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 May, 4 2007

A journal for discussion of the story "Reconciliation."


Just what the hook says. I will try actually to reply to any comments in this journal.

Hi Nargil!

I really wory about El though, he's having a rough time of it. I hope they start to get better soon, before he does somthing drastic he has no-where to turn, Pel has more friends and his horses, El has a bottle of dodgy boose.

Elethil's definitely the weaker party in the Peloren-Elethil relationship.

Andra is also great in this, his reaction to Imrahil's return, the way Imri put's him on the spot and how he struggles with t are great. He's grown up a lot in the last two years where as Imri has a way to go even after the whole dream thing, the way you write it is really good.

He still has a lot of growing up to do though,

Yes, he certainly does. Everyone does, really, and I should include the masters in this claim, too. Harkening back to Denise's question about what was said and what wasn't said between the masters and Andrahar, I should add to my response: it is not enough even to situate Andrahar as opposite and frightening to P & E because of his cultural background, although that plays a not in significant role. More crucial to me is that if you beat the crap out of someone, and have gone through a trial for it - do you really want to confront that trauma again in the very person of the one you wronged, especially when he is in no way ready to forgive you and you know it (or even if he were, it's still a really hard thing to handle)?

The trial in some way might well have been a psychological blessing in disguise for P&E (in the short term, obviously, not the long term) - it meant that all their interactions with Andrahar passed through the mediation of lord and masters - they never had to look him in the eye and admit what they'd done. Now they're faced with just that possibility and the need to do so, and they don't know how to react, caught up in their own problems as they are. The return of the repressed is not pretty.

The same factors can operate in a different form with those who did all the mediating, i.e., the masters in particular. They've figured out that they were material contributors to Andrahar's predicament, and they're slowly approaching the difficult question that necessarily has to be posed in the wake of something like this: how do I undo the damage that I've done to the thing I thought I cared most for (the Swan Knights, the esquires)? They don't know, precisely, and more to the point, they haven't been doing a good job of fixing things.

There's something ludicrous and frustrating in the fact that you could go forth and sacrifice your life and well-being for lord and land, but for all the power and courage that implies, you're helpless to prevent the abuse of your own code of honor or the stain of racism from upsetting your efforts (even if they are ineffective because they don't know how to kill the particular beast they're battling) - and it's also humiliating and shameful, and Andrahar's return is in its own way the opening of the possibility of having that failure judged. If anyone is going to recognize that the more things change, the more they stay the same, it's going to be Andrahar who has always borne the failure of the Swan Knights' fraternity to handle the anti-Southron sentiment.

Of course, Andrahar has his own problems, insecurities, and neurotic investments that interfere with his ability to be an effective critic on his own behalf or anyone else's. The masters do know this, and so are hoping Imrahil can be of assistance on this very point. Imrahil is in some way the one best suited to deal with the need to forgive--from innate disposition and also from unhappy practice, he's got experience in doing so.

But he's also not yet quite mature enough (and won't be for some time, as we know from "Ultimatums'" story-line) to recognize the root causes of problems. He's good at cleaning up messes with band-aids; he has not learned to exterminate problems at their origin yet, and in any case, his judgment tends to be strongly affected by his sentiment. He likes Pel and Elya - not without reason, despite the ugliness of their foray into vigilantism - and he can't act the part of the judge with them until they throw something newly unredeemable in his face. As Andra says in later stories: "You know Imrahil--he can deny nothing to those he loves."

Since, as Imrahil goes, so goes Andrahar in many ways, if Imrahil doesn't handle matters well, it's going to make matters harder for Andrahar, too.

So, yes, lots of growing up still to do for everyone involved.

I'm looking forwards to seeing how all this turns out, I can't wait for next Friday, dont supose we could have the next chapter early *Please*

Nope, it's a weekly release - no early viewings. I'm glad you're enjoying it, though! Thank you for your comments, Nargil.


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