AFBH 13: Pages 175-180

23:57 Fri 13 Oct 2006. Updated: 13:03 19 Oct 2006
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Episode 13. Foamfollower.

The arrival of Foamfollower and the departure of Atiaran.

Allegedly 175-180, starting at “Hail! Help! Come back! Come back!” (p174) and ending with “You waste yourself, Thomas Covenant” (p181). Heatherly says “174 through 180, 181, something like that” (03:12) when addressing which pages will be covered.



This has a “thirteenth episode” intro, with freaky colors, sinister music, and a Julie using a sepulchural tone.

Heatherly asks what she’s doing (02:25), to which Julie says “Well, Heatherly, it’s the thirteenth episode, and I thought it would be kinda cool to be a little freaky”.

They end the intro with evil laughter.

(Note: this Annotated Fantasy Bedtime Hour is being written and posted on Friday the Thirteenth.)

###Analysis of Pages

Heatherly covers the end of p166 and p167, explaining that the Unfettered One died, also going over Covenant saying that he would have saved the Wraiths if he could (p168) and “Atrium”‘s reply that he has the power (03:49), and their discussion about his white gold ring. Julie asks “so white gold is good for leprosy?” and Heatherly says “or power, or something” (04:07).

Heatherly skips to their arrival at the Soulsease River and “Atrium” shouting to the boat (p174) (04:22). She describes Covenant seeing the boat, the lack of any means of propulsion, and the very large person in the boat (04:39).

Heatherly skips “Hail, Rockbrother” (p174) and “Hail, Rocksister” (p175) before going into the odd conversation between “Atrium” and the giant (p175), culminating in the giant’s introducing himself as “Saltheart Foamfollower” (p176) (05:25).

She continues with “Atrium” charging the giant with taking Covenant to the Council of the Lords. Just after this, there’s a beep (05:45).

Without clarifying her pronouns, Heatherly then tells how Covenant is conflicted at “Atrium”‘s departure from the journey (05:50). Heatherly reads Covenant’s “Don’t give up” (p177) line and Atiaran’s response saying that she has wanted to kill Covenant since he “allowed the Wraiths to die” (06:10).

At 06:15 she mangles “countenance” in Atiaran’s words “To countenance such desecration” (p177), followed by describing her throwing the knife and saying “I wound the Earth instead of you” (06:25), and her departure.

Heatherly recounts the conversation between Covenant and Foamfollower, including Covenant’s overly-touchy defense of Atiaran (p180), paraphrasing it as beginning with “Omigod! She was so cool!” (07:24).

She finishes the reading with Foamfollower’s words: “I laughed when I saw you because you seemed like a rooster threatening one of the Rannynin [sic]. You waste yourself, Thomas Covenant” (p181) (08:09).

Julie and Heatherly are both shocked at “Atrium” leaving, with Julie asking “Is this the last time we’re going to see Atrium?” (08:36). They both regret the fact that she won’t be at the Council of the Lords to accuse Covenant of raping her daughter.

Julie asks “why didn’t the giant try to eat Thomas Covenant?” (08:59), and wonders whether Foamfollower was luring Covenant into the boat to save him for later. Julie uses “Atrium”‘s distrust of the giant to support this hypothesis.

Julie asks “why are they going to the Council of the Lords anyway, I forgot” (09:29). Heatherly answers by saying that Foul told Covenant to tell the Council that they have to get the Staff of Law in the next six years (09:46)—at which point Julie interrupts and says the thought it was 26,337 years (she means 22,246 years, their conclusion in Episode 4). Heatherly replies that she thinks they were wrong, and that it’s six years, and that if they don’t get the Staff back there will be many years of darkness. Julie says “is this journey going to take them six years to get to the Council of the Lords?” (10:06) and Heatherly says “Oh my god, I hope not!” (10:08).

Then they express the hope that it won’t take six years, and Julie wonders if the entire book is about them trying to get to the Council of the Lords, before asking “and why is he so concerned about what’s powering the boat?” (10:23). Heatherly doesn’t know, and says that Covenant is a weirdo.

In between the pages covered, Covenant tells Atiaran that he would have saved the Wraiths if he could (p168), and Atiaran says “You have the power”. Covenant doesn’t understand this, and Atiaran doesn’t understand how he doesn’t grasp the power of the white gold. Covenant then retreats into his defense that he is only dreaming, partly in reaction to the expectations of heroism placed upon him. He resents these deeply, not merely because they’re so difficult to live up to, but because they conflict too much with his self-image as a leper. He feels deeply for the Wraiths, but defends himself against this with “I’m a leper!” (p169), and further asks himself what Berek and Wraiths have to do with him before examining himself for injuries. Here it’s quite clear that his leprosy, and the VSE ritual necessary for survival as a leper, are psychological supports for Covenant, things that he falls back to when faced with threats to his identity or esteem.

They also skip Atiaran’s description of the Unfettered One, in which she confirms that he had studied at the Loresraat, and also says that the Wraiths had never been assaulted so, that Foul himself had never dared to attack them, and that they were apparently unaffected even by the Ritual of Desecration. She is convinced that they will never dance again, but puts that aside and says that the Unfettered One gave his life so that Covenant’s message could reach the Lords, and that they will accomplish that task to give his sacrifice meaning (p171).

They encounter the blood-red moon, a sign of something deeply wrong in the Land (p172) a couple of days before reaching the Soulsease River (p173).

There they meet Foamfollower (p175). It’s not entirely clear why Atiaran is so mistrustful, but presumably she feels that the giant’s name will give some clue as to whether he could be trusted—later developments make it seem unlikely that she would suspect a giant of being a Raver, but perhaps she is taking nothing for granted. It could be that she is simply very unwilling to give up Covenant, because she wants to accuse him before the Lords, not just over raping Lena but over abandoning the Wraiths. However, she does entrust Covenant to Foamfollower and remove herself from the journey (p176), partly because she apparently believes that she is somehow resopnsible for the ills that have occurred on the journey so far. Covenant tries to tell her not to give up, meaning that he doesn’t think she should give up her revenge. I think he’s referring to her revenge for his raping Lena, but Atiaran is consumed by loathing for him for not saving the Wraiths, and tells him so (p177). She also tells him that she will not harm him because he is the only hope for the Land—”barren as that hope is” (p178), and that he should remember that she has kept her Oath (meaning the Oath of Peace). He challenges her, asking if this is true given that she has harmed herself, and she simply answers “That is my Oath.” She says goodbye and says “When you have returned in safety to your own world, remember what evil is.” (p178).

This last line seems troubling. Atiaran’s acceptance, and that of most of the characters, of the idea that Covenant is from another world seems jarring. We know that there are other places on the world that holds the Land, for example we know that the giants came from some other place, and the later books also deal with journeys across oceans, but how can they be so calm about his coming from another world entirely? There isn’t much hinting (apart from their acceptance itself) that otherworldy strangers stop by often. And while they might accept magic easily, most of their magic is based entirely on the Land itself, so that doesn’t seem helpful in terms of accepting extradimensional travel.

Covenant wants to ask Atiaran for mercy, and at least for her to forgive herself, but does not act. He leaves with Foamfollower. When he asks Foamfollower what powers the boat (p179), Foamfollower says “A stranger to the Land. Did that woman teach you nothing?”, which sets Covenant off because he thinks that it implies disrespect for Atiaran. Foamfollower reacts with laughter to this, and also to Covenant’s threatening him physically (p180), and this incenses Covenant further. Eventually Covenant gets out “she deserves respect”, and Foamfollower grasps what he means, and assures Covenant that he meant no disrespect, and approves of Covenant’s loyalty. He then chides Covenant for getting angry too quickly, and tells him that he wastes himself (p181).

###Key Misunderstandings

Foamfollower has no interest whatsoever in eating Covenant, or any other sentient being.

###Action Sequence

The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 10:38

The action sequence begins with scrolling text (10:58):
> pg. 168
> “Yet Atiaran had
> believed him
> capable of saving them…
> …she saw him as
> Berek Halfhand
> reborn,
> the master of
> wild magic.”

Atrium and Covenant argue over whether he could have saved them. They don’t get anywhere with this, and it is followed by scrolling text (11:33):

> pg. 173
> “…Atrium staggered
> over the crest
> of a hill
> and saw
> at the bottom
> of the slope
> beyond them the
> Soulsease River.”

Atrium runs to the river and hails Foamfollower, who we first see at 11:52. He is singing. The words are difficult to make out, but it’s part of his “Stone and Sea are deep in life” song. He greets Atrium with “Hail, Rocksister” while making “devil horns” (thumb in) with his left hand, and asks her what her need is, which is followed by:
*Atrium*: What is your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What is your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What is your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What’s your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?

At 12:08 there is a cut to Covenant, who watches as they continue this, and then back to Foamfollower at 12:12:
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What’s your name? No, what’s your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What’s your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What is your name?
*Foamfollower*: What is your need?
*Atrium*: What is your name, infinity?
*Foamfollower*: Oooh! Saltheart Foamfollower. (12:24)

This is followed by scrolling text:

> pg. 175
> “…Searching for
> an utterance…
> …with her
> eyes downcast
> as if in shame
> she murmured
> uncertainly…”

We see Atrium and Covenant again, kicking off:
*Atrium*: Where do you go? (12:33)
*Foamfollower*: Who wants to know?
*Atrium*: Where do you go?
*Foamfollower*: Who wants to know?
*Atrium*: Where do you go—infinity!
*Foamfollower*: Oooh! Council of the Lords. (12:47)

Atrium then charges him with taking Covenant to the Council of the Lords, prompting a loud outburst from Covenant, who says he won’t go with the long-legged giant, and finishing his outburst with “I raped your daughter, for God’s sake! Your revenge! Don’t give up!” (13:17).

Atrium responds that she would stab him where he stood if she gave up, and then proceeds to attack the ground in front of him with a knife, starting at 13:27 (foaming at the mouth at 13:52), and continuing until 14:15, when she gets up, points at Covenant, points at the boat, and leaves.

Watching her go from inside Foamfollower’s boat, and listening to Foamfollower laugh, Covenant has a flashback starting at 14:42 which covers him walking with Atrium, them at the dance of the Wraiths of Andelain, Atrium singing about Berek, Atrium calming Triock, them skipping/loping, Atrium grabbing Covenant after finding out that he raped her daughter, Atrium dancing with the Woodhelvennin while Covenant is tied to a tree, Atrium at the dance of the Wraiths again, Atrium from moments before when she was stabbing the ground, Atrium dancing with the Woodhelvennin again, and finally Atrium grabbing Covenant and begging him to save the Wraiths. The flashback ends at 15:53.

Atrium fades from sight at 15:59.

Covenant is in the boat listening to/looking at Foamfollower laugh, and says “Oh, what the fuck?” (16:05) just before Foamfollower begins to sing “Stone and Sea are deep in life/Two unalterable symbols of the world/Permanence in rest and permanence in motion/Participants in the power that remains.”

Covenant asks him what propels his boat (16:27), Foamfollower asks if the woman taught him nothing, and Covenant has a tantrum, saying that she taught him “everything”, about “the polly-wogs and the nannyrin and the newlyhards”, and that “she let me rape her daughter and we even got high in the jungle”, eventually finishing with “Atrium deserves respect!” (16:58).

Foamfollower laughs and begins to sing again, much to Covenant’s annoyance and incomprehension.

The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 17:49.


After the action sequence, Heatherly appears sunburnt and Julie produces a lotion for soothing burns, which she rubs on Heatherly’s breasts, continuing to do so until Cameraman Jenn tells them “the expert is waiting” (18:33).

Bill appears from the side of the screen at 18:41 and in bed a moment later. He is not wearing the expert jacket. He has read the book once, but has been following the show (18:58).

The first question revolves around Atiaran’s leaving for good, and how she felt about Covenant, with Bill saying that her feelings really became clear in the pages covered. Julie notes that Covenant, on the other hand, seems to think very highly of her, and Bill says “because he understands her pain” (19:43).

Heatherly then asks what the giant’s name was, and what does the name mean? Julie wants to know if he’s American Indian (20:02). Bill says that Foamfollower is being introduced, that he is obviously of earth (meaning the element earth rather than the Planet Earth) and says that he is stone-like. Julie then asks if he’s Irish or Scottish (20:21), and Bill says that “Saltheart” is exactly like “Braveheart”.

They then ask Bill about why and how Covenant is probing Foamfollower’s aura, but Bill doesn’t recall this (21:17), prompting them to excitedly find the relevant passage on p180. Bill characterizes this as entirely metaphorical (21:46), but a more likely reading is that Covenant is using his newfound ability to sense ill in the Land to try to discern Foamfollower’s character. Bill also claims that people do what is meant by “probing auras” in the passage all the time when they meet new people, prompting a digression into various probing jokes and innuendoes, followed by Bill further elucidating his position.

They start chart-writing at 23:56, on the topic of “What do you think Atrium did after she left Thomas Covenant?”

Chart-writing ends at 24:45.

Julie’s chart (24:56) shows “Atrium” secretly following them down the river because she secretly wants to see the Council of the Lords.

Bill’s chart (25:13) shows “Atrium” taking a nice bath. She has a rubber duckie, and Heatherly asks if it’s a vibrating one from Good Vibrations (25:37).

Heatherly’s chart (25:39) shows “the Stonedownor version of a voodoo doll”, which “Atrium” would go home and make immediately in the image of Thomas Covenant, and then stick pins in Covenant’s groin—prompting Julie to kick off another “but he doesn’t have a penis” argument (25:52).

The “post-coital” segment begins at 26:01 .

Bill says his favorite part was the description of “what the fuck is his name?” (26:21)—meaning Saltheart Foamfollower, who Julie calls “Saltlick Foamfollower”.

Heatherly says her favorite part was when Atrium went home and stuck those pins in that voodoo doll of Thomas Covenant (26:43). Julie tells her that that was from Heatherly’s imagination and wasn’t actually in the book and Heatherly says that it was still her favorite part.

Julie says her favorite part was when Atrium went home and stuck those pins in Thomas Covenant (26:58). Bill tells her that didn’t happen, but Julie just begins the show outro, asking for those desiring to be experts to get in touch.

The end credits feature picture-in-picture, starting with “Atrium” stabbing the ground, foaming at the mouth, and at the end coughing and being asked if she’s okay.

###Words Defined

First mention of Foamfollower’s name, 05:25
First appearance of Foamfollower, 11:52

One Response to “AFBH 13: Pages 175-180”

  1. Julie Says:

    Nice work! Hmmm…. are you sure he wasn’t a Legume from the Seaweed Giants?

    Also, as far as firsts, is this the first ep where we introduce blooper/outtakes to the out credits?

    Love AFBH – I’m a super fan! Keep it up :-)

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