another few comments on _tPotD_

Sun Mar 16 20:11:43 PST 2003

On Sun, 16 Mar 2003, Jag wrote:

> On Sun, 2003-03-16 at 21:11, Philip Hart wrote:
> > Bottom of page 392 - "Zerika the Fourth".  Maybe we knew her title
> > already, but I was surprised.  It takes some chutzpah to name one's
> > child after the cofounder of the empire...
> >
> Do we know who named her?  Didn't her mother die during childbirth?
> With all her involvement, it may actually be Sethra who gave Zerika the
> Fourth her name.  In that case, it makes a lot of sense.  Sethra knows
> that this baby girl (probablly) will eventually bring the Empire back
> together.  Giving her the same name as the first Empress may actually
> help her gain some respect.  And considering what all Zerika did/would
> have to go through, Sethra could be pretty confident that history would
> either remember her as bringing back the Empire, or it wouldn't remember
> her at all.  Nothing wrong with a great name if she's remembered for
> resurecting the Empire.  And no one to complain about the choice of name
> if she ends up forgotten about and never known.

I wasn't referring so much to Z.'s parents' chutzpah as that of the other
Phoenixes (Phoenix?) who named # II and III.  It seems more reasonable
(ok, culturecentric here) to name a child not destined to take the thrown
after a legendary empress than one who is - though of course in this case
destiny got a little confused.  For (slightly loopy) example, "Max" is a
perfectly sensible name for a boy, but "King Max" is awkward.  "King John"
is probably out too, given the John Lackland precedent.  Ok, maybe many
non-heir girls in the House are named Zerika and two became heirs...

I believe we don't know anything about the circumstances of Z.'s mother's
passing, though I would suspect she named her child (which she was about
to bear at the end of _FHYA_) and then succumbed to the plagues that
surely took some time to propagate across the Empire - and I would
postulate that she gave Z. her name.  Otherwise she would have her
birthname, her cover name (not "Zerika" because that's presumably reserved
for the House of the Phoenix), and then her "proper" Sethran name.