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How depressing is Fitz?

Elstor

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Jan 22, 2008
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I read the Farseer and Tawny Man Trilogies years ago. I've just about finished re-reading them and while still loving all the books I've come to the realisation that Fitz is one of the most depressing, negative and pessimistic heroes of any book I've read. Thomas Covenant might be up there with him maybe. Any thoughts?
 

Talysia

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I must admit; Fitz definitely has his moments. Still, I find that his relationship with the Fool, and indeed, the Fool's very personality, provide a nice counterpoint to Fitz's complaints. It's been too long since my last reread.
 

jennyjj

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Jul 3, 2010
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i havent read it! on my list tho :) thomas covenant is a v depressing character tho i agree, sometimes i cant decide if thats the best or the worst of donaldson, its original and interesting but i have to put it down n pick up summat cheery every now and then, bit like watching eastenders :)
 

Vertigo

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I have just read AA which is my first Robin Hobb book and I have to agree I kept finding myself wanting to grab him and give him a good shake. However I'm not sure that maybe given his background he isn't actually very realistic. Maybe we get too many fantasy (and SF) who are just too perfect and start expecting it of everyone.

Have to agree about Thomas Covenant - I read the orginal series years ago but never continued. I found the stories excellent but his character just too depressing and just gave up.
 

pyan

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When I read the books, Fitz kept reminding me of someone, though I couldn't place who.

Then it came to me: Eeyore...

"Good morning, Eeyore," said Pooh.
"Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning, which I doubt," said he.
"Why, what's the matter?"
"Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
"Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
"Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."
Winnie the Pooh
 

Elstor

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Jan 22, 2008
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Nice quote Pyan. Very apt. Here's another one, by Marge Simpson.

"You know Homer, when I found out about this I went through a wide range of emotions. First I was nervous, then anxious, then wary, then apprehensive, then kinda sleepy, then worried, and then concerned. But now I realize that being a spaceman is something you have to do."

Well apart from the spaceman thing that is.
 

digs

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He's definitely a bit of a whinger, HOWEVER, he often has good reason to be.


But sometimes he doesn't.

And I agree with Vertigo about Thomas Covenant - I found the world and story quite interesting, but just couldn't get past his character. I may give it another go someday. I never, on the other hand, had that problem with Fitz (or Nevarre).
 

manephelien

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If there ever was a party pooper it's Nevare. Fitz is a bit similar but not nearly as bad. I actually liked him better on my second read last spring.
 
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I don't think Fitz himself is that pessimistic or depressing, I just think he goes through a lot of bad experiences. I really like him though, so perhaps I'm somewhat biased. And I feel the same about Nevare.

As for Thomas Covenant - I fully understand why reading from his POV is such a struggle. Stephen Donaldson is a masterly and unique writer though so I feel it's often worth it, imho.
 

shirespartan

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Sep 20, 2010
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haha yea, soon as I seen your title I though, you should read Thomas Covenant.. weird that farseer and tcotc are my two favourite series so far.

Donaldson is another writer great at creating characters, Mordants Need has some legendary characters same with the Gap Sequence. Now I think through all three different series there have been some brilliant characters, ofc none as good as nighteyes!
 

Alexa

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Without Nighteyes, Fitz is quite pessimistic and introverted.

I loved the books and Fitz, but when he was too busy to pity over himself, I wanted to slap him.
 

digs

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I guess it isn't so much Fitz's self-pity that gets me as the fact that he keeps performing his duties, no matter how horrible they are. It's interesting though - I get annoyed at Fitz, not at Hobb, which to me suggests that he's a well-drawn and realistic character.
 

sleo

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May 2, 2011
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I didn't find him negative. I thought his emotional responses were appropriate when you consider all that happened to him. One of the things I liked about these books - emotional authenticity.
 

Tam-I-Am

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May 6, 2011
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I actually thought that Hobb did an incredibly good job of explaining this at the end of the books (so I guess this is a potential spoiler alert).

Given that he had felt so acutely rejected by his mother and suffered the psychological trauma of that, and thus didn't allow himself to get too close to any other (human) people throughout the rest of this life, his depression was, at best a holding away of himself and, at worst, a kind of self-imposed Forging...which he later almost bore out in reality (when giving so much of himself to Verity's dragon).

That kind of seemed to be the whole point of the books to me. That in regaining those parts of himself (forced or not) he was forced into healing, and therefore into developing some real relationships for the first time in his life, in his mid-to-late adulthood.

He was definitely an anti-hero...but it wasn't purposeless by any means.
 

Grimbear

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Ah - I don't find him that depressing. He has a hard time of it so can't find it in myselfto blame him for being negative.

The depressing character I would seriously most like to kick off the page is that annoying whiny snot in the Robert Jordan Wheel of Endless Boredom series.

Grim
braced for impact ;)
 

cornelius

former axe demon
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Oct 27, 2005
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Ah - I don't find him that depressing. He has a hard time of it so can't find it in myselfto blame him for being negative.

True. Something like: congrats, you've saved the realm, as a reward ALL your loved ones will think you're dead. Don't think any of us would be very happy with a "reward" like that.
 
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