"Fantasy" Films [LoTR, H.P.]

FelixEisen at aol.com FelixEisen at aol.com
Sun Jun 30 22:10:37 PDT 2002

Mike writes, regarding 'Deep Wizardry':
>  S
>  P
>  O
>  I
>  L
>  E
>  R
>  S
>  copping out on the ending.  I understand the problems involved in killing 
>  off a young adolescent girl, let alone your series protagonist, in a YA 
>  story.  But I think it's cheating to get as much mileage as that story did 
>  over the necessity of such a sacrifice and the process of the protagonist 
>  reconciling to it, and then pull a rabbit out of a hat at the end to save 
>  her.  The shark's decision didn't IMHO fit his character, and it that it 
>  worked didn't seem to fit what we'd been previously told about the 

I think I disagree with you an enormous amount.  While I haven't re-read this 
book in a while, and as a consequence I don't remember the girl's name 
(though I remember Kit's), I believe that Diane copped out not a whit on the 
ending.  Through the entire book, as in the first, a young woman has to face 
the possibility -- though in this case, the probability -- that she is going 
to die.  In 'So You Want to Be a Wizard', she has to deal with a close 
friend's death and its aftermath; in 'Deep Wizardry', she has to deal with 
her own impending death, and most importantly stay -balanced- about it, or 
else the Master-Shark (or whatever his title was) was going to end her pain 
right then and there.

Side note -- I've always taken great delight in sharks; now I have a reason 

However, the Master-Shark's action seems to me to be eminently in-character 
for him.  Consider that, in all of the reenactments of the ceremony they are 
doing, there has only ever been written in the shark's place 'the 
Master-Shark'.  It has long been my preference to believe that the shark they 
met was -the- Master-Shark -- the original, the first.  As it was put in the 
book, sharks do not die of age, of senescence; they are killed, by disease, 
by other predators, by something they ate.  The Master-Shark was the supreme 
'ender-of-pain' of his kind; I think that he was -tired-, and meeting Our 
Heroine just pointed it out to him.  That sort of tiredness is an emotional 
pain, and he knew it in himself; as a consequence, to end his own pain, he 
persuaded ... is it Juanita?  I don't remember ... to will her magic over to 
him, so that he might take her place as sacrifice -- and end his own pain.

As well, Juanita (or whatever) was at that point -ready- for her own death; 
she was not, in any way, prepared for the Master-Shark's.  His sacrifice 
wounded her as much or more than the one in the first book; Juanita in her 
own way loved and admired the Master-Shark, and he, her.  This is one of the 
very few books that has ever made me cry; it is a very wrenching moment.  But 
I was inordinately pleased to see him in Timeheart ...

Felix Eisen
aka Thomas Crain