Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Confused

To Robin Hobb Fans: Predictions, Speculations, and Themes of the “Bee Farseer” Books

3 posts in this topic

@Ammanas, @Araris Valerian, @Azul, @Blessed peace, @Briar King@Dashichka, @DSC01, @Extesian, @Fourth Of The Night, @Gigalemesh, @goody153, @Idealistic, @Jondesu, @Julio, @Khyrindor, @Onslaught, @robardin, @Severian4Scadrial@Slimy_Slider, @Sorana, @Stampede, @Storming Radiant, @Vexmeister, @Wander89, and @Wit Beyond Measure: Each of you has expressed interest in Robin Hobb’s “Realm of the Elderings” books in the last two years. I thought this post might interest you.

WARNING!!! This post contains MAJOR SPOILERS from Hobb’s latest trilogy. FA refers to Fool’s Assassin (Book 1), FQ refers to Fool’s Quest (Book 2), and AF refers to Assassin’s Fate (Book 3).

FURTHER WARNING!!! This post is MY INTERPRETATION of text. It is my opinion only no matter how affirmatively I express those opinions.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I LOVE Bee Farseer. This character at age ten is already one of the most accomplished magicians in fantasy-dom. As the nexus of past, present, and future represented by her three fathers Fitz, Nighteyes, and Beloved, Bee holds the power to make her world’s future:

Quote

I knew the futures and I knew the past…And I knew I could command people to create the future I desired.

(AF, Chapter 27, Kindle Loc. 10149.)

PREDICTIONS

Bee Is Her Own Catalyst

Bee tells both Fitz and Beloved that “no one can tell me ‘no’ anymore.” I believe she is her own Catalyst, who both foresees the future and makes it happen. Bee’s own actions change her “true Path”:

Quote

With every action I took, the best Path grew broader and clearer. This was my true Path.

(AF, Chapter 27, Kindle Loc. 10149, first italics and bold added, second italics in original.)

Bee’s “True Path

As her White Prophet mission, I think Bee chooses to change the memories that cause people to take vengeance against each other:

Quote

The problem is not that we forget the past. It is that we recall it too well. Children recall wrongs that enemies did to their grandfathers, and blame the granddaughters of the old enemies. Children are not born with memories of who insulted their mother or slew their grandfather or stole their land. Those hates are bequeathed to them, taught them, breathed into them. If adults didn’t tell children of their hereditary hates, perhaps we would do better. Perhaps the Six Duchies would not hate Chalced. Would the Red Ships have come to the Six Duchies if the Outislanders did not recall what we had done to their grandparents?”

(AF, Chapter 33, Kindle Locs. 11178-11185, bold added.)

Vengeance took no account of innocence or right. It was the chain that bound horrific events together, that decreed that one awful act must beget another worse one that would lead to yet a third… I wondered if ever a White Prophet would come who could snap it.

(AF, Chapter 39, Kindle Loc. 13030, bold added.)

Bee Becomes the Mountain Kingdom’s Sacrifice

Kettricken is Bee’s Wolf-Mother, the mate Nighteyes would have chosen for Fitz. Under Kettricken’s guidance and attention, Bee prospers and endears herself to the Mountain Kingdom. Her hair and eye color matches that of its people. Bee becomes a skilled huntress, her arrows her sting. Many come to the Mountain Kingdom for Bee’s healing and to hear a White Prophet’s wisdom as they once did for Beloved.

King Dutiful names Prince Integrity the Seventh Duchy’s Duke. When Kettricken dies, the Mountain Kingdom chooses Bee as its Sacrifice.

Bee’s Friendship with Dragons and Elderlings

I think Bee stays close with Vivacia and the Paragon dragons through the Skill and occasional visits. Vivacia becomes Bee’s “Dragon-mother.” Vivacia loves Bee for helping Vivacia’s family, and Bee reciprocates:

Quote

I came to love the ship. I think it was because I could feel how Vivacia felt about me. If I put my hand on the silvery wood of her railings, I could feel her. It was like my mother looking up from her sewing and smiling at me when I came into the room—a small welcome and a good wish for me. I was not bold enough to speak to her very much, but she was full of kindness toward me.

(AF, Chapter 43, Kindle Loc. 14030.)

Paragon’s dragons see Bee as Beloved’s daughter and the person who chooses their freedom over personal power when she gives the Silver to Kennitsson. Karrigvestrit and the green Queen dragon demand to see Bee in Kelsingra and thank her and Fitz as dragon vengeance-takers. (AF, Ch. 44, Kindle Loc. 14503.)

I think Bee cements the alliance between Kelsingra and the Seven Duchies by healing the “touched” and saving the Elderings from famine. Reyn tells Fitz Kelsingra always needs more grain. Two Bee dreams presage this:

Quote

my dream of a wise queen who planted silver and reaped golden wheat…

(AF, Ch. 17, Loc. 5991.)

I dreamed of a woman who plowed an immense field, and golden grasses grew up to be harvested into creaking wagons.

(AF, Ch. 43, Kindle Loc. 14088.)

Bee Dreams a New Silver Source

Bee withholds from Dwalia

Quote

“my dream of a man who rode a huge red horse across ice to a new land”

(AF, Chapter 17, Kindle Loc. 5991.)

This dream seems to refer to Rapskal and Heeby. I think Bee discovers the “new land” across the ice holds a lode of Silver unaffected by the catastrophe that destroys Kelsingra and reduces its Silver output to a single well. Maybe the new land holds the Silver river Verity dipped his hands in.

Bee Hides Her Skill Strength

Natural ability, Thick’s teachings, and the integration of serpent potion with her “family magic” make Bee the strongest of all Skill users. Bee withstands Vindeliar’s Skilled summons when Fitz himself succumbs. Bee even hides her thoughts from Nettle’s touch in the Stone Garden – “’Nice walls,’ [Nettle says to Bee]. ‘Thick taught you well.’” (AF, Chapter 49, Kindle Loc. 15690.) No one including Nettle knows Bee’s full strength. Raised by a man of secrets, Bee keeps hers close.

This Bee dream foretells what she becomes. The “old tree” is Molly, who bears Bee. Bee’s silver crown IMO refers to her Skill-strength, a queen among Skill-users:

Quote

An old tree blossoms and bears a single beautiful fruit. It falls to the ground and rolls away. It cracks open and a woman wearing a silver crown steps out of it.

(AF, Chapter 41, Kindle Loc. 13479.)

Prilkop’s Whites Become True Servants to Bee

In his letter to Beloved, Prilkop acknowledges the Servants slaughtered dragons. (AF, Chapter 41, Kindle Locs. 13695-13710.) His belated discovery of their treachery and his desire to reestablish the Servants as true helpers to the White Prophet lead Prilkop to journey his Whites to the Seven Duchies. I believe they do serve Bee there; yet I suspect one or more of them will try to retaliate against Bee the Destroyer. Prilkop tells Beloved that most of his Whites have stopped dreaming.

Rosemary’s Coup

IMO, Rosemary is Regal’s bastard daughter, the counterpart to Fitz as a royal assassin. Rosemary feels indebted to Kettricken, who rescues the child Rosemary after Regal’s fall. With Fitz, Chade, and Kettricken dead, Rosemary mounts her coup.

Rosemary disbands Chade’s spy network and steals his sequestered scrolls. These scrolls include Fitz’s account of Verity in the Stone Garden. Rosemary KNOWS, from Fitz himself, that Fitz’s body sires Dutiful. None of the Dukes believe that Verity’s Skilled possession of Fitz’s body makes Dutiful Verity’s natural son. The Dukes attribute Dutiful’s Wit to Fitz. Without a Verity heir, Regal rightfully becomes king when Verity dies. Regal’s heir should now rule. 

I believe Violet is Regal’s heir, a grandchild who can “prove” her lineage. Violet’s name hints at her royal (purple) heritage. Her condescension towards Bee and Shine is Regal-esque. Even before the coup, Bee’s enmity with Violet grows.

Dutiful brings his downfall on himself. Like his mother, Dutiful thinks the best of people and trusts Rosemary. Both he and Nettle naively believe the Realm needs fewer secrets. We glimpse Rosemary’s true attitude when as emissary to Kelsingra after Fitz’s visit she downplays the value of a potential alliance. (AF, Chapter 17 Epigraph.)

Perhaps Dutiful’s downfall is inevitable. He keeps the figurine of Elliania he found on the Treasure Beach. (The Tawny Man Trilogy, Fool’s Errand, Chapter XXIV, Kindle Loc. 8354.) Those who take items from the Beach are forever cursed:

Quote

You must not take with you anything you find on the Treasure Beach, no matter how tiny. To do so is to invite calamity upon yourself and all your descendants.

(AF, Chapter 39, Kindle Loc. 12782.)

SPECULATIONS

Text supports the foregoing predictions. Now I venture into the deeper waters of speculation and invention.

An Army of Vindeliars – Does the Pale Woman Return?

The dragons may have killed most of the Others, but I wonder if some escaped hidden underground or in the ocean. I also wonder if the Others kept a large reserve of serpent potion. If they did, they might create an army of Vindeliars. Will Ilistore lead them?

Ilistore is supposedly dead. Fitz finds her empty mortal shell. But Fitz’s dead body could yield his soul to Nighteyes for a time; and through his blood Beloved imparts his soul into a Rooster Crown feather made from memory stone. I wonder if the Pale Woman moves her soul into memory stone. She could have become the animating personality of the second stone dragon left in the shallow waters off Aslevjal. Or maybe she moves into a memory cube, and Chade inadvertently brings her to Buckkeep. Perhaps she later possesses the body of an untrained apprentice Skill-user assigned to classifying the cube. Or maybe Ilistore possesses Violet herself (who Bee says “has no walls at all”) and becomes the Seven Duchies Queen.

Ilistore sees Bee as a junction to a future she wants destroyed. She seeks Bee’s death. I speculate Ilistore and/or the Others strike at a Seven Duchies weakened by Rosemary’s coup. As a powerful and potent group of Skill-users, they will destroy or coopt the Farseers and their coteries. Bee notes that Nettle has created too many coteries, some of which may turn traitor. At minimum, those coteries are a way into the minds of Dutiful, his sons, and Nettle. Chade feared this. (FA, Chapter 3, Kindle p. 78.)  The Skill-pillar in Buckkeep’s dungeons may allow the Others or the “Vindeliar army” into Buckkeep.

Bee, Shine, and Spark save Hope and Promise from murder. Lant and Per aid their escape. I think Rosemary and/or Ilistore kill or seal Dutiful, Nettle, and Prosper. Integrity survives, since he’s in the Mountain Kingdom as its Duke.

Bee Becomes a Dragon

I think this transformation is inevitable, though I can only guess at the circumstances. This cryptic dream may predict it:

Quote

“When the bee to the earth does fall, the butterfly comes back to change all.”

(FA, Chapter 10, Kindle p. 246.)

Butterflies are a symbol of transformation, from an earthbound caterpillar to a winged beauty. Bee falls but “comes back” like butterflies do “to change all.”

My favorite possibility for Bee’s transformation has Ilistore’s forces finding and encircling the escaping Farseers in the Stone Garden. Dozens of people witness Fitz entering his wolf and now know where the Stone Garden is. I believe Ilistore uses hammers and Chade’s exploding powder to destroy Verity and the other stone dragons. Their aim is to ensure Bee can’t activate the Stone Garden’s dragons. This Bee dream may predict the Wolf of the West (Fitz, Nighteyes, and Beloved’s stone dragon) trying to rescue the embattled Farseers:

Quote

Then, from the gleaming mists that surrounded us, there burst a wolf, all black and silver. He was covered in scars and death clung to him like water clings to a dog’s coat after he has plunged through a river. My father was with him and in him and around him, and never had I realized him as he was. He bled from dozens of unhealable wounds and yet at the core of him, life burned like molten gold in a furnace.

(FA, Chapter 29, Kindle p. 583.)

The Wolf’s “dozens of unhealable wounds” seem as if Ilistore’s forces broke chunks of memory stone from him. Somehow, through blood and Wit (Bee's?), the Wolf arises.

As Sacrifice, Bee offers herself in exchange for the other Farseer lives. Ilistore “kills” Bee atop the rubble left by the stone dragons’ destruction. Bee’s blood sinks into the Silver-threaded rubble. Like Beloved and Ilistore herself, Bee’s blood transfers her soul into the memory stone.

Silver is the raw stuff of magic. Silver-splattered Fitz makes wood combust with a thought. (AF, Chapter 46, Kindle Loc. 14828.) The Silver-threaded rubble retains the memories of older Farseers and their coteries. I think Bee commands the Silver to transform her into a bee-shaped dragon filled with the ancestral Farseer memories: “When the bee to the earth does fall, the butterfly comes back to change all.” Queen Bee.

Other possibilities: Maybe Ilistore uses Silver to drown Bee. Or maybe dragons give Bee Silver. Or maybe Bee falls into the Kelsingra Silver-well. Silver does not kill Bee because the serpent potion she stepped in has already mingled with her blood and inoculated her against Silver damage. Queen Bee IMO has Skill-strength equal to a dragon's and can undergo the same transformation. One way or another, I believe Queen Bee becomes a true dragon.

A Dragon Coterie?

I think Queen Bee will organize the liveship dragons into a Skill-coterie that supports her. She will need this powerful coterie to contend with the army of Vindeliars. Because of their human memories, the liveship dragons are more likely to help humans than the other dragons. Maybe her dragon coterie helps her change human memory to end vengeance-taking.

HOBB’S THEMES – MEMORY AND THE “GREAT MAN THEORY” OF HISTORY

I think Hobb’s books explore the “great man theory” of history, that “heroes” and other influential people propel history’s direction. A White Prophet – history’s chance element – shifts fate from its current track through his or her Catalyst, the hero.

As Bee’s thoughts about vengeance show, Hobb views memory as the guiding force of both personal and collective history. Fitz says memory forms a person’s character:

Quote

Such is the power of memory. It is fully as strong as the most feverish infection, and it lingers not just for a period of sickness but for all the days of a man’s life. As dye soaks fibers, drawn into them to change their color forever, so does a memory, stinging or sweet, change the fiber of a man’s character.

(FA, Epilogue, Kindle p. 665.)

The Skill-current IMO is people’s collective memories. Collective memory identifies the “great men or women” whose deeds and reputations linger longest and strongest. Survival in the Skill-current involves the maintenance of “self,” defined by personal and collective memory. Elderings and Skill coteries fill stone dragons with memory to provide a physical platform to remember self. Bee says Verity remains a dragon in the Skill-current (FQ, Chapter 38 Epigraph, Kindle p. 752). Six Duchies and Out Island peoples still remember Verity and his dragons that save the Six Duchies and defeat the Outislanders. Six Duchies folk remember Fitz as a wolf.

Hobb’s view of memory and fate compares with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and James Islington’s still unfinished Licanius Trilogy. Jordan views time as cyclical. Islington (to the extent we can tell after two books) focuses on time-loops and whether changing the past can change the future. (“Licanius” in “High Darecian” means “fate.”) Hobb thinks a hero can change the future.

CONCLUSION

Time will aptly tell how close to the mark these predictions and speculations are. I hope you Hobb fans at least enjoyed this post’s ride.

Edited by Confused
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! That's impressive. Great job!

I can't write a longer reply now, but I will later today or tomorrow, I have to look something up first.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kudos to the effort of the thread but I myself really couldn’t get into or care about Bee/Fitz 7-9. I found them to be utter disappointments compared to how great Fitz 1-6 were. Fitz 1-9 are the only Hobb’s I’ve read. I was legit sad I had such a negative overall reaction to Fitz 7-9.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.