Conrad's Fate (at last)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 7 07:29:44 EDT 2005


>On Sun, 5 Jun 2005, Colin Fine wrote:
>
>> The bit of the plot I have most trouble with, though, is the Walker:
>> why on earth did Albert and the Circle tell him to summon the
>> Walker?  Judging by Albert's remarks at the end, the cork should
>> have been quite adequate for his purpose, (and Albert intended that
>> Conrad be executed for the act), so what did the Walker add to their
>> plan?

and Paul replied:

>My impression, for what it's worth, is that Albert never expected that
>the Walker would actually appear; the summoning was just something he
>made up to justify the action he wanted Conrad to perform with the
>cork.

I have the feeling that the entire bunch of Stallchester magicians weren't
terribly sensible or competent people for all they were the Town
Dignitaries.  If they had been they could have taken action against the
misuse of magic at Stallery Mansion quite simply by reporting it to the
relevant authorities years and years earlier.  Once it was discovered where
the source of the trouble besetting their world was, the authorities did
take fairly thorough steps.  So if they'd been told five or ten years
earlier that someone was messing about with the probabilities at Stallery
Mansion, they'd presumably have taken those steps then.

>(I have an impression that there's a precedent in DWJ for people
>taking powers in vain and then getting squished when the powers
>actually show up, but I can't think where at the moment.)

*The Merlin Conspiracy*?  Sybil summoning Gwyn ap Nudd and not even being
able to *see* him, nor bothering to find out (or to pay attention when she
was told) that if she summoned him more often than she was entitled to then
*he* could summon *her*, is similar, I think.

BTW, there's something at the end of the book that seems not quite to fit
with the rest of Chrestomanci.  Conrad says he is told after six years at
Chrestomanci Castle that "I must go home to Series Seven now or I would
start to fade, not being in my own world".  This made me wonder slightly
about all the other people who end up in worlds not their own in various
books set in that series of worlds/universes/whatever we decided they were
really, but apparently it's the manner by which you move or are moved from
one world to another that makes the difference (only DWJ doesn't exactly
explain it even in person, and if it's in the boks I can't find it).
Christopher, for instance, might be able live in any of the worlds where he
might-have-been, and the various Janets/Gwendolines are ok because they are
replacing someone who ought to be there really.  Presumably there's some
special case for Millie too: maybe being shunted by a goddess (or shunting
when you are a goddess, or using someone else's spare life) makes it ok.
And then there's Tacroy, who's been in the wrong world for ages, and I'm
nor sure about him either.  Does anyone have either a passage that explains
this, or a theory that would fit?

Minnow


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