A Concordance for John M. Ford's The Dragon Waiting
[Jan 1480 - Feb 1480] 12. Transformations

For two months there had been no crowned King of England; there was a Queen, but until a week ago she had been missing somewhere, and anyway dowager queens were stale fish on the market.

A reference both to Elizabeth and to Margaret of Anjou, who has been lurking in France since 1471.

Edward IV died in late November or early December of 1479 (p265), and the coronation was scheduled for late January of 1480 (p298). Two months fits this timeline.

Certainly the boys who threw stones at the old witch on the street were not thinking of politics, and their chant of Cundrie, Cundrie, pass me by! Loathly Damsel, prophesy! referred to nothing found on the Parliament Rolls.

Charges of witchcraft and sorcery were mixed in with all the political oustings that went before Parliament in this era. (See the Duke of Clarence, for example. Elizabeth Woodville and Rivers's mother (p277) were also accused of witchcraft at various times.)

Other fiction:

In the medieval story of Sir Parzival, Cundrie was a sorceress who served, or guarded, or was an avatar of, the Holy Grail. "Loathly Damsel" describes her -- "loathly" both in the senses of "ugly" and "fearsome."

The Loathly Damsel theme appears in many medieval legends. Often (though not in Parzival's tale), if the hero is able to ignore the lady's hideousness, or treats her honorably, she reveals herself as young and beautiful. (Which will occur in this scene; see p315.)

"Oh... what is your name? Hugh." She put a hand to her face, dug the nails deep into her flesh; Hugh Wetherby paled.

And then the warts and wrinkles came away in a handful of charcoal and lard. "Tell the Duchess... I'm afraid I've lost her loan to me, and more besides. May I please come in?"

Cynthia has returned to the hag makeup that she used in Florence (p79). Although, we will learn, the limp is real.

The loan was Cecily's silver owl pendant; see p193. She left the pendant behind when she fled the soldiers in Wales, because she had removed it (and everything else but her gown) for Hywel's transport spell (p258).

"[...] Now, don't argue. Do you think I'd have sent my youngest girl to her tournaments without armor? Well, then."

Cecily mentioned her warrior daughter Ursula on p176.

See also: p321 (stiletto blade)

At the Bloody Tower, the door was opened by a doddering man in a pop-seamed, thread-picked surcoat, carrying a partizan which seemed an impossible load, let alone a useful weapon.

Giles again. A partizan (or partisan) is a heavy pole-arm, like a spear with an elaborate pronged head.

"[...] Captain Dimitrios Ducas and Professor Gregory von Bayern. If I might see one of them?"

The guardsman thought a moment. "Why, yes, I know of them. But they aren't here. They've gone to Wales."

"Wales...?" she said [...]

"With the Duke of Buckingham's company. The Duke is to follow--"

Buckingham has maneuvered Richard into sending him to Wales; he mentioned it in the edited message that he prepared (p309). Richard knows that Buckingham is heading there, bringing Morton as a prisoner (p307). He thinks Dimi and Gregory are with them; he does not, of course, know that they are in a Tower prison cell.

You can't sleep now. One wink now and you never will wake.

With only that transition, Cynthia has drifted into sleep, and is now dreaming of her escape from Buckingham's men in Wales (p261). The following scene is effectively a flashback.

Wizards sent things in moonlight, she remembered, and sometimes died in the sendings.

Recalling Guillaume. The use of the moon in sending the Exemplification was described on p160.

She had lost Cecily's owl, she realized.

See p315.

[...] and in a fleeting moment of absolute clarity Cynthia understood the difference between magic and miracles.

Cynthia was, of course, injured near Mary's cottage (see p257). She has crawled up the last stretch of road with a bullet in her leg, and avoided Buckingham's men as she did it. It does not occur to her what of the miracle is her own.

Eventually they had to talk about Hywel. "I cannot find him," Mary said, simply as fact.

We do not know whether simple unconsciousness would hide Hywel from Mary's perception, or whether a wizard would have to be present, or whether it could merely be a magical device such as the soldiers carried (p260).

(Or Hywel could be dead; but our faith, with Mary's, is that this is not so.)

"[...] Someday we will be only spirit, and all one; but here on earth we're made of earth and sometimes flesh must touch."

More of Mary's strain of Christian philosophy; see p238.

"When I first knew Hywel, he had two eyes, you know; and they were of different colors. He had made the one. I don't know how he lost the eye he was born with, or if he never had one there. But this eye troubled him. What it saw was... different from what his natural eye could see."

Hywel obviously made this replacement eye by magic, between the time he lost the original (p24) and his first meeting with Mary.

Despite the loss of the replacement, Hywel still seems to have some form of magical vision in his right socket: see p138.

"You see, sister," Mary said, sweet analgesia in her voice, "why I could not have restored your leg entire. Hywel does not know he taught me this, but he taught it me with the eye from his own head. How could I not love him?"

Apparently, while Mary's talents are not inherently parasitical (like Morton's, or Hywel's -- see p253, p254), she is still subject to limits. An organ wholly rebuilt by magic is in some way unnatural; not necessarily inferior to the natural body, but alienating. Mary chooses not to take such measures.

Genovese, she thought. Thank Minerva, a free state.

Agreeing with Dimi, although the text is not consistent; see p293.

She did not suppose at all that the flush in his cheeks was from the cold.

Like Dimi (p296), Cynthia immediately recognizes Argentine as a vampire.

"Per ché, Dottore...?"

"Because I'm hungry, uccellina. That old simpleton Giles caused me to have strawberries for breakfast..."

Italian: "Why, Doctor?" And uccellina is "little bird."

Clearly Giles opened one of Morton's blood-jars without being aware of the trick (p304).

And there was the chance that he would give her the disease, but it was small in a single feeding. One in eleven, she recalled. She started to catalogue every article on hematophagic anaemia she had ever read, [...]

"Hematophagic anaemia" is just Greek, in the manner that diseases are often named, for "consuming blood, lacking blood." (The spelling is inconsistent, though. British spelling would be "haematophagic anaemia," whereas American would be "hematophagic anemia.")

Gregory said earlier (p113-114) that infection was not inevitable when a vampire fed on a human.

[Argentine] brought his face to within inches of hers, bit his lip. Thin blood welled. Contaminated blood; certain inoculation if it entered her system.

Thus, vampire teeth or fingernails in an open wound carries a risk (p113-114), but vampire blood makes it inevitable.

She grasped the jade handle of Cecily's cane, squeezed the ferrule. The handle and a six-inch stiletto blade parted from the wood with no sound at all.

Cecily did, after all, compare the gift of this cane with arming her daughter for battle (p316).

It was terrible surgery, and she began to weep for the profanity of the act. But as the tears ran, she searched his body, and found a ring of keys.

Cynthia's execution of Doctor Argentine pains her, but it does not scar her as that of the vampire boy did (p77). She is clearly acting in self-defense, and Argentine is a malefactor; but the greater difference may be that she is weeping. In Florence, she killed the boy with an emotionally frozen clinicality.

The old porter was standing there, holding his partizan at an alarming angle.

Cynthia paused before him. He did not seem to see her. She took the iron key from the ring and held it out to him.

Giles once again. (Cynthia still does not know his name, but she met him on p316.)

"Then... who is this?"

"A man named Dominic Mancini... a Byzantine spy at the end of his usefulness. [...]"

As Gregory predicted on p312.

"[Mancini] lost too much blood," Dimi said weakly.

And Gregory is sleeping, she thought, and wondered that she could at once feel so revolted, and so sad.

Gregory presumably starved to the point of frenzy; when Buckingham threw Mancini into the cell, Gregory gorged and killed him. (See p113-114).

Dimitrios said "And then I stuck a pin in his heart, and broke his neck, and cut the cord with half of one of his eyeglasses. Then, just before he went to sleep, Gregory made me promise to do the same to him, before he woke..."

The surgery was to ensure that Mancini did not revive as a vampire (see p77). Dimi has thus preserved the letter of Gregory's vow (p113-114); but Gregory must still feel that he has violated the standards of morality (and rationality) to which he has hitherto held himself.

(The pin, of course, is one of those which Gregory has been carrying; see p266, p313.)

Our history:

Dominic Mancini returned to France after his London visit. He wrote his account of Richard's rise to the throne, and then lived to a comfortable old age.

See also: p341 (boiling iron)

She reached to the dead man's collar. Silver flashed, and diamonds. The owl pendant looked up from Cynthia's palm, shadows making it look mournful.

Cecily's owl pendant, like her cane (p321), has proven to be a hidden weapon.

Recall that when Mancini was introduced, Richard described him as a "little whistling bird" (p293).

Richard Gloucester, Protector of England, sat in the Council Chamber with his head on his folded hands. "The Duke of York is with the King," he said, supremely bitter. "The Protector, in his wisdom and power, succeeded in withdrawing the King's brother from sanctuary."

Richard demanded this (of Elizabeth) on p297.

Dimi, Gregory, and Cynthia have now met with Richard, and so Buckingham's treachery (and all of the plans we have so far uncovered) are in the open. Unfortunately, the pawns -- or rather, the King and the pawn who could be promoted to replace him -- were both in Argentine's hands, and are now vampires.

"But in two days' time we're to crown King of England a boy who cannot possibly be accepted as king....

"And yet there has to be a king. When Hastings... died... there were nearly riots in the street, people thinking we were back to the successive wars again."

That is, the struggles between Henry VI and Edward's family; the War of the Roses up until 1471.

Richard is passing over the fact that Hastings was killed with his consent, if not at his order (p306-307). The public tension that followed was noted on p314.

"Oh," Richard said. "Hastings's mistress... she's still in a cell. There just isn't any limit to the people needlessly hurt by this, is there."

Jane Shore was arrested shortly after Hastings's death (p308).

"Oh, we found [Elizabeth's] sanctuary." Richard looked at Dimitrios. "It wasn't in the Pantheon at all; they were in a cellar of Warwick's old inn [...]"

As noted on p297, the Elizabeth of our history hid at Westminster Abbey, which would correspond with the Pantheon after all.

However, Warwick's Inn was a real place in London. During Henry's reign, and then early in Edward's, Warwick kept his retainers in this house.

"Tyrell, I was going to fault your timing, but it's perfect as always." He knelt. "And how fare you, my lord of Middleham?"

Edward of Middleham, in case it is not clear, is the young son of Richard and Anne.

Dimitrios looked at Tyrell, and was surprised: he had never seen the man look so uncomfortable. Sir James had a wife, Dimi knew, and sons. Surely he was not so put out by little domesticities.

The meaning is unclear. (In our history, Tyrell was indeed married, to Anne Arundell in 1469.)

"[...] Hunt [Buckingham] down, Captain, and fetch him back. I know it isn't nearly enough, but it's what I can give you. As for the wizard, no obligations of nobility apply, but he's not worth losing anybody to his curse."

That is, killing Morton would risk a wizardly death curse.

Richard simply wasn't a very good liar, and Dimi felt he had seen enough expertise to judge.

This places the TDW Richard in sharp contrast to the traditional Richard III, and the Shakespearean picture, of a brilliant schemer who plotted, seduced, and assassinated his way to the throne.

See also: p333 (sounds petty)

When they had gone, Richard said "And now..." He held up his left arm, felt the spot where he had been bled at York. "And now we begin breaking oaths."

The oaths of loyalty to the new King, which were sworn in blood (p270) at the Pantheon of York.

A few earlier comments (p177, p298-299) referred the tendency of Thor to strike down oathbreakers with thunderbolts.

(If a thunderbolt results from this, it strikes Richard through his son: p345.)

In the center of the floor was a whitish circle with the sheen of metal, carved with two entwined dragons, one light and one dark.

The same symbol as the medallions that Hywel found. (The room is draped in red and white, as well.)

"No, I'm not a sorcerer," [Buckingham] said, almost jovial. "But you'd be amazed by how much help they ask for sometimes, creating their effects... Not that these effects are minor."

We have no reason to disbelieve Buckingham. However, he presumably has been using magical tools all along (p282, p307).

"Home upon the quartered wind, round the earth and home again, lodestone of the heart is turning, open, way, and home by morning." He blew out the candle and ran for the mirror in the wall.

Buckingham is clearly invoking a transport spell. (And in verse. Ford allows his own style to shine through here, I would say.)

The symbology is different from the one Hywel set up (p258) -- a mirror and a blown-out candle, rather than a road made of candles. (Of course this may be because Buckingham is using a spell already laid.) On the other hand, Buckingham is wearing only a light gown, as Hywel and Cynthia were.

"Morton, damn you," Buckingham was muttering [...] "None of it was ever for me, was it?"

As Gregory speculated (p312), Buckingham was not aware of the full plan. Morton has now discarded him, as Buckingham discarded Mancini (p322).

This scene confirms that Morton was the source of all of Buckingham's magical tricks. However, on p307, Morton denied being directly involved in the confusion spells (p282, p307). We have no reason to doubt that denial; so either Morton and Argentine allowed Buckingham to undertake those actions, or the removal of Rivers and Hastings was Buckingham's own twist.

"Tell Richard... to hold on tight to the crown, now, and watch like Heimdall for the man the East sends to collect it."

"My master is not the King," Dimi said [...]

[...] "Of course he'll usurp the crown. What other choice did we give him?"

And that is Ford's answer to the question of Richard III -- the TDW Richard, at least. He never made a move towards the throne until this moment; but the Byzantine plot has put him in a position where he must.

See also: p333 (sounds petty)

"More light makes my eyes hurt, and besides, silver is white."

"No, it isn't."

"Is too. You don't know anything about heraldry. You didn't even know the doctor's name meant silver."

Being vampires, the boys are more sensitive to light now.

In heraldry, metallic colors were not distinguished from plain colors, since cheap metallic paint was not available. Thus, silver and white were considered the same (as were gold and yellow). And "Argentine" means "silver," of course.

The Duke of York peered close at Gregory. "You're one of us, aren't you? A Perfect, like Doctor Argentine."

The perfection, to feed on humankind alone. "Yes."

Gregory is recalling the term he once learned (see p300). And Argentine did promise that the royals would always have human blood (p305). However, the young duke is merely recognizing Gregory as a vampire; so that is what Argentine apparently meant by "Perfect."

In that she was right, he thought, as he made the second stroke, and the boy shuddered in his arms and was still. There was no hate in it. Perhaps that was actually the important thing, that there not be hate.

How else explain that he still lived?

Gregory kills Edward with much the same passionlessness that Cynthia once killed a young vampire (p77). By refusing to undertake this, Cynthia has perhaps inflicted the same hurt on Gregory that she once suffered herself.

(And on Tyrell, who has presumably killed Richard of York. But he is more resigned to such tasks; see p272.)

Gregory was not committed to preserving life, as Cynthia is; but he was just as committed to controlling his vampire nature. After he killed Mancini (p323), Gregory asked Dimi to end his life. We see that he still finds no convincing reason to survive.

(Note that Tyrell is one of the people who, in our history, is suspected of carrying out the murder of the princes. Shakespeare has him do it on Richard's orders. According to Thomas More, Tyrell confessed to the murder while imprisoned for treason in 1502. However, the story is not supported by other sources.)

See also: p341 (boiling iron)

"Magister Maleficarum Johannes Mortoni," Richard of Gloucester announced from across the rows of vines, "you are under arrest for the practice of injurious and criminal sorcery--"

Latin: "Master of evil-doers, John Morton..." (or "teacher of witches...")

Morton is arrested, as promised on p295. In fact, Prince Edward did develop a rash -- not directly from the strawberries, but related to them. A vampire, after all, appears to have red-flushed cheeks.

"I'll have blood oranges in a week or so. Sorry now I wasted the space. But it would have been a nice variation on the berry jars: cut one with a silver knife and instead of juice..."

...the orange bleeds. (See the jar on p304).

Morton has a curiously elegant sense of spellcraft, both in purpose and in presentation. (The jars and oranges are excellently suited for smuggling, being easy to access if you know the trick, but very hard to stumble across by accident.)

He reached into his armpit, produced a green orange, showed the same blemish on its side.

Morton is playing prestidigitation against true magic here. Hywel has made the same point, that either can serve the purpose at hand (p134, p170, p246).

But before producing the second (or same) orange, Morton destroyed the original by unquestionably magical means. And that places him against Hywel, for whom the purpose of the trick would be to avoid both unnecessary magic and unnecessary hurt.

"I have a contract of marriage between King Edward the Fourth and Lady Eleanor Butler, antedating by some years the marriage of Edward and Lady Elizabeth Woodville. It's quite valid, witnessed and sealed by Stillington of Bath, and best of all, never annulled."

Our history:

Richard footed his claim to the throne on the existence of this earlier marriage. (With Edward's sons illegitimate, and George dead, Richard was next in line.)

It has been claimed that Richard Stillington, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, testified to Parliament and gave evidence of the marriage. However, the records of the event have not survived.

Note that the logic of this marriage contract is reversed in TDW. In our world, Richard argued that the young Edward was illegitimate in order to secure the throne for himself. But in this scene, Morton is offering a way to remove young Edward from the succession, and from the public eye, without mentioning his disease.

That this leaves Richard as king is incidental... or so Morton thinks... or so Morton judges that Richard will think.

"[...] No, it's Edward's duplicity you have to prove, and for that you need the paper."

Richard looked pensive. Then he said "I don't think so. It sounds... petty."

The third moment in this chapter which silhouettes this Richard against the one we know. (The earlier two are p325 and p328.) These lines are not particularly emphasized in TDW, but they make a dramatic contrast with our history. Richard fails to seize this proffered excuse to make himself King; he will not touch it even for a cause he desires (the removal of the vampire Edward from the succession). It simply isn't the way he chooses to live.

"I am a pure thaumaturge; nothing I do is for its spiritual sake, but for a practical end. It was not I who had a man drowned in wine, or sent a woman to the rack for being a dead king's mistress."

Morton disclaims "spiritual" involvement -- meaning emotional involvement, apparently; he denies taking pleasure in pain. (He refers to George's death on p195, and Jane Shore's imprisonment on p308.)

But it is difficult to believe these denials. Morton's aspect in this scene, from the blood oranges to the death of his garden (p335), has been constantly theatrical, emotional, symbolic, aesthetic. If he does not take pleasure in that performance, then surely he takes pleasure in its effect on his audience.

"[...] and if I sometimes sow the... strawberries of discord, then others willingly serve them at their tables."

An impromptu reference to Eris and her apple of discord. Also, a sideways admission that Morton designed the magical confusion which Buckingham made use of (see p328).

"I heard your death ordered of the steadfast James Tyrell," said Morton, recovering rapidly. "Is there no one in England a man may trust?"

"Fortunately, the messenger to the steadfast Sir James was the headstrong Squire Bennett, and Tyrell decided to deliver me to Richard instead of Pluto."

Bennett was the one who arrested Hastings (p306-307), but we only now learn that he was the rider sent to Pontefract to have Rivers killed (p309).

Recall that Tyrell was present when Bennett was demonstrating his inexperience (p199, p206). He appears to have decided not to execute his prisoners on Bennett's sole word.

See also: p351 (have a thought)

"Not here. Please," Morton said, looking back at his vines and fruit trees, at the dome of deflected snow above. "Later, of course you must, but not here... I don't want to see it, when they all die."

That is, when the soldiers put snake-marked chains on him, and all the spells protecting his garden fail.

Morton is, of course, being -- or acting -- most delicate, for a wizard who cut up a living man to assassinate a King. (See p257. Also p328, where Morton's workshop in the Pantheon smells of corpsemeat.) His request also undercuts his claim to be entirely practical (p334).

It is unclear whether any of his pose is sincere; perhaps unclear even to Morton.

(And this makes Morton the best fit for Gregory's earlier observation -- p303 -- for the conspirator "for whom loyalty was not the issue." Morton has not, in this scene, demonstrated any loyalty to any aim or ambition beyond his own whim.)

The Duke of Buckingham was attainted traitor on numinous (and, it was said, unspeakable) grounds, and then took a fall down Tower stairs that cheated the headsman of his neck.

"Numinous" may be a typo for "numerous."

Our history:

Buckingham was loyal to Richard (as far as anybody knows) through the coronation in 1483. Afterwards, he traveled to his castle Brecon (or Brecknock) in Wales. He there fell into conspiracy with Morton, his prisoner there. Together they planned to throw their support to Henry Tydder. Richard got word of the plot, which fell apart, and Buckingham was arrested, tried, and executed in very short order. (See also p352.)

It has never been clear why Buckingham became disaffected with Richard. He may have been unsatisfied with his rewards for supporting Richard's usurpation, or he may have held Richard responsible for the deaths of young Edward V and Richard. In any case, the rebellion of 1483 wanted Tydder on the throne and married to Elizabeth of York, thus satisfying both Lancastrians and Yorkists. The rebellion's failure delayed that end for two years.

Dragon history:

Buckingham seems to have been aiming to get himself on the throne (see p328). He was unaware that the larger conspiracy was supporting Tydder's invasion.

Shakespeare's plays:

Richard asks Buckingham to dispose of the Princes in the Tower. Buckingham ripostes with a demand for the Earldom of Hereford, which Richard had promised him. Richard refuses, and Buckingham flees to Wales for fear of the King's temper. (Richard III, act 4, scene 2.) Buckingham then rebels, as in our history, is captured (act 4, scene 4), and is executed (act 5, scene 1).

And then there were the Princes. Aldermen and dungcarters, shoemakers and priests of aloof Thoth all wept when Earl Rivers told of their end. None of them had a wish to see the bodies of two dead of a confinement disease, [...]

Our history:

Edward and his brother were never declared dead, much less with any cause of death. They simply were seen less often in their Tower apartments, and then not seen at all. (And Rivers, of course, had been executed prior to Richard's coronation.)

Rumors appeared about Richard and the children's death as if they were being coined by a machine.

That, of course, matches our history, down to the present.

(TDW technology is once again a bit ahead of its time. Machines for pressing or striking coins did not appear in our history until the 1500s.)

[...] or Humphrey the last Protector's [death] if you were old enough to recall that and still brawl.

Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and uncle of Henry VI. He became co-Protector for his nephew when Henry V died in 1422. (The other Protector was Humphrey's brother John, Duke of Bedford.)

Humphrey lost influence when his wife was accused witchcraft, and more so when Henry VI came of age. In 1447, Humphrey was arrested for treason, and then died under suspicious circumstances.

And so the crowns and robes were resized and the formal documents rewritten from Edward V to Richard III.

There were few other differences in the result.

And few differences from our history, no matter how alien the path that led to this moment.

Shakespeare's plays:

Richard is crowned off-stage in his play; he first appears as King in act 4, scene 2.

Our history:

Parliament passed an act, the Titulus Regius, accepting that Edward's children were illegitimate and that Richard should be King. (Rotuli Parliamentorum, vol. 6, p240-242.)

"Ah, my. Like Ishtar I am come out of the pit. Maybe I will be a little wiser for it..."

Margaret of Anjou also compared herself to Ishtar (p165); and she was also a King's consort. But the lading of Jane Shore's statement is entirely the opposite of Margaret's. She looks backward at herself, optimistically; Margaret focussed on her enemies, and declaimed catastrophe to come.

"At first it was because of someone I killed," Rivers said. "Then it was worship, when I discovered those gods. But soon enough I discarded that, and it was done because it pleased me that it be done."

The one he killed was presumably Francis Lovell; see p277. And his self-flagellation in worship recalls Savonarola on p82.

Other fiction:

Ford returned to masochism as an aspect of the hero in The Last Hot Time.

[...] she had found no sign more certain than the withdrawal from, the fear of love, and not merely of physical occupation.

Cynthia is considering her own reactions. She does not think that this description applies just as much to Rivers as to herself.

Indeed, it also applies to Dimi in the previous scene (p338; though not to Jane Shore). And, later, to Hywel (p376); and certainly to Gregory (p269). All our protagonists have been brought to that state by the impact of Byzantium on their lives; this passage casts that impact in terms of rape.

She wondered how she could ever have confused this man with a fanatical little wretch in a Florentine apartment, when the difference between them was the difference between shame and glory.

Girolamo Savonarola on p82, as noted.

The device on the end of his gun, when ignited by a gunshot, would according to design create a roughly egg-shaped zone, two yards high and one across, for eight seconds at the temperature of boiling iron.

Roughly 5000 °F, or 2800 °C.

It is not really possibly to estimate the effect on a human (or vampire) body, from this description. It depends as much on the density and pressure of the deflagration as on its temperature. However, Gregory appears confident that it will end his life.

(Gregory has been considering suicide since p323; see also p330.)

See also: p345 (den Todesmann)

His door opened. A man was standing there, dressed in Tower livery and holding a spear: Giles, the feeble-minded porter. He held out a large key of black iron.

This is, notably, the first time Giles has taken any action of his own.

See also: p344 (dangerous event)

Gregory returned, leading Dimitrios and a woman, apparently also taken in the act.

Jane Shore. (Cynthia holds the point of view, and she has never met Jane Shore.)

Hywel Peredur rested one eye and one dark socket on the people gathered in the cell.

"Oh, it's good to see you all," he said, in not much more than a whisper, "see you and know all your names again."

So Giles has all this time been Hywel, his shape and mind under Morton's rigid control. (Although he was able to lead Cynthia to Dimi and Gregory, once prompted, on p322.)

Note that Giles was first introduced on p295, well after Hywel was captured and Morton returned to London. It is possible that there was a real Giles, whom Morton killed and replaced; or perhaps Morton simply created an aura of familiarity, such that everyone in the Tower recalled having seen Giles around forever.

"Sixty years of magic lies there, all caught up to its worker." He shook his head. "But in a way it is my doing. He was worried; he tried to check on me with his mind... and I made him let me out."

Hywel is referring to the moment when Morton collapsed and "Giles" began to act (p342), not the moment when he regained his own shape.

He shook his head. "That's a dangerous event."

Morton's mistake, in the end, was doubt. If he had truly had the confidence he pretended on p335, he would not have left himself open to Hywel.

In chapter one, Ptolemy said: "To free someone is the ultimate human act." (See p23.) Hywel did not escape; he forced Morton to free him. Morton, the parasite, never did anything but for himself; and so the contradiction broke him.

"Will you rest now, John? There won't be any pain. Nor curses, eh, John?"

Hywel believes he can forestall Morton's death curse. (He is incorrect, as we see.)

Cynthia felt a tingling in her hands, almost painful; then something was being sucked up from within her, like life itself draining.

Everyone present (Gregory, Dimi, Shore, Rivers, Cynthia) has instinctively joined hands, and Hywel is drawing power from all of them, in his attempt to contain the curse.

"Siôn, dewin," Hywel shouted, "what's it for?"

Welsh: "John, wizard..."

(Recall that Richard began with the same words, in Latin, when arresting Morton -- p331. This may be coincidence, but it may also be a gentle poke at the use of true names in magic -- see p12.)

Hywel said gently, "Not for this, Dimi. It doesn't want a warrior-brother to tell a man his only son has died."

Morton's death curse was aimed at Richard's young son, Edward.

Our history:

Edward of Middleham died on April 9, 1484, at the age of ten. (Or possibly seven -- his birthdate is contested.) No cause of death is known.

TDW is once again compressing events, but not by much; our Edward died less than a year after his father's coronation.

See also: p326 (breaking oaths)

Cynthia saw Gregory take his small gun from his belt; there was an object fixed to its muzzle. "I will attend to it," he said, and when she was almost out of hearing, she heard "Mehr Arbeit für den Todesmann."

German: "More work for the death-man."

Gregory is using the gun he prepared earlier (p341) to finish off Morton. His comment refers to his several connections to death: his vampirism, his deathly appearance (p288-289), and the task of killing Edward, which also fell to him (p330).