Friday, October 21, 2016

Team Corwin versus Team Eric

Over on the twit box, fellow traveler Hooc Ott (blog here) has been calling out Prince Corwin for his treatment of the million man army duped into launching a doomed assault on Prince Eric’s control over the city Amber.  The madman has gone so far as to throw his support behind Prince Eric.  He quotes from the text:
But I was feeling kind of funny. Most of these troops were destined to die. I was the agent responsible for much of this.  I felt some remorse, though I knew the difference between Shadow and Substance.  Each death would be a real death; however, I knew that also.
This is an interesting thought, and it shouldn’t disappear into the vast emptiness of Twitter’s servers – it deserves a more permanent home in the blogosphere.

PCBushi follows up with a more in-depth analysis of the situation on his own blog:
So far as the children of Oberon believe, Amber is the only Substance; all else is Shadow. However it also appears that the people of Amber do not know everything about their world or how their powers work. They seem to speculate and take for granted.
Even if Corwin doesn’t consciously realize it, I think he knows that the people of the Shadows are more than nothing. Perhaps this is a result of having lived on our Earth for some centuries. That, too, raises an interesting point. If the Shadow worlds are just reflections of Amber, devoid of any substance, then we too are nothing.
My gut instinct would be to throw my lot in with Team Gerard, called “the best of us” and the most loyal of the Princes, but he just doesn’t have enough screen time in the first book to fully justify such support.

So for now, I’m willing to wear my Team Corwin t-shirt.  For now.  From what we’ve seen in the first book, Eric is no prize pig himself.  We know he is capricious and scheming from day one.  He locked Corwin up in a mental hospital and drugged him for Oberon knows how long.  Imprisoning Corwin in response to the failed coup is understandable; his decision to torture and humiliate Corwin far less so.  And for all his faults, Corwin at least shows some sign of humanity in his regret for the loss of lives among the Shadow folk.   He has some growing to do yet, but he provides a glimmer of hope for a more just rule over the multiverse.
And I fully admit to feeling some bias for Corwin merely because he serves as the point of view character.  I’ve got four more books to spend in this guy’s head.  I’d rather not spend all that time rooting against my guide to the world of Amber.  It may not be fair or intellectually honest, but neither of those are preconditions for enjoying literature.  If they were, there wouldn’t be a need for Puppies of the Sad or Rabid flavor.

What about you?  Anybody else want to stake a claim for supporting one of the nine Princes…or maybe even one of the Princesses?

1 comment:

  1. At this point, I'd say Moire. Even though she's not of the Court of Amber, she's of the same world as that city, and has the same Substance to her being. Her rule in Rebma is an opposite of that in Amber: her throne is secure, held by a woman who, even in her anger, tempered her judgements with an eye on improving her subjects' well being. Compare this to Amber, which is in the middle of a succession crisis where power, ambition, and self-interest drive the major claimants. If a prince of Amber could rule well, Eric and Corwin's ambitions trample over any chance that he could ascend to the throne. Which is probably why the matter of the Throne of Amber was decided in the way it was, several books into the future.