Nobody Dares Fart: Episode Notes

Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn

Welcome to episode 9 of the Hot Nuance Book Club, where it’s time for Collan to take up botany in Betrayals (parts 10-12) of The Ruins of Ambrai. We reminisce over our childhood horse fantasies, roast Collan for not acting like he’s in his 30s, and get understandably confused by all these Saint-derived names.

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Transcripts by Anna
Art by Bree
Produced by Aradia | Fox And Raven Media

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0:00:10 Introduction and welcome

Ali: Welcome to Hot Nuance Book Club, a podcast in which a novelist, a screenwriter and a podcaster walk into a book, diving into its craft and impact in their mission to bring nuance back. I’m Ali and I am a screenwriter and also the co-host of Wheel Takes Podcast, and the creator of the Grinwell Cup, which is a march madness bracket that takes place every year on Twitter – Or I guess we should call it X now?

Aradia: Boo!

Bree: No, we should not. Twitter.

Ali: – that is specifically ranking the hottest characters in the Wheel of Time.

Aradia: I am Aradia. I am one half of the Wheel of Time Spoilers Podcast, currently nearing the end of Crossroads of Twilight, thank goodness. As well as a podcast producer for Fox and Raven Media.

Bree: And I am Bree, one half of the bestselling sci fi fantasy romance author Kit Rocha, slowly descending into madness as my deadline approaches, becoming more and more unhinged. My hair’s getting taller and taller. So wish me luck. I’m still writing.

Aradia: Best of luck

Ali: Thoughts and prayers for you.

Bree: Thank you.

Ali: It’s also incredibly relatable, as that’s where I was last time we recorded, or the time before? Whatever.

Bree: Yeah. You were on a tight deadline.

Ali: I was on a tight deadline. And of course, true to form, I haven’t heard back about that project yet.

Bree: Of course. I love comparing your deadlines to my deadlines, because your deadlines are like, you get them and you’ve got like 48 hours to whip something around. And mine are these distant things that approach after months, and then all of a sudden I’m in turmoil because I was supposed to have written a 90,000 word book. Like 40,000 words into it or something.

Ali: See, for me they’re like, You have 48 hours to turn this around, and then you don’t hear anything about it for weeks.

Bree: Oh, that’s the worst part about deadlines.

Ali: And you’re like, Please! I mean, if it’s that much of an emergency, then it also needs to be an emergency for you! But you know, it is what it is. Awesome. Well, currently we are nuancing our way through the Ruins of Ambrai, so if you haven’t read it yet, go do that and come back when you have. Because otherwise this really won’t make sense to you at all. For the rest of you, let’s break it down now.

0:02:30 Bree’s Time Travel Adventures

Bree: And it is time to get into Bree’s mostly reliable time travel machine. Please keep your hands and feet inside the car, because we are going back to a wild 1994 today. (swooshing sound)

We’ve discussed before that Netscape arrived on the scene in 1994, but Microsoft actually countered that with Internet Explorer, sparking decades of aggravation for everybody who wanted to make a website look the same in both browsers. So, shout out to anyone who has ever been there. Seriously, we have like, I don’t know, three months where you just had the design for one browser and then, ugh. That was that, the nineties and website designs, I could go all day.

Jack Lo introduced the vertical mouse in 1994, which, I don’t know if you guys have vertical mice, but I do and I thank him daily. Look here, I’ll show you guys my vertical mouse.

Ali: I didn’t even know what a vertical mouse is.

Aradia: I’ve been lusting after a vertical mouse for years, but I haven’t actually followed through.

Ali: What the fuck is that?

Bree: It is the most beautiful thing. My hand sits like this. So it sits sideways.

Ali: What?!

Aradia: It’s sideways. It’s 90 degrees.

Ali: Is it better for your hand?

Bree: Yeah, and so much better for your wrist. And it’s like, Yes. And then, like, you know, your thumb wraps around inside, and then your fingers press the buttons, and it is so nice and it’s so comfortable. Like, you don’t have your hand at a weird angle to the rest of your arm. It’s just like, you put your arm down on the desk and then the mouse just sort of fits right into it.

Ali: As someone who spends way too much time on the computer, this is intriguing. As someone whose job is computer.

Aradia: Right, this is why I’m like, I need one. Yeah, I’ve known I need one for years and I just haven’t committed to it.

Bree: Oh, God. Especially with podcast editing. I bet there’s so much mouse stuff and it’s just so much more comfortable.

Ali: Lot of wrist action in that podcasting editing.

Aradia: For sure. So yeah, maybe I’ll finally get with the nineties and get a vertical mouse.

Ali: For I’ve literally never seen one of those before in my life. That is wild to me.

Bree: Well, today you’ve learned. I love them.

Ali: You know, I’m part of today’s lucky 5000, where I learned what a vertical mouse is.

Aradia: Hell, yes.

Bree: Also okay. In 1994, I’ve been sitting on this one because it’s a collective experience. This is probably my second one of those. We didn’t used to have them very often before social media. Those moments were like, everybody is watching the same thing. And the first one of my life was probably the challenger explosion, that’s the first one I remember.

But the second was in 1994, O.J. Simpson’s white bronco car chase. That was like a moment where, like, I remember watching it, like, everybody remembered watching it, cause for just one minute, everybody was like, What the hell is going on? And I was 14. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I remember.

Ali: So both my mom and stepmom had at some point met OJ, which is kind of crazy, because they both lived in Los Angeles and my step mom at the time was married to a sportscaster. So she knew them, which was wild. And after that happened, her phone didn’t stop ringing because all the sportscaster wives had to talk about it. And then my mom had met him because she was at the LAX and she was trying to get her bag. And she was struggling with it. And all of a sudden this big man comes and is like, Let me take that for you and puts it down next to her. And she was like, Ali, he was the hottest man I’ve ever seen in my life. She was like, There is a power to that guy for real. She’s like, I couldn’t speak. He was like, so famous and so hot. Both of them have an O.J. story.

Aradia: Wow.

Bree: Yeah, I was 14 and not sports. See, I had no idea who he was, but I was still watching the TV because everybody was watching TV.

Ali: Everybody was watching.

Bree: Like I went into a different neighbor’s house and they had the TV on. It was just like that was what was going on.

Ali: Everyone stopped working.

Bree: So I want to know, this is like one thing I want to know from all of our listeners. What your first – if you have a 1990s one, or just what your first collective moment like that was. Because pre-social media, they were a lot more rare. But we have that one formative moment where you feel like you and everybody in the world, just like doing one thing.

Ali: I felt like, mine was probably 9/11, which is rough. But I feel like most recently the Montgomery Boat Brawl.

Aradia: Oh, yeah.

Ali: Well, yeah, that’s the thing everyone was talking about and everyone was watching. And I’ve seen like 45 clips and 45 hot takes about it.

Bree: I am stocking up chairs and Gatorade, just in case, because I’m only 2 hours north of there. Next time I’ll be ready. I’ve watched all the Tik Toks. I know where my white place is, my white face place. And it is on the sidelines handing out the folding chairs.

Ali: Here’s the chairs. Go ham. Go ham!

Bree: I’m back up.

Aradia: Yeah. My first collective experience, I mean, aside from, like, the broad sweep of Y2K, which we talked about last time, which was technically before 9/11, it would be 9/11 for me also. Because I was in such a, like, reclusive, isolated, like, deliberately news isolated community, that there was no way for me to have like – there were no TVs just playing in the background. We watched The Simpsons and Star Trek, we had a TV. But it came on for those two reasons and we always muted the commercials. Like the concept of knowing the news – before I was ten, I had no ability to access it. But 9/11, suddenly I had the concept that the world existed, like so many scales of things had to come crashing home to me at that point. So yeah, it’s, it’s a rough one.

Ali: Yeah. Did I talk about the unaccompanied minor thing, the effects that that had on the unaccompanied minor program?

Bree: No.

Ali: Oh okay. So this is like a very specific weird thing. But my parents divorced when I was four, right? And back in the day, pre 9/11, you could take your kid to the gate and basically put them on the plane and then they fly.

Bree: Oh, that’s right.

Aradia: Yeah. My parents did that with me all the time to send me to my grandparents, like, all the time.

Ali: My dad lives in L.A., my mom lived in San Francisco, and basically they just put us on the plane, walk us directly to the gate, and then the other parent would be there to pick us up. So like, all we had to do was like, sit still for an hour, which we could do. We were good like that. So once 9/11 happened, you could no longer go to the gate with your kid. And so this had a big profound effect on my family, weirdly, very specifically, because they invented basically the unaccompanied minor program. So a member of the plane, usually like a flight attendant or someone, would walk you through security to your gate, and then and then sit you down basically on the plane and then walk you out once the plane landed. And occasionally my dad would be late, because he’d get caught up at the office or whatever. And they had nowhere to put the kids if you were late. And they had to supervise you. So what they did was they would put us into the interrogation room.

Aradia: (laughs nervously)

Ali: And I think that’s a very poignant memory of me, like driving my little hot wheels over the metal table. (laughs)

Aradia: That’s so messed up.

Ali: There was a part of me that was like, This sounds like wild, like wild when you say it, and everyone goes like, That’s really messed up. And I just think it’s really funny and explains a lot about me. But I was talking to my sister this past weekend and I was like, Am I making this up? Like I fully remember this happening. But my sister – I’ve never talked about it before – and so I turned to her and I was like, Do you remember? And I basically laid this all out for her. She turns to me, she goes, Oh my God, yes! And we were like, we’re screaming laughing. And we were just joking around about the fact that apparently now the kids go to some playground or something. And we were like, Coddled, completely coddled.

Aradia: Kids these days won’t know the pain.

Ali: They have it so easy. And you had this, like, ginormous badge. Now it’s just a sticker, I think. We had this huge badge that basically, as a kid, took up your entire body, basically being like, Unaccompanied minor!, and you had to wear it around your neck and then give it to them once you were done, because they would give it to some other poor, wayward child. And it was a wild experience.

Aradia: That’s so trippy because like, I flew down to California all the time to see my grandparents and I remember the change, but I guess I was old enough and going down less enough by the time that that happened, I don’t remember all of that indignity. I don’t remember that happening to me. But I was still a minor, like for many years after that.

I guess I just – I don’t know, maybe they were just like, Whatever, she’s fine. She’s been doing this enough times. It’ll be fine.

Ali: Yeah, we were only nine and seven, so. And then my dad bought us a Nokia phone just for the flights.

Aradia: I was getting into preteen-hood at that point and like, teenage-hood. So I guess I was a little more –

Ali: Yeah, I feel like at that age –

Aradia: And I did not get into trouble. Like, Rule. Follower.

Ali: You have to be a little less corralled. Yeah, I feel like when you’re seven and nine when you’re dealing with, like, elementary schoolers, it’s a little more intense? Anyway, I just remember that so vividly. And my sister and I were like, cackling about it.

Aradia: She’s just like, memory unlocked, because like, that happens sometimes. One sibling will remember something so vividly and you will remember it once it’s triggered. But you haven’t thought about it in 20 years. So it’s just like (gasps), mind tunnel. It’s so fun.

Ali: Yeah, it’s so wild when that happens, and you just go like, Hey, do you remember this happening? You both just go, Collective trauma! But it’s, like, hilarious.

Aradia: It’s bonding. It’s bonding.

Bree: Yeah. Let’s unlock! We’re now unlocking the collective trauma of our listeners. So, happy Monday!

Ali: If any of you also remember this happening in the unaccompanied minor program, let us know, because it’s hilarious. What is your collective trauma? Anyway.

0:13:30 Betrayal part 10

Bree: So, yes, now that I have traumatized us all, in also 1994, Melanie Rawn said, Got bad news? Say it with flowers. So let’s dive into this chapter, you guys, or these three parts that we read. And Collan is back!

Aradia: (sings) Collan!

Ali: How does he factor in? I’m like, he’s got to be related somehow. Like, why is this boy the most important boy?

Bree: Well, we need a token boy, right?

Aradia: Yeah. I don’t know how he fits in, but I’m glad we’re back with him. He’s a very fun POV to be in. He thinks about the world in very amusing ways.

Ali: The argument that I have in my head is like, it should be – if we’re going to have a token boy, right? – It should be Taig or Alin. Because they’re related to the other characters, because the other three are sisters. So I’m like, this boy, did Auvry have some kind of love child, prior to being with Maichen, what is what is special about Mr. Collan? Why do we care about Collan?

Bree: Maybe he’s just included because he’s someone’s love interest. I mean, that’s what token girls are, right?

Ali: I would kind of love that if Melanie Rawn was doing that. And here’s a rare – But again, why not Taig? Isn’t Taig Sarra’s love interest, a little bit?

Bree: I mean, Cailet would argue with that.

Aradia: We have to have a couple of red herrings, a couple of love triangles.

Bree: Cailet says, Let Taig love me!

Ali: Cailet is like a sister to him. So that would be weird.

Bree: It is definitely a little bit, You were thinking and walking around and having middle child responsibilities when she was born.

Ali: Yeah, it’s kind of like, I mean, theoretically, step siblings could hook up, but it’s still kind of – there’s an ick to it.

Aradia: It’s weird, it’s weird. There’s an emotional intimacy that transcends genetic whatever. It’s just like, hmm.

Bree: Her brother does call her his lover ‘cousin’ as an affectionate –

Aradia: And then there’s that, and then there’s that. So there’s standards that are defined. I don’t think he’s related to the sisters, though. I don’t feel that. I do think he’s there to be like a completely different player. I would be sort of weirded out if it turns out he’s a lost brother. I just don’t feel like that’s where we’re going.

Ali: But a lost cousin. There’s a lot of those.

Bree: I mean, cousins are clearly on the table.

Ali: Cousins can be like first cousins, but they can also be like 40th cousins. I mean aren’t we technically all like, yeah, 40th cousins?

Aradia: Something like that.

Bree: Probably.

Aradia: If we go back far enough there’s so much fewer people. It’s like, we’re all related.

Ali: I think eventually we all have one common ancestor. We’re all related somewhere, but it’s like, how related, you know?

Aradia: Yeah.

Ali: But yeah, I don’t know, I feel like that. I feel like there’s got to be some reason this boy – other than the, you know, love of it all. I also don’t know if I ship him with any of them.

Bree: I’m just staring off into space, I have no comment on this.

Ali: I don’t know if I ship him with Sarra. I kind of ship asexual Sarra.

Aradia: Yeah, yeah, that’s the problem. She has to have a love interest because it’s the nineties, and it’s so obvious.

Ali: And I definitely don’t ship him with Cailet. So I think that’s why I’m like, why is he here?

Bree: I mean you haven’t seen him with Cailet yet. I don’t know. Maybe he’s going to be adorable with her.

Aradia: Mmh, he’s like, twice her age!

Ali: Yeah. He’s too old for her.

Aradia: Much too old.

Bree: This is the nineties. This is a fantasy.

Ali: No, no, no.

Bree: Just saying. I mean, I’m just opening doors for exploration.

Ali: I recently had to come to terms with the fact that the books that I’m reading have, like, you know, 200 year old men with 19 year old women. And I’m like, Mmh, I don’t love that.

Bree: I mean, guys, we have discussed doing Tamora Pierce yet, and I hate to tell you, it’s not going to get better!

Ali: The age gaps are bad, the age gaps are real bad.

Aradia: Oh! Oh! Daine and Numair!

Ali: We all as a culture need to look at the trope of like, 19 year old girl with 700 year old man, like I think we have to really –

Bree: Anyway! Preorder sexy dragon book, for two 25 year olds and a 3800 year old –

Ali: Oh, no!

Bree: I said what I said, Why just do twice their age? Do 300 times their age. I mean, if you’re going to commit, commit.

Aradia: You did rethink it and you decided to double down.

Ali: Yeah, it’s giving May – December of 17 years later, romance. You know what I mean?

Bree: May – he was already 800 when they started the calendar.

Ali: Oh my god.

Bree: And one of the months is named after him.

Aradia: So yeah, I had a problem with that. But there’s another book I really like, that is like, I don’t like vampires who are predestined to meet people in the future, because that means that they knew that, well, that person was child. And that’s just weird.

Ali: Yeah, I think you have to go into it going, I don’t see it. It’s not real. So it can’t actually hurt me right.

Bree: There is a line in paranormal where it just gets so ridiculous, I’m like, I’m no longer counting. So once you no longer have human lifespans, I’m just like, I don’t care, I’m all in. So I think that Cailet and Collan might be just human enough and nineties enough for me to go, mmm? Maybe if Collan were, like, 400, you know, and then I’d be like, okay.

Ali: I think also because we’ve seen Cailet as a baby, I think that also makes a difference, right? We didn’t just, you know, Lights up, she’s 19 years old.

Bree: We saw all these babies as babies. So that’s going to be complicated. Pretty much.

Aradia: Glenin was like 15 or whatever when this all started? So Sarra was –

Bree: Oh, no, Glenin was like eight or something.

Aradia: Oh, right. Yeah, because Sarra was like five.

Bree: Because remember, we went back to when they were all babies, like the Collan stuff. I’m pretty sure the first Collan point of view is before Sarra is even born because he’s like five.

Aradia: Right? Yeah, because he’s a itty bitty child.

Bree: Yeah. So anyway, but he’s back and we have found out – you guys have been wondering – if he joined the Rising and how he joined the Rising. And it turns out he kind of did it by mistake.

Aradia: So funny.

Ali: Honestly, me.

Aradia: He’s been like, arm twisted and fate tricked into just being like, Oops, I guess I’m doing this. I guess I’ve been doing that. It’s so funny.

Ali: It’s so me.

Bree: Yeah, It’s just, you know, people just like, ask him for a favor and then he goes in the alley, deliver something where somehow he incurs a new debt, like get sick and they take care of him or they fix his lute, or they do this or they do that or they’re just –

Aradia: It’s a series of fetch quests.

Ali: Yes, it was really kind of, If you give a mouse a cookie. Honestly. And I related to that really hard. You know what? Here’s the thing. If Sarra is autistic representation, may I submit Collan as ADHD representation? Because accidentally finding yourself in an organization is the most ADHD thing I’ve ever heard of. Also, accidentally having an incredible talent, is also the most ADHD thing I’ve ever heard of.

Aradia: Yeah, this tracks.

Bree: Can you imagine pursuing your beloved interest and accidentally joining some sort of crazy rebellion, just bymistake. You just wake up one day and you’re like, Oh wait, how did I do this?

Ali: Honestly, I kind of expect it to happen. Like, I kind of I expect, one day I’m going to wake up and be like, whoa. Well, I accidentally became a podcaster!

Aradia: Yeah, we’re already halfway there. Ali, you and me both have little cult followings that, like, all we need is for a zombie apocalypse to pop off. And then someone has to have a piece of land and boom, we have our post-apocalyptic commune, like, done.

Ali: Gus and I, very sickly, one time broke down who of our friends would be the most useful in the zombie apocalypse, and who we feel like we might need to avoid because they might be a liability and/or actively antagonistic.

Bree: Yeah, I – just kill me when the air conditioning goes out, guys, I maintain. I would be very useful, but I don’t want to live without air conditioning. Okay. It’s hot.

Ali: I really don’t think I’d be very useful. I really don’t. Gus would be amazing, and I would only survive because Gus would be amazing at it. Cause he was an aagle scout, he friggin crashes this whole living thing, and he knows everything about computers. He knows everything about how things run and work. And I make up stories in my brain and have a meltdown when I stub my toe.

Aradia: So. Well, see, the thing is, though, that we need arts. This has always been my mom’s argument for how she’s going to survive the apocalypse, because she’s a musician and she’s like, I’m not, I don’t need to do anything else. I just have to show up with a guitar or just sing or just recite songs that I know because, like, there won’t be any entertainment if we lose all the electricity. So like, storytellers are going to be really valuable.

Ali: So what you’re saying is, I would be the like moral, heart, compass of the group that everyone sacrifices themselves for, because they’re like, Otherwise we’ll be so bored.

Aradia: Exactly.

Ali: What is life worth living without Ali?

Bree: Didn’t you guys just do the episode with the cat and the flashlight, in Mockingjay?

Ali: Okay. So I’m the cat.

Aradia: Yes. Yeah, someone’s got to be the cat.

Bree: Someone’s got to be the flashlight cat.

Aradia: Yeah. So Gus gets the flashlight and you’re the cat. You’re a team.

Ali: I go on none of the missions, because I have no attention span. It’s bad. And if me playing video games is any indication, I am an utter coward. So this would be good. I feel like – Yeah, I think this would be my role. Okay. Yeah. I submit myself as the morale of the group.

Aradia: Exactly.

Ali: There we go.

Bree: There we go. We are all ready for our apocalypse.

Ali: We just need a doctor. I’ve been saying this. We just need a doctor, or a vet. Someone who understands medicine.

Bree: Oh, we’ve got Donna.

Ali: Donna! Okay, so great.

Bree: Donna did everything but nursing clinicals. She knows everything.

Ali: Nice.

Bree: Donna, like, super glued her husband’s toe back on once.

Ali: What?

Bree: Yeah, we’re not going deep on that one.

Ali: We’re not?

Aradia: Something went deep on that one.

Bree: No, we’re already living some backwoods medicine apocalypse stuff out here.

Ali: That’s actually, that’s metal as fuck.

Bree: Yes, seriously.

Ali: I have gained increased respect for Donna. I already had respect for Donna, but I have a crazy respect for Donna.

0:25:13 Music break

Ali: Okay. Back to what we’re here to talk about. Yeah, Collan’s become famous and rich. Quick thing, we have the, I don’t want to get married. I just want to sow my wild oats. And he’s a boy.

Aradia: Yeah.

Bree: I did have that in there. How do we feel about it? Because, like, you know, I have this in here with, like, part 12. Because that’s where we find out he’s going to Roseguard, where he has an understanding with the innkeeper’s niece, who is very inventive, apparently, so like, how do we feel about the fact that Collan gets to be a fuck boy?

Aradia: Well, I mean, he is a rock star.

Ali: That’s true.

Aradia: So that tracks to me. For a rock star to be a fuck boy is like, on brand, but I don’t love it in the context of all the gender dynamics we’ve been talking about for the course of this podcast.

Ali: I’m just like, Where’s the Jonas Brothers purity ring? Do you know what I mean?

Bree: Yeah, it’s hard – I feel like though, they do do some stuff in this, and we’ll just deal with it now. In chapter 12, where, you know, he goes pretty deep into this whole what the – Roseguard isn’t conservative, it’s considered a pretty moderate place. And so, the big deal is, none of the elder women want this fuck boy for their daughter, which I do feel like is a sort of flip, because he has lost marriageable quality by being a fuck boy, which is what they tell women. That’s what they tell us, that we become less, but they’re okay for like fucking around on themselves.

Ali: That the crinkled paper, used gum bullshit right?

Aradia: Right.

Bree: Yeah. The Jane the virgin crushed flower thing, you know, So. So the fact that the matrons of Roseguard are like, Yeah, well, don’t flirt with my daughter. But, you know, now that I’ve had a couple of kids, you know, flirt with me, so it’s pretty much that you’re not good enough for my daughter to marry, but you’re good enough to be my piece on the side. And I do feel like that is a pretty explicit flip right there. That is pretty much how we treat sexual women. You’re not good enough.

Ali: Valid.

Aradia: Yeah. The age gap and the predatory kind of nature of that. And like, yeah, that did feel like a very believable flip. Because it felt like they were all creepers. Yeah, like they were all cougars and creepers and like, not good people though.

Bree: He is 31 now, so he’s probably not that much younger than them. He’s like, you know. But because, you know, we’re talking about like, I guess probably people who are in their forties. So, I mean, they’re a little older than him.

Aradia: I was imagining they were in their fifties and really rich and also I was imagining that the financial gap as well also creates that power dynamic, that’s like super predatory when it’s like, Oh yeah, I totally want to bang the singer. Like, that’s great. Like, it’s icky in the real world. And I liked how it felt icky here too.

Ali: There’s an icky. Yeah.

Bree: And also, like, he’s wealthy, but none of them know that. So, like, that sort of presents a like – his wealth can’t insulate him, especially since he basically has to keep it hidden in numbered accounts with the healers. So because there’s no real way for him as a man to safely accumulate wealth, he’s basically got like Swiss numbered accounts that he’s hiding his earnings in.

Ali: To be clear, this isn’t me saying that old women are icky, but I just went –

Aradia: Oh, no, no, no.

Bree: Oh no.

Ali: It’s the power dynamics and the age gap that is like, mmh, icky.

Bree: They are only icky if they’re using their status of their age and their power and their money to coerce young people to do things.

Aradia: Yeah, absolutely. Like, middle age women should fuck. Definitely pro middle age women getting all of the laid.

Bree: And Collan wants – I do think that I feel like Collan’s pretty happy with the status quo. He’s like getting the women who know what they want and know how to fuck.

Aradia: Which, good for him. Yeah, good for him.

Bree: And you know, he doesn’t have to worry about them trying to marry him, you know? So he seems to be pretty happy with this as the status quo. He gets the inventive nieces.

Aradia: And he mentions that he’s really good about birth control. He’s taking no chances. So big props to him for being responsible and having safe sex.

Bree: So, you know, that’s what Collan’s. He’s he is, you know, fucking around. But in a good way. I guess.

Aradia: He’s not finding out. He’s just fucking around.

Bree: He’s not having to find out, because he’s fucking responsibly.

Ali: Fuck around responsibly and don’t find out.

Bree: So he’s basically the Rising’s most exclusive courier at this point. And they value him because – he hates this fact, because he doesn’t want to know what’s in any of these things that they’re telling him to carry. He’s just like, Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. Fuck off, fuck you.

Ali: This is where we differ, I am not a no questions asked kind of gal. I am a every question will be asked kind of gal, I am nosy as absolute fuck. I would open those letters. I am not someone who – when I find out there’s a secret, I will find out that secret. I will do everything in my power. I am nosy as shit. I am like Harriet the fucking spy.

Bree: Detective Shields. Yes. So, yeah. Collan’s not, he’s just like, I don’t want to know. And they like that because if he gets caught, he can’t tell anybody anything. I mean, he doesn’t know shit about shit.

Ali: Well, that’s good from the other person’s perspective, I’m just saying that would not be me.

Bree: Yeah, that’s why they value him.

Ali: They would not value me.

Aradia: But that is coming to an end. This section sort of closes out his period of innocent, gloved contact. He gets drawn in by the end and.

Bree: And guess how it closes out? With the arrival of Gorynel Desse. Who we have been looking for.

Ali: Did we doubt, that this man would be involved somehow?

Aradia: None other. None other. He has finally risen through the ranks to the point of Gorynel Desse feeling like fucking with him. Even though he’s an adult and no longer has child memories to steal.

Bree: We’re getting to see some results.

Aradia: And we’ve got more memory fuckery with Collan. Like not more being applied, but memory stuff comes undone with him. So yeah. Gorynel Desse and his impact on the plot are both coming back in this section.

Ali: Something about Gorynel Desse made me laugh this time. What was it? Fuck.

Bree: I mean, he basically, like, pops out of nowhere, sets Collan up to get discovered by the guy who, you know, the Witte family, which is where he got in trouble in Pinderon that time. So the son pops in. And then all of a sudden, Gorynel Desse is there, he’s like, Whoops, doing some magic, starting some fire, probably burning your ass. Oh, I’m here to rescue you. Now you owe me a favor.

Aradia: Yeah, which was just –

Bree: Total setup.

Aradia: Nakedly obvious setup.

Bree: Absolutely.

Ali: But there’s something about him that was funny. Oh, fuck. I can’t remember. I will get to it. We’ll get to it and I’ll remember. But he made me chuckle this time. I was like, Okay, Gorynel.

Aradia: I think I remember laughing at him too. I don’t remember where, but that rings a bell.

Ali: We’ll get to it. Something? Yes, there’s something there. Yeah. Where I was like, okay, I like you, but stop fucking with people’s memories.

Bree: I think he said a couple things explicitly, which was, you know, You’re headed for Roseguard anyway. They appreciate music. You won’t be poor for the trip. And then he says that the flower code is a recent innovation making use of a tradition long out of fashion. So yeah, basically he gets a message and he’s not happy because this is the first time he can understand the message, because he knows the flower code, because he knows all the songs that talk about the flowers and stuff. This is not a good flower code and he knows what’s being said for once and he’s not happy. But he’s like, okay, I’m going to do this and this is the last one, I am then for sure, absolutely, positively, 100% quitting this Rising bullshit. And how do we think that’s going to go yet?

Aradia: Read: Getting pulled deep into the heart of it.

Ali: First of all, The Rising is very much giving Ophelia in Hamlet’s rosemary for remembrance, You know, just giving us a lot of flowers.

Bree: A lot of flowers.

Ali: Well, I got very interested in the flowers of it all, because I saw Oleander, which I know is poisonous, and that instantly made me go, Huh. So then I was like, Oh, what if all these flowers were poisonous? They’re not, I looked it up.

Bree: But I’m going to tell you something right now, Ali. You looking all of these up did not impact what happened in this scene, but it was not a bad impulse. There are secret things to come where foreshadowing was in flowers that I did not understand the meaning of..

Aradia: Lay it on us, Brown Ajah.

Bree: I’m just going to say, I will give you a good energy. You might crack a case down the road here in this book if you keep at it.

Ali: Well, I was looking oh, there were a couple where I was, like, trying to figure out what they might be saying, because I was interested. Yeah. So Oleander, though, in particular, maybe going, That’s a poisonous flower? Well, the plant is poison. I wonder if all of them are poisonous, and then they weren’t. But then it kind of got interesting because I was like looking into the symbolism and like, you know, when Collan is like, I’m not sure what they’re trying to say about this one particular one. It seems like they’re trying to console somebody about something. I was looking into those things, I think I came up with my own head canon of what that was, regardless of whether or not it was right. So we can get there when we get there.

Bree: Okay. Collan gets to Roseguard. He realizes if he’s going to get all of these different flowers, he can either – I think he expressed it as, go from shop to shop like a demented bee, or he can just go to Roseguard’s famous gardens and just steal all the flowers from her, since the message isfor her anyway.

Aradia: He’s such a prankster, I might as well just steal them.

Bree: So he goes to the gardens and we meet a familiar character.

Aradia: Yeah.

Bree: How did you guys feel about that? Did you recognize him when he first came back or not until later?

Aradia: Not until later. Not until we went to his house.

Ali: I didn’t recognize him until the daughter came and I was like, Oh. Flower girl.

Bree: Yes. So Verald is the guy who, when we did the flashback, when he went into the little holiday they were having. Verald was the guy who handed them the flowers and was like, Hey, can you go, go give these to the little girl I’m supposed to marry? You know because she’ll be really happy to get them. And so they had met before. But Collan does not remember that. And Vera doesn’t immediately either, though he does recognize Collan’s name as basically someone in the Rising. He immediately starts talking about forbidden music. Talks about Falundir, which gets Collan a headache.

Aradia: Mmh, memory fuckery.

Ali: Memory. Fuckery. Yeah.

Bree: Apparently Collan’s been discouraged from thinking about anything dangerous because he starts to get a headache that won’t go away unless he just, like, stops thinking about that thing.

Ali: Now, here’s the question. No one has come up to him over the years as a minstrel and been like, Oh, you’re just like this other amazing minstrel. Like The Minstrel.

Bree: Well, he’s not even the minstrel, he’s the Bard. So like, basically there’s two – it’s like master’s degree and Ph.D. So like, Falundir was like, the shit. So it does seem like it would be really hard to be a minstrel who gets headaches whenever talking about the most influential bard of all time?

Aradia: There was sort of the implication that no one talks about him very much because of the whole thing with Murderer Punch Card, well, Maiming Punch Card Lady?

Bree: There is that, too. He was disgraced.

Aradia: I feel like it’s only ever come up a few times in his life, and every time it gave him a headache, so he avoids it.

Bree: That is fair because he immediately is like, Are you sure you want to be talking about this dude?

Ali: That’s true, Aradia. Good reading.

Aradia: Yeah. It’s like, hot potato.

Bree: Remember last time he’s saying about – Yeah, Thank you. You, you just totally reminded me that is.

Ali: I was not trying to poke holes in Melanie Rawn’s thing, I’m just being a shit head.

Bree: No, I was there too. I was like, wow, that would be very inconvenient. No, nobody sings the songs because he’s disgraced and it’s basically criminal. So Verald is the master of the gardens. And so he just decides to, like, help Collan go get all the plants they need.

Aradia: Which means he knows the message, which is like, great opsec, like, come on.

Bree: Yeah, not the best. But he’s like, starting to get really stressed out because he’s looking at, like, all these plants and he’s like, Oh God, you know, Saints protect my lady, who is, you know, Agatine, Sarra’s foster mother. So this, this horrible message is going to her, eventually, Sarra’s foster mother. And then finally they decide to go back to their old house for lunch. And that’s where they meet Sela, who immediately recognizes Collan because he sneezes like he did when he came through the gates. And Verald is like, Oh, my God, it is you. I thought I recognized you. And Sela is like, You gave me first flowers, and I was so excited, and, you know, and she’s like, I can’t believe it was you, famous fuck boy, minstrel, Rising hero! And he’s like, Woah!

Ali: You gave me flowers one time, and I made it my entire personality.

Aradia: Yeah, right, right, right. Bruce Springsteen sweated on me.

Bree: So Collan doesn’t remember any of this. And he does not want to be a famous Rising hero either. So he’s just like, Shut it down, nope. And Sela’s kind of sad, but Verlad’s like, If he says he doesn’t remember, he doesn’t remember. Let’s just let it go. So slightly awkward, but more Wardery fuckery, Warding fuckery. Gorynel Desse does not want people to have memories.

Ali: Yeah. Mm hmm.

0:40:12 Music break – part 11

Bree: That’s the end of the first part. Okay, part 11. Let’s go. Let us jump into part 11. They’ve all agreed that they’re not going to push poor Collan into trying to remember them.

Ali: And then what’s her face decides, Never mind. I’m going to renege on that completely.

Bree: Yeah, well, he stays with them for two pleasant hours, is what he calls it.

Aradia: And it’s so cute. The whole dad parenting, like swarm of children that the dads are trying to corral like scene, that is happening around, is super adorable and domestic and I love it.

Bree: Yes, we meet the wine dads basically.

Ali: I want everyone to take note of how Collan – even though he’s like, I’m annoyed with this child in this space – tries to help the dads? I saw this whole thing the other day where this kid was having a meltdown at a barbershop while he was getting his haircut. So the barbershop starts singing, to like, distract him. And I’m just like, yes, more community support for parents who – kids have a right to be in a public space just like everybody else. And yeah, sometimes they act up because they’re children and they don’t have fully developed brains yet. And like, let’s be, let’s be kind to their parents who are doing their very best, I don’t know. I just liked that he was like, you know what? I’m going to play them the song. Yeah, give them a break because. Yeah, like kids crying on an airplane. Annoying. But like, let’s not be mean to the parents who can’t do anything about it and maybe have to, like, go to a funeral. We don’t know their lives, you know? I don’t know. I just, I feel very strongly about that. I liked the, It takes a village, of this chapter.

Aradia: This is a very good model.

Bree: Yes. Which is very much what it is. Apparently, the fathers all take turns bringing all the kids to one person’s house every day, so that like the, you know, moms get peace and quiet because that is the fantasy, I guess, when you’re writing a reversal. So, yes. So Collan decides to play for them. He gets a littl, what does he get? A lute?

Aradia: A child sized lute, like a little ukulele or something.

Bree: Oh, a mandolin. A mandolin.

Aradia: So cute, and it’s too small for him. And I imagine he’s kind of lanky, so he’s just kind of like crunched into an origami ball, like strumming on the instrument.

Bree: Tiny mandolin.

Aradia: Like a rock star. All these little tiny kids. Like, it’s so cute.

Bree: Yes.

Aradia: And he’s like, on a stool that’s way too short. So his knees are like, up and his ears, like, it’s just is beautiful.

Bree: It is absolutely. And one is named Viko, and this is one of the names that becomes a problem. He gets a headache when one of the kids is named Viko and they yell it, and he gets a little bit of a headache.

Aradia: And I don’t remember the name Viko from anywhere, like, am I wrong?

Bree: Let’s put a pin in that for later. Okay? So Viko kind of gives him a headache. He distracts himself with the song, and so he – this line. I love this line. When necessary, Collan could make himself heard above tavern brawls. This was the greater challenge. And then he yells Quiet and all the little kids are like, oh, the loudest noise we’ve ever heard!

Ali: As a teacher, I felt some of this chapter. As someone who used to teach, I felt some of this chapter, where you just like, I mean, when – see, but the unrealistic thing is, when you finally get them quiet, which usually doesn’t happen by yelling at them, but let’s find out. But when you finally get them quiet, then, like, one kid farting sets them all off again.

Bree: Yes.

Ali: If one kid had farted during one of those songs, they would have all dissolved. The magic would have been broken, I promise.

Bree: Yeah, but apparently he is so wonderful. Nobody dares fart.

Ali: They held it in.

Bree: And the fathers escape into the dining room to wine dad it up.

Ali: Happy for them.

Bree: Yes. Go, fathers. You deserve that wine. If you are living the child wrangling life. So he sings a couple songs. Little Blue Pig. How Many Mice. St. Jeymian and the Bear. So then he ends with the Ambraian lullaby, and he puts them to sleep. Magical. Got to love that. That’s a father skill right there. I’m sure Collan would be horrified to be told that, but –

Aradia: It’s true anyway.

Bree: Verald tells him that, You’d make a damn good one. And Collan’s like, Haha, no.

Aradia: He’s like, I like the part where I get to hand them back. I’m fine hanging out with kids little while. He envisions himself as the ideal uncle. Like that’s as close to father’s stuff as he wants to get is like, I’ll take a day shift.

Ali: The best part of being an aunt is you like, have them for a bit. And they start crying or acting up and you’re like, Oh, I’m. Oh, no! And you hand them right back.

Bree: No, I will say, Mr. Bree, he is the uncle that all the crying babies get handed to. Donna’s younger child used to scream unless Donna or Mr. Bree, my husband, was holding them. Nobody else, nobody else was allowed. It was just like, those two people.

Aradia: Oh, and then it’s just like, well, you’ve been assigned. So that’s just what you get to do now.

Bree: Mr Bree is the baby whisperer.

Ali: So my stepdad is actually really, really good with babies. Like, loves babies. He’s like this gruff military guy, but he loves a baby. Like, he’s just he’s really good with them.

Bree: Babies know.

Ali: He’ll be at a party and we’ll be like, where is he? And then he’ll be asleep in a chair with a baby. Like, like holding the baby on his chest and they’ll both be asleep. So sweet.

Bree: That is the way. We do have a little thing here that I want to talk about. We find out a little bit more about, like what life is like for the people who work on these estates, when they work for these Blooded families. If you’ve got a nice Blooded family, like Lady Agatine is considered a good nobility. She educates their children, she gets them schooling and helps them get started in the profession if they want one. She helps with dowries and marriage negotiations, she has a healer who helps all of her employees when they’re sick. When they retire, they have a cottage. They can get a cottage at any of her estates and like to sort of retire into them. So she’s – it’s very much the life, you know, devoted to this one family. But they tend to take care of, she seems to take care of them pretty well.

Aradia: It’s a big ole working estate with an attached village where the whole economy is centered around the one thing, but like it’s a decent little economy and the people at the top don’t suck. So yeah, could be worse.

Ali: Well, I mean, It’s like if the people at the top don’t suck and pay their employees fairly, like, yeah, the economy works usually. If the people on the top suck and don’t pay their employees fairly, oh I don’t know, suddenly the economy kind of sucks, right?

Aradia: And everyone’s mental health is shit on top.

Ali: Yeah. Noone’s happy. It’s almost as if –

Aradia: Yeah, it totally tanks the economy.

Ali: It’s almost as if hoarding money like a dragon is not helpful to a functioning society.

Aradia: I mean, dragons are, broadly speaking, things that need to be slain, not protected and cultivated. I mean, Horny Dragon Book, you know.

Ali: It’s almost as if, oops, the wealthiest support the lower classes, because it actually behooves them, because then people don’t fucking murder them. And I was talking to a wealthy person one time, and their spouse was complaining about how many taxes they have to pay. And I shot back at them. We pay those taxes so our grandchildren’s heads don’t end up on spikes! Damn! But also valid..

Bree: The limit of all feudal societies as privilege and money of the upper 1.1% approaches infinity is, the Rising.

Ali: There you go.

Aradia: History tells us this. Artists tell us this. It’s a thing.

Bree: Except for in this point it’s the 1% doing the Rising. So I mean, I feel it. There’s a little bit of a friction there, because I kind of feel like Sarra is the 1%, but she’s also like, Don’t institute fascism. I’m having fun with privileging myself by a feudalism over here.

Aradia: Yeah, little Miss, My lack of understanding of the common people makes me well-suited to govern.

Ali: Call her out, Aradia! Holy shit. That was such a like, a precise takedown.

Bree: Yeah, that was a burn.

Ali: That was such a wicked burn.

Aradia: Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

Bree: Sarra’s lying in a field somewhere just like, Urgh.

Ali: You just murdered Sarra. Oh, I bet Sarra’s gut did not see that one coming. You went right for the gut.

Bree: So. And we do, speaking of Sarra, we do bring her up because, of course, Collan is like, Yeah, Lady Agatine is great. And Verald’s like, And so is Domna Liwellan! And Collan’s like, What, that Sarra bitch? Don’t like her!

Aradia: The one I spanked after she accused me of assault?

Ali: Now, even though we just murdered Sarra. Collan! Do not come for my girl, Sarra.

Aradia: Yeah, totally. So that was my reaction to it, too, was like, Collan!

Bree: Collan’s like, I like smacking her rear, and we’re like, Oh, no, you don’t!

Ali: We’re like, Excuse me!

Aradia: Yeah, you don’t get to harsh on Sarra.

Ali: We can harsh on Sarra.

Bree: We will die to protect Sarra.

Ali: Yeah. Let the community of women harsh Sarra. But the minute a man speaks up, we’re like, This isn’t your place.

Aradia: It’s like, Yeah, no.

Ali: She’ll be a part of this. You get to hand us the folding chair.

Bree: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, yeah, so they basically close down that, Verald’s like, come to dinner and play something a little less innocent than Little Blue Pig. And Collan agrees.

Aradia: Yeah, we want to hear some adult sounds.

Bree: And he ends this part thinking, Nice people, nice house, nice little girl, nice life, and dull as a day in Domburron.

Aradia: Okay, so what’s wrong with Domburron, anyway?

Ali: Okay, he’s really kind of giving me like, like 16 year old, like, I want out of this town. Right? Like all of us hated our town when we were young, right? And now my age, I’m like, What’s wrong with a nice small town? Like, can we go to the woods and talk to no one? Like, the shift!

Aradia: Like, literally, it’s ideal. I have moved to the woods so I can talk to no one. And it is perfection.

Ali: It sounds amazing.

Bree: I can’t complain most days. And if I could, there’d be nobody to complain to, because I’m in the woods!

Aradia: But yeah, he’s just like, dull as a day in Domburron. And I’m like, Where is Domburron? I feel like more people need to go there and chill the fuck out.

Ali: Where are the Zillow listings in Domburron. Do they have good schools?

Bree: Who wants to settle down with one nice little woman and a kid? I am a reckless, footloose and fancy free fuck boy.

Aradia: He’s 31. Like, dude, doesn’t your back hurt yet?

Ali: You’re 31. Yeah. So what, are you a bad knee or a bad back millennial? Like, what’s.

Bree: Yeah, Yeah. 31 felt so old when I was reading these, and now I’m like, 31 is young, kind of? I don’t know. I’m 43 now and I’m like, I feel like the Crypt Keeper.

Ali: I may have said this on the podcast before, but one of the biggest fish slaps in the face was when I was writing for Rugrats. And I realized Didi’s supposed to be 31.

Bree: Ouch. Wow.

Ali: That one, that I took personally, that’s sad. Yeah, that’s sad.

Bree: Oh Gosh.

Ali: I empathize with Bree with the Wow. I once thought that was an old person. And now I’m an old person. But I’m like, Collan, aren’t you taking Lactaid? Are you wearing headphones, earbuds at your concerts? Are we at that age? I went to the Taylor Swift concert, but Gus and I both had earbuds in, just to protect our ears.

Aradia: Good, good.

Bree: But he goes back to the inn. He’s got a stuffy nose, which means he’s not feeling like singing or inventive niece-ing. So he plays the lute for a while, like strolls along the restaurants and the tables. And we had learned earlier that, like, he’s at a point in his career where he’s famous enough that any inn he goes to will, like, fill up with people who come in to just explicitely hear him play. So he like, gets a portion of the profits of like, you know, when he’s playing and stuff. So he’s doing pretty good for himself.

Ali: Collan’s Out here on his Heiress tour.

Aradia: It’s just reminding me of the road trip from hell in Eye of the World.

Ali: Yeah. And then we played in another inn!

Aradia: Except, obviously, this is not so much from hell. This is just the road trip part.

Ali: And then we played at another inn.

Bree: He’s doing a lot better.

Aradia: Yeah. Well because he’s older now, like Rand and Mat are like 18, and he’s 31, so like, yeah, he’s figured it out at this point.

Ali: I notice we don’t list every inn that they go to, you know?

Aradia: Mm mm mm.

Bree: So yeah. And I had highlighted this part when we, when we sort of touched on it earlier, but The patrons of the Thistlesilk were solid, forthright, upstanding citizens, successful merchants and crafters for the most part, whose daughters chose a bower lad, took a husband, had a few children, and only then did (discreetly) as they pleased.

Ali: Hmm.

Bree: So that’s sort of the baseline, you know, stay chaste, get a bower lad, get a man, have some babies, and then do whatever you want.

Aradia: So again, tying women’s sexual liberation to their ability to procreate feels a little ick.

Bree: It’s weird because why does it matter whose babies they are? Unless it’s just explicitly –

Ali: Well, the Tier thing, I guess.

Bree: Well, that is true. But like, you know, there are some very high profile people who never say, like Murder Punch Card Lady will not tell anyone who Garon’s dad is. And so there’s clearly that right. So it is interesting that it’s still sort of considered a thing. But, you know, I guess this is a world where the power comes from producing robust offspring and that’s the women’s power. And so, like, I feel like that is going to always be the central conflict of this entire series. If you build a matriarchy where explicitly women have power because they can produce robust offspring, how can you ever really liberate them from that being considered their responsibility? Or have you just built one where you pay yourself better for doing it?

Ali: Here’s my thought. But like, we have a matriarchy, right? I feel like the priorities of a matriarchy pretty off the bat would be like, women’s health, right? If we’re doing a 1 to 1, because like men’s health has definitely been the priority in the patriarchy. So I feel like women’s health and women’s sexual liberation would be a early priority. And like, why would they not? Don’t they have birth control?

Bree: They do, they do.

Ali: Wouldn’t it be good?

Bree: And women are definitely allowed to encourage to use it so that they can plan families as they want, which is good.

Ali: Yeah. So then why can’t they fuck around without finding out.

Aradia: Exactly, like you can’t be sexually liberated until you produce new economic units for the state.?

Bree: Yeah.

Aradia: And again, like the whole robust babies thing, it’s almost like building your society on the basis of oppression and extraction. And eugenics is like inevitably going to be flawed and messed up. I’m getting that feeling. Slightly?

Ali: What a weird concept.

Bree: Aradia is just tossing out there that maybe eugenics is bad, actually.

Aradia: Thought experiment.

Bree: Just as a thought experiment.

Ali: Hot take!

Aradia: Hot take, eugenics might be bad.

Bree: Maybe, maybe.

Ali: There’s no hot nuance there.

Bree: We’re going to take a firm stance.

Ali: I feel like we pride ourselves in hot nuance, but there are some things where, there does not need to be nuance explored here! We are good with one blanket statement, and we don’t need to encourage discussion about it. Yeah.

Aradia: Yeah, yeah. Very much so. It’s actually not a thing that you need to discuss. It’s actually not great.

Ali: It’s almost as if, when one person in the society is oppressed, actually, all of us suffer.

Aradia: Um, it’s like a pyramid scheme.

Ali: You go see the – Wait, I can’t say that. Fuck, I keep doing that on our podcast. Go see a movie that came out recently, that I can’t talk about, because entertainment. Anyways.

Bree: I have heard that the patriarchy is when men and horses are in charge. So let’s go do some research.

Aradia: I have to go to town tomorrow. I might go do this research tomorrow, possibly. I don’t know. I don’t know. I so rarely go to where this sort of education is available. I might just wait until it becomes available at home.

Ali: One day I’ll talk about it.

Aradia: Yay! Liberation is a thing that we all have to get on board with. And there’s lots of nonfiction sources for that concept.

Bree: Pay your writers, pay your writers, pay your writers.

Ali: Pay your fucking writers and actors and crew people and literally everybody, pay people, just pay everybody.

Aradia: Pay people, just pay people.

Bree: Pay people, pay people. Speaking of paying people. Speaking of paying people, what do you guys think of the way they pay the Bard’s Cup ritual?

Aradia: I love it. I love that there’s a drinking contest as part of the end of the night for the musicians. Like it’s so cruel. There’s so many potentials for like little abuses and little tiffs, and terrible things. But also I love it. It just feels so mischivious.

Bree: Yeah. So they have this little rhyme and they’re apparently different versions of it. Like there are some for Minstrels and a different one for bards. And then like different ones, depending on which instrument you play. And there are four verses. And you’re given this cup of wine. And Collan says it’s usually like the shittiest wine that they have, and you have to drink it, precisely times to the four verses. And if you finish too soon or finish too late, you have to go play another song for everybody before you try again.

Ali: So they just give this man franzia and they’re basically like, Slap the bag. Yeah.

Aradia: See, it’s funny.

Bree: He does mention that some places put great wine in the Bard’s Cup and so he is occasionally with indulgent people, gotten gloriously drunk by messing up and having to just keep performing songs and then drinking more great wine.

Ali: I love it.

Aradia: See, it’s fine. The abuse of the system can run both ways, so, like, I’m fine with it. It’s just mischief for everybody.

Ali: I also feel like if you are playing all the time, after a while, you kind of know how to time that drink, you know what I mean? You’re like, You would get good at that game. So like if you didn’t, I feel like maybe it’s mean for new bards, but I feel like. Like once you’ve been –

Aradia: Right, it’s like a hazing thing.

Ali: Yeah, I feel like once I have been around for a while, like, you know, are really good at it. So Collan, it sounds like, can control the outcome.

Bree: Yeah. Collan can do it easily now. So yes, basically they say First to thank good St. Velenne Whose gift has kept me fed; Next to thank the worthy Bards Whose songs have bought my bed; Third to thank my Lady Lute Whose strings control my purse; The last does not thank you, kind friends — Instead, I thank my horse! So a little mischief.

Aradia: Hilarious. Also rhyming purse and horse? What is happening. I don’t approve of that rhyme choice.

Ali: Here’s the thing, because I have said many times, I don’t read songs. I don’t. I just don’t! Or poems. And then they’re like, Oh, here’s an epitaph on a grave. I’m not reading it. I will find out later. So. So. But I had gotten so invested in the flower thing before, that I was like, maybe there are more clues in the song. So I read this whole one and I was like, This is not a song that I needed to read. This was a skippable moment. It was fun and cute, but definitely a skippable moment – unless the horse is important.

Bree: The horse may be important. We did find out that Collan subscribes to the Perrin Aybara school of horse naming. He named his horse Dapple.

Ali: Wait, This is a question I wanted to ask you because I discussed this recently, and I feel like it’s relevant here. Okay. So if you were in a fantasy and you had a horse, what would your horse look like?

Bree: Oh, my God. I would just, like, have obviously Mandarb the black horse, and I would name it Shadow or Darkness or something, because I’m a goth girl from the nineties!

Aradia: I mean..

Bree: A black horse named Shadow Stepper.

Ali: Of course you do.

Bree: Or Midnight Ruby.

Aradia: Literally. I remember a large portion of elementary school, that was what we did at recess, was design our fantasy horses. That was just what we did. So like black horse, white star on the forehead, obviously. You got to have the perfect white star on the forehead. And then, yeah, something like moonlight.

Bree: Beautiful.

Ali: Ooh. I always wanted – I don’t know why, in my soul, I know I will never have a horse. But if I were to have one, if I were in a fantasy, I would want one of those yellow ones with, like, the black mane and tail, like Spirit.

Bree: Oooh! Yes.

Aradia: Oooh! Yeah.

Ali: Stallion of the Cimarron, which as an aside, they didn’t need to make that horse as attractive as he is.

Aradia: But the eyebrows were unnecessary.

Ali: Honestly, it was. I know, it was unnecessary. But yeah, I feel like that I’ve always seen horses that are like that. And I was like, Oh, that would be it. But I also wonder, because now that I know I hyperfocus on dog breeds and know way too much about dogs now. Every time someone’s like, Oh, I got this kind of dog, in my mental state, I will think to myself, Oh, this is the problem with that dog breed. So if anyone’s listening, who knows a lot about horses who’s like, No, you don’t want that kind of horse, because of whatever.

Aradia: I don’t know that horses are quite as inbred as dogs, but also I know basically nothing about either.

Ali: Well, I know there’s thoroughbreds. Because that’s what Seabiscuit is.

Aradia: Right, right, right. Yeah.

Ali: And I know there’s Clydesdales, because that’s the Budweiser horse, right? I know there’s mini horses, I’ve seen those. I think there’s something called the Palomino. And I think that’s the kind of horse I like.

Aradia: Yeah. There’s also Appaloosas.

Ali: And Appaloosas have, like, splotches, right?

Aradia: Yeah, I think those are spotty ones.

Ali: Yeah. And I think Palominos are the yellow with the black.

Aradia: Yeah. And then there’s just mutt horses, which is probably most of them.

Ali: Yeah, probably, some mix of everything.

Aradia: And then there’s like, wild horses, like proper like mustangs and all that fun stuff.

Ali: You know what? I would want to have tamed my horse from a wild horse to like, you know. Oh, because I was so gentle, and such a good person, that the horse –

Bree: You just walk out and it comes up to you and then it trusts you automatically because –

Aradia: Because you are a Disney princess. And that is how it works.

Ali: Exactly. That’s what I would want more than anything is to be chosen by the horse.

Aradia: Yeah. And it happens to have one of those horns that comes out of the top, almost like a narwhal, you know? Yeah, that’s. That’s what you’re describing, right?

Bree: Okay. Are you guys too young for Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken?

Ali: Okay, I feel like No, but I also don’t remember what it is.

Aradia: I have no idea what that is.

Bree: It’s a horse jumping.

Ali: Yes! I’ve seen that.

Bree: The horses that jump into the water, they run up and they jump, and they – diving horses.

Ali: I went through a real horse phase.

Aradia: I’ve never heard of that.

Bree: Yeah. In video games, if I can jump off of things into water, I yell, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken!, and like, jump off of things, because it was a very formative thing for me.

Aradia: That’s very cool.

Bree: So I still do that, it very confuses lots of people. So especially a lot of gamer boys have apparently not watched that movie, because they weren’t a teen girl in the eighties and nineties. But yes.

Ali: All I ever wanted to be as a youth was a wild girl. Like, you know, being in some aristocratic family. And I was like the wild girl who rode bareback on her stallion that she tamed herself through the forest. Hair that’s always tangled. Like, that’s all I ever wanted to be. But yeah, so.

Bree: Also why are you are loving fantasy novels!

Ali: I just wanted to be Merida, honestly. Very badly. And then that movie came out and I felt so seen.

Bree: Relatable content.

1:07:55 Music break

Bree: Okay, I will drag us back on topic with Collan wishing he had drank more wine, because he’s come upstairs and he’s put out, you know. Well, first we get the obligatory fantasy food discussion that just makes me hungry, with the roast lamb and potatoes.

Ali: Challenge. He’s 31. He can’t drink like that anymore. He’s 31. He can’t drink like that anymore. No, the next morning is hell! I want his hangover.

Bree: Yeah, I know. So true. But he is putting this message together and there’s all these plants and the groupings that they have to be grouped together. And then there’s like, ribbons that he has to tie around them. That Gorynel Desse gave him.

Ali: Considering the importance of this task, he should probably be sober, or as sober as possible.

Bree: Well, it apparently sobers him up, doing it.

Aradia: That’s not how alcohol works.

Bree: I don’t know. You can startle someone kind of sober. I swear to God.

Aradia: A jolt of adrenaline can clear your head for a moment. But he’s talking about, like, an hour of fine motor control. Like. No.

Bree: Well, he did not drink that much, so.

Aradia: Yeah, I suppose so. I’m just impressed that he took verbal instructions from Gorynel Desse and didn’t immediately scramble at all into an absolute mess. Because I can’t remember a number from a spreadsheet sheet cell, looking from one screen to another, I will already forget the number. Like, how the fuck did he remember this entire map? He is not ADHD representation.

Bree: He got mad at Gorynel Desse for making him repeat it back twice, because apparently one of his things is he can always remember a song after hearing it once. Like the entire song, the music, the words.

Aradia: Ugh. Those people are tiresome.

Bree: He is like Nyneave, seeing a weave once, in Wheel of Time.

Aradia: Bragging.

Ali: Here’s the thing.

Aradia: Bragging.

Ali: With my memory. He would be like, Repeat it back to me. I’m like, Can’t. Absolutely can’t, did not hear a single instruction, like I heard you talking, but nothing actually stuck?

Bree: Parsed?

Ali: Yeah. Ever. Like you have to write it down or else it’s gone.

Bree: Can’t relate to any of this.

Ali: But if it’s in a song, I will never forget it.

Bree: Oh!

Aradia: I mean, mnemonics of music are a thing.

Ali: Like, I remember every song I’ve ever sung in musical theater. Every word.

Bree: That is true. I have multiple musicals memorized, and operas and stuff.

Aradia: Yeah, I did. It’s been over a decade since I obsessed over any of them, so they’re starting to fuzz around the edges. But yeah, that’s true.

Ali: I feel like, yeah, put it in a song and I got it. I like when I’m trying to remember someone’s phone number or something. I like, sing it. I come up with a little melody, and then usually it’ll stay for at least 10 minutes.

Bree: That’s a good point. Maybe he has a little song he’s putting together, like (sings) braiding the stems of ash, oak and thorn. Gonna put some ribbons on them! Oh oh, this juniper sprig symbolizes sucker. That’s no good.

Aradia: And like, I get the, you know, the opsec of not writing it down. I’m just impressed that such a complex message can be trusted to verbal memory.

Ali: Not with me!

Aradia: And with alcohol involved.

Ali: Yeah, not with me.

Aradia: Again, I don’t think that this is how alcohol works.

Bree: So I highlighted – basically there’s like pages and pages of him, like discussing which flowers he uses, sort of what the general like, each little bits thing, and then he assembles the whole thing into this huge bouquet and stares at it. And basically what it says translated is, Renne, Slegin, Jescarin, and Trayos must leave Roseguard on or by the eighth day of the third week. A Guide named Ostin would be summoned to succor them in their flight. Feiran was associated with imminent deceit. Knowledge, protection, and magic were available—and Col knew damned well who was expected to provide the protection. It’s him. It’s him.

Ali: Okay. Say this again very slowly. So Renne has to leave?

Bree: So Orlin Renne.

Ali: Another Renne.

Bree: Agatine Slegin. So all of the Rennes, and so – Sara’s foster family basically are the Rennes and the Slegins – and then Jescarin and Trayos we learn, is Verald Jescarin, so Verald and Sela, the house he was just at.

Ali: Oh, okay,

Aradia: The master gardener.

Bree: And he recognizes those colors because he was just in their house and he saw Sela –

Aradia: Which means that they already know to pack, because he saw that collection of flowers that was getting collected. It’s like, Oh, shit’s bad! He saw his own references.

Ali: So when he was like, why rhododendron, why rhododendron? Who’s in danger? He’s like, I, fuck.

Bree: Yeah. A guy named Ostin would be summoned to succor them.

Ali: Ostin. Okay, maybe, so either Taig, probably or Alin.

Aradia: I was assuming Alin. Because of the traveling ability.

Ali: Yeah, because of the traveling.

Bree: Knowledge, Protection and Magic were available and Collan*s colors were around the person who was supposed to provide the protection. So Gorynel Desse is just like offering, Collan up as a protector here.

Ali: With what ability? He’s going to play them to sleep?

Aradia: He can hit him with his lute.

Bree: He does have knives. He’s apparently quite good with them.

Aradia: He has survived as a soloist on the road for years.

Ali: All right.

Aradia: And he’s also being roped into it. He’s not being asked. He’s being voluntold with no option to back out.

Ali: Voluntold!

Bree: Voluntold via flowers. That Liwellan girl must be the knowledgeable one; Taig had told him she wasn’t Mageborn. Which left some total unknown named Rille to furnish the magic.

Ali: Okay, but she is Mageborn.

Aradia: We’ve seen that person, right?

Bree: Rille is the last name they gave Cailet. So this refers to Cailet.

Ali: But Sarra is Mageborn! But secretly Mageborn?

Bree: Secretly.

Aradia: Yes. Because she’s bound or Warded, so her magic –

Bree: Warded.

Aradia: Yeah. Her magic doesn’t show. Okay, So he’s being sent into a triad with Sarra and Cailet, but by this bouquet?

Bree: Basically. Yeah. He and Sarra and Cailet, and either Taig or Alin are supposed to, like, take these people to safety.

Aradia: So we’re like, beyond level five on our fetch quests now. Like, we have more people in the party, we have a higher value parcel. We need to transport on a more dangerous route.

Ali: And they’re saying that Auvry and Glenin are – this stuff, this betraying, or –

Aradia: Are about to do a deceit.

Ali: But aren’t they, didn’t they already do that? Aren’t they always doing it?

Aradia: Well, I bet that they’re about to reveal their hand.

Bree: Feiran was associated with imminent deceit. So yeah, we don’t know, something is going on. Thank Gorynel Desse.

Aradia: They’re going to make a move with knowledge that The Rising doesn’t know they have, very soon. Except clearly the Rising does know, because the message is getting sent so.

Ali: We know that Glenin has said about Sarra, she’s not going to live to see where she’s from. But then, what’s her face? Punch Card Lady? Anniyas was just kind of into her. But also, we know that Glenin and Auvry have their sights set on assassinating Anniyas. So how much does her interest in Sarra factor into the equation at all?

Bree: I think that’s what’s interesting. We know that there is not unity on the other side.

Ali: Right.

Bree: We know that they are kind of working at cross-purposes from what we can tell. Oh, here, I’ve got a question for you guys. So like if Auvry and Glenin are kind of on one side, and Anniyas, Murder Punch Card Lady, is on the other: the First Weaver, who do you think? Glenin seemed pretty confident the First Weaver was on her side. Who do you think maybe, because the First Weaver is the person who’s the Lord of Malerris.

Ali: Right.

Bree: Do you think they’re like – Do you think that they are with Glenin? That Glenin’s the future, or is Glenin being tricked?

Ali: I feel like one is a pawn.

Aradia: Yeah.

Ali: I feel like what they’re doing is, they’re just reinventing patriarchy, right? Or like, inventing patriarchy, I guess in this world, for the first time. They’re like, I think men should be in charge. You know, women have to do what we say, abort their first daughters. They have to, you know, I just – it feels like, yeah, that’s what it feels like, is that they’re just inventing patriarchy.

Bree: So Glenin thinks she’s got the First Lord, the First Weaver on her side, but maybe she doesn’t.

Ali: Yeah. Glenin is just Serena Joy. She thinks she’s going to, like, get some benefit out of the situation, but she doesn’t realize that the patriarchy passes the patriarchy pass. You know what I mean? Like, it’s going to fall back on her and impact her just as much as everyone else.

Aradia: Yeah, she trusts the lords of Malerris as an institution far too much, and she underestimates how dangerous they are to her, far too much. Like there’s no way that that comeuppance slap isn’t coming at some point. Yeah, she’s going to have to get knocked down because she’s had utter faith and confidence in this thing that is rigid and fascist and patriarchal. And it’s like, You do realize that you’re too emotional to play in these logical waters, right? Like just, her trust has to be ripped away at some point. Narratively. I feel like.

Ali: Yeah, I think she’s got, she’s getting a realization at some point.

Bree: She’s gotten pretty confident. She’s moving very confidently for a very young person who perhaps does not have a full perspective on the world. So it does seem like whether she’s going to switch sides or not, like if this is a redemption arc, or if this is whatever, that she’s got some sort of startling awakening coming her way.

Ali: Well, I think we’ve said that, she’s part of a Leopard Eat My Face club, where she’s like, I didn’t think the leopard wouldn’t eat my face.

Aradia: Exactly. Exactly.

Ali: Yeah. That that’s where she is. She’s not seeing the bigger picture, which is that this is going to fall back on her just as much as on everyone else that she’s persecuting.

Aradia: Yeah. And she has to learn that at some point. Otherwise she’s not going to have a satisfying arc through these books.

Ali: So then I’m like, Okay. When she learns that, is she going to? Because sometimes when people learn that their whole worldview is incorrect, and that the system that they’ve dedicated their whole life to is a lie, they’ll double down twice as hard because of the sunk cost fallacy, right? Where she’s like, Well, I’ve already gone this far. I can’t, it literally can’t be what people are telling me, because I’ve put all of this effort into it. Or is she going to like, do a whole reconstruction and join her two siblings, and whoever the fuck Collan is, to take it all down?

Bree: Maybe Collan’s her love interest.

Ali: I mean, he’s more age appropriate.

Bree: She’s either going to be Viva la Revolucion or she’s going to –

Ali: Or she’s going to be the worst person in the world.

Bree: Run it all at the end.

Ali: She’s going to be Serena Joy about it.

Aradia: Yeah. Yeah.

Ali: We’ll go down with that burning ship.

Bree: All we know is that, yeah, we know that someone, either her or her dad, are being warned about them. So Collan looks at this thing, is like, Fuck all this, and goes to sleep.

Aradia: He gets actually drunk after he makes the message, he actually gets blackout drunk and has to take his hung over 31 year old ass into the thing.

Bree: Yeah, he went downstairs and drank all that he could drink. So he has to go in with the hangover the next day. And since he doesn’t have an appointment, he has to wait. And we get a little bit of, like, information on how Agatine has this, you know, nice antechamber that’s full of the people who are coming to see her, a goldsmith, and cloth merchants, a net weaver, ink makers, furrier, instrument makers, all sorts of things. So he’s just sort of sitting there watching all this trade go on and he has to sit for a very long time. But eventually he gets called in, and Orlin is in there. And Agatine. And he gives them this thing and they look really tense. And so he’s like, Well, at least they know that bad shit’s coming. He gives them these flowers, and Agatine is sort of checking it out, not looking pretty happy. And then she does something sort of weird. And what do you guys think about this? This is where we start testing Collan’s Wards.

Aradia: Yeah. That was interesting, how she knew exactly where to poke, to screw around and see what was happening. And then she has this potion that they never had to use on Sarra that’s basically untested, that they’re like shoving down his throat. And I’m just like, I know she’s supposed to be on the good side, but like, what? What is happening.

Ali: They’re really big fans of experimenting on kids.

Breei: Well, it starts when he says that – she’s like, Look, you’re part of this. And he’s like, the Rosvenir colors aren’t – that’s not even my name. I was born a slave. So we find out he thinks he was born a slave, which means he still doesn’t remember the wind. And like all of that earlier stuff, he thinks he was born a slave. And he has very vague sort of memories, that just sort of feel like trauma box. But that is how he has experienced all of this time, that he just doesn’t remember things very clearly.

Aradia: Right? His memory just starts late. So he sort of backfilled with a few assumptions. But that’s it. That’s all he’s got!

Bree: Yes, Gorynel Desse took a lot of out of there. And he thinks even about how it’s strange that he doesn’t remember it, and like at this moment he can’t remember his slave days at all. But the thing is that Agatine’s like, Hey, you know, we bought some of his slaves and freed them. Do you remember any of them? And she starts naming names. And one is… Taguare?

Aradia: Like Jaguar, but Taguare?

Bree: Taguare, who is the scholar who originally discovered that Collan had a quick brain and put him into classes and stuff. So this was basically his early tutor, and that gives Collan a terrible headache.

Aradia: Mm hmm.

Ali: So he never thought to himself, How the fuck did I get out of slavery in the first place?

Bree: Apparently he doesn’t, because if he starts wondering too much, he gets headaches. And so it’s just like –

Ali: Not a deep thinker, this Collan.

Bree: Well, would you deep – if you knew that any time you thought about a subject, you’d get a migraine – would you keep thinking about it?

Ali: It’s like the reverse chekhov’s dog.

Bree: Yeah, deeply uncurious, I guess.

Ali: Which maybe is not ADHD representation then, because I feel like ADHD people are deeply curious all the time. Deeply uncurious person, this Collan. Maybe he’s neurotypical – no. Neurotypical people are okay.

Aradia: He’s super musically talented though, so I don’t, I don’t know about that.

Ali: Yeah, no, no, there’s something wrong with him.

Bree: Well, I think that if we think about how the Wards tend to work, though, they tend to be subtle. We’ve talked about this many times, that they’re the sort of thing that just sort of discourages you from doing something by a sort of natural thing. So any time he starts to think about it, I mean, he gets a headache, and that’s sort of like discouraging him from going deeper into that. And that may be all part of this, this lack of curiosity could be part of the Wards themselves. She he tries to say the flowers are what’s making his head hurt, and she’s like, no. And Orlin’s starting to get really annoyed with her because she’s like clearly poking this guy.

Aradia: Now she’s going off script. He has no idea where she’s going at this point. He’s like, I thought we were a team, Honey, what the hell are you doing?

Bree: And so the names she says are Taguare, and then she says Viko, and Elsevet. And then Falundir. And we know Taguare and Falundir, because obviously we’ve met both of them in his back story. Viko and Elseveth are interesting ones, because we have not met a Viko at all, and we have only heard of Elseveth once.

Aradia: Right.

Ali: Is that his parents?

Bree: Do you remember Elsevet? Do you remember where we heard about her?

Aradia: I don’t remember the context.

Bree: Ali, this was relevant to you, especially, because this was who came and took Mai and Elin away.

Ali: Oh! Oh, that’s Glenin’s friend, isn’t it?

Bree: Not Glenin’s. It’s Gorynel Desse’s –

Ali: I thought Glenin’s friends took, the hot lady took ‘em.

Bree: That’s not Glenin’s friend. Lucira, or whatever her name is. Yes. Somebody related to her, who was apparently even hotter.

Ali: Oh, no. Isn’t it her mom?

Bree: Maybe her mom, or an aunt or something? We don’t know for sure. I don’t think it’s her mom, because Lusira wouldn’t tell them how they were related. Yeah, it seems like Mom would be something it’s hard to deny. So maybe like an aunt or something.

Aradia: Or, this Elseveth person.

Ali: So why does Glenin’s best friend’s aunt trigger Collan?

Bree: And that’s not Glenin’s best friend. Glenin’s not friends with her.

Ali: Like frenemy. Aren’t they frenemies?

Aradia: Different person.

Bree: No, no, her name is different. You are right that Glenin has a friend who has a name like this. Oh, let me go to the back and find it. It’s, their same name Saint. Let me see if I can see if I can –

Ali: Cause I thought it was the woman that made that really insensitive comment about Glenin’s miscarriage that wasn’t a miscarriage.

Bree: Why is she not in the back? Come on.

Aradia: Oh, yeah. Elsevet, that is the same Saint, Elseveth versus Elsevet.

Bree: Oh, Elsevet and -veth. Yeah. Okay.

Aradia: So literally the difference of an H to distinguish the two people.

Ali: I was set up to fail by Melanie Rawn.

Bree: You were.

Aradia: Yeah. That’s cruel and unusual naming.

Ali: I thought they’re the same person this whole time. I was like, Oh, my God. It’s got – it ties back to Glenin, it goes all the way to the top.

Bree: Okay. No, Glenin’s best friend is the daughter of one of the Councillors who, like, is really, really not the one who wants to, like, abolish all male Saints, but like the next most extreme one, who hates everybody who’s of a lower Tier.

Ali: Okay. Then who is Lusira?

Bree: We know that she’s related to the former Mage Captal, the one who got in all the trouble, and that basically everything got burned down.

Ali: Ohhh!

Bree: So that’s why we know Garvedien is the name of like – that’s her name and that’s that Captal’s name. And so they were clearly, the Captal was really close friends with Sarra’s grandmother. And so that’s why she’s like almost inherently a part of the Rising. Like her whole family was very much under question.

Ali: Oh, okay.

Bree: So yeah, I’m jumping back here. So yeah, basically Elsevet with just a T is Glenin’s friend, Elseveth with a TH is this mystery beautiful older Mage lady.

Aradia: Who’s been Warded out of Collan’s brain. Yeah.

Bree: She gives Collan a headache for some reason. And Viko.

Aradia: Who is a completely new name that just doesn’t –

Bree: Yeah, Viko, we don’t have any other – except for this little kid was named Viko, but it’s probably not the little kid.

Ali: And it was a boy, so it’s probably a boy’s name.

Aradia: Presumably this child was not born yet when the Waord around that name was put on Collan’s head.

Ali: Do we know that?

Bree: So.

Aradia: And it’s weird how she’s like, This was done for your protection. Let me fuck with it. Like I don’t understand what she’s doing by triggering more and more headache with him.

Bree: So we find out that Gorynel Desse told her to do this.

Aradia: Okay. Okay.

Bree: She says that Gorynel Desse, they were trying to figure out where the Wards took over, and like, how bad like it would hurt him. Basically the discussion is, Orlin’s like, You planned this? You know, and she’s like, Yeah, he told me it was here. And then she said, If I’d known it would be this bad, I would never have told Gorsha I’d do this. And he’s like, He told you to do this to Collan? And she said, He’ll be with The Rising from now on. We had to know. And like, he’s waking up and hearing this and he’s like, Oh fuck, no, no, but he can’t even really move.

Aradia: Yeah, this is voluntold with a vengeance.

Bree: He eventually manages to stammer out, not staying. And Agatine’s like, Oh boy, I guess we’re going to just do this again. And then she says Falundir’s name and he just passes out.

Aradia: They’re like, This is experimental magic medicine. And he might be going into some sort of, like, neurological maelstrom. But this is fine.

Bree: We do not respect people’s brains.

Aradia: This is fine. Gorsha can totally just give us random drugs to give to people with magic in their brains, as I lobotomize them with a few words. It’s fine. It’s fine.

Bree: The rising definitely has an issue with respecting people’s brains just in general. We’re not winning any Awards here for sure.

1:29:52 Wrap up

Aradia: But it’s quite the cliffhanger to leave us on.

Bree: Yeah, sorry, but I mean.

Aradia: I did not consent to that. Actually. No, that’s not true. I did. I did actually explicitly consent to that.

Bree: I picked some pretty mean cliffhangers, guys, I am sorry.

Ali: You did do that.

Bree: I’m not sorry.

Ali: And as someone who has been gaming cliffhangers for our Hunger Games recap, I don’t like it and I don’t think you should do it. And I am a huge hypocrite.

Bree: You’re my inspiration, Ali.

Ali: I am still hung up on like the whole, Auvry is going to betray them thing, because haven’t we done that already? Unless they are talking about Glenin?

Bree: How many more betrayals can we fit into the Betrayals chapter?

Ali: Or they’re going to kill Anniyas, and then like, cause a big power vacuum.

Aradia: Oh yeah, that could be bad for the Rising.

Ali: That to me, feels like the most likely thing, because they’ve even said they want to do it at some point.

Bree: I mean, they just gathered all that information about Anniyas. They are certainly focused on her as an enemy. What might happen to all of their plans if she just vanishes and she’s not the one to fight anymore?

Aradia: That would be really disruptive.

Ali: Exactly. That would be really bad. And I feel like her death creates a power vacuum. And as we know, bad people love a power vacuum because then they can claw their way in.

Aradia: Yeah.

Ali: So I feel like Anniyas’s death is coming. Because we just had a get to know you chapter with her, where it was like, Oh, she does have a personality, that feels some things.

Aradia: Yeah, perfect time to take it away again.

Bree: Perfect time to murder her.

Ali: We just got her like, I’m ten days away from retirement and I have a pregnant wife at home. We just got that chapter for her, so I feel like she’s got to die soon, right?

Bree: Yeah, she might.

Aradia: And we have one more episode here in Betrayals before we move on to Flight?

Ali: So the betrayal is coming. It’s coming next. Anniyas is dead.

Aradia: One more section.

Bree: I mean, I feel like Agatine just betrayed Collan, pretty hardcore.

Ali: Everyone’s betraying people right and left. But the big betrayal is coming.

Aradia: Yeah, Yeah.

Ali: The big betrayal has got to be coming, it is going to be a big power shift, because we’ve been waiting for a power shift, where things are going to go to hell. And if they’re not prepared for the power shift, right? One, now there’s nothing stopping them from snuffing out a bunch of people, right? Like, now society’s in shambles. We can kill whoever we want to. Right? So that’s probably why they’re like, Hey, all these people who are part of the Rising? Maybe you want to start packing.

Aradia: Mmhmm.

Ali: One. And two, also, like, big power people, you know, lots of space to murder. So you might want to get your families out, but so that there’s not another Ambrai situation. Right? That was bad.

Aradia: Yeah. Everyone wants to avoid another Ambrai. No one wants to be Ambrai.

Ali: I mean! And then also, because I have a hard time imagining that after the whole Ambrai situation and everything, they’re going to be like, Let’s trust Auvry Feiran, let’s be best friends with him. So it’s got to be a betrayal of somebody else that actually trusts him, right? Because otherwise they’d be like, Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice, Shame on me.

Bree: You would expect them not to trust him. Or it could be Glenin. I mean, that’s really the thing.

Ali: Yeah, but who trusts Glenin? She’s been going around zapping Mages left and right! So who trusts Glenin, other than Anniyas.

Aradia: That’s true.

Ali: Anniyas is the only one that really trusts Glenin. So I feel like that’s got to be it.

Aradia: I don’t think she trusts Glenin.

Ali: I mean, I don’t think she like, Trusts Glenin, but I think she thinks they’re on the same team. When she doesn’t know that, she’s like, a benchwarmer. Yeah. So I yeah, I feel like that’s coming. That’s got to happen, because that’s going to blow this whole thing wide open.

Aradia: Yeah. A power vacuum does seem like it would be a logical way to transition out of the Betrayal section to the Flight section. It’s like, big bada boom, and now everyone is shrapnel.

Ali: Plus I’m thinking about, like, the source for this, right? That this is like, essentially fanfiction of something else.

Aradia: I’m honing in on. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m honing in on it.

Ali: What are you thinking, Aradia?

Bree: You gave me a list of a couple and I told you it was one of them.

Aradia: I gave Bree a trifecta of all the sci fi I could think of, and she was like, It’s one of those. So I know the range I need to figure it out in.

Bree: And I did give her a clue. And if anybody else needs a clue, I told her that Glenin is actually not in the original.

Aradia: Yeah, which has not helped. I’m so confused still.

Bree: Glenin is an addition to a story. This story. She does not have a counterpart. So you’re looking for a two siblings with a betrayal father and a sad dead mom. Sad dead moms are not a great start, though. I mean, sad dead moms are just everywhere.

Ali: Everyone loves a sad dead mom.

Bree: Everyone sas a sad dead mom!

Ali: Sad dead mom for everyone. Well, Collan has a sad dead mom, too. Everyone’s got a sad dead mom. Wait! Literally everyone in this book, our main characters, has a sad, dead mom.

Aradia: Mm. Wow.

Ali: Oh, and a sad, dead mom who was so sad after birth that she died.

Aradia: The saddest of dead moms.

Bree: She died of a broken heart.

Ali: A broken heart?

Bree: That is the queen of sad dead ness, basically.

Ali: Yeah. I’m just thinking about what the betrayal is in that source material –

Bree: Context.

Ali: And I’m just thinking, I don’t know, her days are numbered. I think she doesn’t make it out of Betrayals. That’s my final answer. And I expect to be smug next time we talk. I’m gonna be like, Well, well, well.

Bree: If it wasn’t the consequences of your own actions.

Ali: If it wasn’t a betrayal! And maybe Glenin figures out that she’s been played by the end. Because that would also be a very big betrayal.

Aradia: Well, Glenin still has potential for a redemption arc. Anniyas is a villain. So we don’t want –

Ali: Well, she’s killed a bunch of people, but we haven’t cared about any of them. So.

Aradia: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. She’s still young. She still has a future! You know, we don’t want to, like, tarnish her future because she made a few youthful mistakes.

Bree: I do feel like Glenin has the, Well, I was raised by evil people who trained me to do murders, get out of jail card, not a get out of jail free, but like, you can maybe come back from being forced to be a child soldier who was raised to do this sort of stuff.

Ali: She’s essentially like Gamora or Nova, right? If we’re thinking of Avengers.

Bree: Something like that

Ali: Yeah, I’m all over the place for my references.

Bree: But she has to decide to walk through the door.

Ali: But yeah, I feel like yeah. That she’s. Yeah. Can we really blame Nova for what she did prior to her, her about turn, when she was like raised to do it?

Bree: That’s the thing. So Glenin hasn’t had a lot of options.

Ali: And then corrected herself when she realized she was wrong. I mean, that’s kind of laudable. Rather than do the double down sunk cost fallacy thing.

Aradia: Yeah, I have a hard time imagining Glenin doing an about face, but.

Bree: That is really the question. So I guess we will see.

Ali: I feel like I. I would be sad if she didn’t. I would be really sad if she didn’t.

Aradia: Yeah.

Bree: It would be sad.

Aradia: I would be much more impressed with her if she does. I just don’t expect it. Which is what would make it impressive.

Ali: Yeah, I don’t know.

Bree: I know that Charlie is out there listening to us going, No, she needs to be a fabulous fascist.

Ali: Because Charlie loves a good –

Bree: Charlie supports women’s wrongs.

Ali: Charlie’s supports women’s and men’s wrongs. She’s also a Gale defender! And, ope! I have a bone to pick with you, Bree. How have you listened this whole time to Gus’s absolute ire and hatred for Gale on The Hunger Games – we’re very off topic, but how have you gone, You know what? I really kind of, I was really kind of a Gale stan this time. Question!

Bree: Okay, but listen. Remember I just started reading them the second you did and I finished the three books by like, you know, the fifth episode or something. So I didn’t get to experience Gus’s growing hate in real time. I was just reading them real fast and I was like, You know what? Gale wants to save the police, and I’m pretty mad, too! Come on!

Ali: Well, okay, Yeah, that is the part of Gale that makes every teenager go, I like Gale! Because Gale’s like, I’m very Fuck the Police, but then you realize, yes, he’s Fuck the Police, but he’s also like Fuck Everybody Else While We’re Doing It. And then you’re like, ooh.

Bree: Yeah, yeah. I mean he – again, Gus has just reached the point where, as I told him in the books, where even on my most sympathetic Gale reading that I have ever read, I was like, Oh boy, you crossed the line.

Ali: I can’t wait. I can’t wait for what’s coming, because Gus –

Bree: I was being so careful. I was like, deleting stuff, being like, You gotta word this very carefully, Bree!

Ali: And I don’t know if you listened to the recent episode, but I snuck some stuff and I was like, so proud.

Aradia: Yeah, it’s impressive. It’s impressive. I’ve listened to it. It’s. Mm. Hmm!

Bree: I have not finished it. But you’ve been dancing on the head of a pin, Ali.

Ali: There was one moment where I was like, Oh, no, that was so obvious. And then he just, like, kept talking, and I was like, Whew. Okay.

Bree: Ali, I’m going to tell you, we Wheel of Time guslighted the shit out of you in this episode at one point, so badly that I went into the Ali Secret Channel while we were talking, and started telling them.

Ali: No! The only time we talked about the Wheel of Time, I think, was when we talked about the inn hopping!

Bree: I’m not telling you any more. You just gonna have to listen to the episode.

Aradia: You just have to suffer. You’ll know in a few years when you finish the series.

Ali: I’m not going to catch it. I was.

Bree: We just did that to you because you were getting cocky.

Ali: Fine. I’ve been going through this for three years! I can’t have like, one?

Bree: No, you were beautiful. Have been torturing Gus so well. It is a sight to behold.

Ali: I’m excited to torture him about ACOTAR, too.

Bree: Yeah!

Ali: Which brings me back to a 19 year old in love with someone whose multiple hundreds of years old.

Bree: Inappropriate love interests.

Aradia: And see if I listen along with that, I would be a first time reader, if I was listening along with that, because I haven’t read that. So if you guys do it, I’m going to be forced to read it, because I am obsessed with your podcast to a probably unhealthy degree.

Ali: So it’s going to be fine.

Bree: It will be amazing. Let me come on for the very special sex episode.

Ali: I figured I would handle that by going, And they have sex! And I just skip it.

Bree: One time her book just let me come on and give my, Eh, this was not very smutty, you guys.

Ali: It really is not that smutty! I was talking to someone –

Bree: Not til the Silver book.

Ali: Well yeah. Then that book gets real smutty.

Bree: Then it fucks.

Ali: But before that it’s very mild. Very mild. Like my friend is reading it and her husband comes up to me and goes, My wife’s reading smut, and I was like, It’s really not that smutty, until the latest book. Then it gets pretty smutty, but otherwise it’s really very tame.

Bree: I would say that, like the latest book is pretty standard, honestly, for modern romance novels. So like, that’s not even what I would call smut. But I will say at least it was like, it had some it had some, there, there. Before I started it, I told everybody that if this book didn’t have actual sex, I was suing them in small claims court, because I was deeply disappointed by the lack of smut in these fairy books

Ali: In these books that are held up as smut

Bree: Everyone’s like, Fairy smut! And I’m like, Guys, we have to have a discussion about the definition of smut, you sweet, innocent babies.

Ali: I was like, You are throwing the word smut around and it is like barely above a fade to black.

Bree: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You sweet children. It is, it is precious. And I love you all. That’s not smut.

Ali: Until the silver book.

Bree: Till the silver book.

Ali: Does the silver book earn smutty?

Bree: It gets spicy.

Ali: It’s spicy.

Bree: Chekhov’s threesome, man. If she wanted smut she would have had to deliver. Chekhov’s threesome, if you put a fantasy of a threesome in a book and then you don’t go there. I’m sorry you’ve lost me.

Ali: I can’temember who the threesome was supposed to be? We’ll talk about it.

Bree: That’s just fantasizing about something.

Ali: Oh!

Bree: I’m sorry. That needed to be in there, I will tell you later.

Ali: (mumbles something)

Aradia: You want to take us out of here, Ali? (nervous laughter)

Ali: No! I want to talk about smut.

Bree: Aradia is like, Run!

Aradia: That’s a different podcast, is what I’m hearing.

Bree: Oh, let me just say, questions. Okay, guys, what we want to hear from you, is your earliest collective event that you remember. Also, tell us who you think Viko and Elseveth are to Collan.

Ali: I also want to hear what fantasy horse you’d have.

Aradia: Yes. Give us your fantasy horse build.

Bree: And what fantasy horse you’d have. Please.

Ali: No, I want to know.

Bree: Yeah, well, we want, like, the whole description. Bring in pictures, everything. Names, names, how you came to them or found them.

Aradia: Yeah. Yeah. What the relationship is like.

Ali: What’s a good name for, like -I’d name my yellow horse something dumb, like Sponge, you know.

Bree: That is such a Donna name. Donna names her cats just the weirdest things.

Ali: Or Duckie!

Aradia: Oh, that’s a good name for a horse.

Ali: Yeah. I love animals named after different animal’s names.

Aradia: Take that, Perrin.

Bree: Oh, no.

Ali: I love a cat named Fish. Hilarious. Excellent. 10/10 with no notes.

Bree: Donna has a cat named Koi right now.

Aradia: That’s awesome.

Ali: Awww, I like Koi. That’s a good name. Okay, So also tell us, if you have a really funny pet name? I want to know, too. Thank you so much for listening. If you want to keep gabbing with us, our social media and contact details are in the episode description. Until next time, have a very nuanced day! Okay, Bree, you have to tell me about that threesome.

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