In Magician's Gambit Garion & company go to Cthol Murgos to retrieve the orb from Ctuchik. They find it surprisingly easy to get there and only when Belgarath is talking to Ctuchik do they discover that he has allowed them to get close to him so that he can kill Ce'Nedra, hence preventing Garion from succeeding.

However, while they are in Ulgo, UL himself prevents Ce'Nedra from going to Cthol Murgo, saying she will surely die if she goes.

So Why was it that Ctuchik wanted to kill Ce'Nedra? Why couldn't he have just killed one of Garion's other companions? (Barak for example...)?

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    Because Eddings' works are full of reactionary gender roles, so it's always the woman who must be protected? Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 11:16
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    @Avner Shahar-Kashtan : tell that to polgara :) Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 12:32
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    Which Polgara? Polgara "I'm the most powerful woman in the world but the only thing that really makes me happy is raising babies and darning their little socks"? Polgara is exactly the character that embodies those extremely "feminine" qualities. Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 12:47
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    I can't help but feel we're hijacking a perfectly innocent question for this. I'll move over to chat. :) Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 13:01
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    @AidanO - I (personally) think Polgara was meant to show that the attributes are not mutually exclusive. She IS massively powerful, listened to, and otherwise breaking from the 'female' stereotype of that culture. But that does not prevent her from also being beautiful and having a lot of warm 'feminine' virtues. Society tends to assume she has two choices: Powerful character via stereotype Male behavior, or Female behavior with the consequent lack of power. Pol demonstrates that these limits are assumptions only; she is strongly female, joys/drives and all.. Yet still incredibly powerful.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 18:27

4 Answers 4


TL&DR Synopsis:
She wasn't conclusively one of the people stated in the prophecy yet; she was basically the expected person, but she hadn't engaged in any actions from the prophecy as of yet, so there could have been some wiggle room for nudging her out of the role by killing her, knocking things off track.

Long Version:
I don't think it's directly stated in the novels, but, as I recall, it's because Ce'nedra hasn't yet enacted any specific action that ties her down as being the named person in the Prophecy. At this point, she's only referenced by virtue of title and heritage, not by any specific action she's engaged in.

When she first gives the speeches to build her army, she's referred to; she's now Garion's fiance, and thus the 'Bride of Light' (and eventually 'Queen of the World.')

"How could you possibly-"

"Certain events don't just happen, Ce'Nedra. Some things have been implicit in this world since the moment it was made. What happened today was one of those things." She reached over and picked up an age darkened scroll from the table. "Would you like to hear what the Prophecy says about you?"

Ce'Nedra felt a sudden chill.

Polgara ran her eyes down the crackling parchment. "Here it is," she said, lifting the scroll into the candlelight. " 'And the voice of the Bride of Light shall be heard in the kingdoms of the world,' " she read, " 'and her words shall be as a fire in dry grass, that the multitudes shall rise up to go forth under the blaze of her banner."

She's now engaged in actions named in the prophecy, in her named role. But, up until then, there was nothing conclusive that said she HAD to be the right one; if she died, Garion would have ended up with a much younger (than himself) bride some time in the future, delaying the process quite a bit, or (Cthuchik hoped) derailing it altogether, since the other companions might not survive that long.

From Enchanter's End Game:

The word determines the event. The word puts limits on the event and shapes it. Without the word, the event is merely a random happening. That's the whole purpose of what you call prophecy - to separate the significant from the random.

All of the other members of the party had already engaged in actions that clearly tied them to their named roles, Barak was already the Dreadful Bear, and so forth. (Even Durnik was safe, although we haven't necessarily been told everything that the prophecy says about him. What we DO know, however, is that he was going to 'Live Twice', so killing him could simply cement him into his role -- whereas Ce'nedra's only protection was being the only eligible person for her role in the current generation.)

All that being said.. He knew he couldn't kill any of the others, because they were identified (by past actions) as the companions named in the prophecy, and had defined actions still to do; he knew if he tried to kill them, it would fail, as neither side of the prophecy would allow it to be invalidated until the final choice. But Ce'nedra wasn't positively nailed down yet by her actions, and was the one vulnerable person.

"One of the others will do just as well," Ctuchik asserted, his eyes blazing with fury.

"No," Belgarath disagreed. "The others are all unassailable. Ce'Nedra's the only vulnerable one, and she's at Prolgu - under the protection of UL himself. You can attempt that if you'd like, but I wouldn't really advise it."

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    This is a good explanation for a poorly written situation. Durnik's only prophesied action action is to live twice,so killing him would be fulfilling the prophecy and so that's right out. If Ctuchik could make him unkillable than that might work, although that could be considered a "second life" so nope, he's useless. Nothing Barak does later in the books really matters, but since he's already done the Bear thing he's useless. Same for the Scout and Knight. Why he didn't kill the Marag(?) woman when he had the chance we'll never know.
    – ohmi
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 1:59
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    @ohmi - My best guess with Tabia is she was protected by her anonymity. Even Belgarath didn't know about her until just before the climax of that book; it's not unreasonable to think that Ctuchik didn't either, despite the irony of her being right under his nose. Then again, she was a prisoner, and, except for being the (possibly.. if she died, her daughter would probably turn of among the living after all) last Marag women, she really didn't draw any attention to herself.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 3:16
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    @ohmi - Reasonable.. But I wouldn't put it past the prophecies to have kept it a blind spot for him that she was the last and fit the prophecy; the stories are full of 'Duh!' items that the characters are kept from noticing. Conversely, he could have been killing her children of any remaining Marags thinking that negated the possibility of them being the 'Mother of the Race that Died.' Again, forced blind-spot. Or possibly simply insufficient authorial fore-thought :)
    – K-H-W
    Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 5:46
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    @AidanO -- Actually, thinking about it and considering ohmi's comment, Durnik was safe, too -- the only thing we KNOW that defined him is the 'Living Twice' aspect. That's pretty much impossible to negate via killing him; HOW that second life would come about is unknown -- it could have been reincarnation, or something else... so there wasn't much Ctuchik could do to him either.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 21:17
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    I think @K-H-W's answer is spectacular. The only change/addition I would make would be regarding Durnik. No matter what you think about the rest of K-H-W's answer, Durnik is absolutely the least vulnerable of the group. Ctuchick CAN'T kill Durnik, because that very well may be what the Light Prophecy wants him to do. He knows Durnik lives twice. He doesn't know how he dies, or how that second life comes to be. He certainly doesn't want to be the one who causes it!
    – SeeJayBee
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 3:39

It may be that it is because she is the most clueless as she still holds to her tolnedran beliefs she would be the most vulnerable to sorcery and therefore Polgara and Belgarath would not have been able to protect her properly.


I know this is old and probably nobody ever reads this any more but the whole premise is absurd. For one thing Silk was needed in the Melorean to go with him to retrieve his son as prophesied by the seress of Kell. I find it far more likely that Eddings just wrote it into his story and thought it sounded interesting.

He writes so many things that way like how he berates Garion for sending lightning to the fighting mimbrates but he and the other sorcerers work the weather whenever like when Polgara and the others have to get rid of the fog and realize they have to move their efforts much further out. Nobody stops and says hey if we randomly do this thing it will cause an ice age for some unknown reason? Like why is it only Polgara can read the minds of other people with the sorcerer ability towards the end but she only does it better at the beginning of the story.

He is just inconsistent and doesn’t truly explain so many things but just expects you to go along with it. One glaring example is that Polgara and belgsrath seemingly don’t have any clue that Asharak was Camdar until they confront him in the woods of the dryads although it’s clear they know who he is. There are tons of examples

So I think putting any effort into think about why the others are unassailable is fruitless because it’s highly doubtful Eddings put any thought behind it except to put it into his story

Btw I love these stories but Eddings needed a much better editor and or someone other than his wife to give input prior to publishing it

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    If I'm reading this correctly, your answer is essentially that there isn't an in-universe explanation, but since you don't say that directly, this post could easily be viewed as more of a commentary on the question than an answer to it. Note that this is a strict Q & A site, not a discussion forum, so when posting an answer, please ensure that that's the main focus of what you're posting, rather than a wider commentary. Commented Mar 16 at 12:05
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    This just seems like a rant, rather than a serious attempt to answer the question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 16 at 12:23
  • @Valorum It's not an in-universe answer, but it is the true answer: Eddings just wasn't that good a writer.
    – Mark Olson
    Commented Mar 16 at 12:56

The simple answer (and most obvious to me is) that Eddings had a whole cast of characters to work with in that section and Cenedra would have been unnecessary. One less thing for him to worry about and thereby eliminating a big headache.

  • While this is technically an answer to the question asked, I believe the OP was looking for an in-universe reason.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 0:14

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