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At the beginning of the story, Althalus is recruited to steal the Book from the House at the End of the World.

Althalus hears the 'strange wailing' that later occurs in Dream Visions while travelling to the House. We also know that Ghend really wants Althalus to steal the Book, and that he uses Dream Visions later to make certain events come true. Also, when she finds out Althalus touched Ghend's Book, Dweia says that 'it is pure evil... [he] should have been instantly corrupted'. However, this can be partially explained away by the fact that Althalus later goes back and changes the events using the Doors and a Dream Vision (this argument uses some very murky ideas about cause & effect).

Therefore, it appears that Althalus may have been in a Dream Vision when he went to steal the Book. What I want to know is whether either:

1) There is some official explanation of yes/no, and why.

2) There are some key points I am missing in my analysis, and whether this supports or undermines the hypothesis.

1 Answer 1

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No, it is not... At the end of the book (in chapter 41) Althalus is recounting the story of his Wolf Skin Coat and this conversation takes place:

"That wasn't what I mean, Althalus. I wasn't talking about just changing the story. I was talking about changing things that happened back then so that the story - and the things the story tells about - come out the way we want them to." Gher frowned slightly. "You hadn't met Ghend yet when all this happened, had you?"

"No. I didn't meet Ghend until I finally got away from Arum and went to Nabjor's camp in Hule. I didn't even know about Ghend back then, but I guess he knew about me. When he came into Nabjor's camp, he told me that he'd been following me for months. What's Ghend got to with this though?"

This clearly shows that the first meetiing between Ghend and Althalus was in Althalus's own time. He was not in the know even though Ghend obviously was.

As for Althalus being turned by The Book of Daeva... The Proper Quote is in fact:

The Books are absolutes, Althalus. They're the source of ultimate power. Our Book is the power of pure light, and Ghend's Book is the power of absolute darkness. When you touched that page from his Book, it should have totally corrupted you.

But the thing is that he does still have a choice. He was not corrupted because although he was already mildly corrupt he still had enough good in him to feel the evil in the words and then when he reaches the House at the End of the World he chooses Dweia,

falls in love with her and she with him, and they have a child together.

Running through all of Eddings's books is a theme of self will and the power that has.

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