[LMB] Rian's gift to Miles? (A bit of a spoiler relating to Cetaganda)

Raye Johnsen raye_j at yahoo.com
Mon May 8 16:20:15 BST 2006

> > Lucie Tuan wrote:
> > > I was re-reading Cetaganda, and this question
> came upon me.
> > > If it has been asked before, I apologize.
> Couldn't find the answer in
> > FAQ:(
> > >
> > > In Cetaganda, Maz explained that the haut have
> many little rituals that
> > > govern their love/sexual life. Some are very
> weird, and they are all
> > very
> > > intense.
> > >
> > > So there was Rian, giving Miles a long, long
> lock of her hair. I would
> > think
> > > that since Cetagandans are so concerned about
> their genome, giving out a
> > > part of their physical tissue that contains
> their genes would be a
> > serious
> > > and intense ritual. I can definitely see this
> little piece fit within
> > one of
> > > Cetagandan's mating rituals. 

I originally wrote a massive reply to this, but my
mail program ate it, and I thought, /Nah, someone else
will pick up my point,/ but no-one has.

I disagree.  Mainly because, although they have arcane
rituals, all the haut rituals do have some links to
past human rituals, and every single human ritual that
involves the gifting of hair from one to another is a
parting ritual.  

We don't gift hair at weddings but people take death
locks.  Lovers don't exchange rings of braided hair at
betrothal ceremonies but do when one is heading off on
a long journey or into a war zone.  The gift of hair
is an unspoken 'goodbye, take care, don't forget about

Consequently I definitely don't see it as having
anything to do with mating and everything to do with

Also, Rian always knew that she was destined for at
least Planetary Consort status (because, being the
Handmaiden of the Star Creche?  Not something they
were going to give to someone who was destined to be a
mere technician), so she knew at the time, even if she
didn't know she was going to be chosen Empress, that
she would never again get the chance to leave Star
Creche territory and Miles was never again going to be
allowed to enter it.  A mating ritual at that time
would be highly inappropriate.  But a parting ritual
was very appropriate.

My $0.02 anyway....


raye_j at yahoo.com
livejournal: http://windtear.livejournal.com

"It 'went away'?  'I dwell in darkness without you'
and it WENT AWAY?"
  -- Sorcha, 'Willow'

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list