Why The Copper Islands Worship MithrosIn pretty much every religion out there, one of the big themes is the theme that hubris = bad. You can worship gods, but you cannot declare yourself equal to them or greater. When the luarin first came to the Copper Islands, they encountered the raka who, like the Sun God Mithros, have dark skin. The original luarin settlers took this to be hubris - the raka taking the same skin tone as their sun god, and so declaring themselves equal. Mithros and the Great Mother Goddess, who wanted the luarin to settle in the Copper Islands and kick Kyprioth to the curb, encouraged this idea. Rebellion, war, slavery, it all gets mixed up and hundreds of years later, no one can even remember why. This also helps explain the similar bigotry towards the Bazhir.
- Except Aly doubts they realize their god is dark-skinned, judging by how they look down on the rakas because of their complexion, calling them dogs.
- Also, because she is the Great Mother Goddess, and because you are meant to take on aspects of your mother, it explains why all the characters considered the most universally attractive are the ones who most resemble her (i.e. white skin, black hair) like the Conte line and Thayet the Peerless.
After Lady Knight (but still in Tortall)
- Tobe finishes his indentureship with Kel and she recommends him to Evin Larse, who has taken over for Buri(who has taken to riding with the King's own). Tobe works for a while with Onua as Horse/Pony master for the Riders, before taking the position over fully when Onua finally retires.
- The three girls Kel met in Squire all survive Page training, and one ends up as Kel's squire. Whether or not all three girls become pages is unknown, but Word of God is that one of them does become Kel's squire. (Another becomes Neal's squire, but Kel fills in for him when he's slacking in his duties as knight-master.)
- Some of the elder children of Haven/New Hope decide they like bashing raider's heads, and want to follow in Kel's footstep, and join the riders. (After all, they might be awesome, and times might be changing, but they were still commoners.)
Cloud is a GodAt the end of Realm of the Gods, after Numair and Daine have their big reunion, Cloud makes a comment about it being as lovely as fillies in the field, and her dialogue is typed in italics and bookended by colons. But only gods or dragons get their dialogue typed that way, regular People are just typed in italics. Now, this could be chalked up to a simple editing issue or it could be that Cloud is in fact a God in disguise, a greater god than even Mithros and the Great Mother Goddess, who has been guiding Daine and Numair throughout the entire trilogy, and not until now has she chosen to reveal this power, knowing that as inundated with gods as they have been, it wouldn't matter because they just wouldn't care! Another possibility is that Cloud is a constellation. According to Faithful/Pounce, they're different things.
George kept a darkingBecause, really, do you think the Whisper Man of Tortall would have let an opportunity to monitor the political situation in the Copper Isles pass him by? In addition, he would also have been able to check on his daughter's safety, to a point. If he needed to get her out of a dangerous situation, he could do so.
Pounce/Faithful isn't just hanging out with certain humans because he's bored; he's actually breeding them.The main characters of these books tend to have more communication with the Gods or unique/rare powers than most in the Tortall Universe, by far. Okay, so the Cat wants to spend time with special people who get important things done, that seems natural. If it weren't for the way most of the series end with the protagonist getting engaged to somebody with equally rare powers. We've already seen that the marriage of Alanna's and George's powerful Gift and Sight, respectively, produced a daughter with particularly powerful Sight. Who marries a crow. Going back to his ancestress, Beka, George himself could be seen as a product of careful breeding, of a girl who talks to the dead & the wind and a mage with a talent for using other peoples' magic. Both rare skills. Furthermore, George's mother has been known to be possessed by the Goddess herself. (Very end of Mastiff.) Where is all of this heading? I don't know, but it's clear the Cat is guiding certain special people to their future mates, then disappearing. He even insisted Beka and Farmer get married before he had to return to the Divine Realms. He only died in Lioness Rampant once it was clear Alanna was going to choose George. Personally, I'm hoping the bloodline combination is meant to end with someone with every cool protagonist power seen so far. This person might be so powerful as to become a new god, even. If one of Aly&Nawat's children married one of Daine&Numair's, that's be one heck of a power combination. It could be hobby for him like breeding dogs. All this means that his true identity is Bene Gesserit.
The Chamber of Ordeal is Tortall's version of GaiaThe Chamber says that it's not a god yet clearly knows about everything that happens on the planet and who's default state is a semi-barren land when Kel want to talk with it. Specific places have no meaning to it because it sees no reason to pay attention to the names that humans are constantly giving bits of it. The Chamber was originally part of a temple to it, but the rest got destroyed except for the most important section which was saved by a knight so the Chamber of Ordeal (probably originally used to test followers) agreed to test all future knights in payment for saving it.
Alanna's friends didn't suspect her gender—because they thought she was gayGary, at least, knows that she's hiding something, and the other boys must have guessed something was up. So how did no one ever even wonder about "Alan"'s gender? They subconsciously, or consciously, decided that the reason Alan blushed so much at male skin and refused to ever go swimming was because "he" was gay.
Alex and Gary had a fight before the events of "In the Hand of the Goddess"Given what we know about Gary's nature, he doesn't seem the type not to notice that his friend is becoming a borderline-psychopathic manic desperate to prove he's the best. True, it's said that Roger kept him busy and thus far from his friends, but Gary also doesn't seem the type to give up a friendship because of that. The only explanation for the fact that Alex is not only vulnerable to Roger's influence, as well as isolated from his friends, is that before he became a squire, he and Gary had a huge fight. Alex isn't as close to Raoul or any other squires, and he wouldn't have had the time to spend time with Jonathan and Alanna—who are both a year younger—and his sudden isolation made him vulnerable to Roger's influence.
Eleni Cooper is an expert with knivesShe was kicked out of the temple as a pregnant young woman who was then forced to survive in the Lower City, which is known for its dangerous people and crime rates. Then, her son proceeds to rise through the ranks of the Rogue's Court and eventually become the Rogue himself. Sure, George looks out for her, but he can't be there all the time, not to mention, he wasn't always as powerful/feared as he is at the beginning of "Alanna: The First Adventure." It stands to reason that Eleni is proficient, if not an expert, with some kind of weapon. Rule out a sword, which is too conspicuous, or any other weapons associated with nobility, and what do you have left? Knives. Which happen to also be easily hidden, easily explained for a healer who has to make potions, and George's favorite weapons.
Jonathan loves Alanna because she's the only one that doesn't treat him like a prince.It's established from the beginning that Jon takes advantage of his position as a prince in the ranks of the pages. He and his group are the leaders because of his position, and he uses his authority whenever possible. Even Gary and Raoul defer to him, letting him take Alanna as his squire instead of choosing her themselves. The only one that doesn't seem to be fazed by his position as the Crown Prince is Alanna, which is why he falls in love with her. This would also help explain his feelings for Thayet; as a Princess of Sarain, she is not going to be overawed by Jonathan's station. Both Jon's first love (Alanna) and the love of his life (Thayet) have an element of I Love You Because I Can't Control You about them!
Had the events of Trickster's Choice not transpired, Aly would have eventually turned evil.Alianne is shown to be incredibly intelligent, independent, and a bit of a black sheep. She sees no problem in casually breaking hearts at the beginning of the series, and her relationship with her parents are slowly fraying. Had George continued to deny her a place as a spy—and he probably would have stuck to his guns—she would have undoubtedly become bitter and even more isolated from her family, who have all found their place in the world. Then, take into consideration her considerable breadth of skill, connections, and extensive knowledge of the spy-network of Tortall—the kingdom is lucky that she got herself kidnapped by pirates.
George is significantly older than Alanna.Tamora Pierce doesn't show any aversion to potentially awkward age gaps between couples—Daine and Numair, case-in-point—and in the Alanna: The First Adventure, Alanna is eleven while George is described as "a man." He's supposedly 17 when they first meet, when Alanna is heading into Corus for her training as a knight, aged 11. So, 6 years difference.
One of the Tortallan Pantheon broke up Alanna and Jon.Alanna leaving Jon is integral to Tortall's survival. Had they not parted ways, she would have never learned Shang combat skills, or brought back the Dominion Jewel, and when Roger came back from the dead, the entire kingdom would have been royally screwed. It makes sense that one of the Tortallan Pantheon forsaw this, and didn't trust fate to force the two lovebirds apart, so he or she did a little meddling, bringing Josianne in at exactly the right time for Alanna to be properly heartbroken and Jon to not make things right with her.
Cloud is the secret mastermind behind all the events of Wild MagicCloud's shown to be incredibly intelligent, responsible for Daine's return to humanity, and completely in potential of her own mind. She even controls Numair's training to a certain extent.
Daine's goddess blood is why everyone loves her so quickly.In Wild Magic, everyone warms to her immediately. Everyone. Other than Onua, most of them find her amazing/brilliant/adorable within minutes despite not really knowing anything about her. Boys flirt with her, the royal family trusts her, even children love her. Her goddess blood subliminally forces those around her to like, if not love her. After all, if her Wild Magic can make a jerkass like Peachblossom trust her, it could have some effect on already friendly humans.
Possible new heroines in the Tortall Universe could be...
- A commoner—one that doesn't get adopted into a good family like Beka, but grows up a peasant, stays a peasant, and is awesome because she uses a peasant weapon like a scythe instead of a noble's sword.
- A lady who doesn't enjoy fighting or magic but is awesome and empowered anyway. Someone like Maura of Dunlath. One of the upcoming books is going to be about her coming-of-age.
- A priestess. Maybe a warrior priestess?
- Varice Kingsford. A book about a woman mage who wants to only use her powers for cooking, making things pretty, etc. and gets dragged into the evil of Ozorne's court would be a very interesting read. This troper loved Varice because she was a powerful woman and she was still a stereotypical woman, baking, sewing, making things pretty, and she still had a high rank in the court of an Evil Overlord.
The Dodekas are descendents of the old raka nobility.
- In the Copper Isles, the naming scheme differs from Tortall—nobles are the ones with surnames and commoners don't have any. This applies to the raka as well, with the maiden name of Dove and Sarai's mother being Temaida. Other raka servants and/or conspirators are not mentioned as having surnames, just Ulasim, Ochobu, and Junai.
Rosto is from Fief Rathhausak
- At one point, a character speculates that Rosto was once from the Scanran nobility. Fief Rathhausak has been in decline for a while, so it stands to reason that an illegitimate son (Rosto's mother was an entertainer) might get quietly sent away once he was old enough so as not to be a strain on resources.
The Trebond line has bastard Conte blood.
- In Bloodhound, it's noted that Sir Lionel is married to Prince Baird's eldest daughter - it's one reason he's a problem, because at some point Baird could "remember he's a father," as Lord Gershom puts it, and intervene on his son-in-law's behalf. But in Mastiff he's a bachelor, and when discussing heirs Beka says that he's childless. The best way to reconcile these is if Baird's daughters are illegitimate, because in terms of the succession this still makes him childless. A royal bastard could still marry into noble houses even in our own history - Trebond is also old enough to be in the Book of Gold, but we have no reason to think it's a particularly powerful or rich house - and if Baird's womanizing follows the pattern of his older brother's, her mother could well have been noble as well.
One of Alanna and George's children or grandchildren will show Beka's powers.
- It's more likely to be a grandchild - one assumes that Aly might have noted one of her siblings having such an unusual magic when thinking about her Sight, but given that the Trebond Gift kicked Sight from George into high gear for Aly (and Eleni's Gift from Farmer's bloodline could well have affected the areas where Thom II's Gift is best), it makes sense that all the magics gathering in that bloodline could trigger a return of Beka's power.
Bastards of noble birth in Tortall use the fief name as a surname.
- In the Provost's Dog series, Nestor Haryse is a bastard relative of Lord Gershom of Haryse, but for him Haryse is a surname. It makes sense that this could be a common pattern, like the real life Fitz- added to the name of a highborn family (or Fitzroy for a king's bastard). Commoners just use their mother's names, like Beka and her siblings, or her descendant George. Bastards are also referred to as cousins by noble relatives, whatever the actual connection. Nestor is Gershom's "cousin", but given that he is the son of a peasant mistress kept by Gershom's father, that would actually make Nestor Gershom's half-brother.