Richard sits against a rock and gazes out at the darkness, since he’s on watch first for the night.
Kahlan had protested when she wasn’t given a watch, but in the end went along with Chase’s wishes.
Kahlan continues to get sidelines, I see.
Speaking of which, Kahlan sidles over for some night-time spooning and tells Richard she’s sorry about what she said earlier, vis a vis Richard not coming to rescue her if she was in danger.
I did not want you to think I don’t appreciate your friendship; I do. It’s just that what we are doing is more important than any one person.
Also, apparently all wizards sleep with their eyes open. For some reason.
Richard realizes that Kahlan is his True Love Forever and reluctantly asks her if she’s in love with someone else, but she just says it’s not that simple and she has “obligations”.
She looked so beautiful in the moonlight, but it wasn’t only the way she looked, it was what was inside her, everything from her intelligence and courage to her wit, and the special smile she gave only to him.
He appreciates her for her intelligence and personality and wit… but don’t worry guys she’s also totally hot you may now continue masturbating in peace.
The night was so still that Richard felt as if he were the only one awake in- the whole world. Stars flickered, looking like Zedd’s magic dust frozen in place as the moon stared silently down at him. Not even the wolves sang tonight. Loneliness threatened to crush him.
Goodkind has a bad habit of veering off into these confusing non-sequiters, usually in the form of [description, description, description, and then Richard felt feelings], that I find really jarring. I’m written before on This Very Blog about how I think the “show, don’t tell” rule sometimes gets taken too seriously, but this is surely a situation where it applies.
The thought of her hunters, the quads, and Darken Rahl made his anger heat. He wanted them to come now so he could put an end to the threat. He hungered for them. His heart pounded. His jaws clenched.
Calm the fuck down Richard, all these sudden spurts of anger can’t be good for your blood pressure.
Zedd ambles over with some cheese (lolwacky) and talks to Richard for a bit about his girl woes.
She said she didn’t want me coming after her, but she meant more than
that. She meant she didn’t want me coming after her, period.”
“Good girl,” Zedd said under his breath.
“Good girl” is a really creepy phrase and people should stop using it. I remember in secondary school teachers would say this to the girls in my class even into sixth year, whereas I never heard anyone say “good boy” to the boys at any age. It’s a weird double standard.
But anyway fantasy novels
Zedd says Kahlan has responsibilities but won’t tell Richard what they are, since they’re her business, and to give up on her since she can’t be the one for him. You mean just ditch the romance sub-plot now? I am all for this plan. Listen to Zedd, Richard.
Richard asks Zedd what he would have done if someone had come to him and told him this before he married his wife (not sure if I mentioned her, she’s dead) and he grudgingly admits Richard has a point but still insists it’s hopeless.
I wish it were not so, for your sake, but there is no way for it to work. Kahlan
knows it, and if you try, you will only hurt her. I know you don’t want that.”
Richard’s voice was calm, quiet. “You said it yourself. I am the Seeker. There is a way, and I will find it.”
God, Richard is such a douchewaffle.
Zedd gets to the point he came to make, which is that as Seeker Richard might have to let innocent people die in order to beat Darken Rahl, such as when they convinced him to leave Chase earlier.
In order to succeed in stopping Rahl you may have to turn away from those who might
be saved with your help. A soldier knows that on the battlefield, if he bends to help a downed comrade, he might take a sword in the back, and so, if he is to win, he must fight on despite the cries for help from his fellows. You must be able to do this to win; it may be the only way. You must steel yourself to it. This is a struggle for survival, and in this battle the ones crying for help probably won’t be soldiers, but innocents. Darken Rahl will kill anyone to win. Those who fight on his side will do the same. You may have to do the same. Like it or not, the aggressor makes the rules. You must play by them, or you will surely die by them.”
This is actually a fairly reasonable point, at least in terms of someone who’s been forced into a war against their will (if Richard and co were the aggressors here it would be a different story), but Zedd also seems to imply that Richard has to be willing to actively cause the deaths of innocents as well, which I don’t accept as being valid. I don’t think there’s ever any justification for targeting innocent bystanders if there’s any way possible to avoid doing so.
“Because, Richard, many people must be ruled to thrive. In their selfishness and
greed, they see free people as their oppressors. They wish to have a leader who will cut the taller plants so the sun will reach them. They think no plant should be allowed to grow taller than the shortest, and inthat way give light to all. They would rather be provided a guiding light, regardless of the fuel, than light a candle themselves.
This really feels like an objectivist thing.
I am quite sure that Rahl’s followers think we are bloodthirsty monsters, capable of anything. They will have been told endless tales of their enemy’s ruthless brutality.
If you replace “their enemy” with “Richard” this becomes entirely accurate.
I actually like the point Goodkind is making here, but for it to hold water we would also have to discover that Kahlan and Zedd’s depiction of Darken Rahl is missing a lot of nuance and there are good people on both sides. Anyone want to bet whether that will happen?
There’s some more waffling about being steely and thrust-jawed and prepared to take decisive action and Richard tells Zedd about him offering Kahlan an apple and her almost killing him.
Why are all red fruits in the Midlands deadly poison? It isn’t natural.”
The wizard gave a sorrowful shake of his head. “Because, Richard, children like red fruit.”
This is going to be something dumb isn’t it
Back during the war against Panis Rahl (god I keep reading that as penis now), Panis found a magical whats-it that could cast a single spell poisoning all fruit of a certain colour, for some reason. So he picked read because “children like red fruit” apparently and he wanted to be an asshole and murder a whole bunch of kids. Of course this is exactly what Zedd was just talking about, about people believing their enemies are all ruthless cold-hearted bastards, but since it’s the bad guys he’s talking about it’s probably 100% accurate.
The point Zedd makes out of all this is also extremely odd:
“I had a student, a young man I was training. One day I chanced upon him tinkering with something he shouldn’t have been. I had an odd doubt about him. I knew something was wrong, but I was very fond of him and so I didn’t act upon my suspicion. Instead, I decided to think on it for the night. The next morning, he was gone, and so was the constructed magic I had found. He had been a spy for Panis Rahl. If I had acted when I should have, and killed him, all those people, all those children, wouldn’t have died.
The point he seems to be making here, and which he also stated earlier, is that if your allies act in the slightest bit suspicious you should murder them instantly in case they’re a traitor. He even says that Richard should immediately cut him or Kahlan down if he has doubts about them, and that they’d do the same to him.
Such loyal allies, our heroes.
Next, in this very long chapter full of talking, Zedd decides to do something about the evil cloud that’s been hovering overhead. This involves his wizard rock and magic dust and more finger-spinning (I’m really curious to see how they portrayed this in the TV series) and goes on for far too long so I’m not going to summarize it except to point out that it’s extraordinarily trippy and reads like Richard just stepped into a psychadelic album cover from the 60s. Also Zedd says he should try it naked because it “feels better”. So. There’s that.
Zedd help up his hand. Out of the darkness, the piece of cheese he had thrown away floated back to him
Please tell me Zedd gets killed soon.