has opened himself to the outside and the divine (see Cnaiur's report of what Akka says about the connection between madness and divinity), I'd say it was definitely that point (when he weeps onwards, essentially) that he starts going mad, and the voices convince him of 'destiny' and that damnation and salvation are facts. view post

posted 25 Jan 2008, 22:01 by dirk69er, Candidate

Does that mean then that everyone who believes in Kellhus are also mad? Others can see the halos as well. view post

posted 26 Jan 2008, 02:01 by Harrol, Moderator

No it means their faith has become perceived reality. view post

posted 25 Feb 2008, 11:02 by trigger, Commoner

This whole madness/truth point is really what drove me nuts about the ending. Is he mad at all, or is he really a prophet? I wanted so badly at the end for it all to be true, and for everyone to see the truth. I wanted Achamian not to be angry, to understand, that even in his understanding of Kellhus' lies, he was wrong. That though they were lies, they serve the same purpose as his true motivation. And does that mean that everyone else, deluded as they are, trapped as they are by Kellhus' deception, they know the truth, they are closer to the truth than Achamian? Because it seems clear that, even if he is no prophet, he IS the one to stave off the second apocalypse. So even if he is mad, he's still carrying out the Thousandfold Thought and saving the world, as his father wished. He's just going about it in a slightly less Dunyain way. It's clear he's become far less (or far more than, if you take it his way) a Dunyain. There's his belief in his prophet status, the halos around his hands (which he is not alone in seeing.. strange). And I there are hints, I believe, that he is coming to feel something for Esmenet more than just as a baby-making tool. His father calls this madness because it is not Dunyain. I'd call it simply more human. So maybe madness is not the correct term? Wow. That was more questions than possible answers. Just finished the book, so I am all kinds of hyped about it. I do like Harrol's thought. It seems a central idea of the books, the overlap of faith and reality; madness and sanity; truth and lies. view post

posted 25 Feb 2008, 16:02 by Nerdanel, Peralogue

I suspect madness is just another word for being influenced by the Outside. A mad person is one whose acts are not based on the observable material reality. The Outside is not part of that. Therefore, being mad and being a prophet are pretty much the same thing. view post

posted 25 Feb 2008, 17:02 by Israfel, Peralogue

Well, my suspicion is that even in The Prince of Nothing world, all madmen don't have exactly the same insights or opinions or perceptions of the nature of the world and the 'outside', etc. And that their delusions wouldn't always be benign or helpful. So in my opinion, while being mad might indeed mean they're influenced by the outside, this is not necessarily a good thing, and having a madman in charge is still going to be a serious problem... view post

posted 26 Feb 2008, 07:02 by Curethan, Didact

I've always believed that I am the only sane one and everyone else is variably mad. Works for me, and it seems to work for everyone else too ;) So before you worry about what kind of crazy Kellhus is, think about just who in Earwa is sane and what that means. If Moe's probability trances (the TTT) lead him to expect Kellhus would achieve enlightenment at the circumfixion - how would he be able to distinguish that from madness? I've expounded many times on this forum what Harrol has succintly stated above - nice to know I aint the only one who sees that dichotomy as a central theme, heh. view post

The short answer posted 02 May 2008, 05:05 by The No-Philosopher, Commoner

Moenghus is rather straight forward about why he thinks Kellhus has gone mad. It is because, since the circumfix, Kellhus has claimed to have thoughts that did not originate in him, because he believes that he has actually made prophecies (violating the Dunyain axiom that what comes after cannot influence what comes before,) and because he claims to speak to the No-God. view post

Re: What drove Kellhus mad? posted 09 Jul 2008, 00:07 by Trinket, Candidate

The only difference between a Prophet and a Madman is the audience. But on a different point, Kellhus tries to own his circumstances in the Warrior Prophet by entering the probability trance in Caraskand. Unfortunately, he can't find any way of tristing events in his favour. So he takes a leap of faith and admits to not being a Prince/Prophet (which is what gets him strung on the circumfix). This is when he first discovers human emotions like sadness. He survives, convinced that something divine has happened. I think this is where he first starts believing that he is a prophet. Something interesting that just came to mind, what if Kellhus succeeded in fooling more than just the people of the Holy War? Because if the God holds any sway in Earwa, then maybe he DID prevent Kellhus' death, convinced that he was the prophet he says he is? view post

Re: What drove Kellhus mad? posted 09 Jul 2008, 07:07 by Curethan, Didact

Imo - Earwa is a world where beliefs have a very real weight. If enough people believe something it becomes so - but coloured by the truth of their belief rather than the ideal. view post


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