Current Projects
Stormlight 4 & 5 outlining
92 %
Starsight (Skyward 2) final proofread
100 %
Stormlight 4 rough draft
73 %
MTG: Children of the Nameless release
100 %

Elantris Deleted Scenes 2


(WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS!)

Welcome to the second batch of ELANTRIS deleted scenes. The largest single cuts all had to do with the Mad Prince sections, and so I don’t know if these deleted scenes will be as interesting to you. However, I do have a few little tidbits that you might find interesting. Mostly, these will just be interesting paragraphs or the like that were cut or changed significantly during the ten drafts the book went through.

Enjoy!

Revised Scene: Old Prologue

One of the most heavily revised sections of the book was the old prologue of ELANTRIS. I knew from the start that I wanted a short, quick, poetic prologue for the book. However, this was actually harder to do than it sounds.

I started with something that was a little too over-written. That first line confused some people, and though I thought it had a nice poetry to it, it set the wrong tone for the book. I eventually changed it—at Moshe’s suggestion—to something more solid and concrete. Also, you’ll notice that I streamlined the language quite a bit. I also cut the word Deolis from the book, fairly early on. By the first two drafts, I was already realizing that the names of this book were tough enough—and I wanted to start cutting terms that weren’t as necessary.

Old Prologue Text New Prologue Text
Whispered are the days when Elantris was beautiful. Those days, when the great city was vibrant, its radiant people the unquestioned rulers of all, are now spoken of only in sequestered, dark corners. The magnificence of Elantris is remembered by many, but acknowledged by none.The Elantrians were gods, once. Distinctified by their brilliant white hair, quick-healing bodies, and arcane powers, it was obvious to all that the Elantrians were different than other, more mundane people. They were the Deolis, living deity, and there wasn’t a single woman or man who dared question their divinity.

Anyone could be chosen to live in Elantris—they only needed to be a god. It struck at night, usually, during the mysterious hours when life slowed to rest. However, there were reports of the transformation coming during the day, as well. It could strike anyone, beggar, craftsman, noble, or warrior. When it came, the fortunate god’s life ended and began anew; his old, profane world was forgotten, and he moved to Elantris, to live in bliss, to rule in wisdom, and to be worshiped for eternity.

Eternity ended one day ten years ago.

Elantris was beautiful, once. It was called the city of the gods: a place of power, radiance, and magic. Visitors say that the very stones glowed with an inner light, and that the city contained wondrous arcane marvels. At night, Elantris shone like a great silvery fire, visible even from a great distance.Yet, as magnificent as Elantris had been, its inhabitants had been more so. Their hair a brilliant white, their skin an almost metallic silver, the Elantrians seemed to shine like the city itself. Legends claimed that they were immortal, or at least nearly so. Their bodies healed quickly, and they were blessed with great strength, insight, and speed. They could perform magics with a bare wave of the hand; men visited Elantris from all across Opelon to receive Elantrian healings, food, or wisdom. They were divinities.

And anyone could become one.

The Shaod, it was called. The Transformation. It struck randomly—usually at night, during the mysterious hours when life slowed to rest. The Shaod could take beggar, craftsman, nobleman, or warrior. When it came, the fortunate person’s life ended and began anew; he would discard his old, mundane existence and move to Elantris. Elantris, where he could live in bliss, rule in wisdom, and be worshipped for eternity.

Eternity ended ten years ago.

 


 

Expanded Scene: Sarene sees Raoden for the first time.

The following scene is another one that was changed significantly during the revision process. This is one of the ones we can blame my editor—either for good or for ill—for inspiring. If you’ll recall, there’s a scene where Sarene goes up onto the Elantris city wall for the first time, where she sees and confronts Hrathen. After he leaves, she looks down into Elantris. The following scene happens:

Old Text New Text
She scanned the city once more, trying to put Kaise’s disturbing comments out of her mind. As she did, her eyes fell on a particular figure—one who didn’t appear to be as pitiful as the rest. He was crouched on the top of a building with another larger figure beside him. For some reason, as soon as her eyes fell on him, they were held tightly.

It was silly—there was nothing special about this particular Elantrian. True, he looked mobile, while most of the others seemed frozen in various positions of exhaustion, but other than that she couldn’t tell a single thing about him. She couldn’t even really be sure ‘he’ was a him. Still, her eyes remained, studying the dark-clothed form. She felt drawn to him—as if there were something about him she should know.

“My Lady?” Ashe’s concerned voice sounded in her ear, and she realized that she had begun to lean out over the battlements.

She scanned the city once more, trying to put Kaise’s disturbing comments out of her mind. As she did, her eyes fell on a particular pair of figures—ones who didn’t appear to be as pitiful as the rest. She squinted at the figures. They were Elantrian, but one seemed to have darker skin than the other. They crouched on the top of a building, and they looked mobile, unlike most of the other Elantrians she had seen. There was something . . . different about these two.”My lady?” Ashe’s concerned voice sounded in her ear, and she realized that she had begun to lean out over the stone parapet.

 

Moshe didn’t like the mystical feel of the original scene. There really wasn’t any reason, other than dramatic effect, to have Sarene focus so much on Raoden down in the city below. I was a bit more neutral, but since he felt strong about it, I was happy to make the change.

Perhaps I let myself fall too much into the melodrama of narrative prose. In my mind, everything that happens in a book is, in a way, fated—since I’m the one that designs it from beginning to end. There’s no way for the characters to escape my will, and in this book, my will was for these two to get thrown together.

 


 

Expanded Scene: Hrathen and Conspirators.

All right, this next one is also more of a revision than a cut—though an important piece was cut. There was a point in the book, early on, when Hrathen met with a large group of potential conspirators. In this one, a young man named Waren caught his attention.

You can read here and likely find out the meaning of the edit on your own.

 

Old Text New Text
“You would be surprised, young Sir Waren,” Hrathen returned. “Until very recently Duladel was the seat of one of the world’s oldest religions. Now, at least as far as Fjordell recorders can tell, that religion has been completely wiped out—at least in its pure form.””Yes,” Waren agreed, “but the collapse of the Jesker religion and the Duladen republic are events that had been building for years, perhaps even centuries.”

“You may think such if you wish, Waren,” Hrathen said with a meaningful look. “As for myself, I know little of such things. I had only been assigned to Duladel for a year before it fell.”

Waren blinked in surprise. “You?” he asked slowly, understanding. Revealing his connection to the fall of Duladel was a dangerous move—if it became common knowledge that Hrathen had instrumented the destruction of Arelon’s eastern companion, Iadon might become nervous enough to banish him. The risk was calculated, however. Waren appeared to be a man of intelligence and shrewdness.

It was possible that he had misjudged the Arelis nobility.

“You would be surprised, young Lord Waren,” Hrathen said. “Until very recently, Duladel was the seat of one of the world’s oldest religions. Now, as far as Fjordell recorders can tell, that religion has been completely wiped out—at least in its pure form.””Yes,” Waren said, “but the collapse of the Jesker religion and the Duladen republic are events that had been building for years, perhaps even centuries.”

“But you cannot deny that when that change in power occurred, it came swiftly,” Hrathen said.

Waren paused. “True.”

“The fall of the Elantrians was likewise swift,” Hrathen said. “Change can come with blinding speed, Lord Waren—but those who are prepared can profit quite substantially from it. You say that the fall of Jesker was building for years . . . well, I suggest to you that the Korathi religion has been in decline for a similar amount of time. It used to hold much sway in the east. Now, its influence has been relegated to only Teod and Arelon.”

Waren paused thoughtfully. He appeared to be a man of intelligence and shrewdness, and seemed swayed by Hrathen’s logic. It was possible that Hrathen had misjudged the Arelish nobility.

So, as you can see, we cut out Hrathen revealing that he’d been the one to instrument the Duladen revolution. I originally wrote this scene because I wanted to make it obvious why the nobility would follow Hrathen, and revealing just how important—and effective he was—here seemed like a good idea.

Moshe, however, thought he was giving away too much too soon. Iadon might not be a perfect king, but he would have gotten word of this revelation, and at that point Hrathen would have become too dangerous for even him to ignore.

In the end, this revelation made Hrathen TOO dangerous, so we decided to trim it.

 


 

Revised Scene: Sarene, Kiin, and Roial talk about Raoden’s death

Okay, next revised scene comes after Sarene meets with the conspirators for the first time. Once they are gone, she wanders into the kitchen and shares a drink with Kiin and Roial.

There were a couple things wrong with this scene. I’ll go into more depth below.

 

Old Text Text New Text
Roial smiled. “She would have made him a fine wife, eh, Kiin,” he noted.”Fine indeed—and an even better queen. Domi moves in ways that are sometimes unfathomable to our minds.”

“I’m not convinced it was Domi’s will that took him away from us, uncle,” Sarene said over her wine. “I’m growing increasingly convinced that it wasn’t His actions so much as someone elses.”

“Those words border on treason, Sarene,” Kiin warned.

“Any more than the other things we have said tonight?” she asked.

“True enough. However, we were only accusing the king of greed. The murder of his own son is another matter entirely.”

“Think about it, uncle,” Sarene said, waving her hand in a wide gesture, and nearly spilling her wine. “Raoden was a constant knife at Iadon’s throat. The prince took a contrary stance on everything his father did—he ridiculed Iadon in court, he planned behind the king’s back, and he had the love of the people. What’s more important, everything he said about Iadon was true. Is that the kind of person a monarch can afford to have running free?”

“Yes, but his own son?” Kiin said with a disbelieving shake of his head.

“It wouldn’t be the first time in history such a thing has happened,” Roial pointed out.

“Not in Arelon,” Kiin argued. “Besides, Raoden wasn’t so much openly rebellious as he was critical. He never taught that Iadon shouldn’t be king, he simply said that Arelon’s government was in trouble—which it is.”

“Weren’t either of you even a little suspicious when you heard the prince was dead?” Sarene asked, contemplatively sipping her wine. “It came at such a convenient time. Iadon has the benefit of an alliance with Teod, but now he doesn’t have to worry about Raoden producing any heirs. Did either of you see Raoden’s body?”

Kiin shook his head, as did Roial. “Iadon claimed his right to have a private funeral ceremony,” Kiin explained. “The rest of us only attended the immolation.”

“He was cremated?” Sarene asked, her eyes narrowing suggestively. “Is that a common practice here in Arelon?”

“It is done occasionally,” Kiin said.

“It is a wonderful way to hide evidence,” Sarene noted. “Do we need to continue this debate?”

Kiin looked at Roial, who shrugged. “I think we have to at least consider the possibility, Kiin. I was suspicious, but with so much else going on in Arelon, I chose not to worry about it. Assassinations aren’t by any means an uncommon practice where politics is concerned.”

“Not in Arelon,” Kiin repeated. “This is a peaceful country.”

“A peaceful country that peacefully murdered its entire ruling class ten years ago,” Sarene said with a quiet snort.

“So what do we do?” Roial asked. “Try and find proof that Iadon executed his son?”

“Knowledge is power,” Sarene said simply.

“Agreed. You, however, are the only one of us with free access to the palace, Sarene.”

“I’ll poke around and see what I can uncover,” Sarene said with a nod.

“Is it possible he isn’t dead?” Kiin asked, finally coming to terms with what the king might have done. “No one saw the body; perhaps Iadon is just holding him somewhere.”

“It’s possible,” Sarene acknowledged doubtfully.

“But you don’t believe it.”

“When a monarch gets it into his mind to destroy a rival, he usually makes sure that destruction is permanent. There are too many stories out there about lost heirs that re-appear after twenty years in the wilderness to claim their rightful throne.”

“Still, perhaps Iadon isn’t as brutal as you assume,” Kiin said. “He was a better man, once—never what I would call a good man, but not a bad one either. Just greedy. Something’s happened to him over the last few years, something that turned him from simply avaricious to cold-hearted. However, I think there might be enough compassion in Iadon to keep him from murdering his own son.”

“All right, I’ll send Ashe to search through the royal dungeons under the palace. He’s so meticulous he’ll know the name of ever rat in the place before he’s satisfied.”

Roial smiled. “She would have made him a fine wife, Kiin.”Kiin nodded. “Fine indeed—and an even better queen. Domi moves in ways that are sometimes strange to our mortal minds.”

“I’m not convinced it was Domi’s will that took him from us, uncle,” Sarene said over her wine. “Have either of you ever wondered if, perhaps, someone might have been behind the prince’s death?”

“The answer to that question borders on treason, Sarene,” Kiin warned.

“Any more than the other things we have said tonight?”

“We were only accusing the king of greed, Sarene,” Roial said. “The murder of his own son is another matter entirely.”

“Think about it, though,” Sarene said, waving her hand in a wide gesture, and nearly spilling her wine. “The prince took a contrary stance on everything his father did—he ridiculed Iadon in court, he planned behind the king’s back, and he had the love of the people. Most importantly, everything he said about Iadon was true. Is that the kind of person a monarch can afford to have running free?”

“Yes, but his own son?” Roial said with a disbelieving shake of his head.

“It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened,” Kiin said.

“True,” Roial said. “But, I don’t know if the prince was as much of a problem to Iadon as you assume. Raoden wasn’t so much rebellious as he was critical. He never said that Iadon shouldn’t be king, he simply claimed that Arelon’s government was in trouble—which it is.”

“Weren’t either of you even a little suspicious when you heard the prince was dead?” Sarene asked, contemplatively sipping her wine. “It came at such a convenient time. Iadon has the benefit of an alliance with Teod, but now he doesn’t have to worry about Raoden producing any heirs.”

Roial looked at Kiin, who shrugged. “I think we have to at least consider the possibility, Roial.”

Roial nodded regretfully. “So what do we do? Try and find proof that Iadon executed his son?”

“Knowledge will bring strength,” Sarene said simply.

“Agreed,” Kiin said. “You, however, are the only one of us with free access to the palace.”

“I’ll poke around and see what I can uncover.”

“Is it possible he isn’t dead?” Roial asked. “It would have been easy enough to find a look-alike for the casket—the coughing shivers is a very disfiguring disease.”

“It’s possible,” Sarene said doubtfully.

“But you don’t believe it.”

Sarene shook her head. “When a monarch decides to destroy a rival, he usually makes sure to do so in a permanent way. There are too many stories about lost heirs that re-appear after twenty years in the wilderness to claim their rightful throne.”

“Still, perhaps Iadon isn’t as brutal as you assume,” Roial said. “He was a better man, once—never what I would call a good man, but not a bad one either. Just greedy. Something’s happened to him over the last few years, something that has . . . changed him. Still, I think there remains enough compassion in Iadon to keep him from murdering his own son.”

“All right,” Sarene said. “I’ll send Ashe to search through the royal dungeons. He’s so meticulous he’ll know the name of every rat in the place before he’s satisfied.”

Okay, there is a lot here. It’s a fascinating scene to look at with an eye for revision, since it changes a lot of things very subtly, with not a lot of change in words, yet a great deal of change in tone and characterization.

The first issue that I needed to change in this scene has to do with the way Raoden’s funeral was handled. If you’ve read through the annotations, you’ll know that I originally didn’t show the Raoden casket scene that is now in chapter two. I thought that it would be better to make things more suspicious—to have his father rush through the funeral, not letting anyone attend it, then having the body supposedly cremated to hide the fact that there was no body.

In revision, however, I realized that making the story less suspicious actually increased the tension and made for a better book. In the original draft, it seemed too obvious that something strange had happened to Raoden—and with Elantris looming over the town, it was just too blatant that maybe he’d been taken by the Shaod. It made the characters outside the city look stupid for not considering it.

So, I made Iadon more competent (and that made him a better villain) by having him deal intelligently with Raoden’s disease. He found a body double that was dead, and put him in a casket. He did force a closed casket viewing, but he threw the party and did all the steps that were considered necessary. His actions weren’t suspicious.

The other big change I made here was to swap Roial and Kiin in the conversation—making Roial the one who argued that Arelon was a peaceful place, where things like assassination of one’s own son didn’t happen.

Originally, I’d wanted to show that Kiin had a softer side, but this really didn’t match his personality. However, it did match Roial, the old man who still—in a way—considers Iadon a friend. By giving Kiin a harder edge, I do a much better job of hinting at his background and personality, while I let Roial show a bit more of an optimistic side—which he exhibits later in the book anyway.


|   Castellano