Hi I'm new here and no doubt this thread is in the wrong place but I couldnt find the right place so I'm jumping right in. Apologies if it should be somewhere else. I've just finished TSK - and I enjoyed it more than any of the others (except for a couple of things but that's for another thread). After reading it though the mystery of Salamanders identity is solved for me as I'm sure it is for a lot of people. Salamander is Jakoby's twin sister. The clothes found in Ariels house weren't for a woman being kept by either of them - they were for Salamander. Jakoby admitted her sister loved to dress up in their mothers fancy clothes and dance. Salamander keeps her face hidden to hide the fact that she is a woman, that she has a deformed face and that she is Jakoby's sister.
Hi Allira! Welcome, I'm a newbie too I came to the same conclusion! However I did get confused because when Elspeth was in the cavern listening to the Herders (in the tunnel) I thought she heard Salamander speak, and wouldn't she have picked up that it was a woman speaking? Unless Seresh (I think that was her name!) has a deep voice
Thanks for the welcome Pinkdragon It's possible that Isobelle is laying a red herring for us (and we took the bait very nicely if that's true lol) but I dont think so. She could be disguising her voice as MM said or maybe her deformity has caused her voice to be abnormally deep. I've never been sure why Salamanders identity is a big deal but maybe in the last book his/her character will take on a lot more importance to Elspeths quest.
Lol I personally don't believe that Ariel is the Destroyer either
Oh I didn't even think about the deformity affecting her voice! Good theory Or MM (my fellow chocolate lover ) could also be right- disguising her voice because of the the Herders- If it is her I think it's sad that she turned into this horrible slaver! Oh who do you think the destroyer is? I'm hoping it's Ariel- mainly because I can't stand the thought it might be someone I love, like Matthew, or Dameon Although I think it would be interesting if it was Jes- I always thought it was weird that he had the same "killing" power as Elspeth yet she has never been curious about it.. Haha I'm going off the rails here
Pink - sorry I'm hopeless at remembering some characters names - I have always thought the destroyer was the boy who ?Maryon said had to go with Elspeth on the journey - who supposedly died in the firestorm (where the dog who will return got away) after the Druid camp thing. Lol is that as clear as mud? I can't for the life of me remember his name. Then I thought it was .... Geven...is that his name - the one Raisal is very attached to..... grrr - I've got to write the names down! I just don't think it's Ariel. Too easy.
Hmmm I think the boy who died in the firestorm you're talking about was Jik- from The Farseekers? And you know- Rasial feaks me out abit! Lol I think it's odd that most animals seem very friendly to Elspeth recognising that she is Innle, but Rasial has been rather distant- oh and I think the boys name is Gayvn (you were pretty close! lol ) I know the names can get confusing! Lol Yes I think even Isobelle has said the destroyer might not be who we think it is- and she doesn't tend to make things this easy for us lol
hey allira- the boy who died in the firestorm was Jik.... as for destroyer- i hope its ariel too Pinkdragon...as long as its not Matthew!!! but this is slightly off topic to this thread, so i'll add my voice to the theory that salamander is jacoby's sister...otherwise why would IC put so much emphasis on it? (it was the first thing i thought of when we were told of jacoby's sister), unless she comes up in some other way that I cant yet think of...
edit: pinkdragon got there before me, sorry for repeating!
Regarding the identity of Salamander...there's a lot of people who've come up with a similar conclusion since TSK (check the Stone Key Spoilers thread), but I'm still not convinced entirely; it's highly plausible that Jakoby's sister is connected to Salamander (I've posted all this before so I'm copying and pasting here...). However:
p270: ...and I gaped to see a man emerge from the darkness. He was tall and lean and swathed in a hooded black cloak that made it impossible to tell if he was a warrior priest or an ordinary priest. But when he reached the two by the fire, he pushed the hood back and I saw that, instead of being shaven, his head was entirely covered in a loose black cloth similar to that worn by the nomadic Sadorians when they travelled across the blazing white heart of the desert land, only he also wore black bandages about his face, concealing all but fierce yellow eyes... It goes on for a bit...but here's the voice bit; His voice was deep-toned and smooth, but the words were distinct despite being slightly muffled by the cloth over his face.
If it is a woman, Salamander has well concealed it - Elspeth perceives him straight away as a male (build, perhaps?), the voice was 'distinct, despite being slightly muffled', etc.
p977: 'You think he came here in disguise?' I asked. 'I think if he came here, it would not be in any disguise, because what he wears the rest of the time is a disguise. I think he came as himself. As a Sadorian tribesman.'
Daffyd's info has come from a woman who had been taken on Salamander's ship. She'd escaped, and she'd seen him getting stitches from a slave through a window. This is another direct sighting of Salamander when he's been described as a man.
The other thing is Daffyd suggests that Salamander returns to Sador, but as a Sadorian. I don't know if Jakoby's sister could return to Sador without being recognised, right? And surely, her turning up again would spark interest in where she'd been. Unless Daffyd's wrong, and she doesn't want to return to Sador at all.
So my conclusion from all this is that Salamander is male, on the two times we get an account of him. What I think it points to more clearly is that Salamander might be more than one person...a title that's passed along? Hence then fanatical 'mustn't be seen' nature - because Salamander can be any of a number of people at any time.
There's also: p875 As we continued, I found myself remembering that when Salamander had first appears in the Land, there had sometimes been mention of a beautiful woman who spoke for him. Perhaps that had been the woman to whom the room belonged, in which case she might be more of an accomplice than merely an object of love or desire.
Not sure which book this might have been mentioned in previously, but I do remember it being mentioned...possibly Ashling? But I think its further evidence that the room could belong to an accomplice of Ariel's or Salamanders...such as Erin Druid. Or, there's another woman going around with them; because if Saresh is visibly disfigured, I doubt she'd be appearing in public and described as beautiful, as sad as it is...
That's probably enough out of me for a while anyway
Min - as I said the whole thing with Saresh could be a red herring because it did seem TOO obvious a conclusion to make. Re the woman seeing the stitches - she only saw Salamanders midriff - enough to see that "he" had dark skin but not enough to say whether "he" was a male.
Another thought - when I read books I often get very confused about people's ages. Is Saresh old enough to have a son Salamanders age? Could Salamander disguise himself because he carries a family resemblence to Jakoby or some slight deformity inherited from his mother?
I agree with allira, i think seresh could have a son. but also seresh could easily have had her mouth fixed. the only deformity was her jaw and that could easily be fixed, look at Mathew, they fixed his limp. but i think she might have a son and this woman that sometimes speaks for him could be his mother. a few people seem to think that slavers don't take the sadorians because salamander is a tribesman but i think if he were a tribesman a kasanda would know it and then all the tribes would know it.
the sadorians are only at temple port once a year and i think we can say they must be fairly fit and fairly able to fight as they have the battle games and they took back all their people from new gadfia so they must have a good amount of fighting skill.
I think seresh or her son would know of all this and for that reason alone they might not attack sador. If they took the guardians and any land or ship people when the sadorians are not there the rest of sador would go after them and they wouldn't want that because knowing the sadorians they would destroy everything in the RQL so it is too big a risk. not that the guardians would be of any use to them anyway.
Sometimes I wonder if we forget just as Elspeth does, that bad guys have talents too. I have been thinking that maybe Seresh has been coercing herself as a male or even if Ariel has been coercing on her behalf, just like Elspeth does when she has been Elar. And I realise the Elspeth can mind sheild this out, but a few times she has let her gaurd down and not sheilded her mind and been fooled. I.E. Dragon making Obernewtyn look demolished by the fire storm.
There is probably many holes in this theory, but it was just an idea.
I don't think Elspeth so much forgets that bad guys have talents- I think she is horrified to think they are being used for bad things though! And yes Elspeth can be fooled- and it is plausible that Salamander may have talent- however when Elspeth encountered Salamnder he/she was wearing a demon band so they couldnt be coercing Elspeth.. I like the theory that Salamander is Saresh's son.. or like someone else mentioned maybe Salamander is more than one person, and maybe Saresh had a child and they are the Salamander that Elspeth saw
I just think that Salamanders identity must be someone surprising or that is going to make us go "oooh" :p Otherwise why have Salamander in disguise this whole time.
btw - I just looked up the word salamander to see if there was a clue in the name and it comes from the Persian words sām, meaning "fire", and andarūn, meaning "within". I guess Salamander is definitely Sardorian.
Hey, just thought i would add a random theory here lol. I think we have established that Salamander is Sadorian (painfully obvious) but I think Min's theory is.... well. I can't see Salamander being the kind of character that changes.... I, also, came up with the theory that Salamander is a girl - girls clothing and the like. The bits and pieces that Min has poured into here (many thanks - greatly appreciated Min =)) Hmmm. The voice isn't really much of a sign - a guy could have a high pitched voice just like a girl can have a male sounding voice - so I can't conclude anything from that. However *thinks some more* OKAY I have thought some more lol, I believe that Salamander IS a girl, but not Jakoby's sister - because thats too obvious for IC to have put in lol. However, I was wondering.... well. Couldn't the Destroyer easily be Salamander - a girl? I mean, this is going off topic a little, but I think that Ariel is a watcher, either with or for Salamander (because they have been linked for awhile now). Regarding the identity of Salamander, I'm not sure, but I think it's someone from the Red Land - not Sador.... and related (in some way) to whoever first over threw the Red Queen.
Lol, hope you liked my confusing jumbled theory =)
EDIT! Due to a talk with my other half, I have discovered (or course) that she has a much further informed and thought about theory that matchs mine, but which is illustrated in much further detail that is both clear and to the point - sort of lol. Anywho, this is in the archives somewhere but I'll copy it here for your perusal: "Description The Gatekeeeper and Salamander are both mystery characters. Both are described in the books (Ashling and The Keeping Place), yet not elaborated on. It is my theory, that both characters are the same people, and this will be shown (hopefully) throughout my theory. Theory In The Keeping Place, Elspeth learns about Dragon's heritage. Through this, she learns about the fall of The Red Queen and their family (empire). She also learns about The Gatekeeper, who killed The Red Queen, taking over TLOTRQ. It is my suggestion that The Gatekeeper wanted the family dead, as he wanted ultimate power. The leads to wanting power over everyone, so he created the slaver trade, using the alias Salamander, starting in TLOTRQ (this is why we don't hear of it untill TPK, as it is only a land of slavery, and far away from The Land), and then moving on towards The Land. The Gatekeeper either wanted to start the slave trade for economy and buisness for TLOTRQ, or to start an allience with Ariel. The last theory is plausable because Ariel was on the same ship that Mathew was on, and that ship was a slaver ship headed for TLOTRQ.
Regarding Ariel, he would have to know of Dragon and TLOTRQ. He obviously worked there for Salamander/Gatekeeper, and that is why he appeared on the Slaver ship. Perhaps he had a truedream or foresaw that Dragon had survived. He could have been the person who told The Gatekeeper about her.
Focussing on the fact that if Salamander was The Gatekeeper, when he killed TRQ in TKP, there are many theories on why he didn't kill Dragon as well. Either he thought Dragon had Drowned whilse trying to escape, he doesn't care about her, or will eventually capture her. Remember when the Soldiergaured seemed to recognise Dragon in Ashling? Perhaps that Soldiergaurd was also in the slave trade and Salamander was trying to find her, so he was told to keep an eye out for a girl of her description? Also, remember when the soldiergaured seemed to recognise Dragon in Ashling whilse she was protecting those children? He was was not just started at her bravery, he knew her. Distinctively. So why didn't he capture her there and then? Perhaps he was told not to capture he straight away, or he was told to kill her? Or maybe Dragon was not wanted dead, but wanted to be interrogated?
Why doesn't Salamader reveal his identity? This is obvious! Thinking apon to the fact that is he is The Gatekeeper, then he killed The Red Queen! Obviously there are going to be harsh penalites for that. By using a new identity, he is able to control his slave business and search for Dragon without anyone recognising him.
Why did he leave TLOTRQ at all? Because he had Ariel to look after it! This way, he could move freely around the Land to get more slaves and more money. The reason Ariel was on the herder ship that time is because they obviously swapped places.
Concerning the herders, Salamander controls them. He wants TLOTRQ to be a sustainable country, and so he formed an alliance with them to take religious control over the rest of the land. Concerning Henry Druid, he and Salamander formed an alliance. Henry Druid likes to take control of things. He is probabaly working with Ariel, whilse Salamander remains unseen. Thinking upon Henry Druid, remember his search for weapons? In the introduction to the Druids in Farseekers, we find out that Henry Druid is continuing his search for weapons/ weaponmachine. It states that obviously they found something. I think that Salamander made his find possible, and this is what he gave to Henry Druid for forming the alliance.
Read here: "The argument had ended in a mysterious explosion which killed most of both parties. Either the Druids, as Henry Druid's men named themselves, had deliberately set off a forbidden weapon, or some ancient device hidden in the ruins had been accidentally triggered..." The Farseekers, p19
This could show that Henry Druid found remains of weaponmachines and activated them. Salamander could have lead them to the ruins as a favour for forming the alliance. Also, TLOTRQ could house weaponmachines, so The Gatekeeper asked Henry Druid to find them for him for when he takes total control of the land.
I think the tranformation from Gatekeeper to Slave Trader is a convenient disguise. He is able to move about the land freely to search for Dragon without attracting too much attention, and is able to sustain TLOTRQ."
I'm really tired and have a funny theory which came out of nowhere. lol! i was thinking of how elf saw that salamander had yellow eyes and was thinking maybe he/she is related to Marisa somehow as Louis always calls her the yellow eyed b***h. is it possible she had a son to a gypsy - his skin would be choca and eyes yellow. just trying to think of how they could have gotten around the pregnancy as my main flaw. but if she got pregnant at the end of the wintertime and then when she started to show left for a long trip then she could have had the child and given him to the father to raise. or another though of what if she bonded with the gypsy after her bond mate died. even more far out is what if that child grew up and bonded with seresh. as i said way off theory and sorry if it annoys anyone. my mind is just nagging at how many times through the series it mentions Marisa as the yellow eyed b. and when IC said that it's not swallow but we should be thinking someone like that or something i can't remember exactly what was said or where, i will have to look it up.
hmm i've been re-reading ober chron again and just thought that we've had a reference to a beautiful woman and salamander before- in Ashing (orange 1997 ed) on pg287 "He had simply been approached in an inn by a beautiful, dark-haired woman bearing a note with Salamander's mark". This was when the man who had been buying the slaves, including Matthew, from Brydda and Elspeth (who was reading his mind).
Now this description would not agree with seresh (jacoby's sister) because she would be deformed...and im not exactly going against the idea that seresh is salamander, but in terms of the evidence of the room with the woman's clothing in it in TSK, this could point to another woman (as referenced above), and not seresh.
This woman could be just a random woman employed by salamander, it could be salamander, or it could be a woman connected strongly with him (ie. the clothes/room belongs to her). The fact that Ashing is quite apart from TSK, it might be weird for one line to come back but it could happen i guess...Anyway just thought i'd mention it and bring it into the debate.
I still think that Salamander is a man and he is The Gatekeeper. ..HOWEVER......Seresh is very mysterious and could be in allience with him. I don't think it's her because she's too new of a character, and, well, I've made up my mind and it's The Gatekeeper!!
I think Seresh is just too random to be Salamander. I mean, there's not enough about her for her to be it, but I'm not denying she is some kind of accomplice.
I totally agree with izzy. She's just too random to be Salamander and I think we need more information before we make a final judegmeent.
Regarding the identity of Salamander, I'm not sure, but I think it's someone from the Red Land - not Sador.... and related (in some way) to whoever first over threw the Red Queen.
SEE??? IT'S THE GATEKEEPER!! He overthrew the Red Queen, he sold the Land to slavery, and he wanted to expand hia empire!! Read my theory!!!! Now!!! lol
Here's a thought.....I wonder if the identity of Salamander is a mystery to IC and she's just going to choose the best theory and go along with it
Location: deep within this dank and univiting place...
with salamander being sheresh - a thought occurs to me. She has a deformity, and Jakoby describes it - BUT - are there descriptions of any other templeguardians' deformities? Maybe her trick is the fact that Sadorians don't note individual deformities, but simply equate deformities with templeguardians. If Sheresh played her cards right, she could easily pass through Sador unkrecognised - so long as she stayed away from other templeguardians.
People have mentioned 'red herrings'. I think we're getting to the point in the story where Red Herrings are going to start to be resolved. We have the major things going on - who is the destroyer, where is the barud, etc, so some more minor points are not going to be too difficult (one hopes - imagine trying to piece together the story if EVERY lead was a red herring). You have to remember that TSK and the sending are two halves of the same book, so some threads will just be continuous through the two books, rather than flowing with the rhythm of each individual book structure.
I think the whole sheresh/salamander thing is just ambiguous enough to be the right answer - after all, IC has to give away SOMETHING!
ok, ive never posted in a thread before so this is all new to me, but i read the book a while ago, and the whole time I was just assuming that ariel was salamander, i cant remember ever thinking anything else. Not that I can remember any of the reasons why I thought that, like i said, i read it a while ago.
am i retarded....? why did i think this? from a bit of a skim over the threads, nobody seems to have ever mentioned this so im obviously way out in left field here...
just wanted to mention it, see what you all thought...
ok some reasons ive just thought of... ariel can do anything, hes already proven that he's an evil mastermind, it might be what brought in the money to the herders... i dunno... but i really couldnt get it out of my head when reading it...
Ariel has definitely been thrown out there for Salamander - lol you're not the only one but I think after reading TSK we - or at least I - came to the conclusion that Ariel setting himself up like that as a figurehead is not really his style. Ariel comes across as more 'detachable': joining a cause to suit his own needs and then able to slink off when it all crumbles.
I haven't read the rest of this thread |:( but I assume that the quotes have been thrown in where they mention Salamander has yellow eyes, which for me at least was the main reason I thought Seresh.
I really like the idea that Salamander is actually a woman, and being Seresh would make sense in that she had a reason to be full of bitterness and maybe she is channelling that into something like running a slave trade to give herself power that she would otherwise be unable to have.
I particularly love the 'girlpower' idea that Salamander convinces everyone that he is a man when actually it's a woman the whole time!
My biggest problem is the Gatekeeper connection... in the past we thought that the Gatekeeper was Salamander, and that he was the soldier guard who recognised Dragon in the marketplace in Ashling... and that's why he seemed so familiar to Elspeth when she saw him on the dreamtrails.
However it's possible that the soldierguard and the Gatekeeper are one person (from LOTRQ), and Salamander is another (from Sador), who either is a woman or has a woman travelling with him.
Basically what it comes down to is that there's a series of characters that are connected - they might be different people or the same person, in various combinations:
- the soldierguard who recognised Dragon in the marketplace, who also drugged Matthew - and who probably doesn't have dark skin or they'd be a pretty unusual solider guard! (from Ashling)
- the tall, bald Gatekeeper with markings on his face, who killed the Red Queen and who Elspeth thought looked familiar, who may or may not be the soldierguard. It doesn't mention whether or not he has dark skin. (from The Keeping Place)
- the beautiful woman who handed over a note on behalf of Salamander (from Ashling)
- a dark Sadorian man, with a deep voice, who has been seen/overheard on two occasions (from The Stone Key)
- a woman who was either with Salamander or is Salamander, whose gorgeous clothes were in Ariel's house (from the Stone Key)
- Seresh, Jakoby's deformed twin sister, who may or may not be masquerading as Salamander or travelling with him, but who is unlikely to be regarded as beautiful (from the Stone Key)