Posted by LP on November 23, 1997 at 17:33:34:
In Reply to: Re: Santy's Faith posted by Michel Pontmercy on November 23, 1997 at 14:12:58:
: May I say that I have simply been in adoration of this thread? I've been reading it for some time and wishing we had some sort of way to honor it with a permenant place in the TVC site. The thought you put into it is astounding.
*blink* Thank you! I'm glad that you've been enjoying it! (Cecilia look! We've got fans!)
: Now then, I don't know if my own thoughts will measure up to what you have been putting forth, but if you don't mind another voice chiming in I'd like to at least add some food for thought.
Hi! Yes, welcome! I *love* people joining in. Every person can add a new viewpoint to these little critters of the night. And I love these debates. By the time this thread is finished we will probably be able to write the book Santino better than Anne. *g*
: : because *we do not have enough canon about Santino*. All we have are Armand's *memories*, Khayman's observation, and a few other assorted paragraphs and sentences in the VCs.:
: True, but I believe, particularly in instances such as level C characters (don't let the vampires on TVC hear me say that ;) ) those hints and small sentences are meant to carry a heavy load of information. Even with someone as verbal as Lestat, rare do we get real insight into who he is as a man except in a few words here or there which tell us far more than entire chapters ever could. There are many things written in those volumes which are easy to gloss over in one's first read but then leap out from the page once a reread is done. A good example would be anytime Lestat talks about his family, or Louis for that matter.
Oh, I completely agree. We are told to read between the lines, and to understand the reasoning behind these characters it is something which we must do, because their personalities are as much behind the scenes as on stage.
: It's my personal belief that Lestat has an incredible tendency to bullshit. The books are written with what I feel is something of a self-knowing smirk - Lestat knows the real story is "between the lines" (as he teases us about Interview). I think his invitation about Louis' novel is meant for his own as well. We are challenged to find out if we can tell the true story, or if we will just fall for the hype as so many do.
: : The reason I said above that Anne doesn't jump around is because going on your argument (which yes, *could* help it, but not prove it) then he saw Akasha's beauty and his old faith in God flared. (Along the lines I'm assuming of vampires always supposing to be beautiful to scorn God.) My proposal is that it was actually his faith in the Mother (not Akasha, but the Mother) which flared.
: : Santino might very well have believed in the old legends.
: Would he?
Lots of others did. And Santino was in a postition to hear more rumors than most. I'd imagine that other vampires came to him and told him updates just as they did to Armand (such as how A. found out Santino abandoned his coven). Some believed completely, and others did not. However, that never stopped anyone from searching for the buried treasure. (See Lestat.) As leader of a coven, and thus privy to a good deal of stories and rumors, he could very easily have heard enough stories from enough varied souces which all matched, and could have led to the conclusion that Those Who Must Be Kept were real. It would merely be a matter of being in the position to hear all the rumors and stories.
I'll even throw in a quote: (Santy to Armand) "In all parts of the world one found such tales. And one could easily dismiss them as fanciful save for one thing. The ancient heretic Marius had been found in Venice, and there punished by the Children of Darkness. The legend of Marius had been true." (VL 302)
:The coven he created and the rules he thought up all involved a Christian viewpoint.
Yes, the coven was created in the fashion of the church. And most of the vampires probably came from a time when the church still had great authority over people's thoughts, thought and behavioral patterns, and actions. So what better way to build a structure for "political" support than to model it after one which is at its height of power, and had the most day to day influence over people? While, because of the newly rising Universities across Europe, the Church was loosing its hold over the populace, there was still enough religious fear for people to follow or believe the doctrines of the Church. The Church by this time was ruling more through fear than religion, and this help set up the beginning of the end 175 years later with the Great Schism.
*sigh* I suppose that it is time to actually look at Santy's "Great Rules". These are the rules to govern vampire behavior:
1) Each coven must have a leader to work the Dark Trick, and make certain the rituals are observed properly
2) "That the Dark Gifts must never be given to the crippled, the maimed, or to children, or to those who cannot, even wih the Dark Powers, survive on their own. Be it further understood that all mortals who would receive the Dark Gifts should be beautiful in person so that the insult to God might be greater when the Dark Trick is done."
3) No old vampires should work the Dark Trick, for otherwise the powerful blood would make the young vampires too strong.
4) "That no vampire may ever destroy another vampire, except that the coven master has the power of life and death over all of his flock. And it is, further, his obligation to lead the old ones and the mad ones into the fire when they can no longer serve Satan as they should. It is his obligation to destroy all vampires who are not properly made. It is his obligation to destroy those who are so badly wounded that they cannot survive on their own. And it is his obligation finally to seek the destruction of all outcasts and all who have broken the laws."
5) No vampire should reveal to mortals his nature, name, coven locale, or history, and allow them to live.
Okay. The first one. The leader is the only one allowed to make vampires. This gives an awful lot of power to whoever is in charge.
# 2: Crippled, maimed, yadda, yadda. This is made out more to be that the vampires have to be able to protect themselves, yes, but more importantly, so that they can protect the coven. Covens always had to be strong and able to defend themselves, just like every other "citadel" throughtout history. Weak vampires, or maimed ones, would have to be protected and cared for by other coven members, and this would be far too much of a bother.
"or to those who cannot, even wih the Dark Powers, survive on their own."
Translation: No mentally deficient vampires were to be made, because their lives could threaten the entire covens', because they would not be able to cover up the kill, or they might try to make others, or they might reveal themselves to mortals.
"beautiful in person so that the insult to God might be greater"
This comment is made almost as an afterthought, event though it is in the second rule. However, and this is my point about the rules, every other rule is to help support the leader's power and position. I'll say more about this below.
#3: No old vampires should make fledglings. A wise rule if the coven leader wants to stay in power. Look how powerful Lestat was. And Gabrielle. They were nearly, if not already there, Armand's equals in strength. If old vampires made fledglings then those fledglings could rise up against the coven leader.
#4: How handy for the coven leader to have the power of life and death over the coven. Great way to secure power. And how nice that it is the leaders "obligation" to lead the old [powerful] ones into the fire. This is a tyranny, and that is a purge.
#5: No vampire should reveal vampires to mortals. This is just common sense, especially in a superstitious age like the 1350's, when the rules were made.
These rules are not specifically set up as a mocking of the Church. And with the exception of a few "serve Satan"'s and that beauty thing, there is nothing religious at all about these rules. But this observation gets because of the religious "trappings" of the coven. The "heretic" the "Children of Satan", the rituals especially. It is, in the main, all the talk of rituals which lends the church-like atmosphere to Santino's coven.
These rules do, however, all lend support to giving the coven leader supreme authority. Every one. Even #2, because if there are no weak vampires which need to be looked after, then the coven master can keep his/her eyes on the stronger ones. The coven master can make his own acolytes for support if there are any power disputes. No one else is allowed to do this, and this is outlined in not one, but two laws!. The coven leader has the right to destroy those he/she wants. Very convenient for staying in power. The leader has the right to purge any threats to his/her power. An old vampire can't make a vampire, I talked about that above. There is nothing religious about these, unless you want to say that they sound like the rules of a megalomaniac. The power of life and death and decision, all wrapped up in five rules, and vampires followed them.
So, yes. It is a Christian viewpoint, because it was from a Christian area and a Christian time period. But that's the only reason. Santino used Christianity as a means towards an end. (Now watch Anne go and write Santnio and blow every single argument I've made right to hell!)
:He may have heard rumors about Those Who Must Be Kept but I do not think he would have taken it as a challenge to his beliefs so much as something of academic interest at best.
Academic interest, I suppose. I'm not saying that the legends were a challenge to his beliefs, I'm saying that once Marius' appearance substantiated those legends that they became his beliefs, only to be shattered when Akasha finally woke.
: : He would naturally want to find more about these two legends. Where to learn this? Well, Marius, obviously. However Marius would most likely kill him, and Marius was also a threat to his standing as coven leader. Especially after he made Armand. So Santino had to kill Marius to keep his position safe, but he didn't have to kill Armand.
: This strikes me as a chancy bit of planning on Santino's part. Santino only had an outsider's perspective to work from. Marius definitly knew something, Armand (assuming he knew about Armand to start with) may or may not have. Why go through the effort to get that close to the best source of information, only to kill him?
Because Marius had this nasty reputation and habit of killing anyone who even *knew of* the old legends, let alone those who actively sought to confirm them. It wasn't chancy at all really. I think that the main motivation behind Santino's attack was that Marius threatened his power. Those Who Must Be Kept were merely a possible bonus.
And I think that Santino would have known about Armand, in probably the same fashion that Armand and the coven knew about Lestat and Gabrielle. They were seen out and about, they lived among mortals, and Armand didn't know anyone might be watching them.
:If Santino's coven had the ability to kill Marius then they also had the ability to simply hold him, since the threat of his death could, in theory, keep him prone. Therefore why trust a months-old fledgling when one could have the source?
That is a chancy thing, one that would be far too chancy for Santino to take. After all, who knew what the ancient immortals were capable of? Could they fly? Could they break through mental barriers as though they were nothing? Could their blood burn through through normal skin? Could they destroy others with a thought, with a glance? Was it true that sunlight could not destroy them?
Plain fact is, none of the young ones knew what the old ones were capable of. They didn't know which old legends were true and which weren't. The blood burning through normal skin sounds utterly ridiculous to us, but imagine how the thought of sunlight not destroying a vampire must have sounded to them. And we know that to be true. They just didn't know what Marius was capable of.
They didn't trust him to have the info, just perhaps hoped that he did. *shrug*
: : So he tried to get information out of Armand, but he didn't.
: Precisely. If the attempt was to get information then Santino handled it like a Keystone Cop. If, as it was pointed out earlier, Santino had the intelligence and strategy to create his coven and enforce his rules throughout Europe then it makes more sense to assume the death of Marius and the pumping of Armand for information were *not* his plans. He intended something else. But what?
To get rid of Marius' threat. Marius' example of living among humans was a threat. So was the fact that his reputation was of killing those who knew the phrase Those Who Must Be Kept. If Santino did not go after Marius, he would be breaking two of his own laws, and that is not the way to keep power secure. Any time throughout history that a tyrant has tried that he has eventually been disposed.
: : Santino's faith, or following (a hybrid of the two is even better), was with the Mother of the vampires. The King and Queen, whoever was the leader. [..] Santino has heard and seen the rampaging destruction which Akasha has caused to both the humans and the vampires. His heart "shrunken and bruised" by their cries. Santino in no way supports Akasha's purge of the human males. :
: This is a large leap, given the information we know. We know that Santino, for a good deal of his life, chose to define himself in terms of God and Satan - so much so that he felt everyone else should as well. Again, this is very Christian, which would not worry overmuch about anything on earth save, perhaps, how it could be looked upon as a sign from above.
Ah, here I get into semantics. He chose to define his *coven* in terms of God and Satan. Not necessarily himself. How many European kings have done the same? Hell, not even just Europe. Khubilai Khan did the very same thing. He adopted Tibetan Buddhism to endear himself to the Chinese he was trying to rule. And it worked. But he was never T.B. though he did observe the rules and doctrines. It was his primary wife who was the Buddhist of the family.
Interesting 2nd part. I guess all I can really say on it is the father Santino's doctrines spread, the more power and political support and security he would have overall, even though he was only ruling the Roman coven.
: We then know he left the coven, we know he spent time with Eric and, by extension, Maharet.
Pg 268, QotD: "Santino was terrified of this woman, though he knew her very well."
That seems to be more than through extension. Maybe he did only see her with Eric, but that is one of those great unknowns. It is just as possible that he had seen her on his own.
:And now we see him in Queen of the Damned. To assume that he lept from his faith in God/Satan to the Mother and the Father needs more information.
Nobody has bothered trying to prove to me that Santino ever had faith in God.
:Likewise any conclusions about his feelings regarding Akasha's purge. Would he support it because killing is what vampires do (acting like a plauge on humanity)? Or would he not support it because he had abandoned his belief in that long ago?
Well, he did not support it when the time came to choose sides. Therefore I would have to say he did not support it. On pg 447 Santino opposes the Akasha's ideas because they would reveal vampires to the mortal world, and the women would want immortality just as much as the men.
: : I'm actually curious where Lestat got this observation from (Santy's quote). Santino is the ex-leader of a large coven. I would think he knows how to keep his mental shielding in place. :
: And how to manipulate what people thought of him if he so chose. There is not enough canon in the books to suggest this, however Armand's great ability at mental manipulation had to be learned *somewhere*. It would stand to reason he learned it from being in Santino's coven at the very least. And, since Santino groomed him to be leader and "missionary" that it was Santino himself who taught him.
: : And I honestly don't think that his mind would have been open to Lestat, since the whole trust thing was probably lacking. So *where* did this paragraph come from?:
: Is there a lack of trust between them? Let me put another question into this argument: *why* was Santino there in the first place? In that compound there were two types of people - those who Akasha could not track down (Maharet, Khayman and Eric, Mael and Jesse by extension) and *those who Lestat loved*. I believe Lestat and Marius both make the point that if it was not for everyone's relationship with Lestat they all would have died.
Finally!!! Someone has asked the question!! I was beginning to think that I was the *only* person who had wondered that. I always get shrugs for answers, or no answers at all.
Lestat makes the point that Marius was not killed because Akasha loved him, not just Lestat. And this is also the reason why Pandora is spared, because Akasha doesn't really want to harm Marius. So Armand was protected on two fronts. Anybody ask why Daniel survived? He and Santnio are unknowns, but let me present a little theory for Santnio. Well, two actually. See below.
: Alright then: Louis and Gabrielle are obvious. Marius too, and since Lestat had been told Marius loved Pandora she was allowed to live too. Armand and Lestat had an adversarial relationship but Lestat in his heart cared for Armand and I think Akasha would have known that, hence Armand lives. Daniel was Armand's fledgling and gains protection there.
Explain *that* one. *Why*? The only reason I can come up with so far is that Daniel might have been easy to manipulate or control because he was so new to the game, and therefore Akasha might be able to bend him to her will.
: What, then, about Santino? He's not old enough to protect himself and he and Maharet don't seem to have a close enough relationship that she could protect him. Moreover he wasn't near Maharet when Akasha started her destruction so he wouldn't be able to hide himself by being in close proximity to her. He and Eric traveled together but Eric needs Maharet's protection and thus could not save him himself.
Not necessarily. It was never actually proven that Akasha could harm Eric. They didn't know if he was powerful enough. But that's another topic...
: The other end of the scale - if we look at the chapters of information we have about Santino we would assume that Lestat would hate him. Santino tried to kill Marius (Lestat at the time didn't know of Santino helping Pandora to save him) and was responsible for hurting Armand - someone who held the rank of being beloved of Lestat. We would assume, then, that if anything Akasha would go out of her way to kill him.
: But she didn't.
: He can't be counted as strong enough to hide and the only others who lived were beloved of Lestat in some fashion.
: I think Lestat decieved us with bullshit again. Chapters of subterfuge in which somehow, somewhere, Lestat found a reason to like Santino.
Okay, here are my theories:
1) Marius was trapped under ice. But Akasha didn't want this to be permanant. Pandora needed someone to help her, and it ended up being Santy. And then Akasha was too busy to get around to destroying him, especially since he was now with Marius.
Here's the 2nd:
We are told to read between the lines, and both you and I agree on this. It might not be a subterfuge, so much as an ommission of truths on Lestat's part. I'll do the little quotes (and notes) thing now, rather than later:
pg 237: Santino goes with Pandora to help her find Marius.
pg 266: Santino speaks "with courtly politeness" to Marius, while he is hostile or indifferent to everyone else, really.
pg 269: "'...and we...we are spared because Lestat wants it. You realize this, don't you? Two thousand years I cared for her, protected her, worshiped her, and she has spared me now on account of her love for a two-hundred-year-old fledgling named Lestat.'
"'Don't be so sure of it!' Santino said suddenly.
"'No,' the woman said. It's not her only reason.'..."
pg 277: "They were all of them magnificent in their own way. The tall heavily built Santno was elegant in his priestly black, with his lustrous black eyes and a sensuous mouth." No one else, other than Maharet, is given such an in-depth look by Marius in this section.
pg 450: Santy goes to Marius' aid *for the second time*. He was the only one to do so.
So here's the theory, reading between the lines. The lines of protection from Akasha's fury came from three distinct lines: Age, Lestat and Marius. At no point in the book is Marius ever hostile to Santino. Not once. Why not? Maybe Torch hit on something with her Roman Holiday spec. Perhaps it is because the two of them had something going on behind the lines. Someone, on either Lamia or abar, made the observation that while Lestat does nutty things, he never deliberately tries to hurt those he loves.
And as the facts are, Lestat never met Santino. There was no trace of Satino in Rome when Lestat went there, and another mention is never made until QotD. And in TotBT Stat says:
"As for Santino, the Italian, I knew almost nothing of him. I had expected nothing. He was young. Perhaps my cries had never reached him. And why should he listen if they had?" (400)
So it wasn't age, and it wasn't Lestat. This leaves sheer happenstance or Marius.
Marius pays a lot of attention to Santnio's features when he is observing the newly formed coven before the tale. As I said, the only one he paid that much attention to detail to was Maharet.
If Marius and Santino had something sub rosa, then it explains two things:
1) Why it was not put in the book. Marius is a private person, though he told his tale to Lestat. He never went into any intimate detail. Lestat tells us all sorts of juicy stuff about Armand and Daniel, but then their relationship was rather common knowledge, and neither probably minded very much if scrutiny was cast upon them. Even Lestat and Louis' relationship is not talked about very much by Lestat. He is constantly saying how much he loves Louis, but he is always telling us to read between the lines. Because such blatent talk about their relationship might hurt Louis.
Thus, Marius would most likely not want intimate details, or even any details at all about a relationship he might be having with Santino, or any feelings harboured between the two of them. Any action on Lestat's part could very well sting Marius deeply, and Lestat doesn't want to do that.
2) This would explain where Lestat got his observation from. And it is the only explanation that I can think of that is even close to resonable. Marius allowed Lestat to read his mind. Lestat used this information, but he probably left things out naturally. Only this might have slipped through, and then someone like me says, where the hell did this paragraph come from? Here's an explanation.
: From there some conclusions can be drawn, but I'll stop for right now since I know I am getting far into the land of conjecture. :)
But, isn't that what it's all about? *g* (Wonder what people are going to think about this post...)