AFBH 6: Pages 47-50

23:36 Fri 06 Oct 2006. Updated: 11:58 13 Oct 2006
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Episode 6. Covenant on the stairs.

Covenant and Lena descend from Kevin’s watch, and Jennifer, first female expert.

47-50. It’s not clear to me exactly where they start, especially since they seem to cover some of Episode 4′s pages in the early parts of the episode and action sequence. They end with “…Lena bending over him so low that her hair almost brushed his face.” (p50)



The intro for this episode is a reference to the Evil Dead movies, and features an unseen monster rushing wildly towards the bedroom while the girls talk, unawares. The monster’s viewpoint is in negative colors. In the bedroom, Julie is reading a book that isn’t Lord Foul’s Bane without noticing, and is complaining about it, asking Heatherly to help her pronounce a word. Heatherly looks at it, and with difficulty makes out “Klaatu barada” before getting stuck (02:12). This is a reference both to Evil Dead III, although the phrase (“Klaatu barada nikto”) originates in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. (See the Wikipedia entry for other references to this phrase.) They are unable to correctly complete it (just as Ash couldn’t), and the monster rushes on. Heatherly does identify the book as The Necronomicon (02:30), and gives the Evil Dead description of it as a Sumerian book of ritual and demonology. The monster rushes into the bedroom, then does this some more times, and eventually Heatherly and Julie realize that it’s not coming any closer, and decide to go on with the show (03:20).

The “normal beginning” segment, where they actually introduce the show, begins with a closeup of the “Golden Earring” poster before panning over to Juliana. She introduces the show in husky tones while caressing the camera; Heatherly is similarly in an overtly sexy mode for this segment.

###Analysis of Pages

Heatherly begins by reprising some of what has been covered in previous episodes, and then Julie begins a discussion of the location of things in the novel. She displays the map of the Land from the book (04:53), which she has modified to include “Pacific Bell” and two precipices. Her contention is that Covenant came out of Pacific Bell, fell off a precipice into his encounter with Lord Foul, and then fell off another precipice onto Kevin’s Watch.

Heatherly then continues with what Lena tells Covenant, reaching the point of minimal interest when she paraphrases Lena as saying “Blah blah blah” at 05:57.

There is some discussion about Covenant’s attitude when Heatherly reads his “By being nice to me!” line at 07:36.

They deride Covenant further on, accusing him of being terribly self-centered with a “me, me, me” attitude at 10:38.

It should be noted that although the intro sequence from Episode 5 involved them reading pages 51 through 55, the next pages they read are 47 through 50.

Covenant is deeply disturbed in this chapter. He was appalled and frightened by Foul, and now thinks at first that he is back in his own town, lying on the ground after being hit by the police car, before realizing that this is not the case. The fact that the encounter with Lord Foul was not merely a nightmare but is somehow part of an ongoing experience stuns and confuses him, and this state dominates his encounter with Lena. For her part, Lena is something of an innocent, and clearly has a good heart, wishing to help a stranger in need.

She mistakes him for Berek Halfhand, who we and Covenant have heard of before as one of Kevin’s ancestors and a hated enemy of Lord Foul. She reveals that her people believe that Berek will one day return— and the fact that he is called “Halfhand” demonstrates that there are strong physical similarities between him and Covenant. This irony is not lost on Covenant as the book progresses—he resents the comparison between himself and the heroic (and presumably healthy) Berek, and chafes under any expectation that he somehow match in deeds the man he allegedly resembles.

As if to accentuate this difference, Covenant has to make a descent that is tailored to his weaknesses, a descent that one feels Berek would have managed without breaking a sweat.

At this point, an emergent theme is that, for whatever reason, “true” heroism is somehow no longer possible (or perhaps sufficient) in the Land, and thus instead of being aided by straightforward heroes in the classic mode, the people of the Land must rely on clearly damaged individuals like Covenant. (An alternative interpretation here is that Berek was no more a classic hero than Thomas Covenant but has been made into one by history.)

With difficulty, Covenant makes the descent aided by Lena, whose attitude of solicitude is difficult for him to deal with as he is so unused to anything but fear and disdain from others.

###Key Misunderstandings

Covenant did not “fall” into the Land, or “fall” from Kiril Threndor to Kevin’s Watch.

The town he started in is in an entirely different world from Kiril Threndor and Kevin’s Watch.

Covenant does not in fact curse constantly while descending from Kevin’s Watch.

Lena’s craft, suru-pa-maerl, does not involve childishily painting rocks.

The line “She looked as if she wanted to go with him.” (p47) is in fact refers to Lena’s desire to accompany Covenant to Revelstone and the Council of the Lords.

Covenant is not uninterested in Lena, but in shock at finding himself in a different world. This encompasses his reaction to her incomprehension of leprosy, which he does not see as a sign of stupidity, but is unable to really process.

The descent from Kevin’s Watch is truly and legitimately difficult for Covenant. As a leper he is both extremely afraid of minor injury that he cannot detect and also incapable of fine feeling in his limbs, making handholds very difficult. He may also suffer from vertigo.

###Action Sequence

The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 11:17.

The text at the start emphasizes Covenant’s horror at finding himself on top of Kevin’s Watch.

At 11:53 we see Lena, who is played by a different actress than she was in Episode 4. In addition, it seems that we have moved back to when he was initially found there, in other words repeating some of the end of the action sequence from Episode 4.

The examples of the art that Lena shows Covenant are a kitty (12:54), a horsy (12:56), and a sad clown (12:59).

At 13:06, Covenant says to Lena “Don’t touch me, I’m a leper!”, and shortly later responds to her inquiry asking why he’s angry with her by saying “Because you’re nice to me!” (13:12)

Covenant begins his descent at 13:33. At 13:54 he begins cursing, and the following dialogue may be where the show diverges most from the text (apart from Foamfollower’s “gay stories”):

Covenant (13:54):
> Son of a bitch. Fuckers. [Unintelligible] cocksucking [unintelligible]. Fuck. Aaaah. Midget sex. Ow. Fucker [unintelligible].

(He grabs Lena’s ankles at 14:14 and says “Save me” at 14:30 before going on with the cursing.)

Covenant (14:34):
> You fucking son of a bitching cocksuckers, I’d like to stick this fist up your ass.

Lena (14:42):
> But we’re halfway there!

Covenant (14:46)
> You son of a bitch, why don’t you fuck off!

Lena (14:51):
> Like, fifty more steps, all right?

Covenant (14:52):
> This is the most disgusting cocksucking bitch you coul ever suck on. Why don’t you fist it? Lick me…. lick meee. Aaah you fucking dickheads [just need?] fucking with [unintelligible] suck on. Oh fuck aaah. God [unintelligible]. You fuckers [unintelligible] fucking dead bodies. Aaaah [unintelligible] in your ass you fuckers.

A clump of dirt comes down the stairs at that point.

>Son of a bitch! Aaah, fuck [unintelligible] midget fuckers oh, you son of a bitch. Oh, pathetic, aaah. Aaaah [unintelligible] just like a shithole, you fucking—aaah, godammit, aaah, fuck [unintelligible] aaah, aahahaha, aaah.

Then he is at the bottom, and the scene ends with Covenant giving the finger to the stairs, which is accompanied by overlaid lettering quoting the text: “[T]he long black finger of Kevin’s Watch pointing at the noon sun” (check this, could be “sky” on show).

The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 16:26.


Jennifer appears at and is wearing the expert jacket (16:39). Heatherly and Julie tell her they thought that no women read Lord Foul’s Bane, and Jennifer says that in fact plenty of girls like “science fiction” (16:57)—this is slightly off-topic as Lord Foul’s Bane is a fantasy novel.

Jennifer gives them a gift of an earlier edition of Lord Foul’s Bane, and reveals that there are further books, showing Book 2 in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, The Illearth War (17:10), and Book 3 in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, The Power that Preserves (17:14).

Heatherly asks Jennifer about the significance of the Illearth Stone (17:42), and Jennifer explains that it is an artifact of great power.

Heatherly asks how many times Jennifer has read Lord Foul’s Bane (18:21), to which she answers “3″. Julie asks her how many times she understood it (18:33), to which she answers “All of them.” They are quite impressed with this, and ask her if she is single (18:43) because they think that lots of guys would be into a woman who’s read Lord Foul’s Bane. Julie then proposes setting her up with me (18:51), but Heatherly interrupts this to announce a “Win a date with Tadhg” competition (18:54).

At 19:38, The girls address the question of why Lena is “so into” Covenant (based again on “She looked as if she wanted to go with him” from p47). Jennifer here explains that Lena is attracted to Covenant because of his resemblance to the legendary Berek Halfhand (19:46).

At 20:07 they discuss the layout of the Land, with Julie presenting a map of San Francisco (20:33) and Heatherly and Julie selecting neighborhoods in the city and asking whcih of them is closer to the land. Jennifer attempts to explain that the Land is in an alternate dimension, but is forced to pick a neighborhood&#*212;so she says “More like Hollywood” (20:59). When presented with the “it’s another dimension” line, Julie again says “Like Utah?” (21:03), as she did at 16:50 in Episode 2. Heatherly hopefully asks if it’s like a spaceship at 21:05, but Jennifer holds fast to the “Different dimension” explanation (21:12). Soon after this, Jennifer ipresses upon the fact that it’s set in a different realm and Heatherly grasps that it is a fantasy novel (21:41).

Jennifer attempts to explain multidimensionality by showing that Pacific Bell is on another plane from the Land, but Julie interprets this literally and asks “Underground?” (22:14).

They discuss the Ranyhyn nd the Ramen (23:26).

At 24:54, Jennifer becomes the first expert to lose the jacket while in bed.

The “post-coital” segment begins at 25:45, with comments from Julie and Heatherly about how “new and exciting” (25:55) having a female expert is.

Heatherly asks the “favorite part” question at 26:05, and Jennifer’s response is the uncertainty of not knowing what’s going to happen during this section (26:35). Heatherly’s favorite part is Covenant cursing (26:51). Julie’s favorite part is the Ranyhyn and the “raw men” (27:11).

(During the end credits, there’s a short clip of Covenant on the stairs saying “Son of a bitch!”.)

###Words Defined

First female expert, 16:39
First mention/appearance of later books in the series, 17:10
First expert to shed jacket, 24:54
First mention of “Cameraman Julie”, 20:30

2 Responses to “AFBH 6: Pages 47-50”

  1. Cameraman Jenn Says:

    I think Jennifer did a great job, especially her cake analogy…she’s obviously brilliant and very beautiful too….

  2. Julie Says:

    I must say, out of all our action sequences, this might actually be my favorite…

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