[LMB] Wide Green questions... pairing knives

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 31 02:14:07 GMT 2016

From: pouncer at aol.com

Some snippage....

The scarcity of knives seems to vary with each book.
In the first, Dag implies to Fawn that Lakewalkers
ALWAYS carry in pairs: one primed, one unprimed. The
holster reflects this.

GP: Mari also has two.b I'd say that it's fairly common, especially among
older patrollers, to have their personal bonded knife. They seem to expect
that there'll be at least two or three primed knives in each patrol. Dag usually
has the pair, but he sets the bar pretty high for himself.

But as the series progresses the number of knifes seen
becomes rarer.  And Dag's expectations shift. Unhappy
walking bare, he wanders in to beg "a" knife.

GP: The South doesn't have as many people ready to share - Dag notes in
Half Moon camp that in the North a woman in childbirth would have her
knife ready. The South is pretty slack, patrollers are highly unlikely to die
while patrolling; in the North it's a bit more likely. Northern patrollers are
more prepared than Southern. And as the action in the book moves from
North to South we see fewer knives as Dag and Fawn go further South.
(And when they travel back North again they're not in contact with the
Lakewalker camps.)

Oh, and I think he asks for 'a' knife because he wants a primed knife in
case he finds a malice - it's force of habit for him to have a knife ready, just
in case. A bonded knife would take longer, with more work from the knife-
maker, so he's just asking for a spare primed knife.

So, my question is, Are paired knifes a north / Luthlia
thing? (Watson)  Or is the pairing forgotten, neglected,
or ret-conned in later developments as a distraction or
even (Doylist) plot-problem? (For example, Barr might have
committed suicide/sharing over his broken primed knife had
he had an unprimed knife available... or might have
"only" wasted one life had he carried two and pulled the
unprimed blade to be broken in the drunk-farmer fight.)

GP: I think Dag has the double-holder because he has a sharing knife so often.
People give him knives because he kills more malices than most other
patrollers. A lot of patrollers carry bonded knives, but don't always wear them -
the guy dropped by the bat had left his in his bedroll, which seemed to be
fairly standard. Carrying a primed knife is fairly special, and they get used.
You don't have an unlimited supply of shared grannies, most patrollers may
only get one or two knives in their career. Experienced patrollers like Dag
and Mari have the status to be given knives more often so it's worth having
the double holder, for them.


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