I've just finished re-reading The Belgariad and I really have to get something off my chest that's been bothering me ever since the first time I read the series. Why in the world have they (both Eddings, since apparently they both worked on the books) set up this strange incongruity about what the story is really all about? We are told that the main thrust of the story is about 1) the return of the Rivan King and 2) that he, as the Child of Light, will face Torak, the Child of Dark to undo the mistake of there being 2 or split Destinies. But yet we get this subtext that, really, the most important thing going on is what will happen when Polgara once again faces Torak and his irresistible will (she "faced" him at Vo Mimbre, but in reality it was Poledra who defied him). I quote from Enchanters' End Game where Pogara is discussing the Prophecies with Ce'Nedra: "I'm not so much afraid for myself, but more because I know that if I falter - if Torak's will overpowers mine - then the Prophecy we serve will fail. Torak will not only win me, but all of mankind as well." Then later, at the final confrontation with Torak: "She must resist! All the confusion was gone now, and Garion understood at last. This was the real battle. If Aunt Pol succumbed , they were all lost. It had all been for this." This is pretty strong evidence that everything hinged on Polgara's actions and that it was all about getting her there to face Torak again. Funny thing is just a few paragraphs later we're given this: "This was the EVENT for which the Universe had waited since the beginning of time. This was why Garion had come to this decaying ruin - not to fight Torak, but to reject him." Okay, so which is it? Is it Polgara's or Garion's rejection of Torak which is more important? I know, I know, I've read the series a few times now and I know about the "If Torak had one person who loved him, he would be invincible." But look at it this way, IF Polgara were to have succumbed to Torak's will, it most definitely would NOT have been by choice or out of love, therefor her "love" for him would have only been a delusion created by Torak that he forced upon Polgara, it most defintley would not have been by Polgara choosing of her own free will to love Torak. So, if all Torak needed to become invincible was for someone to "love" him, then he could have forced his will on anyone. On the other hand, if it required Polgara's love, then this "forced" thing wouldn't have done it; love is a choice made of free will. Garion said it himself; "You tried to deceive me into loving you, and you tried to force Aunt Pol to love you ..." and this is where Eddings really stumbles because, as I mentioned, you most certainly can't force someone to love, and you can't really deceive them into it either (although Garion uses the word deceive, it's really Torak's force of will again coming into play here, not a deception). Further, I offer that, again, IF Polgara had succumbed to Torak's will, Garion still had his opportunity to fight/reject Torak, but more importantly, he was armed with the Orb of Aldur - a source of power far greater than Torak and very likely the most powerful object in the universe (except for possibly the Sardion). I'm sorry, but it seems to me that the whole fight between Garion and Torak was really just a waste of time. Considering how powerful and how much the Orb hated Torak, all Garion had to do was hold up the Orb somewhere in the vicinity of Torak and say "Okay, do your thing" and that would have been the end of Torak right there. Recall for a moment, when Asharak had slapped Polgara across the face, and the outcome that precipitated from that event - Garion was so angered by it, he reduced Asharak to a pile of ashes. Imagine now if Torak had succeeded in subduing Polgara - Garion would have been so incensed that he most likely would have held forth the Orb and not only destroyed Torak, but probably the entire planet along with him as well. He would not have just thrown down his sword in defeat and said "Ah well Torak, looks like you win." Polgara claims it was her rejection of Torak at Vo Mimbre that forced Torak into the duel with Brand so that the Orb could release its power on Torak, but as I recall, it was Brand calling out Torak during the battle that brought Torak out of his rolling stronghold to duel with him. Belgarath and Polgara (merged with Poldera) just happened to be standing there with Brand when Torak came out. I'm sure if they hadn't been, Torak and Brand would have fought all the same. I can't really imagine a conversation between Torak and Brand saying something along the lines of; "Hey Brand, where's Belgarath and Polgara?" "I'm not sure, Torak, I think they're around here somewhere." "Ah well screw this then, I'm going back inside." The whole reason Torak was in the west fighting a war was to recover the Orb, not to find a bride - that was merely incidental. And again Polgara would claim it would be her rejection of Torak at Cthol Mishrak that would force him into a duel with Garion, but again, the whole reason for Garion and Torak to face each other was not so that Torak could win himself a bride, it was because the two opposing Destinies were about to confront each other. Let me put it this way; Polgara had 2 different Destinies according to the 2 differing Prophecies, in the Prophecy she served, she was Polgara daughter of Belgarath, in the other she was Polgara, bride of Torak. What was the deciding factor of those two differing Destinies? Polgara admits that herself when she says, "If Garion loses? Then Torak will come to claim his bride ..." So, quite obviously, the most important factor is the outcome between the Child of Light and the Child of Dark. Polgara's actions served the more important factor, that being the meeting between Torak and Garion. If you want to be completely logical about it, I would suggest that there are many factors that could have led to the failing of the Prophecy which Polgara, Belgarath and company served. Polgara's protection of the Rivan line is an obvious one (and in my opinion, a MUCH more important one). Belgarath's cultivation of the family lines that brought about all the important players - Silk, Barak, etc. is another fairly obvious one, which Ctutchik himself remarks on during his final confrontation with Belgarath. I would put forth that Polgara's rejection of Torak is less important than the two examples I just listed - her rejection is a part of what happens, but it is not nearly as critical as we are lead to believe. I'm sorry, but if Polgara's choice at Cthol Mishrak was really the most important factor, she would have been the Child of Light at that moment, which she was not, or her's would have been "the EVENT for which the Universe had been waiting since the beginning of time" which it was not, or the story would have been called "The Polgariad" which it is not. To be honest, I believe it was all some sneaky, creative editing/meddling perpetrated by Mrs. Eddings in order to make sure the females' importance to the story were equally represented, because upon closer inspection (as I've clearly illustrated), it really makes no sense whatsoever.