Laurel's hunting ground -- major spoilers for F&H.

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Wed Aug 3 18:22:21 EDT 2005


Ania replied to Juliette...

>> Where does Laurel find her victims? Is it possible that she hunts only
>> within her own family, including lovers and family-by-marriage? If so,
>> what does this say about Sebastian's motives and Polly's fate?
>>
>> Laurel and Morton "pay a tithe to hell" in return for their immortality.
>> It's a sacrifice, and it's private family business. I suggest that the
>> victim has to be one of the family -- the tithe sacrified by the family
>> -- and that random strangers are not as valuable to the family and are
>> therefore not eligible for the tithe. Laurel says some victims have
>> stronger lives than others -- some are more valuable than others.
>
> I was under the impression that the whole point was to get an outsider; 
> the
> real family members may be more valuable, but this is precisely why they
> must be protected and a surrogate found (just like in Tam Lin). This
> surrogate could then be the Sacrifice, fulfilling a dual role- satisfying
> Hell and giving Laurel another dose of immortality on one hand and
> protecting the real family on the other.

I see it as being that the tithe *must* be a family member, but "married-in" 
counts - and for the Leroys, is preferable.  I'm working off the verse in 
"Tam Lin":

"Pleasant are the faerie lands
For those that in them dwell
But at the end of seven years
They pay a tithe to hell
I am so fair and full of flesh
I'm feared it by myself"

Tam has been living in the faerie lands for seven years, so has become 
partially of faerie himself, and thus is eligible to be the tithe. 
Translating that to "real-world" terms, I see the Leroy family as equivalent 
to the faerie lands, and those who marry into the family as doing the 
equivalent of spending seven years there.

The tithe *ought* to be a blood family member, I suspect, but Laurel as we 
all know is sneaky, so she's using married-in family members so she doesn't 
have to sacrifice her "real" family.
>
>> Seb told Polly that Morton Leroy had been married to Laurel before he
>> married Seb's mother. Then, after the death of Seb's mother, Morton
>> married Laurel again. Presumably Seb's mother was Laurel's previous
>> victim, and it was her funeral that Polly and Nina gatecrashed. People
>> sometimes do remarry the same people after a divorce -- I have an aunt
>> and uncle who did so -- but it's unusual. Do Laurel and Morton have a
>> policy of marrying/seducing other people in order to draw them into the
>> family and make them eligible for the tithe? The victims (or potential
>> victims) we know of are Tom Lynn, Thomas Piper, Leslie, Sebastian,
>> Morton, Polly's grandfather, and Sebastian's mother. All except Thomas
>> Piper and Polly's grandfather are known to be tied by love or marriage
>> to the LeRoy family, and it's just not specified one way or the other
>> about those two. I think the evidence is pretty strong.

Isn't Thomas Piper actually Tom Lynn's brother?  Could he be eligible as a 
family member of a married-in Leroy?  But there was also mention somewhere 
that Laurel had been after him until she spotted Tom and decided he was a 
better bet, so that could be why he's on the list, so to speak.
>
> They are tied/connected to the LeRoys, but NOT by blood. They are kith, 
> not
> kin. I think you're right in saying that marrying the victims is just a
> means of controlling them and keeping them conveniently close for when 
> their
> turn comes. I don't think it matters that they are a (non-blood related)
> part of the family.

I don't agree, as I said above.  I think the control aspect of marrying the 
victims is useful, but it's the marriage (or maybe just sex?) that makes 
them eligible.

Interesting question, and one I hadn't thought about before.

Dorian. 

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