AFBH 22: Pages 315-325

23:59 Sun 22 Oct 2006. Updated: 10:38 25 Oct 2006
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Episode 22. Ambush.

The company comes under attack.

315-325. Starts with “the woman vacillated between lucidity and incoherence” (approximately) (p315), ends with “hot sparks that dazzled and singed the air” (p324).



Heatherly starts out by saying that the next Fantasy Action Sequence will be amazing because of what’s going on in the book. Julie asks what she’s reading, and Heatherly says it’s Lord Foul’s Bane, to which Julie says it looks surprisingly like the version that just got signed by Steven R. Donaldson—and then produces that signed version (02:18). She reads the inscription: “To the girls who cannot hope.” (This appears to be a reference to my inscription from Episode 15, in turn a reference to the title of the second chapter of Lord Foul’s Bane, “You Cannot Hope”.)

Heatherly asks where she got it signed, Julie says “Borders”, and Heatherly complains about not being invited along. Cameraman Jenn then shows her Jenn’s signed copy of The Runes of the Earth (02:36). They then look at the Steven R. Donaldson’s photo at the back of The Runes of the Earth and comment that he’s hot.

They then give the usual spiel, with Heatherly annoyed that they didn’t bring her along to the signing (they claim that she was passed out).

###Analysis of Pages

A number of times during this reading, the camera switches from one side of the bed to the other, and catches the girls off guard, necessitating their turning around once they notice.

Heatherly says that there’s so much going on in this part of the book. She recaps that they had just gone to “Flaming Woodhelven”, which was in flames and that they had dug trenches to bury the dead Woodhelven, and then they have lunch, and then two Bloodguard find a woman and a boy alive (04:10). Covenant recognizes the woman as Llaura (p316) (04:20).

Heatherly describes how Llaura can’t seem to speak coherently, and that Prothall asks her a number of yes/no questions, and that they give her some hurtloam (p319) (04:51)—and when that works, she starts screaming that it’s an ambush (p320) (05:00). Heatherly describes the reaction of the company as “freaking the fuck out”, but in fact they mount a relatively orderly defense at that point, except for Covenant, Tamarantha, and Variol. Heatherly describes their defensive preparations, but presents them as panic rather than anything else.

She says that Covenant just stood there (05:42), thinking about how much Lord Foul is just evil, and that Covenant notices that Tamarantha and Variol are not hiding.

She describes the advance of the Cavewights and ur-viles, and says “there was a griffin, too!” (06:48), to which Julie says “sweet!”, and Covenant’s cowering in the trenches. She then recounts how Prothall and Mhoram attack the enemy with their staffs (p322) (07:21), causing the ur-viles and Cavewights to fall back. She also reads “the company was outnumbered ten to one” (p323) (07:57). They get confused by the line Prothall shouting “warnings and orders about him”, thinking that it means “about himself” rather than “around him” (8:12), before continuing to describe how Foamfollower fought alone.

She continues with how Tamarantha and Variol are still alone, and how Mhoram struggled against the ur-viles and their loremaster (p324) (09:08), then ends the reading with “the rest is ‘to be continued’”.

As the “The Analysis?” title comes up on screen, Heatherly says the doesn’t feel like doing an analysis right now (09:19), and Julie calls her a dotard, and they back and forth calling each other dotards until Julie suggests that they should just watch the action sequence (09:31), and Heatherly assents.

They skip over the fact that the child, Pietten son of Soranal, has clearly been harmed in some odd way. Furthermore, what disturbs Covenant the most about their ambush and Llaura’s inability to properly warn them, is the fact that it was mostly unnecessary—Foul could have simply attacked, but he set the whole thing up to let them know how helpless they are, to push them towards despair (p320).

The company hides in the trenches to lure the attackers in, and this succeeds fairly well. The Cavewights think that only the company’s horses are their prize, and are disappointed (p322). It is significant that Covenant takes a very pessimistic view, “the whole company was helpless in the trenches” (p322). Clearly, they are far from helpless, as they attack shortly thereafter. Their odds are poor, but Prothall and Mhoram are powerful, and Foamfollower and the Bloodguard are also powerful combatants. The Bloodguard, however, are hampered by having to protect Tamarantha and Variol, who are lying in the middle of the combat. Mhoram struggles against the ur-viles, combined behind their loremaster; Prothall struggles with the griffin, which is protected from Prothall’s magic by an ur-vile riding it and fending off Prothall’s attacks; Foamfollower is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of Cavewights (p325).

###Key Misunderstandings

Llaura’s affliction is part of a devious but unnecessary setup by Lord Foul.

Llaura has been ensorcelled by the ur-vile loremaster, and does not have Tourette’s Syndrome.

Prothall questions Llaura, not Mhoram.

Prothall is giving orders and warnings around him from the center of the battle.

###Action Sequence

The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 09:28.

It opens with the following scrolling text (09:53):

> pg. 314
> “most of the warriers [sic]
> were done eating,
> and the sun
> was about to set,
> when their
> attention was
> snatched erect
> by a distant hail.”

We then see the company staggering around, and then two Bloodguard bringing Pietten and Llaura to the main group (10:02). Covenant looks at them (10:10), and Pietten then repeats “the horror” (subtitled) several times to him. From 10:29-10:44 Covenant has a flashback to Episode 11, Llaura beating him with the “lominator”. Llaura tries to tell them what happened, but has a lot of trouble doing so, prompting Bannor to say that she might have Tourette’s Syndrome (10:59). She collapses as she tries to talk to them, and is grabbed by “Lord Mormon”, who holds her head tightly while saying “nod your head to answer me” (11:19). The fourth question he asks deviates from the text: “did they take your medication?”.

Prothall asks her for a physical description of the ur-vile master (11:43), clearly a ridiculous request given that she can barely speak. He tries to get her to sign, or to describe with her face. “Lord Mormon” continues with better questions, including “did he prevent you from speaking certain things? (11:57). “Lord Valium” appears with Vick’s Baby Rum that he claims is hurtloam (12:14). “Lord Mormon” then proceeds to rub this on Llaura’s breasts while the rest of the company watches.

After a fadeout, Llaura is smoking a cigarette (12:51), and then recovers enough to tell them that it’s an ambush. This prompts panic, particularly from “Lord Valium”, who starts running around asking what they should do. The whole company runs around while Tamarantha and “Lord Variol” lie down on a blanket (13:37). This prompts “Lord Mormon” to tell them they can’t go to bed right then, and then two Bloodguard stand over them (13:46).

This is followed by scrolling text (13:49):

> pg. 321
> “Covenant rusked a glance…
> and saw the glade
> surrounded by
> black forms and
> hot laval eyes.”

We then see the ur-viles (13:53), and battle is joined. Prothall shouts what sound like useless commands (“attack”, “get him”). “Lord Mormon” shouts “I call upon the power of the Earth! The Stone Lions! Anyone? Anyone?” (14:23). Foamfollower charges in wielding his two red suitcases (14:29), followed by one of the white “Ranynyn”. He is beaten to the ground (14:58), but recovers and scatters the ur-viles before him with the suitcases.

There is a cut to scrolling text (15:11):

> pg. 324
> “Meanwhile Covenant
> found Mormon waging a
> weird contest with
> thirty or forty
> ur-viles.”

We see “Lord Mormon” fighting with what is presumably the ur-vile leader (he is wielding the “Darth Maul” two-bladed lightsaber), and then there is a cut to “To be continued…”

The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 15:25.


The expert is Barbara, who appears on screen at 15:41. She is wearing the expert jacket. She has read Lord Foul’s Bane three or four times (16:23) and understood it almost once (16:29).

Heatherly asks what was going on with “Lord Valium” and Tamarantha lying down on a blanket for the whole thing (16:45). Barbara says that they knew they were going to die, and that they wanted to sacrifice themselves so that resources weren’t wasted to protect them. (Which, it must be noted, failed utterly if that had been their intent, as the Bloodguard and others had to struggle mightily to protect them, at significant tactical disadvantage.) Heatherly points out that the group did waste resources to protect them, and Julie calls it “the lamest shit I’ve ever heard (17:36).

Julie then asks what the deal was with Foamfollower and “that luggage” (17:42) and his berserker-like attack. Barbara ignores the “luggage” aspect and says that Foamfollower had “some issues”, and that the Giants deep at heart are very violent creatures who keep themselves tame most of the time.

They then speculate on what “Giantish curses” sound like, but don’t come up with anything. They ask Barbara if, if she were a Giant, her battle cry would have anything to do with her cleavage.

Heatherly asks if, when Foamfollower threw Llaura and Pietten into the ditch and covered them with the iron plate, he crushed and killed them (19:07). Barbara tells her no, that he was hiding them. Julie comments that the ‘trench’ was really a grave, that it’s a scary place to hide people, and that they should have just thrown Tamarantha and “Valium” into a grave (19:29), and Heatherly says it would have been nicer if they themselves had thrown themselves into a grave. Barbara agrees with this, and then Julie suggests that they should have smothered each other with pillows (19:40).

Julie goes over how Llaura was unable to speak until they treat her with hurtloam, and asks about the nature of hurtloam, and compares it to a variety of modern pharmaceutical products, and then asks if that really cures Tourette’s (20:35). Barbara points out that it can cure leprosy, and so it should be able to cure Tourette’s. Julie is impressed and says it must be a crazy healing thing “like Neosporrin“.

Julie then asks “what’s up with that kid? He’s Soranal’s kid” (20:53). Barbara says that they did something to him, and essentially “fried his brain” (21:17). Heatherly and Julie are sympathetic to his plight, and Heatherly says that even though Thomas Covenant is a whiny little bitch, she’s pissed off and wants the quest succeed, because its enemies do things like burning down “Flaming Woodhelven” (21:42). Julie says she wants the quest to succeed too, but that she’s forgotten what the point of it is (21:50). Barbara reminds her that it’s to get the Staff of Law, and that if they get that, they get “an extra few years”.

Heatherly asks Barbara what a griffin is (22:04). Julie claims that she asked this in the previous episode, although I think Heatherly actually asked Len the definition of kresh. Barbara defines it as half-eagle, half-lion. Julie asks how that occurs in nature, whether lions and eagles have sex, and Barbara says it takes a lot of alcohol to get it done. Julie then jokes about Lord Foul’s evil laboratory, where animals are drunk and crossbreeding.

They start chart-writing at 23:23, on the topic of “What do you think the standard of beauty is for ur-viles?”.

Chart-writing ends at 24:07.

After chart-writing, Heatherly and Julie are both staring at Barbara’s cleavage. Heatherly asks Julie whose boobs she thinks are bigger, this expert or the last female expert they had. Julie says that’s a tough question, that they both had a very ample set of boobs. Then Cameraman Jenn says “Girls? Charts” (24:25) and they return their attention to the charts.

Julie’s chart (24:35) shows a somewhat demon-looking figure. She says that the ur-vile standard is a combination of a square jaw and a cleft chin, with lipstick and a monocle and top hat, and that asymmetry is key for the ur-viles, as are body hair, stink lines, flies, and tattoos (her drawing has a tattoo, in the shape of a heart, reading “HATE”).

Heatherly’s chart (25:16) shows two similar-looking heads, both somewhat demonic and cheerful in aspect, and she says that she focused on the difference between male and female ur-viles. She posits that the male ur-viles have broader noses, more nose hair, and two sharp fangs, while the female has a longer and thinner nose, much less nose hair, and three sharp fangs. Julie says that they look like theater masks.

Barbara’s chart (26:02) shows a “Miss Ur-Vile” contest. It features three lizard-like figures. They have tails and scales and are wearing swimsuits. The winners have a lot of cleavage and horns. The third figure, the loser, is described as cute and fluffy and has a bow in her hair and not a lot of cleavage.

The “post-coital” segment begins at 26:38.

Julie says that her favorite part of pagse 314-324 was when they found out where griffins come from (27:04).

Heatherly says that her favorite part was when Foamfollower went “totally aggro and let out that battle cry and started totally kicking ass (27:18).

Barbara says that her favorite part was when Foamfollower threw them in the grave and covered them with the iron (27:31)—at which point the main picture of Berek on the wall behind her falls on her head. Julie says “I take it back, that’s my favorite part” (27:37).

The end credits feature “Lord Mormon’s” lascivious facial expressions, presumably as he’s applying the “hurtloam” to Llaura.

There’s no “Fantasy Bedtime Hour Productions” clip at the end of this episode.

###Words Defined
griffin: lion-like beast with wings. This is presented in the book as a word from the Land, and the definition is from the Lord Foul’s Bane glossary, p477. It is also an English word, meaning a mythical beast that has a lion’s body and the wings and head of an eagle (Barbara defines it as half-eagle, half-lion).

First episode without “The Analysis” section, 09:37
FIrst action sequence to end with “To be continued…”, 15:25

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One Response to “AFBH 22: Pages 315-325”

  1. Julie Says:

    Awesome (as usual). However, I don’t think Barbara would appreciate this:
    “Barbara says that his favorite part was when…”

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