[LMB] Paladin discussion questions no. 2

Eric Oppen technomad at intergate.com
Tue May 8 02:13:09 BST 2012


Quoting John Lennard <john.c.lennard at gmail.com>:

> 8. ZOMBIE ALERT!
>
> A few weeks back (while we were discussing TSR) Philomytha rather took me
> aback by remarking:
>
> Surely PoS is a zombie novel? It's a zombie romance novel! With
> the zombie as potential romantic hero (and I have to say the first time I
> read PoS and realised that Lois had made me think the zombie was sexy, I
> was pretty stunned) and getting him properly dead is one of the major
> goals of the plot. And Hallowed Hunt is a werewolf novel... I have to
> say, I prefer Lois' take on these themes to most of the others I've
> encountered.
>
> I've been pondering this ever since, and becoming more baffled rather than
> less, I think. There's no denying that Arhys is pretty much a zombie in most
> senses -- a walking dead man, and beginning to rot -- and yet I didn't think
> of him that way before Philomytha's post, and still have problems doing so.
> Maybe it's just that the film cliches aren't there -- no pack of zombies, no
> desire to eat brains, no real splatterfest -- and that the commoner, more
> sophisticated understandings (zombies as proletarians, as metaphors for
> zealots etc.) don't seem to have much purchase either. Perhaps more
> seriously, Arhys also retains despite being dead his capacities of mind and
> will -- pretty much everything, apparently, except appetite and fertility --
> so he's also very unzombie-like ; for a zombie ...

I wouldn't say he's much like a zombie, either the traditional  
Caribbean version or the modern pop-cultural version.  He reminds me  
more of a "Harrowed" from the _Deadlands_ role-playing game;  
basically, summed up, a Harrowed is a dead person who interests the  
"manitous" (evil spirits, basically---LONG story and not really  
relevant) enough that they send his spirit back into his body along  
with a manitou, which provides the motive power, keeps the body  
(mostly; there are degrees here) from rotting, provides some magical  
powers, and occasionally takes control.  A Harrowed is very, very  
powerful, but prone to "do things" when the manitou within takes over,  
and even a well-intentioned Harrowed can go berserk unexpectedly,  
which is why they are...uncomfortable... companions even for known  
friends.

Or, if that doesn't please, he's a lot like a revenant---basically, a  
dead person come back from the grave to perform a specific task.  The  
difference between him and a lot of EC Comics characters is that he  
isn't aware that he died.  "I'm coming for you, _darling,_ but I'm  
coming slowly.  Because pieces of me...keep falling off!"

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