POTD question...

Sun Jan 26 11:15:56 PST 2003

>     I've never had troubles associated with Vlad because of one of the 
>reasons I like him.  While Vlad had a unique position as both a Easterner
>and a Dragerean, most of his Bad-assery comes from him, not because he
>picked up a powerful weapon (like Morrolan and Aliera), and not because 
>a demigod (like Aliera).  He's just human, he's a smart human who's had 
>lucky breaks, but his coolness comes from something that anyone could
>attain, not some extraordinary power.

Actually, I have to disagree, in part.  Vlad is a very paradoxical 
character.  Clearly he wants to think of himself as just an ordinary guy 
living through some extraordinary circumstances, but the fact of the matter 
is that Vlad is a privliedged person, starting off with the fact that his 
hated father bought his family a bourgeoisie Jhereg title.  Although the 
Jhereg are low (even despised) nobility, they are, never the less, noblity 
and Vlad had opportunities, by being a member of the Jhereg, that he would 
never have had as a Teckla.

Beyond that, Vlad's apprenticeship as a witch gave him membership in a 
second sort of elite, albeit one outside of the context of Dragaeran 
cultural standards.  Although it's not clear just who can and become 
apprenticed as a witch, it is undoubtable that the accident of birth (i.e., 
being the grandson of Noish Pa) granted him a significant advantage over 
many others.

Finally, Vlad is, quite literally, the reincarnation of a figure out of 
myth, and this is a fact known to his inner circle of high ranking friends.  
Indeed, although it is never explicitly said, I think that it's doubtful 
that he would be a part of his very select circle of acquaintances if he 
wasn't.  It's certainly hard to understand his relationship with Sethra, to 
say nothing of Verra, without recognizing that tie.

Granted, Vlad has put tremendous personal effort into becoming who he is, 
but he is not an everyman.  Indeed, I think that one of the reasons that 
Athyra is an important book in the series is that we get to see what Vlad 
looks like through the eyes of a genuine member of the prolitariat, even 
more so that we did in Teckla.

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