[LMB] The Hallowed Hunt Observation

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 22 10:33:20 GMT 2013

> From: "Joseph A. Clark" <josephaclark at embarqmail.com>

Some snips for brevity
> Prince-marshal Biast seems to me to be an unqualified
> candidate for hallow-king.  When Ingrey is facing Hetwar in
> Easthome, Biast is offended when Ingrey suggests that Ijada
> be given a verdict of self-defense, even though he knew
> Boleso had been dabbling in blasphemous magic, and
> especially that he knew Boleso had killed his manservant six
> months before, which resulted in Boleso's exile.  "She
> killed my brother.", as though being a prince excuses all of
> Boleso's crimes......

Biast is very conservative when we first see him. After all, following
tradition is serving him well, he's been a good obedient son and now
he's next in line for the throne - it suits him not to rock the boat. And
political considerations are far more important to him than the human
side of things. 

When Wencel is accused of carrying a
> spirit-animal with him, Biast is upset that Ingrey doesn't
> want to enter into Wencel's service and serve as a spy for
> Hetwar.  "You would leave my sister unprotected in a house
> where you fear to go yourself?"  .....  In my
> eyes, as a noble, he would still be obligated to try to
> defend his sister, and not send another lord's man in to go
> where he himself would not go.  

 Biast here is actually thinking like a lot of nobles would - he's
protecting his sister by sending her a bodyguard (and also it
would cause a lot of difficult repercussions if he tried to do
something personally.)

Besides, Biast so much as
> accuses Ingrey of cowardice while he himself displays it
> prominently.  A fact that Ingrey does not point out, but I'm
> sure was not wasted on Hetwar.  Biast is thinking of his
> family's prestige, even though his sister betrayed a
> retainer of its house, and his brother murdered another.  

Prestige, politics, power. He's still not seeing the personal
side of the job. He sees himself as the king-in-waiting, and his
idea of being a king is to order things to happen, order people
around, like pieces on a gameboard (which is also very much
how Horserver is thinking.)

> I think Ingrey jerked him to reality when Fara was called to
> testify by explaining Ulkra's dilemma of telling the exact
> truth, or shading it to protect Boleso's and Fara's
> reputations.  "You set the path for your future court
> starting even now, Prince.  If you discourage men from
> speaking unpalatable truths in front of you, I trust you
> will develop your skill for sifting through pretty lies, for
> you will spend the rest of your reign, however short, wading
> in them."  (Italics are mine.)  Hooray for Ingrey's
> backbone.

That's a great moment, and Biast starts to realise that having
someone who'll tell him the truth is a great gift, for a king. 
Biast starts to get a dim idea that there's more to kinging than 
just giving orders and expecting everything to happen for you.

> When Ingrey finishes releasing the old warriors and is
> confronted by Biast about whether or not he should be
> addressed by Biast as "Sire", I still get the impression
> that Biast would be a terribly deficient hallow-king.  I'm
> not pleased with his character, although perhaps Ingrey's
> lessons will be remembered and taken to heart during his
> reign.  It is humorous that Ingrey twits him when he says
> that he will pursue a courtier's dream, Biast should realize
> that just because his father was hallow-king is no guarantee
> that the crown will pass to Biast, either.  

I think at that 'sire' moment, Biast has realised that Ingrey would
do a better job as king - and did do a better job for his brief time
of ruling. Biast is wondering if he's facing a challenge for power, 
and maybe whether he should destroy Ingrey, or surrender to him.
Biast has seen true kingly actions, he has a new view of the job.
I like it when he humbly asks Ingrey for the key to being a good king - 
it's the first time he's really thought about how to do a good job. And
Ingrey's answer - 'Faith. Keeping it.' - focusses on the personal bonds
of being a king, which is exactly what Biast ignored for so long. 

> I guess part of my dislike for Biast is that he presumes
> that because he's the surviving son, he's a shoo-in for the
> kingship, as though it were his divine right, instead of
> being elected to the crown.  Probably also why I don't like
> GoT, either.  

Biast certainly sees himself as the future king, but by the end of the 
book he's going to be a very different kind of king from the one he
was going to be, based on his showing at the beginning. Ingrey saved
the past kingdom by helping the warriors to the Gods, and he saved
the present and future kingdom by shaping a better ruler for it. 

I think Biast might want to keep Ingrey around; he's a useful man to
have on tap, and he is shatteringly honest no matter what. Biast 
has learned to value that.


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