This page is out of date. It has had absolutely no maintenance since before I acquired Polgara and it is really beginning to show. One of these days I'll have time (between my work, home life, and the book I'm writing) to do an update. Until then, this page is just gathering virtual dust...
He certainly doesn't post under his own name, and I suspect that even if he ever saw the group, the drivel level (see the Genetics Thread Summary for an example ) would rapidly drive him away...
If you want to contact him, the best way is either to do it care of whoever publishes his books in your country, or to contact one of the following email addresses:
The humour-impaired should note that the above addresses are utterly false. HAND!
afetypes a chance to ask him first! More info here when I hear of it.
Strictly speaking, immortal means that you cannot die. This is conspicuously not the case with the sorcerers in the Belgariad and Malloreon. Instead, sorcerers in these books cease to age once they pass some indeterminate point.
There is a Greek myth wich highlights the difference between these two ideas. In it, a goddess (the dawn goddess Eos - or Aurora in Latin) so loved a human (Prince Tithonus) that she persuaded the Zeus (the chief god) to make him immortal. However she forgot to ask for him to be made non-ageing as well, so he got older and older and more and more decrepit until he pleaded to the chief god to be allowed to die as he just couldn't take being alive any longer. Or something like that...
This illustrates the substantial difference between immortality and non-ageing; the two are not the same.
Thanks to Lucy Lim for tracking down the names in this myth for me.
I actually think that this is because David hadn't decided that the big beast heard flying about above the mountains above Maragor (later the same book) was a dragon. In fact, I got the opinion from reading that book the first time that she was something much more like a Roc, and was a lot more dangerous than a mere dragon...
You can add to this list by mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions, and I'll stick it in here. Known submitters include:
From:field of the news article was not a valid mail address
There is actually quite a bit of information that I have collected together and puzzled out. Here is some of it...
Her name is written either as Ce'Nedra (the Tolnedran style) or X'Nedra (the Dryad style). The Tolnedran style is probably better for normal use as the Dryads don't tend to write a lot down.
Her name is pronounced something like
se-NED-ra though the Dryad method would have the
s sound a bit more like an
x (still farily
soft though). I can't be bothered to figure out exactly how to
pronounce this, as the differences are fairly fine.
She will live for several hundred years (since the limit on her age is set by that of her oak tree which is probably located in the Wood, although Tol Borune is also a possible location of it; Tol Honeth is extremely unlikely).
All her daughters will be Dryads, and her (only) son is an ordinary human (well, ordinary for a Rivan King... ). The reasoning for this is as follows:
There are no male dryads. We are told this in QoS.
Instead, they catch human males to perform this function (this sounds faintly disgusting...)
You cannot be a dryad without your mother being a dryad (allowing for random mutations, of course )
If your mother is a dryad, then you will either be a male human, or you will be a female dryad.
There is a single genetic factor which determines whether a female is a dryad. I'll call it D for short.
From the above facts and assumptions (plus my memories of genetics) I deduce that there must be some factor present in males but not in females which inhibits the action of D.
Also, this factor D must not be passed from father to child. This leads to the conclusion that it is not nucleo-centric.
(Getting out on a limb here). There is genetic material located in the mitochondria which is inherited solely from the mother. If D was located there, it would follow the phenotypic inheritance patterns described above (provided that D was blocked in males).
We are not ever actually told (in BtS or elsewhere) that D is not passed from father to daughter. Page 590 of the UK edition:
This can't really be taken as evidence one way or the other, so this puts us right back to square one...
It has been pointed out to me that mitochondrial genetic material is not particularly stable, and that sucha change would have been unlikely in the first place. My riposte to this is that it only requires relative stability (for ten thousand years for an example) and that the change could have been magically induced.
I suppose the only real test of this theory is to see what happens when a dryad or the son of a dryad undergoes a full-blown sex-change... (Kalten will find this idea amusing )
Further thoughts on the whole dryad breeding business (which attempt to deal with some of the points raised in response to the above tract).
Here I assume that there is only one dryad gene, as it makes things much simpler. Anyone who wishes to speculate one something more exotic is welcome to, but what I've got here already makes my head spin when I'm going over it again to check for mistakes...
All dryads are born of the union of a dryad and an ordinary human man - most of whom we can assume will not be carriers of the dryad gene, no matter what the circumstances.
For this to work then, the dryad gene must override non-dryad traits, and it must be enabled by some kind of protein that is related to human sexual differentiation (thus simply explaining why there are no male dryads).
Next, in order to deal with the way that all dryads have no ordinary female offspring (so the dryad gene is not recessive) and are full dryads (the gene cannot be dominant either) you have to postulate that either the gene is carried on a portion of the genetic material that is always inherited from the mother (something like mitochondrial RNA) or that it can jump across to the other chromosome.
Whether a genetic transfer happens only when activated or not, I can't tell, since this would require, for example, Geran to marry a non-dryad and have non-dryad female children in order to test. As it is, this sort of thing is still rather far-fetched.
Using non-nuclear genetic material is an alternate solution, which unfortunately suffers from being less stable than nuclear DNA. This problem is surmountable by invoking the Prophecies, but that is a bit of a cop out in my opinion.
There may also be other factors involved (like a dryad can only be the child of a dryad, since she would need a tree, and only drayds (and Polgara ) really know about these things). This would mean that a possible (and not very good) test for the method of super-dominance in females only would be to see whether Geran could have any female children by a non-dryad at all.
Note that the Borunes would be a good test of this, except in that they all adore dryads and marry them as much as possible. Grrr!
The Rivan Codex states right out that all dryads have only female children except for the Borune line up to Ce'Nedra and that that exception was induced by the prophecy. So all this speculation is pointless...
Some suggestions have included:
(Thanks to Jonathan Yen <email@example.com> for the summary)
NB I used to think that it was a wolf, but I was wrong. Here we have a case of somewhere where this group has changed my mind about something in the Books. This is rare so enjoy it while it lasts...
A-da-ra. Cousin of Garion (youngest daughter of Ildera's sister, I think). Married to Hettar with many children. Curative plant created by Garion (Adara's Rose) named by Ce'Nedra after her.
AL-gar. Son of Cherek. Founder of Algaria. One of band who retrieved the Orb from Cthol Mishrak.
ASH-ar-rack. Alias for Chamdar.
BA-rack. Earl of Trellheim. Cousin of Anheg. Married to Merel with two daughters (Gundred and Terzie) and one son (Unrak). Companion of Garion. Skilled warrior. Transformed by the Prophecy of Light into a bear where necessary to provide protection for Garion. Prophetic name: Dreadful Bear.
BELL-dar-ran. Daughter of Garion and Ce'Nedra. Dryad. Named for her elder namesake.
BELL-dar-ran. Daughter of Belgarath and Poledra. Sister of Polgara. Married to Riva. Original owner of amulet with tree, which enables the wearer to see and hear things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to.
bel-DIN. Sorcerer (disciple of Aldur). Hunchback. Preferred animal form: Blue-banded hawk. Married to Vella?
BELL-ga-rath. Sorcerer (first disciple of Aldur). Resembles Aldur (an old man) except in that he (usually) has a michevious glint to his eyes. Married to Poledra. Father of Polgara and (the elder) Beldaran. Preferred animal form: wolf. Known for indolence, thievery, wenching, drunkeness and downright shabbiness. Also a professional storyteller. Owner of amulet with a wolf on it.
bel-KIH-ra. Sorcerer (disciple of Aldur). Twin brother of Beltira. Good cook. Sweet, saintly, and IMHO insufferable!
bel-TIH-ra. Sorcerer (disciple of Aldur). Twin brother of Belkira. Good cook. Sweet, saintly, and IMHO insufferable!
BETH-ra. Tolnedran courtesan. Known employers include Ran Borune XXIII (her profession) and Javelin (his profession ). Was Hunter during Tolnedran succession. Murdered by Harakan with the assistance of the Honeths.
BRAND(how else would anyone pronounce it? ). Strictly, the title of the leader of the Rivans during the period extending from the murder of King Gorek by Nyissan assassins to the accession of Garion to the Rivan throne. The holder of the office is not permitted to mention his own name in order to prevent him from having any pride in the office.
Notable holders of the office have included:
se-NED-ra. Garion's wife. Daughter of Ran Borune XXIII (I think that was his number) and Ce'Vanne. Owner of Beldaran's amulet, which has a picture of the Tree on it. Red-haired dryad with a temper that stereotypically goes with red hair. Titles include Queen of Riva and Flower of the Tolnedran Empire. Mother of (the younger) Geran and (the younger) Beldaran. Prophetic name: Queen of the World.
cham-DARR- it depends on how foreign you want it to be). High-ranking Grolim priest, and Ctuchik's agent in the West. Very amitious. Responsible for the deaths of Darral, Alara, Geran and Ildera in an attempt to gain complete control over Garion, foiled by Belgarath. Tried to dominate Garion several times (as well as gaining control of Polgara, and nearly sparked a civil war in Cherek and (possibly) Tolnedra in the process. His reward for this last attempt was to be burned to death by Garion in his first conscious act of Sorcery.
IMHO, he was asking for it...
CHEH-rek. Last King of Aloria. Over 7 feet tall. Father of Dras Bull-neck, Algar Fleet-foot and Riva Iron-grip, as well as the Cherek dynasty.
CHOE-hag. King of Algaria. Excellent cavalry commander. Killed Taur Urgas in single combat. Crippled. Married to Silar and father (adopted) of Hettar
k-TOO-chik. Sorceror and Disciple of Torak. Cadaverous. Originally controlled Cthol Mishrak, then went to control the Western Grolims (and through them, the Murgos, Thulls and, to some extent, Nadraks) from Rak Cthol. Former Chandim (if my reading of BtS is correct). Died when he tried to unmake the Orb of Aldur, thus triggering the wholesale destruction of Rak Cthol.
SIH-ra-diss. Dalasian Seeress before the last EVENT, and Empress of Mallorea after (well, within the year ). Married to Zakath. Very beautiful, and fond of flowers and archæic language.
doh-ROON. Sendarian peasant. Childhood friend of Garion. Died at Thull Mardu.
DRAZ. Son of Cherek Bear-shoulders and founder of Drasnia. Not very smart. Cheated a lot at dice, especially with Belar, though it was noted that if there was money involved, he would cheat his own mother. Brave.
DROSTAH leck THUNN. King of Gar og Nadrak. Coward, very fond of cheap whores, and embezzler. Absolutely not to be trusted unless with his back to the wall, and then not far.
DUR-nick. Smith/sorceror. (probably Beldurnik, but that sounds silly ). Married to Polgara. Two children (twins). Owner of amulet with a hammer on it. Sendar.
EH-ri-yond. Bearer of the Orb and new God of the Angaraks (see below). Very innocent until his deification.
FAHL-door. Sendarian farmer. Owner of the farm where Garion grew up.
FUL-rach. King of Sendaria. Married to Layla. Not quite as bright as Belgarath wants (but then, very few are anyway )
bell-GA-ri-on). The hero of the Belgariad and the Malloreon (indeed, the first series is named after him). Sandy-haired King of Riva. Noted achievements include killing Torak and the Dragon, and choosing Eriond to be CoL after him. Sorcerer. Married to Ce'Nedra. Preferred animal form: wolf. White mark on palm. Father of (the younger) Geran and (the younger) Beldaran. Parents: (the elder) Geran and Ildera. Fostered by Polgara on Faldor's Farm. Child of Light (CoL) for most of both series. Owner of amulet.
JEH-ran. There have been absolutely masses of Gerans thoughout history, largely due to the influence of Polgara I suspect.
GOE-reck. Last crowned king of Riva before Garion. Assassinated by Nyissans at Salmissra's command (instigated by Zedar). Survived by one son (Geran).
GOE-rimm. Title of the leader of Ulgo - named so for the first such who persuaded UL to become God of the Ulgos. Alternative title: Holy One.
There are two main Gorims mentioned in the series:
HET-tar. Adopted son of Cho-Hag and husband of Adara. Number of children: unknown, but fairly large... Sha-dar. Parents were killed by a Murgo raiding party, and he nearly was at the same time. This gave him a certain mission in life, but his attitude seems to softening now, what with his marriage and the ascencion of Urgit. Prophetic name: the Horse Lord.
IH-ssuss. One-eyed Nyissan assassin. Very good, and utterly mercenary.
KOR-doch. Wall-eyed Dagashi assassin/spy. Stinks. Known as Brill when first encountered in the books. Eventually killed by Silk by throwing him off the top of Rak Cthol, to see if bouncing counted in the process of learning to fly...
POL-ga-ra. Sorceress. Foster mother to Belgarion and Eriond, and real mother of twins (names and sexes unknown). Married to Durnik. Very beautiful with jet black hair except for one white lock. Was prophesied to marry Torak, but she rejected him. Preferred animal form: owl (parallels with Pallas-Athenæ?). Owner of amulet with an owl on it.
I'll do some more when I have time - Donal
TOLN-dra, but I think this is clearly wrong! However, I'm not changing...
Kseems to suit them in my opinion). However, the people that live there (the Murgos) I pronounce as
MUR-goes. I never claimed to be consistent... Military districts are:
da-GASH-i. Headquarters are at Kahshah (Damn! Can't remember how to spell it!) in the Great Desert of Araga.
According to R. Shaw (who I'm inclined to believe in this matter, as it corresponds with my own memories), the original Assassins were Arabs. Apparently, they were a religions cult that was based in a mountain fortress, and they used hasish to convince those working for them that Heaven would be their reward by `giving them a glimpse'.
He adds that modern Middle Eastern terrorists are in much the same tradition...
MAL-lore-iya(as in mallet). The military districts are:
dal-AY-zi-ya(as in Dalai Lama ) The protectorates are:
kah-RAND-ah. The Seven Kingdoms are:
gand-a-HARR(I have changed my mind bout how to write down how I pronounce it from when I wrote the original pronunciation guide)
ISS-sa(very hissy sounding)
Thanks for some of the info in this section goes
Who For Dan Alder hunting down colours. B.R. MARTIN hunting down colours. Derik K Cowan hunting down colours. Flapjack hunting down colours. Ann McDonald confirming Eriond's colour. Deanna Toxopeus Mara's totem animal. Nancy Pace Eriond's totem animal. Nadine Grange Eriond's totem animal. David Berg UL's totem animal. Wayne Peace Additional suggestions for Nedra's colour. Nicholas Ellan Colours for Aldur, Nedra and Belar.
|the God of Eat
||the God of Fire
||the God of Ice
of Mating (putting it delicately...)
||the God of Kill
AZ-ash, who died in tSR. I suppose that his chief priest (or at least chief worshipper ) would be Otha.
AFF-ray-el, the Child Goddess. Source of magic used by Pandions. Chief Priestess: Sephrenia. Known for meddling, and getting Her own way. Especially dangerous when She starts giving kisses...
SET-rass, an artist? Source of magic used by Alciones. Rather vague. Well, stupid would be more accurate...
ROMM-al-ic. Source of magic used by the Cyrinics. Large, and rather loud (spot the understatement... )
HANN-ka. Source of magic used by the Genidians. Short-tempered and abrupt.
syrr-GONN, Chief Priest: Ekatas. Conservative, militaristic.
eh-DAY-muss, Chief Priest: Cyron (title Anari). Involved in transforming all his followers into light for some reason not wholly within my comprehension.
I have had it suggested to me that this is because She created herself out of nothing. Unfortunately for the suggester, I disagree, since I think that all the Younger Gods (however many there are ) created Themselves out of nothing, though the situation in which They were able to do this was brought about by the Elder Gods; thus meaning that Aphrael telling Azash that She created Herself was not too good for him, but not news to any of the other Younger Gods (and I think that Gods like the Elene God count as Younger in this respect).
There's something else going on here...
Thanks for comments/additions in this section go to:
<firstname.lastname@example.org>by Craig Cowled.
Ok. This thread looks as if it needs a refresher course in the nature of "The Will and the Word". Here is a brief explanation which should cover the bell sound etc...
Sorcery is all about energy. In MG Garion and his grandfather have a few rather interesting discussions about the form of sorcery. A few valid points came out of these discussions:
A gesture works as well, but it isn't strictly necessary. The gesture or the word merely serves to concentrate the mind enough to make it happen. Also, you must not doubt your ability to do something (see discussion in CoW) - Donal.
The purpose of the Universe is to create things (I forget exactly which book Belgarath says this in, but I think it is MG). Since acts like restoration of life to the colt, or the creation of ``Adara's Rose'' are in line with this universal policy, they are accompanied by a sound which indicates that what you have done is good. Oh, and the bell-sound was also produced by the ressurection of Durnik - Donal
Of course there is a lot more to the "will and the word" than just this but brevity does not permit it to be written here.
We don't actually know (we'll probably find out when Polgara gets published, sometime in 1996), but one thing we can say for sure is that the Rivan King did not put it there. If he had, it would have signified his return, leaving nothing for Garion to do .(This was summarised by Jonathan Yen <email@example.com>. Thanks!)
Those who use the ``proof'' that Garion held the Orb when he was a baby are spouting b*llsh*t, since if he had, he would have woken Torak right then, and that would have been that. The placing of each heir's hand on the Orb was only carried out in the period up to King Gorek's assassination, and discontinued thereafter. The mark on the palm of each Heir was there so that people could see which child was to have his hand placed upon the Orb.
Interestingly enough, the Rivan Warders must have been able to communicate with the Orb, since it Brand says (in CoW) that he was glad that Garion came, since it was getting time for him to choose his successor with the advice of the Orb (or something like that). This might have some bearing on the matter...
Other suggestions have included:
- Belgarath moved the Orb on by translocation. Unfortunately, this means that Zedar didn't need Eriond to steal the Orb. A nice idea though.
- Belgarath talked to the Orb and asked it very nicely. This one is my favourite.
- They held the shield very close to the Orb and ``click''. I like this one for the wonderful description!
- The Orb morphed the sword into a shield for Brand. This is also quite a good suggestion.
In the light of BtS, we find out that it was actually Poledra who was responsible for getting the Orb onto the shield. Mind you, we also find out that the Orb doesn't destroy anyone who touches it, but rather bonds to them instead. It only wipes them out if they try to misuse it's power, which would probably happen sooner or later if they weren't pure of heart.
Donal K. Fellows / Department of Stastistical Theology, Technical University of Cimmura, Elenia / firstname.lastname@example.org