I've been on a rereading binge of my novels and stories lately. Reread Geren book 2 toward the end of last year, then detoured to revisit Hope's Passage and all the follow-up pieces before going back to books 3 and 4, and reading all the linked short stories as well. It has been a blast, and I'm looking forward to devouring book 5, with a pause to enjoy 'Last Tutelage.'
It's been good for giving me more items on my list for when I do the next editing/revision run through all the Geren books. It's been bad for getting any other fiction reading done, which is usually the case from the middle of book 3 onward. It's been quite bad for keeping to my bedtime.
But it's been a lot of fun. And this run through book 4 brought back something I think first sparked in my mind after writing a certain scene in book 5.
They don't have 'chess' in my story-world, but that moment when the Black Prince realizes what Geren is was something I thought of as a chess metaphor. The Black Prince abruptly understands that Geren is the king-piece of the chessboard, and that he'd have been much wiser, and more effective, to try to take him out rather than his plot against t'DoL.
So...Geren is the king on the white side of the board. If he goes down, game over for the good guys. And thinking about that, as well as my proclivity toward imagining alternate story scenarios, made me aware of the fact that t'DoL generally only survives Geren by a space of time ranging between mere seconds to a few weeks, but usually on the shorter end.
Geren is the white king.
Of course, no analogy is perfect, especially as I didn't write my stories to fit into a chessboard layout (and it'd be rather ghastly if I had). But it was fun thinking over the rest of the pieces as I finished my reread of book 4.
t'DoL, of course, is the white queen, as the most powerful piece on the board. (And now I am laughing at their expressions should I call them that to their faces, king and queen. Ha hah!)
Going off the idea that the rooks are more powerful than the bishops, as they're not restricted to a certain color of square, led me to put Hileko as one rook, and the Warder with her Stone as the other. (I'll admit I preferred the image of them as bishops, just because their roles complement so well, as do they in their relationship.)
For bishops I chose groups rather than individuals: the Council's mage-allies for one, and the Separatists for the other.
The knights were a bit of a head-scratcher, but I settled on Adya and Copper. Adya is more of a free agent than other powerful mages like Evael, Tarek, or Jonill, and Copper definitely deserves the role, as being especially invaluable in war yet invisible to the enemy for quite a while.
I didn't put much thought into the pawns, as any number of characters or groups could fill that role. But I did have fun with the "Shadow Queen," which is the Shado (oh, such fun, the pun!). Because most of the time it looks like a pawn, or that it even wandered onto the board from another game. But at four critical moments it reveals itself to be equally as powerful as t'DoL, and every time it acts, it reshapes the entire game.
I only realized yesterday that t'DoL should have (but did not, quite understandably given the events of 'TFE') recognized the Shado as the ‘replacement’ for Heruvael. He thinks it's one against two after Heruvael dies, in reference to the great enemies in Hu-Harek's secrets, but it's really two against two nearly all along. But I digress.
As for the black pieces...
M-E is the black king, since the enemy side collapses with him, and since the fact that the Goddess is what it is (let alone the mere existence of the Subverted) starts with him. Of course it's a king piece an equal to any queen piece, but the fact it's unmoving on the board for nearly the entire game makes the analogy still (very shakily) work. But one could also argue that the black side also has two queens, but no kings, and that both queens have to go down for defeat.
The Goddess, fittingly, is the black queen, even if it is also fixed to a specific location for the first three books.
For the black rooks, I imagined groups rather than individuals, groups devastating in their numbers and influence. In the earlier books, the SotG (servants of the Goddess), and then later the Subverted.
For the bishops, I chose Ilkaun for the first (even though he is one of the SotG, he deserves a special place due to being a special nemesis to the king-piece Geren). The other bishop is Kaliah with the Master-chain, even if he is a lone agent and not in direct alliance with the other pieces.
The black knights are two of the more effective spies that infiltrate the Separatist Alliance, which I call Spy T and Spy B to avoid massive spoilers. The latter does a horrific amount of damage, and maybe should be 'promoted' to bishop.
It was fun wrangling that out, and it will also be fun revisiting this in another 5-10 years and seeing if I've changed my mind on any of the piece assignments. Except I think what will happen is that I'll want to set up another chessboard for the Triune books characters...