Wed
Jul 31 2013 12:00pm
Malazan Reread of the Fallen: Toll the Hounds, Chapter Twenty-One (Part Two)

Steven Erikson Toll the Hounds Malazan Book of the Fallen Welcome to the Malazan Reread of the Fallen! Every post will start off with a summary of events, followed by reaction and commentary by your hosts Bill and Amanda (with Amanda, new to the series, going first), and finally comments from Tor.com readers. In this article, we’ll cover the second half of Chapter Twenty-One of Toll the Hounds (TtH).

A fair warning before we get started: We’ll be discussing both novel and whole-series themes, narrative arcs that run across the entire series, and foreshadowing. Note: The summary of events will be free of major spoilers and we’re going to try keeping the reader comments the same. A spoiler thread has been set up for outright Malazan spoiler discussion.

CHAPTER SUMMARY

SCENE 1

Grisp Falaunt lives on the Dwelling Plain—a place he claimed because it was empty and available. And a place he realises is unclaimed because it’s useless. Over the course of his time there, he’d pretty much lost everything and just dwells now in a little shack on the edge of the Plain. On this night—as thunder and lightning fills the sky—Grisp’s two-legged dog senses something out there, and Grisp sees the Hounds approach. He decides fairly swiftly that the time has come to leave the Plain.

SCENE 2

Kruppe introduces the arrival of the Hounds.

SCENE 3-5

Spite brings half a mountain’s weight of magma and releases it over the estate where Lady Envy resides—and misjudges just how far the magma is going to go. As she runs away gracelessly, Envy targets her with her own magic. Neither notices the arrival of the Hounds into the city, gripped as they are in their own power struggle.

SCENE 6

Scorch and Leff, on guard at the estate, are attacked by a group of rather ineffective assassins, comprising the diversion force for the main attack.

SCENE 7

Torvald—on the roof—is also attacked. One of the assassins receives a bolt in the head from an unknown party as Torvald rolls off the roof, with the Blue Moranth sharpers tucked into his belt. Turns out they become a sloshing sphere of water, which rather protects him from the sorcery that engulfs the courtyard from the hands of assassins. As Torvald is released from the sphere and lies on his back recovering he is approached by Rallick Nom. We are finally given the reason for why these cousins have not been close—Torvald thought Rallick hated him for “stealing” Tiserra. Rallick was the one who shot the assassin, looking out for Torvald. Lady Varada emerges from the estate and we learn that she is actually Lady Vorcan (not Lady Envy!)

SCENE 8

Harllo runs along the road, knowing the Venaz is right behind him, catching him up. He knows that Venaz is going to beat him to death, and that there is nothing and no one to stand in his way. Harllo understands that no one really loves him or wants him, and thinks that Gruntle is dead and that he wants to be where Gruntle has gone on to, because then he will be safe. Venaz catches hold of him and Harllo realises that he doesn’t want to die. As Venaz strangles Harllo, a strange boy rescues him and, as this boy gets pounded on by Venaz, Harllo steps up and beats Venaz to death with a rock.

SCENE 9

Hanut Orr stands waiting outside the Phoenix Inn in the alley, and a shambling figure passes by.

SCENE 10

The shambling figure is Gaz; he turns around and kills Hanut Orr. When he realises that he has killed a highborn and not an ordinary drunkard, he determines to get home and pretend that he’s been there all night.

SCENE 11

Coll and the others at the Phoenix have trapped one of Hanut’s men, so we know that Hanut probably wouldn’t have survived for long, even if Gaz had not already killed him. The man they have captured neglects to tell them that there are two men waiting at the gate of Coll’s estate.

SCENE 12

Sulty calls on the guard we’ve met before (with the bad heart) to attend the death of Hanut Orr. He suspects that this is the work of the same killer, and Kruppe helps him piece everything together. The guard hurries off to face Gaz, while feeling more and more ill, after Kruppe has told him to “Beware the Toll.”

SCENE 13

Gaz arrives back home and goes to the garden to find Thordy, who promptly kills him and lets his blood fall on the circle of flat stones. She calls him a soldier, and refers to herself as a mason who has been getting it all ready for... him.

SCENE 14

And we must assume that “him” refers to Hood, the High King of the House of the Slain, who begins to manifest physically in her garden. Eep.

SCENE 15

The unnamed guard arrives at the house of Gaz and Thordy, and begins to die. In his last moments he sees Hood come for him, and realises that it is the end. But Hood wants to have his own way just this once, wants to save this soul that is bright and blinding with honour. So he gives the guard back his life and then walks on.

SCENE 16

The guard goes into the house and is met by Thordy, who confesses to the murder of Gaz and then claims the reward, which the guard agrees to give.

SCENE 17-24

Kruppe explains that the harvester of souls walking through the city of Darujhistan results in unmitigated slaughter; we flit from person to person to see the results.

SCENE 25

A massive Soletaken dragon swoops down to land near Worrytown. It blurs into a human-like figure watched by a coyote, a man who blesses the coyote with anguished love.

SCENE 26-27

Anomander Rake walks un-accosted and unnoticed into Darujhistan, unsheathing Dragnipur as he comes. The sword unleashes chains of smoke, writhing in his wake.

SCENE 28-29

The sisters Envy and Spite pause in their fight as they sense Rake’s arrival into the city of Dragnipur.

SCENE 30

Anomander Rake and Hood approach each other, witnessed by Hounds and Great Ravens.

SCENE 31-32

As Hood begins to speak, Anomander Rake lashes out with Dragnipur and decapitates Hood (OH MY GOD) and the night is but half done.

Amanda’s Reaction

And yet another capsule story in the form of Grisp Falaunt—we learn about his life, the futility of his attempts at carving a life out on the Dwelling Plain. His family has deserted him and his only friend is a two-legged dog. We get a sense of his resignation and his acknowledgement that things haven’t exactly gone to plan. Then we see him on the night that the Hounds arrive—his fear and sudden decision that the Plain really isn’t anyplace for him to be. All of this. And Erikson manages it in two pages. More detail and personality in two pages than a lot of writers manage in twenty.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ve sort of lost my fear and sense of wonder about the Hounds over the last book or so, what with seeing them wandering the world in the company of various people. And suddenly that vision of them is just turned on its head as they explode into Darujhistan, their very presence causing the destruction of the main gate and the houses around it. And the fact that they have the power and strength of a flash flood, yet with intent to accompany it—that is just very, very scary. And suddenly I’m terribly worried about what exactly they’re here to achieve.

Oh, I love, love, love this conversation between Rallick and Torvald. Just goes to show that misunderstandings can affect personal relationships for years. I especially liked this:

“Sure, I thought she was cute, but gods below, man, any boy and girl who start holding hands at seven and are still madly in love with each other twenty-five years later—that’s not something to mess with.”

It’s cool to know that what we’ve seen as a reader (Torvald and Tiserra having a wonderful and close relationship) is also acknowledged by those in the story.

And Mistress Vorcan/Lady Varada! I should have seen that one from miles away, but I was so intent on it being Lady Envy. I wonder where Envy was holed up then?

I like as well the idea that Torvald is probably more knowledgeable in the ways of love than his cousin, since he is the one who spots that Mistress Vorcan seems to hold a torch for him.

Could anyone at all read Harllo’s thoughts that people like him died all the time because no one cared what happened to them, and not feel sad and upset? Especially because I wanted to show Harllo that, in fact, people have been looking for him for the last few days and trying to get him back. That last bit, where he thinks that he wants to be dead so that he can go where Gruntle has gone, so that he will always be safe, that just makes me want to cry.

And I HATE that innocent and good-natured Harllo has to stoop to the level of people like Snell and Venaz in order to kill Venaz with a rock. How is this going to change the boy?

I’m not going to deny that I’ve been pleased by the spate of deaths in this chapter: Gorlas, Venaz and Hanut. Blood-thirsty? Moi?

Since it was such a throwaway line—that fact that there is someone waiting for Coll at his estate—I’m now worried and wishing that the man had revealed it.

I love this guard that we’ve seen periodically, although it seems as though his death is approaching. I do hope he manages to face down Gaz before it occurs. One thing that interested me is the fact that we like the unnamed guard and we like Kruppe, yet the unnamed guard is suspicious of Kruppe and calls him a thief. It’s almost a surprise to be reminded about the way that people view Kruppe and the persona he presents—especially after spending a whole book in his narration.

And “Beware the Toll”—what exactly are the Hounds there to do?

So, it seems that Gaz was the Soldier of Death, and Thordy has been working (being the mason) to bring Hood to full physical manifestation?

The whole short scene where he manifests is utterly chilling:

“Hood now stood on the blood-splashed stones, in a decrepit garden in the district of Gadrobi, in the city of Darujhistan. Not a ghostly projection, not hidden behind veils of shielding powers, not even a spiritual visitation. No, this was Hood, the god.”

And what a first action for Hood to make. This healing of the guard is so vividly written and has so much depth and meaning to it. I love first this: “But this once, I shall have my way. I shall have my way” and then this: “And, for just this once, the Lord of Death had permitted himself to care. Mark this, a most significant moment, a most poignant gesture.” I think it gives a little glimpse into the soul of Hood—the fact that he has spent so long taking lives, and thought nothing of the justice of which lives he is taking. I find it so incredibly special that Hood looks on this man, and realises that he can actually do something, that the loss of this man is more than he can bear. Very powerful.

The sequence moving from death to death is wonderfully done—once again Erikson shows us little snippets of actual lives. And I really appreciate the fact that we’re shown Hood has regained his equilibrium, and deaths are taken evenly: the innocent child, the monster of a human being, the man who has looked after his dead mother. All are equal. Death is the only certain fact of life.

DAMN DAMN DAMN! Anomander’s walk through Darujhistan—the way his presence affects the city the same way that Hood’s has—the approach of the two figures—and then Anomander KILLS HOOD. WHAT?! OH MY GOD? (yes, the capitals are essential). Why? Why does Anomander need the God of Death inside Dragnipur—because that necessity must be the only reason for Anomander to do this, right?

And then, god: “One was dead. The other, at this moment, profoundly... vulnerable. Things noticed. Things were coming, and coming fast.” Who is going to take advantage of Anomander’s current vulnerability?

Bill’s Reaction

And so one quasi-mystery solved—the identity of Lady Varada.

I love the comic image of Torvald setting off the Moranth “munitions”—his journey through the fight scene in a big water bubble

Poor Harllo. Even in escaping, we don’t get a “happy” ending. Not fully. Not after his revelation that this little kid knows all too well how too much of the world works. Not after he is forced to pound a dent into Venaz’s skull. No, not a clean, happy ending.

After all the earlier deaths of good people, of characters we liked, it’s nice to start a roll call of the other guys—Gorlas, Venaz, Orr. And then Gaz (whose, “the stupid woman hadn’t even lit the hearth—where the fuck was she” does the same job that Gorlas and Orr’s last words/thoughts had done—made it easy not to mourn their passing.

We’d wondered earlier (I think) about Tiserra’s Deck reading and the Soldier of Death (I may be misremembering). Thordy’s line: “You’ve been a good soldier” makes things a bit clearer. But what have the soldier and mason of Death been preparing for?

Oh. This. “Hood, The Lord of Death, High King of the House of the Slain, Embracer of the Fallen, began to physically manifest.” Oh. Wow. No, really. Wow. And the night is young.

And Hood’s first act is to not collect a death. But to refuse one. “But this once, I shall have my way. I shall have my way.” That repetition, that emphasis via the italics, so works for me. And Hood, rewarding what? Compassion. Compassion. See kids?

After that though, well. As Hood himself says, “I cannot prevent what comes with my every step here in this mortal world. I cannot be other than what I am.” And thus: “unmitigated slaughter, rippling out to overwhelm thousands.” But Erikson, as he has so often before, refuses to gloss over such deaths solely by painless generalization. Through Kruppe, he offers us real lives. Real deaths. He, through Kruppe, makes us “witness.” And I’m so glad he does so because I have long ago gotten weary of books and movies that don’t offer up real deaths—just cardboard ones. Meaningless ones. The ones where the single person in danger is rescued and everyone celebrates and is joking and laughing at the end as if eight people hadn’t died to rescue the one. The ones where entire cities are utterly devastated, yet people are laughing and joking and celebrating hours, days, weeks, months, later as if the deaths of tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) were insignificant. Yep, I’ve mostly lost my patience with those endings, so thank you Kruppe for not just trying to have it be cool and awesome that Hood’s tread down the streets of Darujhistan wipes out thousands. Though I admit, I could have done without some of the details of some of these. But still, I’m glad we get some concrete ones—evil, innocent, random, deserved, undeserved. And then the general confirmation that it was death visited upon all and sundry: “No age was spared… Death took them all: well born and destitute, the ill and the healthy, criminal and victim, the unloved and the cherished.” And I love that image of the City of Blue Fire being snuffed out by “so many last breaths.”

And of course, after we react to all these details, all these individual vignettes, we have to wonder: What the hell is Hood doing in the real world? What kind of plan is this?

C’mon. Rake is cool. You know it. What an entrance.

And what a scene. This scene floored me my first time through. This whole thing, from the manifestation of Hood to the God of Death saving the guard against his own nature—his vital insistence against his own nature—to his presence wreaking utter havoc, to Rake’s entrance, to those chains behind him, the burden of those chains, to these two powers coming to meet and then what the hell? No, really, what the hell? Nope, I did not see that coming—Rake decapitating Hood. And then if Dragnipur had been a burden before, what must it be with The Lord of Death added? Rake to his knees? His knees? No doubt, one of the best scenes for me in all this series of so many great moments. And the night, as I said, remains young.

And what did Hood mean with “I have reconsidered—”? Damn you Erikson! Let the speculation begin! Though it seems clear that Hood and Rake had a plan together (and I think we can add a few others into that mix). Is Rake following through that plan by killing him? Or not? Let’s hear thoughts…


Amanda Rutter is the editor of Strange Chemistry books, sister imprint to Angry Robot.

Bill Capossere writes short stories and essays, plays ultimate frisbee, teaches as an adjunct English instructor at several local colleges, and writes SF/F reviews for fantasyliterature.com.

30 comments
Steven Halter
1. stevenhalter
Man, yeah, this is one of the best scenes not just of the series, but in all of fantasy. Rake waling forward with chains leaking from Dragnipur. Everything hesitating--everything that a moment before had seemed so powerful. Then the meeting with the enigmatic:
“I have reconsidered—”
and the slicing clean through. And the crumpling on both sides.

When I first read that sequence my mind was quite fully blown.
Cinematography and wonder.
aaronthere
2. aaronthere
Looking at this series as a Gaussian funtion (bell curve) this book would be on the opposite side of the spectrum from Deadhouse Gates, if you count the last two books as one, as Erickson intended (so second, and second to last). There are many similarities between these two books for me, the strongest being all the imagery surrounding flies, death's "spirit animal" if you will.

I don't think it is a coincidence that Deadhouse Gates starts with the allegory of death dissipating; a swarm of flies, surrounding a worshipper, making him disappear, but as to whether SE wrote these books intentionally Gaussian is not something I'm aware of...
aaronthere
3. Eoin8472
Haha:

"I’m not going to deny that I’ve been pleased by the spate of deaths in this chapter: Gorlas, Venaz and Hanut. Blood-thirsty? Moi?"

Is there still the same satisfaction with the amount of deaths by the end of the chapter? Or some misgivings?

I remember my first time reading the book, this was to be the last chapter before I went to bed. As soon as I read the last page of it, I knew I had to stay up and finish the book.
aaronthere
4. TusharDamle
“I have reconsidered—” is such a frustrating line. Why on earth did Erickson have to include it?
But after using my grey cells, I think that line is just Jaghut humor. I mean, Hood planned this from the beginning of this book, used Gaz and Thordy, manifested in the real world, goes to Rake as per the plan and says what? "I have reconsidered-"? It has GOT to be Jaghut humor.
- -
5. hex
Rake decapitating Hood. Hood's last words... The first time I had read this chapter I remember dropping the book on my lap. My wife asked what was up, and I was utterly unable to convey the gravity. The convergence has only started, and boy what a start.
Tai Tastigon
6. Taitastigon
In terms of surprise factor, Hood´s demise has this *Red Wedding* flair. *I have reconsidered*...- now begins the reread of the reread of those parts ob tBH and RG where we see Hood involved in his wheelerdealing with ST, Cot, Paran, etc.... ;0)
Corey Sees
7. CorwinOfAmber
This is one of the best, most cinematic chapters I have read in any book ever.
Also, I never realized that Hood's last words were the source of any speculation or confusion. I mean, even after all that planning and preparation, suddenly finding yourself face to face with Anomander Rake and the business end of Dragnipur--wouldn't you reconsider?"
Nadine L.
8. travyl
The scene where Spite and Envy incinerate their surroundings and Torvald doesn't face magma - this was the moment when I realized that the two estates weren't the same, that the Lady wasn't Envy, very cleverly done.

Question: why wanted Humble Measure Vorcan killed? If I've read the text correct this is the contract he made with the Guild after the disaster with the Malazans. Does Vorcan-in-disguise have a seat in the city Council?

I too love the moments between The Nom cousins.

And finally Hood slain by Rake - wow. I have a lot more questions, but will wait, until the end of the book to pose those.
Dustin Freshly
9. Fresh0130
I've been waiting for this chapter and Amanda's reaction since the reread started, lol. I'll keep allot of what I have to say until it's over and we can see the full ramifications of this convergence.

As to Hood's last words, I could see it going several ways.

We know that there has been a plan of some sort in motion between Hood, Rake, Shadowthrone, etc... since the start of this book, so :

A. Hood has some very good reasons for having reservations about going through with getting Dagnipur'd, plan or not.

Or

B. It is Jahgut humor, I wouldn't put it past Hood to crack a joke, even a bone dry bad one, at Rake in his last moments.

I've got allot to say, but I really can't say much until we see just how everything goes down, so I'll reserve some room in the upcoming posts to get more indepth.

The only other thing I'll comment on is the ongoing feud between Spite and Envy. I don't know why it always amuses me as much as it does when Spite lashes out at Envy and usually fails miserably, but it does.
Kimani Rogers
10. KiManiak
Thanks Amanda and Bill,

This is one of the most memorable scenes of the series for me. I remember when I first read about Rake slaying Hood, I was floored. Floored. I had no idea what to expect next. I honestly thought I had missed something; I’m pretty sure I reread that passage a few times before rushing right on to the next chapter. I had to know what happened next!

I did catch the “I have reconsidered...” and assumed that there was some plan. I wasn’t sure if Rake killed Hood because it appeared Hood was trying to back out, or if that was part of the plan. But the mental image of Rake on his knees with the lifeless body of the Lord of Death was and continues to be one of the images I associate with this book ever since I read it.

And the night is still young, indeed…
Kimani Rogers
11. KiManiak
Oh, and I like Hood’s “But this once, I shall have my way. I shall have my way.”

I read Toll the Hounds immediately after reading Reaper’s Gale, so my last image of Hood greeting someone near death’s gate was that of Beak. It’s a nice juxtaposition of Hood nearly speechless, meeting Beak at Hood’s gate, with Hood this time refusing to take a soul that he felt did not deserve to enter death’s door just yet.

I choose to interpret Hood’s “I shall have my way,” to refer to Beak. It ties TtH and RG somewhat nicely for me.
A Byss
12. Abyss
I deeply loved everything about this chapter, even on the upteenth reread.

"Son of Darkness, i have reconsided..."

...just blew my mind with everything it revealed and opened up.

And then of course, there's what comes next...
aaronthere
13. Tufty
Question: why wanted Humble Measure Vorcan killed? If I've read the text correct this is the contract he made with the Guild after the disaster with the Malazans. Does Vorcan-in-disguise have a seat in the city Council?
"Lady Verada" was trying to get a seat on the Council, and so was Humble Measure. Seems there was only one seat available, so Humble Measure tried to have Verada killed to secure it.


The string of individual scenes of Hood's influence dealing death is one of the most lasting impacts I've ever had in this series. So much of it is so profound. The last two especially - the cockroach-crushing-ghost dancer is so hilarious, and then the man looking after his already-dead mother is so tragic... reading through that whole section again affects me just as much as it always have, both with joy and with sadness.
Thomas Jeffries
14. thomstel
We've come some distance since Gardens and NoK, and had plenty of scenes where they just sat about looking menacing and/or cuddly, but they're still the same old Hounds. Darujhistan wouldn't know what hit it.

"I have reconsidered..." => It's a hell of a tease line now, but it's definitely some (glorious) Jaghut humor.

Envy and Spite. Hrm. I don't know what to feel about these two anymore, which is frustrating. I like reading about them, but abhor the utter lack of morality from either of them and for that wish they were both gone. Hrm.

...and by the by, remember when a bunch of sappers scrambled to get some cussers out of the streets so as not to make Darujhistan explode? Did someone turn off the gas to avoid that risk this time around? I would guess the Hounds alone would be sufficiently powerful to eventually set something off...
David Thomson
15. ZetaStriker
I think the primary difference is that the hounds aren't explosions. Their power can't ignite the gas.
George A
16. Kulp
Man, the ending to this chapter floored me. Needless to say I couldn't stop reading until I finished the book, what a scene.

I think the reason this is so shocking is because it never occurred to me that Hood could die. Yes we've seen some minor (I use that term loosely) gods die, but Hood is a pillar in the Malazan world. It's the most common curse word used by Malazans. Death is an inevitability for all mortals. Now that Hood is dead, who will collect the dead souls? Will it be a similar entity, a la Treach replacing Fener? Or will it be something entirely different? So many questions, and I hope we get some answers.
Darren Kuik
17. djk1978
The Rake-Hood scene is my favorite of the series to date. I hadn't really considered Hood's line to be humor, but the notion that it is that does strike me as valid. I don't think it can really be anything else. Fantastic.

And Kulp, oh you will get your answers, don't you worry!
Corey Sees
18. CorwinOfAmber
@16 Kulp: Good question, one of my favorite answers in the series.

I really love the structure of this book: alternating chapters of Darujhistan and everyone else. Chapter 22 is the exception. To be dragged away from Darujhistan for a chapter after THIS!? I was frustrated. I distictly remember having to talk myself out of skipping directly to chapter 23 and coming back to our tiste andii friends later.
Gerd K
19. Kah-thurak
Having just read the Bonehunters, I realized, that is what probably this, that Hood asked Paran for as a payment for bringing Heboric Ghosthands back from death: A replacement.
Nisheeth Pandey
20. Nisheeth
This chapter sends shivers down my spine when ever I read it.
The whole description of Hoods walk was so very much like the memories of the T'lan Imass from MOI. Erikson does such scenes perfectly.

After reading that Rake had killed Hood, my first reaction was, "What that just happened?". Then I re-read that part twice to make sure I was reading it right! My other worry was that the hounds would pounce upon Rake while vunerable, especially since he killed two of them before, they would be thristy for vengeance.
Tabby Alleman
21. Tabbyfl55
Not really much I can say about the Rake-Hood scene that others have not said. Except this:
SCENE 31-32
As Hood begins to speak, Anomander Rake lashes out with Dragnipur and decapitates Hood (OH MY GOD) and the night is but half done.
I love this! Did Amanda write it? Whichever of you wrote it, I vote for you doing the rest of the summaries from now on.

Also, remember when the re-read first got to this book, the big discussion over what meaning of "Toll" was intended in the chapter of the book? Well, if this chapter doesn't answer that question, there's just no pleasing some people.
aaronthere
22. Karlreadsthesebooks
So, I believe the consesus is that the line is absolutely Jaghut humor.

We'll learn why soon, but suffice it to say, what follows cannot have occured unless Hood was steadfast in his plans.

One of the best chapters Erikson has ever written, in the best book he has ever written, has one of the best endings. The way he mirrored Hood and Rake after the decapitation, both on their knees, facing each other. Surrender? To what? Will there be redemption? It doesn't hurt to remember the prologue here now, either, and its significance on recent developments.

Even more, since Rake obviously has a dire need to be in Darujhistan and not Black Coral, how hard must this be knowing full well that any events that will take place in Coral will obviously have repercussions on what happens in the Blue City, and he has to rely on his people (Endest, Spinnock, some others that I won't spoil because they aren't there yet) who have relied on him for so long to do what needs to be done there.

All of this is made more important when the setting is fleshed out with the stories of other people's lives (deaths?) . Its many of these deaths, in a series where the author wreaks havoc with that concept, its nice that we are able to comprehend the finality of some and it kind of makes us forget, if temporarily, that not all deaths are final deaths.
aaronthere
23. Toc's Right Eye
I would take umbrage with the statement that Hood "thought nothing of the justice of which lives he is taking."

The fact is that Hood cared TOO deeply about the lives he was taking. Hood realized that his role as the King of High House Death meant that if he kept on caring and thinking as he did, he would destroy himself. Thus, for self-preservation purposes and to continue his ability serve as a necessary part of the natural cycle, Hood was forced to repress those thoughts for the eons he has been around.

Even if repressed, the thougts were there in the back of his mind. In this instance, he allowed himself one bright shining moment of caring to be brought to the fore, and it was a touching experience.
aaronthere
24. aaronthere
There's an O. Henry type of irony regarding the fact that Hood is Jaghut in relation to the Imass ritual of Tellann.

The Imass perform a mass ritual to escape death, with the sole intention of ridding the world of every last Jaghut, thereby ensuring that they will never rid the world of every last Jaghut, i.e. Hood.

I'm just wondering if Hood was in fact the King of High House death during the time of the Tellann ritual, or if any of the Imass knew that Hood was a Jaghut at that time. That would change the intent surrounding the ritual greatly...
Brian R
25. Mayhem
Yep, this was the point for me when the holyshitquotient started to tip off the scale. A long and meandering introspection led us here, but SE does like his cascading endings, and this is but the start!
And I'm with the rest ... the OH MY GOD moment is literally stunning - it threw me clean out to make sure I read that right, then that was the rest of my night gone ...

@24
The Jaghut are certainly aware of Hood as of now, although whether they knew before the Ritual is an interesting thought.
From MoI, when Gethol confronts Brukhalian, the dialogue takes on an interesting spin with hindsight, and is worth bringing back to mind now -

A soft voice spoke behind Brukhalian. ‘We greet you, Jaghut.’
The Mortal Sword turned to see the three T’lan Imass, each one strangely insubstantial, as if moments from assuming new forms, new shapes. Moments, Brukhalian realized, from veering into their Soletaken beasts. The air filled with a stale stench of spice.
‘Not your concern, this fight,’ Gethol hissed.
‘The fight with this mortal?’ Bek Okhan asked. ‘No. However, Jaghut, you are.’
‘I am Hood’s Herald – do you dare challenge a servant of the lord of death?’
The T’lan Imass’s desiccated lips peeled back. ‘Why would we hesitate, Jaghut? Now ask of your lord, does he dare challenge us?’
Gethol grunted as something dragged him bodily back, the warren snapping shut, swallowing him. The air swirled briefly in the wake of the portal’s sudden vanishing, then settled.
‘Evidently not,’ Bek Okhan said.
Sighing, Brukhalian sheathed his sword and faced the T’lan Imass Bonecasters. ‘Your arrival has left me disappointed, sirs.’
‘We understand this, Mortal Sword. You were doubtless well matched. Yet our hunt for this Jaghut demanded our ... interruption. His talent for escaping us is undiminished, it seems, even to the point of bending a knee in the service of a god. Your defiance of Hood makes you a worthwhile companion.’
Brukhalian grimaced. ‘If only to improve your chances of closing with this Jaghut, I take it.’
‘Indeed.’
aaronthere
26. Mr Glum
When I first read Toll the Hounds, this chapter I was sitting in the kitchen and my girlfriend was playing WoW I believe. When I read Hood being killed, I shouted, "He killed the god of death!" across the house. Just a jaw dropping moment. Upon re-reads you see the clues that it is coming, but I had no idea.

Well my girlfriend mumbled something in reply, I picked my jaw back up and continued. After all, it had been eight books by that point, Hood was one of my favorites, and those who haven't taken this trip just can't understand.
George A
27. Kulp
That's a great excerpt @Mayhem. How the hell does he keep everything straight? He's been laying clues throughout the series that come to fruition years after the fact. It's mind boggling just trying to understand how this whole world works, how do you come up with it in the first place? Amazing. I'm about to start DoD, and I'm a little bit hesitant. These books are so good I don't want them to end.

@23 That is the same take I had on Hood. We haven't seen a lot of hood onscreen and it's cool that this is our last image of him alive.

The fact that he chose now, when he is physically manifested in the mortal realm, was pretty heavy foreshadowing that he was about to die. I could see it coming at that point as a reader but I still didn't want to believe it until Rake actually swung the sword. Great chapter.
Nadine L.
28. travyl
You guys are actually one chapter too early with the "Jaghut" humor and all. At least I didn't get the Jaghut part until the next chapter...
Joseph Ash
30. TedThePenguin
I found all of the individual death scene's to be incredibly impactful, the release of the son who kept repeating his rituals of caring for his already dead mother was particularly touching to me.

And yes, Rake killing Hood was stunning. Is it too early to make a bris joke? *ducks rotten vegetables*

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