Episode 30. Invitation to a betrayal.
Lord Foul plans a social event, and what Lord Foul’s Bane has to do with biochemistry.
Starts with “Thousands had already left their Wightwarrens” (p403), ends with “and the last four Bloodguard” (p408).
Dr. Lev O
The episode begins with Julie reading Lord Foul’s Bane (saying “Foamfollower says something like ‘blah, blah, blah’”) and Heatherly looking bored. She says “Hey, Julie, I’m bored, can we go to bed now?” (02:03). Julie hits her with the book and says “Heatherly, don’t be such a pussy. I don’t understand this negative attitude you seem to get around Christmas.” Heatherly replies “I wonder what life would be like if we’d never done Fantasy Bedtime Hour.” (02:12). As she does this, a man wearing a santa hat and white underwear walks over to her side of the bed. Julie notices him and shies back, pulling Heatherly with her. Julie says “who are you?” (02:18). He says “Girls, I am the ghost of Christmas past” (02:21) This causes the two of them to rejoice loudly, but he disappoints them by saying “I’m sorry, I can’t have sex with you, because I’m a ghost” (02:33). They’re upset by this, and there’s an intertitle saying “And so…” (02:39).
We then see the ghost between Heatherly and Julie in the bed, telling them that he’s taking them on a magical journey to see what life would be like if they had never existed.
The first stop on this journey is their bed, where Cameraman Jenn is filming Moose. She’s saying “Hey mooskerdoodle, he’s cuter than your poodle, he wiggles like a noodle, ’cause he’s my mooskerdoodle” (03:16). Julie says that this is sad, and they feel sorry for Jenn. They ask if there’s any discussion of Lord Foul’s Bane (or, Heatherly says, Sword of Shannara), and ask if that’s all that happens, and say that they’re bored and the show sucks.
The second stop is me in their bed, with Moose on my lap. I’m holding the red and white trade paperback version of Lord Foul’s Bane and am wearing the expert jacket. I scratch Moose’s head and say “the thing is, Covenant has been ostracized by the community in which he lives and he’s trying to find some ways to keep himself included, including very minor things like…” and then stop, because Moose isn’t listening. Julie and Heatherly, throughout this, are trying to figure out what I’m doing, and realize as I continue that I appear to be trying to tell Moose about Lord Foul’s Bane. They comment on how sad this is, saying “poor Tadhg—and poor Jenn, she’s filming it” as I say to Moose “you realize that he’s a leper, yes?” (04:21).
The third stop is a gravestone for Adult Gladiator, stating that he died in 2005. Heatherly says “Oh my god, it’s Adult Gladiator! Adult Gladiator’s dead! Noooooooo!” (04:42)
The dream (yes children, it was a dream—or was it?) ends as Heatherly and Julie thrash around in bed, waking at the same time and sitting up (04:45). Julie says “Oh my god, I had the weirdest dream!” Heatherly pulls the ghost’s white underwear from under the covers and says “Oh my god! Or was it?” (04:53). Then they both smeel the underwear deeply. Repeatedly.
They then do the usual spiel, while wearing Santa hats.
###Analysis of Pages
Heatherly starts to recap where they left off, saying that Foamfollower had gone crazy and wanted to attack the Cavewights below them, when Julie interrupts and says that she thinks that it would be a tragedy if they didn’t welcome the holidays with a satisfying glass of Rémy Martin VSOP (05:55). Heatherly says that will go well with a bag of goldfish crackers, which she holds up. “www.fantasybedtimehour.com” is written on the bag.
She says that they prevented Foamfollower from going after the Cavewights, and that they are resuming on page 403. She describes the thousands of Cavewights leaving Mount Thunder. Then she says “Foamfollower!” (06:35), and her voice echoes loudly. (She is reading the line “Foamfollower!” from p403).
She continues by saying that “Lord Mormon” comes up behind Covenant and tells him about the history of where they are—that it was there that Foul revealed his true self to Kevin, there that saw the first open blow of the war that ended in the Ritual of Desecration.
She says that he explains that long before, Kevin was doubting Foul (Heatherly says that she thinks they were friends at the time). She says that Kevin got a funny feeling when he was around him, while on the down low Foul was making despicable plots to screw over the Council of the Lords. She relates how Kevin felt ashamed of his feelings about Foul and tried to override those feelings by trusting him even more (07:26), sending all his friends to the spawning crypts.
She says that when they got to Treacher’s Gorge, they were ambushed and slaughtered (p404) (07:33), kicking off the war.
She continues “so Thomas Covenant asked Mormon ‘Foamfollower!’” (07:42) and her voice echoes loudly again. She says that Covenant wants to know why “Mormon” stopped the Bloodguard, and that “Mormon” replies that Foamfollower is his friend, and that Prothall is not defenceless. When Covenant asks if he could be a Raver, “Mormon” says that Tuvor spoke truly, that this is impossible. She says that Covenant insists that something is hurting Foamfollower, that he thinks that Drool or something will prevent the Giants from going home, to which “Mormon” replies “so do I”. Then she says, again with loud echoing, “Foamfollower!” (p405) (08:20).
She then covers Prothall telling the company that they must enter the catacombs, and that any who wish to leave should do so. Then she says that Foamfollower returns, cannot fit into the catacombs, and will remain outside to guard the entrance.
She reads “The Questers took positions. Prothall, Birinair, and the two Bloodguard followed First mark Tuvor. Then came Mormon, Lilith, Bannor, Covenant, and Korik. Then came Warhaft Quaan, his fourteen warriors, and the last four Bloodguard.” (Except for the names of Mhoram and Lithe, this is a paragraph from p408.) (09:09)
Julie says the Heatherly kept saying “Foamfollower!”, and her first question is “how did you get a reverb on your voice?” (09:30). Heatherly explains that it’s a postproduction effect that they do when they’re editing. Julie accepts this and asks “why did you keep on saying ‘Foamfollower!’ throughout that entire reading?” (09:40). Heatherly replies that Steven R. Donaldson said it in the book, and points out the line on page 405, and says that it has its very own paragraph with an exclamation point and everything (09:53). Jluie asks why Steven R. Donaldson would just write ‘Foamfollower!’ and asks if he does that anywhere else in the book. Heatherly says no, and hypothesizes that Foamfollower, off brooding somewhere, is sending off psychic vibes to keep a high sense of drama or something (10:18). Julie then suggests that perhaps it’s a subliminal message Steven R. Donaldson is putting in so that the readers would buy products, like Rémy Martin, or goldfish crackers. Heatherly says “or chocolate mousse”. Julie says “Or Foam… follower… books.” (10:30)
Covenant sees the cavewights that had angered Foamfollower, and is gravely concerned and upset about what the Giant must be going through. He can’t stand the thought that Foamfollower and his people will be denied their Home by creatures like the Cavewight, but also can’t accept that killing is the only answer (p403).
Mhoram tells Covenant the history of Treacher’s Gorge. Foul was a Lord who Kevin did not trust, but Kevin felt ashamed at this, and when the Lords were invited to the spawning crypts of the ur-viles on a pretext, Kevin didn’t go due to his unease—but his shame at this unease led him to send a number of close friends instead. They were killed by the ur-viles, and then Foul’s armies began to march, starting the war. Kevin fought against Foul, but despaired because he had sent his friends to their doom, and “there was no hope” (p405).
Covenant asks Mhoram if Foamfollower is still laughing, and Mhoram tells him that he is sitting quietly singing. They discuss the altercation between Foamfollower and Prothall, with Covenant asking why Mhoram prevented the Bloodguard from intervening. Mhoram says that Foamfollower is his friend, and also that Prothall was not defenceless, and that Foamfollower could not be a Raver. Covenant says that Foamfollower things that Drool will prevent the Giants from going home, and Mhoram says that he also believes this.
Prothall asks that before they enter the catacombs, any who wish to leave should do so. The Eoman elect to stay with the group, and Lithe says that she will also, while leaving her Cords behind to guard the horses (p407). Foamfollower is too large to fit in the catacombs, and he remains behind to guard the entrance. He reminds the company to remember the Oath of Peace, saying that it is their lifeline against Foul’s ploys. Then the party, twenty-nine strong, head down Treacher’s Gorge (p408).
The “Foamfollower!” lines are from Covenant’s thoughts. Covenant is deeploy worried about the Giant.
The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 10:43.
It opens with Foamfollower choking Prothall, then coughing and laughing. This is a scene from the previous episode‘s action sequence.
We see Coveant at 11:08, unsure of what to make of Foamfollower and Prothall. He is standing on the edge of a drop, and looks down. When he does, we see the Cavewights Foamfollower wanted to attack—represented by a clip of orcs marching from The Lord of the Rings (11:14). Covenant calls them “ur-viles” and says that Foamfollower is “bad ass” for wanting to kill all of them (11:22).
We then see “Lord Mormon”, who says “Here below us is Treacher’s Gorge, where was struck the first blow that started the open war which ended in the Ritual of Desecration, ten times a hundred years ago (11:38). Then he turns towards the camera and says “which is a thousand years” (11:40).
A flashback scene begins at 11:40, and we see a kind of skull with glowing red eyes. “Mormon” provides the voiceover, saying that before that time, Kevin doubted Lord Foul without knowing why. At 11:46 we see Lord Foul, who is holding Moose and sitting in a room lit only by candles. Foul is saying to Moose “who’s the foulest? Who’s the foulest? You’re the foulest, yes you are” (11:50). “Mormon” continues “For the Despiser had enacted no ill which Kevin could discover” (11:54). Foul tells Moose to go play and puts him on the ground, as “Mormon” says that Kevin showed trust for Foul out of shame for his doubt. As “Mormon” narrates that a message came through Foul’s plotting from the Demondim of Mount Thunder, we see Foul start to compose a letter. Foul, writing, says “Dear Kevin Landwaster, you and your friends are cordially invited to the spawning of the ur-viles. Spawning ensues—no, too much—begins promptly at six p.m., dinner and refreshments follow at eight p.m., ballroom dancing begins at nine-thirty p.m. Black tie event” (12:36).
We then see the letter he has written, which is slightly different. The very top is unreadable, but presumably says “Dear Kevin Landwaster”. The rest reads:
> You are cordially invited to
> the spawning of the Ur-viles. The
> spawning begins promptly at 6:00
> pm. Dinner will be server at 8:00
> pm. Ballroom dancing will begin
> at 9:30 pm. This is an invitation
> only black tie event.
> Your Nemesis,
> Lord Foul the Despiser
> P.S. Please R.S.V.P to:
> Lord Foul
> Lord Foul’s Creche
> Mt. Thunder
> The Land
Foul begins to laugh evilly, and between under the “Your Nemesis” line signs “Soul Crusher” while reading the postscript. Then he puts down his pen, folds the letter, and puts it in an envelop as “Mormon” narrates “Clearly, Lord Foul intended for Kevin to go to Mount Thunder. But the High Lord doubted and did not go. And he was ashamed of his doubt, and sent in his stead some of his truest friends and strongest allies. And here, in the roar and spray and ill of Treacher’s Gorge, they were ambushed by ur-viles. They were slaughtered and their bodies sent to the abyss of the mountain. Then marched armies like these out of the catacombs, and the Land was plunged, all unready, into war.” (13:27).
During this narration, we see the envelope Foul is sending the letter in, which has the return address of:
> Lord Foul
> Lord Foul’s Creche
> Mt. Thunder
> The Land
and is addressed to:
> Kevin Landwaster
> Council of the lords
> The Land
After he seals the envelope, Fouls sits at his desk, apparently listening to music, waving his pen.
The flashback ends at 13:30, and we see “Mormon”, who says “So clearly, Foul meant to kill Kevin, but the Landwaster sent seven of his friends instead. And naturally, they were slaughtered. So Foul release the ur-viles and thus, war began” (13:43). There is a cut to Covenant, and “Mormon” continues “Kevin felt so bad about sending his seven friends into ambush that he began his midnight meetings with despair. Of course, after that, there was no hope” (13:53).
Covenant asks him “why’d you stop the Bloodguard from helping Prothall?” (13:58), to which he replies “Because Foamfollower’s my friend.” Covenant says “But what if he’s a Raver?”, and “Mormon” waves his had and says “No”. Covenant says “But something’s going on with him. He thinks Drool will prevent the Giants from going home.” “Mormon” replies “So do I” (14:16).
There is a “The next day…” intertitle.
We see “Mormon” addressing the group: “Now is the last hour of open sky. Those who will, take this chance to enter the catacombs of Mount Thundar” (14:29). Then we see Prothall, who says “People, we have all heard Lord Mormon. If any of you want to turn back, just say so. Just raise your hand and you can go back. There’s no shame in going back. As a matter of fact, we’ll go back in small groups. I’ll go with you! We’ll all go with you. We’ll come back, whoever wants to come back. Just raise your hand. There is no shame in coming—in going back. Just raise your hand. Any of you. Just raise your hand” (15:09). At that point “Lilith” approaches him and says “Prothall, are you saying that you want to go back?”
He says “What? No. Me? Absolutely not.” “Lilith” then says “Oh, great! Well then, we’ll all go!” Prothall looks away, pained, and says “dammit!” “Lilith” says “onward” and Prothall tries again with “But you shouldn’t! You’re a girl.” (15:26)
“Lilith” says “I’m going to go. I mean, I promised the horses that I was going to go.” Prothall looks defeated and says “Come then. Whatever welcome awaits us in the catacombs, let us be true to the last” (15:43). Then he puts his left fist to his chest, kisses the two first fingers of this left hand, and gestures with them to the group.
We then see the company entering the catacombs. Foamfollower cannot make it through the gap, and says that he will stay outside and guard the entrance. Prothall tells him, “Giant, you have chosen well. If we are not back before the full moon, we are dead. Head home and warn your people.” (16:12)
Foamfollower says “Remember the Oath of Peace. I have been much too quick to hate, and I have become what I abhor” (16:26). “Lord Mormon” says “Don’t be so harsh to yourself. You are Foamfollower, a legume from the Seaweed Giants. No-one can take that away from you.” (16:35). “Mormon” then puts his right fist to his heart and points with his two fingers before climbing into the catacomb entrance. Following him into the catacombs are : Prothall, Tuvor (I think), “Lilith”, Rustah, one of the white Ranyhyn, and Bloodguard “Bob”.
We then see Covenant, looking towards the sun. He turns away and walks into the catacomb entrance (17:35).
The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 17:36.
We see Heatherly holding the expert jacket, saying that she doesn’t know what to do because it’s the expert jacket but the expert is already wearing a jacket, a sexy jacket. Julie says that they should get rid of the expert jacket. Then they both smell it deeply before throwing it off the bed (17:55).
The expert is Lev, who appears on screen at 17:59. He is not wearing the expert jacket. He has read Lord Foul’s Bane one point two times (18:16), and understood it point seven times (18:28).
Heatherly says that he seems to know a lot about numbers and asks if he’s a mathematician. He says no, he’s a biochemist (18:35).
Julie asks how biochemistry relates to Lord Foul’s Bane (18:42). He says that Covenant is a leper, and that leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is caused by an infection of a bacterium. Julie asks if Covenant has worms, and Lev says no, bacterium. He then says that leprosy is a grave condition that is the subject of intense biomedical research, and that’s why he read the novel when he was in seventh grade (19:16).
They ask Lev about why Donaldson gives “Foamfollower!” its own paragraph and why it’s repeated. While attempting to explain that this is a device allowing the reader access to the thoughts of Thomas Covenant, Lev describes the thought as an ejaculation (19:41) of “Foamfollower”, and Julie asks if Covenant wants to see Foamfollower ejaculate. Lev says that’s hot, at which Julie protests that it’s not, and Heatherly asks how much ejaculate that would be since he’s a giant (20:03).
After they’re done with that, Lev reiterates that it’s a literary device by which the reader can see the degree to which Foamfollower is foremost on Covenant’s mind (20:19).
Heatherly then says “so my first question is, why would they let a guy with the name of Kevin Landwaster be the leader? Because with the last name of ‘Landwaster’, wouldn’t you just think that was some foreshadowing? That he might waste the Land?” (20:35) Julie then says “He’s not an elected official, right? Because who the hell would vote for, like, Kevin Landwaster?” (20:39). Lev says that this is a really good question, and then Julie says “George W. Landwaster. George W. the Despiser. Soulcrusher” (20:53).
Lev then says that it’s only as a result of the unfortunate circumstances that caused him to initiate the Ritual of Desecration that he earned the epithet (21:09).
Heatherly asks if the “funny feeling” that Kevin got whenever Foul was around could have been love. Could Kevin actually have been in love with Lord Foul? (21:25) Lev says that despite the strong theme of “manly love” in Lord Foul’s Bane, the icky feeling that Kevin had—but is interrupted and told that it was a funny feeling, and Heatherly says an icky funny feeling, at which point they argue that Donaldson would never have written that, and then Julie points out that he did write about the gaping maw of Mount Thunder gaping for him, then Jenn claims that that was something Heatherly said (Donaldson only used “gaping” once in that sentence). They return to the question of Kevin being in love with Lord Foul, and Lev says no, and Heatherly agrees.
Julie says “so after his friends get slaughtered, he begins his midnight meetings with despair, I was wondering: what is that? Is that like the seven steps, or do they introduce themselves, there at midnight, or something? What are the midnight meetings with despair?” (23:06). Heatherly then asks “and what happens if you miss a meeting? What are the consequences?” (23:08). Lev says “then you have to make up for it, at 2 a.m.” Julie then asks “does he have to apologize to everybody he’s ever wronged—but he can’t, cause they’re dead?” (23:18). Lev doesn’t really have an answer for this.
Julie says that she suspected all along that Prothall didn’t really want to be the leader of the quest, and asks if the speech he gave (giving anyone who wanted to leave the chance to do so) is his ways of trying to get out of it (23:47). Lev says he was also wondering about that, but doesn’t give a definitive answer.
Julie then asks if Foamfollower doesn’t fit in the catacombs, and Lev says right, Foamfollower has to hang out on the cliffs because he’s too big. Julie says “well, what the hell is he going to do there?” (24:09). Lev replies that he’s going to hang out and stand guard.
Julie asks if he’s a Raver or not, and Lev says that that’s a big question in the work, that there’s a lot of discussion about that, because they couldn’t be Ravers because they just don’t have the rhythm (24:31).
Julie asks why the exact order in which they enter the cave is so important (25:00). Heatherly asks him if the remembers the exact order, and he says he doesn’t. Julie grabs a book and suggests doing a test on Lev to see how much of an expert he is (25:26), and asks him what he thinks the exact order was. He reads from the book what the order is until Heatherly notices him reading over Julie’s shoulder (25:48). He then says that the formal tone, the epic nature of the progress of the quest at this point emphasizes the serious, almost climactic nature of what is to come, and the almost poetic nature of the order of entrants is significant in that you know some kind of bad shit’s gonna happen to them in there (26:21).
(They skip chart-writing.)
The “post-coital” segment starts at 26:22.
Heatherly’s favorite part was when they got to the catacombs and finally got to go in (26:54).
Lev’s favorite part was “right at the end, when we got to go into the cave” (27:18).
Julie’s favorite part was the flashback to Lord Foul’s invitation to Kevin Landwaster (27:30).
The end credits include out-takes of Lord Foul’s phone ringing during filming, and Lord Foul doing an advertisement-style endorsement of Rémy Martin as the only drink foul enough for him.
After the end 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.
First appearance of Moose in an action sequence, 11:46