Malazan Book of the Fallen - Gardens of the Moon question

Hi all.

I just reread this excellent book and found a huge number of answers to mysteries that were totally baffling the first time around. It’s amazing how deeply plotted everything is in these books - even Kallor was introduced in this book! The Pannion Seer!

Anyways, I’ve read though House of Chains and Midnight Tides (I can’t remember which comes after which). Any questions after that, I am fine without knowing. Right now, unfortunately, my books are all still packed except for GotM.

My first question is regarding GotM. Simply, what was Oponn playing at? Everyone always has a purpose in these books, and while their goals may be a bit mysterious, they always make sense. But what was Oponn doing? Getting involved with Paran (and his sword) could have been to keep Paran in the game long enough to accomplish something, but what? And why did they give Crokus their Coin? It makes the bearer insanely lucky, so great, but unless they thought Crokus was going to accomplish something for them, it seems very non-Ascendant like. And dangeros for Oponn, as we saw.

Second question - who is/was Circle Breaker? I know he was just a guard and a spy for The Eel (Kruppe). But they amount of face time he’s given, and the fact that his name is never revealed and he moves off to another city at the end (with a title and land and everything!) gave me on this second reading a very strong feeling that he’d show up soon as an important character somewhere else. Has that been revealed and I missed it?

Third question - Crokus was being protected by the Crimson Guard. These guys are so badass that they can stymie (and pretty clearly whoop, if necessary) people as powerful as Rake’s second in command. Obviously some tough guys. Are these the same guys who were in Midnight Tides - the same ones that had the immortal line, “I’ve already killed one god today. If I’d know I had to kill five more, I would have paced myself”? If so, have we seen anything else from these guys? They seem so incredibly powerful, and as near as I can tell they’re just a bunch of humans. Have we seen anything regarding the source of their power?

That’s it for now, although discussions on these books tend to get pretty interesting.


Joe, I love these books but I get hopelessly lost in the details and can never remember what I read as soon as I put the book down.

I do believe that the Crimson Guard from GotM are the same ones who show up in Midnight Tides, but I have no clue why they’re so good at what they do.

There’s always good discussion in the Erikson forum at SFF World – link

I believe that Oponn gave the answer rather early on, when they save Paran outside of Hood’s Gate:

Oponn are rather a chaotic force(and I don’t mean that in the Malazan sense of the word). Their aspect is luck and uncertainty, and their involvement tends to mean that they’ll muck things up for everybody. Hence why everyone is so eager to get a hold of the coin and the sword – they want to eliminate the twins’ chaotic influence over the world

Ultimately, I don’t think that they could be the gods of chance unless they delighted in introducing uncertainty in everything.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that more is coming on their motivations – I wouldn’t put it past Erikson. But nothing has ever been revealed other than the quote I just posted, to my knowledge.

I don’t believe that he has returned. The whole point was that he got to retire, right?

They may have shown up in Memories of Ice. My impression was that while the Crimson Guard who we saw in Midnight Tides were of the same affiliation as those from Gardens of the Moon, I don’t believe that any of the same characters were involved.

The Dramatis Personae indicates that Jorrick Sharplance, Cowl, Corporal Blues and Fingers are the Crimson Blades that we see in GotM, while the Crimson Blades in MT are Iron Bars, Corlo and others. My memory tells me that the Crimson Blades in MT had been blown way off course somehow.

As to the source of their powers, I don’t think that it goes any farther than having High Mages. Minor Bonehunters spoiler on the nature of Gods:

Gods are really just Ascendants who have attracted worshippers. Plenty of humans have Ascended and even gone on to be Gods, so I don’t find it that surprising that some of the most powerful human Mages can take down a minor God.

Oh, and it’s understandable that you can’t remember the order of House of Chains and Midnight Tides. HoC is the fourth in the series while MT is fifth, MT happens first chronologically. You may recall that Trull Sengar begins to tell his story at the end of HoC: MT essentially is that story(although MT is not solely from Trull’s perspective).

Rysto and Merijeek, do you read these books differently than others? Do you read more slowly, take notes, re-read some sections, do some homework?

I’ve tried to take more time with the books in the hope that I could retain more, get the story set in my head, maybe even think ahead a bit, anticipate. I still enjoy the books, but I’m afraid I’ll still be hopelessly lost when they’re all done.

I just have a really good memory for certain things, and the details of the book plotlines are one of them. I’ve probably read the first 6 books 3 or more times each, which helps. Actually, I’m not sure that I’ve read Midnight Tides that often. You may remember that once upon a time, I posted a summary of A Storm of Swords that impressed you enough that you printed it out as a reference for reading A Feast for Crows. I wrote that summary from memory.

You did indeed!

I’d forgotten about that. Not surprisingly. I am old. :slight_smile:

Actually, now that I look at it there there’s no way I did that entirely from memory: I never would have gotten all of the names right. I think that I did the plot summary from memory but had to look up the names of the characters.