Post by drmemory on Mar 26, 2022 15:45:50 GMT
A few random thoughts on death in the Gunnerverse.
Most beings, when they die, are met by a psychopomp, who takes them into the ether. Whatever that means! This is apparently an important job, and keeps the world spinning. This, fundamentally, is what makes me nervous about the Court messing with the ether. Ugh!
Coyote wants to experience death, and has set up an impressively complex scheme to make this happen. He wants Annie to kill him, Loup, and Ysengrin all at once by stabbing Loup through the heart with his tooth/knife.
Yet, Coyote has always seemed to have something to do with death. We often see him as a skeleton in the ether, or a dead or undead free-form Coyote.
For the first time, we see here Loup showing some bones in his ether form. A rib cage, basically. At the time, he is using one of Coyote's powers, that he says Coyote has always strictly avoided. I wonder if these two things are related? Looking somewhat deadish in the ether, and omniscience? Also, did he look that way on purpose, or was that part of Coyote shining through? If I missed other skeletal Loup appearances, I'm sure someone will correct me.
We have at least two communities of people that are tightly bound to death: the psychopomps and the ROTD crew. The first seems to be a loose collection of individuals, many of whom were previously known mythologically, who have taken on the role of psychopomps. This is consistent with what they extorted Annie to promise to do in order to save Andrew - I mean, they were something else, and became psychopomps. Just as Annie probably will eventually. The ROTD crew seems to be run by ghosts who chose not to go into the ether immediately. They let ghosts who were cheated by life have a chance to accomplish something before they move on.
We also have some mysteries! Clearly, humans go into the ether, if not offered the ROTD option or otherwise intercepted. The forest elves seem to be in the same situation - Jeanne and her paramour were trapped together and ultimately went into the ether together. But do the animals from the forest go there when they die? What about the ones that decided to become human? The golem robots just sit there, dead, once turned off, but what will the New People do? Will Kat the Angel end up as a pyschopomp, staying with her best friend basically forever?
Is there any endstate for someone like Aata other than "dead and taken into the ether" or "recruited as a psychopomp"? Or do the Gods and god-like creatures normally just stay that way forever? Any chance that Coyote wants to be the first of those to experience death, or perhaps going into the ether?