Spoiler thread on Brokedown Palace, need to know.

Davdi Silverrock davdisil at gmail.com
Sun Feb 5 20:19:46 PST 2006

On 2/2/06, Steve Rapaport <steve at romlin.com> wrote:
> Just finished "Brokedown Palace" and after getting over enjoying the good
> read, (which it was!) I realized I was really left dissatisfied.
> It's not unusual for a story to leave minor details and players incomplete,
> but it seemed to me that this book left ALL the major details and players
> incomplete.  Everything important.  The events are there, but that's it.
> Looking it over again, pretty much every major thing that happens, happens
> not because some human decides to do it, but because some supernatural
> agency decides to.  And those agencies are more than half unidentified.
> The humans are, for the most part, unwitting pawns, and the players and
> their motivations are left mysterious. Even knowing what I know from the
> rest of Brust's books, I was unable to guess what really went on. So feel
> free to correct me if I've missed something, but--
> :
> (Sort-of spoilers implied in the questions here)
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> What is Verra trying to accomplish with her support of those she supports?
> Who is working against her?
> Why is it necessary to move so drastically against her?  Wouldn't a chat
> help?

(Memo to self, add the following to Speculation:Brokedown Castle)

My current pararectal speculation is that Verra is motivated by her
desire to prevent the East from progressing beyond a certain point
because she supports the Dragaeran Empire over the East (possibly
because implements the Cycle, and the Cycle protects against the
Jenoine).  So while she appears to help Laszlo and the Crown, she is,
in the long term, working against them.  This is why she enforces on
the one hand, stagnation, and on the other, regression and decay.

Notice the conflicts that are kept boiling in the East.  The Northmen
invade, occupy Fenario for a while, and are driven back.  The
southerners, too, don't seem to be interested in peaceful
co-existence; they're called "marauders".  That's a way to keep people
from developing advances in civilization:  make sure that they're
always on the attack or defense, or in fear from attack.

And against these enemies, what does she give Fenario?  Why, a magic
sword.  Real nice of her - until you pay attention to how the sword
works.  Notice how, whenever it's used, the wielder is driven into an
insane, berserker killing spree, killing as many of his own people
(it's always a king or prince of Fenario) as of the enemy?  That's not
a gift, that's a damn population control mechanism.

Note the description of the architecture of the Palace itself; how it
has sandstone in its foundation.  Sandstone is usually a weak and
crumbly rock; it makes for really pretty facings and exteriors - but
why would anyone sane put it in the foundation of large building,
holding everything up?  Well, maybe if they received a dream from the
Goddess, putting her architectural oar in...

Anyway, if her motivation was so opposed to beneficial change for
Easterners, a "chat" wouldn't have changed her mind.

> Is the River a power in itself or a representative of some other power?

That's a trickier one.  But it may be that there is a god (or faction
of gods) that is in favor of supporting Easterners (or Fenarians), and
the River was the manifestation, or the tool, of one or more of them.

> Is Brigitta a power in herself or a representative of that same power?

Oh, I think she represents herself.  But perhaps she recognized the
god (or gods) involved, and decided that they were in the right.

> Ditto Bolk?

He appears to have been definitely a god or demon.  But exactly how
powerful he was or who he was allied with, well, who can say?

> Why must Sandor be eliminated?

We have seen that a goddess can be invited to a place where she is
unable to manifest.  It is quite possible that he would have the
means, and motivation, to undo everything that Miklos had done by re
inviting Verra back to Fenario, and starting the whole process of
control and decay, all over again.

>  Mom n Dad?

Dunno.  From an allegorical perspective, though, the revolution must
sweep away the feudal remnants along with the bourgeoisie.

>  Reszo?

Who can say?

> And -- Why does Brigitta have to leave?  She never explains really.

My current speculation is that she might be a half-Dragaeran, which
would lead to her being as conflicted as she was.

> In most basic terms, is this a Gods vs. Nature, Gods vs. Gods, or Gods vs.
> Man, or Man vs. Man struggle?


> So any theories, or am I just questioning the ineffable?