While rereading Ships/Warhost, I stumbled across the subject of Arithon's "assignations" with Dalwyn, the outcast shepherdess of the Vastmark tribesfolk, which I don't vividly recall this plot line on my earlier reading. I guess now, after seeing how far Arithon and Elaira's relationship has progressed/evolved, I am a bit puzzled that Janny wrote in the dalliances with Dalwyn. Is there some larger purpose for this sexual relationship? At the surface, the relationship seemed to be one of mutual benefit: Dalwyn suffered a harsh existence as the result of her infertility and was desparately in need of human contact, both physical and emotional. Arithon's natural gift (curse) of compassion would naturally empathize with her plight and provide her the comfort she needed. But what was in it for Arithon? Surely, it can't be so simple or superficial as Dalwyn as surrogate for Elaira? I mean, although Arithon may feel compelled to assuage grief and injustice where he finds it, he admits and complains that he can't always do so. I'd be interested for this groups thoughts.
Arithon was still feeling the intimacy he shared with Elaira but couldn't complete after the healing. He warned Dalwyn that he'd be thinking of Elaira and she was fine with that. Both of them needed intimacy to fill a lonely void in their life at that time.
I think this was used to show later on that Elaira was strong enough in her love of Arithon to understand and be happy that he found solace with Dalwyn.
Wouldn't it be strange to find out way later that Dalwyn was not infertile...that maybe in some future book, a child was born of that outside of anyone's scrutiny? I have always wondered if there will be more with Dalwyn in future books.
Isn't Dalwyn... dead now?
By the way she turned up in Kewar Tunnel, I sort of guessed she was.
And how do you know there was sexual anything in that relationship? I still can't work it out, even though Arithon's upbringing would suggest he'd be against that sort of thing, although Dakar certainly assumed it happened.
Nope. Dalwyn did NOT turn out to be infertile, otherwise Sethvir would NOT have been grumbling (paraphrased) in FP:
"Merciful Ath! If I am annoyed by any one thing, it is intrasigent Princes who run amok without the saving bad grace of planting even one bastard on a tavern wench!"
This took place at least two years after Arithon left Vastmark, and IF a child of s'Ffalenn paternity had been born, the F7 would have known about it, and gone to Vastmark to see to the protection of mother and child.
Oh...I should have remembered that!!! Thanks for the clarification!
I was not under in the impression he ever actually slept with her. I thought the whole thing that he was going to be thinking about Elaira the whole time was his way of saying no without breaking her heart. I need to read it again.
He did tell her that, and then she laughed and told him she didn't mind that at all, and to describe Elaira to her. ;) We also see a scene of Elaira scrying on lane watch catching them together, and being grateful that Dalwyn at least could offer him the comfort she could not.
I am not sure, but I can't help but assume there was something between them beyond just plain comforting. It seems after finding out she was barren, he could proceed without worries. Here is a quote from page 147 of WoV:
"A queer thrill shocked through him, born out of clear truth and empathy. He saw that this once, he might indulge his raw need, and answer hers with the gift of his presence."
Yeah I was being delicate with my use of "comfort". ;) Especially since it's the word Arithon uses in that same passage.