The True State of Affairs

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Mon Mar 25 12:56:05 EST 2002





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>> What I did spot is that the poem Asgrim sends Emily
>> appears, somewhat edited, in  a book of the Adon's poetry
>
> Ooooh... interesting. I see I must reread the Dalemark
> books. Again...

Yes.  But that is really what convinced me that Asgrim was the model for The
Adon - the last king before the long interregnum - rather than anyone at the
Restoration.

>> I also think that they are further along the road to
>> industrialisation in TTSOA
>> than the later books would imply for the same
>> period.  Emily asks about electric
>> lighting, and is told that machines for lighting do
>> exist (gas lamps?).
>
> You see - this, along with the timing of steam
> engines, and so on, is what makes me think that this
> *isn't* the Dalemark in the _Quartet_ - because if it
> *is*, then the countries must have remained in
> technological stasis right up until Mitt's wars, and
> that doesn't seem plausible somehow. It sounds to me
> as if 'TTSoA' is at the same sort of stage as the
> _Quartet_ Dalemark, not an earlier one. Admittedly we
> get a very partial view of things becasue Emily is
> locked up, but still.

Well, possibly.  But I think that the TTSoA Dalemark is world XII-B to the
quartet's XII-A.  Just as our world (B) is technologically ahead of
Chrestomanci's (A), because we haven't had magic to fall back on (necessity the
mother of invention and all that) Asgrim's world is technologically ahead of
Mitt's.

For example, Amil the Great's agricultural revolution seems to be largely based
on invoking the two fertility gods of his native Holand, rather than to any
technological advance!  (Mitt is told that he will have to do this when he goes
off to talk to Ammet at ?Orilsway)

Politically, though, I think the world of TTSoA is closer to the Dalemark of the
Adon's wars than to that of Mitt's time.  The polarisation of North and South is
not complete - Hathriver is still a respected city state all over, for example,
rather than the effective capital of the North hated by all the Southern powers.
OTOH this is changing, as witness the ban on Alvery...

Also, the serfdom and thralldom, only just beginning to give way to a free
yeomanry, to me represents a much earlier political situation than that in the
quartet.

> Also the names are similar, but too Nordic... even in
> _The Spellcoats_ the names sound like Dalemarkish
> names, if you see what I mean (er...)

Definitely.  The natives have southern names, and the invaders northern ones.

> I think perhaps we are in a chain of related worlds,
> where Emily has stumbled into this Dalemark, which is
> one along from the _Quartet_ Dalemark...

I'll go along with that.

>> Presumably Kjarten is the Kastri of legend from whom
>> the modern Earls of Hannart are supposed to descend.
>
> See, I think he's Kialan's 'Janet' (or perhaps that
> should be Kialan's 'Gwendolen'), which makes Asgrim
> his father's analogue - and their behaviour does seem
> vaguely similar, including the shift from 'nice' to
> 'nasty'.

Hmm.  I still think he's Kastri's analogue, rather than Kialan's.

The name Kjarten does seem to provide an overlap between the Norse names of
TTSoA and the North Dalemark names of the quartet, incidentally.

> Perhaps Emily is the Maewen of the story. But there's
> no Mitt...

Nope.  Definitely Manaliabrid :-)  (Hang on.  Maelbridwen is a form of
Manaliabrid, isn't it...)

Philip.







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