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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) This little piggie went to market (muckle spoilers)
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 12:46:14 

Much of how I view the resolution of SHORT SUN is bound up in how I
interpret the character of Pig, so I'm going to devote a number of posts to

When Hound registers Pig at Ermines, he lists Pig's home town as Nabeanntan
(Gaelic for "the mountains"). Later, however, mercenary Pig disavows this,
saying he had to be from somewhere just for purposes of registration.
Through his testimony, we're also given to understand that he's been
wandering, bereft of sight but blessed with super-accurate hearing, from the
Mountains That Look At Mountains all the way to End Road--a journey that's
taken him a year. Granted, he's rather a huge fellow, but to travel
unmolested with the handicap he has, and
never get lost, seems rather fortuitous. We're also told that he lost his
eyes to a knife of a fellow mercenary, but that a Flier told him he might be
able to have his sight restored at the West Pole.

I maintain that most of this is prevarication--deep cover meant to disguise
who Pig really is--blind Tartaros, carnified in godling form.

That godlings come in different sizes is implied by both the farmer that
Horn means at End Road and Hound. Pig is much bigger than the average man,
but not nearly as big as the godling who tells Horn no more landers must
leave the Whorl. The godlings may be only special talents like Mucor, Silk,
or Seawrack, or they may have been designed as larger-than-life vehicles for
the gods of Mainframe.

The Gaelic patois he speaks associates him with Mainframe, as does his
connection with Nabeanntan and Flannan the Flier. He is also another maimed
companion like Seawrack (whose real name is probably Screadhbhuidhe), and
when he finally does arrive at the West Pole, he's given special treatment
by the surgeons there, who aren't supposed to fix up Cargo.

Pig as a child was called "Freak" by his mother--something very much in
character with kindly, old, snaked-haired Echidna.

Passilk riding him also seems apposite--Tartaros in the Proper Names section
that preceeds RETURN is described as "Pas's loyal son," and the father-son
duality may have appealed to Wolfe's Christian nature. (Also not sure--since
I've yet to do a reread--but the name Tartaros may not even crop up in the
actual text of RETURN--if so it's mentioned sparingly.)

And who better to safeguard Silk's mortal remains on the Whorl than a
godling with special attributes--one easily underestimated by the former
caldé's various enemies?

Only thing is Tartaros has killed Silk, right?

Robert Borski

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