The novel takes on a dream like quality at times during the quest, which seems almost more like aimless wandering than a purposeful journey. Eventually, Ged and Arren must cross into the land of the dead and confront the architect of the unmaking that has spread throughout the land. Their adversary is a wizard named Cob, who so feared death that he made a hole in the boundary between life and death so that he could return. But, as Ged points out, there is a terrible price to be paid for doing this:
"We meet as equals here. If you are blind, Cob, yet we are in the dark."
And at this point, although Cob still resists, and Ged and Arren must still struggle, the die is cast. Ged has exposed the hollow emptiness within their adversary, laying bare the meaninglessness of his preening and strutting.For all his assertions of majesty and mastery, Cob has become nothing more than a nameless shadow, desperate to fill itself with something, anything. And the critical element of the confrontation is that Ged reveals this to Cob, who doesn't even know it himself, and further, reveals that because Ged knows it, Cob has lost all power to affect him. It is this battle of ideas that makes this the most epic scene in a genre novel.
Go to Day 26: Who Is the Best Hero in a Genre Novel?
Go to Day 28: Who Is Your Favorite Publisher of Genre Novels?