Author Topic: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?  (Read 3088 times)

Offline Mira

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Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« on: October 23, 2023, 07:38:48 PM »
  We are told from the get go that the Fae cannot lie.  It is Mab's standard reply to any question or problem Harry may have with something she has asked of him... The Fae cannot lie, even though Harry may feel like she has moved the goal posts to suit whatever it is in his dealings with her. We've also heard Lea say it, it is established that the Fae cannot lie.

Uriel is an archangel, I don't think in general they are liars either.  One of his kind is called," the Prince of Lies," better known as Satan, who was kicked out of Heaven for that among other offenses.  Anyway Google the question, "can angels lie?" You will get different answers, in Jewish religion, no.  In Christian religion, yes, if it is for your own good,and no,the holy angels never lie because that would be a sin. Confusing ain't it?  So when it comes to angels apparently it becomes an article of faith in their truth and trust in your belief system..

I ask this question because at the end of Ghost Story Mab is telling Harry just what she expects of him now that he is her Knight.. As you know Harry isn't very happy with what he is hearing, and neither is Alfred, aka Demonreach.

page 475 Ghost Story
Quote
"To ourpurposes now."
The very ground seemed to quiver, to let out an unthinkable low, deep,angry,growl.
Mab's eyes snapped to Demonreach.  "I have his oath, ancient one.
What he has given is mine by right, and you cannot gainsay it. He is mine to shape as I please."

"Damnit," I said tiredly.  "Damnit."

Now comes the interesting bit.. Harry hears a calm gentle voice whispering in his ear, Uriel's voice I presume..
Quote
And a voice---a very calm, very gentle, very rational voice whispered in my ear,"Lies. Mab cannot change who you are."

By my reading, somebody just called Mab, the Winter Fae Queen, a liar.... So, if it was Uriel calling her that, was he lying? Or is Mab a liar? Harry did indeed feel better after he heard those seven words, so according to some Google research on the question, Uriel could be lying about Mab for Harry's own good.. However if you want to go to the Jewish or other Christian faiths, Uriel, being a holy angel, cannot lie.. So is he mistaken? Did Mab just lie?

Uriel, or did someone, hey it could have been his mother who whispered it, [Margaret is neither angel nor Fae, so she could lie to make her son feel better,] just called Mab a liar?
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 05:45:36 AM by Mira »

Offline vincentric

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2023, 10:01:03 PM »
There was no lie told by either party.

Mab is telling Demonreach that she has a valid claim on Harry as her sworn knight. She wants it known that she has the right to make demands and train Harry as she chooses. But Harry is still under the idea that working for Mab will automatically change him into a warped and evil version of himself. That's caused by his ignorance and the despair that Lasciel inflicted upon him at his lowest point in Changes.

Mab is taking advantage of Harry's despair and allows him to believe that he is fated to change. It will make him a more obedient knight. At no time did Mab say that Harry was going to become an evil version of himself, she just let him believe what he would.

Uriel's word's tell Harry that while Mab may indeed give him orders, he can still preserve himself as his own man. They give him hope to cancel the despair that Lasciel inflicted. Uriel's words point out the self-deception Harry was assuming, not an actual lie by Mab. Mab only becomes upset because Harry immediately becomes rebellious and give her conditions.

Since he became Winter Knight, Mab has never tried to influence Harry with mental magic. She's put him in optionless scenarios or given him difficult tasks and he has accomplished them as best he could in his own way. During Battle Ground she finally acknowledges that his independence makes him " a Knight worth the trouble", which is the closest she'll ever come to an apology and an expression of her respect for him. She still wants him to obey more readily but she now gives him a clear idea of what orders he has leeway on and why.

Offline g33k

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2023, 10:28:11 PM »
A very interesting post; thank you!

By my understanding, it probably comes down to a matter of perspective, a matter of who -- e.g. who is lying?

Maybe Mab honestly believed what she said; truthfully speaking her honest understanding...

Naah!
This is Mab we're talking about.  "Honest" and "truthful speaking" are not really her cuppa.

OTOH, maybe it's a matter of who she's speaking to.  She was answering Demonreach -- maybe faeries are permitted to lie to such beings?  It isn't "her fault" if Harry "just happens" to overhear her words...  That's a very fae understanding, a very Mab maneuver.  And, critically, you will notice that Demonreach does not argue or contradict Mab; Harry really is Mab's "to shape as [she] please(s)."

But equally -- Mab clearly doesn't want inert clay to harden in the shape she bids.  She was well-pleased with Harry for the trick in Changes, revealed in Ghost Story; and even more pleased in Cold Days when he put a gun to Mab's forehead, and threatened to put her into a cell in Demonreach.  She values -- even relishes -- Harry's independence and initiative.

Mab (as we know) has never let "cannot tell a lie" stop her from deceiving people; not for a moment.

So she told Demonreach the literal truth, Harry is hers to shape... insofar as the "clay" that is Harry is amenable to Mab's shaping.  Just as a sculptor can achieve different things with clay or with wood, Mab's Knight will be different with Harry Dresden than it was with Lloyd Slate.

But, of course, Mab was also deceiving Harry (without -- technically -- lying) into thinking she had full control over his fate.

Uriel's words short-circuited Mab's deception.  Crucially, the seven words did not begin "She lies..." (the rest of it could have been modified to total 7 words, if that had been wanted).

The "lies" were lies that Harry was telling himself -- of being helpless, of being hopeless.  Harry had believed that Mab could change who he was.  To answer the question in the Topic:  the liar was Harry himself.

(I see I was Ninja'ed by @vincentric; but I'll leave mine, above, to agree with / reinforce his)

« Last Edit: October 23, 2023, 10:36:47 PM by g33k »

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2023, 10:30:50 PM »
Quote
Mab is telling Demonreach that she has a valid claim on Harry as her sworn knight. She wants it known that she has the right to make demands and train Harry as she chooses. But Harry is still under the idea that working for Mab will automatically change him into a warped and evil version of himself. That's caused by his ignorance and the despair that Lasciel inflicted upon him at his lowest point in Changes.

Mab says;
Quote
What he has given is mine by right, and you cannot gainsay it. He is mine to shape as I please."

I repeat, she says Harry is hers to shape as she pleases, because he has given up his free will to her... Yes, Harry believes it too, that's why he tried to kill himself.  That's why he says, "damnit" after Mab says he is hers to shape as she pleases.. 

Uriel responds, clearly, no ifs, ands, or buts...
Quote
"Lies. Mab cannot change who you are."

Quote
Mab is taking advantage of Harry's despair and allows him to believe that he is fated to change. It will make him a more obedient knight. At no time did Mab say that Harry was going to become an evil version of himself, she just let him believe what he would.

Just what would you call someone who let another person believe the above so you could control him?
At the very least you'd say that this person, in this case, Mab was being very dishonest because she cannot do that and knows that... Or you might say, she is lying by omission if nothing else.. With those lies, i.e. "he was hers to shape as she pleases.." Mab did exactly what Lasciel did, take away Harry's free will to be himself.  Enabling Uriel to step in once more to balance the scales..

As Uriel says;
Quote
"Lies. Mab cannot change who you are."
Quote
Uriel's word's tell Harry that while Mab may indeed give him orders, he can still preserve himself as his own man. They give him hope to cancel the despair that Lasciel inflicted. Uriel's words point out the self-deception Harry was assuming, not an actual lie by Mab. Mab only becomes upset because Harry immediately becomes rebellious and give her conditions.

And just how does Uriel do this?  By pointing out to Harry that what Mab is telling him is a complete line of bulls--t, in other words, lies.. When Harry realizes she was lying to him, he can stand up for himself.
Quote
Since he became Winter Knight, Mab has never tried to influence Harry with mental magic. She's put him in optionless scenarios or given him difficult tasks and he has accomplished them as best he could in his own way. During Battle Ground she finally acknowledges that his independence makes him " a Knight worth the trouble", which is the closest she'll ever come to an apology and an expression of her respect for him. She still wants him to obey more readily but she now gives him a clear idea of what orders he has leeway on and why.

Mab didn't have to use any mind magic on Harry, the lies were enough because he believed them. He believed them so well that with a little nudging from a fallen angel he was willing to die before he became her monster. 
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 05:44:15 AM by Mira »

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2023, 10:52:52 PM »
Quote
OTOH, maybe it's a matter of who she's speaking to.  She was answering Demonreach -- maybe faeries are permitted to lie to such beings?  It isn't "her fault" if Harry "just happens" to overhear her words...  That's a very fae understanding, a very Mab maneuver.  And, critically, you will notice that Demonreach does not argue or contradict Mab; Harry really is Mab's "to shape as [she] please(s)."

Oh how very "Mab" don't you think?  Technically she can claim that since she is telling this to Demonreach and not Harry she isn't lying.. Maybe she forgot that somewhere in the ether sits an archangel that's been around the block a heck of a lot longer than she has, and knows perfectly well who those lies were intended for, and called her out on it.
Quote
Mab (as we know) has never let "cannot tell a lie" stop her from deceiving people; not for a moment.
And a deception is dishonest by any other name,is still a lie..
Quote
But, of course, Mab was also deceiving Harry (without -- technically -- lying) into thinking she had full control over his fate.

But, of course, Mab was also deceiving Harry (without -- technically -- lying) into thinking she had full control over his fate.

Uriel's words short-circuited Mab's deception.  Crucially, the seven words did not begin "She lies..."

The "lies" were lies that Harry was telling himself -- of being helpless, of being hopeless.  Harry had believed that Mab could change who he was; he was lying to himself.
   Crucially, the seven words did not begin "She lies..."

The "lies" were lies that Harry was telling himself -- of being helpless, of being hopeless.  Harry had believed that Mab could change who he was; he was lying to himself.
 

Did Uriel really have to say she lies? Mab was the only one in the cave who said Harry was hers to shape any way she pleases. She didn't dance around that fact, and Harry believes her because he believes that the Fae cannot lie.  And as we know a lie told often enough and loud enough will eventually be believed.  Harry wasn't lying to himself, because he had no other "truth" than lie that Mab had told him.. He was hers to shape as she pleased.. This is what a very good con-artist does, get the victim or object of their dishonesty to believe the untruth, then never correct them.  Thus the falsehood is the fault of victim or object of it because they were then "lying to themselves."
Quote
But, of course, Mab was also deceiving Harry (without -- technically -- lying) into thinking she had full control over his fate.

Uriel's words short-circuited Mab's deception. 

 
They did, without them Mab would never have corrected Harry of his misconception, ever the good con-artist.
 Just Googled how deception and lying differ... Interesting and very Mab;
Quote
Is deception the same from lying?
Lying differs from deception in two important respects. First, in order to lie, one must make a false statement. Deception does not require that one make a false statement or make any statement at all. True statements can be deceptive and some forms of deception do not involve making statements.

Satan is also the great deceiver, Uriel knows a bit about that, and had no problem calling out Mab for deceiving Harry.. In other words, Mab is a dishonest bitch even if she cannot tell a lie.. ::)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 05:37:22 AM by Mira »

Offline g33k

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2023, 06:34:05 AM »
... Mab was the only one in the cave who said Harry was hers to shape any way she pleases ...
Nope.
Harry was lying too; lying to himself, there in the cave.

He had been lying to himself since before he decided to take up the WK-Mantle.

Harry believed that being the Winter Knight -- being Mab's WK -- was a one-way ticket to becoming a monster.
If he hadn't believed it, he wouldn't have arranged his own death:  he was protecting his friends from the monster he "knew" he would become.

That wasn't even Lasciel's lie, that was all Harry.  Lasciel just pushed him into accepting a plan that called for him to explicitly kill himself, that he deserved it because "it's all your fault, Harry."

... and Harry believes her because he believes that the Fae cannot lie.  And as we know a lie told often enough and loud enough will eventually be believed ...

That's what Harry believed from before the cave, before Ghost Story; from at least as far back as Changes; my guess is that seeing Lloyd Slate atop Arctis Tor may have been the beginning of that?  As you say, he had repeated it in his own head -- "not becoming a monster" -- so often, he believed it.  It was how he kept himself from embracing Lasciel fully, how he kept himself out of Mab's clutches for so long.

Mab simply said something that Harry -- who already thought this -- never examined more-deeply to look for hidden implications & faerie deceptions.  Why look for deception in something you already know is true??!?


... In other words, Mab is a dishonest bitch even if she cannot tell a lie.. ::)
Well... yeah.  She's Mab.

Say that to her face and
(click to show/hide)
.

OTOH, call her a lying bitch and
(click to show/hide)
.

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2023, 01:36:51 PM »
Quote
Nope.
Harry was lying too; lying to himself, there in the cave.

He had been lying to himself since before he decided to take up the WK-Mantle.

Harry believed that being the Winter Knight -- being Mab's WK -- was a one-way ticket to becoming a monster.
If he hadn't believed it, he wouldn't have arranged his own death:  he was protecting his friends from the monster he "knew" he would become.

That wasn't even Lasciel's lie, that was all Harry.  Lasciel just pushed him into accepting a plan that called for him to explicitly kill himself, that he deserved it because "it's all your fault, Harry."

But it is a little more complicated than that, you are leaving out Slate in this.  Harry saw what he was, what he had become, he didn't want to become that.  While Harry has a lot of confidence in his will, his strength, in a lot of ways, he isn't the most confident.  Was Harry really lying to himself? In many ways he wasn't, we have seen in Cold Days his struggle with the mantle of the Winter Knight.

Actually, if Harry had been telling himself that he could control the mantel and that Mab wouldn't do her best to turn him into her monster, he would have been lying to himself.  Yes, he has found a way to physically control it, but the struggle remains, it doesn't help that Mab sends him mixed signals, on one hand she says at last a knight worthy of the mantle, but at the same time she also wants to shape him the way that she wants.  Harry knew the least bad choice to save little Maggie was to become Mab's knight, but in his injured and weakened state he was not confident that he wouldn't become another Slate..  After his daughter was safe, that's the last thing he wanted, so with nudging from Lasciel, "and it's all your fault!" He arranged his suicide.
Eb tried to tell Harry that he could be knight and remain himself, but Eb hadn't gone through the ritual that Harry had to to become knight.  It wasn't Harry telling Harry that he was Mab's to shape as she pleased after he woke up in the cave, it was Mab telling Harry... "Lies," as Uriel pointed out to him.

Quote
That's what Harry believed from before the cave, before Ghost Story; from at least as far back as Changes; my guess is that seeing Lloyd Slate atop Arctis Tor may have been the beginning of that?  As you say, he had repeated it in his own head -- "not becoming a monster" -- so often, he believed it.  It was how he kept himself from embracing Lasciel fully, how he kept himself out of Mab's clutches for so long.

Since there was no example to the contrary in the Winter Court, Harry cannot be blamed for believing it.  Mab also thought it was to her advantage for him to believe it as well. Her nature is to control, so she never did anything to correct the impression Harry had of the Winter Knight.. In other words dishonest, because she thought it was to her advantage to have a knight she could control. To be fair one of her motives for being dishonest about that was the fact that Slate had become so corrupt that she had no control over him and he ultimately betrayed her.
Quote
Mab simply said something that Harry -- who already thought this -- never examined more-deeply to look for hidden implications & faerie deceptions.  Why look for deception in something you already know is true??!?

Which goes back to the old saying, "a lie told often enough, long enough, and loud enough eventually is seen as true.."  From the time a barely sixteen year old Harry went to his Fae godmother for help to get rid of Justin, it had been drilled into his head that the Fae cannot lie.
From the time he was sixteen he was enthralled to first Lea and then Mab because of the three promises he had foolishly made.  Let's not forget Harry's real fear of his godmother in the earlier books.  He had learned it was foolish to try and bargain with the Fae, but almost no understanding of their deceptions.
Quote
Well... yeah.  She's Mab.

Say that to her face and
(click to show/hide)
she'd likely take it as a complement
.

OTOH, call her a lying bitch and
(click to show/hide)
she's liable to freeze your eyeballs
.

Which is at the crux of Harry's dilemma.. On one hand Mab likes to be called out on things and a knight who will stand up to her, on the other it totally pisses her off that he does.  Let's not forget Kringle's warning to Harry in Cold Days.
page 505 Cold Days;
Quote
Kringle straightened, and his fierce smile became somehow satisfied.
"Aye?" like to live dangerously do you?" He leaned a little closer and lowered his voice.  "Never let her make you cringe---but never challenge her pride wizard.  I don't know exactly what passed between you, but I suspect that if it had been witnessed by another, she would break you to pieces.  I've seen it before.  Terrible pride in that creature.  She will never bend it."


Harry is trying to walk a ice covered tightrope across the Grand Canyon on a very windy day. Serving Mab, advising Mab, and being true to himself at the same time will not be easy, and apparently very dangerous. Perhaps only a star born wizard can even hope to come close to succeeding.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 10:00:36 PM by Mira »

Offline g33k

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2023, 11:27:45 PM »
... Actually, if Harry had been telling himself that he could control the mantel and that Mab wouldn't do her best to turn him into her monster, he would have been lying to himself.  Yes, he has found a way to physically control it, but the struggle remains, it doesn't help that Mab sends him mixed signals, on one hand she says at last a knight worthy of the mantle, but at the same time she also wants to shape him the way that she wants ...

It's not a simple either/or.
Mab may crush Harry's resistance.  Harry may resist indefinitely.
Both are true possibilities; neither is guaranteed.

The thing is:  Mab has to try to crush Harry... both because she is Mab & that's who she is & how she rolls; but also because she knows the pressures coming to bear on Harry -- that if they hit him unprepared they are likely to break him.

Just as her first murder-attempt (during his recuperation) was milder than the last... she has been training him, strengthening him.

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2023, 03:50:58 AM »
Quote
It's not a simple either/or.
Mab may crush Harry's resistance.  Harry may resist indefinitely.
Both are true possibilities; neither is guaranteed.

The thing is:  Mab has to try to crush Harry... both because she is Mab & that's who she is & how she rolls; but also because she knows the pressures coming to bear on Harry -- that if they hit him unprepared they are likely to break him.

Just as her first murder-attempt (during his recuperation) was milder than the last... she has been training him, strengthening him.

None of that is the point however, Mab can crush away all she wants, but in the end Harry is still his own man with his own free will..  Her saying different was a lie as Uriel pointed out.


Offline vincentric

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2023, 02:31:35 PM »
None of that is the point however, Mab can crush away all she wants, but in the end Harry is still his own man with his own free will..  Her saying different was a lie as Uriel pointed out.

But that's the point you refuse to see. Mab never said that Harry had lost his free will, she said she was free to shape him and Harry, in his despair, had convinced himself he couldn't resist. Uriel's words didn't correct a lie by Mab, but Harry's own self-deception. Yes Mab was being deceptive as hell, but she wasn't technically lying.

The Fae cannot tell a direct lie but have taken deceptive speech to a high artform. It's one of their greatest pleasures and a mark of status among them. And Mab, as their Queen, stands at the pinnacle. That's why Mab was so pleased with Harry's attempted suicide. By outwitting her (because she needed Bonnie and Demonreach's aid to counter him), he raised his status in her eyes. It forced her to up her game and that competitive streak is one of the greatest drives of Winter. She didn't even punish him for it because it was a private interaction.

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2023, 05:52:08 PM »
Quote
But that's the point you refuse to see. Mab never said that Harry had lost his free will, she said she was free to shape him and Harry, in his despair, had convinced himself he couldn't resist. Uriel's words didn't correct a lie by Mab, but Harry's own self-deception. Yes Mab was being deceptive as hell, but she wasn't technically lying.

  So you are saying that Uriel wasn't telling Harry the truth when he said that it was lies that Mab was saying? Uriel didn't say Mab was deceptive as hell, he didn't say technically Mab wasn't lying, Uriel simply said, "Lies, she cannot change who you are.." 

Also what you refuse to see is when a Fae Queen says;
Quote
"I have his oath, ancient one.
What he has given is mine by right, and you cannot gainsay it. He is mine to shape as I please."

Especially the last bit, "he is mine to shape as I please." Call it enthrallment, but she is screwing with Harry's free will.  Harry believes she has power over his free will to be himself, and Mab confirmed that when she said,"What he has given is mine by right, and you cannot gainsay it. He is mine to shape as I please."
That's when Uriel stepped in..
Quote
"Lies. Mab cannot change who you are."
In effect, no she cannot do that..

He was very clear, didn't mince words, Mab was lying.
Quote
The Fae cannot tell a direct lie but have taken deceptive speech to a high artform. It's one of their greatest pleasures and a mark of status among them. And Mab, as their Queen, stands at the pinnacle. That's why Mab was so pleased with Harry's attempted suicide. By outwitting her (because she needed Bonnie and Demonreach's aid to counter him), he raised his status in her eyes. It forced her to up her game and that competitive streak is one of the greatest drives of Winter. She didn't even punish him for it because it was a private interaction.
You're wrong there, Mab in fact was very displeased with Harry's attempt, because he was trying to get out of their bargain.. No, she didn't punish him because Uriel called her out on her lie, and Harry told her unless she wanted a mediocre Knight, to let him be himself.. Mab not wanting to look bad, acted pleased, whether she really was or not isn't known yet.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2023, 07:08:55 PM by Mira »

Online CrusherJen

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2023, 07:07:38 PM »
My two cents (and it's probably worth about that much, LOL):

One can believe every word they're saying... and still be flat-out wrong. That doesn't mean they're actually, deliberately lying.

In Cold Days, Mab-the-Chessmaster describes Molly's apprenticeship to Harry as a masterful manipulation and exploitation of weakness and need. Because Harry's the narrator, we know that's not how he sees it at all... and yet, from a certain point of view, it's kinda-sorta true. She can't understand Harry's motivations of decency, morality, loyalty, and free will, because she had to cast all that aside a long time ago to do her job. It's a blind spot for her now, something she dismisses as irrelevant. She's not lying about her interpretation of events... but at the end of the day, she's still wrong about Harry. Wrong doesn't equal lie here.

Mab believes completely that she can mold Harry into what she wants him to be as Knight. That's not a lie, because she believes it, but it's still not the complete truth of the matter. Harry can, and does, resist Mab's attempt to reshape him into an emotionless extension of Mab's will... though so far, it's working out fairly well for both of them. Mab's fairly pleased that Harry's growing in both power and political savvy. Maybe she sees that as part of the shaping process? >shrug<

I believe Uriel's words weren't really a direct counter to Mab herself-- they were a balance to what Lasciel said, up to the very number of words used. Lasciel was encouraging Harry to believe everything was all his fault, that he was all out of options, that he was locked into losing himself to Winter and had no hope to resist. I believe those lies, Lasciel's lies, were the ones Uriel was referring to, not Mab's words themselves. Harry internalized and believed Lasciel's version of events, exactly as she'd planned, until Uriel pointed out the weak spot in her arguments in a very concise manner. He pointed directly at the flaw in the one place Harry could best act upon-- resisting Mab. And once Harry realized that he still had options, Lasciel's lies fell apart.

So when Uriel says "Lies," IMHO he wasn't referring to Mab at all, but Lasciel. It would have helped us out if he'd been a lot more specific, but he only had 7 words...  ;) ;D ::)

(Credit due to g33k and vincentric earlier, as their posts helped me shape this one.)
"An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something. It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo."   --from Blood Rites

Offline Mira

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2023, 07:20:00 PM »
Quote
Mab believes completely that she can mold Harry into what she wants him to be as Knight. That's not a lie, because she believes it, but it's still not the complete truth of the matter. Harry can, and does, resist Mab's attempt to reshape him into an emotionless extension of Mab's will... though so far, it's working out fairly well for both of them. Mab's fairly pleased that Harry's growing in both power and political savvy. Maybe she sees that as part of the shaping process? >shrug<

Not exactly true, just because you believe something doesn't make it true.. I also think that Mab is smart enough to know it isn't true.  However with Uriel standing by, she doesn't get away with it.. Uriel doesn't say, "well, Mab really isn't lying because she believes what she says is true, but she is wrong or mistaken about that fact."  No, Uriel says, "Lies, Mab cannot change who you are.."  Notice that after he says that Mab doesn't try to squirm her way out by moving the goal posts like she usually does when she'd been deceptive.
Quote
So when Uriel says "Lies," IMHO he wasn't referring to Mab at all, but Lasciel. It would have helped us out if he'd been a lot more specific, but he only had 7 words...  ;) ;D ::)

While I'd agree that Lasciel was the reason for part of what Uriel was saying. However what he said was;

Quote
"Lies, Mab cannot change who you are."

If he didn't mean Mab, he wouldn't have said, Mab.

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2023, 08:54:16 PM »
Not exactly true, just because you believe something doesn't make it true.

Yes. But just because something isn't true doesn't make it a lie. It's only a lie if there's a deliberate intention to deceive. Say Alice walks into a room and spots a cardboard box on the table. It's got "M&Ms 12 pieces" printed on the sides, so Alice says "oh cool, it's candy!" When she opens the box, she finds packing material... and a couple of Dresden Files paperbacks inside. Was she wrong? Yes. Did Alice lie? No-- she had every reason to believe there were M&Ms inside the box. She didn't have enough information for it to be a lie. Wrong does not always equal lie.

Mab's got a lot of reasons to believe she can get what she wants from Harry, exactly as she wants it. She's a master manipulator, and she's had ample practice in bending others to her will. Because she believes there's no other road to what she wants, she's not lying when she offers Harry two options: "do as I say, or die." But Mab is wrong. Harry's found a third option-- his stubborn method of cooperation-within-limits is still giving her the needed results while maintaining his own free will. Mab spoke from a very narrow viewpoint which didn't allow other possibilities, or a full understanding of Harry's determination. It's arrogant, short-sighted, and flat-out wrong, but there was no deception involved, and therefore no lie.

Looking at what Uriel said, there is a difference between

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Lies, Mab cannot change who you are.

and the actual text from the book:

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Lies. Mab cannot change who you are.

The comma connects the two statements, making them part of the same concept. But Uriel's comment is two separate sentences, making the relation between them more ambiguous. "Lies" on its own tells us somebody's lying, but it doesn't say who, largely because Uriel had no words to spare. But since the narrative specifically places these seven words as a balance and counterargument to Lasciel's seven words, it's not out-of-line to view them as a direct reference to Lasciel's speech, not Mab's.

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If he didn't mean Mab, he wouldn't have said, Mab.

And if he wanted to say Mab was lying, he could have said, "Mab lies about changing who you are." It would have nicely fit the seven-word pattern. But he didn't. He simply said, "Mab cannot change who you are." That in and of itself only implies that Mab's claims were wrong, not true... but again, wrong does not necessarily equal lie. And while one can argue that as the White God's spymaster, Uriel might not just come out and say what he thinks directly... I can't believe he didn't deliberately craft his statement for maximum effect. Harry (and the readers) are meant to consider Uriel's words very carefully.

Unfortunately, it's still ambiguous enough for readers to see different things in those words. I see it as Lasciel lying, you see it as Mab lying. We'll probably get a more clear answer eventually, since we haven't seen the last of Uriel, Lasciel or Mab yet, but until then, I'm thinking it's YMMV.
"An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something. It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo."   --from Blood Rites

Offline vincentric

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Re: Uriel's Seven Words, So Who is the Liar?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2023, 10:32:52 PM »


If he didn't mean Mab, he wouldn't have said, Mab.

But he didn't mean Mab. Right before Uriel sends Harry back to his body, he shows him a replay of Lasciel's lie and specifically says that he is only allowed to counter it with seven words of his own. Lasciel's lie convinced Harry that his self-deception about Winter would make him eventually fall to evil and caused his suicide. Uriel's words revealed the truth of the situation. That Harry was capable of remaining himself while serving Mab. The lies were Harry's to begin with, created by his own fears and lack of understanding and reinforced by a perfectly timed and worded attack by a Fallen Angel.

Mab as a character has taken the one of the biggest development arcs of the series. But she hasn't really changed. Never once has she asked Harry to perform an act that wasn't beneficial to humanity, and she's never instructed him to do anything particularly cruel or evil. What's changed is Harry's (and thus our) understanding of her. His preconceptions painted her as an evil Fae queen, the personification of malicious random cruelty and she has not said word one to change his mind. But when he's examined her acts and words in retrospect, he's slowly changed his opinion. She became a dangerous force of nature to be avoided, then his second-best option after Uriel then a hard-ass boss and finally a lone warrior fighting the good fight with extreme methods. Harry's knowledge and maturation is what's changed  how we see mab.