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Merlin shows Ghostwheel to Random, talks to Ghostwheel, hears it and then goes out on a way to shut it down, thinking about Ghostwheel.

At that time Ghostwheel warns Merlin to go back, again with the same voice.

So how is that happened that Merlin does not recognize voice of Ghostwheel (again, his own voice)?

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    Because he's a schmuck
    – Valorum
    Sep 9, 2021 at 17:39

2 Answers 2

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There are two narratives in these novels; one where Corwin tells a pack of lies to Merlin, and a second where Merlin tells a pack of lies to Corwin.

Merlin spent a lot of time acting as though he does not understand what is happening, and that he is nothing but an innocent youth, and that his actions are entirely reactive. However, one does not become the ruler of Chaos on accident; he evidently schemed as well as the rest of the amberites.

What actually happened to Merlin during that activity is unknown. But he claims not to have recognized Ghost's voice to emphasize how naive and simple he is.

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Recognizing your own voice isn't always easy. Further, recognizing it when it's as loud as thunder, or talking to you while you're running marathon distances at 400 meter pace is surely more difficult. Not to mention Merlin had a large pack of relatives who were sorcerers, several of whom (great granddaddy Dworkin and believed-deceased grandpa Oberon among them) who have shown they can alter their faces and voices to imitate another -- even a close friend.

So, not recognizing that the voice he heard during a hellrun is his own (hence Ghost's), or suspecting it's not who it claims to be, seems very reasonable for an Amberite or Chaosite.

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