Warning: I am writing this on the assumption that the reader has read and completed the first three Earthsea novels. If you have not and do not wish to have the story spoiled for you CLICK AWAY NOW! You have been warned.
|Cob as he appears in the animated film|
Tales from Earthsea (2004).
|Ged and Arren|
from the animated film
Tales from Earthsea.
As for Ged and Arren....honestly, Ged just started to get on my nerves after a while. Why? Well because he's way to damn cryptic half the time and he kinda turns into a half of a Mary Sue after a while, ya know the kind of character who nothing can happen too and is never wrong? Now, I understand that the context of the story that Ged is searching for the reason why Magic has disappeared from the world and therefore doesn't have all the answers yet. But I swear to god there are times when you can just tell he knows more than he's letting on and he isn't telling the rest of us for some reason. It's infuriating. And I say that he only turns into half of a Mary Sue because bad stuff actually does happen to him. He gets hurt, he gets sick, and by the end of the book....he loses all of his powers. Yeah, reversing what Cob did literally sucks the magic right out of him. I gotta admit, I didn't see this coming. But it does solve one major problem from of the book. Ged's character arch was complete after The Tomb of Atuan, he's full developed. But now that he's lost his powers, a new story can begin, and his character can develop in ways that he hasn't so far.
Now as for Arren. I just found him annoying. Maybe its Le Guin's writing style for these books not
put the thing away before
you hurt someone.
I guess you could make the argument that Ged was trying to inspire Arren to be like his legendary ancestor, but it still leads to some very uncomfortable questions and implications (given the target audience for these books). Ok, so what bearing does Arren's lineage have on him as a person now? Does it automatically mean that he's going to be a great hero AND a great King? Ged, don't you think that's an unrealistic expectation? That's like assuming that Michel Jordan's cousin thrice removed is automatically going to be legendary at basketball. Actually, come to think of it, doesn't that kind of contradict one of the major themes of The Tomb of Atuan? That who you are, and who you want to be isn't dictated by anyone or anything? That it doesn't matter what religious tradition you belong to or who your 15 times great grandpa was, You can choose who you are and who you want to be, not them? Soooo, why is Ged telling the exact opposite thing to Arren? Now granted that Ged could be trying to inspire Arren when it comes to the kind of ruler he'll be someday (he is a prince after all), but regardless these mixed messages are there, and they are worth thinking about.
But now let's wrap this up. I don't hate this book, but it's certainly not my favorite either, and it's probably not one of Le Guin's best in my opinion. But with that said, I am glad that I read it. And I still do want to find out what's going to happen to Ged, and I am kind of enjoying exploring this universe.
So yeah, if you haven't already, check it out.
And I'm out.