Re Dalemark Quartet

Ven vendersleighc at
Fri Aug 13 13:57:30 EDT 2004

Jodel wrote (snipped)

<I suspect that once Clennan developed his sudden

crush on Lenina and sang it 
out to the multitudes, everyone in earshot was 
effectively inside a reality-distortion
field......................Clennan was an
insensitive clot to gloat about it 
in front of her. But, being 
an insensitive clot, he never realized, for all 
his cleverness, that she 
didn't feel the same way about him that he did 
about her. He really did love her, 
in his fashion. And he certainly valued her. She 
and the cwidder were the only 
thing that connected him to his famous ancestor 
-- who he clearly venerated 
- -- and the age of miracles. She was his own 
personal miracle. And his -- 
literally -- throphy wife.>

Thank you for explaining this so clearly Jodel, I
was trying to put together something along the
same lines but couldn't quite get to it. The
thing is that while Lenina and Ganner were
certainly wronged by what happened so was Clennan
and so were the children.  Lenina may have been
Clennan's trophy and she was loyal and dutiful
but she did not reciprocate his feelings for her
(and no wonder), and who knows what love he may
have found if his love for her had gone
unrequited. At the heart of this matter is the
cwidder and why it worked for Clennan this one
time. I have a suspicion that it was working on
Clennan too, amplifying his feelings, creating
feedback so that the more he sang of his desire
for Lenina the stronger it became. I don't think
that Cwidder's magic was benevolent. It was made
by Mallard/Duck/Wend, and he seems to have got
rather a lot of things wrong.
Lenina's match with Clennan, and the children it
produced has an air of being fated or intended in
some way. For a start they are all from the
bloodline that makes them potential heirs to the
crown of Dalemark, and Moril comes close to
obtaining it.  Moril does believe that the
Cwidder's magic is benevolent. He seems to think
that if there are ill effects from the cwidder's
magic it is down to the person playing it -- that
they have not had the truth -- or their right
kind of truth  -- in their hearts. That, it seems
to me, is Moril's tragedy. He is one of the
saddest characters in Dwj's books, considering
what Maewen thought of his portrait and what
happened to him afterwards as told in the
glossary. I am reminded of what Jane Gardam said
of one of her characters (the heroine of After
the Funeral) that she destroyed her. Moril ends
up destroyed and it seems very unfair, worse than
what happensd to Hildy or Hobin or, indeed Jamie.
And the wretched cwidder is to blame for all of
it, even that Moril existed at all. It's a very
cautionary tale on the dangers of mixing magic
and love all round. No good ever comes of it!   

Jodel also said 
<And yet that is what you sometimes see, when a 
woman remarries, or even just 
gets a new boyfriend, that she will quite 
cheerfully sacrifice her older 
children to the whims/wishes/needs of this new 

That is true but I don't actually think that is
what Lenina did. She brought them to Ganner's
house and had them decked out in clothing
suitable for Ganner's stepchildren. People ran
around after them and clucked over them and
Ganner himself tried to protect them from
climbing on roofs. Lenina wanted them to be a
part of her new life, in fact I think she wanted
to behave as though Clennan had never happened
and that Brid and Moril, if not Dagner, were
Ganner's children in truth. Of course it was
never going to work.  Dagner, the one closest to
her had to leave  and Brid and Moril had always
looked far more to Clennan than her. They didn't
want the new life she had to offer, and would not
havbe accepted it even if Tholian had not turned


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