[DWJ] Children of nine-lifed enchanters

Whaaa Meep slug.bug.yellow at gmail.com
Sun Jan 15 01:51:04 EST 2012


On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 9:20 PM, Elizabeth Parks <henx19 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think Janet's parents are the same as Cat's, because they were also first
> cousins, remember?  It doesn't say directly that they're exactly the same,
> but it's pretty strongly implied because of the cousin thing.
>  Christopher's father was a Chant, and they produce strong magic with a
> black sheep in every generation or so, and Christopher's Mama was an
> Argent, and both she and her brother Ralph had enchanter level magic or
> close, and I have the strong impression that (was it Dr. Paxton?) expects
> Christopher's 9 life magic to be even better because of his heritage.  And
> there's one scene when Uncle Ralph figures out how strong Christopher's
> magic is and crows to the Last Governess that something had to come of
> heritage like Christopher's.  And we learn in Witch Week that strong magic
> in one world is strong talent for something else in a world without magic,
> so Janet's parents wouldn't have been magical, but they would have been
> reasonably good at other things.
>
> Is there every anything addressing if one can make a nine lifed enchanter,
> perhaps by having nine women picked out and giving abortions to eight of
> them, or smothering the infants as they're born?  A bit gruesome, but it
> seems like the kind of thing someone would come up with.  The Dright, for
> example, since he seems to be interested in the enchanters and able to send
> people to other series, where they could carry out that sort of plan.
>
>
Yeah, good point. The mechanics don't seem to be exploited as much as they
could have. An evildoer, for example, could foil the Chrestomanci by
planting an accomplice halfway around the globe and having them thrice say
"Chrestomanci" every few seconds. And then Chrestomanci would be forever
tied up halfway around the globe. I always thought this was an
unaccountable weakness. Not to mention what happens if two parties summon
him at the same time.

But even potential nine-lifers -- that is, children with the potential to
be born on all worlds -- would be extremely rare, since the number of
people without all counterparts must increase pretty quickly. Once a person
in world A loses a counterpart in world B, every one of her descendants has
no potential counterpart in world B.

I guess it's hinted that worlds in the same series have fairly recent split
points, though. Guy Fawkes couldn't have been more than twenty-five
generations ago.


lizzie
>
> On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 9:06 PM, Otter Perry <
> ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com> wrote:
>
> > I don't think it works like that.  I don't think that it's clearly
> > established that the parents of nine-lived enchanters are
> > particularly similar to each other. Janet's parents are not
> > particularly magical, and she's Gwendolyn's counterpart.
> >
> > That is, I don't think being a nine-lived enchanter has
> > very much to do with who your parents were. Chrestomanci
> > and Cat both have parents with some magical abilities, but
> > not major abilities, as far as we know.
> >
> > On Jan 14, 2012, at 4:16 PM, Andrea Höst wrote:
> >
> > > Interesting question!  But I think the opposite of your thought is
> > > true - it's impossible for the children of nine-life enchanters to be
> > > nine-lifed because there were not eight other potential counterparts
> > > for them.  Because of the uniqueness of their parent, there was only
> > > ever the potential for one of them.  So your final suggestion is the
> > > correct one.
> > >
> > > As for cats - they are forever unique unto themselves. :)
> > >
> > > On 15 January 2012 10:05, Whaaa Meep <slug.bug.yellow at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > >> Hello,
> > >>
> > >> I'm writing as a longtime fan of Diana Wynne Jones's work,
> particularly
> > >> Howl, Fire and Hemlock, and Hexwood, though I've only just discovered
> > this
> > >> mailing list. I've recently been rereading the Chrestomanci series,
> and
> > >> have been seized by a need to know this: why aren't children of
> > nine-lifed
> > >> enchanters nine-lifers themselves? Surely if Christopher Chant doesn't
> > have
> > >> a counterpart on 12B, Roger and Julia can't either.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------------
> >
> >
> > Going into art for the money is like going into prostitution for the
> > health benefits.
> >
> >                                              --  Ursula Vernon
> >
> >
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