Literature The Belgariad Discussion

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06:03:19 AM Feb 7th 2013
edited by Candi
"All Animals Are Dogs: The Horse that Garion resurrects has a notably puppy-like demeanor. Later, the snake Zith shows an astonishing number of cat-like traits, including purring when happy, shivering in the cold, and giving birth to live young."

Bit of a subversion. Some reptiles can shiver on a limited basis (the movement of the muscles generates a tiny amount of heat, maybe enough to mean the difference between moving and not.) And many species of snakes give live birth. (Effectively. The eggs incubate within the mother, are laid just before hatching, and have only the membranes without the shells.) The purring plays the trope straight.
10:49:19 PM Oct 1st 2010
under the Unfortunate Implications it says

"Also, Durnik is given sorcery so that he will be Polgara's equal, because apparently that's necessary for a relationship (which may or may not be true). However, no mention is made of giving Ce'Nedra sorcery so that she will not be inferior to Garion (and let's not go into the fact that Garion is presumably immortal whereas she will live up to a few centuries, if that long). Of course, Durnik, being Durnik, is highly unlikely to cause problems, whereas giving Ce'Nedra sorcery might not be the smartest idea, but still."

The sorcery may be part of being brought back from the dead as Horse gained the ability to sort of teleport while running after it was brought back from the dead.
05:50:19 AM Oct 8th 2010
Nonetheless, the way Aldur goes on about it, you've still got to wonder.
07:20:31 PM Jun 6th 2012
edited by UrLeingod
Garion seems to age normally, so he might not actually be immortal. My guess is that the Prophecies are what keep the sorcerers we've seen alive, not their sorcery itself. Therefore, since Belgarion has already accomplished his destiny by the end of the series, he only needs to live long enough for Geran to be ready to inherit the throne. I may be wrong about the how and why of it, but since several characters including Belgarath and Polgara make a big deal out of Garion needing to have an heir, it can be assumed that he's mortal. Also, Aldur made a bigger deal out of Polgara's immortality than he did Durnik's lack of sorcery, which is conceivably a big issue to a relationship. And as for why Ce'Nedra doesn't need sorcery for her relationship with Garion to be equal, it's because Garion and Polgara are fundamentally different in their approach to, and us of, magic. For Garion, no matter how experienced with it he gets, still seems to consider magic mostly an ace in the hole, a superpower he brings out when he needs to. For Polgara, however, magic is a basic fact of her existence; she's had it for thousands of years, and it permeates everything about her. Ce'Nedra doesn't need sorcery because Garion is just a normal person who has been given incredible power; Durnik needs sorcery because Polgara's magic and immortality make her fundamentally different from other people, and that kind of inequality is likely more than their relationship could stand otherwise.
04:28:02 AM Sep 20th 2010
Contesting this:

"A case could be made that 'Zakath is originally Garion's Evil Counterpart: they're both the rulers of half the world, but Garion is a decent king, where as 'Zakath is The Emperor and is totally obsessed with power and revenging himself on Taur Urgas."

Nice point, except Garion is only the ruler of a small island kingdom. His wife is leading the forces of the West, but only by general agreement between their respective rulers.
08:12:45 AM Sep 21st 2010
The story goes out of its way to deliberately contrast them. It's a valid comparison.
07:12:16 PM Jun 6th 2012
In fact, the fact that Garion is only Overlord of the West in that the other kings are willing to support him due to his possession of the Orb of Aldur and slaying of Torak is actually another very good contrast. Garion rules at the behest and with the approval of his subjects, while 'Zakath is an absolute ruler who basically claims to be divine. Most of kingdoms of the West either admire or respect Garion (killing an evil god has its benefits), but 'Zakath rules almost purely through force and fear.
10:37:06 AM Apr 29th 2010
The whole Tolnedran slaughters Marags for gold but claiming to stamp out cannibalism seems to be a shout out/condemmnation of the Spanish and their conquest of Central and South America
10:42:58 AM Apr 29th 2010
It's fallacious to assume historical allegory unless it's a lot more explicit than this or Word of God confirms it. This is more of a WMG item.
07:34:23 PM Jun 6th 2012
I think it's a valid conclusion to make. An imperalistic power hears of a nation with incredible wealth, invades and commits genocide against them, and then claims to have done it due to the vanquished nation's perceived religious and moral deficiencies? There's very good grounds to think this is a condemnation of imperialism in general, really. The only real difference is that the Tolnedrans purposely murdered almost every last one of the Marags, which is far, far more than even the greediest, most debased imperalists did (most of the casualties were usually from sickness due to foreign pathogens).
10:35:27 AM Apr 29th 2010
Before meeting the Tolnedran Emperor, the party is required to disarm. Silk pulls out a disarmament gag with having daggers stuck all over, and tries to leave out one hanging by a string on his back. I forgot what the tropes for it is.
10:42:01 AM Apr 29th 2010
edited by Fighteer
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