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Mystara
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Re: Book

Post by Mystara »

I have debated removing the ability to change the title.
Changing the title of a post is a good indicator that you've gone offtopic (like now)
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Re: Book

Post by Canadanne »

A lot of the conversations in this thread were originally posted separately.
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Re: Leahra

Post by Drassil »

I've always cherished the Knightmare books, so for me, a dedicated subforum is well deserved, and the more we discuss them the better. But I wouldn't want organisational issues to overshadow what is an interesting post.
Canadanne wrote:I have some questions about the first Knightmare novella. (By the way, there are so many different conversations compiled into this one thread, do you think there ought to be a subforum for discussion of the books? I found a few other threads that might fit as well - here, here and here.)

So, the two things I'm wondering about at the moment are:

1) When Leahra was imprisoned by the Gruagach at Knightmare Castle, why was she concocting potions for him? The Gruagach got really mad when one of Vestan's henchmen spilt a few drops in the dungeon while bringing them to him. I can't quite imagine what these potions were for, or why the Gruagach couldn't make them himself.

2) What exactly is the significance of Treguard finding a Dunshelm medallion around Leahra's neck? Again it sends the Gruagach into a rage, for some reason. I can't see what it adds to the scene and I don't know if I'm missing something. (Can the villains at Knightmare Castle actually hear their conversation via the magic Eye, or does it only show images? I wouldn't have thought it transmitted sound, but the Gruagach knows that Treguard received Leahra's warning, even though she would have appeared to be a motionless corpse throughout the scene. I'm not sure if that's down to his psychic powers or what.)

Any thoughts?
It's a while since I've read Book 1 properly, so I can't comment on these points for now, except to wonder whether the published version was abridged from a longer draft that would answer those questions.
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Re: Book

Post by pjmlfc05 »

That's one thing I missed out on, the Knightmare books. Always on ebay or whenever I browse in charity shops I look for them but to no avail! Any other ideas where I can try?
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Re: Book

Post by fluttermoth »

They usually have copies on Amazon (I buy extra copies to give away to people :-[ )

They really are worth reading. Well, the first four are; the later two just make me sneer ::)

I always describe them as Mort D'Arthur for twelve year olds ;D
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Re: Book

Post by pjmlfc05 »

fluttermoth wrote:They usually have copies on Amazon (I buy extra copies to give away to people :-[ )

They really are worth reading. Well, the first four are; the later two just make me sneer ::)

I always describe them as Mort D'Arthur for twelve year olds ;D
Cheers! Will try Amazon to see if I have any luck.
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Re: Book

Post by HStorm »

They really are worth reading. Well, the first four are; the later two just make me sneer
There were actually three later ones (the 'Yearling' titles they were called) - The Forbidden Gate, The Dragon's Lair, and Lord Fear's Domain. But I agree they were quite infantile, and if there's one of them you haven't read, believe me, you've missed very little.

The original line of four books was clearly superior. While still not exactly anything to challenge Tolstoy, they were a more satisfying read, and the stories were set firmly in their own era, with no links to the future - Treguard clearly had no knowledge in them of our own time.

The later books were more like episodes of the TV series in book form, with kids from the future travelling into the past to face challenges from Knightmare characters. It gave the stories a contrived feel, and were written in a very kiddie-friendly style. Whether they were meant to be part of the same continuity as the earlier books is not completely clear, although they probably were.

One interesting peculiarity in the books is the portrayal of Pickle; he is always described as being an imp. On one occasion, a character says, "You look like an elf!" to which Pickle replies, "You look like a baboon!" I don't know whether that exchange was meant to be defiance on the part of Dave Morris against the series, by insisting that Pickle is not an elf. But Pickle's personality is rather different in the stories too; he's sharper-tongued and more mischievous, and on several occasions he talks a bit like a stereotype cockney. My suspicion is that early ideas for Pickle were for an 'Artful Dodger' type persona, which wouldn't have been suitable for a Dungeon Master's assistant, and Morris wasn't told until it was too late that they were doing something different with him.
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Re: Book

Post by HobGoblin »

In Dave Morris' blog he says that the publishers asked him to aim younger after the fourth book. Not surprising as the same thing was happening to CITV generally and, indeed, Knightmare. With the show it happened far more gradually of course and the tone only really jars when you watch a series 8 episode after, say, a series 2 episode.

I always feel that in any kind of drama/horror/whatever you absolutely cannot make light of the main threat - have comic relief in other ways but keep the antagonist serious. Having Lord Fear and Lissard playing Monopoly is just one of many examples of how the show broke this rule.

I really hope the new episode reverses this trend now there are no pressures to appeal to a kiddie demographic.
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Re: Leahra

Post by HobGoblin »

Canadanne - I might be wrong but I get the feeling Dave Morris would engage with you on such queries. Might be worth asking him via Twitter or his blog...?
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Re: Book

Post by Mystara »

That's weird. I'm sure I posted a reply to this, but if i did it vanished.

I liked the nonchalant, uncaring, funny, monopoly playing Lord Fear. To me, it always emphasises his chaos, randomness and smug arrogance. He feel so superior, or cares so little about the progress of the dungeoneer that he'd rather concentrate on his game.
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Re: Book

Post by HStorm »

I dunno. There were times in season 5 that he seemed nervous to the point of paranoid about security. Seeing him become so casual does seem a little inexplicable.

Are we sure that the show was really becoming more kiddie-friendly though? Given the rise of moments of sexual innuendo and bad(ish) language in the last two seasons, you could well argue it was pushing in the opposite direction.
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Re: Book

Post by HobGoblin »

The great thing about kids tv is that sexual innuendo can be slipped in (so to speak) for older viewers.

There was a He-Man character called Fisto, as I recall.

Anyway, I feel, in broad terms, that KM was increasingly kiddie friendly as time went on. They got rid of tricky riddles, the tone became more comic, goblins became cuddly toys with names, innovations such as the SIGHT spell did nothing but make it easier and the reach wand enabled the sort of puzzles the Early Learning Centre might sell. Oh, and Snapperjack.

By the end they were getting rid of entire levels to make it incredibly simple to win ;)

I have of course had my opinion coloured by the fact I started watching in 1988 and was significantly older by S8.

But CITV's target audience was getting younger by that point and I think this is certainly reflected in KM.

I think we've gone off topic!
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Re: Book

Post by wombstar »

Their are several books currently on ebay.. I tried bidding last night but i kept losing. Never read them myself, only have the board game and the computer game (horrid thing)

Lord Fear had the right balance of Horror and Humour. You can't really have one without the other or it becomes a real joke.
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Re: Book

Post by Mystara »

I have quite a few of the books actually. I think I only ever played the adventure games and I read the forbidden gate when I was much younger. I think that one is signed by the cast.

You're lucky to have the board game. I understand that it's comparatively rare.
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Re: Book

Post by Canadanne »

HobGoblin wrote:They got rid of tricky riddles [...] Oh, and Snapperjack.
...who brought them back!
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