Time of the Ghost - Spoilers, questions on the ending

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Tue Apr 3 13:25:53 EDT 2001

More about Imogen's sacrifice.  And - horror of horrors - I think I disagree
with Melissa...

>>Imogen - why exactly does she have to give something in order to release
>>Sally? Because she's the only one who didn't give anything to begin with? Or
>>does she make some pact with Monigan while she's caught in the storm? I know
>>that what she does give is worth more (or is it?) than the gifts of the
>>others, but most of the gifts are things that are important to the giver,
>>and should therefore have worth.
> Two parts to this:
> First, why was her sacrifice the one most acceptable to Monigan?  Monigan is
> a genuinely evil creature who delights in the harm she's going to cause all
> the children.  Each of them offers something that really is valuable,
> therefore Monigan gets to hurt them twice--she robs them, even as she makes
> it clear that their gifts aren't sufficient.  It's like handing a robber

> The part about Imogen having to be the one is complicated.  Sally couldn't
> alter the past because Monigan was aware of her in all times, like some

Absolutely no.  It is made quite clear in TotG that no-one can alter the past at
all.  Imo knows that she gave something, therefore the ghost gan go back and
make her give something.

> probably why Sally was in the car accident; Imogen's gift wasn't
> retroactive.  She had to offer it in the past, but Monigan had to accept it
> in the past and seven years later in the present.)

I Disagree there as well, I'm afraid.  In fact, not even Imogen's gift was
sufficient to buy Sally's life.  Sally was only released by Julian's crashing
the car into one of Monigan's sacrificial posts.

Sally was in the car "accident" because Monigan was claiming her life.  She
didn't die immediately because Monigan was working to one calendar, Sally and
Julian had promised according to another.

Only when Julian died could Sally recover from the car "accident"

> But the point wasn't just to save Sally's life, it was to cheat Monigan, who
> had done a fair amount of cheating herself, like accepting the others' gifts
> despite their being insufficient.  And as Dorian said, the adult Imogen
> knows something that child-Imogen doesn't, namely, that her musical career
> is nonexistent.  So Imogen is able to both offer the best gift AND have it
> be a false offering at the same time.  The only thing Imogen loses is seven
> years of going in the wrong direction, and it seems likely that she would
> have done this anyway, the way many children outgrow their youthful
> aspirations.  This part reminds me a lot of _Fire and Hemlock_, with Polly
> having to firmly believe that she's giving up Tom entirely.  Imogen has to
> keep pretending that her musical career means something to her up until the
> point where she knows Monigan's accepted it.

Yes, true up to a point.

The thing that worries me as I write this (I've never thought of it before) is
that _none_ of the gifts that Monigan accepted seemed to have any effect on
Sally's fate.  That's just like Monigan - accept the gifts, and do nothing about
the requests.  Indeed, they are treated as free-will gifts...

(Thinking at the keyboard) Perhaps it was necessary that everyone there give
something.  Julian - who presumably didn't want Sally saved - gave nothing.  So
at the end of seven years, his life was available for Monigan to claim in lieu
of Sally's.

My thoughts here are incomplete.  Anyone else got something to add?


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