Friday, 3 June 2016

Vestal, Leman, Then Nun

In The King Of Ys, Poul and Karen Anderson make three interesting uses of their character, Runa. First, this former vestal, appropriately (maybe), winds up as a nun!

Secondly, in between, she is Gratillonius' leman. As King of Ys, Grallon had been impotent with anyone but the Queens. All the Queens are dead and no one has been Signed to replace them. Further, Runa proves that Gratillonius has regained normal potency with other women. The Ysan Gods have indeed withdrawn/died, whichever word is appropriate.

Thirdly, we know, first, that Gratillonius is a good man and, secondly, that, despite this, any sexual relationship can become hatred. Runa exemplifies this brilliantly:

"'You humiliated me... You disgraced yourself...'
"'You lie...'
"'You simply didn't care...'
"'And you didn't care...You wouldn't. you can't. I wonder if you haven't been a penance God sent me.'"
-Chapter XII, section 4, pp. 247-249.

She goes on like this until thankfully she announces that she will leave Grallon and become a nun. Grallon winds up happily married to Verania.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Yes, I remember the events relating to Runa, and good riddance to the Ysan "gods"! And Verania was much, much better for Gratillonius than Runa.

And, in fairness to Runa, the provincial procurator, when he asked her for an objective opinion of Gratillonius, whether he still regarded Rome as his Mother, said yes, he did.