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Author Topic: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)  (Read 409 times)

Offline Chibiscuit

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Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« on: September 25, 2018, 03:28:53 PM »
The start of Part 2 of Watership Down!

Discussion of chapters 18, 19, 20 & 21 go here  :vervain2
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2018, 10:51:42 PM »
So, chapter 18.

When we last left our rabbit heroes, they had just departed from Cowslip's warren.  As the next chapter begins, we find that they are already at the bottom of Watership Down; the rest of their journey is told through a flashback.

The rat fight is a really minor detail.  Nothing much happens apart from Buckthorn being wounded (as far as I can remember, this won't really be important later on).  It's mainly notable for the fact that Bigwig, still weakened from the snare, is forced to let Silver and Buckthorn do most of the fighting.  In the film, though, the scene takes place before Cowslip's warren, so Bigwig's role is important, but overall that scene still felt pointless (music was nice though).

Strawberry gets a little bit of character development, but unfortunately very little :strawberry2

I find it interesting how, when he goes to the top, Hazel brings Hawkbit and Dandelion with him.  Those two show up together more often than I remembered.

I like the passage where Hazel and Dandelion reach the top of the Down.

Near the end of the chapter, Hawkbit does something useful (a rare occurrence :hawkbit3) by stumbling upon some holes for everyone to spend the night.  As far as I can remember, it is never explained WHY the holes were deserted.  This is one thing the series did better, I think, since it is implied that the weasel ate everyone.  But then, in the series, the entrance is right there in plain sight but nobody notices it at first.

Quote
"O Frith on the hills!" cried Dandelion. "He must have made it for us!"
"He may have made it, but Fiver thought of it for us," answered Hazel.
This passage made it in the film, and I hope it turns up in the miniseries too.  Only three more months... :glowingfiver

Quote from: Hazel
Wait till we get him up here!  Fiver-rah!
Too bad Fiver isn't around to hear the praise :fiver2

Quote
But they saw nothing except a field mouse, which came out of its hole and began furricking in a path of seeded grasses.
Perhaps the same mouse Hazel will save from a hawk in a few chapters? :hannah
Have you considered making each day count - doing something meaningful each day - instead of letting the days and weeks and months and years fly into oblivion? --Bright Side

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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2018, 02:01:28 PM »
Before I start with the next chapter, there was something I forgot to mention about chapter 17:
Quote
'You are closer to death than I.'
^I actually thought Fiver said this line to Vervain during the battle at Watership Down? I wonder why.

Chapter 18  :hawkbit

Finally, the rabbits arrive at Watership Down but otherwise not much happens this chapter. I do like that the ordeal with the wires has made them more close-knit and have increased their faith in each other and their skills. We even see Acorn explaining himself when Fiver thinks he doesn't believe him. A few chapters ago things were a lot different.

Quote
For the first time in his life, Bigwig had found himself driven to moderation and prudence.
And all it took was a near-death experience in a snare and subsequent rat attack!

I like the description of Hazel's journey up the down, explaining how different it is for a rabbit compared to a human.
Quote
The rabbits' anxieties and strain in climbing the down were different, therefore, from those which you, reader, will experience if you go there.
I sure do hope I one day will be able to experience that difference first hand!

I'm not sure why the phenomenon of tharn was here repeated in much the same manner as in the earlier chapter. It seems a bit redundant.

Quote
In the twilight a swift flew screaming over head and Hazel turned to Dandelion.
'News! News!' he said.
I like this nice call-back to the Story of the Blessing of El-ahrairah. :fiver

Quote
Thus it fell to one of the rank-and-file to make a lucky find that brought them at last to the downs: and probably saved a life or two [...]
:hawkbit3

Quote
But they saw nothing except a field mouse, which came out of its hole and began furricking in a path of seeded grasses.
Perhaps the same mouse Hazel will save from a hawk in a few chapters? :hannah
Considering foreshadowing is apparently abundant in the book, I would think so  :hannah2
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 06:59:37 PM »
Chapter 19  :holly

Most of this chapter is about how the rabbits set about digging their burrow and then at the end the encounter with Captain Holly.

The note on hlessil made me think about how Adams telling he rabbits' story in Watership Down reminds me of Tolkien telling the Hobbits' story in The Hobbit. In the note, he says he translated the word hlessil to different words throughout the book. This makes it almost as if the author is retelling a story that has been told to him by a rabbit, much as in his earlier work Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and such as if he'd been told the story by a remnant Elf.
I hadn't seen this comparison before but that's interesting.

We see how close Pipkin is to Hazel again as he is one of the rabbits in Hazel's hole and he is immediately on board with the digging. So cute  :pipkin

Quote
Exactly. Don't you see, they'd altered what rabbits do naturally because they taught they could do better? And if they altered their ways, so can we if we like. You say buck rabbits don't dig. Nor they do. But they could, if they wanted to. Suppose we had deep, comfortable burrows to sleep in? To be out of bad weather and underground at night? Then we would be safe. And there is nothing to stop us having them, except that buck rabbits won't dig. Not can't -- won't.
I had to quote this entire passage of Blackberry again because I just love it. Another reason I love Blackberry so much. Especially that finish, "Not can't--won't" I love it a LOT. :blackberry-buck

Quote
'That's no cat! Don't you know what it is? Your mother--'
:toadflax (Speedwell for the occasion): "What's my mother doing here?"

Zorn is an odd word. It sounds very sci-fi to me.

The part where they think they hear Brofi  :inle-series2 is nicely done. It invokes a sort of horror atmosphere. I like it. It is also interesting to see how the rabbits seem afraid to even mention Brofi and even more interesting that when Hazel stops Bigwig from going, he is in fact going against the will of  :inle-series (not really of course since it isn't  :inle-series at all but Hazel doesn't know that then yet)

Quote
During the last fifty years the silence of much of the country has been destroyed.
Another sad truth. It's very noticeable where I live as it is difficult to even find a large patch of nature where there is no human presence to be seen, as is. :(
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 01:12:13 AM »
Chapter 19 seems to be two subplots in one.  First, we have the digging, and then, Holly shows up.

I like the way digging subplot is handled.  Blackberry comes up with the idea that they should try digging, and Hazel, Fiver and Pipkin approve.  The others also take part in the process.  I think this is better than the way the series handled it, where some bucks' laziness was getting annoying.

But it all makes sense, really.  In the series, Hawkbit and Dandelion selfishly expected Blackberry to dig the warren all by herself because she was a doe.  In the book, they are all bucks, so shifting the responsibility to someone else isn't much of an option.  I hope the miniseries will be closer to the book than the series here.

Quote from: Bigwig
My goodness, we've learned a few things since we left the old warren, haven't we?  More than we'd have learned in a lifetime back there.  And digging!  It'll be flying next, I suppose.
None of the rabbits will ever fly, but they will meet Kehaar, so Bigwig's prediction isn't far off :bigwig3

Then, we get to the part with Holly.  The way this is handled is really interesting.  Hazel and the others stay in the ditch a long time, much longer than in the film.  I like how Bigwig reuses the "hoi hoi u embleer hrair" line from earlier.

It's rather surprising how it takes everyone a long time to consider the fact that this creature could be another rabbit  Bigwig eventually comes to the conclusion that it's the Black Rabbit of Inlé, and here's something I don't like.  So far we've already met Frith, Prince Rainbow and El-ahrairah, but as far as I can remember, who the Black Rabbit is hasn't been explained yet, and won't be for several more chapters.  There are some clues that give a rough idea of what is going on, but this can still be quite confusing for first-time readers, I think.

Quote
a rabbit in the last stages of exhaustion its back legs trailing behind its flattened rump as though paralyzed: a rabbit that stared, white-eyed, from one side to the other, seeing nothing, yet finding no respite from its fear, and then fell to licking wretchedly at one ripped and bloody ear that drooped across its face: a rabbit that suddenly cried and wailed as though entreating the Thousand to come from every quarter to rid it of a misery too terrible to be borne.
Until now I always thought it was the last stages of existence, not exhaustion.  But either way this is perhaps one of the most depressing passages of the entire book, but also one of the best.

Quote
'You are closer to death than I.'
^I actually thought Fiver said this line to Vervain during the battle at Watership Down? I wonder why.
I think he does too.  More foreshadowing? :vervain

I had to quote this entire passage of Blackberry again because I just love it. Another reason I love Blackberry so much. Especially that finish, "Not can't--won't" I love it a LOT. :blackberry-buck
I really like it too :blackberry-buck

:toadflax (Speedwell for the occasion): "What's my mother doing here?"
Quite funny :hannah4

Zorn is an odd word. It sounds very sci-fi to me.
It's perhaps my favourite Lapiné word though.  Not sure why...

The part where they think they hear Brofi  :inle-series2
You know...I like Brofi.  Perhaps this nickname will stick around throughout the rest of the re-reading like The Bland Trio™ :hawkbit3
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 11:39:02 PM »
Chapter 20 marks the first introduction of Bluebell.  We get a first glimpse at his joking personality:
Quote
"Captain," said Bluebell, "do you know what the first blade of grass said to the second blade of grass?"
Hazel looked at him sharply, but Holly replied, "Well?"
"It said, 'Look, there's a rabbit!  We're in danger!'"
"This is no time-" began Hazel.
"Don't silence him," said Holly.  "We wouldn't be here at all without his blue tit's chatter."

Hazel really seems to think that Holly might die before reaching the warren, and honestly I can't really blame him.  We also get another cute Hazel & Pipkin scene :pipkin

It's nice to see Strawberry accomplish something useful, by supervising the digging of the Honeycomb.  However, it seems he still hasn't fully adapted to this new life, as evidenced by the fact that he performs the dance to greet Holly.  Still better than the way the series handled this though.

The mouse scene.  This is really great, I think.  In the series, Kehaar was already friends with Hannah, and so she just came along without a real introduction.  I think the book did this better, although I'm disappointed he only showed up once afterwards.  Not that Hannah did much either until the magic nonsense, sadly :hannah3

Quote from: Silver
Like to try standing up to that one?  Let me know when.  I'll come and watch.
Silver is almost as good a joker as Bluebell :silver

Quote
to forestall Bigwig's rebuke, [Strawberry] spoke to Hazel at once.
"Hazel-rah," he said (Holly looked startled, but said nothing), "everyone wants to stay at the new warren tonight [...])
I mentioned that some editions of the book edited out part of chapter 11.  In the edited editions, this is the first time anyone refers to Hazel as rah.

But Holly's reaction to this, as well as several incidents later on, make me think that of all rabbits, he was the one who had the most trouble adjusting to the new life on Watership Down.  Even worse than Strawberry.  He can't even face Hazel to tell him that he will accept his authority, and has to use Silver as a messenger instead.

Quote
"This is something quite new," said Holly.  "What keeps the roof up?"
"It doesn't need to be kept up," said Bluebell.  "It's right up the hill already."
"An idea we found on the way," said Bigwig.
"Lying in a field," said Bluebell.
Just had to quote Bluebell's jokes.  I'm so glad he shows up in the miniseries :frith
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2018, 10:57:31 PM »
It's been really quiet here :(

Chapter 21 has two quotes.  This is one of only a few chapters to have this, perhaps even the only one.

Nearly the entire chapter is narrated by Holly, with a handful of interruptions from the other rabbits.

Holly mentions that some rabbits thought there might have been something to Fiver's vision, but interestingly, he doesn't mention anyone else leaving.  I suppose, if others did, they were only a few isolated rabbits rather than a large group like with Hazel and Fiver, and either way, they didn't reach Watership Down.

Holly also mentions that he had a discussion with another rabbit called Willow.  I don't think he was mentioned in the early chapters, but from what Holly says it seems he might have been another owsla officer.  He presumably dies in the warren's destruction, although his exact fate is not mentioned.

But what Willow says, about fake prophets, is really interesting.  It might have some religious overtones.  But either way, it shows that the Threarah's decision not to listen to Fiver made sense.  It turned out to be the wrong decision, but in other situations, it probably would have been correct.

The way Holly describes the humans is interesting.  They wear black pants, but he doesn't realize that they are not part of their body.  But this makes sense; he would have to go very close to them to realize that the clothes and the legs are two separate things, and that would be too dangerous.  And of course, they burn those nasty white sticks in their mouths.

It,s also interesting to note that the humans make TWO visits to Sandleford.  The first time, they investigate the warren and try to figure out the best course of action.  It's only on their second visit that they gas it.

The brief scene between the Threarah and Nightshade is pretty cute, honestly.  We get to see a playful side to the Threarah that is entirely absent from the film (and, of course, the series).  Let's see how the miniseries handles him.

Holly goes raiding a garden alone, while most raiding parties have three rabbits, according to Bigwig.  He justifies this by saying that he was on the lookout for early carrots, but it kinda seems to me that Richard Adams wrote it this way to minimize the number of survivors of Sandleford's destruction.  If there had been three rabbits, Holly's two companions probably would have survived too, but instead it's only Holly, so only one character to handle.  This might be for the best, honestly: there are a lot of rabbits in Hazel's original group, and The Bland Trio™ doesn't get much character development.  Holly's two companions probably would have fallen in the same trap.

...and this is where the (in)famous depressing stuff begins.  The film skipped everything that came right before and went straight to the suffocating rabbits underground.  The book adds even more to this, starting with Holly's theories about using ferrets and nets to murder innocent little bunnies.

It took me several re-readings to realize that the point of view changed from Holly to Bluebell.  Not sure how I could have missed it, it's extremely obvious...

Most of what appears in the film comes from Bluebell's retelling, even if it's told by Holly.  Holly never was underground, so Bluebell is the one who knew about all the suffocating rabbits tearing each other to pieces.

The scene in the Slack Run (nice name) with Pimpernel is really well-written and suspenseful, even if you know the whole time that Bluebell will make it to WD alive, and Pimpernel won't.

Holly mentions a few rabbits who survived the destruction, but then vanished, including Nose-in-the-Air (one of the best names in the entire book, honestly), Pine Needles, Butterbur, Ash, and at least one other.  None of these are ever mentioned again.  Perhaps they survived and found another warren somewhere else.  Or maybe the humans killed them later on.

Am I the only one creeped out by the fact that the humans let the only child amongst them do the bloody work?  He's the one who handled the gun and shot Scabious, and he's also the one who put the bodies on a stick after the mass murder was finished.

After some travelling, Holly, Bluebell and Pimpernel reach Cowslip's warren, and get attacked.  It wouldn't have been too bad if they hadn't killed Pimpernel.  He had it worse than anyone else, but he died perhaps the saddest death of the entire franchise. A bit disappointing Holly eventually decided to let Cowslip live though.

Quote
Fiver: "There's terrible evil in this world."
Holly: "It comes from men.  All other elil do what they have to do and Frith moves them as he moves us.  They live on the earth and they need food.  Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals."
Quoting the human bashing because, let's face it, we deserve it.  Sometimes I'm rather ashamed of my species, y'know?

Quote from: Holly
Men never hurry, do they?
Nope, they certainly don't.  It's called procrastination.  I've done a lot of it.

Quote from: Holly
And then I saw Scabious - you remember Scabious??  He came out of a hole along the hedge - one they [the humans] hadn't noticed.  I could see at once that he'd smelled this stuff.  He didn't know what he was doing.  The men didn't see him for a few moments and then one of them stuck out his arm to show where he was and the boy shot him.  He didn't kill him - Scabious began to scream - and one of the men went over and picked him up and hit him.  I really believe he may not have suffered very much, because the air had turned him silly: but I wish I hadn't seen it.  After that, the man stopped up the hole that Scabious had come out of.
A few chapters back I mentioned how the discovery of Holly was one of the most depressing passages of the book.  This one has to be the absolute worst.  To make things worse, the IMDb page for the miniseries lists a character called Scabious, who will appear in the first episode.  Looks like we will see his death in bloody CGI.  Kgreat...

Scabious shows up again near the end of the chapter in Holly's hallucinations, and at the end of the book, one of Clover's kittens gets named in his honour.

Quote from: Holly
[...] while we were still in the wood, Toadflax died.  He was clear-headed for a short time before and I remember something he said.  Bluebell had been saying that he knew the men hated us for raiding their crops and gardens, and Toadflax answered, 'That wasn't why they destroyed the warren.  It was just because we were in their way.  They killed us to suit themselves.'
Toadflax was a big jerk, but his last words were really meaningful.

Quote
"Hraka one end, jokes the other," said Bluebell.  "I used to roll a joke along the ground and we both followed it.  That was how we kept going."
After all this negativity, let's have some Bluebell jokes to liven things up.  I'm really glad he will appear in the miniseries.
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Offline Chibiscuit

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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2018, 08:13:08 PM »
Finally back! On to Chapter 20  :hannah2 Chipster already mentioned a lot of what I wanted to say, like
  We also get another cute Hazel & Pipkin scene :pipkin
The moment put a smile in my face.  :hazel2 :pipkin

It's nice to see Strawberry accomplish something useful, by supervising the digging of the Honeycomb.  However, it seems he still hasn't fully adapted to this new life, as evidenced by the fact that he performs the dance to greet Holly.  Still better than the way the series handled this though.
Strawberry has a surprisingly good grasp of accoustics too. I also like how he beats Bigwig to the punch and immediately talks to Hazel to avoid being rebuked. He's learning fast, I'd say :strawberry
That greeting must have been so odd for Holly. Just nearly escaped death and he's greeted by a rabbit doing some weird dance.
 :holly "...maybe I need some more rest after all..."

Quote from: Silver
Like to try standing up to that one?  Let me know when.  I'll come and watch.
Silver is almost as good a joker as Bluebell :silver
Loved this as well. I'm liking Silver more than I imagined I would.

Quote
"This is something quite new," said Holly.  "What keeps the roof up?"
"It doesn't need to be kept up," said Bluebell.  "It's right up the hill already."
"An idea we found on the way," said Bigwig.
"Lying in a field," said Bluebell.
Just had to quote Bluebell's jokes.  I'm so glad he shows up in the miniseries :frith
Me too! Especially that last one was hilarious. That sort of joke is right up my alley :hannah4

Some other part I like were Bigwig shutting everyone up before they could ask any questions and then this,
Quote
'Any moment now,' said Bigwig callously.
Wow savage  :bigwig3

Quote
[...] you talked to the Threarah, didn't you?'
'He talked to me,' said Fiver.
Fiver's funny too  :fiver

I also like everyone's rather confused and off-hand wondering what that mouse is doing in their warren.

Something that strikes me as a bit odd is the way Bluebell calls Holly 'master'. Why does he call him that? None of the other rabbits seem to find it odd but I don't really understand why he does it?
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2018, 09:06:14 PM »
Chapter 21  :holly
The story of Sandleford's destruction as told by Holly and Bluebell. I like the way the perspective shifts to Bluebell and we see him dead serious now. The horrors were so great that goes beyond any rabbit's imagination.

Captain Holly shows himself to be quite smart when he tells how he made Cowslip tell him where Bigwig was and then pretended to not believe him and make to kill him and because Cowslip didn't alter his story, Holly knew he was telling the truth. Nicely done. :holly

Quote
'It wasn't I who tried to arrest you, Bigwig - that was another rabbit, long, long ago.'
A nice way to end the chapter and to show not only the impact the experience has had on Holly but also that he is now loyal to Bigwig and Hazel, I think.

But what Willow says, about fake prophets, is really interesting.  It might have some religious overtones.  But either way, it shows that the Threarah's decision not to listen to Fiver made sense.  It turned out to be the wrong decision, but in other situations, it probably would have been correct.
Was it Willow who said that? I thought it was the Threarah. From what little we learnt about him, it seemed like something for him to say.
Either way, the false prophet talk reminded me of Bluesky and Raincloud from the series.

The brief scene between the Threarah and Nightshade is pretty cute, honestly.  We get to see a playful side to the Threarah that is entirely absent from the film (and, of course, the series).  Let's see how the miniseries handles him.
I loved this moment! I hope the miniseries handles him well, even if he only appears briefly.

Holly goes raiding a garden alone, while most raiding parties have three rabbits, according to Bigwig.  He justifies this by saying that he was on the lookout for early carrots, but it kinda seems to me that Richard Adams wrote it this way to minimize the number of survivors of Sandleford's destruction.

Even though authors do this often, in this case it did feel very obvious and somewhat jarring that Holly has to give such a roundabout explanation for why he went alone. I feel there would have been better ways to handle this. Having him separate from the two other rabbits in his raiding because he likes to come back via a different path (as he mentions), for example.

Nose-in-the-Air (one of the best names in the entire book, honestly)
Agreed. Was that a stuck-up rabbit, I wonder?^^

Am I the only one creeped out by the fact that the humans let the only child amongst them do the bloody work?  He's the one who handled the gun and shot Scabious, and he's also the one who put the bodies on a stick after the mass murder was finished.
Nope, I found that rather disturbing as well. Would it be too far-fetched to see it as referring to how humans teach their children cruel ways?

Quote
Fiver: "There's terrible evil in this world."
Holly: "It comes from men.  All other elil do what they have to do and Frith moves them as he moves us.  They live on the earth and they need food.  Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals."
Quoting the human bashing because, let's face it, we deserve it.  Sometimes I'm rather ashamed of my species, y'know?
I feel ya. It is both baffling and frightening how good humans are at destruction. And how many actually think they have every right to do this to boot. I simply can't wrap my head around such reasoning.

Quote from: Holly
Men never hurry, do they?
Nope, they certainly don't.  It's called procrastination.  I've done a lot of it.
Oh yes, procrastination and I are well acquainted.

Quote from: Holly
[...] while we were still in the wood, Toadflax died.  He was clear-headed for a short time before and I remember something he said.  Bluebell had been saying that he knew the men hated us for raiding their crops and gardens, and Toadflax answered, 'That wasn't why they destroyed the warren.  It was just because we were in their way.  They killed us to suit themselves.'
Toadflax was a big jerk, but his last words were really meaningful.
I like that quote and, I mean, it is true too. There was no other reason than that to the humans, the rabbits were in the way.

Quote
"Hraka one end, jokes the other," said Bluebell.  "I used to roll a joke along the ground and we both followed it.  That was how we kept going."
After all this negativity, let's have some Bluebell jokes to liven things up.  I'm really glad he will appear in the miniseries.
I really hope they do him justice!
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Offline Chipster-roo

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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 10:46:08 PM »
That greeting must have been so odd for Holly. Just nearly escaped death and he's greeted by a rabbit doing some weird dance.
 :holly "...maybe I need some more rest after all..."
That's really funny :hannah4

Something that strikes me as a bit odd is the way Bluebell calls Holly 'master'. Why does he call him that? None of the other rabbits seem to find it odd but I don't really understand why he does it?
As far as I know, the only other character who ever does thas is series-Vervain with Woundwort.  I'm really not sure why Bluebell does it too.

(also am I the only one who thinks that Holly and Bluebell might be more than "just friends", like Hawkbit and Dandelion? :holly)

Was it Willow who said that? I thought it was the Threarah. From what little we learnt about him, it seemed like something for him to say.
Either way, the false prophet talk reminded me of Bluesky and Raincloud from the series.
*rereads passage* It could be either, it seems.  I'm a bit confused about why Willow was included, though, since the conversation could easily have played out between just Holly and the Threarah.

Even though authors do this often, in this case it did feel very obvious and somewhat jarring that Holly has to give such a roundabout explanation for why he went alone. I feel there would have been better ways to handle this. Having him separate from the two other rabbits in his raiding because he likes to come back via a different path (as he mentions), for example.
I agree that this probably would have been better.

Nope, I found that rather disturbing as well. Would it be too far-fetched to see it as referring to how humans teach their children cruel ways?
Could be.
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Offline Myrkin

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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 08:39:53 AM »
Quote from: Chibiscuit
Something that strikes me as a bit odd is the way Bluebell calls Holly 'master'. Why does he call him that? None of the other rabbits seem to find it odd but I don't really understand why he does it?

It could be this is a reference to old English relationship between servants (in this case Bluebell) and nobility (Holly, who was a captain of Owsla). This might be a story about rabbits, but it is about British rabbits. ;) One could expect an example of a rabbit showing such formal deference to rabbit with higher status, especially since both Bluebell and Holly come from Sandleford warren which was (IIRC) described as traditional, but they didn't have time to get used to new ways of Watership Down. It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, where Sam and Frodo were friends, but Sam always called the latter "Mr. Frodo" (since he was his gardener and thus his employee).

Another possible explanation is that some rabbits are not unfamiliar with BDSM. :p
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 08:42:21 AM by Myrkin »
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Re: Chapters 18-21 Discussion (September 25-September 30)
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2018, 07:35:29 PM »
Was it Willow who said that? I thought it was the Threarah. From what little we learnt about him, it seemed like something for him to say.
Either way, the false prophet talk reminded me of Bluesky and Raincloud from the series.
*rereads passage* It could be either, it seems.  I'm a bit confused about why Willow was included, though, since the conversation could easily have played out between just Holly and the Threarah.
It is especially odd since he went through such convoluted lengths to explain why Holly went on a raid alone (thus avoiding writing other rabbits) but then here he introduces Willow into a conversation where there is as you say no use for him. It's rather puzzling.

Something loosely related: ShowHide
In the last election in my area one of the candidates wanted to make hunting a mandatory school subject :vervain-facepalm :vervain-facepalm :vervain-facepalm Thankfully he got defeated.

I just what why. I truly cannot fathom how anyone would think this a good idea. I just can't.

It could be this is a reference to old English relationship between servants (in this case Bluebell) and nobility (Holly, who was a captain of Owsla). This might be a story about rabbits, but it is about British rabbits. ;) One could expect an example of a rabbit showing such formal deference to rabbit with higher status, especially since both Bluebell and Holly come from Sandleford warren which was (IIRC) described as traditional, but they didn't have time to get used to new ways of Watership Down.
The thought crossed my mind as well but then why doesn't any other rabbit refer to Holly as such? Then again, maybe those were the old traditional ways, and perhaps Bluebell called him that on their journey, half in jest, to spur him on? Holly is very receptive of Bluebell's jokes after all and he admits that without them he would never have made it. But now he keeps saying it because it became a sort of thing between them, a sort of affectionate name that binds them?

(also am I the only one who thinks that Holly and Bluebell might be more than "just friends", like Hawkbit and Dandelion? :holly)
I could see it before but after writing that answer above, yes, yes, I do think so. :holly

It reminds me of Lord of the Rings, where Sam and Frodo were friends, but Sam always called the latter "Mr. Frodo" (since he was his gardener and thus his employee).
Well I'm sue Bluebell is quite skilled and more than willing to keep the grass short for Holly^^

Another possible explanation is that some rabbits are not unfamiliar with BDSM. :p
Silly rabbits! Don't they know it is key to keep the peace? :p
(they'll learn once they find Efrafa :vervain2 :woundwort) :bolt
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