Reading challenge – Realm of the Elderlings Update 14

August 8, 2014

[challenge-progress for=”Realm of the Elderlings” bg=”black” font=”white”]

[book-info title=”Golden Fool” author=”robin-hobb-2″]

Progress: Golden Fool 68% complete.

So, as I guessed, Amber’s friend Jek’s arrival in Buckkeep caused the Fool’s Amber and Lord Golden personae to converge.  She also revealed to Fitz the depth of the Fool’s feelings for him.  Yep, still sailing that ship.

I was very interested by Fitz’s reaction to all of this.  His thoughts were more along the lines of “oh no, everyone thinks I’m sleeping with my boss!” and “oh no, how could the Fool have had a totally different life about which I knew nothing?”  Not once did he think “oh no, the Fool’s feelings for me are deeper than I realised; how can I let him down gently?”  Nope, never goes there.  Clearly, Fitz doesn’t want to deal with his own feelings towards the Fool.  

I suppose now is as good a time as any to address the whole issue of the Fool’s gender and sexuality in general in Hobb’s world.  At no point is it confirmed to which gender the person known as the Fool/Amber/Lord Golden belongs.  Right from the very beginning when we are first are introduced to the character in Assassin’s Apprentice his gender is in question.  He presents himself as male and is referred to as male even though the character is distinctly androgynous.  The Fool is often seen as refusing medical aid, perhaps to conceal his true nature.  As Amber he adopts a female persona and as Lord Golden male.  Starling is the first to suggest the Fool is female.  Whenever anyone asks him directly he tells them it’s none of their business.  Hobb uses the male pronouns when referring to the Fool or Lord Golden and the feminine ones when referring to Amber.  

At one point, (Assassin’s Quest, chapter 30) Fitz and the Fool are discussing love and sex and Fitz suggests that two men cannot love each other in the way that a man and woman do.  The Fool’s response: “you’re confusing love with plumbing”  Nicely done, Fool, nicely done.  However, my ship is rocked somewhat by Fitz’a insistence that true love does require a physical relationship and that he could never be physically involved with someone of the Fool’s perceived gender.  

In other news, at 50% of the way through the second book, we FINALLY get onto the quest for this series’ McGuffin, the quest for Icefyre’s head.  Yay.

I’m also enjoying the way Thick is slowly becoming better understood by both Fitz and Dutiful.  

More tomorrow

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