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Old 09-11-2019, 10:05 PM
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Watership Down spoiler


Hazel went to Rabbit Heaven.
Crap.
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Old 09-11-2019, 10:28 PM
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Buck up, plant, rabbits in the wild are lucky if they live 3 years, and that's IF they don't have to fight The General.

May Lord Frith bless you and keep you.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:27 PM
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Beats Rabbit Hell, I suppose.

Rabbit Hell is, coincidentally, Fox Heaven.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:32 PM
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Rabbit Hell is, coincidentally, Fox Heaven.
Try Garnett’s Lady into Fox as a follow up, and be of good cheer.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_into_Fox
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:29 AM
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dammit.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:28 AM
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What would you have preferred? That he live forever? That he go to Rabbit Hell? That he be eaten by a Venus Fly-trap? That he cease existence when he died, thus proving that the elaborate rabbit religion and mythology was a lie?

This is a very enigmatic OP.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-12-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:15 AM
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What would you have preferred? That he live forever? That he go to Rabbit Hell? That he be eaten by a Venus Fly-trap? That he cease existence when he died, thus proving that the elaborate rabbit religion and mythology was a lie?

This is a very enigmatic OP.
It seems unusual to kill off the protagonist in an afterward. Then, I am an enigmatic guy after all.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:33 AM
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You scoff at the Black Rabbit of Inlé? Good thing you're a plant.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:50 AM
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Hazel went to Rabbit Heaven.
Crap.
Nitpick: Hraka.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:15 AM
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You scoff at the Black Rabbit of Inlé? Good thing you're a plant.
It has it's advantages.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:24 PM
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Never mind, ninja'ed by Dung Beetle. No surprise there, really.

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Old 09-12-2019, 12:37 PM
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It seems unusual to kill off the protagonist in an afterward.
I think the phrase "kill off" doesn't really capture the moment. He lives a long( longer than normal it is implied ), happy life. Long enough to see his dreams and struggles come to fruition with a harmonious, prosperous warren. He dies peacefully in his sleep of old age and then is invited by his god to ascend to minor divinity as the rabbit equivalent of an angel. He'll be the hero that following generations will tell tales about and mythologize such that he will eventually enter rabbit culture as an exemplar of rabbit leadership.

Can't really call that a downer ending. It is the opposite of that .

Last edited by Tamerlane; 09-12-2019 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:43 PM
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It seems unusual to kill off the protagonist in an afterward. Then, I am an enigmatic guy after all.
Better than killing him or her off near the beginning, like Game of Thrones or Psycho.

Plenty of books or movies kill the protagonist off at the end, either tragically or elegiacally. This was only different in doing it in an afterward.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:13 PM
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Better than killing him or her off near the beginning, like Game of Thrones or Psycho.

Plenty of books or movies kill the protagonist off at the end, either tragically or elegiacally. This was only different in doing it in an afterward.
Phillip Marlowe doesn't get whacked, Sam Spade doesn't die, Tony Soprano doesn't...wait a minute...
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:15 PM
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Nitpick: Hraka.
I should've said, "By the Lord Frith!"
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:22 PM
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Hazel went to Rabbit Heaven.
Crap.
Hearing that hurts like some kind of punch.
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:52 PM
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What would you have preferred? That he live forever? That he go to Rabbit Hell? That he be eaten by a Venus Fly-trap? That he cease existence when he died, thus proving that the elaborate rabbit religion and mythology was a lie?
I think the presence of cigarettes, and possibly automobiles iirc, within their creation myth handily disproves rabbit religion. Well, at least to any being who lives on a long enough scale to experience the emergence of such things within one lifespan.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:16 PM
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What would you have preferred? That he live forever? That he go to Rabbit Hell? That he be eaten by a Venus Fly-trap? That he cease existence when he died, thus proving that the elaborate rabbit religion and mythology was a lie?

This is a very enigmatic OP.
Given the name of the OP, I think we can assume the third alternative would be their preferred outcome, and that the original post should be read in the same tone as "That cake got moldy. Crap"
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:48 PM
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I think the presence of cigarettes, and possibly automobiles iirc, within their creation myth handily disproves rabbit religion.
The Lapine creation myth doesn't have cars or cigarettes. It ends with El-ahrairah being gifted his tail and hind legs and Frith's promise that his people will never be destroyed. Everything else is various tales of El-ahrairah's cunning and/or trickery but, since El-ahrairah is essentially immortal, that could take place at any time from creation to last week.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:57 PM
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Phillip Marlowe doesn't get whacked, Sam Spade doesn't die, Tony Soprano doesn't...wait a minute...
Citizen Kane dies, King Kong dies, Braveheart dies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid die, Jean Valjean dies, Cool Hand Luke dies, Charlotte the spider dies...

Last edited by Colibri; 09-12-2019 at 09:03 PM.
  #21  
Old 09-12-2019, 09:00 PM
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^ John Dies at the End.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:32 PM
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It seems unusual to kill off the protagonist in an afterward.
Well, it happens in Tolkien's Return of the King. And in T.H. White's The Once and Future King. And in Robert Graves' Claudius the God. And arguably in the movie Titanic.

It's really not that unusual for a fictional work that depicts great dramatic events in the protagonist's life to include the end of their life in old age as its closing scene after the drama is over. (Happens in Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop too, but there the title is something of a giveaway.)
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:24 PM
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It's not just that Hazel goes to Rabbit Heaven. By the end of the book, he is El-Ahrairah, and just doesn't realize it. El-Ahrairah lives on through the legendary deeds of all rabbits, and all rabbits who perform legendary deeds live on as El-Ahrairah.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:48 AM
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"A Chief Rabbit must be El-Ahrairah to his people, and keep them from death."
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:22 AM
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It's not just that Hazel goes to Rabbit Heaven. By the end of the book, he is El-Ahrairah, and just doesn't realize it. El-Ahrairah lives on through the legendary deeds of all rabbits, and all rabbits who perform legendary deeds live on as El-Ahrairah.
I thought it was El-Ahrairah who came and asked Hazel to join his owsla.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:47 AM
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I thought it was El-Ahrairah who came and asked Hazel to join his owsla.
The Frith, the El-Ahrairah and the Hazel compose the Holy Lapine Trinity, separate and yet the same.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:31 AM
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On the first page Adams tells us rabbits can only count up to four...so how the hell is his name ‘Fiver?’ This has bugged me since I first read my favorite book of all time.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:41 AM
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On the first page Adams tells us rabbits can only count up to four...so how the hell is his name ‘Fiver?’ This has bugged me since I first read my favorite book of all time.
Five means "a lot" or "A thousand". He was from a litter that had more than four kittens.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:52 AM
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Which brings up the question, why didn't the rabbits have base five mathematics?
Fiver's Mama could have named her kittens Fiver-one, Fiver-two, Fiver-three, etc.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:54 AM
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Fiver's name should have been "Four-one".
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Old 09-13-2019, 12:28 PM
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I think the phrase "kill off" doesn't really capture the moment. He lives a long( longer than normal it is implied ), happy life. Long enough to see his dreams and struggles come to fruition with a harmonious, prosperous warren. He dies peacefully in his sleep of old age and then is invited by his god to ascend to minor divinity as the rabbit equivalent of an angel. He'll be the hero that following generations will tell tales about and mythologize such that he will eventually enter rabbit culture as an exemplar of rabbit leadership.

Can't really call that a downer ending. It is the opposite of that .
Great summary!

Watership Down is one of my favorite books of all time, even though I erroneously assumed that it was nautical story about a ship or submarine sinking when I picked it off of a list to read in 7th grade English class. (I had recently seen Gray Lady Down in the theater.) When the book arrived, I was bemused to see a rabbit on the cover.

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Old 09-13-2019, 12:41 PM
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Which brings up the question, why didn't the rabbits have base five mathematics?
Fiver's Mama could have named her kittens Fiver-one, Fiver-two, Fiver-three, etc.
Limited number systems tend to use repetition and correspondence rather than place-value to cope with higher numbers, because place-value (even with a small base) doesn't really make sense unless you have a quantitative understanding of the difference between one high number and the next.

Example of such usage among the South American Yanomami whose number system is "one", "two", and "more than two":
Quote:
[...] statements such as: "Many visitors arrived yesterday: there were two men, two more, one more; women, I could make out two and one more; there were as many children as women"---all this said with the tangible aid of the fingers. Such approximations suffice.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:53 PM
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carnivorousplant, towards the end, there's a doe telling her young children Tales of El-Ahrairah, and Hazel is musing that he hasn't heard those particular tales before... but the tales she's telling are actually of Hazel's own adventures.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:25 PM
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carnivorousplant, towards the end, there's a doe telling her young children Tales of El-Ahrairah, and Hazel is musing that he hasn't heard those particular tales before... but the tales she's telling are actually of Hazel's own adventures.
I don't recall that. Novel or film?


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Old 09-13-2019, 04:33 PM
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I don't recall that. Novel or film?
I remember that from the end of the novel.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:38 PM
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On the first page Adams tells us rabbits can only count up to four...so how the hell is his name ‘Fiver?’ This has bugged me since I first read my favorite book of all time.
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Five means "a lot" or "A thousand". He was from a litter that had more than four kittens.
IIRC, the Lapine word for "a lot" or "a thousand" -- i.e. more than four -- is "hrair" (used on occasion, in the rabbits' otherwise-in-English conversation in the book). Fiver's name in Lapine, is "Hrair-Roo" -- "Little Hrair", because of his having been an undersized member of a litter of more than four. I take it that Adams, for the purposes of his narrative, Englishes the character's name to "Fiver" -- "taking the liberty" of using the number five, actually unknown to rabbits -- to make flow more smoothly, a tale in English in which the character's name features very frequently. The majority of the male rabbits have "botanical" names, re which this does not pose a problem.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:44 PM
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I remember that from the end of the novel.
Thanks. I think I was at the "Oh hell, he is going to die" point by then.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:45 PM
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IIRC, the Lapine word for "a lot" or "a thousand" -- i.e. more than four -- is "hrair" (used on occasion, in the rabbits' otherwise-in-English conversation in the book). Fiver's name in Lapine, is "Hrair-Roo" -- "Little Hrair", because of his having been an undersized member of a litter of more than four. I take it that Adams, for the purposes of his narrative, Englishes the character's name to "Fiver" -- "taking the liberty" of using the number five, actually unknown to rabbits -- to make flow more smoothly, a tale in English in which the character's name features very frequently. The majority of the male rabbits have "botanical" names, re which this does not pose a problem.
Thanks, Sangahyando.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:47 PM
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Hazel went to Rabbit Heaven.
Crap.
My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:50 PM
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My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.
What is that from? I don't recall it from Watership Down or Tales From.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:52 PM
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How do you say, "To Hell with you, Woundwort!" in lupine?
It would make a nice bumper sticker.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:08 PM
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"My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run, and until he says otherwise, I shall stay here."

And Woundwort just shits his pants, because he had assumed that Bigwig was the Chief Rabbit, being the largest and strongest of the warren.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:17 PM
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What is that from? I don't recall it from Watership Down or Tales From.
It's on page 120 of my copy of WD; the rabbits think Bigwig is dead even though they just freed him from the wire snare. It's a rabbit proverb, sort of a prayer for the dead. I had it engraved on the plaque I commissioned for my second rabbit when he died. It's also in the original animated film at the same spot.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:21 PM
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How do you say, "To Hell with you, Woundwort!" in lupine?
It would make a nice bumper sticker.
I'd go with

Silflay embleer hraka fu Inlé, Woundwort


SPOILER:
eat stinking SHIT and go die (approximately)
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:24 PM
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It's on page 120 of my copy of WD; the rabbits think Bigwig is dead even though they just freed him from the wire snare. It's a rabbit proverb, sort of a prayer for the dead. I had it engraved on the plaque I commissioned for my second rabbit when he died. It's also in the original animated film at the same spot.
Thanks, I don't have a copy of Watership Down handy - I think I'll have to suck it up and re-read the book, now.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:34 PM
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I'd go with

Silflay embleer hraka fu Inlé, Woundwort


SPOILER:
eat stinking SHIT and go die (approximately)
Very nice. That might be better than the one from the book: Silflay hraka, u embleer rah!
  #47  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:43 PM
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When I was a rebellious teen who wished she'd been born in time to be a hippy, I carried my sisters dog-eared copy around. Never read it. Then I found hippies were stinky and germy. That phase ended.
Should I read it?
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:48 PM
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Absolutely.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:54 PM
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Yes.
Read it.
It is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century.

It us about life, sacrifice, leadership and myth. It is about rabbits. It is well worth reading.
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Old 09-17-2019, 12:04 AM
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Yes, you should absolutely read this book. I've read it 2-3 times, but the last time was probably in the '80s or '90s. (I first read it back in the '70s!) Nevertheless, it must have stuck with me, because I easily read si_blakely's Lapine text in post #44 without needing the translation.

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