Merlin (with spoilers) Grundo, Coercion

minnow at minnow at
Fri May 30 15:14:33 EDT 2003

Hallie wrote:

>I suppose the Zinka/Grundo/Izzies type of magical coercion could be a
>little more problematic for me even than 'normal' emotional
>manipulation, if only because of Rupert's horror when Maree says the
>unforgivable thing about being a Magid meaning trying to run the
>world (I can't remember anything like the exact quote now).   Though
>I'm not entirely sure that it is worse - maybe it's just that more of
>the 'dark arts' (to use Mrs. Pentstemmon's term) type behaviour in
>DWJ tends to be shown by magic users of some sort?  This thought has
>not even got a pre-heated oven, not to mention being half-baked, so I
>expect it's open to much disagreement!

Well, it'd be difficult to be a practitioner of the dark side of magic
without being a practitioner of magic, wouldn't it.....  So your remark
makes a lot of sense, because it matches the fact.  :-)

"It is not allowed to tamper with people's personalities.  That's black
magic.  But in this case I concede it was richly deserved."

I can't really see what Mrs. Candace would have been cross with Grundo for,
on that occasion, because what he'd done was *stop* the Izzys from
tampering with Judith's and with Hepzibah's personalities, and he did it by
making what they did obvious and not by altering them, or so I would have
thought.  But at the same time, isn't what Mrs C says a clear indication to
Grundo that what he has been doing to Roddy all these years is black magic?
He doesn't seem to have reacted to it at all.  Or maybe if he did, Roddy
couldn't see that he was, and since she's the one telling us, it doesn't
get told.

Could it be that the reason we get more upset about 'magical' coercion than
we do about 'normal' coercion is simply that we know about the latter, and
we know how to recognise it, and we would have a chance against it, whereas
the magical kind happens to people and they don't know at all (almost by
definition) so they have no idea that it needs to be combated?

That and, how do we know that it isn't *being done to us right now* -- a
back-of-the-mind worry, I grant you, and improbable, but even so...
Nightmare time.


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