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mewse
May 2, 2006




Just finished Harrow and caught up on the replies here

I definitely expect the emperor was created through a nuclear holocaust. It's referenced several times.

Regarding Alecto, I got the impression that the lyctors opened her tomb using Gideon's blood because she's the offspring of the emperor. So Harrow confessing that she opened the tomb, and the emperor telling her she couldn't, was moot because the lyctors had opened it previously by nullifying the blood wards using blood from the offspring of the emperor. Weird plot point of course. Whole book was pretty weird, but brilliant.

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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

mewse posted:

Regarding Alecto, I got the impression that the lyctors opened her tomb using Gideon's blood because she's the offspring of the emperor. So Harrow confessing that she opened the tomb, and the emperor telling her she couldn't, was moot because the lyctors had opened it previously by nullifying the blood wards using blood from the offspring of the emperor. Weird plot point of course. Whole book was pretty weird, but brilliant.

Note that Harrow mentions a day when she particularly wanted to die and went to open up the Tomb and die there, and Gideon mentions a day when she said some particularly nasty things and Harrow went away with most of Gideon's face under her fingernails.

mewse
May 2, 2006




Rand Brittain posted:

Note that Harrow mentions a day when she particularly wanted to die and went to open up the Tomb and die there, and Gideon mentions a day when she said some particularly nasty things and Harrow went away with most of Gideon's face under her fingernails.

Good catch!!

Humerus
Jul 7, 2009

Rule of acquisition #111:
Treat people in your debt like family...exploit them.




Rand Brittain posted:

Note that Harrow mentions a day when she particularly wanted to die and went to open up the Tomb and die there, and Gideon mentions a day when she said some particularly nasty things and Harrow went away with most of Gideon's face under her fingernails.

Yeah this was my take too, it would explain why Harrow said it took her so long (years?) to break the wards, because she was missing Gideon's blood and just coincidentally had it during one time she tried.

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

In the Harrow epilogue Camilla doesn’t seem to remember how to use her sword or know how to use necromancy (“just do what feels natural” while holding both rapier and bones), and the woman(?!) helping her seems to have Palameides’ gray eyes and asks her if she’s worked out who “she” is yet.

Palameides said he’d nearly figured out how to do the emperor’s version of the lyctor ritual, so my best guess is that Palameides is in one of these bodies, but I’m not sure which or why both are female. The Palameides-eyed face sounds more like Camilla’s face (didn’t she have bobbed hair in Gideon?) and I don’t know why a reconstructed body for him would be female (unless he cloned her). So maybe he is “Camilla” and doesn’t have his full recall yet. Not only does he not recall she is Camilla, he doesn’t recall that he is not.

Regardless, the forgetful Camilla POV is a lyctor who heals instantly, so this pair is definitely C&P. Presumably Harrow and Gideon work out a similar deal in Alecto, and who knows what Ianthe does.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I'm pretty sure Camilla is "the woman who took care of her," not the person being taken care of.

But yeah, it looks like she's hooked up with Palamedes somehow.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


Drone Jett posted:

In the Harrow epilogue Camilla doesn’t seem to remember how to use her sword or know how to use necromancy (“just do what feels natural” while holding both rapier and bones), and the woman(?!) helping her seems to have Palameides’ gray eyes and asks her if she’s worked out who “she” is yet.

Palameides said he’d nearly figured out how to do the emperor’s version of the lyctor ritual, so my best guess is that Palameides is in one of these bodies, but I’m not sure which or why both are female. The Palameides-eyed face sounds more like Camilla’s face (didn’t she have bobbed hair in Gideon?) and I don’t know why a reconstructed body for him would be female (unless he cloned her). So maybe he is “Camilla” and doesn’t have his full recall yet. Not only does he not recall she is Camilla, he doesn’t recall that he is not.

Regardless, the forgetful Camilla POV is a lyctor who heals instantly, so this pair is definitely C&P. Presumably Harrow and Gideon work out a similar deal in Alecto, and who knows what Ianthe does.


Pretty sure the woman who can't remember her identity in the epilogue is Harrow, Camilla is the one helping her.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



So I gather the word after "someone's crying, lord" is kumbaya, but what's after "“Oh—” He used a word you did not understand. “Harrowhark, no theorems!”"? Jesus, maybe?

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

Entropic posted:

Pretty sure the woman who can't remember her identity in the epilogue is Harrow, Camilla is the one helping her.

Oooooh. I thought it was some totally separate scene and characters, but that makes sense. Harrow’s body with her healing factor but no memory of necromancy, swordsmanship, or her history.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Drone Jett posted:


and who knows what Ianthe does.


Makes the worst possible choice for herself and all involved, presumably.

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

Gideon the Ninth epilogue note: Gideon’s body wasn’t recovered from Canaan House, and potentially the Second cavalier or Blood of Eden science could have preserved it well enough for Harrow, possibly with Palamedes’ help, to stick her soul back in it.

Also re: H the 9th Gideon the Lyctor died and the Resurrection Beast is gone, but it’s not explicit what happened to it. Are we to presume the beast left for some reason or did Gideon suicide it into a stoma off screen?

Drone Jett fucked around with this message at 18:27 on Sep 7, 2020

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013




Entropic posted:

Pretty sure the woman who can't remember her identity in the epilogue is Harrow, Camilla is the one helping her.

My take was that it could be Harrow or Gideon. Note that right before the epilogue Harrow sealed herself up in the same place that where Gideon had been locked away in her mind.

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



I mean, I'm a sucker for a good enamel pin at the best of times...
And these look super good.

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

So what’s the deal with the missing Resurrection Beast? There were nine, they killed five, three remained at the beginning of Harrow. Alecto?

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



Drone Jett posted:

So what’s the deal with the missing Resurrection Beast? There were nine, they killed five, three remained at the beginning of Harrow. Alecto?

I feel like the final one is in John, because that's kinda how he described the resurrection and Harrow's parents' conception ritual? I dunno.

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

silvergoose posted:

I feel like the final one is in John, because that's kinda how he described the resurrection and Harrow's parents' conception ritual? I dunno.

Maybe why the others chased him and a stoma opened for him.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



Yeah, like, I don't exactly feel like I could prove it with text, but it seems plausible.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



well I sure didn't catch this the first two times through HtN

...said Ortus. Harrow regretted not making him take a solemn pledge of silence, to walk the pace as the mute and intimidating bulk his father had been; but only a very obedient idiot of a cavalier would have stuck to that.

Ah, foreshadowing. I mean, pastshadowing? Whatever.

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

Harrow epilogue: compare Camilla’s eye description to Palamedes’ in Gideon: ”his eyes were a perfectly lambent grey: unflecked, unmurked, even and clear.”

Epilogue: “It felt as though she had always been fond of the face, and of the dark, sharply bobbed hair; and she loved without reserve the eyes—those great lambent eyes, the iris so skilfully and gently blent that it seemed there was no tint or shade in that clear and beautiful grey.”


They’ve merged, presumably without one being eaten.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

silvergoose posted:

well I sure didn't catch this the first two times through HtN

...said Ortus. Harrow regretted not making him take a solemn pledge of silence, to walk the pace as the mute and intimidating bulk his father had been; but only a very obedient idiot of a cavalier would have stuck to that.

Ah, foreshadowing. I mean, pastshadowing? Whatever.


I think it's worth noting that Gideon, rebellious as she is about unrelated matters, is willing to follow even the stupidest commands Harrow gives her as long as they plausibly lead to success as a cavalier/necromancer pair.

(I also suspect Harrow would have been satisfied if Gideon had just told people "I'm not supposed to talk to you" and Gideon just took it too far.)

Drone Jett
Feb 21, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


College Slice

Did Wake’s full name work for anyone as a joke or am I right that it was pure cringe?

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



Drone Jett posted:

Did Wake’s full name work for anyone as a joke or am I right that it was pure cringe?

Works perfectly for me, and it's clear that a lot of what people say is stupid tumblr humor is (in universe) references by idiots who refused to let their era of pop culture go.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


I didn’t really get the reference of the full name but I laughed at Emperor Dadjokes calling her “Wake-Me-Up-Inside”.

DurianGray
Dec 23, 2010

King of Fruits


At least for me, some of the meme jokes were a bit cringey (much as I dislike that phrase) but I still found them funny in a huff-and-roll-your-eyes way if nothing else, including Wake's full name.

However, I was absolutely unprepared for the 'none pizza with left beef' joke even though I'd seen someone mention it being in there and I didn't even know what to think of it, especially given the context where it shows up. But it is also one of the ones that, unless you already know the meme, wouldn't stick out except that the phrasing in context is maybe a little weird (the 'I studied the blade' joke in Gideon was similarly handled, imo).

Poldarn
Feb 18, 2011



I know that Gideon's extremely online turns of phrase should make me cringe, but they delight me instead.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


You could plausibly argue that The Emperor being so fond of cringey jokes is an intentional clue about Gideon’s true parentage.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

The Internet-era jokes don't really work with Gideon (given her background, surroundings, the sort of life she's led...) but they are a perfect fit for John. Let's face it, if anything survives this particular shape of civilization, it's going to be bad jokes.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Poldarn posted:

I know that Gideon's extremely online turns of phrase should make me cringe, but they delight me instead.

Me too. Muir gets away with poo poo in this series that would make me put other authors on the never-read-again list and I'm not sure why it works for me.

I think it's because the voice of the books does a good job at flipping between different registers - YA romance, locked-room mystery, cosmic horror, classic gothic - and meme poo poo is just another voice that is part of the blend. It would be grating and fourth-wall breaking in other books that tried to keep more of a consistent voice, but the mashup of different genres is one of the things that's appealing to me about the book and the meme poo poo is part of that.

Re: Wake's name, it's a good example... it's a weird anachronism and stupid internet call-back, but at the same time it works for me because it: A. Establishes Wake as an idealist/radical who directly blames the Emperor for something ( in the "awake to the countless dead" bit ), B. Positions her as a kind of "if I can't dance I don't want to be a part of your revolution" style activist in a way that feels like a direct line from modern protest movements, and C. Works as a direct contrast to the pseudogothic/latinesque names of the nine houses and the modern/unassuming names of John . To me it implies the existence of a kind of Ian Banks Culture-esque human society outside of the Empire.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I think it also works because the memes, in a way, are a deliberate register change. Gideon's manner of speaking marks her out as the "punk" in a world of gothic aristocrats, and so it helps her stand out without making the world seem inconsistent, because most other characters stay in their lane.

Hecuba
Jul 20, 2005

What we do is invent our images. And we build them.


Rand Brittain posted:

I think it also works because the memes, in a way, are a deliberate register change. Gideon's manner of speaking marks her out as the "punk" in a world of gothic aristocrats, and so it helps her stand out without making the world seem inconsistent, because most other characters stay in their lane.

This is spot on, and a primary reason why I identified Gideon as the narrator pretty early on in Harrow. This line in particular:

quote:

...for which you would one day jerk her white and beating heart from her colourless ribcage and eat it dripping before her. You did not examine eat it dripping as you maybe should have done.

jumped out at me right away. It's unmistakably Gideon's voice — you're not going to get a "that's what she said" joke, even textually, from any of the self-serious goths that make up the rest of the cast.

drat, what a fun and good series.

Kestral
Nov 24, 2000

Forum Veteran

The Harrow audiobook makes that stand out even more, since the narrator shifts partway - not completely, but noticeably - back toward her Gideon voice in those segments, and it's magical. One of the best-read books I've seen in a long, long time.

Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

I saw an interview with Muir where she said that there are hints to the overall plot/structure in the alternate reality Canaan House shorts . The only one that stood out to me was the 6th house not participating in the beauty pageant - I took it to mean that they're not actually very supportive of the Emperor. But then I realized that at least Camilla and Palmedes are both in open rebellion by the end of the book and realized that wasn't exactly an easter egg. . I don't know if there are any others.

meanolmrcloud
Apr 5, 2004

rock out with your stock out



Reading some non-spoilery reviews for harrowhawk, I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the books hard to follow sometimes.

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



meanolmrcloud posted:

Reading some non-spoilery reviews for harrowhawk, I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds the books hard to follow sometimes.

Oh I found harrow very, very hard to follow the first time through, but that's pretty deliberate given the constant jumping around between different times.

Entropic
Feb 21, 2007

patriarchy sucks


The basic narrative structure itself isn’t that hard to follow. There’s a present-day (starts right after GTN) thread written in second person (with the obvious question being who the narrator is) alternated with flashbacks to GTN but with everything being... different, which get weirder and weirder as the story goes on and you get closer to figuring out why those flashbacks are there and what exactly is really going on with them.

What’s really confusing is the stuff about The Body / The Sleeper / Wake and anything to do with The River actually works and what the hell actually even happens at the very end of the book.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Incidentally, what even is animaphilia, which apparently isn't the same thing as being a spirit-talker?

silvergoose
Mar 18, 2006

IT IS SAID THE TEARS OF THE BWEENIX CAN HEAL ALL WOUNDS



"Your tolerance for man-eating magma fish would have been tested sorely by anyone who was not God."

seriously it's sentences like this that just make me laugh

Macdeo Lurjtux
Jul 5, 2011

BRRREADSTOOORRM!


Rand Brittain posted:

Incidentally, what even is animaphilia, which apparently isn't the same thing as being a spirit-talker?

Anima and Animus are the two parts of the soul, feminine and masculine, respectively. Given that Lictor's are a combination of two people, hetero-normative genders don't really apply anymore.

Essentially it's a long, tortured road to call Ianthe a lesbian.

Foxfire_
Nov 8, 2010



Drone Jett posted:

Harrow epilogue: compare Camilla’s eye description to Palamedes’ in Gideon: ”his eyes were a perfectly lambent grey: unflecked, unmurked, even and clear.”

Epilogue: “It felt as though she had always been fond of the face, and of the dark, sharply bobbed hair; and she loved without reserve the eyes—those great lambent eyes, the iris so skilfully and gently blent that it seemed there was no tint or shade in that clear and beautiful grey.”

They’ve merged, presumably without one being eaten.


Through the power of ebook search, I flipped through all the eye color descriptions in Gideon.

1) Muir likes to describe Palmedes, Harrow, Ianthe, Corona, and Duclinea/Cytheria's eyes a lot more than anyone else's.
2) In her one eye description (vs Palmedes 10+), Camilla's eyes are also flat grey, but darker than Palmedes
3) Muir really likes to describe Palmedes's eyes as 'lambent'

So Camilla/Palmedes have Lyctorized, which begs the question of why the Emperor didn't want to tell the original Lyctors the better way to do it. Presumably Palmedes is not going to start Alecto with godlike powers, so the better way isn't the source of the Emperor's mojo, despite what Mercymorn & Augustine thought.

My take on the epilogue is that Corona/Judith/Palmedes-Camilla are on a BOE planet with Gideon's body with a soul in it. They're not sure which soul it is and the soul isn't either. The occupant kind of likes bones and kind of likes swords, so everyone is confused.

Also pre-Lyctor Gideon's Lyctor powers are still unexplained. I was expecting that to go somewhere when Harrow was missing the automatic regeneration part and baby Gideon had that (but limited to when she's in a mess of external thanergy since she doesn't have an internal supply).

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Notahippie
Feb 4, 2003

Kids, it's not cool to have Shane MacGowan teeth

Foxfire_ posted:


My take on the epilogue is that Corona/Judith/Palmedes-Camilla are on a BOE planet with Gideon's body with a soul in it. They're not sure which soul it is and the soul isn't either. The occupant kind of likes bones and kind of likes swords, so everyone is confused.



This was my take also, and my personal expectation is that the implication that the soul is either Gideon-primary or Harrow-primary is a headfake and it's going to turn out to be Alecto-primary.

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