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Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 10:38:22 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: Re: (urth) RTTW - two points/questions

On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Tom Foster wrote:

> Can someone explain to me exactly what the situation with Nettle is come the
> end of RTTW?  I didn't follow this at all, despite re-reading several times.
> Silk-Horn says (of the information imparted to him by the Red Sun Whorl
> Scylla) "I would never have used it while Nettle was alive". Later when he
> asks Daisy to say his goodbyes to Hide and Hoof for him he says that "Nettle
> is making her own, and cannot be bothered with mine". Then at the very end
> of the book, Daisy concludes "they are in it, I hope, he and his eerie young
> woman, Nettle, the old sibyl, and their bird..."  How come does he decide to
> use this information despite Nettle still being alive? 

My take on it is this:

Horn is completely dead at the end (Silk says, "in some sense, I killed
their father").  This is why Silk is reluctant to intrude on Nettle saying
goodbye to her sons.   

However, Nettle was as much a disciple of Silk as Horn was.  Horn says
several times that if he hadn't gone to search for Silk, Nettle would
have.  With Horn dead and her sons grown and married, Nettle decides to go
with Silk as a disciple, not as a wife.  (Note in the conversation with
Patera Remora, Silk pretty much acknowledges he hasn't had conjugal
relations with Nettle.)

Similarly, with Horn dead, there's no reason for Silk to feel Nettle
should come between him and Seawrack.  Why Silk is interested in Seawrack
is another question.  I'm guessing he's somehow inherited Horn's
attraction to her -- he's heard her song and is entranced.  

And why is Seawrack interested in Silk?  Maybe for the same reason
everyone likes Silk.  Or maybe it's because Scylla told Silk how to
contact the Mother and the Mother gave Seawrack to Silk the way she
originally gave her to Horn.



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