Whortle’s Hope | Chapter 8

Scan_20180702Warning: Contains Spoilers!

Lines of care crinkled the corners of her soft brown eyes but though they were gentle, they were not safe or tame. 

Aufwader’s Thoughts: And we’re back to the life-threatening drama. I said there would be more for Whortle in the past than bloodless little war games, and this seems to be it – a confrontation with Mabb, and with Virianna; the water vole’s mother, who was, as it turns out, a goody-goody Greenie all along.

There’s a lot of time-travel-related plot puzzling to do in this chapter, but I had to laugh at Virianna mistaking Young Whortle for Bauchan. There’s definitely a hint of self-deprecating humour in that exchange where the vole witch tries to ‘cast him out’ in Genuine Original Oaken Throne Dialogue while Whortle just yells at her to get stuffed. Our young hero might’ve heard all the stories, but he could use a few lessons in how to comport himself with dignity and respect during his trips through the lands of legend.

As for Mabb, well, I think it’s fairly safe to say she would have been the arch villainess of the Mouselets. Considering that Bauchan gets all of The Final Reckoning and Hobb a large chunk of The Oaken Throne, it seems only fair that Mabb, Our Lady of Nightmare and if I may say so a highly underappreciated goddess, should have some page-time of her own.

 

Matt’s Thoughts: I’m curious on whether there is a time paradox here. When the voles send Whortle back in time, there seems to be a quirk whereby he can interact with the past. He’s not just there passively watching.

Particularly when it comes to that velvet bag. It’s clear that Virianna meant to do good all those years past and is not the dreaded ratwitch everyone thought. However, would she have been able to hold off Mabb much better if Whortle hadn’t chucked her velvet bag into the pond.

In other words, was Fenny undone by the rash actions of a mouse who’d zapped in from several hundred years in the future? Who was sent there to find out how Fenny had been killed? (Thus the paradox.)

 

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One thought on “Whortle’s Hope | Chapter 8

  1. Like Matt, I do have to wonder about a possible time paradox here. Whortle’s influence on these past events is a great one – he’s not just an invisible observer here. So was this totally a recreation that he took part in, or part of the actual timeline? How did things originally go down sans Whortle?

    Virianna is such a cool character. I guess it’s kind of obvious, but it never occurred to me before that there were priests and priestesses of the Green out there. Yes, there are wise figures like the Starwife and the Holy One, but all the priests and priestesses seen previously have been evil cultists. It’s kind of refreshing to see one on the side of good! And I’m intrigued by her history of having served the Starwife who reigned before Ysabelle. I wonder how the two of them met, and what Virianna’s duties were in Greenreach as tender of the Hallowed Oak – also, how did she and her sons escape the initial bat attack orchestrated by Morwenna? I’m assuming they must have been there that night and managed to slip away somehow in the midst of all the chaos. That would be quite a story!

    Liked by 1 person

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