AFBH 25: Pages 364-375

02:42 Wed 25 Oct 2006
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Episode 25. Covenant tries to make a deal.

Covenant summons the Ranyhyn, and a shocking lack of chart-writing.

362-372 according to the site, but seems more like 364-375 (which is what the action sequence says). Starts with “But Lithe was there” (approximately) (p364), ends with “‘They reared to him’” (p375).

Steve O


Heatherly and Julie are both reading Lord Foul’s Bane. Heatherly’s edition is new to the show, and Julie asks her what it is. She says it’s Lord Foul’s Bane, but Julie says it’s not because her copy is Lord Foul’s Bane. Heatherly says she wouldn’t be reading any other book but Lord Foul’s Bane, and Julie replis “oh really?”, prompting a flashback to Episode 4 (02:08-02:55).

Heatherly jolts Julie out of her reveries and tells her she has to let that go if they’re going to continue, and that Heatherly is not the same person she was 21 episodes ago. Then she explains that the book is Lord Foul’s Bane with different cover art (03:17), and they make up.

The usual intro is done in black and white, with a lot of intent staring and odd camera angles.

###Analysis of Pages

Heatherly begins by saying “oh my god Julie, they’re still on the quest!” (04:25), and continues by saying that they finally get to Manhome and that Covenant is still on hunger strike. When she relates how Covenant encounters a shy young Ramen girl who’s no more that fifteen or sixteen, Julie grits her teeth (04:41). Heatherly says that the girl reaches out to put flowers on him, and that Covenant is so hungry that the smell makes him want to vomit chunks of emptiness (p365) (04:52). She goes over Covenant’s rejection of Winhome Gay, and Foamfollower’s explanation that Covenant is ‘testing them’.

She continues with Foamfollower’s laughter at Winhome Gay’s retort, and says that everyone laughs with Foamfollower without knowing why. She reads “for a long moment, he threw out gales as if he were blowing debris from his soul” (p366) (05:39).

She says that they go to a feast, and follow it with singing and dancing, and that Covenant just sits there and doesn’t really respond to anything, and that he starts “tripping” (06:00). Heatherly continues with “she stood with her legs slightly apart, so that he could see the bloody coals of the fire between her thighs” (p369) (06:10), and says that Covenant then starts freaking out about Lena and flings Winhome Gay aside while thinkining “Lena, what have I done?” (p369) (06:25).

She describes how “Mormon” tries to calm Covenant down, but that he refuses to be calmed and then tells them to call the “Ranynyn”, shocking “Lilith” and the Ramen. She says that they do call the “Ranynyn”, that Covenant grabs Pietten to take him out of the horses’ path, and that Covenant figures out that the horses are scared of him (p373) (07:14).

She recounts how Covenant refuses to choose any of the “Ranyhyn”, but insists that one of them, once a year, must visit Lena. After the horses leave, the Ramen are deeply impressed because they reared to Covenant (p375).

Heatherly says it’s good to see Covenant having some remorse, and Julie agrees (08:01), and then asks about Covenant “blowing chunks”. She wants to know what “chunks of emptiness” means (08:12). Julie says that Heatherly read a lot, but that all she can remember is Covenant wanting to blow chunks of emptiness and the chunks of Foamfollower’s soul. She wants to know why there are so many vomit references, but Heatherly doesn’t have an answer.

When the company arrives at Manhome, Covenant still hasn’t eaten, and is as unwilling as ever to accept any honor or even welcome. When Foamfollower laughs at Winhome Gay’s chiding (p365), Covenant turns away because he finds it tempting to fall into easy camaraderie—as well as into a variety of other attractions, all of which he thinks will kill him.

He is quiet and aloof through the meal they have, and afterwards. He is running through his own mind, apparently expecting to find some failing or failings in it. He reaches the following point:
> Behind him was the impossibility of believing the Land true. And before him was the impossibility of believing it false.
> —p369

Covenant has been clinging to the idea that the Land was false for most of the novel. At this point he can’t continue believing that in good faith, but he doesn’t have any real idea where to go from there.

He is interrupted in his thoughts by Winhome Gay, who tells him he must eat. She reminds him of Lena, and in the background he hears Prothall talking about him and the Wraiths of Andelain. He jumps up, trying to fend off the memories, and then comes to the conclusion that what he had done to Lena was just like what the ur-viles had done to the Wraits, and he concludes that “he had been serving Lord Foul since his first day in the Land” (p370). He continues to talk to himself, struggling, but when Mhoram asks him what he has done, instead of answering he tells the Ramen to summon the Ranyhyn.

Lithe does so, despite protesting that the Ranyhyn are not to be called, especially at night. The horses do come, a hundred of them, more than most of the Ramen have ever seen together. They surround Covenant, clearly disturbed. Pietten runs through the equine press to protest, saying that the horses hate Covenant (p373). Covenant grabs him out of harm’s way, and then sees that the Ranyhyn are afraid of him. He thinks that this is due to fear of the wild magic—a fear presumably increased by the taint that Foul has put on Covenant’s ring. For his part, Covenant is nearly incoherent, addressing the Ranyhyn as if they were the Land. He tells them that he doesn’t want any of them, that they and the Land have to “back off” and not ask so much of him. He tells them that they must come if he calls, and that one of them must visit Lena once a year. Then he lets them go(p374).

Everyone else is shocked at this, that so many Ranyhyn came to Covenant, and that they reared to him (p375).

###Key Misunderstandings

###Action Sequence

The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 08:41.

It opens with the following scrolling text (08:58):

> pg. 363
> “There at last was
> Manhome…
> Lilith [sic] was there
> and she walked lightly
> out to meet
> the company…
> As the riders got
> down from their horses,
> each was greeted
> by a smiling
> Winhome.”

We hear “Lilith” welcoming them to Manhome, and then we see Covenant checking out Winhome Gay (who is male in this action sequence) as he passes by. Gay places a garland of ballons around the neck of “Lord Mormon”, kisses him on the cheek, and says “aloha” (09:13), then does the same with Prothall and Bannor. When he tries to do the same thing with Covenant, Covenant knocks the balloons away and coughs/retches before saying “Fuck!” (09:30). Gay says “I’m Winhome Gay. I’m here to care for you” and Covenant replies “I don’t need anything! Don’t touch me! And by the way, maybe you didn’t get the note, I’m a leper!” (09:42).

Foamfollower then tells Gay not to be sad, that Covenant does not speak his heart. Gay says that he’s not so little, the Giant is just huge, and that Gay is almost old enough to be a Cord like Rustah. Foamfollower bursts out laughing at this, and (while laughing) says that it’s the debris coming from his soul (10:17). The rest of the group also laugh, except for Covenant, who stands stony-faced at first, later perplexed. Gay also looks perplexed. They keep laughing until Gay says “hey everyone, let’s go to the feast! Who wants chicken?” (11:07). Everyone leaves with Gay, except for Covenant, who shakes his head.

We then see the group after their repast, obviously sated. One of them (a Bloodguard or one of the Eoman) suggests singing, and the rest agree, “Lord Mormon” saying “Sing! I feel a song coming on, oh yeah!” (11:34).

We see the following scrolling text, which “Mormon” reads/sings lounge/karaoke-style (11:47):

> pg. 362
> “Time and again
> mighty horses
> cantered by.
> Glancing aside
> at the riders
> with laughter
> in their eyes
> and keen,
> shimmering calls
> in their throats,
> added a spring
> to the strides
> of the Cords.
> Feed and drink
> coat gloss gleam.”

This is not quite verbatim from the text. From “Time and again” to “of the Cords” is prose from p363, while “Feed and drink/coat gloss gleam” is a rephrased snippet from the song that Grace and Thew sing.

The song continues as we see the entire group singing, now karaoke-style to the tune of “I Will Survive”, the rest of the Cords’ song from p363:

You are the marrow of the earth.
No rein will cub, or bit control—
no claw or fang unpunished rend;
no horse-blood drop without the healing grass.
We are the Ramen, born to serve:
Manethrall curry,
Cord protect,
Winhome hearth and bed anneal—
our feet do not bear our hearst away.
Grass-grown hooves, and forehead starts;
hocks and withers earth-wood bloom:
regal Ranynyn[in the text, Ranyhyn], gallop, run—
we serve the Tail of the Sky,
Mane of the World

[this line is taken from the start of the song:] Run Ranynyn,
[this line is not in the text:] oh Ranynyn
[this line is after "Run Ranyhyn" and in the text is "gallop, play—":] gallop and play

The song (and dance) ends at 13:02.

Covenant is thinking, and we can hear him muttering about whether the Land is real or false. He says that either way is impossible to believe, and then contemplates a hypothetical situation involving 16 cats running around at his wedding, half of which were sneezing and the other half made out of dog hair, but does not finish the thought because he sees Gay and is distracted by lust before telling himself to think unsexy thoughts (13:33). These are “women my own age” and “Foamfollower naked”, after which he thinks he’s calmed down (13:42).

Gay approaches him with a flower, which Covenant knocks out of Gay’s hand. Gay tries again with a water bottle, with the same result. Then Covenant, looking at Gay, takes food out of his own pocket and knocks it out of his own hand (13:53).

Gay urges Covenant to take food, and Covenant knocks him aside (13:59) and starts off before falling into a fetal position and saying “Lena! Lena! She was wrong! I couldn’t help it, I’m a leper!” (14:12).

“Lord Mormon” rushes to his side and asks him what’s wrong, reminding him that they are guests. Covenant yells “I will not be waited on by children! I will survive! You hear me, I’ll survive!” (14:25). “Lilith” comes over and asks Covenant who he is, and Prothall takes her by the arm and says “he holds wild magic that destroys peace. We must forgive him—[sotto voce:]or else he’ll destroy peace, don’t piss him off” (14:40). Covenant leaps up a moment later and shouts “Call the Ranynyn!” (14:45).

“Lilith” says “What? I ain’t callin’ the Ranynyn for nobody.” The Cords echo her reaction. Prothall says maybe she should just call them.

We see the following scrolling text (15:04):

> pg. 371
> “Manethrall Lilith [sic]
> gave a shrill cry.
> Shortly there came
> a rumbling of
> hooves.
> Scores of Ranynin [sic]
> approached.”

We then see Ranynyn running. On of them (subtitled) says “This better be fucking good…” (15:16) followed by “Or I’m kicking some Manethrall ass!” (15:25).

Pietten says “Oh my god, the horses!” and runs toward them, prompting Covenant to grab him and shuot “doesn’t anybody watch these damn kids?” (15:41). Pietten’s response is “I hate you. The horses hate you. You’re not my dad.” (15:43). Covenant keeps hold of him as the Ranynyn arrive, one of them saying (subtitled) “Holy fuck! It’s that halfhand asshole!” (15:53) followed by “I can’t believe I got out of bed for this!” (15:55), “I’m terrified! He can control us!” (15:59) and “Good thing HE doesn’t know that!” (16:04).

Covenant says “wait a second! I think I can hear your stupid horse-thoughts. You guys are afraid of me, aren’t you?” (16:14). He then roars in the face of each of the Ranynyn as they cower back from him. When he’s done with that, he says “I don’t want the responsibility. I don’t choose any of you. Except you!” and points at a white Ranynyn, who says (subtitled) “Shit!”. Covenant says “you’ve got to visit Lena at least once a year”, with the reply (subtitled) “Fine.”. Covenant says “and let her pet you”, with the reply (subtitled) “Fine.”. Covenant says “and ride you!”, with the reply (subtitled) “OK…”. Covenant says “and name you”, with the reply (subtitled) “FINE.” (16:44)

We see Grace, “Lilith”, and Rustah complaining about the fact that the “Ranynyn” showed such respect to Covenant.

The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 16:55


The expert is Steve-O, who appears at 17:12. He is wearing the expert jacket. Julie says that it’s exciting to have such a homeless and knowledgeable expert. Julie asks if he’s really homeless, to which he says “no” (17:34). Steve says that he read Lord Foul’s Bane about three times (17:58). He says that he only understood it once (18:03).

Steve gives them a gift of a “Thomas Covenant candle holder” (19:01).

Julie asks how Gay has coals burning between her legs. Steve says that this was metaphorical, referring to the temptation as Covenant has a teenage girl thing (19:56).

Julie asks what’s up with Gay’s name, and whether Steven R. Donaldson meant to make characters like “Gay” and “Sore-anal” (20:26). Steve laughs, then says that Donaldson might be a little repressed.

Julie wants to know why Gay is so attracted to Covenant, and whether he’s “super hot” (21:25). Steve says that he’s attractive to people in the Land because his looks are exotic to them.

Julie asks if Covenant is ever going to eat again. Steve says he doesn’t know, that Covenant is in denial. Julie asks if they’ll have to put a feeding tube in him, and whether they have feeding tubes in the Land. Steve says he’ll have to check the sequels for that (22:15). Heatherly says that she doesn’t think they have the technology for that, but Julie says that it’s not about technology, they just need a tube.

Heatherly asks about Foamfollower laughing (p366) and wants to know why everyone laughed and what it means that he was laughing so hard he was blowing debris from his soul. Steve says Foamfollower has what’s called an infectious laugh, and that that comes from being a giant. Heatherly likens this ability to the Jolly Green Giant, and Steve agrees that it’s similar. They discuss whether all giants are jolly, and Julie brings up the “fee fi fo fum” giant, who they agree is not jolly (23:24).

They want to know what Covenant meant when he says “She was wrong” (p369) (23:37). Steve claims that “wrong” here is meant more like “ill”, that “she” didn’t have “that health, that rightness of the Land” (23:50). They speculate that Lena might have been retarded, and Julie objects to the idea that this would make a difference. Cameraman Jenn says that “she was wrong” means that Covenant thinks Lena was wrong in believing that he was Berek Halfhand (24:25). (Note that it could also mean that Covenant thinks Lena was wrong to treat him decently, or to (try to) heal him, or that he thinks Atiaran was wrong to believe he could save the Wraiths, although the Lena-related explanations are more likely valid.)

They want to know how Covenant communicated with the horses, and Julie asks if he is a “horse-whisperer” (24:51). Steve says he thinks Covenant was speaking English. Julie asks if Covenant angers the Ramen due to his speaking to them and treating them that way. Steve says that this is what Covenant does, comes to the Land and does stuff that nobody else can do. Julie asks if this is all due to his white gold ring (25:30). Steve says he thinks that it’s because the people in the Land believe the ring has the power. Heatherly asks if the white gold is a placebo, and Steve says that it is sort of a placebo (25:48). He also says it’s a kind of super-identification, the only one that Covenant needed, plus half a hand. Steve agrees with Julie that “Mormon” could wear the ring, chop off part of his hand, and assume the same role.

There is no chart-writing in this episode(!).

The “post-coital” segment begins at 26:41.

Heatherly says that her favorite part was when Foamfollower got his soul cleaned by blowing out all that debris (27:02).

Julie says that her favorite part was when “that kid got all insolent with Thomas Covenant” (27:14).

Steve says that his favorite part was Covenant sending the Ranyhyn to visit Lena once a year (27:30).

The end credits feature clips of Covenant being lecherous, and “Mormon” saying “kiss me!” to Gay.

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

First appearance of ‘new?’ ‘old?’ trade paperback edition of Lord Foul’s Bane, 01:54 (I need a publication date/other details about this edition)
First appearance of Winhome Gay, 09:05
First expert without a chart

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