Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2013-11-20 13:55:11

pennywit
Pilgrim
Registered: 2013-11-20
Posts: 38

Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

Happy Hour in Hell was a brutal book, and I mean that in a good way.  Some of the images are going to stick with me for a while. 

I also have some speculation .... is there any chance that Bobby is actually the Highest placed in semi-mortal guise?  I imagine a scenario something like this:

The Third Way angels (and a few demons) are dissatisfied with the current status quo.  They arrange to shanghai the Highest, then they put him into situations (the Harps, the advocacy work) where he will see up-close the consequences of the moral order he created.  Afterward (so my thinking goes), Third Way hopes to restore the now-enlightened Highest and press for reforms.  Anybody else think I'm on the right track here?

 

#2 2013-11-20 14:37:53

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32652
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

Welcome, pennywit!

It is pretty brutal, isn't it? I think that has been everyone's immediate reaction!

I must honestly say I've given up trying to guess what Tad is planning. I just enjoy the ride. ;)

I suppose your theory is possibe (and I sure hope we get to see something about the Highest, and why He hasn't been seen for so long, in Sleeping Late on Judgment Day.

I'm just not sure I believe it, just based on the fact that Tad has said there will be more Bobby Dollar after that (that is something we're allowed to talk about, right? I'm all confused with what has been posted about and what was only said offline. But it's not like we ever expect Tad to write just three of anything!) Although that/those book(s) could be prequels.

We really need to get the reread started again and talk about clues and theories and speculation. Somebody remind me in December.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#3 2013-11-21 13:51:24

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23107
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

pennywit wrote:

Happy Hour in Hell was a brutal book, and I mean that in a good way.  Some of the images are going to stick with me for a while. 

I also have some speculation .... is there any chance that Bobby is actually the Highest placed in semi-mortal guise?  I imagine a scenario something like this:

The Third Way angels (and a few demons) are dissatisfied with the current status quo.  They arrange to shanghai the Highest, then they put him into situations (the Harps, the advocacy work) where he will see up-close the consequences of the moral order he created.  Afterward (so my thinking goes), Third Way hopes to restore the now-enlightened Highest and press for reforms.  Anybody else think I'm on the right track here?

Ooh, cool theory! That would be a pretty awesome twist. Although, now that it's been discussed, the twist wouldn't be as shocking (at least to those of us who read this thread).

We've already seen that the current system is flawed, with people getting eternity-long sentences in Hell over occasionally minor things. And we've also seen kids apparently "born" in Hell, with no other recourse. Finally, the question is asked, again and again, if these eternity-long sentences in Hell are actually called for. But what mechanism would the Third Way folks have to put the Highest in that position?


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#4 2013-11-22 08:16:42

pennywit
Pilgrim
Registered: 2013-11-20
Posts: 38

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

Firsfron of Ronchester wrote:

pennywit wrote:

The Third Way angels (and a few demons) are dissatisfied with the current status quo.  They arrange to shanghai the Highest, then they put him into situations (the Harps, the advocacy work) where he will see up-close the consequences of the moral order he created.  Afterward (so my thinking goes), Third Way hopes to restore the now-enlightened Highest and press for reforms.  Anybody else think I'm on the right track here?

Ooh, cool theory! That would be a pretty awesome twist. Although, now that it's been discussed, the twist wouldn't be as shocking (at least to those of us who read this thread).

Sorry about that.  But I've been turning this theory over in my head for a couple days now.  Wanted to share it with somebody.  (I did warn there would be speculation, though). 

We've already seen that the current system is flawed, with people getting eternity-long sentences in Hell over occasionally minor things. And we've also seen kids apparently "born" in Hell, with no other recourse. Finally, the question is asked, again and again, if these eternity-long sentences in Hell are actually called for. But what mechanism would the Third Way folks have to put the Highest in that position?

Glad you asked.  In other media, I've seen two possible answers.

In Dogma, God was vulnerable because at a certain time, he had incarnated as a human to play Skee-Ball.  Because that human ended up in a coma, God was effectively trapped in that form. 

In a number of stories, it is possible to isolate a piece of a powerful entity and incarnate it separately from the main entity.  When this piece rejoins the whole entity, the piece's experiences inform the whole entity's decisions going forward. 

If similar rules hold true in the Dollarverse, then Bobby Dollar is either the Highest or a piece of the Highest.  Third Way angels could have incarnated him by way of a trap or by way of a wager or deal.  Once the Highest (or piece thereof) is Bobby Dollar, then he can't break out of the situation he himself set up.  (Aslan, in Voyage of the Dawn Treader:  "Don't you think I would obey my own rules?").  Once Bobby is in this situation -- and with his memory wiped, just like every other angel's -- the Third Way puts him first with the Harps, then with the Advocates.  As an advocate, Bobby Dollar gets to see the system's arbitrariness up close. 

So where does this put Happy Hour in Hell?

I don't think Smyler was sent to destroy Bobby Dollar.  I think Kephas sent Smyler to send Bobby to Hell ... and it was coincidence that Bobby Dollar was trying to go there anyway.

 

#5 2013-11-22 16:44:45

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23107
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

All very, VERY interesting theories. But what about Bobby's bad attitude? Seems like that would be rather different than the Highest...


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#6 2013-11-23 00:00:16

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

Who says God is a loving grandmother smiling all the way? Look at her creation...

I don't think Bobby's attitude makes this theory wrong, not at all.

I'm not wholly convinced as something seems wrong but I cannot put my finger on it.

Anyways these are very witty thoughts and it's great to have a true BD speculation thread.

And welcome to the boards, pennywit! Stay around.


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
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#7 2013-11-25 09:01:10

pennywit
Pilgrim
Registered: 2013-11-20
Posts: 38

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

I've been chewing this over.  I still think it's distinctly possible that Bobby Dollar is the Highest (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).  Question that hasn't been answered: Why does Heaven erase everybody's memories?  I think that's number one question of the Dollarverse, and maybe the key to figuring out the whole series.

 

#8 2013-11-25 11:19:23

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23107
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

pennywit wrote:

Why does Heaven erase everybody's memories?

Because we wouldn't have a mystery without it. ;)

I suppose the hierarchy don't want angels going back to meet their loved ones (if that's how it works) or trying to settle old grudges... imagine if you had an eternity to settle old scores with foes from your previous life... the afterworld would be in chaos!


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#9 2013-11-25 11:32:32

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

pennywit wrote:

I've been chewing this over.  I still think it's distinctly possible that Bobby Dollar is the Highest (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).  Question that hasn't been answered: Why does Heaven erase everybody's memories?  I think that's number one question of the Dollarverse, and maybe the key to figuring out the whole series.

I wholeheartedly agree.

The souls live in blissful stupor and earthbound angels are wiped. We do not know how it is for the higher up in the foodchain angels. Do they remember all their angel life? Or even their earthly life? We're not told yet!


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
Scrollbearer
Titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#10 2013-11-26 10:21:28

Firsfron of Ronchester
Mantis
From: Ronchester
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 23107
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

ylvs wrote:

The souls live in blissful stupor and earthbound angels are wiped. We do not know how it is for the higher up in the foodchain angels. Do they remember all their angel life? Or even their earthly life? We're not told yet!

No, but what we ARE told is that Bobby has no memory of his former life because he's an earthbound angel. Now, Tad could upend that, I suppose...


Scrollbearer, Keeper of the Firsfronicon, Message Board Poet Lariat and Guardian of the Wild Range.
Co-titan of fact-checking and priceless source of Osten-Ard-iana
Now-official Osten Ard consultant for Tad Williams

Ommu is horrifying; Akhenabi is f**king evil; Makho is Trump with a badass sword; Jijibo is the crackhead version of Towser.  And Saomeji is creepy. --Cyan

 

#11 2013-11-29 13:55:56

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7594
Website

Re: Happy Hour and some speculation (careful: contains spoilers!)

This is a really interesting theory, but it somehow just doesn't feel like Tad.  I'm not sure I can quite articulate why, but...  He likes the little guy, you know?  It feels like it's more in the spirit of his story-telling style for Bobby -- if he ever does learn his own personal history -- to really be Just This Guy, Y'know?  I don't think the Dollarverse needs to be saved by some ultra-powerful being learning a Very Special Lesson.  It needs to be saved by a representative Everyman getting up in the ultra-powerful beings' grill, and refusing to back down.  That just feels more true to the kind of Anti-Apocalyptic story I think Tad's spinning.

Last edited by Auros (2013-11-29 13:56:44)


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