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28 September 2010 @ 11:24 pm
Maker/fledgling telepathic (dis)connection  
I've been reading The Lives of the Mayfair Witches and while that has nothing to do with VC (except for the author, of course), it got me thinking about the whole maker/fledgling relationship Anne Rice has established in her Vampire Chronicles. More specifically, I began to ponder why she decided, unlike the other authors of vampire genre who let the makers and their 'children' have a special, sometimes even telepathic, connection to do the opposite in her books and make them lose that connection completely.
I started to think that maybe it was for the purpose of feeding the growing conflict between Louis and Lestat in IwtV. This probably seems far-fetched, but when one thinks about it, the basis of their misunderstandings and hate was that they couldn't properly communicate with each other and that they lacked that handy telepathic connection. 
So, I guess my first question would be: what do you think are Anne Rice's reasons for stepping out of the line in this one aspect of maker/fledgling relationship? Merely an attempt to be original or something more?

Also, as a Lestat/Louis shipper, my other question is about whether you think their relationship in IwtV would have turned out less catastrophically than it did if they could have read each others' minds back then. Or were their personalities, ideals and morals far too different and thus a reason for the conflict that couldn't have been resolved even if they'd had the telepathic connection?

Thanks to anyone who responds! ♡
 
 
 
Ducknevermore_1106 on September 29th, 2010 10:00 am (UTC)
Of course it could just be for originality, but I think you also have a good point about the distance creating conflict. Perhaps the 'I can read your mind and so we never ever have to fight<3' thing seemed a little too convenient? It isn't very realistic, and I suppose Anne has been sorta keen to take up the 'human condition' a bit realistically, with how relations are portrayed..?

But also: I'm no expert in vamp lore, but I thought the abovementioned close mental connection often occurs in later vampire culture, post-IwtV. I just know that the old things like Dracula etc. have a very master-slave dynamic going because the maker is so in control. Maybe she thought the lack of a connection made for more equal ground or something.

Sorry if this makes no sense lol. It's a very interesting question. :3
that awful velocipedestrienne: Kiss ➞  We weave lovecatpaws on September 29th, 2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree that it gave Anne enough space to portray their relationship realistically and that having some kind of a strong telepathic connection would be far too convenient. Still, I'd love to know how everything would have turned out for those two even if they could read each others' thoughts, you know? The most probable outcome, though, is that they would still end up quarreling and 'falling out', mind-reading or not. After all, Lestat had 'free' (meaning he could connect, but most of the time probably wasn't let to) access to Armand's mind and they didn't like each other very much anyways. It's not like being able to read someone's thoughts is an automatic guarantee of a good relationship - sometimes maybe even on the contrary.
And yet, I can't help but wonder how it would be if Louis knew that Lestat wasn't a bad Maker by default and consciously, but because he himself didn't know what to do and he himself didn't know answers to the questions Louis was asking him.

And then it all comes around to the question whether reading another's mind counts as an asset and whether it is even capable of changing that much between two people.
It's still curious, though, how every Lestat's fledgling ended up hating or running away from him.

Once, I read this fanfiction where Lestat was trying to find a way to connect his mind to Louis' because the two of them were on a really bad relations. It was very interesting, but the author left it unfinished. I really wish I could read the ending, to be honest. It was 'just' a fanfic, but I would love to see whether having a telepathic connection would change anything. : )

Hm, yeah, you're also right that Dracula has this power exchange between maker/child going on, but I think that most authors usually established some deeper connection between the maker and the fledgling, telepathic or not. (it would seem like the logical thing to do, what with having maker's blood in your veins and all.) It seems like Anne Rice set to do the complete opposite.
But I'm not an expert in a vampire-genre myself, so I may be and probably am wrong.
And I agree that it creates a more equal ground for the two vampires involved, though if they were mentally connected, they would still be equal. But I like it far more than the scenario of fledgling being the slave to the maker, having to come at his command.

Everything you've written actually made perfect sense! Thank you for the insight, now I have some more food for my thoughts.

Ducknevermore_1106 on September 29th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, are we assuming that shielding one's thoughts from telepathy is not an option? Because if we're saying it's an option, I think most everyone would want that, since we tend to want some privacy even from people we like. And then it wouldn't really matter all that much whether makers and fledglings could read each other. :3

As for what difference it would make, I'll agree with absinthe. I think their personalities would simply not be compatible in the long(er) run... there would just be something else acting as catalyst.

Perhaps the reason they stuck together for so long was just that they were both insecure and/or lonely. Older vampires probably get used to loneliness (and turn jaded, it seems) but Louis and Lestat were both fairly young, perhaps they had a more mortal need for companionship.
that awful velocipedestrienne: Kiss ➞  We weave lovecatpaws on September 29th, 2010 09:18 pm (UTC)
Actually, I was working under the assumption that they could close off their minds from each other, but maybe not at first. Only later, when they'd learn how to build a wall around themselves. Still, I guess it would be less useless if they wouldn't be able to shut it off at all, but in that case, I believe they would probably both go crazy sooner or later.
I meant that they would sometimes let their guard down - after all, you can't shield your mind 24/7, even if you're a vampire - and their thoughts would slip out accidentally.

And yet, Armand sought Louis' company, claiming that he'll be his connection to the modern world, even if he was quite an old chap. I think that there might be some truth to the statement that older vampires get more used to solitude (after all, they have centuries and centuries to practice it), but they, just like all intelligent organisms, still seek out some companionship, if only just to serve as their witness, or as it was in Armand's case, as a link to the outside world.
I think it's not possible to get completely used to loneliness, no matter what kind of a hermit a person is - that's why a lot of the old ones went under the ground to sleep for decades. (that, and other thousand reasons like not being able to watch everything around them change while they remained the same)
However, I'm sure that there is a huge truth about the two of them feeling lonely and insecure - after all, until they arrived in Europe, Louis was working under the assumption that there is no other of their kind except him, Lestat and Claudia. And Lestat was scared that he is going to remain lonely forever; that when Louis leaves him like all his other fledglings did, he will never find anyone willing to be with him like that.
They still thought that the world was far too big for them and they have to stick together, I guess.
Ducknevermore_1106 on September 29th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
No, of course they wouldn't be able to shield themselves all the time, agreed. I just meant I'm not sure if they would necessarily feel comfortable with sharing things even with their maker, so probably it all comes down to their respective personalities again. But of course involuntary (or voluntary) glimpses might aid understanding, yes.

I'm sorry, I wasn't very clear earlier. I didn't mean to state that older vampires have gotten completely accustomed to loneliness, I totally agree with you there. I don't think that ever really gets easy to bear. What I meant was probably that.. when you've been around for centuries, you get a different perception of time - eventually you will seek a companion, but you might not feel as daunted by the prospect of, say, fifty years' solitude as a mortal would.
Lestat and Louis weren't even close to having lived a mortal lifespan when they met (even when Louis and Claudia eventually left Louis had only been alive for approx. 100 years), and their outlook was probably still rather 'mortal'.
And of course, as you pointed out, Lestat's fear of being abandoned, that Louis knew so little of other immortals, and that the world was too big. That sounds very true.
Absintheabsinthe90 on September 29th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
I second what nevermore_1106 said about realistic relationships. It may be just me, but I tend to notice that we fight and argue and have the most misunderstandings with those who are closest to us, family and friends. Personally I think Lestat has it right when he says maker and fledgling can read each other, but the feelings are so amplified and strong, that they can't pick up a single things.

As for whether they would have fared better... IMO, yes and no. Yes because they wouldn't have hated each other. Louis would have been able to understand Lestat was only protecting him. Lestat would have understood that Louis simply wanted to have a connection with him. So they would not have been so torn apart. But neither do I think they would have managed to live together peacefully and blissfully, not two people so fundamentally different.:)
that awful velocipedestrienne: Kiss ➞  We weave lovecatpaws on September 29th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, you're absolutely right about fighting with the people closest to us - after all, they know us the most and so they can make the words hurt. And after spending too much time together, we begin to notice all the little flaws that our loved ones have and start to analyse them endlessly. Being with someone for a hour or two every week doesn't even give a person enough ammunition or space to fight. After being together for more than 70 years, stuck in a frustration of the life and each other, it's not a wonder that Lestat's and Louis' domestic life couldn't continue for any longer. It would be too much even for the most agreeable and similar people, while we know that Lestat and Louis were everything but that.

To be honest, that theory about amplified feelings is fascinating and yet a bit strange. I mean, it's as if their blood connection made them deaf to each other's thoughts because the rush of emotions going through their link was far too loud. However, I got more of a feeling that Anne wanted to give a feeling of that line being completely severed, like an umbilical cord being cut off at birth. (which gives me rather disturbing mental images of L and L being connected by one. D:)
And it doesn't give an explanation to why did they both think the other one hated him. In a certain sense, they both did, full of frustration, unsaid feelings and misunderstandings, but as you've said, Lestat wanted to only protect Louis and he wasn't a bad Maker by his own decision, but because of not possessing the knowledge Louis craved. One of the things Lestat was hated for the most (among other things that were definitely his fault, though) was something he couldn't have even affected.
Even if they couldn't pick up the single little motions in each other's min, it makes me curious as to why they couldn't pick up such huge ones.

I am in a total agreement with you there. They might have been able to understand each other better and not be full of bitter miscommunication, but they still wouldn't be able to live in a blissful marital relationship. As you've said, they expected far too different things from life.
Still, I talk as if they haven't even managed to warm themselves up in Rue Royale, when in fact, they lived together for more than 70 years, what is a rarity when it comes to vampires. They've managed to be together despite everything for unexpectedly long, when all comes to all, even if the way they've parted wasn't very fortunate.
Absintheabsinthe90 on September 29th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
And after spending too much time together, we begin to notice all the little flaws that our loved ones have and start to analyse them endlessly.
Bitter truth.:3

Yes, they did last unexpectedly long, didn't they. I guess sometimes in spite of the hatred and bitterness... you just go with the flow. Even vampires.XD
that awful velocipedestrienne: Kiss ➞  We weave lovecatpaws on September 29th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
And I suppose they mutually needed each other.
When you're so uncertain of yourself and of what you are, I guess the best thing you can do is just to stick together and roll with it. :D
iskra667: Delusional Maniacs Kiss better !iskra667 on September 29th, 2010 05:25 pm (UTC)
somebody corrects me if I'm wrong but I don't think Louis talks about telepathy in Interview the book (Lestat "read evildoer's thoughts" is only in the movie I think). I think he describes getting images or feeling invaded by Armand, be he does not understand how it works, nor know who can or can't do that.

I think the maker/fledgling silence only appears in TVL. My theory is that it's something AR made up when she had to explain that Lestat was not such a bastard after all ... :p

Personally, I don't think it would have changed anything being able to read each other's thoughts, because they would not have been reading each other very deeply 24/7 to get a chance to pick up the things they each wanted to hide, they would most likely read surface thoughts now and then. Lestat is a good shielder, and he would have shielded all the Marius stuff to protect Louis, and shielded even more fiercely his own emotions to protect himself. Louis' fascination/attraction/love for Lestat would have been repressed so deep in his subconscious, that Lestat would never have managed to read it. Most of the time, he would read the surface thought "Isn't he vain/shallow/cruel/irritating!" which would only make him more secretive and offensive. Once in a while, when Louis is very upset or happy, he might have read confusion/shame, but he would not have read "LOVE" in big red letters which, imho, is about the only thing that could get Lestat to drop his guard.

But I'm sure they're happy now, it just took them a very long time...
that awful velocipedestrienne: Kiss ➞  We weave lovecatpaws on September 29th, 2010 08:58 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I kinda blended the two books in my head - I sometimes do that. It was because Lestat repeats the happenings of IwtV in his book and so my mind sometimes merges those two completely different POVs together. Of course, Louis doesn't mention the telepathy in IwtV - after all, in the events he described, he is practically just a baby vampire with no knowledge of all those handy vamp-powers whatsoever.
I have read IwtV quite some time ago and I don't really have a good memory for all the fine tiny details in the books, especially since I read a lot. Time to dust off my memory maybe? (meaning: re-re-read the IwtV )
Now that I think of it, though, didn't Claudia sometimes communicate with Louis through mind? Or am I just making things up now?

Still, I think that Anne had the connection thing all planned even while writing IwtV. It would be so entertaining and... disappointing to find out that she made it up along the way. However, to me, it all falls into place when I think of it - Armand's presence in Louis' mind and only silence coming from Lestat, even in IwtV.

Hm, yes, I agree with you. Especially with both of them being so good at protecting their own deep feelings and everything, it would be hard to breach the ice between them and in addition, if they'd only read the surface thoughts, the connection would maybe even serve to make them hate each other more. Still, I hope that in those 70 years, there would be at least some moments where they would let their guards accidentally down. Maybe. Hopefully.
I simply think that their relationship wouldn't really be all that dramatically better since they're far too different, but I still think that they wouldn't have had so many misunderstandings and bitter feelings between them.

Yes! If only Anne Rice would elaborate more on their relationship in the later books and not focus on merging Mayfair witches with vampires. Louis should have definitely got more screen time with Lestat and not just few 'generous' cameos. (in the narration of others, that is)
But it's good they managed to work it out between the two of them in the end. It only took some hundred of years or so for them to realise they missed each other, but the ending result is what counts. It was like a dating break, only on a much larger scale. ('it's not you, it's me, we should take a break.')
iskra667: Delusional Maniacs Kiss better !iskra667 on September 29th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
Now that I think of it, though, didn't Claudia sometimes communicate with Louis through mind? Or am I just making things up now?
I really have no idea! :)

I don't think their relationship was that bad anyway, apart from the first 5 years when Louis was really tortured. I mean, he obviously decided to only tell the bad stuff to Daniel, and he can't find that much of it after a while since he describes the "happy family" years so quickly... and he does let slip telling words sometimes (companionship, contentment) ... So I think after a while they came to accept each other's flaws, even if they never really understood each other. Or rather, the way I see them, they have an accute intuitive feeling about what the other needs, but either they just don't understand why he needs it, or they do, but they find this reason ridiculous/misguided. Still, when they choose to do so, they can give each other what they need, even if they both wished the other needed something else ... They'll never be that kind of couple who talk or agree all the time but, hey, sometimes it's tedious :)

Yes! If only Anne Rice would elaborate more on their relationship in the later books and not focus on merging Mayfair witches with vampires. Louis should have definitely got more screen time with Lestat and not just few 'generous' cameos. (in the narration of others, that is)
Rah, make up your own ending if you don't like that one, I do! (just dont get caught, lol ... :p)