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Christian at the wapenshaw
by poppenhuis (grace_poppy)
at July 18th, 2007 (09:49 pm)

current mood: blank

I just read the part where Christian goes to the fortune-teller at the wapenshaw and is reunited with her prisoner/patient from Boghall, who is finally revealed (to the reader) to be Lymond.  I remember the first time I was reading the book, I'd thought at first that her mystery prisoner was Will Scott.  The second time around, I noticed the tricks Dunnett played to make it ambiguous (the chapter begins right after "the last thing Scott remembered;" Sym makes special mention of his hair though not specifying color; Christian examines "the shape of an unconscious boy").  But now when I read it - and now that I know Lymond so well - it seems completely obvious that it's Lymond.  But then, I suppose when I was a new reader, this would have been the first time I ever saw Lymond being courteous and charming and friendly, so I wouldn't have anything to compare it to.  Did anyone else think it was Will Scott?

Poor Lymond.  Such a hard life he's having - yet for a brief time at Boghall, when he's lost his memory and forgotten his troubles, he's able to recover and relax and be open with Christian, and he's happy.  And lovable.  It's such a rare glance at trouble-free Lymond.  Aww, and I love the way he clasps her hand in the gypsy's tent at the wapenshaw, and how he pretends to read her palm. 

"Line of life - hullo!  You appear to have died at the age of seven."
"The embalmers are exceedingly skillful nowadays," she said gravely.

Hee, I just love them.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: poppenhuis (grace_poppy)
Posted at: October 11th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)

Hi! Sorry, I didn't see your comment before! A belated welcome to you!

I think, this time reading it, that he really did lose his memory, or at least some of it. There's a part where he's playing the lute for Christian and singing a lighthearted song about a frog and a well, and then suddenly:

The break was as violent as if death itself had struck. The four strings gasped, once, under his clenched fingers, and there was silence.

Alone with the hammering of her heart, with infinite patience, Christian waited.

"Memory's a strange thing." What aspect of the bold, ill-fated frog had opened the gates? Frogs--and wells. What lay at the bottom of a well? Cats; and kelpies; and curses; and cures for warts... and Truth, of course.

I think that was genuine. I don't think he would purposefully pretend to suddenly have a shocking flashback. For one thing, he likes to appear always in control of his mind and his emotions, never caught off guard. And for another thing, I don't think he would insult her by pretending. He might say "I don't remember anything" in an obvious but tactful manner that really means "I don't want to tell you," but I don't think he would go through such an elaborate pretense. And if he did, I think she would see right through it.

Plus, he was speaking the name "Jonathan Crouch" in his sleep, and even that is a sign of suffering Lymond. Healthy Happy Lymond is SO much in control of himself that I don't think he would talk in his sleep. He's had a pretty nasty knock on the head, and he's pretty messed up. And he's rather shaken when she mentions the name to him.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: poppenhuis (grace_poppy)
Posted at: October 12th, 2007 12:15 am (UTC)
stephen happy

Hurrah! :D

Posted by: mel (supposedlyso)
Posted at: September 20th, 2007 07:23 am (UTC)

Hello! I'm new to the series as well..I'm on page 355 of the Random House "The Game of Kings" and loving it. Unfortunately, I have also an essay due tomorrow and the book is proving to be an effective distraction.

Having been forewarned by numerous people, I was prepared not to understand a lot of what Lymond says. Haha. Must get my hands on the companion books. The enjoyment of the book isn't taken away by not understanding everything, but I'm sure that it would be much more enjoyable if the reader caught what they are really saying. Still! Am very excited to continue the series.

And I must say, I thought that Christian's prisoner was Will Scott too! Dunnett's tricks that you mentioned were exactly what made me think it was Will. So interesting! I told my friend that I thought it was Will at first and she disagreed, saying that no matter what guise Lymond is in, you can always tell that it's him from the way he talks.

Anyway, I think this community is great! Especially for people like me who want to discuss the books (must talk to someone about it!) but are afraid of spoilers. =)

Posted by: poppenhuis (grace_poppy)
Posted at: October 11th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)

Welcome to the community! Sorry I'm so late in replying!

I think, this early in the series, the reader doesn't KNOW Lymond well enough to recognize him as Christian's prisoner. Especially when we haven't seen him act so charming and open before. So I think it's vague who the prisoner is, purposefully, and an easy deceit. Has your friend read the series before? Reading it now, I think "Of COURSE it's Lymond!" but that's only because I know him so well this time around.

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