Author Topic: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."  (Read 16257 times)

Offline Mira

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Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« on: October 22, 2019, 06:58:52 PM »

   Almost finished rereading Summer Knight and a lot of questions about Elaine have popped up in my
head.  We know Harry's connection to Winter was through his mother.  What was Elaine's connection to Summer?   We have no clue, yet when Harry took Justin down and she ran, the place she ran to was Summer.  There has been lots of speculation that it was Elaine that infected Aurora.  We have no clue of what her state of sanity was before Elaine's arrival.

Maeve was a wild child to be sure, but was she insane before Slate presented her with the knife he had just stabbed Elaine with?  That in of itself was a set up, he stabbed Elaine in the back,but didn't kill her.. Odd.. And she singed him with fire, he had burns, yet he was able to stab her in the back.   I'd always been under the impression that it was the Knife that Lea got at Bianca's party that spread the infection, first to Lea and from her, to Maeve.  But what if it was Maeve who infected Lea?  Lea was wearing the Knife she got at Bianca's party in Summer Knight, yet showed no symptoms of infection.  In fact she seemed saner than usual, which in of itself I suppose could be a symptom..

Then towards the end when Harry talks Elaine into helping him by moving the thorns aside so he could take on Aurora to save Lily,  Elaine says something very curious.  Harry mentions her betrayal of him, trust, the love they had at one time for one another.  To which Elaine answers, "You don't know whatI am."  I can see her saying "who I am," people change, they hadn't seen each other in years and both had been through a lot..  But "what"? 

Supposedly Harry and Elaine were being raised as enforcers, both supposedly had the potential to be star children.  But what if that only applied to Harry?  We know the back story about why Justin took them in from Ghost Story isn't exactly what Harry thought it was.. Justin himself might have been double crossed.   

If Harry was bred to be a star child, what if Elaine was bred to be a Trojan Horse?  What if she never was enthralled by Justin?  It just appeared that way,  the plan backfired when Harry got away, turned the tables on HWB and came back and killed Justin.  When she fled she went to Summer and infected Aurora turning her mad.. Then with the help of Slate infected Maeve etc of Winter..

Yes, I know supposedly she is now helping the Paranet, but she is still playing things awfully close to the vest,  she could still be a Trojan Horse..

Offline 123Chikadee

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 07:44:36 PM »
With Lea and Maeve, I think it's the other way around, with Lea infecting Maeve. Pretty sure that's how Mab put it in Cold Days. I'd have to look again.
But yeah, Elaine does look like a good candidate for infecting Aurora, esp since having someone else do it seems a bit thin. We're probably missing some key piece here. Maybe she carried infection somehow. That or she was already infected when Elaine came in contact with her.
But yeah, it was the knife that had the nemesis taint on it. So that's a good place to start. Maybe Elaine isn't infected per se but a carrier?
Maybe Elaine is just a red-herring and it's not possible to infect Starborn?
I'm just spitballing here, lol.

Offline Bad Alias

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 07:47:37 PM »
yet showed no symptoms of infection.
We should expect an infiltrator to not show signs that they are an infiltrator until it's very nearly too late. Otherwise, Nemesis wouldn't be that much of a threat.

I'm very suspicious of Elaine, and it's entirely possible that she somehow used Slate to infect Maeve and Mab just thought Lea infected Maeve. We've seen Mab say things that aren't true before. Even assuming all that, I still would believe that Lea was infected via Morgana's athame. Also, why does Elaine need to be bred for the purpose? Just being raised by Outsider connected Justin would be enough reason for me.

I've wondered how Elaine was connected to Summer in the first place. It's a hard thing to pin down because we about as much about what Justin taught Harry and Elaine as we know about what Justin didn't teach Harry and Elaine. Both are very little. Harry was taught about shields, little fire spells, how to do a binding. He wasn't taught about the laws of magic or the White Council. I'm assuming the same was true for Elaine.

Do we even know that Harry went to Lea for help instead of her showing up and offering help when he was desperate?

Offline Mira

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2019, 09:02:47 PM »
With Lea and Maeve, I think it's the other way around, with Lea infecting Maeve. Pretty sure that's how Mab put it in Cold Days. I'd have to look again.
But yeah, Elaine does look like a good candidate for infecting Aurora, esp since having someone else do it seems a bit thin. We're probably missing some key piece here. Maybe she carried infection somehow. That or she was already infected when Elaine came in contact with her.
But yeah, it was the knife that had the nemesis taint on it. So that's a good place to start. Maybe Elaine isn't infected per se but a carrier?
Maybe Elaine is just a red-herring and it's not possible to infect Starborn?
I'm just spitballing here, lol.

   Consider,  Harry finds Elaine wounded in the Blue Beetle.  He and Billy witness Slate presenting Maeve with the bloody knife he stabbed Elaine with, oh and he is burnt, the blood is dry and Maeve is pissed because she cannot do anything with it.  Elaine later tells Harry that it was a set up that she and Slate had worked out.   Is this or is this not a good way to transfer infection?

When Lea is taking Harry to the stone table, she pats the knife at her side and confirms that it was the one she got at Bianca's party, she confirms also it's power, this is also the sanest we've seen her since the character was first introduced.   

So either is possible and a good case can be made for each.  However since a point was made of Maeve receiving the knife that had wounded Elaine from Slate, that this was also a set up..  "It was the knife.." 
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Do we even know that Harry went to Lea for help instead of her showing up and offering help when he was desperate?

We don't know if he found her, or she just showed up when he needed help, however she was his godmother from his conception.
Quote
I'm very suspicious of Elaine, and it's entirely possible that she somehow used Slate to infect Maeve and Mab just thought Lea infected Maeve. We've seen Mab say things that aren't true before. Even assuming all that, I still would believe that Lea was infected via Morgana's athame. Also, why does Elaine need to be bred for the purpose? Just being raised by Outsider connected Justin would be enough reason for me.

The Fae cannot lie remember?  But given Mab's emotional state when she told Harry that, I believe she was telling the truth.

I think it may be one of the purposes for which Elaine was bred.   We still do not know the complete story of why either her or Harry were bred or why Justin adopted the two of them.  Remember there are hints in Ghost story that not everything is what it appears to be as far as the story of Justin and his motives go.

Last but not least,  Elaine says to Harry. "You do not know what I am.." Not who, which would be understandable, she is no longer the girl he thought he knew.  But she says what I am. It is possible that by Summer Knight she knew she was star born, Harry wouldn't know he was for several books.  Or she thinks she is star born, we know she is a wizard, she isn't the Summer Lady, Summer Knight, doubtful that she is a Fae or a Denarian..  So what is she?  Which is different in my mind from who she is.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 09:19:54 PM by Mira »

Offline morriswalters

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2019, 09:28:44 PM »
With Lea and Maeve, I think it's the other way around, with Lea infecting Maeve. Pretty sure that's how Mab put it in Cold Days. I'd have to look again.

You would be correct, Mab explicitly states it.  Unless JB lied to us in Cold Days.  And it has never been established that Aurora was nemfected and not just insane.

Offline Mira

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 02:59:51 PM »

You would be correct, Mab explicitly states it.  Unless JB lied to us in Cold Days.  And it has never been established that Aurora was nemfected and not just insane.

But she can be mistaken, find it odd that Jim would be so explicit about Slate presenting Maeve with the knife he had stabbed Elaine with in one scene, and a few chapters later Harry also mentions it. Also one has to ask whether or not Maeve was more susceptible than others to the infestation?  Because Lea had contact with the whole Court, but other than Cat Sith and perhaps Mab herself an epidemic of Nem-infection isn't mentioned.   

Offline Bad Alias

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 09:11:05 PM »
[1]she was his godmother from his conception.
[2]The Fae cannot lie remember?
[3]Last but not least,  Elaine says to Harry. "You do not know what I am.."
1. We don't even know that. It has been vaguely hinted at that she got the job when Margaret was rushed. This may have been when she was escaping Lord Raith, so before Harry was conceived. I've always assumed it was when Margaret was in labor and knew she was about to die, so right before Harry was born.
2. But as you said,
But she can be mistaken.   
There is a big difference between not lying and telling the truth.
3. It's at the very least an odd choice of words. Definitely curious.

Offline isoycrazy

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2019, 11:04:07 AM »
Actually, I recall one moment when Lea acted strangely in SK.  When Harry summons her and described his thoughts and desires, Lea grabs the knife for just a moment.  Not just pats it, but grips it.  I figured it was Nemesis considering Harry knows to much and needs to be removed, but Lea resisted the urging.

And it was later during the chaos of the battle did Maeve become infected.

I think Maeve just wanted Elaine's blood to control her.  If she could not only remove Summer's player from the field but gain herself a wizard servant like her mother has gotten Harry, then she would prove her skills and worth.  "Mommy got this cool new toy.  I want my own version.  Then maybe she will see me as a big girl and love me."

Offline Mira

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2019, 02:42:30 PM »
Quote
Actually, I recall one moment when Lea acted strangely in SK.  When Harry summons her and described his thoughts and desires, Lea grabs the knife for just a moment.  Not just pats it, but grips it.  I figured it was Nemesis considering Harry knows to much and needs to be removed, but Lea resisted the urging.

Yes, but while she is doing that she while she was explaining to Harry what a powerful object it is,m when he accused her of tricking him so she could get the Sword of Love to trade for the Knife.. To Harry's shock it is considered to be on par with a Holy Sword according to Lea.  I saw it more like gloating and justifying what she was able to pull off.  As I said before the party at Bianca's place, Lea seemed more infected by Nemesis because she appeared power hungry as in wanting to supplant Mab if she could.

Quote
And it was later during the chaos of the battle did Maeve become infected.

Actually I don't believe we know when Maeve was infected, when Harry and Billy visited her in the Underground she didn't seem to be exactly playing with a full deck.
Quote

I think Maeve just wanted Elaine's blood to control her.  If she could not only remove Summer's player from the field but gain herself a wizard servant like her mother has gotten Harry, then she would prove her skills and worth.  "Mommy got this cool new toy.  I want my own version.  Then maybe she will see me as a big girl and love me."

It's possible that is what she wanted, but the point is Slate and Elaine double crossed her, the whole thing was staged, he got burnt supposedly fighting Elaine,but not seriously, he still managed to stab her in the back wounding her but not fatally..  This fight just happened to take place near where Harry's car was parked, he found her wounded in his car.. She didn't want to go to a hospital supposedly because of the electronics, but even Harry has been admitted with too much harm to others, instead wanted him to take her to Aurora..  This was a bit of a show for Harry, how gentle and sweet Aurora is compared to Maeve etc...  Or at the same time was Elaine reporting back, mission accomplished, infection now certain to spread to Maeve as planned by Aurora, Elaine, and Slate.

Offline Kindler

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2019, 04:47:56 PM »
I personally believe that Maeve was Infected between Grave Peril and Summer Knight. I don't think we've ever seen an uncompromised Maeve.

Nemesis didn't have enough time to break down her Fae restrictions (she still couldn't outright lie, for example), but was influencing her actions.

No way to know that for certain, of course, but, in my opinion, it fits. And I think she's definitely Infected by the time we see her in Proven Guilty, because what she says about Mab is patently untrue (and she looks like she's getting a dizzying high when she says it).

Offline Avernite

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2019, 05:35:09 PM »
I personally believe that Maeve was Infected between Grave Peril and Summer Knight. I don't think we've ever seen an uncompromised Maeve.

Nemesis didn't have enough time to break down her Fae restrictions (she still couldn't outright lie, for example), but was influencing her actions.

No way to know that for certain, of course, but, in my opinion, it fits. And I think she's definitely Infected by the time we see her in Proven Guilty, because what she says about Mab is patently untrue (and she looks like she's getting a dizzying high when she says it).
Proven Guilty absolutely, but in Summer Knight Maeve is still active on the side of Winter doing what she's supposed to (obviously, smacking Summer is a lot more the fun part of being Winter Lady), rather than on the side of Nemesis helping Aurora succeed. She could've just let Harry's party struggle and fail alone, rather than helping them out in a bind.

Offline Mira

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2019, 06:39:43 PM »


Question,  how long after the infection takes place that symptoms begin to show?  Summer Knight takes place a month or more after Grave Peril, yet though she is wearing it in her belt Lea seems perfectly sane.   Also Cat Sith seemed sane until suddenly he wasn't.  So Maeve still could have been infected as of Summer Knight and had no symptoms, and if you can believe Mab really didn't show any until she was too far gone for Mab to help her.   

Slightly off topic, but not, Lily.    At the end of Summer Knight Lily is this sweet innocent girl who suddenly finds herself the Summer Lady.  We hear nothing bad about her until Cold Days then supposedly Maeve was able to bad mouth her into believing the worst about just about everything and willing to go along with blowing everything up.  Maeve's silver tongue?  Or did Lily become infected from contact with Maeve?  Which makes the most sense?  I go for the latter because I find it hard that someone like Lily could be convinced and changed by Maeve.

Back to Elaine, if she is a Trojan Horse, she managed to infect directly or indirectly both Courts, first and second line of defense against what is beyond the Gates.

Offline morriswalters

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2019, 06:59:44 PM »
From a Doylist perspective, fourteen books in, what purpose is served by having Mab be wrong about how Maeve was infected?  All the vectors are dead, save Lea.


Offline Mira

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2019, 08:34:51 PM »
From a Doylist perspective, fourteen books in, what purpose is served by having Mab be wrong about how Maeve was infected?  All the vectors are dead, save Lea.

  Mab thinks the problem is solved because the source of the infection has been found, the Knife.  But if she is wrong,  the real source, Elaine is still alive and potentially causing trouble.

Okay, fasten down your tin foil hats ladies and gents, it is going to be a bumpy ride... ::)

Using your Doylist  perspective, the books are about balance,  Summer Court verses Winter Court etc..   I remember a word of Jim from long ago that suggested the possibility of two star children, Justin adopted Harry and Elaine the theory goes is to gain two star children to use for his own purpose, i.e. enforcers.   Or he thought for his own purpose, but there are hints that he was betrayed..  What if Justin was merely a cat's paw?  He was used to raise up and trained these two
powerful wizards possibly star children to be enforcers.  However to balance the forces i.e. the Courts, the White Council etc, only one star child is needed...  So that fateful day when Harry came home early from school the master plan was about to be set into motion..  Elaine, successfully enthralled, malleable for the plan..  Harry resists enthralling, not useful for the master plan.. Harry always believed that Justin had sent HWB to kill him, but after his reliving it in Ghost Story he is no longer so sure that this was the case..  So why did he survive?  We'll get back to that in a moment..

He does survive, blows up HWB, goes to his godmother, who happens to be a powerful noble of Winter, gets some confidence goes back to save Elaine, kills Justin in a fair fight.. Elaine says she
freaked and ran off to the Summer Court for protection..  Was she still enthralled?  What was drilled into her by Justin while Harry was off getting juiced up by Lea?   Elaine carries the infection to Aurora etc, etc, etc.....   Balance is all screwed up, or that was the plan..

It failed because Harry survived,  he is the star child who has power over Outsiders, because his mom fell in love with Malcolm,  it gives him the power to influence Elaine so she helped him to get to Aurora when all she wanted to do was run and the consequences be damned....

 

 

Offline morriswalters

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Re: Elaine, Trojan Horse? "It was the knife..."
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2019, 10:02:03 PM »
The problem is unsolvable.  No matter who did what, once the Adversary was inside, it was inside.  This is a known risk.  It's why the Gatekeeper exists.  In terms of balance, it's one of the main themes of Cold Days.  The ending represents the first time since Summer Knight that Winter has all it's slots filled.

I  don't know what I think about Elaine.