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  1. #1

    Two Malazan Questions - First time reader

    I am on my first read the Malazan series and just started Memories of Ice. If these answers cannot be given without spoilers please don't spoil them for me please just write,"wait and see!". Thanks! A sentence near the beginning of that book prompted a question:

    Erikson wrote, "Picker sneered, 'That's not a god, you fool. Treach is a First Hero, a demigod, a Soletaken ascendant-"

    So my first question is, what makes a God different than an Ascendant? Who are the Gods then, as opposed to the ascendants? I've so far interpreted names like Hood and Queen of Dreams to be Gods, but perhaps they are just ascendants? Can someone who is not a D'ivers or a Soletaken become and Ascendant?

    And my second question is a bit more mundane - I'm having trouble picturing some of the types of characters, probable cause I missed a description somewhere. Are T'lan Imass skeletel looking or more decaying flesh looking.

    I think Jaghuts are grey skinned, hairy, with tusks.

    But what about Trell, like Mappo from the second book?

    Thanks and again, please be spoiler free in responding if possible!

    I am really enjoying this series so far!

  2. #2
    Registered User JustaStaffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitleyrr View Post
    I am on my first read the Malazan series and just started Memories of Ice. If these answers cannot be given without spoilers please don't spoil them for me please just write,"wait and see!". Thanks! A sentence near the beginning of that book prompted a question:

    Erikson wrote, "Picker sneered, 'That's not a god, you fool. Treach is a First Hero, a demigod, a Soletaken ascendant-"

    So my first question is, what makes a God different than an Ascendant? Who are the Gods then, as opposed to the ascendants? I've so far interpreted names like Hood and Queen of Dreams to be Gods, but perhaps they are just ascendants? Can someone who is not a D'ivers or a Soletaken become and Ascendant?

    And my second question is a bit more mundane - I'm having trouble picturing some of the types of characters, probable cause I missed a description somewhere. Are T'lan Imass skeletel looking or more decaying flesh looking.

    I think Jaghuts are grey skinned, hairy, with tusks.

    But what about Trell, like Mappo from the second book?

    Thanks and again, please be spoiler free in responding if possible!

    I am really enjoying this series so far!
    Gods and Ascendants are different. How they are different may be a spoiler, so I'm going to let someone else answer it if they want.

    As for the second question it depends on the Imass. Some are more skeletal, some are more fleshy. Depends on how well they've kept so speak.

    I never pictured Jaghut being hairy. Trell, I did picture hairy and sort of ogreish. Not sure if I recall how Erikson actually described them.

  3. #3
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    I've always understood the gods to be ascendants who have a coterie of followers (in other words, the gods are "worshipped" to a degree the ascendants aren't). But I may be wrong here... I've only read through Reaper's Gale, so something else may be forthcoming.

  4. #4
    Very helpful so far, thanks folks.

    So were the T'lan Imass always undead skeleton/zombified creatures or were they once humans/humanoids with healthier skin?

    @Whiskeyjack - that makes sense, thanks!

  5. #5
    Whitleyrr, that stuff regarding the T'lan Imass is touched upon in Memories of Ice, so I'd suggest reading on to find out. Some of it leads up to one of the most memorable moments in the series for me. Enjoy!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappster View Post
    Whitleyrr, that stuff regarding the T'lan Imass is touched upon in Memories of Ice, so I'd suggest reading on to find out. Some of it leads up to one of the most memorable moments in the series for me. Enjoy!
    Yeah your T'lan Imass question is definitely answered later, keep reading. It's actually kind of a big deal.

  7. #7
    Check out my thread. I had these questions since book1. And many more.

    First time readers Journey - Malazan Book of the Fallen

    But ya the general understanding is that Gods and Ascendants are the same. At least in terms of power. The difference being one is worshiped and one is not. Another difference is one is sort of physical while the other is "ethereal" i guess? Someone correct me if I'm wrong here. But for example a lot of the old gods cannot walk freely because they are no longer worshiped, so they have no real manifestation. It isn't real clear, but I don't think it's meant to be clear...to anyone.

    And as far as how people look. I would suggest just going to google and typing Jaghut or Icarium and looking in the images. Gives a good idea of what the concensous is for their looks.

    I'm going to spoiler tag this simply because it sounds like it's what you guys are referring to, but I haven't even read book3 yet. So I was told this in book 2. Regarding Imass.
    Spoiler:

    Imass were normal once. They had a long war with the Jaghut, but the Jaghut are immortal. So the Imass cast a spell on their entire race granting them immortality, or something of the like. And since have been worn down and decayed into skeletal/zombie looking creatures.

    So someone who has read further than me, should know that already.
    Last edited by chris777; August 5th, 2011 at 07:31 AM.

  8. #8
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    What chris777 said in his spoiler is also my general understanding of what happened to the Imass. Since Erikson is an anthropologist by training, I think he designed his Imass race to be similar to:

    Spoiler:
    Human Neanderthals, magically preserved and cast into the present day to continue their war against the Jaghut (which remind me of humanoid mammoths.. which helps to explain the "eternal struggle" between the two groups!).

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