I realise now that some people may find what is below either
offensive, controversial, or against their own religious beliefs, and
many more feelings beside. My intent is not to start a discussion of
the right and wrongs of the subject matter, but the effect it could
have had on the Edding's works. Basically if even the mention of
homosexuality in either gender offends you, then I would advise you
not to read this post any further. To that affect I will now be
employing the well known tool of "spoiler space"
There that's better.
(and my apologies for the waste of bandwidth, but I've seen this sort
of thread blow up out of all proportion before, and felt it right to
give some warnings before hand).
Imagine this character scenario (borrowed from Aph's listing in the
Relationship to other characters:
Boyfriend of un-named noble-man
Champion of Cyrinic Knights
It simply isn't true is it. Bevier wasn't the boyfriend of some
unnamed Arcium Nobel man. But imagine how different the books may
have been if there was a semi-promenient gay person in the story
somewhere. Before anyone states, but Edding's didn't even include
even a minor character who was homosexual, let me remind you that
Martai's second owner was homosexual, Baron Harparin had homosexual
tendeencies towards boys (makes him more of a peadophile then anything
else) - at least it's hinted towards that direction very strongly.
There are also the common references to "Two girls shouldn't be seen
behaving in that manner towards each other".
It appears to me that Mr Edding's was at least skirting around the
possibility of having some form of homosexuality/bisexuality with one
of his characters. I used the example of Bevier above, because he's
the one knight that never seemed to have an interest in women during
the stories - not that that would instantly mean that a guy who
doesn't have an interest in women is homosexual. I could have
easily seen Sadi as being homosexual, even more so then Bevier, if it
wasn't for Sadi being a Eunuch.
Would it have made any difference if one of the sidecharacters was
homosexual? What if Bevier did actually have a secret boyfriend
hidden back home in Arcium? Would it have made any difference to
people's enjoyment of the story. Maybe it would have even increased
your enjoyment, or maybe you wouldn't have finished reading the series
if one of the character's came "out of the closet"?
Again, this isn't intended as a right or wrong excercise, but intended
as a genuine point for discussion, within an Edding's context.
Your views are much appreciated.
Let's see. From the Bel/Mal, we have only Sadi who is neither, being a
eunuch (sp??). I really don't recall any other references to a
character there as being anything other than strictly hetero. Once we
get to the Elen/Tam, we have as you mentioned the Baron who is
portrayed as a pedophile and Mirtai's former owner who is portrayed as
a gentle artistic soul. Goddess, how I hate to make this kind of
comment, except to label it as IMHO, but it would seem that Eddings
was really just sticking to stereotypes and wasn't really bringing
that type of characterization into his stories.
Richard the Lionhearted was homosexual. It's rarely dealt with. The
image of the chivalrous knight, centered around fair lady and romance,
doesn't hold up well in that context. Arthur's knights who pursued the
Holy Grail were portrayed more as celibate, rather than giving them
I think it didn't fit and thus wasn't used.
I dont know if it would have affected my enjoyment of the books. On the whole, if it
didn't influence the relationships between the main characters, then it is probably
irrelevant to the story. if , on the other hand, it did have an influence, such as
creating tension within the group, or perhaps involving a powerful third party who could
influence the story, THEN it would serve a purpose.
just my 0.02
(ObQuery - does anyone know any fantasy in which the _lead_ is
homosexual, apart from Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books?)
IMO, if DE had included a character of known homosexual tendencies
(and especially if that character was a hero), he would have treated
them in the manner he treats any other character - giving them witty
remarks (by the bucketful), strengths and weaknesses, etc. He might
not make too much of the sexuality bit - he doesn't really emphasise
the battle of the sexes much, does he, and I would see no reason for
that to change.
OTOH, if he had tried to make this character typical of his/her kind
as he saw it, I would probably never buy another book of his.
(Depending on how he sees it, of course.)
(Please remove "no_spam." from my e-mail address if replying.)
"That's right," he said. "We're philosophers. We think, therefore we
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)
I missed the original posting concerning the sexuality issue..but if i
remember correctly, didn't DE have a gay character in the Tam...he was a
young man that had bought the Female Tamuli..he was part of her story on
how she came to be who she is. DE was quite clear that this man
prefered the company of other beautiful young men and that his former
lover infact killed him to which she eventually slaughtered him. IMHO, I
was pleased to see DE have a gay character other then the infeminate,
pedophile fops he refers to in the begining of the Tam.
I think the sexuality was well used in the Ele/Tam because it was a much
darker series then the Bel/Mal, where it would have just been
misplaced. Although I have to admit that I had hoped that Durnik turned
out to be just "a really good friend" to Polgara, and ended up being
gay...He's a Man's Man if there ever was one (IMHO, and with great humor
>I missed the original posting concerning the sexuality issue..but if i
>remember correctly, didn't DE have a gay character in the Tam...he was a
>young man that had bought the Female Tamuli..he was part of her story on
>how she came to be who she is. DE was quite clear that this man
>prefered the company of other beautiful young men and that his former
>lover infact killed him to which she eventually slaughtered him. IMHO, I
>was pleased to see DE have a gay character other then the infeminate,
>pedophile fops he refers to in the begining of the Tam.
Yes, there was a young gay man, but he appeared for a grand total of
about 2 pages. He was the second person to own Martai, (IIRC He
inherited her after she killed her previous owner who was something of
a pedophile). And other then that and Baron Harparin, there is no
mention of homosexuality in the rest of the books. OK, admittedly it
isn't the thing that the knights of the past were imagined to be, but
that's another story.
Yes, I agree that the character (I can't recall his name) who
inherited Martai, was a refreshing change. and following from someone
elses post, if one of the main characters was gay, He/She would be
treated the same as everyone else. The homosexuality wouldn't be a
big issue, but it would be a change to see a "mainstream" author
challenging the "rules".
>I think the sexuality was well used in the Ele/Tam because it was a much
>darker series then the Bel/Mal, where it would have just been
>misplaced. Although I have to admit that I had hoped that Durnik turned
>out to be just "a really good friend" to Polgara, and ended up being
>gay...He's a Man's Man if there ever was one (IMHO, and with great humor
That's just it, Heterosexuality was used greatly during the Ele/Tam,
and was much more placed to that series then it would in Bel/Mal
(other then probably Liselle seduction of Silk). But they are all
heterosexual relationships, and I for one would much prefer a more
equal look at the world as it is, and that would mean including a
homosexual character, instead of all the womanising men that are
Just my thoughts of course,
Not wishing to appear homophobic (this is a serious question), but was the
world as it *was* (the Middle Ages, for instance) of a similar sexual
distribution to the world as it is today?
Yes, I *know* Eosia &c. aren't the English Middle Ages; we can
claim the distribution was anything we like; I do understand the
difference between fantasy and reality. However, assuming that we can draw
conclusions from this world, are the proportions similar? If I understand
correctly, the Church viewed homosexuality as a crime; one would believe
that the Elene Church did too (thus neatly sidestepping the question of
whether Arjunis are affected) and hence any homosexuals would not be open
Possibly wrong, mind; feel free to shout me down, as ever :)
"The grand plan that is Aquarius proceeds apace." - 'Ronin', Frank Miller.
----aqua...@cryogen.com | http://www.netforward.com/cryogen/?aquarius----
I would not bet against the existence of time machines. My opponent might
------ have seen the future and know the answer. - Stephen Hawking -------
Offical AFE Wolven Cunning medal holder | Do not run! We are your friends!
Two thought regarding the discussion
You all give all kinds o f explanations to this topic, but having read
other books, which obiously depended strongly on the authors
affiliation (or however you call it in english), might it be, that
DE just wrote his books with relations and characters in mind, as he
finds them in his own surrounding ?
Maybe he never thought about this topic this deeply and simply
designed, as it came to him and added homosexuality &c just as a , I
miss the words, ?flavor? forming out special characters to show :
"Ohh, there is certainly more to my world then hetero's, but I
really do not worry that much about it. I just use it, where it
And the way, he describes the second husband of Mirtai, it shows
pretty well, that I has no bad feelings about it, but that it is
considered kind of 'weird' in that society, and gay's have to hide.
I think, DE shows, what is important to him pretty clearly :
Accept other people for what they are, not what you think they are.
It does not really matter, whether he showed it through the styirics,
or through a homosexual main character. If the reader got the message
once, he/she hopefully also learned, that it applies to everything.
Even more, by doing it in an offhand manner, he does is more cleverly
(is there such a word ?) than having a gay Knight as main character
As Sarabian wrote, this just might distract the reader, and DE's
approach (whether he thought about it or not) is more subtle.
> And the way, he describes the second husband of Mirtai, it shows
> pretty well, that I[presumably he?] has no bad feelings about it, but that it is
> considered kind of 'weird' in that society, and gay's have to hide.
Probably more than 'weird' I'd guess. I got the impression that if he
had been openly gay, he would have very rapidly been openly dead...
Whether he has bad or good feelings about it doesn't matter really - I
think the thread is about how he explored it and whether it was done
well or not. I feel slightly sad that of two gay characters, one is a
paedophile, and the other is a victim (of a murder)....
Don't get me wrong - this is not some kind of PC balloney of - 'Eddings
should have more characters who are different but not weak'....he has
Beldin in the BelMal for a start. My slight winge is more along the
lines of - why touch the subject if you are going to portray the figures
in a slightly stereotypical way?
OTOH at *least* he does touch the subject, which is a lot more than can
be said about many writers in the milleu.
> I think, DE shows, what is important to him pretty clearly :
> Accept other people for what they are, not what you think they are.
> It does not really matter, whether he showed it through the styirics,
> or through a homosexual main character. If the reader got the message
> once, he/she hopefully also learned, that it applies to everything.
> Even more, by doing it in an offhand manner, he does is more cleverly
> (is there such a word ?) than having a gay Knight as main character
> As Sarabian wrote, this just might distract the reader, and DE's
> approach (whether he thought about it or not) is more subtle.
This all assumes that he actually has such a message here, which I don't
accept. The characters all believe that (and when one doesn't believe
that it is a very big deal - ie when Sephrenia's prejudice against the
Delphae come out), but Eddings, as far as I am concerned, does not hold
those views...he may be examining the driving forces of prejudice but I
really don't think that he has a 'message' as such....if you start
looking for such things then you would soon come out with a rather
distorted view of David Eddings - grand sagas mapped out over millenia
of Gods fighting each other....hmmmm, theres a message in there!
Obviously Eddings believes in the insignificance of our lives in
comparison to the huge driving force of history! NOT. He is a story
teller...not a guru.
just a few thoughts.....
Andrew J Barnes
The Accidental Tourist
interesting - I always considered it in the same way as Evolutionists
regarding the Bishop of Oxford(IIRC) at the turn of century - a kind of
look on their faces of 'you don't really think that stuff actually is
true do you?'. Their subsequent distaste when shown irrefutably that it
does work would be the same as one on the faces of most of us if we were
shown that the world actually does have an edge, and is flat - ie one of
'I don't want to know. I *really* do not want to know' followed by a
shudder as you realise that the nice ordered world in which we live
seems to be suddenly full of uncertainties.
> Perhaps that's where DE channeled that sort of reaction, toward magic
> and toward the Styrics, who were considered abominations by some of
> the Elenes.
> ... Content in the service of Aphrael
> and honored to be little mother of a.f.e.
> To reach my kitchen, make my demos farmhouse "cheerful"
>I agree with you...if anyone could do it right, DE could. Has anyone
>ever considered that maybe Eroind is gay...he certainly was a step
>different during his adolescence...
Whatever made you come to that conclusion? First off, Eriond, well,
_was_ unusual. He himself admitted that he knew what he had the potential
to be from very early on in his life.
What I actually want to ask though, is how do his actions in any way
impart his sexuality. Just because he was quiet doesn't mean that he was
homosexual. I know a homosexual person, and once you get him talking, he
_won't_ shut up. I really don't think that personal bearing (i.e. Eriond's
silent treatment) can lead someone to determine that person's sexuality.
Sorry for this tirade, and believe it or not, I'm not trying to preach
Yes, read The five books of the Lords of darkness. Several homosexual
person appear, both leads and side roles.
>>I feel slightly sad that of two gay characters, one is a paedophile,
>Paedophiles aren't Gay. I can't remember the characters name, but I
>thought that his predation where fairly mixed. In the real world
>Paedophile almost exclusively describe themselves as hetrosexual.
>But I agree with you on the fact that the characters are a bit
Paedophiles aren't necessarily gay is a better term. In the context
of the Elenium, Baron Harparin "Has an interest in little boys", which
in my book at least signifies some degree of homosexuality, also he is
portrayed in the few scenes we see him in in a manner which strikes me
of being in some degree "camp" (then again not all "camp" characters
are gay, but I'd say 90% of the "camp" people I know are).
>In the Belgariad I always wondered about Silk being bisexual. Everyone
>else seemed to have strong physical relationship with the opposite sex,
>or good reason for not (like age in Garions case, or Polgara
>disapprovable of Belgarath's "Wenching"), but I know that it was my
>adding colour to characters rather than something hidden in the
Silk being bisexual would certainly have some validity in the
Belgariad, but something just doesn't ring quite true in my mind about
it. Not sure what, but just doesn't.
Having a main character who is gay will not merely distract the readers. As
readers and even fans of a certain author, we really do not care if the hero
or anti-hero is gay, incestous, pedophilic, immoral or whatever arbritrary
social norms that we set out for them AS LONG AS THE STORY IS ENGAGING.
HOWEVER, remember this is a real world out here and Eddings' books are
subjected by scrutiny of the publishers. And Publishers do want to make money
by having the books sold all over the world. All over the world means outside
U.S., in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America etc.... And many parts of the
world (and even parts of U.S.) are still appalled by lifestyles which they
deem anti-norms. Being gay is one of them. This is a sad fact but it is still
a fact. Had Eddings write any "controversial" main-characters, you would be
sure the publishers would not publish the book becuase they know the book will
not sell well. In fact, how do we know if Eddings had not have his books
revised or even rejected becuase he had characters which did not fit into
majority's ideal of a hero? (hetero, big, strong, intelligent, yadda
I guess its called real-world marketting.
My keen Divine ears detected a voice echoing through the halls of my
Temple. Upon investigation, I discovered that it was le...@a-vip.com
(Earl of Lenda), articulating thusly:
>Would it have made any difference if one of the sidecharacters was
>homosexual? What if Bevier did actually have a secret boyfriend
>hidden back home in Arcium? Would it have made any difference to
>people's enjoyment of the story. Maybe it would have even increased
>your enjoyment, or maybe you wouldn't have finished reading the series
>if one of the character's came "out of the closet"?
>Again, this isn't intended as a right or wrong excercise, but intended
>as a genuine point for discussion, within an Edding's context.
I know this is an old thread, but I'm just catching up after over a
month of virtual silence here and I'm up to my eyeballs in posts to
reply to. This seemed like a good place to start, since I just had to
give a speech for my class this morning on a related topic.
I think it would have been quite interesting if Eddings had made one
of the major characters gay. Whether it would have made a difference
to the plot would depend upon which character it was and where Eddings
decided to go with it. If, for example, one of the knights had been
gay, there are dozens of possibilities. It could never be mentioned
aside from an occasional reference, or, on the opposite end of the
scale, it could significantly affect his outlook on the events of the
story. For example, knowing the pain of being in a fringe group
himself, he might be distinctly sympathetic to the Styrics; or he
might turn around in Sarsos and say to the Styrics there, "Hey, look
here, I'm part of a group that has been mistreated, too, and you don't
see me whining about it like you do!"
It would have been particularly interesting if Eddings had depicted a
young character just coming out of the closet. This would work
particularly well with Bevier, because it would create some
interesting religious conflicts for him. Can you imagine a religious
fanatic like Bevier realizing that he had a natural inclination that
went directly against his religious beliefs!?
It also would make a difference whether he used a gay man or a
lesbian. From my experience, people tend to be a little more
accepting of lesbians. I think females on the whole are more
confortable with the idea of physical expressions of affection between
the same gender to begin with. And lesbianism isn't as much of a
threat to femininity as male homosexuality is perceived to be to
masculinity. Sure, there is the stereotype of the "dyke," but it can
also be very feminine. I can easily see an Eddings woman being a
lesbian, because Eddings seems particularly fond of the idea of the
"sisterhood of all women," suggesting that women have a special bond
between each other to begin with. Mind you, if Ehlana were a lesbian,
I'm sure that would raise more than a few hackles, and if Ce'Nedra
were, it would screw up the whole Prophecy.
As for whether it would affect my enjoyment of the series, well, I
certainly wouldn't be offended. I'm of the firm belief that there's
really no difference between a homosexual relationship and a
heterosexual one, other than the ability to conceive a child together,
and that gays should have all the same rights and options available to
them that straight couples have always enjoyed. But Eddings might
have alienated some of the more conservative elements and even found
himself boycotted by the Southern Baptists. (I mean, geez, if they'll
boycott _Disney_.....) On the other hand, he might have found a
particularly loyal following among gays and gay rights activists.
Anyway, that's my belated and quite extended two dollars on the whole
Aphrael, Child-Goddess of Styricum and devout disciple of Céline
Co-Founder and Spokes-Goddess, ACETS
To send e-mail, change the part after the @ to "microserve.net"
"Conservatives wouldn't even change their underwear if they didn't have to."
--Aphrael, "The Shining Ones"
Vive Céline! (Whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person on April 12, 1997!)
> I think it would have been quite interesting if Eddings had made one
> of the major characters gay.
I think, that if Mista Eddings has any maliciousness in his soul, that
he would make Bevier gay. It would be interesting how Bevier would
handle it. It's the only character he really COULD make gay.
Me still eat Bevier, me no homophobe.
>I've always had Bevier or Sadi (if fully equipped) as gay characters.
Not Sadi. There's a point in the Mal (I know, I really narrowed it
down there, didn't I?) where he looks semi-longingly I think at Liselle.
Then I think he & Silk have a short discussion where Sadi says he
sometimes wonders what his life would be like if things had turned out
differently, or some such.
>Nice to see you back on form. (even if it does mean having twice as
>many downloads as normal) I-)
Oh, you mortals always have somethign to complain about! ;+)
>Which would be treated worse in the Ele/Tam world? Styric's or
>Homosexuals? But the point you make is quite valid. I guess in their
>way both would be outcast groups, and could have sympathy for each
>other - then again imagine a gay Styric?
I tend to think that homosexuals would have been treated worse. In a
medieval society, the common school of thought would have been that
homosexuality was a chosen preference. Therefore, the homosexual
would have been seen as someone who _chose_ to be something
despicable, whereas the Styric would be seen as someone who happened
to be born something despicable.
>>interesting religious conflicts for him. Can you imagine a religious
>>fanatic like Bevier realizing that he had a natural inclination that
>>went directly against his religious beliefs!?
>Certainly a good example, and I belive one I may have used in my
>original posting, but not mentioning the religious matters involved in
I know, I was expanding upon your original post. :+)
>Though we aren't told if the Elene religion forbids
True, but we're given plenty of reason to suspect that its moral code
was the same as the Roman Catholic religion of medieval times, which
definitely regarded homosexuality as a heinous sin. Plus, remember
Bevier's reaction when Mirtai mentioned her former owner's
>we are informed (by Martai's former owner) that it was
>at least frowned upon. Then even Bevier should somehow manage to find
>his head around the problem - I've known gay catholics, gay
>christains, gay jews, and I've met a gay muslim to name but a few in
>my time at University. And none of them had had a problem integrating
>their sexuality with their religion, at least on the personal level -
>wether or not their own "religious body" had a problem in some cases I
>don't know, but in most cases it was gracefully accepted. Why
>shouldn't it be different in this case?
The only gay person I knew (i.e., that I actually discussed their
homosexuality with) who didn't abandon organized religion almost
entirely was a Roman Catholic. He struggled with it for a long time,
and even tried to run from his homosexuality by trying his hand at the
priesthood. After he came out of the closet, he tried to reconcile
his religion with his sexual orientation and he finally concluded that
there was no place for a gay person in the Catholic Church. Aside
from that, I haven't really witnessed much. But I think if the Elene
Church is the carbon copy of the medieval Catholic Church that it
seems to be, Bevier would be in for a VERY tough time. Keep in mind,
this is a church that was still willing to resort to converting people
by the sword (i.e., Rendor).
>A lesbian character would certainly have been easier on the main-stay
>of readers, and in my opinion, wouldn't have caused such a controversy
>as a gay character would. And as a threat to masculinity - garbage.
>I've known some very masculine gays, and some very feminine lesbians,
>and vice versa, some very masculine lesbians, and some very feminine
Hey, I didn't say I believed in that, only that it seems to be a
fairly common perception among the unenlightened. And I agree, a
lesbian character might have been easy to deal with. Then again, look
at all the controversy Ellen DeGeneres caused.
>The sisterhood of women certainly comes up enough, to makea lesbian
>character a feasible possibility, if there were enough female
>characters to start with. But it would have had to one of the less
>major characters in my opinion - then again Polgara would have been a
>candidate in my books at the beginning of the Belgariad, or possibly
I simply can't picture Polgara even having sexual thoughts. Is it
just me, or does it almost feel like she and Durnik don't even do what
married couples do for most of the story, at least up until we learn
that Pol is pregnant. I agree about Sephrenia, though, I can see her
having taht sort of relationship with another woman. In fact, can you
imagine what an interesting plot twist it would have been if Sephrenia
and Xanetia had fallen in love with each other?
>But that's simply my own personal opinions on the matters,
>in the same vain, I've always had Bevier or Sadi (if fully equipped)
>as gay characters, or possible Brands eldest son (whatever his name
The name of Brand's eldest son depends whether you're reading CoW or
GotW. :+) And I can see Sadi being gay, but then again, it's
probably the very fact that he's not fuly equipped that makes him seem
>the support would certainly be there, in my opinion, so long as he
>handle it properly, with sensetivity, and thought. Handled wrongly
>and the southern baptists would not be comparable to the gay
This is true. No minority group wants to see themselves portrayed in
an inaccurate manner by someone who's not a member of the group.
>And as to alienating conservatives:
>"Conservatives wouldn't even change their underwear if they didn't
LOL, I knew that quote was good for something more than a catchy sig
Aphrael, Child-Goddess of Styricum and devout disciple of Céline
Co-Founder and Spokes-Goddess, ACETS
To send e-mail, change the part after the @ to "microserve.net"
Aphrael's Isle - http://www.microserve.net/~aphrael/eddings.html
>There is the problem with this - if you remember when Mirtai was talking
>about the gay owner of hers, Bevier gasped. He would not really do this if
>he were gay, nor would he admit in the Ruby Knight that he was powerfully
>attracted to members of the "fair sex". Bevier is too devout and unworldly
>to the be the gay character in the book. I think that Bevier could NOT be
>made gay. Tynian is a possibility, however - more so than Bevier anyway...
Thoughts for the opposite sex are in some respects relatively common
in homosexual men at least, at some stage in their lives. I know
gay-men who have been (or some who still are) married, most having
children (and some who were praticing gay before getting married!),
and I've also known other gay-men with children of their own.
Bevier still works for me. He's young (not that age has anything to
do with it), totally uninterested in heterosexual sex, other then that
one admission about the "fairer sex", and also not one of the knights
that any of the females were chasing after, though being described (if
I recall correctly) as being good-looking. He is devout, but that
could be to cover his "guilt" at being what his religion considereds
to be "abnormal". And hhis character just seems to fit into that of
one or two of the gay people I know.
As to Tynian - pass, don't know.