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In the "Elderling Realm" universe, there is a character who's gender is called into question at several points in the books. The character I am talking about is

Beloved aka Amber aka the Fool aka the White Prophet.

In the books, I think the author definitely shrinks away from revealing what thsi character's gender is, but in my last re-read I felt that the hints were leaning towards female. Has this been confirmed by the autor in the books or outside? If not, what are the clues that support each side?

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I think the idea is that the character in question doesn't have one fixed gender. It's clear that they move between various identities and have characteristics commonly associated with being both male and female.

As far as I'm concerned the question over this character's gender isn't male VS female, but genderless VS identifying with both genders VS something else again.

Their physical sex is another question, though.

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As far as I can tell, most of the fandom considers this character to be non-binary/trans/genderfluid/agender. In terms of their physical antomy, well,

the likelihood is that they have what is normally classed as "male" anatomy, but even this isn't entirely certain because both Fitz and Fool acknowledge that Fool isn't entirely human.!<

Does that help?

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Ok, so I finished the books and am now of the opinion that

Beloved is male.

There are primarily two reasons for this

When Fitz recalls Beloved from the dead, they switch bodies. And I think he would probably have known that Beloved is male/female then. Since he did not raise a fuss over it, it seems very likely that Beloved is male. Secondly, the Pale Woman also speaks of Beloved as male. She knew Beloved when he/she was a a child, so it seems unlikely Beloved was as mysterious then. However, there's also the issue that she seemed to be picking up stuff to say from Fitz's mind through the Skill, and that she offered herself to him physically (saying she would provide him what Beloved would not), this might be a little suspect.

There are some small clues that go against this like

She seems to teach Vestrit how to disguise herself like a man, very familiarly.

  • In my copy of Golden Fool, it says chest. – Kalessin Aug 9 '11 at 20:02
  • Actually, now that I go back and check, i see that it says chest in mine too. – apoorv020 Aug 9 '11 at 20:09
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You might consider this a spoiler so I've marked it as such.

If you read the Farseer trilogy, I seem to remember in Assassin's Apprentice the fool pulling down his pants and exposing himself at a younger Fitz. And also the fool offering himself to Fitz, who demurred because the fool was male. Plus Robin Hobb includes gay characters.

Sorry, haven't got my books with me, so I can't be sure.

  • He pulled down his pants and shown (or to be more precise - quickly flashed) his butt cheeks, not genitals. I honestly don't recall any situation when Fool would offer himself to Fitz, but he always treated Beloved as male, so his rejection is not a proof. – Yasskier Aug 16 '16 at 9:26

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