[DWJ] Children of nine-lifed enchanters

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Sun Jan 15 05:37:03 EST 2012

I don't think it is ever stated that your counterparts' parents have to be counterparts of your parents. It's hard to explain how they could be different given the facts of genetics, but perhaps we're supposed to ignore that. Anyway, a child only has half their parents' genes, so perhaps there are other couples who could produce the same genetic child while being only half the same themselves, if that makes sense.

So in other worlds there could be counterparts of Julia and Roger who have completely different parents. Maybe this explains why their magic isn't very strong - strong magic isn't in their counterparts' parents' genomes.

Perhaps counterparts don't have to be genetically identical anyway. Some worlds have more magic than others, so different genes are available there. Isn't there someone in A Sudden Wild Magic whose counterpart is a centaur?

True, all Gwendolen's counterparts look like identical twins. But she comes from a family that's produced two nine-lifed enchanters. I have a theory that this could only happen in a family where counterparts' parents WERE counterparts across all nine worlds, at least in the last generation or two. Nine Franks and nine Carolines marrying in nine worlds and having nine Gwendolens (so to speak) sets up a pretty strong expectation that if one of them has a baby boy next, they all will ... and then they don't. That's where Cat's other lives come from. But to take a random other character whose family we don't know about, if Euphemia's parents' counterparts didn't get together in all nine worlds, there's no particular reason why nine of her should exist.

I always thought that if we are being asked to believe that everyone's counterparts on every world love the same people and have the same children, then given the amount of chance involved in such things, the worlds ought to be a lot more similar than they are.


On 15 Jan 2012, at 05:20, 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.
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> Dwj mailing list
>> Dwj at suberic.net
>> http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
> _______________________________________________
> Dwj mailing list
> Dwj at suberic.net
> http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj

More information about the Dwj mailing list