AFBH 20: Pages 271-281

23:47 Fri 20 Oct 2006. Updated: 15:43 21 Oct 2006
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Episode 20. “The Ranynyn.”

The first appearance of the “Ranynyn”, my brother as expert, and a guest appearance from me.

271-281, although the website and the intro to the action sequences say 275-281. Starts with “Lord Osondrea, to you and to the Lords Variol and Tamarantha” (approximately) (p271), ends with “Thus the Quest for the Staff of Law left Lord’s Keep in the sunlight of a new day” (p281).

Niall (erroneously credited as “Nial”) O’Higgins


The episode opens with Heatherly and Julie asleep in bed. Heatherly is holding beer, and Julie is holding Lord Foul’s Bane. A hand (presumably belonging to Cameraman Jenn) starts to draw a mustache on Julie with a makeup pencil. She draws the mustache, then a circle around Julie’s left eye, and then writes “Slut” on Heatherly’s forehead.

Heatherly wakes up (02:48) and says hi to Cameraman Jenn, and Julie wakes up as well. Cameraman Jenn tells them that it’s time to film Episode 20. Heatherly asks her if she meansd pages 171-181, and Jenn corrects her, saying 271-281. Then Heatherly and Julie look at each other and see the makeup.

After a cut, they’re again in bed, sans makeup, and talking about how twenty is a lot of episodes (03:11). They then give the usual spiel.

###Analysis of Pages

Heatherly says in recap that Covenant speaks to the Council of the Lords, “so they sit around and talk for a while” and then Prothall entrusts Osondrea, Tamarantha and Variol with the defenses of the Land (p271), (04:02). She names “Prothall, Lord Mormon, Saltheart Foamfollower, Thomas Covenant, some Bloodguard, and one Eoman of the Wayward [sic]” as those who go in search of Drool Rockworm and the Staff of Law. She says that the route they’re going to take is found on page 272, and then reads that passage.

She continues that Prothall gives the order to call the Ranyhyn, and the Bloodguard do so. She describes “Tuvok” asking the Ranyhyn to bear them on their journey (p277) (05:32). She says that Tamarantha and Variol arrive and insist on coming on the search for Drool, and that they argue with Prothall, who relents and lets them come along.

She reads the description of the travellers’ formation and the last line of the chapter: “Thus the Quest for the Staff of Law left Lord’s Keep in the sunlight of a new day” (p281) (06:26).

Heatherly asks why Covenant turned down Prothall’s offer that Covenant be the High Lord—something that she didn’t cover in her reading. Julie says “well, not like everybody wants to be President” (06:52). She also says that Covenant is more of a critic and back-seat driver.

They then discuss the route that the quest will take, and Julie shows a chart she made with the route on it (07:22). It has Revelstone in the upper-left, represented by a pentagram, then goes South, around Andelain in a circle, East through Morinmoss, stopping at the Plains of Ra to pick up the Ramen (labeled as “Despiser’s Olden foes”), and then North to Gravin Threndor. She describes the whole thing as a car journey, including references to driving and to a minivan, and she uses as a pointer a stick with a toy car on the end of it.

Heatherly says “congratulations, Julie, you made it to Gravin Threndor, you collect $200″ (07:47) and hands her $200 in Monopoly money. Julie then continues, says that they can if they want then continue going North, and goes to the top of the chart, at which point she turns it over (07:55), and continues on the other side to “dropping off Thomas Covenant at Pacific Bell, where he’s told to ‘Stay Away! Unclean!’” (08:04).

###Key Misunderstandings

They don’t drive on the quest.

Variol and Tamarantha are Mhoram’s parents, not Prothall’s parents.

The quest is to find the Staff of Law, not the Illearth Stone or Lord Foul.

###Action Sequence

The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 08:20.

It begins with scrolling text, reading (08:30):

> Thomas Covenant
> has just met with the
> Council of the Lords
> and delivered
> the warning of
> Lord Foul,.

After that, we see Prothall and “Lord Mormon”. Prothall says “you know what, that was one fucked-up meeting. I don’t know what you think, but there’s just a lot going on. What’s your impressions of how we should take care of this?” (08:46) and “Mormon” replies: “well, my foresight tells me that perhaps we ought to consider this matter very carefully. What do you think?” (08:53). Prothall comes right back with “what do you think? I… I am the Lord”. They ask each other “what do you think?” until Osondrea appears and tells Prothall that she thinks it’s the stupidest idea he’s ever had, and that “Lord Mormon” should be ashamed of himself (08:57). They block her out with their hands and go back to asking each other what they think.

Following a cut, Prothall says “after much deliberation, I’ve decided we will go on this quest and find the Staff of Law” (09:18). This is followed by scrolling text, accompanied by the sound of a crowd cheering (09:27):

> pg. 275
> “The dwellers of
> the mountain city
> thronged every
> balcony and terrace…
> The sun crested
> the eastern horizon…
> next it revealed
> the red pennant,
> and then
> a new white flag.”

We then see Covenant and Bannor outside, Covenant asking “what’s that?” and pointing off-camera. Bannor says “that is for you, ur-Lord, the sign of white gold” (09:36).

“Lord Mormon” is talking to “Lord Valium”, and says “Lord Valium! The Council is very pleased that you have put on pants today” (09:41). This is followed by applause and cheering.

Osondrea then walks up to Covenant and Bannor and demands to know why Prothall hasn’t called the Ranyhyn and gotten the show on the road, and that she just wants to do a load of whites, clean the cave, get it all over with (09:57).

Prothall says “Osondrea, we are very pleased to have you looking after our Land. And my dotard parents. Yes, my dotard parents. Lord Valium and Tamarantha, who are incredibly spry for their age” (10:12). As he says this, Tamarantha makes a variety of signs behind his back, then says “whatever” and walks away. Prothall tells “Tuvok” to call the “Ranynin”, and “Tuvok” says “I don’t wanna keep calling the horses, I called the horses last week, I don’t want them to think I just keep calling them (10:25). Then he calls Bannor and “Bob” and tells them to call the “Ranynin”. The two Bloodguard whistle mightily and do an odd folk-like dance.

At 11:02 there’s a cut to a grassy hill, and the “Lord Valium” says “look, they’re coming!” (11:07). At this point we see the “Ranynin”, coming over the grassy hill. They are clearly people in horse costumes. There are four of them. One has coloration like a cow, two are white, and one is black and orange. The black and orange one, via neighing and subtitles, says “Dibs on Bannor!!!” (11:24), and one of the white ones replies with “You can’t call dibs, retard!”, to which the first one says “Shut up! I’m not a retard!”, and the cow one (via mooing and subtitles) says “Sure you’re not a retard…” (11:35). The “Ranynin” mostly walk two-legged, making various degrees of effort at appearing four-legged.

They approach “Tuvok”, who tells them that they have a “major quest going on” and that they have to travel far, and hints that they could use some help. One of the white “Ranynin” then says (subtitled) “Jesus H CHRIST! This guy never gets to the point!”, and the cow “Ranynin” says “I KNKOW!!!” (12:21). The white one then says (subtitled) “OK! I choose Bannor!” and hugs Bannor. The black and orange one comes up to Bannor a moment later and says (subtitled) “Bannor, I choose you” (12:33), at which point the white one says (subtitled) “Dude! I already chose him! But THAT guy doesn’t have a rider [sic]“, at which point the black and orange “Ranyhin” sees that he is referring to Foamfollower, who on top of being presented as quite large is also carrying two large suitcases (12:42).

Covenant asks Osondrea to explain where the horses come from, and when she’s explained, says “Disgusting! I hate horses!” (13:07), to which she says “fine, then you’ll just get this regular horse”, and pushes a horse toy at him.

We next see a man in a red and gold dress, wearing a wig, with this text on the screen: “The part of Tamarantha will be played by: Chris Glover” (13:13).

Tamarantha and “Lord Valium” approach Prothall, asking (repeatedly) “can we go on the quest?”. Prothall is reluctant, and “Lord Mormon” comes over to him and says “Life is designed well. Men and women grow old so that someone can stay around and teach the young. Let them come!” (13:35). Prothall, through gritted teeth, says “Fine!”. “Lord Mormon” then says “All right! Everyone into formation!” (13:46).

The theme music from the Benny Hill show plays as the various characters run around, Benny-Hill-style, from 13:48 to 14:48 trying to get their formation right. The final “formation” is two or so lines, with (left to right) Foamfollower, “Lord Mormon”, Tamarantha, “Lord Valium”, and “Tuvok” in the back line and a white “Ranyhin”, Bannor, Covenant, and Prothall in the front line.

We see the following scrolling text (14:54):

> pg 281
> “Thus the Quest
> for the
> Staff of Law
> left Lords [sic] Keep
> in the sunlight
> of a new day.”

The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 14:57.


Julie tells Heatherly that their expert for the episode is Niall O’Higgins (15:11). Heatherly asks why that name sounds familiar, and Julie says “because he’s Tadhg O’Higgins’ brother!”.

Niall appears on screen at 15:22. He is appears to be wearing the expert jacket. He has read Lord Foul’s Bane once (15:35), and understood it also one (15:41).

Julie says “so this must be really exciting for you to be Tadhg’s brother” (15:45), to which he replies “yeah, it’s extremely exciting, living in the fast lane”.

They comment that he has an unusual accent, and he tells them that he’s from Ireland. Heatherly asks him if he’s thirsty, he says he is, and Julie gives him a bottle of Guinness, saying that it’s the beer of his people (16:16). She asks if he wants her to pour him a pint, and he says yes.

From 16:22 to 16:43 is a parody of the Guinness ad “Anticipation, complete with “Guaglione” soundtrack, with Niall watching intently as Julie pours.

Heatherly asks what the quest is for—are they going to form a lynch mob to hunt down Lord Foul, or are they really looking for the Illearth Stone (17:03)? Niall says that their ultimate goal is to depose Lord Foul, and that to do that, they need the Illearth Stone—so they’re going to find the Illearth Stone, and then they’re going to get Lord Foul.

Julie asks how they’re going to find the Illearth Stone (17:25). Niall doesn’t really answer this question, and when pressed, says that Thomas Covenant is a kind of “Illearth Stone detector”.

Heatherly asks if they even know where Lord Foul is, to which Niall says “no” (18:15). He claims that Lord Foul is drawn to the members of the quest in some fashion. Heatherly then says that she thinks Lord Foul wants the Illearth Stone, and that he’s sending the quest to do his dirty work (which isn’t far off the mark).

Julie asks if it would be safe to sat that this is a pre-emptive strike against Lord Foul (19:02). He says no, and she says “but what will they do if they don’t find any weapons of mass destruction?”, to which Niall replies “I don’t know”. She asks him if the Illearth Stone is like a weapon of mass destruction, and he says it is. At which point Julie says “you know what this is like? Lord of the Rings” (19:26).

Heatherly asks why, if “Lord Valium” and Tamarantha are the parents of Lord Prothall, they look to be the same age, and whether there’s a big problem with teenage pregnancy in the land. Niall says there is, a very large problem, and that they have no forms of birth control in the Land. Not even “the rhythm method” (19:55).

Julie asks Niall which member of the quest he relates to most and why, and he says it has to be Thomas Covenant (20:12), causing both Heatherly and Julie to spit out their wine. They ask why, and Niall explains that he is not a leper, nor “some sort of major asshole”, nor a rapist, but that Thomas Covenant is like a man lost in a world he doesn’t understand, doesn’t belong to (20:47). This prompts sympathy from them, and Julie asks if that’s how he feels, and he says it is. Julie asks him if he’s ever considered turning to alcohol, and he just looks sad as he drinks his Guinness.

To cheer Niall up, Julie suggests that they get me onto the show.

I appear at 21:42. I also appear to be wearing the expert jacket, indicating that there may, in fact, be more than one. Heatherly says that having us on is “the closest thing to twins”. Julie tells me that I must be so proud to have my sad brother there, to which I say “right, yes.” I agree with her when she says that it makes sense that he’s sad, since Covenant is depressing and sad.

Julie asks “what’s it like being the brother of Tadhg O’Higgins, do you guys just talk about Lord Foul’s Bane all the time, and does Tadhg correct you?” (22:10). Heatherly follows that up with a question about whether I always correct him when we talk about “politics and stuff”. He says “yes”, and Julie asks him if he asks me the definitions of words, to which he says “yes”. Heatherly asks if I correct him when he misuses words, and he claims that he corrects me, to which I say “since when?” (22:32). He says “shut up” (slightly slurring), and I say “can you cite any examples? Anything? Anything at all?” They all laugh, and I say “I didn’t think so” (22:43). Julie suggests a competition about the definitions of words, saying “whoever asnwers first is the smarter brother”, at which I roll my eyes.

Julie’s first question is from page 269, and she quotes “do not follow the lure of this quest, it is chimera”—and she pronounces it with a “ch” sound as in “chance”, so I correct her, pronouncing it with a hard ‘k’ (23:04). I then tell her that it’s a monster from mythology.

Julie passes the book the Heatherly, and I tell Julie that she didn’t give Niall a chance to answer, and also that she hasn’t thought it through very well (23:21).

Heatherly reads from page 272, “cowardice is inexculpate, corruption unassoiled”. I correct her pronunciation of “inexculpate”, and Niall corrects her pronunciation of “unassoiled”, which she reads as “un-ass-oiled”. Niall defines it (incorrectly) as “not soiled”. Cameraman Jenn says that they should give Niall another word (24:01), and Julie takes the book back, and asks him for a definition of “corridor”. After his slightly odd definition, Julie says it’s time for chart-writing, and after a cut at 24:25 I disappear without explanation.

They start chart-writing at 24:33, on the topic of “Where do you think the Illearth Stone is and what does it look like?”.

Chart-writing ends at 25:03.

Julie’s chart (25:11) shows the Illearth Stone three thousand feet below a hill, with Bigfoot, a UFO, and a dinosaur all above it.

Heatherly’s chart (25:29) shows a number of separate panels, one showing that it’s “way far away in a cave”, with a lower-left closeup of a cat that she drew in that panel (the cat is apparently a landmark), a closeup of the cave entrance, and a the interior of the cave with stalagmites and stalagtites [sic] and a sign saying “Illearth Stone” and pointing downwards to the Stone which is below the cave floor. On the right-hand side is a closeup of the Illearth Stone, which has odd symbols on it and which when unearthed gives off radiating light and possibly gases.

Niall’s chart (26:24) shows a mountain, a maze inside the mountain, and one of the passageways from the maze leading to the Illearth Stone—which is guarded in its chamber by a “cat-spider creature”. There is also an “old man of the mountain” who will stab you with a sword if you encounter him.

The “post-coital” segment begins at 26:55.

They tell Niall they’re sorry that his life is full of despair, and Julie asks “have you considered turning to alcohol or my bosom?” (27:03) while hugging his head to her chest (which Heatherly also does).

Heatherly says that her favorite part when they called the “Ranynyn” (27:19).

Julie says that her favorite part was when “Lord Valium” decided to put on pants for the quest (27:36).

Niall says that his favorite part is when they all got on horses and rode away (27:44).

After the credits, there is a still shot of a statue, with the words “Fantasy Bedtime Hour Productions” to the left of the statue, with a voiceover of Heatherly saying “Oh my god!” and Julie saying “I know! That’s hot!”. The statue is from Powerscourt Gardens in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland.

###Words Defined
Chimera: A mythological monster, made up of very differing parts. Also has overtones of unreality—something important in its usage on page 269 which I don’t make clear in the episode when I define it as “a monster from mythology”.
Unassoiled: Unabsolved. Niall incorrectly defines it as “not soiled” in the episode.
Corridor: A passage or hallway, connecting rooms (or rooms and entrances, etc.).

First appearance of “the Ranynin”, 11:08.
First announcement/acknowledgement of a casting switch, 13:13.
First display of two “expert jackets” at the same time, 21:42.
First use of “Fantasy Bedtime Hour Productions” clip, 28:31.

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One Response to “AFBH 20: Pages 271-281”

  1. Cameraman Jenn Says:

    Isn’t it Osondrea who makes hand gestures behind Prothall’s back..

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