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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (whorl) [spoiler] RTTW
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 18:39:58 

>Surely, mantis, Severian is a grandson of Typhon, at nearest, if
>not a remote descendant.  Unless you're prepared to throw out
>the conclusion that Ouen is Severian's father and Dorcas is
>Ouen's mother, we know Severian's father is not a member of
>Typhon's family.  That leaves his mother, and unless Typhon
>& co. were (1) walking the corridors of Time, which, for all
>their other activities, we haven't known them to do, (2) allowing
>Echidna to go gallivanting about getting herself impregnated by
>men other than Typhon (a bad way to ensure the continuity of
>a royal line, to be sure), or (3) playing body-games -much- more
>interesting than the one that Typhon tried with Piaton, I don't
>see how Severian could be a member of Typhon's immediate
>I'd much prefer the more allegorical explanation that, as the
>exultant families came to Urth with Typhon, they're all part of
>his extended "family", latterly including Severian through his
>Of course, that still leaves open the question that you're trying
>to answer, to wit:  Why would Scylla insist on being buried in
>Severian's mausoleum?  Perhaps Echidna's original was un-
>faithful to Typhon, or was already pregnant when she married
>him, and Cilinia is Severian's daughter.


Right, there's that explanation: that Sev Armiger/Exultant was just a
friend of the family, who provided a safe burial place when things got
ugly.  Maybe he was even the children's tutor or something.

Believe me, I did think of this one! And it does have a lot going for it.
(It also sets up some weird ripples of its own.)

OTOH, it seems to me that the transfer of Silk from Pig to Horn was
straight through the eyes, without a monitor . . . the nearest analogy
would be when Typhon did his voodoo on Severian.  And iirc, in TBOTLS there
was that detail about how the blind god Tartaros couldn't download into
anybody because he could not see, even in the mainframe version.  Which, I
think, means that he is proof against possession and blocked from
possessing people that way: that is, we probably won't find any critters
running around the Whorl as his familiars (iirc).

Just to be clear about what I'm trying to say: at root, Severian might be
Tartaros, son of Typhon, in a way which does not affect bloodlines, Ouen,
Catherine, Dorcas, and all that.  Please reactivate that weird, wooly
"reincarnation" thing that you must have felt if/when you read TBOTNS (and
there was no URTH) . . . at that point, there was the funeral bronze, which
meant that somehow Severian was a reincarnation of some guy who had died a
thousand years earlier; then there was that red tassle present from
Apu-Punchau, who had been dead for who knows how long, and was also, in
some nebulous way, also an ancestor of Severian; and then all the other
things that made it seem as if Severian was an avatar of the Conciliator.

How could it be?

Well, URTH laid it all out in a way that erased the "reincarnation" aspect:
it was all Severian, all along.  Not to knock it, mind you, not at all!

And in the LS/SS we have seen plenty of "nuts and bolts" explanations for
all sorts of things, similar in the way that URTH showed how the miraculous
was achieved.

Maybe a good shorthand for what I'm groping for would be: we know the
technological means (geneering and possessions) by which Pas and the others
did their reincarnations in a 300 year frame, but in this mysterious detail
at the end of RTTW we may see that Tartaros achieved a reincarnation
through other means (the "old fashioned" way?) that took about 1000 years.

In the same way that we know all about (technological ghosts) aquastors,
and we are blindsided by Patera Pike as a real ghost.

Are we certain of Silk's genesis?  Is he a geneered "love child" of Typhon
and Kypris?  Does this make his attraction to Kypris more Oedipal than for
most?  Is his melancholy a result of Typhon's megalomania undercut by
Kypris's need for love, or something like that?

Back to the mausoleum: there are five coffins.  Cilinia died young,
apparently not too long after the Scylla scan was made.  If Cilinia played
a part in the rebellion on Urth, it could not have been a big part.  But
Scylla is first born, Sphigx is last born.  The others (Molpe, Tartaros,
Hierax, Thelxiepeia, Phaea, Sphigx) were all scanned as adults, so the Urth
rebellion could not have begun until long after Cilinia had died (say 20
years), and consequently there would be no rebellion at the time of her
initial internment, hence no need for secrecy or disguise for the daughter
of the Monarch.

There are seven children and two parents: we know where Typhon was buried.
Maybe the mausoleum with five coffins (two of them empty, large enough for
Severian to lie in, and he does) is that of the children, with Urth rebels
being elsewhere (perhaps not even dead).

The gods of main frame are all blond, except for Tartaros who has no image
beyond "dark."  Severian is dark of hair.

All just a wild thought.


Sirius Fiction
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