This question is about the final scene of "The Ice People", by René Barjavel. Spoilers follow.

At the end of the book,

Elea donates her blood to help wake Paikan up, but as she thinks it's Coban, she poisons herself, killing them both.

Paikan being her husband, she must know him by heart. Seeing him naked even though she can't see his face, she should be able to recognize him. Why doesn't she recognize him ?

3 Answers 3

  1. Elea was removed from the egg and revived first. There is no point in the book where the narrators state that she has seen the body of the second person in the egg. Presumably, she is preoccupied with answering the scientific team's questions about her cultural objects and transmitting the images of her last moments from her world.
  2. As the previous answer states, the body of the second person was damaged and the visor over his head obscures his face. Paikan didn't drink the anti-freeze.
  3. I see the procedure to revive Paikan as just another medical procedure. Elea was probably wheeled into the room and never got a chance to see the other person.

Or maybe she knew all along that Paikan was the other body and she decided she would rather spend eternity with him than an uncertain future in a world where they didn't belong.


As you said, she can't see his face. As I recall, he was burned in the cataclysm. Since she didn't recognize him, it's reasonable to assume that he was burned sufficiently badly as to make identification difficult. One other thought, it's possible that all or most men of Paikans age in his civilization had magnificent physiques so (absent a face), might be tough to discriminate between naked male bodies.


She never saw Paikain's face or body. She was in suspended animation when they removed her from the EGG. Plus there was a thin layer of frozen helium around his body and he had the mask on.

If they had removed him first the freezing unit would have revived her and they would have given the male her blood because he needed some. Then, the story would have been different; they both would have lived.

  • Welcome to the site. How does this answer provide any additional information that's not addressed in the two existing answers ?
    – Stan
    Dec 18, 2014 at 18:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.