I couldn’t resist having Sarene intentionally mis-interpret the demands from Raoden’s team. Not only did it make for a fun scene with them discovering how she twisted their requests, it also let me characterize Sarene in-abscentia. To her, politics is a game. Any time she can twist her opponant’s words and do something unexpected, like send a pile of nails instead of sheets of steel, she feels a thrill of victory.
This is a rather long chapter. Longer, actually, than I probably would have put in a regular story. However, the triad system kind of forced me to lump all of these events together. It was important that I show the danger of Shaor’s gang, as well as the way New Elantris was progressing despite its problems. At the same time, we needed to find out more about Galladon eventually. So, when I did the ‘find the pool’ chapter, I had to include these other items before it.
I kind of wish that I’d been able to include the ‘Once so very beautiful. . . .’ in this chapter somewhere. If you’ve been watching, you’ll know that I do mention the man several other places, often when Raoden is near the Hoed. This is one of the more clever little twists of foreshadowing in the book, if I do say so myself.
Those of you who’ve read the book before should recognize the case study Raoden mentions in this chapter. The woman who was miss-healed by the Elantrian is none other than Dilaf’s wife–he speaks of her near the end of the book. This event–the madness and death of the woman he loved–is what drives his hatred of Elantris, and therefore Arelon and Teod.
Seolin is an interesting character to me. Not because he really does anything distinctive–but because of how he developed. His name was “Saorn” in the original draft, by the way. I think I changed this because it was too close to “Daorn.” People also confused it with Shaod. I’m not certain if the new one fixes that problem, but it does feel a little more distinctive to me.
Regardless, Seolin is one of those characters who grew out of nothing to have a strangely large part in the plot. Again, I realize that he’s not all that original as a character. However, his dedication–and the way Raoden came to rely on him–wasn’t something I intended when planning the book. While I don’t believe in the whole ‘Books surprise their authors’ concept, I do enjoy the discovery of writing. Seolin is one of the characters ‘discovered’ in this way, and I am very pleased with him.