Today’s entry in the aki’Pedia is Gordon Grundy.
I know this post seems to imply that I make entries every day to the aki’Pedia. I do not, in fact, do so. But today I did, and this was it for some reason.
Here’s to another random throw-away line in my massed publications finding new life as an unnecessarily intricate and interconnected piece of historical data.
Almost enough to make one soil one’s Gordons, one might say.
I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends.
Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages?
I am Hatboy.
““Were you planning on sharing this information with us at any stage?” Janica fumed. “Why didn’t you ever tell me that Shadowspawn can’t use gateways?”
Asmodean blanched. “The subject never came up.”
“It gives us quite a big advantage,” Janica pointed out, “but we’re left with the problem of this city now having a couple of dozen extra Waygates leading into it, which could open at any time and disgorge thousands upon thousands of Shadowspawn.””
Until this moment I didn’t realize how confusing having “gateways” and “waygates” as two methods of enhanced travel is. For some reason.
And don’t even get me started on Skimming. I like that there’s different things like the Ways and the Portal Stones and Tel’Aran’Rhiod, but it really doesn’t seem well plotted-out. It’s very much old-school Moorcock-esque universe-building (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that).
Yeah. I mean, all this griping should never hide the ball that Jordan did an awesome job, overall.
I tend to believe it’s the latter, about shadowspawn and gateways. Once he decided they were a thing, he was like “oh…shit.” Or some fan was and he decided to go with the fan theory instead of scrambling to undo it. *glares at Taimandred*
And it does seem to check out, he doesn’t contradict himself and have shadowspawn traveling elsewhere in the series. So whether he planned it or just cleverly / luckily slipped the change in later, it worked.
The most confusing part of this to me was that I started the Steal at one point and then new books came out and I had to adjust in real time to new rules Jordan was adding. In some places (like the Standing Flows) it was fun to play with the “I didn’t know about them a minute ago but now I’ve always known”, but was Shadowspawn and gateways always a thing? Or did Jordan just realise he’d written an enemy that could pour an infinite number of ten-foot-tall beast men into a city at a moment’s notice, and want to make it more of a challenge?
Damnit how did my comment end up on this blog entry? I was doing a mass read yesterday and wordpress kept screwing up. I was seeing FoH part 4 right after LoC part 13, shit like that. I’m sure I hit the comment link on the relevant entry.
No idea, I just reply to them where they pop up in my right-hand menu. Didn’t realise it was on the wrong blog post!