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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
FarShainMael

Snakes and foxes Seanchan legends

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This one came up in the 'fave scenes' thread'.

 

"How many children's tales do you believe? Do you believe that if you sleep on Old Hobs Hill under a full Moon, the snakes will give true answers to three questions, or that foxes steal people's skins and take the nourishment from food so you can starve to death while eating your fill?

 

We know about the snakes answering 3 questions. We know the foxes like to wear stuff made from human skin. But what's that about taking the nourishment from food?

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I imagine it has to do with the foxes very liberal interpretations of wishes. Mat asked to leave, but didn't specify he didn't want to be hung from a tree on his way out. A starving man might enter the Tower of Ghenjei, wish for food, and find himself not quite receiving what he expected.

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That's my feeling as well; which leads me to wonder how it's relevant, which it almost certainly is. Speculation time..

Edited by FarShainMael

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That's my feeling as well; which leads me to wonder how it's relevant, which it almost certainly is. Speculation time..

Mat swallows poison and the 'finns get iced?

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I hope the Tower of Genji is in the first half of the book, it's towards the end and we don't get a few Moraine scenes after she comes back out (assuming she does even) I think I am going to lose it. I wouldn't be able to handle the cliffhanger.. xD

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i think what the foxes do is giving you what you want (or say you want) but not necessarily what you need.

i.e

a man who is hungry wants food, but what he needs is nourishment

 

mat says he wants his damn holes in is memory filled, but what he needs is his own memories

 

he wants to avoid aes sedai, but what he needs is to get over his own prejudice

 

he wants to get out of this place, but what he needs is a safe way out of here.

 

so, the foxes take someone literally, and probably has a jolly good time doing it as well

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This one came up in the 'fave scenes' thread'.

 

"How many children's tales do you believe? Do you believe that if you sleep on Old Hobs Hill under a full Moon, the snakes will give true answers to three questions, or that foxes steal people's skins and take the nourishment from food so you can starve to death while eating your fill?

 

We know about the snakes answering 3 questions. We know the foxes like to wear stuff made from human skin. But what's that about taking the nourishment from food?

 

I am not exactly sure if this is helpful in the context of the books, but it is similar to the Ancient Greek mythology. Zeus punished Phineas for revealing too much from his "prophectic visions" and imprisoned him in a room with a buffet of food. However, if he tried to eat the food, Harpies would come and take all of the food away.

 

Of course, this isnt exactly the same, but it is similar, something to look into maybe?

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This one came up in the 'fave scenes' thread'.

 

"How many children's tales do you believe? Do you believe that if you sleep on Old Hobs Hill under a full Moon, the snakes will give true answers to three questions, or that foxes steal people's skins and take the nourishment from food so you can starve to death while eating your fill?

 

We know about the snakes answering 3 questions. We know the foxes like to wear stuff made from human skin. But what's that about taking the nourishment from food?

 

I wonder if the reference to the Eelfinn taking nourishment from food have something to do with the real-world Celtic folk tales on which the Eelfinn are based. I haven't been able to find the particulars of those tales, but in the anthology Stories, edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, Neil Gaiman has a short story, set in Ireland, with a creature that reminds me of the 'finns.

 

SPOILERS FOR "THE TRUTH IS IN A CAVE IN THE BLACK MOUNTAINS", IN THE "STORIES" ANTHOLOGY:

 

In "The Truth Is in a Cave in the Black Mountains", there's a spirit in a cave that allows you to take its gold (if gold is your need), as much as you can carry, but in return it feeds on your ability to enjoy life, and know right from wrong. And once it has fed on you, it can see through your eyes for the rest of your life. The spirit says:

I taste their pleasure and their joy. I feed, a little, feed on what they do not need and do not value. A taste of heart, a lick and a nibble of their fine consciences, a sliver of soul. And in return a fragment of me leaves this cave with them and gazes out at the world through their eyes, sees what they see until their lives are done and I take back what is mine.

 

Gaiman frequently uses and expands upon existing folklore; this spirit and Jordan's 'finns may come from a common source story. Stealing the joy from experiences could be represented metaphorically as taking the nourishment from food; perhaps Tuon is referencing the legend as it exists in our reality.

Edited by MahaRaj

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That bit about the cave spirits does sound a lot like the 'finn's interaction with Mat, doesn't it!

 

And tricking them into absorbing poison is exactly the sort of thing our Mat would do.. if he thought duty demanded it, that is.

 

Another possibility might be that the 'finns offer the visitors to the ToG food, but they become addicted to it and it destroys them, à la Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market'. If Moiraine is stuck there, that could be the reason; if she leaves, she dies.

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That bit about the cave spirits does sound a lot like the 'finn's interaction with Mat, doesn't it!

 

And tricking them into absorbing poison is exactly the sort of thing our Mat would do.. if he thought duty demanded it, that is.

 

Another possibility might be that the 'finns offer the visitors to the ToG food, but they become addicted to it and it destroys them, à la Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market'. If Moiraine is stuck there, that could be the reason; if she leaves, she dies.

 

mmm, that may be why Mat has to bargin his eye.

 

I mean, wouldnt they try to escape rather tahn bargin. But this way, Moiraine CANT leave. SO Mat HAS to bargin to get her out

?

 

However, just regarding the main quote, it is most likely a Legend being distorted and having no actual relevance. Like Moss and Merk and our age stories. The legend has just gotten mixed up. FOr one, I dont think ToG is the DO's hill. Nor do you go to sleep under the hill and just wake up later.

 

I am of two minds with this. 1: as mentioned above, its just distorted stories, which has no real significance in the story. Or 2: there is a lot of parallels to our own mythology, it may be something.

 

Eh, I dont know really, find out tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mat::moiraine:

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I am of two minds with this. 1: as mentioned above, its just distorted stories, which has no real significance in the story. Or 2: there is a lot of parallels to our own mythology, it may be something.

 

And, of course, it could be both..

 

'The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.'

 

 

(edited to remove typo :blush: )

Edited by FarShainMael

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I am of two minds with this. 1: as mentioned above, its just distorted stories, which has no real significance in the story. Or 2: there is a lot of parallels to our own mythology, it may be something.

 

And, of course, it could be both..

 

'The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.'

 

Most of the Celtic faerie legends have a codicil where if you accept food and drink in the faerie realm, you are done for.

Some have a "insubstantial" food vibe rather like TAR where you eat but the food doesn't really exist (or it's not what you think you're eating).

We do learn more about the Finn-human relationship in ToM but that's spoiler territory ain't it?

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I hope the Tower of Genji is in the first half of the book, it's towards the end and we don't get a few Moraine scenes after she comes back out (assuming she does even) I think I am going to lose it. I wouldn't be able to handle the cliffhanger.. xD

 

 

I am betting on a cliffhanger or end of the book. Mat has alot to do. he will probably kill the gholm this book from ch 8... Make dragons. and then speak w elayne.

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I am of two minds with this. 1: as mentioned above, its just distorted stories, which has no real significance in the story. Or 2: there is a lot of parallels to our own mythology, it may be something.

 

And, of course, it could be both..

 

'The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.'

 

Most of the Celtic faerie legends have a codicil where if you accept food and drink in the faerie realm, you are done for.

Some have a "insubstantial" food vibe rather like TAR where you eat but the food doesn't really exist (or it's not what you think you're eating).

We do learn more about the Finn-human relationship in ToM but that's spoiler territory ain't it?

 

Mildly, but it's expected!

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We do learn more about the Finn-human relationship in ToM but that's spoiler territory ain't it?

Yeah, that's about all you can say on the matter if you don't want steam to start coming out of my ears (which is very unhealthy, so please don't put me through that).

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I saw a Neil Gaiman comic once which had an Eye of the World in it. Apparently some Ukaranian fairies have this orb that makes their world hidden from the human world (according to the comic). I couldn't find a real world legend about it though.

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I still think it's possible that the finns are riding in matts head and he removes his eye to remove their presence.

 

My other thought is that he gambles it / uses it as a stake in a bet with the finn that he needs to win to gain moiraine (that or an exchange) as the prophecy says "give up half the light of the world to save the world" rather than having it taken from him suggesting he gives it up voluntarily. ALthough I also think maybe this won't happen until the end of the book or until "A memory of light" because he'll need his depth perception for those cannons to be any good.

 

I agree that the food thing is probably a way of stating their cheating nature in a childhood fable kinda way.

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ALthough I also think maybe this won't happen until the end of the book or until "A memory of light" because he'll need his depth perception for those cannons to be any good.

.

 

Is that a joke? 'Cause I think Mat could just order his men to shoot stuff and let them depth-percieve for themselves.

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I saw a Neil Gaiman comic once which had an Eye of the World in it. Apparently some Ukaranian fairies have this orb that makes their world hidden from the human world (according to the comic). I couldn't find a real world legend about it though.

 

That whole "unseen world" or hidden refuge is a faerie thing in general. Especially in Celtic traditions:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherworld

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Also, if you think about it, food has not been very nourishing as the Last battle approaches.

Not really the fault of Snakes or Foxes, but still, important.

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Also, if you think about it, food has not been very nourishing as the Last battle approaches.

Not really the fault of Snakes or Foxes, but still, important.

 

Um, that's not because it's magically un-nutritious, but magically un-delicious due to insta-rot. Catch it before that, and it works just fine. Completely different phenomenon. Besides: we still don't know if this food nonsense actually happens. It's not like Tuon's little folk-tale is entirely accurate. For example: that stuff about full moons and hills.

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