"The difficulty lay in the sheer audacity of what the Wizard alleged about the Aspect-Emperor: the idea of a man so quick, so cunning, that he, Malowebi, among the foremost sorcerers of his age ... was nothing but a child in comparison. In all of the Kuburu, the accumulated legends of Zeum, the hero's exalted trait was always strength, skill, or passion - never intellect ... Never a miraculously penetrating thinker, one who used truth as his primary instrument of deception.
Why should the notion of a Thought-dancer rest so uneasy in the souls of Men?
This is what rendered them blind to a being such as Anasurimbor Kellhus, one who could play on innumerable strands of thought and weave that agreement into designs of his making.
Was he inhuman in a more mundane sense, the harbinger of a new race, the Dunyain, dreadful for the symmetry between their strength and human frailty...
A race of perfect manipulators. Thought-dancers." (p590 - 591, WLW)
One of the more important passages in WLW in my opinion. I have a number of others bookmarked that I might share.
It invokes the idea of the Face-dancers of Herbert's Dune, clear analogies of Bakker's Skin-Spies, minions of the Bene Tleilax, who, with the Ixians, seem analogous of the Inchoroi.
Perhaps, within Zeumi culture a hero of whichever degree is referred to by the suffix dancer - such as Zeumi Sword-dancer. We know from Zsoronga's perspective that Zeumi ancestral lists are social and only include the greatest actions.
Where might Bakker be going with this idea? What might it mean for the World if the Dunyain were not killed but instead simply cast out of Ishual, seeping into the World from their broken shell?
_________________ Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit Die Better
Depends if there's a bunch of dudes with their dogs to go and save their frozen asses...hehe.
Not sure why Kellhus would cast them out rather than contain or eliminate the rather high variables that are other Dunyain - I think what it would mean for the world would largely have to do with why he would do that.
But it's a new idea - presumably he'd have split Ishual in twain and indicated he'd just keep doing that (no rebuilding possible).
Presumably you'd have a bunch of individuals who are extremely good at effecting their own agenda onto masses of world born, but without much self reflection about their own failings (presumably the zealous pursuit of the self moving soul overrides any much self reflection in that regard).
Presumably the errors would be magnificently huge, the broadened intellect allowed far larger fuck ups than any world born could typically manage.
I wonder why Kellhus apparently went mad? Did he just see his own error, already made and absolute?
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:28 am Posts: 804 Location: Buffalo, NY
First I'd like to put in that I think its unlikely Kell sent a bunch of Dunyain out into the world. If you recall big Moe and Kell had something of a misunderstanding, and indeed everyone who has 'grasped' TTT seems to have a slightly different opinion of what it means.
That aside, say the Consult or something tried to kill them, I feel like a contingent of Dunyain could have easily evaded any assault, so it is possible they are wandering the countryside.
This would create an unprecedented level mystery. Its likely they would all go mad by trying to control their own circumstance, and end up splitting into 2 factions. 1 that either agreed with Kell or thought that Kell in power was the best way to achieve a self moving soul, and 1 that was bent on destroying him as he represents something they cannot control and therefore someone that is controlling them.
Either way they would find their way into the army of the Ordeal. Superhuman soldiers amongst the mundane men of the Ordeal. They would certainly be unconquerable in the field, which regardless of whether or not they wanted to help Kell, they would have to fight, so this would be a great benefit. However it would come at a cost, for there would be impossibly stealthy and impeccably well hidden assassins everywhere.
Another possibility is Kell captured many Dunyain and did some kind of brainwashing or Compulsion Cants (or a severe combination of both) in order to have some more brain power on his side. Like I said, I think there would be a split of some kind amongst the Dunyain, and Kell could use the willing to further his goals intellectually, and the unwilling he could force to fight for him.
If big Moe could force some skin-spys to talk, I'm sure Kell could find something to do with the Dunyain than make a bunch of corpses.
I am still not entirely sold on the idea that Kellhus actually went mad. Has Scott ever confirmed this in any interviews or blogs? I don't remember reading anywhere where he confirms that Kellhus has indeed went mad. I always thought that the madness Moenghus mentions was simply his perception. At no point have I ever thought that Kellhus actually believes he has become a God. He seized on the opportunity to utilize religious zeal to further his own cause, namely consolidating enough power to take on the Consult. That is not to say Kellhus is the "good guy" in this, as the Second Apocalypse has never struck me as that kind of examination. There are no real good guys vs. bad guys in this story, which is one of the primary reasons I enjoy it so much. The Dunyain are just as cruel as the Consult and seek to control and manipulate, abliet through different methods. Their primary difference seems to be one of purpose. Earwa is a world of gray, which more accurately reflects reality. Good people do bad things, and vice versa.
I wonder when we are going to get some significant insight into how the Duynain came about. Where did they come from? We know a fair amount about the conflict between the Nonmen and the Inchoroi. How long have the Dunyain been present on Earwa? Did they come about as a result of a fracture or splintering of a group or have they possibly always been there in a different form? There are elements of both Nonmen and Inchoroi philosphy present within Dunyain ideology.
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:28 am Posts: 804 Location: Buffalo, NY
There has been some significant discussion on whether or not Kell is mad, I think on TTT forum under Moe. is a lying liar who lies, or something along those lines. In any case, I believe the main evidence for this is that it is stated in the "What has come before" sections that Kell arrived at big Moe's house insane. There has been subsequent discussion on whether or not these sections are to be trusted elsewhere, or maybe in that same forum I cant remember. But IMO, I think Kell was more or less sane, and Moe precieved him as mad because his conclusion of TTT was vastly different than his own.
I think the recap at the start of WLW says he went mad quite explicitly.
What he did not know, could not know, was that Kellhus would see further than he had, think beyond this Thousandfold Thought...
And go mad.
* If anyone wants to suggest I spoiler tag this, feel free. I'm open to the suggestion even though currently I lean toward thinking it's not warranted.
Ah you are indeed correct I completely forgot about that recap. Remember now at that time seeing that but not really paying much attention to it, sort of glossed over the recap and figured it was being presented in a certain context rather than a definitive statement by Bakker that Kellhus had indeed lost his mind. In fact at no point in any of the books have I felt that Kellhus was not fully sane. The usage of the word mad just doesn't seem accurate with the picture Bakker has painted. None the less, it is in the recap, and that means according to Bakker, Kellhus is mad by some definition. Can't argue with the author.
I suppose Bakker intended on Drusas and Esmi being the main sympathetic characters but he wrote Kellhus so well that it kind of backfired. I could care less what happens to Drusas or Esmi. I want Kellhus to achieve his ultimate goal, whatever that might be. I hope he does not end up throwing Kellhus completely under the bus, so to speak. I know Scott is focused on exaniming philosophical concepts within the framework of an epic fantasy, and so I imagine it can get easy for him to forget that for all the beautiful prose and philosphical analysis, SA at it's core is a still a work of fantasy. All the world building and analysis is for not if the story gets lost. Whether or not it was intended, Kellhus has become a sympathetic character for many and the idea that Kellhus may end up nothing more than a mad demigod does not appeal to me personally and I imagine won't sit well with many fans of the series. That being said, no author should write to appease the fans. Regardless of which direction Scott goes I am sure it will be one hell of a ride. I might grumble and complain if things turn out badly for Kellhus but it won't stop me from buying the next installement after The Unholy Consult.
Personally I recall the bit in TTT before he goes off to have a chat with dad, where he's basically seeing alot of visions and...yup, I didn't see it as mad at the time. I have to wonder if that says something about me! I'll say in my defence, when dudes walk the sky and can make etherial dragons appear and spit fire by singing a bit, in that kind of setting seeing things a bit weirdly doesn't strike me as mad.
Thirdeye, What difference would you place on sane Vs mad?
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