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Literature / Homecoming (Drizzt)

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Cover of Maestro
Homecoming is the final entry in R.A. Salvatore's long-running The Legend of Drizzt series. The journey of the drow renegade Drizzt Do'Urden started 1988 in The Icewind Dale Trilogy and published new installments for 28 years to conclude in 2016 with the last book, Hero, the 30th book in the main series. Chronologically, Homecoming is preceeded by Companions Codex. Homecoming ties in to the Forgotten Realms event Rage of Demons.

The books in the series are:

  • Archmage (2015)
  • Maestro (2016)
  • Hero (2016)

Due to the nature of the series, there will be unmarked spoilers for previous installments.

The first book, Archmage, starts out in Menzoberranzan, after Lolth's failed attempt to take over Mystra's weave. Archmage Gromph Baenre is disillusioned with his position in drow society, begrudging the fact that he is one of the most powerful magic users of the city, but still considered expendable because he is male. Then there is the issue of his daughter, the reborn Yvonnel Baenre, who starts to dictate the events in the City of Spiders from behind the scenes. On the surface the dwarves of Mithral Hall and Gauntlgrym have to search for a permanent solution to keep the fire primordial in the forge of Gauntlgrym from escaping. Their only idea leads them to the destroyed Hosttower of the Arcane in Luskan.

In Maestro the consequences of the drow's machinations become apparent: The barrier between the the real world and the Abyss is weakened and the Underdark is crawling with lesser- and greater demons. Of especially pressing concern is the demon Prince Demogorgon who is now on the lose and threatens Menzoberranzan's existence. At the same time, Drizzt resolves to rescue his old companion Dahlia from the city of drow and he enlists and old enemy-turned-friend and the cunning mercenary Jarlaxle to get him into the magically sealed city.

Hero starts where the previous book left off, Drizzt returns to the surface but has to deal with the nagging doubt, that he is not living in reality anymore, but trapped in a dream conjured by Lolth. He thinks that his companions have not been resurrected, but are illusions made by the Spider Queen to take away his joy just when he thinks he has found it.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder: Nearly happened with Catti-brie. While Drizzt is off rescuing Dahlia from Menzoberranzan, Catti-brie starts to have erotic thoughts about Gromph, who encourages this by using his newly acquired psionic powers to make her have wet dreams about him.
  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Yvonnel has several artists of Mezoberranzan draw her portrait, telling them that they should only draw exactly what they see. She ends up with a hall full of very different paintings (some even with multicolored hair), because she appears to everyone as their ideal of beauty.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Drizzt's relationship to the concept of reality has taken a bit of a hit. He becomes convinced that everything he experienced since the end of The Neverwinter Saga is an illusion conjured up by Lolth to torture him by taking away all joy he acquired since the rebirth of his friends.
  • Celebrity Impersonator: Matron Mez'Barris Armgo styles her new weapon master Malagdorl after her old, famous, patron Uthegentel by making him wear his trademark black armor and cutting his hair in the same style. Drow in the streets actually start to see him as 'Uthegentel come again', despite the original being dead for centuries. The matron's goal is to remind the people of Menzoberranzan of the old glorious days of House Barrison Del'Armgo.
  • Demon Slaying: After determining that Drizzt is in fact the Chosen of Lolth, willingly or not, Quenthel talks him into defending the city against Demogorgon. With the combined help of the rest of Menzoberranzan, but he still deals the killing blow.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Even when at Lolth's mercy, Drizzt refuses to bow to her and insults the goddess to her face.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Drizzt finally gets a happy ending that sticks, mostly restoring peace to the realms and having a child with Catti-Brie.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Maestro gives us our first onscreen drider transformation: The victim is strung up until their legs have swollen to form the spider torso and then their bones split up until the drider has acquired all eight legs. The transformation process is so painful, that the drider emerges with no memories of their former lives, because they could not stand remembering the pain.
    The new identity of a drider was the only defense from memories too awful to be survived.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kimmuriel's teaching of Gromph in the psionic arts, while imparting a summoning spell into his thoughts. Thing is, he thought the spell was for Gromph to summon Kyorl Odran back to the world of the living. Instead it lets Gromph summon the demon prince Demogorgon to the prime material plane. Just like Lolth had planned, of course.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each of the novel titles are Job Titles.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: He has some aid from a psionically charged forcefield, but Drizzt cutting Demogorgon to pieces with his tiny, tiny scimitars seems absurd nonetheless.
  • Job Title: The novels are, in order:
    • Archmage
    • Maestro
    • Hero
  • The Legions of Hell: With the weakening of the Faerzress, the magical radiation barrier of the Underdark, all sorts of demons and demon lords start to pop up in the cave systems. The only way to get rid of them is killing them —and so banishing them from the material plane for a hundred years.
  • Mercy Kill: Jarlaxle to Braelin after the latter was turned into a drider.
    Jarlaxle: Ah, Braelin, my friend. I fear this will prove my greatest gift to you of all.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Gromph at the end of Archmage, shortly after realizing that he just summoned the Prince of Demons to Menzoberranzan. He almost scratches his own eyes out before fleeing to Gauntlgrym.
  • Oh, Crap!: Everyone who learns of the Prince of Demons wandering the Underdark uncontrolled reacts like this. Even a Magnificent Bastard like Jarlaxle is horrified.
  • Only Sane Man: Jarlaxle is the only one of his party of three that is not affected by the weakening Faerzress in the Underdark. Drizzt and Entreri meanwhile, are constantly at each others' throats, thinking the other to be a demon in disguise. Jarlaxle has the air of an exasperated parent throughout Maestro.
  • One-Word Title: Each of the novel titles are one word Job Titles.
  • Portmantitle: The series title, Homecoming and its first book, Archmage, are both compound words as titles.
  • Punished with Ugly: Braelin Janquay is turned in to a drider by the priestesses of House Melarn. What makes this worse, is, that driders are outcasts of drow society, not only ugly but reviled by the populace. And the process of turning into one is so incredibly painful that all driders start out with memories of their torment and former lives wiped, because they couldn't stand living otherwise.
  • Tempting Fate: Quenthel has a vision of the founding days of Menzoberranzan, when drow were united under one cause by the presence of demons in their midst. Well, Quenthel could use some unification after the disastrous assault on the Silver Marches in Companions Codex. So she decrees that all drow that can summon demons in the city do so, since that will totally not cause uncontrollable problems in the future.