Thursday, April 26, 2018

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 37! | Chapter Discussion about the All Souls Trilogy; Chapters 13 & 14 of Shadow of Night

NOPE! It's going in the freezer!!!

Take 37 - The One With the Freezer

Description: Endings, beginnings -- change. Boy, do we get a dose of all three throughout these two chapters! We watch Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont take their first steps as an "official" husband and wife team. We spend some quality moments with Philippe de Clermont before we bid him farewell. Then we are launched to present-day Sept-Tours in the company of Sarah Bishop, Emily Mather and Ysabeau de Clermont by an anomaly -- Philippe's note to Ysabeau. It did the reader good, because it provided us some comfort by informing Ysabeau that he had just seen Matthew and Diana safely off. Further on, the same note helps Ysabeau begin to end her period of grieving. Ysabeau rounds up today's journey by serenading us as we proceed on to London, The Blackfriars in future chapters, yet we remain forever changed by this particular trip to Sept-Tours.

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:
* (00:30) - The sad chapter... we came up with this title because of one of our all time favorite shows -- Friends, and the episode (The One Where Richard and Monica are Friends), where Joey has to put the book Little Women in the freezer, because he didn't want it to end badly. We kind of want to do that with these chapters. 😢

* (02:20) - This podcast is brought to you by our Patrons! To become a patron all you need to do is visit us at and become a member. See what level tier you'd like to join us! All tier levels will receive access to our exclusive Daemons Discuss! The Aftershow podcast.

* (02:50) - Thank you, Discussers: NE Angela, Stephen & Patricia! Full emails can be read here.

* (10:20) - This chapter discussion was brought to you by Elena Tronco - thank you, Elena!

Time to practice! Photo by Darren Glanville from Acle, Norfolk, UK
a. Chapter13
* (10:15) - "Target Practice"
  • The room above the smithy, and milord's butt! I was lying, facedown and legs sprawled, in a room used to store spare weaponry above the smithy. Matthew was on top of me, shielding me from the draft coming through the gaps in the wooden door. Though I was unsure of how much of my own body would be exposed if someone walked in, Matthew’s posterior and bare legs were certainly on view. He moved against me suggestively. 
  • Repeated "target practice." “You can’t possibly want to do that again.” I laughed happily when he repeated the movement. I wondered if this sexual stamina was a vampire thing or a Matthew thing 
  • Actual target practice: “You make that look easy.” It had looked easy when he’d twisted the cork from a bottle of champagne back in modern Oxford, too. “It is—if you’re a vampire and have had roughly a thousand years of practice.” Matthew handed me the bow with a smile. “Remember, keep your shoulders in a straight line, don’t think too long about the shot, and make the release soft and smooth.”
  • Ysabeau hitting Philippe! Our takes on this event: Jean wasn't sure at first what may have prompted Ysabeau to hit Philippe with an arrow, Angela thought maybe it was a game they were playing (Jean agrees), and Valerie thought it may have been a passive-aggressive (actually, just plain aggressive) warning action towards Philippe (Ysabeau: Whoops! Did I do that?!).
  • The ditch! We reminisce about our childhoods, and playing with toys that could impale you (lawn darts😱!). We also remember using ATV's and snowmobiles after dark, and tempting fate by walking to the middle of a thawing pond, and risking it swallowing you up in its frozen depths (good times!).
  • Diana continually misses her target. I drew an arrow out of the quiver, nocked it, looked down the line of sight provided by my left arm, and pulled the bowstring back. I hesitated. The bow was already misaligned. “Shoot,” Matthew said sharply. When I released the string, the arrow whizzed by the hay and fell flat on the ground 
  • Matthew is trying to train her in a way that will awaken her magic. “The archery was supposed to help jostle your witchfire into action,” Matthew pointed out. “Talking about Juliette may help.” “Why can’t this just be about me getting some exercise?” I asked impatiently. 
  • Jean talks about Diana tapping into different elements like her parents. My lips parted in astonishment, my mind’s eye opened, and I saw the tip of the arrow burning gold with the heat and pressure that had been beaten into it at the forge. The fire that was trapped there wanted to fly free again, but it would stay where it was unless I let go of my fear. I puffed out a soft exhalation, making room for faith. My breath passed along the arrow’s shaft, and I released the bowstring. Held aloft on my breath, the arrow flew. 
  • Diana's pal, "The breeze." A breeze, a caress of movement, pulled a few strands of hair away from my ear in response. What do you want? I asked the breeze crossly. Your trust, it whispered in reply. 
  • Diana trusts her powers when her eyes are closed, and nails the shot every time. “Sometimes it seems like the world is full of some invisible potential that is just beyond my grasp. Maybe if I were like Thetis and could shift my shape at will, I would know what to do with it all.” I reached for the bow and another arrow. So long as I kept my eyes closed, I hit the target. As soon as I peeked at my surroundings, however, my shots went wide or fell short

The model for Philippe's clock: Oronce Finé's (1494-1555) lost clepsydra or water clock
shared by Deb on her FB page

* (17:34) - Back to the château; on to the Saturnalia celebrations!
  • Shadow puppets for the kids, the kissing booth, Alain and Philippe dancing, and the clock! 
  • The clock blows up! At midnight precisely, the ship detonated with a deafening explosion. The clock shuddered to a stop in its splintered wooden case. “Skata.” Philippe looked sadly at his ruined clock. 
  • The misrule continues! Women on Top! Jean questions citing an article read in graduate school as suitable foreplay. Matthew seems to like it, so hey! More "D"... we won't complain!
  • Yule is coming! Chef butchered a hog! Friday marked the shortest day of the year and the celebration of Yule. The village was still recovering from Saturnalia and had Christmas yet before them, but Philippe was undeterred. “Chef butchered a hog,” he said. “How could I disappoint him?” 
  • Diana is in the library, Matthew is in the village helping with a roof when Philippe enters. “Diana.” Philippe was moving at great speed and was halfway into the room before he noticed me. “I thought you were with Matthew.” “I couldn’t bear to see him up there,” I confessed. He nodded in understanding. 
  • The sun represents a vampire! “[...]But why would anyone use a sun or gold to denote a vampire?” It went against every bit of popular lore. “Because we are unchanging. Our lives do not wax or wane, and, like gold, our bodies resist corruption from death or disease.” 
  • Hugh and Matthew's relationship - Angela makes a comparison between Matthew and Hugh in their overall dreaminess and love of poetry. Philippe reveals to Diana that Hugh and Matthew were very close.
  • The note hiding game! “It is a game that Ysabeau and I play. When one of us is away, we leave messages hidden in the pages of books. So much happens in a day, it is impossible to remember everything when we see each other again. This way we can come upon little memories like this one when we least expect it, and share them.” 
  • Jean says that they also hide notes in the show The Royals.
  • Messengers have arrived! Champier's pals are worried about him. “Champier took precautions before he left and told others that he had been called here. Now that he has not returned home, his friends are asking questions. A group of witches is preparing to leave the city in search of him, and they are headed in this direction,” Alain explained. 
  • Diana worries that she's not ready to go back yet, but Philippe lets Diana know that she blends better than she thinks. “You blend in better than you think. You’ve been conversing with me in perfectly good French and Latin all morning, for instance.” My mouth opened in disbelief. Philippe laughed. “It is true. I switched back and forth twice, but you didn’t notice.” His face grew serious. “Shall I go down and tell Matthew about my arrangements?” “No,” I said, my hand on his arm. “I’ll do it.” 
  • Matthew has already heard the news. They have to go back. Matthew was sitting on the ridgepole, a letter in each hand and a frown on his face. When he spotted me, he slid down the slope of an eave and landed on the ground with the grace of a cat. His happiness and lighthearted banter of this morning were nothing more than a memory. Matthew removed his doublet from a rusted torch bracket. Once he’d shrugged it over his shoulders, the carpenter was gone and the prince had returned. 
  • What did Matthew do before? “[...]What did you do when you were here . . . before?” “I let Agnes Sampson’s death pass unchallenged, a proper civil punishment for a crime that was outside the bounds of Congregation protection.” His eyes met mine. Witch and historian struggled with the impossible choice before me. “Then you have to keep silent again,” I said, the historian winning the contest. 
  • The bitter with the sweet. “I’m sorry we have to leave so soon,” I whispered. Matthew hooked me into his side. “If not for you, my last memories of my father would be of a broken shell of a man. We must take the bitter with the sweet.”

Dover entry harbor in England ... back in the day! Even in modern times this is the port of exit/entry to France/England
* (28:34) - It's time to go.
  • They pack and plan for the journey. Over the next several days, Matthew and his father went through a ritual of farewell that must have been familiar, given all the good-byes the two had exchanged. But this time was unique. It would be a different Matthew who would next come to Sept-Tours, one with no knowledge of me or of Philippe’s future.
  • Philippe's thank you to Diana. Philippe pushed his stool back and studied me. “It is I who should be thanking you, Diana. The family has been trying to mend Matthew’s spirit for more than a thousand years. If I’m remembering correctly, it took you less than forty days.” 
  • The Aurora Consurgens. “I do not recognize the verse,” Philippe said with a frown. “It’s from that alchemical book I showed you earlier—the Aurora Consurgens. The passage reminded me of Matthew, but I still don’t understand why. I will, though.” 
  • The ring again. “You are very like that ring, you know,” Philippe said, tapping his finger on the table. “It was another of Ysabeau’s clever messages.” 
  • Philippe won't be alone in this world. “You will not be alone either, Philippe de Clermont,” I whispered fiercely. “I’ll find a way to be with you in the darkness, I promise. And when you think the whole world has abandoned you, I’ll be there, holding your hand.” 
  • Goodbyes. “Khaire, Father,” Matthew said, eyes gleaming. “Khairete, Matthaios kai Diana.” Philippe replied. 
  • Glimpses of Philippe stalking them on their way back to England. I turned once, when a flash of movement caught my eye. It was Philippe, riding along a neighboring ridge, determined not to let go of his son until it was necessary. 
  • Angela reviews Matthew's planning with Philippe. “The last thing I will do before we return to our own time is to send you a message. Be ready to order me to Scotland to secure the family’s alliance with King James. From there I should go to Amsterdam. The Dutch will be opening up trade routes with the East.” “I can manage, Matthew,” Philippe said mildly. “Until then I expect regular updates from England and news of how you and Diana are faring.”
  • Jean mentions that Philippe may have been playing a bit dumb when it came to the alchemical books; he sure came up with an answer to the vampire = sun question rather quickly. Angela suggests that Diana's father behaves the same way with Ashmole 782 (later chapters!)

We're trying to picture Marthe in a frog robe! 😆
b. Chapter 14
* (33:07) - The second anomaly -- Philippe's note to Ysabeau.
  • Ysabeau is tearing up the library. The library was in a state of utter chaos. The rest of the château was neat as a pin, but this room looked as if a tornado had blown through it. Books were strewn everywhere. Someone had pulled them off the shelves and flung them onto every other available surface. 
  • Sarah is very Sarah here. “Marthe is going to have a fit when she sees this. And it’s a good thing Diana isn’t around. She’d give you a lecture on book preservation that would bore you stupid.” 
  • United Airlines! We hate having to scold United all the time, but they keep f*cking up. This came up because Jean mentioned that she was happy Tabitha was taken with them (obviously not on United! We are referring to this incident).
  • Emily is pained because she is a librarian. “It must be here. He would have known that the children were together.” Ysabeau flung the book aside and reached for another. It pained Emily to her librarian’s soul to see books mistreated like this.
  • Trier! YIKES! “I don’t understand. What are you looking for?” She picked up the discarded volume and closed it gently. “Matthew and Diana were going to 1590. I was not at home then, but in Trier. 
  • Ysabeau explains how Philippe and her hid notes. “I am not looking for a letter. We hid little notes to each other in the pages of books. I searched through every volume in the library when he died, wanting to have every last piece of him. But I must have missed something.” 
  • Sarah explains the trickiness of time. “What do you mean, Sarah?” “Time is tricky. Even if everything went according to plan and Diana took Matthew back to the first day of November in 1590, it may still be too soon to look for a message from your husband. And you wouldn’t have found a message before, because Philippe hadn’t met my niece yet.” 
  • Mint? Gallowglass? “Well, no wonder Tabitha wants to chew on it. It smells of mint and leather, just like her favorite toy.” 
  • Philippe's scent (we looked it up!): bay – also known as laurel, rosemary, figs
  • Tabitha for the win! Ysabeau was waiting for her. She picked Tabitha up by the scruff of the neck and pried the paper from the cat’s mouth. Then she kissed the surprised feline on the nose. “Clever cat. You will have fish for supper.” 
  • The folded paper falls out....! It's from Philippe. “It’s from Philippe. He saw them,” Ysabeau breathed, her eyes racing across the text. Her hand went to her mouth, relief vying with disbelief. 
  • It's all Greek to me! “That’s written in some kind of code,” said Sarah. She swung her zebrastriped reading glasses onto her nose from the cord around her neck to get a better look. “Not a code—Greek.” Ysabeau’s hands trembled as she smoothed the paper flat 
  • The timey-wimey stuff works! “They were with him for the holidays. ‘On the morning of the Christians’ holy celebration, I said farewell to your son. He is happy at last, mated to a woman who walks in the footsteps of the goddess and is worthy of his love,’” Ysabeau read aloud- The Goddess and the son they worried over.
  • "Bright One" -- we note Philippe's fixation on "light" and "bright" -- he calls Ysabeau this, as well as Lucas (he named Matthew's first born), and the correlation with the name Blanca.
  • Those as yet unborn! WHAT?! “‘Fate still has the power to surprise us, bright one. I fear there are difficult times ahead for all of us. I will do what I can, in what time remains to me, to ensure your safety and that of our children and grandchildren, those whose blessings we already enjoy and those as yet unborn.’” 
  • Ysabeau tells Sarah and Emily a story: “A long, long time ago, there were rumors about creatures who were different—immortal but powerful, too. Around the time the covenant was first signed, some claimed that a witch gave birth to a baby who wept tears of blood like a vampire. Whenever the child did so, fierce winds blew in from the sea.”
  • The covenant - were weavers the catalyst? We discuss this, and wonder if the reason for the covenant was to stamp out weavers, and while they were at it, they threw in a few more things (we compared it to Congress in the US).
  • Philippe held the child. “It was dismissed as a myth—a story created to engender fear among creatures. Few among us now would remember, and even fewer would believe it possible.” Ysabeau touched the paper in her lap. “But Philippe knew it was true. He held the child, you see, and knew if for what it was.” 
  • It gets a little heated at Sept-Tours . . . “It was not my tale to tell.” “You and your secrets,” Sarah said bitterly. “And what of your secrets, Sarah?” Ysabeau cried. “Do you really believe that the witches—creatures like Satu and Peter Knox—know nothing about this manjasang child and its mother?” 
  • Anomalies explained: “Time has to adjust—and not in the melodramatic way people think, with wars averted and presidential elections changed. It will be little things, like this note, that pop up here and there.” “Anomalies,” Ysabeau murmured. 
  • Ysabeau pledges to tell Marcus to watch for anomalies, and Sarah continues to get her digs in. “I will tell Marcus,” Ysabeau agreed with a nod. “You should have told Matthew about that mixed-species baby.” Sarah was unable to keep the note of recrimination from her voice.
  • Louisa's old room! Sarah and Emily left the library. They were staying in Louisa de Clermont’s old room, down the hall from Ysabeau. Sarah thought there were times of day when it smelled a bit like Diana. 
  • Enough of these dark matters. “But enough of these dark matters. You must keep yourself safe, too, so that you can enjoy the future with them. It has been two days since I reminded you that you hold my heart. I wish that I could do so every moment, so that you do not forget it, or the name of the man who will cherish yours forevermore. Philipos.” 
  • Ysabeau sings. Jean mentions the lamentation in a Greek funeral. 
  • We end this chapter discussion (we should've thrown it in the freezer, according to Jean!) Two women, vampire and witch, listened until the vampire’s final notes faded into silence.
* (53:00)  Housekeeping! Brought to you by Dora Flores-Ryan! Thanks goes to Stephen & Iwona. Thank you goes to Melanie for her awesome review!

* (59:20) Save It For the Show - brought to you by Teresa Morrow! Topic: The cast is the cast is the cast. Backstory: On our Facebook page someone posted "This is not my Matthew" on a post featuring Matthew Goode. We discuss how this doesn't help anything or anyone. We think of ways for disgruntled fans to avoid perceived casting problems, and in the end Facebook posting won't change the outcome. We also discuss when we may find out when the TV show will air in the US (notice we said "when," not "if").

* (1:05:14)  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.

* (1:06:25) - Last thoughts! Angela fashions a song "Last Thoughts" to the tune of White Lines by Grandmaster Flash. Jean's last thoughts: Summer is coming! That means hot and humid times at All Souls Con 2018! Angela brings up Ben Franklin, and the theory Jean is spinning (fully immersed in the All Souls universe). Valerie brings up the "Aftershow Ask" and describes how The Aftershow is evolving. Interested? Visit All Souls Con 2018 is getting closer! Pick up your tickets to live stream, or actually attend.

All Souls Con 2018

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