klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Tue Mar 27 01:24:49 EST 2001
Well, I have to admit that works too. . .
I just really, really hated her. Several things combined. One
thing being that she is supposed to be a very powerful being with a
certain quantity of _deeper_ knowledge about the world, but she goes
around pretending to be very innocent and pure. Now, this is not an
instant cause for hate, so long as the author carries out this scenario
well. Eddings teeters much closer to the edge when he makes it so
that all of the other characters in the world think of Aphrael largely as
innocent, pure, and childlike. Now, she _is_ a very powerful
being so it is possible she might have the power to make people believe
that this is the only important side to her. However, this seems to me
like an inherently annoying way to use this power. . . especially as she
is supposedly a force for good. Not a basically neutral guy who will help
out against bad guys but is certainly still a danger himself, like
Erskine, but a generally good, kind person.
But the absolute worst thing about her is that through all of
this, everyone in the entire series thinks she is just terrific. Her way
of handling situations in which people are upset with her is basically to
say, "But you love me anyway, don't you?" and they do, and the situation
is just resolved. She very rarely does anything which justifies this
love, they just all. . . love her. Because she says so. To bring this
back on topic _again_, basically she reminds me the most of a character
like Gwendolyn or even Aunt Maria. Gwendolyn expects everyone to love her
because of her talents - the reactions people have to this conceit
actually make her a far more sympathetic character than Aphrael will ever
manage to be. Aunt Maria is like Aphrael in that she has a lot of power
but pretends to be sweet and innocent in order to get people to do things
for her - but people do actually manage to figure it out, and you
certainly nowhere get the implication that this is a remotely good way to
handle life, which is the implication that I get very strongly from what
Eddings does with Aphrael. Some manipulative bitches I am very fond of,
but mostly the ones who show some human emotions - I like Sybel in _The
Forgotten Beasts of Eld_ quite a bit, for example, in her more
manipulative moments - but she gets completely remorseful. Aphrael
doesn't in any particularly convincing way, and moreover no one ever
susses her, and that's what bothers me about her.
This was a rant, and a mostly off-topic one, and not even about a
particularly interesting author, but, like I said, there are few
characters I have ever encountered whom I hate quite this much ;-).
"The Revelation: Ninety percent of everything is crud."
---Ted Sturgeon, Venture Science Fiction, Mar. 1958
On Tue, 27 Mar 2001, Paul Andinach wrote:
> Now, I have always preferred the Elenium to the Belgariad hands-down
> -- possibly because it's much shorter. ;)
> I'm not sure what you mean about Aphrael being hateful.
> "Hold fast to the one noble thing."
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/
More information about the Dwj