A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 297: Fool’s Fate, Chapter 20

Read the previous entry in the series here.
Read the next entry in the series

The succeeding chapter, “Corridors,” opens with a brief note about Aslevjal Island before turning to Fitz and the Fool investigating the first dungeon, the door to which is described in some detail–as are its inmates, including the two who had been dispatched to retrieve supplies. One of them is dead, the other Forged–along with the three other inhabitants of the cell. The Fool pleads with Fitz to aid them, but Fitz refuses, noting that he would be as likely to be killed as to kill them and that their essential humanity is already lost.

Fitz and the Fool proceed, finding other prisoners and additional signs of habitation beneath the ice. They find a tidal chamber in their explorations and are turned back, and they manage to find where Icefyre lies, with evidence that someone has already tried to kill the dragon, without success. The Fool espies the Black Man and gives chase, along with Fitz, and while they are in pursuit, they are themselves taken captive, Fitz knocked unconscious.

I note with some interest a small detail at the end of the chapter. As he and the Fool are ambushed, Fitz notes that he “plunged [his] blade into the wolf-hide tunic of the first man who leaped upon” him. It could have been reindeer-hide, bear-hide, seal-skin, or any number of other things; it was, instead, a wolf. A character who had himself inhabited the body of a wolf and who had long enjoyed a psychic bond with one stabs another lupine-associated figure–justifiably so, certainly, but still…I’ve seen the comment made that Hobb delights in being cruel to her characters, and while I cannot speak to its accuracy (though I think not), it is another insult piled upon Fitz, who, despite the many, many bad decisions he has made, does not deserve quite so many as he has received.

Maybe you could send something my way?

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