Thursday, March 29, 2018

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 35! | Chapter Discussion about the All Souls Trilogy; Chapter 11 of Shadow of Night

We went a little Dracula-dramatic for this promo pic. If we were feeling extra, we'd add drops of blood, but alas ...

Take 35 - The One With Wordplay, Swordplay, and Bloodplay

Description: Well, the title tells the story. Wordplay: Matthew Clairmont and Philippe de Clermont have words to throw at each other! Sharp and pointed like the swords they pick up later, we learn how they interact in conflict. Swordplay: We watch how the words are interchangeable with daggers and swords in the hay barn. Bloodplay: We find out for the first time in this series that Matthew has an affliction -- blood rage. Diana Bishop is also made Philippe's blood-sworn daughter. What does this mean? It means she will not be alone in the world when she is confronted by enemies, even if they come in the form of a witch named André Champier.

Another jam-packed episode! Take it in shifts, split it on your commute between home and work, zone out during the extra 20 minutes ... or just listen to the whole thing in one caffeine-fueled binge session #nojudgement. 😝

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  😊  Let's do this. *Note - this podcast is labeled 'explicit'

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1. Show notes:

For newcomers to the series:- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.  Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL

Deb's newsletter - The Blast; subscribe on her website
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media. Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers! Be sure to sign up for her newsletter while you are there!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.

In this episode:
* (00:53) - This podcast is brought to you by our patrons! Thank you! The chapter discussion is brought to you by Angela Page. Thank you, NE Angela!

* (01:25) - Thank you Linda (M), for your voice mail (via Speakpipe)

* (02:58) - Discusser emails: thank you, NE Angela, Melanie, Lauren, Patricia, Ashley, Asli & last but never least, our Discusser in Chief, Stephen! Full emails can be read here.

* (11:17) - Jean brings up an interview with Deb; here it is: Deborah Harkness on BookTalk Nation

Chapter 11

Niccolò Sfondrati aka Pope Gregory XIV
* (13:20) - Matthew writing the pope! Jean speculates that he's complaining about Philippe to him, and Angela thinks that maybe he was writing poetry on the sly and just told Philippe he was writing the pope! Here are some trivia tidbits: Niccolò did NOT want to be the pope, and he died of gall stones (of all things, right?). Read more . . .

* (15:40) - Matthew has gotten slow, and Philippe points that out. Matthew responds!
 “I should have targeted Diana. You would have moved faster.”“You must forgive me for ruining your sport.” Matthew was coldly furious. “It’s been some time since I’ve had a knife thrown at me. I fear I am out of practice.”
* (16:58) - No one should go in the lower barn . . .
“No one should go to the lower barn until told otherwise,” Philippe said as he rammed his weapon back into its leather sheath.“I had apprehended as much, sieur.” It was as close to a reproach as Alain was ever likely to utter.
* (18:40) - Jean breaks Margo down for us. She mentions our post on Catherine de Médici. Read further on Marguerite of Valois
“The company of women, eh?” Philippe pulled on his beard and looked at Matthew, openly calculating just how much further he could push his son. “Why did I not think of it before? While we wait for Diana’s witch to arrive from Lyon, we should send her to Margot for instruction on how to behave like a proper French lady.”
Louis de Clermont
* (19:52) - Louis de Clermont - Louis de Clermont, seigneur de Bussy d'Amboise (1549–1579) was a gentleman at the court of French king Henri III, a swordsman, dandy, and a lover of both sexes. He was one of the favorites, or "mignons", of Monsieur, brother of the king. He was a cousin of François d'Amboise.
“What Louis and Margot get up to at Usson is worse than anything they did in Paris. That woman isn’t a proper role model for anyone, least of all my wife,” Matthew told his father with a withering look. “Unless they’re more careful, people are going to know that Louis’s carefully managed, very expensive assassination was a sham.”
* (21:32) - The passions of others . . .
“For someone wedded to a witch you are quick to judge the passions of others, Matthaios. Louis is your brother.”
* (23:30) - Philippe's daughters
“Because Philippe’s daughters were so terrifying we held a family council and begged him to stop making them. Stasia can strip the paint from walls simply by looking at them, and Verin makes her look meek. As for Freyja . . . well, Philippe named her after the Norse goddess of war for a reason.”
* (24:00) - The stillroom bets
Étienne, my other errant assistant, ran into the room, whispered in his partner’s ear, and received something shiny in exchange.“Milord encore,” the boy whispered back.“What are you betting on, Thomas?” I demanded. The two of them looked at me blankly and shrugged. Something about their studied innocence made me concerned for Matthew’s welfare. “The hay barn. Where is it?” I said, ripping off my apron.
* (24:40) - The hay barn scene ... here is the clump of events that happen during this time stamp:
  • Patrick Wyman - Deb's colleague, and fight consultant for this scene. Here is an article he wrote for the New York Post: MMA fighting made me a better historian. Check out his podcasts: The Fall of Rome Podcast & The Tides of History.
  • Matthew is distracted . . . by Diana - Matthew swore. “Did you give away all of your best lines?” he demanded. Then he saw me.What happened next took place in a heartbeat. Matthew began to straighten from his fighting crouch, his attention fixed on the hayloft where I stood. 
  • Diana enters the ring, and Philippe scolds Matthew. "Is this why you lost?" 
  • We discuss how he could be assassin if he was so easily distracted. The factor was Diana.
  • Diana is instructed to stay clear of Matthew when he's fighting. Ha! Good luck with that, Philippe!
  • The meaning of the wedding ring. Matthew chose the dark version of the tale told by the ring: “My whole life, and the end of it. And a warning to remember the past.” 
  • The purposely induced blood rage. This is the first time the reader has ever heard of blood rage! Not all of the vampires are prone to it. We learn Louisa and Matthew both have this disease via Ysabeau (who is a carrier). Matthew is susceptible when he's tired, hungry.
  • Eleanor! This scene is highly instructive as to how she died. 
  • Pierre. Awwww... SPLAT! 
  • Millenials, as we promised -- Monty Python! Here's the scene: Monty Python & the Holy Grail "Flesh Wound" clip
  • Te absolvo. Philippe figures it out. Even if it's not exactly how it actually happened, absolution has been granted, regardless of circumstance.
  • Diana talks Matthew back to his senses. “That’s your father and Pierre,” I said, taking Matthew’s face in my hands. Incrementally, the black in his eyes retreated as a ring of dark green iris appeared first, then a sliver of gray, then the distinctive pale celadon that rimmed the pupil. 
  • Blood sworn daughter?! Wha? “With this mark you are reborn, my blood-sworn daughter and forever a member of my family.” 
  • Time is spooling in the corners! Philippe’s words set them alight with shimmering strands of color—not just blue and amber but green and gold. The noise made by the threads rose to a soft keen of protest. Another family awaited me in another time after all. 
  • Who will stand for Madame? Jean compares Philippe to Oprah right here. YOU GET TO GIVE YOUR LIFE, AND YOU GET TO GIVE YOUR LIFE! 
  • Think and stay alive! Diana asks about her future responsibility to the family. Philippe delivers: “To think, as you did today. Think—and stay alive.”
  •  The continuity problem with the story of Benjamin. "Continuity problem": Angela's euphemism for not telling the truth. Jean, though? "[...]He's living on a throne of LIES!"
Krampus in the corner! An alternative to Elf in the Shelf!
* (49:33) - Krampus! We discuss the fact that Champier shows up the same day as Krampus!

* (50:00) - The Champier scene
  • The pleasantries between Philippe and the witch - “This is André Champier,” Philippe said. “He is a printer, from Lyon. Perhaps you have heard of his cousin, the esteemed physician, now alas departed from this world and no longer able to share his wisdom on matters philosophical and medical.” 
  • This witch was more dangerous than Peter and Satu! Peter Knox had been mentally invasive, and Satu had inflicted great pain at La Pierre, but this witch was different and somehow even more dangerous.
  •  Diana's witch inspections seem to always go bad! We bring up her experience as a young witch with the Bishop grimoire, Satu looking for powers by opening her up, and Widow Beaton.
  • The one blue eye and the one brown eye. We discuss the possibility of Rebecca's eye colors. We bring up Timothy (who had two different color eyes); however when we met Timothy in the previous book, he was of no direct consequence to Diana so she (and we) paid no attention as a result.
  • Philippe is great story teller! “Who can tell what horrors she has seen or been subjected to?” Philippe said with a shrug. “Her husband had been dead ten days when we found her in an isolated farmhouse. Madame Roydon might have fallen victim to all kinds of predators.” 
  • The violation of her flesh - He stroked the flesh on my palm, progressing deliberately over each finger in an intimate search for information. My stomach flipped. 
  • Philippe's muscle ticking!“Does her flesh give you knowledge of her secrets?” Philippe sounded only mildly curious, but there was a muscle ticking in his neck. 
  • Angela compares the similarities of vampires and witches; they both drew information via blood or magical examination.
  • Someone has been "enjoying her,"😂 this phrase cracks Valerie up! “You see? Someone has been enjoying her. I am not the only one who wishes to know more about this English witch.” 
  • Think...stay alive! This advice came in handy more sooner than later . . . Think. Stay alive. I repeated Philippe’s instructions from yesterday. 
  • The Marathon Man scene that Angela was referring to --> Is It Safe?
  • Taking the thoughts and secrets from the root. The major revelation by Jean and Angela!!! WOW! Is this how Philippe knew that it was possible to preserve certain memories, while deleting others?
  • Champier notes the mark on Diana's head. “But this is very strange. Why did a manjasang put his blood here?” 
  • On first read, we had no idea what he saw. His fingers kept probing my mind. Champier’s eyes opened in wonder. “But this is impossible. How can she be a—” 
  • Diana thought and stayed alive. She stabs Champier with Philippe's knife. A dagger stuck out between two of Champier’s ribs, the weapon’s blade buried deep within his chest. My fingers were wrapped tightly around the hilt. When he scrabbled to dislodge it, I pushed it in further. The wizard’s knees began to crumple. 
  • Diana's army shows up a little late. [...]Thomas and Étienne pelted into the room, a dazed Catrine in tow. They stopped, stunned. Alain and Pierre hovered in the hallway with the blacksmith, Chef, and the two soldiers who usually stood by the front gate.“Vous avez bien fait,” Philippe assured them. “It is over now.”
* (1:06:53) - Philippe's explanation as far as his perceived lack of action.
“As recently as yesterday, it would have been your responsibility to intervene on your mate’s behalf. Had you failed to do so, it would have proved that your commitment to the witch was not what it should be.”
             “And today?” I asked.
             Philippe studied me. “Today you are my daughter. So no, I would not have let Champier’s attack go much further. But I didn’t need to do anything, Diana. You saved yourself.”
* (1:08:28) - A wedding announcement!
             “You and Matthew survived one test in the church and another in the hay barn. The blood swearing was simply the first step in making you a de Clermont. And now it’s time to finish it.” Philippe turned toward his second-in-command. “Fetch the priest, Alain, and tell the village to assemble at the church on Saturday. Milord is getting married, with book and priest and all of Saint-Lucien to witness the ceremony. There will be nothing hole-in-corner about this wedding.”
* (1:09:20) - Marrying amid bloodshed is a family tradition! We wonder about him and Ysabeau in their day. We got the story (somewhat) in The Book of Life!
 “Nonsense. Marrying amid bloodshed is a de Clermont family tradition,” Philippe said briskly. “We only seem to mate creatures who are desired by others. It is a messy business.”
* (1:10:37) - Please remove Mr. Champier.
 “Alain, Pierre, please remove Monsieur Champier. He is upsetting madame. The rest of you have too much to do to remain here gawking.” Philippe waited until the three of us were alone before he continued.
* (1:12:10) - Diana's proposal to Matthew
 “Will you marry me, Matthew?” Given that I was a murderer, it seemed only right to ask.
             Philippe gave a choking cough.
             “Yes, Diana. I will marry you. I already have, but I’m happy to do it again to please you.”
* (1:13:37) - We end the chapter here . . .
 “You have found a woman who is worthy of you, with courage and hope to spare, Matthaios.”
             “I know,” Matthew said, taking my hand.
             “Know this, too: You are equally worthy of her. Stop regretting your life. Start living it.”
* (1:13:50) Housekeeping! Brought to you by Shelli Carter! Thank you, CWsupergirl for your wonderful review!

* (1:15:25) Save it for the show - brought to you by Melanie Nelson! Topic: A refresher in empathy. We discuss the exercise we conducted at All Souls Con 2017, and re-iterate the fact that you don't have to like a character to have empathy for them. Mainly, it's in exercise in seeing what circumstances would/could have led them to the choices they made. It was brought up in the All Souls Discussion Group, and we absolutely understand that that is a platform to to talk, and maybe vent frustrations with a character, however we hope one wouldn't discount the added character study to employ empathy in each case.

* (1:26:50) Promo break – scroll down, or click here to get a hold of us and/or become a Discusser -- information on joining our Facebook group also located on that page. Those of you with US numbers can text ADOW to 444999 to become a Discusser.

* (1:28:11) - Last thoughts. Jean theorizes that Matthew was scared of Philippe when they arrived at Sept-Tours, because he didn't risk the possibility of getting yanked out of the bed (Baldwin-in-TBOL-style) by trying to sneak in Diana's sleeping quarters. Val tells us that it is Patreon day! We got paid! It's real! Angela keeps us up with book news and reports that Deb is editing Time's Convert, which means that we'll have it in our hands pretty soon!

Here are some last minute things we didn't include in this episode:

All Souls Con 2018
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Take 34 - The One With the Baggage

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Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
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