[LMB] COC: Chapter 28
gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 19 13:01:59 BST 2015
> From: Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com
> On 9/17/2015 8:54 PM, Margaret Devere wrote:
> > Iselle announces that she and Bergon will walk to the cathedral barefoot as
> > a gesture of thanks. (Q3)
> > Q3: Two questions:
> > - Where does this come from? We haven't seen pilgrims yet, and AFAIK we
> > haven't seen this kind of pious act. Why would the gods appreciate somebody
> > walking barefoot? I understand that it's uncomfortable and mildly risky. Why
> > do people think that hurting themselves intentionally is gratifying to the
> > gods?
> Beatrice Otter: Shoes are status symbols. The richer you are, the nicer
> your shoes, and the poorest couldn't afford them and would wrap rags
> round their feet in cold weather instead. The medium-poor would only
> wear shoes when they had to, to save wear and tear on them. The rich,
> on the other hand, would have a variety of rich materials put on their
> shoes as a sign that they had the money to do it and didn't need to do
> any hard labor that might damage such excess.....
(Snips of an interesting explanation....)
I'd add that at this point Iselle's grasp on power isn't totally secure.
She has to deal with the remnants of dy Jironel's supporters, who see her
as a huge threat to their status. She's a female ruler - some of the old
guard might prefer a male, even if he's not in the direct royal line (and
most of the aristocracy can probably dig out a few royal ancestors somewhere
in the family tree to justify a grab for power). She's young. She has a
mad mother, and dy Jironel was spreading rumours about Iselle's own
sanity. She's married to an Ibran, which might leave the kingdom
vulnerable to an Ibran power grab.
So Iselle needs all the positive publicity she can get. She needs to
sweep into power on the crest of such a wave of public support that
nobody can oppose her. Walking barefoot through the streets, with
her new husband, shows their piety, their humility, adds to the romance
of it all. It shows that she's working within the old rules, not trying
to change things too much.
All in all, it's very clever for so many reasons. Iselle learned a lot from
> What I can't tell you is whether or not the gods care one way or
> another. It may well be a case where people assume the gods care about
> the same things people do.
I doubt that the gods are bothered one way or the other. The Bastard
would probably grin. The Daughter would nod approvingly.
More information about the Lois-Bujold