Hexwood -- Thumping great spoilers from the start

Ven vendersleighc at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 30 21:47:58 EST 2005

I've just reread Hexwood for the first time since
the group discussion we had in 2003. I've a few
more thoughts I'd like to share and questions I'd
like to ask. I'm going to start off with a dirty
great big SPOILER, so be warned.


.... (DOTS ADDED BY CAT ACTION, thank you Mr

Last time we discussed Hexwood we (or I at least)
concluded that everything which happens in the
book in fact happens within the Bannus field. The
first thing that I noticed this time around was
that this must include the letter that Controller
Borasus receives from the maintenance man. I'm
pretty sure said maintenance man was made up by
the Bannus (the letter, redirected this way and
that had taken at least two weeks to arrive --
and even that is a lie, clever old Bannus).
Anyhow I asked myself whether the Maintenance
guy's name was any kind of clue. W. Madden, I
couldn't see it at first, but it was staring me
in the face "madden" as in to make mad, one of
the traditional characteristics of the Wild Wood
of course. And then the W may well stand for
"Wood" and wood is another word for mad. Mad
Madden, a pretty good prediction of what the
Reigners were in for at least.

One of the things about Hexwood is that no matter
how many times I read it I always have the most
terrible time remembering who everyone is, in the
Bannus field and in real life (as it were). The
people that "talk" to Ann/Vierran are the most
confusing of these.


Mordion			The Slave
Hume			The Prisoner
Artegal			The King
Martin			The Boy		


Hume			Martellian/Merlin/Wolf	
Artegal			Arthur			
Martin			Fitela Wolfson	
Sir Harisoune		Harrison Scudamore
Miscellaneous Bods	Maintenance men from Runcorn

Sir Bors		Controller Borasus

King Ambitas		Reigner II
Sir Bedefer		Sir John Bedford
Mordion			The servant/Mordion		The Slave

Sir Fors		Reigner IV
Castle Bods		More men from Runcorn*	
Five/monk		Reigner V
Wood St Bods/Outlaws	The Family heads and Others
Castle Bods		includes:
Grocer Stavely		Hugon of Guarentee
Mrs Stavely		Alisan of Guarentee
Lady Silvia		Syri of Guarentee
Mr Price		of the House of Measure?
Morgan la Trey		Reigner III
Dragon Orm		Reigner I
Ann Stavely		Veirran of Guarentee

Hume/Martellian appears to have been in the field
all along in the stasis box.  Is this also the
case with Artegal  and Fitela?
If the legends are any guide, Martellian was
imprisoned as Merlin, and Arthur was taken away
to Avalon, or has been asleep in a cave but what
of Fitela? And why does Fitela call Martellian
Uncle Wolf when his name is Fitela Wolfson?

Mordion's childhood must surely be the most
horrible in Dwj's work. The next most horrible
occurrs in The Time Of The Ghost. I find myself
drawing parallels. In both cases one child takes
on the parental role but is inadequate for the
task. Dwj is on record as saying that although
TOTG is based on her own childhood she softened
the details, because she felt no one would
believe her. Mordion's childhood strikes me as a
version made worse, with Reigner One, in the
parental role, actively malicious, deliberately
cruel. Apropos of an earlier duiscussion he must
be the worst father in Dwj. 

It also seems to me that Mordion's childhood and
the tyranny of the Reigners recall some of the
worst of Twentieth Century Totalitarian rulers.
Mordion and his companions are brainwashed in a
way reminiscent of  Nazi experiments or The
Hitler Youth. The Reigners terminate and purge
their own people as casually as a Stalin. It
wouldn't have taken much for the raid on Wood
street to have got much bloodier either. Even the
Bannus is a ruthless killer when it wants to be
and for one,  I don't feel that Harrison
Scudamore deserved his fate. 

It's interesting that what stands in opposition
to the darkness in this book is the Greenwood. No
simple good/evil light/dark opposition here, just
the clean realities of nature versus the monsters
and machinery of human control. All in all this
book scares me. 



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