Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 36.5

wizard's first rule header

[Note: This chapter is extremely long so I’m splitting it between two posts]

Chapter 36

In the previous chapter of Wizard’s First Rule Rachel was accosted by two creepy misanthropes. Luckily she manage to escape, and now Richard and Kahlan are searching for her.

Did you see her arms?”

“I saw long bruises. They are from a switch.”

That never actually happened.

Richard explains that Rachel is impossible to track because she’s too small to leave tracks and she avoids pushing through foliage to preserve her delicate girl-skin, which, okay whatever, I guess that’s plausible. I mean not really but we’ll go with it anyway. Also for some reason they’re determined they have to find her even though they’ve repeatedly stated that nothing is more important than their mission and they’re willing to literally murder children in cold blood.

Kahlan correctly deduces that her hair spooked Rachel so she asks Richard to cut if short for her. Confessors can’t cut their own hair because “the magic” makes it hurt a lot (no really).

His eyes returned to her. “No.”

That’s a sensible answer. Her long hair might make her feel alienated but it’s an obvious and potent symbol of her authority as the Mother Confessor, which is a valuable tool they can’t afford to lose.

No just joking it’s actually some stupid objectivist thing.

Because I respect you for who you are. The Kahlan I know wouldn’t want to fool people by trying to make them think she is less than she is. Even if you did fool some, it would change nothing. You are who you are: the Mother Confessor. We all can be no more, or less, than who we are.

(‘m just assuming any time the characters give a pointless speech it’s an objectivist thing; If I’m wrong don’t bother telling me, I don’t care)

Kahlan’s brow wrinkled with sorrow. “I’d say she was running from whoever cut her hair like that.”

“Her hair?”

He nodded again. “It was meant to mark her, maybe as property.

How the fuck does Richard know all of this? Shouldn’t Kahlan be the one explaining it to him?

Richard also figures out that the loaf of bread Rachel was carrying is important. I’ll give him that one, it was pretty obvious by her behaviour. At this point Richard finally says what I’ve been waiting for him to say, that they can’t waste time chasing after her because they have to get the box (lololol).

I hate what Darken Rahl does to us, the way he twists us.

He’s not twisting jack shit, you both decided what your priorities were on your own.

As much as he tried not to think about Rachel, he found himself frowning with worry before he realized he was doing it again

Hey Richard, remember that little boy who got kidnapped by Rahl as a gift to his pet child-raping murderer? No? Okay.

After travelling for a while they talk about what they’re going to do if they reach the Queen’s castle and Darken Rahl is already there (namely die).

“If Darken Rahl is in Tamarang, and we go there, then in all likelihood-we will die.”

Or you could just, like, not walk blithely into certain death. That would also be good.

They make camp for the night and then Zedd comes strolling out from behind a rock.

nope-nope-octopus

You know, I really thought he was going to be dead halfway through the book. Those were happier times.

Things proceed to get 300% quirkier as Zedd cooks food with magic, says “true as toasted toads”  and generally acts as the Jar Jar Binks of this particular epic fantasy story. His new role in the story is to say “What! What! OH MY GOD WHAT” while our heroes summarize the middle of the book for him (narrate this part Goodkind, for fuck’s sake) and finally bring the Book Of Counted Shadows into relevance since Zedd is the book’s keeper (but he doesn’t actually know what’s in it, only Richard does because oh fuck it). Also blah blah Kahlan wants to go Confessor Giller to find out where the box is, the attack on that town by the “Westlanders” was actually a false flag operation by Rahl’s own men.

This has to be one of the most overly complicated fantasy stories I’ve ever read.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_Fire

Well, okay, yes. But it’s definitely up there. So far the plot has largely consisted of a lot of arbitrarily complicated things happening for no apparent reason, with a heap of wierd nonsensical “ah but you see it must be this way because the magic and also because reasons”.

“Wizard’s First Rule.”

a07f21cda7b55154142a478c08b88c87And the long awaited Wizard’s First Rule is…..

“Wizard’s First Rule: people are stupid.”

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Zedd explains that “people are stupid” is the reason the Seeker and the Confessors were created. Okay then.

“But the ones who did the killing, they knew. It was murder. How could they do it?”

Remember all the steely-eyed Objectivist bullshit I had to wade through before? Remember how much of a boner you had for abandoning your comrades and murdering traitors? Remember the old men you almost hacked down? DO YOU REMEMBER THAT SHIT

And then it’s time for another misanthropic morality sermon from uncle Zedd. The topic this time is “Who is Jonh GaltMurder is the way of nature, of all living things”. Zedd uses another tree-based metaphor to get this point across. It takes way too long and then doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what they were talking about before or after, which is that Rahl is gaining ground by giving people false causes to believe in and letting them do his fighting for him.

If someone digs a hole, and it fills with rainwater, where is the fault? Is it the rain’s fault? Or is it the fault of the person who digs the hole?

Oh my God Zedd, shut the fuck up.

The tooth was the only way for Richard to prove to Zedd that his father wasn’t a thief, that he had taken the book to keep it from Darken Rahl. Richard wanted so badly to tell Zedd, to tell him that his father had been a hero, had given his life to stop Rahl and died a hero to protect them all. He wanted his father to be remembered for what he had done. He wanted to tell Zedd.

But he couldn’t.

The wizard wanted the Book of Counted Shadows destroyed. Richard was the Book of Counted Shadows now. Shota had warned him that Zedd would use the wizard’s, fire against him, but that he had a chance to beat him.

God this is all so contrived.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 36.5

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 36 [contd] | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Signatus

    I just finished reading the chapter (up until the point you stopped). What a bunch of bullshit. Why do writers insist about writing philosophical mumbo jumbo about topics they don’t understand? It’s been long demonstrated nature is not survival of the strongets, it is survival of the fittests.
    Which is stronger, a T-Rex, or a mouse? How many Rexes have you seen as of late?
    Nature is balance, it is life, death is just a consequence of such balance. Nature is brutal, but defining it as simply murder is having no clue at all of how an ecosystem functions.

    The part where he mentions purpose, that’s absurd. Rahl is not giving these people any sense of purpose. A Scientist trying to understand how certain diseases work to better fight them has a purpose. People acting like the pack animals they are, move by hathred, are not acting for any sense of purpose, they are moved by strong emotions.
    Zedd, who is simply speaking Goodkind’s voice, is a bigger fool than those he accuses of, because in all his wisdom he is uncapable of understanding the complexities of human nature and the delicate balance in which ecosystems function. The fact that he’s a self entitled fool makes him the dangerous sort of fool, the one who believes truth is a constant that can be measured, weighted and believed blindly because it is never changing.
    The simple fact that our perception is subjective should be proof enough that attaining such a clarity about the reality around us is a fool’s errand. We can only hope to reach a better understanding through constant observation and questioning of everything, even the things we treat as given. Zedd does mention people do not know how to question reality, and while there is a certain truth to it (change hurts), most people eventually do question their knowledge and even change. Zedd is uncapable of doing such because he believes he knows the truth. And the truth is people are stupid and nature is murderous…. brilliant!

    Anyways, why is the whole shit about Kahlan being a confessor so important? It’s drama for the sake of drama! It makes no sense! There was never a good reason for her to keep that information to herself, aside from creating this stupid childish love drama from a pointless concept.
    In real life, Kahlan would have met Richard, and in the first five minutes of conversation, she would have introduced herself as a Confessor and claimed to be brought up to whoever be in charge to warn him of what’s going on. Richard would have been confused, she would have explained what a Confessor is, and that would have been it!
    Of course, the story would have been so much different, but at least it wouldn’t resemble a saturday morning cartoon. I keep hearing the zipping sounds from cartoons like He-Man and Dungeons and Dragons whenever Zedd does magic… that’s not a good sign.

    The hair thing… goodness! Why does Goodkind keep tossing new stuff into the book? Hasn’t he made his main characters “speshul” enough? They have to be even more miserable and suffer even more?
    Hadn’t Kahlan said Confessors didn’t cut their hair because of pride? Now it is because it hurts and makes them unconscious because… magic? I just hope Goodkind in all his wisdom doesn’t consider his writting skills as some ultimate truth because, in all honesty, he’s easily one of the worst writers I’ve ever seen. I’m choosing Rothfuss any day.

    Reply
    1. Signatus

      Oh, yeah, Kahlan blaming herself about everything is creepy as shit. This woman started as a rather strong, self sufficient person, and has been pushed to the brim of depression. The fact that Richard is uncapable of seeing how he’s annulling her is even creepier.
      Also, why the fuck is he explaining everything while Kahlan just nods? It should be HER, being a freaking midlander and actually Richard’s guide, who does the explaining about how her hair might have frightenned her and how Rachel’s hair is a status symbol and so on. Goodkind, women are capable of being more than a pair of boobs, you know?

      Reply
  3. Austin H. Williams

    If Goodkind had rephrased the first rule somehow, like to make it less condescending, to make is so that wizard’s understood that a lot of “magic” includes misdirection and perceiving the true nature of things, maybe that would work.

    Maybe if the first rule was something like, “Ninety per cent of most magic merely consists of knowing one extra fact.“, then this book would have some of the gravitas and verisimilitude that it needs for someone like me to take it seriously.

    But as it is, this entire thing is just a laughable farce; a work of base comedy, at best.

    Reply
  4. braak

    “Even if you did fool some, it would change nothing. You are who you are: the Mother Confessor. We all can be no more, or less, than who we are.”

    See, this is the kind of rule that Objectivists love in books, because their books are contrived fantasias meant to validate their thinking. In their books, they can imagine both that everything IS the thing that it IS, AND also that Clear-Eyed Steely-Jawed Thinkers can immediately recognize things for what they are.

    This makes them invincible, impossible to be fooled, always able to make the correct moral choice…in books. In reality, of course, it makes them comically easy to fool, which I suppose is what you get when your philosophy is a literal fallacy.

    Reply
  5. Fibinachi

    Ah, to be honest, there’s a bit more to it than just that. It’s something to do with, as far as I recall with my faulty memory from eight years ago:

    “People will believe a thing because they want it to be true or because the opposite is too hard to bear”.

    Which is, as far as rules go, at least somewhat reasonable in that it’s not an insult to everyone in the world. “I believe in something because I want it to be true” is, yeah, kind of a general statement that means little, but at least it implies that people get their beliefs and thoughts and happiness from the mental worlds they create and the way they organize their often tumultous experience. It might even be a kind of a warning that often others will believe things because they have a great desire to do so, or because it’s the best possible thought for them at the moment. Thread carefully, wizard, ‘least you disturb their hopes and dreams.

    Of course, becaue this is Objectivism, what you get is: “… And because people sometimes believe in things that make them happy, they are stupid and deluded and lack moral clarity”.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Let’s Read Wizard’s First Rule ch. 35 | Doing In The Wizard

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