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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:20 pm

Oh I hardly think he would've forced recognition ...I mean, is that even possible? His wishing for it so strongly was pretty pushy and that is what freaked her out. Yes, I never liked Leetah's game-playing with Rayek's feelings either. It was mostly about her being terrified of being consumed by something like recognition and valuing her freedom.... but she certainly didn't handle it very gracefully when it came to another's feelings.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:53 pm

Frankly, I can't stand the way Rayek Nice Guyed Leetah(even after she was married) and tried to force emotional intimacy on her when she clearly and repeatedly stated she wasn't ready for it. Like, dude, take a hint! I have known so many guys like that, and they're al creepy as hell.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:04 pm

I don't think Rayek raped Leetah. And she didn't do anything evil to him either. They just had an immature relationship. He wanted more than she wanted to give. And he kept pushing-- even though she kept pushing him away. She liked him-- and she was attracted to him-- and she even loved him. But she couldn't give herself to him the way he wanted. He couldn't accept that. And, instead of hammering it home, she did what a lot of girls do-- and tried to tell him in a way that wasn't blunt, and maybe kept it a little too ambiguous. I think, also, she didn't know what she wanted from him. She didn't push him away completely-- because she did have feelings for him and was confused-- and had no idea how she would feel in the future. Cutter showing up was pretty much out of left field. If not for that, she might have eventually chosen or resigned herself to him.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:58 am

@kathleen3.0 wrote:
Frankly, I can't stand the way Rayek Nice Guyed Leetah(even after she was married) and tried to force emotional intimacy on her when she clearly and repeatedly stated she wasn't ready for it. Like, dude, take a hint! I have known so many guys like that, and they're al creepy as hell.

I'd say that depends on what went before that scene; we don't actually know if she'd clearly and repeatedly stated that she wasn't ready, giggling and running away isn't being clear. Even if she had, I guess I would've had an easier time accepting it if she'd simply gotten mad at him:
"FOR [insert appropriate swear-word here]'S SAKE RAYEK! I DON'T KNOW DOES NOT MEAN KEEP ASKING ME FOR 600 YEARS UNTIL I MAKE UP MY MIND IN YOUR FAVOUR!"
Perhaps part of her insecurity, both regarding her relationship with Rayek and her Recognition with Cutter, was that she believed that you should only become lifemates with someone you'd recognized, but then when she recognized Cutter - a complete stranger - she had to figure out if it also meant that you should always become lifemates with someone you'd recognized.

Which, kinda, brings me back to Strongbow. For me the worst part of the whole "He should just take her!" scene wasn't the implied rape, which of course was bad enough in itself, but Strongbow's complete inability to understand/accept that just because something isn't the Wolfrider Way, doesn't mean it's wrong. It's like he failed to understand that Leetah was the first Sun Villager ever to recognize a complete stranger. Instead he was completely stuck in his mindset of It's 'The Way'. You can't deny Recognition! And, sure, you can't until you can, but that doesn't mean should just jump head-long into it, you don't have to think with your - magically enhanced - libido; you can wait until you've figured out what works for you.

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Miss Gillespie

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:37 am

@manga wrote:
Back on topic - How about that moment in the Original Quest when Strongbow said "To the human's cookfires with what she wants. I say he should just take her!"  I know Wendy has tried to downplay it but how is that anything but rape?

My (older) sister bought me this issue. Of course, she wanted to know what I'm suddenly into (I was about 14) and read it. Later she warned my mother to keep an eye out...
Other elves should at least have reacted with sth. like "you can't say that" "give her time" etc.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:42 am

@Lunakat wrote:
I don't think Rayek raped Leetah. And she didn't do anything evil to him either. They just had an immature relationship. He wanted more than she wanted to give. And he kept pushing-- even though she kept pushing him away. She liked him-- and she was attracted to him-- and she even loved him. But she couldn't give herself to him the way he wanted. He couldn't accept that. And, instead of hammering it home, she did what a lot of girls do-- and tried to tell him in a way that wasn't blunt, and maybe kept it a little too ambiguous. I think, also, she didn't know what she wanted from him. She didn't push him away completely-- because she did have feelings for him and was confused-- and had no idea how she would feel in the future. Cutter showing up was pretty much out of left field. If not for that, she might have eventually chosen or resigned herself to him.

Some of this is true. But Leetah flat-out flaunted other lovers in Rayek's face ("Come, Thiro," emphasis in original), made a game of answering his question of lifemating and couldn't even give a straight answer at the opening of the Trial of Head, Hand and Heart. The novelization says that Rayek "had been hers to hold at arms' length or gather in close at whim.". This is not someone looking for a gentle way to say no. She was perfectly happy to have him on HER terms but  unwilling to end the relationship cleanly even when she knew that they didn't want the same thing.


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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:50 pm

^ This. A million times this. Leetah strung him along for 600 years and couldn't even make a clean break when Cutter showed up. No wonder Rayek thought he could still win her back even after the twins were born.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:18 pm

For 600 years, he chose to aggressively pursue someone who was clearly interested in seeing other people (come on- it's 600 years in a small town! Can you really imagine spending all that time dating just one guy? I can't!), who told him she wasn't interested in committing to him, who never gave him or promised him a commitment-- and he did this even though other girls were interested in him. That's on him. She didn't owe him her life. She gave him sex and friendship and love. She didn't owe him everything he wanted. Nobody owes anybody that. She was honest and she didn't lie. He chose to do that.

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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:52 pm

Eh, Rayek is very all-or-nothing, so I get it. Leetah isn't. She didn't lie but she didn't really level with him either. I mean, Leetah was the first character in EQ that I fell in love with but I never saw that she was direct with him - most of the time all I saw was her running away, kidding around with him, etc... Of course she probably didn't do it deliberately, but I think they got caught in a bit of a 'familiar dance'. I don't feel he 'chose' to be a certain way, he was always drawn to her and felt she was the only one who understood him, really, in terms of magical gifts, etc...Hey, it's a small town, as you said, Lunacat! The only magical ones in it were Savah (mentor) and Suntoucher (Leetah's Dad lol) , then Leetah and Rayek.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:09 pm

Yeah, if Leetah had said "Look, Rayek, I don't want to be your lifemate - I will probably never want to be your lifemate, but if you want to be non-monogamous lovemates, great!" that would have been a lot different than the flirty "No means maybe" game she was playing with him.

Caveat: I know we didn't see every moment of their relationship. But what we did see involved a lot of teasing, half-answers and game-playing. Leetah cannot be so surprised that Rayek didn't "get the message" because she never gave him a clear message.

Frankly, I'm surprised that Leetah's parents and Rayek's parents and even Savah didn't have a couple therapy session - after all, 600 is still a teenager to Savah's mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:14 pm

Yeah, I feel the same way as @Zadzi tbh. Also, they perceive or perhaps perceived? The wolfriders changed everything Vurdah says. Time differently too. 600 years is like... a gust of wind in your hair, isn't that what Rayek said in Kings?

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 8:40 pm

Luna, I do wish he had thrown in the towel at some point. Not all of this mess is on Leetah. But some of it is for her game playing.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:01 pm

I think it's entirely valid that Leetah didn't know what she wanted from him. Haven't any of you ever been in that kind of a position or relationship? It happens. He didn't have to pursue her exclusively. Especially given 600 years of a consistently similar reaction and behavior pattern from her. She wasn't sure how she felt or what she wanted in the long term-- but she, in the short term, she wasn't ready for commitment. That was pretty obvious.

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Lunakat

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:05 pm

Besides-- look at Rayek now. He has someone flat or telling him "I will never love you"-- and he thinks he can make her. Do you really think he would have listened to Leetah if she had straight up and unequivocally rejected him in no uncertain terms? Probably not.

His best moment was when he healed Cutter and laid her down next to him. That showed true emotional growth and maturity. I'm just sorry that his character devolved so much after that. His behavior in Book 1 was juvenile-- but understandable. And he grew after that. Rayek behaved, with Leetah, like an adolescent rather than an adult. By Book 4, he was a fully mature adult. In Kings of the Broken Wheel-- he devolved right back to a state of immaturity. I hated that. I found his character arc interesting-- and to have it wiped out was just lame. He's never really achieved that again.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:11 pm

Rayek is an adult. Unlike Ember, who was still either an adolescent or a young adult when she was dealing with Mender and Teir, he had centuries to deal with his feelings for Leetah, and to move on if he wasn't getting what he wanted out of the relationship.

And tbh, I get the feeling that if we're were dealing with a male Leetah, and a female Rayek, a lot of people here would be talking about how annoying and clingy she was being and how Leetah deserves better.

You're not entitled to someone just because you wait around for them long enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:25 pm

@kathleen3.0 wrote:

You're not entitled to someone just because you wait around for them long enough.

Exactly. It's not like she was some trinket to be won in a game of toss stone. She's a (fictional) person.

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Zadzi

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:26 pm

Startear, you bring up a good point about the wolfriders changing everything, as Vurdah mentioned. Leetah responded that wolfriders share everything...and that reminded me, I always saw Sorrow's End as a place where elves had their little threesomes and foursomes (hello Ruffel, and Shenshen), but elves like Vurdah and Rayek weren't really into that, and they're probably not the only ones (hello, Mender...technically a Sun Villager since he was raised there). I feel like there was an unfortunate insinuation sometimes that Wolfriders were more 'evolved' or something because they were more into sharing furs a lot more easily. I mean, I know they're elves and don't have the same moral code or whatever, but think just because one is a little more monogamous doesn't mean there's anything wrong with him/her necessarily. Although in Rayek's case it was just sheer stubbornness after a while.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:46 pm

I think both Leetah and Rayek contributed pretty equally to their unhealthy relationship. He didn't know how to respect boundaries and she didn't know how to set them.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:27 pm

Luna and Kathleen, no one here is saying Leetah owed Rayek anything more than simple honesty.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:55 pm

@sun girl wrote:
He didn't know how to respect boundaries and she didn't know how to set them.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:51 am

@manga wrote:
Luna and Kathleen, no one here is saying Leetah owed Rayek anything more than simple honesty.

I suppose you could say that she couldn't be honest with him because she didn't know how to be honest with herself.
However, I don't think we can fault her for having other lovemates than Rayek; the elves have a different 'culture' about those things, just because it would be wrong to us, doesn't mean it's wrong to them.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:14 am

I don't think anyone was faulting her for having other lovemates. I only brought it up for the shabby way she used Thiro.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:55 am

Thiro? She loved the guy. She didn't use him shabbily.

I actually don't see her ever being dishonest. She just wasn't telling Rayek what he wanted to hear.

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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:05 am

She was very pointed about bestowing her favor on Thiro. Choosing her lovemates is her right. Using them to say "See? I don't care about you." is not.

Never told Rayek what he wanted to hear? Zwoot scat. She didn't tell him anything, period. That's my point. She danced around the issue and bald-faced lied to him ("Let me go and I'll tell you my answer!" *runs away laughing.*). In the face of the Trial of Head, Hand and Heart, she said "I can neither choose nor refuse either one." If she couldn't refuse him even then, it's no wonder he thought he had a fighting chance.
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PostSubject: Re: Bad Moments from Favourite Characters   Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:47 pm

That statement she made made perfect sense to me. She spent her entire lifetime, at that point, growing up with Rayek, loving Rayek and being close to Rayek, attracted to Rayek, and having his friendship and adoration. Why would she want to be rid of him? She had a long established relationship with him and he was important to her. But she recognized Cutter.she couldn't refuse Cutter-- because it was a biological imperative. Yet here was Rayek demanding she make that choice-- and recognition also demanding she make that choice.

Culturally-- there was no reason she had to make that choice. They could clearly have chosen a three way relationship if either of the guys had been open to that. The questions isn't "why couldn't she refuse him at that point"-- the answer to that is obvious. The question is why would he try to make her refuse either one of them? I think the answer is also obvious-- he thought she was his and he couldn't share.

But the bottom line is that Leetah didn't belong to either one of them. She was her own self and had a right to her own feelings.

I think anyone who has ever been in that kind of position should be able to relate. Haven't you ever had to make a choice between two equally good and deserving (but very different) people in your life? People that maybe you both love and/or find equally attractive? It's hard to do. You don't want to have to do it. Either way you are going to lose someone you like.

Leetah threw her hands up and left it to fate to make the decision for her.

The crazy thing about her situation was that should shouldn't have even had to do it in the first place. She lived in a culture that didn't preference monogamy-- even if it did value life pairings. Did she ever owe Rayek exclusivity? No. She gave him her friendship and her body-- but that was never ever enough for him. She didn't want to give him (or anyone else) more.

This, also, should be easy to relate to for anyone who has ever found themselves in a relationship that they weren't ready for. Maybe married too young, before getting enough experience in. Maybe just having a very serious boyfriend who is possessive at a time when you want to explore. It's normal to want your freedom when you are developing. Everyone's different-- but I think her general experience (the root core of it-- not the specific details) is not uncommon.

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