I just finished David Eddings' Malloreon and in chapter 25 it comes to passing that

Belgarath insists to not be separated from his wife, Poledra, again. What exactly happened to Poledra is in itself kind of obscure, but as far as I know, she was kept away from Belgarath for 3k years, by her own choice, as the Gods needed her to do stuff behind the scenes to await the coming of Garion. The story was devised that Poledra died during delivery of the twins, when Belgarath was away. But in fact, she roamed the earth as a wolf. She never left, she wasn't dead, but she was never there in human form, except for a few occasions.

Now when the Choice was made by the Seeress of Kell on the Korim Reef, Belgarath voices the unthinkable and wishes to join Poledra. Eriond, by then a God, supports his unorthodox choice and touches both of them with the Orb. Touching the Orb means death. Yet, Belgarath and Poledra don't burn away like Torak did when he had a close encounter with the Orb. No, instead they become surrounded by a blue nimbus, hinting to them being turned into Gods at that moment (?) However, the whole 'fellowship' is in tears and the atmosphere in the book is one of death and departure surrounding that moment.

Yet, Belgarath joins Belgarion and the 'fellowship' onto the Seabird all the way back to the Vale where Polgara delivers her twins on the very last page of the book. Hence my question -

  • What happened to Belgarath and Poledra when they were touched by the Orb?
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    The first question is answered in the followup books, Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorceress. (Short answer; she had her own tasks.) The second question in not clearly answered, as far as I recall, but probably relates to people misunderstanding the Orb; they talk about only Belgarion's line being able to touch it, but when it was recovered from Torak, it was about someone without ambition / pure of heart (Riva)-- I suspect Belgarath and Poledra count, at this point, and Eriond simply used the (assumed, but never seen to be deadly) touch to test their resolve.
    – K-H-W
    Mar 4 '17 at 19:39
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    Good luck, but don't hope for too much -- there is more explained, but not in heavy detail; I kept hoping Eddings would put out a 'Poledra the Wolf' or something, but no such luck.
    – K-H-W
    Mar 4 '17 at 19:43
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    You can conceal spoiler parts by putting them in a >! block. This will serve better than inserting [--spoiler--] Mar 4 '17 at 19:43
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    @Gallifreyan - Show, don't tell.
    – Valorum
    Mar 4 '17 at 19:44
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    @Valorum I wasn't sure what to hide, and hiding the whole question seemed inappropriate Mar 4 '17 at 19:44

Poledra was expecting to die, although it was never made entirely clear why. One possible interpretation is that she really did in some sense die all those centuries earlier, when her daughters were born, but was left in the world because she still had a task to complete. Now that that task was over, she was expecting the Gods to once again take her away from her husband and daughter, this time forever.

Belgarath, having lost his wife once, was not willing to lose her again; that's why he insisted on going with her. (See Polgara's line, "Will you orphan me in one single stroke, father?")

In this interpretation, when Eriond used the Orb, he was bringing her back to life, just as Garion and Eriond used the Orb to resurrect Durnik at the same point in the Belgariad. (Many of the events in the Mallorean closely correspond to events in the Belgariad, and this is one of them.) Clearly she wasn't exactly dead, but she didn't seem to be exactly alive either. It was all a bit ambiguous.

It might be more accurate, however, to look at Eriond's action not as returning her to life (on the assumption she never actually died, not even in some metaphorical or pro forma sense) but as making a very insistent request to UL that her life be spared; as UL himself said:

'Thy use of thy Brother's Orb in this was unanticipated, however, and most ingenious.' A faint smile touched the Eternal Face. 'Even had I been inclined not to relent, that alone would have forestalled me.'

However you look at it, nobody was expecting Poledra to return with them. Only Eriond's choice made it possible for her to do so.

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    Thanks! +1. Why would you think a blue nimbus surrounded Belgarath & Polgara after being touched by the orb? That appeared imho as an important clue too. Thanks again.
    – AliceD
    Mar 5 '17 at 8:31
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    I figure that was just the Orb doing whatever it is that the Orb does. It's always been associated with the colour blue. Mar 8 '17 at 7:27
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    Side note, this is parallel to Polgara and Durnik, where she agreed to "be like him" to save his life, thinking it meant giving up Sorcery, but instead learning that instead the gods made Durnik a Sorcerer as well.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Oct 10 '18 at 1:54
  • There is no indiction that the Orb was lethal prior to the theft and misuse by Torak. Only after that did it gain the reputation of striking down the impure. With the demise of the Dark Prophecy, the Orb might immediately become less lethal and more forgiving. As a see note BtS has Brand stroking the Orb on his shield prior to the Battle of Vo Mimbre although he is Child of Light at the time. The others have made the point that it was to force Eriond to act rather than change Poledra per se.
    – Rik-Makor
    Mar 27 '20 at 14:45

Poledra was supposed to finish her task and then again depart the land of the living. Eriond essentially overrode the Will of his brother Gods with the Orb.

UL speaks of it immediately after to Eriond, and said that even if he had not been convinced to relent by their actions (Belgarath and Poledra both being prepared to leave the world of the living, sacrificing their very lives, even after helping save the Universe) that Eriond's use of his brother Aldur's Orb alone would have persuaded him to relent on its own.

  • Can you cite the passage you are extracting your answer from? +1
    – AliceD
    Oct 10 '18 at 5:41

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