Seven Will Fall

All right, for those of you who don’t like “spoilers,” you might want to think twice about reading further.

So my publisher has pushed back the release of All My Holy Mountain, essentially because the cover is behind schedule. This means that those who have been faithfully waiting for it (as well as those who are only casually or marginally interested, I suppose), will have to wait until June now, instead of April (though I do understand there is a chance it could be out sooner if the cover gets finished quicker than expected). In light of this delay, I’ve been thinking about things to post about for those who want “something” to tide them over. Here it is.

I’ve not really been in the business of giving things away about books still on their way, as most fans can attest who’ve asked or emailed me questions about what will happen in later books. It’s been hard, sometimes, to keep silent while people theorized, vented or interrogated, but I’ve tried to preserve the integrity of the story by keeping silent. However, I have with some friends hinted that the end of my series would have a relatively high body count, and so I felt I could share this with the broader reading public as well.

While I love LOTR greatly, it always struck me as a little bit unrealistic (as far as realism applies to fantasy stories) that of the nine who set out on the perilous journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, only the treacherous one fell by the way. While I certainly didn’t want any of the others to die, given what they endured and where their journey took them and how many lives were lost in the war against Sauron, it feels a little too convenient that the rest of the fellowship comes through with only some emotional scars and a missing digit. (Of course, Theoden & others who become major characters do fall, but you get my point.)

So, when I was conceiving my story, I knew that I had to be willing to let some major characters go. I’ve already posted about Joraiem and the reactions to his death, so I won’t get into that here. I’ll simply say that in the last book of the series, seven of the characters that I would call “major” will die. That sounds like a big number, I know, but I should clarify it.

Using Father of Dragons as a reference point, I would say 3 major characters died in that book: Sarneth, Pedraal and Soran. So, from that number we learn a few things…

Sarneth – Major characters don’t have to be human.
Soran – Major characters don’t have to be good or have been around since Beyond the Summerland.
Pedraal – Major might really mean major, as in part of the core of characters that have been around from the beginning – aka, the BOTB equivalent of the “fellowship.”

When you read the book and check my math, you may end up with a different count, as we may not agree on what makes a character major in the end. That’s fine. The point here is not so much to give you a specific number, though I have, as to prepare you that things might get a little rough.

13 thoughts on “Seven Will Fall

  • I think “major characters” is a bit too broad a line. After all, in the first chapter, as far as we know, Rulalin and Tashmiren both die, and both are in my opinion major characters. Also, if Cheimontyr, Farimaal, and Malek (and/or Synoki) count as major characters and all die, that only leaves two other characters, which isn’t much for the good side…

  • You are correct, that how a “major character” is reckoned is key. Allow me to help clarify a bit by saying not all the names on your list would be “major characters” in my estimation. To elaborate on my reasons would perhaps give too much away, so I’ll leave it at that.

    Also, allow me to point out that you infer all the names in your comment are on the “bad,” side, whereas it might be possible to argue that this isn’t necessarily so.

  • Also, we don’t know for absolutely certain that Rulalin is dead. I have learned by experience, to never, ever, put down a character as dead, unless he’s in the grave and the dirt’s over him, he’s been “dead” for a long period of time (longer than someone could survive without water, so basically a few days), he’s been decapitated or otherwise is missing rather important organs, or is pronounced dead by a doctor, which is still rather iffy. I bet, the seven are: Tashmiren, Saegan, Valzaan, Rulalin (I do think he’ll die, just maybe not in the first chapter), Malek/Synoki, Farimaal and Cheimontyr. And the Vulsutyrim will turn and be the fourth race of prophesy.

  • thanks for the warning. I wonder what that pretty courtyard/fountain scene will be like when it finally happens…
    …I can still hardly wait for the book. I really hope the cover people get done soon.*big dramatic sigh*


  • When I said “good side”, I was not meaning to say that the others were all “bad”. It was just the way my fingers said it…
    Thanks, L.B.

  • Dear l.b.Graham,
    Though I don’t really want to wait till June for “AMHM”I know that you can’t do anything about it,so there’s no use getting mad at you.So,for me,I’ll try to wait patiently for it to come till June
    Benjamin Chavers age:14

  • I mentioned in an email to Mr. Graham some months ago that I suspected Saegan would play a big role in the end, merely because he created a character with such potential but kept him in the background for the first three books (the fourth wasn’t out yet when I sent the email). The chapter titled “Saegan” seems to confirm that. I’d say Farimaal, Cheimontyr, and Malek all perish. That’s three. I think it’s probable that Rulalin and Saegan die. Strong possibilities are Valzaan, Benjiah, Wylla, Pedraan, Yorek, and Sulmandir.

  • It made me SOOO sad when Pedraal died! I hope no one else I really like will die! The point made about LOTR was true: awesome books, but no one we love dies; just Boromir and Theoden, I guess. So (sigh) it makes sense to have people die — more realistic. It’s just so sad!
    I’m dying for the last book! The end of Father of the Dragons was so good…:)

  • I think it was a brilliant idea for seven of your characters to die. I agree with you that Lord of the Rings was a little on the unrealistic side when eight of the nine returned. Of course, since all the prophecies in the Binding of the Blade series lead to the cleansing of the Mountain, I knew that even if those seven were seven that were important to the story, they would come back to life..of course, only if they were loyal to Allfather, that is.

  • I was nervous about having seven characters die, but then I thought back to the prophecies and realized that, well, if they die, they die. But the prophecy will come true.

  • I cried when Pedraal died, it hurt so much. I also cried later in AMHL at another’s death (not Benjiah’s- I expected that to happen) but was elated at the end when that character came back. And when Pedraal was resurrected. And at the very, very end of the epilogue. I want more! This series was toooo good to end! I really hope that the extra BOTBs end up working out.

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