Contradictions in the Guide

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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby skatepixie » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:29 am

suzzeeQ wrote:
I think that it being between people of opposite gender actually is a pretty strong argument for it being about breeding, despite the Midsummer Night's Dream quote. That imprinting manifests as love seems to me a logical way of roping in the non-imprinted partner, and a way of making it as comfortable and beneficial as possible. And I think my homosexual friends of both genders would be pretty amused at the idea that romance only happens between people of opposite genders.



I agree. I've always thought the purpose of imprinting was strictly reproduction. The romantic feelings involved are just a way to get the two people together. Not many people want to have babies with people they don't love.


It being someone who is a good match personally is going to be good reproduction-wise for another reason, too. It gives the children a loving home to grow up in.

So perhaps the imprint is the best shot that wolf has at both passing on the gene and having a happy, loving marriage.
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby corona » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:36 am

Well, the breeding part has always made the most sense from a purely logical point of view when trying to establish an explanation for the imprinting. A shaman merges his soul into the body of a wolf and unexpectedly takes on some form of an animalistic biological imperative. This is in the Twilight world, though, where SM either doesn’t exist or is still just a young mother who once had a crazy dream but never wrote about it. In SM’s real world, though, she is pretty clear that her motivation for bringing this in was to give Jacob a happy ending, hence the soul-mate explanation.

The Guide was her opportunity to bridge that gap between what her motivation was and the Twilight world where imprinting is running amok and there must be some rational explanation for it. This explanation for the true nature of imprinting was one of the most anticipated questions that fans were hoping was going to be settled. But, SM doesn’t settle it officially and conclusively, and I don’t think that was an oversight. I suspect SM may have tried to bridge the gap, but it just got too complicated; it’s one of those things where additional explanation just brings up more questions. I think the true nature of imprinting is a device where the author chooses to give selected characters from the wolf pack a happy ending, which is why there is still confusion within the wolf pack. Not a lot of confusion, mind you; only some of the characters try to really pin it down, while most others simply accept that regardless of whatever the true nature is, the couple is simply meant to be together.

EDIT: Here is another explanation, only somewhat tongue-in-cheek. The same “Angel of Love’s Destiny” that propelled Bella into Edward’s path is also responsible for the imprinting. Not very satisfying as far as logical explanations go, but it makes as much sense as anything else.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:55 pm

corona wrote:This is in the Twilight world, though, where SM either doesn’t exist or is still just a young mother who once had a crazy dream but never wrote about it. In SM’s real world, though, she is pretty clear that her motivation for bringing this in was to give Jacob a happy ending, hence the soul-mate explanation.


Thank you for reminding us that this is a make-believe world, and not necessarily supposed to be consistent or logical. Maybe this is why there are so many inconsistencies in the books, including the Guide. After all, even "real" life is not always consistent or logical.

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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby olorin » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:13 am

I found 3 inconsistencies that touble me.

1. pg 93 states that Carlisle was called to Esme's death bed after her suicide attempt.
But in Twilight ch 14 and Breaking Dawn ch 10 it says Esme was brought directly to the morgue.

2. pg 191 says Eleazar was born in the 1700s same as Carmen.
But in Breaking Dawn ch 31 it says Eleazar observed a pattern within the Volturi that repeated only every other century or so. That only makes sense if he stayed with the Volturi at least 500 years or so before he met Carmen.

3. Fred's story. This is the part I have the greatest trouble to accept.
According to the guide Victoria sent Riley out to fetch random people who wouldn't be missed.
And then less than two months later he randomly finds Fred on some beach near Seattle and brings him to Victoria without even realizing that he had found one of the most potent and useful gifts in battle we have seen so far.

I mean Fred's gift is like a combination of Alec's and Renata's with a lasting affect like Chelsea's. He can make himself and his allies invisible and thus immune to most gifts and physical attacks. And in battle he can confuse and even incapacitate every nearby enemy quickly at the same time, making them run with their unprotected backs turned to their enemies.
Fred's story doesn't make much sense to me for 5 simple reasons.

a) The chances of Victoria finding such a useful gift this way are simply astronomical, like winning the lottery exactly when she needs it. I find that much luck hard to believe.
I mean Maria has been doing the same thing much more selectively for over a century, and the only useful gift she ever found was Jasper. And that was already extremely lucky, given her success. And Fred's gift is much more useful in battle than Jasper's. The Volturi have been searching for such gifts for over 3000 years, with many others copying them (like Amun, Siobhan and Victoria, while she was travelling with James). And then Aro used Chelsea to steal everyone's findings. He uses the memories of the constant stream of visitors, convicts and a wide net of willing informers, to overlook the entire planet. And he also used the powerful gifts of Eleazar and Demetri to regularly comb the planet for such gifts. And even after all that he was only able to collect about a handful of gifts as powerful in battle as Fred's.
That kinda puts Victoria's luck in perspective, doesn't it?

b) Why would Victoria waste her lottery win like this, by sending him to the basement with the other Newborns?
She was risking him getting destroyed by accident or worse alienating and turning him against her or even join the Cullens.
If she was an expert manipulator and desperate for protection, why didn't she just replace Riley for Fred as her bodyguard, especially with the Cullens and Volturi hunting her? Why didn't she use Fred to kill Edward, when he came hunting for her 2 months later? Why didn't she just kill Riley and the other Newborns and started over with Fred? Fred was changed 10 months before the attack, long before the army started making the news. Fred would have been much more effective in controlling the Newborns. Even if she couldn't seduce Fred like with Riley, because of his gift and suspicion, she still should have been abel to manipulate him, to become an effective weapon and guard. I mean he still believed the lie about the sun and was dependent enough to stay with that violent crowd, thinking the outside world might be worse. At the very least she should have seperated him from the others, and given him the best treatment possible. He should have been able to feed constantly to his hearts content and given some secrets that none of the other Newborns knew, making him feel included and liked. No nerd could resist that much affection.
I can only think of two things, that could have forced Victoria to waste Fred like that.
Maybe she received a very concentrated dose of Fred's gift during the tranformation bite, making it impossible to be near him or even think much about him, without going into convulsions, which would only fade after decades.
Or perhaps she was terrified of Fred's gift, thinking he could easily destroy her in a moment of wild Newborn madness, unlike Riley and the other Newborns.
And Riley wouldn't be any use in controlling Fred either, because of his initial blunder. (like with Siobhan and Sancar)
So she simply had no choice to send Fred to that basement and keep her distance, hoping the others would be able to bring him along. Perhaps she was hoping he would follow Raoul? And that's why she had to go through that elaborate hoax with Bree in her desperate attempt to control Fred.

c) SM said she needed Fred's gift to explain Bree's survival in that basement. But that's not true.
I mean it's not that unlikely for the Cullens to find at least one of the Newborns to be a weakling who doesn't want to fight. It was only Carlisle's compassion, that made this situation so unique. Bree could have been just one of the lucky ones.
It's the reckless and boastful guys who can't control themself, who are the first to die in that basement.
Bree on the other hand looked very harmless and was very careful to stay out of trouble.
Raoul might have found it amusing to use her as a punching bag or servant to bring him food, but he wouldn't have felt the immediate need to destroy her, not with so many others around to aggravate him. Bree could have simply survived by luck, just like the others, just as Charlotte survived Maria's army.

d) From Eleazar we know, that very potent gifts like Fred's have a noticable, though nebulous, human incarnation. (like with Bella, Edward's mother, Alice, Jasper, Jane, Alec, Benjamin, Maggie,...)
Riley should have felt very uncomfortable carrying Fred to Victoria. He should have worried about Victoria's reaction for bringing her such a repulsing prey. He must have been very determined to collect Fred, as if Victoria knew about his gift and sent Riley to find him. Supernatural gifts must come from genetic quirks like the Quileute's, which is why they often manifest similarly among family members. An intense human focus can only shape a preexisting gift in a certain direction. It can't create a potent gift out of nothing, from some average human trait like being an awkward nerd who doesn't like company.

e) SM and the guide call Fred's gift physical, affecting the body directly, just like Jasper. But that doesn't make sense. Because a physical gift like Jasper's can't distinguish what someone is thinking or where he is looking at. We have seen this in Twilight ch 20 and Breaking Dawn ch 23 when Jasper felt Bella's anxiety (in human and vampire form) without knowing what's behind it. The fact that Fred's gift can distinguish when someone is thinking about him, shows it must have some access to the mind. Also the vampire body is too resilient and quickly regenerating, to allow any permanent manipulation. The fact that Fred's manipulation of Riley lasted for over 20 minutes, shows that his gift must be mental like Chelsea's, affecting the body indirectly through the mind, like Renata making a vampire body move in a different direction. His gift must work like a psychological phobia, like the fear of spiders and heights. It's like when the vampire sees, smells or tastes human blood, causing a strong instinctive reaction in the entire body, without the vampire's conscious will. These complex reactions are also controlled by the subconscious mind, and don't come directly from the nose.
Bottom line Bella should be immune to Fred's gift, just like anyone she shields.
And Fred's gift might carry through the pack mind just like Bella's shield, making all the wolves invisible and incapacitating at close range. What could the Volturi possibly have to defend against that?! :shock:


Ok, so much for my irritation. :D
I do have an alternative story for Fred in mind, that could explain Victoria's luck, as well as why Fred was so suspicous and well-adjusted and managed to master his gift so quickly in that chaotic situation. But I guess the guide kinda smashed that.
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby Jazz Girl » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:20 am

Olorin~ Well spotted and even more well explained. I had huge issues with Fred's story, but I struggled in making them a coherent and cogent thread. It was more like that feeling when you know something is just not adding up. Thanks for pulling it all together for me.
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby alphanubilus » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:47 am

smitten_by_twilight wrote:Thank you for reminding us that this is a make-believe world, and not necessarily supposed to be consistent or logical. Maybe this is why there are so many inconsistencies in the books, including the Guide. After all, even "real" life is not always consistent or logical.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Actually I disagree with that, completely. A writer should know their world in and out, backwards and forwards. The logic of the world they created, whether it be fantastic or based on the real world, doesn't have to be consistant or logical in OUR world, but it should be inherently logical in theirs. This is what "sells" the world, per say. It is what makes the world feel real and believable. When I writer doesn't understand the purpose of their own inventions it becomes nothing more than bad deus ex machina plot contrivences.

Meyer unfortunately uses quite a bit of deus ex machina in the Twilight Saga. So you know, dues ex machina ( "Latin for "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

In short it would be like a knight stumbling upon the only sword that could kill a specific dragon just in time to fight that very dragon.

Most writers, including myself, have found ourselves falling into the deux ex machina realm, and thus forces us to go back to the drawing board and figure out where the plot is having issues. There is a lot of dues ex machina in the Harry Potter stories as well, but they aren't nearly as contrived as they are unfortunately with the Twilight Saga...

Sometimes dues ex machina is unavoidable, but most of the time it isn't. Meyer employs quite a few, certain vampire talents appearing just at the right time, at the right place... Imprinting, even sudden changes of mind... What compounds the issue is that the author, herself, doesn't completely understand her own creation. Having read through the guide more than once now, I'm not only finding contradictions that we've already discussed by many others. This poses a real a problem, and in truth, I don't think it is all Meyer's fault, but a combination of sudden fame, tons of pressure, and other factors, such as balancing her home life with career.

I think had Little Brown allowed Meyer a bit more time on each book, especially development, she might have fixed most of those issues. Instead of releasing a book every year, possibly releasing one every two years or so, she could have ironed out a lo of these mistakes. But alas... Even still, I love the books the same... :ugeek:



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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby corona » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:16 pm

alphanubilus,

I would totally agree with that. There was a lot of speculation about the true nature of imprinting, and once you added everything up it seemed almost hopeless to square off all of the contradictions. The Guide, however, was one last shot at doing that. We did get a wealth of info on certain aspects of it through Sam and Emily's back storys. But, that last crucial bit that defines the true purpose (above all!) of imprinting wasn't there.

My suspicion is imprinting was brought in to give Jacob his HEA first, and then the other imprinting stories were brought in to prepare the way. These decisions were made before actually putting the rules into place first, which is critical in world-building. I think the best shot at pulling that off while still keeping it a mysterious force was to make it very rare, possibly only happening to Sam and Jacob, the two alphas -- not quite as much pressure to completely define it.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby dandyvampgirl_13 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:01 pm

olorin wrote: 3. Fred's story. This is the part I have the greatest trouble to accept.
...
a) The chances of Victoria finding such a useful gift this way are simply astronomical, like winning the lottery exactly when she needs it. I find that much luck hard to believe.

MAYBE HE'S (or someone else, Riley maybe) IS TA'VEREN!
Sorry, inner geek got away with me. :D

Meyer unfortunately uses quite a bit of deus ex machina in the Twilight Saga. So you know, dues ex machina ( "Latin for "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

In short it would be like a knight stumbling upon the only sword that could kill a specific dragon just in time to fight that very dragon.

And this is otherwise known as The Wheel Weaving as the Wheel wills.

Have I been reading too much Wheel of Time? *banishes self from semi-trolling on forums talking about stuff I haven't bothered to read yet*
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby giselle-lx » Sun Apr 24, 2011 3:28 pm

Has anyone discussed Jane and Alec?

I'm at my folks' house six states away so I don't have my book for the quote (gasp!--I have the Guide, but for once I actually didn't travel with the entire saga) but at the end of the EC confrontation, Jane comments it's nice to meet Carlisle and that Aro was right about him, implying she'd never met him before.

If the twins were turned in 800 (which also doesn't make much historical sense, since witch-burning didn't really happen until the middle-ages and in any instance was VERY rare in England--they were tried and hanged), then Jane and Alec would've needed to somehow be gone the entire time Carlisle was with the Volturi to make that timeline comply with canon. Given their extraordinary value to Aro, I highly doubt he lets them disappear for great lengths of time.

I would happily cut Meyer slack on either the history mistake if it was done to comply with canon, or the canon mistake if it wasn't also an historical error. But...both?
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Re: Contradictions in the Guide

Postby olorin » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:08 am

Yes, giselle-lx, that's a huge mystery I was hoping the guide would clear up, just like Carlisle's friendship with Amun and Siobhan.

The guide pg 159 said, that Aro had to use members of the guard to deliver bleeding bodies to Carlisle's library.
This suggests, that Carlisle didn't actually live in Volterra, but at a university nearby. Perhaps he only came to visit once every few months or so, and was escorted by a lesser guard directly to Aro's chamber. The guide says the painting came from his last visit. Maybe it was part of basic security, to limit Carlisle's access to Volterra and the rest of the guard. And maybe vampires aren't allowed to live in Volterra, unless they become a permanent member of the guard, as part of the prestige. The Volturi would certainly not want bleeding bodies being carried around in Volterra.

Carlisle was probably just one of Aro's private interests, just like the immortal children, and never piqued Jane's interest, and she kept to her chamber. Perhaps Jane lives very secluded in Volterra, only coming out to feed or punish. And Aro must have quite a few visitors every year. It was only at the end of NM, when the Volturi started making plans to deal with him, that Aro told them what he knew.

I know this sounds feeble and far-fetched. It's hard to imagine, that Carlisle and Jane would never run into each other in 2 decades, especially with Carlisle's curiosity to meet everyone. But it's the best I can do.
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