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dusted off in read-only


Feelings for our protaganist posted 22 Apr 2005, 19:04 by Quinthane, Candidate

After reading both DTCB and WP, I immediately turned the story over to my two best friends. We all three feel its heads and shoulders above nearly everything the genre currently has to offer. I am struck by the different reactions we each have towards Kellhus. I am utterly under his thrall and hunger for every next move he makes and marvel at how his manipulations manage to encompass my thinking. One of my friends is made uncomfortable by his reaction to the Dunyain. He cannot shake the feeling of manipulation and the weight on his own moral compass...but he cannot ignore his understanding of the bigger picture that all this fits into. My other friend is fully angered by Kellhus and, near the end of WP had to put the story aside for some time. Esmi and Akka broke him and no matter the logic of circumstances, he cannot get past it and sees Kellhus as a villain. We all agree that a story that evokes reactions this diverse is a testament to superior story telling. How does Kellhus strike you, fellow readers? Quinthane "Innuendo Glistens" view post

posted 22 Apr 2005, 22:04 by Da-krul, Auditor

I've allways saw him as .... Kellus, he's not good, he's not bad he's Like a Nuetral Switzerland with enough no how to turn the world inside out to achieve his goals, whatever they may be. The Good, the Bad, The Kellus. view post

posted 23 Apr 2005, 15:04 by Andrew, Peralogue

Referenced to all of my objective standards, he strikes me as exceedingly evil. In our world, we would call him a psychopath. But he's an evil character that you can admire for his greatness. It is easier to forgive someone who acts out of a base and distorted notion of the good. Example - Sarcellus - he has essentially been programmed to have a base and disgusting notion of what is good. For him as for us, sexual expression is a good - except in Sarcellus the manifestation of that expression is base and evil. The consult represents a twisting and deformity of what is good. They take creativity, which is good - and twist it and construct evil creatures. They take physical pleasure, which is good and twist and distort it into an all encompassing need. Another example would be Cnaiur - he takes honour which is a good, and twists it into something awful by murdering, raping, beating etc. in order to satisfy his craving to be honoured. All these things we can understand because in our own lives we all engaging in a certain twisting of things which are good into that which is objectivly evil. For example, the drive to succeed and be excellent will often be twisted into an excess which justifies lieing to get ahead, stabbing competitor's in the back etc. The desire to be esteemed, or safe or prosperous can lead to excessive greed etc. All people walk a certain line between the things which are good in and of themselves, and the way we manifest these goods in our lives. Some people fall so far away from the ideal that it is easy to view them as being completely other than us. One can take as an example a pedophile - as i said a moment ago, the sexual urge and sexual satisfaction is a good thing. From the perspective of the pedophile, he is satisfying an urge which is good. Objectively speaking however, his urge is such a distortion and mutilation from what objectively is a Good manifestation of sexuality that people consider the pedophile to be almost outside the human race, inhuman, sub-human etc. In reality, he has really just fallen far farther than the rest of us. His view of sexuality is far more twisted from the ideal than ours. However it is a matter of degree only. We can perhaps find some pity for the man because we know that in our own lives we too twist what is good into what is not. Kellus however has no notion of the good (that i can see). He perpetrates acts which objectively must be considered evil and we cannot understand why. (we know his reasons but not why considers his reasons worth doing the act in question). view post

posted 24 Apr 2005, 00:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I find him totally fascinating. He does not anger or gross me out. I do recognize that I would not want to be on the receiving end of some his machinations though. (If I hated and was angered by everyone who did things or held views different from mine (most religious views, nationalism, sexism, etc.), that threatened my sense of sovereignty, then I would hate most people in the world, including most members of my family). I envy some of his intellectual and physical capabilities. But, at the end of the day, I would not want to be anywhere near him. Through the printed page is close enough. view post

posted 24 Apr 2005, 02:04 by Andrew, Peralogue

yeah he's definitely fascinating. Most serial killers are fascinating. can you really say that you weren't horrified and stunned when Kellus abandoned Leweth? Were you not repelled when he manipulated and deceived Serwe, using her love for him as a means to enslave Akkamian? sending her out to have sex with Akka under the delusion that she was really having sex with Kellus? Think of what he does as if you were someone deceived by him! Imagine yourself as Leweth, abandoned at the last moment by the person who you believed was connected with you in a way you never dreamed possible! Imagine if your wife or lover or whomever you most admire, trust, confide in etc. suddenly revealed him/herself as a complete deceiver, as a complete user of you with absolutely no regard for you as a person! Imagine the horror and violation which Serwe would have felt had she ever learned the truth! This man she admired and esteemed above all others - the only person who had ever treated her as if she mattered, who gave her a feeling of worth and self respect...all a lie. It's not that Kellus 'holds different views' - he is a deceiver and destroyer...of course he is becomming much more - i think. That's kind of my private little hope for Kellus - that he will live up to his potential as a Dunyain AND a man...which is why i think he will die by the end of TTT. On a side note Tattooed hand, I am curious about your comment: "If I hated and was angered by everyone who did things or held views different from mine ... that threatened my sense of sovereignty, then I would hate most people in the world" Do you truly feel that differing views per se threaten your sense of sovereignty? I would disagree - It's all to easy and tempting to join the sneering chucklers, or the cynics or whichever crowd one identifies with; but it is in the midst of the crowd that one becomes a mere reflection. in my view conflict is a necessary pre-condition of sovereignty. If others aren't free and sovereign in their own right to suggest their views to you, how can you be sovereign? The very act of imposing upon another, and the feeling of being imposed upon, grounds the assertion that I AM independent and free. If you never had to tell someone to frog off and leave you alone, you might forget that you had such a right. Incidentally, this is why i am so annoyed and disgusted by the current campaign of the Canadian government (and our courts) towards protecting people from having their feelings hurt. Like we're all a bunch of damn mewling kittens who need to run the farmer everytime a cow shits near us. slightly off topic though. view post

posted 24 Apr 2005, 04:04 by Cynadar, Candidate

Personally, Kellhus is favorite character since the moment he first left the fortress. I guess I can kinda relate to him, isolating myself in a fortress hidden from everyone. I can watch, listen and analyze people very well (not to the degree that Kellhus can, but he is a fictional character after all). I can hide emotion when necessary, tell people what I need them to hear. To me Kellhus is who I would (or will) be in time. However I don't (and hope I never do) exploit weakness in people to manipulate them to my own ends. view post

posted 24 Apr 2005, 05:04 by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Well, of course Kelhus deceived Serwe. But she never did find out. Frankly, his deceptions made her deliriously happy on some level, especially at the end. (I frankly doubt she would have believed him if he tried to level with her.) In the context of the story, she is a concubine – a plaything – and then she is a piece of meat for pillaging tribesmen. Kelhus screwed up her life? I am not defending him, and no, I would not want to be on the receiving end of that treatment, but, if you look at her quality of life, what sort of a turn did it take? You think she would prefer to end up giving birth to blue babies again as long as someone did the ethical thing and was honest with her? Seems like she went from bad to better. It may have been a blessing. Serwe almost wanted to be lied to, as long as someone made everything OK. And, maybe Kelhus is what could be called a prophet. He certainly seem superhuman on many levels. This is not a defense. What he did is completely unconscionable. But what is the source of emotion? Truth? Doesn’t it come out of stories we tell ourselves or other people tell us about the meaning of things in the world? Do we comfort our selves with stories that the love we share with someone is truly shared, that we understand the word love to house the same meanings? Seemed to me that she ended up deliriously happy at the end of her life. And, about differing views, when things like the right to abortion and birth control are under attack, people’s differing views ARE an attack on my personal sovereignty. When someone thinks the Bible (or any other scripture for that matter) should be the basis for education and law, I feel very under threat. It all depends on power and position no? You think worrying if my extended family is the next to be blown to smithereens by patriotically fired up American troops (who have the support of a wide swath of a duped, ill informed, even willfully ignorant American public) is being a cynical chuckler? How about the fact that the government is pushing legislation through to severely censor the line of work I am in so that it adheres more to government policy. Your theory of imposition is perhaps limited – so the US reinforced its own sense of sovereignty by bombing Iraq? Someone is going to take away my right to a safe abortion and then I will feel truly sovereign? I have no problem with someone thinking abortion is wrong, unfortunately that doesn’t translate into someone just not going out and getting one for themselves. And if the government wants to think it is the master of the universe, that is great, but unfortunately that generally means flexing some major military muscle. So civilized discussion is all good, but the differing views that I am talking about lead to serious consequences. I don’t mean to dump this all on you in a deluge, but yes, people’s views often do threaten my life in very up close and personal ways that are pretty hard to ignore. I choose to deal with it by doing the best I can. If I got angry every time, I’d explode with hate. This was a real problem for me when people all around me were voting for Bush, who I consider a threat to me in some of the ways I’ve outlined above. So in order to not hate all those people, I avoid talking about those things, or I walk away. view post

posted 25 Apr 2005, 08:04 by Fanim, Commoner

Kellhus' trajectory is clear from the very beginning in the callous way he treats Leweth, the man who rescued him as he left the Dunyain. No sympathy from me there. view post

posted 27 Apr 2005, 01:04 by White Lord, Subdidact

I think the people who hate Kellhus [i:1lxbho3r]a priori[/i:1lxbho3r], based on simplistic/unrealistic or too-rapid expectations, are making a big mistake. This is a story of complexity, and expecting a character to be good or evil (or of that contrived "shade of gray" that's so popular right now) from the get-go is not exactly very realistic. Kellhus is a character who is growing and developing, and in ways which are so ambiguous that many will think he's bound to do good while others'll still keep seeing him as a monster for a good while. I can tell however that in the end (when he starts doing good -- or as much good as a [i:1lxbho3r]human being[/i:1lxbho3r] (if he [i:1lxbho3r]is[/i:1lxbho3r] truly human ;)) can be expected to do -- for sound motives that have nothing to do with self-interest) he'll be much more appreciated precisely [i:1lxbho3r]because[/i:1lxbho3r] he was able to shed all that made him [i:1lxbho3r]truly[/i:1lxbho3r] alien and "evil" to begin with. view post

posted 28 Apr 2005, 15:04 by Sovin Nai, Site Administrator

I think so much of what we consider good and evil stems from how we were raised and feelings of what we somehow deserve. Kellhus, especially in Earwa, is operating under his own guiding principles and motives. I think the only adequate way to analyze him is to consider how we feel about what he is doing, not what he is actually doing. view post

posted 28 Apr 2005, 16:04 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Kellhus is my fave, hands down. If you think about it, [i:3m8b1dy3]the[/i:3m8b1dy3] protagonist for the past century or more has been the interpersonally marooned individual trying to salvage meaning in a world that seems meaningless. This is the modernist hero. The cool thing about fantasy is that its the only genre where the world is indubitably meaningful (that's what makes it [i:3m8b1dy3]fantastic[/i:3m8b1dy3]). Kellhus let me turn the modernist hero right on its head. There's a certain satisfaction in that... :wink: view post


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