We’ve entered the section of the plot where Raoden has a few short chapters (this one and the one before.) As I mentioned, his major plot cycle–the three gangs–for the first part of the book is over. Right now, the most important things are happening on the outside of Elantris, so Raoden gets a slight breather to study.
That said, the realization that happens here–that Raoden isn’t bad at dealing with the pain, he’s simply facing something that the others don’t have to–is an important one. There needed to be some progression here, even if it does take away Raoden’s main character conflict. (Now he doesn’t have to worry that he’s inferior.) However, this conflict is replaced by another little timebomb–now Raoden has to worry about being destroyed by the Dor before he can finish his studies. It gives him a sense of urgency, makes things a little more difficult–which is why I introduced this plotting structure in the first place. As I’ve mentioned, I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough tension in his chapters once the gangs were defeated. Hence the Dor attacks.
Another big nod of thanks goes out to my thesis committee for their suggestion regarding this chapter. I’m not sure how I missed it, but in the original drafts, Raoden and company never acknowledge the fact that Hrathen had been healed. They never even mentioned it, and they certainly didn’t give their thoughts on why it happened.
The fix was an easy one–you can read it in a few paragraphs in this chapter. However, the fact that it hadn’t been there before was indeed a problem. Moshe was dumbfounded when I mentioned the oversight to him.
So, thanks Sally, Dennis, and John. You saved me from some embarrassment.
I like the explanation that Raoden gives here for Hrathen’s healing. It seems like it would make sense to the Elantrians, and it saves me from having them suspect what was really going on.